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0217-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Feb 17, Friday





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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
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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Steinberg
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 14m 02s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. First Chinese-American cabinet member : ELAINE CHAO
When President George W. Bush appointed Elaine Chao as Secretary of Labor, he made a bit of history as Chao then became the first Chinese American in history to hold a cabinet post. It turned out that Chao became the only cabinet member to hold her post for President Bush’s full eight years in office. In 1993, Chao married Mitch McConnell, the Republican Leader of the US Senate.

18. Owner of the horse Sleipnir : ODIN
Sleipnir is an eight-legged horse of Norse mythology, the steed that was ridden by Odin.

19. Latin 101 word : AMO
Amo, amas, amat ... I love, you love, he/she/it loves, in Latin.

20. Abbr. before Friday : SGT
The TV detective show “Dragnet” opened up each episode with lines spoken by the character Sergeant Joe Friday:
This is the city, Los Angeles, California, I work here. I’m a cop.
In later series, the phrase “I’m a cop” was replaced with “I carry a badge”.

29. Artsy L.A. district : NOHO
The NoHo Arts District in Los Angeles takes its name from “North Hollywood”, although the abbreviation is a play on the famous SoHo Arts District in New York City.

31. Washington Post competitor: Abbr. : NYT
“The New York Times” (NYT) has been published since 1851. These days a viable alternative to buying the paper is to read the news online. NYTimes.com is the most popular online newspaper website in the country.

“The Washington Post” is the oldest paper still being published in the DC area, having been founded in 1877. Famously, “The Post” reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein led the media’s investigation into what we now called the Watergate scandal. “The Washington Post” was purchased in 2013 by Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com.

32. "Jurassic Park" co-star Sam : NEILL
Sam Neill is a very talented actor from New Zealand. I really enjoyed Neill in a 1983 television miniseries called “Reilly, Ace of Spies”, about a British spy operation during WWI. He is perhaps better-known for his roles in the movies “Omen III”, “Dead Calm”, “Jurassic Park” and “The Hunt for Red October”.

“Jurassic Park” is a 1990 novel by Michael Crichton that was adapted into a hugely successful movie by Steven Spielberg in 1993. One of the main premises of the novel is that dinosaur DNA could be harvested from mosquitoes trapped in amber (fossilized tree resin), the DNA coming from the dinosaur blood consumed by the mosquitoes. The dinosaur DNA is then sequenced and used to create clones of the original beasts. A clever idea, but apparently not very practical from what I’ve read …

33. Teddy material : SATIN
The item of lingerie known as a teddy can also be called “camiknickers”. The alternative name was used when the one-piece garment was introduced in the twenties, a combination of a camisole and panties (aka knickers).

34. Not to, say : FRO
To, and fro.

44. Base order : TEN-HUT
“Ten-hut!” is a term used in the US Military, and it means “come to attention!”.

46. Mar. figure : ST PAT
There is a fair amount known about Saint Patrick, some of which comes from two letters written in his own hand. St. Patrick lived in the fifth century, but was not born in Ireland. He was first brought to Ireland at about 16 years of age from his native Britain, by Irish raiders who made him a slave for six years. Patrick managed to escape and returned to his homeland where he studied and entered the Church. He went back to Ireland as a bishop and a missionary and there lived out the rest of his life. There seems to be good evidence that he died on March 17th (now celebrated annually as Saint Patrick’s Day), although the year is less clear. The stories about shamrock and snakes, I am afraid they are the stuff of legend.

51. Colosseum crowd? : TRE
In Italian, “tre” (three) is a crowd.

The Colosseum of Rome was the largest amphitheater in the whole of the Roman Empire in its day, and could seat about 50,000 people. And today, it remains largest amphitheater in the world. The structure was originally called the “Amphitheatrum Flavium” but the name changed to “Colosseum” when a colossal statue of Emperor Nero was located nearby.

58. Take a hit : TOKE
“Toke” is a slang term for a puff on a marijuana cigarette, or on a pipe containing the drug.

60. Sources of ricotta cheese : EWES
Ricotta is an Italian cheese made from the milk of a sheep or a cow. Ricotta is actually produced from the whey of the milk, the liquid left after the curds have been separated out (curds are used to make “traditional” cheese). The whey is heated again so that the remaining protein, above and beyond that in the curd already removed, precipitates out making ricotta cheese. The word “ricotta” literally means “recooked”, which makes sense to me now …

Down
1. First name in country : REBA
Reba McEntire is a country music singer and television actress. McEntire starred in her own sitcom called "Reba" that aired on the WB and the CW cable channels from 2001 to 2007.

3. Who wrote "Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise" : CATO
Cato the Elder was a Roman statesman, known historically as “the elder” in order to distinguish him from his great-grandson, Cato the Younger. Cato the Elder’s ultimate position within Roman society was that of Censor, making him responsible for maintaining the census, and for supervising public morality.

4. Vixen's offspring : KIT
Kits are the young of several mammalian species, including the ferret and the fox. “Kit” is probably a shortened form of “kitten”.

6. Vocalist for the Black Eyed Peas : FERGIE
The hip hop group known as the Black Eyed Peas comprises three rap artist will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo, as well as the singer Fergie.

8. Tuna type : AHI
Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as "ahi", the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

10. Hippie-influenced fashion trend : BOHO-CHIC
Boho-chic is a style of fashion that grew out of the bohemian and hippie looks.

11. Grace ___, servant in "Jane Eyre" : POOLE
“Jane Eyre” is a celebrated novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. Over the years, I've shared here on my blogs that the "Jane Eyre" story line is a little too dark and Gothic for my taste, but a very persuasive blog reader convinced me to look more at the romantic side of the story and give it a second chance. I watched a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation of the novel made by the BBC a while back and I have to say that because I was focused on the relationship between Jane and Rochester, I was able to push past the Gothic influences (that depress me) so I really enjoyed the story. I thoroughly recommend the 2006 BBC adaptation to fans of the novel.

12. Curries, samosas, etc. : INDIAN FOOD
Curry powder is a mixture of spices used in South Asian cuisine. The actual composition of curry powder varies depending on the cuisine. The term “curry” is an anglicization of the Tamil “kari” meaning “sauce”.

A samosa is quite a tasty appetizer, usually a triangular-shaped savory that often has a vegetarian filling. The word “samosa” is primarily used on Indian menus, and the name comes from “sanbosag”, the name for the dish in Persia.

13. Staple of Thai cuisine : STICKY RICE
“Sticky rice” is actually a type of rice, and not a means of preparation. Sticky rice is more usually called “glutinous rice”, even though it does not contain dietary gluten.

14. Dives : HONKY-TONKS
A honky-tonk is a bar with musical entertainment, usually country music. The etymology of the term “honky-tonk” seems unclear. The term has evolved to mean any cheap, noisy bar or dance hall.

22. Suffix with magne- : -TRON
A magnetron is a vacuum tube that is used to generate microwaves. Magnetrons are used in radar devices and microwave ovens.

23. Corduroy rib : WALE
Wales are parallel ribs in a fabric such as corduroy.

There’s a myth that the name of textile known as “corduroy” comes from the French “corde du roi” (the cord of the king). It’s more likely that “corduroy” comes from a melding of “cord” and “duroy” (a coarse fabric that used to be made in England).

30. Big name in escalators : OTIS
Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

39. Mythical piper : FAUN
Fauns are regarded as the Roman mythological equivalent of the Greek satyrs, but fauns were half-man and half-goat and much more “carefree” in personality than their Hellenic cousins. In the modern age we are quite familiar with Mr. Tumnus, the faun-like character encountered by the children entering the world of Narnia in C. S. Lewis’s “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”.

45. Another name for Pluto : HADES
Hades was the god of the underworld to the ancient Greeks. Over time, Hades gave his name to the underworld itself, the place where the dead reside. The term “Hades” was also adopted into the Christian tradition, as an alternative name for hell. But, the concept of hell in Christianity is more akin to the Greek “Tartarus”, which is a dark and gloomy dungeon located in Hades, a place of suffering and torment.

49. Jazzman Baker : CHET
The famous jazz trumpeter Chet Baker was noted for his heroin addiction, a problem that nearly put an end to his performing career. He managed a comeback in the late seventies, mainly appearing and recording in Europe. But he never kicked the drug habit and was found dead one day after falling from his hotel room window in Amsterdam.

51. Reid of "Sharknado" : TARA
Tara Reid is an actress known for roles she played on television and the big screen. My guess is her most remembered performances were in the “American Pie” series of movies in which she played Vicky. Sadly, Reid succumbed to the pressure to alter her looks with plastic surgery. In interviews, she has shared that her first experience under the knife “went wrong” leading to more surgeries in attempts to rectify the resulting deformity.

“Sharknado” is a 2013 tongue-in-cheek disaster movie that was made for the Syfy television channel. The basis of the plot is a freak hurricane that hits Los Angeles, resulting in a flood that leaves man-eating sharks roaming the city. I don’t think so …

52. Luxury hotel in London's Piccadilly district, with "the" : RITZ
César Ritz was a Swiss hotelier, who had a reputation for developing the most luxurious of accommodations and attracting the wealthiest clientèle. He opened the Hotel Ritz in Paris in 1898 and the second of his most famous hotels, the Ritz Hotel in London, in 1906. Ritz was lucky in his career, as before starting his own hotel chain he had been dismissed from the Savoy Hotel in London, implicated in the disappearance of a substantial amount of wine and spirits. Today’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company was founded in 1983, although the chain has its roots in the properties developed by César Ritz.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Its ribs stick out : RACK OF LAMB
11. "Fiddlesticks!" : PISH!
15. First Chinese-American cabinet member : ELAINE CHAO
16. Seeing through : ONTO
17. Where to stick a stick : BUTTER DISH
18. Owner of the horse Sleipnir : ODIN
19. Latin 101 word : AMO
20. Abbr. before Friday : SGT
21. Improvised jazz strain : HOT LICK
23. Surrender : WAIVE
25. Showing signs of age : CREAKY
26. Rapidly down : INHALE
29. Artsy L.A. district : NOHO
31. Washington Post competitor: Abbr. : NYT
32. "Jurassic Park" co-star Sam : NEILL
33. Teddy material : SATIN
34. Not to, say : FRO
35. Omen : BODE
36. Like the function ax^3 + bx^2 + cx + d : CUBIC
37. Come up with : COIN
38. Word sometimes elided to its middle letter : AND
39. Thwarts : FOILS
40. [!!!!] : SHOCK
41. The Romans obtained a purple one from snails : DYE
42. Draw money? : ANTE
43. They're often drawn at night : SHADES
44. Base order : TEN-HUT
46. Mar. figure : ST PAT
48. Record of the year? : ALMANAC
50. Castigate : RIP
51. Colosseum crowd? : TRE
54. Dropped, as poll numbers : SLID
55. Certain Internet hoax : CHAIN EMAIL
58. Take a hit : TOKE
59. News of flight delays, say : TEXT ALERTS
60. Sources of ricotta cheese : EWES
61. Unwavering look : STEELY GAZE

Down
1. First name in country : REBA
2. Occasional "S.N.L." host, to "S.N.L." : ALUM
3. Who wrote "Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise" : CATO
4. Vixen's offspring : KIT
5. "110%" effort : ONE’S ALL
6. Vocalist for the Black Eyed Peas : FERGIE
7. Flat tube? : LCD TV
8. Tuna type : AHI
9. Button-___ (hit everything at once, in gamer lingo) : MASH
10. Hippie-influenced fashion trend : BOHO-CHIC
11. Grace ___, servant in "Jane Eyre" : POOLE
12. Curries, samosas, etc. : INDIAN FOOD
13. Staple of Thai cuisine : STICKY RICE
14. Dives : HONKY-TONKS
22. Suffix with magne- : -TRON
23. Corduroy rib : WALE
24. Turns on : ENABLES
26. Vulgar : IN BAD TASTE
27. Highlighter color : NEON YELLOW
28. Bug : HIDDEN MIKE
30. Big name in escalators : OTIS
33. Diamonds, e.g. : SUIT
36. Smartphone heading : CONTACTS
37. Some back-and-forth : CHAT
39. Mythical piper : FAUN
40. Voluptuous : SHAPELY
43. Kind of column : SPINAL
45. Another name for Pluto : HADES
47. Used too much : TRITE
49. Jazzman Baker : CHET
51. Reid of "Sharknado" : TARA
52. Luxury hotel in London's Piccadilly district, with "the" : RITZ
53. Word after who, what or where : … ELSE
56. Hacker's tool : AXE
57. Part of a gig : MEG


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7 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

32:17(!), no errors. Most of this one was not too bad, but I got hung out to dry in the upper left corner and spent about 15 minutes waiting for the lights to come on. (I think young David Steinberg has me psyched out ... :-)

Jeff said...

Absolute ditto with the NW corner. I kept insisting Norman Mineta was the first Asian American cabinet member...and he was. But that wasn't the clue!!! Doh!! Chinese American....Oh the troubles I could avoid if I would ever learn to read....

I also was a big fan of Sam O'Neil in Jurassic Park. Took me a while to get his name right too....NEILL....

Much as I curse him while doing his puzzles, there's no denying Mr. Steinberg's gift for cluing. As with almost all of his puzzles, you look back and the answers aren't all that difficult. The difficulty rests in his skill as a cluer (is that a word?).

Overall, superb puzzle as usual from David Steinberg.

Best -

Dave Kennison said...

Actually, I completely agree with Jeff's comments about David Steinberg and his puzzles (and I'm very envious of his talent ... :-)

BruceB said...

30:09, no errors. Spent the better part of the first ten minutes with only 3 entries filled, NYT, CUBIC and WALE. Eventually got into synch with the setter and many of the clues became obvious. But, to me, RACK OF LAMB, BUTTER DISH and ONES' ALL were just diabolical.

Anonymous said...

42:11 and DNF: 16 entries either incorrect or not filled in at all. Upper left corner was my Achilles heel as well.

One big quibble in the lower left, which gave me fits as well: HIDDEN MIKE is just plain **wrong**; the word is "MIC".

A really stern test for a Friday, even with a mistake. The clue for 35 A, BODE, was particularly evil, as the word OMEN is almost always used as a NOUN and not a verb, as cynically used here. "Portend" might have been a bit fairer.

Anonymous said...

Well, after a check of the dictionary, it appears MIKE is an allowable use for a shortened microphone. Live and learn....

Tom M. said...

Late start, late comment. Definitely a DNF, but fair.

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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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