1203-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Dec 15, Thursday

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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: Patrick Merrell
THEME: Roman Numerals Spelled Out … today’s themed answer contain Roman numerals (circled in the grid) that must be spelled out to make sense:

20A. Almost out of energy : RUNNING ON EMPTY (I = ONE)
32A. Time to get a babysitter, maybe : DATE NIGHT (X = TEN)
38A. Patriotic Clint Eastwood movie : FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS (IV = FOUR)
45A. DC Comics character with a whip : CATWOMAN (II = TWO)
52A. Rather informative program, once? : CBS EVENING NEWS (VII = SEVEN)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 16m 51s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. Skater’s leap : LUTZ
In figure skating, a Lutz is a toe-pick-assisted jump that one starts skating backwards and ends skating backwards (there’s more to it that I don’t really understand!). The maneuver is named after Alois Lutz, an Austrian skater who first performed it in competition way back in 1913. Lutz wowed the crowd with a single jump, and today both men and women are landing triple Lutz jumps. No one has landed a clean quadruple Lutz in competition.

16. ___ Ansari of “Parks and Recreation” : AZIZ
Aziz Ansari is an actor and comedian from Columbia, South Carolina who is best known for playing Tom Haverford on the sitcom “Parks and Recreation”.

17. Disney character who sings “Part of Your World” : ARIEL
“The Little Mermaid” is a 1989 animated feature from Disney that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. It tells the story of a mermaid princess named Ariel who falls in love with the human Prince Eric. Ariel’s father is chief merman King Triton.

18. Jannings who won the first-ever Oscar : EMIL
Emil Jannings was an actor from Switzerland, who also held German and Austrian citizenship. Jannings was the first person to receive an Oscar, as the star of the 1928 silent movie called “The Last Command”. He also starred opposite Marlene Dietrich in the 1930 classic “The Blue Angel”.

23. Inveigle : COAX
To coax is to cajole, to influence using gentle persuasion. Back in the 16th century, “coax” was a a noun meaning “fool”, and was used in the sense of “make a coax of, make a fool of”.

“To inveigle” is to win over by deceit. Back in the late 1400s, the term meant “to blind someone’s judgment”.

24. Group Theatre playwright of the 1930s : ODETS
Clifford Odets was a playwright, screenwriter and director from Philadelphia. Odets wrote a play called “Golden Boy” that was first performed in 1937 on Broadway. There was a film adaptation released in 1939 that starred a young William Holden. “Golden Boy” was the film that launched Holden’s career. There was also a 1964 musical of the same name that was based on the play.

28. Works of Carl Maria von Weber : OPERAS
Carl Maria von Weber was a composer from Germany who was active in the early Romantic period. Weber was an accomplished pianist and wrote many works for the instrument. However, he had very large hands and wrote pieces that suited his anatomy, and not performers with the average size of hands. As a result, Weber’s piano music is not performed very often.

35. One of the acting Hemsworths : LIAM
Liam Hemsworth is an Australian actor who is best known these days for playing Gale Hawthorne in “The Hunger Games” series of films. Hemsworth met Miley Cyrus while working on the movie “The Last Song”, and the two actors were engaged for a while. Liam is a younger brother of actor Chris Hemsworth, who plays the superhero “Thor” on the big screen.

37. Shoreline opening : RIA
A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, both formed as sea level rises. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

38. Patriotic Clint Eastwood movie : FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS
“Flags of Our Fathers” is a 2006 war film directed by Clint Eastwood, based on a 2000 book of the same name by James Bradley. “Flags of Our Fathers” was a somewhat unique film, as it was filmed within a few months of a “paired” movie “Letters from Iwo Jima”, also directed by Eastwood. “Flags of Our Fathers” told the story of the WWII Battle of Iwo Jima from the American perspective, and “Letters from Iwo Jima” told the same story from the Japanese standpoint.

43. Bit of SWAT garb : VEST
SWAT is an acronym standing for Special Weapons and Tactics. The first SWAT team was pulled together in the Los Angeles Police Department in 1968.

44. Carlo ___ (wine brand) : ROSSI
Carlo Rossi is a brand of wine produced by E & J Gallo. The name was chosen in honor of a salesman working for the winery named Charles Rossi, who was also a member of the Gallo family by marriage. Charles Rossi used to appear in TV ads for the wine in seventies.

45. DC Comics character with a whip : CATWOMAN
Catwoman is a supervillain who is usually depicted as an adversary of Batman in comics. In the sixties television show “Batman”, Catwoman was first portrayed by actress Julie Newmar, but then the more memorable Eartha Kitt took over, with the marvelously “feline voice”. On the big screen, Catwoman has been played by Lee Meriwether in “Batman” (1966), by Michelle Pfeiffer in “Batman Returns” (1992), by Halle Berry in “Catwoman” (2004) and by Anne Hathaway in “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012).

49. Lyre player of mythology : ERATO
In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry and is often depicted playing a lyre.

50. Move often preceding a pirouette : PLIE
The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent.

We took our word “pirouette” directly from French, in which language it has the same meaning, i.e. a rotation in dancing. “Pirouette” is also the French word for a spinning top.

52. Rather informative program, once? : CBS EVENING NEWS
“CBS Evening News” first went on the air in 1948. Back then, the program was known as “CBS Television News”, changing to “CBS Evening News” in 1963. The list of anchors for the show includes Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Bob Schieffer and Katie Couric.

62. “Suicide Blonde” band, 1990 : INXS
INXS (pronounced “in excess”) was a rock band from Australia. The band formed in 1977 in Sydney as the Farriss Brothers, as three of the original lineups were indeed brothers.

63. Medium for Biggie Smalls : RADIO
The Notorious B.I.G. was the stage name of rap star Christopher Wallace, who also went by the names Biggie Smalls and Biggie. While at the height of his fame Wallace was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, a murder case that has never been solved. The 2009 movie “Notorious” is about Wallace’s life and stars fellow rap artist Jamal Woolard (aka Gravy) in the title role.

65. “Out! I said out!” : SCAT!
Our word “scat”, meaning “get lost!” comes from a 19th-century expression “quicker than s’cat”, which meant “in a great hurry”. The original phrase probably came from the words “hiss” and “cat”.

68. Antennae, so to speak : EARS
An antenna’s job is to convert electrical power into radio waves, and radio waves into an electrical signal. The first antennas were built by the German physicist Heinrich Hertz in 1888.

Down
1. One of 12 in the European Union logo : STAR
The reverse side of euro coins feature a common design, a design that includes the 12-stars featured on the Flag of Europe. The number of stars is not related to the number of states in the European Union, nor has it ever been. The number of stars in the design was the subject of much debate prior to its adoption in 1955 by the Council of Europe. Twelve was a deliberate choice, as at that time there was no political connotation, and twelve was considered to be a symbol of unity.

4. Emphatic agreement : AMEN
The word “amen” is translated as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is likely to be also influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

5. Expert divers : PELICANS
The pelican is an example of a “piscivore”. A piscivorous animal is actually a carnivore, but one that lives on fish.

6. The end : OMEGA
Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and is the one that looks like a horseshoe. The word “omega” literally means “great O” (O-mega). Compare this with the Greek letter Omicron meaning “little O” (O-micron).

7. D.J.’s play : REMIX
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.

10. Part of the “wedding of the century” : LADY DI
Charles, Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The wedding was a huge television event, with about 750 million people tuning in worldwide. Although the event was billed as a fairytale wedding, the couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996.

11. Strong arm : UZI
The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

22. Food safety subj. : TOX
Toxicity (tox.)

28. Microsoft product : OFFICE
Microsoft Office is a suite of application that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

30. String substitute? : ET ALIA
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

32. Loco : DAFT
In Spanish, if one isn’t “sano” (sane) one might be described as “loco” (crazy).

33. Doc bloc : AMA
American Medical Association (AMA)

35. Financial claim : LIEN
A lien is the right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

36. They’re often stuck in the I.C.U. : IVS
One might see intravenous drips (IVs) in an intensive care unit (ICU).

39. The origin of species? : OVA
Ova (eggs)

40. Coen brothers Best Picture nominee : TRUE GRIT
The classic 1969 western movie “True Grit” starring John Wayne is a screen adaptation of a 1968 novel by Henry Hathaway. The Coen brothers made another big screen adaption of the novel in 2010 starring Jeff Bridges in the Rooster Cogburn role previously played by John Wayne.

48. Certain spirit : GIN
The spirit known as gin gets its unique flavor mainly from juniper berries. The name “gin” comes into English from the translation of “juniper” from either French (genièvre), Dutch (jenever) or Italian (ginepro).

50. “Cars” producer : PIXAR
“Cars” is a 2006 animated feature from Pixar. The great cast of voice actors includes Paul Newman in his last movie role before he passed away in 2008.

54. Sun worshipers : INCA
Inti was the sun god worshiped by the Incas. Images depicting Inti are featured on the national flags of several nations, including Argentina and Uruguay.

56. Town whose exports are waxed : EDAM
Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Tie that binds : STRAP
6. Occasion of overindulgence : ORGY
10. Skater’s leap : LUTZ
14. Many a party has one : THEME
15. Plain and simple : MERE
16. ___ Ansari of “Parks and Recreation” : AZIZ
17. Disney character who sings “Part of Your World” : ARIEL
18. Jannings who won the first-ever Oscar : EMIL
19. Airhead : DITZ
20. Almost out of energy : RUNNING ON EMPTY
23. Inveigle : COAX
24. Group Theatre playwright of the 1930s : ODETS
28. Works of Carl Maria von Weber : OPERAS
32. Time to get a babysitter, maybe : DATE NIGHT
34. Conform : FIT IN
35. One of the acting Hemsworths : LIAM
37. Shoreline opening : RIA
38. Patriotic Clint Eastwood movie : FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS
42. Volunteer’s first word : I’LL
43. Bit of SWAT garb : VEST
44. Carlo ___ (wine brand) : ROSSI
45. DC Comics character with a whip : CATWOMAN
48. Hotel fillers : GUESTS
49. Lyre player of mythology : ERATO
50. Move often preceding a pirouette : PLIE
52. Rather informative program, once? : CBS EVENING NEWS
59. Kid : JOSH
62. “Suicide Blonde” band, 1990 : INXS
63. Medium for Biggie Smalls : RADIO
64. First-aid gel : ALOE
65. “Out! I said out!” : SCAT!
66. “That’s not for me” : I PASS
67. Travel : WEND
68. Antennae, so to speak : EARS
69. Band director’s concern : TEMPO

Down
1. One of 12 in the European Union logo : STAR
2. Kind of street, informally : THRU
3. It can pull a bit to one side : REIN
4. Emphatic agreement : AMEN
5. Expert divers : PELICANS
6. The end : OMEGA
7. D.J.’s play : REMIX
8. Not looking good : GRIM
9. Distress call : YELP!
10. Part of the “wedding of the century” : LADY DI
11. Strong arm : UZI
12. Little bird : TIT
13. Last entry in the Random House Unabridged Dictionary : ZZZ
21. Rebuffs : NOS
22. Food safety subj. : TOX
25. Way out : EGRESS
26. Craving : THIRST
27. Equilibrium : STASIS
28. Microsoft product : OFFICE
29. Important member of a group : PILLAR
30. String substitute? : ET ALIA
31. Fix : RIG
32. Loco : DAFT
33. Doc bloc : AMA
35. Financial claim : LIEN
36. They’re often stuck in the I.C.U. : IVS
39. The origin of species? : OVA
40. Coen brothers Best Picture nominee : TRUE GRIT
41. Help with making the bed? : HOE
46. Hankered : ITCHED
47. Pitchfork wielders, perhaps : MOB
48. Certain spirit : GIN
50. “Cars” producer : PIXAR
51. Has a bias : LISTS
53. Clincher : VISE
54. Sun worshipers : INCA
55. It might get hot under the collar : NAPE
56. Town whose exports are waxed : EDAM
57. Bit of smoke : WISP
58. O.K. : SO-SO
59. Part of a 53-Down : JAW
60. Charge call : OLE!
61. ___ of God : SON

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8 thoughts on “1203-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Dec 15, Thursday”

  1. I thought this was a very solid grid. Interesting theme, kind of like a rebus, but not exactly. Generally good fill, but ZZZ? C'mon. The puzzle goes down pretty quickly once you get the theme. Very good effort. :24 for me.

  2. 46:46, no errors, but I had a heck of a time with the puzzle due to missteps and lots of things I had to guess at bacause I either didn't know them or only half-remembered them. (Once I finished, though, I was sure of all my answers.)

    @Bill … As published in the Times, were there any hints about the theme? (For example, was it titled "Roman Numerals Spelled Out?) In the Denver Post, there were no clues at all; if the same was true in the Times, then I think your 16:51 was not just good, but phenomenal.

    @Anonymous … We may have found some common ground with respect to bagpipers. For the last sixteen years, I have done (walked) a local 10K race. Most years, half a kilometer from the finish line, there has been a group of them piping amain. (Is such a group called a "torment of pipers", I wonder?) Each time, I have had the same thought: "My God, haven't we suffered enough without this!?" (That said, however, I have to admit that, a few years ago, after a long mountain climb, well above treeline and still at least three miles from the nearest trailhead, I encountered a lone bagpiper practicing and found the sound of the pipes, as heard from a distance in the mountain air, to be almost magical … so I guess there's a time and a place for everything.)

  3. @Dave Kinneson
    The NYTimes only provides a title/theme for the Sunday puzzles. I call out the themes myself for the Mon-Sat puzzles, as part of my attempt to explain what's going on in the crossword. That said, I often just repeat the "reveal answer" that's given in many of the puzzles.

    As for my solving time, well, I was raised solving cryptic puzzles back in Ireland, and we use the Roman numeral "trick" all the time. I guess I had an unfair advantage 🙂

  4. @Bill … Got it, thanks. I remain impressed with your time! A while back, I did one of those cryptic puzzles, just to see what they were like, and finished it, but found ir quite difficult. Maybe I'll try a few more …

  5. 21:33, no errors. As with the previous posters, I had a difficult time at first. Placing an occasional word here and there. When I was able to cross TOX and DATENIGHT (X/TEN), the theme became apparent. I liked this puzzle, the theme is clever, and served as a tool for solving the grid.

  6. The theme evaded us for quite a while. I got DATENIGHT, but thought the letters TEN were in the gray square. It finally dawned on me, and it was clear sailing after that.

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