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0220-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Feb 17, Monday





QuickLinks:
Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications
Solution to today's New York Times crossword found online at the Seattle Times website
Jump to a complete list of today's clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Ed Stein & Paula Gamache
THEME: Happy Presidents' Day!
Each of today’s themed answers is the name of a former US president, and is clued with reference to something unique about that individual:
17A. Only president to scale the Matterhorn : ROOSEVELT
27A. Only president whose grandfather was also president : HARRISON
37A. Only president born outside the continental United States : OBAMA
39A. Only president to have 15 children : TYLER
44A. Only president to be a lifelong bachelor : BUCHANAN
58A. Only president to be married in the White House : CLEVELAND
12D. Only president to serve as both vice president and president without being elected to either office : FORD
53D. Only president to administer the oath of office to two other presidents : TAFT
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 50s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Musial in the Baseball Hall of Fame : STAN
Stan Musial was a retired baseball player who went by the nickname “Stan the Man”, a moniker he was awarded by the Brooklyn Dodgers fans in 1946. Apparently, off the field Stan was quite the harmonica player.

15. Diva's solo : ARIA
The term “diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. "Diva" is the feminine form of "divus" meaning "divine one". The word is used in Italy to mean "goddess" or "fine lady", and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

17. Only president to scale the Matterhorn : ROOSEVELT
Alice Hathaway Lee met future-President Theodore Roosevelt in 1878, and received his proposal of marriage seven months later, but waited a further eight months before agreeing to the union. The couple married on Theodore’s 22nd birthday, when Alice was just 19 years old. They deferred their honeymoon as Theodore had just been accepted into Columbia Law School. A year later, the relatively recently-married pair headed off on a 5-month tour of Europe. While on his honeymoon with Alice, Theodore took time out to climb the famous Matterhorn. The Roosevelt’s returned to the US, and Theodore became a member of the New York State Assembly. Alice gave birth to their only child on February 12th, 1884, but passed away two days later, on Valentine’s Day.

21. Fine, thin cotton fabric : ORGANDY
Organdy is an extremely sheer, thin, crisp cotton cloth that is used for making blouses and dresses, as well as curtains and trimmings.

23. Bill ___, the Science Guy : NYE
That would be “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. Bill’s show ran on PBS for four years from 1993-97.

26. Women's stockings : HOSE
The word "hose" meaning a "covering for the leg" has the same roots as the contemporary German word "Hose" meaning "trousers, pants".

27. Only president whose grandfather was also president : HARRISON
Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States. President Harrison is the only US president to be the grandson of a former president. Benjamin was the grandson of the 9th president, William Henry Harrison. One of the things that President Benjamin Harrison’s administration is remembered for is bringing the level of federal spending to one billion dollars for the first time.

32. Space streakers : COMETS
Comets and asteroids are similar, both being relatively small celestial bodies orbiting the sun. Comets differ from asteroids in that they have a coma or tail, especially when they are close enough to the sun. The coma and tail are temporary fuzzy atmospheres that develop due to the presence of solar radiation. Comets are sometimes referred to as “dirty snowballs”, a reference to their composition: rock, dust, water ice and frozen gases.

37. Only president born outside the continental United States : OBAMA
Despite rumors to the contrary, I am pretty sure that Barack Hussein Obama II was indeed born in Hawaii. President Obama was born on August 4, 1961 at Kapi’olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii.

38. Bo or Checkers : DOG
Sunny and Bo are Portuguese water dogs owned by the Obama family. The former First Family chose the Portuguese water dog largely because it is a hypoallergenic breed, and Malia Obama suffers from an allergy to most dogs.

President Richard Nixon’s most famous dog was a cocker spaniel named Checkers. The Nixon family also owned a poodle called Vicky that was bought for daughter Julie.

39. Only president to have 15 children : TYLER
John Tyler was the US president who had the most children, 15 in all. He had eight children with his first wife Letitia Christian, and seven children with his second wife Julia Gardiner.

42. Writer Hemingway : ERNEST
Ernest Hemingway’s writing style has been described variously as lean, terse, economical, spare and tight. He didn’t waste words, and avoided complicated syntax. His writing is “Hemingwayesque”.

43. Airport pickup driver's info : ETA
Expected time of arrival (ETA)

44. Only president to be a lifelong bachelor : BUCHANAN
James Buchanan was US President just prior to the Civil War. He was the only president from the state of Pennsylvania, and also the only president who remained a bachelor for the whole of his life. As he was unmarried, Buchanan’s niece Harriet Lane acted as First Lady. Buchanan earned the nickname “Ten-Cent Jimmie” during the 1856 presidential election campaign, as he famously claimed that ten cents a day was enough for a working man to live on.

52. Washington's Union ___ : STATION
There are a lot of stations called “Union Station” in the US. This is because the generic “union station” is one built by two or more railroad companies acting in concert or “union”, sharing tracks and facilities.

55. TV ratings name : NIELSEN
Arthur Nielsen founded his Nielsen Media Research company to track brand advertising. He quickly moved into market analysis of radio audiences in the thirties, and today the company is famous for tracking television audiences. I remember watching the last episode of the TV series “Becker”, in which Ted Danson played a doctor. Given that the show had been ordered off the air due to declining viewership, there’s a great line in the last episode when Becker asks for the chart of a patient called “Nielsen”. He looks at the lab results and announces “I don’t know what everyone is talking about … these numbers aren’t so bad!” Great stuff …

57. Former Afghan leader Karzai : HAMID
Hamid Karzai is a former President of Afghanistan, coming to power in 2004 after the Taliban were overthrown. Karzai remained in office for two five-year terms, being replaced in 2014 by Ashraf Ghani.

58. Only president to be married in the White House : CLEVELAND
Grover Cleveland was the only person to have served as US President in two non-consecutive terms, and is sometimes referred to as our 22nd and 24th president. 49-year-old President Cleveland married 21-year-old Frances Folsom during his first term. This marked the only time that a president has married in the White House. And, that marriage made Frances the youngest wife of any sitting US president.

62. Marc Antony's lover, informally : CLEO
Marc Antony rose to power in Ancient Rome as the very loyal friend of Julius Caesar. Before he was assassinated, Caesar was the lover of Cleopatra, ruler of Egypt, and they had a child together. After Caesar's death, Antony maintained a strong political alliance with Cleopatra, and in time the two became lovers. Antony and Cleopatra sided against Julius Caesar's legal heir (later to be known as Augustus), leading to the Final War of the Roman Republic. Antony and Cleopatra were defeated at the Battle of Actium, and soon after the lovers committed suicide. Antony stabbed himself with his sword, and Cleopatra used a venomous asp.

65. Eurasian duck : SMEW
The smew is a beautiful-looking species of duck found right across northern Europe and Asia. The smew requires trees to complete its breeding cycle as it nests in tree holes, such as old woodpecker nests.

Down
1. "Mack the Knife" singer Bobby : DARIN
The singer Bobby Darin had a short but eventful life. Darin started in show business as a songwriter for Connie Francis. He then made it big as a performer with huge hits like “Splish Splash”, “Dream Lover”, “Mack the Knife” and “Beyond the Sea”. He was active politically as a supporter of Robert Kennedy, and was present in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when Kennedy was assassinated. Soon after, Darin found out that the people he thought were his parents, were in fact his grandparents. The woman he knew as his older sister was in fact his mother. Darin died following a heart operation at only 37 years old.

“Die Moritat von Mackie Messer” is the original name of the song “Mack the Knife”, taken from “The Threepenny Opera”. “The Threepenny Opera” (“Die Dreigroschenoper”) is a musical written by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill that first performed in Berlin in 1928, an adaptation of “The Beggar’s Opera” written by Englishman John Gay in the 18th century. “Mack the Knife” was introduced into the popular music repertoire by Louis Armstrong. He had a hit with it in 1956, but it was the Bobby Darin recording of 1959 that came to be known as the definitive, English-language version of the song. I love it …

8. Defense alliance since 1949, for short : NATO
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded not long after WWII in 1949 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill's chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down."

9. Catherine of ___ : ARAGON
Catherine of Aragon was the first wife of King Henry VIII. Catherine had been married to Henry’s older brother Prince Arthur, who was the heir apparent to the English throne at that time of their betrothal. Arthur died, five months after the marriage, leaving Henry as heir. Almost eight years later, Catherine married the newly crowned Henry, in 1509. Famously, Catherine bore no living sons with Henry, but they did have a daughter who was later to become Queen Mary I. By 1525, the lack of sons and an infatuation with Anne Boleyn led Henry to seek an annulment of the marriage with Catherine. Pope Clement VII’s refusal to declare the marriage invalid led to Henry splitting with Rome and establishing the Church of England.

10. Tibetan priests : LAMAS
“Lama” is a Tibetan word, meaning “chief” or “high priest”.

12. Only president to serve as both vice president and president without being elected to either office : FORD
Gerald Ford was the only person to have served as both Vice President and President of the US, without having been elected to those positions. Ford was nominated by President Richard Nixon to replace Vice President Spiro Agnew after he resigned in 1973. Vice President Ford assumed the presidency the following year after President Nixon resigned.

13. Card that just beats a deuce : TREY
A trey of clubs, for example, is a name for the three of clubs in a deck of cards. The name “trey” can also be used for a domino with three pips, and even a three-point play in basketball.

A “two” playing card might be called a “deuce”, from the Middle French “deus” (or Modern French “deux”) meaning “two”.

18. Printing mistakes : ERRATA
“Errata” is the past participle of the Latin word “errare” meaning “to err”. We use “errata” (singular “erratum”) to mean a list of errors that have been noted in some publication.

22. Greek P's : RHOS
Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R.

25. Dalton who played 007 : TIMOTHY
Timothy Dalton is a British actor who is perhaps best known for playing James Bond in “The Living Daylights” (1987) and “Licence to Kill” (1989). Pierce Brosnan was the first choice to take over the Bond role after Roger Moore, but Brosnan could not get out of his contractual commitment to the show “Remington Steele”. For many years, Dalton was in a relationship with English actress Vanessa Redgrave.

33. Last words? : OBIT
“Obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”, originally the record of the death of a person, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

34. Nut from Hawaii : MACADAMIA
The macadamia tree is native to Australia and is largely grown for its fruit, the macadamia nut. The tree was names in 1857 in honor of Scottish-Australian chemist and politician John Macadam. The macadamia was introduced into Hawaii as a commercial crop in the 1920s.

36. Vegas casino developer Steve : WYNN
Steve Wynn is a businessman who made most of his fortune building and refurbishing casinos during the resurgence of Las Vegas in the 1990s. Today Wynn is quite the art collector and has paid record prices for paintings by both Turner and Rembrandt.

38. Bespectacled Disney dwarf : DOC
In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale called “Snow White”, the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The seven dwarfs are:
  • Doc (the leader of the group)
  • Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife …)
  • Happy
  • Sleepy
  • Bashful
  • Sneezy
  • Dopey

39. Tourist destination in County Kerry, Ireland : TRALEE
County Kerry is located in the southwest of Ireland. It is a popular tourist destination, largely because it is home to the town of Killarney, which is a jumping off point for the famous Ring of Kerry and the Lakes of Killarney. Kerry’s county town is Tralee, home to the world-famous Rose of Tralee festival.

41. Roman goddess, protector of women and marriage : JUNO
Juno was the patron goddess of Rome and the Roman Empire, and also looked after the interests of the women of Rome. Juno was the sister and wife of Jupiter, the king of the Roman gods.

45. Epic poem starting with the flight from Troy : AENEID
Aeneas was a Trojan who traveled to Italy and became the ancestor of all Romans. Aeneas’s story is told in Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid”.

49. Sacred song : PSALM
The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”. In the Jewish and Western Christian traditions, the Book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, divided into five sections.

50. Soprano Fleming : RENEE
RenĂ©e Fleming is a marvelous soprano from Indiana, Pennsylvania. Famous for her appearances in opera houses and concert halls all over the world, Fleming is also noted for her willingness to bring her craft to the masses. She was a guest on “Sesame Street”, singing “counting lyrics” to an aria from “Rigoletto”, and she has appeared a few times on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”.

52. Tom Jones's "___ a Lady" : SHE’S
“She’s a Lady” is a 1971 song composed by Paul Anka and released by Tom Jones.

Tom Jones, now he has a real voice and is a great showman. I saw him in Las Vegas many, many moons ago, one of the best Vegas shows I’ve ever attended. Although Tom Jones is a carefully selected stage name (he was born Thomas Woodward) the name isn’t too far from reality as Jones is his mother’s maiden name. The stage name was chosen by his manager to capitalize on the appeal of “Tom Jones”, a filmed version of the Henry Fielding novel that was having a successful run at the time. The name also emphasized Tom’s Welsh roots, as Jones is a very common name in Wales.

53. Only president to administer the oath of office to two other presidents : TAFT
William Howard Taft may have been the 27th President of the United States, but his lifelong ambition was to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President Taft was able to realize that dream in 1921, eight years after losing his bid for re-election as president. As Chief Justice, this former US President swore in two new presidents: Calvin Coolidge (in 1925) and Herbert Hoover (in 1929). William Howard Taft is also remembered as the most obese president. In the last year of his presidency, he weighed about 340 pounds (he was 5 feet 11 inches tall). Twelve months after leaving the White House, President Taft had dropped 80 pounds and substantially lowered his blood pressure.

54. March Madness org. : NCAA
March Madness is the name given to the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Championship (among others), held in spring each year.

56. Legal entities for partnerships: Abbr. : LLCS
A limited liability company (LLC) is a company structure that limits the liability of the owner or owners.

59. Inc., overseas : LTD
In Britain and Ireland the most common type of business (my perception anyway) is one that has private shareholders whose liability is limited to the value of their investment. Such a company is known as a private limited company, and has the letters “Ltd” after the name. If the shares are publicly traded, then the company is a public limited company, and has the letters “plc” after the name.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Sunrise : DAWN
5. Musial in the Baseball Hall of Fame : STAN
9. High in the air : ALOFT
14. Soil-related prefix : AGRO-
15. Diva's solo : ARIA
16. Stubble remover : RAZOR
17. Only president to scale the Matterhorn : ROOSEVELT
19. Love, to Lorenzo : AMORE
20. Temporary : INTERIM
21. Fine, thin cotton fabric : ORGANDY
23. Bill ___, the Science Guy : NYE
24. Cheer (for) : ROOT
26. Women's stockings : HOSE
27. Only president whose grandfather was also president : HARRISON
29. Move like a bunny : HOP
32. Space streakers : COMETS
35. Moms : MAS
36. Had on : WORE
37. Only president born outside the continental United States : OBAMA
38. Bo or Checkers : DOG
39. Only president to have 15 children : TYLER
40. Photos, informally : PICS
41. Make a quick note of, with "down" : JOT
42. Writer Hemingway : ERNEST
43. Airport pickup driver's info : ETA
44. Only president to be a lifelong bachelor : BUCHANAN
46. Mend, as socks : DARN
48. Cheerleader's cheer : YELL
49. Lead-in to historic : PRE-
52. Washington's Union ___ : STATION
55. TV ratings name : NIELSEN
57. Former Afghan leader Karzai : HAMID
58. Only president to be married in the White House : CLEVELAND
60. Submit a tax return online : E-FILE
61. End in ___ (require overtime) : A TIE
62. Marc Antony's lover, informally : CLEO
63. Sports figures? : STATS
64. Building annex: Abbr. : ADDN
65. Eurasian duck : SMEW

Down
1. "Mack the Knife" singer Bobby : DARIN
2. Excruciating pain : AGONY
3. Worked on an essay or novel : WROTE
4. Scent picker-upper : NOSE
5. Redeemers : SAVIORS
6. Sign of an earthquake : TREMOR
7. Be sick : AIL
8. Defense alliance since 1949, for short : NATO
9. Catherine of ___ : ARAGON
10. Tibetan priests : LAMAS
11. Seasonal thinning in the atmosphere over Antarctica : OZONE HOLE
12. Only president to serve as both vice president and president without being elected to either office : FORD
13. Card that just beats a deuce : TREY
18. Printing mistakes : ERRATA
22. Greek P's : RHOS
25. Dalton who played 007 : TIMOTHY
27. ___ and haws : HEMS
28. Give in to gravity : SAG
30. Iron and tin sources : ORES
31. Saucy : PERT
32. Deal (with) : COPE
33. Last words? : OBIT
34. Nut from Hawaii : MACADAMIA
36. Vegas casino developer Steve : WYNN
38. Bespectacled Disney dwarf : DOC
39. Tourist destination in County Kerry, Ireland : TRALEE
41. Roman goddess, protector of women and marriage : JUNO
42. Jazz up : ENLIVEN
44. Wedding figures : BRIDES
45. Epic poem starting with the flight from Troy : AENEID
47. Slanted : ATILT
49. Sacred song : PSALM
50. Soprano Fleming : RENEE
51. Fund, as a university chair : ENDOW
52. Tom Jones's "___ a Lady" : SHE’S
53. Only president to administer the oath of office to two other presidents : TAFT
54. March Madness org. : NCAA
56. Legal entities for partnerships: Abbr. : LLCS
59. Inc., overseas : LTD


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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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