0109-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Jan 15, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Berry
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 19m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Refuse on the surface : FLOTSAM
Flotsam and jetsam are both terms used to describe “garbage” in the ocean. Flotsam is floating wreckage from a ship or its cargo. Jetsam is similar to flotsam, except that it is part of a ship or cargo that is deliberately cast overboard, perhaps to lighten a vessel.

8. The Great Pyramid was his tomb : CHEOPS
Cheops is the name used by the Greeks for the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu. It was Cheops who had the Great Pyramid of Giza constructed.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and yet it is the only one of the Wonders that is basically intact today. Egyptologists believe that the structure took ten to twenty years to complete, and that it dates back to around 2560 BC. The Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest man-made structure in the world for nearly 3,900 years, until it was surpassed by Lincoln Cathedral in England in 1311 AD.

14. Singular find : RARA AVIS
A “rara avis” is anything that is very rare, and is Latin for “rare bird”.

18. ___ James, the so-called “King of the Slide Guitar” : ELMORE
Elmore Jones was a blues guitarist from Richland, Mississippi who was known as the King of the Slide Guitar.

19. They’re “friendly” in an ad campaign : SKIES
United Airlines used the tagline “Fly the Friendly Skies” in its marketing materials from 1965 to 1996. It was then replaced with “It’s time to fly”. United chose George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” as the company’s theme music in 1976, and paid the Gershwin estate a fee of $500,000 for the privilege.

20. Indy 500 winner Bobby : RAHAL
Bobby Rahal is an auto racing driver and team owner. Rahal won the 1986 Indianapolis 500 as a driver, and won the 2004 Indianapolis 500 as a team owner (the driver was Buddy Rice).

22. Ginnie ___ (home loan source) : MAE
Ginnie Mae is the familiar nickname for the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA), a government-owned corporation created in 1968 with the objective of promoting home ownership. The “Ginnie Mae” nickname is derived from the GNMA acronym.

23. Footwear brand since 1916 : KEDS
Keds is a brand name of athletic shoe first introduced in 1916 by US Rubber. The shoe was originally marketed as a rubber-soled, canvas-topped sneaker.

25. Auto engine pioneer : BENZ
It is generally accepted that Karl Benz invented the internal combustion engine, although others were doing similar work around the same time. He certainly was awarded the first patent for an automobile, in 1886. His first automobile, the Patent-Motorwagen, couldn’t get up hills unaided so his wife Bertha Benz suggested the introduction of gears. Sure enough, the next model had two gears. Behind every successful man …

26. Mrs., abroad : SRA
The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame) and in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora).

29. Resin-yielding tree whose name comes from the Bible : BALM OF GILEAD
The Balm of Gilead tree is also known as the Balsam poplar. The tree’s resin is extracted for use in cough syrups and as a first-aid salve.

31. 1978 arcade classic from Japan : SPACE INVADERS
Space Invaders is one of my favorite video games, a classic from the good old days. When Space Invaders was first released in video arcades in Japan in 1978, it was so popular that it caused a shortage of 100-yen coins.

35. “Inside the Actors Studio” topics : ROLES
“Inside the Actors Studio” is an incredibly successful show on Bravo that is hosted by James Lipton. “Inside the Actors Studio” is broadcast in 125 countries around the world. The show is basically a very comprehensive interview by Lipton of celebrities from the world of film.

36. Zippo : NIL
The use of the words “zip” and “zippo” to mean “nothing” dates back to the early 1900s when it was student slang for being graded zero on a test.

42. Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge locale, for short : NYC
Jamaica Bay is on the southwestern side of Long Island, New York. The bay is named for the town of Jamaica that is nearby. In turn, the name “Jamaica” is a corruption of the Lenape name “Yameco” meaning “beaver”.

44. Angular acceleration symbol : ALPHA
Angular acceleration is the rate of change of angular velocity, and is usually denoted by the Greek letter alpha. Angular velocity is the speed of an object rotating about an axis, and is denoted by the Greek letter omega.

45. Famous Manhattan deli : ZABAR’S
Zabar’s is a famous food store and deli in Manhattan that shows up a lot in TV shows and movies. Zabar’s ran into a some problems a few years ago when a journalist reported that the store’s lobster salad, which had been a hit for 15 years, did not in fact contain any lobster. The spread is now called “Zabster Zalad”.

49. Dormant Turkish volcano : ARARAT
Mount Ararat is in Turkey. Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or Ara the Handsome). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

50. “Milk” man : SEAN PENN
Actor Sean Penn is a two-time Oscar winner, for his roles in “Mystic River” released in 2003 and “Milk” released in 2008. Penn’s celebrity on screen is only matched with his fame off the screen. Apart from his “big name” marriages to singer Madonna and actress Robin Wright, Penn is also well known for political and social activism. He perhaps inherited some of his political views from his father, actor and director Leo Penn. As an actor, Leo refused to “name names” in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee and so was blacklisted in Hollywood and had to move into directing to put bread on the table. In later years as a director he gave his son Sean his first acting role, in a 1974 episode of “Little House on the Prairie”.

“Milk” is a 2008 biopic based on the life of activist and politician Harvey Milk, with Sean Penn playing the title role. In 1977, Milk became the first openly gay person to be elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Tragically, Milk was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone in 1978 by former city supervisor Dan White.

Down
1. Checks for heat, say : FRISKS
“Heat” is a slang term for a gun.

2. Not so filled out : LANKER
The term “lank” can describe something that is straight and flat, particularly hair. The usage was extended in the early 1800s (especially in the form “lanky”) to mean “awkwardly tall and thin”.

3. Maker of Pixie Crinkles : ORE-IDA
Ore-Ida frozen foods are all made with potatoes. The company is located in Oregon, just across the border from Idaho. “Ore-Ida” is a melding of the two state names.

4. “What we pay for civilized society,” per Oliver Wendell Holmes : TAXES
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court from 1902 until 1932. Holmes is oft-quoted, and perhaps the most famous phrase that he coined is “clear and present danger”. He also said “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society”. That quotation can be seen above the headquarters of the IRS in Washington, D.C.

6. Long-ago greeting : AVE
“Ave” is a Latin word meaning “hail” as in “Ave Maria”, which translates as “Hail Mary”. “Ave” can also be used to mean “goodbye”.

7. 2012 film adaptation of “Snow White” : MIRROR MIRROR
“Mirror Mirror” is a 2012 movie based on the “Snow White” fairy tale. The actress Lily Collins plays Snow White, and Julia Roberts plays the Evil Queen.

8. Deviate from Hoyle : CHEAT
Edmond Hoyle was a writer, most famous for documenting the rules and play of card games. In particular, Hoyle first wrote a book on the game of whist that was very popular. Such was the success of Hoyle’s treatises that we use the phrase “according to Hoyle” to mean “according to some respected authority”. When the Poker Hall of Fame was founded in 1979, Edmund Hoyle was one of the first inductees, even though the game of power was invented after he died.

10. Slippery ___ (herbal remedy source) : ELM
The Slippery Elm is a species of elm native to North America and is also known as the Red Elm. The inner bark of the slippery elm can used in a medicinal tea. Elm bark tea is said to ease a sore throat or irritated stomach.

11. What’s manipulated in the crime known as “clocking” : ODOMETER
An odometer measures distance traveled. The word derives from the Greek “hodos” meaning “path” and “metron” meaning “measure”.

12. Hunting school? : PIRANHAS
Piranhas are reputed to be able to strip an animal to its bones in seconds, but this is somewhat of a myth. Piranhas are not in fact strict carnivores, and usually are more of a nuisance to fishermen rather than a danger, as they tend to eat bait that has been set to catch other fish. Much of the reputation of the piranha is owed to the description written by President Theodore Roosevelt in his book “Through the Brazilian Wilderness”. President Roosevelt was somewhat hoodwinked though, as local fishermen put on a special “show” for him. They dumped hordes of hungry piranhas into a dammed section of a river and then tossed in a sliced up cow. President Roosevelt was pretty impressed by the orchestrated feeding frenzy.

24. Aspic ___ (savory French dish) : GELEE
Aspic is a dish in which the main ingredients are served in a gelatin made from meat stock. “Aspic” is a French word for “jelly”.

30. Hearts and spades, e.g. : GAMES
Hearts is a card game in the Whist family, meaning that it involves the taking of tricks. Other games in the Whist family are Bridge and Spades. The uniqueness of Hearts is that players are trying to avoid winning certain cards which carry penalty points, so often the idea is to avoid winning tricks altogether.

The American card game of Spades is one of the Whist family of games, a family which includes Bridge and Hearts. Spades is far less complex than Bridge but is similar in that there is a round of bidding before start of play. The game is usually played with partners, and the idea is to win at least the number of tricks that have been bid. One major difference with Bridge is that the trump suit is always spades, hence the name of the game. Apparently Spades was born as a game in Cincinnati, Ohio in the late 1930s, and then spread via the military in the 1940s.

31. Thread in a series : STORY ARC
A story arc is a continuing storyline in say a television show that has a number of episodes. Story arcs are also found in comics, books, video games, and other forms of media.

33. They make up poetry : STANZAS
“Stanza” is an Italian word meaning “verse of a poem”.

36. Kingdom of the Two Sicilies capital : NAPLES
The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was an Italian state from 1816 until 1861. The capital of the state was the city of Naples. The Two Sicilies covered all of Sicily and the southern half of Italy.

37. Product introduced with the line “And now, we’re going to bring multi-touch to the market” : IPHONE
Apple started development of the iPhone in 2004 in collaboration with Cingular Wireless (now AT&T Mobility). The confidential program was given the name “Project Purple”, and took thrity months to complete at a cost of about $150 million. The iPhone was introduced in 2007 at the Macworld convention in San Francisco.

41. Bridle path sounds : CLOPS
A bridle path is a trail used by horses and their riders.

43. Esophageal pouch : CRAW
“Craw” is another name for the “crop”, a portion of the alimentary tract of some animals, including birds. The crop is used for the storage of food prior to digestion. The crop allows the animal to eat large amounts and then digest that food with efficiency over an extended period. The expression “to stick in one’s craw” is used one when one cannot accept something, cannot “swallow” it.

46. “Blessed ___ …” (1971 Joan Baez album) : ARE
Joan Baez recorded her 1971 album “Blessed Are…” in Nashville. Included on the album is her hit single “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”.

Joan Baez is an American folk singer and a prominent activist in the fields of nonviolence, civil rights, human rights and environmental protection. Baez has dated some high-profile figures in her life including Bob Dylan, Steve Jobs (of Apple) and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead.

48. Where to find Darwin’s tubercle : EAR
Darwin’s tubercle is a condition found in the ear of just over 10% of the population. The condition is congenital and presents itself as a thickening of the outer rim of the outer ear. The condition’s name is in honor of the fact that Charles Darwin first described it, although Darwin himself called the condition “Woolnerian tip”. thomas Woolner was a British sculptor who routinely included the condition in his human sculptures.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Refuse on the surface : FLOTSAM
8. The Great Pyramid was his tomb : CHEOPS
14. Singular find : RARA AVIS
16. Constrained : HELD IN
17. Amateurish : INEXPERT
18. ___ James, the so-called “King of the Slide Guitar” : ELMORE
19. They’re “friendly” in an ad campaign : SKIES
20. Indy 500 winner Bobby : RAHAL
22. Ginnie ___ (home loan source) : MAE
23. Footwear brand since 1916 : KEDS
24. Intimated : GOT AT
25. Auto engine pioneer : BENZ
26. Mrs., abroad : SRA
27. Cause for alarm : PERIL
28. Immerse oneself : BATHE
29. Resin-yielding tree whose name comes from the Bible : BALM OF GILEAD
31. 1978 arcade classic from Japan : SPACE INVADERS
33. Inaugural addresses? : STARTER HOMES
34. Mutes, with “down” : TONES
35. “Inside the Actors Studio” topics : ROLES
36. Zippo : NIL
39. Unimaginative : ARID
40. Court no-nos : FOULS
41. Elvis impersonator’s accessory : CAPE
42. Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge locale, for short : NYC
43. Give a damn? : CURSE
44. Angular acceleration symbol : ALPHA
45. Famous Manhattan deli : ZABAR’S
47. Driver’s license info : EYE COLOR
49. Dormant Turkish volcano : ARARAT
50. “Milk” man : SEAN PENN
51. Haywire : SCREWY
52. Department store window display : DRESSES

Down
1. Checks for heat, say : FRISKS
2. Not so filled out : LANKER
3. Maker of Pixie Crinkles : ORE-IDA
4. “What we pay for civilized society,” per Oliver Wendell Holmes : TAXES
5. Lunkheads : SAPS
6. Long-ago greeting : AVE
7. 2012 film adaptation of “Snow White” : MIRROR MIRROR
8. Deviate from Hoyle : CHEAT
9. Fire place? : HELL
10. Slippery ___ (herbal remedy source) : ELM
11. What’s manipulated in the crime known as “clocking” : ODOMETER
12. Hunting school? : PIRANHAS
13. Brought blessings upon oneself? : SNEEZED
15. Law offices? : STATION HOUSES
21. Made a speedy return? : HALF-VOLLEYED
24. Aspic ___ (savory French dish) : GELEE
25. Rolls in a field : BALES
27. Diplomatic triumphs : PACTS
28. Waits : BIDES
29. Made fully visible : BARED
30. Hearts and spades, e.g. : GAMES
31. Thread in a series : STORY ARC
32. Emergency exit feature : PANIC BAR
33. They make up poetry : STANZAS
36. Kingdom of the Two Sicilies capital : NAPLES
37. Product introduced with the line “And now, we’re going to bring multi-touch to the market” : IPHONE
38. Gathers nuggets : LEARNS
40. Rigidly old-fashioned : FUSTY
41. Bridle path sounds : CLOPS
43. Esophageal pouch : CRAW
44. Marks of adolescence : ACNE
46. “Blessed ___ …” (1971 Joan Baez album) : ARE
48. Where to find Darwin’s tubercle : EAR

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2 thoughts on “0109-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Jan 15, Friday”

  1. Hit my time limit with the NE and SE filled, the rest only partially. Clever sneaking in Bobby RAHAL instead of Bobby Unser, which seems to be a rather common clue.

    Partially ready for Saturday's gauntlet.

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