The full solution to today's crossword that appears in the New York Times
The full solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword that appears in all other publications
THEME: WICHITA LINEMAN ... Each of the them answers ends with a word that is a position in an offensive line, in American football i.e. (SHOPPING) CENTER, (CAT) TACKLE, (BITTER) END, (SHIN) GUARD
COMPLETION TIME: 12m 47s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
1. "The Da Vinci Code" priory : SION
The Priory of Sion is presented in the preface of Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code", as a secret society that did in fact exist. However, there is a lot of evidence that the priory was an invention, created in forged documents in the sixties. Regardless, Dan Brown's book is a really enjoyable read.
9. The first to stab Caesar : CASCA
Julius Caesar was assassinated on the 15th (the ides) of March, 44 BC. He was attacked by a group of sixty people in the Roman Senate, and was stabbed 23 times. The first to strike a blow was Servilius Casca, who attacked Caesar from behind and stabbed him in the neck.
14. Feminine suffix : ENNE
The suffix "-enne" denotes the feminine form of a noun.
15. Key point : CRUX
"Crux" is the Latin word for "cross", and came into English meaning "a central difficulty" in the early 1700s.
16. Gordon and Ginsburg : RUTHS
Ruth Gordon was an actress who had a long on-screen career. She acted in the silent era, but started to get more important roles in the age of talkies. One of her early appearances was as Mary Todd Lincoln in "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" (1940). She is perhaps best known these days for more recent roles, She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her part in "Rosemary's Baby", and was also nominated for an Oscar for playing Maude in "Harold and Maude".
Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg serves on the US Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg was the second woman to join the Court, nominated by President Bill Clinton. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. During that time she did not miss one day on the bench. In 2009 Justice Ginsburg had surgery for pancreatic cancer, and was back to work 12 days later.
17. Dog in whodunits : ASTA
Asta was the wonderful little dog in the superb movie "The Thin Man" starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called "Skippy". Skippy was also the dog in "Bringing up Baby" with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of "The Thin Man" series of films.
20. Place with a "You Are Here" map : SHOPPING CENTER
25. Fleet letters : USN
USN: the United States Navy.
28. Left at sea : APORT
The left side of a ship used to be called the "larboard" side, but this was dropped in favor of "port" as pronunciation of larboard was easily confused with "starboard", the right side of the vessel. The term "port" was chosen as it was customary to dock a ship, for loading in port, with the left side of the vessel against the dock.
30. Anchor-hoisting equipment : CAT TACKLE
On the bow of some seagoing vessels there is a beam that projects out over the surface of the water. This beam is called a cathead, and is used as a support for the anchor as it is raised and lowered. It also serves to keep the anchor away from the sides of the boat when it is not in use. The block and lines at the end of the cathead are known collectively as the "cat tackle".
35. Howard who parodied Adolf : MOE
In the 1940s the Three Stooges did their bit for the war effort and made a series of anti-Nazi movies. One of the highlights of these films and shorts was Moe Howard's impersonation of Adolf Hitler.
If you've seen a few of the films starring "The Three Stooges" you'll have noticed that the line up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe Howard, Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as "Moe, Larry and Shemp". Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous line up of "Moe, Larry And Curly". Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946, and Shemp stayed with the troupe until he died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then "Curly-Joe" DeRita. When Larry had a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.
37. Longtime Greenwich Village music venue, with "the" : BITTER END
The Bitter End is a nightclub in Greenwich Village in New York City. The club was opened in 1961, and is still going strong.
40. Source of bubbly : ASTI
Asti is in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. It is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.
44. Innumerable : MYRIAD
"Myriad" comes from the Greek "muraid", meaning "ten thousand".
48. Protection for Pelé : SHIN GUARD
Soccer players were shin guards, padding protecting the shin that's worn inside the socks.
Pele is the nickname of Edison de Nascimento, who has gone by the name Pele for most of his life. He is now retired, but for my money was the world's great ever soccer player. He is the only person to have been part of three World Cup winning squads. Pele is a national treasure in his native Brazil.
51. Slowly, to Solti : LENTO
A lento passage in a piece of music has a slow tempo.
Sir Georg Solti was a great Hungarian-British conductor, who spent 22 years as music director of the Chicago Symphony, one of many prestigious positions he held in the world of classical music and opera. Solti has one 31 Grammy Awards, the most won by any individual in any genre of music.
56. Muslim convert in 1964 news : ALI
Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. He changed his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta? Ali won a gold medal in the 1960 games which he threw into the Ohio River after being refused service at a "whites only" restaurant. He was presented with a replacement medal during the 1996 Games.
57. Glen Campbell hit, the last word of which is this puzzle's theme : WICHITA LINEMAN
A lineman is a worker who specializes in the rigging and maintenance of telephone and electric power lines. According to the Glen Campbell hit "Wichita Lineman" from 1968, a lonely lineman can be missing his loved one that he hears "singing in the wire". Presumably, the absent lover can be heard in the vibration caused by the wind blowing through the wires.
61. Half of diez : CINCO
In Spanish, cinco (five) is half of diez (ten).
68. Poll closing? : STER
69. Badlands locale: Abbr. : S DAK
Badlands may be "bad lands" for agriculture, but they can be beautiful. A badlands is an extensive area from which the topsoil has been eroded by wind and water, leaving exposed rock and very little vegetation. One of the most beautiful badlands areas in the US is preserved for the nation as South Dakota's Badlands National Park.
1. Five-pointed creature : SEA STAR
Sea star is another name for a starfish. Sea stars come in many shapes and sizes, but commonly have "pentaradial symmetry", meaning they have symmetric body-shapes with five points. Most starfish are predators, mainly living on a diet of mollusks such as clams and oysters.
2. Like most gym rats : IN SHAPE
"Gym rat" is a slang term for someone who spends all of his or her leisure time playing sports or working out at the gym. Never been called a gym rat ...
4. Tide type : NEAP
Tides of course are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the lesser gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon's effect. At spring tides, the sun and the moon's gravities act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.
5. TV blocking device : V-CHIP
All television sets produced for the US market since the year 2000 have to have a device called a V-chip installed. A V-chip allows a TV to be configured so that programming of specific "ratings" can be blocked from viewing. The "V" in V-chip stands for "viewer control". It sounds like a great idea, but kids these days can just quickly do a search online and work out how to reset the password.
7. One getting an inspiration? : LUNG
Nice clue! One inspires and expires using one's lungs.
8. Will figure : EXECUTOR
In general terms, an executor is a person responsible for the execution of some task. Most commonly, it is the person who has been designated to carry out the directions called out in someone's will after the person is deceased. So, the executor has the necessary authority to distribute assets, pay bills etc. The executor usually works alongside the attorney for the estate.
9. Actor Richard of "Rambo" films : CRENNA
Actor Richard Crenna's most recognized role was probably that of Colonel Trautman in the first three "Rambo" movies. Crenna wasn't the first person hired to play Trautman. Kirk Douglas accepted the role but walked off the set on the first day of shooting.
12. "Through the Looking-Glass" laugh : CHORTLE
Chortle is such a lovely word. It was first coined by Lewis Carroll in "Through the Looking-Glass", and he probably combined the words "chuckle" and "snort" to come up with "chortle", descriptive of a snorting, joyful laugh.
Lewis Carroll wrote "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" in 1865, and the sequel in 1871 called "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There". Because in the second adventure Alice went through a looking glass, the themes were deliberately chosen to be mirror images of the themes in "Wonderland". Whereas "Wonderland" begins indoors, is set in summer, and uses playing card imagery, "Looking Glass" begins out of doors, is set in winter and uses images from the game of chess.
13. Hand communication: Abbr. : ASL
It's really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one language, cannot understand someone signing in the other.
21. Lab dish inventor : PETRI
Julius Richard Petri was a German bacteriologist, and the man after whom the Petri dish is named. The petri dish can have an agar gel on the bottom which acts a nutrient source for the specimen being grown and studied, in which case the dish plus agar is referred to as an "agar plate".
27. Some R.P.I. grads : EES
Some R.P.I. graduates are Electrical Engineers.
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer, who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the "application of science to the common purposes of life", an objective set by the founder. Given that, an apt name for the sports teams is the Engineers.
29. Batpole user : ROBIN
The television show "Batman" aired from 1966-1998. Burt Ward played Robin opposite Adam West's Batman. Supposedly, Burt Ward was offered the part taken by Dustin Hoffman in "The Graduate". Ward couldn't get out of his contract for the "Batman" television series.
31. Mideast leader: Var. : AMEER
In English, emir can also be written as emeer, amir and ameer (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).
32. Core group : CADRE
A "cadre" is most commonly a group of trained personnel at the core of a larger organization which the small group trains or heavily influences. Cadre is a French word meaning a "frame". We use it in the sense that a cadre is a group which provides a "framework" for the larger organization.
34. Japan's highest point: Abbr. : MT FUJI
Mount Fuji is Japan's highest, and most famous, mountain. It is an active volcano, situated west of Tokyo.
38. Wedding reception participants, often : TOASTERS
Did you ever wonder why we use the term "toast" to drink someone's health? The tradition probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine, to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word "toast" was an indicator that the lady's beauty would add piquancy to the wine. Very charming, I must say ...
39. Hose material : NYLON
The word "hose" meaning a "covering for the leg" has the same roots as the contemporary German word "hose" meaning "trousers, pants".
46. Emory University's home : ATLANTA
Emory is a private school in Atlanta, with a focus on graduate research. The school was named after a Methodist Episcopal bishop called John Emory, who was very popular at the time of the school's founding in 1836.
55. Where hash is "slung" : DINER
"Hash", meaning a dish of beef and vegetables mashed together, is a very American term, and one that really surprised me when I first came across it. "Hash" just seems like such an unappetizing item, but I soon found out how delicious it was. The name "hash" in this context comes from the French "hacher" meaning "to chop". Back in the early 1900s the dish called "hashed browned potatoes" was developed, which quickly morphed into "hashbrowns". From there the likes of corned beef hash was introduced.
58. E-mailed a dupe to : CCED
I wonder do the kids of today know that "cc" stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was. Do you remember how messy the carbon paper was to handle?
59. Jillions : A LOT
Jillion is just a large, non-specific amount, and a word that has been used since before WWII.
61. A.L. Central city : 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". The media came up with name "Indians" after being asked for suggestions by the team owners. "Indians" was inspired by the successful Boston team of the day, the Boston Braves.
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