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1213-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 13 Dec 16, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Alfred Bywaters
THEME: Legally Punny
Today’s themed answers common phrases, but each is reinterpreted in a “legal” and “punny” way:
17A. Legal actions provoked by oversimple jigsaw puzzles? : THREE-PIECE SUITS
35A. Law documents concerning pugilists? : BOXER BRIEFS
43A. Court precedents involving games of hoops? : BASKET CASES
61A. Attorneys' fees paid with gold fillings? : DENTAL RETAINERS
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 12s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. Gaelic language : ERSE
There are actually three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).

17. Legal actions provoked by oversimple jigsaw puzzles? : THREE-PIECE SUITS
Jigsaws are saws designed for the cutting of irregular curves by hand. The original jigsaw puzzles were created by painting a picture on a sheet of wood and then cutting the picture into small pieces using a jigsaw, hence the name. Today, almost all jigsaw puzzles are pictures glued onto cardboard. The puzzle pieces are then die-cut, and there’s no jigsaw involved at all.

20. Lead-in to kraut or braten : SAUER-
Sauerkraut translates from German as "sour herb" or "sour cabbage". During WWI, sauerkraut producers changes its name in order to distance their product from the "enemy". They called it "Liberty cabbage".
Sauerbraten is a traditional pot roast dish of Germany. The name “Sauerbraten” translates as “sour roast”. The cut of meat is soaked for several days in a vinegar-based marinade (hence “sour”) before cooking.

25. Object of early Christian condemnation : PAGAN
A pagan is someone who holds religious beliefs that are different from the main religions of the world. In classical Latin “paganus” was a villager, a rustic.

27. Mother-of-pearl source : ABALONE
The large edible sea snails that we call abalone are called ormer in the British Isles, and are served as “awabi” at a sushi bar. The abalone shell resembles a human ear, giving rise to the alternative names “ear shell” and “sea ear”.

Mother-of-pearl is another name for nacre. Nacre is the strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells, and it’s also what makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that’s how a pearl is formed.

35. Law documents concerning pugilists? : BOXER BRIEFS
“Pugilism”, another word for “boxing”, comes from the Latin “pugil” meaning “boxer”. In turn, “pugil” derives from “pugnus”, the word for “fist”.

41. Smoke an e-cigarette : VAPE
An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering the nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

42. Paris-to-Berlin dir. : ENE
The French capital of Paris is named for the Parisii, a Celtic Iron Age people that lived in the area on the banks of the River Seine.

Berlin is the capital and largest city in Germany, and is the second most populous city in the European Union (after London).

51. With 40-Across, common deli sandwich : HAM …
(40A. See 51-Across : … ON RYE)
The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.

55. Animal with an opposable thumb : APE
Most animals don’t have that all important “opposable thumb” that allows us to work so efficiently with our hands. The characteristic of opposable thumbs is shared by humans, apes, Old World monkeys as well as a few other species.

65. Company that buried 700,000+ unsold video games in 1983 : ATARI
Back in 1983, it was rumored that Atari buried a huge stash of unsold video games in a New Mexico landfill. The game in question was called “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”, widely panned as perhaps the worst video game ever produced. Partly because the burial took place close to the site of the Roswell UFO incident, and also because Atari denied that the event ever occurred, the destruction of the games became somewhat of an urban legend.

67. Love god : EROS
Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic”, meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Also known as Amor, the Roman counterpart to Eros was Cupid.

69. Conglomerate originally named Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo : SONY
Sony was founded by Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka as Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). The two partners met in the Japanese Navy during WWII.

Down
3. Neutral shade : ECRU
The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

4. Coaxed : WHEEDLED
“To wheedle” is to influence by flattery for one’s gain. Such a lovely verb, I think …

To coax is to cajole, to influence using gentle persuasion. Back in the 16th century, “coax” was a a noun meaning “fool”, and was used in the sense of “make a coax of, make a fool of”.

5. Rock-and-roll need : AMP
An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

8. Chocolaty hot beverage : MOCHA
Mocha is a port city in Yemen on the Red Sea and was once the principal port for the capital city of Sana’a. Mocha was the major marketplace in the world for coffee until the 1600s, and gave its name to the Mocha coffee bean, which in turn gave it’s name to the mocha brown color, and to the flavor of coffee infused with chocolate.

13. Online crafts seller : ETSY
Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

19. Graceful birds : SWANS
An adult male swan is called a “cob”, and an adult female is a “pen”. Young swans are called “swanlings” or “cygnets”.

28. Frontiersman Daniel : BOONE
Daniel Boone was a pioneer and folk hero. For frontiersman Boone, the frontier was what we now call the state of Kentucky. He led the building of the Wilderness Road through the famous Cumberland Gap in the Appalachians, a route subsequently taken by hundreds of thousands of migrants into Kentucky. Boone fought in the Revolutionary War with distinction, and after the war returned to Kentucky and got himself into land speculation. He became mired in debt, forcing him to emigrate to Missouri to settle down on land that was at that time owned by the French. It was there that he spent the last decades of his life.

30. Shore birds : ERNS
The ern (sometimes “erne”) is also called the white-tailed eagle, or the sea-eagle.

33. Pickled flower bud : CAPER
The seasoning we know as “capers” are the edible flower buds of the caper bush, also known as Flinders rose. By the time we get them in a jar, the buds have been pickled and salted. I’m not a huge fan of capers …

37. Places for contacts : EYES
The concepts that underpin the technology of contact lenses date back to Leonardo Da Vinci. Although Da Vinci didn’t propose the development of the contact lens, he did write about correcting vision by submerging the eye in a bowl of water. Over a hundred years later, René Descartes made a somewhat impractical suggestion, but along the right lines, of using a glass tube filled with liquid that could be placed in contact with the eye to correct vision. The first real contact lenses were developed by Adolf Gaston Eugen Fick, a German ophthalmologist, in 1887.

43. Flora and fauna : BIOTA
The biota of a region is the total collection of flora and fauna found there.

44. South American animal also known as a "hog-nosed coon" : COATI
A coati is a member of the raccoon family and is also known as the Brazilian aardvark, or the snookum bear. The coati is native to Central and South America, but can also be found in the southwest of the United States.

46. Big name in lawn care : SCOTTS
Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by one Orlando Scott, initially selling seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, Scotts started to sell to homeowners, mainly supplying lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955.

49. Google ___ : EARTH
Google Earth is a program that maps the Earth by superimposing satellite images and aerial photographs. Google acquired the technology when it purchased Keyhole, Inc in 2004. Keyhole had been partially funded by the CIA.

53. Bambi, e.g. : DEER
The 1942 Disney classic “Bambi” is based on a book written by Felix Salten called “Bambi, A Life in the Woods”. There is a documented phenomenon known as the Bambi Effect, whereby people become more interested in animal rights after having watched the scene where Bambi’s mother is shot by hunters.

56. Ser : Spanish :: ___ : French : ETRE
The French for “to be” is “être”.

58. Fiddling emperor : 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 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.

62. ___ Cruces, N.M. : LAS
Las Cruces (Spanish for “the crosses”) is the second largest city in the state of New Mexico, and is the home of New Mexico State University.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "What a relief!" : PHEW!
5. Pleasant scent : AROMA
10. Gaelic language : ERSE
14. Per unit : EACH
15. Home on an estate : MANOR
16. Fail to persevere : QUIT
17. Legal actions provoked by oversimple jigsaw puzzles? : THREE-PIECE SUITS
20. Lead-in to kraut or braten : SAUER-
21. "Well, obviously!" : DUH!
22. Like some French sauces : WINEY
23. Ad word suggesting a lack of undesirable moisture : DRI
25. Object of early Christian condemnation : PAGAN
27. Mother-of-pearl source : ABALONE
31. Like a short play : ONE-ACT
35. Law documents concerning pugilists? : BOXER BRIEFS
38. Tavern : BAR
39. Daring : BOLD
40. See 51-Across : … ON RYE
41. Smoke an e-cigarette : VAPE
42. Paris-to-Berlin dir. : ENE
43. Court precedents involving games of hoops? : BASKET CASES
45. Affirmative to a commanding officer : YES, SIR
47. Touchdown pass catchers, e.g. : SCORERS
48. Does a tech job : CODES
51. With 40-Across, common deli sandwich : HAM ...
52. Numbskull : IDIOT
55. Animal with an opposable thumb : APE
57. Trace of color : TINGE
61. Attorneys' fees paid with gold fillings? : DENTAL RETAINERS
64. Departed : LEFT
65. Company that buried 700,000+ unsold video games in 1983 : ATARI
66. Journey : TRIP
67. Love god : EROS
68. Tatter : SHRED
69. Conglomerate originally named Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo : SONY

Down
1. Parrots and ferrets : PETS
2. Response to a joke : HA-HA
3. Neutral shade : ECRU
4. Coaxed : WHEEDLED
5. Rock-and-roll need : AMP
6. Unwelcome cry at the front door : RAID!
7. Best : ONE-UP
8. Chocolaty hot beverage : MOCHA
9. Exist : ARE
10. Like most carousel animals : EQUINE
11. Destroy : RUIN
12. Internet destination : SITE
13. Online crafts seller : ETSY
18. What "oopsy" signals : ERROR
19. Graceful birds : SWANS
24. Like some boat motor types : INBOARD
26. Command to a dog after a ball is thrown : GO FETCH!
27. Monk's home : ABBEY
28. Frontiersman Daniel : BOONE
29. Wheel connectors : AXLES
30. Shore birds : ERNS
32. Humiliate : ABASE
33. Pickled flower bud : CAPER
34. Lock of hair : TRESS
36. Annoy : IRK
37. Places for contacts : EYES
41. Troublesome critters : VARMINTS
43. Flora and fauna : BIOTA
44. South American animal also known as a "hog-nosed coon" : COATI
46. Big name in lawn care : SCOTTS
49. Google ___ : EARTH
50. Primitive weapon : SPEAR
52. Not working : IDLE
53. Bambi, e.g. : DEER
54. What a help desk provides : INFO
56. Ser : Spanish :: ___ : French : ETRE
58. Fiddling emperor : NERO
59. Smile : GRIN
60. Get a look at : ESPY
62. ___ Cruces, N.M. : LAS
63. Help : AID


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8 comments :

Anonymous said...

You might want to correct the title of this puzzle. It is Tuesday, December 13, 2016.

Bill Butler said...

Thank for the help. Much appreciated.

Dave Kennison said...

7:35, no errors, iPad.

Jeff said...

Nice grid for a Tuesday. I might want to be a little whiny about WINEY, but otherwise I liked it.

Interesting that the word PAGAN has so much more a generic meaning than I had thought. The definition I always think of (polytheistic) is actually passe now.

I made several trips to Las Cruces, NM while working on a project at New Mexico State years ago. There's a little town about 10 minutes away that has some of the best Mexican food (New Mexico style) that I've ever had. It was in a peaceful little area. I remember dreading leaving it and having to return to the relative chaos of the El Paso, TX airport.

Best -

Dave Kennison said...

Yesterday, an anonymous poster observed that the Monday puzzle contained two fragments of the "Lord's Prayer". As far as I can tell, he or she was referring to the phrases I LAY and I PRAY, both of which come from what is sometimes referred to as "A Child's Bedtime Prayer":

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

(Kinda heavy for a kid, I'd say ... :-( )

The Lord's Prayer comes from the Bible and begins with the line "Our Father, which art in heaven," A whole 'nother thing ...

BruceB said...

7:47, no errors. As always, thanks to Bill for your wikiest tidbits. History of Sony Corp. was particularly interesting.

Tom M. said...

Enjoyable Tuesday, particularly the themers. BOXERBRIEFS seemed to me most apt of them all.

Anonymous said...

9 mins 59 sec, 2 errors.

"WINEY"?????? You gotta be kidding me.

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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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