0422-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Apr 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Alex Vratsanos & Sam Ezersky
THEME: Pairs of Cards … each of today’s themed answers comprises two words, each of which is a type of card:

56A. Some poker holdings … or a hint to 20-, 24-, 30-, 41- and 52-Across : PAIRS OF CARDS

20A. Equifax offering : CREDIT REPORT (“credit card” & “report card”)
24A. Three-ring binder user’s gadget : HOLE PUNCH (“hole card” & “punch card”)
30A. Some childish insults : NAME CALLING (“name card” & “calling card”)
41A. Place to deal in fur, once : TRADING POST (“trading card” & “postcard”)
52A. Arcade achievement : HIGH SCORE (“high card” & “scorecard”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 05s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. It goes off the beaten path, for short : ATV
All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

14. Greek letter that’s also an M.L.B. city on scoreboards : PHI
Phi is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet.

Philadelphia’s baseball team was founded in 1883 as the Quakers, with the name changing to the Philadelphias and Phillies not long into the team’s history. The Phillies have been based in the same city using the same team name longer than any other team in US professional sports.

15. ___-deucey : ACEY
Acey-deucy is a fast-played variant of backgammon. Apparently the game has been a favorite with members of the armed forces since the days of WWI.

16. The Three ___ : TENORS
The Three Tenors were Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti (RIP).

18. King Christian or Queen Margrethe : DANE
There have been ten kings of Denmark named Christian. The last was Christian X, who ruled from 1912 to 1947.

Margrethe II has been the Queen of Denmark since 1972. When she was born, the oldest of three girls, it was assumed she would never take up the throne, as Danish law dictated that only makes could be monarch. As women gained more rights in the country, there was a movement to change the constitution, culminating in a referendum in 1953 allowing Magrethe to fulfill her destiny.

19. Book after Song of Solomon : ISAIAH
The Book of Isaiah is part of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. Isaiah is not mentioned in the Qur’an, but many Muslim scholars consider Isaiah a prophet.

20. Equifax offering : CREDIT REPORT (“credit card” & “report card”)
There are three major consumer credit reporting agencies in the US:

– Equifax
– Experian
– TransUnion

27. With 32-Down, Apple release of 2005 : IPOD
(32D. See 27-Across : NANO)
The iPod Nano is the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There have been seven versions of the Nano to date and the current Nano as well as playing tunes is an FM player, records voice memos, has a pedometer and can connect with external devices (like a heart monitor, maybe) using Bluetooth technology.

28. Hershey’s caramel candy : ROLO
Rolo was a hugely popular chocolate candy in Ireland when I was growing up. Rolo was introduced in the thirties in the UK, and is produced under license in the US by Hershey. I was a little disappointed when I had my first taste of the American version as the center is very hard and chewy. The recipe used on the other side of the Atlantic calls for a soft gooey center.

29. Bend an elbow : TOPE
“To tope” is to drink alcohol excessively and habitually.

34. Crayola raw material : WAX
In the year 2000 the Crayola company, very cleverly I think, held the “Crayola Color Census 2000” in which people were polled and asked for their favorite Crayola colors. President George W. Bush chose “Blue Bell” and Tiger Woods chose “Wild Strawberry”.

35. “Frasier” role : ROZ
Roz Doyle is a character in the wonderful sitcom “Frasier”. Roz is played, very ably, by the actress Peri Gilpin.

38. LAX or ORD, to United : HUB
United Airlines has hubs in Los Angeles (LAX) and Chicago (ORD) airports.

50. A little, musically : POCO
“Poco” is an Italian word for “little” and is used in musical notation to mean “to a small degree, a little”.

51. Muppet with his own “World” : ELMO
The last 15 minutes of the children’s show “Sesame Street” was called “Elmo’s World”. “Elmo’s World” was directed towards younger viewers, around 3-years-old.

52. Arcade achievement : HIGH SCORE (“high card” & “scorecard”)
Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

55. Co-Nobelist with Begin : SADAT
Anwar Sadat was the third President of Egypt right up to the time of his assassination in 1981. Sadat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 along with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for the role played in crafting the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978 at Camp David. It was this agreement that largely led to Sadat’s assassination three years later.

58. The “J” of J. K. Rowling : JOANNE
Joanne Rowling changed her name to J. K. Rowling at the request of her publisher, who believed that young boys might have shied away from reading the first “Harry Potter” book if they believed the story was written by a woman (this was 1997!). “Jo” Rowling chose J for Joanne, and K for Kathleen after her grandmother (Jo had no middle name to use).

60. Suffix with cyclo- : -TRON
A cyclotron accelerates charged particles (ions) using a magnetic field, usually directing the particles round and round a huge underground circular structure.

64. Big part of an Easter Island sculpture : HEAD
The moai are the huge human figures carved out of stone by the native people on Easter Island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. There are 887 moai in total on the island, the tallest of which is almost 33 feet tall and weighs 82 tons.

Rapa Nui is the Polynesian name for what we are more likely to call Easter Island. The European name was coined by the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who came across the island on Easter Sunday in the year 1722. Easter Island is inhabited, and is a location that is remarkably distant from neighboring civilization. The nearest inhabited island is Pitcairn Island, almost 1300 miles away.

66. Kind of bowl : TOILET
Sir John Harington was an author and a member of the court of Queen Elizabeth I of England. However, Harington is perhaps best remembered as the inventor of the flush toilet. Our slang term “john” meaning “toilet”, is thought to be a reference to John Harington.

67. Website with a “Write a Review” button : YELP
yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”. I have a young neighbor here who used to work for yelp …

Down
2. Hangout in a Barry Manilow hit : THE COPA
The Copacabana of song is the Copacabana nightclub in New York City (which is also the subject of the Frank Sinatra song “Meet Me at the Copa”). The Copa opened in 1940 and is still going today although it is struggling. The club had to move due to impending construction and is now “sharing” a location with the Columbus 72 nightclub.

4. Luxury car, informally : CADDY
The Cadillac Automobile Company was founded in 1902, as an independent company. The company was named for the French explorer Antoine Laumet de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac. Cadillac founded the city of Detroit in 1701. The company was taken over by GM in 1909, and over the next thirty years GM did a great job establishing Cadillac as the luxury car one just had to own.

5. Antioxidant-rich berry : ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

8. Michael of R.E.M. : STIPE
Michael Stipe was the lead vocalist for the band R.E.M. that was active from 1980 through 2011. Stipe is also active in the film industry. He served as an executive producer on the films “Being John Malkovich” and “Man on the Moon”.

9. “Sour grapes” storyteller : AESOP
Our expression “sour grapes” is an allusion to one of Aesop’s fables, the story of “The Fox and the Grapes”. In the fable, a squirrel could climb up to grapes high in a tree that a fox was unsuccessful in getting to. On seeing this the fox said, “It’s okay, the grapes were sour anyway”.

12. “From my cold, dead hands!” org. : NRA
The National Rifle Association (NRA) used the slogan “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands”. These words became quite famous when they were used at an NRA convention in 2000 by Charlton Heston, who was then president of the NRA. Heston ended a speech he made with the words “From my cold, dead hands!” while holding up into the air a replica of a Sharps rifle.

13. Kyrgyzstan city : OSH
Osh is the second largest city in the former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan (after the capital Bishkek). Osh was a center of silk production and lies along the old Silk Road, the trade route that traversed Asia.

22. H. G. Wells race : ELOI
In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a race of cannibals living underground who use the Eloi as food.

23. Deg. division : MIN
Latitude and longitude are measured in degrees, minutes and seconds.

25. One who reasons by deduction, for short? : CPA
Certified public accountant (CPA)

26. Put a whammy on : HEX
“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

“Whammy” is a slang term for a hex, a supernatural spell.

28. Motorola phone brand : RAZR
The Droid Razr is a smartphone made by Motorola that was launched in 2011. The Droid Razr is one in a series of Razr phones that Motorola first introduced back in 2003. The Razr name was chosen in part because of the phone’s relatively thin form factor.

39. Wire service inits. : UPI
Founded in 1958, United Press International (UPI) was one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. UPI ran into trouble with the change in media formats at the end of the twentieth century and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands, still exists today but with just a handful of employees.

40. Baseball’s David Ortiz, to fans : BIG PAPI
The Dominican American baseball player David Ortiz has the nickname “Big Papi”. After each home run that Ortiz scores, he looks upwards and points to the sky, a tribute to his mother who died in a car crash in 2002 when she was only 46 years old.

42. Mil. mail centers : APOS
Army post office (APO)

43. “Over the Rainbow” singer : DOROTHY
“Over the Rainbow” is a classic song written especially for the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”. It was sung by the young Judy Garland (Dorothy) in the film, and it was to become her signature song. There is an introductory verse that wasn’t used in the movie, and is very rarely heard:

When all the world is a hopeless jumble
And the raindrops tumble all around,
Heaven opens a magic lane
When all the clouds darken up the skyway,
There’s a rainbow highway to be found
Leading from your window pane
To a place behind the sun,
Just a step beyond the rain.

There is also a second chorus that was intended to be in the movie, but it ended up on the cutting room floor:

Someday I’ll wake and rub my eyes
And in that land beyond the skies,
You’ll find me
I’ll be a laughing daffodil
And leave the silly cares that fill
My mind behind me.

49. No. 5 producer : CHANEL
Chanel No. 5 is a perfume that was released by Coco Chanel back in 1921. Chanel had an affinity for the number “5”, and always presented her dress collection on May 5th (the fifth day of the fifth month). When she was presented a selection of experimental scents as potential choices for the first perfume to bear the Chanel name, she chose the sample in the fifth vial. Chanel instructed that the “sample number 5” should keep its name, asserting that it would bring the scent good luck.

54. Cockatoo topper : CREST
Cockatoos are birds closely related to the true parrots. The name “cockatoo” probably comes from the Malay “kaka” (parrot) and “tuwah” (older sibling).

55. 500 managers, for short? : S AND P
Standard & Poor’s (S&P) is a financial services company, famous for its stock market indices, especially the S&P 500. The company also publishes credit ratings for sovereign governments, and in 2011 famously lowered the rating of the US federal government from AAA to to AA+.

59. Strawberry Fields benefactor : ONO
“Strawberry Fields” is a memorial in Central Park in New York City. The memorial is a triangular piece of land found directly across from the Dakota Apartments where Lennon lived and was murdered. At the center of the triangle of land is a circular pathway mosaic of stones with the word “Imagine” in the middle. Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, contributed over one million dollars to help pay for the memorial’s design and upkeep.

62. TV title judge : AMY
The actress Tyne Daly really came into the public eye playing Detective Lacey in “Cagney and Lacey”. From 1999 to 2005, Daly played the mother of the title character in the TV show “Judging Amy”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. It goes off the beaten path, for short : ATV
4. Made the scene : CAME
8. Gave the thumbs-down : SAID NO
14. Greek letter that’s also an M.L.B. city on scoreboards : PHI
15. ___-deucey : ACEY
16. The Three ___ : TENORS
17. Liven (up) : PEP
18. King Christian or Queen Margrethe : DANE
19. Book after Song of Solomon : ISAIAH
20. Equifax offering : CREDIT REPORT (“credit card” & “report card”)
23. Lost in reverie : MOONY
24. Three-ring binder user’s gadget : HOLE PUNCH (“hole card” & “punch card”)
27. With 32-Down, Apple release of 2005 : IPOD
28. Hershey’s caramel candy : ROLO
29. Bend an elbow : TOPE
30. Some childish insults : NAME CALLING (“name card” & “calling card”)
34. Crayola raw material : WAX
35. “Frasier” role : ROZ
36. Smallish batteries : AAS
38. LAX or ORD, to United : HUB
41. Place to deal in fur, once : TRADING POST (“trading card” & “postcard”)
48. Huge in scope : EPIC
50. A little, musically : POCO
51. Muppet with his own “World” : ELMO
52. Arcade achievement : HIGH SCORE (“high card” & “scorecard”)
55. Co-Nobelist with Begin : SADAT
56. Some poker holdings … or a hint to 20-, 24-, 30-, 41- and 52-Across : PAIRS OF CARDS
58. The “J” of J. K. Rowling : JOANNE
60. Suffix with cyclo- : -TRON
61. ___ moment : AHA
63. Allows to rise and fall, as prices : UNPEGS
64. Big part of an Easter Island sculpture : HEAD
65. “Dee-lish!” : YUM!
66. Kind of bowl : TOILET
67. Website with a “Write a Review” button : YELP
68. Expert on bugs? : SPY

Down
1. 99¢ purchase, often : APP
2. Hangout in a Barry Manilow hit : THE COPA
3. Celeb’s hangout : VIP ROOM
4. Luxury car, informally : CADDY
5. Antioxidant-rich berry : ACAI
6. Cigarette variety : MENTHOL
7. “Oh, puh-leeze!” facial expression : EYE-ROLL
8. Michael of R.E.M. : STIPE
9. “Sour grapes” storyteller : AESOP
10. Not progressing, say : IN A RUT
11. “Quit stalling!” : DO IT NOW!
12. “From my cold, dead hands!” org. : NRA
13. Kyrgyzstan city : OSH
21. Rear-___ (road mishap) : ENDER
22. H. G. Wells race : ELOI
23. Deg. division : MIN
25. One who reasons by deduction, for short? : CPA
26. Put a whammy on : HEX
28. Motorola phone brand : RAZR
31. Nap site : COT
32. See 27-Across : NANO
33. ___ reel (outtake collection) : GAG
37. Asparagus unit : SPEAR
38. Part of a sly laugh : HEH
39. Wire service inits. : UPI
40. Baseball’s David Ortiz, to fans : BIG PAPI
42. Mil. mail centers : APOS
43. “Over the Rainbow” singer : DOROTHY
44. Navigable in winter, say : ICE-FREE
45. Bygone times : OLD DAYS
46. Major wreck : SMASH-UP
47. Young ‘un : TOT
49. No. 5 producer : CHANEL
53. Burn a bit : SINGE
54. Cockatoo topper : CREST
55. 500 managers, for short? : S AND P
57. West Virginia export : COAL
58. Protrude : JUT
59. Strawberry Fields benefactor : ONO
62. TV title judge : AMY

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11 thoughts on “0422-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Apr 15, Wednesday”

  1. Manageable grid today. Bill, the original Motorola RAZR was launched in the mid 00s, but went out of production a few years later. The new version just resurrects the name. And to Anonymous: Ruth is preceded by Judges in both the Torah and all Christian bibles. ISIAH is preceded by Song of Solomon in the Torah and Protestant bible, and by Wisdom in the Catholic and Orthodox bibles.

    Slainte.

  2. Three errors today! On a Wednesday! Shamed! Destroyed! (Never heard of Rolo, Razr, or Roz, so ended up with the guesses Solo, Sabr, and Rob.)

    I must slink into my den, bind my wounds, and gird for battle on the morrow …

  3. Hello. I've been learning the last four months or so to do crossword puzzles and have been a regular reader of your blog, especially when it comes to checking these NYT puzzles when I do them. I have a number of questions, if people are willing, as I can't quite seem to get my error count down on a number of specific puzzles (This puzzle for me was nine) and then I notice a few curious trends I want to ask about. Hopefully I can figure out what I've been missing on doing these.

  4. Okay, I'm trying to compile about four months experience into these questions and may ask more as I think of them.

    1. What usually indicates the difficulty of a particular grid? From what I see, I would say the publisher is a mark, but I notice varying difficulties as well in all the different publishers? Is that usually a function of the setter or the editor at the time? Or do they try to vary it based on the day? Mainly I'm asking so I can know how to match my level for challenge at the moment. FWIW, I pulled 5-25 to 5-28 of the LA Times puzzles and did them and got 0, 2, 7, and 4 wrong answers, so I'm not seeing a specific pattern.

    2. How much does the difficulty in most reflect a generation specific knowledge? Do the setters write to a certain age most of the time (i.e. stuff a 60 year old would know that a 20 year old wouldn't)?

    Just relaying experience now: I get to see the Tribune syndicated puzzles, the UPI puzzles (online), New York Times daily syndicated (it's why I write here, this was the published one for 05-27-2015), and the New York and LA Times Sunday puzzles syndicated. That's my order of perceived difficulty from easiest to hardest. I can also pull the LA Times daily and the USA Today puzzles if I want to look at them.

    Now these questions stem from trying to analyze my wrong answers…note I try to do them unassisted, and any I look up I count as wrong answers along with wrong guesses.

    2. I notice a number of my wrongs are simple lack of knowledge or memory. For instance, 23 Across (Moony) is a strange word to me. Or 32 Down and 28 Down (I figured IPod but my memory didn't serve me on the other part. Any tips on getting past these kinds of things? Do you study to any degree to be able to know some of these things or just pick them up as you go?

    3. I notice some of my wrongs are from odd formations of words (46 Down) I never hear used before. Do the setters deliberately try for oddities and not commonly used words? Or do they reflect that people in different sections of the country actually use different terms?

    4. How do you determine the number of words expected for responses (8 Across)?

    5. And probably the most annoying kind of error I get (43-Down). Mainly the kind where I come up with homophone answers that would fit the grid at a certain state. How does "Dorothy" logically follow from the clue? My answer was "Garland" (when I had 52 Across filled in), which is a correct answer as Dorothy Gale was indeed played by Judy Garland.

    6. And in general, as I have a few puzzles I don't solve at all for simple deadlocks where I can't think of anything that fits the remaining positions. Any suggestions on how to solve these?

    I know a lot will take practice to learn to solve these. But I'm wondering too, is it practice itself or just learning the tendencies of the setters in order to be able to solve these puzzles?

    Anyway, that's what I could come up with for now. Thanks for any help/advice.

  5. For 19 Across, the "Book after Song of Solomon" should be "Wisdom", not "Isaiah". I realize that there are different versions of the Bible, but it shouldn't be presumed that the Protestant version is the one intended by the puzzle's developer. Perhaps the intended version could be indicated in the clue. Answering 19 Across as I did affected my ability to answer the crossing Down clues and, subsequently, the adjacent Across clues. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

  6. I got some of my questions answered between doing all the puzzles in a week for the first time, looking for some other paper-published puzzles (like Merl Reagle's) and some of Will Shortz's noteworthy media appearances that don't involve writing or editing puzzles or his vast Sudoku fortune.

    1. Monday through Thursday easier, Friday & Saturday harder. Seems to work that way for both the NY and LA Times. Not sure of USA Today's yet, but those seem to be a chore at times, too. Since they are submitted, difficulty depends on the age and interests of the setters that the editors select (I'm half tempted to start submitting now that I know I can, I got a pretty unique puzzle idea), along with the editor's changes. Different publishers, especially the syndicates, seem to vary pretty widely.

    The reason I asked this one in the first place is that I crush the Tribune puzzles (0 wrong on Saturday, 1 wrong in the last 17 puzzles with an average time of 5-10 minutes, so I would say those are too easy for me), the UPI puzzles are fairly easy for most part (I ace those too, except for the very occasional setter that provides an interesting challenge).

    Looks like I need to be pulling Wed-Sat. NYT and LAT and start testing the waters on the USA today ones more.

    2. Since they're submitted they depend on the age and representative knowledge of the setter.

    3. It seems that maybe I push myself to a harder standard than most people in that I don't use an eraser and don't look up things. Shortz mentions both, so I may be being too tight that I should be looking things up before hand rather than after?

    4. The answer to that would be yes, especially coupled with the clues. I'm reminded of several "book of the Bible" clues I've done in this last week crossword bender that were put in such non-standard ways that I've never heard of them before either in writing or print. Mainly the setters trying to fit things into the grid more than anything else.

    5. Trial and error.

    6. Shortz mentions the biggest effort he takes outside of selecting puzzles is trying to edit clues and change words where he can't find better clues. I would say this one is where an answer doesn't automatically follow a clue. As an editor, I would say Shortz makes his occasional failures due to lack of knowledge, like 19-Across in this puzzle and other controversies surrounding some of his clues. 43-Down for me in this puzzle, could have been "'Over the Rainbow' role" and I would have gone for "Dorothy" first. Trial and error again is in order on some of these two, evidently.

    7. Trial and error again. Though this may indicate that I have a wrong word, which is something I need to work to better detect. It'll probably be good to use something with an eraser in the future and not be too uptight if I have to look up a fact or end up trying something wrong.

  7. Glenn,

    It might be easier if you send me an email directly, rather than using a comment below an old blog post. My email adress is given on the left side of each page of the blog. One general comment is that there is quite a lot to learn in Amy Reynaldo's book "How to Conquer the New York Times Crossword Puzzle", which can be purchased from Amazon.com. It's a quick read, but very instructive.

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