1204-19 NY Times Crossword 4 Dec 19, Wednesday

Constructed by: Evan Mahnken
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Four Fallacies

Themed answers are four common logical fallacies, errors in reasoning that render an argument invalid:

  • 17A “Scarecrow thinks the only thing one needs is a brain. Not so!” : STRAW MAN FALLACY
  • 28A “If we let our kids go sledding, what’s next? Extreme skiing?” : SLIPPERY SLOPE
  • 43A “As you can tell from these few examples, Bings are better than maraschinos” : CHERRY PICKING
  • 58A “Expanding the bleachers isn’t enough. We need to relocate the whole stadium” : MOVING GOALPOSTS

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 5m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Henson who created the Muppets : JIM

Jim Henson was a puppeteer, and most famously the creator the Muppets characters. Henson produced his first puppets for a local television station in Hyattsville, Maryland while he was still in high school. As well as the famous Muppet characters, Henson created, operated and voiced the character Yoda in most of the “Star Wars” movies. Henson died from a streptococcal infection in 1990, on the same day that Sammy Davis, Jr. passed away.

4 Tibetan monks : LAMAS

“Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief” or “high priest”.

9 Actress Winger : DEBRA

When actress Debra Winger was a young woman she was involved in a terrible car accident that resulted in a cerebral hemorrhage. She was left partially paralyzed and blind, and was told that she would never see again. Given so much time to think after the accident, she decided that if she did indeed recover she would leave her home in Ohio and move to California to take up acting. After ten months of blindness Winger recovered, and off she headed.

14 Ambient musician Brian : ENO

Brian Eno was one of the pioneers of the ambient genre of music. Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, which was the first in a series of four albums with an ambient theme. Eno named the tracks, somewhat inventively, 1/1, 2/1, 2/1 and 2/2.

15 University of Maine’s home : ORONO

The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine that was founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation. The school’s athletic teams are named the Maine Black Bears.

16 ___ wrench : ALLEN

The Allen wrench (or “Allen key”, as we call it back in Ireland) is a successful brand of hex wrench that was trademarked in 1943 by the Allen Manufacturing Company of Hartford , Connecticut. However, the hex wrench had in fact been around since the mid-to-late 1800s.

17 “Scarecrow thinks the only thing one needs is a brain. Not so!” : STRAW MAN FALLACY

One tactic used in debate is to energetically refute an argument that was not actually presented by the opposing side, rather than refute the actual argument presented. This deceptive tactic ius termed “straw man fallacy”, as one is in effect attacking a straw man.

20 Big displays at natural history museums, informally : T. REXES

The Tyrannosaurus rex (usually written “T. rex”) was a spectacular looking dinosaur. “Tyrannosaurus” comes from the Greek words “tyrannos” (tyrant) and “sauros” (lizard) and “rex” the Latin for “king”. They were big beasts, measuring 42 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hips, and weighing 7.5 tons.

21 Mah-jongg pieces : TILES

Mahjong (also “mahjongg” and “mah-jongg”) is the Chinese word for “sparrow”. Mahjong is a game that originated in China, and is usually played by four players. There is a myth that the game was developed by the Chinese philosopher, Confucius. The myth also suggests that Confucius was fond of birds, and hence chose the name “sparrow”.

23 Where the Marx Brothers famously spent a night : OPERA

“A Night at the Opera” is a 1935 Marx Brothers film that was the first movie in which Chico, Harpo and Groucho appeared without their brother Zeppo. “A Night at the Opera” is really great entertainment!

28 “If we let our kids go sledding, what’s next? Extreme skiing?” : SLIPPERY SLOPE

We often hear the argument that a relatively small step should not taken lest that step sets of a series of unintended consequences. This logical fallacy is known as a slippery slope argument, and is often associated with fearmongering.

33 How Odysseus traveled : AFAR

“Odyssey” is one of two epic poems from ancient Greece that is attributed to Homer. “Odyssey” is largely a sequel to Homer’s other epic “Iliad”. “Odyssey” centers on the heroic figure Odysseus, and his adventures on his journey home to Greece following the fall of Troy. We now use the term “odyssey” to describe any long series of adventures.

34 View from behind the Lincoln Memorial : POTOMAC

The Potomac River on the mid-Atlantic coast flows from the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia into the Chesapeake Bay. Given its location in such a historical area, the Potomac has the nickname “the Nation’s River”.

The Lincoln Memorial is my favorite place to visit in the whole of Washington D.C. The memorial was designed by Henry Bacon, and the sculptor of the magnificent statue of President Lincoln was Daniel Chester French. I spent a wonderful afternoon a few years ago touring the workshop and home of French, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The workshop is stunning, with miniature studies for his magnum opus, the Lincoln Statue, as well as many other beautiful works.

38 H5N1, by another name : BIRD FLU

Avian flu (also “bird flu”) is caused by influenza viruses that are particularly adapted to birds. While birds are the animals primarily affected, human deaths have been recorded, as have deaths of seals and cats, would you believe?

41 Eponym of a U.S. Open stadium : ASHE

Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York opened in 1997 and for years was the largest outdoor, tennis-only venue in the world. The stadium was often criticized for not having a retractable dome to protect the playing surface from inclement weather. Well, that changed in 2016 when the stadium debuted its new retractable roof, a $150 million investment in the facility.

An eponym is a name for something derived from the name of a person, as in the food item we call a “sandwich”, named after the Earl of Sandwich.

43 “As you can tell from these few examples, Bings are better than maraschinos” : CHERRY PICKING

Cherry picking is a tactic used to support an argument in which in favorable individual cases are cited as representative of all cases. Cherry picking attempts to bias an audience by focusing only on data that is supportive of an argument, while overlooking data that is non-supportive.

49 Cigarette ingredient : TAR

The partially-combusted particulate matter that is produced as a cigarette burns forms a resinous material called “tar”. Cigarette tar is different than the tar used on roads, but it is still very toxic. Marijuana smoke produces a very similar tar to cigarette smoke, and is just as dangerous.

51 Elvis’s middle name : ARON

Elvis Aron Presley (aka “the King”) was the younger of two identical twins. His brother was stillborn, and delivered 35 minutes before Elvis. The brother was named Jesse Garon Presley. So, although born a twin, Elvis was raised as an only child.

54 Appliance company acquired by Raytheon in 1965 : AMANA

The Amana Corporation takes its name from the location of its original headquarters, in Middle Amana, Iowa. Today, the Amana name is very much associated with household appliances. The company was founded in 1934 to manufacture commercial walk-in coolers.

56 Head in a classic Hasbro toy : POTATO

Mr. Potato Head is an enduring popular toy that has been around since its invention by George Lerner in 1949. In its original form, the toy was a collection of eyes, ears, and other facial features, that were designed to be stuck into a real potato. Mr. Potato Head also has the distinction of being the first toy ever to be advertised on television.

The Hasbro toy company was founded in 1923, to sell textile remnants. The founders were Herman, Hillel and Henry Hassenfeld, three brothers and hence the name “Hasbro”. The company diversified into toys in the early forties, with the first real market success being Mr. Potato Head.

58 “Expanding the bleachers isn’t enough. We need to relocate the whole stadium” : MOVING GOALPOSTS

When evidence is presented to support a particular claim, and that evidence is dismissed based on introducing new requirements for evidence, then those responsible for the dismissal might be said to have moved “moved the goalposts”.

65 Boss of the Oompa-Loompas : WONKA

The Oompa-Loompas are characters in the Roald Dahl book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, and indeed in the sequel story “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator”. Willy Wonka came across the Oompa-Loompas on an isolated island in the Atlantic and invited them to work in his factory in order to escape those hunting them on the island. Right before Dahl’s book was first published, he was intending to call the Oompa-Loompas “Whipple-Scrumpets”.

Down

3 Edible fungi : MORELS

The morel is that mushroom with the honeycomb-like structure on the cap. Morels are highly prized, especially in French cuisine. They should never be eaten raw as they are toxic, with the toxins being removed by thorough cooking.

4 Major home-improvement chain founder : LOWE

Lucius S. Lowe opened the first Lowe’s hardware store in 1921, in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Lucius only knew the one store, as it was family who expanded the company after he passed away in 1940.

6 Extinct relative of an ostrich : MOA

Moas were flightless birds native to New Zealand that are now extinct. The fate of the Moa is a great example of the detrimental effect that humans can have on animal populations. The Maoris arrived in New Zealand about 1300 AD, upsetting the balance of the ecosystem. The Moa were hunted to extinction within 200 years, which had the knock-on effect of killing off the Haast’s Eagle, the Moa’s only predator prior to the arrival of man. Moa were huge creatures, measuring up to 12 feet tall with their necks stretched upwards.

7 “Ask ___ Landers” : ANN

“Ask Ann Landers” was an advice column written by Eppie Lederer from 1955 to 2002. Eppie was the twin sister to Pauline Phillips, the person behind “Dear Abby”. Eppie took over the “Ask Ann Landers” column from Ruth Crowley who started it in 1943.

8 Like Brie vis-à-vis Gruyère cheese : SOFTER

Brie is a soft cheese that is named for the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert. Brie is often served baked in puff pastry.

Gruyère is a hard cheese that is named for the medieval Swiss town of Gruyères. I had the pleasure of visiting Gruyères many years ago, and have very fond memories of stuffing myself with the most delicious fondue made from the local cheese mixed with wine …

9 Show that asked “Who shot J.R.?” : DALLAS

The TV soap “Dallas” revolved around the Ewings family. The series that ran for 13 years was originally intended as a five-part mini-series, with the main characters being newlyweds Bobby and Pam Ewing. But, the devious character in the piece, Bobby’s brother J. R., became so popular with audiences that the series as extended with J. R. at the center of the story. Who can remember who shot J.R.? (It was Kristin Shepard: J.R.’s mistress, who was also his sister-in-law).

10 Long-running fashion magazine : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

12 College app attachment, informally : REC

Recommendation (rec.)

18 Skating feat : AXEL

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

23 Equatorial Guinea is its least populous member, for short : OPEC

Equatorial Guinea is the only country on the African continent that has Spanish as her official language. The nation, located in the central west coast, was formerly the colony of Spanish Guinea and gained independence from Spain in 1968.

26 Birthstone that shares a first letter with its month : OPAL

Here is the “official” list of birthstones, by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

27 Home of Machu Picchu : PERU

Machu Picchu is known as “The Lost City of the Incas”, and it can be visited on a mountain ridge in Peru, 50 miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in the southeast of the country. The name Machu Picchu means “old peak”. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu originates about 50 miles from Cusco on the Urubamba River in Peru. It can take travelers about 5 days to trek the full length of the trail, passing through many Incan ruins before reaching the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The trail was becoming greatly overused, forcing the Peruvian government to limit the number of people on the trail each day to 500. Book early …

30 Sleep disrupter, in a fairy tale : PEA

“The Princess and the Pea” is a fairy tale from the pen of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The essence of the story is that a prince’s mother tests the royal blood of an apparent princess by placing a pea under a pile of mattresses on which the young girl sleeps. The girl complains of a restless night, demonstrating a physical sensitivity that can only be attributed to a princess. And they all lived happily ever after …

35 Group concerned with things that are NSFW? : OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

The abbreviation “NSFW” stands for “not safe/suitable for work”. It’s Internet slang used to describe online content that is best not viewed at work.

36 Poem that begins “Once upon a midnight dreary” : THE RAVEN

The first verse of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore-
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

37 Anthem contraction : O’ER

The words “o’er the ramparts we watched” come from “The Star Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

38 Tampa Bay players, familiarly : BUCS

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the NFL in 1976, along with the Seattle Seahawks, as an expansion team. The Bucs had a tough start in the NFL, losing their first 26 games. Things went better in the early eighties, but then the team went through 14 consecutive losing seasons. Their luck changed again though, and they won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 season.

40 Campus in Troy, N.Y. : RPI

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the “application of science to the common purposes of life”, an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the school’s sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.

44 Land between Uganda and Burundi : RWANDA

Rwanda is a sovereign nation in central Africa that is populated by three groups: the Hutu, Tutsi (aka “Watutsi”) and Twa. 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.

45 Light side : YANG

The yin and yang can be illustrated using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

46 Czech capital : PRAGUE

The beautiful city of Prague is today the capital of the Czech Republic. Prague’s prominence in Europe has come and gone over the centuries. For many years, it was the capital city of the Holy Roman Empire.

47 Grp. whose alphabet starts Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … : NATO

The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

55 Fancy fur : MINK

There are two species of mink extant: the European Mink and the American Mink. There used to be a Sea Mink which was much larger than its two cousins, but it was hunted to extinction (for its fur) in the late 1800s. American Minks are farmed over in Europe for fur, and animal rights activists have released many of these animals into the wild when raiding mink farms. As a result the European Mink population has declined due to the presence of its larger and more adaptable American cousin.

56 “Nolo contendere,” e.g. : PLEA

“Nolo contendere” (sometimes shortened to “nolo”) is a legal term that translates from Latin as “I do not wish to contend”. It’s the plea of no contest, and is an alternative to guilty and not guilty, meaning that one doesn’t admit guilt but nor does one dispute the charge.

57 Grand Ole ___ : OPRY

The Grand Ole Opry started out as a radio show in 1925 originally called the WSM “Barn Dance”. In 1927, the “Barn Dance” radio show was broadcast in a slot after an NBC production called “Musical Appreciation Hour”, a collection of classical works including Grand Opera. In a December show, the host of “Barn Dance” announced, “For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the ‘Grand Ole Opry'”. That name was used for the radio show from then on.

59 Middle name of Sean Lennon : ONO

Sean Lennon is the only child of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and godson of Elton John. Sean is a musician and composer, and has a band called the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger.

60 Has too much, for short : ODS

Overdose (OD)

61 Things you can pay YouTube to avoid : ADS

YouTube is a video-sharing website that was launched in 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Yep, $1.65 billion, less than two years after it was founded …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Henson who created the Muppets : JIM
4 Tibetan monks : LAMAS
9 Actress Winger : DEBRA
14 Ambient musician Brian : ENO
15 University of Maine’s home : ORONO
16 ___ wrench : ALLEN
17 “Scarecrow thinks the only thing one needs is a brain. Not so!” : STRAW MAN FALLACY
20 Big displays at natural history museums, informally : T. REXES
21 Mah-jongg pieces : TILES
22 Step on it! : SOLE
23 Where the Marx Brothers famously spent a night : OPERA
25 Defeat : TOP
28 “If we let our kids go sledding, what’s next? Extreme skiing?” : SLIPPERY SLOPE
32 Ooze : SEEP
33 How Odysseus traveled : AFAR
34 View from behind the Lincoln Memorial : POTOMAC
38 H5N1, by another name : BIRD FLU
41 Eponym of a U.S. Open stadium : ASHE
42 Choice in orange juice : PULP
43 “As you can tell from these few examples, Bings are better than maraschinos” : CHERRY PICKING
49 Cigarette ingredient : TAR
50 Goods for sale : WARES
51 Elvis’s middle name : ARON
54 Appliance company acquired by Raytheon in 1965 : AMANA
56 Head in a classic Hasbro toy : POTATO
58 “Expanding the bleachers isn’t enough. We need to relocate the whole stadium” : MOVING GOALPOSTS
62 Nonstop : ON END
63 Milk source : UDDER
64 “What’d I tell you?” : SEE?
65 Boss of the Oompa-Loompas : WONKA
66 College app attachment : ESSAY
67 Jr. and sr. : YRS

Down

1 Joking remarks : JESTS
2 Part of a show that may say “Previously on …” : INTRO
3 Edible fungi : MORELS
4 Major home-improvement chain founder : LOWE
5 Gives weapons to : ARMS
6 Extinct relative of an ostrich : MOA
7 “Ask ___ Landers” : ANN
8 Like Brie vis-à-vis Gruyère cheese : SOFTER
9 Show that asked “Who shot J.R.?” : DALLAS
10 Long-running fashion magazine : ELLE
11 Leave the launchpad : BLAST OFF
12 College app attachment, informally : REC
13 Even a little bit : ANY
18 Skating feat : AXEL
19 Breezy : AIRY
23 Equatorial Guinea is its least populous member, for short : OPEC
24 ___ rally : PEP
26 Birthstone that shares a first letter with its month : OPAL
27 Home of Machu Picchu : PERU
29 Ideology : ISM
30 Sleep disrupter, in a fairy tale : PEA
31 Young fellow : LAD
34 Solemn agreement : PACT
35 Group concerned with things that are NSFW? : OSHA
36 Poem that begins “Once upon a midnight dreary” : THE RAVEN
37 Anthem contraction : O’ER
38 Tampa Bay players, familiarly : BUCS
39 Type : ILK
40 Campus in Troy, N.Y. : RPI
42 Metaphor for a segmented market : PIE
44 Land between Uganda and Burundi : RWANDA
45 Light side : YANG
46 Czech capital : PRAGUE
47 Grp. whose alphabet starts Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … : NATO
48 Like meadows : GRASSY
52 Animal known to crack shells with rocks : OTTER
53 Snoops (around) : NOSES
55 Fancy fur : MINK
56 “Nolo contendere,” e.g. : PLEA
57 Grand Ole ___ : OPRY
58 Cut the lawn : MOW
59 Middle name of Sean Lennon : ONO
60 Has too much, for short : ODS
61 Things you can pay YouTube to avoid : ADS

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