1111-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Nov 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Steinberg
THEME: Forty Nine Rs … today’s grid contains 49 instances of the letter R, as does the list of clues:

62A. Old rush participants … or a three-part hint to what can be found in this puzzle’s grid or clues : FORTY-NINERS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 10s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Gooey campout goody : S’MORE
S’mores are treats peculiar to North America, usually eaten around a campfire. A s’more consists of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. The earliest written reference to the recipe is in a 1927 publication called “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts”. Girl Scouts always did corner the market on cookies and the like!

11. Test in advance of an advanced deg. : GRE
Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

16. Onetime Mideast abbr. : UAR
The United Arab Republic (UAR) was a union between Egypt and Syria made in 1958 and dissolved in 1961 when Syria pulled out of the arrangement.

19. Land south of Leb. : ISR
Israel (Isr.) lies south of Lebanon (Leb.)

20. Canada ___ : DRY
Canada Dry’s first beverage was called Canada Dry Pale Ginger Ale. The word “dry” was used in the name of the drink to underscore that the formulation was less sweet than other ginger ales on sale.

21. B&O and Pennsylvania, in Monopoly : RRS
The four railroad properties in the Monopoly board game are:

– Reading Railroad
– Pennsylvania Railroad
– B&O Railroad
– Short Line

22. Prime oyster season : “R” MONTHS
There is a traditional warning that one shouldn’t eat shellfish in a month without an R i.e. May through August. That’s because these are the warmer months here in the northern hemisphere when algae blooms can spread toxins that are soaked up by clams, mussels and oysters. Personally, I only eat shellfish in months containing a Q … that would be never …

24. “___ Pyle, U.S.M.C.” : GOMER
Jim Nabors was discovered by Andy Griffith and brought onto “The Andy Griffith Show” as Gomer Pyle, the gas station attendant. Famously, Nabors then got his own show called “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” Gomer had a cousin on the “The Andy Griffiths Show” called Goober Pyle. Goober was played by George Lindsay. Lindsay had auditioned for the Gomer part, but that went to Nabors.

27. First New York Times crossword editor, 1942-69 : MARGARET FARRAR
Margaret Farrar was the first editor of “The New York Times” crossword puzzle, from 1942 to 1968. Earlier in 1920, Farrar had work for the “New York World” as an assistant to the inventor of the crossword Arthur Wynne, proofreading his puzzles.

33. QB Brett : FAVRE
Brett Favre is best known as the former starting-quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. Favre retired in 2010 after playing with the Minnesota Vikings for a short time. Among the many NFL records held by Favre, he  has made the most consecutive starts.

35. Sellout show sign : SRO
Standing room only (SRO)

36. He voiced Carl in “Up” : ED ASNER
“Up” is the tenth movie released by Pixar studios, featuring wonderful animation as we have come to expect from Pixar. The film earned itself two Academy Awards. The main voice actor is Ed Asner, whose animated persona as Carl Fredricksen was created to resemble Spencer Tracy, as Tracy appeared in his last film, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”.

39. 1970 John Wayne western : RIO LOBO
“Rio Lobo” is a Western movie that was released in 1970, starring John Wayne. “Rio Lobo” is the third film in a trilogy that was directed by Howard Hawks, the other two films being “Rio Bravo” (1959) and “El Dorado” (1966). “Rio Lobo” was the last film that Hawks directed.

42. Land south of Bol. : ARG
Argentina is the second largest country in South America (after Brazil), and geographically is the world’s largest Spanish-speaking nation. The name “Argentina” of course comes from the Latin “argentum”, the word for “silver”. It is thought that the name was given by the early Spanish and Portuguese conquerors who also named the Rio de la Plata (the “Silver River”). Those early explorers got hold of lots of silver objects that they found among the native population.

43. 1921 play that ends with the extinction of the human race : RUR
Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1920 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The initialism “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

45. Chewy chocolate candy : ROLOS
Rolo was a hugely popular chocolate candy in Ireland when I was growing up. Rolo was introduced in the thirties in the UK, and is produced under license in the US by Hershey. I was a little disappointed when I had my first taste of the American version as the center is very hard and chewy. The recipe used on the other side of the Atlantic calls for a soft gooey center.

51. Outdoor gear chain : REI
REI is a sporting goods store, the initialism standing for Recreational Equipment Inc. REI was founded in Seattle by Lloyd and Mary Anderson in 1938 as a cooperative that supplies quality climbing gear to outdoor enthusiasts. The first full-time employee hired by the Andersons was Jim Whittaker, who was the American to climb Mount Everest.

53. Bungled salon job : BAD PERM
“Perm” is the name given to a permanent wave, a chemical or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves or curls. I don’t worry about such things, as it’s a number-one all over for me …

57. Long-snouted fish : GAR
The fish known as a gar is very unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What is interesting about gar is that their swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. Many species of gar can actually be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

58. ___ G BIV (color mnemonic) : ROY
“Roy G. Biv” is a mnemonic for the colors in a rainbow:

– Red
– Orange
– Yellow
– Green
– Blue
– Indigo
– Violet

62. Old rush participants … or a three-part hint to what can be found in this puzzle’s grid or clues : FORTY-NINERS
The California gold rush actually started in 1848, and not 1849. The first to exploit the find were those people already in California. By 1849 the word had spread and gold-seekers started to arrive from all over the world. The “out-of-towners” who arrived in 1849 became known as “forty-niners”.

66. Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck,” e.g. : OPERA
“Wozzeck” is the first opera composed by Alban Berg, and it is atonal. I can’t stand atonal music. It is just beyond me …

68. D.C.-based news org. : NPR
National Public Radio (now just called NPR) was launched in 1970 after President Johnson signed into law the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The intent of the act was to provide funding for radio and television broadcasting that wasn’t simply driven by profit. As a longtime fan of the state-funded BBC in the UK, I’d have to agree with that intent …

69. Golf’s ___ Cup : RYDER
The Ryder Cup trophy was donated to the game of golf by Samuel Ryder, an English entrepreneur. Ryder made his money selling garden seeds in small packets. He only took up golf when he was in his fifties but became quite the enthusiast and eventually donated the trophy in 1927, when it was valued at 100 guineas. The Ryder Cup is a biennial tournament played between teams from the US and Europe.

70. Taste : SAPOR
“Sapor” is another word for a flavor, a quality that can be tasted. “Sapor” is the Latin word for “taste, flavor”.

Down
1. Variety of chalcedony : SARD
Sard is a reddish-brown gem that is often referred to as Carnelian, although generally sard is harder and darker. Sard probably takes its name from the Persian word “sered” meaning yellowish-red.

Chalcedony is a mineral, a form of silica.

2. Conservationist John : MUIR
John Muir was a famous American naturalist, although he was born in Scotland. He published “My First Summer in the Sierra” in 1911, describing one of his favorite places in the country, the Sierra Nevada range in California. Muir was a co-founder of the Sierra Club.

3. Bacchanalian bash : ORGY
A bacchanalia is a drunken spree, a term that derives from the ancient Roman festival held in honor of Bacchus, the god of winemaking.

7. Lesotho’s locale: Abbr. : AFR
Lesotho is an enclaved country that is completely surrounded by South Africa.

10. Lady of la casa : SENORA
In Spanish, the lady of the house (la casa) might be referred to as “Señora”.

11. One-minute-plus section of “Stairway to Heaven” : GUITAR SOLO
Led Zeppelin was an English rock band that got together in 1968. The band’s most famous release has to be the classic “Stairway to Heaven”. Led Zeppelin broke up right after drummer John Bonham was found dead in 1988.

18. “___ virumque cano” (“Aeneid” opening) : ARMA
“The Aeneid” is Virgil’s epic poem that tells of the journey of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy to become the ancestor of all Romans. “The Aeneid” begins with the words “Arma virumque cano …”, which translates as “I sing of arms and of a man …”

23. Big name in A.T.M.s : NCR
NCR is an American company that has been in business since 1884, originally called the National Cash Register Company. The company has done well in a market where new technologies seem to be constantly disrupting the status quo.

25. Zebra at a Lions game, say : REF
The Detroit Lions are the NFL team that plays home games at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The team was founded way back in 1929 as the Portsmouth Spartans from Portsmouth, Ohio. The Spartans joined the NFL during the Great Depression as other franchises collapsed. However, the Spartans couldn’t command a large enough gate in Portsmouth so the team was sold and relocated to Detroit in 1934.

A football referee is sometimes called a “zebra”, a reference to the striped shirt that is part of a referee’s uniform.

27. Lady of la casa : MADRE
In Spanish, a mother (madre) is a member of the family (la familia).

28. “Mogambo” co-star : AVA GARDNER
Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of “Mogambo” (1953), “On the Beach” (1959), “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) and “Earthquake” (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra. After her marriages had failed (and perhaps before!) she had long-term relationships with Howard Hughes and bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin whom she met through her friend Ernest Hemingway.

“Mogambo” is a 1953 film noted for its spectacular scenes set in the African jungle. “Mogambo” is actually a remake of a 1932 movie called “Red Dust”. Gable plays the romantic lead in both the original and the remake, even though they are filmed 21 years apart. Gable gets involved with Jean Harlow and Mary Astor in the original, and with a Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly in the remake.

29. It’s in the pits : TAR
A tar pit is an unusual geological feature, leakage of bitumen from below ground to the earth’s surface creating a pool of natural asphalt. One of the most famous of these occurrences is the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.

31. Ann ___, Mich. : ARBOR
Ann Arbor, Michigan was founded in 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey. Supposedly, Allen and Rumsey originally used the name “Annsarbour” in recognition of stands of bur oak that were on the land they had purchased and in recognition of their wives, both of whom were called “Ann” (i.e. Anns’ Arbor)

32. Aussie bounders : ROOS
The name “kangaroo” comes from the Australian Aborigine term for the animal. There’s an oft-quoted story that James Cook (later Captain Cook) asked a local native the name of this remarkable looking animal, and the native responded with “kangaroo”. The story is that the native was actually saying “I don’t understand you”, but as cute as that tale is, it’s just an urban myth.

33. Goose bumps cause : FEAR
The terms “goosebumps” and “goose flesh” come from the fact that skin which is cold can look like the flesh of a plucked goose.

37. Verdi’s “___ tu” : ERI
Every crossword constructors’ favorite aria “Eri tu” is from Verdi’s opera “Un ballo in maschera” (A Masked Ball). The opera tells the story of the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden during a masked ball.

40. Solar system models : ORRERIES
An orrery is an ingenious mechanical device that shows the relative motion and relative positions of the planets in our solar system. The first “modern” orrery was produced in 1704 and was presented to the Irish peer known as the Earl of Orrery, from whence the name “orrery” comes.

41. Title for Tennyson : LORD
Alfred, Lord Tennyson was the Poet Laureate during for much of the reign of Queen Victoria. There are many phrases we use today that were first penned by Tennyson, including:

– ‘Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all
– Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die

44. “Nature” essayist’s inits. : RWE
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an essayist and poet who was active in the mid-1800s. Most of the essays that Emerson wrote were composed originally as lectures and then revised for print.

49. Native Hungarian : MAGYAR
Hungary is a country in Central Europe that has become a popular tourist destination since the collapse of the Eastern Bloc in 1989. Hungarians refer to themselves as “Magyars”.

50. Shah’s onetime domain : IRAN
The last Shah of Iran was Mohammed-Reza Shah Pahlavi, as he was overthrown in the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

53. Kellogg’s All-___ : BRAN
“All-Bran” is a breakfast cereal that has been produced by Kellogg’s since 1916. Kellogg’s Bran Flakes had been introduced a year earlier.

54. Powerful D.C. lobby : AARP
AARP is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

56. Talking TV palomino : MR ED
The sitcom “Mister Ed” first aired in 1961 and ran for almost five years. It was a very successful show (and even made it to Ireland!). Mister Ed, the talking horse, was a palomino that had the real name of Bamboo Harvester. Mister Ed’s “voice” was that of actor Allan “Rocky” Lane, a star of a lot of B-movie westerns from the forties and fifties. In the show, Mister Ed would only talk to the lead (human) character Wilbur, played by Alan Young, leading to some hilarious situations. Mister Ed had a stunt double and stand-in for the show, another horse called Pumpkin. Pumpkin later made frequent appearances on the show “Green Acres”.

60. W.W. I battle site : YSER
The Yser originates in northern France and flows through Belgium into the North Sea. The Yser is often associated with WWI as it figured in a major battle early in the conflict. In the first three months of the war, the German Army pushed almost completely through Belgium, inflicting heavy losses on the Belgian Army as the defenders were forced to fight a fast-moving rearguard action. The Germans were intent on pushing right through Belgium and across France in a “race to the sea”. But the Belgians, with the help of their Allies, decided to make a final stand at the Yser Canal in an effort to prevent the Germans reaching the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk. The 22-mile long defensive line was chosen at the Yser because the river and canal system could be flooded to create a barrier that might be defended. The plan was successful and the front was “stabilized”. As we now know, millions of lives were lost over the coming years with very little movement of that battle line.

63. Otto minus cinque : TRE
In Italian, eight (otto) minus five (cinque) is three (tre).

64. Powerful D.C. lobby : NRA
National Rifle Association (NRA)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Gooey campout goody : S’MORE
6. Costumes : GARBS
11. Test in advance of an advanced deg. : GRE
14. Enveloping glows : AURAS
15. In advance of, quaintly : AFORE
16. Onetime Mideast abbr. : UAR
17. Perfectly fit and well : RIGHT AS RAIN
19. Land south of Leb. : ISR
20. Canada ___ : DRY
21. B&O and Pennsylvania, in Monopoly : RRS
22. Prime oyster season : “R” MONTHS
24. “___ Pyle, U.S.M.C.” : GOMER
26. Sony competitor : RCA
27. First New York Times crossword editor, 1942-69 : MARGARET FARRAR
33. QB Brett : FAVRE
34. Quite a ways : FAR
35. Sellout show sign : SRO
36. He voiced Carl in “Up” : ED ASNER
39. 1970 John Wayne western : RIO LOBO
42. Land south of Bol. : ARG
43. 1921 play that ends with the extinction of the human race : RUR
45. Chewy chocolate candy : ROLOS
46. Where you might see the word AMBULANCE behind you : REARVIEW MIRROR
51. Outdoor gear chain : REI
52. Like some pitchers : EARED
53. Bungled salon job : BAD PERM
57. Long-snouted fish : GAR
58. ___ G BIV (color mnemonic) : ROY
61. Headed for the hills : RAN
62. Old rush participants … or a three-part hint to what can be found in this puzzle’s grid or clues : FORTY-NINERS
65. “All bets ___ off” : ARE
66. Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck,” e.g. : OPERA
67. Leave no trace of : ERASE
68. D.C.-based news org. : NPR
69. Golf’s ___ Cup : RYDER
70. Taste : SAPOR

Down
1. Variety of chalcedony : SARD
2. Conservationist John : MUIR
3. Bacchanalian bash : ORGY
4. Bowl game shout : RAH!
5. Female sex hormone : ESTROGEN
6. Funny, funny joke : GASSER
7. Lesotho’s locale: Abbr. : AFR
8. Jet engine sound : ROAR
9. Hat’s edge : BRIM
10. Lady of la casa : SENORA
11. One-minute-plus section of “Stairway to Heaven” : GUITAR SOLO
12. Impetuous : RASH
13. Bungles : ERRS
18. “___ virumque cano” (“Aeneid” opening) : ARMA
23. Big name in A.T.M.s : NCR
24. Canine warnings : GRRS
25. Zebra at a Lions game, say : REF
27. Lady of la casa : MADRE
28. “Mogambo” co-star : AVA GARDNER
29. It’s in the pits : TAR
30. Common date night: Abbr. : FRI
31. Ann ___, Mich. : ARBOR
32. Aussie bounders : ROOS
33. Goose bumps cause : FEAR
37. Verdi’s “___ tu” : ERI
38. Have misgivings about : RUE
40. Solar system models : ORRERIES
41. Title for Tennyson : LORD
44. “Nature” essayist’s inits. : RWE
47. Weightlifting unit : REP
48. Compete to get : VIE FOR
49. Native Hungarian : MAGYAR
50. Shah’s onetime domain : IRAN
53. Kellogg’s All-___ : BRAN
54. Powerful D.C. lobby : AARP
55. Viscous : ROPY
56. Talking TV palomino : MR ED
58. Cut and collect in the field : REAP
59. Guesstimate’s ending : … OR SO
60. W.W. I battle site : YSER
63. Otto minus cinque : TRE
64. Powerful D.C. lobby : NRA

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3 thoughts on “1111-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Nov 15, Wednesday”

  1. I generally like this grid. The sheer breadth of knowledge the young constructor pulls together impresses me. But some of the other fill (ISR, GAR, for example) just don't fit with the whole thing. Others, like ROLOS, REI, and ROOS have become overused, much like "epee" and "alit" in the past. Give them a respite.

    I can only guess the clue about Margaret Farrar comes from the constructor shepherding the Pre-Shortzian Crossword Project, which is actually pretty cool.

  2. 8:35, no errors, but I then spent another 7:44 figuring out half of the theme – that the grid contains exactly 49 R's. I missed the other half of the theme (and I'm taking it on faith that there are exactly 49 R's in the clues … :-).

    Many thanks to Willie D for mentioning the Pre-Shortzian Crossword Project, which is indeed cool. (To those as uninformed as myself: A young man named David Steinberg has organized an effort to make all of the NYT crosswords from 1942 on down to the advent of Shortz available in digital form. There's lots on information about this on the Internet.) I had never heard of this and I'm tempted to become one of the volunteer proofreaders, but I'm also a little wary, given my obsessive-compulsive nature, of reaching out and touching this particular tar baby … :-). In any case, I would be delighted to sample some of the early puzzles!

  3. 11:14, no errors. Seemed like most of the answers were filled in as fast as I could write them. A few clues required work arounds. I will take the everyone's word that there are 49 R's in puzzle/clues, not going to count them.

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