0421-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Apr 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gerry Wildenberg
THEME: S-Vowel Progression … today’s themed answers are two-word phrases, with each of the paired words starting with the same first-two letters. Additionally, the first letter is always S, and the second letter is a progression of the vowels:

17A. Jewish observance : SATURDAY SABBATH
22A. Hamburger bun topper : SESAME SEED
33A. Nursery rhyme character “going to the fair” : SIMPLE SIMON
49A. Voting bloc from Reconstruction to the 1960s : SOLID SOUTH
55A. Power strip part : SURGE SUPPRESSOR

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 16s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Coll. application figures : GPAS
Grade point average (GPA)

5. Michigan’s ___ Peninsula : UPPER
Michigan is the only US state that comprises two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula is mitten-shaped, and it is separated from the Upper Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac. My wife is from the “U.P”, and is proud to call her herself a Yooper (from “UPer”).

10. July-August sign : LEO
Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

16. Not counting: Abbr. : EXC
Excluding (exc.)

17. Jewish observance : SATURDAY SABBATH
The Sabbath is a day of rest and religious observance in several religions. The Sabbath is Saturday in the Jewish faith and in some Christian traditions. It is Sunday for most Christians, and Friday in the Muslim faith.

21. It might pick up a big fish : SONAR
The British developed the first underwater detection system that used sound waves. Research was driven by defence demands during WWI, leading to production of working units in 1922. This new sound detection system was described as using “supersonics”, but for the purpose of secrecy the term was dropped in favor of an acronym. The work was done under the auspices of the Royal Navy’s Anti-Submarine Division, so ASD was combined with the IC from “superson-ic-s” to create the name ASDIC. The navy even went as far as renaming the quartz material at the heart of the technology “ASDivite”. By the time WWII came along, the Americans were producing their own systems and coined the term SONAR, playing off the related application, RADAR. And so the name ASDIC was deep-sixed …

27. Big Apple thoroughfare named in Rodgers and Hart’s “Manhattan” : MOTT ST
Mott Street in Manhattan was probably named after a successful butcher and tavern owner who lived in the area. Mott was known for lending support to those fighting the British during the American Revolution.

“Manhattan” is a 1925 song that was written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart for the revue “Garrick Gaieties”. The song has been recorded by many artists over the years, including Diana Ross & the Supremes, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Torme. “Manhattan” is sometimes named for its first words: “We’ll Have Manhattan”.

33. Nursery rhyme character “going to the fair” : SIMPLE SIMON
The first verse of the English nursery rhyme is:

Simple Simon met a pieman,
Going to the fair;
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
Let me taste your ware.

38. Advertised bank percentage : CD RATE
A certificate of deposit (CD) is like a less-flexible and higher-paying savings account. Instead of depositing money into a savings account and earning interest periodically, one can open a CD. With a CD one deposits a minimum amount of money but must leave it there for a specified length of time. In return for committing the funds for a fixed period, one is given a higher interest rate than a savings account and can redeem that interest and the initial deposit when the term has expired. CDs are relatively low-risk investments as they are FDIC insured, just like savings accounts.

39. Satyajit Ray’s “The ___ Trilogy” : APU
Satyajit Ray was a Bengali filmmaker, famous for directing “The Apu Trilogy”. These were three Bengali films that were released between 1955 and 1959. They featured music composed by Ravi Shankar, and are considered to be some of the greatest movies of all times by international critics, yet they were filmed on tiny budgets.

42. Tender person? : CASHIER
A cashier distributes legal tender, currency that can legally tendered to pay a debt.

48. Certain choir singers : ALTI
In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

49. Voting bloc from Reconstruction to the 1960s : SOLID SOUTH
The Solid South was a voting bloc of states in the southern US that supported the Democratic cause, nominally in from 1877 until 1964. 1877 was the end of the Reconstruction Era that followed the Civil War. 1964 was the year that President Johnson’s Civil Rights Act passed.

52. Serengeti grazer : ELAND
An eland is a large African antelope, in fact the largest on the continent.

The Serengeti is a region in Africa, located in northern Tanzania and southwest Kenya. The name “Serengeti” comes from the Maasai language and means “Endless Plains”.

54. Ham : EMOTER
The word “ham”, describing a performer who overacts, is apparently a shortened form of “hamfatter” and dates back to the late 1800s. “Hamfatter” comes from a song in old minstrel shows called “The Ham-Fat Man”. It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the “acting” qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

61. Where works of 3-Down may be seen : MUSEE
(3D. Cézanne et 4-Verticale : ARTISTES)
In French, one might find fine arts (beaux-arts) at a museum (musée).

62. Japanese camera : NIKON
Nikon was founded in 1917, a merger of three companies making various optical devices. After the merger, the company’s main output was lenses (including the first lenses for Canon cameras, before Canon made its own). During the war, Nikon sales grew rapidly as the company focused on (pun unintended!) equipment for the military including periscopes and bomb sights.

63. Chianti, for one : RED
Chianti is a red wine from the Chianti region of central Tuscany in Italy. Historically, Chianti was stored in a characteristically bulbous bottle wrapped in a straw basket. However, the pragmatists have won the day and regular wine bottles tend to be used nowadays.

65. Nabisco’s Cheese ___ : NIPS
Cheese Nips are small crackers made by Kraft under the Nabisco brand name. Cheese Nips have been around since 1955 and you can even buy them in the shape of Spongebob Squarepants (just in case you’re into that kind of thing).

Down
1. Fluorine or chlorine : GAS
The halogens are a group of elements in the periodic table consisting of fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine and astatine. The term “halogen” was the name that was originally proposed for chlorine when it was first discovered. When it was passed over in favor of chlorine, the name “halogen” was given to the group of elements to which chlorine belonged.

2. Actress/singer Zadora : PIA
Pia Zadora is an American actress and singer. Zadora’s most famous role was in the 1982 film “Butterfly” in which she worked with Orson Welles and Stacey Keach. The film was based on the novel “The Butterfly” by James M. Cain and deals with the difficult subject of father-daughter incest.

3. Cézanne et 4-Verticale : ARTISTES
(4D. Painter Georges : SEURAT)
In French, Cézanne and 4-down (Cézanne et 4-Verticale) were artists (artistes).
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”.

4. Painter Georges : SEURAT
Georges Seurat was a French Post-Impressionist. His most famous work, in the pointillist style, can be viewed in the Art Institute of Chicago, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte – 1884”. If you’ve seen the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, it features quite prominently in a wonderful, wonderful scene shot at the gallery.

5. Amherst sch. : UMASS
The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) is the largest public university in New England. UMass was founded back in 1863, although it took a while to get the school into service. Construction work was delayed and the college went through two presidents before William S. Clark took charge. He cracked the whip, completed the construction and enrolled the first students in the same year that he took over the reins, in 1867. As a result, although Clark was the third President of UMass, he is regarded by most as the school’s founding father.

8. Alternative to Century 21 : ERA
ERA Real Estate was founded in 1971 as Electronic Realty Associates, hence the abbreviation.

Century 21 is a real estate company that was founded in 1971 in Orange County, California. It is now headquartered in Madison, New Jersey.

10. 2013 best seller subtitled “Women, Work and the Will to Lead” : LEAN IN
Sheryl Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook, having left her position as a vice president with Google. Sandberg is the co-author of a very influential book called “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead”.

12. Earth tones : OCHRES
Ochre is often spelled “ocher” in the US (it’s “ochre” where I come from). Ocher is a light, yellowy-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher.

14. Small amounts of liquor : DRAMS
The dram is a confusing unit of measurement, I think. It has one value as an ancient unit of mass, and two different values as a modern unit of mass, another value as a unit of fluid volume, and yet another varying value as a measure of Scotch whisky!

18. ___ of Worms : DIET
A Diet was a general assembly of the estates of the former Holy Roman Empire. The most famous of these assemblies was the Diet of Worms, a 16th-century meeting that took place in the small town of Worms on the Rhine River in Germany. The main item on the agenda was discussion of the 95 theses of Martin Luther. Luther was summoned to the meeting, and there found to be guilty of heresy and so was subsequently excommunicated by the Pope. The term “diet” is still used today for a legislative body.

19. Slow Spanish dance : BOLERO
The name “bolero” is used to describe slow-tempo Latin music, and can be both a dance and a song.

22. Texas Christian rival, for short : SMU
Southern Methodist University (SMU) is located in University Park, Texas (part of Dallas), and was founded in 1911. SMU is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

Texas Christian University (TCU) is a private school in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU used to be called AddRan Male & Female, named after an AddRan Clark, the son of Addison Clark who died at the age of 3-years-old from diphtheria. Poor young AddRan was named after his father and his brother, Addison and Randolph.

23. 100,000,000 decades : EON
Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

– supereon
– eon (also “aeon”)
– era
– period
– epoch
– age

25. ___-monde : DEMI
The demimonde (“half-world” in French) was name given to the courtesan class in French, British and American society in the 19th century. The term “half-world” is meant to suggest that these women lived on the fringes of polite society. Famous characters of the demi-monde in the arts would be Violetta (“La Traviata”), perhaps Becky Sharp from “Vanity Fair” and maybe Colette’s “Gigi”.

29. Fruit juice brand : POM
POM Wonderful is a privately-held company that has been making fruit juice drinks since 2002. The main product line is pomegranate juice, hence the company name.

31. Mild cigar : CLARO
A claro is mild cigar made with light-colored tobacco. The name “claro” comes from the Spanish for “clear”.

34. Chinese divination book : I CHING
The “I Ching” is an ancient Chinese text dating back to the 2nd millennium BC. The text deals with aspects of cosmology and divination, and perhaps served as a guide for making predictions of the future. The statements in the “I Ching” consist of 64 hexagrams, sets of six lines composed in horizontal stacks.

37. N.F.L. Hall-of-Famer Bronko ___ : NAGURSKI
Bronko Nagurski was an NFL footballer from Rainy River, Ontario who grew up in Minnesota. Nagurski played professional football with the Chicago Bears for most of the 1930s, and made a brief comeback during WWII when the league was short of players. Remarkably, he made a second sporting career for himself as a professional wrestler, even attaining the world wrestling title on more than one occasion.

41. Granite State sch. : UNH
The University of New Hampshire (UNH) is the largest university in the state. It was founded as the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts in 1866.

New Hampshire is called the Granite State, because it has lots of granite quarries and granite formations.

42. “Et tu, Brute?” speaker : CAESAR
It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (And you, Brutus?), in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life just before he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

45. The “O” of B.O. : ODOR
Body odor (BO)

46. Hwy. cut into two parts by Lake Michigan : US-TEN
US Route 10 is a highway formed in 1926 that ran from Detroit, Michigan to Seattle, Washington, although much of its length now is taken up by interstate highway. US Route 10 notably is in two distinct sections, with a ferry providing continuity across Lake Michigan from Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

47. Is out of alignment, as a car wheel : TOES IN
The wheels at the front-end of a car if toed in or toed out need to be realigned.

50. Outcast : LEPER
The horrible disease known as leprosy is also called Hansen’s disease, named after the Norwegian physician famous for isolating the bacterium that causes the disease. We can use the term “leper” to mean someone in general who is shunned by society.

57. ___ Network : USA
The USA Network cable television channel has been around since 1971. Back in 1971 it was called the Madison Square Garden Network, becoming USA in 1979.

58. Alley ___ : OOP
“Alley Oop” is a comic strip that ran for four decades starting in 1932. “Alley Oop” was drawn by V. T. Hamlin. The title character lived in the prehistoric kingdom of Moo, although for much of the strip’s life, Alley Oop had access to a time machine. Alley Oop also had a girlfriend called Ooola. I had assumed that Ooola’s name was a play on “hula hoop”, but that wasn’t invented until the 1950s (a kind blog reader informs me) …

59. O.R. workers : RNS
Registered nurses (RNs) might be found in an operating room (OR) or emergency room (ER).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Coll. application figures : GPAS
5. Michigan’s ___ Peninsula : UPPER
10. July-August sign : LEO
13. Broadcast : AIRED
15. Large-scale : MACRO
16. Not counting: Abbr. : EXC
17. Jewish observance : SATURDAY SABBATH
20. Bettor’s comeback : I RAISE
21. It might pick up a big fish : SONAR
22. Hamburger bun topper : SESAME SEED
26. “Come here often?,” e.g. : LINE
27. Big Apple thoroughfare named in Rodgers and Hart’s “Manhattan” : MOTT ST
28. Seeks atonement, maybe : REPENTS
30. Feminine one, in France : UNE
31. Lots of noise : CLAMOR
33. Nursery rhyme character “going to the fair” : SIMPLE SIMON
38. Advertised bank percentage : CD RATE
39. Satyajit Ray’s “The ___ Trilogy” : APU
42. Tender person? : CASHIER
45. Have superior firepower over : OUTGUN
48. Certain choir singers : ALTI
49. Voting bloc from Reconstruction to the 1960s : SOLID SOUTH
52. Serengeti grazer : ELAND
54. Ham : EMOTER
55. Power strip part : SURGE SUPPRESSOR
60. Fruity drink : ADE
61. Where works of 3-Down may be seen : MUSEE
62. Japanese camera : NIKON
63. Chianti, for one : RED
64. Entangle : SNARL
65. Nabisco’s Cheese ___ : NIPS

Down
1. Fluorine or chlorine : GAS
2. Actress/singer Zadora : PIA
3. Cézanne et 4-Verticale : ARTISTES
4. Painter Georges : SEURAT
5. Amherst sch. : UMASS
6. Check recipient : PAYEE
7. Alternatives to Macs : PCS
8. Alternative to Century 21 : ERA
9. Steals from : ROBS
10. 2013 best seller subtitled “Women, Work and the Will to Lead” : LEAN IN
11. Surviving : EXTANT
12. Earth tones : OCHRES
14. Small amounts of liquor : DRAMS
18. ___ of Worms : DIET
19. Slow Spanish dance : BOLERO
22. Texas Christian rival, for short : SMU
23. 100,000,000 decades : EON
24. Clear the slate : ERASE
25. ___-monde : DEMI
29. Fruit juice brand : POM
31. Mild cigar : CLARO
32. “___ me” (“I’ll get it”) : LET
34. Chinese divination book : I CHING
35. The year 1501 : MDI
36. Top exec. : PRES
37. N.F.L. Hall-of-Famer Bronko ___ : NAGURSKI
40. Word after stay or well : PUT
41. Granite State sch. : UNH
42. “Et tu, Brute?” speaker : CAESAR
43. Indirectly refer (to) : ALLUDE
44. Gawked : STARED
45. The “O” of B.O. : ODOR
46. Hwy. cut into two parts by Lake Michigan : US-TEN
47. Is out of alignment, as a car wheel : TOES IN
50. Outcast : LEPER
51. Push forward : IMPEL
53. Ones in the 49-Across voting bloc, for short : DEMS
56. Lie on the beach : SUN
57. ___ Network : USA
58. Alley ___ : OOP
59. O.R. workers : RNS

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6 thoughts on “0421-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Apr 15, Tuesday”

  1. Didn't catch the theme, couldn't get past SURGEcontRoller, couldn't believe it was LEPER, too much French, and NAGURSKI was way out of my league, and tough.

    On the other hand, have fond memories of Alley OOP, the cartoon apeman.

    So, DNF. On a Tues.

  2. I get the syndicated version of the puzzle, so I am 6 weeks behind the rest of you. I am curious to know if the puzzle theme is given in the Times version, it is not given in the syndicated version in my paper. Finished in 13:57, no errors or googles.

  3. I thought it was a surge protector; didn't expect French words being slipped in. other terms I never heard of–toesin for a car wheel out of alignment??? Didn't enjoy the puzzle and couldn't finish it.

  4. That's "toes in"; two words. I finished in 11:50…. French was a little bit of a dirty trick, but it didn't stop me; 5th grade French lessons still sticking with me, decades later!! 🙂

  5. BruceB: The NY Times Mon -> Sat do not have a published title, either in the paper or the online version (the one I do). Titles suggesting the theme only appear on Sunday.

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