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0411-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Apr 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: Zachary Spitz & Diane Roseman
THEME: United Nations
Each of today’s themed answers are two UNITED NATIONS, the names of two countries that have been overlapped:
49A. Organization founded in 1945 ... or a literal description of 20-, 24- and 44-Across? : UNITED NATIONS

20A. Indian Ocean bloc? : PAKISTANZANIA (Pakistan & Tanzania)
24A. Central American bloc? : NICARAGUATEMALA (Nicaragua & Guatemala)
44A. Western European bloc? : SWITZERLANDORRA (Switzerland & Andorra)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 52s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. All-knowing sort : SWAMI
A swami is a religious teacher in the Hindu tradition. The word “swami” can also mean “husband” in the Bengali and Malay languages.

14. ___ Morita, co-founder of Sony : AKIO
Sony was founded by Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka as Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). The two partners met in the Japanese Navy during WWII.

16. Kind of bond in chemistry : IONIC
Chemical compounds consist of atoms that are attracted to each other in “chemical bonds”. Chemical bonds are primarily of two types: bonds resulting from electrostatic attraction between atoms with opposite charges (ionic and metallic bonds), and bonds formed through the sharing of electrons (covalent bonds).

17. What Thoreau lived in at Walden Pond : SECLUSION
Henry David Thoreau is a personal hero of mine. Thoreau is best known for his book called “Walden” published in 1854. The book outlines his philosophy of life and details his experiences living in a cabin near Walden Pond just outside Concord, Massachusetts.

20. Indian Ocean bloc? : PAKISTANZANIA (Pakistan & Tanzania)
The suffix “-stan” in many place names is Persian for “place of”. One example is “Pakistan”, the Place of the Pure. “Pakistan” is a relatively recent name, first coined in 1933. It comes from the abbreviation PAKSTAN, standing for Punjab - Afghan Province - Kashmir - Sindh - BaluchisTAN, all regions in the north of India. The “I” was added to Pakistan to make it easier to pronounce, and to fit the translation “Land of the Pure”.

Zanzibar is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean located just 20 miles or so off the east coast of Africa. The largest island in the group is Unguja, which is often referred to informally as “Zanzibar”. When Zanzibar merged with Tanganyika in 1964, the resulting state was named the United Republic of Tanzania, with "Tanzania" being a portmanteau of "Zanzibar" and "Tanganyika". The islands of Zanzibar, along with the Tanzania’s Mafia Island, are collectively referred to as the Spice Islands (not to be confused with the Spice Islands in Indonesia).

23. Measurements of 60-Acrosses : PHS
(60A. Alkali neutralizer : ACID)
As we all recall from chemistry class, a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Anything less than 7 is an acid, and anything above 7 is a base.

24. Central American bloc? : NICARAGUATEMALA (Nicaragua & Guatemala)
Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, lying between Honduras to the north, and Costa Rica to the south. The etymology of the name “Nicaragua” is not very certain. One suggestion is that it is a melding of the name “Nicarao” and “agua”, the Spanish for “water”. Nicarao was the name of the largest city in the area when the Spanish arrived, and it is thought that “agua” refers to the two large lakes: Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua.

Guatemala in Central America became independent from Spain in 1821, first becoming part of the Mexican Empire, and then completely independent two years later.

35. Steel support for concrete : REBAR
A steel bar or mesh that is used to reinforce concrete is called “rebar”, short for “reinforcing bar”.

39. Bill who popularizes science : NYE
That would be “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. Bill’s show ran on PBS for four years from 1993-97.

42. Land of Donegal and Dingle Bay : EIRE
Donegal is the name of the most northerly county in Ireland, and is also the name of the town that gave the county its name. “Donegal” is the anglicized form of the Irish “Dún na nGall” meaning “fort of the foreigners”. County Donegal is a really beautiful part of the country …

Dingle Bay is a bay in County Kerry, in the southwest of Ireland. It was the first European feature encountered by Charles Lindbergh when he made the first transatlantic flight in 1927 in the Spirit of St. Louis.

43. Paula of "Paula's Home Cooking" : DEEN
Paula Deen is a celebrity chef from Savannah, Georgia who is noted for her Southern cooking. Deen has been criticized for the amount of salt, fat and sugar in her recipes. The criticism became even more intense when Deen disclosed that she herself has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

44. Western European bloc? : SWITZERLANDORRA (Switzerland & Andorra)
Switzerland is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is a country comprising four distinct linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Switzerland is a very developed nation, and has the highest nominal wealth per adult in the world. Having visited, I can attest to the steep prices encountered by tourists …

Andorra is a small principality nestled in the Pyrenees between France and Spain. Andorra is a very prosperous country, mainly due to its status as a tax haven and thriving tourist industry. We used help out the tourist industry there in the winters, enjoying a couple of skiing holidays there. Happy memories …

47. Multivolume ref. : OED
Oxford English Dictionary (OED)

48. Scottish cap : TAM
A tam o'shanter is a man's cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. "Tams" were originally all blue (and called "blue bonnets") but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem "Tam O'Shanter".

49. Organization founded in 1945 ... or a literal description of 20-, 24- and 44-Across? : UNITED NATIONS
The Charter of the United Nations was signed by the member states in San Francisco in June 1945 and came into force on 24 October 1945. October 24 was chosen as United Nations Day in 1947. In 1971 the United Nations further resolved to make UN Day a public holiday in all UN member states.

56. 2008 movie with the line "I will find you, and I will kill you" : TAKEN
“Taken” is a fabulous thriller movie released in 2008. It stars Liam Neeson as kind of an older James Bond-ish character, and he is great in the role. “Taken 2” followed in 2012 and it wasn’t a bad sequel, I must say. 2014’s “Taken 3” was just “okay” …

60. Alkali neutralizer : ACID
The “opposite” of an acid is a base. Acids turn litmus paper red, and bases turn it blue. Acids and bases react with each other to form salts. An important subset of the chemicals called bases are the alkalis, the hydroxides of the alkali metals and of ammonium. The term “alkali” is sometimes used interchangeably with “base”, especially if that base is readily soluble in water.

61. Mishmash : OLIO
“Olio” is a term meaning a hodgepodge or a mixture, coming from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish "olla", the clay pot used for cooking.

63. Motto for a modern risk-taker, for short : YOLO
You only live once (YOLO)

Down
2. Furnishings retailer with gigantic stores : IKEA
Pepé Le Pew is a very likeable cartoon character from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series. Pepé is a French skunk, first introduced way back in 1945. He is always thinking of "l'amour" and chases the lady skunks, or a black cat with a white stripe accidently painted down her back.

6. Inter ___ : ALIA
“Inter alia” is Latin for "among other things".

7. Apollo program destination : MOON
The Apollo program is very much associated with President Kennedy, as he gave NASA the challenge to land men on the moon by the end of the sixties. However, the Apollo program was conceived during the Eisenhower administration as a follow-up to Project Mercury that put the first Americans in space.

11. Elsa's younger sister in "Frozen" : ANNA
“Frozen" is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”.

12. Russian space station : MIR
The Russian Mir Space Station was a remarkably successful project, with the station still holding the record for the longest continuous manned presence in space, at just under ten years. Towards the end of the space station’s life however, the years began to take their toll. There was a dangerous fire, multiple system failures, and a collision with a resupply ship. The Russian commitment to the International Space Station drained funds for repairs, so Mir was allowed to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up in 2001.

24. Christmas carols : NOELS
“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, ultimately coming from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). “Noel” has come to be used as an alternative name for a Christmas carol.

26. Plants with needles : CACTI
The cactus (plural “cacti”) is a member of a family plants that are particularly well-adapted to extremely dry environments. Almost all cacti are native to the Americas, although some succulent plants from the old world are similar in appearance and are often mislabeled as “cacti”.

29. Director Kurosawa : AKIRA
Akira Kurosawa was an Oscar-winning Japanese film director. His most famous movie to us in the West has to be "The Seven Samurai", the inspiration for "The Magnificent Seven" starring Yul Brynner, and indeed a basis for "Star Wars: The Clone Wars".

30. Li'l ___ : ABNER
“Li’l Abner” was created and drawn by Al Capp for over 43 years starting in 1934. Al Capp stopped producing the strip in 1977, largely due to illness (he died from emphysema two years later). As the strip finished up, he went so far as to apologize to his long-standing fans, saying that he should have stopped 3-4 years earlier as he felt that the quality of his work had gone down in those latter years. The comic strip character’s full name is “Li’l Abner Yokum”.

31. Sauce, cheese or noodles, in lasagna : LAYER
Lasagna was originally the name of a cooking pot, but it came to mean a dish that was cooked in it. Lasagna also became the name of the flat noodle used in the dish. If you order lasagna on the other side of the Atlantic, you’ll notice the “lasagne” spelling, the plural of “lasagna”. The plural is used as there is more than one layer of pasta in the dish.

32. Gladiatorial combat site : ARENA
The term “gladiator” means “swordsman”, coming from “gladius”, the Latin word for “sword”.

41. High achievers? : STONERS
“Stoner” is a slang term for someone who is habitually intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.

43. Pizza company with a game piece logo : DOMINO’S
Domino's Pizza started out as DomiNick's, a pizza store in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The store was purchased by Dominic's founder Tom Monaghan in 1960, along with his brother. Tom bought out his brother a few months later, for the price of a used VW! The store was renamed Domino's Pizza in 1965, and two years later the first franchise store was opened. There are now over 8,000 stores worldwide, including one in Tallaght in Ireland, the town where I lived for many years in my youth. That Tallaght store became the first Domino's outlet in the world to hit a turnover of $3 million a year. We Irish obviously have terrible taste when it comes to pizza …

45. Summer setting in D.C. : EDT
Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

49. Island instruments, for short : UKES
The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

50. Website with the heading "Recently Viewed Items" : EBAY
There have been some notable things sold on eBay over the years. For example:
  • Ad space on a guy’s forehead, in the form of a temporary tattoo - $37,375
  • William Shatner’s kidney stone - $25,000
  • A cornflake shaped like Illinois - $1,350
  • A single corn flake - $1.63
  • A box of 10 Twinkies - $59.99
  • The original Hollywood sign - $450,400
  • The meaning of life - $3.26

51. Style of the Chrysler Building, informally : DECO
The Chrysler Building in Manhattan is a magnificent Art Deco style structure that was opened in 1930. Standing at over 1,000 feet tall, it was the tallest building in the world for almost a year, until the Empire State Building was completed in 1931. The building was constructed for use of the Chrysler Corporation, but the company never owned it. The car manufacturer’s founder decided to pay for the Chrysler Building out if his personal wealth, so that he could pass it on to his children.

54. Ruhr refusal : NEIN
The Ruhr is a large urban area in western Germany. The area is heavily populated, and is the fifth largest urban area in the whole of Europe, after Istanbul, Moscow, London and Paris. The Ruhr became heavily industrialized due to its large deposits of coal. By 1850, the area contained nearly 300 operating coal mines. Any coal deposits remaining in the area today are too expensive to exploit.

56. Precursor of Diet Coke : TAB
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.

Diet Coke is a sugar-free version of Coca Cola that was introduced back in 1982. If you drink Diet Coke around the world, you’ll receive a slightly different drink depending on where you are. Various artificial sweeteners are banned as health risks in various countries, so Coke varies its formulation to comply with local laws.

57. Director DuVernay of "Selma" : AVA
Ava DuVernay is a filmmaker who became the first African American woman to win the Best Director Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, a feat she achieved in 2012 for her feature film “Middle of Nowhere”. “Middle of Nowhere” tells the story of a woman who drops out of medical school to focus on husband when he is sentenced to 8 years in prison. DuVernay also directed the 2014 film “Selma”, which was centered on the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Something to make before blowing out the birthday candles : WISH
5. Staple of Greek cuisine : LAMB
9. All-knowing sort : SWAMI
14. ___ Morita, co-founder of Sony : AKIO
15. ___ vera : ALOE
16. Kind of bond in chemistry : IONIC
17. What Thoreau lived in at Walden Pond : SECLUSION
19. Romance or horror : GENRE
20. Indian Ocean bloc? : PAKISTANZANIA (Pakistan & Tanzania)
22. Hibernation station : DEN
23. Measurements of 60-Acrosses : PHS
24. Central American bloc? : NICARAGUATEMALA (Nicaragua & Guatemala)
33. "I'm cool with that" : OKAY
34. Brother in an order : MONK
35. Steel support for concrete : REBAR
36. Letter insert: Abbr. : ENC
37. Non-Jew : GENTILE
39. Bill who popularizes science : NYE
40. Many, colloquially : LOTSA
42. Land of Donegal and Dingle Bay : EIRE
43. Paula of "Paula's Home Cooking" : DEEN
44. Western European bloc? : SWITZERLANDORRA (Switzerland & Andorra)
47. Multivolume ref. : OED
48. Scottish cap : TAM
49. Organization founded in 1945 ... or a literal description of 20-, 24- and 44-Across? : UNITED NATIONS
56. 2008 movie with the line "I will find you, and I will kill you" : TAKEN
58. Softening-up words before a request : BE AN ANGEL ...
59. Prevent, as disaster : AVERT
60. Alkali neutralizer : ACID
61. Mishmash : OLIO
62. ___ profundo (lowest vocal range) : BASSO
63. Motto for a modern risk-taker, for short : YOLO
64. Email folder : SENT

Down
1. Insect with a hanging nest : WASP
2. Furnishings retailer with gigantic stores : IKEA
3. "Awesome!" : SICK!
4. Office-closing time : HOLIDAY
5. What phone books are alphabetized by : LAST NAME
6. Inter ___ : ALIA
7. Apollo program destination : MOON
8. Mercedes-___ : BENZ
9. Words next to a dotted line : SIGN HERE
10. Cry of lament : WOE IS ME!
11. Elsa's younger sister in "Frozen" : ANNA
12. Russian space station : MIR
13. Diamonds, slangily : ICE
18. ___ interface : USER
21. Fitting : APT
24. Christmas carols : NOELS
25. "You didn't have to tell me" : I KNOW
26. Plants with needles : CACTI
27. Dead duck : GONER
28. "___ next time!" : UNTIL
29. Director Kurosawa : AKIRA
30. Li'l ___ : ABNER
31. Sauce, cheese or noodles, in lasagna : LAYER
32. Gladiatorial combat site : ARENA
37. Examine, as a crystal ball : GAZE INTO
38. Gradually slowing, in music : LENTANDO
41. High achievers? : STONERS
43. Pizza company with a game piece logo : DOMINO’S
45. Summer setting in D.C. : EDT
46. Spreadsheet figures : DATA
49. Island instruments, for short : UKES
50. Website with the heading "Recently Viewed Items" : EBAY
51. Style of the Chrysler Building, informally : DECO
52. It gets hit on the head : NAIL
53. Eye amorously : OGLE
54. Ruhr refusal : NEIN
55. Opening on a schedule : SLOT
56. Precursor of Diet Coke : TAB
57. Director DuVernay of "Selma" : AVA


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2 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

8:31, no errors. Interesting gimmick.

Jeff said...

Fun one. Did this last night trying to stay awake until bedtime. Took me a while to get the theme. Got YOLO via crosses, but I didn't understand it until I came to the blog.

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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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