0808-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Aug 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: HIGH SEAS … all of the theme answers end with words that can be used for a “sailor”, found on the HIGH SEAS:

1A. With 69-Across, where to find the ends of 17-, 22-, 32-, 43-, 54- and 61-Across : HIGH
69A. See 1-Across : SEAS
17A. Q-tip, e.g. : (COTTON) SWAB
22A. It points to the minutes : (BIG) HAND
32A. Presidential candidate’s #2 : (RUNNING) MATE
43A. Excellent, slangily : (CRACKER-)JACK
54A. Sticky stuff on a baseball bat : (PINE) TAR
61A. Condiment that’s O.K. for observant Jews : (KOSHER) SALT


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. Organization for the supersmart : MENSA
If you ever had to learn Latin as did I, “mensa” was probably taught to you in lesson one as it’s the word commonly used as an example of a first declension noun. Mensa means “table”. The Mensa organization, for folks with high IQs, was set up in Oxford, England back in 1946. To become a member you are required to have an IQ that is in the top 2% of the population.

14. Most eligible for military service : ONE-A
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft is held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objectors available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrants who have completed military service) and 4-D (ministers of religion).

15. State in NE India : ASSAM
Assam is a state in the very northeast of India, just south of the Himalayas. Assam is noted for its tea, as well as its silk.

Q-tips Cotton Swabs - 170ct.17. Q-tip, e.g. : COTTON SWAB
Cotton swabs were originally marketed under the name “Baby Gays”, but this was changed in 1926 to “Q-Tip”, with the Q standing for “quality”.

Stan Musial: An American Life19. Hall-of-Famer Musial : STAN
Stan Musial is a retired baseball player who went by the nickname “Stan the Man”, a moniker he was awarded by the Brooklyn Dodgers fans in 1946. Apparently, off the field Stan is quite the harmonica player.

20. Whole ___ and caboodle : KIT
In the idiomatic expression “the whole kit and caboodle”, caboodle (sometimes spelled “kaboodle”) is an informal term for a bunch of people, or sometimes the “the whole lot”.

Tetley Tea, 100-Count Tea Bags (Pack of 4)21. Tetley product : TEA
Tetley was founded by Joseph Tetley in Yorkshire in 1837. He and his brother used to sell salt door-to-door from a packhorse and started to distribute tea the same way. They became so successful selling tea that they relocated to London. Notably, Tetley’s was the first company to introduce tea bags in the UK, back in 1953.

LEGO Hand Crank Dynamo Flash Light Torch Giant Lego Man Stands 7.5" Tall (Colors May Vary)27. Danish toy blocks : LEGOS
Lego is manufactured by Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934, and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. They were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks”, but I think today’s “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

36. Letter after chi : PSI
The Greek letter psi is the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

The Greek letter chi is written as “X”, although the sound is more like a “j”.

Soul of the Age: A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare39. The Bard of ___ (Shakespeare) : AVON
William Shakespeare is known as the Bard of Avon, as he was born and raised in the lovely town of Stratford-upon-Avon in the English midlands.

An Improvised Life: A Memoir41. Arkin of Hollywood : ALAN
The actor Alan Arkin won his only Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) for his role in “Little Miss Sunshine” from 2006, a movie I just did not understand …

46. 007 creator Fleming : IAN
Ian Fleming is most famous of course for writing the “James Bond” series of spy novels. You might also know that he wrote the children’s story “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, which was made into a cute movie released in 1968 and even a stage musical that opened in 2002.

47. Reproductive part of a fungus : SPORE
Spores are produced by many bacteria, fungi and non-flowering plants. A spore is a reproductive body encased in a protective shell that is highly resistant to damage, and resistant to heat in particular.

50. Tire-changing group at a Nascar race : PIT CREW
NASCAR stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. NASCAR is very, very popular and commands the second largest television audience of any professional sport in America, second only to football.

Bickmore Pine Tar - Quart54. Sticky stuff on a baseball bat : PINE TAR
Pine tar is applied to the handles of baseball bats as it is a sticky substance and improves the batter’s grip. In a 1983 game, the Yankees manager Billy Martin protested a home run hit by George Brett of the Royals because the pine tar on his bat extended beyond the regulation 18 inches. The home run was later allowed as it was determined that the 18-inch rule was in place for economic reasons, and had nothing to do with competitive advantage. If pine tar gets on a baseball it renders it unusable for play, and baseballs cost money!

Nabisco® Fat Free Fig Newtons Sandwich Cookies - 50.4 oz. box - 24 Ct.58. ___ Newton (Nabisco treat) : FIG
The Fig Newton is based on what is actually a very old recipe that dates back to Ancient Egypt. It’s a simple food using preserved figs rolled up in a flour-based dough. Whereas we grew up with “Fig Rolls” in Ireland, here in America the brand name “Fig Newton” was used, named after the town of Newton, Massachusetts where they were first produced.

60. 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.

Morton Kosher Salt, 16-Ounce (Pack of 12)61. Condiment that’s O.K. for observant Jews : KOSHER SALT
According to Jewish dietary law, kosher food is “fit” to eat, and food that is not kosher is called treif (or tref).

Signed Guthrie, Arlo 8x10 B&W Photo66. Folkie Guthrie : ARLO
Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song, Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

67. Casino game with numbers : KENO
The name “Keno” has French or Latin roots, with the French “quine” being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin “quini” meaning “five each”. However, the game itself originated in China. It was introduced to the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad, in the 1800s.

68. Slender amphibians : NEWTS
Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world, living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants, unlike the eggs of frogs and toads which float freely. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

1. Sell at a pawnshop : HOCK
The term “in hock” is an American invention. Back in the mid-19th century it meant both “in debt” and “in prison”. The work “hock” came from the Dutch “hok” meaning “jail”.

French Fries2. How French fries are fried : IN OIL
“French fries” are of course called “chips” back in the British Isles where I grew up. In France, they’re called “pommes frites” (“fried potatoes”).

Dr. Seuss (Rookie Biographies)4. Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the ___” : HAT
Dr. Seuss was the pen name of Theodor Seuss Geisel. Geisel was commander of the Animation Department of the USAF during WWII. He was behind many propaganda films including one called “Our Job in Japan”. Even though it was produced specifically as propaganda, this same movie was used after the war as a basis for the short feature “Design for Death”, a study of Japanese culture released in 1947, and winner of an Oscar for best Documentary.

6. Piece of French writing : ESSAI
“Essai” is the French word for an “essay”.

7. Australian state whose capital is Sydney: Abbr. : NSW
New South Wales is the most populous state in Australia and is home to Sydney,  the most populous city in the country. New South Wales was founded in 1788, and when the British took over New Zealand in 1840, it was even part of New South Wales for a while.

8. Volvo rival : SAAB
SAAB stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. SAAB was, and still is, mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automobile division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000.

12. Grassy plain of the Southwest : LLANO
“Llano” is the Spanish word for “plain”.

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Cheri Oteri18. Onetime “S.N.L.” regular Cheri : OTERI
Cheri Oteri was the SNL cast member who regularly appeared with Will Farrell in the skit featuring a pair of Spartan cheerleaders.

25. ___ diagram (logic tool) : VENN
Englishman John Venn was an expert in the field of logic, and introduced the Venn diagram in his book “Symbolic Logic” in 1881. Venn diagrams are used in Set Theory, to illustrate the logical relationships between sets of variables.

JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME 8X10 PHOTO26. 1994 Jean-Claude Van Damme sci-fi film : TIME COP
Jean-Claude Van Damme is a Belgian actor and expert in martial arts. Given his background, he is referred to by the nickname “The Muscles from Brussels”.

31. Suffix with Rock : -ETTE
The famous Rockettes can be seen in Radio City Music Hall. They have an amazing schedule during the Christmas season when they perform five high-kicking shows every day, seven days a week. The troupe has been doing this every Christmas for 77 years.

32. British rule in colonial India : RAJ
The period of colonial rule by the British in South Asia from 1858 to 1947 is referred to as the British Raj. Prior to 1858, the area was ruled by by a private enterprise, the British East India Company.

University Of Virginia Ultra Decal 11x1733. The Cavaliers of the A.C.C. : UVA
The University of Virginia was of course founded by Thomas Jefferson, who sat on the original Board of Visitors with former US Presidents James Madison and James Monroe. In fact, the original UVA campus sat on land that was once a farm belonging to President Monroe.

Biography: Robert De Niro34. Actor Robert De ___ : NIRO
Robert de Niro is noted for his longtime and highly successful collaboration with the director Martin Scorsese. He is also noted for his commitment as a method actor. Famously, he gained a full 60 pounds in order to play Jake La Motta in the 1980 movie “Raging Bull”.

37. Holder of a squid’s 38-Down : SAC
38. It’s held in a squid’s 37-Down : INK
Octopuses and squid have the ability to release a dark pigment into the water as a means of escape. The dark pigment is called cephalopod ink (the squid and octopus belong to the class cephalopod). The dark color is created by melanin, the same substance that acts as a pigment in human skin.

41. Slightly open : AJAR
Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

Chet Atkins - A Life in Music43. Guitarist Atkins : CHET
Chet Akins was a guitarist famous for playing “smooth” country music that crossed over into the genre of lighter pop music.

49. Weekly satirical paper, with “The” : ONION
“The Onion” is a satirical news network, with a print newspaper and a heavy online presence. “The Onion” newspaper was founded by two college students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988. The founders sold the operation a year later for about $20,000. The paper grew steadily until 1996 when it began to publish online and really took off. I think it’s worth a tad more than $20,000 today …

51. Instant-messaging program for Macs : ICHAT
iChat was introduced in 2002, and is still in use today. It’s Apple’s “instant messaging” application that integrates with the Mac Operating System.

Willa Cather: A Life Saved Up53. Cather who wrote “O Pioneers!” : WILLA
American novelist Willa Cather wrote what’s called the “prairie trilogy”, books that tell the story of Swedish immigrants living in Nebraska. The titles in the trilogy are “O, Pioneers!”, “The Song of the Lark” and “My Antonia”. Cather won the Pulitzer Prize for another novel, “One of Ours”, set in Nebraska and the French battlefields of WWI.

1966 Pontiac GTO Black Diecast Car Model 1/1859. Old Pontiac muscle cars : GTOS
GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologato.

63. Carrier to Oslo : SAS
SAS, formerly known as Scandinavian Airlines System, is the flag carrier of three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. With 69-Across, where to find the ends of 17-, 22-, 32-, 43-, 54- and 61-Across : HIGH
5. Organization for the supersmart : MENSA
10. ___-in-the-blank : FILL
14. Most eligible for military service : ONE-A
15. State in NE India : ASSAM
16. Not working : IDLE
17. Q-tip, e.g. : COTTON SWAB
19. Hall-of-Famer Musial : STAN
20. Whole ___ and caboodle : KIT
21. Tetley product : TEA
22. It points to the minutes : BIG HAND
24. Terse four-star review : LOVED IT
27. Danish toy blocks : LEGOS
28. Prefix with plunk or plop : KER-
29. French notions : IDEES
32. Presidential candidate’s #2 : RUNNING MATE
36. Letter after chi : PSI
39. The Bard of ___ (Shakespeare) : AVON
40. Lifeless : INERT
41. Arkin of Hollywood : ALAN
42. Part of the head that moves when you talk : JAW
43. Excellent, slangily : CRACKER-JACK
45. Snapshot : PHOTO
46. 007 creator Fleming : IAN
47. Reproductive part of a fungus : SPORE
50. Tire-changing group at a Nascar race : PIT CREW
54. Sticky stuff on a baseball bat : PINE TAR
57. Middling grade : CEE
58. ___ Newton (Nabisco treat) : FIG
60. W.W. II foe, with “the” : AXIS
61. Condiment that’s O.K. for observant Jews : KOSHER SALT
64. Hysterically funny sort : RIOT
65. Letter-shaped construction piece : I-BEAM
66. Folkie Guthrie : ARLO
67. Casino game with numbers : KENO
68. Slender amphibians : NEWTS
69. See 1-Across : SEAS

1. Sell at a pawnshop : HOCK
2. How French fries are fried : IN OIL
3. Become friendly with : GET TO KNOW
4. Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the ___” : HAT
5. Like a lion or horse : MANED
6. Piece of French writing : ESSAI
7. Australian state whose capital is Sydney: Abbr. : NSW
8. Volvo rival : SAAB
9. Prefix with dextrous : AMBI-
10. Uses a rod and reel : FISHES
11. Item on a dog collar : ID TAG
12. Grassy plain of the Southwest : LLANO
13. Gives for a time : LENDS
18. Onetime “S.N.L.” regular Cheri : OTERI
23. Great happiness : GLEE
25. ___ diagram (logic tool) : VENN
26. 1994 Jean-Claude Van Damme sci-fi film : TIME COP
30. Unlit : DARK
31. Suffix with Rock : -ETTE
32. British rule in colonial India : RAJ
33. The Cavaliers of the A.C.C. : UVA
34. Actor Robert De ___ : NIRO
35. Pesky insect : GNAT
36. Airline ticket cost : PLANE FARE
37. Holder of a squid’s 38-Down : SAC
38. It’s held in a squid’s 37-Down : INK
41. Slightly open : AJAR
43. Guitarist Atkins : CHET
44. Kitchen gadget for processing potatoes : RICER
45. Magician’s cry : PRESTO
47. Start of a fire : SPARK
48. Mischievous fairy : PIXIE
49. Weekly satirical paper, with “The” : ONION
51. Instant-messaging program for Macs : ICHAT
52. Swarms (with) : TEEMS
53. Cather who wrote “O Pioneers!” : WILLA
55. Similar (to) : AKIN
56. Judge’s attire : ROBE
59. Old Pontiac muscle cars : GTOS
62. Make clothes : SEW
63. Carrier to Oslo : SAS

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