0302-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Mar 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Andrea Carla Michaels
THEME: L-L-L-Long Answers … each of today’s themed answers features a string of three letters L in a row:

17A. Cézanne’s “The Basket of Apples,” e.g. : STILL LIFE
23A. Radio station identification : CALL LETTERS
51A. “Momma” cartoonist : MELL LAZARUS
63A. “A beast,” according to Ogden Nash : TWO-L LLAMA

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 4s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. Ponzi scheme, e.g. : FRAUD
Charles Ponzi was born in Luigi, Italy in 1882 and arrived in the US in 1903, flat broke having gambled away all his money on the voyage to Boston. Ponzi devised a scheme to buy what were known as “international reply coupons” through friends in Italy, which he had sent to him in the US so that he could redeem them on this side of the Atlantic. As the value in the US was greater than that in Italy, he could make a handsome profit. This was in itself an “illegal” transaction, buying an asset in one market at a low price, then immediately selling it in another market at a higher price. But it’s what he did next that became known as a Ponzi Scheme. He couldn’t redeem his coupons quickly enough due to red tape so he approached other investors, initially friends, and had them give him cash so that he could buy more coupons in Italy. He promised the investors he would double their money, which they did initially. Many people wanted to get in on the scheme seeing that Ponzi was able to make the new investors a profit and double the money of the original investors. Eventually, somebody did the math and word started to get out that the investment was risky, so the number of new investors started to fall. Without sufficient new investors Ponzi couldn’t double the money of his latest investors, and the whole scheme unraveled.

14. Cow in old Borden ads : ELSIE
Elsie the Cow is the mascot of the Borden Company. Elsie first appeared at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, introduced to symbolize the perfect dairy product. Elsie was also given a husband named Elmer the Bull. Elmer eventually moved over to the chemical division of Borden where he gave his name to Elmer’s Glue.

16. Comedian Bruce : LENNY
Lenny Bruce was the stage name of comedian Leonard Schneider. Bruce was noted for his edgy style and material on stage, as well as his edgy lifestyle offstage. He was arrested several times and charged with obscenity because of language used in his routines. He was eventually found guilty of one of the charges and sentenced to four months in a workhouse. He was set free on bail while making a much-publicized appeal. Sadly, he died before the appeal process was completed. After his death, the Governor of the New York granted Lenny Bruce a pardon.

17. Cézanne’s “The Basket of Apples,” e.g. : STILL LIFE
Paul Cézanne was a Post-Impressionist artist who was born and worked in the beautiful city of Aix-en-Provence in the South of France. Cézanne has the reputation of being the artist who bridged the late 19th century Impressionist movement with the early 20th century Cubist movement. Both Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso are quoted as saying that Cézanne “is the father of us all”.

20. Tyke : TOT
“Tyke” has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902, but for centuries before that a tyke was a cur or mongrel, or perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.

21. Brother of Jacob : ESAU
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”. As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father’s wealth (it was his “birthright”). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a “mess of pottage” (a meal of lentils).

22. “Mad About You” co-star Paul : REISER
The comedian and actor Paul Reiser is best known for co-starring alongside Helen Hunt in the nineties sitcom “Mad About You”. Reiser also co-wrote the show’s theme song, “The Final Frontier”.

“Mad About You” is a sitcom from the nineties that stars Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt as a couple living in New York City. Reiser and Hunt did well out of the success of the show, each earning one million dollars per episode for the last series.

25. ___ Kelly, classic circus clown : EMMETT
Emmett Kelly was a famous circus performer who was most noted for his clown persona known as “Weary Willie”.

29. Sash in “Madama Butterfly” : OBI
Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” is the most-performed opera in the US. The opera that we see today is actually the second version that Puccini produced. The original version was first staged in 1904 at La Scala in Milan where it received a very poor reception. Puccini reworked the piece, breaking the second act into two new acts and making some other significant changes. The opera was relaunched a few months later and it was a resounding success.

31. Layered hairstyle : SHAG
A shag cut is a layered hairstyle. Meg Ryan was famous for wearing a shag cut for many years.

34. Andrea, Carla and Michael : NAMES
A clever clue here from this puzzle’s constructor, Andrea Carla Michaels!

46. ___ Holder, first African-American attorney general : ERIC
Eric Holder is the Attorney General of the United States, and is the first African American to hold the position. Holder was close to President Obama during the presidential campaign. Holder was the campaign’s legal advisor and was also one of the three members on the Obama vice-presidential selection committee, which of course opted for Vice-President Joe Biden.

51. “Momma” cartoonist : MELL LAZARUS
Mell Lazarus is known as the creator of two long-running comic strips. “Miss Peach” ran from 1957 to 2002, and “Momma” first appeared in 1970 and is still going strong. Lazarus started his career as an apprentice to famed cartoonist Al Capp.

57. Cat also called a dwarf leopard : OCELOT
The ocelot is found mainly in South and Central America, although there have been sightings as far north as Arkansas. An ocelot doesn’t look too different from a domestic cat, and some have been kept as pets. Perhaps most famously, Salvador Dali had one that he carried around everywhere with him.

58. ___ & Chandon (Champagne) : MOET
Moët & Chandon is a French winery, one of the world’s largest producers of champagne. The company was founded by wine trader Claude Moët in 1743. The name was changed to Moët & Chandon in the 1830s when Pierre-Gabriel Chandon, an in-law to the Moët family, was given co-ownership. Moët & Chandon owns the famous Dom Pérignon brand name, honoring the Benedictine monk who did so much to improve the quality of champagne.

59. Tile container in Scrabble : BAG
The game of Scrabble has been produced in many international versions, and each of these editions has its own tile distribution to suit the local language. For example, in English we have two tiles worth ten points: one “Q” and one “Z”. If you play the game in French then there are five tiles worth ten points: one “K”, one “W”, one “X”, one “Y” and one “Z”.

63. “A beast,” according to Ogden Nash : TWO-L LLAMA
The poet Ogden Nash is well known for his light and humorous verse. Try this one for size:

The one-L lama,
He’s a priest.
The two-L llama,
He’s a beast.
And I would bet
A silk pajama
There isn’t any
Three-L lllama.

66. Beaver’s construction : DAM
Beavers build dams so that they can live in and around the slower and deeper water that builds up above the dam. This deeper water provides more protection for the beavers from predators such as bears. Beavers are nocturnal animals and do all their construction work at night.

68. Longtime Syrian strongman : ASSAD
Dr. Bashar al-Assad is the current President of the Syrian Arab Republic and the son of the former President Hafez al-Assad whom he replaced in 2001. President Assad is a medical doctor, speaks fluent English and conversational French. Assad was studying ophthalmology in London when he met his wife, who is an Englishwoman by birth.

69. The “S” in CBS: Abbr. : SYS
CBS used to be called the Columbia Broadcasting System. CBS is the second largest broadcaster in the world, second only to the BBC in the UK.

Down
4. Al Capp’s “___ Abner” : LI’L
The cartoon strip “Li’l Abner” was created and drawn by Al Capp for over 43 years starting in 1934. Al Capp stopped producing the strip in 1977, largely due to illness (he died from emphysema two years later). As the strip finished up, he went so far as to apologize to his long-standing fans, saying that he should have stopped 3-4 years earlier as he felt that the quality of his work had gone down in those latter years.

8. “The Catcher in the ___” : RYE
“The Catcher in the Rye” is the most famous novel from the pen of J. D. Salinger. The main character and narrator in the book is Holden Caulfield, a teenager who gets expelled from a university prep school. Caulfield also makes appearances in several short stories written by Salinger, as do other members of the Caulfield family.

11. Licoricelike flavor : ANISE
Liquorice (also licorice) and aniseed have similar flavors, but they come from unrelated plants. The liquorice plant is a legume like a bean, and the sweet flavor is an extract from the roots. The flavor mainly comes from an ether compound called anethole, the same substance that gives the distinctive flavor to anise. The seedpods of the anise plant are what we know as “aniseed”. The anise seeds themselves are usually ground to release the flavor.

18. Exams for future attys. : LSATS
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has been around since 1948.

24. Boston airport : LOGAN
Boston’s Logan Airport is named after General Edward Lawrence Logan, a military officer from South Boston who fought in the Spanish-American War.

25. Alternative rock’s Better Than ___ : EZRA
Better Than Ezra is an alternative rock band from New Orleans. The band apparently keeps the origins of its name a secret. The fans of the group call themselves “Ezralites”.

32. Avis rival : HERTZ
The Hertz car rental company was started in 1918 by Walter L. Jacobs in Chicago. He began with just twelve model T Ford cars available for rent. In 1923, the car rental operation was bought out by John D. Hertz who incorporated it into his truck and coach manufacturing company.

Avis has been around since 1946, and is the second largest car rental agency after Hertz. Avis has the distinction of being the first car rental company to locate a branch at an airport.

33. The Diamondbacks, on scoreboards : ARI
The Arizona Diamondbacks joined Major League Baseball’s National League in 1998. By winning the World Series in 2001, the Diamondbacks became the fastest expansion team to do so in Major League history.

35. Actor Baldwin : ALEC
Alec Baldwin is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec’s big break was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin is making a name for himself these days playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey.

36. “The ___ of Zorro” : MARK
The 1940 movie “The Mark of Zorro” stands its own among a long line of “Zorro” films, largely due a great performance by Tyrone Power in the lead. For all you Batman fans out there, “The Mark of Zorro” was the movie that the Wayne family had just seen when Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed in front of him, launching his life of crime-fighting. Now that, that is trivia …

37. New York canal : ERIE
The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, the Erie Canal had immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of “cheap” transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of “the Empire State”. Paradoxically, one of the project’s main proponents was severely criticized. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton received so much ridicule that the canal was nicknamed “Clinton’s Folly” and “Clinton’s Ditch”.

45. Dish for Oliver Twist : GRUEL
“Oliver Twist” is a novel by Charles Dickens. It is a popular tale for adaptation to the big screen. There were two silent film versions, in 1909 and 1922, and the first talkie version was released in 1933, with many to follow. The latest “Oliver” for the big screen was a 2005 Roman Polanski production.

50. Rick with the 1988 #1 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” : ASTLEY
Rick Astley is an English singer, best known for his 1987 worldwide hit “Never Gonna Give You Up”. He retired in 1993 but became a huge hit on the Internet in 2007 when a YouTube video of “Never Gonna Give You Up” was chosen by tricksters as a link (labeled as something else) that was sent around the world so that the clip was seen by millions online. The phenomenon was given the name “Rickrolling”. With all the new exposure that the song received Astley made a whopping $12 in royalties from YouTube. Yep, 12 whole dollars.

51. Cold cash : MOOLA
Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dinero, dough and moola (also moolah) are all slang terms for money.

52. Pioneering 1960s communications satellites : ECHOS
The program that launched the first communications satellites was called Project Echo, and dates back to the sixties. There were two Echo satellites, one launched in 1960 and one in 1964. Each satellite was basically a large metallic balloon that served as a reflector of microwave signals. Signals were beamed from the Earth and directed towards an Echo satellite. The signals bounced off the metallic balloon and returned to the Earth’s surface.

53. Kids’ building toys : LEGOS
Lego is manufactured by Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

54. Peruvian author Mario Vargas ___ : LLOSA
Mario Vargas Llosa is a Peruvian writer of renown, one of the most significant authors from Latin America by all accounts. Llosa is also very active politically, and in 1990 ran unsuccessfully for the Peruvian presidency.

55. Person-to-person merchandiser : AMWAY
Amway is still going strong. It is one of the largest privately-held companies in the United States, with sales of around $8 billion and about 13,000 employees.

56. Conservatory and Study, in Clue : ROOMS
Clue is another board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), a lead pipe (lead piping in the US) and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

59. Shakespeare, for one : BARD
William Shakespeare is known as the Bard of Avon as he was born and raised in the lovely town of Stratford-upon-Avon in the English midlands.

61. Scottish Highlander : GAEL
A highlander would be someone from the highlands of Scotland, and would qualify as a Gael. To me a Gael is anyone who speaks one of the Erse tongues.

There are actually three Erse languages. Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).

63. QB stats : TDS
In football, the goal of the quarterback (QB) is to score touchdowns (TDs).

64. Sign between Cancer and Virgo : LEO
Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 13 to August 23 are Leos.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Sends to the lockup : JAILS
6. Golf target : PAR
9. Ponzi scheme, e.g. : FRAUD
14. Cow in old Borden ads : ELSIE
15. Interstate, e.g.: Abbr. : HWY
16. Comedian Bruce : LENNY
17. Cézanne’s “The Basket of Apples,” e.g. : STILL LIFE
19. Skip over in speech : ELIDE
20. Tyke : TOT
21. Brother of Jacob : ESAU
22. “Mad About You” co-star Paul : REISER
23. Radio station identification : CALL LETTERS
25. ___ Kelly, classic circus clown : EMMETT
29. Sash in “Madama Butterfly” : OBI
30. Fervor : ZEAL
31. Layered hairstyle : SHAG
34. Andrea, Carla and Michael : NAMES
39. Underpaid employee’s demand : RAISE
41. Time in history : ERA
42. What a sun visor protects against : GLARE
43. Building wing : ANNEX
44. Prewedding purchase : RING
46. ___ Holder, first African-American attorney general : ERIC
47. Lowest-ranking G.I. : PVT
49. Club : golf :: ___ : tennis : RACKET
51. “Momma” cartoonist : MELL LAZARUS
57. Cat also called a dwarf leopard : OCELOT
58. ___ & Chandon (Champagne) : MOET
59. Tile container in Scrabble : BAG
62. “This looks bad, bad, bad!” : OH GOD!
63. “A beast,” according to Ogden Nash : TWO-L LLAMA
65. Opposite of tight : LOOSE
66. Beaver’s construction : DAM
67. Weird : EERIE
68. Longtime Syrian strongman : ASSAD
69. The “S” in CBS: Abbr. : SYS
70. Sing “lay odl lay odl lay hee hoo” : YODEL

Down
1. Nonserious remark : JEST
2. Kind of sax : ALTO
3. “___ something I said?” : IS IT
4. Al Capp’s “___ Abner” : LI’L
5. Choose : SELECT
6. Perfume container : PHIAL
7. Horrible : AWFUL
8. “The Catcher in the ___” : RYE
9. Short-lived : FLEETING
10. Blazing again, as a fire : RELIT
11. Licoricelike flavor : ANISE
12. Down ___ (Australia) : UNDER
13. Colorists : DYERS
18. Exams for future attys. : LSATS
22. Confederate soldier, for short : REB
24. Boston airport : LOGAN
25. Alternative rock’s Better Than ___ : EZRA
26. Nasty : MEAN
27. Central street : MAIN
28. “… or ___!” (threat) : ELSE
32. Avis rival : HERTZ
33. The Diamondbacks, on scoreboards : ARI
35. Actor Baldwin : ALEC
36. “The ___ of Zorro” : MARK
37. New York canal : ERIE
38. Religious splinter group : SECT
40. Went off, as a bomb : EXPLODED
45. Dish for Oliver Twist : GRUEL
48. Big winery container : VAT
50. Rick with the 1988 #1 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” : ASTLEY
51. Cold cash : MOOLA
52. Pioneering 1960s communications satellites : ECHOS
53. Kids’ building toys : LEGOS
54. Peruvian author Mario Vargas ___ : LLOSA
55. Person-to-person merchandiser : AMWAY
56. Conservatory and Study, in Clue : ROOMS
59. Shakespeare, for one : BARD
60. French girlfriend : AMIE
61. Scottish Highlander : GAEL
63. QB stats : TDS
64. Sign between Cancer and Virgo : LEO

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