0717-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Jul 14, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Alan Arbesfeld
THEME: Kcab is Back Back … to interpret today’s themed answers we need to understand that the first word is turned BACK in the grid, giving us the “literal” answer:

17A. Singer in the sea, literally : HUMPBACK WHALE (PMUH WHALE)
27A. Plan B, literally : FALLBACK POSITION (LLAF POSITION)
42A. Gridiron maneuver, literally : QUARTERBACK SNEAK (RETRAUQ SNEAK)
57A. Little kid’s lift, literally : PIGGYBACK RIDE (YGGIP RIDE)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 14m 36s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. Oscar nominee for “Affliction” : NOLTE
The actor Nick Nolte got his first big break playing opposite Jacqueline Bisset and Robert Shaw in “The Deep”, released in 1976. Prior to that he had worked as a model, and in fact appeared in a magazine advertisement for Clairol in 1972 alongside fellow model Sigourney Weaver.

14. Draft status for someone in the Public Health Service : ONE-C
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

15. Inspect the figures? : OGLE
An ogler might inspect a woman’s figure.

17. Singer in the sea, literally : HUMPBACK WHALE (PMUH WHALE)
The males of the humpback whale species are particularly known for their song. This song can last up to 20 minutes and can be repeated for hours at a time. It is usually assumed that the song is part of a mating ritual.

20. “Smack” : HEROIN
Back in the forties the drug heroin started to be known as “smack”, a slam term that probably came from the Yiddish word “schmeck” meaning “drug”.

23. Long-distance inits. : ATT
The original AT&T Corporation was known as the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.

25. Feel one’s ___ (be frisky) : OATS
Traditionally, wild oats was a crop that one would regret sowing instead of “good grain”. Young and tempestuous people were rash enough to sow their wild oats, and had yet to comprehend their folly. Over time, to “feel one’s oats” came to mean “be lively and confident”.

26. Fiction’s Atticus Finch, e.g.: Abbr. : ATTY
Atticus Finch is the protagonist in Harper Lee’s great novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” was first published in 1960. The book is a mainstay in English classes all around the world and is a great ambassador for American literature, I’d say.

30. Place with a waiting room: Abbr. : STN
Station (stn.)

33. Some intellectual property, for short : TMS
Trademarks (TMs)

34. Literary Leonard : ELMORE
Elmore Leonard used to write a lot of westerns in the fifties and moved onto crime and suspense novels later in his career. A lot of Leonard’s books have made it to the big screen, including “Get Shorty” and “Mr Majestyk”.

38. Ticked off : IN A SNIT
The exact etymology of “snit”, meaning “fit of temper”, isn’t really known. The term was first used in print in the play “Kiss the Boys Goodbye” by Clare Booth Luce, which dates back to the 1930s and is set in the American South.

39. Skylights? : AURORA
Having been rapped over the knuckles in Latin class a few times at school, I have to point out that “aurora” is a singular noun, with the plural being “aurorae”.

The spectacular aurora phenomenon is seen lighting up the night sky at both poles of the earth (the Aurora Borealis in the north, and the Aurora Australis in the south). The eerie effect is caused by charged particles colliding with atoms at high latitudes.

40. A.C.C. school : UNC
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill started enrolling students way back in 1795, making it the oldest public university in the country (the first to enrol students).

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

41. Multinational carrier : SAS
SAS was formerly known as Scandinavian Airlines System and is the flag carrier of three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

42. Gridiron maneuver, literally : QUARTERBACK SNEAK (RETRAUQ SNEAK)
A “quarterback sneak” is a play in American football in which the quarterback runs (usually just a few yards) forward behind his offensive line as it moves forward.

46. Comprehensive, in edspeak : ELHI
“Elhi” is an informal word used to describe anything related to schooling from grades 1 through 12, i.e. elementary through high school.

47. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Aparicio : LUIS
Luis Aparicio is a former baseball player who played shortstop in the majors from 1956 to 1973. Aparicio is from Venezuela.

48. Dime novels and such : PULPS
The genre of literature called “dime novels” originated with books from the 1860s called the “Beadle’s Dime Novel” series. Some of those books cost a dime, but many went for 15 cents.

53. Ollie’s partner in comedy : STAN
Stan Laurel was an English comic actor (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson), who made a great career for himself in Hollywood. Laurel ended up at the Hal Roach studio directing films, intent on pursuing a career in writing and directing. However, he was a sometime actor and was asked to step in when another comic actor, Oliver Hardy, was injured and couldn’t perform. Laurel and Hardy started to share a stage together during that time and when it was clear they worked so well together, their partnership was born. Oh, and the oft-quoted story that Clint Eastwood is the son of Stan Laurel … that’s just an urban myth.

Oliver Hardy was born Norvell Hardy in 1892 in Harlem, Georgia. Hardy used the stage name “Oliver” as a tribute to his father Oliver Hardy. His early performances were credited as “Oliver Norvell Hardy”, and off camera his nickname was “Babe Hardy”. Hardy appeared in several films that also featured the young British actor Stan Laurel, but it wasn’t until 1927 that they teamed up to make perhaps the most famous double act in the history of movies. The Laurel and Hardy act came to an end in 1955. That year, Laurel suffered a stroke, and then later the same year Hardy had a heart attack and stroke from which he never really recovered.

55. One of Donald’s exes : IVANA
Ivana Winklmayr was born in Czechoslovakia. Winklmayr was an excellent skier, and was named as an alternate for the 1982 Czech Olympic Team. She was promoting the Montreal Olympics in New York in 1976 when she met Donald Trump. Ivana and Donald’s marriage was very public and well-covered by the media, but not nearly so well as their very litigious divorce in 1990.

59. Frankincense or myrrh : RESIN
Frankincense and myrrh are both tree resins, exuded when certain species of tree are damaged. The harvested resins are used to make essentials oils for perfumes, and are also burned to give off a pleasant fragrance.

60. Read but not comment, in Internet lingo : LURK
A “lurker” is someone who visits websites, especially a discussion forum, and who just reads but does not make a contribution or leave a comment. In other words, someone who just lurks in the background. I know you’re out there … 🙂

62. Big name in cosmetics : ESTEE
Estée Lauder was quite the successful businesswoman, with a reputation as a great salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

63. Summer Olympics event : EPEE
The épée that is used in today’s sport fencing is derived from the old French dueling sword. In fact, the the sport of épée fencing is very similar to the dualing of the 19th century. The word “épée” translates from French as “sword”.

Down
1. 10 students, for short? : SOPHS
10th-graders are sophomores.

The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

5. Singer Marc with the 1991 hit “Walking in Memphis” : COHN
Marc Cohn is an American country singer, best known for his 1991 hit “Walking in Memphis”, a lovely song. A few years ago, someone tried to carjack Cohn in Denver, Colorado, and left him shot in the head. Fortunately, the bullet did not penetrate the skull, and his injury was relatively minor.

6. JFK alternative : LGA
The accepted three big airports serving New York City are John F. Kennedy (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR).

Fiorello La Guardia was the Mayor of New York from 1934 to 1945, racking up three full terms in office. The famous airport that bears La Guardia’s name was built at his urging, stemming from an incident that took place while he was in office. He was taking a TWA flight to “New York” and was outraged when the plane landed at Newark Airport, in the state of New Jersey. The Mayor demanded that the flight take off again and land at a small airport in Brooklyn. A gaggle of press reporters joined him on the short hop and he gave them a story, urging New Yorkers to support the construction of a new commercial airport within the city’s limits. The new airport, in Queens, opened in 1939 as New York Municipal, often called “LaGuardia” as a nickname. The airport was officially relabeled as “LaGuardia” in 1947.

9. Hasbro brand : NERF
Nerf is the name given to the soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

10. In dire need of gas, say : ON E
On empty (on E)

12. Vino spot : TRATTORIA
A trattoria is an Italian restaurant. In Italian, a “trattore” is the keeper of an eating house.

25. “All ___” (Steve Martin/Lily Tomlin comedy) : OF ME
“All of Me” is a very entertaining 1984 comedy film starring Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin, and directed by Carl Reiner. The storyline is a little fantastic, but hilarious. The Lily Tomlin character ends up occupying the Steve Martin character’s body. Two years after meeting on the “All of Me” film set, Steve Martin ended up marrying supporting actress Victoria Tennant.

26. Bread producers : ATMS
Automated teller machine(ATM)

29. Pier grp. : ILA
International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA)

36. Petty around Hollywood : LORI
Lori Petty is the actress who played the character Kit Keller in the fabulous movie “A League of Their Own”. Petty also played the title role in a 1995 science fiction film called “Tank Girl”.

37. Grp. in a 1919-21 war of independence : IRA
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) has been around in various forms since 1913, just three years before it launched the famous Easter Rising of 1916, a thwarted rebellion against British rule. The IRA fought the Irish War of Independence against the British which lasted from 1919 until 1921, ending in a treaty which divided the country into the self-governing Irish Free State and the separate country of Northern Ireland which remained part of the United Kingdom. The IRA split at the time the treaty was signed, leading to the Irish Civil War which lasted from 1922 to 1923, ending in a victory for the faction that supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

38. Tolkien’s Prancing Pony and others : INNS
The Prancing Pony is an inn at the center of the village of Bree in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”.

43. Bush successor : QUAYLE
Dan Quayle served as both a US Representative and a US Senator from Indiana before becoming the 44th Vice President, under President George H. W. Bush. Quayle refused to run for office in 1996, going up against the Clinton/Gore ticket, but entered the fray again in 2000 seeking the Republican nomination for president. Ironically, he was defeated by the son of his former Commander-in-Chief, George W. Bush.

45. “Friends” co-star : KUDROW
The character Phoebe Buffay is played on the sitcom “Friends” by the actress Lisa Kudrow. Kudrow plays the ditzy member of the troupe of friends, but I’ve always viewed her as the “smartest” of the group of actors in real life, as best I could tell. Kudrow is behind the US version of the British genealogy show “Who Do You Think You Are?” a very entertaining bit of television.

49. O’Hara portrayer : LEIGH
As casting proceeded for the movie version of “Gone With the Wind”, Clark Gable was a shoo-in from day one. The role of Scarlett was considered very desirable in the acting community, with Bette Davis on the short list, and Katherine Hepburn demanding an appointment with producer David O. Selznick to discuss the role. Vivien Leigh was an unlikely contender, an English actress for the definitive Southern belle role. Selznick was adamant though, and stuck by his choice despite a lot of protests.

50. Tony Gwynn, notably : PADRE
Tony Gwynn was a former professional baseball player. Gwynn played the whole of his professional career with the San Diego Padres, and in fact earned the nickname “Mr. Padre”.

51. Hard fall : SLEET
Apparently “sleet” is a term used to describe two weather conditions. One is a shower of ice pellets, smaller than hail, and the second is a mixture of rain and snow, with the snow melting as it falls. It’s the second definition that I have always used …

54. Sponsor of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods : NIKE
Nike was the Greek goddess of victory, often referred to as the Winged Goddess of Victory. The athletic shoe company Nike uses the “Nike swoosh” as its logo, which is based on the goddess’s wing.

58. M.A. hopeful’s hurdle : GRE
Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Stars : SUNS
5. Blood group? : CLAN
9. Oscar nominee for “Affliction” : NOLTE
14. Draft status for someone in the Public Health Service : ONE-C
15. Inspect the figures? : OGLE
16. Huge, in verse : ENORM
17. Singer in the sea, literally : HUMPBACK WHALE (PMUH WHALE)
19. Wrap up : RECAP
20. “Smack” : HEROIN
21. B’s tail? : CDEF
23. Long-distance inits. : ATT
24. Something slipped under the counter? : STOOL
25. Feel one’s ___ (be frisky) : OATS
26. Fiction’s Atticus Finch, e.g.: Abbr. : ATTY
27. Plan B, literally : FALLBACK POSITION (LLAF POSITION)
30. Place with a waiting room: Abbr. : STN
33. Some intellectual property, for short : TMS
34. Literary Leonard : ELMORE
35. One side of a hot-button social issue : PRO-LIFE
38. Ticked off : IN A SNIT
39. Skylights? : AURORA
40. A.C.C. school : UNC
41. Multinational carrier : SAS
42. Gridiron maneuver, literally : QUARTERBACK SNEAK (RETRAUQ SNEAK)
46. Comprehensive, in edspeak : ELHI
47. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Aparicio : LUIS
48. Dime novels and such : PULPS
52. Stocking stuffer : TOE
53. Ollie’s partner in comedy : STAN
54. Negotiator’s refusal : NO DEAL
55. One of Donald’s exes : IVANA
57. Little kid’s lift, literally : PIGGYBACK RIDE (YGGIP RIDE)
59. Frankincense or myrrh : RESIN
60. Read but not comment, in Internet lingo : LURK
61. Unlikely mate for a princess : OGRE
62. Big name in cosmetics : ESTEE
63. Summer Olympics event : EPEE
64. Stimulate : WHET

Down
1. 10 students, for short? : SOPHS
2. Like overly optimistic goals, typically : UNMET
3. Intro to biology? : NEURO-
4. Teach : SCHOOL
5. Singer Marc with the 1991 hit “Walking in Memphis” : COHN
6. JFK alternative : LGA
7. Indicator of stress : ALL CAPS
8. Must : NEED TO
9. Hasbro brand : NERF
10. In dire need of gas, say : ON E
11. Spots : LOCATIONS
12. Vino spot : TRATTORIA
13. Fisherman’s bane and hockey player’s boon : EMPTY NETS
18. Plans to : WILL
22. Core : ESSENCE
25. “All ___” (Steve Martin/Lily Tomlin comedy) : OF ME
26. Bread producers : ATMS
28. Guilty : AT FAULT
29. Pier grp. : ILA
30. Gut : SPARE TIRE
31. Soul mates : TRUE LOVES
32. 45 degrees : NORTHEAST
36. Petty around Hollywood : LORI
37. Grp. in a 1919-21 war of independence : IRA
38. Tolkien’s Prancing Pony and others : INNS
40. Exhausting : USING UP
43. Bush successor : QUAYLE
44. How individual firecrackers are priced? : A POP
45. “Friends” co-star : KUDROW
49. O’Hara portrayer : LEIGH
50. Tony Gwynn, notably : PADRE
51. Hard fall : SLEET
53. Ready to stand trial, in a way : SANE
54. Sponsor of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods : NIKE
56. Never: Ger. : NIE
58. M.A. hopeful’s hurdle : GRE

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3 thoughts on “0717-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Jul 14, Thursday”

  1. as a horse person i must comment that the phrase "feeling one's oats" refers to the friskiness of a horse after eating oats.

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