1008-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Oct 14, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mary Lou Guizzo & Jeff Chen
THEME: Man Down! … today’s themed answers each contain the letter sequence MAN, with the four occurrences arranged diagonally across the grid from top-left to bottom-right. We are looking at THE DESCENT OF MAN from the top-left to the bottom-right:

3D. Expansionist doctrine MANIFEST DESTINY
4D. Election loser’s cry I DEMAND A RECOUNT!
7D. Text on tablets TEN COMMANDMENTS
9D. Big 1975 boxing showdown THRILLA IN MANILA

11D. Darwin work … with a hint to three consecutive letters in 3-, 4-, 7-, 9- and 11-Down THE DESCENT OF MAN

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 42s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

4. “Rhyme Pays” rapper ICE-T
Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles. Maybe he should have stuck to his real name, Tracy Marrow? Then again, maybe not … Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about break-dancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

13. TBS competitor USA
The USA Network cable television channel has been around since 1971. Back in 1971 it was called the Madison Square Garden Network, becoming USA in 1979.

The tbs cable television station started out in 1967 as local broadcast TV station in Atlanta. The station’s first call letters were WJRJ-TV, and this was changed to WTCG in 1970 when it was acquired by Ted Turner (the TCG stood for Turner Communications Group). In 1976, Turner started distributing WTCG via satellite making its programming available in other parts of the country. WTCG was only the second channel to transmit via satellite, following HBO. The difference was that WTCG was broadcast without requiring a premium subscription. The station’s call sign was changed again in 1979, to WTBS, and in 1981 adopted the moniker “Superstation WTBS”.

18. The Auld Sod ERIN
“Auld Sod” (meaning simply “old sod”) is a familiar term for Ireland, especially when referring to the country as one’s homeland from abroad. ‘Tis true …

22. Many a PX shopper NCO
An NCO is a non-commissioned officer in the armed forces. Usually such an officer is one who has earned his or her rank by promotion through the enlisted ranks. A good example would be a sergeant.

A PX is a Post Exchange, a retail store operating on a US Army Base. The equivalent store on an Air Force Base is called a Base Exchange (BX). At a Navy installation it’s a Navy Exchange (NEX), at a Marine Corps installation it’s a Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) and at a Coast Guard Installation it’s a CGX.

24. The Dow, for one INDEX
Dow Jones & Company was founded as a publishing house in 1882 by three newspaper reporters, Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser. Today, the company’s most famous publication has to be “The Wall Street Journal”. In 1884, Charles Dow started reporting the average dollar value of the stock of eleven companies, an index which spawned a whole host of metrics that carry the Dow Jones name to this day, including the renowned Dow Jones Industrials.

25. “Amerika” novelist KAFKA
“Amerika” is an incomplete novel by Franz Kafka that was written between 1911 and 1914, although it was first published posthumously, in 1927. Even though it was incomplete, it was Kafka’s first novel. The storyline includes many experiences that the author’s relatives had after emigrating to the US.

27. Jeans brand LEE
The Lee company famous for making jeans was formed in 1889, by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

28. Shoreline raptor ERNE
The ern (also erne) is also called the white-tailed eagle or sea-eagle.

“Raptor” is a generic term for a bird of prey, one that has talons to grip its victims.

30. “The Rachael Ray Show” creation MEAL
Rachael Ray is a celebrity chef and host of several shows on the Food Network television channel. Ray comes from a family that owned and managed a number of restaurants in the northeast of the country. One of Ray’s TV shows is “$40 a Day”, in which she demonstrates how to visit various cities in North America and Europe and eat three meals and a snack on a daily budget of just $40.

32. ___ Lanka SRI
The name Sri Lanka translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

35. Father-and-son rulers of Syria ASSADS
Dr. Bashar al-Assad is the current President of the Syrian Arab Republic and the son of the former President Hafez al-Assad whom he replaced in 2001. President Assad is a medical doctor, speaks fluent English and conversational French. Assad was studying ophthalmology in London when he met his wife, who is an Englishwoman.

37. Homer Simpson’s mother MONA
Mona Simpson is a character on “The Simpsons” that has been voiced by a number of actresses over the years, including the wonderful Glenn Close.

40. “Foolish” singer, 2002 ASHANTI
Ashanti Douglas is an American R&B singer who uses just “Ashanti” as her stage name.

47. Pastrami go-with RYE
In the US, pastrami was originally called “pastrama”, a dish brought to America by Jewish immigrants from Romania in the second half of the the nineteenth century. The original name may have evolved from the Turkish word “pastirma” meaning “pressed”. “Pastrama” likely morphed into “pastrami” influenced by the name of the Italian sausage called salami.

49. Porn SMUT
The word “pornography” comes from the Greek “pornographos” meaning “writing of prostitutes”.

50. Onetime tribe of the Upper Midwest SAC
The Sacs are a group of Native Americans, who probably originated in the northeast along the St. Lawrence River. Over time, they migrated south and west, and after a turbulent journey ended up on reservations in Oklahoma. The Meskwaki tribe is also known as the Fox, and had similar origins as the Sacs, and similar migrations. The two tribes eventually merged into the Sac and Fox Nation.

54. Positrons’ places ATOMS
Beta particles (the constituents of beta rays) are the products of decay of a radioactive element. Beta particles are high-energy electrons or positrons emitted from the nucleus of the decaying element.

57. All, in Alba TUTTO
Alba is a town in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. It is famous as a producer of peaches, wine and white truffles.

60. Commerce pact signed by Clinton NAFTA
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is between Canada, Mexico and the United States. When NAFTA came into force in 1994 it set up the largest free trade zone in the world.

63. Dr Pepper Snapple Group brand NEHI
“Nehi Corporation” was the nickname for the Chero-Cola/Union Bottle Works that introduced the Nehi drink in 1924. Years later the company developed a new brand, Royal Crown Cola (also known as RC Cola). By 1955, RC Cola was the company’s flagship product, so the “Nehi Corporation” became the “Royal Crown Company”. In 1954, RC Cola became the first company to sell soft drinks in cans.

66. Italian sandwich PANINI
In Italy, a sandwich made from sliced bread is called a “tramezzino”, while sandwiches made from non-sliced breads are called “panini” (singular “panino”). We’ve imported the term “panini” into English to mean a pressed and toasted sandwich.

68. Gator’s tail? -ADE
Gatorade was developed at the University of Florida by a team of researchers at the request of the school’s football team. And so, Gatorade is named after the Gators football team.

69. Marriott competitor HYATT
The Hyatt hotel chain takes its name from the first hotel in the group, that was purchased in 1957 i.e. Hyatt House at Los Angeles International Airport. Among other things, Hyatt is famous for designing the world’s first atrium hotel, the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.

70. Humane org. SPCA
Unlike in most developed countries, there is no “umbrella” organization in the US with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

71. “N.Y. State of Mind” rapper NAS
Rapper Nas used to go by another stage name, Nasty Nas, and before that by his real name, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones. Nas released his first album “Illmatic” in 1994, and inventively titled his fifth studio album “Stillmatic”, released in 2001. Not my cup of tea, I would say …

Down
1. Inventor of a six-color puzzle RUBIK
What was originally called the “Magic Cube” became better known as Rubik’s Cube, named for its inventor Ernő Rubik. Rubik’s Cube is the world’s biggest selling puzzle game, with over 350 million sold in just over 30 years.

2. Carne ___ (Mexican dish) ASADA
“Carne Asada” translates from Spanish as “roasted meat”.

3. Expansionist doctrine MANIFEST DESTINY
Manifest Destiny was the belief expressed in the 19th century that the United States was “destined” to expand right across North America, from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

6. Slate or Salon EZINE
“Slate” is an online magazine founded in 1996. “Slate” was originally owned by Microsoft and was part of the MSN online offering. The magazine has been available for free since 1999 (it is ad-supported) and has been owned by the Washington Post Company since 2004.

Salon.com is a popular online magazine, one of the first “ezines” ever published. “Salon” focuses on American politics and current affairs, but also has articles about books, music and films. The magazine was launched in 1995, and managed to survive many loss-making years. Most of “Salon’s” content is free, but it does make money by offering a premium service with extra content, and by selling ad space.

7. Text on tablets TEN COMMANDMENTS
According to the Book of Exodus, the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed were placed in a chest called the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was built according to instructions given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.

8. Elbow-bender SOT
Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning a fool. The term “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

9. Big 1975 boxing showdown THRILLA IN MANILA
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier had three memorable fights. The first was billed as the “Fight of the Century” and took place in 1971 in Madison Square Garden. It was a fight between two great boxers, both of whom were undefeated up till that point. Frazier won in a unanimous decision after fifteen rounds. A couple of years later, in 1973, Frazier lost his title to George Foreman. Ali and Frazier had a non-title rematch in 1974, with Ali coming out ahead this time, also in a unanimous decision. Later that year, Ali grabbed back the World Heavyweight Title in “The Rumble in the Jungle”, the famous “rope-a-dope” fight against George Foreman. That set the stage for the third and final fight between Ali and Frazier, “The Thrilla in Manila”. Ali won the early rounds, but Frazier made a comeback in the middle of the fight. Ali took control at the end of the bout, so much so that Frazier wasn’t able to come out of his corner for the 15th and final round. He couldn’t come out of his corner because both of his eyes were swollen shut, giving Ali a victory due to a technical knockout (TKO).

11. Darwin work … with a hint to three consecutive letters in 3-, 4-, 7-, 9- and 11-Down THE DESCENT OF MAN
Englishman Charles Darwin studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland but neglected his studies largely due to his interest in nature and natural history. In the early 1830s, a friend put forward Darwin’s name as a candidate for the post of “collector” on the voyage of HMS Beagle. The Beagle was intending to spend two years at sea primarily charting the coast of South America. The voyage ended up taking five years, during which time Darwin sent back copious letters describing his findings. Back in Britain these letters were published as pamphlets by a friend and so when Darwin eventually returned home in 1836, he had already gained some celebrity in scientific circles. It was while on the Beagle that Darwin developed his initial ideas on the concept of natural selection. It wasn’t until over twenty years later that he formulated his theories into a scientific paper and in 1859 published his famous book “On the Origin of the Species”. This original publication never even mentioned the word “evolution” which was controversial even back then. It was in 1871 that Darwin addressed head-on the concept that man was an animal species, in his book “The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex”.

12. Fill beyond full SATE
“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

16. Poison sci. TOX
Toxicology (tox.)

21. Gumbo need OKRA
Gumbo is a type of stew or soup that originated in Louisiana. The primary ingredient can be meat or fish, but to be true gumbo it must include the “holy trinity” of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers and onion. Okra used to be a requirement but this is no longer the case. Okra gave the dish its name as the vernacular word for the African vegetable is “okingumbo”, from the Bantu language spoken by many of the slaves brought to America.

23. Result of a leadoff single ONE ON
In baseball, after a leadoff single there is one man on base.

29. Handy Scrabble tiles ESSES
The game of Scrabble has been produced in many international versions, and each of these editions has its own tile distribution to suit the local language. For example, in English we have two tiles worth ten points: one “Q” and one “Z”. If you play the game in French then there are five tiles worth ten points: one “K”, one “W”, one “X”, one “Y” and one “Z”.

33. Beatle George’s sitar teacher RAVI
The sitar has been around since the Middle Ages. The sitar is a stringed instrument that is played by plucking, and is used most often in Hindustani classical music. In the West we have been exposed to the instrument largely through the performances of Ravi Shankar and some music by George Harrison of the Beatles, a onetime student of Shankar.

35. Cracked a bit AJAR
Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

36. Maker of Aibo robotic pets SONY
AIBO is a line of robotic pets made by Sony. Most of these pets are robotic dogs, although you can buy a lion cub or even a space explorer.

46. Eke ___ living OUT A
To “eke out” means to “make something go further or last longer”. For example, you could eke out your income by cutting back on expenses. I always have a problem with the commonly cited definition of “eke out” as “barely get by”. Close but no cigar, I say …

51. Skylit rooms ATRIA
In modern architecture an atrium (plural “atria” or “atriums”) is a large open space usually in the center of a building and extending upwards to the roof. The original atrium was an open court in the center of an Ancient Roman house. One could access most of the enclosed rooms of the house from the atrium.

55. Crete’s highest peak MT IDA
There are two peaks called Mount Ida that are sacred according to Greek mythology. Mount Ida in Crete is the island’s highest point, and is where one can find the cave in which Zeus was reared. Mount Ida in Asia Minor (located in modern-day Turkey) is where Ganymede was swept up by Zeus in the form of an eagle that took him to Olympus where he served as cupbearer to the gods.

56. Big band section SAXES
The saxophone was invented by Belgian Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

57. Rx amt. TSP
Teaspoon (tsp.)

There seems to some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol “Rx” that’s used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions in days of old to invoke Jupiter’s blessing to help a patient recover.

58. One of its symbols is the sego lily UTAH
The Sego Lily is the state flower of Utah, and is a perennial plant found throughout the Western United States.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Try to sink, maybe RAM
4. “Rhyme Pays” rapper ICE-T
8. Fantasy league figures STATS
13. TBS competitor USA
14. Knock silly DAZE
15. “Ah, I didn’t know what you were referring to” OH THAT
17. Put on a blacklist BAN
18. The Auld Sod ERIN
19. Honest with TRUE TO
20. “Hot to trot” or “cold feet” IDIOM
22. Many a PX shopper NCO
24. The Dow, for one INDEX
25. “Amerika” novelist KAFKA
26. Many, many moons EON
27. Jeans brand LEE
28. Shoreline raptor ERNE
30. “The Rachael Ray Show” creation MEAL
32. ___ Lanka SRI
35. Father-and-son rulers of Syria ASSADS
37. Homer Simpson’s mother MONA
38. One with a checkered existence? CAB
39. Quickly write JOT
40. “Foolish” singer, 2002 ASHANTI
42. Time to revel EVE
43. First-goal link AND
44. Jockey’s control REIN
45. Privy to a practical joke, say IN ON IT
47. Pastrami go-with RYE
48. Cornerstone abbr. ESTD
49. Porn SMUT
50. Onetime tribe of the Upper Midwest SAC
52. Official with a whisk broom, for short UMP
54. Positrons’ places ATOMS
57. All, in Alba TUTTO
59. “___ your request …” PER
60. Commerce pact signed by Clinton NAFTA
61. Incite, as trouble STIR UP
63. Dr Pepper Snapple Group brand NEHI
65. Be sociable MIX
66. Italian sandwich PANINI
67. Slave away TOIL
68. Gator’s tail? -ADE
69. Marriott competitor HYATT
70. Humane org. SPCA
71. “N.Y. State of Mind” rapper NAS

Down
1. Inventor of a six-color puzzle RUBIK
2. Carne ___ (Mexican dish) ASADA
3. Expansionist doctrine MANIFEST DESTINY
4. Election loser’s cry I DEMAND A RECOUNT!
5. Vacation rental, maybe CAR
6. Slate or Salon EZINE
7. Text on tablets TEN COMMANDMENTS
8. Elbow-bender SOT
9. Big 1975 boxing showdown THRILLA IN MANILA
10. Carry ___ (sing on key) A TUNE
11. Darwin work … with a hint to three consecutive letters in 3-, 4-, 7-, 9- and 11-Down THE DESCENT OF MAN
12. Fill beyond full SATE
16. Poison sci. TOX
21. Gumbo need OKRA
23. Result of a leadoff single ONE ON
29. Handy Scrabble tiles ESSES
31. Nay sayers ANTIS
33. Beatle George’s sitar teacher RAVI
34. “Fat chance!” I BET!
35. Cracked a bit AJAR
36. Maker of Aibo robotic pets SONY
41. Ask, as for a loan HIT UP
46. Eke ___ living OUT A
51. Skylit rooms ATRIA
53. Before surgery, informally PRE-OP
55. Crete’s highest peak MT IDA
56. Big band section SAXES
57. Rx amt. TSP
58. One of its symbols is the sego lily UTAH
62. Indy service area PIT
64. Sound from an 8-Down HIC!

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3 thoughts on “1008-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Oct 14, Wednesday”

  1. The grid disappointed me. With four great long, down fills, a lot of the rest of the cross was generic fill. And hasn't the 1975 Ali fight been in recent crosswords as well, lately? Is there some sort of reunion coming up?

    18A: the endless ERIN vs Eire bunk. Some of the contemporary references such as Ashanti and Nas, also seemed kind of dated.

    But I'm nit picking at this point.

  2. Hi Bill,

    As a veteran, I would like to say good job on distinguihing between the different branches' "stores." (NEX, PX, BX, MCX.) I appreciate all the hard work and research you put into this blog every day.
    thank you 🙂

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