0423-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Apr 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Steinberg & Bruce Leban
THEME: Quip … today’s themed answers provide us with a quip:

17A. Start of a quip about wordplay : YOU CAN’T TELL PUNS …
29A. Part 2 of the quip : … TO KLEPTOMANIACS …
44A. Part 3 of the quip : … BECAUSE THEY TAKE …
57A. End of the quip : … THINGS LITERALLY

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME:22m 53s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Many Manolo Blahniks : PUMPS
A pump is a woman’s shoe that doesn’t have a strap. Such shoes are probably called “pumps” because of the sound they make while walking in them.

Manolo Blahnik is a Spanish fashion designer, born in the Canary Islands. He took some expert device in the early seventies and decided to stick to shoe design. Apparently, his shoes are all the rage (women’s only, I think).

21. Product of a zymurgist : ALE
Zymology (also called “zymurgy”) is the scientific term for fermentation, and is a subject much-studied and understood by brewers.

22. Grand Central org. : MTA
The MTA is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has public transportation responsibility in the state of New York (as well as part of Connecticut). MTA might also refer to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is known as the Metro and sometimes the MTA.

Grand Central Terminal in New York City is the largest railroad station in the world in terms of the number of platforms (44). Those platforms are all underground, in two levels. The official name for the facility is “Grand Central Terminal”. The name “Grand Central Station” is very common, and is actually the name of the facility that the terminal replaced in 1913.

23. Big factor in the Cy Young Award : ERA
Earned run average (ERA)

Cy Young was a pitcher in the major leagues from 1890-1911. Young is remembered for pitching the first perfect game of baseball’s modern era. Soon after he died in 1955, the Cy Young Award was created and is presented to the best pitcher in each baseball season.

27. Sauce made with roux, milk and cheese : MORNAY
Béchamel sauce is a roux made from butter and flour cooked in milk. It is sometimes known simply as white sauce. Béchamel is also considered the “mother sauce” in French cuisine as it is the base of other sauces. For example, Mornay sauce is Béchamel with cheese.

29. Part 2 of the quip : … TO KLEPTOMANIACS …
Kleptomania is the compulsion to steal, whether or not one is need of what is stolen. The term derives from the Greek word for “to steal”, “kleptein”, with the suffix “-mania”.

32. E.M.T.’s cry : CLEAR!
Emergency medical technician (EMT)

34. Jalopy : HEAP
The origins of our word “jalopy” meaning “dilapidated old motor car” seem to have been lost in time, but the word has been around since the 1920s. One credible suggestion is that it comes from Jalapa, Mexico as the Jalapa scrap yards were the destination for many discarded American automobiles.

35. “Die Lorelei” poet : HEINE
Heinrich Heine was a German romantic poet whose work often became noted through the derivative lieder composed by Robert Schumann in particular. Heine died in 1856, after spending the last eight years of his life bedridden. I like his last words … “God will forgive me. It’s his job.”

Lorelei is the name of a legendary mermaid who lured fishermen by singing a beautiful song so that they steered their boats onto rocks lurking beneath the water’s surface.

37. Marine growth rich in iodine : KELP
Kelps are large seaweeds that grow in kelp forests underwater. Kelps can grow to over 250 feet in length, and do so very quickly. Some kelps can grow at the rate of 1-2 feet per day.

Back in 1924, a professor of pediatrics in Michigan led a campaign in the US to have producers of salt add a small amount of sodium iodide to table salt, so that the population would have a readily available source of the iodine micronutrient. His goal was to reduce the incidence of goiter in the population.

43. New York’s Mount ___ Hospital : SINAI
Mount Sinai Hospital in New York is a large teaching hospital, one of the oldest in the country. It was opened in 1852, originally called the Jews’ Hospital in the City of New York with the remit of serving the rapidly growing Jewish immigrant community.

52. Setting for many old films : TCM
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is one of my favorite television channels, delivering just what its name promises: classic movies.

53. Bean : NOB
The slang term “nob” has been used for “head” for over 300 years, and is a variant of “knob”.

A slang term for a “head” might be “bean” or “noggin”.

55. Genghis Khan tactic : SIEGE
Our word “siege” comes from a 13th century word for a “seat”. The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force “sitting down” outside a fortress until it falls.

Genghis Khan was the founder of the Mongol Empire, destined to be the largest contiguous empire in the history of the world. He first built his empire by uniting nomadic tribes of northeast Asia, but once Genghis Khan had consolidated his position, he initiated Mongol invasions throughout Eurasia. At it’s height, the Mongol Empire stretched from the River Danube to the Sea of Japan.

62. Former late-night luminary : LENO
Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

65. “The Garden of ___,” Oscar Wilde poem : EROS
If you didn’t know Oscar Wilde was Irish, you will when you see the name he was given at birth: Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde!

66. Banknote featuring Mao : YUAN
The Korean Won, the Chinese Yuan, and the Japanese Yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents “round shape”.

67. Down measurements : YARDS
In the sport of American football, “downs” are measured in yards.

Down
1. Singer recognized as the “King of YouTube” in 2012 : PSY
PSY is the stage name of South Korean rapper Park Jae-sang. PSY became an international star when his 2102 music video “Gangnam Style” went viral on YouTube. That video had over 1 billion views on YouTube in about six months, making it the most viewed YouTube video clip of all time. I am not one of that one billion …

2. Discarding card game : UNO
In my youth I remember being taught a great card game, by a German acquaintance of mine, called Mau Mau. Years later I discovered that Uno is basically the same game, but played with a purpose-printed deck instead of the regular deck of playing cards that’s used for Mau Mau. I hear that Mau Mau is derived from the game called Crazy Eights.

3. Highest Hawaiian peak : MAUNA KEA
Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed.

4. 12-point type : PICA
A pica is a unit of measure used in typography. One pica is equivalent to 1/6 of an inch. Each pica unit contains 12 “points”.

5. Pen : SLAMMER
“Pen” and “slammer” are slang terms for “prison”.

7. Commodity-trading card game : PIT
Pit is a card game that was introduced by Parker Brothers in 1904. the game simulates the trading of commodities, as is carried out in the Chicago Board of Trade (also known as “the Pit”).

8. Something talked about in a TED talk : IDEA
The acronym TED stands for Technology Entertainment and Design. TED is a set of conferences held around the world by a non-profit group called the Sapling Foundation. The conference subjects are varied, and the meetings are often led by big names such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates and Jane Goodall. The Sapling Foundation then makes recordings of the conferences available for free online with the intent of disseminating the ideas globally. These conferences are known as “TED Talks”.

11. Graduate of Mount Holyoke, e.g. : ALUMNA
Mount Holyoke College is a private school for women located in South Hadley, Massachusetts. It was founded as Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1834 as the sister school to Andover Seminary.

12. Tagamet competitor : ZANTAC
Zantac is a brand name for the drug called ranitidine, which is used to inhibit the production of stomach acid. Ranitidine was introduced in 1981, and by 1988 was the biggest-selling, prescription drug in the world.

13. Optional ACT components : ESSAYS
ACT is an abbreviation for American College Testing. The ACT is an entrance exam used by many universities. It has four sections, English, Reading, Math and Science, and an optional 30-minute essay.

18. ___ tide : NEAP
Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

19. Sierra ___ : LEONE
The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa, lying on the Atlantic Coast. The capital city of Freetown was originally set up as a colony to house the “Black Poor” of London, England. These people were mainly freed British slaves of Caribbean descent who were living a miserable life in the run-down parts of London. Perhaps to help the impoverished souls, perhaps to rid the streets of “a problem”, three ships were chartered in 1787 to transport a group of blacks, with some whites, to a piece of land purchased in Sierra Leone. Those who made the voyage were guaranteed British citizenship and protection. The descendants of these immigrants, and others who made the journey over the next 60 years, make up the ethnic group that’s today called the Sierra Leone Creole.

26. Couturier : MODISTE
A “modiste” is a dressmaker, someone who makes custom clothing for women. Historically, modistes made dresses that followed the Paris fashions of the day.

“Haute couture”, literally “high dressmaking” in French, is a name given to the creation of exclusive fashions. A couturier is someone who creates or sells such fashions.

35. 1980 hit with the lyric “That sweet little boy who caught my eye” : HE’S SO SHY
“He’s So Shy” is a 1980 hit for the Pointer Sisters. Although the title is reminiscent of the 1963 hit for the Chiffons called “He’s So Fine”, there is no relationship between the two numbers.

38. Cloisonné artisan : ENAMELER
“Cloisonné” is an ancient technique that uses vitreous enamel to decorate metalwork. The technique involves the addition of metal compartments to the surface of the piece, made by soldering silver or gold wires that form the edges of each compartment. Vitreous enamels of various colors are then added to each compartment and the whole piece fired. “Cloison” is a French word meaning “compartment, partition”.

39. With 48-Down, setting for Toledo : LAKE
(48. See 39-Down : ERIE)
Toledo, Ohio lies in the northwest of the state, at the western end of Lake Erie. Toledo was founded as a result of the prosperity that hit the area when the Miami and Erie Canal was constructed in the 19th century connecting Cincinnati to the Great Lakes. Toledo is known as the Glass City as several glass companies originated there, including Owens Corning and Pilkington North America. There is a large exhibition of glass art at the Toledo Museum of Art.

40. Like a calico : PIED
Domestic cats with a white coat and patches of brown and black are called calico cats in this country. Back in Ireland, and the rest of the world I think, such cats are called tortoiseshell-and-white. “Calico” is not a breed of cat, simply a coloring.

45. Tessellating artist : ESCHER
M. C. Escher was a graphic artist from the Netherlands. Escher was noted for creating works inspired by mathematics, often works that were physical impossibilities. One famous such work is “Drawing Hands” (1948) in which a pair of hands emerge from a piece of paper and actually draw themselves. He also created a drawing in which a group of red ants are crawling around a Möbius strip, never reaching the end.

In the world of tiling, a tessellation is a collection of shaped tiles (usually all the same shape) that fill a space with no gaps. Some of the shapes can be quite complex, but clever use of geometry allows them to fit together seamlessly. A simple example of a tessellated design is a collection of hexagons, in a honeycomb pattern.

46. Michael who directed “The Deer Hunter” : CIMINO
Director and producer Michael Cimino’s major work is the incredible “The Deer Hunter” from 1978. However, his 1980 movie “Heaven’s Gate” pulled in only $3 million dollars at the box office, after it had cost $42 million to make. So bad were the economics on this project, that it was a major contributor to the demise of the United Artists studio.

54. French flag hue : BLEU
The French national flag is a tricolor of blue, white and red. The blue and red colors in the flag date back to the French Revolution, when the Paris militia that participated in the storming of the Bastille wore a cockade of blue and red. Subsequently, this blue and red was added to white to create a three-color national cockade that was sported by the national militia. The design of the national cockade was absorbed into the national flag that was adopted in 1794.

56. Earth, to the ancient Greeks : GAEA
The Greek goddess personifying the earth was Gaea (meaning “land” or “earth” in Greek). The Roman equivalent goddess was Terra Mater, “Mother Earth”.

59. 401(k) alternative : IRA
A 401(k) account is similar to an IRA in that contributions can be made from a paycheck prior to the deduction of income taxes. Additionally, contributions can be fully or partially matched by an employer.

60. Trip cause : LSD
LSD (colloquially known as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Many Manolo Blahniks : PUMPS
6. Huger than huge : EPIC
10. Way-out challenge? : MAZE
14. Slow pacesetter : SNAIL
15. Hospital worker : AIDE
16. “Sorry to say …” : ALAS …
17. Start of a quip about wordplay : YOU CAN’T TELL PUNS …
20. Celebs : NAMES
21. Product of a zymurgist : ALE
22. Grand Central org. : MTA
23. Big factor in the Cy Young Award : ERA
25. Title with an apostrophe in the middle : MA’AM
27. Sauce made with roux, milk and cheese : MORNAY
29. Part 2 of the quip : … TO KLEPTOMANIACS …
32. E.M.T.’s cry : CLEAR!
33. Some like them hot : DATES
34. Jalopy : HEAP
35. “Die Lorelei” poet : HEINE
37. Marine growth rich in iodine : KELP
41. “Posses” : CREWS
43. New York’s Mount ___ Hospital : SINAI
44. Part 3 of the quip : … BECAUSE THEY TAKE …
49. Currently : AS IT IS
50. Rake in : EARN
51. ___ school : MED
52. Setting for many old films : TCM
53. Bean : NOB
55. Genghis Khan tactic : SIEGE
57. End of the quip : … THINGS LITERALLY
62. Former late-night luminary : LENO
63. “___, boy!” : HERE
64. Simpletons : GEESE
65. “The Garden of ___,” Oscar Wilde poem : EROS
66. Banknote featuring Mao : YUAN
67. Down measurements : YARDS

Down
1. Singer recognized as the “King of YouTube” in 2012 : PSY
2. Discarding card game : UNO
3. Highest Hawaiian peak : MAUNA KEA
4. 12-point type : PICA
5. Pen : SLAMMER
6. Really rankles : EATS AT
7. Commodity-trading card game : PIT
8. Something talked about in a TED talk : IDEA
9. 5-Down cohabitant : CELLMATE
10. X setting, maybe : MAP
11. Graduate of Mount Holyoke, e.g. : ALUMNA
12. Tagamet competitor : ZANTAC
13. Optional ACT components : ESSAYS
18. ___ tide : NEAP
19. Sierra ___ : LEONE
23. Chisel, maybe : ETCH
24. Part : ROLE
26. Couturier : MODISTE
28. Take a chance : RISK IT
30. Pet that likes to be petted : LAP CAT
31. “That’s incredible!” : MAN!
35. 1980 hit with the lyric “That sweet little boy who caught my eye” : HE’S SO SHY
36. Female that sounds like you? : EWE
38. Cloisonné artisan : ENAMELER
39. With 48-Down, setting for Toledo : LAKE
40. Like a calico : PIED
42. Sorry about : RUING
43. Hoped-for collaboration result : SYNERGY
44. Clash : BATTLE
45. Tessellating artist : ESCHER
46. Michael who directed “The Deer Hunter” : CIMINO
47. Accelerate : HASTEN
48. See 39-Down : ERIE
54. French flag hue : BLEU
56. Earth, to the ancient Greeks : GAEA
58. Thumbs-down responses : NOS
59. 401(k) alternative : IRA
60. Trip cause : LSD
61. Thumbs-up response : YES

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2 thoughts on “0423-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Apr 15, Thursday”

  1. I came in at :32 with errors in the N–chic for EPIC, and haze for MAZE in the NE. With a theme like that, I figured there might be more puns in the clues, but they were fairly literal. Does young Mr. Steinberg think we are GEESE? 🙂

    Enjoyable.

  2. A minor quibble: does anyone actually "tell" a pun? I pun, I make puns, I create puns, but I don't tell puns. I do tell jokes (however badly), but not puns. Well, enough … It was a nice puzzle, anyway …

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