1209-10: New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Dec 10, Thursday

Quicklinks:
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: There’s no SMOKE without FIRE … each of the theme answers can be divided into two words, the first of which can combine with the word SMOKE and the second of which can combine with FIRE e.g. BLOW OPEN (BLOW SMOKE & OPEN FIRE), HOUSEBOAT (SMOKEHOUSE & FIREBOAT), HOLY CROSS (HOLY SMOKE & CROSSFIRE)
COMPLETION TIME: 27m 19s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across
5. Pyramid schemes, e.g. : SCAMS
A pyramid scheme is considered to be fraud in many countries, including the United States. The basic idea behind such a scheme is that participants get paid for enrolling other people in the scheme, rather than providing any real service or product. As money is made only when others join the scheme, the business model is only sustainable as more and more people are enrolled. Once the number of people in the scheme stabilizes, money stops flowing, with the person at the “top” of the pyramid having made the most cash. He or she is then free to make a run for it, and set up another scheme.

10. Its scores are used in selecting Natl. Merit Scholars : PSAT
The National Merit Scholarship Program is a privately funded, not-for-profit organization, founded in 1955. The program governs two annual competitions for scholarships, one open to all students and one open to only African American students.

I think the acronym PSAT stands for Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test.

14. For all grades : ELHI
“Elhi” is an informal word used to describe anything related to schooling from grades 1 through 12, i.e. elementary through high school.

16. Prefix with -pod : OCTO-
The most famous octopod (“eight-footed” mollusc) is the octopus.

Take It from the Big Mouth: The Life of Martha Raye17. Comical Martha : RAYE
Martha Raye was a comic actress, as well as a singer. Strangely enough, Raye was famous for the size of her mouth, something that she used to her own advantage. As her nickname was “The Big Mouth”, she made a little money appearing in commercials for the Polident denture cleaner in the eighties. Her line was, “So take it from the Big Mouth: new Polident Green gets tough stains clean!”

Signed Hirsch, Emile 8x1018. Actor Hirsch of “Into the Wild” : EMILE
American actor Emile Hirsch’s most famous role was playing the lead in the 2007 drama “Into the Wild”.

“Into the Wild” is an interesting film, based on a non-fiction book of the same name by Jon Krakauer. The book and movie tell the true story of Christopher McCandless, a young man who hiked into the Alaska wilderness, with very little food and equipment, seeking an extended period of solitude. After four months alone he was found dead from starvation. At time of death, he weighed only 67 pounds.

19. See 44-Down : TROY

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House (New York Times Notable Books)20. Five Jacksons : C-NOTE
The 20-dollar bill is called a “Jackson” as it bears the portrait of President Andrew Jackson on the front side of the bill. Over one-fifth of all notes printed today are 20-dollar bills, and the average life of a “Jackson” is a little over 2 years after which it is replaced due to wear.

22. *Dramatically expose : BLOW OPEN
BLOW SMOKE & OPEN FIRE

24. *Home near a shore : HOUSEBOAT
SMOKEHOUSE & FIREBOAT

A fireboat is a firefighting vehicle used for fighting fires on board ships and on shoreside. A fireboat has a distinct advantage over other firefighting vehicles in that it has an unlimited supply of water.

27. Patron saint of Norway : OLAV
Of the many kings of Norway named Olaf (and there have been five), Olaf II is perhaps the most remembered as he was canonized and made patron saint of the country. Olaf was king from 1015 to 1028, and was known as “Olaf the Big” during his reign. Today he is more commonly referred to as “Olaf the Holy”.

32. Madam : BAWD
A madam is the female equivalent of a pimp, someone who lives off the earnings of prostitutes. Usually a madam is associated with a brothel.

37. Where to find eBay and Google : NASDAQ
The computerized stock trading system known as the NASDAQ was created in 1971 by the National Association of Securities Dealers. NASDAQ stands for National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations.

38. Govt. watchdog since 1970 : OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector. The sole government agency that is regulated by OSHA is the US Postal Service.

The Portable Arthur Miller (Penguin Classics)39. Miller products? : DRAMAS
Arthur Miller was a remarkable playwright, best known for his plays “Death of a Salesman” and “The Crucible”. Famously, Arthur Miller left his first wife to marry Marilyn Monroe in 1956. The two divorced five years later, just over a year before Monroe died of an apparent drug overdose.

Ohio State University Logo NCAA Sports Poster Print - 22x3441. Big Ten sch. : OSU
The athletic teams of Ohio State University are called the Buckeyes, named after the state tree of Ohio. In turn, the buckeye tree gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, a dark nut with a light patch, thought to resemble a “buck’s eye”.

The Big Ten is the nation’s oldest Division I college athletic conference and today is comprised of not ten, but eleven colleges mainly located in the Midwest. The conference was founded in 1896 and earned the name “Big Nine” in 1899 when Iowa and Indiana joined to bring the number of teams in the conference to nine. The conference name was changed to the Big Ten after Michigan rejoined in 1917. Right after WWII, the University of Chicago dropped out so the conference became known as the Big Nine again until 1949. The official designation of “Big Ten” was adopted in 1987 when the conference (once again with with a complement of ten teams) registered as a not-for-profit corporation. It was decided to keep the official name of Big Ten even after Penn State joined in 1990 bringing the number of schools to the current level of eleven.

42. Co. bought by Verizon : MCI
MCI was a giant telecom company that suffered a similar fate to Enron, and around about the same time. MCI’s stock price fell in 2000 and in maneuvers designed to protect the price, the company committed illegal acts. The larger than life CEO at the time, Bernie Ebbers, is now serving a 25 year sentence in Louisiana.

43. One leading a cheer, perhaps : MASCOT
Edmond Audran wrote an operetta called “La Mascotte” which was first performed in Paris in 1880. The storyline was about a farm girl known for bringing good luck to people. She was called “la mascotte”, a provincial French word for a good luck charm. It was because of the success of this operetta that we started using “mascot” in English to mean something that brought luck.

Sammy Sosa: A Biography44. 1998 Roberto Clemente Award winner : SOSA
Sammy Sosa was right in the public eye in 1998 when he and Mark McGwire were vying to be the first to surpass the home run record held by Roger Maris. McGwire fell out of public favor due to stories of steroid abuse (stories which he later admitted were true) while Sosa fell of out favor when he was found to be using a corked bat in a 2003 game.

47. Classification for some popular Spanish music : ORO
I suppose just as we classify a disc as “gold” in English, in Spanish that may be “oro”.

49. Mount Whitney’s range : SIERRAS
Mount Whitney in California has an elevation of 14,505 feet making its peak the highest spot in the contiguous United States. Mt. Whitney was given its name in 1864 by members of the California Geographical Society who named it after Josiah Whitney, the State Geologist at the time.

51. Et ___ : ALII
Et alii is the equivalent of et cetera, with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names.

54. *Massachusetts college : HOLY CROSS
The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts is one of the oldest Roman Catholic colleges in the country, founded in 1843. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Boston founded the college in Worcester, his second choice of location, as his efforts to establish a Catholic college in Boston were thwarted by the city’s Protestant leaders.

Lynyrd Skynyrd ~ Black and White Poster Print ~ Approx 24 X 36 Inches59. *1975 Southern rock hit stereotypically requested at concerts : FREE BIRD
“Free Bird” is a 1973 hit from southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. The song features a famous guitar solo and is often requested at concerts, regardless of who is performing … a bit of a joke as I understand it …

63. Beef type : ANGUS
The full name of the cattle breed is Aberdeen Angus, the name used around the world outside of the US. The breed was developed by cross-breeding cattle from the counties of Aberdeenshire and Angus in Scotland. The breed stands out in the US, as Angus cattle don’t have horns.

65. Tropical vegetable also known as elephant’s-ear : TARO
The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, the traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

68. Short race, briefly : ONE-K
In the world of long-distance running, a “1-k” (one kilometer) is a relatively short race.

Signed Zahn, Paula 8x10 B&W (P)69. Paula of TV news : ZAHN
Paula Zahn resigned as an anchor with CNN in 2007. Outside of her work in journalism, Zahn is an accomplished cellist and has played at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops Orchestra.

70. Whom Raskolnikov confesses his crime to in “Crime and Punishment” : SONYA
“Crime and Punishment” is one of the two most famous novels by Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, the other being “The Brothers Karamazov”.

71. Word that can combine with the ends of the answers to the six starred clues : FIRE

Down
2. Southwest plain : LLANO
“Llano” is the Spanish word for “plain”.

4. Fresca, e.g. : DIET SODA
Fresca is a Coca Cola product introduced in 1966, and is unusual in that it has no Pepsi Cola equivalent. It has always been marketed as a 0-calorie grapefruit drink, and so it’s artificially sweetened.

She Will Be Loved5. Maroon 5’s “___ Will Be Loved” : SHE
Maroon 5 is a rock band from LA. Most of the band members met in high school where they formed a garage band called Kara’s Flowers in 1995. The band reformed as Maroon 5 in 2001 and were a big hit almost straight away. Personally, I’ve never heard of them till now …

6. Dos that are don’ts? : COMB OVERS
Many, many moons ago as a young, inexperienced businessman, I attended a management seminar in Princeton. We had a fabulous speaker for a couple of days instructing our class all about self-confidence and poise. He spoke really well, but something didn’t quite ring true. He didn’t seem very self-confident to me wearing that comb over …

Teresa of Avila: An Extraordinary Life7. St. Teresa’s place : AVILA
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.

Mel Ott: The Little Giant of Baseball8. Youngest Hall-of-Famer (at age 22) to hit 100 home runs : MEL OTT
 At 5′ 9″, Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958, when he was only 49 years old.

11. *Porch feature : SCREEN DOOR
SMOKESCREEN & FIRE DOOR

13. Nerf ball, e.g. : TOY
Nerf is the name given to a series of toys made out of a soft material designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf material is used to make ammunition for toy guns, darts, and balls. The acronym NERF stands for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

23. Pueblo pots : OLLAS
An olla is a traditional clay pot used for the making of stews.

29. Late Soviet diplomat Dobrynin : ANATOLY
Anatoly Dobrynin was Russian Ambassador to the United States from 1962 through 1986. He played a very visible and crucial role during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Vita di Torquato Tasso, Volume 3Vita di Torquato Tasso, Angelo Solerti30. Italian poet who was the subject of a Goethe play and a Donizetti opera : TASSO
Torquato Tasso was an Italian poet who lived in the 1500s. He is best known for his poem “Jerusalem Delivered”. Such is his fame and standing in the arts that he himself is the subject of works by other artists. Goethe wrote a play called “Torquato Tasso” in 1790 that explored Tasso’s life, and Donizetti composed an opera also called “Torquato Tasso” in 1833 which incorporated some of the poet’s writing in the libretto.

32. Turkeys : BOMBS
A performance in show business that is really bad is often called a “turkey”, presumably a play on the birds reputation for stupidity.

33. PC character set : ASCII
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) lists codes for 32 “control” characters, as well as the 95 printable characters (like a, A, b, B, 1, 2, etc). These binary ASCII codes are the way that our computers can understand what we mean when we type say a letter, or a number.

34. *Hillbillies’ put-down : WHITE TRASH
WHITE SMOKE & TRASH FIRE

36. Baylor’s home : WACO
Remember Ken Starr? He is now the President of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Ken Starr has to be one of the most famous lawyers in recent history, due to his tenure as Independent Counsel when President Bill Clinton was in office. Starr’s original brief was to investigate the suicide of White House Counsel Vince Foster as well as to continue the investigation of the Whitewater controversy in which then-Governor Clinton was accused of applying pressure to arrange an illegal loan to one of his partners in the Whitewater land deal. Famously, Starr’s purview was extended to include an investigation into President’s Clinton’s extra-marital affair with Monica Lewinsky, to determine if the President had lied under oath about his relationship with the young intern.

KANT ON SWEDENBORG: DREAMS OF A SPIRIT-SEER & OTHER WRITINGS (Swedenborg Studies)40. Kantian concern : MORAL DUTY
Immanuel Kant was an 18th-century, German philosopher. He published “Perpetual Peace” in 1795, laying out what he believed were conditions for ending all wars and creating a lasting peace. The good news for us is that one of these conditions was to have a world full of constitutional republics, so it seems we are on the right track here in America!

MERLE OBERON 8x10 COLOR PHOTO43. Oberon of “Wuthering Heights” : MERLE
Merle Oberon was a wonderful British actress. At the height of her Hollywood career she was involved in a traffic accident that left her with permanent facial scars. The marks were so disfiguring that it was believed that Oberon would never appear on screen again. But she persevered and, with the help of some creative lighting on set, two years after the accident she filmed her most memorable role, playing Cathy in 1939’s “Wuthering Heights”.

44. With 19-Across, U.S.C.’s marching band : SPIRIT OF
19. See 44-Down : TROY
The University of Southern California’s marching band is known as “The Spirit of Troy”. The band doesn’t lack confidence as it bills itself as the “The Greatest Marching Band in the History of the Universe”. They do indeed make a lot of appearances in movies on television, and Herb Alpert is one of the band’s alumni.

50. Literally, “way of the gods” : SHINTO
It is perhaps best not to describe Shinto as a religion, but more as a “spirituality of the Japanese people”, a spirituality that encompasses folklore, history and mythology. Having said that, “Shinto” translates literally as “Way of the Gods”. Most people in Japan who are described as practicing Shinto, also practice Buddhism.

52. I, to Wilhelm I : ICH
“Ich” is the German for “I”, as in “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner), the famous words of support uttered by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 in a speech in West Berlin. The supposed translation of “Ich bin ein Berliner” as “I am a jelly doughnut” … that’s just an urban legend. President Kennedy’s use of German was perfectly correct.

Wilhelm I of Prussia, along with his Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, united the German states into one nation for the first time in 1871. Thereafter Wilhelm I presided over an expanding German Empire until its defeat at the end of WWI.

56. Certain rial spender : OMANI
The Rial is name of the currency of Oman (as well as Yemen , Iran, Cambodia and Tunisia!).

58. Word that can combine with the starts of the answers to the six starred clues : SMOKE

59. Org. criticized in “When the Levees Broke” : FEMA
Federal emergency management has been structured for over 200 years, but what we know today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 in an Executive Order issued by President Jimmy Carter.

62. Bosox legend : YAZ
Yaz was the nickname for Carl Yastrzemski who played his whole career with the Boston Red Sox.

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Opposite of race : PLOD
5. Pyramid schemes, e.g. : SCAMS
10. Its scores are used in selecting Natl. Merit Scholars : PSAT
14. For all grades : ELHI
15. Shanty : HOVEL
16. Prefix with -pod : OCTO-
17. Comical Martha : RAYE
18. Actor Hirsch of “Into the Wild” : EMILE
19. See 44-Down : TROY
20. Five Jacksons : C-NOTE
22. *Dramatically expose : BLOW OPEN
24. *Home near a shore : HOUSEBOAT
26. Prevaricate : LIE
27. Patron saint of Norway : OLAV
28. They’re shown in a beauty pageant : TALENTS
32. Madam : BAWD
35. Just out : NEW
37. Where to find eBay and Google : NASDAQ
38. Govt. watchdog since 1970 : OSHA
39. Miller products? : DRAMAS
41. Big Ten sch. : OSU
42. Co. bought by Verizon : MCI
43. One leading a cheer, perhaps : MASCOT
44. 1998 Roberto Clemente Award winner : SOSA
45. Like a vampire’s victims : BITTEN
47. Classification for some popular Spanish music : ORO
48. Push : PROD
49. Mount Whitney’s range : SIERRAS
51. Et ___ : ALII
53. ‘Fore : TIL
54. *Massachusetts college : HOLY CROSS
59. *1975 Southern rock hit stereotypically requested at concerts : FREE BIRD
61. Words mouthed to a camera : HI MOM
62. Pro team? : YEAS
63. Beef type : ANGUS
65. Tropical vegetable also known as elephant’s-ear : TARO
66. “I ___ dead!” : AM SO
67. Part of 41-Across : STATE
68. Short race, briefly : ONE-K
69. Paula of TV news : ZAHN
70. Whom Raskolnikov confesses his crime to in “Crime and Punishment” : SONYA
71. Word that can combine with the ends of the answers to the six starred clues : FIRE

Down
1. Stool, perhaps : PERCH
2. Southwest plain : LLANO
3. Words to a kidder : OH YOU
4. Fresca, e.g. : DIET SODA
5. Maroon 5’s “___ Will Be Loved” : SHE
6. Dos that are don’ts? : COMB OVERS
7. St. Teresa’s place : AVILA
8. Youngest Hall-of-Famer (at age 22) to hit 100 home runs : MEL OTT
9. Whole bunch : SLEW
10. Baked entrees : POT PIES
11. *Porch feature : SCREEN DOOR
12. Lots : A TON
13. Nerf ball, e.g. : TOY
21. Sinuous swimmer : EEL
23. Pueblo pots : OLLAS
25. Outlaw’s accessory : BANDANA
29. Late Soviet diplomat Dobrynin : ANATOLY
30. Italian poet who was the subject of a Goethe play and a Donizetti opera : TASSO
31. ___ car : SQUAD
32. Turkeys : BOMBS
33. PC character set : ASCII
34. *Hillbillies’ put-down : WHITE TRASH
36. Baylor’s home : WACO
40. Kantian concern : MORAL DUTY
43. Oberon of “Wuthering Heights” : MERLE
44. With 19-Across, U.S.C.’s marching band : SPIRIT OF
46. Checks the fit of : TRIES ON
50. Literally, “way of the gods” : SHINTO
52. I, to Wilhelm I : ICH
55. Silent film accompaniment : ORGAN
56. Certain rial spender : OMANI
57. More peeved : SORER
58. Word that can combine with the starts of the answers to the six starred clues : SMOKE
59. Org. criticized in “When the Levees Broke” : FEMA
60. See 64-Down : BASS
62. Bosox legend : YAZ
64. With 60-Down, big Chilean export : SEA

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