0831-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 31 Aug 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Michael Dewey
THEME: Into the Pool … each of today’s themed answers are common phrases that might also describe how to get into a swimming pool:

17A. Attack an endeavor vigorously : DIVE IN HEADFIRST
37A. Get hitched : TAKE THE PLUNGE
58A. Lose one’s mind : GO OFF THE DEEP END

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 41s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. ___ pit (area at a punk concert) : MOSH
Moshing (also “slam dancing”) is the pushing and shoving that takes place in the audience at a concert (usually a punk or heavy metal concert). The area directly in front of the stage is known as the mosh pit. When a performer does a “stage dive” it is into (or I suppose “onto”) the mosh pit. It doesn’t sound like fun to me. Injuries are commonplace in the mosh pit, and deaths are not unknown.

5. Cheese named after a town in Holland : EDAM
Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

13. Butterlike spreads : OLEOS
Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France announced a competition to develop a substitute for butter, a substitute that would be more accessible to the lower classes and more practical for the armed forces. In 1869, a French chemist called Hippolyte Mege-Mouries came up with something that he called oleomargarine, which was eventually manufactured under the trade name “margarine”. The name “oleomargarine” also gives us our generic term “oleo”.

16. Shankar who mentored George Harrison : RAVI
The sitar has been around since the Middle Ages. The sitar is a stringed instrument that is played by plucking, and is used most often in Hindustani classical music. In the West we have been exposed to the instrument largely through the performances of Ravi Shankar and some music by George Harrison of the Beatles, a onetime student of Shankar.

20. Allen whose #3 was retired by the 76ers : IVERSON
Allen Iverson is a professional basketball player who played in the NBA for several years. Iverson signed up to play for a Turkish basketball team in 2010. He played in Turkey for two seasons and retired from the game in 2013.

21. Papal name chosen 12 times : PIUS
There have been twelve popes named Pius, the latest being Pope Pius XII who led the Roman Catholic Church until his death in 1958.

25. Heroine of Purim : ESTHER
Purim is a festival commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to wipe them out by Haman the Agagite, as recorded in the Book of Esther. During the celebration of Purim, the Book of Esther (or Megillah) is read aloud, once in the evening and once the following morning. By the way, Esther is the only book in the Old Testament that doesn’t mention the word “God”.

29. Pilgrim to Mecca : HADJI
Hadji is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person. The word Hadji actually translates into English as “pilgrim”.

33. Ginger ___ (soft drink) : ALE
The brand most closely associated with ginger ale is Canada Dry. “Canada Dry Pale Ginger Ale” was first formulated in 1904 by a Canadian chemist called John McLoughlin from Ontario. Prohibition in the United States helped sales of the drink as it was particularly effective in masking the taste of illegally-produced homemade liquor.

35. ___ mater : ALMA
The literal translation for the Latin term “alma mater” is “nourishing mother”. “Alma mater” was used in Ancient Rome to refer to mother goddesses, and in Medieval Christianity the term was used to refer to the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, one’s alma mater is the school one attended, either high school or college, usually one’s last place of education.

36. The “O” in S.R.O. : ONLY
Standing room only (SRO)

42. Building designer I. M. ___ : PEI
I. M. Pei (full name: Ieoh Ming Pei) is an exceptional American architect who was born in China. Of Pei’s many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, especially the Glass Pyramid in the courtyard.

43. Terrier’s expression of terror : ARF
Most terrier breeds of dog originated in the British Isles. Terriers were developed as working dogs, with the job of controlling populations of rats, rabbits and foxes by rooting them out above and below the ground. The name “terrier” comes via Middle French from the the Latin “terra” meaning “earth”, a reflection of the breeds habit of burrowing into the earth looking for its prey.

45. Entertainers Carvey and Delany : DANAS
Dana Carvey, along with the likes of Phil Hartman and Kevin Nealon, was part of the new breed of “Saturday Night Live” comedians credited with resurrecting the show in the late eighties. One of Carvey’s most popular characters was the Church Lady, and he became so associated with her that among fellow cast members Carvey was often referred to simply as “the Lady”. Another favorite Carvey character was Garth Algar who went to feature in the “Wayne’s World” movies. Carvey had open-heart surgery in 1997 to clear a blocked artery, but the surgical team operated on the wrong blood vessel. To recover, he had to have five more procedures. He ended up suing for medical malpractice and donated his $7.5 million compensation payment to charity.

Dana Delaney is an actress from New York who had her big break playing Colleen McMurphy on the TV show “China Beach” in the late eighties. More recently, Delaney played Megan Hunt, the lead role on the drama series “Body of Proof”.

50. Circa-W.W. I art movement : DADA
Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement began in Zurich, Switzerland started by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire, frequently expressing disgust at the war that was raging across Europe. According to the Dada Manifesto of 1918:
DADA DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING. Every man must shout: there is great destructive, negative work to be done. To sweep, to clean. Dada means nothing… Thought is produced in the mouth.

53. Pre-W.W. II public works project, for short : TVA
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has to be one of America’s great success stories when it comes to economic development. Created in 1933, the TVA spearheaded economic development in the Tennessee Valley at the height of the Great Depression. Central to the success was the federally-funded construction of flood-control and electricity-generation facilities.

56. Eighty-sixed : DITCHED
“To eighty-six” something is to eject it, to throw it out. The origin of the term is unclear. One story is that it originated in the days of prohibition in the West Village of Lower Manhattan, New York City. Whenever there was a scheduled raid on the establishment called Chumley’s, an informant would call ahead and tell the bartender to “86” his customers i.e. to send them out the door on 86 Bedford Street. The cops would then turn up at the entrance on Pamela Court.

62. Pakistani language : URDU
Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

65. Holiday-time song : NOEL
“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, ultimately coming from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). Noel has come to be used as an alternative name for a Christmas carol.

Down
2. Actress Munn of “Deliver Us From Evil” : OLIVIA
Olivia Munn is an actress who started her on-screen career as a TV journalist, using the name Lisa Munn. She co-hosted television’s “Attack of the Show!” before becoming a correspondent on “The Daily Show”.

“Deliver Us from Evil” is a 2014 horror movie that is based on 2001 book titled “Beware the Night”. I don’t do horror …

3. Title characters in Disney’s first full-length feature : SEVEN DWARFS
In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale “Snow White”, the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic animated film from Walt Disney called “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The seven dwarfs are:

– Doc (the leader of the group)
– Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife …)
– Happy
– Sleepy
– Bashful
– Sneezy
– Dopey

5. Prefix with centric : ETHNO-
To be ethnocentric is to believe in the superiority of one’s own race, or to have an obsessive concern with race.

6. Word before north or process : DUE
“Due process” calls for the state to respect the legal rights of the individual. The concept was first articulated in the historic English charter known as the Magna Carta in 1215. Due process is incorporated into the US Constitution, although the words “law of the land” are used instead of “due process”, but with the same meaning.

7. “I need ___” (yawner’s words) : A NAP
I really do …

8. Pertaining to the time of castles and knights : MEDIEVAL
European history is often divided in three major periods: classical antiquity and the modern period, with the Middle Ages in between. Specifically, the Middle Ages are said to have begun in 476 AD, when the last Roman Emperor was deposed by a Germanic chieftain. The end date for the Middle Ages is less specific, but is about 1500 AD. The list of events signalling the end of the Middle Ages includes Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to the New World (1492) and the Protestant Reformation (1517). The term “medieval” is used to describe something belonging to the Middle Ages.

11. Hosp. hookups : IVS
One might need an intravenous drip (IV) in a hospital (hosp.).

12. Teen’s facial blemish : ZIT
The slang term “zit”, meaning “a pimple”, came into the language in 1966, but no one seems to know its exact derivation.

14. The Vatican’s ___ Chapel : SISTINE
The Sistine Chapel, in the Pope’s residence in Rome, takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV who was responsible for restoring the old Capella Magna in the 15th century. It was about a century later (1508-1512) that Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel under the patronage of Pope Julius II.

19. What to light on a stick of dynamite : FUSE
The explosive called dynamite contains nitroglycerin as its active component. Dynamite also contains diatomaceous earth and sodium carbonate that absorb the nitroglycerin. The absorbed nitroglycerin is far less sensitive to mechanical shock, making it easier to transport and to handle. Famously, dynamite was invented by Alfred Nobel, the man who used his fortune to institute the Nobel Prizes.

27. Vogue rival : ELLE
“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

“Vogue” magazine has been published an awfully long time, with the first issue appearing in 1892. Over the decades the magazine has picked up a lot of criticism as well as its many fans. Famously, an assistant to the editor wrote a novel based on her experiences working with the magazine’s editor, and called it “The Devil Wears Prada”.

28. “The Bridge of San Luis ___” : REY
“The Bridge of San Luis Rey” is a 1927 novel by American author Thornton Wilder that won the PUlitzer Prize in 1928. The title refers to an Inca rope bridge in Peru that collapses, causing several people to perish. A friar who witnesses the incident then embarks on a quest to discover why those particular individuals had to die. He inquires into the lives of the victims, piecing together the events that led to their being on the bridge that fateful day.

36. Draft-worthy : 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).

37. “Gone With the Wind” plantation : TARA
Rhett Butler hung out with Scarlett O’Hara at the Tara plantation in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind”. Tara was founded not far from the Georgia city of Jonesboro by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland.

44. Musical symbol : CLEF
Clef is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on the stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

55. Feng ___ (harmonizing philosophy) : SHUI
Feng shui is the ancient Chinese tradition of arranging objects, buildings and other structures in a manner that is said to improve the lives of the individuals living in or using the space. “Feng shui” translates as “wind-water”, a reference to the belief that positive and negative life forces ride the wind and scatter, but are retained when they encounter water.

57. PC brains : CPUS
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the main component on the “motherboard” of a computer. The CPU is the part of the computer that carries out most of the functions required by a program. Nowadays you can get CPUs in everything from cars to telephones.

59. Pizarro’s gold : ORO
Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro discovered the Incas in 1526, marking the beginning of the end for an ancient civilization that was to be ravaged by brutal Spanish colonists and by imported smallpox. The last leader of the Inca was Atahualpa. Pizarro staged a mock trial and then condemned Atahualpa to execution by burning. A Spanish friar intervened on behalf of the condemned man, as Atahualpa believed that if he was burned his soul would not move on to the afterlife. Pizarro, was kind enough to have Atahualpa garroted instead.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. ___ pit (area at a punk concert) : MOSH
5. Cheese named after a town in Holland : EDAM
9. Phenom : WHIZ
13. Butterlike spreads : OLEOS
15. Adjust the strings of, as a guitar : TUNE
16. Shankar who mentored George Harrison : RAVI
17. Attack an endeavor vigorously : DIVE IN HEADFIRST
20. Allen whose #3 was retired by the 76ers : IVERSON
21. Papal name chosen 12 times : PIUS
22. What a priest may absolve : SIN
23. Stepped (on) : TROD
25. Heroine of Purim : ESTHER
29. Pilgrim to Mecca : HADJI
31. Locale for Christmas lights : EAVE
33. Ginger ___ (soft drink) : ALE
34. Prevailed : WON
35. ___ mater : ALMA
36. The “O” in S.R.O. : ONLY
37. Get hitched : TAKE THE PLUNGE
40. Lacking adornment : BARE
41. Good things to have about you in an emergency : WITS
42. Building designer I. M. ___ : PEI
43. Terrier’s expression of terror : ARF
44. Name, as sources : CITE
45. Entertainers Carvey and Delany : DANAS
48. M’s and N’s, in pronunciation : NASALS
50. Circa-W.W. I art movement : DADA
53. Pre-W.W. II public works project, for short : TVA
54. Moistens : WETS
56. Eighty-sixed : DITCHED
58. Lose one’s mind : GO OFF THE DEEP END
62. Pakistani language : URDU
63. Expel from power : OUST
64. Jolt of power : SURGE
65. Holiday-time song : NOEL
66. Micro : millionth :: ___ : trillionth : PICO
67. Viewed : SEEN

Down
1. In fashion : MODISH
2. Actress Munn of “Deliver Us From Evil” : OLIVIA
3. Title characters in Disney’s first full-length feature : SEVEN DWARFS
4. Gardener in the weeds : HOER
5. Prefix with centric : ETHNO-
6. Word before north or process : DUE
7. “I need ___” (yawner’s words) : A NAP
8. Pertaining to the time of castles and knights : MEDIEVAL
9. Where to wear a watch : WRIST
10. Part of a sarcastic laugh : HAR
11. Hosp. hookups : IVS
12. Teen’s facial blemish : ZIT
14. The Vatican’s ___ Chapel : SISTINE
18. Neither’s partner : NOR
19. What to light on a stick of dynamite : FUSE
24. X’d out : DELETED
26. “Don’t give up now!” : HANG IN THERE!
27. Vogue rival : ELLE
28. “The Bridge of San Luis ___” : REY
30. Rib-tickler : JOKE
32. Charges (up) : AMPS
35. Score ___ (enjoy some success) : A HIT
36. Draft-worthy : ONE-A
37. “Gone With the Wind” plantation : TARA
38. Like some easy-open bottles : TWIST-TOP
39. Subjects of some software pop-ups : UPDATES
40. Outlaw : BAN
44. Musical symbol : CLEF
46. Exact retribution for : AVENGE
47. Make melancholy : SADDEN
49. Terrible : AWFUL
51. Supplement : ADD TO
52. Go pfft : DIE
55. Feng ___ (harmonizing philosophy) : SHUI
57. PC brains : CPUS
58. Rev, as an engine : GUN
59. Pizarro’s gold : ORO
60. Praiseful poem : ODE
61. Abort key : ESC

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8 thoughts on “0831-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 31 Aug 15, Monday”

  1. Was wondering what 86 came from. Thought maybe "deep 6."

    Had WPA before TVA. Still lovin the post office murals.

    Found out DWARFS is the proper plural, not dwarves, as used by Tolkien (and me).

    Pretty nice Monday puzzle.

  2. I'd have bet good money that DWARFS was a misspelling. But … the Disney movie came out six years before I was born and that spelling was used in its title. So … hush my mouth …

    The other day, on NPR, I heard a reporter use "seeked" as the past tense of "seek". I've sort of made my peace with "pleaded" instead of "pled", but "seeked" instead of "sought"? Never! (Even the spellchecker here didn't like it!)

    I worked for more than 38 years in a building designed by I. M. Pei. A beautiful place, but not as people-friendly as some.

  3. @Bill The building in which I worked sits on a mesa above Boulder, Colorado, and housed the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Now, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), of which NCAR is a part, has two additional campuses, both of which are down in Boulder.

    Pei's design was influenced by visits to Anasazi ruins in Colorado.

    I enjoyed the building, but I will admit that its location was what I most loved. At noon, I could walk out of the place and, within twenty minutes, be in the woods and most likely halfway up one of the Flatirons.

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