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0623-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Jun 16, Thursday





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: Megan Amram & David Kwong
THEME: Formally
Each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase in which the first word might be interpreted as a nickname. However, that nickname has been written out fully in the answer:
17A. Play a game on Halloween, formally? : ROBERT FOR APPLES (from “bob for apples”)
25A. Be exceedingly frugal, formally? : PENELOPE PINCH (from “penny-pinch”)
40A. Kind of printer, formally? : DOROTHY MATRIX (from “dot matrix”)
52A. Very cunning, formally? : SYLVESTER AS A FOX (from “sly as a fox”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 49s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Half of a salon job : -PEDI
Manicure & pedicure (mani-pedi)

5. The first Mrs. Woodrow Wilson : ELLEN
Ellen Axson Wilson was President Woodrow Wilson’s first wife. She was the First Lady of the US for the first fifteen months of President Wilson’s term in office, until she died of Bright’s disease in 1914. It was Ellen Axson Wilson who established the famous White House Rose Garden.

14. Writer Waugh : ALEC
Alec Waugh was the older brother of the more famous Evelyn Waugh. Both were successful novelists (Evelyn of “Brideshead Revisited” fame), but what I like about Alec is that he supposedly invented the cocktail party. He invited his friends around “for tea” in the twenties, and served them all rum swizzles instead!

16. Swenson of "Benson" : INGA
Inga Swenson is an American actress. Her best known role was "Gretchen Kraus", the German cook and later housekeeper on the TV show "Benson". Swenson also appeared in a couple of episodes of "Bonanza" playing the second wife of Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene), and mother of Hoss Cartwright (Dan Blocker). This was despite the fact that in real life she was actually 4 years younger than Blocker!

17. Play a game on Halloween, formally? : ROBERT FOR APPLES (from “bob for apples”)
Bobbing for apples is a game played on Halloween. Participants must hold their hands behind their backs and grab apples floating in a large basin of water, using only their mouths.

23. Popular first-person shooter video game : HALO
“Halo” is a series of video games that was introduced in 2001. Apparently, there’s a lot of shooting, and a lot of aliens …

25. Be exceedingly frugal, formally? : PENELOPE PINCH (from “penny-pinch”)
A “penny-pincher” is a miser, someone who pinches every penny before handing it over.

30. Radiohead frontman Thom : YORKE
Radiohead is an alternative rock band from England that formed in 1985.

31. Hamlet and Ophelia, e.g. : ROLES
In William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, Ophelia is courted by Hamlet, the man himself. Ophelia is the daughter of nobleman Polonius. She dies …

34. Aces have low ones, briefly : ERAS
In the world of baseball, an ace is the best starting pitcher, and usually the pitcher who starts the game on day one of the season. An ace would have a relatively low earned run average (ERA).

37. Speakeasy-goer : WET
The 18th Amendment to the US Constitution was a great victory for the temperance movement (the “dry” movement), and in 1919 ushered in the Prohibition era. Highly unpopular (with the “wet” movement), Prohibition was repealed in 1933 by the 21st Amendment.

A speakeasy is an establishment that sells alcoholic drinks illegally. Speakeasies were very big in the US in the days of Prohibition. The obvious etymology, of a speakeasy owner asking his or her customers to “speak easy” so as not to draw attention to the authorities, is thought to have originated in 1888 in McKeesport just outside Pittsburgh.

39. "Gandhi" garb : SARIS
“Gandhi” is a fabulous film released in 1982 that chronicles the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi. The film stars Ben Kingsley in the title role, and was directed by Sir Richard Attenborough. “Gandhi” won eight Oscars, including the award for Best Picture.

40. Kind of printer, formally? : DOROTHY MATRIX (from “dot matrix”)
A dot matrix printer works somewhat like an old typewriter. The printer head runs back and forth across the stage striking the paper through an inked ribbon, creating the printed characters from small dots.

43. Whilom : ERST
“Erst” is an archaic way of saying “formerly, before the present time”. The term is mostly seen as part of the word “erstwhile”, an adjective meaning “of times past”.

“Whilom” is an archaic term meaning “at one time”, and which can be used as an adjective or adverb.

44. They're best left untouched, generally speaking : IRAS
Individual retirement account (IRA)

48. Where many grunts may be heard? : ARMY BASE
The phrase grunt was first applied to a US infantryman during the Vietnam War. The equivalent term for a British infantryman is “squaddie”.

55. Pennsylvania's northernmost county : ERIE
There are three Erie Counties in the US:
- Erie County, New York (with Buffalo as the county seat)
- Erie County, Ohio (with Sandusky as the county seat)
- Erie County, Pennsylvania (with Erie as the county seat)

59. "Bleeding Love" singer Lewis, 2007 : LEONA
Leona Lewis rocketed to fame after winning the British TV show called “The X Factor” (the show that spawned the UK’s “Pop Idol” and America’s “American Idol”).

Down
2. North Carolina university : ELON
Elon is a city in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, close to the city of Burlington. Elon University is a private liberal arts school founded in 1889.

4. Winter Olympics venues : ICE RINKS
The first Winter Olympic Games was held in 1924, in Chamonix, France. The Winter and Summer Games were held in the same year until 1992, after which they were staggered so that we have an Olympic Games every two years.

7. French colony until 1953 : LAOS
The official name for the country of Laos is the Lao People's Democratic Republic. In the Lao language, the country's name is "Meuang Lao". The French ruled Laos as part of French Indochina, having united three separate Lao kingdoms. As there was a plural of "Lao" entities united into one, the French added the "S" and so today we tend to use "Laos" instead of "Lao".

9. Cryptanalysis org. : NSA
The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname ... "No Such Agency".

11. Word before "Sixteen," "Time" and "You" in top 10 hit songs : ONLY …
“Only Sixteen” was a hit for Sam Cooke in 1959. Dr. Hook released a cover version in 1976 that was even more successful that Cooke’s. The Dr. Hook version was actually banned by the BBC.

“Only Time” is a song written and recorded by Irish singer Enya. Released in 2000, “Only Time” is the biggest solo hit for Enya in the US.

The 1955 hit by the Platters is more completely called "Only You (and You Alone)".

12. Jon who wrote and illustrated "Go Hang a Salami! I'm a Lasagna Hog!" : AGEE
Jon Agee is a writer who seems to like words. He writes books for children such as “Palindromania!”, which is a celebration of palindromes. He also wrote “Smart Feller Fart Smeller”, which is filled with spoonerisms.

18. "Hamilton" actress ___ Elise Goldsberry : RENEE
Renée Elise Goldsberry is an actress and singer who is best known to me for playing the attorney Geneva Pine on the TV show “The Good Wife”. Goldsberry also originated the role of Angelica Schuyler Church in the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton”.

“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life or US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The representations of the main characters is quite ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.

19. Greek city-state : POLIS
The Greek word “polis” translates as “city”, although the term is often used in English to refer to the ancient Greek city-states.

23. Winner of the Triple Crown of Acting (Oscar, Tony and Emmy) : HELEN MIRREN
Helen Mirren won the Triple Crown of Acting for playing:
- Queen Elizabeth II in “The Queen” (winning Best Actress Oscar)
- Queen Elizabeth II in “The Audience” (winning Best Actress in a Play Tony)
- Detective Jane Tennison in “Prime Suspect” (winning Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy)

Helen Mirren, one of my favorite English actresses, won her Best Actress Oscar for playing the title role in the marvelous 2006 film “The Queen”. Mirren has played three different queens on film and television including Queen Elizabeth II. She also played the title role in the TV drama “Elizabeth I”, and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of the title character in the 1994 film “The Madness of King George”.

24. Monkeys' uncles? : APES
Apes and monkeys both belong to the order of primates. The most obvious way to distinguish apes from monkeys is by the presence or lack of a tail. Almost all apes have no tail, and almost all monkeys have tails.

26. One of a mythological nonet : ERATO
In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:
– Calliope (epic poetry)
– Clio (history)
– Erato (lyric poetry)
– Euterpe (music)
– Melpomene (tragedy)
– Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
– Terpsichore (dance)
– Thalia (comedy)
– Urania (astronomy)

27. Hero of New Orleans : PO’ BOY
A po' boy is a submarine sandwich from Louisiana. There are a lot of theories about where the name came from, and none sound too convincing to me. A po' boy differs from a regular submarine sandwich in that it uses Louisiana French bread, which is soft in the middle and crusty on the outside.

"Hero" is another name for a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name "hero" was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the "New York Herald Tribune" when he wrote that "one had to be a hero" to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

28. French sweetie : CHERI
“Cheri” is a form of familiar address in French, meaning “dear, darling, precious”. “Cheri” is the form used when talking to/of a male, and “cherie” to/of a female.

30. Plant in an English hedge : YEW
The family of trees known as yews propagate by producing a seed surrounded by soft, sweet and brightly colored aril. Birds eat the fruit and then disperse the seed in their droppings. The birds leave the seed undamaged, and so are unharmed by the potent poisons taxine and taxol that are found within the seed. The seeds are highly toxic to humans.

33. E.R. V.I.P.s : MDS
One might find a registered nurse (RN) or a medical doctor (MD) in an emergency room (ER).

36. Treats since 1932 : MARS BARS
Having lived on both sides of the Atlantic, I find the Mars Bar to be the most perplexing of candies! The original Mars Bar is a British confection (and delicious) first manufactured in 1932. The US version of the original Mars Bar is called a Milky Way. But there is candy bar called a Milky Way that is also produced in the UK, and it is completely different to its US cousin, being more like an American “3 Musketeers”. And then there is an American confection called a Mars Bar, something different again. No wonder I gave up eating candy bars …

38. 2013 Grammy winner for "Royals" : LORDE
Lorde is a stage name of the singer-songwriter Ella Yelich-O’Connor from New Zealand. Lorde’s cover version of the great Tears for Fears song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was used in the soundtrack for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (2013). Her song “Yellow Flicker Beat” is included in the soundtrack for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1”.

39. Doesn't fold, say : STAYS
That would be in the card game of blackjack, for example.

41. "Speed" star : REEVES
"Speed" is a 1994 action film, starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, as well as the late Dennis Hopper as the bad guy.

42. Flotilla : ARMADA
The most famous Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England in order to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I in 1588. It failed in its mission, partly due to bad weather encountered en route. Ironically, the English mounted a similar naval attack against Spain the following year, and it failed as well.

45. Played for a sap : USED
“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.

46. Match player? : PYRO
“Pyro” is the combining form of the Greek word for "fire". A pyromaniac (pyro) is someone with an abnormal desire to start fires, or with a general obsession with fire.

47. "Swan Lake" bend : PLIE
The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent.

“Swan Lake” is such a delightfully light and enjoyable ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. “Swan Lake” tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by a sorcerer. The ballet also features Odile, Odette’s “evil twin”. Odile is disguised to look like Odette with the goal of tricking the prince to fall in love with her. In the ballet, the roles of Odette and Odile are played by the same ballerina.

48. Commercial lead-in to méxico : AERO-
Aeroméxico is the flag carrier airline of Mexico. Aeroméxico started out in 1934 as Aeronaves de México.

50. Remote hiding place? : SOFA
That would a TV remote.

53. Lab compound, to a chemist : SAL
“Sal” is a pharmacological term meaning “salt”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Half of a salon job : -PEDI
5. The first Mrs. Woodrow Wilson : ELLEN
10. It comes in cakes : SOAP
14. Writer Waugh : ALEC
15. Converges on : NEARS
16. Swenson of "Benson" : INGA
17. Play a game on Halloween, formally? : ROBERT FOR APPLES (from “bob for apples”)
20. Implores : ENTREATS
21. "Now I remember!" : OH YES!
22. Competing : IN IT
23. Popular first-person shooter video game : HALO
25. Be exceedingly frugal, formally? : PENELOPE PINCH (from “penny-pinch”)
30. Radiohead frontman Thom : YORKE
31. Hamlet and Ophelia, e.g. : ROLES
32. Hesitate, in a way : HEM
34. Aces have low ones, briefly : ERAS
35. Agrees : JIBES
36. Fuse : MELD
37. Speakeasy-goer : WET
38. Prepare to tweet, say : LOG ON
39. "Gandhi" garb : SARIS
40. Kind of printer, formally? : DOROTHY MATRIX (from “dot matrix”)
43. Whilom : ERST
44. They're best left untouched, generally speaking : IRAS
45. Hiked : UPPED
48. Where many grunts may be heard? : ARMY BASE
52. Very cunning, formally? : SYLVESTER AS A FOX (from “sly as a fox”)
55. Pennsylvania's northernmost county : ERIE
56. Ran : AIRED
57. Mortgage adjustment, briefly : REFI
58. Some deer : DOES
59. "Bleeding Love" singer Lewis, 2007 : LEONA
60. Whack : SWAT

Down
1. Whittle down : PARE
2. North Carolina university : ELON
3. It may be forgiven : DEBT
4. Winter Olympics venues : ICE RINKS
5. Involve : ENTAIL
6. Phrase in a group photo caption : LEFT TO RIGHT
7. French colony until 1953 : LAOS
8. Goof : ERR
9. Cryptanalysis org. : NSA
10. Suck up, maybe : SIPHON
11. Word before "Sixteen," "Time" and "You" in top 10 hit songs : ONLY ...
12. Jon who wrote and illustrated "Go Hang a Salami! I'm a Lasagna Hog!" : AGEE
13. Mountain route : PASS
18. "Hamilton" actress ___ Elise Goldsberry : RENEE
19. Greek city-state : POLIS
23. Winner of the Triple Crown of Acting (Oscar, Tony and Emmy) : HELEN MIRREN
24. Monkeys' uncles? : APES
25. Went carefully (over) : PORED
26. One of a mythological nonet : ERATO
27. Hero of New Orleans : PO’ BOY
28. French sweetie : CHERI
29. Spiral : HELIX
30. Plant in an English hedge : YEW
33. E.R. V.I.P.s : MDS
35. Tiny amounts : JOTS
36. Treats since 1932 : MARS BARS
38. 2013 Grammy winner for "Royals" : LORDE
39. Doesn't fold, say : STAYS
41. "Speed" star : REEVES
42. Flotilla : ARMADA
45. Played for a sap : USED
46. Match player? : PYRO
47. "Swan Lake" bend : PLIE
48. Commercial lead-in to méxico : AERO-
49. Not many : A FEW
50. Remote hiding place? : SOFA
51. Way off : EXIT
53. Lab compound, to a chemist : SAL
54. Get in a bind : TIE


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4 comments :

Glenn said...

NB for this grid: As confirmed on her twitter account, the Megan Amram that co-authored this grid is this one. Thought someone might find it interesting.

Dave Kennison said...

Originally, iPad: 14:05, no errors. Today, pen and paper, 13:20. Another clever theme ...

Anonymous said...

12:35, and no errors!!! And I actually enjoyed this, and thought the theme was interesting and fun. Can this really be Tricky Thursday??

BruceB said...

18:33, no errors. Clever theme, nice touch today.

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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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