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0329-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Mar 17, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jules P. Markey
THEME: Middle Age
Today’s themed answers include hidden words somewhere in the MIDDLE, each of which is an AGE:
34A. Crisis time, for some ... or a hint to each of the circled words : MIDDLE AGE

17A. Things that power Teslas : ELECTRIC ENGINES (hiding “ice age”)
27A. Went bonkers : LOST ONE'S MARBLES (hiding “Stone Age”)
44A. Lakeside furniture item : ADIRONDACK CHAIR (hiding “Iron Age”)
57A. Label rarely seen on silk garments : MACHINE WASHABLE (hiding “new age”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. OPEC, e.g. : BLOC
The OPEC cartel (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). One reason America isn't in OPEC, even though we are a big producer, is that we import a lot more than we export. But we all probably knew that already …

14. J. E. B. Stuart's superior in the Civil War : R E LEE
General Jeb Stuart fought with the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. The nickname “Jeb” was formed from the initials of Stuart’s full name: James Ewell Brown Stuart.

15. Indian royal : RANI
A ranee (also spelled “rani”) is a queen or a princess, the female equivalent of a raja in India.

16. "Honey wine" : MEAD
Mead is a lovely drink, made from fermented honey and water.

17. Things that power Teslas : ELECTRIC ENGINES (hiding “ice age”)
Ice ages are periods in the Earth’s history when there are extensive ice sheets present in the northern and southern hemispheres. One might argue that we are still in an ice age that began 2.6 million years ago, as evidenced by the presence of ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica.

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.

20. Criticism, informally : FLAK
"Flak" was originally an acronym from the German term for an aircraft defense cannon (FLiegerAbwehrKanone). Flak then became used in English as a general term for antiaircraft fire, and ultimately a term for verbal criticism as in "to take flak".

23. SEAL's org. : USN
SEAL is an acronym used by the US Navy’s SEa, Air and Land teams. The SEALs were born out of the Navy’s special warfare groups from WWII, like the Underwater Demolition Teams and the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons. The Navy SEAL unit was established soon after President Kennedy’s famous speech in which he announced the plan to put a man on the moon, as in the same speech the president allocated $100m of funding to strengthen special operations forces. The Navy used some of this money to set up guerrilla and counterguerrilla units, which soon became the SEALs.

25. Rudy's coach in "Rudy" : ARA
Ara Parseghian coached the Notre Dame football team from 1964 to 1974, a period known as "The Era of Ara".

26. N.L. East city : ATL
The Atlanta Braves are the only team to have won baseball's World Series in three different home cities. They won as the Boston Braves in 1914, the Milwaukee Braves in 1957 and the Atlanta Braves in 1995.

27. Went bonkers : LOST ONE'S MARBLES (hiding “Stone Age”)
Ancient societies can be classified by the "three-age system", which depends on the prevalence of materials used to make tools. The three ages are:
  • The Stone Age
  • The Bronze Age
  • The Iron Age
The actual dates defined by each age depend on the society, as the timing of the transition from the use of one material to another varied around the globe.

The word “bonkers” meaning “crazy” originated in the fifties. The term might come from navy slang meaning “slightly drunk”, behaving as though one received a “bonk” on the head.

31. Teutonic turndown : NEIN
The Germanic peoples of Northern Europe are often called Teutonic, a term which originated with the Teutons, one of the Germanic tribes that lived in the region in the days of Ancient Greece and Rome.

33. Snaky character : ESS
There’s a letter S (ess) in the word “snaky”, and the letter S itself looks rather snaky.

38. It's an honour: Abbr. : OBE
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry in the UK that was established in 1917 by King George V. There are five classes within the order, which are in descending seniority:
  • Knight Grand Cross (GBE)
  • Knight Commander (KBE)
  • Commander (CBE)
  • Officer (OBE)
  • Member (MBE)

40. Camera named for a goddess : EOS
I’ve been using Canon EOS cameras for decades now, and have nothing but good things to say about the cameras and the lenses. The EOS name stands for Electro-Optical System, and was chosen because it evokes the name of Eos, the Titan goddess of dawn from Greek mythology.

41. Year the Korean War began : MCML
Korea was occupied by the Japanese military from 1910 until Japan surrendered at the end of WWII in 1945. While the UN was working towards a trusteeship administration for Korea, the Soviet Union managed the Korean Peninsula north of the 38th parallel and the US managed the south. The UN’s plans came to naught as the Cold War dictated the establishment of the two separate states of North Korea and South Korea. North Korea invaded the South in 1950, leading to the Korean War. After three years of fighting, the border between the two states became the demarcation line between the two military forces on the day the Armistice Agreement was signed. That line runs diagonally across the 38th parallel, and is better known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

44. Lakeside furniture item : ADIRONDACK CHAIR (hiding “Iron Age”)
An Adirondack chair is a wooden chair designed for use outdoors. The original Adirondack chair was designed in 1903 by one Thomas Lee, who was vacationing in Westport, New York in the Adirondack Mountains.

50. Cock-a-___ (dog breed) : POO
Poodle hybrids are sometimes described as “designer dogs”. Examples are the Labradoodle (Labrador retriever and poodle cross), cockapoo (cocker-spaniel and poodle cross) and Jack-A-Poo (Jack Russell and poodle cross).

51. Dorm V.I.P.s : RAS
RAs are resident assistants or resident advisers, the peer leaders found in residence halls, particularly on a college campus.

53. 1974 hit with Spanish lyrics : ERES TU
We have a big event across Europe every year called the Eurovision Song Contest. Each nation enters one song in competition with each other, and then voters across the whole continent decide on the winner. That’s how ABBA got their big break when they won in 1974 with “Waterloo”. In 1973, Spain’s entry was “Eres tĂș” (the Spanish for “You Are”) sung by the band Mocedades. “Eres tu” came second in the competition, but should have won in my humble opinion.

55. Joe Biden, for 36 yrs. : SEN
Vice President Joe Biden was a US Senator representing the state of Delaware from 1973 until he joined the Obama administration. While he was a senator, Vice President Biden commuted to Washington from Wilmington, Delaware almost every working day. He was such an active customer and supporter of Amtrak that the Wilmington Station was renamed as the Joseph R. Biden Railroad Station in 2011. Biden has made over 7,000 trips from that station, and the Amtrak crews were known to even hold the last train for a few minutes so that he could catch it. Biden earned himself the nickname “Amtrak Joe”.

57. Label rarely seen on silk garments : MACHINE WASHABLE (hiding “new age”)
New-Age music is created to provide a relaxing and stress-free atmosphere. The New Age movement is often said to have begun with the release of an album called “Spectrum Suite” by Steven Halpern in 1975.

61. Simoleon : CLAM
Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, scratch, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

63. Crash-probing agcy. : NTSB
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is responsible for the investigation of major accidents involving transportation. Included in this broad definition is the transportation of fluids in pipelines. The organization is independent in that it has no ties to other government agencies or departments so that its investigations can be viewed as “impartial”. The NTSB also earns a little money for the US as it hires out its investigation teams to countries who don’t have the necessary resources available on their own soil.

Down
6. Game for dummies? : BRIDGE
Four people are needed to play the card game bridge. For each round, one person doesn't participate in the play, and is designated the “dummy”. When playing in my house, he or she goes and gets the drinks ...

7. Spike, as punch : LACE
To lace a drink, is to spike it, by adding perhaps some alcohol or other strong substance.

9. Wide-screen movie format : CINERAMA
Cinerama is a widescreen format that was introduced in some theaters in the fifties. A Cinerama screen is very curved, and it takes three movie projectors operating simultaneously to provide the full image.

12. Hamlet's killer : LAERTES
In William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”, Laertes is the son of Polonius and brother of Ophelia. It is Laertes who kills Hamlet using a poisoned sword..

13. 1950s autos with "horse collar" grilles : EDSELS
The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel, son of Henry Ford. Sadly, the name "Edsel" has become synonymous with "failure", which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

24. Literature Nobelist Morrison : TONI
The writer Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Amongst other things, Morrison is noted for coining the phrase, “our first black President”, a reference to President Bill Clinton.

29. A dance, or a dip : SALSA
The genre of music called salsa is a modern interpretation of various Cuban traditional music styles.

“Salsa” is simply the Spanish for “sauce”.

30. Tree with triangular nuts : BEECH
The small triangular nuts of the beech tree are edible, but are very bitter. The nuts are called "beechmast" or simply "beechnuts".

36. Dim bulb : DODO
The dodo was a direct relative of the pigeon and dove, although the fully-grown dodo was usually three feet tall. One of the reasons the dodo comes to mind when we think of extinction of a species, is that it disappeared not too long ago (last recorded alive in 1681) and humans were the reason for its demise. The dodo lived exclusively on the island of Mauritius and when man arrived, we cut back the forests that were its home. We also introduced domestic animals, such as dogs and pigs, that ransacked the dodo’s nests. The dodo was deemed to be an awkward flightless bird and so the term “dodo” has come to mean a dull-witted person.

37. Sierra and Acadia vehicles : GMCS
GMC is a division of General Motors (GM) established in 1901 that started out as "GMC Truck".

42. Like many Poe tales : MACABRE
Edgar Allan Poe lived a life of many firsts. Poe is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn’t really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious from either drugs or alcohol. Poe died a few days later in hospital at 39 years of age.

44. So-called missing link : APEMAN
The term “missing link” is usually applied to the concept that there existed some form of animal that is a hybrid between apes and humans. The idea that there was some “ape-man” is discounted these days by the scientific community, which now favors the theory of evolution.

48. Dogie catchers : ROPERS
“Dogie” (sometimes “dogy”) is cowboy slang for a motherless calf in a herd.

54. Wooley who sang "The Purple People Eater" : SHEB
As well as having his huge hit in 1958 called "The Purple People Eater", Sheb Wooley played Ben Miller in the movie "High Noon" and co-starred in the TV's "Rawhide", playing the role of Pete Nolan. Wooley also wrote the theme song for the long-running television show "Hee Haw".

56. John Irving title hero : GARP
John Irving's 1978 novel "The World According to Garp" is somewhat biographical. In fact, Irving's mother found parts of the novel difficult to read, recognizing elements of herself in Garp's mother Jenny Fields.

58. C.T.A. transports : ELS
The Chicago "L" is the second largest rapid transit system in the US, with the New York City Subway being the largest. The "L" is also the second oldest, again with the New York City Subway system having the honor of being around the longest. Note that the official nickname for the system is the "L" (originally short for "elevated railroad"), although the term "El" is also in common use (especially in crosswords as "ELS"). The L is managed by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Needing scratching : ITCHY
6. OPEC, e.g. : BLOC
10. Lay off : IDLE
14. J. E. B. Stuart's superior in the Civil War : R E LEE
15. Indian royal : RANI
16. "Honey wine" : MEAD
17. Things that power Teslas : ELECTRIC ENGINES (hiding “ice age”)
20. Criticism, informally : FLAK
21. Laudatory piece : ODE
22. In one piece : ENTIRE
23. SEAL's org. : USN
24. Recess game : TAG
25. Rudy's coach in "Rudy" : ARA
26. N.L. East city : ATL
27. Went bonkers : LOST ONE'S MARBLES (hiding “Stone Age”)
31. Teutonic turndown : NEIN
32. Sharpshooter's asset : AIM
33. Snaky character : ESS
34. Crisis time, for some ... or a hint to each of the circled words : MIDDLE AGE
38. It's an honour: Abbr. : OBE
40. Camera named for a goddess : EOS
41. Year the Korean War began : MCML
44. Lakeside furniture item : ADIRONDACK CHAIR (hiding “Iron Age”)
49. +: Abbr. : POS
50. Cock-a-___ (dog breed) : POO
51. Dorm V.I.P.s : RAS
52. Board hiree, for short : CEO
53. 1974 hit with Spanish lyrics : ERES TU
55. Joe Biden, for 36 yrs. : SEN
56. [OMG!] : GASP!
57. Label rarely seen on silk garments : MACHINE WASHABLE (hiding “new age”)
60. Prelude to a deal : ANTE
61. Simoleon : CLAM
62. Typo, e.g. : ERROR
63. Crash-probing agcy. : NTSB
64. Glimpse : ESPY
65. Gushes : SPEWS

Down
1. Really angry : IREFUL
2. Gets in trouble, in a way : TELLS ON
3. Detox, say : CLEANSE
4. "Darn it!" : HECK!
5. Thus far : YET
6. Game for dummies? : BRIDGE
7. Spike, as punch : LACE
8. Admit ___ : ONE
9. Wide-screen movie format : CINERAMA
10. Words heard in 24-Across, maybe : I’M IT
11. "'Twasn't me" and others : DENIALS
12. Hamlet's killer : LAERTES
13. 1950s autos with "horse collar" grilles : EDSELS
18. Leather often treated to look like morocco : ROAN
19. Make a snarling sound : GNAR
24. Literature Nobelist Morrison : TONI
25. Female pen pal, maybe : AMIE
28. Oven feature : TIMER
29. A dance, or a dip : SALSA
30. Tree with triangular nuts : BEECH
35. Censure publicly : DENOUNCE
36. Dim bulb : DODO
37. Sierra and Acadia vehicles : GMCS
38. Aromatic additive to natural gas : ODORANT
39. Splits in half : BISECTS
42. Like many Poe tales : MACABRE
43. Stays under the radar : LIES LOW
44. So-called missing link : APEMAN
45. ___-Free (contact lens solution) : OPTI
46. Peanut butter choice : CREAMY
47. Jayhawks' home: Abbr. : KANS
48. Dogie catchers : ROPERS
54. Wooley who sang "The Purple People Eater" : SHEB
55. Exchange : SWAP
56. John Irving title hero : GARP
58. C.T.A. transports : ELS
59. Fathers and sons : HES


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2 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

14:26, no errors. I seem to be operating in slow motion today. Not too many missteps, just plodding along like an old tortoise ...

@Carrie ... I had forgotten about the music. For me, it got old real quick and I turned it off. Look for a little gear-wheel icon; clicking on it will get you to a page of options that you can turn on or off as you like.

Jeff said...

Another slow solve. I think I had too much birthday celebration yesterday. Wanted to put "intact" instead of ENTIRE for "In one piece" so that slowed down the NE considerably.

Good Wednesday grid. Nothing too bad about this one other than lack of oxygen in my head...

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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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