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0617-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Jun 15, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Molly Young & David J. Kahn
THEME: Refusals … today’s themed answers are paired, with one answer being an award or prize, an honor, and the other being a celebrated person who refused that honor:
3D. Actor who refused a 26-Down in 1971 : GEORGE C SCOTT
26D. See 3-Down : ACADEMY AWARD

5D. Rock star who refused a 37-Down in 2003 : DAVID BOWIE
37D. See 5-Down : KNIGHTHOOD

15D. Playwright who refused an 8-/57-Down in 1964 : JEAN-PAUL SARTRE
8D. See 15-Down : NOBEL
57D. See 15-Down : PRIZE
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 34s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

13. Vacillate : SEESAW
“To vacillate” is to be indecisive, to waver. The term comes from the Latin “vacillare” meaning “to sway to and fro”.

15. Hardly luxury cars : JALOPIES
The origins of our word "jalopy" meaning "dilapidated old motor car" seem to have been lost in time, but the word has been around since the 1920s. One credible suggestion is that it comes from Jalapa, Mexico as the Jalapa scrap yards were the destination for many discarded American automobiles.

18. 1921 play that introduced the word "robot" : RUR
Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1920 play "R.U.R." is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word "robot". The words "automaton" and "android" were already in use, but Capek gave us "robot" from the original Czech "robota" meaning "forced labor". The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

19. Rombauer of cooking : IRMA
Irma Rombauer was the author of the famous cookbook "The Joy Of Cooking". Rombauer self-published the book back in 1931 in St. Louis, Missouri. She and her family continued to publish privately as demand was high, and then a commercial printing house picked it up in 1936. "The Joy of Cooking" has been in print continuously ever since.

22. Part of a geom. line : SEG
A part of a geometric (geom.) line can be called a segment (seg.).

25. Some jets : LEARS
Learjet is a company making business jets that was founded in 1960 by William Powell Lear. The original Learjet was a modified Swiss ground-attack fighter aircraft.

31. Mother's Day destination, maybe : SPA
Note the official punctuation in “Mother’s Day”, even though one might think it should be “Mothers’ Day”. President Wilson, and Anna Jarvis who created the tradition, specifically wanted Mother's Day to honor the mothers within each family and not just "mothers" in general, so they went with the "Mother's Day" punctuation.

32. Riff, vocally : SCAT
Scat singing is a vocal improvisation found in the world of jazz. There aren't any words as such in scat singing, just random nonsense syllables made up on the spot.

33. Modern prefix with aggression : MICRO-
The term “microaggression” was coined in the 1970 by psychiatrist Chester M. Pierce to describe insults inflicted on African Americans. The term has expanded to refer to discrimination, sometimes unintended, against any marginalized group.

35. Certain sealant : CAULK
The term "caulk" comes from old Norman French "cauquer", and described the action of filling gaps with lime. “Caulk”has the same root as our word "chalk".

41. Hot Japanese bowlful : UDON
Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisine like tempura.

44. Home of the elves known as huldufólk: Abbr. : ICEL
Iceland’s “huldufólk” are tiny elves of folklore. Evidence of these elves is quite prevalent in Icelandic society. There is a common superstition that one should not throw stones, for fear of hitting the huldufólk. Gardens often include tiny houses for the elves to live in, and some building projects have been altered to take into account ground in which the huldufólk are said to live. The term “huldufólk” translates as “hidden people”.

52. Lousy eggs? : NITS
A “nit” is the egg of a louse.

Lice are small wingless insects of which there are thousands of species, three of which are human disease agents. The three kinds of lice affecting humans are head lice, body lice and pubic lice. Most lice feed on dead skin found on the body of the host animal, although some feed on blood. Ick ...

54. Easy April Fools' victim : SAP
“Sap” is slang for a fool, someone easily scammed. The term arose in the early 1800s in Britain when it was used in “saphead” and “sapskull”. All these words derive from “sapwood”, which is the soft wood found in tree trunks between the bark and the heartwood at the center.

April Fool's Day is celebrated on April 1st in the western world. In the US (and Ireland) one can make practical jokes all day long if one wants. But in the UK there is a noon deadline. Anyone pranking after midday is called an "April Fool".

60. Surprising discovery at the Lascaux cave that's 17,000 years old : ART
The cave paintings in a cave complex near the village of Lascaux in southwestern France are perhaps the best-known examples of Upper Paleolithic art in the world. The paintings are about 17,300 years old, are about 2,000 in number and mainly depict large animals and human figures. The cave complex was discovered in 1940 by an 18-year-old man, and was opened to the public in 1948. However, public access has created many problems with damage to the paintings caused by carbon dioxide and by fungus and mold. Right now, human access to the caves is extremely limited.

63. Supporter of a sort : BRA
The word "brassière" is 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.

73. Vertical strip on a map : TIME ZONE
Local solar time was replaced with standard time zones due to the increasing use of rail travel and telecommunications as the variations in local solar times became somewhat inconvenient. Time zones in the US vary in hourly increments, but in some parts of the world a 30-minute or even 15-minute difference can apply.

Down
2. Stage offering : REVUE
“Revue” is the French word for “review”.

3. Actor who refused a 26-Down in 1971 : GEORGE C SCOTT
(26D. See 3-Down : ACADEMY AWARD)
“Patton” is an excellent biographical movie about General George Patton and his exploits during WWII. The film was released in 1970 and starred George C. Scott in the title role. “Patton” won seven Oscars including Best Picture and one for Scott as Best Actor. Scott refused his award saying that he disliked “acting competitions”. In so doing, he became the first actor to refuse an Oscar.

4. Class for a future citizen, for short : 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).

5. Rock star who refused a 37-Down in 2003 : DAVID BOWIE
(37D. See 5-Down : KNIGHTHOOD)
In early 1969, the struggling David Bowie recorded a promotional film in an attempt to reach a wider audience. The film called "Love You Till Tuesday" featured seven of Bowie's songs in what amounted to an extended music video, with one of the tracks being "Space Oddity". Somebody smart put two and two together later in the year and decided that a fresh version of "Space Oddity" should be released, to coincide with the Apollo moon landings. Sure enough, the BBC snagged the track for their coverage of the landings and gave Bowie huge audiences. And the song still gets an awful lot of air time on the small screen. Famously, Bowie turned down the honor of Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2000. The British government tried again in 2003, offering a knighthood, but Bowie stuck to his guns and refused that honor too. Bowie did however accept the French title of Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1999.

7. Holly tree : ILEX
Ilex, commonly known as holly, is a genus of hundreds of species of flowering plants. The holly used for Christmas decoration is Ilex aquifolium. The wood from the holly bush was once a favorite for construction of Scottish bagpipes, until dense tropical woods became readily available.

8. See 15-Down : NOBEL
(57D. See 15-Down : PRIZE)
The Peace Prize is the most famous of the five prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel. The others are for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. There is also a Nobel Prize in Economics that is awarded along with the original five, but it is funded separately and is awarded "in memory of Alfred Nobel". Four of the prizes are awarded by Swedish organizations (Alfred Nobel was a Swede) and so the award ceremonies take place in Stockholm. The Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and that award is presented in Oslo.

11. With 67-Down, Polo Grounds star : MEL
(67D. See 11-Down : 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.

The original Polo Grounds in New York city was built in 1876 and as one might expect, it was used to play polo. The property was leased in 1880 by the New York Metropolitans and was converted into a baseball stadium. Over the years, the stadium was replaced, three times in all, but the "Polo Grounds" name was retained.

15. Playwright who refused an 8-/57-Down in 1964 : JEAN-PAUL SARTRE
(8. See 15-Down : NOBEL)
(57D. See 15-Down : PRIZE)
Jean-Paul Sartre was a leading French philosopher, as well as a writer and political activist. He also served with the French army during WWII and spent nine months as a prisoner of war having been captured by German troops. Sartre was one of the few people to have been awarded a Nobel Prize and to have then refused to accept it. He was named winner of the prize for Literature in 1964, for his first novel "Nausea". Before his win, Sartre knew that his name was on the list of nominees so he wrote to the Nobel Institute and asked to be withdrawn from consideration. The letter somehow went unread, so he found himself having to refuse the award after he had been selected.

24. Mideast royal house : SAUD
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab country in the Middle East and is the world's largest oil producer, home to the world's largest oil reserves. The Saudi dynasty started in central Arabia in 1744 when the secular leader Muhammad ibn Saud joined forces with the Islamic scholar and Imam, Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab. At the time, Saud was a ruler of a town near Riyadh and he was determined to bring "true" Islam to the Arabian peninsula. Since 1744 the fortunes of the Saudi family have risen and fallen, but it is that same family who rules what we know today as Saudi Arabia.

26. See 3-Down : ACADEMY AWARD
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards also known as the "Oscars". The root of the name "Oscar" is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named "Oscar" in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days ...

27. Bygone component in luminous paint : RADIUM
The element radium was first discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie, in 1898.

28. Onetime home of the Huns : STEPPE
A steppe is a grassland, devoid of trees apart from those growing near rivers and lakes. We would likely call such a geographic feature a prairie in this country.

The Huns were a nomadic people who originated in Eastern Europe in the 4th century. Under the command of Attila the Hun they developed a unified empire that stretched from modern-day Germany across to the steppes of Central Asia. The whole of the Hunnic Empire collapsed within a year of Attila's death in 453 AD.

37. See 5-Down : KNIGHTHOOD
The rite of passage that conferred knighthood on an apprentice was known as the”accolade” or “dubbing” back in the Middle of Ages. Part of that ceremony is still used today, including the tapping of the flat side of a sword by a monarch on the shoulders of the new knight.

40. Big A.T.M. maker : NCR
NCR is an American company that has been in business since 1884, originally called the National Cash Register Company. The company has done well in a market where new technologies seem to be constantly disrupting the status quo.

45. Big ___ : EAST
The BIG EAST collegiate athletic conference was founded in 1979. The conference went through a major realignment between 2010 and 2013 with 14 schools departing, 15 schools joining the lineup.

50. Poker game? : EPEE
The French word for sword is épée. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

62. Council site of 1545 : TRENT
Trento is a city in northern Italy, famous as the host of the 16th century Council of Trent held by the Roman Catholic Church. This Ecumenical Council meeting was held largely in response to the growing Protestant Reformation. It was the decisions made at the Council of Trent that led to the Counter-Reformation, the revival of the Catholic church over the following 100 years.

64. Not long from now : ANON
“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

68. Long of Showtime's "House of Lies" : NIA
Nia Long is an American actress, probably best known for playing Will Smith's sometime girlfriend and fiancee Lisa Wilkes on the TV show "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air".

“House of Lies” is a Showtime TV show about a group of management consultants who are pretty ruthless when closing business deals. Star of the show is Don Cheadle.

69. Bird with calf muscles : EMU
Emu eggs are very large, with a thick shell that is dark-green in color. One emu egg weighs about the same as a dozen chicken eggs.

70. Type units : ENS
In typography, there are em dashes and en dashes. The em dash is about the width of an "m" character, and an en dash about half that, the width of an "n' character. An en dash is used, for example, to separate numbers designating a range, as in 5-10 years. Th em dash seems to be going out of style, and indeed the application I am using to write this paragraph won't let me show you one!

72. Some bad P.R. for a celeb : DUI
In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, so that by definition a DUI is a lesser offence than a DWI.

Public relations (PR)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Pushed : URGED
6. Charming : WINSOME
13. Vacillate : SEESAW
15. Hardly luxury cars : JALOPIES
16. Develop over time : EVOLVE
17. Scrutinizes : EYEBALLS
18. 1921 play that introduced the word "robot" : RUR
19. Rombauer of cooking : IRMA
21. Struck (out) : XED
22. Part of a geom. line : SEG
23. ___ list : DEAN’S
25. Some jets : LEARS
29. Decline, as in popularity : EBB
31. Mother's Day destination, maybe : SPA
32. Riff, vocally : SCAT
33. Modern prefix with aggression : MICRO-
35. Certain sealant : CAULK
38. Hot weather cooler : ADE
39. Like virgin soil : UNSOWN
41. Hot Japanese bowlful : UDON
42. Slight downturn : DIP
43. Yolk container : SAC
44. Home of the elves known as huldufólk: Abbr. : ICEL
46. Join the conversation : PIPE UP
48. "How was ___ know?" : I TO
49. Wipe, as a hard drive : ERASE
51. "I want that ... NOW!" : GIMME!
52. Lousy eggs? : NITS
54. Easy April Fools' victim : SAP
55. Casual greeting : HEY
56. "Out of bed!" : GET UP!
58. Dog biscuit, e.g. : TREAT
60. Surprising discovery at the Lascaux cave that's 17,000 years old : ART
63. Supporter of a sort : BRA
65. Programming pro, e.g. : TECH
66. Word with cry or crime : WAR
67. Quick quip : ONE-LINER
71. So far : TO DATE
73. Vertical strip on a map : TIME ZONE
74. Grow tired of : SOUR ON
75. Takes up the slack? : TAUTENS
76. Failed to : DIDN’T

Down
1. ___ manual : USER’S
2. Stage offering : REVUE
3. Actor who refused a 26-Down in 1971 : GEORGE C SCOTT
4. Class for a future citizen, for short : ESL
5. Rock star who refused a 37-Down in 2003 : DAVID BOWIE
6. Direction : WAY
7. Holly tree : ILEX
8. See 15-Down : NOBEL
9. Black suit : SPADES
10. Big Alaska resource : OIL
11. With 67-Down, Polo Grounds star : MEL
12. Suffix with count : -ESS
14. "___ back" : WE’RE
15. Playwright who refused an 8-/57-Down in 1964 : JEAN-PAUL SARTRE
20. Like some Fr. nouns : MASC
24. Mideast royal house : SAUD
26. See 3-Down : ACADEMY AWARD
27. Bygone component in luminous paint : RADIUM
28. Onetime home of the Huns : STEPPE
30. Dude : BRO
33. Often-idle thought : MUSING
34. How about one in three pro soccer games ends : IN A TIE
36. Cut off : LOP
37. See 5-Down : KNIGHTHOOD
40. Big A.T.M. maker : NCR
45. Big ___ : EAST
47. Faceful for a clown : PIE
50. Poker game? : EPEE
53. Apartment hunter's option : SUBLET
57. See 15-Down : PRIZE
59. Pulls the trigger, so to speak : ACTS
61. Finger : RAT ON
62. Council site of 1545 : TRENT
64. Not long from now : ANON
67. See 11-Down : OTT
68. Long of Showtime's "House of Lies" : NIA
69. Bird with calf muscles : EMU
70. Type units : ENS
72. Some bad P.R. for a celeb : DUI


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3 comments :

Willie D said...

:12 for me. Haven't we seen Sartre pop up in another recent grid? And apparently Ziggy Stardust turned down the CBE because it was nothing he'd ever aspired to in his life. As Bugs Bunny would say, "What a maroon. What an ignoranimous."

Anonymous said...

Couldn't quite get this puzzle.... 10 mistakes and way too long at it.

I give Bowie credit for refusing the knighthood! He was already "the Thin White Duke", who needs a stuffy old title?

Lou Sander said...

A nice puzzle with a clever theme and some clever clues (Lousy eggs, Vertical strip on a map).We got them all without struggling or looking anything up. We did look up Irma Rombauer because we had never heard of her.

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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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