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0420-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Apr 17, Thursday





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: Jeffrey Wechsler
THEME: One to Two Syllables
Today’s themed answers look like well-known phrases, but a one-syllable word in the phrase has been reinterpreted as a two-syllable word:
20A. Why Japanese tipplers anticipate the afterlife? : FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE
31A. Pound on some Mexican food? : WHACK A MOLE
39A. "I didn't know you disliked shiny fabrics!," e.g.? : LAME EXCUSE
48A. Quick trip to pick up white zinfandel and blush? : RUN FOR THE ROSES
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 11m 39s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. Active volcano feature : PLUME
Our word “volcano” comes from “Vulcano”, the name of a volcanic island off the coast of Italy. The island’s name comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. The Romans believed that the island of Vulcano was the chimney of the forge belonging to the god Vulcan. The Romans also believed that the eruptions on Mount Etna in Sicily were caused by Vulcan getting angry and working his forge so hard that sparks and smoke flew out of the top of the volcano.

18. Pie chart features : RADII
A “pie chart” can also be referred to as a “circle graph”. It is often stated that Florence Nightingale invented the pie chart. While this is not in fact true, she is due the credit for popularizing it, and for developing the pie chart variation known as the polar area diagram. The earliest known pie chart appears in a book published in 1801 by Scottish engineer William Playfair.

20. Why Japanese tipplers anticipate the afterlife? : FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE
We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as “sake”. We’ve gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. “Sake” is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as rice wine. Also, the starch in the rice is first converted to sugars that are then fermented into alcohol. This is more akin to a beer-brewing process than wine production, so the end product is really a rice “beer” rather than a rice “wine”.

23. Columbia, e.g. : IVY
Columbia University is an Ivy League school in New York City. Columbia’s athletic teams are called the Lions, thought to be a reference to the lion on the English coat of arms. Prior to the American Revolution, Columbia was called King’s College as it was chartered by King George II in 1754.

26. Power and economic development corp. started in 1933 : TVA
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has to be one of America’s great success stories when it comes to economic development. Created in 1933, the TVA spearheaded economic development in the Tennessee Valley at the height of the Great Depression. Central to the success was the federally-funded construction of flood-control and electricity-generation facilities.

30. Page 1, 3 or 5, usually : RECTO
The left and right pages of a book or magazine are known in publishing circles as verso and recto. Recto comes from the Latin for “right”, and verso comes from the Latin word for “turned”. The idea is that the left side of the page is “turned” and is the reverse of the recto/right side.

31. Pound on some Mexican food? : WHACK A MOLE
Mole sauce comes in various guises, with “mole negro” including everyone's favorite ingredient, namely chocolate.

35. The Rolling Stones' "___ a Rainbow" : SHE’S
“She’s a Rainbow” is a 1967 song Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote for the Rolling Stones, and a very “un-Rolling Stones” song it is. It was intended as a satirical piece. John Lennon claimed that “She’s a Rainbow” imitated the Beatles song ”All You Need Is Love”.

36. Suffuse : IMBUE
“To imbue” is to pervade, to soak in. “Imbue” has the same etymological roots as our word “imbibe”.

39. "I didn't know you disliked shiny fabrics!," e.g.? : LAME EXCUSE
Lamé is a fabric that has metallic yarns included in the weave. Lamé is a popular fabric for stylish evening wear, and also in the sport of fencing. The metallic threads are conductive and so help register a touch by an épée.

41. "And thereby hangs ___": "As You Like It" : A TALE
“And thereby hangs a tale” is a line from William Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It”, and is an idiom that we use today meaning “there’s a story connected with this”.

43. "___ longa, vita brevis" : ARS
The famous Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates wrote "Art is long, life is short", which translates into Latin as "Ars longa, vita brevis".

44. Designation for U.K. vessels : HMS
The ship prefix “HMS” is used by the warships of the Royal Navy, and stands for “Her/His Majesty’s Ship/Submarine”. The prefix “RMS” is used by ships of the merchant navy, and stands for “Royal Mail Ship/Steamer”.

48. Quick trip to pick up white zinfandel and blush? : RUN FOR THE ROSES
Rosé wines get their color from the skins of the grapes, although the intensity of the color is not sufficient to make them red wines. Of the varying type of rosé wines available, we are most familiar with sweet White Zinfandels. Personally I am fond of the really dry Provençal rosé wines.

Zinfandel is one of my favorite red wine varietals. It amazes me that the rich and heavy red Zinfandel comes from the same grape as does the sweet White Zinfandel.

The term “blush” in the world of wine has only been around since the late seventies, and is really only used here in the US. Today we think of a blush as a relatively sweet pink wine, and a rosé as something more dry.

55. Strengthen : GIRD
The phrase “gird your loins” dates back to Ancient Rome. The expression describes the action of lifting “one’s skirts” and tying them between the legs to allow more freedom of movement before going into battle. Nowadays, “gird your loins” (or sometimes just “gird yourself”) is a metaphor for “prepare yourself for the worst”.

56. "Travel is ___ to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness": Twain : FATAL
Samuel Langhorne Clemens was the real name of the author Mark Twain. Twain wasn’t the only pen name used by Clemens. Early in his career he signed some sketches as “Josh”, and signed some humorous letters that he wrote under the name “Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass”. The name of Mark Twain came from the days when Clemens was working on riverboats on the Mississippi. A riverboatman would call out “by the mark twain” when measuring the depth of water. This meant that on the sounding line, according to the “mark” on the line, the depth was two (“twain”) fathoms, and so it was safe for the riverboat to proceed.

57. It's a drag : TOKE
“Toke” is a slang term for a puff on a marijuana cigarette, or on a pipe containing the drug.

58. Sports org. headquartered in Indianapolis : NCAA
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When his son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, President Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions leading to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) in 1906, which was given the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS became the NCAA in 1910.

Indianapolis is the largest city in Indiana, and is the state capital. The state of Indiana was formed in 1816, with the state capitol being named as Corydon. The capital was changed to Indianapolis in 1825. Indianapolis is the closest of all capitals to the center of its state.

59. Sight in Micronesia : ATOLL
An atoll is a coral island that is shaped in a ring and enclosing a lagoon. There is still some debate as to how an atoll forms, but a theory proposed by Charles Darwin while on his famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle still holds sway. Basically an atoll was once a volcanic island that had subsided and fallen into the sea. The coastline of the island is home to coral growth which persists even as the island continues to subside internal to the circling coral reef.

Micronesia is one of the three island regions of Oceania, along with Polynesia and Melanesia. The sovereign nations included in the region are the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru and Palau. Also in Micronesia are the US territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Wake Island.

60. Antihero of "A Clockwork Orange" : ALEX
“A Clockwork Orange” is a novella by Anthony Burgess, first published in 1962. The story is about a young teenager named Alex, who leads a small gang on violent rampages each night. The story has been adapted for the big and small screens, most famously in a 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick. It’s way too violent for me …

An “antihero”, perhaps in a movie or novel, is the “hero” of the piece, but someone who doesn’t exhibit the qualities associated traditionally with a hero, such as bravery or moral fortitude.

61. Influence for Enya, historically : CELT
The Celts were a very broad group of people across Europe, linked by common languages. The Celts were largely absorbed by other cultures, although a relatively modern revival of the “Celtic identity” is alive and well in the British Isles. Such Celtic peoples today are mainly found in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany in France..

Enya's real name is Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career, eventually becoming Ireland’s best-selling solo musician. And, she sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!

62. Function for a buffalo hide : TEPEE
A tepee (also written as "tipi" and "teepee") is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides that is used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be a more permanent dwelling. The wigwam can also be covered with hides but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

Down
3. France's Côte d'___ : AZUR
The Côte d’Azur is on the Mediterranean coast of France and stretches from Saint Tropez in the west and to the Italian border in the east. In English we often refer to the area as “the French Riviera”. It’s a little crowded for me (okay, “expensive”), especially in the summer.

4. Places to study the Talmud : YESHIVAS
In the Jewish tradition a yeshiva is an educational institution focusing on the study of sacred texts.

The Talmud is a collection of writings by thousands of rabbis and is a central text in Rabbinic Judaism, second only to the Torah.

6. Name of five Norwegian kings : OLAV
Of the many kings of Norway named Olaf/Olav (and there have been five), Olaf II is perhaps the most celebrated as he was canonized and made patron saint of the country. Olaf II was king from 1015 to 1028 and was known as "Olaf the Big" (or Olaf the Fat) during his reign. Today he is more commonly referred to as "Olaf the Holy". After Olaf died he was given the title of Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae, which is Latin for “Norway’s Eternal King”.

7. Certain trank : LUDE
A tranquilizer (familiarly “tranq, trank”) is a downer, a drug designed to reduce tension or anxiety.

9. Something many Founding Fathers believed in : DEISM
Deism (from the Latin “deus” meaning god) is the belief that a supreme being created the universe, a belief based on observation and reason and without the need for faith. Further, a deist does not accept divine intervention and rather believes that the supreme being, having created the universe, leaves the world to it own devices.

13. One of a group of 18 : TEE
There’s an urban myth that the standard number of holes on a golf course is 18 because it takes 18 shots to polish off a fifth of scotch whisky. However, the truth is that the standard number of holes in the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland happened to settle down over time at 18, and that standard was adopted all around the world.

25. Emulate a 2-Down : TOPE
(2D. Overindulging sort : WINO)
“To tope” is to drink alcohol excessively and habitually.

26. 1952 Bernard Malamud novel made into a hit 1984 movie : THE NATURAL
Bernard Malamud wrote the novel “The Natural”, published in 1952. It tells the story of a baseball player named Roy Hobbs, who gets shot early in his career and makes a remarkable comeback many years later. Although Roy Hobbs is a fictional character, the story is apparently based on the real-life Phillies player Eddie Waitkus, who was indeed shot in his hotel room by an obsessed fan in 1949. The film adaptation released in 1984 is an excellent movie starring Robert Redford as “The Natural”.

28. Organic jewelry material : AMBER
Amber's technical name is "resinite", reflecting its composition and formation. Amber starts out life as soft sticky tree resin but then under high temperature and pressure from overlying layers of soil, it fossilizes. The sticky resin can trap organisms or other plant matter, and this material can sometimes remain virtually intact inside the amber fossil giving us a unique gift from the past.

29. Libertines : ROUES
"Roue" is a lovely word, I think, describing a less than lovely man. A roue could otherwise be described as a cad, someone of loose morals. "Roue" comes from the French word "rouer" meaning "to break on a wheel". This describes the ancient form of capital punishment where a poor soul was lashed to a wheel and then beaten to death with cudgels and bars. I guess the suggestion is that a roue, with his loose morals, deserves such a punishment.

Someone who is described as “libertine” is free of restraint, sexually immoral. Back in the 14th century a libertine was an emancipated slave, someone given his or her freedom. The term derives from the Latin “libertinus” describing a freed person who was once a slave.

32. Soul maker : KIA
The Kia Soul is a compact car produced in South Korea, although it was designed by Kia here in the US, in Irvine, California. Yep, the Kia Soul is made in Seoul …

33. Law of ancient times : LEX
“Lex” is Latin for “law”.

39. Eric's seafaring son : LEIF
Leif Erikson was a Norse explorer and was the first European to land in North America, some 500 years before Christopher Columbus’s landing in 1492. The Norsemen named the area they discovered “Vinland”, which might translate as “Wine Land” or “Pasture Land”. Erikson built a small settlement called Leifsbudir, which archaeologists believe they have found in modern day Newfoundland, at L’Anse aux Meadows. The settlement discovered in Newfoundland is definitely Norse, but there is some dispute over whether it is actually Erikson’s Leifsbudir.

According to Icelandic tradition, Erik the Red was the man responsible for founding the first Nordic settlement in Greenland. Erik had a famous son: the explorer Leif Ericson.

40. The Goddess of Pop : CHER
Cher's real name is Cherilyn Sarkisian, born in 1946. Formerly one half of husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher, she is often referred to as the Goddess of Pop. In her acting career, Cher was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar of 1984 for her performance in "Silkwood". She went further in 1988 and won the Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta Castorini in "Moonstruck".

46. Property of skim milk : NO FAT
The fatty component of milk is known as butterfat (sometime “milkfat”). To be labeled “whole” milk, the butterfat content must be at least 3.25%. Lowfat milk is defined as milk containing 0.5-2% fat, with levels of 1% and 2% commonly found on grocery store shelves. Skim milk must contain less than 0.5% fat, and typically contains 0.1%.

47. Beauty in "Beauty and the Beast" : BELLE
“Beauty and the Beast” is a fairy tale was that was written by novelist Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Titled “La belle et la bête” in French, the story was first published in 1756. The “beauty” in the tale is named “Belle”.

50. Corvette feature : T-TOP
A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

The Chevrolet Corvette was introduced to the world in 1953, and was named after the small maneuverable warship called a corvette. The Corvette has legs. It is the only American sports car that has been around for over 50 years.

54. Blue note? : SEXT
Sexting (a portmanteau of “sex” and “texting”) is the sending of explicit dialog and images between cell phones. The term “sexting” was first coined by the UK’s “Sunday Telegraph Magazine” in a 2005 article. Apparently the practice is “rampant” among teens and young adults. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie …?

55. Vitamin and supplement retailer : GNC
General Nutrition Centers (GNC) is a retailer of health and nutrition supplements based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 1935 as a small health food store in downtown Pittsburgh. There are now about 5,000 stores in the US. The GNC slogan is “Live Well”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Departed : AWAY
5. Unwavering : SOLID
10. Feuding : AT IT
14. Economy, for one : SIZE
15. Active volcano feature : PLUME
16. Chew toy alternative : BONE
17. Responsibility : ONUS
18. Pie chart features : RADII
19. Go here and there : ROVE
20. Why Japanese tipplers anticipate the afterlife? : FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE
23. Columbia, e.g. : IVY
24. Halfway through a stage routine : MID-ACT
26. Power and economic development corp. started in 1933 : TVA
27. Scratch : MAR
30. Page 1, 3 or 5, usually : RECTO
31. Pound on some Mexican food? : WHACK A MOLE
34. Back talk : LIP
35. The Rolling Stones' "___ a Rainbow" : SHE’S
36. Suffuse : IMBUE
37. Excepting : SAVE
38. Brooch : PIN
39. "I didn't know you disliked shiny fabrics!," e.g.? : LAME EXCUSE
41. "And thereby hangs ___": "As You Like It" : A TALE
43. "___ longa, vita brevis" : ARS
44. Designation for U.K. vessels : HMS
45. Not forget : RETAIN
47. Track transaction : BET
48. Quick trip to pick up white zinfandel and blush? : RUN FOR THE ROSES
55. Strengthen : GIRD
56. "Travel is ___ to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness": Twain : FATAL
57. It's a drag : TOKE
58. Sports org. headquartered in Indianapolis : NCAA
59. Sight in Micronesia : ATOLL
60. Antihero of "A Clockwork Orange" : ALEX
61. Influence for Enya, historically : CELT
62. Function for a buffalo hide : TEPEE
63. Lacking a purpose in life : LOST

Down
1. Starting : AS OF
2. Overindulging sort : WINO
3. France's Côte d'___ : AZUR
4. Places to study the Talmud : YESHIVAS
5. Many an insect repellent : SPRAY
6. Name of five Norwegian kings : OLAV
7. Certain trank : LUDE
8. Poker declaration : I'M IN
9. Something many Founding Fathers believed in : DEISM
10. Wear down : ABRADE
11. Went to night school, maybe : TOOK A CLASS
12. Words meant to hurt : INVECTIVE
13. One of a group of 18 : TEE
21. Emergency procedure, briefly : EVAC
22. Courtly term of address : SIRE
25. Emulate a 2-Down : TOPE
26. 1952 Bernard Malamud novel made into a hit 1984 movie : THE NATURAL
27. Start of many an Italian pizzeria name : MAMMA
28. Organic jewelry material : AMBER
29. Libertines : ROUES
31. One side of China? : WHITE RICE
32. Soul maker : KIA
33. Law of ancient times : LEX
35. It's often rigged : SPAR
37. Entirety : SUM TOTAL
39. Eric's seafaring son : LEIF
40. The Goddess of Pop : CHER
42. Reach by air : LAND AT
46. Property of skim milk : NO FAT
47. Beauty in "Beauty and the Beast" : BELLE
49. Compare, in a way : RATE
50. Corvette feature : T-TOP
51. Fit : HALE
52. Alone : SOLO
53. Stretches (out) : EKES
54. Blue note? : SEXT
55. Vitamin and supplement retailer : GNC


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1 comment :

Jeff said...

Fun one. Not as tricky as most Thursdays here but difficult enough. Had to get a few things via crosses. Haven't heard the term"LUDE" in ages. Didn't even recognize the reference until 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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