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0301-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Mar 17, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Phillips
THEME: Reinterpret A-Phrase
Today’s three themed answers appear to be common two-word phrases, with the second word starting with the letter A. However, the clue interprets the answers as three-word phrases, with “a” being the middle word in each case:
17A. Read up on a woman, old-fashionedly? : STUDY A BROAD (from “study abroad”)
24A. Take a chance on a work of poetry? : RISK A VERSE (from “risk averse”)
35A. Cite a chap for speeding? : TICKET A GENT (from “ticket agent”)
48A. Coax a lost dog to follow you? : LEAD A STRAY (from “lead astray”)
58A. Check the aroma of a few beers? : SNIFF A ROUND (from “sniff around”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 12s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

7. Heroin, slangily : SCAG
The commercialization of the drug heroin was led by the Bayer pharmaceutical company in Germany. The drug had been re-discovered in Bayer’s labs, and was named by the company’s head of research “heroin” from the German “heroisch” meaning “heroic, strong”. This was a reference to the perceived “heroic” effects on the user. Bayer lost the trademark rights to heroin (along with their “aspirin”) as part of WWI reparations.

11. Lunchbox sandwich, informally : PBJ
Peanut butter and jelly (PB&J or PBJ).

15. Gucci of fashion : ALDO
Gucci was founded in Rome in 1921, by Guccio Gucci. Guccio's son Aldo took over the company after his father's death in 1953. It was Aldo who established the international presence for the brand and opened the company's first overseas store, in New York City.

16. "We ___ Young" (2012 Song of the Year) : ARE
“We Are Young” is a 2012 song recorded by the band Fun. Nope, no idea who they are …

17. Read up on a woman, old-fashionedly? : STUDY A BROAD (from “study abroad”)
Women were first referred to as “broads” in the early 1900s. The slang term was deemed so offensive by the 1960s that the “broad jump” athletic event was renamed to the “long jump”.

19. One way to stand : PAT
“To stand pat” is to resist change. The term comes from the game of poker, in which one “stands pat” if one keeps one’s hand as is, not drawing any extra cards.

20. Yoga position : LOTUS
Asana is a Sanskrit word literally meaning "sitting down". The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called "padmasana".

21. Home of the Heat : MIAMI
The Miami Heat basketball team debuted in the NBA in the 1988-89 season. The franchise name was chosen in a competitive survey, with “Miami Heat” beating out “Miami Vice”.

22. Naval subordinate: Abbr. : ENS
Ensign is (usually) the most junior rank of commissioned officer in the armed forces. The name comes from the tradition that the junior officer would be given the task of carrying the ensign flag.

23. Warrior on Mount Olympus : ARES
The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos, Deimos and Eros. The Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Greece. In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus was home to the gods, and in particular home to the principal gods known as the Twelve Olympians.

26. Attack from the air : STRAFE
We’ve been using “strafe” to mean an attack on a ground position from low-flying aircraft since WWII. Prior to that, the word was used by British soldiers to mean any form of attack. It was picked up from the German word for “punish” as it was used in “Gott strafe England” meaning, “May God punish England”.

28. Cousin of a cravat : ASCOT
An Ascot tie is a horrible-looking (I think!), wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

The cravat originated in Croatia and was an accessory used with a military uniform. Cravats were introduced to the fashion-conscious French by Croatian mercenaries enlisted into a regiment of the French army. The English placed a lot of emphasis on the knot used for the cravat, and in the period after the Battle of Waterloo the cravat came to be known as a “tie”. What we now call a tie in English is still called a “cravate” in French.

29. Big name in small planes : CESSNA
The Cessna Aircraft manufacturing company was founded in 1911 by Clyde Cessna, a farmer from Kansas. Cessna is headquartered in Wichita and today has over 8,000 employees.

34. What crossword clues with question marks often are : PUNS
Yep. Watch out for those questions marks …

38. Prepare for a struggle : GIRD
The phrase “gird your loins” dates back to Ancient Rome. The expression describes the action of lifting “one’s skirts” and tying them between the legs to allow more freedom of movement before going into battle. Nowadays, “gird your loins” (or sometimes just “gird yourself”) is a metaphor for “prepare yourself for the worst”.

54. Camera-moving technique : PAN
“To pan” a camera is to move in such a way as to create a “panoramic” effect, generally to sweep from one side of a scene to another.

57. "Hulk" director Lee : ANG
Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as "Sense & Sensibility" (my personal favorite), "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "Hulk", "Brokeback Mountain" and "Life of Pi".

60. Al Capp diminutive : LI’L
Al Capp was a cartoonist from New Haven, Connecticut who is best remembered for cartoon strip “Li’l Abner”. Capp created “Li’l Abner” in 1934 and drew it himself until 1977. Capp passed away two years after “Li’l Abner” was retired.

63. Québec place name abbr. : STE
“Sainte” (ste.) is French for “saint”, when referring to a “femme” (woman).

The name “Québec” comes from an Algonquin word “kebec” meaning “where the river narrows”. This refers to the area around Quebec City where the St. Lawrence River narrows as it flows through a gap lined by steep cliffs.

65. Messages with hashtags : TWEETS
A hashtag is a word preceded by the symbol #. Hashtags are big these days because of its use by Twitter. The “#” symbol is usually referred to as the “number sign”, but here in the US the name “pound sign” is very common as well.

Down
1. Autos with charging stations : TESLAS
Tesla Motors is a manufacturer of electric vehicles based in Palo Alto, California. Tesla is noted for producing the first electric sports car, called the Tesla Roadster. The company followed the sports car with a luxury sedan, the Model S. The Model S was the world’s best selling plug-in electric vehicle of 2015.

4. Monster beheaded by Perseus : MEDUSA
In Greek mythology, Medusa was one of the monstrous female creatures known as Gorgons. According to one version of the Medusa myth, she was once a beautiful woman. But she incurred the wrath of Athena who turned her lovely hair into serpents and made her face hideously ugly. Anyone who gazed directly at the transformed Medusa would turn into stone. She was eventually killed by the hero Perseus, who beheaded her. He carried Medusa’s head and used its powers as a weapon, before giving it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. One myth holds that as Perseus was flying over Egypt with Medusa’s severed head, drop of her blood fell to the ground and formed asps.

5. 180s : UEYS
Hang a “uey” or “uie”, make a u-turn, to make a 180.

6. Unlawful behavior in strict Muslim countries, for short : PDA
PDA is an abbreviation for “public display of affection”.

7. Delhi wraps : SARIS
The item of clothing called a "sari" (also "saree") is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that's a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

9. "Battlestar Galactica" commander : ADAMA
“Battlestar Galactica” is a whole franchise these days, based on an original television series that aired in 1978. The executive producer of that first series was Glen A. Larson who had been trying get the show off the ground since the sixties. Larson was finally able to get some finances for his sci-fi show on the back of the success of the 1977 movie “Star Wars”.

10. Big name in chocolates : GODIVA
Godiva is a brand of chocolates that was founded in Brussels, Belgium in 1926. The founder chose the brand name in honor of the legend of Lady Godiva.

18. Ascap counterpart : BMI
ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) collects licence fees for musicians and distributes royalties to composers whose works have been performed. BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) provides the same service.

25. Place to follow the M.L.B. : ESPN
ESPN is the Entertainment Sports Programming Network, a cable network that broadcasts sports programming 24 hours a day. ESPN was launched back in 1979.

27. Obscenity-monitoring org. : FCC
Radio and TV broadcasting is monitored by the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC has been around since 1934, when it replaced the Federal Radio Commission.

31. Dirty digs : STY
"Digs" is short for "diggings" meaning "lodgings", but where "diggings" came from, no one seems to know.

32. "Hip Hop Is Dead" rapper : NAS
Rapper Nas used to go by another stage name, Nasty Nas, and before that by his real name, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones. Nas released his first album “Illmatic” in 1994, and inventively titled his fifth studio album “Stillmatic”, released in 2001. Not my cup of tea, I would say …

35. It's right in the Pythagorean theorem : TRIANGLE
A “right triangle” is one that includes a 90-degree angle.

Pythagoras of Samos is remembered by most these days for his work in mathematics, and for his famous Pythagorean theorem that states that in any right triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. Although there is very little of Pythagoras’s own work that survives, much has been written by his successors that shows how great his influence was above and beyond mathematics, in the fields of philosophy and religion in particular. In fact, it is believed that Pythagoras coined the word “philosophy”, coming from the Greek for “loving wisdom or knowledge”. On a “timeline” of famous Greek philosophers, Pythagoras was doing his work over a hundred years before Socrates, who was followed by Plato and then Aristotle.

38. "Sex and the City" quartet, e.g. : GAL PALS
Is it just me or would “Sex and the City” be so much better off without the two romantic leads, Carrie and Mr. Big? Carrie Bradshaw is played by Sarah Jessica Parker, and Mr. Big (aka John James Preston) is played by Chris Noth. We never found out Mr Big's first name (John) until the series finale, and his full name wasn't revealed until the first movie came out.

42. Tex-Mex dips : SALSAS
“Salsa” is simply the Spanish for “sauce”.

44. FaceTime device : IPHONE
FaceTime is an Apple video-telephony application. I guess it’s similar to Skype. Personally, I gave up on Skype and am now an avid user of Google Hangouts …

45. Bellyache : GROUSE
It isn’t really clear where we get our verb “to grouse” from (meaning “to complain”). The term was first used as slang in the British Army in the 1880s.

46. Insect that builds a papery nest : HORNET
A hornet is a large type of wasp, with some species reaching over two inches in length.

47. Three of Abba's members, by birth : SWEDES
Only three members of the quartet that made up the pop group ABBA were born in Sweden. Anni-Frid Lyngstad was born in Norway just after the end of WWII, the daughter of a Norwegian mother and a father who was German soldier and a member of the German occupying force during the war. The father returned to Germany with the army, and in 1947, one-year-old Anna-Frid was taken with her family to Sweden. They left fearing reprisals against those who dealt with the German army during the occupation.

49. The Supreme Court's Sotomayor : SONIA
Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic justice on the US Supreme Court, and the third female justice. Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace the retiring Justice David Souter.

52. Sitcom extraterrestrial : ALF
“ALF” is a sitcom that aired in the late eighties. ALF is a hand-puppet, supposedly an alien from the planet Melmac that crash-landed in a suburban neighborhood. “ALF” stands for “alien life form”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Join forces : TEAM UP
7. Heroin, slangily : SCAG
11. Lunchbox sandwich, informally : PBJ
14. Go beyond : EXCEED
15. Gucci of fashion : ALDO
16. "We ___ Young" (2012 Song of the Year) : ARE
17. Read up on a woman, old-fashionedly? : STUDY A BROAD (from “study abroad”)
19. One way to stand : PAT
20. Yoga position : LOTUS
21. Home of the Heat : MIAMI
22. Naval subordinate: Abbr. : ENS
23. Warrior on Mount Olympus : ARES
24. Take a chance on a work of poetry? : RISK A VERSE (from “risk averse”)
26. Attack from the air : STRAFE
28. Cousin of a cravat : ASCOT
29. Big name in small planes : CESSNA
34. What crossword clues with question marks often are : PUNS
35. Cite a chap for speeding? : TICKET A GENT (from “ticket agent”)
38. Prepare for a struggle : GIRD
40. Gives the go-ahead : SAYS OK
41. French 38-Down : AMIES
43. Stable sounds : NEIGHS
48. Coax a lost dog to follow you? : LEAD A STRAY (from “lead astray”)
53. Figurehead's place : PROW
54. Camera-moving technique : PAN
55. Unlikely to defect : LOYAL
56. Task : CHORE
57. "Hulk" director Lee : ANG
58. Check the aroma of a few beers? : SNIFF A ROUND (from “sniff around”)
60. Al Capp diminutive : LI’L
61. "You ___ kiddin'!" : AIN’T
62. Thought, to Pascal : PENSEE
63. Québec place name abbr. : STE
64. Loses rigidity : SAGS
65. Messages with hashtags : TWEETS

Down
1. Autos with charging stations : TESLAS
2. Get by intimidation : EXTORT
3. More discerning : ACUTER
4. Monster beheaded by Perseus : MEDUSA
5. 180s : UEYS
6. Unlawful behavior in strict Muslim countries, for short : PDA
7. Delhi wraps : SARIS
8. Dagger's partner : CLOAK
9. "Battlestar Galactica" commander : ADAMA
10. Big name in chocolates : GODIVA
11. Small slice of one's workday? : PAPER CUT
12. Richard who founded Virgin Atlantic : BRANSON
13. Travels in high style : JET-SETS
18. Ascap counterpart : BMI
24. Needs a bath badly : REEKS
25. Place to follow the M.L.B. : ESPN
27. Obscenity-monitoring org. : FCC
30. Naval burial site, maybe : SEA
31. Dirty digs : STY
32. "Hip Hop Is Dead" rapper : NAS
33. Ecstasy's opposite : AGONY
35. It's right in the Pythagorean theorem : TRIANGLE
36. Carded, for short : ID’ED
37. Barely manage, with "out" : EKE
38. "Sex and the City" quartet, e.g. : GAL PALS
39. "No kidding!" : I MEAN IT!
42. Tex-Mex dips : SALSAS
44. FaceTime device : IPHONE
45. Bellyache : GROUSE
46. Insect that builds a papery nest : HORNET
47. Three of Abba's members, by birth : SWEDES
49. The Supreme Court's Sotomayor : SONIA
50. Getting even with : TYING
51. Shooters through rapids : RAFTS
52. Sitcom extraterrestrial : ALF
56. Captain's command : CREW
59. Quick on the uptake : APT


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10 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

9:52, no errors, Both the NYT crossword app and Bill's LAT blog have misbehaved for me this morning. (Either that, or I'm being even more ham-handed than usual.)

Bill Butler said...

I checked the LAXCrossword blog, and all seems to be working for me. If your problems persist, get back to me and I'll dig deeper.

Dave Kennison said...

@Bill ... Not to worry ... I think it was my fault ... and thanks ...

Sfingi said...

Love puns. Thank you Mr. Phillips!

Dale Stewart said...

No errors. PDA, 6-Down, left me a little confused. I don't quite get the use of English initialism being applied to the laws of strict Muslim countries. Kind of a stretch, I thought.

Glenn said...

0 errors, 12 minutes.

Tom M. said...

Agree with Dale S. about the PDA problem. Also didn't especially like the STUDYABROAD pun, in part because the broad part is a bit crude, but also because studying abroad is not really an "old-fashioned" thing to do. Many students do so every year, and an increasing number of colleges have been offering that opportunity.

Jeff said...

Tom - I think the "old-fashioned" aspect was just referring to the term "broad" for female as being an old fashioned way to put it - not that studying abroad is old fashioned. At least that's I read it.

Best

Tom M. said...

@Jeff--Yes, your reading would have to be the right one. Showing my age, I didn't think of the term "broad" as being old-fashioned.

Lou Sander said...

This was our first night back, after being away for two weeks. While we were away, we did a bunch of Wednesday puzzles from a book. We REALLY got to know the nature of Wednesday puzzles. This is a pretty good example of one. Rather than being outraged at BROAD, we LOL'ed. Thought the whole theme was clever. Laughed at SNIFFAROUND, too.

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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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