0214-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 14 Feb 15, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Steinberg
THEME: None … Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 53m 14s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Language introduced in 1995 : JAVASCRIPT
JavaScript is a computer programming language that is mainly used as an integral part of web browsers. The language was developed at Netscape in the days of the Browser Wars with Microsoft. It was developed under the codename Mocha and the first official release was called LiveScript. The name was changed to JavaScript in a blatant attempt by Netscape to cache in on the reputation of Sun Microsystem’s Java language.

11. Factor in force : MASS
Newton’s second law of motion tells us that a body accelerates when a force is applied to it, and the greater the mass of the object, the greater the force required to cause that acceleration. Mathematically, the law can be written as Force = mass x acceleration (F=ma).

16. Torts course taker, typically : ONE L
“One L” is a name used in general for first year law students.

The word “tort” is a French word meaning “mischief, injury or wrong”. Tort law is generally about negligence, when the action of one party causes injury to another but that action falls outside of the scope of criminal law.

17. Brand that supports women? : MAIDENFORM
Maidenform is a manufacturer of underwear for women that was founded in 1922. The three co-founders were driven to defy the norms of the day that dictated a flat-chested look for women. They produced items that fit the female body, hence the name “Maidenform”.

19. Intern : ISOLATE
“To intern” is to isolate within set limits. One example of internment is the confinement of prisoners of war who have taken refuge in a neutral country.

20. Old sitcom family name : PETRIE
“The Dick Van Dyke Show” is a sitcom that ran from 1961 to 1966 starring Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore as Rob and Laura Petrie. This classic show was created by the great Carl Reiner, who also had a supporting role on the screen.

22. Scratch : EKE
To “eke out” means to “make something go further or last longer”. For example, you could eke out your income by cutting back on expenses. I always have a problem with the commonly cited definition of “eke out” as “barely get by”. Close but no cigar, I say …

26. Bismarck-to-Billings dir. : WSW
Bismarck is the second most populous city in North Dakota (after Fargo), and the state capitol. The site that became the city was originally known as Missouri Crossing, as it was the location where the Lewis and Clark Expedition crossed the river. Missouri Crossing became Edwinton after an employee of the Northern Pacific Railway. The railway company renamed the city Bismarck in honor of German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, as Northern Pacific was hoping for German investment.

Billings is the only city in Montana with a population greater than 100,000 people. It was founded as a railroad town in 1882 and experienced such rapid growth that it was nicknamed the Magic City. The town’s name was chosen in honor of a former president of the Northern Pacific Railroad, Frederick H. Billings.

29. It names an annual Sexiest Woman Alive : ESQUIRE
“Esquire” magazine has been nominating the Sexiest Woman Alive annually since 2004. The first winner was Angelina Jolie. Scarlett Johansson became the youngest winner in 2006, and in 2013 became the first woman to win twice.

31. “Ten Days in a Mad-House” muckraker : BLY
Nellie Bly was a pen name of an American journalist whose real name was Elizabeth Cochran. In 1888, Bly took a trip around the world, emulating the fictional trip of Phileas Fogg in “Around the World in Eighty Days”. She departed from New York and arrived back in San Francisco two days behind schedule, jeopardizing her goal of beating the “eighty days”. The owner of her newspaper chartered a private train for her and she made it back to New York in just over 72 days. Quite a woman …

Journalist Nellie Bly wrote a series of articles for the New York World in the 1880s recounting her undercover investigation of life in the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island in the East River. Bly feigned insanity while lodging at a women’s boarding house so that she was carted off to the asylum. The articles were republished in 1887 in book form as “Ten Days in a Mad-House”, after which there was a grand jury investigation into the horrific conditions described by Bly.

35. Trap locale : PIPE
Most sinks in a home have a P-trap in the outlet pipe that empties into the sewer line. This P-trap has at its heart a U-bend that retains a small amount of water after the sink is emptied. This plug of water serves as a seal to prevent sewer gases entering into the home. By virtue of its design, the U-bend can also capture any heavy objects (like an item of jewelry) that might fall through the plughole. But the “trapping” of fallen objects is secondary to the P-traps main function of trapping of sewer gases.

38. 2004 film featuring Paris : TROY
“Troy” is a 2004 epic movie that is based on Homer’s “Iliad” and tells the story of the Trojan War. “Troy” has quite the cast, including Brad Pitt as Achilles, Eric Bana as Hector, Orlando Bloom as Paris and Diane Kruger as Helen. Most of the filming was done on the island of Malta in the Mediterranean. It was an expensive film to make, with costs running at about $175 million. The film did well at the box office though, with most of the profits being made outside of the US.

In Greek legend, Paris was the son of the king of Troy. Paris eloped with Helen, Queen of Sparta, and this act was a major trigger for the Trojan War. Also it was Paris who fatally wounded Achilles by shooting him in the heel with an arrow.

40. Overseas alternative? : OTRO
In Spanish, if it’s not “this” (esto) or “that” (eso) then it’s the “other” (otro).

42. Michele of “Glee” : LEA
Lea Michele is both an actor and a singer and started performing as a child actor on Broadway, including appearances in “Les Miserables” and “Fiddler on the Roof”. These days Michele plays Rachel Berry on the Fox TV show “Glee”.

The TV show called “Glee” has proven to be very popular. The storyline focuses on a high school glee club in Lima, Ohio called New Directions.

A glee club is a choir group, usually of males, that sings short songs known as “glees”. A glee is a song scored for three or more voices that is performed unaccompanied.

43. Mother of Richard I : ELEANOR
Eleanor of Aquitaine was married to two kings. Eleanor married Prince Louis of France in 1137 when she was 14 or 15 years old. She became Queen Consort later that year when the prince was crowned King Louis VII of France. The couple became estranged over the years and the marriage was annulled in 1152. Eight weeks after the annulment, Eleanor married Henry, Duke of Normandy. She became Queen Consort of England in 1154 when her husband was crowned Henry II.

45. Abbr. after “Rev.” or before “dev.” : STD
A Reverend (Rev.) in the Roman Catholic church might have the degree Sacrae Theologiae Doctor (S.T.D.).

In the world of statistics, the standard deviation (std. dev.) is a measure of how closely data points are clustered around the mean value. A low standard deviation indicates a relatively tight distribution. A standard deviation is usually represented by the Greek letter sigma in lower case.

46. Head doc? : ENT
Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT)

47. Cab and others : REDS
The Cabernet Sauvignon grape has been around since the 17th century, and is the result of a chance crossing in southwestern France of the Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc grapes.

48. Sparks in old films : NED
Ned Sparks was a Hollywood character actor noted for his grumpy deadpan expression as he chewed on a cigar. Sparks became so enamoured with his facial expression that the story is he insured his face for $100,000.

50. Blunts, e.g. : CIGARS
In the tobacco industry, a blunt is a cigar of medium width that has a rounded rather than a pointed tip. It is the rounded end of the cigar that gives it the name “blunt”.

52. Big name in scales : DETECTO
The Detecto Scale Company makes weighing scales. The company was founded in 1900 in New York City by the three Jacobs Brothers.

57. What’s a big hit with the school board? : KARATE CHOP
I guess the idea is that a practitioner in a martial arts school might break a wooden board with a karate chop.

61. Treat with pudding and graham crackers : ICEBOX CAKE
The icebox cake is a dessert that was introduced in the US during World War I. There are several recipes today, with one including graham crackers, chocolate pudding and whipped cream. The cake is left overnight to set in an icebox, hence the name.

62. ___ Style Awards : ELLE
The Elle Style Awards have been presented annually since 2002 by “Elle” magazine.

63. They have an infamous gap : NIXON TAPES
Famously, there is a gap of 18½ minutes in the Nixon White House tapes. Rose Mary Woods, President Nixon’s secretary, reported that she was reviewing one of the tapes when she accidentally hit record instead of the stop button, causing about 5 minutes of erasure. There is an additional 13 minutes of “buzzing” that she could not explain. There has been much speculation about what actually happened, as a review of notes made in the meeting covered by the tape show that the arrests made at the Watergate were discussed.

Down
1. 2010 New York Times best seller subtitled “Sounds Like a Rainbow” : JIMI
“Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow” is a 2010 biography of Jimi Hendrix.

Many of his contemporaries regarded Jimi Hendrix as the greatest electric guitarist in the history of rock music. Hendrix was from Seattle and didn’t really have a really stellar start to his working life. He failed to finish high school and fell foul of the law by getting caught in stolen cars, twice. The courts gave him the option of the army or two years in prison. Hendrix chose the former and soon found himself in the famous 101st Airborne. In the army, his less-than-disciplined ways helped him (as he would have seen it) because his superiors successfully petitioned to get him discharged after serving only one year of his two-year requirement, just to get him out of their hair.

3. Big name in laptops : VAIO
VAIO is a line of computers manufactured by Sony. The name was originally an acronym of Video Audio Integrated Operation, but this was changed to Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer on the occasion of the brand’s 10th anniversary in 2008.

6. Short, imaginative tales : CONTES
“Conte” is the French word for “tale”. There is an idiomatic phrase in France “conte de bonne femme” which translates literally as “tale of the good woman”. We would use the equivalent phrase “old wive’s tale”.

8. Words before a major pronouncement : I DO
I now pronounce you, husband and wife …

11. Subject to dispute : MOOT
“To moot” is to bring up as a subject for discussion or debate. So, something that is moot is open to debate. Something that is no longer moot, is no longer worth debating. We don’t seem to be able get that right …

12. Top-selling app of 2010 : ANGRY BIRDS
Angry Birds is a video game that was developed for smartphones. Angry Birds is the third most downloaded game, after Tetris and Pac-Man.

13. Where a techie hooks up : SERIAL PORT
In the world of computing, serial and parallel ports have largely been replaced with newer technology that allows for faster data transfer (such as USB ports). One of the main differences between serial and parallel ports is that a parallel port can only transfer information in one direction, from the hard drive. A serial port transfers information both to and from the hard drive.

21. Application suffix : EXE
In the Windows Operating System, a file with the extension .exe is an “executable” file.

23. Free light shows : AURORAS
The spectacular aurora phenomenon is seen lighting up the night sky at both poles of the earth (the Aurora Borealis in the north, and the Aurora Australis in the south). The eerie effect is caused by charged particles colliding with atoms at high latitudes.

24. Con victim : PIGEON
In the confidence trick known as a “pigeon drop”, the victim (the pigeon) is fooled into putting his or her money into say an envelope along with a sum provided by the trickster. The envelope is switched for an envelope stuffed with perhaps newspaper. The victim usually takes the opportunity to sneak off with the supposed money, but is actually sneaking off with nothing and leaving the trickster a handsome profit.

27. Cary Grant or Betty Grable : SCREEN IDOL
Cary Grant was an actor from England who made it big, really big in Hollywood. “Cary Grant” is a stage name, chosen by Archibald Leach. There’s a great moment in the film “His Girl Friday” when Grant says the line “I never had so much fun since Archie Leach died”, an inside joke.

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.

28. 2011 Flo Rida hit with the lyric “She ain’t no rock star, but she got groupies” : WHO DAT GIRL
Rapper Tramar Dillard is better known as rapper Flo Rida. As you might have guessed, Flo Rida was born in the state of Florida.

30. Like Confucius, often : QUOTED
“The Analects” or “Linyu” is a collection of the sayings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. It wasn’t Confucius who wrote down his thoughts though, but rather his pupils, some 40 or so years after his death in 479 BC.

33. “Mamma Mia” quartet : EMS
The are four letters M (em) in the song title “Mamma Mia”.

The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads … not so much! By the way, one can tell the difference between “Mamma Mia” the ABBA song and “Mamma Mia!” the musical, by noting the difference in the punctuation in the titles.

35. Grp. with the slogan “Every child. One voice” : PTA
The National Parent Teacher Association (National PTA) was founded back in 1897 as the National Congress of Mothers. The PTA uses the slogan “everychild. onevoice” (sic).

37. Fabric used in adhesive pads : MOLESKIN
Moleskin is a soft material with an adhesive backing that can be stick to the skin to prevent blisters, especially on the feet.

49. Classic record label that rejected the Beatles with the comment “Groups with guitars are on the way out” : DECCA
Decca Records started out in 1929 as a British record label. The US branch of Decca was opened up in 1934, but the UK and US entities went their separate ways starting in WWII. Famously, Decca turned down a chance to record the Beatles in 1962 taking the position “Guitar groups are on the way out”. That said, Decca did sign the Rolling Stones.

51. Height : ACME
The “acme” is the highest point, coming from the Greek word “akme” which has the same meaning.

52. Olivia who won a Razzie for “Bolero” and “Conan the Destroyer” : D’ABO
The actress Olivia d’Abo was born in England, and is the daughter of Mike d’Abo, a member of the sixties group Manfred Mann. For a while, Olivia was engaged to musician Julian Lennon, son of John Lennon of Beatles fame.

Razzie is the familiar name for the Golden Raspberry Award, an award presented annually for the worst in the world of film. The Razzies have been presented on the day before the Oscars since 1981.

53. Mate : CHAP
“Chap” is an informal term for “lad, fellow”, especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.

54. Blunt hit : TOKE
“Toke” is a slang term for a puff on a marijuana cigarette or on a pipe containing the drug.

A blunt is a type of cigar, although the term “blunt” is also used for a marijuana cigar. In this context, a blunt is cigar that has been hollowed out and filled with marijuana.

58. Handel’s “___, Galatea e Polifemo” : ACI
“Aci, Galatea e Polifemo” is a cantata written by Georg Frideric Handel that was first performed in Naples, in 1708.

59. “Toy Story” dinosaur : REX
In the excellent film “Toy Story”, Rex is a tyrannosaurus, and a pretty clumsy one. He is voiced by actor Wallace Shawn, whose name is perhaps less familiar than his face. Shawn played the neighbor on “The Cosby Show” as well as many, many other supporting roles on TV and the big screen.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Language introduced in 1995 : JAVASCRIPT
11. Factor in force : MASS
15. “This is a surprise!” : I HAD NO IDEA!
16. Torts course taker, typically : ONE L
17. Brand that supports women? : MAIDENFORM
18. Major menace : OGRE
19. Intern : ISOLATE
20. Old sitcom family name : PETRIE
22. Scratch : EKE
23. Height : APEX
25. Be a motormouth : YAP
26. Bismarck-to-Billings dir. : WSW
29. It names an annual Sexiest Woman Alive : ESQUIRE
31. “Ten Days in a Mad-House” muckraker : BLY
32. Hankered : ACHED
34. Hankering : URGE
35. Trap locale : PIPE
36. Counterpart of “to” : FROM
37. Talked bull? : MOOED
38. 2004 film featuring Paris : TROY
39. Gangsters’ counterparts, informally : FEDS
40. Overseas alternative? : OTRO
41. Man on a mission, maybe : PADRE
42. Michele of “Glee” : LEA
43. Mother of Richard I : ELEANOR
45. Abbr. after “Rev.” or before “dev.” : STD
46. Head doc? : ENT
47. Cab and others : REDS
48. Sparks in old films : NED
50. Blunts, e.g. : CIGARS
52. Big name in scales : DETECTO
56. Like many works with “To” in their titles : ODIC
57. What’s a big hit with the school board? : KARATE CHOP
60. It’s to be expected : NORM
61. Treat with pudding and graham crackers : ICEBOX CAKE
62. ___ Style Awards : ELLE
63. They have an infamous gap : NIXON TAPES

Down
1. 2010 New York Times best seller subtitled “Sounds Like a Rainbow” : JIMI
2. Sounds accompanying light bulbs? : AHAS
3. Big name in laptops : VAIO
4. Knock for a loop : ADDLE
5. Emulated a cat burglar : SNEAKED
6. Short, imaginative tales : CONTES
7. Chockablock : RIFE
8. Words before a major pronouncement : I DO
9. Rate word : PER
10. Fooled (with) : TAMPERED
11. Subject to dispute : MOOT
12. Top-selling app of 2010 : ANGRY BIRDS
13. Where a techie hooks up : SERIAL PORT
14. About to crash, apparently : SLEEPY-EYED
21. Application suffix : EXE
23. Free light shows : AURORAS
24. Con victim : PIGEON
26. Parlor product made with an iron : WAFFLE CONE
27. Cary Grant or Betty Grable : SCREEN IDOL
28. 2011 Flo Rida hit with the lyric “She ain’t no rock star, but she got groupies” : WHO DAT GIRL
30. Like Confucius, often : QUOTED
33. “Mamma Mia” quartet : EMS
35. Grp. with the slogan “Every child. One voice” : PTA
37. Fabric used in adhesive pads : MOLESKIN
41. Excuse : PRETEXT
43. Go too far, e.g. : ERR
44. Like some pickups : ONE-TON
49. Classic record label that rejected the Beatles with the comment “Groups with guitars are on the way out” : DECCA
51. Height : ACME
52. Olivia who won a Razzie for “Bolero” and “Conan the Destroyer” : D’ABO
53. Mate : CHAP
54. Blunt hit : TOKE
55. Exposes, old-style : OPES
58. Handel’s “___, Galatea e Polifemo” : ACI
59. “Toy Story” dinosaur : REX

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One thought on “0214-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 14 Feb 15, Saturday”

  1. 57 Across: What kind of stupid "clue" is that????? This puzzle was difficult enough without clues so poorly written as to completely mislead.

    We really need a changing of the guard here…. SHORTZ *OUT*!!!!

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