0201-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Feb 16, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gary Cee
THEME: Road Movies … each of today’s themed answers is a MOVIE title, a title that is also the name of a famous ROAD:

58A. “Bonnie and Clyde” and “Thelma & Louise” … or a hint to 18-, 26- and 44-Across : ROAD MOVIES

18A. Title locale in a 1987 Oliver Stone drama : WALL STREET
26A. Title locale in a 1950 Billy Wilder film noir : SUNSET BOULEVARD
44A. Title locale in a 2001 David Lynch thriller : MULHOLLAND DRIVE

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 39s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Switch that changes bands on the radio : AM/FM
The radio spectrum is divided into bands based on frequency. “High band” is composed of relatively high frequency values, and “low band” is composed of frequencies that are relatively low. FM radio falls into the band called Very High Frequency, or VHF. Television signals use frequencies even higher than VHF, frequencies in the Ultra High Frequency band (UHF). AM radio uses lower frequencies that fall into the relatively low bands of Low, Medium and High Frequency (LF, MF, and HF).

14. ___ Crawley, heiress daughter on “Downton Abbey” : CORA
In the incredibly successful period drama “Downton Abbey”, the patriarch of the family living at Downton is Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham or Lord Grantham. The character is played by Hugh Bonneville. Lord Grantham married American Cora Levinson (played by Elizabeth McGovern. Lord and Lady Grantham had three daughters, and no son. The lack of a male heir implied that the Grantham estate would pass to a male cousin, and out of the immediate family. The Grantham daughters are Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay). Lady Sybil had the audacity to marry the family chauffeur, an Irish nationalist. The shame of it all …

15. One of the Great Lakes : ERIE
Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes by area (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume and the shallowest, something for which nearby residents must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, much of Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to most of the lake effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake’s edge.

16. Cut, as a pumpkin : CARVE
It’s thought that the tradition of pumpkin carving originated in Ireland, although turnips and beets were used over there instead of pumpkins. The turnips and beets were carved for the festival called Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season.

18. Title locale in a 1987 Oliver Stone drama : WALL STREET
New York’s famous “Wall Street” was originally named by the Dutch as “de Waal Straat”.

“Wall Street” is a very entertaining 1987 film from Oliver Stone starring Charlie Sheen as an up and coming stockbroker and Michael Douglas as an amoral corporate raider.

21. Animal hide : PELT
The “pelt” is the skin of a furry animal.

22. Four-baggers : HOMERS
In baseball, a “four-bagger” is a home run.

25. Any old Joe : BUB
“Bub” is American slang, a term used to address males. “Bub” is possibly a variation of bud.

26. Title locale in a 1950 Billy Wilder film noir : SUNSET BOULEVARD
The Los Angeles thoroughfare Sunset Boulevard is 22 miles long, stretching from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean. The most famous part of Sunset Boulevard is the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, a 1½-mile stretch that is home to high-end boutiques, restaurants and nightclubs.

“Sunset Boulevard” is a classic film noir co-written and directed by the great Billy Wilder, released in 1950. It’s a story about a faded film star (played by Gloria Swanson) who dreams about making a return to the screen. Andrew Lloyd Webber made a reasonably successful musical adaptation of the film using the same title, which opened in London in 1993.

33. Youth org. since 1910 : BSA
As every little boy (of my era) knows, the Scouting movement was founded by Lord Baden Powell, in 1907. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) soon followed, in 1910. And, the Boy Scouts motto is “Be Prepared”.

35. Longtime N.B.A. coach Pat : RILEY
Pat Riley is a former professional basketball player and NBA head coach. Off the court, Riley is quite the celebrity and is noted as a snappy dresser. He is friend of Giorgio Armani and wears Armani suits at all his games. Riley even modeled suits at an Armani fashion show.

36. Hawaiian shindig : LUAU
The Hawaiian party or feast known as a “luau” really dates back to 1819, when King Kamehameha II removed religious laws that governed the eating of meals. These laws called for women and men to eat separately. At the same times as he changed the laws, the king initiated the luau tradition by symbolically eating with the women who moved in his circle.

“Shindig” is such a lovely word, I think, describing a party that usually includes some dancing. Although its origin isn’t really clear, the term perhaps comes from “shinty”, a Scottish game that is similar to field hockey.

40. “Love Story” author Segal : ERICH
Erich Segal wrote two hit screenplays, “Yellow Submarine” (the Beatles’ animated movie) and “Love Story” (starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw). He wrote the novel “Love Story” after the screenplay. As the novel was published before the film was released, there’s a popular misconception that the movie is based on the book.

43. A, in Berlin : EIN
Berlin is the capital and largest city in Germany, and is the second most populous city in the European Union (after London).

44. Title locale in a 2001 David Lynch thriller : MULHOLLAND DRIVE
Mulholland Drive is a famous, 21-mile long thoroughfare Southern California. Parts of the road offer spectacular views of the Los Angeles Basin, the San Fernando Valley and the Hollywood Sign. You might also spot some movie stars leaving or entering their expensive and exclusive homes on Mulholland.

“Mulholland Drive” is a thriller released in 2002 that was well received by the critics (although I didn’t like it!). The original idea was for “Mulholland Drive” to be a pilot for a television series, but when ABC saw the filmed pilot they didn’t like it and so passed on it for their schedule. The script was rewritten, some new scenes shot, and after re-editing the movie was released.

57. F.D.R.’s successor : HST
The letter “S” in the middle of the name Harry S. Truman (HST) doesn’t stand for anything. The future-president was named “Harry” in honor of his mother’s brother Harrison “Harry” Young. The initial “S” was chosen in honor of young Harry’s two grandfathers: Anderson S-hipp Truman and S-olomon Young.

58. “Bonnie and Clyde” and “Thelma & Louise” … or a hint to 18-, 26- and 44-Across : ROAD MOVIES
“Bonnie and Clyde” is a 1967 crime film based on the life stories of outlaws Bobbie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway played the title roles. “Bonnie and Clyde” was among the first 100 films chosen for preservation in the US National Film Registry.

“Thelma & Louise” is a thought-provoking movie, but one that is very entertaining. It was directed by Ridley Scott in 1991, and stars two fabulous leads in Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. You’ll also spot Brad Pitt in there as well, in his first significant movie role.

61. Sleep disorder : APNEA
Sleep apnea (“apnoea” in British English) can be caused by an obstruction in the airways, possibly due to obesity or enlarged tonsils.

66. Detective fiction writer ___ Stanley Gardner : ERLE
I must have read all of the Perry Mason books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn’t get into the profession the easy way. Gardner went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably, he gave up the law once his novels became successful.

Down
2. Kind of pork at a Chinese restaurant : MOO SHU
Moo shu pork is a traditional dish from northern China, with the main ingredients being shredded pork and scrambled egg.

7. ___ at windmills : TILT
The phrase “tilting at windmills” means “attacking imaginary enemies”. The idiom comes from an episode in the novel “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes, in which the hero of the piece charges at windmills that he imagines are giants.

9. Month with Columbus Day : OCTOBER
The discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus is celebrated with a national holiday in many countries. Here in the US we have Columbus Day, and in the Bahamas there is Discovery Day, and the Day of the Americas in Uruguay.

10. Old MacDonald’s place : FARM
There was an American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O), that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

13. Brooklyn hoopsters : NETS
The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets until relatively recently were the New Jersey Nets, based in Newark. Prior to 1977, the team was known as the New York Nets and played in various locations on Long Island. Ten years earlier, the Nets were called the New Jersey Americans and were headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey.

19. Jewish house of worship : SHUL
Shul is another word for a synagogue. “Shul” is the term mostly used in Orthodox Judaism, “synagogue” in Conservative Judaism, and “temple” in Reform Judaism.

27. Move up and down, as a doll’s head : BOBBLE
Bobblehead dolls are those little toys with big heads that bobble around if tapped, while the body remains still. They’re often given to ticket buyers at sports events as a promotion.

28. “Carmen” or “Rigoletto” : OPERA
Georg Bizet was a French composer active in the Romantic era. Bizet’s most famous work has to be his opera “Carmen”. “Carmen” initially received a lukewarm reception from the public, even though his fellow composers had nothing but praise for it. Sadly, Bizet died very young at only 36, before he could see “Carmen’s” tremendous success.

“Rigoletto” is one of Giuseppe Verdi’s most famous and oft-performed operas. The storyline comes from Victor Hugo’s play “Le roi s’amuse” (usually translated as “The King’s Fool”). Rigoletto is the king’s fool, the jester.

29. Meredith of daytime TV : VIEIRA
Meredith Vieira is journalist and television personality. Vieira had a regular gig on “The View” and NBC’s “Morning” show. She also took over from Regis Philbin as host of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”.

36. Moon landing craft, for short : LEM
In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy” and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was called “Eagle” and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.

37. Neighbor of Arg. and Braz. : URU
The official name of Uruguay is the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, reflecting the nation’s location on the eastern coast of South America. It is a relatively small country, the second-smallest on the continent, after Suriname. In 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to provide a free laptop and Internet access to every child. Now there’s a thought …

Argentina is the second largest country in South America (after Brazil), and geographically is the world’s largest Spanish-speaking nation. The name “Argentina” of course comes from the Latin “argentum”, the word for “silver”. It is thought that the name was given by the early Spanish and Portuguese conquerors who also named the Rio de la Plata (the “Silver River”). Those early explorers got hold of lots of silver objects that they found among the native population.

Brazil is the largest country in South America, and the largest Portuguese-speaking country in the world. Brazil is so large that it shares a border with every other South American country, except for Ecuador and Chile.

41. Dustin who won an Oscar for “Rain Man” : HOFFMAN
Dustin Hoffman’s big break in movies came with the starring role in 1967’s “The Graduate”, and he has been going strong ever since. He wasn’t always destined to be an actor though, as he did start college intending to study medicine. But he left after only a year and joined the Pasadena Playhouse. There he met his very good friend Gene Hackman. Even though the pair have been friends all their lives, it wasn’t until decades after they met that they shared the screen together, for just a few minutes in the excellent 2003 thriller “Runaway Jury”.

“Rain Man” is an entertaining and thought-provoking film released in 1988 starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. It’s all about a self-possessed yuppie (Cruise, appropriate casting!) who discovers he has a brother who is an autistic savant (Hoffman). Hoffman won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance, and “Rain Man” won the Best Picture award.

45. Actor Jared of “Dallas Buyers Club” : LETO
Jared Leto is an actor and musician. In the world of music, Leto is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. In the film world his most critically acclaimed role was that of a heroin addict in “Requiem for a Dream”. He also appeared in “American Psycho”, “Panic Room” and “Lord of War”.

“Dallas Buyers Club” is a 2013 film that tells the real-life story of AIDS patient Ron Woodruff. Woodruff smuggled unapproved AIDS drugs across the US border into Texas in opposition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The movie won the Best Actor Oscar for Matthew McConaughey and Best Supporting Actor for Jared Leto.

46. Distressed maiden, in fairy tales : DAMSEL
A “damsel” is a young woman, often referring to a lady of noble birth. The term came into English from the Old French “dameisele”, which had the same meaning. The modern French term is “demoiselle”, which in turn is related to the term of address “mademoiselle”.

47. ___ virgin : VESTAL
In Ancient Rome the priestesses of the the goddess Vesta were known as the Vestals. They were also called the Vestal Virgins as they took a vow of chastity, although they weren’t required to be celibate for life. Each priestess entered the order before puberty and promised to live a celibate life for thirty years. The first decade was spent as a student, the second in service, and the final ten years as a teacher. Upon completion of the thirty years the Vestal was free to marry, but few did. Life was a lot better for a woman in the priesthood than it was subject to Roman Law.

55. Japanese soup : MISO
Miso is the name of the seasoning that makes the soup. Basic miso seasoning is made by fermenting rice, barley and soybeans with salt and a fungus (!) to produce a paste. The paste can be added to stock to make miso soup, or perhaps to flavor tofu.

59. Big cheese : VIP
The phrase “the big cheese” doesn’t have its roots in the word “cheese” at all. The original phrase was “the real cheese” meaning “the real thing”, used way back in late 1800s (long before Coke picked it up). “Chiz” is a Persian and Hindi word meaning “thing”, and it’s not hard to see how the expression “the real chiz” would morph into “the real cheese”. Then in early-20th century America, instead of a “real cheese”, the most influential person in a group was labeled as “the big cheese”. And I think that is about the only use of the word “cheese” that is in anyway complimentary!

60. Face on a fiver : ABE
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.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Switch that changes bands on the radio : AM/FM
5. Memo : NOTE
9. Frequently : OFTEN
14. ___ Crawley, heiress daughter on “Downton Abbey” : CORA
15. One of the Great Lakes : ERIE
16. Cut, as a pumpkin : CARVE
17. Like most college dorms nowadays : COED
18. Title locale in a 1987 Oliver Stone drama : WALL STREET
20. U-turn from WNW : ESE
21. Animal hide : PELT
22. Four-baggers : HOMERS
23. Sandbars : SHOALS
25. Any old Joe : BUB
26. Title locale in a 1950 Billy Wilder film noir : SUNSET BOULEVARD
33. Youth org. since 1910 : BSA
34. Make a selection : OPT
35. Longtime N.B.A. coach Pat : RILEY
36. Hawaiian shindig : LUAU
38. “$500 on the roan nag,” e.g. : BET
39. “You and who ___?” (fighting words) : ELSE
40. “Love Story” author Segal : ERICH
42. “Hey ___, what’s up?” : BRO
43. A, in Berlin : EIN
44. Title locale in a 2001 David Lynch thriller : MULHOLLAND DRIVE
49. Doctor’s charge : FEE
50. “Time is money” and “Knowledge is power” : ADAGES
51. Floating aimlessly : ADRIFT
55. “Well, what do we have here!” : MY MY!
57. F.D.R.’s successor : HST
58. “Bonnie and Clyde” and “Thelma & Louise” … or a hint to 18-, 26- and 44-Across : ROAD MOVIES
60. Lead-in to boy or girl : ATTA
61. Sleep disorder : APNEA
62. Dot on an ocean map : ISLE
63. Trounce : BEAT
64. Started : BEGAN
65. Topic of a pre-election news story : POLL
66. Detective fiction writer ___ Stanley Gardner : ERLE

Down
1. Means of entry : ACCESS
2. Kind of pork at a Chinese restaurant : MOO SHU
3. Conditionally released from custody : FREE ON BAIL
4. Seeing red : MAD
5. Most modern : NEWEST
6. Spoken, not written : ORAL
7. ___ at windmills : TILT
8. Sushi selection : EEL
9. Month with Columbus Day : OCTOBER
10. Old MacDonald’s place : FARM
11. Arborist’s focus : TREE
12. “Have I ___ told you …?” : EVER
13. Brooklyn hoopsters : NETS
19. Jewish house of worship : SHUL
21. Earnest request : PLEA
24. In that capacity : AS SUCH
25. Campaign giveaway : BUTTON
27. Move up and down, as a doll’s head : BOBBLE
28. “Carmen” or “Rigoletto” : OPERA
29. Meredith of daytime TV : VIEIRA
30. Crammer’s last chance : ALL-NIGHTER
31. Hi-___ image : RES
32. Easter egg coating : DYE
36. Moon landing craft, for short : LEM
37. Neighbor of Arg. and Braz. : URU
41. Dustin who won an Oscar for “Rain Man” : HOFFMAN
43. Mini-whirlpool : EDDY
45. Actor Jared of “Dallas Buyers Club” : LETO
46. Distressed maiden, in fairy tales : DAMSEL
47. ___ virgin : VESTAL
48. Home for a Rockefeller or a Vanderbilt : ESTATE
51. Mideast native : ARAB
52. Narcotize : DOPE
53. Tolled, as a bell : RANG
54. Notion : IDEA
55. Japanese soup : MISO
56. Scream : YELL
59. Big cheese : VIP
60. Face on a fiver : ABE

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5 thoughts on “0201-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Feb 16, Monday”

  1. 6:49, no errors. I woke up this morning with a bit of doggerel running through my head:

    Monday's puzzle, and I'm a whiz;
    Oh, what a delight it is!
    When Thursday comes, I'll puff and wheeze;
    But Monday's puzzles are meant to please!

    With gratitude to Alka-Selzer (and apologies to everyone else … 🙂

  2. No errors. One erasure on the spelling of Meredith Vieira's last name. A piece of cake today. But keep these easy ones coming all you setters.

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