0312-10 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Mar 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, or leave a comment below.

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

COMPLETION TIME: Didn’t finish!

Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor (Oxford World's Classics)15 DOONE: Richard Doddridge Blackmore’s “Lorna Doone” is actually subtitled “A Romance of Exmoor”. Exmoor is a large area of moorland that straddles the counties of Somerset and Devon in the southwest of England. Today it is a National Park. It takes its name from the famous River Exe that rises in Exmoor and flows south into the English Channel.

19 REPAIR: “This Old House” first aired in 1979, on PBS, with Bob Vila as host. After ten years on the show, Vila was able to make extra income with commercial endorsements. This caused conflict with commercial-free PBS, and so Vila was replaced by Steve Thomas.

Nehi Grape Soda 12 oz bottle 24 CT21 NEHI: The reference here is to the “Nehi Corporation”, the nickname for the Chero-Cola/Union Bottle Works that introduced the Nehi drink in 1924. Years later, the company developed a new brand, Royal Crown Cola (also known as RC Cola). By 1955, RC Cola was the company’s flagship product, so the “Nehi Corporation” became Royal Crown Company.

23 ALDER: There appears to be heated debate by those in the know, about whether or not the type of wood used in the construction of electric guitars makes a difference to the sound quality. However, amongst those that value the type of wood, alder is the clear favorite.

41 PESO: The currency in the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Peso.

44 TSAR: An imperator is a term that was first coined in the Roman military, basically meaning “commander”. The term was then adopted by Julius Caesar to signify his position as head of state, becoming in effect “emperor”, and giving rise to our use of the word “emperor”. And a Russian tsar falls into the same category.

45 STATEN: Verenigde Staten is simply Dutch for United States.

Classic Tribe: The 50 Greatest Games in Cleveland Indians History (Classic Cleveland)48 CLE: The Cleveland baseball franchise started out in 1869 as the Forest Citys, as Forest city is the nickname for Cleveland. After a number of transitions, in 1914 the team took on the name “Indians”. “Indians” was chosen by the media at the request of the team owners, and was inspired by the successful Boston team of the day, the Boston Braves.

49 TRAC: Gillette introduced the Trac II in 1971, the world’s first twin-blade razor.

51 EULER: Leonhard Euler was a brilliant Swiss mathematician and physicist. I don’t think it would be too helpful go into the concept of natural logarithms (said he, dodging a bullet!).

53 SHE: I saw the original movie “She” when it first came out in 1965. I was nine years old at the time, and was terrified by it. “The Vengeance of She” came out three years later. I didn’t go see that one …

Tupac Shakur (Just the Facts Biographies)64 TUPAC: Rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur adopted the inventive stage name “2Pac”. He was a hard man, spending eleven months in prison for sexual assault. At only 25 years of age he was killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas.

67 MARES NEST: The idiom “mares nest” has two meanings these days. More commonly it refers to a confused mess, although this usage is really an error, confusion with the other idiom, “rats nest”. The correct usage of “mares nest”, dating back to the 16th century, is to describe a hoax, a promising discovery that turns out to be next to nothing.

2 NOPE: Ixnay is a word in Pig Latin. Pig Latin is in effect a game, whereby one takes the first consonant of an English word and moves it to the end of the word, and then adding the letters “ay”. So, the Pig Latin for the word “nix” is ix-n-ay, ixnay.

3 JOE PALOOKA: The comic strip “Joe Palooka” was drawn by Ham fisher. Joe was a heavyweight boxing champion. The strip was parlayed into a radio, television and films.

Shaquille O'Neal: A Biography (Greenwood Biographies)4 O’NEAL: Shaquille O’Neal was a center for the Orlando magic from 1992 when he was the first overall pick in the NBA draft.

7 ARON: John Steinbeck considered “East of Eden” his magnus opus. Most of the storyline takes place near Salinas, just south of where I live in the Bay Area. Two of the characters in the story are brothers Cal and Aron, representative of the biblical Cain and Abel.

11 LIT: Both “lit” and “fried” are slang terms for “drunk”.

12 AVAS: “Evening Shade” was a sitcom that was broadcast by CBS from 1990 to 1994. One of the lead characters was Ava Evans Newton, played by Marilu Henner. “Nip/Tuck” was a drama that first aired in 2003 and just ended on the FX cable channel. One of the recurring characters on the show was Ava Moore, played by Famke Janssen, a Dutch actress and former model.

13 SETH: Seth Myers joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in 2001, and is now head writer for the show. He is quite the poler player, and won  the third season of “Celebrity Poker Showdown” on Bravo.

14 TROY: The archaeological site that was once Troy was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998. It is located near the coast in the northwest Turkey.

Yom Kippur War26 EGYPT: The Yom Kippur War started on October 6 in 1973 with a surprise move by Syria and Egypt into the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. The conflict quickly escalated into a confrontation between the US and the Soviet Union, as both superpowers rushed arms to the opposing states. Within a week Israeli forces had regained the land that had been lost, and two weeks later had advanced within striking range of both Cairo and Damascus. A UN brokered ceasefire brought the war to and end on October 25, after just 19 days of fighting.

36 RHETT: Rhett Akins is a country music artist (so I am afraid I’ve never heard of him). He had a number one hit in the country singles charts in 1996 with “Don’t Get Me Started”.

43 SERAPES: Serape is the English pronunciation and spelling of the Spanish word “zarape”. A zarape, is like a Mexican poncho, a soft woolen blanket with a whole in the middle for the head. Most have colorful designs that use traditional Mayan motifs.

47 GLITCH: Glitch comes into English from German via Yiddish. The original German word is “glitschen” meaning “to slip”. It is a relatively new term, generally applied to computer software bugs.

50 CARVE: Intaglio is the technique of carving an image or design into one side of a gemstone. Strictly speaking, the image must be carved into the surface of the stone, producing an engraved image. However, the term intaglio usually covers the production of relief images as well. Any ones I have seen on display are really beautiful.

52 ENURE: Enure is a variant of inure, meaning to harden oneself against the effects of, to accustom oneself to.

54 HORA: The hora is circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional Israeli folk songs. The hora (also horah) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings.

57 DEES: There are a couple of dees in the middle of the word “wedding”.

Dr. T & The Women (Special Edition)63 DR. T: The 2000 movie “Dr. T & the Women” is a “pretty good” movie staring Richard Gere in the title role. There can’t be many romantic comedies about gynecologists …