The full solution to today’s crossword that appears in the New York Times
The full solution to today’s SYNDICATED New York Times crossword that appears in all other publications
THEME: Road signs … all the theme answer are phrases that start with a road sign i.e. ONE WAY (OR ANOTHER), DEAD END (JOB), YIELD (CURVE) & STOP (DROP AND ROLL)
COMPLETION TIME: 8m 9s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
1. Some ski lifts : T-BARS
A T-bar is a type of ski life in which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair sitting either side of T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling the skier who remains standing on his/her skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, a similar device, but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.
14. Funnywoman Silverman : SARAH
Sarah Silverman is a comedian, but also a singer and actress. Her material is very “edgy”, as she takes on social taboos such as racism, sexism and religion. She had a celebrity boyfriend for five years … as she dated Jimmy Kimmel starting in 2002, soon after his divorce from his first wife.
15. Actress Ward : SELA
Sela Ward turns up in crosswords a lot. She played Teddy Reed in the TV show “Sisters” in the nineties, was in “Once and Again” from 1999-2002. I don’t know either show. I do know her from “House” though. She played the hospital’s lawyer, and Greg House’s ex-partner. That was a fun role, I thought.
17. By any means necessary : ONE WAY OR ANOTHER
ONE WAY (or another).
20. Reggae relative : SKA
Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties, and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of some sound.
21. Seized property, informally : REPO
Repo: repossessed property.
22. Company that introduced Quik in 1948 : NESTLE
Nestle Quik was introduced in 1948, and is a flavored, powdered milk drink. It was sold in Europe as “Nesquik”, and that brand name replaced “Quik” here in the US in 1999. The Nesquik mascot is the Quik Bunny. The Quik Bunny had a large “Q” on a collar around his neck, and with the brand name change this “Q” became an “N”, and he is now known as the Nesquik Bunny.
23. ___ facto : IPSO
Ipso facto is Latin, meaning “by the fact itself”. Ipso facto describes something that is a direct consequence of particular act, as opposed to something that is a result of some subsequent event.
25. ___ Lingus : AER
Aer Lingus, may favorite airline! Well, the service isn’t great, to be honest, but when I get on board an Aer Lingus plane I feel like I am back in Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, with Aer Lingus being a phonetic spelling of the Irish “aer-loingeas” meaning “air fleet”. These days it can only lay claim to the title of Ireland’s oldest airline as it’s no longer the biggest. That honor goes to the controversial Ryan Air.
26. Work that offers no chance for advancement : DEAD-END JOB
31. “Twelfth Night” duke : ORSINO
William Shakespeare wrote his comedy “Twelfth Night” as a Christmas entertainment (Twelfth Night being the end of the Christmas season).
Viola is the main character in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”. Viola is shipwrecked at the beginning of the play, in a land ruled by the Duke Orsino. Viola disguises herself as a boy, and works for Orsino as a page, and complications ensue …
34. Lake on the California/Nevada border : TAHOE
Lake Tahoe is up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and sits right on the border between California and Nevada. As such, there are tall casinos that sit right on the shore, right on the Nevada side of the state line where gambling is legal. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake, and second deepest lake, in the country. Only the beautiful Crater Lake in Oregon is deeper.
35. Four Monopoly assets: Abbr. : RRS
There are four railroads (RRs) in Monopoly.
The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of a game called “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips who created it as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was actually produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, making him a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.
36. Argentine tots : NENES
“Nenes” is the Spanish for “little kids”.
42. Burr and Copland : AARONS
Aaron Burr was the third Vice President of the US, serving under President Jefferson. Burr vied for the presidency with Jefferson in the election of 1800, with the initial result being a tie at 72 electoral votes each. It took 36 ballots in the House of Representatives to break the tie, leaving Jefferson as President, and Burr as Vice President.
Aaron Copland was the most American of all classical composers, I think. Perhaps his most famous work is the “Fanfare for the Common Man“, written in 1942 and a piece intended to be uplifting in the gloomy years leading up to WWII. This piece is recognized not just for performances of the original, but also for the progressive rock version that was recorded by Emerson, Lake & Palmer in 1977.
43. Letters after chis : PSIS
Chi is the 22nd letter in the Greek alphabet, and psi the 23rd.
The Greek letter chi is written as “X”, although the sound is more like a “j”.
The Greek letter psi is the one that looks a bit like a trident.
46. Line showing the relationship between an interest rate and maturity date : YIELD CURVE
In the world of finance and investing, the yield curve for a particular investment is the relation between the interest rate that can be locked in, and the length of time the loan will be in place. Typically, the longer you are willing to lend your money (say by buying a government security), then the higher interest rate the borrower is willing to pay. So, the yield tends to move upwards over time.
51. Pacific weather phenomenon : EL NINO
When the surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean rises, or falls, more that half a degree centigrade, then there are said to be El Nino conditions, or an El Nino episode. The temperature change is associated with climatic changes, right across the globe. El Nino is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. It was given this Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.
53. ___ Bator : ULAN
The name “Ulan Bator” translates from Mongolian as “the Red Hero”, and is Mongolia’s capital city. The name is in recognition of Mongolia’s national hero, Damdin Sukhbaatar, who fought side-by-side with the Soviet Red Army in liberating the country from a White Russian warlord and the Chinese.
57. Instruction to someone who’s on fire : STOP, DROP AND ROLL
STOP (drop and roll).
We all learned this one as kids, I hope. If one’s clothes or hair catches on fire, this is what I was taught to do:
– STOP … stop moving, so as not to fan the flames, and so as not to hamper anyone trying to render assistance.
– DROP … drop to the ground, lying horizontally, to get the flames away form one’s face (and cover the face wit the hands if possible).
– ROLL … roll on the ground in a attempt to put out the flames by depriving them of oxygen. If there is a rug, blanket or coat nearby, one should try to roll that around oneself.
60. “Gone With the Wind” plantation : TARA
Rhett Butler hung out with Scarlett O’Hara at the Tara plantation in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind“.
61. 22-Across flavor, for short : CHOC
Chocolate Nestle Quik!
63. Like a line, in brief : ONE-D
The dimension of an object is defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point in the object. A line, therefore, is one-dimensional, one only needs an x-coordinate to specify a particular point on a line. A surface is two-dimensional, as one needs both an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate to locate a point on the surface. The inside of a solid object is then three-dimensional, needing an x-, y- and z-coordinate to specify a point within say a cube.
1. General ___ chicken : TSO’S
General Tso’s chicken is an American invention for the menu of Chinese Restaurants. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zontang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.
2. Certificate of deposit offerer : BANK
A certificate of deposit is sort of like a less flexible, but higher paying, savings account. Instead of depositing into a savings account, and earning interest periodically, the amount depending on the balance at that time, one can open a CD. With a CD one deposits a minimum amount of money, and must leave it there for a specified length of time. In return one is given a higher interest rate than a savings account, and can redeem that interest and the initial deposit when the term has expired. CDs are relatively low risk investments as they are FDIC insured, just like savings accounts.
5. It puts a point on a pencil : SHARPENER
Here’s a word that is the same in the US and the UK, but different in Ireland. When I was at school we called a pencil sharpener, a “pencil parer”.
6. Crustacean with seven pairs of legs : ISOPOD
Isopods are small crustaceans (meaning they have exoskeletons), with seven pairs of legs. Examples would be woodlice and pill bugs. The name “isopod” comes from the Greek “iso” (same) and “pod) (foot).
7. Emperor who “fiddled” : NERO
The Great Fire of Rome raged for five and a half days in 64 AD. Of the fourteen districts of Rome, three were completely destroyed, and seven more suffered serious damage. The emperor at the time was of course Nero, although reports that he fiddled, played his lyre or sang while the city burned, those accounts are probably not true. In fact, Nero was staying outside of Rome when the fire started, and rushed home on hearing the news. He organized a massive relief effort, throwing open his own home to house many of the citizens who were left living on the street.
8. Suffix with pay : OLA
Payola is the illegal practice of paying radio stations or disk jockeys to repeatedly play a particular piece of music. The idea is that the more often a song is played, the more likely it is to sell. The term “Payola” comes from the words “pay” and “Victrola”, an RCA brand name for an early phonograph.
9. Starstruck sort, maybe : WANNABE
Someone who is starstruck “wants to be” a star, is a “wannabe”.
10. Gangsters’ guns : GATS
“Gat” is a slang word used by “hoods” for a gun. It of course comes from the Gatling gun, the precursor to the machine gun. It was invented by Dr. Richard J. Gatling in 1861. Apparently he was inspired to invent the Gatling gun, so that one man could do as much damage as a hundred, thereby reducing the size of armies and diminishing the suffering caused by war. Go figure …
11. 1987 flop starring Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman : ISHTAR
I guess “Ishtar” did bomb, ’cause I’ve never heard of it. It stars Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman as lounge singers working in Morocco! There’s a Cold War plot, and thank goodness, it’s a comedy. It’s so bad apparently, that it never even made it to DVD.
12. Inscribed pillars : STELES
Stelae were used all over the world, sometimes as territorial markers, and sometimes to commemorate military victories. In later times stelae were commonly erected as commemorative markers in graveyards or other religious sites.
13. Bullfighter : TORERO
In English we might call a torero a toreador, a term not actually used in Spain.
19. Brit. word reference : OED
The “Oxford English Dictionary” contains over 300,000 “main” entries, and 59 million words in total. It is said it would take a single person 120 years to type it out in full. The longest entry for a single word is that for “put”.
23. Everyday expressions : IDIOMS
An idiom is a form of speech peculiar to a place or a people. “Idiom” comes to use from the Greek word “idios” means “personal, private”, or “particular to oneself”.
24. Hospital V.I.P.’s : DOCS
Doctors are Very Important Persons in a hospital.
27. Paleozoic, e.g. : ERA
The Paleozoic Era (with “Paleozoic” meaning “ancient life”) was a geologic era from roughly 542 to 251 million years ago. Notably in the Paleozoic Era, fish populations thrived, and vast forests of primitive plants covered the land. Those forests were the source material for the coal which we dig out of the ground now in Europe and the eastern parts of North America. At end of the Paleozoic Era was the largest mass extinction in the history of the Earth, killing off 96% of all marine species, and 70% of all terrestrial vertebrates. Causes of the extinction have been suggested, with one hypothesis being gradually accelerating climate change (scary!).
29. Author ___ Luis Borges : JORGE
Jorge Luis Borges was an Argentine writer and poet from Buenos Aries. By the time Borges was in his early thirties, he was published many times, but had not achieved enough success to be able to support himself as a writer, so started a career as a public lecturer. Around this time he garnered more attention through his speaking, but also started to lose his sight. He was to become completely blind in his late fifties. It has been suggested that this progressive blindness gave him a particularly unique writing style, one that was to being him a lot of celebrity and respect.
33. Snakes that can put you in a tight spot? : ANACONDAS
Anacondas are native to the tropical regions of South America. The green anaconda is one of the world’s largest snakes, growing to 17 feet long and weighing up to 215 pounds. Anacondas are not venomous, and rather kill their prey by coiling around it and crushing it.
35. Muckraker Jacob : RIIS
Jacob Riis is famous for his photographs and and newspaper articles that highlighted the plight of the impoverished in New York City. “How the Other Half Lives” was originally an extensive article that appeared in “Scribner’s Magazine” in 1889, at Christmas. It had such an impact, that he was commissioned to expand the article to a book, published the following year.
38. Letter holder: Abbr. : ENV
Mail that letter in an envelope.
42. Madison Avenue pro : AD MAN
If you haven’t seen the AMC show “Mad Men” then I urge you to go buy the first season on DVD and allow yourself to get addicted. It is a great series set in the sixties, telling all that goes on in and around the advertising business on Madison Avenue in New York City. It brings you right back to the days of three-martini lunches, office affairs, and chain-smoking cigarettes. Great stuff …
44. Islamic sovereign : SULTAN
Sultan is an Islamic title, with the word “sultan” originally meaning “strength” or “power”. The word then became a title for some Muslim rulers who claimed to have extensive authority. Sultan ruled over “sultanates”, and were married to “sultanas”.
49. Not Dem. or Rep. : IND
An Independent candidate is neither Democrat nor Republican.
52. Apple debut of 2010 : IPAD
Apple’s iPad is a tablet computer, meaning that the whole computer is contained in a fat touchscreen device, and input is made by using one’s fingers on the screen or a stylus. It looks very cool, but it’s a bit too pricey for me still ($600 – $900) for what you get.
54. Author Émile : ZOLA
The most famous work of French writer Emile Zola is his 1898 open letter “J’Accuse!” written to then French president Feliz Faure. It was published on the front page of a leading Paris newspaper, and accused the government of anti-semitism in its handling of the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a Jewish military officer in the French army, falsely accused and convicted of spying for Germany. Even after the error was discovered, the government refused to back down, choosing to let Dreyfus rot away on Devil’s Island rather than admit to the mistake. It wasn’t until 1906, 12 years after the wrongful conviction, that Dreyfus was freed and reinstated, largely due to the advocacy of Emile Zola.
55. Cassini who designed for Jackie : OLEG
Oleg Cassini, the French-born American fashion designer has had two big names particularly associated with his designs. In the sixties he designed the state wardrobe for First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. He was also the exclusive designer for Hollywood’s Gene Tierney, Cassini’s second wife.
56. Discontinued G.M. car : OLDS
Oldsmobile was an automobile brand founded by Ransom E. Olds (REO) in 1897, and then phased out by General Motors in 2004.
59. ___ Tin Tin : RIN
The original Rin Tin Tin was an actual dog, a puppy found by a GI in a a bombed-out kennel in France during WWI. The soldier named the pup Rin Tin Tin, the same name as a puppet given to American soldiers for luck. On returning the US, “Rinty”, was trained by his owner, and spotted doing tricks by a film producer. He featured in some films, eventually getting his first starring role in 1923 in the silent movie “Where the North Begins”. Legend has it that this first Rin Tin Tin died in the arms of actress Jean Harlow.
Books, movies, songs etc. appearing in today’s crossword (from Amazon.com):