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0606-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Jun 17, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD CONSTRUCTOR: Lisa Loeb & Doug Peterson
THEME: Opening Song
There’s a note accompanying today’s puzzle:
CELEBRITY CROSSWORD
To mark the 75th anniversary of the New York Times crossword, which debuted in 1942, we are publishing a series of puzzles co-created by famous people who solve the Times crossword, working together with regular Times puzzle contributors.

This collaboration is by the singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb, who had the #1 Billboard hit referenced in 41-Across - and altogether 11 studio albums to date - working with Doug Peterson, an employee at an accounting firm in Pasadena, Calif. This is Doug's 41st puzzle for The Times.

The celebrity collaborations will continue periodically through the year.

More information about the making of today's puzzle appears in the Times's daily crossword column (nytimes.com/column/wordplay).
Each of today’s themed answers begins with the name of a hit song whose singer is referenced in the clue:
20A. Regulation regarding a 2007 #1 Rihanna hit? : UMBRELLA POLICY (giving “Umbrella”)
33A. Special observances for a 2014 #1 Pharrell Williams hit? : HAPPY HOLIDAYS (giving “Happy”)
41A. 1994 #1 Lisa Loeb hit played at a potluck? : STAY FOR DINNER (giving “Stay”)
53A. 1979 #1 Styx hit played for Little Red Riding Hood? : BABE IN THE WOODS (giving “Babe”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 42s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Nectar source : AGAVE
Agave nectar (also “agave syrup”) is sweeter than honey, but is much more fluid. The nectar’s sweetness comes from its high fructose content. A lot of agave nectar comes from the blue agave, the same species that is used to make tequila.

14. "The ___ King" : LION
The highly successful stage musical "The Lion King" started out life as a 1994 animated feature film of the same name from the Disney studio. The film is the highest earning traditionally-animated feature of all time. The animated film "Finding Nemo" has made more money, but it was created using computer animation.

16. Airline that flies only six days a week : EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv. Famously, El Al only operates six days a week, not flying on the Sabbath.

17. Jessica of filmdom's "Fantastic Four" : ALBA
Actress Jessica Alba got her big break when she was cast in the Fox science fiction show “Dark Angel”. Alba had a tough life growing up as she spent a lot of time in hospital and so found it difficult to develop friendships. As a youngster she twice had a collapsed lung, frequently caught pneumonia, suffered from asthma, had a ruptured appendix and a tonsillar cyst. On top of all that she acknowledges that she suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder as a child. It seems that she has really turned her life around …

“Fantastic Four” is a 2005 movie about the band of comic heroes made famous in Marvel Comics. The Fantastic Four are:
  • Mr. Fantastic (played by Ioan Gruffudd)
  • The Invisible Woman (played by Jessica Alba)
  • The Human Torch (played by Chris Evans)
  • Thing (played by Michael Chiklis)

18. Duck for cover? : EIDER
Eiders are large sea ducks. Their down feathers are used to fill pillows and quilts, giving the name to the quilt called an “eiderdown”.

19. Toy block brand : LEGO
Lego is manufactured by Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name "Automatic Binding Bricks" but I think "Lego" is easier to remember! The name "Lego" comes from the Danish term "leg godt" meaning "play well".

20. Regulation regarding a 2007 #1 Rihanna hit? : UMBRELLA POLICY (giving “Umbrella”)
The hit song “Umbrella” released by Rihanna in 2007, is notable (apparently) for featuring a rap verse contributed by Jay-Z.

The singer Rihanna was born and grew up on the island of Barbados and moved to the US when she was 16-years-old to pursue a singing career. “Rihanna” is her stage name, as she was born Robyn Rihanna Fenty. The name “Rihanna” is derived from the Welsh name “Rhiannon”.

23. Jazzy Reese : DELLA
Della Reese is the stage name of the actress, singer and all-round entertainer Delloreese Patricia Early. Her career that started as a singer in the fifties and was revived in the nineties when she played the lead character in the TV show “Touched by an Angel”.

24. Bagel topper : LOX
Lox is a brine-cured salmon fillet, finely sliced. The term "lox" comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

26. Jamaican spirits : RUM
Rum was first distilled by slaves on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 1800s, with the tradition being that the very first production came from Barbados.

29. Letters on an N.Y.C.-bound bag : JFK
The three big airports serving New York City (NYC) are John F. Kennedy (JFK), La Guardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR).

33. Special observances for a 2014 #1 Pharrell Williams hit? : HAPPY HOLIDAYS (giving “Happy”)
“Happy” is an incredibly successful 2014 song that was the best-selling recording in the US that year. It was written and released by American singer Pharrell Williams.

37. "Damn right!" : AMEN!
The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

41. 1994 #1 Lisa Loeb hit played at a potluck? : STAY FOR DINNER (giving “Stay”)
The singer Lisa Loeb was discovered by actor Ethan Hawke, who lived just across the street from her in New York City. Hawke took a demo of her song "Stay (I Missed You)" and gave it to director Ben Stiller, who in turn used it over the ending credits of his 1994 movie "Reality Bites". The movie was a hit, the song went to number one, and Loeb became the first artist ever to hit that number one spot without having signed up with a record label. Good for her!

44. Where one might chill : PAD
Back in the 16th century a "pad" was a bundle of straw to lie on, and came to mean a "sleeping place" in the early 1700s. The term was revitalized in the hippie era.

45. The Shangri-___ ("Leader of the Pack" group) : LAS
“Leader of the Pack” was big hit for the Shangri-Las back in 1964. The song tells the story of teenagers Betty and Jimmy. Betty falls for Jimmy, but he’s from “the wrong side of town” so he her parents disapprove of the match. Betty jilts Jimmy and he drives off on his motorcycle, only to crash and die on a wet road. The morbid theme of the song led to it being banned by the BBC.

46. Em chasers : ENS
In the alphabet, the letter M (em) is followed by the letter N (en).

50. The "O" of S O S, apocryphally : OUR
The combination of three dots - three dashes - three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots - pause - three dashes - pause - three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases "Save Our Souls" and "Save Our Ship" are also mnemonics, introduced after the "SOS" signal was adopted.

53. 1979 #1 Styx hit played for Little Red Riding Hood? : BABE IN THE WOODS (giving “Babe”)
Styx is a band that formed in Chicago in 1972. Their biggest hit was “Babe” from 1979, and “Mr. Roboto” from 1983.

“Little Red Riding Hood” is a fairy tale that originated in Europe and was first published in France by Charles Perrault in 1697. The title translates into French as “Le Petit Chaperon Rouge”.

61. Sass, in slang : TUDE
Attitude ('tude)

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

Down
1. Composer Debussy : CLAUDE
Claude Debussy is one of my favorite composers, one who epitomises the Romantic Era and Impressionist Movement in music. One of my favorite CDs is a collection of some "lighter" Debussy pieces called "Debussy for Daydreaming", and what an evocative collection it is. Included are "Syrinx", "Maid with the Flaxen Hair", "Rêverie" and everyone's favorite, "Clair de Lune".

3. Toy in a souvenir shop : BOBBLEHEAD
Bobblehead dolls are those little toys with big heads that bobble around if tapped, while the body remains still. They're often given to ticket buyers at sports events as a promotion.

5. Adam's family member : ABEL
In the story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis, Cain murders his brother Abel. Subsequently, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain replies, “I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?”

6. Olympic track gold medalist Devers : GAIL
Gail Devers is a US Olympic champion, winning the 100m gold at the 1992 Games in Barcelona, and winning the 100m individual and relay golds at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Back in 1990, doctors considered amputating Devers feet as they were in such poor condition as a result of treatment for Graves’ disease.

7. "M*A*S*H" man : ALDA
Alan Alda has had a great television career, especially of course on “M*A*S*H”. Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H”. He won his most recent Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year” in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

“M*A*S*H” has only three stars (three asterisks, that is!). These asterisks first appeared on the poster for the 1970 movie, but they were omitted in the opening titles. The TV series went on to use the asterisks from the poster.

8. Hit HBO show for Julia Louis-Dreyfus : VEEP
“Veep” is a political satire sitcom on HBO that is a remake of the British show “The Thick of It” (Warning: strong language!). “Veep” is set in the office of a fictional Vice President of the United States played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Actress and comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus is an alum of the sketch show “Saturday Night Live”, in which she appeared from 1982 to 1985. Her really big break came when she was chosen to play Elaine Benes on “Seinfeld”. More recently, Louis-Dreyfus can be seen playing Vice President Selina Meyer on the HBO comedy show “Veep”.

9. Swashbuckling leading man : ERROL FLYNN
Actor 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.

10. ___ the Cat : FELIX
Felix the Cat is a cartoon character who dates back to the era of silent movies. A papier-mâché model of Felix was used in one of the first ever broadcasts of a television image, in 1928. At that time, RCA was using a Felix doll in experimental transmissions in New York.

11. Trump impersonator Baldwin : ALEC
Alec Baldwin is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec’s big break was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin also made a name for himself playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey. More recently, he is known for impersonating Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live”.

13. "Do Ya" rock grp. : ELO
The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) is a symphonic rock group from the north of England.

21. Wyatt of the Old West : EARP
Wyatt Earp is famous as one of the participants in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Earp was a city policeman in Wichita, Kansas and also in Dodge City, Kansas. Earp was also deputy sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona where the O.K. Corral gunfight took place. Years later, Earp joined the Alaska Gold Rush and with a partner built and operated the Dexter Saloon in Nome.

22. Mythical mischief-maker : LOKI
Loki is a god appearing in Norse mythology. In one story about Loki, he was punished by other gods for having caused the death of Baldr, the god of light and beauty. Loki is bound to a sharp rock using the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom which is collected in a bowl, and then his wife must empty the venom onto Loki when the bowl is full. The venom causes Loki great pain, and his writhing results in what we poor mortals experience as earthquakes.

28. Mike who played filmdom's Austin Powers : MYERS
Mike Myers does do a great British accent, witness his performance in the madcap “Austin Powers” movies. He has an advantage though, as both his parents are British, and live in Ontario, Canada.

The character of Austin Powers was created by the actor who plays him, namely Mike Myers. Apparently Myers came up with the idea for Powers while listening to the Burt Bacharach song “The Look of Love”.

29. Foster child in "Freaky Friday" : JODIE
The wonderful actress and director Jodie Foster got her big break in movies early in her life, playing a very young prostitute in Martin Scorsese's 1976 film "Taxi Driver". Sadly, her appearance in "Taxi Driver" led to her being stalked by an obsessed John Hinckley, Jr. Hinckley called Foster on the phone, sent her love letters, and followed her on campus while she was attending Yale. In 1981, Hinckley famously shot and wounded President Reagan, claiming that he believed an assassination of the President would impress Foster.

"Freaky Friday" is a well-known children's novel, written by Mary Rodgers and published in 1972. The basic story is that one Friday, a mother and her teenage daughter have their bodies switched due to the effects of an enchanted fortune cookie. Hilarity ensues! Disney adapted the novel into a movie three times in all:
  1. In 1976, starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster
  2. In 1995, starring Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffman
  3. In 2003, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan

31. Olive of cartoons : OYL
“Thimble Theater” was the precursor comic strip to the famous “Popeye” drawn by E. C. Segar. Before Popeye came into the story, the brother and sister characters Castor Oyl and Olive Oyl were the protagonists. And then along comes a sailor …

35. "You ___ me at 'hello'" : HAD
"Jerry Maguire" is a 1996 film starring Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Renée Zellweger. The title character is played by Cruise, and is a sports agent. There are several lines oft quoted from “Jerry Maguire” including:
  • “Show me the money!”
  • “You complete me”
  • “You had me at ‘hello’”

36. Dr. who can't write prescriptions : DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

37. Nile menace : ASP
The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

38. N.Y.C. subway overseer : MTA
The MTA is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has public transportation responsibility in the state of New York (as well as part of Connecticut).

42. Chimney vent : FLUE
The flue in a chimney is a duct that conveys exhaust gases from a fire to the outdoors. An important feature of a flue is that its opening is adjustable. When starting a fire, the flue should be wide open, maximizing airflow to get help ignition.

43. Warning letters next to a web link : NSFW
The abbreviation “NSFW” stands for “not safe/suitable for work”. It’s Internet slang used to describe online content that is best not viewed at work.

48. Club attendant : CADDIE
“Caddie” is a Scottish word, as one might expect given the history of the game of golf. “Caddie” is a local word derived from the French “cadet”, meaning a younger son or brother, and also a student officer in the military.

49. Twins Mary-Kate and Ashley : OLSENS
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.

50. Jabba-esque : OBESE
Jabba the Hutt is the big blob of an alien that appears in the “Star Wars” movie “The Return of the Jedi”. Jabba’s claim to fame is that he enslaved Princess Leia and kitted her out in that celebrated metal bikini.

52. Smidgens : IOTAS
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word "iota" to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

Our word “smidgen” (sometimes shortened to “smidge”) is used to describe a small amount. The term might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or "a small insignificant person".

53. Classic TV clown : BOZO
Bozo the Clown is a character created in 1946 by Alan Livingston. Bozo was introduced in the first ever "record reader", a children's illustrated read-along book that came with a vinyl recording of the story. The book/record was so successful that Bozo moved to television, and he has been around ever since.

54. Comic Ansari : AZIZ
Aziz Ansari is an actor and comedian from Columbia, South Carolina who is best known for playing Tom Haverford on the sitcom “Parks and Recreation”. Ansari also stars in the Netflix comedy-drama series “Master of None”.

55. "The Little Red Hen" refusal : NOT I
“The Little Red Hen” is an old folk tale, probably from Russia. In the story, the little red hen finds a grain of wheat and asks for help to plant it. “Not I” is the response she gets, repeatedly. She does the work herself, eventually baking bread from the harvested grain. She asks for help in eating the bread, and gets lots of volunteers. But, the hen decides to save the bread for herself and her chicks, seeing as no one would help her plant the wheat in the first place.

58. Bespectacled Dame of comedy : EDNA
Dame Edna Everage is the outrageous character created and played by Australian comedian Barry Humphries. I saw him/her perform live in a San Francisco theater, and what a great show it was …

59. Hall & Oates, for example : DUO
Daryl Hall & John Oates are a pop music duo, most successful in the late seventies and early eighties. They had six number one hits, including the 1982 release "Maneater".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Inner parts of corn : COBS
5. Nectar source : AGAVE
10. Turn toward : FACE
14. "The ___ King" : LION
15. Hayfield worker : BALER
16. Airline that flies only six days a week : EL AL
17. Jessica of filmdom's "Fantastic Four" : ALBA
18. Duck for cover? : EIDER
19. Toy block brand : LEGO
20. Regulation regarding a 2007 #1 Rihanna hit? : UMBRELLA POLICY (giving “Umbrella”)
23. Jazzy Reese : DELLA
24. Bagel topper : LOX
25. Dallas-to-N.Y.C. direction : ENE
26. Jamaican spirits : RUM
29. Letters on an N.Y.C.-bound bag : JFK
30. Friend's opposite : FOE
33. Special observances for a 2014 #1 Pharrell Williams hit? : HAPPY HOLIDAYS (giving “Happy”)
37. "Damn right!" : AMEN!
39. Cry before "set, go!" : READY ...
40. Tick off : RILE
41. 1994 #1 Lisa Loeb hit played at a potluck? : STAY FOR DINNER (giving “Stay”)
44. Where one might chill : PAD
45. The Shangri-___ ("Leader of the Pack" group) : LAS
46. Em chasers : ENS
47. ___-friendly : ECO
50. The "O" of S O S, apocryphally : OUR
51. Important exam : FINAL
53. 1979 #1 Styx hit played for Little Red Riding Hood? : BABE IN THE WOODS (giving “Babe”)
59. Go out for a while? : DOZE
60. ___ and aahed : OOHED
61. Sass, in slang : TUDE
62. Israeli arms : UZIS
63. Course reversal : U-TURN
64. Feudin' with : AGIN
65. Radiate, as charm : OOZE
66. Hit home? : SIDE A
67. Females : SHES

Down
1. Composer Debussy : CLAUDE
2. Some Texas tycoons : OILMEN
3. Toy in a souvenir shop : BOBBLEHEAD
4. Problem for a comb : SNARL
5. Adam's family member : ABEL
6. Olympic track gold medalist Devers : GAIL
7. "M*A*S*H" man : ALDA
8. Hit HBO show for Julia Louis-Dreyfus : VEEP
9. Swashbuckling leading man : ERROL FLYNN
10. ___ the Cat : FELIX
11. Trump impersonator Baldwin : ALEC
12. Hard to fool : CAGY
13. "Do Ya" rock grp. : ELO
21. Wyatt of the Old West : EARP
22. Mythical mischief-maker : LOKI
27. Really funny : UPROARIOUS
28. Mike who played filmdom's Austin Powers : MYERS
29. Foster child in "Freaky Friday" : JODIE
30. "Point taken" : FAIR ENOUGH
31. Olive of cartoons : OYL
32. Japan finish? : -ESE
34. At ___ rate : ANY
35. "You ___ me at 'hello'" : HAD
36. Dr. who can't write prescriptions : DRE
37. Nile menace : ASP
38. N.Y.C. subway overseer : MTA
42. Chimney vent : FLUE
43. Warning letters next to a web link : NSFW
48. Club attendant : CADDIE
49. Twins Mary-Kate and Ashley : OLSENS
50. Jabba-esque : OBESE
52. Smidgens : IOTAS
53. Classic TV clown : BOZO
54. Comic Ansari : AZIZ
55. "The Little Red Hen" refusal : NOT I
56. Heavy-landing sound : THUD
57. Not yonder : HERE
58. Bespectacled Dame of comedy : EDNA
59. Hall & Oates, for example : DUO


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7 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

13:52, including the time required to find and fix an error: for reasons unknown (perhaps having to do with a certain level of blind idiocy), I had UMBRELLA POLICE / CAGE and had to change the E to a Y. (Actually, on a whim, I did this one on my iMac instead of my iPad, so I was dealing with a different interface; let's blame my problems on that ... :-)

Jeff said...

Easy one or I was really "on" when I did it. A little over 9 minutes - about 5 seconds slower than my LAT time today.

Dave - Keep using the iMac. It's good for my ego...

The Little Red Hen.....Vindictive, wasn't she?......

Best -

BruceB said...

10:28, no errors. The top, center section hit me hard. Was trying to think of a 4 letter Addams family member (note: 2 D's not one), remembered watching Ms. Devers but couldn't recall her first name, not familiar with the show VEEP. Eventually AGAVE, BALER and EIDER enabled me to finish. Only one of the four theme songs I was familiar with was the ubiquitous HAPPY.

Dale Stewart said...

I managed out a "no errors" on this one even though I am very weak on popular music. Overall, I liked this puzzle a lot. Thanks, Lisa and Doug.

Tom M. said...

Without knowing the pop hits, themers turned out to be pretty easy because of their contexts. More of a challenge in some clever fill, like ABEL, EIDER, SIDEA and TUNE. Good one.

Anonymous said...

10:25, and no errors, but with a **handicap**. Our paper misprinted the layout, cutting off three or four clues (mostly down clues). That put quite a bit of pressure on cross-filling!!! But, I was able to muddle through unscathed. Didn't know a single one of the songs referenced... boy, I must be gettin' old...

Glenn said...

13 minutes, no errors. Can't say most any of these collaborations have added anything positive to the grids overall.

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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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