0811-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Aug 14, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Steinberg & Bernice Gordon
THEME: Hall to Hull … today’s themed answers give us a vowel progression, with the second letters running from A to U, and each word starting with H-v-L-L- (where “v’ represents that vowel). We should take a moment to celebrate the fact that today’s puzzle is another collaboration between constructors representing two very different generations. David was born in 1996, and was only 14 when he had his first crossword published in the New York Times. Bernice was born in 1914, and is 100 years old. Thank you both!

18A. “Thank God Almighty!” : HALLELUJAH!
23A. Of an ancient Greek period : HELLENISTIC
35A. Jed Clampett, e.g. : HILLBILLY
49A. Sauce made with butter, egg yolks and lemon juice : HOLLANDAISE
55A. Uproar : HULLABALOO

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 34s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Give for free, as a ticket : COMP
“To comp” is “to give for free”, from “complimentary”.

9. Off-the-cuff remark : AD LIB
“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage the concept of an “ad lib” is very familiar. For example, an actor may substitute his or her own words for forgotten lines using an ad lib, or a director may instruct an actor to use his or her own words at a particular point in a performance to promote a sense of spontaneity.

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

16. Bowling score component : FRAME
In ten-pin bowling, each player takes turns to roll up to two balls in an attempt to knock down all ten pins. Each such rotation is referred to as a “frame”. There are ten frames in a full game. The tenth frame is a little different than the others in that a third ball can be rolled in the event that a player knocks down all ten pins on the second roll.

18. “Thank God Almighty!” : HALLELUJAH!
The interjection “hallelujah!” means “praise ye the Lord!” The term comes from the Hebrew “halălūyāh” meaning “praise ye Yahweh”.

22. With ice cream : A LA MODE
In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has come to describe a way of serving pie, usually with ice cream, or as I recall from when I lived in Upstate New York, with cheese.

23. Of an ancient Greek period : HELLENISTIC
“Ellas” is the Greek word for “Greece”, the name of the country. Greece is also known as the “Hellenic” Republic.

27. Mammal with webbed paws : OTTER
The fur of the sea otter is exceptionally thick. It is in fact the densest fur in the whole animal kingdom.

30. Phone-tapping org. : NSA
The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname … “No Such Agency”.

31. Gas in advertising lights : NEON
The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

35. Jed Clampett, e.g. : HILLBILLY
The actor Buddy Ebsen is best known for playing Jed Clampett in television’s “The Beverly Hillbillies”. Ebsen had been cast in the role of the Tin Man in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”, but he developed an allergy to the aluminium dust that was used in the makeup. He ended up in hospital and had to walk away from the part. Ebsen blamed “The Wizard of Oz” on persistent problems that he had with his lungs in subsequent years. But Ebsen lived 16 years longer that any of the other major cast members of the film, so maybe he got the last laugh!

40. Cajun cooking pod : OKRA
The great explorer Verrazzano gave the name “Arcadia” to the coastal land that stretched from north of present day Virginia right up the North American continent to Nova Scotia. The name Arcadia was chosen as it was also the name for a part of Greece that had been viewed as idyllic from the days of classical antiquity. The “Arcadia” name quickly evolved into the word “Acadia” that was used locally here in North America. Much of Acadia was settled by the French in the 1600s, and then in 1710 Acadia was conquered by the British. There followed the French and Indian War after which there was a mass migration of French Acadians, often via the French colony of Saint-Dominique (present-day Haiti) to the French colony of Louisiana. The local dialectic pronunciation of the word “Acadian” was “Cajun”, giving the name to the ethnic group for which Louisiana has been home for about 300 years.

41. Cambridge sch. from which I. M. Pei graduated : MIT
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 and first offered classes in 1865, in the Mercantile building in Boston. Today’s magnificent campus on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge opened in 1916.

I. M. Pei (full name: Ieoh Ming Pei) is an exceptional American architect who was born in China. Of Pei’s many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, especially the Glass Pyramid in the courtyard.

48. Dr. ___, Eminem mentor : DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

49. Sauce made with butter, egg yolks and lemon juice : HOLLANDAISE
Hollandaise sauce is a mixture of egg yolk and melted butter that is then seasoned, usually with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Hollandaise has an exalted position in French cuisine. Although the origin is debated, some say that the recipe was invented in the Netherlands and taken to France by the Huguenots, hence the name “Hollandaise” meaning “of Holland”.

52. Comedy Central’s “The ___ Report” : COLBERT
Stephen Colbert is a political satirist who hosts his own show on Comedy Central, “The Colbert Report”. Colbert’s first love was theater, and so he studied to become an actor. He then moved into comedy, and ended up on the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”. He left “The Daily Show” in 2005 to set up his own spin-off, “The Colbert Report”. In his own inimitable way, Colbert likes to use a “French” pronunciation for the name of his show, so “The Colbert Report” comes out as “The Col-bear Rep-oar”. Colbert will be taking over the “Late Show” when David Letterman retires.

55. Uproar : HULLABALOO
Our word “hullabaloo” meaning a “commotion” is a derivative of an older term “hollo-ballo”. “Hollo-ballo” was a word used for an uproar in the north of England and Scotland.

58. Polish hero Walesa : LECH
Lech Walesa worked as an electrician in the Gdansk Shipyards in Poland. Walesa was active in the trade union movement in the days when unions were not welcome behind the Iron Curtain. His efforts resulted in the founding of Solidarity, the first independent trade union in Soviet-controlled territory. For his work, Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and in 1990 he became the first democratically elected President of Poland. He has lost support in Poland in recent years, but he is a very popular booking on the international speaking circuit.

60. 500 sheets of paper : REAM
A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”.

61. “Do ___ others as …” : UNTO
The Golden Rule is also known as the ethic of reciprocity, and is a basis for the concept of human rights. A version of the rule used in the Christian tradition is attributed to Jesus:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

62. Mug shot subjects, informally : PERPS
Perpetrator (perp.)

A mugshot is a photograph of a person’s face, often taken for a police record.

63. iPhone assistant who says that “42” is the meaning of life : SIRI
Siri is software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. You’ve probably seen the ads on television, with folks talking to their iPhones asking for information and responding with a voice. I hear that Google is a little scared by Siri, as Siri is non-visual. There’s no need to touch a screen or a keyboard to work with Siri, no opportunity to click on one of Google’s ads! By the way, voice-over artist Susan Bennett recently revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. By the way, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

One of the themes in the Douglas Adams novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is the search for the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe and Everything”. The supercomputer called Deep Thought ponders this question for 7½ million years and comes to the conclusion that the answers is … 42.

Down
3. Longtime Nikon competitor : MINOLTA
Minolta was a Japanese manufacturer of cameras and related products. Minolta was founded in 1928 to make cameras using imported German technology. One of the company’s most memorable products was the world’s first integrated autofocus 35mm SLR camera. Minolta merged with Konica in 2003, forming Konica Minolta.

Nikon was founded in 1917, a merger of three companies making various optical devices. After the merger, the company’s main output was lenses (including the first lenses for Canon cameras, before Canon made its own). During the war, Nikon sales grew rapidly as the company focused on (pun unintended!) equipment for the military including periscopes and bomb sights.

4. Mortar’s partner : PESTLE
I’ve always loved the sound of the words “mortar” and “pestle”, ever since I was first introduced to them in the chemistry lab. The Romans called a receptacle for pounding or grinding things a “mortarium”, giving us “mortar”. Mortarium was also the word for the product of pounding and grinding, which gives us our “mortar” that’s used with bricks to build a wall. And further, short stubby cannons used in the 16th century resembled a grinding bowl and so were called “mortars”, which evolved into our contemporary weapon of the same name. As far as the pestle is concerned, it is also derived from its Latin name “pistillum”, which comes from the word for “crush”.

6. Air traffic watchdog, for short : FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was set up in 1958 (as the Federal Aviation Agency). The agency was established at that particular time largely in response to an increasing number of midair collisions. The worst of these disasters had taken place two years earlier over the Grand Canyon, a crash between two commercial passenger airplanes that resulted in 128 fatalities.

7. The whole shebang : ALL
The word “shebang” is probably a derivative of “shebeen”, an Irish word for a “speakeasy”, where liquor was drunk and sold illegally. In English “shebang” was originally a “hut” or a “shed”. Just how this evolved into the expression “the whole shebang”, meaning “everything”, is unclear.

9. Insurance company with a “spokesduck” : AFLAC
In 1999 Aflac was huge in the world of insurance but it wasn’t a household name, so a New York advertising agency was given the task of making the Aflac brand more memorable. One of the agency’s art directors, while walking around Central Park one lunchtime, heard a duck quacking and in his mind linked it with “Aflac”, and that duck has been “Aflacking” ever since …

10. Snare or tom-tom : DRUM
Snare drums are so called because they have a set of wire strands (called snares) stretched across the bottom surface of the drum. When the drum is struck, the snares vibrate against the bottom drumhead producing a unique sound.

The tom-tom is a drum played with the hands, which gave its name to a dull, repeating beat or sound.

11. Home of U.C. San Diego : LA JOLLA
The name of the city of La Jolla is often said to be a corruption of the Spanish “La Joya” meaning “the jewel”, giving rise to the city’s nickname “Jewel City”. Scholars dispute this etymology, but it makes for good marketing.

13. Guillotines : BEHEADS
The guillotine is a device for executing people by decapitating them. The guillotine is most associated with France where it was used most notably and extensively during the French Revolution. The guillotine was used as the standard method of execution in France from 1792 right up until 1981 when capital punishment was finally abolished. The guillotine was named for French physician and politician Joseph Guillotin, who proposed that a device be developed that would allow a quick and clean beheading, arguing that this form of capital punishment would be both humanitarian and efficient.

19. Wallach of “The Magnificent Seven” : ELI
Eli Wallach appeared consistently and made great performances on the big and small screens since the 1950s. Wallach’s most famous role was probably as “the Ugly” in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. More recently he gave a very strong performance in 2006’s “The Holiday”. Sadly, Wallach passed away in june 2014, at the age of 98.

“The Magnificent Seven” really is a very entertaining western movie (and I am no fan of westerns, quite frankly). Famously, it is a 1960 remake of the Akira Kurosawa 1954 Japanese film, “Seven Samurai”. The film is the second most shown film on television in the US. Only “The Wizard of Oz” gets more air time.

21. Result of overstrain, maybe : HERNIA
In general terms, a “hernia” is the protrusion of an organ or part of an organ through the wall that normally contains that organ.

24. Fox’s “American ___” : IDOL
“American Idol” is a spin-off show that was created after the amazing success of the British television show “Pop Idol”. I can’t abide either program(me) …

25. Annual El Paso football event : SUN BOWL
The Sun Bowl is an annual college football game played in El Paso. The Rose Bowl is the oldest of the bowl games, but the Sun Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl come in second. The first Sun Bowl was played on New Year’s Day 1935. To be fair to the sponsors, the full name today is the Brut Sun Bowl …

33. Camera letters : SLR
SLR stands for “single lens reflex”. Usually cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.

34. Patterns used for kilts : PLAIDS
Tartan is sometimes called “plaid” over here in the US, a word not used in the same sense outside of this country. In Scotland a “plaid” is a blanket or a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder.

36. Company said to use about 1% of the world’s wood supply : IKEA
The IKEA furniture stores use the colors blue and yellow for brand recognition. Blue and yellow are the national colors of Sweden, where IKEA was founded and is headquartered.

37. British buddy : OLD CHAP
“Chap” is an informal term for “lad, fellow”, especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.

41. Cinderella and Rapunzel : MAIDENS
The folk tale about “Cinderella” was first published by French author Charles Perrault in 1697. The storyline of the tale may date back as far as the days of Ancient Greece. A common alternative title to the story is “The Little Glass Slipper”.

“Rapunzel” is a fairy tale in the collection of the Brothers Grimm. Rapunzel was a maiden who was locked in a tower by an enchantress. The inevitable prince turns up, and he climbs up to Rapunzel using her long, fair hair as a climbing rope.

43. Start of a hole : TEE SHOT
There’s an urban myth that the standard number of holes on a golf course is 18 because it takes 18 shots to polish off a fifth of scotch whisky. However, the truth is that the standard number of holes in the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland happened to settle down over time at 18, and that standard was adopted all around the world.

51. Supermodel Campbell : NAOMI
Naomi Campbell is a supermodel from England. There’s a lot of interest in Campbell’s life off the runway, as she is known to have an explosive temper and has been charged with assault more than once. Her dating life is much-covered in the tabloids as well, and she has been romantically linked in the past with Mike Tyson and Robert De Niro.

53. Radar screen point : BLIP
Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called Radio Detection And Ranging, which was shortened to the acronym RADAR.

56. Hawaiian gift : LEI
“Lei” is the Hawaiian word for “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a “lei” is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

57. Regatta implement : OAR
The word “regatta” is Venetian dialect and was originally used to describe boat races among the gondoliers of Venice on the Grand Canal back in the mid-1600s.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Give for free, as a ticket : COMP
5. Quite a ways off : AFAR
9. Off-the-cuff remark : AD LIB
14. French girlfriend : AMIE
15. “Buy two, get one free” event : SALE
16. Bowling score component : FRAME
17. Top scores in Olympic diving : TENS
18. “Thank God Almighty!” : HALLELUJAH!
20. Dress : CLOTHE
22. With ice cream : A LA MODE
23. Of an ancient Greek period : HELLENISTIC
26. Meadow : LEA
27. Mammal with webbed paws : OTTER
28. Scheduled to arrive : DUE
29. Skidded : SLID
30. Phone-tapping org. : NSA
31. Gas in advertising lights : NEON
33. Food fight sounds : SPLATS
35. Jed Clampett, e.g. : HILLBILLY
37. Difficult experience : ORDEAL
40. Cajun cooking pod : OKRA
41. Cambridge sch. from which I. M. Pei graduated : MIT
44. Apt rhyme of “crude” : LEWD
45. Feeling of reverence : AWE
46. Nonsensical : INANE
48. Dr. ___, Eminem mentor : DRE
49. Sauce made with butter, egg yolks and lemon juice : HOLLANDAISE
52. Comedy Central’s “The ___ Report” : COLBERT
54. Stage whispers : ASIDES
55. Uproar : HULLABALOO
58. Polish hero Walesa : LECH
59. Swallowed a loss : ATE IT
60. 500 sheets of paper : REAM
61. “Do ___ others as …” : UNTO
62. Mug shot subjects, informally : PERPS
63. iPhone assistant who says that “42” is the meaning of life : SIRI
64. Test cheater’s sound : PSST!

Down
1. Grow in popularity : CATCH ON
2. Folded breakfast dishes : OMELETS
3. Longtime Nikon competitor : MINOLTA
4. Mortar’s partner : PESTLE
5. Pale-faced : ASHEN
6. Air traffic watchdog, for short : FAA
7. The whole shebang : ALL
8. Give an account of : RELATE
9. Insurance company with a “spokesduck” : AFLAC
10. Snare or tom-tom : DRUM
11. Home of U.C. San Diego : LA JOLLA
12. Cry after reaching the summit : I MADE IT!
13. Guillotines : BEHEADS
19. Wallach of “The Magnificent Seven” : ELI
21. Result of overstrain, maybe : HERNIA
24. Fox’s “American ___” : IDOL
25. Annual El Paso football event : SUN BOWL
29. Cagey : SLY
32. Building addition : ELL
33. Camera letters : SLR
34. Patterns used for kilts : PLAIDS
35. “___ give you the shirt off his back” : HE’D
36. Company said to use about 1% of the world’s wood supply : IKEA
37. British buddy : OLD CHAP
38. Change the direction of, as traffic : REROUTE
39. Inhabitant : DWELLER
41. Cinderella and Rapunzel : MAIDENS
42. Bees and butterflies : INSECTS
43. Start of a hole : TEE SHOT
45. Places to say “I do” : ALTARS
47. Seal, as a shipping crate : NAIL UP
49. Sticks in the oven : HEATS
50. Space ball : ORB
51. Supermodel Campbell : NAOMI
53. Radar screen point : BLIP
56. Hawaiian gift : LEI
57. Regatta implement : OAR

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