0227-10 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 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 …


1 MAD PROPS: Mad props is a street term that is used as an alternative to “thank you”, as in, “Mad props to Patrick John Duggan for creating such a great crossword today”. It comes from “mad” (extreme) “props” (support). New to me!!

9 PATINA: Patina is the oxide film that develops on brass and similar metals over time. It’s patina that make Lady Liberty the lovely green color that she is.

16 OH SNAP: Oh snap is some more street talk. It is used as a retort to someone who makes a verbal dig at you. It was apparently popularized by Tracy Morgan on “Saturday Night Live“. Also new to me!

King of the World: Muhammed Ali and the Rise of an American Hero19 ALI: “King of the World” is a biography of Muhammed Ali written by Pulitzer prize winner David Remnick. It was made in to a TV movie in 2000. Apparently the book is fabulous, the TV movie quite the opposite.

22 ETE: Le saison de Septembre (the season of September) is mostly ete (summer).

23 NOES: The plural of the noun “no” is “noes”, as in “the noes have it”.

26 MIA: The third Friday of September has been officially designated by Congress as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

29 DUO: Gnarls Barkley is a a duo made up of instrumentalist Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) and rapper Cee-Lo Green (aka Thomas Calloway). The name Gnarls Barkley is a melding of the individual names Prince Gnarls and Bob Gnarley. These names in turn are parodies of Prince Charles and Bob Marley. Oh boy. There are some things I need to know, and some things I just need to forget …

St. Elmo's Fire41 BRAT PACK: The Brat Pack were a group of young actors in the 1980s who appeared together in a lot of movies. The name of course comes from the Rat Pack of fifties and sixties. To qualify as a “founding” member, the actor had to appear in either “The Breakfast Club” or “St. Elmo’s Fire“, or both. So we have Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd  Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy.

45 LES: Les Miles is head coach at Louisiana State University, after leaving the head coach position at Oklahoma State in 2005.

47 HESSE: Wiesbaden is the capital city of the federal state of Hesse in southwestern Germany. Wiesbaden is one of the oldest spa towns in Europe, and its name translates literally to “meadow baths”.

52 PATEN: The paten and chalice hold a special place in many Christian services. The paten is the plate that holds the bread, and the chalice the wine, used to represent the body and blood of Christ.

55 TSO: General Tso’s chicken is an American invention for the menu of Chinese Restaurants. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zontang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

59 E*TRADE: E*Trade is mainly an online discount brokerage. It was founded in 1982 in Palo Alto, California, and I used to drive by its headquarters almost every day.

Tales from the Tower of London65 YEOMAN: In one use of the word, a yeoman is a lower level official, or attendant in a royal household. A famous group of yeomen are the Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London. The role is ceremonial these days, theoretically safeguarding the crown jewels and guarding any prisoners in the Tower. More correctly, the Yeoman Warders are called Beefeaters, and no one is really sure why! If you get over to London, the Yeoman Warders will be your tour guide around the Tower of London … a great day out!

1 MILANO: Milan lies in northern Italy, in the region of Lombardy. The population of the metropolitan area of Milan is about 4.3 million, the biggest in Italy surpassing even Rome.

2 AVALON: “Operation Bikini” is a fun WWII movie that takes place on an American submarine. It’s a little lighter than many WWII movies, and Frankie Avalon even gets to sing a couple of songs.

11 TSA: The Transportation Security Administration was of course created in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks.

Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (Two-Disc Special Edition)13 NAUTILUS: In the 1954 movie version of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea“, Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne, the fate of Nemo and his crew isn’t quite so cut and dry, although the assumption is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones’s Locker.

39 ECLAT: Eclat can mean a brilliant show of success, or the applause or accolade that one receives. The word derives from the French eclater meaning “to splinter, burst out”.

42 KETCHUP: Make sure you put the ketchup on your hot dog, not on your pooch.

49 SIEGEL: Joel Siegel is probably most remembered as the film critic on Good Morning America for over 25 years. He died in 2007 from colon cancer.

52 PAEAN: Paean comes from the ancient Greek paian meaning “song of triumph.

Laverne & Shirley - The Complete First Season56 EDNA: Edna Babish DeFazio was the the landlady on “Laverne & Shirley“. she was played by Betty Garrett (who also played Archie Bunker’s neighbor, Irene Lorenzo, on “All in the Family“). In the show, Edna ended up marrying Laverne’s father.

57 WEEP: In Greek mythology, when Niobe’s children were killed, she fled to Mt. Sipylus where she was turned to stone, and weeped for eternity. There is in fact a Niobe’s Rock in Mt. Sypylus which resembles a female face, and is known as “The Weeping Rock”.

62 WAH: Oh, I still remember the “wah” notes from the cribs of my two kids …