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0303-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Mar 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
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Berry
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 38s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

14. Mortal sister of the immortal Stheno and Euryale : 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.

15. Jumpsuit-wearing music group : DEVO
Devo is a band from Akron, Ohio formed back in 1973. The band's biggest hit is "Whip It" released in 1980. Devo have a gimmick: the wearing of red, terraced plastic hats that are referred to as “energy domes”. Why? I have no idea …

18. Place whose population was 1, then 2, then 0 : EDEN
According to the Bible, Eve was created as Adam's companion by God, creating her from Adam's rib.

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

19. Champagne grape : PINOT
Champagne is made primarily using Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier grapes (usually used to make red wine), as well as white Chardonnay grapes. Rosé Champagne is made from a blend of all three grapes, Blanc de noir Champagne from solely Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier, and Blanc de blanc from 100% Chardonnay.

28. Sir in the Ruhr : HERR
The Ruhr is a large urban area in western Germany. The area is heavily populated, and is the fifth largest urban area in the whole of Europe, after Istanbul, Moscow, London and Paris. The Ruhr became heavily industrialized due to its large deposits of coal. By 1850, the area contained nearly 300 operating coal mines. Any coal deposits remaining in the area today are too expensive to exploit.

31. Where Alice is asked "Why is a raven like a writing-desk?" : MAD TEA PARTY
In Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", the Mad Hatter makes his first appearance in a chapter called "A Mad Tea-Party". This event is usually described as "The Mad Hatter's Tea Party", even though the Mad Hatter was just a guest. The host was the March Hare. In fact, the phrase "mad Hatter" doesn't appear anywhere in Lewis Carroll's novel, although the character, the Hatter (and sometimes "Hatta"), is described as mad.

33. Rock groups that are far out? : ASTEROID BELTS
The vast majority of asteroids in the Solar System are found in the main asteroid belt, which is located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Four large asteroids (Ceres, Vesta, Pallas and Hygiea) make up about half the mass of the asteroid belt and are 400-950 km in diameter. The total mass of the belt is just 4% of the mass of our Moon. The larger asteroids are also known as “planetoids”.

36. Sobriquet for the woman who said "Only the little people pay taxes" : QUEEN OF MEAN
Leona Helmsley was a high-rolling real estate investor and hotel operator in New York City. She was convicted of income tax evasion in 1989 and sentenced to 16 years in jail. At her trial a witness quoted her as saying “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.” No wonder she was known as the Queen of Mean …

37. Global support? : ATLAS
The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator's collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term "atlas".

43. Tip of a wingtip : TOE CAP
A brogue is more commonly called a wingtip here in the US, I think. The shoe design originated in Ireland and Scotland, and “brog” the Irish word (and similar Scottish word) for shoe gives rise to the name. The brogue/wingtip design includes decorative perforations in the leather uppers. The toe cap of a brogue curves back in a shape that suggest the tip of a bird’s wing, hence the alternative name.

50. Office supply brand : AVERY
Avery Dennison Corporation was founded as Kum Kleen Products in 1935, by R. Stanton Avery. Kum Kleen Products were the first manufacturers of self-adhesive labels.

52. Dachshund, colloquially : SAUSAGE DOG
The dachshund breed of dog was originally bred to chase and flush out badgers. The name “dachshund” is German and translates as “badger dog”.

56. Cuisine that includes trout meunière : CREOLE
Meunière sauce is a relatively simple sauce that is primarily served with fish. The ingredients are brown butter, chopped parsley and lemon. The simplicity of the recipe is reflected in its name, which means “miller’s wife”.

57. ___ Simbel (Egyptian landmark) : ABU
Abu Simbel is a location in southern Egypt, the site of two temples carved out of a mountainside. The two rock temples had to be relocated to Abu Simbel in 1968 to save them from being submerged in the water above the Aswan High Dam that was being built across the Nile River.

59. Doing time : IN STIR
The slang word “stir”, meaning a prison, probably has its roots in Start Newgate prison in London, where it was a nickname for the establishment.

60. 100% aluminum coin : YEN
The Japanese 1-yen coin is made from 100% aluminum.

Down
1. Indian bread? : WAMPUM
Wampum are sacred shell beads of North American tribes in the Eastern United States. The early European colonists often used wampum to trade with the native peoples. From this original usage, “wampum” came to be a slang term for money.

2. Jerry's ex on TV : ELAINE
The character Elaine Benes, unlike the other lead characters (Jerry, Kramer and George), did not appear in the pilot episode of “Seinfeld”. NBC executives specified the addition of a female lead when they picked up the show citing that the situation was too “male-centric”.

3. First name in 2016 presidential politics : BERNIE
Bernie Sanders has served as US Senator from Vermont since 2007. Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist, and used to appear on the ballot as an independent. Prior to joining the Democratic Party in 2015, Sanders had been the longest-serving independent in the history of the US Congress.

4. ___ Island ("Jaws" locale) : AMITY
“Jaws” is a thrilling 1975 movie directed by Steven Spielberg that is based on a novel of the same name by Peter Benchley. The film has a powerful cast, led by Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw. “Jaws” was perhaps the first “summer blockbuster” with the highest box office take in history, a record that stood until “Star Wars” was released two years later.

5. Orthographic competition : BEE
Orthography is the art of writing words using with correct spelling. The use of bad spelling is known as cacography.

Back in 18th-century America, when neighbors would gather to work for the benefit of one of their group, such a meeting was called a bee. The name "bee" was an allusion to the social nature of the insect. In modern parlance, a further element of entertainment and pleasure has been introduced, for example in a quilting bee, or even a spelling bee.

7. 1958 hit song that begins "I'm a-gonna raise a fuss, I'm a-gonna raise a holler" : SUMMERTIME BLUES
“Summertime Blues” was co-written by Eddie Cochran, who also produced the first recording, in 1958. The song has been covered many times since then, including a hit versions by the Who released in 1970.

8. Biblical polygamist : ESAU
According to the Bible’s Book of Genesis, Esau married Judith and Basemath, the daughters of two Hittites.

23. Her albums include "Cuchi-Cuchi" and "Olé, Olé" : CHARO
Charo is an actress, comedian and flamenco guitarist from Spain. She is quite famous for her comedic catchphrase “cuchi cuchi”. Charo's real name is ... wait for it ... María del Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Gutiérrez de los Perales Santa Ana Romaguera y de la Hinojosa Rasten.

26. Tree known scientifically as Populus tremuloides : ASPEN
The “quaking” aspen tree is so called because the structure of the leaves causes them to move easily in the wind, to “tremble, quake”.

31. Sharp club : MENSA
If you ever learned Latin, “mensa” was probably taught to you in lesson one as it’s the word commonly used as an example of a first declension noun. Mensa means “table”. The Mensa organization, for folks with high IQs, was set up in Oxford, England back in 1946. To become a member, you have to have an IQ that is in the top 2% of the population.

33. Talladega event : AUTO RACE
The Talladega Superspeedway is the longest oval on the NASCAR circuit with a length of 2.66 miles. It also has seating for a whopping 175,000 spectators. The track opened in 1969, built on an abandoned airfield north of the city of Talladega, Alabama. The circuit is renowned for its supposed Talladega Jinx, which is said to have caused a number of accidents and incidents over the years. There has been a relatively high number of fatalities and crashes, including the death of driver Larry Smith in what was apparently a minor wreck, and the death of driver Davey Allison in a helicopter crash in the raceway’s infield. In another strange occurrence, driver Bobby Isaac left his car on the 90th lap of a race as he claims he heard voices that told him to park and get out of his vehicle.

36. Residents of the world's richest country per capita : QATARIS
Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although the nation’s eligibility to do so is under question after a far-reaching bribery scandal was uncovered at the sport’s governing body.

41. Flickering light : STROBE
A strobe light is a device that produces regular flashes, like the light on top of a police car. The term derives from the Greek “strobos” meaning “twisting, whirling”.

44. De Niro's "Raging Bull" co-star : PESCI
Joe Pesci got his big break in movies with a supporting role in “Raging Bull” starring Robert De Niro, earning Pesci an Oscar nomination early in his career. There followed a string of gangster roles played alongside De Niro, namely “Once Upon a Time in America”, “Goodfellas” and “Casino”. But I like Pesci’s comedic acting best of all. He was marvelous in the “Home Alone” films, the “Lethal Weapon” series, and my personal favorite, “My Cousin Vinny”. Pesci gets a mention in the stage musical “Jersey Boys”, which isn’t too surprising as he is one of the show’s producers.

I just do not like boxing, nor movies about boxing, but I certainly accept that “Raging Bull” is true cinema classic. It is a biopic released in 1980, with Robert De Niro starring as Jake LaMotta, and ably directed by Martin Scorsese. Famously, De Niro gained about 70 pounds in weight to lay LaMotta in his early years, showing true dedication to his craft.

46. Bucks on a horse, e.g. : WAGER
“Buck” and “clam” are both slang terms for “a dollar”. The term “buck” has been around at least since 1856, and is thought to derive from the tradition of using buckskin as a unit of trade with Native Americans during the frontier days. It has been suggested that “clam” has a similar derivation, a throwback to the supposed use of clams as units of currency in ancient cultures.

53. Soak : SOT
Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

54. "The Greatest" : ALI
Muhammad Ali won 56 professional fights, 37 of which were knockouts. He lost 5 fights, 4 being decisions and one being a technical knockout (TKO). The TKO-loss was Ali’s second-last fight, against Larry Holmes. By the time Ali took on Holmes, he was already showing signs of Parkinson’s Syndrome, although the diagnosis would not come until four years later.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Entanglement : WEB
4. Brings down : ABASES
10. Hold up : ROB
13. Heady stuff : ALE
14. Mortal sister of the immortal Stheno and Euryale : MEDUSA
15. Jumpsuit-wearing music group : DEVO
16. He's taken : MARRIED MAN
18. Place whose population was 1, then 2, then 0 : EDEN
19. Champagne grape : PINOT
20. Attack ad accusations : MUD
21. Management : CARE
22. Take the wheel? : UNICYCLE
25. Left port : SAILED
27. Unrebellious : MEEK
28. Sir in the Ruhr : HERR
30. Attack ad tactic : SMEAR
31. Where Alice is asked "Why is a raven like a writing-desk?" : MAD TEA PARTY
33. Rock groups that are far out? : ASTEROID BELTS
36. Sobriquet for the woman who said "Only the little people pay taxes" : QUEEN OF MEAN
37. Global support? : ATLAS
38. Daredevil's highlight : FEAT
39. Whole bunch : HOST
43. Tip of a wingtip : TOE CAP
45. Visited unexpectedly, as a town : BLEW INTO
47. Prefix meaning "extreme" : ARCH-
48. Ocean floor burrower : EEL
50. Office supply brand : AVERY
51. Be critical of? : RATE
52. Dachshund, colloquially : SAUSAGE DOG
55. Boardwalk treats : ICES
56. Cuisine that includes trout meunière : CREOLE
57. ___ Simbel (Egyptian landmark) : ABU
58. Appreciate : SEE
59. Doing time : IN STIR
60. 100% aluminum coin : YEN

Down
1. Indian bread? : WAMPUM
2. Jerry's ex on TV : ELAINE
3. First name in 2016 presidential politics : BERNIE
4. ___ Island ("Jaws" locale) : AMITY
5. Orthographic competition : BEE
6. Recipe instruction : ADD
7. 1958 hit song that begins "I'm a-gonna raise a fuss, I'm a-gonna raise a holler" : SUMMERTIME BLUES
8. Biblical polygamist : ESAU
9. Takes the edge off? : SANDS
10. State of emergency : RED ALERT
11. Has everything? : OVEREATS
12. Waterless : BONE DRY
15. There's a point to it : DECIMAL
17. Shift in one's seat, perhaps : ROCK
23. Her albums include "Cuchi-Cuchi" and "Olé, Olé" : CHARO
24. Was first to go : LED OFF
26. Tree known scientifically as Populus tremuloides : ASPEN
29. Casino correction : REDEAL
31. Sharp club : MENSA
32. Lose intensity : ABATE
33. Talladega event : AUTO RACE
34. Chosen one : SELECTEE
35. Trains : TEACHES
36. Residents of the world's richest country per capita : QATARIS
39. Center of activity : HIVE
40. Sometime in the future : ONE DAY
41. Flickering light : STROBE
42. Cap holder : TOY GUN
44. De Niro's "Raging Bull" co-star : PESCI
46. Bucks on a horse, e.g. : WAGER
49. Pull down : EARN
53. Soak : SOT
54. "The Greatest" : ALI


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1 comment :

Dave Kennison said...

20:55, no errors. Not difficult, but a slow solve for me today ...

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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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