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0715-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Jul 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: Zachary Spitz
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 12m 50s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Incredible, in modern slang : AMAZEBALLS
Never heard of “amazeballs” outside of crosswords …

11. Veep between Al and Joe : DICK
In 2000, Dick Cheney was called upon by then-Governor George W. Bush to head up the search for a running mate for Bush in the presidential election. After a few months search, Bush turned things on their head by asking Cheney to join him on the ticket.

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.

Vice President Joe Biden was a US Senator representing the state of Delaware from 1973 until he joined the Obama administration. While he was a senator, Vice President Biden commuted to Washington from Wilmington, Delaware almost every working day. He was such an active customer and supporter of Amtrak that the Wilmington Station was renamed as the Joseph R. Biden Railroad Station in 2011. Biden has made over 7,000 trips from that station, and the Amtrak crews were known to even hold the last train for a few minutes so that he could catch it. Biden earned himself the nickname “Amtrak Joe”.

16. By and by : ANON
“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

17. Like Nafta : TRILATERAL
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is between Canada, Mexico and the United States. When NAFTA came into force in 1994, it set up the largest free trade zone in the world.

19. The Tritons of the N.C.A.A. : UCSD
The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is located in La Jolla. The school was founded in 1960 as the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Appropriately enough, UCSD’s athletic teams are known as the Tritons, and the school mascot is King Triton.

20. With 21-Across, U.S. Open champ of 1985-87 : IVAN ...
21. See 20-Across : … LENDL
Ivan Lendl is a former professional tennis player from Czechoslovakia. Lendl appeared in eight consecutive US Open finals in the eighties, a record that stands to this day.

22. Seat in Parliament? : ARSE
Well, the word “arse” would never make it into a crossword in the British Isles as it would be considered too rude. I have a similar reaction to the word “shag” as in “The Spy Who Shagged Me”. The film would never have been released with that title in the UK.

The UK Parliament is divided into two houses, with the upper house known as the House of Lords and the lower house as the House of Commons. The members of the House of Commons are elected, but most new members of the House of Lords are appointed. Historically, a large proportion of the membership of the upper house were hereditary peers, but recent legislative changes are reducing the numbers who can sit in the House of Lords by virtue of birthright.

31. Maker of Friskies : PURINA
The Friskies brand is known today as a cat food, although it was first introduced as a dry dog food in 1930.

Purina began operations in 1894 as an operation for producing feed for farm animals. A few years later, in 1902, the Ralston name was introduced when Webster Edgerly joined the business. Edgerly was the founder of a controversial social movement called Ralstonism. Central to the movement was personal health, with RALSTON standing for Regime, Activity, Light, Strength, Temperation, Oxygen and Nature.

33. The Wasp and Black Widow, for two : AVENGERS
The Avengers are a team of superheroes in the Marvel Comics universe. The original lineup, which dates back to 1963, consisted of Ant-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and the Wasp. Soon after their formation, the Avengers rescued Captain America trapped in ice, and thereafter he joined the team. There is a 2012 movie called “The Avengers” that features Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor.

36. Boston Tea Party leader : ADAMS
Samuel Adams was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, from Boston Massachusetts. Adams followed his father into the family’s malthouse business a few years after young Samuel graduated from Harvard. There were generations of Adams family members who were "maltsters" i.e. those producing malt needed for making beer. Samuel Adams is often described as a brewer, but he was actually a malster. The Samuel Adams brand of beer (often referred to as “Sam Adams”) isn’t directly associated with the Adams family, but it is named in honor of the patriot.

The famous destruction of tea in Boston Harbor to protest against the Tax Act took place on December 16, 1773. The action was referred to as the “destruction of the tea” for decades, and it wasn’t until 1834 that the term “Boston Tea Party” first appeared in print.

38. Capital whose name means "city inside rivers" : HANOI
Hanoi was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.

39. Sweetheart's brothers? : SIGMA CHI
“Sweetheart of Sigma Chi” is a popular college fraternity song that dates back to 1911. The song inspired a tradition of Sigma Chi fraternities electing a female associated with the chapter as the chapter sweetheart, a tradition that exists to this day.

41. It's moved by a keystroke : CURSOR
The cursor on a computer screen is named for the cursor on a slide rule, which is the part that slides on the device. In turn, a slide rule’s cursor was named for an even earlier cursor, which was a running messenger, from the Latin “cursor” meaning “runner, errand boy”.

42. Cantaloupe, by another name : ROCKMELON
The cantaloupe is the most popular type of melon consumed in the US. Apparently the cantaloupe was first cultivated in Cantalupo in Sabina, a town near Rome in Italy.

49. Mammals that may weigh up to 12,000 pounds : ORCAS
The taxonomic name for the killer whale is Orcinus orca. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

50. Tea Party, e.g. : BLOC
The Tea Party Caucus in the US Congress is essentially inactive today. It was founded by and chaired by Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann. The stated focus for the caucus is fiscal responsibility and limited government, while adhering to the group's interpretation of the US Constitution. Top contributors to the caucus are health professionals, retirees, the real estate industry and oil and gas interests.

52. "PT 109" actor Robert : CULP
The very successful TV show “I Spy” ran from 1965-68. Robert Culp played secret agent Kelly Robinson, opposite Bill Cosby who played Alexander Scott. I saw Bill Cosby perform live in San Jose not too long ago, and what a great evening it was! Sadly, Robert Culp passed away in 2010, pronounced dead after a fall just outside his home. He was 79 years old.

57. Excessive desire for wealth : PLUTOMANIA
A plutocracy is a society in which a small minority of wealthy citizens dominate. The term comes from the Greek “ploutos” meaning “wealth” and “-kratia” meaning “rule”.

61. Crib : DIGS
"Digs" is short for "diggings" meaning "lodgings", but where "diggings" came from, no one seems to know.

Down
1. W.W. II's Battle of ___ : ATTU
Attu is the westernmost island in the Aleutian chain, and so is the westernmost part of Alaska. Japanese forces took the island in October 1942, eventually landing as many as 2,900 soldiers there. In May 1943, the US Army retook the island in twenty days of fighting that is now called the Battle of Attu, the only land battle to take place on US soil during WWII. I am very proud of my father-in-law, who served in the Aleutians during WWII …

2. Podcaster Maron : MARC
Stand-up comedian Marc Maron has been hosting the podcast “WTF with Marc Maron” since 2009. The online show features interviews with comedians and celebrities. The list of interviewees is pretty impressive, and includes Conan O’Brien, Robin Williams and even President Barack Obama.

3. Japan was a member of it : AXIS
Before WWII, Hungary's prime minister was lobbying for an alliance between Germany, Hungary and Italy and worked towards such a relationship that he called an "axis". The main Axis powers during the war were Germany, Italy and Japan. However, also included in the relationship were Romania, Bulgaria and the aforementioned Hungary.

4. Video game character rescued by Link : ZELDA
“The Legend of Zelda” is a video game. Apparently, it’s very successful …

5. Spacewalk, for short : EVA
Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) is the name given to any work done by an astronaut outside of his or her spacecraft. The term would encompass walking on the moon, as well as making a space walk i.e. floating around in space tethered to spacecraft.

6. Castro overthrew him : BATISTA
Fidel Castro studied law at the University of Havana and there became a follower of left-wing ideals. He launched his first rebellion against Cuban president Fulgencio Batista in 1953, which landed him in jail for a year. He later led rebels in a guerrilla war against the Cuban government, which led to the Cuban Revolution and the overthrow of Batista in 1959. Castro took control of the country, and immediately formed a strong relationship with the Soviet Union. Concern over the alliance in the US led to the botched Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961. There followed the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Fidel Castro started to transfer power to his brother Raúl in 2008, and passed away in 2016.

8. Turkey bacon? : LIRA
The currency of Turkey is the Turkish lira, which is divided into 100 kuruş. In 1927, the Turkish lira replaced the Ottoman lira, which had been in use since 1844.

10. Show for which Louis C.K. unsuccessfully auditioned in '93 : SNL
“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

“Louis C.K.” is the stage name of comedian Louis Szekely. The family name “Szekely” is Hungarian, and “CK” is an approximation of the name in English. “Louis” has a successful comedy drama show that airs on FX called “Louie”.

13. Hammock holders : CORDS
Our word “hammock” comes via Spanish from Haiti, evolving from a word used there to describe a fishing net.

21. Traditional rite of passage among the Masai : LION HUNT
The Masai (also “Maasai”) are a semi-nomadic people found in Kenya and Tanzania. They are semi-nomadic in that over the years they have been migrating from the Lower Nile Valley in northwest Kenya, and are moving into Tanzania.

24. 2014 U.S. Women's Open champion : WIE
Michelle Wie is an American golfer on the LPGA Tour. Wie began playing golf at the age of four and was the youngest player ever to qualify for an LPGA tour event. She turned pro just before her 16th birthday …

26. Lamborghini owner : AUDI
Ferruccio Lamborghini was in the business of manufacturing tractors back in the late forties. Almost two decades later, he founded Automobili Lamborghini to produce high-end sports cars. That’s quite a shift in target market …

27. "The Fast and the Furious" activity : DRAG RACING
Back in the 18th century “drag” was slang for a wagon or buggy, as it was “dragged” along by a horse or horses. In the 1930s, the underworld adopted “drag” as slang for an automobile. This sense of the word was imported into automobile racing in the forties, giving the name to “drag racing”. A drag race is basically a competition between two cars to determine which can accelerate faster from a standstill.

“The Fast and the Furious” is a series of actions movies about street racing and car heists. The original 2001 film spawned several sequels, making it Universal Pictures’ most successful franchise all time.

29. Oscar nominee for "The Great Dictator" : OAKIE
Jack Oakie was the stage name of actor Lewis Offield, who was originally from Missouri. Offield was raised in Oklahoma, and for this reason picked up the nickname “Oakie”. The “Jack” in his stage name came from the first character that he portrayed in a play. Oakie played Benzino Napaloni in Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator”, a character that was very much based on Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

30. Major employer of pharmacists : CVS
The name of the drugstore chain CVS once stood for “Consumer Value Stores”, although these days the company uses the initialism to denote “Convenience, Value and Service”.

34. One that can only go straight : ROOK
The corner piece in the game of chess is a called a rook, a word coming from the Persian word “rokh” meaning a “chariot”. The rook has also been called, perhaps incorrectly, the castle, tower, marquess and rector.

37. Watt per ampere squared : OHM
The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every schoolkid knows as Ohm's Law.

James Watt was a Scottish inventor, a man who figured prominently in the Industrial Revolution in Britain largely due to the improvements he made to the fledgling steam engine. The SI unit of power is called the watt, named in his honor.

The unit of electric current is the ampere, abbreviated correctly to “A” rather than “amp”. It is named after French physicist André-Marie Ampère, one of the main scientists responsible for the discovery of electromagnetism.

40. A.T.M. deposits: Abbr. : CKS
Check (ck.)

41. Throw together : CONCOCT
To decoct is to extract the flavor of a liquid by boiling down and increasing the concentration. A related term is “to concoct”, meaning “to boil together”. We use the verb “to concoct” in figurative sense to mean to contrive, devise.

43. He said "He who knows does not speak; he who speaks does not know" : LAO TSE
Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

46. Lords of film : TRACI
Traci Lords is an actress and model who had a highly controversial start to her career. By faking her driver’s license, Lords was able to pose for nude photographs for “Penthouse” magazine when she was just 15 years old. She then appeared in illegal pornographic movies over the following two years. When it became clear that she was underage, the authorities demanded that distributors remove all of her films or risk prosecution for trafficking in child pornography.

57. Rose Bowl setting, for short : PST
Pacific Standard Time (PST)

The Rose Bowl is the stadium in Pasadena, California that is home to the UCLA football team. It is also host to the Rose Bowl football game held annually on New Year’s Day.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Incredible, in modern slang : AMAZEBALLS
11. Veep between Al and Joe : DICK
15. Diminishing returns? : TAX EVASION
16. By and by : ANON
17. Like Nafta : TRILATERAL
18. Blazed : TORE
19. The Tritons of the N.C.A.A. : UCSD
20. With 21-Across, U.S. Open champ of 1985-87 : IVAN ...
21. See 20-Across : … LENDL
22. Seat in Parliament? : ARSE
24. Least naive : WISEST
25. Deplorable : SAD
28. Deplorable : ATROCIOUS
31. Maker of Friskies : PURINA
33. The Wasp and Black Widow, for two : AVENGERS
36. Boston Tea Party leader : ADAMS
37. Lets go : OKS
38. Capital whose name means "city inside rivers" : HANOI
39. Sweetheart's brothers? : SIGMA CHI
41. It's moved by a keystroke : CURSOR
42. Cantaloupe, by another name : ROCKMELON
44. Pull (out) : EKE
45. Gives a lot of unwanted attention : STALKS
47. Tree line? : ANTS
49. Mammals that may weigh up to 12,000 pounds : ORCAS
50. Tea Party, e.g. : BLOC
52. "PT 109" actor Robert : CULP
56. Cheese, for some : BAIT
57. Excessive desire for wealth : PLUTOMANIA
59. Problem to face? : ACNE
60. Celebrity affair, maybe : SEX SCANDAL
61. Crib : DIGS
62. Digital barrage : TWEETSTORM

Down
1. W.W. II's Battle of ___ : ATTU
2. Podcaster Maron : MARC
3. Japan was a member of it : AXIS
4. Video game character rescued by Link : ZELDA
5. Spacewalk, for short : EVA
6. Castro overthrew him : BATISTA
7. Alternative to "Sincerely" : AS EVER
8. Turkey bacon? : LIRA
9. Something to float : LOAN
10. Show for which Louis C.K. unsuccessfully auditioned in '93 : SNL
11. Sweetener in a health food store : DATE SUGAR
12. By some measure : IN ONE SENSE
13. Hammock holders : CORDS
14. Prepared to confess sins, say : KNELT
21. Traditional rite of passage among the Masai : LION HUNT
23. Scours : RANSACKS
24. 2014 U.S. Women's Open champion : WIE
25. Beauty spots : SPAS
26. Lamborghini owner : AUDI
27. "The Fast and the Furious" activity : DRAG RACING
29. Oscar nominee for "The Great Dictator" : OAKIE
30. Major employer of pharmacists : CVS
32. Offers as a sacrifice : IMMOLATES
34. One that can only go straight : ROOK
35. Part of a pedigree : SIRE
37. Watt per ampere squared : OHM
40. A.T.M. deposits: Abbr. : CKS
41. Throw together : CONCOCT
43. He said "He who knows does not speak; he who speaks does not know" : LAO TSE
45. Desperately, informally : SO BAD
46. Lords of film : TRACI
48. Slight : SCANT
50. Ruined, in a way : BLEW
51. Like a five-star hotel : LUXE
53. Backup software option? : UNDO
54. Trust buster? : LIAR
55. Conceal cleverly : PALM
57. Rose Bowl setting, for short : PST
58. ___ adelante (later on: Sp.) : MAS


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2 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

I finished this puzzle (in the conventional sense, so let's not have that discussion again 😜) only by using Google to get AMAZEBALLS (which I'd never, ever heard of), ZELDA and MARC (both of which I may have heard of at some time in the past), at which point ATTU (slightly familiar) came to mind, stopping the clock at 23:58. I insist on finishing in this way, by researching things I don't know (avoiding simple "reveals", if at all possible) because the things I learn in that way have a better chance of embedding themselves in my aging brain.

"Urbandictionary.com" has this to say about "amazeballs": "Some annoying term Perez Hilton keeps trying to make happen, by saying it repeatedly, even though it makes no sense, and getting twitter followers to try and make it a trending topic, to make himself more famous for no reason." Well said! Love it! 😄

Jeff said...

48 minutes to "finish" this one also, but I did have 2 cheats. Had to look up UCSD and OAKIE to finish. AMAZEBALLS I got via crosses, and then I just looked at it and shook my head. Got a lot of answers I didn't know simply by crosses or because they made crossword sense - SIGMACHI, GREASE, LAOTSE, SHAW, ROCKMELON, and even the SNL reference.

Another precocious setter for this one as Zachary Spitz is all of 19 years old. No wonder AMAZEBALLS made it in. Today's Wordplay section has a picture of Mr. Spitz with an 89 year old solver representing the oldest and youngest competitors at the ACPT a couple of years ago.

Overall, a very entertaining and challenging puzzle. I don't remember having as much fun with a Saturday grid in some time. Great cluing in this one - "Turkey bacon" for LIRA is hateful...which makes it a great clue. "One that can only go straight" for ROOK is great too. Mr. Spitz explains that the puzzle he submitted had ROOK clued as "One half of a straight couple". Awesome, but I guess it was more than the NYT editors could handle. Fun stuff.

Best -

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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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