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0418-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Apr 17, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Haight
THEME: Anagram? It’s Real!
Today’s themed answers are different anagrams made from the letters I-T-S-R-E-A-L. In fact, the whole grid uses those seven letters exclusively for all answers:
20A. Practical sort ... or anagram #1 of the only seven letters used to make this puzzle : REALIST
29A. Big celeb ... or anagram #2 : A-LISTER
42A. Sells (for) ... or anagram #3 : RETAILS
50A. More coarse ... or anagram #4 : SALTIER
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 21s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Suffix with bachelor : -ETTE
Back where I come from, bachelor parties are called stag parties, and bachelorette parties are hen parties.

13. Pinball game ender : TILT
In a game of pinball, some players get an irresistible urge to “nudge” the machine . Such a nudge, a movement of the machine designed to influence the path taken by the ball, is called a “tilt”. Most pinball machines have sensors designed to detect a tilt, and when activated a “tilt” warning light comes on and the player’s controls are temporarily disabled.

14. Keisters : REARS
Back in the early 1900s a “keister” was a safe or a strongbox. It has been suggested that this term was then used as slang by pickpockets for the rear trouser pocket in which one might keep a wallet. From this usage, keister appeared as a slang term for the buttocks in the early 1930s.

16. Mozart's "Se vuol ballare," for one : ARIA
"Se vuol ballare" is an aria from the opera “The Marriage of Figaro” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Figaro is the title character in at least two operas: "The Barber of Seville" by Rossini, and "The Marriage of Figaro" by Mozart. The two storylines are based on plays by Pierre Beaumarchais, with one basically being a sequel to the other.

18. Very, in music : ASSAI
The Italian term “assai” translates as “very”, and is used in music with the same meaning.

22. Ballpark gates : STILES
A stile is a structure allowing people to pass over or through a fence, while at the same time preventing livestock from escaping. The derivative term “turnstile” describes a revolving structure in a wall or fence that allows the controlled passage of people.

24. Times when the French go en vacances : ETES
In French, “été” (summer) is a common time to go “en vacances” (on vacation).

25. Chasing Moby Dick, say : ASEA
The full title of Herman Melville’s novel is “Moby-Dick; or, The Whale”. Note that the convention is to hyphenate “Moby-Dick” in the title, as that was how the book was first published, in 1851. However, there is no hyphen in the name of the whale “Moby Dick” as reproduced throughout the text.

26. Brightest 1-Down in Aquila : ALTAIR
(1D. Sky light : STAR)
The name of the constellation Aquila is Latin for “eagle”. The brightest star in Aquila is Altair. The name “Altair” comes from the Arabic “al-nasr al-tair” meaning “the flying eagle”.

32. Bollywood wraps : SARIS
“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”.

34. One of a pair of map coordinates: Abbr. : LAT
Lines of latitude are the imaginary horizontal lines surrounding the planet. The most "important" lines of latitude are, from north to south:
  • Arctic Circle
  • Tropic of Cancer
  • Equator
  • Tropic of Capricorn
  • Antarctic Circle

37. Tennis great Monica : SELES
Monica Seles has a Hungarian name as she was born to Hungarian parents, in former Yugoslavia. Seles was the World No. 1 professional tennis player in 1991 and 1992 before being forced from the sport when she was stabbed by a spectator at a match in 1993. She did return to the game two years later, but never achieved the same level of success.

38. Meter maid of song : RITA
“Lovely Rita” is a Beatles song on the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album. When the album was released in 1967, the term “meter maid” wasn’t used in the UK, although it was a slang term used in the US. The song helped spread the usage of “meter maid” all around the English-speaking world. Apparently the inspiration for the song was McCartney getting a parking ticket one day outside the Abbey Road Studios. He accepted the ticket with good grace, from a warden named Meta Davis. McCartney felt that Meta “looked like a Rita”, so that was the name she was given in the song.

39. Asian new year : TET
The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning "Feast of the First Morning", with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

40. Animals rounded up in a roundup : 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”.

45. The black square chunk in front of 55-, 60- and 63-Across, and others : ELLS
The reference here is to some of the black squares in the grid that are arranged in the shape of letters L (ell).

46. Actor Morales : ESAI
The actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie "La Bamba", which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.

54. Social reformer Jacob : RIIS
Jacob Riis is famous for his photographs and newspaper articles that highlighted the plight of the impoverished in New York City. He wrote “How the Other Half Lives”, originally an extensive article that appeared in “Scribner’s Magazine” at Christmas 1889. The article had such an impact that Riis was commissioned to expand it into a book, which was published the following year.

55. Californie and others : ETATS
In French, “Californie” (California) is an “état” (state).

58. "Dies ___" : IRAE
“Dies Irae” is Latin for “Day of Wrath”. It is the name of a famous melody in Gregorian Chant, one that is often used as part of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.

59. Vogue rival : ELLE
"Elle" magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. "Elle" is the French word for "she". “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

60. U. S. Grant rival : RE LEE
Robert E. Lee is renowned as a southern officer in the Civil War. Lee was a somewhat reluctant participant in the war in that he opposed the secession of his home state of Virginia from the Union. At the beginning of the war, President Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the whole Union Army but he declined, choosing instead to stay loyal to his home state. During the Civil War, Lee’s men referred to him affectionately as “Marse Robert”, with “marse” being slang for “master”.

61. "He'd fly through the air with the greatest of ___" (old song lyric) : EASE
He'd fly through the air with the greatest of ease,
That daring young man on the flying trapeze.
This is the chorus of the popular song “The Flying Trapeze” that was first published in 1867. The song is about flying trapeze circus performer Jules Léotard. As an aside, the trapeze artist’s name is now used for one-piece gymwear called a leotard, an article of clothing that Léotard popularized.

63. "___ we forget ..." : LEST
“Lest we forget” is an oft-quoted phrase, one that comes from a poem by Rudyard Kipling called “Recessional”. Kipling wrote the piece on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897 and used it to express sadness at the waning of the British Empire. The phrase “lest we forget” is used in this context, a warning that the empire will decline. Ever since WWI we’ve been using the words on memorials as a plea not forget the sacrifices made by others in the past.

64. Concordes, for short : SSTS
The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Concorde was developed and produced under an Anglo-French treaty by France’s Aérospatiale and the UK’s British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). Concordes were mainly operated by Air France and British Airways, with both companies buying the planes with substantial subsidies from the French and British governments. The final Concorde flight was a British Airways plane that landed in the UK on 26 November 2003.

Down
2. Blarney Stone land : EIRE
Blarney is a town in County Cork in the south of Ireland. Blarney is home to Blarney Castle, and inside the castle is the legendary Blarney Stone. "Kissing the Blarney Stone" is a ritual engaged in by oh so many tourists (indeed, I've done it myself!), but it's not a simple process. The stone is embedded in the wall of the castle, and in order to kiss it you have to sit on the edge of the parapet and lean way backwards so that your head is some two feet below your body. There is a staff member there to help you and make sure you don't fall. The Blarney Stone has been labelled as the world's most unhygienic tourist attraction! But once you've kissed it, supposedly you are endowed with the "gift of the gab", the ability to talk eloquently and perhaps deceptively without offending. The term “blarney” has come to mean flattering and deceptive talk.

3. Zeno's home : ELEA
Zeno of Elea was a Greek philosopher who lived in Elea, a Greek colony in Southern Italy. Zeno is famous for his “paradoxes”, a set of problems that really make you think! In the problem known as “Achilles and the Tortoise”, Zeno tells us that Achilles races a tortoise, giving the tortoise a head start (of say 100 meters). By the time Achilles reaches the starting point of the tortoise, the tortoise will have moved on, albeit only a small distance. Achilles then sets his sights on the tortoise’s new position and runs to it. Again the tortoise has moved ahead a little. Achilles keeps on moving to the tortoise’s new position but can never actually catch his slower rival. Or can he …?

5. Pink Pearl, for one : ERASER
Pink Pearl is a brandname of eraser that is produced by the Paper Mate division of Newell Rubbermaid.

6. Things graded by 7-Down : TESTS
7. See 6-Down : TAS
Teaching Assistants (TAs)

8. 1970s political cause, for short : ERA
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was written by the American suffragist leader, Alice Paul. Although Paul was successful in her campaign to get passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution (guaranteeing voting rights regardless of sex), her 1923 Equal Rights Amendment didn't make it to the Senate floor until 1972. The amendment was passed by the Senate, and then headed to the state legislatures for the required ratification. 38 states had to approve the legislation for the amendment to be adopted, but only 35 states voted in favor before the deadline. So the amendment is still pending, although about half of the fifty states have adopted the ERA into their state constitutions.

9. It may be thrown from a horse : LARIAT
Our word “lariat” comes from the Spanish “la reater” meaning “the rope”.

10. ___ Sea (former fourth-largest lake in the world) : ARAL
The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet Union irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

11. Babylon, for the ancient Hanging Gardens : SITE
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Unlike the other “Wonders”, the Hanging Gardens may only have existed in legend. The Gardens were supposedly constructed in Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar II for his wife Amytis. Amytis was from Media and she was homesick, so her husband created an elaborate garden in Babylon that was replete with plants from homeland.

23. Thomas Hardy heroine : TESS
The full name of Thomas Hardy's 1891 novel is "Tess of the d'Urbervilles” A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented". When it was originally published, "Tess ..." received very mixed reviews, largely because it addressed some difficult sexual themes including rape, and sexual double standards (attitudes towards men vs women). I suppose the most celebrated screen adaptation is Roman Polanski's "Tess" released in 1979. Polanski apparently made "Tess" because his wife, Sharon Tate, gave him Hardy's novel as her last act before she was murdered by the Manson family. There is a dedication at the beginning of the movie that just says "To Sharon".

29. Roger formerly of Fox News : AILES
Roger Ailes founded Fox News in 1996, and became the organization’s CEO. Ailes stepped down from the post in July 2016 amid allegations of repeated sexual harassment.

30. Crème de la crème : ELITE
The “crème de la crème” is the elite, the best of the best. The term is French and translates as “cream of the cream”.

35. Piquant : TART
Something that is piquant is pleasantly sharp in taste and zesty. “Piquant” is the French word for “prickly”.

37. Ben of "Tower Heist" : STILLER
Ben Stiller is the son of comic actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. Ben is perhaps as well-known as a director as he is an actor. He made his debut as a director in the film “Reality Bites” in 1994.

“Tower Heist” is a 2011 comedy film that I had hoped to see when it was playing in theaters, but I missed it. It stars Ben Stiller as an employee of an apartment building who loses his pension due to fraudulent investing activities by a Wall Street businessman. Stiller and his cohorts execute a heist to get back their money, and hilarity ensues (I am told).

38. They come along once in a blue moon : RARITIES
As there is a full moon once every four weeks, approximately monthly, there are usually twelve full moons in any given year. However, every 2-3 years, depending on the phase of the moon at the beginning of the calendar year, there may be a thirteenth full moon. The “extra” full moon is called a “blue moon”, although no one seems to really know why the term “blue” is used, as far as I can tell. Which of the thirteen full moons that is designated as the blue moon varies depending on tradition. My favorite definition is from the Farmer’s Almanac. It states that as each of the seasons normally has three full moons (one for each calendar month), then the season with four full moons is designated as “special”, then the third (and not the fourth) full moon in that “special” season is the blue moon. Complicated, huh?

46. ___ Park, Colo. : ESTES
Estes Park is a town in a beautiful part of the US, in northern Colorado. Estes Park is home to the headquarters of Rocky Mountain National Park.

48. Delta deposit : SILT
A river delta is a triangular landform at the mouth of a river created by the deposition of sediment. The most famous “delta” in the United States isn’t actually a delta at all. The Mississippi Delta is an alluvial plain that lies 300 miles north of the river’s actual delta, which is known as the Mississippi River Delta. Very confusing …

52. Big ___ Conference : EAST
The Big East collegiate athletic conference was founded in 1979. The conference went through a major realignment between 2010 and 2013 with 14 schools departing, and 15 schools joining the lineup.

53. Roger who played a part on "Cheers" : REES
Roger Rees was a Welsh actor. Rees played the character Robin Colcord on “Cheers”, the posh love interest for Rebecca Howe played by Kirstie Alley. Rees also appeared periodically on “The West Wing” as the marvelously flamboyant and eccentric Lord John Marbury, the British Ambassador.

57. Stein filler : ALE
A stein is a type of beer glass. The term is German in origin, and is short for “Steinkrug” meaning “stone jug”. “Stein” is the German for “stone”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Matches, as a bet : SEES
5. Suffix with bachelor : -ETTE
9. Miss : LASS
13. Pinball game ender : TILT
14. Keisters : REARS
16. Mozart's "Se vuol ballare," for one : ARIA
17. Neck of the woods : AREA
18. Very, in music : ASSAI
19. "Darn it all!" : RATS!
20. Practical sort ... or anagram #1 of the only seven letters used to make this puzzle : REALIST
22. Ballpark gates : STILES
24. Times when the French go en vacances : ETES
25. Chasing Moby Dick, say : ASEA
26. Brightest 1-Down in Aquila : ALTAIR
29. Big celeb ... or anagram #2 : A-LISTER
32. Bollywood wraps : SARIS
33. Formal ceremonies : RITES
34. One of a pair of map coordinates: Abbr. : LAT
36. Awaken : STIR
37. Tennis great Monica : SELES
38. Meter maid of song : RITA
39. Asian new year : TET
40. Animals rounded up in a roundup : STEER
41. Foodie, e.g. : EATER
42. Sells (for) ... or anagram #3 : RETAILS
44. Standing still : AT REST
45. The black square chunk in front of 55-, 60- and 63-Across, and others : ELLS
46. Actor Morales : ESAI
47. Zionist's homeland : ISRAEL
50. More coarse ... or anagram #4 : SALTIER
54. Social reformer Jacob : RIIS
55. Californie and others : ETATS
58. "Dies ___" : IRAE
59. Vogue rival : ELLE
60. U. S. Grant rival : RE LEE
61. "He'd fly through the air with the greatest of ___" (old song lyric) : EASE
62. Suffix with prank or poll : -STER
63. "___ we forget ..." : LEST
64. Concordes, for short : SSTS

Down
1. Sky light : STAR
2. Blarney Stone land : EIRE
3. Zeno's home : ELEA
4. Result of poor ventilation : STALE AIR
5. Pink Pearl, for one : ERASER
6. Things graded by 7-Down : TESTS
7. See 6-Down : TAS
8. 1970s political cause, for short : ERA
9. It may be thrown from a horse : LARIAT
10. ___ Sea (former fourth-largest lake in the world) : ARAL
11. Babylon, for the ancient Hanging Gardens : SITE
12. Lip : SASS
15. Fraidy-cats : SISSIES
21. "That so?" : IT IS?
23. Thomas Hardy heroine : TESS
25. Take up or let out : ALTER
26. Admin. aide : ASST
27. "See ya" : LATER
28. Like the invitation line "Be there or be square" : TRITE
29. Roger formerly of Fox News : AILES
30. Crème de la crème : ELITE
31. Deserves V.I.P. treatment : RATES
33. Predigital film units : REELS
35. Piquant : TART
37. Ben of "Tower Heist" : STILLER
38. They come along once in a blue moon : RARITIES
40. Store window sign : SALE
41. List-ending abbr. : ET AL
43. Come-on : TEASER
44. How tableware is often sold : AS A SET
46. ___ Park, Colo. : ESTES
47. Seriously vexes : IRES
48. Delta deposit : SILT
49. Vex : RILE
51. Nest eggs for the golden yrs. : IRAS
52. Big ___ Conference : EAST
53. Roger who played a part on "Cheers" : REES
56. Certain util. bill : TEL
57. Stein filler : ALE


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4 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

8:16, no errors. Clever ...

Jeff said...

Probably much harder to set this one than solve it. Bruce Haight has been busy. He also appeared in the LA Times yesterday.

Clever one indeed.

Best -

Carrie said...

Hiya guys and gals~
16:05, two errors! Still not used to doing puzzles online. How much longer can I claim that as an excuse??
Yes, very clever, and I agree Jeff: harder to set than to solve. Neat technique.
Later!

Sfingi said...

Very clever

What does it mean to "set" a puzzle?

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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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