1209-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 9 Dec 2017, Saturday

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Constructed by: Stu Ockman
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Spanish pronoun : ESAS

“Esas” is Spanish for “those”.

10. Whence many paintings of Pueblo Indians : TAOS

The town of Taos, New Mexico is named for the Native American village nearby called Taos Pueblo. Taos is famous for its art colony. Artists began to settle in Taos in 1899, and the Taos Society of Artists was founded in 1915.

The Pueblo peoples are Native Americans from the American Southwest who are known for their construction of towns and villages comprising buildings made from adobe and stone. The Pueblo inhabited pit houses dug into cliffs prior to c. 1050 CE. After this date, they started to develop planned village that included apartment-like structure often located on ledges of rock that were easy to defend. The largest of these villages extant today is the magnificent Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. It is a “must see” when visiting the area …

14. Longtime first name in gossip : RONA

Rona Barrett is a gossip columnist originally from New York City but who plies her trade in Southern California. Barrett started out as with a gossip column that was syndicated in newspapers but then made a successful transition to television. She made regular appearances in news broadcasts and on her entertainment shows in the sixties and seventies.

15. Poet who was a friend of Dalí : LORCA

Garcia Lorca was a Spanish poet and dramatist. Lorca is as famous for his poems and his plays as he is for the circumstances of his death. Although it has never been irrefutably proven, many believe that he was shot and killed while in the custody of Nationalist militia, one month after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.

The famous surrealist painter Salvador Dalí was born in Figueres, Spain. I had the privilege of visiting the Dalí Museum in Figueres some years ago, just north of Barcelona. If you ever get the chance, it’s a “must see” as it really is a quite magnificent building with a fascinating collection.

21. Nut whose name has multiple pronunciations : PECAN

The pecan is the state nut of which state in the Union? Nope, it’s not Georgia, but rather Alabama …

23. Figure skater Witt : KATARINA

Katarina Witt is a retired figure skater who represented her homeland of East Germany, winning Olympic golds in 1984 and 1988. After the reunification of Germany, Witt gained access to the files held on her by the East German secret police. Her file contained 3,000 pages of information about her life since she was eight years old.

27. “Shane” star : LADD

The last few years of actor Alan Ladd’s life were pretty rough. In 1962 he was found unconscious in a pool of blood with a bullet wound in his chest, an abortive suicide attempt. Two years later he was found dead, apparently having succumbed to an accidental overdose of drugs and sedatives. He was 50 years old.

The classic 1953 western movie called “Shane” is based on the novel of the same name by Jack Schaefer published in 1949. Heading the cast is Alan Ladd in the title role, alongside Jean Arthur and Van Heflin.

29. Four characters in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” : EMS

There are four letters M (ems) in the title “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of William Shakespeare’s comedies. An interesting characteristic of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is that it features a play-within-a-play. The cast of characters includes an troupe of six actors called the Mechanicals who perform a play called “Pyramus and Thisbe”.

30. “How Deep Is Your Love” group, 1977 : BEE GEES

The Brothers Gibb (hence, the name “The Bee Gees”) were born in England but grew up and started their musical careers in Australia. They moved back to Manchester in the north of England as youths, and there hit the big time.

31. Site ___ (web page listing) : MAP

A site map is a hierarchical list of pages on a web site. A well-designed site map can be useful to site visitors, but is more commonly used by search engines to get a complete and accurate picture of a site so that it is correctly represented in search results.

36. Certain media constraints : LIBEL LAWS

The word “libel”, meaning a published or written statement likely to harm a person’s reputation, comes into English from the Latin “libellus”, the word for a small book. Back in the 1500s, libel was just a formal written statement, with the more damaging association arising in the 1600s.

39. “A rich man is nothing but a poor man with ___”: W. C. Fields : MONEY

W. C. Fields worked hard to develop the on-screen image of a pretty grumpy old man. In his real life he was fairly grumpy too, and fond of protecting his privacy. He was famous for hiding in the shrubs around his house in Los Angeles and firing a BB gun at the legs of tourists who intruded on his property. Also Fields often played the drunk on-screen. In real life, Fields didn’t touch alcohol at all when he was younger, partly because he didn’t want to do anything to impair his skill as a juggler. But later in life he took to heavy drinking, so much so that it affected his health and interfered with his ability to perform.

42. Links things? : CARTS

The oldest type of golf course is a links course. The name “links” comes from the Old English word “hlinc” meaning “rising ground”. “Hlinc” was used to describe areas with coastal sand dunes or open parkland. As a result, we use the term “links course” to mean a golf course that is located at or on the coast, often amid sand dunes. The British Open is always played on a links course.

43. Passing concern : ESTATE TAX

In many jurisdictions, there is a difference between an estate tax and an inheritance tax. An estate tax is applied to the assets of the deceased, whereas an inheritance tax is applied to a legacy received by a beneficiary of an estate.

45. Cher, for one : ALTO

Cher’s real name is Cherilyn Sarkisian. Formerly one half of husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher, she is often referred to as the Goddess of Pop. In her acting career, Cher was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar of 1984 for her performance in “Silkwood”. She went further in 1988 and won the Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta Castorini in “Moonstruck”.

47. Gladly, old-style : LIEF

“Lief” means “willingly, gladly”, and is a term that come from Middle English in the mid-13th century I think that it is a lovely word …

49. ___ Technologies, massively popular 2009 start-up : UBER

Uber is a ridesharing service that was founded in 2009 and is based in San Francisco. The service is somewhat controversial and has been described as an illegal taxicab operation. Central to Uber’s service is the company’s mobile app, which can use the client’s GPS location to help find the nearest available ride. Uber’s main competitor is Lyft.

50. Old-time worker : SERF

A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

51. 1980s attorney general : MEESE

Ed Meese was born in Oakland, California just down the road here and spent 24 years in the office of the Treasurer of Alameda County, the county in which I live. After military service, Meese earned himself a law degree at UC Berkeley. Later, as chief of staff for President Reagan, he was instrumental in a famous decision to crack down on student protesters at Berkeley which resulted in one protester dying and a two-week occupation of the city by the California National Guard.

52. Professional aide, for short : PARA

A paralegal (sometimes just “para”) is someone who is trained in legal matters sufficiently to assist a lawyer. A paralegal cannot engage in the practice of law and must be supervised by a qualified lawyer.

Down

1. Who wrote and sang “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” : ERIC IDLE

Eric Idle is one of the founding members of the Monty Python team. Idle was very much the musician of the bunch, and is an accomplished guitarist. If you’ve seen the Monty Python film “The Life of Brian”, you might remember the closing number “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”. It was sung by Idle, and was indeed written by him. That song made it to number 3 in the UK charts in 1991.

2. Baby shower : SONOGRAM

A sonogram is an image made created using ultrasound. “Ultrasound” is the name given to sound energy that has frequencies above the audible range.

3. Some “Star Wars” figures : ANDROIDS

“Star Wars” is the highest-grossing film media franchise of all time, and the second highest-grossing media franchise in general. The highest-grossing media franchise? That would be “Pokémon”.

4. Like Joan of Arc : SAINTED

Joan of Arc (also “Jeanne d’Arc”, her birth name) led the French Army successfully into battle a number of times during the Hundred Years War with England. When she was eventually captured, Joan was tried in Rouen, the seat of the occupying English government in France at that time. There she was burned at the stake having been found guilty of heresy. In fact, after the fire died down, the executioner raked the coals to display the charred body, proving Joan had died, and then burned the corpse again, twice, so that relics could not be collected. The remaining ashes were then cast into the Seine River. Joan of Arc was canonized some 600 years later, in 1920, and is now one of the patron saints of France.

6. Volume measure : SONE

In the world of acoustics, the sone was introduced in 1936 as a unit of perceived loudness.

8. Some Winter Olympians : ICE DANCERS

Ice dancing was introduced as an event at the World Figure Skating Championships in 1952, and in the Winter Olympics in 1976.

10. Ones whose work may have sticking points? : TOREROS

“Toreador” is an old Spanish word for a bullfighter, but it’s a term not used any more in Spain nor in Latin America. In English we use the term “toreador”, but in Spanish a bullfighter is a “torero”. A female bullfighter in a “torera”.

11. Product with the old catchphrase “Mother, please, I’d rather do it myself!” : ANACIN

Anacin is a brand of pain reliever that comprises aspirin and caffeine as active ingredients.

12. Measure of ping resistance : OCTANE

The difference between a premium and regular gasoline is its octane rating. The octane rating is measure of the resistance of the gasoline to auto-ignition i.e. its resistance to ignition just by virtue of being compressed in the cylinder. This auto-ignition is undesirable as multiple-cylinder engines are designed so that ignition within each cylinder takes place precisely when the plug sparks, and not before. If ignition occurs before the spark is created, the resulting phenomenon is called “knocking”. We sometimes use the adjective “high-octane” to mean “intense, dynamic, high-powered”

Pinging is also known as “engine knocking”. It is a metallic sound, created when not all of the fuel-air mixture is detonated by the spark plug, with some of it detonated late in the cycle. The late detonation causes the knocking/pinging sound. Additives (anti-knock agents) in gasoline can help reduce the chances of pinging.

18. Slugger’s stat : RBIS

Run batted in (RBI)

26. Home away from home : PIED-A-TERRE

A “pied-à-terre” is a secondary living space or temporary accommodation, often somewhere to live in a big city that is some distance away from a primary residence. “Pied-à-terre” is French for “foot on the ground”.

31. One side of the border-straddling International Peace Garden : MANITOBA

Manitoba is the Canadian province that borders the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota. Even though Manitoba has an area of over 250,000 square miles, 60% of its population resides in the province’s capital city of Winnipeg.

Opened in 1932, the International Peace Garden straddles the US-Canada border, lying in both North Dakota and Manitoba. North Dakota goes by the nickname “The Peace Garden State”, a moniker that can be seen on its license plates. Several years ago, building remains from the World Trade Center were placed in the garden. I really have to visit there one day …

32. First chancellor of West Germany, 1949-63 : ADENAUER

Konrad Adenauer was the first Chancellor of West Germany after WWII, taking office in 1949 at the age of 73. Adenauer was 87 years old when he left office. Understandably perhaps, his nickname was “Der Alte”, German for “the old man”. Adenauer spent much of WWII in prison, courtesy of Herr Hitler.

41. Stately home : MANSE

A manse is a minister’s home in various Christian traditions. “Manse” derives from “mansus”, the Latin for “dwelling”. The term can also be used for any stately residence.

44. First word of “Jabberwocky” : ‘TWAS

Here are the first two verses of “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll, probably the one poem that we all just loved learning to recite at school

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Spanish pronoun : ESAS
5. In equally good shape : AS FIT
10. Whence many paintings of Pueblo Indians : TAOS
14. Longtime first name in gossip : RONA
15. Poet who was a friend of Dalí : LORCA
16. ___ more : ONCE
17. Desperate : IN DIRE NEED
19. Speed : RATE
20. Side dish at a Southern barbecue : CORNBREAD
21. Nut whose name has multiple pronunciations : PECAN
22. Catch phrase? : I GOT IT!
23. Figure skater Witt : KATARINA
25. Spends time on-line? : DRIES
26. Some Christmas decorations : PINE CONES
27. “Shane” star : LADD
28. Canaries, e.g. : FINCHES
29. Four characters in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” : EMS
30. “How Deep Is Your Love” group, 1977 : BEE GEES
31. Site ___ (web page listing) : MAP
34. Doctor of 1960s TV : KILDARE
35. “___ bing!” : BADA
36. Certain media constraints : LIBEL LAWS
39. “A rich man is nothing but a poor man with ___”: W. C. Fields : MONEY
40. Without putting in any effort : ON A PLATE
41. Waters in Washington : MAXINE
42. Links things? : CARTS
43. Passing concern : ESTATE TAX
45. Cher, for one : ALTO
46. Talked over, say : DROWNED OUT
47. Gladly, old-style : LIEF
48. Former Red Sox slugger Tony : ARMAS
49. ___ Technologies, massively popular 2009 start-up : UBER
50. Old-time worker : SERF
51. 1980s attorney general : MEESE
52. Professional aide, for short : PARA

Down

1. Who wrote and sang “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” : ERIC IDLE
2. Baby shower : SONOGRAM
3. Some “Star Wars” figures : ANDROIDS
4. Like Joan of Arc : SAINTED
5. “Incoming!,” e.g. : ALERT
6. Volume measure : SONE
7. Fantabulous : FREAKING AWESOME
8. Some Winter Olympians : ICE DANCERS
9. Minute amount : TAD
10. Ones whose work may have sticking points? : TOREROS
11. Product with the old catchphrase “Mother, please, I’d rather do it myself!” : ANACIN
12. Measure of ping resistance : OCTANE
13. Considered : SEEN AS
18. Slugger’s stat : RBIS
21. Duel measure : PACES
24. Giggle : TE-HEE
26. Home away from home : PIED-A-TERRE
28. Buster : FELLA
30. Ones in the U.S., but not in Canada : BILLS
31. One side of the border-straddling International Peace Garden : MANITOBA
32. First chancellor of West Germany, 1949-63 : ADENAUER
33. Suffer price gouging, e.g. : PAY EXTRA
34. Avoided : KEPT OFF
35. Ready to ship, say : BOXED UP
36. Townies : LOCALS
37. One way to be caught : IN A LIE
38. Simple kind of economy : BARTER
39. Dating service success : MATE
41. Stately home : MANSE
44. First word of “Jabberwocky” : ‘TWAS
46. Channel changer? : DAM