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1206-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Dec 16, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ed Sessa
THEME: Me and My Drum
Today’s themed answers each start with a hidden syllable. Together, these syllables make up the line PA RUM PUM PUM PUM, which along with the line “Me and my drum” come from the Christmas classic “Little Drummer Boy”.
53A. Following the shaded squares, the end to a seasonal song : ME AND MY DRUM

20A. End of a heated exchange, perhaps : PARTING SHOT
26A. Make messy, as a blanket : RUMPLE
30A. Pedicurist's stone : PUMICE
44A. Heart, essentially : PUMPER
47A. Beat the stuffing out of : PUMMEL
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 02s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Archie Bunker, notably : BIGOT
“Bigot” is a French word that back in the late 1500s meant “sanctimonious person, religious hypocrite”. We use the term today to describe someone who is biased towards his or her own group, and who is intolerant of those outside of that group.

11. Fig. on an auto sticker : MPG
Miles per gallon (mpg)

14. Indian prince : RAJAH
“Raja” (also “rajah”) is word derived from Sanskrit that is used particularly in India for a monarch or princely ruler. The female form is “rani” (also “ranee”) and is used for a raja’s wife.

15. Hi in HI : ALOHA
The Hawaiian word "Aloha" has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently "aloha" has come to mean "hello" and "goodbye", but only since the mid-1800s.

Hawaii (HI)

19. Hither's opposite : YON
“Hither and yon” is a phrase meaning “from here to over there”.

22. H.I.V. drug : AZT
AZT is the abbreviated name for the drug azidothymidine, much used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. AZT was originally developed in the seventies as a potential treatment for retroviruses (cancer-causing viruses), although it was never approved for use in treatment. In 1984, it was confirmed that AIDS was caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), so scientists turned to known antiviral drugs in the search for a viable treatment. Burroughs-Wellcome came up with a treatment regime using AZT, and filed a patent in 1985. The patent was challenged in court but the patent expired anyway in 2005 without any decision being made. There are now at least four generic forms of AZT approved for sale in the US.

30. Pedicurist's stone : PUMICE
Pumice is volcanic rock that is formed by lava cooling. There are bubbles in pumice due to water and carbon dioxide frothing out of the lava as it cools. Because of the frothy structure, pumice is relatively light and is a great thermal insulator. As such, it is used in construction to make insulating breeze blocks.

31. Pedicurist's stick : EMERY
Emery is a very hard type of rock that is crushed for use as an abrasive. Emery paper is made by gluing small particles of emery to paper. Emery boards are just emery paper with a cardboard backing. And emery boards are primarily used for filing nails.

32. Poise : APLOMB
“Aplomb” is such a lovely word, meaning confidence and assurance. It is a French word that literally means “perpendicularity”, or “on the plumb line”. The idea is that someone with aplomb is poised, upright, balanced.

35. Goose liver spread : PATE
Pâté is a rich spreadable paste made up of a mixture of ground meat and fat, to which various vegetables, herbs and spices may be added. The most famous version of the paste is pâté de foie gras, made from the fattened livers of geese ("foie gras" means "fat liver" in French).

36. Game show hire : EMCEE
The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism standing for Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

41. Rapid tempo : PRESTO
On a musical score, presto is used to indicate a fast tempo. "Presto" is the Italian word for "quick".

43. Dessert that jiggles : JELL-O
If you like Jell-O, then you want to stop by LeRoy, New York where you can visit the only Jell-O museum in the world. While at the museum, you can walk along the Jell-O Brick Road …

52. Addams Family member : ITT
In the television sitcom "The Addams Family", the family had a frequent visitor called Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Cousin Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.
They're creepy and they're kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They're altogether ooky,
The Addams Family.

53. Following the shaded squares, the end to a seasonal song : ME AND MY DRUM
The Christmas song “The Little Drummer Boy” was written by Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941 (as “Carol of the Drum”). The first recording of the song was in 1955, by the famous Trapp Family Singers of “The Sound of Music” fame. Although many, many artists have recorded “The Little Drummer Boy” since then, my guess is that the best-known recording today is the 1977 medley with “Peace on Earth” released by Bing Crosby and David Bowie.

60. Filmdom's Flynn : ERROL
Errol Flynn was born 1909 in Tasmania, Australia where he was raised. In his twenties, Flynn lived in the UK where he pursued his acting career. Around the same time he starred in an Australian film “In the Wake of the Bounty” and then appeared in a British film “Murder at Monte Carlo”. It was in the latter film that he was noticed by Warner Brothers who brought him to America. Flynn’s non-American heritage shone through even while he was living the American dream in California. He regularly played cricket, along with his friend David Niven, in the Hollywood Cricket Club.

61. Witherspoon of "Four Christmases" : REESE
Reese is not actually actress Witherspoon’s given name. She started out life as Laura Jeanne Witherspoon. Reese is her mother’s maiden name.

63. Playing marble : AGATE
Agate is a micro-crystalline form of quartz (so is related to sand/silica). Some agate samples have deposited layers that give a striped appearance, and these are called "banded agate".

65. Dorm monitors, for short : RAS
RAs are resident assistants or resident advisers, the peer leaders found in residence halls, particularly on a college campus.

66. Cartridge filler : TONER
The key features of a laser printer (or copier) are that it uses plain paper and produces quality text at high speed. Laser printers work by projecting a laser image of the printed page onto a rotating drum that is coated with photoconductors (material that becomes conductive when exposed to light). The areas of the drum exposed to the laser carry a different charge than the unexposed areas. Dry ink (toner) sticks to the exposed areas due to electrostatic charge. The toner is then transferred to paper by contact and is fused into the paper by the application of heat. So, that explains why paper coming out of a laser printer is warm, and sometimes powdery.

Down
2. Pop singer ___ Del Rey : LANA
Lana Del Rey is the stage name of singer/songwriter Elizabeth Grant. Del Rey calls herself a “self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra”. Nice …

3. Not completely shut : AJAR
Our word "ajar" is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which "a char" means "slightly open".

6. Hair over the forehead : BANGS
“Bangs” is another word that caught me out when I arrived in the US. “Bangs” back in Ireland are called “a fringe”. Apparently the US term is derived from the hair on horses somehow.

8. Invaders of ancient Rome : GOTHS
The East Germanic tribe called the Goths has two main branches, called the Ostrogoths and the Visigoths. The Visigothic capital was the city of Toulouse in France, whereas the Ostrogoth capital was the Italian city of Ravenna just inland of the Adriatic coast. It was the Visigoths who sacked Rome in 410 CE, heralding the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

11. Mr. ___ of "The Karate Kid" : MIYAGI
Pat Morita was a Japanese-American actor, born in Isleton, California. Morita’s most noted roles were playing “Arnold” on TV’s “Happy Days”, and Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid” movies. Morita was just a child during WWII and spent most of it in the Gila River internment camp in Arizona with his family

12. Mood-enhancing drug : PROZAC
The most commonly prescribed antidepressants in the US (in 2010 anyway) are:
  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Celexa (citalopram)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)
  • Desyrel (trazodone)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Paxil (paroxetine)

25. Maple leaf, for Canada : EMBLEM
The current design of the Canadian National Flag, known as “the Maple Leaf”, has been in place since 1965. The design made its first appearance on February 15th of that year, and so that date is celebrated annually as National Flag of Canada Day.

27. Thurman of "Kill Bill" : UMA
“Kill Bill” is a 3-part Quentin Tarantino movie (so I haven’t seen it!). “Kill Bill” started off as one film, but as the running time was over four hours, it was split into two “volumes”, released several months apart in 2003 and 2004. There has been a lot of talk about making “Kill Bill: Volume 3”.

28. New York City cultural venue, with "the" : MET
The Metropolitan Opera (often “the Met”) of New York City is the largest classical music organization in the country, presenting about 220 performances each and every year. Founded in 1880, the Met is renowned for using technology to expand its audiences. Performances have been broadcast live on radio since 1931, and on television since 1977. And since 2006 you can go see a live performance from New York in high definition on the big screen, at a movie theater near you …

30. "The Bells" poet : POE
Edgar Allan Poe lived a life of many firsts. Poe is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn’t really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious from either drugs or alcohol. Poe died a few days later in hospital at 39 years of age.

32. Morning hrs. : AMS
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.

34. MGM lion : LEO
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.

38. Street of film fame : ELM
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is a Wes Craven slasher-horror film, released in 1984. As I don’t do “slasher” nor “horror”, I only learned relatively recently that Johnny Depp was in the movie, making his feature film debut.

40. Capitol Hill sort, for short : POL
Politician (pol)

Washington D.C.’s designer Pierre L’Enfant chose the crest of a hill as the site for the future Congress House. He called the location “Jenkins Hill” and “Jenkins Heights”. Earlier records show the name as “New Troy”. Today we call it “Capitol Hill”.

43. Assemble in a makeshift way : JURY-RIG
“To jury-rig” (sometimes “jerry-rig”) is to execute a makeshift repair or to manufacture a temporary contrivance. The term comes from sailing ships in which a jury rig is an improvised mast and yards that is erected as a replacement when the original mast is damaged or lost.

44. Big pharma company : PFIZER
Pfizer is a pharmaceutical company based in New York City that was founded in 1849 by cousins Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart. Pfizer has an impressive list of successful products that includes Lipitor (to lower cholesterol), Viagra (to help with erectile disfunction) and Celebrex (an anti-inflammatory).

Big Pharma is the nickname for the pharmaceutical industry. The nickname comes from the acronym for the lobbying group for the industry, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

47. Milne's "Mr. ___ Passes By" : PIM
A. A. Milne (of “Winnie-the-Pooh” fame) wrote a play called “Mr. Pim Passes By” in 1919. The play was a big hit and starred Leslie Howard in the original London production.

49. Wrap brand : SARAN
What’s known as plastic wrap in America, we call cling-film in Ireland. The brand name Saran wrap is often used generically in the US, while Glad wrap is common down under. Plastic wrap was one of those unintended inventions, a byproduct of a development program to create a hard plastic cover for cars.

50. Historically safe investment, informally : T-NOTE
A Treasury note (T-Note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-Note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A T-Bill is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-Bond matures in 20-30 years.

51. Alfred who was a follower of Freud : ADLER
Alfred Adler was one of the group of medical professionals that founded the psychoanalytic movement. Today Adler is less famous than his colleague, Sigmund Freud.

58. Diner on TV's "Alice" : MEL’S
The sitcom “Alice” is set in Mel’s Diner, which is supposedly frequented by locals and truckers on the outskirts of Phoenix. There is a real Mel’s Diner in Phoenix, and the restaurant’s sign is used in the opening credits. The real-world Mel’s was called “Chris’ Diner”, but the owner agreed to a temporary change in name for the purposes of the show. But, “Chris” never came back, and “Mel’s” is still serving customers today.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Parts of a crab that grab : CLAWS
6. Archie Bunker, notably : BIGOT
11. Fig. on an auto sticker : MPG
14. Indian prince : RAJAH
15. Hi in HI : ALOHA
16. Wrath : IRE
17. Broadcasting sign : ON AIR
18. Away from the office : NOT IN
19. Hither's opposite : YON
20. End of a heated exchange, perhaps : PARTING SHOT
22. H.I.V. drug : AZT
23. Endures : LASTS
24. Kingly : REGAL
26. Make messy, as a blanket : RUMPLE
30. Pedicurist's stone : PUMICE
31. Pedicurist's stick : EMERY
32. Poise : APLOMB
35. Goose liver spread : PATE
36. Game show hire : EMCEE
37. Spring : LEAP
41. Rapid tempo : PRESTO
43. Dessert that jiggles : JELL-O
44. Heart, essentially : PUMPER
47. Beat the stuffing out of : PUMMEL
48. Boxer Patterson : FLOYD
49. It'll take you to another level : STAIR
52. Addams Family member : ITT
53. Following the shaded squares, the end to a seasonal song : ME AND MY DRUM
59. Teen blemish : ZIT
60. Filmdom's Flynn : ERROL
61. Witherspoon of "Four Christmases" : REESE
62. Fashion look with long 6-Down and eye liner : EMO
63. Playing marble : AGATE
64. Drive ahead : IMPEL
65. Dorm monitors, for short : RAS
66. Cartridge filler : TONER
67. Criminal evidence, with "the" : GOODS

Down
1. Alfalfa or buckwheat : CROP
2. Pop singer ___ Del Rey : LANA
3. Not completely shut : AJAR
4. "Hold on a sec!" : WAIT!
5. In a piercing voice : SHRILLY
6. Hair over the forehead : BANGS
7. Admission of defeat : I LOST
8. Invaders of ancient Rome : GOTHS
9. Home of Wright State University : OHIO
10. Display of bad temper : TANTRUM
11. Mr. ___ of "The Karate Kid" : MIYAGI
12. Mood-enhancing drug : PROZAC
13. Softhearted : GENTLE
21. Not, to a Scot : NAE
25. Maple leaf, for Canada : EMBLEM
26. Exercise segment : REP
27. Thurman of "Kill Bill" : UMA
28. New York City cultural venue, with "the" : MET
29. Like some boarding schools : PREPPY
30. "The Bells" poet : POE
32. Morning hrs. : AMS
33. Sales tax fig. : PCT
34. MGM lion : LEO
36. Always, in verse : E’ER
38. Street of film fame : ELM
39. Keg contents : ALE
40. Capitol Hill sort, for short : POL
42. What's your beef? : RED MEAT
43. Assemble in a makeshift way : JURY-RIG
44. Big pharma company : PFIZER
45. Final syllable of a word : ULTIMA
46. Things seen on many state license plates : MOTTOS
47. Milne's "Mr. ___ Passes By" : PIM
49. Wrap brand : SARAN
50. Historically safe investment, informally : T-NOTE
51. Alfred who was a follower of Freud : ADLER
54. Thus, to Gaius : ERGO
55. Car in a showroom : DEMO
56. Car in a tow lot, perhaps : REPO
57. Preowned : USED
58. Diner on TV's "Alice" : MEL’S


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5 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

8:07, no errors, iPad. Loved the theme. Love the song. There are so many great versions, but I think I like Bob Seger's best:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qOe6REmAf8g

Or Heintje's version, in German:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Itl953WWra4

Or this one, from Pentatonix:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=B6rfjdUOJLM

Enough ... :-)

Dale Stewart said...

No errors. I don't mean to be cynical but I've always thought that this song is kind of ridiculous. If you are a newborn baby, would you want some kid coming in and playing a snare drum in your ear? If you were Mother Mary would you allow this kind of noise being foisted on your baby? I know the kid meant well but maybe he could have waited a few years.

Tom M. said...

Nice and GENTLE for the Christmas season, but disappointed with its lack of pizzazz in January syndication. That's not the puzzle's fault, of course.

BruceB said...

10:12, no errors. Nice pre-Christmas theme, we syndicatees get it in mid-January. Saw the theme after entering the RA and first PUM. Had to run the song through my head to remember the last line.

Anonymous said...

8 mins 37 sec, no errors. Good theme, made me have to jog my memory.

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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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