0818-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Aug 11, Thursday

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

THEME: SIX DEGREES … There are SIX squares in the grid containing multiple letters, and each of those sets of letters is an academic DEGREE:
40A. Often-cited distance between things … or what’s hidden in this puzzle : SIX DEGREES

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Keikogi Kendo Top Small1. Traditional keikogi accessory : OBI
The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied in what is called a butterfly knot.

A keikogi is a uniform that is worn when training in one of the martial arts.

Apple iMac MC813LL/A 27-Inch Desktop4. Apple types : IMACS
The iMac is a desktop computer platform from Apple, introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is its “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated.

15. One regulated by the F.E.C. : PAC
A Political Action Committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent agency charged with regulating campaign finance laws.

ROBERT DE NIRO 8X10 PHOTO17. “Sleepers” co-star, 1996 : DE NIRO
The rather disturbing 1996 drama called “Sleepers” is based on a novel of the same name by Lorenzo Carcaterra. The novel is somewhat autobiographical, telling the story of Carcaterra’s incarceration within the New York State penitentiary system, and the effect that this had on his life.

Return Of The King Talking Deluxe Gollum18. Literary source of “Bless us and splash us, my precioussss!” : THE HOBBIT
The words “Bless us and splash us, my precioussss!” are spoken by Gollum, in J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel “The Hobbit”. Gollum is a Hobbit with a split personality, which he developed under the influence of “the Ring”.

21. Memorable ship : MAINE
The USS Maine was a pre-dreadnought battleship launched in 1890. The Maine sunk in Havana Harbor in 1898 due to a massive explosion. A Naval Court of Inquiry found that the explosion was caused by a mine, a finding that helped precipitate the start of the Spanish-American War that began one month later. Those advocating the war were often heard crying, “Remember the Maine! To hell with Spain!”

The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Includes Essay About the History of the Horror Genre)22. Literary inits. : EAP
Edgar Allan Poe lived a life of many firsts. He is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn’t really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849, he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious from either drugs or alcohol. He died a few days later in hospital at 39 years of age.

Van Gogh (Cafe Terrace at Night) Art Poster Print - 24x3624. City on the Rhône : ARLES
A few years ago I had the privilege of living just a short car ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although it has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city’s design. It has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the city center. In more modern times, it was a place that Vincent van Gogh often visited, and where he painted his famous “Café Terrace at Night”, as well as “Bedroom in Arles”.

25. Peeling potatoes, perhaps : ON KP
KP is a US military slang term, and stands for either “kitchen police” or “kitchen patrol”.

29. Nature worshiper, of a sort : ANIMIST
“Animism” comes from the Latin word “anima” meaning “soul, life”. The word “animism” has two related but distinct meanings. In one sense, animism is the belief in souls, and in another sense it is the belief that souls exist for other entities that are not human. I think it is a relatively commonly held belief that animals may have souls (and that one can meet up with one’s pet or cat or in heaven!), but it is less commonly believed that plants and even rocks can have souls too.

31. Onetime NASA booster : AGENA
The RM-81 Agena was an upper-stage rocket designed and built by Lockheed, first used in 1959. After 365 launches it was retired in 1987.

33. Pill bug, for one : ISOPOD
Isopods are small crustaceans (meaning they have exoskeletons), with seven pairs of legs. Examples would be woodlice and pill bugs. The name “isopod” comes from the Greek “iso” (same) and “pod” (foot).

39. Part of an Asian capital’s name : BATOR
The name “Ulan Bator” translates from Mongolian as “the Red Hero”, and is Mongolia’s capital city. Ulan Bator lies north of the Gobi Desert.

Signed Bacon, Kevin 8x10 Photo40. Often-cited distance between things … or what’s hidden in this puzzle : SIX DEGREES
The idea behind the concept of six degrees of separation is that, on average, every person on the planet is separated from every other by just six “degrees”. That is, everyone is linked to everyone else as a “friend of a friend”, six times. There’s also a popular trivia game called “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” in which players have to show that a particular actor can be related to Kevin Bacon in fewer than six links, with each link being a movie in which two actors appear together.

Famous Authors: Robert Burns - A Concise Biography [VHS]47. Epithet for the mouse in Burns’s “To a Mouse” : BEASTIE
The famous Robert Burns poem, “To a Mouse” describes the little creature as a “wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie”. There’s another oft-quoted line later in the poem, “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, gang aft agley.” John Steinbeck used this as inspiration for the title of his 1937 novel “Of Mice and Men”.

GRACE KELLY 8x10 B&W PHOTO52. State of Grace : MONACO
The lovely American actress Grace Kelly led the US delegation to the Cannes Film Festival in 1955 and there she met Prince Rainier III, at a photo-op in the Palace of Monaco. Twelve months later the pair were married and Kelly retired from acting at the age of 26. She suffered a stroke while driving her car in 1982, not long before her 53rd birthday. She died in the resulting car crash but her daughter, Princess Stéphanie, survived the accident.

54. Judo move : THROW
Judo is a martial art from Japan that was developed relatively recently, in 1882. The name “judo” translates as “gentle way”.

Zippo Jim Beam Pewter Emblem Pocket Lighter57. Jim Beam product : RYE
Jim Beam is the world’s biggest-selling brand of bourbon. Jim Beam whiskey has roots going back to around 1795 when Jacob Beam sold his first corn whiskey. The whiskey took on the name “bourbon”, possibly after Bourbon County in Kentucky.

59. River of York : OUSE
York is the biggest city on the River Ouse in Yorkshire. The name “Ouse” comes from the Celtic word “usa” meaning water.

61. Lacto-___-vegetarian : OVO
A lacto-ovo vegetarian is someone who does not consume meat or fish, but does eat eggs (ovo) and dairy (lacto) products.

If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss)63. Creature in Dr. Seuss’s “If I Ran the Zoo” : NERD
“If I Ran the Zoo” is a book written by Dr. Seuss and published in 1950. Apparently this book is famous for using the word “nerd”, the first time it had been seen in print.

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 the film 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.

Catching Salinger: The Search for the Reclusive Writer J. D. Salinger67. Writer featured in the memoir “Dream Catcher” : JD SALINGER
J. D. Salinger was a very reclusive author, most famous for his novel “Catcher in the Rye”. Salinger fought in WWII after he was drafted into the US Army. He saw action on Utah Beach on D-Day, and in the Battle of the Bulge. He also spent a lot of time interrogating prisoners due to his knowledge of French and German, and was one of the first Americans to go into a liberated concentration camp. He later spent time in hospital suffering from what was then called combat stress reaction, as he tried to deal with what he saw in the German camps.

It's Amazing72. Narnia hero : ASLAN
In the C. S. Lewis books, Aslan is the name of the lion character (as in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”). Aslan is actually the Turkish word for lion. Anyone who has read the books will recognize the remarkable similarity between the story of Aslan and the story of Christ, including a sacrifice and a resurrection.

75. Himalayan legends : YETIS
A yeti is a beast of legend, also called an abominable snowman. It is a Tibetan term, and the yeti is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot. The study of beasts whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology.

Midnight at Mabel Mercer's/Once in a Blue Moon5. With 52-Down, English-born cabaret singer : MABEL
(52. See 5-Down : MERCER)
Mabel Mercer was a famous cabaret singer from England. Frank Sinatra openly acknowledged that he tended to emulate Mercer’s singing style.

Absolutely Fabulous Movie Poster (11 x 17 Inches - 28cm x 44cm) (1992) Belgian Style B -(David Jason)(Bruce Alexander)(John Lyons)(Arthur White)(James McKenna)(David McKail)6. Hit Brit sitcom : ABFAB
“Absolutely Fabulous” is a cult-classic sitcom produced by the BBC. The two stars of the show are Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley.

9. Modern records : CDS
The Compact Disc (CD) is an optical storage device that was developed for the storage and playback of music. Derivative products were later developed such as the CD-ROM for data storage, and the PhotoCd for storage of images.

Efrem Zimbalist Plays Brahms12. Notable violinist : ZIMBALIST
Efrem Zimbalist was a prominent concert violinist from Russia. He was married to the famous American soprano Alma Gluck. The couple had a son called Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. who became a famous actor (co-star of “77 Sunset Strip”). Zimbalist, Sr. was therefore also the grandfather of actress Stephanie Zimbalist (co-star of “Remington Steele”).

13. 1990s Mexican president Zedillo : ERNESTO
Ernesto Zedillo was the President of Mexico from 1994 to 2000, and predecessor to President Vicente Fox.

14. Its rising signaled the flooding of the Nile in ancient Egypt : DOG STAR
When you look up at the night sky, the brightest star you can see is Sirius. It appears so bright to us because it is relatively close to the Earth. Sirius is commonly known as the “Dog Star”, because it can be seen in the constellation Canis Major, the “Big Dog”.

Building World Landmarks - Aswan High DamFrom ancient times right up to 1970 the annual flooding of the Nile was a significant event in Egypt. The flooding allowed the deposition of fertile silt far beyond the banks of the river, helping the region’s agriculture. However, the flooding was unpredictable. So the Aswan Dam was built in the sixties and from 1970 the flooding was brought under control.

26. Vietnam’s ___ Dinh Diem : NGO
When France withdrew from French Indochina in the mid-fifties, Ngo Dinh Diem led the movement to create the Republic of Vietnam. In what was regarded as a fraudulent referendum, the new country of Vietnam was formed, and in 1955 Diem declared himself its first president. His rule was far from peaceful, and he was assassinated by rivals in 1963.

37. Parolee, e.g. : EX-CON
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 he or she has served the full term of a sentence.

The JinYin E118G 4 Valve BBb Rotary Valve Tuba39. Tuba : BASS HORN
The tuba is the lowest pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”.

44. — — — : EM DASHES
In typography, there are em dashes and en dashes. The em dash is about the width of an “m” character, and an en dash is about half that, the width of an “n’ character. An en dash is used, for example, to separate numbers designating a range, as in 5-10 years. Th em dash seems to be going out of style, and indeed the application I am using to write this paragraph won’t let me show you one!

49. Aegean island near Naxos : IOS
The Cyclades are a Greek group of islands in Aegean lying southeast of the Greek mainland. There are about 200 islands in the group, almost all of which are the peaks of a submerged mountain range. Ios is one of the larger islands, 11 miles long and 6 miles wide.

Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea. According to Greek mythology, Zeus was raised in a cave on the island.

Reebok Zenlyte Attack Strung Handle, Black53. Game stick : CROSSE
A lacrosse stick is also known as a crosse.

Even though lacrosse was dropped from the Olympics after the 1908 games, it is currently enjoying a resurgence of popularity outside of North America.

56. Noted test provider : 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.

Zhou Enlai: The Last Perfect Revolutionary58. Zhou ___ : ENLAI
Zhou Enlai (also Chou En-Lai) was the first government leader of the People’s Republic of China and held the office of Premier from 1949 until he died in 1976. He ran the government for Communist Party Leader Mao Zedong, often striking a more conciliatory tone with the West than that of his boss. He was instrumental, for example, in setting up President Nixon’s famous visit to China in 1972. Zhou Enlai died just a few months before Mao Zedong, leading to unrest and a dramatic change in political direction for the country.

Kissing On VJ Day - Nurse Kissing Sailor, Art Poster Full Size Poster Print, 24x3662. August 15, 1945 : V-J DAY
The actual date of V-J Day is not as clear as one might imagine. In the US we celebrate V-J Day on September 2nd each year, commemorating the day the Japanese signed the surrender document which officially ended WWII. In the UK, V-J Day is celebrated on August 15th, commemorating the day on which surrender was announced in Europe and North America. To further complicate matters, because of time zone differences, surrender was announced in Japan on the preceding date, August 14th, 1945.

69. Green grp. : EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency was set up during the Nixon administration, and began operation at the end of 1970.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Traditional keikogi accessory : OBI
4. Apple types : IMACS
9. Manic : CRAZED
15. One regulated by the F.E.C. : PAC
16. It’s enough to take you for a ride : CAB FARE
17. “Sleepers” co-star, 1996 : DE NIRO
18. Literary source of “Bless us and splash us, my precioussss!” : THE HOBBIT
20. With force and much noise : SLAM-BANG
21. Memorable ship : MAINE
22. Literary inits. : EAP
24. City on the Rhône : ARLES
25. Peeling potatoes, perhaps : ON KP
27. Env. contents : LTR
29. Nature worshiper, of a sort : ANIMIST
31. Onetime NASA booster : AGENA
33. Pill bug, for one : ISOPOD
35. Stop: Abbr. : STA
36. Anticipate : FORESEE
38. Call, in a way : REF
39. Part of an Asian capital’s name : BATOR
40. Often-cited distance between things … or what’s hidden in this puzzle : SIX DEGREES
43. Collections : SETS
46. Geom. figure : CIR
47. Epithet for the mouse in Burns’s “To a Mouse” : BEASTIE
51. Nav. leader : CMDR
52. State of Grace : MONACO
54. Judo move : THROW
55. Apparel : RAIMENT
57. Jim Beam product : RYE
59. River of York : OUSE
60. China ___ : ASTER
61. Lacto-___-vegetarian : OVO
63. Creature in Dr. Seuss’s “If I Ran the Zoo” : NERD
65. From where : WHENCE
67. Writer featured in the memoir “Dream Catcher” : JD SALINGER
71. Reduced : LESSER
72. Narnia hero : ASLAN
73. Center start? : EPI-
74. Cool red giants : S STARS
75. Himalayan legends : YETIS
76. Many an old T-shirt, now : RAG

1. Reject, with “out of” : OPT
2. “Pshaw!” : BAH
3. Source of some cubes : ICE MAKER
4. Folder, sometimes : ICON
5. With 52-Down, English-born cabaret singer : MABEL
6. Hit Brit sitcom : ABFAB
7. Announcers : CRIERS
8. ___ record : SET A
9. Modern records : CDS
10. Fixed, as tiles : RELAID
11. ___ and a leg : AN ARM
12. Notable violinist : ZIMBALIST
13. 1990s Mexican president Zedillo : ERNESTO
14. Its rising signaled the flooding of the Nile in ancient Egypt : DOG STAR
19. Cool factor : HIPNESS
23. News deliverer : PAPER BOY
25. Ox : OAF
26. Vietnam’s ___ Dinh Diem : NGO
28. Connected with : TIED INTO
30. Free : NO FEE
32. “___ was saying …” : AS I
34. Assn. : ORG
37. Parolee, e.g. : EX-CON
39. Tuba : BASS HORN
41. Period of years : ERA
42. Take in : EAT
43. Writes poorly : SCRAWLS
44. — — — : EM DASHES
45. Most overused : TRITEST
48. Weary walker : TRUDGER
49. Aegean island near Naxos : IOS
50. Farm milk provider : EWE
52. See 5-Down : MERCER
53. Game stick : CROSSE
56. Noted test provider : MENSA
58. Zhou ___ : ENLAI
62. August 15, 1945 : V-J DAY
64. One from Germany : EINS
66. Some TV drama sites, for short : ERS
68. PC key : ALT
69. Green grp. : EPA
70. Fix : RIG

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