1205-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Dec 15, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David J. Kahn
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 21m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Company whose name paradoxically means “shelter with no walls” : RAMADA
The Ramada Inn hotel chain takes its name from the Spanish word for a shady resting place. A ramada is a shelter with a roof and no walls, mainly found in the American southwest. Nowadays a ramada can be temporary or permanent, but originally ramadas were makeshift shelters constructed by aboriginal Indians from branches or bushes.

15. Co-author of “The Yankee Years” : JOE TORRE
As a manager, Joe Torre was part of four World Series wins, all of them with the New York Yankees baseball team. Torre is an Italian American who was born in Brooklyn, New York. During the run up (pun intended!) to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Torre carried the Olympic flame part of the way through Florence in Italy, handing it over to the next runner at the famous Ponte Vecchio. I’d guess that was quite a thrill for him …

16. Least likely to be out to lunch? : SANEST
“To be out to lunch” is to be not completely here, a little crazy.

17. Tout de suite : IN NO TIME
“Tout de suite” is French for “immediately”.

18. “Be Cool” co-star, 2005 : UMA THURMAN
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”.

“Be Cool” is a comedy-crime movie released in 2005 and starring John Travolta. Based on a Elmore Leonard’s novel of the same name, “Be Cool” is a sequel to the 1995 film “Get Shorty”, which is also based on a Leonard novel. Not my kind of movie …

21. Amsterdam of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” : MOREY
Morey Amsterdam was the actor and comedian who played Buddy Sorrell on “The Dick Van Dyke Show”. He was a skilled cellist, and worked in a Chicago speakeasy in the 1920s that was operated by Al Capone. Amsterdam made the move from the Midwest to California after being caught up in a gunfight in said speakeasy. Wise move …

24. Tennis’s Ivanovic : ANA
Ana Ivanovic is a Serbian tennis player, and former world number one. As well as playing tennis, she also studied finance at university in her native Belgrade.

26. Vice President Alben Barkley’s successor’s inits. : RMN
President Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN) used “Milhous” in his name in honor of his mother Hannah Milhous. Richard was born in a house in Yorba Linda, California. You can visit that house today as it is on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. It’s a really interesting way to spend a few hours if you ever get to Yorba Linda …

Alben Barkley served as Vice President of the US under President Truman. Truman and Barkley fought the famously close presidential race against Governor Dewey of New York in 1948. As President Truman finished his second term, Vice President Barkley announced his candidacy for the highest office, but was pressured to pull out of the race as he was considered too old at 74 years.

27. Arcadian : RUSTIC
Arcadia was a mountainous region of Ancient Greece, well known for the innocence and contentment of its people who lived a simple, pastoral life. Arcadia has been used ever since as the name of a place offering peace and simplicity.

30. St. ___ parish (Crosby/Bergman movie setting) : MARY’S
“Going My Way” is a 1944 musical film starring Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald as the incoming and outgoing pastors of a New York City parish. The film was so successful that it spawned a sequel called “The Bells of St. Mary’s” that was released the following year, with Crosby starring opposite Ingrid Bergman.

33. His first major screen appearance was in 1940 : PINOCCHIO
1940’s “Pinocchio” was the second animated feature produced by Walt Disney, following the success of 1937’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. “Pinocchio” was the first animated feature to win a competitive Oscar, winning for Best Original Score and for Best Original Song “When You Wish upon a Star”.

35. Daily show filmed in Burbank, Calif. : CONAN
Before Conan O’Brien came to fame as a late night talk show host, he was a writer. O’Brien wrote for both “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons”.

39. Casual invention : FIB
To “fib” is to “to tell a lie”. The term likely comes from “fibble-fable” meaning “nonsense”, itself derived from “fable”.

42. Sacred text of Zoroastrianism : AVESTA
The Avesta is the main collection of sacred texts of the religion Zoroastrianism (also “Mazdaism”). Zoroastrianism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and held sway in the pre-Islamic Iranian empires from around 600 to 650 BCE.

44. Longtime record label that shares its inits. with a major government agcy. : IRS
IRS Records is a label that was founded in 1979, with the name standing for International Record Syndicate.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

45. Chocolate candy brand : ROLO
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.

49. ___ shot : JELL-O
The earliest published recipe for Jell-O shots (or equivalent) was published in 1862 in a book called “How to Mix Drinks” by Jerry Thomas. That recipe called for gelatin, cognac, rum and lemon juice.

52. Field near the Anacostia River : RFK STADIUM
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium was opened in 1961 as the District of Columbia Stadium, and is actually owned by the District of Columbia. The stadium was renamed in 1969, a few months after Robert Kennedy was assassinated. Kennedy had been instrumental the racial integration of the Washington Redskins who played in the stadium for 36 seasons. As Attorney General, Kennedy threatened to oust the Redskins from the federally-owned stadium unless the team agreed to sign African American players.

The Anacostia is a short river (8.7 miles long) that empties into the Potomac in Washington, D.C. I personally had never heard of the Anacostia. I don’t feel so bad though, as I just read that it is often referred to as “D.C.’s forgotten river”.

54. Part of Boston’s subway system that runs under Boston Harbor : BLUE LINE
The Blue Line of Boston’s MBTA subway system was labelled “Blue” in 1967 as it passes under Boston Harbor.

57. Role played by Richard Gere and John Cleese : LANCELOT
“First Knight” is a not-so-great 1995 film based on the legend of King Arthur. There is a great cast, including Sean Connery as Arthur, Julia Ormond as Guinevere and Richard Gere as Lancelot.

“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” was released as a movie in 1975, and was a great success. King Arthur was portrayed by Graham Chapman, and Sir Lancelot by John Cleese. Some thirty years later, the film’s storyline was used as inspiration for the hit musical “Spamalot”. I saw “Spamalot” on stage and wasn’t that impressed. But, mine was very much a minority opinion …

59. What all the answers to should be clear? : EYE TEST
The commonly used eye chart (that starts with the letters “E FP TOZ LPED”) is called a Snellen chart. The test is named after its developer Herman Snellen, who introduced it way back in 1862.

Down
1. Position papers? : RESUMES
A résumé is a summary of a person’s job experience and education and is used as a tool by a job seeker. In many countries, a résumé is equivalent to a curriculum vitae. “Résumé” is the French word for “summary”.

2. In : A LA MODE
In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie, usually with ice cream, or as I recall from when I lived in Upstate New York, with cheese.

3. The world’s oldest one is in Tunisia : MINARET
A minaret is an architectural feature of Islamic mosques, a tall tower with an onion-shaped crown that is used for the call to prayer. The world’s oldest minaret is part of the Great Mosque of Kairouan in Tunisia, having been completed in 836 BCE.

4. Winning blackjack combo : ACE-TEN
The game of “twenty-one” was first referred to in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing “Don Quixote”. He called the game “ventiuna” (Spanish for “twenty-one”). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn’t all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker “Blackjack”.

6. Island whose battlefield area is a U.S. National Historic Landmark : ATTU
Attu is the westernmost island in the Aleutian chain, and so is the westernmost part of Alaska. Japanese forces took the island in October 1942, eventually landing as many as 2,900 soldiers there. In May 1943, the US Army retook the island in twenty days of fighting that is now called the Battle of Attu, the only land battle to take place on US soil during WWII. I am very proud of my father-in-law, who served in the Aleutians in WWII …

7. Marine detector : SONAR
The British developed the first underwater detection system that used sound waves. Research was driven by defence demands during WWI, leading to production of working units in 1922. This new sound detection system was described as using “supersonics”, but for the purpose of secrecy the term was dropped in favor of an acronym. The work was done under the auspices of the Royal Navy’s Anti-Submarine Division, so ASD was combined with the IC from “superson-ic-s” to create the name ASDIC. The navy even went as far as renaming the quartz material at the heart of the technology “ASDivite”. By the time WWII came along, the Americans were producing their own systems and coined the term SONAR, playing off the related application, RADAR. And so the name ASDIC was deep-sixed …

8. Actress Marilu : HENNER
As an actress, Marilu Henner’s most celebrated role was as Elaine O’Connor Nardo on “Taxi”. Henner has a condition called a Superior Autobiographical Memory. This means that she can recall information and events that took place on every day of her life, starting from a very early age.

9. Fox neighbor : OTO
The Otoe (also Oto) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestwards ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

The Meskwaki are Native American people, also known as the Fox, who probably originated in the northeast along the St. Lawrence River. Over time, they migrated south and west, and after a turbulent journey ended up on reservations in Oklahoma. The Sacs people had similar origins as the Meskwaki, and similar migrations. The two groups eventually merged into the Sac and Fox Nation.

10. ___ board : TOTE
Parimutuel betting is a system in which the bookmaker is guaranteed a pre-determined profit. In the system, all bets are pooled, taxes and house profit are removed, and the payoff is made with the resulting pool. In some parts of the world the parimutuel system is referred to as the Tote (as indeed it is in Ireland).

12. Neighbor of Georgia : ARMENIA
Armenia is a landlocked country found east of Turkey, and is a former Soviet Republic. Back in the year 301, the ancient Kingdom of Armenia became the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity as its national religion.

The former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Georgia is now an independent country. Supposedly, the Georgian people were given their name because they especially revered St. George. The flag of Georgia does indeed feature five St. George’s crosses.

15. Partner of 33-Across : JIMINY CRICKET
In the original novel “Pinocchio” by Carlo Collodi, there is a talking cricket, a relatively minor character. Walt Disney gave his cricket a much larger role, and the name “Jiminy”, in his big screen adaptation of the story released in 1940.

19. Cannon loader : RAMROD
A ramrod is a “stick” that is inserted into the barrel of an older firearm in order to pack the bullet or ball tightly against the charge of gunpowder. A ramrod can also be used to push a cleaning rag through the barrel of a gun.

23. Substitute, as words : DUB IN
If voices needed to be altered on the soundtrack of a film, that means double the work as there needs to be a re-recording. “Dub” is short for “double”, and is a term we’ve been using since the late 1920s.

33. Step on French soil : PAS
“Pas” is the French word for “step”.

36. Gold leaf, e.g. : OVERLAY
Gold leaf is real gold, usually 22-karat yellow gold, that has been hammered out into very thin sheets.

37. Triton’s locale : NEPTUNE
Triton is the largest moon of Neptune, and is named after the Greek sea god (Neptune is the Roman sea god). Triton is unique in our solar system in that it has a “retrograde orbit”, meaning that it orbits Neptune in the opposite direction to the planet’s rotation.

41. Sixtysomethings, say : BOOMERS
A baby boomer is someone who was born in the post-WWII baby boom. The rate of births had been falling fairly steadily in the US at least since 1900, but this trend was sharply reversed in 1946 after WWII. The higher birth rate continued until 1964, when it returned to pre-war levels. Since then the birth rate has continued to decline, although at a slower pace. The period between 1946 and 1964 is defined as the “baby boom”.

43. Rainy times : APRILS
The phenomenon of “April Showers” really applies to the UK and Ireland. Increased occurrence of rain during April is largely due to an annual change in the position of the jet stream.

45. Colored sunfish : REDEAR
The redear sunfish is a freshwater fish found primarily in the southeastern US. The male redear has a red marking that looks like an ear, if fish had ears.

49. Economist Yellen : JANET
The economist Janet Yellen has been the Chair of the Federal Reserve since 2014, and is the first woman to hold the position.

53. Over-the-counter antacid : TUMS
The main ingredient in Tums antacid, made by GlaxoSmithKline, is calcium carbonate. Tums have been on the market since 1930. If you want to save a few pennies, Target brand antacid is identical to Tums, so I hear …

55. Victor at Fussell’s Mill : LEE
The Second Battle of Deep Bottom (also called “Fussell’s Mill”) was fought in the middle of August 1864, in Henrico County, Virginia during the Civil War. The Union forces were led by Maj. Gen Winfield S. Hancock, and the Confederates by Gen Robert E. Lee and Maj, Gen W. Field.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Company whose name paradoxically means “shelter with no walls” : RAMADA
7. Was consistently in the hole? : SHOT PAR
14. Pull out : ELICIT
15. Co-author of “The Yankee Years” : JOE TORRE
16. Least likely to be out to lunch? : SANEST
17. Tout de suite : IN NO TIME
18. “Be Cool” co-star, 2005 : UMA THURMAN
20. Flush : EVEN
21. Amsterdam of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” : MOREY
22. Not kept secret : AIRED
24. Tennis’s Ivanovic : ANA
25. Dreamland : EDEN
26. Vice President Alben Barkley’s successor’s inits. : RMN
27. Arcadian : RUSTIC
29. Adjust : SET
30. St. ___ parish (Crosby/Bergman movie setting) : MARY’S
32. Speak plaintively : BLEAT
33. His first major screen appearance was in 1940 : PINOCCHIO
35. Daily show filmed in Burbank, Calif. : CONAN
38. Deplete : DRAIN
39. Casual invention : FIB
42. Sacred text of Zoroastrianism : AVESTA
44. Longtime record label that shares its inits. with a major government agcy. : IRS
45. Chocolate candy brand : ROLO
46. Zip : PEP
47. Zip : SPICE
49. ___ shot : JELL-O
50. They may be endowed : ARTS
52. Field near the Anacostia River : RFK STADIUM
54. Part of Boston’s subway system that runs under Boston Harbor : BLUE LINE
56. Funny feeling : UNEASE
57. Role played by Richard Gere and John Cleese : LANCELOT
58. Slim : MEAGER
59. What all the answers to should be clear? : EYE TEST
60. Make clear, say : STRESS

Down
1. Position papers? : RESUMES
2. In : A LA MODE
3. The world’s oldest one is in Tunisia : MINARET
4. Winning blackjack combo : ACE-TEN
5. Full of gossip : DISHY
6. Island whose battlefield area is a U.S. National Historic Landmark : ATTU
7. Marine detector : SONAR
8. Actress Marilu : HENNER
9. Fox neighbor : OTO
10. ___ board : TOTE
11. Not to be shared with anyone : PRIVATE
12. Neighbor of Georgia : ARMENIA
13. Put on something old? : REENACT
15. Partner of 33-Across : JIMINY CRICKET
19. Cannon loader : RAMROD
23. Substitute, as words : DUB IN
26. Headed up : RAN
28. Warning in a school zone : SLO
30. Some hotel offerings : MINTS
31. Cows : SCARES
33. Step on French soil : PAS
34. ___ Honor : HIS
35. Up to, with “of” : CAPABLE
36. Gold leaf, e.g. : OVERLAY
37. Triton’s locale : NEPTUNE
39. Fall ___ : FOLIAGE
40. Handles badly : ILL-USES
41. Sixtysomethings, say : BOOMERS
43. Rainy times : APRILS
45. Colored sunfish : REDEAR
48. Otherwise : IF NOT
49. Economist Yellen : JANET
51. Result of a split decision? : SECT
53. Over-the-counter antacid : TUMS
55. Victor at Fussell’s Mill : LEE

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6 thoughts on “1205-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Dec 15, Saturday”

  1. A totally embarrassing 1:25:48 … but with no errors. Maybe I'm just having a bad day, but this puzzle seemed to hit absolutely all of my weak spots. By the time I finished, I was sure I had everything right, but, for lack of progress, I almost gave up several times. A major "aha" moment came when I realized that 33A and 15D could not possibly be a husband-and-wife acting team and JIMINY CRICKET suddenly popped into my head.

    @Anonymous … Yesterday, you expressed skepticism about Bill's solving times. He has addressed this issue in the past and I'll leave it to him to comment if he so wishes, but I feel a need to make one comment: If I have learned nothing else in my 72 years, I have at least come to realize that, no matter what I do, there exists someone else who could have done it better and faster. A few years ago, I climbed Longs Peak in less than six hours, round-trip, and thought that was pretty good – until I found out that it's been done in less than two. At one time, I got pretty fast with a Rubik's Cube and could unscramble one in a minute or so – but the record is now under five seconds. I've never tried the cup-stacking thing, but it's instructive to go on YouTube and watch what some of the kids can do; It's mind-boggling. I could give lots of other examples, but it's clear that we humans vary enormously in our abilities.

    Okay … my two cents' worth … time to get off my soapbox … 🙂

  2. 36:46, no errors. Initially impenetrable for me as well. Went through the entire list of clues and entered only 53D TUMS. But, eventually, TUMS led to UNEASE, MEAGER; which led to ILL USES, FOLIAGE and BOOMERS. When the first 3 letters of 15D looked like JIM, JIMINY CRICKET/PINOCCHIO were just wild guesses that turned out to be correct.

    The late week puzzles are intended to stretch peoples' thought processes. Looking up the answers will reveal that the clues provided are often uncommon usages, fourth or fifth definitions in the dictionary. I don't Google answers, so I wouldn't have felt bad getting a DNF today.

    The first time I came to this blog, I was impressed by the fact that Bill always posted his times, and any errors that he made. Have not seen that anywhere else. That is one of the reasons I try to post my results here every day, as well. Just an honest accounting of how someone else performed. On some days I am just not in sync with the setters thought process and don't finish; other days we will just click, and once in a blue moon I will beat Bill's time. That's what makes these puzzles, and this blog, interesting.

  3. Re: 2D – Just reminded me of a business trip to the deep south where a waitress asked us if we wanted some "a la mode" on our pie? Different day, same diner, probably not the same waitress (but, who knows?) – after ordering breakfast she asked "Hun, you want grits or hash browns with yer aigs?" I asked for the hash browns and she said :We ain't got none!" I'm still laughing 45 years later.

  4. Great puzzle, but thank heaven I make copies of the Friday and Saturday Times puzzles. (I do them in ink.) I was able to restart after completely getting 33 across wrong. Another nine-space possibility, BUGS BUNNY, is what I wrote. Bugs made an early appearance in the Warner Brothers cartoon "Porky's Hare Hunt" in 1937 but the "real" Bugs, what we know today, debuted in the Oscar-nominated 1940 cartoon, "A Wild Hare." Anyway, after I finally realized that the clue wasn't correct then it took a while but I finally got the correct answer. Anyway, like I said, I enjoyed this one a lot after the Pinocchio blunder. P.S. Did you know that a la mode also means beef cooked with vegetables, like a pot roast with carrots, onions, and celery? My mother once freaked out a friend of mine who was staying for dinner by saying we were having beef a la mode. He thought she was going to serve the meat with ice cream atop it.

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