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0504-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 May 17, Thursday





QuickLinks:
Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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Jump to a complete list of today's clues and answers

CROSSWORD CONSTRUCTOR: Loren Muse Smith & Tracy Gray
THEME: Black Ice
Today’s themed answers include the letters ICE hidden in a BLACK square:
44A. Winter driving hazard ... or a literal hint to four squares in this puzzle : BLACK ICE

21A. "Miss Manners," for one : ADVICE COLUMN
29A. "Ain't gonna happen!" : NO DICE!
59A. Hit 2002 animated film : ICE AGE
66A. 11/11 : ARMISTICE DAY
4D. Patrol wagon : POLICE VAN
14D. Helping hound : SERVICE DOG
41D. Crunch time helper, maybe : OFFICE TEMP
50D. Generous, affable sort : MR NICE GUY
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 12m 48s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. Doorway components : JAMBS
A door or window jamb is the vertical portion of the frame. The term “jamb” comes from the French word “jambe” meaning “leg”.

17. "___ Mio" : O SOLE
"'O sole mio" is a famous Italian song from Naples, written in 1898. The song's lyrics are usually sung in the original Neapolitan, as opposed to Italian. The title translates from Neapolitan into "My Sun" (and not into "O, My Sun" as one might expect). It's a love song of course, sung by a young man declaring that there is a sun brighter than that in the sky, the sun that is his lover's face. Awww …

18. Shouted casual greeting : HOLLA!
Not by me. Never heard of it …

20. Actor who won comedy and drama Emmys for the same role : ASNER
“Lou Grant” is a spinoff from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. The title character, played so ably by Ed Asner, had headed up a television newsroom in Minneapolis in the original series. In the spinoff, Grant was the city editor of the fictional “Los Angeles Tribune”. The original show was a sitcom, the spinoff was a drama series.

21. "Miss Manners," for one : ADVICE COLUMN
The name Davenport, when used to mean a sofa, is one of those generic terms that evolved for an item from the name of a prominent manufacturer. The long-gone Davenport Company sold a lot of furniture in the midwest and upstate New York, so the term is especially common in that part of the country.

24. Beersheba's region : NEGEV
The Negev is a desert region in southern Israel. The largest city in the Negev is Beersheba. The Negev covers about 4,700 square miles, which is about 55% of Israel’s landmass.

Beersheba is the largest city in the desert region in southern Israel called the Negev. Beersheba is home to many Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, who brought with them many aspects of the culture of their former homeland. For example, the Beersheba now has more chess grandmasters per capita than any other city in the world.

30. She, in Salerno : ESSA
Salerno is a port city on the southwest coast of Italy. In WWII, after the Italians negotiated a peace treaty with the Allies in 1943, the King of Italy relocated to Salerno from Rome. The new Italian government was set up in the city, and for a few months Salerno was “capital” of the country.

31. Jell-O pudding flavor : OREO
If you like Jell-O, then you want to stop by LeRoy, New York where you can visit the only Jell-O museum in the world. While at the museum, you can walk along the Jell-O Brick Road …

33. "Curiously strong" mint : ALTOID
Altoids breath mints have been around since 1780, when they were introduced in Britain. The famous tin in which Altoids are sold is often reused for other purposes. The most famous use is as a container to hold a mini-survival kit.

36. ___ a soul : NARY
The adjective "nary" means "not one", as in “nary a soul”.

38. Like albinism : RARE
An “albino” is an organism lacking normal pigmentation. The term comes from “albus”, Latin for “white”.

40. ___-Caps (Nestlé brand) : SNO
Sno-Caps are a brand of candy usually only available in movie theaters. Sno-caps have been around since the 1920s, would you believe?

44. Winter driving hazard ... or a literal hint to four squares in this puzzle : BLACK ICE
Black ice on a road is not in fact black, but rather is ice that is almost transparent so that the black asphalt surface of the road shows through.

48. Russian river to the Arctic Ocean : LENA
The Lena is a Siberian river, and the third-longest in Asia. It rises in the Baikal Mountains in the south, and runs almost 2,800 miles to empty into the Laptev Sea in the Arctic Ocean.

59. Hit 2002 animated film : ICE AGE
“Ice Age” is a 2002 animated film that has spawned a whole series of movies: “Ice Age: The Meltdown” (2006), “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” (2009) and “Ice Age: Continental Drift” (2012).

62. Arctic plain : TUNDRA
Tundra is an ecosystem that is treeless, or very nearly so. There are three types of tundra. Arctic and Antarctic tundra can't support the growth of trees as the ground is pretty much frozen. Alpine tundra cannot support tree-growth due to high altitude.

64. Very low-risk investment, familiarly : T-BILL
A Treasury note (T-Note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-Note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A T-Bill is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-Bond matures in 20-30 years.

66. 11/11 : ARMISTICE DAY
Veterans Day used to be known as Armistice Day, and is observed on November 11th each year. This particular date was chosen as the Armistice that ended WWI was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

68. "Que Sera Sera" singer, 1956 : DAY
The actress and singer Doris Day was born Doris Kappelhoff in Cincinnati, Ohio. Day made more than 650 recordings as a singer with Columbia Records, and also appeared in 39 movies. Outside the world of entertainment, she has been an ardent supporter of animal rights. She now lives in Carmel-by-the-Sea in California, along with her many pets and stray animals that she has adopted over the years.

Alfred Hitchcock made two versions of the film “The Man Who Knew Too Much”. The first was made in 1934 while Hitchcock still lived in England. It starred Leslie Banks, Edna Best and Peter Lorre in his first English-speaking role. Hitchcock remade the original in 1956, with James Stewart and Doris Day playing the leads. And by the way, in that movie Doris Day sang the Oscar-winning song “Que Sera, Sera”.

69. Film composer Morricone : ENNIO
Ennio Morricone is an Italian composer best known for writing music for films and television shows. It was Morricone who wrote the fabulous scores for the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone, including the theme for “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.

71. Ancient Greek market : AGORA
In early Greece the “agora” was a place of assembly. Often the assemblies held there were quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a market place. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

73. One collecting money on the sidewalk? : METER
An early patent for a parking meter, dated 1928, was for a device that required the driver of the parked car to connect the battery of his or her car to the meter in order for it to operate!

75. Spicy cuisine style : HUNAN
Hunan is a province in south-central China. It is located south of Lake Dongting, which gives the province its name, as “Hunan” translates as “south of the lake”.

78. Lots of disputin' from Rasputin? : NYETS
“Nyet” is Russian for “no”, and “da” is Russian for “yes”.

Grigori Rasputin was a Russian Orthodox mystic who apparently had great influence over the Emperor Nicholas and his family, and over the Empress Alexandra in particular.

Down
1. What a dowsing rod or a slingshot has : Y-SHAPE
Dowsing is the practice of divining for not just water, but also buried metals and gemstones for example. Often a dowser will use a Y-shaped or L-shaped rod as a tool, which can also be called a dowser. Here in the US, the tool used might be referred to as a “witching rod”, as it is usually made from witch-hazel.

6. WWW programming code : HTML
HTML is HyperText Markup Language, the language used to write most Internet web pages (including this one).

9. Salon shade : HENNA
Henna has been used for centuries as a dye, not just for leather and wool, but also for the hair and skin. In modern days, henna is also used for temporary tattoos.

10. "Mad Men" femme fatale : JOAN
“Mad Men" was the flagship show on the AMC television channel for several seasons. Set in the sixties, it’s all about an advertising agency located on Madison Avenue in New York (hence the title). “Mad Men” became the first show created by a basic cable channel to win an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.

12. Cobra fighter : MONGOOSE
The mongoose has no relationship with the "goose" as such, as "mongoose" is derived from "mangus", an Indian name for the beast. The mongoose does indeed eat snakes as part of its diet, along with other small creatures. However, it usually avoids the dangerous cobra, although humans have used the mongoose to fight cobras for sport and entertainment. The mongoose fares well against poisonous snakes because the it is agile and wily, and has a thick skin, literally.

“Cobra” is the name given to a group of snakes, some of which are in different animal families. The term “cobra” is reserved for those snakes that can expand their neck ribs to create a hood. The name “cobra” is an abbreviated form of “cobra de capello” which translates from Portuguese as “snake with hood”.

23. Like natural gas and carbon monoxide : ODORLESS
Natural gas that is piped into our homes is naturally odorless. A tiny amount of odorant is added to assist in the detection of leaks. A common additive is tert-Butylthiol, which is said to impart the smell of rotten eggs.

26. Pianist Cliburn : VAN
Van Cliburn is a classical pianist from Shreveport, Louisiana. Cliburn became famous in the late fifties when he won the prestigious International Piano Competition held in Moscow. This win was of particular interest to the public, as an American winning something in the USSR was big news in the days of the Cold War.

32. Seacrest of "American Top 40" : RYAN
Radio and television personality Ryan Seacrest is best known as the host of the talent show “American Idol”. Seacrest has also been hosting “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” on ABC since 2005. He is also a producer, and is the man behind the show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”. Ryan has a lot to answer for …

35. Frankfurter : DOG
What we call a wiener in this country is known as a Vienna sausage in Germany. It was first produced by a butcher from Frankfurt who was living in Vienna, hence the name “Wiener”, which is German for “of Vienna”. Paradoxically, the same sausage is called a Frankfurter in Vienna, as it was created by someone from Frankfurt. It’s all very confusing …

39. Audio equipment brand : AIWA
Aiwa was a Japanese company that produced consumer electronics, mainly audio and video equipment. Sony bought Aiwa in 2002 and eventually discontinued the brand in 2006. The Aiwa trademark was acquired by a Chicago-based consumer electronics company in 2015.

42. Comics character who was perpetually 19 : 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”.

45. Waterfall : CATARACT
A cataract is a large waterfall. “Cataract” is of Greek origin coming into English via the Latin “cataracta” meaning waterfall.

54. Weasel word? : ERMINE
The stoat has dark brown fur in the summer, and white fur in the winter. Sometimes the term “ermine” is used for the animal during the winter when the fur is white. Ermine skins have long been prized by royalty and are often used for white trim on ceremonial robes.

57. Dormant volcano near the Turkish/Iranian border : ARARAT
Mount Ararat is in Turkey. Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or Ara the Handsome). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

58. Ancient pyramid builders : MAYANS
The Maya civilization held sway in Central America and Mexico from about 350 AD, until the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s.

61. Snacks served with cerveza : TAPAS
“Tapa” is the Spanish word for "lid", and there is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one's glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

In Spanish, when buying “cerveza” (beer), one might purchase a “paquete de seis” (six-pack).

63. Many a Mormon : UTAHN
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often abbreviated to "LDS", is known colloquially as the Mormon Church.

67. Footnote word : IDEM
“Idem” is usually abbreviated as “id.” and is the Latin word for “the same”. In research papers, “idem” is used in a list of references, in place of citations “already mentioned above”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Harsh cries : YAWPS
6. Biblical verb : HATH
10. Doorway components : JAMBS
15. Meddlesome sort : SNOOP
16. Playhouse locale, perhaps : TREE
17. "___ Mio" : O SOLE
18. Shouted casual greeting : HOLLA!
19. Bellyache : MOAN
20. Actor who won comedy and drama Emmys for the same role : ASNER
21. "Miss Manners," for one : ADVICE COLUMN
22. Pillar : COLUMN
24. Beersheba's region : NEGEV
25. Ticked off : PEEVED
27. Make shipshape, as a ship : SWAB
29. "Ain't gonna happen!" : NO DICE!
30. She, in Salerno : ESSA
31. Jell-O pudding flavor : OREO
33. "Curiously strong" mint : ALTOID
36. ___ a soul : NARY
38. Like albinism : RARE
40. ___-Caps (Nestlé brand) : SNO
41. White-haired : OLD
44. Winter driving hazard ... or a literal hint to four squares in this puzzle : BLACK ICE
46. Béarnaise ingredient : EGG
47. Cone producer : FIR
48. Russian river to the Arctic Ocean : LENA
49. Close, in a guessing game : WARM
51. Spreads outward : FLARES
53. Wardrobe malfunction : TEAR
55. Incur cellphone charges, maybe : ROAM
59. Hit 2002 animated film : ICE AGE
60. Headliner : STAR
62. Arctic plain : TUNDRA
64. Very low-risk investment, familiarly : T-BILL
66. 11/11 : ARMISTICE DAY
68. "Que Sera Sera" singer, 1956 : DAY
69. Film composer Morricone : ENNIO
70. Accountant's stamp : PAID
71. Ancient Greek market : AGORA
73. One collecting money on the sidewalk? : METER
74. Something to clear up? : ACNE
75. Spicy cuisine style : HUNAN
76. Novel writing : PROSE
77. A snifter has a short one : STEM
78. Lots of disputin' from Rasputin? : NYETS

Down
1. What a dowsing rod or a slingshot has : Y-SHAPE
2. Jumper cable connection points : ANODES
3. They might come in packs : WOLVES
4. Patrol wagon : POLICE VAN
5. It's out of this world : SPACE
6. WWW programming code : HTML
7. Waken : AROUSE
8. Group effort : TEAMWORK
9. Salon shade : HENNA
10. "Mad Men" femme fatale : JOAN
11. "Aye," e.g. : ASSENT
12. Cobra fighter : MONGOOSE
13. Extorting from : BLEEDING
14. Helping hound : SERVICE DOG
23. Like natural gas and carbon monoxide : ODORLESS
26. Pianist Cliburn : VAN
28. They're pushed on planes : BAR CARTS
32. Seacrest of "American Top 40" : RYAN
34. It might precede a pickup line : LEER
35. Frankfurter : DOG
37. Up to the task : ABLE
39. Audio equipment brand : AIWA
41. Crunch time helper, maybe : OFFICE TEMP
42. Comics character who was perpetually 19 : LI’L ABNER
43. Involve unwillingly : DRAG INTO
45. Waterfall : CATARACT
50. Generous, affable sort : MR NICE GUY
52. Counts (on) : RELIES
54. Weasel word? : ERMINE
56. Quirky sort : ODD ONE
57. Dormant volcano near the Turkish/Iranian border : ARARAT
58. Ancient pyramid builders : MAYANS
61. Snacks served with cerveza : TAPAS
63. Many a Mormon : UTAHN
64. Time's partner, informally : TEMP
65. It's passed on : LORE
67. Footnote word : IDEM
72. Wise ___ : GUY


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11 comments :

Jeff said...

I got the "thing" (I'm tired of saying "gimmick") almost immediately, but it still took me 35 minutes to finish this one. Most impressive part of this grid was Bill getting the letters ICE into the 4 black squares. I printed this out and did it on paper so I didnt have to attempt that trick.

Have to thank Dave for reminding me of BLACK ICE a few weeks ago. Dave - hope you get back from Panama eventually.

HOLLA is new to me too. Maybe it's something to do with the Spanish "hola"?? No idea.

I think there was a cut and paste malfunction on the blurb on Miss Manners.

Also had no idea Beersheba had so many chess grandmasters. Maybe I should visit. I love the game. I often think I'm a very good player until I come up against a very good player......then reality sets in. I got to visit the old Soviet Chess Academy in Moscow years ago. It was a very unassuming place (not surprisingly) across the Moscow river from Red Square.

Fun one.

Best -

Anonymous said...

Curious about 33 Across "Curiously strong" mint. Returned from London recently and dug out from one of the kitchen drawers a tin of "Curiously Strong Mints" from Marks and Spencer. Is "curiously strong" a particular flavor?

Chuck in Sequim

Jeff said...

Anon -

"Curiously Strong Mints" is the slogan of Altoids. It's written right below the brand name "Altoids" on the tin. If you Google an image of a tin of Altoids you can see it.

Interesting though if there is another mint using the same slogan. Hmmm

Best -

Glenn said...

@Anonymous and @Jeff
Actually Altoids and Curiously Strong Mints are the same thing made by the same company.

Dave Kennison said...

14:22, no errors. I never heard of HOLLA, either.

This was the last of the NYT puzzles I missed while I was off cruising the Panama Canal. I have two Newsday "Saturday Stumpers" to complete and that's it - I'll be all caught up!

BruceB said...

No time, no errors. Maybe a sign that I should just go back to bed. Cell phone ran out of charge during the solving, so no time today. My paper, once again, truncated all the clues past 57D, so the bottom third of the puzzle was solved entirely from across clues 59A and up.

I don't think 'Curiously Strong' is a flavor; but an intensity of flavor. My experience is that ALTOIDs are very strong flavored mints.

I remember hearing the expression 'Give a holler' to someone, used to describe a loud greeting; also 'give me holler' used a request for someone to phone you. I suppose 'give a HOLLA' is a variation of the expression.

Tom M. said...

Fun puzzle made eminently gettable by the theme, revealer, and symmetry of the theme answers. Very well done, and little or nothing to take issue with here.

Anonymous said...

18:35, no errors. But I sure had to work for it. At least 8 minutes spent trying to bend the lower left quadrant to my will.

Dale Stewart said...

No errors. I had mostly the same experiences as the previous posters. I googled HOLLA. There is a archaic meaning given but I think what the constructors were looking for its current use as found in the Urban Dictionary. It's best to look it up there if you are interested.

Anonymous said...

For those interested, "HOLLA" is all-American, it's a bastardization of HOLLER. Can be used interchangably with "YO!" or "S'UP!"

Glenn said...

0 errors, 34 minutes. Pretty much my average for these.

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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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