0724-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Jul 13, Wednesday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Erik Wennstrom
THEME: Names of Activities … each of today’s themed answers is a famous name. The family name of each person is also an activity, and that activity is referenced in the clue:

20A. “Charlotte’s Web” actress on a hot day? : DAKOTA FANNING
28A. “A Brief History of Time” author doing sales? : STEPHEN HAWKING
46A. “Porphyria’s Lover” poet with a pan of ground beef on the stove? : ROBERT BROWNING
55A. “Tom Jones” novelist playing baseball? : HENRY FIELDING

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 09m 53s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “I didn’t know I was speeding, officer,” e.g. : FIB
To “fib” is to “to tell a lie”. The term likely comes from “fibble-fable” meaning “nonsense”, itself derived from “fable”.

14. A mean 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.

15. Tropical food that is poisonous if eaten raw : TARO
The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, the traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves. Taro has to be eaten cooked as the raw plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which are toxic. Calcium oxalate can contribute to kidney stones.

17. Pince-___ : NEZ
Pince-nez are eyeglasses clipped to the bridge of the nose. “Pince-nez” is French, translating as “pinch the nose”.

19. ___ Hollywood : PLANET
Planet Hollywood is a fun, themed restaurant where you can eat, listen to rock music and browse some interesting Hollywood memorabilia. The restaurant venture is backed by several Hollywood: Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I actually bumped into “Arnie” in a Los Angeles “Planet Hollywood” many moons ago, soon after the chain opened in the early nineties.

20. “Charlotte’s Web” actress on a hot day? : DAKOTA FANNING
Dakota Fanning is a young actress who hit the big time at the age of seven years in the movie “I Am Sam” released in 2001. Dakota’s younger sister Elle is also a movie actress.

24. Number of weeks in Julius Caesar’s year? : LII
“LII” is “52” in Roman numerals.

25. Pickled veggie : CUKE
Cucumber (cuke)

28. “A Brief History of Time” author doing sales? : STEPHEN HAWKING
Stephen Hawking is a theoretical physicist from Oxford, England. Hawking owes much of his fame in the world of popular science to his incredibly successful book called “A Brief History of Time”. “A Brief History of Time” has sold over 10 million copies and was on London’s “Sunday Times” bestseller list for over four years. Hawking does a wonderful job of explaining many aspects of cosmology without losing the average reader. There is only one equation in the whole book, and that equation is of course is “E = mc2”.

34. DVR brand : TIVO
TiVo was introduced in 1999 and was the world’s first commercially successful DVR (Digital Video Recorder).

35. With 45-Across, conger, e.g. : SEA
(45. See 35-Across : EEL)
Conger eels can grow to be very, very large, perhaps up to 10 feet in length.

36. Like some consonants : PALATAL
Palatal consonants that are sounded out with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate in the roof of the mouth. An example would be the “y” sound in “young”.

42. Bond girl Green of “Casino Royale” : EVA
Despite the English sounding name, Eva Green is a French actress. She played Bond girl Vesper Lynd in the 2006 movie “Casino Royale”, opposite Daniel Craig.

43. Attorney General Holder : ERIC
Eric Holder is the Attorney General of the United States, and is the first African American to hold the position. Holder was close to President Obama during the presidential campaign. Holder was the campaign’s legal advisor and was also one of the three members on the Obama vice-presidential selection committee, which of course opted for Vice-President Joe Biden.

46. “Porphyria’s Lover” poet with a pan of ground beef on the stove? : ROBERT BROWNING
Robert Browning met fellow poet Elizabeth Barrett in 1845. Elizabeth was a sickly woman, confined to her parents’ house in Wimpole Street in London, largely due to the conservative and protective nature of her father. Robert and Elizabeth eventually eloped in 1846, and lived in self-inflicted exile in Italy. Away from the country of his birth, Browning was moved to write his now famous “Home Thoughts, From Abroad”, the first line of which is “Oh, to be in England …”

“Porphyria’s Lover” is a poem by Robert Browning that was first published in 1836. In the poem, a man strangles Porphyria (his lover) using her own hair, which he wraps around her throat three times.

51. One of the two characters in Dr. Seuss’ “Fox in Socks” : KNOX
“Fox in Socks” is children’s book by Dr. Seuss. The main characters in the story are Fox and Knox.

Dr. Seuss was the pen name of Theodor Seuss Geisel. Geisel was commander of the Animation Department of the USAF during WWII. He was behind many propaganda films including one called “Our Job in Japan”. Even though the film was produced specifically as propaganda, this same movie was used after the war as a basis for the short feature “Design for Death”, a study of Japanese culture released in 1947 and winner of an Oscar for best Documentary.

52. Limbo need : BAR
The limbo dance originated on the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean. The name “limbo” is an alteration of our word “limber”, which isn’t surprising given what one has to do to get under that bar!

55. “Tom Jones” novelist playing baseball? : HENRY FIELDING
Henry Fielding was an English writer whose most famous work is the 1749 novel “Tom Jones”. Writing isn’t Fielding’s only claim to fame. He also founded the Bow Street Runners, the city of London’s first professional police force.

60. Most music is played in it : STEREO
Monophonic sound (“mono”) is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

62. One-volume works of Shakespeare, e.g. : TOME
“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century “tome” had come to mean “a large book”.

63. Ukr., until 1991, e.g. : SSR
Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe, a Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) before the dissolution of the USSR. In English we often call the country “the” Ukraine, but I am told that we should just say “Ukraine”.

bElmo Roper was a pioneer in the world of market research and opinion polling. Roper had some top tier clients such as “Fortune” magazine and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

69. J.D. holder : ATT
The law degree abbreviated to J.D. stands for Juris Doctor.

Down
3. Rock’s Limp ___ : BIZKIT
Limp Bizkit is described as a “nu metal” band, with nu metal being a subgenre of heavy metal. Limp Bizkit has been around since 1994, and that’s all I know …

5. Skater Lipinski : TARA
When American skater Tara Lipinski won the figure skating gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics, she was only 15 years old. To this day, Lipinski is the youngest person to win an individual gold at the Winter Games.

8. “Pardon the Interruption” network : ESPN
“Pardon the Interruption” is a sports show airing on ESPN that follows the format that was used for the show “Siskel and Ebert”. The show’s 10th anniversary episode included a congratulatory message from President Obama.

9. Country that’s over 50% desert : MALI
The Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in western Africa, south of Algeria. The country’s most famous city is … Timbuktu …

10. Max of physics : PLANCK
Max Planck was a theoretical physicist from Germany who originated quantum theory. Planck won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918.

21. ___-3 fatty acid : OMEGA
Fish oils are noted for containing omega-3 fatty acids, which have many health benefits including the reduction of inflammation. Like so many essential nutrients that we get from animals, the only reason the animal has them is that it feeds on plants. In this case, fish cannot manufacture omega-3 fatty acids, and instead absorb them from algae. Omega-3 fatty acids are also readily found in other plant oils such as flaxseed oil.

22. Nothing : NIHIL
“Nihil” is the Latin word for “nothing, and is a term we’ve absorbed into English. “Nihil” is also the root from which we get our term “nil”.

31. “___ to a Kill” : A VIEW
“A View to a Kill” is a James Bond movie with Roger Moore playing the famous 007. The villain of this particular piece was played very ably by Christopher Walken.

37. Sweet Swan of ___ (epithet for Shakespeare) : AVON
The English poet Ben Jonson wrote a memorial poem to William Shakespeare a few years after the bard’s death. Included are the lines:

Sweet Swan of Avon! What a sight it were
To see thee in our waters yet appear,
And make those flights upon the bankes of Thames
That so did take Eliza and our James!

38. “Musetta’s Waltz” opera : LA BOHEME
“La bohème” by Giacomo Puccini is the second most frequently performed opera in the US (after Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”). The lead female role in the piece is Mimì, a seamstress.

The Puccini aria “Quando me’n vo’” from “La bohème” is also known as “Musetta’s Waltz”.

39. Scooter ___, Plame affair figure : LIBBY
Scooter Libby served as Chief of Staff for Vice President Dick Cheney. Libby was indicted by a grand jury of lying about his role in the leak that identified Valerie Plame as a CIA agent. Libby always professed his innocence, but was found guilty and sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000. President George W. Bush commuted Libby’s jail sentence, but the fine and conviction were allowed to stand.

Robert Novak broke a story in 2003 naming Valerie Plame Wilson, wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, as a covert CIA agent. Valery Plame worked at a clothing store in Washington D.C. after graduating college before she was accepted into the CIA officer training class of 1985/86. She was to work for the CIA for over twenty years, before being “outed” in 2003.

41. Poem in which Paris plays a prominent part : ILIAD
The Iliad is an epic poem by the Greek poet Homer, which tells the story of the siege of Ilium (also known as Troy) during the Trojan war.

In Greek legend, Paris was the son of the king of Troy. Paris eloped with Helen, Queen of Sparta, and this act was a major trigger for the Trojan War. Also it was Paris who fatally wounded Achilles by shooting him in the heel with an arrow.

48. A.L. East athlete : ORIOLE
The Baltimore Orioles was one of the eight charter teams of MLB’s American League, so the franchise dates back to 1901. Prior to 1901, the team has roots in the Minor League Milwaukee Brewers, and indeed entered the American League as the Brewers. In 1902 the Brewers moved to St. Louis and became the Browns. The team didn’t fare well in St. Louis, so when it finally relocated to Baltimore in the early fifties the team changed its name completely, to the Baltimore Orioles. The owners so badly wanted a fresh start that they traded 17 old Browns players with the New York Yankees. The trade didn’t help the team’s performance on the field in those early days, but it did help distance the new team from its past.

49. CBS drama featuring LL Cool J : NCIS: LA
Rap star LL Cool J was born James Todd Smith. His stage name stands for “Ladies Love Cool James”.

54. Symbol of the National Audubon Society : EGRET
At one time the egret species was in danger of extinction due to excessive hunting driven by the demand for plumes for women’s hats.

The National Audubon Society is an environmental organization that was formed in 1905. The society is named for John James Audubon, an ornithologist who compiled his famous book “Birds of America” between 1827 and 1838.

58. Literary matchmaker : EMMA
I just listened to one of my favorite Jane Austen novels on Audio Book recently, “Emma”, the tale of Emma Woodhouse and the wonderful George Knightley. At the end of the tale, Emma marries Knightley and her young friend Harriet marries Robert Martin, who had been trying to get Harriet’s attention practically from page one of the novel!

59. Kings of ___ (“Use Somebody” band) : LEON
Kings of Leon is an American rock band formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 1999. The band members are all related to each other and chose the group’s name in honor of their common grandfather whose given name is Leon.

60. ___ the Kid (N.H.L. nickname) : SID
Sidney Crosby is a professional ice hockey player from Canada, currently captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Crosby has the nicknames “The Next One” and “Sid the Kid”.

61. Eastern principle : TAO
The Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Tao signifies the true nature of the world.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “I didn’t know I was speeding, officer,” e.g. : FIB
4. Cover sheet abbr. : ATTN
8. Hire : EMPLOY
14. A mean Amin : IDI
15. Tropical food that is poisonous if eaten raw : TARO
16. Kind of solution : SALINE
17. Pince-___ : NEZ
18. Girl’s floral name : IRIS
19. ___ Hollywood : PLANET
20. “Charlotte’s Web” actress on a hot day? : DAKOTA FANNING
23. Like some pickings : SLIM
24. Number of weeks in Julius Caesar’s year? : LII
25. Pickled veggie : CUKE
28. “A Brief History of Time” author doing sales? : STEPHEN HAWKING
33. “Shucks” : GEE
34. DVR brand : TIVO
35. With 45-Across, conger, e.g. : SEA
36. Like some consonants : PALATAL
40. Scarce : LIMITED
42. Bond girl Green of “Casino Royale” : EVA
43. Attorney General Holder : ERIC
45. See 35-Across : EEL
46. “Porphyria’s Lover” poet with a pan of ground beef on the stove? : ROBERT BROWNING
51. One of the two characters in Dr. Seuss’ “Fox in Socks” : KNOX
52. Limbo need : BAR
53. Take ___ from : A CUE
55. “Tom Jones” novelist playing baseball? : HENRY FIELDING
60. Most music is played in it : STEREO
62. One-volume works of Shakespeare, e.g. : TOME
63. Ukr., until 1991, e.g. : SSR
64. “Same here!” : I AM TOO!
65. Pollster Roper : ELMO
66. Not shoot straight : LIE
67. Neglects to : DOESN’T
68. Official with a list : DEAN
69. J.D. holder : ATT

Down
1. Comes across : FINDS
2. 10s, say : IDEALS
3. Rock’s Limp ___ : BIZKIT
4. In a shouting match, perhaps : AT IT
5. Skater Lipinski : TARA
6. Little nothing : TRIFLE
7. One who’s morally flawed : NO SAINT
8. “Pardon the Interruption” network : ESPN
9. Country that’s over 50% desert : MALI
10. Max of physics : PLANCK
11. Person who has a way with words? : LINGUIST
12. You, generically : ONE
13. “Better ___ …” : YET
21. ___-3 fatty acid : OMEGA
22. Nothing : NIHIL
26. Bender? : KNEE
27. “Holy moly!” : EGAD!
29. Dwindle, with “out” : PETER
30. Symbol after “I” on many a bumper sticker : HEART
31. “___ to a Kill” : A VIEW
32. Sign on a door : WOMEN
36. Corner office, e.g. : PERK
37. Sweet Swan of ___ (epithet for Shakespeare) : AVON
38. “Musetta’s Waltz” opera : LA BOHEME
39. Scooter ___, Plame affair figure : LIBBY
41. Poem in which Paris plays a prominent part : ILIAD
44. Handmade : CRAFTED
47. Applies : EXERTS
48. A.L. East athlete : ORIOLE
49. CBS drama featuring LL Cool J : NCIS LA
50. Puts the pedal to the metal : GUNS IT
54. Symbol of the National Audubon Society : EGRET
56. Loud, as a color : NEON
57. Plant holder? : ROOT
58. Literary matchmaker : EMMA
59. Kings of ___ (“Use Somebody” band) : LEON
60. ___ the Kid (N.H.L. nickname) : SID
61. Eastern principle : TAO

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