0318-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Mar 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Timothy Polin
THEME: Beehive Denizens … today’s themed answers end with types of bees:

60A. Where to find the ends of 19-, 36- and 51-Across : BEEHIVE

19A. 1984 #1 Billy Ocean hit : CARIBBEAN QUEEN
36A. Maids, butlers and au pairs : DOMESTIC WORKERS
51A. Aircraft in modern airstrikes : PREDATOR DRONES

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 54s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Hats for Indiana Jones : FEDORAS
A fedora is a lovely hat, I think. It is made of felt, and is similar to a trilby, but has a broader brim. “Fedora” was a play written for Sarah Bernhardt and first performed in 1889. Bernhardt had the title role of Princess Fedora, and on stage she wore a hat similar to a modern-day fedora. The play led to the women’s fashion accessory, the fedora hat, commonly worn by women into the beginning of the twentieth century. Men then started wearing fedoras, but only when women gave up the fashion …

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” is, in my humble opinion, the best of the Indiana Jones franchise of movies. This first Indiana Jones film was released in 1981, produced by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg. Harrison Ford was Spielberg’s first choice to play the lead, but Lucas resisted as he was concerned that he would be too closely associated with the actor (as Ford played Han Solo in “Star Wars”, and also appeared in Lucas’s “American Graffiti”). Tom Selleck was offered the role but he couldn’t get out of his commitments to “Magnum, P.I.” Eventually Spielberg got his way and Ford was hired, a good thing I say …

8. The Trojans of the Pac-12 : USC
The athletic teams of the University of Southern California are called the USC Trojans. The women’s teams are also called the Trojans, but are sometimes referred to as Women of Troy.

19. 1984 #1 Billy Ocean hit : CARIBBEAN QUEEN
Billy Ocean was born in Trinidad and Tobago, and moved with his family to England when he was 8-years old. He was born Leslie Sebastian Charles, but took the name Billy Ocean from a local football team in Trinidad, “Ocean’s Eleven”, who in turn took their name from the famous Frank Sinatra movie. Ocean achieved chart success as early as 1976, with “Love Really Hurts Without You”. However, his global career took off with his 1984 smash “Caribbean Queen”. Perhaps Ocean had global success in mind, because quite cannily he recorded the song under three different names around the world. There’s a version called “European Queen”, and there’s an “African Queen” version out there somewhere as well …

22. Insurance co. that received a $182 billion bailout : AIG
AIG is the American International Group, a giant insurance corporation (or I should say, “was”). After repeated bailouts by American taxpayers, the company made some serious PR blunders by spending large amounts of money on executive entertainment and middle management rewards. These included a $444,000 California retreat, an $86,000 hunting trip in England, and a $343,000 getaway to a luxury resort in Phoenix. Poor judgment, I’d say …

27. Minor keys? : ISLETS
A “key” (also “cay”) is a low island offshore, as in the Florida Keys. Our term in English comes from the Spanish “cayo” meaning “shoal, reef”.

29. Letter after phi : CHI
The Greek letter “chi” is the one that looks like our “X”.

36. Maids, butlers and au pairs : DOMESTIC WORKERS
A butler is the head servant in a household. The butler is often in charge of the wine stores in the house. The term “butler” comes from the Old French “boteillier” meaning “officer in charge of wine”, which in terms comes from the Old French “boteille”, the word for a “bottle”.

An “au pair” is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working and living as part of a host family. The term “au pair” is French, and means “on a par”, indicating that an au pair is treated as an equal in the host family.

40. Rail rider of old : HOBO
No one seems to know for sure how the term “hobo” originated, although there are lots of colorful theories. My favorite is that “hobo” comes from the first letters in the words “ho-meward bo-und”, but it doesn’t seem very plausible. A kind blog reader tells me that according to Click and Clack from PBS’s “Car Talk” (a great source!), “hobo” comes from “hoe boy”. Hoe boys were young men with hoes looking for work after the Civil War. Hobos differed from “tramps” and “bums”, in that “bums” refused to work, “tramps” worked when they had to, while “hobos” traveled in search of work.

41. What makes a cat scat? : ESS
The word “cat” becomes “scat” with the addition of the letter S (ess).

42. Greater Antilles native, once : ARAWAK
The Arawak are an indigenous people from the South America and the Caribbean.

The Antilles islands are divided into two main groups, the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. The Greater Antilles includes the islands of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. The Lesser Antilles are made up of the Leeward Islands, the Windward Islands and the Leeward Antilles, and lie just north of Venezuela.

44. Real estate reference : PLAT
A plat is a map showing actual and planned features, so a town might have a plat showing existing and intended buildings.

49. Former conductance unit : MHO
Conductance (measured in mhos) is the inverse of resistance (measured in ohms). The mho has been replaced by the SI unit called the siemens.

51. Aircraft in modern airstrikes : PREDATOR DRONES
The Predator is a model of unmanned aerial vehicle operated by the military that’s usually referred to as a drone. The Predator is built by defense contractor General Atomics in San Diego, California.

57. “Get lost!” : AMSCRAY!
Pig Latin is in effect a game. One takes the first consonant or consonant cluster of an English word and moves it to the end of the word, and then adds the letters “ay”. So the Pig Latin for the word “nix” is “ix-n-ay” … ixnay, and for “scram” is “am-scr-ay”

59. San ___ Fault : ANDREAS
The famous San Andreas Fault in California lies along the boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. The faultline was named in 1885 after a small lake just south of San Francisco called Laguna de San Andreas.

Down
1. Put quarters in, as a meter : FED
An early patent for a parking meter, dated 1928, was for a device that required the driver of the parked car to connect the battery of his or her car to the meter in order for it to operate!

2. “Ben-Hur,” for one : EPIC
The celebrated Charlton Heston movie “Ben-Hur” is a dramatization of a book published in 1880 by Lew Wallace titled “Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ”. The 1959 epic film won a record 11 Academy Awards, a feat that has been equaled since then but has never been beaten. The other winners of 11 Oscars are “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the Rings”.

3. Persnickety performer : DIVA
“Diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. “Diva” is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean “goddess” or “fine lady”, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

4. Hades : Greeks :: ___ : Egyptians : OSIRIS
Osiris was the Egyptian god of the underworld. Osiris was the son of Geb the Earth god, and Nut the sky goddess. His wife Isis was also his sister. Osiris was killed and mutilated by Set, his own brother. Isis reassembled Osiris and revived him, just long enough that they could conceive their son Horus.

Hades was the god of the underworld to the ancient Greeks. Over time, Hades gave his name to the underworld itself, the place where the dead reside. The term “Hades” was also adopted into the Christian tradition, as an alternative name for hell. But, the concept of hell in Christianity is more akin to the Greek “Tartarus”, which is a dark and gloomy dungeon located in Hades, a place of suffering and torment.

5. Grip enhancer : ROSIN
Rosin is a solid form of resin derived from plant sources. Rosin is formed into cakes that players of stringed instruments use to rub along the hairs of their bows to help improve sound quality. The rosin increases the degree of friction between the strings and the bow. That same friction-increasing property comes into play when baseball pitchers use rosin to get a better grip on the ball.

6. Brick house : ADOBE
The building material known as adobe has been around a long time, and has been used in dry climates all over the world. The original form of the word “adobe” dates back to Middle Egyptian times, about 2000 BC. The original spelling is “dj-b-t”, and translates as mud (sun-dried) brick.

7. Tennis’s Ana Ivanovic, for one : SERB
Ana Ivanovic is a Serbian tennis player, and former world number one. As well as playing tennis, she also studied finance at university in her native Belgrade.

9. Friend of Squidward on Nickelodeon : SPONGEBOB
SpongeBob SquarePants is a cartoon character in a Nickelodeon television series. Spongebob first appeared in 1999, and he lives in a pineapple under the sea.

10. Deux + trois : CINQ
In French, two (deux) + three (trois) makes five (cinq).

11. Twin Mary-Kate or Ashley : OLSEN
I don’t know anything about the Olsen twins, but I am told that folks believe Mary-Kate and Ashley to be identical twins. They look very much alike, but are in fact just fraternal twins.

12. ___ Peak : PIKES
Zebulon Pike was an American Army officer and explorer. On his first expedition for the military he discovered a mountain in the Rockies that had been dubbed El Capitan by Spanish settlers. It was later renamed to Pike’s Peaks (now “Pikes Peak”) in honor of the explorer.

16. Comic who said “The meal is not over when I’m full. The meal is over when I hate myself” : LOUIS CK
“Louis C.K.” is the stage name of comedian Louis Szekely. The family name “Szekely” is Hungarian, and “CK” is an approximation of the name in English.

24. Versatile, electrically : AC/DC
Anyone with a laptop with an external power supply has an AC/DC converter, that big “block” in the power cord. It converts the AC current from a wall socket into the DC current that is used by the laptop.

26. Illustrate : LIMN
“To limn” is to describe, or portray in a painting or a drawing. “Limn” has the same root as “illuminate”, in the sense of illuminating a manuscript.

27. Tyrannical Amin : 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.

28. Root used to make poi : TARO
The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, the traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

30. February Revolution target : TSAR
The year 1917 saw two revolutions in Russia, with the pair collectively called “the Russian Revolution”. As a result of the February Revolution that centered on Petrograd, the last Emperor of Russia (Tsar Nicholas II) abdicated and members of the Imperial parliament took control of the country, forming the Russian Provisional Government. The Provisional Government was itself overthrown in the October Revolution, by Vladimir Lenin and the Bolshevik party.

34. Connect-the-dots bear? : URSA
The constellation called Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, the “plough”.

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”.

37. Boxer Holyfield : EVANDER
Evander Holyfield is a professional boxer from Atmore, Alabama. Holyfield was Undisputed World Champion twice over, once as a cruiserweight and then as a heavyweight.

38. Stir-fry vessel : WOK
“Wok” is a Cantonese word, the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

44. Something to put on before a shower : PONCHO
A poncho is a typical South American outer garment that has been used by Native American peoples since pre-Hispanic times. One of the iconic uses of a poncho was by Clint Eastwood in spaghetti westerns.

47. Visitor to Neverland : WENDY
The author and dramatist J. M. Barrie is best remembered as the creator of Peter Pan. Barrie wrote a play in 1904 called “Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”. He turned this into a novel called “Peter and Wendy” in 1911. The girl’s name “Wendy” was very uncommon before Barrie named his character, and he is given credit for making the name as popular as it is today.

49. Rival mascot of the Phillie Phanatic : MR MET
Mr. Met is the mascot of the New York Mets. He is a guy with a large baseball as a head, and has been elected to the Mascot Hall of Fame.

The Phillie Phanatic is the mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. The Phanatic replaced the older mascots Philadelphia Phil and Philadelphia Phillis in 1978.

50. Canadian bozo : HOSER
“Hoser” is a Canadian slang term for a boorish person, especially a man fond of his beer. An alternative expression with the same meaning is “hose-head”. The term was popularized by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas while portraying the characters Bob and Doug McKenzie on the comedy show SCTV.

54. N.B.A. coach Spoelstra : ERIK
Erik Spoelstra is the coach for the Miami Heat. Spoelstra is the first Asian American to serve as head coach in any of the four major North American sports leagues.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Hats for Indiana Jones : FEDORAS
8. The Trojans of the Pac-12 : USC
11. Covert ___ : OPS
14. Sitcom installment : EPISODE
15. “No secrets!” : SPILL IT!
17. The “3” in “6/3” : DIVISOR
18. Relative of a snowboard : MONOSKI
19. 1984 #1 Billy Ocean hit : CARIBBEAN QUEEN
21. Suffix with elephant : -INE
22. Insurance co. that received a $182 billion bailout : AIG
23. Research center: Abbr. : INST
24. Saddle-making tools : AWLS
27. Minor keys? : ISLETS
29. Letter after phi : CHI
30. Uncluttered : TIDY
32. Overwhelmed police officer’s request : BACKUP
36. Maids, butlers and au pairs : DOMESTIC WORKERS
39. Start for some art : CANVAS
40. Rail rider of old : HOBO
41. What makes a cat scat? : ESS
42. Greater Antilles native, once : ARAWAK
44. Real estate reference : PLAT
45. Cut into planks, say : SAWN
48. “… or ___ thought” : SO I
49. Former conductance unit : MHO
51. Aircraft in modern airstrikes : PREDATOR DRONES
56. Didn’t honor a promise : RENEGED
57. “Get lost!” : AMSCRAY!
59. San ___ Fault : ANDREAS
60. Where to find the ends of 19-, 36- and 51-Across : BEEHIVE
61. “___, me!” : YAY
62. Conniving : SLY
63. Par number : STROKES

Down
1. Put quarters in, as a meter : FED
2. “Ben-Hur,” for one : EPIC
3. Persnickety performer : DIVA
4. Hades : Greeks :: ___ : Egyptians : OSIRIS
5. Grip enhancer : ROSIN
6. Brick house : ADOBE
7. Tennis’s Ana Ivanovic, for one : SERB
8. Inscription on a classic letter box : US MAIL
9. Friend of Squidward on Nickelodeon : SPONGEBOB
10. Deux + trois : CINQ
11. Twin Mary-Kate or Ashley : OLSEN
12. ___ Peak : PIKES
13. Be economical : STINT
16. Comic who said “The meal is not over when I’m full. The meal is over when I hate myself” : LOUIS CK
20. Sit back and enjoy it : EASY CHAIR
24. Versatile, electrically : AC/DC
25. “That’s super crazy!” : WHOA!
26. Illustrate : LIMN
27. Tyrannical Amin : IDI
28. Root used to make poi : TARO
30. February Revolution target : TSAR
31. “You can’t beat that price!” : IT’S A STEAL!
33. What a ship’s ribs are connected to : KEEL
34. Connect-the-dots bear? : URSA
35. Subtle attention-getter : PSST!
37. Boxer Holyfield : EVANDER
38. Stir-fry vessel : WOK
43. Forestlike : WOODSY
44. Something to put on before a shower : PONCHO
45. Output from a showerhead : SPRAY
46. Olympics venue : ARENA
47. Visitor to Neverland : WENDY
49. Rival mascot of the Phillie Phanatic : MR MET
50. Canadian bozo : HOSER
52. A long, long time : AGES
53. Applies gingerly : DABS
54. N.B.A. coach Spoelstra : ERIK
55. With the exception of : SAVE
58. Response from a rubber stamp : YES

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4 thoughts on “0318-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Mar 15, Wednesday”

  1. Missed on 57A, I had "aw scram" which also gave me "Mr. Wet" as a baseball mascot.

    Speaking of which, baseball has some of the stupidest mascots: Slider, Lou Seal, the Mariner Moose? The only cool ones are the Phanatic, Fredbird, the Presidents (notice that Teddy Roosevelt never wins?), and the San Diego Chicken.

    And if Native Indians think the Washington Redskins logo is offensive, what about Chief Wahoo for Cleveland or chief Nock-a-Homa for Atlanta?

    I'm gettin' lonely over here.

  2. Had to Google for MR MET and Mr. Spoelstra (must be part Dutch), both sports clues.

    @Willie -Ray Halbritter – an Oneida in my territory – wants to get rid of them all, including high school references. He started the Turning Stone Casino and is a Harvard grad. He told a group of us his uncle died in a fire that the local dept. wouldn't put out, and this drove him to get educated.

  3. @Willie: those other mascots and symbols are just as offensive (or *more*) as the Washington Redskins logo. The 'skins are just the highest profile example, and get all the press and the heat at the moment.

    As for this puzzle, 20 down nearly threw me, with that "false verb form clue". I really hate clues that rely on the solver "misreading" the tense of the disingenously edited wording to make it more challenging.

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