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0208-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Feb 16, Monday





QuickLinks:
Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications
Solution to today's New York Times crossword found online at the Seattle Times website
Jump to a complete list of today's clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Paolo Pasco
THEME: “It” Couples … each of today’s themed answers includes a COUPLE of incidences of the letter sequence IT:
61A. Tabloid twosomes ... or a hint to the answers to the starred clues : “IT” COUPLES

17A. *Like a nursery rhyme spider : ITSY BITSY
39A.*Big seller for Sports Illustrated : SWIMSUIT EDITION
11D. *Basics, informally : NITTY GRITTY
26D. *Place often marked with a star on 24-Down : CAPITAL CITY
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Golden calf, e.g. : IDOL
According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, Aaron made a golden calf as an idol for the Israelites to worship while Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments. When Moses returned, he became angry on seeing the calf and destroyed it.

15. Goya's "The Naked ___" : MAJA
María Cayetana de Silva was the 13th duchess of Alba. She was a favorite subject of the Spanish painter Francisco Goya. The duchess is the subject in the famous portraits known as “La maja desnuda” (The Nude Maja) and “La maja vestida” (The Clothed Maja). “Maja” translates from Spanish as “beautiful lady”.

16. Mythical hunter : ORION
The very recognizable constellation of Orion is named for the Greek God Orion, the Hunter. If you take a look at the star in Orion's "right shoulder", the second brightest star in the constellation, you might notice that it is quite red in color. This is the famous star called Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, a huge star that is on its way out. Betelgeuse is expected to explode into a supernova within the next thousand years or so. You don't want to miss that ...

17. *Like a nursery rhyme spider : ITSY BITSY
The Itsy Bitsy Spider crawled up the water spout.
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain,
And the Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the spout again.

19. Paris transport system : METRO
The Paris Métro is the busiest underground transportation system in western Europe, carrying about 4.5 million passengers a day, which is about the same as the New York City Subway. The system took its name from the company that originally operated it, namely "La Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris", which was shorted to “Métro”. The term “Metro” was then adopted for similar systems in cities all over the world.

20. Queen in "Frozen" : ELSA
“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”.

21. Setting for much of "Breaking Bad" : LAB
The AMC drama “Breaking Bad” is a well-written show about a high school teacher stricken by lung cancer who turns to a life of crime to make money. It turns out that he has a talent for making high-quality crystal meth.

23. Boxing decision, for short : TKO
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).

24. Typists' timesavers : MACROS
A macroinstruction (usually shortened to “macro”) is a set of instructions in a computer program that are abbreviated to one simple command.

29. Palindromic girl's name : AVA
The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:
- Able was I ere I saw Elba
- A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
- Madam, I'm Adam
One of my favorite words is "Aibohphobia", although it doesn't appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. "Aibohphobia" is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix "-phobia".

30. Host Banks of TV's "America's Next Top Model" : TYRA
Tyra Banks is a tremendously successful model and businesswoman. Banks created and hosts the hit show “America’s Next Top Model “, and also has her own talk show. She was also the first African American woman to make the cover of the “Sports Illustrated" swimsuit issue.

35. Galley propellers : OARS
Galleys were large medieval ships mainly found in the Mediterranean. They were propelled by a combination of sails and oars.

37. Laura of "The Fault in Our Stars" : DERN
The actress Laura Dern is the daughter of the actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Laura played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

39. *Big seller for Sports Illustrated : SWIMSUIT EDITION
The first swimsuit edition of "Sports Illustrated" magazine was published in 1964, a successful attempt to boost sales during the slow winter months.

43. Sci-fi phaser setting : STUN
A MASER is a device that was around long before LASERs came into the public consciousness. A MASER (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is similar to a LASER, but microwaves are emitted rather than light waves. When the storyline for "Star Trek" was being developed, the writers introduced a weapon called a "phaser", with the name "phaser" derived from PHoton mASER.

44. 1962 007 villain : DR NO
"Dr. No" may have been the first film in the wildly successful James Bond franchise, but it was the sixth novel in the series of books penned by Ian Fleming. Fleming was inspired to write the story after reading the Fu Manchu tales by Sax Rohmer. If you've read the Rohmer books or seen the films, you'll recognize the similarities between the characters Dr. No and Fu Manchu.

46. Diva's delivery : ARIA
"Diva" comes to us from Latin via Italian. "Diva" is the feminine form of "divus" meaning "divine one". The word is used in Italy to mean "goddess" or "fine lady", and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

50. "No one wants to hear about that!" : TMI
Too much information! (TMI)

51. Gesture of sarcastic support : GOLF CLAP
A “golf clap” is a deliberately quiet and soft clap, a form of applause that is considered appropriate at a golf tournament.

54. Buffy, to vampires : SLAYER
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is a TV series that originally aired from 1997 to 2003. “Buffy …” was incredibly successful, especially given that it wasn’t aired on the one of the big four networks. The show was created by Joss Whedon and starred Sarah Michelle Gellar in the title role.

56. Duke's athletic grp. : ACC
Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

Duke University was founded in 1838 as Brown’s Schoolhouse. The school was renamed to Trinity College in 1859, and to this day the town where the college was located back then is known as Trinity, in honor of the school. The school was moved in 1892 to Durham, North Carolina in part due to generous donations from the wealthy tobacco industrialist Washington Duke. Duke’s donation required that the school open its doors to women, placing them on an equal footing with men. Trinity’s name was changed to Duke in 1924 in recognition of the generosity of the Duke family.

57. "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" sister : KIM
Kim Kardashian is a socialite and television personality. She was introduced into society by her friend, Paris Hilton. Kardashian’s name first hit the headlines when a homemade sex tape made by her and singer Ray J was leaked.

59. Fixture at a subway entrance : STILE
A stile is a structure allowing people to pass over or through a fence, while at the same time preventing livestock from escaping. The derivative term “turnstile” describes a revolving structure in a wall or fence that allows the controlled passage of people.

66. Name repeated before "pumpkin eater" : PETER
“Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater” is a nursery rhyme that has been around in the US at least since the early 1800s. It is possibly derived from an older English rhyme, but pumpkins certainly weren’t in the English version.

67. Manhattan neighborhood next to TriBeCa : SOHO
The Manhattan neighborhood known today as SoHo was very fashionable in the early 1900s, but as the well-heeled started to move uptown the area became very run down and poorly maintained. Noted for the number of fires that erupted in derelict buildings, SoHo earned the nickname "Hell's Hundred Acres". The area was then zoned for manufacturing and became home to many sweatshops. In the mid-1900s artists started to move into open loft spaces and renovating old buildings as the lofts were ideal locations in which an artist could both live and work. In 1968, artists and others organized themselves so that they could legalize their residential use of an area zoned for manufacturing. The group they formed took its name from the name given to the area by the city's Planning Commission i.e "South of Houston". This was shortened from So-uth of Ho-uston to SoHo as in the SoHo Artists Association, and the name stuck.

TriBeCa is a clever little acronym that expands into "TRI-angle BE-low CA-nal Street". The name was developed by local residents who basically copied the naming technique used by residents of the neighboring area of SoHo, which is short for "SO-uth of HO-uston Street".

70. Part of the Grim Reaper's getup : HOOD
The Grim Reaper one of the personifications of death, along with the Hooded One and the Angel of Death. Death has been depicted since the 1400s as a skeleton in a hooded, black cloak and carrying a scythe. The name “Grim Reaper” only dates back to the mid-1800s.

71. "I'd like 'The New York Times Crossword' for $200, ___" : ALEX
The word is that Alex Trebek will step down as host of the game show “Jeopardy” in 2016, when his current contract expires. The list of names mentioned to replace Trebek includes Brian Williams, Dan Patrick, Matt Lauer and Anderson Cooper. I vote for Cooper, but I can't see him taking the job ...

Down
1. Org. with a Most Wanted list : FBI
What we know today as the FBI was set up in 1908 as the BOI, the Bureau of Investigation. The name was changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order .

2. Pied Piper's follower : RAT
The legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin dates back to medieval times. Recently there have been suggestions that the story is rooted in some truth, that the town of Hamelin did in fact lose many of its children, perhaps to plague. The suggestion is that the tale is an allegory.

4. "Twilight" author Stephenie : MEYER
The reference is to a character in the “Twilight" series of books by Stephenie Meyer. "The Twilight Saga" is a series of films based on the books. The “Twilight” books feature vampires, and I don’t do vampires ...

6. Figures to be processed : DATA
Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

7. Breakfast drinks, briefly : OJS
Orange juice (OJ)

8. 1972 hit for Eric Clapton : LAYLA
"Layla" is one of the great rock anthems of the seventies, released by Derek and the Dominos in December of 1970. It is a masterpiece of composition, with the first half of the song a great vehicle for the guitar-playing talents of Eric Clapton. The second half is a beautifully melodic piano coda (a coda ... taking up half the length of the track!). To top things off we have the "unplugged" version recorded by Clapton in 1992, a fabulous and inventive variation on the original.
Layla, you've got me on my knees.
Layla, I'm begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind.

9. Coach who said "The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work" : LOMBARDI
Football player and coach Vince Lombardi had quite a few motivating lines, including:
- Winning is not a sometime thing, it is an all the time thing. You don’t do things right once in awhile … you do them right all the time.
- The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work.

12. Dweebs : DORKS
I consider "dork" to be pretty offensive slang. It emanated in the sixties among American students, and has its roots in another slang term, a term for male genitalia.

Dweeb is relatively recent American slang that came out of college life in the late sixties. Dweeb, squarepants, nerd, they're all not-nice terms that mean the same thing: someone excessively studious and socially inept.

13. Stuck-up sort : SNOOT
"Snoot" is a variant of "snout" and is a word that originated in Scotland. The idea is that someone who is “snooty”, or snouty, tends to look down his or her nose at the rest of the world.

18. Rorschach test element : BLOT
The Rorschach test is a psychological test in which a subject is asked to interpret a series of inkblots. The test was created by Swiss Freudian psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach in the 1920s.

22. Org. for Nadal and Federer : ATP
The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is an organization that looks out for the interests of male tennis professionals. The equivalent organization for women is the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).

Rafael “Rafa” Nadal is a Spanish tennis player, noted for his expertise on clay courts, earning him the nickname "The King of Clay".

Roger Federer is a Swiss tennis player considered by many to be the greatest tennis player of all time. Federer is married to former tennis pro Mirka Vavrinec. The couple are parents to two sets of twins.

24. Atlas contents : MAPS
The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator's collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term "atlas".

27. Something to pack up the trunk for : CAR TRIP
In North America we use the word “trunk” for the storage space in the back of a vehicle as that space is reminiscent of the large travelling chest called a “trunk”. Such trunks used to be lashed onto the back of automobiles before storage was integrated. On the other side of the Atlantic, a trunk is known as a “boot”. The original boot was a built-in storage compartment on a horse-drawn carriage on which a coachman would sit.

31. "Kills bugs dead!" brand : RAID
Raid insecticide has been killing bugs since 1956.

34. Blue creature of old Saturday morning TV : SMURF
The Smurfs are little blue men created by a Belgian cartoonist in 1958. The Smurfs became famous in the US when Hanna-Barbera used them in a children's cartoon series. The characters are largely a group of males. The original lineup included just one "Smurfette", who is wooed by almost all of the boy Smurfs. Later, another female was introduced into the mix called Sassette, and still later along came Granny Smurf.

40. 3 Musketeers alternative : SNICKERS
Snickers is a candy bar made by Mars. When I was growing up in Ireland, the same candy bar was sold as a Marathon. The name was changed in Europe to Snickers in 1990. 75% of the world’s Snickers bars are made in the Mars factory in Waco, Texas.

Today’s 3 Musketeers candy bar comprises a chocolate whipped filling in a chocolate covering. There’s a “3” in the name of the bar because it was introduced in 1932 with three pieces in one package, with chocolate, strawberry and vanilla fillings. The latter flavors were dropped during WWII due to wartime sugar restrictions.

42. Dark film genre : NOIR
The expression "film noir" has French origins, but only in that it was coined by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning "black film" in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be "The Big Sleep" and "D.O.A".

47. Boxer Muhammad : ALI
Muhammad Ali won 56 professional fights, 37 of which were knockouts. He lost 5 fights, 4 being decisions and one being a technical knockout (TKO). The TKO-loss was Ali’s second-last fight, against Larry Holmes. By the time Ali took on Holmes, he was already showing signs of Parkinson’s Syndrome, although the diagnosis would not come until four years later. Ali turned out for his last two fights largely because he needed the money. A sad end to a career, I’d say …

49. Baseball's Moises or Jesus : ALOU
Jesus Alou played major league baseball, as did his brothers Matty and Felipe, and as does Felipe's son Moises.

53. Barn-raising group : AMISH
The Amish are a group of Christian churches, a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. The Amish church originated in Switzerland and Alsace in 1693 when it was founded by Jakob Ammann. It was Ammann who gave the name to the Amish people. Many Amish people came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

55. Pet-protecting org. : ASPCA
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.

60. Gen. Robert E. ___ : LEE
Robert E. Lee is renowned as a southern officer in the Civil War. Lee was a somewhat reluctant participant in the war in that he opposed the secession of his home state of Virginia from the Union. At the beginning of the war, President Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the whole Union Army but he declined, choosing instead to stay loyal to his home state. During the Civil War, Lee’s men referred to him affectionately as “Marse Robert”, with “marse” being slang for “master”.

62. When repeated, pretentious : TOO
Too, too pretentious :)

63. [That is so funny] : LOL
Laugh out loud (LOL, in text-speak)

65. Possible reason for an R rating : SEX
The Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Gift tag word : FROM
5. Golden calf, e.g. : IDOL
9. Comes to earth : LANDS
14. Use the oven : BAKE
15. Goya's "The Naked ___" : MAJA
16. Mythical hunter : ORION
17. *Like a nursery rhyme spider : ITSY BITSY
19. Paris transport system : METRO
20. Queen in "Frozen" : ELSA
21. Setting for much of "Breaking Bad" : LAB
23. Boxing decision, for short : TKO
24. Typists' timesavers : MACROS
27. What sets things in motion : CATALYST
29. Palindromic girl's name : AVA
30. Host Banks of TV's "America's Next Top Model" : TYRA
32. Fussy sort : PRIG
33. Daddy-o : POPS
35. Galley propellers : OARS
37. Laura of "The Fault in Our Stars" : DERN
39. *Big seller for Sports Illustrated : SWIMSUIT EDITION
43. Sci-fi phaser setting : STUN
44. 1962 007 villain : DR NO
45. Palindromic boy's name : OTTO
46. Diva's delivery : ARIA
48. Brainstorm : IDEA
50. "No one wants to hear about that!" : TMI
51. Gesture of sarcastic support : GOLF CLAP
54. Buffy, to vampires : SLAYER
56. Duke's athletic grp. : ACC
57. "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" sister : KIM
58. Psych 101 subjects : EGOS
59. Fixture at a subway entrance : STILE
61. Tabloid twosomes ... or a hint to the answers to the starred clues : “IT” COUPLES
66. Name repeated before "pumpkin eater" : PETER
67. Manhattan neighborhood next to TriBeCa : SOHO
68. Boater's haven : COVE
69. Eye sores : STYES
70. Part of the Grim Reaper's getup : HOOD
71. "I'd like 'The New York Times Crossword' for $200, ___" : ALEX

Down
1. Org. with a Most Wanted list : FBI
2. Pied Piper's follower : RAT
3. Gives the go-ahead : OKS
4. "Twilight" author Stephenie : MEYER
5. Long-distance lover's lament : I MISS YOU
6. Figures to be processed : DATA
7. Breakfast drinks, briefly : OJS
8. 1972 hit for Eric Clapton : LAYLA
9. Coach who said "The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work" : LOMBARDI
10. "Gone ___ the days ..." : ARE
11. *Basics, informally : NITTY GRITTY
12. Dweebs : DORKS
13. Stuck-up sort : SNOOT
18. Rorschach test element : BLOT
22. Org. for Nadal and Federer : ATP
24. Atlas contents : MAPS
25. Boldly states : AVOWS
26. *Place often marked with a star on 24-Down : CAPITAL CITY
27. Something to pack up the trunk for : CAR TRIP
28. Intentionally mislead : LIE TO
31. "Kills bugs dead!" brand : RAID
34. Blue creature of old Saturday morning TV : SMURF
36. Transmit : SEND
38. "You're looking at the wrong guy" : NOT ME
40. 3 Musketeers alternative : SNICKERS
41. Volunteers, gives to charity, etc. : DOES GOOD
42. Dark film genre : NOIR
47. Boxer Muhammad : ALI
49. Baseball's Moises or Jesus : ALOU
51. "Oh no you didn't!" sounds : GASPS
52. Singing eightsome : OCTET
53. Barn-raising group : AMISH
55. Pet-protecting org. : ASPCA
58. Talk back? : ECHO
60. Gen. Robert E. ___ : LEE
62. When repeated, pretentious : TOO
63. [That is so funny] : LOL
64. New Year's ___ : EVE
65. Possible reason for an R rating : SEX


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6 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

~11 minutes (messed up the timing), no errors. This puzzle seemed a bit harder than the usual Monday outing. I'd never heard of a GOLF CLAP or the song LAYLA and I had to guess at ATP and IT COUPLES. And the theme went right over my head ... definitely not one of my better days ... :-)

One of the many things I like about the NYT crossword is that it often encourages me to read things that I otherwise wouldn't. For instance, Saturday's puzzle mentioned the World War 1 Battle of the Marne, in which tanks were first used (and a poster mentioned the subsequent Battle of Camrai, which saw the first large-scale use of them). This led me to spend some time browsing relevant Wikipedia articles about those battles and about the "War to End All Wars" in general. Isn't it wonderful that, since all the mayhem ended, we humans have learmed to live together in peace and harmony, eschewing all forms of mass murder, and resolving our disputes using reason, compassion, and good will?

Dave Kennison said...

Oops. Make that Battle of the "Somme", not "Marne"! *Definitely* not one of my better days! ... :-(

Dale Stewart said...

No errors. No erasures. I had to take some of the fill-in carefully but there was nothing that I couldn't think my way through. Very satisfying Monday.

BruceB said...

7:52, no errors. I also felt that this was a bit trickier than the usual Monday puzzle. The theme is extraneous, I didn't get the theme until I came here.

Had IN COUPLES for 61A, but 'NOO NOO' didn't make as much sense as 'TOO TOO'. I was also not familiar with Breaking Bad, or the ATP, so originally guessed LIB (Libya? or Library?) for 21A, in lieu of LAB (Laboratory).

Anonymous said...

7:24, no mistakes. Throw-away theme, I agree a little harder than your standard Monday fare.

Anonymous said...

It seemed like a typical Monday puzzle; what I didn't know I could solve by the crosses. It also contained one of my pet peeves--AVOW vs. AVER. Based on Merriam-Webster's definitions of the two words, AVERS is the more appropriate answer to 25D. It would be nice to see a rebus puzzle where both AVOW and AVER (and their crosses) are correct answers (maybe include OCTET and OCTAD and their crosses as correct answers, too). I wouldn't be surprised if it's already been done some Thursday in the past.

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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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