1007-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Oct 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Julian Lim
THEME: Singer Phrases … each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase, but each is clued with reference to a famous singer whose name is part of that phrase. And, each of the singer’s has a one-word stage name:

17A. Amused the singer of “Raise Your Glass”? : TICKLED PINK
25A. Enchantment of the singer of “Raspberry Beret”? : PRINCE CHARMING
35A. Favoring the singer of “Sunday Bloody Sunday”? : PRO BONO
42A. Medical procedure for the singer of “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free”? : STING OPERATION
57A. Coached the singer of “Kiss From a Rose”? : TRAINED SEAL

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 09m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Painter Chagall : MARC
Marc Chagall was a Russian-French artist, one of the most successful of the 20th century. Unlike so many painters, Chagall was able to achieve wealth and notoriety for his work during his own lifetime. It did help that Chagall lived to a ripe old age though. He passed away in 1985, when he was 97 years young. One of Chagall’s most famous works is the ceiling of the Paris Opera. The new ceiling for the beautiful 19th-century building was commissioned in 1963, and took Chagall a year to complete. Chagall was 77 years old when he worked on the Paris Opera project.

5. Kevin who was the 2014 N.B.A. M.V.P. : DURANT
Kevin Durant is a professional basketball player with the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA. You might come across Durant on the big screen as well, as he starred in the children’s film “Thunderstruck” in 2012.

11. Record holders? : DJS
The world’s first radio disk jockey was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

14. Vicinity : AREA
A “vicinity” is an area surrounding a place, ultimately deriving from the Latin “vicus” meaning “group of houses, village”.

16. Basketball star ___ Ming : YAO
Yao Ming is a retired professional basketball player from Shanghai who played for the Houston Rockets. At 7’6″, Yao was the tallest man playing in the NBA.

17. Amused the singer of “Raise Your Glass”? : TICKLED PINK
Pink is the stage name of American singer Alecia Beth Moore. I known so little about “modern” music, but I do like the Pink song “Just Give Me a Reason” …

20. Ore-Ida product : TATER TOTS
Ore-Ida’s founders came up with the idea for Tater Tots when they were deciding what to do with residual cuts of potato. They chopped up the leftovers, added flour and seasoning, and extruded the mix through a large hole making a sausage that they cut into small cylinders. We eat 70 million pounds of this extruded potato every year!

25. Enchantment of the singer of “Raspberry Beret”? : PRINCE CHARMING
The singer Prince was born in Minneapolis, and he lives there to this day. He took his stage name from his father, a jazz musician who used the name Prince Rogers when performing. At one point in his career, Prince used a stage name that was just a symbol that didn’t have a pronounceable name. Later the symbol was dubbed “Love Symbol #2”.

32. Some military defenses, for short : ABMS
An ABM is an anti-ballistic missile, a rocket designed to intercept and destroy a ballistic missile (as one might expect from the name). A ballistic missile, as opposed to a cruise missile, is guided during the initial launch phase but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity (hence “ballistic”) to arrive at its target. As an aside, an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with a range greater than 3,500 miles.

33. K.G.B. adversary : CIA
The Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti (KGB) was the national security agency of the Soviet Union until 1991. The KGB was dissolved after the agency’s chairman led a failed attempt at a coup d’état designed to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev.

34. ___ port : USB
Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and deal with electrical power through those connections.

35. Favoring the singer of “Sunday Bloody Sunday”? : PRO BONO
Irish singer Bono is the lead singer of the band U2. He is a Dubliner, born Paul David Hewson. As a youth, Hewson was given the nickname “Bono Vox” by a friend, a Latin expression meaning “good voice”, and so the singer has been known as Bono since the late seventies. Famously, Bono wears sunglasses even while indoors. Apparently the practise is no affectation and is because he has suffered from glaucoma for over twenty years.

38. Easter egg container? : DVD
In a film, book, computer program (or even a crossword!), an “Easter egg” is a hidden message or inside joke that is left intentionally during production. The term “Easter egg” is used for such a device as it evokes the idea of an Easter egg hunt. You can check out thousands of such Easter eggs at www.eeggs.com.

39. Red Lobster freebie : BIB
The first restaurant in the Red Lobster chain was opened in 1968 in Lakeland, Florida. Red Lobster offered its second “endless snow crab” promotion in 2003, which turned out to be a bit of a financial disaster. The wholesale price of crab legs was at a high, and the management team underestimated the appetite the customers had for crab. As a result, Red Lobster’s parent company had to book a $3 million dollar charge to earnings, and the president of the restaurant chain had to submit her resignation.

40. ___-Aid : KOOL
The drink we know today as Kool-Aid was invented by Edward Perkins and his wife, in Perkins’ mother’s kitchen in southwest Nebraska. Kool-Aid is now the Official Soft Drink of the state.

42. Medical procedure for the singer of “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free”? : STING OPERATION
Sting is the stage name used by Gordon Sumner, who came to fame initially as the lead singer for The Police. Off stage, Sting is an avid chess player, and he once participated in an exhibition game with chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov.

47. Source of ivory : TUSK
The hard, white material called ivory has mainly been sourced from the tusks of elephants, although it can also be collected from the walrus, hippopotamus, killer whale, wart hog and others. The word “ivory” comes into English via Latin from the Ancient Egyptian word for “elephant”.

48. Tree of Life locale : EDEN
There is mention in the Bible of both the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Apparently there is some debate over whether or not the two trees are one and the same.

49. Loo : JOHN
Sir John Harington was an author and a member of the court of Queen Elizabeth I of England. However, Harington is perhaps best remembered as the inventor of the flush toilet. Our slang term “john” meaning “toilet”, is thought to be a reference to John Harington.

It has been suggested that the British term “loo” comes from Waterloo (water-closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo” in which the pot was called the loo!

57. Coached the singer of “Kiss From a Rose”? : TRAINED SEAL
Seal is an English soul singer, of Nigerian and Brazilian descent. Seal was married for several years to the delightful former model Heidi Klum.

60. Emmy-winning series set at the Sterling Cooper ad agency : MAD MEN
“Mad Men” is the flagship show on the AMC television channel. Set in the sixties, it’s all about an advertising agency located on Madison Avenue in New York (hence the title). “Mad Men” became the first show created by a basic cable channel to win an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.

62. 26th of 26 : ZEE
The letter named “zed” has been around since about 1400, and derives from the Greek letter zeta. The spelling and pronunciation of “zee” used in America today first popped up in the 1670s.

64. Fraud fighters, for short : T-MEN
A T-man is a law-enforcement agent of the US Treasury (T is for Treasury).

Down
1. LeBlanc of “Friends” : MATT
The actor Matt LeBlanc is best known for his portrayal of Joey Tribbiani in the sitcom “Friends”. LeBlanc was born in Newton Massachusetts. LeBlanc now plays a fictionalized version of himself in BBC/Showtime collaboration called “Episodes”.

2. Diva’s delivery : ARIA
“Diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. “Diva” is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean “goddess” or “fine lady”, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

3. Four-sided fig. : RECT
Rectangle (rect.)

4. Betty Crocker product : CAKE MIX
Betty Crocker was introduced by the Washburn Crosby Company (now part of General Mills) in 1921. “Crocker” was chosen in honor of William Crocker who was one of the company’s directors. “Betty” was selected simply because it was considered a bright, all-American name. Betty’s original job was to sign her name on correspondence arising out of consumer product questions, but soon she evolved into a very successful brand name.

5. Coke Zero alternative : DIET RC
RC Cola introduced its first diet beverage way back in 1958, a product called Diet Rite Cola (or “Diet RC”). It’s still around today, although the formulation has been changed many times.

Even though Coca-Cola Zero is in the category of “diet soda”, the marketing folks at Coca-Cola don’t like its association with the word “diet”. The target market for the beverage is young, adult males, so it is described as “calorie-free” rather than “diet”, the assumption being that males associate “diet” with women. Not in this house …

8. Four of the 12 imams of Shia : ALIS
In the Shia Islam tradition, the Twelve Imams are the spiritual successors to the prophet Muhammad.

9. Diarist Anaïs : NIN
Anaïs Nin was a French author, famous for her journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.

10. Shatner’s “___War” : TEK
The “Tekwar” series of science-fiction novels was co-authored by Ron Goulart and the actor William Shatner, although it’s only Shatner’s name that appears on the book covers. The stories center around the microchip “drug” called “tek” which dominates the Tekwar universe.

12. One corner of a Monopoly board : JAIL
The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

13. Filleted fish : SOLE
The group of flatfish known as soles take their name from “solea”, the Latin word for “sandal”.

18. ___ Hubbard of Scientology : L RON
L. Ron Hubbard wrote a self-improvement book in 1950 called “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”. A few years later the concepts were used in the founding of the Church of Scientology.

21. When doubled, a drum : TOM
The tom-tom is a drum played with the hands, which gave its name to a dull, repeating beat or sound.

25. Put forward : POSIT
“To posit” is to assume as fact, to lay down as a “position”.

26. Way into Wonderland : RABBIT HOLE
The White Rabbit is a character who appears at the very start of Lewis Carroll’s novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. Alice sees the White Rabbit checking his watch and mumbling “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!” Alice then follows him down the rabbit hole and into Wonderland.

29. David of “Separate Tables” : NIVEN
The great British actor David Niven is perhaps best known for playing Phileas Fogg in “Around the World in 80 Days” and Sir Charles Litton in “The PInk Panther”. I enjoy so many Niven movies, but my favorite has to “Separate Tables” from 1958, for which he was awarded the Best Actor Oscar. Niven even played the iconic role of James Bond, in the 007 spoof film “Casino Royale” released in 1967.

30. Travels (about) : GADS
“To gad about” is to move around with little purpose. The word “gad” comes from the Middle English “gadden” meaning “to hurry”.

35. U.P.S. truck contents: Abbr. : PKGS
United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky.

36. Piece next to a knight : ROOK
The corner piece in the game of chess is a called a rook, a word coming from the Persian word “rokh” meaning a “chariot”. The rook has also been called, perhaps incorrectly, the castle, tower, marquess or rector.

37. “Alley ___” : OOP
“Alley Oop” is a comic strip that ran for four decades starting in 1932. “Alley Oop” was drawn by V. T. Hamlin. The title character lived in the prehistoric kingdom of Moo, although for much of the strip’s life, Alley Oop had access to a time machine. Alley Oop also had a girlfriend called Ooola. I had assumed that Ooola’s name was a play on “hula hoop”, but that wasn’t invented until the 1950s (a kind blog reader informs me) …

44. Carl who directed “Oh, God!” : REINER
The multi-talented Carl Reiner is from the Bronx, New York. Reiner was married to singer Estelle Roberts. You might remember Roberts from the film “When Harry Met Sally”directed by Carl’s son, Rob Reiner. Estelle was the woman in the deli who said the famous line “ I’ll have what’s she’s having” on seeing how excited Meg Ryan apparently was with her sandwich.

“Oh, God!” is a comedy movie that was released in 1977. The great George Burns plays the title role (God!) with John Denver co-starring. George Burns was the big success in the cast, and he alone reprised his role in two sequels in the 1980s.

45. Starting time : ADVENT
In the Christian traditions, Advent is the season of expectation prior to the Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus. The term “Advent” comes from the Latin “adventus” meaning “coming”.

52. Frost : RIME
Rime is that beautiful coating of ice that forms on surfaces like roofs, trees and grass, when cold water freezes instantly under the right conditions.

53. Skipper’s position : HELM
The term “skipper”, used for the captain of a ship, comes from the Middle Dutch “scipper”, which has the same meaning. “Scip” is Dutch for “ship”.

55. ___ Bator : ULAN
The name “Ulan Bator” translates from Mongolian as “the Red Hero”, and is Mongolia’s capital city. The “Red Hero” name was chosen in honor of the country’s national hero, Damdin Sükhbaatar. Sükhbaatar fought alongside the Soviet Red Army in the fight for liberation from Chinese occupation.

57. “That’s not something I needed to know” : TMI
Too much information! (TMI)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Painter Chagall : MARC
5. Kevin who was the 2014 N.B.A. M.V.P. : DURANT
11. Record holders? : DJS
14. Vicinity : AREA
15. One way to be caught : IN A LIE
16. Basketball star ___ Ming : YAO
17. Amused the singer of “Raise Your Glass”? : TICKLED PINK
19. Zero : NIL
20. Ore-Ida product : TATER TOTS
21. Bit of campfire entertainment : TALE
22. Time to rise, in poetry : MORN
23. Ruinous end : DOOM
25. Enchantment of the singer of “Raspberry Beret”? : PRINCE CHARMING
31. What an unbelievable YouTube video might be : HOAX
32. Some military defenses, for short : ABMS
33. K.G.B. adversary : CIA
34. ___ port : USB
35. Favoring the singer of “Sunday Bloody Sunday”? : PRO BONO
38. Easter egg container? : DVD
39. Red Lobster freebie : BIB
40. ___-Aid : KOOL
41. Cream and eggshell, for two : HUES
42. Medical procedure for the singer of “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free”? : STING OPERATION
47. Source of ivory : TUSK
48. Tree of Life locale : EDEN
49. Loo : JOHN
51. Fast-food convenience : DRIVE-THRU
56. It might puff you up : EGO
57. Coached the singer of “Kiss From a Rose”? : TRAINED SEAL
59. 90° turn : ELL
60. Emmy-winning series set at the Sterling Cooper ad agency : MAD MEN
61. Bit of fish food : ALGA
62. 26th of 26 : ZEE
63. Word next to a coin slot : INSERT
64. Fraud fighters, for short : T-MEN

Down
1. LeBlanc of “Friends” : MATT
2. Diva’s delivery : ARIA
3. Four-sided fig. : RECT
4. Betty Crocker product : CAKE MIX
5. Coke Zero alternative : DIET RC
6. Ruined : UNDONE
7. Entranced : RAPT
8. Four of the 12 imams of Shia : ALIS
9. Diarist Anaïs : NIN
10. Shatner’s “___War” : TEK
11. Nickname for a high-achieving couple : DYNAMIC DUO
12. One corner of a Monopoly board : JAIL
13. Filleted fish : SOLE
18. ___ Hubbard of Scientology : L RON
21. When doubled, a drum : TOM
23. “Aw, hell!” : DAMN!
24. Approximately : OR SO
25. Put forward : POSIT
26. Way into Wonderland : RABBIT HOLE
27. Premium ___ : CABLE
28. 27-Down offering : HBO
29. David of “Separate Tables” : NIVEN
30. Travels (about) : GADS
31. Central points : HUBS
35. U.P.S. truck contents: Abbr. : PKGS
36. Piece next to a knight : ROOK
37. “Alley ___” : OOP
41. Doesn’t say outright : HINTS AT
43. Mother superior, for one : NUN
44. Carl who directed “Oh, God!” : REINER
45. Starting time : ADVENT
46. Ticked (off) : TEED
49. “Oh, man!” : JEEZ!
50. Check out : OGLE
51. Many soccer coaches : DADS
52. Frost : RIME
53. Skipper’s position : HELM
54. All the ___ : RAGE
55. ___ Bator : ULAN
57. “That’s not something I needed to know” : TMI
58. Headed up : RAN

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