0426-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Apr 11, Tuesday

QuickLinks:
Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today’s SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications

CROSSWORD SETTER: Brendan Emmett Quigley
THEME: UNDERWATER BASKET WEAVING … the four theme answers end with a word in the idiomatic expression UNDERWATER BASKET WEAVING, which refers to an easy or worthless college degree course, a so-called “easy A”:

69A. No-brainer class, an example of which is named by combining the ends of 20-, 36-, 42- and 55-Across : EASY A
20A. Consent reluctantly : KNUCKLE UNDER
36A. Is active without making progress or falling behind : TREADS WATER
42A. Main food-supplying region of a country : BREADBASKET
55A. Wizardry : SPELL WEAVING

COMPLETION TIME: 7m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
Barack Obama FAIREY (Hope) RARE Campaign Poster 24 x 361. Word on a 2008 Obama poster : HOPE
The iconic poster widely seen in the 2008 presidential election features a stylized portrait of Barack Obama above the word “HOPE”. It was designed by the artist Shephard Fairey, but it wasn’t a work commissioned by the Obama campaign. The original image was just the portrait, very much reminiscent of a famous Che Guevara poster of the sixties. As Fairey sold more and more of the posters, he was asked by the campaign to include the word “HOPE”, which he did quite gladly. You can now see one of the original collages drawn by Fairey in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

5. Subject for a media ombudsman : BIAS
“Ombudsman” is a Swedish word, literally translated as “commission man”. We use the term for someone who investigates complaints between aggrieved parties, and mediates settlements.

14. Jump in a rink : AXEL
An Axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. It was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

15. Second word in many limericks : ONCE
“There once was a …”

No one knows for sure how the limerick got its name, although there does seem to be agreement the name does indeed come from the city or county of Limerick in Ireland.

18. Hybrid citrus fruit : UGLI
The ugli fruit is a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine, first discovered growing wild in Jamaica, where most ugli fruit comes from today.

19. Humdinger : DOOZY
A humdinger, or a oner, is someone or something outstanding. Humdinger is American slang dating back to the early 1900s, originally used to describe a particularly attractive woman.

A “doozy” is something extraordinary or bizarre. The word’s exact origins aren’t clear, but it might be a derivative of the name Eleanora Duse, and Italian actress popular early in the 20th century.

How I Met Your Mother: The Complete Sixth Season23. Main character on “How I Met Your Mother” : TED
“How I Met Your Mother” is a sitcom that CBS has been airing since 2005. The main character is Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor. Mosby is also the narrator for the show, looking back from the year 2030 (the live action is set in the present). As narrator, the older Mosby character is voiced by Bob Saget.

C.S.I. Miami - The Complete First Season28. 1971 rock album with the hit “Won’t Get Fooled Again” : WHO’S NEXT
The Who’s hit “Who Are You” is used as the theme song for the TV show “CSI”. Old hits from the Who are also used as theme songs for the CSI spin-off shows, “CSI: New York” (theme: “Baba O’Riley”) and “CSI: Miami” (theme: “Won’t Get Fooled Again”).

38. Born’s partner : BRED
Born and bred.

41. Programming language that’s also the name of an island : JAVA
Java is a large island in Indonesia, and home to the country’s capital, Jakarta. With a population of over 130 million, Java is the most populous island in the world, with even more people than Honshu, the main island of Japan.

Java is a programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. It was originally designed for interactive television, but didn’t fit the needs at the time. Back then it was called Oak, named after an oak tree that stood outside the designer’s office. Later it was called Green, and finally named Java, which was simply picked out of a list of random words.

42. Main food-supplying region of a country : BREADBASKET
The breadbasket of a country is the internal region which supplies most of its food. In Southeast Asia the equivalent term is the “rice bowl”.

The Ren and Stimpy Show - Seasons Three and a Half-ish47. Stimpy’s TV pal : REN
“The Ren and Stimpy Show” ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1996. Not my cup of tea …

48. Golf club similar to a niblick : LOFTER
A lofter is a golf club with a lofted face, used to get the ball high in the air. A 9-iron made be called a lofter.

Most of the irons in a golf bag had non-numerical names in days gone by:

– 2 Iron … Cleek
– 3 Iron … Mid Mashie
– 4 Iron … Mashie Iron
– 5 Iron … Mashie
– 6 Iron … Spade Mashie
– 7 Iron … Mashie Niblick
– 8 Iron … Pitching Niblick
– 9 Iron … Niblick

52. Liquid in the 8-Down : EAU
(8. See 52-Across : SEINE)
There is water (eau) in the River Seine in Paris.

54. Harvard Sq. on Boston’s T, e.g. : STA
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is called the MBTA, or more usually “the T”. It’s called “the T” because the company’s logo is the letter T in a circle.

SAMMY CAHN 20X24 COLOR PHOTO64. “Three Coins in the Fountain” lyricist Sammy : CAHN
Sammy Cahn wrote for them all, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Doris Day. His most famous song was probably “Three Coins in the Fountain”.

67. Google executive Schmidt : ERIC
I used to visit Google a lot when I was in the industry. It is an amazing place, but the culture wouldn’t suit an old fogey like me. It is a great company that produces wonderful products though. Eric Schmidt was brought in as CEO in 2001 as the “grown up” needed by Google’s young co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Not too long ago Google announced that Page and Brin are “all grown up” now, and so Schmidt stepped down as CEO in April 2011, with Page taking over the the reins. Schmidt is now Executive Chairman of the company.

68. Leave at the altar : JILT
To “jilt” someone with whom you have a relationship is to drop them suddenly or callously. “Jilt” is an obsolete noun that used to mean “harlot” or “loose woman”.

Henrik Ibsen: The Father of Modern Drama71. Site of the Ibsen Museum : OSLO
Henrik Ibsen was a Norwegian playwright, considered by many to be the greatest playwright since William Shakespeare. He was famous for shocking his audiences by exploring subjects that offended the sensibilities of the day (the late 1800s).

Down
NBA Atlanta Hawks Vinyl Wall Decal - Your Color Choice1. Atlanta cager : HAWK
The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks started out as the Buffalo Bisons in 1946, although after only a few months the team was moved to Moline, Illinois as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, one of the 17 original teams playing at the founding of the National Basketball Association. There was another move in 1951 and a renaming to the Milwaukee Hawks, and yet again in 1955 when the team became the St. Louis Hawks. The latest move was to Atlanta, in 1968.

2. The yoke’s on them : OXEN
A yoke is that wooden beam used between a pair of oxen so that they are forced to work together.

8" x 6" (20cm x 15cm) Mounted Photo Print Line Drawing Chinchilla3. Land with chinchillas : PERU
A chinchilla is a rodent found in the Andes in South America. It is a little larger than a squirrel, and has velvet-like fur. It takes its name from the local Chinicha people who made clothing out of the chinchilla’s fur. Chinchillas are quite rare in the wild now as they been hunted almost out of existence, but there are plenty of farm-raised chinchillas around supporting the fur industry, I’m sad to report …

A Life of William Inge: The Strains of Triumph6. Playwright William : INGE
Playwright William Inge had a run of success on Broadway in the early fifties. His most celebrated work of that time was the play “Picnic”, for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. The original 1953 cast of “Picnic” included a young male actor making his debut on Broadway, by the name of Paul Newman.

7. Rights org. : ACLU
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War, when it was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors.

JUDE LAW 8x10 PHOTO AS WATSON SHERLOCK HOLMES9. Dr. Watson player in 2009’s “Sherlock Holmes” : JUDE LAW
Jude Law is a wonderful English actor, and a big name in Hollywood these days. He makes a great romantic lead, witness his performance in “The Holiday” released in 2006, in which he starred opposite Cameron Diaz. He and Diaz were nominated by MTV for the best onscreen kiss that year!

10. Dumpster emanation : ODOR
“Dumpster” is one of those words that we use generically that is actually a brand name. The original “Dumpster” was patented by the Dempster Brothers of Knoxville, Tennessee (hence the name, from “dump” and “Dempster”).

Theodore Rooselvelt Costume Pince Nez Eyeglasses12. Pince-___ : NEZ
Pince-nez are eyeglasses clipped to the bridge of the nose. The name is French, literally “pinch the nose”.

21. Canterbury’s county : KENT
Canterbury is a city in the southeast of England in the county of Kent. The city is famous for its cathedral, where Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170 making it a pilgrimage destination for Christians. It was one of these pilgrimages that was the inspiration for Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” written in the 14th century.

This Is Spinal Tap [Blu-ray]26. On a scale of 1 to 10, what one amp in “This Is Spinal Tap” goes to : ELEVEN
“This Is Spın̈al Tap” is a rock musical mockumentary about the fictional band Spinal Tap, directed by the great Rob Reiner. I love Rob Reiner’s work, but this movie … not so much …

27. Storied duelist with a large nose : CYRANO
Cyrano de Bergerac was a French dramatist who lived in the 17th century. Paintings and drawings show that he had a large nose, although the size was exaggerated by those that wrote about his life. Reputedly Cyrano fought in over 1000 duels, mostly instigated by someone insulting him about his nose.

Northern Industrial Mini Harrow Rake - 4ft.W x 7 1/2ft.L29. Tilling tool : HARROW
A harrow is a farm implement with multiple prongs (tines) that level off the surface of a plowed field as it is dragged across the ground.

30. Political activist James known for undercover videos : O’KEEFE
James O’Keefe is a conservative activist famous for what he calls his “guerrilla theater”, hidden camera video recordings he makes in controversial situations. His first really famous “shoot” was at a Planned Parenthood clinic in 2006 where he found workers willing to falsify records for minors to allow them to get abortions. The in 2009 he took videos he claimed showed ACORN employees giving advice to a purported prostitute about how to avoid income taxes.

Xena Warrior Princess - Season Two31. Title TV character in a brown, skirted, leather outfit : XENA
Lucy Lawless is a New Zealand actress (and singer), famous for playing the title role in TV’s “Xena: Warrior Princess”. Lawless first played the Xena character in a made-for-TV movie called “Hercules and the Amazon Women”, and later reprised the role in a series called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”. Xena became so popular that a series was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the role.

32. Aster relative : TANSY
The tansy is a flowering plant of the aster family, native to Europe and Asia. It is found in other parts of the world, but there it is often considered to be invasive.

37. Hockey feint : DEKE
A deke, also known as a dangle, is a technique used to get past an opponent. “Deke” is a colloquial shortening of the word “decoy”.

44. Hill near a loch : BRAE
“Brae” is a lowland Scots word for the slope or brow of a hill.

Navajo Blanket Throw - 70 x 54 Blanket/Throw50. Indian making a blanket : NAVAJO
Navajo rugs and blankets are produced by the Navajo people living in the Four Corners area of the southwest. Originally the blankets were of course utilitarian, but now they are mainly purchased for decoration. These days blanket and rug production is a significant element of the Navajo economy.

53. Bad feeling in one’s gut? : ULCER
A peptic ulcer, until fairly recently, was believed to be caused by undue amounts of stress in one’s life. It is now known that 70-90% of all peptic ulcers are in fact associated with a particular bacterium.

55. Sch. system with campuses in Albany and 63 other places : SUNY
The State University of New York is the largest system of third level colleges and universities in the world, with almost 500,00 students attending over 60 campuses across the state.

LARA FLYNN BOYLE 8x10 COLOUR PHOTO56. Actress ___ Flynn Boyle : LARA
The actress Lara Flynn Boyle plays Donna Hayward on “Twin Peaks”, and Helen Gamble on “The Practice”.

58. Eye part : IRIS
The iris is the colored part of the eye that has an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete59. “The Old Curiosity Shop” heroine : NELL
“The Old Curiosity Shop” by Charles Dickens tells the story of little 14-year-old Nell Trent and her grandfather, who live in the Old Curiosity Shop in London. If you visit London, there actually is an “Old Curiosity Shop”, in Westminster. It is an establishment selling odds and ends, old curiosities, and is believed to have been the inspiration for the shop in the Dickens story. The building has been around since the 1500s, but the name “The Old Curiosity Shop” was added after the book was published.

60. Cancún kitty : GATO
“Gato” is the Spanish for “cat”.

Cancún is a city on the east coast of Mexico, on the other side of the Yucatan Channel from Cuba. Cancún is growing rapidly due to its booming tourist business. It is the center of what’s often called “The Mexican Caribbean” or the “Mayan Riviera”.

Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics61. Vice President Biden : JOE
Vice President Joe Biden twice ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party’s nomination for US President (1988 and 2008), before finally joining the 2008 winning ticket alongside then-Senator Barack Obama.

Locomotion62. Little ___, who did the Loco-Motion : EVA
Carole King, and her long-time partner Gerry Goffin, have been writing hit songs since the early sixties, and not just those performed by Carole King herself. Carole and Gerry had a babysitter, one Eva Narcissus Boyd, who was always bopping around the house in an unusual dance style, so they wrote a song about her dance and they called it “The Loco-Motion”. Then, they gave it to the babysitter to record. Ms. Boyd chose as a stage name a character in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, Little Eva …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Word on a 2008 Obama poster : HOPE
5. Subject for a media ombudsman : BIAS
9. Wrist or knee : JOINT
14. Jump in a rink : AXEL
15. Second word in many limericks : ONCE
16. Milk provider : UDDER
17. “___ pregnant!” : WE’RE
18. Hybrid citrus fruit : UGLI
19. Humdinger : DOOZY
20. Consent reluctantly : KNUCKLE UNDER
23. Main character on “How I Met Your Mother” : TED
24. Fish that twists : EEL
25. ___ room : REC
28. 1971 rock album with the hit “Won’t Get Fooled Again” : WHO’S NEXT
33. To be specific : NAMELY
35. Acorn source : OAK
36. Is active without making progress or falling behind : TREADS WATER
38. Born’s partner : BRED
40. Opposite of SSW : NNE
41. Programming language that’s also the name of an island : JAVA
42. Main food-supplying region of a country : BREADBASKET
47. Stimpy’s TV pal : REN
48. Golf club similar to a niblick : LOFTER
49. “Could go either way” : YES AND NO
51. ___ lamb : EWE
52. Liquid in the 8-Down : EAU
54. Harvard Sq. on Boston’s T, e.g. : STA
55. Wizardry : SPELL WEAVING
61. Easter figure : JESUS
64. “Three Coins in the Fountain” lyricist Sammy : CAHN
65. Region : AREA
66. Like a 51-Across : OVINE
67. Google executive Schmidt : ERIC
68. Leave at the altar : JILT
69. No-brainer class, an example of which is named by combining the ends of 20-, 36-, 42- and 55-Across : EASY A
70. Knock down : RAZE
71. Site of the Ibsen Museum : OSLO

Down
1. Atlanta cager : HAWK
2. The yoke’s on them : OXEN
3. Land with chinchillas : PERU
4. Puts in office : ELECTS
5. Rock that may be hard to roll : BOULDER
6. Playwright William : INGE
7. Rights org. : ACLU
8. See 52-Across : SEINE
9. Dr. Watson player in 2009’s “Sherlock Holmes” : JUDE LAW
10. Dumpster emanation : ODOR
11. Altar declaration : I DO
12. Pince-___ : NEZ
13. “Give it a shot” : TRY
21. Canterbury’s county : KENT
22. TV rooms : DENS
25. Slow down : RETARD
26. On a scale of 1 to 10, what one amp in “This Is Spinal Tap” goes to : ELEVEN
27. Storied duelist with a large nose : CYRANO
28. Teeter : WOBBLE
29. Tilling tool : HARROW
30. Political activist James known for undercover videos : O’KEEFE
31. Title TV character in a brown, skirted, leather outfit : XENA
32. Aster relative : TANSY
34. Army V.I.P. : MAJ
37. Hockey feint : DEKE
39. Dis’s opposite : DAT
43. Kind of diving : DEEP SEA
44. Hill near a loch : BRAE
45. Perfume : ESSENCE
46. “Gotta run!” : TATA
50. Indian making a blanket : NAVAJO
53. Bad feeling in one’s gut? : ULCER
55. Sch. system with campuses in Albany and 63 other places : SUNY
56. Actress ___ Flynn Boyle : LARA
57. Zoom : WHIZ
58. Eye part : IRIS
59. “The Old Curiosity Shop” heroine : NELL
60. Cancún kitty : GATO
61. Vice President Biden : JOE
62. Little ___, who did the Loco-Motion : EVA
63. Family nickname : SIS

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