0809-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Aug 15, Sunday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Melanie Miller
THEME: Help Wanted … each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase with in the format “x the y”. And each answer has a “punny” clue that looks like a “help wanted” advertisement:

23A. Need rural real estate investor to … : BUY THE FARM
25A. Need retail marketer to … : FILL THE GAP
45A. Need cocktail waitress to … : CALL THE SHOTS
56A. Need bakery assistant to … : TAKE THE CAKE
80A. Need cruise ship band to … : ROCK THE BOAT
89A. Need orchestra conductor to … : FACE THE MUSIC
114A. Need blackjack dealer to … : HIT THE DECK
116A. Need magician to … : DO THE TRICK
37D. Need stunt pilot to … : FLIP THE BIRD
41D. Need control tower operator to … : CLEAR THE AIR

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 20m 38s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. Use a witching rod : DOWSE
Dowsing is the practice of divining for not just water, but also buried metals and gemstones for example. Often a dowser will use a Y-shaped or L-shaped rod as a tool, which can also be called a dowser. Here in the US, the tool used might be referred to as a “witching rod”, as it is usually made from witch-hazel.

15. Travel with Sinbad, say : SAIL
Sinbad is the hero of a set of fictional tales from the Middle East. Sinbad comes from the port city of Basra and had fantastic adventures on voyages throughout the sea east of Africa and south of Asia.

19. “Come ___ me, all ye that labor …” : UNTO
From the Gospel of Matthew:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

20. Port of Puerto Rico : PONCE
Ponce is the second largest city in Puerto Rico. The famous conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon first landed on the island in 1508, with Spanish settlers following soon after. Among the earliest settlers was Juan Ponce de Leon’s great-grandson, Juan Ponce de León y Loayza. The great-grandson was politically savvy and was instrumental in getting a royal permit to establish the settlement that became today’s Ponce. Ponce is named after Juan Ponce de Leon y Loayza rather than his more famous great-grandfather.

21. Tony-winning Andrew Lloyd Webber musical : EVITA
“Evita” was the followup musical to “Jesus Christ Superstar” for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Both of these works were originally released as album musicals, and very successful ones at that (I remember buying them when they first came out). For the original album’s cast they chose Irish singer Colm Wilkinson (or C. T. Wilkinson, as we know him back in Ireland) to play “Che”, the narrator of the piece.

22. Children’s TV character who refers to himself in the third person : ELMO
The man behind/under the character Elmo on “Sesame Street” is Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

23. Need rural real estate investor to … : BUY THE FARM
The exact derivation of “bought the farm”, meaning “was killed”, is unclear. The phrase is often associated with the death of a serviceman in action.

25. Need retail marketer to … : FILL THE GAP
The Gap is a San Francisco-based clothing retailer founded in 1969. The name “the Gap” was a homage to the popular sixties term “the generation gap”.

31. Projector unit : LUMEN
The lumen is a measure of the amount of visible light emitted by a source.

33. Characters in “The Hobbit” : RUNES
A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” is the second best-selling novel ever written, with only “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens having sold more copies around the world. Remarkably I think, the third best-selling novel is “The Hobbit”, which was also written by Tolkien.

34. Militant grp. in a 1994 peace agreement : IRA
After many, many years of conflict in Northern Ireland, the Provisional IRA (Irish Republican Army) declared a ceasefire in 1994. This step marked an end to most of the violence and was an important step along the road to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.

35. Chrome alternative : SAFARI
Safari is Apple’s flagship Internet browser, mainly used on its Mac line of computers. Personally, I use Google Chrome …

Google’s Chrome is now the most popular web browser used in the US, with Mozilla Firefox in second place and Internet Explorer in third. I find Chrome to be much, much more user-friendly than Internet Explorer, and more featured than Firefox. Chrome also works more seamlessly with other Google products and with Android phones.

38. Newspaper section, for short : OBITS
“Obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”, originally the record of the death of a person, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

45. Need cocktail waitress to … : CALL THE SHOTS
Our word “cocktail” first appeared in the early 1800s. The exact origin of the term is not clear, but it is thought to be a corruption of the French word “coquetier” meaning “egg cup”, a container that was used at that time for serving mixed drinks.

49. Photocopier option: Abbr. : LTR
Our paper sizes here in North America don’t conform with the standards in the rest of the world. ISO standard sizes used elsewhere were chosen so that the ratio of width to length is usually one to the square root of two. This mathematical relationship means that when you cut a piece of paper in two each half preserves the aspect ratio of the original, which can be useful in making reduced or enlarged copies of documents. Our standard size of “letter” (8.5 x 11 inches) was determined in 1980 by the Reagan administration to be the official paper size for the US government. Prior to this, the “legal” size (8.5 x 14 inches) had been the standard, since 1921.

50. Constellation between Perseus and Pisces : ARIES
The constellation of Aries has come to represent the ram that yielded the Golden Fleece of Greek mythology.

52. Starting or ending point for a commuter: Abbr. : STA
Station (sta.)

Our verb “to commute”, meaning “to go back and forth to work”, ultimately derives from the Latin “commutare”, meaning “to often change”. Back in the late 1800s, a “commutation ticket” was a season pass, so named because it allowed one to “change” one kind of payment into another. Quite interesting …

53. Luxury rental : LIMO
The word “limousine” actually derives from the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes anyway …

54. Polo of “Meet the Parents” : TERI
Teri Polo’s most prominent role on the big screen was Pam Focker in “Meet the Fockers” and its sequel. Pam is the wife of the character played by Ben Stiller. Polo also played the wife of Presidential candidate Matt Santos in “The West Wing”.

“Meet the Parents” is a funny comedy released in 2000, starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller. “Meet the Parents” is actually a remake of a 1992 independent comedy film of the same name that enjoyed much less success.

65. Biblical mount that can be seen from three countries : 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.

69. Acting monarch : REGENT
A “regent” is an acting monarch, one who rules when a monarch is perhaps too or is absent. If the person acting is actually in the line of succession, then he or she is known as a prince or princess regent.

71. What a chair might provide : AGENDA
“Agenda” is a Latin word that translates as “things to be done”, coming from the verb “agere” meaning “to do”.

79. Maguire of “The Great Gatsby” : TOBEY
The actor Tobey Maguire is most associated with the role of Spider-Man these days. I’m not much into comic book hero films, but I do kind of enjoy the understated way that Maguire takes on “Spidey”. Maguire has appeared in other hit films, like “Pleasantville” (1998), “The Cider House Rules” (1999) and “Seabiscuit” (2003). Off the screen, he is big into poker and it’s said that he has won over $10 million playing poker in Hollywood.

The spectacular 2013 movie “The Great Gatsby” is based on the renowned F. Scott Fitzgerald novel of the same name. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the title character.

82. Prefix with -graph : EPI-
In the world of literature, an epigraph is a few words at the beginning of a composition that sets forth a theme, perhaps a quotation. The term “epigraph” can also be used for an inscription on maybe a building or a statue.

84. Complain, complain, complain : CARP
The word “carp” used to mean simply “talk” back in the 13th century, with its roots in the Old Norwegian “karpa” meaning “to brag”. A century later the Latin word “carpere” meaning “to slander” influenced the use of “carp” so that it came to mean “find fault with”.

85. ___ Aviv : TEL
The full name of Israel’s second largest city is Tel Aviv-Yafo. Tel Aviv translates into “Spring Mound”, a name chosen in 1910.

88. Letters of interest : APR
Annual percentage rate (APR)

95. Chianti, e.g. : RED WINE
Chianti is a red wine from the Chianti region of central Tuscany in Italy. Historically, Chianti was stored in a characteristically bulbous bottle wrapped in a straw basket. However, the pragmatists have won the day and regular wine bottles tend to be used nowadays.

97. Stage of the Tour de France : ETAPE
“Étape” is the French word for stage, as in a “stage” in the Tour de France. It is used in English military circles to describe where troops halt overnight, but can also describe the section of the march itself. So, a march can be divided into stages, into étapes.

Back in the late 1800s, long-distance cycle races were used as promotional events, traditionally to help boost sales of newspapers. These races usually took place around tracks, but in 1902 the backers of the struggling sports publication “L’Auto” decided to stage a race that would take the competitors all around France. That first Tour de France took place in 1903, starting in Paris and passing through Lyon, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes and then back to Paris.

98. Onetime “Be all you can be” sloganeer : US ARMY
The current recruiting slogan used by the US Army is “Army Strong”, replacing “Army of One” in 2006. Prior to that, “Be All You Can Be” was the army’s slogan for more than twenty years.

101. Benjamin of “Law & Order” : BRATT
The actor Benjamin Bratt’s most noted role has to be Detective Rey Curtis on the NBC cop show “Law & Order”. Bratt dated the actress Julia Roberts for a few years.

103. Diamond protectors : TARPS
Originally, tarpaulins were made from canvas covered in tar that rendered the material waterproof. The word “tarpaulin” comes from “tar” and “palling”, with “pall” meaning “heavy cloth covering”.

105. Crude house : SHANTY
Our word “shanty” is used for a rough cabin. It comes from the Canadian French word “chantier”, which is a “lumberjack’s headquarters”.

114. Need blackjack dealer to … : HIT THE DECK
The game of “twenty-one” was first referred to in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing “Don Quixote”. He called the game “ventiuna” (Spanish for “twenty-one”). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn’t all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker “Blackjack”.

118. Member of the 3,000-hit club, informally : A-ROD
Professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames than just A-Rod. He has been called “the Cooler” by some players as there is a perception that teams go cold when he joins them and hot when he leaves. He has also been called “A-Fraud” by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding. Rodriguez now seems to be in a world of hurt for using illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

119. P. C. Wren’s “Beau ___” : GESTE
“Beau Geste” is a 1924 novel by the British writer P. C. Wren. The hero of the piece is Michael “Beau” Geste, an upper-class Englishman who joins the French Foreign Legion and embarks on a life of adventure and intrigue.

120. Classical Greek theater : ODEON
In Ancient Greece an odeon (also odeum) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning a “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

121. Like certain educational publishing : ELHI
“Elhi” is an informal word used to describe anything related to schooling from grades 1 through 12, i.e. elementary through high school.

Down
1. O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth : HUBS
O’Hare International is the busiest airport in the world in terms of takeoffs and landings. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 and 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built, there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. This name is the derivation of the airport’s current location identifier: ORD (OR-chard D-ouglas). Orchard Place Airport was renamed to O’Hare International in 1949 in honor of Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare who grew up in Chicago. O’Hare was the US Navy’s first flying ace and a Medal of Honor recipient in WWII. As an aside, Butch O’Hare’s father Edward was a lawyer friend of Al Capone who eventually worked undercover for the IRS and helped get the famous gangster convicted on tax evasion. Some years later, Edward was shot to death while driving his car.

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW) is the largest hub for American Airlines, and is also the third busiest airport in the world in terms of aircraft landings and takeoffs (Chicago O’Hare is the world’s busiest, followed by Atlanta).

7. Part of a forensic database : DNA
I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relations.

8. Obsolescent tape holders : VCRS
Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)

11. Like ones welcomed to the fold? : OVINE
The Latin word for “sheep” is “ovis”, giving us the adjective “ovine”, meaning “like a sheep”.

13. The Rams, on scoreboards : STL
The St. Louis Rams have only won the Super Bowl once, in 1999, against the Tennessee Titans. The Rams were based in Cleveland from 1936-45, Los Angeles from 1946-94 and St. Louis from 1995 to the present day.

16. Bit of marine life : ALGA
Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

17. Man of Allah : IMAM
An imam is a Muslim leader, often the person in charge of a mosque or perhaps a Muslim community.

29. First name on the Supreme Court : RUTH
Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg serves on the US Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg was the second woman to join the Court, nominated by President Bill Clinton. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. During that time she did not miss one day on the bench. In 2009 Justice Ginsburg had surgery for pancreatic cancer, and was back to work 12 days later.

32. “Warrior” actor Nick : 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.

“Warrior” is a 2011 film about martial arts. I am not really into martial arts films, but Nick Nolte did get an Oscar nomination for his role in the movie.

36. Cliffside home : AERIE
An aerie is the nest of an eagle, and is also known as an “eyrie”.

39. Calf cries : BLATS
“To blat” is a make a raucous sound or to speak in a raucous way. The term can also be an alternative for “to bleat”, to utter the cry of a calf, sheep or goat.

42. Parts of Roman homes : 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.

47. Coal-mining waste : SLAG
The better lead ores are processed in a blast furnace, to extract the metal. The “waste” from this process is called “slag”. Slag does contain some lead and it can be processed further in a “slag furnace” to extract the residual metal. Slag furnaces also accept poorer lead ores as a raw material.

54. Part of L.G.B.T., informally : TRANS
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)

57. Magical start? : ABRA-
The incantation “abracadabra” has a long history. It was used as far back as the 2nd century AD in Ancient Rome when the word was prescribed by a physician to be worn on an amulet to help his emperor recover from disease. “Abracadabra” is Aramaic, and roughly translates as “I will create as I speak”.

58. Actress Salma of “Grown Ups” : HAYEK
Salma Hayek is a Mexican actress. Hayek was the first Mexican national to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, for her portrayal of artist Frida Kahlo in the 2002 movie “Frida”.

“Grown Ups” is a 2010 comedy movie written by and starring Adam Sandler. The film revolves around five childhood friends who reunite after thirty years. Sandler plays one of the five, along with Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider.

63. Pioneer in Impressionism : MONET
Claude Monet painted the harbor of Le Havre in the north of France in 1872, giving it the title “Impression, Sunrise”. The painting is not a “realistic” representation of the scene in front of him, hence the name “impression”. It was this very painting that gave rise to the name of the Impressionist movement, and earned Monet the title of Father of Impressionism.

65. Indian tourist mecca : AGRA
The Indian city of Agra is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

– The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
– Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
– Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal

70. Source of a gut reaction? : 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.

71. Like feudal states, often : AT WAR
Feudalism was a legal and military system that flourished in medieval Europe. Central to the system were the concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs. Lords would grant fiefs (land or rights) to vassals in exchange for allegiance and service.

74. Tkt. stub, e.g. : RCPT
A ticket (tkt.) stub might be a receipt (rcpt.).

77. ___ salts : EPSOM
The Surrey town of Epsom in England is most famous for its racecourse (Epsom Downs), at which is run the Epsom Derby every year, one of the three races that make up the English Triple Crown. We also come across Epsom salt from time to time. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, originally prepared by boiling down mineral waters. Epsom was indeed a spa town at one time.

92. Bull run target : MATADOR
“Matador” is a Spanish word used in English for a bullfighter, although the term isn’t used in the same way in Spanish. The equivalent in Spanish is “torero”. “Matador” translates aptly enough as “killer”.

101. Port in western France : BREST
Brest is a port city in northwest France, and is the second largest military port in the country. Brest was an important base for German U-boats during WWII when France was occupied by the Nazis. Brest is the most westerly city in the whole country.

102. Page opposite verso : RECTO
The left and right pages of a book or magazine are known in publishing circles as verso and recto. Recto comes from the Latin for “right”, and verso comes from the Latin word for “turned”. The idea is that the left side of the page is “turned” and is the reverse of the recto/right side.

104. D’Artagnan mentor : ATHOS
Alexandre Dumas’ “Three Musketeers” are Athos, Porthos and Aramis, and their young protégé is D’Artagnan. A musketeer was an infantry soldier who was equipped with a musket. Funnily enough, the three “musketeers” really don’t use their muskets, and are better known for their prowess with their swords.

105. Deep-bodied herring : SHAD
The shad is also known as the river herring. The eggs (roe) of the female shad are prized as a delicacy in the Eastern US.

115. When doubled, a Ramone : DEE
The Ramones were an American punk rock band. The group formed in Forest Hills, New York in the mid-seventies. The band members took on the stage names Dee Dee, Joey, and Johnny Ramone, even though they were not related. Arguably, the Ramones were the first punk rock group, defining the genre. Something else that’s not my cup of tea …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Debate, with “out” : HASH
5. How some TV series are sold : ON DVD
10. Use a witching rod : DOWSE
15. Travel with Sinbad, say : SAIL
19. “Come ___ me, all ye that labor …” : UNTO
20. Port of Puerto Rico : PONCE
21. Tony-winning Andrew Lloyd Webber musical : EVITA
22. Children’s TV character who refers to himself in the third person : ELMO
23. Need rural real estate investor to … : BUY THE FARM
25. Need retail marketer to … : FILL THE GAP
27. Where to begin : STEP ONE
28. Peaceful : SERENE
30. Kind of oil : SESAME
31. Projector unit : LUMEN
33. Characters in “The Hobbit” : RUNES
34. Militant grp. in a 1994 peace agreement : IRA
35. Chrome alternative : SAFARI
38. Newspaper section, for short : OBITS
40. See 44-Across : SNOWCAP
44. What a 40-Across produces in the summer : MELT
45. Need cocktail waitress to … : CALL THE SHOTS
49. Photocopier option: Abbr. : LTR
50. Constellation between Perseus and Pisces : ARIES
52. Starting or ending point for a commuter: Abbr. : STA
53. Luxury rental : LIMO
54. Polo of “Meet the Parents” : TERI
55. Bit of sauce : LIP
56. Need bakery assistant to … : TAKE THE CAKE
61. Track runner : TRAIN
62. “Get lost!” : LET ME BE!
64. Vicious : SAVAGE
65. Biblical mount that can be seen from three countries : ARARAT
66. Stockpiles : HOARDS
68. Be that as it may : YET
69. Acting monarch : REGENT
71. What a chair might provide : AGENDA
73. Sudden twist : WRENCH
76. Entered uninvited : CRASHED
79. Maguire of “The Great Gatsby” : TOBEY
80. Need cruise ship band to … : ROCK THE BOAT
82. Prefix with -graph : EPI-
83. Take orders, say : WAIT
84. Complain, complain, complain : CARP
85. ___ Aviv : TEL
86. Something rolling in the dough? : YEAST
88. Letters of interest : APR
89. Need orchestra conductor to … : FACE THE MUSIC
94. ___ gear : RIOT
95. Chianti, e.g. : RED WINE
97. Stage of the Tour de France : ETAPE
98. Onetime “Be all you can be” sloganeer : US ARMY
100. Onetime : OLD
101. Benjamin of “Law & Order” : BRATT
103. Diamond protectors : TARPS
105. Crude house : SHANTY
108. Go over again : REREAD
110. They can leave scars : TRAUMAS
114. Need blackjack dealer to … : HIT THE DECK
116. Need magician to … : DO THE TRICK
118. Member of the 3,000-hit club, informally : A-ROD
119. P. C. Wren’s “Beau ___” : GESTE
120. Classical Greek theater : ODEON
121. Like certain educational publishing : ELHI
122. Musical pitch? : DEMO
123. Board : GET ON
124. Homage with humor : ROAST
125. Flow slowly : SEEP

Down
1. O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth : HUBS
2. “What are you, some kind of ___?” : A NUT
3. Bad eye sight : STYE
4. Tabletop cooker : HOTPLATE
5. Budding comic’s opportunity : OPEN MIC
6. Free, as a bank account : NO-FEE
7. Part of a forensic database : DNA
8. Obsolescent tape holders : VCRS
9. Mark off? : DEMERIT
10. One side in football : DEFENSE
11. Like ones welcomed to the fold? : OVINE
12. Foxiness : WILES
13. The Rams, on scoreboards : STL
14. Erodes : EATS INTO
15. It takes two to do this : SEESAW
16. Bit of marine life : ALGA
17. Man of Allah : IMAM
18. Less than a full run : LOPE
24. The “xx” of xx:yy : HOUR
26. ___ welcome : HERO’S
29. First name on the Supreme Court : RUTH
32. “Warrior” actor Nick : NOLTE
35. Lowercase : SMALL
36. Cliffside home : AERIE
37. Need stunt pilot to … : FLIP THE BIRD
39. Calf cries : BLATS
40. Body opening? : SOME-
41. Need control tower operator to … : CLEAR THE AIR
42. Parts of Roman homes : ATRIA
43. Part of a forensic database : PRINT
46. Pumped : ASKED
47. Coal-mining waste : SLAG
48. One who walks on the wild side? : HIKER
51. “Easy there” : STEADY
54. Part of L.G.B.T., informally : TRANS
57. Magical start? : ABRA-
58. Actress Salma of “Grown Ups” : HAYEK
59. Wedding or concert, e.g. : EVENT
60. Overhear : CATCH
61. Accord : TREATY
63. Pioneer in Impressionism : MONET
65. Indian tourist mecca : AGRA
67. Promised : SWORE
70. Source of a gut reaction? : E COLI
71. Like feudal states, often : AT WAR
72. Freak out : GO APE
74. Tkt. stub, e.g. : RCPT
75. Highly emotional, in dated lingo : HET UP
77. ___ salts : EPSOM
78. Jingle, e.g. : DITTY
80. Campaign : RACE
81. Under attack : BESET
84. Easter treat : CANDY EGG
87. Marks taken off? : ERASURES
89. Muck : FILTH
90. Listen : HEARKEN
91. Suffix with cigar : -ETTE
92. Bull run target : MATADOR
93. It’s up in the air : CURRENT
96. Is unsatisfactory : WON’T DO
99. Lovers’ row : SPAT
101. Port in western France : BREST
102. Page opposite verso : RECTO
104. D’Artagnan mentor : ATHOS
105. Deep-bodied herring : SHAD
106. Fill a position : HIRE
107. Half of a two-volume encyclopedia, say : A TO M
109. Dullard : DODO
111. ___ marker : MILE
112. Feel pity (for) : ACHE
113. Leave undone : SKIP
115. When doubled, a Ramone : DEE
117. Social : TEA

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7 thoughts on “0809-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Aug 15, Sunday”

  1. Had no idea what DOWSE was. Sounds like a desperate move. Fairly normal puzzle overall. Theme was mildly amusing.

    I had PLO at 34A for a while. I suppose that's a testament to the Provos' willingness to finally see their folly, and change….21 years ago.

  2. willie d,

    perhaps your aim could be to increase your vocabulary rather than constantly carp? that's kind of the point of doing crossword puzzles. I've known the word dowser since I was a child. "water witches" would advise folks where to build their houses where I grew up in NY.

  3. I come aross many words/definitions I'm not familiar with in the NYT puzzle. Never felt the need to put down the creator. I've lived in WV, IN, MO, and TX. The terms "dowse", dowser", & "water witching" were used in all of those states.

  4. 37:52, no errors. I liked todays theme, figured it out early enough to help solve many of the clues.

    My wife's family came from Oklahoma, Iowa and Wyoming. Many of them claimed to be dowsers. We even inherited my mother-in-laws dowsing rod. It doesn't work for me. In my younger days, I watched a contractor bore a hole under a paved road to route a water pipe to a building site. He used two pieces of wire coat hanger, held in front of him like a rabbit ear antenna. He claimed he could locate the head of the boring tool, and used it to make sure the tool didn't hit a rock and veer off course. The borer came out right where he predicted, but since this was directly across from the entry point, I still remain skeptical.

  5. I have only two minor complaints: I don't think "coal-mining waste" is a proper clue for SLAG and, to me, "be that as it may" doesn't suggest the word LET. Fortunately, both entries were easily inferred from the crossing entries. Other than that, this was a very pleasant puzzle.

  6. Dave, that's because "Be that as it may" is a clue for YET, not LET.

    A few of these clues were a bit slippery and misleading…. but I recovered to finish with no errors.

  7. @Anonymous … Thank you. I knew SELMA HAYEK, but then I apparently forgot to change the "L" that I had already written in to a "Y". I'm definitely getting old … :-). The word "YET" does indeed make sense.

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