0420-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Apr 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tom McCoy
THEME: Ladies First … each of today’s answers is a well-known male and female couple. But, the names have been reversed with LADY’S name coming FIRST:

59A. Chivalrous rule obeyed in this puzzle : LADIES FIRST

17A. Classic learning-to-read series (hint: 59-Across) : JANE AND DICK
23A. Virginia university (hint: 59-Across) : MARY AND WILLIAM
37A. Grimm fairy tale (hint: 59-Across) : GRETEL AND HANSEL
52A. Shakespeare play (hint: 59-Across) : JULIET AND ROMEO

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 16s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

11. Network with an eye logo : CBS
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. CBS introduced its “eye” logo in 1951.

15. Submarine sandwich : HERO
“Hero” is another name for a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name “hero” was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the “New York Herald Tribune” when he wrote that “one had to be a hero” to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

17. Classic learning-to-read series (hint: 59-Across) : JANE AND DICK
The “Dick and Jane” beginning reader series of books was originally written by William S. Gray and Zerna Sharp and first published in the 1930s. There are claims of plagiarism from an earlier pair of books published throughout the British Commonwealth that featured the characters Dick and Dora. Indeed, I grew up in the British Isles with “Dick and Dora”, and always assumed that “Dick and Jane” were somehow their American cousins!

20. Caustic compound : LYE
What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide, although historically the term was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

23. Virginia university (hint: 59-Across) : MARY AND WILLIAM
The College of William & Mary located in Williamsburg, Virginia is the second-oldest university of the US, after Harvard. The school was founded in 1693 and named in honor of King William III and Queen Mary II who jointly held the British throne at that time. Included in the list of alumni are Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and John Tyler.

29. Pie à la ___ : MODE
In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has come to describe a way of serving pie, usually with ice cream, or as I recall from when I lived in Upstate New York, with cheese.

30. Horned ___ (certain lizard) : TOAD
Horny toads (also called “horned toads”) aren’t toads at all. “Horny toad” is a familiar name for the desert horned lizard, a species of lizard native to the western US. It does look somewhat like a toad though, as it has a very flat and wide body.

37. Grimm fairy tale (hint: 59-Across) : GRETEL AND HANSEL
“Hansel and Gretel” is a Germanic fairy tale found in the collection of the Brothers Grimm. It tells of two siblings, Hansel and Gretel, the children of a woodcutter. The youngsters are abandoned in a forest at the behest of an evil stepmother. Clever Hansel hears of the plan and leaves a trail of pebbles so that he and his sister can find their way home, which they do. But the children are abandoned again and this time leave a trail of breadcrumbs. Unfortunately, the crumbs are eaten by birds and so the children do indeed become lost. But eventually they do all live happily ever after …

44. Peter who played Lawrence of Arabia : O’TOOLE
Irish actor Peter O’Toole got his big break in movies when he played the title role in the 1962 epic film “Lawrence of Arabia”. But my favorite of O’Toole’s movies is much lighter fare, namely “How to Steal a Million” in which he stars opposite Audrey Hepburn.

“Lawrence of Arabia” is a 1962 movie that recounts the real life story of T. E. Lawrence, a British army officer famous for his role in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. The title role in the film is played by Irish actor Peter O’Toole. The role of Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish is played by Omar Sharif.

52. Shakespeare play (hint: 59-Across) : JULIET AND ROMEO
William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is all about the love between the two title characters, which is forbidden as the pair come from two families who are sworn enemies. Early in the play, Romeo (a Montague) sneaks into a masquerade ball being held by the Capulets in the hope of meeting a Capulet girl named Rosaline. Instead, he meets and falls for Juliet, also a Capulet. Tragedy ensues …

57. Cry of frustration : GAH!
“Gah!” Never heard of it …

58. Sandwich that’s usually toasted, for short : BLT
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

68. Subject for Karl Marx, for short : ECON
Karl Marx was a German philosopher and revolutionary who helped develop the principles of modern communism and socialism. Marx argued that feudal society created internal strife due to class inequalities which led to its destruction and replacement by capitalism. He further argued that the inequalities created in a capitalist society create tensions that will also lead to its self-destruction. His thesis was that the inevitable replacement of capitalism was a classless (and stateless) society, which he called pure communism.

69. Big name in pet food : PURINA
Purina began operations in 1894 as an operation for producing feed for farm animals. A few years later, in 1902, the Ralston name was introduced when Webster Edgerly joined the business. Edgerly was the founder of a controversial social movement called Ralstonism. Central to the movement was personal health, with RALSTON standing for Regime, Activity, Light, Strength, Temperation, Oxygen and Nature.

71. Canoodle : NECK
“To canoodle” is to indulge in caresses and kisses.

The term “necking” applies to kissing and caressing. I like what Groucho Marx had to say on the subject: “Whoever named it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.”

Down
1. ___ Mahal : TAJ
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.

2. Resort with hot springs : SPA
The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

6. Home of Obama’s father : KENYA
Barack Obama, Sr. was first married at the age of 18 in his home country of Kenya, and had two children during that marriage. He left his wife and children back in Kenya when he enrolled in the University of Hawaii in 1959 as the school’s first African foreign student. There Obama met Ann Dunham in a Russian language course. The two entered into a romantic relationship and Dunham became pregnant. Obama told Dunham that he was divorced from his first wife (not true), and the pair were married on Maui in 1961. Six months later, Barack Obama II was born, destined to become the 44th President of the United States. Soon after the birth of their child, Ann Dunham moved with their son to Seattle, Washington. The couple were divorced in 1964.

7. “Mr. Jock, TV quiz ___, bags few lynx” (classic pangram) : PHD
A pangram is a phrase that includes all the letters of the alphabet. The most famous example in English is “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”.

9. “The Lord of the Rings” baddie : 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.

10. Bumpkin : YOKEL
“Bumpkin” is really a not so nice term for someone from a rural area. The term has an even less nice derivation. It comes from from the Middle Dutch “bommekijn” meaning “little barrel”. “Bumpkin” was used as a derogatory term for Dutch people, who were regarded as short and plump.

11. “Kissing” relative : COUSIN
Despite the familial reference, the phrase “kissing cousins” applies to relatives or friends who are close enough to greet each other with a kiss.

12. Tall Paul : BUNYAN
The mythological Paul Bunyan had a sidekick called Babe the Blue Ox. Both Bunyan and Babe were gigantic in size.

13. Prepares in a wok, as vegetables : STEAMS
“Wok” is a Cantonese word, the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

22. ___ Baba : ALI
In the folk tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, the title character is a poor woodcutter who discovers the magic words “Open Sesame” that open the thieves’ den.

23. “The Hound of the Baskervilles” setting : MOOR
“The Hound of the Baskervilles” is one of four “Sherlock Holmes” novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, regarded by many fans as the best of the series. “The Hound …” tells of a murder attempt on Dartmoor in Devon, England that is disguised as the act of a legendary supernatural hound. The novel also marks Doyle’s revival of his Sherlock Holmes character after he “killed him off” eight years earlier in a story called “The Final Solution”.

24. Together, in music : A DUE
“A due” is a musical term meaning “together”, and literally translates from Italian as “by two”.

25. One “R” in R&R : REST
Rest and relaxation/recuperation (R&R)

26. “___ Abbey” : DOWNTON
PBS’s hit show “Downton Abbey” is the most successful costume drama from Britain since 1981’s “Brideshead Revisited”. Two great shows …

28. Boise’s state : IDAHO
Boise, Idaho is the largest metropolitan area in the state by far. There are a number of stories pertaining to the etymology of the name “Boise”. One is that French trappers named the tree-lined river that ran through the area “la rivière boisée”, meaning “the wooded river”.

29. Business appt., often : MTG
Meeting (mtg.)

33. One of eight on Odin’s horse : LEG
Sleipnir is an eight-legged horse of Norse mythology, the steed that was ridden by Odin.

34. Writer T. S. ___ : ELIOT
T. S. Eliot was born in New England but grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Much of Eliot’s college education was at Oxford, and clearly he became comfortable with life in England. In 1927 he became a British citizen and lived the rest of life in the UK.

38. Jessica of “Good Luck Chuck” : ALBA
Actress Jessica Alba got her big break when she was cast in the Fox science fiction show “Dark Angel”. Alba had a tough life growing up as she spent a lot of time in hospital and so found it difficult to develop friendships. As a youngster she twice had a collapsed lung, frequently caught pneumonia, suffered from asthma, had a ruptured appendix and a tonsillar cyst. On top of all that she acknowledges that she suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder as a child. It seems that she has really turned her life around …

“Good Luck Chuck” is a 2007 romantic comedy film that wasn’t received well by the critics at all. Stars of the movie are Dane Cook (Chuck) and Jessica Alba. Chuck is a man who has a curse placed on him, so that every woman he sleeps with breaks up with him and marries the next man who asks her out.

39. Linguist Chomsky : NOAM
Noam Chomsky is a professor of linguistics at MIT. Chomsky is known as one of the fathers of modern linguistics.

41. “Tickle Me” toy : ELMO
Tickle Me Elmo was a sensational fad in the late nineties, with stores raising prices dramatically above the recommended retail price to take advantage of demand. Reportedly, prices as high as $1500 were paid at the height of the craze. The toy’s manufacturer, Tyco, originally planned to market the “tickle” toy as Tickle Me Tasmanian Devil (after the “Looney Tunes” character), but then went with “Elmo” after they bought the rights to use “Sesame Street” names.

42. DiCaprio, in tabloids : LEO
Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio is from Los Angeles, California. DiCaprio’s mother was visiting a museum in Italy when she was pregnant and felt the first kick of her unborn child. At the moment of that first kick, Mama DiCaprio was looking at a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, and so named her son Leonardo.

“Tabloid” is the trademarked name (owned by Burroughs, Wellcome and Co,) for a “small tablet of medicine”, a name that goes back to 1884. The word “tabloid” had entered into general use to mean a compressed form of anything, and by the early 1900s was used in “tabloid journalism”, applied to newspapers that had short, condensed articles and stories printed on smaller sheets of paper.

45. Tribe traditionally living around Lake Superior : OJIBWA
The Ojibwe (also “Ojibwa”) are the second-largest of the First Nations, surpassed only by the Cree. The name “Ojibwa” is more common in Canada, whereas the alternative anglicization “Chippewa” is more common in the US.

Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes, and the largest freshwater lake in the world by area. The lake was referred to by the first French explorers as “le lac supérieur”, which translates literally as “the upper lake”. The British anglicized the name to “Lake Superior”.

48. What the “O” in OPEC does not stand for, surprisingly : OIL
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrench control of oil prices from the oil companies and to put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

53. DeGeneres of afternoon TV : ELLEN
Ellen DeGeneres is a very, very successful TV personality, having parlayed her career in stand-up comedy into lucrative gigs as an actress and talk show host. Back in 1997 DeGeneres chose the “Oprah Winfrey Show” to announce that she was a lesbian. Her character on “The Ellen Show” also came out as a lesbian in a scene with her therapist, who was played by Oprah Winfrey. Nice twist!

61. “What’s up, ___?” : DOC
Bugs Bunny first said “What’s up, Doc?” in the 1940 cartoon short “A Wild Hare”, addressing the hunter Elmer Fudd.

62. What print books have that Kindles don’t : INK
I bought myself a Kindle Fire HD not that long ago. I’ve started reading e-books for the first time in my life, as well as enjoying other computing options available with the tablet device. I love it …

63. Savings plan, for short : IRA
Individual retirement account (IRA)

64. Abbr. on a tombstone : RIP
Rest in peace (RIP)

65. ___-cone : SNO
A sno-cone (also “snow cone”) is just a paper cone filled with crushed ice and topped with flavored water. Italian ice is similar, but different. Whereas the flavoring is added on top of the ice to make a sno-cone, Italian ice is made with water that is flavored before it is frozen.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “You should know better!” : TSK TSK!
7. Scheme : PLOY
11. Network with an eye logo : CBS
14. Each : APIECE
15. Submarine sandwich : HERO
16. Eliminated : OUT
17. Classic learning-to-read series (hint: 59-Across) : JANE AND DICK
19. French “a” : UNE
20. Caustic compound : LYE
21. Course that’s a walk in the park : EASY A
23. Virginia university (hint: 59-Across) : MARY AND WILLIAM
29. Pie à la ___ : MODE
30. Horned ___ (certain lizard) : TOAD
31. Overnight lodgings : INNS
32. Mess up, as the hair : TOUSLE
35. Bundle up : WRAP
37. Grimm fairy tale (hint: 59-Across) : GRETEL AND HANSEL
43. Gold-coated : GILT
44. Peter who played Lawrence of Arabia : O’TOOLE
45. Cookie in cookies-and-cream ice cream : OREO
49. Relative of a clarinet : OBOE
51. Rounds of bullets : AMMO
52. Shakespeare play (hint: 59-Across) : JULIET AND ROMEO
56. As a whole : IN ALL
57. Cry of frustration : GAH!
58. Sandwich that’s usually toasted, for short : BLT
59. Chivalrous rule obeyed in this puzzle : LADIES FIRST
67. Sorrow : WOE
68. Subject for Karl Marx, for short : ECON
69. Big name in pet food : PURINA
70. Sounds made around puppies : AWS
71. Canoodle : NECK
72. Affix with a click : SNAP ON

Down
1. ___ Mahal : TAJ
2. Resort with hot springs : SPA
3. Relatives : KIN
4. Golf ball support : TEE
5. Like a dragon’s skin : SCALY
6. Home of Obama’s father : KENYA
7. “Mr. Jock, TV quiz ___, bags few lynx” (classic pangram) : PHD
8. Hawaiian garland : LEI
9. “The Lord of the Rings” baddie : ORC
10. Bumpkin : YOKEL
11. “Kissing” relative : COUSIN
12. Tall Paul : BUNYAN
13. Prepares in a wok, as vegetables : STEAMS
18. Make an impression on? : DENT
22. ___ Baba : ALI
23. “The Hound of the Baskervilles” setting : MOOR
24. Together, in music : A DUE
25. One “R” in R&R : REST
26. “___ Abbey” : DOWNTON
27. Fend (off) : WARD
28. Boise’s state : IDAHO
29. Business appt., often : MTG
33. One of eight on Odin’s horse : LEG
34. Writer T. S. ___ : ELIOT
36. Butter serving : PAT
38. Jessica of “Good Luck Chuck” : ALBA
39. Linguist Chomsky : NOAM
40. “___ help you are!” : SOME
41. “Tickle Me” toy : ELMO
42. DiCaprio, in tabloids : LEO
45. Tribe traditionally living around Lake Superior : OJIBWA
46. Be almost gone, as supplies : RUN LOW
47. Delights : ELATES
48. What the “O” in OPEC does not stand for, surprisingly : OIL
50. Perimeter : EDGE
53. DeGeneres of afternoon TV : ELLEN
54. Talks with a very sore throat : RASPS
55. Sarcastic comment about the task ahead : OH FUN
60. Hotshot : ACE
61. “What’s up, ___?” : DOC
62. What print books have that Kindles don’t : INK
63. Savings plan, for short : IRA
64. Abbr. on a tombstone : RIP
65. ___-cone : SNO
66. Light brown : TAN

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One thought on “0420-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Apr 15, Monday”

  1. Workable for a Monday, no real issues. I'm not sure I'd call "ladies first" chivalry, at least not in the early sense. If you read The Song of Roland, the code of chivalry had much more to do with loyalty, faith and obedience. The idea of keeping a woman's honor would sound to them like not molesting them. But I understand. 😉

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