1005-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Oct 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mike Buckley
THEME: Coins … our themed answers today feature coins issued by the US Mint:

20A. Showtime series named after an old fiction genre : PENNY DREADFUL
38A. Charging for every little extra : NICKEL AND DIMING
52A. Mounts for cowboys : QUARTER HORSES
7D. Lightest coins ever minted by the U.S., used in the late 19th century : THREE-CENT PIECES

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 05m 41s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. Norse deity with a hammer : THOR
In Norse mythology, Thor was the son of Odin. Thor wielded a mighty hammer and was the god of thunder, lightning and storms. Our contemporary word “Thursday” comes from “Thor’s Day”.

16. Part of the eye : UVEA
The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball.

17. Chris who sang “Wicked Game,” 1991 : ISAAK
Chris Isaak is not only a rock musician, but also has had a lot of acting parts. Isaak had small roles in movies like “Married to the Mob” and “The Silence of the Lambs”, but I remember him as astronaut Ed White in the fabulous HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon”.

18. Guthrie of Rising Son Records : ARLO
Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

19. Word repeated before “pants on fire!” : LIAR
The full rhyme used by children to deride someone not telling the truth is:

Liar, liar, pants on fire,
Hang them up on the telephone wire.

The rhyme is the source of the title for the 1997 Jim Carrey comedy “Liar Liar”. “Liar Liar” is an amusing film about a lawyer who finds himself only able to tell the truth and cannot tell a lie, all because his son made a birthday wish.

20. Showtime series named after an old fiction genre : PENNY DREADFUL
“Penny dreadfuls” originally were cheap works of fiction published in the 1800s in Britain. The books’ price-points were originally a penny, which compared to the shilling that was charged for more mainstream works. Just like America’s dime novels, “penny dreadful” came to be a generic term for trash literature.

25. Young-sounding wildebeest : GNU
A gnu is also known as a wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is actually the Dutch word for “wild beast”.

“Gnu” sounds like “new”, which might mean “young”.

28. Spydom’s ___ Hari : MATA
Mata Hari was the stage name used by Margaretha Geertruida Zella, born in the Netherlands in 1876. After an unsuccessful and somewhat tragic marriage, Zella moved to Paris in 1903 where she struggled to make a living. By 1905 she was working as an exotic dancer and using the name Mata Hari. She was a successful courtesan, notably moving in various circles of high-ranking military officers. She apparently worked as a double agent, both for the French and the Germans. When Mata Hari was accused by the French of passing information to the enemy, she was tried, found guilty and executed by firing squad at the height of WW1, in 1917.

31. ___-Cola : COCA
The first cola drink to become a commercial success was Coca-Cola, soon after it was invented by a druggist in 1886. That original Coca-Cola was flavored mainly with kola nuts and vanilla. The formulation was based on an alcoholic drink called Coca Wine that had been on sale for over twenty years. The original alcoholic version actually contained a small concentration of cocaine.

33. Cousins of ostriches : RHEAS
The rhea is a flightless bird native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek titan Rhea, an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

37. Supreme Egyptian god : AMEN-RA
Amun (also Amon, Amen and “Amun-Ra”) was a god in Egyptian mythology. Amun lends his name to our word “ammonia”. This is because the Romans called the ammonium chloride that they collected near the Temple of Jupiter Amun, “sal ammoniacus” (salt of Amun).

38. Charging for every little extra : NICKEL AND DIMING
The 5-cent American coin known as a nickel is actually made up of 75% copper and 25% nickel. The first nickel was introduced in 1866, and was named the “Shield nickel” due to the shield design on the front of the coin. The current design is the Jefferson nickel, which was introduced in 1938.

The term “dime”, used for a 10-cent coin, comes from the Old French word “disme” meaning “tenth part”.

45. European G.M. division : OPEL
Adam Opel founded his company in 1863, first making sewing machines in a cowshed. Commercial success brought new premises and a new product line in 1886, namely penny-farthing bicycles. Adam Opel died in 1895, leaving his two sons with a company that made more penny-farthings and sewing machines than any other company in the world. In 1899 the two sons partnered with a locksmith and started to make cars, but not very successfully. Two years later, the locksmith was dropped in favor of a licensing arrangement with a French car company. By 1914, Opel was the largest manufacturer of automobiles in Germany. My Dad had an Opel in the seventies, a station wagon (we’d say “estate car” in Ireland) called an Opel Kadett.

46. MADD ads, e.g. : PSAS
Public service announcement (PSA)

Candice Lightner lost her 13-year-old child to a drunk driver in 1980. Soon after, Lightner formed the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

47. Three-time foe for Frazier : ALI
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier had three memorable fights. The first was billed as the “Fight of the Century” and took place in 1971 in Madison Square Garden. It was a fight between two great boxers, both of whom were undefeated up till that point. Frazier won in a unanimous decision after fifteen rounds. A couple of years later, in 1973, Frazier lost his title to George Foreman. Ali and Frazier had a non-title rematch in 1974, with Ali coming out ahead this time, also in a unanimous decision. Later that year, Ali grabbed back the World Heavyweight Title in “The Rumble in the Jungle”, the famous “rope-a-dope” fight against George Foreman. That set the stage for the third and final fight between Ali and Frazier, “The Thrilla in Manila”. Ali won the early rounds, but Frazier made a comeback in the middle of the fight. Ali took control at the end of the bout, so much so that Frazier wasn’t able to come out of his corner for the 15th and final round. He couldn’t come out of his corner because both of his eyes were swollen shut, giving Ali a victory due to a technical knockout (TKO).

48. Quaker Oats’s Rice-A-___ : RONI
Rice-a-Roni was introduced in 1958 by the Golden Grain Macaroni Company of San Francisco. The company was run by an Italian immigrant and his four sons. The wife of one of the sons served a pilaf dish at a family diner that was a big hit, so her brother-in-law created a commercial version by blending dry chicken soup mix with rice and macaroni. Sounds like “a San Francisco treat” to me …

52. Mounts for cowboys : QUARTER HORSES
A “quarter horse” is one that has been bred to run short-distance races of about quarter of a mile, hence the name.

61. Mario with the 1951 #1 hit “Be My Love” : LANZA
Mario Lanza was a classical tenor and Hollywood actor from Philadelphia who had a very successful, but very short career. Lanza’s most famous movie performance was playing Enrico Caruso in the 1951 biopic “The Great Caruso”. Lanza struggled with overeating and alcohol abuse, and died in 1959 at only 38 years of age.

62. Yemeni port city : ADEN
Aden is a seaport in Yemen, located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967. A native of Aden is known as an Adeni. Some believe that Cain and Abel are buried in the city.

64. Company that made Pong : ATARI
At one point, the electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was the fastest growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

Do you remember the arcade video game that was like a game of tennis, with paddles moving up and down to hit what looked like a ball, over what looked like a net? Well, that was the game called “Pong”.

65. Loch ___ monster : NESS
The Loch Ness monster has been talked about for centuries, but modern interest started in 1933 when a spate of sightings was reported. Those sightings don’t seem to have stopped, with photographs really sparking the imagination.

Down
2. By any other name it would smell as sweet, per Juliet : ROSE
In William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, the lovers discuss the sad fact that they have been born into two feuding families in the famous balcony scene. Juliet says:

O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

Romeo’s reply includes the famous lines:

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

3. McGregor who played a young Obi-Wan : EWAN
Ewan McGregor is a very talented Scottish actor, one who got his break in the 1996 film “Trainspotting”. McGregor’s first big Hollywood role was playing the young Obi-Wan-Kenobi in the “Star Wars” prequels. Less known is his televised marathon motorcycle journey from London to New York via central Europe, Ukraine, Siberia, Mongolia and Canada. The 2004 trip was shown as “Long Way Round” on TV. McGregor did a similar trip in 2007 called “Long Way Down”, which took him and the same travelling companion from the north of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa.

4. Section of a poem : STANZA
“Stanza” is an Italian word meaning “verse of a poem”.

5. City destroyed by Godzilla : TOKYO
Godzilla is a Japanese creation. The first in a very long series of films was released way back in 1954. The original name in Japanese was “Gojira”, but this was changed to Godzilla for audiences outside of Japan. “Gojira” is a combination of “gorira” and “kujira”, the Japanese words for gorilla and whale, apt because Godzilla is a big ape-like creature that came out of the deep.

6. Polaris, for one : STAR
Because the orientation of the Earth’s axis shifts, albeit very slowly, the position of north relative to the stars changes over time. The bright star that is closest to true north is Polaris, and so we call Polaris the North Star or Pole Star. 14,000 years ago, the nearest bright star to true north was Vega, and it will be so again in about 12,000 years time.

7. Lightest coins ever minted by the U.S., used in the late 19th century : THREE-CENT PIECES
The US Mint produced three-cent coins for a short time, from 1865 to 1873. Three-cent pieces were the smallest coins ever produced as US currency. There were two versions of the coin: the three-cent silver and the three-cent nickel. The silver coins earned the nickname “fishscales”.

8. “C’est merveilleux!” : OO LA LA!
“C’est magnifique!” is French for “It is magnificent!”

10. Letter after X-ray and Yankee in the NATO alphabet : ZULU
The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-Ray, Yankee, Zulu.

11. Lex Luthor, for example : EVIL GENIUS
Lex Luthor is the arch-nemesis of Superman in comics. Luthor has been portrayed in a number of guises in the comic world as well in movies and on the small screen. For example, he appeared as Atom Man in the 1950 film series “Atom Man vs. Superman”, and was played by actor Lyle Talbot, opposite Kirk Alyn’s Superman.

13. La Brea stuff : TAR
The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. At the site there is a constant flow of tar that seeps up to the surface from underground, a phenomenon that has been around for tens of thousands of years. What is significant is that much of the seeping tar is covered by water. Over many, many centuries animals came to the water to drink and became trapped in the tar as they entered the water to quench their thirsts. The tar then preserved the bones of the dead animals. Today a museum is located right by the Tar Pits, recovering bones and displaying specimens of the animals found there. It’s well worth a visit if you are in town …

22. Units named for physicist Enrico : FERMIS
The unit of distance called a fermi is pretty small, one quadrillionth of a meter, and is named after Enrico Fermi.

Enrico Fermi was born in Rome, Italy. Fermi moved to the US just before WWII, largely to escape the anti-Semitic feelings that were developing in Italy under Mussolini. It was Fermi’s work at the University of Chicago that led to the construction of the world’s first nuclear reactor. Fermi died at 53 years of age from stomach cancer . Cancer was a prevalent cause of death among the team working on that first nuclear pile.

26. Land chronicled by C. S. Lewis : NARNIA
Apparently it’s not certain how C. S. Lewis came to choose Narnia as the name of the fantasy world featured in his series of children’s books, including “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. There was an ancient city in Umbria that the Romans called Narnia, but there is no evidence of a link.

28. Santa ___ (city next to Los Angeles) : MONICA
The California city of Santa Monica lies on Santa Monica Bay and is in Los Angeles County. The city is home to the world-famous Santa Monica Pier, which opened in 1909.

32. Greeting in Rio : OLA
“Olá” is both Spanish and Portuguese for “hello”.

Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil (after São Paulo). “Rio de Janeiro” translates as “January River”. The name reflects the discovery of the bay on which Rio sits, on New Year’s Day in 1502.

36. Fish that can attach itself to a boat : REMORA
Remoras are also called suckerfish, which name is descriptive of one of the fish’s basic behaviors. One of the remoras dorsal fins is in the shape of a “sucker”, allowing it to take a firm hold on a larger marine animal, hitching a ride.

37. Ochs of New York Times history : ADOLPH
Adolph Ochs was a former owner of “The New York Times”. Ochs had purchased a controlling interest in “The Chattanooga Times” when he was only 19 years of age, and took control of “The New York Times” in 1896 when he was 38 years old. It was Ochs who moved the paper’s headquarters to a new building on Longacre Square in Manhattan, which the City later renamed to the famous “Times Square” after the newspaper. The Ochs-Sulzberger family has owned the paper ever since.

40. Six-sided roller : DIE
The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

46. Jack Sparrow or Captain Hook : PIRATE
Captain Jack Sparrow is the protagonist in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series of movies. Sparrow is of course played by Johnny Depp. Depp has said that he based his portrayal of Sparrow partly on the Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. I could believe that …

Captain Hook is the bad guy in “Peter Pan”, the famous play by J. M. Barrie. Hook is Peter Pan’s sworn enemy, as Pan cut off Hook’s hand causing it to be replaced by a “hook”. It is implied in the play that Hook attended Eton College, just outside London. Hook’s last words are “Floreat Etona”, which is Eton College’s motto.

49. DuPont acrylic fiber : ORLON
Orlon is the brand name used by the DuPont Corporation for the acrylic fibers the company developed in 1941.

54. $2, for Mediterranean Avenue : RENT
Mediterranean Avenue is a property in the game of Monopoly. The street names in the US version of Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

56. Poet Pound : EZRA
Ezra Pound was an American poet who spent much of his life wandering the world, spending years in London, Paris, and Italy. In Italy, Pound’s work and sympathies for Mussolini’s regime led to his arrest at the end of the war. His major work was the epic, albeit incomplete, “The Cantos”. This epic poem is divided into 120 sections, each known as a canto.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Top of a wave : CREST
6. Heed a red light : STOP
10. Tanginess : ZEST
14. Do-it-yourselfer’s book genre : HOW-TO
15. Norse deity with a hammer : THOR
16. Part of the eye : UVEA
17. Chris who sang “Wicked Game,” 1991 : ISAAK
18. Guthrie of Rising Son Records : ARLO
19. Word repeated before “pants on fire!” : LIAR
20. Showtime series named after an old fiction genre : PENNY DREADFUL
23. Proverbial madhouse : ZOO
24. “When all ___ fails, read the instructions” : ELSE
25. Young-sounding wildebeest : GNU
28. Spydom’s ___ Hari : MATA
31. ___-Cola : COCA
33. Cousins of ostriches : RHEAS
35. Early afternoon hour : ONE
36. Cheese off : RILE
37. Supreme Egyptian god : AMEN-RA
38. Charging for every little extra : NICKEL AND DIMING
41. Cry after “Hi, honey!” : I’M HOME
42. Mexican uncles : TIOS
43. 180° turn, informally : U-IE
44. “I’ll handle it!” : CAN DO!
45. European G.M. division : OPEL
46. MADD ads, e.g. : PSAS
47. Three-time foe for Frazier : ALI
48. Quaker Oats’s Rice-A-___ : RONI
50. Trident-shaped Greek letter : PSI
52. Mounts for cowboys : QUARTER HORSES
58. Late afternoon hour : FOUR
60. Shoestring : LACE
61. Mario with the 1951 #1 hit “Be My Love” : LANZA
62. Yemeni port city : ADEN
63. Store sign between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. : OPEN
64. Company that made Pong : ATARI
65. Loch ___ monster : NESS
66. Where eggs hatch : NEST
67. Befitting a monarch : REGAL

Down
1. Part of a casino stack : CHIP
2. By any other name it would smell as sweet, per Juliet : ROSE
3. McGregor who played a young Obi-Wan : EWAN
4. Section of a poem : STANZA
5. City destroyed by Godzilla : TOKYO
6. Polaris, for one : STAR
7. Lightest coins ever minted by the U.S., used in the late 19th century : THREE-CENT PIECES
8. “C’est merveilleux!” : OO LA LA!
9. Nudges : PRODS
10. Letter after X-ray and Yankee in the NATO alphabet : ZULU
11. Lex Luthor, for example : EVIL GENIUS
12. Ocean : SEA
13. La Brea stuff : TAR
21. Tame, as a pet : DOCILE
22. Units named for physicist Enrico : FERMIS
26. Land chronicled by C. S. Lewis : NARNIA
27. Grammar Nazis’ concerns : USAGES
28. Santa ___ (city next to Los Angeles) : MONICA
29. Alternative to vegetable and mineral : ANIMAL
30. Ways to do things : TECHNIQUES
32. Greeting in Rio : OLA
34. Skirt’s edge : HEM
36. Fish that can attach itself to a boat : REMORA
37. Ochs of New York Times history : ADOLPH
39. Floored, as a boxer : KO’D
40. Six-sided roller : DIE
45. Prerecorded, in a way : ON TAPE
46. Jack Sparrow or Captain Hook : PIRATE
49. DuPont acrylic fiber : ORLON
51. Kind of energy with panels : SOLAR
53. Vases : URNS
54. $2, for Mediterranean Avenue : RENT
55. Slight hitch in one’s plans : SNAG
56. Poet Pound : EZRA
57. Mast’s attachment : SAIL
58. Pre-air-conditioning cooler : FAN
59. Poem of praise : ODE

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4 thoughts on “1005-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Oct 15, Monday”

  1. 7:45, no errors. I'm a 'pencil and paper' guy, can't keep up. AMEN RA is always a tricky answer, with all the different spellings.

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