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0408-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Apr 15, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Zhouqin Burnikel
THEME: It’s a Trap … each of today’s themed answers in the down-direction is a type of TRAP. These answers cross the word TRAP, which is hidden in an across-answer:
66A. Warning to the answers to the three starred clues regarding the word hidden in 17-, 34- and 43-Across : IT’S A TRAP

4D. *Tough test, slangily : BEAR (trap)
17A. Gillette razor brand : ATRA PLUS

8D. *Fodor's guide buyer : TOURIST (trap)
34A. Conductor's place : ORCHESTRA PIT

44D. *Mob hit victim : RAT (trap)
43A. Grammy category won five times by Eminem : BEST RAP ALBUM
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 31s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Chicago paper, briefly, with "the" : TRIB
"The Chicago Tribune" was first published in 1847. The most famous edition of "The Trib" was probably in 1948 when the headline was "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN", on the occasion of that year's presidential election. When it turned out Truman had actually won, the victor picked up the paper with the erroneous headline and posed for photographs with it ... a famous, famous photo, that must have stuck in the craw of the editor at the time.

5. Subj. for a citizenship applicant : ESL
English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

8. Largo, for one : TEMPO
Largo is a instruction to play a piece of music with a very slow tempo. “Largo” is the Italian word for “broadly”.

14. Country music's ___ Young Band : ELI
The Eli Young Band is a country group from Texas founded by Mike Eli and James Young when they were roommates in the University of North Texas.

15. Coiner of the term "doublethink" : ORWELL
George Orwell was the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair, the famous British author of the classics "Nineteen Eighty-Four" and "Animal Farm".

“Doublethink” is the acceptance of two conflicting concepts at the same time. The term was coined by author George Orwell in his novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”.

19. Country that's south of South Sudan : UGANDA
Uganda is a landlocked county in East Africa lying just to the west of Kenya. Uganda was ruled by the British as a protectorate from 1894 and gained independence in 1962. Uganda is very much associated with the tyrannical rule of Idi Amin in the 1970s.

South Sudan is an African country that gained her independence in 2011, after a split with Sudan. Sadly, the new nation has been ravaged by a civil war since 2013.

20. City near the only remaining wonder of the ancient world : CAIRO
Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is the largest city on the continent of Africa and is nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" because of its impressive skyline replete with Islamic architecture. The name "Cairo" is a European corruption of the city's original name in Arabic, "Al-Qahira", which translates as “the Vanquisher” or “the Conqueror”.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and yet it is the only one of the Wonders that is basically intact today. Egyptologists believe that the structure took ten to twenty years to complete, and that it dates back to around 2560 BC. The Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest man-made structure in the world for nearly 3,900 years, until it was surpassed by Lincoln Cathedral in England in 1311 AD.

21. Bryn ___ College : MAWR
I used to live not far from Bryn-mawr (also "Brynmwar") in Wales, the town with the highest elevation in the country. Appropriately enough, "bryn mawr" is Welsh for "big hill". There is also a Bryn Mawr in Pennsylvania (note the different capitalization) that is named after its Welsh counterpart. At the Pennsylvania location there's a Bryn Mawr college, a private women's school that was the first American university to offer graduate degrees to women.

24. Hot time on the Riviera : ETE
One might spend the summer (été) under the sun (le soleil) in France.

“Riviera” is an Italian word meaning “coastline”. The term is often applied to a coastline that is sunny and popular with tourists. The term “the Riviera” is usually reserved for the French Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline in southeastern France), and the Italian Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline centered on Genoa).

25. Mo. with Patriot Day : SEP
Patriot Day has been held on September 11th annually since 2002, after President George W. Bush declared Friday September 14, 2001 a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001.

27. Frozen Wasser : EIS
In German, ice (Eis) is frozen water (Wasser).

29. Dweller along the Mekong : LAO
The Mekong is the twelfth longest river in the world, at over 2,700 miles in length. It rises in the Tibetan Plateau and empties into the South China Sea at the famed Mekong delta system in Vietnam.

30. Marsh plants : SEDGES
Sedges are a family of plants that resemble grasses and rushes. Sedges are more properly called Cyperaceae.

32. Jack or jenny : ASS
A female donkey is known as a jenny, and a male is known as a jack, or sometimes a “jackass”.

33. First National Leaguer with 500 homers : OTT
At 5' 9", Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don't think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old.

38. The "A" of BART : AREA
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) serves the San Francisco Bay Area.

42. Dunham of "Girls" : LENA
Lena Dunham is a co-star in the HBO series “Girls”, and is also the show’s creator. Dunham garnered a lot of attention for herself during the 2012 US Presidential election cycle as she starred in ad focused on getting out the youth vote. In the spot she compared voting for the first time with having sex for the first time. I must say, I quite enjoy the show “Girls” ...

43. Grammy category won five times by Eminem : BEST RAP ALBUM
Rap star Eminem's real name is Marshall Mathers, a native of Saint Joseph, Missouri. Mathers grew up poor, raised by a single-mom as the family was abandoned by his father when he was 18 months old. Marshall and his mother moved around the country before settling in a suburb of Detroit. He didn't do well at school, and dropped out at the age of 17. But in the end he made it pretty big ...

48. Org. featured in "Outbreak" : CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC started out life during WWII as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities. The CDC worries about much more than malaria these days ...

“Outbreak” is a disaster movie from 1995 about an Ebola-like virus outbreak in Zaire and later in the US. The film has a great cast, headed by Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo and Morgan Freeman. The story is based on a non-fiction book by Richard Preston called “The Hot Zone”.

49. Carrier units, briefly : ACS
The modern form of air conditioning that is still used today was invented by Willis Carrier in 1902. He co-founded the Carrier Engineering Corporation in New York in 1915. The Carrier Corporation eventually moved to Syracuse, New York in 1937. Beyond the world of air conditioning, the Carrier name has been associated with Syracuse University’s famous Carrier Dome since it opened in 1980, and which the largest on-campus basketball stadium in the country.

50. Alley-oop pass, maybe : ASSIST
An “alley-oop” is a play in basketball in which one player throw the ball close to the basket for a teammate who usually scores with a slam dunk.

54. U.S. counterpart to Britain's GCHQ : NSA
The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname ... "No Such Agency".

The British equivalent of the US’s NSA is GCHQ (the Government Communications Headquarters). GCHQ has been around since just after WWI, when it was named the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS). The organization’s most famous period in history was when it was located in Bletchley Park during WWII, and played a crucial role in cracked the German Enigma codes.

55. Cable co. acquired by AT&T in 1999 : TCI
Tele-Communications, Inc (TCI) was the largest provider of cable television service in the US for a while. The company was founded in 1968 and was headquartered in Denver. TCI was bought by AT&T in 1999.

56. J.F.K. posting: Abbr. : ARR
The Idlewild Golf Course was taken over by the city of New York in 1943 and construction started on a new airport to serve the metropolis and relieve congestion at La Guardia. The Idlewild name still persists, even though the airport was named after Major General Alexander E. Anderson from the first days of the project. When the facility started operating in 1948 it was known as New York International Airport, Anderson Field. It was renamed to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in 1963, one month after the President was assassinated.

57. Miler Sebastian : COE
Sebastian Coe is a retired middle distance runner from the UK who won four Olympic medals including golds in the 1500m in 1980 and 1984. After retiring from athletics, Coe went into politics and served as a Member of Parliament from 1992 to 1997. He headed up London's successful bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

58. French 101 verb : ETRE
The French for “to be” is “être”.

62. Royal bride of 1981 : DIANA
Charles, Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The wedding was a huge television event, with about 750 million people tuning in worldwide. Although the event was billed as a fairytale wedding, the couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996.

68. Cheap smoke : STOGIE
A “stogie” (also “stogy”) is both a “rough, heavy shoe” and a “long, cheap cigar”. Both items were favored by the drivers of the covered wagons called “Conestogas” that wended their way across the Midwest in days gone by. The term “stogie” is derived from the name of the wagon, which itself is named after the area in which the wagons were built: Conestoga, near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

71. Some British jackets : ETONS
An Eton jacket is usually black, cut square at the hips and has wide lapels. It is named for the design of jacket that is worn by the younger students at Eton College just outside London.

73. Aspiring atty.'s exam : LSAT
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has been around since 1948.

Down
2. Reposition, as tires : ROTATE
The accepted routine for rotating tires is to swap the back tires with the front tires. When moving the front tires to the back, it is usual to cross them from left to right, and right to left.

7. Bart's toon sister : LISA
Lisa Simpson is Bart's brainy younger sister on TV's "The Simpsons". Lisa is voiced by actress Yeardley Smith.

8. *Fodor's guide buyer : TOURIST
Fodor’s is the world’s largest publisher of English-language travel and tourist guides. The guidebooks were introduced in 1936 by Eugene Fodor, an American-Hungarian who was a keen traveller.

9. Tiny bit of work : ERG
An erg is a unit of energy or mechanical work. "Erg" comes from the Greek word "ergon" meaning "work". A dyne is a unit of force. The name "dyne" comes from the Greek "dynamis" meaning "power, force". Ergs and dynes are related to each other in that one erg is the amount of energy needed to move a force of one dyne over a distance of one centimeter.

10. Sound of an air kiss : MWAH!
Someone might make the air kiss gesture when leaving, as it tends to be a "goodbye, love you all" kind of move. The person touches the inside of the hand to the mouth, kisses it and "tosses" the kiss to those being from whom he or she is departing. As the hand throws the kiss, the person makes an exaggerated "mwah!" sound. The use of the word "mwah!" has crept into online messaging and texting as a way of bidding farewell. It's not something you'd catch me doing, I must admit ...

11. Cruz with a 2008 Oscar : PENELOPE
Penélope Cruz is an actress from Madrid, Spain. Cruz was the first Spanish actress to win an Oscar, and to be given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

12. Cato the Elder's language : OLD LATIN
Cato the Elder was a Roman statesman, known historically as “the elder” in order to distinguish him from his great-grandson, Cato the Younger. Cato the Elder’s ultimate position within Roman society was that of Censor, making him responsible for maintaining the census, and for supervising public morality.

16. Boxer Jake a.k.a. Raging Bull : LAMOTTA
Jake LaMotta is a retired Italian-American boxer and former world champion. Famously. LaMotta was played by Robert De Niro in the 1980 movie “Raging Bull”. LaMotta’s nickname is “The Bronx Bull” as well as “The Raging Bull”.

28. One of a geog. 15, once : SSR
The former Soviet Union (USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and was comprised of fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs).

31. Year of the ___ (most of 2015) : GOAT
The 12-year cycle in the Chinese Calendar uses the following animals in order:
- Rat
- Ox
- Tiger
- Rabbit
- Dragon
- Snake
- Horse
- Goat
- Monkey
- Rooster
- Dog
- Pig

36. Steroid ___ (1990s-early 2000s, in baseball) : ERA
Steroids are found commonly in nature, with familiar examples being cholesterol and testosterone. The controversial class of drugs called anabolic steroids (known informally as “roids” or simply "steroids") are artificially produced chemicals designed to mimic the effect of the male sex hormone, testosterone. They are termed "anabolic" as they build up cellular tissue (particularly muscle) in a process called anabolism.

38. Stephanopoulos's employer : ABC NEWS
George Stephanopoulos is a TV journalist who first came to the public’s attention as the White House Communications Director in the Clinton administration. Stephanopoulos now co-anchors “Good Morning America” and hosts the ABC Sunday morning show “This Week”.

39. Republican stronghold : RED STATE
Tim Russert was a TV journalist who moderated NBC’s “Meet the Press” for over sixteen years. Some say that Russert coined the phrases “red state” and “blue state”. Russert denied that, but he certainly did popularize the usage.

40. Mollusk on la carte : ESCARGOT
“Escargot” is the French word for “snail”. In order to eat snails, apparently they have to be “purged” before killing them. That means starving them or feeding them on something “wholesome” for several days before cooking them up. Ugh …

47. Old nutritional fig. : US RDA
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII and are a set of recommendations for the standard daily allowances of specific nutrients. RDAs were effectively absorbed into a broader set of dietary guidelines in 1997 called Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs). RDIs are used to determine the Daily Values (DV) of foods that are printed on nutrition fact labels on most food that we purchase.

51. Wax-winged flier of myth : ICARUS
Daedalus was a master craftsman of Greek mythology who was tasked with creating the Labyrinth on the island of Crete that was to house the Minotaur. After the Labyrinth was completed, King Minos imprisoned Daedalus and his son Icarus in a tower, so that he could not spread word of his work. Daedalus fabricated wings so that he and Icarus could escape by flying off the island. Despite being warned by his father, Icarus flew too close to the sun so that the wax holding the wings’ feathers in place melted. Icarus drowned in the sea, and Daedalus escaped.

52. "Moonlight ___" : SONATA
Beethoven subtitled his “Piano Sonata No. 14, Op. 27, No. 2” as “Quasi una fantasia”, or “sonata in the manner of a fantasy” in English. Five years after Beethoven died, a music critic wrote that the (superb!) first movement of the piece had an effect like that of moonlight shining on Lake Lucerne. Since then, the work has been known as the Moonlight Sonata.

53. Darjeeling server : TEAPOT
Darjeeling tea comes from the Darjeeling district of West Bengal in India.

56. Sean of the "Lord of the Rings" movies : ASTIN
Sean Astin is best known for playing the title role in the 1993 film "Rudy" and the character Samwise Gamgee in the "Lord of the Rings" movies. You might also have seen Astin playing Lynn McGill in the 5th season of "24". Astin is the son of actress Patty Duke.

59. Toaster waffle brand : EGGO
Eggo is the brand name of a line of frozen waffles made by Kellogg's. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name "Eggo" was chosen to promote the "egginess" of the batter. "Eggo" replaced the original name chosen, which was "Froffles", created by melding "frozen" and "waffles".

61. First queen of Carthage : DIDO
Dido was the founder of Carthage, and it’s first queen.

The Carthaginian Republic was centered on the city of Carthage, the ruins of which are located on the coast of modern-day Tunisia. The Latin name for the people of Carthage was “Afri”. When the Romans took over Carthage, they created a province they called “Africa”. That name extended over time to the whole continent.

63. Stressed type: Abbr. : ITAL
Italic type leans to the right. The style is known as "italic" because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

65. A, in Aachen : EIN
Aachen is a city in the very west of Germany, right on the border with Belgium and the Netherlands. In English, we quite often refer to this city by its French name, Aix-la-Chapelle.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Chicago paper, briefly, with "the" : TRIB
5. Subj. for a citizenship applicant : ESL
8. Largo, for one : TEMPO
13. Monotonous learning : ROTE
14. Country music's ___ Young Band : ELI
15. Coiner of the term "doublethink" : ORWELL
17. Gillette razor brand : ATRA PLUS
19. Country that's south of South Sudan : UGANDA
20. City near the only remaining wonder of the ancient world : CAIRO
21. Bryn ___ College : MAWR
23. Captain's post : HELM
24. Hot time on the Riviera : ETE
25. Mo. with Patriot Day : SEP
27. Frozen Wasser : EIS
29. Dweller along the Mekong : LAO
30. Marsh plants : SEDGES
32. Jack or jenny : ASS
33. First National Leaguer with 500 homers : OTT
34. Conductor's place : ORCHESTRA PIT
38. The "A" of BART : AREA
41. Tram's cargo : ORE
42. Dunham of "Girls" : LENA
43. Grammy category won five times by Eminem : BEST RAP ALBUM
48. Org. featured in "Outbreak" : CDC
49. Carrier units, briefly : ACS
50. Alley-oop pass, maybe : ASSIST
54. U.S. counterpart to Britain's GCHQ : NSA
55. Cable co. acquired by AT&T in 1999 : TCI
56. J.F.K. posting: Abbr. : ARR
57. Miler Sebastian : COE
58. French 101 verb : ETRE
60. Calls off : ENDS
62. Royal bride of 1981 : DIANA
64. Showed some puppy love? : WAGGED
66. Warning to the answers to the three starred clues regarding the word hidden in 17-, 34- and 43-Across : IT’S A TRAP
68. Cheap smoke : STOGIE
69. Poop out : DIE
70. Camera setting : AUTO
71. Some British jackets : ETONS
72. "Good ___!" : ONE
73. Aspiring atty.'s exam : LSAT

Down
1. Tiny amounts : TRACES
2. Reposition, as tires : ROTATE
3. "Gave it my all" : I TRIED
4. *Tough test, slangily : BEAR
5. ___ roll (sushi item) : EEL
6. Batter's nightmare : SLUMP
7. Bart's toon sister : LISA
8. *Fodor's guide buyer : TOURIST
9. Tiny bit of work : ERG
10. Sound of an air kiss : MWAH!
11. Cruz with a 2008 Oscar : PENELOPE
12. Cato the Elder's language : OLD LATIN
16. Boxer Jake a.k.a. Raging Bull : LAMOTTA
18. Head-scratcher : POSER
22. Underhanded sort : WEASEL
26. "Exit full screen" key : ESC
28. One of a geog. 15, once : SSR
31. Year of the ___ (most of 2015) : GOAT
35. Joins for a ride : HOPS IN
36. Steroid ___ (1990s-early 2000s, in baseball) : ERA
37. Poor box contents : ALMS
38. Stephanopoulos's employer : ABC NEWS
39. Republican stronghold : RED STATE
40. Mollusk on la carte : ESCARGOT
44. *Mob hit victim : RAT
45. Gives in : ACCEDES
46. Happy hour spot : BAR
47. Old nutritional fig. : US RDA
51. Wax-winged flier of myth : ICARUS
52. "Moonlight ___" : SONATA
53. Darjeeling server : TEAPOT
56. Sean of the "Lord of the Rings" movies : ASTIN
59. Toaster waffle brand : EGGO
61. First queen of Carthage : DIDO
63. Stressed type: Abbr. : ITAL
65. A, in Aachen : EIN
67. "Get it?" : SEE?


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4 comments :

Willie D said...

Interesting construction today. Normally I'd say the theme was not consistent. But there is some elegance in crossing the down clues with the embedded theme in the across. Perhaps that's the actual "trap." Ask Admiral Akbar.

By any chance, is this constructor related to C.C. Burnikel, who published in the L.A. Times?

Bill Butler said...

Willie,

I believe that C.C. and Zhouqin are one and the same person, but I could be wrong. I am often wrong :)

Sfingi said...

Bill - Is Zhouquin pronounced Joe-King (just joking)

Had to look up ELI and ASTIN. Too old to keep up with everything.

When I saw Poor Box Contents, I thought "ONES" which would have been better than what a priest here used to say, "I don't want to hear the clatter of coins; I want to hear the rustle of bills."

Anonymous said...

32 across/28 down really got me; one because I'd never heard of a "jenny" as a female donkey, and the other because that was a very slippery clue for SSR.
How about "Cold War Russian satellite state" for a clue????

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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.

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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.

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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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