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1222-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Dec 16, Thursday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mark MacLachlan
THEME: Aluminum Siding
To make sense of today’s puzzle, we have to add the letters AL (Al is the symbol for ALUMINUM) at either SIDE of the grid.
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 12m 57s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Hitchcock, for one : ALFRED
Alfred Hitchcock makes a cameo appearance in 39 of his 52 movies. My favorite, and perhaps the most innovative, is in the movie "Lifeboat". In the film, there is a limited cast, just the people in a lifeboat and no extras. Hitchcock managed to make his appearance in a print ad in a newspaper read by one of the survivors in the boat.

13. Women's beauty magazine : ALLURE
“Allure” is a magazine published by Condé Nast in New York that was founded in 1991 by Linda Wells. “Allure” contains articles on beauty, fashion and women’s health.

14. Zilch : NONE
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”.

20. Fencing option : EPEE
There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, distinguished by the weapon used:
  • Foil
  • Épée
  • Sabre

24. TV character who says "You know I wouldn't talk in front of anyone but you" : MR ED
The sitcom “Mister Ed” first aired in 1961 and ran for almost five years. It was a very successful show (and even made it to Ireland!). Mister Ed, the talking horse, was a palomino that had the real name of Bamboo Harvester. Mister Ed’s “voice” was that of actor Allan “Rocky” Lane, a star of a lot of B-movie westerns from the forties and fifties. In the show, Mister Ed would only talk to the lead (human) character Wilbur, played by Alan Young, leading to some hilarious situations. Mister Ed had a stunt double and stand-in for the show, another horse called Pumpkin. Pumpkin later made frequent appearances on the show “Green Acres”.

30. Support group for adolescents : ALATEEN
Al-Anon and Alateen are fellowships of relatives and friends of alcoholics. Alateen specifically supports teens who are affected by another’s drinking, whereas Al-Anon focuses on people of all ages.

34. International prize first awarded to Stephen Hawking in 1979 : ALBERT EINSTEIN MEDAL
The Albert Einstein Medal has been presented annually since 1979 by the Albert Einstein Society in Bern, Switzerland. The award is given for scientific finds, works or publications related to Albert Einstein. The first recipient was the English theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.

44. Pirate captain mentioned in Poe's "The Gold-Bug" : KIDD
William Kidd was a Scottish privateer who went by the name “Captain Kidd”. Although Kidd was a privateer, someone authorized by the government to attack foreign shipping, he was eventually arrested and executed for piracy. There is common opinion held today that the charges against Kidd were actually trumped up. Captain Kidd’s story was the basis of a 1945 film called “Captain Kidd” starring Charles Laughton in the title role. Laughton also appeared as Captain Kidd in 1952’s comic movie “Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd”.

“The Gold-Bug” is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, a mystery tale about a man who was bitten by a gold-colored bug. The story first appeared in three installments in the ”Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper” in 1843, and became very popular. He had submitted the story to a writing contest sponsored by the paper, and it was published as the winning entry. The grand prize also included $100 in cash, which was likely the largest sum that Poe ever received for a work in his lifetime.

53. Whales like the one in "Moby-Dick" : ALBINOS
In Herman Melville’s 1851 novel “Moby-Dick”, the animal named in the title is an albino sperm whale.

56. Checks for the ex : ALIMONY
In its most common usage, “alimony” is a payment made by one spouse to another for support after a legal separation. The term derives from the Latin “alimonia”, meaning “nourishment, food, support”.

57. Actor Ken : OLIN
Ken Olin was one of the stars on the hit television series “Thirtysomething”, playing Michael Steadman. After “Thirtysomething”, Olin moved behind the camera and is now a producer and director.

59. Pilgrims John and Priscilla : ALDENS
John Alden is said to have been the first person to disembark from the Mayflower and to have set foot on Plymouth Rock in 1620. Alden himself was not a Pilgrim as such, and was a carpenter working on the Mayflower before it sailed. He apparently decided to travel with the ship at the last minute, perhaps in pursuit of the passenger who would become his wife, Priscilla Mullens. Alden ended up in a love triangle with Priscilla and Captain Miles Standish, a relationship which is recounted in the Longfellow poem “The Courtship of Miles Standish”. John and Priscilla were the parents of a son, John Alden, who was later to be accused during the Salem witch trials.

60. Leader between Mao and Jiang : DENG
Deng Xiaoping was the Paramount Leader of the People’s Republic of China from 1978 to 1992. It was Deng Xiaoping who is given the credit for setting policies that led to China’s current economic boom. He moved the country towards a market economy and opened the borders to allow foreign investment.

Down
1. Arctic shipping hazard : FLOE
An ice floe is a sheet of ice that has separated from an ice field and is floating freely on the ocean.

2. Region in western Germany : RUHR
The Ruhr is a large urban area in western Germany. The area is heavily populated, and is the fifth largest urban area in the whole of Europe, after Istanbul, Moscow, London and Paris. The Ruhr became heavily industrialized due to its large deposits of coal. By 1850, the area contained nearly 300 operating coal mines. Any coal deposits remaining in the area today are too expensive to exploit.

3. Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT
QED is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The QED initialism stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.

4. From abroad? : DES
“Des” is French for “from”.

5. Took potshots (at) : SNIPED
“To snipe” is to attack with snide criticism, especially from a safe distance. This usage of the term is an extension of the older meaning, to take a shot from a hidden position (as in “sniper”). Such a shot was originally taken when hunting the game birds called “snipes”.

6. Actress Sophia : LOREN
Sophia Loren certainly has earned her exalted position in the world of movies. In 1962 Loren won an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the Italian film “Two Women”, the first actress to win an Academy Award for a non-English speaking performance. She received a second nomination for Best Actress for her role in “Marriage Italian-Style”, another Italian-language movie, released in 1964.

7. A penny is a small one : ANTE
Penny Ante poker is a game in which bets are limited to a penny, or some other small, friendly sum. The expression “penny-ante” has come to describe any business transaction that is on a small scale.

8. Word cried 15 times in a row by Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally ..." : YES!
The multi-talented Carl Reiner is from the Bronx, New York. Reiner was married to singer Estelle Roberts. You might remember Roberts from the film “When Harry Met Sally” that was directed by Carl’s son, Rob Reiner. Estelle was the woman in the deli who said the famous line “ I'll have what’s she’s having”, on seeing how excited Meg Ryan apparently was with her sandwich.

11. Some aerial show formations : VEES
Apparently, geese fly in a V-formation for a couple of reasons. One is that it makes for efficient flight and conserves energy. The leading bird gets no advantage, but every following bird gets to "slipstream" a little. It has been noted that the lead bird drops to the back of the formation when he/she gets fatigued. It's also thought that the flock can stick together more easily when in formation, so it is more difficult to lose someone along the way.

21. Brunch option : CREPE
“Crêpe” is the French word for “pancake”.

22. Fairy tale sister : GRETEL
“Hansel and Gretel” is a Germanic fairy tale found in the collection of the Brothers Grimm. It tells of two siblings, Hansel and Gretel, the children of a woodcutter. The youngsters are abandoned in a forest at the behest of an evil stepmother. Clever Hansel hears of the plan and leaves a trail of pebbles so that he and his sister can find their way home, which they do. But the children are abandoned again and this time leave a trail of breadcrumbs. Unfortunately, the crumbs are eaten by birds and so the children do indeed become lost. But eventually they do all live happily ever after …

25. Writes on a blog : POSTS
Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more correctly it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) which then occupy the "front page" of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term "web log".

29. Big-selling Procter & Gamble product : TIDE
Tide is a laundry detergent that has been made by Procter & Gamble since 1946. Back then, Tide was marketed as “America’s Washday Favorite”.

31. Course requirements? : TEES
That would a golf course.

32. Dog in the funnies : SNERT
“Hägar the Horrible” is a comic strip that was created by the late Dik Browne and is now drawn by his son, Chris Browne. “Hägar the Terrible” (not “Horrible”) was the nickname given to Dik by his sons. The strip’s title character is a red-bearded Viking living on the Norwegian coast during the Middle Ages. Hägar lives with his overbearing wife Helga, his sensitive son Hamlet, his pretty daughter Honi, and his clever dog Snert.

44. Competitor of Sapporo : KIRIN
Kirin lager is the oldest brand of beer in Japan. The “Kirin” name comes from the Japanese word for a mythical Chinese creature.

Sapporo is the fourth largest city in Japan, and lies on the island of Hokkaido. The city and surrounding area was home to the first Olympic Games to be held in Asia, the Winter Games of 1972. For the beer drinkers out there, Sapporo is also home to Sapporo Brewery, with the Sapporo beer being one of the more internationally recognizable.

48. Rennes rejections : NONS
Rennes is the capital city of the Brittany region of France, and is also the administrative capital of the department known as Ille-et-Vilaine.

50. "To Live and Die ___" (1985 film) : IN LA
"To Live and Die in L.A." is novel written by Gerald Petievich, a former Secret Service agent. The book was made into a pretty successful 1985 film starring William L. Petersen, the former lead from TV's "CSI". Petersen plays the good guy, and Willem Dafoe the bad guy. The plot is all about a pair of Secret Service agents tracking down a counterfeiter. I haven't seen the film, but it's on my list ...

51. God, in Granada : DIOS
Granada is a city and province in Andalusia in the south of Spain. Granada should not to be confused with Grenada (note the different spelling), the island nation in the Caribbean that was invaded by the US in 1983.

52. 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”.

54. Peeved, informally : POD
“Peed” off

55. Steelers' grp. : AFC
The Pittsburgh Steelers football team were founded in 1933, making them the oldest franchise in the AFC. Back in 1933, the team was known as the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates name was chosen as the Pittsburgh baseball team was the Pirates. The name was changed to the Steelers in 1940, and then the Steagles in 1943 when the team merged with the Philadelphia Eagles. There was a further merger in 1944, with the Chicago Cardinal to form Card-Pitt. From 1945, the Steelers name was resurrected.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Hitchcock, for one : ALFRED
5. Leave rolling in the aisles : SLAY
9. Divulge : REVEAL
13. Women's beauty magazine : ALLURE
14. Zilch : NONE
15. Army V.I.P. : GENERAL
16. Islands attire : ALOHA SHIRTS
18. Certain football pass : LATERAL
19. Bright-eyed : ALERT
20. Fencing option : EPEE
21. Huge : COLOSSAL
22. Narrow valley : GLEN
23. Buddy : BRO
24. TV character who says "You know I wouldn't talk in front of anyone but you" : MR ED
25. Like some sex : PREMARITAL
30. Support group for adolescents : ALATEEN
32. What may be dispensed from a dispenser : SOAP
33. Phone button : REDIAL
34. International prize first awarded to Stephen Hawking in 1979 : ALBERT EINSTEIN MEDAL
37. Claim : ALLEGE
38. Things that may all be off : BETS
39. Conclude negotiations : DO A DEAL
40. Taverns and such : ALE SELLERS
42. Buildup behind a dam : SILT
43. ___ bran : OAT
44. Pirate captain mentioned in Poe's "The Gold-Bug" : KIDD
45. With 42-Down, home construction material ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme : ALUMINUM ...
49. Modest skirt : MIDI
50. Perfect : IDEAL
53. Whales like the one in "Moby-Dick" : ALBINOS
54. Prudish : PURITANICAL
56. Checks for the ex : ALIMONY
57. Actor Ken : OLIN
58. Like arrangements for some wedding receptions : FLORAL
59. Pilgrims John and Priscilla : ALDENS
60. Leader between Mao and Jiang : DENG
61. Not dressy : CASUAL

Down
1. Arctic shipping hazard : FLOE
2. Region in western Germany : RUHR
3. Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT
4. From abroad? : DES
5. Took potshots (at) : SNIPED
6. Actress Sophia : LOREN
7. A penny is a small one : ANTE
8. Word cried 15 times in a row by Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally ..." : YES!
9. Not a knockoff : REAL
10. Inner: Prefix : ENTO-
11. Some aerial show formations : VEES
12. Bungles : ERRS
15. Melancholy : GLOOM
17. Moon of Saturn that's a French woman's name : HELENE
21. Brunch option : CREPE
22. Fairy tale sister : GRETEL
23. Teacher's handfuls : BRATS
24. Database manager's option : MERGE
25. Writes on a blog : POSTS
26. One of the founders of Westworld, on HBO's "Westworld" : ARNOLD
27. Prepare for framing again, say : RE-MAT
28. Fingered : IDED
29. Big-selling Procter & Gamble product : TIDE
30. Competent : ABLE
31. Course requirements? : TEES
32. Dog in the funnies : SNERT
35. Girder also known as a rolled-steel joist : I-BEAM
36. Victor's cry : I DID IT!
41. Punk : LOUSY
42. See 45-Across : … SIDING
44. Competitor of Sapporo : KIRIN
45. Competitor of eBay : UBID
46. Act out : MIME
47. A party to : IN ON
48. Rennes rejections : NONS
49. Lounging slipper : MULE
50. "To Live and Die ___" (1985 film) : IN LA
51. God, in Granada : DIOS
52. Neutral shade : ECRU
54. Peeved, informally : POD
55. Steelers' grp. : AFC


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10 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

On my iPad: no errors, but no meaningful time, either ... It took me a bit to understand the theme (once again, I think it would have been better to work the puzzle from the bottom up), but then things proceeded rather quickly. However, when I filled in the last square, I got the "almost there" message. So I checked for typos ... and found none. Then I did a thorough check of all the "across" entries ... and was pretty sure of everything. Then I checked all of the "down" entries and only had doubts about the second "I" in KIRIN (intersecting the "I" of OLIN) ... but exchanging it for another vowel didn't help. At that point, I was very tempted to give up and do a "reveal"' but was loath to give up on a 192-day streak, so I stared at it for quite a while longer and it finally occurred to me that perhaps all the AL's were meant to be understood, rather than entered as parts of rebuses, as I had done. So I changed all of the left-and right-edge squares and ... voila ... success! A wonderful puzzle - a tour de force - but I kinda wish that whoever adapted it for use with the online app had been a little more forgiving about method(s) of entry.

Jeff said...

I used old fashioned pen and paper (I printed it out) on this so didn't fall into any of the traps Dave did. This was a little easier than usuAL for a Thursday. I got my foothold with IDE(al), FLOR and CASU in the far lower right corner. I didn't get the significance of it until the alUMINUM SIDING answers.

I had never heard of a MULE slipper by the way. I've seen them but never knew what they were called.

I always thought it interesting that MARITAL and martial are just one set of letters reversed from being the same word. Hmmmm

Best -

BruceB said...

18:00, no errors. Clever theme to those who recognized it, and frustrating (I am sure) to those who didn't. I didn't recognize the theme until I got down to 47D and had enough cross letters to enter SIDING. My first instinct was vinyl and then cedar, finally ALUMINUM. I hadn't entered any of the edge words until then. As a completionist, I had to spend the time entering all those AL's to the sides of the puzzle before I would stop the timer.

Anonymous said...

The WORST kind of rebus madness. A horrible puzzle, and an extended middle finger for the setter and the editor.

Tom M. said...

Took time to see how it all worked, and when it all came together, it was a very gratifying "aha" moment. Terrific puzzle by Mr. MacLachlan.

Lou Sander said...

It pains me to say it, but I agree with Anonymous. ;-)

Dave Kennison said...

@Anonymous ... An extended middle finger ... is that a fraternity thing? Oh, now I get it ... you thought it was a number 1, A-OK, super-duper puzzle, and you actually liked it a lot, in spite of your preceding, obviously tongue-in-cheek, hypercritical words! In that case, I could not agree more - a great puzzle! ... :-)

Glenn said...

Took a little while to catch on to the trick, but finally got this done with no errors in 51 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Unlike the Sunday NYT puzzle in my local paper, the theme for the daily CW is not given along with the puzzle number. It can therefore be extremely hard to figure what the gimmick is on some Thursday puzzles,even though I expect some sort of trickery on those days. I might be able to post a much quicker time for solving if a lot of time weren't wasted on trying to "suss out" the gimmick before getting down to the meat of the puzzle...

WWPierre said...

What Anonymous said about the theme not given. Gonna write to the Vancouver Sun about that.

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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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