0401-14 New York Times Crosswords Answers 1 Apr 14, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Andrew Reynolds
THEME: Heads or Tails … today’s crossword is what’s called a Schrödinger puzzle, as either of the answers HEADS or TAILS can work at 37-across. Similarly, the letters H or T can go in each of the five circled squares. I’ve shown all circled letter as T with the central answer as TAILS:

17A. With 56-Across, common format for a wager : BEST THREE
56A. See 17-Across : OUT OF FIVE

37A. Winner of the wager in 17-/56-Across, depending on how you fill the circled squares in this puzzle : HEADS or TAILS

19A. Suffix with cartoon : -ISH or -IST
21A. Clobbers : BASHES or BASTES
24A. Bring down : HUMBLE or TUMBLE
46A. Blast : HOOT or TOOT
3D. Sudden outburst : GUSH or GUST
11D. It may be landed with a hook : FISH or FIST
24D. Bit of color : HINT or TINT
37D. Improves, in a way : HONES or TONES
46D. Plague : HAUNT or TAUNT

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 14m 41s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Award-winning 2012 film about a fake film : ARGO
“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I saw “Argo” recently and recommend it highly, although I found the scenes of religious fervor pretty frightening …

5. Game with a 32-card deck : SKAT
When I was a teenager in Ireland, I had a friend with a German father. The father taught us the game of Skat, and what a great game it is. Skat originated in Germany in the 1800s and is to this day the most popular card game in the country. I haven’t played it in decades, but would love to play it again …

9. AK-47, e.g. : RIFLE
The AK-47 rifle is also known as the “Kalashnikov”, after the guns inventor Mikhail Kalashnikov. The AK-47 first saw service with the Soviet Army, starting in 1948.

16. The Hunter constellation : ORION
The very recognizable constellation of Orion is of course named after the Greek God Orion, the Hunter. If you take a look at the star in Orion’s “right shoulder”, the second brightest star in the constellation, you might notice that it is quite red in color. This is the famous star called Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, a huge star that is on its way out. Betelgeuse is expected to explode into a supernova within the next thousand years or so. You don’t want to miss that …

20. Marijuana plant : HEMP
Hemp is a hardy, fast-growing plant that has many uses mainly due to the strength of the fibers in the plant’s stalks. Hemp is used to make rope, paper and textiles. There is of course a variety of hemp that is grown to make drugs, most famously cannabis.

22. The “E” of Q.E.D. : ERAT
QED is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The QED acronym stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.

28. Sun-Maid dried fruit : RAISIN
The Sun-Maid brand of raisins belongs to a cooperative of raisin growers in California. The cooperative was founded in 1912, and the famous Sun-Maid girl shown on each container of raisins was actually a seeder and packer called Lorraine Collett who worked for one of the members of the cooperative.

31. Princeton and Yale : IVIES
The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

32. Peak in Greek myth : MT IDA
There are two peaks called Mount Ida that are sacred according to Greek mythology. Mount Ida in Crete is the island’s highest point, and is where one can find the cave in which Zeus was reared. Mount Ida in Asia Minor (located in modern-day Turkey) is where Ganymede was swept up by Zeus in the form of an eagle that took him to Olympus where he served as cupbearer to the gods.

37. Winner of the wager in 17-/56-Across, depending on how you fill the circled squares in this puzzle : HEADS or TAILS
The two sides of a coin are known as the “obverse” and the “reverse”. The obverse is commonly referred to as “heads”, as it often depicts someone’s head. The reverse is commonly called “tails”, as it is the opposite “heads”.

38. Old Italian money : LIRA
The word “lira” is used in a number of countries for currency. “Lira” comes from the Latin for “pound” and is derived from a British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver. For example, the lira (plural “lire”) was the official currency of Italy before the country changed over to the euro in 2002.

39. Upsilon preceder : TAU
Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

Upsilon is the Greek letter that gives rise to our English “Y”.

40. Nick who was named People’s Sexiest Man Alive in 1992 : NOLTE
The actor Nick Nolte got his first big break playing opposite Jacqueline Bisset and Robert Shaw in “The Deep”, released in 1976. Prior to that he had worked as a model, and in fact appeared in a magazine advertisement for Clairol in 1972 alongside fellow model, Sigourney Weaver.

“People” magazine is noted for its annual special editions with features such as “Best & Worst Dressed” and “Sexiest Man Alive”. The “Sexiest Man Alive” edition now appears at the end of November each year. The first choice for “Sexiest Man” was Mel Gibson, in 1985. The 2013 choice was singer-songwriter Adam Levine.

41. ___ Python : MONTY
The zany comedy show called “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” was first aired in 1969 on the BBC. The show ran for four seasons and finished up soon after John Cleese decided to leave the team and move onto other projects.

42. AT&T competitor : SPRINT
The modern Sprint Corporation, a giant in the telecommunications industry, can trace its roots back to the Brown Telephone Company which was founded in 1899. C.L. and Jacob Brown created their company to provide a telephone service to the rural parts around the city of Abilene, Kansas.

51. German automaker : AUDI
The Audi name has an interesting history. The Horch company was founded by August Horch in 1909. Early in the life of the new company, Horch was forced out of his own business. He set up a new enterprise and continued to use his own name as a brand. The old company sued him for using the Horch name so a meeting was held to choose something new. Horch’s young son was studying Latin in the room where the meeting was taking place. He pointed out that “Horch” was German for “hear” and he suggested “Audi” as a replacement, the Latin for “listen”.

55. Opera singer in an opera : TOSCA
Unlike so many operas, Puccini’s “Tosca” was a big hit right from day one, when it was first performed in 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. “Tosca” is currently the eighth-most performed opera in America, although I’ve only seen it once myself.

58. Remove, as a boutonniere : UNPIN
A boutonnière is a flower worn by men in the lapel of a jacket, in the buttonhole. In fact, sometimes a boutonnière is referred to as a “buttonhole”, which is the translation from French.

59. Not using Obamacare, say : UNINSURED
The correct name for what has been dubbed “Obamacare” is the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”.

61. GPS recommendations: Abbr. : RTES
Routes (rtes.)

Global Positioning System (GPS)

62. Number of holes in a half-round of golf : NINE
There’s an urban myth that the standard number of holes on a golf course is 18 because it takes 18 shots to polish off a fifth of scotch whisky. However, the truth is that the standard number of holes in the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland happened to settle down over time at 18, and that standard was adopted all around the world.

Down
1. Prefix with -dextrous : AMBI-
Someone who is ambidextrous can write with both hands or use both hands with equal ease. A fairly literal translation of “ambidextrous” is “right-handed on both sides” as “dexter” is Latin for “right-handed”.

2. Caviars : ROES
“Caviar” is the roe of a large fish that has been salted and seasoned, and especially the roe of a sturgeon. Beluga caviar comes from the beluga sturgeon, found primarily in the Caspian Sea. It is the most expensive type of caviar in the world. 8 ounces of US-farmed beluga caviar can be purchased through Amazon.com for just over $850, in case you’re feeling peckish …

4. German direction : OST
“Ost” is German for “east”.

6. “Instant ___!” (John Lennon hit) : KARMA
“Instant Karma!” is a John Lennon song that he released in 1970. The song contains a line starting with “We all shine on …”, which Stephen King used as inspiration for the title of his 1977 novel “The Shining”.

8. Mao ___-tung : TSE
Mao Zedong (also “Mao Tse-tung”) was born on December 16, 1893 in the Hunan Province of China. As Mao was the son of a peasant farmer, his prospects for education were limited. Indeed he left school at age 13 to work on the family farm but did eventually get to secondary school in Changsha, the provincial capital. In the years following, Mao continued his education in Beijing and actually turned down an opportunity to study in France.

9. Bucharest’s land : ROMANIA
The city of Bucharest has been the capital of Romania since 1862. A native of the city is known as a “Bucharester”.

10. Eye parts : IRISES
The iris is the colored part of the eye with an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

12. It may have gold in them thar hills : LODE
A lode is a metal ore deposit that’s found between two layers of rock or in a fissure.

13. Officer on TV’s “The Dukes of Hazzard” : ENOS
Enos Strate (played by Sonny Shroyer) was the small-town deputy in the television sitcom “The Dukes of Hazzard”, and the success of his character merited a follow-on show. The spinoff “Enos” only ran for 18 episodes though.

15. Roosevelt and Kennedy : ETHELS
Ethel Roosevelt Derby was the youngest child of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Ethel Kennedy is the widow of Robert F. Kennedy. Ethel was a roommate with Jean Kennedy, and through Jean met her brother Robert. Robert and Ethel had ten children together, with an eleventh child sadly arriving after Robert’s assassination in 1968.

21. Abacus row : BEADS
The abacus (plural “abaci”) was used as a counting frame long before man had invented a numbering system. It is a remarkable invention, particularly when one notes that abaci are still widely used today across Africa and Asia.

25. Eye parts : UVEAS
The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball.

30. Robb Stark’s realm in “Game of Thrones,” with “the” : NORTH
HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is a fantasy television drama that was adapted from a series of novels by George R. R. Martin called “A Song of Ice and Fire”. “Game of Thrones” is actually made in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

33. Part of retribution, in a phrase : TAT
Tit for tat

38. “Skip to My ___” : LOU
“Skip to My Lou” is a children’s dance that can also be used at a barn dance as an icebreaker. Couples dance to the tune, with an extra male in the middle of the group. The odd man “steals” a lady with whom to dance, leaving her partner to find another. The word “lou” is the Scottish for “love”.

40. Penn State’s ___ Lions : NITTANY
The athletic teams of Pennsylvania State University (PSU) are called the Nittany Lions, or in the case of the female teams, the Lady Lions. The Nittany Lion was introduced as a mascot way back in 1904 and is modeled after mountain lions that used to roam Mount Nittany located near the school’s campus.

44. Genetic sequence groups : CODONS
Proteins are synthesised in the body from amino acids, which are linked together in specific sequences that are determined by the genetic code. The language of the code is sequence of nucleotides. The nucleotides are arranged in groups of three called “codons”, with each codon determining a specific amino acid.

49. Dunce cap shape : CONE
John Duns Scotus was a theologian and scholar in the Middle Ages, responsible for many writings that were used as textbooks in British universities of the day. New ideas developed during the English Renaissance, but Duns Scotus and his followers resisted the changes. The word “dunse” came into use as a way of ridiculing those refusing to learn anything new, a precursor to our modern usage of “dunce”.

50. Channel with postgame analysis : ESPN
ESPN is the Entertainment Sports Programming Network, a cable network that broadcasts sports programming 24 hours a day. ESPN was launched back in 1979.

52. Apple genius? : SIRI
Siri is software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. You’ve probably seen the ads on television, with folks talking to their iPhones asking for information and responding with a voice. I hear that Google is a little scared by Siri, as Siri is non-visual. There’s no need to touch a screen or a keyboard to work with Siri, no opportunity to click on one of Google’s ads! By the way, voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri not so long ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. By the way, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

56. The “O” of S O S, supposedly : OUR
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.

57. Band with the 2012 #1 hit “We Are Young” : FUN
Fun is a band from New York City. Never heard of them …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Award-winning 2012 film about a fake film : ARGO
5. Game with a 32-card deck : SKAT
9. AK-47, e.g. : RIFLE
14. Desktops’ desktop accessories : MOUSE PADS
16. The Hunter constellation : ORION
17. With 56-Across, common format for a wager : BEST THREE
18. Handle wrongly : MISDO
19. Suffix with cartoon : -ISH or -IST
20. Marijuana plant : HEMP
21. Clobbers : BASHES or BASTES
22. The “E” of Q.E.D. : ERAT
23. Opposite of WSW : ENE
24. Bring down : HUMBLE or TUMBLE
28. Sun-Maid dried fruit : RAISIN
31. Princeton and Yale : IVIES
32. Peak in Greek myth : MT IDA
34. Holder of corn kernels : COB
36. Queue cue : NEXT!
37. Winner of the wager in 17-/56-Across, depending on how you fill the circled squares in this puzzle : HEADS or TAILS
38. Old Italian money : LIRA
39. Upsilon preceder : TAU
40. Nick who was named People’s Sexiest Man Alive in 1992 : NOLTE
41. ___ Python : MONTY
42. AT&T competitor : SPRINT
44. Throat clearers : COUGHS
45. Had a bite : ATE
46. Blast : HOOT or TOOT
48. What scratch-and-sniff stickers emit : SCENTS
51. German automaker : AUDI
52. Jiffy : SEC
55. Opera singer in an opera : TOSCA
56. See 17-Across : OUT OF FIVE
58. Remove, as a boutonniere : UNPIN
59. Not using Obamacare, say : UNINSURED
60. Like some straws : BENDY
61. GPS recommendations: Abbr. : RTES
62. Number of holes in a half-round of golf : NINE

Down
Down
1. Prefix with -dextrous : AMBI-
2. Caviars : ROES
3. Sudden outburst : GUSH or GUST
4. German direction : OST
5. Globe : SPHERE
6. “Instant ___!” (John Lennon hit) : KARMA
7. Highly capable : ADEPT
8. Mao ___-tung : TSE
9. Bucharest’s land : ROMANIA
10. Eye parts : IRISES
11. It may be landed with a hook : FISH or FIST
12. It may have gold in them thar hills : LODE
13. Officer on TV’s “The Dukes of Hazzard” : ENOS
15. Roosevelt and Kennedy : ETHELS
21. Abacus row : BEADS
24. Bit of color : HINT or TINT
25. Eye parts : UVEAS
26. Shuffle : MIX UP
27. Wager : BET
28. Antagonize : RIDE
29. It might read “Happy Birthday!” : ICING
30. Robb Stark’s realm in “Game of Thrones,” with “the” : NORTH
32. Diner menu item : MELT
33. Part of retribution, in a phrase : TAT
35. Howls at the moon : BAYS
37. Improves, in a way : HONES or TONES
38. “Skip to My ___” : LOU
40. Penn State’s ___ Lions : NITTANY
41. Recurring themes : MOTIFS
43. Nasty-smelling : RANCID
44. Genetic sequence groups : CODONS
46. Plague : HAUNT or TAUNT
47. Certain navel : OUTIE
48. Concert souvenir : STUB
49. Dunce cap shape : CONE
50. Channel with postgame analysis : ESPN
52. Apple genius? : SIRI
53. Equitable : EVEN
54. Surrender : CEDE
56. The “O” of S O S, supposedly : OUR
57. Band with the 2012 #1 hit “We Are Young” : FUN

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2 thoughts on “0401-14 New York Times Crosswords Answers 1 Apr 14, Tuesday”

  1. The marijuana/hemp clue is inaccurate. Hemp is the varietal of cannabis that has many, many uses, but not as a drug. Marijuana is a term for cannabis sativa, the varietal that is a recreational drug.

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