0829-15 New York Times Crosword Answers 29 Aug 15, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Evan Birnholz
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 32m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

4. Minuteman III, e.g. : ICBM
There are still hundreds Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) in service, with most of them dotted around the landscape of the plain states. I was driving through the area a couple of years ago and counted five missile silos and two launch control centers, just sitting there, at the side of the road.

8. Page formatting aid : TAB SET
Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious, involving lots of tapping on the space bar and backspace key. So, a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to “jump” across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this was simplified to a tab key which could be depressed, causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.

14. Group of shooting stars, for short? : NBA
The National Basketball Association (NBA) was founded in 1946 as the Basketball Association of America. The NBA name was adopted in 1949. Of the four major sports leagues in North America, the NBA has the highest average annual salary per player.

16. Piece heard in “Immortal Beloved” : EROICA
Beethoven originally dedicated his Symphony No. 3 to Napoleon Bonaparte. Beethoven admired the principles of the French Revolution and as such respected Bonaparte who was “born” out of the uprising. When Napoleon declared himself Emperor, Beethoven (and much of Europe) saw this as a betrayal to the ideals of the revolution so he changed the name of his new symphony from “Bonaparte” to “Eroica”, meaning “heroic” or “valiant”.

“Immortal Beloved” is one of my favorite movies of all time, although that is partly because I have a penchant for biographical films about the lives of classical composers. This 1994 film is an exploration of who might be the “immortal beloved” that Beethoven referred to in three letters that he wrote that were found among his private papers after he died. It’s a great tale and of course the musical score is just wonderful …

17. “Not marble, ___ the gilded monuments / Of princes …”: Shak. : NOR
Here is William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 55” …

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear’d with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
‘Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.

18. Stereotypical pennant waver, colloquially : ALUM
An “alumnus” (plural … alumni) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural … alumnae). The term comes into English from Latin, in which alumnus means foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

20. Much-debated grammar subject : OXFORD COMMA
Also called an Oxford comma and Harvard comma, a serial comma is the comma in a list of terms before the word “and”, as in “clues, answers, and crosswords”. The use of the Oxford comma is controversial, accepted more on this side of Atlantic than the other. Personally, I use the Oxford comma when it seems appropriate verbally, when a pause adds to the sentence. But then, my English teacher really didn’t approve of any of my opinions …

23. Battle of Isengard participant : 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”.

25. Perianth component : SEPAL
The perianth is that part of the flower that is non-reproductive, usually the envelope surrounding the flower’s sexual organs. The perianth normally comprises the calyx, made up from the sepals, and the corolla, made up from the petals.

26. Recurring Shakespearean figure : FOOL
“The Fool” is a character that turns up in many, many Shakespearean plays. For example:

– The Fool, in “King Lear”
– Touchstone in “As you Like It”
– Nick Bottom in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
– Clown in “Othello”
– The Gravediggers in “Hamlet”
– Falstaff in “Henry IV, Part 1” and “Henry IV, Part 2”

33. First name in 2000s pop music : MILEY
Miley Cyrus became famous playing the Disney Channel character “Hannah Montana”. Miley is of course the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was born, Billy Ray and his wife named their daughter “Destiny Hope”, but soon they themselves calling her “Smiley” as she was always smiling as a baby, and this got shortened to Miley over time. Cute …

34. * * * * *, say : RAVE
A “rave” is a 5-starr (*****) review.

35. Part of 😉 : WINK
An emoticon is a glyph created using text characters to represent facial features, and usually oriented sideways. The emoticon is designed to indicate emotion or attitude. The classic example is the smiley face 🙂

38. Where a bowler might go on a date : HATCHECK
I think a bowler hat is usually called a derby here in the US. The bowler was first produced in 1849 in London by hatmakers Thomas and William Bowler, hence the name. The alternative name of “derby” comes from the tradition of wearing bowler hats at the Derby horse race (a major race held annually in England).

42. It : SEX APPEAL
Clara Bow was a fabulous star of silent film, with her most famous movie being “It” from 1927. Clara Bow’s performance was so celebrated in the movie that she was forever to be known as the “It-girl”. The term “it” was a euphemism for “sex appeal”, and that is what Clara Bow was known to “exude”. Bow applied her red lipstick in the shape of a heart, and women who copied this style were said to put on a “Clara Bow”.

44. President #36, #41 or #43 : TEXAN
President Lyndon Johnson (LBJ) is one of only four people to have held all four elected federal offices, namely US Representative, US Senator, US Vice-President and US President (along with John Tyler, Andrew Johnson, and Richard Nixon). As President he is perhaps best remembered for escalating involvement in the Vietnam War, and for his “Great Society” legislation.

President George H. W. Bush served in the US Navy during WWII. Future President Bush postponed his entry into college after the attack on Pearl Harbor and enlisted in the navy instead. When he earned his wings, he was the youngest aviator in the US Navy at that time.

President George W. Bush was born on July 6, 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut. President Bush shares his birthday with one of the tough guys of Hollywood. Sylvester Stallone was born on the same day, in New York City.

45. Eminem’s “___ I Collapse” : TILL
Rap star Eminem’s real name is Marshall Mathers, a native of Saint Joseph, Missouri. Mathers grew up poor, raised by a single-mom as the family was abandoned by his father when he was 18 months old. Marshall and his mother moved around the country before settling in a suburb of Detroit. He didn’t do well at school, and dropped out at the age of 17. But in the end he made it pretty big …

48. “La Dolce Vita” setting : ROME
The title of the celebrated 1960 Federico Fellini film “La Dolce Vita” translates from Italian as “The Good Life”. There is a character in the film called Paparazzo who is a news photographer. It is this character who gives us our word “Paparazzi”, a term used for photographers who make careers out of taking candid shots of celebrities.

49. Count six E’s in this puzzle clue, for example : ERR
Yep, there aren’t six letters E in the clue, only five …

50. Marks of derision : SCARE QUOTES
I must admit, I probably overuse “scare quotes” in this blog. Scare quotes are quotation marks placed around a word or phrase implying a non-standard usage. Yes, a “non-standard” usage …

52. God, in Hebrew literature : ADONAI
In the Hebrew tradition, “Adonai” is a title of reverence for God.

54. Savanna sights : GNUS
A gnu is also known as a wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is actually the Dutch word for “wild beast”.

A savanna (also savannah) is a grassland. If there are any trees in a savanna, by definition they are small and widely spaced so that light can get to the grasses allowing them to grow unhindered.

55. Govt. org. with roots going back to the Civil War : IRS’
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

56. Spice mixture in an Indian restaurant : MASALA
Garam masala is a mixture of ground spices that is particularly associated with Indian cuisine. A typical composition of garam masala includes:

– black and white peppercorns
– cloves
– cinnamon
– black and white cumin seeds
– black, brown, and green cardamom pods

All of the ingredients are toasted, and then ground together.

57. One of the housewives on “Desperate Housewives” : EDIE
Edie Britt is a character on television’s “Desperate Housewives” played by Nicollette Sheridan. I’m told that her name is now Edie William, and that she used to be called Edie McLain and also Edie Rothwell. She must be a desperate housewife …

58. Longtime Washington Post theater critic Richard : COE
The theater critic Richard L. Coe worked for “the Washington Post” for more than forty years. Coe has been around a while, and reviewed the original productions of “Hello Dolly!” and “Carnival”.

Down
2. Microsoft release of 2013 : XBOX ONE
The XBox line of video game consoles is made by Microsoft. The original XBox platform was followed by XBox 360 and most recently by XBox One. Microsoft’s XBox competes directly with Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s Wii.

3. Feature of a bomber hat : EARFLAP
A bomber cap or aviator cap is a leather cap with a chin strap and ear flaps. The bomber cap was developed in the days of open-cockpit airplanes.

6. He died while filming “Game of Death” : BRUCE LEE
Bruce Lee was born not far from here in San Francisco although he was raised in Hong Kong, returning to the US to attend college. Sadly, Bruce Lee died when he was only 32 years old, due to cerebral edema (a swelling of the brain) attributed to adverse reactions to the pain killing drug Equagesic.

9. Integration calculation : AREA
In the world of calculus, the integration function calculates the area between a curve and the x-axis or y-axis.

21. “My Darling Clementine” locale : OK CORRAL
“My Darling Clementine” is a 1946 Western about the Gunfight at the OK Corral. The film was directed by John ford and stars Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp. The title of the movie is taken from its theme song, “Oh My Darling, Clementine”.

28. Lady love? : TRAMP
“Lady and the Tramp” is a classic animated feature from Walt Disney, released in 1955. Who can forget the scene where the Tramp and Lady are “on a date” and together eat that one strand of spaghetti? So cute!

30. Color : TINCT
To tinct is to do just that, add a little color to something.

32. The Oscars, e.g. : TV SPECIAL
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

35. “Flying” one : WALLENDA
The Flying Wallendas are a circus act noted for highwire routines that are performed without a net. The original Wallenda troupe was from Germany, and first performed in the US in Madison Square Garden in 1928. The safety net that was used by the act was lost in transit and so the Wallendas made their first American performance without a net to the delight of the crowd. Working without a net then became the act’s trademark. Despite many tragic incidents that have resulted in deaths, Wallenda family members are performing without a net to this day.

36. Big producer of novelty records, informally : WEIRD AL
“Weird Al” Yankovic is a singer-songwriter who is noted for writing and performing parodies of popular songs. Of the 150 or so such songs, the best known are probably “Eat It” (parodying “Beat It” by Michael Jackson) and “Like a Surgeon” (parodying “Like a Virgin” by Madonna).

37. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” rocker : AXL ROSE
Axl Rose is the lead vocalist of the American rock band, Guns N’ Roses.

40. Brown’s follower : CAMERON
David Cameron is the Prime Minister of the UK, after a cliffhanger of a general election in May of 2010. The Labor Party, led for so many years by Tony Blair and then by Gordon Brown after Blair stepped down, lost the majority of seats in Parliament and the Conservatives emerged with the most seats. However, the Liberal Democrats, led by Nick Clegg, had enough seats to hold the balance of power. Cameron had to agree to form a coalition government in order to rule, with Nick Clegg holding the office of Deputy Prime Minister.

41. Mideast diet : KNESSET
The Knesset is the legislative branch of the Israeli government, and does its business in the Givat Ram neighborhood of central Jerusalem.

43. “Little” girl of fiction : EVA
Little Eva is a character in the 1852 novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Eva’s full name is Evangeline St. Clare.

47. News filler : SQUIB
A “squib” is short and humorous piece in a newspaper or magazine. The term might possible be imitative of the small firework called a squib, as a newspaper’s squib might be intended to ignite thinking and discourse.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Dump : AXE
4. Minuteman III, e.g. : ICBM
8. Page formatting aid : TAB SET
14. Group of shooting stars, for short? : NBA
15. Do some drills? : BORE
16. Piece heard in “Immortal Beloved” : EROICA
17. “Not marble, ___ the gilded monuments / Of princes …”: Shak. : NOR
18. Stereotypical pennant waver, colloquially : ALUM
19. Aid in target shooting : RED DOT
20. Much-debated grammar subject : OXFORD COMMA
23. Battle of Isengard participant : ENT
24. One getting a beating in the kitchen? : YOLK
25. Perianth component : SEPAL
26. Recurring Shakespearean figure : FOOL
27. Pass : ENACT
29. “I’m listening” : LAY IT ON ME
31. Forced out at home? : DEPORTED
33. First name in 2000s pop music : MILEY
34. * * * * *, say : RAVE
35. Part of 😉 : WINK
36. Gets toasty : WARMS
38. Where a bowler might go on a date : HATCHECK
42. It : SEX APPEAL
44. President #36, #41 or #43 : TEXAN
45. Eminem’s “___ I Collapse” : TILL
46. Necessary things, perhaps : EVILS
48. “La Dolce Vita” setting : ROME
49. Count six E’s in this puzzle clue, for example : ERR
50. Marks of derision : SCARE QUOTES
52. God, in Hebrew literature : ADONAI
54. Savanna sights : GNUS
55. Govt. org. with roots going back to the Civil War : IRS
56. Spice mixture in an Indian restaurant : MASALA
57. One of the housewives on “Desperate Housewives” : EDIE
58. Longtime Washington Post theater critic Richard : COE
59. Surveying device with letter-shaped rests : Y-LEVEL
60. Where to find solutions : LABS
61. Member of a small work force? : ANT

Down
1. Got to : ANNOYED
2. Microsoft release of 2013 : XBOX ONE
3. Feature of a bomber hat : EARFLAP
4. Skyscraper piece : I-BAR
5. Unpleasant things to pass around : COLDS
6. He died while filming “Game of Death” : BRUCE LEE
7. Place for minutes : MEMO PAD
8. Restriction for some offices : TERM LIMIT
9. Integration calculation : AREA
10. Hottie’s hot thing : BOD
11. Start of a record : SIDE ONE
12. High class? : ECONOMY
13. Tell : TATTLE
21. “My Darling Clementine” locale : OK CORRAL
22. “___ I?” : MAY
26. Romanticized figure : FOLK HERO
28. Lady love? : TRAMP
30. Color : TINCT
32. The Oscars, e.g. : TV SPECIAL
35. “Flying” one : WALLENDA
36. Big producer of novelty records, informally : WEIRD AL
37. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” rocker : AXL ROSE
38. Do stuff : HAIR GEL
39. Things rarely seen : EXOTICA
40. Brown’s follower : CAMERON
41. Mideast diet : KNESSET
42. Blue, say : STEAMY
43. “Little” girl of fiction : EVA
47. News filler : SQUIB
50. Good time to get the goods : SALE
51. Milks : USES
53. ___ system (car’s built-in GPS) : NAV

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9 thoughts on “0829-15 New York Times Crosword Answers 29 Aug 15, Saturday”

  1. Too many errors around TINCT (I had "tinge"). Never heard of SCAREQUOTES before. Would that be like the wife in the "Jake From State Farm" commercials?

  2. Scarequotes????? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. That term is a figment of a wildly over-active imagination. But just one of many answers that were in no way suggested by the clues. This puzzle was simply impossible.

  3. This was a difficult puzzle for me. I finally finished it without any errors, but with a number of questions, most of which were answered by coming here. I had forgotten the term "Oxford comma" (which I routinely use, in spite of what I was taught in high school in Iowa). I'd never heard the term "scare quotes" before and I wasn't aware of Richard Coe or a "Y level". I'd heard of the OK Corral, but didn't understand the connection with "My Darling Clementine". And finally, I drew a blank on Brown/Cameron, though I whacked my forehead when I read the explanation here. In any case, doing the puzzle was an enjoyable, if lengthy, tussle.

  4. I had the nagging feeling that the Oxford comma had another name, and it does: the serial comma. That term is at least slightly familiar to me. There's a Wikipedia article giving the pros and cons of using it. (The pros are much, much stronger … 🙂

    There's also a Wikipedia article about "scare quotes"; apparently, they can also be called "shudder quotes" or "sneer quotes" and the terms have been around for longer than I would have guessed.

    Live and learn …

  5. 26:02, no errors. I like the challenges in the puzzle. Wide range of trivia. I remember seeing the Flying Wallendas at the Ringling Circus in Madison Square Garden. I also liked the misdirection in clues like "Do stuff", for HAIR GEL. I was a decade off when I put MILLI in for 32A, later changed it to MILEY. I had never heard of the terms OXFORD COMMA, SCARE QUOTES or SQUIB until now.

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