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This is my solution to the crossword published in the New York Times today ...
COMPLETION TIME: 9m 20s
THEME: ICE CREAM ... the last word of the theme answers all go with ICE CREAM i.e. (ICE CREAM CONE (traffic cone), ICE CREAM SANDWICH (knuckle sandwich), ICE CREAM FLOAT (parade float)
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
1. Establishments with mirrored balls : DISCOS
Discotheques started up during WWII in Occupied France. American-style music (like jazz and jitterbug dances) were banned by the Nazis, so French natives met in underground clubs that they called discotheques, where records were perhaps played on a single turntable. After the war, these clubs came out into the open. One famous Paris discotheque was called "Whiskey a Gogo", and its method of operation, with non-stop music from two turntables next to a dance-floor, this spread around the world.
15. South of South America : SUR
Sur is "south" in Spanish.
21. Relative of a raccoon : COATI
A coati is a member of the raccoon family, and is also known as the Brazilian aardvark, or the snookum bear. They are native to Central and South America, but can be found in the southwest of the Untied States.
22. Bark beetle's habitat : ELM
Bark beetles are named such as some species reproduce in the bark of trees. This can be a problem for the elm tree, as bark beetles are known to transmit the devastating Dutch elm disease. There is another species of bark beetle that is known as the coffee berry borer, and it is the major pest of coffee plants around the world.
27. Caballer's need : PLAN
A cabal is a small group of secret plotters, perhaps against a government or an individual. A member of such a group would be a caballer, and caballers need a plan to talk about!
39. French river or department : ORNE
Orne is a department and river in the northwest of France. Perhaps one of the most famous locations in Orne is the village of Camembert, the home of the famous (and delicious) cheese.
43. Westernmost of the Aleutians : ATTU
Attu is the westernmost island in the Aleutian chain, and so is the westernmost part of Alaska. Japanese forces took the island in October 1942, eventually landing as many 2,900 soldiers there. In May 1943, the US Army retook the island in a twenty days of fighting that is now called the Battle of Attu. It was the only land battle to take place on US soil during WWII.
44. Alice's best friend on "The Honeymooners" : TRIXIE
In "The Honeymooners" Jackie Gleason's character was married to Alice Kramden, played originally by Pert Kelton, but ultimately by Audrey Meadows. Art Carney's character was married to Thelma "Trixie" Norton, played originally by Elaine Strich, and then by Joyce Randolph.
64. Menu selection : ENTREE
Entree of course means "entry" in French. In Europe, even in English speaking parts, the entree is the name for the "entry" to the meal, the first course. I found it very confusing to order meals when I first came to America!
67. Full house sign : SRO
SRO: Standing Room Only.
68. Pig, when rummaging for truffles : ROOTER
Truffles are rooted out by pigs, or specially trained dogs. The reason why pigs, especially sows, are so attracted to truffles is that there is a chemical compound found within the truffle that is very similar to androstenal, a sex pheromone found in the saliva of boars.
5. Olive product : OIL
Virgin olive oil is oil produced from olives with no chemical treatment involved in the production process at all. To be labelled virgin, the oil must have an acidity level of less than 2%, and must be be judged to have "a good taste". Extra-virgin olive oil comes from the virgin oil production, but is the portion with acidity levels of less than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have "superior taste".
7. Part of P.G.A.: Abbr. : ASSOC
The PGA: Professional Golfers' Association.
8. Rapper ___ Shakur : 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.
9. Sister of Clio : ERATO
In Greek mythology, Clio is the muse of history. Her sister, Erato is the muse of lyric poetry.
24. Verbal brickbats : FLAK
Brickbat is such a lovely word. It originally referred to a piece of broken brick that could be used to throw at something or someone. Then the term applied to any rock-like missile, and ultimately to a caustic remark. Flak was originally an acronym from the German term for an aircraft defense cannon (FLiegerAbwehrKanone). Flak then became used in English as a general term for antiaircraft fire, and ultimately a term for verbal criticism.
26. Plenty, to a poet : ENOW
Enow is an archaic form of the word "enough".
31. Classic soda pop : 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.
34. South African Peace Nobelist, 1984 : TUTU
Archbishop Desmond Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work against apartheid.
41. Late actor Robert of "I Spy" : CULP
Robert Culp passed away just a few days ago, sadly pronounced dead after a fall just outside his home. He was 79 years old. The very successful TV show "I Spy" ran from 1965-68. Culp played secret agent Kelly Robinson, opposite Bill Cosby. (I saw Bill Cosby perform live in San Jose a month ago. What a great evening it was ...)
47. Bert of "The Wizard of Oz" : LAHR
Bert Lahr's most famous role was that of the cowardly lion in "The Wizard of Oz". Lahr had a long career in burlesque, vaudeville and on Broadway. Remember the catchphrase made famous by the cartoon character Snagglepuss, "Heavens to Murgatroyd!". Snagglepuss stole that from a 1944 movie called, "Meet the People" where it was first uttered by Bert Lahr.
51. Witherspoon of "Legally Blonde" : REESE
Reese is not actually Ms. Witherspoon's given name. She started out life as Laura Jeanne Witherspoon. Reese is her mother's maiden name.
52. Cy Young, e.g. : AWARD
Cy Young was a pitcher in the major leagues from 1890-1911. He is known for pitching the first perfect game of baseball's modern era. Soon after he died in 1955, the Cy Young Award was created to honor the best pitcher of a particular baseball season.
55. Tammany Hall "boss" : TWEED
William Magear Tweed was known as "Boss" Tweed. He was a 19th century, American politician who led the Democratic Party machine in New York, headquartered in Tammany Hall. He was one of the most successful of the corrupt politicians of the day, siphoning from taxpayers (in today's money) billions of dollars. In 1871 he was a arrest, and served time in jail. He was then rearrested on civil charges and served time in debtor's prison. He managed to escape to Spain, but was rearrested and extradited to the United States. He died in jail in 1878.
56. Elton John/Tim Rice musical : AIDA
"Aida" the rock musical is based on Giuseppe Verdi's original opera. It premiered in 1998, and is still performed today.
61. It's repeated after "Que" in song : SERA
As Doris Day told us, que sera sera is Spanish for "whatever will be, will be".