0822-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 22 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: Directions To … all of the theme answers are in the format “direction to something”:

18A. Anti-abortion position : RIGHT TO LIFE
24A. Abandoned, in a way : LEFT TO DIE
39A. Not shown in theaters : STRAIGHT TO VIDEO
51A. Satisfactory : UP TO SNUFF
60A. Having no illusions or pretensions : DOWN TO EARTH


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
The Essential Paul Simon4. “The 59th Street Bridge Song (___ Groovy)” (1967 hit) : FEELIN’
As the Manhattan end of New York City’s Queensboro bridge is located by 59th and 60th streets, it is commonly called the 59th Street Bridge by local residents. One of those local residents was Paul Simon and he wrote a little ditty called “The 59th Street Bridge Song” and recorded it with Art Garfunkel in 1967. We might know it better by the lyric “Feelin’ Groovy”. The song is all about “slow down, you move too fast …”

Mel Ott: The Little Giant of Baseball17. Giant 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.

23. Place to get a facial : SPA
The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a health resort there. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

27. Incorporate, as a picture in a blog : EMBED
“Blog” is a melding of the words “Web” and “log”. This blog that you’re reading is a “log” of all the New York Times Crosswords published, and I post them on the “Web”.

Disney Muppets Kermit 9" Plush Doll31. Kermit, e.g. : FROG
Kermit has to be the most readily recognized puppet character created by the late great Jim Henson. Henson came up with Kermit way back in 1955 when he appeared on a puppet show called “Sam and Friends” that aired in Washington, D.C. Kermit is loved so much that he even has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Photo Reprint Alf Landon, Repub. nominee for presidency in 1936, facing a battery of cameras when he arrived at White38. Landon who lost to F.D.R. in 1936 : ALF
Alf Landon was the Governor of Kansas from 1933-37, and was the Republican Party’s nominee against FDR in the 1936 Presidential election. He is remembered as the candidate who “disappeared” after winning the nomination. He rarely traveled during the campaign, and made no appearances at all in its first two months. FDR famously won by a landslide, with Landon only winning the states of Maine and Vermont. He wasn’t even able to carry his home state of Kansas.

43. Suffix with plug : -OLA
“Plugola” is the public promotion of something in which the promoter has a financial interest, without disclosing that interest. Plugola is similar to “payola” in that it is a form of promotion, but unlike payola, it’s perfectly legal.

Payola is the illegal practice of paying radio stations or disk jockeys to repeatedly play a particular piece of music. The impetus behind the crime is that the more often a song is played, the more likely it is to sell. The term “Payola” comes from the words “pay” and “Victrola”, an RCA brand name for an early phonograph.

44. Not feral : TAME
“Feral”, meaning existing in a wild or untamed state, comes from the Latin word “fera” meaning “a wild animal”.

Me, Myself & Irene45. 2000 comedy “Me, Myself & ___” : IRENE
“Me, Myself & Irene” is a 2000 comedy film starring Jim Carrey (“Me” and “Myself”) and Renée Zellweger (Irene). It’s a perfect vehicle for Carrey, as his character is a state trooper who develops a second personality after a psychotic breakdown. You can just imagine how Jim Carrey plays that extra, unrepressed persona!

49. Wall Street pessimist : BEAR
The terms “bull” and “bear” markets come from the way in which each animal attacks. A bull thrusts his horns upwards (an “up” market), whereas a bear swipes with his paws downward (a “down” market).

51. Satisfactory : UP TO SNUFF
The term “up to snuff” today means “up to standard”. It was introduced to us for the first time in 1811 in a play called “Hamlet Travestie” by Englishman John Poole. He used the term to mean “in the know”. It was perhaps a reference to the habit of taking powdered tobacco, a practice back then that was associated with the upper classes, the educated, those in the know.

59. Concerning : IN RE
The term “in re” is Latin, derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). It literally means “in the matter”, and is used as “in regard to”, or “in the matter of”.

The Very Best Of Nat King Cole65. Singer ___ King Cole : NAT
Nat King Cole’s real name was Nathaniel Adams Coles. Cole made television history in 1956 when his own show debuted on NBC, a first for an African-American. Cole couldn’t pick up a national sponsor, so in order to save money and possibly save the show, many guest artists worked for no fee at all – the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte and Peggy Lee. The show survived for a year, but eventually Nat King Cole had to pull the plug on it himself.

66. Little of this and that : OLIO
Olio is a term meaning a hodgepodge or a mixture, coming from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish “olla”, the name of the clay pot used when cooking the stew.

67. Fiat : DECREE
A “fiat” is an arbitrary rule that is imposed, and is the Latin for “let it be done”.

Emu, Australia Photographic Poster Print by David Wall, 42x5668. Big Australian bird : EMU
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the emus. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formation and adopting guerrilla tactics, and operated as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

70. Mrs. with a famous cow : O’LEARY
The Great Chicago Fire blazed for almost three full days in October of 1871. By the time it was extinguished hundreds of people had died and four square miles of the city had been destroyed. It is known that the fire started in or near a small barn owned by an Irish immigrant, a Mrs. Catherine O’Leary. A reporter called Michael Ahern wrote in the “Chicago Tribune” that the fire was ignited when a cow in the barn kicked over a lantern. Years later, Ahern admitted that he made up the story about the cow and the lantern, as he felt it made colorful copy. Supposedly Mrs. O’Leary died a heart-broken woman as she spent the rest of her life with the public blaming her on the tragic loss of life and property.

Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 18882. “Casey ___ Bat” : AT THE
“Casey at the Bat” is a poem written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer, first published in the San Francisco Examiner. The poem became very popular due to repeated live performances in vaudeville by DeWolf Hopper. Casey played for the Mudville Nine, and the last line of the poem is “But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.”

4. Wearing this is a PETA peeve : FUR
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a very large animal rights organization, with 300 employees and two million members and supporters worldwide. Although the group campaigns for animal rights across a broad spectrum of issues, it has a stated focus in opposition of four practices:

– factory farming
– fur farming
– animal testing
– use of animals in entertainment

5. Afterword : EPILOG
Our word “epilog”, meaning an addition at the end of a play or other literary work, ultimately comes from Greek. “Epi-” is a prefix signifying “in addition”, and “logos” is the noun for “a speech”.

CHRISTINE LAHTI 11X14 PHOTO7. Christine of “Chicago Hope” : LAHTI
Christine Lahti is an actress probably best known for playing Dr. Kate Austin on the TV medical drama “Chicago Hope”. If you read “The Huffington Post” you might run across her as well, as Lahti is a contributing blogger.

Adult Men's Cousin It Halloween Costume Wig8. Hairy TV cousin : ITT
In the television sitcom “The Addams Family”, the family had a frequent visitor called Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man, with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.

10. Deli meat : SALAMI
Salame (note the “e” at the end) is an Italian sausage that is traditionally associated with the peasant classes. The meat in the sausage is preserved with salt, and it can be hung and stored for maybe as long as ten years. The name “salame” comes from “sale”, the Italian word for salt, and “-ame”, a suffix indicating a collective noun. Our English word “salami” is actually the Italian plural for “salame”.

Eli Manning Signed Photo 8x10 - Super Bowl Trophy - Autographed NFL Photos11. Football’s Manning : ELI
Even I know that Eli Manning, and his older brother Peyton, are both quarterbacks!

Rice Krispies Cereal, 12-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 4)12. Rice Krispies’ Snap, Crackle or Pop : ELF
The three elves Snap, Crackle and Pop are the mascots for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. They first appeared in an ad campaign in 1933, although the phrase “snap, crackle and pop” had been used for the cereal before then in a radio commercials. By the way, instead of Rice Krispies, the elves promote “Rice Bubbles” in Australia, and the elves are called “Cric!, Crac! and Croc! in Quebec.

19. “___ sesame” : OPEN
In the Arabic tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, the magical cave entrance is opened with the words “Open, Simsim”, but this mutated into “Open Sesame” in European translations.

21. Heart parts : ATRIA
The heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers (the atria) accept deoxygenated blood from the body and oxygenated blood from the lungs. The atria squeeze the blood into the two lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles), “priming” the pump, as it were. One ventricle pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, and the other pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

173 DOUGHNUT RECIPES eBOOK Doughnuts Cookbook25. Doughnuts, topologically speaking : TORI
A torus is a doughnut shape.

26. What you might R.S.V.P. to via a computer : EVITE
An “evite” is an “electronic invitation”.

RSVP stands for “Répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “please, answer”.

Blade Runner [VHS]28. 1982 Harrison Ford sci-fi film : BLADE RUNNER
“Blade Runner” is a cult classic, a sci-fi film made in 1982 loosely based on the novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K. Dick. It was directed by Ridley Scott who regards “Blade Runner” as his most “complete” film. There is a phenomenon known as the “‘Blade Runner’ Curse”. An inordinate number of companies behind products that were displayed prominently in the movie found themselves in financial trouble soon after the movie’s release. Included in the list of troubled concerns are Atari, Cuisinart, Pan Am and the Bell System.

Ellen: The Real Story of Ellen DeGeneres29. Funny DeGeneres : ELLEN
Ellen DeGeneres is a very, very successful TV personality, having parlayed her career in stand-up comedy into lucrative gigs as an actress and talk show host. Back in 1997 DeGeneres chose the “Oprah Winfrey Show” to announce that she was a lesbian. Her character on “The Ellen Show” also came out as a lesbian, in a scene with her therapist, played by Oprah Winfrey. Nice twist!

Willem Dafoe is an American actor, from Wisconsin. He was born just plain William Dafoe, but didn’t like being called “Billy”. So, he changed his name to Willem, which was the pronunciation of his name by his Scottish babysitter. Those Scots …

35. Canonized fifth-century pope : ST LEO
The first pope named Leo is now known as Pope Saint Leo the Great. He is famous for meeting with the feared Attila the Hun and persuading him to turn back his invading force that was threatening to overrun Western Europe.

36. SeaWorld whale : SHAMU
Shamu was the name of the third orca, or killer whale, ever to be featured in a public exhibition. She starred in a popular SeaWorld show in San Diego in the sixties. After she died in 1971 her name lived on, as the name “Shamu” is still used by SeaWorld for its killer whale shows. That original Shamu was retired after she grabbed and refused to let go the leg of one of her trainers.

1967 Pontiac GTO HT Black 1/24 Diecast Model40. Sporty Pontiac of years past : GTO
GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologato.

42. Tehran native : IRANI
Tehran is the capital of Iran and is the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of about 8.5 million. Iran has been around an awful long time and Tehran is actually the country’s 31st national capital. We are only babies over here in the US …

'Face Of Buried Warrior, Terracotta, Xian, China' Wall Decal - 18"W x 24"H Removable Graphic53. ___ cotta : TERRA
The name “terra cotta” comes to us from Latin via Italian and means “baked earth”. It is a ceramic made from clay, which is left unglazed. Maybe the most famous work in terra cotta is the Terracotta Army, the enormous collection of life-size figures that were buried with the Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China around 210 BC. I had the privilege of seeing some of this collection when it toured the US a few years ago, and just the few pieces on display were so very impressive.

55. Baby-to-be : FETUS
The word “fetus”, used for an unborn young animal, comes from Latin as one might expect. “Fetus” is the Latin word for the act of hatching or bringing forth a young animal or child. The mistaken spelling “foetus” is seen quite a lot, but there’s no historical basis for adding that “o”.

62. Nintendo console with a remote : WII
“Wiimote” is an alternative name for the Wii Remote, the controller for the Nintendo Wii gaming console.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Handkerchief stuffed in the mouth, e.g. : GAG
4. “The 59th Street Bridge Song (___ Groovy)” (1967 hit) : FEELIN’
10. Start for a plant : SEED
14. Hwy. : RTE
15. Provide with the latest info : UPDATE
16. Friend in war : ALLY
17. Giant Mel : OTT
18. Anti-abortion position : RIGHT TO LIFE
20. Cry to a horse that’s the opposite of “Giddyup!” : WHOA
22. Allow : LET
23. Place to get a facial : SPA
24. Abandoned, in a way : LEFT TO DIE
27. Incorporate, as a picture in a blog : EMBED
31. Kermit, e.g. : FROG
32. Ice cream flavor that’s a synonym for “boring” : VANILLA
34. Up and about : ASTIR
36. Announced : SAID
38. Landon who lost to F.D.R. in 1936 : ALF
39. Not shown in theaters : STRAIGHT TO VIDEO
43. Suffix with plug : -OLA
44. Not feral : TAME
45. 2000 comedy “Me, Myself & ___” : IRENE
46. Place to play foosball or Ping-Pong : REC ROOM
49. Wall Street pessimist : BEAR
50. Arcade coin : TOKEN
51. Satisfactory : UP TO SNUFF
56. Josh : KID
58. Meadow : LEA
59. Concerning : IN RE
60. Having no illusions or pretensions : DOWN TO EARTH
65. Singer ___ King Cole : NAT
66. Little of this and that : OLIO
67. Fiat : DECREE
68. Big Australian bird : EMU
69. Move text around : EDIT
70. Mrs. with a famous cow : O’LEARY
71. Lo-___ screen : RES

1. Canine threat : GROWL
2. “Casey ___ Bat” : AT THE
3. Go astray : GET OFF TRACK
4. Wearing this is a PETA peeve : FUR
5. Afterword : EPILOG
6. Barely beaten : EDGED
7. Christine of “Chicago Hope” : LAHTI
8. Hairy TV cousin : ITT
9. Fishermen cast them : NETS
10. Deli meat : SALAMI
11. Football’s Manning : ELI
12. Rice Krispies’ Snap, Crackle or Pop : ELF
13. Change from brunette to blonde, say : DYE
19. “___ sesame” : OPEN
21. Heart parts : ATRIA
25. Doughnuts, topologically speaking : TORI
26. What you might R.S.V.P. to via a computer : EVITE
28. 1982 Harrison Ford sci-fi film : BLADE RUNNER
29. Funny DeGeneres : ELLEN
30. Actor Willem : DAFOE
33. Hubbub : ADO
34. Of ___ (somewhat) : A SORT
35. Canonized fifth-century pope : ST LEO
36. SeaWorld whale : SHAMU
37. Green machine? : ATM
40. Sporty Pontiac of years past : GTO
41. Competes (for) : VIES
42. Tehran native : IRANI
47. Tie again, as a necktie : REKNOT
48. “I’m working ___” : ON IT
49. Yachtsman, e.g. : BOATER
52. Come in second : PLACE
53. ___ cotta : TERRA
54. Box on a bowling scoresheet : FRAME
55. Baby-to-be : FETUS
57. Dumb ox : DODO
60. Mother of a fawn : DOE
61. Superannuated : OLD
62. Nintendo console with a remote : WII
63. Snaky fish : EEL
64. “You there!” : HEY

Return to top of page