0727-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Jul 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: D. Scott Nichols & Zhouqin Burnikel
THEME: Palindromic Names … each of today’s themed answers is the name of a celebrity, and the family name of each is a PALINDROME:

60A. What the ends of the answers to all the starred clues are PALINDROMES

17A. *Youngest French Open champion MONICA SELES
39A. *”Double Fantasy” singer YOKO ONO
11D. *C.I.A.’s second-longest-serving director GEORGE TENET
24D. *”Splash” star DARYL HANNAH

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 04s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Given a PG-13 or R, e.g. RATED
The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

14. Cause for a food recall E COLI
Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

15. “Uncle!” I GIVE!
To “say uncle” is an American expression meaning to submit or yield. Its usage dates back to the early 1900s, but nobody seems to know how “uncle!” came to mean “stop!”

17. *Youngest French Open champion MONICA SELES
Monica Seles has a Hungarian name as she was born to Hungarian parents in former Yugoslavia. Seles was the World No. 1 professional tennis player in 1991 and 1992 before being forced from the sport when she was stabbed by a spectator at a match in 1993. She did return to the game two years later, but never achieved the same level of success.

19. Bobby who won the Norris Trophy eight times ORR
The James Norris Memorial Trophy is awarded to the top defensive player in the NHL each year, based on votes by members of the professional Hockey Writers’ Association. Bobby Orr won the award every single season from 1967-1975. Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking …

20. Expert MAVEN
I’ve always loved the word “maven”, another word for an expert. Maven comes into English from the Yiddish “meyvn” meaning someone who appreciates and is a connoisseur.

21. Doofus NIMROD
Nimrod is a character in the Book of Genesis and the Books of Chronicles in the Bible, the great-grandson of Noah. Somehow, the name was adopted as teenage slang for a foolish person by teenagers in the 1980s.

“Doofus” (also “dufus”) is student slang that has been around since the sixties. Apparently the word is a variant of the equally unattractive term “doo-doo”.

27. Like Hans Christian Andersen’s “Duckling” UGLY
Hans Christian Andersen’s tale “The Ugly Duckling” has to be one of the most endearing ever written. Unlike so many “fairy tales”, “The Ugly Duckling” isn’t based on any folklore and simply a product of Andersen’s imagination. It is speculated that Andersen was the illegitimate son of the Crown Prince of Denmark, and that he wrote the story of the ugly duckling that turned into a beautiful swan as a metaphor for the secret royal lineage that was within Andersen himself.

28. Rio ___ (Texas border river) GRANDE
The Rio Grande is a river forming part of the border between Mexico and the United States. Although we call the river the Rio Grande on this side of the border, in Mexico it is called the Rio Bravo or Rio Bravo del Norte.

29. Nick of “48 Hrs.” NOLTE
The actor Nick Nolte got his big break playing opposite Jacqueline Bisset and Robert Shaw in “The Deep”, released in 1976. Prior to that he had worked as a model, and in fact appeared in a magazine advertisement for Clairol in 1972 alongside fellow model Sigourney Weaver.

31. ___ McIlroy, 2014 P.G.A. Player of the Year RORY
Rory McIlroy is an incredibly successful golfer from Northern Ireland. McIlroy is a relatively young man and the current world number one on the circuit, so folks can’t help but compare him to Tiger Woods. He is first European to win three different majors. Along with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, McIlroy is one of the only three people win three majors before the age of 25.

35. ___ of roses ATTAR
Attar is a fragrant essential oil obtained from flowers. The term may particularly refer to attar of roses.

38. Tan who wrote “The Joy Luck Club” AMY
Amy Tan lives not too far from here, in Sausalito just north of San Francisco. Tan is an American writer of Chinese descent whose most successful work is “The Joy Luck Club”. “The Joy Luck Club” was made into a movie produced by Oliver Stone in 1993. The novel and movie tell of four Chinese-American immigrant families in San Francisco who start the Joy Luck Club, a group playing Mahjong for money and eating delicious food.

39. *”Double Fantasy” singer YOKO ONO
“Double Fantasy” is an album released by John Lennon and Yoko Ono on 17 November 1980. Three weeks later, John Lennon was gunned down by Mark Chapman outside Lennon’s apartment building in New York City.

42. Wood for model airplanes BALSA
Balsa is a very fast growing tree that is native to parts of South America. Even though balsa wood is very soft, it is actually classified as a hardwood, the softest of all the hardwoods (go figure!). Balsa is light and strong, so is commonly used in making model airplanes. Amazingly, in WWII a full-size British plane, the de Havilland Mosquito, was built largely from balsa and plywood. No wonder they called it “The Wooden Wonder” and “The Timber Terror”.

44. Brand in contact lens care RENU
ReNu is a brand name of contact lens products sold by Bausch & Lomb.

45. Flying pest GNAT
Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and to vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

46. Zoo heavyweight, informally HIPPO
The name “hippopotamus” comes from the Greek for “river horse”. Hippos are the third largest land mammals, after elephants and rhinos. The closest living relatives to hippos don’t even live on land. They are the whales and porpoises of the oceans.

50. Arabian Sea sultanate OMAN
Qaboos bin Said al Said is the current Sultan of Oman. He came to power in a coup in 1970 by deposing his own father. Qaboos has no children, and no agreed heir. His current instructions are for the royal family to agree on a successor after his death. Qaboos has also specified that should the royal not be able to agree on a successor, then the country’s Defense Council will make the decision, choosing between two names that the Sultan placed in a sealed envelope to be opened after his passing.

55. Maine city on the Penobscot River BANGOR
Bangor is the third-most populous city in the state of Maine (after Portland and Lewiston). The city was given its name in 1791, after the hymn “Antiphonary of Bangor” that was written at Bangor Abbey in Northern Ireland.

57. Song of triumph PAEAN
A paean is a poem or song that expresses triumph or thanksgiving. “Paean” comes from the ancient Greek “paian” meaning “song of triumph”.

59. ___ Arbor, Mich. ANN
Ann Arbor, Michigan was founded in 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey. Supposedly, Allen and Rumsey originally used the name “Annsarbour” in recognition of stands of bur oak that were on the land they had purchased and in recognition of their wives, both of whom were called “Ann” (i.e. Anns’ Arbor)

60. What the ends of the answers to all the starred clues are PALINDROMES
The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

– Able was I ere I saw Elba
– A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
– Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite words is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

65. Unaccounted-for G.I. MIA
Missing in action (MIA)

67. “Remember the ___!” ALAMO
The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718 and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry “Remember the Alamo!”.

69. Pepé ___, amorous cartoon skunk LE PEW
Pepé Le Pew is a very likeable cartoon character from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series. Pepé is a French skunk, first introduced way back in 1945. He is always thinking of “l’amour” and chases the lady skunks, or a black cat with a white stripe painted down her back accidently.

70. Fortuneteller’s deck TAROT
Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future.

Down
1. Band with the 4x platinum album “Automatic for the People” REM
R.E.M. was a rock band from Athens, Georgia formed in 1980. The name “R.E.M.” was chosen randomly from a dictionary, apparently.

3. Hoodwink CON
“Hoodwink” has had the meaning “to deceive” since about 1600. Prior to that it meant simply “to blindfold”, and is simply a combining of the words “hood” and “wink”.

4. Payment to an ex ALIMONY
The word “alimony” derives from the Latin “alimonia”, meaning “nourishment, food, support”.

5. Jean-Luc of the U.S.S. Enterprise PICARD
When Gene Roddenberry was creating the “Star Trek” spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, I think he chose a quite magnificent name for the new starship captain. The name “Jean-Luc Picard” is imitative of one or both of the twin-brother Swiss scientists Auguste and Jean Felix Piccard. The role of Picard was of course played by the wonderful Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart.

8. Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ___ You Get Enough” ‘TIL
“Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” is a 1979 song written and recorded by Michael Jackson. It is considered by many to be a breakthrough song for Jackson as a solo artist and songwriter. “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” won Jackson his first solo Grammy Award.

10. Arnaz of “I Love Lucy” DESI
Desi Arnaz was 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.

11. *C.I.A.’s second-longest-serving director GEORGE TENET
George Tenet was the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) from 1997 until 2004, making the second-longest serving DCI in the history of the CIA, after Allen Dulles. Tenet served under two very different presidents: Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

12. Flynn who played Robin Hood ERROL
Errol Flynn was born 1909 in Tasmania, Australia where he was raised. In his twenties, Flynn lived in the UK where he pursued his acting career. Around the same time he starred in an Australian film “In the Wake of the Bounty” and then appeared in a British film “Murder at Monte Carlo”. It was in the latter film that he was noticed by Warner Brothers who brought him to America. Flynn’s non-American heritage shone through even while he was living the American dream in California. He regularly played cricket, along with his friend David Niven, in the Hollywood Cricket Club.

“The Adventures of Robin Hood” is a 1938 movie starring Errol Flynn in the title role, with Olivia de Havilland playing Maid Marian. The supporting cast is impressive, with Claude Rains as Prince John and Basil Rathbone as Sir Guy of Gisbourne. Great film …

18. Big name in skin care AVEENO
Aveeno is a manufacturer of skincare and haircare products that was founded in 1945. The name Aveeno comes from the Latin name for the common oat: “Avena sativa”.

22. Dog that’s a little of this, a little of that MUTT
The original use of the term “mutt” was for a foolish person, and was probably short for “muttonhead”. The usage evolved into today’s “mongrel dog”.

24. *”Splash” star DARYL HANNAH
Daryl Hannah is an actress from Chicago who got her big break in movies playing a violent replicant called Pris in the 1982 sci-fi classic “Blade Runner”. A couple of years later she played the female lead opposite Tom Hanks in the hit film “Splash”.

In the 1984 movie “Splash”, Madison the mermaid is played by Daryl Hannah, opposite Tom Hanks. Before the movie was released, Madison was not very popular as a name for girls, but then it just took off apparently.

26. Situation after a leadoff single ONE ON
That would be baseball …

30. Vietnamese neighbor LAO
The Lao people are an ethnic group found mainly in Laos, but who also have a significant presence in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

33. Ohio home of the Soap Box Derby AKRON
For part of the 1800s, the Ohio city of Akron was the fasting growing city in the country, feeding off the industrial boom of that era. The city was founded in 1825 and its location, along the Ohio and Erie canal connecting Lake Erie with the Ohio River, helped to fuel Akron’s growth. Akron sits at the highest point of the canal and the name “Akron” comes from the Greek word meaning “summit”. Indeed, Akron is the county seat of Summit County.

The Soap Box Derby is a soapbox car racing competition. The first All-American race was held in Dayton, Ohio in 1934. The annual race was moved to Akron, Ohio the following year. Soon after, a purpose built track was built called Derby Downs, as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) program of the late thirties.

34. Slapping Stooge MOE
Moe Howard was the stage name of Moses Harry Horwitz. Howard was one of the Three Stooges. In 1925, he married Helen Schonberger, who was a cousin of Harry Houdini.

45. Crunchy breakfast bowlful GRANOLA
The name “Granola” (and “Granula”) were trademarked back in the late 1800s for whole-grain foods that were crumbled and baked until crisp. Granola was created in Dansville, New York in 1894.

47. Jolly Roger flier PIRATE
The Jolly Roger is a flag that was flown by pirates to identify their vessels, basically to strike fear in the hearts of the crews they were attacking. We usually think of the Jolly Roger’s design as a white skull and crossbones on a black background. There is a theory that pirates originally flew a red flag, and this was known colloquially as the “pretty red”, or “joli rouge” in French. “Joli Rouge” then evolved into “Jolly Roger”.

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

50. Lead-in to care since 2009 OBAMA-
The correct name for what has been dubbed “Obamacare” is the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”.

56. October birthstone OPAL
97% of the world’s opals come from Australia, so it’s no surprise perhaps that the opal is the national gemstone of the country. The state of South Australia provides the bulk of the world’s production, about 80%.

58. From scratch ANEW
Apparently the phrase “start from scratch” arose in the world of sports, probably in cricket or boxing. A line would be scratched into the ground to indicate a starting point.

63. Punk music offshoot EMO
The musical genre of “emo” originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

64. Habitual drunk SOT
Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning a fool. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Sports wrap-up RECAP
6. Given a PG-13 or R, e.g. RATED
11. Procure GET
14. Cause for a food recall E COLI
15. “Uncle!” I GIVE!
16. Historical span ERA
17. *Youngest French Open champion MONICA SELES
19. Bobby who won the Norris Trophy eight times ORR
20. Expert MAVEN
21. Doofus NIMROD
23. Love like crazy ADORE
25. Lean-___ (rude shelters) TOS
27. Like Hans Christian Andersen’s “Duckling” UGLY
28. Rio ___ (Texas border river) GRANDE
29. Nick of “48 Hrs.” NOLTE
31. ___ McIlroy, 2014 P.G.A. Player of the Year RORY
32. Peter, Paul or Mary NAME
35. ___ of roses ATTAR
38. Tan who wrote “The Joy Luck Club” AMY
39. *”Double Fantasy” singer YOKO ONO
41. “Me, me, me!” attribute EGO
42. Wood for model airplanes BALSA
44. Brand in contact lens care RENU
45. Flying pest GNAT
46. Zoo heavyweight, informally HIPPO
48. “You don’t think I will?!” DARE ME!
50. Arabian Sea sultanate OMAN
52. Ending with walk or trade INS
54. Storm drain cover GRATE
55. Maine city on the Penobscot River BANGOR
57. Song of triumph PAEAN
59. ___ Arbor, Mich. ANN
60. What the ends of the answers to all the starred clues are PALINDROMES
65. Unaccounted-for G.I. MIA
66. Do penance ATONE
67. “Remember the ___!” ALAMO
68. Contented sigh AAH
69. Pepé ___, amorous cartoon skunk LE PEW
70. Fortuneteller’s deck TAROT

Down
1. Band with the 4x platinum album “Automatic for the People” REM
2. ___-friendly (green) ECO
3. Hoodwink CON
4. Payment to an ex ALIMONY
5. Jean-Luc of the U.S.S. Enterprise PICARD
6. Ascend RISE
7. Insurance or ticket counter employee AGENT
8. Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ___ You Get Enough” ‘TIL
9. Nevertheless EVEN SO
10. Arnaz of “I Love Lucy” DESI
11. *C.I.A.’s second-longest-serving director GEORGE TENET
12. Flynn who played Robin Hood ERROL
13. Behind schedule TARDY
18. Big name in skin care AVEENO
22. Dog that’s a little of this, a little of that MUTT
23. Doughnut shop lure AROMA
24. *”Splash” star DARYL HANNAH
26. Situation after a leadoff single ONE ON
28. Seize GRAB
30. Vietnamese neighbor LAO
33. Ohio home of the Soap Box Derby AKRON
34. Slapping Stooge MOE
36. Best-effort performance A-GAME
37. Memorization ROTE
39. Talk incessantly YAP
40. Elbowed NUDGED
43. Serenade SING
45. Crunchy breakfast bowlful GRANOLA
47. Jolly Roger flier PIRATE
49. Mount where Noah disembarked ARARAT
50. Lead-in to care since 2009 OBAMA-
51. Craze MANIA
53. Backbone SPINE
56. October birthstone OPAL
58. From scratch ANEW
61. Cut (off) LOP
62. Scratch MAR
63. Punk music offshoot EMO
64. Habitual drunk SOT

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3 thoughts on “0727-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Jul 15, Monday”

  1. @Willie D … As Kevin Kline said in "A Fish Called Wanda", "Dis-ap-POIN-ted!" (I know a few naughty limericks, but not a single naughty palindrome … )

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