0114-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 14 Jan 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Caleb Emmons
THEME: Numbers in Rome … each of today’s themed answers includes a number in Roman numerals, which is also a word:

17A. 1,009th juice drink? : LEMONADE MIX (MIX = 1,009)
39A. Four prescriptions? : IV DRUGS (IV = 4)
61A. 40 concert souvenirs? : XL TEE-SHIRTS (XL = 40)
11D. 501st royal daughter? : PRINCESS DI (DI = 501)
30D. 30 consumer reviews? : XXX RATINGS (XXX = 30)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 04s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Box-office dud : BOMB
The term “box office” may date back to Shakespearean times. In those days long past, patrons would deposit fees for seeing theater performances in boxes. The full boxes would be collected and placed in an office called, imaginatively enough, the “box office”.

5. Court sport : SQUASH
Squash is a racquet sport that is similar to the more common racquetball (more common here in the US, I think). The game is derived from the older sport of racquets. It was originally called squash racquets as the ball used is very, very squashable and much softer than that used in the parent game.

14. Roll call no-show : AWOL
The Military Police (MPs) are concerned with personnel who go AWOL (Absent Without Leave).

15. Salvation Army donation receptacle : KETTLE
The Salvation Army is a Christian charitable organization that is organized along military lines. The group was founded by William Booth and his wife Catherine in 1865 in the East End of London. Booth originally described his organization as a “volunteer army”, and soon changed this to a “salvation army”. William spent much of his time preaching to the poor and became known as “the General”. Catherine focused on addressing the wealthy to gain financial support, and earned the moniker “Mother of the Salvation Army”.

16. Cover for the follically challenged : RUG
“Rug” is a slang term for a wig.

19. Hoppy brew, for short : IPA
India Pale Ale is a style of beer that comes from England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

23. “L’Absinthe” painter : DEGAS
Edgar Degas was a French artist, famous for his paintings and sculptures. Some of Degas’ most beautiful works feature female ballet dancers, and others depict women bathing.

33. Band with the 1987 6x platinum album “Kick” : INXS
INXS (pronounced “in excess”) was a rock band from Australia. The band formed in 1977 in Sydney as the Farriss Brothers, as three of the original lineups were indeed brothers.

34. World Cup cheer : OLE!
The next two FIFA World Cup tournaments (soccer) will be hosted by Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022).

35. Nile birds : IBISES
The ibis is a wading bird that was revered in ancient Egypt. “Ibis” is an interesting word grammatically speaking. You can have one “ibis” or two “ibises”, and then again one has a flock of “ibis”. And if you want to go with the classical plural, instead of two “ibises” you would have two “ibides”!

38. Fish that might accompany a schmear : LOX
Lox is a cured salmon fillet, finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

The word “schmear” comes from the Yiddish word “shmir” meaning “spread”. The phrase “the whole schmear” is a relative recent one, dating back to around 1969 and coming from the world of business.

41. Word before chest or change : SEA
A “sea change” is a change of great significance. The phrase was coined by William Shakespeare in “The Tempest”. The full quotation is:

Full fathom five thy father lies,
Of his bones are coral made,
Those are pearls that were his eyes,
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change,
into something rich and strange,
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell,
Ding-dong.
Hark! now I hear them, ding-dong, bell.

45. “American ___” : IDOL
“American Idol” is a spin-off show that was created after the amazing success of the British television show “Pop Idol”. I can’t abide either program(me) …

46. Cupid, or his concern : AMOR
Cupid, the Greek god of desire, was also known as Amor. “Cupido” is Latin for “desire” and “amor” is Latin for “love”.

47. How corn dogs are served : ON A STICK
The hot dog on a stick (corn dog) dates back at least to 1947, and probably earlier. The name corn dog comes from the corn batter around the hot dog, and its resemblance on the stick to an ear of corn.

49. Burlap fiber : JUTE
Jute is a very popular vegetable fiber, second only to cotton in terms of the amount produced. Jute fiber is also called hessian, and fabric made from jute can be called hessian cloth. In the US, cloth made from jute can be called burlap.

51. Borat portrayer ___ Baron Cohen : SACHA
The full name of the 2006 “mockumentary” is “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”. Borat is played by a British comedian, Sacha Baron Cohen. Not my cup of tea …

56. Name in kitchen foil : ALCOA
The Aluminum Corporation of America (ALCOA) is the largest producer of aluminum in the United States. The company was founded in 1888 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where its headquarters are to this day.

Before thin sheets of aluminum metal were available, thin sheets of tin were used in various applications. Tin foil isn’t a great choice for wrapping food though, as it imparts a tinny taste. On the other side of the pond, aluminum foil has a different name. No, it’s not just the different spelling of aluminum (“aluminium”). We still call it “tin foil”. You see, we live in the past …

65. Work unit : ERG
An erg is a unit of energy or mechanical work. “Erg” comes from the Greek word “ergon” meaning “work”. A dyne is a unit of force. The name “dyne” comes from the Greek “dynamis” meaning “power, force”. Ergs and dynes are related to each other in that one erg is the amount of energy needed to move a force of one dyne over a distance of one centimeter.

66. Follower of one, two and three in a children’s rhyme : POTATO
“One Potato” is a counting out game designed to select a person who is “it” in a kid’s game. The selection depends on the rhyme:

One potato, two potato,
Three potato, four,
Five potato, six potato,
Seven potato, more,
One big bad spud.

67. Irene of “Fame” : CARA
Irene Cara (as well as acting in “Fame”) sang the theme songs to the hit movies “Fame” and “Flashdance”.

68. Limerick’s third word, often : WAS
No one knows for sure how the limerick got its name, although there does seem to be agreement the name does indeed come from the city or county of Limerick in Ireland. Try this one for size:

There was a young lady named Bright
who traveled much faster than light.
She set out one day
in a relative way,
and came back the previous night.

69. Lincoln Center offerings : OPERAS
The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts takes its name from the neighborhood in which it is situated, Lincoln Square in New York City. .

Down
1. Island served by both AirAsia and Qantas airlines : BALI
Bali is the most important tourist destination in Indonesia and is an island lying east of Java. In recent years, Bali’s tourist industry has been badly hit in the aftermath of two terrorist bombings. The first one, in 2002, killed 202 people, mainly foreign tourists in a nightclub.

AirAsia is a low-cost airline based in Malaysia, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Reportedly, AirAsia has the lowest actual cost of operations of any airline in the world.

QANTAS is the national airline of Australia. The company name was originally an acronym for Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services.

2. Wilson of “Starsky & Hutch” : OWEN
The actor Owen Wilson was nominated for an Oscar, but not for his acting. He was nominated for co-writing the screenplay for “The Royal Tenenbaums” along with Wes Anderson.

The 2004 film “Starsky & Hutch” is an adaptation of the seventies TV cop show of the same name. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson play the leads in the movie, and as you may recall the TV show starred Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul.

3. N.Y.C. cultural center : MOMA
The founding of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City was very much driven by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, the wife of John D. Rockefeller, son of the oil magnate. Working with two friends, Abby managed to get the museum opened in 1929, just nine days after the Wall Street Crash. The MoMA’s sculpture garden bears the name of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and has done so since 1949.

4. Many Swedish models : BLONDES
In today’s world the usage of masculine and feminine forms of English words is largely frowned upon. The one word that seems to have retained it’s gender specificity is “blond”, the feminine version of which is “blonde”.

5. Cousin of calypso : SKA
Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of some sound.

The musical style of calypso originated in Trinidad and Tobago, but there seems to be some debate about which influences were most important as the genre developed. It is generally agreed that the music was imported by African slaves from their homeland, but others emphasize influences of the medieval French troubadours. To me it sounds more African in nature. Calypso reached the masses when it was first recorded in 1912, and it spread around the world in the thirties and forties. It reached its pinnacle with the release of the famous “Banana Boat Song” by Harry Belafonte.

6. Mathematician’s “Done!” : 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”.

7. Beehive State native : 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.

When Mormon pioneers were settling what is today the state of Utah, they referred to the area as Deseret, a word that means “beehive” according to the Book of Mormon. Today Utah is known as the Beehive State and there is a beehive symbol on the Utah state flag.

8. PIN points : ATMS
One enters a Personal Identification Number (PIN) when using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM).

10. Dodeca- halved : HEXA-
The prefix “dodeca-” indicates 12, and the prefix “hexa-” denotes 6.

11. 501st royal daughter? : PRINCESS DI (DI = 501)
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife Prince Charles, heir to the British throne. Diana and Charles had two children, William and Harry. Sadly, Diana died in a car crash in 1997 in Paris while being chased by paparazzi.

12. Bit of cash in Kashmir : RUPEE
The rupee is a unit of currency, used in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan.

Kashmir is a vast region in the northwest of the Indian sub-continent. Kashmir has a long and rich history, but the year that is most significant today is perhaps 1947. In that year, Britain pulled out of the Indian sub-continent and divided the Indian Empire into the independent countries of India and Pakistan, leaving the Maharajah ruling Kashmir free to join either India or Pakistan. When the Kashmiri Maharajah wavered in his decision, Pakistani forces advanced into Kashmir, prompting the Maharajah to turn to India for assistance. India did indeed help, but only on condition that Kashmir accede to India. India then called in the United Nations to intercede, but no definitive solution was found that brought peace to the region. There has been conflict there ever since.

18. Desideratum : NEED
A desideratum (pl: desiderata) is something considered necessary, or highly “desirable”, and comes from the Latin word for “to desire”.

22. Site for online collaboration : WIKI
A wiki is a website in which users are allowed to create and edit content themselves. The term “wiki” comes from the name of the first such site, introduced in 1994 and called WikiWikiWeb. “Wiki” is a Hawaiian word for “quick”, and is used because comprehensive content is created very quickly a there are so many collaborators contributing to the site.

25. “In the days of ___ lang syne” : AULD
The song “Auld Lang Syne” is a staple at New Year’s Eve, the words of which were written by Scottish poet Robbie Burns. The literal translation of “Auld Lang Syne” is “old long since”, but is better translated as “old times”. The sentiment of the song is “for old time’s sake”.

26. Home electronics items : STEREOS
Monophonic sound (“mono”) is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

28. Millrose Games highlight : MILE
The Millrose Games is a annual athletic meet that has been held in New York City from 1914. The event is held indoors (in February). The games were inaugurated by employees from Wanamaker’s department store, and the main event of the meet is known as the Wanamaker Mile.

29. Soon, to bards : ANON
“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

31. Golden Arches buy : BIG MAC
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.

36. Fair-hiring org. : EEOC
Equal Opportunity Employment is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act.

37. Polio vaccine developer : SALK
Jonas Salk was an American medical researcher, famous for developing the first safe polio vaccine. In the fifties, especially after the 1952 epidemic, polio was the biggest health fear in the US because it killed thousands, left even more with disabilities and most of the victims were children. The situation was dire and the authorities immediately quarantined the family of any polio victim, and that quarantine was so strict that in many cases the families were not even permitted to attend the funeral of a family member who died from the disease.

40. One involved in arm-twisting? : ULNA
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

43. Flock’s cry : AMEN!
The word “amen” is translated as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is likely to be also influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

45. Bold alternative? : ITALICS
Italic type leans to the right. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

48. Ruler toppled in 1979 : SHAH
The last Shah of Iran was Mohammed-Reza Shah Pahlavi, as he was overthrown in the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

49. L. L. Bean competitor : J.CREW
J.Crew is a clothing and accessory retailer. Never been there, but I’ve seen the name turn up on credit card statements …

L.L.Bean (note the lack of spaces in the company name) was founded back in 1912 in Freeport, Maine as a company selling its own line of waterproof boots. The founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, gave his name to the enterprise. Right from the start, L.L.Bean focused on mail-order and sold from a circular he distributed and then from a catalog. Defects in the initial design led to 90% of the first boots sold being returned, and the company made good on its guarantee to replace them or give back the money paid.

50. Crewmate of Spock and Sulu : UHURA
Lt. Nyota Uhura is the communications officer in the original “Star Trek” television series, played by Nichelle Nichols. The role was significant in that Uhura was one of the first African American characters to figure front and center in US television. In a 1968 episode, Kirk (played by William Shatner) and Uhura kiss, the first inter-racial kiss to be broadcast in the US. Apparently the scene was meant to be shot twice, with and without the kiss, so that network executives could later decide which version to air. William Shatner says that he deliberately ran long on the first shoot (with the kiss) and fluffed the hurried second shoot (without the kiss), so that the network would have no choice.

Leonard Nimoy played the logical Mr. Spock in the original “Star Trek” television series. Spock has to be the most popular character on the show, and he keeps popping up in “Star Trek” spin offs to this day. Nimoy first worked alongside William Shatner (Captain Kirk) in an episode of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (I loved that show!), with Nimoy playing a bad guy and Shatner playing an U.N.C.L.E. recruit.

Mr Sulu was played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. Takei has played lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he appeared in the 1963 film, “Pt-109”? He played the helmsman steering the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s motor torpedo boat.

57. Gullet : 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.

63. H, as in “Hellenic” : ETA
Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

“Ellas” is the Greek word for “Greece”, the name of the country. Greece is also known as the “Hellenic” Republic.

64. Castaway’s call : 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.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Box-office dud : BOMB
5. Court sport : SQUASH
11. Lead-in to law : PRE-
14. Roll call no-show : AWOL
15. Salvation Army donation receptacle : KETTLE
16. Cover for the follically challenged : RUG
17. 1,009th juice drink? : LEMONADE MIX (MIX = 1,009)
19. Hoppy brew, for short : IPA
20. Dumb : INANE
21. Gave rise to : SPAWNED
23. “L’Absinthe” painter : DEGAS
27. Tends to, as a sprain : ICES
28. At the limit, as a credit card : MAXED OUT
31. Lie on a hot beach : BAKE
33. Band with the 1987 6x platinum album “Kick” : INXS
34. World Cup cheer : OLE!
35. Nile birds : IBISES
38. Fish that might accompany a schmear : LOX
39. Four prescriptions? : IV DRUGS (IV = 4)
41. Word before chest or change : SEA
42. Infuriate : ENRAGE
44. American ___ : ELM
45. “American ___” : IDOL
46. Cupid, or his concern : AMOR
47. How corn dogs are served : ON A STICK
49. Burlap fiber : JUTE
51. Borat portrayer ___ Baron Cohen : SACHA
52. Popular takeout option : CHINESE
56. Name in kitchen foil : ALCOA
60. Sacrifice fly result : RUN
61. 40 concert souvenirs? : XL TEE-SHIRTS (XL = 40)
65. Work unit : ERG
66. Follower of one, two and three in a children’s rhyme : POTATO
67. Irene of “Fame” : CARA
68. Limerick’s third word, often : WAS
69. Lincoln Center offerings : OPERAS
70. Exchange : SWAP

Down
1. Island served by both AirAsia and Qantas airlines : BALI
2. Wilson of “Starsky & Hutch” : OWEN
3. N.Y.C. cultural center : MOMA
4. Many Swedish models : BLONDES
5. Cousin of calypso : SKA
6. Mathematician’s “Done!” : QED!
7. Beehive State native : UTE
8. PIN points : ATMS
9. Boo-boo : SLIP
10. Dodeca- halved : HEXA-
11. 501st royal daughter? : PRINCESS DI (DI = 501)
12. Bit of cash in Kashmir : RUPEE
13. “Yikes!” : EGADS!
18. Desideratum : NEED
22. Site for online collaboration : WIKI
24. Review : GO OVER
25. “In the days of ___ lang syne” : AULD
26. Home electronics items : STEREOS
28. Millrose Games highlight : MILE
29. Soon, to bards : ANON
30. 30 consumer reviews? : XXX RATINGS (XXX = 30)
31. Golden Arches buy : BIG MAC
32. Gym rat’s “six-pack” : ABS
36. Fair-hiring org. : EEOC
37. Polio vaccine developer : SALK
39. “Before ___ …” : I GO
40. One involved in arm-twisting? : ULNA
43. Flock’s cry : AMEN!
45. Bold alternative? : ITALICS
48. Ruler toppled in 1979 : SHAH
49. L. L. Bean competitor : J.CREW
50. Crewmate of Spock and Sulu : UHURA
53. Event that may have a “-con” suffix in its name : EXPO
54. Zero-star fare : SLOP
55. Suffix with kitchen : -ETTE
57. Gullet : CRAW
58. Other: Sp. : OTRA
59. Common reply to “When do you want this?” : ASAP
62. Piano tuner’s asset : EAR
63. H, as in “Hellenic” : ETA
64. Castaway’s call : SOS

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3 thoughts on “0114-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 14 Jan 15, Wednesday”

  1. I had FLOP at 1A for a long time, and FIJI for 1D, kinda help me up until I figured out 2D was referring to the film, not the TV show. The rest worked out in time as I remembered Latin numbering. Good theme on this one.

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