0425-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Apr 14, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joel Fagliano
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 24m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Take it easy : CHILLAX
“Chillax” is a slang term meaning “chill and relax”. Who’da thunk it …?

8. Vostok 1 passenger : GAGARIN
The Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space when his spacecraft Vostok I made a single orbit of the Earth in 1961. Sadly, Gagarin died only seven years later in a plane crash.

The Soviet Union’s Vostok program competed with the US’s Project Mercury to put humans into low Earth orbit and return them safely. “Vostok” translates as “east”, or better as “upward rising”, and was used as east is the direction of the sunrise.

16. Supermodel Lima : ADRIANA
Adriana Lima is fashion model from Brazil. Lima is perhaps best known as one of the Victoria’s Secret Angels. Her modelling career started when she won a “Supermodel of Brazil” competition in 1996, at 15 years of age.

17. Scale with the highest reading at midday, usually : UV INDEX
The UV Index is a measure of the strength of ultraviolet radiation at a particular location and on a particular day.

19. Show horse : MR ED
“Mister Ed” first aired in 1961 and ran for almost five years. It was a very successful show (and even made it to Ireland!). Mister Ed, the talking horse, was a palomino that had the real name of Bamboo Harvester. Mister Ed’s “voice” was that of actor Allan “Rocky” Lane, a star of a lot of B-movie westerns from the forties and fifties. In the show, Mister Ed would only talk to the lead (human) character Wilbur, played by Alan Young, leading to some hilarious situations. Mister Ed had a stunt double and stand-in for the show, another horse called Pumpkin. Pumpkin later played the horse that made frequent appearances on the show “Green Acres”.

20. Juniors’ juniors, briefly : SOPHS
The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

25. Classic Jaguar : XKE
Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters “SS” at that time.

26. Latin word in legal briefs : IDEM
Idem is usually abbreviated as “id.” and is the Latin word for “the same”. In research papers idem is used in a list of references, in place of citations “already mentioned above”.

27. Princess Leia was one in “A New Hope” : HOLOGRAM
In the first “Star Wars” movie, Princess Leia hides plans for the Galcatic Empire’s Death Star in the droid called R2-D2. She also records a holographic message, so when it is played we can see Princess Leia as a hologram, asking for help to destroy the Death Star.

“Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” was actually the first film in the “Star Wars” series of films, and so usually is referred to simply as “Star Wars”. “Star Wars” cost just $11 million to produce, and raked in over $450 million at the box office in the US and over $300 million overseas.

Princess Leia is Luke Skywalker’s sister in the original “Star Wars” trilogy and was played by Carrie Fisher. Carrie Fisher has stated that she hated the famous “cinnamon bun hairstyle” that she had to wear in the films, as she felt it made her face look too round. She also had to to sit for two hours every day just to get her hair styled. Two hours to get your hair done? It takes me just two seconds …

30. Bamboozled : HAD
It’s thought that the lovely word “bamboozle” came into English from the Scottish “bombaze” meaning “perplex”. We’ve been using “bamboozle” since the very early 1700s.

32. It’s nothing new : DEJA VU
“Déjà vu” is French for “already seen”.

39. It helps you focus : RITALIN
Ritalin is a trade name for the drug methylphenidate that is used for treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. Methylphenidate has a similar structure and similar properties to the drug cocaine, although it is less potent.

44. Allstate subsidiary : ESURANCE
Esurance is a provider of auto insurance direct to customers online and over the phone. Esurance is now owned by Allstate.

49. Reuben ingredient, informally : KRAUT
“Sauerkraut” translates from German as “sour herb” or “sour cabbage”. During WWI, American sauerkraut producers changed its name in order to distance their product from “the enemy”. They called it “Liberty cabbage”.

There are conflicting stories about the origin of the Reuben sandwich. One is that it was invented around 1914 by Arnold Reuben, an immigrant from Germany who owned Reuben’s Deli in New York.

56. Org. with the New York Liberty : WNBA
The New York Liberty was founded in 1997 and was one the original eight teams to play in the Women’s NBA. The franchise is based in Newark, New Jersey.

57. BlackBerry routers : IPHONES
Some kind readers of the blog worked out the meaning of this clue for me. The iPhone has been a huge commercial success relative to the competing BlackBerry device. One might say that the iPhone “routed” the BlackBerry, was overwhelmingly successful.

The PDA known as a BlackBerry was given its name because the keyboard on the original device resembled the surface on the fruit of a blackberry.

59. “This statement is false,” e.g. : PARADOX
“This sentence is false” is known in the world of philosophy and logic as the liar paradox. If indeed “this sentence is false” is a false statement, then “this sentence must be true:. On the other hand if “this sentence is false” is a true statement, then “this sentence must be false. My head hurts …

61. Strong and regal : LEONINE
Something described as “leonine” has the characteristics of a lion, is strong and regal. “Leo” is Latin for “lion”.

62. Elvis hit with a spelled-out title : T-R-O-U-B-L-E
“T-R-O-U-B-L-E” is a 1975 song recorded by Elvis Presley. Presley also recorded a different song called “Trouble” (not spelled out), but that was back in 1958.

64. Sharp-pointed instruments : STYLETS
A stylet is a thin, surgical probe. The term is also used for a thin, pointed weapon, like a stiletto.

Down
2. Where French ships dock : HAVRE
“Havre” is the French word for “haven”.

Le Havre is a city on the mouth of the river Seine on the northwest coast of France. The city’s name translates as “the haven”.

5. “Cupid is a knavish ___”: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” : LAD
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of William Shakespeare’s comedies. One of the interesting characteristics of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is that it features a play-within-a-play. The cast of characters includes an troupe of six actors called the Mechanicals who perform a play called “Pyramus and Thisbe”.

7. Love letters : XOXOXO
In the sequence XOX, the X represents a kiss, and the O a hug. Hugs and kisses …

13. Obsessive need to check one’s email or Facebook, say : INFOMANIA
My wife and I went to a restaurant not too long ago and sat at the end of the bar, waiting for a table. We looked down the length of the crowded bar and saw that fully ⅔ of those patrons seated were staring at their smartphones. We estimated that half of that number were actually with someone else, conversing in the real world and interacting online at the same time. One has to wonder …

21. U.P.S. cargo: Abbr. : PKGS
United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky.

24. Tennis smash? : LOVE SET
In tennis, a love set is one that is won without one’s opponent winning a game.

In tennis the score of zero is designated as “love”. Some people believe that this usage originates from the French “l’oeuf” (meaning “the egg”). The idea is that the written character “0” looks like an egg.

28. Punishment, metaphorically : LUMPS
ONe has to accept the punishment, take one’s lumps.

29. Hypothetical particle in cold dark matter : AXION
In theory, large quantities of axions were created during the Big Bang. Axions are purely theoretical particles, and have never been observed in reality. They may be a component of dark matter.

32. Five-time U.S. presidential candidate in the early 1900s : DEBS
Eugene V. Debs was an American union leader who ran as a candidate in no less than five presidential elections from 1900 through 1920. Debs was a dedicated socialist and ran as a member of the Social Democratic Party, and later the Socialist Party of America.

34. Colorful party intoxicant : JELL-O SHOT
The earliest published recipe for Jell-O shots (or equivalent) was published in 1862 in a book called “How to Mix Drinks” by Jerry Thomas. That recipe called for gelatin, cognac, rum and lemon juice.

41. Cream, for example : TRIO
Cream were a “supergroup” from Britain, meaning the band was comprised of musicians from other successful groups. The band’s members were Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker.

47. Short jackets : ETONS
An Eton jacket is usually black, cut square at the hips and with wide lapels. It is named for the design of jacket that is worn by the younger students at Eton College just outside London.

53. Nike rival : FILA
Fila was originally an Italian company, founded in 1911, but is now based in South Korea. Fila was started in Piedmont by the Fila brothers, primarily to make underwear that they sold to people living in the Italian Alps. The company started to focus on sportswear in the seventies, using tennis-great Bjorn Borg as their major endorser.

58. Long in Hollywood : NIA
Nia Long is an American actress, probably best known for playing Will Smith’s sometime girlfriend and fiancee Lisa Wilkes on the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”.

60. ___ Halladay, two-time Cy Young Award winner : ROY
Roy Halladay is a retired pitcher who played for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies. Halladay’s nickname was “Doc”, a reference to the gunslinger Doc Holliday.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Take it easy : CHILLAX
8. Vostok 1 passenger : GAGARIN
15. Try : HAVE A GO
16. Supermodel Lima : ADRIANA
17. Scale with the highest reading at midday, usually : UV INDEX
18. More than startle : TERRIFY
19. Show horse : MR ED
20. Juniors’ juniors, briefly : SOPHS
22. Those, to José : ESOS
23. Organ part : PEDAL
25. Classic Jaguar : XKE
26. Latin word in legal briefs : IDEM
27. Princess Leia was one in “A New Hope” : HOLOGRAM
30. Bamboozled : HAD
32. It’s nothing new : DEJA VU
35. Hot shot? : SEX SCENE
37. Germany, to Britain : EX-ENEMY
39. It helps you focus : RITALIN
40. Unlocked area? : BALD SPOT
42. Expenditure : OUTLAY
43. T-shirt sizes, for short : SML
44. Allstate subsidiary : ESURANCE
46. One who deals with stress well? : POET
48. Hat, slangily : LID
49. Reuben ingredient, informally : KRAUT
53. Completely dry, as a racetrack : FAST
54. Rub it in : GLOAT
56. Org. with the New York Liberty : WNBA
57. BlackBerry routers : IPHONES
59. “This statement is false,” e.g. : PARADOX
61. Strong and regal : LEONINE
62. Elvis hit with a spelled-out title : T-R-O-U-B-L-E
63. Gallery event : ART SALE
64. Sharp-pointed instruments : STYLETS

Down
1. Sucker : CHUMP
2. Where French ships dock : HAVRE
3. Like many academic halls : IVIED
4. Help : LEND A HAND
5. “Cupid is a knavish ___”: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” : LAD
6. Biographical data : AGES
7. Love letters : XOXOXO
8. One foraging : GATHERER
9. Drinks stirred in pitchers : ADES
10. [Back off!] : GRR!
11. Put on : AIRED
12. Complain loudly : RAISE HELL
13. Obsessive need to check one’s email or Facebook, say : INFOMANIA
14. Cons : NAYS
21. U.P.S. cargo: Abbr. : PKGS
24. Tennis smash? : LOVE SET
26. Puzzle solver’s complaint : I’M STUCK
28. Punishment, metaphorically : LUMPS
29. Hypothetical particle in cold dark matter : AXION
31. Turn down : DENY
32. Five-time U.S. presidential candidate in the early 1900s : DEBS
33. School handout : EXAM PAPER
34. Colorful party intoxicant : JELL-O SHOT
36. Shrill howl : CATERWAUL
38. “Just wait …” : YOU’LL SEE …
41. Cream, for example : TRIO
45. Changes for the big screen : ADAPTS
47. Short jackets : ETONS
50. “Watch ___ amazed” (magician’s phrase) : AND BE
51. It takes two nuts : U-BOLT
52. Campaign issue : TAXES
53. Nike rival : FILA
54. Mil. bigwig : GENL
55. Like sour grapes : TART
58. Long in Hollywood : NIA
60. ___ Halladay, two-time Cy Young Award winner : ROY

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7 thoughts on “0425-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Apr 14, Friday”

  1. Hi Bill,

    I enjoy reading your blog. I believe the explanation for 57-across is that the iPhone has routed Blackberry when it comes to the smartphone market. Whereas Blackberry was once the hot product, it is now seen as archaic compared to the iPhone. Thanks again for your daily posting!

  2. Hi there, Righteous.

    Thanks so much for sorting out that "router" clue for me. I'm still using an old flip phone, so that one went right over my head! All fixed now.

  3. hi bill,
    thanks for the blog, i go there often for explanations. today i was wondering why leia was a hologram. still don't get it. maybe you could elaborate. also noticed in your list of cream members you had jack brice. the bassists name is jack bruce.

  4. Hi there, Albacore.

    Thanks for pointing out the Brice/Bruce typo. I've fixed that (above), and I've also added a few words about Princess Leia's holographic message that features early in the first "Star Wars" movie.

  5. Hi Bill, Thanks for your insights and explanations. I look forward to them everyday. Even when I know the answers I enjoy the added info.

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