1030-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 30 Oct 15, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Berry
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 20m 01s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Theme song of “The Doris Day Show” : IT’S MAGIC
Doris Day first sang “It’s Magic” in the movie “Romance on the High Seas” in 1947. That film was the first big-screen appearance for Ms. Day.

The actress and singer Doris Day was born Doris Kappelhoff in Cincinnati, Ohio. Day made more than 650 recordings as a singer with Columbia Records, and also appeared in 39 movies. Outside the world of entertainment, she has been an ardent supporter of animal rights. She now lives in Carmel-by-the-Sea in California, along with her many pets and stray animals that she has adopted over the years.

9. Autocrat’s output : FIATS
A “fiat” is an arbitrary rule that is imposed, and is the Latin for “let it be done”.

14. Land bordering France and Andorra : CATALONIA
Catalonia is an autonomous community in the very northeast of Spain. The capital of Catalonia is the city of Barcelona. Sandwiched between Catalonia and France to the north, is the lovely Principality of Andorra, nestled in the Pyrenees.

16. “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” songwriter : ARLEN
Harold Arlen is a composer of popular music who will forever be associated with his composition “Over the Rainbow” from the movie “The Wizard of Oz”. Arlen also composed the music to “Come Rain or Come Shine”, “It’s Only a Paper Moon”, “Lydia the Tattooed Lady” and the wonderful “Stormy Weather”.

“Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” is a song by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer first published in 1944. The first recording of the song was made by Johnny Mercer later that year, and it made it to number two in the charts early in 1945.

18. Very, on musical scores : MOLTO
“Molto” is the Italian for “very”.

20. Demands payment from : DUNS
“To dun” is to insist on payment of a debt. The etymology of the term is unclear, with one suggestion that it dates back to a famous debt collector in London named Joe Dun.

22. Ankle covering : GAITER
A “gaiter” is a heavy cloth or piece of leather that covers the leg from the instep up to the ankle or perhaps knee.

24. Excellent, in 1990s slang : PHAT
In hip-hop circles, the term “phat” means excellent or first-rate.

25. It’s loaded : CARGO
“Cargo” is freight carried by some vehicle. The term comes into English via Spanish, ultimately deriving from the Latin “carricare” meaning “to load on a cart”.

31. Hindu hermitages : ASHRAMS
“Ashram” is a Hindu term that traditionally describes a place of spiritual retreat, one that is typically located in a remote location conducive to spiritual instruction and meditation.

36. Twelver, religiously speaking : SHIITE
In the Shia Islam tradition, the Twelve Imams are the spiritual successors to the prophet Muhammad.

37. Drawing room furniture : SETTEES
“Settee” is another word for a couch. The term come from the Old English “setl”, which was a long bench with a high back and arms.

42. Teammate of Robinson : REESE
Pee Wee Reese met Jackie Robinson after Robinson was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As Reese tells the story, when he greeted Robinson it was the first time he had shaken hands with a black man. In those early days life was difficult for Robinson, and Reese made himself very visible as a friend, supporting the breaking down of racial barriers despite very vocal opposition.

43. Dot on the map : BURG
“Burg” is an informal term used in the US for a smaller town, from the German word “burg” meaning a fortified city.

48. Legendary mountain climber : YETI
A yeti is a beast of legend, also called an abominable snowman. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology.

49. Shingle supporter : LATH
The words “lath” and “lattice” have the same root in Old French. Laths are thin strips of wood that are nailed across a frame forming a backing to which plaster can be applied to finish a wall. The term is also used for the main elements in a trellis, or the lengths of wood in a roof to which shingles are nailed.

53. Badly made dough? : LUCRE
Our word “lucre” meaning “money, profits” comes from the Latin “lucrum” that means the same thing.

54. Bronx cheer : RASPBERRY
Not so much here in America, but over in the British Isles “blowing a raspberry” is a way of insulting someone (I think it’s called “a Bronx cheer” in the US). The verb “to razz” comes from a shortened form of “raspberry”.

56. Cars made in Trollhättan, formerly : SAABS
SAAB stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. SAAB was, and still is, mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automotive division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000, who then sold it to a Dutch concern in 2010. However, SAAB (automotive) finally went bankrupt in 2011. A Chinese consortium purchased the assets of SAAB Automotive in 2012, and so SAAB vehicles are in production again. The new vehicles are using the SAAB name, but cannot use the SAAB griffin logo, the rights to which have been retained by the mother company.

Trollhättan is a city in Sweden located about 75 km north of Gothenburg, in the southwest of the country. Trollhättan is home to the headquarters and main manufacturing plant of National Electric Vehicle Sweden, formerly known as SAAB Automotive.

59. Result of upsetting a cup holder? : SPIT-TAKE
The comic maneuver in which someone spits out a drink in response to a joke or a surprising statement, that’s called a “spit-take”.

Down
1. Transoceanic flier, briefly : ICBM
An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with the range necessary to cross between continents. Being ballistic (unlike a cruise missile), an ICBM is guided during the initial launch phase, but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity to arrive at its target. It is defined as intercontinental as it has a range greater than 3,500 miles. ICBMs are really only used for delivering nuclear warheads. Scary stuff …

4. Knight club : MACE
A mace is a relatively simple weapon in essence, a heavy weight on the end of a handle that is used to deliver powerful blows on an opponent’s body.

5. Music genre modifier : ALT-
Apparently there’s alt-rock, alt-country, alt-metal and alt-R&B, to name but a few music genres.

6. Brine-soaked cheese : GOUDA
Gouda is a cheese that originated in the Dutch city of the same name, although today Gouda is produced all over the world and very little of it comes from the Netherlands. Gouda is often smoke-cured, given it a yellowish-brown outer skin and that characteristic smoky taste.

9. Oscar-winning song of 1980 : FAME
Irene Cara (as well as acting in “Fame”) sang the theme songs to the hit movies “Fame” and “Flashdance”.

10. Deluded prospector’s find : IRON PYRITE
Pyrite is a mineral, also known as a iron pyrite. Famously, it has an appearance very similar to gold, so has the nickname “fool’s gold”. Pyrite does find its way into some baubles, which go by the name of marcasite jewelry.

12. Private exchanges : TETE-A-TETES
A “tête-à-tête” is a one-on-one meeting, literally “head-to-head” in French.

15. Balance sheet column : ASSETS
The balance sheet of a company is a snapshot (single point in time) view of a company’s financial position. The balance sheet lists all the company’s liabilities, all of its assets, and all of its ownership equity. The assets of a company, less its liabilities equals the ownership equity. The term “balance” is used because assets always balance out with the sum of liabilities and shareholder equity.

23. Joe Buck’s pal in a 1969 film : RATSO
Enrico Salvatore “Ratso” Rizzo is one of the characters in the groundbreaking 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy”. Rizzo is a down-and-out con man, played by Dustin Hoffman.

The 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy” is a Hollywood adaptation of a novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. It’s a pretty depressing story about a young Texan named Joe Buck (played by Jon Voight) who heads to New York City to make money as a hustler, hiring himself out to women for sex. Pretty soon the young man ends up selling his body for sex with males as well. Prior to release the MPAA gave the movie an R-rating, but the United Artists studio took advice and decided to release it with an X-rating. When “Midnight Cowboy” won the Best Picture Academy Award in 1969, it became the only X-rated film to be so honored.

25. Lewis ___, presidential also-ran of 1848 : CASS
Lewis Cass was a military officer and politician originally from New Hampshire. As a politician, Cass vied for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 1848, losing out to Zachary Taylor, who went on to win the presidential race. A few years later, Cass served as Secretary of State under President James Buchanan.

28. Mata Hari portrayer of 1931 : GRETA GARBO
Famously, Greta Garbo lived a life of seclusion in New York City after she retired from the entertainment business. Commentators often associated her need for privacy with a line she uttered in the great 1932 movie “Grand Hotel”. Her character, Grusinskaya the Russian ballerina, said, “I want to be alone (…) I just want to be alone”.

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.

“Mata Hari” is a 1931 film starring Greta Garbo in the title role. “Mata Hari” was a huge hit for MGM, and for Garbo. It is usually given the credit for popularizing the legendary stories surrounding the exotic dancer and WWI spy.

30. Setting of “Beau Geste” : SAHARA
“Beau Geste” is a 1924 novel by the British writer P. C. Wren. The hero of the piece is Michael “Beau” Geste, an upper-class Englishman who joins the French Foreign Legion and embarks on a life of adventure and intrigue.

32. “Halloween” antagonist’s surname : MYERS
I really, really don’t do horror films. The one exception perhaps is the original “Halloween” movie, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance. To me, this first movie in the “Halloween” series is more in the style of Hitchcock’s “Psycho” whereas the sequels were just chock full of gore and graphic violence.

34. Lacoste of tennis : RENE
René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. And a “golf shirt” is basically the same thing.

38. Bacchus’ attendants : SATYRS
The satyrs of Greek mythology came with a very high sex drive. They are the “rude” male subjects drawn on the side of old Greek vases. The nubile maidens known as nymphs were often an object of attention for the satyrs.

Dionysus was the party animal of Greek mythology. Dionysus was the god of the wine, ritual madness and ecstasy! His Roman equivalent was Bacchus.

43. Wood used to make surfboards : BALSA
Balsa is a very fast growing tree that is native to parts of South America. Even though balsa wood is very soft, it is actually classified as a hardwood, the softest of all the hardwoods (go figure!). Balsa is light and strong, so is commonly used in making model airplanes. Amazingly, in WWII a full-size British plane, the de Havilland Mosquito, was built largely from balsa and plywood. No wonder they called it “The Wooden Wonder” and “The Timber Terror”.

45. Hedren of “Marnie” : TIPPI
Tippi Hedren is an actress from New Ulm, Minnesota who is best known for her starring roles in two Alfred Hitchcock classics: “The Birds” (1963) and “Marnie” (1964). Famously, Hedren claimed that Hitchcock destroyed her movie career because she would not succumb to his sexual advances, a charge that has been denied.

“Marnie” is a good example of the Hitchcock genre of psychological thrillers, although it wasn’t as well received as so many of Hitchcock’s works. Released in 1964, “Marnie” stars Tippi Hedren (who also starred in Hitchcock’s “The Birds”) and Sean Connery of James Bond fame.

47. What matryoshka dolls do : NEST
Matryoshka dolls are those wooden nesting dolls that are on sale at every tourist trap across Russia. “Matryoshka” is Russian for “little matron”.

50. Scena component : ARIA
A scene in an opera is usually called a “scena”, the Italian term for “scene”.

52. London’s ___ Park : HYDE
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London. A famous element in Hyde Park is Speakers’ Corner, located in the northeast corner of the park. Speakers’ Corner was the site of the infamous Tyburn gallows that was used for public executions in centuries past. Today, Speakers’ Corner is a site for public speeches and debate, and a center for public protest. Some say that the tradition of allowing free speech at the site dates back to the condemned man being allowed to say his piece prior to execution at the Tyburn gallows.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Theme song of “The Doris Day Show” : IT’S MAGIC
9. Autocrat’s output : FIATS
14. Land bordering France and Andorra : CATALONIA
16. “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” songwriter : ARLEN
17. Minor additions to the bill? : B PICTURES
18. Very, on musical scores : MOLTO
19. No better than : MERE
20. Demands payment from : DUNS
21. Formal response to a knock : ENTER
22. Ankle covering : GAITER
24. Excellent, in 1990s slang : PHAT
25. It’s loaded : CARGO
29. “Maybe someday” : NOT AS YET
31. Hindu hermitages : ASHRAMS
33. Provider of track shots? : STARTER
35. Expeditious : SPEEDY
36. Twelver, religiously speaking : SHIITE
37. Drawing room furniture : SETTEES
39. Craft workers : BOATMEN
40. Driving storms? : ROAD RAGE
42. Teammate of Robinson : REESE
43. Dot on the map : BURG
44. Stacked beds : STRATA
46. ___-American : ASIAN
48. Legendary mountain climber : YETI
49. Shingle supporter : LATH
53. Badly made dough? : LUCRE
54. Bronx cheer : RASPBERRY
56. Cars made in Trollhättan, formerly : SAABS
57. Rendered speechless : STUPEFIED
58. Parcel : ALLOT
59. Result of upsetting a cup holder? : SPIT-TAKE

Down
1. Transoceanic flier, briefly : ICBM
2. Stick with it : TAPE
3. To-do : STIR
4. Knight club : MACE
5. Music genre modifier : ALT-
6. Brine-soaked cheese : GOUDA
7. Completely fallen apart : IN RUINS
8. A hundred to Juan : CIENTO
9. Oscar-winning song of 1980 : FAME
10. Deluded prospector’s find : IRON PYRITE
11. Constantly : ALL THE TIME
12. Private exchanges : TETE-A-TETES
13. Wordless rejoinder : SNORT
15. Balance sheet column : ASSETS
22. Provided provocation : GOADED
23. Joe Buck’s pal in a 1969 film : RATSO
25. Lewis ___, presidential also-ran of 1848 : CASS
26. In the standard manner : AS PER USUAL
27. Like some unanswered questions : RHETORICAL
28. Mata Hari portrayer of 1931 : GRETA GARBO
30. Setting of “Beau Geste” : SAHARA
32. “Halloween” antagonist’s surname : MYERS
34. Lacoste of tennis : RENE
38. Bacchus’ attendants : SATYRS
39. Pummels : BEATS UP
41. People to remember : GREATS
43. Wood used to make surfboards : BALSA
45. Hedren of “Marnie” : TIPPI
47. What matryoshka dolls do : NEST
49. Took off : LEFT
50. Scena component : ARIA
51. Make arduous progress : TREK
52. London’s ___ Park : HYDE
55. Venture : BET

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5 thoughts on “1030-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 30 Oct 15, Friday”

  1. 19:08, no errors. "Twelver" was new to me, as I'd never heard of "the twelve imams", but SHIITE was the only thing that seemed to fit the space, so I went with it. The last letter I filled in was the first T of SPIT-TAKE and I spent at least a minute staring at the word, trying to remember what the heck it was, then dented my forehead when I came here and was reminded of the meaning. A nice Friday outing …

  2. 30:01, no errors. Good, challenging puzzle for me. Had to dig up every bit of trivia rattling around in my brain to solve this one. Started by solving the NE corner first, then going clockwise, finishing with BPICTURES in the NW corner.

  3. I'm doing this puzzle dec 4 like all the commenters. My paper Lake County News Herald must be a week behind. I have to post as anon because I'm computer illiterate. My name is Roger from Painesville Ohio, and I get a kick out of Willies comments.

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