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0315-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Mar 17, Wednesday





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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Haight
THEME: Alphabetical Order
There’s a note with today’s puzzle that reads:
The five rows of circled squares reveal an unusual feature of this puzzle.
Those circled letters tell us that ...
… EVERY STARRED ENTRY IS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
So, the letters in the answers to the starred clues are in alphabetical order:
9A. *Bonzo and others : CHIMPS
33A. *"And so it ___" : BEGINS
45A. *Fabric with a cheap-sounding name : CHINTZ
69A. *"You just missed!" : ALMOST!
7D. *Can't stomach : ABHORS
49D. *Elegantly designed trinkets : BIJOUX
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 51s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Batteries in mice : AAS
The first computer mouse was invented at the Stanford Research Institute in 1963, by one Douglas Engelbart. Sadly for him, his patent ran out before mice became standard equipment on computers, so he never made any money from his amazing invention.

9. *Bonzo and others : CHIMPS
“Bedtime for Bonzo” is a 1951 comedy film about a man training a chimpanzee. The man in question is played by future US president Ronald Reagan. After Clint Eastwood was elected mayor of Carmel, California, Reagan called up Eastwood and asked him, "What's an actor who once appeared with a monkey in movie doing in politics?". Eastwood appeared with a monkey in the film "Every Which Way but Loose".

15. She went to Haiti in a Cole Porter song : KATIE
Cole Porter was a little unusual amongst his peers in that he was one of the few successful songwriters who wrote both lyrics and musics for his compositions. Porter was seriously injured in a riding accident when in his forties and was left disabled and in pain. Despite this, he continued to work and produced his most successful work after the accident.

16. Ballpark fig. : RBI
Run batted in (RBI)

18. "The Lion King" soundtrack composer : ELTON JOHN
The highly successful stage musical "The Lion King" started out life as a 1994 animated feature film of the same name from the Disney studio. The film is the highest earning traditionally-animated feature of all time. The animated film "Finding Nemo" has made more money, but it was created using computer animation.

22. Angsty music genre : EMO
The musical genre of “emo” originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

34. Patriotic women's org. : DAR
In order to be a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), an applicant has to prove that she is a descendant of someone closely associated with, and supportive of, the American Revolution. The DAR maintains an online database of Revolutionary War patriots. The database is searchable, and is known as the Patriot Index.

35. Jack who played Sgt. Friday : WEBB
Jack Webb played Sergeant Joe Friday on "Dragnet" on both TV and radio ... and what a voice he had! Off the screen, Webb was a lover of jazz, and he played the cornet. It was within the world of jazz that he met and fell in love with Julie London, the famous singer with "the smoky voice". The couple married and had two kids together.

39. Sound like a jackass : BRAY
A female donkey is known as a jenny, and a male is known as a jack, or sometimes a “jackass”. We started using the term “jackass” to mean “fool” in the 1820s.

42. PHX airport locale: Abbr. : ARIZ
Phoenix is the capital of the state of Arizona. The city started out as a farming community founded by a Civil War veteran. Key to the success of the community was the construction of canals that were really contemporary improvements to canals that had previously been built by the local Hohokam people.

43. Actress Kendrick of "Pitch Perfect" : ANNA
Anna Kendrick is a marvelous actress whose big break came when she played the sidekick to George Clooney’s character in the very interesting 2009 film “Up in the Air”. Kendrick can sing as well as act, and played a student a cappella singer in the 2012 movie “Pitch Perfect”.

“Pitch Perfect” is an entertaining musical comedy film released in 2012. It’s all about an all-female college a cappella group competing to win a national competition.

44. Summer hrs. in Chicago : CDT
Central Daylight Time (CDT)

45. *Fabric with a cheap-sounding name : CHINTZ
Chintz is a calico fabric that is very florid, and which originated in India. Indian chintz was in such great demand in Europe in the 17th-century, and so much was sold, that both England and France banned its import. This contributed to the term “chintz” being applied derogatively to a fabric, and from there to anything cheap or gaudy.

47. "CSI" workplace : DNA LAB
The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but seems to have finally wound down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, set in Las Vegas, hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two season before being canceled in 2016.

55. Long-snouted fish : GAR
“Gar” was originally the name given to a species of needlefish found in the North Atlantic. The term “gar” is now used to describe several species of fish with elongated bodies that inhabit North and Central America and the Caribbean. The gar is unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What I find interesting is that the gar’s swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. Many species of gar can actually be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

56. Title for 18-Across : SIR
(18A. "The Lion King" soundtrack composer : ELTON JOHN)
Elton John’s real name is Reginald Dwight. Sir Elton was knighted in 1998, not for his music per se, but for his charitable work. He founded his own Elton John AIDS Foundation back in 1992.

57. Au ___ (menu phrase) : JUS
The French term “au jus” is usually translated as “with it's own juice”.

58. Novelist Waugh : ALEC
Alec Waugh was the older brother of the more famous Evelyn Waugh. Both were successful novelists (Evelyn of “Brideshead Revisited” fame), but what I like about Alec is that he supposedly invented the cocktail party. He invited his friends around “for tea” in the twenties, and served them all rum swizzles instead!

62. "Star Wars" knight, informally : OBI-WAN
Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the more beloved of the “Star Wars” characters. Kenobi was portrayed by two fabulous actors in the series of films. As a young man he is played by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, and as an older man he is played by Alec Guinness.

66. Fix, as a pump : RESOLE
A pump is a woman's shoe that doesn't have a strap. Such shoes are probably called "pumps" because of the sound they make while walking in them.

67. ___ generis (unique) : SUI
“Sui generis” is a Latin expression meaning “of its own kind”. The term can be used in a number of fields, and in philosophy it refers to an idea which cannot be included in a wider concept, and idea of its own kind.

Down
3. Singer James or Jones : ETTA
Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

Etta Jones was a jazz singer, sometimes known as the "jazz musician's jazz singer". Because she has a similar name to Etta James, Jones was often confused with the more popular singer. Jones never really had any huge commercial success though, despite the respect that she engendered within the inner sanctums of the jazz world.

5. Nikkei index currency : YEN
The Nikkei is a stock market index for the Tokyo Stock Exchange that has been published by the “Nihon Keizai Shimbun” newspaper since 1950. The “Nihon Keizai Shimbun” has the largest circulation of any financial newspaper in the world, and is read by over 3 million people daily.

9. 1950s-'60s hit with the lyric "Ah, you made me love you / Now, now, now, now your man is come" : CC RIDER
Chuck Willis was an R&B singer from Atlanta, Georgia. Willis had a number one hit in 1957 with the blues classic “C. C. Rider”, a song which inspired a popular new dance called ‘The Stroll”. His association with the Stroll led to Willis getting the nickname “the King of Stroll”.

11. "The Addams Family" cousin : ITT
In the television sitcom "The Addams Family", the family had a frequent visitor called Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Cousin Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.
They're creepy and they're kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They're altogether ooky,
The Addams Family.

13. Previous arrest, on a rap sheet : PRIOR
A rap sheet is a criminal record. “Rap” is a slang term dating back to the 1700s that means “blame, responsibility” as in “to take the rap” and “to beat the rap”. This usage morphed into “rap sheet” in the early 1900s.

19. Ballet leaps : JETES
A “jeté” is a leap in ballet, coming from the French word “jeter” meaning “to throw”. A “jeté en avant” is a “leap to the front”, towards the audience. A “grand jeté” is a long horizontal jump, a split in the air, leaping from one foot to the other.

25. Form 1040 ID : SSN
Social Security number (SSN)

28. "Fernando" group : ABBA
“Fernando” was a 1976 hit for ABBA, a followup to their smash hit “Dancing Queen”. “Fernando” was originally released as a solo single by one the ABBA band members: Anni-Frid Lyngstad.

30. Eddie ___, subject of "The French Connection" : EGAN
New York cop Eddie Egan was responsible for breaking up an organized crime ring in the city in 1961, and the seizing of a record amount of heroin (112 pounds). His exploits were chronicled in a book by Robin Moore, which in turn was the basis of the movie "The French Connection" released in 1971. Gene Hackman played Popeye Doyle in the movie, the character based on Egan. Paradoxically, when Egan retired from the police force he started acting and played small roles in 22 movies and television shows.

31. World capital whose name means "gardens" : RIYADH
Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia, and is located near the center of the country. The name “Riyadh” translates from Arabic as ‘the gardens”.

36. Fish-eating raptor : ERNE
The ern (sometimes “erne”) is also called the white-tailed eagle, or the sea-eagle.

“Raptor” is a generic term for a bird of prey, one that has talons to grip its victims.

41. "Right away!," in the O.R. : STAT!
The exact etymology of "stat", a term meaning "immediately" in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin "statim" meaning "to a standstill, immediately". A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for "short turn-around time".

46. Rogue computer in "2001" : HAL
In Arthur C. Clarke's "Space Odyssey" (famously adapted for the big screen as "2001: A Space Odyssey") the computer system that went rogue was called HAL 9000, or simply "HAL". HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer. Even though, Clarke denied it, there's a good argument that can be made that the acronym HAL is a veiled reference to IBM, the big player in the world of computing at the time of the novel's publication (1968). The acronym HAL is just a one-letter shift from the initials "IBM".

49. *Elegantly designed trinkets : BIJOUX
The noun “bijou” (plural “bijoux”) is used for a small expensive trinket. “Bijou” is French for “jewel”.

51. Greek marketplace of old : AGORA
In early Greece the “agora” was a place of assembly. Often the assemblies held there were quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a market place. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

52. Motown or Decca : LABEL
Motown Records is a record label that was founded in 1959 in Detroit (aka “Motor City” or “Motown”). The founder of Motown records was Berry Gordy, Jr.

Decca Records started out in 1929 as a British record label. The US branch of Decca was opened up in 1934, but the UK and US entities went their separate ways starting in WWII. Famously, Decca turned down a chance to record the Beatles in 1962 taking the position “Guitar groups are on the way out”. That said, Decca did sign the Rolling Stones.

53. Light beam splitter : PRISM
When light passes through a prism, it is split up (“disperses”) into differing wavelengths. It then becomes clear that white light is actually a mixture of different colors, which show up as beautiful spectra.

58. AAA part: Abbr. : AMER
The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

59. Ilsa ___, "Casablanca" character : LUND
Ilsa Lund was played by Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie "Casablanca". I love the words of one critic describing the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman in this film: "She paints his face with her eyes". Wow …

61. "Believe" Grammy winner, 1999 : CHER
When Cher recorded the 1998 song "Believe", the audio engineers routinely corrected the sound of Cher's voice to ensure that all notes were sung with perfect pitch (all singers "cheat", it seems!). The software that does this pitch correction is called "Auto-Tune". Then, for a bit of fun, the same engineers played with the Auto-Tune software and created a special effect in her voice that she so liked it was left in the final release. You can easily detect the strange effect if you listen to the song. The process is now called the "Cher Effect" and is used by other artists in their recordings.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. See blurb : EVERY ...
6. Batteries in mice : AAS
9. *Bonzo and others : CHIMPS
15. She went to Haiti in a Cole Porter song : KATIE
16. Ballpark fig. : RBI
17. Et ___ : CETERA
18. "The Lion King" soundtrack composer : ELTON JOHN
20. Hang on to : RETAIN
21. Boarding pass info : SEAT
22. Angsty music genre : EMO
23. Divest (of) : RID
24. Gesture that might be made with a wink : NOD
25. See blurb : … STARRED ENTRY ...
28. Opposed : AVERSE
32. "And how!" : SURE DO!
33. *"And so it ___" : BEGINS
34. Patriotic women's org. : DAR
35. Jack who played Sgt. Friday : WEBB
39. Sound like a jackass : BRAY
40. See blurb : … IS IN ...
42. PHX airport locale: Abbr. : ARIZ
43. Actress Kendrick of "Pitch Perfect" : ANNA
44. Summer hrs. in Chicago : CDT
45. *Fabric with a cheap-sounding name : CHINTZ
47. "CSI" workplace : DNA LAB
50. Fresh gossip, with "the" : LATEST
51. See blurb : … ALPHABETICAL ...
55. Long-snouted fish : GAR
56. Title for 18-Across : SIR
57. Au ___ (menu phrase) : JUS
58. Novelist Waugh : ALEC
62. "Star Wars" knight, informally : OBI-WAN
64. Only a little : NOT SO MUCH
66. Fix, as a pump : RESOLE
67. ___ generis (unique) : SUI
68. Therefore : HENCE
69. *"You just missed!" : ALMOST!
70. Item held by the king of diamonds : AXE
71. See blurb : … ORDER

Down
1. Barely manages, with "out" : EKES
2. Lowland, poetically : VALE
3. Singer James or Jones : ETTA
4. Thigh-slapper : RIOT
5. Nikkei index currency : YEN
6. Chocolatier's lure : AROMA
7. *Can't stomach : ABHORS
8. Go astray : SIN
9. 1950s-'60s hit with the lyric "Ah, you made me love you / Now, now, now, now your man is come" : CC RIDER
10. Paid attention to : HEEDED
11. "The Addams Family" cousin : ITT
12. Had in mind : MEANT
13. Previous arrest, on a rap sheet : PRIOR
14. Like some light hair : SANDY
19. Ballet leaps : JETES
23. Showed again : RERAN
25. Form 1040 ID : SSN
26. Newswoman Bakhtiar : RUDI
27. "Hold it - hang on!" : NO, WAIT!
28. "Fernando" group : ABBA
29. HGTV personality ___ Yip : VERN
30. Eddie ___, subject of "The French Connection" : EGAN
31. World capital whose name means "gardens" : RIYADH
36. Fish-eating raptor : ERNE
37. Stand-up's routines : BITS
38. [Wrong answer!] : BZZT!
40. Couch potato : IDLER
41. "Right away!," in the O.R. : STAT!
44. China holder : CABINET
45. Reunion group : CLASS
46. Rogue computer in "2001" : HAL
48. M and N, in pronunciation : NASALS
49. *Elegantly designed trinkets : BIJOUX
51. Greek marketplace of old : AGORA
52. Motown or Decca : LABEL
53. Light beam splitter : PRISM
54. Adorable one : CUTIE
58. AAA part: Abbr. : AMER
59. Ilsa ___, "Casablanca" character : LUND
60. "Behold!," to Caesar : ECCE!
61. "Believe" Grammy winner, 1999 : CHER
63. Try to win over : WOO
64. Intel org. : NSA
65. Cry of discovery : OHO


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11 comments :

Jeff said...

19 minutes. No errors. Totally guessed AXE/BIJOUX. Can't believe it was right. Interesting and entertaining theme. A few misdirections but not overly difficult.

Best -

Dave Kennison said...

15:03, no errors.

Tricia said...

My goodness...enjoy every moment of your time with your brothers!

BruceB said...

17:55, no errors. Took time to suss out a few of the answers, entered BZZZ before BZZT. Had to reread Bill's explanation of the theme a couple times before I understood it, thinking that the entries were somehow in alphabetical order; rather than the letters in each entry. My initial reaction is 'big deal'; I wonder how many words in the English language contain letters in alphabetical order.

Tom M. said...

Shaded squares and revealer gave most of this one away. BZZT required all four crosses. No complaints.

Dale Stewart said...

No errors but a toughie for me. Southeast corner was my last holdout but I finally cracked it. Had the puzzle completed and then went back to figure out the theme. It dawned on me after a minute or two. Meh.

Glenn said...

24 minutes, zero errors. Fun grid.

Anonymous said...

Nope. Bottom right kicked my behind. Broke a string of two-and-a-half solid weeks without a DNF. 15:11 and 9 errors/unfilled's.

Lou Sander said...

I would REALLY like to understand what EMO is.

Glenn said...

@Lou Sander
EMO is an offshoot of punk rock that involves more emotional and typically "downer" type lyrics that came about in about the middle '90s. It's really not all that popular overall (a few random hits from bands), but popular in crosswords because of the letter combination (vowel, consonant, vowel). As for examples, The Cure is perhaps a good proto-emo band, the more popular ones people know are Dashboard Confessional, Death Cab For Cutie, Fallout Boy, Jimmy Eat World, My Chemical Romance, Paramore, and Weezer. Of course, you could name some more base alternative rock bands (Nirvana and Blink-182) that are heavy influences of EMO bands, but basically that's probably the best start I could come up with to explain it.

Dave Kennison said...

@Glenn ... Impressive list! I could not have named a single emo band (though a couple of the ones you list are vaguely familiar from somewhere).

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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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