0207-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Feb 15, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Byron Walden
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 99m 18s!!!
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … I CHING (I, Thing!!!), RUCHED (ruthed)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Ameche’s “Moon Over Miami” co-star, 1941 : GRABLE
The actress Betty Grable was the biggest earner for 20th Century-Fox in 1943, and in 1947 was the highest-paid entertainer in the whole country. It was said that Grable had the most beautiful legs in Hollywood. A famous photograph of her in a bathing suit made her the most popular pin-up girl of WWII.

The veteran actor Don Ameche was such a gentleman. He starred in the fun movie “Trading Places” in 1983, and was required to use the “f-word” in the script. According to co-star Jamie Lee Curtis, Ameche went around the set before the scene was shot, and apologized in advance to everyone for having to use bad language.

“Moon Over Miami” is a 1941 film starring Betty Grable as a woman who travels to Miami on a mission to find a rich man to marry. Much of the film is devoted to male leads Don Ameche and Robert Cummings vying over the affections of the Gable character.

7. Hit radio comedy about a bridge-playing couple : EASY ACES
“Easy Aces” is a radio comedy show that ran from 1930 until 1945. The show’s writer was Goodman Ace, who also starred with his real-life wife Jane Ace. Jane played a great character who had some memorable ditsy lines in “Easy Aces”, many of them improvised. The lines were so well received that they earned the moniker “Jane-isms”. Examples are:

– I am his awfully-wedded wife
– I’m completely uninhabited
– I look like the wrath of grapes!
– He shot out of here like a bat out a belfry
– I’m sitting on pins and cushions
– I don’t drink, I’m a totalitarian

17. Source of the quote “Change is certain” : I CHING
The “I Ching” is an ancient Chinese text dating back to the 2nd millennium BC. The text deals with aspects of cosmology and divination, and perhaps served as a guide for making predictions of the future. The statements in the “I Ching” consist of 64 hexagrams, sets of six lines composed in horizontal stacks.

18. Hurly-burly : BROUHAHA
“Brouhaha”, meaning “ado, stir”, was a French word that back in the 1550s meant “the cry of the devil disguised as clergy” . Wow!

19. Red cabbage juice, in chemistry class : PH INDICATOR
As we all recall from chemistry class, a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Anything less than 7 is an acid, and anything above 7 is a base.

Red cabbage grows with leaves of varying color, depending on the pH of the soil. In acidic soils, the leaves are red, and in alkaline soils are purple. In neutral soils, the leaves are green-yellow in color. As a result, the juice of red cabbage can be used as a pH indicator, one that turns red in acid and green/yellow in basic solutions.

22. Where “Desperately Seeking Susan” appears in the film of that name : PERSONAL AD
“Desperately Seeking Susan” is a 1985 movie starring Rosanna Arquette and Madonna. The film’s title refers to personal ads taken out by a man who desperately wants to meet Susan, the character played by Madonna.

23. Lee label, for short : GENL
Robert E. Lee is renowned as a southern officer in the Civil War. Lee was a somewhat reluctant participant in the war in that he opposed the secession of his home state of Virginia from the Union. At the beginning of the war, President Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the whole Union Army but he declined, choosing instead to stay loyal to his home state. During the Civil War, Lee’s men referred to him affectionately as “Marse Robert”, with “marse” being slang for “master”.

24. The U.S. Open is played on it: Abbr. : EDT
Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

The US Open is one of the oldest tennis championships in the world, having started out as the US National Championship in 1881. Today, the US Open is the last major tournament in the Grand Slam annual series, following the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon.

26. Cavaradossi’s lover : TOSCA
Unlike so many operas, Puccini’s “Tosca” was a big hit right from day one, when it was first performed in 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. “Tosca” is currently the eighth-most performed opera in America, although I’ve only seen it once myself.

27. Disco fabrics : LAMES
Lamé is a fabric that has metallic yarns included in the weave. Lamé is a popular fabric for stylish evening wear, and also in the sport of fencing. The metallic threads are conductive and so help register a touch by an épée.

33. Ace high? : ELEVEN
In the card game called Blackjack, an ace has the point value of one or eleven. When one of the two cards dealt to a player is an ace, the hand is called “soft”. This means that the player cannot go bust by taking another card, as the ace can be revalued at “one” if necessary in order to stay under 21.

34. Roy ___, title character in “The Natural” : HOBBS
Bernard Malamud wrote the novel “The Natural”, published in 1952. It tells the story of a baseball player called Roy Hobbs, who gets shot early in his career and makes a remarkable comeback many years later. Although Roy Hobbs is a fictional character, the story is apparently based on the real-life Phillies player Eddie Waitkus, who was indeed shot in his hotel room by an obsessed fan in 1949. The film adaptation released in 1984 is an excellent movie starring Robert Redford as “The Natural”.

35. Well-lit spaces : ATRIA
In modern architecture an atrium (plural “atria” or “atriums”) is a large open space usually in the center of a building and extending upwards to the roof. The original atrium was an open court in the center of an Ancient Roman house. One could access most of the enclosed rooms of the house from the atrium.

36. Super Bowl XX-winning coach : DITKA
Mike Ditka is a retired NFL player, and retired coach of Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints. Ditka and Tom Flores are the only people to have won Super Bowls as a player, an assistant coach, and as a head coach.

37. Title “Mr.” in a Milne play : PIM
A. A. Milne (of “Winnie-the-Pooh” fame) wrote a play called “Mr. Pim Passes By” in 1919. The play was a big hit and starred Leslie Howard in the original London production.

40. Some jewelry stores, informally : KAY’S
Kay Jewelers is perhaps the most famous store brand owned by Sterling Jewelers. Sterling is the largest fine jewelry chain in the country, with the company’s main competitor being Zale Corporation.

41. Queen who rallied the Dutch resistance in W.W. II : WILHELMINA
Queen Wilhelmina ruled the Netherlands longer than any other Dutch monarch, for 58 years from 1890 until her abdication in 1948. When German forces invaded the Netherlands during WWII, the Queen and her family were evacuated on a British destroyer to the UK. Her untiring and unrelenting support of the Allied war effort inspired Winston Churchill to describe Queen Wilhelmina as “the only real man” among the governments-in-exile in London.

43. ___ card : SIM
Most cell phones have SIM cards these days. SIM cards hold the personal information of the subscriber, with the acronym being short for Subscriber Identity Module.

44. Ball boy? : DESI ARNAZ JR
Desi Arnaz was of course famous for his turbulent marriage to Lucille Ball. Arnaz was a native of Cuba, and was from a privileged family. His father was Mayor of Santiago and served in the Cuban House of Representatives. However, the family had to flee to Miami after the 1933 revolt led by Batista.

47. Rides : RAZZES
Not so much here in America, but over in the British Isles “blowing a raspberry” is a way of insulting someone (I think it’s called “a Bronx cheer” in the US). The verb “to razz” comes from a shortened form of “raspberry”.

49. Part of a suspended sentence? : EM DASH
A sentence that ends abruptly might do so using em dashes, which are lik—

In typography, there are em dashes and en dashes (and spaces). The em dash is about the width of an “m” character, and an en dash about half that, the width of an “n’ character. An en dash is used, for example, to separate numbers designating a range, as in 5-10 years. Th em dash seems to be going out of style, and indeed the application I am using to write this paragraph won’t let me show you one!

50. Banquet offering : TV DINNER
Banquet Foods was founded in 1953, with the first products being frozen meat pies. The company introduced frozen dinners in 1955.

Down
1. Producer of a cough and shivers : GRIPPE
“Grippe” is an archaic term for influenza, and is the French term for the disease.

2. Decoratively pleated and gathered, as some bridal gowns : RUCHED
Ruching is a technique used in sewing to create “ripples” in the fabric. The effect is achieved by increasing the number of stitches all in one row, and then decreasing to the original number a few rows later.

3. Soloist on the “Green Hornet” theme : AL HIRT
Al Hirt was a trumpeter and bandleader. Hirt’s most famous recordings were the song “Java” and the album “Honey in the Horn”, as well the theme song used “The Green Hornet” TV series in the sixties.

4. Gatherings for hippies : BE-INS
Just before 1967’s “Summer of Love” in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, a Human Be-In was held in the city’s Golden Gate Park. The Be-In is described as a “happening”, a gathering triggered by a new state law banning the use of LSD. The term “Human Be-In” is a play on “humanist sit-in”.

5. Wimbledon is played in it : LONDON AREA
The Wimbledon Championships of tennis are held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club located in Wimbledon, a district of London. The Wimbledon Championships started in 1877, and are still played on grass.

8. Arterial tree components : AORTAE
The aorta (plural “aortae”) originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

The “arterial tree” is the name given to all the arteries of the body, and the arterial system’s branching pattern.

9. Hair holder : SNOOD
A “snood” is a net or a bag worn over the hair. “Snood” comes from the Old English word “snod” meaning a ribbon for the hair.

10. ___ Grace : YOUR
The form of address “Your Grace” is commonly used when speaking directly to bishops and archbishops in the Christian tradition.

11. N.C.A.A. division?: Abbr. : ATH
Athletic (Ath.) is part of the name of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

14. Reclaimed material used in jewelry : SEA GLASS
Sea glass is weathered glass found on beaches. The original glass comes from things like broken bottles. The broken glass is rolled and tumbled for years in the sea, resulted in smooth edges and also a frosted appearance.

23. Resolutions, e.g. : GOALS
I’d have described a “resolution” as an actiof resolving to meet a goal, rather than the goal itself. But that might just be me …

26. Madiba, for Nelson Mandela : TRIBAL NAME
Nelson Mandela was often called “Madiba”, which was his Xhosa clan name. He was also known affectionately as “Tata”, the Xhosa word for “Father”.

The Xhosa are a Bantu people who live mainly in the southeast of South Africa. The Xhosa language is the second-most common in the country, after Zulu. Among the list of notable Xhosa people are former President Nelson Mandela and retired Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu.

27. ___ Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers : LEVI’S
The San Francisco 49ers of the NFL have been playing their home games in the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara since 2014. The team moved from the famous Candlestick Park, which they had been using since 1971. Levi’s Stadium will get a big boost in January 2016, as it is scheduled to host that year’s Super Bowl.

28. Former senator and presidential candidate who once dated Debra Winger : BOB KERREY
Bob Kerrey is a Democrat who served as US Senator for Nebraska from 1989 to 2001, after having served as the state’s governor for a four-year term. Kerrey also served his country during the Vietnam War as an officer in the Navy SEALs, during which time he was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism. Famously, Kerry dated the actress Debra Winger while he was Governor of Nebraska.

When the actress Debra Winger was a young woman she was involved in a terrible car accident that resulted in a cerebral hemorrhage. She was left partially paralyzed and blind, and was told that she would never see again. Given so much time to think after the accident, she decided that if she did indeed recover she would leave her home in Ohio and move to California to take up acting. After ten months of blindness Winger recovered, and off she headed.

29. Foible : WEAK SPOT
Originally a “foible” was the weak point of a sword’s blade. The same term came to be used for a weak point in a person’s character.

30. The planet in the sci-fi classic “Forbidden Planet” : ALTAIR IV
“Forbidden Planet” is a 1956 sci-fi movie starring Walter Pidgeon that bears some resemblance to William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest”. “Forbidden Planet” is notable for several reasons, including the fact that it was the first film showing humans traveling in a starship, the first set entirely on another planet. It was also the first film to feature a robot that had a personality. That’s Robby the Robot.

31. Like American cheese : VERY MILD
The term “American cheese” used to refer to real cheese, a type of cheddar made in the in the US and exported to England where it was given the name “American”. When processed cheese was developed in 1911, the term “American cheese” was applied to that “tasty” product …

32. 1980s P.M. nicknamed “The Old Crocodile” : BOTHA
P. W. Botha was prime minister of South Africa from 1978 to 1984, and the country’s first state president from 1984 to 1989. Botha was an advocate of the apartheid system, but was given credit for steps taken towards equality by the magnanimous Nelson Mandela.

41. “___ Do It!” (Rosie the Riveter motto) : WE CAN
Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon that represented women working in factories across the country during WWII as part of the war effort. The term “Rosie the Riveter” first appeared as the title of a 1942 song that was a national hit.

42. MX-5 maker : MAZDA
The Mazda MX-5 is sold as the Miata in North America, and as the Roadster in Japan. I’ve always liked the looks of the Mazda Miata, probably because it reminds me so much of old British sports cars. The Miata is built in Hiroshima, Japan.

44. “It Ain’t All About the Cookin'” memoirist : DEEN
Paula Deen is a celebrity chef from Savannah, Georgia who is noted for her Southern cooking. Deen has been criticized for the amount of salt, fat and sugar in her recipes. The criticism became even more intense when Deen disclosed that she herself has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

46. First noncanonical psalm in the Bible : CLI
Psalm 151 is considered to be part of the canon in some religious traditions, but not in others.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Ameche’s “Moon Over Miami” co-star, 1941 : GRABLE
7. Hit radio comedy about a bridge-playing couple : EASY ACES
15. Decide, as a motion : RULE ON
16. Lacking inflection : MONOTONE
17. Source of the quote “Change is certain” : I CHING
18. Hurly-burly : BROUHAHA
19. Red cabbage juice, in chemistry class : PH INDICATOR
21. Trail : LAG
22. Where “Desperately Seeking Susan” appears in the film of that name : PERSONAL AD
23. Lee label, for short : GENL
24. The U.S. Open is played on it: Abbr. : EDT
25. Moniker after a lifestyle change : NEW ME
26. Cavaradossi’s lover : TOSCA
27. Disco fabrics : LAMES
28. Steels : BRACES
29. Wasn’t consistent : WAVERED
32. Providers of housewarmings? : BOILERS
33. Ace high? : ELEVEN
34. Roy ___, title character in “The Natural” : HOBBS
35. Well-lit spaces : ATRIA
36. Super Bowl XX-winning coach : DITKA
37. Title “Mr.” in a Milne play : PIM
40. Some jewelry stores, informally : KAY’S
41. Queen who rallied the Dutch resistance in W.W. II : WILHELMINA
43. ___ card : SIM
44. Ball boy? : DESI ARNAZ JR
45. Attempt to spur demand : PRICE-CUT
47. Rides : RAZZES
48. License to drill : OIL LEASE
49. Part of a suspended sentence? : EM DASH
50. Banquet offering : TV DINNER
51. Like some rolls : YEASTY

Down
1. Producer of a cough and shivers : GRIPPE
2. Decoratively pleated and gathered, as some bridal gowns : RUCHED
3. Soloist on the “Green Hornet” theme : AL HIRT
4. Gatherings for hippies : BE-INS
5. Wimbledon is played in it : LONDON AREA
6. Some Navy specialists : ENGINEMEN
7. Preserves, in the end : EMBALMS
8. Arterial tree components : AORTAE
9. Hair holder : SNOOD
10. ___ Grace : YOUR
11. N.C.A.A. division?: Abbr. : ATH
12. Come together : COALESCE
13. Beautifier : ENHANCER
14. Reclaimed material used in jewelry : SEA GLASS
20. Cried harshly : CAWED
23. Resolutions, e.g. : GOALS
26. Madiba, for Nelson Mandela : TRIBAL NAME
27. ___ Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers : LEVI’S
28. Former senator and presidential candidate who once dated Debra Winger : BOB KERREY
29. Foible : WEAK SPOT
30. The planet in the sci-fi classic “Forbidden Planet” : ALTAIR IV
31. Like American cheese : VERY MILD
32. 1980s P.M. nicknamed “The Old Crocodile” : BOTHA
34. Avery product for note-takers : HI-LITER
36. What old things fall into : DISUSE
37. Holders of pieces of eight? : PIZZAS
38. Humorously : IN JEST
39. Good for rushes, say : MARSHY
41. “___ Do It!” (Rosie the Riveter motto) : WE CAN
42. MX-5 maker : MAZDA
44. “It Ain’t All About the Cookin'” memoirist : DEEN
46. First noncanonical psalm in the Bible : CLI

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4 thoughts on “0207-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Feb 15, Saturday”

  1. Yesterday's puzzle defeated me, but–I'm almost shocked to say–I breezed through this one. By the way, at the end of Malamud's novel "The Natural," Roy Hobbs strikes out. The ending of the movie version with Redford is, um, slightly different…ha!

  2. Very odd. Today's puzzle took me quite a while, but I finished it okay. Yesterday's, which I gather was hard for a lot of people, seemed unremarkable to me, but Thursday's, which I think others thought of as easy, gave me fits. I never know whether such anomalies reflect the difficulty level of the puzzles or the mental state I'm in as I begin working on them.

  3. I found this puzzle all but impenetrable, but there were a few "either you know it or you have no idea" clues that might've made a difference. I expect no less on a Saturday… but when William takes 100 minutes (!!) to finish a 15×15 grid, you know it's pretty much unsolvable…

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