Top Line

Search by Date

DD MMM YY or MMDD-YY

Search by Puzzle Number

e.g. 1225-09, 0704-10, 1025-10 etc.

Daily Solution by Email

Enter your email address

1226-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Dec 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: Jules P. Markey
THEME: Boxing Day
We have six sets of circled letters in the today’s grid, with each set arranged in the shape of a BOX. Reading the letters of a box in a clockwise direction, we get a type of DAY:

  • 37A. Present time in England? ... or a hint to each set of shaded squares : BOXING DAY

The BOXED DAYS are, from top-left to bottom-right:

  • LEAP DAY
  • ELECTION DAY
  • SNOW DAY
  • GAME DAY
  • PATRIOTS DAY
  • HUMP DAY

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 15s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Go out, as the tide : EBB
Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon's effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon's gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

10. Brewpub offering, for short : IPA
India Pale Ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

13. Org. that targets traffickers : DEA
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

18. Stockpiling, in a way, as feed : SILOING
“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English, originally coming from the Greek word "siros" that described a pit in which one kept corn.

19. Letters in a personals ad : SWM
Single white male (SWM)

22. Cartoon pic : CEL
In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the "cel" its name.

25. TV warrior princess : XENA
The Xena character, played by New Zealander Lucy Lawless, was introduced in a made-for-TV movie called “Hercules and the Amazon Women”. Lawless reprised the role in a series called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”. Xena became so popular that a series was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the title role. The fictional Xena supposedly came from the “non-fictional” Greek city of Amphipolis.

26. Race loser in an Aesop fable : HARE
“The Tortoise and the Hare” is perhaps the most famous fable attributed to Aesop. The cocky hare takes a nap during a race against the tortoise, and the tortoise sneaks past the finish line for the win while his speedier friend is sleeping.

29. Fur wraps : STOLES
A stole is a lady’s clothing accessory, a narrow shawl. It can be made of quite light decorative material, or it can be heavier especially if made of fur.

32. It's usually behind a viola in an orchestra : OBOE
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name "oboe" comes from the French "hautbois" which means "high wood". When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance you'll note (pun intended!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an "A". The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe's "A".

36. Flexible Flyers, e.g. : SLEDS
“Flexible flyer” is now a generic term for a steel runner sled that can be steered with the feet. The original Flexible Flyer was patented in 1889.

37. Present time in England? ... or a hint to each set of shaded squares : BOXING DAY
Boxing Day is a holiday observed in some parts of the world, for example in the UK, Ireland and Canada. Boxing Day is the day after Christmas, and is traditionally when servants and tradespeople would be given gifts known as “Christmas boxes”.

50. Soviet premier Khrushchev : NIKITA
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev only ever made two visits to the United States. The second visit was in September 1960 without an invitation, when he appointed himself temporary head of the USSR delegation to the United Nations. The US responded to his unannounced visit by limiting his travel to the island of Manhattan and visits to a Soviet-owned estate on Long Island. During one of the debates at the UN, Khrushchev became outraged at a statement made by the Filipino delegate who called the Soviets two-faced for decrying colonialism while forcibly dominating and occupying Eastern Europe. Khrushchev demanded the right to reply immediately, and when the Filipino delegate refused to yield, the Soviet leader famously took off his shoe and began to pound it on his desk.

52. Caviars : ROES
“Caviar” is the roe of a large fish that has been salted and seasoned, and especially the roe of a sturgeon. Beluga caviar comes from the beluga sturgeon, found primarily in the Caspian Sea. It is the most expensive type of caviar in the world. 8 ounces of US-farmed beluga caviar can be purchased through Amazon.com for just over $850, in case you’re feeling peckish …

58. Lobster ___ diavolo (Italian dish) : FRA
Fra diavolo is a spicy sauce used for pasta and seafood, usually made with chili peppers in a tomato base. The name “Fra diavolo” translates to “Brother devil”. The sauce may be named for the Italian revolutionary Michele Pezza who was also known as Fra Diavolo.

62. On the ___ (fleeing) : LAM
To be “on the lam” is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

63. Literary critic Broyard : ANATOLE
Anatole Broyard was a writer and critic, and for fifteen years wrote daily book reviews for “The New York Times”.

64. Actress Thurman : UMA
Uma Thurman started her working career as a fashion model, at the age of 15. She appeared in her first movies at 17, with her most acclaimed early role being Cécile de Volanges in 1988’s “Dangerous Liaisons”. Thurman’s career really took off when she played the gangster’s “moll” in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” in 1994. My favorite of all Thurman’s movies is “The Truth About Cats & Dog’s”, a less acclaimed romcom released in 1996. She took a few years off from 1998 until 2002, doing very little work in favor of motherhood. It was Tarantino who relaunched her career, giving her the lead in the “Kill Bill” films.

66. Bruno Mars or Freddie Mercury : POP STAR
Bruno Mars is a singer-songwriter from Honolulu who has been active in the music business since 2006.

Freddie Mercury was a British singer-songwriter who was lead singer for the rock group Queen. Mercury wrote many of Queen’s hits, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Somebody to Love”, “Don’t Stop Me Now” and “We Are the Champions”. Mercury’s real name was Farrokh Bulsara, and he was born to Parsi parents in Zanzibar (now part of Tanzania) in East Africa. He grew up mainly in India, and arrived in England at the age of 17 when his family had flee from the Zanzibar Revolution.

67. Some PCs : HPS
The giant multinational called HP (originally Hewlett-Packard) was founded in 1939 with an investment of $538, in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. The company name would have been Packard-Hewlett if Dave Packard had won a coin toss!

68. The "p" in m.p.g. : PER
Miles per gallon (mpg)

70. Stockholm's home: Abbr. : SWE
Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and most populous city in the country. Over one fifth of all Swedish residents live in Stockholm.

71. U.S.P.S. assignment: Abbr. : RTE
The US Postal Service (USPS) is a remarkable agency in many ways. For starters, the government’s right and responsibility to establish the Post Office is specifically called out in Article One of the US constitution. Also, the first postmaster general was none other than Benjamin Franklin. And, the USPS operates over 200,000 vehicles, which is the largest vehicle fleet in the world.

Down
1. Sushi bar finger food : EDAMAME
Edamame is a simple dish made of immature soybeans still in the pod. The pods are boiled and then salted before serving, usually as a snack or side dish. The name “edamame” translates as “twig bean”.

2. Country whose currency, RUBLES, is almost an anagram of its name : BELARUS
The Republic of Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, located east of Poland and north of Ukraine. Belarus didn’t exist as an entity until the Russian Revolution when it was created as one of the Soviet Socialist Republics (SSR) that made up the USSR. The Republic of Belarus was formed soon after the USSR dissolved in 1990, but unlike many of the former Soviet Republics, Belarus has retained many of the old Soviet policies. Alexander Lukashenko is the country’s president and he believes in state ownership of the economy. Belarus and Russia have formal agreements in place that pledge cooperation.

The ruble (also “rouble”) is the unit of currency in Russia, as well as several other countries of the former Soviet Union. One ruble is divided into one hundred kopecks (also “kopeks”).

3. St. John the ___ : BAPTIST
John the Baptist is regarded by some Christians as the forerunner of Jesus. Early in his life, Jesus was a disciple or follower of John, and is was John who baptized Jesus.

4. ___ Antilles : LESSER
The Antilles islands are divided into two main groups, the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. The Greater Antilles includes the islands of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. The Lesser Antilles are made up of the Leeward Islands, the Windward Islands and the Leeward Antilles, and lie just north of Venezuela.

5. Pennsylvania city or the lake it's on : ERIE
Erie is a city in the very north of Pennsylvania, right on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The city takes its name from the Erie Native American tribe that resided in the area. Erie is nicknamed the Gem City, a reference to the “sparkling” Lake Erie.

6. Bygone point-to-point communication : TELEX
Telex grew out of the world of the telegraph. What Telex brought to telegraphy was the ability to route messages. Instead of having to talk to an operator to route a particular message to the intended party, the user of a telex could route the message directly to another telex machine by way of a rotary dial, very similar to that on a telephone.

8. Gossipy sorts : YENTAS
Yenta (also "Yente") is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater "yenta" came to mean a busybody, gossip.

12. Like the Venus de Milo : ARMLESS
The famous “Venus de Milo” is so named as she was discovered in the ruins of the ancient city of Milos, on the Aegean island of the same name. I’ve been lucky enough to see the statue, in the Louvre in Paris, and was surprised at how large it is (6 ft 8 in tall).

24. Naval engineers : SEABEES
The Seabees are members of the Construction Battalions (CB) of the US Navy, from which the name "Seabee" originates. There's a great 1944 movie called "The Fighting Seabees" starring John Wayne that tells the story of the birth of the Seabees during WWII. The Seabees’ official motto is “Construimus. Batuimus”, Latin for “We build. We fight.” The group’s unofficial motto is “Can Do!”

26. Massachusetts' Mount ___ College : HOLYOKE
Mount Holyoke College is a private school for women located in South Hadley, Massachusetts. It was founded as Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1834 as the sister school to Andover Seminary.

28. Chi-town squad : SOX
The Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball team was established in Chicago in 1900 and originally was called the White Stockings. The name was changed because the abbreviation “Sox” for “Stockings” was regularly used in newspaper headlines.

30. Airport screening grp. : TSA
The TSA is the Transportation Security Administration, the agency that employs the good folks that check passengers and baggage at airports.

34. Yoko who loved Lennon : ONO
John Lennon and Yoko Ono married at the height of the Vietnam War in 1969. The couple decided to use the inevitable publicity surrounding their wedding and honeymoon to promote peace in the world. They honeymooned in the Presidential Suite of the Amsterdam Hilton, inviting the world’s press to join them and to witness their “bed-in”. They spent the week talking about peace, and an end to war. The marriage and bed-in is chronicled by the Beatles in their song “The Ballad of John and Yoko”.

38. C.I.A. precursor : OSS
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

39. Mafia big : DON
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.

41. Use for an attic or the cloud : STORAGE
An attic or loft is a room or space located below the roof of a building. The term “attic” is a shortened form of “attic story”, the uppermost story or level of a house. This term “attic story” originally applied to a low, decorative level built on top of the uppermost story behind a building’s decorative facade. This use of decoration at the top of buildings was common in ancient Greece, and was particularly important in the Attica style. That Attica style was so called because it originated in the historical region of Attica that encompassed the city of Athens. And that’s how our attics are linked to ancient Greece.

In the world of computing, when one operates “in the cloud”, one’s files and key applications are not stored on one’s own computer, but rather are residing “in the cloud”, on a computer somewhere out on the Internet. I do 90% of my computing in the cloud. That way I don’t have to worry about backing up files, and I can operate from any computer if I have to …

54. Tour de France stage : ETAPE
“Étape” is the French word for stage, as in a “stage” in the Tour de France. It is used in English military circles to describe where troops halt overnight, but can also describe the section of the march itself. So, a march can be divided into stages, into étapes.

Back in the late 1800s, long-distance cycle races were used as promotional events, traditionally to help boost sales of newspapers. These races usually took place around tracks, but in 1902 the backers of the struggling sports publication “L’Auto” decided to stage a race that would take the competitors all around France. That first Tour de France took place in 1903, starting in Paris and passing through Lyon, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes and then back to Paris.

55. Martial ___ (judo and others) : ARTS
“Martial arts” are various fighting traditions and systems used in combat or simply to promote physical well-being. The term ultimately derives from Latin and means “Arts of Mars”, a reference to Mars, the Roman god of war.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Go out, as the tide : EBB
4. Permit : LET
7. Reply to a captain : AYE
10. Brewpub offering, for short : IPA
13. Org. that targets traffickers : DEA
14. Raised, as a building : ERECTED
16. Partner of neither : NOR
17. Mountain on which you might yodel : ALP
18. Stockpiling, in a way, as feed : SILOING
19. Letters in a personals ad : SWM
20. Gymnastics floor cover : MAT
21. Directive for additional information : SEE NOTE
22. Cartoon pic : CEL
23. Get out of bed : ARISE
25. TV warrior princess : XENA
26. Race loser in an Aesop fable : HARE
27. Reflective sorts : MUSERS
29. Fur wraps : STOLES
31. This: Sp. : ESTA
32. It's usually behind a viola in an orchestra : OBOE
36. Flexible Flyers, e.g. : SLEDS
37. Present time in England? ... or a hint to each set of shaded squares : BOXING DAY
40. Lispers' banes : ESSES
43. Scrubbed, as a NASA mission : NO-GO
44. Be ___ equal footing : ON AN
48. Bear witness (to) : ATTEST
50. Soviet premier Khrushchev : NIKITA
52. Caviars : ROES
53. Try, as a case : HEAR
57. Track events : MEETS
58. Lobster ___ diavolo (Italian dish) : FRA
59. Hit pay dirt : GET RICH
61. "You ___!" ("Absolutely!") : BET
62. On the ___ (fleeing) : LAM
63. Literary critic Broyard : ANATOLE
64. Actress Thurman : UMA
65. Get older : AGE
66. Bruno Mars or Freddie Mercury : POP STAR
67. Some PCs : HPS
68. The "p" in m.p.g. : PER
69. Ram's mate : EWE
70. Stockholm's home: Abbr. : SWE
71. U.S.P.S. assignment: Abbr. : RTE

Down
1. Sushi bar finger food : EDAMAME
2. Country whose currency, RUBLES, is almost an anagram of its name : BELARUS
3. St. John the ___ : BAPTIST
4. ___ Antilles : LESSER
5. Pennsylvania city or the lake it's on : ERIE
6. Bygone point-to-point communication : TELEX
7. Suffix with valid : -ATION
8. Gossipy sorts : YENTAS
9. Border : EDGE
10. Proportional to the surroundings : IN SCALE
11. Motorized : POWERED
12. Like the Venus de Milo : ARMLESS
15. Summer treat that melts in the sun : CONE
24. Naval engineers : SEABEES
26. Massachusetts' Mount ___ College : HOLYOKE
28. Chi-town squad : SOX
30. Airport screening grp. : TSA
33. Container for dirty clothes : BIN
34. Yoko who loved Lennon : ONO
35. Common ingredient in pasta : EGG
38. C.I.A. precursor : OSS
39. Mafia big : DON
40. Batting helmet part : EARFLAP
41. Use for an attic or the cloud : STORAGE
42. Ship with smokestacks : STEAMER
45. Theologian Reinhold who wrote the Serenity Prayer : NIEBUHR
46. Try : ATTEMPT
47. Ilie who won both the U.S. and French Opens : NASTASE
49. What meditators try to live in : THE NOW
51. Cry upon arriving : I'M HERE!
54. Tour de France stage : ETAPE
55. Martial ___ (judo and others) : ARTS
56. Violent protests : RIOTS
59. Stare slack-jawed : GAPE
60. Part of a wolf or a lobster : CLAW


Return to top of page

7 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

8:31, no errors, iPad. It took me a minute or two after I finished the puzzle to figure out the theme. Nikita Khrushchev visited Iowa State University the year before my freshman year there and I remember it well, as it was in all the papers. An interesting fellow.

Jeff said...

Nice easy Monday. Nevertheless, I managed to botch part of it. It started with 51D I'M HomE rather than I'M HERE. That led to ANATOLo. I also was thinking of the French (and Russian) term for floor or level, etage, that could also mean stage. All that turned Freddie Mercury and Bruno Mars from POP STARS into pogstams....... Yikes.

SILOING is a word?

Khrushchev is the only Soviet leader not buried at the Kremlin. He fell out of favor there largely over Cuba as I understand it. Interesting that Khruschev was taught as a bad leader while Soviet texts were neutral on Stalin as a leader.

And here all this time I thought IPA's were brewed for transportation from England to my house...

Best -

Dave Kennison said...

I'm reposting a couple of late thoughts from Saturday's blog:

@Anonymous ... I can do most NYT puzzles with no outside help of any kind and with no errors. Occasionally, especially on my iPad, I fill in the last square and get the "Almost there" message, so I go looking for the error; often, it turns out to be a simple typo, but sometimes it's a "real" error. Once in a long while, I spend a lot of time on a puzzle and realize that I am never going to finish it due to a lack of knowledge, a lack of cleverness, a lack of time, or a lack of patience, so I use Google (but never the crossword-specific cheat sites) to compensate. In all these cases, I do finish the puzzle, albeit with help. And, once in a very, very, very long while, I encounter a puzzle that I can't finish at all (but I don't remember when that last happened). Whatever my experience, I report it honestly here. I'd rather finish (with minimal help as necessary) and learn something in the process than throw in the towel and walk away, because I think that's how I get better at the process. (To sort of illustrate my point: Did you look up CASSIS? It's a "that", not a "there" - a thing, not a place.)

@Adam ... And I don't think Bill cheats: he's just really good at what he does! ... :-)

Tom M. said...

@Dave Kennison(2): Ditto. Except that I'm an old fashioned paper and pen solver. No prompts or any other "outside the puzzle" assistance. If I'm stumped, I "cheat" and report myself.

Anonymous said...

10:11, no errors. Although the BOXING DAY theme quickly became apparent, I didn't get the hint I would have had I solved it on the day. I'm a big "football fan" and the day after Christmas (better known in old Blighty as Boxing Day) is a big day, full of matches involving my favorite teams. On that day, I'd have been well aware of the date's significance. But, my local paper is on a one month delay relative to the NYT Crossword, so I often don't benefit from "timely" puzzles.

Not as easy as most Mondays, but solvable nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

@Dave: although I think your heart's in the right place, I would not call a puzzle you get help on "finished", whether you report it here or not. "Finished with errors", perhaps! In my case, if I'm a couple of squares shy of a completed grid, and completely stumped, I will at least guess and be prepared to take (and record) the errors (occasionally, I get lucky and get them right!). If it's one of those (cough, cough, REBUS!!) grids where I only get half of it, or get a whole quadrant full of empty spaces, I mark that as a DNF (Did Not Finish), and then come here and get a look at it (thereby learning something for the future, perhaps). Semantic difference, but important if you keep stats on your progress like I do. :)

Glenn said...

Zero errors, about 10 minutes.

FWIW I posted over on Saturday too, but it mirrors Dave's experience.

Adsense Wide Skyscraper

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

Blog Archive