0909-10 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Sep 10

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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: TYPOGRAPHY … all the theme answers refer to typographical characters represented by some of the black squares in the grid e.g. SEVEN, CAPITAL ELL, TWO DASHES
COMPLETION TIME: 12m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 4 in the northwest! (DRAM, COHN, ADDUCTS, MARLOWE)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across
5. Work with singing Egyptians : AIDA
Aida” is the famous opera by Giuseppe Verde, actually based on a scenario written by a French Egyptologist, Auguste Mariette, who also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera opened in 1871, first playing in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander that falls in love with her, and then in the grand tradition of opera, complications arise!

9. Lower septet of black squares in this grid, typographically : SEVEN

The Best of Late Night with David Letterman 1st Anniversary Special (With Guest James Brown)14. “Late Show” host, colloquially : DAVE
David Letterman does more than present his show. He is also a successful television producer via his own production company, Worldwide Pants. Worldwide Pants produces The Letterman Show, as wells, “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and “Everybody Loves Raymond“.

17. Three scruples : DRAM
The dram is a confusing unit of measurement, I think. It has one value as an ancient unit of mass, and two different values as a modern unit of mass, another value as a unit of fluid volume, and yet another, varying value as a measure of Scotch whisky!

In the obsolete apothecary weight system, one dram is equivalent to 60 grains, or three scruples.

18. Higher septet of black squares in this grid, typographically : CAPITAL ELL
The letter L in our modern Latin alphabet is equivalent to the Greek letter lambda.

20. Bone on the pinkie side : ULNA
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

The use of “pinkie” comes into English from “pinkje”, the Dutch word for the little finger. Who knew?

Just a Geek: Unflinchingly honest tales of the search for life, love, and fulfillment beyond the Starship Enterprise22. Actor Wheaton : WIL
Wil Wheaton is the actor who grew up playing Ensign Crusher on the best of the “Star Trek” TV shows, “Star Trek: The Next Generation“. In recent years Wheaton has become a de facto spokesman for the so-called “geek” or “nerd” community via a weblog that he writes called “Wil Wheaton Dot Net“. He has been playing Dungeons & Dragons for years, and is also someone you’ll see at celebrity poker games on TV.

23. McCarthy associate Roy : COHN
Roy Cohn was a prominent assistant and associate to Senator Joseph McCarthy in the days when McCarthy was famously investigating Communist activities in the US. Prior to his work with Senator McCarthy, Cohn was a central figure on the prosecuting team in the 1951 espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Ralph Lauren Mens Single Breasted 2 Button Solid Black Wool Tuxedo - Size 41R24. Fancy duds : TUX
The style of men’s evening dress called a “tuxedo” was apparently first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket, without tails, became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

Le Kepi (Le Livre de Poche) (French Edition)25. Hat worn in “Casablanca” : KEPI
A kepi is that circular cap with a visor, worn on particular by the French military.

26. Octet of black squares in the middle of this grid, typographically : TWO DASHES

30. Intrinsically : PER SE
“Per se” is a Latin phrase, and it translates as “by itself”. We use “per se” pretty literally, meaning in itself, or intrinsically.

31. React to something striking? : SEE STARS
You might “see stars” if you are struck on the head.

Kids Traffic Light33. Green lights : OKS
The use of green to mean go, and red to mean stop, is believed to originate with the use of red and green colors/lights in maritime law. Red is displayed on the port side of a vessel, and green on starboard. When two vessels approach each other obliquely, the rule is that the vessel on the left/port/red side must stop to give way to the one on the right/starboard/green side.

35. Much-read book of 150 poems : PSALMS
The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, giving us the word “psalms”.

44. Units of chains x furlongs : ACRES
At one time, an acre was the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. This was more precisely defined as a strip of land one furlong long (660 feet) and one chain wide (66 feet). The word “furlong” is actually derived from the Old English words meaning “furrow long”, the length of the furrow plowed by the oxen.

45. Nonet of black squares in this grid, typographically : SLASH MARK

46. Miss, south of the border: Abbr. : SRTA
Senorita is the Spanish word for “miss”.

30 x 20 Stretched Canvas Poster Gnu47. Bearded beast : GNU
A gnu is also known as a wildebeest, the antelope native to Africa. Wildebeest is actually the Dutch word for “wild beast”.

48. Hothouse plant : ALOE
The so called “true aloe” is Aloe vera, a succulent plant native to Africa that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant’s leaves are full of biologically active compounds that have been extensively studied. Even before all the modern research, aloe vera was used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

50. Bouquets : AROMAS
Bouquet comes from the French word for a “bunch” in the sense of bunch of flowers. In French the term was derived from an older word describing a little wood, or a small grove of trees.

53. Stun, in a way : TASE
Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle“. The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon, named their product as a homage to the novel. TASER stands for Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle. Interesting, eh?

54. Higher pair of black squares in this grid, typographically : APOSTROPHE

BEYONCE KNOWLES 8x10 PHOTO FROM OBSESSED57. “Work ___” (Beyoncé song) : IT OUT
Beyoncé Knowles established her singing career as the lead singer with the R&B group called Destiny’s Child. She launched her solo singing career in 2003, two years after making her first appearance as an actor. In 2006 she played the lead in the very successful movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls“. Beyoncé is married to rap star Jay-Z.

59. Rend : RIVE
To rive is to tear apart, a word that we’ve been using since about 1300, from the Old Norse word “rifa”, also meaning to tear apart.

60. Lower pair of black squares in this grid, typographically : COMMA
Comma is a Latin word, that means “short phrase”.

Bronzed Finish Eros Greek Mythology Statue Cupid61. Greek god who figures in an annual holiday : EROS
As always seem to be the case, the Greek gods Eros and Aphrodite have overlapping spheres of influence. Aphrodite was the goddess of love between a man and a woman, but Eros was the god who stirred the passions of the male.

Eros figures in Valentines Day holiday every year, when you’ll see cute little renditions of him on cutesy cards.

62. River to the North Sea : YSER
The Yser originates in northern France, and flows though Belgium into the North Sea.

Down
1. Brings together, as two parts of the body : ADDUCTS
In the worlds of anatomy and physiology, adduction is the name given to the motion of a bodily structure towards the mid-line of the body. An example would be the action of bringing the knees together. The opposite motion, opening the knees, is an example of “abduction”.

Signed Everett, Rupert 8x102. “Shakespeare in Love” role : MARLOWE
Shakespeare in Love” I found to be an entertaining, romantic comedy, a fictional account of Shakespeare having a love affair while in the middle of writing his famous “Romeo and Juliet“. The great cast includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Colin Firth and Judi Dench. Rupert Everett plays the second most popular dramatist of the day, Christopher Marlowe.

3. Arthur Sullivan opera : IVANHOE
Ivanhoe” is a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott, set in 12th-century England. Sir Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert & Sullivan fame) wrote a very successful operatic interpretation of the story that played for an unprecedented 155 consecutive performances after it opened in London in 1891. Sullivan asked his long-time collaborator W. S. Gilbert to supply the libretto for “Ivanhoe” but he declined. As “Ivanhoe” was a grand opera, he felt that the librettist’s role was too subordinate to that of the composer, and he preferred the more “equal” relationship afforded by their operetta projects.

6. Modern locale of ancient Ur : IRAQ
Chaldea was a marshy land located in what is now southern Iraq and Kuwait. The wet and fertile plain was created from deposits from the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, and the tribes that moved into the area became known as the Chaldaeans. In Biblical terms, the town of Ur, also known as Ur Kasdim, or Ur of the Chaldees, was located in this area. Many believe this was the city where Abraham was born.

8. Versailles valedictions : ADIEUS
A valediction is an act of taking one’s leave, from the Latin “vale dicere”, to say farewell. An example of a valediction would be the words “yours truly” at the end of a letter. And of course, the valedictorian (here in the US anyway) is the student in a graduating class that is chosen to say the final words at the graduation ceremony, a farewell to the classmates.

9. Wounded Knee‘s locale: Abbr. : SDAK
In 1890, the US 7th cavalry killed over 300 men, women and children of the Lakota tribe, near Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. The massacre took place when the cavalry entered the Lakota’s camp in an attempt to disarm the group. Apparently a scuffle escalated into indiscriminate shooting. Such was the confusion and lack of control, that the cavalry soldiers supposedly killed and injured many of their own men.

12. Sun block? : ECLIPSE
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the shadow cast by the earth from the light of the sun, in other words when the earth is positioned directly between the sun and the moon. The more spectacular solar eclipse takes place when moon passes in front of the sun, so that the earth falls into the shadow cast by the moon.

13. Nervous ___ : NELLIES
A nervous nellie is someone easily upset and hesitant to act. The term comes from “Old Nell”, a name often used for a nag. A nervous nellie then was originally used to describe a highly-strung racehorse.

Toy Story 325. “Toy Story 3” character : KEN
I haven’t seen Pixar’s “Toy Story 3”, but I hear it is excellent. It is so successful that it is now the highest-grossing animated film of all time, and has brought in over a billion dollars worldwide. In the movie, Ken is a smooth-talking doll that falls in love with Barbie. Ken is voiced by actor Michael Keaton.

28. Competitor of Bloomie’s : SAKS
Saks Fifth Avenue is a high-end specialty store that competes with the likes of Bloomingdales and Nieman Marcus. The original Saks & Company business was founded by Andrew Saks in 1867. The first Saks Fifth Avenue store was opened on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1924. There are now Saks Fifth Avenue stores in many major cities in the US, as well in several locations worldwide.

29. First periods in H.S., often : HRS
Home Room (I think) is often the first period in High School.

34. It may be split at a restaurant : PEA
When peas are dried, the skin can be removed and the seed naturally splits into two pieces called cotyledons. These cotyledons would have formed the first two leaves of the pea plant had it been allowed to germinate.

35. New Jersey city, river or county : PASSAIC
The Passaic River flows through northern New Jersey, and suffers from a lot of pollution as it passes through large industrial and urban areas including the city of Newark. The city of Passaic lies on the river, north of Newark. Passaic has been called the “Birthplace of Television” as experimental television broadcasting started there in 1931, from station W2XCD, the first television station to transmit to the home.

Glee - Rachel - Lea Michele 11x17 Poster38. Michele of “Glee” : LEA
Lea Michele is both an actor and a singer, and started performing as a child actor on Broadway, including appearances in “Les Miserables” and “Fiddler on the Roof”. These days she plays Rachel Berry on the Fox TV show “Glee“.

40. Expressive of 61-Across, e.g. : AMATORY
Someone expressive of Eros, the Greek god of love, might be described as “amatory”, expressive of love, but especially sexual love.

Bridgford Italian Salami, 12-Ounce Chubs (Pack of 4)41. They often hang around delis : SALAMIS
Salame (note the “e” at the end) is an Italian sausage that is traditionally associated with Italian peasants. The meat in the sausage is preserved with salt, and it can be hung and stored for maybe as long as ten years. The name “salame” comes from “sale”, the Italian word for salt, and “-ame”, a suffix indicating a collective noun. Our English word “salami” is actually the Italian plural for “salame”.

43. Outdoor summer pest, slangily : SKEETER
Skeeter is a slang term for mosquito, with “mosquito” being the Spanish for “little fly”. The female mosquito actually has to have a “blood meal” before she is able to lay her eggs.

52. Math items represented using { and } : SETS
In mathematics, a set is defined as a collection of distinct objects. Remember those Venn diagrams at school? Each of the circles in a Venn diagram represented a set.

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