0129-10 New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Jan 10

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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’m retired now, from technology businesses that took our family all over the world. I answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com

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This is my solution to the crossword published in the New York Times today …

Completion Time: N/A (watching the truly excellent HBO movie “The Gathering Storm“, about Churchill’s run-up to the war)
Theme: None
Answers I missed: 0

The Hitch-Hiker15 IDA LUPINO: Actress Ida Lupino had already directed four “woman’s” shorts when she stepped in to direct “The Hitch-Hiker” when the original director became ill. “The Hitch-Hiker” is the first film noir movie to be directed by a woman.

16 SEPOY: A sepoy was a native-Indian soldier loyal to a European power, usually Britain.

22 OMSK: Dostoevsky was sentenced to death by Tsar Nicholas I, for being part of a liberal intellectual group. He endured a mock execution before being told his sentence was commuted to four years hard labor and exile in a camp at Omsk in Siberia.

24 EL AL: El Al (Hebrew for “to the skies”) does not fly on the Sabbath, although this has been subject of controversy at times since the airline was founded in 1948.

39 OLEO: The vegetable spread, oleo, can be shaped into a pat.

The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights41 KAY: In Arthurian legend, Sir Kay had the reputation of being a boor and a thorn in the side of his foster brother, Arthur.

42 SAMSON: Samson was described as “eyeless in Gaza” in a line in John Milton‘s drama “Samson Agonistes“. The phrase was then used by Aldous Huxley as the title to his novel “Eyeless in Gaza“.

47 ZANZIBAR: When Zanzibar merged with Tanganyika in 1964, the resulting state was named the United Republic of Tanzania, a porte-manteau.

56 ASCII: ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) lists codes for 32 “control” characters, as well as the 95 printable characters. These binary codes are the way that our computers can understand what we mean when we type say a letter, or a number.

59 HOHOS: Ho-Hos were first produced in San Francisco in 1967, not the best thing to come out of the sixties I’d say …

60 TYLENOL PM: Tylenol PM is basically regular Tylenol (an analgesic) mixed with diphenydramine, the sedative (with anti-histamine properties) that’s the active ingredient in Benadryl and Benylin.

The Untouchables (Special Collector's Edition)62 ELIOT NESS: The Volstead Act was the law prohibiting the production of intoxicating liquors. Eliot Ness was of course a famous Prohibition Agent, and leader of “The Untouchables“.

3 NANAS: Nanas often spoil their grandchildren.

4 FLECKED: Strawberry roan is class of coloring in a horse’s coat.

6 NPR: “Science Friday” is an excellent talk show broadcast every Friday on NPR, and hosted by Ira Flatow.

7 DIESEL: A Motor Ship, or Motor Vessel, is driven by a diesel motor, and the ship’s name is given the prefix MS or MV. The prefix SS in the name of a vessel denotes a Steam Ship, powered by a steam turbine.

9 LOS ALTOS: Los Altos is a wealthy city located not far from here, a largely residential community serving Silicon Valley and San Francisco.

12 OPEN SHOPS: An open shop is a place of employment where one is not required to join a union, and is also known as a merit shop. The alternative is a closed shop.

14 TYPO: Typing “four” instead of “for” is a typo. Cleverly worded clue, I thought …

23 KAMIKAZE: Basically a kamikaze is the vodka equivalent of a margarita. A simple recipe is equal parts vodka, triple sec and lime juice.

E-Z Text Messaging 4 Grandparents25 LOL: LOL is an abbreviation used in Instant Messages and phone text messages, meaning Laughing Out Loud.

27 TRIO: The Jimi Hendrix Experience were a trio including Jimi Hendrix, that formed in London in 1966, but only working together for three years before disbanding.

28 VENN: Englishman John Venn was an expert in the field of logic, and introduced the Venn diagram in his book “Symbolic Logic” in 1881. Venn diagrams are used in Set Theory, to illustrate the logical relationships between sets of variables.

The Portable Nietzsche (Portable Library)31 NIETZSCHE: Ubermensch is an aspirational concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.

37 NAN: Nan is a delicious flat-bread, not only served with chicken tikka, but with aloo gobi, one of my favorite Indian dishes.

43 MEGATON: A megaton is a unit of energy, usually used to measure the energy released in the explosion of a bomb. A petajoule is 1,000,000,000,000,000 joules … that’s a big bang …

46 NAPOLI: Campania’s capital city is Naples, or Napoli is it would be called in Campania.

48 BUTYL: Butyl rubber is so called because it is composed of 98% polymerized isobuylene. Butyl rubber is used to line garden ponds, largely because of its tear resistance.

Beneath the Surface54 USOC: The United States Olympic Committee last awarded the title of Sportsman of the Year in 2008, to the swimmer, Michael Phelps.