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1230-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 30 Dec 16, Friday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Berry
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 14m 27s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. Possible rap sheet entry : HOLDUP JOB
A rap sheet is a criminal record. “Rap” is a slang term dating back to the 1700s that means “blame, responsibility” as in “to take the rap” and “to beat the rap”. This usage morphed into “rap sheet” in the early 1900s.

21. Sears buyer of 2005 : KMART
Kmart is the third largest discount store chain in the world, behind Wal-Mart and Target. The company was founded by S. S. Kresge in 1899, with the first outlets known as S. S. Kresge stores. The first “Kmart” stores opened in 1962. Kmart is famous for its promotions known as “blue light specials”, a program first introduced in 1965 and discontinued in 1991. I remember being in a Kmart store soon after coming to live in the US. That evening an employee installed a light stand an aisle away from me, switched on a flashing blue light and there was some unintelligible announcement over the loudspeaker system. I had no idea what was going on …

Richard Sears was a station agent on the railroad. In the late 1800s, he bought up a shipment of unwanted watches that was left at his depot and sold the watches to other agents up and down the line. He was so successful that he ordered more watches and then came up with the idea of using a catalog to promote more sales. The catalog idea caught on, and his success allowed Sears to open retail locations in 1925. By the mid 1900s, Sears was the biggest retailer in the whole country.

22. Military movements : SORTIES
A “sortie” is an attack by an armed unit, usually a breakout by forces that are besieged, The term “sortie” comes directly from French and means “a going out”. “Sortie” is also used for a mission by a combat aircraft.

31. Lingerie fabric : SATIN
The material known as “satin” takes its name from “Zayton”, the medieval Arabic name for the Chinese port city of Quanzhou. Quanzhou was used for the export of large amounts of silk to Europe.

“Lingerie” is a French term, but as used in France it just means any underwear, worn by either males or females. In English we use “lingerie” to describe alluring underclothing worn by women. The term “lingerie” comes into English via the French word “linge” meaning “washables”, and ultimately from the Latin “linum”, meaning “linen”. We tend not to pronounce the word correctly in English, either here in the US or across the other side of the Atlantic. The French pronunciation is more like “lan-zher-ee”, as opposed to “lon-zher-ay” (American) and “lon-zher-ee” (British).

37. Richard who won a Tony for playing Don Quixote : KILEY
The full name of Cervantes’s novel is “The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha”. In the story, Don Quixote is a retired country gentleman who heads out as a knight-errant and who renames himself Don Quixote of la Mancha. In his mind he designates a neighboring farm girl called Aldonza Lorenzo as his lady love, and renames her Dulcinea del Toboso.

39. Man and others : PRIMATES
The most widely distributed genus of primates on the planet is Homo, a genus containing only one species, namely man (Home sapiens). The second most populous genus of primates is Macaca, the Old World monkeys known familiarly as macaques. Macaques can be found all across Asia, from Japan to Afghanistan, as well as in North Africa. Some of the most famous macaques live in a colony on the Rock of Gibraltar in the Mediterranean.

41. "Zero Dark Thirty" org. : CIA
“Zero Dark Thirty” is a film directed by Kathryn Bigelow that tells of the long but ultimately successful hunt for Osama bin Laden. I found one aspect of this film to be particularly uplifting, namely the central role played by a remarkable CIA officer who was a woman operating against the odds in a man’s world.

43. Shep Smith's channel : FOX NEWS
Shep Smith is a television journalist and host with Fox News. Smith has been hosting “Shepard Smith Reporting” on Fox since 2013.

48. Source of riches : TROVE
The term “treasure trove” comes from the Anglo-French “tresor trové “ meaning “found treasure”.

50. ___ Bete (honor society member, informally) : PHI
Phi Beta Kappa was the first collegiate Greek fraternity in the US, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. The organization served as a model for future collegiate fraternities and sororities, although in the 19th century Phi Beta Kappa distanced itself from the fraternal focus and transformed into the honor society that it is today, recognizing academic excellence. The initials Phi Beta Kappa stand for “philosophia biou kybernētēs”, which translates into “philosophy is the guide of life”. The symbol of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is a golden key.

51. Thomas who is known as the Queen of Memphis Soul : CARLA
Carla Thomas is a singer from Memphis, Tennessee who is referred to as the Queen of Memphis Soul. Carla’s father was R&B singer Rufus Thomas.

52. Big Apple power supplier : CON EDISON
Apparently the first published use of the term “Big Apple” to describe New York City dates back to 1909. Edward Martin wrote the following in his book “The Wayfarer in New York”:
Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city. . . . It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap.
Over ten years later, the term “big apple” was used as a nickname for racetracks in and around New York City. However, the concerted effort to “brand” the city as the Big Apple had to wait until the seventies and was the work of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau.

54. Hatch in the Capitol : ORRIN
Orrin Hatch is a Republican Senator from Utah. Hatch is also quite the musician, and plays the piano, violin and organ. He has composed various compositions, including a song called "Heal Our Land" that was played at the 2005 inauguration of President George W. Bush.

55. Stadium whose first home run was hit by Mickey Mantle : ASTRODOME
The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “'Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

Mickey Mantle only played professional baseball for the one team, spending 18 years with the New York Yankees. Mickey Mantle memorabilia is highly prized, especially since he retired from the game in 1969, and even more so since he died in 1995. The only other player memorabilia said to command a higher price is Babe Ruth’s. Mantle holds the record for the most career home runs by a switch hitter, as well as the most World Series home runs.

Down
1. Vouchers : CHITS
A chit is a note or a short letter. The term tends to be used these days in the sense of an amount owed (as in a poker game). The word used to be “chitty”, which is now obsolete but was closer to the original Hindi term. I feel a tad obsolete myself because when we are at school we would be excused class if we had a “chitty”.

2. "O, I am fortune's fool!" speaker : ROMEO
“O, I am Fortune’s fool” is a line from William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”. The words are uttered by Romeo after he kills Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, in a duel. Romeo knows that he has made a bad mistake, and tells everyone so. Sure enough, things go downhill for him and Juliet for the remainder of the play.

3. Bovine product mascot : ELMER
Elsie the Cow is the mascot of the Borden Company. Elsie first appeared at the New York World's Fair in 1939, introduced to symbolize the perfect dairy product. She is so famous and respected that she has been awarded the degrees of Doctor of Bovinity, Doctor fo Human Kindness and Doctor of Ecownomics. Elsie was also given a husband named Elmer the Bull. Elmer eventually moved over to the chemical division of Borden where he gave his name to Elmer's Glue.

4. Sports drink suffix : -ADE
Gatorade was developed at the University of Florida by a team of researchers at the request of the school's football team. And so, Gatorade is named after the Gators football team.

7. R&B group with a series of 1970s hits, with "the" : O’JAYS
The O’Jays are an R&B group from Canton, Ohio. They came together in 1963 as a band of five singers and are still performing today, although now only as a trio. The band took the name of the O’Jays as a tribute to a radio disk jockey called Eddie O’Jay who was big in Cleveland at the time. The biggest hit for the O’Jays is “Love Train”, released in 1972.

9. King's collaborator : ABERNATHY
Ralph Abernathy was the closest friend of Martin Luther King, Jr.

10. Alan who played the title role in "Rasputin" : RICKMAN
Alan Rickman was a marvelous English actor, famous for playing bad guy Hans Gruber in the original “Die Hard” film, Severus Snape in the “Harry Potter” series and my personal favorite, Eamon de Valera in “Michael Collins”. Sadly, Rickman passed away in January 2016, after which fans created a memorial under the “Platform 9¾” sign in London’s Kings Cross Railway Station, from where the Hogwarts Express is said to depart in the “Harry Potter” universe.

12. Good person in a parable : SAMARITAN
“The Good Samaritan” is a parable told by Jesus that can be read in the Gospel of Luke. According to the story, a Jewish traveler is robbed and beaten and left for dead at the side of the road. A priest happens by and sees the poor man, but does not stop to help. A fellow Jew also passes and refuses to help. A third man stops and gives aid. This kind person is a Samaritan, a native of Samaria. Back then Jewish and Samarian people were said to generally despise each other, and yet here a detested creature gives aid. Jesus told to the story to a self-righteous lawyer, the intent being (I assume) to shake up his self-righteousness.

14. "Isn't that so?," to Rousseau : N'EST-CE PAS?
"N'est-ce pas" is a French expression, often added to the end of a statement, turning it into a question. It translates into "isn't that so?"

23. Dash gauge : TACH
The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”. A tachometer measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).

Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hoofs of the horses. Quite interesting …

27. Wand wielders : MAGES
Mage is an archaic word for a magician.

29. "Try now, pay later" products : SHAREWARE
Shareware is software that is distributed for free, although there is usually a request to pay non-compulsory license fee.

30. Player with the most seasons (10) on a World Series-winning team : YOGI BERRA
Yogi Berra is regarded by many as the greatest catcher ever to play in Major League Baseball, and has to be America's most celebrated "author" of malapropisms. Here are some greats:
  • It ain't over till it's over.
  • 90% of the game is half mental.
  • Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.
  • When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
  • It's déjà vu all over again.
  • Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours.
  • A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.

31. Nickname for U.S. president #30 : SILENT CAL
President Calvin Coolidge, the only US President to have been born on July 4th, was known as a man of few words. It was while he was serving as Vice-President to in the administration of Warren G. Harding, that Coolidge earned the nickname “Silent Cal”. There is a famous story told about Coolidge’s reticence that I would love to think is true, attributed to the poet Dorothy Parker. Sitting beside him at dinner, she remarked to him, "Mr. Coolidge, I've made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you." His famous reply: "You lose."

34. Post-W.W. II rival of Stalin : TITO
Marshal Josip Broz Tito led the Yugoslav resistance during WWII. After the war, he led the country as Prime Minister and then President.

Joseph Stalin was Soviet Premier from 1941 to 1953. Stalin's real name was Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili. Not long after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1903 he adopted the name “Stalin”, which is the Russian word for “steel”.

35. "Gorillas in the Mist" writer Fossey : DIAN
Dian Fossey carried out her famous study of gorilla populations in the mountain forests of Rwanda (NB: it was Jane Goodall that worked with chimpanzees). Sadly, Fossey was found dead in her cabin in Rwanda in 1986, murdered in her bedroom, her skull split open by a machete. The crime was never solved.

37. Dorothy and Auntie Em, for two : KANSANS
In “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, Dorothy lives with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry.

40. Fish in "The Old Man and the Sea" : MARLIN
If you've read Ernest Hemingway's "The Old Man And The Sea" (maybe first at school, like me!) you'll likely remember it as a quick read as it is a novella, although it might be better described as a "long short story". It was first published in 1952, the last major work that Hemingway had published in his lifetime. That first publication was as a story in "Life Magazine", and it was such a hit that the magazine sold 5 million copies in the first two days. "The Old Man and the Sea" won a Pulitzer in 1952 and two years later the title was cited when Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

44. Market town in Surrey : EPSOM
The Surrey town of Epsom in England is most famous for its racecourse (Epsom Downs), at which is run the Epsom Derby every year, one of the three races that make up the English Triple Crown. We also come across Epsom salt from time to time. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, originally prepared by boiling down mineral waters. Epsom was indeed a spa town at one time. The town is also home to Epsom College, an English “public school” (which actually means “private, and expensive”). One of Epsom’s “old boys” was the Hollywood actor Stewart Granger.

46. Right triangle ratios : SINES
The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine (sin), cosine (cos) and tangent (tan). Each of these is a ratio, a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The reciprocal of these three functions are cosecant, secant, and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine (cosec = 1/sin), cosine (sec = 1/cos) and tangent (cot = 1/tan).

49. Sub ___ (confidentially) : ROSA
“Sub rosa” is a Latin term that translates literally as “under the rose”. The term is used to denote confidentiality, as the rose has been a symbol of secrecy since ancient times.

53. Gilbert and Sullivan's "Princess ___" : IDA
“Princess Ida; or, Castle Adamant” is a Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera. It was first performed in 1884 at the Savoy Theatre in London that was famous for staging the duo’s works.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. It's soft and sweet : CREAM SODA
10. Turpentine source : RESIN
15. Possible rap sheet entry : HOLDUP JOB
16. Empty-headed : INANE
17. Pressing : IMMEDIATE
18. Has a rough time? : CAMPS
19. Buttonless garment : TEE
20. Appliance in a fast-food restaurant : FRYER
21. Sears buyer of 2005 : KMART
22. Military movements : SORTIES
24. Like some passcodes : NUMERIC
26. Dumbbell : ASS
27. "Goodness gracious!" : MAN ALIVE!
28. Defeat by playing mental games, with "out" : PSYCH
31. Lingerie fabric : SATIN
32. Make use of : TAP
33. Dread line? : UH-OH
34. Too small, possibly : TIGHT
35. Spreadsheet filler : DATA
36. Disreputable periodical : RAG
37. Richard who won a Tony for playing Don Quixote : KILEY
38. Ticket prices? : FINES
39. Man and others : PRIMATES
41. "Zero Dark Thirty" org. : CIA
42. Site of the Cedar Revolution : LEBANON
43. Shep Smith's channel : FOX NEWS
47. Fancy wine vessels : EWERS
48. Source of riches : TROVE
50. ___ Bete (honor society member, informally) : PHI
51. Thomas who is known as the Queen of Memphis Soul : CARLA
52. Big Apple power supplier : CON EDISON
54. Hatch in the Capitol : ORRIN
55. Stadium whose first home run was hit by Mickey Mantle : ASTRODOME
56. Disengages : WEANS
57. Families share them : LAST NAMES

Down
1. Vouchers : CHITS
2. "O, I am fortune's fool!" speaker : ROMEO
3. Bovine product mascot : ELMER
4. Sports drink suffix : -ADE
5. Swimmer in cloudy water : MUDFISH
6. Skyline points : SPIRES
7. R&B group with a series of 1970s hits, with "the" : O’JAYS
8. Show adoration : DOTE
9. King's collaborator : ABERNATHY
10. Alan who played the title role in "Rasputin" : RICKMAN
11. Smooth finish : ENAMEL
12. Good person in a parable : SAMARITAN
13. Confidentially : IN PRIVATE
14. "Isn't that so?," to Rousseau : N'EST-CE PAS?
23. Dash gauge : TACH
25. Infantry division : UNIT
27. Wand wielders : MAGES
28. Fountain drink containing grape juice and vanilla ice cream : PURPLE COW
29. "Try now, pay later" products : SHAREWARE
30. Player with the most seasons (10) on a World Series-winning team : YOGI BERRA
31. Nickname for U.S. president #30 : SILENT CAL
34. Post-W.W. II rival of Stalin : TITO
35. "Gorillas in the Mist" writer Fossey : DIAN
37. Dorothy and Auntie Em, for two : KANSANS
38. Obsessed with : FIXED ON
40. Fish in "The Old Man and the Sea" : MARLIN
41. Like cloak-and-dagger operations : COVERT
43. Lots of characters? : FONTS
44. Market town in Surrey : EPSOM
45. Mock-innocent question : WHO? ME?
46. Right triangle ratios : SINES
49. Sub ___ (confidentially) : ROSA
53. Gilbert and Sullivan's "Princess ___" : IDA


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8 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

19:22, no errors. I did this one last night, after my second 14-mile hike of the week. Near the end, I had PUMPLE_O_ intersecting MAG, _ARLA, and _EAN, all of which held me up for quite a while. I finally got WEAN and realized RAG was a better fit than MAG, at which point I was able to guess PURPLE COW, giving me CARLA. So then I went to bed and ... this morning ... I woke up with the following crossword-puzzle-appropriate Train of Thought derailing in my head (with apologies to Ogden Nash, and pretty much everyone else):

I've never had [1] a Purple Cow
And I never hope to have [2] one,
But I'll tell you this right now:
I'd rather have [3] than calve [4] one!

([1] eaten; [2] eat; [3] own; [4] give birth to)

"Dave! Please! Curb your doggerel!" I hear you cry ... and I comply ... :-)

Jeff said...

Finished this one....eventually. Amazingly I was able to guess correctly ABERNATHY, RICKMAN,SILENT CAL, and CARLA - all after just a few letters.

That said, I also had my not so bright moments. For 3D I originally had "Elsie" (ELMER)and 19A "obi" (TEE) which made me start wondering if the speaker of "O, I am fortune's fool" was Rambo. I decided that was unlikely and ultimately figured it all out.

NESTCEPAS is a pretty long foreign phrase to put into an English puzzle, but who listens to me?

SEARS story is amazing. I still remember Sears catalogs as a kid. It was always a highlight when they arrived. Talk about a successful idea....

Enjoyed this one very much -

Best -

Dave Kennison said...

@Anonymous ... I wiil take your word for it that it was not your intention to offend on Saturday and let the other person you seemed to be addressing answer (or not) as he sees fit. I think, semantic quibbles aside, we're pretty much on the same page. And, in any case, I have nothing new to add.

Glenn said...

For those who are interested, I attempted to join in on the whole DNF / completed conversation yesterday evening, but accidentally posted to current Thursday instead of yesterday. Click here to read my response.

BruceB said...

19:26, no errors. Amazingly close to @Dave's effort.

I, too, entered 3D ELSIE before ELMER. 'Bovine product' misled me to think dairy and not glue.

Totally agree with @Jeff, that foreign language phrases which are not in common use in English should not be in English language word puzzles. N'EST CE PAS?

2D was pretty sure the speaker was Romeo, but I also had ELSIE in 3D, which made OBI seem reasonable in 19A. Once ELMER came to me, I thought 19A might be GEE, as in karategi, although the correct spelling is GI, I have seen GEE used, as well.

BruceB said...

One last comment. I also have never had nor ever heard of a PURPLE COW. Vanilla is my favorite flavor of ice cream, and, of all the things anyone could possibly adulterate vanilla ice cream with, purple 'grape juice' has to be one of the worst.

Anonymous said...

16:17 and no errors. Thought I might have a rare improvement over Bill's time, but, nope, he still whupped me by a minute and a half!!

Surprisingly easy puzzle for a Friday. I think I must be less than 50% completion for Friday puzzles.

Last word on DNF/errors/outside help: whether one "peeks" or uses help in order to improve is a separate issue than whether one **finishes the puzzle unaided** or not. I can fully relate to giving up on a grid and coming here to find the answer, and then, a few weeks later, find that it returns and you can use that knowledge to progress. Absolutely. I come here, too, especially on Thursdays, to get answers to those clues that stumped me or are totally outside my ken. But: it is after I've resigned myself to a DNF!!! And, if I fill in the odd square with wild guesses, I will come here for the solution and note if I had errors. You CAN have a finished grid with errors, but obviously that's not the same as finished error-free, is it? Again, it's all in the honesty, with oneself and with others.

Addendum: after viewing the 2006 NYT Crossword Puzzle movie, Wordplay, and seeing the segment on one longtime solver who kept a dogeared notebook containing copious records of his solves, I began keeping a spreadsheet of my daily efforts, noting my time, Bill's time, and, of course, Y/N as to finishing. I also have a column for (Thursday) rants about what I consider to be outrageous stunts by the setters, and of late am starting to note the names of the perpetrators of such outrages, so that when I see their names under a Thursday grid, I might decide to just take a pass and save myself some stomach lining. :) I have yet to duck a puzzle without even trying, but, especially after that "aluminum siding" outrage of about a week ago, there might be one name I'll "just say no" to in the future.

Tom M. said...

I enjoyed this Patrick Berry puzzle as always.

Had HOLDUPrOB (robbery) and OrAis(?) instead of HOLDUPJOB and OJAYS.

dnf.

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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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