1128-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Nov 13, Thursday

Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Loren Muse Smith & Jeff Chen
THEME: Snakes on a Plane … reminding us of the movie “Snakes on a Plane”, today’s themed answers are snakes/asps at the end of across-answers placed in the grid on “planes”, also at the end of across-answers:

14A. Hook’s place : CLASP
15A. Joe Louis, to fans : THE BROWN BOMBER (asp on a bomber)

27A. Grate : RASP
34A. One interested in current affairs? : HANG GLIDER (asp on a glider)

40A. Isn’t content with the status quo, say : ASPIRES
42A. Gang Green member : NEW YORK JET (asp on a jet)

59A. Door fixture : HASP
61A. Cult classic whose title is depicted four times in this puzzle : SNAKES ON A PLANE (asp on a plane)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 19m 39s (although in my defence, I had just been to a Las Vegas show!)
ANSWERS I MISSED: 4 … BIKO (Bika), ORIBI (aribi), NEW YORK JET (New York Met), AJA (Ama)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

1. Not for the Parti Québécois? : PAS
“Pas” is French for “not”.

The “Parti Québécois” is a political party active in the Canadian province of Quebec who stated goal is the national sovereignty of Quebec.

4. Comcast and CenturyLink, in brief : ISPS
An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is just what the name indicates, a company that provides its customers with access to the Internet. One way that ISPs differentiate themselves from each other is in the way in which end users are connected to the ISP’s network. So, there are cable ISPs, DSL ISPs, dial-up ISPs and satellite ISPs. I’d go with cable if I were you, if it’s available in your area …

Comcast is the largest cable company in the United States. Comcast was founded in 1963 as American Cable systems.

CenturyLink is now the third-largest telecom company in the US, after AT&T and Verizon.

8. Terminal info : ETAS
Expected time of arrival (ETA)

13. Org. that fought Napster : RIAA
The Recording Industry of America (RIAA) represents music distributors. It is the RIAA that certifies records that have gone gold and platinum i.e. reached fixed sales thresholds. It’s also the RIAA that goes after individuals who share music illegally online.

In its first and most famous incarnation, Napster was a peer-to-peer file sharing service. Basically, the service allowed people to easily share files over the Internet. What happened was that users opened up mainly their music files for sharing, and as a result there was massive copyright infringement taking place. The music industry sued Napster, and the company went bankrupt in 2002.

15. Joe Louis, to fans : THE BROWN BOMBER
Joe Louis was World Heavyweight Boxing Champion from 1937 to 1949, during which time he defended his title 26 times, a record that stands to this day. Many regard Joe Louis as the first African American to become a national hero in the US. Louis was also a passionate golfer and became the first African American to play a PGA Tour event, teeing off in the San Diego Open in 1952
18. Kind of bean : SOYA
What are known as soybeans here in the US are called “soya beans” in most other English-speaking countries. So, I drink soy milk here in America, but when I am over in Ireland I drink “soya milk”.

19. Out, in a way : UNDER
To be on the outs is to be under.

21. Flower feature : CALYX
The calyx is the collective name for the sepals of a flower, the outermost whorl that forms the flower (the pretty part!).

23. Anti-apartheid activist Steve : BIKO
Steve Biko was an anti-apartheid activist in the sixties and seventies in South Africa. Biko died in police custody and came to be viewed as a martyr to the anti-apartheid cause. The 1987 movie “Cry Freedom” directed by Richard Attenborough tells Biko’s story, with Denzel Washington playing the lead.

31. Some radios : AMS
The radio spectrum is divided into bands based on frequency. “High band” is composed of relatively high frequency values, and “low band” is composed of frequencies that are relatively low. FM radio falls into the band called Very High Frequency, or VHF. Television signals use frequencies even higher than VHF, frequencies in the Ultra High Frequency band (UHF). AM radio uses lower frequencies that fall into the relatively low bands of Low, Medium and High Frequency (LF, MF, and HF).

36. Host of the 1972 Winter Olympics : SAPPORO
Sapporo is the fourth largest city in Japan, and lies on the island of Hokkaido. The city and surrounding area was home to the first Olympic Games to be held in Asia, the Winter Games of 1972. For the beer drinkers out there, Sapporo is also home to Sapporo Brewery, with the Sapporo beer being one of the more internationally recognizable brand names.

40. Isn’t content with the status quo, say : ASPIRES
“Status quo” translates from Latin as “state in which”, and in English is used to mean the existing condition or state of affairs.

42. Gang Green member : NEW YORK JET
“Gang Green” is a nickname for the New York Jets football team.

Just like the New York Giants, the New York Jets are based in New Jersey, headquartered in Florham Park. The Jets and the Giants have a unique arrangement in the NFL in that the two teams share Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets were an AFL charter team, formed in 1959 as the Titans of New York. The Titans changed their name to the Jets in 1963.

45. Some TV drama settings, for short : ERS
Emergency rooms (ERs)

47. Cottonwoods : ALAMOS
“Alamo” is Spanish for “cottonwood”.

The town of Los Alamos, New Mexico takes its name from the Spanish for “the poplars” or “the cottonwoods”. Famously, it is home to Los Alamos National Laboratory which was founded during WWII to work on the Manhattan Project, the development of the first atomic bomb. The town of Los Alamos didn’t exist as such, until it was planned and constructed to support the employees working on development of the bomb.

49. Tennis’s Mandlikova : HANA
Hana Mandlikova is a former professional tennis star from Czechoslovakia. Mandlikova won four Grand Slam titles and then retired in 1990, at the ripe old age of 28.

51. Classic toothpaste name : IPANA
Ipana toothpaste was introduced in 1915 and was at the height of its popularity in the forties and fifties. Sales declined in the sixties and the product was withdrawn from the US market in the seventies. Bucky the Beaver was the “spokesman” for Ipana. Bucky the Beaver’s slogan was “Brusha… Brusha… Brusha. Get the New Ipana – it’s dandy for your teeth!”

59. Door fixture : HASP
The “hasp” of a lock might refer to more than one thing. The u-shape loop protruding from a padlock is often called a “lock hasp”, for example.

61. Cult classic whose title is depicted four times in this puzzle : SNAKES ON A PLANE
“Snakes on a Plane” is one of those movies that delivers just what is advertised on the wrapper, namely “snakes on a plane”. Samuel L. Jackson stars in a film about hundreds of snakes released on a plane in a plot to kill a witness who is planning to testify at a trial.

64. Beaker material : PYREX
Pyrex glassware is brand name owned by Corning. As well as being used in bakeware and laboratory glassware, Pyrex is often the material of choice for optics in large telescopes used in astronomy.

65. Mrs. James Joyce : NORA
Nora Barnacle (what a name!) was the wife of Irish author James Joyce. Nora had her first romantic liaison with Joyce on 10 June 1904, a date that Joyce chose as the setting for his “one-day” novel “Ulysses”. June 10th is celebrated in Ireland, and indeed around the world, as Bloomsday.

66. Toon’s place : CEL
In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

67. Positive principle : YANG
The yin and the yang can be explained using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

68. Mother of Nike, in Greek myth : STYX
In Greek mythology, Styx was the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, and the mother of Zelus, Nike, Kratos and Bia (aka Eos).

2. For a specific purpose : AD HOC
The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”.

4. Like some verbs: Abbr. : IRR
Irregular (irr.)

5. Little Bighorn conflict : SIOUX WAR
The Battle of Little Bighorn was the famous engagement between the Lokata, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho Native American peoples against the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the US Army led by General George Custer. Custer was soundly defeated and he and all of his men were killed in the engagement. I had the privilege of visiting the battle site a few years ago, and it was a very memorable experience.

6. Future queen, maybe : PAWN
In the game of chess, the pawns are the weakest pieces on the board. A pawn that can make it to the opposite of the board can be “promoted” to a piece of choice, usually a queen. Using promotion of pawns, it is possible for a player to have two or more queens on the board at one time. However, standard chess sets come with only one queen per side, so a captured rook is often used as the second queen by placing it on the board upside down.

14. Blarney Castle’s county : CORK
Blarney is a town in County Cork in the south of Ireland. Blarney is home to Blarney Castle, and inside the castle is the legendary Blarney Stone. “Kissing the Blarney Stone” is a ritual engaged in by oh so many tourists (indeed, I’ve done it myself!), but it’s not a simple process. The stone is embedded in the wall of the castle, and in order to kiss it you have to sit on the edge of the parapet and lean way backwards so that your head is some two feet below your body. There is a staff member there to help you and make sure you don’t fall. The Blarney Stone has been labelled as the world’s most unhygienic tourist attraction! But once you’ve kissed it, supposedly you are endowed with the “gift of the gab”, the ability to talk eloquently and perhaps deceptively without offending. Sure, I wouldn’t know …

16. Cinderella’s soiree : BALL
The folk tale about “Cinderella” was first published by French author Charles Perrault in 1697. The storyline of the tale may date back as far as the days of Ancient Greece. A common alternative title to the story is “The Little Glass Slipper”.

22. Chant from a 32-Down, maybe : YO HO HO!
(32D. See 22-Down : MATEY)
The fictional sea shanty called “Dead Man’s Chest” was introduced in Robert Louis Stevenson’s great novel, “Treasure Island”. In the book, Stevenson only describes the chorus, which goes:

Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest–
…Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest–
…Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

24. Small antelope : ORIBI
Oribi are small antelope that inhabit the grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa.

26. 6 letters : MNO
The letters MNO are found on the 6-key of a telephone keypad.

40. Horror film director Alexandre ___ : AJA
Alexandre Aja is a film director from France who is noted for directing horror films, including “High Tension”, “The Hills Have Eyes” and “Piranha 3D”. “Aja” is a pseudonym, formed from the the initial of his real name Alexandre Jouan-Arcady. I don’t do horror …

41. School at which students are collared? : SEMINARY
Originally, a “seminary” was where plants were raised from seeds, as “semen” is the Latin for “seed”. The first schools labelled as seminaries were established in the late 1500s. Those first schools were more likely to be academies for young ladies back then, rather than for trainee priests.

43. Some queens : RANIS
A ranee (also spelled rani) is the female equivalent of a raja in India.

44. “Ah-OO-gah!” horns : KLAXONS
A klaxon is a loud horn, and “klaxon” is one of those words that has taken on the name of a particular brand. The original klaxon was a car horn manufactured and sold by the Klaxon Company.

48. Canadian-born comedian once featured on the cover of Time : SAHL
Mort Sahl is a Canadian-born actor and comedian who moved to the US with his family when he was a child. Sahl became friends with John F. Kennedy. When Kennedy became president, Sahl wrote a lot of jokes for the President’s speeches, although he also told a lot of Kennedy jokes in his acts. After the President was assassinated in 1963, Sahl was intensely interested in finding out who was behind the crime and even got himself deputized as a member of one of the investigating teams. He was very outspoken against the results of the Warren Commission report on the assassination, and soon found himself out of favor with the public. It took a few years for him to make his comeback, but come back he did.

50. Kind of card : AMEX
Amex is short for American Express. In dollar terms, there are more transactions conducted in the US using the Amex card than any other card.

52. Antidiscrimination grp. : NAACP
The full name of the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is remarkable in that it actually still uses the old offensive term “colored people”. The NAACP was founded in 1909, by a group that included suffragette and journalist Mary White Ovington, wealthy socialist William English Walling, and civil rights activist Henry Moscowitz. Another member of the founding group was W. E. B. Du Bois, the first African American to earn a doctorate at Harvard University.

53. Ed of “Up” : ASNER
Ed Asner is most famous for playing the irascible but lovable Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and on the spin-off drama “Lou Grant”. Off-screen, Asner is noted for his political activism. He served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and was very involved in the 1980 SAG strike. When “Lou Grant” was cancelled in 1982, despite decent ratings, there was a lot of talk that the cancellation was a move by the network against Asner personally. In fact one of Asner’s activist colleagues, Howard Hesseman (who played Johnny Fever), found that his show “WKRP in Cincinnati” was also cancelled … on the very same day …

“Up” is the tenth movie released by Pixar studios, featuring wonderful animation as we have come to expect from Pixar. The film earned itself two Academy Awards. The main voice actor is Ed Asner, whose animated persona as Carl Fredricksen was created to resemble Spencer Tracy in his last film, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”.

55. “A Day Without Rain” singer : ENYA
Enya’s real name is Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career. She sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!

58. Playing longer than expected, for short : IN OT
In overtime (in OT)

60. One-named sports star who was once the highest-paid athlete in the world : PELE
Pelé is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name Pelé for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been part of three World Cup winning squads, and is a national treasure in his native Brazil.

63. Bellum’s opposite : PAX
In Latin, the opposite to war (bellum) is peace (pax).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. One of the Obama girls : MALIA
6. Like : A LA
9. Kindergarten stuff : ABCS
13. Huskies’ sch. : UCONN
14. Heavy work : TOME
16. Word before income or exhaust : DUAL
17. Source of easy money : GRAVY TRAIN
19. Cube … or certain cubes : DICE
20. Certain : SOME
21. Salon supplies : RINSES
23. “Evita” character : CHE
24. One of a pair in a court : SQUASH RACKET
27. Prickly one : CACTUS
30. Plains Indians : OTOS
31. Suffix meaning “approximately” : -ISH
32. Author Calvino : ITALO
36. Hardly Mr. Cool : NERD
39. Setting for the starts of 17-, 24-, 51- and 64-Across : THANKSGIVING DAY
43. Brontë title heroine : EYRE
44. Cartoon genre : ANIME
45. Not miss a thing on : ACE
46. Lisa with the 1997 hit “I Do” : LOEB
49. Short-sheeting and such : PRANKS
51. Locale for a big mirror : DRESSING ROOM
56. Director Anderson : WES
57. Officers above sarges : LOOIES
58. Noodles in Japanese cookery : SOBA
62. Suffix with Rock : -ETTE
64. Old ragtime dance : TURKEY TROT
66. God with a quiver : EROS
67. Stake on a table : ANTE
68. Many an aria singer, informally : MEZZO
69. Fillet : BONE
70. Short : SHY
71. “That threw me for ___” : A LOOP

1. They may be cast-iron : POTS
2. For a specific purpose : AD HOC
3. “I’m outta here!” : SEE YA!
4. Like some verbs: Abbr. : IRR
5. Little Bighorn conflict : SIOUX WAR
6. Future queen, maybe : PAWN
7. Balloon ballast : SANDBAG
8. Street shader : ELM
9. Keep ___ on : TABS
10. Lost : ASEA
11. Nimble : SPRY
14. Blarney Castle’s county : CORK
16. Cinderella’s soiree : BALL
17. Human ___ : BEING
22. Chant from a 32-Down, maybe : YO HO HO!
24. Small antelope : ORIBI
26. 6 letters : MNO
28. Hold dear : ADORE
29. Cut : SEVER
30. Voice mail imperative : PRESS
31. Orgs. : ASSNS
32. See 22-Down : MATEY
33. Offspring : SPAWN
35. Object of scrutiny at airport security : LAPTOP
37. Outwit, in a way, with “out” : PSYCH
40. Horror film director Alexandre ___ : AJA
41. School at which students are collared? : SEMINARY
43. Some queens : RANIS
44. “Ah-OO-gah!” horns : KLAXONS
48. Canadian-born comedian once featured on the cover of Time : SAHL
50. Kind of card : AMEX
52. Antidiscrimination grp. : NAACP
53. Ed of “Up” : ASNER
54. Spot : ESPY
55. “A Day Without Rain” singer : ENYA
56. Tip off : WARN
58. Playing longer than expected, for short : IN OT
60. One-named sports star who was once the highest-paid athlete in the world : PELE
62. Party congregation site, maybe : KEG
63. Bellum’s opposite : PAX

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