0822-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Aug 16, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Emily Carroll
THEME: Tastemakers
Today’s themed answers start with a type of TASTE:

61A. Influential sorts … or a hint to the starts of 17-, 23-, 39- and 50-Across : TASTEMAKERS

17A. Archfoe : BITTER ENEMY
23A. Profanity : SALTY LANGUAGE
39A. Golden parachutes, e.g. : SWEETHEART DEALS
50A. Popular movie theater candy : SOUR PATCH KIDS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 46s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

11. Bit of acne, informally : ZIT
The slang term “zit”, meaning “pimple”, came into the language in 1966, but no one seems to know its exact derivation.

15. Protective tooth layer : ENAMEL
Tooth enamel covers the crowns of our teeth. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. It is composed of 96% crystalline calcium phosphate.

19. Bikini top : BRA
The origin of the word “bikini”, a type of bathing suit, seems very uncertain. My favorite story is that it is named after the Bikini Atoll, site of American A-bomb tests in the forties and fifties. The name “bikini” was chosen for the swim-wear because of the “explosive” effect it had on men who saw a woman wearing the garment!

22. Rep on the street : CRED
“Street cred” is slang for “street credibility”, of which I have none …

27. Official sometimes said to be blind : UMP
Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came for Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

30. Nostradamus, for one : SEER
Nostradamus is the Latin name given to the French apothecary and purported seer Michel de Nostredame. His book “The Prophecies” is a famous source for predictions of world events. It is so popular that “The Prophecies” has rarely been out of print since it first appeared in 1555!

31. “The Witches” director Nicolas : ROEG
Nicolas Roeg is a film director from England with quite the pedigree when it comes to association with great movies. He contributed to 1962’s “Lawrence of Arabia”, and he himself directed noted films like “Walkabout” (1972), “Don’t Look Now” (1973) and “The Man Who Fell to Earth” (1976).

“The Witches” is a comedy film released in 1990 starring Anjelica Huston and Rowan Atkinson. The film is based on a book of the same name by Roald Dahl. Jim Henson of “The Muppets” fame was one of the producers, and it was the last film he worked on before he passed away in 1990.

33. NBC weekend show since ’75 : SNL
NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975 under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call “Saturday Night Live”.

39. Golden parachutes, e.g. : SWEETHEART DEALS
A “golden parachute” or “golden handshake” is an agreement between a company and a key employee defining a severance package, often one that is specifically triggered in the event of a merger or takeover. The term “golden parachute” was coined in 1961 to describe the employment contract given by TWA to CEO Charles C. Tillinghast. Tillinghast was appointed by TWA’s creditors as part of move to wrest control of the company from the hands of Howard Hughes. The CEO was able to negotiate the golden parachute given the uncertainty of TWA’s future.

42. Peace Nobelist Sakharov : ANDREI
Andrei Sakharov was a Soviet nuclear physicist, and in his later life a human rights activist. Sakharov participated in the USSR’s program to develop the country’s first atomic bomb, and was an even more crucial contributor to the development of the devastating hydrogen bomb. By the fifties, he was concerned about the consequences of his work, and in the sixties Sakharov started to become active, raising awkward questions not appreciated by the Soviet administration. He was banned from further work with the military as a consequence, and later found himself under constant police surveillance and harassment. He was then moved from Moscow and put into internal exile in Gorky. It was only under Mikhail Gorbachev’s leadership, that Sakharov was able to return home to Moscow.

43. Title like “The Santa Clause” or “Knight and Day” : PUN
“The Santa Clause” is a 1994 film starring Tim Allen as a reluctant replacement for Santa Claus, who accidentally fell from a roof. The film was directed by John Pasquin, who had previously worked with Allen as producer for his hit sitcom “Home Improvement”. The “Santa Clause” was to be the first in a trilogy of movies, followed by “The Santa Clause 2: The Mrs. Clause” (2002) and “the Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause”.

44. Faucet problem : DRIP
The common “faucet” in an American house is almost always referred to as a “tap” on the other side of the pond.

45. Prefix with dexterity : AMBI-
Someone who is ambidextrous can write with both hands or use both hands with equal ease. A fairly literal translation of “ambidextrous” is “right-handed on both sides” as “dexter” is Latin for “right-handed”.

47. Galahad or Lancelot : SIR
Sir Galahad is one of the Knights of the Round Table of Arthurian legend. Galahad is the illegitimate son of Sir Lancelot, so appears a little later in the tales. He is very gallant and noble, and some see him as the embodiment of Jesus in the Arthurian tradition. Indeed, legend has it that his soul was brought to heaven by Joseph of Arimathea, the man who donated his own tomb for the burial of Jesus according to the Gospels.

Sir Lancelot was one of the knights in the legend of King Arthur and the Round Table. Lancelot was the most trusted of Arthur’s knights when it came to battle, but off the field he had a poorer reputation. Famously, Lancelot had an affair with Guinevere, Arthur’s wife.

50. Popular movie theater candy : SOUR PATCH KIDS
The soft and sour candy known as Sour Patch Kids were originally called Sour Group Kids. They were renamed to Mars Men in the 1970s, and again in 1985 to Sour Patch Kids, in order to capitalize on the popularity of Cabbage Patch Kids.

57. Like the stage after larval : PUPAL
The larval and pupal are intermediate stages in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago.

60. QB Manning : ELI
Eli Manning plays as quarterback for the New York Giants. Eli’s brother Peyton Manning retired from football as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Eli and Peyton’s father is Archie Manning, who was also a successful NFL quarterback.

66. “___ Enchanted” (2004 rom-com) : ELLA
“Ella Enchanted” is a fantasy novel written by Gail Carson Levine, and published in 1997. It is a retelling of the story of Cinderella, with lots of mythical creatures added. A film adaptation was released in 2004, starring Anne Hathaway in the title role.

68. Classic cameras : KODAKS
George Eastman founded the Eastman Kodak Company, named after the Kodak camera that he had invented four years earlier. He came up with the name of Kodak after careful consideration. Firstly he was a big fan of the letter “K”, calling it “strong, incisive”. He also wanted a word that was short, easy to pronounce and difficult to mispronounce, and a word that was clearly unique with no prior associations. “Kodak” fit the bill.

Down
1. Jessica of “Dark Angel” : ALBA
Actress Jessica Alba got her big break when she was cast in the Fox science fiction show “Dark Angel”. Alba had a tough life growing up as she spent a lot of time in hospital and so found it difficult to develop friendships. As a youngster she twice had a collapsed lung, frequently caught pneumonia, suffered from asthma, had a ruptured appendix and a tonsillar cyst. On top of all that she acknowledges that she suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder as a child. It seems that she has really turned her life around …

“Dark Angel” is a sci-fi series that ran from 2000 to 2002, and gave the star Jessica Alba her big break as an actress. Alba plays a genetically-enhanced super-soldier in post-apocalyptic Seattle. The show is a creation of celebrated producer and director James Cameron.

2. Hairdo : COIF
A “coif” is a hairdo. The term comes from an old French term “coife”, a skull-cap that was worn under a helmet back in the late 13th century.

5. The “p” of m.p.h. : PER
Miles per hour (mph)

8. Last Greek letters : OMEGAS
The Greek alphabet starts with the letter alpha, and ends with the letter omega.

10. Travel like Superman : FLY
Superman was sent to Earth in a rocket as a child by his parents who were living on the doomed planet of Krypton. On Earth he was discovered by the Kents, farmers who lived near the fictional town of Smallville. The Kents raised the infant as their own, giving him the name Clark.

11. Alphabetically last animal in a zoo, usually : ZEBRA
The name “zebra” comes from an old Portuguese word “zevra” meaning “wild ass”. Studies of zebra embryos show that zebras are basically black in color, with white stripes that develop with growth. Before this finding, it was believed they were white, with black stripes.

12. Clearance rack abbr. : IRREG
Irregular (“irr.” or “irreg.”)

22. Like pigs’ tails and permed hair : CURLED
“Perm” is the name given to a permanent wave, a chemical or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves or curls. I don’t worry about such things, as it’s a number-one all over for me …

24. Samsung competitor : TOSHIBA
The Japanese company that we know today as Toshiba was formed in 1939 with the merger of Tokyo Electric and Shibaura Engineering Works. The “To-shiba” name comes from a melding of TO-kyo and SHIBA-ura.

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.

26. Neuter, as a stud : GELD
“To geld” is to castrate a male animal. “Geld” comes from the Old Norse word “gelda” meaning “castrate”.

27. ___ Major : URSA
The constellation called Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, the “plough”.

32. Depardieu of film : GERARD
Gérard Depardieu is one of France’s most famous actors, and someone who has appeared in an incredible number of films (about 170). Off the screen, Depardieu also owns two successful vineyards: Château de Tigné and L’Esprit de la Fontaine.

37. Charles Lamb’s “Essays of ___” : ELIA
Charles Lamb published a famous collection of essays simply entitled “Essays of Elia”. Elia was actually a clerk and co-worker of Charles Lamb, whereas Lamb was the author.

38. Kitchen amts. : TSPS
Teaspoon (tsp.)

41. Important time at a fraternity or sorority : RUSH WEEK
A “rush” is a drive by a fraternity or sorority to recruit new members on campus.

48. Kelly of morning TV : RIPA
When Kelly Ripa secured the co-host spot on morning television with Regis Philbin, she was still acting in “All My Children” in a role she had been playing for over ten years. After a year of holding down two jobs, she eventually gave up the acting gig.

51. Edmonton hockey player : OILER
The National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers are so called because they are located in Alberta, Canada … oil country.

53. Terra ___ : COTTA
The name “terra cotta” comes to us from Latin via Italian and means “baked earth”. Terra cotta is a ceramic made from clay which is left unglazed. Maybe the most famous work in terra cotta is the Terracotta Army, the enormous collection of life-size figures that was buried with the Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China around 210 BC. I had the privilege of seeing some of this collection when it toured the US a few years ago, and just the few pieces on display were so very impressive.

54. “Put up your ___!” : DUKES
“Dukes” is a slang term for “fists, hands”. The route taken by “dukes” to become fists seems very tortuous, but might just be true. The term “fork” has been slang for “hand” for centuries (and gives rise to “fork out” meaning “hand over”). The slang term “fork” is expressed in Cockney rhyming slang as “Duke of York”, shortened to “duke”. As I said, tortuous …

58. Guthrie who performed at Woodstock : ARLO
Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

59. Future atty.’s hurdle : LSAT
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has been around since 1948.

62. Abbr. in a military address : APO
Army post office (APO)

63. Things eds. edit : MSS
Editors (eds.) might read or edit a manuscript (MS.)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. ___ above (better than) : A CUT
5. Run one’s mouth : POP OFF
11. Bit of acne, informally : ZIT
14. Unhurried run : LOPE
15. Protective tooth layer : ENAMEL
16. Blunder : ERR
17. Archfoe : BITTER ENEMY
19. Bikini top : BRA
20. Previous to, in poetry : AFORE
21. Say “Please, please, please,” say : BEG
22. Rep on the street : CRED
23. Profanity : SALTY LANGUAGE
27. Official sometimes said to be blind : UMP
29. “___-hoo!” (“Hello!”) : YOO
30. Nostradamus, for one : SEER
31. “The Witches” director Nicolas : ROEG
33. NBC weekend show since ’75 : SNL
35. Completely wrong : ALL WET
39. Golden parachutes, e.g. : SWEETHEART DEALS
42. Peace Nobelist Sakharov : ANDREI
43. Title like “The Santa Clause” or “Knight and Day” : PUN
44. Faucet problem : DRIP
45. Prefix with dexterity : AMBI-
47. Galahad or Lancelot : SIR
49. Pas’ partners : MAS
50. Popular movie theater candy : SOUR PATCH KIDS
55. Kite flier’s need : WIND
56. Plant, as seeds : SOW
57. Like the stage after larval : PUPAL
60. QB Manning : ELI
61. Influential sorts … or a hint to the starts of 17-, 23-, 39- and 50-Across : TASTEMAKERS
64. Teacher’s ___ : PET
65. Sudden runs : SPATES
66. “___ Enchanted” (2004 rom-com) : ELLA
67. Attempt : TRY
68. Classic cameras : KODAKS
69. Where to drop a coin : SLOT

Down
1. Jessica of “Dark Angel” : ALBA
2. Hairdo : COIF
3. Fully informed, informally : UP TO SPEED
4. Four: Prefix : TETRA-
5. The “p” of m.p.h. : PER
6. In single file : ONE BY ONE
7. Group of experts : PANEL
8. Last Greek letters : OMEGAS
9. Opposite of masc. : FEM
10. Travel like Superman : FLY
11. Alphabetically last animal in a zoo, usually : ZEBRA
12. Clearance rack abbr. : IRREG
13. Swap : TRADE
18. Slippery : EELY
22. Like pigs’ tails and permed hair : CURLED
24. Samsung competitor : TOSHIBA
25. Fastidious sort : NEATNIK
26. Neuter, as a stud : GELD
27. ___ Major : URSA
28. Like a well-kept lawn : MOWN
32. Depardieu of film : GERARD
34. Pool unit : LAP
36. Period of higher-than-average temperatures : WARM SPELL
37. Charles Lamb’s “Essays of ___” : ELIA
38. Kitchen amts. : TSPS
40. Office sub : TEMP
41. Important time at a fraternity or sorority : RUSH WEEK
46. “How tragic” : IT’S SAD
48. Kelly of morning TV : RIPA
50. Won the World Series in four games, say : SWEPT
51. Edmonton hockey player : OILER
52. Togetherness : UNITY
53. Terra ___ : COTTA
54. “Put up your ___!” : DUKES
58. Guthrie who performed at Woodstock : ARLO
59. Future atty.’s hurdle : LSAT
61. “Naughty!” : TSK!
62. Abbr. in a military address : APO
63. Things eds. edit : MSS

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5 thoughts on “0822-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Aug 16, Monday”

  1. No errors. Enjoyable. From what I understand UMAMI is now officially recognized as a TASTE in addition to the four classic ones. It made me wonder if UMAMI could ever work its way into our English expressions. No, somehow I just could not imagine that ever happening. But, who knows?

  2. 6:45, no errors. Good start to the week.
    Would be nice if Shortz and his partners in crime could build complexity without resorting to dirty tricks and punny "groaners"…

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