0216-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Feb 13, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Michael Ashley
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 31m 56s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Help for someone just browsing? : FIREFOX
8. 1-Across source : MOZILLA
Open-source software has the source code available to users and is not protected by copyright. The intent is to allow collaboration in the development of the software in the hope of producing a better product. One of the more famous examples of an open-source product is the Mozilla Firefox Internet browser that some of you may be using to read this blog.

16. Buds : CRONIES
A crony is a friend or companion. The term originated as slang in Cambridge University in England in the 1600s. “Crony” is probably derived from the Greek “khronios” meaning “long-lasting”.

18. “The Consul” composer : MENOTTI
The composer Gian Carlo Menotti won a Pulitzer Prize in 1950 for his opera “The Consul”. Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” has a special place in the repertoire, in that it is the first opera specifically composed for American television. “Amahl and the Night Visitors” was commissioned by NBC and had its debut at the NBC studios in Rockefeller Center on Christmas Eve, 1951. In today’s world of commercially-driven television, I can’t imagine a network commissioning a classical work …

19. What a screen may block : SKEETER
Skeeter is a slang term for mosquito, with “mosquito” being the Spanish for “little fly”. The female mosquito actually has to have a “blood meal” before she is able to lay her eggs.

22. Noggins : DOMES
“Dome” and “noggin” are slang terms for the head.

24. Mouth filler : SILT
Silt might fill the mouth of a river.

25. Zulu’s counterpart : ALFA
The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … Zulu.

29. “___ Arizona Skies” (early John Wayne film) : ‘NEATH
I believe there is an error in the clue here, and the full name of the John Wayne film is “‘Neath the Arizona Skies”.

John Wayne was called Marion Mitchell Morrison at birth, named after his grandfather who was a Civil War veteran. When young Marion was a little boy, a local fireman used to call him “Little Duke” because he was always seen walking with his large dog called “Duke”. Marion liked the name “Duke” and so he called himself Duke Morrison for the rest of his life. That said, Duke Morrison also used John Wayne as a stage name.

33. Stimulate : GOOSE
“To goose” is to prod into action, albeit a little rudely. A “goose” is a prod or a pinch in the rear end.

37. Creature whose genus name and English name are the same : BOA
Boa constrictors are members of the Boidae family of snakes, all of which are non-venomous. Interestingly, the female boa is always larger than the male.

41. Tool shed tool : ADZ
An adze (also adz) is similar to an axe, but different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft. An axe’s blade is set in line with the shaft.

44. Number of strings on a Spanish guitar : SEIS
“Seis” is Spanish for “six”.

49. Bush whackers? : DEMS
President George W. Bush is of course named for his father, George H. W. Bush. The “W” in the name of both father and son stands for “Walker”. Walker was the family name of President George H. W. Bush’s mother, Dorothy Walker.

51. Actress Berger : SENTA
Senta Berger is an actress from Austria, regarded by many as the leading German-speaking actress over the past few decades.

53. Not strictly adhering to tempo : RUBATO
“Tempo rubato” is a musical instruction encouraging the conductor or soloist to speed up and slow the tempo at his or her own discretion. Often singers and musicians vary the tempo anyway, giving the piece of music their own “imprint”.

59. Simian : APE-LIKE
“Simian” means “pertaining to monkeys or apes”, from the Latin word “simia” meaning “ape”.

61. Series begun in 2007 : IPHONES
Apple started selling the iPhone at 6 pm local time on 29 June 2007, with hundreds of customers lined up outside stores all over the world. Not me. I use a pay-as-you-go phone from T-Mobile that cost me less than $45 for the whole of last year for calls and text (including many to Ireland) …

Down
1. Goliath, e.g. : FOE
In the story of David and Goliath, the Israelites and the Philistines faced each other in battle at the Valley of Elah. Goliath was the warrior champion of the Philistines and each day he challenged the Israelites to send out their champion to decide the battle in a one-on-one fight. No one was courageous enough to accept the challenge until young David agreed to face the mighty Goliath. And of course David felled the giant soldier with a stone from his sling.

2. “Suicide Blonde” band : INXS
INXS (pronounced “in excess”) was a rock band from Australia.

4. ___ Railroad, 1832-1960 : ERIE
The Erie Railroad operated from 1832 to 1960, and connected New York City with Lake Erie. The Erie Railroad was largely built as compensation for the towns in the Southern Tier of New York who lost business when the Erie Canal was completed in 1825.

7. They might include BMX and wakeboarding, informally : XTREME GAMES
The X Games are annual events, with a Summer X Games held every year as well as a Winter X Games. It’s very much a commercial venture, with all aspects controlled by the TV station ESPN. The games focus on extreme action sports, like skateboarding and freestyle motocross in the summer and various extreme snowboarding events in the winter.

8. Year “Tosca” premiered : MCM
Unlike so many operas, “Tosca” was a big hit right from day one, when it was first performed in 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. “Tosca” is currently the eighth-most performed opera in America, although I’ve only seen it once myself.

12. Source of a secret, in a phrase : LITTLE BIRD
A little bird told me …

13. Triple-platinum Gloria Estefan album with “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” : LET IT LOOSE
Gloria Estefan is a Cuban American singer who was born in Havana. Estefan fled Cuba along with her family after the Cuban Revolution, and ended up in Miami. Her father fought for the US military in Vietnam and also took part in the doomed Bay of Pigs invasion. Years later, Gloria herself was approached by the CIA to work for the agency due to her skill with languages. She ended up doing quite well singing instead …

25. Eastern generals : AGHAS
“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

27. Orange children’s character : FOZZIE BEAR
Fozzie Bear is one of the Muppets, and is an orange bear wearing a pork pie hat who works as a not-so-great standup comic. There is an urban myth that “Fozzie” is named after the Muppets creator Frank Oz (i.e. F. Oz), but in fact he is named for the person who built the mechanism for wiggling Fozzie’s ears: one Faz Fazakas.

28. Actor Butterfield of “Hugo” : ASA
Asa Butterfield is a child actor from London, England. Butterfield played the title character in the powerful Holocaust film called “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas”, released in 2008.

“Hugo” is a 2011 film adaptation of the novel by Brian Selznick called “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”. It’s all about a young boy who lives in the Gare Montparnasse train station in Paris, with young Asa Butterfield playing the lead role. The film was shot in 3D, and was the first 3D film directed by Martin Scorsese. “Hugo” was well received by the critics, but I must admit that it didn’t wow me …

34. Bit of work : ERG
An erg is a unit of energy or mechanical work. “Erg” comes from the Greek word “ergon” meaning “work”. A dyne is a unit of force. The name “dyne” comes from the Greek “dynamis” meaning “power, force”. Ergs and dynes are related to each other in that one erg is the amount of energy needed to move a force of one dyne over a distance of one centimeter.

36. Alma mater for McDonnell and Douglas of McDonnell Douglas : MIT
The McDonnell Douglas aerospace manufacturing company was formed in 1967 with the merger of McDonnell Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft. The founders of the two original companies were James Smith McDonnell and Donald Will Douglas. Both founders were of Scottish ancestry, both were MIT graduates and both had worked for aircraft manufacturer Glenn L. Martin Company.

52. Temporarily formed : AD HOC
The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”.

53. ___ Bolognese : RAGU
The Ragu brand of pasta sauce is owned by Unilever. The name ” Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is off a little. In Italian the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the Unilever sauce, it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …

54. Sooner alternative : OKIE
An Okie is someone from Oklahoma.

The 1889 Indian Appropriations Act officially opened up the so called Unassigned Lands, land in Oklahoma on which no Native American tribes had settled. Once the Act was signed, those lands became available for settlement. People that settled the same lands illegally, prior the date specified, were termed “Sooners” as their situation was defined in the “sooner clause” of the Act.

56. Spanish title : DONA
In Spain, a title of respect for men is “Don”. The equivalent female title is “Dona”.

58. “Days of Heaven” co-star, 1978 : GERE
Richard Gere has played such great roles on the screen, and I find him to be a very interesting character off the screen. Gere has been studying Buddhism since 1978 and is a very visible supporter of the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet.

“Days of Heaven” is a 1978 romantic drama film starring Richard Gere and Brooke Adams as two poor farm workers who try to trick a wealthy farmer (played by Sam Shepherd) out of his fortune.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Help for someone just browsing? : FIREFOX
8. 1-Across source : MOZILLA
15. Raving : ON A RANT
16. Buds : CRONIES
17. Stimulant : EXCITER
18. “The Consul” composer : MENOTTI
19. What a screen may block : SKEETER
21. Submitted : SENT IN
22. Noggins : DOMES
24. Mouth filler : SILT
25. Zulu’s counterpart : ALFA
29. “___ Arizona Skies” (early John Wayne film) : ‘NEATH
31. Giveaway : TELL
33. Stimulate : GOOSE
35. Shadows : GLOOM
37. Creature whose genus name and English name are the same : BOA
38. Dare to put in one’s two cents : HAZARD AN OPINION
41. Tool shed tool : ADZ
42. Flip : GO MAD
43. Clipped : TERSE
44. Number of strings on a Spanish guitar : SEIS
46. Tourney round : SEMIS
48. Some homages : ODES
49. Bush whackers? : DEMS
51. Actress Berger : SENTA
53. Not strictly adhering to tempo : RUBATO
55. Part of an ice pack? : SLED DOG
59. Simian : APE-LIKE
61. Series begun in 2007 : IPHONES
63. Bet everything : GO ALL IN
64. Midday appointments : NOONERS
65. Like some director’s cuts : UNRATED
66. Wraps : ENCASES

Down
1. Goliath, e.g. : FOE
2. “Suicide Blonde” band : INXS
3. Torment : RACK
4. ___ Railroad, 1832-1960 : ERIE
5. Like a lot? : FATED
6. Shipping weight : ONE TON
7. They might include BMX and wakeboarding, informally : XTREME GAMES
8. Year “Tosca” premiered : MCM
9. Sources of iron and manganese : ORES
10. Defensive strategies : ZONES
11. Part of a plot : IN ON IT
12. Source of a secret, in a phrase : LITTLE BIRD
13. Triple-platinum Gloria Estefan album with “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” : LET IT LOOSE
14. Alphabet book phrase : AS IN
20. Spies often don’t use them : REAL NAMES
23. Queued : STOOD IN LINE
25. Eastern generals : AGHAS
26. Stockpiled : LOADED UP ON
27. Orange children’s character : FOZZIE BEAR
28. Actor Butterfield of “Hugo” : ASA
30. Fielder’s challenge : HOP
32. Pool parts : LANES
34. Bit of work : ERG
36. Alma mater for McDonnell and Douglas of McDonnell Douglas : MIT
39. Bashes : DOS
40. Prefix with realism : NEO-
45. Part of an “@” symbol : SMALL A
47. Board : STEP ON
50. Supporting post : STILT
52. Temporarily formed : AD HOC
53. ___ Bolognese : RAGU
54. Sooner alternative : OKIE
56. Spanish title : DONA
57. “Your” alternative : ONE’S
58. “Days of Heaven” co-star, 1978 : GERE
60. Wideout, in football : END
62. Stovetop sound : SSS

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