1223-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Dec 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jim Peredo
THEME: A Christmas Carol … our themed answers today hide the closing words from the novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. The character who speaks the words is also named in the grid, and quite visually with a “tiny TIM” in one rebus square:

36A. Novella whose final words are found in the shaded squares : A CHRISTMAS CAROL
65A. Speaker of the words in the shaded squares, expressed literally : TINY TIM

13A. Samuel Beckett’s “En attendant ___” : GODOT (God)
22A. French upper crust : NOBLESSE (bless)
27A. “Goldfinger” temptress : PUSSY GALORE (us,)
44A. “Nonsense!” : THE VERY IDEA (every)
53A. Complexion : SKIN TONE (one!)

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

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Singer Williams of the Temptations : OTIS
The singing group known as the Temptations used to be known as the Elgins, and was formed in 1960 in Detroit. The group is still performing today, although only the second tenor, Otis Williams, was part of the original quintet. The Temptations were very much associated with their “sister group”, the Supremes.

5. “Toy Story” dog that shares its name with a missile : SCUD
In the 1995 film “Toy Story”, Scud is a vicious bull terrier belonging to the evil boy Sid.

Scud missiles were developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Soviets called them R-11 missiles at first, with later versions known as R-17 and R-300 Elbrus. The name “Scud” was actually the name NATO used for the missile, a name created by Western intelligence officers. Ballistic missiles haven’t been used a lot in actual warfare, the exception being the German V-2 rocket attacks on England during WWII. After the V-2, the second most-used ballistic missile in warfare is the Scud, which featured in a number of conflicts:

– used by Egypt against Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973
– used by the USSR in Afghanistan
– used by Libya against a US Coast Guard station in the Mediterranean in 1986
– used by Iranians and Iraqis in the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88
– used by Iraq in the Gulf War of 1990-91

13. Samuel Beckett’s “En attendant ___” : GODOT
“Waiting for Godot” is a play by novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett that premiered in 1953. Irishman Beckett actually wrote the piece in French, under the title “En attendant Godot”. He then translated the play into English himself. I’ve tried sitting through “Waiting Godot” just one time, and failed. Mine is very much a minor opinion as “Waiting for Godot” was once voted the most significant English-language play of the 20th century.

15. Actress Anderson : LONI
Loni Anderson’s most-remembered role was Jennifer Marlowe on the sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati”. Anderson has been married four times, most famously to actor Burt Reynolds from 1988 to 1993.

18. 1977 film described by Leonard Maltin as “For undiscriminating action fans whose idea of entertainment is watching Bo [Derek] getting her leg bitten off” : ORCA
“Orca” is a 1977 horror movie based on an Arthur Herzog novel of the same name. The film stars Richard Harris and Charlotte Rampling. “Orca” is often compared to “Jaws”, which was released just two years earlier. “Orca” tends to lose out in that comparison.

20. ___ Queen : ELLERY
The Ellery Queen series of detective novels was somewhat unique in that Ellery Queen was the hero of the tales, and was also the pen name of the author. Actually, the “author” was a pair of writers; two cousins from Brooklyn, New York.

24. Set of sheets? : REAM
A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”.

26. West Coast capital : OLYMPIA
Olympia is the capital of Washington State and is located in the Puget Sound region. The city’s name was chosen in 1852, a reference to the view of the Olympic Mountains to the northwest.

27. “Goldfinger” temptress : PUSSY GALORE
Pussy Galore is a character in the “James Bond” novel “Goldfinger” by Ian Fleming. In the 1964 film adaptation, she was played by actress Honor Blackman, who also played Cathy Gale in the British spy series “The Avengers” in the sixties. I recently read the latest “James Bond” novel, written by Anthony Horowitz. Published in 2015 and titled “Trigger Mortis”, it is set just two weeks after the events in “Goldfinger”, and once again features Pussy Galore as the “Bond Girl”.

31. Bon ___ : AMI
Bon Ami cleanser was introduced just a few years after Bon Ami soap went to market in 1886. The cleanser was marketed by emphasising its “non-scratch” properties. The label showed a chick coming out of an egg, the idea being that a newly hatched chick hasn’t yet scratched the ground looking for worms and insects.

32. “The woman,” to Sherlock Holmes : IRENE
The character Irene Adler only appeared in one of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In that story, “A Scandal in Bohemia”, Holmes expresses remarkable admiration for Adler as a woman and as a foe. As a result, derivative works in the Holmes genre often feature Adler as something of a romantic interest for Sherlock.

36. Novella whose final words are found in the shaded squares : A CHRISTMAS CAROL
The classic 1843 novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to popular use of the phrase “Merry Christmas”, and secondly it gave us the word “scrooge” meaning a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that Ebenezer Scrooge uttered the words “Bah! Humbug!”.

41. Indian state known for its tea : ASSAM
Assam is a state in the very northeast of India, just south of the Himalayas. Assam is noted for its tea as well as its silk.

52. National hero of Brazil : PELE
Pelé is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name Pelé for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been part of three World Cup winning squads, and is a national treasure in his native Brazil.

59. Title river in a Christie mystery : NILE
Agatha Christie wrote a very successful crime novel called “Death on the Nile” that was first published in 1937. That novel had started off life as a play, which was was never performed, one that Christie called “Moon on the Nile”. Christie then adapted the novel back into a play again calling it “Murder on the Nile”, which opened in London in 1946.

60. Toy behind several international theme parks : LEGO
There are currently six Legoland theme parks in the world, with two here in North America. One of the US parks is in Winter Haven, Florida and the other is in Carlsbad, California (which is the one that I’ve visited … a fun place).

62. Nine-fingered hobbit : FRODO
Frodo Baggins is a principal character in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. Frodo is a Hobbit, and is charged with the quest of destroying Sauron’s Ring in the fires of Mount Doom.

64. Suzanne with the 1987 hit “Luka” : VEGA
Suzanne Vega is a singer-songwriter from Santa Monica, California. Her two most famous songs are “Luka” and “Tom’s Diner”, both released in the eighties.

65. Speaker of the words in the shaded squares, expressed literally : TINY TIM
Tiny Tim is the nickname of Timothy Cratchit, the little disabled boy in the Charles Dickens novella “A Christmas Carol”. “A Christmas Carol” is such a popular book that it has not been out of print since its first publication in December 1843.

Down
4. Suzanne of “Three’s Company” : SOMERS
Suzanne Somers is an actress whose big break came playing the ditzy Chrissy Snow on the sitcom “Three’s Company”. When contracts came up for renewal for the cast in the fifth season, the relationship between Somers and the producers soured rapidly. Somers went on a strike of sorts and for most of the fifth season made only token appearances in the show in scenes that were filmed without other members of the regular cast. The Chrissy Snow character was replaced in the sixth season.

8. Dios’s enemy : DIABLO
In Spanish, the archenemy of “Dios” (God) is the “diablo” (devil).

9. Things meant to be used and then thrown away : EPHEMERA
“Ephemera” was originally a medical term, used to describe a fever that only lasted a day. The use of the term was expanded in the 17th century to include insects that were “short-lived”. By end of the 18th century “ephemera” were any things of transitory existence.

11. People of Rwanda : TUTSI
The Tutsi are the second largest population of people in Rwanda, with the Hutu being the largest group. The bloody conflict that has existed between the Tutsi and Hutu peoples dates back to about 1880 when Catholic missionaries arrived in the region. The missionaries found that they had more success converting the Hutus than the Tutsi, and when the Germans occupied the area during WWI they confiscated Tutsi land and gave it to Hutu tribes in order to reward religious conversion. This injustice fuels fighting to this very day.

12. “Ulysses” actor Milo : O’SHEA
Milo O’Shea was a great Irish character actor from Dublin who has appeared in everything from “Romeo and Juliet” to “The West Wing”. Sadly, O’Shea passed away in 2013, in New York City.

“Ulysses” is a 1967 movie based on the famous James Joyce novel of the same name. Milo O’Shea played the lead role of Leopold Bloom. The dialogue in the film is lifted almost word for word from the novel, which is probably why “Ulysses” is probably the first film to use the “f***” word.

14. They roll around in London : TYRES
The British spelling of “tyre”, for what we call a “tire” here in North America, was indeed the original spelling. The English started to use “tire” spelling in the 17th century, and then shifted back to the current “tyre” in the 19th century.

21. “Get Yer ___ Out!” (Rolling Stones album) : YA-YA’S
“Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” is a live album that the Rolling Stones released in 1970. The title “Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” is a slang phrase exhorting one to live life to the full.

23. “I can’t get no satisfaction,” e.g. : LYRIC
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” is a song recorded in 1965 that was a monumental hit for the Rolling Stones. The song was the first number-one hit in the US for the Stones, but back in their homeland of the UK the song had limited airtime as the lyrics were considered too sexually suggestive. The guitar riff at the beginning of “Satisfaction” has to be one of the most recognizable riffs of all time …

27. They’re between delts and abs : PECS
“Pecs” is the familiar term for the chest muscle, more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

29. Musical Mann : AIMEE
Aimee Mann is a rock singer and guitarist from Virginia. Mann is married to Michael Penn, the brother of actor Sean Penn.

30. Ovine cry : BAA!
The Latin word for “sheep” is “ovis”, giving us the adjective “ovine”, meaning “like a sheep”.

33. Buffalo’s county : ERIE
Buffalo is the second most-populous city in the state of New York. The city takes its name from Buffalo Creek that runs through the metropolis (although the waterway is called Buffalo River within the city). The source of the name Buffalo Creek is the subject of much speculation, but one thing is clear, there were never any bison in the area.

34. Writer/director Ephron : NORA
Nora Ephron had many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she wrote, she also directed. These would include some of my favorite movies of all time like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “You’ve Got Mail” and most recently, the wonderful “Julie & Julia”. And, did you know that Nora Ephron’s second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame? She wrote an autobiographical novel based on her life with Bernstein, dealing in particular with Bernstein’s affair with the daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan.

35. Yellowstone herd : ELK
Yellowstone was the first National Park to be established in the world, when it was designated as such by President Grant in 1872. What a great tradition it started! The American National Parks truly are a treasure.

39. Org. promoting Social Security solvency : AARP
“AARP” is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

47. “___ My Heart in San Francisco” : I LEFT
“I Left My Heart in San Francisco” is singer Tony Bennett’s signature song. Bennett released it as a B-side in 1962. The song was written in 1953 by two amateur writers in New York City who had moved there and were homesick for their native San Francisco.

49. “All In With Chris Hayes” network : MSNBC
When MSNBC launched “All in with Chris Hayes”, 34-year-old Hayes became the youngest host of a prime-time show on any of the major cable news channels.

50. Director Kurosawa : AKIRA
Akira Kurosawa was an Oscar-winning Japanese film director. His most famous movie to us in the West has to be “The Seven Samurai”, the inspiration for “The Magnificent Seven” starring Yul Brynner, and indeed a basis for “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”.

51. Uncle on “Duck Dynasty” : SILAS
“Duck Dynasty” is a reality television show on the A&E cable channel. The show is centered on the Robertson family from Monroe, Louisiana who made a lot of money selling products to duck hunters. Phil Robertson was in the news awhile back for views he expressed on homeosexuality and other subjects in an interview with “GQ” magazine.

54. Freezer section brand : EGGO
Eggo is the brand name of a line of frozen waffles made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced the original name chosen, which was “Froffles”, created by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

56. Poet ___ Van Duyn : MONA
Mona Van Duyn was a poet from Waterloo, Iowa. Van Duyn won the National Book Award in 1971, the Pulitzer Prize in 1991, and served as US Poet Laureate from 1992 to 1993.

57. Freezer section brand : EDY’S
Dreyer’s ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

61. Western Hemisphere grp. : OAS
The Organization of American States (OAS) has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. All the independent states in the Americas are members of the group except Honduras, which had its membership suspended after the country’s 2009 coup.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Singer Williams of the Temptations : OTIS
5. “Toy Story” dog that shares its name with a missile : SCUD
9. Outer: Prefix : ECTO-
13. Samuel Beckett’s “En attendant ___” : GODOT
15. Actress Anderson : LONI
16. + : PLUS
17. Spacious : ROOMY
18. 1977 film described by Leonard Maltin as “For undiscriminating action fans whose idea of entertainment is watching Bo [Derek] getting her leg bitten off” : ORCA
19. Owneth : HATH
20. ___ Queen : ELLERY
22. French upper crust : NOBLESSE
24. Set of sheets? : REAM
26. West Coast capital : OLYMPIA
27. “Goldfinger” temptress : PUSSY GALORE
30. “I ___ to differ” : BEG
31. Bon ___ : AMI
32. “The woman,” to Sherlock Holmes : IRENE
36. Novella whose final words are found in the shaded squares : A CHRISTMAS CAROL
41. Indian state known for its tea : ASSAM
42. Sup : EAT
43. Tick off : IRK
44. “Nonsense!” : THE VERY IDEA!
49. Big, big, big : MASSIVE
52. National hero of Brazil : PELE
53. Complexion : SKIN TONE
55. All hands on deck? : SEAMEN
59. Title river in a Christie mystery : NILE
60. Toy behind several international theme parks : LEGO
62. Nine-fingered hobbit : FRODO
63. They’re measured in cups : BRAS
64. Suzanne with the 1987 hit “Luka” : VEGA
65. Speaker of the words in the shaded squares, expressed literally : TINY TIM
66. Throw, as a shadow : CAST
67. Sexual love : EROS
68. Lessen, with “off” : EASE

Down
1. Man-eater : OGRE
2. Jack, hammer or jackhammer : TOOL
3. Revered one : IDOL
4. Suzanne of “Three’s Company” : SOMERS
5. ___-pitch softball : SLO
6. Ears you may bite on : CORN
7. Like wearing socks with sandals, say : UNCOOL
8. Dios’s enemy : DIABLO
9. Things meant to be used and then thrown away : EPHEMERA
10. Necklace feature : CLASP
11. People of Rwanda : TUTSI
12. “Ulysses” actor Milo : O’SHEA
14. They roll around in London : TYRES
21. “Get Yer ___ Out!” (Rolling Stones album) : YA-YA’S
23. “I can’t get no satisfaction,” e.g. : LYRIC
25. Corp. leadership : MGMT
27. They’re between delts and abs : PECS
28. Not music to a chef’s ears : UGHS
29. Musical Mann : AIMEE
30. Ovine cry : BAA!
33. Buffalo’s county : ERIE
34. Writer/director Ephron : NORA
35. Yellowstone herd : ELK
37. Total mess : RAT’S NEST
38. Call preceding “Medic!” : I’M HIT!
39. Org. promoting Social Security solvency : AARP
40. Eye sores : STYES
45. Change over time : EVOLVE
46. Facade : VENEER
47. “___ My Heart in San Francisco” : I LEFT
48. Sweetie pie : DEARIE
49. “All In With Chris Hayes” network : MSNBC
50. Director Kurosawa : AKIRA
51. Uncle on “Duck Dynasty” : SILAS
54. Freezer section brand : EGGO
56. Poet ___ Van Duyn : MONA
57. Freezer section brand : EDY’S
58. “Sorry, gotta run!” : NO TIME!
61. Western Hemisphere grp. : OAS

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10 thoughts on “1223-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Dec 15, Wednesday”

  1. A good, traditional Christmas theme with that little rebus thrown into the SE. Well done. I also noted he parked YAYAS close to DIABLO, and Rolling Stones fans know that record featured "Sympathy For the Devil."

    I recall there was once a talking parrot on Carson that sang I" Lift My Heart in Sand Francisco."

  2. I had 10 names X'ed as possible Goolgles, but as I continued, and using the theme, solved them all. including the TINY tim.

    Nice puzzle Jim Peredo!

  3. 9:52, no errors. For once, I got the theme almost immediately, by having filled in the word GOD and by knowing that the puzzle was published just before Christmas. Pretty straightforward for a Wednesday …

    @Herb Kelly … If someone tastes a dish you've prepared and says, "Ugh!," that's not what you want to hear.

  4. I had TIMMY in for TINYtim, which needless to say, messed up that entire lower right block. This rebus concept is new to me — don't like it much — seems like a betrayal of the crossword concept. Maybe I'll like it when it no longer blindsides me …

    I agree: UGHS clue wasn't the best.

  5. 12:57, no errors. Got off to a bad start, tried to fit 4D as SOMMERS, rather than SOMERS, so I expected 2 letter rebuses in the gray squares. Thinking of Elke Sommer, I guess.

  6. All good. No mistakes. Had to delve pretty deep into my brain for three or four of them. This is the first time I have ever solved a rebus puzzle. Albeit this was as simple as it gets. I can take home a small victory but still I am very averse to all rebus puzzles.

  7. 10 mins 6 sec, no errors. interesting theme, although I could've done without the rebused TIM. There is NEVER a good reason to resort to that dirtiest of dirty tricks.

  8. We thought it was a good Wednesday puzzle. Shot right through it, got TIM at the end. Another puzzle with useless, misleading, stupid rebuses. Sheesh! Get ridda dem!!

  9. Good smooth grid. Zero errors aside from the rebus square, which I never thought about using (Wednesday!) as I was confused as to why "TINYTIM" wouldn't fit.

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