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1017-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Oct 11, 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


CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Berry
There’s a note with today’s puzzle!
"CROSS" WORD CONTEST — All the puzzles this week, from Monday to Saturday, have been created by one person, Patrick Berry. Have your solutions handy, because the Saturday puzzle conceals a meta-challenge involving the solution grids of all six. When you have the answer to the meta-challenge, mail it to: crossword@nytimes.com. Twenty-five correct solvers, chosen at random, whose entries are received by 6:00 p.m. E.T. Sunday, Oct. 23, will receive copies of "Will Shortz Picks His Favorite Puzzles: 101 of the Top Crosswords From The New York Times." Only one entry per person, please. The answer and winners' names will appear on Friday, Oct. 28, at Wordplay.
THEME: X sounds … each of the the theme answers today is a common term, each spelled differently to suit the clue. The “x sound” in the original term is replaced by an actual “x”:
20A. Catch Groucho while fishing? : LAND MARX (landmarks)
22A. Blues player's instrument? : SAD SAX (sad sacks)
29A. Cereal that doesn't really taste like anything? : BLANK CHEX (blank checks)
42A. Wildcat that can't sit still? : HYPER LYNX (hyperlinks)
51A. Levy paid by white-collar workers? : TIE TAX (tie tacks)
52A. Formal wear for one's belly? : TUMMY-TUX (tummy tucks)
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 55s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Fateful day for Caesar : IDES
There were three important days in each month of the old, Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually "fixed" by law. "Kalendae" were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. "Nonae" were originally the days of the half moon. And "idus" (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed as the 15th day of the month. Well, actually the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure ...

5. All-night dance party : RAVE
As you might imagine, I've never been to a rave, and don't have one upcoming in my diary. And if they start at 2 a.m. then I'm unlikely ever to experience one. A rave is generally an all-night party featuring loud, electronically synthesized music usually played by a DJ, as opposed to a live band.

13. Scrabble draw : TILE
The game of Scrabble has been around since 1938, the invention of an architect named Alfred Moshoer Butts. Butts determined the optimum number of tiles of each letter and the appropriate point value of each tile by analyzing letter distributions in publications like our beloved "New York Times" ...

16. The "E" in Q.E.D. : ERAT
Q.E.D. is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The acronym stands for the Latin "quod erat demonstrandum" meaning "that which was to be demonstrated".

17. Stratford-upon-___ : AVON
There are actually four rivers called the Avon in England, but "Shakespeare's Avon" lies mainly in Warwickshire. The name "Avon" comes from the Old English word for a river, "abona". Stratford-upon-Avon was of course William Shakespeare's birthplace.

20. Catch Groucho while fishing? : LAND MARX (landmarks)
The five Mark Brothers were born to "Minnie" and "Frenchy" Marx in New York City. The more famous, older boys were Chico, Harpo and Groucho. The youngest brother, Zeppo, appeared in the early Marx Brothers movies, but the fifth son, Gummo, he went off to pursue his own career off the stage.

22. Blues player's instrument? : SAD SAX (sad sacks)
The saxophone was invented by Belgian, Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if that was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax's grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

25. Chaotic battles : MELEES
“Melee” comes from the French word (“mêlée”), and in both languages it means a confused fight.

26. French farewell : ADIEU
"Adieu" is the French for "goodbye", or "farewell", from "à Dieu" meaning "to God".

28. Falafel holders : PITAS
Pita is a lovely bread in Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. It is usually round, and has a "pocket" in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking, leaving a void when the bread cools. The pockets were a big hit in the seventies when someone came up with the idea of using them for fillings and creating pita sandwiches or "pita pockets".

Falafel is a fried ball of ground chickpeas or fava beans served in pita bread. I love chickpeas, but falafel just seems too dry to me.

29. Cereal that doesn't really taste like anything? : BLANK CHEX (blank checks)
The original Chex cereal was introduced in 1937 by Ralston Purina. Ralston Purina had a logo with a checkerboard square on it, which gave the pattern to the cereal, as well as its name. Chex used characters from the "Peanuts" comic strip in its advertising for many years.

35. 1930s-'40s prez : FDR
FDR was the only child of Sara Delano and James Roosevelt Sr. The Delano family history in America goes back to the pilgrim Phillippe de Lannoy, an immigrant of Flemish descent who arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The family name "de Lannoy" was anglicized here in the US, to "Delano".

36. Beyond repair : KAPUT
“Kaput”, meaning completely incapacitated, comes to us from French (via German). The word derives from "capot" a term meaning "not having won a single trick" in the French card game called Piquet.

39. Islamic decree : FATWA
In the Muslim tradition, a fatwā is a religious opinion issued by an Islamic scholar on a matter of Islamic law. There is a common misconception that a fatwā is a death sentence imposed on a person, and although such a drastic directive is a possible component of the opinion, it is a very rare occurrence.

42. Wildcat that can't sit still? : HYPER LYNX (hyperlinks)
A lynx is a wild cat, of which there are four species. These are:
- The Eurasian Lynx: the biggest of the four species.
- The Canada Lynx: well-adapted to life in cold environments.
- The Iberian Lynx: a native of the Iberian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and the most endangered cat species in the world.
- The Bobcat: our North American wildcat, the smallest of the four species.

In essence, the World Wide Web is a vast collection of documents that are accessible using the Internet, with each document containing hyperlinks which point to other documents in the collection. So the “Web” is different from the Internet, although the terms are often used interchangeably. The Web is the collection of documents, and the Internet is global network of computers on which the documents reside.

45. Dances to Hawaiian music : HULAS
Hula is the name of the Polynesian dance. The chant or song that the dance illustrates, that's known as the mele.

47. Astronaut Armstrong and others : NEILS
Neil Armstrong is the most private of individuals. You don't often see him giving interviews, unlike so many of the more approachable astronauts of the Apollo space program. His famous, "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind" statement, that was something that he came up with himself while Apollo 11 was making its way to the moon.

50. New ___ (35-Across's program) : DEAL
The New Deal was the series of economic programs championed by President Franklyn D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. The New Deal was focused on three objectives, the “3 Rs”:
- Relief for the unemployed and poor
- Recovery of the economy to normal levels
- Reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression
As Yogi Berra would say, "It's déjà vu all over again" …

51. Levy paid by white-collar workers? : TIE TAX (tie tacks)
I used to wear a tie pin (or tie tack) in place of a tie clip many moons ago, but it just left little holes in my expensive ties!

52. Formal wear for one's belly? : TUMMY-TUX (tummy tucks)
The style of men's evening dress called a "tuxedo" was apparently first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket, without tails, became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

A “tummy tuck” is more correctly referred to as “abdominoplasty”.

56. Cupid, to the Greeks : EROS
As always seems to be the case with Greek gods, Eros and Aphrodite have overlapping spheres of influence. Aphrodite was the goddess of love between a man and a woman, but Eros was the god who stirred the passions of the male.

59. Corn bread : PONE
Pone is another word for corn bread, from the Powhatan word “apan” meaning “something baked”.

60. "99 Luftballons" singer : NENA
Nena is a German singer (Nena became the name of her band as well), and she had a big hit with one of my favorite songs of the eighties, "99 Luftballons" (and the version she recorded in English: "99 Red Balloons"). The English translation of the title isn't literal, with the color "red" added just so that the title had the right number of syllables. A "Luftballon" is the name given to a child's toy balloon in German.

61. Fabric that's glossy on one side : SATIN
Sateen and satin are two different things (like I'd known the difference!). Sateen is a cotton fabric, with a weave that is "four over, one under" meaning that most of the threads come to the surface giving it a softer feel.

63. June 6, 1944 : D-DAY
The most famous D-Day in history was June 6, 1944, the date of the Normandy landings in WWII. The term "D-Day" is used in the military to designate the day on which a combat operation is to be launched, especially when the actual date has yet to be determined. What D stands for seems to have been lost in the mists of time although the tradition is that it just stands for "Day". In fact, the French have a similar term, "Jour J" (Day J), with a similar meaning. We also use H-Hour to denote the hour the attack is to commence.

Down
1. Type used for emphasis: Abbr. : ITAL
Italic type leans to the right. The style is known as "italic" because the stylized calligraphic forms of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

2. Hard-to-please celeb : DIVA
"Diva" comes to us from Latin, via Italian. "Diva" is the feminine form of "divus" meaning "divine one". It 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.

3. North Carolina university : ELON
Elon is a city in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, close to the city of Burlington. Elon University is a private liberal arts school, founded in 1889.

5. Rampaged : RAN AMUCK
The phrase "to run amok" (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for "attacking furiously", "amuk". The word "amok" was also used as a noun, to describe Malay natives who were "frenzied". Given Malaya's troubled history, the natives probably had good reason for that frenzy ...

6. Creator of the game Missile Command : ATARI
At one point Atari was the fastest growing company in US history, but it never really recovered from the video game crash of 1983.

7. Engine type pioneered by the Buick Special : V-SIX
The Buick Special was a car produced by General Motors in various forms from 1936, making a final brief appearance in 1975. The Buick Special was given the name “LeSabre” in 1959, and a “Skylark” option was introduced in 1961. The engine was changed from a V8 in 1962, making the Buick Special the first American production car to use a V6.

11. Spanish finger food : TAPAS
"Tapa" is the Spanish word for "lid", and there is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one's glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

12. River of Hades : STYX
The River Styx in Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (also called Hades). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferryboat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead "to pay the ferryman".

26. Alan who played Hawkeye : ALDA
Alan Alda won Emmy's for directing, acting and writing in "M*A*S*H". He played Hawkeye Pierce on the show, the character played by Donald Sutherland in the movie.

Alan Alda had a great television career, but when it comes to the big screen my favorite of his movies is the 1978 romantic comedy "Same Time, Next Year" in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

27. Object thrown in a pub : DART
Darts is a wonderful game, often played in English and Irish pubs, over here in America as well in the British Isles. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called "Round the Clock" is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 in sequence.

28. 17th-century diarist Samuel : PEPYS
Samuel Pepys was a British Member of Parliament and naval administrator, more famous these days for his diary than for his contribution to political history. Pepys started to keep a diary on New Year's Day in 1660 and recorded his daily life for almost ten years. His writings include details of his personal life as well as firsthand accounts of the important events of the 1660s such as the Great Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of London in 1666.

29. Teen girl's close chum, for short : BFF
Best friend forever …

32. 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 describing a short, poem with a rustic theme.

33. Convent residents : NUNS
Convents have been religious houses since the 1200s, but it wasn't until the 1700s that convents became purely female institutions.

43. 500 sheets of paper : REAM
A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a "short ream".

46. Upscale marque owned by Toyota : LEXUS
Lexus is a division of the Toyota Motor Company, and is Toyota's luxury brand. As an aside, Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Acura is the more luxurious version of Honda’s models.

48. Dismissed from "The Apprentice" : FIRED
"The Apprentice" was developed by producer Mark Burnett, and first aired in 2004. Burnett was riding high at the time (and still is) following his successful adaptation of the British show "Survivor" for American audiences. "The Apprentice" is a really profitable franchise now, with versions being recorded and aired all over Europe and in Africa, Australia and parts of Asia and the Middle East.

49. Helmsley known as the Queen of Mean : LEONA
Leona Helmsley was a high-rolling real estate investor and hotel operator in New York City. She was convicted of income tax evasion in 1989 and sentenced to 16 years in jail. At her trial a witness quoted her as saying "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes ..."

52. London art gallery : TATE
The museum known as "the Tate" is actually made up of four separate galleries in England. The original Tate gallery was founded by Sir Henry Tate as the National Gallery of British Art. It is located on Millbank in London, on the site of the old Millbank Prison, and is now called Tate Britain. There is also the Tate Liverpool in the north of England located in an old warehouse, and the Tate St. Ives in the west country located in an old gas works. My favorite of the Tate galleries is the Tate Modern which lies on the banks of the Thames in London. It's a beautiful building, a converted power station, that you have to see to believe.

53. "Animal House" party costume : TOGA
In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made of linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made of wool. The toga could only be worn by men (the female equivalent was called a "stola") and only if those men were Roman citizens.

The very funny 1978 movie "Animal House" has the prefix "National Lampoon's ..." because the storyline came out of tales that had already appeared in "National Lampoon" magazine. "Animal House" was to become the first in a long line of successful "National Lampoon" films.

54. Peck, pint or pound : UNIT
A peck is a unit of dry volume, equivalent to two gallons. Four pecks then make up a bushel.

55. Leather-wearing TV princess : XENA
Lucy Lawless is a New Zealand actress (and singer), famous for playing the title role in TV's "Xena: Warrior Princess". Lawless first played the Xena character in a made-for-TV movie called "Hercules and the Amazon Women", and later reprised the role in a series called "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys". Xena became so popular that a series was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the role.

58. Lumberjack's tool : SAW
As one might imagine, "lumberjack" was originally a Canadian term.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Fateful day for Caesar : IDES
5. All-night dance party : RAVE
9. Laboratory maze runners : RATS
13. Scrabble draw : TILE
14. Completely confused : AT SEA
16. The "E" in Q.E.D. : ERAT
17. Stratford-upon-___ : AVON
18. Manicurists treat them : NAILS
19. Sluggish from sedatives : DOPY
20. Catch Groucho while fishing? : LAND MARX
22. Blues player's instrument? : SAD SAX
24. 18-wheeler : SEMI
25. Chaotic battles : MELEES
26. French farewell : ADIEU
28. Falafel holders : PITAS
29. Cereal that doesn't really taste like anything? : BLANK CHEX
31. Period of duty : STINT
35. 1930s-'40s prez : FDR
36. Beyond repair : KAPUT
38. Expected to arrive : DUE
39. Islamic decree : FATWA
42. Wildcat that can't sit still? : HYPER LYNX
45. Dances to Hawaiian music : HULAS
47. Astronaut Armstrong and others : NEILS
48. Burning emergency signals : FLARES
50. New ___ (35-Across's program) : DEAL
51. Levy paid by white-collar workers? : TIE TAX
52. Formal wear for one's belly? : TUMMY-TUX
56. Cupid, to the Greeks : EROS
57. What an electric meter indicates : USAGE
59. Corn bread : PONE
60. "99 Luftballons" singer : NENA
61. Fabric that's glossy on one side : SATIN
62. Feudin' with, say : AGIN’
63. June 6, 1944 : D-DAY
64. Left the scene : WENT
65. Numbers to be crunched : DATA

Down
1. Type used for emphasis: Abbr. : ITAL
2. Hard-to-please celeb : DIVA
3. North Carolina university : ELON
4. Submits, as a manuscript : SENDS IN
5. Rampaged : RAN AMUCK
6. Creator of the game Missile Command : ATARI
7. Engine type pioneered by the Buick Special : V-SIX
8. Snakelike fish : EEL
9. Most sunburned : REDDEST
10. Got out of bed : AROSE
11. Spanish finger food : TAPAS
12. River of Hades : STYX
15. Plus column entry : ASSET
21. Easily cowed : MEEK
23. "Regrettably ..." : ALAS
25. Scramble : MIX UP
26. Alan who played Hawkeye : ALDA
27. Object thrown in a pub : DART
28. 17th-century diarist Samuel : PEPYS
29. Teen girl's close chum, for short : BFF
30. Laugh track sounds : HA-HAS
32. Pastoral poem : IDYL
33. Convent residents : NUNS
34. Common cowboy nickname : TEX
37. Slumlord's building : TENEMENT
40. "How about it?" : WHAT SAY
41. Otherworldly glow : AURA
43. 500 sheets of paper : REAM
44. Large leaf on which a frog may repose : LILY PAD
46. Upscale marque owned by Toyota : LEXUS
48. Dismissed from "The Apprentice" : FIRED
49. Helmsley known as the Queen of Mean : LEONA
50. Began eating : DUG IN
51. Look after, as a bar : TEND
52. London art gallery : TATE
53. "Animal House" party costume : TOGA
54. Peck, pint or pound : UNIT
55. Leather-wearing TV princess : XENA
58. Lumberjack's tool : SAW


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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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