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0717-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Jul 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: Tom McCoy
THEME: Odds and Ends
Each of today’s themed answers ENDS with an ODD number:
55A. Miscellany ... or a description of the final words in 15-, 23-, 30-, 38- and 43-Across : ODDS AND ENDS

15A. President's plane : AIR FORCE ONE
23A. Cry before "You're out!" : STRIKE THREE!
30A. "Up top!" : GIMME FIVE!
38A. Conclusion of a close World Series : GAME SEVEN
43A. Ecstatic : ON CLOUD NINE
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 31s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Building material for the first little pig : STRAW
The fairy tale of “The Three Little Pigs” has been around for centuries, although it first appeared in print in the 1840s. One little pig built a house using straw and another built one using wood. The cleverest little pig built its house using bricks.

6. Some bank offerings, for short : CDS
A certificate of deposit (CD) is like a less-flexible and higher-paying savings account. Instead of depositing money into a savings account and earning interest periodically, one can open a CD. With a CD one deposits a minimum amount of money but must leave it there for a specified length of time. In return for committing the funds for a fixed period, one is given a higher interest rate than a savings account and can redeem that interest and the initial deposit when the term has expired. CDs are relatively low-risk investments as they are FDIC insured, just like savings accounts.

12. Swim meet coverage? : SPEEDO
Speedo brand swimwear was first produced in Australia in 1928, by a hosiery company that wanted to diversify. The brand name was chosen after a slogan competition among employees was won by “Speed on in your Speedos”. It was a long time ago, I guess …

13. Nancy who solves mysteries : DREW
The “Nancy Drew” mystery stories were produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. The founder of the Syndicate hired a team of writers to produce the “Nancy Drew” novels, but listed the author of each book as the fictional Carolyn Keene.

15. President's plane : AIR FORCE ONE
We usually use the term “Air Force One” for the purpose-built military aircraft that transports the president, although any plane can use the call sign, provided the president is aboard. There was an incident in 1953 which a flight carrying President Eisenhower (flight no. Air Force 8610) flew close to commercial airliner (flight no. Eastern 8610). In order to avoid confusion of flight numbers in the future, the special call sign “Air Force One” was created.

19. Wrestling for 400-pounders : SUMO
Sumo is a sport that is practiced professionally only in Japan, the country of its origin. There is an international federation of sumo wrestling now, and one of the organization's aims is to have the sport accepted as an Olympic event.

20. Rod-shaped bacterium : E COLI
Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

22. Broadway's "___ Miz" : LES
The 1980 musical “Les Misérables” is an adaptation of the 1862 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. The show opened in London in 1985, and is the longest running musical in the history of London’s West End. My wife and I saw “Les Miz” in the Queen’s Theatre in London quite a few years ago, but were only able to get tickets in the very back row. The theater seating is very steep, so the back row of the balcony is extremely high over the stage. One of the big events in the storyline is the building of a street barricade over which the rebels fight. At the height we were seated we could see the stagehands behind the barricade, sitting drinking Coke, even smoking cigarettes. On cue, the stagehands would get up and catch a dropped rifle, or an actor who had been shot. It was pretty comical. I didn’t really enjoy the show that much, to be honest. Some great songs, but the musical version of the storyline just didn’t seem to hang together for me.

23. Cry before "You're out!" : STRIKE THREE!
That would be baseball.

25. Dorm figs. : RAS
RAs are resident assistants or resident advisers, the peer leaders found in residence halls, particularly on a college campus.

26. Actor Hemsworth of "The Hunger Games" : LIAM
Liam Hemsworth is an Australian actor who is best known these days for playing Gale Hawthorne in “The Hunger Games” series of films. Hemsworth met Miley Cyrus while working on the movie “The Last Song”, and the two actors were engaged for a while. Liam is a younger brother of actor Chris Hemsworth, who plays the superhero “Thor” on the big screen.

“The Hunger Games" is a 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins, the first in a trilogy of titles that also includes “Catching Fire” (2009) and “Mockingjay” (2010). “The Hunger Games” was adapted into a very successful movie released in 2012, with the sequels following soon after. Amazon.com reports more sales of “The Hunger Games” series books than even the “Harry Potter” series.

27. Material for a tight-fitting glove : LATEX
Latex is a naturally occurring polymer made by some plants, that can also be made synthetically. About one in ten of the flowering plants in the world make the milky fluid called latex. It serves as a defense against insects and is exuded when a plant is injured or attacked by insects. Latex is collected commercially and is the source of natural rubber, which can be used to make things such as gloves, condoms and balloons.

30. "Up top!" : GIMME FIVE!
The celebratory gesture that we call a “high five” is said to have been invented by former baseball players Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke when they were both playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the later 1970s.

40. Photographer Adams : ANSEL
As an avid amateur photographer, I have been a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams for many years and must have read all of his books. Adams was famous for clarity and depth in his black and white images. Central to his technique was the use of the zone system, his own invention. The zone system is a way of controlling exposure in an image, particularly when there is a high contrast in the subject. Although the technique was developed primarily for black & white film, it can even apply to digital color images. In the digital world, the main technique is to expose an image for the highlights, and one or more images for the shadows. These images can then be combined digitally giving a final photograph with a full and satisfying range of exposures.

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

42. Brand of sheepskin boots : UGG
Uggs are sheepskin boots that were first produced in Australia and New Zealand. The original Uggs have sheepskin fleece on the inside for comfort and insulation, with a tanned leather surface on the outside for durability. Ugg is a generic term Down Under, although it’s a brand name here in the US.

43. Ecstatic : ON CLOUD NINE
I don't think that anyone is really certain of the etymology of the term "on cloud nine" meaning “elated”, but I do like the following explanation. The 1896 "International Cloud-Atlas" was a long-standing reference used to define cloud shapes that was based on a classification created by amateur meteorologist Luke Howard some decades earlier. The biggest and puffiest of all cloud shapes (and most comfortable-looking to lie on) is cumulonimbus. And you guessed it, of the ten cloud shapes defined in the atlas, cumulonimbus was cloud nine …

51. Beauty's partner, with "the" : BEAST
“Beauty and the Beast” is a fairy tale was that was written by novelist Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Titled “La belle et la bête” in French, the story was first published in 1756. The “beauty” in the tale is named “Belle”.

53. Martial art that's an Olympic sport : JUDO
Judo is a martial art from Japan that was developed relatively recently, in 1882. The name “judo” translates as “gentle way”.

54. Big feature on a donkey : EAR
A female donkey is known as a jenny, and a male is known as a jack, or sometimes a “jackass”. We started using the term “jackass” to mean “fool” in the 1820s.

55. Miscellany ... or a description of the final words in 15-, 23-, 30-, 38- and 43-Across : ODDS AND ENDS
Out terms “miscellany” and “miscellaneous” ultimately come from the Latin verb “miscere” meaning “to mix”.

58. Since Jan. 1 : YTD
Year-to-date (YTD)

61. "Hel-l-lp!" : SOS
The combination of three dots - three dashes - three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots - pause - three dashes - pause - three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases "Save Our Souls" and "Save Our Ship" are also mnemonics, introduced after the "SOS" signal was adopted.

63. Insurance company with a lizard mascot : GEICO
GEICO was founded in 1936 with a very specific mission, to provide auto insurance for employees of the federal government and their families, hence the name Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO). GEICO is a private company, despite the word “government” in its name. The founders’ idea was to focus on government employees as they believed such a group represented a lower risk profile than the rest of the population. Nowadays any qualifying person can take out a policy with GEICO.

Down
1. Backbone : SPINE
The human spine comprises five regions of vertebrae, which are (starting at the neck):
  • Cervical (C1 – C7)
  • Thoracic (T1 – T12)
  • Lumbar (L1 – L5)
  • Sacral (S1 – S5)
  • Coccyx (also known as the tailbone)

2. Shore birds : TERNS
Terns are seabirds that are found all over the world. The Arctic Tern makes a very long-distance migration. One Arctic Tern that was tagged as a chick in Great Britain in the summer of 1982, was spotted in Melbourne, Australia just three months later. The bird had traveled over 14,000 miles in over those three months, an average of about 150 miles a day. Remarkable …

3. Officials crying "Offside" and "Pass interference" : REFS
Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

10. "Hello" singer of 2015 : ADELE
“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. More recently, her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

11. Gumption : MOXIE
Back as far as 1876, Moxie was a brand name of a "medicine" peddled with the claim that it "built up your nerve". In 1924, Moxie was registered as a trademark for a bitter, non-alcoholic beverage (no more claims of nerve-building). And we've used the term "moxie" to mean “nerve” ever since …

13. Singer Lovato : DEMI
Pop and R&B singer Demi Lovato started her performing career as a child actress, playing Angela on the kids TV show “Barney & Friends” from 2002 to 2004. When she was all grown up, Levato served as a judge on “The X Factor” from 2012 to 2013, and soon after had the recurring role of Dani on “Glee”.

23. "Wailing" instrument : SAX
The saxophone was invented by Belgian Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

28. In the manner of : A LA
The phrase “in the style of” can be translated in “alla” in Italian and “à la” in French.

33. Flying geese formation : VEE
Apparently, geese fly in a V-formation for a couple of reasons. One is that it makes for efficient flight and conserves energy. The leading bird gets no advantage, but every following bird gets to "slipstream" a little. It has been noted that the lead bird drops to the back of the formation when he/she gets fatigued. It's also thought that the flock can stick together more easily when in formation, so it is more difficult to lose someone along the way.

36. It's fixed for a prix fixe meal : MENU
On a restaurant menu, items that are "à la carte" are priced and ordered separately. A menu marked "table d'hôte" (also called "prix fixe") is a fixed-price menu with limited choice.

39. Príncipe's sister island : SAO TOME
The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe is an island nation off the west coast of Africa comprising mainly two islands: São Tomé and Príncipe. São Tomé and Príncipe is located in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of Gabon. It was colonized by Portugal after POrtuguese explorers discovered the islands in the 15th century. After gaining independence in 1975, São Tomé and Príncipe is now the smallest Portuguese-speaking country in the world.

47. Pigs ___ blanket : IN A
“Pigs in a blanket” are usually hot dogs that have been wrapped and cooked in some kind of dough. Over in Scotland, the same dish is called a “kilted sausage”.

48. Like some ancient characters : RUNIC
A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

50. What rolling stones don't gather : MOSS
Publilius Syrus was a writer of adages and proverbs in Ancient Roman times. He was a freed slave, originally a Syrian, who was freed by his master in Italy. Publilius wrote the adage “People who are always moving, with no roots in one place, avoid responsibilities and cares”. We are more familiar with the contemporary “A rolling stone gathers no moss”.

53. Force-ful characters? : JEDI
The Jedi are the “good guys” in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …

The Force is a metaphysical power much cited in all of the "Star Wars" movies, and still today we may hear someone in real life say "May the Force be with you".

56. Cacophony : DIN
“Cacophony” is such a lovely word, one used to describe a harsh or jarring sound. The term arises from the Greek “kakos” (bad) and “phone” (voice).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Building material for the first little pig : STRAW
6. Some bank offerings, for short : CDS
9. ___ and cheese : HAM
12. Swim meet coverage? : SPEEDO
13. Nancy who solves mysteries : DREW
14. Words said at the altar : I DO
15. President's plane : AIR FORCE ONE
17. ___-Mex : TEX
18. Roadside stops : INNS
19. Wrestling for 400-pounders : SUMO
20. Rod-shaped bacterium : E COLI
22. Broadway's "___ Miz" : LES
23. Cry before "You're out!" : STRIKE THREE!
25. Dorm figs. : RAS
26. Actor Hemsworth of "The Hunger Games" : LIAM
27. Material for a tight-fitting glove : LATEX
30. "Up top!" : GIMME FIVE!
35. Landed, as on a branch : ALIT
36. Actions on the dance floor : MOVES
37. "Mmm-hmm, mmm-hmm" : I SEE
38. Conclusion of a close World Series : GAME SEVEN
40. Photographer Adams : ANSEL
41. Flair : ELAN
42. Brand of sheepskin boots : UGG
43. Ecstatic : ON CLOUD NINE
48. He-sheep : RAM
51. Beauty's partner, with "the" : BEAST
52. Charged particles : IONS
53. Martial art that's an Olympic sport : JUDO
54. Big feature on a donkey : EAR
55. Miscellany ... or a description of the final words in 15-, 23-, 30-, 38- and 43-Across : ODDS AND ENDS
58. Since Jan. 1 : YTD
59. Word repeated in "It's ___, all ___!" : MINE
60. Tax cheats' fears : AUDITS
61. "Hel-l-lp!" : SOS
62. Suffix with differ : -ENT
63. Insurance company with a lizard mascot : GEICO

Down
1. Backbone : SPINE
2. Shore birds : TERNS
3. Officials crying "Offside" and "Pass interference" : REFS
4. Commotion : ADO
5. Opposite of bests : WORSTS
6. No-good thief : CROOK
7. Lair : DEN
8. Hon : SWEETIE
9. Sometimes good, sometimes bad : HIT OR MISS
10. "Hello" singer of 2015 : ADELE
11. Gumption : MOXIE
12. Take a yacht out : SAIL
13. Singer Lovato : DEMI
16. Scoundrel : CUR
21. Rubbing the wrong way? : CHAFING
23. "Wailing" instrument : SAX
24. Stately shade trees : ELMS
25. Gives a new account of : RETELLS
27. Annoying feature of an online stream : LAG
28. In the manner of : A LA
29. Means of tracking workers' hours : TIMECARDS
30. www.healthcare.___ : GOV
31. "Now ___ seen it all!" : I’VE
32. Restroom sign : MEN
33. Flying geese formation : VEE
34. Sea slitherer : EEL
36. It's fixed for a prix fixe meal : MENU
39. Príncipe's sister island : SAO TOME
40. 6 or so, for first graders : AGE
42. Release from being caught on a nail, say : UNSNAG
43. Adheres to, as a rule : OBEYS
44. Old-fashioned "Awesome!" : NEATO!
45. "I ___ see that coming!" : DIDN’T
46. What smells : NOSE
47. Pigs ___ blanket : IN A
48. Like some ancient characters : RUNIC
49. Embellish : ADD TO
50. What rolling stones don't gather : MOSS
53. Force-ful characters? : JEDI
56. Cacophony : DIN
57. Like some library books and babies : DUE


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3 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

8:27, no errors.

Jeff said...

11:35, no errors, but I spent the last minute or two finding a typo. Too bad this wasn't a larger puzzle. There could have been a Seven Eleven and/or Apollo Thirteen reference...

Best -

Carrie said...

10:36, no errors. Jeff I like your thinking there!

Have I complained enough about having to time myself? Here, again, I'm frustrated -- sometimes I want the challenge of figuring out the long answers when I only have a couple of letters filled in, but when I'm timing myself, I instead go for the short crosses. No time to mull things over. Oh well...

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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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