1202-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Dec 14, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Timothy Polin
THEME: Outbursts Across, Not Down … we have pairs of themed clues today. In the across-direction the clue is an outburst. In the down-direction the clue has the same wording, but is not an outburst and has a different meaning:

1A. “Holy cow!” : ZOUNDS!
1D. Holy cow : ZEBU

7A. “Nuts!” : DAMN!
7D. Nuts : DAFT

11A. “Great Scott!” : WOW!
11D. Great Scott : WALTER

34A. “Fudge!” : BLAST!
35D. Fudge : TREAT

43A. “Rats!” : SHOOT!
26D. Rats : TELLS

69A. “Man!” : GEE!
48D. Man : HOMBRE

70A. “Darn it!” : HECK!
57D. Darn it : SOCK

71A. “Fiddlesticks!” : CURSES!
60D. Fiddlesticks : BOWS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 10s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

11. “Great Scott!” : WOW!
No one seems to know for sure who the Scott is in the exclamation “great Scott!”. One theory is that the reference is to the commander-in-chief of the US Army during the Civil War, General Winfield Scott. Scott weighed in at 300 pounds later in his life, and was so obese that he could not ride a horse.

15. Jai ___ : ALAI
Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world because of the speed of the ball, in fact golf balls usually get going at a greater clip. Although, as a blog reader once pointed out to me, you don’t have to catch a golf ball …

16. Santa ___ winds : ANA
The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically “falls” down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

19. Football Hall-of-Famer Ford : LEN
Len Ford was one of the most dominant defensive professional football players of his time, and yet he had been passed over in every round of the 1948 NFL draft. He played for two years with the rival All-America Football Conference before joining the NFL’s Cleveland Browns and the the Green Bay Packers.

23. Small songbird : TOMTIT
The tomtit is a small songbird that is endemic to New Zealand.

25. Alaska city that’s larger in area than Rhode Island or Delaware : SITKA
The city of Sitka is located on Baranof Island and part of Chichagof Island in the Alaska Archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. Sitka used to be known as Redoubt Saint Michael and then New Archangel when it was ruled by the Russians. The current city name comes from a local term meaning “People on the Outside of Baranof Island”. Immediately after the purchase of Alaska by the US, Sitka served as the capital of the Alaska Territory until the seat of government was relocated north to Juneau. Sitka is the largest city by area in the whole country, and is larger that both the states of Rhode Island and Delaware.

27. Auto part driven by the crankshaft : FAN BELT
The fan belt on an engine transfers torque from the crankshaft to cooling fan.

30. Hatcher of “Desperate Housewives” : TERI
Teri Hatcher’s most famous role these days is the Susan Mayer character in “Desperate Housewives”. I’ve never seen more than a few minutes of “Housewives” but I do know Teri Hatcher as a Bond girl, as she appeared in “Tomorrow Never Dies”.

During pre-production, the television show that we now know as “Desperate Housewives” was called “Wisteria Lane” and then “The Secret Lives of Housewives”.

32. Guthrie who sang at Woodstock : ARLO
Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

1969’s Woodstock Music & Art Fair was held on a dairy farm located 43 miles southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York. 400,000 young people attended, and saw 32 bands and singers perform over three days.

36. Harmful ___ bloom (aquatic growth) : ALGAL
Most algal blooms are described as harmful because the excessive number of algae have a negative impact on other organisms due to excessive levels of toxins or perhaps through mechanical damage. It has been shown that almost all algal blooms, in both seawater and freshwater, are caused by humans. The main culprits are fertilizers used in intensive farming and household cleaning products.

37. Fabled monster in English literature : ORC
Orcs are mythical humanoid creatures that appear in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien’s use of orcs, they have also been featured in other fantasy fiction and in fantasy games.

46. Exclamations often made with head-slaps : D’OHS
“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”

50. One-named singer with four Grammys : ENYA
Enya’s real name is Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career. She sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!

51. James ___ Garfield : ABRAM
James Abram Garfield, the 20th President, was of course assassinated in office. He was shot twice, and one bullet could not be found (it was lodged in his spine). The inventor Alexander Graham Bell developed a metal detector in an attempt to locate the bullet, but apparently he was unsuccessful because of interference from the metal bed frame on which the president lay. Garfield died two months after being shot.

56. Seductive “Austin Powers” android : FEMBOT
The Fembots in the “Austin Powers” series of films are seductive female robots. There’s even a Britney Spears Fembot in the the movie “Goldmember”.

The character of Austin Powers was created by the actor who plays him, Mike Myers. Apparently Myers came up with the idea for Powers while listening to the Burt Bacharach song “The Look of Love”.

57. Jet for the jet set : 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.

61. Stars and Bars soldier, informally : REB
The first official flag of the Confederacy was known as the Stars and Bars. The flag was designed by a Prussian artist and is similar to the Austrian flag of the day as it contains three bars, two of which are red and one white. The flag includes a blue square containing a ring of stars. Each star represents a state in the Confederacy. The Stars and Bars flag was officially adopted on 4 March 1861 and first flew over the dome of the Capitol Building in Montgomery, Alabama.

62. Polynesian dietary staple : TARO
The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, the traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

64. Straight : HETERO
“Heterosuxuality” is sexual attraction between person of the opposite gender. The profix “hetero-” comes from the Greek “heteros” meaning “different, other”.

66. Port on the Firth of Clyde : AYR
Ayr is a port town on the Firth of Clyde in southwest Scotland. The celebrated poet Robert Burns was born just three miles from Ayr.

67. Cold-blooded killer, for short : CROC
Crocodiles and alligators bear a resemblance to each other, although they belong to distinct biological families. One of the main ways used to distinguish them is by their teeth and jaws. Both the upper and lower sets of teeth of a crocodile are visible when its mouth is closed, whereas only the upper teeth of an alligator are visible with the mouth shut.

71. “Fiddlesticks!” : CURSES!
We’ve been using “fiddlesticks” to mean “nonsense” since the early 17th century. Prior to that time, “fiddlestick” referred to the bow of a fiddle.

Down
1. Holy cow : ZEBU
Zebu cattle are most often seen on the Indian subcontinent. They’re the subspecies with the fatty hump on their shoulders, droopy ears and a large dewlap (flap of skin under the neck). In the Hindu tradition, the zebu can represent Nandi, the sacred bull that serves as the mount of the god Shiva.

5. 2000 Richard Gere title role : DR T
The 2000 movie “Dr. T & the Women” is a pretty good film, starring Richard Gere in the title role. There can’t be many romantic comedies about gynecologists …

Richard Gere has played such great roles on the screen, and I find him to be a very interesting character off the screen. Gere has been studying Buddhism since 1978 and is a very visible supporter of the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet.

6. T-bone, e.g. : STEAK
The T-bone and porterhouse are related cuts of meat, with the latter being a larger version of the former, and both being cut from the short loin.

9. Drinks at Trader Vic’s : MAI TAIS
The Mai Tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum.

10. Landslide winner of 1972 : NIXON
George McGovern ran as the Democratic candidate in the 1972 presidential election, losing to Richard Nixon in a landslide. McGovern also served in the US House of Representatives from 1957 to 1961 and in the US Senate from 1963 to 1981, representing his home state of South Dakota.

11. Great Scott : WALTER
Sir Walter Scott was a Scottish novelist and playwright, the first English-language author to gain popularity around the world during his own lifetime. The most famous of his works are “Ivanhoe”, “Rob Roy” and “The Lady of the Lake”.

12. “Ah, Wilderness!” playwright : O’NEILL
“Ah, Wilderness!” is a comedy play by Eugene O’Neill that was first stage in 1933, on Broadway. “Ah, Wilderness!” was adapted into the musical film “Summer Holiday” that was released in 1948.

22. “April Love” singer, 1957 : PAT BOONE
“April Love” is the theme song for the 1957 film of the same name that was a number-one hit for Pat Boone. Pat Boone stars in the film, opposite Shirley Jones.

Pat Boone is a singer and actor who was born in Jacksonville, Florida but was raised in Nashville. Boone has recorded 38 songs that made into the Top 40, and has appeared in 12 Hollywood movies. Back in 1955, one of his opening acts was Elvis Presley.

24. Wall St. credential : MBA
New York’s famous “Wall Street” was originally named by the Dutch as “de Waal Straat”.

27. Infinitely repeating geometric patterns : FRACTALS
A fractal is a fascinating geometric shape, one that can be split into parts, each of which is a smaller version (almost identical to) of the larger shape. The name “fractal” comes from the Latin “fractus” meaning “broken” or “fragmented”. Fractals are found all over nature, most notably the shapes created by ice crystals. It can be hard to tell the difference between the shapes of ice as it freezes on glass, viewed with the eye or viewed under a microscope. Fractals can also be seen in clouds, snow flakes, and even in cauliflower and broccoli!

28. Ernst & Young employee, for short : CPA
Ernst & Young is one of the Big Four accountancy firms, alongside Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ernst & Young is headquartered in London.

29. Drinking buddy for Falstaff : HAL
“Prince Hal” is a term used for Prince Henry, the son of the title character in Shakespeare’s plays “Henry IV, Part 1” and “Henry IV, Part 2”. Prince Hal then becomes the King in Shakespeare’s “Henry V”.

Sir John Falstaff is the lead character in Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and a supporting character in the two “Henry IV” plays. Falstaff is a self-promoting, obese and cowardly man. In “King Henry IV, part I”, Falstaff refers to his portly size, saying, “thou seest I have more flesh than another man, and therefore more frailty.”

31. Boy’s name that means “the king” : ELROY
The name Elroy is an alteration of the name Leroy, with the French “le” being replaced by the Spanish “el”. “Le roy” is an Old French phrase meaning “the king.

40. Citadel : FORTRESS
A citadel is a fortress built to protect a town or a city. Both the words “city” and “citadel” come from the Latin word “civis” meaning “citizen”.

41. H as in Heracles : ETA
Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

The famous myth usually called “The Twelve Labors of Hercules” is actually Greek in origin, although Hercules is the Roman name for the hero that the Greeks called Heracles.

42. Radiation dosage : REM
The contemporary standard radiation dosage unit is the “roentgen equivalent in man”, abbreviated to “rem”.

44. 100 meters x 100 meters : HECTARE
The hectare is a non-SI unit of area that is mainly used to measure land. One hectare is equal to 10,000 square meters (100 meters x 100 meters), and equivalent to 2.47 acres.

46. Reorganize computer data to improve performance, informally : DEFRAG
Defragmentation is the process by which data on a mass storage device is physically rearranged into the minimum number of contiguous regions.

48. Man : HOMBRE
In Spanish, a boy (niño) turns into a man (hombre).

55. Moral tenet : ETHIC
A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

59. “Dies ___” : IRAE
“Dies Irae” is Latin for “Day of Wrath”. It is the name of a famous melody in Gregorian Chant, one that is often used as part of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.

63. Fabled monster in Arabic literature : ROC
The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants. The roc was said to come from the Indian subcontinent. The supposed existence of the roc was promulgated by Marco Polo in the accounts that he published of his travels through Asia.

65. Old French coin : ECU
The ecu is an Old French coin. When introduced in 1640, the ecu was worth three livres (an older coin, called a “pound” in English). The word “ecu” comes from the Latin “scutum” meaning “shield”. The original ecu had a coat of arms on it, a shield.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “Holy cow!” : ZOUNDS!
7. “Nuts!” : DAMN!
11. “Great Scott!” : WOW!
14. Old hand : EXPERT
15. Jai ___ : ALAI
16. Santa ___ winds : ANA
17. Rake over the coals : BERATE
18. Movies, informally : FLIX
19. Football Hall-of-Famer Ford : LEN
20. Textbook segment : UNIT
21. Likely : APT
23. Small songbird : TOMTIT
25. Alaska city that’s larger in area than Rhode Island or Delaware : SITKA
27. Auto part driven by the crankshaft : FAN BELT
28. Admonish : CHIDE
30. Hatcher of “Desperate Housewives” : TERI
32. Guthrie who sang at Woodstock : ARLO
33. Sunday morning talk show assemblage : PANEL
34. “Fudge!” : BLAST!
36. Harmful ___ bloom (aquatic growth) : ALGAL
37. Fabled monster in English literature : ORC
38. Send someplace else : REFER
43. “Rats!” : SHOOT!
45. Theatricalize : EMOTE
46. Exclamations often made with head-slaps : D’OHS
50. One-named singer with four Grammys : ENYA
51. James ___ Garfield : ABRAM
52. Declare : ENOUNCE
54. Words before go or ride : LET IT
56. Seductive “Austin Powers” android : FEMBOT
57. Jet for the jet set : SST
58. Common newspaper nickname : TRIB
61. Stars and Bars soldier, informally : REB
62. Polynesian dietary staple : TARO
64. Straight : HETERO
66. Port on the Firth of Clyde : AYR
67. Cold-blooded killer, for short : CROC
68. Tool for fishing a frozen river : ICE SAW
69. “Man!” : GEE!
70. “Darn it!” : HECK!
71. “Fiddlesticks!” : CURSES!

Down
1. Holy cow : ZEBU
2. Wagon pullers : OXEN
3. It’s a riot : UPRISING
4. Bit of cleverness : NEAT IDEA
5. 2000 Richard Gere title role : DR T
6. T-bone, e.g. : STEAK
7. Nuts : DAFT
8. Entirely : ALL
9. Drinks at Trader Vic’s : MAI TAIS
10. Landslide winner of 1972 : NIXON
11. Great Scott : WALTER
12. “Ah, Wilderness!” playwright : O’NEILL
13. “Are you game?” : WANT TO?
22. “April Love” singer, 1957 : PAT BOONE
24. Wall St. credential : MBA
26. Rats : TELLS
27. Infinitely repeating geometric patterns : FRACTALS
28. Ernst & Young employee, for short : CPA
29. Drinking buddy for Falstaff : HAL
31. Boy’s name that means “the king” : ELROY
35. Fudge : TREAT
39. Alienate : EMBITTER
40. Citadel : FORTRESS
41. H as in Heracles : ETA
42. Radiation dosage : REM
44. 100 meters x 100 meters : HECTARE
46. Reorganize computer data to improve performance, informally : DEFRAG
47. What the wary keep open while sleeping : ONE EYE
48. Man : HOMBRE
49. Benchwarmer : SUB
53. V-shaped cut : NOTCH
55. Moral tenet : ETHIC
57. Darn it : SOCK
59. “Dies ___” : IRAE
60. Fiddlesticks : BOWS
63. Fabled monster in Arabic literature : ROC
65. Old French coin : ECU

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4 thoughts on “1202-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Dec 14, Tuesday”

  1. This was like a Thursday puzzle. When the puzzle is exceptionally hard for the day or they are all hard for the week I assume that Shortz had a fight with his wife.

    Dennis – St. Paul

  2. I hate puzzles that use exclamations like "holy cow, nuts" etc. There are no other words to describe them, only in the constructor's mind. I also hate it when words that are not in the dictionary are used. Whoever has heard of "enounce" for
    "declare?" This was not a good puzzle!

  3. I agree that this one was too challenging for a Tuesday puzzle. Glad I fought through it, though… and, I suppose the theme wasn't so forced as to preclude finishing it…. unlike so many others this year.

  4. There were two really bad clues.
    1. Fudge = TREAT is so wrong. They are not synonymous; fudge is an example of a treat. Not putting "e.g." after "Fudge" because it "destroys" the symmetry is a cop out.
    2. Darn it = SOCK is even worse. One doesn't say, "Oh, I've torn a hole in my sweater; I must SOCK immediately!"
    It's a pity that a V-shaped cut isn't a NOTCF and 100m-by-100m isn't a HECTARU, because then 70A would tie "darn it!" and "fudge!" together nicely.

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