0824-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Aug 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Lynn Lempel
THEME: It’s Up to You … we have some four-letter series hidden in four long down-answers. The series of letters is the word “IT’S”, written UP, and running TO the letter that sounds like YOU (namely “U”). So, we have IT’S-U written upwards:

28D. “I’ll defer on this one” … or a hint for what’s found in 3-, 9-, 21- and 24-Down? : IT’S UP TO YOU

3D. Leaving no stone unturned : EXHAUSTIVE
9D. John Roberts, for one : CHIEF JUSTICE
21D. Actor with Oscars for “Spartacus” and “Topkapi” : PETER USTINOV
24D. Acid, as criticism : CAUSTIC

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 42s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Home to Iowa State : AMES
Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) is located in Ames, Iowa. Among many other notable events, ISU created the country’s first school of veterinary medicine, in 1879. The sports teams of ISU are known as the Cyclones.

18. Activity with a mask and flippers : SKIN DIVING
“Skin diving” is diving in one’s “skin”, i.e. without using a frogman’s drysuit.

20. Wrinkly-faced Chinese dog : SHAR PEI
The Shar Pei breed of dog is that one with the wrinkly face and really dark tongue. The breed originated in China, with “Shar Pei” being the British spelling of the Cantonese name.

22. Stereo system component : TWEETER
In a sound system, a speaker that is designed to produce high frequencies is known as a “tweeter”. A speaker made for low frequencies is called a “woofer”. The terms come from the fact that birds migh high-pitched “tweets”, and dogs make low-pitched “woofs”.

25. Exam with a perfect score of 2400 : SAT
Today the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation SAT.

26. Kentucky Derby month : MAY
The first Kentucky Derby was run in 1875, and is a race modelled on the Epsom Derby in England and the Grand Prix de Paris (now called the “Prix de l‘Arc de Triomphe”). As such, The Kentucky Derby was run over 1½ miles, although in 1896 this was shortened to 1¼ miles. The winning horse is presented with a very elaborate blanket made of red roses.

33. Off-white : ECRU
The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

36. “What a good boy ___!”: Little Jack Horner : AM I

Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said ‘What a good boy am I!

37. Good potatoes for French fries : RUSSETS
The full name of the potato that we commonly refer to as a “russet” is a “russet Burbank”. The russet is probably a mutation of the Burbank potato. One Luther Burbank developed the Burbank potato as a disease-resistant Irish potato, and give the strain his name.

43. “Pulp Fiction” actress Thurman : UMA
I”m not a big fan of director Quentin Tarantino. His movies are too violent for me, and the size of his ego just turns me right off. Having said that, I think “Pulp Fiction” is a remarkable film. If you can look past the violence it’s really well written. And what a legacy it has. John Travolta’s career was on the rocks and he did the film for practically no money, and it turned out be a re-launch for him. Uma Thurman became a top celebrity overnight from her role. Even Bruce Willis got some good out of it, putting an end to a string of poorly received performances.

44. Figure skating leaps : AXELS
An Axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. It was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

45. Whole ___ and caboodle : KIT
In the idiomatic expression “the whole kit and caboodle”, caboodle (sometimes spelled “kaboodle”) is an informal term for a bunch of people, or sometimes the “the whole lot”.

46. Rapscallion : IMP
We might call a little imp a rapscallion, an evolution from “rascallion”, which in turn comes from “rascal”.

50. Chivas Regal product : SCOTCH
Chivas Regal is a blended Scotch whisky that is produced by Chivas Brothers, a company that was established in 1801. The Chivas Regal blend was first created in the early 1900s and was produced specifically for the US market.

53. Slow compositions : ADAGIOS
An adagio is a piece of music with a slow tempo. The “adagio” marking on the score is an instruction to play the piece slowly and in a stately manner. The word adagio is Latin for “at ease”.

56. Government assistance : THE DOLE
The word “dole”, meaning “financial relief”, originated as the Old English word “dal”, the state of sharing or giving out. Our term “on the dole”, relating to institutional relief, dates back to the twenties.

57. Architectural style of medieval Europe : ROMANESQUE
Romanesque architecture is a style that was a precursor to Gothic architecture, and had its heyday in medieval Europe. Romanesque buildings are often quite massive, have thick walls, round arches and large towers. When compared to the ornate Gothic style, Romanesque is seen to be relatively simple and plain. A classic example of the style would the Tower of London, especially the White Tower that sits at the center of the structure.

60. ___ acid : AMINO
Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins.

63. Samsung or LG product, briefly : LED TV
Samsung is huge multinational company based in Seoul, South Korea. We tend to think of Samsung as a supplier of consumer electronics perhaps, but the company is into so much more. Samsung Heavy Industries is the world’s second-biggest shipbuilder, and Samsung Techwin is a major manufacturer of aeronautic and weapons systems. The name “Samsung” means “three stars” in Korean.

LG is a very large South Korean manufacturer of electronics, chemicals and telecom products. LG used to be known as Lucky-Goldstar.

Down
2. Like a manly man : MACHO
A man described as “macho” shows pride in his masculinity. “Macho” is a Spanish word for “male animal”.

4. ___ Nevadas : SIERRA
The American Sierra Nevada range lies in California and Nevada. The Spanish Sierra Nevada range is in Andalusia, with the name meaning “snowy range” in Spanish.

6. Shape-shifting Norse trickster : LOKI
Loki is a god appearing in Norse mythology. He is a “shape-shifter”, a being who can appear in different forms. In one story about Loki, he was punished by other gods for having caused the death of Baldr, the god of light and beauty. Loki is bound to a sharp rock using the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom which is collected in a bowl, and then his wife must empty the venom onto Loki when the bowl is full. The venom causes Loki great pain, and his writhing results in what we poor mortals experience as earthquakes.

7. Israeli gun : UZI
The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

9. John Roberts, for one : CHIEF JUSTICE
John Roberts is the 17th Chief Justice of the United States. Roberts was a nominee of President George W. Bush and assumed office in 2005. President Bush first proposed Roberts as an Associate Justice to replace the retiring Sandra Day O’Connor. However, Chief Justice Rehnquist died before Roberts could be confirmed, so President Bush instead nominated Roberts for the vacant Chief Justice seat.

11. “___ soup yet?” : IS IT
There was a famous TV spot advertising Lipton instant soup in the seventies. Kids would watch as boiling water was added to powdered soup, exclaiming excitedly “Is it soup yet?” Ugh …

19. Result of a failed Breathalyzer test, for short : DWI
In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, so that by definition a DUI is a lesser offence than a DWI.

What we know today as the breathalyzer was introduced in 1931 as a device called the “drunkometer”.

21. Actor with Oscars for “Spartacus” and “Topkapi” : PETER USTINOV
Peter Ustinov was a fabulous actor from England. It has to be said though, he was multi-talented and I remember him as a great guest on the talk show circuit.

Spartacus was a gladiator and slave who became a leader in the Third Servile War, the last in a series of unsuccessful slave rebellions against the Roman Republic. The Third Servile War is also called the Gladiator War and the War of Spartacus. Spartacus features in a 1951 historical novel by Howard Fast called “Spartacus”, which inspired the 1960 movie of the same name starring Kirk Douglas.

“Topkapi” is a fun film released in 1964. It is based on the novel “The Light of Day” by Eric Ambler. Peter Ustinov played one of the leading roles in the movie, and yet he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance.

26. Preceder of “Brown” and “Robinson” in 1960s #1 hits : MRS
“Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” was a chart-topping song released by Herman’s Hermits in 1965. It is a surprising little song, and very unlike the tracks that Herman’s Hermits were releasing at the time. It turned out to be an unexpected hit, and even the bandmembers themselves were taken aback at its success.

When Mike Nichols was making the 1967 film “The Graduate” he apparently became obsessed with the music of Simon and Garfunkel, who were just coming into the limelight. Nichols made a deal with Paul Simon to write three songs that he could use on the soundtrack of his new movie. Simon and Garfunkel were touring constantly around that time, so Nichols had to badger Simon to hold up his end of the bargain. When Nichols was ready to lay down the film’s soundtrack there was only one commissioned song available, so Nichols had to basically beg Paul Simon for anything. Simon mentioned that he was finishing up one new song, but it wasn’t written for the film. It was more a celebration of former times, with lyrics about baseball great Joe DiMaggio and former First Lady, Mrs. Roosevelt. Nichols informed Simon that the song was no longer about Mrs. Roosevelt, and instead it was about Mrs. Robinson …

30. One-named singer with multiple Grammys : ENYA
Enya’s real name is Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career. She sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!

31. Cape Canaveral org. : NASA
The famous headland in Florida called Cape Canaveral was named by Spanish explorers in the early 16th century. As the Cape acts as a launching station for many of NASA’s rockets, when President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 the NASA facility on nearby Merritt Island was renamed the Kennedy Space Center, and President Johnson went as far as renaming the whole of Cape Canaveral to Cape Kennedy. The name change for the cape didn’t go down well in Florida though, as the headland had been called Cape Canaveral for over 400 years. So, the name was restored in 1973, and Cape Kennedy is no more.

32. Big-screen movie format : IMAX
The IMAX Corporation, which is behind the IMAX film format, is a Canadian company. The impetus for developing the system came after Expo ’67 in Montreal. Back then large format screenings were accomplished using multiple projectors with multiple screens, with images basically stitched together. The team behind the IMAX technology set out to simplify things, and developed a single-camera, single-projector system.

38. “Let’s ___!” (words after saying grace) : EAT
A “grace” is a short prayer recited before or after a meal.

45. Directive to Kate in a Cole Porter musical : KISS ME
“Kiss Me, Kate” is a musical written by Cole Porter first produced on Broadway in 1948. Cole Porter had a string of successes in the twenties and thirties including “Gay Divorce” and “Anything Goes”, but he found his career in decline in the forties. “Kiss Me, Kate” proved to be a dramatic come back, and was the only one of his shows that ran for more than 1,000 performances on Broadway. Famously, “Kiss Me, Kate” is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”.

47. Detroit debut of 1903 : MODEL A
The Ford Model A was the original car produced by the Ford Motor Company. The first production run lasted from 1903 to 1904, when it was replaced by the Model C. The name “Model A” was brought back in 1927 and used for the successor to the Model T.

50. Purchase for a king or queen : SHEET
Those would be king-size and queen-size beds.

52. Ibsen’s “___ Gabler” : HEDDA
“Hedda Gabler” is a play by the great Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, first published in 1890. Considered one of the greatest theater roles, the title character of Hedda Gabler is sometimes referred to as “the female Hamlet”.

53. ___ Sea, Kazakh/Uzbek body of water : ARAL
The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet Union irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

The Republic of Kazakhstan in Central Asia is the world’s largest landlocked country. Kazakhstan was the last of the former Soviet Republics (SSRs) to declare itself independent from Russia.

The Republic of Uzbekistan is a former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR). Uzbekistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia, and is in fact surrounded by countries which are also landlocked. This means that to reach a coastline from Uzbekistan, you have to cross at least two international borders. There are only two “doubly landlocked” countries in the world: Uzbekistan in Central Asia, and Liechtenstein in Central Europe.

54. Rotunda feature : DOME
In architecture, “rotunda” is a name given to a building with a circular ground plan. Often the building has a dome, but that isn’t a strict requirement for a “rotunda”. The term can also refer to a round room within a building. The most famous example in this country is the Rotunda in the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

56. King ___ tomb : TUT’S
King Tut is a name commonly used for the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen. Tutankhamen may not have been the most significant of the pharaohs historically, but he is the most famous today largely because of the discovery of his nearly intact tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter. Prior to this find, any Egyptian tombs uncovered by archaeologists had been ravaged by grave robbers. Tutankhamen’s magnificent burial mask is one of the most recognizable of all Egyptian artifacts.

58. Sine ___ non : QUA
“Sine qua non” is a Latin phrase that we use to mean “the essential element or condition”. The literal translation is “without which not”. One might say, for example, “a challenging crossword is the sine qua non of a good newspaper”. Well, crossword fans might say that anyway …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Home to Iowa State : AMES
5. Drain stopper : PLUG
9. Reprimand : CHIDE
14. Dress style that covers the leg : MAXI
15. Seepage : OOZE
16. Wears : HAS ON
17. Suffer from overexercise, maybe : ACHE
18. Activity with a mask and flippers : SKIN DIVING
20. Wrinkly-faced Chinese dog : SHAR PEI
22. Stereo system component : TWEETER
23. Turned bad, as milk : SOURED
24. Starting point for a hang-glider : CLIFF
25. Exam with a perfect score of 2400 : SAT
26. Kentucky Derby month : MAY
27. Apple product : JUICE
31. Little issue to “pick” : NIT
33. Off-white : ECRU
35. Catch some rays : SUNTAN
36. “What a good boy ___!”: Little Jack Horner : AM I
37. Good potatoes for French fries : RUSSETS
39. Devious : SLY
40. Accumulate a nest egg : SAVE UP
42. Stretched tight : TAUT
43. “Pulp Fiction” actress Thurman : UMA
44. Figure skating leaps : AXELS
45. Whole ___ and caboodle : KIT
46. Rapscallion : IMP
48. System of moral values : ETHIC
50. Chivas Regal product : SCOTCH
53. Slow compositions : ADAGIOS
56. Government assistance : THE DOLE
57. Architectural style of medieval Europe : ROMANESQUE
59. Gave the once-over : EYED
60. ___ acid : AMINO
61. Silent : MUTE
62. Amount a washing machine holds : LOAD
63. Samsung or LG product, briefly : LED TV
64. Atlantic Coast states, with “the” : EAST
65. Halo effect : AURA

Down
1. Pile up : AMASS
2. Like a manly man : MACHO
3. Leaving no stone unturned : EXHAUSTIVE
4. ___ Nevadas : SIERRA
5. Got ready for the camera : POSED
6. Shape-shifting Norse trickster : LOKI
7. Israeli gun : UZI
8. How to handle something fragile : GENTLY
9. John Roberts, for one : CHIEF JUSTICE
10. “Enjoy yourself!” : HAVE FUN!
11. “___ soup yet?” : IS IT
12. Sufficiently cooked : DONE
13. One who pulls a train whistle: Abbr. : ENGR
19. Result of a failed Breathalyzer test, for short : DWI
21. Actor with Oscars for “Spartacus” and “Topkapi” : PETER USTINOV
24. Acid, as criticism : CAUSTIC
26. Preceder of “Brown” and “Robinson” in 1960s #1 hits : MRS
28. “I’ll defer on this one” … or a hint for what’s found in 3-, 9-, 21- and 24-Down? : IT’S UP TO YOU
29. Unruffled : CALM
30. One-named singer with multiple Grammys : ENYA
31. Cape Canaveral org. : NASA
32. Big-screen movie format : IMAX
34. Trophy shape : CUP
35. Nickname that’s an alphabet trio : STU (or “S-T-U”)
38. “Let’s ___!” (words after saying grace) : EAT
41. Tastefully sophisticated : ELEGANT
45. Directive to Kate in a Cole Porter musical : KISS ME
47. Detroit debut of 1903 : MODEL A
49. Tilling tool : HOE
50. Purchase for a king or queen : SHEET
51. Cloudless : CLEAR
52. Ibsen’s “___ Gabler” : HEDDA
53. ___ Sea, Kazakh/Uzbek body of water : ARAL
54. Rotunda feature : DOME
55. Surrounded by : AMID
56. King ___ tomb : TUT’S
58. Sine ___ non : QUA

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3 thoughts on “0824-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Aug 15, Monday”

  1. I got my BS from ISU in 1963, so I remember Ames very well. Of course, it may have changed a bit in 52 years … 🙂

    I didn't know the derivations of AXEL and UZI until now. Interesting.

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