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0927-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Sep 16, Tuesday





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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Robert Cirillo
THEME: A Recuperative Word Ladder
We have some “RECUPERATIVE” themed answers in today’s grid, as well as a RECUPERATIVE word ladder taking us from SICK in the top-left to WELL in the bottom-right:
30A. How to avoid becoming 1-Across, so they say : AN APPLE A DAY
49A. Aid for getting 73-Across, so they say : CHICKEN SOUP

1A. Start of a "recuperative" word ladder ending at 73-Across : SICK
15A. Part 2 of the word ladder : SILK
19A. Part 3 of the word ladder : SILT
62A. Part 4 of the word ladder : WILT
69A. Part 5 of the word ladder : WELT
73A. End of the word ladder : WELL
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 10s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Pres. Jefferson : THOS
Thomas Jefferson was born a British subject in 1743 in the Colony of Virginia, one of ten children born to Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph Jefferson. The Jefferson’s had four sons in all, with two dying in infancy. The remaining two sons inherited Peter’s estate, divided between them. Thomas came into 5,000 acres of land, including Monticello, and 20-40 slaves.

9. 1000 or 2000, but not 0 : YEAR
The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

13. Cookies with a Double Stuf variety : OREOS
Double Stuf Oreo was introduced in 1975, and has twice the normal amount of white cream filling as the original cookie.

16. Singer Fitzgerald : ELLA
Ella Fitzgerald, the "First Lady of Song", had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

17. Socially unacceptable : NON-PC
Non-politically correct (non-PC)

18. Cleveland's lake : 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.

Cleveland, Ohio was named after the man who led the team that surveyed the area prior to founding of the city. General Moses Cleaveland did his work in 1796 and then left Ohio, never to return again.

20. Morsel for an aardvark : ANT
The aardvark is the oddest looking of creatures, a nocturnal burrowing animal, native to Africa. The name "aardvark" is Afrikaans for "earth pig", although it is not in fact related to the pig. Aardvarks are noted, among other things, for their unique teeth. Their teeth have no enamel and wear away quite readily, but continuously regrow.

24. Blue Jays, on scoreboards : TOR
The Toronto Blue Jays baseball franchise was founded in 1977. The Blue Jays are the only team based outside the US to have won a World Series, doing so in 1992 and 1993. And since the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team now headquartered outside of the US.

25. Switch ups? : ONS
Not only did I have to learn new spellings of words when I moved here from Ireland (here I go, whining again!) but I had to learn that down is the “off” position for a switch most times, and up is the “on” position. It’s exactly the opposite on the other side of the pond. Have I ever told you about the steering wheel position in the car? Aaargh!

26. Place to get outta, in a saying : DODGE
The phrase “get out of Dodge”, meaning “scram, flee”, is a reference to Dodge City, Kansas. The phrase became a cliche on TV westerns (mainly “Gunsmoke”, I think) and was then popularized by teenagers in the sixties and seventies.

30. How to avoid becoming 1-Across, so they say : AN APPLE A DAY
Apparently the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” originated in Pembrokeshire in Wales. There was a local proverb in the area quoted in print in the mid-1800s:
Eat an apple on going to bed,
And you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.

35. 60 minuti : ORA
In Italian, there are “sessanta minuti” (sixty minutes) in an “”ora” (hour).

36. ___-majesté : LESE
“Lèse majesté” is the crime of offending the dignity of the "majesty" or sovereign, or the state. The term is from French Law, and comes from the law of Ancient Rome. In Latin "laesa maiestas" means "injured majesty". Clearly, the term has no relevance in the United States but in other countries, including many in Europe, the law is occasionally cited.

39. Palindromic band name : ABBA
I am an unapologetic fan of ABBA’s music. ABBA was of course the Swedish group who topped the charts in the seventies and eighties. The name ABBA is an acronym formed from the first letters of the given names of each of the band members: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid. Early in their careers, the four fell in love and formed two married couples: Agnetha and Bjorn, and Benny and Anni-Frid. However, at the height of their success, the relationships became strained and both couples divorced.

43. No. on a periodic table : AT WT
The atomic weight (at. wt.) of an element is the mass of one atom of the element, relative to the mass of an atom of carbon (which is assumed to have an atomic weight of 12).

Dmitri Mendeleev was a Russian chemist. When Mendeleev classified elements according to their chemical properties, he noticed patterns and was able to group elements into his famous 1869 Periodic Table. So powerful was his table that he actually predicted the properties of some elements that had not even been discovered in 1869. Element number 101 is mendelevium and was named after Mendeleev.

46. ___-ho : GUNG
Kung ho is a Chinese expression meaning "work together, cooperate". The anglicized version "gung ho" was adopted by a Major Evans Carlson as an expression of combined spirit for his 2nd Marine Raider Battalion during WWII. From there the term spread throughout the Marine Corps and back to America where it persists to this day.

53. Capital of Senegal : DAKAR
The Republic of Senegal is a country on the far western coast of Africa. For many years Senegal was a French colony, gaining independence in 1960. The capital of Senegal is Dakar, a city located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean.

55. ___ Lingus : AER
Aer Lingus is my favorite airline! Well, the service isn’t that great, but when I get on board an Aer Lingus plane I feel like I am back in Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, with “Aer Lingus” being a phonetic spelling of the Irish “aer-loingeas” meaning “air fleet”. These days Aer Lingus can only lay claim to the title of Ireland’s oldest airline as it is no longer the biggest. That honor goes to the controversial budget airline called Ryanair.

56. General ___ (name on a Chinese menu) : TSO
General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

61. ___ Pinafore : HMS
“H.M.S. Pinafore” is one of my favorite of the Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas (a production we staged at high school, many moons ago). “Pinafore” was one of the first big hits for Gilbert & Sullivan (in their native Britain, and in America), and they followed it up with “The Pirates of Penzance” and “The Mikado”.

65. Football coach Jim : MORA
Jim L. Mora was a head coach in the NFL from 2004 to 2009, and then head coach for the UCLA Bruins starting in 2012. His father, Jim E. Mora, was also an NFL head coach.

68. Taiwan-based computer maker : ACER
I owned several Acer laptops, which were for my money the most reliable machine at the best price. Acer is a Taiwanese company that I used to visit a lot when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed back then with the company’s dedication to quality, but have heard that things haven’t gone so well in recent years …

70. Andrea ___ (ill-fated ship) : DORIA
The SS Andrea Doria was an Italian ocean liner with the home port of Genoa. She was named after Andrea Doria, a 16th-century admiral from the city. As always seems to be the case with ships that go down, the Andrea Doria was the pride of the fleet and was deemed to be the biggest, fastest and safest of Italy's ships in the fifties. Her end came in 1956 when she collided with the MS Stockholm off the coast of Nantucket Island. Such was the damage to the side of the vessel that she quickly and severely listed to starboard, rendering half her lifeboats unusable. Nonetheless, 1,660 crew and passengers were rescued by vessels that came to her aid. Only 46 lives were lost, mainly in the collision itself. The Andrea Doria capsized and sank eleven hours after the collision.

71. Alien: Prefix : XENO-
The Greek combining form “xeno-” means “strange, foreign”, as in xenophobia, a fear of foreigners.

72. Fr. honorees : STES
“Sainte” (ste.) is French for “saint”, when referring to a female.

Down
1. Hyundai model : SONATA
The Hyundai factory in Ulsan, South Korea is the largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility in the world, able to produce 1.6 million vehicles each year.

3. The Fed, for example : CENTRAL BANK
The Federal Reserve System is more usually known simply as “the Fed”, and is the central banking system of the US. It was introduced in 1913 in response to a number of financial panics at the beginning of the 20th century. The original role for the Fed was to act as a lender of last resort, in case there was a run on a bank. This can happen as most of the money that is deposited by customers in a bank is reinvested by that bank, so it has very little liquid cash available. If too many customers look for their money at one time, then the bank can be short of cash and this can start a “run”. The Fed’s responsibilities have broadened since those early days …

4. Keystone ___ : KOP
The Keystone Cops (sometimes “Keystone Kops”) were a band of madcap policemen characters who appeared in silent movies. A 1914 short film called “A Thief Catcher” that was believed lost was rediscovered in 2010. “A Thief Catcher” featured the magnificent Charlie Chaplin in an early role as a Keystone Cop.

5. Fly over sub-Saharan Africa? : TSETSE
Tsetse flies live on the blood of vertebrate mammals. The name “tsetse” comes from Tswana, a language of southern Africa, and translates simply as “fly”. Tsetse flies are famous for being carriers of the disease known as “sleeping sickness”. Sleeping sickness is caused by a parasite which is passed onto humans when the tsetse fly bites into human skin tissue. If one considers all the diseases transmitted by the insect, then the tsetse fly is responsible for a staggering quarter of a million deaths each year.

6. Trumpeter Al : HIRT
Al Hirt was a trumpeter and bandleader. Hirt’s most famous recordings were the song “Java” and the album “Honey in the Horn”, as well the theme song used “The Green Hornet” TV series in the sixties.

7. Mélange : OLIO
“Olio” is a term meaning a hodgepodge or a mixture, coming from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish "olla", the clay pot used for cooking.

“Mélange” is the French word for “mixture”.

10. Inventor Whitney : ELI
The inventor Eli Whitney is a best known for inventing the cotton gin. Whitney also came up with the important concept of “interchangeable parts”. Parts that are interchangeable can be swapped out of equipment or perhaps used in related designs.

11. The whole enchilada : ALL
“Enchilada” is the past participle of the Spanish word “enchilar” meaning “to add chile pepper to”. An enchilada is a basically a corn tortilla rolled around some filling and then covered in chili pepper sauce. The term “big enchilada” is used in the same way as we would use “big cheese” i.e. the top dog. The phrase was popularized in the sixties when John Ehrlichman refers to Attorney General John Mitchell as “the big enchilada” on one of the Watergate Tapes.

23. Tranquil scene : IDYL
An "idyll" (also "idyl") is a short poem with a pastoral theme, usually depicting the scene in romantic and idealized terms. The word comes from the Greek "eidyllion", which literally translates to "little picture" but was a word describing a short, poem with a rustic theme.

29. Heading for Marco Polo : EAST
Marco Polo was a merchant from Venice and a famous traveler throughout Asia. Polo journeyed with his father and uncle on an epic tour of Central Asia and China that lasted 24 years. Marco tends to be the member of the party we remember today though, because it was he who documented their travels in a book called “Il Milione”.

32. The Mexica people ruled over them : AZTEC
The Aztec people of Central America dominated the region in the 14th – 16th centuries. Two traits of the Aztec people are oft cited today. They built some magnificent pyramids, and they also engaged in human sacrifice. The two traits were linked in a way … for the consecration of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan, 84,400 prisoners were sacrificed over a period of four days.

34. Orbital high points : APOGEES
In the celestial world, an apsis is a point in an orbit when the orbiting body is at its greatest, or least, distance from it's center of orbit. The farthest and closest points of orbit are known as the apogee and perigee, when talking about bodies orbiting the Earth. The farthest and closest points for bodies orbiting the sun are known as the aphelion and perihelion.

38. Writer Fleming and others : IANS
Ian Fleming is most famous for writing the “James Bond” series of spy novels. You might also know that he wrote the children’s story “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, which was made into a cute movie released in 1968 and even a stage musical that opened in 2002.

39. If you drop this you'll trip : ACID
LSD (colloquially known as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

40. ___ fide : BONA
“Bona fide(s)” translates from the Latin as "in good faith", and is used to indicate honest intentions. It can also mean that something is authentic, like a piece of art that is represented in good faith as being genuine.

42. Former telecom giant : MCI
MCI was a giant telecom company that suffered a similar fate to Enron, and around about the same time. MCI’s stock price fell in 2000 and in maneuvers designed to protect the price, the company committed illegal acts. The larger-than-life CEO back then, Bernie Ebbers, is now serving a 25-year sentence in Louisiana.

45. Hosiery shade : ECRU
The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

The word "hose" meaning a "covering for the leg" has the same roots as the contemporary German word "Hose" meaning "trousers, pants".

50. Gold standards : KARATS
A karat (also “carat”, the spelling outside of North America) is a measure of the purity of gold alloys, with 24-karat representing pure gold.

51. Service symbolized by a blue-and-white eagle : US MAIL
52. Relating to 51-Down : POSTAL
The US Postal Service (USPS) is a remarkable agency in many ways. For starters, the government’s right and responsibility to establish the Post Office is specifically called out in Article One of the US constitution. Also, the first postmaster general was none other than Benjamin Franklin. And, the USPS operates over 200,000 vehicles, which is the largest vehicle fleet in the world.

54. Houston ballplayer : ASTRO
The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

58. German autos : BMWS
The abbreviation BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

59. Brand of bubbly, familiarly : MOET
Moët & Chandon is a French winery, one of the world's largest producers of champagne. The company was founded by wine trader Claude Moët in 1743. The name was changed to Moët & Chandon in the 1830s when Pierre-Gabriel Chandon, an in-law to the Moët family, was given co-ownership. Moët & Chandon owns the famous Dom Pérignon brand name, honoring the Benedictine monk who did so much to improve the quality of champagne.

60. 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.

62. Madame Tussaud material : WAX
Marie Tussaud was a wax sculptor from France. Some of her early work was very gruesome as she lived through the French Revolution. She would take the decapitated heads of executed citizens and use them to make death masks which were then paraded through the streets. She eventually moved to London, taking with her a vast collection of wax models made by her and her father. She opened a museum to display the works, and the Madame Tussaud’s wax museum is a major attraction in the city to this day.

63. Rocks or diamonds : ICE
“Ice” and “rocks” are slang terms for “diamonds”.

64. Judge Goodman of "Dancing With the Stars" : LEN
Len Goodman is a professional ballroom dancer. Goodman is the head judge on the US’s “Dancing with the Stars” as well as on the original UK version of the show called “Strictly Come Dancing”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Start of a "recuperative" word ladder ending at 73-Across : SICK
5. Pres. Jefferson : THOS
9. 1000 or 2000, but not 0 : YEAR
13. Cookies with a Double Stuf variety : OREOS
15. Part 2 of the word ladder : SILK
16. Singer Fitzgerald : ELLA
17. Socially unacceptable : NON-PC
18. Cleveland's lake : ERIE
19. Part 3 of the word ladder : SILT
20. Morsel for an aardvark : ANT
21. Seeking victory : OUT TO WIN
24. Blue Jays, on scoreboards : TOR
25. Switch ups? : ONS
26. Place to get outta, in a saying : DODGE
30. How to avoid becoming 1-Across, so they say : AN APPLE A DAY
35. 60 minuti : ORA
36. ___-majesté : LESE
37. Wires for thrill-seekers : ZIP LINES
39. Palindromic band name : ABBA
41. "Are not!" retort : AM TOO!
43. No. on a periodic table : AT WT
44. Come together : COALESCE
46. ___-ho : GUNG
48. Quaint lodging : INN
49. Aid for getting 73-Across, so they say : CHICKEN SOUP
53. Capital of Senegal : DAKAR
55. ___ Lingus : AER
56. General ___ (name on a Chinese menu) : TSO
57. Dunk : SUBMERSE
61. ___ Pinafore : HMS
62. Part 4 of the word ladder : WILT
65. Football coach Jim : MORA
66. Really bothered : ATE AT
68. Taiwan-based computer maker : ACER
69. Part 5 of the word ladder : WELT
70. Andrea ___ (ill-fated ship) : DORIA
71. Alien: Prefix : XENO-
72. Fr. honorees : STES
73. End of the word ladder : WELL

Down
1. Hyundai model : SONATA
2. Attach, as a patch : IRON ON
3. The Fed, for example : CENTRAL BANK
4. Keystone ___ : KOP
5. Fly over sub-Saharan Africa? : TSETSE
6. Trumpeter Al : HIRT
7. Mélange : OLIO
8. Slant : SKEW
9. Answerable with a head nod or shake : YES/NO
10. Inventor Whitney : ELI
11. The whole enchilada : ALL
12. Subway station sighting : RAT
14. Reporters' coups : SCOOPS
22. Let loose : UNLEASH
23. Tranquil scene : IDYL
27. "Can we not talk about that!" : DON’T GO THERE!
28. Ballooned : GREW
29. Heading for Marco Polo : EAST
31. Church bell sound : PEAL
32. The Mexica people ruled over them : AZTEC
33. God, in Roma : DIO
34. Orbital high points : APOGEES
38. Writer Fleming and others : IANS
39. If you drop this you'll trip : ACID
40. ___ fide : BONA
42. Former telecom giant : MCI
45. Hosiery shade : ECRU
47. Not book-smart : UNREAD
50. Gold standards : KARATS
51. Service symbolized by a blue-and-white eagle : US MAIL
52. Relating to 51-Down : POSTAL
54. Houston ballplayer : ASTRO
58. German autos : BMWS
59. Brand of bubbly, familiarly : MOET
60. Writer ___ Stanley Gardner : ERLE
62. Madame Tussaud material : WAX
63. Rocks or diamonds : ICE
64. Judge Goodman of "Dancing With the Stars" : LEN
67. A busy mom might keep a child in this : TOW


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About This Blog

This is the simplest of blogs.

I do the New York Times puzzle online every evening, the night before it is published in the paper. Then, I "Google & Wiki" the references that puzzle me, or that I find of interest. I post my findings, along with the solution, as soon as I am done, usually well before the newsprint version becomes available.

About Me

The name's William Ernest Butler, but please call me Bill. I grew up in Ireland, but now live out here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am retired, from technology businesses that took our family all over the world.

I try to answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com.

Crosswords and My Dad

I worked on my first crossword puzzle when I was about 6-years-old, sitting on my Dad's knee. He let me "help" him with his puzzle almost every day as I was growing up. Over the years, Dad passed on to me his addiction to crosswords. Now in my early 50s, I work on my Irish Times and New York Times puzzles every day. I'm no longer sitting on my Dad's knee, but I feel that he is there with me, looking over my shoulder.

This blog is dedicated to my Dad, who passed away at the beginning of this month.

Bill
January 29, 2009

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