0927-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Sep 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: Peter A. Collins
THEME: Hidden Countries … all of the theme answers contain the name of a country hidden away:

17A. *Area in front of a coop : CHIC(KEN YA)RD
23A. *Modern school memento : DIG(ITAL Y)EARBOOK
35A. *Braided floor covering : RO(PE RU)G
37A. *More than enough : TO(O MAN)Y
50A. *Elemental parts of human nature : ANI(MAL I)NSTINCTS
57A. *Discover to be fibbing : CAT(CH IN A) LIE
34D. Sovereign lands … or what are hidden in the answers to the six starred clues : COUNTRIES

COMPLETION TIME: 10m 38s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … ROPE RUG (ROPE RUN!), LING (LINN)


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
14. Rights advocacy grp. : 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.

16. Bon ___ : AMI
“Bon ami” is French for “good friend”.

Bon Ami cleanser was introduced just a few years after Bon Ami soap went to market in 1886. The cleanser was marketed by emphasising its “non-scratch” properties. The label showed a chick coming out of an egg, the idea being that a newly hatched chick hasn’t yet scratched the ground looking for worms and insects.

17. *Area in front of a coop : CHIC(KEN YA)RD
Kenya lies on the east coast of Africa, right on the equator. The country takes her name from Mount Kenya, the second highest peak on the continent (after Kilimanjaro).

21. Sea eagle : ERN
The ern (also erne) is also called the white-tailed eagle, and the sea-eagle.

22. Some Saturns : IONS
The Saturn Ion was produced by GM from 2003 to 2007. It was the longest (in length) of any car sold in North America that was labelled as a “compact”.

28. Beatle lover : ONO
Yoko Ono was born into a prosperous Japanese family, and is actually a descendant of one of the emperors of Japan. Her father moved around the world for work and she lived the first few years of her life in San Francisco. The family returned from the US to Japan before moving on to New York, Hanoi and back to Japan just before WWII, in time to live through the great fire-bombing of Tokyo in 1945. Immediately after the war, the family was far from prosperous. While Yoko’s father was being held in a prison camp in Vietnam, her mother had to resort to begging and bartering to feed her children. When her father was repatriated, life started to return to normal and Yoko was able to attend university. She was the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University.

31. Baseball’s Blue Moon : ODOM
Blue Moon Odom’s real name was Johnny Lee Odom, and he was a pitcher for the Oakland Athletics. With the A’s, Odom won three consecutive World Series, from 1972 to 1974.

35. *Braided floor covering : RO(PE RU)G
Peru’s name comes from the word “Biru”. Back in the early 1500s, Biru was a ruler living near the Bay of San Miguel in Panama. The territory over which Biru ruled was the furthest land south in the Americas known to Europeans at that time. The Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro was the first European to move south of Biru’s empire, and the land that he found was designated “Peru”, a derivative of “Biru”.

37. *More than enough : TO(O MAN)Y
Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula, neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The capital city of Muscat has a strategic location on the Gulf of Oman, and has a history of invasion and unrest. Centuries of occupation by the Persians ended in 1507 when the Portuguese took the city in a bloody attack. The Portuguese held Muscat for much of the next century until finally ousted by local Omani forces in 1648. A Yemeni tribe invaded the area in 1741 and set up a monarchy that has been in place ever since.

41. “___ the season” : ‘TIS
“‘Tis the season to be jolly” is a line from the traditional Yuletide carol “Deck the Halls”. The tune itself is Welsh in origin, dating back to the 16th century. However, the lyrics are American and from the 19th century. Also, Mozart used the tune as a theme for a delightful violin and piano duet.

42. Play about Capote : TRU
“Tru” was written by Jay Presson Allen and is a play about Truman Capote that premiered in 1989. There is a classic anachronism in the piece. It is set in Capote’s New York City apartment at Christmas 1975. At one point the Capote character talks about suicide, saying that he has enough pills to stage his own Jonestown Massacre. The Jonestown Massacre didn’t happen until three years later, in 1978.

43. Bosnian, e.g. : SLAV
The Slavic peoples are found in the majority in communities that cover over half of Europe. This large ethnic group is traditionally broken down into three smaller groups:

– the West Slavic (including Czechs and Poles)
– the East Slavic (including Russians and Ukrainians)
– the South Slavic (including Bulgarians and Serbs)

Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of six federal units in former Yugoslavia, and gained its independence after the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. There are three main ethnic groups in the country. The largest group is Bosniaks, the second is the Bosnian Serbs, and the third is the Bosnian Croats.

44. Larklike bird : PIPIT
Pipits are small birds found almost everywhere on the globe, except the driest of deserts, the wettest of rainforests and Antarctica.

47. Ore-Ida parent company : HEINZ
Ore-Ida frozen foods are all made with potatoes. The company is located in Oregon, just across the border from Idaho. “Ore-Ida” is a melding of the two state names.

50. *Elemental parts of human nature : ANI(MAL I)NSTINCTS
The Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in western Africa, south of Algeria. The country’s most famous city is more famous than the country itself, namely the city of Timbuktu.

53. Posh : LUXE
Luxe can be used as an adjective, meaning elegant and sumptuous, posh.

54. Letter from Homer? : ETA
Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”.

Homer was a famous poet of Ancient Greece, believed to be the author of the two classic epic poems, the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey”. However, some scholars believe that Homer did not actually exist, but rather he is the personification of oral tradition that was passed down through the ages.

55. ___ v. Wade : ROE
Roe v. Wade was decided in a US District Court in Texas in 1970, and reached the Supreme Court on appeal. The basic decision by the Supreme Court was that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy applied to an abortion, but that this right had to be balanced with a state’s interest in protecting an unborn child and a mother’s health. The Court further defined that the state’s interest became stronger with each trimester of a pregnancy. So, in the first trimester, the woman’s right to privacy outweighed any state interest. In the second trimester, the state’s interest in maternal health was deemed to be strong enough to allow state regulation of abortion for the sake of the mother. In the third trimester, the viability of the fetus dictated that the state’s interest in the unborn child came into play, so states could regulate or prohibit abortions, except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. I’m no lawyer, but that’s my understanding of the initial Supreme Court decision …

56. Former White House press secretary Fleischer : ARI
Ari Fleischer was the White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush. Fleischer now runs his own media consulting firm that specializes in representing sports players and organizations. Fleischer helped Mark McGwire handle the media when he had to admit to the use of steroids, and was briefly hired by Tiger Woods as he planned his return to the PGA after dropping out of the spotlight to handle the problems in his personal life.

65. Actors Burns and Wynn : EDS
Ed Burns is an American actor from Queens, New York. I mostly remember him for his roles in “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Holiday”.

Ed Wynn was a comedian and actor, especially popular on his own radio show. He migrated from radio to the small and big screens, moving from comic to dramatic roles. His most noted film performance was in “The Diary of Anne Frank” playing Albert Dussell, the dentist who hid from the Nazis with the Frank family. For this role Wynn was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

66. Guardian Angels’ toppers : BERETS
The Guardian Angels is an organization of unarmed volunteers who patrol high-crime areas and make citizen arrests when necessary. The group was founded in 1979 and originally focused on patrols of the New York City subway system. Now there are Guardian Angels operating in 15 countries and 144 cities around the world. You might recognize a Guardian Angel from his or her distinctive red beret.

Down
1. Hoover or Oreck, for short : VAC
The first practical, portable vacuum cleaner was invented by James Spangler in 1907. He sold the patent for the design to his cousin’s husband, William Henry Hoover. Hoover then made his fortune from manufacturing and selling vacuum cleaners. Hoover was so successful in my part of the world that back in Ireland we don’t use the verb “to vacuum” and instead say “to hoover”, and a hoover is what we call a vacuum cleaner, regardless of who makes it.

The Oreck Corporation was named after founder David Oreck, and makes vacuum cleaners and air purifiers. The company started out selling vacuum cleaners by mail, a new concept in 1963. David Oreck himself appears regularly as a spokesman in the company’s ads and infomercials.

2. German “I” : 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.

3. Noted 1964 convert to Islam : ALI
Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky, changing his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta? Ali was presented with a gold medal during those ’96 Games, a replacement for the medal he won at the 1960 Olympics. He had thrown the original into the Ohio River as a gesture of disgust after being refused service at a “whites only” restaurant.

4. Susan of soaps : LUCCI
Susan Lucci is perhaps the most famous actor associated with daytime soap operas, and is the highest paid actor in daytime television. She was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series an incredible 21 times, for her role in “All My Children”.

5. Character in a Beatles song : THE WALRUS
“I Am the Walrus” is a Beatles song released in 1967. It was written by John Lennon, with the Walrus being a reference to the poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter” from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass”.

6. Wine: Prefix : OEN-
In Greek mythology Oeno was the goddess of wine, giving us “oen-” as a prefix meaning “wine”. Oenology, for example, is the study of wine.

9. “___ Doone” : LORNA
“Lorna Doone” was written by Richard Doddridge Blackmore. R. D. Blackmore was an English novelist, very celebrated and in demand in his day (the late 1800s). His romantic story “Lorna Doone” was by no means a personal favorite of his, and yet it is the only one of his works still in print.

12. Some acids : AMINOS
Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins.

13. Composer ___-Korsakov : RIMSKY
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was one of the great Russian composers from the Romantic Era. His most famous works are probably “Capriccio Espagnol” and “Scheherazade”. While he was composing, Rimsky-Korsakov spent much of working life as an officer in the Imperial Russian Navy.

18. Kit ___ (chocolate bars) : KATS
I grew up eating Kit Kat bars as a kid, as the chocolate confection has been around since the thirties. Kit Kats didn’t hit the shelves in the US until the seventies. I’ve seen new varieties of Kit Kat over in the UK, such as an orange-flavored version, but haven’t seen anything like that over here.

24. ___-European : INDO-
The Indo-European languages are a large group that includes most of the major languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau and South Asia. It is the largest grouping of languages in the world.

26. When repeated, a noted panda : LING
Ling Ling was a famous giant panda who lived in a zoo in Tokyo, Japan. The name “Ling Ling” is Chinese for “darling little girl”, which is odd really, as Ling Ling was a male!

36. “Lovely” Beatles girl : RITA
“Lovely Rita” is a Beatles song on the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album. When the album was released in 1967, the term “meter maid” wasn’t used in the UK, although it was a slang term used in the US. The song helped spread the usage of “meter maid” all around the English-speaking world. Apparently the inspiration for the song was McCartney getting a parking ticket one day outside the Abbey Road recording studios. He accepted the ticket with good grace, from a warden named Meta Davis. McCartney felt that Meta “looked like a Rita”, so that was the name she was given in the song.

37. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Speaker : TRIS
Tris Speaker was a Major League Baseball player, the holder of the record for the most doubles hit in a career. He led the Boston Red Sox to two World Series championships, in 1912 and 1915.

38. Actor Baldwin : ALEC
Alec Baldwin is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think his 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 is making a name for himself these days playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey.

39. Creator of the G.O.P. elephant : NAST
Thomas Nast was an American caricaturist and cartoonist. He was the creator of the Republican Party elephant, the Democratic Party’s donkey, Uncle Sam and the image of the plump and jocular Santa Claus that we use today.

40. The “Y” in Y.S.L. : YVES
Yves Saint-Laurent was a French fashion designer, actually born in Algeria. He started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint-Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from prison, managed to pull his life back together, and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story …

44. France’s Élysée, for one : PALACE
The Élysée Palace is the official residence of the French President, and is near the Champs-Élysées in Paris. In the 1800s, there used to be a tunnel between the Élysée Palace and the nearby Tuileries Palace, a tunnel used quite often by Napoleon Bonaparte. While Napoleon lived in the Tuileries Palace, he would meet his mistresses in the Élysée Palace. He was ever the soul of discretion …

48. The Jewish people : ZION
The name “Zion” first turns up in the Book of Solomon in the Bible. Zion is commonly used to refer to Jerusalem, and sometimes the Biblical land of Israel.

52. Author Zora ___ Hurston : NEALE
Zora Neale Hurston was an American author, most famous for her 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. Like the author, the main character in the novel is an African American woman, a part played by Halle Berry in a television movie adaption that first aired in 2005.

57. Request inside (or outside?) a wine bar : CAB
You might order a Cabernet Sauvignon inside a wine bar, and a taxicab outside it.

58. Pres. when NATO was formed : HST
Harry Truman wanted to go to West Point having served with the Missouri Army National Guard on active duty in WWI, but he couldn’t get in because of his poor eyesight. He didn’t have the money to attend college anywhere else. He did study for two years towards a law degree at the Kansas City Law School in the twenties, but never finished. So, Harry S. Truman was the only US President who did not have a college degree.

NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (or OTAN in French, “l’Organisation du Traité de l’Atlantique Nord”). NATO was founded not long after WWII, in 1949, and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

61. Fair-hiring inits. : EEO
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Commission was set up by the Civil Rights Act.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Medicine holder : VIAL
5. Walk ungracefully : TODDLE
11. Nick, say : MAR
14. Rights advocacy grp. : ACLU
15. This point forward : HEREON
16. Bon ___ : AMI
17. *Area in front of a coop : CHIC(KEN YA)RD
19. Grand Canyon part : RIM
20. Cornfield call : CAW
21. Sea eagle : ERN
22. Some Saturns : IONS
23. *Modern school memento : DIG(ITAL Y)EARBOOK
28. Beatle lover : ONO
29. More clever : SLIER
30. Wee, informally : EENSY
31. Baseball’s Blue Moon : ODOM
33. O.R. figures : RNS
34. One working with checks and balances, for short : CPA
35. *Braided floor covering : RO(PE RU)G
37. *More than enough : TO(O MAN)Y
41. “___ the season” : ‘TIS
42. Play about Capote : TRU
43. Bosnian, e.g. : SLAV
44. Larklike bird : PIPIT
47. Ore-Ida parent company : HEINZ
49. Language suffix : -ESE
50. *Elemental parts of human nature : ANI(MAL I)NSTINCTS
53. Posh : LUXE
54. Letter from Homer? : ETA
55. ___ v. Wade : ROE
56. Former White House press secretary Fleischer : ARI
57. *Discover to be fibbing : CAT(CH IN A) LIE
62. Bee follower : CEE
63. Opposed (to) : AVERSE
64. Hobbling, say : LAME
65. Actors Burns and Wynn : EDS
66. Guardian Angels’ toppers : BERETS
67. Event with booths : EXPO

Down
1. Hoover or Oreck, for short : VAC
2. German “I” : ICH
3. Noted 1964 convert to Islam : ALI
4. Susan of soaps : LUCCI
5. Character in a Beatles song : THE WALRUS
6. Wine: Prefix : OEN-
7. They may be hard to find at a tearjerker : DRY EYES
8. More loved : DEARER
9. “___ Doone” : LORNA
10. Knock off : END
11. Strand : MAROON
12. Some acids : AMINOS
13. Composer ___-Korsakov : RIMSKY
18. Kit ___ (chocolate bars) : KATS
22. Metal supports in skyscrapers : I-BEAMS
23. Opportunity, metaphorically : DOOR
24. ___-European : INDO-
25. Sticky stuff : GOOP
26. When repeated, a noted panda : LING
27. Takeback, briefly : REPO
32. Break from responsibilities, informally : ME TIME
34. Sovereign lands … or what are hidden in the answers to the six starred clues : COUNTRIES
36. “Lovely” Beatles girl : RITA
37. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Speaker : TRIS
38. Actor Baldwin : ALEC
39. Creator of the G.O.P. elephant : NAST
40. The “Y” in Y.S.L. : YVES
42. Like a small farm, perhaps : TEN-ACRE
44. France’s Élysée, for one : PALACE
45. Hardened : INURED
46. Fairies : PIXIES
47. One getting lots of doubles and home runs, say : HITTER
48. The Jewish people : ZION
51. It might be taken by a sailor : LEAVE
52. Author Zora ___ Hurston : NEALE
57. Request inside (or outside?) a wine bar : CAB
58. Pres. when NATO was formed : HST
59. Loosey-goosey : LAX
60. Mischief-maker : IMP
61. Fair-hiring inits. : EEO

Return to top of page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.