0808-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Aug 15, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Alan Arbesfeld
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 32m 35s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … ETAMINE (elamine), PATERNO (Palerno)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

16. Game with an oxymoronic name : DOUBLE SOLITAIRE
Double Solitaire is a card game for two players. It is basically two opponents playing the game of solitaire (also called “Klondike”).

The word “oxymoron” is in itself an oxymoron, as it is derived from the Greek words “Oxys” and “moros” meaning “sharp” and “stupid”.

18. Spread out on a table : PATE
Pâté is a rich spreadable paste made up of a mixture of ground meat and fat, to which various vegetables, herbs and spices may be added. The most famous version of the paste is pâté de foie gras, made from the fattened livers of geese (“foie gras” means “fat liver” in French).

26. Nation’s boundaries? : ENS
There are two letters N (ens) in the word “nation”, one at each end (“boundary”).

27. Dry : SAHARAN
The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic and it is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the United States.

32. “The Shield” fig. : DET
Detective (det.)

The television drama called “The Shield” tells the story of an LAPD strike team that stops at nothing to beat crime and bring justice. The show is famous for attracting high profile actors to various episodes, including Glenn Close and Forest Whitaker.

33. Light cotton fabric : ETAMINE
Etamine is loosely-woven, light cotton fabric.

34. Old Tetris runner, briefly : NES
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era.

Tetris is a very addictive video game that was developed in the Soviet Union in 1984. The name Tetris comes from a melding of the prefix “tetra-” (as all the game pieces have four segments) and “tennis” (a favorite sport played by the developer). Since 2005 there have been more than 100 million copies of the game installed on cell phones alone.

36. What factoring is a factor in: Abbr. : ALG
Algebra (alg.)

39. Do some fancywork : CROCHET
Crochet is the process of making a fabric using a hooked needle called a crochet hook. “Crochet” is a French word for “hook”.

40. It’s often preceded by “&” in Fr. : CIE
“Cie.” is an abbreviation used in French. “Cie.” is short for “compagnie”, the French word for “company”, and is used as we would use “Co.”

43. Cutting class, for short? : BIO
Biology (bio.)

44. O’Toole of TV’s “Smallville” : ANNETTE
Annette O’Toole is the actress who plays Clark Kent’s mother on the TV show “Smallville”.

Smallville, Kansas is the town on Earth in which Superman grew up (as Clark Kent). One of Clark’s best friends in Smallville, and the romantic interest of his youth, was Lana Lang.

45. The Golden Eagles of the Summit League, in brief : ORU
Oral Roberts University (ORU) is a private school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. ORU was founded relatively recently, in 1963 by the late televangelist Oral Roberts. The campus includes a Prayer Tower at its center, a spectacular glass and steel structure designed by architect Frank Wallace. The tower includes an observation deck, and is a popular tourist attraction. The school’s sports teams are known as the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles.

46. Italian food court staple : SBARRO
The Sbarro chain of pizza restaurants was founded by Italian immigrants, Gennaro and Carmela Sbarro.

50. Heraldic border : ORLE
In heraldry, an orle is a decorative band that lies close to the edge of the front-surface of a shield. With such a design, the orle necessarily takes on the shape of the shield.

51. Response to an overly personal comment : TMI
Too Much Information (TMI)

54. Lower-class, to Brits : NON-U
“Non-U” is a term used in the UK that originated in the fifties, referring to those who are “not upper class”. i.e. middle class. In effect, “the U” are the “upper” class, and “the non-U” are the middle class.

55. 1976 novel featuring adventurer Dirk Pitt : RAISE THE TITANIC!
“Raise the Titanic!” is a 1976 Clive Cussler novel, one made into a 1980 movie called “Raise the Titanic” (without the exclamation mark!). Quite an entertaining book, and a not so entertaining film …

Down
2. Ingredient in a Brompton cocktail : COCAINE
A Brompton cocktail is a mixture of morphine and cocaine that was given orally to terminally ill patients to relieve pain. The elixir takes its name from the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, where it was created in the twenties for patients suffering with tuberculosis.

4. Woods in a pit : OBOES
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”. When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance you’ll note (pun intended!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an “A”. The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe’s “A”.

5. Creator of Jim Hawkins and Ben Gunn, briefly : RLS
In Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island”, Ben Gunn is a character who had been marooned on the island by his shipmates. Gunn had lived there alone for three long years when Jim Hawkins comes across him. Author R. F. Delderfield wrote a “prequel” to “Treasure Island” called “The Adventures of Ben Gunn” telling the story of Gunn, a parson’s son who became a pirate.

6. Some Parisian? : DES
The French word “des” translates as “of the”, or “some”.

7. Neck: Abbr. : ISTH
The word “isthmus” (plural “isthmi”) comes the Greek word for “neck”. An isthmus is a narrow strip of land that usually connects two large land masses. The most notable examples of the formation are the Isthmus of Corinth in the Greek peninsula, and the Isthmus of Panama, connecting North and South America.

8. Big Apple neighborhood : NOHO
NoHo is short for North of Houston (street), and is the equivalent area to SoHo, South of Houston, both in New York City.

Apparently the first published use of the term “Big Apple” to describe New York City dates back to 1909. Edward Martin wrote the following in his book “The Wayfarer in New York”:

Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city. . . . It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap.

Over ten years later, the term “big apple” was used as a nickname for racetracks in and around New York City. However, the concerted effort to “brand” the city as the Big Apple had to wait until the seventies and was the work of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau.

10. Sole word in the last chapter of “Angela’s Ashes” : ‘TIS
“Angela’s Ashes” is a Pulitzer-winning memoir by Frank McCourt. It tells of McCourt’s upbringing in an impoverished family in Limerick in the west of Ireland. The final and only word of the last chapter of “Angela’s Ashes” is “‘Tis”. McCourt then used that word for the title of the sequel, i.e. “‘Tis”. Bringing things full circle, “‘Tis” ends with the spreading of “Angela’s ashes”.

11. He hit 35 in ’34 : OTT
Mel Ott hit 35 home runs in the 1934 season.

At 5′ 9″, Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old.

12. “Do not deny to him that you love me” speaker, in literature : PARIS
“Do not deny to him that you love me” is a line spoken by Count Paris to Juliet in William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. Paris wants to marry Juliet, but she has fallen for Romeo.

14. Eye parts bordering on pupils : AREOLAE
An areola (sometimes “areole”) in anatomy is a small ring of color, as in the areola surrounding the nipple, and the areola surrounding the pupil of the eye. “Areola” comes from Latin, meaning “small open space”, and is a diminutive of the Latin word “area”, meaning “open space”.

22. Any Olds, now : USED CAR
Oldsmobile was an automobile brand founded by Ransom E. Olds (REO) in 1897. The brand was finally phased out by General Motors in 2004.

23. Winningest coach in college football history : PATERNO
Joe Paternowas coach for the Penn State Nittany Lionsfrom 1966 to 2011. He was removed from his post as a result of a child sex abuse scandal involving Paterno’s former defensive coordinator. Although Paterno reported the abuse to his superiors, it was deemed that he concealed facts relating to the abuse of young boys. Suffering from lung cancer, Paterno died just two months after he was fired.

24. Plunge-diving seabirds : GANNETS
Gannets are seabirds that dive from a height into the water at speed, pursuing fish underwater.

29. Garment worn partly under an alb : AMICE
The amice is sometimes worn around the shoulders under an alb, by Roman Catholic priests.

An alb is a white, neck-to-toe vestment worn by priests, usually with a rope cord around the waist. The term alb comes from “albus”, the Latin word for “white”.

37. Where many spines are visible : LIBRARY
In the US, the convention is to write the title on the spine of a book from top-to-bottom. In most of Europe, the convention is to write the title from bottom-to-top. We have a lot of books in the “library” in our house from both sides of the Atlantic, and so there is much moving of the head from left to right as we glance along our bookshelves.

40. Heavenly rings : CORONAS
The external part of the sun is made up of ionized material at a very high temperature and a very low density. This external aura is known as the solar corona, with “corona” being Latin for “crown”. The corona is best observed during a solar eclipse, when the bright light from the sun’s main body is blocked by the moon.

41. One who’s full of surprises? : IRONIST
An “ironist” is someone who uses irony.

42. Ineffectual sorts : EUNUCHS
The word “eunuch” comes from the Greek words “eune” meaning “bed” and “ekhein” meaning “to keep”, so literally a eunuch is a bed-keeper. Indeed, in many early cultures a eunuch was a slave, castrated at an early age to render him “safe”, who was then given lowly domestic tasks such as making the master’s bed, bathing him etc. We use the term today to describe an ineffective man.

52. Like the “Scream” horror films : META
In recent decades the prefix “meta-” has started to be used as a standalone adjective. In this sense “meta” means “self-referential”, describing something that refers to itself. For example, “This sentence starts with the word ‘this’ and ends with the word ‘this’” might be called a meta sentence. A movie that is about the making of a movie could also be described as meta. For example, “The Blair Witch Project” might be described as meta, which is a movie about some young people making a scary movie about the Blair Witch.

56. Stretch (out) : 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.

57. Waits on a CD : TOM
Tom Waits is a singer-songwriter from Pomona, California. Waits is noted for his growling, rasping voice.

59. Chess champion of the early 1960s : TAL
Mikhail Tal was truly a chess legend. Tal holds the record for the longest unbeaten streak in competition chess. And the second longest winning streak, well, that was by Tal as well.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. As expected : ACCORDING TO PLAN
16. Game with an oxymoronic name : DOUBLE SOLITAIRE
17. Within a stone’s throw, perhaps : ACROSS THE STREET
18. Spread out on a table : PATE
19. Cookie or pumpkin : HON
20. Hot star : IDOL
21. Keeps busy : TIES UP
24. Become helpless? : GO SOLO
26. Nation’s boundaries? : ENS
27. Dry : SAHARAN
31. “Never ___” : WAS
32. “The Shield” fig. : DET
33. Light cotton fabric : ETAMINE
34. Old Tetris runner, briefly : NES
35. Fashion show collection : DESIGNS
36. What factoring is a factor in: Abbr. : ALG
39. Do some fancywork : CROCHET
40. It’s often preceded by “&” in Fr. : CIE
43. Cutting class, for short? : BIO
44. O’Toole of TV’s “Smallville” : ANNETTE
45. The Golden Eagles of the Summit League, in brief : ORU
46. Italian food court staple : SBARRO
48. Fire up : SPUR ON
50. Heraldic border : ORLE
51. Response to an overly personal comment : TMI
54. Lower-class, to Brits : NON-U
55. 1976 novel featuring adventurer Dirk Pitt : RAISE THE TITANIC!
60. Get bad marks? : BREAK OUT IN A RASH
61. Some techies : SYSTEMS ANALYSTS

Down
1. Like many screenplays : ADAPTED
2. Ingredient in a Brompton cocktail : COCAINE
3. Maximally short : CURTEST
4. Woods in a pit : OBOES
5. Creator of Jim Hawkins and Ben Gunn, briefly : RLS
6. Some Parisian? : DES
7. Neck: Abbr. : ISTH
8. Big Apple neighborhood : NOHO
9. Secluded stream site : GLEN
10. Sole word in the last chapter of “Angela’s Ashes” : ‘TIS
11. He hit 35 in ’34 : OTT
12. “Do not deny to him that you love me” speaker, in literature : PARIS
13. Prepare for a time out? : LIE DOWN
14. Eye parts bordering on pupils : AREOLAE
15. What might be shown for a quarter : NET LOSS
22. Any Olds, now : USED CAR
23. Winningest coach in college football history : PATERNO
24. Plunge-diving seabirds : GANNETS
25. Simple in the extreme : ONE-STEP
28. Sports : HAS ON
29. Garment worn partly under an alb : AMICE
30. “Bingo!” : RIGHT!
36. Doesn’t merely listen to : ABSORBS
37. Where many spines are visible : LIBRARY
38. Players with saving accounts? : GOALIES
40. Heavenly rings : CORONAS
41. One who’s full of surprises? : IRONIST
42. Ineffectual sorts : EUNUCHS
47. Convened anew : RESAT
49. Involving a single element, as a math operation : UNARY
51. As follows : THUS
52. Like the “Scream” horror films : META
53. Mail or phone follower : … IT IN
56. Stretch (out) : EKE
57. Waits on a CD : TOM
58. Concert closing? : -INA
59. Chess champion of the early 1960s : TAL

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3 thoughts on “0808-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Aug 15, Saturday”

  1. A difficult puzzle for me – definitely making up for yesterday's easy one. Ultimately, I finished with no errors, but it took me more than two hours (judging by the NPR programs I was listening to while doing it).

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