0612-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Jun 14, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mark Feldman
THEME: The Whole Thing … each of today’s themed answers is standalone word or phrase that is often preceded by THE WHOLE:

17A. Long, involved story, in slang : MEGILLAH (giving “the whole Megillah”)
18A. Business, informally : BALL OF WAX (giving “the whole ball of wax”)
30A. Competition in marksmanship : SHOOTING MATCH (giving “the whole shooting match”)
51A. Queso-topped dish : ENCHILADA (giving “the whole enchilada”)
54A. 100% … or words that can precede 17-, 18-, 30- and 51-Across : THE WHOLE

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 29m 42s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 3 … LARA (Lana), MEGILLAH (menillah), REG (nen!!!)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Like some libelers : SUED
The word “libel”, meaning a published or written statement likely to harm a person’s reputation, comes into English from the Latin “libellus”, the word for a small book. Back in the 1500s “libel” was just a formal written statement, with the more damaging meaning arising in the 1600s.

5. Spencer of “Good Morning America” : LARA
Lara Spencer has been co-anchor of “Good Morning America” since 2011, working alongside Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos. Back in 2004/2005, PBS viewers will have seen Spencer hosting the hit show “Antiques Roadshow”.

“Good Morning America” (GMA) is ABC’s morning show, and has been since 1975. There was even a spinoff show called “Good Afternoon America”, although it only lasted for a few months in 2012.

9. Emergency message, for short : APB
An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

12. Common flavorer in Italian sausage : FENNEL
Fennel is a hardy perennial plant species in the celery family that is used as a herb. Personally, I can’t stand fennel …

16. Line 22 on Form 1040 : INCOME
Form 1040 was originally created just for tax returns from 1913, 1914 and 1915, but it’s a form that just keeps on giving …

17. Long, involved story, in slang : MEGILLAH (giving “the whole Megillah”)
“Megillah” is the Hebrew word for “scroll”. In the Hebrew Bible there are Five Scrolls (Megillot), namely “Song of Songs”, “Ruth”, “Lamentations”, “Ecclesiastes” and “Esther”.

18. Business, informally : BALL OF WAX (giving “the whole ball of wax”)
The phrase “whole ball of wax” is probably a corruption of “the whole bailiwick”.

Bailiwick is a word dating back to the mid-1600s, and originally meant the “district of a bailiff”.

20. Home of “The Gist” and “Political Gabfest” : SLATE
“Slate” is an online magazine founded in 1996. “Slate” was originally owned by Microsoft and was part of the MSN online offering. The magazine has been available for free since 1999 (it is ad-supported) and has been owned by the Washington Post Company since 2004.

21. Western tribe : UTE
The Ute are a group of Native American tribes that now reside in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups.

22. Word with Man or can : TIN
The movie “The Wizard of Oz” is full of irony. The Scarecrow wants to be intelligent and discovers he is already very smart. The Tin Man wants to be able to love and finds out that he already has a heart. The Lion thinks he is a coward but turns out to be fearless. And the big reveal is that the Wizard of Oz, who is positioned as all-powerful, is actually just a bumbling and eccentric old man.

24. Guinness superlative : LONGEST
“The Guinness Book of World Records” holds some records of its own. It is the best-selling, copyrighted series of books of all time and is one of the books most often stolen from public libraries! The book was first published in 1954 by two twins, Norris and Ross McWhirter. The McWhirter twins found themselves with a smash hit, and eventually became very famous in Britain hosting a TV show based on world records.

27. Final order : DESSERT
Our word “dessert” comes from the French verb “desservir” meaning “to clear the table”. The idea is that dessert is usually the the last course to be cleared from the table.

29. John ___ : DOE
Although the English court system does not use the term today, John Doe first appeared as the “name of a person unknown” in England in 1659, along with another unknown, Richard Roe. The female equivalent of John Doe is Jane Doe, with the equivalent to Richard Roe being Jane Roe (as in Roe v. Wade, for example).

37. About 8-15 mg. of iron, say : RDA
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA)

38. Email attachment attachment? : VIRUS
A computer virus has characteristics very similar to a virus found in nature. It is a small computer program that can copy itself and can infect another host (computer).

40. Modern term for “Roman fever” : MALARIA
Malaria is a disease passed onto humans by mosquitoes. As a result of the disease, a parasite invades human red blood cells and multiplies causing fever and possibly coma or death. Over 750,000 people died from malaria in 2009, out of 225 million cases reported. Malaria has been around for along time, and some speculate that outbreaks of the disease might have contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire. Back then, malaria was so common in Rome that is was known as “Roman fever”.

48. Holy ___ : SEE
In the Roman Catholic Church, an episcopal see is the official seat of a bishop, and is usually described by the town or city where the bishop resides and has his cathedral. The most famous see in the church is called the Holy See, the episcopal see of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.

49. One who’s been tapped on the shoulder? : SIR
The rite of passage that conferred knighthood on an apprentice was known as the”accolade” or “dubbing” back in the Middle of Ages. Part of that ceremony is still used today, including the tapping of the flat side of a sword by a monarch on the shoulders of the new knight.

50. Plagiarism and such : NO-NOS
“To plagiarize” is to pass off the writings of another as one’s own. The term comes from the Latin “plagiare” meaning “to kidnap”.

51. Queso-topped dish : ENCHILADA (giving “the whole enchilada”)
“Enchilada” is the past participle of the Spanish word “enchilar” meaning “to add chile pepper to”. An enchilada is a basically a corn tortilla rolled around some filling and then covered in chili pepper sauce. The term “big enchilada” is used in the same way as we would use “big cheese” i.e. the top dog. The phrase was popularized in the sixties when John Ehrlichman refers to Attorney General John Mitchell as “the big enchilada” on one of the Watergate Tapes.

“Queso” is Spanish for “cheese”.

57. Mark Twain’s boyhood home : HANNIBAL
Hannibal is a city in Missouri located about 100 miles northwest of St. Louis. Mark Twain chose Hannibal as the setting of his novels “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. The choice was a personal one for the author, as Hannibal was Mark Twain’s childhood home.

61. Like Santa Claus : SPRY
Saint Nicholas of Myra is the inspiration for Santa Claus. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra (now in modern-day Turkey) during the 4th century AD, and was known for being generous to the poor. Centuries after he died, his remains were desecrated by Italian sailors and moved to Bari in Italy. One legend has it that the relics were moved again centuries later and reburied in the grounds of Jerpoint Abbey in Co. Kilkenny in Ireland, where you can visit the grave today. I choose to believe that Santa Claus’s relics are indeed buried in Ireland …

Down
1. “Damn Yankees” team : SENATORS
In the musical show “Damn Yankees”, the title refers to the New York Yankees baseball team that dominated the sport in the fifties. That said, the show tells the story of the a man who sells his soul to help his beloved Washington Senators team beat the Yankees and win the pennant.

“Damn Yankees” is actually yet another version of the classic German legend of “Faust”, set in Washington, D.C. in the fifties. The show was written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, a production that turned out to be a very successful follow-up to their prior hit, “The Pajama Game”. The future was looking really rosy for Adler and Ross but, sadly, Jerry Ross died of an obstructive lung disease only a few weeks after “Damn Yankees” opened on Broadway in 1955. He was just 29 years old.

3. Hydroxyl compound : ENOL
An enol is an alkene with a hydroxyl group, sort of part-alkene and part-alcohol. The term “enol” therefore, is a portmanteau of “alkene” and “alcohol”.

5. Miller character : LOMAN
“Death of a Salesman” is a famous play by Arthur Miller, first produced in 1949. “Death of a Salesman” won a Pulitzer and several Tony Awards over the years. The “salesman” in the play is the famous character Willy Loman. The play originally opened up on Broadway and ran for 724 performances. The lead role was played by the veteran actor Lee J. Cobb.

Arthur Miller was a remarkable playwright, best known for his plays “Death of a Salesman” and “The Crucible”. Famously, Arthur Miller left his first wife to marry Marilyn Monroe in 1956. The two divorced five years later, just over a year before Monroe died of an apparent drug overdose.

12. Bone whose name is Latin for “pin” : FIBULA
The fibula is the calf bone. The fibula lies beside the tibia, with both bones sitting under the femur. The name “fibula” is a Latin word meaning “clasp, brooch”. The lower leg bone was given the name in the early 1700s as it resembles the clasp of a modern safety pin, as it lies alongside the larger tibia.

19. “Well-bred insolence,” per Aristotle : WIT
Aristotle was actually a student of Plato in Ancient Greece (and in turn, Plato was a student of Socrates). Aristotle’s most famous student was Alexander the Great.

26. River bordering Tokyo : EDO
Edo is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo castle. Some parts of the original castle remain and today’s Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.

29. It has four bases : DNA
Nucleobases are molecules that form the backbone of DNA and RNA chains. It is the sequence of these bases in the DNA chain that makes up the so-called “genetic code”. In DNA the four bases are adenine (A), guanine (G), thymine (T) and cytosine (C). The same bases are found in RNA, except that thymine is replaced by uracil (U).

31. Speaker of baseball : TRIS
Tris Speaker was a Major League Baseball player, the holder of the record for the most doubles hit in a career. He led the Boston Red Sox to two World Series championships, in 1912 and 1915.

32. 2013 Pawel Pawlikowski film set in post-W.W. II Poland : IDA
Pawel Pawlikowski is a filmmaker based in Paris who was born and grew up in Warsaw, Poland. Pawlikowski’s most famous films are “Last Resort” (2000), which he both wrote and directed, and the intriguing “My Summer of Love” (2004) that stars Natalie Press and Emily Blunt.

33. Fifth, e.g.: Abbr. : AVE
Fifth Avenue in New York is sometimes referred to as the “most expensive street in the world” as the section that runs through Midtown Manhattan is home to upscale stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue.

34. “Deck the Halls” contraction : ‘TIS
The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “tra-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in 19th century. “‘Tis the season to be jolly …”

35. One on a mission : CRUSADER
The Crusades were a whole series of military campaigns that took place between 1095 and 1291 in the Near East. The Crusades were fought by mainly Roman Catholic forces from the Holy Roman Empire attempting to wrest control of the region from Muslim rule.

36. What a hygrometer measures : HUMIDITY
A hygrometer is a instrument used to measure humidity, the moisture content in the atmosphere.

39. Glacial formations : SERACS
A “serac” is a column of glacial ice. Seracs are very dangerous to mountaineers as they can fall over with little warning and possibly trigger an avalanche.

40. French ice cream flavor : MENTHE
“Menthe” is French for “mint”.

41. Hawaiian exchange : ALOHAS
The Hawaiian word “Aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.

43. Nevil Shute’s “___ Like Alice” : A TOWN
“A Town Like Alice” is a 1950 novel by British author Nevil Shute. Shute set his story in Australia, as he had just settled in the country. The “Alice” in the title is the Australian city of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

45. Chest part, for short : PEC
“Pecs” is the familiar term for the chest muscle, more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

48. Fishing line : SNELL
A snell is a length of thin line that connects a fishhook to heavier line.

51. Company whose name is derived from a passage in Hosea : EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”.

Hosea was one of the Twelve Prophets of the Hebrew Bible, also called the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament in the Christian Bible.

55. Item tied in a drum bow : OBI
The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied in what is called a butterfly knot (chocho musubi) or perhaps in a drum knot (taiko musubi).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Like some libelers : SUED
5. Spencer of “Good Morning America” : LARA
9. Emergency message, for short : APB
12. Common flavorer in Italian sausage : FENNEL
14. In working condition : OPERABLE
16. Line 22 on Form 1040 : INCOME
17. Long, involved story, in slang : MEGILLAH
18. Business, informally : BALL OF WAX
20. Home of “The Gist” and “Political Gabfest” : SLATE
21. Western tribe : UTE
22. Word with Man or can : TIN
23. Suddenly stops working, with “up” : SEIZES
24. Guinness superlative : LONGEST
27. Final order : DESSERT
28. Parabolic, say : ARCED
29. John ___ : DOE
30. Competition in marksmanship : SHOOTING MATCH
37. About 8-15 mg. of iron, say : RDA
38. Email attachment attachment? : VIRUS
40. Modern term for “Roman fever” : MALARIA
45. Daresay : PRESUME
47. In groups : ELITES
48. Holy ___ : SEE
49. One who’s been tapped on the shoulder? : SIR
50. Plagiarism and such : NO-NOS
51. Queso-topped dish : ENCHILADA
54. 100% … or words that can precede 17-, 18-, 30- and 51-Across : THE WHOLE
56. Sour : ACIDIC
57. Mark Twain’s boyhood home : HANNIBAL
58. Attacks : BESETS
59. Alternative to -enne : -ESS
60. Tiresome sort : PILL
61. Like Santa Claus : SPRY

Down
1. “Damn Yankees” team : SENATORS
2. Relax : UNCLENCH
3. Hydroxyl compound : ENOL
4. Show, informally : DEMO
5. Miller character : LOMAN
6. Height : APEX
7. Coffee order: Abbr. : REG
8. Comes about : ARISES
9. Lit up : ABLAZE
10. Certain metalworker : PLATER
11. Bidding : BEHEST
12. Bone whose name is Latin for “pin” : FIBULA
13. Some jabs : LEFTS
15. “___ well” : ALL IS
19. “Well-bred insolence,” per Aristotle : WIT
23. Look : SEEM
25. Prefix with political : GEO-
26. River bordering Tokyo : EDO
27. Track : DOG
29. It has four bases : DNA
31. Speaker of baseball : TRIS
32. 2013 Pawel Pawlikowski film set in post-W.W. II Poland : IDA
33. Fifth, e.g.: Abbr. : AVE
34. “Deck the Halls” contraction : ‘TIS
35. One on a mission : CRUSADER
36. What a hygrometer measures : HUMIDITY
39. Glacial formations : SERACS
40. French ice cream flavor : MENTHE
41. Hawaiian exchange : ALOHAS
42. Bedding : LINENS
43. Nevil Shute’s “___ Like Alice” : A TOWN
44. Forward, say : RESHIP
45. Chest part, for short : PEC
46. Kind of center : REHAB
48. Fishing line : SNELL
51. Company whose name is derived from a passage in Hosea : EL AL
52. Locks up : ICES
53. Not be able to say “say,” say : LISP
55. Item tied in a drum bow : OBI

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One thought on “0612-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Jun 14, Thursday”

  1. 53 down is misleading. Perhaps a person with a lisp can't say "say" PROPERLY, but they most certainly can SAY it. A MUTE, on the other hand, literally cannot SAY "say." meh.

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