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0817-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Aug 15, Monday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Andrea Carla Michaels
THEME: Hardy Har Har … our three themed answers today all start with a laughing sound, and HARDY HAR HAR reminds us of LAUGHING OUT LOUD (LOL).
65A. Bit of textspeak, unshortened ... or a hint to the starts of 17-, 27- and 49-Across : LAUGHING OUT LOUD

17A. Mysteries starting with "The Tower Treasure" and "The House on the Cliff" : HARDY BOYS SERIES
27A. 1968 hit song that spawned a 1978 movie and a 1981 TV show : HARPER VALLEY PTA
49A. Crimson alumnus : HARVARD GRADUATE
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 46s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Fashion designer Christian : DIOR
Christian Dior was a French fashion designer. As WWII approached, Dior was called up by the French military, drawing a temporary halt to his career in fashion. He left the army in 1942 and for the duration of the war designed clothes for wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. After the war his designs became so popular that he helped reestablish Paris as the fashion center of the world.

9. Outlaw ___ James : JESSE
Jesse James was an outlaw from Missouri who became a legendary figure of the Wild West. James somehow earned the reputation that he was a Robin Hood figure, robbing the rich and giving to the poor, but in fact this is far from the truth. After being chased persistently by law enforcement officers, he was eventually killed by one of his own gang members who hoped to collect a reward. As soon as newspaper reported his death in 1882, rumors started that Jesse James had in fact survived. Eventually, the body buried in the grave marked with Jesse James’ name was exhumed in 1995, and DNA testing showed that almost certainly it was the resting place of the infamous outlaw.

14. ___ Romeo (Italian car) : ALFA
The “Alfa” in Alfa Romeo is actually an acronym, standing for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili ("Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company"). ALFA was an enterprise founded in 1909 and which was taken over by Nicola Romeo in 1915. In 1920 the company name was changed to Alfa Romeo.

15. Sicilian peak : ETNA
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Mt Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius.

16. Seiji ___, former Boston Symphony director : OZAWA
Seiji Ozawa is most famous for his work as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, although he is also the principal conductor of the Vienna State Opera. Ozawa is renowned for wearing a white turtleneck under his dress suit when he conducts, rather than the traditional starched shirt and white tie.

17. Mysteries starting with "The Tower Treasure" and "The House on the Cliff" : HARDY BOYS SERIES
“The Hardy Boys” series of detective stories for children and teens was created by Edward Stratemeyer. The Hardy Boys first appeared way back in 1927, but I lapped them up in the 1960s.

20. Ski resort vehicle : SNO-CAT
The brand name Sno-Cat is owned by the Tucker company. All "snowcats" are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four, independently-mounted tracks.

21. 91, to Nero : XCI
The Roman emperor Nero had quite the family life. When Nero was just 16-years-old he married his stepsister, Claudia Octavia. He also had his mother and step-brother executed.

22. Sheltered at sea : ALEE
"Alee" is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing "aweather".

23. Soothing stuff : ALOE
Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. These include the First Aid plant, Wand of Heaven, Silent Healer and Miracle Plant.

25. Furry TV extraterrestrial : ALF
“ALF” is a sitcom that aired in the late eighties. ALF is a hand-puppet, supposedly an alien from the planet Melmac that crash-landed in a suburban neighborhood. “ALF” stands for “alien life form”.

27. 1968 hit song that spawned a 1978 movie and a 1981 TV show : HARPER VALLEY PTA
“Harper Valley PTA” is a country song that was a hit for Jeannie C. Riley in 1968. The song tells of a widowed mother of a teenage girl who is labelled by the daughter’s school’s PTA as scandalous, primarily for wearing a short hemline. The hit song was parlayed into successful 1978 comedy film starring Barbara Eden (of “I Dream of Jeannie”). The movie was successful enough to spawn a TV series, with Barbara Eden again taking the lead. But, the sitcom just made it through two seasons before being pulled from the schedules.

35. "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" boxer : ALI
Muhammad Ali first used his famous catchphrase “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” before his world title fight against Sonny Liston in 1964. Back then Ali still went by his birth name of Cassius Clay.

36. "Répondez ___ vous plaît" : S’IL
RSVP stands for "répondez, s'il vous plaît", which is French for "please, answer".

38. Comedian/TV host once called the "Queen of Nice" : ROSIE
We don’t get to see Rosie O’Donnell on the screen very much these days. She had a very successful chat show that ran from 1996 to 2002. My favorite performance of hers on the big screen is in a supporting role to Meg Ryan in the 1993 movie “Sleepless in Seattle”.

41. The "L" of U.C.L.A. : LOS
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) gets more applications from students than any other university in the country. UCLA also has more students enrolled than any other university in the state.

43. Liquid-Plumr rival : DRANO
To clean out drains we might buy Crystal Drano which is sodium hydroxide (lye) mixed with sodium nitrate, sodium chloride (table salt) and aluminum. The contents of Drano work in concert to clear the clog. The lye reacts with any fats creating soap which may be enough to break up the clog. Also, the finely-divided aluminum reacts with water creating tremendous heat so that that mixture boils and churns, then any hair or fibers are cut by the sharp edges of the nitrate and chloride crystals. Having said all that, I find that boiling water poured down the drain almost always does the job ...

44. "The View" co-host ___ Shepherd : SHERRI
Sherri Shepherd is a comedian and television personality who is best known by many as one of the co-hosts of the ABC daytime talk show “The View”. I remember Shepherd as the police officer who was partnered with Robert Barone on the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond”.

46. Forty winks : NAP
Back in the early 1800s, folks took “nine winks” when getting a few minutes of sleep during the day. Dr. William Kitchiner extended this concept in his 1821 self-help book “The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life”. He suggested “A Forty Winks Nap”, which we seem to have been taking ever since. Mind you, I’m up to about eighty winks most days …

48. Belle of the ball, for short : DEB
Deb is short for "debutante", which translates from French as "female beginner".

49. Crimson alumnus : HARVARD GRADUATE
Not only is crimson the school color, “Harvard Crimson” is the name given to the athletic teams, and to the school newspaper. The school color was chosen by a vote of the student body in 1875.

53. Driveway topper : TAR
“Tarmac” and “macadam” are short for "tarmacadam". In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as "macadam". Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The "tar-penetration macadam" is the basis of what we now call Tarmac.

54. "Help ___ the way!" : IS ON
Yeah, but we don’t often need it on Monday’s. It’s for Saturday’s puzzle that I usually need the help ....

55. Accusation to Brutus : ET TU
It was Shakespeare who popularized the words "Et tu, Brute?" (And you, Brutus?), in his play "Julius Caesar", although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It's not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life just before he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

59. Sine ___ non : QUA
"Sine qua non" is a Latin phrase that we use to mean "the essential element or condition". The literal translation is "without which not". One might say, for example, "a challenging crossword is the sine qua non of a good newspaper". Well, crossword fans might say that anyway ...

61. Acme : TIPTOP
The "acme" is the highest point, coming from the Greek word "akme" which has the same meaning.

65. Bit of textspeak, unshortened ... or a hint to the starts of 17-, 27- and 49-Across : LAUGHING OUT LOUD
LOL is an abbreviation used in Instant Messages and phone text messages, meaning Laughing Out Loud.

68. Coleridge's "___ Khan" : KUBLA
"Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is my wife's favorite poem. Coleridge wrote his masterpiece one night in 1797 after a vivid dream heavily influenced by opium.
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

69. Deborah who was nominated for a record six Best Actress Oscars without ever winning : KERR
The lovely Deborah Kerr was a Scottish actress who made a real name for herself on the American stage and in Hollywood movies. Despite all her success, and six nominations for a Best Actress Oscar, Kerr never actually won an Academy Award. In 1967 she appeared in the James Bond film "Casino Royale" at the age of 46, making her oldest Bond Girl of all time.

70. Bear in constellation names : URSA
Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for "dragon"). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called "Dragon's Wing".

The constellation called Ursa Major (Latin for "Larger Bear") is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that's what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, the "plough".

Down
1. Exclamations from Scrooge : BAHS
The classic 1843 novella "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to popular use of the phrase "Merry Christmas", and secondly it gave us the word "scrooge" meaning a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that Ebenezer Scrooge uttered the words "Bah! Humbug!".

2. Pizazz : ELAN
Our word "élan" was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e "style" or "flair".

7. Jet-black gem : ONYX
Onyx is a form of banded quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it's the black version that's used for jewelry. The name "onyx" comes from the Greek word for "fingernail", as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

9. Baseball's DiMaggio : JOE
Baseball player Joe Dimaggio was given the nickname “Yankee Clipper” by the announcer at Yankee Stadium Arch McDonald in 1939. McDonald was comparing Dimaggio’s speed and range to the Pan Am Clipper airliner that was a real innovation at the time.

10. Biblical prophet : EZRA
Ezra the Scribe, also called Ezra the Priest, is the central character in the Book of Ezra in the Hebrew Bible.

12. ___'Pea (Popeye's kid) : SWEE
Originally Popeye used the nickname "Swee'pea" to address his girlfriend Olive Oyl. Then along comes a baby, found on Popeye's doorstep. Popeye adopts the little guy and raises him, calling him "Swee'Pea".

13. Military order, after "at" : EASE
The military parade command “Parade Rest!” is similar to the command “Stand at Ease!” The only difference is that when given the “Stand at Ease!” command a soldier must turn the head to look at whoever is addressing him or her.

18. Where Bill and Hillary Clinton met : YALE
When Hillary Rodham Clinton was appointed US Secretary of State, she became the first former First Lady to serve in a president’s cabinet. Hillary met her husband, President Bill Clinton, when the two were studying at Yale law school.

19. Window ledges : SILLS
A “sill plate” or simply “sill” is an architectural term for a bottom horizontal member to which vertical members are attached. A “window sill” is specific sill plate that is found at the bottom of a window opening.

27. Like Siberian winters : HARSH
Siberia is a vast area in Northern Asia. The region's industrial development started with the construction of the Trans-Siberian railway from 1891 to 1916, which linked Siberia to Russia in the west.

28. 2015 rom-com set in Hawaii : ALOHA
The 2015 romantic comedy “Aloha” has a great cast, which includes Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray and John Krasinski. Regardless, the film seems to have been poorly received. Maybe one day I’ll give it an airing, just out of respect for the actors …

29. Staircase part : RISER
The “riser” is the vertical part of a step in a flight of stairs.

32. Gucci alternative : PRADA
Prada was started in 1913 as a leathergoods shop in Milan, by the two Prada brothers. One of the brothers, Mario Prada, prevented the female members of his family participating in the company as he didn't believe women should be involved in business (!). When the sexist brother died, his son had no interest in the business so it was his daughter who took over and ran the company for about twenty years, handing it over to her own daughter. I'd say the devil loved that ...

Gucci was founded in Rome in 1921, by Guccio Gucci. Guccio's son Aldo took over the company after his father's death in 1953. It was Aldo who established the international presence for the brand and opened the company's first overseas store, in New York City.

33. Founding principle : TENET
A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

34. Pueblo brick : ADOBE
The building material known as adobe has been around a long time, and has been used in dry climates all over the world. The original form of the word "adobe" dates back to Middle Egyptian times, about 2000 BC. The original spelling is "dj-b-t", and translates as mud (sun-dried) brick.

A pueblo is a Native American village, a term used in the American Southwest. The buildings in a pueblo are usually made of stone and adobe mud.

39. ___ Cross, first African-American full-time sports analyst on national TV : IRV
Irv Cross is a former professional footballer and a sportscaster. Cross was hired by CBS Sports in 1971 and became the first African American to work full-time as a sports analyst on network television.

40. The "E" of Q.E.D. : ERAT
QED is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The QED acronym stands for the Latin "quod erat demonstrandum" meaning "that which was to be demonstrated".

42. Hindu dress : SARI
The item of clothing called a "sari" (also "saree") is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that's a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

45. Baghdad native : IRAQI
According to the University of Baghdad, the name "Baghdad" dates way back, to the 18th-century BC (yes, BC!). The name can be translated into English from the language of ancient Babylon as "old garden" (bagh) and "beloved" (dad).

50. Sots : DRUNKS
Our word "sot" comes from the Old English "sott", meaning a fool. The word "sot" started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

51. "Just ___" (Nike slogan) : DO IT
The Nike slogan “Just Do It” was created in an advertising meeting in 1988. Apparently the phrase was inspired by the last words of famed criminal Gary Gilmore. Gilmore faced execution by the state of Utah in 1977 and when asked if he had any last words he simply replied, “Let’s do it”. A few minutes later, Gilmore was executed by a firing squad.

55. Antlered animals : ELKS
The elk (also known as the wapiti) is the one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the "huge" wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely "elk". The more correct name for the beast is "wapiti", which means "white rump" in Shawnee. It's all very confusing ...

57. Marching band instrument : TUBA
The tuba is the lowest pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). "Tuba" is the Latin word for "trumpet, horn". Oom-pah-pah ...

60. "A Death in the Family" writer James : AGEE
James Agee was a noted American film critic and screenwriter. Agee wrote an autobiographical novel "A Death in the Family" that won him his Pulitzer in 1958, albeit posthumously. He was also one of the screenwriters for the 1951 classic movie “The African Queen”.

63. Remove, as in a coup : OUST
A coup d'état (often just "coup") is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for "stroke of state". The Swiss German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”.

64. Multipurpose hand-held devices, for short : PDAS
Personal digital assistant (PDA)

66. "Elvis ___ left the building" : HAS
The popular phrase “Elvis has left the building” has its roots in the concerts given by the King in his heyday. It was normal for fans to hang around after a performance in hopes of seeing their idol one more time. This became such an issue that an announcement was routinely made that “Elvis has left the building”.

67. Bobby of the N.H.L. : ORR
Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn't skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Smile broadly : BEAM
5. Fashion designer Christian : DIOR
9. Outlaw ___ James : JESSE
14. ___ Romeo (Italian car) : ALFA
15. Sicilian peak : ETNA
16. Seiji ___, former Boston Symphony director : OZAWA
17. Mysteries starting with "The Tower Treasure" and "The House on the Cliff" : HARDY BOYS SERIES
20. Ski resort vehicle : SNO-CAT
21. 91, to Nero : XCI
22. Sheltered at sea : ALEE
23. Soothing stuff : ALOE
25. Furry TV extraterrestrial : ALF
27. 1968 hit song that spawned a 1978 movie and a 1981 TV show : HARPER VALLEY PTA
35. "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" boxer : ALI
36. "Répondez ___ vous plaît" : S’IL
37. Become enraged : SEE RED
38. Comedian/TV host once called the "Queen of Nice" : ROSIE
41. The "L" of U.C.L.A. : LOS
43. Liquid-Plumr rival : DRANO
44. "The View" co-host ___ Shepherd : SHERRI
46. Forty winks : NAP
48. Belle of the ball, for short : DEB
49. Crimson alumnus : HARVARD GRADUATE
53. Driveway topper : TAR
54. "Help ___ the way!" : IS ON
55. Accusation to Brutus : ET TU
59. Sine ___ non : QUA
61. Acme : TIPTOP
65. Bit of textspeak, unshortened ... or a hint to the starts of 17-, 27- and 49-Across : LAUGHING OUT LOUD
68. Coleridge's "___ Khan" : KUBLA
69. Deborah who was nominated for a record six Best Actress Oscars without ever winning : KERR
70. Bear in constellation names : URSA
71. Death row reprieves : STAYS
72. Very dry : SERE
73. Comprehends : GETS

Down
1. Exclamations from Scrooge : BAHS
2. Pizazz : ELAN
3. Retro hairstyle : AFRO
4. Wild and crazy : MADCAP
5. Ones owing money : DEBTORS
6. "Who am ___ judge?" : I TO
7. Jet-black gem : ONYX
8. Little troublemaker : RASCAL
9. Baseball's DiMaggio : JOE
10. Biblical prophet : EZRA
11. Go wherever the wind blows? : SAIL
12. ___'Pea (Popeye's kid) : SWEE
13. Military order, after "at" : EASE
18. Where Bill and Hillary Clinton met : YALE
19. Window ledges : SILLS
24. Wicked : EVIL
26. Oats, for a horse : FEED
27. Like Siberian winters : HARSH
28. 2015 rom-com set in Hawaii : ALOHA
29. Staircase part : RISER
30. "I knew it all ___!" : ALONG
31. "So's ___ old man!" : YER
32. Gucci alternative : PRADA
33. Founding principle : TENET
34. Pueblo brick : ADOBE
39. ___ Cross, first African-American full-time sports analyst on national TV : IRV
40. The "E" of Q.E.D. : ERAT
42. Hindu dress : SARI
45. Baghdad native : IRAQI
47. Grazing land : PASTURE
50. Sots : DRUNKS
51. "Just ___" (Nike slogan) : DO IT
52. Go acoustic, informally : UNPLUG
55. Antlered animals : ELKS
56. Like a rope during a tug-of-war match : TAUT
57. Marching band instrument : TUBA
58. Hideous : UGLY
60. "A Death in the Family" writer James : AGEE
62. Shredded : TORE
63. Remove, as in a coup : OUST
64. Multipurpose hand-held devices, for short : PDAS
66. "Elvis ___ left the building" : HAS
67. Bobby of the N.H.L. : ORR


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2 comments :

Willie D said...

There must be some intended inside joke on ITO with the clue "Who am ____ judge?" As in judge Lance Ito.

Anonymous said...

Nice one, Willie! I like your sharp sense of humor better than Shortz' and his cronies'.

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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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