0709-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Jul 13, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kurt Krauss
THEME: Middle Initials … today’s themed answers are famous names usually written with a middle initial, but not today:

38A. See 17-, 21-, 53- and 61-Across : MIDDLE INITIAL

17A. Famous person with “B” as a 38-Across : RUTHERFORD (B.) HAYES
21A. … “J” as a 38-Across : MARY (J.) BLIGE
53A. … “E” as a 38-Across : ROBERT (E.) LEE
61A. … “D” as a 38-Across : JOHN (D.) ROCKEFELLER

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 51s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … OROSCO (Ososco), ORU (OSU)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

7. Magnum ___ : OPUS
“Magnum opus” is a Latin term meaning “great work”. The magnum opus of a writer or composer perhaps, is his or her greatest work.

11. Dallas N.B.A.’er : MAV
The Mavericks is the name of the NBA franchise in Dallas, Texas. The team was founded in 1980, and the Mavericks name was chosen by fan votes. The choice of “Mavericks” was prompted by the fact that the actor James Garner was a part-owner of the team, and Garner of course played the title role in the “Maverick” television series.

14. Jesse who pitched in a record 1,252 major-league games : OROSCO
Jesse Orosco is a former baseball pitcher who played for several teams including the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Orosco had a long playing career, retiring when he was 46 years old. Partly because of that long career, he holds the major league record for career pitching performances: 1,252 games.

17. Famous person with “B” as a 38-Across : RUTHERFORD (B.) HAYES
Rutherford B. Hayes was the 19th president of the US. Long before we had to endure the dispute over the 2000 Presidential election, Rutherford Hayes found himself president after a disputed election in 1876. President Hayes came went into office having lost the popular vote to his opponent Samuel Tilden, but won the election by one electoral vote. Hayes was awarded the election in the end because of an informal deal struck between Democrats and Republicans called the Compromise of 1877. Democrats allowed Rutherford to occupy the White House in exchange for removal of federal troops occupying some of the southern states.

19. Songwriter Jacques : BREL
Jacques Brel was a songwriter from Belgium whose songs were most popular in France, although English translations of his works became hits for artists all around the world.

20. Big blood vessels : AORTAS
The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

21. … “J” as a 38-Across : MARY (J.) BLIGE
Mary J. Blige is a singer-songwriter from the the Bronx, New York. Her best known album is probably “My Life”, released in 1994. Blige is also making a name for herself as an actress and is slated to play jazz singer Nina Simone in the upcoming biopic “Nina”.

27. Org. that encourages flossing : ADA
The American Dental Association (ADA) is the largest and oldest national dental association in the world. Today the ADA is based in Chicago, but the association was founded in Niagara Falls, New York in 1859. The ADA started out as a group of 26 dentists and now has more than 152,000 members.

36. Bullfight bulls : TOROS
“Toro” is Spanish for “bull”.

43. Westernmost capital in Continental Europe : LISBON
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. Lisbon is the westernmost capital city in Europe, and indeed is the westernmost large city on the continent. It is also the oldest city in Western Europe and is hundreds of years older than London, Paris and Rome.

51. Chow ___ : MEIN
Chow mein has two slightly different meanings on the East and West Coasts of the US. On the East Coast, “basic” chow mein is a crispy dish, whereas on the West Coast it is a steamed dish and relatively soft. On the East Coast the steamed dish is available, but under the name “lo mein”. On the West Coast, the crispy dish is also on the menu, as Hong Kong style chow mein.

53. … “E” as a 38-Across : ROBERT (E.) LEE
Robert E. Lee is of course renowned as a southern officer in the Civil War. Lee was a somewhat reluctant participant in the war 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 he declined, choosing instead to stay loyal to his home state.

57. Texas A&M team : AGGIES
Texas A&M is the seventh largest university in the country, and was the first public higher education institute in the state when it accepted its first students in 1876. The full name of the school was the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas and its primary mission used to be the education of males in the techniques of farming and military warfare. That’s quite a combination! Because of the agricultural connection, the college’s sports teams use the moniker “Aggies”.

60. Promise product : OLEO
The Unilever brand of margarine that we know as Promise here in the US is sold as Becel in much of the word, including Canada. Back in the UK and ireland we call the same product Flora.

61. … “D” as a 38-Across : JOHN (D.) ROCKEFELLER
John D. Rockefeller was an American industrialist whose biggest success came with the Standard Oil Company that he ran for over 25 years. Rockefeller became the richest man in the world, and America’s first billionaire.

68. Archipelago part : ISLAND
“Archipelago” is a name often used for a group or chain of islands. “Archipelago” is our spelling of the Italian “arcipelago”, a word that has Greek roots. “Arcipelago” was the proper name for the Aegean Sea in Greek, a word that was eventually used for the Aegean Islands.

70. Blast maker of 2002 : ETNA
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Mt Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. One of the more recent eruptions was in 2003-2003, which threw up a huge column of ash.

71. Tetley competitor : NESTEA
Nestea is a brand of iced tea made by Nestle.

Tetley was founded by Joseph Tetley in Yorkshire in 1837. Joseph and his brother used to sell salt door-to-door from a packhorse and started to distribute tea the same way. They became so successful selling tea that they relocated to London. Notably, Tetley’s was the first company to introduce tea bags in the UK, back in 1953.

Down
2. Tulsa sch. : ORU
Oral Roberts University (ORU) is a private school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. ORU was founded relatively recently, in 1963 by the late evangelist Oral Roberts.

3. Witty remark : MOT
“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean a quip, a witticism.

4. “Being There” director Hal : ASHBY
Hal Ashby was a movie director from Ogden, Utah. Ashby’s most famous films are from the seventies: “Harold and Maude” and “Shampoo”.

“Being There” is a 1979 movie starring Peter Sellers. It was the Peter Sellers film released before the actor passed away in 1980.

5. Sharp-tasting : ACERB
“Acerb” is a variant of “acerbic”, meaning sour or bitter-tasting, acidic.

6. Gourmet mushroom : MOREL
The morel is that genus of mushroom with the honeycomb-like structure on the cap. They’re highly prized, especially in French cuisine. Morels should never be eaten raw as they are toxic, with the toxins being removed by thorough cooking.

9. Meat quality rater, for short : USDA
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) actually dates back to 1862 when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln referred to the USDA as the “people’s department” as our economy had such a vast agrarian base back then.

10. Artsy Manhattan neighborhood : SOHO
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.

11. 2006 Whirlpool acquisition : MAYTAG
The Maytag Washing Machine Company was founded in 1893 by Frederick Maytag, in Newton, Iowa. Over time, the company developed a reputation for reliability, and did a great job marketing the concept. One move they made was to change the address of the corporate headquarters in Newton to “One Dependability Square”. The Maytag repairman in the famous advertising campaign was known as “Ol’ Lonely”, the guy who was never called out because Maytag washers and dryers never broke down. Whirlpool bought Maytag in 2006 and basically shut down all Maytag operations, and now just put the Maytag label on Whirlpool appliances.

16. Bust maker : NARC
“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs.

23. Sitarist Shankar : RAVI
Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous virtuoso (to us Westerners) from the world of Indian classical music, and was noted for his sitar playing. Shankar was the father of the beautiful singer Norah Jones.

25. M.B.A. subj. : ECON
The world’s first MBA degree was offered by Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

29. Seed covering : ARIL
The casing surrounding many seeds is called the aril, and it may be quite fleshy. This fruit-like characteristic makes it desirable as a food and aids in the dispersion of the seeds.

33. Summer hrs. in Somerset, N.J. : EDT
On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is known as “summer time”. The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring and backwards in the fall so that afternoons have more daylight.

Somerset, New Jersey is on the Atlantic coast. Somerset was home to the New Brunswick Marconi Station, one of the first radio transmitter facility in the country, built in 1913. The New Brunswick facility was the main communication link with Europe during WWI.

35. Sharp-tasting fruit : SLOE
The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush.

40. Genesis son : ABEL
The story of Cain and Abel not only appears in the Christian and Hebrew Bibles, it also features in the Qur’an. In the Muslim account the brothers are named Qabil and Habil.

41. “A temporary insanity,” per Ambrose Bierce : LOVE
Ambrose Bierce was, among other things, an American satirist. He wrote a satirical lexicon called “The Devil’s Dictionary” published in 1911. The book is still popular today, with an updated version released in 2009. It includes “new” definitions from Bierce that were not included in his original work. Roy Morris, Jr. wrote a biography about Bierce called “Ambrose Bierce: Alone in Bad Company”.

44. At birth : NEE
“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.

45. Key of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 : A MAJOR
If I had to name which of Beethoven’s symphonies I listen to most often, at the top of the list comes the 7th followed closely by the 9th, and then the 5th a little further down. But that four-note opening of the 5th … that is superb …

49. O, in a phonetic alphabet : OBOE
Nowadays we tend to use the NATO Phonetic Alphabet (Alfa, Bravo, Charlie etc.) but before this was introduced in 1956, the Joint Army/Navy Phonetand P represented by Oboe. The NATO equivalent for O is Oscar.

52. Spanish boy : NINO
In Spanish a padre’s (father’s) boy is a niño.

54. Like a leprechaun : ELFIN
A leprechaun is a mischievous fairy in Irish folklore. Traditionally, leprechauns spend their days making shoes and hide all their money in a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Our word “leprechaun” comes from the Irish name for such a sprite, “leipreachán”.

55. Eponym for a peanut butter cup : REESE
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were invented by Harry Burnett “H.B.” Reese. Peanut Butter Cups were originally called penny cups, reflecting the price at which they were sold. Then inflation took over, and maybe that’s why they were broken into smaller “pieces” …

58. Sea eagle : ERNE
The ern (also erne) is also called the white-tailed eagle, and the sea-eagle.

62. Wolf Blitzer’s channel : CNN
CNN (Cable News Network) was launched in 1980, and was the first television channel in the world to provide news coverage 24 hours a day.

Wolf Blitzer is the son of Jewish refugees from Poland. He was born in Augsberg in Germany and was given the name “Wolf” in honor of his maternal grandfather. Wolf came with his family to live in the US, and he was raised in Buffalo, New York.

63. Mauna ___ : KEA
Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed. So, the “real” height of the volcano (ignoring the ocean) is over 33,000 feet, which is significantly “taller” than even Mount Everest, which has an elevation of 29,029 feet above sea level.

64. Counterpart of long. : LAT
Lines of latitude are the imaginary horizontal lines surrounding the planet. The most “important” lines of latitude are, from north to south:

– Arctic Circle
– Tropic of Cancer
– Equator
– Tropic of Capricorn
– Antarctic Circle

66. Abbr. for the health-conscious : RDA
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Polite turndown : NO, MA’AM
7. Magnum ___ : OPUS
11. Dallas N.B.A.’er : MAV
14. Jesse who pitched in a record 1,252 major-league games : OROSCO
15. Strike a chord (with) : RESONATE
17. Famous person with “B” as a 38-Across : RUTHERFORD (B.) HAYES
19. Songwriter Jacques : BREL
20. Big blood vessels : AORTAS
21. … “J” as a 38-Across : MARY (J.) BLIGE
26. Big beer buy : CASE
27. Org. that encourages flossing : ADA
28. Texas’ state tree : PECAN
31. Do goo : GEL
32. Word processing command : SAVE AS
36. Bullfight bulls : TOROS
38. See 17-, 21-, 53- and 61-Across : MIDDLE INITIAL
42. Rent-___ (purchasing option) : TO OWN
43. Westernmost capital in Continental Europe : LISBON
45. Six-pack muscles : ABS
48. Take care of : SEE TO
50. Genesis woman : EVE
51. Chow ___ : MEIN
53. … “E” as a 38-Across : ROBERT (E.) LEE
57. Texas A&M team : AGGIES
60. Promise product : OLEO
61. … “D” as a 38-Across : JOHN (D.) ROCKEFELLER
67. Two-player basketball game : ONE-ON-ONE
68. Archipelago part : ISLAND
69. Like some eyes and skies : RED
70. Blast maker of 2002 : ETNA
71. Tetley competitor : NESTEA

Down
1. Neither’s partner : NOR
2. Tulsa sch. : ORU
3. Witty remark : MOT
4. “Being There” director Hal : ASHBY
5. Sharp-tasting : ACERB
6. Gourmet mushroom : MOREL
7. Spanish gold : ORO
8. The “p” of r.p.m. : PER
9. Meat quality rater, for short : USDA
10. Artsy Manhattan neighborhood : SOHO
11. 2006 Whirlpool acquisition : MAYTAG
12. Relaxed : AT EASE
13. Jug or tug : VESSEL
16. Bust maker : NARC
18. Gymnast’s move : FLIP
21. Pas’ mates : MAS
22. Genesis man : ADAM
23. Sitarist Shankar : RAVI
24. Take up seriously, as a hobby : GET INTO
25. M.B.A. subj. : ECON
29. Seed covering : ARIL
30. Claim of innocence : NOT I
33. Summer hrs. in Somerset, N.J. : EDT
34. Hubbubs : ADOS
35. Sharp-tasting fruit : SLOE
37. Certain sib : SIS
39. Big-mouthed pitcher : EWER
40. Genesis son : ABEL
41. “A temporary insanity,” per Ambrose Bierce : LOVE
44. At birth : NEE
45. Key of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 : A MAJOR
46. “Out with you!” : BEGONE!
47. Exhaled wistfully : SIGHED
49. O, in a phonetic alphabet : OBOE
52. Spanish boy : NINO
54. Like a leprechaun : ELFIN
55. Eponym for a peanut butter cup : REESE
56. Rings, as a church bell : TOLLS
58. Sea eagle : ERNE
59. Chimney sweep’s target : SOOT
62. Wolf Blitzer’s channel : CNN
63. Mauna ___ : KEA
64. Counterpart of long. : LAT
65. Baltimore-to-Phila. direction : ENE
66. Abbr. for the health-conscious : RDA

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