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0403-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Apr 14, Thursday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Benkof & Jeff Chen
THEME: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch … today’s themed answers all start with the letters CH, with the pronunciation of that CH "changing" in each answer:
17A. December display CHANUKAH MENORAH
24A. Mathematical field that includes the so-called "butterfly effect" CHAOS THEORY
36A. One of literature's "three sisters" CHARLOTTE BRONTE
44A. Went from butt to butt? CHAIN-SMOKED
58A. Chorus starter in a 1972 David Bowie song ... or the theme of this puzzle, phonetically CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 20m 04s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 4!!! … A SNAP (a snip), LAILA ALI (Leila Ali), KAHLO (Kihlo), SHAN (Shen)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

16. Outbreak caused by the H2N2 virus ASIAN FLU
The so called "Asian Flu" was a pandemic that originated in china in 1956, and lasted until 1958. The H2N2 virus, which caused the disease, killed an estimated 2 million people worldwide, including almost 70,000 in the US. Years later, in 1997, the financial crisis that rocked many countries across Asia was given the same name, "Asian Flu". The crisis started in Thailand when the Thai currency collapsed, and like a virus the panic spread across much of southeast Asia and Japan.

17. December display CHANUKAH MENORAH
There is a seven-branched menorah used symbolically in ancient temples. However, the menorah that is lit during the eight-day holiday called Hanukkah (also “Chanukah”) is a nine-branched lampstand. “Menorah” is the Hebrew word for “lamp”.

19. Three-stringed Eastern instrument SAMISEN
A samisen is a traditional Japanese instrument, with three strings, vaguely like a banjo. The samisen is played with a plectrum that is called a bachi.

21. Common noninvasive med. test EKG
An EKG measures electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

23. Sin relative? COT
Sine (sin) and cotangent (cot)

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent. Each of these is a ratio, a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are secant, cosecant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent. For example, the arctangent can be read as “What angle is equivalent to the following ration of opposite over adjacent?”

24. Mathematical field that includes the so-called "butterfly effect" CHAOS THEORY
The “butterfly effect” in chaos theory embraces the idea that a relatively large event is dependent on an earlier, much smaller event. The classic theoretical example is a hurricane that started with the flapping of a distant butterfly’s wings several weeks earlier.

30. "___ culpa" MEA
Roman Catholics are very familiar with the Latin phrase "mea culpa" meaning "my fault", as it is used in the Latin Mass. The additional term "mea maxima culpa" translates as "my most grievous fault".

33. Circulation line AORTA
The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

34. Co. in a 2001 merger with American TWA
Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a big carrier in the US, but was perhaps even more recognized for its extensive presence in Europe and the Middle East. For many years, especially after the collapse of Pan-Am, TWA was considered the unofficial flag carrier for the US. The company started in 1930, the product of a forced merger of Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express. The Transcontinental and Western Air that resulted (the original meaning of the acronym TWA) was what the Postmaster General wanted, a bigger airline to which the Postal Service could award airmail contracts.

35. Hamilton ___, two-term secretary of state under Grant FISH
Hamilton Fish was Secretary of State in the administration of President Ulysses Grant. Prior to joining the president’s cabinet, Fish served as a US Senator and as Governor of New York.

36. One of literature's "three sisters" CHARLOTTE BRONTE
The Brontë family lived in the lovely village of Haworth in Yorkshire, England. The three daughters all became recognised authors. The first to achieve success was Charlotte Brontë when she published “Jane Eyre”. Then came Emily with “Wuthering Heights” and Anne with “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall”.

40. It's big and brassy TUBA
The tuba is the lowest pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). "Tuba" is the Latin word for "trumpet, horn". Oom-pah-pah ...

41. City in Kyrgyzstan OSH
Osh is the second largest city in the former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan (after the capital Bishkek). Osh was a center of silk production and lies along the old Silk Road, the trade route that traversed Asia.

43. Relatives of texts, for short IMS
Even though instant messaging (sending IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties.

47. Flattens, in brief KOS
Knocks out (KOs)

58. Chorus starter in a 1972 David Bowie song ... or the theme of this puzzle, phonetically CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES
“Changes” is a David Bowie song released as a single in 1972. When Bowie made his last live performance in 2006, he chose “Changes” as his final song.

62. Boxer who competed on "Dancing With the Stars" LAILA ALI
Laila Ali is the daughter of the great Muhammad Ali and is a very capable boxer in her own right. Laila is not a bad dancer either, coming in third place in the fourth season of "Dancing with the Stars".

When I was growing up in the British Isles, there was a surprisingly popular BBC television show featuring professional ballroom dancing called "Come Dancing". It ran almost every year from 1949 to 1998, and in 2004 the BBC resurrected it with a new twist, adding celebrities to dance with the professionals. The new show, called "Strictly Come Dancing", is a huge success and has become a worldwide franchise. Over here we watch the American version called "Dancing with the Stars". It really is fun television ...

Down
3. Gouda alternative EDAM
Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

Gouda is a cheese that originated in the Dutch city of the same name, although today Gouda is produced all over the world and very little of it comes from the Netherlands. Gouda is often smoke-cured, given it a yellowish-brown outer skin and that characteristic smoky taste.

5. ___-chef SOUS
The “Sous-Chef de Cuisine” is the “under chef of the kitchen”, the second-in-command.

7. Mil. branch USM
United States Marine Corp is usually abbreviated to “USMC”, and not “USM”, I have been told …

8. Interjection of disgust FIE
"Fie" and "ptui" are both exclamations of disgust.

9. Many a sci-fi devotee FANBOY
Fanboys are fans, but fans of a very specific subject in a particular field. So, someone might be a fan of home computing, but an Intel fanboy would have an enthusiasm for CPUs made by Intel. A fanzine (also “zine”) is a fan publication with a very limited circulation, dealing with a very specific subject matter. Fanzines are usually desktop published and distributed electronically or as photocopies.

10. Prominent part of an aardvark SNOUT
The aardvark is the oddest looking of creatures, a nocturnal burrowing animal that is 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.

15. Kind of shooting SKEET
There are three types of competitive shotgun target shooting sports:
- Skeet shooting
- Trap shooting
- Sporting clays

18. Key of the Nile ANKH
The ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for "eternal life". The ankh wasn't just used in inscriptions but was often fashioned into amulets and as surrounds for mirrors (perhaps symbolizing a view into another world).

23. Zodiac symbol CRAB
“Cancer” is the Latin word for “crab”.

26. One side in a 1967 war ARABS
The Six-Day War took place from June 5th to June 10th, 1967, and was fought between Israel and its neighbors Egypt, Jordan and Syria. By the time the ceasefire was signed, Israel had seized huge swaths of land formerly controlled by Arab states, namely the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank of the Jordan River and the Golan Heights. The overall territory under the control of Israel grew by a factor of three in just six days.

27. ___ vez (again: Sp.) OTRA
“Otra vez” is Spanish for “again”, translating literally as “other time”.

28. 1942 title role for Rita Hayworth SAL
“My Gal Sal” is a 1942 musical biopic about Paul Dresser the composer and Sally Elliot the singer. The lead roles are played by Victor Mature and Rita Hayworth.

Rita Hayworth was born in Brooklyn as Margarita Carmen Cansino. Rita's father was a flamenco dancer from Spain and so his daughter fell naturally into dancing. The family moved to Hollywood where Hayworth's father set up a dance studio, and there worked with the likes of James Cagney and Jean Harlow. The young Hayworth had a slow start in movies, finding herself typecast because of her Mediterranean features. When she underwent extensive electrolysis to change her forehead and dyed her hair red, she started to get more work (how sad is that?). In 1941 she posed for that famous pin-up picture which accompanied GIs all over the world.

30. Eastern European capital MINSK
Minsk is the capital of Belarus, formerly known as the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. One of Minsk’s more infamous residents was Lee Harvey Oswald who lived there from 1960 to 1962.

31. Makeup magnate Lauder ESTEE
Estée Lauder was quite the successful businesswoman, with a reputation as a great salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called "Youth Dew". "Youth Dew" was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder's "perfume" into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That's quite a difference in sales volume ...

38. Airport inits. TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks.

39. Zodiac symbol RAM
Aries the Ram is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the constellation. Your birth sign is Aries if you were born between March 21 and April 20, but if you are an Aries you would probably know that ...

44. 54, e.g., in old TV COP CAR
“Car 54, Where Are You?” is a sitcom that first aired in the early sixties. The show is about two police officers patrolling a precinct in the Bronx in “Car 54”. The two officers are Gunther Toody played by Joe E. Ross and Francis Muldoon played by Fred Gwynne.

45. Snitch (on), in slang NARC
Back in the 1800s, “to nark” was “to act as a police informer”. The spelling of the term has started to evolve into “to narc”, due to the influence of the noun “narc”, slang for a narcotics officer.

46. Big name in power tools STIHL
Stihl is a manufacturer of power tools mainly used in landscaping and forestry. The company headquarters is located not far from Stuttgart in Germany. Stihl was founded in 1926 by Andreas Stihl, and first manufactured chainsaws.

47. Artist Frida with many self-portraits KAHLO
Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter, famous for her self-portraits. She was married to the equally famous artist Diego Rivera. Kahlo was portrayed by the actress Salma Hayek in a film about her colorful life called “Frida” released in 2002.

49. Org. concerned with due process ACLU
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War when it was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors.

50. Young-adult fiction author Darren SHAN
Darren Shan is the pen name of Irish author Darren O’Shaughnessy. His most famous work is a series of books for young adults called “The Saga of Darren Shan”.

51. CBS military procedural NCIS
NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show "NCIS", a spin-off drama from "JAG" in which the main "NCIS" characters were first introduced. The big star in "NCIS" is the actor Mark Harmon.

54. Lawrence Kudlow's network CNBC
“The Kudlow Report” is a business and politics show aired in the evening on CNBC and hosted by Lawrence Kudlow.

55. City SSE of New Delhi AGRA
The Indian city of Agra is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
- The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
- Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
- Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal architecture.

56. Duds GEAR
“Duds” is an informal word for clothing, coming from the word “dudde” that was used around 1300 as the name for a cloak.

60. Indians' home: Abbr. CLE
The Cleveland baseball franchise started out in 1869 as the Forest Citys named after Forest city, the nickname for Cleveland. After a number of transitions, in 1914 the team took on the name "Indians". The media came up with name "Indians" after being asked for suggestions by the team owners. "Indians" was inspired by the successful Boston team of the day, the Boston Braves.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Some interruptions AHEMS
6. "That's that!" NUFF SAID!
14. Contacts ship-to-ship, maybe RADIOS
16. Outbreak caused by the H2N2 virus ASIAN FLU
17. December display CHANUKAH MENORAH
19. Three-stringed Eastern instrument SAMISEN
20. Lifts BUOYS
21. Common noninvasive med. test EKG
23. Sin relative? COT
24. Mathematical field that includes the so-called "butterfly effect" CHAOS THEORY
30. "___ culpa" MEA
33. Circulation line AORTA
34. Co. in a 2001 merger with American TWA
35. Hamilton ___, two-term secretary of state under Grant FISH
36. One of literature's "three sisters" CHARLOTTE BRONTE
40. It's big and brassy TUBA
41. City in Kyrgyzstan OSH
42. Off land AT SEA
43. Relatives of texts, for short IMS
44. Went from butt to butt? CHAIN-SMOKED
47. Flattens, in brief KOS
48. Didn't move, as a product SAT
49. Easy-peasy A SNAP
52. Part of a chest RIB CAGE
58. Chorus starter in a 1972 David Bowie song ... or the theme of this puzzle, phonetically CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES
62. Boxer who competed on "Dancing With the Stars" LAILA ALI
63. Maze solver LABRAT
64. Like socks right out of the dryer UNSORTED
65. Marks for life SCARS

Down
1. Things that are tossed usually go in them ARCS
2. "Joke's on you!" HAHA!
3. Gouda alternative EDAM
4. Fun-size, say MINI
5. ___-chef SOUS
6. Slangy negative NAH
7. Mil. branch USM
8. Interjection of disgust FIE
9. Many a sci-fi devotee FANBOY
10. Prominent part of an aardvark SNOUT
11. '60s do also called a "natural" AFRO
12. "Now ___ me down to sleep" I LAY
13. "Obviously!" remarks DUHS
15. Kind of shooting SKEET
18. Key of the Nile ANKH
22. "Would you believe ..." GET THIS ...
23. Zodiac symbol CRAB
24. Arizona sights CACTI
25. "You're boring me" HO-HUM!
26. One side in a 1967 war ARABS
27. ___ vez (again: Sp.) OTRA
28. 1942 title role for Rita Hayworth SAL
29. Not be squared up, say OWE
30. Eastern European capital MINSK
31. Makeup magnate Lauder ESTEE
32. Up AHEAD
35. Picture, informally FOTO
37. Some reactions to fireworks OOHS
38. Airport inits. TSA
39. Zodiac symbol RAM
44. 54, e.g., in old TV COP CAR
45. Snitch (on), in slang NARC
46. Big name in power tools STIHL
47. Artist Frida with many self-portraits KAHLO
49. Org. concerned with due process ACLU
50. Young-adult fiction author Darren SHAN
51. CBS military procedural NCIS
53. Farm cries BAAS
54. Lawrence Kudlow's network CNBC
55. City SSE of New Delhi AGRA
56. Duds GEAR
57. Guesses: Abbr. ESTS
59. It may collect tips ... or be tipped HAT
60. Indians' home: Abbr. CLE
61. Veiled HID


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5 comments :

Anonymous said...

just discovered this site trying to 'cheat' my way thru a puzzle. Great elaboration on the topics. Thanks!

Bill Butler said...

Welcome! And, thanks for the kind words about the blog.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see an *imaginative* theme, instead of the forced, punny crap that's been polluting the NYT Crossword of late

David Benkof said...

Thanks, anonymous! We had a really good time making it work. I came up with the overall concept, Jeff added the David Bowie twist, and then, with some help from Jeff, I found the other four theme entries.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, David.

Thanks for stopping by to visit the blog, and taking the time to comment. Even more thanks for producing such a fun puzzle for us all to solve.

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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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