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0915-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 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
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ian Livengood
THEME: Anagrams, Lots of Anagrams
There’s a message in today’s grid telling us how to solve this puzzle:
17A. Trap (Part) #1 to solving this puzzle : ANAGRAM THE …
36A. Trap (Part) #2 : … FIRST WORD …
60A. Trap (Part) #3 : … IN EACH CLUE
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 54m 50s!!!
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Trio (Tori) who released the 1994 album "Under the Pink" : AMOS
Tori Amos is an American pianist and singer. Amos started playing the piano at two years old, and was composing piano pieces by age five. She was playing in piano bars (chaperoned by her father) when she was 14. I'm going to have to find some of her music (I lead such a sheltered life ...)!

10. Tenure (Neuter) : SPAY
Our verb “to spay”, meaning “to surgically remove the ovaries of” (an animal) comes from an old Anglo-French word “espeier” meaning “to cut with a sword”.

14. Ink (Kin) of elite type : PICA
Both “pica” and “elite” are types. Pica is a 12-point type, having about 10 characters per inch. Elite is 10-point type, with about 12 characters per inch.

15. Anoint (Nation) in the western Pacific : PALAU
Palau is a tiny island nation lying 500 miles east of the Philippines, and 2,000 miles south of Japan. Palau was once a Spanish possession and was sold by Spain to Germany in the late 19th century. During WWI, Japan invaded the islands (as Japan had declared war on Germany) and was awarded the islands as a territory by the League of Nations at the end of hostilities. In WWII the US took Palau from the Japanese in a bloody battle in 1944. Palau emerged from American administration in 1994 and is now a sovereign state.

19. Hadji (Jihad) group, briefly : ISIS
ISIS is an extremist Sunni rebel group, with the acronym standing for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The organization is also referred to as ISIL, standing for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or simply IS, for the Islamic State.

22. Visa (Avis) offering : RENTAL
Avis has been around since 1946, and is the second largest car rental agency after Hertz. Avis has the distinction of being the first car rental company to locate a branch at an airport.

24. Heads (Shade) seen on Halloween : ORANGE
The traditional colors associated with Halloween are black and orange.

26. Hips (Ship) that can move quickly : FRIGATE
Back in the 1600’s, a frigate was a warship designed for maximum maneuverability and speed. In today’s parlance, the term describes a warship assigned to the protection of other warships and merchant vessels, with an emphasis on anti-submarine warfare.

35. Gaiter (Triage) locales, for short : ERS
Emergency room (ER)

“Triage” is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on a battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “a sorting”.

39. Wand (Dawn) representer, in myth : EOS
In Greek mythology, Eos is the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos is Aurora.

42. Mane (Name) seen around the farm : DEERE
John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”. The Deere company that John founded uses the slogan “Nothing Runs Like a Deere”, and has a leaping deer as its logo.

43. Pipes (Pepsi) purchase of 2001 : SOBE
The brand name SoBe can be found on teas, juices and bottled waters. SoBe is an abbreviation for South Beach, the neighborhood in Miami Beach, Florida.

47. Shop (Posh) houses : MANORS
No one really knows the etymology of the word “posh”, meaning “luxuriously appointed”. The popular myth that POSH stands for “Port Out, Starboard Home” is completely untrue, and is a story that can actually be traced back to the 1968 movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. The myth is that wealthy British passengers travelling to and from India would book cabins on the port side for the outward journey and the starboard side for the home journey. This trick was supposedly designed to keep their cabins out of the direct sunlight.

49. Regal (Large) volume : TOME
“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century “tome” had come to mean “a large book”.

51. Clan (NaCl) from the ocean : SEA SALT
Chemically speaking, the water (H2O) in the sea contains lots of salt, sodium chloride (NaCl).

53. Isabel (Blaise) of mathematics fame : PASCAL
Blaise Pascal was an important French mathematician, physicist and philosopher, who lived in the mid-1600s. In math, his name was given to Pascal’s triangle, a triangle of numbers in which each number is the sum of the two numbers above it. Pascal also wrote on the subject of theology. His most important theological writings were published after his death under the title “Pensées”, meaning “Thoughts”.

55. Stingray (Straying) : ERRANT
Someone described as “errant” is roving around, especially in search of adventure, as in “knights errant”.

58. Stew (West) ___ : END
The West End of London is part of the central area of the city that contains many tourist attractions and in particular a large number of theaters. The West End of London is also home to the most expensive office space in the world.

59. Nights (Things) that high schoolers obsess over : SATS
Today the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation SAT.

63. Steered (Deseret) , today : UTAH
When Mormon pioneers were settling what is today the state of Utah, they referred to the area as Deseret, a word that means “beehive” according to the Book of Mormon. Today Utah is known as the Beehive State and there is a beehive symbol on the Utah state flag.

64. Never (Nerve) : MOXIE
Back as far as 1876, Moxie was a brand name of a "medicine" peddled with the claim that it "built up your nerve". In 1924, Moxie was registered as a trademark for a bitter, non-alcoholic beverage (no more claims of nerve-building). And we've used the term "moxie" to mean “nerve” ever since …

65. Insets (Steins) may be filled with them : ALES
A stein is a type of beer glass. The term is German in origin, and is short for “Steinkrug” meaning “stone jug”. “Stein” is the German for “stone”.

66. Reform (Former) transportation secretary : PENA
Federico Peña served as the Secretary of Transportation and as the Secretary of Energy in the Clinton administration.

Down
1. Procured (Producer) for many big 2000s comedies : APATOW
Judd Apatow is known for producing the TV series "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared". Those shows aren’t my cup of tea, but he also collaborated with Lena Dunham to create the show “Girls”. I could drink that tea all day long. “Girls” is a very entertaining series ...

2. Manila (Animal) alternative, in a guessing game : MINERAL
Animal, vegetable or mineral … or abstract? Those are the choices in the famous guessing game.

3. Trains (Strain) for an N.H.L. game, say : O CANADA
Canada’s national anthem “O Canada” was commissioned in 1880 by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, so the original words are in French. The first English translation was made in 1906. The current English lyrics have been revised a few times, but the French version remains the same as it did back in 1880.

5. Hassles (Slashes) in a bowling alley : SPARES
In bowling, the downing of all ten pins in two balls in the same frame is a “spare”, scoring ten points. The player gets a bonus, equal to the number of pins downed with the next ball, which could be up to ten. Hence, a spare can be worth up to 20 points

In bowling, a spare is recorded on a score sheet with a forward slash mark. A strike is recorded with a large letter X.

7. Roster (Resort) in 63-Across : ALTA
Alta ski resort actually lies within the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Area. The first ski lift in the resort was opened way back in 1939. Today, Alta is one of only three ski resorts in the country that prohibits snowboarding (along with Deer Valley, Utah and Mad River Glen, Vermont. The ski resort of Snowbird located next to Alta has been in operation since 1971.

9. Taste (State) of Mexico : GUERRERO
Guerrero is one of the 32 Mexican states, located in the southwest of the country. The state was named for Vicente Guerrero, a leader in the Mexican War of Independence, and the nation’s second president.

18. Time (Item) for a grease monkey : RAG
“Grease monkey” is a slang term for a mechanic, a term we've been using since the late twenties.

23. Courses (Sources) that get you down? : EIDERS
Eiders are large sea ducks. Their down feathers are used to fill pillows and quilts, giving the name to the quilt called an “eiderdown”.

25. Abhors (Hasbro) material for making toys : NERF
Nerf is the name given to the soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

The Hasbro toy company was founded in 1923, to sell textile remnants. The founders were Herman, Hillel and Henry Hassenfeld, three brothers and hence the name “Hasbro”. The company diversified into toys in the early forties, with the first real market success being Mr. Potato Head.

26. Drainage (Gardenia), e.g. : FLOWER
The genus of flowering plant called gardenia is actually in the coffee family.

33. Curie's (Cruise) partner, once : KIDMAN
Nicole Kidman is an Australian-American actress whose breakthrough role was the female lead in 1989’s “Dead Calm”. Kidman was actually born in Hawaii, to Australian parents. As a result, she has dual citizenship of Australia and the US. Famously, Kidman was married to fellow-actor Tom Cruise from 1990 to 2001, and is now married to New Zealand-born country singer Keith Urban.

Tom Cruise’s real name is Tom Cruise Mapother IV. Cruise was born in Syracuse, New York. That’s one of my favorite cities in the US, because it’s where I met my wife-to-be …

37. Harem (Maher) show on HBO : REAL TIME
Bill Maher is a stand-up comedian and political commentator. Maher has an HBO television show called “Real Time with Bill Maher” which is essentially a follow-on from the very successful “Politically Incorrect” program that started out on Comedy Central.

41. Freight (Fighter) of ancient Greece : SPARTAN
Sparta was a city-state in ancient Greece, famous for her military might. Spartan children had a tough upbringing, and newborn babies were bathed in wine to see if the child was strong enough to survive. Every child was presented to a council of elders that decided if the baby was suitable for rearing. Those children deemed too puny were executed by tossing them into a chasm. We’ve been using the term “spartan” to describe something self-disciplined or austere since the 1600s.

44. Reigns (Singer) at a music hall : BOCELLI
Andrea Bocelli is a classically-trained tenor who sings popular music, a so-called cross-over artist. Bocelli was born with poor eyesight and then became totally blind at the age of 12 when he had an accident playing soccer.

45. Harm (Rahm) in Democratic politics : EMANUEL
The Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, was an Illinois representative in the US House before resigning to take up President Obama’s offer to become the White House Chief of Staff.

48. Croat (Actor) who won an Academy Award in 1999 : SPACEY
Kevin Spacey won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in 1999’s “American Beauty”.

52. Resist (Sister) in the White House : SASHA
Sasha is the younger of the two Obama children, born in 2001. She is the youngest child to reside in the White House since John F. Kennedy, Jr. moved in with his parents as a small infant. Sasha's Secret Service codename is "Rosebud", and her older sister Malia has the codename "Radiance".

56. Squire (Risqué) message : SEXT
“Sexting” (a portmanteau of “sex” and “texting”) is the sending of explicit dialog and images between cell phones. The term “sexting” was first coined by the UK’s “Sunday Telegraph Magazine” in a 2005 article. Apparently the practice is “rampant” among teens and young adults. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie …?

“Risqué” is a French word, the past participle of the verb “to risk”. So in English we use “risqué” to mean “racy”, but in French it means “risky”.

61. Veto (Vote) in the French legislature : NON
“Oui” is “yes” in French, and “non” is “no”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Trio (Tori) who released the 1994 album "Under the Pink" : AMOS
5. Tense (Teen’s) talk, often : SLANG
10. Tenure (Neuter) : SPAY
14. Ink (Kin) of elite type : PICA
15. Anoint (Nation) in the western Pacific : PALAU
16. Roved (Drove) unpredictably : WOVE
17. Trap (Part) #1 to solving this puzzle : ANAGRAM THE …
19. Hadji (Jihad) group, briefly : ISIS
20. Pot (Top) ___ : TEN
21. Ignore (Region) : AREA
22. Visa (Avis) offering : RENTAL
24. Heads (Shade) seen on Halloween : ORANGE
26. Hips (Ship) that can move quickly : FRIGATE
27. Logs (Slog) through water : WADE
28. Gilded (Glided) smoothly : SAILED
31. Rescued (Secured): GOT
32. Pacer (Caper) : LARK
34. Pan (Nap) sound : SNORE
35. Gaiter (Triage) locales, for short : ERS
36. Trap (Part) #2 : … FIRST WORD …
39. Wand (Dawn) representer, in myth : EOS
42. Mane (Name) seen around the farm : DEERE
43. Pipes (Pepsi) purchase of 2001 : SOBE
46. Paid (iPad) purchase, perhaps : APP
47. Shop (Posh) houses : MANORS
49. Regal (Large) volume : TOME
51. Clan (NaCl) from the ocean : SEA SALT
53. Isabel (Blaise) of mathematics fame : PASCAL
55. Stingray (Straying) : ERRANT
56. Stops (Spots) to get a massage : SPAS
58. Stew (West) ___ : END
59. Nights (Things) that high schoolers obsess over : SATS
60. Trap (Part) #3 : … IN EACH CLUE
63. Steered (Deseret) , today : UTAH
64. Never (Nerve) : MOXIE
65. Insets (Steins) may be filled with them : ALES
66. Reform (Former) transportation secretary : PENA
67. Dairy (Diary) unit : ENTRY
68. Slit (List) : TILT

Down
1. Procured (Producer) for many big 2000s comedies : APATOW
2. Manila (Animal) alternative, in a guessing game : MINERAL
3. Trains (Strain) for an N.H.L. game, say : O CANADA
4. Plums (Slump) : SAG
5. Hassles (Slashes) in a bowling alley : SPARES
6. Wake (Weak) : LAME
7. Roster (Resort) in 63-Across : ALTA
8. Causal (Casual) negative : NAH
9. Taste (State) of Mexico : GUERRERO
10. Folgers (Golfer’s) concern : SWING
11. Lima (Mail) expense : POSTAGE
12. Nepal (Plane) V.I.P. : AVIATOR
13. "Geared!" (“Agreed!”): YES, LET’S!
18. Time (Item) for a grease monkey : RAG
23. Courses (Sources) that get you down? : EIDERS
25. Abhors (Hasbro) material for making toys : NERF
26. Drainage (Gardenia), e.g. : FLOWER
29. Eager (Agree) (to) : ASSENT
30. Nailed (Lead-in), for short : INTRO
33. Curie's (Cruise) partner, once : KIDMAN
37. Harem (Maher) show on HBO : REAL TIME
38. Medical (Decimal) points, e.g. : DOTS
39. Nestler (Relents) : EASES UP
40. Urn (Run) : OPERATE
41. Freight (Fighter) of ancient Greece : SPARTAN
44. Reigns (Singer) at a music hall : BOCELLI
45. Harm (Rahm) in Democratic politics : EMANUEL
48. Croat (Actor) who won an Academy Award in 1999 : SPACEY
50. Rifts (First) in the family, say : ELDEST
52. Resist (Sister) in the White House : SASHA
54. Tab (Bat) material : ASH
56. Squire (Risqué) message : SEXT
57. Hose (Shoe) purchase : PAIR
61. Veto (Vote) in the French legislature : NON
62. "Loco" (“Cool”) sort : CAT


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23 comments :

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation on how to solve this. Too difficult for me, couldn't get very far.

Dave Kennison said...

1:42:52, no errors, iPad (but I used up a couple of big sheets of paper while trying to unscramble the anagrams, after realizing that I really couldn't do some of them in my head).

Wow! A copy of this one goes in my own personal Crossword Hall of Fame! I started working on it at 8:30 (MDT) last night, hoping to be in bed by 9. After about 20 minutes, I contemplated the possibility of a DNF (maybe even a DNS!), but, a few minutes later, I began to see the gimmick and began tentatively filling in the grid. When I became sufficiently sure of my answers, I filled in the last square and stopped the clock (at 1:42:52!), but there were still four anagrams that I hadn't figured out. Within five minutes, I got MEDICAL => DECIMAL, but it took at least another half hour to see ABHORS => HASBRO and I am ashamed to admit that I then used an online tool to get DRAINAGE => GARDENIA (not a flower I think about a lot, I guess), so that I could go to bed and not lie awake all night. Even so, I woke up at 5:30 and came here, whereupon I saw the one anagram I had totally missed: TRAP => PART (which should have been one of the first ones I got, as the internal logic of the puzzle certainly calls for it). So ... a wonderful puzzle ... but I'm gonna need a nap later on ... :-)

Anonymous said...

For those of us who do crosswords as a brief pastime, this was not enjoyable at all. Any more than a half hour is work. I turned it around, filled in the answers and then tried to decipher the clues.

Robert said...

I stared at this @&$~%*<}%^^#€£¥ for over thirty minutes before I could fill a single square. And it took at least another hour to finish. what a massive pain. One error - Palau/Guerrero (exacerbated by mistaking my chicken scratch 'G' for an 'E')

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous! Even knowing there was a catch didn't help.

BruceB said...

Gave up after 12 minutes, making 2 entries, both of which were wrong. Kudos to all who finished this; and thanks to Bill for providing solution/explanation.

Anonymous said...

An interesting change of pace, but not the sort of challenge that I'd like to face on a daily basis. I'm used to finishing these, but I didn't have a clue until I cheated to discover the theme. Even so, I still missed a couple.

Anonymous said...

I cheated on One Across, realized it was going to be an anagram marathon, and gave up. I can absolutely not do anagrams, though I'm a pretty fair crossword solver. I don't believe anagrams and crosswords require the same skill set or even the same kind of a brain. Anyway, it put this puzzle entirely out of my league and seemed vaguely unfair!

Anonymous said...

IMPOSSIBLE PUZZLE!!!!!

This is an outrage! Puzzle setter's name noted. I'll never work another puzzle with his name on it again...

Craig F said...

This is a terrible, terrible puzzle.

Tom M. said...

Got the idea early that there were lots of anagrams, that the first word in a clue would be an anagram, and later that all the clues had to be anagrams. But I would be damned if I was going to take the rest of the day to uncover and use them all correctly in an answer. No way.

Dale Stewart said...

Worst puzzle I have ever seen.

Torb said...

Took a very long time before my first entry. Finished a few hours later. No Googling nor other cheating. Most brutal puzzle in memory!

BonnieM said...

Very difficult puzzle. Had to cheat several times, and it still was ridiculous. Wasn't any fun.

Anonymous said...

The most interesting puzzle I've done in years. I admit to staring at it for at least half an hour trying to figure out what the gimmick was. Once I figured it out, the puzzle took about an hour. It was full of AHA! experiences, and I enjoyed it. I wonder if the puzzle author's name is also an anagram ??

Ben F. said...

Hands down - one of the toughest Thursday puzzles in recent memory. A couple of false starts filling in the "obvious" answers (Halloween heads just HAVE TO BE skulls, right?)a thorough review of known expletives and finally remembered Tori Amos as the 1A singer to catch on to the anagram theme. Finished but no idea how long - I may have still had hair when I started!! I can sympathize with all of the above comments but some of us do like these testers - probably indicative of a latent character defect.

Phylis Sophical said...

I cheat. Therefore I finished.

Anonymous said...

Didn't bother. Got nowhere right off the bat and went to do the other puzzle in the paper.

Lorna Lou said...

a total DNS! I think it's the first time EVER I had to give up and resort to going to Bill's website! And BILL 'got it' in under one hour

Enjoyed reading the comments, tho!

Sharonlosg said...

Apparently our paper on the west coast gets this a month later than New York so the answers are already there for anyone to cheat. This was the most difficult puzzle I have ever seen and it left me frustrated but very admiring of anyone who could actually devise such a head scratcher. I see that the name of the person is listed here, but our west coast paper cheats the maker out of kudos by not giving credit to anyone. One of the comments stated the writer would never even try another puzzle by this puzzle maker, but we wouldn't know who made it unless we could look it up first.

Anonymous said...

Too much work for too litlle fun. Like others, when I finally figured out it was a big anagram fest, I just dropped it.

Anonymous said...

No way to figure out this puzzle. I don't care for easy puzzles but this was awful. Very frustrating. Gave it an entire evening and didn't get far.

Dave B said...

So, if you can't figure out the trap or unscramble a few simple words you decide to trash the construction? C'mon!

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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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