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0321-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Mar 17, Tuesday





QuickLinks:
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
Jump to a complete list of today's clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: George Barany & John D. Child
THEME: Taste
The circled letters in today’s themed answers spell out the five TASTES that we can pick up in our mouths:
17A. Trick football play : STATUE OF LIBERTY (hiding “SALTY”)
23A. Office staple since the 1980s : DESKTOP COMPUTER (hiding “SOUR”)
39A. High-ranking British Parliament member : CABINET MINISTER (hiding “BITTER”)
49A. Floor warning : SLIPPERY WHEN WET (hiding “SWEET”)
58A. Study at a college that doesn't have applications? : PURE MATHEMATICS (hiding “UMAMI”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 48s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Work like Dürer : ETCH
Albrecht Dürer was a German artist who was noted for his etchings and engravings as well as for his paintings.

5. Peter or Paul, but not Mary : TSAR
Peter the Great was perhaps the most successful of the Romanov tsars, and was famous for modernizing Russia and expanding the country’s sphere of influence, creating the Russian Empire. He ruled from 1682 until his death in 1725.

Paul I was Tsar of Russia, and the only son of Peter III and Catherine the Great. Paul was on the throne for only five years, before being assassinated in a conspiracy that brought his son Alexander I to power.

15. Concerning, to a lawyer : IN RE
The term “in re” is Latin, derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used to mean “in regard to”, or “in the matter of”.

16. Musical with the song "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" : EVITA
“Evita” was the followup musical to "Jesus Christ Superstar" for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Both of these works were originally released as album musicals, and very successful ones at that (I remember buying them when they first came out).

17. Trick football play : STATUE OF LIBERTY (hiding “SALTY”)
The Statue of Liberty is a trick play used in football. The idea is that the quarterback fakes a throw downfield, while in fact passing the ball off to a player behind him. The play is named from the pose the quarterback adopts, with the throwing arm in the air and the other at his side, resembling the pose of the Statue of Liberty.

20. ___ bark beetle : ELM
Dutch elm disease is a fungus devastating to all species of elm trees that is transmitted by the elm bark beetle. The disease is thought to have originated in Asia and is now rampant in Europe and North America. Even though there is a hybrid of elm known as the Dutch elm, the disease isn't named after the tree. Rather, the disease is called "Dutch" as it was identified in 1921 by a phytopathologist (plant pathologist) in the Netherlands.

30. Birth control method, for short : IUD
It seems that it isn’t fully understood how the intrauterine device (IUD) works. The design that was most popular for decades was a T-shaped plastic frame on which was wound copper wire. It’s thought that the device is an irritant in the uterus causing the body to release chemicals that are hostile to sperm and eggs. This effect is enhanced by the presence of the copper.

32. Descartes's "therefore" : ERGO
The great French philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement in Latin, “Cogito ergo sum”. This translates into French as “Je pense, donc je suis” and into English as “I think, therefore I am”.

33. Super Bowl-winning QB Bart : STARR
Bart Starr is a retired football player and coach who spent his whole career with the Green Bay Packers. Starr was quarterback for the Packers from 1956 to 1971. Starr was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the first two Super Bowls.

36. Bollywood soundtrack instrument : SITAR
The sitar has been around since the Middle Ages. The sitar is a stringed instrument that is played by plucking, and is used most often in Hindustani classical music. In the West we have been exposed to the instrument largely through the performances of Ravi Shankar and some music by George Harrison of the Beatles, a onetime student of Shankar.

Bollywood is the informal name given to the huge film industry based in Mumbai in India. The term “Bollywood” is a melding of “Bombay”, the old name for Mumbai, and “Hollywood”.

39. High-ranking British Parliament member : CABINET MINISTER (hiding “BITTER”)
In the Westminster system, the Cabinet is a group of sitting politicians chosen by the Prime Minister to head up government departments and also to participate collectively in major governmental decisions in all areas. In the US system, the Cabinet is made up not of sitting politicians, but rather of non-legislative individuals who are considered to have expertise in a particular area. The Cabinet members in the US system tend to have more of an advisory role outside of their own departments.

42. Doctors' org. : AMA
American Medical Association (AMA)

45. Disposable lighters and pens : BICS
Société Bic is a French company, based in Clichy in France. The first product the company produced, more than fifty years ago, was the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen that is still produced today. Bic also makes other disposable products such as lighters and razors.

47. The mark of Zorro : ZEE
The character Zorro was created by Johnston McCulley in 1919 for a series of stories and pulp fiction, the first title being “The Curse of Capistrano”. The name “Zorro” is the secret identity of a Spanish colonial nobleman called Don Diego de la Vega.

48. You, abroad : SIE
“Sie” is a German word meaning “you”.

57. Green govt. group : EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was set up during the Nixon administration and began operation at the end of 1970.

58. Study at a college that doesn't have applications? : PURE MATHEMATICS (hiding “UMAMI”)
Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe "a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until 1985 that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.

64. Seize without legal authority : USURP
To usurp is to seize and hold by force, say the power or authority of a ruler. The term “usurp” comes to us from Latin via French, from “usus” (a use) and “rapere” (to seize).

68. Newspaper essay : OP-ED
“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for "opposite the editorial page". Op-eds started in "The New York Evening World" in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

69. Old one, in Oldenburg : ALTE
Oldenburg is a city in the northwest of Germany.

Down
4. "The buck stops here" prez : HST
The phrase “passing the buck” supposedly comes from poker. The marker that indicates whose turn it is to deal is called the buck, and it is passed from player to player. Over time, the phrase came to mean the passing of responsibility (or usually blame). President Harry S. Truman popularized the derivative phrase “the buck stops here” by placing a sign bearing those words on his desk in the Oval Office. President Truman had received the sign as a gift from a prison warden who was also an enthusiastic poker player.

5. Bar on a car : TIE ROD
Tie rods are part of a rack-and-pinion steering mechanism in a car. On the other side of the Atlantic they are referred to as “track rods”.

9. Genre for Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker : BEBOP
The jazz term "bebop" probably came from "Arriba! Arriba!", words of encouragement from Latin American bandleaders to their musicians.

Dizzy Gillespie was a musician from Cheraw, South Carolina who was best known as a jazz trumpeter. Gillespie was also known for playing a “bent” trumpet, one with the bell projecting upwards at a 45-degree angle. The unusual configuration of the instrument came about accidentally, when a pair of dancers fell on it during a birthday party. The damage to the instrument caused a change in the tone which Gillespie liked, so he left it as is.

Charlie Parker was a Jazz saxophonist, who was often just called “Bird” or “Yardbird”. He was a leader in the development of the style of jazz called “bebop”, which gained popularity in the forties. Charlie Parker had a rough life outside of music. He was a heroin addict, and a heavy drinker. When he died, the coroner who performed his autopsy estimated his age as between 50 and 60 years old based on the appearance of his body and condition of his organs. He was actually 34-years-old when he died in a New York City hotel room in 1955.

11. Paul McCartney, for one : SIR
The ex-Beatles bass player’s full name is Sir James Paul McCartney. “Paul” was knighted for his services to music in 1997.

12. Onetime telecommunications conglomerate, for short : ITT
International Telephone & Telegraph (ITT) was formed in 1920 from the Puerto Rico Telephone Company. ITT divested its telecommunications business in 1986, today the company is known for its products in the field of water and fluids management, as well motion and flow control. Many of ITT’s products are sold into the aerospace market.

18. Bullish trends : UPTURNS
The terms "bull" and "bear" markets come from the way in which each animal attacks. A bull thrusts his horns upwards (an "up" market), whereas a bear swipes with his paws downward (a "down" market).

24. Dame ___ Te Kanawa : KIRI
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is an outstanding soprano from New Zealand who was in great demand for operatic performances in the seventies and eighties.

28. White heron : EGRET
Egrets are a group of several species of white herons. Many egret species were faced with extinction in the 1800s and early 1900s due to plume hunting, a practice driven by the demand for egret plumes that could be incorporated into hats.

34. Native of southern India or northern Sri Lanka : TAMIL
Tamils are a large ethnic group of almost 80 million people who speak Tamil as their mother tongue. Despite the large Tamil population, there is no Tamil state. The highest concentration of Tamils is in Sri Lanka, where they make up about 25% of the population.

35. You can count on them : ABACI
The abacus (plural “abaci”) was used as a counting frame long before man had invented a numbering system. It is a remarkable invention, particularly when one notes that abaci are still widely used today across Africa and Asia.

36. It's no bull : STEER
A steer is a male bovine that was castrated when young and is then raised for beef. The term comes from the Old English “steor” meaning “bullock”.

37. Nice location : RIVIERA
“Riviera” is an Italian word meaning “coastline”. The term is often applied to a coastline that is sunny and popular with tourists. The term “the Riviera” is usually reserved for the French Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline in southeastern France), and the Italian Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline centered on Genoa).

The Côte d’Azur is on the Mediterranean coast of France and stretches from Saint Tropez in the west and to the Italian border in the east. In English we often refer to the area as “the French Riviera”. It’s a little crowded for me (okay, “expensive”), especially in the summer.

The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera.

40. Itchy condition : ECZEMA
Eczema is a form of dermatitis. The term “eczema” comes from the Greek for “to boil over”.

52. "Mack the Knife" composer : WEILL
Kurt Weill was a German composer who was noted for his work with Bertolt Brecht. The most famous work by Weill and Brecht is “The Threepenny Opera”, which includes the celebrated ballad “Mack the Knife”. Weill was Jewish and had to flee Nazi Germany and eventually settled in the US.

“Die Moritat von Mackie Messer” is the original name of the song “Mack the Knife”, which comes from “The Threepenny Opera”. “The Threepenny Opera” (“Die Dreigroschenoper”) is a musical written by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill that first performed in Berlin in 1928, an adaptation of “The Beggar’s Opera” written by Englishman John Gay in the 18th century. “Mack the Knife” was introduced into the popular music repertoire by Louis Armstrong. He had a hit with it in 1956, but it was the Bobby Darin recording of 1959 that came to be known as the definitive, English-language version of the song. I love it …

53. Disney World theme park : EPCOT
EPCOT Center (now just called “Epcot”) is the theme park beside Walt Disney World in Florida. EPCOT is an acronym standing for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and is a representation of the future as envisioned by Walt Disney. Walt Disney actually wanted to build a living community for 20,000 residents at EPCOT, but he passed away without that vision being realized.

58. Short-haired dog : PUG
The pug is a breed of dog of Chinese origin. Our current family pet is a boxer/pug cross, and is a good-looking mutt!

60. 7,485 performances, for Broadway's original "Cats" : RUN
Andrew Lloyd Webber's source material for his hit musical "Cats" was T. S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats". Eliot's collection of whimsical poems was published in 1939, and was a personal favorite of Webber as he was growing up. "Cats" is the second longest running show in Broadway history ("Phantom of the Opera" is the longest and is still running; deservedly so in my humble opinion). My wife and I have seen “Cats” a couple of times and really enjoyed it ...

61. Noah count? : TWO
Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board “every clean animal by sevens … male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth”. Apparently “extras” (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

63. [No info yet] : TBA
Something not yet on the schedule (“sked” or “sched.”) is to be advised (TBA).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Work like Dürer : ETCH
5. Peter or Paul, but not Mary : TSAR
9. Bath fixture : BASIN
14. Lilting melodies : AIRS
15. Concerning, to a lawyer : IN RE
16. Musical with the song "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" : EVITA
17. Trick football play : STATUE OF LIBERTY (hiding “SALTY”)
20. ___ bark beetle : ELM
21. One side of a debate : PRO
22. Dude, Jamaica-style : MON
23. Office staple since the 1980s : DESKTOP COMPUTER (hiding “SOUR”)
30. Birth control method, for short : IUD
31. Peach or plum : HUE
32. Descartes's "therefore" : ERGO
33. Super Bowl-winning QB Bart : STARR
36. Bollywood soundtrack instrument : SITAR
38. "... man ___ mouse? : OR A
39. High-ranking British Parliament member : CABINET MINISTER (hiding “BITTER”)
42. Doctors' org. : AMA
43. Something one shouldn't make in public : SCENE
44. Lifesavers for cops and sailors : VESTS
45. Disposable lighters and pens : BICS
47. The mark of Zorro : ZEE
48. You, abroad : SIE
49. Floor warning : SLIPPERY WHEN WET (hiding “SWEET”)
55. Good noise from an engine : HUM
56. Sarcastic laugh sound : HAR
57. Green govt. group : EPA
58. Study at a college that doesn't have applications? : PURE MATHEMATICS (hiding “UMAMI”)
64. Seize without legal authority : USURP
65. Listening device : WIRE
66. Ink stain : BLOT
67. Pool contents? : GENES
68. Newspaper essay : OP-ED
69. Old one, in Oldenburg : ALTE

Down
1. Alleviated : EASED
2. Duke or dame : TITLE
3. Pulls an all-nighter, say : CRAMS
4. "The buck stops here" prez : HST
5. Bar on a car : TIE ROD
6. Be a busybody : SNOOP
7. Pound sound : ARF!
8. Family member: Abbr. : REL
9. Genre for Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker : BEBOP
10. Way or means : AVENUE
11. Paul McCartney, for one : SIR
12. Onetime telecommunications conglomerate, for short : ITT
13. Opposing vote : NAY
18. Bullish trends : UPTURNS
19. Bully's boast : I’M MEAN!
24. Dame ___ Te Kanawa : KIRI
25. Entrance for Santa : CHIMNEY
26. Navel formation? : OUTIE
27. Moves briskly : TROTS
28. White heron : EGRET
29. Surf sounds : ROARS
33. Signs of healing : SCABS
34. Native of southern India or northern Sri Lanka : TAMIL
35. You can count on them : ABACI
36. It's no bull : STEER
37. Nice location : RIVIERA
40. Itchy condition : ECZEMA
41. Out in public : SEEN
46. Baseball or basketball : SPHERE
48. Humiliated : SHAMED
50. Basketball inflaters : PUMPS
51. Invitation heading : WHERE
52. "Mack the Knife" composer : WEILL
53. Disney World theme park : EPCOT
54. It's often unaccounted for ... or a hint to this puzzle's circled letters : TASTE
58. Short-haired dog : PUG
59. Play for a patsy : USE
60. 7,485 performances, for Broadway's original "Cats" : RUN
61. Noah count? : TWO
62. With it : HIP
63. [No info yet] : TBA


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5 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

10:12, no errors. Cute theme, which I missed, as usual. (I was very distracted while I was working on it ... )

Anonymous said...

Aren't the wrong letters circled in 58 across. Umami is misspelled.

Dave Kennison said...

@Anonymous ... You have a good eye! I just checked the puzzle in the NYT Crossword app on my iPad and it is indeed wrong there, too ...

Sfingi said...

My UMAMI is spelled right.

Clever theme.

I liked seeing Oldenburg mentioned as that was where my paternal grandfather, Fritz Drees was born. I also liked seeing the German, SIE, used. As for alte, another Drees, Willem, the prome minister of Holland during WWII, was called der ALTE because he lived to 100.

Dave Kennison said...

@Sfingi ... As I recall, you do the puzzle on paper? So perhaps the error in UMAMI was a feature of on-line versions. ... I associate the phrase DER ALTE with Konrad Adenauer, the German chancellor who died at 91.

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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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