0225-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Feb 16, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joel Fagliano
THEME: Crash Sites … each of today’s themed answers two famous web SITES, two SITES CRASHING into each other:

49A. Focal points of many F.A.A. investigations … or a description of 18-, 24- and 40-Across? : CRASH SITES

18A. South American monkey’s handhold? : AMAZON VINE (Amazon.com & Vine.co)
24A. [Insert your least favorite congressman here]? : YAHOO POLITICO (Yahoo.com & Politico.com)
40A. Bird watcher upon spotting the rare California condor? : VULTURE GAWKER (Vulture.com & Gawker.com)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 11m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

7. Landlord on “Three’s Company” : MR ROPER
The tremendously successful US sitcom “Three’s Company” ran from 1977 to 1984. The show was actually a remake of an equally successful British sitcom called “Man About the House”. I must, I was a fan of both shows. The American show started its run with three roommates, played by Joyce DeWitt, Suzanne Somers and John Ritter. The trio lived in an apartment building owned by characters Stanley and Helen Roper. The Ropers were eventually replaced by landlord Ralph Furley, played by the marvelous Don Knotts.

14. Jumped up and down, perhaps : POGOED
What we know today as a pogo stick was invented in Germany by Max Pohlig and Ernst Gottschall. The name “pogo” comes from the first two letters in each of the inventors’ family names: Po-hlig and Go-ttschall.

16. One of the rooms in Clue : LOUNGE
Clue is another board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), a lead pipe (lead piping in the US) and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

17. Neighbor of Miss Gulch : AUNTIE EM
In “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, Dorothy lives with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry.

Miss Almira Gulch is the woman who gets bitten by Dorothy’s dog Toto right at the start of “The Wizard of Oz”. In Oz, Miss Gulch manifests herself as the Wicked Witch of the West.

18. South American monkey’s handhold? : AMAZON VINE (Amazon.com & Vine.com)
Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the world. The company was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, in his garage in Bellevue, Washington. I’m a big fan of Amazon’s approach to customer service …

Vine.co is a video-sharing website now owned by Twitter. Users are limited to posting six-second video clips, but the clips are looped.

20. Mount that’s a poker term when read backward : ETNA
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Mt Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-guage railway, and two ski resorts.

21. Urge : YEN
The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium!

23. Verizon FiOS, e.g., for short : ISP
An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is just what the name indicates, a company that provides its customers with access to the Internet.

FiOS is a service from Verizon that bundles Internet, telephone and television service. All three services are provided over fiber-optic lines, right to the door. I presume that the name FiOS comes from something like “Fiber-Optic Service” …

24. [Insert your least favorite congressman here]? : YAHOO POLITICO (Yahoo.com & Politico.com)
Jerry Yang and David Filo called their company “Yahoo!” for two reasons. Firstly, a Yahoo is a rude unsophisticated brute from Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”. Secondly, Yahoo stands for “Yet another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”.

Politico.com is a web site owned by the “Politico” political journalism organization. In addition to the Internet presence, Politico publishes “The Politico” newspaper, and broadcasts television and radio content.

31. Second-class person, informally? : SOPH
The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

33. “___ con Dios” (Spanish farewell) : VAYA
“Vaya con Dios” is Spanish for “Go with God”.

36. “Junk” : HEROIN
The commercialization of the drug heroin was led by the Bayer pharmaceutical company in Germany. The drug had been re-discovered in Bayer’s labs, and was named by the company’s head of research “heroin” from the German “heroisch” meaning “heroic, strong”. This was a reference to the perceived “heroic” effects on the user. Bayer lost the trademark rights to heroin (along with their “aspirin”) as part of WWI reparations.

38. Veterinarian’s branch of sci. : ZOOL
Zoology (zool.)

40. Bird watcher upon spotting the rare California condor? : VULTURE GAWKER (Vulture.com & Gawker.com)
Vulture.com is an entertainment web site owned and operated by “New York Magazine”.

Gawker.com is a blog focused on media news and gossip in Manhattan.

44. ___ Fridays : TGI
T.G.I. Fridays is an American restaurant chain, founded in 1965 in New York City. Today there are over a thousand T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants in over 50 countries. I think that Fridays has always been particularly successful overseas. I used to visit one a lot with my family when we lived in the Philippines, and I believe the most successful Fridays restaurant anywhere in the world is the one in Haymarket Leicester Square in London in the UK.

45. Friend of Fidel : CHE
Ernesto “Che” Guevara was born in Argentina, and in 1948 he started to study medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. While at school he satisfied his need to “see the world” by taking two long journeys around South America, the story of which are told in Guevara’s memoir later published as “The Motorcycle Diaries”. While travelling, Guevara was moved by the plight of the people he saw and their working conditions and what he viewed as capitalistic exploitation. In Mexico City he met brothers Raul and Fidel Castro and was persuaded to join their cause, the overthrow of the US-backed government in Cuba. He rose to second-in-command among the Cuban insurgents, and when Castro came to power Guevara was influential in repelling the Bay of Pigs Invasion and bringing Soviet nuclear missiles to the island. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to continue his work as a revolutionary. He was captured by Bolivian forces in 1967, and was executed. Fidel Castro led the public mourning of Guevara’s death, and soon the revolutionary was an icon for many left-wing movements around the world.

Fidel Castro studied law at the University of Havana and there became a follower of left-wing ideals. He launched his first rebellion against Cuban president Fulgencio Batista in 1953, which landed him in jail for a year. He later led rebels in a guerrilla war against the Cuban government, which led to the Cuban Revolution and the overthrow of Batista in 1959. Castro took control of the country, and immediately formed a strong relationship with the Soviet Union. Concern over the alliance in the US led to the botched Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961. There followed the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Fidel Castro started to transfer power to his brother Raúl in 2008, and has led a life of increasing retirement ever since.

49. Focal points of many F.A.A. investigations … or a description of 18-, 24- and 40-Across? : CRASH SITES
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was set up in 1958 (as the Federal Aviation Agency). The agency was established at that particular time largely in response to an increasing number of midair collisions. The worst of these disasters had taken place two years earlier over the Grand Canyon, a crash between two commercial passenger airplanes that resulted in 128 fatalities.

53. Figure in Matisse’s “Le Bateau” : SAILBOAT
“Le Bateau” is an interesting work by Henri Matisse. The 1953 picture is made from pieces of painted paper arranged to look like a boat (“bateau”). The Museum of Modern Art acquired the piece in 1961 and put it on display. Matisse’s “Le Bateau” actually hung on the wall upside down for 47 days before anyone noticed the error …

56. Boston specialty : CREAM PIE
The Boston cream pie was declared the official dessert of Massachusetts in 1996. And, it’s actually a cake, and not a pie at all.

58. Landlocked European : SERBIAN
Serbia is a landlocked country in southeast Europe. After WWII, Serbia became one of several states making up the nation called Yugoslavia. Serbia became independent again in 2006 as Yugoslavia broke up after the declaration of independence by Montenegro.

59. “America’s diner is always open” sloganeer : DENNY’S
Denny’s was the first restaurant I ate at on my initial visit to the US over 30 years ago. I thought I was in heaven. I’ve changed my opinion a little since then! Denny’s is famous for being “always open” (almost), something that blew my mind as a visitor from Ireland back in 1980. Denny’s was founded in 1953 in Lakewood, California, and originally went by the name “Denny’s Donuts”.

Down
2. Pennsylvania senator Pat : TOOMEY
Pat Toomey is a Republican US Senator for Pennsylvania who was elected to office in 2011. Prior to serving in the Senate, Toomey was in the House of Representatives from 1999 until 2005.

3. Cactus flower eaters : IGUANAS
An iguana is a lizard, and as such is cold-blooded. There are times when pet iguanas need heat from an IR lamp to maintain body temperature.

4. Epitome of cool, with “the” : FONZ
Fonzie is a character in the sitcom “Happy Days” that was originally aired from 1974 to 1984. The Fonz was written as a secondary character, but eventually took over the show. Fonzie is of course played by Henry Winkler.

5. Small construction company : LEGO
Lego is manufactured by Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

6. ___ Prairie, Minn. : EDEN
The city of Eden Prairie lies just outside downtown Minneapolis. If you live there, congratulations! Eden Prairie was ranked by “Money Magazine” in 2010 as the best place to live in America.

7. View from Hilo : MAUNA LOA
Mauna Loa on the “big island” of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

Hilo is the largest settlement on the big island of Hawai’i, with a population of over 43,000 (that’s not very many!). I love the Big Island …

8. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Sandberg : RYNE
Ryne “Ryno” Sandberg is a former second baseman who played most of his career for the Chicago Cubs. Sandberg holds the major league fielding percentage record at second base … .989.

9. Word that can precede or follow pack : RAT
The original Rat Pack from the fifties was a group of actors that centered on Humphrey Bogart, and included a young Frank Sinatra. Supposedly, Bogart’s wife, Lauren Bacall, christened them the Rat Pack after seeing them all return from one of their nights on the town in Las Vegas. The sixties Rat Pack was a reincarnation of the fifties version, with the core group of actors being Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin (Dino), Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.

10. 2015 award for “Hamilton” : OBIE
The Obies are the “Off-Broadway Theater Awards”. The Obies are presented annually and the recipients are chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper.

“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life or US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The representations of the main characters is quite ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.

11. Aristotle work that began literary theory : POETICS
“Poetics” is a treatise on literary theory by the Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle. It is the oldest known such work.

26. Style with illusory motion : OP ART
Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

28. One of the Balearic Islands : IBIZA
The Balearic Islands (“Baleares” in Spanish) form an archipelago in the western Mediterranean of the east coast of Spain. The Balearics are made up up four main islands: Ibiza and Formentera (aka “the Pine Islands”), Majorca and Minorca.

29. Best-selling author of legal thrillers : TUROW
Scott Turow is an author and lawyer from Chicago. Turow has had several bestselling novels including “Presumed Innocent”, “The Burden of Proof” and “Reversible Errors”, all three of which were made into films. He also wrote the autobiographical book “One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School”.

34. J.F.K. conveyance : AIRTRAIN
AirTrain JFK is a rail connection between John F. Kennedy Airport and both the LIRR and the New York City Subway. The trains run on elevated rails, and the service opened for business in 2003.

40. 1958 hit with the lyric “Your love has given me wings” : VOLARE
The song we know as “Volare” doesn’t actually have that name. It’s real name is “Nel blu dipinto di blu” (In the Blue Painted Blue). The Italian lyrics tell of how the singer feels like he is flying when he is with his lover (“volare” is the Italian for “to fly”). The original version has a prelude, which helps put the “blue” and the “flying” in perspective … “I think that a dream like that will never return; I painted my hands and my face blue, then was suddenly swept up by the wind and started to fly in the infinite sky.”

41. Grunts : GIS
The initials “G.I.” stand for “Government Issue” and not “General Infantry” as is often believed. GI was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

42. Watery, as eyes : RHEUMY
Rheum is a watery discharge that comes from the eyes or the nose.

43. Checkers, e.g. : DISCS
“Checkers” is yet another word that I had to learn moving across the Atlantic. In Ireland the game is called draughts.

46. They’re given for Best Upset and Best Play : ESPYS
Awards ceremony since 1993 : ESPYS. The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes.

49. Setting of a top 10 Barry Manilow hit : COPA
The Copacabana of song is the Copacabana nightclub in New York City (which is also the subject of the Frank Sinatra song “Meet Me at the Copa”). The Copa opened in 1940 and is still going today although it is struggling. The club had to move due to impending construction and is now “sharing” a location with the Columbus 72 nightclub.

51. ___-Altenburg (old German duchy) : SAXE
The Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg was located south of Leipzig, and existed for centuries until the monarchies ceased to exist in the German Revolution of 1918-19, at the end of WWI.

54. Ratio involving height and weight, for short : BMI
The body mass index (BMI) is the ratio of a person’s height to his or her mass.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Squelch : STIFLE
7. Landlord on “Three’s Company” : MR ROPER
14. Jumped up and down, perhaps : POGOED
15. Towering over : WAY ABOVE
16. One of the rooms in Clue : LOUNGE
17. Neighbor of Miss Gulch : AUNTIE EM
18. South American monkey’s handhold? : AMAZON VINE (Amazon.com & Vine.co)
20. Mount that’s a poker term when read backward : ETNA
21. Urge : YEN
22. Give ___ whirl : IT A
23. Verizon FiOS, e.g., for short : ISP
24. [Insert your least favorite congressman here]? : YAHOO POLITICO (Yahoo.com & Politico.com)
31. Second-class person, informally? : SOPH
32. “Quit your excuses” : NO BUTS
33. “___ con Dios” (Spanish farewell) : VAYA
35. Affectation : AIRS
36. “Junk” : HEROIN
38. Veterinarian’s branch of sci. : ZOOL
40. Bird watcher upon spotting the rare California condor? : VULTURE GAWKER (Vulture.com & Gawker.com)
43. Bobs and buns : DOS
44. ___ Fridays : TGI
45. Friend of Fidel : CHE
47. Types : ILKS
49. Focal points of many F.A.A. investigations … or a description of 18-, 24- and 40-Across? : CRASH SITES
53. Figure in Matisse’s “Le Bateau” : SAILBOAT
55. Soften : EASE UP
56. Boston specialty : CREAM PIE
57. Out of service? : EX-ARMY
58. Landlocked European : SERBIAN
59. “America’s diner is always open” sloganeer : DENNY’S

Down
1. Spread out : SPLAY
2. Pennsylvania senator Pat : TOOMEY
3. Cactus flower eaters : IGUANAS
4. Epitome of cool, with “the” : FONZ
5. Small construction company : LEGO
6. ___ Prairie, Minn. : EDEN
7. View from Hilo : MAUNA LOA
8. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Sandberg : RYNE
9. Word that can precede or follow pack : RAT
10. 2015 award for “Hamilton” : OBIE
11. Aristotle work that began literary theory : POETICS
12. “Yeah, but still …” : EVEN SO …
13. Update, cartographer-style : REMAP
15. Serve : WAIT ON
19. A-lister : VIP
25. Shack : HOVEL
26. Style with illusory motion : OP ART
27. “Silly goose!” : OH YOU!
28. One of the Balearic Islands : IBIZA
29. Best-selling author of legal thrillers : TUROW
30. “No worries” : IT’S OK
34. J.F.K. conveyance : AIRTRAIN
36. More burly : HUSKIER
37. Render invalid : NEGATE
39. Stand taken by one making a speech : LECTERN
40. 1958 hit with the lyric “Your love has given me wings” : VOLARE
41. Grunts : GIS
42. Watery, as eyes : RHEUMY
43. Checkers, e.g. : DISCS
46. They’re given for Best Upset and Best Play : ESPYS
48. Sidewalk section, e.g. : SLAB
49. Setting of a top 10 Barry Manilow hit : COPA
50. Be mindful of : HEED
51. ___-Altenburg (old German duchy) : SAXE
52. “This ___ outrage!” : IS AN
54. Ratio involving height and weight, for short : BMI

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5 thoughts on “0225-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Feb 16, Thursday”

  1. Nice background on some of the answers Bill. Although I still have never heard "pogo" used as a verb. Lots of food references in here as well; I'm getting hungry.

  2. 21:41, no errors. Initially, I wrote AIRS in the wrong place (where VAYA was meant to go), so then I wrote in MOIRE instead of OP ART, and getting back on track took a while. On the other side, IBIZA and TUROW were difficult to unearth from a balky memory. And I never heard of MR. ROPER. And the theme went right over my head. So … not one of my better mornings, but all's well that ends well … 🙂

  3. 18:23, no errors. A lot of 70's and 80's cultural references. Great misdirection on 4D Epitome of cool, with 'the' FONZ. Did not see that one coming. Amazed that I got 40D VOLARE straight away, with just the V and L showing. That song was playing everywhere in 1958. I was just a kid back then. Now I have an earworm. 😛

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