1105-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Nov 14, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gareth Bain
THEME: Dooby Doo Songs … each of today’s themed answer is a song title that is full of nonsense syllables:

17A. 1964 hit for Manfred Mann : DO WAH DIDDY DIDDY
26A. 1968 song from the Beatles’ “White Album” : OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA
37A. 1965 hit for the Dixie Cups : IKO IKO
39A. 1954 hit for the Chords : SH-BOOM
46A. 1994 hit for the Crash Test Dummies : MMM MMM MMM MMM
60A. 1973 song by the Rolling Stones subtitled “Heartbreaker” : DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 13m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. React to a haymaker : REEL
A haymaker is a wide, swinging punch. It is so called because the action involves using one’s weight and shoulder power to deliver the blow, with a motion much like using a scythe to cut hay.

5. “Song of the South” appellation : BR’ER
Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox are characters in the Uncle Remus stories, written by Joel Chandler Harris. The Uncle Remus stories are adaptations of African American folktales that Harris collected across the Southern States. “Br’er” of course stands for “brother”.

“Song of the South” is a 1946 Disney film based on the Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris. The move features a mix of live actors and animated characters. The song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” is the big hit from the “Song of the South”, and won the Best Song Oscar in 1947.

9. Pair on a yawl : MASTS
A yawl is a two-masted sailing vessel. There is a main mast forward, and a smaller mizzen mast close to the stern.

16. Many a Greenlander : INUIT
The Inuit peoples live in the Arctic, in parts of the US, Russia, Greenland and Canada.

Greenland is the largest island in the world. Geographically, Greenland is part of the continent of North America, but culturally and politically is considered part of Europe. The island became a Danish colony in 1815, and joined the European Economic Community (EEC) with Denmark. Greenland withdrew from the EEC after a referendum in 1983. Since 2009, Greenland has been relatively autonomous, with the Danish government retaining control of foreign affairs, defence and the judicial system.

17. 1964 hit for Manfred Mann : DO WAH DIDDY DIDDY
“Do Wah Diddy Diddy” is song that was originally recorded by an American group called the Exciters in 1963. The more famous cover version was released the following year by British group Manfred Mann. It’s a great, great song …

23. Viagra rival : CIALIS
Cialis and Viagra are not just brands competing against each other, they also have differing active ingredients. Viagra is a trade name for Sildenafil citrate, and Cialis is tadalafil. Both drugs are used to treat erectile dysfunction, and more recently for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension.

26. 1968 song from the Beatles’ “White Album” : OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA
“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” was one of many songs credited to Lennon/McCartney that was actually written by just one of the pair. Paul McCartney wrote this one, a song that John Lennon really did not like at all. Apparently Lennon was quite obstructionist during the recording of the song and even walked out at one point.

32. ID thief’s target : SSN
The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an “identity number” to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So, from 1986 onward, it is a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, in 1987 seven million dependents “disappeared”.

35. Flick with a duel, maybe : OATER
The term “oater” that is used for a western movie comes from the number of horses seen, as horses love oats!

A “flick” or “pic” is a movie.

37. 1965 hit for the Dixie Cups : IKO IKO
“Iko Iko” is a song written in 1953 by Sugar Boy Crawford, using the title “Jock-A-Mo”. The Dixie Cups recorded a cover version in 1965, calling it “Iko Iko”. However, Crawford ended up suing the Dixie Cups the 1965 song was recorded without reference to the 1953 original.

39. 1954 hit for the Chords : SH-BOOM
The great song “Sh-Boom” is also known as “Life Could Be a Dream”. It was written and recorded by the Chords in 1954. “Sh-Boom” was also recorded in that same year by the Crew-Cuts. Many regard it as the first doo-wop song to break into the top ten of the pop charts.

42. Place for high living? : AERIE
An aerie is the nest of an eagle, and is also known as an “eyrie”.

46. 1994 hit for the Crash Test Dummies : MMM MMM MMM MMM
“Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” is a 1993 song by the Crash Test Dummies. Although the song did well in the charts back then, since then “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” has been panned as one of the worst songs ever recorded.

55. “They’re ___ Delicious!” (Alpha-Bits slogan) : ABC
Alpha-Bits is a Post breakfast cereal that is made from bits of corn cereal in alphabet shapes.

58. Ex-president Tyler sided with it: Abbr. : CSA
The Confederate States of America (CSA) set up government in 1861 just before Abraham Lincoln took office. Jefferson Davis was selected as President of the CSA at its formation and retained the post for the life of the government.

John Tyler was the tenth President of the US, and the first to take the office on the death of the incumbent. Tyler’s predecessor was President William Henry Harrison, who was in office only 32 days before he died of natural causes. For a while there was a little confusion about the wording in the constitution that covered such an eventuality. There was an argument made that Tyler would continue as Vice-President but would assume the responsibilities of the office of President, in effect as “Acting President”. However, Tyler proceeded as though he was taking over as President and took the oath of office in his hotel room in Washington. Soon afterwards, Congress declared that Tyler was indeed President, although many continued to dispute the fact. Many of President Tyler’s opponents referred to him as “His Accidency”. His term in office ended in 1845. When the Civil War began in 1861, Tyler sided with the Confederacy and was even elected to the Confederate House of Representatives for the 3rd District of Virginia. President Tyler passed away only a few days after taking his seat in the House. His death was the only one in presidential history that was not recognized in the nation’s capital, as he sided with the Confederate States.

60. 1973 song by the Rolling Stones subtitled “Heartbreaker” : DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO
“Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” is a 1973 song recorded by the Rolling Stones. It’s certainly no love song, as it relates the story of the shooting of a boy and the death of a ten-year-old girl from a drug overdose.

66. Hollywood’s Hollywood and Vine do it : INTERSECT
Vine Street is a famous thoroughfare in Hollywood. Hollywood’s movie industry grew up around the intersection of “Hollywood and Vine”, where Hollywood Boulevard crossed Vine Street. That same intersection is now home to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the collection of brass stars embedded in the sidewalks that are monuments to achievement in the entertainment industry.

67. Dish sometimes served au poivre : STEAK
The traditional French dish called a “pepper steak” or “steak au poivre” is usually a filet mignon coated with cracked peppercorns prior to cooking. The filet is mostly pan-fried, and often a pan sauce is made to cover the steak by adding cognac and heavy cream to the residue left in the bottom of the pan after the steak has cooked. “Poivre” is French for “pepper”.

68. Swimmer Kristin ___, the first woman to win six gold medals at a single Olympics : OTTO
Kristin Otto is a former competitive swimmer from Germany. Otto won six gold medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, making her the first woman to win that many medals in a single Games.

69. Amor’s counterpart : EROS
Eros, the Greek god of love, was also known as Amor.

Down
1. Cause of some poisoning : RADON
Radon is a radioactive gas, a byproduct produced when uranium decays naturally in the earth. Radon gas can collect and accumulate in buildings and rooms that are particularly well insulated with very little air exchange. The danger is very real, as radon is listed as the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.

3. Cary who played Robin Hood : ELWES
Cary Elwes is an English actor, most noted for appearing in the 1987 film “The Princess Bride”. Cary is the son of a celebrated English portrait painter, Dominick Elwes.

6. Bollywood star Aishwarya ___ : RAI
Not only is Aishwarya Rai one of Bollywood’s highest-paid actresses, she is a a former Miss World, having won the pageant in 1994.

Bollywood is the informal name given to the huge film industry based in Mumbai in India. The term “Bollywood” is a melding of “Bombay”, the old name for Mumbai, and of course “Hollywood”.

7. Flight board abbr. : ETD
Estimated time of departure (ETD)

10. Singer DiFranco : ANI
Ani DiFranco is a folk-rock singer and songwriter. DiFranco has also been labeled a “feminist icon”, and in 2006 won the “Woman of Courage Award” from National Organization of Women.

13. River ferried by Charon : STYX
The River Styx of Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (or “Hades”). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferry boat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead “to pay the ferryman”.

18. Modern acronym meaning “carpe diem” : YOLO
You only live once (YOLO)

“Carpe diem” is a quotation from Horace, one of Ancient Rome’s leading lyric poets. “Carpe diem” translates from Latin as “seize the day” or “enjoy the day”.

24. Chemical suffix : -IDE
In chemistry, when a metal combines with a non-metal, the non-metal is often given the suffix -ide. One example would be iron oxide (common rust).

27. ___ choy (Chinese cabbage) : BOK
Bok choy is a variety of Chinese cabbage. “Bok choy” translates as “white vegetable”.

28. Vientiane native : LAO
Vientiane is the capital city of Laos, situated on the famous Mekong River. The city was originally called the “city of sandalwood” by Buddhist monks, naming after the valued trees that grew in the area. The French took the Pali words for “city of sandalwood” and rewrote it as the French-sounding “Vientiane”.

32. Pre-1939 atlas name : SIAM
Siam was the official name of Thailand up to 1939 (and from 1945 to 1949).

39. Alastair of “A Christmas Carol” : SIM
As far as I am concerned, the definitive screen adaptation of the Charles Dickens novella “A Christmas Carol”, is the 1951 film of the same name starring the wonderful actor Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. If you don’t own it, you have got to buy it for next Christmas!

43. U.K. record label : EMI
EMI was a British music company, with the acronym originally standing for Electric and Musical Industries.

44. Watergate inits. : RMN
President Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN) used “Milhous” in his name in honor of his mother Hannah Milhous. Richard was born in a house in Yorba Linda, California. You can visit that house today as it is on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. It’s a really interesting way to spend a few hours if you ever get to Yorba Linda …

The Watergate scandal is so named because it involved a break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. The Watergate complex is made up of five units, three of which are apartment buildings, one an office building, and one a hotel-office building (which housed the DNC headquarters).

47. Highest peak in N.Z. : MT COOK
New Zealand’s Mount Cook is now officially known as Aoraki/Mount Cook, at least partly restoring a historic Maori name. Aoraki/Mount Cook is the located in the Southern Alps that run the length of the South Island, and is the highest peak in the whole country.

48. Soup served at a sushi bar : MISO
Miso is the name of the seasoning that makes the soup. Basic miso seasoning is made by fermenting rice, barley and soybeans with salt and a fungus (!) to produce a paste. The paste can be added to stock to make miso soup, or perhaps to flavor tofu.

53. BP merger partner of 1998 : AMOCO
Amoco is an abbreviation for the American Oil Company. Amoco was the first oil company to introduce gasoline tanker trucks and drive-through filling stations. I wonder did they know what they were starting …?

BP is an oil and gas company headquartered in London, UK. BP started out as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1909 with the remit of exploiting oil discovered in Iran. The company name was changed to British Petroleum in 1954, and today the name used is simply “BP”.

57. Baskin-Robbins order : CONE
The Baskin-Robbins chain of ice cream parlors is the largest in the word. The chain was founded by Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins in Glendale, California in 1945. The company started using the slogan “31 flavors” in 1953, suggesting that a customer could order a different flavor of ice cream on every day of every month.

61. “CSI” test subject : DNA
I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relations.

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but seems to be winding down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, set in Las Vegas, is still going strong and has been doing so since 2000.

62. It borders four Great Lakes: Abbr. : ONT
The Canadian province of Ontario takes its name from the Great Lake. In turn, Lake Ontario’s name is thought to be derived from “Ontari:io”, a Huron word meaning “great lake”. Ontario is home to the nation’s capital of Ottawa as well as Toronto, Canada’s most populous city (and the capital of the province).

63. Mel with 511 homers : 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.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. React to a haymaker : REEL
5. “Song of the South” appellation : BR’ER
9. Pair on a yawl : MASTS
14. Take the edge off : ALLEVIATE
16. Many a Greenlander : INUIT
17. 1964 hit for Manfred Mann : DO WAH DIDDY DIDDY
19. Is the first act : OPENS
20. Perpendicular to vert. : HOR
21. It sells, it’s said : SEX
22. Home in the sticks? : NEST
23. Viagra rival : CIALIS
26. 1968 song from the Beatles’ “White Album” : OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA
32. ID thief’s target : SSN
35. Flick with a duel, maybe : OATER
36. Small wonder? : ATOM
37. 1965 hit for the Dixie Cups : IKO IKO
39. 1954 hit for the Chords : SH-BOOM
41. What snobs put on : AIRS
42. Place for high living? : AERIE
45. Golf club V.I.P. : PRO
46. 1994 hit for the Crash Test Dummies : MMM MMM MMM MMM
50. Introduce to the mix : STIR IN
51. Like a legal deposition : ORAL
55. “They’re ___ Delicious!” (Alpha-Bits slogan) : ABC
58. Ex-president Tyler sided with it: Abbr. : CSA
59. Super : PRIMO
60. 1973 song by the Rolling Stones subtitled “Heartbreaker” : DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO
65. “Beats me” : DUNNO
66. Hollywood’s Hollywood and Vine do it : INTERSECT
67. Dish sometimes served au poivre : STEAK
68. Swimmer Kristin ___, the first woman to win six gold medals at a single Olympics : OTTO
69. Amor’s counterpart : EROS

Down
1. Cause of some poisoning : RADON
2. Pursue “I do’s” when the parents say “don’t”? : ELOPE
3. Cary who played Robin Hood : ELWES
4. Makeshift shelter : LEAN-TO
5. eBay action : BID
6. Bollywood star Aishwarya ___ : RAI
7. Flight board abbr. : ETD
8. Feature of one nicknamed “Ginger” : RED HAIR
9. Leaf’s central vein : MIDRIB
10. Singer DiFranco : ANI
11. Beer, slangily : SUDS
12. Sand castle’s undoing : TIDE
13. River ferried by Charon : STYX
15. Pre-DVD format : VHS
18. Modern acronym meaning “carpe diem” : YOLO
23. “Cool” guy : CAT
24. Chemical suffix : -IDE
25. Hearty slice : SLAB
27. ___ choy (Chinese cabbage) : BOK
28. Vientiane native : LAO
29. Surmounting : ATOP
30. Symbol of opportunity : DOOR
31. Armory supply, informally : AMMO
32. Pre-1939 atlas name : SIAM
33. Milk option : SKIM
34. Standard : NORM
38. Ideologies : ISMS
39. Alastair of “A Christmas Carol” : SIM
40. Tailor’s edge : HEM
42. Medium for much political talk : AM RADIO
43. U.K. record label : EMI
44. Watergate inits. : RMN
47. Highest peak in N.Z. : MT COOK
48. Soup served at a sushi bar : MISO
49. Down in the dumps : MOROSE
52. Equestrian, e.g. : RIDER
53. BP merger partner of 1998 : AMOCO
54. Pillages : LOOTS
55. Introduces to the mix : ADDS
56. Ring event : BOUT
57. Baskin-Robbins order : CONE
59. ___ favor (Spanish “please”) : POR
61. “CSI” test subject : DNA
62. It borders four Great Lakes: Abbr. : ONT
63. Mel with 511 homers : OTT
64. To God, in hymns : DEO

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