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0419-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Apr 17, Wednesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Emanuel Ax & Brad Wilber
THEME: Before Getting a Note
There’s a note with today’s puzzle:
CELEBRITY CROSSWORD
To mark the 75th anniversary of the New York Times crossword, which debuted in 1942, we are publishing a series of puzzles co-created by famous people who solve the Times crossword, working together with regular Times puzzle contributors.

This collaboration is by the Grammy-winning classical pianist Emanuel Ax, who also teaches at the Juilliard School, working with Brad Wilber, a reference librarian at Houghton College in upstate New York. This is Brad's 50th puzzle for The Times.

The celebrity collaborations will continue periodically through the year.
More information about the making of today's puzzle appears in the Times's daily crossword column (nytimes.com/column/wordplay).
We get a hint at the reveal in today’s puzzle with the musical NOTE shown in black squares in the middle of the grid. Each of the themed answers end with words that often precede the word NOTE:
52D. Word that can follow the ends of 20- and 54-Across and 4- and 26-Down : NOTE

20A. Classic song with the lyric "Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist?" : MONSTER MASH (giving “mash note”)
54A. Like some magicians' assistants, apparently : SAWED IN HALF (giving “half note”)
4D. Drink often garnished with a cherry : WHISKEY SOUR (giving “sour note”)
26D. Exercise-induced euphoria : RUNNER’S HIGH (giving “high note”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. BBQ platter side : SLAW
The term “coleslaw” is an Anglicized version of the Dutch name “koolsla”, which in itself is a shortened form of “Koolsalade” meaning “cabbage salad”.

5. Two-faced god : JANUS
Janus was a Roman god usually depicted with two heads, one looking to the past and the other to the future. As such, as a god Janus is often associated with time. The Romans named the month of Ianuarius (our “January”) after Janus.

15. "___ the Law" (Steven Seagal picture) : ABOVE
Steven Seagal is known in the US as a martial artist turned actor. Seagal started his career as an Aikido instructor in Japan and was the first foreigner to operate an Aikido dojo in that country.

16. Worries for Great Depression banks : RUNS
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 that signalled the start of the Great Depression did not happen on just one day. The first big drop in the market took place on October 24 (Black Thursday). Things stabilized on Friday, and then the slide continued on the 28th (Black Monday) and the 29th (Black Tuesday).

17. "Fly ___ spurn thee ..." : Shelley : ERE I
Percy Bysshe Shelley was an English Romantic poet. Shelley had strong views on vegetarianism. He was dedicated to the cause of all sentient beings, believing that the slaughter of animals by humans for the use of food was a barbaric practice. He wrote a famous essay on the subject called "A Vindication of Natural Diet" in 1813.

18. Olympic gymnast Strug : KERRI
Kerri Strug is that plucky little gymnast who made an outstanding final vault in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics despite having an injured ankle. I think we all remember her being carried off after her vault in the arms of the US team coach Bela Karolyi.

19. ___ Dillon, lead role on "Gunsmoke" : MATT
James Arness played the role of Matt Dillon, Marshal of Dodge City, on "Gunsmoke" for twenty years. If you count the occasions when he reprised the role for specials, he actually performed as Matt Dillon over five decades. And, did you know that Peter Graves, the actor who played Jim Phelps on "Mission: Impossible", his real name was Peter Arness? He and James were brothers.

20. Classic song with the lyric "Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist?" : MONSTER MASH (giving “mash note”)
“Monster Mash” is a fun novelty song released by Bobby Pickett in 1962. Pickett sings “Monster Mash” in a voice that imitates Boris Karloff.

A “mash note” is a love letter, especially one expressing intense infatuation. Back in the late 1800s, “mash” was a slang term for a major crush.

23. Gold in a pond? : KOI
Koi are also called Japanese carp. Koi have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored examples found in Japanese water gardens.

24. Early capital of Alaska : SITKA
The city of Sitka is located on Baranof Island and part of Chichagof Island in the Alexander Archipelago off the coast of Alaska. Sitka used to be known as Redoubt Saint Michael and then New Archangel when it was ruled by the Russians. The current city name comes from a local term meaning “People on the Outside of Baranof Island”. Immediately after the purchase of Alaska by the US, Sitka served as the capital of the Alaska Territory until the seat of government was relocated north to Juneau.

25. Troubling reverie : DAYMARE
A “daymare” is a condition experienced while awake featuring a pressure on the chest that is normally associated with the sense of fear experienced during a nightmare.

35. Trattoria order? : MANGIA!
“Mangia!” is Italian for “Eat!” and is often used in the names of Italian restaurants or in brand names of Italian foods.

36. Hamilton biographer Chernow and others : RONS
“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life or US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The show opened off-Broadway in February 2015, and transferred to Broadway in August of the same year. Advance ticket sales for the Broadway production were unprecedented, and reportedly amounted to $30 million. The representations of the main characters is decidedly ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.

37. Suffix with acetyl : -ENE
Acetylene is one of the simplest hydrocarbons, and has the formula C2H2. About 20% of the acetylene produced in the world is used for oxyacetylene gas welding and cutting.

41. Holder of encumbered property : LIENEE
A lien is the right that one has to retain or secure someone's property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

43. Mo. of Thomas Jefferson's birthday : APR
Thomas Jefferson was born a British subject in 1743 in the Colony of Virginia, one of ten children born to Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph Jefferson. The Jefferson’s had four sons in all, with two dying in infancy. The remaining two sons inherited Peter’s estate, divided between them. Thomas came into 5,000 acres of land, including Monticello, and 20-40 slaves.

44. "La Cage aux Folles" enterprise : DRAG SHOW
The musical “La Cage aux Folles” opened on Broadway in 1985. It is a musical adaptation of the French play of the same name by Jean Poiret that was first staged in 1973. I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing the stage play nor the musical, but I love the wonderful movie adaptation called “The Birdcage”, which was released in 1996. The film has a very strong cast that includes Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman and Hank Azaria.

48. One side of a longstanding feud : SHIA
The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favoured the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

58. Eight-year Clinton cabinet member : RENO
Janet Reno was Attorney General of the US from 1993 to 2001. Reno was the person to hold the office second longest, and was our first female Attorney General. In 2002, Reno ran for Governor of Florida but failed to win the Democratic nomination. Thereafter she retired from public life, passing away at the end of 2016.

59. Eyelashes : CILIA
“Cilia” is Latin for “eyelashes”.

60. 1917 dethronee : TSAR
The last ruler of Imperial Russia was Tsar Nicholas II (of the House of Romanov). Famously, the Tsar and his family were murdered in 1918 in the basement of a house in Yekaterinburg, Russia by members of the Bolshevik secret police. The Tsar’s youngest daughter was 16-year-old Anastasia and rumors of her escape have persisted for years. The rumors grew with the help of numerous women who claimed to be Anastasia. In 2009, DNA testing finally proved that the remains of all of the Tsar’s immediate family, including Anastasia, have been found and identified.

61. Mystery writer Nevada ___ : BARR
Nevada Barr is an author noted for her series of mystery novels set in National Parks that feature the park ranger and detective Anna Pigeon.

62. Shoelace tip : AGLET
An aglet is a plastic or metal sheath that is found on the end of a shoelace or perhaps a drawstring. The name “aglet” comes from the Old French word “aguillette” meaning “needle”.

64. Soulful Redding : OTIS
Otis Redding is often referred to as the "King of Soul", and what a voice he had. Like so many of the greats in the world of popular music it seems, Redding was killed in a plane crash, in 1967 when he was just 26 years old. Just three days earlier he had recorded what was to be his biggest hit, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay".

65. ___ Island Red (fowl type) : RHODE
The Rhode Island Red is a breed of chicken that was developed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts from the Malay chicken, and as such, the new chickens were originally named Red Malays. The Rhode Island Red was made the state bird of Rhode Island in 1954.

Down
2. One who was wished a long life, in old French cheers : LE ROI
“Vive le roi!” is French for “Long live the king!” “À bas le roi!” is French for, “Down with the king!”, a phrase often heard during the French Revolution.

3. F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Two for ___" : A CENT
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote five novels (one unfinished), the most famous of which is “The Great Gatsby”. A little bit of trivia about Fitzgerald is that he was the first cousin once removed of Mary Surratt, the boarding house owner who was convicted of participating in the plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln and who was hanged for her crime.

4. Drink often garnished with a cherry : WHISKEY SOUR (giving “sour note”)
A whiskey sour is made from whiskey, lemon juice and sugar, usually garnished with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.

5. Hunky-dory : JAKE
Both "jake" and "dandy" are slang words meaning "fine", as in “things are just dandy”.

Surprisingly (to me), the term "hunky-dory" has been around a long time, and is documented back in the mid-1800s. Nobody's really sure of its origin, but some say it is an Anglicization of Honcho dori, that back in the day was a street of ill repute in Yokohama, Japan.

6. Scottish city that lent its name to a cattle breed : ABERDEEN
The full name of the cattle breed is Aberdeen Angus, which is also the name used around the world outside of North America. The breed was developed by crossbreeding cattle from the counties of Aberdeenshire and Angus in Scotland. The breed stands out in the US as Angus cattle don’t have horns.

7. Best Picture loser to "Kramer vs. Kramer" : NORMA RAE
“Norma Rae” is a 1979 movie starring Sally Field as Norma Rae Webster in a tale of union activities in a textile factory in Alabama. The film is based on the true story of Crystal Lee Sutton told in a 1975 book called “Crystal Lee, a Woman of Inheritance”.

“Kramer vs. Kramer" is a 1979 film based on a Avery Corman novel. The movie stars Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman as a couple getting a divorce, and the impact that the breakup has on their young son.

8. Tanning element, informally : UV RAY
Melanin is a natural pigment found in most organisms. In humans, melanin is the pigment in the skin, the production of which accelerates in response to UV radiation causing a “tan”. Melanin is also what is released as cephalopod ink, a defensive cloud squirted into the water by squids and octopuses.

9. It's measured by the Richter scale : SEISM
The Richter scale was developed in 1935, by Charles Richter at the California Institute of Technology. The Richter Scale has largely been abandoned, replaced by the moment magnitude scale (MMS). Even though the US Geological Survey has been reporting earthquakes using the MMS since 2002, the media is prone to mix things up and use phrases such as “Richter magnitude”.

10. What a radius is part of : ARM
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the "thumb-side" of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the "pinkie-side".

11. Log painted deceptively to look like a cannon : QUAKER GUN
A “Quaker Gun” is a fake cannon that was used to deceive the enemy in the 1700s and 1800s. Quaker guns were simply wooden logs that were painted black to resemble cannons. The idea was to trick the enemy into believing that a particular position was more heavily fortified than was the real situation.

12. "Do ___ others ..." : UNTO
The Golden Rule is also known as the ethic of reciprocity, and is a basis for the concept of human rights. A version of the rule used in the Christian tradition is attributed to Jesus: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

13. Italian wine town : ASTI
Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

28. Famously reclusive Hollywood legend : GRETA GARBO
Famously, Greta Garbo lived a life of seclusion in New York City after she retired from the entertainment business. Commentators often associated her need for privacy with a line she uttered in the great 1932 movie “Grand Hotel”. Her character Grusinskaya the Russian ballerina said, “I want to be alone (…) I just want to be alone”.

30. "___ and Forget" (classic humor piece by James Thurber) : FILE
James Thurber was a cartoonist, author and humorist who was noted for his wit. One of Thurber’s most famous works is the 1939 short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”.

31. Autograph collector's enclosure, for short : SASE
An SAE is a “stamped, addressed envelope”. An SASE is a “self-addressed, stamped envelope”.

33. Shape-shifter of Norse mythology : LOKI
Loki is a god appearing in Norse mythology. In one story about Loki, he was punished by other gods for having caused the death of Baldr, the god of light and beauty. Loki is bound to a sharp rock using the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom which is collected in a bowl, and then his wife must empty the venom onto Loki when the bowl is full. The venom causes Loki great pain, and his writhing results in what we poor mortals experience as earthquakes.

35. Nyasaland, today : MALAWI
Malawi is in southeast Africa and is one of the least-developed countries in the world. The Malawi population has a low life expectancy and a high infant mortality rate. HIV/AIDS is a major killer. The British colonized the area in 1891, at which point it was called Nyasaland. Malawi became independent in 1964.

40. Some, in Seville : UNAS
The city of Seville is the capital of Andalusia in southern Spain. Seville is a favored setting for many operas including "The Barber of Seville" by Rossini, "Fidelio" by Beethoven and Mozart's "Don Giovanni" and "The Marriage of Figaro".

46. Artist ___ de Toulouse-Lautrec : HENRI
The celebrated French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec came from an aristocratic family. This breeding may have made life comfortable for him, but it was the source of his famous disabilities. He had congenital conditions that resulted from the inbreeding that was a tradition in his family (Henri's parents were first cousins).

55. Nascar Hall of Fame locale: Abbr. : NCAR
The NASCAR Hall of Fame opened its doors relatively recently, in 2010. It is located in Charlotte, North Carolina.

57. Some SAT takers: Abbr. : SRS
Today the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation SAT.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. BBQ platter side : SLAW
5. Two-faced god : JANUS
10. Shade of blue : AQUA
14. Low-___ : TECH
15. "___ the Law" (Steven Seagal picture) : ABOVE
16. Worries for Great Depression banks : RUNS
17. "Fly ___ spurn thee ..." : Shelley : ERE I
18. Olympic gymnast Strug : KERRI
19. ___ Dillon, lead role on "Gunsmoke" : MATT
20. Classic song with the lyric "Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist?" : MONSTER MASH (giving “mash note”)
23. Gold in a pond? : KOI
24. Early capital of Alaska : SITKA
25. Troubling reverie : DAYMARE
27. Landscaping tool : EDGER
29. Flips through, as TV channels : SURFS
32. What the keys are to a pianist? : PLAY AREA
35. Trattoria order? : MANGIA!
36. Hamilton biographer Chernow and others : RONS
37. Suffix with acetyl : -ENE
38. Negates : ANNULS
39. Just make : EKE OUT
41. Holder of encumbered property : LIENEE
42. Andean animal with expensive wool : VICUNA
43. Mo. of Thomas Jefferson's birthday : APR
44. "La Cage aux Folles" enterprise : DRAG SHOW
48. One side of a longstanding feud : SHIA
52. Prefix with classical : NEO-
54. Like some magicians' assistants, apparently : SAWED IN HALF (giving “half note”)
56. Feedbag bits : OATS
58. Eight-year Clinton cabinet member : RENO
59. Eyelashes : CILIA
60. 1917 dethronee : TSAR
61. Mystery writer Nevada ___ : BARR
62. Shoelace tip : AGLET
63. Slippery swimmers : EELS
64. Soulful Redding : OTIS
65. ___ Island Red (fowl type) : RHODE

Down
1. Comes (from) : STEMS
2. One who was wished a long life, in old French cheers : LE ROI
3. F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Two for ___" : A CENT
4. Drink often garnished with a cherry : WHISKEY SOUR (giving “sour note”)
5. Hunky-dory : JAKE
6. Scottish city that lent its name to a cattle breed : ABERDEEN
7. Best Picture loser to "Kramer vs. Kramer" : NORMA RAE
8. Tanning element, informally : UV RAY
9. It's measured by the Richter scale : SEISM
10. What a radius is part of : ARM
11. Log painted deceptively to look like a cannon : QUAKER GUN
12. "Do ___ others ..." : UNTO
13. Italian wine town : ASTI
21. Cry before curtsying or taking a bow : TADA!
22. Tipples circumspectly : HAS A NIP
26. Exercise-induced euphoria : RUNNER’S HIGH (giving “high note”)
28. Famously reclusive Hollywood legend : GRETA GARBO
30. "___ and Forget" (classic humor piece by James Thurber) : FILE
31. Autograph collector's enclosure, for short : SASE
32. Earlier: Abbr. : PREV
33. Shape-shifter of Norse mythology : LOKI
34. Not statistically based, as evidence : ANECDOTAL
35. Nyasaland, today : MALAWI
40. Some, in Seville : UNAS
45. Worry about, informally : SWEAT
46. Artist ___ de Toulouse-Lautrec : HENRI
47. They could be represented by a cartoonist's wavy lines : ODORS
49. Salutation among Winnie-the-Pooh and friends : HALLO
50. Words before "so sue me" : I LIED
51. ___ worse than death : A FATE
52. Word that can follow the ends of 20- and 54-Across and 4- and 26-Down : NOTE
53. What pros handle things with : EASE
55. Nascar Hall of Fame locale: Abbr. : NCAR
57. Some SAT takers: Abbr. : SRS


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11 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

10:47, no errors. A slightly clumsy solve for me, with a number of missteps ...

@Sfingi ... People who create crossword puzzles are called "setters" and to create a puzzle is to "set" it. (I learned this only recently, from Bill's blog, even though I have been doing crossword puzzles for many decades and had never heard the term in all that time.)

Bill has been known to refer to himself as "an Irish setter" ... :-)

Sfingi said...

@Dave - Thanx.

This puzzle was too hard for me. Googled 6x.
Never heard of KERRI (sports), NCAR (sports), QUAKER GUN or this BARR. Very depressing.

Jeff said...

The story behind this puzzle was better than my performance on the puzzle. Love that the NYT is doing this.

LEROI, EREI, A CENT and SITKA in one corner killed me. MANGIA, MALAWI and QUAKERGUN was another trouble area. I didn't even know VICUNA although I got that with crosses.

A dose of humble pie, but I actually appreciate those. Very intelligent puzzle. It beat me so I'm not ready for prime time yet....

Best -

Jackie B. said...

I don't unders NCAR for Charlotte, NC.

Jackie B. said...

Wait...is it N for North and CAR for Carolina? I'm such a dunderhead.

BruceB said...

17:29, no errors. Difficult time getting into many of the sections. MANGIA threw me, I was looking for a menu order rather than the command to 'eat'. Enjoyed the challenge.

@Bill: the Birdcage was a remake of the 1978 French movie 'La Cage Aux Folles'. If you haven't seen it, I would recommend it.

Tom M. said...

Celebrity collaboration or not, this was a good one. Thanks to Messrs. Ax and Wilber.

Anonymous said...

17:46 and thankfully, no errors. I did not find this one easy at all.

Anonymous said...

I always get a big kick out of a clue or a fill in a puzzle that I **just** got the answer to in the days previous. Quaker Gun was just one of those!!! I'm reading a history on the Battle of Antietam, and that term was used to describe some fake guns the Rebels used to dissuade a Union Attack.

Glenn said...

30 minutes, no errors. Pretty hard grid overall in terms of things I had to figure out (about 3/4 of the total grid).

Lou Sander said...

We liked the puzzle and got all the answers without looking anything up. I KNOW my geography (MALAWI was a piece of cake). My partner KNOWS her anatomical vocabulary (ARM instead of my ARC, and CILIA, where I had no clue.) We didn't get the theme, and didn't think too much of it when it was revealed to us. The grid, however, was exceptional. Good work, Mr. Ax (in a crossword, it would have to be AXE), ;-)

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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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