1121-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Nov 14, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kevin Christian
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 13m 27s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Having a big itch : JONESING
The slang term “Jones” is used to mean an intense addiction, a yen, and probably arose in the late sixties out of the prior use of “Jones” for the drug heroin.

9. Giant jet : AIRBUS
Airbus is an aircraft manufacturer based in Blagnac, France just outside Toulouse. Airbus produces about half of the world’s jetliners. The company built the first fly-by-wire aircraft (the A320) and also builds the world’s largest airliner (the A380).

15. Sideways look? : EMOTICON
An emoticon is a glyph created using text characters, usually to represent facial features, and usually oriented sideways. The emoticon is designed to indicate emotion or attitude. The classic example is the smiley face 🙂

16. “Swann’s Way” novelist : PROUST
Marcel Proust was a French writer, noted for his enormous and much respected novel “In Search of Lost Time”. Graham Greene called Proust “the greatest novelist of the twentieth century”, and W. Somerset Maugham dubbed “In Search of Lost Time” as the “greatest fiction to date”. “In Search of Lost Time” is a very, very long novel. It is divided into seven volumes and was first published in 1913-1927. The first of the volumes is called “Swann’s Way”.

17. Marinara, e.g. : RED SAUCE
Italians use the term “marinara” not for a sauce, but in the name of a recipe. For example, “spaghetti alla marinara” would be a spaghetti dish. The literal translation of the name of this dish would be “mariner’s spaghetti”. The sauce that we call “marinara” is called “salsa di pomodoro” in Italy.

19. Late legend in countdowns : KASEM
Not only was Casey Kasem closely associated with the radio show “American Top 40”, but he is also well known for playing the voice of Shaggy Rogers on the “Scooby-Doo” animated series. Sadly, Kasem passed away in 2014 having suffered from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.

22. Fertiliser ingredient : NITRE
The chemical name for saltpeter (also called “niter”) is potassium nitrate. The exact origin of the name “saltpeter” isn’t clear, but it may have come from the Latin “sal petrae” meaning “stone salt”. The main use for potassium nitrate is as a fertilizer, a source of potassium and nitrogen. As it is a powerful oxidizing agent, it is also used in amateur rocket propellants. Anyone who has ignited one of those “engines” would have noticed the lilac-colored flame, indicating the presence of potassium.

23. Neighbor of 10-Down : IRAQ
(10D. Neighbor of 23-Across : IRAN)
Iraq is often called the “Cradle of Civilization” as it was home to Sumer, which was the earliest known civilization on the planet. By 5000 BC the Sumerian people were practicing year-round agriculture and had a specialized labor force. For the first time, a whole race were able to settle in one place by storing food, instead of having to migrate in a pattern dictated by crops and grazing land.

26. “Country Girl” memoirist O’Brien : EDNA
Edna O’Brien is an Irish novelist and playwright who is known for her works that shine a light on the problems of women relating to men and society in general. O’Brien’s first novel, “The Country Girl”, was banned, burned and denounced by the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. As a result, O’Brien left the country and now lives in London.

27. Capital player, briefly : NAT
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.

30. Soy, north of Mexico : I AM
“Soy” is Spanish for “I am”.

31. Elves, in poetry : FAYS
A “fay” is a fairy.

32. Heat loss, maybe? : NBA GAME
The Miami Heat basketball team debuted in the NBA in the 1988-89 season. The franchise name was chosen in a competitive survey, with “Miami Heat” beating out “Miami Vice”.

34. Home of minor-league baseball’s Brewers : HELENA
The Helena Brewers are a minor league baseball team in Helena, Montana. The team started out in 1978 as the Helena Phillies, but changed their name in 1985 when they became an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.

38. Tennis since 1968 : OPEN ERA
In the sport of tennis, the Grand Slam tournaments were opened up to professional players, and not just amateurs, in 1968. So, the period since 1968 has been called “The Open Era”.

42. Title woman of a 1977 Neil Diamond hit : DESIREE
“Desiree” is a 1977 song that was both written and recorded by Neil Diamond.

I saw Neil Diamond in concert about 15 years ago, and I must say he does put on a great show. His voice is cracking a bit, but that didn’t seem to spoil anyone’s enjoyment. I’ve also seen Diamond interviewed a few times on television, and I wouldn’t say he has the most scintillating of personalities.

44. Org. of sisters : SOR
Sorority (sor.)

50. Where a ducktail tapers : NAPE
The Duck Tail hairstyle was apparently invented in 1940 by a barber in Philadelphia named Joe Cirello. The style calls for the hair to parted at the back and combed around the sides of the head.

51. Paroxysm : THROE
Our contemporary word “throe”, meaning a spasm of pain, has been around since the early 1600s. It is a different spelling of the word “throwe” that had been around since around 1200 AD and which meant pain, particularly a pang of childbirth or the agony of death. Pain, from cradle to grave …

53. Looney Tunes devil, for short : TAZ
The “Looney Tunes” character known as the Tasmanian Devil, or “Taz”, first appeared on screens in 1964 but gained real popularity in the 1990s.

The carnivorous marsupial known as the Tasmanian devil is aptly named, in the sense that the only place the animal is found in the wild is on the island of Tasmania. The “little devils” are about the size of a small dog, and they have the strongest bite for their size of any known mammal.

57. Farmers’ market frequenter, maybe : LOCAVORE
A “locavore” is someone who limits his or her diet to food that is produced locally, often within 100 miles of its point of purchase. There’s a great memoir by the author Barbara Kingsolver that discusses the experiences of her and her family with the locavore lifestyle called “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” An excellent read …

59. Novelist Shreve and others : ANITAS
Anita Shreve’s 1998 novel “The Pilot’s Wife” was chosen as a selection for Oprah’s Book Club in 1999, and ever since then Shreve’s books have at the top of the bestsellers lists.

60. Hoosier : INDIANAN
The exact origin of the word “Hoosier” is unknown, but has been around since at least 1830. The term had no direct linkage with Indiana until John Finley of Richmond, Indiana wrote a poem called “The Hoosier’s Nest” in 1833. A few years later, by 1840, “hoosier” was generally accepted as a term for Indiana residents.

Down
2. 1998 Masters champ Mark : O’MEARA
Mark O’Meara is an American golfer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. He is known as one of the American players who competes in international tournaments more than most, and has a reputation as a real gentleman all around the world.

4. Footnote abbr. : ET SEQ
The Latin phrase “et sequens” or “et sequentia” is used in English to mean “and following”, and is abbreviated to “et seq”.

5. Neighbor of India and China in Risk :
Siam was the official name of Thailand up to 1939 (and from 1945 to 1949).

Risk is a fabulous board game, first sold in France in 1957. Risk was invented by a very successful French director of short films called Albert Lamorisse. Lamorisse called his new game “La Conquête du Monde”, which translates into English as “The Conquest of the World”. A game of Risk is a must during the holidays in our house …

6. Post-O.R. stop, maybe : ICU
Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

8. Rock with colored bands : GNEISS
Gneiss is a metamorphic rock containing bands of different colors and compositions.

10. Neighbor of 23-Across : IRAN
Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was called Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

12. Call from the rear? : BUTT DIAL
“Butt dialling” is an alternative name for “pocket dialling”, the accidental placing of a call while a phone is in one’s pocket or purse.

13. Avatar accompanier : USERNAME
The Sanskrit word “avatar” describes the concept of a deity descending into earthly life and taking on a persona. It’s easy to see how in the world of “online presences” one might use the word avatar to describe one’s online identity.

14. Like music on Pandora Radio : STREAMED
Pandora is a clever music streaming site that runs what’s called the Music Genome Project. The idea behind the project is that particular pieces of music can be classified by specific characteristics (genes). The assumption is that given a person’s liking for the genome of a particular song, then a recommendation of another song with a similar genome will also be enjoyed by that person. I’ve used Pandora quite a lot, and it seems to work!

24. Giants’ environs : BAY AREA
Today’s San Francisco Giants baseball team was founded in 1883 as the New York Gothams. The team’s name was changed to the Giants in 1885, and the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958.

25. Source of the delicacy tomalley : LOBSTER
“Tomalley” is a soft, green substance in a lobster’s body cavity. Biologically, the tomalley acts like the liver and pancreas in other animals. In culinary terms, tomalley is a delicacy often eaten alone, or added to sauces.

29. Nautilus shell feature : NACRE
Mother-of-pearl is another name for nacre. Nacre is the strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells, and it’s also what makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that’s how a pearl is formed.

The marine creature called a nautilus is referred to as a “living fossil”, as it looks just like the spiral-shelled creatures that are commonly found in fossils. The spiral shape is a great example of the Fibonacci series defining a natural phenomenon, as the spiral is a Fibonacci spiral, described by the famous series of numbers. The nautilus moves using jet propulsion, by ingesting water at one end and then squirting it out at the other.

35. Moment when the fog lifts : EPIPHANY
An “epiphany” is an appearance or manifestation, especially of a supreme being. By extension, “epiphany” can also apply to a sudden insight or intuitive perception. The term derives from the Greek “epiphainein” meaning “to manifest, display”.

43. Slanted : ITALIC
Italic type leans to the right. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

44. State bordering Poland : SAXONY
Saxony is one of the sixteen states of Germany and is located in the east of the country, along the border with Poland and the Czech Republic. The two largest cities in Saxony are Dresden and Leipzig.

45. Unlikely fare for philistines : OPERAS
“Philistine” is a derogatory term used to label someone as an anti-intellectual, or someone who undervalues art, beauty and intellect. Our use of the word derives from the German word “Philister” that was used originally by university students to describe, in a snide way, the townspeople of nearby Jena in eastern Germany. There had been a row between the students and locals resulting in several deaths. A university cleric admonished the participants in a sermon using a phrase from the Bible’s “Book of Judges”, saying “The Philistines be upon thee”, a reference to the conflict between Samson and the Philistines. Anyway, little did that cleric know how his words would ring out around the world over 300 years later.

48. Kinkajou’s kin : COATI
A coati is a member of the raccoon family and is also known as the Brazilian aardvark, or the snookum bear. The coati is native to Central and South America, but can also be found in the southwest of the United States.

The kinkajou is an arboreal mammal that is native to Central and South America. The kinkajou is also known as the honey bear.

52. Those, in Toledo : ESAS
Toledo is a city in central Spain.

54. Hermes’ mother : MAIA
Maia is one of the Pleiades of Greek mythology, and is the eldest of the seven sisters.

The Seven Sisters of Greek mythology are also known as the Pleiades. The Seven Sisters were the daughters of the titan Atlas, who had been forced to carry the heavens on his shoulders. In an act of kindness, Zeus transformed the sisters first into doves, and then into stars so that they could provide comfort for their father. There is indeed a cluster of seven stars in the night sky named for the myth and known as the Pleiades.

Hermes was the Greek god of transitions and boundaries, one who intercedes between mortals and the divine. The Roman equivalent to Hermes was the god Mercury.

56. Boomer for nearly 35 yrs. : SST
The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Famously, the Concorde routinely broke the sound barrier, and cruised at about twice the speed of sound. Above Mach 2, frictional heat would cause the plane’s aluminum airframe to soften, so airspeed was limited.

58. Setting for many Card games : CDT
The city of St. Louis is on Central Daylight Time (CDT) during the summer.

The St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the “Brown Stockings”, changing their name to the “Perfectos” in 1899. The new name obviously didn’t go down well with the locals, as the owners changed it one year later to the Cardinals.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Having a big itch : JONESING
9. Giant jet : AIRBUS
15. Sideways look? : EMOTICON
16. “Swann’s Way” novelist : PROUST
17. Marinara, e.g. : RED SAUCE
18. When to put all your eggs in one basket? : EASTER
19. Late legend in countdowns : KASEM
20. Bell part : LIP
22. Fertiliser ingredient : NITRE
23. Neighbor of 10-Down : IRAQ
24. Underlying : BASAL
26. “Country Girl” memoirist O’Brien : EDNA
27. Capital player, briefly : NAT
28. Fire : PASSION
30. Soy, north of Mexico : I AM
31. Elves, in poetry : FAYS
32. Heat loss, maybe? : NBA GAME
34. Home of minor-league baseball’s Brewers : HELENA
37. Like lizards and lizardfish : SCALED
38. Tennis since 1968 : OPEN ERA
40. “Give this ___” : A TRY
41. It can be dry or sparkling : WIT
42. Title woman of a 1977 Neil Diamond hit : DESIREE
44. Org. of sisters : SOR
47. Bit of design info : SPEC
49. Not still : ASTIR
50. Where a ducktail tapers : NAPE
51. Paroxysm : THROE
53. Looney Tunes devil, for short : TAZ
54. Ceilings, informally : MAXES
55. Refuse to leave alone : HARASS
57. Farmers’ market frequenter, maybe : LOCAVORE
59. Novelist Shreve and others : ANITAS
60. Hoosier : INDIANAN
61. Key figure? : TYPIST
62. Spark : CATALYST

Down
1. Close-fitting, sleeveless jacket : JERKIN
2. 1998 Masters champ Mark : O’MEARA
3. Acknowledges without a sound : NODS AT
4. Footnote abbr. : ET SEQ
5. Neighbor of India and China in Risk : SIAM
6. Post-O.R. stop, maybe : ICU
7. What a boor has : NO CLASS
8. Rock with colored bands : GNEISS
9. Boor : APE
10. Neighbor of 23-Across : IRAN
11. Good name for an optimist? : ROSIE
12. Call from the rear? : BUTT DIAL
13. Avatar accompanier : USERNAME
14. Like music on Pandora Radio : STREAMED
21. Hassle : PAIN
24. Giants’ environs : BAY AREA
25. Source of the delicacy tomalley : LOBSTER
28. Like many mirrors : PANED
29. Nautilus shell feature : NACRE
31. Home for a sedge wren : FEN
33. Like the out crowd? : GAY
34. “Come again?” : HOW’S THAT?
35. Moment when the fog lifts : EPIPHANY
36. “Go for it!” : LET ‘ER RIP
39. Second: Abbr. : ASST
40. Major copper exporter : ARIZONA
43. Slanted : ITALIC
44. State bordering Poland : SAXONY
45. Unlikely fare for philistines : OPERAS
46. Mind a lot : RESENT
48. Kinkajou’s kin : COATI
50. Like some forces : NAVAL
52. Those, in Toledo : ESAS
54. Hermes’ mother : MAIA
56. Boomer for nearly 35 yrs. : SST
58. Setting for many Card games : CDT

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One thought on “1121-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Nov 14, Friday”

  1. Wow, Neil Diamond has been haunting crossword grids for 30 years now.

    It helped being from Arizona and still loving old Bugs Bunny-Roadrunner shows, so TAZ kinda helped out. I'm sure he would concur.

    Have you noticed more Spanish creeping into the grids? For me, the Toledo reference is quite evident. But…

    …and my capcha today is "2000"

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