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: STROKES … all the them answers start with a type of STROKE used in swimming i.e. BUTTERFLY (SHRIMP), CRAWL (SPACE), BACK (ISSUES) and BREASY (OF CHICKEN)
COMPLETION TIME: 11m 36s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
1. “The Hobbit” hero : BILBO
Bilbo Baggins is the main character in Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”, and makes an appearances in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
6. College V.I.P.’s : BMOCS
College VIPs are Big Men On Campus.
11. Drs.’ org. : AMA
The American Medical Association was founded in 1847, at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. The first female member joined in 1868, but the first African American members weren’t allowed to join until 1968.
14. ___ flu : ASIAN
The so called “Asian Flu” was a pandemic that originated in china in 1956, and lasted until 1958. The virus killed an estimated 2 million people worldwide, including almost 70,000 in the US. Years later, in 1997, the financial crisis that rocked many countries across Asia was given the same name, “Asian Flu”. The crisis started in Thailand when the Thai currency collapsed, and like a virus the panic spread across much of southeast Asia and Japan.
17. Entree on many a Chinese menu : BUTTERFLY SHRIMP
Giving the swimming STROKE: BUTTERFLY
Butterfly shrimp is simply shrimp that has been split and pressed flat, so that the shrimp meat takes on the shape of a butterfly.
20. Pioneering anti-AIDS drug : AZT
AZT is the abbreviated name for the drug azidothymidine, much used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. AZT was originally developed in the seventies as a potential treatment for retroviruses (cancer-causing viruses), although it was never approved for use in treatment. In 1984, it was confirmed that AIDS was caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), so scientists turned to known antiviral drugs in the search for a viable treatment. Burroughs-Wellcome came up with treatment regime using AZT, and filed a patent in 1985. The patent was challenged in court, but the patent expired anyway in 2005 without any decision being made. There are now at least four generic forms of AZT approved for sale in the US.
22. Oscar winner Jannings : EMIL
Emil Jannings, an actor from Switzerland, was the first person to receive an Oscar. He was the star of the 1928 silent movie “The Last Command”.
25. Cramped alternative to a basement : CRAWL SPACE
Giving the swimming STROKE: CRAWL
38. Pastor, for short : REV
A pastor might be called Reverend. The title Very Reverend is reserved for Deans, Right Reverend for bishops, and Most Reverend for archbishops.
39. Pets … or what the starts of 17-, 25-, 50- and 61-Across are all kinds of : STROKES
43. Tabriz residents : IRANIANS
Tabriz is a large city in the very northwest of Iran.
45. “Goodnight” girl of old song : IRENE
“Goodnight, Irene”, also known as “Irene, Goodnight” is a lovely American folk song, that was first recorded commercially back in 1932 by blues singer, Lead Belly. The song made it number one in the charts for the Weavers in 1950, and for Frank Sinatra the same year.
47. Greek peak : OSSA
Mt. Ossa is located between Mt. Pelion in the south, and the famed Mt. Olympus in the north. Mount Ossa is also known as Kissavos.
48. Amber is a fossilized one : RESIN
Amber’s technical name is “resinite”, reflecting its composition and formation. Amber starts out life as soft, sticky tree resin, but then under high temperature and pressure from overlying layers of soil, it fossilizes. The sticky resin can trap organisms or other plant matter, and this matter can sometimes remain virtually intact inside the amber fossil, a unique gift from the past.
50. Old New Yorkers, e.g. : BACK ISSUES
Giving the swimming STROKE: BACK (STROKE)
The world-famous “New Yorker” magazine is published by Conde 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.
58. Intl. group with many generals : NATO
NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or OTAN in French, l’Oganisation du Traite de l’Atlantique Nord. NATO was founded not long after WWII, in 1949, and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during WWII. Famously he said the goal of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”
60. Big milestone for a young co. : IPO
An Initial Public Offering is the offer of stock for sale by a company for the very first time. In other words, it marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies do this to raise capital to expand (usually). Anyone owning stock in the company prior to the IPO, find that after the IPO their stock is now worth something on the market (as opposed to just on paper), and often become quite wealthy overnight.
61. Basic hotel banquet entree : BREAST OF CHICKEN
Giving the swimming STROKE: BREAST (STROKE)
68. River that drains more than 20% of France : LOIRE
The Loire River is so long that it drains a full one-fifth of France’s land mass. It rises in the southeast, in the Cevennes mountain range, then it heads north and then due east, emptying into the Bay of Biscay at the city of Nantes.
70. Labor’s partner : PARTS
It’s right their on the bill from your auto mechanic (or maybe your cosmetic surgeon!!) … parts and labor.
1. King of the elephants in a children’s book series : BABAR
Babar the Elephant originated in France, the creation of Jean de Brunhoff in 1931. The first book was “Histoire de Babar”, a book so successful it was translated into English two years later for publication in the Britain and the US. Jean de Brunhoff wrote six more Babar stories before he died in 1937, and then his son Laurent continued his father’s work.
2. Trooper on the highway : ISUZU
Isuzu is a Japanese auto manufacturer, very successful in the medium and heavy truck market in particular. You’ll be seeing fewer and fewer Isuzu passenger cars on American roads though, as the company exited the US passenger car market in 2008. The Isuzu Trooper was one of their most successful SUVs, produced between 1981 and 2005.
3. “The Loco-Motion” singer, 1962 : LITTLE EVA
Carole King, and her long-time partner Gerry Goffin, have been writing hit songs since the early sixties, and not just those performed by Carole King herself. Among many others, they wrote, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (The Shirelles), “Take Good Care of My Baby” (Bobby Vee), “I’m into Something Good” (Herman’s Hermits) and “Pleasant Valley Sunday” (The Monkees). Carole and Gerry had a babysitter, one Eva Narcissus Boyd, who was always bopping around the house in an unusual dance style, so they wrote a song about her dance and they called it “The Loco-Motion“. Then, they gave it to the babysitter to record. Ms. Boyd chose as a stage name a character in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, Little Eva …
4. Dracula’s altered form : BAT
“Dracula” is a novel written by an Irish author, Bram Stoker, and first published in 1897. Dracula wasn’t the first vampire of literature, but he certainly was the one who spawned the popularity of vampires in theater, film and television, and indeed more novels. Personally, I can’t stand vampire fiction …
5. Telephone numbers without letters : ONES
What a clever clue. It’s true … check the keypad of your phone …
7. Island south of Sicily : MALTA
The island of Malta is relatively small, but with a large population, making it one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Malta’s strategic location has made it a prized possession for the conquering empires of the world. Most recently it was part of the British Empire, and was an important fleet headquarters for Britain. Malta played a crucial role for the Allies during WWII as it was located very close to the Axis shipping lanes in the Mediterranean. The Siege of Malta lasted from 1940 to 1942, a prolonged attack by the Italians and Germans on the RAF and Royal Navy, and the people of Malta. When the siege was lifted, King George VI awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta collectively in recognition of their heroism and devotion to the Allied cause. The George Cross can still be seen on the Maltese flag, even though Malta has been an independent country since 1964.
9. Small change: Abbr. : CTS
Cents would be small change.
11. Inner self : ANIMA
The concept of anima and animus is found in the Carl Jung school of analytical psychology. The idea is that within each male their resides a feminine inner personality called the anima, and within each female there is a male inner personality known as the animus.
13. Beatles record label : APPLE
The Beatles founded their own record label in 1968, Apple Records. When singles were released, the A-side had the image of a Granny Smith on the label, with the B-side label showing the midsection of an apple cut in half. Cute …
18. Fabled fliers : ROCS
The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants.
26. Sports Illustrated span : WEEK
“Sports Illustrated” is read by 23 million people every week, including a whopping 19% of adult males in the US. And that’s every week, not just the swimsuit issue …
30. Franciscans’ home : ASSISI
St. Francis founded the Franciscan religious order in Assisi in 1208. He died in 1226, and was declared a saint just two years later in 1228.
33. Debussy’s “La ___” : MER
“La Mer” is a lovely group of three symphonic sketches for orchestra by the French composer Claude Debussy. Listen to it, and you can feel yourself at the ocean. “La Mer” is French for “The Sea”.
35. Facial recognition aid : IDENTI-KIT
A facial composite is a graphical representation of the face, usually of a suspect in a crime. Such composites used to be put together by trained artists, but then in the sixties interchangeable templates were developed to standardize and simplify the process. The kit of templates called “Identi-kit” was produced by Smith & Wesson.
36. Diarist Anaïs : NIN
Anais Nin was a French writer, famous for her journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. She also wrote highly regarded erotica, and cited D. H. Lawrence as one author from whom she drew inspiration.
40. News agency that was the first to report on Sputnik : TASS
TASS is the abbreviation used for the former news agency, the Telegraph Association of the Soviet Union (Telegrafnoye Agentstvo Sovetskovo Soyuza). When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1992, the Moscow-based agency’s scope changed, along with its name. It is now known as the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (ITAR-TASS).
The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite towards the end of 1957, the first in a series of missions. That first satellite was just a “ball” trailing four antennas. The ball was only 23 inches in diameter. Sputnik 2 was launched just a month later, and carried the first living passenger into orbit, a dog called Laika. The word “sputnik” means “co-traveller” in Russian.
41. Genetic materials : RNAS
RNA and DNA are very similar in molecular structure. One big difference is that RNA is a single strand structure, whereas DNA is famously a double-helix. Another difference is that RNA contains ribose as a structural unit, and DNA contains deoxyribose, ribose without one oxygen atom. And that ribose/deoxyribose difference is reflected in the name of the two molecules: ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).
44. Mobile phone giant : NOKIA
I do enjoy classical guitar music, but there isn’t a huge choice on CD. There is one very special piece, Gran Vals by Francisco Tárrega, written in 1902. This piece has a unique reputation as it contains a phrase that it is the most listened to piece of music in the whole world! Just a few bars into the work one can hear the omnipresent Nokia ring tone.
46. Small inlet : RIA
A ria is actually a drowned river valley. It is formed where the sea level has raised, and the sea has flooded a valley. As a result, a ria can be confused with a fjord. A fjord is also a drowned valley, but that valley was originally formed by glaciation and not by river erosion.
49. Book after Neh. : ESTH
In the Bible, the book of Nehemiah is followed by the Book of Esther.
50. ___ breath : BABY’S
Baby’s-breath is the name used in the US and Canada for Gypsophila, a genus of flowering plants. Gypsophila can often be found on calcium-rich soils including gypsum, which gives the plant its name. Baby’s-breath is often used as a filler in floral bouquets, and an adornment worn in the hair by young women at weddings.
52. Where Minos reigned : CRETE
Minos was the king of Crete in Greek mythology, and the son of Zeus and Europa. He had an elaborate labyrinth built under the island, designed by the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus (who died trying to escape from the island by “flying” away). King Minos kept the Minotaur in the labyrinth, and dreadful creature with the head of a bull on the body of a man.
55. Word with grand or soap : OPERA
Grand Opera is the name given to the very lavish operas of the 19th century that lasted for a full 4-5 acts, and often had plots built around historic events. Grand Opera originated in Paris, mainly performed in the marvelous Paris Opera House.
As almost everyone knows, the original “soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at housewives working in the home. For some reason, the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers, like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that’s how the soap opera got its name.
56. Largish musical group : NONET
A nonet is group composed of nine instruments or voices.
59. Many works at the Met : OILS
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (“the Met”) was founded in 1870 by a group of private citizens. The current museum is huge, with 2 million square feet of floor space.
63. Eero Saarinen designed its J.F.K. terminal : TWA
Eero Saarinen was a Finnish American architect, renowned in America for his unique designs for public buildings, such as Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK.
65. Runner Sebastian : COE
Sebastian Coe is a retired middle distance runner from the UK who won four Olympic medals including golds in the 1500m in 1980 and 1984. After retiring from athletics he went into politics and served as a Member of Parliament from 1992 to 1997. He headed up London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, so he has to be getting pretty excited as that event is coming up pretty soon.