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0617-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Jun 17, Saturday





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: Ryan McCarty
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 19m 30s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 3

  • RAGNAROK (Rahnarok)
  • QUINTE (quiete)
  • GINS (hies)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Meal maker? : PESTLE
I’ve always loved the sound of the words “mortar” and “pestle”, ever since I was first introduced to them in the chemistry lab. The Romans called a receptacle for pounding or grinding things a “mortarium”, giving us “mortar”. Mortarium was also the word for the product of pounding and grinding, which gives us our “mortar” that's used with bricks to build a wall. And further, short stubby cannons used in the 16th century resembled a grinding bowl and so were called “mortars”, which evolved into our contemporary weapon of the same name. As far as the pestle is concerned, it is also derived from its Latin name “pistillum”, which comes from the word for “crush”.

7. "Vamoose!" : BEAT IT!
To vamoose is to to leave, coming from the Spanish "vamos" meaning "let’s go".

13. Fats Domino's real first name : ANTOINE
Antoine “Fats” Domino was born and raised in New Orleans, with Creole as his first language. He made into the big time in 1949 when he recorded an early rock and roll record called “The Fat Man”. That record sold over a million copies, the first rock and roll record to achieve that milestone.

15. Skin-care brand : AVEENO
Aveeno is a manufacturer of skincare and haircare products that was founded in 1945. The name Aveeno comes from the Latin name for the common oat: “Avena sativa”.

16. Austrian treats : STRUDELS
Strudel is a layered pastry that is usually sweet. The word “strudel” means “whirlpool, eddy” in German.

20. Barbershop staple from "The Music Man" : LIDA ROSE
“The Music Man” is a musical by Meredith Willson. The show was a big hit on Broadway in 1957. “The Music Man” won the first ever Grammy Award for the “Best Original Cast Album”. The show is set in the fictional River City, Iowa.

22. Shiraz setting : IRAN
The Iranian city of Shiraz has long been associated with wine, but there is no proven link between the city and the wine/grape we know today as “Shiraz” (also called “Syrah”). Having said that, some clay jars were found just outside of the city of Shiraz that contained wine; wine that was 7,000 years old!

23. Ones putting down quadrels : TILERS
A quadrel is a small square, usually one made of brick or tile.

26. Whole note, to a Brit : SEMIBREVE
Where I grew up a whole note is called a semibreve, and a half note is a minim.

28. Port on Ishikari Bay : OTARU
The Japanese city and port of Otaru is just a 25-minute drive northwest from Sapporo. Just like Sapporo, Otaru has a famous beer that shares the city's name.

30. Friends : QUAKERS
Members of the Religious Society of Friends are known as Friends or Quakers. The Christian sect started in England in the 1640s, led by George Fox. The principal tenet at that point was that Christians could have direct experience of Jesus Christ without the mediation of clergy, a reflection of the increasing dissatisfaction with the established church at that time. The term “Quaker” is thought to have been used earlier in reference to foreign religious sects whose followers were given to fits of shaking during religious fervor. Somehow that term became used for members of the Religious Society of Friends.

32. SpaceX head Musk : ELON
Elon Musk is successful businessman who has founded or led some very high-profile companies, namely PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX.

SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) is a space transportation company that was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, veteran of PayPal and Tesla Motors. In 2012, SpaceX became the first private concern to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station. Apparently, SpaceX is the lowest-price player in the game.

33. Sibling trio in "Hamilton" : SCHUYLER SISTERS
Elizabeth “Eliza” Schuyler Hamilton was the wife of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Eliza was with her husband when he passed away the day after his famous duel with Vice President Aaron Burr.

“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life or US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The show opened off-Broadway in February 2015, and transferred to Broadway in August of the same year. Advance ticket sales for the Broadway production were unprecedented, and reportedly amounted to $30 million. The representations of the main characters is decidedly ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.

38. One might be a "n00b" : AMATEUR
“n00b” is text slang for “newbie”.

46. Channel swimmer Gertrude : EDERLE
Gertrude Ederle was an American swimmer, from New York City. Ederle became the first woman to cross the English Channel, in 1926. Only five men had made the same swim before Ederle, with the fastest crossing being in 16 hours 33 minutes. Ederle blew that record out of the water (pun!), arriving in Dover in 14 hours 39 minutes.

48. ___ floresiensis (extinct "hobbit") : HOMO
The literal translation of “Homo sapiens” from Latin is “wise or knowing man”. The Homo genus includes the species Homo sapiens (modern humans), but we're the only species left in that genus. The last known species related to humans was Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthal Man) which died off about 24,000 years ago. However, another species was discovered in Indonesia in 2003 that has been dubbed Homo floresiensis (Flores Man ... sometimes called "hobbit"), and it may possibly have lived as recently as 12,000 years ago. Watch this space …

49. Day of doom, in Scandinavian mythology : RAGNAROK
Ragnarök is the name given to a set of events in Norse mythology that resulted in the deaths of many famous gods, including Odin and Thor.

51. "It's déjà vu all over again" speaker : BERRA
Yogi Berra is regarded by many as the greatest catcher ever to play in Major League Baseball, and has to be America's most celebrated "author" of malapropisms. Here are some greats:
  • It ain't over till it's over.
  • 90% of the game is half mental.
  • Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.
  • When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
  • It's déjà vu all over again.
  • Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours.
  • A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.

52. Sea seen from Ithaca : IONIAN
The Ionian Sea is that part of the Mediterranean that lies between Greece and the southern part of Italy (under the sole of the “boot”). The Ionian Sea is one of the most seismically active areas on the planet.

Ithaca is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. The island features in Homer’s “Odyssey” as it was the home of the mythological hero Odysseus, who was Ithaca’s king.

55. Fifth of eight parrying positions in fencing : QUINTE
“Quinte” is a Middle French word meaning “fifth”.

56. Wearying work schedule : RAT RACE
We use “rat race” figuratively to describe an endless, pointless pursuit. The term comes from the laboratory, where one might imagine rats racing around a maze in search of some cheese.

58. Call of Duty tally : DEATHS
Call of Duty is a incredibly successful series of video games that started out life on computers and is now available for gaming consoles and handhelds. The first version of this war game was set in WWII, but other versions feature the likes of “Modern Warfare” and “Black Ops”.

Down
7. Big character in children's literature : BABAR
“Babar the Elephant” originated in France, a creation of Jean de Brunhoff in 1931. The first book was “Histoire de Babar”, a book so successful it was translated into English two years later for publication in Britain and the US. Jean de Brunhoff wrote six more Babar stories before he died in 1937, and then his son Laurent continued his father’s work.

10. Poet Sara who wrote "I Shall Not Care" : TEASDALE
Sara Teasdale was a poet from St. Louis, Missouri although she spent much of her adult life in New York City. Examples of Teasdale's most famous poems are "There Will Come Soft Rains" and "I Shall Not Care". Teasdale committed suicide in 1933 by taking an overdose of sleeping pills.

14. Title actress on Netflix's "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" : ELLIE KEMPER
The actress Ellie Kemper’s big break came with the role of Erin Hannon, a receptionist on the sitcom “The Office”. More recently, Kemper has be playing the title role on the Netflix comedy series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”.

21. Part of Sherlock Holmes's attire : DEERSTALKER
A deerstalker is a hat that is associated with hunting, and stalking deer in particular, hence the name. The deerstalker is also very much associated with Sherlock Holmes, and by extension with the stereotypical detective.

29. Some pyramids, though not the ones at Giza : TETRAHEDRA
Giza is located on the west bank of the Nile, about 20 km southwest of Cairo. The nearby Giza Plateau is home to some of the most amazing ancient monuments on the planet, including the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Sphinx.

31. Drawn-out campaign : SIEGE
Our word "siege" comes from a 13th century word for a "seat". The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force "sitting down" outside a fortress until it falls.

33. ___ bath : SITZ
A “sitz bath” is one in which the water comes up to the hips. It is usually a therapeutic bath used to treat discomfort in the lower part of the body. The term comes from the German “Sitzbad” meaning a bath (“bad”) in which one sits. “Sitzen” is German for “to sit”.

34. Leave en masse : CLEAR OUT
“En masse” is a French term, one that is best translated as “as a group”

35. Historical name of the Iberian Peninsula : HISPANIA
Spain is the second largest country in the European Union (after France). “Spain” is an anglicized form of the Spanish name “España”, which comes from the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula “Hispania”.

The Ebro is the longest river in Spain. The river was known by the Romans as the Iber, and it is the “Iber” river that gives the “Iberian” Peninsula its name.

36. Kakuro calculation : SUM
A Kakuro is a logic puzzle that requires the filling in of numbers in a crossword-style grid.

40. Group of 100 people : SENATE
The six-year terms enjoyed by US senators are staggered, so that every two years about one third of the 100 US Senate seats come up for reelection.

47. Builders of the original Legoland : DANES
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".

There are currently six Legoland theme parks in the world, with two here in North America. One of the US parks is in Winter Haven, Florida and the other is in Carlsbad, California (which is the one that I’ve visited … a fun place).

50. Generates, with "up" : GINS
“To gin up” is a slang term meaning “to enliven, excite”. The term probably derives from the older “to ginger up”. Gingering up was the rather nasty practice of putting ginger up inside a horse to make it lively and move with a high tail.

51. Reduce in force or intensity : BATE
To bate is to restrain, as in “with bated breath”, with restrained breath. The term can also mean to lessen, and is a shortening of “abate”.

52. They're high at M.I.T. and Stanford : IQS
Although it is correct these days to say that the abbreviation IQ stands for “intelligence quotient”, the term was actually coined by German psychologist William Stern, so it actually is an abbreviation for the German “Intelligenz-Quotient”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Meal maker? : PESTLE
7. "Vamoose!" : BEAT IT!
13. Fats Domino's real first name : ANTOINE
15. Skin-care brand : AVEENO
16. Austrian treats : STRUDELS
18. Put down hard : BERATE
19. Rows : TIERS
20. Barbershop staple from "The Music Man" : LIDA ROSE
22. Shiraz setting : IRAN
23. Ones putting down quadrels : TILERS
24. Practice composition?: Abbr. : DRS
26. Whole note, to a Brit : SEMIBREVE
28. Port on Ishikari Bay : OTARU
30. Friends : QUAKERS
32. SpaceX head Musk : ELON
33. Sibling trio in "Hamilton" : SCHUYLER SISTERS
37. "Would ___?" : I LIE
38. One might be a "n00b" : AMATEUR
39. Dry runs, e.g. : TESTS
41. Commonsensical : PRAGMATIC
45. Cartoon word often seen with a lightning bolt : ZAP!
46. Channel swimmer Gertrude : EDERLE
48. ___ floresiensis (extinct "hobbit") : HOMO
49. Day of doom, in Scandinavian mythology : RAGNAROK
51. "It's déjà vu all over again" speaker : BERRA
52. Sea seen from Ithaca : IONIAN
53. Destination proclamation : WE MADE IT!
55. Fifth of eight parrying positions in fencing : QUINTE
56. Wearying work schedule : RAT RACE
57. Equilibria : STASES
58. Call of Duty tally : DEATHS

Down
1. French anise-flavored liqueur : PASTIS
2. Uncut : ENTIRE
3. Flow : STREAM
4. Flow stopper, of a sort : TOURNIQUET
5. Preserves covers? : LIDS
6. Memphis-to-Nashville dir. : ENE
7. Big character in children's literature : BABAR
8. Very much : EVER SO
9. Lead-in to méxico : AERO-
10. Poet Sara who wrote "I Shall Not Care" : TEASDALE
11. Shaking like a leaf, maybe : IN TERROR
12. Runner's ___ (marathoner's woe) : TOE
14. Title actress on Netflix's "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" : ELLIE KEMPER
17. Early Mercedes-Benz racing car : SILVER ARROW
21. Part of Sherlock Holmes's attire : DEERSTALKER
23. Part of a merry refrain : TRA-LA
25. Goes for the bronze? : SUNS
27. Believe : BUY
29. Some pyramids, though not the ones at Giza : TETRAHEDRA
31. Drawn-out campaign : SIEGE
33. ___ bath : SITZ
34. Leave en masse : CLEAR OUT
35. Historical name of the Iberian Peninsula : HISPANIA
36. Kakuro calculation : SUM
40. Group of 100 people : SENATE
42. Bothered terribly : TORE AT
43. "Jackpot!" : I'M RICH!
44. Ta-Nehisi who wrote the best seller "Between the World and Me" : COATES
47. Builders of the original Legoland : DANES
50. Generates, with "up" : GINS
51. Reduce in force or intensity : BATE
52. They're high at M.I.T. and Stanford : IQS
54. About to explode : MAD


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2 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

A difficult one, I thought. Nevertheless, answers came to me from somewhere in the little gray cells and I filled in the final square at 17:??, only to get the "almost there" message, which didn't surprise me much, as I had made a number of educated guesses. QUINTE? SILVER ARROW? ELLIE KEMPER? TILERS ( who work with QUADRELS)?! So I set about trying to find my error, working from left to right across the grid and ultimately using Google ... and all my guesses seemed to be correct! What the ... ? Ultimately, though, I found that I had put in TANS instead of SUNS, giving me DRT instead of DRS (overlooked) and OTARA instead of OTARU (unfamiliar to me either way). Final time on the clock: 35:38. Embarrassing ... 😳

Jeff said...

45 minutes and quite a bit of cheating so really DNF. A recent Princeton grad set this one (Grr). I knew none of the long "seed" answers like ELLIE KEMPER, SCHUYLERSISTERS, DEER STALKER (should have known that) and SILVERARROW. That's a lot to have to get via fill crosses. Some other tough ones as well. Good cluing in this one too.

I used to work for a company whose CEO always used to say "there are no such things as 'problems'; there are only 'opportunitites'". There are no difficult or maddening crosswords; there are only learning experiences. This was one for me. Learned a lot.

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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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