0703-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Jul 12, Tuesday

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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: Robin Weintraub
THEME: Adding STER … all of the theme answers are well-known, two-word expression with the suffix -STER added to one word:

17A. Cheer to an interstate trucker? : GO TEAM(STER)
28A. One who peruses the dictionary? : WEB(STER) BROWSER
45A. Newsman Anderson with a theology degree? : MINI(STER) COOPER
59A. One who’s very good at rocking the cradle? : YO-YO MA(STER)

COMPLETION TIME: 7m 16s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Thespian’s major : DRAMA
The term “Thespian” is used for an actor. It derives from the name of the Greek poet of the 6th century, Thespis, known as the father of Greek tragedy.

14. Edmonton player : OILER
The National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers are so called because they are located in Alberta, Canada … oil country.

15. Retro style : DECO
Art deco is the name given to a style of design and architecture of the 1920s that 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”.

16. Singer Guthrie : ARLO
Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree“, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

17. Cheer to an interstate trucker? : GO TEAM(STER)
A teamster was originally just a person who drove a team of animals who pulled a wagon. Teamster became a synonym for a truck driver as the trade union known as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters grew in importance during the Depression.

20. Razor brand : ATRA
Fortunately for crossword setters, the Atra razor was introduced by Gillette in 1977. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

23. Hockey player Bobby : ORR
Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players who ever played the game. By the time he retired in 1978 Orr 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 …

27. Word repeated in both James Bond and Justin Bieber film titles : NEVER
Never Say Never Again” is a little unusual compared to the rest of the series of Bond movies. “Never Say Never Again” was produced by a different company than the other films, and not without some legal wrangling. Sean Connery was brought back for the main role, some 12 years after he starred in “Diamonds Are Forever”. “Never Say Never Again” was released in 1983, the same year as the “official” Bond picture “Octopussy” starring Roger Moore as James Bond. “Octopussy” won the battle at the box office.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” is a 3-D concert film released in 2011 featuring the young pop idol. I saw Justin Bieber on television not too long ago for the first time, and boy do I feel old. This heartthrob from Canada was born in 1994(!), and he is recording hit after hit. Me, I’ll stick with the Beatles …

28. One who peruses the dictionary? : WEB(STER) BROWSER
Not only is Noah Webster’s name inextricably linked with his series of dictionaries, but he is also renowned as an advocate for English spelling reform. He argued that “traditional” English is hard to learn, and that it should be simplified and standardized. He published spelling books that were used in schools, and from edition to edition he changed the spelling of words in order to simplify the language. Examples are the use of “s” over “c” in words like “defense” (in Ireland we have defence and defense depending on usage), “-re” became “-er” as in “center” instead of “centre” (reversing the influence of French), and he dropped one of the Ls in words like traveler (I learned “traveller”). Mind you, he also spelled “tongue” as “tung”, but he didn’t get very far with that one.

32. Neighbor of Vietnam : LAOS
The official name for the country of Laos is the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. In the Lao language, the name is “Meuang Lao”. France ruled the country as part of French Indochina, having united three separate Lao kingdoms. As there was a plural of “Lao” entities united into one, the French added the “S” and so today we tend to use “Laos” instead of “Lao”.

33. Davis of “Thelma & Louise” : GEENA
As well as being a successful Hollywood actress, Geena Davis is an accomplished archer, and came close to qualifying for the US archery team for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Davis is also a member of American Mensa. She is quite the lady …

Thelma & Louise” is a thought-provoking movie, but one that is very entertaining. It was directed by Ridley Scott in 1991, and stars two fabulous leads in Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. You’ll also spot Brad Pitt in there as well, in his first significant movie role.

34. Cybercriminal’s creation : SPYWARE
Spyware is software that is installed on a computer to gather information without the owner’s knowledge. Nasty stuff …

37. Galileo, to some : HERETIC
Galileo was a prominent supporter of heliocentrism, the principle that the Earth and the other planets revolve around the Sun. The commonly accepted model at the time was geocentrism, that the Earth was at the center of the universe. Galileo fell foul of the Roman Inquisition as a result of his views, and was found guilty of heresy in 1615. As a result, Galileo spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

42. Italian fashion house : FENDI
Fendi is an Italian fashion house, founded in 1925 by Adele Casagrande. It started out as a fur and leather shop in Rome, and these days is famous for its line of handbags.

45. Newsman Anderson with a theology degree? : MINI(STER) COOPER
The original mini was a fabulous car, one that I drove all over Ireland in my youth. It had a unique front-wheel-drive layout that took up very little space, allowing for a lot of room (relatively speaking) for passengers and baggage. One space-saving trick was to mount the engine transversely, so it sits rotated 90 degrees from the norm. That engine had a capacity of only 848cc. In 1961, a Mini Cooper model was introduced, a sporty version of the Mini. The Mini Cooper was a phenomenal hit, especially after repeated wins in the Monte Carlo Rally.

Anderson Cooper is a great news personality on CNN and on various shows around the dial. My favorite appearances of his, although he would call them trivial I am sure, was as host of a great reality game show called “The Mole” that aired in 2001.

50. Kind of sax : TENOR
The saxophone was invented by the Belgian, Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

51. ___ Cuisine : LEAN
Lean Cuisine is a brand of frozen dinners that was created in 1981, introduced as a healthy, low-fat and low-calorie alternative to Stouffer’s frozen meals.

52. CPR pro : EMT
Emergency medical technician (EMT).

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has for decades involved the simultaneous compression of the chest to pump blood using the heart, and artificial respiration by blowing air into the lungs. Nowadays emergency services are placing more emphasis on heart compressions, and less on artificial respiration.

53. Estate, in español : HACIENDA
A “hacienda” is a large estate, in Spanish.

59. One who’s very good at rocking the cradle? : YO-YO MA(STER)
“Rocking the cradle” is a trick that one can do with a yo-yo.

Would you believe that the first yo-yos date back to 500 BC? There is even an ancient Greek vase painting that shows a young man playing with a yo-yo. Centuries later Filipinos were using yo-yos as hunting tools in the 1500s. “Yo-yo” is a Tagalog (Filipino) word meaning “come-come” or simply “return”.

Yo-Yo Ma is a marvelous American cellist, born in Paris to Chinese parents. Ma started studying the violin when he was very young, working his way up (in size) to the viola and finally to the cello. He has said that he wanted to play the double bass, but it was just too big for his relatively small frame.

63. Alaskan gold rush city : NOME
Nome, Alaska has over 3,500 residents, the majority of whom are Native American. The next largest ethnic group is the white population.

64. Princeton Review coursework : PREP
The Princeton Review is a company that offers test preparation for those about to take college admission tests.

65. Ship’s goods : CARGO
“Cargo” is a Spanish word that we use in English. In Spanish it means “burden”. The Spanish word in turn comes from the Latin “carricare” meaning “to load onto a cart”.

Down
1. Toto, for one : DOG
In the movie “The Wizard of Oz” Toto is played by a terrier, but in the books by L. Frank Baum, Toto was just described as “a little black dog, with long, silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose”.

2. Carnival site : RIO
“Rio de Janeiro” translates as “January River”. The name reflects the discovery of the bay on which Rio sits, on New Years Day in 1502.

3. Father’s assistant : ALTAR BOY
An altar boy assists a priest at Mass, for example.

5. Noah’s Ark landing site : ARARAT
Mount Ararat is in Turkey. Ararat is a snow-capped dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (also known as Ara the Handsome).

6. Jewel box contents : CDS
A CD case is also known as a jewel box.

7. Title of a Beatles song, album and movie : LET IT BE
Let It Be” was the last song that the Beatles released as an active group playing together. The song was written by Paul McCartney, and is clearly one of his own favorites. He says that he was inspired to write the song after having had a dream about his mother (who had died some years earlier from cancer). In fact he refers to her (Mary McCartney) in the line “Mother Mary comes to me”. Paul’s second wife, Linda, is singing backing vocals on the song, the only time she is known to have done so in a Beatles recording. 18 years after that 1970 recording was made, Paul, George and Ringo sang “Let It Be” at a memorial service for Linda, who was also lost to cancer. Sad stuff, but a lovely song …

10. Tureen accessories : LADLES
A tureen is a dish that is used for serving soups or stews.

12. Semiformal jacket : BLAZER
A blazer is a less formal version of a suit jacket, usually with a less formal cut and often metal buttons. The original “blazer” was a red jacket worn by members of the rowing club at a Cambridge university in England. The “blazer” is so called because the Cambridge version was “blazing red” in color.

22. Sadat of Egypt : ANWAR
Anwar Sadat was the third President of Egypt right up to the time of his assassination in 1981. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 along with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, for their role in crafting the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978 at Camp David. It was this agreement that largely led to Sadat’s assassination two years later.

23. Mail deliverers at Hogwarts : OWLS
Hogwarts is of course the boarding school in the “Harry Potter” books.

31. Word before “Liftoff!” : ONE
Three … two … one … liftoff!

36. In medias ___ : RES
“In media res” is a Latin phrase that translates as “into the middle of things”. We use it to describe a literary technique in which a story starts at some point other than the beginning of the plot.

38. Tokyo, once : 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.

40. Couple in a gossip column : ITEM
An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.

46. 1099 info : INCOME
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

50. Macbeth’s title : THANE
According to William Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth”, Macbeth was hailed by one of the famous witches as “Thane of Cawdor”. Thane was a hereditary title for a tenant of the crown in Scotland, and Cawdor is a village and parish in the Highlands of Scotland.

54. SoHo patroller: Abbr. : NYPD
The New York Police Department (NYPD) is the largest municipal police force in the country. The department’s roots go back as far at 1625 when there was an eight-man night watch in the days when New York was still known as New Amsterdam. Several disparate forces with policing responsibility were amalgamated in 1844 to form the New York City Police Department, signalling the end of the night watch force that had existed for over 200 years.

The Manhattan neighborhood known today as SoHo was very fashionable in the early 1900s, but as the well-heeled started to move uptown the area became very run down and poorly maintained. Noted for the number of fires that erupted in derelict buildings, SoHo earned the nickname “Hell’s Hundred Acres”. The area was then zoned for manufacturing and became home to many sweatshops. In the mid-1900s artists started to move into open loft spaces and renovating old buildings as the lofts were ideal locations in which an artist could both live and work. In 1968, artists and others organized themselves so that they could legalize their residential use of an area zoned for manufacturing. The group they formed took its name from the name given to the area by the city’s Planning Commission i.e “South of Houston”. This was shortened from So-uth of Ho-uston to SoHo as in the SoHo Artists Association, and the name stuck.

55. Animated “Explorer” : DORA
“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon.

57. Figure in a Rimsky-Korsakov opera : TSAR
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 his working life as an officer in the Imperial Russian Navy.

61. Id companion : EGO
Sigmund Freud created a structural model of the human psyche, breaking it into three parts: the id, the ego, and the super-ego. The id is that part of the psyche containing the basic instinctual drives. The ego seeks to please the id by causing realistic behavior that benefits the individual. The super-ego almost has a parental role, contradicting the id by introducing critical thinking and morals to behavioral choices.

62. Darling of baseball : RON
Ron Darling is former Major league Baseball pitcher. Darling now works as a color commentator for TBS.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Thespian’s major : DRAMA
6. Hair accessory : CLIP
10. Places for experiments : LABS
14. Edmonton player : OILER
15. Retro style : DECO
16. Singer Guthrie : ARLO
17. Cheer to an interstate trucker? : GO TEAM(STER)
19. Humdrum : DRAB
20. Razor brand : ATRA
21. Glorify : IDEALIZE
23. Hockey player Bobby : ORR
25. “Sometimes you feel like ___ …” : A NUT
27. Word repeated in both James Bond and Justin Bieber film titles : NEVER
28. One who peruses the dictionary? : WEB(STER) BROWSER
32. Neighbor of Vietnam : LAOS
33. Davis of “Thelma & Louise” : GEENA
34. Cybercriminal’s creation : SPYWARE
37. Galileo, to some : HERETIC
42. Italian fashion house : FENDI
44. Facts and figures : DATA
45. Newsman Anderson with a theology degree? : MINI(STER) COOPER
50. Kind of sax : TENOR
51. ___ Cuisine : LEAN
52. CPR pro : EMT
53. Estate, in español : HACIENDA
56. “Shall we?” reply : LET’S
58. Commotions : ADOS
59. One who’s very good at rocking the cradle? : YO-YO MA(STER)
63. Alaskan gold rush city : NOME
64. Princeton Review coursework : PREP
65. Ship’s goods : CARGO
66. “Baa-a-ad” mothers? : EWES
67. Some school play attendees : DADS
68. Check for fit : TRY ON

Down
1. Toto, for one : DOG
2. Carnival site : RIO
3. Father’s assistant : ALTAR BOY
4. Get together : MEET
5. Noah’s Ark landing site : ARARAT
6. Jewel box contents : CDS
7. Title of a Beatles song, album and movie : LET IT BE
8. One way to serve coffee : ICED
9. Scrutinize, with “over” : PORE
10. Tureen accessories : LADLES
11. Make an entrance : ARRIVE
12. Semiformal jacket : BLAZER
13. Like a teetotaler : SOBER
18. Mare hair : MANE
22. Sadat of Egypt : ANWAR
23. Mail deliverers at Hogwarts : OWLS
24. Harvest : REAP
26. Requiring immediate action : URGENT
29. U-turn from NNE : SSW
30. Bring back, as workers who’ve been let go : REHIRE
31. Word before “Liftoff!” : ONE
35. Burning : AFIRE
36. In medias ___ : RES
38. Tokyo, once : EDO
39. Woven wall art : TAPESTRY
40. Couple in a gossip column : ITEM
41. Golfer’s vehicle : CART
43. Held up : DELAYED
45. Wildflower locale : MEADOW
46. 1099 info : INCOME
47. Creaks and squeaks : NOISES
48. Still : CALM
49. Kind of play : ONE-ACT
50. Macbeth’s title : THANE
54. SoHo patroller: Abbr. : NYPD
55. Animated “Explorer” : DORA
57. Figure in a Rimsky-Korsakov opera : TSAR
60. Photo ___ : OPS
61. Id companion : EGO
62. Darling of baseball : RON

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