0415-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Apr 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joel Fagliano
THEME: Bilateral Symmetry … each of today’s themed answers exhibits BILATERAL SYMMETRY/ Well, it’s “sort of” bilateral symmetry. True bilateral symmetry would have halves mirrored on either side of a plane:

44A. With 46-Across, feature of the answers to this puzzle’s six starred clues, in a sense : BILATERAL
46A. See 44-Across : SYMMETRY

14A. *Southern pronoun : ALL Y’ALL (ALL appears on either side of the Y)
15A. *Angered : MADE MAD (MAD appears on either side of the E)
16A. *Designer Armani : GIORGIO (GIO appears on either side of the R)
59A. *Animus : ILL WILL (ILL appears on either side of the W)
62A. *Enjoyed home cooking : DINED IN (DIN appears on either side of the E)
63A. *Square dance moves : DO-SI-DOS (DOS appears on either side of the I)

24A. Landmark that exhibits 44-/46-Across : TAJ MAHAL
28A. Insect that exhibits 44-/46-Across : BUTTERFLY

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 12m 19s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

8. Illinois city about 40 miles SW of Chicago : JOLIET
Joliet is the fastest-growing city in the state of Illinois. It is located only 40 miles southwest of Chicago. The original village of “Juliet” was established in 1834, and this name was like a corruption of “Jolliet”, after the French Canadian explorer Louis Jolliet. Juliet was renamed to Joliet in 1845.

16. *Designer Armani : GIORGIO (GIO appears on either side of the R)
Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer and founder of the company that has borne his name since 1975. Although Armani is famous for his menswear, the company makes everything from jewelry to perfume.

21. Kings are part of it, in brief : NBA
The Kings NBA team are the only major professional sports franchise located in Sacramento, California. The Kings are the oldest of all the NBA franchises, having been founded as the Rochester Seagrams in 1923. The team picked up the “Kings” name while located in Kansas City.

24. Landmark that exhibits 44-/46-Across : TAJ MAHAL
The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the third wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child.

33. “Ti ___” (Pavarotti album) : AMO
“Ti amo” is the Italian for “I love you”.

Luciano Pavarotti has to have been one of the most celebrated tenors of all time. He was able to appeal to audiences beyond the traditional fans of opera, helped by his performances “The Three Tenors”, Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras. Pavarotti made his final performance on stage at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, where he sang his famous rendition of the moving aria “Nessun dorma” and brought the house down. Pavarotti passed away from pancreatic cancer the following year, at the age of 71.

34. Scottish Highlander : GAEL
The Scottish Highlands are that part of the country that is not classified as the Lowlands. The Highlands make up the north and west of Scotland.

35. Four-time Emmy winner for Outstanding Drama Series : MAD MEN
“Mad Men” is the flagship show on the AMC television channel. Set in the sixties, it’s all about an advertising agency located on Madison Avenue in New York (hence the title). “Mad Men” became the first show created by a basic cable channel to win an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.

37. Auction house eponym : SOTHEBY
Sotheby’s is one of the world’s oldest auction houses, having opened its doors for business in 1744 in London. However, the company is now headquartered in New York City.

40. Clay targets, informally : SKEETS
There are three types of competitive shotgun target shooting sports:

– Skeet shooting
– Trap shooting
– Sporting clays

41. Drove : HERD
“To drove” is drive, herd or deal in cattle.

42. The “E” of the REO Speed Wagon : ELI
The REO Speed Wagon (note the space between “speed” and “wagon”) is the vehicle. REO Speedwagon (no space) is the American rock band.

The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom Eli Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.

43. Warren of the Warren Commission : EARL
Earl Warren served as Governor of California from 1943 to 1953 and as US Chief Justice from 1953 until 1969. Earlier in his career, Warren served as district attorney for Alameda County in California, where I happen to be right now writing this post. Warren lent his name to the Warren Commission that he chaired, which investigated the assassination of President Kennedy.

The Warren Commission was set up by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The most-oft quoted conclusions of the 889-page report are that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating the president, and that Jack Ruby acted alone in killing Oswald. Chairman of the commission was Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. Sitting alongside Chief Justice Warren was US Representative Gerald Ford and future President of the US.

44. With 46-Across, feature of the answers to this puzzle’s six starred clues, in a sense : BILATERAL
46. See 44-Across : SYMMETRY
Bilateral symmetry is exhibited when an one side of an object is the mirror image of the other side of the object. So, there is mirror symmetry about a plane.

52. Dernier cri : RAGE
The French phrase “dernier cri” translates literally as “the latest cry or scream”, but is used to denote the latest fashion, something that is “all the rage”.

56. Taco Bell offering : CHALUPA
A chalupa is a Mexican dish consisting of a tostada shaped into a “cup” and filled with various ingredients. “Chalupa” translates from Mexican Spanish as “small boat”.

Taco Bell was founded by a former US Marine, 25-year-old Glen Bell. His first restaurant was Bell’s Drive-In, located in Southern California. After opening that first establishment, Bell bought up some more restaurants including four named El Taco. He sold off the El Taco restaurants but used the name in part when he opened his first Taco Bell in 1962. Bell sold then sold franchises, with the 100th Taco Bell opening in 1967. The ex-Marine sold off the whole chain to PepsiCo in 1978, and I am guessing he made a pretty penny.

59. *Animus : ILL WILL (ILL appears on either side of the W)
“Animus” is strong dislike, hostile attitude, animosity.

63. *Square dance moves : DO-SI-DOS (DOS appears on either side of the I)
The term “do-si-do” is actually a corruption of a French phrase “dos-à-dos”, meaning back-to-back. And parenthetically, this is just the opposite to the familiar French term “vis-à-vis”, meaning face-to-face. In the do-si-do dance move, the partners start facing each other and then advance past each other’s right shoulder, and then move to the right without turning so that they are now facing away from each other (back-to-back). They complete the move facing in the same direction, passing each other’s left shoulders by moving backwards until they return to the starting position. Did you get that …?

64. Vet, at times : SPAYER
Our verb “to spay”, meaning “to surgically remove the ovaries of” (an animal) comes from an old Anglo-French word “espeier” meaning “to cut with a sword”.

65. King vs. king-and-pawn situation : END GAME
In the game of chess, the pawns are the weakest pieces on the board. A pawn that can make it to the opposite of the board can be “promoted” to a piece of choice, usually a queen. Using promotion of pawns, it is possible for a player to have two or more queens on the board at one time. However, standard chess sets come with only one queen per side, so a captured rook is often used as the second queen by placing it on the board upside down.

Down
2. Director Kazan : ELIA
Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for “Gentleman’s Agreement” and in 1955 for “On The Waterfront”. In 1999 Kazan was given an Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. He also directed “East of Eden”, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, and “Splendor in the Grass” that included Warren Beatty in his debut role.

4. “The only ___ I accept in this world is the still small voice within me”: Gandhi : TYRANT
Mohandas Gandhi was a political and spiritual leader in India in the first part of the 20th century, as the country sought independence from Britain. He was also referred to as “Mahatma”, meaning “great soul”. His remarkable philosophy of nonviolence and living a modest lifestyle was a great inspiration to the Indian people. India (and Pakistan) was granted independence in 1947. Sadly, Gandhi was assassinated the very next year, by a Hindu nationalist.

5. Spree : JAG
The word “jag” is used to describe periods of unrestrained activity, particularly involving alcohol, and has been in use since the 1800s.

6. Iran’s Ayatollah ___ Khamenei : ALI
Ali Khamenei is a Muslim cleric who has been the Supreme Leader of Iran since 1989.

7. WordPress or Tumblr page : BLOG
WordPress is the most popular blogging tool available, and is used by almost a quarter of the most popular websites on the Internet.

Tumblr is a website that hosts private blogs.

8. Tylenol producer, for short : J AND J
The medical company Johnson & Johnson was founded in 1886, not by two brothers as the name would suggest, but by three. Robert Wood Johnson, James Wood Johnson and Edward Mead Johnson formed the company initially to manufacture ready-to-use surgical dressings.

Tylenol is pain relieving drug, with the active ingredient acetaminophen (which we call paracetamol back in Ireland, and outside of America). Anacin does the same thing, with the active ingredients of aspirin and caffeine.

9. Concert hall : ODEUM
In Ancient Greece an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning a “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

10. Antelope stalkers : LEOPARDS
The four “big cats” are the tiger, lion, jaguar and leopard. The smallest of these is the leopard.

11. Org. that lends to countries : IMF
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established at the end of 1945 with 29 major economies supporting and funding an effort to stabilize economies across the globe after WWII. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., today the IMF has 187 member countries.

12. Poissons swim in it : EAU
In French, fish (poissons) need water (eau) to survive.

13. Passing concerns, for short? : TDS
Touchdowns (TDs)

15. Encounter for a reef diver, maybe : MORAY
Morays are a large group of about 200 species of eels found across the world’s oceans. They are carnivorous and look pretty scary but they’re quite shy when confronted and present no threat to humans. One interesting thing about morays is that they will sometimes work in cooperation with the grouper fish found in reefs, the two helping each other hunt for food.

23. Speedy steeds : ARABS
The Arab (or Arabian) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.

26. Part of the iris : AREOLA
An areola (sometimes “areole”) in anatomy is a small ring of color, as in the areola surrounding the nipple, and the areola surrounding the pupil of the eye. “Areola” comes from Latin, meaning “small open space”, and is a diminutive of the Latin word “area”, meaning “open space”.

The iris is the colored part of the eye with an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

31. Whimsically odd : FEY
“Fey” is such a lovely word, meaning magical or fairy-like. It comes from the Middle English word “feie” which has a less pleasant definition, “fated to die”.

35. French Revolution figure : MARAT
Jean-Paul Marat was a prominent figure in the French Revolution. Marat was famously murdered in his bath by a young woman called Charlotte Corday who was a Royalist. The gruesome event was immortalized in a celebrated painting by Jacques-Louis David called “The Death of Marat”.

38. Businesswoman with the nickname Queen of Mean : HELMSLEY
Leona Helmsley was a high-rolling real estate investor and hotel operator in New York City. She was convicted of income tax evasion in 1989 and sentenced to 16 years in jail. At her trial a witness quoted her as saying “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.” No wonder she was known as the Queen of Mean …

39. Puccini’s “Un ___ dì vedremo” : BEL
“Un bel di” is the most famous aria from Puccini’s opera “Madama Butterfly”. It is also one of the most beautiful arias in the whole soprano repertoire. “Un bel di” translates as “One beautiful day”.

44. Cranston of “Breaking Bad” : BRYAN
In the television show “Malcolm in the Middle”, Malcolm’s Dad was played by actor Bryan Cranston. Cranston picked up an even bigger role starring in 2008, when he started portraying Walter White, the lead on the AMC hit series “Breaking Bad”.

45. Insect with pincers : EARWIG
The insect known as the earwig may have gotten its name from the outdated belief that they burrowed into the human brain via the ear canal in order to lay its eggs in the brain.

47. Challenging exercise : ETUDE
An étude is a small instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. “Étude” is the French word for “study”. Études are commonly performed on the piano.

48. Mammal with a flexible nose : TAPIR
All four species of tapir are endangered. Even though the tapir looks much like a pig, it is more closely related to the horse and the rhinoceros.

51. It comes in waves : TIDE
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.

53. Verdi classic : AIDA
“Aida” is the famous opera by Giuseppe Verdi, actually based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then of course complications arise!

54. Latch (onto) : GLOM
“Glom” is a slang term meaning “steal”, although it can also be used to mean “latch onto” when used as “glom onto”. The term probably comes from the Scots word “glam” meaning “to snatch at”.

55. Computer coding keyword : ELSE
In the world of computer programming, an “if-then-else” construct is a type of conditional statement. The idea is that IF a particular condition is met THEN a particular action is executed. The additional ELSE statement can be used to define an alternative action.

56. Tower Records offerings : CDS
Tower Records was a chain of retail stores offering music in various forms. Tower went bankrupt in 2006, a victim of the online music business.

57. Part of a rose : HIP
The fruit of the rose plant is known as the rose hip or rose haw. I remember drinking rose hip syrup when I was a kid.

58. Japanese carrier : ANA
All Nippon Airways (ANA) is a Japanese airline, second in size only to Japan Airlines (JAL).

60. With 60-Down reversed, 1970s dictator : LON
Lon Nol was a soldier and politician in Cambodia, later serving twice as the country’s president. When the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia in 1975, Nol escaped the country to Indonesia. He eventually found a home in Fullerton, California, where he died in 1985.

61. C20H25N3O, commonly : LSD
LSD (colloquially known as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. It might be followed by a right hook : LEFT JAB
8. Illinois city about 40 miles SW of Chicago : JOLIET
14. *Southern pronoun : ALL Y’ALL (ALL appears on either side of the Y)
15. *Angered : MADE MAD (MAD appears on either side of the E)
16. *Designer Armani : GIORGIO (GIO appears on either side of the R)
17. An ally : ONE OF US
18. Story with many chapters : SAGA
19. Encircle with a belt : GIRD UP
21. Kings are part of it, in brief : NBA
24. Landmark that exhibits 44-/46-Across : TAJ MAHAL
28. Insect that exhibits 44-/46-Across : BUTTERFLY
32. Of interest to a collector, say : RARE
33. “Ti ___” (Pavarotti album) : AMO
34. Scottish Highlander : GAEL
35. Four-time Emmy winner for Outstanding Drama Series : MAD MEN
37. Auction house eponym : SOTHEBY
39. Predicament : BAD SPOT
40. Clay targets, informally : SKEETS
41. Drove : HERD
42. The “E” of the REO Speed Wagon : ELI
43. Warren of the Warren Commission : EARL
44. With 46-Across, feature of the answers to this puzzle’s six starred clues, in a sense : BILATERAL
46. See 44-Across : SYMMETRY
49. Ode title words : TO A
50. Visit overnight : STAY AT
52. Dernier cri : RAGE
56. Taco Bell offering : CHALUPA
59. *Animus : ILL WILL (ILL appears on either side of the W)
62. *Enjoyed home cooking : DINED IN (DIN appears on either side of the E)
63. *Square dance moves : DO-SI-DOS (DOS appears on either side of the I)
64. Vet, at times : SPAYER
65. King vs. king-and-pawn situation : END GAME

Down
1. Streaming problems : LAGS
2. Director Kazan : ELIA
3. Beat : FLOG
4. “The only ___ I accept in this world is the still small voice within me”: Gandhi : TYRANT
5. Spree : JAG
6. Iran’s Ayatollah ___ Khamenei : ALI
7. WordPress or Tumblr page : BLOG
8. Tylenol producer, for short : J AND J
9. Concert hall : ODEUM
10. Antelope stalkers : LEOPARDS
11. Org. that lends to countries : IMF
12. Poissons swim in it : EAU
13. Passing concerns, for short? : TDS
15. Encounter for a reef diver, maybe : MORAY
20. “___ just take a minute” : IT’LL
22. Bring about : BEGET
23. Speedy steeds : ARABS
25. Impede : HAMPER
26. Part of the iris : AREOLA
27. Kind of soup : LENTIL
28. Back row of many a choir : BASSES
29. “So I guess that’s a thing now” : UM, OKAY
30. How a baby may be carried : TO TERM
31. Whimsically odd : FEY
35. French Revolution figure : MARAT
36. Complement : ADD TO
38. Businesswoman with the nickname Queen of Mean : HELMSLEY
39. Puccini’s “Un ___ dì vedremo” : BEL
41. Casual greeting : HIYA
44. Cranston of “Breaking Bad” : BRYAN
45. Insect with pincers : EARWIG
47. Challenging exercise : ETUDE
48. Mammal with a flexible nose : TAPIR
51. It comes in waves : TIDE
53. Verdi classic : AIDA
54. Latch (onto) : GLOM
55. Computer coding keyword : ELSE
56. Tower Records offerings : CDS
57. Part of a rose : HIP
58. Japanese carrier : ANA
60. With 60-Down reversed, 1970s dictator : LON
61. C20H25N3O, commonly : LSD

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3 thoughts on “0415-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Apr 15, Wednesday”

  1. Seriously harder than the L.A. today. 5 Googles, and it's only Wed.

    Poissons may swim in it, but W.C. Fields said he doesn't drink it because "Fish f–k in it."

  2. Bigger challenge than yesterday. The theme seems to invite allusions to a butterfly, which does not exhibit bilateral symmetry. Rather something like reflective symmetry.

    (60D) LON Nol. Never heard of him. Seemed like a weak clue to me. For a fun take on (43A) EARL Warren's "magic bullet" theory, I present Seinfeld's The "magic loogie" theory from "The Boyfriend." Enjoy!

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