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0402-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Apr 16, Saturday





QuickLinks:
Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Doug Peterson & Brad Wilber
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 22m 12s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Like Michael Strahan of "Live! With Kelly and Michael" : GAP-TOOTHED
When Regis Philbin retired from his famous morning talk show with Kelly Ripa, he was eventually replaced by former NFL player Michael Strahan. Apparently Strahan’s addition to the show has been extremely well received by audiences.

11. Market IDs : UPCS
UPC stands for Universal Price Code or Universal Product Code. The first UPC-marked item to get scanned in a store was on June 26, 1974 at 08:01 a.m. at Marsh's supermarket in Troy, Ohio. It was a 10-pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit chewing gum …

15. Mattie Silver's love, in fiction : ETHAN FROME
"Ethan Frome" is a novel by New York and Massachusetts author Edith Wharton, first published in 1911. Wharton started “Ethan Frome” as a composition in French that she wrote while studying the language in Paris.

16. Certain siege defense : MOAT
A “moat” is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or a an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.

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.

17. Trader Joe's competitor : WHOLE FOODS
The first Whole Foods Market was opened in 1980 by John Mackey and partners in Austin, Texas. For the two years prior to the Whole Foods launch, Mackay was operating his natural foods store that he called “Saferway”, as opposed to “Safeway”. Clever name …

Trader Joe's is a grocery store chain based in Monrovia, California that was founded in 1979 by Joe Coulombe. Trader Joe’s is very popular where I live, even though it stocks less than 10% of the items found in a typical grocery store. 80% of the items on the shelves are sold under a Trader Joe’s brand name, and are obviously chosen well. One of the more successful items is Charles Shaw wine, known as “Two Buck Chuck” here in California as it sold for many years at a price of $1.99.

22. 1950s gym event : HOP
Sock hops were high school dances typically held in the school gym or cafeteria. The term "sock hop" originated because the dancers were often required to remove their shoes to protect the varnished floor in the gym.

23. Flavoring for springerle biscuits and cookies : ANISE
The “springerle” biscuit originated in Germany, and is a cookie with an elaborate, embossed design. The design is pressed into the dough using a mold, after which the dough is allowed to dry before baking. Springerle biscuits are usually rectangular, quite thick and hard, and often flavored with anise. They are particularly popular during the Christmas season. The name “springerle” can be translated from German as either “little jumping horse” or “little knight”.

25. San Diego Zoo's ___ Cam : PANDA
Panda’s have a particularly short mating season, lasting only a few days per year. The zookeepers at San Diego Zoo like to give the pandas some well-deserved privacy during this time, so the popular Internet “Panda Cam” is shut down for about a week.

26. Grp. headquartered in Ramallah : PLO
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964. The PLO’s early stated goal was the liberation of Palestine, with Palestine defined as the geographic entity that existed under the terms of the British Mandate granted by the League of Nations back in 1923. The PLO was granted observer status (i.e. no voting rights) at the United Nations in 1974.

Ramallah is a city located just north of Jerusalem that serves as the administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority.

27. Service branch disbanded in 1978, briefly : WAC
The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was formed in 1942, and the unit was converted to full status the following year to become the Women's Army Corps (WAC). Famously, General Douglas MacArthur referred to the WACs as his "best soldiers", saying they worked harder, complained less and were better disciplined than men. The WACs were disbanded in 1978 and the serving members were integrated into the rest of the army.

32. "41" : BUSH SR
President George H. W. Bush served in the US Navy during WWII. Future President Bush postponed his entry into college after the attack on Pearl Harbor and enlisted in the navy instead. When he earned his wings, he was the youngest aviator in the US Navy at that time.

34. "Madam Secretary" star : LEONI
Téa Leoni is an American actress. One of Leoni’s early parts was in the great film "A League of Their Own" (a minor role, Racine at first base). She also played Sam Malone's fiancée on "Cheers" and opposite Adam Sandler in "Spanglish". My favorite of her more prominent movie roles was as Jane in "Fun with Dick and Jane". Leoni is now playing the title role in the drama series “Madam Secretary”, a show that I really enjoy ...

“Madam Secretary” is TV show that first aired in 2014. It is about an ex-CIA analyst who is appointed as US Secretary of State. Téa Leoni plays the title role, ably supported by a favorite actress of mine, Bebe Neuwirth. I like this show …

35. Item on many a patio : HIBACHI
The traditional hibachi in Japan is a heating device, often a ceramic bowl or box that holds burning charcoal. This native type of hibachi isn't used for cooking, but rather as a space heater (a brazier). Here in the US we use the term hibachi to refer to a charcoal grill used as a small cooking stove, which in Japanese would be called a "shichirin". “Hibachi” is Japanese for “firepot” coming from “hi” meaning “fire”, and “bachi” meaning “bowl, pot”.

38. The Georgia Peach or the Sultan of Swat, e.g. : EPITHET
An “epithet” is a word or phrase, often used in a name, to describe a quality of the person or thing bearing that name. For example, King Richard I was also known as Richard the Lionheart.

The baseball player Ty Cobb was born in Narrows, Georgia and died 74 years later in Atlanta, Georgia. He was nicknamed “The Georgia Peach”. Cobb was one of the richest baseball players of all times. When he retired, Cobb was a major stockholder of the Coca-Cola Corporation. By the time he passed away in 1961, Cobb had an even bigger investment in General Electric. He left an estate after his death worth about $86m (in 2008 dollars). The most common nickname associated with Cobb during his career was “the Georgia Peach”.

Baseball legend George Herman Ruth, Jr. had several nicknames, the best known being “Babe”. He was also called “the Bambino” and “the Sultan of Swat”.

40. "Sir, you are no gentleman" speaker : O’HARA
An oft-quoted exchange takes place between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in the movie “Gone with the Wind”. Scarlett says to Rhett, “Sir, you are no gentleman", to which Rhett replies, “And you, Miss, are no lady.”

41. Member of the grammar police, e.g. : PEDANT
A pedant, someone who is pedantic, is a person "who trumpets minor points of learning", a person who tends to nit-pick. "Pedant" comes via Middle French from the Italian word "pedante" meaning "teacher".

45. Miss from Metz: Abbr. : MLLE
Señorita (Srta.) is Spanish and mademoiselle (Mlle.) is French for “Miss”.

The city of Metz is in the northeast of France, close to the German border. Given the proximity to Germany, Metz has both a strong German tradition and a French tradition. Metz was handed over to the French following WWI, after nearly 50 years of German rule. It quickly fell back into German hands in 1940 during WWII, with many German officers delighted to have back the city of their birth. Perhaps because of this long association with Germany, the US Army under General Patton encountered stiff resistance when liberating Metz in 1944.

49. Crib note? : WAH!
You might hear a baby crying “wah” from his or her crib.

50. Toaster, at times : EMCEE
The term "emcee" comes from "MC", an initialism standing for Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

Did you ever wonder why we use the term "toast" to drink someone's health? The tradition probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word "toast" was an indicator that the lady's beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say ...

57. "Being ___" (2015 documentary featuring many wipeouts) : EVEL
Daredevil Evel Knievel contracted hepatitis C from the many blood transfusions that he needed after injuries incurred during stunts. He had to have a liver transplant as a result, but his health declined after that. Knievel eventually passed away in 2007.

58. Name on 2012 campaign posters : RYAN
Paul Ryan was the Republican nominee for Vice President in the 2012 election, on the ticket with Mitt Romney. Off the political stage, Ryan is famous for his fitness regime. He has shared that much of his motivation to work out and to watch his diet is because there is a history of heart attacks at an early age in his family. Ryan was elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2015 after John Boehner resigned. At 45, Ryan then became the youngest Speaker since 1875.

64. Puzzle (out) : SUSS
The verb “to suss” means “to figure out”. The term originated in the 1950s as police slang, a shortening of “to suspect”.

65. Gondola settings : SKI RESORTS
The word "gondola" was originally limited to the famous boats that travel along the canals of Venice. When man started to fly through the air in hot air balloons, "gondola" was used for the basket in which the passenger(s) traveled. By extension, the structure carrying passengers and crew under an airship is also called a gondola, as are the cars suspended from a cable at a ski resort.

Down
1. Showy trinket : GEWGAW
A “gewgaw” is a trinket, and trivial piece of jewelry. A new term to me …

2. Figure on many ancient Greek coins : ATHENA
The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today's perception of the owl as being "wise".

6. Takes out : OFFS
To “take out, off” is to “kill, murder.”

9. Port in Lower Saxony : EMDEN
The German city of Emden sits on the River Ems, and is a port on the North Sea coast of Germany.

10. Bastille prisoner of 1784-89 : DE SADE
The Marquis de Sade was a French aristocrat with a reputation for a libertine lifestyle. De Sade was also a writer, well known for his works of erotica. He fell foul of the law for some of his more extreme practices and for blaspheming the Catholic church. On an off, de Sade spent 32 years of his life in prison and in insane asylums.

The Bastille is a former fortress in Paris that was used as a prison by the kings of France. On 14 July 1789 an angry mob stormed the Bastille during the French Revolution. The mob was actually after the stores of gunpowder in the fortress, and while inside the building freed seven prisoners and killed the Bastille’s governor. The storming of the Bastille became a symbol of the French Revolution and has been celebrated in France on every July 14th since 1790.

12. Discount : POOH-POOH
“To pooh-pooh” something is to express disdain for it, to dismiss it lightly. The earliest known written use of the term “pooh” is such a context is in the text of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. Polonius addresses his daughter Ophelia with the words:
Affection! pooh! you speak like a green girl,
Unsifted in such perilous circumstance.
Do you believe his tenders, as you call them?

13. The "you" in the Neil Diamond lyric "Reachin' out, touchin' me, touchin' you" : CAROLINE
“Sweet Caroline” is a classic soft rock song written and performed by Neil Diamond. The inspiration for the song was Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F Kennedy. Sweet Caroline Kennedy was 11 years old at the time the song was released.

24. Erudite : EDUCATED
“Erudite” is a lovely-sounding word meaning “learned, well-educated”. The term comes from the Latin verb “erudire” meaning “to educate”, or more literally “to bring out of the rough”.

31. 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee : JETT
Joan Jett is the stage name of rock guitarist and singer Joan Marie Larkin. She is best known as a member of the band Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, which formed in 1979.

33. Kind of day : RED-LETTER
A red-letter day is a day that is special for some reason. The term comes from the illuminated manuscripts of Medieval times. In such documents, initial letters were often written in red ink, so-called “red letters”.

35. Where Arithmancy is an elective : HOGWARTS
In J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” universe, The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was founded by the four most brilliant witches and wizards of their time: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin. Each of the founders lent their name to a House in the school, i.e. Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

37. Houseware purchases that may have suction cups : BATH MATS
Maybe it’s just me, but I think of a “bath mat” as basically a towel that provides a water-absorbing, non-slip surface as one steps out of a bath or shower. The plastic mat with suction cups on the underside that sits inside a bath or shower, that I call a “shower mat”.

39. Crony : PAL
A crony is a friend or companion. The term originated as slang in Cambridge University in England in the 1600s. “Crony” is probably derived from the Greek “khronios” meaning “long-lasting”.

42. Some commencement dignitaries : EMERITI
Emeritus (female form “emerita”, plural “emeriti”) is a term in the title of some retired professionals, particularly those from academia. Originally an emeritus was a veteran soldier who had served his time. The term comes from the Latin verb "emerere" meaning to complete one's service.

44. "w"-like letters in foreign writing : OMEGAS
Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and is the one that looks like a horseshoe when in uppercase. The lowercase omega looks like a Latin W. The word "omega" literally means "great O" (O-mega). Compare this with the Greek letter Omicron meaning "little O" (O-micron).

46. French erudition : SAVOIR
"Savoir-faire" is a French term, and literally means "to know (how) to do". There's a similar term in French that we haven't absorbed into English, "savoir-vivre" meaning "to know how to live". Savoir-vivre describes the ability to acquit oneself well in the world, in society.

47. Animal revered by ancient Peruvians : OCELOT
The ocelot is found mainly in South and Central America, although there have been sightings as far north as Arkansas. An ocelot doesn't look too different from a domestic cat, and some have been kept as pets. Perhaps most famously, Salvador Dali had one that he carried around everywhere with him.

48. Detour markers : PYLONS
“Pylon” can be used as another word for a traffic cone.

51. Contents of a do-it-yourselfer's gun : 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".

53. Sauce traditionally made in a mortar : PESTO
The term “pesto” applies to anything made by pounding. What we tend to know as “pesto” sauce is more properly called “pesto alla genovese”, pesto from Genoa in northern Italy. I love, love pesto sauce ...

I’ve always loved the sound of the words “mortar” and “pestle”, ever since I was first introduced to them in the chemistry lab. The Romans called a receptacle for pounding or grinding things a “mortarium”, giving us “mortar”. Mortarium was also the word for the product of pounding and grinding, which gives us our “mortar” that's used with bricks to build a wall. And further, short stubby cannons used in the 16th century resembled a grinding bowl and so were called “mortars”, which evolved into our contemporary weapon of the same name. As far as the pestle is concerned, it is also derived from its Latin name “pistillum”, which comes from the word for “crush”.

56. Word in many punny Bugs Bunny titles : HARE
Here are the titles of some Bugs Bunny cartoons:
- “The Million Hare” (1963)
- “Wet Hare” (1962)
- “Lighter Than Hare” (1960)
- “Now Hare This” (1958)
- “To Hare Is Human” (1956)

59. Some R.S.V.P.s : NOS
RSVP stands for "répondez s'il vous plaît", which is French for "please, answer".

61. Hall figures, for short : RAS
RAs are resident assistants or resident advisers, the peer leaders found in residence halls, particularly on a college campus.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Like Michael Strahan of "Live! With Kelly and Michael" : GAP-TOOTHED
11. Market IDs : UPCS
15. Mattie Silver's love, in fiction : ETHAN FROME
16. Certain siege defense : MOAT
17. Trader Joe's competitor : WHOLE FOODS
18. Little sweater : PORE
19. What you might have for bad eyesight : GENE
20. Cross with : SORE AT
22. 1950s gym event : HOP
23. Flavoring for springerle biscuits and cookies : ANISE
25. San Diego Zoo's ___ Cam : PANDA
26. Grp. headquartered in Ramallah : PLO
27. Service branch disbanded in 1978, briefly : WAC
28. Meet component : DASH
30. Strongly urge : ENJOIN
32. "41" : BUSH SR
34. "Madam Secretary" star : LEONI
35. Item on many a patio : HIBACHI
38. The Georgia Peach or the Sultan of Swat, e.g. : EPITHET
40. "Sir, you are no gentleman" speaker : O’HARA
41. Member of the grammar police, e.g. : PEDANT
43. Bugs : GETS TO
45. Miss from Metz: Abbr. : MLLE
46. Be all wet : SOP
49. Crib note? : WAH!
50. Toaster, at times : EMCEE
52. Not focused : SPACY
54. Company division : ARM
55. Want : DEARTH
57. "Being ___" (2015 documentary featuring many wipeouts) : EVEL
58. Name on 2012 campaign posters : RYAN
60. Metal staple : GUITAR SOLO
62. Completely, after "in" : TOTO
63. Bridal shop service : ALTERATION
64. Puzzle (out) : SUSS
65. Gondola settings : SKI RESORTS

Down
1. Showy trinket : GEWGAW
2. Figure on many ancient Greek coins : ATHENA
3. Pronunciation-related : PHONIC
4. Things voyagers bring home : TALES
5. First of all : ONE
6. Takes out : OFFS
7. Navy vessel : TROOPSHIP
8. Shouts of victory : HOORAHS
9. Port in Lower Saxony : EMDEN
10. Bastille prisoner of 1784-89 : DE SADE
11. Person staying near home : UMP
12. Discount : POOH-POOH
13. The "you" in the Neil Diamond lyric "Reachin' out, touchin' me, touchin' you" : CAROLINE
14. "Hurry!" : STEP ON IT!
21. Wristwatches may make them : TAN LINES
24. Erudite : EDUCATED
29. Remnant in a 35-Across : ASH
31. 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee : JETT
32. Excludes : BARS
33. Kind of day : RED-LETTER
35. Where Arithmancy is an elective : HOGWARTS
36. "No need to shout!" : I HEAR YOU!
37. Houseware purchases that may have suction cups : BATH MATS
39. Crony : PAL
42. Some commencement dignitaries : EMERITI
44. "w"-like letters in foreign writing : OMEGAS
46. French erudition : SAVOIR
47. Animal revered by ancient Peruvians : OCELOT
48. Detour markers : PYLONS
51. Contents of a do-it-yourselfer's gun : CAULK
53. Sauce traditionally made in a mortar : PESTO
56. Word in many punny Bugs Bunny titles : HARE
59. Some R.S.V.P.s : NOS
61. Hall figures, for short : RAS


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4 comments :

Anonymous said...

Too much for me; after I put in NEW SEASONS instead of WHOLE FOODS, it was over anyway....

BruceB said...

26:05, no errors. Enjoyed the challenge today. Can't help but feel that I should have gotten a better time, if only I were more ERUDITE. Better familiarity with ETHAN FROME, Tia LEONE and HOGWARTS would have helped, significantly.

I have heard the term 'geegaw', usually plural 'geegaws', but have never seen the spelling GEWGAW. Remembering Neil Diamond's song, helped, but now I have an earworm for the rest of the day.

Joan McHale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joan McHale said...

I finished a Saturday puzzle - a rare accomplishment. No DEARTH of ladies: Tia LEONI, Joan JETT, CAROLINE, O'HARA, and MLLE. And gents: EVEL and ETHAN. Sometimes those lit classes pay off.

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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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