0622-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Jun 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joel Fagliano
THEME: Good Twitter Handles … today’s themed answers are all words that begin with “AT”, as do usernames on Twitter (@). What follows the AT is referenced in the clue:

17A. Good Twitter handle for a seductress? : ATTEMPTING (i.e. “@tempting”)
21A. … for a teacher? : ATTESTING (i.e. “@testing”)
37A. … for a musician? : ATTUNES (i.e. “@tunes”)
39A. … for a sleepyhead? : ATTIRED (i.e. “@tired”)
53A. … for a eulogist? : ATTRIBUTE (i.e. “@tribute”)
59A. … for a tire company? : ATTRACTION (i.e. “@traction”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME:5m 02s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Lemon juice and coffee, on the pH scale : ACIDS
As we all recall from chemistry class, a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Anything less than 7 is an acid, and anything above 7 is a base.

10. Thesaurus entries: Abbr. : SYNS
Synonym (syn.)

The first person to use the term “thesaurus” to mean a “collection of words arranged according to sense” was Roget in 1852, when he used it for the title of his most famous work. Up to that point in time, a thesaurus was basically an encyclopedia. Before being used with reference to books, a thesaurus was a storehouse or treasury, coming from the Latin “thesaurus” meaning “treasury, treasure”.

14. ___ Disney Company : WALT
Walt Disney (born “Walter Elias Disney”) was one of five children, the son of Elias and Flora Disney. Elias was an Irish Canadian, and Flora was from Ohio.

15. Island home of Pago Pago : SAMOA
Pago Pago is the capital of American Samoa in the South Pacific. The island was used by the US Navy during WWII and it managed to escape most of the conflict. The only military incident of consequence was the shelling of the city’s harbor by a Japanese submarine. A more devastating event was the tsunami that hit Pago Pago and surrounding areas in 2009, causing widespread damage and numerous deaths.

19. Océano contents : AGUA
In Spanish, the ocean (El océano) contains lots of water (agua).

20. “What goes around comes around” principle : KARMA
Karma is religious concept with its basis in Indian faiths. Karma embraces the notion of cause and effect. Good deeds have good consequences at some later point in one’s life, future life, or afterlife and vice versa.

24. Ancient Andeans : INCAS
Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro discovered the Incas in 1526, marking the beginning of the end for an ancient civilization that was to be ravaged by brutal Spanish colonists and by imported smallpox. The last leader of the Inca was Atahualpa. Pizarro staged a mock trial and then condemned Atahualpa to execution by burning. A Spanish friar intervened on behalf of the condemned man, as Atahualpa believed that if he was burned his soul would not move on to the afterlife. Pizarro, was kind enough to have Atahualpa garroted instead.

The Andes is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world, running right down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles. The highest peak in the range is Mt. Aconcagua, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

27. Refine, as ore : SMELT
Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and of course, a greenhouse gas).

36. Banking partner of Wells : FARGO
Back in the mid-1800s, Henry Wells founded an express package delivery service called Wells and Company. Around the same time, William Fargo founded Fargo and Company as a competitor. The two decided to join forces instead of competing, and took on a partner and formed the American Express Company (which is still around today). Fargo and Wells then decided to set up a company in California to provide express delivery and banking services, a company they called Wells Fargo.

41. Persona non ___ : GRATA
A “persona non grata” (plural “personae non gratae”) is someone who is not welcome. The phrase is Latin for “an unacceptable person”.

44. X-ray units : RADS
A rad is a unit used to measure radiation levels that is largely obsolete now. The rad has been superseded by the rem.

45. ___ Domingo : SANTO
Santo Domingo de Guzmán (often just “Santo Domingo”) is the capital city of the Dominican Republic. Christopher Columbus was the first European to visit what is now the Dominican Republic, in 1492. Four years later Christopher’s younger brother, Bartholomew Columbus arrived, and founded Santo Domingo, making the city the oldest, continuously-inhabited European settlement in the Americas.

46. “Peanuts” boy with a blanket : LINUS
In Charles Schulz’s fabulous comic strip “Peanuts”, Charlie Brown is friends with at least three members of the van Pelt family. Most famously there is Lucy van Pelt, who bosses everyone around, particularly Charlie. Then there is Linus, Lucy’s younger brother, the character who always has his security blanket at hand. Lastly there is an even younger brother, Rerun van Pelt. Rerun is constantly hiding under his bed, trying to avoid going to school.

48. Obama or Biden, informally : DEM
America’s Democratic Party was founded in 1828, making it the oldest existing political party in the world. It evolved from Democratic-Republican Party that was organized by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and others in opposition to the Federalist Party of Alexander Hamilton and John Adams.

49. They go in and out and in and out : TIDES
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.

50. Sound of a mosquito being fried : ZAP
“Mosquito” is the Spanish for “little fly”. The female mosquito actually has to have a “blood meal” before she is able to lay her eggs.

53. … for a eulogist? : ATTRIBUTE (i.e. “@tribute”)
A eulogy is a speech or piece of writing that praises someone who has recently passed away or who is retiring. “Eulogy” comes from the Greek word “eulogia” meaning “praise”.

56. Florida’s second-largest city : MIAMI
The city of Miami in Florida takes its name from the nearby Miami River, which is itself named for the Mayaimi Native American people who lived around nearby Lake Okeechobee.

62. 2014 Best Picture nominee based on historical events : SELMA
“Selma” is a 2014 film about the Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches of 1965. The film stars British actors David Oyewale as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon Johnson. “Selma” was received extremely well by critics and audiences alike. That said, there is some criticism about the way President Johnson is portrayed as being less supportive of civil rights than is assumed to be the case in reality.

63. Rock’s Mötley ___ : CRUE
Mötley Crüe is an American rock band, from Los Angeles. They’ve been around since 1981, co-founded by the famous drummer Tommy Lee. Tommy Lee is also known for his two celebrated marriages, the first with Heather Locklear and the second with Pamela Anderson. The name “Mötley Crüe” was chosen as someone once described the band members as a “motley looking crew”. The spelling was made to look a little more exotic, with the umlauts added over the “o” and “u” one day, as the band were drinking bottles of “Löwenbräu” beer!

66. Group of buffalo : HERD
There two species of bison left (four species are extinct). We are most familiar with the American bison (commonly called the American buffalo), but there is a also a European bison, sometimes called a “wisent”.

Down
2. Persian Gulf land : QATAR
Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry.

3. Michelob ___ (light beer) : ULTRA
Michelob Ultra is a diet beer that was introduced in 2002. Ultra is labeled “diet” as it is relatively low in carbohydrates.

5. Venomous snake : 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.

6. Large-scale disaster : CATACLYSM
Our word “cataclysm”, meaning “violent upheaval”, comes from the Greek “kataklyzein”, meaning “deluge, flood”, or more literally “to wash down”.

8. Taboos : DON’TS
The word “taboo” was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean”. Cook described “tabu” (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.

10. Events with Ferris wheels and livestock competitions : STATE FAIRS
The first Ferris Wheel was built for the Chicago World’s Fair (officially known as the “World’s Columbian Exposition”) in 1893. That wheel was designed and constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. who lent his name to wheels built from then on.

11. Who said “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours” : YOGI BERRA
Yogi Berra is regarded by many as the greatest catcher ever to play in Major League Baseball, and has to be America’s most celebrated “author” of malapropisms. Here are some greats:

– “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
– “90% of the game is half mental.”
– “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
– (giving directions) “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
– “It’s déjà vu all over again.”
– “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.”
– “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”

13. Refinery waste : SLAG
The better lead ores are processed in a blast furnace, to extract the metal. The “waste” from this process is called “slag”. Slag does contain some lead and it can be processed further in a “slag furnace” to extract the residual metal. Slag furnaces also accept poorer lead ores as a raw material.

22. “Gulliver’s Travels” author : SWIFT
Jonathan Swift was an Irish author and cleric. Swift is most famous perhaps for his 1726 novel “Gulliver’s Travels”, but we Irishmen also remember him as the Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. Swift was renowned for his wit and satire.

In the 1726 adventure novel “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift, Gulliver comes across the two islands of Lilliput and Blefuscu in the South Indian Ocean. Both are inhabited by people who are one-twelfth of “normal” size, so Gulliver appears like a giant to them. “Gulliver’s Travels” is well known for its satirical references to real life, and indeed these two islands are poorly disguised satires of Britain (Lilliput) and France (Blefuscu). The two islands were at war, as was constantly the situation with Britain and France.

25. Hawaii’s state bird : NENE
The bird called a nene is a native of Hawaii, and is also known as the Hawaiian goose. The name “nene” is imitative of its call. When Captain Cook landed on the islands in 1778, there were 25,000 nene living there. By 1950, the number was reduced by hunting to just 30 birds. Conservation efforts in recent years have been somewhat successful.

27. Internet photo company named after an insect : SHUTTERFLY
Shutterfly is a company best known for publishing photo books using images uploaded over the Internet. I assume that the company’s name is a play on “shutterbug”, a term used for someone who likes taking photographs.

30. Partners of cones in the eye : RODS
The retina is the tissue that lines the inside of the eye, the tissue that is light-sensitive. There are (mainly) two types of cell in the retina that are sensitive to light, called rods and cones. Rods are cells that best function in very dim light and only provide black-and-white vision. Cones on the other hand function in brighter light and can perceive color.

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

35. Professional stuff? : TAXIDERMY
The word “taxidermy” originates in Greek. “Taxis” means arrangement (the same root as “tactics”) and “derma” meaning “skin”. A gruesome practice, if you ask me, but you didn’t …

38. Actress Watts of “Birdman” : NAOMI
The actress Naomi Watts was born in the UK and moved to Australia when she was 14 years of age. It was in Australia that Watts got her break in television and movies. Probably her most acclaimed role was in the 2003 film “21 Grams” with Sean Penn and Benicio del Toro. Watts is best friends with fellow Australian actress Nicole Kidman.

“Birdman or “The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance” is a 2014 film that was an incredible critical success. The title character was played by Michael Keaton. I know I am in the minority, but I hated “Birdman” …

47. “Semper Fi” grp. : USMC
“Semper Fidelis” is the motto of the United States Marine Corps (USMC). The phrase is Latin and means “Always Faithful”. The US Marine Corps isn’t the only military unit using “Semper Fidelis” as a motto . It’s also used by the Portuguese Marine Corps, the Republic of China Marine Corps and the Swiss Grenadiers.

50. Former name for Congo : ZAIRE
The African nation once called Zaire is a neighbor of Rwanda. The genocide and war in Rwanda spilled over into Zaire in 1996, with the conflict escalating into what is now called the First Congo War. As part of the war’s fallout there was a regime change, and in 1997 Zaire became the Democratic Republic of Congo.

53. Kind of clef : ALTO
55. Kind of clef : BASS
Clef is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on the stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

54. Fox’s ___ Choice Awards : TEEN
The Fox network’s Teen Choice Awards were created in 1999 to cater for the teen demographic, along the lines of the existing Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. Sadly, the Teen Choice Awards have been plagued with controversy, with apparently well-founded claims that winners have been selected and sometimes notified even before voting has closed.

60. Roadside assistance org. : AAA
The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Here, to José : AQUI
5. Lemon juice and coffee, on the pH scale : ACIDS
10. Thesaurus entries: Abbr. : SYNS
14. ___ Disney Company : WALT
15. Island home of Pago Pago : SAMOA
16. Hoe or hatchet : TOOL
17. Good Twitter handle for a seductress? : ATTEMPTING (i.e. “@tempting”)
19. Océano contents : AGUA
20. “What goes around comes around” principle : KARMA
21. … for a teacher? : ATTESTING (i.e. “@testing”)
23. Historical period : ERA
24. Ancient Andeans : INCAS
26. Fly catcher : WEB
27. Refine, as ore : SMELT
28. Lead-in to bad news : I FEAR …
31. Kid around : JOSH
34. Non : French :: ___ : Russian : NYET
36. Banking partner of Wells : FARGO
37. … for a musician? : ATTUNES (i.e. “@tunes”)
39. … for a sleepyhead? : ATTIRED (i.e. “@tired”)
41. Persona non ___ : GRATA
42. Ankle-length skirt : MAXI
44. X-ray units : RADS
45. ___ Domingo : SANTO
46. “Peanuts” boy with a blanket : LINUS
48. Obama or Biden, informally : DEM
49. They go in and out and in and out : TIDES
50. Sound of a mosquito being fried : ZAP
53. … for a eulogist? : ATTRIBUTE (i.e. “@tribute”)
56. Florida’s second-largest city : MIAMI
58. It falls in the fall : LEAF
59. … for a tire company? : ATTRACTION (i.e. “@traction”)
61. Inform : TELL
62. 2014 Best Picture nominee based on historical events : SELMA
63. Rock’s Mötley ___ : CRUE
64. Exclusively : ONLY
65. “I’m outta here!” : SEE YA!
66. Group of buffalo : HERD

Down
1. Not sleeping : AWAKE
2. Persian Gulf land : QATAR
3. Michelob ___ (light beer) : ULTRA
4. Thingy : ITEM
5. Venomous snake : ASP
6. Large-scale disaster : CATACLYSM
7. Do an impression of : IMITATE
8. Taboos : DON’TS
9. Wise guy? : SAGE
10. Events with Ferris wheels and livestock competitions : STATE FAIRS
11. Who said “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours” : YOGI BERRA
12. What “n.” means in a dictionary : NOUN
13. Refinery waste : SLAG
18. Injure badly : MAIM
22. “Gulliver’s Travels” author : SWIFT
25. Hawaii’s state bird : NENE
27. Internet photo company named after an insect : SHUTTERFLY
29. Got on in years : AGED
30. Partners of cones in the eye : RODS
31. Sprees : JAGS
32. Other: Sp. : OTRA
33. Show pride : STAND TALL
35. Professional stuff? : TAXIDERMY
38. Actress Watts of “Birdman” : NAOMI
40. Fork part : TINE
43. Not much : A LITTLE
47. “Semper Fi” grp. : USMC
49. Private pupil : TUTEE
50. Former name for Congo : ZAIRE
51. Love affair : AMOUR
52. Yearned (for) : PINED
53. Kind of clef : ALTO
54. Fox’s ___ Choice Awards : TEEN
55. Kind of clef : BASS
57. Mosquito bite annoyance : ITCH
60. Roadside assistance org. : AAA

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3 thoughts on “0622-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Jun 15, Monday”

  1. Solved it while not knowin nuttin.

    Don't tweet, but noticed everything started ATT. Also, didn't know TEEN or ULTRA, but got 'em.

    That's what Monday's all about.

  2. 7:09 today. Willie is correct. RAD is the older, non-SI, unit, for measuring radiation absorption in a material; it has been replaced by the Sievert which is an SI (ie. metric) based unit. A millisievert is 1/1000 of a Sievert. The REM (Radiation Exposure Man) is a non-SI unit, used specifically to measure the radiation absorption in human tissue, closely related to the RAD.

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