0811-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Aug 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jay Kaskel & Daniel Kantor
THEME: Pulled P-o-r-k … each of today’s themed answers features the circled letters P-O-R-K in order. The word PORK is PULLED across each answer, from the first letter (P) to the last letter (K).

59A. Messy sandwich filler … or a hint to this puzzle’s circled letters : PULLED PORK

17A. Frequent Bart Simpson antic : PHONE PRANK
23A. Ask the boss for more vacation time after getting a raise, perhaps : PUSH YOUR LUCK
34A. Scold a person : PIN ONE’S EARS BACK
50A. Landmark with the year 1620 inscribed on it : PLYMOUTH ROCK

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 54s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Goo-goo-eyed, old-style : SMIT
“Smitten” is a past participle of “smite” meaning “to inflict a heavy blow”. We tend to use “smitten” to mean “affected by love, love-struck”.

10. “Shoo-be-doo-be-doo-wop,” e.g. : SCAT
Scat singing is a vocal improvisation found in the world of jazz. There aren’t any words as such in scat singing, just random nonsense syllables made up on the spot.

14. Fancy tie : ASCOT
An Ascot tie is a horrible-looking (I think!) wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

16. “___ be in England” (Browning line) : OH TO
Robert Browning met fellow poet Elizabeth Barrett in 1845. Elizabeth was a sickly woman, confined to her parents’ house in Wimpole Street in London, largely due to the conservative and protective nature of her father. Robert and Elizabeth eventually eloped in 1846, and lived in self-inflicted exile in Italy. Away from the country of his birth, Browning was moved to write his now famous “Home Thoughts, From Abroad”, the first line of which is “Oh, to be in England …”

17. Frequent Bart Simpson antic : PHONE PRANK
On the animated TV comedy “The Simpsons”, Bart likes to prank call Moe’s Tavern. Bart asks Moe to “page” someone in the bar using a fictitious name, a name which sounds like a rude phrase when called out loud. This running joke on “The Simpsons” is a homage to a series of legendary calls made in real life to the Tube Bar in Jersey City by John Elmo and Jim Davidson that were taped and circulated widely in the mid-seventies. Some of the milder names used in the original prank calls were:

19. Chicken condo? : COOP
An Old English word for basket (“cypa”) started to be used in the 14th century as the word “coop”, meaning a small cage for poultry, a word we still use today.

21. Lowly worker : PEON
A peon is a lowly worker with no real control over his/her working conditions. The word comes into English from Spanish where it has the same meaning.

22. Chili con ___ : CARNE
The full name of the dish that is often called simply “chili” is “chili con carne”, Spanish for “peppers with meat”. The dish was first created by immigrants from the Spanish Canary Islands in the city of San Antonio, Texas (a city which the islanders founded). The San Antonio Chili Stand was a popular attraction at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and that stand introduced the dish to the rest of America and to the world.

26. Befitting : APROPOS
“Apropos” comes into English directly from French, in which “à propos” means “to the purpose”. Note that we use the term as one word (apropos), but the original French is two words (à propos).

29. Org. for “King James” : NBA
Basketball player LeBron James (nicknamed “King James”) seems to be in demand for the covers of magazines. James became the first African American man to adorn the front cover of “Vogue” in March 2008. That made him only the third male to make the “Vogue” cover, following Richard Gere and George Clooney.

30. “Finding Nemo” setting : SEA
“Finding Nemo” is a 2003 animated blockbuster from Pixar. The film was the winner of the Oscar that year for Best Animated Feature. Believe it or not, “Finding Nemo” is the best-selling DVD of all time and, until 2010’s “Toy Story 3”, it was the highest-grossing, G-rated movie at the box office.

31. Biblical kingdom or its Utah namesake : MOAB
In the Bible, Moab was the first son of Lot, and the founder of the Kingdom of Moab. Moab was located on a plateau above the Dead Sea.

Moab is a city in eastern Utah that attracts a lot of visitors each year, mainly those heading for Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, which are nearby.

32. Birds flying in a V formation : GEESE
Apparently geese fly in a V-formation for a couple of reasons. One is that it makes for efficient flight and conserves energy. The leading bird gets no advantage, but every following bird gets to “slipstream” a little. It has been noted that the lead bird drops to the back of the formation when it gets fatigued. It’s also thought that the flock can stick together more easily when in formation, so it is more difficult to lose someone along the way.

42. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! product : OLEO
When the J.H. Filbert company was developing a spread that would be a viable alternative to butter i 1979, the husband of a company secretary tried it and declared, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!” And that gave the product its name.

47. Camden Yards team : ORIOLES
Oriole Park is home to the Baltimore Orioles baseball team. The full name of the stadium is Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

50. Landmark with the year 1620 inscribed on it : PLYMOUTH ROCK
Tradition has it that the pilgrims on the Mayflower disembarked on a rock located at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts. What’s now called Plymouth Rock wasn’t actually identified and labelled until 1741, over 120 years after the landing in 1620.

53. Depart from the prepared text : AD LIB
“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage the concept of an “ad lib” is very familiar. For example, an actor may substitute his or her own words for forgotten lines using an ad lib, or a director may instruct an actor to use his or her own words at a particular point in a performance to promote a sense of spontaneity.

54. River to the Ubangi : UELE
The Uele River is a tributary to the Ubangi River, and is found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Uele is the 5th longest river in Africa.

The Ubangi River defines the border between the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and further downstream defines the border between the DRC and the Republic of Congo.

55. Message spelled out with coconuts, maybe : SOS
The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.

58. Where the tibia is : SHIN
The tibia is the shin bone, the larger of the two bones right below the knee. The tibia is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. “Tibia” is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.

65. Editor’s “On second thought” : STET
“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

66. Prominent part of a Groucho disguise : NOSE
Groucho Marx’s real name was Julius Henry Marx. By the time Groucho started his successful, post-Hollywood career hosting the quiz show “You Bet Your Life”, he was sporting a real mustache. For all his movies, his mustache had been painted on with greasepaint.

67. What “N” is for, in a Sue Grafton title : NOOSE
Sue Grafton writes detective novels, and her “alphabet series” features the private investigator Kinsey Millhone. She started off with “A Is for Alibi” in 1982 and is working her way through the alphabet, most recently publishing “’W’ is for Wasted” in 2009. Apparently Ms. Grafton is working on her “X is for …” novel, and has already decided that “Z is for Zero” will be the final title in the series. What a clever naming system!

Down
1. Reindeer herder : LAPP
Lapland is a geographic region in northern Scandinavia, largely found within the Arctic Circle. Parts of Lapland are in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The people who are native to the region are called the Sami people. The Sami don’t like to be referred to as “Lapps” and they regard the term as insulting.

2. Sweatshop regulator, for short : OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

4. Vote in France : NON
“Oui” is “yes” in French, and “non” is “no”.

6. Classic beer once brewed in Detroit : STROH’S
Bernard Stroh was the son of a German brewer. Stroh immigrated to the US in 1848 and set up his own brewery in 1850 in Detroit. Years later, the Stroh Brewing Company introduced a European process called fire-brewing. This results in higher temperatures at a crucial stage in the brewing process, supposedly bringing out flavor. Stroh’s is the only American beer that still uses this process. By the way, even though the American Stroh’s brewery was set up in 1850, the label bears the words “since 1775”. This is a reference to the date that the Stroh family started brewing back in Germany.

8. Fleming who created 007 : IAN
James Bond was of course the creation of the writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number 007 was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th century English spy called John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”.

10. San Diego setting, informally : SOCAL
Southern California (SoCal)

11. “How does it feel …,” in Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” : CHORUS
“Like a Rolling Stone” is a hit written and recorded by Bob Dylan in 1965. “How does it feel …?”

12. In a New York minute : AT ONCE
The expression “in a New York minute” is used to indicate that something happens very quickly. It is is based on the idea that everything moves faster in the Big Apple, which I suppose is true!

13. Kansas city : TOPEKA
Topeka is the capital of Kansas, and is located on the Kansas River in the northeast of the state. The name “Topeka” was chosen in 1855 and translates from the Kansa and the Ioway languages as “to dig good potatoes”. The reference isn’t to the common potato but rather to the herb known as the prairie potato (also “prairie turnip”), which was an important food for many Native Americans.

18. Mexican money : PESO
The coin called a “peso” is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

23. N’awlins sandwich : PO’ BOY
A po’ boy is a submarine sandwich from Louisiana. There are a lot of theories about where the name came from, and none sound too convincing to me. A po’ boy differs from a regular submarine sandwich in that it uses Louisiana French bread, which is soft in the middle and crusty on the outside.

24. Prime draft classification : ONE-A
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System(SS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

25. Modern alternative to a taxi : UBER
Uber is a ridesharing service that was founded in 2009 and is based in San Francisco. The service is somewhat controversial and has been described as an illegal taxicab operation. Central to Uber’s service is the company’s mobile app, which can use the client’s GPS location to help find the nearest available ride. Personally, I love the service and only have had good experiences …

26. Bit of band equipment : AMP
An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

27. Roast pig side dish : POI
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.

35. “Nattering” sort in a Spiro Agnew speech : NABOB
Vice President Spiro Agnew used the following lines in a speech to the California Republican state convention in 1970:

In the United States today, we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism. They have formed their own 4-H Club — the ‘hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history.’

Sprio’s “nattering nabobs of negativism” were members of the media.

Spiro Agnew served as Vice-President under Richard Nixon, before becoming the only VP in American history to resign because of criminal charges (there was a bribery scandal). Agnew was also the first Greek-American to serve as US Vice-President as he was the son of a Greek immigrant who had shortened the family name from Anagnostopoulos.

36. Off-white shade : ECRU
The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

38. Tide competitor : ALL
All is a laundry detergent made by Sun Products.

Tide is a Procter & Gamble brand of laundry detergent that was introduced in 1946.

39. ___-Lo Green, former coach on “The Voice” : CEE
CeeLo Green is the stage name of rapper Thomas DeCarlo Callaway. Apparently Green was one of the coaches for the contestants on the singing TV show “The Voice”. That’s all I need to know …

“The Voice” is yet another reality television show. “The Voice” is a singing competition in which the judges hear the contestants without seeing them in the first round. The judges then take on chosen contestants as coaches for the remaining rounds. “The Voice” is a highly successful worldwide franchise that originated in the Netherlands.

51. North Dakota city with a nearby Air Force base : MINOT
The city of Minot, North Dakota grew out of a tent city that flourished in 1886 at the end of a railway line that was being constructed in 1886. The tent city marked the end of the line only temporarily, as work stopped there for the winter. By the end of that winter, the tent city was home to 5,000 residents. It had sprung up as if “by magic”, and became known as “Magic City”, a nickname that persists to this day.

52. Some inveterate users of steroids : HULKS
Steroids are found commonly in nature, with familiar examples being cholesterol and testosterone. The controversial class of drugs called anabolic steroids (known informally as “roids” or simply “steroids”) are artificially produced chemicals designed to mimic the effect of the male sex hormone, testosterone. They are termed “anabolic” as they build up cellular tissue (particularly muscle) in a process called anabolism. Taking anabolic steroids can be termed “juicing”, and the aggressive behavior that can be a side-effect is known as “roid rage”.

57. ___-Ball : SKEE
Skee Ball is that arcade game where you roll balls up a ramp trying to “bounce” it into rings for varying numbers of points. The game was first introduced in Philadelphia, in 1909.

59. A.T.M. requirement : PIN
One enters a Personal Identification Number (PIN) when using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM).

60. “___ momento” : UNO
“Una momento” is Spanish for “one minute”.

61. Mahmoud Abbas’s grp. : PLO
Mahmoud Abbas took over as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 2004 after the death of Yasser Arafat. Abbas is also the President of the Palestinian National Authority, equivalent to “head of state”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Butchers’ cuts : LOINS
6. Goo-goo-eyed, old-style : SMIT
10. “Shoo-be-doo-be-doo-wop,” e.g. : SCAT
14. Fancy tie : ASCOT
15. Ones steeped in tradition in England? : TEAS
16. “___ be in England” (Browning line) : OH TO
17. Frequent Bart Simpson antic : PHONE PRANK
19. Chicken condo? : COOP
20. Critique scathingly : PAN
21. Lowly worker : PEON
22. Chili con ___ : CARNE
23. Ask the boss for more vacation time after getting a raise, perhaps : PUSH YOUR LUCK
26. Befitting : APROPOS
29. Org. for “King James” : NBA
30. “Finding Nemo” setting : SEA
31. Biblical kingdom or its Utah namesake : MOAB
32. Birds flying in a V formation : GEESE
34. Scold a person : PIN ONE’S EARS BACK
41. Millionaire’s vessel : YACHT
42. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! product : OLEO
43. [Oh, I can’t go on!] : SOB!
46. Frat guy : BRO
47. Camden Yards team : ORIOLES
50. Landmark with the year 1620 inscribed on it : PLYMOUTH ROCK
53. Depart from the prepared text : AD LIB
54. River to the Ubangi : UELE
55. Message spelled out with coconuts, maybe : SOS
58. Where the tibia is : SHIN
59. Messy sandwich filler … or a hint to this puzzle’s circled letters : PULLED PORK
62. Hand: Sp. : MANO
63. Color printer purchases : INKS
64. “Well, ___!” : I’LL BE
65. Editor’s “On second thought” : STET
66. Prominent part of a Groucho disguise : NOSE
67. What “N” is for, in a Sue Grafton title : NOOSE

Down
1. Reindeer herder : LAPP
2. Sweatshop regulator, for short : OSHA
3. iPad screen feature : ICON
4. Vote in France : NON
5. Meet a challenge, say : STEP UP
6. Classic beer once brewed in Detroit : STROH’S
7. Ogre : MEANY
8. Fleming who created 007 : IAN
9. “For shame!” : TSK!
10. San Diego setting, informally : SOCAL
11. “How does it feel …,” in Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” : CHORUS
12. In a New York minute : AT ONCE
13. Kansas city : TOPEKA
18. Mexican money : PESO
22. Unrefined : CRASS
23. N’awlins sandwich : PO’ BOY
24. Prime draft classification : ONE-A
25. Modern alternative to a taxi : UBER
26. Bit of band equipment : AMP
27. Roast pig side dish : POI
28. Oversaw : RAN
32. Word cried before “on it” or “lost” : GET
33. iPad reading : E-BOOK
35. “Nattering” sort in a Spiro Agnew speech : NABOB
36. Off-white shade : ECRU
37. Opportunity : SHOT
38. Tide competitor : ALL
39. ___-Lo Green, former coach on “The Voice” : CEE
40. Sends to the canvas, for short : KOS
43. Sudden contractions : SPASMS
44. So yesterday : OLD HAT
45. Writer’s credit : BYLINE
47. Open-ended threat : OR ELSE!
48. Part of Hollywood? : ROLE
49. Stranded during the winter, say : ICED IN
51. North Dakota city with a nearby Air Force base : MINOT
52. Some inveterate users of steroids : HULKS
55. Go it alone : SOLO
56. Balls : ORBS
57. ___-Ball : SKEE
59. A.T.M. requirement : PIN
60. “___ momento” : UNO
61. Mahmoud Abbas’s grp. : PLO

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