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0201-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Feb 17, Wednesday





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: Matthew Sewell & Jeff Chen
THEME: Lend Me Your Ears
The first word in today’s three themed clues, along with the “reveal” answer, point us to the first line of a speech by Mark Antony in Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar”. That is, "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears".
19A. Friends who go to White Castle in a 2004 film : HAROLD AND KUMAR
25A. Romans who protected the emperor : PRAETORIAN GUARD
43A. Countrymen who met in Philadelphia in 1787 : FOUNDING FATHERS
51A. Shakespearean entreaty appropriate for 19-, 25- and 43-Across? : LEND ME YOUR EARS
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 01s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

14. Leader of the Smurfs : PAPA
The Smurfs are little blue people created in 1958 by the Belgian cartoonist who went by the pen name Peyo. The Smurfs became famous in the US when Hanna-Barbera used them in a children's cartoon series. The characters are largely a group of males. The original lineup included just one "Smurfette", who is wooed by almost all of the boy Smurfs. Later, another female was introduced into the mix called Sassette, and still later along came Granny Smurf.

15. Jam session highlight : SOLO
The use of "jam", to mean an improvised passage performed by a whole jazz band, dates back to the late twenties. This gave rise to "jam session", a term used a few years later. The use of "jam" in this context probably stems from the meaning of "jam" as something sweet, something excellent.

18. Seneca Falls orator Lucretia : MOTT
Lucretia Coffin Mott (what a name!) was an American Quaker, and an advocate for women’s rights. Mott has been called the first American “feminist”. Her first job was teaching in the Quaker school in which she was educated. There she learned that her salary was to be one third of that paid to the males with the same job (she married one of the male teachers!). That injustice initiated her interest in women’s rights.

19. Friends who go to White Castle in a 2004 film : HAROLD AND KUMAR
“Harold & Kumar” is a trilogy of comedy films about two potheads played by John Cho (Harold) and Kal Penn (Kumar). Not my cup of tea …

23. Main squeeze, in modern lingo : BAE
“Bae” is a contemporary term of endearment, a pet name that is an abbreviation of “babe, baby”.

Back in the late 1800s, a “main squeeze” was the “most important person”. It wasn’t until almost a century later the one’s main squeeze was one’s sweetheart.

24. Class teaching about DNA : BIO
I've always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relations.

25. Romans who protected the emperor : PRAETORIAN GUARD
The Praetorian Guard were elite soldiers in Ancient Rome who provided close security for the emperor. The guard was actually created in the days of the Roman Republic, before the formation of the Roman Empire, at which time their job was to protect senior military officers known as “praetors”, giving rise to the name “Praetorian Guard”.

33. Follower of Hosea in the 31-Across : JOEL
(31A. See 33-Across : BIBLE)
The Book of Joel in the Hebrew Bible is part of the collection known as the Twelve Minor Prophets. These books are referred to as “minor” as the texts are relatively short.

Hosea was one of the Twelve Prophets of the Hebrew Bible, also called the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament in the Christian Bible.

34. Cheese choice : SWISS
“Swiss cheese” is a relatively generic term for a type of cheese produced in various countries and not necessarily in Switzerland. What they all have in common though, is a resemblance to the original Swiss Emmental cheese.

36. Its diameter is roughly twice that of a basketball : HOOP
Basketball is truly a North American sport. It was created in 1891 by Canadian James Naismith at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. His goal was to create something active and interesting for his students in the gym. The first “hoops” were actually peach baskets, with the bottoms of the baskets intact. When a player got the ball into the “net”, someone had to clamber up and get the ball back out again in order to continue the game!

42. Bedtime for a vampire : SUNUP
Legends about vampires were particularly common in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans in particular. The superstition was that vampires could be killed using a wooden stake, with the preferred type of wood varying from place to place. Superstition also defined where in the body should be staked. Most often, the stake was driven through the heart, but Russians and northern Germans went for the mouth, and northeastern Serbs for the stomach.

48. Ambulance letters : EMS
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

49. ___-rock : ALT
I really don't know what alt-rock is, and I can't seem to work it out. Just an old fuddy-duddy …

51. Shakespearean entreaty appropriate for 19-, 25- and 43-Across? : LEND ME YOUR EARS
“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears …” is the start of a famous speech by Mark Antony from William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar”.

57. Nivea rival : OLAY
Oil of Olay was developed in South Africa in 1949. When Oil of Olay was introduced internationally, it was given slightly different brand names designed to appeal in the different geographies. In Ireland we know it as Oil of Ulay, for example, and in France it is Oil of Olaz.

Nivea is a brand name of skin-care products from Germany. The Latin word “nivea” means “snow-white”.

58. Jacques who played Monsieur Hulot : TATI
Jacques Tati was a very famous filmmaker and comic actor in his homeland of France. Even though he only directed six feature-length movies, Tati is often cited by insiders as one of the greatest movie directors of all time.

Monsieur Hulot is a celebrated comedic character played by French actor Jacques Tati in several films in the fifties and sixties, including “Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot” (1953) and “Mon Oncle” (1959). Rowan Atkinson draws on the antics of Monsieur Hulot when he plays his “Mr. Bean”.

61. Campbell of "House of Cards" : NEVE
Neve Campbell is a Canadian actress whose big break in movies came with the “Scream” horror film series, in which she had a leading role. I don’t do horror films, so I haven’t seen any of the “Scream” movies. Nor have I seen the TV series “Party of Five” which launched the acting careers of both Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt in the nineties.

The hit TV show “House of Cards” is a political drama starring Kevin Spacey that highlights ruthless manipulation within the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. The show is an adaptation of a BBC miniseries of the same name, which in turn is based on a novel by Michael Dobbs. My wife and I have seen both versions of the show but disagree on which is the best. I favor the US version …

63. Lady of "My Fair Lady" : ELIZA
Eliza Doolittle is Professor Henry Higgins' speech student in George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion". "Pygmalion" was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical "My Fair Lady". The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was "'Enry 'Iggins".

65. Sapphic works : ODES
Sappho was an Ancient Greek poet born on the Greek island of Lesbos. Sappho was much admired for her work, although very little of it survives today. She was renowned for writing erotic and romantic verse that dealt with the love of women as well as men. It was because of this poetry that the word “lesbian” (someone from Lesbos) is used to describe a gay woman.

66. Luxury brand with a crown logo : ROLEX
My most prized possession is a beautiful stainless steel Rolex watch that my uncle bought while serving with the RAF in Canada during WWII. Rolex watches were made available to the Canadian servicemen at that time as they were shipping overseas. My uncle brought his Rolex home to Ireland after the war. He needed money for booze one weekend and so sold the watch to my Dad, for five pounds. My Dad gave it to me just before he died, as he knew I loved the watch, and my brothers weren't interested in it all. Not so long ago I had the watch appraised ($3,000), and my brothers suddenly took a liking to it! Still, it's not something that will ever be sold, that's for sure …

Down
2. Kind of I.R.A. : ROTH
Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (Roth IRAs) were introduced in 1997 under a bill sponsored by Senator William Roth of Delaware, hence the name.

3. Rooney ___, 2016 Oscar nominee for "Carol" : MARA
The actress Rooney Mara is noted for her role in the 2010 film “The Social Network” and more recently for the title role in the 2011 hit movie “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. Mara has American Football in her blood. Her mother’s family founded the Pittsburgh Steelers and her father’s family founded the New York Giants.

4. Mosque of ___ (Jerusalem shrine) : OMAR
The Siege of Jerusalem took place in the year 637. The Rashidun Army lay siege to Jerusalem, which was in the hands of the Byzantine Empire. In order for the city to surrender, the Caliph Omar had to travel himself to Jerusalem. As victor, Omar was invited to pray in the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Out of respect for the Christian edifice, Omar refused to go into the church and instead prayed outside in the courtyard. Just over 500 years later, the Mosque of Omar was built on the site where Omar prayed, right opposite the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

5. Clever comeback : RIPOSTE
“Riposte” is a fencing term, describing a quick thrust after having parried a lunge from one’s opponent. We also use to the term to mean a sharp verbal retort.

7. Prayer wheel turner : LAMA
“Lama” is a Tibetan word, meaning “chief” or “high priest”.

10. Automated floor cleaner : ROOMBA
The Roomba vacuum cleaner is a cool-looking device that navigates its way around a room by itself, picking up dirt as it goes. Like I said, it's cool-looking but I am not sure how effective it is …

11. Brightest star in the Eagle constellation : ALTAIR
The name of the constellation Aquila is Latin for “eagle”. The brightest star in Aquila is Altair. The name “Altair” comes from the Arabic “al-nasr al-tair” meaning “the flying eagle”.

12. Vehicle in a drag race : HOT ROD
A “hot rod” is an American car that has been modified for speed by installing a larger than normal engine. A “street rod” is generally a more comfortable type of “hot rod”, with the emphasis less on the engine and more on custom paint jobs and interiors. By definition, a street rod must be based on an automobile design that originated prior to 1949.

Back in the 18th century “drag” was slang for a wagon or buggy, as it was “dragged” along by a horse or horses. In the 1930s, the underworld adopted “drag” as slang for an automobile. This sense of the word was imported into automobile racing in the forties, giving the name to “drag racing”. A drag race is basically a competition between two cars to determine which can accelerate faster from a standstill.

15. Dallas sch. : SMU
Southern Methodist University (SMU) is located in University Park, Texas (part of Dallas), and was founded in 1911. SMU is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

25. Basic lunch sandwich, informally : PBJ
Peanut butter and jelly (PB&J or PBJ).

26. Brazilian-themed Vegas hotel : RIO
The Rio casino in Las Vegas was opened in 1990, originally targeting the local population as it is located off the famous Strip where most of the tourists hang out. Famously, the Rio opened up the adults-only Sapphire Pool in 2008, a pay-to-enter (only men paid) topless pool club that featured music and dancers. A year later the Sapphire Pool was closed down after there were eleven arrests for drugs and prostitution offences during an undercover police operation.

27. Japanese P.M. Shinzo ___ : ABE
Shinzo Abe first became Prime Minister of Japan in 2006, at which time he was the youngest person to hold the post since WWII and was the first PM born after the war. Abe was in office for less than a year, but was voted in again in 2012. Abe is usually characterized as a right-wing nationalist.

28. Page in a Hollywood film : ELLEN
Canadian actress Ellen Page came to prominence playing the female lead in the 2007 hit film “Juno”. Page also played the female lead in one of my favorite films of the past few years, 2010’s “Inception”.

34. Certain high heel : STILETTO
The stiletto knife was developed in Italy, and is a knife intended for thrusting and stabbing as opposed to slashing and cutting. The term “stiletto” comes from the Latin “stilus”, which was a thin pointed writing instrument used in Ancient Rome to engrave wax or clay tablets. And, there are also stiletto heels on some women’s shoes, heels that are long and thin.

37. Number of emails sent by Warren Buffett in his entire life : ONE
Warren Buffett is one of my heroes, a man with the nicknames “Wizard of Omaha” and “Oracle of Omaha”. Despite being one of the wealthiest men in the world, Buffet lives a relatively frugal and modest life. Buffett also has a very Jeffersonian attitude towards the role his wealth plays within his family. He has set up his estate so that his children get enough money to be independent, but the vast majority of his assets are going to charity, both before and after he dies.

38. Dickens's "___ Mutual Friend" : OUR
“Our Mutual Friend” is the last novel that Charles Dickens finished, first published in 1865. The last novel that Dickens worked on is “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”, which he left unfinished.

39. And another thing, on a letter : PPS
One adds a PS (post scriptum, or simply “postscript”) at the end of a letter (ltr.). A second postscript is a post post scriptum, a PPS.

42. Noted gatekeeper : ST PETER
In the Christian tradition, Saint Peter is often depicted as the keeper of the gates of heaven. This depiction arises from a passage in the Gospel of Matthew:
I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

43. Mug shot subjects : FELONS
A mugshot is a photograph of a person's face, often taken for a police record.

The verb "to mug" means to make an exaggerated facial expression. The term comes from mugs used to drink beer (called Toby mugs) that are the made in the shape of heads with grotesque expressions. “Mug” can also be a noun meaning “face”.

45. "Not for self but for country" sloganeer : US NAVY
The motto of the US Navy is “Non sibi sed patriae”, which translates from Latin as “Not for self but for country”.

47. It's mostly nitrogen : AIR
Air is mainly composed of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%) and argon (1%). We hear a lot about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It makes up (or should make up!) about 0.04%, but that’s an important 0.04%.

52. Clairol product : DYE
Clairol had been around since 1931 selling hair coloring products to salons, and then hit the big time with the introduction of a one-step hair coloring product for use at home. As famous as the product was the “does she … or doesn’t she” advertising campaign. Six years after the launch of the campaign, 70% of women in the US were coloring their hair.

54. Janis's partner in the comics : ARLO
The comic strip "Arlo and Janis" is written by Jimmy Johnson. Introduced in 1985, Arlo and Janis are a baby booming couple with an easy approach to life, and who are very much in love.

55. Billiards cushion : RAIL
The name of the game billiards comes from the French word “billiard” that originally described the wooden cue stick. The Old French “bille” translates as “stick of wood”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Exoskeleton, e.g. : ARMOR
6. One who's slow to pick things up? : SLOB
10. When repeated, zealous : RAH!
13. "Likewise" : SO AM I
14. Leader of the Smurfs : PAPA
15. Jam session highlight : SOLO
16. Gym bag attachment : STRAP
17. "You can say that again!" : AMEN!
18. Seneca Falls orator Lucretia : MOTT
19. Friends who go to White Castle in a 2004 film : HAROLD AND KUMAR
22. "Didn't I tell you?" : SEE?
23. Main squeeze, in modern lingo : BAE
24. Class teaching about DNA : BIO
25. Romans who protected the emperor : PRAETORIAN GUARD
31. See 33-Across : BIBLE
32. Go to bed, informally : CRASH
33. Follower of Hosea in the 31-Across : JOEL
34. Cheese choice : SWISS
36. Its diameter is roughly twice that of a basketball : HOOP
40. No longer on one's plate, say : EATEN
42. Bedtime for a vampire : SUNUP
43. Countrymen who met in Philadelphia in 1787 : FOUNDING FATHERS
48. Ambulance letters : EMS
49. ___-rock : ALT
50. Freshness : LIP
51. Shakespearean entreaty appropriate for 19-, 25- and 43-Across? : LEND ME YOUR EARS
57. Nivea rival : OLAY
58. Jacques who played Monsieur Hulot : TATI
59. Scout's route : TRAIL
61. Campbell of "House of Cards" : NEVE
62. Walked heavily : TROD
63. Lady of "My Fair Lady" : ELIZA
64. Where hogs go hog-wild? : STY
65. Sapphic works : ODES
66. Luxury brand with a crown logo : ROLEX

Down
1. Buffoon : ASS
2. Kind of I.R.A. : ROTH
3. Rooney ___, 2016 Oscar nominee for "Carol" : MARA
4. Mosque of ___ (Jerusalem shrine) : OMAR
5. Clever comeback : RIPOSTE
6. James who voiced Ultron in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" : SPADER
7. Prayer wheel turner : LAMA
8. Places where spirits flow freely : OPEN BARS
9. Headwear for some rockers : BANDANAS
10. Automated floor cleaner : ROOMBA
11. Brightest star in the Eagle constellation : ALTAIR
12. Vehicle in a drag race : HOT ROD
15. Dallas sch. : SMU
20. Passionate, outgoing sort, astrologically : LEO
21. Beer blast purchases : KEGS
25. Basic lunch sandwich, informally : PBJ
26. Brazilian-themed Vegas hotel : RIO
27. Japanese P.M. Shinzo ___ : ABE
28. Page in a Hollywood film : ELLEN
29. Cake coating : ICING
30. "Ri-i-i-ight ..." : UH-HUH ...
34. Certain high heel : STILETTO
35. Hit a home run, in baseball lingo : WENT YARD
37. Number of emails sent by Warren Buffett in his entire life : ONE
38. Dickens's "___ Mutual Friend" : OUR
39. And another thing, on a letter : PPS
41. Police dispatcher's "A" : ADAM
42. Noted gatekeeper : ST PETER
43. Mug shot subjects : FELONS
44. "Western" or "Spanish" dish : OMELET
45. "Not for self but for country" sloganeer : US NAVY
46. What doctors recommend that sick people get a lot of : FLUIDS
47. It's mostly nitrogen : AIR
52. Clairol product : DYE
53. Great Plains tribe : OTOE
54. Janis's partner in the comics : ARLO
55. Billiards cushion : RAIL
56. Carry-on concern : SIZE
60. Not really enforcing the rules : LAX


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2 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

10:05, no errors. I had never heard the word BAE (which apparently has only been around for a short while), but got it from crossing entries. For once, I remembered to look for the theme, spent several minutes trying to figure it out ... and failed. Embarrassing ...

Jeff said...

Just coming to bury Jeff Chen, not to praise him.... Not really. Another good puzzle by Mr. Chen, as always.

Mixed up the "A" and "E" in PRAETORIAN...so I had eBE and aLLEN for 27 and 28D. What do I know?

I also completely whiffed on the theme. Not used to looking at the clues rather than the answers for the theme to make sense. Hope this isn't a bad omen for tomorrow..

OPEN BARS redeems everything else about this puzzle... :)

Best -

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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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