1018-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Oct 14, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Evan Birnholz
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 17m 21s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Some military settings? MESS KITS
“Mess” first came into English about 1300 and described the list of food needed for a meal, from the Old French word “mes” meaning a portion of food or a course at a meal. This usage in English evolved into “mess” meaning a jumbled mass of anything from the concept of “mixed food”. At the same time, the original usage in the sense of a food for a meal surfaced again in the military in the 1500s when a “mess” was a communal eating place.

9. Pants part CROTCH
A “crotch” is a location where a fork occurs, and especially applies to the part of the human body where the legs meet. Back in the 16th-century, a “crotch” was a “pitchfork”, which evolved into our modern usage.

15. Part of a bar code? AGE LIMIT
The drinking age in the US is defined by state, however, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 in effect sets the standard across the country at 21. If any state chooses to allow drinking at an age below 21, it loses revenue from the federal government.

16. “Annie ___,” old Scottish love song LAURIE
“Annie Laurie” is a Scottish song that uses the words from a poem by William Douglas. Douglas fell in love with Annie Laurie, but was not given permission to marry by the teenage girl’s father. As a result, the couple ended up marrying others later in life. The first verse of the song/poem is:

Maxwelton’s braes are bonnie,
Where early fa’s the dew,
‘Twas there that Annie Laurie
Gi’ed me her promise true.
Gi’ed me her promise true –
Which ne’er forgot will be,
And for bonnie Annie Laurie
I’d lay me down and dee.

17. Atlantis section NOSE CONE
The Space Shuttle Atlantis had its first launch in 1985. The shuttle takes its name from the RV Atlantis, a two-masted sailboat that operated from the thirties through the sixties with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the largest independent marine research organization in the country. The “odometer” reading on the Space Shuttle Atlantis after her 32nd flight, was about the same as 505 one-way flights from the Earth to the Moon!

20. Droids have them APPS
The Droid is a smartphone from Motorola that is noted for running Google’s Android operating system.

23. The Joker, e.g. PSYCHOPATH
The Joker is one of the most colorful of Batman’s nemeses, introduced into the comic books in 1940, appearing in the first ever edition of “Batman”. The Joker has been played on screen by some colorful characters. In the original television series he was portrayed by Cesar Romero, and on the big screen by Jack Nicholson. What great casting!

30. With 14-Down, literary yes-man URIAH
(14D. See 30-Across HEEP)
Uriah Heep is a sniveling insincere character in the novel “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens. The character is such a “yes man” that today, if we know someone who behaves the same way, then we might call that person a “Uriah Heep”.

35. Strong ale, in British lingo STINGO
“Stingo” is a slang term for strong ale that is sometimes used in Britain, especially in Yorkshire in the north of England.

38. Classic British cars that pioneered in rear engines COOPERS
The original mini was a fabulous car, one that I drove all over Ireland in my youth. It had a unique front-wheel-drive layout that took up very little space, allowing for a lot of room (relatively speaking) for passengers and baggage. One space-saving trick was to mount the engine transversely, so it sits rotated 90 degrees from the norm. That engine had a capacity of only 848cc. In 1961, a Mini Cooper model was introduced, a sporty version of the Mini. The Mini Cooper was a phenomenal hit, especially after repeated wins in the Monte Carlo Rally. The Mini marque has been owned by BMW since 1994.

40. Integral course of study, briefly? CALC
Remember doing calculus at school, and all those derivatives and integrals? Well, you probably also remember that an integral calculates the area under a curve (for example).

42. Bakery purchase TORTE
A torte is a type of cake made primarily with eggs, sugar and ground nuts (but no flour).

43. Competition where the last one standing wins ROLEO
Roleo is the name given to a log-rolling competition traditionally engaged in by lumberjacks

45. Scorpio hunter of film DIRTY HARRY
“Dirty” Harry Callahan was the protagonist in a series of five movies starring Clint Eastwood:

– “Dirty Harry” (1971)
– “Magnum Force” (1973)
– “The Enforcer” (1976)
– “Sudden Impact” (1983)
– “The Dead Pool” (1988)

Scorpio was the serial killer that Detective Harry Callahan went up against in the 1971 movie “Dirty Harry”. The Scorpio character was loosely based on the real-life Zodiac killer who terrified Northern California residents in the late sixties.

48. Noted avoider of the color red CRIP
The Crips are a street gang with origins in Los Angeles going back to 1969. It is believed that the Crips have up to 35,000 members today across the country, and there is even a presence in the US military both here and abroad. The main rivals of the Crips are the Bloods.

51. Court star Nadal, informally RAFA
Rafael “Rafa” Nadal is a Spanish tennis player, noted for his expertise on clay courts, earning him the nickname “The King of Clay”.

59. Parts of the Navy’s full dress blues ASCOTS
An Ascot tie is that horrible-looking (I think!) wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

60. Actor with Adam Sandler in “Funny People” ERIC BANA
Eric Bana is an Australian actor who enjoyed a successful career in his home country before breaking into Hollywood playing an American Delta Force sergeant in “Black Hawk Down”. A couple of years later he played the lead in Ang Lee’s 2003 movie “The Hulk”, the role of Dr Bruce Banner. More recently he played the Romulan villain Nero, in the 2009 “Star Trek” movie.

Adam Sandler’s big break was with “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). He then went on to make several successful movies and has his own movie and television production company. Personally, I am not a fan of Adam Sandler, nor his movies …

“Funny People” is a 2009 comedy-drama movie, starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogan.

Down
2. Big things on Capitol Hill EGOS
The United States Capitol is home to the US Congress, and sits on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. It was Pierre Charles L’Enfant who laid out the nation’s new capital city. L’Enfant’s plans called for a “Congress House” as home for the legislative branch of the government. It was Thomas Jefferson who insisted that the name be changed to “Capitol”.

3. Former Zairian leader Mobutu ___ Seko SESE
Mobutu Sese Seko was the longtime President of Zaire (later to be called the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Mobutu was known to be a very corrupt dictator and it is believed that he embezzled over $5 billion from his country. On a lighter note, Mobutu was the money man behind the famous 1974 boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman known as “The Rumble in the Jungle”. Mobutu was anxious to expand the image of Zaire so he used his nation’s funds to entice the fighters to have a go at each other in his homeland.

4. “A hint of lovely oblivion,” per D. H. Lawrence SLEEP
D. H. Lawrence was very much a reactionary novelist, in the sense that his work tended to decry the social impact of the industrial revolution. His novels were also criticized for their erotic content, so much so that Lawrence was publicly labelled as a pornographer by the end of his days. His most famous novels are “Sons and Lovers”, “The Rainbow”, “Women in Love” and “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”.

5. Modern kind of campaign KICKSTARTER
Kickstarter.com is an increasingly popular “crowdfunding” website. Kickstarter is a contemporary version of the traditional model in which artists sought out patrons from among their audiences to fund their work. The website brings together individuals willing to fund projects, usually in exchange for some reward from the artist.

6. Letters with a view IMO
In my opinion (IMO)

7. Brand once plugged by John Madden TINACTIN
Tolnaftate is an antifungal agent, sold under the Merck brand name “Tinactin”, as well as others. Tolnaftate can be purchased over the counter, and is found to be effective against jock itch, athlete’s foot and ringworm.

Retired sportscaster John Madden is a former NFL footballer and Super Bowl-winning coach. Famously, Madden has a fear of flying and so he travels around the country on “the Madden Cruiser”, a customized coach that he started using in 1987. Madden actually lives about a mile from me and we used to see the Madden Cruiser filling up with provisions at our grocery store all the time. Even though he is afraid to fly, John’s wife Virginia actually has her private pilot’s license.

8. First Christian martyr STEPHEN
Saint Stephen was a Christian church deacon in Jerusalem who was stoned to death after having been found guilty of blasphemy. He is widely recognized as the first martyr in the Christian tradition, and a holiday is observed in his name on the day after Christmas Day.

10. “Batman” villain ___ al Ghul RA’S
Ra’s al Ghul is a supervillain in the DC Comics universe. He is one of Batman’s major adversaries. Ra’s al Ghul is played by Liam Neeson in the 2005 movie “Batman Begins”.

12. Subject of “The Word” on the first episode of “The Colbert Report” TRUTHINESS
Stephen Colbert is a political satirist who hosts his own show on Comedy Central, “The Colbert Report”. Colbert’s first love was theater, and so he studied to become an actor. He then moved into comedy, and ended up on the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”. He left “The Daily Show” in 2005 to set up his own spin-off, “The Colbert Report”. In his own inimitable way, Colbert likes to use a “French” pronunciation for the name of his show, so “The Colbert Report” comes out as “The Col-bear Rep-oar”. Colbert will be taking over the “Late Show” when David Letterman retires.

21. Literary figure whose name is a letter short of something he wrote POE
Edgar Allan Poe wrote many a poe-m …

Edgar Allan Poe lived a life of many firsts. Poe 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. Poe died a few days later in hospital at 39 years of age.

24. Native Arizonans YUMAS
The Quechan Native American people were also called the Yuma.

26. “Stop” at 44-Across AVAST
“Avast” is a nautical term used to tell someone to stop or desist from what they are doing. The word comes from the Dutch “hou vast” meaning “hold fast”.

27. “Consider it done” WILCO
In the world of radio telephony, “wilco” is short for “I understand and will comply”.

31. Say “amen,” say AGREE
The word “amen” is translated as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is likely to be also influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

32. Gomer’s biblical husband HOSEA
Hosea is one of the Twelve Prophets of the Hebrew Bible, or in terms of the Christian Old Testament, one of the Minor Prophets. Hosea was commanded by God to marry Gomer, a prostitute.

38. Dish whose name comes from the Latin for “ink pot” CALAMARI
“Calamaro” is the Italian word for “squid” (plural “calamari”). The Italian term derives from the Latin “calamus” meaning “writing pen”, which is probably a reference to the squid’s use of ink as a defensive measure.

43. Kvass component RYE
Kvass is an alcoholic beverage made from rye bread, typically with a low-alcohol content (relative to beer, say). It is popular in Eastern and Central European countries.

46. Statistical method for comparing the means of two groups T-TEST
A “t-test” in the world of statistics is one that makes use of a “Student’s t distribution”. The t-statistic was introduced by a chemist working in the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, back in 1908. “Student” was the chemist’s pen name.

47. Start of a cartoon cry YABBA-
“Yabba-dabba-doo!” is one of Fred Flintstone’s catchphrases.

I once had the privilege of spending an afternoon in the room (Bill Hanna’s den) where Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera came up with the idea of “The Flintstones” …

48. Waste of a vote? CHAD
We are all familiar with “hanging chads” after the famous Florida election recounts of 2000. A chad is any piece of paper punched out from a larger sheet. So, those round bits of paper we’ve all dropped over the floor when emptying a hole punch, they’re chads.

52. Order FIAT
A “fiat” is an arbitrary rule that is imposed, and is the Latin for “let it be done”.

53. Egg chair designer Jacobsen ARNE
Arne Jacobsen was an architect and designer from Denmark. One of Jacobsen’s claims to fame was his designs for functional chairs. He came up with modern-day classic designs such as the egg, ant, drop and swan chairs.

55. Xerox option: Abbr. LTR
Like so many things it seems, our paper sizes here in North America don’t conform with the standards in the rest of the world. ISO standard sizes used elsewhere have some logic behind them in that the ratio of width to length is usually one to the square root of two. This mathematical relationship means that when you cut a piece of paper in two each half preserves the aspect ratio of the original, which can be useful in making reduced or enlarged copies of documents. Our standard size of “letter” (8.5 x 11 inches) was determined in 1980 by the Reagan administration to be the official paper size for the US government. Prior to this, the “legal” size (8.5 x 14 inches) had been the standard, since 1921.

57. Wrestler Flair RIC
The wrestler Ric Flair’s real name is Richard Fliehr. Perhaps following the lead of his compatriot Jesse Ventura, Flair explored the possibility of running for governor of the state of North Carolina. Dearie, dearie me …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Some military settings? MESS KITS
9. Pants part CROTCH
15. Part of a bar code? AGE LIMIT
16. “Annie ___,” old Scottish love song LAURIE
17. Atlantis section NOSE CONE
18. Sharp ASTUTE
19. Car radio button SEEK
20. Droids have them APPS
22. When repeated, aerobics class cry STEP
23. The Joker, e.g. PSYCHOPATH
26. Certain punch AWL
29. One in a one-on-one session TUTEE
30. With 14-Down, literary yes-man URIAH
33. Connecting word VIA
34. “Wait ___!” (“Hold on there!”) A MIN
35. Strong ale, in British lingo STINGO
36. One who didn’t make it to the office? ALSO-RAN
38. Classic British cars that pioneered in rear engines COOPERS
39. They may be picked up by dogs SCENTS
40. Integral course of study, briefly? CALC
41. “The thing is …” SEE …
42. Bakery purchase TORTE
43. Competition where the last one standing wins ROLEO
44. Current setting SEA
45. Scorpio hunter of film DIRTY HARRY
48. Noted avoider of the color red CRIP
50. Be full TEEM
51. Court star Nadal, informally RAFA
54. Really move HUSTLE
56. Oner RARE BIRD
59. Parts of the Navy’s full dress blues ASCOTS
60. Actor with Adam Sandler in “Funny People” ERIC BANA
61. Leave one’s company? DESERT
62. Like some business letters DICTATED

Down
1. “Sheesh!” MAN!
2. Big things on Capitol Hill EGOS
3. Former Zairian leader Mobutu ___ Seko SESE
4. “A hint of lovely oblivion,” per D. H. Lawrence SLEEP
5. Modern kind of campaign KICKSTARTER
6. Letters with a view IMO
7. Brand once plugged by John Madden TINACTIN
8. First Christian martyr STEPHEN
9. Grip CLASP
10. “Batman” villain ___ al Ghul RA’S
11. Exceed OUTSTRIP
12. Subject of “The Word” on the first episode of “The Colbert Report” TRUTHINESS
13. Recognize CITE
14. See 30-Across HEEP
21. Literary figure whose name is a letter short of something he wrote POE
24. Native Arizonans YUMAS
25. Aid for clumsy thumbs AUTOCORRECT
26. “Stop” at 44-Across AVAST
27. “Consider it done” WILCO
28. Abandoned storage units? LASERDISCS
31. Say “amen,” say AGREE
32. Gomer’s biblical husband HOSEA
35. Cobbler, at times SOLER
37. Walking very quietly, say ON TIPTOE
38. Dish whose name comes from the Latin for “ink pot” CALAMARI
40. Stuck COHERED
43. Kvass component RYE
46. Statistical method for comparing the means of two groups T-TEST
47. Start of a cartoon cry YABBA-
48. Waste of a vote? CHAD
49. Wile RUSE
52. Order FIAT
53. Egg chair designer Jacobsen ARNE
55. Xerox option: Abbr. LTR
57. Wrestler Flair RIC
58. Pap DAD

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