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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
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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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5 comments :

Anonymous said...

44 Across: Never heard of "Rad" as an answer for "Far Out"

Jeff said...

19 minutes for this one although I did it when I was half asleep last night. One typo error. I had Sc I COULD CALL...which means apparently I wash my hands with ScAP at home... The first part of the quip I got was JACQUES COUSTEAU, and I had no idea where that was going, but I figured it out - even with the typo.

Best -

Dave Kennison said...

10:04, no errors.

Chrissy said...

25:29 with puzzle checking. Had to guess for SCAD, GIGI, CATES, and had to play around with the spelling of ELSINORE (started out thinking it was along the lines of ILSENORE). Took me a long time to get the theme, but JACQUES COUSTEAU was also the first part I got.

Jeff, where can I find this scap? Haha!

Jeff said...

@Chrissy -
I think scap is what you Caltech grads wash their hands with.... :)

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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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