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0310-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Mar 16, Thursday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ed Sessa
THEME: VWs … we have a rebus puzzle today with “VV” in some squares. The “VV” is read as V+V in the across-direction, and as W in the down-direction:
65D. Bugs, e.g. ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme : VWS

20A. Old jalopy : FLIVVER
26A. Proficient, computerwise : TECH SAVVY
37A. Subject of medical research since the 1980s : HIV VACCINE
53A. Gunning : REVVING UP
59A. Mufti : CIVVIES

5D. One side of a diner? : COLESLAW
12D. Longtime subscriber, maybe : RENEWER
21D. Ring master's org. : WBA
42D. When a sandbar may appear above the waterline : LOW TIDE
51D. Perform some millwork : SAW
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 14m 55s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Not much : A TAD
Back in the 1800s "tad" was used to describe a young child, and this morphed into our usage of "small amount" in the early 1900s. The original use of "tad" for a child is very likely a shortened version of "tadpole".

5. French writer who co-founded the newspaper Combat : CAMUS
Albert Camus was a French author, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. Sadly, Camus died in a car accident just two years after he received the prize, at only 46 years of age.

10. Adriatic port : BARI
Bari is a major port city on the Adriatic coast of Italy. Bari has the unfortunate distinction of being the only city in Europe to experience chemical warfare during WWII. Allied stores of mustard gas were released during a German bombing raid on Bari in 1943. Fatalities caused by the chemical agent were reported as 69, although other reports list the number as maybe a thousand military personnel and a thousand civilians.

14. Pronoun in "America the Beautiful" : THEE
When she was 33 years old, Katharine Lee Bates took a train ride from Massachusetts to Colorado Springs. She was so inspired by many of the beautiful sights she saw on her journey that she wrote a poem she called "Pikes Peak". Upon publication the poem became quite a hit, and several musical works were adapted to the words of the poem, the most popular being a hymn tune composed by Samuel Ward. Bates's poem and Ward's tune were published together for the first time in 1910, and given the title "America the Beautiful".

15. It covers the globe : OZONE
Ozone gets its name from the Greek word ozein, meaning "to smell". It was given this name as ozone's formation during lightning storms was detected by the gas's distinctive smell. Famously, there is a relatively high concentration of the gas in the “ozone layer” in the Earth’s stratosphere. This ozone layer provides a vital function for animal life on the planet as it absorbs most of the sun’s UV radiation. A molecule of ozone is made up of three oxygen atoms, whereas a “normal” oxygen has just two atoms.

16. Had too much ecstasy, for short? : ODED
Overdose (OD)

“Ecstasy” is a street name for the drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). MDMA was first synthesised way back in 1912, but wasn’t used recreationally until the late sixties and early seventies. The drug was designated a controlled substance in the US in 1988.

17. Former C.I.A. director Panetta : LEON
Leon Panetta was Chief of Staff under President Clinton, and took over as CIA Director in 2009 in the Obama administration. From 2011 to 2013 he also served as Secretary of Defense. Panetta has long been interested in protecting the world's oceans. As an example, he wrote the legislation that created the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

18. Donizetti's lady of Lammermoor : LUCIA
“Lucia di Lammermoor” is an 1835 opera by Gaetano Donizetti, which is loosely based on the historical novel “The Bride of Lammermoor” written by Sir Walter Scott.

19. Rolls for dogs : BUNS
A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.

20. Old jalopy : FLIVVER
“Flivver” is outdated American slang for a small, old, inexpensive car that is in pretty bad shape. Originally applied to the Model-T Ford in the early 1900s, the term was gradually replaced by “jalopy” in the 1930s and 1940s.

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.

26. Proficient, computerwise : TECH SAVVY
The term “savvy”, meaning “understanding”, comes from the French "savez-vous?" that translates as "do you know?"

29. Jai ___ : ALAI
Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world because of the speed of the ball, in fact golf balls usually get going at a greater clip. Although, as a blog reader once pointed out to me, you don’t have to catch a golf ball …

34. Former British P.M. Douglas-Home : ALEC
Sir Alec Douglas-Home was the Prime Minister of the UK from 1963 to 1964. Nowadays the British Prime Minister is chosen from the membership of the House of Commons, and Sir Alec Douglas-Home was the last Prime Minister to be chosen from the House of Lords. He had to give up his peerage though (he was the Earl of Home) in order to take up the post.

36. Old Olds : ALERO
The Oldsmobile Alero was the last car made under the Oldsmobile brand. The Alero was produced from 1999 to 2004.

37. Subject of medical research since the 1980s : HIV VACCINE
Someone infected by the human immunodeficiency virus is said to be HIV positive. After the initial infection, the person is often asymptomatic for many years. Over time, the virus interferes with the immune system and so increasing the chances of picking up serious secondary infections. Those unfortunate enough to develop a severely compromised immune system are said to suffer from acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

40. Big cat in Narnia : ASLAN
In the C. S. Lewis series of books “The Chronicles of Narnia”, Aslan is the name of the lion character (as in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"). "Aslan" is actually the Turkish word for lion. Anyone who has read the books will recognize the the remarkable similarity between the story of Aslan and the story of Christ, including a sacrifice and resurrection.

44. It holds 5,148 potential flushes : DECK
In the game of poker, a “flush” is a hand with all cards in the same suit.

48. "Will it play in ___?" : PEORIA
Peoria is the oldest European settlement in the state of Illinois, having been settled by the French in 1680. The city is famous for being cited as “the average American city”. The phrase, “Will it play in Peoria?” is used to mean, “Will it appeal to the mainstream?” It is believed the expression originated as a corruption of, “We shall play in Peoria”, a line used by some actors in the 1890 novel "Five Hundred Dollars" by Horatio Alger, Jr.

52. Hawaiian bowlful : POI
The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, the traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

57. Former communications corp. : ITT
International Telephone & Telegraph (ITT) was formed in 1920 from the Puerto Rico Telephone Company. ITT divested its telecommunications business in 1986. Today the company is known for its products in the field of water and fluids management, as well motion and flow control. Many of ITT’s products are sold into the aerospace market.

58. Where Dodge City is: Abbr. : KAN
Fort Dodge was in Kansas, on the Santa Fe Trail (connecting Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico). The fort was named after Major General Grenville M. Dodge who was in charge of the army presence in the area. The fort gave its name to Dodge City, Kansas that grew up nearby the fort.

59. Mufti : CIVVIES
“Mufti” is civilian dress that is worn by someone who usually wears a uniform. The term is probably related somehow to the Arabic “mufti”, the word for a Muslim scholar who interprets Islamic law.

62. "Taking you places" network : STARZ
The Starz premium cable channel is owned by the same company that owns the Encore cable channel. Starz was launched in 1994 and mainly shows movies.

64. 1999 Ron Howard satire : EDTV
“EDtv” is a comedy film directed by Ron Howard starring Matthew McConaughey, released in 1999. The plot has a “Big Brother” feel to it, as it is about a TV show broadcasting someone's life, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

66. Foxx of "Sanford and Son" : REDD
Redd Foxx was the stage name of John Elroy Sanford, best known for starring in "Sanford and Son". "Sanford and Son" was an American version of a celebrated hit BBC sitcom that I grew up with in Ireland, called "Steptoe and Son".

69. ___ fixe : IDEE
An "idée fixe" (a French term) is basically a fixed idea, an obsession.

71. "Antenna" : EARS
Remember the television antenna called a "rabbit ears"? I don't recall being told this when I was younger, but to get the best reception the length of the "ears" needs to be set at about one half of the wavelength of the signal of the target channel. If only I had known ...

Down
2. John Donne poem with a line starting "It suck'd me first ..." : THE FLEA
“The Flea” is metaphysical poem by John Donne that was first published in 1633, a couple of years after his death. Despite the less-than-arousing title, “The Flea” is an erotic piece, in which the speaker tries to convince a lady to sleep with him.

John Donne is one of England's most celebrated poets, working at the start of the 17th century. Donne spent much of his life in poverty and even spent a short time in prison for having married his wife without procuring the appropriate permissions. After his release, his wife bore him 12 children in 16 years, passing away a few days after the twelfth child was born.

3. Wind-blown : AEOLIAN
Aeolus was the ruler of the winds in Greek mythology, and he gave his name to the adjective "aeolian" (also “aeolic, eolic”) meaning "windblown", something produced or carried by the wind. For example, an aeolian harp is a fascinating instrument; a box with a sounding board and strings that is "played" by the wind as it blows.

4. Blue material : DENIM
Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase "de Nimes" (from Nimes) gives us the word "denim". Also, the French phrase "bleu de Genes" (blue of Genoa) gives us our word "jeans".

5. One side of a diner? : COLESLAW
The term "coleslaw" is an Anglicized version of the Dutch name "koolsla", which in itself is a shortened form of "Koolsalade" meaning "cabbage salad".

6. Shade of bleu : AZUR
In French, “azur” (azure) is a shade of “bleu” (blue).

The word "azure" came into English from Persian via Old French. The French word "l'azur" was taken from the Persian name for a place in northeastern Afghanistan called "Lazhward" which was the main source of the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli. The stone has a vivid blue color, and "azure" has been describing this color since the 14th century.

7. Soft shoe, for short : MOC
"Moc" is short for “moccasin”, the shoe.

8. Marxist exhortation to "workers of the world" : UNITE
The “Communist Manifesto” written in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels contains the phrase “Proletarians of all countries, unite!” (“Proletarier aller Länder vereinigt Euch!” in German). This evolved into the English saying “Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!” The words “Workers of all lands, unite“ are written on Karl Marx’s headstone in Highgate Cemetery in London.

9. Polar bear habitat : SEA ICE
Sea ice is formed by the freezing of seawater. Because of the salinity of seawater, it freezes at -1.8C. Note that icebergs are not sea ice, because they are formed from frozen show (freshwater) that has broken away and fallen into the ocean.

21. Ring master's org. : WBA
World Boxing Association (WBA)

25. Dancer Charisse : CYD
Actress Cyd Charisse was famous for her dancing ability and the many roles she played opposite Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Charisse carved out a career based on dance despite the fact that she suffered from polio as a child. In fact, she took up ballet at the age of twelve to help build up her strength as she recovered from the disease.

33. Lewis who voiced Lamb Chop : SHARI
Shari Lewis was the original puppeteer behind the PBS children's show "Lamb Chop". After Shari Lewis died in 1998, her daughter Mallory took over the role of puppeteer on the show.

35. Sent a dupe email to : CCED
I wonder do the kids of today know that "cc" stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle?

40. Based on deduction rather than experience : A PRIORI
In the world of philosophy, one can have “a priori” knowledge or “a posteriori” knowledge. A priori (“from the earlier) knowledge is independent of experience, it is just known or assumed. For example, one might say that “all boys are males” is a priori knowledge. A posteriori knowledge relies on experience or some empirical evidence. For example, one might say that “boys are more likely to diagnosed with ADD” is a posteriori knowledge.

45. F.D.A.-banned weight-loss supplement : EPHEDRA
Ephedra is a plant extract used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of asthma and hay fever. Ephedra was banned by the FDA in 2004 as its use has been linked to many fatalities.

46. The drink's on me : COASTER
A "coaster" is a small mat or plate that goes under a glass or cup. Back in the late 1800s, the original coaster was a small drink stand that sat on a table. As the drink stand "coasted" around from guest-to-guest, it earned the name "coaster".

47. Young fox : KIT
A kit is a young mammal of several species, including the ferret and the fox. “Kit” is probably a shortened form of “kitten”.

49. Andre who wrote "Open: An Autobiography" : AGASSI
Renowned tennis professional Andre Agassi wrote an autobiography called "Open", published in 2009. An amazing revelation in the book is that Agassi's famous head of hair was actually a wig for much of his playing career. Can you imagine how hard it must have been to play tennis at his level with a rug stuck on?

56. Wait-'em-out strategy : SIEGE
Our word "siege" comes from a 13th century word for a "seat". The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force "sitting down" outside a fortress until it falls.

59. Saskatchewan native : CREE
The Cree are one of the largest groups of Native Americans on the continent. In the US most of the Cree nation live in Montana on a reservation shared with the Ojibwe people. In Canada most of the Cree live in Manitoba.

The Canadian province of Saskatchewan (Sask.) takes its name from the Saskatchewan River. The river in turn takes its name from the Cree name, which translates as “swift flowing river”. The capital of Saskatchewan is Regina, although the biggest city in the province is Saskatoon.

61. Shelley's "To a Skylark," for one : ODE
“To a Skylark” is an 1820 poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The opening line “Hail to thee, blithe Spirit” is the inspiration used by Noel Coward for the title of his famous comic play called “Blithe Spirit”.

The English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley had strong views on vegetarianism. He was dedicated to the cause of all sentient beings, believing that the slaughter of animals by humans for the use of food was a barbaric practice. He wrote a famous essay on the subject called "A Vindication of Natural Diet" in 1813.

63. Jackie O's man : ARI
Jackie Kennedy Onassis was born into a privileged family, the daughter of Wall Street stock broker John Vernou Bouvier III. Ms. Bouvier moved in the same social circles as the Kennedy clan, and first met the then-US Representative John Kennedy at a dinner party hosted by mutual friends. Years later, after she saw her husband assassinated and then her brother-in-law (Bobby Kennedy) suffer the same fate, Jackie declared that she feared for the life of her children as they bore the Kennedy name. She left the country, eventually meeting and marrying Aristotle Onassis. Reportedly she was very satisfied that the Greek shipping magnate was able to provide privacy and security for her children.

65. Bugs, e.g. ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme : VWS
VW stands for Volkswagen, which translates from German into "people's car". The original Volkswagen design was the Beetle and was built under a directive from Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap car built that ordinary people could afford to purchase. He awarded the contract to engineer Ferdinand Porsche, whose name (paradoxically) would forever be associated with high performance, expensive cars. The Beetle was the official name of the VW model released in North America, but it was usually referred to as a "Bug" here in the US, and a "Beetle" elsewhere in the world.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Not much : A TAD
5. French writer who co-founded the newspaper Combat : CAMUS
10. Adriatic port : BARI
14. Pronoun in "America the Beautiful" : THEE
15. It covers the globe : OZONE
16. Had too much ecstasy, for short? : ODED
17. Former C.I.A. director Panetta : LEON
18. Donizetti's lady of Lammermoor : LUCIA
19. Rolls for dogs : BUNS
20. Old jalopy : FLIVVER
22. Spanish uncle : TIO
24. Pasture : LEA
25. Mounts : CLIMBS
26. Proficient, computerwise : TECH SAVVY
28. Pro vote : YEA
29. Jai ___ : ALAI
31. Overplays one's role : EMOTES
32. In: Fr. : DANS
34. Former British P.M. Douglas-Home : ALEC
36. Old Olds : ALERO
37. Subject of medical research since the 1980s : HIV VACCINE
40. Big cat in Narnia : ASLAN
43. It's inclined to provide entertainment for kids : SLED
44. It holds 5,148 potential flushes : DECK
48. "Will it play in ___?" : PEORIA
50. Exchange at the altar : I DOS
52. Hawaiian bowlful : POI
53. Gunning : REVVING UP
55. Attack : LASH AT
57. Former communications corp. : ITT
58. Where Dodge City is: Abbr. : KAN
59. Mufti : CIVVIES
60. Answer to the old riddle "What's round on the ends and high in the middle?" : OHIO
62. "Taking you places" network : STARZ
64. 1999 Ron Howard satire : EDTV
66. Foxx of "Sanford and Son" : REDD
67. Emphatic follower of yes or no : SIREE!
68. Evolved : GREW
69. ___ fixe : IDEE
70. "O.K., you caught me" : I LIED
71. "Antenna" : EARS

Down
1. N.B.A. div. : ATL
2. John Donne poem with a line starting "It suck'd me first ..." : THE FLEA
3. Wind-blown : AEOLIAN
4. Blue material : DENIM
5. One side of a diner? : COLESLAW
6. Shade of bleu : AZUR
7. Soft shoe, for short : MOC
8. Marxist exhortation to "workers of the world" : UNITE
9. Polar bear habitat : SEA ICE
10. Head motion : BOB
11. Put on a pedestal : ADULATE
12. Longtime subscriber, maybe : RENEWER
13. "Sounds right" : I'D SAY SO
21. Ring master's org. : WBA
23. "Jeez!" : OH MAN!
25. Dancer Charisse : CYD
26. Item often kept with cuff links : TIE CLIP
27. Did a cobbler's job on : SOLED
30. "Ah, well" : ALAS
33. Lewis who voiced Lamb Chop : SHARI
35. Sent a dupe email to : CCED
38. How contracts are signed : IN INK
39. Put on a pedestal : IDOLIZED
40. Based on deduction rather than experience : A PRIORI
41. Smoldered with rage : SEETHED
42. When a sandbar may appear above the waterline : LOW TIDE
45. F.D.A.-banned weight-loss supplement : EPHEDRA
46. The drink's on me : COASTER
47. Young fox : KIT
49. Andre who wrote "Open: An Autobiography" : AGASSI
51. Perform some millwork : SAW
54. Up to : UNTIL
56. Wait-'em-out strategy : SIEGE
59. Saskatchewan native : CREE
61. Shelley's "To a Skylark," for one : ODE
63. Jackie O's man : ARI
65. Bugs, e.g. ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme : VWS


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6 comments :

Willie D said...

If you can ever call a Thursday rebus "easy," this was one. The "VV across/W down" came around pretty quickly. The NW was an odd mixture of stock words and some new ones like FLIVVER. Well, I guess the whole grid felt like that in hindsight.

Dave Kennison said...

17:20, no errors. I wouldn't have said there were enough double-V words in English to make this puzzle possible, but ... there they are ... :-)

Anonymous said...

Deck and coaster got me. I had DETC and Toaster. Couldn't. Could have easily solved it with Google's help but that is cheating, right! Otherwise, a fairly easy puzzle for Thursday. Got the VW rebus pretty early -- very clever one!

Dave Kennison said...

A couple of days ago, I subscribed to the digital edition of the New York Times (and to the NYT crosswords, which are extra) and I've been doing various experiments. Yesterday, for example, I downloaded a puzzle that was published on Sunday, February 7, 1943 (three days after I arrived on the planet), printed a large copy of it, and began working on it. It's a 23x23 with 79 black squares, leaving 450 squares to be filled in. After two or three hours, I had completed 427 of these (a little less than 95%), with one error, leaving 23 unfilled squares. If I had worked another hour, I think I could probably have filled in another 9 squares, but I would then have been hopelessly stuck without turning to reference works. Problematic entries included LIMPIDITY, ZAIN, DALGA, TRAH, BINT, ASADDLE, APPLOT, ENACTION, SPONSAL, APISMS, CAROID, REPIPE, VALUATE, AIRAN, MURED, AVERRAL, MARMARA, EMOL, LEEB, ABBEVILLE, NAPERER, IDANT, DNT, and TYG. This puzzle was created by one Willard N. Jordan and edited by Margaret Farrar and I am forced to observe that those who long for the good old days before Will Shortz came on board and "ruined" everything would be well-advised to try a few of the puzzles that predate his advent ... :-)

Ben F said...

@Dave Kennison - I inherited several Sunday puzzle anthologies from my mother a few years ago. Most were edited by Eugene Maleska and when I pick up one to work on it confirms my impression that the style is substantially different now. The older puzzles have many more obscure foreign language clues as well as English words pulled from the weed choked lot way past left field. Schortz era puzzles are heavier on pop culture (Oh, God, not another rapper clue, please!!!) and much more likely to have a clever theme or other gimmick. I prefer the current style - what is the point of a puzzle that requires knowing specialized vernacular or the Bulgarian word for whatever.... A well constructed puzzle is solvable without such tripe. End of rant.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather have clues that reference a language I don't know, or even suffer those sanctimonious bible book references, than a puzzle laden with sneaky little pun clues that you know Shortz is just grinning like Snidely Whiplash over. Give me Maleska any day.

19:49 today and 6 errors in the top left: not knowing AOLIAN and having AYE for the YEA answer undid that whole sector. But, I suppose the capper was not knowing from FLIVVER.

I drive a 73 Super Beetle, and still didn't "appreciate" the nod in the theme. REBUSES are **NEVER**, **EVER** called for. They just aren't. ONE LETTER PER SQUARE, BASTA!!!!!!

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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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