0809-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Aug 14, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Josh Knapp
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 38m 59s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Colonel’s charge, once : KFC
The famous “Colonel” of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame was Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur from Henryville, Indiana. Although not really a “Colonel”, Sanders did indeed serve in the military. He enlisted in the Army as a private in 1906 at the age of 16, lying about his age. He spent the whole of his time in the Army as a soldier in Cuba. It was much later, in the 1930s, that Sanders went into the restaurant business making his specialty deep-fried chicken. By 1935 his reputation as a “character” had grown, so much so that Governor Ruby Laffoon of Kentucky gave Sanders the honorary title of “Kentucky Colonel”. Later in the fifties, Sanders developed his trademark look with the white suit, string tie, mustache and goatee. When Sanders was 65 however, his business failed and in stepped Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s. Thomas simplified the Sanders menu, cutting it back from over a hundred items to just fried chicken and salads. That was enough to launch KFC into the fast food business. Sanders sold the US franchise in 1964 for just $2 million and moved to Canada to grow KFC north of the border. He died in 1980 and is buried in Louisville, Kentucky. The Colonel’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices is indeed a trade secret. Apparently there is only one copy of the recipe, a handwritten piece of paper, written in pencil and signed by Colonel Sanders. Since 2009, the piece of paper has been locked in a computerized vault surrounded with motion detectors and security cameras.

4. Conventioneers: Abbr. : DELS
Delegate (del.)

8. Washington, once, so they say : SWAMP
There’s a persistent urban legend that Washington, D.C. was built on swampland. Research shows that in fact there was some swamp in the area that was allocated to Pierre L’Enfant to design the nation’s capital, but that swampland only amounted to 1% of the total area. As a result, there was very little reclamation work required to establish land on which buildings could be erected.

13. Creature that moves by jet propulsion : NAUTILUS
The marine creature called a nautilus is referred to as a “living fossil”, as it looks just like the spiral-shelled creatures that are commonly found in fossils. The spiral shape is a great example of the Fibonacci series defining a natural phenomenon, as the spiral is a Fibonacci spiral, described by the famous series of numbers. The nautilus moves using jet propulsion, by ingesting water at one end and then squirting it out at the other.

15. Loses one’s shadow, say : SHAVES
A male might shave to remove his five o’clock shadow.

16. Like John Belushi, ethnically : ALBANIAN
John Belushi was one of the original members of the “Saturday Night Live” cast. On the occasion of Belushi’s 30th birthday in 1979, he had the number one film in the country (“Animal House”), the number one album (“The Blues Brothers: Briefcase of Blues”) and he was a star of the highest-rated late night TV show (“Saturday Night Live”). Belushi died in 1982 from a “speedball”, a combined injection of cocaine and heroin.

17. Spelunking supply : PITONS
“Piton” is a French word for a “hook”. We use the term in English to describe a metal spike used by climbers that can be driven into the rock face, and which has an eye through which a rope can be passed.

Spelunking is an American term for caving, although the word has Latin roots (“spelunca” is the Latin for “cave”). The term originated in the 1940s in New England when it was adopted by a group of men who explored caves in the area.

19. Couscous ingredient : PINE NUT
Couscous is dish made from semolina, tiny balls of durum wheat, that is cooked by steaming. Couscous is particularly common in North African cuisines.

22. Part of Austin Powers’s attire : ASCOT
An Ascot tie is that horrible-looking (I think!) wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

The character of Austin Powers was created by the actor who plays him, Mike Myers. Apparently Myers came up with the idea for Powers while listening to the Burt Bacharach song “The Look of Love”.

23. Big beat? : GINSBERG
Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg were part of the Beat Generation, American writers who embraced the beat culture of the fifties. The term “Beat Generation” was coined by Kerouac back in 1948, describing the youth of the day who had been “beaten down” and who were refusing to conform to the social norms of the time. The “beatniks” of the fifties, were to morph into the hippies of the sixties. It was Ginsberg who coined the phrase “flower power”, using it to portray the Vietnam War protests in a more positive light.

26. “Mad Men” award : CLIO
The Clio Awards are the Oscars of the advertising world and are named after Clio, the Greek Muse of History. Clio was also the recorder of great deeds, the proclaimer and celebrator of great accomplishments and a source of inspiration and genius. The Clio Awards were first presented in 1959.

If you haven’t seen the AMC show “Mad Men” then I urge you to go buy the first season on DVD and allow yourself to get addicted. It is a great series set in the sixties, telling all that goes on in and around the advertising business on Madison Avenue in New York City. It brings you right back to the days of three-martini lunches, office affairs, and chain-smoking of cigarettes. Great stuff …

27. One getting stuck in a horror movie : VOODOO DOLL
Voodoo is a religion that originated the French slave colony of Saint-Domingue on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

30. French locale of prehistoric cave paintings : LASCAUX
The cave paintings in a cave complex near the village of Lascaux in southwestern France are perhaps the best-known examples of Upper Paleolithic art in the world. The paintings are about 17,300 years old, are about 2,000 in number and mainly depict large animals and human figures. The cave complex was discovered in 1940 by an 18-year-old man, and was opened to the public in 1948. However, public access has created many problems with damage to the paintings caused by carbon dioxide and by fungus and mold. Right now, human access to the caves is extremely limited.

31. Bellwether sound : BAA
A “wether” is a castrated male sheep. A “bellwether” is one such sheep that leads the flock, usually wearing a bell around its neck, hence the name. We use the term “bellwether” more generally to mean any person or thing which assumes leadership or indicates a trend.

32. Image on many an old map : SEA SERPENT
Historically, sea monsters like sea serpents were included as illustrations on nautical maps.

34. ConocoPhillips competitor : HESS
The Hess Corporation is an oil company based in New York City. In 1964, the company started selling toy trucks with the Hess logo on them, in Hess gas stations. The company has been selling them every since, bringing out new models just before Christmas. Hess toy trucks have become quite collectible and the old ones can fetch a pretty penny.

36. Place to walk to : FIRST
A batter in baseball might get to walk first base.

38. “The Divine Comedy” has 100 of them : CANTOS
A canto is a section of a long poem, and is a term first used by the Italian poet Dante. “Canto” is the Italian for “song”.

Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy” is an epic poem dating back to the 14th century. The first part of that epic is “Inferno”, which is the Italian word for “Hell”. In the poem, Dante is led on a journey by the poet Virgil, starting at the gates of Hell on which are written the famous words “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”.

44. Lear’s youngest : CORDELIA
“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the storyline. The three are, in order of age:

– Goneril
– Regan
– Cordelia

45. British footballer Wayne ___ : ROONEY
Wayne Rooney is a famous, and somewhat infamous, soccer player who turns out for Manchester United and the English national team. Rooney is widely regarded as the most talented player in England, but he also attracts a lot of attention off the field as he has lived a wild life, relatively speaking.

47. Some modern fads : MEMES
A “meme” (short for “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

Down
1. Contents of some lockers : KNAPSACKS
“Knapsack” is a Low German word for a bag with straps designed to be carried on the back. The word “knapsack” probably comes from the German verb “knappen” meaning “to eat”.

5. Mount St. ___ (Alaska/Canada border peak) : ELIAS
The peak of Mount Saint Elias sits about 25 miles from Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada. Mount Saint Elias actually straddles the border between the Canadian province of Yukon and the American state of Alaska.

6. Common dance theme : LUAU
Nowadays the word “luau” denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of “poi”, the bulbous underground stems of taro baked with coconut milk.

7. Fig. on some shredded documents : SSN
Generally speaking, I think it’s a good idea to shred documents that show a social security number (SSN), rather than just toss them in the garbage.

8. Case for a bootblack : SHINE BOX
A bootblack is a person who polishes and shines boots and shoes for a living.

10. Drug dealer on “The Wire” : AVON
The character Omar Little is played by Michael K. Williams on the HBO series called “The Wire”. I didn’t watch “The Wire” when it first aired but we ending up buying all five series on DVD and we watched the whole thing a couple of years ago. It’s is a great drama series, and I thoroughly recommend it. Personally, I think that HBO produces some of the best dramas on American television.

14. Tomahawk for Andrew Jackson, surprisingly : TATTOO
A few US presidents have sported tattoos, reportedly. President James Polk had a Chinese-character tattoo that read “eager” in English. President Teddy Roosevelt had his family crest on his chest. President Andrew Jackson had a tomahawk daringly inked onto his inner thigh.

19. One might have a cameo at the end : PENDANT
Cameo is a method of carving, often the carving of a gemstone or a piece of jewelry. The resulting image is in relief (sits proud of the background), whereas an engraved image would be produced by the similar (but “opposite”) carving method known as intaglio. Nowadays, the term cameo is used for any piece of oval-shaped jewelry that contains the image of a head, usually in profile (maybe even a photograph).

21. Bishop’s place : DIOCESE
In some Christian traditions, a district under the control of a bishop is called a diocese, bishopric or see. Dioceses are in turn divided into parishes that are under the control of priests. A particularly significant diocese might be called an archdiocese, and falls under the control of an archbishop.

23. Biblical quartet : GOSPELS
“Gospel” is a term that came to us via Old English. The Old English term is “godspel” meaning “good story”, and referred to the glad tidings announced by Jesus. There are four Gospels in the Christian New Testament, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

24. Arlington House is his memorial : ROBERT E LEE
Arlington House was once the home of of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and is now preserved as the Robert E. Lee Memorial. The mansion is located in Arlington, Virginia, and the its grounds are now Arlington National Cemetery.

27. How Mount Etna erupts : VARIABLY
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Mt Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius.

28. The Battle of Thermopylae, for the Spartans : LAST STAND
The Battle of Thermopylae took place in 480 BC, fought between the Persian Empire of Xerxes and an alliance of Greek city-states led by Sparta. The Greeks chose the narrow pass of Thermopylae to make a stand against the advancing Persian army, as there they could minimize the advantage that the Persians had with their large army. The pass of Thermopylae was so narrow that only one chariot could pass through at a time. Famously, the vastly outnumbered Spartan forces (the “300”) held this pass with hand-to-hand combat for two full days, until a local resident showed the Persians a way around the pass so that the Greek army could be attacked and annihilated from the rear.

33. Raphael’s “___ Madonna” : SISTINE
The “Sistine Madonna” is a painting created by the Italian artist Raphael in 1513-1514. The work was commissioned by the Benedictine monks of the Monastery of San Sisto in northern Italy, hence the painting’s name.

38. “___ mañana” (procrastinator’s jokey motto) : CARPE
“Carpe diem” is a quotation from Horace, one of Ancient Rome’s leading lyric poets. “Carpe diem” translates from Latin as “seize the day” or “enjoy the day”. The satirical motto of a procrastinator is “carpe mañana”, “translating” as “seize tomorrow”.

41. Fashion designer Browne : THOM
Thom Browne is a fashion designer based in New York City.

42. A-F or G-K, maybe : TOME
“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century “tome” had come to mean “a large book”.

44. Conqueror of Valencia, with “the” : CID
Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as “The Champion” or perhaps “The Lord, Master of Military Arts”. El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast, making it is headquarters and home. He died there, quite peacefully in 1099.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Colonel’s charge, once : KFC
4. Conventioneers: Abbr. : DELS
8. Washington, once, so they say : SWAMP
13. Creature that moves by jet propulsion : NAUTILUS
15. Loses one’s shadow, say : SHAVES
16. Like John Belushi, ethnically : ALBANIAN
17. Spelunking supply : PITONS
18. High level : PLATEAU
19. Couscous ingredient : PINE NUT
20. Ones working over the holidays? : SANTAS
21. Try to stop : DETER
22. Part of Austin Powers’s attire : ASCOT
23. Big beat? : GINSBERG
26. “Mad Men” award : CLIO
27. One getting stuck in a horror movie : VOODOO DOLL
29. Powder holder : KEG
30. French locale of prehistoric cave paintings : LASCAUX
31. Bellwether sound : BAA
32. Image on many an old map : SEA SERPENT
34. ConocoPhillips competitor : HESS
35. Like top-shelf liquor : PRICIEST
36. Place to walk to : FIRST
37. Tired : STALE
38. “The Divine Comedy” has 100 of them : CANTOS
39. Ski lodge fixtures : HOT TUBS
42. Digression : TANGENT
43. Going in circles : AWHIRL
44. Lear’s youngest : CORDELIA
45. British footballer Wayne ___ : ROONEY
46. Inconvenience : IMPOSE ON
47. Some modern fads : MEMES
48. Reckon : DEEM
49. Curtains : END

Down
1. Contents of some lockers : KNAPSACKS
2. Drop off : FALL ASLEEP
3. Bolívar, Cohiba or Juan López : CUBAN CIGAR
4. Patronize, in a way : DINE AT
5. Mount St. ___ (Alaska/Canada border peak) : ELIAS
6. Common dance theme : LUAU
7. Fig. on some shredded documents : SSN
8. Case for a bootblack : SHINE BOX
9. Weak, with “down” : WATERED
10. Drug dealer on “The Wire” : AVON
11. Many a flier under a door : MENU
12. Alternative to an elbow : PSST!
14. Tomahawk for Andrew Jackson, surprisingly : TATTOO
15. Quickly produces in great quantity : SPITS OUT
19. One might have a cameo at the end : PENDANT
21. Bishop’s place : DIOCESE
23. Biblical quartet : GOSPELS
24. Arlington House is his memorial : ROBERT E LEE
25. Monocle, in British slang : GLASS ONION
27. How Mount Etna erupts : VARIABLY
28. The Battle of Thermopylae, for the Spartans : LAST STAND
30. Some gatherings in halls : LECTURES
33. Raphael’s “___ Madonna” : SISTINE
34. Swinging joints : HINGES
36. Group of lovers, collectively : FANDOM
38. “___ mañana” (procrastinator’s jokey motto) : CARPE
39. “What’s the ___?” : HARM
40. Shakespearean lament : O WOE!
41. Fashion designer Browne : THOM
42. A-F or G-K, maybe : TOME
44. Conqueror of Valencia, with “the” : CID

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