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0405-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Apr 17, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Alex Eaton-Salners
THEME: Ñ Ñ Ñ Ñ Ñ
We have five intersecting pairs of words of Spanish origin. Each of those pairs intersects with a letter Ñ, and N with a tilde:
43D. Language that utilizes the letter "ñ" : SPANISH

17A. Tomorrow, in 43-Down : MAÑANA
18A. Mexican president Enrique : PEÑANIETO
37A. Drink often served with a miniature umbrella : PIÑA COLADA
60A. Peppers milder than habaneros : JALAPEÑOS
62A. Warm Pacific current : EL NIÑO
2D. They're broken at parties : PIÑATAS
7D. Bathrooms, in 43-Down : BAÑOS
34D. Year, in 43-Down : AÑO
44D. 43-Down, in 43-Down : ESPAÑOL
53D. Mister, in 43-Down : SEÑOR
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 03s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2

  • BASSOS (basses!!!)
  • MUTOMBO (Mutombe)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. Colorful, warm-blooded fish : OPAH
Opah is the more correct name for the fish also known as the sunfish, moonfish or Jerusalem haddock. I've seen one in the Monterrey Aquarium. It is one huge fish …

18. Mexican president Enrique : PEÑA NIETO
Enrique Peña Nieto is the current President of Mexico, holding office since 2012. President Nieto has struggled with a plummeting approval rating ever since, largely due to a sluggish economy and a weakened Mexican Peso. And then there’s President Trump and “the wall” ...

20. Pavlov with a Nobel : IVAN
Ivan Pavlov was studying gastric function in dogs in the 1890s when he observed that his subject dogs started to salivate before he even presented food to them. This “psychic secretion”, as he called it, interested him so much that he changed the direction of his research and studied the reactions of dogs to various stimuli that were associated with the presentation of food. Famously, he discovered that a dog could be conditioned to respond as though he was about to be fed, just by sensing some stimulus that he had come to associate with food. This might be a bell ringing, an electric shock (poor dog!) or perhaps the waving of a hand. Nowadays we might describe someone as “Pavlov’s Dog” if that person responds just the way he/she has been conditioned to respond, rather than applying critical thinking.

21. Biceps and hamstrings : FLEXORS
The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.

The hamstrings are four tendons connected to three posterior thigh muscles, although the term is sometimes used for the thigh muscles themselves.

23. "Buy It ___" (eBay option) : NOW
eBay is an auction site with a twist. If you don’t want to enter into an auction to purchase an item, there’s a “Buy It Now” price. Agree to pay it, and the item is yours!

28. Persona ___ (welcome guest) : GRATA
A “persona non grata” (plural “personae non gratae”) is someone who is not welcome. The phrase is Latin for “an unacceptable person”. The opposite phrase is “persona grata”, meaning “acceptable person”.

29. 1987-94 "Star Trek" series, briefly : TNG
When Gene Roddenberry first proposed the science fiction series that became “Star Trek”, he marketed it as “Wagon Train to the Stars”, a pioneer-style Western in outer space. In fact his idea was to produce something more like “Gulliver’s Travels”, as he intended to write episodes that were adventure stories on one level, but morality tales on another. Personally I think that he best achieved this model with the spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (TNG). If you watch individual episodes you will see thinly disguised treatments of moral issues such as racism, homosexuality, genocide etc. For my money, “The Next Generation” is the best of the whole franchise …

33. Count in music : BASIE
“Count” Basie’s real given name was “William”. Count Basie perhaps picked up his love for the piano from his mother, who played and gave him his first lessons. Basie’s first paying job as a musician was in a movie theater, where he learned to improvise a suitable accompaniment for the silent movies that were being shown. Basie was given the nickname “Count” as he became lauded as one of the so-called “Jazz royalty”. Others so honored are Nat “King” Cole and Duke Ellington.

37. Drink often served with a miniature umbrella : PIÑA COLADA
“Piña colada” is a Spanish term which translates into "strained pineapple". The Piña colada cocktail was introduced in the Caribe Hilton San Juan in 1954, and since 1978 it has been the official beverage of Puerto Rico. Yum …

42. Prefix with violet or violent : ULTRA-
At either end of the visible light spectrum are the invisible forms of radiation known as infrared (IR) light and ultraviolet (UV) light. IR light lies just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum, and UV light lie just below the violet end.

48. Cola wars competitor : PEPSI
“Cola Wars” is the phrase used to describe the competing marketing campaigns of Coca Cola and PepsiCo. Coke is winning …

50. Naps south of the border : SIESTAS
We use the word “siesta” to describe a short nap in the early afternoon, taking the word from the Spanish. In turn, the Spanish word is derived from the Latin “hora sexta” meaning “the sixth hour”. The idea is that the nap is taken at “the sixth hour” after dawn.

57. Drink made from frozen grapes : ICE WINE
Ice wine is a sweet, dessert wine that is produced using grapes that have frozen on the vine. The grapes must be harvested very quickly and pressed in a cold environment while still frozen. Because it is only the water in the grapes that freezes, the juice from the pressing is more highly concentrated, containing more sugar and other dissolved solids. Most of the world supply of ice wine comes from Canada and Germany.

60. Peppers milder than habaneros : JALAPEÑOS
The jalapeño is a chili pepper, and a favorite of mine. The pepper’s name translates from Spanish as “from Xalapa”. Xalapa (also “Jalapa”) is the capital of the Mexican state of Veracruz, and the traditional origin of the jalapeño pepper.

The habanero chili has a very intense flavor. Interestingly, the correct spelling of the chili’s name is “habanero”, although in English we try to be clever and add a tilde making it “habañero”, which isn’t right at all …

62. Warm Pacific current : EL NIÑO
When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more that half a degree centigrade, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for "the boy" and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

69. Roald who wrote "Fantastic Mr. Fox" : DAHL
“Fantastic Mr. Fox” is a children’s novel by Roald Dahl. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” was adapted into a 2006 animated film directed by Wes Anderson.

Down
2. They're broken at parties : PIÑATAS
Piñatas originated in Mexico, probably among the Aztecs or Mayans. Today piñatas are usually made from cardboard that is brightly decorated with papier-mâché. Traditionally a piñata was made out of a clay pot, adorned with feathers and ribbons and filled with small treasures. During religious ceremonies the clay pots would be suspended and broken open so that the contents would spill out onto the ground at the feet of a god as an offering.

4. Highest point value for a Scrabble tile : TEN
The game of Scrabble has been produced in many international versions, and each of these editions has its own tile distribution to suit the local language. For example, in English we have two tiles worth ten points: one “Q” and one “Z”. If you play the game in French then there are five tiles worth ten points: one “K”, one “W”, one “X”, one “Y” and one “Z”.

5. He placed the sun at the center of the universe : COPERNICUS
Nicolaus Copernicus was an astronomer active during the Renaissance. Copernicus was the first person to propose that the Earth and the planets revolved around the Sun.

9. Air pump fig. : PSI
Pounds Per Square Inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

11. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Dikembe ___ : MUTOMBO
Dikembe Mutombo is an American former NBA player who moved to the US from the Republic of the Congo at the age of the 21. Before joining the NBA, Mutombo started his basketball career playing with the Georgetown Hoyas.

13. Tiny bit : SMIDGE
Our word “smidgen” (sometimes shortened to “smidge”) is used to describe a small amount. The term might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or "a small insignificant person".

19. "Crypto City" at Ft. Meade : NSA
Fort George G. Meade is located near Odenton, Maryland and is most famous these days as the location of the headquarters of the National Security Agency (NSA).

27. Parks of the civil rights movement : ROSA
Rosa Parks was one of a few brave women in days gone by who refused to give up their seats on a bus to white women. It was the stand taken by Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955 that sparked the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott. President Clinton presented Ms. Parks with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996. When she died in 2005, Rosa Parks became the first ever woman to have her body lie in honor in the US Capitol Rotunda.

35. "Cheers" setting : BAR
The wonderful sitcom “Cheers” ran for eleven seasons on NBC, from 1982 to 1993. “Cheers” spawned an equally successful spin-off show called “Frasier”, which also ran for eleven seasons and often featured guest appearances of characters from the original “Cheers”. The Cheers bar was styled on the Bull & Finch Pub in Boston (in which I’ve had a pint of Guinness two!). The owner of the Bill & Finch cleverly agreed to the initial interior and exterior shots, charging only one dollar. Since then he has made millions from selling “Cheers” memorabilia, and also from increased trade.

37. Okra units : PODS
The plant known as okra is mainly grown for it edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

38. Forrest Gump's C.O. : LT DAN
Actor Gary Sinise was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing Lieutenant Dan Taylor in the 1994 film "Forrest Gump". Senise then played the lead in television's "CSI: NY" starting in 2004. Senise was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bush for his work helping Iraqi school children as well as his work with the USO.

The epic 1994 movie “Forrest Gump” is based on a 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. Groom said that he had envisioned John Goodman playing the title role, and not Tom Hanks.

40. Pacific battle site of 1945 : OKINAWA
The bloodiest battle in the whole of WWII was the amphibious assault of the Okinawa Islands in 1945. About 100,000 Japanese soldiers died, with American casualties recorded at 50,000. Additionally, 100,000 civilians were killed in action, wounded or committed suicide. The large island of Okinawa was just 340 miles from Japan, and a major objective for the allies as it could be used for launching air assaults on the mainland. However, just a few weeks after Okinawa was taken, the war ended following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

45. One of the eight in a V-8 : PISTON
The engine known as a V8 is configured with two rows of four cylinders mounted on a crankcase. The rows of cylinders are offset from each other around the crankshaft at right angles, or perhaps a little less. This arrangement of eight cylinders in a V-shape gives rise to the name “V8”.

52. Northeast Corridor express train : ACELA
The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, getting up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Introduced in 2000, the brand name "Acela" was created to evoke "acceleration" and "excellence".

58. "Wow!," in Internet-speak : WOOT!
Apparently “woot” is computer slang, an expression of excitement of joy. It has been suggested that the term comes from the game “Dungeons and Dragons”, and is a contraction of “wow, loot”. Unknown to me outside of crosswords …

63. Tupperware topper : LID
Back in the 1930s, Earl Tupper was working at the DuPont Chemical Company, and from DuPont obtained inflexible pieces of polyethylene slag. Tupper purified the slag and shaped it into unbreakable containers. He added airtight lids with a “burping seal”, which were provided tight seals similar to that provided by the lids on paint cans. He called his new product Tupperware.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Rod at a pig roast : SPIT
5. Vehicles with medallions : CABS
9. Partner of circumstance : POMP
13. Result of a sock in the eye : SHINER
15. Colorful, warm-blooded fish : OPAH
16. Cowboy boot accessory : SPUR
17. Tomorrow, in 43-Down : MAÑANA
18. Mexican president Enrique : PEÑA NIETO
20. Pavlov with a Nobel : IVAN
21. Biceps and hamstrings : FLEXORS
23. "Buy It ___" (eBay option) : NOW
24. Word after motion or lie : DETECTOR
26. "Puh-lease!" : SPARE ME!
28. Persona ___ (welcome guest) : GRATA
29. 1987-94 "Star Trek" series, briefly : TNG
31. Eyes, to bards : ORBS
32. Pothook shape : ESS
33. Count in music : BASIE
35. Lowest-voiced choir members : BASSOS
37. Drink often served with a miniature umbrella : PIÑA COLADA
39. Vehement rejection : NO NO NO!
42. Prefix with violet or violent : ULTRA-
43. Mo. when the N.F.L. season starts : SEP
46. Gave the go-ahead : OKED
47. Outfield-patching need : SOD
48. Cola wars competitor : PEPSI
50. Naps south of the border : SIESTAS
54. Devices that prevent fumes from escaping : GAS TRAPS
56. Many an eligible receiver : END
57. Drink made from frozen grapes : ICE WINE
59. ___ the finish (having potential to win) : IN AT
60. Peppers milder than habaneros : JALAPEÑOS
62. Warm Pacific current : EL NIÑO
64. Is in the hole : OWES
65. Ill-gotten goods : LOOT
66. Attaches, as a carnation : PINS ON
67. Soak up the sun : BASK
68. Theater, dance, etc. : ARTS
69. Roald who wrote "Fantastic Mr. Fox" : DAHL

Down
1. Bic or Gillette offerings : SHAVERS
2. They're broken at parties : PIÑATAS
3. How butterflies might be caught : IN A NET
4. Highest point value for a Scrabble tile : TEN
5. He placed the sun at the center of the universe : COPERNICUS
6. Tiptop : APEX
7. Bathrooms, in 43-Down : BAÑOS
8. Tuned too high : SHARP
9. Air pump fig. : PSI
10. Beer drinkers' utensils : OPENERS
11. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Dikembe ___ : MUTOMBO
12. Exceptional ability : PROWESS
13. Tiny bit : SMIDGE
14. Log craft : RAFT
19. "Crypto City" at Ft. Meade : NSA
22. "___ luck!" : LOTSA
25. Log construction : CABIN
27. Parks of the civil rights movement : ROSA
30. Rock scientists : GEOLOGISTS
34. Year, in 43-Down : AÑO
35. "Cheers" setting : BAR
36. Change with the times : ADAPT
37. Okra units : PODS
38. Forrest Gump's C.O. : LT DAN
39. Profile-altering plastic surgery : NOSE JOB
40. Pacific battle site of 1945 : OKINAWA
41. Parts of hypodermics : NEEDLES
43. Language that utilizes the letter "ñ" : SPANISH
44. 43-Down, in 43-Down : ESPAÑOL
45. One of the eight in a V-8 : PISTON
49. Greek poet who wrote "The Distaff" : ERINNA
51. Message left on a hotline, perhaps : TIP
52. Northeast Corridor express train : ACELA
53. Mister, in 43-Down : SEÑOR
55. Ooze : SEEP
58. "Wow!," in Internet-speak : WOOT!
61. Set, as a price : ASK
63. Tupperware topper : LID


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16 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

8:51, no errors. Quite a number of little missteps. I might have made the same error as Bill, but I remembered Dikembe Mutombo from his days with the Denver Nuggets. Now that's a first: me being bailed out by a sports reference!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. WEB, do you still print the answers to the syndicated nyt as seen in the Seattle Times? Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi again! I just found it! What a great service you provide here, thank you so much for your time

Jeff said...

Very fast solve by my Wednesday standards. 10:26. I rounded that down to a flat 10 minutes so then I beat Bill by 3 seconds. My game my rules :)

Some day I might log all of this info, but my solving times around mid or late afternoon are much faster in general than morning or late night solves.

Helps that I speak Spanish on a daily basis in my work and personal life as well as lived in Mexico City for a time. I was so dismissive of the Spanish words that I never realized that was indeed the theme...

I watched my St. Louis Cardinals win the 2006 World Series while seated in the corner of The Bull and Finch aka Cheers. Quite a memory.

Fun one

Best -

Douglas McFarlane said...

Fun puzzle.. Perhaps more relevant for cinco de Mayo than cinco de Abril. However this ano It falls on a Friday. Not a Friday puzzle. Got tired of asking Siri the next time May 5 falls on a Wednesday ( learned about Great Falls however)j Seems like a few years away.

Anonymous said...

11Down explanation contains a typo. "... at the age of the US [sic].

Bill Butler said...

@Anonymous
Thanks for catching that typo, and for taking the time to point it out. I appreciate it!

BruceB said...

9:49, no errors. The crosses prevented me misspelling MUTOMBO, which I thought was Motumbo or Mutumbo. At 7'2", Mutombo was a force to be reckoned with in both college and the NBA.

Dale Stewart said...

I missed the same letter as Bill in the BASSOS/MUTOMBE cross thus counting as two mistakes. Otherwise, a nice puzzle that I enjoyed. It helps to know a little Spanish.

Tom M. said...

First year Spanish until JALOPENaS/WaOT cross, the latter being the language I'm more deficient in.

Anonymous said...

8:44, and 2 errors where PENONIETO meets NSA. The down clue just meant nothing at all to me, it might as well have been spanish. Similarly not up with the names of foreign heads of states, since it takes all my attention to mind the one we've got in the USA at the moment.

Pleasantly surprised that I bested Bills time for a second consecutive day!

Anonymous said...

PEN*A*NIETO, that is.

Glenn said...

0 errors, 14 minutes.

Craig F said...

How is "turned too high" sharp? Doesn't even make sense.

Dale Stewart said...

Craig F., this clue must be referring to a stringed musical instrument. Guitar strings, for example, use tuning pegs to either raise or lower the pitch of the note produced. If you tighten the string beyond what the proper tone should be then you have "turned the peg too high". In music terminology this sound would be called "sharp". If the peg has not been turned tight enough yet to reach up to the proper pitch then that sound is called "flat". Admittedly, the clue is badly worded but I don't know of any other meaning that it could have.

BruceB said...

Craig F & Dale Stewart: after your comments I thought I had misread the clue, since I read the clue as: "Tuned too high", not "Turned too high". But, upon rereading, the clue is 'tuned' not 'turned'.

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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.

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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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