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0901-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Sep 16, Thursday





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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: Ben Tausig
THEME: Gender Fluid
There are four squares in today’s grid that are GENDER FLUID. Either of the letters M and F (as in “male” and “female”) give answers that suit the clues.
37A. Having a variable identity, as suggested by four squares in this puzzle : GENDER FLUID

1A. Part of a house : ROOF or ROOM
5A. Old-seeming : FUSTY or MUSTY
61A. Topic to ask a fortuneteller about : FATE or MATE
67A. Tough stuff to walk through : FIRE or MIRE
4D. Fabricate : MAKE or FAKE
5D. Reveal a secret, say : MESS UP or FESS UP
45D. It's combined at the beginning : PREMIX or PREFIX
60D. Word that can precede sex : SAME or SAFE
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 38s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Old-seeming : FUSTY or MUSTY
Our word “fusty” means “musty, stale-smelling”. The term comes into English from French via the word “fusté” meaning “tasting of the cask”, which in turn comes from the Old French “fuist”, the word for a wine cask. The definition has been extended to describe something that is stale, out-of-date, stubbornly old-fashioned.

14. Middle name of the inventor of the electrographic vote recorder : ALVA
Thomas Alva Edison (TAE) was nicknamed “The Wizard of Menlo Park” by a newspaper reporter, a name that stuck. He was indeed a wizard, in the sense that he was such a prolific inventor. The Menlo Park part of the moniker recognizes the location of his first research lab, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

15. Channel for college sports : ESPNU
ESPNU (ESPN Universities) is a sports channel focused on college athletics.

16. Fatty tuna part, at a sushi restaurant : TORO
In a sushi restaurant, the dish called “toro” is the fatty tissue from belly of the bluefin tuna.

17. Tech expert, as it were : GEEK
The original “geek” was a sideshow performer, perhaps at a circus. We use the term today for someone regarded as foolish or clumsy, but also for someone who is technically driven and expert, but socially inept.

18. Steamy place : SAUNA
As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, "sauna" is a Finnish word, and is correctly pronounced "sow-nah" (with "sow" as in the female pig).

19. Actor Wilson : OWEN
The actor Owen Wilson was nominated for an Oscar, but not for his acting. He was nominated for co-writing the screenplay for “The Royal Tenenbaums” along with Wes Anderson.

20. Ending with metal or mal- : -WARE
“Malware” is a collective term for software and program code that is created to intentionally disrupt and exploit computer systems. Viruses, worms, trojan horses and spyware are all covered by the term. “Malware” is short for “malicious software”.

22. Holistic spiritual movement : NEW AGE
New-Age music is created to provide a relaxing and stress-free atmosphere. The New Age movement is often said to have begun with the release of an album called “Spectrum Suite” by Steven Halpern in 1975.

24. Blowup: Abbr. : ENL
Enlargement (enl.)

25. Narwhal features : TUSKS
The narwhal is a whale species in which the male has a large tusk. The “tusk” is actually canine tooth that projects from the jaw through the lip. Usually only one tusk develops, on the left side of the jaw. Occasionally, a second tusk develops as well, on the right side of the jaw. The tusk is unlike a tooth in that it contains many nerves, making it a sensory organ. It is rarely used in an act of aggression.

27. Run off, in a way : XEROX
Xerox was founded in 1906 in Rochester, New York and originally made photographic paper and equipment. Real success came for the company in 1959 when it introduced the first plain-paper photocopier. Xerox named Ursula Burns as CEO in 2009, the first African American woman to head up a S&P 100 company. Burn was also the first woman to succeed another female CEO (replacing Anne Mulcahy).

28. Music producer Brian : ENO
Brian Eno is a musician, composer and record producer from England who first achieved fame as the synthesiser player with Roxy Music. As a producer, Eno has worked with David Bowie, Devo and U2.

29. Inits. on a car sticker : EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was set up during the Nixon administration and began operation at the end of 1970.

32. AC/DC single with the lyric "watch me explode" : TNT
The Heavy Metal band known as AC/DC was formed by two brothers Malcolm and Angus Young in Australia. The group is usually called "Acca Dacca" down under.

33. Poet who wrote of Beatrice : DANTE
“La Vita Nuova” is a text by Italian poet Dante Alighieri comprising both prose and verse. It recounts the author’s love for Beatrice, describing in 42 chapters the history of that love from the first time he saw her when they were children, right up his mourning after her death. “La Vita Nuova” translates into English from Italian as “The New Life”.

35. Unleash, as havoc : WREAK
“Havoc” is a great damage or destruction. The term comes from the Anglo-French phrase “crier havok”, which was an order given in the late 1500s to soldiers, instructing them to seize plunder.

45. Score amts. : PTS
Points (pts.)

54. Hyundai model with a lot of horsepower? : EQUUS
The Hyundai Equus is the largest and most expensive sedan made by the Korean manufacturer. The Equus is often used by limousine services.

59. Pac-12 athlete : UTE
The Utah Utes are the athletic teams of the University of Utah.

62. Dined watching Netflix, say : ATE IN
Netflix was founded in Los Gatos, California in 1997 as a DVD rental company that sent out titles by mail. Netflix no longer focuses on distribution by mail, and instead provides programming on demand. The company is also making a big name for itself producing films and TV programs.

64. Bonobos, e.g. : APES
The Bonobo used to be called the Pygmy Chimpanzee, and is a cousin of the Common Chimpanzee. The Bonobo is an endangered species, found in the wild only in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa. Along with the Common Chimpanzee, the Bonobo is the closest species to humans genetically.

65. Cher or Dolly Parton, e.g. : ICON
Cher's real name is Cherilyn Sarkisian, born in 1946. In her acting career, Cher was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar of 1984 for her performance in "Silkwood". She went further in 1988 and won the Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta Castorini in "Moonstruck".

Dolly Parton is a country music singer-songwriter, as well as an actress. Parton has written over 3,000 songs, my favorite of which is “I Will Always Love You”, a hit for herself and for Whitney Houston.

68. Lucy Lawless role : XENA
The Xena character, played by New Zealander Lucy Lawless, was introduced in a made-for-TV movie called “Hercules and the Amazon Women”. Lawless reprised the role in a series called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”. Xena became so popular that a series was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the title role. The fictional Xena supposedly came from the “non-fictional” Greek city of Amphipolis.

Down
1. Cause of some allergy flare-ups : RAGWEED
The pollen of ragweed is the greatest allergen of all pollens. It seems that the pollen season has been lengthening in recent years, probably due to global warming.

2. Mamet play inspired by the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings : OLEANNA
I’ve never seen it, but "Oleanna" sounds like a powerful play to me. Written by David Mamet, it was first performed in 1992. It's a two-person piece, the tale of a university professor and a female student who accuses him of sexual exploitation. Mimet got many of the themes of the play from the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings in which Anita Hill accused the future Supreme Court justice of sexual harassment.

5. Reveal a secret, say : MESS UP or FESS UP
The term “fess” is most often seen as part of the phrasal verb “to fess up” meaning “to admit to something”. “Fess” is simply a shortened form of “confess”.

7. Mettle : SPUNK
We’ve been using the word “spunk” to mean “pluck, courage” since the late 1700s. Prior to that it was a Scottish word meaning “spark”, a word that we absorbed into English.

“Mettle” is such a lovely word. It means courage and fortitude, or spirit. “Mettle” is simply a variant spelling of the word “metal”.

8. Old channel with country music videos : TNN
The Nashville Network (TNN) was a country music cable channel that operated from 1983 to 2003. When TNN closed down it was relaunched with a completely different format as Spike, marketed as “the first television channel for men”.

9. Chinese money : YUAN
The Korean Won, the Chinese Yuan, and the Japanese Yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents "round shape".

10. Best-selling author who was a neighbor of Twain in Hartford : STOWE
Harriet Beecher Stowe's most famous and most successful work is “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. It was also her first novel. Her second was published in 1856:"Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp".

11. Kitsch, e.g. : LOW ART
“Kitsch” is a German word, an adjective that means “gaudy, trash”.

12. Snake's place, partly : OREGON
The Snake River in the US northwest is the largest tributary of the Columbia River.

25. One "in love" in a 1959 top 5 hit : TEENAGER
The classic song “A Teenager in Love” was released by Dion and the Belmonts in 1959.

34. 2012 comedy with a talking bear : TED
“Ted” is a movie written, directed, produced and starring Seth MacFarlane. In the story, MacFarlane voices a teddy bear who is the best friend of a character played by Mark Wahlberg.

36. Soul producer : KIA
The Kia Soul is a compact car produced in South Korea, although it was designed by Kia here in the US, in Irvine, California. Yep, the Kia Soul is made in Seoul …

38. Forensic material : DNA
Something described as “forensic” is connected with a court of law, or with public discussion or debate. The the term comes from the Latin “forensis” meaning “of a forum, of a place of assembly”. We mainly use the word today to mean “pertaining to legal trials” as in “forensic medicine” and “forensic science”.

40. "The Hunger Games" universe, e.g. : DYSTOPIA
A dystopia is an imaginary community in which the residents live unhappily and in fear. “Dystopia” is the opposite of “utopia”. One example of such a society is that described by George Orwell in “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. A more contemporary example would be the setting for the novels “The Hunger Games”.

“The Hunger Games” is a 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins, the first in a trilogy of titles that also includes “Catching Fire” (2009) and “Mockingjay” (2010). “The Hunger Games” was adapted into a very successful movie released in 2012, with the sequels following soon after. Amazon.com reports more sales of “The Hunger Games” series books than even the “Harry Potter” series.

43. Neighbors of Longhorns : SOONERS
They would be the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners.

46. Certain pair in bridge : TENACE
In the wonderful card game of bridge, a tenace is a broken sequence of honor cards, like AQ or KJ.

47. Bank robber Willie who co-wrote "Where the Money Was" : SUTTON
Willie Sutton was a bank robber from Brooklyn, New York. He was very accomplished at his trade, stealing about $2 million dollars over a 40-year career that lasted until the early 1950s. Sutton never killed anyone, but spent over half of his adult life in jail. His (co-written) autobiography “Where the Money Was” was published in 1976, four years before Sutton died, at the age of 79.

50. Nuyorican music legend Tito : PUENTE
After serving in the navy in WWII for three years, the musician Tito Puente studied at Juilliard, where he got a great grounding in conducting, orchestration and theory. Puente parlayed this education into a career in Latin Jazz and Mambo. He was known as “El Rey” as well as “The King of Latin Music”.

The word “Nuyorican” refers to the Puerto Rican diaspora and their descendants living in and around New York City. The term is a portmanteau of “New York” and “Puerto Rican”.

53. Tuscan city famous for horse races : SIENA
Siena is a beautiful city in the Tuscany region of Italy. In the center of Siena is the magnificent medieval square called Piazza del Campo, a paved sloping open area made up of nine triangular sections. The square has to be seen to be believed. Twice a year, the famous bareback horse-race called the Palio di Siena is held in the Piazza.

55. Part of L.G.B.T.Q. : QUEER
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Part of a house : ROOF or ROOM
5. Old-seeming : FUSTY or MUSTY
10. Laborious process : SLOG
14. Middle name of the inventor of the electrographic vote recorder : ALVA
15. Channel for college sports : ESPNU
16. Fatty tuna part, at a sushi restaurant : TORO
17. Tech expert, as it were : GEEK
18. Steamy place : SAUNA
19. Actor Wilson : OWEN
20. Ending with metal or mal- : -WARE
21. Lie on a beach : SUN
22. Holistic spiritual movement : NEW AGE
24. Blowup: Abbr. : ENL
25. Narwhal features : TUSKS
27. Run off, in a way : XEROX
28. Music producer Brian : ENO
29. Inits. on a car sticker : EPA
30. "Oh gawd!" : UGH!
32. AC/DC single with the lyric "watch me explode" : TNT
33. Poet who wrote of Beatrice : DANTE
35. Unleash, as havoc : WREAK
37. Having a variable identity, as suggested by four squares in this puzzle : GENDER FLUID
41. Super : DANDY
42. Final authority : SAY-SO
45. Score amts. : PTS
48. Sight ___ : GAG
49. ___ out (email list selection) : OPT
51. Turf : SOD
52. Get more mileage out of : REUSE
54. Hyundai model with a lot of horsepower? : EQUUS
56. Play (with) : TOY
57. Undivided : ENTIRE
59. Pac-12 athlete : UTE
60. Ending of many a firm's name : SONS
61. Topic to ask a fortuneteller about : FATE or MATE
62. Dined watching Netflix, say : ATE IN
64. Bonobos, e.g. : APES
65. Cher or Dolly Parton, e.g. : ICON
66. Cover ... or cover ___ : SHEET
67. Tough stuff to walk through : FIRE or MIRE
68. Lucy Lawless role : XENA
69. Curt : TERSE
70. "Chill ..." : EASY ...

Down
1. Cause of some allergy flare-ups : RAGWEED
2. Mamet play inspired by the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings : OLEANNA
3. Going on and on ... and on : OVERLONG
4. Fabricate : MAKE or FAKE
5. Reveal a secret, say : MESS UP or FESS UP
6. Patriotic chant : USA USA!
7. Mettle : SPUNK
8. Old channel with country music videos : TNN
9. Chinese money : YUAN
10. Best-selling author who was a neighbor of Twain in Hartford : STOWE
11. Kitsch, e.g. : LOW ART
12. Snake's place, partly : OREGON
13. Follow : GO NEXT
23. Tires : EXHAUSTS
25. One "in love" in a 1959 top 5 hit : TEENAGER
26. Roar producer : SURF
31. Lock fixer? : GEL
34. 2012 comedy with a talking bear : TED
35. Not straight : WRY
36. Soul producer : KIA
38. Forensic material : DNA
39. Beat (out) : EDGE
40. "The Hunger Games" universe, e.g. : DYSTOPIA
43. Neighbors of Longhorns : SOONERS
44. Adventure : ODYSSEY
45. It's combined at the beginning : PREMIX or PREFIX
46. Certain pair in bridge : TENACE
47. Bank robber Willie who co-wrote "Where the Money Was" : SUTTON
49. Certain navels : OUTIES
50. Nuyorican music legend Tito : PUENTE
53. Tuscan city famous for horse races : SIENA
55. Part of L.G.B.T.Q. : QUEER
58. Right on the map : EAST
60. Word that can precede sex : SAME or SAFE
63. Not just any : THE


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7 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

11:49, no errors, iPad. I did this one last night just before going to bed and just after talking to an older brother who is having some serious health problems, so I was a bit distracted and didn't even notice the theme. (The NYT crossword app would accept either an M or an F in the four theme squares.) It was only as I was brushing my teeth that I realized this and it then took me another five minutes to completely understand the theme. So it seems to me the app let me get away with a sort of cheating; I'll be interested to see how the answers are given in the print version, five weeks from now.

Jeff said...

Finished this one but it took me considerably longer than Dave and Bill. No idea of the theme until I came here. I keep forgettingthe NY Times loves to do stuff like that. Grr. I had ROOF, MUSTY, PREMIX and FIRE and was perfectly happy with those decisions...until I came here and realized there was a parallel universe of a puzzle I was missing.

TORO was new to me and I laughed at SAY SO for Final authority.

I think Willie SUTTON's full comment was in response to "Why did you rob all those banks?" and his reply was "That's where the money is".

Good puzzle

Best -

BruceB said...

18:48, no errors. The forced, contrived, PC motivated theme was undetectable and irrelevant. Not sure if the puzzle would be considered 'fully solved'; if one did not get both the variations of the theme words.

Anonymous said...

19:20, no errors, but I also never "got" the "if you say so"-clever theme. When will Shortz lose his fascination with these asinine tricks?

Anonymous said...

12 Down's Clue is really bugging me. Snake's place, instead of The Snake's place is a really weak misdirection; and there would have to be hundreds of better clues for OREGON, including a bunch of its rivers, than "The Snake River".

Steve C. said...

I fully agree with BruceB. My thoughts exactly.

Lou Sander said...

Kind of clever, but BruceB and Steve C are pretty much right on. We never got the M/F stuff. We had to look up TORO. Kind of an interesting puzzle, and fairly tough (if we have to look up, we don't feel we solved it). I'm the geography expert, but I admit to a weakness in rivers. My partner doesn't know Africa from Antarctica, but she got OREGON, knowing that it's a river in that state. It's a team game.

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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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