1205-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Dec 14, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tim Croce
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 26m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. It has a “Complete My Album” service : ITUNES STORE
The iTunes Store now offers a “Complete My Album” service. The idea is that if someone already owns a track in an album, the balance of the album can be purchased at a discount.

17. He played Maxwell Smart in 2008 : STEVE CARELL
“Get Smart” is a 2008 comedy film based on the hit sixties TV show of the same name. The TV series had Don Adams playing Maxwell Smart and Barbara Feldon playing Agent 99. The movie has Steve Carell as Smart, and Anne Hathaway as Agent 99.

18. Energy : VIM
“Vim” and “pep” are words that both mean “energy” and “power”.

19. Idée origin : TETE
In French, one’s head (tête) might produce an idea (idée).

20. The end of Samson? : -ITE
The luggage company called Samsonite started out as the Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company in Denver, Colorado in 1910. For quite a few years, Samsonite manufactured and distributed Lego toy building blocks for the North American market.

23. Ingredients in bowstring waxes : ROSINS
Rosin is a solid form of resin derived from plant sources. Rosin is formed into cakes that players of stringed instruments use to rub along the hairs of their bows to help improve sound quality. The rosin increases the degree of friction between the strings and the bow. That same friction-increasing property comes into play when baseball pitchers use rosin to get a better grip on the ball.

26. One-sixth of diciotto : TRE
In Italian, one sixth of eighteen (diciotto) is three (tre).

33. Kind of acid used in fireproofing : BORIC
Boric acid is a weak acid that usually comes as a white powder for domestic use. The powder can be dissolved in water and used as an antiseptic. Boric acid is also used as a flame retardant in things like cellulose attic insulation.

35. “Encore!” : BIS!
“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request another song, say. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!” instead, which is the Italian for “twice!”

41. Old show horse : MR ED
“Mister Ed” first aired in 1961 and ran for almost five years. It was a very successful show (and even made it to Ireland!). Mister Ed, the talking horse, was a palomino that had the real name of Bamboo Harvester. Mister Ed’s “voice” was that of actor Allan “Rocky” Lane, a star of a lot of B-movie westerns from the forties and fifties. In the show, Mister Ed would only talk to the lead (human) character Wilbur, played by Alan Young, leading to some hilarious situations. Mister Ed had a stunt double and stand-in for the show, another horse called Pumpkin. Pumpkin later played the horse that made frequent appearances on the show “Green Acres”.

42. Athletic conf. for UMass : A-TEN
The Atlantic 10 Conference actually has fourteen member colleges, despite the name.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) is the largest public university in New England. UMass was founded back in 1863, although it took a while to get the school into service. Construction work was delayed and the college went through two presidents before William S. Clark took charge. He cracked the whip, completed the construction and enrolled the first students in the same year that he took over the reins, in 1867. As a result, although Clark was the third President of UMass, he is regarded by most as the school’s founding father.

44. Title bird in a Rimsky-Korsakov opéra : COQ
“The Golden Cockerel” (“Le coq d’or”) is a an opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov that was premiered in 1909 in Moscow. Sadly, that premiere was a year after the composer died.

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was one of the great Russian composers from the Romantic Era. His most famous works are probably “Capriccio Espagnol” and “Scheherazade”. While he was composing, Rimsky-Korsakov spent much of his working life as an officer in the Imperial Russian Navy.

45. One may be smoked out : BEE
A bee smoker is a device used to calm honey bees. It is believed that the smoke masks pheromones released by bees when they are under stress. So, a swarm does not react to bees under stress when a beekeeper opens and inspects a hive.

46. “If I Were a Carpenter” singer : DARIN
The singer Bobby Darin had a short but eventful life. Darin started in show business as a songwriter for Connie Francis. He then made it big as a performer with huge hits like “Splish Splash”, “Dream Lover”, “Mack the Knife” and “Beyond the Sea”. He was active politically as a supporter of Robert Kennedy, and was present in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when Kennedy was assassinated. Soon after, Darin found out that the people he thought were his parents, were in fact his grandparents. The woman he knew as his older sister was in fact his mother. Darin died following a heart operation at only 37 years old.

48. Province : Canada :: ___ : Russia : OBLAST
An oblast is an administrative division in some countries of the former Soviet Union, and in some Slavic countries.

51. Part of a large kingdom : ANIMAL
Biological classification is a method used to group organisms by biological type. The method uses a hierarchy of nested classes, with an organism being classified with reference to evolutionary traits. The major taxonomic ranks used are:

– Life
– Domain
– Kingdom
– Phylum
– Class
– Order
– Family
– Genus
– Species

53. Umami source, briefly : MSG
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe “a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until 1985 that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.

54. 16-season N.H.L.’er Fleury : THEO
Theo Fleury is a retured hockey player from Saskatchewan. Fleury spends much of his time now as an advocate for sexual abuse victims. He revealed in a 2009 autobiography that he himself had been sexually abused by his junior hockey coach.

61. Renowned long jumper : EVEL KNIEVEL
Daredevil Evel Knievel contracted hepatitis C from the many blood transfusions that he needed after injuries incurred during stunts. He had to have a liver transplant as a result, but his health declined after that. Knievel eventually passed away in 2007.

62. Causes of street rumbles? : ELS
Elevated railroad (El)

63. National coming-out day? : RELEASE DATE
I guess the reference is to a movie’s national release date …

Down
2. Furry oyster cracker : OTTER
The fur of the sea otter is exceptionally thick. It is in fact the densest fur in the whole animal kingdom.

3. By dint of : DUE TO
A “dint” is an effort or power, as in “he made it by dint of hard work”. “By dint of” is a new expression to me, but it has been around since the early 1300s. I must have been out that day …

5. Chuckle bit : HEE
Tee-hee …

6. Of songbirds : OSCINE
The adjective “oscine” describes birds belonging to the suborder Oscine, a group that includes most songbirds.

7. They have 125 questions and last 130 mins. : PSATS
Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

8. French soliloquy starter? : ETRE
The French for “to be” is “être”.

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles …

There has been centuries of debate about how one interprets Hamlet’s soliloquy that begins “To be or not to be …”. My favorite opinion is that Hamlet is weighing up the pros and cons of suicide (“to not be”).

9. Arche de ___ (boat in la Bible) : NOE
In French, Noah’s ark (arche de Noé) is a boat in the Bible (la Bible).

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

10. General-aviation alternative to Le Bourget : ORLY
Orly is on the outskirts of Paris, to the south of the city. It is home to the Paris-Orly Airport, the second busiest international airport for the city after the more recently built Charles de Gaulle Airport. That said, Orly is home to more domestic flights than Charles de Gaulle.

Paris-Le Bourget Airport was built about 7 miles from the center of Paris in 1919. It was the city’s only airport for 13 years, until Orly Airport opened in 1932. One of the most famous arrivals at Le Bourget was the landing of the Spirit of St. Louis piloted by Charles Lindbergh in 1927, marking the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic. The airport is used today only for business aviation, although it does host the Paris Air Show every year.

11. Early text messager : TELEX
Telex grew out of the world of the telegraph. What Telex brought to telegraphy was the ability to route messages. Instead of having to talk to an operator to route a particular message to the intended party, the user of a telex could route the message directly to another telex machine by way of a rotary dial, very similar to that on a telephone.

14. Succubus, e.g. : DEMONESS
In folklore, a succub32. Aids for dating : TREE RINGS
us is a female demon that takes on the form of an attractive female in order to seduce unwitting men. The succubus draws energy from the seduced men in order to survive, using sexual intercourse in the same way that a vampire might suck blood for the same purpose. The word succubus derives from the Latin “succubare”, itself from “sub” “cubare” meaning “to lie under”. There was a male equivalent to a succubus, namely an incubus.

24. Like “come” and “go”: Abbr. : IRREG
The verbs “to come” and “to go” are irregular.

27. 2002 Denzel Washington thriller : JOHN Q
“John Q” is a 2002 drama movie starring Denzel Washington as the father of a child in need of a heart transplant. The family’s HMO health insurance will not cover the operation and so the child’s name is not put on the transplant recipient list. The father then takes the drastic step of holding hostage a hospital full of patients. Towards the end of the movie the father takes the further step of trying to kill himself so that his own heart can be harvested for his son.

28. Frequent foe of Wonder Woman : ARES
Wonder Woman first appeared in print in 1941, in a publication from DC Comics. As she was created during WWII, Wonder Woman’s first foes were the axis powers. In the less realistic world her biggest foe was and still is Ares, a “baddie” named for the Greek mythological figure.

29. What “many a man hath more hair than,” in Shakespeare : WIT
“Why, but there’s many a man hath more hair than wit” is a line from William Shakespeare’s play “The Comedy of Errors”.

William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” is the shortest of all his plays, and one of his earliest. It’s all about two sets of identical twins who are separated at birth. Hilarity ensues …

Growth rings can be seen in a horizontal cross section of a tree trunk. These rings are caused by a change in the rate of growth of a tree that comes with the seasons, so the rings are more easily discerned in trees that grow in regions with marked seasonal changes.

33. Riboflavin, familiarly : B-TWO
Riboflavin is vitamin B-2. At one time, riboflavin was known as vitamin G.

34. Transport over dry land? : CAMEL
The dromedary, also known as the Arabian Camel or Indian Camel, is the camel that has only one hump. The other species of camel is the Bactrian, which has two humps. The hump of a dromedary contains up to 80 pounds of fat, which can be broken down into water and energy if no food or water is available.

36. Social event in “No, No, Nanette” : TEA DANCE
The 1925 musical “No, No, Nanette” spawned two famous songs: “Tea for Two” and “I Want to Be Happy”.

37. Rx writer : DOC
There seems to some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol “Rx” that’s used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions in days of old to invoke Jupiter’s blessing to help a patient recover.

43. Ancient game much studied in game theory : NIM
Nim is an ancient entertainment, a simple mathematical game of strategy. Nim involves removing items from distinct piles (say matchsticks). Each player must remove at least one item per turn, and the last person to remove an item is the loser.

45. Options for target practice : BB GUNS
A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.080″ in diameter) to size FF (.23″). 0.180″ diameter birdshot is size BB, which gives the airgun its name.

47. Early touter of air bags : NADER
Ralph Nader has run as a third-party candidate for the office of President of the United States four times now, in every election from 1996 to 2008. Nader’s name was first first linked with the presidential race in 1971, when the famous Dr. Benjamin Spock offered to stand aside as candidate in the 1972 race if Nader would agree to run, but he declined.

“Unsafe at Any Speed” is a 1965 book by consumer advocate Ralph Nader in which the author accuses car manufacturers of resisting the introduction of safety features in order to maximize profit.

48. Home to baseball’s Orix Buffaloes : OSAKA
The Orix Buffaloes are the professional baseball team based in Osaka, Japan. Orix is a financial services company headquartered in Tokyo.

49. Sanskrit for “the auspicious one” : SHIVA
The Hindu Trinity is composed of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva (also Siva) the destroyer or transformer. Shiva is a Sanskrit word meaning “auspicious, kind, gracious”.

50. Canon element : TENET
A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

53. “___ Modiste” (Victor Herbert operetta) : MLLE
“Mlle Modiste” is an operetta composed by Victor Herbert with a libretto by Henry Blossom. The work premiered on Broadway in 1905, and is about girl called Fifi who works in a hat shop, and whose ambition is to be an opera singer.

58. Gulper ___ : EEL
Gulper eels aren’t eels at all, but are ray-finned fish.

59. Bestow, to Burns : GIE
Gie is a variant of “give” used sometimes by Scots, and maybe even by Robert Burns.

Robert Burns is a cultural icon in Scotland and for Scots around the world. As a poet, Burns was a pioneer in the Romantic movement in the second half of the 18th century. One of his most famous works is the poem “Auld Lang Syne”, which has been set to the tune of a traditional Scottish folk song and is used to celebrate the New Year in the English-speaking world.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “Perish the thought!” : GOD, I HOPE NOT!
12. Many a delivery participant : DAD
15. It has a “Complete My Album” service : ITUNES STORE
16. It’ll slow down traffic : ICE
17. He played Maxwell Smart in 2008 : STEVE CARELL
18. Energy : VIM
19. Idée origin : TETE
20. The end of Samson? : -ITE
21. “Absolutely” : YES I DO
23. Ingredients in bowstring waxes : ROSINS
25. Marks, as a box : XES IN
26. One-sixth of diciotto : TRE
27. What may drop in disbelief : JAW
30. Certain union member : WIFE
31. Show signs of life : STIR
33. Kind of acid used in fireproofing : BORIC
35. “Encore!” : BIS!
36. Made a comeback, say : TURNED THE TABLES
39. Greenwich-to-New Haven dir. : ENE
40. They might come with trains : GOWNS
41. Old show horse : MR ED
42. Athletic conf. for UMass : A-TEN
44. Title bird in a Rimsky-Korsakov opéra : COQ
45. One may be smoked out : BEE
46. “If I Were a Carpenter” singer : DARIN
48. Province : Canada :: ___ : Russia : OBLAST
51. Part of a large kingdom : ANIMAL
53. Umami source, briefly : MSG
54. 16-season N.H.L.’er Fleury : THEO
56. Start to sense? : NON-
57. Totally break up : DIE LAUGHING
60. One smoked, informally : CIG
61. Renowned long jumper : EVEL KNIEVEL
62. Causes of street rumbles? : ELS
63. National coming-out day? : RELEASE DATE

Down
1. Drift : GIST
2. Furry oyster cracker : OTTER
3. By dint of : DUE TO
4. Get a share of, say : INVEST IN
5. Chuckle bit : HEE
6. Of songbirds : OSCINE
7. They have 125 questions and last 130 mins. : PSATS
8. French soliloquy starter? : ETRE
9. Arche de ___ (boat in la Bible) : NOE
10. General-aviation alternative to Le Bourget : ORLY
11. Early text messager : TELEX
12. Like any number by itself : DIVISIBLE
13. Soured : ACIDIFIED
14. Succubus, e.g. : DEMONESS
22. Secure, with “up” : SEW
24. Like “come” and “go”: Abbr. : IRREG
27. 2002 Denzel Washington thriller : JOHN Q
28. Frequent foe of Wonder Woman : ARES
29. What “many a man hath more hair than,” in Shakespeare : WIT
31. Browning selection? : SUNTAN OIL
32. Aids for dating : TREE RINGS
33. Riboflavin, familiarly : B-TWO
34. Transport over dry land? : CAMEL
36. Social event in “No, No, Nanette” : TEA DANCE
37. Rx writer : DOC
38. Showed signs of life : BREATHED
43. Ancient game much studied in game theory : NIM
45. Options for target practice : BB GUNS
47. Early touter of air bags : NADER
48. Home to baseball’s Orix Buffaloes : OSAKA
49. Sanskrit for “the auspicious one” : SHIVA
50. Canon element : TENET
52. Unexploded : LIVE
53. “___ Modiste” (Victor Herbert operetta) : MLLE
55. Eyeball, in a way : OGLE
58. Gulper ___ : EEL
59. Bestow, to Burns : GIE

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