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0826-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Aug 16, Friday





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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Andrew Kingsley
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 14m 04s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Social app with the slogan "the world's catalog of ideas" : PINTEREST
Pinterest is a free website which can be used to save and manage images (called “pins”) and other media. For some reason, the vast majority of Pinterest users are women.

10. City with the world's largest clock face : MECCA
The central hotel building of the Abraj Al-Bait Towers complex in Mecca is crowned by a magnificent clock tower. The clock tower is topped by 75-foot tall golden crescent that weighs about 35 tonnes. Just below are four clock faces, 43 meters in size, the world’s largest clock faces. To me, the clock tower resembles the Palace of Westminster clock tower (“Big Ben”), but the Abraj Al-Bait tower is 35-times larger.

16. Joan of Arc quality : VALOR
Joan of Arc (also “Jeanne d’Arc”, her birth name) led the French Army successfully into battle a number of times during the Hundred Years War with England. When she was eventually captured, Joan was tried in Rouen, the seat of the occupying English government in France at that time. There she was burned at the stake having been found guilty of heresy. Joan of Arc was canonized some 600 years later, in 1920, and is now one of the patron saints of France.

17. Kale or quinoa, it's said : SUPERFOOD
Quinoa is a grain crop that is more closely related to beetroots and spinach that it is to cereals and grasses. Quinoa is mainly cultivated for its edible seeds, which are high in protein. The seeds are also gluten free, which seems to be a big deal these days. I do like my quinoa …

19. Father of Fear, in myth : ARES
The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). The Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

22. This, in Taxco : ESTO
Taxco de Alarcón is a small city in southern Mexico. Taxco is a center for silver mining, and is also well known for the production of silverware and fine items made using silver.

23. A crane might hover over one : NEST
The magnificent birds known as cranes have long legs and long necks. The species called the Sarus Crane is the world’s tallest flying bird.

26. Active ingredient in marijuana, for short : THC
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive in cannabis.

28. City in central Israel : LOD
The Israeli city of Lod lies just a few miles southeast of Tel Aviv, and is the home of Ben Gurion International, Israel’s main airport.

31. Place for bowlers : HAT TREE
I think a bowler hat is usually called a derby here in the US. The bowler was first produced in 1849 in London by hatmakers Thomas and William Bowler, hence the name. The alternative name of “derby” comes from the tradition of wearing bowler hats at the Derby horse race (a major race held annually in England).

35. Ornamental garden installation : KOI POND
Koi are also called Japanese carp. Koi have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored examples found in Japanese water gardens.

38. Part of a devil costume : GOATEE
A goatee is a beard formed by hair on just a man's chin. The name probably comes from the tuft of hair seen on an adult goat.

42. Bit of bronze : TIN
Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, and brass is an alloy of copper and zinc.

43. Statue outside Boston's TD Garden : ORR
Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn't skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking …

TD Garden is a sports arena that was built in the 1990s to replace the aging Boston Garden as home for the Boston Celtics basketball team and the Boston Bruins hockey team.

52. First name in gossip : RONA
Rona Barrett is a gossip columnist originally from New York City but who plies her trade in Southern California. Barrett started out as with a gossip column that was syndicated in newspapers but then made a successful transition to television. She made regular appearances in news broadcasts and on her entertainment shows in the sixties and seventies.

56. Bill Clinton or George W. Bush, informally : EX-GOV
Bill Clinton was elected Governor of Arkansas in 1978 at the age of 32, making him the youngest governor in the country at the time, and the fourth governor in the history of the US.

George W. Bush was elected Governor of Texas in 1994, defeating the incumbent Governor Ann Richards. Governor Bush was reelected in 1998, garnering a record 69% of the vote. The governor didn’t finish that second term, opting instead to run for US president in 2000.

58. Only highest-grossing film of the year that lost money : CLEOPATRA
The 1963 movie “Cleopatra” really was an epic work. It was the highest grossing film of the year, taking in $26 million dollars at the box office, yet it still lost money. The original budget for the film was just $2 million, but so many things went wrong the final cost swelled to a staggering $44 million dollars, making it the second most expensive movie ever made (taking into account inflation). Elizabeth Taylor was supposed to earn a record amount of $1 million for the film, and ended up earned seven times that amount due to delays. But she paid dearly, as she became seriously ill during shooting and had to have an emergency tracheotomy to save her life. The scar in her throat can actually be seen in some of the shots in the film.

60. Stocking stuff : LISLE
Lisle is a cotton fabric that has been through an extra process at the end of its manufacture that burns off lint and the ends of fibers leaving the fabric very smooth and with a clean edge.

62. Pirouetting, perhaps : ON TOE
We took our word “pirouette” directly from French, in which language it has the same meaning, i.e. a rotation in dancing. “Pirouette” is also the French word for a spinning top.

Down
1. Fibonacci, notably : PISAN
Leonardo of Pisa was a famous and respected Italian mathematician, also known as simply “Fibonacci”. He is remembered for writing about a number sequence (although he didn’t “discover” it) that later was given the name “Fibonacci sequence”. He wrote about the series of numbers in his book called “Liber Abaci”, a celebrated work that introduced Arabic numerals (i.e. 0-9) to the Western world.

4. Statistician's tool : T-TEST
A “t-test” in the world of statistics is one that makes use of a “Student’s t distribution”. The t-statistic was introduced by a chemist working in the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, back in 1908. “Student” was the chemist’s pen name.

6. Nickname for a two-time Wimbledon winner : RAFA
Rafael “Rafa” Nadal is a Spanish tennis player, noted for his expertise on clay courts, earning him the nickname “The King of Clay”.

9. Multimedia think piece : TED TALK
The acronym TED stands for Technology Entertainment and Design. TED is a set of conferences held around the world by a non-profit group called the Sapling Foundation. The conference subjects are varied, and the meetings are often led by big names such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates and Jane Goodall. The Sapling Foundation then makes recordings of the conferences available for free online with the intent of disseminating the ideas globally. These conferences are known as “TED Talks”.

10. Stephen Curry was one in '15 and '16 : MVP
Stephen Curry is a professional basketball player who was selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 2009 draft. Stephen’s father is former NBA player Dell Curry, and his younger brother is current player Seth Curry. Stephen Curry is noted for accuracy in shooting. Curry set the record for three-pointers made in a regular season in 2013, broke that record in 2015, and broke it yet again in 2016.

11. Like some seals : EARED
There are three families of seals. The first is the walrus family, the second the eared seals (like sea lions), and thirdly the earless seals (like elephant seals).

12. Feature of the 1876 or 2000 presidential election : CLOSE VOTE
George W. Bush won the 2000 US presidential election over Al Gore despite losing the popular vote. The result of the electoral college effectively came down to disputed votes cast in Florida. The US Supreme Court decided that these votes were to be awarded to Bush. President Bush wasn’t the first candidate to take the office without winning the popular vote. Three earlier presidents came to office in the same way : John Quincy Adams (1824), Rutherford B. Hayes (1876) and Benjamin Harrison (1888).

Rutherford B. Hayes was the 19th president of the US. Long before we had to endure the dispute over the 2000 Presidential election, Rutherford Hayes found himself president after a disputed election in 1876. President Hayes came into office having lost the popular vote to his opponent Samuel Tilden as he was voted into office by one electoral college vote. Hayes was awarded the election in the end because of an informal deal struck between Democrats and Republicans called the Compromise of 1877. Democrats allowed Rutherford to occupy the White House in exchange for removal of federal troops occupying some of the southern states.

14. 2012 thriller with John Goodman and Alan Arkin : ARGO
“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I saw “Argo” recently and recommend it highly, although I found the scenes of religious fervor pretty frightening …

21. Straight men : STOOGES
We use the term “stooge” these days to for an unwitting victim, or perhaps the straight man in a comedy duo. The first “stooges” were simply stage assistants, back in the early 1900s.

26. 4.0, maybe : TREMOR
The Richter scale was developed in 1935, by Charles Richter at the California Institute of Technology. The Richter Scale has largely been abandoned, replaced by the moment magnitude scale (MMS). Even though the US Geological Survey has been reporting earthquakes using the MMS since 2002, the media is prone to mix things up and use phrases such as “Richter magnitude”.

27. They're straight : HETEROS
“Heterosuxuality” is sexual attraction between persons of the opposite gender. The prefix “hetero-” comes from the Greek “heteros” meaning “different, other”.

30. Chick's tail? : -ADEE
Chickadees are group of birds in the tit family, with some species within the group called chickadees and some called tits. The name chickadee is imitative of the bird's alarm call "chick-dee dee dee".

33. What emo songs may convey : TEEN ANGST
The musical genre of “emo” originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

34. Org. doing pat-downs : TSA
The TSA is the Transportation Security Administration, the agency that employs the good folks that check passengers and baggage at airports.

40. Large letter in a manuscript : DROPCAP
An initial or dropcap is a letter at the beginning of a chapter or paragraph that is written much larger than the bulk of the text. In older manuscripts, the initials can span several lines of text, and can also be ornately decorated.

41. Hare-hunting hounds : BASSETS
The Basset Hound wouldn’t be my favorite breed of dog, to be honest. Basset Hounds have a great sense of smell with an ability to track a scent that is second only to that of the Bloodhound. The name “Basset” comes from the French word for “rather low”, a reference to the dog’s short legs.

46. Painter Veronese : PAOLO
Paolo Veronese was a Renaissance painter from the Italian city of Verona (hence his name “Veronese”). Veronese is most famous for his paintings “The Wedding at Cana” and “The Feast at the House of Levi”. “The Wedding at Cana” is a massive work, measuring over 21 x 32 feet in size. It has the honor of being the largest painting in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

47. European country whose flag features a George Cross : MALTA
The island state of Malta is relatively small, but its large number of inhabitants makes it one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Malta’s strategic location has made it a prized possession for the conquering empires of the world. Most recently it was part of the British Empire and was an important fleet headquarters. Malta played a crucial role for the Allies during WWII as it was located very close to the Axis shipping lanes in the Mediterranean. The Siege of Malta lasted from 1940 to 1942, a prolonged attack by the Italians and Germans on the RAF and Royal Navy, and the people of Malta. When the siege was lifted, King George VI awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta collectively in recognition of their heroism and devotion to the Allied cause. The George Cross can still be seen on the Maltese flag, even though Britain granted Malta independence in 1964.

48. Relieve, in a way : SLAKE
“To slake” is to satisfy a craving, as in slaking one's thirst.

49. Child of Uranus : TITAN
The Titans were a group of twelve older deities in Greek mythology, the twelve children of the primordial Gaia and Uranus, Mother Earth and Father Sky. In the celebrated Battle of the Titans, they were overthrown by the Olympians, who were twelve younger gods. We use the term “titan” figuratively to describe a powerful person, someone with great influence.

50. Passing concern? : YARDS
That would be in football.

52. Informal move : RELO
Relocate (relo.) is a real estate term.

54. It's water under the bridge : 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.

57. Successful campaign sign : VEE
One has to be careful making that V-sign depending where you are in the world. Where I came from, the V for victory (or peace) sign has to be made with the palm facing outwards. If the sign is made with the palm facing inwards, it can be interpreted as a very obscene gesture.

59. Cut of the pie chart: Abbr. : PCT
A “pie chart” can also be referred to as a “circle graph”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Social app with the slogan "the world's catalog of ideas" : PINTEREST
10. City with the world's largest clock face : MECCA
15. Hypnotized : IN A TRANCE
16. Joan of Arc quality : VALOR
17. Kale or quinoa, it's said : SUPERFOOD
18. Phone charger feature : PRONG
19. Father of Fear, in myth : ARES
20. Many sisters : AUNTS
22. This, in Taxco : ESTO
23. A crane might hover over one : NEST
24. "Good thinking!" : NEAT IDEA!
26. Active ingredient in marijuana, for short : THC
28. City in central Israel : LOD
29. Through : VIA
31. Place for bowlers : HAT TREE
35. Ornamental garden installation : KOI POND
37. Quick tennis match : ONE SET
38. Part of a devil costume : GOATEE
39. Fuming : STEAMED
41. "You don't want to miss it!" : BE THERE!
42. Bit of bronze : TIN
43. Statue outside Boston's TD Garden : ORR
44. Lunk : ASS
45. Watering holes : TAPROOMS
48. Eye-opening problem? : STYE
52. First name in gossip : RONA
53. Knee jerk, perhaps : SPASM
55. Political accusation : LIAR!
56. Bill Clinton or George W. Bush, informally : EX-GOV
58. Only highest-grossing film of the year that lost money : CLEOPATRA
60. Stocking stuff : LISLE
61. Spots that might smear : ATTACK ADS
62. Pirouetting, perhaps : ON TOE
63. Bought or sold, e.g. : PAST TENSE

Down
1. Fibonacci, notably : PISAN
2. Temper : INURE
3. Pickup points : NAPES
4. Statistician's tool : T-TEST
5. Say irregardless? : ERR
6. Nickname for a two-time Wimbledon winner : RAFA
7. State : ENOUNCE
8. Variety of quick bread : SCONE
9. Multimedia think piece : TED TALK
10. Stephen Curry was one in '15 and '16 : MVP
11. Like some seals : EARED
12. Feature of the 1876 or 2000 presidential election : CLOSE VOTE
13. Cup or bowl, but not a plate : CONTAINER
14. 2012 thriller with John Goodman and Alan Arkin : ARGO
21. Straight men : STOOGES
25. Boobs : IDIOTS
26. 4.0, maybe : TREMOR
27. They're straight : HETEROS
30. Chick's tail? : -ADEE
31. Party person : HOST
32. Bacteriologist's discovery : ANTITOXIN
33. What emo songs may convey : TEEN ANGST
34. Org. doing pat-downs : TSA
36. "Tommyrot!" : PAH!
40. Large letter in a manuscript : DROPCAP
41. Hare-hunting hounds : BASSETS
46. Painter Veronese : PAOLO
47. European country whose flag features a George Cross : MALTA
48. Relieve, in a way : SLAKE
49. Child of Uranus : TITAN
50. Passing concern? : YARDS
51. Off : ERASE
52. Informal move : RELO
54. It's water under the bridge : MOAT
57. Successful campaign sign : VEE
59. Cut of the pie chart: Abbr. : PCT


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5 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

Okay, this is a bit weird ... my time was 41:40 (Bill's time, but with swapped digits in both the minutes and the seconds!), with no errors, on my iPad. I had trouble all the way through, but I really got hung out to dry in the lower left. I even contemplated giving up at one point (something I almost never do) but slowly got a toehold and finally finished it in a rush. (Maybe being a little tipsy was responsible for my troubles: I was cooking a dish that called for half a bottle of wine and I didn't want the other half to go to waste ... :-)

Beth K said...

I tried to do this puzzle today, but the box printed in my version of the times didn't fit with the numbers. All the same clues as yours... Not sure how to post a picture but see my tweet at @eakenefick

BruceB said...

32:25, no errors. I really got high centered on KOI POND and TAP ROOM. Initial entry for 45A was BAR ROOM, so I was looking for something like antibiote or antibiome in 32D. Tough challenge, definitely up to snuff for a Friday.

Anonymous said...

Bitterly difficult! 46:00 even and with 6 errors in the top right. Just couldn't figure it out.

Dave Kennison said...

So, five weeks on, I did this puzzle again, on paper, and my time was 12:52, mostly because, for once, I remembered a bunch of stuff from the first attempt. So perhaps having trouble with a puzzle has a silver lining: you learn more from it ... a small consolation ... :-)

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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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