0606-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Jun 11, Monday

Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today’s SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications

THEME: WEST POINT … the last three words of three of the themed answers spell out the motto of the United States Military Academy at WEST POINT, namely “DUTY – HONOR – COUNTRY”:

1A. Initials for 56-Across : USMA
17A. Serving on a jury, e.g. : CIVIC DUTY
25A. Bride’s attendant : MAID OF HONOR
38A. Enrollee at 56-Across : CADET
45A. Rural area : BACKCOUNTRY
56A. School whose motto consists of the last words of 17-, 25- and 45-Across : WEST POINT


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Initials for 56-Across : USMA
The United States Military Academy (USMA) accepts about 1,300 cadets each year, of which about 1,000 graduate, each with a bachelor of science degree. The graduates are then commissioned with the rank of second lieutenant. The first female candidates entered the USMA in 1976, and today about 15% of all new cadets are women.

9. Scottish landowner : LAIRD
“Laird” is just the word “lord” in the local English dialect in Scotland and the north of England.

14. Grand ___ (annual race) : PRIX
“Grand Prix” translates from French as “Grand Prize”.

Blue Suede Shoes - Original20. Elvis’s “Blue ___ Shoes” : SUEDE
“Blue Suede Shoes” was written and first recorded by Carl Perkins, in 1955. The idea for the song was given to him by Johnny Cash. Cash had been serving with the military in Germany and there met an airman who referred to his military regulation air shoes as “blue suede shoes”. The idea was reinforced when Perkins heard a young man who was dancing say to his partner, “Don’t step on my suede shoes”. Perkins version of the song was very, very successful, actually “going gold” in sales. Elvis Presley’s version of course did even better.

Anderson Cooper 360 Blog Articles22. Channel with “Anderson Cooper 360°” : CNN
Anderson Cooper is a great news personality on CNN, and on other shows around the dial. My favorite appearances of his, although he would call them trivial I am sure, was as host of a great reality game show called “The Mole” that aired in 2001.

40. Armenia and Azerbaijan, once: Abbr. : SSRS
Armenia is a landlocked country, found east of Turkey, and is a former Soviet Republic. Back in the year 301, the ancient Kingdom of Armenia became the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity as its national religion.

Azerbaijan is a former Soviet Republic, lying on the Caspian Sea just northeast of Iran. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic established in 1918 became the Muslin world’s first democratic and secular state. It didn’t last long though, as two years later it was absorbed into the Soviet Union.

41. Fashionable Christian : DIOR
Christian Dior was a French fashion designer. As WWII approached, Dior was called up by the French military, drawing a temporary halt to his career in fashion. He left the army in 1942 and for the duration of the war designed clothes for wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. After the war his designs became so popular that he helped reestablish Paris as the fashion center of the world.

Grover-Trophy Metal Kazoo (Standard)42. Jug band instrument : KAZOO
The modern instrument we know today as the kazoo was invented by one Alabama Vest of Macon, Georgia in the 1800s. It first came to the public’s attention at the Georgia State Fair of 1852, when it was known as the “Down-South Submarine” (because of it’s shape, I would imagine).

Noah's Ark43. Noah’s boat : ARK
Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3, Noah was instructed to take on board “every clean animal by sevens … male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth”. Apparently “extras” (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

52. Sanctuary : ASYLUM
“Asylum” is a Latin word, meaning “sanctuary”.

53. Father and victim of Oedipus : LAIUS
In Greek mythology, Lauis was the King of the city-state of Thebes. According to legend, Laius was warned by an oracle not to have a child, or the child would kill him and marry his wife. Lauis got drunk one night, and lay with his wife in a weak moment, and fathered Oedipus. All that was predicted would come true.

56. School whose motto consists of the last words of 17-, 25- and 45-Across : WEST POINT
West Point is a military reservation in New York State, north of New York City. It was first occupied by the Continental Army, way back in 1778, making it the oldest continually-occupied military post in the country. Cadet training has taken place at the garrison since 1794, although Congressional funding for a US Military Academy didn’t start until 1802.

The Comic Mask in the Commedia dell'Arte: Actor Training, Improvisation, and the Poetics of Survival61. Commedia dell’___ : ARTE
“Commedia dell’arte” tranlates literally from Italian as “comedy of craft”. It is a style of theater that started out in Italy in the mid-1500s. Commedia dell’arte was unique in that it used masked performers as well as actresses, a real innovation at that time. There was also a lot of improvisation on stage, within a structured scenario.

Henrik Ibsen: The Father of Modern Drama63. “A Doll’s House” playwright : IBSEN
“A Doll’s House” is probably the most famous play by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. The play deals with the feminist awakening of the lead character, Nora Helmer, and is sometimes referred to as the “first true feminist play”.

64. River of Flanders : YSER
The Yser originates in northern France and flows though Belgium into the North Sea. The Yser name is oft associated with WWI as it figured in a major battle early in the conflict. In the first three months of the war the German Army pushed almost completely through Belgium, inflicting heavy losses on the Belgian Army as the defenders were forced to fight a fast-moving rearguard action. The Germans were intent on pushing right through Belgium, across France in a “race to the sea”. But the Belgians, with the help of its Allies, decided to make a final stand at the Yser Canal in an effort to prevent the Germans reaching the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk. The 22-mile long defensive line was chosen at the Yser because the river and canal system could be flooded to create a barrier that might be defended. The plan was successful, and the front was “stabilized”. As we now know, millions of lives were lost over the coming years with very little movement of that battle line.

UPC Bar Code and UPC NumberDown
1. It’s scanned at checkout: Abbr. : UPC
The first UPC-marked item to get scanned in a store was on June 26, 1974, at 08:01 a.m. at Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio. It was a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum …

2. ___ Lanka : SRI
The name Sri Lanka translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

4. W.W. II foe, with “the” : AXIS
Before WWII, Hungary’s prime minister was lobbying for an alliance between Germany, Hungary and Italy, and worked towards such a relationship that he called an “axis”. The main Axis powers during the war of course, were Germany, Italy and Japan. However, also included in the relationship were Romania, Bulgaria and the aforementioned Hungary.

6. Riyadh resident : SAUDI
Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia, and is located near the center of the country. The name “Riyadh” translates from Arabic as ‘the gardens”.

TINA FEY 11X14 COLOR PHOTO8. Tina of “30 Rock” : FEY
“30 Rock” is Tina Fey’s own creation, and tells the behind-the-scenes story of a live sketch show not dissimilar to Saturday Night Live (where Fey first achieved celebrity). “30 Rock” is the address of the NBC studios, located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. I was shocked to read that Tina Fey has a scar on her face, a few inches long on her left cheek, the result of a childhood “slashing” incident. When she was just five years old, playing in the front yard of her house, someone just came up to her and slashed her with a knife. How despicable!

1909 photo of The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas.10. 1836 battle site : ALAMO
The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day of siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry “Remember the Alamo!”.

18. Curry ingredient : CUMIN
Cumin is a flowering plant native to the region stretching from the eastern Mediterranean to East India. Cumin spice is made from the dried seeds, and is the second most common spice used in the world (only black pepper is more popular). It is particularly associated with Indian cuisine and is a key ingredient in curry powder. Lovely stuff …

Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Illustrated Collection (mobi)21. “The game is ___”: Sherlock Holmes : AFOOT
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in writing the “Sherlock Holmes” stories, had his hero use the phrase “the game is afoot” on more than one occasion, first in “The Adventures of the Abbey Grange”. However, the phrase was used long before Conan Doyle put pen to paper. In William Shakespeare’s “King Henry IV Part I” here is the line “Before the game is afoot, thou let’st slip”.

22. Ivan, Nicholas and Peter : CZARS
The term czar (also tsar) is a Slavic word, and was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 A.D. It is derived from the word Caesar, which was synonymous with emperor at that time.

Sleepless in Seattle (10th Anniversary Edition)23. Author Ephron and others : NORAS
Nora Ephron has many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she writes, she also directs. These would include some of my favorites of all time like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “You’ve Got Mail” and most recently, the wonderful “Julie & Julia”. And, did you know that Nora Ephron’s second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame?

28. Hip ’60s types : MODS
Mod is short for modernist, and describes a subculture that originated in London in the late fifties. Young men who called themselves mods tended to wear tailored suits, listen to pop music and drive around on Italian motor scooters. Mods came into conflict with another subculture that emerged at the same time in the UK, the rockers. Rockers were into rock and roll music, and drove motor cycles. I remember as a young kid in school having to declare myself as either a mod or a rocker. I don’t think our “gangs” back then were quite the same as they are today though …

31. Poem with exactly 17 syllables : HAIKU
A haiku is a very elegant form of Japanese verse. When writing a haiku in English we tend to impose the rule that the verse must contain 17 syllables. This restriction comes from the rule in Japanese that the verse must contain 17 sound units called “moras”, but moras and syllables aren’t the same thing. What the difference is though, is not so clear to me …

33. “Shoo!” : SCAT
Our word “scat” comes from a 19th-century expression “quicker than s’cat”, which meant “in a great hurry”. The original phrase probably came from the words “hiss” and “cat”.

34. Thingamajig : GIZMO
The word “gizmo” (also “gismo”) was originally slang used by both the US Navy and the Marine Corps, but the exact origin seems unknown. Nowadays, “gizmo” is a general term used for a device or a part when the correct name escapes one (so I use it a lot …).

Verbatim 94554 700 MB 52x 80 Minute Branded Recordable Disc CD-R, 100-Disc Spindle38. Electronic storage device : CD-ROM
CD-ROM stands for “compact disc read only memory”. That means you can read information from the disc (like a standard music CD for example), but you can’t write to it. You can also buy a CD-RW, which stands for “compact disc – rewritable”, with which you can read data and also write over it multiple times using a suitable CD drive.

43. Keenness of mind : ACUMEN
Acumen is such a lovely word, I think, meaning “keenness of judgment or insight”. “Acumen” is a Latin word, meaning a “point, sting”, the idea being that someone with acumen has mental sharpness.

44. Blogger, for one : WRITER
That would be me!

“Blog” is a melding of the words “Web” and “log”. This blog is a “log” of all the New York Times Crosswords published, and I post them on the “Web”.

The Climb47. “Hannah Montana” star Miley : CYRUS
Miley Cyrus became famous playing the Disney Channel character “Hannah Montana”. She is of course the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was born, Billy Ray and his wife named Miley “Destiny Hope”, but soon they themselves calling her “Smiley” as she was always smiling as a baby, and this got shortened to Miley over time. Cute …

JANE FONDA 20X24 PHOTO48. 1971 Jane Fonda/Donald Sutherland film : KLUTE
“Klute” is an excellent mystery drama from 1971 starring Donald Sutherland and Jane Fonda. The movie’s about a New York City prostitute (Fonda) helping a detective (Sutherland, as John Klute) to solve a murder. Fonda won one of her two Oscars for her performance in the film.

49. Padres and Pirates, informally : NLERS
The San Diego Padres were founded in 1969. The team took its name from a Minor League team that had been in the the city since 1936. The name is Spanish for “fathers” and is a reference to the Franciscan Friars from Spain who founded San Diego in 1769.

Van Gogh "Diana" Micro fiber Sofa54. Divan : SOFA
“Sofa” is a Turkish word, meaning “bench”.

56. Modus operandi : WAY
“Modus operandi” is the Latin for “mode of operating”, a term we’ve been using since the mid-1600s.

59. Start of D.C.’s ZIP codes or area code : TWO
ZIP codes were introduced in 1963. The acronym ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan, a name indicating that mail travels more efficiently when the codes are included in the postal address.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:

1. Initials for 56-Across : USMA
5. Beginning on : AS OF
9. Scottish landowner : LAIRD
14. Grand ___ (annual race) : PRIX
15. Scruff : NAPE
16. Take in or let out : ALTER
17. Serving on a jury, e.g. : CIVIC DUTY
19. Mean-spirited : NASTY
20. Elvis’s “Blue ___ Shoes” : SUEDE
21. Look up to : ADMIRE
22. Channel with “Anderson Cooper 360°” : CNN
25. Bride’s attendant : MAID OF HONOR
27. Get a closer look, as with a camera : ZOOM IN
29. Molten tar, e.g. : GOO
30. Not an accidental fire : ARSON
31. Saintly glow : HALO
33. Some NCOs : SGTS
37. Sudden military action : RAID
38. Enrollee at 56-Across : CADET
39. Magazine fig. : CIRC
40. Armenia and Azerbaijan, once: Abbr. : SSRS
41. Fashionable Christian : DIOR
42. Jug band instrument : KAZOO
43. Noah’s boat : ARK
44. Clean, as a floor : WET MOP
45. Rural area : BACKCOUNTRY
51. Unlock, in verse : OPE
52. Sanctuary : ASYLUM
53. Father and victim of Oedipus : LAIUS
55. Play lightly, as a guitar : STRUM
56. School whose motto consists of the last words of 17-, 25- and 45-Across : WEST POINT
60. Pan-fry : SAUTE
61. Commedia dell’___ : ARTE
62. Aviated : FLEW
63. “A Doll’s House” playwright : IBSEN
64. River of Flanders : YSER
65. Sax type : ALTO

1. It’s scanned at checkout: Abbr. : UPC
2. ___ Lanka : SRI
3. 1,004, in old Rome : MIV
4. W.W. II foe, with “the” : AXIS
5. Like llamas and Incas : ANDEAN
6. Riyadh resident : SAUDI
7. Made a choice : OPTED
8. Tina of “30 Rock” : FEY
9. Cry from a crow’s-nest : LAND HO
10. 1836 battle site : ALAMO
11. “___ the bag” : IT’S IN
12. Fashionable again : RETRO
13. Alternative to a clothesline : DRYER
18. Curry ingredient : CUMIN
21. “The game is ___”: Sherlock Holmes : AFOOT
22. Ivan, Nicholas and Peter : CZARS
23. Author Ephron and others : NORAS
24. Military denial : NO, SIR
26. Leering sort : OGLER
28. Hip ’60s types : MODS
31. Poem with exactly 17 syllables : HAIKU
32. Hoopla : ADO
33. “Shoo!” : SCAT
34. Thingamajig : GIZMO
35. Army unit : TROOP
36. Rifle attachment : SCOPE
38. Electronic storage device : CD-ROM
42. Excite : KEY UP
43. Keenness of mind : ACUMEN
44. Blogger, for one : WRITER
45. Low-voiced singers : BASSI
46. Take ___ at (try) : A STAB
47. “Hannah Montana” star Miley : CYRUS
48. 1971 Jane Fonda/Donald Sutherland film : KLUTE
49. Padres and Pirates, informally : NLERS
50. First small bite : TASTE
54. Divan : SOFA
56. Modus operandi : WAY
57. Under the weather : ILL
58. Equipment in badminton and fishing : NET
59. Start of D.C.’s ZIP codes or area code : TWO

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