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0922-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Sep 15, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Victor Barocas & Tom Pepper
THEME: Wizard of Aahs … each of today’s themed answers is someone who might make you utter an “Aah”. And the reveal, WIZARD OF AAHS, is a play on “Wizard of Oz”.
65A. Alternative name for 18-, 29- or 51-Across? : WIZARD OF AAHS

18A. Fireworks expert : PYROTECHNIST
29A. Head and neck physician : OTOLARYNGOLOGIST
51A. Hard rubber, maybe : MASSAGE THERAPIST
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 15s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Italian scooter brand : VESPA
Vespa is a brand of motor scooter originally made in Italy (and now all over the world) by Piaggio. “Vespa” is Italian for “wasp”.

6. Fleet opposed by Sir Francis Drake : ARMADA
The most famous Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England in order to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I in 1588. It failed in its mission, partly due to bad weather encountered en route. Ironically, the English mounted a similar naval attack against Spain the following year, and it failed as well.

Sir Francis Drake was a Vice-Admiral in the Elizabethan navy, and second in command when the Royal Navy defeated the Spanish Armada. Drake was also a sanctioned pirate for the Queen and wreaked havoc on the Spanish merchant fleet. His most famous ship was the Golden Hind, in which he circumnavigated the world between 1577 and 1580.

17. It's smoked in a deli : LOX
Lox is a cured salmon fillet, finely sliced. The term "lox" comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

20. One mile, at Churchill Downs : LAP
Churchill Downs is a thoroughbred racetrack located in Louisville, Kentucky that is famous for hosting the Kentucky Derby each year. The track is named for John and Henry Churchill who once owned the land on which the course was built.

22. AOL or Verizon, for short : ISP
An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is just what the name indicates, a company that provides its customers with access to the Internet.

23. Hera, to the Romans : JUNO
In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and was noted for her jealousy and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

24. He "cometh" in an O'Neill play : ICEMAN
"The Iceman Cometh" is a play written by American playwright Eugene O'Neill and first performed in 1946 on Broadway. The play centers on some down-and-out men in a shabby saloon in Manhattan. The title is a reference to the "ice man", the man who would have delivered ice to homes back in the time of the play. The reference is to a bawdy joke in which the "ice man" was having an affair with someone's wife.

27. Dutch cheese : EDAM
Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

29. Head and neck physician : OTOLARYNGOLOGIST
An otorhinolaryngologist is an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeon). The term “otorhinolaryngology” comes from the Greek words “otos” (ear), “rhis” (nose), “larynx” (larynx) and “-logia” (study).

35. Stinky Le Pew : PEPE
Pepé Le Pew is a very likeable cartoon character from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series. Pepé is a French skunk, first introduced way back in 1945. He is always thinking of "l'amour" and chases the lady skunks, or a black cat with a white stripe painted down her back accidently.

36. Uno + due : TRE
“One, two, three” in Italian is "uno, due, tre".

37. Haute couture monogram : YSL
Yves Saint-Laurent was a French fashion designer, actually born in Algeria. Saint-Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint-Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from prison, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story ...

"Haute couture", literally "high dressmaking" in French, is a name given to the creation of exclusive fashions. A couturier is someone who creates or sells such fashions.

38. Election Day mo. : NOV
Election Day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

39. Roman roads : ITERS
“Iter” is the Latin for “road”.

43. Boris Godunov and others : TSARS
When Ivan the Terrible was on his deathbed, he appointed a regency council to rule in place of his mentally unstable son Fyodor. The most powerful member of the council was Boris Godunov, who took power and ruled as de facto regent and Tsar for Fyodor’s lifetime.

45. Cremains container : URN
The ashes of a cremated body can be referred to as “cremains”, cremated remains.

48. Fed. agency that conducts raids : ATF
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is today part of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The ATF has its roots in the Department of Treasury dating back to 1886 when it was known as the Bureau of Prohibition. "Explosives" was added to the ATF's name when the bureau was moved under the Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of the reorganization called for in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

57. Grub : CHOW
"Chow" is an American slang term for food that originated in California in the mid-1800s. "Chow" comes from the Chinese pidgin English "chow-chow" meaning "food".

59. Book of the Bible between Lev. and Deut. : NUM
The Book of Numbers in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles relates much of the journey of Moses and the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land. The title comes from the numbering of the people that is described in the beginning of the book.

61. Pub game : DARTS
Darts is a wonderful game often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called "Round the Clock" is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 in sequence.

64. DiCaprio, to friends : LEO
Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio is from Los Angeles, California. DiCaprio’s mother was visiting a museum in Italy when she was pregnant and felt the first kick of her unborn child. At the moment of that first kick, Mama DiCaprio was looking at a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, and so named her son Leonardo.

69. Sculler's need : OAR
A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell. Crew members who row the boat can be referred to as “oars”.

71. Heart chambers : ATRIA
The heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers (the atria) accept deoxygenated blood from the body and oxygenated blood from the lungs. The atria squeeze the blood into the two lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles), “priming” the pump, as it were. One ventricle pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, and the other pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

72. Common taxi feature : GPS
Global Positioning System (GPS)

Down
2. One-named Irish Grammy winner : ENYA
Enya's real name is Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career, eventually becoming Ireland’s best-selling solo musician. And … she sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!

3. Feudal worker : SERF
A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. "Serf" comes from the Latin "servus", meaning "slave".

5. New York prison famous for a 1971 riot : ATTICA
The Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York is used to incarcerate the toughest of the state's convicts. Famous people who have spent time in Attica include David Berkowitz (Son of Sam) and Mark David Chapman (who killed John Lennon). Attica was the site of a famous riot in 1971 involving almost 1,000 inmates. Control of the prison was restored by the authorities after several days of unrest that left 39 people dead, including ten guards and other prison employees.

11. Tidbit for an aardvark : ANT
The aardvark is the oddest looking of creatures, a nocturnal burrowing animal that is native to Africa. The name "aardvark" is Afrikaans for "earth pig", although it is not in fact related to the pig. Aardvarks are noted, among other things, for their unique teeth. Their teeth have no enamel and wear away quite readily, but continuously regrow.

12. "Angels & Demons" group whose name is Latin for "enlightened" : ILLUMINATI
"The Da Vinci Code" is an excellent yarn (although much panned), written by Dan Brown. Brown's first book to feature the character Robert Langdon was even better in my opinion, "Angels & Demons".

14. Montreal baseballer, once : EXPO
The Washington Nationals baseball team started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats. There are only two Major Leagues teams that have never played in a World Series, one being the Mariners and the other the Nats.

23. Show from which "NCIS" was spun off : JAG
NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show "NCIS", a spin-off drama from "JAG" in which the main "NCIS" characters were first introduced. The big star in "NCIS" is the actor Mark Harmon.

25. ___ Beach, S.C. : MYRTLE
Myrtle Beach is a coastal city in South Carolina. With a population of only 27,000 people, Myrtle Beach copes with about 14 million tourists annually.

29. Heroin source : OPIUM
Opiates are the narcotic alkaloids found in the opium poppy plant, although some synthetic versions and derivatives of the same alkaloids are also called opiates. To produce opiates, the latex sap of the opium poppy is collected and processed. The naturally-occurring drugs of morphine and codeine can both be extracted from the sap. Some synthesis is required to make derivative drugs like heroin and oxycodone.

32. Pearl maker : OYSTER
Pearls form in oysters because of a reaction that is similar to an immune system response in higher animals. The pearl is formed as the oysters lays down successive layers of calcium carbonate around some microscopic foreign body that has penetrated the shell.

40. Stuff caught in a filter : SPAM
Apparently the term "spam", used for unwanted email, is taken from a "Monty Python" sketch. In the sketch (which I've seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So "spam" is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a "Monty Python" sketch to describe an online phenomenon ...

42. Pearl Harbor location : OAHU
O'ahu has been called "The Gathering Place", although the word "O'ahu" has no translation in Hawaiian. It seems that O'ahu is simply the name of the island. One story is that it is named after the son of the Polynesian navigator who first found the islands. The island is made up of two volcanoes, Wai’anae and Ko’olau, joined together by a broad valley, the O’ahu Plain.

49. "The Lord of the Rings" ring bearer : FRODO
Frodo Baggins is a principal character in J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings". Frodo is a Hobbit, and is charged with the quest of destroying Sauron's Ring in the fires of Mount Doom.

52. Use a Singer, say : SEW
Isaac Singer was not only an inventor, but also an actor. For much of his life, profits made from his inventions supported him while he pursued his acting career. Singer didn't actually invent the sewing machine, and never claimed to have done so. What he did do though, was invent a version of the machine that was practical and easily used in the home.

53. Cornhusk-wrapped food : TAMALE
A tamale is a traditional dish from Central America composed of a starchy dough that is steamed or boiled in a wrapper made of leaves. The dough is called masa, and can include many different ingredients including meat, cheese fruit and vegetables.

54. 1994 Peace co-Nobelist : ARAFAT
Yasser (also Yasir) Arafat was born in Cairo in 1929, the son of two Palestinians and the second-youngest of seven children. Arafat was beaten by his father as a child and so did not have a good relationship with him. Arafat did not attend his father's funeral, nor did he visit his grave. The beatings were apparently administered because the young Arafat was repeatedly attending religious services in the Jewish quarter of Cairo. Arafat's explanation was that he wanted to "study the mentality" of the Jewish people.

57. Drano target : CLOG
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 ...

60. Israeli submachine guns : UZIS
The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

62. Amount subtracted from gross weight : TARE
"Tare" is the weight of a container that is deducted from the gross weight to determine the net weight, the weight of the container’s contents.

65. State whose license plate says "Wild, Wonderful": Abbr. : WVA
The state of West Virginia was formed during the civil war when the western counties in the old state of Virginia voted to secede from the Confederate state.

66. Stimpy's cartoon cohort : REN
“The Ren and Stimpy Show” is an animated television show that ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1996. The title characters are Marland "Ren" Höek, a scrawny Chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a rotund Manx cat. Not my cup of tea ...

67. Pesticide banned in 1972 : DDT
DDT is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (don't forget now!). DDT was used with great success to control disease-carrying insects during WWII, and when made available for use after the war it became by far the most popular pesticide. And then Rachel Carson published her famous book "Silent Spring", suggesting there was a link between DDT and diminishing populations of certain wildlife. It was the public outcry sparked by the book, and reports of links between DDT and cancer, that led to the ban on the use of the chemical in 1972. That ban is touted as the main reason that the bald eagle was rescued from near extinction.

68. Second word of "The Star-Spangled Banner" : SAY
The lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” were written first as a poem by Francis Scott Key, inspired by the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry that he witnessed during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called "The Anacreontic Song", with the Anacreontic Society being a men's club in London.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Italian scooter brand : VESPA
6. Fleet opposed by Sir Francis Drake : ARMADA
12. Wrath : IRE
15. Unreactive : INERT
16. Fruit in a cereal bowl : RAISIN
17. It's smoked in a deli : LOX
18. Fireworks expert : PYROTECHNIST
20. One mile, at Churchill Downs : LAP
21. Fasten (to) : AFFIX
22. AOL or Verizon, for short : ISP
23. Hera, to the Romans : JUNO
24. He "cometh" in an O'Neill play : ICEMAN
27. Dutch cheese : EDAM
29. Head and neck physician : OTOLARYNGOLOGIST
35. Stinky Le Pew : PEPE
36. Uno + due : TRE
37. Haute couture monogram : YSL
38. Election Day mo. : NOV
39. Roman roads : ITERS
41. "Terrible" period : TWOS
43. Boris Godunov and others : TSARS
45. Cremains container : URN
46. Word after pen or gal : PAL
48. Fed. agency that conducts raids : ATF
50. Suffix with towel : -ETTE
51. Hard rubber, maybe : MASSAGE THERAPIST
55. Infomercial component : DEMO
56. Colorado city just east of Denver : AURORA
57. Grub : CHOW
59. Book of the Bible between Lev. and Deut. : NUM
61. Pub game : DARTS
64. DiCaprio, to friends : LEO
65. Alternative name for 18-, 29- or 51-Across? : WIZARD OF AAHS
69. Sculler's need : OAR
70. Like some threats and brides : VEILED
71. Heart chambers : ATRIA
72. Common taxi feature : GPS
73. Say yes : ASSENT
74. Minuscule : TEENY

Down
1. Bigwig : VIP
2. One-named Irish Grammy winner : ENYA
3. Feudal worker : SERF
4. Serial crime investigator : PROFILER
5. New York prison famous for a 1971 riot : ATTICA
6. Lob's path : ARC
7. "Go team!" : RAH!
8. Field in which people pick their work? : MINING
9. Risky way to buy a used car : AS IS
10. Drives away : DISPELS
11. Tidbit for an aardvark : ANT
12. "Angels & Demons" group whose name is Latin for "enlightened" : ILLUMINATI
13. Color similar to chestnut : ROAN
14. Montreal baseballer, once : EXPO
19. Apply, as pressure : EXERT
23. Show from which "NCIS" was spun off : JAG
25. ___ Beach, S.C. : MYRTLE
26. All over again : ANEW
28. Lamebrain : DOLT
29. Heroin source : OPIUM
30. Half of octo- : TETRA
31. Affords opportunities : OPENS DOORS
32. Pearl maker : OYSTER
33. Puts in order : SORTS
34. Something that might have you working through channels? : TV SET
40. Stuff caught in a filter : SPAM
42. Pearl Harbor location : OAHU
44. Not together : SEPARATE
47. Miseries : AGONIES
49. "The Lord of the Rings" ring bearer : FRODO
52. Use a Singer, say : SEW
53. Cornhusk-wrapped food : TAMALE
54. 1994 Peace co-Nobelist : ARAFAT
57. Drano target : CLOG
58. Amount of trouble? : HEAP
60. Israeli submachine guns : UZIS
62. Amount subtracted from gross weight : TARE
63. Body part guarded in soccer : SHIN
65. State whose license plate says "Wild, Wonderful": Abbr. : WVA
66. Stimpy's cartoon cohort : REN
67. Pesticide banned in 1972 : DDT
68. Second word of "The Star-Spangled Banner" : SAY


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2 comments :

Willie D said...

Whiffed on PROFILER, otherwise no errors. PYROTECHNIST seems like a forced word...I'd say "pyrotechnician." And nice to see TSARS make its weekly appearance...i.e., it's overused.

Sfingi said...

I loved this puzzle. All those big answers boiling down to one common AHH.

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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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