1128-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Nov 11, Monday

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: Andrea Carla Michaels
THEME: How Do I Look? … each of the theme answers starts with some word that describes a person’s appearance:

20. Notorious 1920s-’30s bank robber : PRETTY BOY FLOYD
33. America Ferrera’s Emmy-winning role : UGLY BETTY
44. Hardly a beauty queen : PLAIN JANE
54. 1940s-’50s wrestler with golden locks : GORGEOUS GEORGE

COMPLETION TIME: 6m 28s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. Apple computer : IMAC
The iMac is a desktop computer platform from Apple, introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated.

15. ___ Lee cakes : SARA
In 1935, businessman Charles Lubin bought a chain of three bakeries in Chicago called Community Bake Shops, and soon expanded the operation into seven stores. Lubin introduced a cream cheesecake that he named after his daughter who was only 8-years-old at the time, Sara Lee Lubin. The cheesecake was a hit, and he renamed the bakeries to Kitchen of Sara Lee. The business was bought out by Consolidated foods in 1956, but the brand name Sara Lee persists to this day, as does Ms. Sara Lee herself, now known as Sara Lee Schupf.

17. “Famous” cookie name : AMOS
Wally Amos was a talent agent, one who was in the habit of taking home-baked cookies with him as an enticement to get celebrities to see him. He was urged by friends to open a cookie store (the cookies were that good, I guess) and this he did in Los Angeles in 1975 using the name “Famous Amos”. The store was a smash hit and he was able build on the success by introducing his cookies into supermarkets. The brand was eventually bought up making Wally a rich man, and Famous Amos cookies are still flying off the shelf.

19. Piece of microfilm : FICHE
A microfiche is a microreproduction of some document(s) on a flat sheet of film. Usually a fiche can fit 98 document-size pages, reducing the storage space required by up to 95%.

20. Notorious 1920s-’30s bank robber : PRETTY BOY FLOYD
Charles Arthur Floyd was a bank robber who got a lot of press coverage for his crimes in the 1930s. In one robbery, Floyd was described by one of his victims as “a mere boy – a pretty boy with apple cheeks”, words that supposedly earned him the moniker “Pretty Boy”. Just like his contemporary, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd hated his nickname.

25. Walk clumsily : GALUMPH
To galumph is to prance about, somewhat smugly. The word is an invention of Lewis Carroll and he used it in his famous nonsense poem “Jabberwocky”. Apparently he arrived at “galumph” by blending the words “gallop” and “triumph”.

29. Prepared to give a “Jeopardy!” response : RANG IN
“Jeopardy” first went on the air in 1964, and is another successful Merv Griffin creation. But it took the introduction of Alex Trebek as host in order to bring the show into the big times. Trebek has been host since 1984.

33. America Ferrera’s Emmy-winning role : UGLY BETTY
America Ferrera is an actress best known for playing the title role in the TV comedy “Ugly Betty”. Ferrera is a smart lady and earned herself a presidential scholarship to study at the University of Southern California. However, she dropped out just one semester shy of graduating, as she had to turn her full attention to her role in “Ugly Betty”.

40. Fugitive’s flight : LAM
To be “on the lam” is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. It is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

49. ___ fizz (cocktail) : SLOE GIN
The ingredients of a Sloe Gin Fizz are sloe gin, lemon juice, sugar, egg white and carbonated water.

A cocktail known as a Fizz includes, by definition, lemon or lime juice and carbonated water. The most popular of the genre is the Gin Fizz, made from 3 parts gin, 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part sugar syrup and 5 parts soda water.

50. Fast train to New York City : ACELA
The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, getting up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. The brand name “Acela” was created to evoke “acceleration” and “excellence”.

53. The Beatles’ “___ Loves You” : SHE
The Beatles song “She Loves You” was released in 1963. It was one of five songs that together achieved an amazing feat in the US charts. At one point that year, the Beatles had those five songs in the top five positions of the American charts.

54. 1940s-’50s wrestler with golden locks : GORGEOUS GEORGE
Gorgeous George was the stage name used by professional wrestler George Wagner. He was one of the first celebrities in the field of sports to develop a flamboyant and fabulous image. Muhammad Ali has said that his approach to the sport of boxing was heavily influenced by Gorgeous George.

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

64. Attend homecoming, say : REUNE
“To reune” is to attend a reunion.

66. Crime solver Wolfe of fiction : NERO
Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective and hero of many stories published by author Rex Stout. There are 33 Nero Wolfe novels for us to read, and 39 short stories. There are also movie adaptations of two of the novels: ” Meet Nero Wolfe” (1936) which features a young Rita Hayworth, and “The League of Frightened Men” (1937). One of Wolfe’s endearing traits is his love of good food and beer, so he is a pretty rotund character.

67. Lhasa apso or Labrador : BREED
The Lhasa apso breed of dog originated in Tibet, and is named after Lhasa (the capital city) and apso (a Tibetan word meaning “bearded”). The Lhasa apso has been around since 800 BC and is one of the oldest breeds in the world, one very closely related to the ancestral wolf.

The Labrador breed has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a decade later in the 1930s.

69. Dancer Verdon : GWEN
Gwen Verdon was one of Broadway’s biggest stars, an actress, singer and dancer. She is famous for playing Lola in the 1958 movie adaptation of “Damn Yankees” in which she sings the unforgettable “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets”. Verdon’s second marriage was to the celebrated choreographer Bob Fosse.

Down
1. Rx watchdog org. : FDA
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was in effect created by the Food and Drug Act signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.

There seems to some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol “Rx”, used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions in days of old to invoke Jupiter’s blessing to help the patient recover.

2. Like Dalí’s watches : LIMP
“The Persistence of Memory” is probably Salvador Dalí’s most famous work, featuring the celebrated “melting clocks”. And you can see it in the MoMA in New York City.

I’ve had the privilege of visiting the Dalí Museum in Figueres some years ago, just north of Barcelona. If you ever get the chance, it’s a “must see”.

4. Smart aleck : WISE GUY
Apparently the original “smart alec” was Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

5. Springfield’s minor-league team on “The Simpsons” : ISOTOPES
On television’s “The Simpsons”, Homer Simpson works at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. The town’s baseball team is called the Springfield Isotopes, probably a nod to the town’s power plant.

7. Bedouins, e.g. : ARABS
Bedouin tribes are Arab ethnic groups that predominately live in the Middle East, in desert areas. Bedouin tribes tend to be nomadic, not settling permanently in one location.

9. Dustin of “Rain Man” : HOFFMAN
Dustin Hoffman’s big break in movies came with the starring role in 1967’s “The Graduate”, and he has been going strong ever since. He wasn’t always destined to be an actor though, as he did start college intending to study medicine. But he left after only a year and joined the Pasadena Playhouse. There he met his very good friend Gene Hackman. Even though the pair have been friends all their lives, it wasn’t until decades after they met that they shared the screen together, for just a few minutes in the excellent 2003 thriller “Runaway Jury”.

10. Kansas town on the Chisholm Trail : ABILENE
Abilene, Kansas started out as a stagecoach stop, back in 1857. It was named Abilene from a passage in the Bible, in which “Abilene” is the name for a “city of the plains”. I am happy to say that I visited Abilene some time back, to stop into the wonderful Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library.

11. Art ___ : DECO
Art Deco is the name given to a style of design and architecture of the 1920s, which actually had its roots in Belgium and then spread throughout Europe before arriving in North America. Celebrated examples of art deco architecture are the magnificent Chrysler Building in New York City completed in 1930, and the GE Building that sits in the middle of Rockefeller Center also in New York City, with the address of “30 Rock”.

13. Nettled, with “off” : TEED
The term “teed off” meaning to be angry, has been around since the early fifties. It is probably a polite way of saying something that might be considered more offensive.

21. ___ of the Unknowns : TOMB
The Tomb of the Unknowns is a monument in Arlington National Cemetery, dedicated to service members who have died without their remains being identified. The Tomb Guards serve a ceremonial role by the monument, “walking the mat” i.e. parading respectfully across the front of the tomb in a carefully orchestrated routine. Those of you who have visited the monument will known how moving the ceremony is.

28. URL starter : HTTP
“http” are the first letters in most Internet links. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol.

Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com) are Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

30. Solzhenitsyn’s “The ___ Archipelago” : GULAG
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, having spent many years in a Gulag labor camp, called his most famous book “The Gulag Archipelago”, published in the West in 1973.

31. Tehran native : IRANI
Tehran is the capital of Iran and is the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of about 8.5 million. Iran has been around an awful long time and Tehran is actually the country’s 31st national capital. We really are only babies over here in the US …

39. Light-colored beer or the glass it comes in : PILSENER
Pilsener beer is a pale lager. The name “pilsener” comes from the city of Pilsen, now in the Czech Republic. It was in Pilsen, in 1842, that the first bottom-fermented lager was produced. A bottom-fermented beer is much clearer that a top-fermented beer, and has a crisper taste. The “top” and “bottom” refers to where the yeast gathers during the brewing process.

42. John Lennon song with the refrain “You may say I’m a dreamer …” : IMAGINE
John Lennon’s magnus opus is his song “Imagine”, released in 1971. “Imagine” was quite successful at the time of its release, but sadly, it only became a number one hit when Lennon was murdered in 1980. According to Lennon, the message behind the song is very simple: a world without countries or religion would be a peaceful place.

45. N.Y.C. area near the Village : NOHO
NoHo is short for North of Houston (street), and is the equivalent area to SoHo, South of Houston. Both NoHo and SoHo are neighborhoods in New York City.

52. “… old woman who lived in ___” : A SHOE
“There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” is an English nursery rhyme.

56. Don Juan type : ROUE
“Roue” is a lovely word, I think, describing a less then lovely man. He could otherwise be described as a cad, someone of loose morals. It comes from the French word “rouer” meaning “to break on a wheel”. This describes the ancient form of capital punishment where a poor soul was lashed to a wheel and then beaten to death with cudgels and bars. I guess the suggestion is that a “roue” with his loose morals deserves such a punishment.

Don Juan is a flighty character who has been featured by a number of authors, poets and composers, including Molière, Byron, and Mozart. In the underlying legend, Don Juan ends up talking to the statue of the dead father of one of his conquests. Don Juan dines with the ghost of the dead man and when shaking the hand of the ghost he is dragged away to hell.

57. Actress Lollobrigida : GINA
Gina Lollobrigida is an Italian actress, and also a photojournalist and sculptor. After her career in movies started to slow down in the seventies, she turned to photojournalism. She has photographed many of the greats, including Paul Newman, Salvador Dali, Audrey Hepburn and even the German national soccer team. In fact, she was also able to arrange an exclusive interview with Fidel Castro, much to the chagrin of the world’s professional journalists.

58. Got longer, like Pinocchio’s nose : GREW
Pinocchio is the title character in the 1883 children’s novel by Carlo Collodi called “The Adventures of Pinocchio”.

59. The Emerald Isle : EIRE
And of course Ireland is called the “Emerald Isle” because of all that green caused by all that rain.

63. Charlie Sheen, to Martin : SON
Martin Sheen is the stage name of actor Ramón Estévez. Despite all of his great performances, Sheen has never even been nominated for an Academy Award. Isn’t that something? I thought he was outstanding in his starring role in television’s “The West Wing”.

Charlie Sheen’s real name is Carlos Irwin Estévez, and he is of course the youngest son of actor Martin Sheen. Charlie was the highest paid actor on television in 2010, earning $1.8 million per episode on the sitcom “Two and a Half Men”. Then of course he blew it and got fired from the show amid stories of alcohol and drug abuse and domestic violence. I bet his co-stars were pretty tweaked about the show being cancelled, and pretty happy that it was given a second lease of life …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Move like water : FLOW
5. Apple computer : IMAC
9. Attacked, as a challenge : HAD AT
14. “What ___ do to deserve this?” : DID I
15. ___ Lee cakes : SARA
16. Fatter than fat : OBESE
17. “Famous” cookie name : AMOS
18. Put ___ act : ON AN
19. Piece of microfilm : FICHE
20. Notorious 1920s-’30s bank robber : PRETTY BOY FLOYD
23. Sticky stuff : GOO
24. Terse note from the boss : SEE ME
25. Walk clumsily : GALUMPH
29. Prepared to give a “Jeopardy!” response : RANG IN
33. America Ferrera’s Emmy-winning role : UGLY BETTY
36. Brain surgeon’s prefix : NEURO-
37. Big Band ___ (1930s-’40s) : ERA
38. Almost straight up and down, as a cliff : STEEP
40. Fugitive’s flight : LAM
41. Big rigs : SEMIS
44. Hardly a beauty queen : PLAIN JANE
47. Naval workers : SEAMEN
49. ___ fizz (cocktail) : SLOE GIN
50. Fast train to New York City : ACELA
53. The Beatles’ “___ Loves You” : SHE
54. 1940s-’50s wrestler with golden locks : GORGEOUS GEORGE
60. Shun : AVOID
61. Much-kicked body part : SHIN
62. Middle of the eye : IRIS
64. Attend homecoming, say : REUNE
65. Bell sound : TONE
66. Crime solver Wolfe of fiction : NERO
67. Lhasa apso or Labrador : BREED
68. Sophomore or junior : YEAR
69. Dancer Verdon : GWEN

Down
1. Rx watchdog org. : FDA
2. Like Dalí’s watches : LIMP
3. Fragrance : ODOR
4. Smart aleck : WISE GUY
5. Springfield’s minor-league team on “The Simpsons” : ISOTOPES
6. Lots of : MANY
7. Bedouins, e.g. : ARABS
8. Birchbark boat : CANOE
9. Dustin of “Rain Man” : HOFFMAN
10. Kansas town on the Chisholm Trail : ABILENE
11. Art ___ : DECO
12. Like fireplace grates : ASHY
13. Nettled, with “off” : TEED
21. ___ of the Unknowns : TOMB
22. “Aw, quit ___ bellyachin’!” : YER
25. Twenty questions attempt : GUESS
26. Shake on it : AGREE
27. Andes animal : LLAMA
28. URL starter : HTTP
30. Solzhenitsyn’s “The ___ Archipelago” : GULAG
31. Tehran native : IRANI
32. All-female group’s policy : NO MEN
34. Business card abbr. : TEL
35. Approving votes : YEAS
39. Light-colored beer or the glass it comes in : PILSENER
42. John Lennon song with the refrain “You may say I’m a dreamer …” : IMAGINE
43. Left the Union : SECEDED
45. N.Y.C. area near the Village : NOHO
46. Making catcalls : JEERING
48. Recent: Prefix : NEO-
51. Hot-blooded : LUSTY
52. “… old woman who lived in ___” : A SHOE
54. Apparel : GARB
55. Above : OVER
56. Don Juan type : ROUE
57. Actress Lollobrigida : GINA
58. Got longer, like Pinocchio’s nose : GREW
59. The Emerald Isle : EIRE
63. Charlie Sheen, to Martin : SON

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