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0417-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Apr 14, Thursday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mary Lou Guizzo & Jeff Chen
THEME: Think Through … today’s themed answers are each in two parts, with one going THROUGH the other physically in the grid:
45A. With 61-Across, carefully consider ... or a clue to this puzzle's theme : THINK
61A. See 45-Across : THROUGH

23A. With 13-Down, blew one's stack : WENT (WENT through THE ROOF)
13D. See 23-Across : THE ROOF

24A. With 15-Down, spent way too much money for something : PAID (PAID through THE NOSE)
15D. See 24-Across : THE NOSE

43A. With 30-Down, hit dead-on : SHOT (SHOT through THE HEART)
30D. See 43-Across : THE HEART

46A. With 32-Down, followed a career ladder : ROSE (ROSE through THE RANKS)
32D. See 46-Across : THE RANKS
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 21m 43s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … OKE (oki), AYESHA (Ayisha)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Little bit : JOT
A “jot” is something very small, from the Latin “jota”, which in turn is from the Greek “iota”, the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet.

15. Astronomer ___ Brahe : TYCHO
Tycho Brahe was an astronomer and contemporary of Galileo. Brahe lost his nose in a duel, and wore a replacement made of either silver or gold that was pasted onto his face!

16. "America's Most Wanted" host John : WALSH
John Walsh is the host and creator of the TV show “America’s Most Wanted”. Walsh was inspired to become an anti-crime activist after his six-year-old son Adam was brutally murdered in 1981.

17. "Toy Story" character : REX
In the excellent film "Toy Story", Rex is of course a tyrannosaurus, and a pretty clumsy one. He is voiced by actor Wallace Shawn, whose name is perhaps less familiar than his face. Shawn played the neighbor on "The Cosby Show" as well as many, many other supporting roles on TV and the big screen.

1995’s “Toy Story” was the world’s first feature-length computer-animated movie. “Toy Story” was also the studio Pixar’s first production. The main roles in the film are Woody and Buzz, voiced by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen respectively. Hanks was the first choice to voice Woody, Allen was asked to voice Buzz after Billy Crystal turned down the role.

18. Subway fare? : HEROS
"Hero" is another name for a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name "hero" was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the "New York Herald Tribune" when he wrote that "one had to be a hero" to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

The SUBWAY chain of fast food restaurants is the largest single-brand restaurant in the world. I’m a big fan of SUBWAY sandwiches …

19. Superior skill : PROWESS
“Prowess” is a superior ability, and is particularly used as a reference to ability on the battlefield. The term “prowess” comes from an old French word meaning “brave, valiant”.

21. Pioneer in New Criticism : TS ELIOT
The author T. S. Eliot was the son of Henry Ware Eliot and Charlotte Champe Stearns, so his full name was Thomas Stearns Eliot (TSE).

25. Song that may be performed with supertitles : ARIA
Conceptually “surtitles” (also “supertitles”) at say an opera are like subtitles in a film. Translations of the libretto are projected above the stage for the benefit of the audience.

37. Symbols for statistical means : MUS
Mu is the Greek letter, the forerunner to our Roman letter M.

39. Summer in Québec : ETE
One might spend the summer (été) under the sun (le soleil) in French-speaking countries.

Québec is the largest province in Canada, and the only one with French as its sole official language. The name "Québec" comes from an Algonquin word "kebec" meaning "where the river narrows". This refers to the area around Quebec City where the St. Lawrence River narrows as it flows through a gap lined by steep cliffs.

42. H.R.E. part: Abbr. : EMP
The Holy Roman Empire (HRE) existed from 962 to 1806 AD and was a territory of varying size over the centuries that centered on the Kingdom of Germany. The HRE was a successor to the western half of the Ancient Roman Empire.

47. Not ___ (meh) : SO HOT
“Meh!” is one of those terms unfamiliar to me outside of crosswords. It is a modern colloquialism meaning “I’m not great, but not bad”. A friendly reader of this blog tells me that the usage of the term increased dramatically after it started to appear regularly in "The Simpsons" starting in the early nineties.

50. Hardy hog breed : DUROC
A Duroc is a breed of domestic pig, red in color and with a large frame, and a tendency to be quite aggressive. The breed originated in New England and supposedly takes its name from a thoroughbred stallion that was famous around 1800.

51. Opposite of paix : GUERRE
In French, war (guerre) is the opposite of peace (paix).

53. World powerhouse in curling : CANADA
I think curling is a cool game (pun intended!). It's somewhat like bowls, but played on a sheet of ice. The sport was supposedly invented in medieval Scotland, and is called curling because of the action of the granite stone is it moves across the ice. A player can make the stone take a curved path ("curl") by causing it to slowly rotate as it slides.

54. Botanist Gray : ASA
Asa Gray was an important American botanist in the nineteenth century. He was a lifelong friend of Charles Darwin, albeit mainly through correspondence. Darwin's book "Forms of Flowers", was dedicated to Gray.

59. Wii forerunner, for short : NES
Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

The Wii is the biggest-selling game console in the world.

60. Debussy's "La ___" : MER
"La Mer" is a lovely group of three symphonic sketches for orchestra by the French composer Claude Debussy. Listen to it, and you can feel yourself at the ocean. "La Mer" is French for "The Sea".

Claude Debussy is one of my favorite composers, one who epitomises the Romantic Era and Impressionist Movement in music. One of my favorite CDs is a collection of some "lighter" Debussy pieces called "Debussy for Daydreaming", and what an evocative collection it is. Included are "Syrinx", "Maid with the Flaxen Hair", "Rêverie" and everyone's favorite, "Clair de Lune".

62. Kit ___ bar : KAT
I grew up eating Kit Kat bars as a kid, as the chocolate confection has been around since the thirties. Kit Kats didn’t hit the shelves in the US until the seventies. I’ve seen new varieties of Kit Kat over in the UK, such as an orange-flavored version, but haven’t seen anything like that over here.

63. Winter D.C. setting : EST
Eastern Standard Time (EST)

65. '60s campus org. : SDS
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

Down
2. Palestinian nominee for Best Foreign Language Film of 2013 : OMAR
“Omar” is a 2013 film made in Palestine that was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar in 2014 (losing out to “The Great Beauty” from Italy). “Omar” is a dramatic thriller set in the West Bank.

7. Emoticon medium : TEXT
An emoticon is a glyph created using text characters to represent facial features, and usually oriented sideways. The emoticon is designed to indicate emotion or attitude. The classic example is the smiley face :-)

11. Human in "Alien," e.g. : HOST
In a famous scene in the 1979 science-fiction movie “Alien”, an alien creature bursts out of the chest of a crew member who is acting as the creature’s host.

The 1979 sci-fi horror movie "Alien" was the big break for Sigourney Weaver as it was her first lead role, and her character ended up as central to a whole set of sequels. The movie’s producers made a very conscious decision to cast a female in the lead role so as to have the film stand out in the male-dominated genre of science fiction. Famously, the film was publicized with the tagline "In space no one can hear you scream".

22. Go caving : SPELUNK
Spelunking is an American term for caving, although the word has Latin roots ("spelunca" is the Latin for "cave"). The term originated in the 1940s in New England when it was adopted by a group of men who explored caves in the area.

26. Wife of Muhammad : AYESHA
Aisha (also”Ayesha”) was one of the wives of the prophet Muhammad. Aisha was the third of Muhammad’s eleven to thirteen wives, and was said to be his favorite.

27. French writer de Beauvoir : SIMONE
Simone de Beauvoir was a French philosopher and writer. de Beauvoir wrote a treatise in 1949 called “The Second Sex” that discussed the oppression of women, which became an inspiration for the modern feminist movement. She is also known for the long-term relationship she had with fellow philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Sartre.

28. Metaphor for diplomacy : CHESS GAME
It is believed that the game of chess originated in northwest India, evolving from a 6th-century game called "chaturanga", a Sanskrit word meaning "four divisions". These four (military) divisions were represented in the game:
- Infantry (now "pawns")
- Cavalry (now "knights")
- Elephants (now "bishops")
- Chariots (now "rooks")

44. A.L. East squad : TOR
The Toronto Blue Jays baseball franchise was founded in 1977. The Blue Jays are the only team based outside the US to have won a World Series, doing so in 1992 and 1993. And since the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team now headquartered outside of the US.

52. Pre-coll. years : ELHI
"Elhi" is an informal word used to describe anything related to schooling from grades 1 through 12, i.e. elementary through high school.

56. "The 5,000 Fingers of ___" (1953 Seuss film) : DR T
“The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.” is a 1953 film written by Dr Seuss, the only film that he ever wrote.

57. "The Purloined Letter" writer : POE
"The Purloined Letter" is the third of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories to feature Le Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin, Poe's famous detective. The two earlier stories were the celebrated "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "The Mystery of Marie Roget".

Edgar Allan Poe lived a life of many firsts. Poe is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn't really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious from either drugs or alcohol. Poe died a few days later in hospital at 39 years of age.

58. Main ingredient in pirates' grog : RUM
Edward Vernon was a naval officer with the nickname "Old Grog". In 1740, Vernon ordered that the daily ration of rum for his sailors should be watered down, in order to reduce discipline problems caused by drunkenness. The diluted rum was sweetened with sugar, and lemon or lime added to help preserve it on long voyages. This recipe, found to reduce scurvy among sailors (because of the citrus) spread throughout the Royal Navy, and "grog" was born.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Mob muscle : GOON
5. Little bit : JOT
8. A pop : EACH
12. "You know nothing about me" : AM NOT
14. Open-mouthed state : AWE
15. Astronomer ___ Brahe : TYCHO
16. "America's Most Wanted" host John : WALSH
17. "Toy Story" character : REX
18. Subway fare? : HEROS
19. Superior skill : PROWESS
21. Pioneer in New Criticism : TS ELIOT
23. With 13-Down, blew one's stack : WENT (WENT through THE ROOF)
24. With 15-Down, spent way too much money for something : PAID (PAID through THE NOSE)
25. Song that may be performed with supertitles : ARIA
27. Turn on : SEND
28. Soft and light : COTTONY
31. "That put me over the edge!" : I LOST IT!
35. "What?!" : HUH?!
36. "Fine and dandy," in old slang : OKE
37. Symbols for statistical means : MUS
38. What pitchforks pitch : HAY
39. Summer in Québec : ETE
40. Slick trick : FAST ONE
42. H.R.E. part: Abbr. : EMP
43. With 30-Down, hit dead-on : SHOT (SHOT through THE HEART)
45. With 61-Across, carefully consider ... or a clue to this puzzle's theme : THINK
46. With 32-Down, followed a career ladder : ROSE (ROSE through THE RANKS)
47. Not ___ (meh) : SO HOT
49. Big club? : ACE
50. Hardy hog breed : DUROC
51. Opposite of paix : GUERRE
53. World powerhouse in curling : CANADA
54. Botanist Gray : ASA
55. Seasoned veterans : OLD PROS
59. Wii forerunner, for short : NES
60. Debussy's "La ___" : MER
61. See 45-Across : THROUGH
62. Kit ___ bar : KAT
63. Winter D.C. setting : EST
64. Bullet points : ITEMS
65. '60s campus org. : SDS

Down
1. Stare with an open mouth : GAWP
2. Palestinian nominee for Best Foreign Language Film of 2013 : OMAR
3. Simmering : ON LOW
4. "Easy peasy" : NO SWEAT
5. Throws off balance : JARS
6. "I ___ you" : OWE
7. Emoticon medium : TEXT
8. They're usually heavier at night : EYELIDS
9. Stinging : ACRID
10. Toy train sound : CHOO
11. Human in "Alien," e.g. : HOST
13. See 23-Across : THE ROOF
15. See 24-Across : THE NOSE
20. Can't do well : STINK AT
22. Go caving : SPELUNK
26. Wife of Muhammad : AYESHA
27. French writer de Beauvoir : SIMONE
28. Metaphor for diplomacy : CHESS GAME
29. Heads for the woods? : OUTHOUSES
30. See 43-Across : THE HEART
32. See 46-Across : THE RANKS
33. "My parents are going to kill me!" : I AM SO DEAD!
34. Pigeonholes, in a way : TYPECASTS
41. Little jerk : TIC
44. A.L. East squad : TOR
46. Go quickly : RUN
48. Go quickly : TROT
50. Go quickly : DASH
52. Pre-coll. years : ELHI
53. Teeth : COGS
56. "The 5,000 Fingers of ___" (1953 Seuss film) : DR T
57. "The Purloined Letter" writer : POE
58. Main ingredient in pirates' grog : RUM


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1 comment :

Anonymous said...

There is no apostrophe in "wives."
This in a plural!

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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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