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1123-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Nov 16, Wednesday





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: David Steinberg
THEME: Addster
Each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase, but with the suffix -STER inserted:
20A. Something carried surreptitiously into an alt-rock concert? : HIPSTER FLASK (from “hip flask”)
27A. Perfect truck driver for the job? : DREAM TEAMSTER (from “dream team”)
44A. Female street-racing champion? : DRAGSTER QUEEN (from “drag queen”)
52A. Ostentatious member of the Mafia? : FLASH MOBSTER (from “flash mob”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 59s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Fast-food chain known for its root beer : A AND W
A&W is a brand of root beer that has been around since 1920, when Roy Allen partnered with Frank Wright to create the A&W moniker from their family names.

10. Iridescent stone : OPAL
An opal is often described as having a milky iridescence, known as "opalescence".

14. Princess Peach's savior in video games : MARIO
Princess Peach is the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom in Nintendo’s “Mario” universe. Princess Peach is Mario’s love interest.

19. Lakeside Ohio county : ERIE
There are three Erie Counties in the US:
  • Erie County, New York (with Buffalo as the county seat)
  • Erie County, Ohio (with Sandusky as the county seat)
  • Erie County, Pennsylvania (with Erie as the county seat)

22. Financing initials : APR
Annual percentage rate (APR)

26. ___ Park, Colo. : ESTES
Estes Park is a town in a beautiful part of the US, in northern Colorado. Estes Park is home to the headquarters of Rocky Mountain National Park.

32. Company that makes Valium : ROCHE
The generic name for Valium is diazepam. The drug was developed by Dr. Leo Sternbach of Hoffmann-La Roche, and approved for use in 1963. This was the second of Dr. Sternbach’s major developments, as he was responsible for the diazepam’s sister drug Librium, that went to market in 1960.

34. Some E.R. cases : ODS
Someone taking an overdose (OD) often ends up in an emergency room (ER).

37. Race in an H. G. Wells book : ELOI
In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called "The Time Machine", there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet's surface. The Morlocks are a race of cannibals living underground who use the Eloi as food.

44. Female street-racing champion? : DRAGSTER QUEEN (from “drag queen”)
Back in the 18th century “drag” was slang for a wagon or buggy, as it was “dragged” along by a horse or horses. In the 1930s, the underworld adopted “drag” as slang for an automobile. This sense of the word was imported into automobile racing in the forties, giving the name to “drag racing”. A drag race is basically a competition between two cars to determine which can accelerate faster from a standstill.

The etymology of the term "drag", as used in the transvestite world, seems to be unclear. It perhaps relates to the tendency of a transvestite's skirts to drag along the ground in days of old (although why they just didn't hitch up their skirts is beyond me!).

48. Tip on a sweatshirt string : AGLET
An aglet is a plastic or metal sheath that is found on the end of a shoelace or perhaps a drawstring. The name “aglet” comes from the Old French word “aguillette” meaning “needle”.

51. Bagel variety : RYE
The bagel was invented in the Polish city of Kraków in the 16th century. Bagels were brought to this country by Jewish immigrants from Poland who mainly established homes in and around New York City.

52. Ostentatious member of the Mafia? : FLASH MOBSTER (from “flash mob”)
Apparently “Cosa Nostra” is the real name for the Italian Mafia. “Cosa Nostra” translates as “our thing” or “this thing of ours”. The term first became public in the US when the FBI managed to turn some members of the American Mafia. The Italian authorities established that “Cosa Nostra” was also used in Sicily when they penetrated the Sicilian Mafia in the 1980s. The term “mafia” seems to be just a literary invention that has become popular with the public.

A flash mob is a group of people who gather to perform a sudden, brief act in a public location and then quickly disperse. Flash mobs originated in Manhattan in 2003, as a social experiment by an editor of “Harper’s Magazine” called Bill Wasik. Wasik’s first attempt to form a flash mob was unsuccessful, but the second attempt worked. The first successful flash mob was relatively tame by today’s elaborate standards, and consisted of about 130 people gathered on the 9th floor of Macy’s department store pretending to be shopping en masse for a “love rug”.

62. Filmmaker Ferrara : ABEL
Abel Ferrara is a screenwriter and film director noted for his work on independent movies. Ferrara’s best-known film is probably the 1990 crime drama “King of New York” starring Christopher Walken.

Down
1. "The Walking Dead" network : AMC
“The Walking Dead” is a horror television show that is made by AMC that is based on a comic book series of the same name. There are lots of flesh-eating zombies featured, so I won’t be seen “dead” watching it …

3. Org. for piece keepers? : NRA
National Rifle Association (NRA)

6. Ship part spelled with two apostrophes : FO’C’SLE
The forecastle (usually abbreviated to “fo’c’sle”) is the forward part of a ship where the sailors’ sleeping quarters are located. The term is also used to describe the upper deck, forward of the foremost mast. The related phrase “before the mast” is used to describe anything related to a ship’s enlisted men, those sailors who are not officers.

8. Amount left in Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard : NONE
The English nursery rhyme “Old Mother Hubbard” was first printed in 1805:
Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone;
When she came there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.

9. Animal in "Home on the Range" : DEER
The words of “Home on the Range” came before the music, a poem called “My Western Home” from the 1870s written by a Dr. Brewster Higley of Kansas. The music was added by Daniel Kelley, a friend of Higley. And now, a version of the song is the state song of Kansas.

13. Vichyssoise vegetables : LEEKS
Vichyssoise is a thick puréed potato soup that can be served hot, but is usually served cold. As well as potatoes, a classic vichyssoise contains leeks, onions, cream and chicken stock. Although the origin is disputed, it seems that the vichyssoise was invented in America, albeit by a French chef. That chef named his soup after the town of Vichy in France.

18. Help at the gym, say : SPOT
People at the gym who are doing weight training will often "spot" for each other. This means that the person who is spotting assists in the lift, allowing the “lifter” to work with more weight than usual.

21. Salty salad topping : FETA
Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

23. "1984" worker : PROLE
George Orwell introduced us to the "proles", the working class folk in his famous novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four". Collectively, the proles make up the section of society known as the proletariat.

24. RCA, for one : RECORD LABEL
RCA Records is the second-oldest recording label in the US, after Columbia Records.

28. Sushi tuna : AHI
Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as "ahi", the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

30. "What, me worry?" magazine : MAD
"Mad" magazine has been around since 1952, although back then it was more of a comic book than a magazine. The original founder and editor was Harvey Kurtzman and in order to convince him to stay, the publisher changed the format to a magazine in 1955. That’s when the publication really took off in terms of popularity.

31. Nathan Hale, for the Colonies : SPY
Nathan Hale fought for the Continental Army during the American Revolution, and was most famous for operating as a spy against the British. It was Nathan Hale who uttered the words, just before he was hanged by his British captors, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country”.

35. One of a Disney septet : DOPEY
In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale called “Snow White”, the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The seven dwarfs are:
  • Doc (the leader of the group)
  • Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife …)
  • Happy
  • Sleepy
  • Bashful
  • Sneezy
  • Dopey

36. Composer Jule : STYNE
Jule Styne was an English songwriter who made a name for himself in America with a series of popular musicals. Styne wrote a number of famous songs including “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from “Funny Girl”, “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from “Gypsy”.

40. T, on a fraternity house : TAU
Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

45. Scalp, say : RESELL
“Scalping” of tickets, selling them above retail price for an excessive profit, originated in the mid-1800s with scalpers making money off theater tickets. There was also quite a bit of money made by people scalping railway tickets. Railroads gave discounts on tickets for longer journeys, so someone trying to get from San Francisco to Chicago say, might buy a ticket to New York. Once in Chicago the passenger would scalp the remainder of his/her ticket to someone wanting to get to New York, and make his or her invested money back with a bonus. The exact etymology of the term “scalper” seems unclear.

46. Longtime Disney C.E.O. : EISNER
Michael Eisner took over as CEO of the Walt Disney Company in 1984. Eisner has been attributed with turning Disney around, as the company was floundering really since 1966 when Walt Disney died. Eisner had a good run, but ran foul of Walt Disney’s nephew Roy Disney who led a revolt that resulted in Eisner’s resignation in 2005.

48. Company whose spokesduck is on Twitter : AFLAC
In 1999, Aflac (American Family Life Assurance Company) 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 …

49. Boston daily : GLOBE
“The Boston Globe” is a daily newspaper that was founded in 1872 as a morning daily. “The Boston Evening Globe” followed a few years later, although it ceased publication in 1979. Today you can read the online version of “The Globe” at Boston.com.

53. "Choosy ___ choose Jif" (ad slogan) : MOMS
Jif is the leading brand of peanut butter in the US, and has been since 1981. Introduced in 1958, it is now produced by Smuckers.

54. Crude letters? : OPEC
The OPEC cartel (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). One reason America isn't in OPEC, even though we are a big producer, is that we import a lot more than we export. But we all probably knew that already …

55. Testing stage : BETA
In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the "alpha" version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a "beta" and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as "beta". The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, bug-free. Yeah, right …

61. Former PBS host with a bow tie : NYE
That would be “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. Bill’s show ran on PBS for four years from 1993-97.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Fast-food chain known for its root beer : A AND W
6. Edit menu option : FIND
10. Iridescent stone : OPAL
14. Princess Peach's savior in video games : MARIO
15. Musical instrument with a flared end : OBOE
16. Like N.F.L. games ending in a tie : RARE
17. Standard feature of an action film : CHASE SCENE
19. Lakeside Ohio county : ERIE
20. Something carried surreptitiously into an alt-rock concert? : HIPSTER FLASK (from “hip flask”)
22. Financing initials : APR
25. The sun : SOL
26. ___ Park, Colo. : ESTES
27. Perfect truck driver for the job? : DREAM TEAMSTER (from “dream team”)
32. Company that makes Valium : ROCHE
33. Family man : PAPA
34. Some E.R. cases : ODS
37. Race in an H. G. Wells book : ELOI
38. Suspicious : SHADY
40. Palindromic blast : TOOT
41. ___ cent : PER
42. Two twos, for one : PAIR
43. Overly sentimental : SAPPY
44. Female street-racing champion? : DRAGSTER QUEEN (from “drag queen”)
48. Tip on a sweatshirt string : AGLET
50. Note to a creditor : IOU
51. Bagel variety : RYE
52. Ostentatious member of the Mafia? : FLASH MOBSTER (from “flash mob”)
57. Piercing place : LOBE
58. Prime hunting time : OPEN SEASON
62. Filmmaker Ferrara : ABEL
63. Allocate, with "out" : METE
64. Full of oomph : ZIPPY
65. Sentence structure? : CELL
66. ___ for life : SCAR
67. Delight : ELATE

Down
1. "The Walking Dead" network : AMC
2. "That feels so-o-o good!" : AAH!
3. Org. for piece keepers? : NRA
4. Gossip : DISH
5. Quaint lament : WOE IS ME
6. Ship part spelled with two apostrophes : FO’C’SLE
7. "Uh-huh, of course" : I BET
8. Amount left in Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard : NONE
9. Animal in "Home on the Range" : DEER
10. Ultimatum ending : … OR ELSE
11. High military figure? : PARATROOPER
12. Occur : ARISE
13. Vichyssoise vegetables : LEEKS
18. Help at the gym, say : SPOT
21. Salty salad topping : FETA
22. Noneditorial magazine worker, informally : AD REP
23. "1984" worker : PROLE
24. RCA, for one : RECORD LABEL
28. Sushi tuna : AHI
29. Separate : APART
30. "What, me worry?" magazine : MAD
31. Nathan Hale, for the Colonies : SPY
35. One of a Disney septet : DOPEY
36. Composer Jule : STYNE
38. Furniture concern : SAG
39. ___ and hers : HIS
40. T, on a fraternity house : TAU
42. Something hikers take : PATH
43. Tight hug : SQUEEZE
45. Scalp, say : RESELL
46. Longtime Disney C.E.O. : EISNER
47. Becomes compost : ROTS
48. Company whose spokesduck is on Twitter : AFLAC
49. Boston daily : GLOBE
53. "Choosy ___ choose Jif" (ad slogan) : MOMS
54. Crude letters? : OPEC
55. Testing stage : BETA
56. Skatepark fixture : RAIL
59. Massage place : SPA
60. ___-out clause : OPT
61. Former PBS host with a bow tie : NYE


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7 comments :

Jeff said...

Quick Wednesday puzzle that is no doubt lulling us to sleep before tomorrow's craziness. I did have issues in the midwest. It was mostly because I put "red" cent rather than PER cent. Hilarity ensued...Black with write overs, but I got it. Had to take FOCSLE on faith. The rest of the grid was pretty straightforward.

1972 sounded awfully recent for a publication like the Boston Globe. I looked it up and it's just a hundred year typo. It should read 1872.

Best -

Dave Kennison said...

11:22, no errors, iPad. I also had RED cent before PERcent. As Jeff says, a pretty straightforward puzzle, but, for me, not without a few blundering missteps.

Bill Butler said...

@Jeff,

Thanks for catching that 1872/1972 typo for me. All fixed now. Going to have to advertise for a proofreader :)

Dale Stewart said...

So I guess I wasn't the only one who first wrote in RED cent but later got it straightened out. One little gem I liked was "Sentence structure?". I got a chuckle when I realized the cluer was looking for CELL.

BruceB said...

11:01, no errors. Although I didn't fall into the RED cent trap, I was suspicious that there might be a rapper out there with the moniker TWO cent or TEN cent.

Tom M. said...

So forty PERCENT of us (2 of 5) didn't fall into the redCENT trap. Enjoyed this ZIPPY puzzle.

Anonymous said...

I just had it **going ON** with this puzzle: at 7:31, I crushed Bill's time (very rare that I manage that!), and PERcent got cross-filled, so I never even looked at its clue. Yes, the cynical side of me says to gird my loins for some dire, evil, fell trick on the morrow!

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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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