0726-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Jul 15, Sunday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ellen Leuschner & Jeff Chen
THEME: No Escape … we have a BLACK HOLE in the middle of today’s grid, represented by the large, 3×3 black square. This black hole is “pulling in” the answers immediately surrounding it, all of which end with the word HOLE. As a result, the answers directly to the right and bottom of BLACK HOLE are written in reverse:

60A. Damage to a wall made in hanging a picture : NAIL HOLE
62A. Mouth, slangily : PIE HOLE
65A. Having more liabilities than assets : IN THE HOLE
66A. Secret spot : HIDEY HOLE
71A. Primitive kind of camera : PINHOLE
72A. Fracking opening : BOREHOLE
31D. Place to set a trap : MOUSEHOLE
36D. Tax dodger’s discovery : LOOPHOLE
44D. Tire hazard : POTHOLE
76D. Small, dirty, uncomfortable room : RATHOLE
77D. The middle of this puzzle’s grid, symbolically : BLACK HOLE
78D. Ship window : PORTHOLE

Additionally, there are four long answers that are related to the astral phenomenon of a BLACK HOLE:

21A. Novella that served as the basis for “Apocalypse Now” : HEART OF DARKNESS
112A. Tightrope walker’s concern : CENTER OF GRAVITY
14D. Avoidance maneuver : DISAPPEARING ACT
42D. 1987 Michael Douglas/Glenn Close blockbuster : FATAL ATTRACTION

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 24m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

13. Govt. health org. : CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC started out life during WWII as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities. The CDC worries about much more than malaria these days …

16. Conductor’s resistance : OHMAGE
The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm’s Law.

17. Mark’s replacement : EURO
One of the currencies replaced by the euro was Germany’s Deutsche Mark (known as the “Deutschmark” in English).

19. Scenic drapery fabric : TOILE
Toile fabric can be used as upholstery, or as a wallpaper, or even as a fabric for clothing.

21. Novella that served as the basis for “Apocalypse Now” : HEART OF DARKNESS
“Heart of Darkness” is an 1899 novella by Joseph Conrad in which the narrator journeys up the Congo River in search of an agent who is the most successful supplier of ivory. The basic storyline for the novella inspired the 1979 movie “Apocalypse Now”.

25. Actress Suvari of “American Beauty” : MENA
Mena Suvari’s most famous role to date is probably “the beauty” in the 1999 movie “American Beauty”. She plays the teenage girl with whom the Kevin Spacey character becomes infatuated. She also played heather in the “American Pie” films.

26. Mercedes-Benz competitor : LEXUS
Lexus is a division of the Toyota Motor Company, and is Toyota’s luxury brand. As an aside, Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Acura is the more luxurious version of Honda’s models.

27. Panama part : BRIM
Panama hats are also known as Jipijapas, named for a town in Ecuador (and not Panama, surprisingly) that was a major player in the hat trade.

29. “The Phantom Menace” in the “Star Wars” series : EPISODE I
Despite the inference in the title, “Star Wars Episode I” was the fourth in the “Star Wars” series of movies. There was a 16-year hiatus between “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) and “The Phantom Menace” (1999).

31. Feminist of 1970s TV : MAUDE
Bea Arthur played Maude Findlay on TV’s “All in the Family” and then on the spin-off sitcom “Maude”. Maude is the cousin of Edith Bunker, Archie’s wife in “All in the Family”.

32. “Silas Marner” girl : EPPIE
“Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe” is a novel written by George Eliot and first published in 1861. There’s an excellent BBC TV version of the tale (shown on PBS) starring Ben Kingsley in the title role, with Patsy Kensit playing Eppie, the young orphaned child that Marner takes under his wing.

33. Chemical ending : -ANE
The “smaller” alkanes are gases and are quite combustible. Methane (CH4) is the main component of natural gas with ethane (C2H6) being the second largest component. Propane (C3H8) is also found in natural gas and is heavy enough to be readily turned into a liquid by compression, for ease of transportation and storage. Butane (C4H10) is also easily liquefied under pressure and can be used as the fuel in cigarette lighters or as the propellant in aerosol sprays. The heavier alkanes are liquids and solids at room temperature.

34. ___ contendere : NOLO
“Nolo contendere” is a legal term that translates from Latin as “I do not wish to contend”. It’s the plea of “no contest” and is an alternative to “guilty” or “not guilty”, meaning that one doesn’t admit guilt but nor does one dispute the charge.

39. Short lines at the checkout? : UPCS
UPC stands for Universal Price Code or Universal Product Code. The first UPC-marked item to get scanned in a store was on June 26, 1974 at 08:01 a.m. at Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio. It was a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum …

40. To whom Dionne Warwick asked “What’s it all about?” in a 1967 hit : ALFIE
There have been two versions of the movie “Alfie”. The original, and for my money the best, was made in 1966 with Michael Caine. The remake came out in 2004 and stars Jude Law in the title role. The theme song was performed by Cher in the 1966 movie, but it was Dionne Warwick’s cover version from 1967 that was the most successful in the charts.

47. Idol worship : BAALISM
The name “Baal” was used for several gods and sometimes human officials by ancient Semitic peoples. In the Hebrew Bible, Baal is notably cited as a false god. As a result, we sometimes use the term “baal” today to mean a false god or an idol.

50. ___ of Abraham (place of comfort) : BOSOM
In the Jewish tradition, the phrase “Bosom of Abraham” is used to describe a place where the righteous dead await the Day of Judgment.

51. Asian capital : LHASA
Lhasa is the capital city of Tibet, and the name “Lhasa” translates as “place of the gods”. However, Lhasa used to be called Rasa, a name that translates into the less auspicious “goat’s place”. Lhasa was also once called the “Forbidden City” due to its inaccessible location high in the Himalayas and a traditional hostility exhibited by residents to outsiders. The “forbidden” nature of the city has been reinforced since the Chinese took over Tibet in the early 1950s as it has been difficult for foreigners to get permission to visit Lhasa.

52. Canadian N.H.L. team, on scoreboards : OTT
The Senators are the NHL hockey team in Ottawa, Canada. The current team, founded in the 1992-93 season, is the second NHL team in the city to use the name “Senators”. The original team was founded in 1917 and had a very successful run until the league expanded into the US in the late twenties. The cost of operating in what became the smallest NHL city eventually drove the Senators to St. Louis where they played for a year as the Eagles before finally folding.

53. Lender’s security : LIEN
A lien is the right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

59. Long, in Lahaina : LOA
Mauna Loa on the “big island” of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

Lahaina on the island of Maui was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1820 to 1845, after which the capital was moved to Honolulu.

64. Maui or Bali: Abbr. : ISL
Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands. Maui is sometimes called the “Valley Isle” as it is composed of two volcanoes to the northwest and southeast of the island, each with numerous beautiful valleys carved into them.

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.

69. Milan’s La ___ : SCALA
La Scala Opera House opened in 1778. It was built on the site of the church of Santa Maria della Scala, which gave the theater its name: “Teatro alla Scala” in Italian.

71. Primitive kind of camera : PINHOLE
A pinhole camera is an amazing device that can project a very clear image, without the use of a lens. In general the smaller the pinhole the sharper the image, something you might observe yourself by peeking through a tiny hole made with your fingers.

72. Fracking opening : BOREHOLE
“Fracking” is a familiar term for “hydraulic fracturing”. Fracking involves the injection of chemicals and sand in water at high pressure into a wellbore. This creates cracks in layers of rock deep in the earth allowing perhaps oil or natural gas to flow more freely to the surface. I know someone who works for the US Geological Surface, and he’s measuring seismic activity in parts of the country where it has never been seen before. It seems that that fracking does have an impact on our environment after all …

73. Atlanta sch. : GSU
Georgia State University is located in downtown Atlanta. It was established in 1913 as a branch of Georgia School of Technology called the Evening School of Commerce.

76. StubHub purchase: Abbr. : TKT
StubHub! is an online ticket exchange business that is owned by eBay. StubHub! acts as the middleman between buyers and seller of event tickets, whether those buyers and sellers are individuals or large organizations.

81. It may be filled in with a No. 2 pencil : ANS
Answer (ans.)

82. Postpone : TABLE
These “tabling” and “shelving” idioms drive me crazy, because they are often misused. If a topic is shelved, it is set aside. If a topic is tabled, it is brought “off the shelf” and put “on the table” for discussion. But, maybe it’s just me …

83. Paris’s ___-Coeur : SACRE
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Basilique du Sacré-Coeur) is that gorgeous white structure that sits at the top of the hill known as “butte Montmartre” in Paris, the highest point in the city. I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited Sacré-Coeur several times, and find it to be a much more stunning building inside than out.

89. Drinking songs? : KARAOKE
“Karate”, means “open hand”, and the related word “karaoke” means “open orchestra”.

92. “Casablanca” escape route city : ORAN
Oran lies on the Algerian coast, and is famous for being the port where the French Navy was largely destroyed by the British during WWII in order to avoid the French vessels falling into the hands of Nazi Germany after France surrendered. This decisive and unexpected unilateral action by the British sent a very strong message around the world that Britain was willing to fight alone against the axis powers if necessary.

The movie “Casablanca” was released in January of 1943, timed to coincide with the Casablanca Conference, the high-level meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill. The film wasn’t a box-office hit, but gained critical acclaim, winning three Oscars including Best Picture. The signature song “As Time Goes By” was written many years earlier for a 1931 Broadway musical called “Everybody’s Welcome”, and was a hit in 1931 for Rudy Vallee. But today we all remember the Casablanca version, sung by Dooley Wilson (who played “Sam” in the film). Poor Dooley didn’t get to record it as a single, due to a musician’s strike in 1943, so the 1931 Rudy Vallee version was re-released that year and became an even bigger hit second time round.

93. 50 or more people? : AARP
AARP is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

95. Tour grp. since 1950 : LPGA
The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) was founded in 1950 by a group of 13 lady golfers, and today it is the oldest ongoing women’s sports professional organization in the US.

96. “Incidentally,” in a text : BTW
By the way (BTW)

97. Button material : NACRE
Mother-of-pearl is another name for nacre. Nacre is the strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells, and it’s also what makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that’s how a pearl is formed.

99. Biblical spy : CALEB
According to the Bible, after fleeing Egypt the Hebrews were led by Moses to the promised land of Canaan. Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan (one from each of the Twelve Tribes) to report on what awaited them. Ten spies returned with exaggerated stories of giants who would kill the Hebrew army if it entered Canaan. Two spies, Caleb and Joshua, came back with valid reports, that the Hebrews could inhabit the area. As a result of the false reports from the ten spies, the Hebrews did not enter Canaan but instead wandered the desert for another forty years, before they finally took up residence in the promised land. At the end of the forty years, Caleb and Joshua were the only adults that survived the forty-year journey, a reward from God for their obedience.

101. “Friday the 13th” movies, e.g. : SLASHERS
Can you believe that the “Friday the 13th” franchise of horror movies comprises twelve films (so far)? The bad guy in the series is Jason Voorhees, a boy who drowned at summer camp. “Friday the 13th” is an incredibly successful franchise, something that I just do not understand …

108. Tree spirit : DRYAD
In Greek mythology, dryads are tree nymphs. The term comes from the Greek “drys” meaning an oak tree, but “dryad” tends to be used for the nymphs of all trees and not just the oak variety.

110. Jordan’s Queen ___ International Airport : ALIA
Before Alia al-Hussein married King Hussein of Jordan, she worked for Royal Jordanian Airlines. Sadly, Queen Alia was killed in a helicopter crash in 1977. Now the airport in the capital of Amman is named in her honor: Queen Alia International Airport.

111. Hollywood director Sam : RAIMI
Sam Raimi is a very successful director and producer, responsible for the “Spider-Man” series of films among others, and TV series’ such as “Xena: Warrior Princess”.

116. Multinational bank : ING
ING is a huge Dutch banking institution created via a merger in 1991. The company headquarters is in a spectacular building in Amsterdam called simply ING House. ING stands for Internationale Nederlanden Groep.

118. Glacial ridges : ARETES
An arete is ridge of rock defining the border between two parallel valleys that have been formed by glaciation. If this ridge is rounded, it is called a “col”. However if it is “sharpened”, with rock falling way due to successive freezing and thawing, then it is called an “arete”. “Arête“ is the French word for “fish bone”.

119. Ending with walk or run : ONS
A “run-on sentence” is one in which two separate clauses are linked without appropriate conjugation. Two examples would be:

– Today’s crossword is really tough I can’t finish.
– Today’s crossword is really tough, I can’t finish.

More acceptable sentences would be:

– Today’s crossword is really tough. I can’t finish.
– Today’s crossword is really tough; I can’t finish.
– Today’s crossword is really tough, so I can’t finish.

121. River with a “dreadful shore,” in Shakespeare : STYX
The River Styx of Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (or “Hades”). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferry boat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead “to pay the ferryman”.

Here are a couple of line from the play “Titus Andronicus” by William Shakespeare:

Why suffer’st thou my sons, unburied yet,
Make way to lay them by their brethren.

“Titus Andronicus” is one of Shakespeare’s tragedies, perhaps even the first that he wrote. I’ve never seen the play and apparently it is very gory, perhaps the reason why it was quite popular in Shakespeare’s own lifetime. Over the decades, sensibilities have changed and a result “Titus Andronicus” is performed less often today than his other works.

Down
2. Certain Arabian : OMANI
Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

3. Soar above the sea, say : PARASAIL
Parasailing is hanging below a tethered parachute that is towed by a boat.

5. Quaint sign starter : YE OLDE
The word “olde” wasn’t actually used much earlier than the 1920s. “Olde” was introduced to give a quaint antique feel to brand names, shop names etc.

7. Party on a beach : LUAU
Nowadays the word “luau” denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of “poi”, the bulbous underground stems of taro baked with coconut milk.

10. Pair of figures in Raphael’s “Sistine Madonna” : CHERUBIM
A cherub (plural “cherubim”) is an angel, with the term ultimately deriving from the Hebrew “kerubh” (plural “kerubhim”) meaning “winged angel”.

The “Sistine Madonna” is a painting created by the Italian artist Raphael in 1513-1514. The work was commissioned by the Benedictine monks of the Monastery of San Sisto in northern Italy, hence the painting’s name.

22. Greens ___ : FEE
The payment made to play a round of golf is known as the “greens fee”.

23. What L.A. is represented in twice : NBA
There are two NBA teams based in Los Angeles: the LA Lakers and the LA Clippers.

30. Baseball’s Buck : O’NEIL
Buck O’Neil was a first baseman and manager with the Kansas City Monarchs, a team in the Negro American League. In 1962, O’Neil made baseball history when he was named as the first African-American coach in Major League Baseball, for the Chicago Cubs.

38. Madeline of “What’s Up, Doc?” : KAHN
Madeline Kahn was an American actress best known for her comedic roles, especially those directed by Mel Brooks. Kahn also had her own TV sitcom, called “Oh Madeline”. But, it only lasted the one season, in 1983.

“What’s Up, Doc?” is a 1972 comedy starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neil with Madeline Kahn supporting, in her first role in a feature film. “What’s Up, Doc?” is described as “screwball comedy”, and was inspired by the screwball comedies of the thirties, most notably the marvelous “Bringing Up Baby”.

41. French play that inspired an Italian opera : LA TOSCA
Unlike so many operas, “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.

42. 1987 Michael Douglas/Glenn Close blockbuster : FATAL ATTRACTION
“Fatal Attraction” is a an exceptional thriller released in 1987, starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. The movie is about a married man who has a brief affair with a woman who then obsessively stalks him. There’s a famous scene where the Michael Douglas character discovers that his stalker has killed the family pet rabbit and left it stewing in a pot on his stove. In the British Isles “bunny boiler” is now a common enough term used to describe a crazed woman …

46. Palestinian political group : FATAH
“Fatah” is actually an acronym, formed from the initials (in reverse) of “Palestinian National Liberation Movement”. Al Fatah is the largest political party in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

48. ___ Fein (Irish political group) : SINN
Sinn Féin is a political party in Ireland, largely representing the Catholic community in Northern Ireland, although representation in the Republic of Ireland has increased in recent years. It is led by Gerry Adams, and has the stated aim of uniting Ireland north and south. Sinn Féin is Irish for “we ourselves”. It is currently the second largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

51. Toy poodles, e.g. : LAP DOGS
The standard Poodle breed of dog is considered to be the second most intelligent breed, after the Border Collie. The name “poodle” comes from a Low German word meaning “to splash about”, reflecting the original use of the breed as a water retriever.

54. Nothing : NIHIL
“Nihil” is the Latin word for “nothing, and is a term we’ve absorbed into English. “Nihil” is also the root from which we get our term “nil”.

56. Old Olds : CIERA
Oldsmobile made the Cutlass Ciera from 1982 to 1996. The Ciera was the brand name’s most successful model.

57. Santa Claus player in a 2003 comedy : ED ASNER
Ed Asner is most famous for playing the irascible but lovable Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and on the spin-off drama “Lou Grant”. Off-screen, Asner is noted for his political activism. He served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and was very involved in the 1980 SAG strike. When “Lou Grant” was cancelled in 1982, despite decent ratings, there was a lot of talk that the cancellation was a move by the network against Asner personally. In fact one of Asner’s activist colleagues, Howard Hesseman (who played Johnny Fever), found that his show “WKRP in Cincinnati” was also canceled … on the very same day.

“Elf” is a comedy movie released for the 2003 Christmas season. “Elf” was directed by Jon Favreau and stars Will Ferrell in the title role with James Caan supporting, and Ed Asner playing Santa Claus. It’s all about one of Santa’s elves who finds out he is human and goes to meet his father in New York City.

58. “Clair de Lune” composer : DEBUSSY
Claude Debussy is one of my favorite composers, one who epitomises the Romantic Era and Impressionist Movement in music. One of my favorite CDs is a collection of some “lighter” Debussy pieces called “Debussy for Daydreaming”, and what an evocative collection it is. Included are “Syrinx”, “Maid with the Flaxen Hair”, “Rêverie” and everyone’s favorite, “Clair de Lune”.

“Clair de lune” is the beautiful third movement from Claude Debussy’s piano work called the “Suite bergamasque”. “Clair de lune” is French for “moonlight”.

61. “Dancing With the Stars” judge Goodman : LEN
Len Goodman is a professional ballroom dancer. Goodman is the head judge on the US’s “Dancing with the Stars” as well as on the original UK version of the show called “Strictly Come Dancing”.

65. “But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?,” e.g. : IAMBI
An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. Robert Frost’s “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” consists of lines made up of four sequential iambs e.g. “Whose woods / these are / I think / I know”. With a sequence of four iambs, the poem’s structure is described as iambic tetrameter.

There’s a famous couplet in William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” spoken by Romeo as he spots Juliet above him at a window or on a balcony:

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

Romeo continues with:

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.

I reckon Romeo is smitten …

70. Singer with the 1997 3x platinum single “How Do I Live” : LEANN RIMES
LeAnn Rimes has been a country music star since she was 13 years old. In 2008 she disclosed publicly that she suffered from the autoimmune disease psoriasis. She has been active since then in raising money to fight the disease and helping fund cancer research as well. So, not only did Rimes win three Grammy Awards in 1997, she also won a 2009 Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Country Music.

75. Ski area in the Wasatch Mountains : ALTA
Alta ski resort actually lies within the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Area. The first ski lift in the resort was opened way back in 1939. Today, Alta is one of only three ski resorts in the country that prohibits snowboarding (along with Deer Valley, Utah and Mad River Glen, Vermont. The ski resort of Snowbird located next to Alta has been in operation since 1971.

The Wasatch Range is at the western edge of the Rocky Mountains and runs through Utah. “Wasatch” is a Ute word meaning “mountain pass”.

77. The middle of this puzzle’s grid, symbolically : BLACK HOLE
A black hole in space is a region that is extremely dense and one that has an enormous gravitational field. The force of gravity is so great that not even light can escape, so all that can be observed is “blackness”, which gives the phenomenon the name of “black hole”. It is believed that black holes form when large stars reach the end of their lives and collapse in upon themselves.

78. Ship window : PORTHOLE
A porthole is a circular window in the side of a ship that provides light and air. As it penetrates the hull of the ship, the porthole cover provides a strong, watertight seal. The name “porthole” has nothing to do with the port side of a ship, and rather is derived from the French word “porte” meaning “door”. Henry VI of England hired a French shipbuilder to come up with a way mount large guns on his warships, below the upper deck. The design called for holes in the hull, and “doors” (“portes”) to be fitted for use in heavy weather.

80. Game with rings : DARTS
Darts is a wonderful game often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 in sequence.

84. Heart test, for short : EKG
An EKG measures electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

86. Ivy League home : NEW HAVEN
The city of New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1638 by Puritan immigrants from England. New Haven is home to Yale University. The city also initiated the first public tree planting program in the country. The large elms included in the program led to New Haven being called “the Elm City”.

88. Great Plains Indian : ARAPAHO
The Arapaho tribe lived on the eastern plains of Colorado and Wyoming. The Arapaho traditionally wintered in small camps in the foothills of the Rockies, and then relocated to plains in the spring where they hunted the buffalo that were gathering to give birth to their young.

89. Mythical monsters : KRAKENS
Kraken are huge sea monsters of legend that were reputed to live off the coasts of Iceland and Norway. It’s possible that the kraken legend was inspired by real-life giant squid.

94. Mimosa, for one : ACACIA
Acacia is a genus of tree and shrub, also known as thorntree, whistling thorn and wattle.

Some members of the Mimosa genus of plant are capable of rapid movement. For example, if you touch the leaves of the Mimosa pudica, they curl up in less than a second.

98. Woman of Camelot : ENID
Enid is a Welsh name, from “einit” an old Welsh word meaning “purity”. Enid was the wife of Geraint, one of King Arthur’s knights. Enid is described as “the personification of spotless purity”.

Camelot is featured in Arthurian legend, as King Arthur’s castle and his court.

100. “The Lord of the Rings” creature : ENT
Ents are those tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

103. Like Navy SEALs : ELITE
SEAL is an acronym used by the US Navy’s SEa, Air and Land teams. The SEALs were born out of the Navy’s special warfare groups from WWII, like the Underwater Demolition Teams and the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons. The Navy SEAL unit was established soon after President Kennedy’s famous speech in which he announced the plan to put a man on the moon, as in the same speech the president allocated $100m of funding to strengthen special operations forces. The Navy used some of this money to set up guerrilla and counter-guerrilla units, which soon became the SEALs.

109. Classic theater name : ROXY
The original Roxy Theater was opened in 1927 in New York City, designed to be the biggest and best “motion picture palace” of the day. The first theater operator was a professional, Samuel Rothafel. As part of the deal to entice him to take the job, the owners offered to name the theater after him. As Rothafel’s nickname was Roxy, that’s the name they used.

113. Mork and Worf : ETS
“Mork & Mindy” was broadcast from 1978 to 1982. We were first introduced to Mork (played by Robin Williams) in a special episode of “Happy Days”. The particular episode in question has a bizarre storyline culminating in Fonzie and Mork having a thumb-to-finger duel. Eventually Richie wakes up in bed, and alien Mork was just part of a dream! Oh, and “Nanu Nanu” means both “hello” and “goodbye” back on the planet Ork. “I am Mork from Ork, Nanu Nanu”. Great stuff …

In the television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, Mr. Worf is one of the main characters. Work is a Klingon officer on the Enterprise, and is played by Michael Dorn. Worf is a unique character in the “Star Trek” franchise in that he also appeared regularly in another “Star Trek” show: “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”.

114. Jackie’s Onassis : ARI
Aristotle Onassis was born to a successful Greek shipping entrepreneur in Smyrna in modern-day Turkey. However, his family lost its fortune during WWI and so Aristotle worked with his father to build up a new business empire centered on the importation of tobacco. In 1957, Aristotle founded the Greek national airline, what is today called Olympic Air, and he also got into the business of shipping oil around the world. He married Athina Livanos in 1946, the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. They couple had two children together, with one being the famous Christina Onassis. Livanos divorced Onassis on discovering him in bed with the opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis ended his affair with Callas in order to marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Drug charge? : COPAY
6. Petition : PLEA
10. War ___ : CRY
13. Govt. health org. : CDC
16. Conductor’s resistance : OHMAGE
17. Mark’s replacement : EURO
18. Laugh syllable : HEE
19. Scenic drapery fabric : TOILE
21. Novella that served as the basis for “Apocalypse Now” : HEART OF DARKNESS
24. Like dough after baking : RISEN
25. Actress Suvari of “American Beauty” : MENA
26. Mercedes-Benz competitor : LEXUS
27. Panama part : BRIM
28. Remove a piece from? : UNARM
29. “The Phantom Menace” in the “Star Wars” series : EPISODE I
31. Feminist of 1970s TV : MAUDE
32. “Silas Marner” girl : EPPIE
33. Chemical ending : -ANE
34. ___ contendere : NOLO
37. Hooey : BUNK
39. Short lines at the checkout? : UPCS
40. To whom Dionne Warwick asked “What’s it all about?” in a 1967 hit : ALFIE
43. Idol worshiper? : GROUPIE
45. From scratch : AFRESH
47. Idol worship : BAALISM
50. ___ of Abraham (place of comfort) : BOSOM
51. Asian capital : LHASA
52. Canadian N.H.L. team, on scoreboards : OTT
53. Lender’s security : LIEN
55. Dearie : PET
56. Loped : CANTERED
59. Long, in Lahaina : LOA
60. Damage to a wall made in hanging a picture : NAIL HOLE
62. Mouth, slangily : PIE HOLE
63. Comment that might start with 96-Across : ASIDE
64. Maui or Bali: Abbr. : ISL
65. Having more liabilities than assets : IN THE HOLE
66. Secret spot : HIDEY HOLE
68. Catch : NAB
69. Milan’s La ___ : SCALA
71. Primitive kind of camera : PINHOLE
72. Fracking opening : BOREHOLE
73. Atlanta sch. : GSU
74. Some written rants : HATE MAIL
76. StubHub purchase: Abbr. : TKT
79. Like fine wine : AGED
81. It may be filled in with a No. 2 pencil : ANS
82. Postpone : TABLE
83. Paris’s ___-Coeur : SACRE
85. Batting positions : STANCES
87. “Aargh!” : DARN IT!
89. Drinking songs? : KARAOKE
91. Go after following a hung jury, say : RETRY
92. “Casablanca” escape route city : ORAN
93. 50 or more people? : AARP
95. Tour grp. since 1950 : LPGA
96. “Incidentally,” in a text : BTW
97. Button material : NACRE
99. Biblical spy : CALEB
101. “Friday the 13th” movies, e.g. : SLASHERS
106. Sign up to receive email alerts, say : OPT IN
107. Like : AKIN
108. Tree spirit : DRYAD
110. Jordan’s Queen ___ International Airport : ALIA
111. Hollywood director Sam : RAIMI
112. Tightrope walker’s concern : CENTER OF GRAVITY
115. Unlike wild horses : SHOED
116. Multinational bank : ING
117. Cry outside an airport : TAXI!
118. Glacial ridges : ARETES
119. Ending with walk or run : ONS
120. Idiot : ASS
121. River with a “dreadful shore,” in Shakespeare : STYX
122. They line many ski runs : PINES

Down
1. Sound like a bird : CHEEP
2. Certain Arabian : OMANI
3. Soar above the sea, say : PARASAIL
4. Fed, e.g.: Abbr. : AGT
5. Quaint sign starter : YE OLDE
6. Caution for drivers on city streets : PED XING
7. Party on a beach : LUAU
8. Blows it : ERRS
9. “Ready for takeoff!” : A-OK!
10. Pair of figures in Raphael’s “Sistine Madonna” : CHERUBIM
11. Remains : RESIDUE
12. Rubber stamps : YES MEN
13. Change places : COIN PURSES
14. Avoidance maneuver : DISAPPEARING ACT
15. Priests, e.g. : CLERICS
16. “Heavens!” : OH ME!
19. “You have a point” : TRUE
20. Tangle up : ENMESH
22. Greens ___ : FEE
23. What L.A. is represented in twice : NBA
30. Baseball’s Buck : O’NEIL
31. Place to set a trap : MOUSEHOLE
35. Poet’s planet : ORB
36. Tax dodger’s discovery : LOOPHOLE
38. Madeline of “What’s Up, Doc?” : KAHN
40. Put an end to : ABOLISH
41. French play that inspired an Italian opera : LA TOSCA
42. 1987 Michael Douglas/Glenn Close blockbuster : FATAL ATTRACTION
44. Tire hazard : POTHOLE
46. Palestinian political group : FATAH
48. ___ Fein (Irish political group) : SINN
49. Savory dish with a crust : MEAT PIE
51. Toy poodles, e.g. : LAP DOGS
54. Nothing : NIHIL
56. Old Olds : CIERA
57. Santa Claus player in a 2003 comedy : ED ASNER
58. “Clair de Lune” composer : DEBUSSY
61. “Dancing With the Stars” judge Goodman : LEN
62. Ogle : EYE
65. “But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?,” e.g. : IAMBI
67. “Yeah, whatever you say” : I BET
70. Singer with the 1997 3x platinum single “How Do I Live” : LEANN RIMES
75. Ski area in the Wasatch Mountains : ALTA
76. Small, dirty, uncomfortable room : RATHOLE
77. The middle of this puzzle’s grid, symbolically : BLACK HOLE
78. Ship window : PORTHOLE
80. Game with rings : DARTS
83. Nursery purchases : SAPLINGS
84. Heart test, for short : EKG
86. Ivy League home : NEW HAVEN
87. Certain angels : DONORS
88. Great Plains Indian : ARAPAHO
89. Mythical monsters : KRAKENS
90. Simple solution : EASY FIX
94. Mimosa, for one : ACACIA
96. Undeserved reputation : BAD RAP
98. Woman of Camelot : ENID
100. “The Lord of the Rings” creature : ENT
102. Not keep up : LAG
103. Like Navy SEALs : ELITE
104. Some contents of a Masonic manual : RITES
105. “___ who?” : SAYS
108. “Darn!” : DRAT!
109. Classic theater name : ROXY
113. Mork and Worf : ETS
114. Jackie’s Onassis : ARI

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5 thoughts on “0726-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Jul 15, Sunday”

  1. I also noticed that the long answers in the puzzle are also somehow related to Black Hole.

    Black hole's FATAL ATTRACTION into the CENTER OF GRAVITY will make anything into a DISAPPEARING ACT at the HEART OF DARKNESS.

  2. Thank you, ksuc.

    In my haste to finish the post last night, I completley missed that! I've amended my explanation above, thanks to your help. Much appreciated!

  3. 37:01, no errors. Took a while to realize I needed to flip the appropriate words, but an enjoyable Sunday challenge.

  4. I don't understand 77D – "The middle of this puzzle's grid, symbolically" and the answer was KCALB??????

  5. Re 77D: Read in reverse (upwards), we get BLACK. That, plus the "hole" in the center, gives us BLACK HOLE.

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