1217-10: New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Dec 10, Friday

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: None
COMPLETION TIME: 24m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 4 … MAMET (MAMUT), ELLSBERG (ELLSBURG), SYMONS (SYNONS), MALAYALAM (MALAYALAN)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across
4. Joe Btfsplk’s creator : CAPP
Joe Btfsplk is a character in Al Capp’s “Li’l Abner” cartoon strip. He is the guy walking around with a black cloud over his head, a sign that he is the world’s worst jinx. According to Al Capp, the name Btfsplk is a “rude sound”, a so-called Bronx cheer.

14. Tavern : ALEHOUSE
Our lovely word “tavern” comes into English via Old French, from the Latin “taberna”, the word for a “shop, inn, alehouse”.

16. Micro wave? : RIPPLE
Clever wording …

Tinactin Antifungal Cream for Athlete's Foot, 1-Ounce Tubes (Pack of 2)17. Popular name for tolnaftate : TINACTIN
Tolnaftate is an anti-fungal agent, sold under the Merck brand name “Tinactin”, as well as others. Tolnaftate can be purchased over the counter, and is found to be effective against jock itch, athlete’s foot and ringworm.

18. Things holding up the works? : EASELS
More clever wording …

19. Image that stays with you : TATTOO
The word “tattoo” was first used in English in the writings of Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning skin of Polynesian natives, he anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into “tattoo”.

Uniden PRO510XL 40-Channel CB Radio20. Traffic reporter, you might say : CBER
A CBer is someone who operates a Citizens’ Band radio. In 1945, the FCC set aside certain frequencies for the personal use of citizens. The use of the Citizens’ Band increased right through the seventies as advances in electronics brought down the size of the transceivers and their cost. There aren’t many CB radios sold these days though, as they have largely been replaced by cell phones.

C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation, The Tenth Season22. TV show whose opening music is the Who’s “Who Are You” : CSI
The Who’s hit “Who Are You” is used as the theme song for the TV show “CSI”. Old hits from the Who are also used as theme songs for the CSI spin-off shows, “CSI: New York” (theme: “Baba O’Riley”) and “CSI: Miami” (theme: “Won’t Get Fooled Again”). The Who played all three “CSI” songs during the half-time show at the 2010 Super Bowl.

23. Where Alfred Krupp was born : ESSEN
The Krupp manufacturing interest originates with Freidrich Krupp who inherited an iron forge that the family owned in Essen. Friedrich made some not-so-clever investments designed to get the family into the cast steel business. Friedrich died quite young, and his son, Alfred, had to take over the struggling steel works at only 14 years of age. Over time, it was Alfred who really grew the business. When he took the helm, the company had five workers. At the time of his death there were about 20,000 employees, and Krupp’s was the world’s largest industrial company.

26. Lump in one’s throat? : UVULA
The uvula is that conical, fleshy projection hanging down at the back of the soft palate. It plays an important role in human speech, particularly in the making of “guttural” sounds. The Latin word from grape is “uva”, so “uvula” is a “little grape”.

28. “The Cryptogram” playwright, 1995 : MAMET
David Mamet is best known as a playwright, and indeed won a Pulitzer for his 1984 play “Glengarry Glen Ross”. Mamet is also a successful screenwriter and received Oscar nominations for “The Verdict” (1982) and “Wag the Dog” (1997).

32. Meeting in which one person is anxious to leave : PAROLE HEARING
The term “parole” is a French word that we use in English, with the French “parole” meaning “word, speech”. Of particular interest is the French phrase “parole d’honneur” which translates as “word of honor”. In the early 1600s we started using “parole” to mean a promise by a prisoner of war not to escape, as in the prisoner giving his “word of honor” not to run off. Over time, parole has come to mean conditional release of a prisoner before the full term of a sentence has been served.

Motorola MH230R 23-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)33. Staples of old police work : WALKIE-TALKIES
The more formal name for a walkie-talkie is a handheld transceiver. A walkie-talkie is a handheld, two-way radio, a device first developed for military use during WWII by Motorola (although others developed similar designs soon after). The first walkie talkie was portable, but large. It was back-mounted and was carried around the battlefield by a radio officer.

34. PayPal transactions, e.g. : E-TAIL
E-tail is the term used these days for online shopping. The term developed for comparison to describe “real world” shopping is a “brick and mortar” store.

PayPal has been around since the year 2000, born out of a merger of two older companies: Confinity and X.com. PayPal was so successful that it was the first of the beleaguered dot.com companies to successfully complete an IPO after the attacks of 9/11. Then, in 2002, PayPal was bought by eBay, for a whopping $1.5 billion.

36. Welsh word in a Pennsylvania college name : BRYN
I used to live not far from Bryn-mawr in Wales, the town with the highest elevation in the country. Appropriately enough, Bryn mawr is Welsh for “big hill”. There is also a Bryn Mawr in Pennsylvania, named after its Welsh counterpart. At the Pennsylvania location there’s a Brynn Mawr college, a private women’s school that was the first American university to offer graduate degrees to women.

Disney Lion King Simba Plush Doll Toy 14"38. “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” singer : SIMBA
Simba is the main character in the Disney animated feature, “The Lion King”. “Simba” is the Swahili word for “lion”.

The highly successful stage musical “The Lion King” started out life as a 1994 animated feature film of the same name from the Disney studio. The film is the highest-earning, traditionally-animated feature of all time. The film “Finding Nemo” has made more money, but it was created using computer animation.

43. Subj. of Stansfield Turner’s “Burn Before Reading” : CIA
Stansfield Turner is a retired Admiral and former Director of Central Intelligence. Under Turner’s leadership, the CIA greatly changed its emphasis from Human intelligence (HUMINT) and leaned more towards Technical intelligence (TECHINT) and Signal intelligence (SIGINT), a move that Turner himself came to regret in later years. Over 800 intelligence operator positions were eliminated in 1979, a cull that is known in the service as the Halloween Massacre.

45. A term may end with one : RECALL
Somebody holding office might have his or her term ended sooner than expected, in a process called a recall.

51. Aids in breaking shells : EGG TEETH
In order to break out of an egg, the young of some species have what is called an egg tooth. This “tooth” isn’t a true tooth, but rather a protuberance from the cranium. The egg tooth usually falls off within a few days of hatching.

52. Arthur who wrote “The Symbolist Movement in Literature” : SYMONS
Arthur Symons was a British poet and critic. His book “The Symbolist Movement in Literature” was first published in 1899, a work that is known to have great influence over the work of William Butler Yeats and T. S. Eliot.

53. Part of the American Greetings logo : ROSE
American Greetings is the world’s largest (publicly traded) greeting card company. The company was founded in 1906 by a Polish immigrant Jacob Sapirstein, who started out selling cards from a horse-drawn cart.

D.O.A.54. 1950 film noir : DOA
Both the original 1950 film “D.O.A.” starring Edmond O’Brien, and its 1988 remake starring Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan, are excellent movies. The basic storyline is that the lead character discovers he has been poisoned, and uses the limited time he has left to discover who “murdered” him.

Down
1. Milky drink : LATTE
The name latte is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning coffee (and) milk. Note that in the original spelling of latte, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake, perhaps meant to suggest that the word is French.

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Pink Diecast Model 1:18 Die Cast Car5. Caddy, e.g. : AUTO
A Cadillac (“caddy”) is an automobile.

6. Clairvoyance and such : PSI
In the world of parapsychology, the Greek letter psi refers to the phenomena known as extrasensory perception and psychokinesis.

9. Embroidery expert : LIAR
One who “embroiders” the truth is a liar.

10. Black ___ : OPS
“Black ops” is the name given to covert operations, activities that are usually outside of standard military protocol and may even be against the law. Funding for black ops is usually provided by a secret “black budget”.

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers12. Analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers : ELLSBERG
Daniel Ellsberg is a former military analyst, who famously became very disillusioned with the Vietnam War. While still working as an analyst, he made copies of classified documents related to the Johnson administration’s conduct of the war. The documents, known as the Pentagon Papers, demonstrated that the administration knew early on that the Vietnam War was essentially “unwinnable” and that continued fighting would lead to higher numbers of casualties than was being projected in the public arena. Ellsberg ended up in court charged with espionage, but all charges were dropped when it was revealed that the Nixon administration had used illegal methods to bolster its case against the defendant.

The Night of the Hunter15. Word on Harry Powell’s left fingers in “The Night of the Hunter” : HATE
“The Night of the Hunter” is a novel by Davis Grubb, a bestseller first published in 1953. The book is based on the true story of Harry Powers, a murderer who was hanged in 1932. The story was adapted into a movie directed by Charles Laughton in 1955 (Laughton’s only directorial work) starring Robert Mitchum and Shelley Winters.

24. Liquid dispensers in laboratories : BURETTES
I am sure we all remember burettes from our science classes at school. The burette was the vertical glass tube with volume markings on it that we used in titrations.

Erik Satie (The Pocket Archives Series)25. “Vexations” composer : SATIE
Erik Satie was a French composer, most famous for his beautiful composition, the three “GymnopĂ©dies”. I have tried so hard to “enjoy” other works by Satie, but I find them so very different from the minimalist simplicity of “GymnopĂ©dies”.

27. Mouse lookalike : VOLE
Vole populations can really increase rapidly. Mama vole is pregnant for just three weeks before giving birth to litters of 5-10 baby voles. Then the young voles become sexually mature in just one month! If you have one pregnant vole in your yard, within a year you could have over a hundred of the little critters.

Alanis Morissette~ Alanis Morissette Postcard~ Rare Authentic Vintage Postcard!! Approx 4" x 6"28. Canadian singer with a 1995 album that went 16x platinum : MORISSETTE
Alanis Morissette is a Canadian singer-songwriter. After releasing two pop albums in Canada, in 1995 she recorded her first album to be distributed internationally, “Jagged Little Pill”, a collection of songs with more of a rock influence. The album was a huge success, the highest-selling album of the 1990s, and the highest-selling debut album by any artist at any time (selling over 30 million units).

29. Language that reads the same backward and forward : MALAYALAM
Malayalam is a language spoken in Southern India. The written text doesn’t read the same backward and forward, just the name: MALAYALAM!!

30. ___ Man, commercial symbol since the 1950s : ORKIN
Orkin is a pest-control company. If you want to learn more about insects, you might want to visit the O. Orkin Zoo, a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. The exhibit has over 300 live insects, all displayed in their natural habitats.

31. Dumbarton ___ Conference (1944 meeting that laid the groundwork for the U.N.) : OAKS
The Dumbarton Oaks conference was held in Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C. in 1944. The purpose of the conference was formulate the structure of the United Nations, with the key players being high level officials from the major allies of WWII: the US, Great Britain and the Soviet Union. The Dumbarton Oaks Conference served as a preamble to the Yalta Conference of 1945 when the allied leaders, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin mainly discussed the makeup of a post-war Europe. It was at Yalta that Stalin agreed that the Soviet Union would indeed participate in the United Nations.

The Lives of Riley32. Three-time N.B.A. Coach of the Year : PAT RILEY
Pat Riley is a former professional basketball player and NBA head coach, and is currently the team president of the Miami Heat. Off the court Riley is quite the celebrity, and snappy dresser. He is friend of Giorgio Armani and wears Armani suits at all his games. Riley even modeled suits at an Armani fashion show.

39. Slush Puppie alternative : ICEE
Icee and Slush Puppie are brand names of those slushy drinks. Ugh …

41. Comic strip bully : BLUTO
Bluto is the villain in the Popeye cartoon strip, and has been around since 1932. Sometimes you will see Bluto go by the name Brutus, depending on the date of the publication. This “confusion” arose because there was an unfounded concern that the name “Bluto” was owned by someone else. Bluto, Brutus … it’s the same guy.

42. Series opener : ALPHA
Alpha, beta gamma, or perhaps, alpha, bravo, charlie …

Double Fantasy47. 1969 bed-in participant : ONO
John Lennon and Yoko Ono had a very public honeymoon in a hotel in Amsterdam, when they staged their famous “bed-in” for peace. In answering questions from reporters Lennon found himself often repeating the words “give peace a chance”. While still in bed, he composed his famous song “Give Peace a Chance” and even sang it to the visiting reporters a few times. The first recording of the song was actually made in the hotel room, with reporters present, and a whole bunch of friends. The song was released later in 1969 and became a smash hit.

49. Roman I : EGO
“Ego” is another word for “the self”, and is used to distinguish oneself from others and the world around one. In psychoanalysis, the ego is that division of the psyche that is most in touch with external reality, the part that is conscious. “Ego” is a Latin word meaning “I”.

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Progress too slowly : LAG
4. Joe Btfsplk’s creator : CAPP
8. Effective salesman : CLOSER
14. Tavern : ALEHOUSE
16. Micro wave? : RIPPLE
17. Popular name for tolnaftate : TINACTIN
18. Things holding up the works? : EASELS
19. Image that stays with you : TATTOO
20. Traffic reporter, you might say : CBER
22. TV show whose opening music is the Who’s “Who Are You” : CSI
23. Where Alfred Krupp was born : ESSEN
24. Frequent flier : BIRD
25. What an only child lacks : SIBS
26. Lump in one’s throat? : UVULA
28. “The Cryptogram” playwright, 1995 : MAMET
29. Noisy vehicles : MOTOR SCOOTERS
32. Meeting in which one person is anxious to leave : PAROLE HEARING
33. Staples of old police work : WALKIE-TALKIES
34. PayPal transactions, e.g. : E-TAIL
35. Lock : TRESS
36. Welsh word in a Pennsylvania college name : BRYN
37. Held back : KEPT
38. “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” singer : SIMBA
43. Subj. of Stansfield Turner’s “Burn Before Reading” : CIA
44. Attain success : RISE
45. A term may end with one : RECALL
46. Full-blown : ALL-OUT
48. Declutter : NEATEN UP
50. Malicious sort : MEANIE
51. Aids in breaking shells : EGG TEETH
52. Arthur who wrote “The Symbolist Movement in Literature” : SYMONS
53. Part of the American Greetings logo : ROSE
54. 1950 film noir : DOA

Down
1. Milky drink : LATTE
2. Cover : ALIAS
3. Bathroom door sign : GENTS
4. Natural skin moisturizer : COCONUT OIL
5. Caddy, e.g. : AUTO
6. Clairvoyance and such : PSI
7. Means of getting the lead out : PENCIL SHARPENER
8. Ecclesiastical council’s formulation : CREED
9. Embroidery expert : LIAR
10. Black ___ : OPS
11. Lab stock : SPECIMENS
12. Analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers : ELLSBERG
13. Puts up a fight : RESISTS
15. Word on Harry Powell’s left fingers in “The Night of the Hunter” : HATE
21. Common glow-in-the-dark item : BRACELET
24. Liquid dispensers in laboratories : BURETTES
25. “Vexations” composer : SATIE
27. Mouse lookalike : VOLE
28. Canadian singer with a 1995 album that went 16x platinum : MORISSETTE
29. Language that reads the same backward and forward : MALAYALAM
30. ___ Man, commercial symbol since the 1950s : ORKIN
31. Dumbarton ___ Conference (1944 meeting that laid the groundwork for the U.N.) : OAKS
32. Three-time N.B.A. Coach of the Year : PAT RILEY
33. Monitor toppers : WEBCAMS
37. High-strung items? : KITES
39. Slush Puppie alternative : ICEE
40. Like horses : MANED
41. Comic strip bully : BLUTO
42. Series opener : ALPHA
44. Leave destitute : RUIN
45. Unimpressive attire : RAGS
47. 1969 bed-in participant : ONO
49. Roman I : EGO

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