0820-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Aug 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jules P. Markey
THEME: Compressed Air … we have a rebus puzzle today, with the letters AIR “compressed” and occupying the eight rebus squares:

29D. Gas station supply … or what can be found eight times in this puzzle? : COMPRESSED AIR

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 19m 25s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Bagatelle : BAUBLE
A bagatelle is a bauble or trinket and is a word that we imported from French, in which language it has the same meaning.

7. It often starts in Sept. : SCH
School (sch.)

17. Great Plains tunneler : PRAIRIE DOG
The prairie dog is a type of ground squirrel that is found in the grasslands of North America. Prairie dogs are so named because they inhabit prairies and because they have a warning call that is similar to the bark of a dog.

The Great Plains lie between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains in North America. This vast grassland is called “the Prairies” in Canada.

18. Boy taking a bow : EROS
Eros, the Greek god of love, was also known as Amor.

24. QB stat: Abbr. : ATT
In football, one statistic (stat) used to track the performance of a quarterback (QB) is attempts (ATT).

32. Like the breeds Kerry Hill and English Leicester : OVINE
The Kerry Hill breed of sheep originated in Wales. The breed’s name comes from the Welsh village of Kerry.

English Leicester is a breed of sheep from England that is very rare now in Britain, but are more prevalent in the US and Australia.

34. ___ Tomé : SAO
São Tomé is one of two islands off the west coast of Africa that make up the nation of São Tomé and Príncipe.

36. San Fran team : NINERS
The San Francisco 49ers of the NFL have been playing their home games in the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara since 2014. The team moved from the famous Candlestick Park, which they had been using since 1971. Levi’s Stadium, the team’s new home, will get a big boost in January 2016 when it is scheduled to host that year’s Super Bowl.

38. One-third of a fire safety instruction : DROP
We all learned this one as kids, I hope. If one’s clothes or hair catches on fire, this is what I was taught to do:

– STOP … stop moving, so as not to fan the flames, and so as not to hamper anyone trying to render assistance.
– DROP … drop to the ground, lying horizontally, to get the flames away from one’s face (and cover the face with the hands if possible).
– ROLL … roll on the ground in an attempt to put out the flames by depriving them of oxygen. If there is a rug, blanket or coat nearby, one should try to roll that around oneself.

40. Party to Nafta: Abbr. : MEX
I’ve never seen “NAFTA” written as “Nafta”, without using all capital letters …

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is between Canada, Mexico and the United States. When NAFTA came into force in 1994 it set up the largest free trade zone in the world.

42. Woodworker’s groove : DADO
In the world of joinery, a dado is a slot cut into a piece of wood across the grain. On the other hand, a “groove” is a slot that is cut with the grain.

44. Philadelphia university : TEMPLE
Temple University in Philadelphia 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.

49. First-year law course : TORTS
The word “tort” is a French word meaning “mischief, injury or wrong”. Tort law is generally about negligence, when the action of one party causes injury to another but that action falls outside of the scope of criminal law.

57. ’60s antiwar grp. : SDS
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

63. German boy’s name meaning “wealthy” : OTTO
The male name “Otto” is German in origin, coming from the Old German “aud” meaning “wealth, fortune”.

64. One of a geographical septet : ASIA
The seven continents, in order of size, are:

1. Asia
2. Africa
3. North America
4. South America
5. Antarctica
6. Europe
7. Australia

67. One of the Kennedys : ROBERT
Robert “Bobby” Francis Kennedy (RFK) was the US Attorney General in the administration of his brother President John F. Kennedy and President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1964. He then served as US Senator for the State of New York from 1965 until 1968, when he himself was assassinated. Bobby was killed during his own run for the Democratic nomination for the presidency.

72. Vetoes : NOS
“Veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The word was used by tribunes of Ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

73. Sibling duo in “Lady, Be Good!,” 1924 : ASTAIRES
“Lady, Be Good!” is a 1924 musical by the Gershwin brothers that tells the story of a brother and sister who have run out of money. In the original Broadway production, the lead characters are played by real-life siblings Fred and Adele Astaire.

Fred Astaire’s real name was Frederick Austerlitz. Fred was from Omaha, Nebraska and before he made it big in movies, he was one half of a celebrated music hall act with his sister Adele. The pair were particularly successful in the UK, and Adele ended up marrying into nobility in England, taking the name Lady Charles Cavendish.

Down
1. I.Q. test pioneer : BINET
The first usable intelligence test was invented by a French psychologist named Alfred Binet. Binet collaborated with Théodore Simon and together they produced the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale that is still in use today for IQ tests.

2. Andrea Bocelli’s 2006 platinum-selling album : AMORE
Andrea Bocelli is a classically-trained tenor who sings popular music, a so-called cross-over artist. Bocelli was born with poor eyesight and then became totally blind at the age of 12 when he had an accident playing soccer.

3. 1943 Pulitzer-winning novelist for “Dragon’s Teeth” : UPTON SINCLAIR
Novelist Upton Sinclair wrote a series of novels between 1940 and 1953 that had a central character named Lanny Budd. Each novel featured Budd against the backdrop of significant political events in the world. The third novel in the series is 1942’s “Dragon’s Teeth”, which is set during the Nazi takeover of Germany in the thirties. “Dragon’s Teeth” won the Sinclair a Pulitzer Prize in 1943.

5. “Seinfeld” uncle : LEO
On the sitcom “Seinfeld”, Jerry’s eccentric maternal uncle is Leo, played by actor Len Lesser. Lesser acted in movies and television for many years, alongside some of the greats of stage and screen. He was fond of telling a marvelous story about acting in the 1973 film “Papillon” starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. In his role as a prison guard, Lesser was required to shove McQueen, but McQueen didn’t think that Lesser was pushing him roughly enough. He turned to Lesser and told him “Don’t think of me as a movie star. Think of me as a character in a show”, encouraging him to be more aggressive. When McQueen walked away, Hoffman was left standing there beside Lesser. He paused and quietly said to Lesser, “Think of me as a movie star …”

6. Astronomer Hubble : EDWIN
The famous Hubble Space Telescope was installed in orbit by the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990. The telescope was named for the astronomer Edwin Hubble, the man who changed our view of the universe by postulating that the universe is expanding.

10. Ancient Norse work : EDDA
The Poetic Edda and Prose Edda are two ancient works that are the source for much of Norse mythology. Both Eddas were written in the 13th century, in Iceland.

11. 10 on a table : NEON
Neon is the chemical element with atomic number 10, and is one of the noble gases, those elements over on the extreme right of the Periodic Table. Because of their “full” complement of electrons, noble gases are very unreactive. The noble gases are helium, neon, argon, krypton and xenon.

12. Physics units : ERGS
An erg is a unit of energy or mechanical work. “Erg” comes from the Greek word “ergon” meaning “work”.

14. 1970s TV series set at 165 Eaton Place : UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS
“Upstairs, Downstairs” is a superb British drama series that first aired in the early seventies. Set between 1903 and 1930, the show examines the relationship between masters (upstairs) and servants (downstairs) in a large townhouse in London. To me, “Upstairs, Downstairs” is “Downton Abbey” on steroids.

15. Subatomic particle : LEPTON
Leptons are subatomic particles, of which there are two major classes. There are charged leptons, and neutral leptons. The most common charged leptons are electrons. Neutral leptons are also known as “neutrinos”.

23. Edgar Bergen’s dummy of old radio : SNERD
Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen’s most famous character was Charlie McCarthy, but Bergen also worked with Mortimer Snerd.

26. Elephant’s tail? : -INE
Something “elephantine” resembles an elephant, or more figuratively is huge and clumsy.

28. Sculler’s implement : OAR
A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell. Crew members who row the boat can be referred to as “oars”.

32. End of an era? : ONE BC
The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

37. Mythical hybrid : SATYR
The satyrs of Greek mythology came with a very high sex drive. They are the “rude” male subjects drawn on the side of old Greek vases. The nubile maidens known as nymphs were often an object of attention for the satyrs.

43. 1950 film noir starring Edmond O’Brien : DOA
Both the original 1950 film “D.O.A.” starring Edmond O’Brien, and its 1988 remake starring Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan, are excellent movies in my opinion. The basic storyline is that the lead character discovers he has been fatally poisoned and uses the limited time he has left in order to discover who “murdered” him.

45. Repeated word finishing “Everywhere a …” : MOO
Old MacDonald heard a “moo moo” here, and a “moo moo” there.

There was an American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O), that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

52. Vietnamese New Year : TET
The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

56. Main line : AORTA
The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

58. Tune you’re unlikely to dance to : DIRGE
A “dirge” is a slow and mournful musical piece, like a funeral hymn.

59. Fills : SATES
“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

60. Silverstein who wrote “A Boy Named Sue” : SHEL
“A Boy Named Sue” is a classic song by Shel Silverstein that was made famous by Johnny Cash. Cash actually recorded the song at a live concert he gave in 1969 at San Quentin State Prison.

61. 1997 Nicolas Cage film : CON AIR
“Con Air” is an entertaining action movie that was released in 1997. The film tells the story of a bunch of convicts being transported by air who escape and take control of the plane. If you take a look at the movie’s closing credits you’ll see the words “In Memory of Phil Swartz”. Swartz, a welder with the special effects team, was killed in a tragic accident when a static model of the plane used in the movie fell on him.

62. Producers of many revivals, for short : EMTS
Emergency medical technician (EMT)

68. Hosp. areas : ORS
Operating room (OR)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Bagatelle : BAUBLE
7. It often starts in Sept. : SCH
10. Buffalo-to-Burlington dir. : ENE
13. Intoxicated, say : IMPAIRED
14. Sustainer : UPHOLDER
16. “It can wait” : NOT NOW
17. Great Plains tunneler : PRAIRIE DOG
18. Boy taking a bow : EROS
19. Teeny : ITSY
21. Bridges : SPANS
22. X : TEN
23. Red state? : SNIT
24. QB stat: Abbr. : ATT
25. It’s a no-no : SIN
27. They rarely cover more than two feet in one day : PAIR OF SOCKS
32. Like the breeds Kerry Hill and English Leicester : OVINE
34. ___ Tomé : SAO
35. Last option on some survey questions : NONE
36. San Fran team : NINERS
38. One-third of a fire safety instruction : DROP
40. Party to Nafta: Abbr. : MEX
41. What “…” may mean: Abbr. : ETC
42. Woodworker’s groove : DADO
44. Philadelphia university : TEMPLE
46. Roll in the hay? : BALE
48. Job for a repo man : TOW
49. First-year law course : TORTS
50. Visionary : CLAIRVOYANT
53. It can make a row : HOE
54. Alternative to the USD : EUR
55. What sailors breathe : SEA AIR
57. ’60s antiwar grp. : SDS
60. Bouquet : SCENT
63. German boy’s name meaning “wealthy” : OTTO
64. One of a geographical septet : ASIA
65. Do-it-yourselfer’s activity : HOME REPAIR
67. One of the Kennedys : ROBERT
69. Charges, as with a responsibility : ENTRUSTS
70. Walk laboriously : TRUDGE
71. Retreats : LAIRS
72. Vetoes : NOS
73. Sibling duo in “Lady, Be Good!,” 1924 : ASTAIRES

Down
1. I.Q. test pioneer : BINET
2. Andrea Bocelli’s 2006 platinum-selling album : AMORE
3. 1943 Pulitzer-winning novelist for “Dragon’s Teeth” : UPTON SINCLAIR
4. Wee ‘uns in Scotland : BAIRNS
5. “Seinfeld” uncle : LEO
6. Astronomer Hubble : EDWIN
7. Complimentary adjective for a grandpa : SPRY
8. Easy ___ : CHAIR
9. Raises : HOISTS
10. Ancient Norse work : EDDA
11. 10 on a table : NEON
12. Physics units : ERGS
14. 1970s TV series set at 165 Eaton Place : UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS
15. Subatomic particle : LEPTON
20. Line on a restaurant check : TIP
23. Edgar Bergen’s dummy of old radio : SNERD
24. In progress : AFOOT
26. Elephant’s tail? : -INE
28. Sculler’s implement : OAR
29. Gas station supply … or what can be found eight times in this puzzle? : COMPRESSED AIR
30. Prepared to engage? : KNELT
31. Classifies in one of two groups, in a way : SEXES
32. End of an era? : ONE BC
33. Essential : VITAL
37. Mythical hybrid : SATYR
39. Common allergen : PET HAIR
43. 1950 film noir starring Edmond O’Brien : DOA
45. Repeated word finishing “Everywhere a …” : MOO
47. Leveling tool : EVENER
51. Best in a race : OUTRUN
52. Vietnamese New Year : TET
56. Main line : AORTA
58. Tune you’re unlikely to dance to : DIRGE
59. Fills : SATES
60. Silverstein who wrote “A Boy Named Sue” : SHEL
61. 1997 Nicolas Cage film : CON AIR
62. Producers of many revivals, for short : EMTS
63. Decides (to) : OPTS
64. Be contiguous : ABUT
66. That: Sp. : ESO
68. Hosp. areas : ORS

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4 thoughts on “0820-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Aug 15, Thursday”

  1. I started this thinking, "Wow, they haven't published a rebus in a long time." Serves me right. But I think this is my first one under a half-hour (:26). And someday I'm going to remember this BINET guy, since he keeps popping up.

  2. Very difficult for me. 6 Googles. Suddenly saw the AIR trick. I knew it had to be some word that was bollixing up my answers

    @ Willie – People may age used to have to take the Stanford-Binet test, IQ, I guess.

  3. Not too bad for a Thursday. Some random thoughts: 1) The year 1968 is one I don't like to remember; for various reasons, both personal and otherwise, including the deaths of King and Kennedy and the continuing mess in Vietnam and at home, I became so depressed that I quit my job and wandered around Europe for a few months while I got my head back together. 2) Why is it that Asia and Europe are still considered separate continents? And 3) I loved the story about Len Lesser and Dustin Hoffman.

    This morning, I woke up with a follow-up to Tuesday's discussion running through my head: One man's "MEAn-spiriTed clue" is another man's "POsItive reaSON" for doing a crossword puzzle … 🙂

  4. 24:39, 3 errors. 25A STN (SIN), 32A OVIEE (OVINE), 26D TEE (INE). For 26D the letter TEE made more sense to me than INE, at the time. Oh well. In my paper, the clue for 1D looked like "I.O. test pioneer". Had me wondering what an I.O. test was.

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