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0225-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Feb 17, Saturday





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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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Jump to a complete list of today's clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Mark Diehl
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 31m 22s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Reject someone, in a way : SWIPE LEFT
Many apps on phones are now using “swipe right” and “swipe left” actions to indicate “like” and dislike”. I suppose Tinder is the most famous “swipe right/swipe left” app today. It’s a dating app, so I hear …

15. Mammal that jumps vertically when startled : ARMADILLO
The nine-banded armadillo is the most commonly found species of armadillo found in the Americas. The “bands” are bits of armor that circle the body of the armadillo, although there are not always nine of them, but usually seven to eleven.

17. Sociopathic role for Alain Delon (1960), Matt Damon (1999) and John Malkovich (2002) : TOM RIPLEY
Patricia Highsmith’s character Tom Ripley has been portrayed on the screen several times. For example, by:
  • Alain Delon in 1960’s “Purple Rain”
  • Matt Damon in 1999’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley”
  • John Malkovich in 2002’s “Ripley’s Game”

American novelist Patricia Highsmith was noted for her psychological thrillers, some of which were adapted for the big screen. For example, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 film “Strangers on a Train” was based on her 1950 novel of the same name. The more recent movie “The Talented Mr. Ripley” released in 1999 was adapted from her 1955 novel with the same title.

120. Vegas hotel with a name from English legend : EXCALIBUR
Excalibur is the legendary sword of the legendary King Arthur of Great Britain. In some accounts, Arthur was given the sword by the Lady of the Lake. There is sometimes confusion about the origin of Excalibur, as Arthur famously is said to have pulled a sword from a stone, hence proving him to be a true king. The Sword in the Stone is a different sword, and not Excalibur.

The Excalibur Hotel and Casino is a Medieval-themed resort. The exterior of the building is reminiscent of a castle, and there’s a famous dinner show featuring knights and horses called “Tournament of Kings”.

22. "Cheese and rice!" : NERTS!
“Nerts” is a slang term, a corruption of “nuts!”

“Cheese and rice” is an exclamation, a euphemism for “Jesus Christ”. The expression was coined for the 1998 teen horror film “The Faculty”. After realizing that aliens had landed on Earth, a character utters the words “Jesus Christ!” This was changed to “Cheese and rice!” for the edited TV version.

23. 1,000 baisa : RIAL
"Rial" is the name of the currency of Iran (as well as Yemen, Oman, Cambodia and Tunisia). Generally, there are 1,000 baisa in a rial.

26. Present from the start : ABORIGINAL
Even though the term "aborigine" is often associated with the indigenous peoples of Australia, in the widest sense "aboriginal" refers to any indigenous race. The Aborigines were a people in Roman mythology, the oldest inhabitants of central Italy.

28. Iowa college : COE
Coe College is a private school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa that was founded in 1851. Coe is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.

29. First Indochina War's Battle of Dien ___ Phu : BIEN
The Battle of Điện Biên Phủ was fought in Vietnam in 1954 at the height of the First Indochina War. The war was between the occupying French forces and the Viet Minh revolutionaries, with the battle resulting in a resounding defeat for the French. The war ended with the signing of the 1954 Geneva Accords just a few months after the battle, after which France made a complete withdrawal from Vietnam. There was no peace though, with the Second Indochina War following a few years later, better known in the US as the Vietnam War.

30. Ones taking a lode off? : MINERS
A lode is a metal ore deposit that’s found between two layers of rock or in a fissure. The “mother lode” is the principal deposit in a mine, usually of gold or silver. “Mother lode” is probably a translation of “veta madre”, an expression used in mining in Mexico.

37. Car ad letters : APR
Annual percentage rate (APR)

40. Giovanni da Verrazano discovery of 1524 : CAPE COD BAY
Apparently, the oft-used “Verrazano” spelling is incorrect, and should be “Verrazzano”.

The first European to discover Cape Cod Bay was Italian navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano, in 1524. Along with Narragansett Bay, Buzzards Bay and Massachusetts Bay, Cape Cod Bay gave rise to “Bay State” becoming the nickname for Massachusetts.

44. Users' resources : FAQS
Most websites have a page listing answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Even this blog has one!

48. Keynote, e.g. : ORATE
The “keynote” is the lowest note in a musical scale, as one might imagine. The term started to be used to mean a leading idea in the late 1700s, and the expression “keynote address” dates back to 1905.

49. Former employer of Keith Olbermann : MSNBC
Keith Olbermann is a sports and political commentator. Olbermann was exclusively a sports journalist for the first twenty years of his career, and spent several years presenting shows on ESPN. He left ESPN in 1997 to host his own prime-time, news-driven show on MSNBC.

52. ___ des Beaux-Arts : ECOLE
In France, an “École des Beaux-Arts” is a school of fine arts. The most famous such school is the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts located on the left bank of the Seine in Paris, across the river from the Musée du Louvre.

53. Bubbling over : EBULLIENT
“Ebullient” means high-spirited, overflowing with enthusiasm. The term comes from the Latin “ebullire” meaning “to boil over”.

Down
7. Linda ___, "Girl Reporter" series author : ELLERBEE
Linda Ellerbee is a television journalist from Bryan, Texas who worked with NBC News. Ellerbee was also the host of “Nick News” on Nickelodeon.

9. Matchbox item : TOY CAR
The brand name Matchbox toy cars were introduced in 1953, and how I loved them growing up. They were called Matchbox cars because they were packed in boxes that looked liked regular matchboxes. The brand was English, but the name spread around the world. The brand was so popular that the term “matchbox car” came to mean any small, die-cast toy car, regardless of who made it.

10. Satirist who said "If you were the only person left on the planet, I would have to attack you. That's my job" : SAHL
Mort Sahl is a Canadian-born actor and comedian who moved to the US with his family when he was a child. Sahl became friends with John F. Kennedy. When Kennedy became president, Sahl wrote a lot of jokes for the President’s speeches, although he also told a lot of Kennedy jokes in his acts. After the President was assassinated in 1963, Sahl was intensely interested in finding out who was behind the crime and even got himself deputized as a member of one of the investigating teams. He was very outspoken against the results of the Warren Commission report on the assassination, and soon found himself out of favor with the public. It took a few years for him to make his comeback, but come back he did.

11. Trail mix ingredients : CRAISINS
“Craisin” is a registered trademark owned by Ocean Spray, and is used to describe dried cranberries.

When early European settlers came across red berries growing in the bogs of the northern part of America, they felt that the plant’s flower and stem resembled the head and bill of a crane. As such, they called the plant “craneberry”, which later evolved into “cranberry”.

12. Hunting dog breed : REDBONE
A “redbone” is one of several breeds of American hunting dogs that typically red and tan in color and have large drooping ears.

13. Shaped like Cheerios : ANNULAR
Cheerios breakfast cereal has the distinction of being the first oat-based cereal introduced into the market, hitting the grocery store shelves in 1941. Back then, Cheerios were known as CheeriOats.

21. High cost of leaving? : ALIMONY
In its most common usage, “alimony” is a payment made by one spouse to another for support after a legal separation. The term derives from the Latin “alimonia”, meaning “nourishment, food, support”.

26. Sport similar to paintball : AIRSOFT
The “paint” in paintball isn’t actually paint, but rather a mix of gelatin and food coloring.

29. Seat in court : BANC
“Banc” is the French word for bench or seat.

32. Offer on Airbnb, say : LEASE OUT
Airbnb is a website-based service that matches people wanting to rent out short-term living quarters to people seeking accommodation.

34. "Ya got me?" : CAPISCE?
“Capeesh?” is a slang term meaning “do you understand?” It comes from the Italian “capisce” meaning “understand”.

35. Note in a Yelp business listing : OPEN NOW
yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

36. Entree often served with a moist towelette : BBQ RIBS
It is believed that our word “barbecue” (BBQ) comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

38. Boy Scout shelter : PUP TENT
A pup tent is a small ridge tent, meant for use by 2-3 people. The term "pup tent" has been around since the mid-1800s. A pup tent was sometimes called a dog tent.

42. Stephen King's first novel : CARRIE
“Carrie” was Stephen King’s first published novel. The title character is humiliated in a cruel prank during her high school prom in which she ends up covered in the blood of an animal. This trauma leads to a fit rage, with Carrie slaughtering her classmates and the rest of her hometown’s inhabitants. At least, that’s what I read. I don’t do horror …

47. Slipped one by, in a way : ACED
That might be tennis.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Reject someone, in a way : SWIPE LEFT
10. Reject : SCRAP
15. Mammal that jumps vertically when startled : ARMADILLO
16. Kind of seating : ARENA
17. Sociopathic role for Alain Delon (1960), Matt Damon (1999) and John Malkovich (2002) : TOM RIPLEY
18. Went without : HADN'T
19. Face-planted : ATE IT
20. Vegas hotel with a name from English legend : EXCALIBUR
22. "Cheese and rice!" : NERTS!
23. 1,000 baisa : RIAL
24. Without having a second to lose? : SOLO
25. Wee, informally : ITSY
26. Present from the start : ABORIGINAL
28. Iowa college : COE
29. First Indochina War's Battle of Dien ___ Phu : BIEN
30. Ones taking a lode off? : MINERS
31. Worry : CARE
32. Streak breaker, maybe : LOSS
33. Puts down : SCORNS
36. Corrupt, in British slang : BENT
37. Car ad letters : APR
40. Giovanni da Verrazano discovery of 1524 : CAPE COD BAY
42. "Get a ___!" : CLUE
43. Made like : APED
44. Users' resources : FAQS
45. Stays out all night? : CAMPS
46. Like dollhouse furnishings : MINIATURE
48. Keynote, e.g. : ORATE
49. Former employer of Keith Olbermann : MSNBC
50. Number of bacteria living on a surface that has not been sterilized : BIOBURDEN
52. ___ des Beaux-Arts : ECOLE
53. Bubbling over : EBULLIENT
54. Aglisten, in a way : DEWED
55. 60s sorts : D STUDENTS

Down
1. Hellish : SATANIC
2. Emailed, say : WROTE TO
3. Dunk : IMMERSE
4. All things being equal? : PARITY
5. Cross-outs and others : EDITS
6. Impudence : LIP
7. Linda ___, "Girl Reporter" series author : ELLERBEE
8. Bodybuilder's pose, e.g. : FLEXION
9. Matchbox item : TOY CAR
10. Satirist who said "If you were the only person left on the planet, I would have to attack you. That's my job" : SAHL
11. Trail mix ingredients : CRAISINS
12. Hunting dog breed : REDBONE
13. Shaped like Cheerios : ANNULAR
14. Keeps the beat? : PATROLS
21. High cost of leaving? : ALIMONY
26. Sport similar to paintball : AIRSOFT
27. Essence : GIST
29. Seat in court : BANC
31. Having a ring of truth : CREDIBLE
32. Offer on Airbnb, say : LEASE OUT
33. Taken to the cleaners : SCAMMED
34. "Ya got me?" : CAPISCE?
35. Note in a Yelp business listing : OPEN NOW
36. Entree often served with a moist towelette : BBQ RIBS
37. Popular California winemaker : ALMADEN
38. Boy Scout shelter : PUP TENT
39. Is rankled by : RESENTS
41. Applied, as face paint : DAUBED
42. Stephen King's first novel : CARRIE
45. Had the know-how : COULD
47. Slipped one by, in a way : ACED
51. Primary color in italiano : BLU


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9 comments :

Anonymous said...

Bill,
The posted solved puzzle is yesterday's, the explanations are today's.

Bill Butler said...

Oops! All fixed now. Thanks for notifying me.

Dave Kennison said...

15:44, no errors. Most interesting tidbits in the puzzle/blog today: that armadillos jump straight up when startled and the explanation of "Cheese and rice!", which I got, but found totally mystifying. I almost got hung out to dry in the upper left but, curiously enough, SWIPE LEFT came to my rescue, even though I only recently became aware of its meaning. BIOBURDEN was another entry that made sense to me, but that I'd never heard of before. Over all, a tough puzzle on which I got lucky ...

Jeff said...

Very tough puzzle. I got everything until the NW. SWIPE LEFT got me too as did an ARMADILLO. I've seen a squirrel jump straight up in the air like that but never an armadillo...Cheese and Rice? I think I'm too old for this puzzle...

Linda Ellerbee was at her best as a late night newscaster for NBC Overnight back in the 80's. Her delivery was spectacular - to the point of being amusing. "Here's the rest on a reel".. Her signature phrase back then. I'm sure it's YouTubable.....She was a phenomenon late at night while I was in college.

Good challenge. I think Mark Diehl has bested me 2 out of the last 3 puzzles of his I've done.

Best -

yangtze said...

With a lot of grinding and some guesswork, I finished the puzzle, but I object to several of the clue/solution relationships, of which I limit myself here to one only. "Nerts" at 27A has no closer relation to its clue ("Cheese and rice") than any four-letter interjection, like "gosh" or "heck". (I have never heard it as an neutered substitute for "Jesus Christ" either, but that's a different matter).

Anonymous said...

Hats off to Dave, who has an insurmoutable low time!!

I couldn't finish this one, the NE corner just proved too esoteric. Never heard of a REDBONE dog, never heard of a CRAISIN, and had "AISLE" seating where ARENA should have been, so I was totally screwed. Took me 34 minutes, 40 seconds to wave the white flag.

I really detest clues like "Cheese and rice!" and answers like "NERTS"; expressions so outdated, old and corny as to lack any relevance to anyone with any refinement or connection with modern culture.

Dave Kennison said...

@Anonymous ... Thanks for the kudos. I do hate to be modest :-) but, as I said above, I got lucky with this one. In all the tough spots, there was at least one clue that quickly bailed me out and a few of them were even gimmes. If you had given this puzzle to the contestants at the recent crossword puzzle contest, at least one of them would have halved my time ...

Anonymous said...

Cheese and rice was used as a euphemism by kids in my neighborhood in NE Pennsylvania when I was growing up in the 1950's so it existed long before the quoted movie usage.

Anonymous said...

I found an earlier citation of "cheese and rice" in the book Euphemania: Our Love Affair with Euphemisms by Ralph Keyes which cites a University of California linguist and collector of euphemisms who listed it almost a century ago. This type of euphemism is known as a minced oath. This usage is similar to Cockney rhyming slang, e.g. Jimi Hendrix for appendix, as in "I ad me Jimi Hendrix out".

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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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