1108-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Nov 14, Saturday


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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 25m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Up-coming world phenomenon? : EARTHRISE
“Earthrise” is the appearance of the Earth above the horizon when viewed from, say, the moon. There is a famous photograph with the title “Earthrise” that was taken from lunar orbit by astronaut William Anders during the Apollo 8 mission in 1968. The picture shows the Earth rising above the surface of the moon, and is a beautiful image.

10. Material for a float : BALSA
Balsa is a very fast growing tree that is native to parts of South America. Even though balsa wood is very soft, it is actually classified as a hardwood, the softest of all the hardwoods (go figure!). Balsa is light and strong, so is commonly used in making model airplanes. Amazingly, in WWII a full-size British plane, the de Havilland Mosquito, was built largely from balsa and plywood. No wonder they called it “The Wooden Wonder” and “The Timber Terror”.

15. Anthrax, potentially : BIOWEAPON
Anthrax is a potentially lethal disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The bacterium can form dormant spores that can be stored, and potentially weaponized. When the spores are inhaled or ingested, or even touched, they can activate and infect the victim.

16. Big name in old strings : AMATI
The first of the Amati family to make violins was Andrea Amati, who lived in the 14th century. He was succeeded by his sons, Antonio and Girolamo. In turn, they were succeeded by Girolamo’s son, Nicolo. Nicolo had a few students who achieved fame making musical instruments as well. One was his own son, Girolamo, and another was the famed Antonio Stradivari.

17. Notable switcher from Democrat to Republican to Independent : BLOOMBERG
Michael Bloomberg served as Mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013. He is an incredibly rich man, having accumulated his wealth as the founder and majority owner of a global financial data and media company that bears his name. Bloomberg was a Democrat and then switched allegiance to the Republican Party just prior to running for Mayor of New York. He left the Republican Party in 2007 and was re-elected as Mayor in 2009 as an Independent.

19. Offensive observance? : TET
The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is Tet Nguyen Dan, meaning “Feast of the First Morning”. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

26. Like emissions from some 40-Down : GAMMA
(40. Futuristic fryers : RAY GUNS)
Gamma radiation was first discovered by the French chemist Paul Villard, as he studied radiation coming from the chemical element radium. This radiation was called “gamma”, the third letter in the Greek alphabet, as alpha and beta particles had already been identified.

29. Life preserver? : CEREAL BOX
Life is a whole grain oat cereal that was introduced in 1961 by the Quaker Oats Company.

33. Some notes : SOLS
The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

34. Adversaire’s opposite : AMI
In French, a friend (ami) is the opposite of an adversary (adversaire).

37. Phils’ rivals : NATS
The Washington Nationals baseball team started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats. There are only two Major Leagues teams that have never played in a World Series, one being the Mariners and the other the Nats.

39. Settings for donors, briefly : ORS
Operating room (OR)

44. Allama Iqbal International Airport locale : LAHORE
Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, Pakistan is named for the philosopher, poet and politician Allama Iqbal, also known as Sir Muhammad Iqbal. Iqbal was knighted by the King George V in 1922, although he is very much associated with the Pakistan Movement that fought for independence from the British Empire.

48. Searchlight in comics : BAT-SIGNAL
Batman is an ally of Police Commissioner Gordon of Gotham City. Gordon orders the shining of a searchlight into the sky, known as the bat-signal, to summon Batman when he is needed.

51. Searchlight element : XENON
Metal halide lamps that are called xenons don’t actually rely on the incorporated xenon gas to generate light. The xenon gas is added so that the lamp comes on “instantly”. Without the xenon, the lamp would start up rather like a street lamp, flickering and sputtering for a while before staying alight.

53. 1914 Belgian battle line : YSER
The Yser originates in northern France and flows through Belgium into the North Sea. The Yser is often associated with WWI as it figured in a major battle early in the conflict. In the first three months of the war, the German Army pushed almost completely through Belgium, inflicting heavy losses on the Belgian Army as the defenders were forced to fight a fast-moving rearguard action. The Germans were intent on pushing right through Belgium and across France in a “race to the sea”. But the Belgians, with the help of their Allies, decided to make a final stand at the Yser Canal in an effort to prevent the Germans reaching the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk. The 22-mile long defensive line was chosen at the Yser because the river and canal system could be flooded to create a barrier that might be defended. The plan was successful and the front was “stabilized”. As we now know, millions of lives were lost over the coming years with very little movement of that battle line.

56. Eisner’s successor at Disney : IGER
Robert Iger is currently the president and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, and is the successor to Michael Eisner. Iger worked for ABC when it was taken over by Disney in 1996, and in 1999 he was named president of Walt Disney International. Iger is doing okay for himself. He earned more than $29 million in 2009.

Michael Eisner took over as CEO of the Walt Disney Company in 1984. Eisner has been attributed with turning Disney around, as the company was floundering really since 1966 when Walt Disney died. Eisner had a good run, but ran foul of Walt Disney’s nephew Roy Disney who led a revolt that resulted in Eisner’s resignation in 2005.

59. “Die Fledermaus” soprano : IDA
“Die Fledermaus” is a really lovely operetta composed by Johann Strauss II, first performed in 1874. “Fledermaus” is German for “bat” (literally “flying mouse”). The title comes from the fact that one of the characters (Falke) was abandoned drunk, dressed as a bat, in the center of town one evening. As Falke was subject to ridicule, the machinations of the story are designed as revenge for his humiliation.

60. A tiny bit strange? : QUARK
Quarks are elementary atomic particles that combine to make composite particles called “hadrons”. I’m really only familiar with the really stable hadrons i.e. protons and neutrons. There are six types of quarks (referred to as “flavors”). These flavors are up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top.

62. Banking facilities? : POOLROOMS
The more correct name for the game of pool is pocket billiards. The name “pool” arose after pocket billiards became a common feature in “pool halls” or “poolrooms”, places where gamblers “pooled” their money to bet on horse races.

65. First-and-second track options : PERFECTAS
To win a bet called an exacta (also called a “perfecta”), the person betting must name the horses that finish first and second and in the exact order. The related bet called the trifecta requires naming of the first, second and third-place finishers in the right order.

66. “Sleepless in Seattle” quartet : ESSES
There is a quartet of letters S in the movie title “Sleepless in Seattle”.

“Sleepless in Seattle” is a lovely romantic comedy directed and co-written by Nora Ephron, released in 1993. The film’s storyline is based on the excellent 1957 movie “An Affair to Remember”, and there are numerous direct references to the Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr classic throughout the “remake”. The lead roles in “Sleepless …” are played by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

Down
1. Cyclic recession : EBB TIDE
Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

2. Banking facilitator : AILERON
In traditional aircraft designs, pitch is controlled by the elevator and roll is controlled by the aileron. On some newer aircraft these two functions are combined into single control surfaces called “elevons”.

4. With 22-Across, obsolescent club : TWO
(22. See 4-Down : IRON)
Apparently the 2 iron has been dropped from a golfer’s arsenal, in favour of an extra wedge.

5. Eco-chic clothing option : HEMP
Hemp is a hardy, fast-growing plant that has many uses mainly due to the strength of the fibers in the plant’s stalks. Hemp is used to make rope, paper and textiles. There is of course a variety of hemp that is grown to make drugs, most famously cannabis.

6. Capital across the river from its sister city Salé : RABAT
Rabat is the capital city of the Kingdom of Morocco. After WWII, the United States maintained a major Air Force Base in Rabat, part of Strategic Air Command (SAC). Responding to pressure from the Moroccan government of King Mohammed V, the USAF pulled out in 1963.

Salé is a city in Morocco that sits on the opposite side of the Bou Regreg river to the nation’s capital Rabat.

7. Drug used in aversion therapy : IPECAC
Syrup of ipecac is a preparation made from the dried roots and rhizomes of the ipecacuanha plant. The syrup is used as an emetic, a substance that induces vomiting. Ipecac accomplishes this by irritating the lining of the stomach.

8. Assaults : SORTIES
A sortie is an attack by an armed unit, usually a breakout by forces that are besieged, The term “sortie” comes directly from French and means “a going out”. “Sortie” is also used for a mission by a combat aircraft.

9. Like Spender and Spenser: Abbr. : ENG
Stephen Spender was a poet and novelist from England who appointed the US Poet Laureate in 1965. I really don’t know much about Spender, and am ashamed to say that I am most impressed by the fact that Spender’s daughter is married to Australian comedian Barry Humphries, whose alter ego is Dame Edna Everage.

Edmund Spenser was an English poet, and required required reading at school where I grew up. Spenser’s most famous work is “The Faerie Queene”, an epic poem and one of the longest ever written in the English language.

10. Relief may follow it : BAS-
In bas-relief an image projects just a little above the background, as in perhaps a head depicted on a coin.

11. Libertine : AMORAL
Someone who is described as “libertine” is free of restraint, especially sexually immoral. Back in the 14th century a libertine was an emancipated slave, someone given his or her freedom. The term derives from the Latin “libertinus” describing a freed person who was once a slave.

12. Song whose title follows “Para bailar” : LA BAMBA
“La Bamba” is a folk song from Veracruz, Mexico that became a huge hit for Ritchie Valens in 1958. The most notable cover version of the Valens hit was recorded by Los Lobos in 1987 as the title track of 1987 movie “La Bamba”. The song’s first verse is:

Para bailar la bamba
Para bailar la bamba
Se necesita una poca de gracia
Una poca de gracia pa(ra) mi pa(ra) ti

13. Harry and Wills acquired one in 2005 : STEPMOM
Camilla Parker Bowles became the Duchess of Cornwall when she married Charles, Prince of Wales in 2005. The Duchess of Cornwall title derives from one of Charles secondary designations, as Duke of Cornwall. The use of the primary title Princess of Wales wasn’t considered a good idea as it was was closely associated with Lady Diana Spencer, Charles’ first wife.

23. Minute minute part: Abbr. : NSEC
“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns”, and really is a tiny amount of time … one billionth of a second.

25. Author Hubbard : L RON
L. Ron Hubbard wrote a self-improvement book in 1950 called “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”. A few years later the concepts were used in the founding of the Church of Scientology.

26. Pump add-on : GAS TAX
We pay about 50 cents a gallon in federal and state taxes of gasoline. I’ve always considered ourselves very lucky as to me this a low tax rate as we pay about $3.50 a US gallon in taxes in Ireland. Yep, $3.50 a gallon in tax alone …

30. Literally, “skyward” : EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”.

32. Blanket produced in Mexico City : SMOG
“Smog” is a portmanteau word formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s.

38. Wooley of “Rawhide” : SHEB
As well as having his huge hit in 1958 called “The Purple People Eater”, Sheb Wooley played Ben Miller in the movie “High Noon” and co-starred in the TV’s “Rawhide”, playing the role of Pete Nolan. Wooley also wrote the theme song for the long-running television show “Hee Haw”.

43. One pulling a calf, say : LASSOER
Our English word “lasso” comes from the Spanish “lazo”, and ultimately from the Latin “laqueum” meaning “noose, snare”.

45. A tiny bit : ONE IOTA
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

47. How bands move : EN MASSE
“En masse” is a French term, which is best translated as “as a group”.

49. Bob may follow it : SIRREE
Yes sirree Bob …

50. “Sainted maiden” of literature : LENORE
Here is a verse from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” …

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“The Raven” is a narrative poem by Edgar Allen Poe that tells of a student who has lost the love of his life, Lenore. A raven enters the student’s bedchamber and perches on a bust of Pallas. The raven can talk, to the student’s surprise, but says nothing but the word “nevermore” (“quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). As the student questions all aspects of his life, the raven taunts him with the same comment, “nevermore”. Finally the student decides that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “nevermore” …

54. Jamestown colonist : ROLFE
John Rolfe was one of the early English settlers in America, perhaps most famous for marrying the Native American Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan. For a few months before her death, Pocahontas lived with Rolfe in England. The couple had actually boarded a ship to return them to Virginia when Pocahontas became ill and had to be brought ashore on the south coast of England, where she soon passed away.

58. Cousin of a gnatcatcher : WREN
A wren is a small songbird belonging to the family troglodytidae and the genus troglodytes.

Gnatcatchers are small birds that are native to North and South America.

61. Some chessmen: Abbr. : KTS
It is believed that the game of chess originated in northwest India, evolving from a 6th-century game called “chaturanga”, a Sanskrit word meaning “four divisions”. These four (military) divisions were represented in the game:

– Infantry (now “pawns”)
– Cavalry (now “knights”)
– Elephants (now “bishops”)
– Chariots (now “rooks”)

62. N.B.A. scoring stat : PPG
Points per game (PPG)

63. Alternative to 10 : OCT
October is the tenth month in our calendar but was the eighth month in the old Roman calendar, hence the name “Octo-ber”. Back then there were only ten months in the year. “Ianuarius” (January) and “Februarius” (February) were then added as the eleventh and twelfth months of the year. Soon after, the year was reset and January and February became the first and second months.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Up-coming world phenomenon? : EARTHRISE
10. Material for a float : BALSA
15. Anthrax, potentially : BIOWEAPON
16. Big name in old strings : AMATI
17. Notable switcher from Democrat to Republican to Independent : BLOOMBERG
18. Not ripped : SOBER
19. Offensive observance? : TET
20. Binder? : PACT
21. Really into something : RAPT
22. See 4-Down : IRON
24. It’s turned before bolting : TAIL
26. Like emissions from some 40-Down : GAMMA
27. Put out : DOUSE
29. Life preserver? : CEREAL BOX
31. Puts in : ENTERS
33. Some notes : SOLS
34. Adversaire’s opposite : AMI
35. Aid in creating a part : COMB
37. Phils’ rivals : NATS
39. Settings for donors, briefly : ORS
42. Pick, say : TOOL
44. Allama Iqbal International Airport locale : LAHORE
48. Searchlight in comics : BAT-SIGNAL
51. Searchlight element : XENON
52. Number line : LYRIC
53. 1914 Belgian battle line : YSER
55. Searchlight element : BEAM
56. Eisner’s successor at Disney : IGER
57. Cause of temporary blindness : SNOW
59. “Die Fledermaus” soprano : IDA
60. A tiny bit strange? : QUARK
62. Banking facilities? : POOLROOMS
64. Still to be attained : UNMET
65. First-and-second track options : PERFECTAS
66. “Sleepless in Seattle” quartet : ESSES
67. Bureaucratic environmental regulations : GREENTAPE

Down
1. Cyclic recession : EBB TIDE
2. Banking facilitator : AILERON
3. Get rid of : ROOT OUT
4. With 22-Across, obsolescent club : TWO
5. Eco-chic clothing option : HEMP
6. Capital across the river from its sister city Salé : RABAT
7. Drug used in aversion therapy : IPECAC
8. Assaults : SORTIES
9. Like Spender and Spenser: Abbr. : ENG
10. Relief may follow it : BAS-
11. Libertine : AMORAL
12. Song whose title follows “Para bailar” : LA BAMBA
13. Harry and Wills acquired one in 2005 : STEPMOM
14. Puddle-jumper : AIR TAXI
23. Minute minute part: Abbr. : NSEC
25. Author Hubbard : L RON
26. Pump add-on : GAS TAX
28. Hot : EROTIC
30. Literally, “skyward” : EL AL
32. Blanket produced in Mexico City : SMOG
36. Too thin : BONY
38. Wooley of “Rawhide” : SHEB
39. Like some references : OBLIQUE
40. Futuristic fryers : RAY GUNS
41. Goes with the flow? : STREAMS
43. One pulling a calf, say : LASSOER
45. A tiny bit : ONE IOTA
46. Detailed plan : ROADMAP
47. How bands move : EN MASSE
49. Bob may follow it : SIRREE
50. “Sainted maiden” of literature : LENORE
54. Jamestown colonist : ROLFE
58. Cousin of a gnatcatcher : WREN
61. Some chessmen: Abbr. : KTS
62. N.B.A. scoring stat : PPG
63. Alternative to 10 : OCT

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One thought on “1108-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Nov 14, Saturday”

  1. decautypfreiherrSometimes the clues are so devlish i feel good if I only get a few.

    And now I can't even decode the "not a robot" message
    John Matthews

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