1120-12 New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Nov 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: Allan E. Parrish
THEME: Thanksgiving from Macy’s … the theme answers today all start with things that you’ll see on Thanksgiving Day courtesy of Macy’s:

20A. Provision for ending many a mortgage : BALLOON PAYMENT
35A. Aircraft with pontoons : FLOATPLANE
42A. 1970 Freda Payne hit : BAND OF GOLD
53A. Weekend publication since 1941 : PARADE MAGAZINE

COMPLETION TIME: 10m 43s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. ___ pants : CAPRI
Capri pants first became popular on the island of Capri, apparently. They were invented in Europe in 1948, but only became stylish in the US in the sixties. Mary Tyler Moore often wore Capri pants on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and to some extent she sparked a fashion trend. After a lull in the seventies and eighties there was a resurgence in sales after Uma Thurman wore them (and danced in them) in “Pulp Fiction”. Can’t stand the look of them myself …

6. Voting alliance : BLOC
“Bloc” is the French word for “block”.

10. Boxer Riddick : BOWE
Riddick Bowe is professional boxer from Brooklyn, New York. Bowe was Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World in 1992. A few years later Bowe retired from boxing to join the US Marines. However, after just 11 days of basic training Bowe asked to quit, and the Marine Corps came into a lot of criticism for acceding to his request.

14. Director De Palma : BRIAN
Brian De Palma is a very successful film director from Newark, New Jersey. Examples of De Palma films are “Carrie”, “Dressed to Kill”, “Scarface”, “The Untouchables” and “Mission: Impossible”.


16. Nadir’s opposite : APEX
The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith.

17. Quite cold : GELID
“Gelid” is such a lovely word, and means “icy cold”. “Gelid” derives from the Latin “gelum” meaning “frost, intense cold”.

20. Provision for ending many a mortgage : BALLOON PAYMENT
A balloon payment is a large payment made at the end of a loan. Balloon payments usually aren’t a good idea as the later one makes payments, the more interest accrues.

23. 2011 Huffington Post purchaser : AOL
“The Huffington Post” is a news website founded in 2005 by Arianna Huffington. It is a very active site, with 3,000 people contributing blog posts (including many celebrities and politicians), and readers leaving over one million comments every month. “The Huffington Post” was sold to AOL in 2011 for $315 million, with Arianna Huffington staying on as editor-in-chief.

30. Where Noah made landfall : 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 (or Ara the Handsome).

34. Big Ten football powerhouse, for short : OSU
The athletic teams of Ohio State University (OSU) are called the Buckeyes, named after the state tree of Ohio. In turn the buckeye tree gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, a dark nut with a light patch thought to resemble a “buck’s eye”.

42. 1970 Freda Payne hit : BAND OF GOLD
Freda Payne is somewhat of a one-hit wonder as she is mostly known for her fabulous 1970 hit single “Band of Gold”. Freda’s younger sister is Scherrie Payne who was one of the Supremes.

46. Snowmobile brand : SKI-DOO
Ski-Doo is a brand name of snowmobile produced by the Canadian company, Bombardier Recreational Products. The first Ski-Doo went on sale in 1959 and was intended to be named a “Ski-Dog” as the marketing concept was that the personal snowmobile would replace the dogsleds used by hunters and trappers. A painter misread instructions and wrote “Ski-Doo” on the side of the vehicle instead of Ski-Dog, and the name stuck.

47. Google queries : SEARCHES
Google is the most used search engine on the Internet. The Google site now receives over one billion queries every single day. Google.com is the most visited website on the Internet.

50. Flying fish-eaters : ERNS
The ern (also erne) is also called the white-tailed eagle, and the sea-eagle.

53. Weekend publication since 1941 : PARADE MAGAZINE
“Parade” is a weekly magazine often seen in newspapers on a Sunday. “Parade” turns up in over 500 Sunday papers in the US and is the most widely circulated magazine in the country with nearly 70 million readers. The first issue of “Parade” was published in 1941.

61. MS-DOS alternative : UNIX
I always think of an operating system as that piece of software that sits between the hardware on my computer and the programs that I choose to run. Developers of application programs don’t really have to worry about being able to “talk to” the countless different types of hardware found in the wide variety of computers that are manufactured because of operating systems. Developers just need to talk to the handful of operating systems that are out there like Windows, MAC and Unix. The operating system takes care of the rest.

63. Helen Crump Taylor’s TV stepson : OPIE
Ron Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show”. Howard has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like “Apollo 13”, “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code”. And today, “Opie” is a grandfather …

On “The Andy Griffith Show”, Helen Crumpy is Andy Taylor’s girlfriend. The couple get married in the first episode of “Mayberry R.F.D., the spinoff show. Helen Crump Taylor was played by actress Aneta Corsaut.

64. Salinger heroine : 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.

68. ___ Kefauver, 1956 vice-presidential candidate : ESTES
Estes Kefauver was a Democratic politician from Tennessee. In 1956 Kefauver was the running mate of Adlai Stevenson when Stevenson made a bid for the presidency. The pair of course lost to the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket.

Down
1. Former N.Y.C. club : CBGB
The music club known as CBCG opened in 1973 intending to feature country, bluegrass and blues music (hence the name “CBGB”, Country, BlueGrass and Blues). The club developed an association in the eighties with New York’s underground hardcore punk music.

2. ___ 51 (ufologist’s interest) : AREA
The famed Area 51 is a remote base in the USAF Nevada Test and Training Range. There’s no question that Area 51 is an unusual base in that frontline operational units are not deployed there. It seems that it is used for developing and testing new and classified weapons facilities for the US Military and other US agencies like the CIA. The government did not even acknowledge that Area 51 existed until 1995, and this official position fuelled a theory that the base is home to UFOs that landed on Earth.

4. Vituperate : RAIL AT
Vituperation is sustained, abusive language.

8. Financial adviser Suze : ORMAN
Suze Orman is a financial advisor who has gotten her message out on television, in books and on the speaking circuit. She often appears on PBS, and indeed is the most successful fundraiser public television has ever had.

21. Count ___, character in the Lemony Snicket books : OLAF
Lemony Snicket is a pen name used by Daniel Handler, a novelist from San Francisco, California. Snicket also appears as the narrator of his books, including the best known of the works: “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. Count Olaf is the antagonist in “A Series of Unfortunate Events”.

25. TV/radio host Lou : DOBBS
The journalist Lou Dobbs came to prominence as the anchor of the popular CNN business show “Lou Dobbs Tonight” which ran from 1980 to 2009. Apparently Dobbs was considering a run for the office of US President and may still be considering a run for one of the US Senate seats for New Jersey.

26. Chris with the 1991 hit “Wicked Game” : ISAAK
Chris Isaak is not only an American rock musician, but has also had a lot of acting parts. Isaak had small roles in movies like “Married to the Mob” and “The Silence of the Lambs”, but I remember him as astronaut Ed White in the fabulous HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon”.

27. Islam’s largest denomination : SUNNI
The largest denomination within the Muslim faith is Sunni Islam, with the second largest being Shia Islam.

29. Pamplona runners : TOROS
Pamplona, Spain is famous for its San Fermin festival held in July every year, the highlight of which is the Running of the Bulls. Every year, 200-300 people are injured in the bull run, and 15 people have been killed since 1910. If you get to Pamplona two days before the Running of the Bulls, you can see the animal-rights protest event known as the Running of the Nudes. The protesters are as naked as the bulls …

31. Sampson of the 1980s-’90s N.B.A. : RALPH
Ralph Sampson is retired professional basketball player who was the number one pick in the NBA draft of 1983. After a promising start to his career, Sampson had a tough time in the professional leagues largely due to knee injuries that required three separate surgeries.

32. Biscotti flavoring, sometimes : ANISE
What we know in this country as “biscotti” is more properly called “biscotti di Prato”. It is a twice-baked, almond-flavored confection that originated in the Italian city of Prato. Modern versions of biscotti often contain anise or cinnamon in addition to the traditional almond flavoring.

38. Cannonball of jazz fame : ADDERLEY
Cannonball Adderley was an alto-sax player whose heyday was in the fifties and sixties. Adderley picked up the nickname “Cannonball” in high school as apparently he was a big eater. Go figure …

39. Irish lullaby syllables : LOO-RA
The song from Ireland called “Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral” was written in 1914 by one James Royce Shannon. The song became quite a hit after it was sung by Bing Crosby in the 1944 movie “Going My Way”.

43. Melted-cheese dishes : FONDUES
“Fondu(e)” is the French word for “melted”.

44. Deputy ___ (Terrytoons character) : DAWG
Deputy Dawg is a cartoon character in the Terrytoon television series. Deputy Dawg is a deputy sheriff in the State of Mississippi. I remember him well as my parents put curtains on the windows in our bedroom when we were very young, curtains which featured the characters Deputy Dawg and Yogi Bear.

48. One who sets the stage? : ROADIE
A “roadie” is someone who loads, unloads and sets up equipment for musicians on tour, on the “road”.

49. Deceives : COZENS
What a lovely verb, “to cozen”! Meaning to cheat or hoodwink, it comes from the Middle English word “cosin” meaning fraud or trickery.

53. ___ platter : PUPU
In Hawaiian, “pu-pu” is a word originally meaning “snail”. Nowadays “pu-pu” denotes many different types of food that are usually served as an hors d’oeuvres. A “pupu platter” then is a selection of such foods served in a Hawaiian restaurant. The term “pupu platter” somehow became absorbed into American Chinese cuisine in the fifties, so one can order the same dish in a Chinese restaurant and get a plate of Chinese morsels.

54. La Scala presentation : ARIA
The La Scala Opera House opened in 1778. It was built on the site of the church of Santa Maria della Scala, which gave the theater its name, “Teatro alla Scala” in Italian.

55. Marcel Marceau, for one : MIME
Marcel Marceau was the most famous mime of all time, a native of Strasbourg in France. Marceau made a cameo appearance in Mel Brooks’s “Silent Movie”, playing himself. In the scene, Mel Brooks is asking Marceau to appear in his movie (a question asked silently of course, in subtitles), and Marceau turns to the camera and speaks the only word in the whole film, “Non!” (French for “No!”). The mime speaks! Brilliant …

57. Rapper who co-starred in “Ricochet” : ICE-T
Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles. Maybe he should have stuck to his real name, Tracy Marrow? Then again, maybe not …

“Ricochet” is a 1991 thriller film starring Denzel Washington and John Lithgow. It’s not that great …

59. Small salamanders : EFTS
Many salamanders are also known as newts.

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

60. ___ au vin : COQ
The French word “coq” actually means rooster, but a more tender bird is usually chosen for the classic French dish “coq au vin”. The most common wine used for the “vin” is burgundy, but sometimes another red wine is chosen, and you can also find on a menu “coq au Champagne” and “coq au Riesling”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. ___ pants : CAPRI
6. Voting alliance : BLOC
10. Boxer Riddick : BOWE
14. Director De Palma : BRIAN
15. Flying: Prefix : AERO-
16. Nadir’s opposite : APEX
17. Quite cold : GELID
18. Skateboard park feature : RAMP
19. Left in : KEPT
20. Provision for ending many a mortgage : BALLOON PAYMENT
23. 2011 Huffington Post purchaser : AOL
24. Sergeants major, e.g.: Abbr. : NCOS
25. Amuse : DISTRACT
30. Where Noah made landfall : ARARAT
34. Big Ten football powerhouse, for short : OSU
35. Aircraft with pontoons : FLOATPLANE
37. Quite unoriginal : BANAL
40. Eye, poetically : ORB
41. Thread of a screw, e.g. : HELIX
42. 1970 Freda Payne hit : BAND OF GOLD
45. L.A. winter hours : PST
46. Snowmobile brand : SKI-DOO
47. Google queries : SEARCHES
50. Flying fish-eaters : ERNS
52. Go after : WOO
53. Weekend publication since 1941 : PARADE MAGAZINE
60. Pig’s tail feature : CURL
61. MS-DOS alternative : UNIX
62. Late-night coffee, maybe : DECAF
63. Helen Crump Taylor’s TV stepson : OPIE
64. Salinger heroine : ESME
65. All thumbs : INEPT
66. Pier : QUAY
67. Favorable tournament position : SEED
68. ___ Kefauver, 1956 vice-presidential candidate : ESTES

Down
1. Former N.Y.C. club : CBGB
2. ___ 51 (ufologist’s interest) : AREA
3. Hard-to-take person : PILL
4. Vituperate : RAIL AT
5. ___ plumbing : INDOOR
6. Home for an owl, maybe : BARN
7. Bound : LEAP
8. Financial adviser Suze : ORMAN
9. Mimic : COPYCAT
10. Common fund-raiser : BAKE SALE
11. Unreserved : OPEN
12. Boohooed : WEPT
13. Business card abbr. : EXT
21. Count ___, character in the Lemony Snicket books : OLAF
22. Transform (into) : MORPH
25. TV/radio host Lou : DOBBS
26. Chris with the 1991 hit “Wicked Game” : ISAAK
27. Islam’s largest denomination : SUNNI
28. Jam up : CLOG
29. Pamplona runners : TOROS
31. Sampson of the 1980s-’90s N.B.A. : RALPH
32. Biscotti flavoring, sometimes : ANISE
33. Pastors’ readings : TEXTS
36. Qualified : ABLE
38. Cannonball of jazz fame : ADDERLEY
39. Irish lullaby syllables : LOO-RA
43. Melted-cheese dishes : FONDUES
44. Deputy ___ (Terrytoons character) : DAWG
48. One who sets the stage? : ROADIE
49. Deceives : COZENS
51. Rationality : SENSE
53. ___ platter : PUPU
54. La Scala presentation : ARIA
55. Marcel Marceau, for one : MIME
56. Got rid of : AXED
57. Rapper who co-starred in “Ricochet” : ICE-T
58. Scruff : NAPE
59. Small salamanders : EFTS
60. ___ au vin : COQ

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