1029-12 New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Oct 12, Monday

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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: Gareth Bain
THEME: Beastly Beginnings … each of the theme answers starts with an animal:

17A. Devour : WOLF (DOWN)
24A. Waste time playfully : MONKEY (AROUND)
39A. Pay what’s due : PONY (UP)
41A. Eat, eat, eat : PIG (OUT)
49A. Hoard : SQUIRREL (AWAY)
63A. Pertain to : BEAR (UPON)

COMPLETION TIME: 07m 04s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Indian tribe with a rain dance : HOPI
The Hopi nation live on a reservation that is actually located within the much larger Navajo reservation in Arizona.

5. Wood-shaping tool : ADZ
An adze (also adz) is similar to an axe, but different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft. An axe’s blade is set in line with the shaft.

15. Org. with sniffing dogs : DEA
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was set up in 1973 while President Nixon was in office.

16. Old Soviet naval base site : ODESSA
The city of Odessa in Ukraine was founded relatively recently, in 1794 by Catherine the Great. The city was originally meant to be called Odessos after an ancient Greek city believed to have been located nearby. Catherine liked the way the locals pronounced the name as “Odessa”, so went with the less Greek-sounding name.

23. New York’s Tappan ___ Bridge : ZEE
The Tappan Zee Bridge is more correctly called the Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge which crosses the Hudson River in New York. The bridge opened in 1955 and is showing its age. There are plans to replace it with a new bridge due to open in 2017.

28. Buffalo Bill : CODY
Buffalo Bill Cody was a great showman after he retired from the US Army. While serving in the Army, Buffalo Bill was awarded the Medal of Honor. William Frederick Cody earned his “Buffalo Bill” nickname while supplying buffalo meat to the Kansas Pacific Railroad. Cody “hunted” and slaughtered over 4,000 American bison in an 18-month period to fulfill his contract with the railroad.

32. “Honest” prez : ABE
Abraham Lincoln was born in a one-room log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky making him the first president born in the West. His formal education was limited to a year and a half of schooling, but fortunately for us, Lincoln was an avid reader and educated himself over the years. Even though he was from a rural area, he avoided hunting and fishing because he did not like to kill animals even for food.

39. Pay what’s due : PONY UP
“To pony up” means “to pay”. Apparently the term originated as slang use of the Latin term “legem pone” that was once used for “money”. “Legem Pone” was the title of the Psalm that was read out on March 25 each year, and March 25 was the first payday of the year in days gone by.

42. Porky’s porcine sweetie : PETUNIA
Petunia Pig is a cartoon character in the “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” universes. Petunia is the girlfriend of Porky Pig and has been around since 1937.

44. Tyrannosaurus ___ : REX
The Tyrannosaurus rex (usually written T. rex) was a spectacular looking dinosaur. “Tyrannosaurus” comes from the Greek words “tyrannos” (tyrant) and “sauros” (lizard), and the “rex” is of course Latin for “king”. They were big boys, measuring 42 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hips, and weighing 7.5 tons.

45. Right-to-bear-arms org. : NRA
The NRA is the National Rifle Association, an organization that has been around since 1871. The NRA has had some celebrity presidents, including US President Ulysses S. Grant. It’s often said that the NRA is the most powerful lobbying group in Washington.

The Second Amendment of the US Constitution was adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights. The actual text of the amendment is:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I hear that the wording and punctuation in the original text has led to some controversy over the years, some debate over the original intent …

46. Carter’s successor : REAGAN
Ronald Reagan started out his political career as a member of the Democratic Party, but switched to the Republicans in the early fifties. He served as Governor of California for eight years, and vied unsuccessfully for the nomination for US President on two occasions. He finally succeeded in 1980 and defeated President Jimmy Carter and became the 40th US President in 1981.

55. Uganda’s ___ Amin : IDI
Idi Amin received most of his military training in the British armed forces, eventually achieving the highest rank possible for a Black African in the British Colonial Army in 1959, that of Warrant Officer. On his return to Uganda Amin joined his country’s military and quickly rose to the rank of Deputy Commander of the Army. During that time he was quite the athlete. He was a noted rugby player and swimmer, and for nine years held the Ugandan national light-heavyweight boxing title. By the early seventies, Amin was commander of all the armed forces of Uganda and in 1971 seized power in a military coup, displacing the country’s president Milton Obote. There followed seven years of brutal rule by Amin during which it is estimated that between 100,000 and 500,000 people were murdered. Amin was ousted from power in 1979 after a war with Tanzania, and fled to Libya where he stayed for a year. He then moved to Saudi Arabia, where he was financially supported by the Saudi Royal Family for the remainder of his life. Amin died in 2003.

65. Like Jim Crow laws : RACIST
The Jim Crow laws were laws enacted to provide a “separate but equal” status for African Americans. “Jim Crow” was a pejorative term for an African American, one that probably originated in an offensive song-and-dance caricature called “Jump Jim Crow” that was performed by a white actor in blackface.

67. Lima’s land : PERU
Peru’s name comes from the word “Biru”. Back in the early 1500s, Biru was a ruler living near the Bay of San Miguel in Panama. The territory over which Biru ruled was the furthest land south in the Americas known to Europeans at that time. The Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro was the first European to move south of Biru’s empire and the land that he found was designated “Peru”, a derivative of “Biru”.

69. Boffo show sign : SRO
Standing Room Only (SRO).

Down
1. “The First Wives Club” actress Goldie : HAWN
I remember watching the ditsy Goldie Hawn character on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”. Hawn used to give great performances on the show, convincing everyone that she was the stereotypical dumb blonde. Well, what a career she was to carve out for herself!

“The First Wives Club” is a fun movie starring three great actresses: Diane Keaton, Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn. Filming took place from December 1995 to March 1996, during which period each of the lead actors celebrated their 50th birthdays.

2. Melville opus : OMOO
Herman Melville mined his own experiences when writing his novels. Melville sailed from New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1841 on a whaler heading into the Pacific Ocean (a source for “Moby Dick”). Melville ended up deserting his ship 18 months later and lived with natives on a South Pacific Island for three weeks (a source for “Typee”). He picked up another whaler and headed for Hawaii, where he joined the crew of a US navy frigate headed for Boston (a source for “Omoo”).

3. Ill-gotten wealth : PELF
“Pelf” is money that has been gained by illegal means. The exact origin of the term is unclear, but it is probably related to the verb “to pilfer”.

8. Muhammad Ali strategy : ROPE-A-DOPE
The Rumble in the Jungle was that celebrated fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, broadcast from Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The fight was set in Zaire because of financial arrangements between promoter Don King and Zaire’s President Mobutu Seko. “Rope-a-dope” was the term coined by Ali to describe his incredibly successful strategy in the contest. From the second round onwards, Ali adopted a protected stance on the ropes, letting Foreman pound him with blows to the body and head, using his arms to take most of the punches. He kept this up until the eighth round, then opened up, and downed the exhausted Foreman with a left-right combination. I hate boxing, but have to say, that was an interesting fight.

9. “Much ___ About Nothing” : ADO
“Much Ado About Nothing” is a favorite of mine, a play of course by William Shakespeare. It is a comedic tale of two pairs of lovers with lots of mistaken identities and double meanings. I once saw it performed in the fabulous Globe Theatre in London … by an all-female cast!

11. Japanese truck maker : ISUZU
Isuzu is a Japanese auto manufacturer, very successful in the medium and heavy truck market in particular. You’ll be seeing fewer and fewer Isuzu passenger cars on American roads though, as the company exited the US passenger car market in 2008.

12. “Quaking” tree : ASPEN
The “quaking” aspen is so called because the structure of the leaves causes them to move easily in the wind, to “tremble”.

25. Spy grp. dissolved in 1991 : KGB
The Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti (KGB) was the national security agency of the Soviet Union until 1991. The KGB was dissolved at that time after the agency’s chairman led a failed attempt at a coup d’état designed to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev.

28. Al who created Joe Btfsplk : CAPP
Joe Btfsplk is a character in Al Capp’s “Li’l Abner” cartoon strip. Btfsplk is the guy walking around with a black cloud over his head, a sign that he is the world’s worst jinx. According to Al Capp, the name “Btfsplk” is a “rude sound”, a so-called Bronx cheer.

29. Instrument with metal keys : OBOE
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”. When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance you’ll note (pun intended!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an “A”. The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe’s “A”. Oh, and if you want to read a fun book (almost an “exposé”) about life playing the oboe, you might try “Mozart in the Jungle” by oboist Blair Tindall. I heard recently that the folks at HBO are working towards a pilot based on the book, and I can’t wait to see it!

34. Beekeepers : APIARISTS
An apiary is an area where bees are kept. The Latin word for “bee” is “apis”.

36. It’s taboo : NO-NO
The word “taboo” was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean”. Cook described “tabu” (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.

37. Continental coin : EURO
The European Union today stands at a membership of 27 states. The Euro is the official currency of only 16 of the 27. The list of states not using the Euro includes the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

38. Coup d’___ : ETAT
A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”.

40. Space race hero Gagarin : YURI
The Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space when his spacecraft Vostok I made a single orbit of the Earth in 1961. Sadly, Gagarin died only seven years later in a plane crash.

44. Genetic material : RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. Amino acids are delivered in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA and then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

47. They may fall apart under cross-examination : ALIBIS
“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed … I have an ‘alibi'”.

50. Imam’s holy book : QUR’AN
The Koran is also known as the Qur’an in English, a transliteration of the Arabic name for the holy text of the Muslim faith. The literal translation of “Koran” is “the recitation”.

51. New York city with a name from antiquity : UTICA
Today, Utica in New York is known as “Second Chance City” due to the recent influx of refugees from war-torn parts of the world, and from Bosnia in particular. These immigrants have helped revitalize the area and reverse a trend of population loss.

52. Company that originated Frisbees and Boogie Boards : WHAM-O
The Frisbee concept started back in 1938 with a couple who had an upturned cake pan that they were tossing between each other on Santa Monica Beach in California. They were offered 25 cents for the pan on the spot, and as pans could be bought for 5 cents, the pair figured there was a living to be earned.

53. ___ Lingus : AER
Aer Lingus is my favorite airline! Well, the service isn’t that great, but when I get on board an Aer Lingus plane I feel like I am back in Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, with “Aer Lingus” being a phonetic spelling of the Irish “aer-loingeas” meaning “air fleet”. These days Aer Lingus can only lay claim to the title of Ireland’s oldest airline as it is no longer the biggest. That honor goes to the controversial budget airline, Ryan Air.

61. [not my mistake] : SIC
“Sic” indicates that a quotation is written as originally found, perhaps including a typo. “Sic” is Latin for “thus, like this”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Indian tribe with a rain dance : HOPI
5. Wood-shaping tool : ADZ
8. Kind of tire : RADIAL
14. The answer to a preacher’s prayers? : AMEN
15. Org. with sniffing dogs : DEA
16. Old Soviet naval base site : ODESSA
17. Devour : WOLF DOWN
19. Some online ads : POPUPS
20. “You cheated!” : NO FAIR
21. Cooler contents : ICE
23. New York’s Tappan ___ Bridge : ZEE
24. Waste time playfully : MONKEY AROUND
28. Buffalo Bill : CODY
31. Teacher after a test, e.g. : GRADER
32. “Honest” prez : ABE
33. File folder projection : TAB
35. Choice of a political party : NOMINEE
39. Pay what’s due : PONY UP
41. Eat, eat, eat : PIG OUT
42. Porky’s porcine sweetie : PETUNIA
44. Tyrannosaurus ___ : REX
45. Right-to-bear-arms org. : NRA
46. Carter’s successor : REAGAN
48. Chimney sweep coating : SOOT
49. Hoard : SQUIRREL AWAY
54. Crude home : HUT
55. Uganda’s ___ Amin : IDI
56. Attached ___ (legalese phrase) : HERETO
60. Crops up : ARISES
63. Pertain to : BEAR UPON
65. Like Jim Crow laws : RACIST
66. “Don’t you know who ___?” : I AM
67. Lima’s land : PERU
68. Makes into law : ENACTS
69. Boffo show sign : SRO
70. Hankerings : YENS

Down
1. “The First Wives Club” actress Goldie : HAWN
2. Melville opus : OMOO
3. Ill-gotten wealth : PELF
4. Criminal renown : INFAMY
5. Deck out : ADORN
6. Pasture moisture : DEW
7. More madcap : ZANIER
8. Muhammad Ali strategy : ROPE-A-DOPE
9. “Much ___ About Nothing” : ADO
10. Withdrawal’s opposite: Abbr. : DEP
11. Japanese truck maker : ISUZU
12. “Quaking” tree : ASPEN
13. Erased a tattoo, say : LASED
18. God, in Italian : DIO
22. Blue shade : CYAN
25. Spy grp. dissolved in 1991 : KGB
26. Many a song at a dance club : REMIX
27. Not a photocopy: Abbr. : ORIG
28. Al who created Joe Btfsplk : CAPP
29. Instrument with metal keys : OBOE
30. Tin can blemish : DENT
33. One doing piano repair : TUNER
34. Beekeepers : APIARISTS
36. It’s taboo : NO-NO
37. Continental coin : EURO
38. Coup d’___ : ETAT
40. Space race hero Gagarin : YURI
43. Superannuated : AGED
44. Genetic material : RNA
47. They may fall apart under cross-examination : ALIBIS
48. Too sentimental : SYRUPY
49. Not hoard : SHARE
50. Imam’s holy book : QURAN
51. New York city with a name from antiquity : UTICA
52. Company that originated Frisbees and Boogie Boards : WHAM-O
53. ___ Lingus : AER
57. Sporting sword : EPEE
58. Ripped : TORN
59. Big burden : ONUS
61. [not my mistake] : SIC
62. Superlative suffix : -EST
64. What a headphone goes over : EAR

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