1210-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Dec 14, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tom McCoy
THEME: Chemically Symbolic Authors … each of today’s themed answers are the names of authors who happen to have element symbols as initials. Each of those sets of initials has been replaced by the element represented by that symbol:

20A. “The Sword in the Stone” author, to a chemist? : THORIUM WHITE (Th + T.H. White)
34A. “The African Queen” author, to a chemist? : CESIUM FORESTER (Cs + C.S. Forester)
43A. “The Children of Men” author, to a chemist? : PALLADIUM JAMES (Pd + P.D. James)
58A. “The Island of Dr. Moreau” author, to a chemist? : MERCURY WELLS (Hg + H.G. Wells)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 12m 39s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … ANIME (animi!), LIQUEFY (liquify!!!)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Rocker Huey : LEWIS
Huey Lewis and the News are a local band out here in the Bay Area, based in San Francisco. When the movie “Ghostbusters” came out in 1984, the band sued Ray Parker, Jr. who wrote the film’s theme song, claiming that it was very similar to their own song “I Want a New Drug”. The case was settled out of court, and the following year “Huey Lewis and the News” made the most of an opportunity to write a movie theme themselves. Their smash hit “The Power of Love” was written for “Back to the Future”, and propelled the band into stardom.

6. Nascar ___ : DAD
“NASCAR dad” is one of those phrases that is used to broadly describe a perceived demographic, the “typical” person who enjoys watching NASCAR. It is often used to describe a block of voters, and is akin to “soccer mom”.

9. Bonsai, e.g. : DWARF
The term “bonsai” is used more correctly to describe the Japanese art of growing carefully shaped trees in containers. Bonsai has come to be used as the name for all miniature trees in pots.

14. Like many residents of Lancaster County, Pa. : AMISH
The Amish are a group of Christian churches, a sub-group of the Mennonite churches. The Amish church originated in Switzerland and Alsace in 1693 when it was founded by Jakob Ammann. It was Ammann who gave the name to the Amish people. Many Amish people came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

15. QB Manning : ELI
Eli Manning plays as quarterback for the New York Giants. Eli’s brother Peyton Manning is quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Eli and Peyton’s father is Archie Manning, who was also a successful NFL quarterback.

17. Like a majority of Muslims : SUNNI
The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family.

18. Word before Mac or cheese : BIG
The iconic Big Mac sandwich was introduced nationally by McDonald’s in 1967. It was the creation of a Pittsburgh franchisee who offered it on the menu as a response to the very similar Big Boy sandwich offered by the competing “Big Boy” restaurant chain.

The phrase “the big cheese” doesn’t have its roots in the word “cheese” at all. The original phrase was “the real cheese” meaning “the real thing”, used way back in late 1800s (long before Coke picked it up). “Chiz” is a Persian and Hindi word meaning “thing”, and it’s not hard to see how the expression “the real chiz” would morph into “the real cheese”. Then in early-20th century America, instead of a “real cheese”, the most influential person in a group was labeled as “the big cheese”. And I think that is about the only use of the word “cheese” that is in anyway complimentary!

20. “The Sword in the Stone” author, to a chemist? : THORIUM WHITE (giving “TH White”)
“The Sword in the Stone” is a novel by T. H. White that was adapted into a Disney animated film of the same name. The novel tells the story of legendary King Arthur as a young boy.

Thorium is a radioactive element with the element symbol Th. It is one of only three radioactive elements found naturally (the others being bismuth and uranium). Thorium was discovered in 1828 and named for Thor, the Norse god of thunder.

27. Pizza, for one : PIE
Pizza was invented in Naples where it has a long tradition that goes back to Ancient Rome. During an 1889 visit to Naples, Queen Margherita of Savoy was served a special pizza that was created with toppings designed to mimic the colors of the Italian flag. The ingredients of tomato (red), mozzarella (white) and basil (green) can still be found together on menus today on a pie usually named Pizza Margherita after the queen. I do love basil on my pizza …

29. Western Indian : UTE
The Ute are a group of Native American tribes that now reside in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups.

32. New title for a 53-Down : MRS
(53D. Figurine on a certain cake : BRIDE)
Mr. is the abbreviation for “master”, and Mrs. is the abbreviation for “mistress”.

34. “The African Queen” author, to a chemist? : CESIUM FORESTER (giving “CS Forester”)
The excellent 1951 movie “The African Queen” is a screen adaptation of a novel with the same name by C. S. Forester. The stars of course were Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, and the film won Bogie his only Oscar. Some scenes were shot on location in Uganda and the Congo, where conditions were far from ideal for making a film. Most of the cast fell ill at various times, although Bogart remained hale and hearty. He claimed that was because he stuck to his own supply of whiskey rather than drinking the local water!

Cesium is a chemical element with the element symbol Cs. It is a metal that is liquid at room temperature, just like mercury. Cesium was discovered by German scientists Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff in 1860. They noted bright blue lines in its emission spectrum, and so named it for the Latin word “caesius” meaning “sky-blue”.

39. Part of a 23-Across : HULL
(23A. Feedbag morsel : OAT)
The hull of a seed or fruit is its outer coating, also known as the husk.

41. U.S. island with a royal palace : OAHU
The ‘Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu is unique within this country. It is the only royal palace in the US that was used as an official residence by a reigning monarch. The Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown in 1893 so the palace was used by successive governments even after Hawaii was awarded statehood in 1959. The palace has been a public museum since 1978.

43. “The Children of Men” author, to a chemist? : PALLADIUM JAMES (giving “PD James”)
P. D. James was an incredibly successful English author of crime fiction, with her most famous books being a series that features policeman and sometime poet Adam Dalgliesh. James’ 1992 novel called “The Children of Men” was adapted into a 2006 movie (“Children of Men”) starring Clive Owen and Julianne Moore. It tells of a world that develops after two generations of human infertility. James passed away in November 2014 at the age of 94.

48. Word often in brackets : SIC
“Sic” indicates that a quotation is written as originally found, perhaps including a typo. “Sic” is Latin for “thus, like this”.

49. Highly draftable … or a feature of the word “draft” : ONE-A
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System(SS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

50. Season after printemps : ETE
In French, spring (printemps) is followed by summer (été).

51. U.S.S.R. security org. : KGB
The Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti (KGB) was the national security agency of the Soviet Union until 1991. The KGB was dissolved after the agency’s chairman led a failed attempt at a coup d’état designed to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev.

54. Relative of “Voilà!” : QED
QED is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The QED acronym stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.

“Voilà!” is French for “there it is!”

56. Margery of rhyme : DAW
“See Saw Margery Daw” is a nursery rhyme that goes:

See Saw Margery Daw,
Jacky shall have a new master;
Jacky shall earn but a penny a day,
Because he can’t work any faster.

57. Some Garmin displays: Abbr. : STS
Street (st.)

Garmin is a manufacturer of navigational equipment, particularly GPS devices. The company is headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas and was founded in 1989. The two founders are Gary Burrell and Min H. Kao. The name “Garmin” comes from the names “Gary” and “Min”.

58. “The Island of Dr. Moreau” author, to a chemist? : MERCURY WELLS (giving “HG Wells”)
“The Island of Doctor Moreau” is an 1896 novel penned by H. G. Wells. The book tells the story of a shipwrecked man who ends up on the island of Doctor Moreau. Moreau engages in vivisection and creates new beasts by combining different species.

Mercury is a metallic element that is liquid at room temperature. It was this property that led to its former name “hydrargyrum”, from the Greek “hydr-” (water) and “argyros” (silver). And, “hydrargyrum” gives us Mercury’s element symbol “Hg”. The name “mercury” was in honor of the Roman god Mercury, who was known for speed and agility, another reference to metals liquid properties. Most of the world’s mercury is found in the form of mercuric sulfide, in the ore called cinnabar.

62. Television genre : ANIME
Anime is cartoon animation in the style of Japanese Manga comic books.

The Japanese word “manga” means “whimsical pictures” and is an apt term to describe the Japanese style of comic book. Manga publications are more diverse than American comic books and have a larger audience. Manga cover many subjects including romance, sports, business, horror, and mystery.

64. Like radon : INERT
Radon is a radioactive gas, a byproduct produced when uranium decays naturally in the earth. Radon gas can collect and accumulate in buildings and rooms that are particularly well insulated with very little air exchange. The danger is very real, as radon is listed as the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.

70. Land bordering Lake Chad : NIGER
The Republic of Niger is a landlocked country in Western Africa that gets its name from the Niger River. 80% of the country lies within the bounds of the Sahara Desert.

Lake Chad is a very large and shallow lake in Africa, one that changes size dramatically in a very short space of time. Lake Chad shrank by a massive 95% from 1963 to 1998, but has been recovering ever since. Parts of the lake lie within the countries of Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.

72. TV neighbor of Homer : NED
Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

Down
2. Avian source of red meat : EMU
Even though emu meat is classified as a red meat because of its color, it has a fat content that is comparable to other poultry.

5. Chinese toy : SHIH TZU
The Shih Tzu is one of the oldest breeds of dog, a breed that originated in China. Shih Tzus have long hairy coats but they don’t shed.

7. Et ___ (and others) : ALII
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

9. BVDs, e.g. : DRAWERS
Underwear known as “drawers” are so called as they are “drawn on”, pulled on.

The men’s underwear known as BVDs are made by the Bradley, Voorhees & Day. The company was started in 1876 to make bustles for women, and is named for its founders.

13. ___ Street (British journalism) : FLEET
Fleet Street in London used to be home to most British national newspapers, but not anymore. The last British news office moved out of the high-priced neighborhood in 2005. It is now home to investment banking, legal and accountancy firms. The street is named for the River Fleet, which is the city’s largest underground river.

21. City near a 29-Across reservation : OREM
Orem, Utah was originally known as “Sharon” (a Biblical name), then “Provo Bench”, and in 1914 it was given the family name of a local railroad operator called “Orem”. Orem gave itself the nickname “Family City USA” and sure enough in 2010, “Forbes” rated Orem the 5th best place in the country to raise a family.

25. Notable current researcher : TESLA
Nikola Tesla was born in Serbia, but later moved to the US. His work on mechanical and electrical engineering was crucial to the development of alternating current technology, the same technology that is used by equipment at the backbone of modern power generation and distribution systems.

33. Greek walkway : STOA
A stoa was a covered walkway in Ancient Greece. A stoa usually consisted of columns lining the side of a building or buildings, with another row of columns defining the other side of the walkway. The columns supported a roof. Often stoae would surround marketplaces in large cities.

37. Chair designer Charles : EAMES
Charles and Ray Eames were a husband-wife team of furniture designers. One of the more famous of their designs is the Eames lounge chair that comes with an ottoman. This trendy piece of furniture featured in a late episode of the television show “Frasier”. In the show, Frasier’s Dad remarks that the Eames chair is so comfortable that he might have gotten rid of his tatty old recliner a long time ago.

38. Butler in fiction : RHETT
In Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind”, when Rhett Butler finally walks out on Scarlett O’Hara he utters the words “My dear, I don’t give a damn”. Most of us are more familiar with the slightly different words spoken by Clark Gable in the film adaption of the story: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

44. What gallium will do at about 86 degrees F : LIQUEFY
Gallium is a soft metal that doesn’t occur in nature in metallic form, but rather as a salt in aluminum and zinc ores. If you take a little gallium metal and just rest it in your hand, the heat from your body is enough to make it melt! Gallium has been used in the semiconductor industry for decades. For example, gallium nitride is used in making blue light emitting diodes (LEDs), so important these days at Christmas!.

45. Taiwanese PC maker : ACER
I owned several Acer laptops, which are for my money the most reliable machine at the best price. Acer is a Taiwanese company that I used to visit a lot when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed with the company’s dedication to quality, and haven’t been let down since.

51. Blue Light Special offerer : KMART
Kmart is the third largest discount store chain in the world, behind Wal-Mart and Target. Kmart is famous for its promotions known as “blue light specials”, a program first introduced in 1965 and discontinued in 1991. I remember being in a Kmart store soon after coming to live in the US. That evening an employee installed a light stand an aisle away from me, switched on a flashing blue light and there was some unintelligible announcement over the loudspeaker system. I had no idea what was going on …

52. Something to be rubbed out? : GENIE
The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

55. About whom Obama said “There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music” : DYLAN
President Obama used the words “There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music” when awarding musician Bob Dylan the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Dylan was in good company. On the same day, the president awarded the medal to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Justice John Paul Stevens, former Israeli President Shimon Peres and astronaut John Glenn.

66. Title for Tarquinius Superbus : REX
The Latin for “king” is “rex”.

Ancient Rome went through three distinct periods. From 753 to 509 BC, Rome was a kingdom, founded by the legendary Romulus. The Roman Republic lasted from 509 to 27 BC. The Republic started with the overthrow of the last monarch, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, and replacement by two elected consuls who were advised by a senate. The Republic evolved over time, but came to an end when Octavian expanded his power and declared himself “First Citizen”, and effectively became Rome’s first Emperor and took the name Caesar Augustus. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the 5th century. The Eastern Roman Empire survived as the Byzantine Empire that was centered on Constantinople.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Rocker Huey : LEWIS
6. Nascar ___ : DAD
9. Bonsai, e.g. : DWARF
14. Like many residents of Lancaster County, Pa. : AMISH
15. QB Manning : ELI
16. One in a love triangle, maybe : RIVAL
17. Like a majority of Muslims : SUNNI
18. Word before Mac or cheese : BIG
19. Make amends : ATONE
20. “The Sword in the Stone” author, to a chemist? : THORIUM WHITE (giving “TH White”)
23. Feedbag morsel : OAT
26. Prefix that sounds like 67-Down : TRI-
27. Pizza, for one : PIE
28. Colon part : DOT
29. Western Indian : UTE
30. Snoozers catch them : ZEES
32. New title for a 53-Down : MRS
34. “The African Queen” author, to a chemist? : CESIUM FORESTER (giving “CS Forester”)
39. Part of a 23-Across : HULL
40. Modern prefix with warrior : ECO-
41. U.S. island with a royal palace : OAHU
43. “The Children of Men” author, to a chemist? : PALLADIUM JAMES (giving “PD James”)
48. Word often in brackets : SIC
49. Highly draftable … or a feature of the word “draft” : ONE-A
50. Season after printemps : ETE
51. U.S.S.R. security org. : KGB
54. Relative of “Voilà!” : QED
56. Margery of rhyme : DAW
57. Some Garmin displays: Abbr. : STS
58. “The Island of Dr. Moreau” author, to a chemist? : MERCURY WELLS (giving “HG Wells”)
62. Television genre : ANIME
63. Put down, as track : LAY
64. Like radon : INERT
68. Having done away with : RID OF
69. Improve, as cheese : AGE
70. Land bordering Lake Chad : NIGER
71. Minuscule : TEENY
72. TV neighbor of Homer : NED
73. Hobbyist’s adhesive : EPOXY

Down
1. Word in Spanish place names : LAS
2. Avian source of red meat : EMU
3. Prevail : WIN
4. “___ it, though?” : ISN’T
5. Chinese toy : SHIH TZU
6. Followed up with after recon : DEBRIEFED
7. Et ___ (and others) : ALII
8. Find, as attack ad fodder : DIG UP
9. BVDs, e.g. : DRAWERS
10. Accompanying : WITH
11. Steer clear of : AVOID
12. Made a dash for : RAN TO
13. ___ Street (British journalism) : FLEET
21. City near a 29-Across reservation : OREM
22. Street performer in an “invisible box” : MIME
23. Reaction to a pun or a punch : OUCH!
24. Believed gullibly : ATE UP
25. Notable current researcher : TESLA
31. Prefix with -path : SOCIO-
33. Greek walkway : STOA
35. Things to cure : ILLS
36. Full of innocent wonder : ROUND-EYED
37. Chair designer Charles : EAMES
38. Butler in fiction : RHETT
42. Takes habitually : USES
44. What gallium will do at about 86 degrees F : LIQUEFY
45. Taiwanese PC maker : ACER
46. Ground-up fare : MEAL
47. Important feature for a male model : JAWLINE
51. Blue Light Special offerer : KMART
52. Something to be rubbed out? : GENIE
53. Figurine on a certain cake : BRIDE
55. About whom Obama said “There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music” : DYLAN
59. “You have gotta be kidding me!” : C’MON!
60. Conduct : WAGE
61. Bit of barbering : SNIP
65. Latin I : EGO
66. Title for Tarquinius Superbus : REX
67. Give it a go : TRY

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One thought on “1210-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Dec 14, Wednesday”

  1. Ha, just what I needed early in the morning: a chemistry lesson! Clever, I must confess.

    I thought there was some subtle distinction between manga and ANIME, but it's just one of those weird Japanese things. Never really seen much of it.

    Oh, 1A LEWIS…real name Lewis Cragg. With that name, it's no wonder he wanted a new drug.

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