0315-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Mar 14, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ed Sessa
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 43m 55s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Like some methods of detection : HOLMESIAN
“Holmesian” detection is detection in the style of Sherlock Holmes.

In the “Sherlock Holmes” stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the famous detective has lodgings at 221b Baker Street in London. Holmes shares rooms with his friend and chronicler Dr. Watson. The landlady in the residence is the amiable Mrs. Hudson.

10. Winter athletes’ pull-ups? : T-BARS
A T-bar is a type of ski lift in which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, a similar device, but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

16. Last name in the skin care industry : ARPEL
The Adrien Arpel cosmetic company was founded in 1962 and sold its products across Europe. The company started selling in the US in 1968.

17. Indication that one wants to get smacked : KISSY FACE
I guess one puts on one’s “kissy face” to indicate that one wants to get kissed.

18. Producer of “whirlybirds” : MAPLE
“Helicopter seed” and “whirlybird” are familiar names given to a type of fruit more correctly called a samara. A samara has a flattened wing or wings made of papery tissue from the ovary wall. These wings enable the wind to carry the seed farther from the parent tree.

19. How the descriptions of most things usually end? : -EST
“Most” things are superlatives, words that usually have the suffix “-est”.

23. N.B.A. team starting in 1988 : HORNETS
The New Orleans Hornets joined the NBA in 1988 as an expansion team, originally based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The team was going to be called the Charlotte Spirit, but the name was changed following a “name the team” contest run in the local area. During the Revolutionary War, Lord General Cornwallis had referred to Charlotte as a “veritable nest of hornets” due the city’s resistance to British occupation, which explains the local fans’ fondness for the name “Hornets”. The franchise was moved to New Orleans for the 2002 season, as attendance wasn’t big enough to sustain the team in Charlotte.

24. A line, e.g. : SUBWAY
The A Train in the New York City Subway system runs from 207th Street, through Manhattan and over to Far Rockaway in Queens. The service lends its name to a jazz standard “Take the ‘A’ Train”, the signature tune of Duke Ellington and a song much sung by Ella Fitzgerald. One version of the lyric is:

You must take the A Train
To go to Sugar Hill way up in Harlem
If you miss the A Train
You’ll find you’ve missed the quickest way to Harlem
Hurry, get on, now, it’s coming
Listen to those rails a-thrumming (All Aboard!)
Get on the A Train
Soon you will be on Sugar Hill in Harlem.

27. A lines, e.g. : SERIFS
Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif (using the French word “sans” meaning “without”). Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I’m not so sure though …

28. “Essays in Love” writer ___ de Botton : ALAIN
Alain de Botton is a British writer and philosopher (born in Switzerland) whose best known work is the novel “Essays in Love” that was published in 1993.

32. Since 2010 it’s had a shield on its back : CENT
Abraham Lincoln’s profile has been on the obverse of the US one-cent coin since 1909, the centennial of the president’s birth. Four different designs were used on the reverse of the penny in 2009, commemorating President Lincoln’s bicentennial. The design of the reverse was changed permanently in 2010 and now features the Union Shield.

34. Jack for Jacques? : EURO
“Jack” is a slang term for money.

42. Swiss bank depositor? : AARE
The Aar (also called the “Aare” in German) is the longest river entirely in Switzerland. A famous spot along the Aar is the Reichenbach Falls in the center of the country, actually a series of waterfalls near the city of Meiringen. These falls are renowned in the world of literature as it was here that Sherlock Holmes fell to his supposed doom with his nemesis Professor Moriarty (in “The Adventure of the Final Problem”).

45. Vineyard, in Vichy : CRU
“Cru” is a term used in the French wine industry that means “growth place”. So, “cru” is the name of the location where the grapes are grown, as opposed to the name of a specific vineyard. The terms “premier cru” and “grand cru” are also used, but the usage depends on the specific wine region. Generally it is a classification awarded to specific vineyards denoting their potential for producing great wines. “Grand cru” is reserved for the very best vineyards, with “premier cru” the level just below.

Vichy is a spa town in the center of France. The people from Vichy are known as Vichyssois. After Paris, was occupied by the Germans in WWII, Vichy was chosen as the seat of government for what was called the French State. The Vichy government had theoretical authority even in occupied France, and is remembered for its collaboration with the German authorities. Vichy was chosen as the new seat of government because of its relative proximity to Paris, and simply because the town had the largest hotel room capacity in the “free zone” of the country.

48. Song of exultation : PAEAN
A paean is a poem or song that expresses triumph or thanksgiving. “Paean” comes from the ancient Greek “paian” meaning “song of triumph”.

49. Sexy : BODACIOUS
The term “bodacious” means “remarkable, bold” and can be used to mean “sexy”, although that usage is more “slangy”. “Bodacious” is possible a melding of the terms “bold” and “audacious”.

52. Seaweed used in home brewing : IRISH MOSS
Irish moss is a common name for a species of red algae called Chondrus crispus. Over in Ireland we call the same species “carrageen moss”, from the Irish “carraigín” meaning “little rock”, as the seaweed is found growing attached to little rocks on the beaches of the Atlantic coast. Carrageen moss is the source of “carrageenan”, which is widely used as a thickening agent in processed foods and ice cream.

54. One controlling drones : BEEKEEPER
Drone bees and ants are fertile males of the species, whose sole role in life seems to be to mate with a queen.

Down
1. Relative of a haddock : HAKE
Hake is a commonly eaten fish in Europe, with half of all the hake consumed in Spain.

2. Uplifting company? : OTIS
Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

4. Classic two-seaters : MGS
My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget roadster in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979, with the MG acronym standing for “Morris Garages”.

5. Blissful : ELYSIAN
The Elysian Fields were the final resting place of the heroic and virtuous, in Greek mythology.

8. A teller might update it: Abbr. : ACCT
Account (acct.)

9. Connection between Obama and Robinson? : NEE
Michelle Obama nee Robinson grew up on the South Side of Chicago and is sister to Craig Robinson, the coach of men’s basketball at Oregon State University. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Michelle Robinson worked as an associate at the Chicago office of the Sidley Austin law firm. Barack Obama joined the firm as a summer associate and Michelle Robinson was assigned to mentor him, and as they say, one thing led to another …

10. Member of the marmoset family : TAMARIN
Tamarins are small monkeys found in Central America. One of the most obvious features of a tamarin are moustache like facial hairs.

A marmoset is a small New World monkey. Marmosets are unusual in that they carry two sets of DNA. Marmosets almost always bear fraternal twins, and the reproductive cells of each twin includes DNA from the other twin.

21. They’re often accompanied by “Hava Nagila” : HORAS
The hora (also “horah”) is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. The hora was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional Israeli folk songs. The dance is a regular sight at Jewish weddings and at bar and bat mitzvahs. At such events, it is common for the honorees to be raised on chairs during the dance.

“Hava Nagila” is a Hebrew folk song, with the title translating into “Let Us Rejoice”. The melody is from a Ukrainian folk song. The words to “Hava Nagila” were composed in 1918 to celebrate the British victory in Palestine during WWI.

22. Penalty for some overly prolific posters : TWITTER JAIL
A Twitter user is said to be in “Twitter Jail” when he or she reaches the imposed limit of 100 tweets per hour, or 1,000 tweets per day. While in Twitter Jail, the user cannot post public messages.

23. Rope and dope sources : HEMPS
Hemp is a hardy, fast-growing plant that has many uses mainly due to the strength of the fibers in the plant’s stalks. Hemp is used to make rope, paper and textiles. There is of course a variety of hemp that is grown to make drugs, most famously cannabis.

25. Title 54-Across of film : ULEE
(54A. One controlling drones : BEEKEEPER)
“Ulee’s Gold” is a highly respected film from 1997 in which Peter Fonda plays the title role of Ulee. Ulee’s “gold” is the honey that Ulee produces. It is a favorite role for Peter Fonda and he has shared that playing Ulee brought to mind his father, Henry Fonda, who himself kept a couple of hives. So if you see Peter Fonda in “Ulee’s Gold” you’re witnessing some characteristics that Peter saw in his father.

36. Staples of Marvel Comics : MUTANTS
Marvel Comics started out in 1939 as Timely Publications, before becoming known as Atlas Comics in the 1950s. Marvel has been owned by Disney since 2009.

37. Cayenne producer : PORSCHE
Porsche was founded in 1931 in Stuttgart, Germany by Professor Ferdinand Porsche. The company didn’t produce cars at first, but worked on design and development. The first big job awarded to the company was from the German government, to design a car for the people. The result was the Volkswagen Beetle. Yep, the Beetle is a Porsche design.

39. Velvety pink : DAMASK
Damask is a greyish-pink color, the color of the damask rose.

The Damask rose is a hybrid that is sometimes known as the Rose of Castile. The rose is very fragrant and is grown for its rose oil that is used in the perfumery industry.

40. Annual winter honoree, briefly : ST PAT
There is a fair amount known about St. Patrick, some of which comes from two letters written in his own hand. St. Patrick lived in the fifth century, but was not born in Ireland. He was first brought to Ireland at about 16 years of age from his native Britain, by Irish raiders who made him a slave for six years. Patrick managed to escape and returned to his homeland where he studied and entered the Church. He went back to Ireland as a bishop and a missionary and there lived out the rest of his life. There seems to be good evidence that he died on March 17th (now celebrated annually as St. Patrick’s Day), although the year is less clear. The stories about shamrock and snakes, I am afraid they are the stuff of legend.

41. Modern two-seater : MIATA
I’ve always liked the looks of the Mazda Miata, probably because it reminds me so much of old British sports cars. The Miata is built in Hiroshima, Japan.

42. Murphy of “To Hell and Back” : AUDIE
“To Hell and Back” is a 1955 war film that is based on the autobiography of the same name by Audie Murphy. Murphy gets to play himself in the film, although the autobiography was ghost-written by a friend.

47. Miracle on Ice loser of ’80 : USSR
Team USA won the gold medal in men’s hockey at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. The victory was a surprising one given the decades-long dominance of the USSR team. The “big result” for the American team was the epic victory against the Soviets, after which they defeated Finland and secured the gold medal.

50. “___ Wed” (2007 Erica Durance movie) : I ME
“”I Me Wed” is a 2007 TV movie, a romantic comedy starring Isabel Arden who decides to actually marry herself!

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Like some methods of detection : HOLMESIAN
10. Winter athletes’ pull-ups? : T-BARS
15. Without requiring scrutiny : AT A GLANCE
16. Last name in the skin care industry : ARPEL
17. Indication that one wants to get smacked : KISSY FACE
18. Producer of “whirlybirds” : MAPLE
19. How the descriptions of most things usually end? : -EST
20. Cast : SENT
21. Like many taxis : HAILED
22. Bathhouse square : TILE
23. N.B.A. team starting in 1988 : HORNETS
24. A line, e.g. : SUBWAY
27. A lines, e.g. : SERIFS
28. “Essays in Love” writer ___ de Botton : ALAIN
29. People everywhere : HUMAN RACE
32. Since 2010 it’s had a shield on its back : CENT
33. Buckles : WARPS
34. Jack for Jacques? : EURO
35. Two or three in a row, say : SEATMATES
37. Texas state tree : PECAN
38. Prevent from having anything? : NEUTER
39. What cookies are often baked in : DOZENS
40. Stung : SMARTED
42. Swiss bank depositor? : AARE
43. Spare change collector : TIP JAR
44. Spare change collectors : BUMS
45. Vineyard, in Vichy : CRU
48. Song of exultation : PAEAN
49. Sexy : BODACIOUS
51. Failed in a big way : ATE IT
52. Seaweed used in home brewing : IRISH MOSS
53. Some men’s sizes : TALLS
54. One controlling drones : BEEKEEPER

Down
1. Relative of a haddock : HAKE
2. Uplifting company? : OTIS
3. Bad way to finish : LAST
4. Classic two-seaters : MGS
5. Blissful : ELYSIAN
6. Without incident, say : SAFELY
7. Lacking a point : INANE
8. A teller might update it: Abbr. : ACCT
9. Connection between Obama and Robinson? : NEE
10. Member of the marmoset family : TAMARIN
11. Cold discomfort, of sorts : BRAIN FREEZE
12. Poppycock : APPLESAUCE
13. Found new tenants for : RE-LET
14. Polar bearers? : SLEDS
21. They’re often accompanied by “Hava Nagila” : HORAS
22. Penalty for some overly prolific posters : TWITTER JAIL
23. Rope and dope sources : HEMPS
24. Body bags? : SACS
25. Title 54-Across of film : ULEE
26. Skin behind a slip, perhaps : BANANA PEEL
27. Less likely to have waffles : SURER
29. Like supervillains : HATED
30. Grape, Cherry or Strawberry lead-in : CRAN-
31. A lot of the time? : EONS
33. Need for life : WATER
36. Staples of Marvel Comics : MUTANTS
37. Cayenne producer : PORSCHE
39. Velvety pink : DAMASK
40. Annual winter honoree, briefly : ST PAT
41. Modern two-seater : MIATA
42. Murphy of “To Hell and Back” : AUDIE
44. “Zzz” inducer : BORE
45. Something to buy into : CO-OP
46. Device : RUSE
47. Miracle on Ice loser of ’80 : USSR
49. Crab house accessory : BIB
50. “___ Wed” (2007 Erica Durance movie) : I ME

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