0521-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 May 14, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mike Buckley
THEME: Sounds Like Two Words … today’s themed answers are homophones of well-known phrases:

17A. Freestyling pilot? : PLANE RAPPER (sounds like “plain wrapper”)
28A. Music forbidden in Germany? : BANNED LIEDER (sounds like “bandleader”)
44A. Top? : WHIRLED PIECE (sounds like “world peace”)
59A. Throaty dismissals? : HOARSE SHOOS (sounds like “horseshoes”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 13m 40s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Ottoman title : PASHA
A pasha was a high-ranking official in the Ottoman Empire, roughly equivalent to the English rank of “lord”.

6. Occult cards : 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.

14. Legally impede : ESTOP
The 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”.

15. Say “somethin’,” say : ELIDE
“To elide” is to pass over, omit or slur a syllable when speaking.

19. Grand Canyon part : RIM
The Grand Canyon is in Arizona. The canyon continues to be carved out of layers of rock by the Colorado River. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and over a mile deep.

24. STP logo sporter, perhaps : INDY CAR
STP is a brand name for automotive lubricants and additives. The name STP comes from “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.

26. Some modern cash registers : IPADS
I guess that some cash registers are now being replaced by iPads and other tablet computers.

28. Music forbidden in Germany? : BANNED LIEDER (sounds like “bandleader”)
“Lied” (plural “Lieder”) is a German word meaning “song”. The term is often used to describe romantic German poems that have been set to music. The most famous Lieder are perhaps those written by Franz Schubert, example being the lovely “”Der Tod und das Mädchen” and “Gretchen am Spinnrade”.

36. Bonanza yield : ORE
A ”bonanza” is a mine with a rich pocket of ore that can be exploited. “Bonanza” is the Spanish word for a rich lode, and we imported the term into English. “Bonanza” originally meant “fair weather at sea”, and from that came to mean “prosperity, good fortune”. Ultimately, “bonanza” comes from the Latin “bonus” meaning “good”.

40. Google co-founder Sergey : BRIN
I used to visit Google a lot when I was in the industry. It is an amazing place, but the culture wouldn’t suit an old fogey like me. It is a great company that produces wonderful products though. Eric Schmidt was brought in as CEO in 2001 as the “grown up” needed by Google’s young co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Not that long ago Google announced that Page and Brin are “all grown up” now, and so Schmidt stepped down as CEO in April 2011 with Page taking over the the reins. Schmidt is now Executive Chairman of the company.

41. Off-road ride, for short : ATV
All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

42. ___ cheese : BLEU
Being a bit of a French speaker (admittedly a pretty poor one), the term “bleu” cheese has always kind of irritated me. I would prefer that we use either “blue cheese” or “fromage bleu” and not mix the languages, but then I can be annoyingly picky! It’s said that blue cheese was probably discovered accidentally, as molds tend to develop in the same conditions that are best for storing cheese. The blue mold in the cheese is introduced by adding Penicillium spores before the cheese is allowed to set. And yes, it’s the same mold that is used to produce penicillin, the antibiotic.

43. Steel giant founded in 1899 : ARMCO
The steel company once known as Armco Steel was founded in 1899 as the American Rolling Mill Company (abbreviated to ARMCO). Armco entered into a limited partnership in 1989 with the Kawasaki Steel Corporation in Japan, and so the company is now called AK Steel.

49. Honeydew relatives : CASABAS
A casaba is type of honeydew melon. The casaba takes its name from the Turkish city of Kasaba, from where the fruit was imported into America in the late 1800s.

57. Big brass : TUBA
The tuba is the lowest pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”. Oom-pah-pah …

58. Public house potable : ALE
Something that is “potable” is fit to drink. The term derives from the Latin verb “potare” meaning “to drink”, which is also the root for our word “potion”.

62. Paul McCartney title : SIR
Paul McCartney’s real name, including his knightly title, is Sir James Paul McCartney.

63. Sculpted trunks : TORSI
“Torso” (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the “trunk of a statue”, a word that we imported into English.

64. “Sun Valley Serenade” skater : HENIE
Sonja Henie was a World and Olympic Champion figure skater from Norway from the days when “amateur” sports stars were not paid. Henie made up for her lack of income from competing by developing a career in Hollywood. She was one of highest paid stars at the height of her movie career.

“Sun Valley Serenade” is a musical film released in 1941 that stars Sonja Henie and John Payne, as well as Glenn Miller ad Milton Berle. The film’s story involves a musical band in Sun Valley, Idaho for a Christmas engagement, giving Sonja Henie an opportunity to show off her prowess on the ice. Notably, the movie features the public’s first hearing of the Glenn Miller hit “Chatanooga Choo Choo”, which became the first record to sell a million copies.

66. Lamé feature : SHEEN
Lamé is a fabric that has metallic yarns included in the weave. Lamé is a popular fabric for stylish evening wear, and also in the sport of fencing. The metallic threads are conductive and so help register a touch by an épée.

67. Eurasia divider : URALS
The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

Down
1. “Live for Now” soft drink : PEPSI
The Pepsi-Cola formulation was developed by one Caleb Bradham who made the drink at home and sold it as “Brad’s Drink”. Bradham’s aim was to provide a drink that was pleasant to taste, that would aid digestion and boost energy. Included in the formula were pepsin (a digestive enzyme) and kola nuts. These two ingredients inspired the brand name we use today: Pepsi-Cola.

2. Narnia lion : ASLAN
In the C. S. Lewis series of books “The Chronicles of Narnia”, Aslan is the name of the lion character (as in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”). “Aslan” is actually the Turkish word for lion. Anyone who has read the books will recognize the the remarkable similarity between the story of Aslan and the story of Christ, including a sacrifice and resurrection.

4. Apiary denizen : HONEY BEE
An apiary is an area where bees are kept. The Latin word for “bee” is “apis”.

Nowadays we use “denizen” to mean simply a resident, but historically a denizen was an immigrant to whom certain rights had been granted, something like today’s “resident alien”.

5. Galoot : APE
“Galoot” is an insulting term meaning an awkward or boorish man, an ape. “Galoot” comes from the nautical world, where it was originally what a sailor might call a soldier or marine.

6. Samovar, e.g. : TEA URN
The samovar originated in Russia, and is often a very elegant water boiler, usually for making tea. As such, there is often an attachment on top of a samovar to keep a teapot warm.

7. Albertville’s locale : ALPS
Albertville is a city in south-eastern France, in the Alps. The city was established in 1836 by King Charles Albert of Sardinia, which resulted in the name “Albertville”. Albertville is perhaps most famous today as the host of the 1992 Winter Olympic Games.

8. Hazards for surfers : RIP TIDES
A rip current (wrongly called a rip “tide” sometimes) is a localized current that flows seaward from near the shore. Rip currents are dangerous as they can pull swimmers out to sea.

9. Ben Jonson wrote one to himself : ODE
Ben Jonson was a contemporary of William Shakespeare, and just like Shakespeare, Jonson was a dramatist, poet and actor. Jonson’s work was very well received from 1605 to 1620, but his reputation began to wane in the 1620s. He wrote a play called “The New Inn” which was received so badly, the actors were hissed off the stage. Immediately afterwards, Jonson wrote about the failure in his poem “Ode to Himself”.

13. “Land o’ Goshen!” : MY MY!
“Land o’ Goshen!” is an expression mostly heard in the South, an expression of amazement akin to “oh gosh!” The Land of Goshen is mentioned twice in the Bible, once as a province in Egypt, and later as a location in the Promised Land.

18. Speckled steed : ROAN
A roan horse has an even mixture of white and colored hairs on the body with the head, lower legs, mane and tail having a more solid color.

23. Commercial suffix with Power : -ADE
Powerade is one of those sports drinks, the only real competitor to Gatorade. Pepsi makes Gatorade, so in 1988, Coke introduced Powerade. I really do question the value of these hyped-up beverages …

25. Rotten egg : CAD
Our word “cad”, meaning “a person lacking in finer feelings”, is a shortening of the word “cadet”. “Cad” was first used for a servant, and then students at British universities used “cad” as a term for a boy from the local town. “Cad” took on its current meaning in the 1830s.

30. Cantor of Congress : ERIC
Eric Cantor is a US Representative from Virginia, and has been the House Majority Leader since 2011.

31. City mentioned in “Folsom Prison Blues” : RENO
“Folsom Prison Blues” is a song written and recorded by Johnny Cash. Cash wrote it in West Germany while serving in the US Air Force after seeing the movie “Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison”. An iconic, and scary, line in the song is “But I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die”.

32. Stud alternative : DRAW
Stud poker is the name given to many variants of poker, all characterized by the dealer giving each player a mix of cards face-down and face-up. The cards facing downwards are called “hole cards”, cards only visible to the individual who holds that particular hand. This gives rise to the phrase “ace in the hole”, a valuable holding that only the player with the ace is aware of.

Draw poker is a variant of the card game in which each player is given a complete hand before the first round of betting, and then has the opportunity to replace or “draw” cards to develop the hand for subsequent rounds of betting.

34. Nielsen group : TV VIEWERS
Arthur Nielsen founded his Nielsen Media Research company to track brand advertising. He quickly moved into market analysis of radio audiences in the thirties, and today the company is famous for tracking television audiences. I remember watching the last episode of the TV series “Becker”, in which Ted Danson played a doctor. Given that the show had been ordered off the air, there’s a great line in the last episode when Becker asks for the chart of a patient called “Nielsen”. He looks at the lab results and announces “I don’t know what everyone is talking about … these numbers aren’t so bad!” Great stuff …

38. Baldwin of “30 Rock” : ALEC
Alec Baldwin is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec’s big break was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin is making a name for himself these days playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey.

39. McCarthy-era paranoia : RED SCARE
After WWII the United States went through what was called the “Second Red Scare”, the fear of communist infiltration in American society and government. Senator Joseph McCarthy became a lightning rod for this movement when he chaired Senate hearings in the fifties designed to root out communist infiltrators.

43. Friedrich units, for short : ACS
Friedrich Air Conditioning is a manufacturer of cooling equipment that is based in San Antonio, Texas. The company was founded as furniture manufacture in 1883 by Ed Friedrich, and later came to specialize in refrigeration.

45. Campus in Troy, N.Y. : RPI
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the “application of science to the common purposes of life”, an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the school’s sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.

50. “___ sera” : BUONA
“Buona sera” is Italian for “good evening”.

52. Ppd. enclosures : SASES
A self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) might be a prepaid, postage-paid (ppd.) enclosure (enc.) sent with a letter.

54. Director Kazan : ELIA
Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for “Gentleman’s Agreement” and in 1955 for “On The Waterfront”. In 1999 Kazan was given an Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. He also directed “East of Eden”, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, and “Splendor in the Grass” that included Warren Beatty in his debut role.

56. Language that gave us “smithereens” : ERSE
There are actually three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).

“Smithereens” is such a lovely word and I am proud to say that it comes from Irish. The Irish word “smiodar” means fragment. We add the suffix “-in” (anglicized as “-een”) to words to indicate the diminutive form. So, “little fragment” is “smidirin”, anglicized as “smithereens”.

61. Moo ___ beef : SHU
Moo shu pork is a traditional dish from northern China, with the main ingredients being shredded pork and scrambled egg.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Ottoman title : PASHA
6. Occult cards : TAROT
11. Beauty : GEM
14. Legally impede : ESTOP
15. Say “somethin’,” say : ELIDE
16. Wall cover : IVY
17. Freestyling pilot? : PLANE RAPPER (sounds like “plain wrapper”)
19. Grand Canyon part : RIM
20. Uncommitted? : SANE
21. Boot out : OUST
22. Comeback : RALLY
24. STP logo sporter, perhaps : INDY CAR
26. Some modern cash registers : IPADS
28. Music forbidden in Germany? : BANNED LIEDER (sounds like “bandleader”)
32. Lavished attention (on) : DOTED
35. Long, long time : AEON
36. Bonanza yield : ORE
37. Four-star review : RAVE
38. Pretentiously showy : ARTSY
40. Google co-founder Sergey : BRIN
41. Off-road ride, for short : ATV
42. ___ cheese : BLEU
43. Steel giant founded in 1899 : ARMCO
44. Top? : WHIRLED PIECE (sounds like “world peace”)
48. Long, long stories : EPICS
49. Honeydew relatives : CASABAS
53. Put locks on? : BEWIG
55. So-so marks : CEES
57. Big brass : TUBA
58. Public house potable : ALE
59. Throaty dismissals? : HOARSE SHOOS (sounds like “horseshoes”)
62. Paul McCartney title : SIR
63. Sculpted trunks : TORSI
64. “Sun Valley Serenade” skater : HENIE
65. Is stricken with : HAS
66. Lamé feature : SHEEN
67. Eurasia divider : URALS

Down
1. “Live for Now” soft drink : PEPSI
2. Narnia lion : ASLAN
3. Orchestra musician’s prop : STAND
4. Apiary denizen : HONEY BEE
5. Galoot : APE
6. Samovar, e.g. : TEA URN
7. Albertville’s locale : ALPS
8. Hazards for surfers : RIP TIDES
9. Ben Jonson wrote one to himself : ODE
10. 41-Across part : TERRAIN
11. Non-coed housing : GIRLS’ DORM
12. Like some spirits : EVIL
13. “Land o’ Goshen!” : MY MY!
18. Speckled steed : ROAN
23. Commercial suffix with Power : -ADE
25. Rotten egg : CAD
27. Sneaky tactic : PLOY
29. Scarf down : EAT UP
30. Cantor of Congress : ERIC
31. City mentioned in “Folsom Prison Blues” : RENO
32. Stud alternative : DRAW
33. Something sworn : OATH
34. Nielsen group : TV VIEWERS
38. Baldwin of “30 Rock” : ALEC
39. McCarthy-era paranoia : RED SCARE
40. Timeout : BREATHER
42. Crop destroyers : BLIGHTS
43. Friedrich units, for short : ACS
45. Campus in Troy, N.Y. : RPI
46. Strands, as at a ski lodge : ICES IN
47. Relaxation : EASE
50. “___ sera” : BUONA
51. Bubbling over : ABOIL
52. Ppd. enclosures : SASES
53. Party that might get out of hand : BASH
54. Director Kazan : ELIA
56. Language that gave us “smithereens” : ERSE
60. Response at an unveiling : OOH!
61. Moo ___ beef : SHU

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