1205-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 5 Dec 2017, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Harry Smith & Zhouqin Burnikel
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: News Crew

There’s a note with today’s puzzle:

CELEBRITY CROSSWORD
To mark the 75th anniversary of the New York Times crossword, which debuted in 1942, we are publishing a series of puzzles co-created by famous people who solve the Times crossword, working together with regular Times puzzle contributors.
This collaboration is by the television journalist Harry Smith, a correspondent for NBC News, and previously a host of CBS’s “The Early Show,” working together with Zhouqin Burnikel, of Brooklyn Park, Minn. This is Zhouqin’s 50th crossword for The Times.
More information about the making of today’s puzzle appears in the Times’s daily crossword column (nytimes.com/column/wordplay).

Aptly enough, today’s themed clues seem to refer to members of a news team, but are interpreted differently in the answers:

  • 17A. Anchor man? : POPEYE THE SAILOR
  • 25A. Sound technician? : MARINE BIOLOGIST
  • 48A. Beat reporter? : ALLEN GINSBERG
  • 65A. Executive producer? : WHARTON

Bill’s time: 8m 22s!

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Kindergarten learning : ABCS

“Kindergarten” is a German term, one translating as “children’s garden”. The term was coined by the German education authority Friedrich Fröbel in 1837, when he used it as the name for his play and activity institute that he created for young children to use before they headed off to school. His thought was that children should be nourished educationally, like plants in a garden.

5. Place with hot rocks : SAUNA

As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, “sauna” is a Finnish word, and is pronounced more correctly as “sow-nah” (with “sow” as in the female pig).

16. Long-eared hopper : HARE

Hares belong to the genus Lepus, and young hares under one-year-old are called leverets.

17. Anchor man? : POPEYE THE SAILOR

Popeye first appeared in 1929 in a comic strip called “Thimble Theatre”. The strip, created by E. C. Segar, ran for ten years before Popeye made an appearance. Popeye received such a great welcome from readers that he soon “took over” the strip, and eventually even hogged the strip’s title. Before Popeye turned up, Olive Oyl was the main character.

20. Sacred Egyptian bug : SCARAB

Scarabs were amulets in ancient Egypt. Scarabs were modelled on the dung beetle, as it was viewed as a symbol of the cycle of life.

22. Snack you might bite or lick : OREO

There’s a smartphone app featuring the Oreo cookie. It’s a game in which one twists Oreo cookies apart, “licks” the cream from the center and then dunks the remainder of the cookie in a glass of milk.

24. “Lovely ___” (Beatles song) : RITA

“Lovely Rita” is a Beatles song on the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album. When the album was released in 1967, the term “meter maid” wasn’t used in the UK, although it was a slang term used in the US. The song helped spread the usage of “meter maid” all around the English-speaking world. Apparently the inspiration for the song was McCartney getting a parking ticket one day outside the Abbey Road Studios. He accepted the ticket with good grace, from a warden named Meta Davis. McCartney felt that Meta “looked like a Rita”, so that was the name she was given in the song.

25. Sound technician? : MARINE BIOLOGIST

Ships might travel through a sound, a wide channel connecting two bodies of water.

34. Star-crossed lover of literature : ROMEO

Two lovers who are “star-crossed” are ill-fated, thwarted by the stars. The term was coined by William Shakespeare in the prologue to his play “Romeo and Juliet”

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes,
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life

35. Secretive org. : CIA

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the successor to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) formed during WWII. The CIA was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947. The organization is often referred to familiarly as “the Company”.

42. Star of “An Inconvenient Truth” : AL GORE

Former Vice President Al Gore was a joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 in recognition for his work in climate change activism. He also won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for his book on climate change called “An Inconvenient Truth”. The documentary of the same name that was spawned by the book won an Academy Award. In addition, Gore won an Emmy as co-owner of Current TV, an independent news network.

45. Giant in health plans : CIGNA

The health care management company known as CIGNA was formed in 1982 by a merger of two insurance companies. One was Connecticut General (CG) and the other Insurance Company of North America (INA).

48. Beat reporter? : ALLEN GINSBERG

Allen Ginsberg was a poet from from Newark, New Jersey whose name became inextricably linked with the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the counterculture of the 1960s. His most famous work is the 1955 poem “Howl”, in which Ginsberg denounces capitalism and conformity in the US.

51. One not reporting for duty, maybe : AWOL

The Military Police (MPs) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

52. 2017, por ejemplo : ANO

In Spanish, 2017 “por ejemplo” (for example) is an an “año” (year).

60. Noshed : ATE

Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means snack, or as a verb meaning to eat between meals.

62. Sister brand of Baby Ruth : OH HENRY!

Oh Henry! is a candy bar that was introduced in 1920 by the Williamson Candy Company of Chicago. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive explanation for the name, although it does seem to be a play on the name of the American writer O. Henry. There is a also a story that it was named after a young man called Henry who used to flirt with the female candy makers in the Williamson Candy Company. What is true is that the bar was invented by a candy maker named Tom Henry, who sold the recipe to Williamson.

One might be forgiven for thinking that the candy bar called a Baby Ruth was named after baseball legend Babe Ruth. However, the Curtiss Candy Company that introduced the confection in 1921 has stated that it was in fact named for Ruth Cleveland, the daughter of President Grover Cleveland. That said, there seems to be some debate …

65. Executive producer? : WHARTON

Wharton is the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. The school was established in 1881 largely due to a donation from industrialist Joseph Wharton, co-founder of Bethlehem Steel.

Down

2. Congress’s Freedom Caucus, e.g. : BLOC

The Freedom Caucus in the US House of Representatives was formed in 2015. It comprises a group of conservative members of Congress who generally hold views to the right of the mainstream Republican Party, and famously influenced the resignation of Speaker of the House John Boehner in 2015.

3. Nightclub in a Manilow song : COPA

The Copacabana of the 1978 Barry Manilow song is the Copacabana nightclub in New York City (which is also the subject of the Frank Sinatra song “Meet Me at the Copa”). The Copa opened in 1940 and is still going today although it is struggling. The club had to move due to impending construction and is now “sharing” a location with the Columbus 72 nightclub.

Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl
With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there
She would merengue and do the cha-cha
And while she tried to be a star
Tony always tended bar
Across the crowded floor, they worked from 8 til 4
They were young and they had each other
Who could ask for more?

4. Olympics no-no : STEROID

Steroids are found commonly in nature, with familiar examples being cholesterol and testosterone. The controversial class of drugs called anabolic steroids (known informally as “roids” or simply “steroids”) are artificially produced chemicals designed to mimic the effect of the male sex hormone, testosterone. They are termed “anabolic” as they build up cellular tissue (particularly muscle) in a process called anabolism. Taking anabolic steroids can be termed “juicing”, and the aggressive behavior that can be a side-effect is known as “roid rage”.

5. Honey brand since 1921 : SUE BEE

Sue Bee is a brand of honey that is produced by a cooperative of American beekeepers, the largest cooperative of beekeepers in the world.

6. “The creation of beauty,” per Ralph Waldo Emerson : ART

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an essayist and poet who was active in the mid-1800s. Most of the essays that Emerson wrote were composed originally as lectures and then revised for print. He is often referred to as “The Sage of Concord”, as Emerson spent much of his life in Concord, Massachusetts.

8. Maiden name intro : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.

10. City said to have big shoulders : CHICAGO

One of the nicknames for Chicago is “City of Big Shoulders”. The moniker originated in the poem “Chicago” by Carl Sandburg. The poem’s opening lines are:

Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:

11. In great shape : HALE

Both the words “hale” and “healthy” derive from the Old English “hal” meaning healthy.

12. Resource in the Mesabi Range : IRON

The Mesabi Range has the largest deposit of iron ore in the country, and is located in Minnesota. Robert Allen Zimmerman was raised in the area (whom we know him better as “Bob Dylan”) and he wrote a song called “North Country Blues” that tells of the decline of the mining industry in the Mesabi Range.

18. Hard-to-believe stories : YARNS

The phrase “to spin a yarn”, meaning “to tell a tall tale”, originated in the early 1800s with seamen. The idea was that sailors would tell stories to each other while engaged in mindless work such as twisting yarn.

23. Instrument with cane blades : OBOE

The most common source material for reeds used in musical instruments is the species Arundo donax, often referred to as “giant cane”.

26. Capital of Samoa : APIA

Apia is the capital city, and in fact the only city, of the Pacific island-nation of Samoa. The harbor of Apia is famous for a very foolish incident in 1889 involving seven naval vessels from Germany, the US and Britain. A typhoon was approaching so the safest thing to do was to head for open water away from land, but no nation would move its ships for fear of losing face in front of the others. Six of the ships were lost in the typhoon as a result and 200 American and German sailors perished. The British cruiser HMS Calliope barely managed to escape from the harbor and rode out the storm safely. Apia is also known as the home of writer Robert Louis Stevenson, for the last four years of his life.

28. One of the Gershwins : IRA

Ira Gershwin was the lyricist who worked with his brother George to create such American classics as the songs “I Got Rhythm” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”, as well as the opera “Porgy and Bess”. After George Gershwin died, Ira continued to create great music, working with the likes of Jerome Kern and Kurt Weill.

36. Loretta who was the subject of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” : LYNN

The singer Loretta Lynn is sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Country Music. Lynn was born in 1932 in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky to a coal miner and his wife, and so famously is also referred to as “the Coal Miner’s Daughter”. Her much younger sister (by 19 years) is the singer Crystal Gayle.

40. ___ pickle : DILL

Often a dill pickle is actually a pickled gherkin, as the gherkin and cucumber are different cultivars within the same species. Here in the US, dill is commonly added to the pickling vinegar or brine, but this wasn’t the case when I used to eat them back in Ireland (I can’t stand dill!). You might see jars labeled as “cornichons”, but they’re gherkins. Cornichon is just the French word for gherkin.

44. ___ Goose (vodka brand) : GREY

Grey Goose is a vodka that is produced in France. The beverage was developed especially for the American market using resources and expertise available in the French Cognac region.

46. Dame of mystery : AGATHA

Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time, having sold about 4 billion copies worldwide in total. The only books to have sold in higher volume are the works of William Shakespeare and the Bible.

51. Melville monomaniac : AHAB

Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”. The role of Captain Ahab was played by Gregory Peck in the 1956 John Huston film adaptation. Patrick Stewart played Ahab in a 1998 miniseries in which Peck made another appearance, as Father Mapple.

54. Span for The New Yorker : WEEK

The world-famous “New Yorker” magazine is published by Condé Nast. It was founded back in 1925 by Harold Ross and his wife Jane Grant, a reporter for “The New York Times”. The venerated magazine has become famous for many aspects of its content, including its stylish covers and its cartoons.

57. Appropriate rhyme for “spa” : AHH

The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

59. Roget’s entry: Abbr. : SYN

Synonym (syn.)

Peter Mark Roget was an English lexicographer. Roget was an avid maker of lists, apparently using the routine of list-making to combat depression, a condition he endured for most of his life. He published his famous thesaurus in 1852, with revisions and expansions being made years later by his son, and then in turn by his grandson.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Kindergarten learning : ABCS
5. Place with hot rocks : SAUNA
10. Golf shot near a green : CHIP
14. Cemetery purchase : PLOT
15. Tells to “Do it!” : URGES
16. Long-eared hopper : HARE
17. Anchor man? : POPEYE THE SAILOR
20. Sacred Egyptian bug : SCARAB
21. Southern drawl, e.g. : ACCENT
22. Snack you might bite or lick : OREO
24. “Lovely ___” (Beatles song) : RITA
25. Sound technician? : MARINE BIOLOGIST
32. They come with buds : IPODS
33. Space ball : ORB
34. Star-crossed lover of literature : ROMEO
35. Secretive org. : CIA
36. Bare minimum : LEAST
38. Tennis barrier : NET
39. What dropping off a last child at college is, to many parents : SAD DAY
42. Star of “An Inconvenient Truth” : AL GORE
45. Giant in health plans : CIGNA
47. Cancel, as a rocket launch : ABORT
48. Beat reporter? : ALLEN GINSBERG
51. One not reporting for duty, maybe : AWOL
52. 2017, por ejemplo : ANO
53. Cartoon “Ouch!” : YEOW!
55. Suffers from : HAS
56. Quaint gestures of gratitude : HAT-TIPS
60. Noshed : ATE
61. “Right you ___!” : ARE
62. Sister brand of Baby Ruth : OH HENRY!
63. It stains : DYE
64. Resting place : BED
65. Executive producer? : WHARTON
66. Blab : YAK

Down

1. Smartphone downloads : APPS
2. Congress’s Freedom Caucus, e.g. : BLOC
3. Nightclub in a Manilow song : COPA
4. Olympics no-no : STEROID
5. Honey brand since 1921 : SUE BEE
6. “The creation of beauty,” per Ralph Waldo Emerson : ART
7. “Yuck!” : UGH!
8. Maiden name intro : NEE
9. Batter, e.g. : ASSAIL
10. City said to have big shoulders : CHICAGO
11. In great shape : HALE
12. Resource in the Mesabi Range : IRON
13. Cheeky : PERT
18. Hard-to-believe stories : YARNS
19. One in a cast : ACTOR
23. Instrument with cane blades : OBOE
24. Steals : ROBS
25. Hot ones can cause trouble : MICS
26. Capital of Samoa : APIA
27. Sign akin to “Bridge Out” : ROAD CLOSED
28. One of the Gershwins : IRA
29. “Hold on, give me a second” : I’M NOT READY
30. Future predictor : SEER
31. Many a pledge drive gift : TOTE
36. Loretta who was the subject of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” : LYNN
37. Word document settings : TABS
40. ___ pickle : DILL
41. 5 or 6, for a kindergartner, typically : AGE
43. High toss : LOB
44. ___ Goose (vodka brand) : GREY
46. Dame of mystery : AGATHA
47. Consecrate : ANOINT
48. Cognizant : AWARE
49. Bury : INTER
50. Successful prankster’s cry : GOTYA!
51. Melville monomaniac : AHAB
54. Span for The New Yorker : WEEK
56. Know-___ : HOW
57. Appropriate rhyme for “spa” : AHH
58. For : PRO
59. Roget’s entry: Abbr. : SYN