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0910-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Sep 12, Monday





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: Andrea Carla Michaels
THEME: “SOMETHING WICKED” … each of the theme answers ends with a synonym of the word WICKED:
17A. Leona Helmsley epithet : QUEEN OF MEAN
26A. Words under a monkey with his hands over his ears : HEAR NO EVIL
36A. Start of a Ray Bradbury title ... or a hint to the ends of 17-, 26-, 49- and 62-Across : SOMETHING WICKED
49A. One of the Sex Pistols : SID VICIOUS
62A. 1956 #1 Elvis hit : DON’T BE CRUEL
COMPLETION TIME: 4m 55s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Big galoots : APES
"Galoot" is an insulting term meaning an awkward or boorish man, an ape. It comes from the nautical world, where it was originally what a sailor might call a soldier or marine.

10. "Play It Again, ___" : SAM
“Play It Again, Sam” was a Broadway play by Woody Allen that he adapted into a 1972 movie of the same name. The film is a little unusual for Woody Allen in that for once he didn’t direct his own work, instead leaving that job to Herbert Ross. “Play It Again, Sam” is all about a man obsessed by the Humphrey Bogart's role in “Casablanca”. Something else notable about the Woody Allen film is that the title is actually a misquote from “Casablanca” as the Ingrid Bergman character actually said, “Play it once, Sam. For old times’ sake”.

17. Leona Helmsley epithet : QUEEN OF MEAN
Leona Helmsley was a high-rolling real estate investor and hotel operator in New York City. She was convicted of income tax evasion in 1989 and sentenced to 16 years in jail. At her trial a witness quoted her as saying "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes." No wonder she was known as the Queen of Mean ...

21. Quayle : Bush :: Biden : ___ : OBAMA
President Obama’s first name, Barack, is Swahili with roots in an old Arabic word meaning “blessed”. Barack was the President’s father’s name. President Obama's middle name is Hussein, an Arabic word meaning “good” or “handsome one”. Hussein was the name of the President’s grandfather on the paternal side. His surname, Obama, doesn’t really have a translation, but is common among the Luo tribe of Kenya.

Vice President Joe Biden was a US Senator representing the state of Delaware from 1973 until he joined the Obama administration. While he was a senator, Vice President Biden commuted to Washington from Wilmington, Delaware almost every working day. He was such an active customer and supporter of Amtrak that the Wilmington Station was renamed as the Joseph R. Biden Railroad Station in 2011. Biden has made over 7,000 trips from that station, and the Amtrak crews were known to even hold the last train for a few minutes so that he could catch it. Biden earned himself the nickname “Amtrak Joe”.

President George H. W. Bush served in the US Navy during WWII. Future President Bush postponed his entry into college after the attack on Pearl Harbor and enlisted in the navy instead. When he earned his wings, he was the youngest aviator in the US Navy at that time.

Dan Quayle served as both a US Representative and a US Senator from Indiana before becoming the 44th Vice President, under President George H. W. Bush. Quayle refused to run for office in 1996, going up against the Clinton/Gore ticket, but entered the fray again in 2000 seeking the Republican nomination for president. Ironically, he was defeated by the son of his former Commander-in-Chief, George W. Bush.

23. Entr'___ (musical interlude) : ACTE
The term entr'acte comes to us from French, and is the interval between two acts ("entre" deux "actes") of a theatrical performance. It often describes some entertainment provided during that interval.

26. Words under a monkey with his hands over his ears : HEAR NO EVIL
The old adage "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" originated in the 17th century. The phrase comes as an interpretation of a wood carving over a door in a shrine in Nikko, Japan. The carving depicts the "Three Wise Monkeys":
- Mizaru, covering his eyes
- Kikazaru, covering his ears
- Iwazaru, covering his mouth

33. Samuel on the Supreme Court : ALITO
Associate Justice Samuel Alito was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. Alito is the second Italian-American to serve on the Supreme Court (Antonin Scalia was the first). Alito studied law at Princeton and while in his final year he left the country for the first time, heading to Italy to work on his thesis about the Italian legal system.

36. Start of a Ray Bradbury title ... or a hint to the ends of 17-, 26-, 49- and 62-Across : SOMETHING WICKED
“Something Wicked This Way Comes” is a Ray Bradbury novel first published in 1962. The title is a quotation taken from William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”.

43. New York State's ___ Canal : ERIE
The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal, and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825 the Erie Canal had immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of "cheap" transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of the Empire State.

44. Supermodel Campbell : NAOMI
Naomi Campbell is a supermodel from England. There’s a lot of interest in Campbell’s life off the runway, as she is known to have an explosive temper and has been charged with assault more than once. Her dating life is much-covered in the tabloids as well, and she has been romantically linked in the past with Mike Tyson and Robert De Niro.

45. Frequent "S.N.L." host Baldwin : ALEC
Alec is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec's big break was playing Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan in "The Hunt for Red October", but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin made a name for himself in recent times playing Jack Donaghy on "30 Rock", opposite Tina Fey. He has also hosted the sketch show “Saturday Night Live” on  more occasions than anyone else (16 times).

49. One of the Sex Pistols : SID VICIOUS
Sid Vicious was a famous English musician, the best-known member of the seventies punk rock group, the Sex Pistols. In 1978, Vicious woke up out of a drugged stupor in his hotel room in New York, to find his girlfriend stabbed to death in the bathroom. Vicious was charged with the murder, and ten days later sliced his wrist in a suicide attempt. Vicious made bail a few months later and at a celebratory party his mother supplied him with heroin, on which Vicious overdosed and died, at the age of 21.

52. A funny thing happened on the way to this, in an old musical : FORUM
“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” is a Stephen Sondheim musical that opened on Broadway in 1963. It’s my favorite Sondheim work as it reminds me so much of a good old-fashioned farce. The stage musical was made into a successful film in 1966.

54. Utopia : EDEN
The word Utopia was coined by Sir Thomas More for his book "Utopia" published in 1516, describing an idyllic fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. More's use of the name Utopia comes from the Greek "ou" meaning "not" and "topos" meaning "place". By calling his perfect island "Not Place", More was apparently making the point that he didn't think that the ideal could actually exist.

55. Little guy in the garden : GNOME
In English folklore, the lovable fairy's anti-hero is the diminutive gnome, an evil ugly character. Over the centuries, the gnome has become more lovable so we now have garden gnomes and even the Travelocity Gnome ...

56. Rank below a marquis : EARL
In the ranking of nobles, an earl comes above a viscount and below a marquess. The rank of earl is used in the British peerage system and is equivalent to the rank of count in other countries. Other British ranks have female forms (e.g. marquess and marchioness, viscount and viscountess), but there isn’t a female word for the rank of earl. A female given the same rank as an earl is known simply as a countess.

62. 1956 #1 Elvis hit : DON’T BE CRUEL
“Don’t Be Cruel” was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1956. “Don’t Be Cruel” was released as an A-side, but the B-side turned out to be more successful, a tune called “Hound Dog” ...

66. "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" boxer : ALI
Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. Clay 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 was presented with a gold medal during those '96 Games, a replacement for the medal he won at the 1960 Olympics. He had thrown the original into the Ohio River as a gesture of disgust after being refused service at a "whites only" restaurant.

68. Big Apple inits. : NYC
Apparently the first published use of the term "Big Apple" to describe New York City dates back to 1909. Edward Martin wrote the following in his book "The Wayfarer in New York":
"Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city. . . . It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap."

Down
1. Queries on the Internet, for short : FAQS
Most websites have a page listing answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). There is a link to the NYTCrossword.com FAQs at the top right of every page.

2. His: Fr. : A LUI
The French for “his” is “à lui”, and for “hers” is “à elle”

8. One of the Gabors : EVA
Eva Gabor was the youngest of the Gabor sisters, all three of whom were celebrated Hollywood actresses and socialites (her siblings were Zsa-Zsa and Magda). The Gabor sisters were born in Budapest and immigrated to the United States separately, with Eva being the first to arrive. Eva broke into movies, but her most famous role was on the TV sitcom "Green Acres" in which she played the lovely character Lisa Douglas opposite Eddie Albert. One of Eva's claims to fame is the unwitting promotion of the game called "Twister", the sales of which were languishing in 1996. In an appearance on "The Tonight Show" she got on all fours and played the game with Johnny Carson. Sales took off immediately, and Twister became a huge hit.

10. African hunt : SAFARI
"Safari" is a Swahili word, meaning "journey" or "expedition".

11. Zebra or zebu : ANIMAL
The name "zebra" comes from an old Portuguese word "zevra" meaning "wild ass". Studies of zebra embryos show that zebras are basically black in color, with white stripes that develop with growth. Before this finding, it was believed they were white, with black stripes.

Zebu cattle are most often seen on the Indian subcontinent. They’re the sub-species with the fatty hump on their shoulders, droopy ears and a large dewlap (flap of skin under the neck).

12. Esprit de corps : MORALE
“Esprit de corps” is the morale of a group, best translated from French perhaps as “team spirit”.

23. Johnson who said "Ver-r-r-ry interesting!" : ARTE
Arte Johnson, as well being a frequent judge on "The Gong Show", played the German soldier on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In". His character's famous catchphrase was, "Very interesting, but ..."

27. "Don't Bring Me Down" rock group, for short : ELO
The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) is a symphonic rock group from the north of England. The band's manager was Don Arden, father of Sharon Osbourne (wife of Ozzy).

30. Gerund suffix : -ING
A gerund is a form of a verb that can be used as a noun. For example, the gerund of the verb “to act” is “acting”, as in the sentence, “We really enjoyed the acting”.

31. ___ Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's birth name) : LEW
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's name at birth was Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor. Alcindor changed his name when he converted to Islam.

39. Brother of Abel : CAIN
The story of Cain and Abel not only appears in the Christian and Hebrew Bibles, it also features in the Qur'an. In the Muslim account the brothers are named Kabil and Habil.

40. "Kitchy-kitchy-___!" : KOO
“Kitchy-kitchy-koo” is a taunt uttered when tickling someone.

41. Aussie bird : EMU
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an "Emu War" in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the "invading force". The emus were clever, breaking their usual formation and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of "war", the military withdrew. Subsequent requests by farmers for military help were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

42. Run down, in slang : DIS
“Dis” is a slang term meaning “insult” that originated in the eighties, a shortened form of disrespect or dismiss.

45. Kabul native : AFGHAN
Kabul is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. The city has been the site of major conflict for much of the 3,500 years that it has been in existence. In the past this conflict was mainly driven by the city’s strategic location on the major trade routes of south and central Asia.

48. Summa ___ laude : CUM
When an academic degree is awarded, a level of distinction can be noted depending on the degree of success achieved by the student. There are three types of honor, each with a Latin name:
- cum laude: meaning "with honor" (literally "with praise")
- magna cum laude: meaning "with great honor"
- summa cum laude: meaning "with highest honor"

58. Paris's ___ d'Orsay : QUAI
The Quai d’Orsay in Paris is a quay and street along the left bank of the River Seine. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is located there, and the French commonly use “Quai d’Orsay” as a nickname for the Ministry.

60. Some cameras, for short : SLRS
SLR stands for "single lens reflex". Usually cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.

63. Singer Yoko : ONO
Yoko Ono was born into a prosperous Japanese family, and is actually a descendant of one of the emperors of Japan. Ono's father moved around the world for work and Yoko lived the first few years of her life in San Francisco. The family returned to Japan before moving on to New York, Hanoi and back to Japan just before WWII. There Yoko lived through the great fire-bombing of Tokyo in 1945. Immediately after the war the family was far from prosperous. While Yoko's father was being held in a prison camp in Vietnam, her mother had to resort to begging and bartering to feed her children. When her father was repatriated, life started to return to normal and Yoko was able to attend university. She was the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University.

65. 33 1/3, 45 or 78, briefly : RPM
The first vinyl records designed to play at 33 1/3 rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first Long Play (LP) 33 1/3 rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm "single" the following year, in 1949.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Outrageous comedy : FARCE
6. Big galoots : APES
10. "Play It Again, ___" : SAM
13. Plan B : ALTERNATIVE
16. "I'll take that as ___" : A NO
17. Leona Helmsley epithet : QUEEN OF MEAN
18. Tree with needles : FIR
19. Bro's sibling : SIS
20. Uno y dos : TRES
21. Quayle : Bush :: Biden : ___ : OBAMA
23. Entr'___ (musical interlude) : ACTE
25. Urban's opposite : RURAL
26. Words under a monkey with his hands over his ears : HEAR NO EVIL
32. Go the extra ___ : MILE
33. Samuel on the Supreme Court : ALITO
34. Again from the top : ANEW
36. Start of a Ray Bradbury title ... or a hint to the ends of 17-, 26-, 49- and 62-Across : SOMETHING WICKED
43. New York State's ___ Canal : ERIE
44. Supermodel Campbell : NAOMI
45. Frequent "S.N.L." host Baldwin : ALEC
49. One of the Sex Pistols : SID VICIOUS
52. A funny thing happened on the way to this, in an old musical : FORUM
54. Utopia : EDEN
55. Little guy in the garden : GNOME
56. Rank below a marquis : EARL
58. Football passers, for short : QBS
61. All ___ up (agitated) : HET
62. 1956 #1 Elvis hit : DON’T BE CRUEL
66. "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" boxer : ALI
67. Falling apart : IN DISREPAIR
68. Big Apple inits. : NYC
69. Price : COST
70. Fails to mention : OMITS

Down
1. Queries on the Internet, for short : FAQS
2. His: Fr. : A LUI
3. Blvds. and rds. : RTES
4. Not-so-impressive grade : CEE
5. Suffix with north or south : -ERN
6. "Stop staring ___!" : AT ME
7. Slapstick props : PIES
8. One of the Gabors : EVA
9. Mister in Mexico : SENOR
10. African hunt : SAFARI
11. Zebra or zebu : ANIMAL
12. Esprit de corps : MORALE
14. "What's ___ like?" : NOT TO
15. "It's ___ country!" : A FREE
22. Mooch, as a cigarette : BUM
23. Johnson who said "Ver-r-r-ry interesting!" : ARTE
24. Bill worth 100 smackers : C-NOTE
26. Possesses : HAS
27. "Don't Bring Me Down" rock group, for short : ELO
28. Order between "ready" and "fire" : AIM
29. Equipped with sails, as a windmill : VANED
30. Gerund suffix : -ING
31. ___ Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's birth name) : LEW
35. Look that may accompany a groan : WINCE
37. Mins. and mins. : HRS
38. Jr.'s junior : III
39. Brother of Abel : CAIN
40. "Kitchy-kitchy-___!" : KOO
41. Aussie bird : EMU
42. Run down, in slang : DIS
45. Kabul native : AFGHAN
46. Feeling friendless : LONELY
47. XXX-rated : EROTIC
48. Summa ___ laude : CUM
50. Words after nouns : VERBS
51. Do-nothing : IDLER
53. Combat doc : MEDIC
56. Terminates : ENDS
57. Going ___ tooth and nail : AT IT
58. Paris's ___ d'Orsay : QUAI
59. "___ ever so humble ..." : BE IT
60. Some cameras, for short : SLRS
63. Singer Yoko : ONO
64. Corp. bigwig : CEO
65. 33 1/3, 45 or 78, briefly : RPM


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4 comments :

Andrea Carla Michaels said...

Thank you, Bill for this incredibly thorough and interesting account! I learned so much...from my own puzzle!
The meaning of SAFARI, OBAMA, all about zebras....
And the way you set this up, i could see I unconsciously slipped in references to my fave touchstones... woody Allen, the Beatles, early 60s etc.
I can't believe you take the time to do all this!
Where in the bay area are you? You should have come to the BAC Fill yesterday! We honored Manny Nosowsky.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Andrea.

It's an honor to have you visit the blog. Thanks for the kind words, and even more thanks for yet another fine puzzle.

As I do a lot of crosswords, I usually race through the Monday/Tuesday puzzles. When I see your name at the top of the puzzle though, I know I'm going to encounter something "fun", so solving is speedy but entertaining.

I live in the East Bay, and have never been to a crossword tournament. I'll have to set a reminder to look up the next BAC Fill event though. It's about time I came out of my shell! Is there an email list I can get onto, do you know, so I can hear about the next event?

Thanks again, Andrea, and congrats on yet another smooth puzzle.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I cheat a little on crossword puzzles, such as using "The New Comprehensive A-Z Crossword Dictionary" for foreign words,etc. In the above they list "ses,son,le sien" for French his, what gives? I also enjoy your site, Thanks.

Bill Butler said...

Well, I am no expert on French grammar, but I think you might have a good point here.

The form of the personal pronoun changes in French, even more than it does in English. As I understand it, "a lui" is used in French to mean "to him", as in "this book belongs to Jacques, it belongs to him (a lui), it is his. So I suppose there is a less than perfect connection between "a lui" and "him".

Thanks for pointing out the issue, and for stopping by to read the blog!

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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 try to answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com.

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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