Top Line

Search by Date

DD MMM YY or MMDD-YY

Search by Puzzle Number

e.g. 1225-09, 0704-10, 1025-10 etc.

Daily Solution by Email

Enter your email address

1208-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Dec 16, Thursday





QuickLinks:
Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications
Solution to today's New York Times crossword found online at the Seattle Times website
Jump to a complete list of today's clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Damon J. Gulczynski
THEME: Punny Initials
Today’s themed answers are common phrases that include two initials at the start, but those initials have been reinterpreted as two-letter words:
17A. Singers who go from "sol" straight to "ti"? : LA DODGERS
25A. Comedians who do material on the Freudian psyche? : ID CARDS
37A. "Young 'uns, yer cuzzins are here" and others? : PA ANNOUNCEMENTS
46A. Shipping containers on Italy's longest river? : PO BOXES
58A. What Stephen King's editor provided for a 1986 novel? : IT SUPPORT
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 43s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. "Downton Abbey" maid : EDNA
Edna Braithwaite was a general maid at Downton Abbey who leaves and returns in the storyline as a lady’s maid. Edna is played by Swedish actress MyAnna Buring.

Fans of the wonderful TV drama “Downton Abbey” will be very familiar with the exterior appearance of Highclere Castle in Hampshire. Highclere is used as the location for exterior and many interior shots of the fictitious Grantham residence called Downton Abbey. The exterior of Highclere is very reminiscent of the Houses of Parliament building in London. That similarity exists because the house was largely rebuilt from 1839 to 1842 by architect Sir Charles Barry soon after he finished work on the refurbished Houses of Parliament.

17. Singers who go from "sol" straight to "ti"? : LA DODGERS
The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

20. Clarice's org. in "The Silence of the Lambs" : FBI
“The Silence of the Lambs” is a 1991 psychological drama based on a novel of the same name by Thomas Harris. Jodie Foster plays FBI trainee Clarice Starling, and Anthony Hopkins plays the creepy cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter. “The Silence of the Lambs” swept the Big Five Oscars (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay) for that year, being only the third movie ever to do so. The other two so honored were “It Happened One Night” (1934) and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975).

23. Midwest hub : O’HARE
O’Hare International is the fourth busiest airport in the world. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 and 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built, there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. This name is the derivation of the airport’s current location identifier: ORD (OR-chard D-ouglas). Orchard Place Airport was renamed to O’Hare International in 1949 in honor of Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare who grew up in Chicago. O’Hare was the US Navy’s first flying ace and a Medal of Honor recipient in WWII.

25. Comedians who do material on the Freudian psyche? : ID CARDS
Sigmund Freud created a structural model of the human psyche, breaking it into three parts: the id, the ego, and the super-ego. The id is that part of the psyche containing the basic instinctual drives. The ego seeks to please the id by causing realistic behavior that benefits the individual. The super-ego almost has a parental role, contradicting the id by introducing critical thinking and morals to behavioral choices.

28. Dharma teachers : LAMAS
“Lama” is a Tibetan word, meaning “chief” or “high priest”.

In the context of Buddhism, “dharma” can mean the collection of teachings and doctrines of the faith. The term is also used to describe proper and correct behavior that maintains the natural order of things.

33. Birthplace of Galileo : PISA
Galileo Galilei may be the most famous son of the city of Pisa in Italy and was considered by many to have been the father of modern science. In the world of physics, Galileo postulated that objects of different masses would fall at the same rate provided they did so in a vacuum (so there was no air resistance). There is a story that he dropped two balls of different masses from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate this, but this probably never happened. Centuries later, Astronaut David Scott performed Galileo’s proposed experiment when he dropped a hammer and feather on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission and we all saw the objects hit the moon surface, at exactly the same time.

37. "Young 'uns, yer cuzzins are here" and others? : PA ANNOUNCEMENTS
Public address (PA) system

42. Octave's follower, in some poetry : SESTET
A sestet is a group of six lines of poetry similar to a quatrain, a group of four lines.

43. Groundbreaking 1990s ABC sitcom : ELLEN
Ellen DeGeneres is a very, very successful TV personality, having parlayed her career in stand-up comedy into lucrative gigs as an actress and talk show host. Back in 1997 DeGeneres chose the “Oprah Winfrey Show” to announce that she was a lesbian. Her character on “The Ellen Show” also came out as a lesbian in a scene with her therapist, who was played by Oprah Winfrey. Nice twist!

45. Jerk : SCHMO
“Schmo” (also “shmo”) is American slang for a dull or boring person, from the Yiddish word “shmok”.

46. Shipping containers on Italy's longest river? : PO BOXES
The Po flows right across northern Italy, and is the longest river in the country. The largest city on the Po is Turin.

50. Pitcher of milk? : ELSIE
Elsie the Cow is the mascot of the Borden Company. Elsie first appeared at the New York World's Fair in 1939, introduced to symbolize the perfect dairy product. She is so famous and respected that she has been awarded the degrees of Doctor of Bovinity, Doctor fo Human Kindness and Doctor of Ecownomics. Elsie was also given a husband named Elmer the Bull. Elmer eventually moved over to the chemical division of Borden where he gave his name to Elmer's Glue.

53. Jesus, for one : ALOU
Jesus Alou played major league baseball, as did his brothers Matty and Felipe, and as does Felipe's son Moises.

54. One of a dozen? : ZEE
One of the letters in the word “dozen” is the letter Z (zee).

57. Carrier name until 1997 : USAIR
From 1953, what we recently referred to as US Airways was called Allegheny Airlines. In the seventies, customers became very dissatisfied with the company’s service levels as it struggled to manage a rapid expansion in its number of flights. These problems earned the airline the nickname “Agony Air”. Allegheny tried to leave the “agony” behind in 1979 and changed its name to USAir. In 1997 the name was changed again, to US Airways. US Airways merged with American Airlines in 2013, and the “US Airways” brand name was gradually replaced with “American Airlines”.

58. What Stephen King's editor provided for a 1986 novel? : IT SUPPORT
“It” is a 1986 horror novel penned by Stephen King. The novel was adapted into a 1990 miniseries of the same name. I don’t do Stephen King …

Information technology (IT)

60. MASH supply : SERUM
The first Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) was deployed in August 1945. MASH units really came into the public consciousness after publication of the 1969 Richard Hooker novel “MASH”, which spawned the hit film and TV series that were both called “M*A*S*H”.

61. Dope : POOP
“Poop” is a slang term meaning “relevant and up-to-date information”. Back in the 1940s, a “poop sheet” was a bulletin with the latest information.

Our use of the word “dope” to mean “inside information” probably comes from horse racing. The idea is that a better might have information about which horse has been drugged (doped) to influence its performance.

63. "There is no greater evil than making light of the ___": Lao-tzu : ENEMY
Lao Tse (also Lao-Tzu) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

64. Last monarch of the House of Stuart : ANNE
Queen Anne was the last of the Stuarts to rule in the British Isles, and the first sovereign of the Kingdom of Great Britain (after England and Scotland united). Anne was the last of the Stuart line because she died without any surviving children, despite having been pregnant seventeen times.

Down
2. Spirited horse : ARAB
The Arab (also “Arabian”) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.

3. Band that used a pay-what-you-want model to sell their 2007 album : RADIOHEAD
When the rock band Radiohead self-released their 2007 studio album “In Rainbows”, it was a big deal for the music industry. Radiohead offered a digital version of the album using a pay-what-you-want pricing model. Reportedly, most fans paid what would be a normal retail price for the download version of the album. That’s not bad, considering the relatively low cost to produce a download vs. a CD.

4. Mahmoud Abbas's grp. : PLO
Mahmoud Abbas took over as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 2004 after the death of Yasser Arafat. Abbas is also the President of the Palestinian National Authority, a position equivalent to "head of state".

5. Annual mystery-writing award : EDGAR
The Edgar Allan Poe Awards (the Edgars) are presented annually by the Mystery Writers of America.

6. Engine type : DIESEL
Rudolf Diesel was a German engineer, the inventor of the diesel engine. Diesel died under mysterious circumstances, having disappeared from a passenger vessel sailing from Antwerp to London. Whether death was due to an accident, suicide or murder is the subject of much speculation.

7. Old-timey "not" : NARY
The adjective "nary" means "not one", as in “nary a soul”.

8. Lou Gehrig's Disease, for short : ALS
Baseball legend Lou Gehrig was known as a powerhouse. He was a big hitter and just kept on playing. Gehrig broke the record for the most consecutive number of games played, and he stills holds the record for the most career grand slams. His durability earned him the nickname “The Iron Horse”. Sadly, he died in 1941 at 37-years-old suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an illness we now call “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”. The New Yankees retired the number four on 4th of July 1939 in his honor, making Lou Gehrig the first baseball player to have a number retired.

9. "When the ___ Over" (1967 Doors song) : MUSIC’S
The Doors formed in 1965 in Los Angeles. The band chose their name from a book by Aldous Huxley called “The Doors of Perception”.

12. Like many mosaics : TILED
In the Middle Ages, mosaics were often dedicated to the Muses. The term “mosaic” translates as “of the Muses”.

13. Oracles : SEERS
In Ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word "oracle" derives from the Latin "orare" meaning "to speak", which is the same root for our word "orator".

22. "Poor Richard's Almanack" collection : ADAGES
Poor Richard's Almanack was an annual publication authored by none other than Benjamin Franklin. The first edition hit the shelves in 1732, and was very, very successful, selling about 10,000 copies a year. Apparently Napoleon Bonaparte was a big fan.

24. Funny Youngman : HENNY
Henny Youngman was comedian known for his one-liners, most famously “Take my wife – please!” Youngman grew up in Brooklyn, New York but was actually born in Liverpool in England.

25. Apple offering : IMAC
The iMac is a desktop computer platform from Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an "all-in-one" design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors, that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such strawberry, blueberry and lime.

27. ___ latte : CHAI
Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with "chai" being the Hindi word for "tea". We often called tea "a cup of char" growing up in Ireland, with "char" being our slang word for tea, derived from "chai".

29. Schwarzenegger, informally : ARNIE
The body-builder, actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Graz in Austria, the son of the local police chief. Schwarzenegger’s family name translates into the more prosaic "black plough man". In his bodybuilding days, he was often referred to as the Austrian Oak. When he was Governor of California he was called “the Governator”, a play on his role in the “The Terminator” series of movies.

33. "Casino" actor Joe : PESCI
Joe Pesci got his big break in movies with a supporting role in “Raging Bull” starring Robert De Niro, earning Pesci an Oscar nomination early in his career. There followed a string of gangster roles played alongside De Niro, namely “Once Upon a Time in America”, “Goodfellas” and “Casino”. But I like Pesci’s comedic acting best of all. He was marvelous in the “Home Alone” films, the “Lethal Weapon” series, and my personal favorite, “My Cousin Vinny”. Pesci gets a mention in the stage musical “Jersey Boys”, which isn’t too surprising as he is one of the show’s producers.

35. Subj. group with a noted gender imbalance : STEM
The acronym STEM stands for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. An alternative acronym with a similar meaning is MINT, standing for mathematics, information sciences, natural sciences and technology.

38. They may be bookmarked : URLS
Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

44. Admiral killed at the Battle of Trafalgar : NELSON
The Battle of Trafalgar was fought between the British Navy led by Admiral Lord Nelson, and the combined navies of France and Spain led by French Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve. The engagement took place off the southwest coast of Spain near Cape Trafalgar, hence the battle’s name. At the end of the day, Admiral Lord Nelson was dead, but twenty-two Franco-Spanish ships were lost without one sinking of a British vessel.

46. Button with two vertical lines : PAUSE
That would be on DVD player’s remote control, say.

47. Either twin actress on "Full House" : OLSEN
I know very little about the Olsen twins, but I am told that folks believe Mary-Kate and Ashley to be identical twins. They look very much alike, but are in fact fraternal twins. The sisters were cast as Michelle Tanner on the eighties sitcom “Full House”, taking turns playing the role.

49. Intense dislike : ODIUM
“Odium” is a strong dislike or aversion. The term is Latin in origin and relates to the Latin word “odi” meaning “I hate”.

51. Jeweler's eyepiece : LOUPE
A loupe is a small magnifying lens that is held in the hand. “Loupe” is the French name for such a device.

55. "Dancing With the Stars" co-host Andrews : ERIN
Erin Andrews is a sports reporter. I don’t watch much in the line of sports but I do know Ms. Andrews for her appearances on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010. She did quite well and made it to the final of the show. And now, she is the show’s co-host alongside Tom Bergeron.

56. Rebuke to a traitor : 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.

58. Hoppy quaff, for short : IPA
India Pale Ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

"Quaff" is both a verb and a noun. One quaffs (takes a hearty drink) of a quaff (a hearty drink).

59. Small dog, informally : POM
The Pomeranian is a breed of small dog, named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50% …

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Bend out of shape : WARP
5. "Downton Abbey" maid : EDNA
9. Rains lightly : MISTS
14. Like some accounts : ORAL
15. Part of a gauge : DIAL
16. Not knot? : UNTIE
17. Singers who go from "sol" straight to "ti"? : LA DODGERS
19. So yesterday, say : STALE
20. Clarice's org. in "The Silence of the Lambs" : FBI
21. "Let's not get too excited now" : EASY
22. Not so stuffy : AIRIER
23. Midwest hub : O’HARE
25. Comedians who do material on the Freudian psyche? : ID CARDS
26. Yearned : ACHED
28. Dharma teachers : LAMAS
30. Wunderkind : PHENOM
32. Old shirt, perhaps : RAG
33. Birthplace of Galileo : PISA
37. "Young 'uns, yer cuzzins are here" and others? : PA ANNOUNCEMENTS
40. Shipshape : TIDY
41. Prefix with -sect : TRI-
42. Octave's follower, in some poetry : SESTET
43. Groundbreaking 1990s ABC sitcom : ELLEN
45. Jerk : SCHMO
46. Shipping containers on Italy's longest river? : PO BOXES
50. Pitcher of milk? : ELSIE
52. Dawn-to-dusk : ALL DAY
53. Jesus, for one : ALOU
54. One of a dozen? : ZEE
57. Carrier name until 1997 : USAIR
58. What Stephen King's editor provided for a 1986 novel? : IT SUPPORT
60. MASH supply : SERUM
61. Dope : POOP
62. Getting the job done : ON IT
63. "There is no greater evil than making light of the ___": Lao-tzu : ENEMY
64. Last monarch of the House of Stuart : ANNE
65. Course list : MENU

Down
1. Villain in some fairy tales : WOLF
2. Spirited horse : ARAB
3. Band that used a pay-what-you-want model to sell their 2007 album : RADIOHEAD
4. Mahmoud Abbas's grp. : PLO
5. Annual mystery-writing award : EDGAR
6. Engine type : DIESEL
7. Old-timey "not" : NARY
8. Lou Gehrig's Disease, for short : ALS
9. "When the ___ Over" (1967 Doors song) : MUSIC’S
10. Prefix with squad : INTRA-
11. Flight part : STAIR
12. Like many mosaics : TILED
13. Oracles : SEERS
18. Perfectly precise : DEAD ON
22. "Poor Richard's Almanack" collection : ADAGES
24. Funny Youngman : HENNY
25. Apple offering : IMAC
26. Datebook abbr. : APPT
27. ___ latte : CHAI
29. Schwarzenegger, informally : ARNIE
31. Assorted : MOTLEY
33. "Casino" actor Joe : PESCI
34. Hot, as a basketball shooter : IN THE ZONE
35. Subj. group with a noted gender imbalance : STEM
36. Concerning : AS TO
38. They may be bookmarked : URLS
39. Goof : MESS UP
43. Out of service? : EX-ARMY
44. Admiral killed at the Battle of Trafalgar : NELSON
46. Button with two vertical lines : PAUSE
47. Either twin actress on "Full House" : OLSEN
48. Play loudly : BLARE
49. Intense dislike : ODIUM
51. Jeweler's eyepiece : LOUPE
53. Loads : A TON
55. "Dancing With the Stars" co-host Andrews : ERIN
56. Rebuke to a traitor : ET TU
58. Hoppy quaff, for short : IPA
59. Small dog, informally : POM


Return to top of page

6 comments :

Charley Darwin said...

MASH units used plasma, not serum. Serum lacks the clotting factors of blood, is harder to prepare, and provides less volume per unit of blood that you start with. To that extent, this was an erroneous clue.
(I'm a surgeon.)

Dave Kennison said...

22:34, no errors, iPad. For me, a clumsy solve, with lots of missteps.

Tom M. said...

Thought it had to be a rebus. Then, seeing it wasn't, had some fun finishing it.

BruceB said...

12:36, no errors. In tune with the setter today. All initial guesses turned out to be correct.

Anonymous said...

22:50, 3 errors. Just the opposite of BruceB, I was not anywhere near in sync with this setter. Supremely stupid theme. Had to chisel and scrape the entire NE corner, and didn't notice the mistakes I made in the bottom center until it was too late. I was actually just happy to finish the grid and escape a Thursday without a DNF.

In short, POOR.

Glenn said...

0 errors. Some wonky cluing all over the grid, but nothing that couldn't be overcome.

Adsense Wide Skyscraper

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

Blog Archive