1125-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Nov 15, Wednesday

QuickLinks:
Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today’s SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications
Solution to today’s New York Times crossword found online at the Seattle Times website
Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Duncan Kimmel & Clara Williamson
THEME: TV Shows Reinterpreted … each of today’s themed clues is the name of a TV show. That answer is a literal interpretation of that clue:

16A. “Mad Men”? : PSYCHOPATHS
22A. “House of Cards”? : HALLMARK STORE
46A. “Game of Thrones”? : MUSICAL CHAIRS
57A. “The Walking Dead”? : PALLBEARERS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 36s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Paris pyramid designer : IM PEI
I. M. Pei (full name: Ieoh Ming Pei) is an exceptional American architect who was born in China. Of Pei’s many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, especially the Glass Pyramid in the courtyard.

6. “Style is an option. Clean is not” sloganeer : TIDE
Tide is a laundry detergent that has been made by Procter & Gamble since 1946. Back then, Tide was marketed as “America’s Washday Favorite”.

13. Charcuterie : MEATS
In French, a “charcutier” is a pork butcher, although the term “charcuterie” has come to describe a genre of cooking focused on prepared meats such as bacon, ham, sausage and pâté. Although these meats often feature pork, it is not exclusively so. The word “charcuterie” comes from the French “chair” meaning “flesh” and “cuit” meaning “cooked”.

14. Stuffy site? : SINUS
In anatomical terms a sinus is a cavity in tissue. Sinuses are found all over the body, in the kidney and heart for example, but we most commonly think of the paranasal sinuses that surround the nose.

16. “Mad Men”? : PSYCHOPATHS
“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.

18. Grp. on the range? : NRA
National Rifle Association (NRA)

19. One easily duped : SAP
“Sap” is slang for a fool, someone easily scammed. The term arose in the early 1800s in Britain when it was used in “saphead” and “sapskull”. All these words derive from “sapwood”, which is the soft wood found in tree trunks between the bark and the heartwood at the center.

21. Freudian subjects : EGOS
Sigmund Freud created a structural model of the human psyche, breaking it into three parts: the id, the ego, and the super-ego. The id is that part of the psyche containing the basic instinctual drives. The ego seeks to please the id by causing realistic behavior that benefits the individual. The super-ego almost has a parental role, contradicting the id by introducing critical thinking and morals to behavioral choices.

22. “House of Cards”? : HALLMARK STORE
Hallmark produces more greeting cards in the US than any other company. The company was started by Joyce Clyde Hall in 1910, and by 1915 was known as Hall Brothers after his brother Rollie joined the enterprise. Rollie invented what we know today as “wrapping paper”, displacing the traditional use of colored tissue paper for wrapping gifts. The company took on the name “Hallmark” in 1928, taking the term for the symbol used by goldsmiths in London in the 1500s.

The hit TV show “House of Cards” is a political drama starring Kevin Spacey that highlights ruthless manipulation within the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. The show is an adaptation of a BBC miniseries of the same name, which in turn is based on a novel by Michael Dobbs. My wife and I have seen both versions of the show but disagree on which is the best. I favor the US version …

27. Campfire treats : S’MORES
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!

29. In ___ of : LIEU
As one might perhaps imagine, “in lieu” comes into English from the Old French word “lieu” meaning “place”, which in turn is derived from the Latin “locum”, also meaning “place”. So, “in lieu” means “in place of”.

30. Division of a long poem : CANTO
A canto is a section of a long poem, and is a term first used by the Italian poet Dante. “Canto” is the Italian for “song”.

36. Big feller? : AXE
“To fell” is to knock or cut down. The term has its roots in Old English, but basically means “to make fall”.

37. One way to run : AMUCK
The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had good reason for that frenzy …

44. The first to die : ABEL
In the story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis, Cain murders his brother Abel. Subsequently, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain replies, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

46. “Game of Thrones”? : MUSICAL CHAIRS
HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is a fantasy television drama that is adapted from a series of novels by George R. R. Martin called “A Song of Ice and Fire”. “Game of Thrones” is actually made in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland.

53. Symbol for torque : TAU
Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

Torque can be thought of as a turning force, say the force needed to tighten a bolt or a nut.

56. Latin word shared by the mottoes of Yale and Tufts : LUX
“Lux et veritas” translates from Latin as “Light and Truth”. “Lux et veritas” is used as a motto of several universities including Indiana University, the University of Montana and Yale University. However, Yale’s motto is often given in Hebrew, as “Urim and Thummim”.

“Pax et lux” is Latin for “peace and light”. The phrase is used as the motto for Tufts University in Massachusetts, and in several other schools.

Tufts University is a private school near Boston. The school was built in 1852 on land donated by Charles Tuft a local businessman. One of the early benefactors of the school was P. T. Barnum who funded the Barnum Museum of Natural History located on the college grounds. This museum is home to the stuffed hide of Jumbo, the famous elephant. Jumbo is the school’s mascot.

57. “The Walking Dead”? : PALLBEARERS
A pall is a cloth used to cover a casket at a funeral. Pallbearers actually carry the coffin, covered by the pall. The phrase “casting a pall over”, meaning to create a dark mood, is metaphorical use of the pall over the casket.

“The Walking Dead” is a horror television show that made by AMC. There are lots of flesh-eating zombies featured, so I won’t be seen “dead” watching it …

61. The “A” in I.P.A. : ALE
India Pale Ale is a style of beer that comes from England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name. IPAs have been around in North America for centuries, but have really taken off in the past decade or so, I feel. I’m not a fan myself, as IPA has a very hoppy taste. East Coast IPAs tend to have the hops balanced out by more malt, whereas West Coast IPAs are all about the hops, the hops, the hops …

66. Mexican money : PESOS
The coin called a “peso” is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

Down
2. Tenis de ___ (Ping-Pong, in Spain) : MESA
“Tenis de mesa” (“table tennis” in English) is the Spanish name for the sport of ping pong.

Ping pong is called table tennis in the UK, where the sport originated in the 1880s. Table tennis started as an after-dinner activity among the elite, and was called “wiff-waff”. To play the game, books were stacked in the center of a table as a “net”, two more books served as “”rackets” and the ball used was actually a golf ball. The game evolved over time with the rackets being upgraded to the lids of cigar boxes and the ball becoming a champagne cork (how snooty is that?). Eventually the game was produced commercially, and the sound of the ball hitting the racket was deemed to be a “ping” and a “pong”, giving the sport its alternative name.

12. Razz : TEASE
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”.

14. Unwanted emails : SPAM
Apparently the term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

17. Hogwarts’ fifth-year exams, for short : OWLS
Students at Hogwarts are assessed in the fifth year in the compulsory Ordinary Wizarding Level (OWL) examinations.

In J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” universe, The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was founded by the four most brilliant witches and wizards of their time: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin. Each of the founders lent their name to a House in the school, i.e. Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

21. Small case : ETUI
An etui is an ornamental case used to hold small items, in particular sewing needles. We imported both the case design and the word “etui” from France. The French also have a modern usage of “etui”, using the term to depict a case for carrying CDs.

24. DiCaprio, in tabloids : LEO
Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio is from Los Angeles, California. DiCaprio’s mother was visiting a museum in Italy when she was pregnant and felt the first kick of her unborn child. At the moment of that first kick, Mama DiCaprio was looking at a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, and so named her son Leonardo.

25. Enterprise captain : KIRK
According to the storyline in “Star Trek”, Captain James Tiberius Kirk was born in Riverside, Iowa. The town of Riverside displays a plaque, noting Riverside as the “future birthplace of James T. Kirk.”

26. French possessive : SES
“Ses” is the French word for “his”, “her” or “its”, when referring to a group of items.

27. Multitude : SCAD
The origin of the word “scads”, meaning “lots and lots”, is unclear, although back in the mid-1800s “scads” was used to mean “dollars”.

31. “All but one” win, in bridge : SMALL SLAM
A grand slam in bridge is the winning of all thirteen tricks by one player. If the player wins twelve tricks, the achievement is called a small slam.

32. Steve Martin song subject : TUT
Comedian Steve Martin wrote the famous comic song “King Tut” himself, and it appeared on his 1978 album “Wild and Crazy Guy”. The song was later released as a single, and made it as high as number 17 in the charts. Some of the song’s success might have been due to the fervor surrounding the exhibition of the real King Tut’s tomb artifacts that was touring the country at the time.

King Tut is a name commonly used for the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen. Tutankhamen may not have been the most significant of the pharaohs historically, but he is the most famous today largely because of the discovery of his nearly intact tomb in 1922. Prior to this find, any Egyptian tombs uncovered by archaeologists had been ravaged by grave robbers. Tutankhamen’s magnificent burial mask is one of the most recognizable of all Egyptian artifacts.

33. Capone and Corleone : GANGSTERS
The Chicago gangster Al Capone was eventually jailed for tax evasion. He was given a record 11-year sentence in federal prison, of which he served 8 years. He left prison suffering dementia caused by late-stage syphilis. Capone suffered through 7-8 sickly years before passing away in 1947.

Mario Puzo created the Corleone Mafia family in his 1969 novel “The Godfather”. The head of the family is Vito Corleone (whose birth name was Vito Andolini), a native of Corleone in Sicily. He was given the name Corleone by immigration officers at Ellis Island.

41. Disney subsidiary : ABC
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) was formed in 1943, created out of the former NBC Blue radio network. ABC is sometimes referred to as “the Alphabet Network”, a reference to the initialism made from the first three letters of the alphabet.

42. ___ fun (noodle variety) : MEI
“Mei fun” is dish in chinese cuisine made using thin rice noodles.

43. iPad ___ : AIR
The iPad Air is Apple’s 5th-generation tablet computer. The Air is just 7.5 mm thick, and is 22% lighter than the iPad 2.

45. Tortoise taunter : HARE
“The Tortoise and the Hare” is perhaps the most famous fable attributed to Aesop. The cocky hare takes a nap during a race against the tortoise, and the tortoise sneaks past the finish line for the win while his speedier friend is sleeping.

46. Wisdom tooth, e.g. : MOLAR
Molars are grinding teeth. The term “molar” comes from the Latin “mola” meaning “millstone”.

Wisdom teeth are an extra set of molars in the back of the jaws. There are usually four wisdom teeth, and they only occur in about 65% of the population.

47. Palate part : UVULA
The uvula is that conical fleshy projection hanging down at the back of the soft palate. The uvula plays an important role in human speech, particularly in the making of “guttural” sounds. The Latin word for “grape” is “uva”, so “uvula” is a “little grape”.

The soft palate is the soft tissue at the rear of the roof of the mouth, and is also called the velum. The soft palate is muscular and moves to close off the nasal passages while swallowing.

49. Longtime team for Peyton Manning : COLTS
The Indianapolis Colts professional football team has been in Indiana since 1984. The team traces its roots back to the Dayton Triangles, one of the founding members of the NFL created in 1913. The Dayton Triangles relocated and became the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1930, and then the Brooklyn Tigers in 1944. The team merged with the Boston Yanks in 1945, so then played in Boston. The Yanks were moved to New York in 1949, and then to Dallas in 1952 as the Dallas Texans. The Texan franchise moved to Baltimore in 1953, forming the Colts. The Colts made their last move, to Indianapolis, in 1984. Whew!

Peyton Manning is quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Peyton’s brother Eli Manning plays as quarterback for the New York Giants. Eli and Peyton’s father is Archie Manning, who was also a successful NFL quarterback.

54. Jason’s ship : ARGO
In Greek mythology, Jason and the Argonauts sailed on the Argo in search of the Golden Fleece. The vessel was called the “Argo” in honor of the ship’s builder, a man named Argus.

55. “101 ___ for a Dead Cat” (1981 best seller) : USES
“101 Uses for a Dead Cat” is a collection of fairly dark cartoons by Simon Bond that was first published in 1981. As the title suggests, each cartoon features a dead cat being used for various purposes. Not my kind of thing …

57. Free TV ad, for short : PSA
Public service announcement (PSA)

58. “Aladdin” prince : ALI
The Disney animated feature “Aladdin” was released in 1992 and is one of the best features to come out of the studio, in my opinion, largely due to the great performance by Robin Williams who voiced the Genie. “Aladdin” was the most successful film of 1992, earning over $500 million worldwide, an unusual feat for an animated movie.

59. Tinder or Grindr : APP
Tinder is a matchmaking app that uses Facebook profiles. Users “swipe” photos of potential matches, either to the right (“like”) or to the left (“not interested”). Users who “match” each other can then chat within the app.

Grindr is a social networking app aimed gay and bisexual men. Subscribers locate potential partners using the geolocation capabilities of smartphones. A user in a particular location can view a grid showing pictures of fellow subscribers arranged by proximity.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Paris pyramid designer : IM PEI
6. “Style is an option. Clean is not” sloganeer : TIDE
10. “Wanna ___?” : BET
13. Charcuterie : MEATS
14. Stuffy site? : SINUS
15. Rage : IRE
16. “Mad Men”? : PSYCHOPATHS
18. Grp. on the range? : NRA
19. One easily duped : SAP
20. Ending with silver or soft : -WARE
21. Freudian subjects : EGOS
22. “House of Cards”? : HALLMARK STORE
27. Campfire treats : S’MORES
29. In ___ of : LIEU
30. Division of a long poem : CANTO
31. Things determined by one’s date of birth : STAR SIGNS
36. Big feller? : AXE
37. One way to run : AMUCK
38. Be sick : AIL
39. Varied : DISPARATE
42. Orangish fruit : MANGO
44. The first to die : ABEL
45. It may be measured on a doorframe : HEIGHT
46. “Game of Thrones”? : MUSICAL CHAIRS
51. “I’m ___ it” : OVER
52. Lip-puckering : SOUR
53. Symbol for torque : TAU
56. Latin word shared by the mottoes of Yale and Tufts : LUX
57. “The Walking Dead”? : PALLBEARERS
61. The “A” in I.P.A. : ALE
62. Parts of cribs : SLATS
63. Rid : PURGE
64. “Totally cool, man!” : RAD!
65. Objectives : AIMS
66. Mexican money : PESOS

Down
1. Mischief-makers : IMPS
2. Tenis de ___ (Ping-Pong, in Spain) : MESA
3. Disappearing conveniences : PAY PHONES
4. And more: Abbr. : ETC
5. “Kinda” : ISH
6. Pageant princess’s prize : TIARA
7. Weave together : INTERLACE
8. “Of course, you idiot!” : DUH!
9. Part of a winding road : ESS
10. “You got it!” : BINGO!
11. Autocorrect target : ERROR
12. Razz : TEASE
14. Unwanted emails : SPAM
17. Hogwarts’ fifth-year exams, for short : OWLS
21. Small case : ETUI
23. Something famously impossible to define : ART
24. DiCaprio, in tabloids : LEO
25. Enterprise captain : KIRK
26. French possessive : SES
27. Multitude : SCAD
28. Skirt type : MAXI
31. “All but one” win, in bridge : SMALL SLAM
32. Steve Martin song subject : TUT
33. Capone and Corleone : GANGSTERS
34. Near : NIGH
35. 8:00-9:00 on a schedule, e.g. : SLOT
37. Space : AREA
40. Duo : PAIR
41. Disney subsidiary : ABC
42. ___ fun (noodle variety) : MEI
43. iPad ___ : AIR
45. Tortoise taunter : HARE
46. Wisdom tooth, e.g. : MOLAR
47. Palate part : UVULA
48. H.S. class in which contraception may be discussed : SEX ED
49. Longtime team for Peyton Manning : COLTS
50. Centers of activity : HUBS
54. Jason’s ship : ARGO
55. “101 ___ for a Dead Cat” (1981 best seller) : USES
57. Free TV ad, for short : PSA
58. “Aladdin” prince : ALI
59. Tinder or Grindr : APP
60. Regret : RUE

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8 thoughts on “1125-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Nov 15, Wednesday”

  1. Proud to say I got everything right on this one today. Several places where I took some guesses. It's always been a question in my mind whether luck plays a part in crosswords or not.

  2. 16:07, no errors. Had to think about several answers; such as 'did I ever see AMUCK spelled this way?'.

    I think luck does play some part in crossword solving, more so in puzzles which have a large number of word association clues. I think of it as 'being in sync with the setter'. If your first guesses match what the setter had in mind, the puzzle will be easily and quickly solved.

  3. Once more an otherwise decent puzzle done in by a convenient obscure spelling. Nobody uses "amuck"; it's AMOK. (You can tell my 2 errors are galling to me…)

  4. I checked several of my English dictionaries, including a pretty crummy paperback edition of Webster's from 1966, and "amuck" is in all of them. According to the OED, it's been around for two or three hundred years. That said, I have to agree that I can remember seeing it in print only once, in a short story about kids whose parents packed them off to spend the summer in "Camp Runamuck" … 🙂

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