0613-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 13 Jun 16, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Lynn Lempel
THEME: Fool Around
The circled letters that bound (are AROUND) today’s themed answers spell out a synonym of FOOL:

64A. Engage in some horseplay … or a hint to the words spelled out in the circles : FOOL AROUND

17A. Leave one’s vehicle in a traffic lane, say : DOUBLE-PARK (DORK around)
24A. Iconic U.S. cabinetmaker of the early 1800s : DUNCAN PHYFE (DUNCE around)
37A. Physical expression of victory : CHEST BUMP (CHUMP around)
55A. Spinal cord cell needed for muscle contraction : MOTOR NEURON (MORON around)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME:5m 24s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. What ran away with the spoon, in “Hey Diddle Diddle” : DISH
The nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle” has been around at least since the mid-1700s.

Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,
The little dog laughed to see such fun,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

14. Some passport stamps : VISAS
A visa is a usually a stamp in one’s passport, an indication that one is authorized to enter (and less often “to exit”) a particular country. The word “visa” comes into English, via French, from the Latin expression “charta visa” meaning “paper that has been seen”, or “verified paper”.

16. Ferber who wrote “Giant” : EDNA
Edna Ferber was a novelist and playwright from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ferber won a Pulitzer for her novel “So Big”, which was made into a film a few times, most famously in 1953 starring Jane Wyman. Ferber also wrote “Showboat”, “Cimarron” and “Giant”, which were adapted successful for the stage and/or big screen.

“Giant” is a 1952 novel by author Edna Ferber. It was adapted into a successful Hollywood movie released in 1956. In the film, Bick Benedict (played by Rock Hudson) marries Leslie (played by Elizabeth Taylor) and takes his new wife home to the family ranch in Texas called Reata. The ranch’s handyman is Jett Rink, played by James Dean. Dean was killed in a car accident before the film was released. Some of of Dean’s lines needed work before the film could be released and so another actor had to do that voice-over work.

17. Leave one’s vehicle in a traffic lane, say : DOUBLE-PARK (DORK around)
I consider “dork” to be pretty offensive slang. It emanated in the sixties among American students, and has its roots in another slang term, a term for male genitalia.

21. “___ the only one?” : AM I
Am I?

22. President William Howard ___ : TAFT
William Howard Taft may have been the 27th President of the United States, but his lifelong ambition was to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President Taft was able to realize that dream in 1921, eight years after losing his bid for re-election as president. As Chief Justice, this former US President swore in two new presidents: Calvin Coolidge (in 1925) and Herbert Hoover (in 1929). William Howard Taft is also remembered as the most obese president. In the last year of his presidency, he weighed about 340 pounds (he was 5 feet 11 inches tall). Twelve months after leaving the White House, President Taft had dropped 80 pounds and substantially lowered his blood pressure.

23. Four Corners-area tribesman : UTE
The Ute are a group of Native American tribes that now reside in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups. The word “Ute” means “Land of the Sun”, and “Ute” also gave us the state name “Utah”.

The Four Corners region of the US surrounds the meeting point of the four states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The Four Corners is the only point in the US that is shared by four states.

24. Iconic U.S. cabinetmaker of the early 1800s : DUNCAN PHYFE (DUNCE around)
Duncan Phyfe was a leading American cabinetmaker who plied his trade during the first half of the 19th century. Phyfe was born Duncan Fife in Scotland, and immigrated to the US when he was 22 years old. Phyfe really wasn’t known for his own personal style, but rather as an outstanding interpreter of the European styles that were fashionable at that time.

28. Italian luxury carmaker : FERRARI
Enzo Ferrari was an Italian race car driver, and founder of the Ferrari car manufacturing company. Ferrari died in 1988, and in 2003 the company named the Enzo model after its founder.

30. Jefferson Davis’s govt. : CSA
The Confederate States of America (CSA) set up government in 1861 just before Abraham Lincoln took office. Jefferson Davis was selected as President of the CSA at its formation and retained the post for the life of the government.

31. ___ Andreas Fault : SAN
The famous San Andreas Fault in California lies along the boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. The faultline was named in 1885 after a small lake just south of San Francisco called Laguna de San Andreas.

33. Academic record, in brief : GPA
Grade point average (GPA)

41. Instant decaf brand : SANKA
The first successful process for removing caffeine from coffee involved steaming the beans in salt water, and then extracting the caffeine using benzene (a potent carcinogen) as a solvent. Coffee processed this way was sold as Sanka here in the US. There are other processes used these days, and let’s hope they are safer …

44. High point of a European ski trip? : ALP
There are eight Alpine countries:

– Austria
– Slovenia
– France
– Switzerland
– Liechtenstein
– Germany
– Monaco
– Italy

49. “Gattaca” actress Thurman : UMA
“Gattaca” is a science fiction movie starring Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman that was released in 1997. Set in the not-too-distant future, the film describes a society in which potential children are preselected so that they inherit the most desirable traits from their parents. The title “Gattaca” is the space agency featured in the storyline. I saw this one relatively recently, and found it very absorbing …

50. Kibbutz locale: Abbr. : ISR
A kibbutz is a collective community in Israel. Kibbutzim were traditionally agriculture-based, but now are often centered around high-tech and other industrial enterprises. The first kibbutz was established in 1909 in Palestine under Ottoman rule. This kibbutz is called Degania, which now is in northern Israel.

55. Spinal cord cell needed for muscle contraction : MOTOR NEURON (MORON around)
The unsavory term “moron” was formerly used by the medical community to describe someone with a degree of mental retardation. The term comes from the Greek “moros” meaning “foolish, dull”. Back in the early 1900s, IQ tests were used to classify those suffering from mental retardation into categories:

– “idiot” … IQ of 0-20
– “imbecile” … IQ of 21-50
– “moron” …IQ of 51-70

A motor neuron (sometimes “motoneuron:) is a nerve cell the carries impulses from the central nervous system to muscles, for example.

59. Song for a diva : ARIA
“Diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. “Diva” is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean “goddess” or “fine lady”, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

60. PC connecting device : USB
Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and deal with electrical power through those connections.

61. Loser in a momentous 2000 Supreme Court case : GORE
George W. Bush won the 2000 US presidential election over Al Gore despite losing the popular vote. The result of the electoral college effectively came down to disputed votes cast in Florida. The US Supreme Court decided that these votes were to be awarded to Bush. President Bush wasn’t the first candidate to take the office without winning the popular vote. Three earlier presidents came to office in the same way : John Quincy Adams (1824), Rutherford B. Hayes (1876) and Benjamin Harrison (1888).

68. Letter in an Anglo-Saxon script : RUNE
A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

69. Swing wildly, as one’s arms : FLAIL
To flail about is to swing wildly, either literally or figuratively. The verb comes from the noun “flail”, which is an implement for threshing grain.

71. The “A” in N.B.A.: Abbr. : ASSN
National Basketball Association (NBA)

Down
3. Loan sharks : USURERS
“Usury” was originally the name given to the practice of lending money at interest, but the term now refers to lending at excessive rates of interest.

5. She loses paradise in “Paradise Lost” : EVE
“Paradise Lost” is an epic poem written by Englishman John Milton. It is indeed an epic work, published originally in ten volumes with over ten thousand lines of verse. The “paradise” that is “lost” is the Garden of Eden, from which Adam and Eve were expelled by God in the “Fall of Man”.

7. “I, Robot” writer Asimov : ISAAC
Isaac Asimov was a wonderful science fiction writer, and a professor of biochemistry. He was a favorite author as I was growing up and I must admit that some hero worship on my part led me to study and work as a biochemist for a short while early in my career. My favorite of his works is the collection of short stories called “I, Robot”. Asimov wrote three autobiographies, the last of which was called “I, Asimov”, which was published in 1994, two years after his death.

8. Airport landing area : TARMAC
The terms “Tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call Tarmac.

18. “___ and the Swan” (Yeats poem) : LEDA
In Greek mythology, Leda was the beautiful Queen of Sparta who was seduced by Zeus when he took the form of a swan. Leda produced two eggs from the union. One egg hatched into the beautiful Helen, later to be known as Helen of Troy and over whom was fought the Trojan War. The other egg hatched into the twins Castor and Pollux. Castor and Pollux had different fathers according to the myth. Pollux was the son of Zeus and was immortal, while Castor was the son of Leda’s earthly husband, and so he was a mortal. William Butler Yeats wrote a famous sonnet called “Leda and the Swan” in 1924. Peter Paul Rubens made a copy of a painting called “Leda and the Swan” by Michelangelo, which is now lost.

23. Otherworldly craft, for short : UFO
Unidentified flying object (UFO)

38. Rapunzel’s bounty : HAIR
“Rapunzel” is a fairy tale in the collection of the Brothers Grimm. Rapunzel was a maiden who was locked in a tower by an enchantress. The inevitable prince turns up, and he climbs up to Rapunzel using her long, fair hair as a climbing rope.

41. Large Indonesian island : SUMATRA
Sumatra is a very large island in western Indonesia, the sixth largest island in the world and home to 22% of the country’s population.

43. Slovakia and Slovenia : NATIONS
Czechoslovakia existed as a sovereign state in Europe from 1918 at which time it declared itself independent from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The country went through much turmoil through the days of Nazi and Soviet occupation, but democracy was restored in 1989 after the nonviolent Velvet Revolution that overthrew the communist government. Nationalist tendencies did develop over time, leading to a peaceful dissolution of the country in 1993, and the creation of the two independent states of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic (aka Slovakia).

The Republic of Slovenia is a country in Central Europe, bordered by Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary. Given its geographic location, the country has been part of various realms over the centuries, most recently being part of Yugoslavia. Slovenia declared independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991, and is now a member of the European Union.

48. Large deer : ELK
The elk (also known as the wapiti) is the one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …

54. One practicing the “E” of STEM subjects: Abbr. : ENGR
The acronym STEM stands for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. An alternative acronym with a similar meaning is MINT, standing for mathematics, information sciences, natural sciences and technology.

56. Like an old wooden bucket of song : OAKEN
“The Old Oaken Bucket” is a poem by American author Samuel Woodworth. The words of the poem were set to music in 1826:

How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood,
When fond recollection presents them to view!
The orchard, the meadow, the deep-tangled wild-wood,
And every loved spot which my infancy knew!
The wide-spreading pond, and the mill that stood by it,
The bridge, and the rock where the cataract fell,
The cot of my father, the dairy-house nigh it,
And e’en the rude bucket that hung in the well-
The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,
The moss-covered bucket which hung in the well.

57. W.W. II German vessel : U-BOAT
“U-boat” stands for the German “Unterseeboot” (undersea boat). Notably, a U-boat sank the RMS Lusitania in 1915, an event that helped propel the US into WWI.

62. Klutz’s cry : OOPS!
A “klutz” is an awkward individual, and the term comes from Yiddish. The Yiddish word for a clumsy person is “klots”.

65. Soused : LIT
The word “souse” dates back to the 14th century and means “to pickle, steep in vinegar”. In the early 1600s the usage was applied to someone “pickled” in booze, a drunkard.

66. Ginger ___ : ALE
The brand most closely associated with ginger ale is Canada Dry. “Canada Dry Pale Ginger Ale” was first formulated in 1904 by a Canadian chemist called John McLoughlin from Ontario. Prohibition in the United States helped sales of the drink as it was particularly effective in masking the taste of illegally-produced homemade liquor.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Spike on a cowboy boot : SPUR
5. Tweak, as text : EDIT
9. What ran away with the spoon, in “Hey Diddle Diddle” : DISH
13. As well : ALSO
14. Some passport stamps : VISAS
16. Ferber who wrote “Giant” : EDNA
17. Leave one’s vehicle in a traffic lane, say : DOUBLE-PARK (DORK around)
19. Cautionary words for a buyer : AS IS
20. Larch or birch : TREE
21. “___ the only one?” : AM I
22. President William Howard ___ : TAFT
23. Four Corners-area tribesman : UTE
24. Iconic U.S. cabinetmaker of the early 1800s : DUNCAN PHYFE (DUNCE around)
28. Italian luxury carmaker : FERRARI
30. Jefferson Davis’s govt. : CSA
31. ___ Andreas Fault : SAN
32. Approximately : OR SO
33. Academic record, in brief : GPA
35. Plunders : LOOTS
37. Physical expression of victory : CHEST BUMP (CHUMP around)
41. Instant decaf brand : SANKA
44. High point of a European ski trip? : ALP
45. Simplicity : EASE
49. “Gattaca” actress Thurman : UMA
50. Kibbutz locale: Abbr. : ISR
53. Spoon or spatula : UTENSIL
55. Spinal cord cell needed for muscle contraction : MOTOR NEURON (MORON around)
58. Query : ASK
59. Song for a diva : ARIA
60. PC connecting device : USB
61. Loser in a momentous 2000 Supreme Court case : GORE
63. Grabbed : TOOK
64. Engage in some horseplay … or a hint to the words spelled out in the circles : FOOL AROUND
68. Letter in an Anglo-Saxon script : RUNE
69. Swing wildly, as one’s arms : FLAIL
70. Devious maneuver : PLOY
71. The “A” in N.B.A.: Abbr. : ASSN
72. Suffix with luncheon or kitchen : -ETTE
73. Withered : SERE

Down
1. Melancholy : SAD
2. Conspiracy member : PLOTTER
3. Loan sharks : USURERS
4. Justice’s garment : ROBE
5. She loses paradise in “Paradise Lost” : EVE
6. Quick swim : DIP
7. “I, Robot” writer Asimov : ISAAC
8. Airport landing area : TARMAC
9. Sudden ___ (overtime format) : DEATH
10. “Sounds about right” : I’D SAY SO
11. Regard dismissively : SNIFF AT
12. Hurries up : HASTENS
15. Animal pelts : SKINS
18. “___ and the Swan” (Yeats poem) : LEDA
23. Otherworldly craft, for short : UFO
25. Prod : URGE
26. Playful bites : NIPS
27. Coconut’s place : PALM
29. Scissors topper, in a game : ROCK
34. ___ snail’s pace : AT A
36. Available for business : OPEN
38. Rapunzel’s bounty : HAIR
39. Hazy image : BLUR
40. Until : UP TO
41. Large Indonesian island : SUMATRA
42. Romantically inclined : AMOROUS
43. Slovakia and Slovenia : NATIONS
46. Generally : AS A RULE
47. “Yes sir!,” south of the border : SI, SENOR!
48. Large deer : ELK
51. Tobacco that’s inhaled : SNUFF
52. Repair, as a shoe bottom : RESOLE
54. One practicing the “E” of STEM subjects: Abbr. : ENGR
56. Like an old wooden bucket of song : OAKEN
57. W.W. II German vessel : U-BOAT
62. Klutz’s cry : OOPS!
65. Soused : LIT
66. Ginger ___ : ALE
67. Easter egg embellisher : DYE

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3 thoughts on “0613-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 13 Jun 16, Monday”

  1. No errors. Did not look at the theme until after finishing. I object somewhat to the theme. None of the four circled words (DORK, DUNCE, CHUMP, and MORON) are actually "FOOLS". A FOOL is something quite different. In fact, the FOOL here is the person who equates them in a puzzle.

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