0215-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Feb 12, Wednesday

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: TAKING THE STAIRS … the two theme answers are reasons to take the stairs, and the phrase “taking the stairs” appears in three “flights” of circled/shaded letters that climb up the middle of the grid:

3D. Possible reason for [see shaded letters] : BROKEN ELEVATORS
11D. Possible reason for [see shaded letters] : NEEDING EXERCISE

COMPLETION TIME: 13m 08s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. Massenet opera : THAIS
“Thais” is a 3-act opera composed by Jules Massenet. The work is most famous for its “Meditation”, the entr’acte performed between scenes in Act II.

10. Memo subject header : IN RE
The term “in re” is Latin, derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used in place of “in regard to”, or “in the matter of”.

14. Stationery shade : ECRU
The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. It has the same roots as our word “crude”.

18. Herr Schindler with a list : OSKAR
Oskar Schindler is of course the protagonist in the Steven Spielberg movie “Schindler’s List”. Schindler was a real person who survived WWII. During the Holocaust, Schindler managed to save almost 1,200 Jews from perishing by employing them in his factories. After the war Schindler and his wife were left penniless having used his assets to protect and feed his workers. For years the couple survived on the charity of Jewish groups. He tried to make a go of it in business again but never had any real success. He died a pauper in 1974 in Hildesheim, not far from Hanover. His last wish was to be buried in Jerusalem. Schindler is the only former member of the Nazi Party buried on Mount Zion.

25. “Apollo and Daphne” sculptor : BERNINI
Gian Lorenzo Bernini was an Italian artist, generally regarded as the successor to Michelangelo.

26. ___ Marino : SAN
San Marino is a small enclave in northern Italy with an area of just under 25 square miles. It is the oldest sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world, and has the world’s oldest constitution (dating back to 1600). What is most impressive to me is that San Marino has no national debt and a budget surplus. One can only dream …

33. Beehive State player : UTE
The Runnin’ Utes are the basketball team of the University of Utah. The team was given the nickname the Runnin’ Redskins back when Jack Gardner was the head coach from 1953 to 1971. The “Runnin'” part of the name was chosen because Gardner was famous for playing quick offenses. The “Redskins” name was later dropped in favor of the less controversial “Utes”.

When Mormon pioneers were settling what is today the state of Utah, they referred to the area as Deseret, a word that means “beehive” according to the Book of Mormon. Today Utah is known as the Beehive State, and there is a beehive on the Utah state flag.

38. ___ fides (bad faith) : MALA
Mala fide means “in bad faith” and is in essence the opposite to bona fide (“in good faith”). Bad faith is a concept defined by the law, which addresses the motives behind certain actions.

42. Mother of Apollo : LETO
In Greek mythology, Zeus and Leto are the father and mother of the twins Apollo and Artemis. The twins are sometimes referred to as the Letoides, after their mother.

45. One of the Munsters : EDDIE
Eddie Munster was played by Butch Patrick on the TV show “The Munsters”. Reportedly, Butch received $600 per episode in salary, and that was back in 1964-66.

47. Gen ___ : XER
The term Generation X originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By the latest accepted definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

50. New England’s Cape ___ : ANN
Cape Ann is 30 miles north of Boston and is on the northernmost edge of Massachusetts Bay. The Cape was first mapped by the explorer John Smith. Early in his adventurous life Smith had been captured and enslaved by the Ottoman Empire. His “owner” in his days of slavery was a woman called Tragabigzanda, and apparently the slave and owner fell in love. What we know today as Cape Ann, Smith originally called Cape Tragabigzanda in her memory.

55. Bruins legend : ORR
Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players who ever played the game. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age he concluded that he just couldn’t skate any more. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking …

57. Kind of well : ARTESIAN
An artesian well is one that is drilled into an artesian aquifer. As the groundwater in the aquifer is under positive pressure then the water in the well rises without having to be pumped.

59. Mythological figure being kissed in a statue at the Louvre : PSYCHE
“Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss” is a relatively contemporary statue of a classical subject. It was completed around 1800 by the Italian sculptor Antonio Canova.

65. Parliament : DIET
A Diet was a general assembly of the estates of the former Holy Roman Empire. The most famous of these assemblies was the Diet of Worms, a 16th-century meeting that took place in the small town of Worms on the Rhine River in Germany. The main item on the agenda was discussion of the 95 theses of Martin Luther. Luther was summoned to the meeting and found to be guilty of heresy.

68. Salinger title girl : ESME
J. D. Salinger wrote a short story called “For Esme – with Love and Squalor”, originally published in “The New Yorker” in 1950. It is a story about a young English girl called Esme and an American soldier, and is set in WWII.

J. D. Salinger was a very reclusive author, most famous for his novel “Catcher in the Rye”. Salinger fought in WWII after he was drafted into the US Army. He saw action on Utah Beach on D-Day, and in the Battle of the Bulge. He also spent a lot of time interrogating prisoners due to his knowledge of French and German, and he was one of the first Americans to go into a liberated concentration camp. He later spent time in hospital suffering from what was then called combat stress reaction, as he tried to deal with what he saw in the German camps.

69. Scottish Gaelic : ERSE
There are actually three Erse languages. Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).

Down
3. Possible reason for [see shaded letters] : BROKEN ELEVATORS
Elevators (simple hoists) had been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. At the Fair he would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

5. Infrequently seen bills : TWOS
The US two-dollar bill features a portrait of President Thomas Jefferson on one side. Production was discontinued in 1966, but was started up again 1976. Only 1% of all banknotes produced today are $2 bills so they are rarely seen, but they are indeed out there.

7. Place for an electronic tether : ANKLE
Ankle monitors are used to track the whereabouts of individuals under house arrest. The monitor sends a radio signal to a receiver that is usually located in the detainee’s house. If the signal is not received (presumably because the detainee has strayed). then an alert is sent automatically via land line or cellular network to the authorities.

8. Where there are “bombs bursting,” to an anthem singer : IN AIR
Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a poem, inspired by witnessing the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called “The Anacreontic Song”, with the Anacreontic Society being a men’s club in London.

9. Polynesian wrap : SARONG
Sarong is the Malay word for “sheath”, and a sarong was originally the garment worn by Malay men and women around their waists. The Malay sarong is actually a tube of fabric, about a yard wide and two-and-a-half yards “long”. Many variations of the sarong are worn all over South Asia and the Pacific Islands. I had occasion to wear one in Hawaii many years ago, and found it very … freeing!

12. Like a blue lobster : RARE
The American lobster species is normally colored a dark bluish green to a greenish brown. This color is the result of a mixture of yellow, blue and green pigments. There are known genetic mutations that have resulted in some different colors in the lobster population. About 1 in 2 million lobsters is blue, and 1 in 30 million is yellow. There may even be albino lobsters, occurring at a frequency of about 1 in 100 million.

13. School attended by King’s Scholars : ETON
The world-famous Eton College is just a brisk walk from Windsor Castle, which itself is just outside London. Eton is noted for producing many British leaders including David Cameron who took power in the last UK general election. The list of Old Etonians also includes Princes William and Harry, the Duke of Wellington, George Orwell, and the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming (as well as 007 himself as described in the Fleming novels).

A King’s Scholar is an individual who has been awarded a merit-based scholarship to attend Eton College (and other elite schools). The scholarship used to cover all school fees, but in recent decades it is means-tested.

21. “Peanuts” expletive : RATS
The characters in the cartoon series “Peanuts” were largely drawn from Charles Schultz’s own life, with shy and withdrawn Charlie Brown representing Schultz himself.

23. Robert De ___ : NIRO
Robert de Niro is noted for his longtime and highly successful collaboration with the director Martin Scorsese. He is also noted for his commitment as a method actor. Famously, he gained a full 60 pounds in order to play Jake La Motta in the 1980 movie “Raging Bull”.

25. Geoffrey of fashion : BEENE
Geoffrey Beene was an American fashion designer. He had an impressive list of clients that included First Ladies Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon and Nancy Reagan.

26. “Poison” shrub : SUMAC
Sumacs are a group of flowering plants that include Poison oak, Poison ivy and Poison sumac. Nasty stuff.

27. Producer of the 2600 game console : ATARI
The kids today probably don’t realize that we had a video game console back in the seventies, and it wasn’t a Nintendo nor was it a PlayStation. The Atari 2600 game system introduced the idea of separating out computing hardware (the console) from the game code (a cartridge). The same concept persists to this day, although cartridges have been displaced by discs and downloads.

29. Musician/record producer Bobby : ELI
Bobby Eli is a musician and record producer from Philadelphia.

31. Stereotypical K.P. item : TATER
A “tater” is a potato.

KP is a US military slang term, and stands for either “kitchen police” or “kitchen patrol”.

35. High degree : PHD
PhD is an abbreviation for “philosphiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”.

39. Liqueur served with coffee beans : ANISETTE
Anisette is a French liqueur that is flavored with anise. Anisette is different than the popular drink called Pastis as it is produced using a different process and anisette does not contain any licorice. The equivalent drink to anisette in Italy is called Sambuca.

Sambuca is an Italian liqueur that is flavored with anise. It is often served straight up with three coffee beans floating on the surface. The beans are said to represent health, happiness and prosperity. A more “saucy” representation for the beans is the husband, wife and mistress.

41. Pewter component : TIN
Pewter is a relatively soft alloy that is made up mostly of tin, with some copper, antimony, bismuth and lead.

44. Essen expletives : ACHS
The German exclamation “ach!” is usually translated into English as “oh!”

I knew a man back in Ireland, a German national from the city of Essen. He had very sad tales to tell from the days of WWII. As a young boy he lost his (socialist) parents during the Nazi purges early in the war. In 1943 he was living with his grandmother and still attending school when he was drafted into the army along with the rest of his class (at 14 years of age). His platoon leader was his school teacher who made a point of tutoring the boys in place of military drilling. One day he was on guard duty with his class/platoon at the dam above the city, and along come the Dam Busters with their bouncing bombs. The raid was successful (from the perspective of the Allies), but he described terrible famine faced by the people below the dam due to flooding of the farmland that surrounded the factories.

46. Son of Seth : ENOS
Enos, as the son of Seth, was the grandson of Adam.

54. OH- or Cl-, chemically : ANION
As we all recall from science class, a positive ion is called a cation and a negative ion is an anion. The names “cation” and “anion” come from Greek, with “kation” meaning “going down”, and “anion” meaning “going up”.

56. Truck rental company : RYDER
The Ryder company was founded in 1933 in Miami, Florida by James Ryder. It started out as a concrete hauling company, but changed its focus a few years later to the leasing of trucks.

57. Climber’s goal : ACME
The “acme” is the highest point, coming from the Greek word “akme” which has the same meaning.

59. H.S. supporters : PTAS
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA).

60. Rope material : HEMP
Hemp is a hardy, fast-growing plant that has many uses mainly due to the strength of the fibers in the plant’s stalks. Hemp is used to make rope, paper and textiles. There is of course a variety of hemp that is grown to make drugs, most famously cannabis.

61. Verb with “vous” : ETES
“Vous êtes” is the French for “you are”.

64. Reactor-overseeing org. : NRC
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) oversees most aspects of the safety of nuclear power plants and nuclear fuel in the US.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. They may be kept on you : TABS
5. Massenet opera : THAIS
10. Memo subject header : IN RE
14. Stationery shade : ECRU
15. “Care to?” : WANNA
16. “Way cool!” : NEAT
17. Capping : ATOP
18. Herr Schindler with a list : OSKAR
19. Start of some carrier names : AERO-
20. Manufacturers : MAKERS
22. Dangerous place : LION’S DEN
24. Tide competitor : ERA
25. “Apollo and Daphne” sculptor : BERNINI
26. ___ Marino : SAN
28. Three-way joint : TEE
30. Research aids : GRANTS
33. Beehive State player : UTE
34. Was out : SLEPT
37. Choir accompaniment : ORGAN
38. ___ fides (bad faith) : MALA
40. ___ water : IN HOT
42. Mother of Apollo : LETO
43. Chariot race site : ARENA
45. One of the Munsters : EDDIE
47. Gen ___ : XER
48. Study of government : CIVICS
50. New England’s Cape ___ : ANN
51. Poetic preposition : ERE
52. Place to see a flick? : ASHTRAY
55. Bruins legend : ORR
57. Kind of well : ARTESIAN
59. Mythological figure being kissed in a statue at the Louvre : PSYCHE
62. Old geezer : COOT
63. Spark producer : FLINT
65. Parliament : DIET
66. Suffix in many store names : MART
67. Botanist’s concern : FLORA
68. Salinger title girl : ESME
69. Scottish Gaelic : ERSE
70. Aligns, briefly : SYNCS
71. Gym count : REPS

Down
1. ___ U.S.A. : TEAM
2. ___ fool (be silly) : ACT A
3. Possible reason for [see shaded letters] : BROKEN ELEVATORS
4. Apartment 1A resident, perhaps : SUPER
5. Infrequently seen bills : TWOS
6. Suffers from : HAS
7. Place for an electronic tether : ANKLE
8. Where there are “bombs bursting,” to an anthem singer : IN AIR
9. Polynesian wrap : SARONG
10. All tangled up : IN A SNARL
11. Possible reason for [see shaded letters] : NEEDING EXERCISE
12. Like a blue lobster : RARE
13. School attended by King’s Scholars : ETON
21. “Peanuts” expletive : RATS
23. Robert De ___ : NIRO
25. Geoffrey of fashion : BEENE
26. “Poison” shrub : SUMAC
27. Producer of the 2600 game console : ATARI
29. Musician/record producer Bobby : ELI
31. Stereotypical K.P. item : TATER
32. [So boring!] : SNORE
35. High degree : PHD
36. “Hurry up!” : TODAY
39. Liqueur served with coffee beans : ANISETTE
41. Pewter component : TIN
44. Essen expletives : ACHS
46. Son of Seth : ENOS
49. Leaves a 0% tip : STIFFS
53. Ninth-inning excitement, maybe : RALLY
54. OH- or Cl-, chemically : ANION
56. Truck rental company : RYDER
57. Climber’s goal : ACME
58. Zoo sound : ROAR
59. H.S. supporters : PTAS
60. Rope material : HEMP
61. Verb with “vous” : ETES
64. Reactor-overseeing org. : NRC

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