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0926-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Sep 15, Saturday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Woolf
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 58m 44s!!!
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

14. Grp. that interrogated Alger Hiss : HUAC
The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) was formed by the US House of Representatives in 1947 and disbanded in 1975. The House Committee is best remembered for its investigation of the Hollywood film industry in the late forties and fifties which led to the blacklisting of hundreds of people. The House Committee had no formal connection with Senator Joseph McCarthy who was Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Alger Hiss was US government official involved in the establishment of the United Nations. Hiss was accused of being a spy in testimony to the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) in 1948. Hiss vigorously denied and fought the accusation but eventually served over three years in jail on related charges. The consensus seems to be that Hiss was indeed a spy, but there may be new evidence available when the HUAC’s papers are unsealed in 2026.

15. Home of minor-league baseball's Chihuahuas : EL PASO
The El Paso Chihuahua are a Triple-A affiliate for the San Diego Padres.

17. Lead-in to a conclusion : ERGO
"Ergo" is the Latin word for "hence, therefore".

18. Passing scores? : DIRGES
A “dirge” is a slow and mournful musical piece, like a funeral hymn.

19. Die, across the Rhine : LES
“Die” is the German for “the” in the plural, and “les” is French.

22. Black out : REDACT
Our word “redact”, meaning to revise or edit, comes from the past participle of the Latin “redigere” meaning “to reduce”.

24. Coveted medalla material : ORO
In Spanish, a medal (medallo) might be made out of gold (oro).

25. Washington's capital? : ONES
The US’s first president, George Washington, is on the one-dollar bills produced today. However, when the first one-dollar bill was issued in 1863, it featured a portrait of Salmon P. Chase, President Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury.

26. Finnish-based tech giant : NOKIA
I do enjoy classical guitar music, but there isn’t a huge choice on CD. There is one very special piece called “Gran Vals” by Francisco Tárrega, written in 1902. This piece has a unique reputation as it contains a phrase that it is the most listened to piece of music in the whole world. Just a few bars into the work one can hear the omnipresent Nokia ring tone!

27. Travel mag advertiser : B AND B
An intimate inn (in the US) is a bed & breakfast (B&B). A bed & breakfast back in Ireland is more basic, and is almost always much cheaper than a comparable hotel room.

29. Julio is one : MES
In Spanish, July (julio) is a month (mes).

37. Get engaged, in slang : PUT A RING ON IT
If I had tried to “put a ring on it” when I did, over thirty years ago, I don’t think I would have “closed the deal”. Not a nice phrase, to me anyway ...

40. Mama Rose in "Gypsy," e.g. : ALTO
“Mama Rose” was Rose Thompson Hovick, the mother of burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee.
Gypsy Rose Lee was a famous striptease artist whose memoir was the basis for the very successful stage musical “Gypsy”.

42. Asian city with an airport on an artificial island : OSAKA
The Japanese city of Osaka used to be called Naniwa, with the name changing to Osaka some time before 1500. "Osaka" can be translated either as "large hill" or "large slope". Osaka is sometimes referred to as “the Chicago of Japan” as it is a major center of commerce and industry.

46. 1963 Best Actress nominee for "The L-Shaped Room" : CARON
The beautiful and talented French actress and dancer Leslie Caron is best known for her appearances in the classic Hollywood musical films “An American in Paris”, “Lili” and “Gigi”. Although I love the movie “Gigi”, my favorite of her performances is in the comedy war drama “Father Goose” in which she played opposite Cary Grant. Caron has danced with the best, including Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolf Nureyev.

“The L-Shaped Room” is a novel by Lynne Reid Banks that was adapted for the big screen in a 1962 film of the same name.

48. One of a reconciling pair painted by Rubens : ESAU
“The Reconciliation of Jacob and Esau” is a painting by Sir Peter Paul Rubens.

51. Western U.S. capital, to locals : SAC
Sacramento, California’s state capital, was named for the Sacramento River. The river was named by a Spanish explorer, who called it “Rio de los Sacramentos”. This translates as “River of the Blessed Sacrament”.

52. Photographer's support staff : UNIPOD
A monopod (sometimes “unipod”) is a one-legged support used for cameras, binoculars etc.

54. Foam figures? : LATTE ART
Latte art is the name given to the designs that can be drawn on the surface of coffee drinks. Some of those designs can be quite intricate.

56. Sun Devil rival : UTE
The Utah Utes and Arizona State Sun Devils are college football teams.

57. Old-school rapper? : FERULE
A ferula (also “ferule”) is a flat piece of wood that was used for corporal punishment. A teacher would rap the unfortunate child a few times on the palm of the hand. Sadly, I was on the wrong end of the ferula once or twice in my youth.

60. New title after a union : MRS
Mr. is the abbreviation for "master", and Mrs. is the abbreviation for "mistress".

61. Spelling bee requests : USAGES
Back in 18th-century America, when neighbors would gather to work for the benefit of one of their group, such a meeting was called a "bee". The name "bee" was an allusion to the social nature of the insect. In modern parlance, a further element of entertainment and pleasure has been introduced, for example in a "quilting bee", or even a “spelling bee”.

62. Prefix with bacteria : NANO-
Nanobacteria are a controversial phenomenon. They are tiny structures that do appear to replicate in some way. The controversy is whether or not that can be classified a living organisms.

63. Lush : SOT
Our word "sot" comes from the Old English "sott", meaning “fool”. The word "sot" started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

Down
2. Lights on top of a pole? : AURORA
The spectacular aurora phenomenon is seen lighting up the night sky at both poles of the earth (the Aurora Borealis in the north, and the Aurora Australis in the south). The eerie effect is caused by charged particles colliding with atoms at high latitudes.

3. Common pool design : LAGOON
A lagoon-shaped swimming pool has curved edges, and is similar to a free-form design.

4. Field of productivity, briefly : ECON
Economics (econ.)

5. Cab, customarily : SEDAN
The American "sedan" car is the equivalent of the British "saloon" car. By definition, a sedan car has two rows of seating and a separate trunk (boot in the UK), although in some models the engine can be at the rear of the car.

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The "cab" in the name is short for "cabriolet", a prior design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It's from "hansom cab" that we get our modern term "cab".

6. Noted 19th-century bagatelle dedicatee : ELISE
"Fur Elise" is a beautiful piece of music written by Beethoven, and is also known as "Bagatelle in A Minor". "Fur Elise" means simply "For Elise", but sadly no one knows for sure the identity of the mysterious dedicatee.

7. Statement of political hubris : APRES MOI, LE DELUGE
“Après moi, le déluge” is a French phrase that was supposedly used by Louis XV. The king was referring to the impending demise of the French monarchy and predicting the French Revolution. The phrase translates as “After me, the deluge”.

10. Polish city north of Breslau : POSEN
Poznań (also called “Posen” in German) is a Polish city in the west of the country.

11. "Black Swan" co-star, 2010 : MILA KUNIS
Mila Kunis is a Ukrainian-born, American actress, who plays Jackie Burkhart on "That '70s Show". Fans of the cartoon series "Family Guy" might recognize her voicing the Meg Griffin character. In ”Black Swan”, Kunis plays a rival ballet dancer to the character played by Natalie Portman. In her personal life, Kunis dated Macaulay Culkin for 8 years.

12. The "Nine-Nine" of TV's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" : PRECINCT
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a sitcom set in the 99th precinct of the NYPD in Brooklyn. Star of the show is “Saturday Night Live” alum Andy Samberg, who plays Detective Jake Peralta.

13. Carry before delivering : GESTATE
The normal gestation period for humans is 280 days, a little over 9 months. The gestation period can be a little shorter, or longer. Back in 1945, a pregnancy was confirmed at 375 days, just over a year.

21. Frothy drink with tapioca balls : BOBA TEA
Bubble tea, sometimes called Boba tea, is a tea-based drink from Taiwan.

23. Excellence, in modern slang : DOPENESS
Never heard of it …

30. Hirelings of old : ESNES
"Esne" is an uncommon word, a synonym for "serf" as best I can tell, a member of the lowest feudal class.

34. High school misanthrope of 1990s-2000s cartoondom : DARIA
“Daria” is an animated television show on MTV. It is a spin-off from the hit series “Beavis and Butthead”.

35. Many a Shiite : IRANI
The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family.

37. Like 1¢, as costs go : PALTRIEST
The adjective "paltry" comes from an older use of "paltry" as a noun, meaning a "worthless thing".

38. Salsa ingredient : CILANTRO
What we know here in North America as cilantro is called coriander in the UK and other parts of the world. “Cilantro” is the Spanish name for the herb.

43. How Viola dresses in "Twelfth Night" : AS A MAN
Viola is the main character in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night". Viola is shipwrecked at the beginning of the play in a land ruled by the Duke Orsino. Viola disguises herself as a boy and works for Orsino as a page, and complications ensue ...

44. 2013 Oscar-nominated frontwoman for rock's Yeah Yeah Yeahs : KAREN O
Karen O is the stage name of the singer and musician Karen Orzolek. Karen O is the singer and pianist of the New York-based indie band Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

50. Arms race event, briefly : A-TEST
Atomic test (A-test)

The first detonation of a nuclear weapon was code named “Trinity”, and was conducted on July 16, 1945 as part of the Manhattan Project. The detonation took place at the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range located about 25 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico.

53. Dis twice? : DESE
The New York dialect of English is sometimes called Brooklynese, I believe. In Brooklynese, we might take “dis”, “dat”, “dese” or “dose”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Related thing : TALE
5. Shrink-wrap, e.g. : SEAL UP
11. High no. for a green car : MPG
14. Grp. that interrogated Alger Hiss : HUAC
15. Home of minor-league baseball's Chihuahuas : EL PASO
16. Cause of cursing : IRE
17. Lead-in to a conclusion : ERGO
18. Passing scores? : DIRGES
19. Die, across the Rhine : LES
20. Out-of-this-world settlement? : MOON BASE
22. Black out : REDACT
24. Coveted medalla material : ORO
25. Washington's capital? : ONES
26. Finnish-based tech giant : NOKIA
27. Travel mag advertiser : B AND B
29. Julio is one : MES
32. Throw in the towel : PUNT
33. Uncharacteristic quiet spell : RADIO SILENCE
37. Get engaged, in slang : PUT A RING ON IT
38. Shooter's bagful : CAMERA LENSES
39. Female snakes : VILLAINESSES
40. Mama Rose in "Gypsy," e.g. : ALTO
41. Opposite of hamper : AID
42. Asian city with an airport on an artificial island : OSAKA
46. 1963 Best Actress nominee for "The L-Shaped Room" : CARON
48. One of a reconciling pair painted by Rubens : ESAU
51. Western U.S. capital, to locals : SAC
52. Photographer's support staff : UNIPOD
54. Foam figures? : LATTE ART
56. Sun Devil rival : UTE
57. Old-school rapper? : FERULE
59. Foretoken : OMEN
60. New title after a union : MRS
61. Spelling bee requests : USAGES
62. Prefix with bacteria : NANO-
63. Lush : SOT
64. Up-to-the-minute : NEWEST
65. Wet blanket? : SNOW

Down
1. Group with many hits : THE MOB
2. Lights on top of a pole? : AURORA
3. Common pool design : LAGOON
4. Field of productivity, briefly : ECON
5. Cab, customarily : SEDAN
6. Noted 19th-century bagatelle dedicatee : ELISE
7. Statement of political hubris : APRES MOI, LE DELUGE
8. Streaming annoyance : LAG
9. Target of an intervention : USER
10. Polish city north of Breslau : POSEN
11. "Black Swan" co-star, 2010 : MILA KUNIS
12. The "Nine-Nine" of TV's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" : PRECINCT
13. Carry before delivering : GESTATE
21. Frothy drink with tapioca balls : BOBA TEA
23. Excellence, in modern slang : DOPENESS
28. Repeating electronic rhythm section : DRUM LOOP
30. Hirelings of old : ESNES
31. Topic in driver's ed : SIGNS
34. High school misanthrope of 1990s-2000s cartoondom : DARIA
35. Many a Shiite : IRANI
36. Miss the boat : LOSE OUT
37. Like 1¢, as costs go : PALTRIEST
38. Salsa ingredient : CILANTRO
39. They have nothing : VACUUMS
43. How Viola dresses in "Twelfth Night" : AS A MAN
44. 2013 Oscar-nominated frontwoman for rock's Yeah Yeah Yeahs : KARENO
45. Commercial command : ACT NOW!
47. Like a wet blanket : NO FUN
49. Subjects of many newspaper ads : SALES
50. Arms race event, briefly : A-TEST
53. Dis twice? : DESE
55. Mountains form over them : EONS
58. Like some food and footage : RAW


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3 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

Just under 50 minutes, no errors. I came close to giving up a few times, but, each time, saw the answer to one more clue, just enough to keep me going. In the end, everything made sense except KAREN O and DARIA (I've never heard of either) and DOPENESS (a "word" that richly deserves to die aborning, in my (ever so humble) opinion. A good tussle ...

BruceB said...

Congratulations to all who solved this. I gave up after an hour. Had STARBASE in place of MOONBASE; TRIPOD in place of UNIPOD; CAT in place of UTE.

I have both a tripod and a monopod, have not heard a monopod called a unipod. (Even spellcheck doesn't like it)

Although both the Utah Utes and the Arizona State Sun Devils are in the Pac-12 conference, the long time rivals of the Sun Devils are the Arizona Wildcats.

Lou Sander said...

We didn't like it at all. No fun. Tough clues and answers. "DOPENESS"?? Some were very clever, though, e.g. GESTATE and THEMOB. .

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About This Blog

This is the simplest of blogs.

I do the New York Times puzzle online every evening, the night before it is published in the paper. Then, I "Google & Wiki" the references that puzzle me, or that I find of interest. I post my findings, along with the solution, as soon as I am done, usually well before the newsprint version becomes available.

About Me

The name's William Ernest Butler, but please call me Bill. I grew up in Ireland, but now live out here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am retired, from technology businesses that took our family all over the world.

I try to answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com.

Crosswords and My Dad

I worked on my first crossword puzzle when I was about 6-years-old, sitting on my Dad's knee. He let me "help" him with his puzzle almost every day as I was growing up. Over the years, Dad passed on to me his addiction to crosswords. Now in my early 50s, I work on my Irish Times and New York Times puzzles every day. I'm no longer sitting on my Dad's knee, but I feel that he is there with me, looking over my shoulder.

This blog is dedicated to my Dad, who passed away at the beginning of this month.

Bill
January 29, 2009

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