0330-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 30 Mar 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Haight
THEME: The Birds … if we look at the grid, the black squares portray a formation of birds flying from bottom-right to top-left. We also have several themed answers that reflect that V-formation:

13A. Ones that are alike : BIRDS OF A FEATHER
30A. Gather as a group : FLOCK TOGETHER

18A. Flier in a V formation : GOOSE

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 06m 08s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

4. “Tommy” band, with “the” : WHO
“Tommy” is the fourth album recorded by the British band called the Who. “Tommy” was the original “rock opera” and was adapted for both the stage and screen, with both adaptations becoming huge successes. The title character has an uncanny ability to play pinball, giving rise to the hit song “Pinball Wizard”.

7. Network on the telly : BBC
The marvelous British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is mainly funded by the UK government through a television licence fee that is levied annually on all households watching TV transmissions. Currently the fee is 145 UK pounds, about 230 US dollars.

“Telly” is a term commonly used in the UK that is short for “television”.

12. “The Clan of the Cave Bear” heroine : AYLA
Ayla is a little Cro-Magnon girl who is orphaned and then adopted by a Neanderthal tribe, as told in “The Clan of the Cave Bear”, the first of a series of novels written by Jean Auel that set in prehistoric times. I haven’t read any of Auel’s books myself, but they are on my reading to-do list as my wife recommends them. They sound interesting …

16. Queen ___ (nickname for Jay Z’s wife) : BEY
Beyoncé Knowles established herself in the entertainment industry as the lead singer with the R&B group Destiny’s Child. She launched her solo singing career in 2003, two years after making her first appearance as an actor. In 2006 she played the lead in the very successful movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls”. Beyoncé is married to rap star Jay-Z. She is also referred to affectionately as Queen Bey, a play on the phrase “the queen bee”.

17. Cleopatra biter : ASP
The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

18. Flier in a V formation : GOOSE
Apparently geese fly in a V-formation for a couple of reasons. One is that it makes for efficient flight and conserves energy. The leading bird gets no advantage, but every following bird gets to “slipstream” a little. It has been noted that the lead bird drops to the back of the formation when it gets fatigued. It’s also thought that the flock can stick together more easily when in formation, so it is more difficult to lose someone along the way.

19. Status ___ : QUO
“Status quo” translates from Latin as “state in which”, and in English is used to mean the existing condition or state of affairs.

20. Theater stage item : PROP
We use the term “props” for objects that are used by actors on stage during a play. The term is a shortening of the older term “properties”, which was used with the same meaning up through the 19th century.

22. The Red Baron, to Snoopy : FOE
Snoopy, the famous beagle in the “Peanuts” comic strip, has a number of alter-egos and is sometimes depicted as a World War I flying ace piloting a Sopwith Camel biplane. Snoopy’s arch-enemy in the air is Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron, and Snoopy can often be seen shaking his fist and crying out, “Curse you, Red Baron!”

Manfred von Richthofen was a famous WWI fighter pilot flying for the Germans and was known as the Red Baron. Von Richthofen was credited with more kills than any other pilot fighting on either side of the conflict, recording over 80 combat victories. He didn’t survive the war though, as he was shot down near Amiens in France in 1918.

26. Barbie’s beau : KEN
Barbie’s male counterpart doll is Ken, and Ken’s family name is Carson. Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts. When Ken was introduced in 1959, it was as Barbie’s boyfriend. In 2004 it was announced that Ken and Barbie were splitting up, and needed to spend quality time apart. Soon after the split, Barbie “met” Blaine, a boogie boarder from Australia.

27. Literary Jane who says “No net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will” : EYRE
“Jane Eyre” is the celebrated novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. Over the years, I’ve shared here on my blogs that the “Jane Eyre” story line is a little too dark and Gothic for my taste, but a very persuasive blog reader convinced me to look more at the romantic side of the story and give it a second chance. I watched a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation of the novel made by the BBC a while back and I have to say that because I was focused on the relationship between Jane and Rochester, I was able to push past the Gothic influences (that depress me) so I really enjoyed the story. I thoroughly recommend the 2006 BBC adaptation to fans of the novel …

28. Wildebeests : GNUS
A gnu is also known as a wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is actually the Dutch word for “wild beast”.

33. Sch. in Columbus : OSU
Ohio State University (OSU) was founded back in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. The athletic teams of OSU are called the Buckeyes, named after the state tree of Ohio. In turn the buckeye tree gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, a dark nut with a light patch thought to resemble a “buck’s eye”.

34. Genre for Jay Z and Schoolboy Q : RAP
Jay Z is a rap artist whose real name is Shawn Carter. Jay Z married the singer Beyoncé in 2008, and by all accounts, the celebrity couple keep their lives together very private. That said, when the couple had their first child, the cries of their two-day-old daughter were used at the end of the 2002 Jay Z song “Glory”, for which baby Blue Ivy Carter was given a credit on the record as “B.I.C”. That made young Blue Ivy the youngest person to ever appear on a Billboard chart.

35. French clerics : ABBES
“Abbé” is the French word for “abbot”.

38. Gen ___ (one born after the baby boom) : XER
The term Generation X originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By the latest accepted definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

39. Bread that might hold hummus : PITA
Pita is a lovely bread in Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools. The pockets were a big hit in the seventies when someone came up with the idea of using them for fillings hence creating pita sandwiches or “pita pockets”.

The lovely dip/spread called hummus usually contains mashed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. The name “hummus” is an Arabic word for “chickpeas”.

45. Top-rated TV show of 2002-05 : CSI
“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” is apparently the most-watched television show worldwide.

46. Gospel singer Winans : CECE
CeCe Winans (real name Priscilla) is a Gospel music singer. She is part of a duo with her brother, BeBe Winans (real name Benjamin).

48. ___ Rabbit : BR’ER
Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox are characters in the Uncle Remus stories, written by Joel Chandler Harris. The Uncle Remus stories are adaptations of African American folktales that Harris collected across the Southern States. “Br’er” is an abbreviated form of “brother”.

54. ___ Stone (key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs) : ROSETTA
Rosetta is a coastal city and port on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. The Rosetta Stone is an Ancient Egyptian artifact of tremendous importance in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics. Carvings on the stone are actually three translations of the same passage of prose, one in Egyptian hieroglyphics, one in Egyptian Demotic language, and one in classical Greek. The stone was discovered by the French military during Napoleon’s 1798 campaign in Egypt. Before the French could get it back to France, the stone somehow ended up in enemy hands (the British), so it is now on display in the British Museum. Ownership of the stone is very much in dispute. The French want it, and understandably, the Egyptians would like it back.

Down
1. Right guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment : JURY OF YOUR PEERS
The Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights that deals with an individual’s rights when facing criminal prosecution.

2. Chicago airport code : ORD
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.

5. Playboy founder, informally : HEF
Hugh Hefner (often called “Hef”) is from Chicago. His first publishing job was in the military, where he worked as a writer for a US Army newspaper from 1944-46. He went to college after his military service and then worked as a copywriter for “Esquire” magazine. He left “Esquire” to found his own publication that he called “Playboy”, which first hit the newsstands in 1953. “Playboy” has been around ever since.

6. Work by Gray or Shelley : ODE
Thomas Gray was an 18th-century poet from England. Gray’s most famous work is his “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”, which is the source of many oft-quoted phrases, including:

– Celestial fire
– Far from the Madding Crowd
– Kindred spirit

Percy Bysshe Shelley was an English Romantic poet. Shelley had strong views on vegetarianism. He was dedicated to the cause of all sentient beings, believing that the slaughter of animals by humans for the use of food was a barbaric practice. He wrote a famous essay on the subject called “A Vindication of Natural Diet” in 1813.

8. Like the meek, per Matthew 5:5 : BLESSED
In the Christian tradition, the Beatitudes are a collection of moral teachings laid out by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, according to the Gospel of Matthew. The eight Beatitudes are:

… Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
… Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted
… Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth
… Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled
… Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy
… Blessed are the pure in heart: for they will see God
… Blessed are the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God
… Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

9. Goes around a corner fast, say : CAREENS
“Careen” dates back to 1590 when it meant “to turn a ship on its side, exposing the keel”. The word evolved from the Middle French word “carene” meaning “keel”. Our modern usage, meaning to lean or tilt, only dates back as far as the 1880s. Careen should not be confused with “career”, a verb meaning to move rapidly. One has to “career” from side-to-side in order to “careen”.

10. In ___ of (replacing) : LIEU
As one might perhaps imagine, “in lieu” comes into English from the Old French word “lieu” meaning “place”, which in turn is derived from the Latin “locum”, also meaning “place”. So, “in lieu” means “in place of”.

13. Outdoor meal with a grill, informally : BBQ
It is believed that our word “barbecue” comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

15. The “17” in NC-17 : AGE
The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (R, PG-17, G etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

23. Middle-earth creature : ORC
Orcs are mythical humanoid creatures that appear in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien’s use of orcs, they have also been featured in other fantasy fiction and in fantasy games.

28. Billy or nanny : GOAT
Males goats are called “bucks” or “billies”, although castrated males are known as “wethers”. Female goats are called “does” or “nannies”, and young goats are referred to as “kids”.

29. Singer McEntire : REBA
Reba McEntire is a country music singer and television actress. McEntire starred in her own sitcom called “Reba” that aired on the WB and the CW cable channels from 2001 to 2007.

30. “The Simpsons” airer : FOX
“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which is such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001.

31. Prefix with -ceps : TRI-
The triceps brachii muscle is found at the back of the upper arm. The muscle’s name translates to “three-headed arm muscle”, fitting as it is actually made up of three bundles of muscles.

32. “2001” computer : HAL
In Arthur C. Clarke’s “Space Odyssey” (famously adapted for the big screen as “2001: A Space Odyssey”) the computer system that went rogue was called HAL 9000, or simply “HAL”. HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer. Even though, Clarke denied it, there’s a good argument that can be made that the acronym HAL is a veiled reference to IBM, the big player in the world of computing at the time of the novel’s publication (1968). The acronym HAL is just a one-letter shift from the initials “IBM”.

46. Muse of history : CLIO
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)

47. Greeting south of the border : HOLA
“Hola” is Spanish for the greeting “hi”.

48. Paint company whose name sounds like an animal : BEHR
The Behr brand of paint is pronounced “bear”, and the cans even have a bear logo. The company was founded in 1947 by Otho Behr Jr.

51. Mauna ___ : KEA
Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Elation : JOY
4. “Tommy” band, with “the” : WHO
7. Network on the telly : BBC
10. Entice : LURE
11. Furious : IRED
12. “The Clan of the Cave Bear” heroine : AYLA
13. Ones that are alike : BIRDS OF A FEATHER
16. Queen ___ (nickname for Jay Z’s wife) : BEY
17. Cleopatra biter : ASP
18. Flier in a V formation : GOOSE
19. Status ___ : QUO
20. Theater stage item : PROP
21. Peaceful state : REPOSE
22. The Red Baron, to Snoopy : FOE
24. Rink surface : ICE
26. Barbie’s beau : KEN
27. Literary Jane who says “No net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will” : EYRE
28. Wildebeests : GNUS
29. Towel holders : RODS
30. Gather as a group : FLOCK TOGETHER
33. Sch. in Columbus : OSU
34. Genre for Jay Z and Schoolboy Q : RAP
35. French clerics : ABBES
38. Gen ___ (one born after the baby boom) : XER
39. Bread that might hold hummus : PITA
40. Not engage in seriously : PLAY AT
41. Easy as ___ : PIE
43. Buddy : PAL
45. Top-rated TV show of 2002-05 : CSI
46. Gospel singer Winans : CECE
47. Lead-in to port : HELI-
48. ___ Rabbit : BR’ER
49. Give the go-ahead from the control tower : CLEAR FOR TAKEOFF
52. Letters sent by plane : AIRMAIL
53. Length of most TV dramas : ONE HOUR
54. ___ Stone (key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs) : ROSETTA
55. In plain contrast : STARKLY

Down
1. Right guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment : JURY OF YOUR PEERS
2. Chicago airport code : ORD
3. “Absolutely!” : YES!
4. It might show wreaths and candy canes at Christmas : WRAPPING PAPER
5. Playboy founder, informally : HEF
6. Work by Gray or Shelley : ODE
7. In any manner necessary : BY HOOK OR BY CROOK
8. Like the meek, per Matthew 5:5 : BLESSED
9. Goes around a corner fast, say : CAREENS
10. In ___ of (replacing) : LIEU
11. Assuming that’s true : IF SO
12. Crowning : ATOP
13. Outdoor meal with a grill, informally : BBQ
14. Rowing blade : OAR
15. The “17” in NC-17 : AGE
20. Sneak a look : PEEK
21. Lie down for a while : REST
23. Middle-earth creature : ORC
25. Actor’s prompt : CUE
27. Alternatively : ELSE
28. Billy or nanny : GOAT
29. Singer McEntire : REBA
30. “The Simpsons” airer : FOX
31. Prefix with -ceps : TRI-
32. “2001” computer : HAL
36. Relaxing : EASEFUL
37. Certain Chinese dish : STIR-FRY
39. Eye closely : PEER AT
40. Malleable : PLIANT
42. “___ all the way here for this?” : I CAME
44. Some choristers : ALTOS
46. Muse of history : CLIO
47. Greeting south of the border : HOLA
48. Paint company whose name sounds like an animal : BEHR
49. Auto : CAR
50. In good health : FIT
51. Mauna ___ : KEA

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3 thoughts on “0330-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 30 Mar 15, Monday”

  1. OK for a Monday. I also noticed the "flock" squares, coming on the heels of that puzzle about Utah. Also some synergy with the (4A) WHO and (45A) CSI, since all four shows use a Who song for their theme: CSI – "Who Are You?" Miami – "Won't Get Fooled Again," NY – "Baba O'Reilly," and Cyber – "I Can See For Miles." I also though Barbie and (26A) KEN had broken up.

    7D: I've heard the story this idiom originated from Oliver Cromwell, who wanted to take a mansion in Wexford, Ireland, between Hook's Head and the town of Crook in Waterford. I realize it's apocryphal, but still fun, since Cromwell and Lord Trevalyn are still some of the most hated people in Irish history.

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