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0324-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Mar 17, Friday





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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Michael Hawkins & John Guzzetta,
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 16m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Indications of one's qualifications? : ASTERISKS
The name of the typographical symbol “asterisk” comes from the Greek word “asteriskos” meaning “little star”. The original use of the asterisk was by printers of family trees in feudal times. Back then it was a symbol indicating the date of birth.

18. Like many beta programs : BUGGY
Back in 1947, the famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so Hopper has been given credit for popularizing the term.

25. Clip art? : BONSAI
The term “bonsai” is used more correctly to describe the Japanese art of growing carefully shaped trees in containers, although it has come to be used as the name for all miniature trees in pots.

27. ___ George H. W. Bush : USS
The USS George H. W. Bush is a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier named for the former US president, who was also a navy pilot during WWII. The vessel was commissioned in 2009 and is based in Norfolk, Virginia.

28. 1982 Disney film : TRON
Released in 1982, Disney’s “Tron” was one of the first mainstream films to make extensive use of computer graphics. The main role in the movie is played by Jeff Bridges. The original spawned a 2010 sequel called “Tron: Legacy”, as well as a 2012 TV show called “Tron: Uprising”.

30. Hybrid business entity: Abbr. : LLC
A limited liability company (LLC) is a company structure that limits the liability of the owner or owners. It is a hybrid structure in the sense that it can be taxed as would an individual or partnership, while also maintaining the liability protection afforded to a corporation.

31. Ancient Roman citizenry : PLEBS
In ancient Rome, the patricians were the members of the families in the ruling classes. Those Romans who were not patricians by birth were known as plebs.

35. Ritual drink in Shintoism : SAKE
We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as “sake”. We’ve gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. “Sake” is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as rice wine. Also, the starch in the rice is first converted to sugars that are then fermented into alcohol. This is more akin to a beer-brewing process than wine production, so the end product is really a rice “beer” rather than a rice “wine”.

It is perhaps best not to describe Shinto as a religion, but more as a “spirituality of the Japanese people”, a spirituality that encompasses folklore, history and mythology. Having said that, “Shinto” translates literally as “Way of the Gods”. Most people in Japan who are described as practicing Shinto, also practice Buddhism.

39. Judith with two Tonys : IVEY
Judith Ivey is an actress from El Paso, Texas. Ivey is perhaps best known for playing B. J. Poteet in the last season of the TV show “Designing Women”.

42. "___ for Alibi" : A IS
Sue Grafton writes detective novels, and her "alphabet series" features the private investigator Kinsey Millhone. She started off with "A Is for Alibi" in 1982 and is working her way through the alphabet, most recently publishing "’W’ is for Wasted" in 2009. Apparently Ms. Grafton is working on her “X is for …” novel, and has already decided that “Z is for Zero” will be the final title in the series. What a clever naming system!

47. Protectors sent packing? : PEANUTS
Styrofoam is an extruded polystyrene foam made by The Dow Chemical Company. Styrofoam has loads of applications, including home insulation and use as a buoyancy aid. It is also formed into “peanuts” used as a packaging filler.

54. Blues group, in brief : NHL
The St. Louis Blues hockey team takes its name from the song “St. Louis Blues”, a jazz and popular music classic.

59. Writer/director of "The Evil Dead" : RAIMI
Sam Raimi is a very successful director and producer, responsible for the "Spider-Man" series of films among others, and TV series' such as "Xena: Warrior Princess".

“The Evil Dead” is a horror movie franchise that includes video games and comic books, all derived from a series of three films: “The Evil Dead” (1981), “Evil Dead II” (1987) and “Army of Darkness” (1992). I don’t “do” horror, so I can’t tell you anything about them …

60. Stiff material under a ball gown : CRINOLINE
Crinoline is a stiff material used almost exclusively as a structured petticoat to fill out a woman’s skirt. The original crinoline was made from a mixture of horsehair and linen. The name “crinoline” came into English via Italian, and is a melding of “crino” meaning “horsehair” and “lino” meaning “flax”.

61. Novelist Hammond ___ : INNES
Hammond Innes was an English author who mainly wrote thrillers, of which several have been made into films. The most famous of his novels is probably “The Wreck of the Mary Deare”, which was first published in 1956. It was made into a successful movie of the same name in 1959 starring Gary Cooper and Charlton Heston.

Down
1. The Bronx Zoo has 265 of them : ACRES
The Bronx Zoo in New York City is the largest metropolitan zoo in the country, and is located right on the Bronx River.

3. 1985 Oscar nominee for "Agnes of God" : TILLY
Both Meg Tilly and her sister Jennifer are actresses. Meg has been unlucky in her career in some respects. She started out as a dancer, but had to give it up due to a serious accident. As an actress she was cast in the plum role of Constanze Mozart in "Amadeus", but had to drop out from the role when she hurt her leg playing soccer with some local children during shooting of the film. Meg Tilly has now given up acting, in favor of writing books.

“Agnes of God” is a 1985 film adaptation of a play by John Pielmeier. In the movie, a young novice nun (played by Meg Tilly) is found to be pregnant, but she insists that this is a result of a virgin conception.

4. Wetlands regulator, for short : EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was set up during the Nixon administration and began operation at the end of 1970.

21. It might be caught by a 56-Across : F-BOMB
“F-bomb” refers to the offensive four-letter word beginning with the letter F. The term “F-bomb” was first used in print in a “Newsday” article in 1988 in a story about baseball catcher Gary Carter.

24. California congressman Darrell : ISSA
Darrell Issa is a Republican Representative in the US House who represents a district in Southern California. Issa was a successful businessman before taking his seat, and is often cited as the wealthiest member of Congress.

28. Do some dirty dancing : TWERK
Twerking is a dancing move in which a woman (usually) shakes her hips up and down causing a lot of “wobbling”. It’s possible that “twerk” is a portmanteau of “twist” and “jerk”. The term may have been coined back in the early 2000s with the song “Whistle While You Twurk” released by the Ying Yang Twins. Twerking became a real phenomenon in 2013 when Miley Cyrus posted a video of herself twerking in a unicorn suit to the 2011 song “Wop” by J. Dash. That video went viral on YouTube, amassing over 4 million views in no time at all.

32. Moby Dick, e.g. : LEVIATHAN
Something described as leviathan is huge, of immense size. The word was used for a sea monster mentioned in the Old Testament. As a result, “leviathan” has come to be associated with any large sea monster or creature.

In Herman Melville's 1851 novel “Moby-Dick”, the animal named in the title is an albino sperm whale.

35. "In Luxury Beware" painter, 1663 : STEEN
Jan Steen was a Dutch painter active in the Dutch Golden Age, the 17th century. Steen’s most famous work is probably “The Feast of Saint Nicholas”, which you can see at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

38. Nike alternative : AVIA
The Avia brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as "avia" is the Latin word for "to fly", and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

43. Tab alternatives : PEPSIS
Tab was the first diet cola introduced by the Coca-Cola company, in 1963. It was produced as a competitor to the very successful Diet Rite cola that was made by RC Cola. The name “Tab” was used as the beverage was aimed at people who wanted “to keep tabs” on their weight.

46. Request for a hand : HIT ME
“Stand” and “hit me” are instructions to the dealer in the card game Blackjack. The instruction “stand” means, I don’t want any more cards, I’ll use these. The instruction “hit me” means “please deal me another card”.

47. It grows in the dark : PUPIL
The pupil of the eye is the “hole” located in the center of the iris through which light enters the retina. The term “pupil” came into English via French from the latin “pupilla”, which is the diminutive form of “pupa” meaning “girl, doll”. The term came about due to the tiny doll-like image that one can see of oneself when looking into the center of another’s eyes.

49. Banquo, for one : THANE
Thanes were Scottish aristocrats. The most famous thanes have to be the Shakespearean characters Macbeth (the Thane of Glamis, later Thane of Cawdor, and later King of Scotland) and MacDuff (the Thane of Fife). Other thanes in "Macbeth" are Ross, Lennox and Angus, as well as Menteith and Caithness.

Banquo is a character in William Shakespeare's "Macbeth". Banquo is the thane of the Scottish province of Lochaber. Macbeth has him murdered, only to have Banquo's ghost return and haunt him.

55. Prefix with athlete : TRI-
An Ironman Triathlon is a race involving a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon run of just over 26 miles. The idea for the race came out of a debate between some runners in the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. They were questioning whether runners, swimmers or bikers were the most fit athletes. The debaters decided to combine three local events to determine the answer, inviting athletes from all three disciplines. The events that were mimicked to come up with the first triathlon were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). The idea was that whoever finished first would be called “the Iron Man”. The first triathlon was run in 1978, with fifteen starters and only twelve finishers. The race format is used all over the world now, but the Hawaiian Ironman is the event that everyone wants to win.

57. Giant in chemicals : DOW
Dow Chemical Company was founded back in 1897 by a chemist called Herbert Henry Dow, and initially manufactured and sold bleach and potassium bromide. Dow is now the second-largest chemical manufacturer in the world according to revenue, second only to the German company BASF.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Indications of one's qualifications? : ASTERISKS
10. They can be found in two different sections of home-improvement stores : BULBS
15. Men's fashion shortcut : CLIP-ON TIE
16. Completely wiped out : ATE IT
17. Bad occasion for an anchor to drag : RELAY RACE
18. Like many beta programs : BUGGY
19. Burrowing sea creature : EEL
20. Practically begs to be hurt : ASKS FOR IT
22. Through the roof : SKY-HIGH
25. Clip art? : BONSAI
27. ___ George H. W. Bush : USS
28. 1982 Disney film : TRON
30. Hybrid business entity: Abbr. : LLC
31. Ancient Roman citizenry : PLEBS
34. Traveled in trunks, say : SWAM
35. Ritual drink in Shintoism : SAKE
36. Diamond delivery : HEY, BATTER BATTER
39. Judith with two Tonys : IVEY
40. Metal finish? : -WARE
41. Turns off : VEERS
42. "___ for Alibi" : A IS
43. Become attentive, with "up" : PERK
44. Stop working for good : DIE
45. Tizzy : LATHER
47. Protectors sent packing? : PEANUTS
51. Foiled : TRIPPED UP
54. Blues group, in brief : NHL
55. "___ true" : THAT’S
56. What'll give someone a bleeping chance? : TAPE DELAY
59. Writer/director of "The Evil Dead" : RAIMI
60. Stiff material under a ball gown : CRINOLINE
61. Novelist Hammond ___ : INNES
62. Proved sound : HELD WATER

Down
1. The Bronx Zoo has 265 of them : ACRES
2. Aerodynamic : SLEEK
3. 1985 Oscar nominee for "Agnes of God" : TILLY
4. Wetlands regulator, for short : EPA
5. Jazz trumpeter Hargrove with two Grammys : ROY
6. Shabby : IN RAGS
7. Sniffer dog's discovery : STASH
8. Thrill : KICK
9. Grasps : SEES
10. Uncivilized sort : BABOON
11. Flip-flop : U-TURN
12. Take care of bills : LEGISLATE
13. Boastful sort : BIG TALKER
14. Challenge for a housecleaner : STY
21. It might be caught by a 56-Across : F-BOMB
23. One of a hitched pair : HUBBY
24. California congressman Darrell : ISSA
26. People with decorating tips? : ICERS
28. Do some dirty dancing : TWERK
29. Like walk-off touchdowns : RARE
31. Hospital vessel : PHIAL
32. Moby Dick, e.g. : LEVIATHAN
33. Reading problem : EYE STRAIN
34. One receiving top billing : STAR
35. "In Luxury Beware" painter, 1663 : STEEN
37. Punk : TWERP
38. Nike alternative : AVIA
43. Tab alternatives : PEPSIS
44. Hang (on) : DEPEND
46. Request for a hand : HIT ME
47. It grows in the dark : PUPIL
48. Dark : UNLIT
49. Banquo, for one : THANE
50. Better with trickery : SLYER
52. Really impress? : ETCH
53. Test of one's backbone : DARE
55. Prefix with athlete : TRI-
57. Giant in chemicals : DOW
58. She, in Rio : ELA


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9 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

22:41, no errors. A little easier than usual, I thought ...

Jeff said...

Plenty difficult for me. Several things I didn't know and several clues I had to stand on my head to get the answer. 265 ACRES was downright cruel...

The St. Louis Blues indeed written by WC Handy was the inspiration for the name of the hockey team. I've heard some say the St. Louis Blues is the best name in pro sports.

Bill - nice to see you back in the saddle. Good luck in Stamford.

Best -

Douglas McFarlane said...

Best of luck this weekend Bill. Have fun.

Bill Butler said...

Thanks, guys. I'm already having fun here in Stamford. But, the competition hasn't started yet. That's when things might get gloomy! :)

BruceB said...

27:24, 2 errors INNEX/PEPSIX. Didn't register for me that PEPSI (a full calorie drink) would be an alternative to TAB (a diet drink). Figured that Pepsi must have sold a diet drink called Pepsi X. The name INNES didn't ring a bell.

Friday puzzles are supposed to be challenging.

Anonymous said...

28:15, and 11/120 clues left unfilled. This one was just too much for me.

Tom M. said...

Couldn't break into the NW and NE without a couple of cheats. Just a bit too cleverly clued for me today, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Thank you-needed many of the answers for this one!

Glenn said...

6 errors, 88 minutes. Mainly due to never hearing of CRINOLINE until 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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