0828-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Aug 16, Sunday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Paolo Pasco
THEME: The First Shall Be Last
Each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase, but with the first letter of one word moved to the end:

22A. Reason to scream “Why won’t this damn thing locate airplanes!”? : RADAR ANGER (from “radar range”)
23A. Honorary title in Wisconsin? : DAME CHEESE (from “Edam cheese”)
42A. “Hey, let’s gather 100 people to enact laws and ratify treaties”? : SENATE IDEA (from “Senate Aide”)
50A. Listen to violinist Itzhak’s music? : HEAR PERLMAN (from “Rhea Perlman”)
65A. Soft drink favored by the Marines? : SPRITE DE CORPS (from “esprit de corps”)
79A. Church response that’s taken as a given? : ASSUMED AMEN (from “assumed name”)
87A. Newspaper essay on why not to go outdoors? : INSIDE OP-ED (from “inside dope”)
108A. Woody playing a medieval baron? : THANE ALLEN (from “Ethan Allen”)
110A. Books written entirely in chat rooms? : IMED NOVELS (from “dime novels”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 25m 50s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. Taiping Rebellion general : TSO
The Taiping Rebellion was a civil war in China that lasted from 1850 to 1864. On one side was the Qing dynasty, and on the other was a Christian movement known as the Heavenly Kingdom of Peace. Somewhere between 20 and 70 million died in the conflict, making it the bloodiest civil war in the history of the world.

22. Reason to scream “Why won’t this damn thing locate airplanes!”? : RADAR ANGER (from “radar range”)
Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called Radio Detection And Ranging, which was shortened to the acronym RADAR.

23. Honorary title in Wisconsin? : DAME CHEESE (from “Edam cheese”)
The state of Wisconsin is a leading producer of dairy products, and is particularly known for its cheese. The state’s licence plates have borne the motto “America’s Dairyland” since 1940.

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

25. ___ Aduba of “Orange Is the New Black” : UZO
Uzo Aduba is an actress best known for playing prison inmate Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on the Netflix TV show “Orange Is the New Black”.

“Orange Is the New Black” is a very entertaining comedy-drama series made by Netflix about an upper middle-class woman who goes to jail for a drug-related offense committed ten years earlier, in her youth. The series is based on a memoir by Piper Kerman called “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison”.

26. Insect that shorted out an early computer, spawning the term “computer bug” : MOTH
Back in 1947, the famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so Hopper has been given credit for popularizing the term.

27. “Ciao” : BYE BYE
Ciao is the Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

30. Hamiltons : TENS
The US ten-dollar bill features the image of Alexander Hamilton, the first US Secretary of the Treasury, on the obverse. As such, ten-dollar bills are sometimes called “Hamiltons”. By the way, the $10 bill is the only US currency in circulation in which the portrait faces to the left. The reverse of the ten-dollar bill features the US Treasury Building.

32. Domain of “Hamilton” : THEATER
“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life or US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The representations of the main characters is decidedly ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.

34. City with 500 attractions? : DAYTONA
The coastal city of Daytona Beach in Florida is known for hard-packed sand on the beach. This makes a good surface for driving motorized vehicles, and resulted in Daytona Beach becoming a center for motorsports. The Daytona 500 is the event with the largest purse on the NASCAR calendar.

38. Bay ___ : AREA
The San Francisco Bay comprises the nine counties that impinge on the San Francisco Bay itself: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma. The region also includes the major cities of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland.

39. Section of “Aida,” e.g. : SCENA
A scene in an opera is usually called a “scena”, the Italian term for “scene”.

“Aida” is the famous opera by Giuseppe Verdi, actually based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then of course complications arise!

41. Letters after CD : ROM
CD-ROM stands for “compact disc read only memory”. The name indicates that you can read information from the disc (like a standard music CD for example), but you cannot write to it. You can also buy a CD-RW, which stands for “compact disc – rewritable”, with which you can read data and also write over it multiple times using a suitable CD drive.

49. Super ___ : NES
The acronym Super NES (or SNES) stands for Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Our kids probably have one somewhere …

50. Listen to violinist Itzhak’s music? : HEAR PERLMAN (from “Rhea Perlman”)
Itzhak Perlman is an Israeli-American violinist from Tel Aviv, and a virtuosi who I had the pleasure of hearing perform not too long ago. Little known fact: Perlman is a distant cousin of comedian Howie Mandel.

Rhea Perlman’s most famous role has to be “Carla Tortelli”, the irascible waitress in the long-running sitcom “Cheers”. Perlman is also a successful children’s author, and has published a series of six books called “Otto Undercover”. She is married to Hollywood actor Danny DeVito, and has been so since 1982.

52. Like blue moons : RARE
As there is a full moon once every four weeks, approximately monthly, there are usually twelve full moons in any given year. However, every 2-3 years, depending on the phase of the moon at the beginning of the calendar year, there may be a thirteenth full moon. The “extra” full moon is called a “blue moon”, although no one seems to really know why the term “blue” is used, as far as I can tell. Which of the thirteen full moons that is designated as the blue moon varies depending on tradition. My favorite definition is from the Farmer’s Almanac. It states that as each of the seasons normally has three full moons (twelve divided by the four seasons), then the season with four full moons is designated as “special”, then the THIRD (and not the fourth) full moon in that “special” season is the blue moon. Complicated, huh?

53. Norm: Abbr. : STD
Standard (std.)

54. California missionary Junípero ___ : SERRA
Junípero Serra was a Spanish missionary, a founder of several missions out here in California. Among those associated with Serra is the Mission in Carmel, where Serra’s remains are buried, and Mission San Juan Capistrano, the chapel of which is believed to be the oldest standing building in the state.

55. “Ready to relieve ’em of a ___ or two” (“Les Misérables” lyric) : SOU
A sou is an old French coin. We use the term “sou” to mean “an almost worthless amount”.

The 1980 musical “Les Misérables” is an adaptation of the 1862 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. The show opened in London in 1985, and is the longest running musical in the history of London’s West End. My wife and I saw “Les Miz” in the Queen’s Theatre in London quite a few years ago, but were only able to get tickets in the very back row. The theater seating is very steep, so the back row of the balcony is extremely high over the stage. One of the big events in the storyline is the building of a street barricade over which the rebels fight. At the height we were seated we could see the stagehands behind the barricade, sitting drinking Coke, even smoking cigarettes. On cue, the stagehands would get up and catch a dropped rifle, or an actor who had been shot. It was pretty comical. I didn’t really enjoy the show that much, to be honest. Some great songs, but the musical version of the storyline just didn’t seem to hang together for me.

58. Group that appeared in the movie “Grease” : SHA NA NA
Do you remember the band “Johnny Casino & The Gamblers” in the movie “Grease”? That was actually the real-world group named Sha Na Na. Johnny Casino & the Gamblers sang “Those Magic Changes” at the high school dance, in between “Rock’N Roll Is Here to Stay” and “Hound Dog”. Sha Na Na got together in the sixties and are still performing today.

60. Oscars grp. : AMPAS
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

64. Out of gas, informally : ON E
On empty (on “E”)

65. Soft drink favored by the Marines? : SPRITE DE CORPS (from “esprit de corps”)
“Esprit de corps” is the morale of a group, best translated from French perhaps as “team spirit”.

68. Stephen of “Interview With the Vampire” : REA
Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

69. Sticky spots? : NESTS
Bird’s nests are often made of sticks, they might be described as “sticky”.

72. Blazing successes : METEORS
A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body travelling through space. Once in the atmosphere, the meteoroid is referred to as a “meteor” or “shooting star”. Almost all meteoroids burn up, but if one is large enough to survive and reach the ground then we call it a meteorite. The word “meteor” comes from the Greek “meteōros” meaning “high in the air”.

76. Indian wear : SARIS
The item of clothing called a “sari” (also “saree”) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that’s a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

77. Super ___ : PAC
A Political Action Committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent-expenditure only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.

78. Setting for the beginning of “The Book of Mormon” : UTAH
“The Book of Mormon” is a satirical musical by Trey Parker and Robert Lopez (of “South Park” fame) and Matt Stone (of “Avenue Q” and “Frozen” fame). The show follows two missionaries from the Mormon Church seeking converts in a remote village in Uganda.

79. Church response that’s taken as a given? : ASSUMED AMEN (from “assumed name”)
The word “amen” is translated as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is likely to be also influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

83. Lead-in to Pablo or Carlos : SAN …
“San Pablo” is Spanish for “Saint Peter”, and “San Carlos” translates as “Saint Charles”.

84. Like Navy SEALs : ELITE
SEAL is an acronym used by the US Navy’s SEa, Air and Land teams. The SEALs were born out of the Navy’s special warfare groups from WWII, like the Underwater Demolition Teams and the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons. The Navy SEAL unit was established soon after President Kennedy’s famous speech in which he announced the plan to put a man on the moon, as in the same speech the president allocated $100m of funding to strengthen special operations forces. The Navy used some of this money to set up guerrilla and counterguerrilla units, which soon became the SEALs.

85. “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” sounds : BAAS
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”.

86. “Got it” : ROGER
The term “roger”, meaning “yes” or “acknowledged”, comes from the world of radiotelephony. The British military used a phonetic alphabet in the fifties that included “Roger” to represent the letter “R”. As such, it became customary to say “Roger” when acknowledging a message, with R (Roger) standing for “received”.

87. Newspaper essay on why not to go outdoors? : INSIDE OP-ED (from “inside dope”)
“Op-Ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-Eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

Our use of the word “dope” to mean “inside information” probably comes from horse racing. The idea is that a better might have information about which horse has been drugged (doped) to influence its performance.

89. Skit show, for short : SNL
“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

90. E-cigarette output : VAPOR
An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled, delivering the nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

93. Top of the agenda : ITEM ONE
“Agenda” is a Latin word that translates as “things to be done”, coming from the verb “agere” meaning “to do”.

101. Tennis’s King of Clay : NADAL
Rafael “Rafa” Nadal is a Spanish tennis player, noted for his expertise on clay courts, earning him the nickname “The King of Clay”.

108. Woody playing a medieval baron? : THANE ALLEN (from “Ethan Allen”)
Thanes were Scottish aristocrats. The most famous thanes have to be the Shakespearean characters Macbeth (the Thane of Glamis, later Thane of Cawdor) and MacDuff (the Thane of Fife). Other thanes in “Macbeth” are Ross, Lennox and Angus, as well as Menteith and Caithness.

Allan Stewart Konigsberg changed his legal name to Heywood Allen when he was 17 years old, and soon after started to call himself Woody Allen, the name with which he achieved celebrity. Allen has been nominated for an Academy Award an incredible 21 times in many different categories, and has won on four occasions. He has more Oscar nominations as a screenwriter than any other writer, but he spurns the Awards ceremony and only attended it once in all his years in the movie business. He broke tradition by turning up at the 2002 ceremony, unannounced, to beg producers to continue filming in his beloved New York City despite the fears created by the 9/11 attacks.

Ethan Allen was one of the founders of the state of Vermont. Allen was also a hero in the American Revolutionary War, famous for leading (along with Benedict Arnold) the small band of men known as the Green Mountain Boys that captured Fort Ticonderoga. And yes, the Ethan Allen store and furniture line is named for Ethan Allen the patriot, even though he had nothing to do with the furniture business.

110. Books written entirely in chat rooms? : IMED NOVELS (from “dime novels”)
Even though instant messaging (sending IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties.

The genre of literature called “dime novels” originated with books from the 1860s called the “Beadle’s Dime Novel” series. Some of those books cost a dime, but many went for 15 cents.

113. Robert of “Airplane!” : HAYS
The 1980 movie “Airplane!” has to be one of the zaniest comedies ever made. The lead roles were Ted Striker (played by Robert Hays) and Elaine Dickinson (played by Julie Hagerty). But it was Leslie Nielsen who stole the show, playing Dr. Barry Rumack. That’s my own humble opinion of course …

114. Singer LaBelle : PATTI
Patti LaBelle is the stage name of singer Patricia Holt-Edwards from Philadelphia. She started her career in the sixties as the lead singer of the vocal group Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles, later changing its name to simply “LaBelle”. When the group disbanded in 1976, Patti launched a remarkably successful solo career.

115. TLC and Destiny’s Child : GIRL GROUPS
The girl band called TLC is from Atlanta, Georgia. The band’s name comes from the trio’s original members:

Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins
Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes
Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas

Destiny’s Child was an R&B group active from 1960 to 2006. The trio’s lineup changed over the years, and probably the most famous former member of the group is Beyoncé Knowles.

116. Most “Doctor Who” characters, for short : ETS
Extraterrestrial (ET)

The iconic science-fiction television show “Doctor Who” first aired in 1963, and relaunched in 2005 by the BBC. The relaunched series is produced in-house by the BBC in Cardiff in Wales, the location that is the setting of the successful “Doctor Who” spin-off called “Torchwood”. The new show is about the Cardiff branch of the Torchwood Institute which investigates incidents involving extraterrestrials.

118. ___ cone : NOSE
The forwardmost section of a rocket, missile or aircraft is called the “nose cone”.

119. On edge : ANTSY
The word “antsy” embodies the concept of “having ants in one’s pants”, meaning being nervous and fidgety. However, “antsy” has been used in English since the 1830s, whereas “ants in the pants” originated a century later.

Down
2. Crosswords in 1924-25, e.g. : CRAZE
Arthur Wynne is generally credited with the invention of what we now known as a crossword puzzle. Wynne was born in Liverpool, England and emigrated to the US when he was 19-years-old. He worked as a journalist and was living in Cedar Grove, New Jersey in 1913 when he introduced a “Word-Cross Puzzle” in his page of puzzles written for the “New York World”. The first book of crossword puzzles was published by Shuster & Shuster, in 1924. The collection of puzzles was a huge hit, and crosswords were elevated to the level of “a craze” in 1924 and 1925.

3. Home inspector’s concern : RADON
Radon is a radioactive gas, a byproduct produced when uranium decays naturally in the earth. Radon gas can collect and accumulate in buildings and rooms that are particularly well insulated with very little air exchange. The danger is very real, as radon is listed as the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.

4. “Selma” director DuVernay : AVA
Ava DuVernay is a filmmaker who became the first African American woman to win the Best Director Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, a feat she achieved in 2012 for her feature film “Middle of Nowhere”. “Middle of Nowhere” tells the story of a woman who drops out of medical school to focus on husband when he is sentenced to 8 years in prison. DuVernay also directed the 2014 film “Selma”, which was centered on the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

5. Locks in place for a while? : PERM
“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 …

6. What the “1” of “1/2” represents : MONTH
If “1/2” is a date, then the “1” represents the month of January, and the “2” the 2nd day.

10. Bill of “Trainwreck” : HADER
Bill Hader is an actor and comedian best known as a member of the cast of “Saturday Night Live”. Hader was introduced to Lorne Michaels (producer of “Saturday Night Live”) by Megan Mullally, co-star of the sitcom “Will & Grace”.

“Trainwreck” is a romantic comedy released in 2015 that brings together the talents of Judd Apatow as director and Amy Schumer as writer. Schumer also stars.

11. Aladdin, e.g. : ARAB
“Aladdin” is a famous tale in the “Arabian Nights”, also called “The Book of One Thousand and One Nights”. However, there is no evidence at all that the story was in the original collection. It is generally believed that one Antoine Galland introduced the tale when he translated the “Arabian Nights” into French in the early 1700s.

12. “Ratatouille” rat : REMY
“Ratatouille” is a 2007 animated film produced by Pixar. The hero of the piece is Remy, a rat whose ambition is to become a chef. Remy was voiced by stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt. The veteran actor Peter O’Toole voiced the character Anton Ego, a restaurant critic.

15. Los Angeles Lakers’ home until 1999 : THE FORUM
The Forum in Inglewood, California is an indoor arena that opened for business in 1967. It was famously host to the LA Lakers of the NBA and the LA Kings of the NHL, from 1967 to 1999.

The Los Angeles Lakers basketball team started out in 1947 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team chose the Lakers name in honor of the nickname of Minnesota, “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. The Lakers moved to Los Angeles in 1960.

16. Assent to a married mujer : SI, SENORA
The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

“Mujer” is a Spanish word meaning “woman”.

17. 89-Across character played by Adam Sandler : OPERA MAN
Adam Sandler’s big break came with “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). He then went on to make several successful movies and now Sandler has his own movie and television production company. Personally, I am not a fan …

19. “Tao Te Ching” philosopher : LAO TSE
Lao Tse (also Lao-Tzu) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

33. Mythical father of Harmonia, strangely enough : ARES
The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). The Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

Harmonia was the Greek goddess of harmony and concord. According to some Greek lore, she was the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite. She is noted for the story of “the Necklace of Harmonia”. She received the necklace as a gift at her wedding, and it brought bad luck to her and all who wore it.

35. Southern chain : ANDES
The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world, running right down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

39. America’s Cup, e.g. : SEA RACE
The America’s Cup is a trophy that has been awarded for yacht racing since 1851. It was first presented to the winner of a race around the Isle of Wight in England that was won by a schooner called “America”. The trophy was eventually renamed to “the America’s Cup” in honor of that first race winner.

40. Rostand protagonist ___ de Bergerac : CYRANO
Edmond Rostand wrote the famous play “Cyrano de Bergerac” in 1897. There have been a couple of interesting film adaptations, namely “Roxanne” starring Steve Martin, and an Oscar-winning “Cyrano de Bergerac” (in French) starring Gérard Depardieu.

43. Bush labor secretary Chao : ELAINE
When President George W. Bush appointed Elaine Chao as Secretary of Labor, he made a bit of history as Chao then became the first Chinese American in history to hold a cabinet post. It turned out that Chao became the only cabinet member to hold her post for President Bush’s full eight years in office. In 1993, Chao married Mitch McConnell, the Republican Leader of the US Senate.

47. Name on many a college hall, informally : ALUM
An “alumnus” (plural … alumni) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural … alumnae). The term comes into English from Latin, in which alumnus means foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

50. One easily bowled over? : HEADPIN
Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

53. Racer’s brand : STP
STP is a brand name for automotive lubricants and additives. The name STP comes from “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.

57. Noted tea locale : ASSAM
Assam is a state in the very northeast of India, just south of the Himalayas. Assam is noted for its tea as well as its silk.

58. The Titanic, e.g. : STEAMER
The RMS Titanic set off on her tragic maiden voyage in 1912, sailing from Southampton, England bound for New York City. Regulations only required that the ship have lifeboat capacity for 1,178 people, even though a full complement of passengers and crew was 3,547. When the order was given to abandon ship, the captain adhered to the traditional protocol of “women and children first”. As a result, only 20% of male passengers survived the disaster, compared to 75% of the female passengers. Perhaps more telling is that 61% of those in first class survived, and only 25% of those in third class. The crew fared even worse though, with only 24% making it.

59. Gucci competitor : ARMANI
Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer and founder of the company that has borne his name since 1975. Although Armani is famous for his menswear, the company makes everything from jewelry to perfume.

Gucci was founded in Rome in 1921, by Guccio Gucci. Guccio’s son Aldo took over the company after his father’s death in 1953. It was Aldo who established the international presence for the brand and opened the company’s first overseas store, in New York City.

67. Push-up muscle, informally : PEC
“Pecs” is the familiar term for the chest muscle, more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

73. Passing remarks? : EULOGY
A eulogy is a speech or piece of writing that praises someone who has recently passed away or who is retiring. “Eulogy” comes from the Greek word “eulogia” meaning “praise”.

77. Nisan observances : PASSOVERS
Nisan is the first month in the Hebrew ecclesiastical calendar, the month in which Passover falls. Adar is the last month in the same calendar.

79. Green spirit : ABSINTHE
Absinthe is an alcoholic spirit that is distilled from various plants and herbs, including “wormwood”. Absinthe was banned in the US in 1915 as it was deemed to be an addictive psychoactive drug. However, the accepted opinion today seems to be that absinthe is no more addictive or dangerous than any other spirit.

83. Snoot : SNOB
Back in the 1780s, a “snob” was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

Snoot is a variant of “snout” and is a word that originated in Scotland. The idea is that someone who is “snooty”, or snouty, tends to look down his or her nose at the rest of the world.

90. Cousin of a lemming : VOLE
Vole populations can really increase rapidly. Mama vole is pregnant for just three weeks before giving birth to litters of 5-10 baby voles. Then the young voles become sexually mature in just one month! If you have one pregnant vole in your yard, within a year you could have over a hundred of the little critters.

Lemmings are small rodents that live in cold climates, usually in or around the Arctic. There is a misconception that lemmings are prone to commit mass suicide. What is true is that like many animal species, lemmings are prone to mass migration, especially when the population in one area gets too great. Lemmings can swim, and will jump into a body of water in order to cross it. However, some lemmings may drown in the attempt. So, the lemmings jump en masse into a body of water to cross it, not to commit suicide. Then there was the famous Disney “White Wilderness” incident. Disney shot footage of lemmings “committing mass suicide” for the 1958 film “White Wilderness”. In fact, the lemmings in the morbid scene were flown to the location of the shoot, and were launched off a cliff using a turntable. Despicable …

91. Sch. whose honor code includes chastity : BYU
Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah has about 34.000 students on campus making it the largest religious university in the country. The school was founded in 1875 by Brigham Young, then President of the Mormon Church.

95. Start of a few choice words? : EENIE

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

98. Native of Alaska : ALEUT
The Aleuts live on the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific, and on the Commander Islands at the western end of the same island chain. The Aleutian Islands are part of the United States, and the Commander Islands are in Russia.

103. Adele, voicewise : ALTO
Adele is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. More recently, her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

104. Spot checkers? : VETS
“Vet” is an abbreviation for “veterinarian”, a professional who treat animals for disease and injury. The word “veterinary” comes from the Latin “veterinae” meaning “working animals, beasts of burden”.

106. One of Asta’s masters : NORA
Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb “The Thin Man” series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.

109. College-level H.S. courses : APS
The Advanced Placement (AP) program, as many of us parents know, offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school. After being tested at the end of the courses, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

111. “Dios ___!” : MIO
“Dios mio!” translates from Spanish as “My God!”

112. The “V” of fashion’s “DVF” : VON
Diane von Fürstenberg (DVF) is a fashion designer from Brussels, now based in the US. Born Diane Halfin, she was Princess Diane of Fürstenberg from 1969 until 1972 while married to Prince Egon of Fürstenberg.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Ditch : SCRAP
6. See-through clothing material : MESH
10. Listens to Shakespeare? : HARKS
15. Taiping Rebellion general : TSO
18. Tourist’s report : TRAVELOGUE
20. Ring or sphere : ARENA
21. Mail : SHIP
22. Reason to scream “Why won’t this damn thing locate airplanes!”? : RADAR ANGER (from “radar range”)
23. Honorary title in Wisconsin? : DAME CHEESE (from “Edam cheese”)
25. ___ Aduba of “Orange Is the New Black” : UZO
26. Insect that shorted out an early computer, spawning the term “computer bug” : MOTH
27. “Ciao” : BYE BYE
29. Surmise : INFER
30. Hamiltons : TENS
32. Domain of “Hamilton” : THEATER
34. City with 500 attractions? : DAYTONA
36. Takes in : HAS
38. Bay ___ : AREA
39. Section of “Aida,” e.g. : SCENA
41. Letters after CD : ROM
42. “Hey, let’s gather 100 people to enact laws and ratify treaties”? : SENATE IDEA (from “Senate Aide”)
46. Fired (up) : KEYED
47. Glow : AURA
48. Get by : ELUDE
49. Super ___ : NES
50. Listen to violinist Itzhak’s music? : HEAR PERLMAN (from “Rhea Perlman”)
52. Like blue moons : RARE
53. Norm: Abbr. : STD
54. California missionary Junípero ___ : SERRA
55. “Ready to relieve ’em of a ___ or two” (“Les Misérables” lyric) : SOU
56. Stamp incorrectly, in a way : MISDATE
58. Group that appeared in the movie “Grease” : SHA NA NA
60. Oscars grp. : AMPAS
64. Out of gas, informally : ON E
65. Soft drink favored by the Marines? : SPRITE DE CORPS (from “esprit de corps”)
68. Stephen of “Interview With the Vampire” : REA
69. Sticky spots? : NESTS
71. Cathedral feature : STEEPLE
72. Blazing successes : METEORS
74. “Oh, you’re funny-y-y-y …” : HAR
76. Indian wear : SARIS
77. Super ___ : PAC
78. Setting for the beginning of “The Book of Mormon” : UTAH
79. Church response that’s taken as a given? : ASSUMED AMEN (from “assumed name”)
83. Lead-in to Pablo or Carlos : SAN
84. Like Navy SEALs : ELITE
85. “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” sounds : BAAS
86. “Got it” : ROGER
87. Newspaper essay on why not to go outdoors? : INSIDE OP-ED (from “inside dope”)
89. Skit show, for short : SNL
90. E-cigarette output : VAPOR
91. Frat boy types : BROS
92. Assn. : ORG
93. Top of the agenda : ITEM ONE
95. Fastener with a ring-shaped head : EYEBOLT
97. Cries of approval : YAYS
101. Tennis’s King of Clay : NADAL
102. Cry from comic book civilians : SAVE US!
105. Futile : VAIN
107. Meadow : LEA
108. Woody playing a medieval baron? : THANE ALLEN (from “Ethan Allen”)
110. Books written entirely in chat rooms? : IMED NOVELS (from “dime novels”)
113. Robert of “Airplane!” : HAYS
114. Singer LaBelle : PATTI
115. TLC and Destiny’s Child : GIRL GROUPS
116. Most “Doctor Who” characters, for short : ETS
117. “What if …,” informally : S’POSE …
118. ___ cone : NOSE
119. On edge : ANTSY

Down
1. Walk with pride : STRUT
2. Crosswords in 1924-25, e.g. : CRAZE
3. Home inspector’s concern : RADON
4. “Selma” director DuVernay : AVA
5. Locks in place for a while? : PERM
6. What the “1” of “1/2” represents : MONTH
7. Intellectual : EGGHEADED
8. Litigate : SUE
9. Home remedy drink : HERB TEA
10. Bill of “Trainwreck” : HADER
11. Aladdin, e.g. : ARAB
12. “Ratatouille” rat : REMY
13. Embroiled (in) : KNEE-DEEP
14. Biological pouch : SAC
15. Los Angeles Lakers’ home until 1999 : THE FORUM
16. Assent to a married mujer : SI, SENORA
17. 89-Across character played by Adam Sandler : OPERA MAN
19. “Tao Te Ching” philosopher : LAO TSE
21. Mailed : SENT
24. “Howdy” : HIYA
28. “___, verily” : YEA
31. Gray, say : SHADED
33. Mythical father of Harmonia, strangely enough : ARES
35. Southern chain : ANDES
37. Took in : ATE
39. America’s Cup, e.g. : SEA RACE
40. Rostand protagonist ___ de Bergerac : CYRANO
42. Sunday delivery : SERMON
43. Bush labor secretary Chao : ELAINE
44. Sips : NURSES
45. Puts under : INTERS
46. Bits of truth : KERNELS
47. Name on many a college hall, informally : ALUM
50. One easily bowled over? : HEADPIN
51. Laugh-filled broadcast : ROAST
53. Racer’s brand : STP
54. More see-through : SHEERER
57. Noted tea locale : ASSAM
58. The Titanic, e.g. : STEAMER
59. Gucci competitor : ARMANI
61. Bit of expert advice : PRO TIP
62. Fill with gas : AERATE
63. Like pageant contestants, typically : SASHED
66. “Full speed ahead!” : IT’S A GO!
67. Push-up muscle, informally : PEC
70. “That means …” : THUS …
73. Passing remarks? : EULOGY
75. Showed over : RERAN
77. Nisan observances : PASSOVERS
79. Green spirit : ABSINTHE
80. Something felt at Christmas : SANTA HAT
81. Post-Christmas events : SALE DAYS
82. Hit upside the head, in slang : DOPE SLAP
83. Snoot : SNOB
84. Eternally, to poets : E’ER
87. Words of concession : I RESIGN
88. Liable to spoil? : DOTING
90. Cousin of a lemming : VOLE
91. Sch. whose honor code includes chastity : BYU
94. Staffs : MANS
95. Start of a few choice words? : EENIE
96. Big dipper : LADLE
98. Native of Alaska : ALEUT
99. Goes “Ow, ow, ow!” : YELPS
100. Like the response “Talk to the hand!” : SASSY
103. Adele, voicewise : ALTO
104. Spot checkers? : VETS
106. One of Asta’s masters : NORA
109. College-level H.S. courses : APS
111. “Dios ___!” : MIO
112. The “V” of fashion’s “DVF” : VON

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10 thoughts on “0828-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Aug 16, Sunday”

  1. 44:49, no errors, iPad. A slow solve for me, even after I understood the theme. UZO Aduba was new to me. ON E is pretty deceptive, but … okay. And "1/2" gave me trouble, too; I think we're meant to see it as "January 2". Again, pretty deceptive … but that's what the NYT Puzzles are all about, so … okay. All in all, a good tussle …

  2. As a newbie to these crosswords I find clues like so a little befuddling.

    7 Down Intellectual = EGGHEADED then I find out it wanted the slang term for intellectual.

    and so it goes.

  3. This is one of the more "forced" themes in recent memory. Coupled with the usual number of misleading clues, I couldn't finish it. 90% completed, about 55 minutes of futility.

  4. 1/2? and supposed to figure out that is a date? why not put 7/4? or any other two numbers? if it 1/2/16 maybe some else other than the person who designed the crossword could figure it out

  5. 50:13, no errors. One of the main attractions of the NYT puzzle, is its challenging nature. The difficulty of the puzzles will increase during the week, with Monday being the easiest. Sunday puzzles will vary in difficulty. Deliberately misleading clues, obscure references, riddle type clues and the fact that multiple word answers are not identified, increase the puzzle difficulty; and that makes this puzzle more interesting to many of us.

    Although I had 110A IMED NOVELS entered correctly, I had no idea what that meant until I came here and found IMED meant 'Instant Messaged'. I have been checking my answers against Bill's blog for several years, and am very grateful to him for it.

  6. The same way you get to Carnegie Hall – practice!! The misleading, obscure clues are part and parcel of the later week NYT puzzles and, as said by others above, this is what makes them entertaining for many. It's like any learned skill: the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

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