1208-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Dec 14, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kevin Christian & Andrea Carla Michaels
THEME: Vowel-Sound Progression … each of today’s themed answers starts with a letter S followed by a vowel sound. And, those vowel sounds are in the order A-E-I-O-U as we progress down the grid:

17A. Nickname for Willie Mays : SAY HEY KID (S + A-sound)
25A. Catchphrase for a monkey with its eyes covered : SEE NO EVIL (S + E-sound)
38A. Where Darth Vader might meet Captain Kirk : SCI-FI CONVENTION (S + I-sound)
52A. Carole King hit from “Tapestry” : SO FAR AWAY (S + O-sound)
64A. Iowa port on the Missouri River : SIOUX CITY (S + U-sound)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 10s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

8. Archie Bunker type : BIGOT
“Bigot” is a French word that back in the late 1500s meant “sanctimonious person, religious hypocrite”. We use the term today to describe someone who is biased towards his or her own group, and who is intolerant of those outside of that group.

“All in the Family” is an American sitcom, a remake of the incredibly successful BBC show called “Till Death Us Do Part”. Both the UK and US versions of the sitcom were groundbreaking in that the storyline brought into focus topics previously considered unsuitable for a television comedy, including racism, homosexuality, women’s liberation, menopause and impotence. “All in the Family” is one of only three TV shows that has topped the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive seasons (the other two are “The Cosby Show” and “American Idol”).

Stars of the sitcom :”All in the Family” were:

– Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker
– Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker
– Sally Struthers as Gloria Stivic née Bunker
– Rob Reiner as Michael Stivic

13. Rocky peak : TOR
A tor is a high rocky hill. “Tor” comes from the Old English “torr”, the word for a tower or rock, which in turn comes from the Old Welsh “twrr” meaning a heap or a pile.

14. Vietnam’s capital : HANOI
Hanoi was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon was the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City.

16. “… and ___ grow on” : ONE TO
Apparently the phrase “and one to grow in” is sometimes used when giving a birthday spanking (which sounds like an archaic custom). The unfortunate person with the birthday gets a friendly whack on the rear for each year that they’ve been alive, and then one more is added while saying “and one to grow on”. There may be a related, and less violent, custom involving candles on a birthday cake. An extra candle is “one to to grow on”. When we were kids in Ireland we’d give the “birthday bumps”. The birthday boy would be laid on the ground on his back and four kids would pick him up, one holding each of his arms and legs. Then he’d be bumped (lowered to the ground) once for each year. Our teachers used to come running …

17. Nickname for Willie Mays : SAY HEY KID
Willie Mays’ nickname was the “Say Hey Kid”, although his friends and teammates were more likely to refer to him as “Buck”. When Mays was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he was asked who was the best player he’d ever seen in the game. He replied, “I don’t mean to be bashful, but I was.”

20. Glue brand : ELMER’S
Elsie the Cow is the mascot of the Borden Company. Elsie first appeared at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, introduced to symbolize the perfect dairy product. Elsie was also given a husband named Elmer the Bull. Elmer eventually moved over to the chemical division of Borden where he gave his name to Elmer’s Glue.

23. “… good witch ___ bad witch?” : OR A
Early in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”, Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, asks Dorothy, “Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?”

24. Grammy winner for 2011’s “Someone Like You” : ADELE
Adele is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older.

25. Catchphrase for a monkey with its eyes covered : SEE NO EVIL
The old adage “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” originated in the 17th century. The phrase comes as an interpretation of a wood carving over a door in a shrine in Nikko, Japan. The carving depicts the “Three Wise Monkeys”:

– Mizaru, covering his eyes
– Kikazaru, covering his ears
– Iwazaru, covering his mouth

29. Certain vacuum tube : DIODE
A vacuum tube is a device that controls electric current in a circuit. The simplest example of a vacuum tube is a diode.

A diode is component in a circuit, the most notable characteristic of which is that it will conduct electric current in only one direction. Some of those vacuum tubes we used to see in old radios and television were diodes, but nowadays almost all diodes are semiconductor devices.

30. Cousin of a chickadee : TIT
Chickadees are group of birds in the tit family, with some species within the group called chickadees and some called tits. The name chickadee is imitative of the bird’s alarm call “chick-dee dee dee”.

33. O. Henry’s “The Gift of the ___” : MAGI
O’Henry’s short story called “The Gift of the Magi” was first published in 1905. It tells of relatively poor, newly-married couple who want to buy each other a gift for Christmas. The wife’s pride and joy is her long blonde hair, while the husband’s most treasured possession is his grandfather’s gold pocket watch. The wife sells her hair to buy her gift, and the husband sells his watch to buy his gift for his spouse. The wife is given a set of combs, hair accessories that are useless now that her hair is short. The husband gets a platinum fob chain for the watch that he no longer owns.

38. Where Darth Vader might meet Captain Kirk : SCI-FI CONVENTION
Darth Vader is the main character in the “Star Wars” movies. The villainous adult Vader was portrayed physically by several strapping male actors, the first being English bodybuilder David Prowse. Vader’s wonderful voice was supplies by actor James Earl Jones. However, Jones went uncredited in the first two films released, at his own request. He thought that his contribution to the role was too small to warrant a mention.

According to the storyline in “Star Trek”, Captain James Tiberius Kirk was born in Riverside, Iowa. The town of Riverside displays a plaque, noting Riverside as the “future birthplace of James T. Kirk.”

43. Reebok rival : PUMA
Puma is a German company that sells athletic shoes worldwide. The company is most famous for its line of soccer boots.

44. “Fiddling” Roman emperor : NERO
The brand name Reebok was adopted as the new company name for Foster Shoes of the UK in 1960. The name Reebok (more commonly “Rhebok”) is an Afrikaans word for an antelope, and comes from the term “roe buck”.

46. Tinker to ___ to Chance (classic double play) : EVERS
“Baseball’s Sad Lexicon” is a poem written by Franklin Pierce Adams in 1910:

These are the saddest of possible words:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon[a] bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double[b] –
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

50. Ayn who wrote “Atlas Shrugged” : RAND
Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born Alisa Rosenbaum. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan.

52. Carole King hit from “Tapestry” : SO FAR AWAY
Carole King is a marvelous singer-songwriter from Manhattan, New York. King started her career writing a string of hit songs with her partner and eventual husband Gerry Goffin (although they later divorced). King’s first composition to get to number one was “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, which she wrote at 18 years of age for the Shirelles. Not so long ago, my wife and I saw the stage musical “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”, which tells the story of King’s music and life. I highly recommend “Beautiful” …

Carole King’s marvelous 1951 album “Tapestry” was the best-selling album ever for much of the seventies. “Tapestry” was finally knocked off its perch by the “Saturday Night Fever” movie soundtrack, which was released in 1977.

60. Armstrong who said “The Eagle has landed” : NEIL
We always seem to remember the phrase “The Eagle has landed”, historic words spoken by Neil Armstrong when he put down Apollo 11’s Lunar Excursion Module on the surface of the moon. Looking back I have to say that the words preceding “The Eagle has landed” seem to have even more impact. During the descent to the moon’s surface Armstrong used the call sign “Eagle”, indicating that he was communicating from the LEM. After he killed the engines on touching down, Armstrong’s first words home to Earth were “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” That switch of call sign from “Eagle” to “Tranquility Base” always sends shivers down my spine …

61. Groups chasing outlaws : POSSES
Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

62. Wonderland girl : ALICE
Lewis Carroll wrote “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” in 1865, and the sequel called “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There” in 1871. Because in the second adventure Alice went through a looking glass, the themes were deliberately chosen to be mirror images of the themes in “Wonderland”. Whereas “Wonderland” begins indoors, is set in summer, and uses playing card imagery, “Looking Glass” begins out of doors, is set in winter and uses images from the game of chess.

67. Artist Matisse : HENRI
Henri Matisse was a French artist renowned for his contribution to modern art. In his early career, Matisse was classed as a “fauve”, one of the group of artists known as the “wild beasts” who emphasized strong color over realism in their works. He was a lifelong friend of Pablo Picasso, and the two were considered to be good-natured rivals so their works are often compared. One major difference between their individual portfolios is that Picasso tended to paint from his imagination, whereas Matisse tended to use nature as his inspiration.

68. “Diamonds ___ a Girl’s Best Friend” : ARE
“Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” is a song from the musical “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, and the 1953 film of the same name starring Marilyn Monroe. When Monroe sings the song in the film, it is her own voice that we are hearing. Well, almost … the soprano Marni Nixon dubs in some of the high notes for her.

Down
2. Dahl who wrote “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” : ROALD
Roald Dahl’s name is Norwegian. Dahl’s parents were from Norway, although Dahl himself was Welsh. Dahl became one of the most successful authors of the twentieth century. Two of his most famous titles are “James and the Giant Peach” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

5. “Airplane!” star Robert : HAYS
The 1980 movie “Airplane!” has to be one of the zaniest comedies ever made. The lead roles were Ted Striker (played by Robert Hays) and Elaine Dickinson (played by Julie Hagerty). But it was Leslie Nielsen who stole the show, playing Dr. Barry Rumack. That’s my own humble opinion of course …

9. Abbr. at the end of a co. name : INC
A company that has incorporated uses the abbreviation “Inc.” after its name. By incorporating, a company forms a corporation, which is a legal entity that has legal rights similar to those of an individual. For example, a corporation can sue another corporation or individual. However, a corporation does not have all the rights of citizens. A corporation does not have the Fifth Amendment right of protections against self-incrimination, for example. It is perhaps understandable that the concept of “corporations as persons” is a frequent subject for debate.

11. Cheri formerly of 37-Down : OTERI
(37. See 11-Down : SNL)
Cheri Oteri was the SNL cast member who regularly appeared with Will Farrell in the skit featuring a pair of Spartan cheerleaders.

25. Lily with bell-shaped flowers : SEGO
The Sego Lily is the state flower of Utah, and is a perennial plant found throughout the Western United States.

26. Blue-pencil : EDIT
The tradition is that an editor writes corrections to written copy using a blue pencil. The practise arose with the introduction of the “non-photo blue” pencil, which had a color that did not show up in some photographic reproduction processes.

28. Efron of “High School Musical” : ZAC
Zac Efron is an actor from San Luis Obispo, California. Apparently Efron is a heartthrob to “tweenyboppers”. His big break was in the Disney hit movie “High School Musical”.

“High School Musical” is a 2006 Disney film made for television that spawned two sequels released to movie theaters worldwide. The soundtrack to “High School Musical” ended up being the best-selling album for 2006. Apparently the storyline is based on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”.

30. Cookbook meas. : TSP
Teaspoon (tsp.)

31. Hospital area with many IVs : ICU
One might see intravenous drips (IVs) in an intensive care unit (ICU).

36. Japanese pond fish : KOI
Koi are also called Japanese carp. Koi have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored examples found in Japanese water gardens.

37. See 11-Down : SNL
“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

39. ___ bean : FAVA
Fava bean is an alternative name for the broad bean.

47. Hemingway or Borgnine : ERNEST
Ernest Hemingway moved around a lot. He was born in Illinois, and after leaving school headed to the Italian front during WWI. There he served as an ambulance driver, an experience he used as inspiration for “A Farewell to Arms”. He returned to the US after being seriously wounded, but a few years later moved to Paris where he worked as a foreign correspondent. He covered the Spanish War as a journalist, from Spain, using this experience for “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. During the thirties and forties he had two permanent residences, one in Key West, Florida, and one in Cuba. In the late fifties he moved to Ketchum, Idaho, where he committed suicide in 1961.

Ernest Borgnine was the stage name of actor Ermes Borgnino from Hamden, Connecticut. One of Borgnine’s most famous roles was Lieutenant Commander Quinton McHale in the hit TV series “McHale’s Navy”. Borgnine had himself served in the US Navy from 1935 to 1941. He then re-enlisted after the attack on Pearl Harbor and served until 1945.

48. Charlotte of “The Facts of Life” : RAE
Charlotte Rae is an American actress, best known for playing the character Edna Garrett on two sitcoms from the seventies and eighties: “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life”. Towards the end of the series, the Edna Garrett character operated her own gourmet food shop called “Edna’s Edibles”.

51. Tiddlywink or Frisbee : DISC
Tiddlywinks is a game played by children, and sometimes competitively by adults. The idea is to propel small plastic discs called “winks” into a pot using a larger disc called a “squidger”.

The Frisbee phenomenon started back in 1938 with a couple who had an upturned cake pan that they were tossing between each other on Santa Monica Beach in California. They were offered 25 cents for the pan on the spot, and as pans could be bought for 5 cents, the pair figured there was a living to be earned.

52. Big mistake : SNAFU
SNAFU is an acronym standing for Situation Normal: All Fouled Up (well, that’s the “polite” version!). As you might imagine, the term developed in the US Army, during WWII.

56. Japanese or Javanese : ASIAN
The Japanese names for “Japan” are “Nippon” and “Nihon”. These translate literally as “the sun’s origin”, but the more ornate translation of “Land of the Rising Sun” is often cited.

Java is a large island in Indonesia and home to the country’s capital, Jakarta. With a population of over 130 million, Java is the most populous island in the world, with even more people than Honshu, the main island of Japan.

63. The Indians, on scoreboards : CLE
The Cleveland baseball franchise started out in 1869 as the Forest Citys named after Forest city, the nickname for Cleveland. After a number of transitions, in 1914 the team took on the name “Indians”. The media came up with name “Indians” after being asked for suggestions by the team owners. “Indians” was inspired by the successful Boston team of the day, the Boston Braves.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Paintings and statues : ART
4. Carriage driver’s tool : WHIP
8. Archie Bunker type : BIGOT
13. Rocky peak : TOR
14. Vietnam’s capital : HANOI
16. “… and ___ grow on” : ONE TO
17. Nickname for Willie Mays : SAY HEY KID
19. Square dance group, e.g. : OCTET
20. Glue brand : ELMER’S
21. Chunk of cement, say : SLAB
23. “… good witch ___ bad witch?” : OR A
24. Grammy winner for 2011’s “Someone Like You” : ADELE
25. Catchphrase for a monkey with its eyes covered : SEE NO EVIL
27. Labyrinth : MAZE
29. Certain vacuum tube : DIODE
30. Cousin of a chickadee : TIT
33. O. Henry’s “The Gift of the ___” : MAGI
35. Peeves : IRKS
38. Where Darth Vader might meet Captain Kirk : SCI-FI CONVENTION
43. Reebok rival : PUMA
44. “Fiddling” Roman emperor : NERO
45. Up to, briefly : ‘TIL
46. Tinker to ___ to Chance (classic double play) : EVERS
50. Ayn who wrote “Atlas Shrugged” : RAND
52. Carole King hit from “Tapestry” : SO FAR AWAY
55. Small crown : TIARA
59. Nothing : NIL
60. Armstrong who said “The Eagle has landed” : NEIL
61. Groups chasing outlaws : POSSES
62. Wonderland girl : ALICE
64. Iowa port on the Missouri River : SIOUX CITY
66. Coal and natural gas : FUELS
67. Artist Matisse : HENRI
68. “Diamonds ___ a Girl’s Best Friend” : ARE
69. Unexpected win : UPSET
70. Antidrug cop : NARC
71. “Fat chance!” : NOT!

Down
1. Befuddled : AT SEA
2. Dahl who wrote “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” : ROALD
3. “Go ahead, I’m listening” : TRY ME
4. Dazed inquiry : WHERE AM I?
5. “Airplane!” star Robert : HAYS
6. Pen filler : INK
7. Coolness under pressure : POISE
8. Little mistake : BOO-BOO
9. Abbr. at the end of a co. name : INC
10. “You have to move on!” : GET OVER IT!
11. Cheri formerly of 37-Down : OTERI
12. Utterly wreck : TOTAL
15. Twiddled one’s thumbs : IDLED
18. Captain’s place : HELM
22. Vowel that’s missing from “dangerously” : AN I
25. Lily with bell-shaped flowers : SEGO
26. Blue-pencil : EDIT
28. Efron of “High School Musical” : ZAC
30. Cookbook meas. : TSP
31. Hospital area with many IVs : ICU
32. What happens when you’re having fun? : TIME FLIES
34. Quaint hotel : INN
36. Japanese pond fish : KOI
37. See 11-Down : SNL
39. ___ bean : FAVA
40. Extremely : VERY
41. Period in history : ERA
42. Harmless, as paint : NONTOXIC
47. Hemingway or Borgnine : ERNEST
48. Charlotte of “The Facts of Life” : RAE
49. Sound of a perfect basketball shot : SWISH
51. Tiddlywink or Frisbee : DISC
52. Big mistake : SNAFU
53. Prepare for a bodybuilding contest, maybe : OIL UP
54. Otherworldly : ALIEN
56. Japanese or Javanese : ASIAN
57. Old-fashioned, yet hip : RETRO
58. Up to now : AS YET
61. What cats and some engines do : PURR
63. The Indians, on scoreboards : CLE
65. Go ___ diet : ON A

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2 thoughts on “1208-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Dec 14, Monday”

  1. OK start to the Monday. Nice to see a reference to Airplane in the NYT. Considering they assailed the film when it came out. It is childish, a bit profane, totally irreverent, and pant-wetting funny!

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