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0126-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Jan 17, Thursday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Hal Moore
THEME: A Little Birdie
We have a rebus puzzle today, with A LITTLE BIRDIE occupying four squares in the grid. Apologies for the untidy nature of my grid. It seems that my birdies aren’t small enough to fit into the rebus squares:
36A. Secret's source ... that can be found four times in this puzzle : A LITTLE BIRDIE

13A. One traveling in a basket : BALLOONIST
14A. Place where people are rushing : FRATERNITY
62A. Best Picture subject nine inches shorter than the actor who portrayed him : TE LAWRENCE
63A. Whisky first produced for King George VI's 1939 visit to Canada : CROWN ROYAL
3D. Rosemary, for one : CLOONEY
9D. Constant : ETERNAL
54D. Shabby : LOW-RENT
55D. Cool people : IN CROWD
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 13m 22s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. To wit : SUCH AS
The verb “to wit” means “to know”. The verb really isn’t used anymore except in the phrase “to wit” meaning “that is to say, namely”.

7. Weakness : ANEMIA
The term “anemia” (or “anaemia” as we write it back in Ireland) comes from a Greek word meaning “lack of blood”. Anemia is a lack of iron in the blood, or a low red blood cell count. Tiredness is a symptom of the condition, and so we use the term “anemic” figuratively to mean “lacking in vitality or substance”.

14. Place where people are rushing : FRATERNITY
A “rush” is a drive by a fraternity or sorority to recruit new members on campus.

16. Deadlock : IMPASSE
“Impasse” is a French word for a blind alley or an impassable road, and we use the term to mean “stalemate”.

18. White House pets for Reagan and both Bushes : SPANIELS
Spaniels are gun dogs, or bird dogs, hunting dogs bred to find and retrieve game. The etymology of “spaniel” suggests that the breed is Spanish in origin, as the term came into English from the Old French “espaigneul” meaning “Spanish”.

20. Le Duc ___, decliner of the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize : THO
Le Duc Tho was the Vietnamese diplomat who engaged in secret talks in Paris with Henry Kissinger in the early seventies. Those talks led to the eventual withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam, and also led to Le Duc Tho and Henry Kissinger being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. Le Duc Tho refused to accept the award because there was no formal peace agreement signed at that point.

22. Black ___ : OPS
“Black ops” is the name given to covert operations, activities that are usually outside of standard military protocol and may even be against the law. Funding for black ops is usually provided by a secret “black budget”.

27. Actress Benaderet : BEA
The actress Bea Benaderet played Kate Bradley on "Petticoat Junction" and Pearl Bodine on “The Beverly Hillbillies”, and voiced Betty Rubble on "The Flintstones".

29. Prophet who anointed Saul : SAMUEL
According to the Bible’s Books of Samuel, Samuel was a prophet and leader of ancient Israel. Samuel anointed Saul and David, the first two kings of Israel. The name “Samuel” translates as “Name of God”.

36. Secret's source ... that can be found four times in this puzzle : A LITTLE BIRDIE
A little birdie told me the answer to this clue …

43. Dec. 31 : NYE
New Year’s Eve (NYE)

44. It keeps a team together : YOKE
A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of oxen so that they are forced to work together.

49. "The Name of the Rose" author : ECO
Umberto Eco is an Italian writer, probably best known for his novel "The Name of the Rose" published in 1980. In 1986, "The Name of the Rose" was adapted into a movie with the same title starring Sean Connery.

52. Greek : HELLENIC
Someone from Greece can be called a Hellene. “Ellas” is the Greek word for “Greece”, the name of the country. Greece is also known as the “Hellenic” Republic.

62. Best Picture subject nine inches shorter than the actor who portrayed him : TE LAWRENCE
"Lawrence of Arabia” is a 1962 movie that recounts the real life story of T. E. Lawrence, a British army officer famous for his role in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. The title role in the film is played by Irish actor Peter O’Toole. The role of Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish is played by Omar Sharif.

64. Refines, in a way : SMELTS
Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and, a greenhouse gas).

Down
1. Plato's "tenth Muse" : SAPPHO
Sappho was an Ancient Greek poet born on the Greek island of Lesbos. Sappho was much admired for her work, although very little of it survives today. She was renowned for writing erotic and romantic verse that dealt with the love of women as well as men. It was because of this poetry that the word “lesbian” (someone from Lesbos) is used to describe a gay woman.

5. Ancient symbols of sovereignty : ASPS
The venomous snake called an asp was a symbol of royalty in Ancient Egypt.

10. Subject of an 1820 compromise : MISSOURI
The Missouri Compromise was an arrangement made in 1820 in the US Congress to maintain a balance in representation in the US Senate between slave state and free states. Missouri was added as a slave state, while at the same time the state of Maine was created as a free state when it seceded from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

13. Exceeds 21, in a way : BUSTS
The game of “twenty-one” was first referred to in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing “Don Quixote”. He called the game “ventiuna” (Spanish for “twenty-one”). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn’t all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker “Blackjack”.

19. Aeschylus tragedy : AGAMEMNON
Agamemnon was a figure in Greek mythology, the husband of Helen. When Helen ran off with Paris to Troy, Agamemnon led the united Greek forces in the resulting Trojan War.

Aeschylus was one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived. The first of these was Aeschylus, the second Sophocles, and the third Euripides. Aeschylus is sometimes referred to as the father of tragedy, as his work is the earliest known representation of the style.

23. Sports star with a signed jersey in the Vatican : PELE
Pelé is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name Pelé for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world's greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been part of three World Cup winning squads, and is a national treasure in his native Brazil. One of Pele’s nicknames is “O Rei do Futebol” (the King of Football).

27. Club alternative : BLT
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

The club sandwich is a double-decker affair with three layers of bread and two layers of filling. This style of sandwich has been around since the end of the 19th century, and some say it was invented at an exclusive gambling "club" in Saratoga Springs, New York.

28. "___ & Duke at the Côte D'Azur" (1966 jazz album) : ELLA
Ella Fitzgerald, the "First Lady of Song", had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

Duke Ellington was a bandleader and composer believed by many to have elevated jazz to the same level as other respected genres of music. Ellington tended not to use the word “jazz” to describe his compositions, preferring the term “American Music”.

30. 1 chain x 1 furlong : ACRE
At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. This was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one furlong wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. A area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

31. Obfuscate : MUDDY
“To obfuscate” is to make something unclear, a word derived from the Latin “obfuscare” meaning “to darken”.

33. Rock follower? : -ETTE
The famous Rockettes can be seen in Radio City Music Hall. They have an amazing schedule during the Christmas season when they perform five high-kicking shows every day, seven days a week. The troupe has been doing this every Christmas for 77 years.

34. Fortune 500 company founded in 1995 : EBAY
There have been some notable things sold on eBay over the years. For example:
  • Ad space on a guy’s forehead, in the form of a temporary tattoo - $37,375
  • William Shatner’s kidney stone - $25,000
  • A cornflake shaped like Illinois - $1,350
  • A single corn flake - $1.63
  • A box of 10 Twinkies - $59.99
  • The original Hollywood sign - $450,400
  • The meaning of life - $3.26

36. Name of a family with a combined 7,228 hits : ALOU
Jesus Alou played Major League Baseball, as did his brothers Matty and Felipe, and as does Felipe's son Moises.

45. Feature of many a minion in "Despicable Me" : ONE EYE
“Despicable Me” is a 2010 animated comedy film. The main voice actor in the movie is the very funny Steve Carell. “Despicable Me” is a Universal Pictures production, although all of the animation was done in France. The 2010 film was followed by a sequel “Despicable Me 2” released in 2013, with a prequel/spinoff film called “Minions” released in 2015.

61. Afternoon hour in Italy : TRE
In Italian, an afternoon “ora” (hour) is “tre” (three).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. To wit : SUCH AS
7. Weakness : ANEMIA
13. One traveling in a basket : BALLOONIST
14. Place where people are rushing : FRATERNITY
15. Lively : UP-TEMPO
16. Deadlock : IMPASSE
17. Lively : SPRY
18. White House pets for Reagan and both Bushes : SPANIELS
20. Le Duc ___, decliner of the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize : THO
21. "Huh! No kidding!" : GEE!
22. Black ___ : OPS
25. End of some business names : SONS
27. Actress Benaderet : BEA
29. Prophet who anointed Saul : SAMUEL
32. "Spit it out!" : TELL ME!
35. ___ fries : CURLY
36. Secret's source ... that can be found four times in this puzzle : A LITTLE BIRDIE
39. Up : ALOFT
40. Bowled over : AMAZED
41. One whose business has a lot of overhead? : ROOFER
43. Dec. 31 : NYE
44. It keeps a team together : YOKE
48. Ice cream purchase : CUP
49. "The Name of the Rose" author : ECO
51. Reject : NIX
52. Greek : HELLENIC
57. Percolate : SEEP
58. Voting requirement in some states : PHOTO ID
60. "Let's go someplace private" : NOT HERE
62. Best Picture subject nine inches shorter than the actor who portrayed him : TE LAWRENCE
63. Whisky first produced for King George VI's 1939 visit to Canada : CROWN ROYAL
64. Refines, in a way : SMELTS
65. Intensify : DEEPEN

Down
1. Plato's "tenth Muse" : SAPPHO
2. Supervillain in a 2015 "Avengers" sequel : ULTRON
3. Rosemary, for one : CLOONEY
4. That guy : HIM
5. Ancient symbols of sovereignty : ASPS
6. Station : STOP
7. Forces : ARMIES
8. Common spot for a sunburn : NAPE
9. Constant : ETERNAL
10. Subject of an 1820 compromise : MISSOURI
11. "___ alive!" : IT’S
12. Word of support : AYE
13. Exceeds 21, in a way : BUSTS
14. Dandy : FINE
19. Aeschylus tragedy : AGAMEMNON
23. Sports star with a signed jersey in the Vatican : PELE
24. Foxy : SLY
26. Not tip : STIFF
27. Club alternative : BLT
28. "___ & Duke at the Côte D'Azur" (1966 jazz album) : ELLA
30. 1 chain x 1 furlong : ACRE
31. Obfuscate : MUDDY
33. Rock follower? : -ETTE
34. Fortune 500 company founded in 1995 : EBAY
36. Name of a family with a combined 7,228 hits : ALOU
37. One may be exploited : LOOPHOLE
38. Suffix with real : -IZE
39. "The ___ of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice": M.L.K. : ARC
42. All that is left? : RELICS
45. Feature of many a minion in "Despicable Me" : ONE EYE
46. Actor Culkin of "Igby Goes Down" : KIERAN
47. Boot : EXPEL
50. Give up : CEDE
53. Bibliography abbr. : ET AL
54. Shabby : LOW-RENT
55. Cool people : IN CROWD
56. Ice cream purchase : CONE
57. Ice cream ___ : SHOP
58. Scoreboard figure: Abbr. : PTS
59. Start to hesitate? : HEM
61. Afternoon hour in Italy : TRE


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9 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

28:22, no errors. Difficult, but worth the effort ...

Jeff said...

Fun puzzle. The very first clue I both got and missed was 13A One traveing in a basket. I figured BALLOONIST but then noticed there weren't enough letters. It wasn't until much later in the puzzle I found out I was right. Putting SAPPHO and ULTRON together was mean...NYE totally escaped me until the blog. I thought it must be Irish or something. Yikes.

Finally got down to the SW with just the one rebus square left. LOW RENT got it. Wasn't thinking of initials for TE LAWRENCE. Was trying to figure out a last name and a bird. Finally got it after much teeth gnashing.

Interesting CROWN ROYAL bit of trivia.

Best -

JRH said...


About half an hour. My "Aha" moment came at FRATERNITY and ETERNAL, followed by a loud groan.



About half an hour. My"Aha" moment came at FRATERNITY and ETERNAL, followed by a loud groan.








Torb said...

Nailed it but took over an hour. Very clever.

BruceB said...

About 26 minutes, no errors. Got most of the fills without recognizing the theme. Strong hunch that 13A would be BALOONIST, and 14A would be FRATERNITY, but not until I got 36A did the theme make sense.

Chrisizup said...

George W Bush's dog was a Scottish Terrier named Barney. That is all.

Anonymous said...

Don't apologize for the appearance of the grid. Lament the fact that it's ANOTHER %^&*^ REBUS!!!! Even knowing the trick, I still have no idea of how you figure out where the "little birdies" go. A complete and utter waste of time.

Tom M. said...

Time-consuming but finally finished here as well, but worth it? It's a close call.

Glenn said...

DNF after about 90 minutes. No problem with "little birdies" (saw that coming), but problems with some of the cluing and not getting enough traction to see what's going on. Naturally ended up with a lot of errors when it came time to check. Did well after that, but finally got frustrated with the top left and quit.

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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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