0913-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 13 Sep 14, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Josh Knapp
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 28m 15s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15.: Words repeated after “I shall no more,” in “The Tempest”: TO SEA
William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” tells the story of Prospero, who was removed from the throne of Milan and banished to a deserted island along with his daughter Miranda. Prospero learns sorcery while cast away, and eventually conjures up a tempest that drives those who usurped his throne onto the island’s shores (in particular his own brother, Antonio). On the island, Prospero is eventually successful in revealing Antonio’s lowly nature.

26.: Pair: ITEM
An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.

27.: Font menu choice: KERN
Some fonts allow the adjustment of the spacing between individual letters. The process of adjusting that spacing evenly over all letters is called “tracking”. The process of adjusting the spacing individually between letters is called “kerning”.

28.: It’s between -1 and +1: SINE
The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent. Each of these is a ratio, a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The reciprocal of these three functions are secant, cosecant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent.

30.: Source of conflict, in antiquity: ERIS
In Greek mythology, Eris is the goddess of strife and discord. The name “Eris” is derived from the Greek word for strife, and translates into Latin as “Discordia”. In Greek her counterpart is Harmonia, and in the world of the Roman gods, Concordia. The largest dwarf planet in our solar system is called Eris, named after the goddess.

33.: 12/: DEC
December is the twelfth month in our calendar but was the tenth month in the old Roman calendar, hence the name (“decem” is Latin for “ten”). Back then there were only ten months in the year. “Ianuarius” (January) and “Februarius” were then added as the eleventh and twelfth months of the year. Soon after, the year was reset and January and February became the first and second months.

38.: Invention that prompted NBC to adopt the peacock logo: COLOR TV
The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) has had a number of different logos in its history, including the famous peacock with which we are familiar today. The first peacock logo was introduced in the early days of color television and was designed to illustrate how wonderful color television would be, so go buy one! (NBC was owned by RCA, and so had a vested interest in sales of color television sets).

39.: ___ seeds, ingredients in some health drinks: CHIA
Chia is a flowering plant in the mint family. Chia seeds are an excellent food source and are often added to breakfast cereals and energy bars. There is also the famous Chia Pet, an invention of a San Francisco company. Chia Pets are terracotta figurines to which are applied moistened chia seeds. The seeds sprout and the seedlings become the “fur” of the Chia Pet.

43.: Star followers: MAGI
“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, magi is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born.

44.: Something that’s fallen off a shelf?: BERG
An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice that is floating freely after having broken off from a glacier or ice shelf. Out use of “iceberg” comes from the Dutch word for the same phenomenon “ijsberg”, which translates literally as “ice mountain”.

46.: Herb used in Thai food: LEMONGRASS
Lemongrass is a perennial grass that is used in Asian cuisines because of its citrus flavor.

50.: Italian after-dinner drink: GRAPPA
Grappa is an Italian brandy that is made by distilling the skins, pulps, seeds and stems that are left over from winemaking after the grapes have been pressed. .

51.: Party to a tryst: INAMORATA
“Inamorata” is an Italian term that we’ve imported into English. It describes a female lover. An “innamorato” is a male lover.

In its most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a prearranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting.

55.: Toy company that introduced Rubik’s Cube: IDEAL
What was originally called the “Magic Cube” became better known as Rubik’s Cube, named for its inventor Ernő Rubik. Rubik’s Cube is the world’s biggest selling puzzle game, with over 350 million sold in just over 30 years.

56.: Like bulldogs: TENACIOUS
The bulldog breed of dog has been around at least since 1500. Back then, bulldogs were used in the “sport” of bull baiting. Dogs would be set on a tethered bull to see which bulldog could latch onto the bull’s nose and drag it to the ground. Bull baiting was outlawed in England in 1835.

59.: One advised to take two tablets: MOSES
According to the Bible’s Book of Exodus, the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed were placed in a chest called the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was built according to instructions given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. The tablets that were preserved were actually copies, as Moses smashed the originals given to him by God. Moses did so in a fit of anger when when he saw his people worshiping the Golden Calf.

Down
4.: Ones involved in an elaborate courtship: PEAHENS
The female peafowl, the peahen, has very dull plumage compared to the extravagant display on the tail of the peacock. The young of a peacock and peahen is known as a peachick (there’s a surprise!).

6.: Radar’s rank on “M*A*S*H”: Abbr.: CPL
Corporal Radar O’Reilly is a character in the “M*A*S*H” television series and film. The role was played by Gary Burghoff in both the film and on television.

8.: Universal area: LOT
I think that the Backlot Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood is the most fun “ride” in any California theme park. There are stops along the tour that have been developed just to impress visitors, but the tour also takes you through the working part of the studio. I like viewing sets from some famous films, such as “Psycho”, “Back to the Future”, “The Sting” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.

10.: Kitchen brand: MOEN
The Moen line of faucets was started in 1956 by inventor Alfred M, Moen. It was Moen who invented the first single-handed mixing faucet.

12.: Still being tested: IN BETA
In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the “alpha” version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a “beta” and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, bug-free. Yeah, right …

20.: Agave product: MESCAL
Mezcal (also “mescal”) is a distilled spirit made from the agave plant that is native to Mexico. Tequila is a type of mezcal, one distilled specifically from the blue agave.

23.: Montreal eco-tourist attraction: BIODOME
The Montreal Biodome is housed in a building that was built for the cycling and judo events in the 1976 Summer Olympics. It is an indoor exhibit that allows visitors to walk through four ecosystems found in the Americas:

– The Tropical Forest resembles a South American rainforest
– The Laurentian Forest resembles the North American wilderness
– The Saint-Lawrence Marine Ecosystem resembles the Gulf of Saint Lawrence
– The Polar Area is divided into an Arctic and Antarctic ecosytem

24.: Anemone, to name one: ANAGRAM
“Anemone” is a anagram of “name one”.

29.: Chase scene producer, for short: SNL
“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

Chevy Chase is a comedian and actor from Lower Manhattan who was born into a wealthy New York City family who can trace its heritage back to the Mayflower. Chase’s real name is Cornelius and he was given his nickname “Chevy” by his grandmother who took it from the old English song The Ballad of Chevy Chase”.

32.: Classic storyteller who wrote under the pseudonym Knickerbocker: IRVING
Washington Irving was an author best-known for the short stories “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Irving also wrote respected biographies of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith and Muhammad. Beyond his work as a writer, Irving also served as US ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846.

36.: Valuable commodity in New York City: AIR SPACE
In the context of real estate development in New York City, “air space” is the part of the atmosphere above a plot of land to which the owner has access.

39.: Box in a cab: CB RADIO
A CBer is someone who operates a Citizens’ Band radio. In 1945, the FCC set aside certain radio frequencies for the personal use of citizens. The use of the Citizens’ Band increased throughout the seventies as advances in electronics brought down the size of transceivers and their cost. There aren’t many CB radios sold these days though, as they have largely been replaced by cell phones.

41.: Comedian Paul: MOONEY
Paul Mooney is a comedian who appeared on “Chappelle’s Show” and who also wrote for the great comedian Richard Pryor.

47.: Teller of many tales: GRIMM
The Brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm) were two German academics noted for collecting and publishing folk tales. Among the tales in their marvelous collection are “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella”.

49.: Unscrewed: LOCO
“Loco” is the Spanish word for “insane”.

52.: [Thumbs up]: A-OK
Our term “A-OK” is supposedly an abbreviation for “A(ll systems are) OK”, and arose in the sixties during the Space Program.

53.: End of many a long race: Abbr.: TUE
Election Day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

54.: P.E.I. setting: AST
Atlantic Standard Time (AST) is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time and one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. The list of locations that use AST includes Puerto Rico and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Prince Edward Island (PEI) is a maritime Canadian province. The island at the center of the province was named for Prince Edward, the fourth son of King George III and the father of Queen Victoria.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1.: Pro: ADEPT
6.: Paper job: COLUMNIST
15.: Words repeated after “I shall no more,” in “The Tempest”: TO SEA
16.: Say: PRONOUNCE
17.: When bars close in Boston: TWO AM
18.: TV screen format: LETTERBOX
19.: Subject of a standing order?: ANTHEM
21.: ___ COIN: INSERT
22.: Super-corny: CHEESE-BALL
26.: Pair: ITEM
27.: Font menu choice: KERN
28.: It’s between -1 and +1: SINE
29.: Bag: SNARE
30.: Source of conflict, in antiquity: ERIS
31.: Film, e.g.: COATING
33.: 12/: DEC
34.: Biker chick, perhaps: BAD GIRL
35.: Dude: CAT
38.: Invention that prompted NBC to adopt the peacock logo: COLOR TV
39.: ___ seeds, ingredients in some health drinks: CHIA
40.: “Gotcha,” in old lingo: I’M HIP
43.: Star followers: MAGI
44.: Something that’s fallen off a shelf?: BERG
45.: What an article may refer to: NOUN
46.: Herb used in Thai food: LEMONGRASS
48.: Fair: COMELY
50.: Italian after-dinner drink: GRAPPA
51.: Party to a tryst: INAMORATA
55.: Toy company that introduced Rubik’s Cube: IDEAL
56.: Like bulldogs: TENACIOUS
57.: Finely prepare: MINCE
58.: Something on either side of a bridge: EYE SOCKET
59.: One advised to take two tablets: MOSES

Down
1.: Beset: ATTACKED
2.: Call from the cellar: DOWN HERE!
3.: Like most philosophy dissertations: ESOTERIC
4.: Ones involved in an elaborate courtship: PEAHENS
5.: Breaks: TAMES
6.: Radar’s rank on “M*A*S*H”: Abbr.: CPL
7.: Bank deposit?: ORE
8.: Universal area: LOT
9.: Through: UNTIL
10.: Kitchen brand: MOEN
11.: Like many new mothers: NURSING
12.: Still being tested: IN BETA
13.: One running home, maybe: SCORER
14.: Modern-day “Let’s stay in touch”: TEXT ME
20.: Agave product: MESCAL
23.: Montreal eco-tourist attraction: BIODOME
24.: Anemone, to name one: ANAGRAM
25.: “Just relax, will you?!”: LET IT GO!
29.: Chase scene producer, for short: SNL
32.: Classic storyteller who wrote under the pseudonym Knickerbocker: IRVING
34.: Punch: BOP
35.: Depreciates: CHEAPENS
36.: Valuable commodity in New York City: AIR SPACE
37.: What some homemade signs announce: TAG SALES
38.: Anchors of some malls: CINEMAS
39.: Box in a cab: CB RADIO
40.: Spark: INCITE
41.: Comedian Paul: MOONEY
42.: Kind: HUMANE
46.: Words that are rarely spoken: LYRIC
47.: Teller of many tales: GRIMM
49.: Unscrewed: LOCO
52.: [Thumbs up]: A-OK
53.: End of many a long race: Abbr.: TUE
54.: P.E.I. setting: AST

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