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0921-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Sep 15, Monday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Haight
THEME: S-Same Initials … each of today’s twelve (!) themed answers is a two-word phrase with each word starting with the letter S:
17A. Touchy subjects : SORE SPOTS
21A. Beginning that doesn't go smoothly : SLOW START
27A. Leave port : SET SAIL
34A. Lighten one's portfolio, say : SELL STOCKS
43A. Comes to rest too soon : STOPS SHORT
49A. Something to take and "make it better," in the Beatles' "Hey Jude" : SAD SONG
58A. Quits fidgeting : SITS STILL
66A. Reels from a haymaker : SEES STARS
4D. What a nearly vertical hill has : STEEP SLOPE
9D. Winter attire in Vail : SKI SUIT
32D. Best black female friend : SOUL SISTER
44D. It's left when ocean water evaporates : SEA SALT
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 24s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0 …

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. 1969 and 1986 World Series champs : METS
The New York Mets baseball team was founded in 1962, a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then of course along came the “Miracle Mets” who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

5. Web address starter : HTTP
"http" are the first letters in most Internet links. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol.

16. Phi Beta ___ : KAPPA
Phi Beta Kappa was the first collegiate Greek fraternity in the US, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. The organization served as a model for future collegiate fraternities and sororities, although in the 19th century Phi Beta Kappa distanced itself from the fraternal focus and transformed into the honor society that it is today, recognizing academic excellence. The initials Phi Beta Kappa stand for "philosophia biou kybernētēs", which translates into "philosophy is the guide of life". The symbol of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is a golden key.

19. Homeric epic : ILIAD
“Iliad” is an epic poem by the Greek poet Homer that tells the story of the siege of Ilium (also known as Troy) during the Trojan war.

25. Twin of Jacob and in-law of 30-Down : ESAU
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins "the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)". As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father's wealth (it was his "birthright"). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a "mess of pottage" (a meal of lentils).

26. Prefix with realism : NEO-
In the art word, “neorealism” was a movement that started in the early twentieth century, led by two English painters Charles Ginner and Harold Gilman. The neorealists returned to more realistic style after the Romantic Era.

31. PX patrons : GIS
A PX is a Post Exchange, a retail store operating on a US Army Base. The equivalent store on an Air Force Base is called a Base Exchange (BX). At a Navy installation it's a Navy Exchange (NEX), at a Marine Corps installation it's a Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) and at a Coast Guard Installation it's a CGX.

40. Texas home of Baylor University : WACO
Remember Ken Starr of Whitewater fame? Starr is now President of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

41. Towing co. name near the start of the Yellow Pages : AAA
A “yellow pages” phone directory is a listing of business and telephone numbers. The first yellow pages was introduced here in the US, back in 1886. The phrase “yellow pages” has become almost ubiquitous, although some countries (like my native Ireland) use “golden pages” instead. The term lives in the modern era as well, as the name of the business review website Yelp.com is a contraction of “YEL-low P-ages”.

47. The "she" in the lyric "I'm not the world's most physical guy, / But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine" : LOLA
"Lola" is a fabulous song, written by Ray Davies and released by the Kinks back in 1970. Inspired by a real life incident, the lyrics tell of young man who met a young "lady" in a club, danced with her, and then discovered "she" was actually a transvestite. The storyline isn't very traditional, but the music is superb.

49. Something to take and "make it better," in the Beatles' "Hey Jude" : SAD SONG
Julian Lennon is the oldest child of John Lennon and his first wife Cynthia Powell. Julian was the inspiration of several Beatles songs, including “Hey Jude” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. "Hey Jude" was originally a song called "Hey Jules", written by Paul McCartney. He wrote the original song for Julian, as a way of comforting the child during his parents divorce. One day in 1966, Julian came home from nursery school and showed his Dad a drawing he had made of his classmate, a little girl called Lucy O’Donnell. Julian described the artwork as “Lucy … in the sky with diamonds”.

57. 12 on a grandfather clock : XII
There are several sizes of “longcase clocks”, tall, freestanding clocks driven by a pendulum swinging inside a tower below the clock face. A longcase clock over 6 feet tall is called a grandfather, and one below five feet is a granddaughter, One that falls between five and six feet is known as a grandmother. The name of the clock derives from an 1876 song called “My Grandfather’s Clock”.

61. "Hardball" airer : MSNBC
"Hardball with Chris Matthews" is a nightly talk-show about politics, airing on MSNBC. The show's host, Chris Matthews, is a colorful character. Matthews served with the Peace Corps from 1968 to 1970, in Swaziland in Africa. He has been back to Africa since and found himself hospitalized in 2002, suffering from malaria that he picked up on one of his trips.

66. Reels from a haymaker : SEES STARS
A haymaker is a wide, swinging punch. It is so called because the action involves using one's weight and shoulder power to deliver the blow, with a motion much like using a scythe to cut hay.

69. Greek philosopher known for paradoxes : ZENO
Zeno of Elea was a Greek philosopher who lived in Elea, a Greek colony in Southern Italy. Zeno is famous for his “paradoxes”, a set of problems that really make you think! In the problem known as Achilles and the Tortoise, Zeno tells us that Achilles races a tortoise, giving the tortoise a head start (of say 100 meters). By the time Achilles reaches the starting point of the tortoise, the tortoise will have moved on, albeit only a small distance. Achilles then sets his sights on the tortoise’s new position and runs to it. Again the tortoise has moved ahead a little. Achilles keeps on moving to the tortoise’s new position but can never actually catch his slower rival. Or can he …?

70. Actor Morales : ESAI
The actor Esai Morales is best known for his role in the 1987 movie "La Bamba", which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai).

71. Icy precipitation : SLEET
Apparently "sleet" is a term used to describe two weather conditions. One is a shower of ice pellets, smaller than hail, and the second is a mixture of rain and snow, with the snow melting as it falls. It's the second definition that I have always used ...

72. Some boxing results, for short : TKOS
In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can't get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly "knocked out". A referee, fighter or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter's safety. In this case the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).

Down
1. "No ___, no fuss" : MUSS
A “muss” is state of disorder, and a term that probably evolved from “mess”. The phrase “no muss, no fuss” means “no bother, no mess made, no excessive hustle and bustle”.

2. Sufficient, to a bard : ENOW
“Enow” is an archaic form of the word "enough".

3. Uniroyal product : TIRE
Uniroyal is the tire brand name used by United States Rubber Company, which in turn is a subsidiary of Michelin North America.

6. Noah's Ark groupings : TWOS
Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board "every clean animal by sevens ... male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth". Apparently "extras" (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

8. Mexican moolah : PESOS
Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dinero, dough and moola (also moolah) are all slang terms for money.

9. Winter attire in Vail : SKI SUIT
The Vail Ski Resort in Colorado is the largest single-mountain ski resort in the whole country. The resort was opened in 1962, basically in the middle of nowhere. It was given the name Vail after Vail Pass which runs by the mountain (now also called Vail Mountain). The town of Vail, Colorado was established four years later in 1966, and now has a population of about 5,000.

10. Ice cream drink : MALT
Walgreens claims to have introduced the malted milkshake, in 1922.

11. Beelike : APIAN
Something described as “apian” is related to bees. “Apis” is the Latin for “bee”.

12. Knockdown of all the pins in two bowls : SPARE
In bowling, the downing of all ten pins in two balls in the same frame is called a "spare", scoring ten points. The player gets a bonus, equal to the number of pins downed with the next ball, which could be up to ten. Hence, a spare can be worth up to 20 points.

18. Protector of stray cats and dogs, for short : SPCA
Unlike in most developed countries, there is no "umbrella" organization in the US with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

24. "___ the season ..." : ‘TIS
The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “tra-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in 19th century. “‘Tis the season to be jolly …”

28. The "E" of Q.E.D. : ERAT
QED is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The QED initialism stands for the Latin "quod erat demonstrandum" meaning "that which was to be demonstrated".

30. Wife of Jacob and in-law of 25-Across : LEAH
According to the Bible, Leah was one of the two wives of Jacob, the other being Leah’s sister Rachel. Jacob’s intention had been to marry Rachel, but the Leah and Rachel’s father “switched” his daughters and provided Leah as the veiled bride. Jacob married Rachel a week later, and lived with the two wives concurrently.

35. Philosopher ___-tzu : LAO
Lao Tse (also Lao-Tzu) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism.

36. Swedish version of Lawrence : LARS
Lars is a Nordic name that is derived from the Roman name Laurentius, and so is related to the English names Laurence and Lawrence. The root name means “crowned with laurel”.

38. City on the Rhine, to locals : KOLN
Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany, and is known as “Koln” in German.

39. Layered hairdo : SHAG
A shag cut is a layered hairstyle. Meg Ryan was famous for wearing a shag cut for many years.

51. Old Russian autocrats : TSARS
The term czar (also tsar) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. "Czar" is derived from the word "Caesar", which was synonymous with "emperor" at that time.

55. "Hungarian Rhapsodies" composer : LISZT
Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was a Hungarian composer and a fabulous pianist. Particularly towards the end of his life, Liszt gained a tremendous reputation as a teacher. While he was in his sixties, his teaching profession demanded that he commute regularly between the cities of Rome, Weimar and Budapest. It is quite remarkable that a man of such advanced age, and in the 1870s, could do so much annual travel. It is estimated that Liszt journeyed at least 4,000 miles every year!

59. "Peter Pan" buccaneer : SMEE
In J. M. Barrie's play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook's pirates and is Hook's right-hand man. Smee is described by Barrie as being "Irish" and "a man who stabbed without offence". Nice guy! Captain Hook and Smee sail on the pirate ship called the Jolly Roger.

60. Jay formerly of late-night : LENO
Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

62. Apollo org. : NASA
The Apollo program is very much associated with President Kennedy, as he gave NASA the challenge to land men on the moon by the end of the sixties. However, the Apollo program was conceived during the Eisenhower administration as a follow-up to Project Mercury that put the first Americans in space.

64. Some CBS forensic spinoffs : CSIS
“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” is apparently the most-watched television show worldwide.

67. Signal from a marooned sailor : SOS
The combination of three dots - three dashes - three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots - pause - three dashes - pause - three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases "Save Our Souls" and "Save Our Ship" are also mnemonics, introduced after the "SOS" signal was adopted.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. 1969 and 1986 World Series champs : METS
5. Web address starter : HTTP
9. Overhead tennis shot : SMASH
14. Troop group : UNIT
15. Little injury, to a toddler : OWIE
16. Phi Beta ___ : KAPPA
17. Touchy subjects : SORE SPOTS
19. Homeric epic : ILIAD
20. 4-0 World Series win, e.g. : SWEEP
21. Beginning that doesn't go smoothly : SLOW START
23. %: Abbr. : PCT
25. Twin of Jacob and in-law of 30-Down : ESAU
26. Prefix with realism : NEO-
27. Leave port : SET SAIL
31. PX patrons : GIS
33. Like classic hospital thermometers : ORAL
34. Lighten one's portfolio, say : SELL STOCKS
40. Texas home of Baylor University : WACO
41. Towing co. name near the start of the Yellow Pages : AAA
42. "Here comes trouble!" : UH-OH!
43. Comes to rest too soon : STOPS SHORT
47. The "she" in the lyric "I'm not the world's most physical guy, / But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine" : LOLA
48. "Yikes!" : EEK!
49. Something to take and "make it better," in the Beatles' "Hey Jude" : SAD SONG
51. Boob tubes : TVS
54. Is under the weather : AILS
57. 12 on a grandfather clock : XII
58. Quits fidgeting : SITS STILL
61. "Hardball" airer : MSNBC
65. Nasal stimulus : AROMA
66. Reels from a haymaker : SEES STARS
68. Get tangled up : RAVEL
69. Greek philosopher known for paradoxes : ZENO
70. Actor Morales : ESAI
71. Icy precipitation : SLEET
72. Some boxing results, for short : TKOS
73. "Darn it!" : RATS!

Down
1. "No ___, no fuss" : MUSS
2. Sufficient, to a bard : ENOW
3. Uniroyal product : TIRE
4. What a nearly vertical hill has : STEEP SLOPE
5. Bunny's movement : HOP
6. Noah's Ark groupings : TWOS
7. Her Royal Highness, e.g. : TITLE
8. Mexican moolah : PESOS
9. Winter attire in Vail : SKI SUIT
10. Ice cream drink : MALT
11. Beelike : APIAN
12. Knockdown of all the pins in two bowls : SPARE
13. Couldn't say no : HAD TO
18. Protector of stray cats and dogs, for short : SPCA
22. Goes back and forth, as a tail : WAGS
24. "___ the season ..." : ‘TIS
27. Scatters, as seeds : SOWS
28. The "E" of Q.E.D. : ERAT
29. Tex-Mex serving : TACO
30. Wife of Jacob and in-law of 25-Across : LEAH
32. Best black female friend : SOUL SISTER
35. Philosopher ___-tzu : LAO
36. Swedish version of Lawrence : LARS
37. When doubled, a child's train : CHOO
38. City on the Rhine, to locals : KOLN
39. Layered hairdo : SHAG
44. It's left when ocean water evaporates : SEA SALT
45. Variety show segment : SKIT
46. I.R.S. money : TAX
50. Loses brightness : DIMS
51. Old Russian autocrats : TSARS
52. Go ___ (spread online) : VIRAL
53. Kitchen range : STOVE
55. "Hungarian Rhapsodies" composer : LISZT
56. Streamlined : SLEEK
59. "Peter Pan" buccaneer : SMEE
60. Jay formerly of late-night : LENO
62. Apollo org. : NASA
63. Young miscreant : BRAT
64. Some CBS forensic spinoffs : CSIS
67. Signal from a marooned sailor : SOS


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2 comments :

Willie D said...

Wow, lots of theme answers for a Monday, well done.

There are two competing stories about LOLA. Ray's "official" version is that it's about the band's manager, who mistakenly tried to seduce a crossdresser one night. The other, funnier, version says Ray dated Candy Darling in NYC a few times; the same "...Candy out on the Island..." mentioned in Lou Reed's "Take A Walk On the Wild Side." Take your pick. Ray is known to be revisionist, like claiming he invented the guitar sound for "You Really Got Me," when everyone knows it was Jimmy Page.

Finally, Frank Costanza knows a lot about "stopping short."

Sfingi said...

I don't know how you'd word an overall clue for SS without causing cringes.

Nice, easy Monday, and no sports or French. I never thought of AAA as a towing company, but maybe that's what it really is.

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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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