1026-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Oct 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Haight
THEME: Paris of the West … each of today’s themed answers refers to SAN FRANCISCO:

67A. So-called “Paris of the West” : SAN FRANCISCO

18A. Nickname of 67-Across : CITY BY THE BAY
26A. Island near 67-Across : ALCATRAZ
42A. 67-Across landmark : GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
52A. Conveyance in 67-Across : CABLE CAR

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “Everything” order on a hot dog, with “the” : WORKS
A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.

15. “Farewell, mon ami” : ADIEU
“Adieu” is the French for “goodbye” or “farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.

17. Actress Thurman : UMA
Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter “Uma” as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name “Dbuma”. Uma’s big break in movies came with her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

18. Nickname of 67-Across : CITY BY THE BAY
“Frisco” is not a term you’d hear used in the San Francisco Bay Area for our main city. Acceptable nicknames are “the City by the Bay” and “Fog City”. We usually just refer to it as “the City”.

22. The yoke’s on them : OXEN
A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of oxen so that they are forced to work together.

26. Island near 67-Across : ALCATRAZ
Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary was a maximum high-security prison operating from 1934 to 1963 on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. The US Army had opened Fort Alcatraz on the island back in 1859, and constructed the first prison there in 1868. The first buildings that were to become the Federal Penitentiary were erected between 1910 and 1912, and again were used as a military prison. The construction was modernized and became the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in 1934. The Federal prison housed famous inmates like Al Capone, The Birdman of Alcatraz and “Machine Gun” Kelly. The prison was closed in 1963 by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, as the cost of operation was excessively high and major capital improvements were needed.

31. Furry creature from Endor : EWOK
The Ewoks are creatures who live on the moon of Endor, first appearing in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”. They’re the cute and cuddly little guys that look like teddy bears.

34. Instrument whose name means “high wood” : OBOE
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”. When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance you’ll note (pun intended!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an “A”. The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe’s “A”.

42. 67-Across landmark : GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
The Golden Gate is the opening of San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. The bridge that spans the Golden Gate is called “the Golden Gate Bridge” and was opened in 1937. At that time it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. One of the most eerie things about the Golden Gate Bridge is that is the second most popular place in the whole world to commit suicide (after the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge). Steps have been taken to reduce the number of suicides, including suicide hotline telephones placed along the walkway, but still there is one suicide every two weeks on average throughout the year. There are plans to place a purpose-built net below the bridge as a deterrent, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars.

46. Professor of potions at Hogwarts : SNAPE
Severus Snape is a character in the Harry Potter novels, played by the wonderful Alan Rickman on the big screen. Snape has the pivotal role of using the Killing Curse on Professor Dumbledore, as an act of mercy.

47. Spongy toy brand : NERF
Nerf is the name given to the soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

48. You get one for a sac fly : RBI
Run batted in (RBI)

49. Sail the seven ___ : SEAS
The phrase “the seven seas” has been used for centuries by many different peoples. The actual definition of what constitutes the collection of seven has varied depending on the period and the culture. Nowadays we consider the seven largest bodies of water as the seven seas, namely:

– The North Pacific Ocean
– The South Pacific Ocean
– The North Atlantic Ocean
– The South Atlantic Ocean
– The Indian Ocean
– The Southern Ocean
– The Arctic Ocean

51. ___ Vegas : LAS
Back in the 1800s, the Las Vegas Valley was given its name from the extensive meadows (“las vegas” is Spanish for “the meadows”) present in the area courtesy of the artesian wells drilled by local farmers. Las Vegas was incorporated as a city in 1905, in the days when it was a stopping-off point for pioneers travelling west. It eventually became a railroad town, although with the coming of the railroad growth halted as travelers began to bypass Las Vegas. The city’s tourism industry took off in 1935 with the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam, which is still a popular attraction. Then gambling was legalized, and things really started to move. Vegas was picked, largely by celebrated figures in “the mob”, as a convenient location across the California/Nevada state line that could service the vast population of Los Angeles. As a result, Las Vegas is the most populous US city founded in the 20th century (Chicago is the most populous city founded in the 19th century, just in case you were wondering).

52. Conveyance in 67-Across : CABLE CAR
The Cable Car Museum in San Francisco is a little special in that it is housed in the same complex as the city’s cable car power house. While touring the museum, visitors can look out over the power house and see the huge haulage cables heading out to the streets to pull the cars up all of those steep hills.

62. What to “take” in a Duke Ellington song : A TRAIN
The A Train in the New York City Subway system runs from 207th Street, through Manhattan and over to Far Rockaway in Queens. The service lends its name to a jazz standard “Take the ‘A’ Train”, the signature tune of Duke Ellington and a song much sung by Ella Fitzgerald. One version of the lyrics are:

You must take the A Train
To go to Sugar Hill way up in Harlem
If you miss the A Train
You’ll find you’ve missed the quickest way to Harlem
Hurry, get on, now, it’s coming
Listen to those rails a-thrumming (All Aboard!)
Get on the A Train
Soon you will be on Sugar Hill in Harlem.

66. Jamaican music genre : SKA
Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of some sound.

67. So-called “Paris of the West” : SAN FRANCISCO
San Francisco isn’t the only location to be blessed with the moniker “Paris of the West”. The list of others includes Denver and Detroit in the US, Montreal in Canada, and Merida in Mexico.

70. Lenin’s successor : STALIN
Joseph Stalin was Soviet Premier from 1941 to 1953. Stalin’s real name was Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili. Not long after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1903 he adopted the name “Stalin”, which is the Russian word for “steel”.

Vladimir Lenin wasn’t the birth name of the Russian leader. He was born Vladimir Ulyanov, and originally took the name Lenin as a pen name.

71. Theater awards : OBIES
The Obies are the “Off-Broadway Theater Awards”. The Obies are presented annually and the recipients are chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper.

73. Dries up and shrinks with age : WIZENS
“Wizen” is such a lovely word, I think. It means to “dry up”, especially with age.

Down
1. Texas home to Baylor University : WACO
Remember Ken Starr of Whitewater fame? Starr is now President of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

2. Norse god of war : ODIN
In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. Odin’s wife Frigg was the queen of Asgard whose name gave us our English term “Friday” (via Anglo-Saxon). Odin’s son was Thor, and his name gave us the term “Thursday”. Odin himself gave us our word “Wednesday”, from “Wodin”, the English form of his name.

3. Hayworth who danced with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly : RITA
Rita Hayworth was born in Brooklyn as Margarita Carmen Cansino. Her father was a flamenco dancer from Spain and so his daughter fell naturally into dancing. The family moved to Hollywood where Hayworth’s father set up a dance studio, and there worked with the likes of James Cagney and Jean Harlow. The young Hayworth had a slow start in movies, finding herself typecast because of her Mediterranean features. When she underwent extensive electrolysis to change her forehead and dyed her hair red, she started to get more work (how sad is that?). In 1941 she posed for that famous pin-up picture which accompanied GIs all over the world.

Fred Astaire’s real name was Frederick Austerlitz. Fred was from Omaha, Nebraska and before he made it big in movies, he was one half of a celebrated music hall act with his sister Adele. The pair were particularly successful in the UK, and Adele ended up marrying into nobility in England, taking the name Lady Charles Cavendish.

The actor and dancer Gene Kelly was from Pittsburgh. Kelly’s best-known performances were in the films “An American in Paris” (1951) and “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952). “Singin’ in the Rain” was co-directed by Kelly and the great Stanley Donen. A few years later, in 1960, Kelly married Jeanne Coyne, Donen’s ex-wife.

6. Boozehound : SOT
Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning a fool. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

7. Santa’s favorite snack cake? : HO HO
Ho Hos snack cakes were first produced in San Francisco in 1967; not the best thing to come out of the sixties I’d say …

The Santa Claus with whom we are familiar today largely comes from the description in the 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, and from the caricature created by the political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Ho ho ho …

8. Actress Vega of “Spy Kids” : ALEXA
The actress Alexa Vega was just a kid when she played Carmen Cortez in the first “Spy Kids” movie in 2001, but now she is “all growed up”. I remember taking the kids to see “Spy Kids”. I think I slept through most of it though …

9. Tower of ___ (site in Genesis) : BABEL
We use the word “babel” now to describe a scene of confusion, lifting the term from the biblical story of the Tower of Babel. The Tower was built in the city of Babylon, and the construction was cursed with a confusion of languages due to the varied origins of all the builders.

10. Mel ___, voice on Looney Tunes : BLANC
Mel Blanc was known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices”. We’ve all heard Mel Blanc at one time or another, I am sure. His was the voice behind such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Woody Woodpecker, Elmer Fudd and Barney Rubble. And the words on Blanc’s tombstone are … “That’s All Folks”.

13. Big name in kitchen appliances : AMANA
The Amana Corporation takes its name from the location of its original headquarters, in Middle Amana, Iowa.

14. “The Blue Danube,” e.g. : WALTZ
Of the many classical composers with the Strauss name, “The Waltz King” was Johann Strauss II from Austria. Among the many beautiful waltzes that Strauss penned are “The Blue Danube” and “Tales from the Vienna Woods”. He also composed the famous operetta “Die Fledermaus”.

27. Cracked just slightly : AJAR
Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

28. “We have met the enemy and he is us” comic strip : POGO
“Pogo” is a comic strip that was launched in 1948, the creation of cartoonist Walt Kelly. The story centers on animals that live in the Okefenokee Swamp on the Georgia-Florida border, with the title character “Pogo Possum” being an anthropomorphic opossum.

29. Black, in poetry : EBON
Ebony is another word for the color black (often shortened to “ebon” in poetry). Ebony is a dark black wood that is very dense, one of the few types of wood that sinks in water. Ebony has been in high demand so the species of trees yielding the wood are now considered threatened. It is in such short supply that unscrupulous vendors have been known to darken lighter woods with shoe polish to look like ebony, so be warned …

30. White hunters on a white landscape : POLAR BEARS
Polar bears are found almost exclusively within the Arctic Circle. With males weighing up to about 1500 pounds, and females about half that size, the polar bear’s diet consists almost exclusively of seals.

32. University in Union, N.J. : KEAN
Kean University is university in Union and Hillside, New Jersey. Kean University was founded in 1855 in Newark, and relocated in 1958.

37. Grps. known for holding bake sales : PTAS
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

38. Home with an entrance flap : TEPEE
A tepee (also written as “tipi” and “teepee”) is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides that is used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be a more permanent dwelling. The wigwam can also be covered with hides but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

40. Taj Mahal locale : AGRA
The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the third wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child.

43. New York’s ___ Canal : ERIE
The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, the Erie Canal had immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of “cheap” transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of “the Empire State”. Paradoxically, one of the project’s main proponents was severely criticized. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton received so much ridicule that the canal was nicknamed “Clinton’s Folly” and “Clinton’s Ditch”.

52. “The ___ Kid” (long-running 1950s western) : CISCO
The Cisco Kid is a character who was first introduced in an O. Henry short story called “The Caballero’s Way”. The original O. Henry character was a cruel outlaw, but the character depicted in subsequent movies and television shows is more heroic.

54. Cousin of a raccoon : COATI
A coati is a member of the raccoon family and is also known as the Brazilian aardvark, or the snookum bear. The coati is native to Central and South America, but can also be found in the southwest of the United States.

55. Desi who said “Lucy, you got some splainin’ to do!” : ARNAZ
Desi Arnaz was famous for his turbulent marriage to Lucille Ball. Arnaz was a native of Cuba, and was from a privileged family. His father was Mayor of Santiago and served in the Cuban House of Representatives. However, the family had to flee to Miami after the 1933 revolt led by Batista.

56. Winchester, e.g. : RIFLE
The Winchester rifle was one of the first repeating rifles to be manufactured in volume. The Winchester repeater is known as “The Gun that Won the West”.

58. Nickname for baseball’s Indians, with “the” : TRIBE
The Cleveland baseball franchise started out in 1869 as the Forest Citys named after Forest City, the nickname for Cleveland. After a number of transitions, in 1914 the team took on the name “Indians”. The media came up with name “Indians” after being asked for suggestions by the team owners. “Indians” was inspired by the successful Boston team of the day, the Boston Braves.

63. Home of about 60% of the world’s population : ASIA
Most of the world’s population lives in Asia (60%), and Asia is the largest continent in terms of landmass (30% of the world). Asia also has the highest population density (246 people per square mile), and the most populous city on the continent is Shanghai, China.

64. Rapper/actor whose name sounds like a drink : ICE-T
Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles. Maybe he should have stuck to his real name, Tracy Marrow? Then again, maybe not … Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about break-dancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

68. The “A” of Q&A: Abbr. : ANS
Questions and answers (Q&A)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “Everything” order on a hot dog, with “the” : WORKS
6. “Not too ___!” : SHABBY
12. Tool with teeth : SAW
15. “Farewell, mon ami” : ADIEU
16. “Va-va voom!” : OO LA LA!
17. Actress Thurman : UMA
18. Nickname of 67-Across : CITY BY THE BAY
20. Buddy : PAL
21. Running by itself, as a machine : ON AUTO
22. The yoke’s on them : OXEN
23. On its way : SENT
24. Drain stopper : PLUG
26. Island near 67-Across : ALCATRAZ
28. Get-up-and-go : PEP
31. Furry creature from Endor : EWOK
33. Traffic ___ (rush-hour nightmare) : JAM
34. Instrument whose name means “high wood” : OBOE
36. All thumbs : INEPT
39. Cheering loudly : AROAR
42. 67-Across landmark : GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
45. Studio sign : ON AIR
46. Professor of potions at Hogwarts : SNAPE
47. Spongy toy brand : NERF
48. You get one for a sac fly : RBI
49. Sail the seven ___ : SEAS
51. ___ Vegas : LAS
52. Conveyance in 67-Across : CABLE CAR
57. Give off : EMIT
59. “Understood” : I SEE
60. Not a copy: Abbr. : ORIG
62. What to “take” in a Duke Ellington song : A TRAIN
66. Jamaican music genre : SKA
67. So-called “Paris of the West” : SAN FRANCISCO
69. Junkyard dog : CUR
70. Lenin’s successor : STALIN
71. Theater awards : OBIES
72. Special ___ (military unit) : OPS
73. Dries up and shrinks with age : WIZENS
74. Substantial, as an acting role : MEATY

Down
1. Texas home to Baylor University : WACO
2. Norse god of war : ODIN
3. Hayworth who danced with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly : RITA
4. Excite : KEY UP
5. Far from obvious : SUBTLE
6. Boozehound : SOT
7. Santa’s favorite snack cake? : HO HO
8. Actress Vega of “Spy Kids” : ALEXA
9. Tower of ___ (site in Genesis) : BABEL
10. Mel ___, voice on Looney Tunes : BLANC
11. “Woo-hoo!” : YAY!
12. One charging high runway fees? : SUPERMODEL
13. Big name in kitchen appliances : AMANA
14. “The Blue Danube,” e.g. : WALTZ
19. “I concede” : YOU WIN
23. Lead the cast of : STAR IN
25. Instruments hit with mallets : GONGS
27. Cracked just slightly : AJAR
28. “We have met the enemy and he is us” comic strip : POGO
29. Black, in poetry : EBON
30. White hunters on a white landscape : POLAR BEARS
32. University in Union, N.J. : KEAN
35. Fit for consumption : EDIBLE
37. Grps. known for holding bake sales : PTAS
38. Home with an entrance flap : TEPEE
40. Taj Mahal locale : AGRA
41. Gridiron officials : REFS
43. New York’s ___ Canal : ERIE
44. “Toughen up!” : BE A MAN!
50. TV show often with a laugh track : SITCOM
52. “The ___ Kid” (long-running 1950s western) : CISCO
53. Invite from a balcony, say : ASK UP
54. Cousin of a raccoon : COATI
55. Desi who said “Lucy, you got some splainin’ to do!” : ARNAZ
56. Winchester, e.g. : RIFLE
58. Nickname for baseball’s Indians, with “the” : TRIBE
61. Smile : GRIN
63. Home of about 60% of the world’s population : ASIA
64. Rapper/actor whose name sounds like a drink : ICE-T
65. Curious to a fault : NOSY
67. NNE’s opposite : SSW
68. The “A” of Q&A: Abbr. : ANS

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