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0306-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Mar 16, Sunday





QuickLinks:
Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: David J. Kahn
THEME: In Character … there is a note accompanying today’s puzzle:
The answers to 23-, 31-, 45-, 62-, 69-, 90-, 103- and 115-Across are themselves clues to the names spelled by their circled letters.
So, each of today’s themed answers is a clue, in fact each is a clue to the name of a character in a William Shakespeare play. The name of that character is spelled out by the circled letters in each particular themed answer/clue:
23A. See blurb : COMRADE OF MERCUTIO (hiding the answer “ROMEO”)
31A. See blurb : BANQUET GHOST (hiding the answer “BANQUO”)
45A. See blurb : ELDERLY MONARCH (hiding the answer “LEAR”)
62A. See blurb : SCHEMER AGAINST CAESAR (hiding the answer “CASCA”)
69A. See blurb : LOVE INTEREST OF OLIVIA (hiding the answer “VIOLA”)
90A. See blurb : EVIL ANTAGONIST (hiding the answer “IAGO”)
103A. See blurb : MACABRE THANE (hiding the answer “MACBETH”)
115A. See blurb : UNHAPPY MALCONTENT (hiding the answer “HAMLET”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 22m 00s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … TRU (Tri), ELUDE (elide)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Spokesperson in TV insurance ads : FLO
Progressive is a popular auto insurance company, the one that uses the perky character named “Flo” as a spokeswoman. Flo is played by comedienne and actress Stephanie Courtney.

18. Manhattan developer? : BAR
The cocktail called a Manhattan is made from whiskey, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. I make my own version of a Brandy Manhattan, using brandy, sweet vermouth and orange bitters.

19. Big name in travel guides : FODOR
Fodor’s is the world’s largest publisher of English-language travel and tourist guides. The guidebooks were introduced in 1936 by Eugene Fodor, an American-Hungarian who was a keen traveller.

21. "Et tu" follower : BRUTE
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.

23. See blurb : COMRADE OF MERCUTIO (hiding the answer “ROMEO”)
In William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, Mercutio is a close friend of Romeo. Mercutio is stabbed in an altercation with Tybalt. As Mercutio dies, he cries out “A plague o' both your houses!", hence cursing both the Montagues (Romeo’s family) and Capulets (Juliet’s family). The curse is often cited mistakenly as “a pox on both your houses”.

26. It may detect a break, for short : MRI
MRI scans can be daunting for many people as they usually involve the patient lying inside a tube with the imaging magnet surrounding the body. Additionally, the scan can take up to 40 minutes in some cases. There are some open MRI scanners available that help prevent a feeling of claustrophobia. However, the image produced by open scanners are of lower quality as they operate at lower magnetic fields.

27. Hit 2011 animated film : RIO
“Rio” is a 2011 animated movie about a male blue macaw who is brought to mate with a female blue macaw in Rio de Janeiro, hence the movie’s title. Fans can go see “Rio 2” that was released in 2014.

29. Source of iron : ORE
Iron ore comes in a number of different forms, like magnetite (the most magnetic of all minerals) and hematite (the most commonly exploited iron ore).

31. See blurb : BANQUET GHOST (hiding the answer “BANQUO”)
Banquo is a character in William Shakespeare's "Macbeth". Banquo is the thane of the Scottish province of Lochaber. Macbeth has him murdered, only to have Banquo's ghost return and haunt him.

37. Czech reformer Jan : HUS
Jan Hus was Czech priest, famous today for having been burnt at the stake in 1415 as he was deemed guilty of heresy against the Catholic Church. Hus was an important contributor to Protestantism, over 100 years before Martin Luther made his famous proclamations.

45. See blurb : ELDERLY MONARCH (hiding the answer “LEAR”)
Shakespeare was inspired to write his famous drama “King Lear” by the legend of "Leir of Britain", the story of a mythological Celtic king.

52. ___ Peninsula : MALAY
The Malay Peninsula is that long, thin land mass that forms the southern-most part of the Asian mainland. On the peninsula are the countries of Malaysia, Thailand, Burma (Myanmar) and Singapore (an island nation off the southern tip of the peninsula). People of the Malay ethnic group are mainly found on the Malay peninsula.

53. Borah Peak locale : IDAHO
Up until the early 1900s, it was thought that the highest peak in the state of Idaho was Hyndman Peak (12,009 feet). Then a nameless peak in the Lost River Range was measured at 12,668 feet. The US Geological Survey named the higher mountain Mount Borah or Borah Peak after William Borah, who was a US Senator for Idaho at that time.

58. Nike ___ Max : AIR
Nike was the Greek goddess of victory, often referred to as the Winged Goddess of Victory. The athletic shoe company Nike uses the “Nike swoosh” as its logo, which is based on the goddess’s wing.

62. See blurb : SCHEMER AGAINST CAESAR (hiding the answer “CASCA”)
Julius Caesar was assassinated on the 15th (the ides) of March, 44 BC. He was attacked by a group of sixty people in the Roman Senate, and was stabbed 23 times. The first to strike a blow was Servilius Casca, who attacked Caesar from behind and stabbed him in the neck. In Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, Casca utters the words “Speak, hands, for me!” just before making the fatal blow. The following line, uttered by Caesar, is more famous though: “Et tu, Brute?”

69. See blurb : LOVE INTEREST OF OLIVIA (hiding the answer “VIOLA”)
Viola is the main character in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night". Viola is shipwrecked at the beginning of the play in a land ruled by the Duke Orsino. Viola disguises herself as a boy and works for Orsino as a page, and complications ensue. One of these complications is that the object of Orsino’s love, the Countess Olivia, falls for Viola, as she thinks Viola is a male.

79. Italian fine? : BENE
In Italian, “bene” is a word meaning “fine”.

81. Figure in "The Garden of Earthly Delights" : EVE
Hieronymus Bosch was a Dutch painter who worked late 15th and early 16th centuries. Perhaps his most recognized work is his triptych titled "The Garden of Earthly Delights".

82. Hal, to Henry IV : SON
“Prince Hal” is a term used for Prince Henry, the son of the title character in Shakespeare’s plays “Henry IV, Part 1” and “Henry IV, Part 2”. Prince Hal then becomes the King in Shakespeare's “Henry V”.

83. Titania or Oberon, in space : MOON
All of the twenty-seven moons of the planet Uranus are named for characters from literature, characters created by William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. The five major moons are so large that they would be considered planets in their own right if they were orbiting the sun directly. The names of these five moons are:
- Miranda (from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”)
- Ariel (from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”)
- Umbriel (from Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”)
- Titania (from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”)
- Oberon (from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”)

84. Former NBC drama : LA LAW
"L.A. Law" ran on NBC from 1986 to 1994, and was one of the network's most successful drama series. It took over from the equally successful "Hill Street Blues" in the Thursday night 10 p.m. slot until, after a six-year run, it was itself replaced by yet another respected drama, "E.R." The opening credits showed that famous California licence plate. The plate was on a Jaguar XJ for most of the series, but moved onto a Bentley towards the end of the run. For each series the registration sticker was updated, so no laws were being broken.

86. National alternative : ALAMO
The third largest car rental company right now is Alamo, a relative newcomer founded in 1974. Alamo made inroads (pun intended!) into the market by popularizing the idea of "unlimited mileage".

National Car Rental was founded back in 1947, a conglomerate of 24 independent rental agencies that already existed around the country.

90. See blurb : EVIL ANTAGONIST (hiding the answer “IAGO”)
Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare's "Othello". He is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello's wife. By the end of the play it's Iago himself who is discredited and Othello (before committing suicide) apologizes to Cassio for having believed Iago's lies. Heavy stuff …

97. Dos : COIFS
A “coif” is a hairdo. The term comes from an old French term “coife”, a skull-cap that was worn under a helmet back in the late 13th century.

100. Mound great : ACE
That would be an ace pitcher on a baseball mound (I think!).

101. Ham : EMOTER
The word "ham", describing a performer who overacts, is apparently a shortened form of "hamfatter" and dates back to the late 1800s. "Hamfatter" comes from a song in old minstrel shows called "The Ham-Fat Man". It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the "acting" qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

103. See blurb : MACABRE THANE (hiding the answer “MACBETH”)
Thanes were Scottish aristocrats. The most famous thanes have to be the Shakespearean characters Macbeth (the Thane of Glamis, later Thane of Cawdor) and MacDuff (the Thane of Fife). Other thanes in "Macbeth" are Ross, Lennox and Angus, as well as Menteith and Caithness.

111. Best Foreign Language Film of 2014 : IDA
The 2013 Polish film “Ida” won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2014. The film tells the story of a young woman and her aunt on a road trip investigating the death of the younger’s parents during the Holocaust.

112. Fiver : ABE
The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

114. One carrying a toon? : CEL
In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the "cel" its name.

115. See blurb : UNHAPPY MALCONTENT (hiding the answer “HAMLET”)
To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles ...
There has been centuries of debate about how one interprets Hamlet's soliloquy that begins "To be or not to be ...". My favorite opinion is that Hamlet is weighing up the pros and cons of suicide ("to not be").

120. Har-___ (tennis court surface) : TRU
A Har-Tru tennis court surface is also called “green clay” or “American clay”.

121. Part of a legend : SCALE
The legend of a map primarily explains the symbology used in that map. It might also include the map’s scale.

122. Hunted for morays : EELED
Morays are a large group of about 200 species of eels found across the world's oceans. They are carnivorous and look pretty scary but they're quite shy when confronted and present no threat to humans. One interesting thing about morays is that they will sometimes work in cooperation with the grouper fish found in reefs, the two helping each other hunt for food.

123. Sides of sectors : RADII
"Radius" (plural “radii”) is a Latin word, as one might expect, meaning "spoke of a wheel". Makes sense, huh ...?

125. Lascivious sort : SATYR
The satyrs of Greek mythology came with a very high sex drive. They are the "rude" male subjects drawn on the side of old Greek vases. The nubile maidens known as nymphs were often an object of attention for the satyrs.

126. Some speedsters, for short : SSTS
The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Famously, the Concorde routinely broke the sound barrier, and cruised at about twice the speed of sound. Above Mach 2, frictional heat would cause the plane’s aluminum airframe to soften, so airspeed was limited.

127. Photographer Adams : ANSEL
As an avid amateur photographer, I have been a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams for many years and must have read all of his books. Adams was famous for clarity and depth in his black and white images. Central to his technique was the use of the zone system, his own invention. The zone system is a way of controlling exposure in an image, particularly when there is a high contrast in the subject. Although the technique was developed primarily for black & white film, it can even apply to digital color images. In the digital world, the main technique is to expose an image for the highlights, and one or more images for the shadows. These images can then be combined digitally giving a final photograph with a full and satisfying range of exposures.

Down
1. Rude thing to drop : F-BOMB
The term “F-bomb” refers to the four-letter word beginning with the letter F. “F-bomb” was first used in print in a “Newsday” article in 1988 in a story about baseball catcher Gary Carter.

2. First lady before Michelle : LAURA
Laura Bush, wife of President George W. Bush, had her memoir "Spoken from the Heart" published in 2010. Born Laura Lane Welch, the former First Lady has a Master's degree in Library Science (as does my wife, my own First Lady!). Given that background, it's not surprising that two causes that Laura Bush focused on while in the White House were education and literacy. She established the annual National Book Festival, first held in Washington, D.C. in 2001, after having co-founded the Texas Book Festival in her home state.

Michelle Obama nee Robinson grew up on the South Side of Chicago and is sister to Craig Robinson, former coach of men's basketball at Oregon State University. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Michelle Robinson worked as an associate at the Chicago office of the Sidley Austin law firm. Barack Obama joined the firm as a summer associate and Michelle Robinson was assigned to mentor him, and as they say, one thing led to another ...

3. Senate's president pro tempore after Patrick Leahy : ORRIN HATCH
Orrin Hatch is a Republican Senator from Utah. Hatch also quite the musician, and plays the piano, violin and organ. He has composed various compositions, including a song called "Heal Our Land" that was played at the 2005 inauguration of President George W. Bush.

"Pro tempore" is a Latin phrase that best translates as "for the time being". It is used to describe a person who is acting for another, usually a superior. The President pro tempore of the US Senate is the person who presides over the Senate in the absence of the Vice President of the US.

Patrick Leahy has served as a US Senator for Vermont since 1975. That makes him the only current member of the Senate to have served prior the election of President Jimmy Carter in 1976. Leahy is a big fan of the Grateful Dead. He presented Republican colleague Orrin Hatch with a tie designed by the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia. Hatch responded by presenting Democrat Leahy with a Rush Limbaugh tie. A little “reaching across the aisle” ...

4. Movie co. behind "Boyhood" and "Transamerica" : IFC
IFC Productions is a film production company, part of IFC the Independent Film Channel (one of my favorites cable channels).

“Boyhood” sounds like an interesting 2014 film about the coming-of-age of a young boy and his older sister. The film was actually shot over an 11-year period, so that the actors were seen to be growing up at the same time as the characters that they were playing. The critics loved this movie.

"Transamerica" is a 2005 indie film that tells the story of a transgender woman on a raod trip with her long-lost son. Star of the movie is Felicity Huffman, an actress well known for performance in TV's "Desperate Housewives". Huffman received an Oscar nomination for "Transamerica".

5. He played Bond seven times : MOORE
Roger Moore is best known in the US for taking on the role of 007 in seven James Bond movies from 1973 to 1985. In my part of the world we remember him playing a very debonair hero called Simon Templar in a TV series called "The Saint" from 1962 to 1969. Moore's Templar character could very easily have morphed into a great James Bond, but by the time he was offered the part I personally think that he was just a tad too long in the tooth to pull off a credible 007.

10. Stumblebum : OAF
A “stumblebum” is a clumsy and incompetent person. The term particularly applies to a second-rate prizefighter. Back in the 1930s, the term referred to a down-and-out alcoholic, a “bum” who “stumbled” around.

11. One of two New Testament books : TIMOTHY
The New Testament’s First and Second Epistles to Timothy are letters that were written by Saint Paul to Timothy, a young colleague of his.

13. "Scandal" airer : ABC
“Scandal” is a political drama TV show centered on a former White House Communications Director named Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington. Pope has a complicated relationship with her ex-boss, President Fitzgerald Grant, and therefore a complicated relationship with the First Lady. I haven’t seen this one …

14. Food for Oliver Twist : GRUEL
"Oliver Twist" is a novel by Charles Dickens. It is a popular tale for adaptation to the big screen. There were two silent film versions, in 1909 and 1922, and the first talkie version was released in 1933, with many to follow. The latest "Oliver" for the big screen was a 2005 Roman Polanski production.

20. Kind of column : TENS
The ones, tens, and hundreds columns for example, are often used in math.

24. Giorgio's god : DIO
"Dio" is Italian for "God".

32. Brunch pie : QUICHE
The classic dish called quiche is made with eggs ("oeufs" in French). Even though the quiche is inextricably linked to French cuisine, the name "quiche" comes from the German word for cake, "Kuchen". The variant called “quiche lorraine” includes bits of smoked bacon as an ingredient.

33. Food safety org. : USDA
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) actually dates back to 1862 when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln referred to the USDA as the "people's department" as our economy had such a vast agrarian base back then.

36. Years at the Colosseum : ANNI
Anno (plural “anni”) is the Latin for "year".

The Colosseum of Rome was the largest amphitheater in the whole of the Roman Empire in its day, and could seat about 50,000 people. Even today, it is the largest amphitheater in the world. The structure was originally called the “Amphitheatrum Flavium” but the name changed to “Colosseum” when a colossal statue of Emperor Nero was located nearby.

39. Christopher ___, tippler in "The Taming of the Shrew" : SLY
Christopher Sly is a relatively minor character in William Shakespeare’s play “The Taming of the Shrew”. In the play, Sly tells us that he is from Burton Heath, and that his wife is from Wincot. Both Burton Heath and Wincot are actual villages near Stratford-upon-Avon, where Shakespeare grew up.

43. Singer Anthony : MARC
Marc Anthony is the stage name of Marco Antonio Muñiz, a Puerto Rican-American singer. Anthony first wife was Dayanara Torres, a former Miss Universe from Puerto Rico. His second wife was quite famous too … singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. He divorced from the latter in 2014.

44. Metal marble : STEELIE
A playing marble made from agate is called just that, an agate. Steelies on the other hand, are made from solid steel.

46. Duchamp's movement : DADA
Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement began in Zurich, Switzerland started by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire, frequently expressing disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.

Marcel Duchamp was a French artist whose works are associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. One of his most celebrated "works" is simply what he called "readymade" art, a urinal which he titled "Fountain". Even though this work is considered to be "a major landmark in 20th century art", the original that was submitted for exhibition was never actually displayed and had been lost forever. Replicas were commissioned by Duchamp, and are on display in many museums around the world. I have no further comment …

47. Sci-fi race : ELOI
In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called "The Time Machine", there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet's surface. The Morlocks are a race of cannibals living underground who use the Eloi as food.

50. Fourth parts in series of eight : FAS
The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

51. It's a wrap : SARONG
Sarong is the Malay word for "sheath", and a sarong was originally the garment worn by Malay men and women around their waists. The Malay sarong is actually a tube of fabric, about a yard wide and two-and-a-half yards "long". Many variations of the sarong are worn all over South Asia and the Pacific Islands. I had occasion to wear one in Hawaii many years ago, and found it very ... freeing!

58. Dumas swordsman : ATHOS
Alexandre Dumas’ "Three Musketeers" are Athos, Porthos and Aramis, and their young protégé is D'Artagnan. A musketeer was an infantry soldier who was equipped with a musket. Funnily enough, the three “musketeers" really don't use their muskets, and are better known for their prowess with their swords.

60. "I Wanna Be Sedated" rockers : RAMONES
“I Wanna Be Sedated” is a 1978 song from the American punk rock band the Ramones.

"The Ramones" were an American punk rock band. The group formed in Forest Hills, New York in the mid-seventies. Arguably, the Ramones were the first punk rock group and defined the genre. Something else that's not my cup of tea ...

63. ___ Jemison, first African-American woman in space : MAE
Mae Jemison was a crew member on the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a 1992 mission. As such, Jemison became the first African American woman to travel in space. Jemison is also a big fan of “Star Trek” and appeared on an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. That made her the first real astronaut to appear on any of the “Star Trek” shows.

64. Tag end? : GEE
The end of the word “tag” is a letter G (gee).

66. Some newcomers' study, in brief : ESL
English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

69. With 16-Down, what "stet" means : LEAVE ...
(16D. See 69-Down : … IT IN)
"Stet" is a Latin word meaning "let it stand". In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word "stet" and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

71. ___ piccata : VEAL
The dish named “piccata” originated in Italy, with the traditional meat used being veal. Whatever meat used is sliced and flattened with a tenderizer, seasoned, dredged in flour and browned in a pan. The juices from the pan are the base for the sauce, to which are added lemon juice, white wine, shallots, caper and butter.

73. Three-time All-Star Longoria for the Tampa Bay Rays : EVAN
Evan Longoria plays baseball for the Tampa Bay Rays. Evan would like everyone to know that he is no relation to Eva Longoria the actress.

74. It's good for the long haul : SEMI
A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.

76. Mel Blanc, notably : VOICE ACTOR
Mel Blanc was known as "The Man of a Thousand Voices". We've all heard Mel Blanc at one time or another, I am sure. His was the voice behind such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Woody Woodpecker, Elmer Fudd and Barney Rubble. And the words on Blanc's tombstone are ... "That's All Folks".

77. Daughter of Nereus : IONE
In Greek mythology, Nereus and Doris had fifty daughters, and these were called the sea nymphs or nereids. The nereids often hung around with Poseidon and were generally very helpful creatures to sailors in distress. Mainly they were to be found in the Aegean, where they lived with their father in a cave in the deep. Some of the more notable names of the nereids were: Agave, Asia, Calypso, Doris, Erato, Eunice and Ione.

78. Director Lee : ANG
Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as "Sense & Sensibility" (my personal favorite), "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "Hulk", "Brokeback Mountain" and "Life of Pi".

85. City on the Brazos River : WACO
In recent years, the city of Waco, Texas is perhaps most famous as the site of a siege and shootout between ATF agents and members of the Protestant sect known as the Branch Davidians. Shortly after ATF agents tried to execute a search warrant, shots were fired and at the end of the fight six people inside the Branch Davidian compound were dead, as were four agents. A fifty-day siege ensued at the end of which a final assault resulted in members of the community setting fire to the compound. Only nine people walked away from that fire. 50 adults and 25 children perished.

The Brazos River is the longest river in the state of Texas. It was originally called "Rio de los Brazos de Dios" by the Spanish, which translates as "the River of the Arms of God". So, the Brazos is literally "the arms" in English.

86. Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder: Abbr. : AGS
Loretta Lynch is the current Attorney General of the US, having assumed office in April of 2015. Lynch is the first African-American woman to hold the post, and only the second woman (Janet Reno was the first).

Eric Holder was the Attorney General of the United States from 2009 to 2015, the first African American to hold the position. Holder was close to President Obama during the presidential campaign. Holder was the campaign's legal advisor and was also one of the three members on the Obama vice-presidential selection committee, which of course opted for Vice-President Joe Biden.

87. Greek summit : OSSA
Mount Ossa in Greece is located between Mt. Pelion in the south, and the famed Mt. Olympus in the north. Mount Ossa is also known as Kissavos.

93. Many ski lodges : A-FRAMES
An A-frame house is one that has a steeply-angled roof, one forming the shape of the letter “A”. The A-frame design is popular in snowy regions, as the roof is so steeply pitched that it does not collect snow.

94. Like Lhasa apsos : TIBETAN
99. Lhasa apso and others : BREEDS
The Lhasa apso breed of dog originated in Tibet and is named after “Lhasa” (the capital city) and “apso” (a Tibetan word meaning "bearded"). The Lhasa apso has been around since 800 BC and is one of the oldest breeds in the world, one very closely related to the ancestral wolf.

102. Like polenta : MEALY
Something “mealy” resembles meal in texture, so is granular in consistency.

Polenta is a porridge made from finely ground corn. The term “polenta” is Italian.

104. First string? : ABCD
The first letters in the alphabet are A, B, C and D.

105. Inc. cover subj. : CEO
Chief executive officer (CEO)

“Inc.” is a business magazine that specializes in articles about growing companies. “Inc.” publishes a list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the country each year, calling it the “Inc. 500”. The “Inc 5000” is an expanded list also published by the magazine.

106. "Journey to ___," recurring segment on "Sesame Street" : ERNIE
For many years, I believed that the "Sesame Street" characters Bert and Ernie were named after two roles played in the Christmas classic "It's a Wonderful Life". In the movie, the policeman's name is Bert and his taxi-driving buddy is named Ernie. However, the "Sesame Street" folks have stated that the use of the same names is just a coincidence.

110. ___ Empire : INCA
The Inca people emerged as a tribe around the 12th century, in what today is southern Peru. The Incas developed a vast empire over the next 300 years, extending along most of the western side of South America. The Empire of course fell to the Spanish, finally dissolving in 1572 with the execution of Tupac Amaru, the last Incan Emperor.

118. Packers' org.? : NRA
National Rifle Association (NRA)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Spokesperson in TV insurance ads : FLO
4. Candidate's concern : IMAGE
9. Snap : FOTO
13. "Not ___!" : AGAIN
18. Manhattan developer? : BAR
19. Big name in travel guides : FODOR
20. Track runner : TRAIN
21. "Et tu" follower : BRUTE
22. Sharing word : OUR
23. See blurb : COMRADE OF MERCUTIO (hiding the answer “ROMEO”)
26. It may detect a break, for short : MRI
27. Hit 2011 animated film : RIO
28. Stay here : INN
29. Source of iron : ORE
30. An eternity : EONS
31. See blurb : BANQUET GHOST (hiding the answer “BANQUO”)
35. Crashes badly : TOTALS
37. Czech reformer Jan : HUS
38. Press (for) : SUE
39. Cut off : SHORN
40. Request after a breakdown : TOW
43. Some cleaners : MAIDS
45. See blurb : ELDERLY MONARCH (hiding the answer “LEAR”)
50. Billionaire sorts : FAT CATS
52. ___ Peninsula : MALAY
53. Borah Peak locale : IDAHO
54. Part of a foot : ARCH
55. Music appreciation : EAR
57. Lead-in to care or dare : DO I ...
58. Nike ___ Max : AIR
61. Dedicated works : ODES
62. See blurb : SCHEMER AGAINST CAESAR (hiding the answer “CASCA”)
67. How to play solitaire : ALONE
68. Some conversation interruptions : AHEMS
69. See blurb : LOVE INTEREST OF OLIVIA (hiding the answer “VIOLA”)
79. Italian fine? : BENE
80. Big head : EGO
81. Figure in "The Garden of Earthly Delights" : EVE
82. Hal, to Henry IV : SON
83. Titania or Oberon, in space : MOON
84. Former NBC drama : LA LAW
86. National alternative : ALAMO
88. Getting ready, with "up" : GEARING
90. See blurb : EVIL ANTAGONIST (hiding the answer “IAGO”)
95. Jazz (up) : SPICE
96. Place for plaques : DEN
97. Dos : COIFS
98. Bro or sis : SIB
100. Mound great : ACE
101. Ham : EMOTER
103. See blurb : MACABRE THANE (hiding the answer “MACBETH”)
109. Squeakers : MICE
111. Best Foreign Language Film of 2014 : IDA
112. Fiver : ABE
113. Always, to Shakespeare : E’ER
114. One carrying a toon? : CEL
115. See blurb : UNHAPPY MALCONTENT (hiding the answer “HAMLET”)
120. Har-___ (tennis court surface) : TRU
121. Part of a legend : SCALE
122. Hunted for morays : EELED
123. Sides of sectors : RADII
124. Atypical : ODD
125. Lascivious sort : SATYR
126. Some speedsters, for short : SSTS
127. Photographer Adams : ANSEL
128. Seedy type? : RYE

Down
1. Rude thing to drop : F-BOMB
2. First lady before Michelle : LAURA
3. Senate's president pro tempore after Patrick Leahy : ORRIN HATCH
4. Movie co. behind "Boyhood" and "Transamerica" : IFC
5. He played Bond seven times : MOORE
6. Allows in : ADMITS
7. Not follow orders or guidelines : GO ROGUE
8. Time remembered : ERA
9. Phony persona : FRONT
10. Stumblebum : OAF
11. One of two New Testament books : TIMOTHY
12. Like some old schoolhouses : ONE-ROOM
13. "Scandal" airer : ABC
14. Food for Oliver Twist : GRUEL
15. Major Italian highway : AUTOSTRADA
16. See 69-Down : … IT IN
17. Modernists, informally : NEOS
20. Kind of column : TENS
24. Giorgio's god : DIO
25. Like comebacks? : RETRO
32. Brunch pie : QUICHE
33. Food safety org. : USDA
34. Commander's place : HELM
36. Years at the Colosseum : ANNI
39. Christopher ___, tippler in "The Taming of the Shrew" : SLY
41. Earthy color : OCHER
42. "___ asking?" : WHO’S
43. Singer Anthony : MARC
44. Metal marble : STEELIE
46. Duchamp's movement : DADA
47. Sci-fi race : ELOI
48. It may come in sheets : RAIN
49. Flaps : ADOS
50. Fourth parts in series of eight : FAS
51. It's a wrap : SARONG
56. Reached, numerically : RAN TO
58. Dumas swordsman : ATHOS
59. Arctic weather phenomenon : ICE FOG
60. "I Wanna Be Sedated" rockers : RAMONES
63. ___ Jemison, first African-American woman in space : MAE
64. Tag end? : GEE
65. Didn't move : SAT
66. Some newcomers' study, in brief : ESL
69. With 16-Down, what "stet" means : LEAVE ...
70. Real-time messaging system : ONLINE CHAT
71. ___ piccata : VEAL
72. Move, informally : RELO
73. Three-time All-Star Longoria for the Tampa Bay Rays : EVAN
74. It's good for the long haul : SEMI
75. Lottery winner's cry : I’M RICH!
76. Mel Blanc, notably : VOICE ACTOR
77. Daughter of Nereus : IONE
78. Director Lee : ANG
79. Sucked dry : BLED
85. City on the Brazos River : WACO
86. Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder: Abbr. : AGS
87. Greek summit : OSSA
89. Pit-___ : A-PAT
91. Penalty for poor service, maybe : NO TIP
92. Colors 1960s-style : TIE-DYES
93. Many ski lodges : A-FRAMES
94. Like Lhasa apsos : TIBETAN
99. Lhasa apso and others : BREEDS
102. Like polenta : MEALY
103. Some electrical plugs : MALES
104. First string? : ABCD
105. Inc. cover subj. : CEO
106. "Journey to ___," recurring segment on "Sesame Street" : ERNIE
107. Unhip : NERDY
108. Lose, in a way : ELUDE
109. Tousle : MUSS
110. ___ Empire : INCA
116. Pay-view connection : PER
117. Keyboard abbr. : ALT
118. Packers' org.? : NRA
119. Up to, briefly : ‘TIL


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9 comments :

Willie D said...

I feel rather dumb (as an English major) that it took me so long to finish this thing. Shakespeare wasn't my favorite topic all those years ago. But it's nice to get a refresher course. Maybe Bill can make a few of his Manhattans and explain it all to me.

Is anyone reading about the plagiarism allegations unfolding with the Universal Syndicated crossword?

Dave Kennison said...

37:48, same two errors as Bill (TRI / ELIDE instead of TRU / ELUDE). A slow solve for me, but I loved the notion of self-cluing entries. I saw a blurb in the paper about the plagiarism thing, but haven't seen any follow-up.

BruceB said...

37:26, no errors. Clever theme, enjoyed the puzzle and its challenging clues.

Tried to read Shakespeare, but the language gap makes it too great a slog to enjoy. Did enjoy the movie 'Shakespeare in Love', especially (at the end) the interweaving of the plot of the play 'Romeo and Juliet' and the plot of movie.

Dale Stewart said...

Took me all day off-and-on to finish this but finally got it with no errors. I'm getting a better completion rate as I do more crosswords.

JaJaJoe said...

On NPR's W/E-Sun, asked about the x-word plagiarizer, Will Shortz said that Parker was relieved of his duties.

BTW, a key aspect of the IDA film is that she, its student Catholic nun character, learned that she was Jewish.

Joseph McGrath said...

Wayne Tinkle is the present coach of the men's basketball team at Oregon State University. Not Michele Obama's brother.

Joseph McGrath said...

Michele Obama's brother coached prior to Tinkle at Oregon State. His overall record during his tenure there was 39-69. Our current president has said that, "Craig Robinson is a fine coach. He could coach anywhere."

Bill Butler said...

@Joseph McGrath
Yes indeed, I should have said "former" coach. All fixed now. Thanks!

David Presberry said...

I got the exact same two wrong

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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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