1206-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Dec 15, Sunday

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Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Berry
THEME: With Drawl … each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase that has been written as if spoken WITH a DRAWL, giving us a whole new meaning:

24A. How you might classify a blade, a gas tank cap or a starter handle? : JUST ONE MOWER THING (from “just one more thing”)
27A. Reason to stay only at Hiltons or Marriotts? : FEAR OF HYATTS (from “fear of heights”)
45A. Mob that disturbs the peace in new and interesting ways? : CREATIVE RIOTERS (from “creative writers”)
61A. Attractive blacksmith at a stable? : PRETTY SHOER (from “pretty sure”)
75A. Municipal leaders who work the late shift? : NIGHT MAYORS (from “nightmares”)
91A. Troy, in the “Iliad”? : PRIAM REAL ESTATE (from “prime real estate”)
109A. Smallest possible aspirin dose? : BAYER MINIMUM (from “bare minimum”)
113A. Normandy’s coat of arms, basically? : DOUBLE YELLOW LIONS (from “double yellow lines”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 22m 50s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

4. Out patient’s state : COMA
The term “coma” comes from the Greek word “koma” meaning “deep sleep”.

21. American hub : O’HARE
Chicago’s O’Hare International is the busiest airport in the world in terms of takeoffs and landings. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 and 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built, there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. This name is the derivation of the airport’s current location identifier: ORD (OR-chard D-ouglas). Orchard Place Airport was renamed to O’Hare International in 1949 in honor of Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare who grew up in Chicago. O’Hare was the US Navy’s first flying ace and a Medal of Honor recipient in WWII.

American Airlines was founded in 1930 through the acquisition of 82 existing small airlines, and initially operated as American Airways. The company name was changed to “American Air Lines” in 1934. Back then, airlines made their profits by carrying the US mail, and American became the first airline to turn a profit on a route that could solely carry passengers. It did so by working with Donald Douglas to develop the DC-3 passenger plane. At that time, American started calling its aircraft “Flagships” and introduced its more wealthy passengers to the first Admirals Club.

23. Half a sawbuck : FIN
The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

“Sawbuck” is slang for a ten dollar bill. The term was applied to the bill as the Roman numeral X (ten) resembles the end of sawhorse.

27. Reason to stay only at Hiltons or Marriotts? : FEAR OF HYATTS (from “fear of heights”)
The Hyatt hotel chain takes its name from the first hotel in the group, that was purchased in 1957 i.e. Hyatt House at Los Angeles International Airport. Among other things, Hyatt is famous for designing the world’s first atrium hotel, the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.

Conrad Hilton was a native of New Mexico, but he bought his first hotel in Cisco, Texas, in 1919. He did well on the deal and opened up hotels all over Texas in the following years, and built the first high-rise Hilton Hotel in Dallas. Hilton went on to build the world’s first international hotel chain. Hilton was married three times, most famously to actress Zsa Zsa Gabor from 1942 to 1946.

Marriott Hotels developed their initial properties in the fifties. The first to open was the Quality Inn near Washington DC, the first purpose-built airport hotel in the country.

29. “Frozen” reindeer’s name : SVEN
“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”.

31. Roll served at a bar : SUSHI
Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If you want raw fish by itself, then you have to order “sashimi”.

39. “___ the Housetop” (Christmas song) : UP ON
“Up on the Housetop” is one of the oldest secular songs in the Christmas repertoire, with perhaps only “Jingle Bells” being older (from 1857). The most famous recording of “Up on the Housetop” was by Gene Autry in 1953.

42. Extremely, in dated slang : MONDO
The slang term “mondo” means “extremely”, and was a word much in use in the seventies. “Mondo” is Italian for world, and its slang usage derived from the 1961 cult movie called “Mondo cane”, or in English “A Dog’s World”.

49. John of England : ELTON
Elton John’s real name is Reginald Dwight. Sir Elton was knighted in 1998, not for his music but for his charitable work. He founded his own Elton John AIDS Foundation back in 1992.

50. 2013 Spike Jonze dramedy : HER
2003’s “Her” is a rather unusual film. It stars Joaquin Phoenix as a man who develops a relationship with a computer operating system called “Samantha”, which is voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

Spike Jonze is a movie director whose first feature film was “Being John Malkovich” (1999). Jonze also directed a couple of films for which he wrote the screenplays, namely “Where the Wild things Are” (2009) and “Her” (2013). Jonze also co-created the MTV show “Jackass”. Can’t stand that show, said he grumpily …

51. ___ mater (spinal membrane) : PIA
“Pia mater” is Latin, and means “tender mother”. It is the name given to the mesh-like envelope that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The pia mater brings blood to some of the exterior parts of the brain, and provides physical support for larger blood vessels passing over the brain’s surface.

55. Maker of indoor cars : OTIS
Otis is a manufacturer of elevators, escalators and moving walkways. By some accounts, Otis is the world’s most popular transportation company, with the equivalent of the whole world’s population travelling on Otis devices every few days.

57. Druggists’ implements : PESTLES
I’ve always loved the sound of the words “mortar” and “pestle”, ever since I was first introduced to them in the chemistry lab. The Romans called a receptacle for pounding or grinding things a “mortarium”, giving us “mortar”. Mortarium was also the word for the product of pounding and grinding, which gives us our “mortar” that’s used with bricks to build a wall. And further, short stubby cannons used in the 16th century resembled a grinding bowl and so were called “mortars”, which evolved into our contemporary weapon of the same name. As far as the pestle is concerned, it is also derived from its Latin name “pistillum”, which comes from the word for “crush”.

59. Hospital worker : ORDERLY
The noun “orderly” has been around at least since 1781, when it was applied to a military person who “carried orders”, so it might be an orderly corporal for example, depending on rank. The term spread into military hospitals first, and then into other hospitals where it applied to people responsible for keeping items in the hospital in order and clean.

63. Like Paganini, by birth : GENOAN
Genoa is a seaport in the very north of Italy, in the region known as Liguria. One of Genoa’s most famous sons was Christopher Columbus. Another was the violinist Niccolò Paganini.

Niccolò Paganini was a famed Italian violinist and composer. Paganini was perhaps the most celebrated violinist of the 19th century. His most famous composition has to be his Caprice No. 24 in A minor, Op. 1. This work is the basis for many derivative masterpieces by other composers, including the wonderful “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” by Rachmaninoff.

65. Food service giant based in Houston : SYSCO
It’s hard to drive down any highway in the US without coming across a Sysco truck. It really is a huge company, the largest food service enterprise in the country. “Sysco” is an abbreviation for Systems and Services Company.

66. CPR expert : EMT
An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

68. Candy brand since 1901 : NECCO
Necco Wafers are the best-known product line of the candy manufacturer called the New England Confectionery Company. The firm’s name is abbreviated to NECCO, an acronym that became synonymous with the wafers.

78. Director of “Carlito’s Way,” 1993 : DE PALMA
Brian De Palma is a very successful film director from Newark, New Jersey. Examples of De Palma films are “Carrie”, “Dressed to Kill”, “Scarface”, “The Untouchables” and “Mission: Impossible”.

“Carlito’s Way” is a 1993 crime film based on two novels by Judge Edwin Torres: “Carlito’s Way” and the sequel “After Hours”. Directed by Brian De Palma, the film stars Al Pacino as Carlito Brigante, an ex-con who intends to go straight but gets dragged back into a life of crime.

81. Panasonic rival : TOSHIBA
The Japanese company that we know today as Toshiba was formed in 1939 with the merger of Tokyo Electric and Shibaura Engineering Works. The “To-shiba” name comes from a melding of TO-kyo and SHIBA-ura.

Not so long ago, Panasonic was called Matsushita Electronics, the name it took from its founder when the company started in 1918. The products manufactured back then were lamp sockets, and in 1927 the company introduced a bicycle lamp. Even after the company became famous for producing electrical and electronic goods, Matsushita had a very successful line of Panasonic bicycles, as the founder was raised in a family with a bicycle shop and he was passionate about cycling.

82. Outback runners : EMUS
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

In Australia, the land outside of urban area is referred to as “the outback” or “the bush”. Although, I think that “outback” can also be used for the more remote parts of the bush.

83. Songwriter Novello : IVOR
Ivor Novello was one of the most popular entertainers in Britain in the early 20th century. Novello was a Welsh composer, singer and actor. On top of his success on the stage and in front of the camera, he even wrote the dialogue for the 1932 movie “Tarzan the Ape Man” starring Johnny Weissmuller.

87. Gaggle : goose :: clowder : ___ : CAT
Here are some colorful collective nouns:

– A shrewdness of apes
– A cloud of bats
– A bench of bishops
– A clowder of cats
– A waddling of ducks
– An army of frogs
– A knot of toads

88. Trident-shaped letter : PSI
The Greek letter psi is the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

89. Bass organs : GILLS
A fish’s gills are the organs equivalent to the lungs of many land animals. The gills can extract oxygen dissolved in water and excrete carbon dioxide.

91. Troy, in the “Iliad”? : PRIAM REAL ESTATE (from “prime real estate”)
Priam was king of Troy during the Trojan War. Reputedly, Priam was father to fifty sons and many daughters with his many wives. His eldest son and heir to the throne was Hector. Paris was another of Priam’s sons, the man who caused the Trojan War by eloping with Helen, Queen of Sparta.

95. Cold shower? : SLEET
Apparently “sleet” is a term used to describe two weather conditions. One is a shower of ice pellets, smaller than hail, and the second is a mixture of rain and snow, with the snow melting as it falls. It’s the second definition that I have always used …

96. Word in a New Year’s Eve song : AULD
The song “Auld Lang Syne” is a staple at New Year’s Eve (well, actually in the opening minutes of New Year’s Day). The words were written by Scottish poet Robbie Burns. The literal translation of “Auld Lang Syne” is “old long since”, but is better translated as “old times”. The sentiment of the song is “for old time’s sake”.

98. “We won” gesture : V-SIGN
One has to be careful making that V-sign depending where you are in the world. Where I came from, the V for victory (or peace) sign has to be made with the palm facing outwards. If the sign is made with the palm facing inwards, it can be interpreted as a very obscene gesture.

100. Nonprofit network : PBS
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) was founded in 1970, and is my favorite of the broadcast networks. I love PBS’s drama and science shows in particular, and always watch the election results coming in with the NewsHour team.

107. “Preparation meeting opportunity,” it’s said : LUCK
The adage “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” has been attributed to Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger.

Seneca the Younger was a playwright as well as a tutor and advisor to the Emperor Nero of Ancient Rome. Although maybe innocent, Seneca was forced to commit suicide by Nero as it was alleged that Seneca participated in a plot to kill the emperor. To kill himself, Seneca cut into a number of veins in order to bleed to death.

109. Smallest possible aspirin dose? : BAYER MINIMUM (from “bare minimum”)
Aspirin was a brand name for the drug acetylsalicylic acid. Aspirin was introduced by the German drug company Bayer AG in the late 1800s. As part of the war reparations paid by Germany after WWI, Bayer AG lost the use of the trademark “Aspirin” (as well as the trademark Heroin!) and it became a generic term.

113. Normandy’s coat of arms, basically? : DOUBLE YELLOW LIONS (from “double yellow lines”)
The Normans were the people from the north of France, from the region that bears the name Normandy. The Normans are descended from Viking stock, so the name “Norman” derives from a translation of “North Men”. The flag and coat of arms of the French region of Normandy consists of two yellow lions on a red background.

117. D-Day invaders : ALLIES
The Normandy landings on D-Day in 1944 took place along a 50-mile stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. The worst fighting by far took place on Omaha Beach, a sector assigned to the US Army that was transported by elements of the US Navy and the Royal Navy.

118. Green stuff : MOOLA
Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, scratch, simoleons, clams and moola are all slang terms for money.

120. Jimmy Fallon’s employer : NBC
Jimmy Fallon was a cast member for a number of years on “Saturday Night Live” before getting his own talk show in 2009, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”. Fallon took over “The Tonight Show” from Jay Leno in 2014.

122. Big Easy lunch : PO’ BOY
A po’ boy is a submarine sandwich from Louisiana. There are a lot of theories about where the name came from, and none sound too convincing to me. A po’ boy differs from a regular submarine sandwich in that it uses Louisiana French bread, which is soft in the middle and crusty on the outside.

124. “I Ching” concept : TAO
The “I Ching” is an ancient Chinese text dating back to the 2nd millennium BC. The text deals with aspects of cosmology and divination, and perhaps served as a guide for making predictions of the future. The statements in the “I Ching” consist of 64 hexagrams, sets of six lines composed in horizontal stacks.

Down
1. Repeated musical phrases : RIFFS
A “riff” is a short rhythmic phrase in music, especially one improvised on a guitar.

2. Leave-taking : ADIEU
“Adieu” is the French for “goodbye” or “farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”. We sometimes use “adieu” as a noun describing the act of leaving.

4. Front-wheel-drive coupling, for short : CV JOINT
Constant-velocity (CV) joints are universal joints that transmit power from the drive train to the front axel in front-wheel drive cars.

5. French ingredient in French toast : OEUF
“Oeuf” is the French for “egg”.

The dish made from bread soaked in milk with beaten eggs and then fried is usually called French toast in the US, but it also goes by the names German toast and Spanish toast. In France, the dish is known as “pain perdu”, which translates as “lost bread”. This name is a reference to the fact that “lost” or stale bread can be reclaimed by dipping it in a mixture of milk and eggs and then frying it.

8. Fictional Potawatomi tribesman : TONTO
On the television version of “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by the actor Jay Silverheels. In the 2013 movie “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by Johnny Depp.

The Potawatomi are a Native American people who live in the upper Mississippi River region. The name “Potawatomi” is an anglicized form of the term the Potawatomi use for themselves, which translates as “those who tend the hearth-fire”.

9. Butler on a plantation : RHETT
Rhett Butler woos Scarlett O’Hara at the Tara plantation in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind”. Tara was founded by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland. Rhett’s rival for the affections of Scarlet is Ashley Wilkes who lives at the nearby Twelve Oaks plantation.

10. Maker of Healthy Naturals food : IAMS
Iams dog food was produced by the animal nutritionist Paul Iams. He felt that household pets were suffering somewhat by being fed a diet of table scraps, so he developed a dry dog food that he felt was more nutritious and suitable for pet dogs. He founded the Iams company, now part of Procter & Gamble, in 1946.

16. Seismological focus : EPICENTER
The “epicenter” is that point on the surface of the earth which is directly above the focus of an earthquake.

17. City near Lake Tahoe : RENO
The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the whole world at the time.

Lake Tahoe is up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, right on the border between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the country, and the largest lake in general, behind the five Great Lakes. It’s also the second deepest lake, with only the beautiful Crater Lake in Oregon being deeper. Given its location, there are tall casinos that sit right on the shore on the Nevada side of the state line where gambling is legal.

25. Many a 1950s B-movie : OATER
The term “oater” that is used for a western movie comes from the number of horses seen, as horses love oats!

26. Chicago suburb : EVANSTON
The city of Evanston, Illinois is a suburb of Chicago. Most famously perhaps, Evanston is home to Northwestern University. The city was named for politician and physician John Evans, whose name was also lent to the city of Evans, Colorado and the summit Mount Evans, also in Colorado.

28. Mother of Zeus : RHEA
In Greek mythology Rhea was one of the Titans. She was the sister and husband of Cronus, and together they had six children, the last of which was Zeus. Cronus swallowed all of his children as soon as they were born, except for Zeus, who Rhea managed to hide from her husband.

34. First Pierce Brosnan 007 film : GOLDENEYE
“GoldenEye” was the first film in the “James Bond” series of movies to feature Pierce Brosnan as the lead. The title is a nod to the author of the “James Bond” novels, Ian Fleming. Fleming had worked for British Naval Intelligence during the war, and on Operation Goldeneye in particular. Fleming also used Goldeneye as the name for his estate in Jamaica.

37. Northeast octet : IVIES
The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

39. College team named for a tribe : UTES
The Runnin’ Utes are the basketball team of the University of Utah. The team was given the nickname the Runnin’ Redskins back when Jack Gardner was the head coach from 1953 to 1971. The “Runnin'” part of the name was chosen because Gardner was famous for playing quick offenses. The “Redskins” name was later dropped in favor of the less controversial “Utes”.

41. TV alien’s home : ORK
“Mork & Mindy” was broadcast from 1978 to 1982. We were first introduced to Mork (played by Robin Williams) in a special episode of “Happy Days”. The particular episode in question has a bizarre storyline culminating in Fonzie and Mork having a thumb-to-finger duel. Eventually Richie wakes up in bed, and alien Mork was just part of a dream! Oh, and “Nanu Nanu” means both “hello” and “goodbye” back on the planet Ork. “I am Mork from Ork, Nanu Nanu”. Great stuff …

45. Musician’s virtuosity : CHOPS
We use the word “chops” to mean “expertise” as in the phrases “showing his chops” and “having the chops”, meaning showing his expertise, having the expertise. This usage evolved from the use of the word “chops” for the mouth, jaw or lips, which dates back to the the 1700s. The more contemporary usage dates back to the 1940s when jazz musicians referred to the skill of a player with reference to their use of the lips on an instrument.

53. Treasure from una mina : ORO
In Spanish, one might find “oro” (gold) in “una mina” (a mine”).

56. Missouri’s original capital : ST CHARLES
St. Charles is a city in the east of Missouri that was founded in 1769. When Missouri was granted statehood in 1821, it was decided to build a new city as the state capital, and to name it the “City of Jefferson” (now “Jefferson City”). St. Charles was chosen as the temporary capital, until Jefferson City was ready in 1826.

58. Large volume : TOME
“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century “tome” had come to mean “a large book”.

60. Mike’s “Wayne’s World” co-star : DANA
Dana Carvey, along with the likes of Phil Hartman and Kevin Nealon, was part of the new breed of “Saturday Night Live” comedians credited with resurrecting the show in the late eighties. One of Carvey’s most popular characters was the Church Lady, and he became so associated with her that among fellow cast members Carvey was often referred to simply as “the Lady”. Another favorite Carvey character was Garth Algar who went to feature in the “Wayne’s World” movies. Carvey had open-heart surgery in 1997 to clear a blocked artery, but the surgical team operated on the wrong blood vessel. To recover, he had to have five more procedures. He ended up suing for medical malpractice and donated his $7.5 million compensation payment to charity.

Mike Myers does do a great British accent, witness his performance in the madcap “Austin Powers” movies. He has an advantage though, as both his parents are British, and live in Ontario, Canada.

“Wayne’s World” was originally a Saturday Night Live sketch starring Mike Myers (as Wayne) and Dana Carvey. The sketch was so successful that it was parlayed into two hit movies, released in 1992 and 1993. Not my cup of tea though …

63. Van ___, “Lane in Autumn” painter : GOGH
“Lane in Autumn” is an 1884 painting by Vincent van Gogh. We don’t get to see the original unfortunately, as it’s held in a private collection in Switzerland.

67. Stair’s face : RISER
The “riser” is the vertical part of a step in a flight of stairs.

71. Actor/activist Davis : OSSIE
Ossie Davis was a very successful African-American actor, but also a director, poet, playwright and social activist. One of Davis’s better known performances was in the 1993 movie “Grumpy Old Men”, in which he played the owner of the bait shop by the lake.

80. Attempt to pass the bar? : POLE-VAULT
The pole vault has been an Olympic event for men since the 1896 games. However, women’s pole vaulting was only introduced at the 2000 games.

81. Mr. ___ of “The Wind in the Willows” : TOAD
“The Wind in the Willows” is a classic children’s novel first published in 1908. Featured in the story are characters such as Mole, Ratty, Mr. Toad and Mr. Badger. The story’s author was Kenneth Grahame, a man who held the exalted position of Secretary of the Bank of England.

85. Boston skyscraper, with “the” : PRU
The Pru is the familiar name given to the Prudential Tower in Boston. It is currently the second highest building in the city, after the John Hancock Tower. However, if one includes the height of the radio tower on its roof, then it is the highest building in Boston. When it was completed in 1964, the Pru was the tallest building in the country outside of New York City.

86. “___ Darlin'” (Count Basie number) : LI’L
“Count” Basie’s real given name was “William”. Count Basie perhaps picked up his love for the piano from his mother, who played and gave him his first lessons. Basie’s first paying job as a musician was in a movie theater, where he learned to improvise a suitable accompaniment for the silent movies that were being shown. Basie was given the nickname “Count” as he became lauded as one of the so-called “Jazz royalty”. Others so honored are Nat “King” Cole and Duke Ellington.

90. Ben of “Zoolander” : STILLER
Ben Stiller is the son of actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. Ben is perhaps as well-known as a director as he is an actor. He made his debut as a director in the film “Reality Bites” in 1994.

“Zoolander” is a 2001 movie starring Ben Stiller, with Ben’s father, Jerry Stiller in a supporting role. Derek Zoolander is a male model, with the name coming from a melding of two real-life make models, Mark Vanderloo and Johnny Zander.

92. Place for visual aids : EASEL
The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

93. Talking toy since 1965 : SEE ‘N SAY
See ‘n Say is a toy that was introduced by Mattel back in 1965. Mattel already had a line of “talking” toys, especially the very successful Chatty Cathy doll. All these toys spoke random phrases after a string was pulled. The See ‘n Say toy was a little different in that the child using the toy could choose which phrase they wanted to hear.

100. Renaissance painter Uccello : PAOLO
Paolo Uccello was a an Italian painter, as well as a mathematician. As such, Uccello is well noted for his work on visual perspective in the world of art. His paintings had a sense of depth, setting him apart from his contemporaries. Uccello’s most famous work is “The Battle of San Romano”, a work divided into three large panels. Today, you’ve got to travel to see all three panels; one is in London, one in Paris, and one in Florence.

103. Dance from Cuba : RUMBA
The rumba is a Cuban dance, with influences brought by African slaves and Spanish colonists. The name “rumba” comes from “rumbo”, the Spanish word for “party, spree”.

104. Bygone gas station name : AMOCO
Amoco is an abbreviation for “American Oil Company”, which was acquired by BP in 1998 Amoco was the first oil company to introduce gasoline tanker trucks and drive-through filling stations. I wonder did they know what they were starting …?

105. Dutch export : 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.

106. Nestlé 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.

108. Dole’s 1996 running mate : KEMP
Jack Kemp was a Vice Presidential candidate in the 1996 presidential election, on the Republican ticket with Bob Dole. Prior to politics, Kemp played football in the NFL, serving as quarterback and captain of the San Diego Chargers and the Buffalo Bills. Kemp passed away in 2009, and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

109. Lava lamp lump : BLOB
The lava lamp was invented in 1960 by a British man, Edward Craven-Walker. The “lava” is a mixture of wax and carbon tetrachloride, floating in a water/glycerol mix. The wax reduces in density as it picks up heat from the incandescent bulb in the lamp’s base. The wax rises, cools, and then sinks to the bottom of the liquid only to be heated again.

111. Defensive ring : MOAT
A “moat” is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or a an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.

112. Personal assistant in “Young Frankenstein” : INGA
I am not really a big fan of movies by Mel Brooks, but “Young Frankenstein” is the exception. I think the cast has a lot to do with me liking the film, as it includes Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein), Teri Garr (Inga), Marty Feldman (Igor) and Gene Hackman (Harold, the blind man).

115. John of England : LOO
When I was growing up in Ireland, a “bathroom” was a room that had a bath and no toilet. The separate room with the commode was called “the toilet” or sometimes the W.C. (the water closet). Apparently the term closet was used because in the 1800s when homeowners started installing toilets indoors they often displaced clothes and linens in a “closet”, as a closet was the right size to take the commode. It has been suggested that the British term “loo” comes from Waterloo (water-closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo” in which the pot was called the loo!

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Butter? : RAM
4. Out patient’s state : COMA
8. Three of a kind, to a poker player : TRIPS
13. Earth, e.g. : SPHERE
19. Marriage agreement? : I DO
20. Take a turn : VEER
21. American hub : O’HARE
22. Stacked messily : HEAPED
23. Half a sawbuck : FIN
24. How you might classify a blade, a gas tank cap or a starter handle? : JUST ONE MOWER THING (from “just one more thing”)
27. Reason to stay only at Hiltons or Marriotts? : FEAR OF HYATTS (from “fear of heights”)
29. “Frozen” reindeer’s name : SVEN
30. Giving evasive answers : COY
31. Roll served at a bar : SUSHI
32. Little one : TOT
33. Timeworn words : ADAGE
35. Kind of strength : TENSILE
39. “___ the Housetop” (Christmas song) : UP ON
42. Extremely, in dated slang : MONDO
45. Mob that disturbs the peace in new and interesting ways? : CREATIVE RIOTERS (from “creative writers”)
49. John of England : ELTON
50. 2013 Spike Jonze dramedy : HER
51. ___ mater (spinal membrane) : PIA
52. Affect in a personal way : SPEAK TO
54. Small, secluded, wooded valley : DELL
55. Maker of indoor cars : OTIS
57. Druggists’ implements : PESTLES
59. Hospital worker : ORDERLY
61. Attractive blacksmith at a stable? : PRETTY SHOER (from “pretty sure”)
63. Like Paganini, by birth : GENOAN
65. Food service giant based in Houston : SYSCO
66. CPR expert : EMT
67. Corruption : ROT
68. Candy brand since 1901 : NECCO
72. Rough : HOARSE
75. Municipal leaders who work the late shift? : NIGHT MAYORS (from “nightmares”)
78. Director of “Carlito’s Way,” 1993 : DE PALMA
81. Panasonic rival : TOSHIBA
82. Outback runners : EMUS
83. Songwriter Novello : IVOR
84. Beseech on bended knee : IMPLORE
87. Gaggle : goose :: clowder : ___ : CAT
88. Trident-shaped letter : PSI
89. Bass organs : GILLS
91. Troy, in the “Iliad”? : PRIAM REAL ESTATE (from “prime real estate”)
95. Cold shower? : SLEET
96. Word in a New Year’s Eve song : AULD
97. Never closed, as a resort : ALL-YEAR
98. “We won” gesture : V-SIGN
100. Nonprofit network : PBS
102. One who gets no credit? : EXTRA
105. Historical chapter : ERA
107. “Preparation meeting opportunity,” it’s said : LUCK
109. Smallest possible aspirin dose? : BAYER MINIMUM (from “bare minimum”)
113. Normandy’s coat of arms, basically? : DOUBLE YELLOW LIONS (from “double yellow lines”)
116. Punk subgenre : EMO
117. D-Day invaders : ALLIES
118. Green stuff : MOOLA
119. Wildly enthusiastic : GAGA
120. Jimmy Fallon’s employer : NBC
121. Moves quickly, informally : MOTORS
122. Big Easy lunch : PO’ BOY
123. Hang around : STAY
124. “I Ching” concept : TAO

Down
1. Repeated musical phrases : RIFFS
2. Leave-taking : ADIEU
3. Brothers’ keepers : MONASTERIES
4. Front-wheel-drive coupling, for short : CV JOINT
5. French ingredient in French toast : OEUF
6. Interlock : MESH
7. Like many student films : ARTY
8. Fictional Potawatomi tribesman : TONTO
9. Butler on a plantation : RHETT
10. Maker of Healthy Naturals food : IAMS
11. Supporting : PRO
12. Wraps (up) : SEWS
13. Least bit : SHRED
14. Honey or pumpkin : PET NAME
15. “Serves you right!” : HAH!
16. Seismological focus : EPICENTER
17. City near Lake Tahoe : RENO
18. Pushing the envelope : EDGY
25. Many a 1950s B-movie : OATER
26. Chicago suburb : EVANSTON
28. Mother of Zeus : RHEA
34. First Pierce Brosnan 007 film : GOLDENEYE
36. ___ cup (spillproof container) : SIPPY
37. Northeast octet : IVIES
38. Dogfight preventers : LEASHES
39. College team named for a tribe : UTES
40. Blowtube projectile : PEA
41. TV alien’s home : ORK
43. Occupant of a small house : DOLL
44. No more than : ONLY
45. Musician’s virtuosity : CHOPS
46. Have another go at : RETRY
47. Castaway’s site : ISLET
48. Phone button abbr. : OPER
53. Treasure from una mina : ORO
56. Missouri’s original capital : ST CHARLES
58. Large volume : TOME
60. Mike’s “Wayne’s World” co-star : DANA
62. Easily manipulated sort : TOOL
63. Van ___, “Lane in Autumn” painter : GOGH
64. Principled : ETHICAL
67. Stair’s face : RISER
69. Bedroom on a train, e.g. : COMPARTMENT
70. Piece of pizza? : CRUST
71. Actor/activist Davis : OSSIE
73. “___ right?” : AM I
74. Unchecked growth : RAMPANCY
75. Expected amount : NORM
76. Kids’ outdoor game : T-BALL
77. Chum at sea : MATEY
78. Does an investigation : DIGS
79. Maleficent : EVIL
80. Attempt to pass the bar? : POLE-VAULT
81. Mr. ___ of “The Wind in the Willows” : TOAD
85. Boston skyscraper, with “the” : PRU
86. “___ Darlin'” (Count Basie number) : LI’L
90. Ben of “Zoolander” : STILLER
92. Place for visual aids : EASEL
93. Talking toy since 1965 : SEE ‘N SAY
94. City dweller’s yell : TAXI!
99. Suppose : GUESS
100. Renaissance painter Uccello : PAOLO
101. Road less traveled : BYWAY
103. Dance from Cuba : RUMBA
104. Bygone gas station name : AMOCO
105. Dutch export : EDAM
106. Nestlé candy brand : ROLO
108. Dole’s 1996 running mate : KEMP
109. Lava lamp lump : BLOB
110. Oil field sights : RIGS
111. Defensive ring : MOAT
112. Personal assistant in “Young Frankenstein” : INGA
114. Book jacket info : BIO
115. John of England : LOO

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4 thoughts on “1206-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Dec 15, Sunday”

  1. 43:46, no errors. Not quite in synch with the setter, had to think a while before filling in a lot of the answers. Enjoyed the theme, and actually used the theme to fill in some of the blocks. Good puzzle.

  2. 25:52, no errors. I agree with BruceB: a good puzzle. One additional comment: I've always rather suspected that those lists of collective nouns that one sees are a long-standing joke of some kind. That said, my favorite has always been "a murder of crows". Last summer, a mob of the critters moved into my neighborhood and I learned to detest them all the more (their obvious intelligence notwithstanding … 🙂

  3. In the interest of an equal time argument, we had a crow for over a year and a half; it was rescued when it was kicked out of its nest and crashed into a window. For months, we thought it would NEVER learn to fly (and we sure can't teach it). But we continued to shelter the crow, and decided to let nature take its own course in its own time.

    Just as we were resigning to ourselves that we had a permanent and messy "pet" on our hands… and one that actually over time punched a growing hole in our rear deck (!!) we noticed our crow getting more adventurous. He/she/it had the run of the back yard but never flew away, never got in the trees or even on the roof. Then, day by day, he/she/it began to explore those boundaries. Then one day we saw it sitting on the chainlink fence. Then on the roof. Then on the front yard. Then walking up and down the street.

    And eventually, it (still not sure of its gender) did fly away… and these days, the crow… and its companion and at least one offspring … come back and sit on the power lines over our back yard and call to us. It never gets close enough anymore to touch, won't roost on a hand or a finger… but we can still tell which of the neighborhood birds is "our" crow.

  4. My big easy lunch was a pnjay.
    I thought perhaps I could get away with dropping the"B.
    Ian wasn't fitting so I tried Lon. I'll have to buy a lava lamp they're always showing up in xwords.

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