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
COMPLETION TIME: N/A (Watching a great film on DVD … “Possession” … recommended!)
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
5. Founding member of Public Enemy known for wearing large clocks around his neck : FLAVOR FLAV
Flavor Flav is a rap star, born William Drayton, Jr. He was a founding member of the rap group Public Enemy.
15. “___ at Duke’s Place” (1965 jazz album) : ELLA
“Ella at Dukes’ Place” is one of only two studio albums made by Ella Fitzgerald on which she was accompanied by the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
16. 2007 satirical best seller subtitled “And So Can You!” : I AM AMERICA
“I Am America (and So Can You!)” is a satirical work published in 2007 by Stephen Colbert.
Stephen Colbert is a political satirist who hosts his own show on Comedy Central, “The Colbert Report”. Colbert’s first love was the theater, and so he studied to become an actor. He then moved into comedy, and landed up on the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”. He left “The Daily Show” in 2005 to set up his own spin-off, “The Colbert Report”.
17. ___ de Caña (Nicaraguan rum) : FLOR
Flor de Cana is a brand of rum made in Nicaragua. Apparently, it is very well respected.
18. First British group since the Beatles to have two albums in the U.S. top 10 at the same time : SPICE GIRLS
Scary Spice (Melanie Brown), Baby Spice (Emma Bunton, and my fave!), Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell), Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham) and Sporty Spice (Melanie Chisholm).
22. ___ sauce (sugary purée) : MELBA
The luscious dessert called Peach Melba is named after the Australian soprano, Dame Nellie Melba. It was invented by the French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel around 1892. The modern version is made of peaches and raspberry sauce served with ice cream.
23. Run for it : SEAT
You can run for a seat in an election, or when playing the children’s game, Musical Chairs …
25. Bygone medical ventilator : IRON LUNG
The Iron Lung was invented to treat coal gas poisoning, but was most famously used as a life-support system for polio victims in the mid-1950s. We humans are “negative pressure” breathers, meaning that air is drawn in to the body by the ribs expanding and the diaphragm drawing downwards. The pressure inside the chest cavity become lower as a result of the increased space, and the lungs fill with air to equalize that pressure with the atmosphere. The chest cavity then contracts to expel exhausted air from the lungs. A patient in an iron lung lies on a bed surrounded by a sealed chamber, with just the head and neck protruding. As the patent cannot breathe for himself or herself, pumps reduce the pressure surrounding the patient cause the chest cavity to expand, and pull in air through the mouth and nose. The chamber pressure is then increased, causing the chest cavity to collapse, and air is expelled.
33. Bldgs. with community courts : YMCAS
The YMCA is a worldwide movement that has its roots in London, England. There, in 1844, the Young Men’s Christian Association was founded with the intent of promoting Christian principles through the development of “a healthy spirit, mind and body”. The founder, George Williams, saw the need to create YMCA facilities for young men who were flocking to the cities as the Industrial Revolution flourished. He saw that these men were frequenting taverns and brothels, and wanted to offer a more wholesome alternative.
36. Area worth the most bonus troops in the game Risk : ASIA
Risk is another fabulous board game, that was first released in France in 1957. The game was invented by a very successful French director of short films called Albert Lamorisse. The original French version was called “La Conquete du Monde” (The Conquest of the World). A game of Risk is a must during the holidays in our house.
Oh, and if someone can take over the whole of the largest continent, Asia, then when it is that person’s turn, he or she gets a load of bonus troops.
38. Literary captain who says “It’s better to sail with a moody good captain than a laughing bad one” : PELEG
The Pequod is the ship that figures in Herman Melville’s classic, “Moby Dick”. The ship is owned by a consortium of the citizens of Nantucket Island, including Captains Ahab, Bildad and Peleg.
45. Defunct ministry initials : PTL
“The PTL Club” was a daily television show hosted by TV evangelist Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. PTL was short for both “Praise the Lord” and “People that Love”. The show ended its run of over ten years in 1987 when Jim Bakker’s involvement in financial and sexual scandals was revealed. Bakker served 5 years in jail, part of an 18-year sentence.
48. “Relaciones Espirituales” writer : ST TERESA
St. Teresa of Avila (also known as St. Teresa of Jesus) was a Carmelite nun living in Spain in the 1500s. She is particularly noted for her writings on Christian Meditation and Mental Prayer.
50. Fish also called a Jerusalem haddock : OPAH
Opah is the more correct name for the fish also known as the sunfish, moonfish or Jerusalem haddock. I’ve seen one in the Monterrey Aquarium. It is huge …
52. Site of a noted ancient league : IONIA
Ionia, in present day Turkey, in the days of Ancient Greece wasn’t a unified state, but rather a collection of tribes. The tribal confederacy was more based on religious and cultural similarities rather than a political or military alliance. Nowadays this arrangement is referred to as the Ionian League.
53. Caustic soda, symbolically : NAOH
Caustic soda is sometimes called lye. Chemically it is sodium hydroxide (NaOH). It’s nasty stuff, a white solid in its pure form. When you add it to water it generates an awful lot of heat, a property that is taken advantage of in using lye as a drain cleaner.
59. Out of it : IN LA LA LAND
La La Land is a euphemism for a state of unconsciousness.
63. 2009 Lady Gaga hit : BAD ROMANCE
I’ve seen Lady Gaga interviewed on television a few times, and she sure is “unique”. Her music is of course out of my league, but she does know how to put on a show.
The music video released with Lady Gaga’s 2009 hit “Bad Romance” involves drugs, supermodels, the Russian Mafia and sexual slavery. Like I said, out of my league …
64. Oread in love with her own voice : ECHO
In Greek mythology, Echo is one of the Oreads, the mountain nymphs. She fell in love with the vain Narcissus, and followed him into the forest one day. Narcissus heard her following him, and called out, “Who’s there?”. Echo answered, “Who’s there?” Again he called out, and again Echo echoed his words back to him. Get the gist?
65. One of an evil fairy tale duo : STEPSISTER
The most famous duo of evil stepsisters has to be the pair appearing in the folk tale “Cinderella”.
66. Three-player game : SKAT
When I was a teenager in Ireland, I had a friend with a German father. The father taught us the game of Skat, and what a great game it is. It originated in Germany in the 1800s and is to this day the most popular game in the country. I haven’t played it in decades, but would love to try it again …
1. “Fo’ sho” : DEF
For sure, definitely … why couldn’t they just say that?
4. List quickly? : CAREEN
The word “careen” dates back to 1590 when it meant “to turn a ship on its side, exposing the keel”. The word evolved from the Middle French word “carene” meaning “keel”. Our modern usage, meaning to lean or tilt, only dates back as far as the 1880s. Careen should not be confused with “career”, a verb meaning to move rapidly. One has to career form side-to -side in order to careen.
5. Alternative to a shake : FIST BUMP
The fist bump is that tapping of fists together as a form of greeting. It is a more “hip” version of a handshake, and might be called a “pounding of flesh”.
6. Bachelor party entertainment : LAP DANCES
Back where I come from, bachelor parties are called stag parties, and bachelorette dos, are hen parties. And in Ireland the female sex usually aren’t welcome at a stag party even to provide entertainment. And there’s no lap dancing either. We tend to focus on the drink …
7. Date in France? : AMIE
Amie is the French word for a female friend, a date perhaps.
8. Spanish cows : VACAS
Vacas, the Spanish for cows (vaches in French).
9. Breakfast dish : OMELET
I know my Lookups can sound like one long advertisement sometimes, but regardless I have to mention the movie Julie & Julia which just came out on DVD. We saw it at the movie theater, and again the other night here at home. It is hilarious, charming and fascinating, all in one. Meryl Streep, never a favorite of mine, has won me over to her side with her latest films. Oh, and the omelet reference is because I saw Julia Child on TV the other night cooking dozens of omelets, each taking 20 seconds (!) in the pan.
10. Pump abbr. : REG
I always pump regular gas for my cars …
11. 9-Down variety : FRITTATA
The word “frittata” is Italian, and comes from “fritto” meaning “fried”.
12. Money in the banca, once : LIRA
In a bank (banca) in Italy, the currency of favor was the lira, now it’s the euro.
13. Org. since 1920 with many staff lawyers : ACLU
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is actually made up of two non-profits. The ACLU Foundation focuses on litigation and communication, whereas the arm known as the American Civil Liberties Union focuses on lobbying, mainly in Washington DC. The ACLU has its roots in the First World War, providing legal advice and support to conscientious objectors.
20. “For Better or for Worse” matriarch : ELLY
“For Better or for Worse” is a comic strip drawn by Lynn Johnson, that ran from 1979 to 2008. The strip didn’t really stop in 2008 as such, as the original storyline just started over again, with newly drawn artwork. Interesting idea …
24. “___ sine scientia nihil est” (Latin motto) : ARS
The translation of “Ars sine scientia nihil est” is, “art without science is nothing”.
26. Certain Afrocentrist : RASTA
I must admit that I don’t really understand Rastafarianism. I do know that a Rasta, like Bob Marley, is a follower of the movement. Some say it is a religion, some not. It does involve the worship of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.
29. Board game grande dame : MRS PEACOCK
Mrs. Peacock is a character in the game Clue.
Clue is another board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland, as outside North America Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer, Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), the weapons are a dagger (a knife in the US), a lead pipe (lead piping in the US) and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays.
30. Attempts to sink : PUTTS
You gotta sink that putt on a golf course.
31. Lady Liberty garb : STOLA
In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga was usually worn over a tunic. the tunic was made of linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made of wool. The toga could only be worn by men (the female equivalent was called a “stola”) and only if they were Roman citizens.
34. Topic in artificial intelligence : SENTIENCE
Sentience is the ability to feel or perceive. Sentience is a big issue in the arena of animal rights, as well as artificial intelligence (AI). In the world of AI, the term “sapience” is added, to mean “human level intelligence”, distinguishing it from “sentience”.
37. Variety of zither : AUTOHARP
The autoharp isn’t a harp at all, but rather a modified zither. The autoharp has a muting mechanism that when activated mutes all the strings not associated with a chosen chord.
44. Brand in contact lens care : RENU
ReNu is a brand name of contact lens products sold by Bausch & Lomb.
47. Makings of a hero? : SALAMI
“Hero” is another name for a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name “hero” was first coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the New York Herald Tribune when he wrote that one had to be “a hero” to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.
51. Papa Bear of Chicago football : HALAS
The NFL’s George Stanley Halas, Sr. was nicknamed “Papa Bear”. He also earned the well-deserved nickname of “Mr Everything” as he was a player, coach, inventor, jurist, producer, philanthropist, philatelist and NFL owner. He led the Chicago Bears from 1921 to 1967.
53. Bills : NIBS
“Nib” is a Scottish variant of the Old English word “neb”, with both meaning the beak of a bird. This usage of “nib” as a beak dates back to the 14th century, with “nib” meaning the tip of a pin or quill coming a little later, in the early 1600s.
54. Gut course?: Abbr. : ANAT
In an anatomy course one will study the anatomy of the “gut”.
55. Adjective for a coach house inn, maybe : OLDE
The word “olde” wasn’t actually used much earlier than the 1920s. It was introduced to give a quaint, antique feel to brand names, shop names etc.
57. “___ pis!” (“Too bad!,” in France) : TANT
“Tant pis” is a slang term used in modern French, that maybe meant something in Old French. It sort of translates as “tant” (much) “pis” (worse), but again, not literally in modern French.
58. Nelson’s catchphrase on “The Simpsons” : HAHA
Nelson Muntz is a character on the animated TV show “The Simpsons”. He is known for his signature laugh “ha ha” or “haw haw”, I am told. I’ve never watched the show, to be honest …
60. ___ Banos, Calif. : LOS
Los Banos isn’t too far from here, and lies in the San Joaquin Valley of California. The original name of the city was Los Baños, the Spanish for “the baths”, a homage to the nearby source of water, the San Joaquin River. Even though the city’s name is spelled without the tilde, it is still pronounced “los banyos”. Go figure …