1222-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Dec 11, Thursday

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: Kristian House
THEME: SHAPE SHIFTER … each of the theme answers contains a shape, but the shapes in the collection of answers have been shifted around:

20A. Uncool Eskimo? : ARCTIC SQUARE (from ARCTIC CIRCLE)
34A. Percussion instrument owned by a New York newspaper? : TIMES TRIANGLE (from TIMES SQUARE)
41A. Close-knit group at a popular island destination? : BERMUDA CIRCLE (from BERMUDA TRIANGLE)
55A. Werewolf, e.g. … or the one responsible for 20-, 34- and 41-Across? : SHAPESHIFTER

COMPLETION TIME: 19m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … ALY (ALI), NYET (NIET!)


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. ___-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, 2010 : DODD
Chris Dodd is a Democrat who served as the Senator for the State of Connecticut for 30 years until 2011, when he chose not to run for reelection. Dodd now works as the chief lobbyist for the Motion Picture Association of America.

9. Small spade, maybe : DEUCE
Our term “deuce” ultimately comes via French from the Latin “duo” meaning “two”.

14. Mideast bigwig: Var. : AMIR
In English, “emir” can also be written as “amir” and “ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

15. 1951 historical role for Peter Ustinov : NERO
“Quo Vadis” is an epic drama made in 1951, an adaptation of the 1896 novel of the same name written by Henryk Sienkiewicz. At the top of the bill were Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr, with Peter Ustinov playing the Emperor Nero. There was also an uncredited extra making her first appearance on the screen, a young lady by the name of Sophia Loren.

Peter Ustinov was a fabulous actor from England. He was multi-talented and made a great guest on the talk show circuit.

16. “Nope!” : IXNAY
Pig Latin is in effect a game. One takes the first consonant of an English word and moves it to the end of the word, and then adds the letters “ay”. So the Pig Latin for the word “nix” is “ix-n-ay” … ixnay, and for “scram” is “am-scr-ay”

17. Beaut of a butte? : MESA
“Mesa” is the Spanish for “table” and is of course is how we get the term “mesa”, which describes a geographic feature.

“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” I hear you cry! Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, taller than it is wide. Now we know …

18. Minnesota’s St. ___ College : OLAF
St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota is named after the former king and patron saint of Norway, Olaf II.

19. Autumn shade : OCHRE
Ochre is often spelled “ocher” in the US (it’s “ochre” where I come from). Ocher is a light, yellowy brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible, such as red ocher and purple ocher.

20. Uncool Eskimo? : ARCTIC SQUARE (from ARCTIC CIRCLE)
The Arctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude marked on most maps of the earth. The Arctic lies north of the Arctic Circle, and is the region where the sun is above the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year.

Lines of latitude are the imaginary horizontal lines surrounding the planet. The most “important” lines of latitude are:

– Arctic Circle
– Tropic of Cancer
– Equator
– Tropic of Capricorn
– Antarctic Circle

23. Original Beatles bassist Sutcliffe : STU
Stu Sutcliffe was one of the original four members of The Silver Beatles (as The Beatles were known in their early days), along with Lennon, McCartney and Harrison. Sutcliffe apparently came up with name “Beatles” along with John Lennon, as a homage to their hero Buddy Holly who was backed by the “Crickets”. By all reports, Sutcliffe wasn’t a very talented musician, and was more interested in painting. He went with the group to Hamburg, more than once, but he eventually left the Beatles and went back to art school, actually studying for a while at the Hamburg College of Art. In 1962, in Hamburg, he collapsed with blinding headaches. He died in the ambulance on the way to hospital, his death attributed to cerebral paralysis.

24. Sound on Old MacDonald’s farm : MOO
There was an American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O), that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the US version goes “Old Macdougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

25. Title cartoon boy : CALVIN
The comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” is still widely syndicated, even though it hasn’t been written since 1995. The cartoonist Bill Watterson named the character Calvin after John Calvin, the 16th century theologian. Hobbes was named for Thomas Hobbes a 17th century English political philosopher.

29. “The Big Chill” director : KASDAN
Lawrence Kasdan is a film producer, director and screenwriter. He wrote the script of the movie “The Bodyguard” and worked on the screenplays for “Return of the Jedi” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. He also directed and wrote the screenplay for “The Big Chill”.

“The Big Chill” is a lovely comedy-drama film released in 1983, and one that must have the most popular soundtrack of all times. The film is about a group of old college friends getting together for the funeral of a mutual friend. The dead friend was actually played by Kevin Costner, but scenes that featured his face ended up on the cutting room floor.

33. Khan married to Rita Hayworth : ALY
Aly Khan was the familiar name used by the media when referring to Prince Ali Solomone Aga Khan, the Pakistani ambassador to the UN from 1958 to 1960. He made it into the papers a lot as he was the third husband of actress Rita Hayworth.

34. Percussion instrument owned by a New York newspaper? : TIMES TRIANGLE (from TIMES SQUARE)
Times Square in New York City of course isn’t a square at all, but rather a triangle. When the New York Times newspaper opened new headquarters in the area in 1904, the city agreed to the name “Times Square”, changing it from Longacre Square.

37. 7/5/75 winner over Connors : ASHE
Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player from Richmond, Virginia. In his youth he found himself having to travel great distances to play against Caucasian opponents due to the segregation that still existed in his home state. He was rewarded for his dedication by being selected for the 1963 US Davis Cup team, the first African America player to be so honored. He continued to run into trouble because of his ethnicity though, and in 1968 was denied entry into South Africa to play in the South African Open. In 1979 Ashe suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery, with follow-up surgery four years later during which he contracted HIV from blood transfusions. Ashe passed away in 1993, due to complications from AIDS. Shortly afterwards, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

Jimmy Connors is one of the greats of the sport of tennis, playing during what I regard as the “golden era”, the days of Bjorn Bog, Ilie Nastase, Rod Laver, John Newcombe and John McEnroe. Tennis was such a fun and entertaining sport back then. Well, that’s my humble opinion …

39. Who wrote “It was many and many a year ago, / In a kingdom by the sea …” : POE
“It was many and many a year ago, / In a kingdom by the sea …” are the opening lines to the poem titled “Annabel Lee”, the last complete poem written by Edgar Allan Poe.

Edgar Allan Poe lived a life of many firsts. He is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn’t really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849, he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious from either drugs or alcohol. He died a few days later in hospital at 39 years of age.

41. Close-knit group at a popular island destination? : BERMUDA CIRCLE (from BERMUDA TRIANGLE)
The Bermuda Triangle is an area in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean that is famous for the loss of ships and aircraft under mysterious circumstances. The triangular area is roughly defined by Miama, Florida, and the islands of Bermuda and Puerto Rico.

46. Topic of Objectivism : EGO
The philosophy of objectivism comes in several forms, all holding that reality is objective and independent of the mind. The emphasis is on reality based on the observation of objects and events rather than feelings or thoughts that grow out of literature or art.

48. Aphrodite’s love : ADONIS
In Greek mythology Adonis is a beautiful young god loved by Aphrodite. He dies in a hunting accident (gored by a boar), but not before he gives Aphrodite a child. Adonis was originally a Phoenician god (Phoenicia is modern day Lebanon) “absorbed” into Greek lore. The child born of Adonis to Aphrodite was called Beroe, after which is named Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon.

53. Champagne chum : AMI
A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.

Champagne is a historic province in the northeast of France, famous of course for its sparkling white wine.

54. Mo. of the hunter’s moon : OCT
Blood Moon is also known as the hunter’s moon or sanguine moon. It is the first full moon after the harvest moon (the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox). The name comes from the tradition of hunting for food in the fall to stockpile food for the winter.

55. Werewolf, e.g. … or the one responsible for 20-, 34- and 41-Across? : SHAPESHIFTER
A wolf man is better known perhaps as a werewolf. A werewolf morphs from human form into that of a wolf man when there is a full moon. There seems to an obsession about werewolves and vampires these days …

59. “Shine On, Harvest Moon,” e.g. : OLDIE
“Shine On, Harvest Moon” is a lovely old vaudeville song from the early 1900s.

63. Opera that premiered on Christmas Eve of 1871 : AIDA
“Aida” is the famous opera by Giuseppe Verde, actually based on a scenario written by a French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette, who also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first performed in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander that falls in love with her, and then of course, complications arise!

64. Red-haired ogress of film : FIONA
Princess Fiona is the love interest in the “Shrek” series of films.

Before “Shrek” was a successful movie franchise and Broadway musical, it was a children’s picture book called “Shrek!” authored and illustrated by William Steig. The title “Shrek!” came from the German/Yiddish word Schreck, meaning “fear” or “terror”.

67. Pink ___ : FLOYD
Pink Floyd were an English rock band founded in 1965. The band’s most famous albums were probably “The Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall”.

69. Early Beatles tune subtitled “Go to Him” : ANNA
Anna (Go to Him) was written and first recorded by Arthur Alexander in 1962. My guess is that he made more money from the cover version recorded by the Beatles on their debut album “Please Please Me”, released the following year.

Down
1. Reversible fabric : DAMASK
Damask was originally a weaving technique associated with the Byzantine and Islamic weaving centers of the Middle Ages. “Damask” comes from the name of Damascus which was a major trading city at that time.

2. Code of silence : OMERTA
Omerta is a code of honor in southern Italian society. The term has been adopted by the Mafia to mean a code of silence designed to prevent a Mafioso from turning informer for the authorities. For example, the famous Joe Valachi was someone who broke the code of silence in 1963, informing on the New York Mafia. His story was told in the movie “The Valachi Papers”, with Charles Bronson playing Valachi.

5. Carnival treat : SNO-CONE
A sno-cone (also “snow cone”) is just a paper cone filled with crushed ice and topped with flavored water. Italian ice is similar, but different. Whereas the flavoring is added on top of the ice to make a sno-cone, Italian ice is made with water that is flavored before it is frozen.

6. Chief of medicine on “Scrubs” : KELSO
On the TV show “Scrubs”. Bob Kelso M.D. is played by actor Ken Jenkins. Kelso’s wife is Enid, someone he talks about a lot although she is never seen in the show. Enid is described as morbidly obese and neurotic. She was also paralyzed in an accident and uses a wheelchair.

7. “The Hurt Locker” locale : IRAQ
The 2008 movie “The Hurt Locker” is a disturbing drama about a US Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team on the front lines during the Iraq War. The film appears to be very realistic, and was filmed in Jordan just a few miles from the Iraqi border. The screenplay was written by Mark Boal, a journalist who was embedded with an EOD team in 2004. “The Hurt Locker” won six Academy Awards, including Best Director for Kathyrn Bigelow, the first woman to be so honored.

8. Food that wiggles : TOFU
Tofu is another name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that … bean that has “curdled”. It is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally, I love tofu, but my wife, she hates it …

11. The Wildcats of the America East Conf. : UNH
The University of New Hampshire is the largest university in the state. It was founded as the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts in 1866.

21. Worship leader : IMAM
An imam is a Muslim leader, often the one in charge of a mosque or perhaps a Muslim community.

22. Popular source of antioxidants : ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

28. Security Council vote : NYET
“Nyet” is the Russian for “no”.

The United Nations Security Council has 15 members, 5 of whom are permanent and who have veto power over any resolution. The 10 non-permanent members are elected into place, and hold their seats for two years. The UN charter requires that authorized representatives of the member nations are always present at UN headquarters so that the Security council can meet at any time. The permanent members are:

– China
– France
– Russia
– United Kingdom
– United States

30. Per ___ : DIEM
“Per diem” is the Latin for “by the day”.

32. “… ___ saw Elba” : ERE I
The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

– Able was I ere I saw Elba
– A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
– Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite words is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. It is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”. I would call it a “real” word though in one sense, as it was introduced in the early eighties and has been around ever since.

36. Court plea, for short : NOLO
“Nolo contendere” is a legal term that translates from the Latin as “I do not wish to contend”. It’s the plea of “no contest”, an alternative to “guilty” or “not guilty”, meaning that one doesn’t admit guilt but nor does one dispute the charge.

37. Biblical brother : ABEL
The story of Cain and Abel not only appears in the Bible, it also features in the Qur’an. In the Muslim account the brothers are named Kabil and Habil.

38. State symbol of Utah : SEGO
The Sego Lily is the state flower of Utah, and is a perennial plant found throughout the Western United States.

43. Writer François ___ Rochefoucauld : DE LA
François de La Rochefoucauld was a French nobleman and author who lived in the 17th century.

45. Year of the Battle of Pollentia : CDII
The Battle of Pollentia was fought at Easter in the year 402 between the Romans and the Visigoths. Pollentia was an ancient city in northern Italy, known today as Pollenzo. As a result of the battle, the Goths evacuated Italy.

52. Hit TV series starring Gary Sinise : CSI: NY
I’m told that the TV show “CSI” gets a lot of razzing by law enforcement professionals for its unrealistic portrayal of the procedures and science of criminal investigation. I don’t care though, as I just think it’s fun television. The original “CSI” set in Las Vegas seems to have “gone off the boil”, but the addition of Sela Ward to the cast of “CSI: NY” has really, really raised the level of the sister show set in New York City.

Actor Gary Sinise was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing Lieutenant Dan Taylor in the 1994 film “Forrest Gump”. He has been playing the lead in television’s “CSI: NY” since 2004. Sinise was awarded the Presidential citizen medal by President Bush for his work helping Iraqi school children and his work with the USO.

56. Sponsor of ads famous for nudity : PETA
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a very large animal rights organization, with 300 employees and two million members and supporters worldwide. Although the group campaigns for animal rights across a broad spectrum of issues, it has a stated focus in opposition of four practices:

– factory farming
– fur farming
– animal testing
– use of animals in entertainment

61. Scooby-___ : DOO
“Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” is a series of cartoons produced for Hanna-Barbera Productions, introduced in 1969.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. ___-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, 2010 : DODD
5. Playlet : SKIT
9. Small spade, maybe : DEUCE
14. Mideast bigwig: Var. : AMIR
15. 1951 historical role for Peter Ustinov : NERO
16. “Nope!” : IXNAY
17. Beaut of a butte? : MESA
18. Minnesota’s St. ___ College : OLAF
19. Autumn shade : OCHRE
20. Uncool Eskimo? : ARCTIC SQUARE (from ARCTIC CIRCLE)
23. Original Beatles bassist Sutcliffe : STU
24. Sound on Old MacDonald’s farm : MOO
25. Title cartoon boy : CALVIN
29. “The Big Chill” director : KASDAN
31. Part of a baseball : SEAM
33. Khan married to Rita Hayworth : ALY
34. Percussion instrument owned by a New York newspaper? : TIMES TRIANGLE (from TIMES SQUARE)
37. 7/5/75 winner over Connors : ASHE
39. Who wrote “It was many and many a year ago, / In a kingdom by the sea …” : POE
40. Depose : OUST
41. Close-knit group at a popular island destination? : BERMUDA CIRCLE (from BERMUDA TRIANGLE)
46. Topic of Objectivism : EGO
47. Company car, maybe : PERK
48. Aphrodite’s love : ADONIS
51. Lite : LOW CAL
53. Champagne chum : AMI
54. Mo. of the hunter’s moon : OCT
55. Werewolf, e.g. … or the one responsible for 20-, 34- and 41-Across? : SHAPESHIFTER
59. “Shine On, Harvest Moon,” e.g. : OLDIE
62. Fair : EXPO
63. Opera that premiered on Christmas Eve of 1871 : AIDA
64. Red-haired ogress of film : FIONA
65. Brim : TEEM
66. Nothingness : VOID
67. Pink ___ : FLOYD
68. It can make the face red : ACNE
69. Early Beatles tune subtitled “Go to Him” : ANNA

Down
1. Reversible fabric : DAMASK
2. Code of silence : OMERTA
3. Olympic event dating back to ancient Greece : DISCUS THROW
4. “Phooey!” : DRAT
5. Carnival treat : SNO-CONE
6. Chief of medicine on “Scrubs” : KELSO
7. “The Hurt Locker” locale : IRAQ
8. Food that wiggles : TOFU
9. Kid’s art project : DIORAMA
10. Shine : EXCEL
11. The Wildcats of the America East Conf. : UNH
12. Roller coaster part : CAR
13. Cyclone part : EYE
21. Worship leader : IMAM
22. Popular source of antioxidants : ACAI
26. Inkling : VAGUE NOTION
27. Drugs and crime, e.g. : ILLS
28. Security Council vote : NYET
30. Per ___ : DIEM
31. Soup base : STOCK
32. “… ___ saw Elba” : ERE I
35. Go at it : SPAR
36. Court plea, for short : NOLO
37. Biblical brother : ABEL
38. State symbol of Utah : SEGO
42. In the near future : UP AHEAD
43. Writer François ___ Rochefoucauld : DE LA
44. Make forcefully, as a point : RAM HOME
45. Year of the Battle of Pollentia : CDII
49. Immobilized by a storm, maybe : ICED IN
50. Italian road : STRADA
52. Hit TV series starring Gary Sinise : CSI: NY
53. Part of a mountain forest : ASPEN
56. Sponsor of ads famous for nudity : PETA
57. Not jud. or leg. : EXEC
58. Kind of bean : FAVA
59. Slightly askew : OFF
60. Wee : LIL
61. Scooby-___ : DOO

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