0806-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Aug 12, 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: Lynn Lempel
THEME: What To Do at the Olympics … the theme answers all end with a verb associated with a Summer Olympics event:

16A. *Big gamble : CRAPSHOOT
24A. *Election Day receptacle : BALLOT BOX
37A. *Result of a financial panic : BANK RUN
40A. *Tight braid : CORNROW
51A. *Series of changes from birth to death : LIFE CYCLE
63A. *Precipitous drop in cost : PRICE DIVE

50D. 2012 Olympics locale, with a hint to the ends of the answers to the six starred clues : LONDON

COMPLETION TIME: 5m 21s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. House, in Havana : CASA
Havana is the capital city of Cuba. The city was founded by the Spanish in the early 1500s after which it became a strategic location for Spain’s exploration and conquest of the Americas. In particular, Havana was used as a stopping-off point for treasure-laden ships on the return journey to Spain.

14. Animal used for Davy Crockett’s cap : COON
The raccoon is native to North America. In captivity, raccoons can live to over 20 years of age, but in the wild they only live two or three years. The main causes for the shorter lifespan are hunting and road traffic.

The pioneer Davy Crockett is often referred to as “King of the Wild Frontier”. Crockett was from East Tennessee. After serving in the local militia he entered politics and represented his state in the US House of Representatives from 1827 to 1831. Crockett disapproved of many of the policies of President Andrew Jackson, which led to his defeat in the 1834 election for the House. The defeat prompted Crockett to leave Tennessee for Texas. Famously, he died there in 1836 at the Battle of the Alamo.

15. Ancient doctor known for his work on anatomy : GALEN
Galen of Pergamum was a physician in Ancient Rome (of Greek ethnicity). Galen mainly worked on monkeys, dissecting their bodies to learn about physiology as it was not permitted to dissect human bodies in his day.

18. Daytime host DeGeneres : ELLEN
Ellen DeGeneres is a very, very successful TV personality, having parlayed her career in stand-up comedy into lucrative gigs as an actress and talk show host. Back in 1997 DeGeneres chose the “Oprah Winfrey Show” to announce that she was a lesbian. Her character on “The Ellen Show” also came out as a lesbian, in a scene with her therapist, played by Oprah Winfrey. Nice twist!

24. *Election Day receptacle : BALLOT BOX
Election Day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

28. Former Chevy subcompact : AVEO
The Chevrolet Aveo is a subcompact that has been around since 2002. It is manufactured by GM Daewoo, the GM subsidiary in South Korea. Although the Aveo name is still used in some markets, since 2010 here in North America, the Aveo has been sold as the Chevrolet Sonic. By the way, GM Daewoo is the third largest manufacturer of automobiles in South Korea, after Hyundai and Kia.

29. Doofus : ASS
“Doofus” (also “dufus”) is student slang that has been around since the sixties. Apparently the word is a variant of the equally unattractive term “doo-doo”.

37. *Result of a financial panic : BANK RUN
The Federal Reserve System (aka “the Fed”) was introduced in 1913 in response to a number of financial panics at the beginning of the 20th century. The original role of the Fed was to act as a lender of last resort in case there was a run on a bank. This can happen as most of the money that is deposited by customers in a bank is reinvested by that bank, so it has very little liquid cash available. If too many customers look for their money at one time, then the bank can be short of cash and this can start a “run”. The Fed’s responsibilities have broadened since those early days …

40. *Tight braid : CORNROW
The traditional African American braids known as a cornrows can also be called “crows”, a shortened version of the original term. The style was imported into the US from Africa.

45. “CSI” evidence, often : DNA
I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relations.

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 centered around New York City.

48. Adams who photographed Yosemite : ANSEL
As an amateur photographer, I have been a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams for many years and must have read all of his books. Adams was famous for the clarity and depth in his black and white images. Central to his technique was the use of the zone system, his own invention. The zone system is a way of controlling exposure in an image, particularly when there is a high contrast in the subject. Although the technique was developed primarily for black & white film, it can even apply to digital color images. In the digital world, the main technique is to expose an image for the highlights, and one or more images for the shadows. These images can then be combined digitally giving a final image with a full and satisfying range of exposures.

58. Low-ranking U.S.N. officer : ENS
Ensign is (usually) the most junior rank of commissioned officer in the armed forces. The name comes from the tradition that the junior officer would be given the task of carrying the ensign flag.

59. Petrol brand : ESSO
The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company, as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

65. Like Cinderella’s stepsisters : CRUEL
The folk tale about “Cinderella” was first published by French author Charles Perrault in 1697. The storyline of the tale may date back as far as the days of Ancient Greece.

66. Verdi’s opera slave girl : AIDA
“Aida” is the famous opera by Giuseppe Verde, actually based on a scenario written by a French Egyptologist called 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!

69. Gas in a DINER sign : NEON
The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube the neon gas “glows”, giving off the familiar light.

70. Uncool sort : NERD
“If I Ran the Zoo” is a book written by Dr. Seuss and published in 1950. Apparently this book is famous for using the word “nerd”, the first time it had been seen in print.

Down
2. Energy giant that went bankrupt in 2001 : ENRON
After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. Fastow plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved, and was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty and before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

8. Big maker of microchips : INTEL
Intel is the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductor chips. The company was founded in 1968, and the name “Intel” is a derived from the term “int(egrated) el(ectronics)”.

9. Baseball’s record-setting Ripken : CAL
Cal Ripken played his entire, 20-year professional baseball career for the Baltimore Orioles. Ripken was known as the “Iron Man” because he showed up for work every day, come rain or shine. He played 2,632 straight games, blowing past the previous 2,130-game record held by Lou Gehrig.

21. Pie ___ mode : A LA
In French “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America it has come to describe a way of serving pie, usually with ice cream or, as I recall from my days living in Upstate New York, with cheese.

24. Russian pancakes : BLINI
A blintz (also “blin”, plural “blini”) is a thin pancake similar to a crêpe, although unlike a crêpe a blintz may contain yeast.

27. Baton Rouge sch. : LSU
LSU’s full name is Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College.

Baton Rouge is the capitol city of the state of Louisiana. The name “Baton Rouge” is French for “red stick or staff”. The exact reason why such a name was given to the city isn’t really clear.

36. Old “We’re up to something good” carrier : TWA
Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a big carrier in the US, but was perhaps even more recognized for its extensive presence in Europe and the Middle East. For many years, especially after the collapse of Pan-Am, TWA was considered the unofficial flag carrier for the US. The company started in 1930, the product of a forced merger of Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express. The Transcontinental and Western Air that resulted (the original meaning of the acronym TWA) was what the Postmaster General wanted, a bigger airline to which the Postal Service could award airmail contracts.

39. Blood component that contains hemoglobin : RED CELL
Hemoglobin is the key protein in red blood cells. Hemoglobin transports oxygen around the body, and also carbon dioxide.

41. W.W. II spy org. : OSS
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war, the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

47. Part of CBS: Abbr. : SYS
CBS used to be called the Columbia Broadcasting System.

49. Lake between Ohio and Ontario : ERIE
Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes, something for which nearby residents must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to the lake effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake’s edge.

50. 2012 Olympics locale, with a hint to the ends of the answers to the six starred clues : LONDON
London is the first city to host the modern Olympic Games three times, having being the host in 1908 and 1948 as well as 2012.

52. The “I” of IM, sportswise : INTRA-
Intramural sports are conducted within a certain geographic area, as opposed to varsity sports which are played with teams outside that area. The term “intramural” comes from the Latin for “within walls” and first applied to events held between teams based within the walls of a city.

53. Network for political junkies : C-SPAN
C-SPAN is a privately-funded, non-profit cable channel that broadcasts continuous coverage of government proceedings.

55. Genre of the “Pokémon” TV series : ANIME
Anime is animation in the style of Japanese Manga comic books.

The Japanese word “manga” means “whimsical pictures” and is an apt term to describe the Japanese style of comic book. Manga publications are more diverse than American comic books and have a larger audience. Manga cover many subjects including romance, sports, business, horror, and mystery.

“Pokémon” is the second-biggest video game franchise in the world, second only to the “Mario” franchise. “Pokémon” is a contraction of “Pocket Monsters”.

62. General at Appomattox : LEE
Robert E. Lee is of course renowned as a southern officer in the Civil War. Lee was a somewhat reluctant participant in that he opposed the secession of his home state of Virginia from the Union. At the beginning of the war, President Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the whole Union Army but Lee declined, choosing instead to stay loyal to his home state.

The Battle of Appomattox Court House was the last engagement by the Army of Northern Virginia, led by Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Immediately after the battle, Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. When the two men met for the signing of the surrender documents, even though the pair were acquaintances, it was the first time they had seen each other in almost 20 years. Grant started off the conversation by discussing a previous meeting they had during the Mexican-American War, when they were fighting on the same side.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. What a slob makes : MESS
5. Start of a play : ACT I
9. House, in Havana : CASA
13. Poker pot starter : ANTE
14. Animal used for Davy Crockett’s cap : COON
15. Ancient doctor known for his work on anatomy : GALEN
16. *Big gamble : CRAPSHOOT
18. Daytime host DeGeneres : ELLEN
19. Good-looker : HOTTIE
20. Impressive accomplishment : FEAT
22. Scarfed down : ATE
23. Commencement : ONSET
24. *Election Day receptacle : BALLOT BOX
26. Blabs : TELLS
28. Former Chevy subcompact : AVEO
29. Doofus : ASS
32. Poses (for) : SITS
34. Pass, as a law : ENACT
37. *Result of a financial panic : BANK RUN
40. *Tight braid : CORNROW
42. Hogs : SWINE
43. Desserts good for a hot day : ICES
45. “CSI” evidence, often : DNA
46. D.C.-based agents : FEDS
48. Adams who photographed Yosemite : ANSEL
51. *Series of changes from birth to death : LIFE CYCLE
54. Criticize in good fun : ROAST
58. Low-ranking U.S.N. officer : ENS
59. Petrol brand : ESSO
60. Visitor to a confessional : SINNER
61. Lagoon encircler : ATOLL
63. *Precipitous drop in cost : PRICE DIVE
65. Like Cinderella’s stepsisters : CRUEL
66. Verdi’s opera slave girl : AIDA
67. Sign of things to come : OMEN
68. Loathe : HATE
69. Gas in a DINER sign : NEON
70. Uncool sort : NERD

Down
1. Like he-men : MACHO
2. Energy giant that went bankrupt in 2001 : ENRON
3. Rebounds per game and others : STATS
4. Two trios plus one : SEPTET
5. Pine (for) : ACHE
6. Murmur lovingly : COO
7. Over the speed limit : TOO FAST
8. Big maker of microchips : INTEL
9. Baseball’s record-setting Ripken : CAL
10. Train conductor’s shout : ALL ABOARD
11. Take care of : SEE TO
12. Building wing : ANNEX
15. Recover from : GET OVER
17. Web locale : SITE
21. Pie ___ mode : A LA
24. Russian pancakes : BLINI
25. It’s south of Ky. : TENN
27. Baton Rouge sch. : LSU
29. Belly muscles : ABS
30. Tool a magician uses in a woman-in-a-crate act : SAW
31. Detects like a bloodhound : SNIFFS OUT
33. Movie snippet : SCENE
35. Pro’s opposite : CON
36. Old “We’re up to something good” carrier : TWA
38. Leg joint : KNEE
39. Blood component that contains hemoglobin : RED CELL
41. W.W. II spy org. : OSS
44. ___ counter (dieter) : CALORIE
47. Part of CBS: Abbr. : SYS
49. Lake between Ohio and Ontario : ERIE
50. 2012 Olympics locale, with a hint to the ends of the answers to the six starred clues : LONDON
51. Dissolve and wash away, as minerals : LEACH
52. The “I” of IM, sportswise : INTRA-
53. Network for political junkies : C-SPAN
55. Genre of the “Pokémon” TV series : ANIME
56. Break off : SEVER
57. General way things are going : TREND
60. Read carefully : SCAN
62. General at Appomattox : LEE
64. Words that have a certain ring to them? : I DO

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