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0519-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 19 May 17, Friday





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Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD CONSTRUCTOR: Matthew Sewell
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 18m 17s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. 88 or 98 : OLDS
The last Oldsmobile 88 came off the production line in 1999. The first 88 was made way back in 1949. The Oldsmobile 98 was discontinued in 1996, but had been introduced in 1940.

19. Sheet music abbr. : ARR
"Arr." is short for "arranged by", when written on a musical score.

25. Classic arcade game with a glass backboard that shatters : NBA JAM
NBA Jam is an arcade game that was introduced in 1993. It was successful enough to spawn a whole series of NBA Jam video games. Apparently is became the highest-earning arcade game of all time, and took in over $1 billion dollars in quarters.

27. 86 or 99 : AGENT
The satirical comedy series called “Get Smart” was the creation of Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, and starred Don Adams as Agent 86, Maxwell Smart. Agent 86 worked for the spy agency CONTROL, alongside the lovely Agent 99. CONTROL’s sworn enemy was the criminal organization called KAOS. Smart’s shoe phone was a hilarious prop used in almost every episode. When Smart dialed the number 117, the shoe converted into a gun. Cool stuff …

31. Large W.W. II area: Abbr. : ETO
General Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE) was in command of the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during WWII.

34. Agenda-topping issue : MAIN ITEM
“Agenda” is a Latin word that translates as “things to be done”, coming from the verb “agere” meaning “to do”.

41. Bratty girl on "Little House on the Prairie" : NELLIE
In the TV show “Little House on the Prairie”, Nellie Oleson is a daughter of mercantile owners Nels and Harriet Oleson. Nellie is a manipulative and sharp-tongued girl. Played by Alison Arngrim, Nellie’s role is greatly amplified in the TV show relative to the original “Little House” series of novels by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

45. Qualifier in 46-Across : IMO
In my opinion (IMO)

46. Messages with emojis : TEXTS
An emoji is a character found on many cell phones now that is much like an emoticon, but more elaborate.

49. Savory Indian appetizer : SAMOSA
A samosa is quite a tasty appetizer, usually a triangular-shaped savory that often has a vegetarian filling. The word “samosa” is primarily used on Indian menus, and the name comes from “sanbosag”, the name for the dish in Persia.

51. Marking for a very soft passage : PPP
The musical term “pianissimo” is abbreviated to “pp”, and is an instruction to the performer to sing or play very softly. The concept can be extended to “ppp”, short for “pianississimo”, an instruction of play even more softly. The opposite instructions are fortissimo (ff) and fortississimo (fff), instructions to perform very loudly, and even more loudly.

54. Abundance : SLEW
Our usage of “slew” to mean “large number” has nothing to do with the verb “to slew”. The noun “slew” come into English in the early 1800s from the Irish word “sluagh” meaning “host, crowd, multitude”.

58. ___ pros. (lawsuit abbr.) : NOL
"Nolle prosequi" is a Latin phrase that translates literally as "to be unwilling" (nolle) "to pursue" (prosequi). In the arena of law, a declaration of nolle prosequi (shortened to nol. pros.) by a plaintiff or prosecutor is a declaration that all or part of the case will be dropped.

62. What makes consumers blush? : AVON
In 1886, a young man called David McConnell was selling books door-to-door. To enhance his sales numbers he was giving out free perfume to the ladies of the houses that he visited. Seeing as his perfume was more popular than his books, he founded the California Perfume Company in New York City and started manufacturing and selling across the country. The company name was changed to Avon in 1939, and the famous "Avon Calling" marketing campaign was launched in 1954.

66. They're favorites : SEEDS
A “seeded” player or team in a tournament is one given a preliminary ranking that is used in the initial draw. The intention is that the better competitors do are less likely to meet each other in the early rounds.

Down
1. Moorish castle : ALCAZAR
An alcázar is a type of castle in Spain and Portugal that was built during the period of Moorish rule. The Spanish term “alcázar” comes from the Arabic word “al-qasr” meaning “fort, castle”.

3. Wrongly assumed : USURPED
To usurp is to seize and hold by force, say the power or authority of a ruler. The term “usurp” comes to us from Latin via French, from “usus” (a use) and “rapere” (to seize).

4. Some patrons: Abbr. : STS
Saint (st.)

5. Voice-activated Amazon device : ECHO
Amazon Echo is a voice-controlled hardware device that can be used to provide several services including playing radio programs and music, recording of shopping lists, and managing a calendar. The device just sits say in the home listening, until it hears a “wake up” command.

6. "The ponytail's hipster cousin," per GQ : MAN BUN
Man buns are topknots worn by men with long hair.

The Men’s magazine known today as “GQ” used to be titled “Gentlemen’s Quarterly”, and before that was called “Apparel Arts” when it was launched in 1931.

8. Org. for forensic specialist Abby Sciuto : NCIS
Abby Sciuto is a forensic scientist played by Pauley Perrette on the TV show “NCIS”.

10. Competitor of Cartier : OMEGA
Omega is a manufacturer of high-end watches based in Switzerland. An Omega watch was the first portable timepiece to make it to the moon.

Cartier is a manufacturer of jewelry and watches based in Paris that has had a long association with royalty and the very rich. According to King Edward VII, Cartier is “the jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers” (note the English spelling of “jeweller”!).

11. Means of travel for a V.I.P. : LEARJET
Learjet is a company making business jets that was founded in 1960 by William Powell Lear. The original Learjet was a modified Swiss ground-attack fighter aircraft.

15. Soupçon : HINT
"Soupçon" translates literally from French into English as “suspicion”, and can be used in the sense that a “suspicion” of something is a just a hint, a crumb.

30. W.W. II service member : WAC
The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was formed in 1942, and the unit was converted to full status the following year to become the Women's Army Corps (WAC). Famously, General Douglas MacArthur referred to the WACs as his "best soldiers", saying they worked harder, complained less and were better disciplined than men. The WACs were disbanded in 1978 and the serving members were integrated into the rest of the army.

35. Dogged it : IDLED
“To dog it” is a slang term meaning to not expend the effort necessary to accomplish a task. Folks tell me that the expression is quite common, but I must confess that I personally haven't heard it used outside of crosswords. I'll have to listen more carefully in the future …

37. It shares a key with a caret : SIX
The six key on a keyboard is shared with a caret.

The character known as a caret was originally a proofreading mark, used to indicate where a punctuation mark was to be inserted. “Caret” is Latin for “it lacks”.

38. What motivates people to get to first base during a game? : KISS CAM
The “kiss cam” is a diversion during some sporting events in which a video camera picks out random couples in the crowd, projecting their image onto the giant screen at the venue. The couples are encouraged to kiss, for the entertainment of the fans. Famously, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama kissed for the kiss cam at a basketball game a few years ago, as did former President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

42. Strong and majestic : LEONINE
Something described as “leonine” has the characteristics of a lion, is strong and regal. “Leo” is Latin for “lion”.

50. Eponym of USA Track & Field's highest award : OWENS
The Jesse Owens Award is presented annually by USA Track and Field to recognize the season’s top male participant in the sport. The female version of the award is the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Athlete of the Year Award.

56. View from Catania : ETNA
Catania is the second largest city on the island of Sicily (after Palermo). Catania has a long and rich cultural history, and today is best known as a center for technology industries earning it the nickname of the "European Silicon Valley".

57. Photo ID issuers : DMVS
In most states, the government agency responsible for vehicle registration and the issuing of driver's licenses is called the DMV. This initialism usually stands for the Department of Motor Vehicles, but there are "variations on the theme". For example, in Arizona the responsible agency is called the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), and in Colorado the familiar abbreviation “DMV” stands for Division of Motor Vehicles.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Walk all over : ABUSE
6. Put back together : MEND
10. 88 or 98 : OLDS
14. "It's now or never" : LAST CHANCE
16. Converge : MEET
17. Nailing a performance : CRUSHING IT
18. Origination point of some drips : EAVE
19. Sheet music abbr. : ARR
20. Having hit successfully, say : ON BASE
21. Weightlifter's concern : GRIP
22. Obliterates : ZAPS
24. Port whistler : TUG
25. Classic arcade game with a glass backboard that shatters : NBA JAM
27. 86 or 99 : AGENT
29. Still learning the ropes of : NEW TO
31. Large W.W. II area: Abbr. : ETO
32. Save : REDEEM
34. Agenda-topping issue : MAIN ITEM
36. Momentarily : ANY SECOND
38. Started to work : KICKED IN
41. Bratty girl on "Little House on the Prairie" : NELLIE
45. Qualifier in 46-Across : IMO
46. Messages with emojis : TEXTS
48. Size zero, say : TEENY
49. Savory Indian appetizer : SAMOSA
51. Marking for a very soft passage : PPP
53. Show great fondness : DOTE
54. Abundance : SLEW
55. Mothered or fathered : REARED
58. ___ pros. (lawsuit abbr.) : NOL
59. French filmdom : CINE
60. Rid of inefficient extras : STREAMLINE
62. What makes consumers blush? : AVON
63. Plays peacemaker : INTERVENES
64. Pet sounds : MEWS
65. They may be soaked up : RAYS
66. They're favorites : SEEDS

Down
1. Moorish castle : ALCAZAR
2. Heavy rain : BARRAGE
3. Wrongly assumed : USURPED
4. Some patrons: Abbr. : STS
5. Voice-activated Amazon device : ECHO
6. "The ponytail's hipster cousin," per GQ : MAN BUN
7. Its honorees plan to become one : ENGAGEMENT PARTY
8. Org. for forensic specialist Abby Sciuto : NCIS
9. Class clown's comeuppance : DETENTION
10. Competitor of Cartier : OMEGA
11. Means of travel for a V.I.P. : LEARJET
12. Get sidetracked : DEVIATE
13. Part of a blended family : STEPMOM
15. Soupçon : HINT
23. Crafty sort : SNEAK
26. Article of attire with strings : BONNET
28. Convictions : TENETS
30. W.W. II service member : WAC
33. Old-fashioned letter opener : MY DEAR SIR
35. Dogged it : IDLED
37. It shares a key with a caret : SIX
38. What motivates people to get to first base during a game? : KISS CAM
39. Survivor's cry : I'M ALIVE!
40. "Let's get real here ..." : COME NOW ...
42. Strong and majestic : LEONINE
43. Half spoken, half sung : INTONED
44. Naturally blind : EYELESS
47. Flings : SPREES
50. Eponym of USA Track & Field's highest award : OWENS
52. It may be poached : PEAR
56. View from Catania : ETNA
57. Photo ID issuers : DMVS
61. Commander during John Brown's capture in 1859 : LEE


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11 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

14:50, no errors. I did this puzzle last night after an exhausting day spent in getting a friend to an appointment with a doctor and then trying to save my trees from a late spring snow storm so wet that I went through three changes of clothing in one afternoon. So I don't remember much about the puzzle, except that it didn't seem too difficult (perhaps by comparison ... :-).

Jeff said...

I too did this last night, but I spent a nice 42 minutes completing it error free. Somewhere in my crossword lizard brain I remembered ALCAZAR and that helped that last corner fall.

Loved the 86 or 99 Get Smart clue. Liked the 88 or 98 clue too...just not as much.

I used to hear "dogging it" a lot on practice fields. It didn't really mean being IDLE; it just meant they weren't trying very hard - e.g. dogging it to first base on a ground ball out in baseball.

We had some precipitation here in Houston yesterday as well, but since it was 90 degrees here....I didn't have any snow to worry about.

Overall an enjoyable Friday challenge.

Best -

Dave Kennison said...

17A ("Nailing a performance" => CRUSHING IT) rang only the feeblest of bells in what Jeff would call my "crossword lizard brain" (a phrase I really, really like) , but, in yet another demonstration that there is a mysterious synchronicity in the machinery of the universe, today's "ZITS" comic strip has a character saying,"We totally crushed that song!" (Cue eerie music ... :-)

Jeff said...

Dave - I've spoken to my attorneys, the U.S. Copyright clearance center, and the international crossword court in The Hague. We've decided to allow "crossword lizard brain" into the public domain. It's too important to keep to myself and no royalty is necessary should you decide to use it yourself :)

Best -

Dave Kennison said...

Thanks, Jeff ... much appreciated ... :-) ... (or, as they say nowadays, LOL!)

BruceB said...

29:08, no errors. The answers, once discovered, weren't too difficult. I seemed to always go for alternate answers that appeared, initially, to fit the grid. Examples: 36A started with ONE SECOND vice ANY SECOND; 63A INTERCEDES before INTERVENES.

SteveA said...

Yes, Bruce B, I had "IN A SECOND" which really had me stuck for a while.

But all in all, it still seemed fairly easy for a Friday.

Anonymous said...

18:44, no errors.... tantalizingly close to Bill's score, and when I consider how much time it took me to "get" KISSCAM, that made all the difference.

I've seen better grids than this one, and I've seen worse. Wasn't particularly enjoyable, I will say that...

Anonymous said...

@Dave and Jeff: more synchronicity with this puzzle, and your comments. "Crushing it" also applies in baseball (to riff off of Jeff's comment about "dogging it"), to describe "getting every bit" of a pitch and hitting a long, towering homer.

Tom M. said...

Ran through this one until hitting a wall in the far West, both North and South. Ouch. ALCAZAR and KISSCAM were the main barriers for me. So it goes.

Glenn said...

55 minutes, no errors.

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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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