0731-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 31 Jul 14, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeff Chen & Jill Denny
THEME: Spaces … we have a string of spaces in the grid today, with each square assuming the word SPACE to complete the corresponding down-answers. There are also some themed answers that are synonyms for SPACE BAR:

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 26m 23s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Financial writer Marshall : LOEB
Marshall Loeb is an author and editor who writes about the business world. Loeb was managing editor for “Money” magazine from 1980 to 1986, and managing editor for “Fortune” magazine from 1986 to 1994.

5. Girl of Guatemala : CHICA
“Chica” is a Spanish word for “girl”.

Guatemala in Central America became independent from Spain in 1821, first becoming part of the Mexican Empire, and then completely independent two years later.

10. Captain played by Patrick Stewart : AHAB
Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”. The role of Captain Ahab was played by Gregory Peck in the 1956 John Huston film adaptation. Patrick Stewart played Ahab in a 1998 miniseries in which Peck made another appearance, as Father Mapple.

15. Chinese province known for its spicy cuisine : HUNAN
Hunan is a province in south-central China. It is located south of Lake Dongting, which gives the province its name, as “Hunan” translates as “south of the lake”.

16. Plumb crazy : LOCO
In Spanish, if one isn’t sane (sano) one might be described as crazy (loco).

23. Shark : USURER
“Usury” was originally the name given to the practice of lending money at interest, but the term now refers to lending at excessive rates of interest, the evil practice of a loan shark.

25. Dangling piece of jewelry : EARBOB
“Earbob” is an alternative name for an earring, and is a term mainly used in the Southern US.

28. 55-Across, e.g.? : “STAR WARS” CANTINA
In the original “Star Wars” movie (later called “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope”), Mos Eisley is an outpost and hangout of less than reputable traders. The place to be seen in the outpost is Chalmun’s Spaceport Cantina. Han Solo and Luke Skywalker get attacked there by Sandtroopers, but make their escape.

34. Antipolio pioneer : SABIN
Albert Sabin developed the oral polio vaccine. Sabin’s vaccine was a “live” controlled vaccine. The equally famous Salk vaccine was a “killed” vaccine.

35. Second of all? : EVE
According to the Bible, Adam was first of all humankind, and Eve was second.

36. Sardonic Larry : DAVID
Larry David was one of the creators of the sitcom “Seinfeld”, and was a co-writer of many of the episodes. David also stars in the HBO comedy “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.

38. Journal : LOG
The word “logbook” dates back to the days when the captain of a ship kept a daily record of the vessel’s speed, progress etc. using a “log”. A log was a wooden float on a knotted line that was dropped overboard to measure speed through the water.

46. Mars, e.g. : DEUS
Mars was a Roman god (“deus” in Latin).

50. Easily prepared lunch item, informally : PB AND J
Peanut butter and jelly (PB&J or PBJ)

59. Jackie’s #2 : ARI
Aristotle Onassis was born to a successful Greek shipping entrepreneur in Smyrna in modern-day Turkey. However, his family lost its fortune during WWI and so Aristotle worked with his father to build up a new business empire centered on the importation of tobacco. In 1957, Aristotle founded the Greek national airline, what is today called Olympic Air, and he also got into the business of shipping oil around the world. He married Athina Livanos in 1946, the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. They had two children, including the famous Christina Onassis. Livanos divorced Onassis on discovering him in bed with the opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis ended his affair with Callas in order to marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968.

63. Short news item : SQUIB
A “squib” is short and humorous piece in a newspaper or magazine. The term might possible be imitative of the small firework called a squib, as a newspaper’s squib might be intended to ignite thinking and discourse.

65. Sign word after “Ye” : OLDE
The word “olde” wasn’t actually used much earlier than the 1920s. “Olde” was introduced to give a quaint antique feel to brand names, shop names etc.

66. Ottoman V.I.P. : AGA
“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

68. One with a staff position? : REST
A “rest” is a symbol on a musical staff that indicates a pause.

69. ___ Noire (Russie borderer) : MER
In French, the Black Sea (Mer Noire) borders Russian (Russie).

The Black Sea is in southeastern Europe just south of Ukraine. In the north of the Black Sea is the Crimean Peninsula.

Down
4. Irish oath : BEGORRA
I’ve always thought of the Irish terms “begorra/begorrah” as one of those softened “by God” oaths, like “by golly”. I can’t think of one person back home in Ireland who uses the term, though!

5. Who said “The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers” : CHOPRA
Deepak Chopra is a medical doctor who is now an advocate for alternative medicine. Chopra was born in New Delhi, India and immigrated to the US in 1968. He is an advocate for mind/body spiritual healing. I have heard Chopra speak, and he really knows how to get his message across …

6. Alternative to standard TV : HULU
Hulu.com is a website providing streaming video of full television shows. It is a joint venture of NBC and Disney, and so features a lot of their content. The service is free and is supported by advertising, but you can sign up for a premium subscription and get access to more shows. A lot of younger folks seem to use it a lot …

9. Bargnani of the N.B.A. : ANDREA
Andrea Bargnani is a basketball player from Rome in Italy who now plays for the New York Knicks.

10. Home of Banff National Park : ALBERTA
Alberta is a big province, about the size of Texas. Alberta is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Princess Louise also donated her name to Lake Louise, the large glacial lake in the province, now within the bounds of Banff National Park.

Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada is located high in the Canadian Rockies and is a popular tourist destination. The town of Banff and the surrounding park were given their name in 1884 by then president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, George Stephen. He named Banff for his birthplace of Banffshire in Scotland.

13. Where the nose is : BOW
The nose of a ship is her bow.

21. Whimper : MEWL
“To mewl” is to cry weakly, like a baby, with the word being somewhat imitative.

22. Nebr. neighbor : KANS
The official nickname of Kansas is the Sunflower State. One of Kansas’s major crops is the sunflower. The sunflower is the state symbol, and Mount Sunflower is the highest point in Kansas.

The Platte River used to be called the Nebrakier, which is an Oto word meaning “flat river”. Indeed, the state of Nebraska takes its name from “Nebrakier”.

23. You, on the Yucatán : USTED
The Yucatán is one of Mexico’s 31 states, and is located in the east of the country, on the northern tip of the Yucatán peninsula.

24. Pilot’s place : STOVE
A pilot light is a small gas flame, one using a relatively small amount of fuel, that remains lit as an ignition source for larger gas burners.

27. Feature of some cuts : BANGS
“Bangs” is another word that caught me out when I arrived in the US. “Bangs” back in Ireland are called “a fringe”. Apparently the US term is derived from the hair on horses somehow.

29. Howard of Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” : ROARK
“The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand was first published in 1943, her first novel to achieve public success. The story focuses on an idealistic architect, Howard Roark. Roark is uncompromising in his designs, refusing the give the public what it wants, staying doggedly loyal to his own vision.

30. Part of U.S.S.R.: Abbr. : SOV
The acronym USSR stands for “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”, which translates into Russian as “Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик”, the CCCP.

44. Nine-digit no. issuer : SSA
Social Security Administration(SSA)

A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot, as since 2011 SSN’s are assigned randomly.

47. It might make one’s shadow disappear : RAZOR
A razor can be used to take off that five o’clock shadow.

48. The Roman dramatist Seneca, once : EXILE
Seneca the Younger was a playwright as well as a tutor and advisor to the Emperor Nero of Ancient Rome. Although maybe innocent, Seneca was forced to commit suicide by Nero as it was alleged that Seneca participated in a plot to kill the emperor. To kill himself, Seneca cut into a number of veins in order to bleed to death.

51. Pacific nation once known as Pleasant Island : NAURU
Nauru is the world’s smallest island nation, located in the South Pacific 300 km to the east of Kiribati. The island was taken as a colony by Germany in the late 1800s, and came under the administration of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom after WWI. The Japanese invaded during WWII, but Nauru was one of the islands that was bypassed in the US advance across the Pacific towards Japan. Nauru achieved independence in 1968.

52. Like prunes : DRIED
A prune is a dried plum. The name “prune” comes from the Latin “prunum”, the word or “plum”.

56. Hit 1996 live-action/animated film : SPACE JAM
“Space Jam” is a 1996 movie that is a fictional account of the retirement of Michael Jordan from the NBA. Michael Jordan himself stars in the film, along with a whole host of “Looney Tunes” cartoon characters.

64. Bev. units : QTS
The unit of volume “quart” (qt.) is so called because it is one quarter of a gallon.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Financial writer Marshall : LOEB
5. Girl of Guatemala : CHICA
10. Captain played by Patrick Stewart : AHAB
14. Shade provider : EAVE
15. Chinese province known for its spicy cuisine : HUNAN
16. Plumb crazy : LOCO
17. Be long and boring : DRAG
18. Prayer starter : O, LORD
19. Ruined, in a way : BLEW
20. 55-Across, e.g. : COMPUTER KEY
23. Shark : USURER
25. Dangling piece of jewelry : EARBOB
28. 55-Across, e.g.? : “STAR WARS” CANTINA
32. Come to : TOTAL
33. “Amazing!” : OOH!
34. Antipolio pioneer : SABIN
35. Second of all? : EVE
36. Sardonic Larry : DAVID
38. Journal : LOG
39. Low state : DESPAIR
42. Drops : LESSENS
45. Lender’s assessment : RISK
46. Mars, e.g. : DEUS
47. Edit : REWORK
50. Easily prepared lunch item, informally : PB AND J
54. Fire truck item : AXE
55. Visual representation of this puzzle’s theme : “SPACE BAR”
59. Jackie’s #2 : ARI
60. Insults : ZINGS
62. Left or right : JAB
63. Short news item : SQUIB
65. Sign word after “Ye” : OLDE
66. Ottoman V.I.P. : AGA
67. ___ rings : TREE
68. One with a staff position? : REST
69. ___ Noire (Russie borderer) : MER
70. Lather : SUDS

Down
1. Trailblazed : LED
2. Stroke, in a way : OAR
3. Empties : EVACUATES
4. Irish oath : BEGORRA
5. Who said “The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers” : CHOPRA
6. Alternative to standard TV : HULU
7. “How could ___?” : I NOT
8. Attention to detail : CARE
9. Bargnani of the N.B.A. : ANDREA
10. Home of Banff National Park : ALBERTA
11. People swear by it : HOLY BIBLE
12. Strikeout star : ACE
13. Where the nose is : BOW
21. Whimper : MEWL
22. Nebr. neighbor : KANS
23. You, on the Yucatán : USTED
24. Pilot’s place : STOVE
26. ___ rings : ONION
27. Feature of some cuts : BANGS
29. Howard of Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” : ROARK
30. Part of U.S.S.R.: Abbr. : SOV
31. Word with honey or flower : CHILD
36. You might need a lot of it for your files : DISK SPACE
37. It’s far out : DEEP SPACE
40. Master : PRO
41. Areas that may be protected by military jets : AIR SPACES
43. Regions within regions : SUBSPACES
44. Nine-digit no. issuer : SSA
47. It might make one’s shadow disappear : RAZOR
48. The Roman dramatist Seneca, once : EXILE
49. Proceeds indirectly : WENDS
51. Pacific nation once known as Pleasant Island : NAURU
52. Like prunes : DRIED
53. Agrees : JIBES
56. Hit 1996 live-action/animated film : SPACE JAM
57. We’re living in it : SPACE AGE
58. Name for 55-Across : SPACE BAR
61. Fetch : GET
64. Bev. units : QTS

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4 thoughts on “0731-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 31 Jul 14, Thursday”

  1. Good question!

    I had a similar problem with the version of the puzzle that I did. I tried looking for some symbol to put in insted of leave a square blank, to get the clock to stop. I never found anything.

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