0616-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Jun 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter A. Collins
THEME: Toppers … the grid contains food items, with an appropriate topping being the answer that sits above:

15A. 18-Across topper : CHEESE
18A. Fast-food offering : BURGER

16A. 19-Across topper : HOT FUDGE
19A. Soda shop offering : ICE CREAM

58A. 60-Across topper : MARINARA
60A. Trattoria offering : RIGATONI

59A. 61-Across topper : ONIONS
61A. Ballpark offering : HOT DOG

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 05s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Product with Air and Mini models : IPAD
The iPad Air is Apple’s 5th-generation table computer. The Air is just 7.5 mm thick, and is 22% lighter than the iPad 2.

The iPad mini is line of smaller iPads that was introduced by Apple in 2012. The iPad mini has a screen size of 7.9 inches, whereas the regular iPad’s screen is 9.7 inches.

5. Hosp. hookups : IVS
One might need an intravenous drip (IV) in a hospital (hosp.).

8. Cousin of a mallard : SCAUP
The diving duck known as the great scaup is often called simply “scaup” in Europe, and “bluebill” in North America. Although the males and female scaups have very different appearances, both sexes share a distinctive blue bill.

13. Blues musician ___ Allison : MOSE
Mose Allison is a pianist and singer of the jazz blues genre of music. Allison was born, raised and educated in Mississippi, but launched and maintained his career in New York.

14. Brooklyn hoopster : NET
The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets until relatively recently were the New Jersey Nets based in Newark. Prior to 1977, the team was known as the New York Nets and played in various locations on Long Island. Ten years earlier, the Nets were called the New Jersey Americans and were headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey.

21. Ruby parts of some hummingbirds : THROATS
Hummingbirds are the smallest of all the birds. The species known as the Bee Hummingbird is native to Cuba and weighs less than a tenth of an ounce and is about two inches in length!

22. Car in a Ronny & the Daytonas song : GTO
The 1964 song “G.T.O” was the debut recording for the surf rock group from the sixties known as Ronny & the Daytonas.

24. “To Live and Die ___” (1985 action thriller) : IN LA
“To Live and Die in L.A.” is novel written by Gerald Petievich, a former Secret Service agent. The book was made into a pretty successful 1985 film starring William L. Petersen, the former lead from TV’s “CSI”. Petersen plays the good guy, and Willem Dafoe the bad guy. The plot is all about a pair of Secret Service agents tracking down a counterfeiter. I haven’t seen the film, but it’s on my list …

27. “No ___!” : MAS
“No mas!” translates from Spanish as “no more!”.

29. Who says? : SIMON
“Simon Says” is a kids’ game. The idea is for the players of the game to obey the “controller” who gives instructions. But the players should only obey when the controller uses the words, “Simon says …”. The game has very old roots, with a Latin version that uses the words “Cicero dicit fac hoc” (Cicero says do this).

35. Working in the mess hall : ON KP
KP is a US military slang term that stands for either “kitchen police” or “kitchen patrol”.

“Mess” first came into English about 1300 and described the list of food needed for a meal, from the Old French word “mes” meaning a portion of food or a course at a meal. This usage in English evolved into “mess” meaning a jumbled mass of anything from the concept of “mixed food”. At the same time, the original usage in the sense of a food for a meal surfaced again in the military in the 1500s when a “mess” was a communal eating place.

37. Toondom’s Pepé ___ : LE PEW
Pepé Le Pew is a very likeable cartoon character from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series. Pepé is a French skunk, first introduced way back in 1945. He is always thinking of “l’amour” and chases the lady skunks, or a black cat with a white stripe painted down her back accidently. The female cat is usually called Penelope Pussycat.

40. Entourage : POSSE
Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

42. Headbanging music : METAL
Headbanging is a practice engaged in by many players and followers of hard rock and heavy metal music. It involves shaking and nodding of the head energetically in time to the music. It’s a dangerous practice. Terry Balsamo is a guitarist with the band Evanescence, and in 2005 he suffered a stroke, apparently from a blood clot that formed in his neck due due headbanging during performances.

44. Bill the “Science Guy” : NYE
That would be “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. Bill’s show ran on Disney for 4 years from 1993-97. I was surprised to learn that Bill Nye was married briefly to Blair Tindall, the author of “Mozart in the Jungle”. That’s a great book, if anyone is interested, and now a comedy-drama series produced by Amazon …

45. Ed of “Elf” : ASNER
Ed Asner is most famous for playing the irascible but lovable Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and on the spin-off drama “Lou Grant”. Off-screen Asner is noted for his political activism. He served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild, and was very involved in the 1980 SAG strike. When “Lou Grant” was cancelled in in 1982, despite decent ratings, there was a lot of talk that the cancellation was a move by the network against Asner personally. In fact, one of Asner’s activist colleagues, Howard Hesseman (who played Johnny Fever) found that his show “WKRP in Cincinnati” was also cancelled … on the very same day.

“Elf” is a comedy movie released for the 2003 Christmas season. “Elf” was directed by Jon Favreau and stars Will Ferrell in the title role with James Caan supporting. It’s all about one of Santa’s elves who finds out he is human and goes to meet his father in New York City.

47. Oz visitor : TOTO
Toto is Dorothy’s dog in the film “The Wizard of Oz”. Toto was played by a dog called Terry, but Terry’s name was soon changed to Toto in real life, due to the success of the film.

49. Nabokov novel : ADA
The reference here is to the 1969 novel by Vladimir Nabokov called “Ada”. The story takes place in the 1800s on Antiterra, an Earth-like planet that has a history similar to ours but with interesting differences. For example, there is a United States, but the country covers all of North and South America. What we call eastern Canada is a French-speaking province called “Canady”, and western Canada is a Russian-speaking province “Estody”. The plot-line is about a man called Van Veen who, when 14 years old, meets for the first time his cousin, 11-year-old Ada. The two cousins eventually have an affair, only to discover later that they are in fact brother and sister.

52. +: Abbr. : POS
Positive (pos.)

56. Impasse : LOGJAM
“Impasse” is a French word for a blind alley or an impassable road, and we use the term to mean “stalemate”.

58. 60-Across topper : MARINARA
Italians use the term “marinara” not for a sauce, but in the name of a recipe that includes a tomato-based sauce. For example, “spaghetti alla marinara” would be a spaghetti dish, served “mariner’s style”. The tomato sauce that we call “marinara” is called “salsa di pomodoro” in Italy.

60. Trattoria offering : RIGATONI
Rigatoni is a tubular pasta that is relatively short with ridges along its length.

61. Ballpark offering : HOT DOG
A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.

62. End of a professor’s address : EDU
The .edu domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

– .com (commercial enterprise)
– .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
– .mil (US military)
– .org (not-for-profit organization)
– .gov (US federal government entity)
– .edu (college-level educational institution)

63. Social reformer Jacob : RIIS
Jacob Riis is famous for his photographs and newspaper articles that highlighted the plight of the impoverished in New York City. He wrote “How the Other Half Lives”, originally an extensive article that appeared in “Scribner’s Magazine” at Christmas 1889. The article had such an impact that Riis was commissioned to expand it into a book, which was published the following year.

64. “Shake ___ Feather” (1967 R&B hit) : A TAIL
“Shake a Tail Feather” was a minor hit for James & Bobby Purify in 1967, although the song was first recorded in 1963 by the Five Du-Tones. Ray Charles performed a cover version of “Shake a Tail Feather” in the 1980 movie “The Blues Brothers”.

65. I.R.S. datum : SSN
The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an “identity number” to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So, from 1986 onward, it is a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, in 1987 seven million dependents “disappeared”.

66. Sheltered : ALEE
“Alee” is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing “aweather”.

Down
1. Paintball cry : I’M HIT!
The “paint” in paintball isn’t actually paint, but rather a mix of gelatin and food coloring.

3. They’re next to some records : ASTERISKS
The name of the typographical symbol “asterisk” comes from the Greek word “asteriskos” meaning “little star”. The original use of the asterisk was by printers of family trees in feudal times. Back then it was a symbol indicating the date of birth.

4. Multilevel military readiness system : DEFCON
The US military uses the DEFCON scale to move to different stages of readiness (DEFCON: the defense readiness condition). DEFCON 5 denotes normal peacetime readiness. DEFCON 1 is maximum readiness. The scale was created in 1959 by the Joint Chiefs. The highest DEFCON level ever reached (as far as we public folk know) was DEFCON 2 during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 (although this only applied to Strategic Air Command). The military reached DEFCON 3 during the Yom Kippur War, and also during the attacks of September 11, 2001.

6. MGM Grand setting : VEGAS
MGM Grand is the name given to a chain of hotel resorts and casinos, most famously the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The MGM Grand Las Vegas was the largest hotel in the world when it opened in 1993, and is now second largest (behind the Venetian, also in Las Vegas).

9. Michael of “Juno” : CERA
Michael Cera is a Canadian actor, a very talented young man who is riding high right now. He played great characters on the TV show “Arrested Development”, and the 2007 comedy-drama “Juno”. More recently he played the title role in “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”.

“Juno” is a great comedy-drama released in 2007 that tells the story of a spunky teenager who is faced with an unplanned pregnancy. The film won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. The relatively low-budget movie earned back its initial budget in the first day of its full release to the public. Low-budget blockbuster; my kind of movie …

10. Protection : AEGIS
Someone is said to be under the aegis (also “egis”) of someone else (for example) if that other person provides protection, or perhaps sponsorship. The word “aegis” comes from the Greek word for a goat (“aigis”), the idea being that the goatskin shield or breastplate worn by Zeus or Athena, gave some measure of protection.

12. Intrinsically: Lat. : PER SE
“Per se” is a Latin phrase that translates as “by itself”. We use “per se” pretty literally, meaning “in itself, intrinsically”.

15. “Late Show” broadcaster : CBS TV
The “Late Show” with David Letterman ran on CBS from 1993 until Letterman’s retirement in 2015. Letterman had produced a similar show called “Late Night with David Letterman” on NBC from 1982 to 1993. The new iteration of the show will be the “Late Show” with Stephen Colbert, starting in September 2015.

17. Europe/Asia border range : URALS
The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

22. French playwright Jean : GENET
Jean Genet was a French playwright and novelist. Before he turned to writing, Genet was a homeless person with a criminal record.

25. Mr. ___ (“Three’s Company” role) : ROPER
The tremendously successful US sitcom “Three’s Company” ran from 1977 to 1984. The show was actually a remake of an equally successful British sitcom called “Man About the House”. I must, I was a fan of both shows. The American show started its run with three roommates, played by Joyce DeWitt, Suzanne Somers and John Ritter. The trio lived in an apartment building owned by characters Stanley and Helen Roper. The Ropers were eventually replaced by landlord Ralph Furley, played by the marvelous Don Knotts.

28. Year, in Uruguay : ANO
The official name of Uruguay is the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, reflecting the country’s location on the eastern coast of South America. It is a relatively small country, the second smallest on the continent, after Suriname. In 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to provide a free laptop and Internet access to every child. Now there’s a thought …

30. Cultural fads : MEMES
A “meme” (short for “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

32. Cooking medium : CANOLA OIL
Canola is a type of rapeseed, and Canola oil is made from the seeds. The particular cultivar used in oil production was developed in Canada, and the name Canola in fact comes from “CANadian Oil, Low Acid”.

33. University wall covering : IVY
The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

36. Message from Smokey Bear, e.g., for short : PSA
Public service announcement (PSA)

Smokey Bear is the mascot of the US Forest Service. Smokey first appeared in 1944, in an advertising campaign directed towards preventing forest fires.

41. Cousin of catalán : ESPANOL
Catalán is a Romance language spoken in parts of Spain, along with the official Spanish language (español).

43. Sayings of Jesus : LOGIA
“Logia” is a term of Greek origin that is used for the collection of sayings attributed to Jesus.

46. Menu reassurance : NO MSG
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

48. Hindu meditative rituals : TANTRA
Tantrism (sometimes “Tantra”) is a relatively recent class of religious ritual and meditation that has its roots in 5th century India. The tantras are sometimes considered as advanced teachings that extend the basic tenets of several Indian religions including Buddhism and Hinduism.

49. It might accompany a wave in Waikiki : ALOHA
One might wave one’s hand while saying “aloha!” in Hawaii.

The Hawaiian word “Aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.

Waikiki is a neighborhood of Honolulu, and home to the famous Waikiki Beach. The name “Waikiki” means “spouting fresh water” in Hawaiian.

51. Unease : AGITA
Agita is another name for acid indigestion, and more generally can mean “agitation, anxiety”.

54. Orange Muppet : ERNIE
For years I believed that the “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie were named after two roles played in the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. In the movie, the policeman’s name is Bert and his taxi-driving buddy is named Ernie. However, the “Sesame Street” folks have stated that the use of the same names is just a coincidence.

57. Picoult with the 2004 best seller “My Sister’s Keeper” : JODI
The American author Jodi Picoult has had two books debut at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list: “Nineteen Minutes” and “Change of Heart”.

“My Sister’s Keeper” is a 2004 novel by JOdi Picoult that was made into a 2009 movie of the same name. The novel address the thorny issue of a 13-year-old girl who fights for her right not to have to donate a kidney to her sister, who is dying from leukemia. The title derives from the words spoken by Cain in the Bible, “I know not: am I my brother’s keeper”.

In the story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis, Cain murders his brother Abel. Subsequently, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain replies, “I know not. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

58. Dinners for G.I.s : MRES
The Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) comes in a lightweight package that’s easy to tote around. The MRE replaced the more cumbersome Meal, Combat, Individual (MCI) in 1981, a meal-in-a-can. In turn, the MCI had replaced the C-ration in 1958, a less sophisticated meal-in-a-can with a more limited choice.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Product with Air and Mini models : IPAD
5. Hosp. hookups : IVS
8. Cousin of a mallard : SCAUP
13. Blues musician ___ Allison : MOSE
14. Brooklyn hoopster : NET
15. 18-Across topper : CHEESE
16. 19-Across topper : HOT FUDGE
18. Fast-food offering : BURGER
19. Soda shop offering : ICE CREAM
20. Alternative to the elevator : STAIRS
21. Ruby parts of some hummingbirds : THROATS
22. Car in a Ronny & the Daytonas song : GTO
23. Louisville-to-Atlanta dir. : SSE
24. “To Live and Die ___” (1985 action thriller) : IN LA
25. Race, as an engine : REV UP
27. “No ___!” : MAS
29. Who says? : SIMON
31. Implied : TACIT
35. Working in the mess hall : ON KP
37. Toondom’s Pepé ___ : LE PEW
39. What a surfer catches : WAVE
40. Entourage : POSSE
42. Headbanging music : METAL
44. Bill the “Science Guy” : NYE
45. Ed of “Elf” : ASNER
47. Oz visitor : TOTO
49. Nabokov novel : ADA
52. +: Abbr. : POS
53. Storyteller : REGALER
56. Impasse : LOGJAM
58. 60-Across topper : MARINARA
59. 61-Across topper : ONIONS
60. Trattoria offering : RIGATONI
61. Ballpark offering : HOT DOG
62. End of a professor’s address : EDU
63. Social reformer Jacob : RIIS
64. “Shake ___ Feather” (1967 R&B hit) : A TAIL
65. I.R.S. datum : SSN
66. Sheltered : ALEE

Down
1. Paintball cry : I’M HIT!
2. Doggie : POOCH
3. They’re next to some records : ASTERISKS
4. Multilevel military readiness system : DEFCON
5. Long way to explain something : IN DETAIL
6. MGM Grand setting : VEGAS
7. Throwaway part of an apple : STEM
8. 7-0 baseball victory, e.g. : SHUTOUT
9. Michael of “Juno” : CERA
10. Protection : AEGIS
11. Rehab candidates : USERS
12. Intrinsically: Lat. : PER SE
15. “Late Show” broadcaster : CBS TV
17. Europe/Asia border range : URALS
22. French playwright Jean : GENET
25. Mr. ___ (“Three’s Company” role) : ROPER
26. Hairy hand : PAW
27. Its head is in a bucket, often : MOP
28. Year, in Uruguay : ANO
30. Cultural fads : MEMES
32. Cooking medium : CANOLA OIL
33. University wall covering : IVY
34. Place-kicker’s aid : TEE
36. Message from Smokey Bear, e.g., for short : PSA
38. Prankster’s weapon : WATER GUN
41. Cousin of catalán : ESPANOL
43. Sayings of Jesus : LOGIA
46. Menu reassurance : NO MSG
48. Hindu meditative rituals : TANTRA
49. It might accompany a wave in Waikiki : ALOHA
50. “___ disturb” : DO NOT
51. Unease : AGITA
53. Busts : RAIDS
54. Orange Muppet : ERNIE
55. Union goal : RAISE
57. Picoult with the 2004 best seller “My Sister’s Keeper” : JODI
58. Dinners for G.I.s : MRES

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6 thoughts on “0616-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Jun 15, Tuesday”

  1. Re: ERNIE – I had the same thought about Bert and Ernie. It's a good story so I will continue to believe it despite what the Sesame Street folks told you. Who can say what was in Jum Henson's mind?

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