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0727-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Jul 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: Jeffrey Wechsler
THEME: Hold Down the Fort
Each of today’s themed answers needs us to HOLD DOWN THE FORT. The FORT part of the answer requires us to look DOWNWARDS in the grid, using the letters FORT from the crossing down-answer:
59A. Have charge temporarily ... or a hint to answering this puzzle's three starred clues : HOLD DOWN THE FORT

16A *Enjoying first-class amenities, say : TRAVELING IN COM(FORT)
33A. *Wind speed metric : BEAU(FORT) SCALE
40A. *One looking to become rich : (FORT)UNE HUNTER
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 17s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

13. Out of place, in obstetric parlance : ECTOPIC
In medical terms, an ectopia is displacement of a body part so that it is incorrectly positioned. An ectopic pregnancy is one that takes place outside of the uterus, often the result of the embryo attaching to the walls of a fallopian tube.

19. Split apart : RIVEN
To rive is to tear apart, and is a verb that we've been using since about 1300. The term comes from the Old Norse word "rifa" that also means to tear apart.

21. Nabisco brand since 1912 : OREO
The Oreo cookie was introduced in 1912. The Oreo was intended to be a competitor to the very similar Hydrox cookie which had debuted four years earlier. The Oreo won the resulting battle on the grocery store shelves …

31. Seasonal woe : FLU
Influenza (flu) is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks.

33. *Wind speed metric : BEAU(FORT) SCALE
The Beaufort wind scale is named after Irishman Sir Francis Beaufort, a Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy. Beaufort was a hydrographer as well as a career navy man.

37. Galley part : OAR
Galleys were large medieval ships mainly found in the Mediterranean. They were propelled by a combination of sails and oars.

38. Right-hand page : RECTO
The left and right pages of a book or magazine are known in publishing circles as verso and recto. “Recto” comes from the Latin for “right”, and “verso” comes from the Latin word for “turned”. The idea is that the left side of the page is turned and is the reverse of the recto/right side.

42. Figures on CBS's "Code Black": Abbr. : MDS
Medical doctor (MD)

44. Kitchen meas. : TSP
Teaspoon (tsp.)

46. GPS data: Abbr. : RDS
Roads (Rds.)

54. "The Wind in the Willows" creature : TOAD
Mr. Toad is one of the main characters in the children’s novel “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame. A. A. Milne (of “Winnie-the-Pooh” fame) wrote several plays based on “The Wind in the Willows”, the first of which is “Toad of Toad Hall”.

56. "___ Town" : OUR
“Our Town” is a play by Thornton Wilder that was first performed in 1938. Wilder won a Pulitzer for the work. “Our Town” was actually banned by the Soviet authorities in East Berlin in 1946. Their reasoning was that “the drama was too depressing and could inspire a German suicide wave”.

57. Bill of Southwest legend : PECOS
Pecos Bill has become a character in tall tales of the Old West after having been introduced in 1917 by author Edward O’Reilly. Legend has it that Bill was travelling in a covered wagon from Texas with his family when he fell out unnoticed by the party. He was lost near the Pecos River, hence his name. He was found and raised by a pack of coyotes, but years later was recovered by his real brother. Pecos Bill grew up to be a cowboy and married a woman called Slue-Foot Sue who he met riding a giant catfish down the Rio Grande.

65. J. M. ___, "The Playboy of the Western World" playwright : SYNGE
J.M. Synge was one of Ireland’s most famous playwrights and a co-founder of the country’s national theater, the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Synge’s most famous work is “The Playboy of the Western World”.

66. Euripides tragedy : ORESTES
Orestes is a character appearing in Greek mythology, and is the subject of several Ancient Greek plays. In a story by Homer, Orestes kills his mother Clytemnestra. He does so in revenge as Clytemnestra had killed Agamemnon, who was her husband and father to Orestes. Agamemnon was killed by his wife for sacrificing his daughter Iphigenia in order to get favorable winds on a sea voyage. Heavy stuff …

Euripides was a celebrated playwright of Ancient Greece and someone renowned for his tragedies. Euripides was one of the three great writers of tragedy of classical Athens, alongside Aeschylus and Sophocles.

Down
1. Moving aspect of urban life? : METRO
The Paris Métro is the busiest underground transportation system in western Europe, carrying about 4.5 million passengers a day, which is about the same ridership as the New York City Subway. The system took its name from the company that originally operated it, namely “La Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris”, which was shorted to “Métro”. The term “Metro” was then adopted for similar systems in cities all over the world.

3. Fend (off) : STAVE
The word "stave" was originally the plural of "staff", a wooden rod. To "stave off" originated with the concept of holding off with a staff. In the world of barrel-making, a stave is a narrow strip of wood that forms part of a barrel’s sides.

7. Genre for Philip K. Dick : SCI-FI
Philip K. Dick (the “K” is for “Kindred” … what a great name!) was a science-fiction author. There is a whole raft of successful movies that have been produced based on Dick’s works, including “Blade Runner”, “Total Recall”, “Minority Report”, “Paycheck” and “The Adjustment Bureau”. He won a Hugo Award for Best Novel for his 1962 novel “The Man in the High Castle”, which has been adapted into a hit Amazon TV series.

8. Sound in Washington : PUGET
George Vancouver was a British explorer, and an officer in the Royal Navy. As well as exploring the coast of Australia, he is best known for his travels along the northwest coast of North America. The city of Vancouver was named in his honor. Travelling with him on his American voyage was a lieutenant Peter Puget, and in his honor, Vancouver named the waters south of the Tacoma Narrows “Puget’s Sound”. Nowadays, the name “Puget Sound” describes an area much greater than Vancouver had envisioned.

9. Singer DiFranco : ANI
Ani DiFranco is a folk-rock singer and songwriter. DiFranco has also been labeled a "feminist icon", and in 2006 won the "Woman of Courage Award" from National Organization for Women.

10. Figure kept in the head, usually: Abbr. : SSN
Social Security number (SSN)

15. Things mined in Cleopatra's Mines : EMERALDS
The mineral beryl is a source of a number of different, semi-precious stones, depending on the nature of the impurities present. Pure beryl is colorless; blue beryl is called aquamarine, and green beryl is emerald. The source of the green color is mainly chromium.

18. Strong point : FORTE
A person's “forte” is his or her strength, and is a term that came into English via French from the Latin “fortis” meaning strong.

24. Civil unrest approaching anarchy : MOB RULE
Our word “anarchy”, used to describe a society without a publicly enforced government, comes from the Greek “an-” (without) and “arkhos” (leader).

26. U.N. Security Council permanent member: Abbr. : RUS
The United Nations Security Council has 15 members, 5 of whom are permanent and who have veto power over any resolution. The 10 non-permanent members are elected into place, and hold their seats for two years. The UN charter requires that authorized representatives of the member nations are always present at UN headquarters so that the Security council can meet at any time. The permanent members are:
  • China
  • France
  • Russia
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

28. Blender setting : PUREE
A purée is a food that has been made smooth by straining or blending. “Purée” is a French term, which I believe is now used to mean “pea soup” (more completely written as “purée de pois”). The French verb “purer” means “to strain, clean”, from the Latin “purare” meaning “to purify, clean”.

31. Like most taxicabs : FOUR-DOOR
We call cabs “taxis”, a word derived from “taximeter cabs” that were introduced in London in 1907. A taximeter was an automated meter designed to record distance travelled and fare to be charged. The term “taximeter” evolved from “taxameter”, with “taxa” being Latin for “tax, charge”.

34. Yet, to Hamlet : E’EN
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 …

35. "Hamlet" division : ACT
Shakespeare adopted the five-act structure for all of his plays, using the same format that was used by Seneca for his Roman tragedies. Given five acts, the plays tend to unfold as follows:
  • Act I is used as an introduction
  • Act II is used to complicate things
  • Act III contains the climax of the tale
  • Act IV is used to add some suspense
  • Act V is the conclusion

36. Member of a Great Basin tribe : UTE
The Great Basin is a large region of the US covering most of Nevada, much of Utah and some parts of Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon and California. The 200,000 square mile area drains internally, with all precipitation sinking underground or flowing into lakes. Most of the lakes in the Great Basin are saline, including the Great Salt Lake, Pyramid Lake and the Humboldt Sink.

41. Biblical book preceding Zeph. : HAB
Habakkuk was one of the so called minor prophets, and author of the Book of Habakkuk in the Hebrew Bible.

45. One end of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, informally : ST PETE
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge spans Tampa Bay in Florida, and is just over four miles long. The current bridge opened in 1987, replacing a prior structure that opened in 1954. Part of the old bridge collapsed in 1980 when a freighter called the MV summit Venture collided with a pier. The collision caused 35 deaths as six cars, a truck and a Greyhound bus fell 150 feet into the water.

48. Seek water, in a way : DOWSE
Dowsing is the practice of divining, not just for water, but also for buried metals and gemstones. Often a dowser will use a Y-shaped or L-shaped rod as a tool, which can also be called a dowser. Here in the US, the tool used might be referred to as a “witching rod”, as it is usually made from witch-hazel.

49. Ogden Nash specialty : PUN
Ogden Nash was a poet from Rye, New York who is remembered for his light and quirky verse. Nash had over 500 such works published between 1931 and 1972.

50. Big name in lawn care : ORTHO
Ortho is a brand of weed killer owned by Scotts Miracle-Gro.

52. Songstress Lena : HORNE
Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started out her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of Horne’s starring roles was in the 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” for which she also performed the title song.

53. These, to Goya : ESTAS
Francisco Goya was a Spanish painter, often called the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Two of Goya’s most famous works are “The Nude Maja” and “The Clothed Maja”.

55. Historic Normandy event : D-DAY
The Allied Invasion of Normandy during WWII was given the codename “Operation Overlord”. The Normandy landings that kicked off the invasion on D-Day (6 June 1944) were given the codename “Operation Neptune”.

58. Young salamanders : EFTS
Salamanders are lizard-like amphibians found in all across the northern hemisphere. They are the only vertebrate animals that can regenerate lost limbs.

60. Hullabaloo : DIN
Our word “hullabaloo” meaning a “commotion” is a derivative of an older term “hollo-ballo”. “Hollo-ballo” was a word used for an uproar in the north of England and Scotland.

61. "I'm shocked!," in a text : OMG
OMG is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G-words you might think of …

62. Old TV knob: Abbr. : HOR
Remember the “horizontal hold” (HOR) and “vertical hold” (VER) on old TV sets? Our kids have no idea what we had to go through …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Game animals, for some : MASCOTS
8. It may be long, twisted or hollow : PASTA
13. Out of place, in obstetric parlance : ECTOPIC
14. Perilous : UNSAFE
16. *Enjoying first-class amenities, say : TRAVELING IN COM(FORT)
19. Split apart : RIVEN
20. Other side : FOE
21. Nabisco brand since 1912 : OREO
22. What might be written to a famous person : ODE
23. Device releasing particles : EMITTER
27. Goof : ERR
28. One who knows the ropes : PRO
29. Nag : FUSS AT
31. Seasonal woe : FLU
33. *Wind speed metric : BEAU(FORT) SCALE
37. Galley part : OAR
38. Right-hand page : RECTO
39. Legal ___ : AID
40. *One looking to become rich : (FORT)UNE HUNTER
42. Figures on CBS's "Code Black": Abbr. : MDS
43. Tough slog : ORDEAL
44. Kitchen meas. : TSP
46. GPS data: Abbr. : RDS
47. Canopy support : BEDPOST
51. Any vessel, traditionally : SHE
54. "The Wind in the Willows" creature : TOAD
56. "___ Town" : OUR
57. Bill of Southwest legend : PECOS
59. Have charge temporarily ... or a hint to answering this puzzle's three starred clues : HOLD DOWN THE FORT
63. Adjusts one's sights : REAIMS
64. Blues-rock group that grew out of Jefferson Airplane : HOT TUNA
65. J. M. ___, "The Playboy of the Western World" playwright : SYNGE
66. Euripides tragedy : ORESTES

Down
1. Moving aspect of urban life? : METRO
2. Like many volcanic fumes : ACRID
3. Fend (off) : STAVE
4. Small bay : COVE
5. Word with can or season : OPENER
6. Up to, informally : ‘TIL
7. Genre for Philip K. Dick : SCI-FI
8. Sound in Washington : PUGET
9. Singer DiFranco : ANI
10. Figure kept in the head, usually: Abbr. : SSN
11. Kind of shell : TACO
12. Mentioned previously : AFORESAID
15. Things mined in Cleopatra's Mines : EMERALDS
17. "___ interested" : NOT
18. Strong point : FORTE
24. Civil unrest approaching anarchy : MOB RULE
25. Expenditures of time and energy : EFFORTS
26. U.N. Security Council permanent member: Abbr. : RUS
28. Blender setting : PUREE
30. Rascal : SCAMP
31. Like most taxicabs : FOUR-DOOR
32. Some real estate business : LAND SALES
34. Yet, to Hamlet : E’EN
35. "Hamlet" division : ACT
36. Member of a Great Basin tribe : UTE
40. Sally ___ : FORTH
41. Biblical book preceding Zeph. : HAB
45. One end of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, informally : ST PETE
48. Seek water, in a way : DOWSE
49. Ogden Nash specialty : PUN
50. Big name in lawn care : ORTHO
51. Sports team employee : SCOUT
52. Songstress Lena : HORNE
53. These, to Goya : ESTAS
55. Historic Normandy event : D-DAY
58. Young salamanders : EFTS
60. Hullabaloo : DIN
61. "I'm shocked!," in a text : OMG
62. Old TV knob: Abbr. : HOR


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2 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

11:56, no errors. Not bad for a Thursday, but it took me a little while to fully understand the theme ...

Jeff said...

No too difficult. I actually got the theme rather easily. NW gave me some fits, however. PUGET for "Sound in Washington" was cruel as was ECTOPIC..ORESTES in both NYT and LAT today can't be a coincidence.

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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