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0917-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Sep 16, Saturday





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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Andrew J. Ries
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 18m 55s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. First name in fantasy fiction : BILBO
In J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel “The Hobbit”, the title character is Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who stumbles across a magical ring and then embarks on a series of adventures.

6. Payola payoff : PLUG
“Payola” is the illegal practice of paying radio stations or disk jockeys to repeatedly play a particular piece of music. The impetus behind the crime is that the more often a song is played, the more likely it is to sell. The term “payola” comes from the words “pay” and “Victrola”, an RCA brand name for an early phonograph.

14. Subject for une chanteuse : AMOUR
In French, “une chanteuse” (a female singer) might sing of “amour” (love).

15. When repeated, singer of the 1987 #1 hit "Head to Toe" : LISA
Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam was a band that was active in the late eighties and early nineties. Lisa Lisa is the stage name of musician Lisa Velez.

17. One in la-la land : SPACE CADET
The expression “space cadet” is used to describe someone who is eccentric and disconnected with reality. It may even imply that the person is a user of hallucinogens. The phrase has been around since the sixties, and may be derived from the science fiction TV show “Tom Corbett, Space Cadet” which aired in the fifties.

La-la land is a euphemism for a state of unconsciousness.

19. Clichéd gift for a prisoner : RASP
“Cliché” is a word that comes from the world of printing. In the days when type was added as individual letters into a printing plate, for efficiency some oft-used phrases and words were created as one single slug of metal. The word “cliché” was used for such a grouping of letters. It’s easy to see how the same word would become a term to describe any overused phrase. Supposedly, “cliché” comes from French, from the verb “clicher” meaning “to click”. The idea is that when a matrix of letters was dropped in molten metal to make a cliché, it made a clicking sound.

22. Snack brand first produced at Disneyland in the 1960s : DORITOS
The product that was to become Doritos was a creation at the Casa de Fritos in Disneyland in the early sixties. A marketing executive from Frito-Lay noticed how well the snack was selling in the park, and made a deal to produce the chips under the name "Doritos", starting in 1964. “Doritos” translates from Spanish as "little bits of gold".

24. Street ___ : CRED
“Street cred” is slang for “street credibility”, of which I have none …

26. Alternative to a snap : VELCRO
The hook-and-loop fastener that we now call Velcro was invented in 1941 by Georges de Mestral, a Swiss engineer. Mestral noticed that the seeds of the burdock plant (burrs or burs) stuck to his clothes. Under the microscope he found hooks on the burrs that grabbed hold of loops in his clothing. After years of development, he came up with a way of simulating the natural hook using man-made materials, and Velcro was born.

28. Asia's ___ Darya River : AMU
The Amu Darya is a major river in Central Asia that empties into the Aral Sea. It is also called the Oxus or Amu River.

31. Stephen who was nominated for a 1992 Best Actor Oscar : REA
Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

32. Title sometimes shortened by removing its middle letter : MADAM
“Madam” is sometimes shortened to “ma’am”.

34. Dish that often includes anchovies : CAESAR SALAD
The Caesar Salad was created by restaurateur Caesar Cardini at the Hotel Caesar’s in Tijuana, Mexico. The original recipe called for whole lettuce leaves that were to be lifted up by the stem and eaten with the fingers.

Anchovies are saltwater fish that are quite small, although their adult size can vary from under an inch to over 15 inches depending on the species. Vegans should beware, as they are a ingredient in several common foods including Worcestershire sauce and Caesar salad dressing.

37. Website for people interested in "cultivating" a relationship? : FARMERSONLY
FarmersOnly.com is a dating website.

41. 5 1/2-point type : AGATE
In the world of typography, “agate” is a unit of measure. One agate is is equal to 5.5 points, or about one quarter of an inch. Agate is generally the smallest type size used in newspapers, and is generally restricted to advertisements and market reports in financial publications.

45. Falcons, on scoreboards : ATL
The Atlanta Falcons joined the NFL in 1965. The team name was suggest by a schoolteacher called Miss Julia Elliott. Elliot suggested that "the Falcon is proud and dignified, with great courage and fight. It never drops its prey. It is deadly and has a great sporting tradition."

46. Staple of Victorian architecture : TURRET
A “turret” is a small tower, and a word coming to us from Latin via French. The French word is “tourette” meaning small “tour”, small “tower”.

50. McCarthy in Hollywood : MELISSA
Melissa McCarthy is an actress and comedian who is perhaps best known on the small screen for playing Molly on the sitcom “Mike & Molly”, and on the big screen for playing the wild and wacky Megan Price in the 2011 comedy “Bridesmaids”. According to “Forbes”, McCarthy is the third-highest paid actress in 2014/2015, after Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson.

60. Where Arthur Ashe played college tennis : UCLA
Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player from Richmond, Virginia. In his youth, Ashe found himself having to travel great distances to play against Caucasian opponents due to the segregation that still existed in his home state. He was rewarded for his dedication by being selected for the 1963 US Davis Cup team, the first African American player to be so honored. Ashe continued to run into trouble because of his ethnicity though, and in 1968 was denied entry into South Africa to play in the South African Open. In 1979 Ashe suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery, with follow-up surgery four years later during which he contracted HIV from blood transfusions. Ashe passed away in 1993 due to complications from AIDS. Shortly afterwards, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

61. Book before Philemon : TITUS
The “Epistle of Paul to Titus” is one the Book of the New Testament in the Christian Bible. Saint Titus was a companion of Saint Paul, and is known today as the patron saint of the US Army Chaplain Corps.

63. Round end, of a sort : PEEN
The peen of a hammer is on the head, and is the side of the head that is opposite the striking surface. Often the peen is in the shape of a hemisphere (as in a ball-peen hammer), but usually it is shaped like a claw (mainly for removing nails).

64. Curry of the N.B.A. : STEPH
Steph Curry is a professional basketball player who was named the league’s MVP in 2015, the same season that he led the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA championship since 1975. Steph’s father is former NBA player Dell Curry, and the older brother of current NBA player Seth Curry.

Down
3. One day's drive, maybe : LOANER
A loaner car is often available at a dealership when one’s car is in for repair for a day or two.

4. N.F.C. South pro : BUC
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the NFL in 1976 along with the Seattle Seahawks as expansion teams. The Bucs had a tough start in the NFL, losing their first 26 games. Things went better in the early eighties, but then the team went through 14 consecutive losing seasons. Their luck changed again though, and they won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 season.

9. Bulldog rival : GATOR
The Florida Gators are the sports teams of the University of Florida, located in Gainesville. Sometimes the female teams are called the “Lady Gators”, and all of the fans make up the “Gator Nation”.

The sports teams of the University of Georgia are called the Bulldogs. The team mascot is known as Hairy Dawg. “Forbes” magazine lists Hairy Dawg as the third best Sports Mascot. Impressive …

10. Spelling with lines : TORI
Tori Spelling is an American actress who made a name for herself playing Donna Martin on television’s “Beverly Hills, 90210”. Tori is the daughter of film and television producer Aaron Spelling.

13. Plaster of paris, essentially : GYPSUM
Plaster made using gypsum is commonly referred to as plaster of Paris. The original plaster of Paris came from a large deposit of gypsum mined at Montmartre in Paris, hence the name.

18. King James, e.g. : CAV
Basketball player LeBron James (nicknamed “King James”) seems to be in demand for the covers of magazines. James became the first African American man to adorn the front cover of "Vogue" in March 2008. That made him only the third male to make the "Vogue" cover, following Richard Gere and George Clooney.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are the professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavs joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1970.

23. Country that's home to Dracula's Castle : ROMANIA
"Dracula" is a novel written by the Irish author Bram Stoker and first published in 1897. Dracula wasn't the first vampire of literature, but he certainly was the one who spawned the popularity of vampires in theater, film and television, and indeed more novels. Personally, I can't stand vampire fiction …

Transylvania is a geographic region in the center of Romania. The area is very much associated with vampires ever since the publication of Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula” that is set in Transylvania.

25. Tickets, in slang : DUCATS
“Ducat” is a slang term for an item of money or for an admission ticket. The original ducat was a coin introduced by the Republic of Venice in 1284. Famously, at the climax of William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”, Antonio goes on trial because he cannot repay a loan to Shylock of 3,000 ducats. Faced with non-payment, Shylock demands his legal right to “a pound of flesh”.

35. Angst-ridden and moody : EMO
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 …

36. Currency of Peru : SOL
The Nuevo Sol has been the currency of Peru since the 1980s.

39. San Diego suburb known as the "Jewel of the Hills" : LA MESA
One of the most famous residents of La Mesa, a suburb of San Diego, California, was the actor Dennis Hopper.

53. Counter orders? : BLTS
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

57. Bitter ___ : ALE
What’s known as “bitter ale” in the UK corresponds to “pale ale” in the US. I’m a fan ...

58. Card : WIT
A “card” or a “riot” is a very amusing person.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. First name in fantasy fiction : BILBO
6. Payola payoff : PLUG
10. Branch extension : TWIG
14. Subject for une chanteuse : AMOUR
15. When repeated, singer of the 1987 #1 hit "Head to Toe" : LISA
16. Exclamation sometimes said with a hand over the mouth : OH MY!
17. One in la-la land : SPACE CADET
19. Clichéd gift for a prisoner : RASP
20. Christ's end? : IAN
21. For instance : SAY
22. Snack brand first produced at Disneyland in the 1960s : DORITOS
24. Street ___ : CRED
26. Alternative to a snap : VELCRO
28. Asia's ___ Darya River : AMU
29. Structural support : STRUT
31. Stephen who was nominated for a 1992 Best Actor Oscar : REA
32. Title sometimes shortened by removing its middle letter : MADAM
34. Dish that often includes anchovies : CAESAR SALAD
37. Website for people interested in "cultivating" a relationship? : FARMERSONLY
38. "Lemme be straight with you ..." : NOT GONNA LIE ...
39. Good-for-nothing : LOUSE
40. Letterhead abbr. : TEL
41. 5 1/2-point type : AGATE
45. Falcons, on scoreboards : ATL
46. Staple of Victorian architecture : TURRET
49. Square : EVEN
50. McCarthy in Hollywood : MELISSA
52. Break down, maybe : SOB
54. Terse admission : I AM
55. For the ages : EPIC
56. Some kitchen utensils : ENAMELWARE
59. Court psychologist's ruling : SANE
60. Where Arthur Ashe played college tennis : UCLA
61. Book before Philemon : TITUS
62. Summer coolers : ADES
63. Round end, of a sort : PEEN
64. Curry of the N.B.A. : STEPH

Down
1. Educational foundations : BASICS
2. Lend : IMPART
3. One day's drive, maybe : LOANER
4. N.F.C. South pro : BUC
5. They're graded in geology class : ORES
6. Spot for autograph seekers : PLAYERS’ ENTRANCE
7. Top : LID
8. One who works a lot? : USED CAR SALESMAN
9. Bulldog rival : GATOR
10. Spelling with lines : TORI
11. "Whew!," upon arriving home : WHAT A DAY!
12. Cry before rage-quitting : I’M SO MAD
13. Plaster of paris, essentially : GYPSUM
18. King James, e.g. : CAV
23. Country that's home to Dracula's Castle : ROMANIA
25. Tickets, in slang : DUCATS
27. Pupil : LEARNER
30. They're often said to be sitting or moving : TARGETS
33. Claim : ALLEGE
35. Angst-ridden and moody : EMO
36. Currency of Peru : SOL
37. Place to do some shots? : FOUL LINE
38. It has rules for writing : NOTEPAD
39. San Diego suburb known as the "Jewel of the Hills" : LA MESA
42. Wing it? : AVIATE
43. Get misty : TEAR UP
44. Catch in a net : ENMESH
47. Deplete : USE UP
48. One exposed by a flip-flop : TOE
51. Summer coolers : ICES
53. Counter orders? : BLTS
57. Bitter ___ : ALE
58. Card : WIT


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7 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

19:32, no errors, iPad. Easier than the Thursday and Friday puzzles, I thought. (And I needed that!)

Tom M. said...

Don't mean to STRUT, but I think this is the easiest and smoothest Saturday solve I've ever done. Had to check the calendar to make sure it was Saturday. Will take them like this whenever I can, which is very far from often.

Dave Kennison said...

@Tom ... Hey, we all deserve a victory lap now and again! ... :-)

Tom M. said...

@Dave Kennison...Yes, now and again, especially again.

Lou Sander said...

The clichéd gift for a prisoner is a FILE. They are commonly baked into cakes, and they are used to remove metal from the prison bars, etc. A RASP is a file-like tool for coarsely shaping wood or other soft material such as GYPSUM. The prisoner who gets a RASP is likely to cut his tongue when removing the crumbs and icing from the RASP. A RASP is useless for cutting through steel bars. You can look it up.

Dave Kennison said...

@Lou Sander ... Good catch! ... (of "file" versus "rasp", that is) ... and, apparently, the editors finally noticed it, too, because the clue for 19A in the NYT crossword app was "Louis Armstrong vocal feature".

BruceB said...

24:15, no errors. Didn't get to this one until today (Monday). I was thinking the same thing as @Lou, about the RASP entry.

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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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