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1215-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Dec 16, Thursday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jacob Stulberg
THEME: Deck the Halls
We have a rebus puzzle today, with the syllables FA and LA in many squares. The FA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA reveal answer comes from the Christmas Carol “Deck the Halls”.
61A. Christmastime refrain : FA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 14m 43s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. Only tennis player to have won each Grand Slam event at least four times : GRAF
Steffi Graf is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from Germany. Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, more than any other man or woman other than Margaret Court. She is married to another former World No. 1, namely Andre Agassi.

13. Mrs. Alexander Hamilton : ELIZA
Elizabeth “Eliza” Schuyler Hamilton was the wife of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Eliza was with her husband when he passed away the day after his famous duel with Vice President Aaron Burr.

14. Reuters competitor : UPI
Founded in 1958, United Press International (UPI) used to be one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. UPI ran into trouble with the change in media formats at the end of the twentieth century and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands, still exists today but with just a handful of employees.

15. Words to live by : CREDO
A creed or credo is a confession of faith, or a system of belief or principles. “Credo” is Latin for “I believe”.

19. Doc's image, e.g.? : 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.

In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale called “Snow White”, the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The seven dwarfs are:
  • Doc (the leader of the group)
  • Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife …)
  • Happy
  • Sleepy
  • Bashful
  • Sneezy
  • Dopey

22. Singer with the 2008 album "And Winter Came ..." : 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!

24. Trendy type : FASHION PLATE
A “fashion plate” is a fashionable person, someone who dresses in the latest fashions. The term originally applied to illustrations (plates) that were used to disseminate fashionable styles in the 1800s and early 1900s.

34. It's not allowed in many classrooms : GUM
And not anywhere in this house either …

37. Discriminatory part of post-Reconstruction legislation : GRANDFATHER CLAUSE
The term “grandfather clause” originated in new state constitutions adopted in some of the Southern states after the Civil War. Clauses were included in these constitutions that were designed to restrict voting rights of non-whites. The strategy used was to introduce laws that restricted voters across the board, but then add clauses that exempted persons allowed to vote before the Civil War, and their descendants, effectively boosting the size of the white electorate. This treatment of “descendants” (grandchildren) gave rise to the term “grandfather clause”.

47. Chippendales dancers have nice ones : ABS
Chippendales is a big touring operation featuring exotic male dancers. The show started out as a nightclub in Los Angeles in the early eighties. The club name was inspired by the Chippendale-style furniture used in the club.

48. Short-stemmed vessel : PARFAIT GLASS
A parfait is a frozen dessert made from sugar, syrup, egg and cream. The American version of this popular French dessert is a layered creation, featuring parfait cream, ice cream and flavored gelatins topped with whipped cream and possibly a liqueur. The term “parfait” is French for “perfect”.

52. Actor Epps : OMAR
Omar Epps is the actor who played Eric Forman on the excellent television series “House”. Prior to playing Dr. Forman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Grant on “ER”. And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.

56. Bygone record label : ARISTA
Arista Records was set up as part of Columbia Pictures by one Clive Davis. He chose "Arista" as it was the name of the New York City Honor Society to which Davis belonged.

60. Title character who never appears : GODOT
“Waiting for Godot” is a play by novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett that premiered in 1953. Irishman Beckett actually wrote the piece in French, under the title “En attendant Godot”. He then translated the play into English himself.

61. Christmastime refrain : FA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA
The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “f-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in 19th century.
“'Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la!”

63. ___ paper (abrasive) : 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.

65. Plot feature of Shakespeare's "Troilus and Cressida" : TRYST
In its most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a prearranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting. Further, a tryst taking place at lunchtime is sometimes referred to as a “nooner”.

William Shakespeare wrote his tragedy "Troilus and Cressida" in 1602. The play was inspired by "The Iliad", and is a retelling of events during the Trojan War leading up to the death of Hector.

Down
1. Cover with graffiti, say : DEFACE
"Graffiti" is the plural of "graffito", the Italian for "a scribbling". The word was first used to describe ancient inscriptions on the walls in the ruins of Pompeii.

2. 1990s sitcom about a bookstore owner : 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!

3. Kid's father : BILLY
Male goats are called “bucks” or “billies”, although castrated males are known as “wethers”. Female goats are called “does” or “nannies”, and young goats are referred to as “kids”.

4. Mideastern heat? : UZI
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.

6. School whose mascot is Jumbo the elephant : TUFTS
Tufts University is a private school near Boston. The school was built in 1852 on land donated by Charles Tuft a local businessman. One of the early benefactors of the school was P. T. Barnum who funded the Barnum Museum of Natural History located on the college grounds. This museum is home to the stuffed hide of Jumbo, the famous elephant. Jumbo is also the school’s mascot.

9. Fragrant Italian brandy : GRAPPA
Grappa is an Italian brandy that is made by distilling the skins, pulps, seeds and stems that are left over from winemaking after the grapes have been pressed. .

12. Bob who directed the 1966 musical "Sweet Charity" : FOSSE
Bob Fosse won more Tony Awards for choreography than anyone else, a grand total of eight (and another Tony for direction). Fosse also won an Oscar for Best Director for his 1972 movie “Cabaret”, even beating out the formidable Francis Ford Coppola who was nominated that same year for “The Godfather”.

25. British ___ : ISLES
The British Isles is the name of the group of islands that includes the two main islands of Great Britain (England, Wales, Scotland) and Ireland, as well as thousands of smaller islands.

29. Sports org. with pitching : PGA
The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

30. Lines on some maps: Abbr. : RRS
Railroad (RR)

31. 1969 film whose working title was "The Loners" : EASY RIDER
The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company was started up in the very early 1900s by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, . Their first design was in effect an engine hooked up to a pedal bicycle, but the 116 cc cylinder capacity simply couldn't generate enough power to get up the hills of their native city of Milwaukee. The pair came up with a redesigned model that had a cylinder capacity of 405 cc, which the partners built in a shed at the back of Davidson's house. In 1906, the partners built their first factory, located where the company's headquarters is to this day, on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

"Easy Rider" is a 1969 movie about two bikers traversing the American Southwest and the South. The bikers are famously played by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, who also co-wrote the screenplay. Fonda produced the film and Hopper directed.

32. Larsson who wrote "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" : STIEG
Stieg Larsson was a Swedish journalist and writer, and indeed one of his main characters in his Millennium series of novels is a journalist as well. The first two titles in the series are “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “The Girl Who Played with Fire”. The last of the three titles in the Millennium series is “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”, which was the most-sold book in the US in 2010. All of the books in the series were published after Larsson's death. He passed away from a heart attack while climbing several flights of stairs, when he was just 50 years old.

33. Volt per ampere : OHM
The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every schoolkid knows as Ohm's Law.

35. "I will speak daggers to her, but ___ none": Hamlet : USE
The full title of William Shakespeare’s play that we tend to call “Hamlet” is “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”. It is the most performed of all Shakespeare’s plays and it is also his longest, the only one of his works comprising over 4,000 lines. That’s about a 4-hour sitting in a theater …

38. Dish in a tortilla : FAJITA
“Fajita” is a Tex-Mex term that refers to grilled meat served on a tortilla. The Mexican term “fajita” is used to describe a small strip of chicken or beef. Nowadays, fajitas are often served on a sizzling platter with the tortillas and condiments on the side.

40. Rope : LASSO
Our English word “lasso” comes from the Spanish “lazo”, and ultimately from the Latin “laqueum” meaning “noose, snare”.

46. Like bon mots : WITTY
“Bon mot” translates from French as "good word". We use "bon mot" (and sometimes just "mot") to mean a quip, a witticism.

47. Safe spaces : ASYLA
"Asylum" (plural "asyla") is a Latin word, meaning "sanctuary".

50. Home to the Sami people : LAPLAND
Lapland is a geographic region in northern Scandinavia, largely found within the Arctic Circle. Parts of Lapland are in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The people who are native to the region are called the Sami people. The Sami don't like to be referred to as “Lapps” and they regard the term as insulting.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Kickoff : DEBUT
6. "For shame!" : TSK!
9. Only tennis player to have won each Grand Slam event at least four times : GRAF
13. Mrs. Alexander Hamilton : ELIZA
14. Reuters competitor : UPI
15. Words to live by : CREDO
16. Bombing, as a joke : FALLING FLAT
18. Parties hard, in modern lingo : RAGES
19. Doc's image, e.g.? : CEL
20. Drunks : SOTS
21. Windows that are usually closed : POP-UPS
22. Singer with the 2008 album "And Winter Came ..." : ENYA
24. Trendy type : FASHION PLATE
26. Spoil : MAR
28. Say with a raised hand : SWEAR
29. Tidy oneself : PREEN
32. Slipper part : SOLE
34. It's not allowed in many classrooms : GUM
37. Discriminatory part of post-Reconstruction legislation : GRANDFATHER CLAUSE
41. Biblical beast : ASS
42. Slim ___ (snack sticks) : JIMS
43. To date : AS YET
44. "That hurts!" : YOWIE!
47. Chippendales dancers have nice ones : ABS
48. Short-stemmed vessel : PARFAIT GLASS
52. Actor Epps : OMAR
56. Bygone record label : ARISTA
57. Is worth doing : PAYS
59. Had something : ATE
60. Title character who never appears : GODOT
61. Christmastime refrain : FA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA
63. ___ paper (abrasive) : EMERY
64. Ill. neighbor : IND
65. Plot feature of Shakespeare's "Troilus and Cressida" : TRYST
66. Bolt : DART
67. Lines on some maps: Abbr. : RDS
68. Glide : SKATE

Down
1. Cover with graffiti, say : DEFACE
2. 1990s sitcom about a bookstore owner : ELLEN
3. Kid's father : BILLY
4. Mideastern heat? : UZI
5. Whups : TANS
6. School whose mascot is Jumbo the elephant : TUFTS
7. Juicy front-page story : SPLASH
8. ___ bag : KIT
9. Fragrant Italian brandy : GRAPPA
10. Joe Six-Pack : REGULAR GUY
11. Crack : ADEPT
12. Bob who directed the 1966 musical "Sweet Charity" : FOSSE
15. Witch : CRONE
17. Be successful : GO FAR
21. Word with trip or strip : POWER
23. "You said it!" : AMEN!
25. British ___ : ISLES
27. "So what?" : AND?
29. Sports org. with pitching : PGA
30. Lines on some maps: Abbr. : RRS
31. 1969 film whose working title was "The Loners" : EASY RIDER
32. Larsson who wrote "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" : STIEG
33. Volt per ampere : OHM
35. "I will speak daggers to her, but ___ none": Hamlet : USE
36. Came together : MET
38. Dish in a tortilla : FAJITA
39. Part of a truck : CAB
40. Rope : LASSO
45. To some degree : OF A SORT
46. Like bon mots : WITTY
47. Safe spaces : ASYLA
48. Summoned : PAGED
49. Factor in a wine rating : AROMA
50. Home to the Sami people : LAPLAND
51. Green sides : SALADS
53. British protectorate until 1957 : MALAYA
54. "Finally!" : AT LAST!
55. Tell : RELATE
58. Window coverings : SLATS
61. Middling : FAIR
62. Escapade : LARK


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6 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

21:14, no errors, iPad. It took me a few minutes to grok that each of the theme answers contained a FA and a LA. So then, throughout much of the puzzle (until I got to 61 across), I was more or less expecting to discover that the puzzle was meant as a tribute to Franklin Delano Roosevelt's little Scottish terrier. Silly me ... :-)

Jeff said...

About 40 minutes to complete this one. I'm convinced 39 of those were spent trying to figure the rebus out. Once I did, it was a fairly quick solve until all the FALALALA...at the end. Took me a second to accept all those coming together at once.

FAjita and LAsso were the keys which got me GRANDFATHER CLAUSE and the rest was history. Embarrassingly I did get YOWIE on my own and that helped as well...

Speaking of which - fascinating origin of the term GRANDFATHER CLAUSE. One of several things I learned from this grid. Talk about finding loopholes. Wow. Where there's a will there's a way..

I've never tried GRAPPA, but an Italian friend of mine says it's awful. Now I see why. It's made from refuse. That's probably why I've never tried it.

Best

BruceB said...

29:26, no errors (to my surprise). Once the theme was figured out, and all the squares filled in, the answers became obvious. But several incorrect guesses slowed my down. Began with entering START in 1A, CREED in 15A vice CREDO, FASHIONISTA in 24A before FASHION PLATE (this one made me realize that all theme answers contained both FA and LA), ARCS before ASYLA in 47D, FUNNY vice WITTY in 46D.

I enjoy these puzzles for the challenge, and today was a challenge for me.

As a student growing up in New York City I was also an ARISTA member, I think I still have my pin in a memento box, somewhere.

Anonymous said...

25:52, and 2 errors; the FA at the intersection of PARFAIT GLASS and OF A SORT tripped me up.

Good example of a puzzle that's too damned cute for its own good. I HATE rebuses as a matter of course, and this was just loaded with (or perhaps I should say "defaced"?) with them.

Tom M. said...

I like rebuses, but didn't care much for this one. Got the FA-LA gimmick early enough, but the follow-through was more work than fun. Even if a month or so out of season, have to say, "bah, humbug". (Feeling a little grouchy today.)

Glenn said...

About 51 minutes on this one. Nothing too interesting from a solving standpoint.

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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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