0903-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Sep 14, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter A. Collins
THEME: Head Starts … each of today’s themed answers STARTS with an alternative name for a toilet, like HEAD:

59A. Race advantages … or a hint to 17-, 23-, 38- and 49-Across HEAD STARTS (giving “head”)

17A. Metaphorical mess CAN OF WORMS (giving “can”)
23A. Monarch’s advisers PRIVY COUNCIL (giving “privy”)
38A. “St. Louis Blues” composer WC HANDY (giving “WC”)
49A. Only president to win a Pulitzer JOHN F KENNEDY (giving “john”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. 2013 Tonto portrayer DEPP
On the television version of “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by the actor Jay Silverheels. In the 2013 movie “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by Johnny Depp.

10. Flaky mineral MICA
Mica is a mineral, a sheet silicate. Thin sheets of mica are transparent and are used in place of glass in certain applications. This form of mica is called isinglass, and as it has a better thermal performance than glass it is a great choice for “peepholes’ in boilers and lanterns. Mica is also used in the electronics industry, making use of its unique electrical and thermal insulating properties.

15. Eye: Prefix OCULO-
The Latin word for eye is “oculus”.

19. Bloods or Crips GANG
The Bloods are rival street gangs that were founded in Los Angeles and now has a presence right across the country. There is even documented evidence that the Bloods and the Crips have active members in the US military.

20. Working stiff SCHMO
“Schmo” (also “shmo”) is American slang for a dull or boring person, from the Yiddish word “shmok”.

23. Monarch’s advisers PRIVY COUNCIL (giving “privy”)
A “privy council” is a group that advises a nation’s head of state. The term “privy” means “private, secret”, an indication that the council’s advice is confidential.

“Privy” is slang for an outhouse or toilet, a term that presumably comes from “private”.

26. 1960s TV show featuring the cross-eyed lion Clarence DAKTARI
“Daktari” is a children’s television show that originally aired in the late sixties. The series involved the adventures of a vet called Dr. Marsh Tracy who worked with animals in East Africa. The show was based on a 1965 film called “Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion”. The title “Daktari” is Swahili for “doctor”.

29. Wizards of aahs, for short? ENTS
Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT)

30. Postings at LAX and ORD ETAS
Expected time of arrival (ETA)

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently the “X” has no significant meaning.

O’Hare International is the fourth busiest airport in the world. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 and 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built, there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. This name is the derivation of the airport’s current location identifier: ORD (OR-chard D-ouglas). Orchard Place Airport was renamed to O’Hare International in 1949 in honor of Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare who grew up in Chicago. O’Hare was the US Navy’s first flying ace and a Medal of Honor recipient in WWII. As an aside, Butch O’Hare’s father Edward was a lawyer friend of Al Capone who eventually worked undercover for the IRS and helped get the famous gangster convicted on tax evasion. Some years later, Edward was shot to death while driving his car.

34. Sharply dressed NATTY
A natty dresser is one who dresses smartly and neatly.

37. ___ Lemon (“30 Rock” role) LIZ
“30 Rock” is a sitcom on NBC that was created by the show’s star Tina Fey. Fey is an ex-performer and writer from “Saturday Night Live” and uses her experiences on that show as a basis for the “30 Rock” storyline. She plays a writer called Liz Lemon who created and writes for the fictional “The Girlie Show”. “30 Rock” aired its last episode in early 2013.

38. “St. Louis Blues” composer WC HANDY (giving “WC”)
William Christopher “W. C.” Handy was a cornet player, often known as the “Father of the Blues”. He earned this moniker although he wasn’t the first musician to play the blues, but rather as the person who took the blues into the mainstream repertoire. The 1958 movie “St. Louis Blues” is broadly based on his life.

When I was growing up in Ireland, a “bathroom” was a room that had a bath and no toilet. The separate room with the commode was called “the toilet” or sometimes the W.C. (the water closet). Apparently the term closet was used because in the 1800s when homeowners started installing toilets indoors they often displaced clothes and linens in a “closet”, as a closet was the right size to take the commode. It has been suggested that the British term “loo” comes from Waterloo (water-closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo” in which the pot was called the loo!

41. Author Calvino ITALO
As well as being an author, Italo Calvino was a famous Italian journalist. He was a supporter of communism and so wasn’t very popular in the US nor in Britain.

43. Himalayan legend YETI
A yeti is a beast of legend, also called an abominable snowman. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology.

45. “Get Smart” adversary KAOS
The satirical comedy series called “Get Smart” was the creation of Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, and starred Don Adams as Agent 86, Maxwell Smart. Agent 86 worked for the spy agency CONTROL, alongside the lovely Agent 99. CONTROL’s sworn enemy was the criminal organization called KAOS. Smart’s shoe phone was a hilarious prop used in almost every episode. When Smart dialed the number 117, the shoe converted into a gun. Cool stuff …

47. Micronesia’s home OCEANIA
The part of the Pacific Ocean known as Oceania is roughly equivalent to the tropical islands of the South Pacific. Oceania can be divided into the regions of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.

49. Only president to win a Pulitzer JOHN F KENNEDY (giving “john”)
“Profiles in Courage” is 1957 book by John F. Kennedy, who was at that time a US Senator. Kennedy’s collaborator was his speechwriter Ted Sorensen, and most of the research and writing was done in 1954 and 1955 while the Kennedy was bedridden following back surgery. “Profiles in Courage” is a collection of the biographies of eight US Senators, eight Senators who despite criticism and loss of popularity acted in the best interests of the country and its citizens. Kennedy won a Pulitzer in 1957 for the book, making him the only US President to have been so honored.

The use of “john” as a slang term for a toilet is peculiar to North America. “John” probably comes from the older slang term of “jack” or “jakes” that had been around since the 16th century. In Ireland, in cruder moments, we still refer to a toilet as “the jacks”.

53. Manhattan region EAST SIDE
The East Side of Manhattan in New York City is that part of Manhattan Island that is bounded by the East River on one side, and the Fifth Avenue, Central Park and lower Broadway on the other.

58. Mex. miss SRTA
Señorita (Srta.) is Spanish and mademoiselle (Mlle.) is French for “Miss”.

59. Race advantages … or a hint to 17-, 23-, 38- and 49-Across HEAD STARTS (giving “head”)
In old sailing ships the toilet area for the regular sailors was located in the forward part (the head) of the ship, hence the term “head” that has been used since then for any toilet on board a boat.

62. ___ Parker, first president of Facebook SEAN
Sean Parker came to national attention in 1998 as co-founder of Napster, the file-sharing service for music that caused such a fuss in the recording industry. He started to advise the founders of Facebook in 2004, and became the company’s first president later that year. If you watch the very entertaining movie about Facebook called “The Social Network” you’ll see Parker played by Justin Timberlake. Parker comes across as very obnoxious in the film.

65. “Giant” novelist Ferber EDNA
Edna Ferber was a novelist and playwright from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ferber won a Pulitzer for her novel “So Big”, which was made into a film a few times, most famously in 1953 starring Jane Wyman.

“Giant” is a 1952 novel by author Edna Ferber. It was adapted into a successful Hollywood movie released in 1956. In the film, Bick Benedict (played by Rock Hudson) marries Leslie (played by Elizabeth Taylor) and takes his new wife home to the family ranch in Texas called Reata. The ranch’s handyman is Jett Rink, played by James Dean. Dean was killed in a car accident before the film was released. Some of of Dean’s line needed work before the film could be released and so another actor had to do that voice-over work.

66. Jolts, in a way TASES
Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle”. The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon named its product as a homage to the novel, with TASER standing for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”.

67. Bean staple SOYA
What are known as soybeans here in the US are called “soya beans” in most other English-speaking countries. So, I drink soy milk here in America, but when I am over in Ireland I drink “soya milk”.

Down
2. FEMA request, briefly EVAC
Evacuation (evac)

Federal emergency management has been structured for over 200 years, but what we know today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 in an Executive Order issued by President Jimmy Carter.

3. Phnom ___ PENH
Phnom Penh (also “Pnom Penh”) is the capital of Cambodia, and has been so since the French colonized the country in the late 1800s. The city’s name translates from the Khmer language as “Hill of Penh”.

5. Big name in chemicals DOW
Dow Chemical Company was founded back in 1897 by a chemist called Herbert Henry Dow, and initially manufactured and sold bleach and potassium bromide. Dow is now the second-largest chemical manufacturer in the world according to revenue, second only to the German company BASF.

6. “The Name of the Rose” author ECO
Umberto Eco is an Italian writer, probably best known for his novel “The Name of the Rose” published in 1980. In 1986, “The Name of the Rose” was adapted into a movie with the same title starring Sean Connery.

7. Rice spice CURRY
Curry powder is actually a mixture of spices used in South Asian cuisine. The actual composition of curry powder varies depending on the cuisine.

8. Ancient Mexican OLMEC
The Olmec were an ancient civilization that lived in the lowlands of south-central Mexico from about 1500 BC to about 400 BC.

9. Mobster’s gun ROSCOE
Roscoe is a slang term for a gun, especially a handgun when used in gangster circles of old. I wasn’t able to unearth the etymology of the term …

11. Musician with a Presidential Medal of Freedom ISAAC STERN
Isaac Stern was Ukrainian-born, but moved with his family to San Francisco at a very young age. He was a wonderful violin virtuoso who I had the pleasure of hearing live on just the one occasion …

24. Old stock car inits. IROC
The International Race of Champions (IROC) was a prestigious auto race that was intended as a pure test of driver ability. 6-12 invited drivers raced in identically-prepared stock cars that were prepared by the same team of mechanics, an effort to remove the car’s design and performance as a factor in the result. The inaugural IROC season was 1974, but IROC went out of business in 2008.

25. French spa locale VICHY
Vichy is a spa town in the center of France. The people from Vichy are known as Vichyssois. After Paris, was occupied by the Germans in WWII, Vichy was chosen as the seat of government for what was called the French State. The Vichy government had theoretical authority even in occupied France, and is remembered for its collaboration with the German authorities. Vichy was chosen as the new seat of government because of its relative proximity to Paris, and simply because the town had the largest hotel room capacity in the “free zone” of the country.

26. Place where people pick lox? DELI
Lox is a cured salmon fillet, finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

28. Former Soviet republic KAZAKHSTAN
The Republic of Kazakhstan in Central Asia is the world’s largest landlocked country. Kazakhstan was the last of the former Soviet Republics to declare itself independent from Russia.

32. ___ Bo TAE
Tae Bo isn’t an ancient martial art, and rather was developed as a form of aerobic exercise in the 1990s. The discipline was introduced by taekwondo expert Billy Blanks who gave it the name Tae Bo, a melding of “taekwondo” and “boxing”.

33. Chekhov or Bruckner ANTON
Anton Chekhov was a Russian writer of short stories and a playwright, as well as a physician. He wrote four classic plays that are often performed all around the world, namely “The Seagull”, “Uncle Vanya”, “Three Sisters” and “The Cherry Orchard”. All the time Chekhov was writing, he continued to practice medicine. He is quoted as saying “Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress.”

Anton Bruckner was an Austrian composer, not a favorite of mine as he embraces the use of dissonances (I’m a sober traditionalist!). Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 is perhaps his most popular work. He created a slow and mournful movement for the work in recognition of the impending death of Richard Wagner, whom he greatly admired.

35. “Star Trek: T.N.G.” counselor TROI
Deanna Troi is a character on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” who is played by the lovely Marina Sirtis. Sirtis is a naturalized American citizen and has what I would call a soft American accent on the show. However, she was born in the East End of London and has a natural accent off-stage that is more like that of a true Cockney.

36. One-third of “et cetera”? YADA
“The Yada Yada Yada” is actually the name of the 153rd episode of “Seinfeld”. Before “Seinfeld” made “yada yada yada” famous, we were more likely to hear the phrase “yadda yadda”, often used by comedian Lenny Bruce for example.

42. Showy flower LANTANA
Lantana plant species are quite common in many parts of the world, with some being classed as weeds.

46. Part of Waldo’s wear in “Where’s Waldo?” SKI HAT
The reference is to the series of children’s illustrated books called “Where’s Waldo?”, originally titled “Where’s Wally?” in Britain where the books originated.

49. Track great Owens JESSE
Jesse Owens is famous for winning four gold medals at the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936, much to the chagrin of Adolph Hitler. Jesse’s real name was James Cleveland Owens, and he went by “JC” as a child. However, his Alabama accent was misconstrued at school when his family moved to Cleveland, so teachers and classmates called him “Jesse” instead of “JC”, and the name stuck.

50. Worked on a trireme OARED
Triremes were galleys used in the Mediterranean by a number of cultures, including the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The trireme was so called because there were three rows of oars on each side of the vessel. The term “trireme” comes from the Latin “tres remi” meaning “three-oar”. There was also a less ambitious version of the trireme that had only two banks of oars, and that was known as a bireme.

51. Plant swelling EDEMA
Both animals and plants can suffer from edema, a swelling cause by excessive accumulation of fluid.

52. Minimum-range tides NEAPS
Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

55. Traditional ingredient in cookies and cream ice cream OREO
Apparently Oreo Ice Cream flavors were introduced relatively recently, in 2010.

57. Workplace rules setter, for short OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

60. Joey ___ & the Starliters DEE
Joey Dee and the Starliters (sometimes “starlighters”) are a pop music group best known for the 1961 hit “Peppermint Twist”.

61. 1960s antiwar grp. SDS
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. 2013 Tonto portrayer DEPP
5. Artwork and furnishings DECOR
10. Flaky mineral MICA
14. Word at the bottom of a page, perhaps OVER
15. Eye: Prefix OCULO-
16. Slippery ___ eel AS AN
17. Metaphorical mess CAN OF WORMS (giving “can”)
19. Bloods or Crips GANG
20. Working stiff SCHMO
21. Stage, say RECREATE
23. Monarch’s advisers PRIVY COUNCIL (giving “privy”)
26. 1960s TV show featuring the cross-eyed lion Clarence DAKTARI
29. Wizards of aahs, for short? ENTS
30. Postings at LAX and ORD ETAS
31. Twice tetra- OCTA-
34. Sharply dressed NATTY
37. ___ Lemon (“30 Rock” role) LIZ
38. “St. Louis Blues” composer WC HANDY (giving “WC”)
40. Period sometimes named after a president ERA
41. Author Calvino ITALO
43. Himalayan legend YETI
44. Push PROD
45. “Get Smart” adversary KAOS
47. Micronesia’s home OCEANIA
49. Only president to win a Pulitzer JOHN F KENNEDY (giving “john”)
53. Manhattan region EAST SIDE
54. “You’re wrong about me!” I DO SO!
58. Mex. miss SRTA
59. Race advantages … or a hint to 17-, 23-, 38- and 49-Across HEAD STARTS (giving “head”)
62. ___ Parker, first president of Facebook SEAN
63. Fired up AMPED
64. “Oh, why not?!” YEAH!
65. “Giant” novelist Ferber EDNA
66. Jolts, in a way TASES
67. Bean staple SOYA

Down
1. Official paperwork, for short DOCS
2. FEMA request, briefly EVAC
3. Phnom ___ PENH
4. Memory triggers PROMPTS
5. Big name in chemicals DOW
6. “The Name of the Rose” author ECO
7. Rice spice CURRY
8. Ancient Mexican OLMEC
9. Mobster’s gun ROSCOE
10. Burgundy relative MAGENTA
11. Musician with a Presidential Medal of Freedom ISAAC STERN
12. “Ple-e-e-ease?” CAN’T I?
13. Guardian ___ ANGEL
18. Words with time or song FOR A
22. Undercooked, as an egg RUNNY
24. Old stock car inits. IROC
25. French spa locale VICHY
26. Place where people pick lox? DELI
27. Bickering AT IT
28. Former Soviet republic KAZAKHSTAN
32. ___ Bo TAE
33. Chekhov or Bruckner ANTON
35. “Star Trek: T.N.G.” counselor TROI
36. One-third of “et cetera”? YADA
38. Scares a cat, in a way WOOFS
39. Chop up DICE
42. Showy flower LANTANA
44. Biweekly occurrences, for many PAYDAYS
46. Part of Waldo’s wear in “Where’s Waldo?” SKI HAT
48. Shorten, say EDIT
49. Track great Owens JESSE
50. Worked on a trireme OARED
51. Plant swelling EDEMA
52. Minimum-range tides NEAPS
55. Traditional ingredient in cookies and cream ice cream OREO
56. Certain court order STAY
57. Workplace rules setter, for short OSHA
60. Joey ___ & the Starliters DEE
61. 1960s antiwar grp. SDS

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