1002-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Oct 15, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Berry
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 38s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Continental ___ : SHELF
The shallow waters surrounding most of a continent lie above what’s called a continental shelf. The similar underwater landmass surrounding an island is called an insular shelf.

10. 1930s film canine : ASTA
Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb “The Thin Man” series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.

14. Jesus in the outfield : ALOU
Jesus Alou played major league baseball, as did his brothers Matty and Felipe, and as does Felipe’s son Moises.

15. Pacific island country that uses U.S. currency : PALAU
Palau is a tiny island nation lying 500 miles east of the Philippines, and 2,000 miles south of Japan. Palau was once a Spanish possession and was sold by Spain to Germany in the late 19th century. During WWI, Japan invaded the islands (as Japan had declared war on Germany) and was awarded the islands as a territory by the League of Nations at the end of hostilities. In WWII the US took Palau from the Japanese in a bloody battle in 1944. Palau emerged from American administration in 1994 and is now a sovereign state.

19. Merlin Olsen’s team : RAMS
Merlin Olsen played in the NFL with the LA Rams. Olson was selected to the Pro Bowl 14 a record 14 times (shared with Bruce Matthews). After retiring from the game, his career continued to flourish. He worked as a sports broadcaster for many years, and then landed a major role on television’s “Little House on the Prairie”, playing Jonathan Garvey. In one episode, Garvey was to help coach a boy’s football team, so the writers gave Olsen’s character the tongue-in-cheek line “I don’t know nothin’ about football!” Olsen was also the commercial face of FTD florists for many years. Olson passed away in March 2010, aged 69.

21. Cause of “fainting in the air” : G-FORCE
A G-suit is needed when astronauts and aviators are subject to high accelerations. Such acceleration can cause blood to pool in the lower part of the body, reducing the supply to the brain and possibly leading to a blackout. A G-suit is basically a special pair of tight-fitting pants that are fitted with inflatable bladders. The bladders inflate during high accelerations, tightening around the legs and abdomen, reducing the amount of blood pooling. So, a “G-suit” is more correctly referred to as an “anti-G suit”.

28. Horror author who wrote “The Call of Cthulhu” : LOVECRAFT
H. P. Lovecraft was an author of horror, fantasy and science fiction. His books aren’t my cup of tea …

29. Breakfast dish with hollandaise sauce : EGGS BENEDICT
Eggs Benedict is a dish traditionally served at an American breakfast or brunch. It usually consists of a halved English muffin topped with ham and poached eggs, all smothered in Hollandaise sauce. The exact origin of the dish is apparently debated, but one story is that it is named for a Wall Street stockbroker called Lemuel Benedict. In 1894 in the Waldorf Hotel, Benedict ordered toast, poached eggs, crispy bacon and Hollandaise sauce as a cure for his hangover. The hotel’s maître d’ Oscar Tschirky was impressed by the dish and added the variant that we use today to the hotel’s menu, naming it for the gentleman who had first ordered it.

Hollandaise sauce is a mixture of egg yolk and melted butter that is then seasoned, usually with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Hollandaise has an exalted position in French cuisine. Although the origin is debated, some say that the recipe was invented in the Netherlands and taken to France by the Huguenots, hence the name “Hollandaise” meaning “of Holland”.

36. The Sun King’s infamous declaration : L’ETAT, C’EST MOI
“L’État, c’est moi” is a French phrase, supposedly spoken by Louis XIV on his deathbed. It translates to “I am the State”, and would appear to mean that Louis considered himself to be “above his station” as it were. However, many dispute the quotation, and argue that Louis actually said on his deathbed that even though he was dying, the State would live on.

Louis XIV is perhaps the most famous of the kings (“rois”) of France and was known as the “Sun King” (le Roi Soleil”). Louis XIV was king from 1638 to 1715. That reign of over 72 years is the longest reign of any European monarch.

38. Black winds : CLARINETS
The clarinet is a lovely-sounding instrument, isn’t it? The name comes from the Italian word “clarino” meaning “trumpet” with the “-et” suffix indicating “small”.

41. Civil War ships : IRONCLADS
Ironclads were steam-powered warships used in the mid-to late-1800s. The vessels earned got their name from the iron or steel plates used as armor around the keel and deck. Although deployed by the likes of the French and British navies, the first ironclads to go into battle did so during the American Civil War.

43. Señor seen on “The Ed Sullivan Show” : WENCES
Señor Wences was the stage name of Spanish ventriloquist Wenceslao Moreno. Señor Wences became particularly popular in the US, largely thanks to a total of 48 appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show”.

44. With 6-Down, bit of summer wear : PANAMA
(6. See 44-Across : HAT)
Panama hats are also known as Jipijapas, named for a town in Ecuador (and not Panama, surprisingly) that was a major player in the hat trade.

45. “I will wear my heart upon my sleeve” speaker, in Shakespeare : IAGO
Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. Iago is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. He hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife. By the end of the play it’s Iago himself who is discredited and Othello (before committing suicide) apologizes to Cassio for having believed Iago’s lies. Heavy stuff …

52. “Beowulf” beverage : MEAD
Mead is a lovely drink, made from fermented honey and water.

“Beowulf” is an old epic poem from England, although the story is set in Scandinavia. There’s a lot of drinking of mead in the poem, in mead-halls, sitting on mead-benches. All part of that feasting tradition …

54. Cadaverous : PASTY
“Cadaver” is the Latin word for a dead body, and a word we’ve been using in English since about 1500.

Down
5. Fix : SPAY
Our verb “to spay”, meaning “to surgically remove the ovaries of” (an animal) comes from an old Anglo-French word “espeier” meaning “to cut with a sword”.

7. Typical Bulldogs fan : ELI
The Yale Bulldogs are the athletic teams of Yale University. The Yale school mascot is “Handsome Dan”, the Yale bulldog.

8. Southeast Asian tongue : LAO
The Lao people are an ethnic group found mainly in Laos, but who also have a significant presence in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

11. Streisand’s “Funny Girl” co-star : SHARIF
Omar Sharif is the great Hollywood actor from Egypt, an actor who played major roles in memorable movies such as “Doctor Zhivago” and “Lawrence of Arabia”. But to me he is my bridge hero (the card game). In his heyday Sharif was one of the best bridge players in the world.

The movie “Funny Girl” stars Barbra Streisand in the title role of Fanny Brice. The real Fanny Brice was a theater and film actress, and “Funny Girl” is very loosely based on her life story. Fanny Brice was born into a Hungarian Jewish family in New York City, with the real name of Fania Borach.

13. Cathedral features : APSES
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

18. Land in a nautical adventure : NED
Ned Land was one of the protagonists in Jules Verne’s classic “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”. In the famous movie adaptation from 1955, Ned Land was played by Kirk Douglas.

22. Plot-heavy comedies : FARCES
A “farce” is a comedy play that features an exaggerated and improbable storyline, with lots of physical humor. I love a good farce …

24. Cattle drive destination in “Lonesome Dove” : MONTANA
“Lonesome Dove” is a Pulitzer-winning western novel by Larry McMurtry, first published in 1985. The novel was originally written as a screenplay for a feature film that never made it to the screen called “The Streets of Laredo”. The movie fell through because John Wayne pulled out of the project, whereas co-stars James Stewart and Henry Fonda were all set to go.

28. Food that Esau sold his birthright for : LENTIL SOUP
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”. As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father’s wealth (it was his “birthright”). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a “mess of pottage” (a meal of lentils).

30. “The Devil’s Dictionary” author : BIERCE
Ambrose Bierce was, among other things, an American satirist. He wrote a satirical lexicon called “The Devil’s Dictionary” published in 1911. The book is still popular today, with an updated version released in 2009. It includes “new” definitions from Bierce that were not included in his original work.

35. Plantation owner in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” : BIG DADDY
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is the play that won Tennessee Williams the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955. The play was adapted into a famous film version in 1958, with Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman playing the leads.

36. Popular name in cosmetics : LANCOME
Lancôme Paris is a brand of makeup. Founded in 1935, the name Lancôme comes from the name of an old French castle, the Château de Lancosme.

37. Coastal hazard : TSUNAMI
“Tsunami” is a Japanese word meaning “harbor wave”.

42. Khaki : TAN
“Khaki” is an Urdu word, translating literally as “dusty”. The word was adopted for its current use as the name of a fabric by the British cavalry in India in the mid-1800s.

47. Single-stranded macromolecule : RNA
RNA and DNA are very similar molecules. One big difference is that RNA is a single-strand structure, whereas DNA is famously a double-helix. Another difference is that RNA contains ribose as a structural unit, and DNA contains deoxyribose i.e. ribose with one less oxygen atom. And that ribose/deoxyribose difference is reflected in the full name of the two molecules: ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

49. Dogpatch yell : GIT!
The cartoonist Al Capp set his classic comic strip “Li’l Abner” in the fictional community of “Dogpatch”. According to one of the “Li’l Abner” strips, Dogpatch was located somewhere in the state of Kentucky.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Threads : GARB
5. Continental ___ : SHELF
10. 1930s film canine : ASTA
14. Jesus in the outfield : ALOU
15. Pacific island country that uses U.S. currency : PALAU
16. Veal cut : CHOP
17. Result of standing too long, maybe : STAGNATION
19. Merlin Olsen’s team : RAMS
20. Mixed numbers? : MEDLEY
21. Cause of “fainting in the air” : G-FORCE
23. Dropped the ball : ERRED
24. Colorer of papers? : MEDIA BIAS
27. Material problem : TEAR
28. Horror author who wrote “The Call of Cthulhu” : LOVECRAFT
29. Breakfast dish with hollandaise sauce : EGGS BENEDICT
31. Fish hatchery yield : ROE
32. Ruin a private moment : INTRUDE
33. Diminution : EBB
36. The Sun King’s infamous declaration : L’ETAT, C’EST MOI
38. Black winds : CLARINETS
40. Provided backup, say : SANG
41. Civil War ships : IRONCLADS
42. Paying attention, with “in” : TUNED
43. Señor seen on “The Ed Sullivan Show” : WENCES
44. With 6-Down, bit of summer wear : PANAMA
45. “I will wear my heart upon my sleeve” speaker, in Shakespeare : IAGO
46. Came up with : ORIGINATED
50. Stalk : STEM
51. Not working out? : UNFIT
52. “Beowulf” beverage : MEAD
53. “___, boy” : HERE
54. Cadaverous : PASTY
55. How doodles are drawn : IDLY

Down
1. It’s read for a bill : GAS METER
2. You again? : ALTER EGO
3. Fits on a hard drive? : ROAD RAGE
4. Base players : BUGLERS
5. Fix : SPAY
6. See 44-Across : HAT
7. Typical Bulldogs fan : ELI
8. Southeast Asian tongue : LAO
9. Some crop-dusting chemicals : FUNGICIDES
10. Worker with a flexible schedule? : ACROBAT
11. Streisand’s “Funny Girl” co-star : SHARIF
12. Promiscuous guy, in slang : TOMCAT
13. Cathedral features : APSES
18. Land in a nautical adventure : NED
22. Plot-heavy comedies : FARCES
24. Cattle drive destination in “Lonesome Dove” : MONTANA
25. Turned inside out : EVERTED
26. Takes away : DEDUCTS
28. Food that Esau sold his birthright for : LENTIL SOUP
30. “The Devil’s Dictionary” author : BIERCE
33. Gave out : EMANATED
34. Organic fertilizer : BONE MEAL
35. Plantation owner in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” : BIG DADDY
36. Popular name in cosmetics : LANCOME
37. Coastal hazard : TSUNAMI
38. Fashion : CREATE
39. Like the small intestine vis-à-vis the large one : LONGER
41. Words of longing : I WISH
42. Khaki : TAN
44. Regrettable situation : PITY
47. Single-stranded macromolecule : RNA
48. They may or may not happen : IFS
49. Dogpatch yell : GIT!

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4 thoughts on “1002-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Oct 15, Friday”

  1. This was a good grid, and challenging. I just didn't have the will to do this whole thing. A very open grid. So props to Patrick Berry, who's a veteran builder.

  2. I "finished" this (relatively easy, I thought) one in just over eighteen minutes, but then spent another three and a half minutes staring at NED, wondering where in the world NED LAND might be. The LAND OF NOD came to mind, but didn't work with anything else, so at twenty-one and a half minutes, I finally called it quits and came here to be educated (as usual … :-). It's been a long time since I read the Jules Verne story or watched the movie …

  3. 22:41, no errors. I enjoyed the challenging clues for NED, PITY, STEM. My favorite was 'Base players' for BUGLERS (I had RUNNERS for a long time). Plenty of 'Oh! Now I see it' moments.

  4. We finished it without having to look anything up. It was a lot of fun — challenging, but doable, with no obscure directors, old hit songs, etc. Loved Black winds. Knew L'etat cest moi on first glance, so thought it might be an easy puzzle. I was wrong.

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