0226-10 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Feb 10

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 …


Tommy1 THE WHO: “1921” is the third track on the The Who’s classic album “Tommy“.

SCHWAB: Charles Schwab, the founder of the discount brokerage house that bears his name, wrote “You’re Fifty – Now What?” back in 2000.

13 PEEL OUT: One might peel out at the start of a drag race.

15 SANSKRIT: The Sanskrit word “avatar” describes the concept of a deity descending into the earthly life and taking on a persona. It’s easy to see how in the world of “online presences” one might use the word avatar to describe one’s online identity. By the way, if you haven’t seen it, I do recommend “Avatar”, the James Cameron movie. I am not in to fantasy films, but went to see the cinematic effects (which are astounding in 3-D). I was pleasantly surprised to see that the plot was really one of science-fiction, melded with the world of fantasy, so it worked for me.

18 CRI: The French word for “cry” or “shout”.

Martin Luther : Selections From His Writings20 HERESY: The reference is to the 1521 Diet of Worms (there were several others). The Diet of Worms was a meeting of the Imperial States of the Holy Roman Empire that took place in the small town of Worms on the Rhine River in Germany. The main item on the agenda was discussion about 95 theses of Martin Luther. Luther was summoned to the meeting, and found to be guilty of heresy.

21 CHESHIRE: Lewis Carroll was the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, born in 1832 in the village of Daresbury near Warrington in the county of Cheshire, in the northwest of England.

23 IT’S: “It’s Growing” was the 1965 follow up to the Temptations hit “My Girl“.

25 TANTE: La tante, la soeur de la mere (The aunt, the sister of the mother … in French).

31 MEXICAN STANDOFF: No one seems to be very certain of the origin of the term. The classic Mexican standoff is where three parties are reluctant to shoot at one of the opponents, for fear of being shot by the other. Yep, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” …

The Art of Hitting .30040 LAU: Charlie Lau played in the major leagues as a catcher, and later made a name for himself as a hitting coach. The Ted Williams book “The Science of Hitting” was the Bible of Batting, until Lau came out with “The Art of Hitting .300“.

46 UPI: United Press International was one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. It ran foul of the change in media formats at the end of the last century, and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands of people, still exists but with only a handful of employees.

47 SIL: Silvio “Sil” Manfred Dante was played by Steven Van Zandt on the excellent HBO series “The Sopranos“. Sil is the quiet guy, with the day job of running his Bada Bing strip club.

53 HAN SOLO: Han Solo was the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford.

2 HESSE: Hermann Hesse was not only a novelist, but also a poet and a painter. His best known work is probably “Steppenwolf“.

3 ELKES: Elke Clijsters is a retired professional tennis player from Belgium. Her older sister, Kim, was at one point ranked number one in women’s tennis, and her father, Leo, was a Belgian football player. A competitive family, I would guess …

5 HUIS: “Huis Clos” means “behind closed doors” in French. It is the Jean-Paul Sartre play that we in the English speaking world would better recognize under its alternative title “No Exit“.

Nice Guys Finish Last6 OTT: Leo Durocher was manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946, when he was interviewed by Red Barber. Durocher expressed the opinion that teams like his successful Dodgers, would always do better that teams replete with personable individuals (naming Mel Ott). “Nice guys finish last”.

7 SPORE: Spores are produced by many bacteria, fungi and non-flowering plants. A spore is a reproductive body encased in protective shell that is highly resistant to heat in particular.

9 HRE: The Holy Roman Empire ended in 1806, following a final defeat by Napoleon.

18 GULL: A gull is a person who is easily tricked or cheated, a dupe. The word probably comes from the same root as “gullet” in that a dupe will easily swallow anything you feed him.
22 HARD G: The G in G-reece is a hard G, as opposed to the soft G in G-ermany.

Best of Bee Gees27 GIBBS: The Brothers Gibb (hence, the Beegees) were born in England, but grew up and started their musical careers in Australia. They moved back to Manchester in the north of England, and then hit the big time. “Stayin Alive” was one of the songs from “Saturday Night Fever“. Terrible film, fabulous music …

29 MAY: The month of May was named after Maia, the Greek goddess of fertility.

45 ORLON: Orlon was the brand name used by the Dupont corporation for their acrylic fibers developed in 1941.

50 ABA: The American Basketball Association merged with National Basketball Association, not without a lot of difficulties. The Utah Stars went bankrupt in 1975, just before the merger.