0708-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Jul 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ryan Milligan
THEME: Where is the Theme? … well, the theme is HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT. The circled letter in the grid spell out “HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT”.

60A. Question answered by this puzzle’s circled letters : WHERE IS THE THEME?

17A. Serious injury for a firefighter : THIRDDEGREE BURN (HIDDEN)
28A. “Pale” or “prairie” plant of the central U.S. : INDIAN PLANTAIN (IN PLAIN)
46A. Indication that “That’s how things are” : SIGN OF THE TIMES (SIGHT)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 40s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Twosome in the news : ITEM
An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.

5. ___ California : BAJA
Baja California is both the most northern and the most western of the Mexican states. The name translates from Spanish as “Lower California”.

9. “No drama” president : OBAMA
President Obama’s presidential campaign was noted for being cautious and meticulous, earning him the nickname “No Drama Obama”.

14. Simba’s mate in “The Lion King” : NALA
In “The Lion King”, Nala is a lioness and the childhood friend of Simba.

16. Half of the Dynamic Duo : ROBIN
Batman and Robin are unique among their superhero compatriots in that they have no special powers, just a whole load of cool gadgets. Batman is sometimes referred to as the Caped Crusader, Robin as the Boy Wonder, and the pair as the Dynamic Duo.

17. Serious injury for a firefighter : THIRD-DEGREE BURN
The severity of burns is classified into a series of “degrees”. Superficial burns, affecting just the surface of the skin, are called first-degree burns. Burns that damage some of the underlying layers of the skin are known as second-degree burns. Burns affecting the full thickness of the skin are third-degree burns. When the damage penetrates into the tissues below the skin, these are fourth-degree burns.

22. Gerund ender : -ING
A gerund is a form of a verb that can be used as a noun. For example, the gerund of the verb “to act” is “acting”, as in the phrase “we really enjoyed the acting”.

23. Sri Lanka export : TEA
The name Sri Lanka translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

25. Mary’s boss on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” : LOU
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.

26. Santa ___ (some winds) : ANAS
The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically “falls” down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

28. “Pale” or “prairie” plant of the central U.S. : INDIAN PLANTAIN
“Indian plantain” is the common name for the genus of plants called Arnoglossum. Members of the sunflower family, Indian plantains are not really related to the common plantain, nor to the cooking plantain.

35. Suze with financial advice : ORMAN
Suze Orman is a financial advisor who has gotten her message out on television, in books and on the speaking circuit. She often appears on PBS, and indeed is the most successful fundraiser public television has ever had.

38. One of the Wayans brothers : SHAWN
The Wayans family is known as the First Family of Entertainment as it is replete with actors, directors, screenwriters and comedians. I hate to admit it, but I don’t think I know any of them!

41. Salinger heroine : ESME
J. D. Salinger wrote a short story called “For Esme – with Love and Squalor”, originally published in “The New Yorker” in 1950. It is a story about a young English girl called Esme and an American soldier, and is set in WWII.

42. Farmhand’s material : DENIM
Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (from Nimes) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (blue of Genoa) gives us our word “jeans”.

44. Fancy neckwear : CRAVAT
The cravat originated in Croatia and was an accessory used with a military uniform. Cravats were introduced to the fashion-conscious French by Croatian mercenaries enlisted into a regiment of the French army. The English placed a lot of emphasis on the knot used for the cravat, and in the period after the Battle of Waterloo the cravat came to be known as a “tie”. What we now call a tie in English is still called a “cravate” in French.

50. Collagist’s supply : GLUE
A collage is a piece of artwork that is made by assembling pieces of paper and objects that are glued onto paper or canvas. The term “collage” comes from the French “coller” meaning “to glue”.

52. Do-over call : LET!
An umpire might call “let!” in a game of tennis.

54. Temple University athlete : OWL
Temple University was founded in 1888, and started out as a night school offering classes to people of limited means who had to hold down jobs during the day. These students earned themselves the nickname of “night owls”, leading to the use of “Owls” for Temple’s athletic teams.

57. Figures at raves : DJS
The world’s first radio disk jockey was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

As you might imagine, I’ve never been to a rave, and don’t have one upcoming in my diary. And as raves often start at 2 a.m. then I’m unlikely ever to experience one. A rave is generally an all-night party featuring loud, electronically-synthesized music usually played by a DJ as opposed to a live band.

59. Outburst from Scrooge : BAH!
The classic 1843 novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to popular use of the phrase “Merry Christmas”, and secondly it gave us the word “scrooge” meaning a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that Ebenezer Scrooge uttered the words “Bah! Humbug!”.

64. French-speaking African land : NIGER
The Republic of Niger is a landlocked country in Western Africa that gets its name from the Niger River. 80% of the country lies within the bounds of the Sahara Desert.

68. Canadian fill-up choice : ESSO
The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

69. English Channel feeder : ORNE
Orne is a department and river in the northwest of France. Perhaps one of the most famous locations in Orne is the village of Camembert, the home of the famous (and delicious!) cheese.

The English Channel is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, the narrow part that separates the south of England from northern France. The French call the same body of water “La Manche”, which translates literally as “the sleeve”. At its narrowest point the Channel is just over 20 miles wide, and it indeed possible to see France from England and vice versa. Nowadays of course there is a tunnel under the channel making travel extremely convenient. When I was living and working in Europe, with the help of the Channel Tunnel, one day I had a breakfast meeting in Brussels, a lunch meeting in London, and a dinner meeting in Paris. It’s more fun sitting here doing the crossword though …

Down
2. Falafel sauce : TAHINI
“Tahini” is the Arabic name for the paste made from ground sesame seeds. Tahini is a major ingredient in hummus, one of my favorite dishes …

Falafel is a fried ball of ground chickpeas or fava beans served in pita bread. I love chickpeas, but falafel just seems too dry to me.

3. 2012 Super Bowl M.V.P. who hosted “S.N.L.” : ELI MANNING
Eli Manning plays as quarterback for the New York Giants. Eli’s brother Peyton Manning is quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Eli and Peyton’s father is Archie Manning, who was also a successful NFL quarterback.

7. What may be up when the police arrive? : JIG
Back in Elizabethan times, a “jig” was a trick or game. So, the expression “the jig is up” has for some time meant “the trick or game is exposed”.

9. Common pizza seasoning : OREGANO
Marjoram is a fragrant herb that is native to the Mediterranean area. The related species of oregano is sometimes known as wild marjoram.

10. Dole out in politics? : BOB
Despite all Bob Dole’s success in the world of politics, he is remembered by many as the VP candidate who lost to Walter Mondale (and Jimmy Carter) and the presidential candidate who lost to incumbent Bill Clinton. The man is a true war hero. He joined up in 1942 and fought with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division in Italy. In 1945 he was hit by machine gun fire in his right arm and back Dole was so badly injured that his comrades could only dose him up with morphine, write “M” on his forehead with his own blood (so that another, fatal dose of morphine would not be administered) and continue fighting the battle. Dole had to wait nine hours to be evacuated from the battlefield, and wait another three years before being discharged from hospital back in the States.

11. Border on : ABUT
“Abut” comes from the Old French word “abouter” meaning “join end to end”.

13. Actress Kendrick of “Pitch Perfect” : ANNA
Anna kendrick is a marvelous actress whose big break came when she played the sidekick to George Clooney’s character in the very interesting 2009 film “Up in the Air”. Kendrick can sing as well as act, and played a student a cappella singer in the 2012 movie “Pitch Perfect”.

“Pitch Perfect” is an entertaining musical comedy film released in 2012. It’s all about an all-female college a cappella group competing to win a national competition.

18. Novelist Ephron : DELIA
Delia Ephron is the sister of the more famous Nora Ephron, and is a screenwriter and producer in her own right. Among Delia’s writing credits is the 2005 movie “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”.

19. Sicilian province : ENNA
The city of Enna sits very high up in the hills of Sicily, overlooking the whole island below. Enna is the capital of the province that bears its name, which is the highest province in the whole of Italy.

27. Shakespeare’s Avon, for one : STREAM
There are actually four rivers called the Avon in England, but “Shakespeare’s Avon” lies mainly in Warwickshire. The name “Avon” comes from the Old English word for a river, “abona”. Stratford-upon-Avon was of course the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

31. Import from Holland : AMSTEL BEER
Amstel is a Dutch beer and brewery, founded in 1870 in Amsterdam. The brewery takes its name from the Amstel river which runs through the city.

32. Existential declaration : I AM
The philosophy of existentialism basically posits that the individual is responsible for his or her life. One cannot look to a higher being, accident of birth, or any other outside influence to define the meaning of one’s life.

33. Coastal hurricane dir. : NNE
Hurricanes are given names primarily to help the public keep track dangerous systems. The names are decided ahead of the hurricane season, with the first system given a name beginning with A, the second, B etc. The names are alternated between male and female names throughout the season. Also, if the first storm of the season is male, then the following year a female name is chosen. For hurricanes in the North Atlantic, names are assigned for every letter, except Q, U, X, Y and Z.

36. Subjects of heightened interest, for short? : CDS
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.

37. Luau necklace : LEI
“Lei” is the Hawaiian word for “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a “lei” is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

Nowadays the word “luau” denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of “poi”, the bulbous underground stems of taro baked with coconut milk.

47. It’s big in Japan : FUJI
Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest and most famous mountain. It is an active volcano, situated just west of Tokyo.

48. Singer O’Shea who shared the stage with the Beatles on the 2/9/64 “Ed Sullivan Show” : TESSIE
Tessie O’Shea was a Welsh actress and entertainer. Famously, she was a heavy woman, and made use of the fact by singing as her theme song “Two Ton Tessie from Tennessee”. She appeared in the Noel Coward musical “The Girl Who Came to Supper” in 1963, for which she picked up a Tony Award.

55. Iota : WHIT
Both “whit” and “fig” are used to describe a trivial amount, a mere trifle.

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

56. Building block : LEGO
Lego is manufactured by Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

62. USA competitor : TBS
The tbs cable television station started out in 1967 as local broadcast TV station in Atlanta. The station’s first call letters were WJRJ-TV, and this was changed to WTCG in 1970 when it was acquired by Ted Turner (the TCG stood for Turner Communications Group). In 1976, Turner started distributing WTCG via satellite making its programming available in other parts of the country. WTCG was only the second channel to transmit via satellite, following HBO. The difference was that WTCG was broadcast without requiring a premium subscription. The station’s call sign was changed again in 1979, to WTBS, and in 1981 adopted the moniker “Superstation WTBS”.

63. “Game of Thrones” airer : HBO
HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is a fantasy television drama that was adapted from a series of novels by George R. R. Martin called “A Song of Ice and Fire”. “Game of Thrones” is actually made in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Twosome in the news : ITEM
5. ___ California : BAJA
9. “No drama” president : OBAMA
14. Simba’s mate in “The Lion King” : NALA
15. Play to ___ : A TIE
16. Half of the Dynamic Duo : ROBIN
17. Serious injury for a firefighter : THIRD-DEGREE BURN
20. Part of a golf cup : RIM
21. Letter after kay : ELL
22. Gerund ender : -ING
23. Sri Lanka export : TEA
24. ___ roll : ON A
25. Mary’s boss on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” : LOU
26. Santa ___ (some winds) : ANAS
28. “Pale” or “prairie” plant of the central U.S. : INDIAN PLANTAIN
34. Fine distinction : NUANCE
35. Suze with financial advice : ORMAN
36. Good pace, informally : CLIP
38. One of the Wayans brothers : SHAWN
41. Salinger heroine : ESME
42. Farmhand’s material : DENIM
44. Fancy neckwear : CRAVAT
46. Indication that “That’s how things are” : SIGN OF THE TIMES
50. Collagist’s supply : GLUE
51. Bard’s contraction : ‘TIS
52. Do-over call : LET!
54. Temple University athlete : OWL
57. Figures at raves : DJS
58. LIII doubled : CVI
59. Outburst from Scrooge : BAH!
60. Question answered by this puzzle’s circled letters : WHERE IS THE THEME?
64. French-speaking African land : NIGER
65. Skeptic’s reply : I BET
66. Tolerate : BEAR
67. Conductors’ announcements : STOPS
68. Canadian fill-up choice : ESSO
69. English Channel feeder : ORNE

Down
1. Start of many course titles : INTRO
2. Falafel sauce : TAHINI
3. 2012 Super Bowl M.V.P. who hosted “S.N.L.” : ELI MANNING
4. Deface : MAR
5. Banking problems : BAD LOANS
6. Had a midday meal : ATE LUNCH
7. What may be up when the police arrive? : JIG
8. Kind of photography : AERIAL
9. Common pizza seasoning : OREGANO
10. Dole out in politics? : BOB
11. Border on : ABUT
12. Bog : MIRE
13. Actress Kendrick of “Pitch Perfect” : ANNA
18. Novelist Ephron : DELIA
19. Sicilian province : ENNA
27. Shakespeare’s Avon, for one : STREAM
29. Fooling : DUPING
30. Pastel shade : PEACH
31. Import from Holland : AMSTEL BEER
32. Existential declaration : I AM
33. Coastal hurricane dir. : NNE
36. Subjects of heightened interest, for short? : CDS
37. Luau necklace : LEI
39. Sad sorts : WRETCHES
40. From : NATIVE TO
43. Rots slowly : MOLDERS
45. Call on : VISIT
47. It’s big in Japan : FUJI
48. Singer O’Shea who shared the stage with the Beatles on the 2/9/64 “Ed Sullivan Show” : TESSIE
49. Mariner : SEAMAN
53. “Ta-da!” : THERE!
54. Controls : OWNS
55. Iota : WHIT
56. Building block : LEGO
61. Sales worker : REP
62. USA competitor : TBS
63. “Game of Thrones” airer : HBO

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