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0116-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Jan 13, Wednesday





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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Michael David
THEME: Union Recognition … today’s themed clues are numbers, and each answer is the anniversary gift that is traditionally given after that number of years of marriage:
28. With 49- and 69-Across, a hint to the meanings of the bracketed clues : TRADITIONAL
49A. See 28-Across : ANNIVERSARY
69A. See 28-Across : GIFTS

1A. [5] : WOOD
5A. [1] : PAPER
21A. [25] : SILVER
31A. [10] : TIN
51A. [30] : PEARL
70A. [50] : GOLD
20D. [20] : CHINA
24D. [60] : DIAMOND
46D. [15] : CRYSTAL
52D. [40] : RUBY
COMPLETION TIME: 9m 22s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. Word on either side of "à" : VIS
We use the French phrase "vis-a-vis" to mean "with regard to" or "in relation to". The literal translation from the French is "face to face". When we imported the phrase into English in the mid-1700s, it had two other meanings that were more faithful to the original. Firstly, it could be a "face to face" meeting (not so today), and secondly, it was a type of carriage in which the occupants faced each other.

13. Sporty auto, for short : ALFA
The “Alfa” in Alfa Romeo is actually an acronym, standing for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili ("Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company"). ALFA was an enterprise founded in 1909 and which was taken over by Nicola Romeo in 1915. In 1920 the company name was changed to Alfa Romeo.

15. Asteroid area : BELT
The vast majority of asteroids in the Solar System are found in the main asteroid belt, which is located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Four large asteroids (Ceres, Vesta, Pallas and Hygiea) make up about half the mass of the asteroid belt and are 400-950 km in diameter. The total mass of the belt is just 4% of the mass of our Moon.

19. Pointy-eared TV character : SPOCK
Leonard Nimoy played the logical Mr. Spock in the original "Star Trek" television series. Spock has to be the most popular character on the show, and he keeps popping up in "Star Trek" spin offs to this day. Nimoy first worked alongside William Shatner (Captain Kirk) in an episode of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." (I loved that show!), with Nimoy playing a bad guy and Shatner playing an U.N.C.L.E. recruit.

27. Feudal lord : LIEGE
A liege was a feudal lord, one to whom service or allegiance was owed under feudal law. "Liege" was also the term used for one who owed allegiance or service to the lord. Very confusing ...

34. Giga- follower : BYTE
In the world of computers, a "bit" is the basic unit of information. A bit has a value of 0 or 1. A "byte" is a small collection of bits (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text.

35. Creator of Oz : BAUM
L. Frank Baum (the “L” is for Lyman) is of course famous for writing “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. Writing early in the 20th century, Baum actually described in his books things that had yet to be invented, like television, laptop computers and wireless telephones.

37. King of tragedy : LEAR
Shakespeare was inspired to write his famous drama “King Lear” by the legend of "Leir of Britain", the story of a mythological Celtic king.

42. Caramel-filled candy : ROLO
Rolo was a hugely popular chocolate candy in Ireland when I was growing up. Rolo was introduced in the thirties in the UK, and is produced under license in the US by Hershey. I was a little disappointed when I had my first taste of the American version as the center is very hard and chewy. The recipe used on the other side of the Atlantic calls for a soft gooey center.

44. Prom, e.g. : DANCE
A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them just "formals" over in Ireland). The term "prom" is short for promenade, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

48. Cyberaddress : URL
Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

53. Combine name : DEERE
John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere's invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of "stickiness".

54. Free pass, of sorts : BYE
A team or player can get a bye into the next round of a tournament, meaning there's no need to play in the current round. This can perhaps happen because an opposing player/team fails to turn up, or maybe because there aren't enough teams to make the first round. Sometimes seeded players are awarded a bye and are automatically in a tournament.

57. Garden pest genus : APHIS
What we commonly call aphids belong to the genus "aphis".

67. Sportsmanship Award org. : NCAA
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When his son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, President 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 (IAAUS) in 1906, which was given the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS became the NCAA in 1910.

68. Bourbon and Beale: Abbr. : STS
When New Orleans was founded, the House of Bourbon was ruling France. Bourbon Street was named in its honor.

Beale Street in downtown Memphis, Tennessee is a major tourist attraction. In 1977, by act of Congress, the street was officially declared the "Home of the Blues" due to its long association with the musical genre. Apparently "Beale" is the name of some forgotten military hero.

Down
2. Faux fat : OLESTRA
Olean is a brand name for the fat substitute, Olestra. Naturally occuring fats are made of a glycerol molecule holding together three fatty acids. Olestra is instead made of a sucrose molecule holding together several fatty acid chains. Olestra has a similar taste and consistency as natural fat, but has zero caloric impact on the body as it is too large a molecule to pass through the intestinal wall and passes right out of the body. Personally, I would steer clear of it. Olestra is banned in Britain and Canada due to concerns about side effects, but I guess someone knows the right palms to grease (pun intended!) here in the US, so it's in our food.

4. Harry Belafonte catchword : DAY-O
“Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” is a traditional folk song from Jamaica. It is sung from the standpoint of dock workers unloading boats on the night shift, so daylight has come and they want to go home. The most famous version of “Day-O” was recorded by Harry Belafonte in 1956.

8. Squeeze (out) : EKE
To "eke out" means to "make something go further or last longer". For example, you could eke out your income by cutting back on expenses. I always have a problem with the commonly cited definition of “eke out” as “barely get by”. Close but no cigar, I say ...

9. Gen. Beauregard's men : REBS
P. G. T. Beauregard was a general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Beauregard’s most notable success was leading the defense of Petersburg, Virginia against vastly superior Union forces.

12. Compound in disposable coffee cups : STYRENE
Styrofoam is an extruded polystyrene foam made by The Dow Chemical Company. Styrofoam has loads of applications, including home insulation and use as a buoyancy aid.

15. "South Pacific" setting : BALI
Bali is the most important tourist destination in Indonesia and is an island lying east of Java. In recent years, Bali's tourist industry has been badly hit in the aftermath of two terrorist bombings. The first one, in 2002, killed 202 people, mainly foreign tourists in a nightclub.

The 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific” is based on stories from the 1947 book “Tales of the South Pacific” by James A. Michener. “South Pacific” really is a classic show featuring some classic songs, like “Bali Ha’i”, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair”, “Some Enchanted Evening” and “Happy Talk”.

18. Small brook : RILL
Rill, meaning a small brook or rivulet, has German roots, the same roots as "Rhine", the name of the major European river.

26. Bob Marley classic : ONE LOVE
“One Love” is a classic reggae song from 1977 recorded by Bob Marley and the Wailers. A ska version of “One Love” had been released by the Wailers as early as 1965, but it is the 1977 release that we all remember, I am sure.

34. Support providers : BRAS
The word "brassière" is of course French in origin, but it isn't the word the French use for a "bra". In France what we call a bra is known as a "soutien-gorge", translating to "held under the neck". The word "brassière" is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby's undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. "Brassière" comes from the Old French word for an "arm protector" in a military uniform ("bras" is the French for "arm"). Later "brassière" came to mean "breastplate" and from there the word was used for a type of woman's corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

36. Barista's container : URN
The person who serves coffee in a coffee shop is often called a "barista". "Barista" is the Italian for "bartender".

43. Links concern : LIE
The oldest type of golf course is a links course. The name “links” comes from the Old English word “hlinc” meaning “rising ground”. "Hlinc" was used to describe areas with coastal sand dunes or open parkland. As a result, we use the term “links course” to mean a golf course that is located at or on the coast, often amid sand dunes. The British Open is always played on a links course.

45. Fig Newtons maker : NABISCO
The National Biscuit Company was formed in 1898 with the merger of three existing bakery businesses. The company name today is Nabisco, an abbreviated form of National Biscuit Company.

The Fig Newton is based on what is actually a very old recipe that dates back to Ancient Egypt. Whereas we grew up with “Fig Rolls” in Ireland, here in America the brand name “Fig Newton" was used, named after the town of Newton, Massachusetts where they were first produced.

49. Mont Blanc, par exemple : ALPE
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps. The name "Mont Blanc" translates into "white mountain". The mountain lies on the border between France and Italy and it has been generally accepted for decades that the summit lies within French territory. However, there have been official claims that the summit does in fact fall within the borders of Italy.

60. Parisian pronoun : TOI
“Toi” is the French word for “you”, when talking to someone with whom you are familiar.

61. Gee preceder : EFF
A, B, C, D, E, F, G …

62. Emeritus: Abbr. : RET
Emeritus (female form “emerita”) is a term in the title of some retired professionals, particularly those from academia. Originally an emeritus was a veteran soldier who had served his time. The term comes from the Latin verb "emerere" meaning to complete one's service.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. [5] : WOOD
5. [1] : PAPER
10. Word on either side of "à" : VIS
13. Sporty auto, for short : ALFA
14. Call to mind : EVOKE
15. Asteroid area : BELT
16. Stand up to : DEFY
17. In an intellectual manner : CEREBRALLY
19. Pointy-eared TV character : SPOCK
21. [25] : SILVER
22. Polished off : ATE
23. Couldn't help but : HAD TO
27. Feudal lord : LIEGE
28. With 49- and 69-Across, a hint to the meanings of the bracketed clues : TRADITIONAL
31. [10] : TIN
32. Spoken for : TAKEN
33. Climber's goal : APEX
34. Giga- follower : BYTE
35. Creator of Oz : BAUM
37. King of tragedy : LEAR
39. Dud's sound : PFFT
42. Caramel-filled candy : ROLO
44. Prom, e.g. : DANCE
48. Cyberaddress : URL
49. See 28-Across : ANNIVERSARY
51. [30] : PEARL
53. Combine name : DEERE
54. Free pass, of sorts : BYE
55. Some locker room art : PIN-UPS
57. Garden pest genus : APHIS
59. Ones whipping things up in the kitchen? : EGG BEATERS
63. Sci. branch : ASTR
65. He and she : THEY
66. Like some checking accounts : NO-FEE
67. Sportsmanship Award org. : NCAA
68. Bourbon and Beale: Abbr. : STS
69. See 28-Across : GIFTS
70. [50] : GOLD

Down
1. Crumple (up) : WAD
2. Faux fat : OLESTRA
3. Like late-night commuter trains : OFF-PEAK
4. Harry Belafonte catchword : DAY-O
5. Eat like a bird : PECK AT
6. Alternative to Ct. or La. : AVE
7. ___ favor : POR
8. Squeeze (out) : EKE
9. Gen. Beauregard's men : REBS
10. Soft and smooth : VELVETY
11. Dishonest, informally : ILLEGIT
12. Compound in disposable coffee cups : STYRENE
15. "South Pacific" setting : BALI
18. Small brook : RILL
20. [20] : CHINA
22. Court fig. : ATT
24. [60] : DIAMOND
25. Do better than : TOP
26. Bob Marley classic : ONE LOVE
29. Red ink : DEBT
30. Let go : AXE
34. Support providers : BRAS
36. Barista's container : URN
38. Seller of TV spots : AD REP
39. Some children's show characters : PUPPETS
40. Rig contents : FREIGHT
41. Projecting wheel rims : FLANGES
43. Links concern : LIE
45. Fig Newtons maker : NABISCO
46. [15] : CRYSTAL
47. Check out : EYE
49. Mont Blanc, par exemple : ALPE
50. Clears the board : ERASES
52. [40] : RUBY
56. Turned state's evidence : SANG
58. Pal around (with) : HANG
60. Parisian pronoun : TOI
61. Gee preceder : EFF
62. Emeritus: Abbr. : RET
64. "Awesome!" : RAD

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2 comments :

Anonymous said...

In 6D, is Ct. for court and La. for lane and AVE for avenue or do I have brain-freeze? thanks.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there,

Yes, I think Ct. is short for court, and La. for lane, with Ave. short for avenue.

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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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