1221-12 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Dec 12, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Zoe Wheeler
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: Did not finish!
ANSWERS I MISSED: Several in the mid-right of the grid

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. The 500s, in the Dewey Decimal Classification: Abbr. : SCI
The Dewey Decimal System is used to classify books in a library, and was invented by Melvil Dewey in 1876.

4. Bars : ESTOPS
The legal term “estop” means to block or stop by using some legal device. The word “estop” comes from Old French, in which “estopper” means “to stop up” or “to impede”.

10. Secretary of war under Theodore Roosevelt : TAFT
William Howard Taft may have been the 27th President of the United States, but his lifelong ambition was to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President Taft was able to realize that dream in 1921, eight years after losing his bid for re-election as president. As Chief Justice, this former US President swore in two new presidents: Calvin Coolidge (in 1925) and Herbert Hoover (in 1929).

16. Polish border river : ODRA
The River Oder (Odra in Czech/Polish) rises in the Czech Republic and forms just over a hundred miles of the border between Germany and Poland, before eventually emptying into the Baltic Sea.

17. Winner of nine 2011 Tonys : THE BOOK OF MORMON
The satirical Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon” was written by Robert Lopez, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Parker and Stone are better known as the creators of the animated television show “South Park”. Lopez is better known as the co-writer of the musical “Avenue Q”.

19. Payoffs : SOPS
Cerberus is a dog with three heads that appears in both Greek and Roman mythology.Cerberus had the job of guarding the gates of Hades and [reventing those who had crossed the River Styx from ever escaping. A sop is a piece of food that has been dipped in some liquid, as one might sop a piece of bread in soup. There is an idiomatic expression, “to give a sop to Cerberus”, which means to give someone a bribe, or pay someone off. The idea is that if one could bribe Cerberus, give him a sop to eat, then he would let you pass and escape from Hades.

20. Figure in a celebrated 2004 breakup : KEN
The famous Barbie doll was created by businesswoman Ruth Handler and first appeared on store shelves in 1959. Barbie was based on a German fashion doll called Bild Lilli that was introduced in 1955. Lilli had been a German cartoon character before taking on a three-dimensional form. Prior to the introduction of Bild Lilli and Barbie, children’s dolls were primarily representations of infants.

Barbie’s male counterpart doll is Ken, and Ken’s family name is Carson. Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts. When Ken was introduced in 1959, it was as Barbie’s boyfriend. In 2004 it was announced that Ken and Barbie were splitting up, and needed to spend quality time apart. Both dolls are still available for purchase though.

22. Stravinsky’s “Le ___ du Printemps” : SACRE
“The Rite of Spring” (“Le Sacre du Printemps” in French) is a ballet and orchestral work by Igor Stravinsky. The ballet premiered in Paris in 1913 and was received very, very poorly as the music and dancing was quite avant-garde. Since then, “The Rite of Spring” has become an extremely influential work, but to be honest, it’s not a favorite of mine …

29. Title girl in a John Cougar #1 hit : DIANE
“Jack & Diane” was a hit for John Mellencamp released in 1982.

John Mellencamp started to use the stage name Johnny Cougar in 1976, a name that evolved into John Cougar, and then to John Cougar Mellencamp in the eighties. In 1992 the “Cougar” was dropped altogether and Mellencamp has been performing under his own name since then. Mellencamp was married to former supermodel Elaine Irwin for eighteen years, but the two decided to split. Mellencamp’s longtime girlfriend is actress Meg Ryan.

30. Female Arabic name meaning “peace” : SALMA
Salma is the feminine form of the names Salim or Salam. All three names are derived from the Arabic “salama” meaning “peace, safety”.

32. “___ Fitz,” old comic strip started by Mort Walker : MRS
I think that the comic strip created by Mort Walker is called “Mrs. Fitz’s Flats”, and not “Mrs. Fitz”, but I’ve been wrong before!

Mort Walker is a comic strip artist best known as the creator of “Beetle Bailey” and “Hi and Lois”, both of which first appeared in the fifties.

35. Director Thomas H. ___ of the silent era : INCE
Thomas H. Ince was a silent film actor as well as a prolific director and producer. Ince built his own movie studio in Culver City, which later became home to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Ince died under controversial circumstances on board the yacht belonging to newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. The official cause of death was reported as heart failure, but rumors have persisted that Ince was shot by Hearst. Supposedly Ince took a bullet in a fight between Hearst and Charlie Chaplin over a woman.

36. Ring with a face attached? : SKYPE
The main feature of the Skype application is that it allows voice communication to take place over the Internet (aka VoIP). Skype has other features such as video conferencing and instant messaging, but the application made its name from voice communication. Skype was founded by two Scandinavian entrepreneurs and the software necessary was developed by a team of engineers in Estonia. The development project was originally called “Sky peer-to-peer” so the first commercial name for the application was “Skyper”. This had to be shortened to “Skype” because the skyper.com domain name was already in use.

37. Crossjack, e.g. : SAIL
A crossjack is a square sail, the lowest sail on the mizzen mast of a ship.

40. “Twin Peaks” actor Jack : NANCE
Jack Nance was an American actor who worked a lot with director David Lynch. He was won of the stars of the TV series “Twin Peaks” in which he played Pete Martell, a henpecked lumberjack. Coincidentally, the Log Lady in “Twin Peaks” was played by Catherine E. Coulson, one-time wife of Nance.

41. Some hotels, for short : SROS
Single Room Occupancy (SRO).

42. Hans Christian ___, pioneer of electromagnetism : OERSTED
Hans Christian Ørsted was a physicist and chemist from Denmark. It was Ørsted who discovered that electric current creates magnetic fields. Another famous Dane with a similar name, Hans Christian Anderson the author of fairy tales, was actually a very close friend of Ørsted.

48. Program blocker : V-CHIP
All television sets produced for the US market since the year 2000 have to include a component called a V-chip. A V-chip allows a TV to be configured so that programming of specific “ratings” can be blocked from viewing. The “V” in V-chip stands for “viewer control”. It sounds like a great idea, but a lot of kids these days quickly do a search online and work out how to reset the password.

50. Guadeloupe, par exemple : ILE
Guadeloupe is an island in the Caribbean, one of the Leeward Islands. Guadeloupe is an overseas department of France, and as such is part of the European Union.

54. American diner favorite : APPLE PIE A LA MODE
In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has come to describe a way of serving pie, usually with ice cream, or as I recall from when I lived in Upstate New York, with cheese.

58. Fad of 2010-11 : ANGRY BIRDS
Angry Birds is a video game that was developed for smartphones. Angry Birds is the third most downloaded game, after Tetris and Pac-Man.

59. “Bonanza” brother : HOSS
Dan Blocker was the actor who played Hoss Cartwright in the famous TV show “Bonanza”. Hoss was the “slow” character on the show. Paradoxically, Dan Blocker was the most educated member of the cast, having earned a Masters Degree in the dramatic arts. Blocker passed away while “Bonanza” was still running. He was undergoing relatively routine gallbladder surgery and developed a pulmonary embolism which killed him. Bonanza ran for just one more season after Blocker passed away.

Down
2. Working like Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, say : COHOSTING
When Kelly Ripa secured the co-host spot on morning television with Regis Philbin, she was still acting in “All My Children” in a role she had been playing for over ten years. After a year of holding down two jobs, she eventually gave up the acting job.

When Regis Philbin retired from his famous morning talk show with Kelly Ripa, he was eventually replaced by former NFL player Michael Strahan. Apparently Strahan’s addition to the show has been extremely well received by audiences.

3. F. Scott Fitzgerald short story, with “The” : ICE PALACE
“The Ice Palace” is a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, first published in “The Saturday Evening Post” in 1920.

4. Music genre : EMO
The musical genre of “emo” originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. Not my cup of tea …

8. Certain e-mail attachment : PDF
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.

10. R-rated or higher, say : TORRID
Our word “torrid” means “very hot, steamy”. The term is derived from ”the torrid zone”, a name given in the 1500s to that part of the Earth found between the tropics.

23. Singer Corinne Bailey ___ : RAE
Corinne Bailey Rae is a British singer from Yorkshire.

25. Gridiron star : ALL-PRO
We never used the word “gridiron” when I was growing up in Ireland (meaning a grill used for cooking food over an open fire). So, maybe I am excused for finding out relatively recently that a football field gridiron is so called because the layout of yard lines over the field looks like a gridiron used in cooking!

26. 1998 hit that begins “___, I do believe I failed you” : ADIA
Apparently the song “Adia”, co-written by Sarah McLachlan, was intended as an apology to her best friend … for stealing her ex-boyfriend and then marrying him!

32. Legendary creature similar to the Sphinx : MANTICORE
The manticore is a legendary creature from Persian culture. The manticore is similar to the Egyptian sphinx and has the body of a lion with a human head.

33. Certain irrigated cropland : RICE PADDY
A paddy field is the flooded piece of land used to grow rice. The water reduces competition from weeds allowing the rice to thrive. The word “paddy” has nothing to do with us Irish folk, and is an anglicized version of the word “padi”, the Malay name for the rice plant.

37. Fresh fish dish : SASHIMI
Sashimi is the name given by Japanese not only to raw fish, but also raw meat. “Sashimi” translates literally as “pierced body”.

40. Atomic energy org. : NRC
The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was set up right after WWII in 1946, with the aim of promoting the peaceful use of atomic energy. Establishing the AEC was a significant move made by President Truman, as it passed control of atomic energy from the military to the civilian sector. The AEC continued to operate until 1974 when its functions were divided up into two new agencies: the Energy Research and Development Administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

41. Marshy tracts : SWALES
A swale is a narrow tract of low-lying land that is usually wet or marshy. A swale can be naturally-occurring or man-made. One might create a swale to help manage drainage of adjacent land.

43. Crabtree & ___, retailer of body products : EVELYN
Crabtree & Evelyn is an American company that sells body and home products. It is owned by a Malaysian company, one that’s big into palm and rubber tree plantations.

46. Annual athletes’ awards : ESPYS
The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes.

51. “___ and the Real Girl” (2007 Ryan Gosling film) : LARS
“Lars and the Real Girl” is a pretty weird film about a shy young man who develops a relationship with an anatomically-correct, life-size doll.

Ryan Gosling is a Canadian actor who really seems to be riding high right now. He is one of a string of entertainers to graduate from the Mickey Mouse Club on the Disney Channel. I saw him not too long ago in the fun romantic comedy “Crazy, Stupid, Love” starring alongside Steve Carell.

53. ___-majesté : LESE
Lèse majesté is the crime of offending the dignity of the “majesty” or sovereign, or the state. The term is from French Law, and comes from the law of Ancient Rome. In Latin “laesa maiestas” means “injured majesty”. Clearly, the term has no relevance in the United States but in other countries, including many in Europe, the law is occasionally cited.

55. Sea goddess who saved Odysseus : INO
Ino was a mortal queen of Orchomenus through her marriage to King Athamas. In Greek mythology, Ino became the goddess Leukothea after her death. As Leukothea she provided divine aid to Odysseus, according to Homer’s “Odyssey”. She provided Odysseus with a magical veil that he used to escape from Poseidon.

56. U.S. dance grp. : ABT
The American Ballet Theatre (ABT) is a dance company that was once led by Mikhail Baryshnikov.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. The 500s, in the Dewey Decimal Classification: Abbr. : SCI
4. Bars : ESTOPS
10. Secretary of war under Theodore Roosevelt : TAFT
14. Not be underdressed? : GO COMMANDO
16. Polish border river : ODRA
17. Winner of nine 2011 Tonys : THE BOOK OF MORMON
19. Payoffs : SOPS
20. Figure in a celebrated 2004 breakup : KEN
21. Off : ERRING
22. Stravinsky’s “Le ___ du Printemps” : SACRE
24. Corrodes : EATS INTO
26. Minimally : AT LEAST
28. Specialized in fiction, say : LIED
29. Title girl in a John Cougar #1 hit : DIANE
30. Female Arabic name meaning “peace” : SALMA
32. “___ Fitz,” old comic strip started by Mort Walker : MRS
35. Director Thomas H. ___ of the silent era : INCE
36. Ring with a face attached? : SKYPE
37. Crossjack, e.g. : SAIL
38. ___-specific : AGE
39. One-___ : ACTER
40. “Twin Peaks” actor Jack : NANCE
41. Some hotels, for short : SROS
42. Hans Christian ___, pioneer of electromagnetism : OERSTED
44. Everything : THE WORKS
48. Program blocker : V-CHIP
49. Antique dealer’s transaction : RESALE
50. Guadeloupe, par exemple : ILE
52. Suffix with method : -ICAL
54. American diner favorite : APPLE PIE A LA MODE
57. 61-Across affliction : STYE
58. Fad of 2010-11 : ANGRY BIRDS
59. “Bonanza” brother : HOSS
60. “Who ___?” : DOESN’T
61. See 57-Across : EYE

Down
1. Some officers: Abbr. : SGTS
2. Working like Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, say : COHOSTING
3. F. Scott Fitzgerald short story, with “The” : ICE PALACE
4. Music genre : EMO
5. Beats decisively, in slang : SMOKES
6. Bit of filming : TAKE
7. Two-___ : ON-ONE
8. Certain e-mail attachment : PDF
9. “Whenever” : SOMETIME
10. R-rated or higher, say : TORRID
11. Frequenter of Web forums: Abbr. : ADMIN
12. False personality : FRONT
13. “Romance de Barrio,” e.g. : TANGO
15. X-rated : OBSCENE
18. By land ___ : OR SEA
23. Singer Corinne Bailey ___ : RAE
25. Gridiron star : ALL-PRO
26. 1998 hit that begins “___, I do believe I failed you” : ADIA
27. “You shouldn’t have done that” : TSK-TSK
31. Word often uttered with a salute : AYE
32. Legendary creature similar to the Sphinx : MANTICORE
33. Certain irrigated cropland : RICE PADDY
34. Go downhill fast? : SLED
36. Bridge need : SCOREPAD
37. Fresh fish dish : SASHIMI
39. Play ___ in : A ROLE
40. Atomic energy org. : NRC
41. Marshy tracts : SWALES
43. Crabtree & ___, retailer of body products : EVELYN
44. Lay waste to : TRASH
45. Up on : HEP TO
46. Annual athletes’ awards : ESPYS
47. Long bout : SIEGE
51. “___ and the Real Girl” (2007 Ryan Gosling film) : LARS
53. ___-majesté : LESE
55. Sea goddess who saved Odysseus : INO
56. U.S. dance grp. : ABT

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One thought on “1221-12 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Dec 12, Friday”

  1. That "clue" for 36 across, "Ring with a face attached?" with SKYPE being the answer has got to be the worst, vaguest clue in recent memory. Shortz should be ashamed of himself.

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