The full solution to today's crossword that appears in the New York Times
The full solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword that appears in all other publications
THEME: HETERONYMS (two words that have the same spelling, but different pronunciation and meaning) ... the theme answers form five crosses symmetrically placed around the grid (i.e. EXPLOIT, PRESENT, ADDRESS, INCENSE & CONSOLE)
COMPLETION TIME: 8m 02s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
5. Only O.T. book that never mentions God: Abbr. : ESTH
The Book of Esther in the Jewish Bible is also known as the Migillah. During the celebration of Purim, the book is read aloud, once in the evening, and once the following morning. Purim is a Jewish festival commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to wipe them out by Haman the Agagite, as recorded in the Book of Esther. And, it's the only book in the Old Testament that doesn't mention God.
9. Jack who could eat no fat : SPRAT
Jack Sprat was a nickname given in the 16th century to people of small stature. This gave rise to a proverb of the day:
"Jack will eat not fat, and Jull doth love no leane. Yet betwixt them both they lick the dishes cleane."Over time, this mutated into a nursery rhyme that can heard in England to this day:
"Jack Sprat could eat no fat. His wife could eat no lean. And so between them both, you see, they licked the platter clean."14. Certain charge card, informally : AMEX
Amex is short for American Express. There are more transactions conducted in the US (in dollar terms) using the Amex card than any other.
16. Ragú rival : PREGO
The Prego brand of pasta sauce is owned by the Campbell Soup Company. It is actually based on the family recipe of one of the company's chefs. "Prego" literally means "I pray" in Italian, but it translates in English best as "you're welcome" when it is used after the words "thank you" ("grazie", in Italian).
The Ragu brand of pasta sauce is owned by Unilever. The name "Ragu" is the word for an Italian sauce used to dress pasta, however, the spelling is off a little. In Italian the word is "Ragù" with a grave accent over the "u", but if you look at a jar of the sauce, it is spelled "Ragú" on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don't try ...
17. Tiffany creation : LAMP
The archetypal Tiffany lamp is made up of pieces of colored, leaded glass, with a copper foil bonding the pieces together, and a solder applied over the foil. The effect resembles a stained glass window.
18. Ones ranking below cpls. : PFCS
Private First Class is a rank below corporal.
19. Conger catcher : EELER
Conger eels can grow to be very, very large, perhaps up to 10 feet in length.
20. Bit of derring-do : EXPLOIT
As one might expect, "derring-do" comes from the phrase "daring to do", which back in the 14th century was written as "dorrying don".
22. Here and now : PRESENT
24. Alpha's opposite : OMEGA
Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and is derived from the Phoenician letter "aleph". Our Latin "A" is derived from alpha, of course.
Omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet. The word "omega" literally means "great O" (O-mega). Compare this with the Greek letter Omicron meaning "little O" (O-micron).
26. "Swan Lake" swan : ODETTE
"Swan Lake" is such a delightfully, light and enjoyable ballet. It tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by a sorcerer. The ballet also features the role of Odile, Odette's "evil twin", another character who is disguised to look like Odette with the goal of tricking the prince who has fallen in love with her. In the ballet, the roles of Odette and Odile are played by the same ballerina.
27. Put the tape back to the start : REWIND
I still have a videotape rewinder sitting beside the television. How rarely it gets used today ...
30. French actor Alain : DELON
Alain Delon is an award-winning French actor, once called "the male Brigitte Bardot". He hit the news in 1968 when one of his bodyguards was found shot in the head outside Delon's home. Delon found himself held for questioning, but the crime was attributed to a Corsican crime family.
32. Cremona craftsman : AMATI
The first of the family to make violins was Andrea Amati, who lived in the 14th century. He was succeeded by his sons, Antonio and Girolama. In turn, they were succeeded by Girolama's son, Nicolo. Nicolo had a few students who achieved fame making musical instruments as well. One was his own son, Girolamo, and another, the famed Antonio Stradivari.
33. Pastoral poem : IDYL
An 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 for a short, poem with a rustic theme.
38. ___ 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 the their native Britain, and in America), and they followed it up with "The Pirates of Penzance" and "The Mikado".
39. Lincoln's famous one was just 272 words : ADDRESS
I visited Gettysburg for the first time recently, and goodness me what a moving place that is. As I discovered on my visit, there are five known copies of the speech, and all of them differ in some way or another, so I suppose the exact words spoken will never be known. Martin Luther King Jr. evoked Abraham Lincoln's words in another of America's iconic addresses, his "I Have a Dream" speech. Lincoln's speech began with "Four score and seven years ago ...", and King's speech began with "Five score years ago ..." a nod to the Gettysburg Address.
42. Photo blowup: Abbr. : ENL
43. When doubled, a food fish : MAHI
Mahi-mahi is the Hawaiian name for the dolphin-fish, an ugly looking creature if ever I saw one ...
45. Oboe or clarinet : REED
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name "oboe" comes from the French "hautbois" which means "high wood". When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance, you'll note (pun intended!) the oboe starts the process off by playing an "A". Everyone tunes in turn to that oboe's "A". Oh, and if you want to read a fun book (almost an "expose") about life playing the oboe, you might try "Mozart in the Jungle" by oboist Blair Tindall.
The clarinet is a lovely-sounding instrument, isn't it? The name comes from the Italian word "clarino" meaning "trumpet" with the "-et" suffix indicating "small".
48. Big tournaments for university teams, informally : NCAAS
The National Collegiate Athletic Association dates back to the Presidency of President Theodore Roosevelt. When President Roosevelt's son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions, leading to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States in 1906 with the remit of regulating college sports. The IAUSS evolved into the NCAA in 1910.
51. Nickelodeon's parent company : VIACOM
Media giant Viacom takes it's name from the phrase VI-deo & A-udio COM-unications.
54. Anglo-___ : SAXON
Germanic tribes invaded Great Britain from the early 5th century, and created the nation that we now call England. The Anglo-Saxons, as they came to be called, held sway in the country until 1066, the year of the Norman Conquest. The Anglo-Saxons were descendants of three Germanic tribes:
- The Angles, from Angeln in Northern Germany (and the tribe that gave the name "England").
- The Saxons, from Lower Saxony and Holland.
- The Jutes, from the Jutland peninsula in Denmark.
56. Aromatic sticks : INCENSE
58. Home entertainment centerpiece : CONSOLE
62. Producer of sweat and tears, but not blood : GLAND
Sweat is produced by sudoriferous glands, located just under the skin.
Tears are produced by the lacrimal glands, one in each eye.
66. Painting surface : GESSO
Gesso is the Italian word for "chalk", and gives it name to the powdered calcium carbonate that is used as a primer coat under artistic panel paintings. The gesso is mixed with a glue, and when applied to wood is acts as an absorbent surface for paint.
67. Auto on the autobahn : AUDI
The Audi name has an interesting history. The Horch company was founded by August Horch in 1909, but soon after, Horch was forced out of his own company. He set up a new company and continued to use his own name as a brand. The old company sued him for using his own name, so a meeting was held to choose something new. Horch's young son was studying Latin in the room where the meeting was taking place. He pointed out that "Horch" was German for "hear", and he suggested "Audi" instead, the Latin for "listen". Don't hear ... just listen ...
68. In the cellar : LAST
"In the cellar" is a familiar phrase meaning "in last place".
70. Catchall abbreviation : MISC
Our word "miscellaneous" comes from the Latin word miscere, meaning "to mix".
2. Supersized movie screen format : IMAX
The IMAX Corporation, which is behind the IMAX film format, is a Canadian company. The impetus for developing the system came after Expo 67 in Montreal. Back then large format screenings were manufactured using multiple projectors with multiple screens, with images basically stitched together. The team behind the IMAX technology set out to simplify things, and developed a single-camera, single-projector system.
3. Short-term worker, for short : TEMP
A "temp" is a temporary worker.
4. Take advantage of : EXPLOIT
6. Start of either syllable in "ginger" : SOFT G
As in gin-ger, both of those Gs are "soft", not like the hard G in "gavel", say.
7. An attentive doc gives it to a patient : TLC
Tender Loving Care.
8. Doctor's place: Abbr. : HOSP
Doctors are found in hospitals.
9. Swimwear brand : SPEEDO
Speedo brand swim-wear was first produced in Australia in 1928, by a hosiery company that wanted to diversify. The brand name was chosen after a slogan competition among the employees was won by "Speed on in your Speedos". It was a long time ago, I guess ...
10. Show, in a show-and-tell : PRESENT
12. 15-percenter : AGENT
Hollywood Agents may take 15% of your earnings, if you're a Hollywood star that is ...
13. Rich cake : TORTE
A torte is a type of cake make primarily with eggs, sugar and ground nuts (but no flour).
21. ___ vincit amor : OMNIA
"Omnia vincit amor" is a line from Eclogue X, one of the major works of the Latin poet Virgil. We know the phrase better as "love conquers all".
23. Status symbol car, familiarly : ROLLS
Rolls-Royce cars have been produced since 1904 when the company first produced a 10 horse-power vehicle. The latest model is the Rolls-Royce Ghost, and it produces 563 brake horse-power, and you can buy one for just over a quarter of a million dollars.
25. Prepare to drive, as a golf ball : ADDRESS
27. Obama adviser Emanuel : RAHM
Rahm Emanuel was an Illinois representative in the US House before resigning to take up President Obama's offer of becoming White House Chief of Staff.
28. Austen novel : EMMA
"Emma" is just a wonderful novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1815. I had the privilege a few years ago of attending the premier of "Emma", a delightful musical adaptation for the stage. If you ever get the chance to see it, I highly recommend it ...
35. Sign on for another tour : RE-UP
To re-up, an informal term in the world of the military, is to sign up again for another tour of duty.
36. A chip or two to start with : ANTE
You need to "ante up" if you want to play (poker, say).
37. Said "Not guilty!," e.g. : PLED
Pled: made a plea.
40. Small amounts : DRAMS
In ancient Greece and Rome, a drachm was a small unit of weight, just a few grams in modern terms. Today, a dram is 1/16 of an ounce. There is also a fluid dram, which is 1/8 of a fluid ounce. (Why is it so complicated .. why can't we go metric??!!). If you're a scotch drinker, a dram of your favorite tipple can be as much as 10 regular, fluid drams. The Scots must be heavy pourers ...
41. Permanent provider : SALON
A perm is the name given to the permanent wave, a chemical or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves, curls or even to straighten hair. I don't worry about such things ... No.1 all over ...
44. Make boiling mad : INCENSE
47. Say "There, there" to, say : CONSOLE
49. Flier with a 10-foot wingspan : CONDOR
A condor is actually a vulture, and is the largest flying land bird in the Western Hemisphere. There are two species, the Andean Condor, found in the Andes in South America; and the California Condor, found in the west of the US and Mexico.
50. Wonderfully foreign : EXOTIC
The word "exotic" means "belonging to another country", and is derived from the Greek "exo-" meaning "outside". Exotica are things that are excitingly strange, often from foreign parts.
51. "The Road" star Mortensen : VIGGO
Viggo Mortensen is a Danish-American actor, famous for playing Aragorn in "The Lord of the Rings" movies. Mortensen was born in New York City, and lived for periods in America and periods in Denmark when he was younger. He is fluent in English, Danish and also Spanish.
"The Road" is a Pulitzer winning novel by Cormac McCarthy, that tells of a man and his son, trekking across a grim landscape after most life has been destroyed on Earth by some apocalyptic event. Viggo Mortensen has the starring role of "the man" (we never learn his name) in the movie adaptation.
52. Fjord, e.g. : INLET
A ria is actually a drowned river valley. It is formed where the sea level has raised, and the sea has flooded a valley. As a result, a ria can be confused with a fjord. A fjord is also a drowned valley, but that valley was originally formed by glaciation and not by river erosion.
57. Cheese with a red coat : EDAM
One cheese that is recognized by its coating is Edam. Edam cheese takes the name after the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. It is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps it travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. This means that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.
61. Art Deco artist : ERTE
Erte was the pseudonym of French artist (Russian born) Romain de Tirtoff. Erte is the French pronunciation of his initials "R.T."
64. Non's opposite : OUI
In French, "non" (no) is the opposite to "oui" (yes).
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