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0630-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 30 Jun 17, Friday



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 CONSTRUCTOR: Damon J. Gulczynski
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 11m 43s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2

  • PIZZERIA (pizzaria!!!)
  • TASSEL (tassal!!!)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

11. What many Brits don't spell "realize" with : ZED
The letter named "zed" has been around since about 1400, and derives from the Greek letter zeta. The spelling and pronunciation of "zee" used in America today first popped up in the 1670s.

14. 500, e.g. : CAR RACE
The Indianapolis 500 race is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The race is run around a 2.5 mile oval, hence requiring 200 laps for completion. The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. Harroun had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposedly that was the first ever use of a rear view mirror on a motor vehicle.

15. Natural energy source : GLUCOSE
Glucose is a simple sugar that is also known as dextrose or grape sugar. It is widely found in nature as glucose is made by plants from carbon dioxide and water during photosynthesis.

17. Designer behind the Dolly Girl perfume : ANNA SUI
Anna Sui is a fashion designer from Detroit, Michigan.

20. Strong connection? : HAYMAKER
A haymaker is a wide, swinging punch. It is so called because the action involves using one's weight and shoulder power to deliver the blow, with a motion much like using a scythe to cut hay.

21. Locale in "Do the Right Thing" : PIZZERIA
“Do the Right Thing” is a Spike Lee movie, released in 1989. Much of the action in the film is centered on a local pizzeria called “Sal’s” owned by Italian-American Salvatore Frangione (played by Danny Aiello).

24. Where the Shannon flows : EIRE
The Shannon is the longest river in Ireland, draining one fifth of the island’s area. It is named for a Celtic goddess named Sionna.

25. One may be straight : FLUSH
In the game of poker, a flush is a hand with all cards in the same suit.

32. Spirit : ELAN
Our word "élan" was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style” or “flair”.

38. Own (up) : FESS
The term “fess” is most often seen as part of the phrasal verb “to fess up” meaning “to admit to something”. “Fess” is simply a shortened form of “confess”.

41. Impudence, slangily : ‘TUDE
Attitude ('tude)

43. Bacchanals : ORGIES
A bacchanalia is a drunken spree, a term that derives from the ancient Roman festival held in honor of Bacchus, the god of winemaking.

47. Like a control freak : ANAL
The use of the word “anal” to mean “stiffly conventional” is an abbreviated form of “anal-retentive”, a term derived from Freudian psychology. Regardless, I’m not a big fan of the term …

48. Classic sitcom sign-off : NANU NANU
“Mork & Mindy” is a sitcom that originally aired from 1978 to 1982. The title characters were played by Robin Williams and Pam Dawber. Mork is an alien from the planet Ork who reports back to his superior called Orson. Orson is played by voice actor Ralph James. Ralph James was also known for providing the voice of Mr Turtle in famous Tootsie Pop commercials in the seventies. Nanu nanu!

55. House shower : C-SPAN
C-SPAN is a privately-funded, nonprofit cable channel that broadcasts continuous coverage of government proceedings.

56. H&M competitor : OLD NAVY
Old Navy is a store brand founded and owned by The Gap. The name Old Navy was taken from the Old Navy Cafe in Paris.

H&M is a Swedish clothing company. "H&M" is a brand name, short for Hennes & Mauritz. The words "Hennes" and "Mauritz" are a somewhat unusual combination (meaning "hers" and "Mauritz"), explained by the history of the company. H&M was founded in 1957, selling women's clothing, and was called "Hennes", the Swedish for "Hers". The company acquired a hunting equipment store, with a line of men's clothing called Mauritz Widforss (a man's name), with the transaction leading to a new store name of Hennes & Mauritz, eventually shortened to H&M.

57. Providers of limited coverage? : BIKINIS
The origin of the word “bikini”, a type of bathing suit, seems very uncertain. My favorite story is that it is named after the Bikini Atoll, site of American A-bomb tests in the forties and fifties. The name “bikini” was chosen for the swim-wear because of the “explosive” effect it had on men who saw a woman wearing the garment!

59. Noodge : NEEDLER
“Noodge” is a slang term, meaning "to nag", or as a noun it can mean "a nag". It comes into English from the Yiddish word "nudyen" meaning "to bore, be tedious".

60. 1983 song that begins "Hate New York City" : I LOVE LA
“I Love L.A.” is a song written and recorded by Randy Newman in 1983. The song is played at major sporting events in the city, after the home team scores or wins.

61. Only word spoken in Mel Brooks's "Silent Movie" : NON
Marcel Marceau was the most famous mime of all time, and a native of Strasbourg in France. He is perhaps most associated with the character Bip the Clown who he played onstage. Marceau made a cameo appearance in Mel Brooks's "Silent Movie", portraying himself. In the scene, Mel Brooks is asking Marceau to appear in his movie (a question asked silently of course, in subtitles), and Marceau turns to the camera and speaks the only word in the whole film, "Non!" (French for "No!"). The mime speaks! Brilliant …

Down
2. Tower of ___ (classic math puzzle) : HANOI
The Tower of Hanoi is a mathematical puzzle or game in which different-sized disks are moved around on three vertical rods. The disks start off as a stack on one rod with the largest disk on the bottom. The idea is to move the disks one-at-a-time so that the entire stack ends up on another rod.

3. Desi Jr. of the 1960s group Dino, Desi & Billy : ARNAZ
Dino, Desi and Billy were a singing group in the late sixties. Two of the trio were sons of famous parents. “Dino” was Dean Paul Martin, son of singer, actor and comedian Dean Martin. “Desi” was Desi Arnaz, Jr., the son of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. Rounding out the group was a friend called Billy Hinsche.

4. His assassination sparked W.W. I : FRANZ FERDINAND
As with WWII, tension was building as the European powers jockeyed for position on the world stage in the run-up to the First World War . The event that triggered the open warfare was the June 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by a Yugoslav nationalist. There followed an ultimatum by the Austro-Hungarian Empire against the Kingdom of Serbia. This in turn triggered what were basically automatic threats invoked by age old alliances, and within weeks the major powers were at war. As these were colonial powers, the conflict spread around the world. By the time an armistice was signed in November 1918, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire had ceased to exist, and the German and Russian Empires had been defeated.

5. Tarboosh feature : TASSEL
“Tarboosh” is the Arabic name for the hat called a “fez” in Turkish.

"Fez" is the name given to the red cylindrical hat worn mainly in North Africa, and by Shriners here in the US. The fez used to be a very popular hat across the Ottoman Empire. The etymology of "fez" is unclear, although it might have something to do with the Moroccan city named Fez.

6. Coin introduced by Louis IX : ECU
The ecu is an Old French coin. When introduced in 1640, the ecu was worth three livres (an older coin, called a "pound" in English). The word "ecu" comes from the Latin "scutum" meaning "shield". The original ecu had a coat of arms on it, a shield.

Louis IX was the King of France from 1226 until 1270. Louis IX is the only king of France to have been made a saint. This Saint Louis was the man who gave his name to the city of St. Louis, Missouri.

7. ___ gratia : DEI
The phrase “Deo gratias”, meaning “Thanks be to God”, is heard repeatedly during the Latin Mass in the Roman Catholic faith.

8. Famed Indian burial site : AGRA
Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India. Agra was also the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
  • The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal architecture.

12. Titular Salinger girl : ESME
J. D. Salinger wrote a short story called “For Esmé – with Love and Squalor”, originally published in “The New Yorker” in 1950. It is a story about a young English girl called Esme and an American soldier, and is set in WWII.

13. Puma prey : DEER
The mountain lion is found in much of the Americas from the Yukon in Canada right down to the southern Andes in South America. Because the mountain lion is found over such a vast area, it has many different names applied by local peoples, such as cougar and puma. In fact, the mountain lion holds the Guinness record for the animal with the most number of different names, with over 40 in English alone.

23. Key : ISLET
A “key” (also “cay”) is a low island offshore, as in the Florida Keys. Our term in English comes from the Spanish “cayo” meaning “shoal, reef”.

27. Place to pray : APSE
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

28. Where Molson Coors is TAP : NYSE
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) can give some quite descriptive ticker symbols to companies, for example:
  • Anheuser-Busch (BUD, for “Budweiser”)
  • Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP, as in “beer tap”)
  • Steinway Musical Instruments (LVB, for “Ludwig van Beethoven”)
  • Sotheby’s (BID, for the auction house)

Adolph Coors founded the Coors brewing company in 1873, in Golden, Colorado. Coors was originally from the Rhine Province in Prussia, and worked in various brewers around what is today Germany before immigrating to the US in 1868. Despite all of his success as a brewer here in America, Coors ended up taking his own life in 1929, by jumping to his death out of a hotel window.

29. Feeling that everyone's having fun without you, in modern lingo : FOMO
Fear of missing out (FOMO)

31. Place of outdoor meditation : ZEN GARDEN
Japanese Zen gardens are inspired by the meditation gardens of Zen Buddhist temples. Zen gardens have no water in them, but often there is gravel and sand that is raked in patterns designed to create the impression of water in waves and ripples.

33. Tennis's Petrova : NADIA
Nadia Petrova is a tennis player from Moscow who has ranked third in the world in doubles. Petrova has a good complement of athletic genes as her father was a successful hammer thrower and her mother won an Olympic bronze in the 400m track relay.

37. ___ Vogue : TEEN
“Teen Vogue” is a version of “Vogue” magazine that targets teenage girls.

40. Harbor seal : SEA CALF
A sea calf is an alternative name for the harbor seal, also known as the common seal.

49. Trouble in the night : APNEA
Sleep apnea (“apnoea” in British English) can be caused by an obstruction in the airways, possibly due to obesity or enlarged tonsils.

52. Skiing great Lindsey : VONN
Lindsey Vonn is a World Champion alpine ski racer from Saint Paul, Minnesota. She is one of the few women to have won World Cup races in all five alpine racing disciplines: downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom and super combined. In fact, Vonn is the most successful US ski racer in history.

54. Newbie : TYRO
A tyro (also “tiro”) is a beginner or a novice. “Tyro” comes into English from Latin, in which “tiro” means “a recruit”.

58. 1969 Peace Prize agcy. : ILO
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is an agency now administered by the UN which was established by the League of Nations after WWI. The ILO deals with important issues such as health and safety, discrimination, child labor and forced labor. The organization was recognized for its work in 1969 when it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Given the short end of the stick : SHAFTED
8. Prone : APT
11. What many Brits don't spell "realize" with : ZED
14. 500, e.g. : CAR RACE
15. Natural energy source : GLUCOSE
17. Designer behind the Dolly Girl perfume : ANNA SUI
18. Really stress : RAM HOME
19. Wind sounds : MOANS
20. Strong connection? : HAYMAKER
21. Locale in "Do the Right Thing" : PIZZERIA
24. Where the Shannon flows : EIRE
25. One may be straight : FLUSH
26. Put down : DEMEAN
29. Disconcert : FAZE
32. Spirit : ELAN
34. Excessively sentimental : SOPPY
35. No more : OVER
36. Trim, in a way : DEFAT
38. Own (up) : FESS
39. Tapes, maybe : MENDS
41. Impudence, slangily : ‘TUDE
42. For the taking : FREE
43. Bacchanals : ORGIES
45. Flower girl, sometimes : NIECE
47. Like a control freak : ANAL
48. Classic sitcom sign-off : NANU NANU
52. Big appetite : VORACITY
55. House shower : C-SPAN
56. H&M competitor : OLD NAVY
57. Providers of limited coverage? : BIKINIS
59. Noodge : NEEDLER
60. 1983 song that begins "Hate New York City" : I LOVE LA
61. Only word spoken in Mel Brooks's "Silent Movie" : NON
62. Back again : FRO
63. "That's no challenge" : TOO EASY

Down
1. Rogue : SCAMP
2. Tower of ___ (classic math puzzle) : HANOI
3. Desi Jr. of the 1960s group Dino, Desi & Billy : ARNAZ
4. His assassination sparked W.W. I : FRANZ FERDINAND
5. Tarboosh feature : TASSEL
6. Coin introduced by Louis IX : ECU
7. ___ gratia : DEI
8. Famed Indian burial site : AGRA
9. Took for a fool : PLAYED
10. Food processors, informally : TUMMIES
11. One involved in monkey business? : ZOOKEEPER
12. Titular Salinger girl : ESME
13. Puma prey : DEER
16. Campaign of flattery : CHARM OFFENSIVE
20. Humorous as opposed to strange : HA-HA FUNNY
22. Wished could be undone : RUED
23. Key : ISLET
27. Place to pray : APSE
28. Where Molson Coors is TAP : NYSE
29. Feeling that everyone's having fun without you, in modern lingo : FOMO
30. More than conjecture : AVER
31. Place of outdoor meditation : ZEN GARDEN
33. Tennis's Petrova : NADIA
37. ___ Vogue : TEEN
40. Harbor seal : SEA CALF
44. Dieter's piece of cake? : SLIVER
46. Crackpot : CUCKOO
49. Trouble in the night : APNEA
50. Catches in the act : NAILS
51. Retract : UNSAY
52. Skiing great Lindsey : VONN
53. Nondairy spread : OLEO
54. Newbie : TYRO
57. Jot : BIT
58. 1969 Peace Prize agcy. : ILO


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0629-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Jun 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 CONSTRUCTOR: Rich Proulx
THEME: Sounds Like Country
Today’s themed answers sound like common phrases, but include the name of a country:
18A. Request for aid in East Africa? : KENYA, GIVE ME A HAND (sounds like “can you give me a hand?”)
27A. Call for cleanup in the Persian Gulf? : BAHRAIN, WASH (sounds like “brainwash”)
49A. Slogan for a West African airline? : GHANA, FLY NOW (sounds like “gonna fly now”)
62A. Entreaty for a spouse's emigration to Central America? : TAKE MY WIFE, BELIZE (sounds like “take my wife, please”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 11m 10s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2

  • ANGE (Anne!!!)
  • GIGI (Gini)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" band : WHAM!
I found out relatively recently that the eighties pop duo that we knew on the other side of the Atlantic as “Wham!” were better known as “Wham! UK” in North America. Apparently there already was a band called Wham! here in the US. Wham! UK was composed of singers George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. George Michael made it big as a solo artist after the pair broke up, but Ridgeley kind of faded into obscurity, relatively speaking.

18. Request for aid in East Africa? : KENYA, GIVE ME A HAND (sounds like “can you give me a hand?”)
Kenya lies on the east coast of Africa, right on the equator. The country takes her name from Mount Kenya, the second highest peak on the continent (after Kilimanjaro). The official languages of Kenya are English and Swahili.

23. Ones with X-Genes, in comics : MUTANTS
In the Marvel Comics universe, mutants are beings with an X-gene. Such mutants are humans who naturally develop superhuman powers. The most celebrated of these mutants are known as the X-Men.

24. Figure on the top of Paris's Notre-Dame : ANGE
“Ange” is French for “angel”.

Notre-Dame de Paris is the spectacular Gothic cathedral that sits on the Île de la Cité, one of the islands in the middle on the River Seine in Paris. Notre Dame is home to many beautiful and significant artifacts, the most famous of which is the Crown of Thorns supposedly worn by Jesus Christ at his execution, placed in the cathedral in 1239. It’s also home to some magnificent gargoyles on the roof, and you can climb up to the roof and take a very close look at them.

26. Hoosier hoopsters : PACERS
The Indiana Pacers are the professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, who play in the NBA. The name was chosen when the team was formed in 1967. “Pacers” is a homage harness racing pacers (famed in Indiana) and the pace car used in the Indianapolis 500.

The exact origin of the word “hoosier” is unknown, but has been around since at least 1830. The term had no direct linkage with Indiana until John Finley of Richmond, Indiana wrote a poem called “The Hoosier’s Nest” in 1833. A few years later, by 1840, “hoosier” was generally accepted as a term for Indiana residents.

27. Call for cleanup in the Persian Gulf? : BAHRAIN, WASH (sounds like “brainwash”)
Bahrain is an island nation located off the coast of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf. Bahrain is connected to Saudi Arabia by a series of causeways and bridges constructed in the eighties.

The Persian Gulf is in effect an inland sea although it technically is an offshoot of the Indian Ocean. The outlet from the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean is one of the most famous maritime “choke points” in the world, known as the Strait of Hormuz. About 20% of the world’s supply of petroleum passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

34. "Traffic Crossing ___ Bridge" (pioneering 1888 moving picture) : LEEDS
Louis Le Prince was an inventor who shot the first moving pictures on paper film using a single lens camera. As such Le Prince is referred to as the Father of Cinematography. He was a Frenchman, but shot his earliest film in 1888 in Leeds in the north of England. Le Prince never demonstrated his invention in the US as he vanished under mysterious circumstances from a train in France just prior to a planned American visit. Subsequently, Thomas Edison was credited with the invention of motion pictures.

38. Turkish title : AGA
“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

42. Sale tag abbr. : IRR
Irregular (“irr.” or “irreg.”)

45. Chem. unit : MOL
Molecule (mol.)

46. Virus carried by fruit bats : EBOLA
The Ebola virus causes a very nasty form of hemorrhagic fever. The name of the virus comes from the site of the first known outbreak, in a mission hospital in the Ebola River Valley in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then known as Zaire). The disease is transmitted from human to human by exposure to bodily fluids. In nature, the main carrier of Ebola is the fruit bat.

48. To be, to Augustus : ESSE
Gaius Octavius Thurinus (often called Octavian) was the adopted son of Gaius Julius Caesar. After Julius Caesar was assassinated, Octavian came to power in Rome and teamed up with Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in what was called the Second Triumvirate. When the triumvirate fell apart, especially after Antony’s defeat at Actium, Octavian became more powerful within the Roman Republic. Several years later he wrested sufficient power from the Roman Senate to end the Republic and begin the Roman Empire. As the first Emperor of Rome, Octavian was given the name Caesar Augustus. The month of August, originally called “Sextilis” in Latin, was renamed in honor of Augustus.

49. Slogan for a West African airline? : GHANA, FLY NOW (“gonna fly now”)
The name "Ghana" means "warrior king" in the local language. The British established a colony they called Gold Coast in 1874, later to become Ghana, as part of the scramble by Europeans to settle as much of Africa as they could. One of Ghana's most famous sons is Kofi Annan, the diplomat who served as General Secretary of the UN for ten years until the beginning of 2007.

52. Shaman, e.g. : HEALER
A shaman is a supposed intermediary between the human world and the spirit world.

54. Smelting residue : SLAG
The better lead ores are processed in a blast furnace, to extract the metal. The "waste" from this process is called "slag". Slag does contain some lead and it can be processed further in a "slag furnace" to extract the residual metal. Slag furnaces also accept poorer lead ores as a raw material.

Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and, a greenhouse gas).

57. Southwest sch. with an enrollment of over 70,000 : ASU
Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

58. "The ___ of Horace" : ODES
One of Ancient Rome’s leading lyric poets was Quintus Horatius Flaccus, or “Horace” as we tend to know him. Horace’s most famous work is probably his collection of Latin lyric poems titled “Carmina” (the Latin for “Odes).

62. Entreaty for a spouse's emigration to Central America? : TAKE MY WIFE, BELIZE (sounds like “take my wife, please”)
Belize was formerly known as British Honduras, and English is the country’s official language. Belize is located on the northeastern coast of Central America, bordering Mexico and Guatemala.

69. "An Inconvenient Truth" narrator : GORE
Former Vice President Al Gore was a joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 in recognition for his work in climate change activism. He also won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for his book on climate change called “An Inconvenient Truth”. The documentary of the same name that was spawned by the book won an Academy Award. In addition, Gore won an Emmy as co-owner of Current TV, an independent news network.

70. Church council : SYNOD
The word “synod” comes from the Greek word for assembly, or meeting. A synod is a church council, usually in the Christian faith.

Down
1. 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.

2. Three-time N.H.L. M.V.P. Ovechkin : ALEX
Alex Ovechkin is a professional hockey player from Russia. Ovechkin played in his homeland with HC Dynamo Moscow before relocating to the US to play for the Washington Capitals.

5. It has its benefits: Abbr. : SSA
Social Security Administration (SSA)

7. Queen's residence : HIVE
A queen bee has a stinger, just like worker bees. When a worker bee stings, it leaves it stinger in its victim. The worker bee dies after losing its stinger as the loss rips out part of its insides. However, a queen bee can sting with impunity as the stinger’s anatomy is different.

9. Who shouldn't "let your babies grow up to be cowboys," in a 1978 #1 country song : MAMMAS
"Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" is a 1975 country song written by husband and wife Ed and Patsy Bruce, and recorded by Ed. Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson recorded a famous duet version in 1978 that topped the country music charts.

11. Arid : SAHARAN
The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic and it is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the United States.

12. Segue : TRANSITION
A segue is a transition from one topic to the next. “Segue” is an Italian word that literally means “now follows”. It was first used in musical scores directing the performer to play into the next movement without a break.

20. Game played with 24 cards : EUCHRE
Euchre is a card game that probably came to the US from Germany, introduced by German farmers who settled in Wisconsin. Euchre is a trick-taking game usually played by four people in two partnerships. Unlike bridge, Euchre is played with a stripped down deck of 24 or 32 cards. The verb “to euchre” is slang for “to cheat, swindle”, a term that presumably comes from the card game.

28. Shield of Athena : AEGIS
Someone is said to be under the aegis (also “egis”) of someone else (for example) if that other person provides protection, or perhaps sponsorship. The word "aegis" comes from the Greek word for a goat ("aigis"), the idea being that the goatskin shield or breastplate worn by Zeus or Athena, gave some measure of protection.

30. ___ Republic, state toppled in 1933 : WEIMAR
At the end of WWI, the imperial government of Germany was overthrown in the German Revolution of November 1918. Just under a year later, a new constitution was adopted by a national assembly in the city of Weimar. The resulting Weimar Republic lasted until German democracy collapsed in the early 1930s and the Nazi Party came to power.

32. ___ Thomas, entertainer with a Presidential Medal of Freedom : MARLO
Marlo Thomas’s most famous role was playing the title character in the television sitcom “That Girl”. Thomas is also well known as a spokesperson for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

33. Tatami material : STRAW
A tatami is a traditional mat used on floors in Japan. The term “tatami” comes from the Japanese word “tatamu” meaning “to fold”, reflecting the fact that the mat is designed to be folded up for storage.

37. Writer ___ Rogers St. Johns : ADELA
Adela Rogers St. Johns was a journalist, novelist and screenwriter from Los Angeles. St. Johns’ father was a good friend of William Randolph Hearst, and she secured her first job working for Hearst as a reporter on the “San Francisco Examiner”. St. Johns was most famous as what was then called a “girl reporter”, in the twenties and thirties. Much later in her life, she was a regular guest on the “Tonight Show” hosted by Jack Paar.

40. "St. Elsewhere" actor Ed ___ Jr. : BEGLEY
“St. Elsewhere” is a comedy-drama TV series that originally ran from 1982 to 1988. Set in an old hospital in Boston called St. Eligius, the show starred Ed Flanders, Norman Lloyd and William Daniels. This was in fact the first TV show that I started to watch regularly when I moved the US in the early eighties. That actors I remember most are Ed Begley, Jr. and Howie Mandel …

41. Peter Falk feature : GLASS EYE
Peter Falk was an actor from New York City who became most associated with the title role in the cop show “Columbo”. In addition to his abilities as an actor, Falk was known for his squint. This squint was the result of a glass eye that he wore from the age of three. The young Falk developed a form of cancer that necessitated the original eye’s removal.

50. Harry Potter's owl : HEDWIG
Hedwig is the owl belonging to Harry Potter in the J. K. Rowling series of fantasy novels. Hedwig is a female owl, although she is played in the movies by male snowy owls. Male snowy owls are completely white, whereas females have dark patches on their plumage.

53. Cosmetics brand owned by Revlon : ALMAY
The Almay brand of cosmetics was established back in 1931. Almay was founded by Alfred and Fanny May Woititz, who melded their given names to come up with the brand name (Al-may). The couple were driven to invent the products as Fanny May needed cosmetics that did not irritate her skin.

Revlon was founded in the depths of the Great Depression in 1932, by Charles and Joseph Revson. The “S” in the Revson name was replaced by the “L” from Charles “Lachman”, a chemist who partnered with the two brothers.

56. Poi source : TARO
The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, the traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

57. Light-years away : AFAR
A light-year (lt. yr.) is a measure of distance, not time. It is the distance that light travels in a vacuum in one year, almost six trillion miles. The accepted abbreviation for a light-year is “ly”. A light-second is a lot shorter distance: about 186,282 miles.

59. Anthropologist Fossey : DIAN
Dian Fossey carried out her famous study of gorilla populations in the mountain forests of Rwanda (NB: it was Jane Goodall that worked with chimpanzees). Sadly, Fossey was found dead in her cabin in Rwanda in 1986, murdered in her bedroom, her skull split open by a machete. The crime was never solved.

60. Opera singer Pinza : EZIO
Ezio Pinza was an opera singer from Italy. Pinza performed for many years with the Metropolitan Opera in New York before retiring from the Met in 1948. He then launched a career on Broadway and in Hollywood.

63. "I think," in texts : IMO
In my opinion (IMO)

64. Short albums, for short : EPS
An extended-play record, CD or download (EP) contains more music than a single, but less than an LP.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Children's ball game : JACKS
6. "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" band : WHAM!
10. Prefix with -logical : ASTRO-
15. Plants cultivated for their sap : ALOES
16. "Hey there" : HIYA
17. Shown, as teeth : BARED
18. Request for aid in East Africa? : KENYA, GIVE ME A HAND (sounds like “can you give me a hand?”)
21. Suit : EXEC
22. Resident's suffix : -ITE
23. Ones with X-Genes, in comics : MUTANTS
24. Figure on the top of Paris's Notre-Dame : ANGE
26. Hoosier hoopsters : PACERS
27. Call for cleanup in the Persian Gulf? : BAHRAIN, WASH (sounds like “brainwash”)
31. Uses cross hairs : AIMS
34. "Traffic Crossing ___ Bridge" (pioneering 1888 moving picture) : LEEDS
35. Always, to Shakespeare : E’ER
36. Berate : RANT AT
38. Turkish title : AGA
39. Cut down : ABRIDGED
42. Sale tag abbr. : IRR
43. Word before school or class : MIDDLE
45. Chem. unit : MOL
46. Virus carried by fruit bats : EBOLA
48. To be, to Augustus : ESSE
49. Slogan for a West African airline? : GHANA, FLY NOW (“gonna fly now”)
52. Shaman, e.g. : HEALER
54. Smelting residue : SLAG
55. Having a corner piece? : STAPLED
57. Southwest sch. with an enrollment of over 70,000 : ASU
58. "The ___ of Horace" : ODES
62. Entreaty for a spouse's emigration to Central America? : TAKE MY WIFE, BELIZE (sounds like “take my wife, please”)
65. Bowl : ARENA
66. "Perhaps" : I MAY
67. No-frills : PLAIN
68. Domineering : BOSSY
69. "An Inconvenient Truth" narrator : GORE
70. Church council : SYNOD

Down
1. Hunky-dory : JAKE
2. Three-time N.H.L. M.V.P. Ovechkin : ALEX
3. Roadwork indicator : CONE
4. Door opener : KEY CARD
5. It has its benefits: Abbr. : SSA
6. Toothpaste ingredient : WHITENER
7. Queen's residence : HIVE
8. Yes, on board : AYE
9. Who shouldn't "let your babies grow up to be cowboys," in a 1978 #1 country song : MAMMAS
10. Let up : ABATE
11. Arid : SAHARAN
12. Segue : TRANSITION
13. Let : RENT
14. One in a million, e.g. : ODDS
19. Supermodel Hadid : GIGI
20. Game played with 24 cards : EUCHRE
25. Kind of spray : NASAL
26. "My fault" : PARDON
27. Subject of finger-pointing : BLAME
28. Shield of Athena : AEGIS
29. Wordless denials : HEAD SHAKES
30. ___ Republic, state toppled in 1933 : WEIMAR
32. ___ Thomas, entertainer with a Presidential Medal of Freedom : MARLO
33. Tatami material : STRAW
37. Writer ___ Rogers St. Johns : ADELA
40. "St. Elsewhere" actor Ed ___ Jr. : BEGLEY
41. Peter Falk feature : GLASS EYE
44. Intensifies : DEEPENS
47. "Great Scott!" : BY GOLLY!
50. Harry Potter's owl : HEDWIG
51. Mess up : FLUB
53. Cosmetics brand owned by Revlon : ALMAY
55. Attempt : STAB
56. Poi source : TARO
57. Light-years away : AFAR
59. Anthropologist Fossey : DIAN
60. Opera singer Pinza : EZIO
61. Email button : SEND
63. "I think," in texts : IMO
64. Short albums, for short : EPS


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0628-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Jun 17, Wednesday



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 CONSTRUCTOR: David Kwong
THEME: A Quip
Today’s themed answers spell out a quip, and very inventive and fresh quip it is:
17A. Start of a quip about a whimsical celebrity couple : HOW I WISH NATALIE ...
23A. Quip, part 2 : … PORTMAN DATED ...
37A. Quip, part 3 : … JACQUES COUSTEAU ...
48A. Quip, part 4 : … SO I COULD CALL ...
59A. End of the quip : … THEM PORTMANTEAU!
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 18s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Piedmont wine center : 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.

14. "Prospero Año ___!" : NUEVO
In Spanish, one wishes someone “un prospero año nuevo” (a happy new year) in “enero” (January).

15. Garbage-hauling boat : SCOW
A scow is a flat-bottomed boat with squared-off ends that's often used for transportation, usually pushed or pulled by a barge. Often a scow can be seen carrying junk or garbage.

17. Start of a quip about a whimsical celebrity couple : HOW I WISH NATALIE …
(23A. Quip, part 2 : … PORTMAN DATED …)
The actress Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem, Israel. She moved to the US with her family when she was just three years old.

20. It may run the Sierra OS : IMAC
Apple introduced the OS X Operating System in 2000. Each version of this operating system has had a code name, and that code name until recently has been a type of big cat. The versions and code names are:
  • 10.0: Cheetah
  • 10.1: Puma
  • 10.2: Jaguar
  • 10.3: Panther
  • 10.4: Tiger
  • 10.5: Leopard
  • 10.6: Snow Leopard
  • 10.7: Lion
  • 10.8: Mountain Lion
  • 10.9: Mavericks
  • 10.10: Yosemite
  • 10.11: El Capitan
  • 10.12: macOS Sierra

21. Winner's hand gesture : VEE
One has to be careful making that V-sign depending where you are in the world. Where I came from, the V for victory (or peace) sign has to be made with the palm facing outwards. If the sign is made with the palm facing inwards, it can be interpreted as a very obscene gesture.

26. Treelike creature of Middle-earth : ENT
Ents are those tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth in his series of books "The Lord of the Rings". “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

28. Dadaist Jean : ARP
Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …

31. De Botton who wrote "The Architecture of Happiness" : ALAIN
Alain de Botton is a British writer and philosopher (born in Switzerland) whose best known work is the novel “Essays in Love” that was published in 1993.

36. First name in stunt cycling : EVEL
Daredevil Evel Knievel contracted hepatitis C from the many blood transfusions that he needed after injuries incurred during stunts. He had to have a liver transplant as a result, but his health declined after that. Knievel eventually passed away in 2007.

37. Quip, part 3 : … JACQUES COUSTEAU …
Jacques-Yves Cousteau started off his career in the French Navy, aiming for a working life in aviation. Because of a car accident, Cousteau had to abandon his first career choice and instead went to sea. Famously, he co-invented the Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA), also called the aqua-lung.

41. Greek counterpart of Mars : ARES
The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

42. Chemical in Drano : LYE
To clean out drains we might buy Crystal Drano which is sodium hydroxide (lye) mixed with sodium nitrate, sodium chloride (table salt) and aluminum. The contents of Drano work in concert to clear the clog. The lye reacts with any fats creating soap which may be enough to break up the clog. Also, the finely-divided aluminum reacts with water creating tremendous heat so that that mixture boils and churns, then any hair or fibers are cut by the sharp edges of the nitrate and chloride crystals. Having said all that, I find that boiling water poured down the drain almost always does the job …

43. Kvetches : CARPS
The word "carp" used to mean simply "talk" back in the 13th century, with its roots in the Old Norwegian "karpa" meaning "to brag". A century later the Latin word "carpere" meaning "to slander" influenced the use of "carp" so that it came to mean "find fault with".

The word "kvetch" comes to us from Yiddish, with "kvetshn" meaning "to complain" or "squeeze".

45. Target of ID theft: Abbr. : SSN
Social Security number (SSN)

46. Bluto's was 0.0 in "Animal House" : GPA
Grade point average (GPA)

The very funny 1978 movie "Animal House" has the prefix "National Lampoon's ..." because the storyline came out of tales that had already appeared in "National Lampoon" magazine. "Animal House" was to become the first in a long line of successful "National Lampoon" films. The main pledges in the movie are Tom Hulce (Pinto), who later played a magnificent "Amadeus", and Stephen Furst (Flounder), who later played a regular role on television's "Babylon 5".

54. "American Pie" singer Don : MCLEAN
Don McLean released his greatest hit, “American Pie”, back in 1971. Despite the song’s iconic position in the pop repertoire, McLean has been remarkably reticent about its origins and the meaning of the lyrics. We do know that it was inspired by the death of Buddy Holly in a plane crash (“the day the music died”). McLean has also told us that he first read about the death of his idol when delivering newspapers the day after the crash (“February made me shiver/with every paper I’d deliver”). Although the lyrics have been analyzed and interpreted in depth by many, McLean’s stance remains that it is just a poem set to music.
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

57. Article in Le Monde : UNE
“Le Monde” is a newspaper published each evening in France. “Le Monde” is one of the two most famous French papers, along with “Le Figaro”.

58. First name at Woodstock : ARLO
Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

1969’s Woodstock Music & Art Fair was held on a dairy farm located 43 miles southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York. 400,000 young people attended, and saw 32 bands and singers perform over three days.

59. End of the quip : … THEM PORTMANTEAU!
A portmanteau was a large suitcase, one that could be taken apart into two separate pieces. The word “portmanteau” is French for a “travelling bag”, from “porter” (to carry) and “manteau” (a coat, cloak). We also use “portmanteau” to mean a word that has been melded together from two parts (just as the suitcase comprised two parts). This usage was introduced to the world by Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. He explained to Alice that the nonsense words in the “Jabberwocky” poem were actually portmanteau words. For example “slithy” comes from from “slimy” and “lithe”.

62. Best Picture of 1958 : GIGI
In the lovely musical film "Gigi", released in 1958, the title song is sung by Louis Jourdan who plays Gaston. My favorite number though, has to be "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" sung by Maurice Chevalier. Many say that “Gigi” is the last in the long line of great MGM musicals. It won a record 9 Academy Awards, a record that only lasted one year. Twelve months later “Ben Hur” won 11 Oscars. In the 1958 film, Gigi was played by the lovely Leslie Caron. A few years earlier, “Gigi” was a successful stage play on Broadway. Chosen for the title role on stage was the then-unknown Audrey Hepburn.

65. Smart-alecky talk : SASS
Apparently the original "smart Alec" (sometimes “Aleck”) was Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

66. George Orwell's alma mater : ETON
The world-famous Eton College is just a brisk walk from Windsor Castle, which itself is just outside London. Eton is noted for producing many British leaders including David Cameron who took power in the last UK general election. The list of Old Etonians also includes Princes William and Harry, the Duke of Wellington, George Orwell, and the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming (as well as 007 himself as described in the Fleming novels).

“George Orwell” was the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair, the famous British author of the classics "Nineteen Eighty-Four" and "Animal Farm".

Down
2. Cathedral of Florence : DUOMO
“Duomo” is an Italian word for “cathedral”. The term probably comes from the Latin “domus” meaning “house”, and used in the sense of a cathedral being a house of God, or perhaps the house of a bishop.

3. ___ flask (thermos) : DEWAR
The vacuum flask was invented in 1892 by Sir James Dewar. It comprises two flasks, one inside the other, joined at the neck. The air between the walls of the two flasks is expelled, creating a near-vacuum. This vacuum minimizes heat transfer, so that liquids in the inner flask remain hot or cold longer. Two German glassblowers commercialized Dewar’s design, starting in 1904, and sold the flasks under the trademarked name “Thermos”. Thermos is still a registered trademark in some countries, but was deemed a genericized trademark in the US in 1963.

5. Heed the coxswain : ROW
The coxswain of a boat is one in charge, particularly of its steering and navigation. The name is shortened to "cox" particularly when used for the person steering and calling out the stroke in a competition rowing boat.

7. Amtrak posting: Abbr. : SCHED
Amtrak is the name used commercially by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. “Amtrak” comes from a melding of the words “America” and “track”.

9. Wartime poster phrase : I WANT YOU
The famous “I want YOU for the US Army” poster dates back to 1917. It depicts Uncle Sam pointing to the viewer, encouraging young men to report to the nearest recruiting station. The poster was designed by J. M. Flagg and is based on the similar British poster showing Lord Kitchener that was first issued three years earlier.

12. Drooling dog of the comics : ODIE
Odie is Garfield's best friend and is a slobbery beagle. Both are characters in Jim Davis’ comic strip named “Garfield”.

18. Nobelist Pavlov : IVAN
Ivan Pavlov was studying gastric function in dogs in the 1890s when he observed that his subject dogs started to salivate before he even presented food to them. This “psychic secretion”, as he called it, interested him so much that he changed the direction of his research and studied the reactions of dogs to various stimuli that were associated with the presentation of food. Famously, he discovered that a dog could be conditioned to respond as though he was about to be fed, just by sensing some stimulus that he had come to associate with food. This might be a bell ringing, an electric shock (poor dog!) or perhaps the waving of a hand. Nowadays we might describe someone as “Pavlov’s Dog” if that person responds just the way he/she has been conditioned to respond, rather than applying critical thinking.

19. Things having their home on the range? : TEES
That would be a golf range.

25. Gucci of fashion : ALDO
Gucci was founded in Rome in 1921, by Guccio Gucci. Guccio's son Aldo took over the company after his father's death in 1953. It was Aldo who established the international presence for the brand and opened the company's first overseas store, in New York City.

31. Cracked a bit : AJAR
Our word "ajar" is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which "a char" means "slightly open".

32. Logan of CBS News : LARA
Lara Logan is a South African newswoman, and is currently the Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for CBS News. CBS placed Logan on a forced leave of absence at the end of 2013 for comments that she made about the US Government’s culpability in the Benghazi attack and for inaccuracies in her reporting of the story.

34. Mensa members' assets : IQS
If you ever learned Latin, “mensa” was probably taught to you in lesson one as it’s the word commonly used as an example of a first declension noun. Mensa means “table”. The Mensa organization, for folks with high IQs, was set up in Oxford, England back in 1946. To become a member, you have to have an IQ that is in the top 2% of the population.

35. Curling surface : ICE
I think curling is such a cool game (pun!). It’s somewhat like bowls, but played on a sheet of ice. The sport was supposedly invented in medieval Scotland, and is called curling because of the action of the granite stone is it moves across the ice. A player can make the stone take a curved path (“curl”) by causing it to slowly rotate as it slides.

36. Fig. in a pilot's announcement : ETA
Expected time of arrival (ETA)

38. "To be, or not to be" soliloquy setting : ELSINORE
Elsinore is the castle that William Shakespeare used as the setting for his play “Hamlet”. Elsinore is based on the actual Kronborg castle in the Danish city of Helsingør (hence “Elsinore”).

There has been centuries of debate about how one interprets Hamlet's soliloquy that begins "To be or not to be ...". My favorite opinion is that Hamlet is weighing up the pros and cons of suicide ("to not be").
To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles ...

40. Whole bunch : SCAD
The origin of the word "scads", meaning "lots and lots", is unclear, although back in the mid-1800s "scads" was used to mean "dollars".

45. Household item whose manufacture employs 42-Across : SOAP
(42A. Chemical in Drano : LYE)
Soap is basically made by adding a strong alkali (like lye) to a fat (like olive oil or palm oil). The fats break down in the basic solution in a process called saponification. The crude soap is extracted from the mixture, washed, purified and finished in molds.

48. Games played by Elite Eight winners : SEMIS
In the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship, the teams remaining at various stages of the tournament are known as:
  • The “Sweet Sixteen” (the regional semi-finalists)
  • The “Elite Eight” (the regional finalists)
  • The “Final Four” (the national semi-finalists)

50. Phoebe of "Gremlins" : CATES
Phoebe Cates is an actress and model best-known for the roles she played in the films “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Gremlins”. Cates retired from acting in the mid-90s to raise her children. Cates is married to fellow actor Kevin Kline.

52. Andean source of wool : LLAMA
The wool from a llama is much softer than that from a sheep, and it is also free from lanolin.

55. "Pet" that needs watering : CHIA
Chia is a flowering plant in the mint family. Chia seeds are an excellent food source and are often added to breakfast cereals and energy bars. There is also the famous Chia Pet, an invention of a San Francisco company. Chia Pets are terracotta figurines to which are applied moistened chia seeds. The seeds sprout and the seedlings become the “fur” of the Chia Pet.

61. Org. for Raptors and Hawks : NBA
The Raptors are the NBA basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario.

The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks started out as the Buffalo Bisons in 1946, although after only a few months the team was moved to Moline, Illinois as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks. The Blackhawks were one of the 17 original teams playing at the founding of the National Basketball Association. There was another move in 1951 and a renaming to the Milwaukee Hawks, and yet again in 1955 when the team became the St. Louis Hawks. The latest move was to Atlanta, in 1968.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Suckling site : UDDER
6. Piedmont wine center : ASTI
10. Lay an egg, so to speak : FLOP
14. "Prospero Año ___!" : NUEVO
15. Garbage-hauling boat : SCOW
16. Hitchhiker's hope : RIDE
17. Start of a quip about a whimsical celebrity couple : HOW I WISH NATALIE ...
20. It may run the Sierra OS : IMAC
21. Winner's hand gesture : VEE
22. Like "it," grammatically : NEUTER
23. Quip, part 2 : … PORTMAN DATED ...
26. Treelike creature of Middle-earth : ENT
27. River of France and Belgium : LYS
28. Dadaist Jean : ARP
31. De Botton who wrote "The Architecture of Happiness" : ALAIN
35. Words sealed with a kiss : I DO
36. First name in stunt cycling : EVEL
37. Quip, part 3 : … JACQUES COUSTEAU ...
41. Greek counterpart of Mars : ARES
42. Chemical in Drano : LYE
43. Kvetches : CARPS
44. "Far out!" : RAD!
45. Target of ID theft: Abbr. : SSN
46. Bluto's was 0.0 in "Animal House" : GPA
48. Quip, part 4 : … SO I COULD CALL ...
54. "American Pie" singer Don : MCLEAN
57. Article in Le Monde : UNE
58. First name at Woodstock : ARLO
59. End of the quip : … THEM PORTMANTEAU!
62. Best Picture of 1958 : GIGI
63. Like elbowing through a crowd, say : RUDE
64. Flashes one's pearlies : BEAMS
65. Smart-alecky talk : SASS
66. George Orwell's alma mater : ETON
67. Test for gold content, say : ASSAY

Down
1. Square : UNHIP
2. Cathedral of Florence : DUOMO
3. ___ flask (thermos) : DEWAR
4. Kick out : EVICT
5. Heed the coxswain : ROW
6. Green light : ASSENT
7. Amtrak posting: Abbr. : SCHED
8. Proverbial amount of bricks : TON
9. Wartime poster phrase : I WANT YOU
10. Con artist's crime : FRAUD
11. Cheery tune : LILT
12. Drooling dog of the comics : ODIE
13. Source of pressure, perhaps : PEER
18. Nobelist Pavlov : IVAN
19. Things having their home on the range? : TEES
24. Drop-down item : MENU
25. Gucci of fashion : ALDO
28. State firmly : AVER
29. Swing a scythe, say : REAP
30. Grade enhancer : PLUS
31. Cracked a bit : AJAR
32. Logan of CBS News : LARA
33. Got completely correct : ACED
34. Mensa members' assets : IQS
35. Curling surface : ICE
36. Fig. in a pilot's announcement : ETA
38. "To be, or not to be" soliloquy setting : ELSINORE
39. Coordinate, as audio and video : SYNC
40. Whole bunch : SCAD
45. Household item whose manufacture employs 42-Across : SOAP
46. Mob hit participants : GUNMEN
47. "Spare me!," for one : PLEA
48. Games played by Elite Eight winners : SEMIS
49. Get the better of : OUTDO
50. Phoebe of "Gremlins" : CATES
51. Polygon measures : AREAS
52. Andean source of wool : LLAMA
53. God-awful : LOUSY
54. Boardroom events: Abbr. : MTGS
55. "Pet" that needs watering : CHIA
56. Endurance, informally : LEGS
60. Same old same old : RUT
61. Org. for Raptors and Hawks : NBA


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0627-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Jun 17, Tuesday



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 CONSTRUCTOR: John Guzzetta
THEME: Go Down Swinging
Each of today’s themed answers starts with a type of SWING in baseball:
48A. Fight to the bitter end ... or a hint to the starts of 20-, 32- and 40-Across : GO DOWN SWINGING

20A. Slight sense that something is seriously shady : WHIFF OF SCANDAL
32A. One who really brings out the crowds : FAN FAVORITE
40A. Military unit assembled for sudden attack : STRIKE FORCE
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 31s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Exiled leader of 1979 : SHAH
The last Shah of Iran was Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, as he was overthrown in the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

10. I.R.S. experts : CPAS
Certified public accountant (CPA)

14. Spotted rodent of South America : PACA
There are two species of rodents called pacas, and both are found in Central and South America. In some parts, paca is considered a gourmet dish.

15. Zoo resident that needs a big tank : HIPPO
The name “hippopotamus” comes from the Greek for “river horse”. Hippos are the third largest land mammals, after elephants and rhinos. The closest living relatives to hippos don’t even live on land. They are the whales and porpoises of the oceans.

16. River of Florence : ARNO
The Arno is the principal river in the Tuscany region of Italy, passing through the cities of Florence and Pisa. Famously the Arno flooded in 1966, the worst flood in the region for centuries. There were numerous deaths and extensive destruction of priceless art treasures, particularly in Florence.

Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany region in Italy. Something from or related to Florence is described as “Florentine”. The city is known as “Firenze” in Italian.

35. Broody rock genre : EMO
The musical genre of “emo” originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

36. "Ye" follower on shoppe signs : OLDE
The word “olde” wasn’t actually used much earlier than the 1920s. “Olde” was introduced to give a quaint antique feel to brand names, shop names etc. as in “Ye Olde Shoppe”.

37. Gene, the singing cowboy : AUTRY
Gene Autry was a so-called singing cowboy who had an incredibly successful career on radio, television and in films starting in the thirties. Autry’s signature song was “Back in the Saddle Again”, and his biggest hit was “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. He also had a hit with his own Christmas song called “Here Comes Santa Claus”. There’s even a town in Oklahoma called Gene Autry, named in his honor. Famously, Autry owned the Los Angeles Angels (now the Anaheim Angels) for many years, from 1961 to 1997.

38. Hitters' stats : RBIS
Run batted in (RBI)

44. Morales of "Criminal Minds" : ESAI
The actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie "La Bamba", which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.

“Criminal Minds” is a police drama that has aired on CBS since 2005. The stories revolve around the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, Virginia.

46. Depression-era migrant : OKIE
“Okies” was a derogatory term used during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s for farming families who migrated from Oklahoma (hence the name), Arkansas, Kansas and Texas in search of agricultural jobs in California. The road used by many of these migrant families was Route 66, which is also called “Mother Road”.

55. "Star Trek: T.N.G." character : WORF
In the television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, Mr. Worf is one of the main characters. He is a Klingon officer on the Enterprise, and is played by Michael Dorn. Worf is a unique character in the “Star Trek” franchise in that he also appeared regularly in another “Star Trek” show: “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”.

60. Shakespearean king : LEAR
“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the story line. The three are, in order of age:
  • Goneril
  • Regan
  • Cordelia

61. Artist Warhol : ANDY
American artist Andy Warhol was a leader in the pop art movement that emerged in the mid-1950s. Many of his works became the most expensive paintings ever sold. A 1963 Warhol canvas titled “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” fetched over 100 million dollars in 2013.

63. Hamlet, for one : DANE
The full title of William Shakespeare’s play that we tend to call “Hamlet” is “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”. It is the most performed of all Shakespeare’s plays and it is also his longest, the only one of his works comprising over 4,000 lines. That’s about a 4-hour sitting in a theater …

Down
3. Antioxidant-rich berry : ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

4. 24,110 years, for plutonium 239 : HALF-LIFE
The half-life of a radioactive substance is the time it takes for half of the substance to “disappear” due to radioactive decay. So, if a radioactive element has a half-life of say 100 years, then in 100 years 50% of the element will have disappeared, but 50% still remains. In 500 years there will still be over 3% of the material left lying around. That’s one of the terrifying things about nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. The fallout and waste just doesn’t seem to go away ...

Plutonium is a very dangerous radioactive element that can accumulate in the bones of the body. There is a relatively stable isotope, plutonium-244, that can be found in nature, but only in trace quantities. Most of the plutonium in the world has been formed in the fission of uranium in a nuclear reaction. Plutonium-239 was the core material used in the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

8. Intl. group with two South American members and none in North America : OPEC
The OPEC cartel (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). One reason America isn't in OPEC, even though we are a big producer, is that we import a lot more than we export. But we all probably knew that already …

9. "When Harry Met Sally ..." writer Ephron : NORA
Nora Ephron had many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she wrote, she also directed. These would include some of my favorite movies of all time like "Sleepless in Seattle", "You've Got Mail" and most recently, the wonderful "Julie & Julia". And, did you know that Nora Ephron's second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame? She wrote an autobiographical novel based on her life with Bernstein, dealing in particular with Bernstein’s affair with the daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan.

“When Harry Met Sally... “ is a 1989 romantic comedy starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in the title roles. This marvelous film was written by the late Nora Ephron and directed by Rob Reiner.

10. Exercise on an elliptical machine, informally : CARDIO
Aerobic exercise is moderate activity designed to be at a low enough intensity that very little anaerobic activity takes place. In other words, the exercise is at a level where oxygen is taken in to burn fat and carbohydrate and to create energy. Anaerobic exercise is more intense and uses carbohydrate (glycogen) in the muscle to provide energy, without the need for oxygen. Aerobics are also called “cardio” as the exercises strengthen the cardiovascular system.

11. Middle school math class : PRE-ALGEBRA
Algebra (alg.) is a branch of mathematics in which arithmetical operations are performed on variables rather than specific numbers (x,y etc). The term “algebra” comes from the Arabic “al jebr” meaning “reunion of broken parts”.

12. Annoyingly focused : ANAL
The use of the word “anal” to mean “stiffly conventional” is an abbreviated form of “anal-retentive”, a term derived from Freudian psychology. Regardless, I’m not a big fan of the term …

13. What astronomers call a day on Mars : SOL
A solar day on Mars is referred to as a “sol” by astronomers. One sol is equivalent to just under 24 hours 40 minutes here on Earth.

21. Greek salad topper : FETA
Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

22. Florida State athlete, slangily : ‘NOLE
Florida State University (FSU) is located in Tallahassee, the state capital of Florida. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Seminoles (sometimes “the ‘Noles”). The team name was chosen in 1947 by the students in a vote, and alludes to the Seminole people who originally lived in the state. Most of the Seminole now live in Oklahoma, after their forced relocation by the US government in the 1840s.

25. Tortilla chip dip : SALSA
“Tortilla” translates from Spanish literally as “little cake”.

26. What the River Styx forms the boundary of : UNDERWORLD
The River Styx in Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (or Hades). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferry boat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead “to pay the ferryman”.

27. Bandleader Shaw : ARTIE
Artie Shaw was a composer, bandleader and a jazz clarinetist. Shaw’s real name was Arthur Jacob Arshawsky, born in New York City in 1910. One of his many claims to fame is that he (a white bandleader) hired Billie Holiday (a black vocalist) and toured the segregated South in the late thirties. Holiday chose to leave the band though, due to hostility from Southern audiences back then. Artie Shaw was married eight times in all. The list of his wives includes the actresses Lana Turner and Ava Gardner, as well as Betty Kern, daughter of songwriter Jerome Kern.

28. Quaint dagger : DIRK
“Dirk” is a Scots word for dagger, and is the name given to a knife that is worn hanging from a belt in traditional dress that includes a kilt. The dagger worn in a Scotsman’s sock isn’t a dirk (a popular misconception) but rather is called a “sgian dubh”, which translates as “a black or hidden knife”.

29. Eye woe : STYE
A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

30. ___ curiae (friends of the court) : AMICI
An amicus curiae is a “friend of the court”, and is a concept that originated in Roman law. An amicus curiae is someone who assists a court in a decision, without being a party to the case in question.

34. "___ is not to reason why" : OURS
Alfred, Lord Tennyson was the Poet Laureate during for much of the reign of Queen Victoria. There are many phrases we use today that were first penned by Tennyson, including:
  • - ‘Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all
  • - Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die

40. State flower of Utah : SEGO
The sego lily is the state flower of Utah, and is a perennial plant found throughout the Western United States.

41. Ireland's Sinn ___ : FEIN
Sinn Féin is a political party in Ireland, largely representing the Catholic community in Northern Ireland, although representation in the Republic of Ireland has increased in recent years. It is led by Gerry Adams, and has the stated aim of uniting Ireland north and south. Sinn Féin is Irish for “we ourselves”. It is currently the second largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

49. Rapper Kanye : WEST
Kanye West is a rap singer who was born in Atlanta and raised in Chicago. He also spent some time in Nanjing, China as a child, where his mother was teaching as part of an exchange program. West is married to reality star Kim Kardashian.

50. California's ___ Valley : NAPA
The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

51. Superhero creator Lee : STAN
Stan Lee did just about everything at Marvel Comics over the years, from writing to being president and chairman of the board. If you like superhero movies based on the characters from Marvel Comics, then you could spend a few hours trying to spot Stan Lee in those films as he has a penchant for making cameo appearances. Lee can be spotted in “X-Men” (2000), “Spider-Man” (2002), “Hulk” (2003), “Fantastic Four” (2005), “Iron Man” (2008) and many other films.

52. Company that was the first in the U.S. to air a TV ad with a gay couple (1994) : IKEA
The furniture chain IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old. IKEA is an acronym standing for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

54. Circular or spiral motion : GYRE
Every Irish schoolchild has to read "The Second Coming" by W. B. Yeats. And when it comes to interpreting and understanding it, as kids we were in trouble right from the first line:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Because of this poem, I reckon more Irish kids know what a "gyre" is than kids from any other nation! A gyre is a basically a vortex ...

55. Org. for which Mike Tyson twice held the heavyweight title : WBA
World Boxing Association (WBA)

The boxer Mike Tyson has said some pretty graphic things about his opponents. For example:
  • About Lennox Lewis: “My main objective is to be professional but to kill him.”
  • To Razor Ruddock: “I’m gonna make you my girlfriend.”
  • About Tyrell Biggs: “He was screaming like my wife.”

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Exiled leader of 1979 : SHAH
5. Sing smoothly : CROON
10. I.R.S. experts : CPAS
14. Spotted rodent of South America : PACA
15. Zoo resident that needs a big tank : HIPPO
16. River of Florence : ARNO
17. And others, for short : ET AL
18. Following : AFTER
19. Word exclaimed with "Get" or "Too" : … REAL
20. Slight sense that something is seriously shady : WHIFF OF SCANDAL
23. Minus : LESS
24. "Texas tea" : OIL
25. Courtroom wear ... or concern : SUIT
27. "Just do it" or "I'm lovin' it" : AD SLOGAN
32. One who really brings out the crowds : FAN FAVORITE
35. Broody rock genre : EMO
36. "Ye" follower on shoppe signs : OLDE
37. Gene, the singing cowboy : AUTRY
38. Hitters' stats : RBIS
39. Take advantage of : USE
40. Military unit assembled for sudden attack : STRIKE FORCE
42. Generous giving : LARGESSE
44. Morales of "Criminal Minds" : ESAI
45. Jokester : WAG
46. Depression-era migrant : OKIE
48. Fight to the bitter end ... or a hint to the starts of 20-, 32- and 40-Across : GO DOWN SWINGING
55. "Star Trek: T.N.G." character : WORF
56. Stay home for supper : EAT IN
57. "Fine by me" : OKAY
58. Unwelcome bit of mail : BILL
59. Paddle : SPANK
60. Shakespearean king : LEAR
61. Artist Warhol : ANDY
62. Citrusy, e.g. : TANGY
63. Hamlet, for one : DANE

Down
1. Eject, as angry words : SPEW
2. "Thirty days ___ September ..." : HATH
3. Antioxidant-rich berry : ACAI
4. 24,110 years, for plutonium 239 : HALF-LIFE
5. Bad state to be in : CHAOS
6. Guitar phrases : RIFFS
7. Chooses : OPTS
8. Intl. group with two South American members and none in North America : OPEC
9. "When Harry Met Sally ..." writer Ephron : NORA
10. Exercise on an elliptical machine, informally : CARDIO
11. Middle school math class : PRE-ALGEBRA
12. Annoyingly focused : ANAL
13. What astronomers call a day on Mars : SOL
21. Greek salad topper : FETA
22. Florida State athlete, slangily : ‘NOLE
25. Tortilla chip dip : SALSA
26. What the River Styx forms the boundary of : UNDERWORLD
27. Bandleader Shaw : ARTIE
28. Quaint dagger : DIRK
29. Eye woe : STYE
30. ___ curiae (friends of the court) : AMICI
31. Part of the body associated with sneezing, sniffling and snoring : NOSE
32. Awful-smelling : FOUL
33. Big mixing containers : VATS
34. "___ is not to reason why" : OURS
38. Copper alloy used in jewelry : ROSE GOLD
40. State flower of Utah : SEGO
41. Ireland's Sinn ___ : FEIN
43. Annoying critic : GADFLY
46. In the red : OWING
47. Broadway's "___ Boots" : KINKY
48. Enter : GO IN
49. Rapper Kanye : WEST
50. California's ___ Valley : NAPA
51. Superhero creator Lee : STAN
52. Company that was the first in the U.S. to air a TV ad with a gay couple (1994) : IKEA
53. Indian flatbread : NAAN
54. Circular or spiral motion : GYRE
55. Org. for which Mike Tyson twice held the heavyweight title : WBA


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0626-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Jun 17, Monday



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 CONSTRUCTOR: Brian Greer
THEME: J. K. Rowling
The circled letters running horizontally across the middle of today’s grid spells out the name of Scottish author J. K. ROWLING. We also have some themed answers that relate to her work:
15A. With 25-Down, alchemists' quest in a book released on June 26, 1997 : THE PHILOSOPHER’S …
25D. See 15-Across : … STONE

62A. Star of the film version of the book referenced in 15-Across/25-Down : DANIEL RADCLIFFE

67A. Persistently torment : HARRY
68A. Crafty person at a wheel? : POTTER
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 56s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

12. Person in a detached state? : ALASKAN
Alaska became the 49th state to join the United States on January 3rd, 1959. Hawaii became the 50th state just a few months later, on August 21st.

15. With 25-Down, alchemists' quest in a book released on June 26, 1997 : THE PHILOSOPHER’S …
(25D. See 15-Across : … STONE)
To an alchemist, the “philosopher’s stone” is a legendary substance with the power of turning base metals into gold. The philosopher’s stone also has the power to extend life, and is sometimes called the elixir of life.

The titles of the seven “Harry Potter books are:
  1. "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" ("... Sorcerer's Stone" in the U.S)
  2. "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"
  3. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"
  4. "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
  5. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"
  6. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"
  7. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"
I tried reading the first one, and gave up three-quarters of the way through …

31. Lion in "The Chronicles of Narnia" : ASLAN
In the C. S. Lewis books “The Chronicles of Narnia”, Aslan is the name of the lion character (as in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”). “Aslan” is actually the Turkish word for lion. Anyone who has read the books will recognize the the remarkable similarity between the story of Aslan and the story of Christ, including a sacrifice and resurrection.

35. Coup d'___ : ETAT
A coup d'état (often just "coup") is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for "stroke of state". The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”.

40. Specialist's vocabulary : LINGO
“Lingo” is a specialized vocabulary, as in “journalese” and “legalese”, for example.

42. Jay once seen nightly : LENO
Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

46. Singer Fitzgerald : ELLA
Ella Fitzgerald, the "First Lady of Song", had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

48. Bill who's a science expert : NYE
That would be “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. Bill’s show ran on PBS for four years from 1993-97.

50. Small program : APPLET
“Applet” is the name given to a small application that runs within another, larger computer program.

55. Lawyers' org. : ABA
The American Bar Association (ABA)

58. "The Descent of Man" author : DARWIN
Englishman Charles Darwin studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland but neglected his studies largely due to his interest in nature and natural history. In the early 1830s, a friend put forward Darwin’s name as a candidate for the post of “collector” on the voyage of HMS Beagle. The Beagle was intending to spend two years at sea primarily charting the coast of South America. The voyage ended up taking five years, during which time Darwin sent back copious letters describing his findings. Back in Britain these letters were published as pamphlets by a friend and so when Darwin eventually returned home in 1836, he had already gained some celebrity in scientific circles. It was while on the Beagle that Darwin developed his initial ideas on the concept of natural selection. It wasn’t until over twenty years later that he formulated his theories into a scientific paper and in 1859 published his famous book “On the Origin of the Species”. This original publication never even mentioned the word “evolution” which was controversial even back then. It was in 1871 that Darwin addressed head-on the concept that man was an animal species, in his book “The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex”.

62. Star of the film version of the book referenced in 15-Across/25-Down : DANIEL RADCLIFFE
Daniel Radcliffe is the former child-actor who played the title role in the “Harry Potter” series of films. Radcliffe is doing okay in terms of money. He earned about 1 million pounds for the first “Harry Potter” movie, and about 15 million pounds for the last.

65. Comparable to a pin, in a phrase : AS NEAT
Apparently the idiom “neat as a pin” arose in the early 1800s, with the advent of mass production. Up until that time, pins were handmade and so were irregular and relatively flawed. Mass-produced pins were uniform and of consistent quality. So, something that was uniform and of consistent quality came to be described as “neat as a pin”.

Down
1. Given benediction, the old-fashioned way : BLEST
A benediction is a prayer usually spoken at the end of a religious service in which one invokes divine help and guidance.

3. ___ Wednesday : ASH
In the Christian tradition, the first day in the season of Lent is called Ash Wednesday. On Ash Wednesday, Palm Crosses from the prior year’s Palm Sunday are burned. The resulting ashes are mixed with sacred oil and then used to anoint worshipers on the forehead with the shape of a cross.

5. Shakespeare's "The Winter's ___" : TALE
“The Winter’s Tale” is a 1623 play by William Shakespeare. It is often categorized as one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays” in that it does not readily fall into the category of drama or romance. The first three acts are quite dramatic, while the last two acts are very humorous and provide us with a happy ending.

12. "Cat on ___ Tin Roof" : A HOT
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is the play that won Tennessee Williams the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955. The play was adapted into a famous film version in 1958, with Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman playing the leads.

15. Letters on a schedule meaning "We'll let you know" : TBA
Something not yet on the schedule (“sked” or “sched.”) is to be advised/announced (TBA).

21. What the Titanic did, famously : SANK
The RMS Titanic set off on her tragic maiden voyage in 1912, sailing from Southampton, England bound for New York City. Regulations only required that the ship have lifeboat capacity for 1,178 people, even though a full complement of passengers and crew was 3,547. When the order was given to abandon ship, the captain adhered to the traditional protocol of "women and children first". As a result, only 20% of male passengers survived the disaster, compared to 75% of the female passengers. Perhaps more telling is that 61% of those in first class survived, and only 25% of those in third class. The crew fared even worse though, with only 24% making it.

29. Toy block brand : LEGO
Lego is manufactured by Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name "Automatic Binding Bricks" but I think "Lego" is easier to remember! The name "Lego" comes from the Danish term "leg godt" meaning "play well".

31. Turkish pooh-bahs : AGAS
The term "pooh-bah" (also “poobah”), meaning an ostentatious official, comes from the world of opera. Pooh-Bah is a character in the wonderful Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera "The Mikado". Famously, Pooh-Bah holds many, many offices, including that of "Lord High Everything Else".

33. Abandoned European capital : LIRE
The word “lira” is used in a number of countries for currency. “Lira” comes from the Latin for “pound” and is derived from a British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver. For example, the lira (plural “lire”) was the official currency of Italy before the country changed over to the euro in 2002.

34. Not quite closed : AJAR
Our word "ajar" is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which "a char" means "slightly open".

36. Soldier who's gone missing : AWOL
The Military Police (MPs) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

47. Surgical knife : LANCET
“Lancet” is another name for a scalpel. There’s a publication called "The Lancet", which is probably the world's most respected medical journal. It is certainly the oldest, first published in 1823.

55. Palindromic Nabokov title : ADA
“Ada” is a 1969 novel by Vladimir Nabokov. The story takes place in the 1800s on Antiterra, an Earth-like planet that has a history similar to ours but with interesting differences. For example, there is a United States, but that country covers all of North and South America. What we call eastern Canada is a French-speaking province called “Canady”, and western Canada is a Russian-speaking province called “Estody”. The storyline is about a man called Van Veen who, when 14 years old, meets for the first time his cousin, 11-year-old Ada. The two cousins eventually have an affair, only to discover later that they are in fact brother and sister.

57. "___ and the King of Siam" : ANNA
“Anna and the King of Siam” is a semi-biographical novel written by Margaret Landon and first published in 1944. The book tells the largely true story of Anna Leonowens who spent five years in Siam teaching English to the children and wives of King Mongkut. The novel was adapted as a 1946 movie of the same name starring Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison. Then followed a 1951 stage musical titled “The King and I”. The musical was written as a vehicle for Gertrude Lawrence, who played Anna. Rex Harrison was asked to play the King, but he turned it down and Yul Brynner was cast instead. A movie version of the stage musical was released in 1956, famously starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr.

59. Big stinger : WASP
While the wasp is considered to be a nuisance by many, the insect is very important to the agricultural industry. Wasps prey on many pest insects, while having very little impact on crops.

60. Nine-digit fig. on a Social Security card : ID NO
A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot, as since 2011 SSN’s are assigned randomly. However, some random numbers have been excluded from use, i.e. Area Numbers 000, 666 (!) and 900-999.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Explosions : BLASTS
7. Like the posture of humans : ERECT
12. Person in a detached state? : ALASKAN
13. Hit 2017 Jordan Peele thriller : GET OUT
15. With 25-Down, alchemists' quest in a book released on June 26, 1997 : THE PHILOSOPHER’S ...
17. Office head : BOSS
18. Money back : REBATE
19. Evidence for determining paternity : DNA
20. Swear (to) : ATTEST
22. Victory : WIN
23. Deadly snakes : ASPS
26. Units in stables : STALLS
31. Lion in "The Chronicles of Narnia" : ASLAN
35. Coup d'___ : ETAT
37. Enthusiastic : KEEN
38. Alphabet chunk after D-E-F : -G-H-I-J-K
39. Column's counterpart : ROW
40. Specialist's vocabulary : LINGO
41. Distinctive atmosphere : AURA
42. Jay once seen nightly : LENO
43. Fund, as a chair : ENDOW
44. Coming from two speakers : STEREO
46. Singer Fitzgerald : ELLA
48. Bill who's a science expert : NYE
50. Small program : APPLET
55. Lawyers' org. : ABA
58. "The Descent of Man" author : DARWIN
61. Widespread : RIFE
62. Star of the film version of the book referenced in 15-Across/25-Down : DANIEL RADCLIFFE
65. Comparable to a pin, in a phrase : AS NEAT
66. Goes "Ah-choo!" : SNEEZES
67. Persistently torment : HARRY
68. Crafty person at a wheel? : POTTER

Down
1. Given benediction, the old-fashioned way : BLEST
2. Run out, as a subscription : LAPSE
3. ___ Wednesday : ASH
4. Evades : SKIRTS
5. Shakespeare's "The Winter's ___" : TALE
6. Hoity-toity type : SNOB
7. Self-centered sort : EGOTIST
8. Be in a sorry state? : REPENT
9. Biblical verb ending : -ETH
10. Like volleyball that's played jointly by men and women : CO-ED
11. Not go straight : TURN
12. "Cat on ___ Tin Roof" : A HOT
14. Passenger-screening org. : TSA
15. Letters on a schedule meaning "We'll let you know" : TBA
16. Went on dates with : SAW
21. What the Titanic did, famously : SANK
24. Father: Fr. : PERE
25. See 15-Across : … STONE
27. Of similar character : AKIN
28. Advance, as money : LEND
29. Toy block brand : LEGO
30. Cold fall : SNOW
31. Turkish pooh-bahs : AGAS
32. Open's opposite : SHUT
33. Abandoned European capital : LIRE
34. Not quite closed : AJAR
36. Soldier who's gone missing : AWOL
40. Jump : LEAP
42. Allegiance : LOYALTY
45. Cause to be cherished : ENDEAR
47. Surgical knife : LANCET
49. Exemplify humanity, say : ERR
51. Contest award : PRIZE
52. Subject of a long sentence? : LIFER
53. Letters before gees : EFFS
54. Golf peg : TEE
55. Palindromic Nabokov title : ADA
56. Big party : BASH
57. "___ and the King of Siam" : ANNA
59. Big stinger : WASP
60. Nine-digit fig. on a Social Security card : ID NO
63. Comparative suffix : -IER
64. Tennis umpire's call : LET


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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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