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1010-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Oct 16, Monday





QuickLinks:
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: Patrick Merrell
THEME: Monstrous Animals
Each of today’s themed answers is a type of animal. Each animal’s name starts with a type of MONSTER:
17A. Airborne animal with a monstrous name : VAMPIRE BAT
37A. Airborne animal with a monstrous name : DRAGONFLY
43A. Undersea animal with a monstrous name : DEVILFISH
64A. Undersea animal with a monstrous name : GIANT SQUID
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 25s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. Sicilian volcano : ETNA
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Mt Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-guage railway, and two ski resorts.

15. Pasta sauce "trusted since 1937" : RAGU
The Ragú brand of pasta sauce is owned by Unilever. The name ” Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is off a little. In Italian the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the sauce on the supermarket shelf it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …

17. Airborne animal with a monstrous name : VAMPIRE BAT
Vampire bats feed mostly in the blood of mammals, including humans. When they find a suitable "victim", often one that is asleep, the bat usually lands close by and approaches its "meal" on the ground. It makes a small cut with its razor-sharp teeth and laps up the blood. The blood tends to flow freely as the bat's saliva contains anticoagulants. Reports of bats biting the neck of humans are very rare in the real world, but the neck is the preferred location of attack in the fantasy world of vampires.

Legends about vampires were particularly common in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans in particular. The superstition was that vampires could be killed using a wooden stake, with the preferred type of wood varying from place to place. Superstition also defined where in the body should be staked. Most often, the stake was driven through the heart, but Russians and northern Germans went for the mouth, and northeastern Serbs for the stomach.

25. Site with the option "Shop by category" : EBAY
eBay was founded in 1995 as AuctionWeb as part of a computer programmer’s personal website. One of the first items purchased was a broken laser pointer, for $14.83. The buyer collected broken laser pointers …

29. Anonymous John : DOE
Though the English court system does not use the term today, John Doe first appeared as the "name of a person unknown" in England in 1659, along with another unknown, Richard Roe. An unknown female is referred to as Jane Doe. Variants of “John Doe” are “Joe Blow” and “John Q. Public”.

31. Exclamation when raising one's champagne glass : A TOAST!
The tradition of “toasting” someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

35. University of Maine town : ORONO
The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine, founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation.

37. Airborne animal with a monstrous name : DRAGONFLY
Dragonflies are predatory insects and love to feed on flies, bees, ants, wasps and mosquitoes.

39. Zilch : NIL
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”.

40. 12:00 : NOONDAY
Our word “noon”, meaning “midday”, comes from the Latin “nona hora” that translates as “ninth hour”. Back in Ancient Rome, the “ninth hour” was three in the afternoon. Over the centuries, traditions such as church prayers and “midday” meals shifted from 3 p.m. to 12 p.m., and so “noon” became understood as 12 noon.

43. Undersea animal with a monstrous name : DEVILFISH
“Sea devil” is another name for the manta ray.

The manta ray is the biggest species of ray, with the largest one recorded at over 25 feet across and weighing 5,100 pounds.

50. High/low cards : ACES
In the card game called Blackjack, an ace has the point value of one or eleven. When one of the two cards dealt to a player is an ace, the hand is called “soft”. This means that the player cannot go bust by taking another card, as the ace can be revalued at “one” if necessary in order to stay under 21.

51. ___-serif font : SANS
Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif, using the French word "sans" meaning "without" and “serif” from the Dutch “schreef” meaning “line”. Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I'm not so sure though …

53. Singer who starred in "Moonstruck" : CHER
“Moonstruck” is a 1987 movie, a romantic comedy starring Cher and Nicolas Cage. There’s a bit of a love triangle in the storyline, with Danny Aiello playing the man who loses the girl. “Moonstruck” won three Oscars and was a huge success, and somehow, I’ve never seen it …

55. Beret-wearing individualists of the 1950s-'60s : BEATNIKS
The term “beatnik” was coined by journalist Herb Caen in 1958 when he used it to describe the stereotypical young person of the “beat generation” that was oft associated with the writer Jack Kerouac.

59. U.S. moon-landing program : APOLLO
The Apollo program is very much associated with President Kennedy, as he gave NASA the challenge to land men on the moon by the end of the sixties. However, the Apollo program was conceived during the Eisenhower administration as a follow-up to Project Mercury that put the first Americans in space.

66. "For ___ the Bell Tolls" : WHOM
“For Whom the Bell Tolls” is a 1940 novel by author Ernest Hemingway that tells the story of an American fighting for a republican guerilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. The novel is based on Hemingway’s own experiences during the conflict. The title is taken from a work by metaphysical poet John Donne called “Devotions upon Emergent Occasions”.

“Devotions upon Emergent Occasions” is a work of prose by English poet John Donne, first published in 1624. A couple of famous phrases oft-quoted from the work are “No man is an island” and “for whom the bell tolls”.

67. Half: Prefix : HEMI-
Ever wonder what the difference is between the prefixes “hemi-”, “demi-” and “semi-”, all of which mean “half”? Well, the general observation is that words using the “demi-” prefix date back to the days of Norman influence over the English language. As a result, “demi-” turns up in the world of period costume and coats of arms. Words using “hemi-” tend to have Greek roots, and are prevalent in the world of the sciences and the medical field. Words with “semi-” tend to have Latin roots, and are most often found in music and the arts, and mathematics.

68. No longer in the closet, and not by choice : OUTED
Back in the 1950s, to come “out of the closet” was to admit to being an alcoholic. By the seventies, the phrase mainly referred to gay people shrugging off secrecy about their orientation.

70. Fearsome dino : T REX
The Tyrannosaurus rex (usually written T. rex) was a spectacular looking dinosaur. “Tyrannosaurus” comes from the Greek words “tyrannos” (tyrant) and “sauros” (lizard), and the “rex” is of course Latin for “king”. They were big boys, measuring 42 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hips, and weighing 7.5 tons.

Down
1. Performer inclined to throw tantrums : DIVA
The term “diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. "Diva" is the feminine form of "divus" meaning "divine one". The word is used in Italy to mean "goddess" or "fine lady", and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

2. Muscat is its capital : OMAN
Muscat is the capital of Oman, and lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.

5. Children's writer R. L. ___ : STINE
The author R. L. Stine is sometimes referred to as the Stephen King of children’s literature as he writes horror stories for young people.

8. Banded rock : AGATE
Agate is a micro-crystalline form of quartz (so is related to sand/silica). Some agate samples have deposited layers that give a striped appearance, and these are called "banded agate".

9. Relative of a turnip : RUTABAGA
The names of veggies cause me grief sometimes. What's called a turnip here in the US, we call a swede back in Ireland. An Irishman’s turnip is a rutabaga over here. Thank goodness a potato is a potato, or I'd just give up altogether :)

11. Bangkok resident : THAI
Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand. The exact etymology of the name “Bangkok” seems unclear, although “bang” is a Thai word meaning “a village situated on a stream”.

12. Emperor accused of starting the Great Fire of Rome : NERO
The Great Fire of Rome raged for five and a half days in 64 AD. Of the fourteen districts of Rome, three were completely destroyed and seven more suffered serious damage. The emperor at the time was of course Nero, although reports that he fiddled, played his lyre or sang while the city burned; those accounts are probably not true. In fact, Nero was staying outside of Rome when the fire started and rushed home on hearing the news. He organized a massive relief effort, throwing open his own home to give shelter to many of the citizens who were left living on the street.

22. One of the Jacksons : LA TOYA
La Toya Jackson was very close to her brother Michael, both in age and temperament. It seems to me that La Toya’s obsession with the plastic surgeon’s knife was second only to that of her younger brother.

24. "Ditto" : SO DO I
“Ditto” was originally used in Italian (from Tuscan dialect) to avoid repetition of the names of months in a series of dates. So, “ditto” is just another wonderful import from that lovely land …

26. Hollywood's Henry or Jane : FONDA
Actor Henry Fonda had already started his Hollywood career when along came WWII. Fonda enlisted in the Navy, and served for three years on the destroyer USS Satterlee. Then he served as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in Air Combat Intelligence in the Pacific, earning the Bronze Star.

Jane Fonda is the daughter of Henry Fonda, sister of Peter Fonda, and aunt of Bridget Fonda, making the Fondas quite the acting family. Jane Fonda had many memorable screen performances, but is equally memorable for her anti-war activism. Most famously she was outspoken against the Vietnam War, going so far as to visit North Vietnam during the height of the conflict in 1972, posing for photographs and making radio broadcasts denouncing American leaders as “war criminals”. For her stance, Fonda earned the nickname “Hanoi Jane”.

27. "The Little Mermaid" mermaid : ARIEL
“The Little Mermaid” is a 1989 animated feature from Disney that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. It tells the story of a mermaid princess named Ariel who falls in love with the human Prince Eric. Ariel’s father is chief merman King Triton.

28. Swedish car whose name is Latin for "I roll" : VOLVO
Volvo is a Swedish manufacturers of cars, trucks and construction equipment. The Volvo name was chosen as “volvo” is Latin for “I roll”.

30. German artist Max : ERNST
Max Ernst was a painter and sculptor, a pioneer in the Dada movement and Surrealism. Ernst was born near Cologne in Germany in 1891 and he was called up to fight in WWI, as were most young German men at that time. In his autobiography he writes “Max Ernst died the 1st of August, 1914” a statement about his experiences in the war. In reality, Ernst died in 1976 having lived to the ripe old age of 85.

32. Insurer with a duck in its commercials : AFLAC
In 1999, Aflac was huge in the world of insurance but it wasn't a household name, so a New York advertising agency was given the task of making the Aflac brand more memorable. One of the agency's art directors, while walking around Central Park one lunchtime, heard a duck quacking and in his mind linked it with "Aflac", and that duck has been "Aflacking" ever since ...

38. For one particular purpose, as a committee : AD HOC
The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”. An ad hoc committee, for example, is formed for a specific purpose and is disbanded after making its final report.

46. Ornate architectural style : BAROQUE
Something described as “baroque” is extremely ornate and convoluted. The term comes from the Baroque Period, in which many of the arts focused on great detail and elaborate design.

54. Printer brand : EPSON
Seiko Epson is a Japanese company, one of the largest manufacturers of printers in the world. The company has its roots in the watch business, roots that go back to 1942. Seiko was chosen as the official timekeeper for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and was asked to supply a timer that produced a printed record. This request brought Seiko into the business of printer production. The company developed the world's first mini-printer for the 1964 Games and called it EP-101 (EP standing for Electronic Printer). In 1975 Seiko introduced the next generation of EP printers which was called EPSON, from “SON of EP”. Cute, huh?

60. Troubadour's stringed instrument : LUTE
A troubadour was a composer and musician of the Middle Ages whose works dealt mainly with chivalry and courtly love. Troubadours were usually men, and a female troubadour would have been called a trobairitz, a lovely word …

65. Veto : NIX
The use of “nix” as a verb, meaning “to shoot down”, dates back to the early 1900s. Before that “nix” was just a noun meaning “nothing”. “Nix” comes from the German “nichts”, which also means “nothing”.

“Veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The word was used by tribunes of Ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Numbered things in a hotel hallway : DOORS
6. Not fully closed, as 1-Across : AJAR
10. Sicilian volcano : ETNA
14. Cry to a battlefield medic : I'M HIT!
15. Pasta sauce "trusted since 1937" : RAGU
16. "Um, pardon me" : AHEM
17. Airborne animal with a monstrous name : VAMPIRE BAT
19. Not medium or well done : RARE
20. "Who knows the answer?" : ANYONE?
21. Mare's mate : STALLION
23. Pod fillers : PEAS
25. Site with the option "Shop by category" : EBAY
26. Top choice, informally : FAVE
29. Anonymous John : DOE
31. Exclamation when raising one's champagne glass : A TOAST!
35. University of Maine town : ORONO
37. Airborne animal with a monstrous name : DRAGONFLY
39. Zilch : NIL
40. 12:00 : NOONDAY
42. Spot for a cat : LAP
43. Undersea animal with a monstrous name : DEVILFISH
45. Lessen : ABATE
47. Much : A LOT OF
48. Remove from a no-parking zone, say : TOW
50. High/low cards : ACES
51. ___-serif font : SANS
53. Singer who starred in "Moonstruck" : CHER
55. Beret-wearing individualists of the 1950s-'60s : BEATNIKS
59. U.S. moon-landing program : APOLLO
63. Play's start : ACT I
64. Undersea animal with a monstrous name : GIANT SQUID
66. "For ___ the Bell Tolls" : WHOM
67. Half: Prefix : HEMI-
68. No longer in the closet, and not by choice : OUTED
69. Brain or ear part : LOBE
70. Fearsome dino : T REX
71. Must-haves : NEEDS

Down
1. Performer inclined to throw tantrums : DIVA
2. Muscat is its capital : OMAN
3. "Goodness gracious!" : OH MY!
4. Tear the wrapping off : RIP OPEN
5. Children's writer R. L. ___ : STINE
6. "___ you kidding me?!" : ARE
7. Quick punches : JABS
8. Banded rock : AGATE
9. Relative of a turnip : RUTABAGA
10. In the beginning stages : EARLY ON
11. Bangkok resident : THAI
12. Emperor accused of starting the Great Fire of Rome : NERO
13. "I'll second that, brother!" : AMEN!
18. Enjoy a book : READ
22. One of the Jacksons : LA TOYA
24. "Ditto" : SO DO I
26. Hollywood's Henry or Jane : FONDA
27. "The Little Mermaid" mermaid : ARIEL
28. Swedish car whose name is Latin for "I roll" : VOLVO
30. German artist Max : ERNST
32. Insurer with a duck in its commercials : AFLAC
33. Something to write on with chalk : SLATE
34. Uses a computer keyboard : TYPES
36. Borrowed, as artwork between museums : ON LOAN
38. For one particular purpose, as a committee : AD HOC
41. Subpar performance for a team or musician, say : OFF-NIGHT
44. "We've waited long enough" : IT'S TIME
46. Ornate architectural style : BAROQUE
49. "___ the heck" : WHAT
52. One going down a slippery slope : SKIER
54. Printer brand : EPSON
55. Cry like a baby : BAWL
56. Canyon rebound : ECHO
57. Very limited range : A TO B
58. "Ditto" : SAME
60. Troubadour's stringed instrument : LUTE
61. Told untruths : LIED
62. 10:1 at a racetrack, e.g. : ODDS
65. Veto : NIX


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5 comments :

Sfingi said...

Kept wondering what AT OB was. LEarned here: A TO B

Dave Kennison said...

6:15, no errors, iPad. Rutabagas always remind me of my Norwegian mother, who was otherwise an excellent cook, but was utterly convinced that the only way to prepare turnips and rutabagas was to boil and mash them. As we (five) kids grew older, we finally rose in revolt and demanded to eat them raw. And it worked ... for one meal ... :-)

Jeff said...

Another easy Monday. I complain about Mondays every week, but here I am doing 2 today....

Sfingi - A TO B got me as well. I was scratching my head over that one. Thought maybe it was radio lingo.

Joe Zilch was new to me as well, but it sure made me laugh. I can think of a few people I'd like to use it on .....

Best -

Dale Stewart said...

The puzzle was almost too easy to have much of a feeling of accomplishment. Bill's comments were much more interesting than the puzzle itself. One of Bill's nuggets of information for me today is why A TOAST is called a "toast". I had never thought about it before but it would never have occurred to me that it came from actual toasted bread.

BruceB said...

8:14, no errors. Agree with previous posters about how interesting Bill's comments are. In addition to ZILCH and TOAST, the origin of NOON was interesting.

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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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