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0928-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Sep 16, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Morton J. Mendelson
THEME: Double-Duty Clues
We have just one set of clues today, labeled neither across nor down. As a result, some pairs of answers in the grid use the same clue, once in the across-direction and once in the down-direction:
1. Zip : ZEST / ZILCH
5. Back : STERN / SPONSOR
10. Bill : BEAK / BANKNOTE
25. Beam : GRIN / GIRDER
32. Dump : STY / SELL
41. Cut : SEVER / SHARE
43. Over : AFRESH / AT AN END
55. Hide : SCREEN / SKIN
58. Break : TAKE FIVE / TAME
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 53s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Zip : ZEST / ZILCH
We use the term “zilch” to mean “nothing”. Our current usage evolved in the sixties, before which the term was used to describe “meaningless speech”. There was a comic character called Mr. Zilch in the 1930s in “Ballyhoo” magazine. Mr. Zilch’s name probably came from the American college slang “Joe Zilch” that was used in the early 1900s for “an insignificant person”.

2. Subject of some 2015 border control measures : EBOLA
The Ebola virus causes a very nasty form of hemorrhagic fever. The name of the virus comes from the site of the first known outbreak, in a mission hospital in the Ebola River Valley in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The disease is transmitted from human to human by exposure to bodily fluids. In nature, the main carrier of Ebola is the fruit bat.

3. Instrument with 18+ strings : SITAR
The sitar has been around since the Middle Ages. The sitar is a stringed instrument that is played by plucking, and is used most often in Hindustani classical music. In the West we have been exposed to the instrument largely through the performances of Ravi Shankar and some music by George Harrison of the Beatles, a onetime student of Shankar.

4. Women's shoe feature : T-STRAP
A t-strap is a t-shaped strap that is part of many women’s shoes. The strap is in two parts, with one part going across the ankle, and the other lying along the length of the foot on top.

8. Artery: Abbr. : RTE
Route (rte.)

11. One guarded in a duel? : EPEE
“En garde” is a French term that has been absorbed into the sport of fencing. Originally a warning “on guard!”, it is spoken at the start of an encounter to warn the fencers to take a defensive position.

13. Etta of old comics : KETT
“Etta Kett” was a comic strip that first ran in 1925. The strip ceased to be published in 1974, when creator Paul Robinson passed away. The initial intent was to offer tips to teenagers on manners and social graces, hence the name of the title character Etta Kett (sounds like “etiquette”).

14. Bird with a forcepslike bill : IBIS
The ibis is a wading bird that was revered in ancient Egypt. “Ibis” is an interesting word grammatically speaking. You can have one “ibis” or two “ibises”, and then again one has a flock of “ibis”. And if you want to go with the classical plural, instead of two “ibises” you would have two “ibides”!

15. City north of Lisboa : PORTO
In Portuguese, “Lisboa” (Lisbon) and “Porto” (Oporto) are the two largest cities in Portugal.

16. Something that sticks out in a church? : APSE
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

17. Former Mississippi senator Trent : LOTT
Trent Lott was raised Democrat in Mississippi, but served in Congress as a Republican. Lott ran into trouble for remarks he made that were interpreted as being racially motivated, and ended up resigning in 2007.

20. Mozart was the first major composer to write specifically for it : CLARINET
The clarinet is a lovely-sounding instrument, isn’t it? The name comes from the Italian word “clarino” meaning “trumpet” with the “-et” suffix indicating “small”.

21. Key : ISLET
A “key” (also “cay”) is a low island offshore, as in the Florida Keys. Our term in English comes from the Spanish “cayo” meaning “shoal, reef”.

23. Chill : NIP
The air might be described as “crisp” on a frosty morning. One might also say that there is a “nip” in the air.

24. Razz : HARASS
Not so much here in America, but over in the British Isles "blowing a raspberry" is a way of insulting someone (I think it's called "a Bronx cheer" in the US). The verb "to razz" comes from a shortened form of "raspberry".

30. Starter home? : EDEN
According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

31. Like black rhinos : RARE
There are five types of rhinoceros that survive today, and the smaller Javan Rhino is the most rare. The rhinoceros is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, thanks to poaching. Hunters mainly prize the horn of the rhino as it is used in powdered form in traditional Chinese medicine.

35. Heading in a baseball box score : ERRORS
In baseball, the line square is a summary set of statistics for the game. It is seen at every baseball stadium, and includes the number of runs scored by each team per innings, as well as the total number of hits and errors. The more comprehensive box score includes the line score, but also shows the individual performance of each player.

39. Specialty skillet : CREPE PAN
“Crêpe” is the French word for “pancake”.

40. ___ Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial : YAD
Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem is a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust was opened to the public in 1957. The name “Yad Vashem” can be translated from Hebrew as “a place and a name”, and comes from a verse in the Book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Bible:
Even unto them will I give in my house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off

42. Mythomaniac : LIAR
A “mythomaniac” has a propensity for telling lies, for creating “myths”.

44. Super ___ (toy water guns) : SOAKERS
The Super Soaker brand of water gun first went on sale in toy shops in 1989. Since then, over a billion dollars worth of Super Soakers have been sold.

45. Suffix with acetyl : -ENE
Acetylene is one of the simplest hydrocarbons, and has the formula C2H2. About 20% of the acetylene produced in the world is used for oxyacetylene gas welding and cutting.

49. Murder : crows :: ___ : turkeys : RAFTER
There doesn’t seem to be a definitive etymology for “murder” as the collective noun for crows. One suggestion is that it comes from the scavenging behavior of crows, sometime feeding on rotting bodies of dead animals.

50. Word with prickly or alligator : PEAR
“Alligator pear” is another name for the avocado.

51. One of the six official languages of the United Nations : ARABIC
Today there are six official languages of the United Nations:
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • English
  • French
  • Russian
  • Spanish

53. Something the U.S. government bans the sale of : IVORY
The hard, white material called ivory has mainly been sourced from the tusks of elephants, although it can also be collected from the walrus, hippopotamus, killer whale, wart hog and others. The word “ivory” comes into English via Latin from the Ancient Egyptian word for “elephant”.

57. Longtime Dallas Cowboys QB Tony : ROMO
Tony Romo is a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. Romo is also an avid amateur golfer and has even tried (albeit unsuccessfully) to qualify for the US Open golf championship.

59. Sources of vitamin C : ADES
The essential nutrient referred to as vitamin C is also called L-ascorbic acid or ascorbate. A lack of vitamin C causes the disease scurvy.

60. C. Everett ___, 1980s surgeon general : KOOP
C. Everett Koop was Surgeon General from 1982-89, appointed by President Reagan. Koop was a somewhat controversial character and one who brought the position of Surgeon General into the spotlight more than was historically the case. Partly this was due to his pro-life position, his anti-tobacco stance and the fact that AIDS became a prominent issue while he was in office.

62. What "whisky" is to "whiskey": Abbr. : VAR
Don’t forget that we use the spelling “whiskey” for American and Irish versions of the drink, and “whisky” for Scotch, the Scottish version.

64. ___ Bunt, villainess in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" : IRMA
“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is the sixth of the James Bond series films, and the only one to star George Lazenby in the leading role. He wasn’t a great choice for 007 …

67. Commercial light : NEON
The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

69. Novelist Jean who wrote "Wide Sargasso Sea" : RHYS
Wide Sargasso Sea” was written by Jean Rhys and first published in 1966. It’s a clever work, written as a sort of prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s famous “Jane Eyre”, which dates back to 1847.

The Sargasso Sea is an area within the Atlantic Ocean that is famous as the home to many species of Sargassum, the algae floating on the surface that gives the area its name. The Sargasso Sea is also where both European and American species of eel lay their eggs and hatch their young. The young eels (or “elvers”) then head east or west, depending on the species.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Zip : ZEST / ZILCH
2. Subject of some 2015 border control measures : EBOLA
3. Instrument with 18+ strings : SITAR
4. Women's shoe feature : T-STRAP
5. Back : STERN / SPONSOR
6. "Don't use that ___ with me!" : TONE
7. Back when, long ago : ERST
8. Artery: Abbr. : RTE
9. Sign to continue straight : NO TURNS
10. Bill : BEAK / BANKNOTE
11. One guarded in a duel? : EPEE
12. Stat : ASAP
13. Etta of old comics : KETT
14. Bird with a forcepslike bill : IBIS
15. City north of Lisboa : PORTO
16. Something that sticks out in a church? : APSE
17. Former Mississippi senator Trent : LOTT
18. Outbreak : ONSET
19. Orderly : NEAT
20. Mozart was the first major composer to write specifically for it : CLARINET
21. Key : ISLET
22. Broken, as promises : UNKEPT
23. Chill : NIP
24. Razz : HARASS
25. Beam : GRIN / GIRDER
26. What a spoiler may spoil : PLOT
27. Work toward : TRY FOR
28. Holding office : IN POWER
29. Swell : WAVE
30. Starter home? : EDEN
31. Like black rhinos : RARE
32. Dump : STY / SELL
33. Quartet minus one : TRIO
34. Pro side of a vote : YEAS
35. Heading in a baseball box score : ERRORS
36. Row : OAR
37. "There! I did it!" : TADA!
38. Like the posture of human beings : ERECT
39. Specialty skillet : CREPE PAN
40. ___ Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial : YAD
41. Cut : SEVER / SHARE
42. Mythomaniac : LIAR
43. Over : AFRESH / AT AN END
44. Super ___ (toy water guns) : SOAKERS
45. Suffix with acetyl : -ENE
46. Is licked by : LOSES TO
47. Go out with : SEE
48. Laugh without restraint : ROAR
49. Murder : crows :: ___ : turkeys : RAFTER
50. Word with prickly or alligator : PEAR
51. One of the six official languages of the United Nations : ARABIC
52. What to expect when you're expecting : BIRTH
53. Something the U.S. government bans the sale of : IVORY
54. Gives up : CEDES
55. Hide : SCREEN / SKIN
56. ___ curriculum : CORE
57. Longtime Dallas Cowboys QB Tony : ROMO
58. Break : TAKE FIVE / TAME
59. Sources of vitamin C : ADES
60. C. Everett ___, 1980s surgeon general : KOOP
61. Get around : EVADE
62. What "whisky" is to "whiskey": Abbr. : VAR
63. Stepped (on) : TROD
64. ___ Bunt, villainess in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" : IRMA
65. Whistle-blower, e.g. : NAMER
66. French "to be" : ETRE
67. Commercial light : NEON
68. Put bandages on, as wounds : DRESS
69. Novelist Jean who wrote "Wide Sargasso Sea" : RHYS


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6 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

18:02, no errors, iPad. A "murder of crows" is familiar, but a "rafter of turkeys" is not. Apparently, it somehow developed from "a raft of", meaning the same thing as "a lot of", "a bunch of", or "a slew of".

Okay, so today is one of those days when it feels as if I have nothing but cotton between my ears. I loved the theme, but it did weird things to my subconscious. Also, the NYT crossword app presented me two lists of clues - one for "across" answers and one for "down" answers - but, in the second list, all the duplicates of clues in the first list were replaced by a dash, leading to a lot of clumsy repositioning of the lists to find a desired clue - a less than optimal choice (IMHO). Thankfully, there was a accompanying note explaining the gimmick; otherwise, I'd have spent a lot longer on the puzzle than I did.

Jeff said...

Fun puzzle today. The theme made things easier and more difficult at the same time. I'm still sorting that out.

RAFTER had me scratching my head as well. I also hade SHAVE for 41D at first rather than SHARE for "Cut". Shave works; Avabic doesn't, however. I guess AFRESH works for Over. I think anew might be more common, but of course it doesn't fit the grid.

Best -

Jeff said...

..forgot to mention Prickly PEAR I've heard. Alligator PEAR is alien to me.

BruceB said...

27:54, no errors. My paper just had one list of 'Clues'. Used a lot of time looking for the Across clues in the first half of the list, and the Down clues in the latter half. Originally had RASTER of turkeys in 49D, which gave me TAKES**E; and TOED in 63A which made it difficult to see BIRTH and IVORY.

I liked the term Mythomaniac for LIAR, I will try to use that whenever I can.

Anonymous said...

24:58, 3 errors involving TAKE FIVE and TAME. Just couldn't figure it out, for some reason...

Lou Sander said...

As reported, the theme made it both easier and more difficult. You had to think outside the box in two different directions. Hard to do. Overall, it was interesting and enjoyable, as well as challenging. Never heard of a RAFTER of turkeys. We have wild turkeys here in Pittsburgh, and they are always FLOCKS.

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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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