0729-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Jul 13, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Andrea Carla Michaels
THEME: Body Part Actions … each of today’s themed answers is “doing something to a body part”, and is a common phrase:

20A. Like a sweet story : HEARTWARMING
33A. Like an unbelievable story : EYE-ROLLING
44A. Like a hilarious story : GUT-BUSTING
56A. Like a hilarious story : KNEE-SLAPPING

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 04m 56s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Peak : ACME
The “acme” is the highest point, coming from the Greek word “akme” which has the same meaning.

5. Bolivian capital : LA PAZ
The administrative capital of Bolivia, La Paz, is officially named Nuestra Senora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace). La Paz is the seat of the Bolivian government, even though the legal capital of the country is Quito.

14. Italy’s shape : BOOT
In the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, the “boot” is the mainland of Italy, and the the ball being kicked by the boot is the island of Sicily.

15. Addis ___, Ethiopia : ABABA
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia. The city is relatively young, having being founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II.

18. Purchase for an all-nighter : NODOZ
NoDoz and Vivarin are brand names of caffeine pills.

19. ___ fixe : IDEE
An “idee fixe” (a French term) is basically a fixed idea, an obsession.

23. White House grp. that meets in the Situation Room : NSC
The National Security Council (NSC) was created by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. The NSC is chaired by the sitting president and meets in the White House Situation Room.

26. “Revenge of the ___” (“Star Wars” subtitle) : SITH
The Sith are characters in the “Star Wars” universe who use the “dark side” of “the Force”, and as such are the antithesis of the Jedi Knights. The last made of the six “Star Wars” movies is called “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”.

27. Jet-black : EBONY
Ebony is a dark black wood that is very dense, one of the few types of wood that sinks in water. Ebony has been in high demand so the species of trees yielding the wood are now considered threatened. It is in such short supply that unscrupulous vendors have been known to darken lighter woods with shoe polish to look like ebony, so be warned …

The color “jet black” takes its name from the minor gemstone known as jet. The gemstone and the material it is made of takes its English name from the French name: “jaiet”.

28. Fortuneteller’s card : TAROT
Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future.

40. Suave or Prell : SHAMPOO
Prell shampoo was introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1947, and was originally a clear green concentrate sold in a tube (like toothpaste).

41. Two-character David Mamet play : OLEANNA
“Oleanna” sounds like a powerful play, written by David Mamet, first performed in 1992. It’s a two-person piece, the tale of a university professor and a female student who accuses him of sexual exploitation.

David Mamet is best known as a playwright, and indeed won a Pulitzer for his 1984 play “Glengarry Glen Ross”. Mamet is also a successful screenwriter and received Oscar nominations for the films “The Verdict” (1982) and “Wag the Dog” (1997).

43. Magazine whose cover has a red border : TIME
“Time” magazine has a readership of about 25 million, making it the largest circulation weekly news magazine in the world.

47. Deluxe sheet fabric : SATIN
Sateen and satin are two different things (like I’d known the difference!). Sateen is a cotton fabric, with a weave that is “four over, one under” meaning that most of the threads come to the surface giving it a softer feel.

48. Japanese fish dish : SUSHI
Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If you want raw fish by itself, then you have to order “sashimi”.

52. Valentine’s Day flower : ROSE
Saint Valentine’s Day was chosen by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saints’ day was dropped by the Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …

55. Adriatic or Aegean : SEA
The Adriatic is the sea separating Italy from the Balkans.

The Aegean Sea is that part of the Mediterranean that lies between Greece and Turkey. Within the Aegean Sea are found the Aegean Islands, a group that includes Crete and Rhodes.

60. Listing on eBay : ITEM
eBay was founded in 1995 as AuctionWeb as part of a computer programmer’s personal website. One of the first items purchased was a broken laser pointer, for $14.83. The buyer collected broken laser pointers …

62. “Iliad” warrior : AJAX
Ajax was a figure in Greek mythology, and was the cousin of Achilles. Ajaz is an important figure in Homer’s “Iliad”. According to Homer, Ajax was chosen by lot to meet Hector in an epic duel that lasted a whole day. The duel ended in a draw.

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.

66. 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 …

67. Military group : CADRE
A “cadre” is most commonly a group of experienced personnel at the core of a larger organization that the small group trains or heavily influences. “Cadre” is a French word meaning a “frame”. We use it in the sense that a cadre is a group that provides a “framework” for the larger organization.

68. “The Twilight ___” : ZONE
The iconic television series called “The Twilight Zone” first aired in 1959 and then ran for 156 episodes before being pulled in 1964. “The Twilight Zone” was revived for four years in the late eighties, and was also spun-off into a movie by Steven Spielberg in 1983.

69. Ball-___ hammer : PEEN
The peen of a hammer is on the head, and is the side of the head that is opposite the striking surface. Often the peen is in the shape of a hemisphere (as in a Ball-peen hammer), but usually it is shaped like a claw (mainly for removing nails).

71. Jeweled Fabergé objects : EGGS
Fabergé eggs are beautiful jeweled eggs made by the House of Fabergé from 1885 to 1917. The tradition of fabricating the eggs started when Tsar Alexander III commissioned Fabergé to create a jeweled egg for his wife in 1885. After this, the House of Fabergé produced more and more elaborate designs, year after year.

Down
1. “Honest” president : 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.

3. “Me?,” to Miss Piggy : MOI
The Muppet called Miss Piggy has a pretentious air, and so refers to herself as “moi”. In 1998, Miss Piggy even released her own line of perfume called “Moi”.

4. ___ A Sketch : ETCH
The Etch A Sketch toy was introduced in 1960. The toy was developed in France by inventor André Cassagnes.

5. Neighbor of Maui : LANAI
Lanai is the sixth largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Lanai was first spotted by Europeans just a few days after Captain Cook was killed on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1779. In 1922, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company bought the whole island of Lanai and turned most of it into the world’s largest pineapple plantation. Since then, Lanai has been known as “The Pineapple Island”.

7. Asian noodle dish with peanuts : PAD THAI
The delicious dish called Pad Thai is a meld of stir-fried rice noodles with tamarind juice, red chili pepper plus a mix of vegetables and possibly tofu, meat or fish. It is usually topped with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime. The name “Pad Thai” translates as “fried Thai style”.

9. Drag queen in “La Cage aux Folles” : ZAZA
The musical “La Cage aux Folles” opened on Broadway in 1985. “La Cage aux Folles” is a musical adaptation of the French play of the same name by Jean Poiret that was first staged in 1973. I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing the stage play nor the musical, but I love the wonderful movie adaptation, “The Birdcage”, released in 1996. The film has a very strong cast that includes Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman and Hank Azaria.

12. John who was the first American to orbit the earth : GLENN
John Glenn is a retired Marine Corps pilot, astronaut and US Senator. As an astronaut, Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth, in 1962, and later became the oldest person to fly in space, in 1998.

13. Poem for the dearly departed : ELEGY
Perhaps the most famous elegy in the English language is that written by Thomas Gray, completed in 1750. His “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” is the source of many oft-quoted phrases, including:

– Celestial fire
– Far from the Madding Crowd
– Kindred spirit

21. Legally prohibit : ESTOP
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”.

23. Bikini blast, briefly : N-TEST
The testing of US nuclear weapons by the US at Bikini Atoll in the middle of 1946 went by the codename “Operation Crossroads”. The tests used A-bombs and were designed to measure the effect of blasts on navy vessels. There were three tests planned, but the third had to be cancelled as the Navy couldn’t decontaminate the ships used in the second test.

29. “Coffee, Tea ___?” : OR ME
“Coffee, Tea or We?” is a book published in 1967 that was supposedly a memoir written by two stewardesses Trudy Baker and Rachel Jones. In fact though, it was really a work of fiction, written by the ghostwriter Donald Bain. Bain went as far as hiring two Eastern Airlines flight attendants to pose as the authors and promote the book on television.

31. Snooty sort : SNOB
Back in the 1780s, a “snob” was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

32. Eskimo home: Var. : IGLU
The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar: “igdlo”.

34. The Olympic rings, e.g. : LOGO
The symbol of the Olympic Games consists of five interlocking rings, with each ring representing one of the five continents involved in the Olympics. The five continents are Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and America (North and South combined). The symbol was designed in 1912, adopted in 1914, and introduced at the 1920 Games.

37. The “F” and “B” of Samuel F. B. Morse, e.g.: Abbr. : INITS
Samuel Morse was a very accomplished and reputable painter (he was engaged to paint a portrait of President John Adams, for example). In 1825 Morse was in Washington working on a commissioned painting when he received a one-line letter by horse messenger telling him that his wife was ill. He left immediately for his home in New Haven, Connecticut but by the time that Morse arrived his wife had already died and had been buried. This single event spurred him to move from painting to the development of a rapid means of long distance communication, leading to the single-wire telegraph and Morse code.

38. Comics orphan : ANNIE
The musical “Annie” was based on the Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”. There were two subsequent film adaptations, both really quite successful, including one released in 1982 directed by John Huston of all people. “Annie” was Huston’s only ever musical.

39. ___ cum laude : MAGNA
When an academic degree is awarded, a level of distinction can be noted depending on the degree of success achieved by the student. There are three types of honor, each with a Latin name:

– cum laude: meaning “with honor” (literally “with praise”)
– magna cum laude: meaning “with great honor”
– summa cum laude: meaning “with highest honor”

42. German steel city : ESSEN
I knew a man back in Ireland, a German national from the city of Essen. He had very sad tales to tell from the days of WWII. As a young boy he lost his (socialist) parents during the Nazi purges early in the war. In 1943 he was living with his grandmother and still attending school when he was drafted into the army along with the rest of his class (at 14 years of age). His platoon leader was his school teacher who made a point of tutoring the boys in place of military drilling. One day he was on guard duty with his class/platoon at the dam above the city, and along come the Dam Busters with their bouncing bombs. The raid was successful (from the perspective of the Allies), but he described terrible famine faced by the people below the dam due to flooding of the farmland that surrounded the factories.

46. “___ better to have loved and lost …” : ‘TIS
Here are some lines from the poem “In Memoriam A.H.H.” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson:

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

50. “Come up and ___ sometime” : SEE ME
“I’m No Angel” is an 1933 film starring Mae West and a very young Cary Grant who just making a name for himself in Hollywood. “I’m No Angel” gives us some iconic Mae West quotations:

– Come up and see me sometime.
– Beulah, peel me a grape.
– It’s not the men in your life that counts, it’s the life in your men.
– When I’m good I’m very good. But when I’m bad I’m better.

51. Biceps-flexing guys : HE-MEN
The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.

53. Dizzying designs : OP ART
Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

54. Boxcars, with dice : SIXES
Boxcars is a slang term for two sixes rolled on a pair of dice, particularly in the game of craps. The idea is that the twelve pips on the dice resemble a pair of boxcars on a freight train.

64. Lee who directed “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” : ANG
Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Peak : ACME
5. Bolivian capital : LA PAZ
10. Animal house? : CAGE
14. Italy’s shape : BOOT
15. Addis ___, Ethiopia : ABABA
16. Temporary calm : LULL
17. More than awesome : EPIC
18. Purchase for an all-nighter : NODOZ
19. ___ fixe : IDEE
20. Like a sweet story : HEARTWARMING
23. White House grp. that meets in the Situation Room : NSC
26. “Revenge of the ___” (“Star Wars” subtitle) : SITH
27. Jet-black : EBONY
28. Fortuneteller’s card : TAROT
30. “Yeah, right!” : AS IF!
33. Like an unbelievable story : EYE-ROLLING
36. Circle measure: Abbr. : DIAM
40. Suave or Prell : SHAMPOO
41. Two-character David Mamet play : OLEANNA
43. Magazine whose cover has a red border : TIME
44. Like a hilarious story : GUT-BUSTING
46. Hubbub : TO-DO
47. Deluxe sheet fabric : SATIN
48. Japanese fish dish : SUSHI
52. Valentine’s Day flower : ROSE
55. Adriatic or Aegean : SEA
56. Like a hilarious story : KNEE-SLAPPING
60. Listing on eBay : ITEM
61. Mountain-climbing tool : ICE AX
62. “Iliad” warrior : AJAX
66. Marcel Marceau, for one : MIME
67. Military group : CADRE
68. “The Twilight ___” : ZONE
69. Ball-___ hammer : PEEN
70. Shoelace problems : KNOTS
71. Jeweled Fabergé objects : EGGS

Down
1. “Honest” president : ABE
2. Nightstick carrier : COP
3. “Me?,” to Miss Piggy : MOI
4. ___ A Sketch : ETCH
5. Neighbor of Maui : LANAI
6. Cancel, as a launch : ABORT
7. Asian noodle dish with peanuts : PAD THAI
8. Take ___ (acknowledge applause) : A BOW
9. Drag queen in “La Cage aux Folles” : ZAZA
10. Go up : CLIMB
11. Sound transmission : AUDIO
12. John who was the first American to orbit the earth : GLENN
13. Poem for the dearly departed : ELEGY
21. Legally prohibit : ESTOP
22. Boxing official : REF
23. Bikini blast, briefly : N-TEST
24. Give a quick greeting : SAY HI
25. Additive to coffee : CREAM
29. “Coffee, Tea ___?” : OR ME
31. Snooty sort : SNOB
32. Eskimo home: Var. : IGLU
34. The Olympic rings, e.g. : LOGO
35. Earsplitting : LOUD
36. Facts and figures : DATA
37. The “F” and “B” of Samuel F. B. Morse, e.g.: Abbr. : INITS
38. Comics orphan : ANNIE
39. ___ cum laude : MAGNA
42. German steel city : ESSEN
45. Underwater missile : TORPEDO
46. “___ better to have loved and lost …” : ‘TIS
48. Pinch pennies : SKIMP
49. Loosen, as 70-Across : UNTIE
50. “Come up and ___ sometime” : SEE ME
51. Biceps-flexing guys : HE-MEN
53. Dizzying designs : OP ART
54. Boxcars, with dice : SIXES
57. Show of affection from a dog : LICK
58. Open ___ of worms : A CAN
59. Good, long look : GAZE
63. Easy run : JOG
64. Lee who directed “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” : ANG
65. Ballot marks : XES

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2 thoughts on “0729-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Jul 13, Monday”

  1. I always learn SO much about my puzzles from you. THANK YOU!!!!
    No idea where you get the time and energy to do what you do, but it's incredible. Never thought about the word BI CEPS, for example!

  2. Hi Andrea,

    I wouldn't have the opportunity to make this post if it wasn't for you taking the time to set a puzzle in the first place. You really do manage to keep Monday interesting, with a very approachable crossword. How you come up with these themes is beyond me!

    Thanks for stopping by Andrea, and leaving a comment. Thanks for everything you do for "Crossword World" 🙂

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