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0117-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Jan 17, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Timothy Polin
THEME: Star Wars
Today’s themed answers all relate to the late Carrie Fisher and the most iconic role that she played on the big screen. The circled letters in the grid spell out the movie name “STAR WARS”.
2D. With 51-Down, late, beloved actress : CARRIE ...
51D. See 2-Down : … FISHER

18A. With 61- and 37-Across, famous line by 53-Across in [see circled letters] : HELP ME, OBI …
61A. See 18-Across : … -WAN KENOBI ...
37A. See 18-Across : … YOU’RE MY ONLY HOPE

23A. Hairstyle for 53-Across, colloquially : CINNAMON BUNS

53A. Iconic role for 2-/51-Down : PRINCESS LEIA
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 41s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. When Polonius says "Brevity is the soul of wit" : ACT II
Polonius is an important character in William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. Polonius is eventually killed by Hamlet, albeit in a case of mistaken identity. He has several memorable lines in the play that are oft-quoted today, including “To thine own self be true”, "Brevity is the soul of wit", and “Neither a borrower nor a lender be”.

15. Alan who played Captain Pierce : ALDA
Hawkeye Pierce is the lead character in the “M*A*S*H” novel, movie and TV series. Hawkeye was originally portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the film, and then by Alan Alda in the television show. Pierce is the only character appearing in all 250 episodes of the groundbreaking TV series.

18. With 61- and 37-Across, famous line by 53-Across in [see circled letters] : HELP ME, OBI …
61. See 18-Across : … -WAN KENOBI ...
37. See 18-Across : … YOU’RE MY ONLY HOPE
Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the more beloved of the “Star Wars” characters. Kenobi was portrayed by two fabulous actors in the series of films. As a young man he is played by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, and as an older man he is played by Alec Guinness.

20. The "E" in HOMES : ERIE
A well-known mnemonic for remembering the names of the Great Lakes is HOMES: standing for Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.

21. Nubian heroine of opera : AIDA
“Aida” is the famous opera by Giuseppe Verdi, actually based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then of course complications arise!

Nubia is a region shared by Egypt and Sudan that lies along the Nile river. The name “Nubia” comes from the Nuba people who settled in the area in the 4th century.

23. Hairstyle for 53-Across, colloquially : CINNAMON BUNS
(53A. Iconic role for 2-/51-Down : PRINCESS LEIA)
Princess Leia is Luke Skywalker’s twin sister in the original “Star Wars” trilogy and was played by Carrie Fisher. Carrie Fisher has stated that she hated the famous “cinnamon bun hairstyle” that she had to wear in the films, as she felt it made her face look too round. She also had to to sit for two hours every day just to get her hair styled. Two hours to get your hair done? It takes me just two seconds …

29. Hitting blackjack after blackjack, say : ON A RUN
The game of “twenty-one” was first referred to in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing “Don Quixote”. He called the game “ventiuna” (Spanish for “twenty-one”). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn’t all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker “Blackjack”.

33. Michelangelo masterpiece : PIETA
The Pietà is a representation of the Virgin Mary holding in her arms the dead body of her son Jesus. The most famous “Pietà” is probably the sculpted rendition by Michelangelo which is located in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. In some depictions, Mary and her son are surrounded by other figures from the New Testament, and these depictions are known as “Lamentations”.

53. Iconic role for 2-/51-Down : PRINCESS LEIA
The full name of the character played by Carrie Fisher in the “Star Wars” series of films is Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, and later Leia Organa Solo. Leia is the twin sister of Luke Skywalker, and the daughter of Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader) and Padmé Amidala. Leia is raised by her adoptive parents Bail and Breha Organa. She eventually marries Han Solo.

60. 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.

64. Like old, neglected sweaters, maybe : MOTHY
The larvae of several types of moth are noted for eating fabrics made from natural fibers such as wool or cotton. Many people store woolens in cedar chests believing that the scent of the wood prevents a moth infestation. In fact, the only known effective repellent is the naphthalene found in mothballs, which might be a health concern for humans. One way to kill moth larvae in fabric is to freeze the garment for several days at a temperature below 8 degrees centigrade.

65. Renaissance Faire instrument : LUTE
A lute player is a “lutenist”. A nice bit of trivia …

67. Tree-lined walkway, in France : ALLEE
In French, a tree-lined and usually straight path through “une forêt” (a forest) is called “une allée”.

Down
2. With 51-Down, late, beloved actress : CARRIE …
51. See 2-Down : … FISHER
The actress Carrie Fisher was best known for playing Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” series of films. Fisher was the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher. Fisher fell seriously ill on a transatlantic flight at the end of 2016, and then died of cardiac arrest four days later. Famously, her mother and next-door neighbor in Beverly Hills, passed away following a stroke, just one day after her daughter died.

7. Brand of artificial fat : OLEAN
Olean is a brand name for the fat substitute, Olestra. Naturally occuring fats are made of a glycerol molecule holding together three fatty acids. Olestra is instead made of several fatty acid chains held together by a sucrose molecule. Olestra has a similar taste and consistency as natural fat, but has zero caloric impact as it is too large a molecule to pass through the intestinal wall and passes right out of the body. Personally, I would steer clear of it. Olestra is banned in Britain and Canada due to concerns about side effects, but I guess someone knows the right palms to grease (pun intended!) here in the US, and so it's in our food.

8. Deal with a broken teleprompter, say : AD LIB
Ad libitum is a Latin phrase meaning "at one's pleasure". In common usage the phrase is usually shortened to "ad lib". On the stage the concept of an "ad lib" is very familiar.

9. Rae Sremmurd, e.g. : RAP DUO
Rae Sremmurd is hip hop act consisting of two brothers from Tupelo, Mississippi: Khalif “Swae Lee” Brown and Aaquil “Slim Jxmmi” Brown. The pair used to perform as Dem Outta St8 Boyz, with the brothers using the names Kid Krunk and Caliboy, along with a third brother known as Lil Pantz. Sometimes I think I over-complicate things by using the name “Bill” ...

10. Makeup of the planet Hoth : ICE
The fictional planet known as Hoth is featured in the “Star Wars” movie “The Empire Strikes Back”. Hoth is an ice planet, and home to a secret base belonging to the Rebel Alliance.

19. "Doctor Faustus" novelist Thomas : MANN
“Doctor Faustus” is a novel by Thomas Mann first published in 1947. It is a retelling of the legend of Faust but set in Germany in the first half of the 20th century.

24. Mont Blanc, e.g., to locals : ALPE
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps. The name "Mont Blanc" translates from French into "white mountain". The mountain lies on the border between France and Italy, and it has been generally accepted for decades that the summit lies within French territory. However, there have been official claims that the summit does in fact fall within the borders of Italy.

30. Figure on an Aussie Xing sign, perhaps : ROO
The name “kangaroo” comes from the Australian Aborigine term for the animal. There’s an oft-quoted story that the explorer James Cook (later Captain Cook) asked a local native what was the name of this remarkable-looking animal, and the native responded with “kangaroo”. The story is that the native was actually saying “I don’t understand you”, but as cute as that tale is, it’s just an urban myth.

32. Formerly named : NEE
"Née" is the French word for "born" when referring to a female. The male equivalent is "né".

35. Tennis champ Agassi : ANDRE
Retired tennis professional Andre Agassi has been married to fellow player Steffi Graf since 2001. Agassi wrote an autobiography called “Open”, published in 2009. An amazing revelation in the book is that Agassi’s famous head of hair was actually a wig for much of his playing career. Can you imagine how hard it must have been to play tennis at his level with a rug stuck on?

37. Deviate during flight, as a rocket : YAW
The word “yaw” means to deviate from the line of a course and is used mainly at sea. “Yaw” is derived from the Old Norse word “jaege” which means “to drive, chase”. As such, “yaw” is etymologically related to our word “yacht”.

38. Non's opposite : OUI
"Oui" is “yes” in French, and “non” is “no”.

41. Amy Adams's "Man of Steel" role : LOIS
“Man of Steel” is a 2013 reboot of the “Superman” series of films, starring Henry Cavill in the title role and Amy Adams as Lois Lane.

Amy Adams is an American actress. although she was actually born in Vicenza, Italy while her father was a US serviceman stationed on an Italian base. My favorite Amy Adams film so far is the outstanding "Julie & Julia" in which she acted alongside Meryl Streep. I highly recommend this truly delightful movie.

46. British derrière : ARSE
Well, the word “arse” would never make it into a crossword in the British Isles as it would be considered too rude. I have a similar reaction to the word “shag” as in “The Spy Who Shagged Me”. The film would never have been released with that name in the UK.

49. Chant after a fútbol goal : OLE OLE!
“Fútbol” is the Spanish word for football, soccer.

54. Country singer Judd : NAOMI
The Judds were a country music singing duo made up of Naomi Judd and her daughter Wynonna. Naomi Judd is also the mother of actress Ashley Judd, with Ashley and Wynonna being half-sisters.

64. Reference in "Treasure Island" : MAP
Robert Louis Stevenson's (RLS) most celebrated work I'd say is "Treasure Island", originally written as a series for a children's magazine in 1881. I remember "Treasure Island" as the first "real" novel I read as a youngster ...

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. When Polonius says "Brevity is the soul of wit" : ACT II
6. Tusked beast : BOAR
10. Kind of threat : IDLE
14. Swoon : FAINT
15. Alan who played Captain Pierce : ALDA
16. Essential point : CRUX
17. Agonizes (over) : FRETS
18. With 61- and 37-Across, famous line by 53-Across in [see circled letters] : HELP ME, OBI ...
20. The "E" in HOMES : ERIE
21. Nubian heroine of opera : AIDA
22. Family member who was probably adopted : PET
23. Hairstyle for 53-Across, colloquially : CINNAMON BUNS
28. Place where trials are conducted : TEST LAB
29. Hitting blackjack after blackjack, say : ON A RUN
33. Michelangelo masterpiece : PIETA
36. A few : SOME
37. See 18-Across : … YOU’RE MY ONLY HOPE
43. Ambience : AURA
44. "Same here!" : SO DO I!
45. Is victorious in : WINS AT
48. Swindles : RIP-OFFS
53. Iconic role for 2-/51-Down : PRINCESS LEIA
56. "What have we here?!" : OHO!
59. Knock 'em dead : SLAY
60. Online crafts seller : ETSY
61. See 18-Across : … -WAN KENOBI ...
64. Like old, neglected sweaters, maybe : MOTHY
65. Renaissance Faire instrument : LUTE
66. Sign of things to come : OMEN
67. Tree-lined walkway, in France : ALLEE
68. Make slo-o-o-ow progress : SLOG
69. Concealed mike : WIRE
70. Entitled sorts? : PEERS

Down
1. Influence : AFFECT
2. With 51-Down, late, beloved actress : CARRIE ...
3. Certain marketing gimmicks : TIE-INS
4. Hell-bent (on) : INTENT
5. "___ a trap!" : IT’S
6. "Harrumph!" : BAH!
7. Brand of artificial fat : OLEAN
8. Deal with a broken teleprompter, say : AD LIB
9. Rae Sremmurd, e.g. : RAP DUO
10. Makeup of the planet Hoth : ICE
11. Nosedive : DROP
12. Squeak stopper : LUBE
13. Turnoff for drivers : EXIT
19. "Doctor Faustus" novelist Thomas : MANN
24. Mont Blanc, e.g., to locals : ALPE
25. Cripple : MAIM
26. Heeds : OBEYS
27. Merit badge displayer : SASH
30. Figure on an Aussie Xing sign, perhaps : ROO
31. World Series official : UMP
32. Formerly named : NEE
34. "___ late!" : TOO
35. Tennis champ Agassi : ANDRE
37. Deviate during flight, as a rocket : YAW
38. Non's opposite : OUI
39. Coffee container : URN
40. Speak with a gravelly voice : RASP
41. Amy Adams's "Man of Steel" role : LOIS
42. Puppy sounds : YIPS
46. British derrière : ARSE
47. So far, informally : ‘TIL NOW
49. Chant after a fútbol goal : OLE OLE!
50. In fine ___ (healthy) : FETTLE
51. See 2-Down : … FISHER
52. Agree to a proposal : SAY YES
54. Country singer Judd : NAOMI
55. Modern lead-in to space or security : CYBER-
56. Real head-turners? : OWLS
57. Drag : HAUL
58. Not deceived by : ONTO
62. Beer barrel : KEG
63. Having four sharps : IN E
64. Reference in "Treasure Island" : MAP


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11 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

9:00, no errors.

I first heard of RAE SREMMURD a month or so ago and now it seems that they are everywhere - a publicity campaign, perhaps? ... :-)

The four-letter word at 46D is not the only one in this puzzle that would not appear in a puzzle in the UK; the first four letters of 61A kind of jumped out at me just now. Just a coincidence, I suppose. I sometimes think, though, that comic strip artists have a contest going to see who can get away with the most questionable oblique references ... :-)

Jeff said...

I'm not very knowledgeable about Star Wars so this was a bit of a challenge for me. Took about 50% longer than most Tuesday puzzles. I liked it anyway.

Didn't really understand OWLS for"Real head turners". Don't all animals turn their heads? Also PEERS for "Entitled sorts" was puzzling. Usually if it's not in the blog, it means I've missed something obvious. It wouldn't be the first time.

Best -

bapbam said...

Owls turn their heads 180 degrees without turning their body. And who knows why peers are entitled sorts?

Jeff said...

@bapbam - Interesting note on owls. I guess PEERS for entitled sorts will remain a mystery for now.

I did this puzzle 5 weeks ago, and it's taken me 5 weeks to realize that RAE SREMMURD is "Drummer's ear" backwards. Maybe 5 weeks from now I'll realize the significance of "drummers ear"...

JRH - I'm originally from St Louis as well. I miss the St Louis Globe Democrat, however..

Best -

Dale Stewart said...

In reference to "Entitled sorts?": The setter is simply looking for those Brits who have a title of some kind....Earl, Baron, Lord, Knight, Duke, etc. Also, PEER in Britain is used as a synonym for those who have a title. In America PEER means one's equals as in "a jury of one's peers."

Jeff said...

Dale - thanks for that info. I should have known there would be some British meaning behind PEERS as such. But it's their language (at least it was originally) so I won't complain.

Best -

BruceB said...

11:50, no errors. Fell into a few traps today. e.g. 48A Swindles, I entered RIPS OFF vice RIP OFFS.

Tom M. said...

Yes, RIPsOFF before RIPOFFS here, too. The RAP DUO was new to me. Fine Tuesday puzzle.

Anonymous said...

9:43, no errors. Had a couple of snags along the way, including falling for the RIP(S)OFF(S) misdirection. I truly appreciated the Carrie Fisher/Princess Leia tribute, though. Well done!

JRH said...


Jeff-

One of my prized possessions is a framed copy of the Globe-Democrat from October of '82
proclaiming the Redbirds' world series victory, autographed by Gussie Busch. I attended that series a month before being transferred to Connecticut.

Glenn said...

No errors, 13 minutes.

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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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