1225-18 NY Times Crossword 25 Dec 18, Tuesday

Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: O Tannenbaum

Merry Christmas, everyone! Themed answers each end with something found on a Christmas tree (Tannenbaum):

  • 57A. Seasonal song with a hint to the last words in 17-, 25-, 37- and 45-Across : O TANNENBAUM
  • 17A. First female recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award in film : JUDY GARLAND
  • 25A. Major crop of Brazil : SUGARCANE
  • 37A. California baseball pro : LOS ANGELES ANGEL
  • 45A. Washington, Jackson or Ford : MOVIE STAR

Bill’s time: 7m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Speaker’s spot : DAIS

A dais is a raised platform for a speaker. The term “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. I guess that the original daises had such a shape.

11. Film buff’s channel, in brief : TMC

The Movie Channel is owned by Showtime, which in turn is subsidiary of CBS. The channel’s name is often abbreviated to “TMC”, although this is informal usage.

A buff or a nut is someone who is extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about a subject. For example, one might be a movie buff, or perhaps a baseball nut.

14. Novelist Ferber : EDNA

Edna Ferber was a novelist and playwright from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ferber won a Pulitzer for her novel “So Big”, which was made into a film a few times, most famously in 1953 starring Jane Wyman. Ferber also wrote “Show Boat”, “Cimarron” and “Giant”, which were adapted successfully for the stage and/or big screen.

17. First female recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award in film : JUDY GARLAND

The actress Judy Garland’s real name was Frances Gumm. Garland was respected and loved both within and without the entertainment industry. She was the youngest recipient, at 39 years old, of the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in the motion picture industry.

The first Golden Globe Awards ceremony was held in 1944 to honor the best in filmmaking. The award was created by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which had been formed the year before by a group of writers in Los Angeles. One of the most famous of the Golden Globes is the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which is presented for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment”.

Cecil B. Demille was a movie director and producer who started his professional career in the silent era. DeMille’s movies were often epic works, such “Cleopatra” (1936), “Samson and Delilah” (1949), “The Greatest Show on Earth” (1952) and “The Ten Commandments” (1956). The Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award is named in his honor, and indeed he was its first recipient.

19. Plastic pipe material, for short : PVC

PVC is polyvinyl chloride, the third most widely produced plastic in the world (after polyethylene and polypropylene). PVC is resistant to corrosion from biological and chemical agents making it a favored choice these days for sewage lines, replacing the traditional metal materials. It is so chemically stable, that it will be around a long, long time …

20. Lobster ___ Newburg : A LA

Lobster Newburg is a rich dish made from lobster with butter, cream, cognac, sherry, eggs and Cayenne pepper. The dish was created by one Ben Wenberg for Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City in 1876, and was listed on the menu as Lobster à la Wenberg. Wenberg and the restaurant owner had a falling out, and so the restaurant owner renamed the dish to Lobster à la Newberg.

29. Another name for Cupid : EROS

Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic”, meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Eros was referred to in Latin as both Amor (meaning “love”) and Cupid (meaning “desire”).

30. Debauched sorts : ROUES

“Roue” is a lovely word, I think, one used to describe a less than lovely man, someone of loose morals. “Roue” comes from the French word “rouer” meaning “to break on a wheel”. This describes the ancient form of capital punishment where a poor soul was lashed to a wheel and then beaten to death with cudgels and bars. I guess the suggestion is that a roue, with his loose morals, deserves such a punishment.

32. Lyricist Cahn who wrote “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” : SAMMY

Sammy Cahn wrote for them all, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Doris Day. Cahn’s most famous song was probably “Three Coins in the Fountain”. He also wrote “All the Way”, made famous by Frank Sinatra.

“Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” is a holiday song written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne. Perhaps a little ironically, the pair wrote the song in Hollywood, California in July 1945, on one of the hottest days of the year.

37. California baseball pro : LOS ANGELES ANGEL

The Anaheim Angels baseball team are today more correctly called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (LAA). The “Angels” name dates back to 1961 when the team was founded in the “City of Angels”, Los Angeles. When the franchise moved to Anaheim in 1965 they were known as the California Angels, then the Anaheim Angels, and most recently the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim. The Angels are also known as “the Halos”.

40. Some words from Wordsworth : ODE

The great English poet William Wordsworth is intrinsically linked with the Lake District in the north of England, where he lived from much of his life. The Lake District is a beautiful part of the country, and I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Dove Cottage in Grasmere a couple of times, where Wordsworth lived with his sister Dorothy …

43. Funny Bombeck : ERMA

Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years. She produced more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns under the title “At Wit’s End”, with all describing her home life in suburbia.

44. Noted Art Deco artist : ERTE

“Erté” was the pseudonym of French (Russian-born) artist and designer Romain de Tirtoff. Erté is the French pronunciation of his initials “R.T.” Erté’s diverse portfolio of work included costumes and sets for the “Ziegfeld Follies” of 1923, productions of the Parisian cabaret show “Folies Bergère”, as well as the 1925 epic movie “Ben-Hur”. Erté’s most famous work by far is an image titled “Symphony in Black”. It depicts a tall and slender woman dressed in black, holding a black dog on a leash.

45. Washington, Jackson or Ford : MOVIE STAR

They are probably Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and Harrison Ford.

50. Range for yodelers : ALPS

There are eight Alpine countries:

  • Austria
  • Slovenia
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Germany
  • Monaco
  • Italy

52. Doctor Doom, to the Fantastic Four : ENEMY

Doctor Doom is a supervillain created in the Marvel Comics universe, and is an archenemy of the Fantastic Four.

The Fantastic Four is a team of superheroes in Marvel Comics universe. The team is made up of Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch and the Thing.

54. Bagel go-with : LOX

Lox is brine-cured salmon fillet that is finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

56. Big Apple N.F.L. team, on scoreboards : NYG

The New York Giants (NYG) football team play their home games in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, a stadium shared with the New York Jets (NYJ). The Giants are the only team remaining from a group of five that joined the league in 1925. For many years, the Giants shared team names with the New York Giants MLB team, before the baseball franchise moved to San Francisco after the 1957 season.

Apparently, the first published use of the term “Big Apple” to describe New York City dates back to 1909. Edward Martin wrote the following in his book “The Wayfarer in New York”:

Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city. . . . It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap.

Over ten years later, the term “big apple” was used as a nickname for racetracks in and around New York City. However, the concerted effort to “brand” the city as the Big Apple had to wait until the seventies and was the work of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau.

57. Seasonal song with a hint to the last words in 17-, 25-, 37- and 45-Across : O TANNENBAUM

“O Tannenbaum” is a traditional German Christmas carol, the title of is usually translated as “O Christmas Tree”. “Tannenbaum” is the German name for a fir tree.

64. Anastasia ___, woman in “Fifty Shades of Grey” : STEELE

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is an incredibly popular erotic novel by British writer E. L. James. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is the fastest-selling paperback of all time. There are two other titles to complete the trilogy: “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed”.

Down

1. ___ vu : DEJA

“Déjà vu” is French for “already seen”.

4. Two cents’ worth : SAY

“To put in one’s two cents” is to add one’s opinion. The American expression derives from the older English version, which is “to put in one’s two pennies’ worth”.

6. People between Hungarians and Bulgarians : SERBS

Serbs are an ethnic group native to the Balkans in southeastern Europe. Although Serbs exist as a minority group in many countries in the region, they are the majority ethnic group in Serbia, in Montenegro and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

7. Pacific island nation : PALAU

Palau is a tiny island nation lying 500 miles east of the Philippines, and 2,000 miles south of Japan. Palau was once a Spanish possession and was sold by Spain to Germany in the late 19th century. During WWI, Japan invaded the islands (Japan had declared war on Germany) and was awarded the islands as a territory by the League of Nations at the end of hostilities. In WWII the US took Palau from the Japanese in a bloody battle in 1944. Palau emerged from American administration in 1994 and is now a sovereign state.

8. Supporters of England’s King William III : ORANGEMEN

The Glorious Revolution took place in 1688, resulting in the overthrow of the Catholic King James II of England. English Parliamentarians had been looking to the Protestant daughter of the king, Mary, to ascend to the throne along with her husband William of Orange. These plans were jeopardized with the birth of a son to King James II. And so, William of Orange led an invasion of England, and then seizing the throne as William III beside his wife Mary II. Mary II died before her husband, and so William III ruled alone for the last six years of his life. When William passed away in 1702, his wife’s sister ascended to the throne as Anne, Queen of Great Britain. Anne, was the last British monarch from the House of Stuart, as she died without issue. Anne’s successor was her nearest Protestant relative, as a law had been passed preventing Roman Catholics from occupying the throne. So, George I succeeded Anne, marking the transition from the House of Stuart to the House of Hanover.

10. Put the kibosh on : END

A kibosh is something that constrains or checks. “Kibosh” looks like a Yiddish word but it isn’t, and is more likely English slang from the early 1800s.

11. Like workaholics : TYPE A

The Type A and Type B personality theory originated in the fifties. Back then, individuals were labelled as Type A in order to emphasize a perceived increased risk of heart disease. Type A personality types are so called “stress junkies”, whereas Type B types are relaxed and laid back. But there doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence to support the linkage between the Type A personality and heart problems.

12. Expert : MAVEN

I’ve always loved the term “maven”, which is another word for “expert”. Maven comes into English from the Yiddish “meyvn” describing someone who appreciates and is a connoisseur.

22. Apples they’re not : PCS

The original IBM Personal Computer is model number 5150, which was introduced to the world on August 12, 1981. The term “personal computer” was already in use, but the success of the IBM 5150 led to the term “PC” being used for all computer products compatible with the IBM platform.

24. Home furnishings giant : IKEA

The furniture chain IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old. IKEA is an acronym standing for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

26. Navy and Air Force vis-à-vis the military : ARMS

We can use the French phrase “vis-à-vis” as a preposition meaning “compared with”. When used as an adverb or adjective, it means “face-to-face”, which is a more literal translation from French.

28. “___ and Janis” (comic strip) : ARLO

The comic strip “Arlo and Janis” is written by Jimmy Johnson. Introduced in 1985, Arlo and Janis are a baby booming couple with an easy approach to life, and who are very much in love.

33. Cakes and ___ : ALE

The phrase “cakes and ale” makes a number of appearances in literature. Aesop uses the phrase in his fable “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse”, to symbolize the good life. Shakespeare included the line “Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?” in his play “Twelfth Night”. W. Somerset Maugham used the Shakespearean line as inspiration for the title of his 1930 play “Cakes and Ale, or, The Skeleton in the Cupboard”.

34. Lab culture site : AGAR PLATE

Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science, it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

38. Groups of whales : GAMS

A group of whales can be called a gam, as well as a pod.

39. Seasonal song : NOEL

“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, and ultimately comes from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). “Noel” has come to be used as an alternative name for a Christmas carol.

45. Rachel Maddow’s network : MSNBC

We used to be able to listen to “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Air America Radio before the radio station went bust. Now we can see Maddow on a TV show with the same name, every night on MSNBC. She is the first openly gay anchor to host a primetime news program in the US.

48. Hit musical with the song “Tomorrow” : ANNIE

“Tomorrow” is a song written for the Broadway musical “Annie”. The musical is based on the Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”. There were two subsequent film adaptations, both really quite successful, including one released in 1982 directed by John Huston of all people. It was the only musical that he ever directed.

49. Kidney-related : RENAL

Something described as renal is related to the kidneys. “Ren” is the Latin word for “kidney”.

50. Author Rand : AYN

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born Alisa Rosenbaum. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan. Rand described herself as “right-wing” politically, and both she and her novel “Atlas Shrugged” have become inspirations for the American conservatives, and the Tea Party in particular.

53. Something that goes viral : MEME

A meme (short for “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

58. Vietnamese festival : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

59. Cry from Scrooge : BAH!

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” to describe a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that Ebenezer Scrooge uttered the words “Bah! Humbug!”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Speaker’s spot : DAIS
5. “Guess so” : I S’POSE
11. Film buff’s channel, in brief : TMC
14. Novelist Ferber : EDNA
15. Have relevance to : BEAR ON
16. “Woo-hoo!” : YAY!
17. First female recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award in film : JUDY GARLAND
19. Plastic pipe material, for short : PVC
20. Lobster ___ Newburg : A LA
21. Rural’s opposite : URBAN
22. Spa treatment : PEEL
23. Become less dense, with “out” : THIN
25. Major crop of Brazil : SUGARCANE
28. “Hmm … I see now” : AH … OK
29. Another name for Cupid : EROS
30. Debauched sorts : ROUES
32. Lyricist Cahn who wrote “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” : SAMMY
34. Wonderment : AWE
37. California baseball pro : LOS ANGELES ANGEL
40. Some words from Wordsworth : ODE
41. Like some cereals : OATEN
42. Prerequisites for some college students : LOANS
43. Funny Bombeck : ERMA
44. Noted Art Deco artist : ERTE
45. Washington, Jackson or Ford : MOVIE STAR
50. Range for yodelers : ALPS
51. Hebrew letter whose name is also a body part : SHIN
52. Doctor Doom, to the Fantastic Four : ENEMY
54. Bagel go-with : LOX
56. Big Apple N.F.L. team, on scoreboards : NYG
57. Seasonal song with a hint to the last words in 17-, 25-, 37- and 45-Across : O TANNENBAUM
60. Ghost’s cry : BOO!
61. Retort to “No, you’re not!” : YES, I AM!
62. Lead-in to girl or boy : ATTA …
63. Junkyard dog : CUR
64. Anastasia ___, woman in “Fifty Shades of Grey” : STEELE
65. Sneaky laughs : HEHS

Down

1. ___ vu : DEJA
2. A step above the minors? : ADULTHOOD
3. Here, as derived from hip-hop slang : IN DA HOUSE
4. Two cents’ worth : SAY
5. Construction girder : I-BAR
6. People between Hungarians and Bulgarians : SERBS
7. Pacific island nation : PALAU
8. Supporters of England’s King William III : ORANGEMEN
9. Jesus, to Mary : SON
10. Put the kibosh on : END
11. Like workaholics : TYPE A
12. Expert : MAVEN
13. Go biking : CYCLE
18. Rev, as an engine : GUN
22. Apples they’re not : PCS
24. Home furnishings giant : IKEA
26. Navy and Air Force vis-à-vis the military : ARMS
27. “Once in ___ David’s City” (carol) : ROYAL
28. “___ and Janis” (comic strip) : ARLO
31. Saw logs : SNORE
32. Reassure : SET AT EASE
33. Cakes and ___ : ALE
34. Lab culture site : AGAR PLATE
35. Deteriorated … or started out like Santa on December 24? : WENT SOUTH
36. Word after who, what, when, where or why : … ELSE
38. Groups of whales : GAMS
39. Seasonal song : NOEL
43. German article : EIN
45. Rachel Maddow’s network : MSNBC
46. “Stop being so silly!” : OH YOU!
47. Pep : VIGOR
48. Hit musical with the song “Tomorrow” : ANNIE
49. Kidney-related : RENAL
50. Author Rand : AYN
53. Something that goes viral : MEME
55. December 25, informally : XMAS
57. Yiddish laments : OYS
58. Vietnamese festival : TET
59. Cry from Scrooge : BAH!

11 thoughts on “1225-18 NY Times Crossword 25 Dec 18, Tuesday”

  1. 15:10. Nice Xmas theme on Xmas day. I didn’t really get the theme fully until I finished and looked at all the answers.

    Best –

  2. I got hung up at several points in this puzzle over little things. The word ROUES is just not something that I really ever hear or read so that caused me trouble. Also I originally wrote in AMC for the movie channel (there is both an AMC and a TMC offering similar fare) and had to get unstuck when TYPE A turned out to be two words. I spent the last several minutes just inserting the alphabet into squares until something finally clicked. But at last things came together and I belatedly managed to finish with no errors.

      1. No, Steve, I don’t bother to save them. The booklets are spiral-bound so each page can easily be torn out and thrown away. The booklet gets thinner and thinner as each puzzle is completed until
        you are down to the last page.

        While I do not save them, I do always look back on the completed puzzle so that I can learn something from it that I can carry forward.

        Thanks for asking. How did you do on today’s puzzle?

  3. Belated holiday fare, but good theme nonetheless. Bruce Haight decorated the tree very well, and it all come together quite nicely in the SW corner. Enjoyed it.

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