0616-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Jun 14, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Haight
THEME: B Team … we have seventeen themed answers today, each containing a couple of letters B. All of the two-word themes answers have Bs as the first letters to that pair of words:

1A. *Replaceable part of a lamp : BULB
9A. *Rum-soaked cakes : BABAS
15A. *___ Ruth : BABE
17A. *Villainous noble of a classic French tale : BLUEBEARD
21A. *Dodo : BIRDBRAIN
27A. *Bench-pressing equipment : BARBELL
34A. *Neighborhood financial institution : BANK BRANCH
43A. *Hungarian composer whose only opera is about 17-Across : BELA BARTOK
49A. *The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, e.g. : BIG BAND
58A. *Base of many gravies : BEEF BROTH
66A. *Physical attribute of Homer Simpson : BEER BELLY
1D. *Things to drool over? : BIBS
4D. *Have a meal : BREAK BREAD
9D. *Bogeyman : BUGBEAR
27D. *Part of a fishhook : BARB
32D. *Ones who criticize others in their absence : BACKBITERS
44D. *Restaurant staffers : BUSBOYS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 16s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. *Rum-soaked cakes : BABAS
Rum baba (also “baba au rhum” in French) is a small yeast cake saturated in rum, and sometimes filled with whipped cream. Rum baba is derived from the recipe for the tall “babka” yeast cake that was introduced to the world by the Polish communities. The Polish words “baba” and “babka” mean “old woman” or “grandmother” in English. I guess someone must have thought that all grandmothers were saturated in rum!

14. Dr. Frankenstein’s assistant : IGOR
Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel has the full title of “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus”. The subtitle underscores one of the themes of the book, a warning about man’s expansion into the Industrial Revolution.

15. *___ Ruth : BABE
Jack Dunn was the owner/manager of the Baltimore Orioles back in 1913, when he signed on George Herman Ruth as a pitcher. The other players called Ruth “Jack’s newest babe”, and the name “Babe” stuck.

16. The “U” of UHF : ULTRA
The radio spectrum is divided into bands based on frequency. “High band” is composed of relatively high frequency values, and “low band” is composed of frequencies that are relatively low. FM radio falls into the band called Very High Frequency, or VHF. Television signals use frequencies even higher than VHF, frequencies in the Ultra High Frequency band (UHF). AM radio uses lower frequencies that fall into the relatively low bands of Low, Medium and High Frequency (LF, MF, and HF).

17. *Villainous noble of a classic French tale : BLUEBEARD
“Bluebeard” is a folktale from France that tells of a brutal nobleman who routinely murders his wives, and the attempts of one wife to avoid the same fate.

19. Dweebish : GEEKY
The original “geek” was a sideshow performer, perhaps at a circus. We use the term today for someone regarded as foolish or clumsy, but also for someone who is technically driven and expert, but socially inept.

Dweeb, squarepants, nerd … all are not nice terms that mean the same thing, someone excessively studious and socially inept.

20. Cousin of a mandolin : SITAR
The sitar has been around since the Middle Ages. The sitar is a stringed instrument that is played by plucking, and is used most often in Hindustani classical music. In the West we have been exposed to the instrument largely through the performances of Ravi Shankar and some music by George Harrison of the Beatles, a onetime student of Shankar.

23. Kardashian who married Kanye : KIM
Kim Kardashian is a socialite and television personality. She was introduced into society by her friend, Paris Hilton. Kardashian’s name first hit the headlines when a homemade sex tape made by her and singer Ray J was leaked.

Kanye West is a rap singer from Atlanta, Georgia. He married Kim Kardashian in 2014. That’s all I know …

25. Pouty look : MOUE
The term “moue” comes from French, and means a small grimace or a pout.

26. 6 on a telephone : MNO
The letter MNO are found on the 6-key on a telephone keypad.

31. Shakespeare’s fairy queen : MAB
In Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Mercutio refers to the fairy known as Queen Mab. It seems that Queen Mab was Shakespeare’s creation, although she became popular in subsequent works of literature. For example, she is referred to in Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”, in Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”, and Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote a large poetic work called “Queen Mab: A Philosophical Poem”.

33. Love personified : AMOR
Cupid, the Greek god of desire, was also known as Amor. “Cupido” is Latin for “desire” and “amor” is Latin for “love”.

42. “Goodbye, Guido!” : CIAO!
“Ciao” is the Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates better as “goodbye”.

43. *Hungarian composer whose only opera is about 17-Across : BELA BARTOK
Bela Bartok was a composer and a pianist, and is considered by many to be Hungary’s greatest composer after Liszt.

49. *The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, e.g. : BIG BAND
Tommy Dorsey was a jazz trombonist and bandleader in the Big Band era, and the younger brother of bandleader Jimmy Dorsey. One of Tommy’s singers was Frank Sinatra, whom he hired from bandleader Harry James in 1940. Sinatra claimed that he learned breath control from watching Tommy Dorsey play the trombone.

57. Boxer played by Will Smith in a 2001 biopic : ALI
“Ali” is a 2001 biographical movie about Muhammad Ali, with Will Smith in the title role. Among other things, the film is noted for its realistic fight scenes. The scenes were realistic because Smith was really being hit, as hard as his opponents could manage.

65. Eskimo’s home : IGLOO
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: namely “igdlo”.

Although still used in the US, the term “Eskimo” tends to be avoided in Canada and Greenland as there it is considered pejorative.

66. *Physical attribute of Homer Simpson : BEER BELLY
“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which is such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001.

68. What vegans don’t eat besides meat : DAIRY
A vegan is someone who stays away from animal products. A dietary vegan eats no animal foods, not even eggs and dairy which are usually eaten by vegetarians. Ethical vegans take things one step further by following a vegan diet and also avoiding animal products in other areas of their lives e.g. items made from leather or silk.

69. Roman poet who wrote about 33-Across : OVID
The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso is today known simply as Ovid. Ovid is usually listed alongside the two other great Roman poets, namely Horace and Virgil.

72. Gen ___ : XERS
The term Generation X originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By the latest accepted definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

73. Sultan of ___ (nickname for 15-Across) : SWAT
Baseball legend George Herman Ruth, Jr. had several nicknames, the best known being “Babe”. He was also called “the Bambino” and “the Sultan of Swat”.

Down
2. Not-so-cute fruit : UGLI
The ugli fruit is a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine, first discovered growing wild in Jamaica where most ugli fruit comes from today.

5. 16th president, familiarly : ABE
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the US, elected in 1860 as the first president from the Republican Party. Lincoln’s electoral support came almost exclusively from the north and west of the country, winning only two out 996 counties in the Southern slave states. Lincoln led the country through Civil War, and then was assassinated in 1865 just a few days after Robert E. Lee surrendered his army of Northern Virginia. President Lincoln was succeeded in office by Vice President Andrew Johnson.

6. Car from the same country as Volvo : SAAB
SAAB stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. SAAB was, and still is, mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automobile division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000, who then sold it to a Dutch concern in 2010. However, SAAB (automotive) finally went bankrupt in 2011.

Volvo is a Swedish manufacturers of cars, trucks and construction equipment. The Volvo name was chosen as “volvo” is Latin for “I roll”.

8. Director Almodóvar : PEDRO
Pedro Almodóvar is a very successful Spanish film director, born in a small town in the region of La Mancha (made famous by Don Quixote). I’m afraid I don’t recognize any of Almodovar’s films.

9. *Bogeyman : BUGBEAR
A bugbear is a character from English folklore, a goblin in the form of a bear who was said to eat naughty children. Our contemporary bugbear is less scary and is simply something that is annoying or irritating.

10. Twin or Tiger, informally : ALER
The Minnesota Twins baseball team started out life as the Kansas City Blues in 1894, before becoming the Washington Senators in 1901. The team arrived in Minneapolis in 1961.

The origins of the Detroit Tigers baseball team’s nickname seems a little unclear. One story is that it was taken from the Detroit Light Guard military unit who were known as “The Tigers”. The Light Guard fought with distinction during the Civil War and in the Spanish-American War. Sure enough, when the Detroit baseball team went into the Majors they were formally given permission to use “The Tigers” name by the Detroit Light Guard.

12. Alan of “Argo” : ARKIN
The actor Alan Arkin won his only Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) for his role in “Little Miss Sunshine” from 2006, a movie that I just did not understand …

“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I saw “Argo” recently and recommend it highly, although I found the scenes of religious fervor pretty frightening …

18. Gooey cheese : BRIE
Brie is a soft cheese, named after the French region from which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) camembert.

28. French girlfriend : AMIE
A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.

30. Bert of “The Wizard of Oz” : LAHR
Bert Lahr’s most famous role was the cowardly lion in “The Wizard of Oz”. Lahr had a long career in burlesque, vaudeville and on Broadway. Lahr also starred in the first US production of Samuel Beckett’s play “Waiting for Godot”, alongside Tom Ewell.

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.

35. Badminton barrier : NET
The game of badminton was developed in the mid-1700s by British military officers in India. There was already an old game called battledore and shuttlecock, so the creation of badminton was essentially the addition of a net and boundary lines for play. The game was launched officially as a sport in 1873 at Badminton House in Gloucestershire in England, giving it the name that we now use.

37. Ship of 1492 : NINA
The ship used by Christopher Columbus that we know as the Niña was actually the nickname of a ship actually called the Santa Clara. The nickname “Niña” probably came from the name of her owner, Juan Niña of Moguer.

38. Normandy city where William the Conqueror is buried : CAEN
Caen, on the River Orne, lies in the Calvados department of France in the northwest of the country. Caen is famous for the WWII Battle of Caen that left the town practically destroyed. Caen is also the burial place of the Norman King William I of England, also known as William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

The Norman Conquest of England started in 1066 when William, Duke of Normandy defeated King Harold II of England at the Battle of Hastings. William was crowned King William I of England, and was dubbed William the Conqueror.

44. *Restaurant staffers : BUSBOYS
A busboy is a person who assists a waiter, mainly by clearing tables. The verb “to bus” arose in the early 1900s and is probably a reference to the wheeled cart that was used to carry dishes.

45. Food thickener : AGAR
Agar is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

46. Car from Korea : KIA
Kia Motors is the second largest manufacturer of cars in South Korea, behind Hyundai (and Hyundai is a part owner in Kia now). In recent years, Kia has focused on sales into Europe, and has been remarkably successful.

52. Impressionist Edgar who painted ballerinas : DEGAS
Edgar Degas was a French artist, famous for his paintings and sculptures. Some of Degas’ most beautiful works feature female ballet dancers, and others depict women bathing.

53. Sub builders? : DELIS
The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.

56. Actor McQueen : STEVE
Apparently Steve McQueen wasn’t the easiest actor to work with, at least as far as directors were concerned. He pretty much had a free rein though, as he was so popular with the public in the seventies (he had the nickname “The King of Cool”). McQueen was the highest paid movie star in 1974.

59. Golfer’s cry : FORE!
No one seems to know for sure where the golfing term “fore!” comes from. It has been used at least as far back as 1881, and since then has been called out to warn other golfers that a wayward ball might be heading their way. My favorite possibility for its origin is that it is a contraction of the Gaelic warning cry “Faugh a Ballagh!” (clear the way!) which is still called out in the sport of road bowling. Road bowling is an Irish game where players bowl balls along roads between villages, trying to reach the end of the course in as few bowls as possible, just like in golf!

62. BBQ side dish : SLAW
The term “coleslaw” is an Anglicized version of the Dutch name “koolsla”, which in itself is a shortened form of “Koolsalade” meaning “cabbage salad”.

It is believed that our word “barbecue” comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

63. Gymnast Korbut : OLGA
Olga Korbut is from modern-day Belarus, but was born during the days of the Soviet Union. Korbut competed for the USSR team in the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games. She was 17 when she appeared in the 1972 Munich Games, and had been training in a sports school since she was 8-years-old. The world fell in love with her as she was a very emotional young lady, readily expressing joy and disappointment, something that we weren’t used to seeing in athletes from behind the Iron Curtain. Korbut immigrated to the US in 1991 and now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

64. Veto from Vladimir : NYET
“Nyet” is Russian for “no”, and “da” is Russian for “yes”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. *Replaceable part of a lamp : BULB
5. “Immediately!” : ASAP!
9. *Rum-soaked cakes : BABAS
14. Dr. Frankenstein’s assistant : IGOR
15. *___ Ruth : BABE
16. The “U” of UHF : ULTRA
17. *Villainous noble of a classic French tale : BLUEBEARD
19. Dweebish : GEEKY
20. Cousin of a mandolin : SITAR
21. *Dodo : BIRDBRAIN
23. Kardashian who married Kanye : KIM
25. Pouty look : MOUE
26. 6 on a telephone : MNO
27. *Bench-pressing equipment : BARBELL
31. Shakespeare’s fairy queen : MAB
33. Love personified : AMOR
34. *Neighborhood financial institution : BANK BRANCH
40. Peeve : RILE
41. Rooster’s mate : HEN
42. “Goodbye, Guido!” : CIAO!
43. *Hungarian composer whose only opera is about 17-Across : BELA BARTOK
47. Something a mini leaves exposed : KNEE
48. Made a ditch, say : DUG
49. *The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, e.g. : BIG BAND
51. Tally (up) : ADD
54. Maple syrup sources : SAPS
57. Boxer played by Will Smith in a 2001 biopic : ALI
58. *Base of many gravies : BEEF BROTH
61. “Them’s fightin’ words!” : IT’S ON!
65. Eskimo’s home : IGLOO
66. *Physical attribute of Homer Simpson : BEER BELLY
68. What vegans don’t eat besides meat : DAIRY
69. Roman poet who wrote about 33-Across : OVID
70. Blood-boiling state : RAGE
71. Road curves : ESSES
72. Gen ___ : XERS
73. Sultan of ___ (nickname for 15-Across) : SWAT

Down
1. *Things to drool over? : BIBS
2. Not-so-cute fruit : UGLI
3. Boorish sort : LOUT
4. *Have a meal : BREAK BREAD
5. 16th president, familiarly : ABE
6. Car from the same country as Volvo : SAAB
7. Nearly overflowing : ABRIM
8. Director Almodóvar : PEDRO
9. *Bogeyman : BUGBEAR
10. Twin or Tiger, informally : ALER
11. Subs … or a feature of the answers to the 17 asterisked clues? : B TEAM
12. Alan of “Argo” : ARKIN
13. Refuse an offer : SAY NO
18. Gooey cheese : BRIE
22. Boneheaded : DUMB
24. Diamond org. : MLB
27. *Part of a fishhook : BARB
28. French girlfriend : AMIE
29. Item often served with a pat of butter : ROLL
30. Bert of “The Wizard of Oz” : LAHR
32. *Ones who criticize others in their absence : BACKBITERS
35. Badminton barrier : NET
36. Radio tuner : KNOB
37. Ship of 1492 : NINA
38. Normandy city where William the Conqueror is buried : CAEN
39. Weeded, in a way : HOED
44. *Restaurant staffers : BUSBOYS
45. Food thickener : AGAR
46. Car from Korea : KIA
50. Smooth-talking : GLIB
51. Put up with : ABIDE
52. Impressionist Edgar who painted ballerinas : DEGAS
53. Sub builders? : DELIS
55. Part of many a bus. address : PO BOX
56. Actor McQueen : STEVE
59. Golfer’s cry : FORE!
60. ___ to the throne : HEIR
62. BBQ side dish : SLAW
63. Gymnast Korbut : OLGA
64. Veto from Vladimir : NYET
67. Hwys. : RDS

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