0919-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Sep 16, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Zhouqin Burnikel
THEME: Hollywood Squares
Today’s themed answers are HOLLYWOOD film titles that feature a number that is a SQUARE:

41A…Classic TV game show … or what 18-, 25-, 55- and 66-Across are, in a way..HOLLYWOOD SQUARES

18A…1995 Hugh Grant/Julianne Moore romantic comedy..NINE MONTHS (9 = 3 squared)
25A…1981 Alan Alda/Carol Burnett comedy..THE FOUR SEASONS (4 = 2 squared)
55A…1984 Molly Ringwald coming-of-age comedy..SIXTEEN CANDLES (16 = 4 squared)
66A…1996 Michelle Pfeiffer/George Clooney romantic comedy..ONE FINE DAY (1 = 1 squared)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 48s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5…Black ___ (deadly African snake)..MAMBA
The mamba, and most famously the black mamba, is a highly venomous snake that used to be responsible for a great number of fatalities before anti-venoms became available. Mamba venom is a deadly mix of neurotoxins that attack the nervous system, and cardiotoxins that attack the heart so a bite, if left untreated, causes the lungs and the heart to shut down.

15…Most important part of a carrot or turnip plant..ROOT
The notion that carrots are good for eyesight is a myth, a myth with a well-documented origin. The Royal Air Force improved its ability to pinpoint the approach of German bombers during WWII due to the development of Airborne Interception Radar (AI). In an attempt to maintain secrecy about AI, the British leaked very specific stories to the press about RAF pilots who had developed extraordinary night vision by eating copious amounts of carrots. The stories were largely accepted by the British public as well, who started consuming carrots in heavy doses in efforts to improve vision during blackouts.

The names of veggies cause me grief sometimes. What’s called a turnip here in the US, we call a swede back in Ireland. An Irishman’s turnip is a rutabaga over here. Thank goodness a potato is a potato, or I’d just give up altogether 🙂

16…South American range..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”.

17…___ Island Red (chicken variety)..RHODE
The Rhode Island Red is a breed of chicken that was developed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts from the Malay chicken, and as such, the new chickens were originally named Red Malays. The Rhode Island Red was made the state bird of Rhode Island in 1954.

18…1995 Hugh Grant/Julianne Moore romantic comedy..NINE MONTHS
I’d describe “Nine Months” as a pretty average romantic comedy, despite a great cast led by Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore. Also appearing are Tom Arnold, Joan Cusack, Jeff Goldblum and Robin Williams. 1995’s “Nine Months” is remake of 1994’s French film “Neuf mois” (“Nine Months” in English).

20…”The X Factor” judge Cowell..SIMON
“The X Factor” is another one of Simon Cowell’s TV shows and now a worldwide franchise, a show that searches for talented singers. “The X Factor” is in effect a spin-off the the UK show “Pop Idol” (produced as “American Idol” here in the US). And “The X Factor” is here in America as well. Oh joy …

21…___ Arena, home to the Kentucky Wildcats..RUPP
The Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky is home to the University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball team. The arena is is named for former Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp, and is the country’s largest sports indoor area with a capacity of 24,000 people.

24…Socially maladroit sort..NERD
The French for “to the right” is “à droit”, from which we get our word “adroit”. The original meaning of “adroit” was “rightly, properly”, but it has come to mean dexterous and skillful. Someone described as “maladroit” is unskilled and awkward.

25…1981 Alan Alda/Carol Burnett comedy..THE FOUR SEASONS
“The Four Seasons” is a 1981 romantic comedy that was written and directed by, and stars Alan Alda. The film features three married couples who routinely take vacations together in each of the four seasons.

30…”Humbug!”..BAH!
The classic 1843 novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to popular use of the phrase “Merry Christmas”, and secondly it gave us the word “scrooge” meaning a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that Ebenezer Scrooge uttered the words “Bah! Humbug!”.

33…Pinball foul..TILT
In a game of pinball, some players get an irresistible urge to “nudge” the machine . Such a nudge, a movement of the machine designed to influence the path taken by the ball, is called a “tilt”. Most pinball machines have sensors designed to detect a tilt, and when activated a “tilt” warning light comes on and the player’s controls are temporarily disabled.

34…Mine: Fr…A MOI
“À moi” (literally “to me”) is French for “mine”.

36…&..AND
Back in the day, when reciting the alphabet it was common to emphasize that some letters could be used as a word in itself. One would say “A per se A, B, C, D … I per se I, J, K, L … denoting that the letters A and I are also their own words. It was common to add the & symbol at the end of the recitation, as if it were a 27th letter. So the alphabet ended with “X, Y, Z, & (and) per se and”. This “and per se and” statement was slurred to “ampersand”, giving the name that we use today for the & symbol.

41…Classic TV game show … or what 18-, 25-, 55- and 66-Across are, in a way..HOLLYWOOD SQUARES
The popular game show “Hollywood Squares” was first aired in 1965, in glorious black and white. The list of celebrities who regularly appeared on the show over the years includes Rich Little, Roddy McDowell, Florence Henderson, Buddy Hackett, Barbara Eden, Vincent Price, Jonathan Winters and Joan Rivers.

46…Cub Scout leader named after a character in “The Jungle Book”..AKELA
Akela is the wolf in the “Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling. He gave his name to the cubmaster in the scouting movement, now known as “Akela”.

47…Part of a hosp. with oxygen tents..ICU
Many a hospital (hosp.) includes an intensive care unit (ICU).

52…Innocent sort..NAIF
A naïf is someone who is naive, as “naïf” is the French word for “naive”.

55…1984 Molly Ringwald coming-of-age comedy..SIXTEEN CANDLES
“Sixteen Candles” is a 1984 John Hughes movie starring Molly Ringwald as a sophomore suffering through the day of her 16th birthday. The family has overlooked her birthday as everyone is focused on her older sister, who is getting married the next day. A cute film, but not nearly as good as Hughes’ next film “The Breakfast Club”, which also starred Molly Ringwald. Young actor Anthony Michael Hall also appears in both movies.

66…1996 Michelle Pfeiffer/George Clooney romantic comedy..ONE FINE DAY
“One Fine Day” is a 1996 film starring George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer. It’s a romantic comedy, with Clooney and Pfeiffer playing two single working parents. The film’s title comes from the 1963 hit song of the same name recorded by the Chiffons, which in turn comes from the aria “Un bel di” (“One Fine Day”) from Puccini’s opera “Madama Butterfly”.

72…First president to visit China..NIXON
President Richard Nixon made a famous visit to China in 1972 that marked a thawing in the relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It was the first time that a US president had visited the PRC, and followed several secret diplomatic missions to Beijing by National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger. During the week-long visit, President Nixon had talks with Chairman Mao Zedong, and First Lady Pat Nixon was very visible as she toured schools, hospitals and factories.

76…Long-armed banana lovers..APES
Apes and monkeys both belong to the order of primates. The most obvious way to distinguish apes from monkeys is by the presence or lack of a tail. Almost all apes have no tail, and almost all monkeys have tails.

Down
2…Detective fiction genre..NOIR
The expression “film noir” has French origins, but only in that it was coined by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning “black film” in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be “The Big Sleep” and “D.O.A”.

3…Bite-size Krispy Kreme offering..DONUT HOLE
The Krispy Kreme chain of doughnut stores was founded in 1937 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The company introduced the Whole Wheat Glazed doughnut in 2007, great for folks looking to eat a healthy diet, I am sure …

4…___ Curry, 2015 and ’16 N.B.A. M.V.P…STEPH
Steph Curry is a professional basketball player who was named the league’s MVP in 2015, the same season that he led the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA championship since 1975. Steph’s father is former NBA player Dell Curry, and the older brother of current NBA player Seth Curry.

5…China’s ___ Zedong..MAO
Mao Zedong (also “Mao Tse-tung”) was born on December 16, 1893 in the Hunan Province of China. As Mao was the son of a peasant farmer, his prospects for education were limited. Indeed he left school at age 13 to work on the family farm but did eventually get to secondary school in Changsha, the provincial capital. In the years following, Mao continued his education in Beijing and actually turned down an opportunity to study in France.

6…___ Arbor, Mich…ANN
Ann Arbor, Michigan was founded in 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey. Supposedly, Allen and Rumsey originally used the name “Annsarbour” in recognition of stands of bur oak that were on the land they had purchased and in recognition of their wives, both of whom were called “Ann” (i.e. Anns’ Arbor).

7…Summer hrs. in Colorado..MDT
The state of Colorado took its name from the prior Territory of Colorado that existed from 1861 to 1876. The name was chosen for the Colorado river that originated in the territory. The river in turn was named by the Spanish as “Rio Colorado”, meaning “ruddy, reddish river”.

8…Joy of “The View”..BEHAR
Joy Behar is a comedian, and former co-host of the hit talk show “The View”. Behar was one of the original co-hosts of “The View”, and stayed with the show from 1997 until 2013. She started hosting her own talk show called “Late Night Behar” in 2015.

10…Grads-to-be: Abbr…SRS
Senior (sr.)

12…Juliet’s love..ROMEO
William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is all about the love between the two title characters, which is forbidden as the pair come from two families who are sworn enemies. Early in the play, Romeo (a Montague) sneaks into a masquerade ball being held by the Capulets in the hope of meeting a Capulet girl named Rosaline. Instead, he meets and falls for Juliet, also a Capulet. Tragedy ensues …

19…Digital video file format..MPEG
The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) was established in 1988 to set standards for audio and video compression. The standards they’ve come up with use the acronym MPEG.

23…Necklace for one in a hula skirt..LEI
“Lei” is the Hawaiian word for “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a “lei” is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

27…Wine: Prefix..OENO-
In Greek mythology, Oeno was the goddess of wine, giving us “oen-” as a prefix meaning “wine”. For example, oenology is the study of wine and an oenophile is a wine-lover.

29…Surname of the only M.L.B. brother trio to play together in the outfield..ALOU
Moises Alou played major league baseball, as did his father Felipe and his uncles Matty and Jesús.

30…___ Men (“Who Let the Dogs Out” band)..BAHA
The Baha Men are so called because they hail from the Bahamas. Their big hit was “Who Let the Dogs Out?” which has been ranked as third in a list of the world’s most annoying songs!

31…In a frenzy..AMOK
The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had good reason for that frenzy …

39…Designer Saarinen..EERO
Eero Saarinen was a Finnish American architect, renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK. The list of his lesser-known, but still impressive, works includes several buildings erected on academic campuses. For example, the Chapel and Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus, the Emma Hartman Noyes House at Vassar College, the Law School building at the University of Chicago, and Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink.

40…Request in an invitation..RSVP
RSVP stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “please, answer”.

42…Last Ivy League school alphabetically..YALE
The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

43…Actress Merrill..DINA
Dina Merrill was in 22 movies, including two of my favorites: “Desk Set” with Tracy & Hepburn, and “Operation Petticoat” with Cary Grant. Nowadays, Merrill carries some sway in the business world. Until 2007 she was on the compensation committee of Lehman Brothers, the merry band that approved all those big bonuses. Ms. Merrill probably doesn’t talk too much these days about that aspect of her life!

45…___ pro quo..QUID
“Quid pro quo” is Latin for “something for something”, a swap.

57…Pioneer in photocopying..XEROX
Xerox was founded in 1906 in Rochester, New York and originally made photographic paper and equipment. Real success came for the company in 1959 when it introduced the first plain-paper photocopier. Xerox named Ursula Burns as CEO in 2009, the first African American woman to head up a S&P 100 company. Burn was also the first woman to succeed another female CEO (replacing Anne Mulcahy).

59…Justice Kagan..ELENA
Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread “Pride and Prejudice” once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I’d say …

63…One-named singer with the 1985 hit “Smooth Operator”..SADE
The singer Sade’s real name is Helen Folasade Adu. Although she was born in Nigeria, Sade grew up and lives in the UK. She was the lead vocalist for the English group Sade, and adopted the name of the band. The band’s biggest hits were “Smooth Operator” (1984) and “The Sweetest Taboo” (1985).

65…Drug for tripping..LSD
LSD (colloquially known as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

67…Palindromic file extension..EXE
In the Windows Operating System, a file with the extension .exe is an “executable” file.

69…Word with Comfort or Holiday..INN
The Comfort Inn chain is part of Choice Hotels International. I stay in Comfort Suites every so often. Not bad for the price …

The first Holiday Inn hotel was opened in 1952. The name for the hotel chain was inspired by the 1942 movie “Holiday Inn” starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1…Termini..ENDS
5…Black ___ (deadly African snake)..MAMBA
10…”Beat it!”..SCRAM!
15…Most important part of a carrot or turnip plant..ROOT
16…South American range..ANDES
17…___ Island Red (chicken variety)..RHODE
18…1995 Hugh Grant/Julianne Moore romantic comedy..NINE MONTHS
20…”The X Factor” judge Cowell..SIMON
21…___ Arena, home to the Kentucky Wildcats..RUPP
22…Feel lousy..AIL
24…Socially maladroit sort..NERD
25…1981 Alan Alda/Carol Burnett comedy..THE FOUR SEASONS
30…”Humbug!”..BAH!
32…Secluded valley..GLEN
33…Pinball foul..TILT
34…Mine: Fr…A MOI
36…&..AND
37…”Medium hamburger and a Coke,” e.g…ORDER
41…Classic TV game show … or what 18-, 25-, 55- and 66-Across are, in a way..HOLLYWOOD SQUARES
46…Cub Scout leader named after a character in “The Jungle Book”..AKELA
47…Part of a hosp. with oxygen tents..ICU
48…Deviant, in slang..PERV
49…”On top of that …”..ALSO …
52…Innocent sort..NAIF
54…Soak (up)..SOP
55…1984 Molly Ringwald coming-of-age comedy..SIXTEEN CANDLES
60…Redwood or dogwood..TREE
61…Aunt: Sp…TIA
62…Pub potables..ALES
64…Hearing-related..AURAL
66…1996 Michelle Pfeiffer/George Clooney romantic comedy..ONE FINE DAY
71…Lip shine..GLOSS
72…First president to visit China..NIXON
73…Unclothed..NUDE
74…School health class, informally..SEX ED
75…Rear of a ship..STERN
76…Long-armed banana lovers..APES

Down
1…Suffix with north..-ERN
2…Detective fiction genre..NOIR
3…Bite-size Krispy Kreme offering..DONUT HOLE
4…___ Curry, 2015 and ’16 N.B.A. M.V.P…STEPH
5…China’s ___ Zedong..MAO
6…___ Arbor, Mich…ANN
7…Summer hrs. in Colorado..MDT
8…Joy of “The View”..BEHAR
9…Passing a ball to a scorer, e.g…ASSIST
10…Grads-to-be: Abbr…SRS
11…Football helmet attachment..CHIN STRAP
12…Juliet’s love..ROMEO
13…Decorate..ADORN
14…Gives a darn?..MENDS
19…Digital video file format..MPEG
23…Necklace for one in a hula skirt..LEI
26…Imperfection..FLAW
27…Wine: Prefix..OENO-
28…Bring to naught..UNDO
29…Surname of the only M.L.B. brother trio to play together in the outfield..ALOU
30…___ Men (“Who Let the Dogs Out” band)..BAHA
31…In a frenzy..AMOK
35…Uncomfortable..ILL AT EASE
38…In one’s Sunday best..DRESSED UP
39…Designer Saarinen..EERO
40…Request in an invitation..RSVP
42…Last Ivy League school alphabetically..YALE
43…Actress Merrill..DINA
44…Digitize, as a document..SCAN
45…___ pro quo..QUID
50…”Ready, ___, go!”..SET
51…They can bring tears to chefs’ eyes..ONIONS
53…Custardy dessert..FLAN
55…Men-only parties..STAGS
56…”Go me!”..I RULE!
57…Pioneer in photocopying..XEROX
58…”Zip your lip!”..CAN IT!
59…Justice Kagan..ELENA
63…One-named singer with the 1985 hit “Smooth Operator”..SADE
65…Drug for tripping..LSD
67…Palindromic file extension..EXE
68…In favor of..FOR
69…Word with Comfort or Holiday..INN
70…”Absolutely!”..YES!

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8 thoughts on “0919-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Sep 16, Monday”

  1. 8:24, no errors, iPad. Once again, I didn't think to look for a theme. Now that I've been made aware of it, though, it seems awfully familiar. I'd swear an almost identical theme was used in another NYT puzzle sometime within the last year, but I don't know how to search for it …

  2. The puzzle I was reminded of was one from February 4, 2016; the theme entries were phrases in which integers had been replaced by their square roots, so … not the same thing. See

    http://www.nytcrossword.com/2016/02/0204-16-new-york-times-crossword.html

    I also came across a fun puzzle from April 28, 2015, that contained no less than fourteen "square roots" :

    http://www.xwordinfo.com/Crossword?date=4/28/2015&g=21&d=D

    So … there you have it …

  3. 9:21, no errors. Seemed to take a long time for a Monday, not difficult, just took a while to suss out the long answers. SIXTEEN CANDLES was the only one of the four movies I have seen.

  4. I managed out a "no errors" but took several calculated guesses to do it. I did not get the theme until coming here. Sort of. I thought that HOLLYWOOD SQUARES was only referring to the "squares" we fill in with our letters. Beyond that I did not even notice that the four film titles had a number in them, much less that it was a square number. Bill always amazes me with how he picks up on these things.

  5. Good puzzle to start the week. Apparently simple theme and revealer really not as simple as it looked. Didn't see that all the theme numbers were SQUARES.

  6. A fun puzzle. Had nothing across but then jackpot down. Spent a while justifying mends since I could not reconcile it with gives a "damn" .For some reason read and reread the clue and kept glossing over "darn".

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