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0429-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Apr 17, Saturday





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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD CONSTRUCTOR: Martin Ashwood-Smith
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 14m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

4. English channel : BBC
The marvelous British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is mainly funded by the UK government through a television licence fee that is levied annually on all households watching TV transmissions. Currently the fee is 145 UK pounds, about 230 US dollars.

13. Hannibal's men : THE A-TEAM
“The A-Team” is an action television series that originally ran in the eighties. The A-Team was a group of ex-US special forces personnel who became mercenaries. Star of the show was Hollywood actor George Peppard (as “Hannibal” Smith), ably assisted by Mr. T (as “B.A.” Baracus) and Robert Vaughn (as Hunt Stockwell).

16. 1962 Best Picture setting : ARABIA
"Lawrence of Arabia” is a 1962 movie that recounts the real life story of T. E. Lawrence, a British army officer famous for his role in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. The title role in the film is played by Irish actor Peter O’Toole. The role of Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish is played by Omar Sharif.

17. Fault line? : MEA CULPA
Many Roman Catholics are very familiar with the Latin phrase “mea culpa” meaning “my fault”, as it is used in the Latin Mass. The additional term “mea maxima culpa” translates as “my most grievous fault”.

18. Swimming : NATANT
Something described as “natant” is floating or swimming, from the Latin “natare” meaning “to swim”.

20. Bind with a belt : 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”.

23. Chanel No. 5 competitor : ESTEE
“Estée” is the signature fragrance from the Estée Lauder Company. “Estée” was the second fragrance developed by Estée Lauder herself, and was introduced in 1968. Lauder’s first fragrance was “Youth Dew”, introduced in 1953.

Chanel No. 5 is a perfume that was released by Coco Chanel back in 1921. Chanel had an affinity for the number “5”, and always presented her dress collection on May 5th (the fifth day of the fifth month). When she was presented a selection of experimental scents as potential choices for the first perfume to bear the Chanel name, she chose the sample in the fifth vial. Chanel instructed that the “sample number 5” should keep its name, asserting that it would bring the scent good luck.

29. Ones carrying babies on their backs : KOALAS
The koala bear really does look like a little bear, but it's not even closely related. The koala is an arboreal marsupial and a herbivore, native to the east and south coasts of Australia. Koalas aren’t primates, and are one of the few mammals other than primates who have fingerprints. In fact, it can be very difficult to tell human fingerprints from koala fingerprints, even under an electron microscope. Male koalas are called “bucks”, females are “does”, and young koalas are “joeys”. I’m a little jealous of the koala, as it sleeps up to 20 hours a day …

31. Middle Earth? : CORE
The Earth’s core is divided into two zones, a relatively “solid” inner core and a liquid outer core. Both inner and outer core are comprised mainly of iron and nickel. It is believed that the Earth’s magnetic field is generated by electric currents created by convection currents in the outer core.

36. Fictional spy who first appeared in "Call for the Dead" : GEORGE SMILEY
George Smiley is the protagonist in many of John Le Carré's spy novels.

John Le Carré is the pen name of David Cornwell, an English author famous for his spy novels. Cornwell worked for British Intelligence during the fifties and sixties, even as he was writing his spy thrillers. He left MI6 soon after his most famous 1963 novel "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold", became such a great success.

39. Go the right way? : GEE
“Haw!” is a command given to a trained animal that is hauling something (like a horse or an ox). “Haw!” is used to instruct the animal to turn to the left. The equivalent command for a right turn is “Gee!” Just to confuse things, the same commands are used in the British Isles but with the opposite meanings. That must be pretty unsettling for jet-setting plow horses …

43. Writer with the given names Robert Lawrence : STINE
The author R. L. Stine is sometimes referred to as the Stephen King of children’s literature as he writes horror stories for young people.

51. Capital for King Zog : TIRANA
Tirana is the capital of Albania, and the nation’s largest city.

Zog I served as Prime Minister of Albania from 1922 to 1924, then as President from 1925 to 1928 and finally as King from 1928 to 1939.

55. Setting for Sergei Eisenstein's "Battleship Potemkin" : ODESSA
The city of Odessa (also “Odesa”) in Ukraine was founded relatively recently, in 1794 by Catherine the Great. The city was originally meant to be called Odessos after an ancient Greek city believed to have been located nearby. Catherine liked the way the locals pronounced the name as “Odessa” and so went with the less Greek-sounding name.

"The Battleship Potemkin" is a silent movie made in 1925. A famous scene in the movie takes place in the port of Odessa, when Tsarist soldiers massacre rebels on the giant stairway in the city, now known as the Potemkin Stairs.

56. Clear brandy : EAU DE VIE
Eau de vie is a clear, colorless fruit brandy. “Eau de vie” is French for “water of life”.

57. Brisk competitor : NESTEA
Nestea is a brand of iced tea made by Nestlé. The name is a portmanteau of “Nestlé” and “tea”.

Down
1. PIN money? : ATM FEE
One enters a Personal Identification Number (PIN) when using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Given that the N in PIN stands for “number”, then PIN number is a redundant phrase. And, given that the M in ATM stands for “machine”, then ATM machine is a redundant phrase as well. Grr …!

3. Trick-taking card game : HEARTS
Hearts is a fun card game that is in the Whist family of trick-taking games, as are Bridge (my favorite) and Spades.

4. About 252 cals. : BTU
In the world of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), the power of a heating or cooling unit can be measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). This dated unit is the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water so that the water's temperature increases by one degree Fahrenheit.

5. Like M. Poirot : BELG
Hercule Poirot is Agatha Christie’s renowned detective, a wonderful Belgian who plies his trade from his base in London. Poirot’s most famous case is the “Murder on the Orient Express”. First appearing in “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”, published in 1920, Poirot finally succumbs to a heart condition in the 1975 book “Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case”. Famously, Poirot is fond of using his “little grey cells”.

6. Competitive, in a way : CAPITALISTIC
It is generally agreed that the French politician and historian Louis Blanc coined the term “capitalism” in 1850, although he himself was a socialist. Blanc’s definition for capitalism was the appropriation of capital by some to the exclusion of others. We use the term today to describe an economic system in which trade, industry and production are privately owned and driven by profit.

7. Title of politeness : SAN
The Japanese honorific “-san” is added to the end of names as a title of respect, and can be translated as “Mr.” or “Ms.” The usage is wider than it is in English, though. Sometimes “-san” is added to the name of a company, for example.

9. Pro ___ : RATA
"Pro rata" is a Latin phrase meaning "in proportion".

12. Rubbery compounds : LATEXES
Latex is a naturally occurring polymer made by some plants, that can also be made synthetically. About one in ten of the flowering plants in the world make the milky fluid called latex. It serves as a defense against insects and is exuded when a plant is injured or attacked by insects. Latex is collected commercially and is the source of natural rubber, which can be used to make things such as gloves, condoms and balloons.

30. Guinness adjective : OLDEST
"The Guinness Book of World Records" holds some records of its own. It is the best-selling, copyrighted series of books of all time and is one of the books most often stolen from public libraries! The book was first published in 1954 by two twins, Norris and Ross McWhirter. The McWhirter twins found themselves with a smash hit, and eventually became very famous in Britain hosting a TV show based on world records.

33. Good earth : LOESS
Loess is a wind-blown accumulation of silt. The word is German in origin and was first used to describe silt along the Rhine Valley.

34. Table : SET ASIDE
These "tabling" and "shelving" idioms drive me crazy, because they are often misused. If a topic is shelved, it is set aside. If a topic is tabled, it is brought "off the shelf" and put “on the table” for discussion. I know that language evolves, but I think it should at least make sense …

39. Palace of Nations locale : GENEVA
The Palace of Nations was built as the home of the League of Nations. It is now the home of the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

47. Illustrator Thomas : NAST
Thomas Nast was an American caricaturist and cartoonist. Nast was the creator of the Republican Party elephant, the Democratic Party donkey, Uncle Sam and the image of the plump and jocular Santa Claus that we use today.

54. New Left org. : SDS
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Result of a firing : ASH
4. English channel : BBC
7. It's poorly written : SCRAWL
13. Hannibal's men : THE A-TEAM
16. 1962 Best Picture setting : ARABIA
17. Fault line? : MEA CULPA
18. Swimming : NATANT
19. Shade of green : FERN
20. Bind with a belt : GIRD
22. Certain finish : MATTE
23. Chanel No. 5 competitor : ESTEE
25. Gridlock consequence : TIE-UP
27. Many a Dallas cowboy : TEX
28. Comments that lead people to repeat themselves : EHS
29. Ones carrying babies on their backs : KOALAS
31. Middle Earth? : CORE
32. Dawdles : DILLY-DALLIES
34. Source of feedback : SOUNDING BOARD
36. Fictional spy who first appeared in "Call for the Dead" : GEORGE SMILEY
37. "___ joke" : IT’S A
38. Ranges : STOVES
39. Go the right way? : GEE
42. Mystery in the fossil record : GAP
43. Writer with the given names Robert Lawrence : STINE
44. Tick off : STEAM
46. Jointly : AS ONE
48. Whine lover? : CRAB
50. Undeceived by : ONTO
51. Capital for King Zog : TIRANA
53. Hooter's location : OWL’S NEST
55. Setting for Sergei Eisenstein's "Battleship Potemkin" : ODESSA
56. Clear brandy : EAU DE VIE
57. Brisk competitor : NESTEA
58. Fist pumper's cry : YES!
59. Besides : AND

Down
1. PIN money? : ATM FEE
2. "Jeez Louise!" : SHEESH!
3. Trick-taking card game : HEARTS
4. About 252 cals. : BTU
5. Like M. Poirot : BELG
6. Competitive, in a way : CAPITALISTIC
7. Title of politeness : SAN
8. Swimmer's woe : CRAMP
9. Pro ___ : RATA
10. Slaughterhouse : ABATTOIR
11. Spent a season in the sun? : WINTERED
12. Rubbery compounds : LATEXES
14. Certain eruption : ACNE
15. Famed Pop Art subject : MARILYN MONROE
21. It's pretty obvious : DEAD GIVEAWAY
24. Augmenting, old-style : EKING
26. Functional : USABLE
30. Guinness adjective : OLDEST
31. Modeling medium : CLAY
32. Long-lasting, in commercial names : DURA-
33. Good earth : LOESS
34. Table : SET ASIDE
35. Some fertilized eggs : OOSPORES
36. Unit of explosive capacity : GIGATON
39. Palace of Nations locale : GENEVA
40. Has a home-cooked meal : EATS IN
41. Made a big scene? : EMOTED
43. Import : SENSE
45. Step on a scale : TONE
47. Illustrator Thomas : NAST
49. Down : BLUE
52. Strong, as a bond : AAA
54. New Left org. : SDS


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9 comments :

Jeff said...

DNF. I won a few battles, but I lost quite a few. I ended up having to cheat my way to the finish line.

In retrospect, I was never really competitive in this one. Too many things I didn't know (ABATTOIR, EAUDEVIE to name 2) or whiffed on the cluing.

I'm ready for an easy Monday after this one and the LA Times today..

Best -

Dave Kennison said...

16:02, no errors. Not too difficult, I thought, but I made a few educated guesses that could easily have turned out wrong and cost me a lot more time ...

Dave Kennison said...

One more comment. The "reCAPCHA" thing has gone all vicious on me by challenging the last five or six of my comments. Perhaps it's because I've done a bunch of puzzles today and commented on each one? I could imagine it keeping track of the number of comments you post in a given time period and giving you 'special" treatment if there are too many of them ...

Anonymous said...

Over 26 minutes, and DNF. About 85% filled, but too cynically clued to make it all come together.

BruceB said...

35:09, 3 errors. 7D SAL, 10D ABETTOIRE, 18A LATENT. Nasty puzzle, worthy of a Saturday challenge. Several Naticks, two of them caused the three errors. Also TIRANA crossing SENSE (in the context of 'import') was a complete guess. 45D gave me fits, initially entering NOTE before changing to TONE. Just happy to have filled in all the boxes on this one.

SteveA said...

Wow, Bruce B could be describing my session almost exactly. I had Latent and Abettoire as well, and SAL. I also made a complete guess on Tirana/Sense and got it correct (and I'm still not sure how Sense means Import.

I also has "Eaulevie" figuring it was some brandy I had never heard of. I had SLA on 54 down (they were a left wing org in the 1970s, kidnapped Patty Hearst among other things). And "yea" instead of "yes) for 58 across.

Not one of my better efforts

[The NY Times puzzle shows up in my Baltimore Sun 5 weeks late so I am just doing this one today].

Tom M. said...

Liked this a lot. Made some good guesses and one bad one: SAb/bATANT. Didn't connect to the Japanese SAN, and NATANT is a new one on me.

Lou Sander said...

We got 'em all. Proud to have known ABBATOIR, TIRANA. We got a lot of them from the crosses. Had a few lucky guesses, too.

Glenn said...

1 error, 130 minutes. Challenging week, overall.

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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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