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0720-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Jul 15, Monday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: John Westwig
THEME: Morning Person … each of today’s themed answers is the name of a famous“MORNING” person, i.e. someone with the initials “A.M”.
37A. Early riser ... or what each of 17-, 24-, 50- and 61-Across is? : MORNING PERSON

17A. Sony co-founder : AKIO MORITA
24A. 2013 Wimbledon champion : ANDY MURRAY
50A. Longtime "Monday Night Football" sportscaster : AL MICHAELS
61A. "Love Story" actress : ALI MACGRAW
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 59s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Q-Tips, e.g. : SWABS
Cotton swabs were originally marketed under the name "Baby Gays", but this was changed in 1926 to "Q-Tips", with the Q standing for "quality".

6. Nice plot of land : ACRE
At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. This was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one furlong wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. A area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

10. Automaker Ferrari : ENZO
Enzo Ferrari was an Italian race car driver, and founder of the Ferrari car manufacturing company. Ferrari died in 1988, and in 2003 the company named the Enzo model after its founder.

14. Italy's Isle of ___ : CAPRI
The island of Capri off the coast of Southern Italy has been a tourist resort since the days of ancient Rome. Capri is home to the famous Blue Grotto, a sea cave that is illuminated with sunlight that's colored blue as it passes through the seawater into the cave. Natives of Capri are known as Capriotes.

15. Excellent, in dated slang : PHAT
In hip-hop circles, the term "phat" means excellent or first-rate.

17. Sony co-founder : AKIO MORITA
Sony was founded by Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka. The two partners met in the Japanese Navy during WWII.

21. Electric Chevy model : VOLT
Despite being late entering the eco-friendly car market, Chevrolet today produces the most fuel-efficient compact car with a gasoline engine that is sold in the US. The Chevrolet Volt went on sale at the end of 2010, a plug-in hybrid car that runs on batteries. The Volt has a gasoline engine that can be used run an electric generator if needed. The Volt also uses a regenerative braking system similar to that on my Honda Civic Hybrid, a car that I really love.

23. Purplish red : PUCE
The name of the purple shade known as "puce" has a strange derivation. "Puce" came into English from French, in which language "puce" means "flea". Supposedly, puce is the color of a flea!

24. 2013 Wimbledon champion : ANDY MURRAY
Andy Murray is a tennis player from Scotland who has been the British number one for several years now. Much to the delight of the locals, Murray won the Wimbledon Championship in 2013, making him the first British player to win in 77 years. Murray also won Olympic gold in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

37. Early riser ... or what each of 17-, 24-, 50- and 61-Across is? : MORNING PERSON
The 12-hour clock has been around a long time, and was even used in sundial format in Ancient Egypt. Our use of AM and PM dates back to Roman times, with AM standing for Ante Meridiem (before noon) and PM standing for Post Meridiem (after noon). However, the Romans originally used the AM concept a little differently, by counting backwards from noon. So, 2AM to the Romans would be two hours before noon, or 10AM as we would call it today.

41. ___ Alto, Calif. : PALO
The city of Palo Alto, California takes its name from a specific redwood tree called El Palo Alto (Spanish for "the tall stick") that is located within the bounds of the city. The tree is 110 feet tall and over a thousand years old.

42. Cesar who played the Joker : ROMERO
Cesar Romero was an American actor of Cuban descent from New York. He played a wide variety of roles on the big screen, but is remembered by many for playing the Joker on the “Batman” television show from the sixties.

45. City voting districts : WARDS
A ward is someone placed in the custody of another, usually by a court of law. City districts have been also been referred to as “wards” since the 1400s, with the name coming from the sense of “an area placed under the guardianship of some noble”.

50. Longtime "Monday Night Football" sportscaster : AL MICHAELS
Al Michaels is a sportscaster who worked with NBC Sports for nearly 30 years. Michaels is best known for his work on “Monday Night Football”.

56. Follower of Formula or Air Force : ONE
In motor racing, the designation "formula" is a set of rules that all participants and cars must abide by. The definition of "Formula One" was agreed back in 1946, with the "one" designating that it is the most advanced of the "formulae", and the most competitive.

We usually use the term “Air Force One” for the purpose-built military aircraft that transports the president, although any plane can use the call sign, provided the president is aboard. There was an incident in 1953 which a flight carrying President Eisenhower (flight no. Air Force 8610) flew close to commercial airliner (flight no. Eastern 8610). In order to avoid confusion of flight numbers in the future, the special callsign “Air Force One” was created.

61. "Love Story" actress : ALI MACGRAW
There’s no doubt that the 1970 movie “Love Story” is one of the great romantic dramas of all time, but I just think Ali MacGraw was hopelessly miscast and really took the shine off the film for me. I know, I am in a small minority that holds that view, as McGraw was nominated for an Oscar for her performance.

63. Cookie with a chocolaty outside : OREO
How the Oreo cookie came to get its name seems to have been lost in the mists of time. One theory is that it comes from the French “or” meaning “gold”, a reference to the gold color of the original packing. Another suggestion is that the name is the Greek word “oreo” meaning “beautiful, nice, well-done”.

65. Summa cum ___ : LAUDE
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"

66. ___ Mawr College : BRYN
I used to live not far from Bryn-mawr (also "Brynmwar") in Wales, the town with the highest elevation in the country. Appropriately enough, "bryn mawr" is Welsh for "big hill". There is also a Bryn Mawr in Pennsylvania (note the different capitalization) that is named after its Welsh counterpart. At the Pennsylvania location there's a Bryn Mawr college, a private women's school that was the first American university to offer graduate degrees to women.

Down
2. "Rise and shine!" : WAKE UP!
Although there is some evidence that “rise and shine” could have originated from a verse in the Bible’s Book of Isaiah, it seems that our contemporary use of the term comes from the military. A soldier might be woken with the phrase “rise and shine”, meaning “get out of bed and shine your boots”.

5. ___ card (cellphone chip) : SIM
Most cell phones have SIM cards these days. SIM cards hold the personal information of the subscriber, with the acronym being short for Subscriber Identity Module.

9. Second letter after epsilon : ETA
Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character "H". Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

10. "Apollo 13" co-star : ED HARRIS
Ed Harris is a very talented actor, noted for two great performances in movies about the Space Program. Harris played John Glenn in "The Right Stuff" in 1983, his "breakthrough" role. Twelve years later he had a “stellar” performance as flight director Gene Kranz in "Apollo 13".

11. Particle with no electric charge : NEUTRINO
Neutrinos are small subatomic particles that do not carry an electric charge. The term “neutrino” is Italian for “small neutral one”. There are three types of neutrino: electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos and tau neutrinos.

13. Keats wrote one to autumn : ODE
The poet John Keats is famous for writing a whole series of beautiful odes. The most renowned are the so-called “1819 Odes”, a collection from the year 1819 that includes famous poems such as “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, "Ode to a Nightingale” and “Ode to Psyche”, as well as “To Autumn”.

22. Mink or sable : FUR
There are two species of mink extant, the European Mink and the American Mink. There used to be a Sea Mink which was much larger than its two cousins, but it was hunted to extinction (for its fur) in the late 1800s. American Minks are farmed over in Europe for fur, and animal rights activists have released many of these animals into the wild when raiding mink farms. As a result the European Mink population has declined due to the presence of its larger and more adaptable American cousin.

Sables are small mammals about two feet long, found right across northern Europe and northern Asia. The sable’s pelt is highly prized in the fur trade. Sable is unique among furs in that it feels smooth no matter which direction it is stroked.

25. The second "M" of 34-Down : MAYER
(34D. Studio with a roaring lion : MGM)
Lazar Meir was born in Belarus in 1884, but we know him better as Louis B. Mayer, the famous American film producer and boss of MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer).

26. Beauty care brand : AVON
In 1886, a young man called David McConnell was selling books door-to-door. To enhance his sales numbers he was giving out free perfume to the ladies of the houses that he visited. Seeing as his perfume was more popular than his books, he founded the California Perfume Company in New York City and started manufacturing and selling across the country. The company name was changed to Avon in 1939, and the famous "Avon Calling" marketing campaign was launched in 1954.

27. Japanese currency : YEN
The Korean Won, the Chinese Yuan, and the Japanese Yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents "round shape".

29. Sn, to a chemist : TIN
The Latin word for tin is “stannum”, and so tin’s atomic symbol is “Sn”. One of the ores used as a source of tin is “stannite”.

32. Colin who played King George VI : FIRTH
Colin Firth is an English actor who came to prominence playing Mr Darcy in the fabulous television adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” that came out in 1995 (I cannot recommend that six-episode drama enough). More recently, Firth won the Best Actor Oscar for playing King George VI in “The King’s Speech”.

“The King’s Speech” is a wonderful, wonderful 2010 film about King George VI and his efforts to overcome his speech impediment. Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter all do fabulous jobs playing the lead characters. It is an independent film, so was made with a relatively low budget of $15 million, but grossed almost $400 million at box offices worldwide. “The King’s Speech” is the most successful British independent film of all time.

33. Rescuer of Odysseus, in myth : INO
Ino was a mortal queen of Orchomenus through her marriage to King Athamas. In Greek mythology, Ino became the goddess Leukothea after her death. As Leukothea she provided divine aid to Odysseus, according to Homer’s “Odyssey”. She provided Odysseus with a magical veil that he used to escape from Poseidon.

34. Studio with a roaring lion : MGM
There has been a lion in the logo of the MGM studio since 1924. The original was an Irishman (!), a lion named Slats who was born in Dublin Zoo in 1919. However, it wasn't until Jackie took over from Slats in 1928 that the roar was heard, as the era of silent movies was coming to an end. The current lion is called Leo, and he has been around since 1957.

39. Jackie who broke baseball's color barrier : ROBINSON
The great Jackie Robinson was of course the first African-American to play in baseball’s Major League. When Robinson made his first MLB appearance, for the Brooklyn Dodgers, he did so in front of over 26,000 spectators. Well over half the crowd that day were African-Americans, there to witness the event. Major League Baseball universally retired Robinson’s number 42 in 1997. However, on the annual Jackie Robinson Day, all MLB players on all teams wear #42 in his honor.

41. School fund-raising grp. : PTA
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

46. Feature of a May-December marriage : AGE GAP
Marriages between two people in which there is a relatively large age gap are sometimes viewed with prejudice by some societies. There is even an “unwritten rule” that one should never date anyone under “half one’s age plus seven”.

48. "The Crimes of Love" author Marquis ___ : DE SADE
The Marquis de Sade was a French aristocrat with a reputation for a libertine lifestyle. De Sade was also a writer, well known for his works of erotica. He fell foul of the law for some of his more extreme practices and for blaspheming the Catholic church. On an off, de Sade spent 32 years of his life in prison and in insane asylums.

49. Stick for a shish kebab : SKEWER
The name "kebab" (also “kabob”) covers a wide variety of meat dishes that originated in Persia. In the West, we usually use "kebab" when talking about shish kebab, which is meat (often lamb) served on a skewer. “Shish” comes from the Turkish word for “skewer”.

52. Doolittle of fiction : ELIZA
Eliza Doolittle is Professor Henry Higgins' speech student in George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion". "Pygmalion" was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical "My Fair Lady". The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was "'Enry 'Iggins".

54. Caribbean, e.g. : SEA
The Caribbean Sea takes its name from the Carib people. The Caribs are an American Indian people who live in the Lesser Antilles islands, part of the West Indies.

62. Actor Gulager of "The Tall Man" : CLU
Clu Gulager is a television and film actor. He is most remembered for playing Billy the Kid in the TV show "The Tall Man" in the early sixties, and then as Emmett Ryker in "The Virginian" in the late sixties.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Q-Tips, e.g. : SWABS
6. Nice plot of land : ACRE
10. Automaker Ferrari : ENZO
14. Italy's Isle of ___ : CAPRI
15. Excellent, in dated slang : PHAT
16. Opposite of hopping, as a party : DEAD
17. Sony co-founder : AKIO MORITA
19. Gigantic : HUGE
20. Submissive : MEEK
21. Electric Chevy model : VOLT
22. Weight-watcher's worry : FAT
23. Purplish red : PUCE
24. 2013 Wimbledon champion : ANDY MURRAY
28. Worn out : SPENT
30. Show up : ARRIVE
31. "Excuse me, but ..." : IF I MAY ...
36. Get ___ the ground floor : IN ON
37. Early riser ... or what each of 17-, 24-, 50- and 61-Across is? : MORNING PERSON
41. ___ Alto, Calif. : PALO
42. Cesar who played the Joker : ROMERO
43. Morsel : TIDBIT
45. City voting districts : WARDS
50. Longtime "Monday Night Football" sportscaster : AL MICHAELS
55. Overindulge in a brainy subject, with "out" : GEEK
56. Follower of Formula or Air Force : ONE
57. Utter happiness : GLEE
58. Comfort : EASE
59. Clothing store section : MEN’S
61. "Love Story" actress : ALI MACGRAW
63. Cookie with a chocolaty outside : OREO
64. Knucklehead : BOZO
65. Summa cum ___ : LAUDE
66. ___ Mawr College : BRYN
67. Graceful avian swimmer : SWAN
68. Word before house or hand : UPPER

Down
1. Little rascals : SCAMPS
2. "Rise and shine!" : WAKE UP!
3. Each : APIECE
4. Shattered : BROKEN
5. ___ card (cellphone chip) : SIM
6. Kitchen garment : APRON
7. Parent's counterpart : CHILD
8. In bad condition : RATTY
9. Second letter after epsilon : ETA
10. "Apollo 13" co-star : ED HARRIS
11. Particle with no electric charge : NEUTRINO
12. Zig's opposite : ZAG
13. Keats wrote one to autumn : ODE
18. Eggs : OVA
22. Mink or sable : FUR
25. The second "M" of 34-Down : MAYER
26. Beauty care brand : AVON
27. Japanese currency : YEN
29. Sn, to a chemist : TIN
32. Colin who played King George VI : FIRTH
33. Rescuer of Odysseus, in myth : INO
34. Studio with a roaring lion : MGM
35. Imitate : APE
37. Post office delivery : MAIL
38. Inherited wealth : OLD MONEY
39. Jackie who broke baseball's color barrier : ROBINSON
40. One of eight on a chessboard : ROW
41. School fund-raising grp. : PTA
44. Freezer trayful : ICE
46. Feature of a May-December marriage : AGE GAP
47. Stand on two legs, as a horse : REAR UP
48. "The Crimes of Love" author Marquis ___ : DE SADE
49. Stick for a shish kebab : SKEWER
51. Like a lit lantern : AGLOW
52. Doolittle of fiction : ELIZA
53. Pucker-inducing fruit : LEMON
54. Caribbean, e.g. : SEA
59. Group of rioters : MOB
60. Mess up : ERR
61. Muscles that are crunched : ABS
62. Actor Gulager of "The Tall Man" : CLU


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4 comments :

Willie D said...

No errors, but I'm out of practice, :13 for me. Too many proper names for my liking.

Anonymous said...

Good puzzle!

BruceB said...

7:47 no errors. Did not get the A.M. connection until I saw it hear.

BruceB said...

Oops, 'here'. It's Monday.

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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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