1227-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Dec 14, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Phillips
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 21m 02s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

8. Economist who wrote “An Essay on the Principle of Population,” 1798 : MALTHUS
Thomas Robert Malthus was a cleric and scholar from England who was active in the fields of macroeconomics and demography in the first part of the 17th century. His most famous work was “An Essay on the Principle of Population”, published in 1798. One of the main arguments made by Malthus in his book is that population growth is inevitably curtailed by famine and disease.

15. Like Rome, supposedly : ETERNAL
The Italian capital of Rome is known as “The Eternal City”, a name given by ancient Roman poets and writers.

16. How one might play a love ballad : AMOROSO
Amoroso is the Italian word for “lovingly” and is used as a direction on a musical score.

17. 19-season Yankee Rivera : MARIANO
Mariano Rivera is a professional baseball pitcher from Panama City. Rivera played for the New York Yankees from 1995 until his retirement at the end of the 2013 season.

18. Batting targets : PINATAS
Piñatas originated in Mexico, probably among the Aztecs or Mayans. Today piñatas are usually made from cardboard that is brightly decorated with papier-mâché. Traditionally a piñata was made out of a clay pot, adorned with feathers and ribbons and filled with small treasures. During religious ceremonies the clay pots would be suspended and broken open so that the contents would spill out onto the ground at the feet of a god as an offering.

21. Assuage : SLAKE
“To slake” is to satisfy a craving, as in slaking one’s thirst.

24. Manchester man : BLOKE
“Bloke” is British slang for a fellow. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

Manchester is the second most populous city in the UK, and is located in the northwest of England. Manchester grew in size dramatically during the Industrial Revolution. Home to a thriving textile industry, Manchester is often referred to as the the world’s first industrialized city.

29. Red three-year-old of TV : ELMO
The man behind/under the character Elmo on “Sesame Street” is Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

32. Event with the categories Best Kiss and Best Fight : MTV MOVIE AWARDS
The MTV Movie Awards have been presented annually since 1992. There are some interesting categories of award, including:

– Best Villain
– Best Gut-Wrenching Performance
– Best Kiss
– Best Fight
– Best Shirtless Performance

37. Savage : FERAL
“Feral”, meaning existing in a wild or untamed state, comes from the Latin word “fera” meaning “a wild animal”.

39. With 42-Across, 2001 video game set in Liberty City : GRAND THEFT AUTO
42. See 39-Across : III
“Grand Theft Auto” is an extremely successful series of video games. The game garners some negative attention because of its adult themes and the level of violence in the storyline. The original version of “Grand Theft Auto” was actually banned in Brazil.

44. Ascension Isl. setting : ATL
Ascension Island in the South Atlantic is today part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. It is home to an important Royal Air Force station, which is also used by the US Air Force. Although the island was first spotted by a Portuguese expedition in 1501, it was a 1503 sighting by Portuguese navigator Afonso de Albuquerque on Ascension Day that gave the island its name.

47. Slush for eds. to wade through : MSS
An editor (ed.) has to wade his or her way through a manuscript (MS) that has been submitted.

53. “Damn Yankees” Tony winner : FOSSE
Bob Fosse won more Tony Awards for choreography than anyone else, a grand total of eight. Fosse also won an Oscar for Best Director for his 1972 movie “Cabaret”, even beating out the formidable Francis Ford Coppola who was nominated that same year for “The Godfather”.

In the musical show “Damn Yankees”, the title refers to the New York Yankees baseball team that dominated the sport in the fifties. That said, the show tells the story of the a man who sells his soul to help his beloved Washington Senators team beat the Yankees and win the pennant.

“Damn Yankees” is actually yet another version of the classic German legend of “Faust”, set in Washington, D.C. in the fifties. The show was written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, a production that turned out to be a very successful follow-up to their prior hit, “The Pajama Game”. The future was looking really rosy for Adler and Ross but, sadly, Jerry Ross died of an obstructive lung disease only a few weeks after “Damn Yankees” opened on Broadway in 1955. He was just 29 years old.

55. “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” novelist : LARSSON
Stieg Larsson was a Swedish journalist and writer, and indeed one of his main characters in his Millennium series of novels is a journalist as well. The last of the three titles in the Millennium series is “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”, which was the most-sold book in the US in 2010. All of the books in the series were published after Larsson’s death. He passed away from a heart attack while climbing several flights of stairs, when he was just 50 years old.

57. Dressing type : ITALIAN
Don’t try asking for Italian dressing in Italy, as it’s a North American invention. Italians are fond of dressing their salads with olive oil, vinegar, salt and maybe some black pepper. Try it!

59. Popular pop-up preventer : AD-AWARE
Ad-Aware is a spyware removal application that was originally developed in Germany in 1999.

63. Big name in air circulation? : SKYMALL
SkyMall is a shopping catalog found in the airplane seat pockets of many airlines in North America.

Down
1. Some rope sources : HEMPS
Hemp is a hardy, fast-growing plant that has many uses mainly due to the strength of the fibers in the plant’s stalks. Hemp is used to make rope, paper and textiles. There is of course a variety of hemp that is grown to make drugs, most famously cannabis.

3. Comfortaire competitor : SERTA
Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement.

5. Home to “The Happiest Place on Earth” : ANAHEIM
The California city of Anaheim was founded back in 1857 by Bavarian grape farmers and winemakers. The name of the city is a melding of “Ana” (after the nearby Santa Ana River) and “heim” (a common suffix in German place names derived from “home”). So, the name “Anaheim” might translate to “Home by the Santa Ana River”.

“The Happiest Place on Earth” is the official tagline for Disneyland in California. The tagline for the Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Florida is “The Most Magical Place on Earth”.

7. Supermodel Karlie : KLOSS
Karlie Kloss is a fashion model from Chicago. Currently, she is one of the Victoria’s Sectet Angels.

8. 11-pointed national symbol : MAPLE LEAF
The current design of the Canadian National Flag, known as “the Maple Leaf”, has been in place since 1965. The design made its first appearance on February 15th of that year, and so that date is celebrated annually as National Flag of Canada Day.

9. Mon ___ : AMIE
A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.

10. It may be drawn in a forest : LONGBOW
Yew is the wood of choice for the longbow, a valued weapon in the history of England. The longbow is constructed with a core of yew heartwood (as the heartwood resists compression) that has a sheath of yew sapwood (as the sapwood resists stretching). The yew was in such demand for longbows that for centuries yew trees were in short supply in Britain and the wood had to be imported from all over Europe.

13. Its seal has an olive branch : USA
The Great Seal of the United States is a device used to authenticate some US federal documents. The obverse (front) of the Great Seal is used as the coat of arms of the US, a design that can seen on all American passports.

14. Sign of trouble : SOS
The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.

23. Brooke Astor, e.g. : HEIRESS
Brooke Russell’s third husband was Vincent Astor. Vincent was the last of the wealthy members of the famous Astor family. Vincent was the son of John Jacob Astor IV who perished on the RMS Titanic.

26. Standard offshoot : ESSO
The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

30. Its one-euro coin depicts a cross : MALTA
The island state of Malta is relatively small, but its large number of inhabitants makes it one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Malta’s strategic location has made it a prized possession for the conquering empires of the world. Most recently it was part of the British Empire and was an important fleet headquarters. Malta played a crucial role for the Allies during WWII as it was located very close to the Axis shipping lanes in the Mediterranean. The Siege of Malta lasted from 1940 to 1942, a prolonged attack by the Italians and Germans on the RAF and Royal Navy, and the people of Malta. When the siege was lifted, King George VI awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta collectively in recognition of their heroism and devotion to the Allied cause. The George Cross can still be seen on the Maltese flag, even though Britain granted Malta independence in 1964.

Euro coins are issued by all the participating European states. The reverse side is a common design used by all countries, whereas the obverse is a design specific to each nation. For example, the one euro coin issued by Malta features the Maltese Cross. That Maltese euro is legal tender right across the eurozone. Of course the Irish euro features a harp.

32. Elaborate underground complex in “The Lord of the Rings” : MORIA
Moria is a Middle-earth location in Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” series of fantasy novels. Moria is home to the Dwarf clan called the Longbeards.

33. Limited expense? : TRAIN FARE
A limited express train is one that makes a limited number of stops.

36. Office whoop : TGIF
“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF) is a relatively new expression that apparently originated in Akron, Ohio. It was a catchphrase used first by disk jockey Jerry Healy of WAKR in the early seventies.

40. “The best value under the sun” sloganeer : DAYS INN
The Days Inn hotel chain was founded in 1970 by a real estate developer called Cecil B. Day. One of the features of a Days Inn hotels in those early days was an on-site gas pump, which dispensed gasoline at discount prices.

41. Serene calmness : ATARAXY
Ataraxia is a state of tranquility, a state from emotional disturbance and anxiety. The term comes from the Greek word for “tranquility”, and was a word used by the ancient Greek philosophers Pyrrho and Epicurus.

50. First name of a 10-year manhunt target : OSAMA
Osama bin Laden founded his militant Islamist group called al-Qaeda in the late eighties. “Al-Qaeda” translates as “the base”, and can refer to a military base. It was originally the name of a training camp set up for mujahideen fighters opposing the Russians who occupied Afghanistan at the time.

52. Tackle box accessory : SNELL
A snell is a length of thin line that connects a fishhook to heavier line.

54. Junk mover : SAIL
Clever, clever wording! A junk is a sailing boat often seen in Chinese waters today, and as far back as 200 BC. The English word “junk” is just a phonetic spelling of a Chinese word for “ship”, although it would more correctly be pronounced “joong”.

56. Alaskan island or its principal town : ADAK
The town of Adak, located on the Aleutian Island of Adak, is the southernmost town in the state of Alaska.

57. Pre-texts? : IMS
Even though instant messaging (sending IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties.

58. Playskool product tester : TOT
Playskool is a company headquartered in Pawtucket, Rhode Island that makes educational toys and games for children. Playskool was started in 1901 as a subsidiary of a lumber company, with the first products being wooden toys used as teaching aids in the classroom.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Clichéd sequel catchphrase : HE’S BACK!
8. Economist who wrote “An Essay on the Principle of Population,” 1798 : MALTHUS
15. Like Rome, supposedly : ETERNAL
16. How one might play a love ballad : AMOROSO
17. 19-season Yankee Rivera : MARIANO
18. Batting targets : PINATAS
19. Batting targets : PITCHES
20. Go on foot : LEG IT
21. Assuage : SLAKE
22. Any miss : SHE
24. Manchester man : BLOKE
27. With 46-Down, common canvas coater : OIL
29. Red three-year-old of TV : ELMO
31. “Verily” : ‘TIS
32. Event with the categories Best Kiss and Best Fight : MTV MOVIE AWARDS
36. Raced : TORE
37. Savage : FERAL
38. Ninny : DODO
39. With 42-Across, 2001 video game set in Liberty City : GRAND THEFT AUTO
42. See 39-Across : III
43. Senate majority group, maybe? : AYES
44. Ascension Isl. setting : ATL
45. Quite like : FANCY
47. Slush for eds. to wade through : MSS
49. They can get excited : ATOMS
53. “Damn Yankees” Tony winner : FOSSE
55. “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” novelist : LARSSON
57. Dressing type : ITALIAN
59. Popular pop-up preventer : AD-AWARE
60. Ninnylike : MORONIC
61. Above all others : MAXIMAL
62. Without even cracking a smile, say : STERNLY
63. Big name in air circulation? : SKYMALL

Down
1. Some rope sources : HEMPS
2. Net sales : E-TAIL
3. Comfortaire competitor : SERTA
4. Place for a Neapolitan pizza : BRICK OVEN
5. Home to “The Happiest Place on Earth” : ANAHEIM
6. Quaint stage dancing accessory : CANE
7. Supermodel Karlie : KLOSS
8. 11-pointed national symbol : MAPLE LEAF
9. Mon ___ : AMIE
10. It may be drawn in a forest : LONGBOW
11. A dog may pick one up : TRAIL
12. Turned on : HOT TO TROT
13. Its seal has an olive branch : USA
14. Sign of trouble : SOS
23. Brooke Astor, e.g. : HEIRESS
25. Bud : KIDDO
26. Standard offshoot : ESSO
28. Like many ideals : LOFTY
30. Its one-euro coin depicts a cross : MALTA
32. Elaborate underground complex in “The Lord of the Rings” : MORIA
33. Limited expense? : TRAIN FARE
34. Fire : VEHEMENCY
35. Sister of Cartoon Network : ADULT SWIM
36. Office whoop : TGIF
40. “The best value under the sun” sloganeer : DAYS INN
41. Serene calmness : ATARAXY
46. See 27-Across : COLOR
48. Comes to a sudden close? : SLAMS
50. First name of a 10-year manhunt target : OSAMA
51. ___ support : MORAL
52. Tackle box accessory : SNELL
54. Junk mover : SAIL
56. Alaskan island or its principal town : ADAK
57. Pre-texts? : IMS
58. Playskool product tester : TOT

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