0812-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Aug 11, Friday

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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: Julian Lim
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 39m 45s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 4 … EL GRECO (EL GRELA … don’t ask!), FOR ONCE (FOR ONLY), NECCO (NELLA), GROENING (GRAY NING)


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
14. Derided : FLEERED
To fleer is to laugh or sneer contemptuously, and is possibly of Scandinavian origin.

AirBedz Original Truck Bed Air Mattress for Full Sized Long Bed Trucks17. Kind of pickup : LONG BED
The great thing about a long bed pickup truck is that you can usually get a standard size (4’x8’) sheet of plywood or drywall in the back with the tailgate closed.

Acrylic Keyring El Greco St. Martin and the Beggar18. “St. Martin and the Beggar” painter : EL GRECO
“El Greco” (“the Greek”, in Spanish) was the nickname of the artist whose real name was Domenikos Theotokopoulos. El Greco was born in Crete in 1541, and moved to Venice to study art when he was in his early twenties. A few years later he moved to the city of Toledo in central Spain, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life.

19. Tenth Commandment subject : AVARICE
Our word “avarice”, meaning a desire for wealth, ultimately derives from the Latin word for crave, “avere”.

21. Upbraided : BERATED
“To upbraid” is to reproach, find fault with, and is of Swedish origin.

22. Lascivious sorts : WANTONS
“Lascivious” is such an appropriate-sounding word, I always think. It means lecherous or salacious.

Signed Doohan, James 8x10 Photo29. Language with no word for “hello” : KLINGON
Klingons are a warrior race often featured in the “Star Trek” franchise of shows. Back in the first “Star Trek” movie, the actor James Doohan (who played “Scottie”) put together some Klingon dialogue that was used in the film. For subsequent movies, the American linguist Marc Okrand was commissioned to develop a working Klingon language, which he duly did, using the original words from Doohan as its basis.

Pittsburgh Panthers - Pitt Fear the Fans Die Cut Vinyl Decal Sticker 6" White39. Pitt athlete : PANTHER
The Pitt Panthers are the athletic teams of the University of Pittsburgh.

41. Mercurial : ERRATIC
“Mercurial” is an adjective used to describe things related to Mercury, the god or the planet. A person described as mercurial is said to have a changeable temperament, a characteristic long associated with people born under the influence of the planet. This erratic quality may be an association with the fluid properties of mercury, the liquid metal.

Twister [Blu-ray]44. Subject of the Fujita scale : TORNADO
The Fujita scale (or F-scale) measures the intensity of tornadoes. It does so by measuring the effect that the tornado has on man-made structures and on vegetation. It was developed in 1971 by Tetsuya Fujita of the University of Chicago.

45. British dish with an American version called a Hot Brown : RAREBIT
Welsh rarebit is a delicious dish made using a cheese-flavored sauce served over toast. It may be that the name Welsh rarebit was originally a bit of an insult to the folks in Wales. The dish was called Welsh “rabbit” back in the 1700s. In those day’s rabbit was the poor man’s meat, and the implication of the dish’s name is that in Wales cheese was the poor man’s rabbit.

The Hot Brown is a variation of Welsh rarebit, created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky in 1926. It is an open-faced sandwich made with turkey and bacon, smothered in Mornay sauce and baked or broiled until the sauce starts to brown.

The Chicken Dance (Polka Album Version)46. Polka relative : TWO-STEP
The polka is a dance from central Europe, one that originated in Bohemia in the mid-1800s. It’s thought that “polka” comes from a Czech word meaning “little half”, reflecting the little half-steps included in the basic dance.

48. Lachrymose : IN TEARS
“Lachrymose” means “teary”, from the Latin “lacrima”, the word for “tear”.

50. What the cogent make : SENSE
Something cogent makes sense, it is convincing and reasonable.

Down
My Sharona/Let Me Out4. “My” girl in a 1979 hit : SHARONA
“My Sharona” is a hit single from 1979 released by a band called the Knack. The band’s guitarist wrote the song after meeting a 17-year-old girl called Sharona, who later became his girlfriend. Young Sharona appears on the cover sleeve for the record. Three decades later, Sharona’s a real estate agent in LA.

ancient Roman silver denarius Emperor Trajan, 98-117 AD6. Coins for Cicero : DENARII
The denarius (plural “dinarii”) is a small silver coin that was used in Ancient Rome. Derived from the Latin “deni” meaning “containing ten”, a denarius had the value of ten asses. Today the dinar is a common coin in the Arab world, and it is named for the old Roman coin. The dinar name was chosen in the days when Arabs conquered large swathes of the old Roman Empire.

9. Varmints, in a classic cartoon line : MEECES
I so remember “The Huckleberry Hound Show” from the late fifties and early sixties. As a young tot I had curtains on my window that featured characters from the show. Three regulars were Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks. Pixie and Dixie were two mice, and Mr. Jinks was a cat. Mr. Jinks has a famous line that went, “I hate those meeces to pieces!” Great stuff …

Necco Assorted Wafers (2 boxes with 36 rolls each)12. Big name in wafers : NECCO
Necco Wafers are the best known product line of the candy manufacturer called the New England Confectionery Company. The firm’s name is abbreviated to NECCO, an acronym that became synonymous with the wafers.

Matt Groening Autographed 11x14 Photo13. Creator of “The Simpsons” : GROENING
Matt Groening is a cartoonist. He created two successful animated shows for television, namely “The Simpsons” and “Futurama” (neither of which I understand!).

23. Missouri metro : ST JOE
The city of Saint Joseph in Missouri was the westernmost point in the US that was accessible by rail after the Civil War. As such, it was a final stopping-off point as people headed out to the Wild West. The city takes its name from its founder, fur trader Joseph Robidoux. Robidoux apparently like things named after himself and his family, as eight of the main streets downtown were named after his children, and another was named for his second wife!

Gold Confetti Stars27. It may come down after a win : CONFETTI
The word “confetti” is related to “confection”. The original confetti were small candies thrown during carnivals in Italy. This custom migrated to England, and eventually evolved into the practice of tossing small pieces of paper instead of confections.

35. Start of a Christmas refrain : FA-LA-LA
The refrain that starts “Fa-la-la …” is from the traditional Yuletide carol “Deck the Halls”. The tune itself is Welsh in origin, dating back to the 16th century. The lyrics, however, are American and are from the 19th century. Even Mozart used the tune as a theme for a delightful violin and piano duet.

40. Softens in water, in a way : RETS
Retting is soaking, a word commonly used to describe the soaking of fibrous plants such as flax in order to soften and separate the fibers.

42. Thicket of trees : COPSE
A copse is a small stand of trees. A copse was originally a small thicket that was specifically grown for cutting.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Officers : BRASS
6. Award show category : DRAMA
11. In haste : RUSHING
14. Derided : FLEERED
16. It might help you catch your breath : INHALER
17. Kind of pickup : LONG BED
18. “St. Martin and the Beggar” painter : EL GRECO
19. Tenth Commandment subject : AVARICE
20. “Just this time …” : FOR ONCE
21. Upbraided : BERATED
22. Lascivious sorts : WANTONS
24. Beans and others : SIDES
25. Go on : YAK
26. Having more bites, say : ITCHIER
28. Word from a waiter : ENJOY
29. Language with no word for “hello” : KLINGON
32. Sloven : PIG
35. Enthusiast : FIEND
36. One wiping out : EFFACER
39. Pitt athlete : PANTHER
41. Mercurial : ERRATIC
43. Former : OLD TIME
44. Subject of the Fujita scale : TORNADO
45. British dish with an American version called a Hot Brown : RAREBIT
46. Polka relative : TWO-STEP
47. Fathers, of a sort : CLERICS
48. Lachrymose : IN TEARS
49. Attacked : HAD AT
50. What the cogent make : SENSE

Down
1. Summary : BRIEF
2. Need replenishing : RUN LOW
3. Silverish : ASH GRAY
4. “My” girl in a 1979 hit : SHARONA
5. Knee cap? : SILENT K
6. Coins for Cicero : DENARII
7. College student’s request : REGRADE
8. Judge : ARBITER
9. Varmints, in a classic cartoon line : MEECES
10. Extra : ADDED
12. Big name in wafers : NECCO
13. Creator of “The Simpsons” : GROENING
14. Blubber : FLAB
15. Having a hard time connecting? : LOVE-SHY
23. Missouri metro : ST JOE
27. It may come down after a win : CONFETTI
28. Native to a certain region : ENDEMIC
29. Like some spirits : KINDRED
30. It’s typed with the left pinkie : LETTER A
31. Check : INHIBIT
32. Echoes : PARROTS
33. “That makes 50-Across” : I CAN SEE
34. Lie in the sun : GET A TAN
35. Start of a Christmas refrain : FA-LA-LA
37. 🙁 : FROWN
38. Equestrians : RIDERS
39. It may be screened : PORCH
40. Softens in water, in a way : RETS
42. Thicket of trees : COPSE

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