1222-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Dec 14, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Lynn Lempel
THEME: Ped Xing … we have the letter sequence PED crossing (Xing) in each of the four corners of today’s grid:

39A. Something often seen on a street corner, briefly … or, literally, something seen in each corner of this puzzle : PED XING

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 35s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. ___ David (presidential retreat) : CAMP
Camp David is the very lovely country retreat used by the US President and family. Technically, Camp David belongs to the US Navy and is known as Naval Support Facility Thurmont. The installation was originally built between 1935 and 1938 as a retreat for government agents and their families. President Franklin D. Roosevelt converted it to a presidential retreat in 1942, naming it Shangri-La. When President Eisenhower was in office he renamed Shangri-La to Camp David in honor of his father and grandson, both of whom were called David.

10. Boozer’s binge : JAG
The word “jag” is used to describe periods of unrestrained activity, particularly involving alcohol, and has been in use since the 1800s.

13. Uncle who told Br’er Rabbit tales : REMUS
Uncle Remus is the fictional narrator who was chosen by Joel Chandler Harris to tell his collection of African-American folktales.

14. Where China and India are : ASIA
The three most populous countries in the world are:

a. China (1.4 billion)
b. India (1.3 billion)
c. United States (300 million)

Together, these three nations account for 41% of the world’s population.

17. What a whetstone gives a knife : SHARP EDGE
A “whetstone” is stone that is used to sharpen (“to whet”) the edge of blade. Nowadays, the best whetstones are actually artificially made, using a bonded ceramic abrasive such as silicon carbide.

22. Repeated word in “The Banana Boat Song” : DAY-O
“Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” is a traditional folk song from Jamaica. It is sung from the standpoint of dock workers unloading boats on the night shift, so daylight has come, and they want to go home. The most famous version of “Day-O” was recorded by Harry Belafonte, in 1956.

23. Derrière : REAR
“Derrière” is a French term meaning “back part, rear”.

24. Pique performance? : SNIT
The exact etymology of “snit”, meaning “fit of temper”, isn’t really known. The term was first used in print in the play “Kiss the Boys Goodbye” by Clare Booth Luce, which dates back to the 1930s and is set in the American South.

Our term “pique” meaning a “fit of ill feeling” is a French word meaning a “prick, sting, irritation”.

29. Write-up on the recently deceased : OBIT
“Obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”, originally the record of the death of a person, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

33. Weighty books : TOMES
“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century “tome” had come to mean “a large book”.

37. Genetic stuff : RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

39. Something often seen on a street corner, briefly … or, literally, something seen in each corner of this puzzle : PED XING
Pedestrian crossing (Ped Xing)

41. Follower of Mar. : APR
The exact etymology of “April”, the fourth month of our year, seems to be uncertain. The ancient Romans called it “mensis Aprilis”, which roughly translated as “opening month. The suggestion is that April is the month in which fruits, flowers and animals “open” their life cycles.

43. Fido tormentors : FLEAS
“Fido”, the name for many a dog, is Latin for “I trust”.

46. Story set on Mount Olympus, e.g. : MYTH
Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Greece. In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus was home to the gods, and in particular home to the principal gods known as the Twelve Olympians.

48. Dadaist Max : ERNST
Max Ernst was a painter and sculptor, a pioneer in the Dada movement and Surrealism. Ernst was born near Cologne in Germany in 1891 and he was called up to fight in WWI, as were most young German men at that time. In his autobiography he writes “Max Ernst died the 1st of August, 1914” a statement about his experiences in the war. In reality, Ernst died in 1976 having lived to the ripe old age of 85.

Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement began in Zurich, Switzerland started by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire, frequently expressing disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.

50. “___, meeny, miney, mo …” : EENY

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

51. Ugly Middle-earth creatures : ORCS
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.

53. Gunslinger Wyatt : EARP
Wyatt Earp is famous as one of the participants in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Earp was a city policeman in Wichita, Kansas and also in Dodge City, Kansas. Earp was also deputy sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona where the O.K. Corral gunfight took place. Years later, Earp joined the Alaska Gold Rush and with a partner built and operated the Dexter Saloon in Nome.

62. Wishful fantasy : PIPE DREAM
In common parlance, a “pipe dream” is a vain hope for something that is unlikely to take place. The original pipe dreams were visions that were experienced after taking opiates.

65. Gung-ho : AVID
“Kung ho” is a Chinese expression meaning “work together, cooperate”. The anglicized version “gung ho” was adopted by a Major Evans Carlson as an expression of combined spirit for his 2nd Marine Raider Battalion during WWII. From there the term spread throughout the Marine Corps and back to America where it persists to this day.

66. Capri, for one : ISLE
The island of Capri off the coast of Southern Italy has been a tourist resort since the days of ancient Rome. Capri is home to the famous Blue Grotto, a sea cave that is illuminated with sunlight that’s colored blue as it passes through the seawater into the cave. Natives of Capri are known as “Capriotes”.

67. Rapscallion : SCAMP
We might call a little imp a rapscallion, an evolution from “rascallion”, which in turn comes from “rascal”.

69. Director Joel or Ethan : COEN
I think it’s great to see two brothers working together and being so successful. Joel and Ethan Coen are two movie producers and directors who both live in New York City. The Coen brothers do love the movie-making business and they even married industry “insiders”. Ethan’s wife is film editor Tricia Cooke, and Joel is married to one of my favorite actresses, the lovely Frances McDormand.

70. Wise man : SOLON
Solon was an Athenian statesman and lawmaker in Ancient Greece. He gave his name to our contemporary word “solon” meaning “a wise lawmaker”.

Down
1. Measures of work, in physics : ERGS
An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, as there are 10 million ergs in one joule. it has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off.

5. Op-ed piece, e.g. : ESSAY
Op-Ed is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-Eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

6. Hidalgo home : CASA
Hidalgo is located in Eastern Mexico and is one of the nation’s 31 states. It is named for Miguel Hidalgo, a Catholic priest and leader of the Mexican War of Independence.

8. Hamm in the National Soccer Hall of Fame : MIA
Mia Hamm is a retired American soccer player, a forward who played on the US national team that won the FIFA women’s World Cup in 1991. Hamm has scored 158 international goals, more than other player in the world, male or female. Amazingly, Hamm was born with a clubfoot, and so had to wear corrective shoes when she was growing up.

9. Cheese to sprinkle on spaghetti : PARMESAN
Parma is a city in northern Italy, famous for its ham (prosciutto) and cheese (parmesan).

10. Dame Dench : JUDI
Dame Judi Dench is an outstanding English actress, known for decades in her home country mainly as a stage and television actress. Dench’s film career took off in the nineties with a relatively trivial role as “M” in the James Bond series of films. Since then she has played leading roles in several excellent movies including “Shakespeare in Love”, “Mrs. Brown” and “Notes on a Scandal”.

11. Simple aquatic plant : ALGA
Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

15. Martinez with three Cy Young Awards : PEDRO
Pedro Martinez is a retired baseball pitcher from the Dominican Republic. Martinez won the Cy Young Award three times, and was on the Boston Red Sox team that won the 2004 World Series.

18. Split-___ soup : PEA
When peas are dried, the skin can be removed and the seed naturally “splits” into two pieces called cotyledons. These cotyledons would have formed the first two leaves of the pea plant had it been allowed to germinate.

20. Got the gold : WON
In the Ancient Olympic Games, the winner of an event was awarded an olive wreath. When the games were revived in 1896, the winners were originally given a silver medal and an olive branch, with runners-up receiving a bronze medal and a laurel branch. The tradition of giving gold, silver and bronze medals began at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games held in St. Louis, Missouri.

27. Buys on Amazon, say : ORDERS
Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the world. The company was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, in his garage in Bellevue, Washington. I’m a big fan of Amazon’s approach to customer service …

28. Lyndon Johnson or George W. Bush : TEXAN
President Lyndon Johnson (LBJ) is one of only four people to have held all four elected federal offices, namely US Representative, US Senator, US Vice-President and US President. As President he is perhaps best remembered for escalating involvement in the Vietnam War, and for his “Great Society” legislation.

Only four people have held all four elected federal offices, namely US Representative, US Senator, US Vice-President and US President. They are:

– John Tyler
– Andrew Johnson
– Richard Nixon
– Lyndon Johnson

34. Beach lotion letters : SPF
In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

36. Links org. : PGA
The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

45. Title cop played by Al Pacino in 1973 : SERPICO
The 1973 movie “Serpico”, starring Al Pacino, is a based on a book by Peter Maas. The book is based on the true story of undercover police officer Frank Serpico. Serpico went undercover to investigate corruption within the New York Police Department.

49. Lipton product : TEA
Sir Thomas Lipton was a grocer in Glasgow, Scotland. He founded a tea packing company in North America in 1893, in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was very successful as his blends of tea became popular in the US. Despite the Lipton roots in the UK, Lipton black tea isn’t available there, so I’ve always thought of it as an American brand.

56. Recorder for couch potatoes : TIVO
TiVo was introduced in 1999 and was the world’s first commercially successful DVR (Digital Video Recorder).

57. Mayberry boy : OPIE
Opie Taylor is the character played by Ron Howard on “The Andy Griffith Show”. Opie lives with widowed father Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith) and his great-aunt Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor (played by Frances Bavier. Ron Howard first played the role in 1960 in the pilot show, when he was just 5 years old. Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like “Apollo 13”, “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code”.

Mayberry is the fictional North Carolina town in which the “The Andy Griffith Show” is set. Mayberry is said to based on Griffith’s own hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina.

59. Feds who catch counterfeiters : T-MEN
A T-man is a law-enforcement agent of the US Treasury (the “T” stands for Treasury).

61. Channel with many game highlights : ESPN
ESPN is the Entertainment Sports Programming Network, a cable network that broadcasts sports programming 24 hours a day. ESPN was launched back in 1979.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Slur over, as a syllable : ELIDE
6. ___ David (presidential retreat) : CAMP
10. Boozer’s binge : JAG
13. Uncle who told Br’er Rabbit tales : REMUS
14. Where China and India are : ASIA
15. Push’s opposite : PULL
16. Stares open-mouthed : GAPES
17. What a whetstone gives a knife : SHARP EDGE
19. Hurriedly left by car : SPED AWAY
21. Highway divider : MEDIAN
22. Repeated word in “The Banana Boat Song” : DAY-O
23. Derrière : REAR
24. Pique performance? : SNIT
26. Jottings : NOTES
29. Write-up on the recently deceased : OBIT
33. Weighty books : TOMES
35. Survey anew : REMAP
37. Genetic stuff : RNA
38. Be behind in bills : OWE
39. Something often seen on a street corner, briefly … or, literally, something seen in each corner of this puzzle : PED XING
41. Follower of Mar. : APR
42. Hurried : RAN
43. Fido tormentors : FLEAS
44. Quizzed : ASKED
46. Story set on Mount Olympus, e.g. : MYTH
48. Dadaist Max : ERNST
50. “___, meeny, miney, mo …” : EENY
51. Ugly Middle-earth creatures : ORCS
53. Gunslinger Wyatt : EARP
55. “Enough!” : STOP IT!
58. Panicky onrush : STAMPEDE
62. Wishful fantasy : PIPE DREAM
64. Helpers around the House, say : AIDES
65. Gung-ho : AVID
66. Capri, for one : ISLE
67. Rapscallion : SCAMP
68. Fish eggs : ROE
69. Director Joel or Ethan : COEN
70. Wise man : SOLON

Down
1. Measures of work, in physics : ERGS
2. High jump : LEAP
3. Roadblock : IMPEDIMENT
4. What a pregnant woman or a library book has : DUE DATE
5. Op-ed piece, e.g. : ESSAY
6. Hidalgo home : CASA
7. Like a post-volcanic landscape : ASHY
8. Hamm in the National Soccer Hall of Fame : MIA
9. Cheese to sprinkle on spaghetti : PARMESAN
10. Dame Dench : JUDI
11. Simple aquatic plant : ALGA
12. Narrow valley : GLEN
15. Martinez with three Cy Young Awards : PEDRO
18. Split-___ soup : PEA
20. Got the gold : WON
23. Neglectful : REMISS
24. Attack violently, as a fortress : STORM
25. “Can’t be done!” : NO WAY!
27. Buys on Amazon, say : ORDERS
28. Lyndon Johnson or George W. Bush : TEXAN
30. It may bring you to a screeching halt : BRAKE PEDAL
31. How many forms are filled out : IN PEN
32. Late : TARDY
34. Beach lotion letters : SPF
36. Links org. : PGA
40. Thrilling : ELECTRIC
45. Title cop played by Al Pacino in 1973 : SERPICO
47. Had aspirations : HOPED
49. Lipton product : TEA
52. Free (of) : RID
54. Gather : AMASS
55. Practice boxing : SPAR
56. Recorder for couch potatoes : TIVO
57. Mayberry boy : OPIE
58. Post-Christmas store event : SALE
59. Feds who catch counterfeiters : T-MEN
60. Floor model, often : DEMO
61. Channel with many game highlights : ESPN
63. That: Sp. : ESO

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