0225-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Feb 14, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Matthew E. Paronto & Jeff Chen
THEME: Crosswordese … each of today’s themed clues is a word often described as “crosswordese”, an answer that appears frequently in a crossword grid. The clues might also be described as “crosswordese” (in a punny sort of way – “crossword Es”) in that each of them begins with a letter E:

20A. EPEE : FENCING BLADE
28A. ETUI : NEEDLE CASE
39A. ERNE : SEABIRD
47A. EMIR : ARAB LEADER
55A. What this puzzle’s capitalized clues are, both by definition and pun : CROSSWORDESE

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 26s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Where Matisses hang in N.Y.C. : MOMA
The founding of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City was very much driven by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, the wife of John D. Rockefeller, son of the oil magnate. Working with two friends, Abby managed to get the museum opened in 1929, just nine days after the Wall Street Crash. The MoMA’s sculpture garden bears the name of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and has done so since 1949.

Henri Matisse was a French artist renowned for his contribution to modern art. In his early career, Matisse was classed as a “fauve”, one of the group of artists known as the “wild beasts” who emphasized strong color over realism in their works. He was a lifelong friend of Pablo Picasso, and the two were considered to be good-natured rivals so their works are often compared. One major difference between their individual portfolios is that Picasso tended to paint from his imagination, whereas Matisse tended to use nature as his inspiration.

9. Sacred Egyptian bird : IBIS
The ibis is a wading bird that was revered in ancient Egypt. “Ibis” is an interesting word grammatically speaking. You can have one “ibis” or two “ibises”, and then again one has a flock of “ibis”. And if you want to go with the classical plural, instead of two “ibises” you would have two “ibides”!

15. Paper quantity : REAM
A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”.

16. Madrid tidbit : TAPA
“Tapa” is the Spanish word for “lid”, and there is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

Madrid is the largest city in Spain and the capital. Madrid is located very close to the geographical center of the country. It is the third-largest city in the European Union (after London and Paris). People from Madrid called themselves Madrileños.

17. John known as the “Teflon Don” : GOTTI
John Gotti was the boss of the Gambino crime family from 1985. Gotti was known as the Teflon Don and took over leadership of the family from Paul Castellano when he was gunned down, allegedly on Gotti’s orders. Gotti remained head of the New York family until he was sentenced to life in prison in 1992. Gotti died of throat cancer after ten years behind bars.

26. Asian-American basketball sensation Jeremy : LIN
Jeremy Lin is a professional basketball player with the Houston Rockets. Lin is the first American of Chinese descent to play in the NBA.

28. ETUI : NEEDLE CASE
An etui is an ornamental case used to hold small items, in particular sewing needles. We imported both the case design and the word “etui” from France. The French also have a modern usage of “etui”, using the term to depict a case for carrying CDs.

38. Tomato and lettuce pickers’ org. : UFW
The UFW is the United Farm Workers of America, a labor union formed by the merger of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC), and the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) that was led by Mexican American labor leader Cesar Chavez.

39. ERNE : SEABIRD
The ern (also erne) is also called the white-tailed eagle or sea-eagle.

43. Computer-connecting system, for short : LAN
You may have a Local Area Network (LAN) in your house. If you’ve got a PC and a router or switch, likely attached to some modem, then you have a LAN.

51. Barack’s re-election opponent : MITT
Mitt Romney was born Willard Mitt Romney in 1947 in Detroit, Michigan. Romney’s parents named him after J. Willard Marriott (the hotel magnate) who was the father’s best friend, and after Milton “Mitt” Romney who was the father’s cousin and quarterback for the Chicago Bears.

President Obama’s first name, Barack, is Swahili with roots in an old Arabic word meaning “blessed”. Barack was the President’s father’s name. President Obama’s middle name is Hussein, an Arabic word meaning “good” or “handsome one”. Hussein was the name of the President’s grandfather on the paternal side. His surname, Obama, doesn’t really have a translation, but is a common name among the Luo tribe of Kenya.

55. What this puzzle’s capitalized clues are, both by definition and pun : CROSSWORDESE
Words described as “crosswordese” are those that are found frequently as answers in crosswords, but which do not appear nearly so often in everyday speech.

60. Jupiter, to the Greeks : ZEUS
In Greek mythology, Zeus was the ruler of the gods of Mount Olympus. He was also the god of the sky and thunder. The Roman equivalent of Zeus was Jupiter.

61. Relative of a bassoon : OBOE
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”. When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance you’ll note (pun intended!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an “A”. The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe’s “A”.

Our modern bassoon first appeared in the 1800s and has had a place in the concert orchestra ever since.

62. N.B.A. Hall-of-Famer Thomas : ISIAH
Isiah Thomas played his whole professional basketball-playing career with the Detroit Pistons, and he is now the head coach with Florida International University’s Golden Panthers. When you’re out shopping for popcorn, keep an eye out for the Dale & Thomas brand, as it’s co-owned by Isiah Thomas.

66. Actress Hathaway : ANNE
The actress Anne Hathaway is a favorite of mine, I must say. She starred in “The Devil Wears Prada” in 2006 and in 2007’s “Becoming Jane”, a film I particularly enjoyed.

70. Putin put-down? : NYET
“Nyet” is Russian for “no”, and “da” is Russian for “yes”.

Vladimir Putin became acting President of Russia at the very end of 1999 when Boris Yeltsin resigned. Putin was elected in his own right in 2000, re-elected in 2004, and then ran up against a term limit in 2008. In 2008 Putin was appointed by his successor, President Dmitry Medvedev, to the position of Prime Minister. Putin is a controversial figure, inside and outside Russia. On the one hand he led the country out of an economic crisis into a period of stability and relative prosperity. On the other hand he has been associated with government corruption and accused of allowing private concerns to have undue influence on government actions.

Down
1. Abbr. on Chinese menus : MSG
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

2. Lennon’s love : ONO
John Lennon and Yoko Ono had a very public honeymoon in a hotels in Amsterdam and then Montreal, when they staged their famous “bed-in” for peace. In answering questions from reporters Lennon found himself often repeating the words “give peace a chance”. While still in bed, he composed his famous song “Give Peace a Chance” and even made the original recording of the song in the Montreal hotel room, with reporters present, and with a whole bunch of friends. The song was released later in 1969 and became a smash hit.

5. Seer : ORACLE
In Ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word “oracle” derives from the Latin “orare” meaning “to speak”, which is the same root for our word “orator”.

8. What can take your breath away in L.A.? : SMOG
“Smog” is of course a portmanteau word formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s.

9. Bold alternative : ITALIC
Italic type leans to the right. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

10. Fountain treat with cherries on top : BANANA SPLIT
The banana split was created in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1904. This particular sundae was the idea of David Stickler, a young apprentice pharmacist at the Tassel Pharmacy’s soda fountain.

12. Fill to excess : SATE
“Sate” is a variant of the earlier word “satiate”. Both can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

14. Chicken ___ : KIEV
Chicken Kiev may indeed be a Ukrainian dish, named for the capital city of Kiev. It is a boneless chicken breast rolled around garlic, herbs and butter, breaded and deep fried. It was my Dad’s favorite …

21. Diarist Anaïs : NIN
Anaïs Nin was a French author, famous for her journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.

23. Bond girl Andress : URSULA
The actress Ursula Andress was quite the sex symbol in the sixties, famously playing Honey Ryder in the first James Bond movie “Dr. No”. Andress was born in Switzerland and is fluent in English, French, Italian, German and her native Swiss-German.

29. Many a Persian Gulf war correspondent : EMBED
Although journalists have been directly reporting from the front lines in military conflicts for some time, the term “embedded journalism” only came into fashion during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. A formal arrangement was made between the US Military and hundreds of reporters allowing the journalists to travel with military units and, under pre-ordained conditions, report directly from those units. Some say that the arrangement was mutually beneficial. On the one hand the journalists had relatively little to worry about in terms of transportation and travel through combat zones. On the other hand, the military had better control over what did and did not get reported.

30. It makes MADD mad : DUI
In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, so that by definition a DUI is a lesser offence than a DWI.

Candice Lightner lost her 13-year-old child to a drunk driver in 1980. Soon after, Lightner formed the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

31. Photocopier setting: Abbr. : LTR
Like so many things it seems, our paper sizes here in North America don’t conform with the standards in the rest of the world. ISO standard sizes used elsewhere have some logic behind them in that the ratio of width to length is usually one to the square root of two. This mathematical relationship means that when you cut a piece of paper in two each half preserves the aspect ratio of the original, which can be useful in making reduced or enlarged copies of documents. Our standard size of “letter” (8.5 x 11 inches) was determined in 1980 by the Reagan administration to be the official paper size for the US government. Prior to this, the “legal” size (8.5 x 14 inches) had been the standard, since 1921.

33. Yanks living abroad, e.g. : EXPATS
The term “Yankee” originated back in the 1600s when Dutch settlers used to called English colonists “Jankes”, a disparaging term meaning “Little Johns”.

35. Sacred songs : PSALMS
The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”.

41. Pie ___ mode : A LA
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.

46. Overused plot device in soaps : AMNESIA
As almost everyone knows, the original soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at housewives working in the home. For some reason the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that’s how the “soap” opera got its name …

50. Riddle-me-___ : REE
There’s an old English nursery rhyme that goes:

Riddle-me riddle-me riddle-me-ree,
Perhaps you can tell what this riddle may be:
As deep as a house, as round as a cup,
And all the king’s horses can’t draw it up.
And the answer is … a well!

54. Yard sale caveat : AS IS
A caveat is a warning or a qualification. “Caveat” is the Latin for “let him beware”.

55. Peter the Great or Ivan the Terrible : CZAR
The term czar (also tsar) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “Caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time.

Peter the Great was perhaps the most successful of the Romanov tsars, famous for modernizing Russia and expanding the country’s sphere of influence, creating the Russian Empire. He ruled from 1682 until his death in 1725.

The Grand Prince of Moscow, Ivan IV, became known as Ivan the Terrible. The name “terrible” is a translation from Russian, and perhaps creates the wrong impression about the man. The Russian word is “Grozny”, which is more akin to “strict” and “powerful” rather than “cruel” or “abominable”.

56. Clinton attorney general Janet : RENO
Janet Reno was Attorney General of the US from 1993 to 2001. Reno was the person to hold the office second longest, and was our first female Attorney General. In 2002, Reno ran for Governor of Florida but failed to win the Democratic nomination. Thereafter she retired from public life.

63. Holiday ___ : INN
The first Holiday Inn hotel was opened in 1952. The name for the hotel chain was inspired by the 1942 movie “Holiday Inn” starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Where Matisses hang in N.Y.C. : MOMA
5. Sun and moon, poetically : ORBS
9. Sacred Egyptian bird : IBIS
13. Sarcasm, informally : SNARK
15. Paper quantity : REAM
16. Madrid tidbit : TAPA
17. John known as the “Teflon Don” : GOTTI
18. Big do : AFRO
19. Med. student course : ANAT
20. EPEE : FENCING BLADE
23. Discourteous : UNCIVIL
26. Asian-American basketball sensation Jeremy : LIN
27. “Let’s ___!” : ROLL
28. ETUI : NEEDLE CASE
34. Foot-pound? : STOMP
36. Remote button : MUTE
37. Driver’s license datum : SEX
38. Tomato and lettuce pickers’ org. : UFW
39. ERNE : SEABIRD
42. Energy : PEP
43. Computer-connecting system, for short : LAN
44. Wheel connector : AXLE
45. Tortilla chip dip : SALSA
47. EMIR : ARAB LEADER
51. Barack’s re-election opponent : MITT
52. Pirate’s quaff : RUM
53. Makeshift shelters : LEAN-TOS
55. What this puzzle’s capitalized clues are, both by definition and pun : CROSSWORDESE
60. Jupiter, to the Greeks : ZEUS
61. Relative of a bassoon : OBOE
62. N.B.A. Hall-of-Famer Thomas : ISIAH
66. Actress Hathaway : ANNE
67. Guns, as an engine : REVS
68. Burn a bit : SINGE
69. Reels’ counterparts : RODS
70. Putin put-down? : NYET
71. Once more : ANEW

Down
1. Abbr. on Chinese menus : MSG
2. Lennon’s love : ONO
3. Gymnast’s surface : MAT
4. Highbrow theater screening : ART FILM
5. Seer : ORACLE
6. New mortgage deal, informally : REFI
7. Place for an owl : BARN
8. What can take your breath away in L.A.? : SMOG
9. Bold alternative : ITALIC
10. Fountain treat with cherries on top : BANANA SPLIT
11. Apple tablet : IPAD
12. Fill to excess : SATE
14. Chicken ___ : KIEV
21. Diarist Anaïs : NIN
22. Runs, as a color : BLEEDS
23. Bond girl Andress : URSULA
24. Relatively near : NOT FAR
25. Be a goof : CLOWN AROUND
29. Many a Persian Gulf war correspondent : EMBED
30. It makes MADD mad : DUI
31. Photocopier setting: Abbr. : LTR
32. Takes care of : SEES TO
33. Yanks living abroad, e.g. : EXPATS
35. Sacred songs : PSALMS
40. Computer file extension : EXE
41. Pie ___ mode : A LA
46. Overused plot device in soaps : AMNESIA
48. Hearty kisses : BUSSES
49. Firstborn : ELDEST
50. Riddle-me-___ : REE
54. Yard sale caveat : AS IS
55. Peter the Great or Ivan the Terrible : CZAR
56. Clinton attorney general Janet : RENO
57. Threadbare : WORN
58. Follow orders : OBEY
59. Wander about : ROVE
63. Holiday ___ : INN
64. Grow long in the tooth : AGE
65. Chop : HEW

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