0918-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Sep 11, Sunday

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: Josh Knapp
THEME: Don’t! … all of the theme answers are the ends of common warnings that start with the word “Don’t” …

23A. Don’t …! : PLAY WITH MATCHES
38A. Don’t …! : MESS WITH TEXAS
52A. Don’t …! : BELIEVE THE HYPE
73A. Don’t …! : QUIT YOUR DAY JOB
88A. Don’t …! : QUOTE ME ON THIS
103A. Don’t …! : TALK TO STRANGERS
16D. Don’t …! : MOVE A MUSCLE
62D. Don’t …! : HAVE A COW, MAN

COMPLETION TIME: 34m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … DRAM (GRAM), MADE A DENT (MADE AGENT!)


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Group working on a plot : CABAL
A cabal is a small group of secret plotters, perhaps scheming against a government or an individual.

6. Seurat painted in one : PARC
“Parc” is the French word for “park”.

Georges Seurat was a French Post-Impressionist. His most famous work is “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte – 1884”, a work in the pointillist style that can be viewed in the Art Institute of Chicago. If you’ve seen the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, it features quite prominently in a wonderful, wonderful scene shot at the gallery. The painting features ordinary people enjoying a day at a park, and is the inspiration for the 1984 musical by the Stephen Sondheim called “Sunday in the Park with George”.

14. One of Santa’s team : COMET
We get the names for Santa’s reindeer from the famous 1823 poem called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, although we’ve modified a couple over the years. The full list is:

– Dasher
– Dancer
– Prancer
– Vixen
– Comet
– Cupid
– Donder (originally “Dunder”, and now often “Donner”)
– Blitzen (originally “Blixem”)

Rudolph was added to the list by retailer Montgomery Ward, would you believe? The store commissioned Robert L. May to create a booklet that they could hand out to children around Christmas in 1939, and May came up with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

19. Old Olds : ALERO
The Oldsmobile Alero was the last car made under the Oldsmobile brand, produced from 1999 to 2004.

20. Biblical shepherd : ABEL
According to the Bible’s Book of Genesis, after Cain murdered his brother Abel, he fled to the Land of Nod located “east of Eden” (from which John Steinbeck got the title for his celebrated novel “East of Eden”).

21. Alma mater of football great Roger Staubach : NAVY
Roger Staubach was a Heisman Trophy winner and a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys for ten years. After Staubach retired from football he started a highly successful commercial real estate business. The Staubach Company now has a multi-billion dollar portfolio of properties.

26. Ottoman relative : DIVAN
Ottomans and divans are essentially couches without backs or arms.

27. Lover of Bianca in “Othello” : CASSIO
Bianca is the woman who loves Cassio in Shakespeare’s “Othello”.


Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. Iago is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit Cassio, his rival, by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdomona, Othello’s wife. By the end of the play, it’s Iago himself who is discredited, and Othello (before committing suicide) apologizes to Cassio for having believed Iago’s lies. Heavy stuff …

31. Loo : JOHN
The use of “john” as a slang term for a toilet is peculiar to North America. It probably comes from the older slang term of “jack” or “jakes” that had been around since the 16th century. In Ireland, in cruder moments, we still refer to a toilet as “the jacks”.

When I was growing up in Ireland, a “bathroom” was a room that had a bath and no toilet. The separate room with the commode was called “the toilet” or sometimes the W.C. (the water closet). Apparently the term closet was used because in the 1800s when homeowners started installing toilets indoors they often displaced clothes in a “closet”, as a closet was the right size to take the commode. It has been suggested that the British term “loo” comes from Waterloo (water-closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure.

33. Bug-eyed primates : LORISES
The loris is a nocturnal primate found in the forests of southeast Asia.

37. Priestly robe : ALB
The alb is the white, neck-to-toe vestment worn by priests, usually with a rope cord around the waist. The term alb comes from “albus”, the Latin word for “white”.

38. Don’t …! : MESS WITH TEXAS
“Don’t Mess with Texas” is a phrase that started in an advertising campaign for the Texas Department of Transportation in 1986. The intent behind the campaign was to reduce the amount of litter on the roads by placing signs with the slogan along the major highways. Even though “Don’t Mess with Texas” is a registered trademark, it has been adopted by countless other organizations.

40. Us, e.g. : MAG
“Us Weekly” is a celebrity gossip magazine, first published in 1977.

44. First person in Germany? : ICH
“Ich” is the German for “I”, as in “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner), the famous words of support uttered by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 in a speech in West Berlin. The supposed translation of “Ich bin ein Berliner” as “I am a jelly doughnut” … that’s just an urban legend. President Kennedy’s use of German was perfectly correct.

48. “___ for Cookie” (“Sesame Street” song) : C IS
Back in 1966, the Carnegie Institute allocated money to study the use of television to help young children prepare for school. The institute gave an $8million grant to set up the Children’s Television Workshop with the task of creating an educational TV program for young people. The program began to come together, especially after Jim Henson (of Muppet fame) got involved. The name “Sesame Street” was chosen simply because it was the “least disliked” of all names proposed just before the program went on the air.

60. Homeric cry? : D’OH
“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh”, now such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001.

63. Apothecary weight : DRAM
In the obsolete apothecary system of weights, one dram is equivalent to 60 grains, or three scruples.

64. More, in scores : PIU
“Più” is the Italian word for “more”, often seen on musical scores, as in “più allegro” (more quickly) and “più mosso” (with more movement).

65. Bass in a barbershop quartet, e.g. : PART
Barbershop music is played in the a cappella style, meaning that it is unaccompanied vocal music. Barbershop music originated in the African American communities in the South, as gospel quartets often gathered in neighborhood barber shops to sing together.

66. Old Tokyo : EDO
Edo is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo castle. Some parts of the original castle remain, and today’s Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.

72. Established facts : GIVENS
That’s a given, and I guess “those” are “givens!”

81. Hurricane of 2011 : IRENE
Hurricane Irene caused extensive flooding as it travelled through the Caribbean, up the East Coast of the United States and into the Atlantic seaboard of Canada. The hurricane was unusual in that it came so far north up the North American coast. 55 deaths were attributed to Irene.

83. Target of some pH tests : SOIL
As we all recall from chemistry class, a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Anything less than 7 is an acid, and anything above 7 is a base.

86. Famous Georgian born in 1879 : STALIN
Joseph Stalin was the Soviet Premier from 1941 to 1953. Stalin’s real name was Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, but not long after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1903 he adopted the name “Stalin”, the Russian word for “steel”.

87. Camera operator’s org. : ASC
The American Society of Cinematographers is an invitation-only professional organization open to directors of photography and special effects experts.

92. 30, for 1/5 and 1/6, e.g.: Abbr. : LCD
30 is the lowest common denominator (LCD) for the fractions 1/5 and 1/6 (as they are equal to 6/30 and 5/30 respectively).

96. Rogers on a ship : AYES
The term “roger”, meaning “yes” or “acknowledged”, comes from the world of radio-telephony. The British military used a phonetic alphabet in the fifties that included Roger to represent the letter “R”. As such, it became customary to say “Roger” when acknowledging a message, with R (Roger) standing for “received”.

109. Biblical twin : ESAU
(31D. Biblical twin : JACOB)
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”. As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father’s wealth (it was his “birthright”). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a “mess of pottage” (a meal of lentils).

110. Filmmaker van Gogh : THEO
Dutch film director Theo van Gogh was a descendant of his namesake Theo van Gogh, the brother of artist Vincent van Gogh. He produced a short film called “Submission” in 2004, a film that was critical of the treatment of women within the Islam faith. Later that year, van Gogh was brutally assassinated by a Dutch-Moroccan terrorist.

111. One of the Allman Brothers : DUANE
The Allman Brothers Band has to be one of the most unlucky bands in the business. Soon after the group had its big break with the 1971 album “At Fillmore East”, one of the two Allman brothers, Duane, was killed in a motorcycle accident. One year later, bassist Berry Oakley was killed, also in a motorcycle accident.

112. Harry Potter’s girlfriend : GINNY
In the “Harry Potter” series of books, Ginny Weasley is the sister of Harry’s friend, Ron Weasley. Late in the series Harry and Ginny become boyfriend and girlfriend, and in the epilogue it is revealed that the couple eventually get married and have three children.

113. Trick out, as a car : PIMP
One can “pimp one’s ride”, a slang term for customizing one’s automobile. The term “pimp” probably derives from the French verb “pimper”, meaning “to dress elegantly”.

115. Palais du Luxembourg body : SENAT
The French Senate (“Sénat”) meets in the beautiful Luxembourg Palace (“Palais du Luxembourg”) in Paris.

Down
1. Trade’s partner : CAP
“Cap and trade” is an emissions trading scheme designed to reduce overall emission of greenhouse gases. The idea is that a government can limit a country’s overall industrial emissions by allowing companies to pollute to a maximum level by issuing each a permit. A company needing to emit more gases can trade permits with a company needing a lower limit, so that the country’s overall emissions target can still be achieved.

4. Indo-European : ARYAN
The term Aryan can be used to describe the Indo-European languages or the peoples who speak them. The underlying assumption in this grouping is that Indian languages (based on Sanskrit) and the major European languages all have the same root.

8. “Automatic for the People” group : REM
The band’s known as R.E.M., chose it’s name without any reference to Rapid Eye Movement (the stage of sleep when one dreams) as is widely assumed. Apparently in the context of the band, it means absolutely nothing.

9. iPod type : CLASSIC
The iPod is Apple’s signature line of portable media players. It first hit the market in 2001 in the form of a hard drive-based device now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all use flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor.

11. “Matilda” author : DAHL
Roald Dahl’s name is Norwegian. Dahl’s parents were from Norway, although Dahl himself was Welsh. Dahl became one of the most successful authors of the twentieth century, and a couple of his most famous titles are “James and the Giant Peach” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

13. Poor character analysis? : DYSLEXIA
The term “dyslexia” comes from the Greek “dys-” meaning “bad” and “lexis” meaning “word”.

14. Building material for Solomon’s Temple : CEDARS
Solomon’s Temple was constructed by Solomon on the Temple Mount (or Mount Zion) in Jerusalem. According to the Hebrew Bible it was floored, and the walls lined, with cedar of Lebanon.

17. UV index monitor, for short : EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency was set up during the Nixon administration, and began operation at the end of 1970.

30. End of a series: Abbr. : ET AL
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of people’s names.

32. Basic skateboarding trick : OLLIE
An “ollie” is a skateboarding trick invented in 1976 by Alan “Ollie” Gelfand. Apparently it’s a way of lifting the board off the ground, while standing on it, without touching the board with one’s hands. Yeah, I can do that …

35. It has a crystal inside : GEODE
A geode is naturally occurring rock in which there is a cavity lined with, or filled with crystal formations.

36. Brand for people with milk sugar intolerance : LACTAID
Lactaid is a line of products made for people who are lactose intolerant, so it is 100% lactose-free.

39. Figure of speech : TROPE
A trope is a figure of speech, from the Greek word “tropos” that has the same meaning.

41. Not the ritziest area of town : GHETTO
The first “ghetto” was an island in Venice that was used for confining Venetian Jews. The same island was used to store slag from a foundry, and “getto” was the Venetian word for “slag”. The term ghetto spread across Europe, at the beginning always associated with repressed Jewish populations. Ultimately it came to mean any urban area housing a a minority group under economic and social pressure.

46. “Ditto” : SAME
“Ditto” was originally used in Italian (from Tuscan dialect) to avoid repetition of the names of months in a series of dates. It’s just another wonderful import from that lovely land …

48. France’s equivalent to an Oscar : CESAR
The César Award is the national film award of France. The first César was awarded in 1975, named after the French sculptor César Baldaccini. The awards themselves are actual Baldaccini sculptures.

50. Mawkish : SYRUPY
Something “mawkish” is sickly sentimental, derived from the Middle English word “mawke” meaning “maggot”.

51. Gilbert Stuart works : PORTRAITS
Many consider Gilbert Stuart to be one of the country’s greatest portrait artists. His most famous work is an unfinished portrait of George Washington. It is this self-same portrait of Washington that appears on the one-dollar bill.

54. Spanish newspaper whose name means “The Country” : EL PAIS
“El País” is a national daily newspaper published in Spain. “El País” is Spanish for “The Country”.

59. Packer of old : FAVRE
Brett Favre is best known as the former starting-quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, and now plays for the Minnesota Vikings. Among the many NFL records held by Favre, he has thrown the most career touchdown passes, and has made the most consecutive starts.

60. He was named viceroy of Portuguese India in 1524 : DA GAMA
Vasco da Gama left on his first voyage of discovery in 1497, leaving Lisbon with four ships. He journeyed around the Cape of Good Hope, the southernmost tip of Africa, and across the Indian Ocean making landfall in India. Landing in India, his fleet became the first expedition to sail directly from Europe to the sub-continent. Vasco da Gama was well known for acts of cruelty, especially on local inhabitants. One of his milder atrocities was inflicted on a priest that he labelled as a spy. He had the priest’s lips and ears cut off, and sent him on his way after having a pair of dog’s ears sewn onto his head.

62. Don’t …! : HAVE A COW, MAN
The phrase “don’t have a cow” originated in the fifties, a variation of the older “don’t have kittens”. The concept behind the phrase is that one shouldn’t get worked up, it’s not like one is giving birth to a cow.

69. Possible change in Russia : RUBLE
The ruble (also “rouble”) is the unit of currency in Russia, as well as several other countries of the former Soviet Union.

71. Banks on a runway : TYRA
Tyra Banks is a tremendously successful model and businesswoman. She hosts, and indeed created, the hit show “America’s Next Top Model “, and has her own talk show. Banks was the first African American woman to make the cover of the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue.

73. Briton’s rejoinder : QUITE
The word “quite” has an additional meaning in the UK, a one-word response used to say, “Exactly, I agree”.

74. Long-armed simian, for short : ORANG
Orangutans are arboreal creatures, in fact the largest arboreal animals known to man. They are native to Indonesia and Malaysia, living in the rain forests. Like most species in rain forests these days, orangutans are endangered, with only two species surviving. The word “orangutan” is Malay, meaning “man of the forest”.

75. Element in a guessing contest : JELLY BEAN
Jelly beans are thought to have originated in Boston, and it is documented that they were sent by families and friends of soldiers fighting in the Civil War.

77. Concern when coming up, with “the” : BENDS
“The bends” is a colloquial term used for decompression sickness, a condition that can arise when a diver comes to the surface too quickly. As a SCUBA diver, it’s something I am very much aware of. When a diver is at depth he or she is breathing in air under pressure. At pressure, more nitrogen is dissolved in the blood than normal, and as one surfaces and pressure decreases, the excess nitrogen “bubbles” out of the blood. The body can cope with this bubbling if takes place sufficiently slowly. If it occurs too quickly the nitrogen can build up in pockets in the body causing the acute pain referred to as the bends. Even when you come up slowly, you can “hear” tiny bubbles of nitrogen coming out of the blood near the ear, a crackling sound like popcorn popping.

85. Witticisms : BON MOTS
Bon mot translates from French as “good word”, and we use it to mean a quip, a witticism.

86. Aníbal Cavaco ___, Portuguese president beginning in 2006 : SILVA
Aníbal Cavaco Silva is the current President of Portugal. He has been in office since 2006 and was re-elected in 2011.

88. Kind of keyboard : QWERTY
There is an alternative to the annoying QWERTY keyboard layout. Dr. August Dvorak came up with a much simpler and more efficient layout in 1936. The Dvorak layout permits faster typing rates and reduces repetitive strain injuries.

91. Large ___ Collider (CERN particle accelerator) : HADRON
The Large Hadron Collider is the world’s largest particle accelerator. It is located on the French-Swiss border near Geneva, in a tunnel that is a whopping 17 miles in circumference.

102. Reuters alternative : UPI
United Press International (UPI) was 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 but with only a handful of employees.

106. Uracil’s place : RNA
Nucleobases are molecules that form the backbone of DNA and RNA chains. It is the sequence of these bases in the DNA chain that makes up the so-called “genetic code”. In DNA the four bases are adenine, guanine, thymine and cytosine. The same bases are found in RNA, except that thymine is replaced by uracil.

107. Volleyball action : SET
In volleyball, the set is the second contact made by a team, the contact that is meant to “set up” an attacking shot.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Group working on a plot : CABAL
6. Seurat painted in one : PARC
10. “Look what ___!” : I DID
14. One of Santa’s team : COMET
19. Old Olds : ALERO
20. Biblical shepherd : ABEL
21. Alma mater of football great Roger Staubach : NAVY
22. Opt for the window instead of the aisle? : ELOPE
23. Don’t …! : PLAY WITH MATCHES
26. Ottoman relative : DIVAN
27. Lover of Bianca in “Othello” : CASSIO
28. See 3-Down : SEAL
29. Plea to the unwelcome : LEAVE
31. Loo : JOHN
33. Bug-eyed primates : LORISES
35. “Dream on” : GET REAL
37. Priestly robe : ALB
38. Don’t …! : MESS WITH TEXAS
40. Us, e.g. : MAG
42. Attack like a bear : CLAW AT
44. First person in Germany? : ICH
45. Stir up : ROIL
46. “___ is life …” : SUCH
47. Like some wrestlers’ bodies : OILED
48. “___ for Cookie” (“Sesame Street” song) : C IS
50. It’s not good when it’s flat : SODA
51. Word processing command : PASTE
52. Don’t …! : BELIEVE THE HYPE
56. Skirt chaser : TOMCAT
57. Good news for a worker : RAISE
58. It’s passed down through the ages : LORE
59. Like some old-fashioned studies : FIRELIT
60. Homeric cry? : D’OH
63. Apothecary weight : DRAM
64. More, in scores : PIU
65. Bass in a barbershop quartet, e.g. : PART
66. Old Tokyo : EDO
67. Do-it-yourselfer : AMATEUR
69. Filing aid : RASP
70. Open : OVERT
72. Established facts : GIVENS
73. Don’t …! : QUIT YOUR DAY JOB
78. Person with a code name, maybe : AGENT
79. Puts words in the mouth of? : DUBS
80. A trucker may have one: Abbr. : RTE
81. Hurricane of 2011 : IRENE
82. Advanced sandcastle feature : MOAT
83. Target of some pH tests : SOIL
84. Org. for some guards : NBA
86. Famous Georgian born in 1879 : STALIN
87. Camera operator’s org. : ASC
88. Don’t …! : QUOTE ME ON THIS
92. 30, for 1/5 and 1/6, e.g.: Abbr. : LCD
93. Start without permission? : HOT-WIRE
95. Possible result of a defensive error in soccer : OWN GOAL
96. Rogers on a ship : AYES
97. Sharpens : WHETS
98. E-mail from a Nigerian prince, usually : SCAM
99. Now or never : ADVERB
101. Indulge : HUMOR
103. Don’t …! : TALK TO STRANGERS
108. Distanced : APART
109. Biblical twin : ESAU
110. Filmmaker van Gogh : THEO
111. One of the Allman Brothers : DUANE
112. Harry Potter’s girlfriend : GINNY
113. Trick out, as a car : PIMP
114. In view : SEEN
115. Palais du Luxembourg body : SENAT

Down
1. Trade’s partner : CAP
2. ___-American : ALL
3. One may be seen on a 28-Across’s nose : BEACHBALL
4. Indo-European : ARYAN
5. Stats on weather reports : LOWS
6. Sunbathing sites : PATIOS
7. Can’t stand : ABHORS
8. “Automatic for the People” group : REM
9. iPod type : CLASSIC
10. Liquid, say : IN CASH
11. “Matilda” author : DAHL
12. “___ had it!” : I’VE
13. Poor character analysis? : DYSLEXIA
14. Building material for Solomon’s Temple : CEDARS
15. Shade of green : OLIVE
16. Don’t …! : MOVE A MUSCLE
17. UV index monitor, for short : EPA
18. Total hottie : TEN
24. Shipwreck spot, maybe : ISLET
25. Ones with crowns : TEETH
30. End of a series: Abbr. : ET AL
31. Biblical twin : JACOB
32. Basic skateboarding trick : OLLIE
34. “If only!” : I WISH
35. It has a crystal inside : GEODE
36. Brand for people with milk sugar intolerance : LACTAID
38. Got started : MADE A DENT
39. Figure of speech : TROPE
41. Not the ritziest area of town : GHETTO
43. Small dam : WEIR
46. “Ditto” : SAME
48. France’s equivalent to an Oscar : CESAR
49. Two who smooch, say : ITEM
50. Mawkish : SYRUPY
51. Gilbert Stuart works : PORTRAITS
53. Hacking tool : VIRUS
54. Spanish newspaper whose name means “The Country” : EL PAIS
55. Bring up : HOIST
56. Done in : TIRED
59. Packer of old : FAVRE
60. He was named viceroy of Portuguese India in 1524 : DA GAMA
61. “Heavens!” : OMIGOSH
62. Don’t …! : HAVE A COW, MAN
65. Look down : POUT
68. A big flap may be made about this : TENT
69. Possible change in Russia : RUBLE
71. Banks on a runway : TYRA
73. Briton’s rejoinder : QUITE
74. Long-armed simian, for short : ORANG
75. Element in a guessing contest : JELLY BEAN
76. Chilling, say : ON ICE
77. Concern when coming up, with “the” : BENDS
79. Archetypal abandonment site : DOORSTEP
83. Corporate type : SUIT
84. Inexperienced with : NEW AT
85. Witticisms : BON MOTS
86. Aníbal Cavaco ___, Portuguese president beginning in 2006 : SILVA
88. Kind of keyboard : QWERTY
89. Model used for study or testing : MOCKUP
90. Without flaw : TO A TEE
91. Large ___ Collider (CERN particle accelerator) : HADRON
94. Bramble feature : THORN
96. Lock horns (with) : ARGUE
98. Dis : SLAM
100. Some linemen : ENDS
101. Definitely not a hottie : HAG
102. Reuters alternative : UPI
104. “Just ___ suspected!” : AS I
105. “What ___ said” : SHE
106. Uracil’s place : RNA
107. Volleyball action : SET

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