0816-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Aug 14, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter Broda
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 53m 22s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Genre for Django Reinhardt : GYPSY JAZZ
Django Reinhardt was a guitarist from Belgium who grew up in Romani encampments around Paris, France. It is remarkable that Reinhardt became so highly regarded as a guitar player as he could only use the index and middle fingers of his left hand, having severely burned the third and fourth fingers in a fire. Reinhardt co-founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France with the great jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli.

10. Spaceship Earth setting : EPCOT
EPCOT Center (now just called Epcot) is the theme park beside Walt Disney World in Florida. EPCOT is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and is a representation of the future as envisioned by Walt Disney. Walt Disney actually wanted to build a living community for 20,000 residents at EPCOT, but he passed away before that vision could be realized.

Spaceship Earth is perhaps the structure that comes to mind when we think of Epcot in the Walt Disney World Resort. It is the large white, 18-story geodesic sphere.

16. Recipient of a major downgrade in 2006 : PLUTO
Pluto was discovered in 1930, and was welcomed as the ninth planet in our solar system. Pluto is relatively small in size, just one fifth of the mass of our own moon. In the seventies, astronomers began to discover more large objects in the solar system, including Eris, a “scattered disc object” at the outer reaches. Given that Eris is actually bigger than Pluto, and other objects really aren’t that much smaller, Pluto’s status as a planet was drawn into question. In 2006 there was a scientific definition for a “planet” agreed for the first time, resulting in Pluto being relegated to the status of “dwarf planet”, along with Eris.

18. Musical Hall of fame collaborator? : OATES
Daryl Hall & John Oates are a pop music duo, most successful in the late seventies and early eighties. They had six number one hits, including the 1982 release “Maneater”.

20. Islamic repub. : PAK
The suffix “-stan” in many place names is Persian for “place of”. One example is “Pakistan”, the Place of the Pure. “Pakistan” is a relatively recent name, first coined in 1933. It comes from the abbreviation PAKSTAN, standing for Punjab – Afghan Province – Kashmir – Sind – BaluchisTAN, all regions in the north of India. The “I” was added to Pakistan to make it easier to pronounce, and to fit the translation “Land of the Pure”.

24. Winner of an annual “posedown” : MS OLYMPIA
The Ms. Olympia contest is a women’s bodybuilding competition that was first held in 1980.

26. One of saintdom’s Fourteen Holy Helpers : VITUS
Saint Vitus was a martyr from Sicily who died during the persecution of Christians in Ancient Rome.

The “Fourteen Holy Helpers” are a group of Roman Catholic saints who are believed to be particularly helpful in interceding, especially in the case of illness. The group was first delineated in the 1300s in the Rhineland during the plague called the Black Death.

28. Windbags beat them : GUMS
“To beat one’s gums” is to do a lot of talking without really making any point.

29. Ones with low class standards? : DEGREE MILLS
A “diploma mill” or “degree mill” is a higher education institution that offers degrees and diplomas that aren’t really legitimate, and that can be obtained for a fee.

32. Speaker connectors? : MCS
Master or mistress of ceremonies (MC)

35. Thing pulled by a “hoss” : SHAY
A chaise is a light carriage with a folding hood that transports one or two people. “Chaise” is the French for “chair”, and takes its name from the “sedan chair” means of transportation. In the US, the name “chaise” evolved into “shay”.

36. Her poison killed Creon : MEDEA
In Greek mythology Medea was the wife of Jason, the heroic leader of the Argonauts. Medea was a sorceress who pledged to help Jason in his search for the Golden Fleece, on condition that he take her as his wife. According to some accounts, Jason left Medea and took up with Glauce, the daughter of the king of Corinth. Medea got her own back by sending Glauce a golden coronet and a dress that were covered with poison. The poison killed Glauce, and her father the king. To further her revenge on Jason, Medea killed two of her own children that were fathered by him.

37. “The Next President” comedian : SAHL
Mort Sahl is a Canadian-born actor and comedian who moved to the US with his family when he was a child. Sahl became friends with John F. Kennedy. When Kennedy became president, Sahl wrote a lot of jokes for the President’s speeches, although he also told a lot of Kennedy jokes in his acts. After the President was assassinated in 1963, Sahl was intensely interested in finding out who was behind the crime and even got himself deputized as a member of one of the investigating teams. He was very outspoken against the results of the Warren Commission report on the assassination, and soon found himself out of favor with the public. It took a few years for him to make his comeback, but come back he did.

“The Next President” is a 1960 LP by comedian Mort Sahl, a recording of a live performance at Mr. Kelly’s in Chicago.

41. Like some horror films, in modern lingo : META
In recent decades the prefix “meta-” has started to be used as a standalone adjective. In this sense “meta” means “self-referential”, describing something that refers to itself. For example, “This sentence starts with the word ‘this’ and ends with the word ‘this’” might be called a meta sentence. A movie that is about the making of a movie could also be described as meta. For example, “The Blair Witch Project” might be described as meta, which is a movie about some young people making a scary movie about the Blair Witch.

42. Maternally related : ENATE
Something that is enate is growing outward, and “enate” is used to describe ancestors related on the mother’s side. Something that is agnate comes from a common source, and “agnate” is used to describe relatives on the father’s side of the family tree.

48. 2009 Grammy winner for “Crack a Bottle” : DR 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.

50. Giant in jets : AIRBUS
Airbus is an aircraft manufacturer based in Blagnac, France just outside Toulouse. Airbus produces about half of the world’s jetliners. The company built the first fly-by-wire aircraft (the A320) and also builds the world’s largest airliner (the A380).

51. “Pretty Little Liars” actor Harding : IAN
Ian Harding is an actor best known for playing Ezra Fitz in the teen drama TV series “Pretty Little Liars”.

55. Hague Conventions topic : WAR CRIMES
The Hague Conventions are a two international treaties that came out of conferences in the Hague in the Netherlands in 1899 and 1907. The two treaties lay out laws governing the conduction of warfare and define war crimes.

57. Shakespearean title role for Anthony Hopkins : TITUS
“Titus” is a 1999 big screen adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play “Titus Andronicus”. Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins plays the title role and American actress plays Tamora, the Queen of the Goths who swears vengeance against the Titus, the Roman general responsible for the defeat of her people.

“Titus Andronicus” is one of Shakespeare’s tragedies, perhaps even the first that he wrote. I’ve never seen the play and apparently it is very gory, perhaps the reason why it was quite popular in Shakespeare’s own lifetime. Over the decades, sensibilities have changed and a result “Titus Andronicus” is performed less often today than his other works.

59. Farm call : SOOEY!
“Sooey!” is a shout used to call pigs.

60. Spots for company cuisine : MESS TENTS
“Mess” first came into English about 1300 and described the list of food needed for a meal, from the Old French word “mes” meaning a portion of food or a course at a meal. This usage in English evolved into “mess” meaning a jumbled mass of anything from the concept of “mixed food”. At the same time, the original usage in the sense of a food for a meal surfaced again in the military in the 1500s when a “mess” was a communal eating place.

A company is a military unit usually led by a captain or a major. Companies usually comprise three to six platoons, perhaps 80 to 250 soldiers.

Down
1. Campers’ annoyances : GNATS
Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and to vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

3. Prey for an Arctic fox : PTARMIGAN
Ptarmigans are in the grouse subfamily of birds that live in cold upland areas.

4. Palindrome property : SYMMETRY
The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

– Able was I ere I saw Elba
– A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
– Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite words is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

5. Start of an attention-getting cry : YOO-
Yoo-hoo!

9. “B.C.” sound effect : ZOT!
“B.C.” is a comic strip that was drawn by Johnny Hart, and now since Hart’s passing, is produced by his grandson. Hart introduced “B.C.” in 1958. One of the non-human characters in the strip is the Anteater, who sucks up ants with his sticky tongue making a “ZOT!” sound. Hart’s Anteater is the inspiration for Peter the Anteater, the team mascot for UC Irvine. Johnny Hart’s other famous comic strip is the brilliant “The Wizard of Id”.

10. Louis Braille and Les Paul : EPONYMS
An eponym is a name for something derived from the name of a person, as in the “sandwich” named for the Earl of Sandwich.

The Braille system of reading and writing was devised in 1825 by Louis Braille, who was himself afflicted with blindness. Braille characters are composed of six positions or dots, each arranged in two columns of three dots each. Every dot can be raised or not raised, given a total of 64 possible characters.

Les Paul was a guitarist, songwriter and inventor. When he was 33 years old, Paul was involved in a near-fatal car crash that left his right arm and elbow shattered. Surgeons offered him the choice of amputation or a rebuilding of the limb that would leave him unable to bend his elbow. He told them to set his arm at just under 90 degrees so that he could at least hold his guitar and perhaps play it.

11. Cell interiors : PLASMS
“Plasm” is another word for “cytoplasm”, the material in a cell that surrounds the nucleus.

12. Card : CUTUP
A person who is a cutup, or a riot, is hilariously funny.

13. 1995-2000 “S.N.L.” cast member : OTERI
Cheri Oteri was the SNL cast member who regularly appeared with Will Farrell in the skit featuring a pair of Spartan cheerleaders.

21. Lament loudly : ULULATE
A ululation is a high-pitched trill, a sound usually practiced by women in ritual situations. I came across the practice not too long ago as an expression of celebration at an Arab-American wedding.

27. Phoenicians, e.g. : SEMITES
The word “Semitic” comes from the Greek for Shem, one of the three sons of Noah. A Semite is one of a large list of peoples, from the Assyrians and Babylonians to the Hebrews. The term “anti-Semite” however, almost always refer to anti-Jewish sentiment.

Phoenicia was an ancient civilization on the Mediterranean coast of what today is Lebanon and Syria. The Phoenicians were a maritime trading people and are believed to have invented the bireme, a galley with two decks of oars.

29. Sask. doesn’t observe it : DST
On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is known as “summer time”. The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring and backwards in the fall so that afternoons have more daylight.

The Canadian province of Saskatchewan takes its name from the Saskatchewan River. The river in turn takes its name from the Cree name, which translates as “swift flowing river”. The capital of Saskatchewan is Regina, although the biggest city in the province is Saskatoon.

31. First name in tyranny : IDI
Idi Amin received most of his military training in the British armed forces, eventually achieving the highest rank possible for a Black African in the British Colonial Army in 1959, that of Warrant Officer. On his return to Uganda Amin joined his country’s military and quickly rose to the rank of Deputy Commander of the Army. During that time he was quite the athlete. He was a noted rugby player and swimmer, and for nine years held the Ugandan national light-heavyweight boxing title. By the early seventies, Amin was commander of all the armed forces of Uganda and in 1971 seized power in a military coup, displacing the country’s president Milton Obote. There followed seven years of brutal rule by Amin during which it is estimated that between 100,000 and 500,000 people were murdered. Amin was ousted from power in 1979 after a war with Tanzania, and fled to Libya where he stayed for a year. He then moved to Saudi Arabia, where he was financially supported by the Saudi Royal Family for the remainder of his life. Amin died in 2003.

32. People’s 2007 Sexiest Man Alive : MATT DAMON
Matt Damon is an actor and screenwriter from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Damon’s big break came with the 1997 movie “Good Will Hunting” in which he starred. He co-wrote the screenplay with his childhood friend Ben Affleck.

34. Shooter’s choice, briefly : 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.

37. Tacky television transition : STAR WIPE
A wipe is a transition used in cinematography, to move from one shot to the next. Specifically, a wipe involves a gradual change from one clip to the next with the use of a shape or a line to introduce the new scene. For example, a diagonal wipe uses a diagonal line moving across the screen to bring in the new scene.

39. He said “Music is the space between the notes” : DEBUSSY
Claude Debussy is one of my favorite composers, one who epitomises the Romantic Era and Impressionist Movement in music. One of my favorite CDs is a collection of some “lighter” Debussy pieces called “Debussy for Daydreaming”, and what an evocative collection it is. Included are “Syrinx”, “Maid with the Flaxen Hair”, “Rêverie” and everyone’s favorite, “Clair de Lune”.

40. Wiener link? : UND
“Und” is the German word for “and”.

Vienna (“Wien” in German) is the capital of Austria. Vienna has a long musical tradition and was home to Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss (I and II), Josef Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler. As such, Vienna is sometimes called the “City of Music”. It is also called the “City of Dreams” as it was home to the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.

41. 1959 #1 hit for the Fleetwoods : MR BLUE
“Mr. Blue” was a number one hit for the Fleetwoods in 1959. The Fleetwoods were a very successful singing trio in the late fifties who originally called themselves “Two Girls and a Guy”.

43. Southeast Asian coins : BAHTS
The baht is the currency of Thailand, and is subdivided into 100 satang.

44. What goes after cows, ducks and pigs? : E-I-E-I-O
There was an American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O), that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

45. Close relative of Clio : ERATO
In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

– Calliope (epic poetry)
– Clio (history)
– Erato (lyric poetry)
– Euterpe (music)
– Melpomene (tragedy)
– Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
– Terpsichore (dance)
– Thalia (comedy)
– Urania (astronomy)

46. Eric Cartman’s mom on “South Park” : LIANE
“South Park” is an adult-oriented cartoon series on Comedy Central. I don’t do “South Park” …

47. Packers’ measurements : YARDS
When Curly Lambeau founded his small-town football team in Green Bay in 1919, he was working for the Indian Packing Company. Lambeau went to his employers looking for sponsorship and was given $250 provided that the team was named for the company. And so, the team was originally referred to as the Green Bay Indians, but by the time they took to the field for their first game it had changed to the Packers, and Lambeau was $250 richer.

49. “Someone ___ Dream” (Faith Hill country hit) : ELSE’S
Faith Hill is a country singer from Ridgeland, Mississippi. Hill is married to fellow country singer Tim McGraw.

52. It has a “Los Angeles” spinoff : NCIS
NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show “NCIS”, a spin-off drama from “JAG” in which the main “NCIS” characters were first introduced. The big star in “NCIS” is the actor Mark Harmon.

55. Film director Wenders : WIM
Wim Wenders is a German movie director and producer. Wenders has served as the president of the European Film Academy in Berlin since 1996.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Genre for Django Reinhardt : GYPSY JAZZ
10. Spaceship Earth setting : EPCOT
15. “Has the whole world gone mad?!” : NOT YOU TOO!
16. Recipient of a major downgrade in 2006 : PLUTO
17. Clicking point : AHA MOMENT
18. Musical Hall of fame collaborator? : OATES
19. Stretch before giving birth : TERM
20. Islamic repub. : PAK
21. Not 100% sold : UNSURE
22. “The ___ true for …” : SAME’S
24. Winner of an annual “posedown” : MS OLYMPIA
26. One of saintdom’s Fourteen Holy Helpers : VITUS
28. Windbags beat them : GUMS
29. Ones with low class standards? : DEGREE MILLS
32. Speaker connectors? : MCS
35. Thing pulled by a “hoss” : SHAY
36. Her poison killed Creon : MEDEA
37. “The Next President” comedian : SAHL
38. Boatload : TON
39. Rude response to “Excuse me?” : DID I STUTTER?
41. Like some horror films, in modern lingo : META
42. Maternally related : ENATE
43. What’s round due to too many rounds? : BEER BELLY
48. 2009 Grammy winner for “Crack a Bottle” : DR DRE
50. Giant in jets : AIRBUS
51. “Pretty Little Liars” actor Harding : IAN
53. Give a powerful electric guitar performance : WAIL
54. Convalesces : HEALS
55. Hague Conventions topic : WAR CRIMES
57. Shakespearean title role for Anthony Hopkins : TITUS
58. Render unwell : INDISPOSE
59. Farm call : SOOEY!
60. Spots for company cuisine : MESS TENTS

Down
1. Campers’ annoyances : GNATS
2. Cry that helps people pull together : YO-HEAVE-HO!
3. Prey for an Arctic fox : PTARMIGAN
4. Palindrome property : SYMMETRY
5. Start of an attention-getting cry : YOO-
6. Sudden start : JUMP
7. Starting lineup : A-TEAM
8. Crashes, with “out” : ZONKS
9. “B.C.” sound effect : ZOT!
10. Louis Braille and Les Paul : EPONYMS
11. Cell interiors : PLASMS
12. Card : CUTUP
13. 1995-2000 “S.N.L.” cast member : OTERI
14. Where captains go : TO SEA
21. Lament loudly : ULULATE
23. Not tolerate injustice, say : SUE
25. Gives elevator eyes : OGLES
27. Phoenicians, e.g. : SEMITES
29. Sask. doesn’t observe it : DST
30. Cross you wouldn’t mind bearing? : MEDAL
31. First name in tyranny : IDI
32. People’s 2007 Sexiest Man Alive : MATT DAMON
33. Least dismal : CHEERIEST
34. Shooter’s choice, briefly : SLR
37. Tacky television transition : STAR WIPE
39. He said “Music is the space between the notes” : DEBUSSY
40. Wiener link? : UND
41. 1959 #1 hit for the Fleetwoods : MR BLUE
43. Southeast Asian coins : BAHTS
44. What goes after cows, ducks and pigs? : E-I-E-I-O
45. Close relative of Clio : ERATO
46. Eric Cartman’s mom on “South Park” : LIANE
47. Packers’ measurements : YARDS
49. “Someone ___ Dream” (Faith Hill country hit) : ELSE’S
52. It has a “Los Angeles” spinoff : NCIS
55. Film director Wenders : WIM
56. Character string : RST

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2 thoughts on “0816-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Aug 14, Saturday”

  1. Some of these puzzles are so arcane they're a waste of time. This Sundays is the worst. I'm done with times crosswords.

  2. Hmmmm. As the old saying goes: "One man's meat is another man's poison." I thought this was a lovely puzzle – one of those that seems quite impossible at first and then slowly comes together, one square at a time, full of "aha moments".

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