1202-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Dec 16, Friday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Andrew Kingsley
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 30m 28s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Ceremonial basin : LAVABO
A “lavabo” is a basin with water used for washing the hands, particularly for use in ceremonial rites.

7. Pakistan’s ___ Khan University : AGA
Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan is the nation’s first private university.

16. Suffix with lip- : -ASE
Lipase is an enzyme that breaks down fat. Most human lipases are secreted by the pancreas.

19. Athletic wear named for an anagram of what it does : SPANDEX
What we call spandex in the US is known as Lycra in the British Isles. “Spandex” was chosen as the name for the elastic fiber as it is an anagram of “expands”.

22. Card initials : STL
The St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the “Brown Stockings”, changing their name to the “Perfectos” in 1899. That obviously didn’t go down well with the locals, as the owners changed it one year later to the Cardinals.

23. Monkey with a repetitive name : TITI
Titis are monkeys found in much of South America. Totis have tails that are a little bit longer than the length of their heads and bodies.

26. “Odyssey” peak : OSSA
Mount Ossa in Greece is located between Mt. Pelion in the south, and the famed Mt. Olympus in the north. Mount Ossa is also known as Kissavos.

“The Odyssey” is one of two epic poems from ancient Greece that is attributed to Homer. “The Odyssey” is largely a sequel to Homer’s other epic, “The Iliad”. “The Odyssey” centers on the heroic figure Odysseus, and his adventures on his journey home to Greece following the fall of Troy. We now use the term “odyssey” to describe any long series of adventures.

28. Parting words : CIAOS
“Ciao” is the Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

29. Paul of “There Will Be Blood” : DANO
Paul Dano is an actor and musician from New York City. I best know him for playing Brian Wilson in “Love & Mercy”, a fascinating film about the Beach Boys.

“There Will Be Blood” is a 2007 film starring Daniel Day Lewis. The movie is based (loosely) on the 1927 novel by Upton Sinclair called “Oil!”

30. Emulate a popinjay : PREEN
Back in the 12th century a “popinjay” was a colorful parrot. By the 14th century the word was being applied to people who were considered beautiful, but by the mid-16th century the term applied to people who were vain and talkative.

32. “Annie Hall” or “Notting Hill” : ROMCOM
I suppose if there is any Woody Allen movie that I enjoy watching, it’s “Annie Hall” from 1977. I think Diane Keaton is a great actress and she is wonderful in this film. You’ll see Paul Simon as well, making a rare movie appearance, and even Truman Capote playing himself. The film is also famous for sparking a movement in the fashion world to adopt the “Annie Hall” look, that very distinctive appearance championed by Diane Keaton as the Annie Hall character.

“Notting Hill” is a marvelous 1999 romantic comedy written by Richard Curtis that is set in the Notting HIll district of London. The romantic leads are played by Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. Great stuff.

34. Montessori and Sharapova : MARIAS
The Montessori approach to education was developed by the Italian educator Maria Montessori in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Montessori system arrived in the US in 1911, but most classes were shut down by 1914 due to unfavorable criticism from the established education system. There was a revival in interest in the US starting in 1960 and now there are thousands of schools using the Montessori approach all over the country.

Maria Sharapova is professional tennis player from the town of Nyagan in the Russian Federation. She is a former World No. 1.

36. Sat in a dugout? : CANOED
The boat called a canoe takes its name from the Carib word “kenu” meaning “dugout”. It was Christopher Columbus who brought “kenu” into Spanish as “canoa”, which evolved into our English “canoe”.

37. Phaëthon’s father, in myth : HELIOS
Helios was the god of the Sun in Greek mythology. Helios was the brother of Selene, the goddess of the moon, and Eos, the goddess of the dawn. Helios drove his chariot of the sun across the sky during the day, returning to the East at night be travelling through the ocean.

38. Ball game : LOTTO
Originally “Lotto” was a type of card game, with “lotto” being the Italian for “a lot”. We’ve used “lotto” to mean a gambling game since the late 1700s.

39. Dinosaur in Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” : ARLO
“The Good Dinosaur” is a Pixar movie that premiered in Paris on November 14th, 2015 under the title “Le Voyage d’Arlo”.

40. First name in foundations : ESTEE
“Estée” is the signature fragrance from the Estée Lauder Company. “Estée” was the second fragrance developed by Estée Lauder herself, and was introduced in 1968. Lauder’s first fragrance was “Youth Dew”, introduced in 1953.

42. Southern California’s ___ Point : DANA
Dana Point is a city in Southern California that was named for the nearby headland of Dana Point. The headland was in turn named for Richard Henry Dana, Jr., author of the famous memoir “Two Years Before the Mast”. In his memoir, Dana described the area around the headland as “the only romantic spot on the coast”.

47. “M*A*S*H” co-star : FARR
Actor Jamie Farr is best known for playing the cross-dressing Max Klinger in the sitcom ”M*A*S*H”. Although Farr landed a role in the 1955 movie “Blackboard Jungle”, his career didn’t really take off until he started appearing regularly on “The Red Skelton Show”. Years later he managed to get a one-episode appearance in ”M*A*S*H”, and his character and performance were received so well that he became a regular on the show. Farr actually did serve in the US Army in Korea, although it was after hostilities had ended. The dog tags that Farr wore when filming ”M*A*S*H” were the one’s he actually wore while serving in the military.

48. Picture frame? : CEL
In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

51. Article of personal property : CHATTEL
In the world of the law, a chattel is a piece of personal property that can be moved. In earlier times, “chattel” was used to describe a slave.

56. Cracker Jack come-on : PRIZE INSIDE
Cracker Jack snack food was introduced to the public at the 1893 Chicago World Fair. It didn’t get the name “Cracker Jack” until a few years later when someone declared to the producers that the candied snack was “crackerjack!”. Prizes were introduced into each box starting in 1912. The list of toy surprises included rings, plastic figurines, temporary tattoos and decoder rings.

58. Jerry’s partner : BEN
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield did a correspondence course on ice-cream making in 1977 given by Pennsylvania State University’s Creamery. The following year they opened an ice cream parlor in an old gas station in Burlington, Vermont. Today Ben & Jerry’s has locations in over 20 countries around the world, and theirs was the first brand ice-cream to go into space.

61. Verb that can combine with its past tense : SEE
The past tense of “see” is “saw”, and the pair can make “seesaw”.

Down
6. Heraldic wreath : ORLE
In heraldry, an orle is a decorative band that lies close to the edge of the front-surface of a shield. With such a design, the orle necessarily takes on the shape of the shield.

7. Only creature besides humans to farm other creatures : ANT
Amazon ants are referred to as “slave-raiding” ants. They rob the pupae from related species and use the captured ants as “slaves”. The “slaves” do virtually all the work needed to maintain the Amazon ant nest, including provision of food and nursing the young.

14. Decade when ZIP codes were introduced : SIXTIES
ZIP codes were introduced in 1963. The acronym ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan, a name indicating that mail travels more efficiently when the codes are included in the postal address.

24. Scottish “John” : IAN
The name “John” translates into Scottish as “Ian”, into Russian as “Ivan”, and into Irish as “Seán”.

27. Presumptive : A PRIORI
In the world of philosophy, one can have “a priori” knowledge or “a posteriori” knowledge. A priori (“from the earlier) knowledge is independent of experience, it is just known or assumed. For example, one might say that “all boys are males” is a priori knowledge. A posteriori knowledge relies on experience or some empirical evidence. For example, one might say that “boys are more likely to diagnosed with ADD” is a posteriori knowledge.

31. “Her name is ___ and she dances on the sand” (1983 pop lyric) : RIO
“Rio” is a 1982 song released by Duran Duran.

Duran Duran is a New Wave band from Birmingham in England. Duran Duran’s success was partially driven by some well-received MTV music videos in the 1980s. The band also worked hard on their image and paid a lot of money for very fashionable clothes in which they performed. As a result, one of Duran Duran’s nicknames is “the prettiest boys in rock”.

33. It borders Hudson Bay: Abbr. : ONT
The Canadian province of Ontario takes its name from the Great Lake. In turn, Lake Ontario’s name is thought to be derived from “Ontari:io”, a Huron word meaning “great lake”. Ontario is home to the nation’s capital of Ottawa as well as Toronto, Canada’s most populous city (and the capital of the province).

Hudson Bay in northern Canada is the second largest bay in the world, after the Bay of Bengal. Hudson Bay was named by English explorers after Henry Hudson who explored the area in 1610 on his ship “Discovery”. Hudson’s crew mutinied during that voyage and set Hudson and his officers adrift in a small boat. It is presumed that the castaways didn’t survive for very long.

37. Claims, with “on” : HAS DIBS
The phrase “to have dibs on” expresses a claim on something. Apparently, the term “dibs” is a contraction of “dibstone”, which was a knucklebone or jack used in a children’s game.

38. Xerox setting: Abbr. : LTR
Our paper sizes here in North America don’t conform with the standards in the rest of the world. ISO standard sizes used elsewhere were chosen so that the ratio of width to length is usually one to the square root of two. This mathematical relationship means that when you cut a piece of paper in two each half preserves the aspect ratio of the original, which can be useful in making reduced or enlarged copies of documents. Our standard size of “letter” (ltr., 8.5 x 11 inches) was determined in 1980 by the Reagan administration to be the official paper size for the US government. Prior to this, the “legal” size (8.5 x 14 inches) had been the standard, since 1921.

41. “Dr. Strangelove” or “Borat” : SATIRE
“Dr. Strangelove” is a black comedy directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick, released in 1964. The big star in the film is the great Peter Sellers, who plays three key roles. The full name of the movie is “Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”.

The full name of the 2006 “mockumentary” is “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”. Borat is played by a British comedian, Sacha Baron Cohen. Not my cup of tea …

43. When Banquo dies in “Macbeth” : ACT III
Banquo is a character in William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. Banquo is the thane of the Scottish province of Lochaber. Macbeth has him murdered, only to have Banquo’s ghost return and haunt him.

50. What a needle may indicate: Abbr. : MPH
Miles per hour (mph)

53. Shortly : ANON
“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Ceremonial basin : LAVABO
7. Pakistan’s ___ Khan University : AGA
10. Downloaded, say : GOT
13. One may open an issue : EDITOR’S NOTE
16. Suffix with lip- : -ASE
17. It comes with a dish : SATELLITE TV
18. Universal Studios, formerly : MCA
19. Athletic wear named for an anagram of what it does : SPANDEX
20. Female in the woods : SHE BEAR
22. Card initials : STL
23. Monkey with a repetitive name : TITI
25. Hairstyle that’s very big : AFRO
26. “Odyssey” peak : OSSA
28. Parting words : CIAOS
29. Paul of “There Will Be Blood” : DANO
30. Emulate a popinjay : PREEN
32. “Annie Hall” or “Notting Hill” : ROMCOM
34. Montessori and Sharapova : MARIAS
36. Sat in a dugout? : CANOED
37. Phaëthon’s father, in myth : HELIOS
38. Ball game : LOTTO
39. Dinosaur in Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” : ARLO
40. First name in foundations : ESTEE
42. Southern California’s ___ Point : DANA
46. Lasting impression : SCAR
47. “M*A*S*H” co-star : FARR
48. Picture frame? : CEL
49. Bound : DELIMIT
51. Article of personal property : CHATTEL
55. Veiled promise? : I DO
56. Cracker Jack come-on : PRIZE INSIDE
58. Jerry’s partner : BEN
59. “Fingers crossed!” : HERE’S HOPING!
60. Dallas-to-Houston dir. : SSE
61. Verb that can combine with its past tense : SEE
62. Like some inspections : ON-SITE

Down
1. Not as much : LESS SO
2. Rolls with the punches : ADAPTS
3. Some hospital readings : VITALS
4. “Can you break ___?” : A TEN
5. Fearless : BOLD
6. Heraldic wreath : ORLE
7. Only creature besides humans to farm other creatures : ANT
8. Visits : GOES TO
9. “If things don’t change …” : AT THIS RATE …
10. Something an athlete puts on : GAME FACE
11. Reward for acting well? : OSCAR NOD
12. Genteel establishment : TEA ROOM
14. Decade when ZIP codes were introduced : SIXTIES
15. Verge : EVE
21. Grumpy state : BAD MOOD
24. Scottish “John” : IAN
27. Presumptive : A PRIORI
28. Front ends? : CEASEFIRES
31. “Her name is ___ and she dances on the sand” (1983 pop lyric) : RIO
33. It borders Hudson Bay: Abbr. : ONT
34. “The best or nothing” sloganeer, informally : MERCEDES
35. Forsaken : ALL ALONE
36. Arm-twists : COERCES
37. Claims, with “on” : HAS DIBS
38. Xerox setting: Abbr. : LTR
41. “Dr. Strangelove” or “Borat” : SATIRE
43. When Banquo dies in “Macbeth” : ACT III
44. “You ___ worry” : NEEDN’T
45. State : ALLEGE
50. What a needle may indicate: Abbr. : MPH
52. Syllables in a children’s refrain : HI-HO
53. Shortly : ANON
54. Oz. sextet : TSPS
57. Dictionary’s end : ZEE

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11 thoughts on “1202-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Dec 16, Friday”

  1. 20:21, no errors, iPad. It took me forever to remember LAVABO (a word I know, but don't have much occasion to use) and I had a bit of trouble in the lower left, as well. But, eventually, things fell into place …

  2. Very late to the party tonight. I remembered LAVABO because I was stumped on the same word a few weeks ago. Some fun cluing on this one – e.g. Verb that can combine with it's past tense (SEE saw) and SPANDEX being an anagram of expand.

    I felt this puzzle went reasonably fast until I looked up and saw it took me 51 minutes…almost exactly Dave and Bill's times combined… "N" in OSCARNOD/DANO was the last to fall.

    Best –

  3. I wasn't real happy with bound/delimit. According to my cheapie dictionary "bound" as
    a verb is past tense or a past participle. And delimit is strictly present tense.
    Is this considered to be kosher construction?

  4. 34:27, 2 errors: 1A LAVABA, 6D ARLE. Not familiar with either word, so I have learned two new words today.

    I, too, have a problem with bound/delimit. My understand is that establishing bounds is to establish limits. To DELIMIT would be to unbound.

  5. Biggest problems in the upper SW. After finally digging out APRIORI in place of Assumed, all fell into place. Cluing generally was tricky. Tough but satisfying.

  6. I see no problem with the clue "Bound" for the entry DELIMIT. While it's true that "bound" is a past tense or past participle of "bind", it is also true that one of the definitions of the verb "to bound" is "to set limits to or to form the boundary of" and "to delimit" is defined as "to determine the limits or boundaries of" (both copied just now from on-line dictionary entries found using Google). Perhaps these usages are more common in mathematical contexts?

  7. 30:21, and 5 errors, in the NW quadrant. LAVABO????? You gotta be *kidding me*!

    The problem with DELIMIT really seems to be a case of cynical cluing. It's technically correct, but the clue chosen uses the least common usage. Typical.

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