0908-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Sep 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jacob Stulberg
THEME: PG-13 … we have THIRTEEN themed answers today, each with the letter sequence PG hidden inside:

60A. Somewhat family-friendly … or a title for this puzzle, as suggested by the completed grid? : PG-THIRTEEN

16A. It’s mostly methane : SWAMP GAS
19A. Place to erect a tent : CAMPGROUND
25A. Org. whose members may be putting on a show? : PGA
30A. Sufficient for now, as a measure : STOPGAP
47A. BBC car series listed by Guinness as the most widely watched factual TV program in the world : TOP GEAR
66A. Cosmetic applied with a small brush : LIP GLOSS
70A. ___ score (neonatal measure) : APGAR
4D. Noisy toy : CAP GUN
10D. Figure on a soldier’s poster in W.W. II : PINUP GIRL
11D. Casino activities with dice : CRAP GAMES
17D. Car sticker fig. : MPG
34D. Carry on : KEEP GOING

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 59s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Leader with an -ism : MAO
The Maoist philosophy holds that the agrarian worker, as opposed to the more general working class, is the driving force in transforming from a capitalist society into a socialist society.

8. Org. with pet causes : ASPCA
Unlike in most developed countries, there is no “umbrella” organization in the US with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

13. Clue on “Jeopardy!”: Abbr. : ANS
On the game show “Jeopardy!”, the contestants are given the answers, and have to work out the questions.

15. “Catch-22” or “Don Quixote” : SATIRE
“Catch-22” is a novel by Joseph Heller set during WWII. The title refers to absurd bureaucratic constraints that soldiers had to suffer. Heller’s “Catch 22” was invoked by an army psychiatrist to explain that any pilot requesting to be evaluated for insanity, to avoid flying dangerous missions, had to be sane as only a sane man would try to get out of such missions. The term “catch-22 has entered the language and describes a paradoxical situation from which one can’t escape due to contradictory rules; one loses, no matter what choice one makes.

The full name of Cervantes’s novel is “The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha”. In the story, Don Quixote is a retired country gentleman who heads out as a knight-errant and who renames himself Don Quixote of la Mancha. In his mind he designates a neighboring farm girl called Aldonza Lorenzo as his lady love, and renames her Dulcinea del Toboso.

16. It’s mostly methane : SWAMP GAS
The hydrocarbon gas that forms when organic material decays in the absence of air is called “marsh gas” or “swamp gas”. The major component of marsh gas is methane.

21. Kind of tent : PUP
A pup tent is a small ridge tent, meant for use by 2-3 people. The term “pup tent” has been around since the mid-1800s. A pup tent was sometimes called a dog tent.

22. Sauce brand : RAGU
The Ragu brand of pasta sauce is owned by Unilever. The name ” Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is off a little. In Italian the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the Unilever sauce, it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …

25. Org. whose members may be putting on a show? : PGA
The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

PGA golfers might be putting on a show, making putts on a TV broadcast.

32. Turbaned believer : SIKH
Sikhism is a religion that was founded in the Punjab region, which straddles the India-Pakistan border. Even though Sikhism was established relatively recently, it is now the fifth-largest organized religion in the world. Sikhism was founded in the 15th century by Guru Nanak.

39. Qualified to serve : ONE-A
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System(SS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

43. Knoxville sch. : UTENN
The University of Tennessee (UT, UTenn) is a public school in Knoxville that was founded in 1794. UT is home to the collections of three sets of presidential papers; those of Presidents Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson, all of whom hailed from Tennessee. UT has three primary campuses, in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin.

47. BBC car series listed by Guinness as the most widely watched factual TV program in the world : TOP GEAR
“Top Gear” is a motoring show that first aired in 1977 on the BBC. The show had legs, and ran until 2001 when it was cancelled due to falling ratings. The show was relaunched in a new format in 2002. At its peak, the “Old Top Gear” has 6 million viewers per week. The relaunched “Top Gear” now gets a staggering 350 million viewers per week, in 170 different countries. That said, the show is somewhat in turmoil as the main host, Jeremy Clarkson, was fired by the BBC recently after a verbal and physical fracas with a producer.

49. Class followed by a shower : GYM
Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning “naked”, as that physical training was usually done unclothed.

52. Places offering facials : SPAS
The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

54. Marshal played in film by Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner : EARP
The legendary Western gunfighter and lawman Wyatt Earp has been portrayed on the big and small screen many, many times. Kevin Costner played the title role in 1994’s “Wyatt Earp”, and Val Kilmer played Earp in 2012’s “The First Ride of Wyatt Earp”. Joel McCrea had the part in 1955’s “Wichita”, and Kurt Russell was Earp in 1993’s “Tombstone”.

68. Gaelic tongue : ERSE
There are three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).

70. ___ score (neonatal measure) : APGAR
The Apgar scale is used to assess the health of newborn babies. The newborn is evaluated in five categories that are given by the acronym APGAR, namely:

– Appearance
– Pulse
– Grimace
– Activity
– Respiration

The acronym is actually a “backronym”, as the test is name for Dr. Virginia Apgar who devised it in 1952.

71. Midwest tribe : OTOS
The Otoe (also Oto) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestwards ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

72. What a D.M.V. issues: Abbr. : LIC
In most states, the government agency responsible for vehicle registration and the issuing of driver’s licenses is called the DMV. This initialism usually stands for the Department of Motor Vehicles, but there are “variations on the theme”. For example, in Arizona the responsible agency is called the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), and in Colorado the familiar abbreviation “DMV” stands for Division of Motor Vehicles.

Down
1. Like the Fr. “le,” but not “la” : MASC
The definite article in French can be “le” (with masculine nouns), “la” (with feminine nouns), and “les” (with plurals of either gender).

2. With 15-Down, 1978 Nobel Peace Prize winner : ANWAR
(15D. See 2-Down : SADAT)
Anwar Sadat was the third President of Egypt right up to the time of his assassination in 1981. Sadat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 along with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for the role played in crafting the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978 at Camp David. It was this agreement that largely led to Sadat’s assassination three years later.

3. 2005 biography subtitled “The Making of a Terrorist” : OSAMA
Osama bin Laden founded his militant Islamist group called al-Qaeda in the late eighties. “Al-Qaeda” translates as “the base”, and can refer to a military base. It was originally the name of a training camp set up for mujahedin fighters opposing the Russians who occupied Afghanistan at the time.

5. Roman Cath. title : MSGR
“Monsignor” (Msgr.) is a form of address used when speaking to some high ranking members of the Roman Catholic Church. The word “monsignor” comes from the Italian “monsignore” which in turn comes from the French “mon seigneur” meaning “my lord”.

6. Golfer Aoki : ISAO
Isao Aoki is one of Japan’s greatest golfers, now playing on the senior circuit. Aoki’s best finish in a major tournament was runner-up to Jack Nicklaus in the 1980 US Open.

8. Swiss river to the Rhine : AAR
The Aar (also called the “Aare” in German) is the longest river entirely in Switzerland. A famous spot along the Aar is the Reichenbach Falls in the center of the country, actually a series of waterfalls near the city of Meiringen. These falls are renowned in the world of literature as it was here that Sherlock Holmes fell to his supposed doom with his nemesis Professor Moriarty (in “The Adventure of the Final Problem”).

11. Casino activities with dice : CRAP GAMES
If one considers earlier versions of craps, then the game has been around for a very long time and probably dates back to the Crusades. It may have been derived from an old English game called “hazard” also played with two dice, which was mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” from the 1300s. The American version of the game came here courtesy of the French and first set root in New Orleans where it was given the name “crapaud”, a French word meaning “toad”.

12. D.D.E. opponent : AES
Adlai Stevenson (AES) ran for president unsuccessfully against Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and in 1956. Some years after his second defeat, Stevenson served under President Kennedy as Ambassador to the United Nations. Stevenson was always noted for his eloquence and he had a famous exchange in a UN Security Council meeting during the Cuban missile crisis. Stevenson bluntly demanded that the Soviet representative on the council tell the world if the USSR was installing nuclear weapons in Cuba. His words were “Don’t wait for the translation, answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’!” followed by “I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over!”

President Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas and given the name David Dwight Eisenhower, but by the time he made it to the White House he was going by the name Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE). Growing up, his family called him Dwight, and when “Ike” enrolled in West Point he himself reversed the order of his given names.

28. Bond girl Green : EVA
Despite the English sounding name, Eva Green is a French actress. Green played Bond girl Vesper Lynd in the 2006 movie “Casino Royale”, opposite Daniel Craig.

31. ___-dieu (kneeling bench) : PRIE
Prie-dieu literally means “pray (to) God” in French. A prie-dieu is basically a padded kneeler, with an armrest in front and a shelf on which one placed books of prayer.

44. Bygone video game inits. : NES
Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

53. Fifth-century pope known as “the Great” : ST LEO
The first pope named Leo is now known as Pope Saint Leo the Great. Leo I is famous for meeting with the feared Attila the Hun and persuading him to turn back his invading force that was threatening to overrun Western Europe.

55. The Falcons, on scoreboards : ATL
The Atlanta Falcons joined the NFL in 1965. The team name was suggest by a school teacher called Miss Julia Elliott. Elliot suggested that “the Falcon is proud and dignified, with great courage and fight. It never drops its prey. It is deadly and has a great sporting tradition.”

57. Joe of “Once Upon a Time in America” : PESCI
Joe Pesci got his big break in movies with a supporting role in “Raging Bull” starring Robert De Niro, earning Pesci an Oscar nomination early in his career. There followed a string of gangster roles played alongside De Niro, namely “Once Upon a Time in America”, “Goodfellas” and “Casino”. But I like Pesci’s comedic acting best of all. He was marvelous in the “Home Alone” films, the “Lethal Weapon” series, and my personal favorite, “My Cousin Vinny”. Pesci gets a mention in the stage musical “Jersey Boys”, which isn’t too surprising as he is one of the show’s producers.

“Once Upon a Time in America” is a 1984 crime film starring Robert De Niro and James Woods. The movie is an adaptation of a novel titled “The Hoods” by Harry Grey, with a screenplay by the great Sergio Leone, who was famous for his “Spaghetti Westerns” starring Clint Eastwood. Leone also directed “Once Upon a Time in America”, and it was to be the last film for which he was at the helm.

59. Contents of el océano : AGUA
In Spanish, the ocean (El océano) contains lots of water (agua).

61. “Java” trumpeter Al : HIRT
Al Hirt was a trumpeter and bandleader. Hirt’s most famous recordings were the song “Java” and the album “Honey in the Horn”, as well the theme song used “The Green Hornet” TV series in the sixties.

62. ___ facto : IPSO
“Ipso facto” is Latin, meaning “by the fact itself”. Ipso facto describes something that is a direct consequence of particular act, as opposed to something that is the result of some subsequent event. For example, my father was born in Dublin and was an Irish citizen ipso facto. My son was born in California and is an Irish citizen by virtue of being the son of an Irish citizen (“not” ipso facto).

63. Tiny amount of time: Abbr. : NSEC
“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns”, and really is a tiny amount of time: one billionth of a second.

64. Big coal-mining state: Abbr. : WVA
The state of West Virginia was formed during the civil war when the western counties in the old state of Virginia voted to secede from the Confederate state.

65. Woody Allen’s “Hannah and ___ Sisters” : HER
“Hannah and Her Sisters” is a 1986 comedy-drama film that was written and directed by Woody Allen. Hannah is played by Mia Farrow, and Hannah’s two sisters are played by Barbara Hershey and Dianne Wiest.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Leader with an -ism : MAO
4. The year 902 : CMII
8. Org. with pet causes : ASPCA
13. Clue on “Jeopardy!”: Abbr. : ANS
14. The “A” in 25-Across: Abbr. : ASSN
15. “Catch-22” or “Don Quixote” : SATIRE
16. It’s mostly methane : SWAMP GAS
18. Concert sites : ARENAS
19. Place to erect a tent : CAMPGROUND
21. Kind of tent : PUP
22. Sauce brand : RAGU
23. Soup kitchen offering : MEAL
25. Org. whose members may be putting on a show? : PGA
27. Fresh : NEW
30. Sufficient for now, as a measure : STOPGAP
32. Turbaned believer : SIKH
36. Immense : VAST
38. First-rate : PRIMO
39. Qualified to serve : ONE-A
40. Not straight : ASKEW
42. Angers : IRES
43. Knoxville sch. : UTENN
45. Runner’s feeling : HIGH
46. In addition : ELSE
47. BBC car series listed by Guinness as the most widely watched factual TV program in the world : TOP GEAR
49. Class followed by a shower : GYM
51. Non-sharer : HOG
52. Places offering facials : SPAS
54. Marshal played in film by Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner : EARP
58. ___ good deed : DO A
60. Somewhat family-friendly … or a title for this puzzle, as suggested by the completed grid? : PG-THIRTEEN
64. Boxer’s stat : WEIGHT
66. Cosmetic applied with a small brush : LIP GLOSS
67. Concert sites : VENUES
68. Gaelic tongue : ERSE
69. Frost, essentially : ICE
70. ___ score (neonatal measure) : APGAR
71. Midwest tribe : OTOS
72. What a D.M.V. issues: Abbr. : LIC

Down
1. Like the Fr. “le,” but not “la” : MASC
2. With 15-Down, 1978 Nobel Peace Prize winner : ANWAR
3. 2005 biography subtitled “The Making of a Terrorist” : OSAMA
4. Noisy toy : CAP GUN
5. Roman Cath. title : MSGR
6. Golfer Aoki : ISAO
7. All together : IN SUM
8. Swiss river to the Rhine : AAR
9. Bit of a climb : STEP
10. Figure on a soldier’s poster in W.W. II : PINUP GIRL
11. Casino activities with dice : CRAP GAMES
12. D.D.E. opponent : AES
15. See 2-Down : SADAT
17. Car sticker fig. : MPG
20. Individual retirement account, say : NEST EGG
24. Cut (off) : LOP
26. Strike ___ (model) : A POSE
28. Bond girl Green : EVA
29. Cloth for cleaning : WASHRAG
31. ___-dieu (kneeling bench) : PRIE
32. 6:00 on a compass : SOUTH
33. Past the point of no return : IN TOO DEEP
34. Carry on : KEEP GOING
35. Chill (with) : HANG
37. Hit the slopes : SKI
41. “___ me?” : WHY
44. Bygone video game inits. : NES
48. Engagement calendar listings: Abbr. : APPTS
50. Goes from two lanes to one : MERGES
53. Fifth-century pope known as “the Great” : ST LEO
55. The Falcons, on scoreboards : ATL
56. Maintain, in a way, as a car engine : RE-OIL
57. Joe of “Once Upon a Time in America” : PESCI
59. Contents of el océano : AGUA
61. “Java” trumpeter Al : HIRT
62. ___ facto : IPSO
63. Tiny amount of time: Abbr. : NSEC
64. Big coal-mining state: Abbr. : WVA
65. Woody Allen’s “Hannah and ___ Sisters” : HER

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6 thoughts on “0908-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Sep 15, Tuesday”

  1. Eleven minutes, no permanent errors, but I initially had POP GUN instead of CAP GUN, HUGE instead of VAST, and ALSO instead of ELSE. Must be the fault of Nasty Will Shortz, his Malevolent Minions, and their mean-spirited clues … 🙂

    If 25 Across referred to the Producers Guild of America, then the answer to 14 Across (ASSN) would not make sense.

    I totally missed the theme. Stupid me …

  2. 11:59, no errors. I actually went back over the grid and figured out the theme, before I came here. My original entry for 4D was CANNON, but that was quickly corrected by the cross words.

  3. Had more trouble than usual for a Tuesday. "Theme" was quite a bit opaque. Too often, they're really "reaching" for these. Better to just go "no theme" and be done with trying to show how clever they think they are.

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