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0620-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Jun 12, Wednesday





QuickLinks:
Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications

CROSSWORD SETTER: Alan Arbesfeld
THEME: Celebrity Spoonerisms … all of the theme answers are Spoonerisms of American celebrities:
17A. Actor's order to sock an N.B.A. legend? : WHACK JORDAN (Jack Warden)
24A. Teammate of the 17-Across legend avoiding toilet trainin'? : POTTY SKIPPIN (Scottie Pippin)
33A. Old comic actor's Little Bighorn headline? : CUSTER BEATEN (Buster Keaton)
43A. Threaten a classic comedienne like a talk-show host? : MENACE DILLER (Dennis Miller)
51A. Writer-turned-Utah carpenter? : MORMON NAILER (Norman Mailer)
62A. Controls a prison guard like a pop singer? : TAMES JAILER (James Taylor)
COMPLETION TIME: 15m 34s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. "Deliverance" instrument : BANJO
The instrument that we know today as the banjo is a derivative of instruments that were used in Africa.

The very memorable 1972 movie “Deliverance” is based on a novel of the same written by James Dickey. One might remember the film for the very disturbing “squeal like a pig” scene, but a much more pleasant memory is the fabulous “Duelling Banjos” instrumental scene early in the film.

11. Corp. money manager : CFO
Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

14. Reason for a February thank-you speech : OSCAR
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards also known as the "Oscars". The root of the name "Oscar" is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named "Oscar" in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. It's a slightly bigger event these days ...

16. PC hookup : LAN
You may have a Local Area Network (LAN) in your house. If you've got a PC and a router or switch, likely attached to some modem, then you have a LAN.

17. Actor's order to sock an N.B.A. legend? : WHACK JORDAN (Jack Warden)
Jack Warden was a character actor, with roles in several notable films including “From Here to Eternity”, “While You Were Sleeping” and “All the President’s Men”. In 1957’s classic film “12 Angry Men” Warden played Juror No. 7, the salesman pressing for a quick verdict.

Michael Jordan is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time. Not only is he a talented sportsman, but he is also very successful in the business world. His is now the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats NBA team.

20. Julian Assange posting : LEAK
Julian Assange is the man who founded WikiLeaks, the website that is notorious for publishing information provided by whistleblowers. Assange is currently in England and recently lost an appeal to avoid extradition to Sweden to face charges of sexual assault. Just today, Assange entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and is seeking political asylum.

24. Teammate of the 17-Across legend avoiding toilet trainin'? : POTTY SKIPPIN’ (Scottie Pippin)
Scottie Pippin is a retired NBA basketball player, noted for the years he spent with the Chicago Bulls.

28. Saturday morning cartoon dog, informally : SCOOB
“Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” is a series of cartoons produced for Hanna-Barbera Productions, introduced in 1969.

31. "C'est ___" ("Camelot" song) : MOI
“Camelot” is a Lerner and Loewe musical based on the legend of King Arthur. The show was first shown on Broadway in 1960 and ran for 873 performances. “Camelot” was made into a very successful film version that was released in 1967 starring Richard Harris as King Arthur.

32. Veracruz vane direction : ESTE
“Este” is the Spanish word for “east”.

The port city of Veracruz in Mexico was originally called Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz, which translates as “rich village of the true cross”. The “rich” referred to the large amount of gold that the Spanish found in the area.

33. Old comic actor's Little Bighorn headline? : CUSTER BEATEN (Buster Keaton)
Buster Keaton was a comic actor, most famous for his work during the silent era. Keaton starred in and co-directed the 1926 silent comedy “The General”, lauded by many as the greatest movie of all time.

The Battle of Little Bighorn was the famous engagement between the Lokata, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho Native American peoples against the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the US Army led by General George Custer. Custer was soundly defeated and he and all of his men were killed in the engagement. I had the privilege of visiting the battle site a few years ago, and it was a very memorable experience.

38. California's Big ___ : SUR
Big Sur is a lovely part of the California Coast, south of Monterrey and Carmel. The name "Big Sur" comes from the original Spanish description of the area as "el sur grande" meaning "the big south".

40. Grimm tale figure : ELF
The Brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm) were two German academics noted for collecting and publishing folk tales. Among the tales in their marvelous collection are “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella”.

43. Threaten a classic comedienne like a talk-show host? : MENACE DILLER (Dennis Miller)
The comedian Dennis Miller achieved his first real success as a cast member of “Saturday Night Live”. In 2000, Miller started a two-season stint as a color commentator for “Monday Night Football”. However, by all accounts the use of a comic as a football commentator wasn’t a great success.

Phyllis Diller is an actress and comedienne, famous for portraying a distinctive character on stage, essentially a wild and wacky housewife. Diller attributes much of her success to the patronage of Bob Hope as he included her in many of his films as well as his USO shows.

49. Noted flag-raising site, for short : IWO
Iwo Jima today is an uninhabited volcanic island located south of Tokyo. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there ever since.

51. Writer-turned-Utah carpenter? : MORMON NAILER (Norman Mailer)
Norman Mailer was a writer from Long Branch, New Jersey. Mailer's work was much acclaimed and he won two Pulitzer Prizes and one National Book Award. One of his most famous novels is “The Naked and the Dead” published in 1948, a story based on Mailer’s experiences in the Philippines with the 112th Cavalry Regiment during WWII.

56. Barrister's deg. : LLB
The Bachelor of Laws (LLB) is a an undergraduate degree in law. The abbreviation “LLB” stands for Legum (LL, for the plural “laws”) Baccalaureus (B, for Bachelor).

57. "Copernican revolution" philosopher : KANT
Immanuel Kant was an 18th-century, German philosopher. He published "Perpetual Peace" in 1795, laying out what he believed were conditions for ending all wars and creating a lasting peace. The good news for us is that one of these conditions was to have a world full of constitutional republics, so it seems we are on the right track here in America!

61. Sac fly stat : RBI
Runs Batted In (RBIs).

A sac(rifice) fly, in baseball.

62. Controls a prison guard like a pop singer? : TAMES JAILER (James Taylor)
Before finishing high school, James Taylor suffered from clinical depression and spent nine months in the McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, a stay that he regards as a lifesaver. Taylor has said that his hit 1970 song "Fire and Rain" is actually about his experiences in mental institutions. The "fire" referred to in the song is symbolic of electric shock therapy, with the "rain" being the cold showers that followed the treatment.

67. Greek gathering spot of old : AGORA
In early Greece the "agora" was a place of assembly. Often the assemblies held there were quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a market place. Our contemporary word "agoraphobia" comes from these agorae, in the sense that a sufferer has a fear of open spaces, a fear of "public meeting places".

68. Rapscallion : KNAVE
We've been using "knave" to mean a cad since about 1200, and as an alternative name for the jack in a deck of cards since the mid-1500s. "Knave" comes from the Old English word "cnafa", a "boy, male servant".

We might call a little imp a rapscallion, an evolution from “rascallion”, which in turn comes from “rascal”.

69. ___ Paul guitars : LES
Les Paul was a guitarist, songwriter and inventor. When he was 33 years old, he was involved in a near-fatal car crash that left his right arm and elbow shattered. Surgeons offered him the choice of amputation or a rebuilding of the limb that would leave him unable to bend his elbow. He told them to set his arm at just under 90 degrees so that he could at least hold his guitar and perhaps play it.

70. "Full court" tactic : PRESS
“Full court press” is a basketball term describing the tactic of pressuring the offensive team the entire length of the court.

Down
2. ___ Stadium (facility near Citi Field) : ASHE
The Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York opened in 1997 and is the largest outdoor, tennis-only venue in the world. The stadium is sometimes criticized for not having a retractable dome to protect the playing surface from inclement weather.

3. Org. with brackets : NCAA
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When his son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, President Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions, leading to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) in 1906, which was given the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS became the NCAA in 1910.

5. Mork's planet : ORK
The sitcom "Mork & Mindy" was broadcast from 1978 to 1982. We were first introduced to Mork (played by Robin Williams, of course) in a special episode of "Happy Days". The particular episode in question has a bizarre storyline culminating in Fonzie and Mork having a thumb-to-finger duel. Eventually Richie wakes up in bed, and alien Mork was just part of a dream! Oh, and "Nanu Nanu" means both "hello" and "goodbye" back on the planet Ork. "I am Mork from Ork, Nanu Nanu". Great stuff ...

9. Mrs. abroad : SRA
Senora (Sra.)

10. Artist Rousseau : HENRI
Henri Rousseau was a French Post-Impressionist painter. He was self-taught, only starting to paint seriously in his forties. He worked as a tax collector until he was 49 years old, when he retired to focus on his art. Rousseau's most famous painting is "The Sleeping Gypsy", a celebrated work that depicts a lion standing beside a sleeping woman in the moonlight. You can take a look at it in New York's Museum of Modern Art.

18. Riff, e.g., in "West Side Story" : JET
In the “West Side Story” musical, the white American gang is the Jets, led by the character Riff Lorton. The Puerto Rico immigrants’ gang is the Sharks, led by Bernado Nunez.

Leonard Bernstein's musical "West Side Story" is of course based on William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet". The musical is set in New York City and features two rival gangs: the Sharks from Puerto Rico and the Jets with working-class, Caucasian roots. Tony from the Jets falls in love with Maria from the Sharks. All this parallels Romeo from the House of Montague falling for Juliet from the House of Capulet in the Italian city of Verona.

25. Eligible for "The Biggest Loser" : OBESE
"The Biggest Loser" is an enormous (pun intended!) phenomenon at this point, with at least 25 versions of the show appearing around the world. It seems to be doing a lot of good for folks even beyond those losing on the show, with spin-off programs in communities all over America. But, it's not all good news. The first season's winner lost 122 pounds in two months, 37% of his starting body weight, but since then he gained back all the weight. That's a shame ...

26. Dry Italian wine : SOAVE
Soave is a dry white wine produced in the area around the city of Verona in northeast Italy.

27. Falsified, as a check : KITED
Check kiting is illegal. The idea behind kiting is to write a check, even though there are insufficient funds to cover the amount. Then, the con artist writes another check, also with insufficient funds, from another bank's account to cover the original check. I am not sure it would work nowadays, but then again, I am as honest as the day is long! Oh, and I think the term "kiting" comes from the older phrase "go fly a kite", the idea being that the bad check is floated on air (non-existent funds).

30. Old spy org. : OSS
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

40. Loop transports : ELS
The Chicago "L" is the second largest rapid transit system in the US, with the New York City Subway being the largest. The "L" is also the second oldest, again with the New York Subway system having the honor of being around the longest. Note that the official nickname for the system is the "L" (originally short for "elevated railroad"), although the term "El" is also in common use (especially in crosswords as "ELS"). The L is managed by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

48. Saturnalias : ORGIES
A saturnalia is an orgy, an occasion of unrestrained revelry. The term derives from Saturnalia, the seven-day festival to honor the god Saturn that was held in Ancient Rome.

53. "Casablanca" heroine and others : ILSAS
Ilsa Lund was of course played by Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie "Casablanca". I love the words of one critic describing the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman in this film: "she paints his face with her eyes". Wow ...

54. Pres. with an on-board swearing-in : LBJ
President Lyndon Johnson is one of only four people to have held all four elected federal offices, namely US Representative, US Senator, US Vice-President and US President. As President he is perhaps best remembered for escalating involvement in the Vietnam War, and for his “Great Society” legislation.

58. Withdrawn apple spray : ALAR
The chemical name for Alar, a plant growth regulator and color enhancer, is daminozide. Alar was primarily used on apples but was withdrawn from the market when it was linked to cancer.

59. Campbell of "Scream" : NEVE
Neve Campbell is a Canadian actress whose big break came with the "Scream" horror film series, in which she had a leading role. I don’t do horror films, so I haven’t seen any of the “Scream” movies ...

63. U.S.D.A. part: Abbr. : AGR
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) dates back to 1862 when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln referred to the USDA as the "people's department", reflecting the agrarian basis of our economy back then.

64. 2012 role for Chris Diamantopoulos : MOE
“The Three Stooges” is a 2012 movie, kind of a remake of several classic "Three Stooges" shorts, set in a contemporary time period. This is not one that I’ve seen, nor even heard outside of crosswords.

65. Blotter letters : AKA
A police blotter is (or used to be) a daily record of arrests made.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "Deliverance" instrument : BANJO
6. Return of a lob, maybe : SMASH
11. Corp. money manager : CFO
14. Reason for a February thank-you speech : OSCAR
15. Chaplain, to a G.I. : PADRE
16. PC hookup : LAN
17. Actor's order to sock an N.B.A. legend? : WHACK JORDAN (Jack Warden)
19. Get totally right : ACE
20. Julian Assange posting : LEAK
21. Bobble : ERR
22. Ladies' man : ROMEO
24. Teammate of the 17-Across legend avoiding toilet trainin'? : POTTY SKIPPIN (Scottie Pippin)
28. Saturday morning cartoon dog, informally : SCOOB
31. "C'est ___" ("Camelot" song) : MOI
32. Veracruz vane direction : ESTE
33. Old comic actor's Little Bighorn headline? : CUSTER BEATEN (Buster Keaton)
37. Some purse items, for short : IDS
38. California's Big ___ : SUR
39. Bedevil : VEX
40. Grimm tale figure : ELF
43. Threaten a classic comedienne like a talk-show host? : MENACE DILLER (Dennis Miller)
46. Maritime greeting : AHOY
49. Noted flag-raising site, for short : IWO
50. Full of passion : LUSTY
51. Writer-turned-Utah carpenter? : MORMON NAILER (Norman Mailer)
55. Delivery doc : OB/GYN
56. Barrister's deg. : LLB
57. "Copernican revolution" philosopher : KANT
61. Sac fly stat : RBI
62. Controls a prison guard like a pop singer? : TAMES JAILER (James Taylor)
66. Public-house offering : ALE
67. Greek gathering spot of old : AGORA
68. Rapscallion : KNAVE
69. ___ Paul guitars : LES
70. "Full court" tactic : PRESS
71. Go along (with) : AGREE

Down
1. Postseason grid matchup : BOWL
2. ___ Stadium (facility near Citi Field) : ASHE
3. Org. with brackets : NCAA
4. Super payoff : JACKPOT
5. Mork's planet : ORK
6. Have on : SPORT
7. Kneeler's words : MARRY ME
8. Put in : ADD
9. Mrs. abroad : SRA
10. Artist Rousseau : HENRI
11. Jumper cable ends : CLAMPS
12. "Let's be honest!" : FACEvIT
13. Score in a pitcher's duel, maybe : ONE-ONE
18. Riff, e.g., in "West Side Story" : JET
23. Taking customers : OPEN
25. Eligible for "The Biggest Loser" : OBESE
26. Dry Italian wine : SOAVE
27. Falsified, as a check : KITED
28. Many an ology: Abbr. : SCI
29. It's a mouthful : CUD
30. Old spy org. : OSS
34. Brush with the law : RUN-IN
35. He-man's asset : BRAWN
36. Banish to Siberia : EXILE
40. Loop transports : ELS
41. Call for a do-over : LET
42. Suffer from the heat : FRY
43. "Dear me!" : MY MY
44. Some fuel transporters : COALERS
45. Hiding in the shadows : LURKING
46. Unconcerned with right and wrong : AMORAL
47. Walk haltingly : HOBBLE
48. Saturnalias : ORGIES
52. In-a-bottle alternative : ON TAP
53. "Casablanca" heroine and others : ILSAS
54. Pres. with an on-board swearing-in : LBJ
58. Withdrawn apple spray : ALAR
59. Campbell of "Scream" : NEVE
60. Site of many a cat rescue : TREE
63. U.S.D.A. part: Abbr. : AGR
64. 2012 role for Chris Diamantopoulos : MOE
65. Blotter letters : AKA

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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your blog, should explain 65D (AKA), Also Known As, just in case.

Bill Butler said...

You could be right, and thanks for explaining it for everyone.

It's always tough each evening to know which clues to omit from the write up.

Thanks!

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About This Blog

This is the simplest of blogs.

I do the New York Times puzzle online every evening, the night before it is published in the paper. Then, I "Google & Wiki" the references that puzzle me, or that I find of interest. I post my findings, along with the solution, as soon as I am done, usually well before the newsprint version becomes available.

About Me

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 am retired, 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, contact me on Google+ or leave a comment below.

Crosswords and My Dad

I worked on my first crossword puzzle when I was about 6-years-old, sitting on my Dad's knee. He let me "help" him with his puzzle almost every day as I was growing up. Over the years, Dad passed on to me his addiction to crosswords. Now in my early 50s, I work on my Irish Times and New York Times puzzles every day. I'm no longer sitting on my Dad's knee, but I feel that he is there with me, looking over my shoulder.

This blog is dedicated to my Dad, who passed away at the beginning of this month.

Bill
January 29, 2009

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