0702-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Jul 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Timothy Polin
THEME: Invisible Ink … each of today’s themed clues appears to consist of just a single letter, but then it is revealed that we dealing with INVISIBLE “INK”. The single-letter clues are completed by making the letters INK appear as a suffix:

67A. What six of this puzzle’s clues have been written with? : INVISIBLE INK

18A. K(ink) : ECCENTRICITY
30A. W(ink) : SPLIT SECOND
38A. P(ink) : MEDIUM-RARE
53A. F(ink) : STOOL PIGEON
12D. S(ink) : FOUNDER
45D. L(ink) : CONNECT

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 29m 18s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Father of Erebus and Nyx, in Greek myth : CHAOS
In Greek mythology, Chaos was the first of the primeval gods born at the creation of the universe. Following Chaos came:

– Gaia, the primordial goddess of the Earth
– Tartaros, the primordial god of the Underworld
– Eros, the primordial god of Love
– Nyx, the primordial goddess of the Night
– Erebus, the primordial god of Darkness
– Aither, the primordial god of Light
– Hemera, the primordial goddess of the Day

12. New Deal prez : FDR
The New Deal was the series of economic programs championed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. The New Deal was focused on three objectives, the “3 Rs”:

– Relief for the unemployed and poor
– Recovery of the economy to normal levels
– Reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression

15. Tropical vine : LIANA
Liana (also “liane”) is the name give to a vine that generally grows in moist areas such as rain forests. Lianas grow using the trees in the forest as structural support. My bet is that Tarzan swung from tree to tree on liana vines …

16. Mountain overlooking Yerevan : ARARAT
Mount Ararat is in Turkey. Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or Ara the Handsome). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

Yerevan is a the capital of Armenia, and the nation’s largest city. Yerevan was founded in 782 BC with the building of the fortress of Erebuni. That makes it one of oldest, continuously inhabited cities in the world. Yerevan’s skyline is dominated by the twin peaks of Mount Ararat.

20. Actress Thurman : UMA
Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter “Uma” as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name “Dbuma”. Uma’s big break in movies came with her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

22. Bit of derring-do : DEED
As one might expect, “derring-do” comes from the phrase “daring to do”, which back in the 14th century was written as “dorrying don”.

23. Advanced course : SEMINAR
A “seminar” is a meeting called for the exchange of information, especially in a university. The term comes from the Latin “seminarium” meaning “breeding ground, plant nursery”, which is also the root of our word “seminary”.

27. Protein constituent, informally : AMINO
Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins.

29. “My Dinner With ___” (1981 film) : ANDRE
“My Dinner With Andre” is a rather unusual 1981 film, written by and starring Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn. The whole film is a conversation between the two actors, although they do play different parts as the film progresses.

33. Frank refusal? : NEIN
“Nein” is the German for “no”.

The Franks were Germanic tribes that lived in the the 3rd century AD between the Lower Rhine and Middle Rhine in modern-day Germany. Over time, the influence of the Franks extended into Gaul to the west and the resulting Frankish Empire evolved into the Holy Roman Empire and the state of France, with the name “France” coming from “Frank”.

37. Part of a fasces : ROD
The “fasces” is an image that is usually symbolic of power. The original Roman fasces consisted of a bundle of birch rods tied together into a cylindrical form with a bronze axe incorporated. Back in Ancient Rome the fasces were carried by “lictors” who accompanied magistrates. The fasces were used much as we use flags today, with the rods and axe being symbolic of the power held by the magistrates.

53. F(ink) : STOOL PIGEON
Stoolies, also called canaries, will sing to the cops given the right incentive. “Stoolie” is short for “stool pigeon”. A stool pigeon was a decoy bird tied to a stool so as to lure other pigeons. “Stoolies” were originally decoys for the police, rather than informers, hence the name.

57. Trivial Pursuit edition : GENUS
Trivial Pursuit was invented in 1979 by two Canadians from Montreal. The pair decided to come up with their own game after they discovered that there were pieces missing from the game of Scrabble that they wanted to play. There was a full blown launch of a commercial version of the game in 1982. In 2008, Hasbro bought the complete rights to Trivial Pursuit, for US$80 million! On a personal note, I met my lovely wife over a game of Trivial Pursuit …

60. Ectoplasm, e.g. : OOZE
In the real world, ectoplasm is part of the cytoplasm of a cell. In the paranormal world, ectoplasm is that spiritual energy that some people claim to be able to see, that emanates from ghostly characters. It’s that ethereal shape that is sometimes seen in photographic images, which can be interpreted as the energy of some spirit from “the other side”. Spooky stuff …

63. James Merritt ___, pioneering lithographer : IVES
Currier and Ives was a printmaking concern in New York City, run by Nathaniel Currier and his partner James Merritt Ives from 1834 to 1907. The firm specialized in making affordable, hand-colored black and white lithographs.

66. Choler : IRE
“Choler” is “anger, irritability”. Choler (also “cholera”) was one of the body’s four basic substances, the so-called four humors. All diseases were caused by these four substances getting out of balance. The four humors were:

– Black bile (melancolia)
– Yellow bile (cholera)
– Phlegm (phlegma)
– Blood (sanguis)

70. Where DeWitt Clinton was mayor: Abbr. : NYC
DeWitt Clinton served as Mayor of New York City on three separate occasions, starting in 1803 and ending in 1815. Prior to his mayoral jobs, Clinton served as US Senator for New York from 1802 until 1803. He also served twice as Governor of New York, from 1817 to 1822, and from 1825 to 1828. As Governor, Clinton was the driving force behind the construction of the Erie Canal. Despite the success of the project, for some time the canal was referred to by many as “Clinton’s Folly”.

73. Roscoe : GAT
“Gat” is a slang term for a gun that is derived from the Gatling gun, the precursor to the modern machine gun. The Gatling gun was invented by Dr. Richard J. Gatling in 1861. Apparently he was inspired to invent it so that one man could do as much damage as a hundred, thereby reducing the size of armies and diminishing the suffering caused by war. Go figure …

Roscoe is a slang term for a gun, especially a handgun when used in gangster circles of old. I wasn’t able to unearth the etymology of the term …

74. “Arrivederci!” : SO LONG!
“Ciao” is the Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

Down
2. Affliction with many folk remedies : HICCUPS
Hiccups is a series of forced intakes of breath, caused by spasms in the muscles of the chest and throat. The most common cause of hiccups is some sort of irritation to the stomach or oesophagus, usually taking place while eating. Apparently, we don’t really understand the reason why we hiccup, but a favored suggestion is that it may be something that we inherited from our ancestors of long ago who didn’t stand up quite as straight as we do. Gravity helps us swallow our food, but animals who walk on all fours don’t have that advantage as the food moves horizontally down the throat and into the stomach. Such beasts are in greater need of an involuntary hiccup should some food get stuck. Just a theory …

7. Containing element #77 : IRIDIC
The element iridium is represented by the symbol Ir. It is a metal that’s very hard, and is in fact the second densest of all the elements (after osmium). It is also the metal that is most resistant to corrosion. Iridium was discovered and first isolated in 1803 by English chemist Smithson Tennant. He called his discovery “iridium” after Iris, the ancient Greek personification of the rainbow. He did so in recognition of the diverse colors of iridium salts.

10. Partner of great : LATE
The “late and great” …

11. Root words : ETYMA
The “etymon” (plural “etyma”) is the word from which another word is derived. For example, the etymon of “Ireland” is “Eriu”, the old Celtic name for the island of Ireland.

12. S(ink) : FOUNDER
“To founder”, when applied to a boat, is to fill with water and sink. The term comes from Old French “fond” meaning “bottom”, as in “sink to the bottom of the ocean”.

13. Classic Nintendo game similar to Tetris : DR MARIO
“Dr. Mario” is a “falling block” game, similar to Tetris. The falling blocks are actually capsules that are used to eradicate viruses.

Tetris is a very addictive video game that was developed in the Soviet Union in 1984. The name Tetris comes from a melding of the prefix “tetra-” (as all the game pieces have four segments) and “tennis” (a favorite sport played by the developer). Since 2005 there have been more than 100 million copies of the game installed on cell phones alone.

24. Caravansary : INN
A serai was a stopping off point for caravans along the trade routes of central and western Asia. It was typically an inn built around a large courtyard that provided accommodations for the traveling parties. The full name of such establishments was “caravanserai” (also “caravansary”), from the Persian karwan-sarai meaning inn (sarai) for a karwan (group of travelers).

26. Novelist O’Flaherty : LIAM
Liam O’Flaherty was novelist and political activist from Ireland. For what it’s worth, I was quite a good friend with Liam’s daughter Joyce when I was at university in Dublin.

31. Sailors’ ropes : TYES
In the nautical world, a “tye” can be either a chain or a rope and is used to hoist a spar up a mast.

32. Code material : DNA
Nucleobases are molecules that form the backbone of DNA and RNA chains. It is the sequence of these bases in the DNA chain that makes up the so-called “genetic code”. In DNA the four bases are adenine (A), guanine (G), thymine (T) and cytosine (C). The same bases are found in RNA, except that thymine is replaced by uracil (U).

36. Onetime lover of Riker on “Star Trek: T.N.G.” : TROI
Deanna Troi is a character on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” who is played by the lovely Marina Sirtis. Sirtis is a naturalized American citizen and has what I would call a soft American accent on the show. However, she was born in the East End of London and has a natural accent off-stage that is more like that of a true Cockney.

William T. Riker is a leading character on the TV show “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. I’m not a huge “Star Trek” fan, but really enjoy watching “The Next Generation”. I love the performances on the show, except for Jonathan Frakes’ portrayal of First Officer Riker.

39. Some of the French? : DES
The French word “des” translates as “of the”, or sometimes “some”.

40. Octave, for one : INTERVAL
I find that terminology in music can be confusing. My way of looking at an octave (my way … don’t shout at me!) is thinking of a piano keyboard. In the key of C, the seven notes of the octave are C, D, E, F, G, A, B (or “do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti”). These are all white keys. Most of these “white notes” are separated by whole tones, so there is room to add a “semitone” in between most of them, and these are the black keys (C-sharp for example). There is room for five black keys in an octave, and 7 + 5 adds up to 12. I assume we use the term “octave” because we often add an eighth note on the end “to bring us back to do” as the song says (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do … or … C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C). That eighth note is really the first note in the next octave up.

41. Soba alternative : UDON
Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisine like tempura.

42. By that logic : ERGO
“Ergo” is the Latin word for “hence, therefore”.

43. Slice of ham? : MUGGING
The verb “mug” means to make an exaggerated facial expression. The term comes from mugs used to drink beer (called Toby mugs) that are the made in the shape of heads with grotesque expressions.

The word “ham”, describing a performer who overacts, is apparently a shortened form of “hamfatter” and dates back to the late 1800s. “Hamfatter” comes from a song in old minstrel shows called “The Ham-Fat Man”. It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the “acting” qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

48. Wind-blown : AEOLIAN
Aeolus was the ruler of the winds in Greek mythology, and he gave his name to the adjective “aeolian” (also “aeolic, eolic”) meaning “windblown”, something produced or carried by the wind. For example, an aeolian harp is a fascinating instrument; a box with a sounding board and strings that is “played” by the wind as it blows.

49. Tough pill to swallow? : LOZENGE
Back in the 14th century, a “lozenge” was a diamond shape. The original lozenges that were tablets, held in the mouth to dissolve, had this diamond shape, hence the name.

50. Puma, e.g. : SNEAKER
Puma is a German company that sells athletic shoes worldwide. The company is most famous for its line of soccer boots.

54. Devout supplication : ORISON
“Orison” is another word for prayer, that comes to us ultimately from Latin, via Middle English and Old French.

56. Proletarian : PLEB
“Plebe” is a slang term for a freshman in the US military and naval academies. Plebe is probably short for “plebeian”, an adjective describing someone of the common class in Ancient Rome, one of the “plebs” (a singular collective noun). “Pleb” is a shortened version of plebeian, and is a term used outside of the military schools to mean “commoner”.

George Orwell introduced us to the “proles”, the working class folk in his famous novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. Collectively, the proles make up the section of society known as the proletariat.

58. Deli selection : SWISS
Swiss cheese is a relatively generic term, a type of cheese produced in various countries and not necessarily in Switzerland. What they all have in common though, is a resemblance to the original Swiss Emmental cheese.

62. Word on a headstone : ANNO
Anno (plural “anni”) is the Latin for “year”.

68. Corp. milestone : IPO
An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

69. Big bird : EMU
Emu eggs are very large, with a thick shell that is dark-green in color. One emu egg weighs about the same as a dozen chicken eggs.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Father of Erebus and Nyx, in Greek myth : CHAOS
6. Depression common during childhood : DIMPLE
12. New Deal prez : FDR
15. Tropical vine : LIANA
16. Mountain overlooking Yerevan : ARARAT
17. Buried treasure? : ORE
18. K(ink) : ECCENTRICITY
20. Actress Thurman : UMA
21. Buddy : ACE
22. Bit of derring-do : DEED
23. Advanced course : SEMINAR
25. Invalid : NULL
27. Protein constituent, informally : AMINO
29. “My Dinner With ___” (1981 film) : ANDRE
30. W(ink) : SPLIT SECOND
33. Frank refusal? : NEIN
34. Endeavor : ESSAY
35. Studio fee : RENT
37. Part of a fasces : ROD
38. P(ink) : MEDIUM-RARE
43. Word after open or hot : MIC
46. Overnight, say : SEND
47. Postgraduate ordeals : ORALS
51. “I’m dead” : UH-OH!
53. F(ink) : STOOL PIGEON
57. Trivial Pursuit edition : GENUS
59. Opposite of drop out : ENROL
60. Ectoplasm, e.g. : OOZE
61. Family feud? : GANG WAR
63. James Merritt ___, pioneering lithographer : IVES
65. Setting for a grassy knoll : LEA
66. Choler : IRE
67. What six of this puzzle’s clues have been written with? : INVISIBLE INK
70. Where DeWitt Clinton was mayor: Abbr. : NYC
71. Easily attachable : SNAP-ON
72. Semblance : IMAGE
73. Roscoe : GAT
74. “Arrivederci!” : SO LONG!
75. Professional pitch man? : TUNER

Down
1. Detox, e.g. : CLEANSE
2. Affliction with many folk remedies : HICCUPS
3. Needs for many digital cameras : AA CELLS
4. United : ONE
5. Beach blanket? : SAND
6. Cocksure challenge : DARE ME!
7. Containing element #77 : IRIDIC
8. Buddy : MAC
9. Kidnappee, e.g. : PRISONER
10. Partner of great : LATE
11. Root words : ETYMA
12. S(ink) : FOUNDER
13. Classic Nintendo game similar to Tetris : DR MARIO
14. Hit back? : REAR-END
19. Society affairs : TEAS
24. Caravansary : INN
26. Novelist O’Flaherty : LIAM
28. What par isn’t for most golfers : NORM
31. Sailors’ ropes : TYES
32. Code material : DNA
36. Onetime lover of Riker on “Star Trek: T.N.G.” : TROI
39. Some of the French? : DES
40. Octave, for one : INTERVAL
41. Soba alternative : UDON
42. By that logic : ERGO
43. Slice of ham? : MUGGING
44. “Tell me about it!” : I HEAR YA!
45. L(ink) : CONNECT
48. Wind-blown : AEOLIAN
49. Tough pill to swallow? : LOZENGE
50. Puma, e.g. : SNEAKER
52. Bear ___ : HUG
54. Devout supplication : ORISON
55. Enamored with : LOVING
56. Proletarian : PLEB
58. Deli selection : SWISS
62. Word on a headstone : ANNO
64. Use a scalpel on : SLIT
68. Corp. milestone : IPO
69. Big bird : EMU

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5 thoughts on “0702-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Jul 15, Thursday”

  1. Well, the website says I finished with no errors after about a century and a half. But this thing still confuses the heck out of me. I suppose my strategy of solving most of the down clues on Thursday seemed to help.

  2. This one took me quite a while, but I finished with no errors. (It might have taken me a whole lot longer, but my point of entry was in the lower left corner and that somehow led me to get "invisible ink" early on, which was a great help in doing the rest of the puzzle. A cute gimmick, that … )

    I appreciated the tidbit about Uma Thurman's name. I've always sort of wondered where it came from, but not enough to research the issue.

  3. Irys

    Thank you for clarifying the INK trick! I completed the puzzle with no errors,
    even the single letter clues, which I got with cross clue help, and even after
    filling in "invisible ink" still didn't get it. Great challenge, but your help is
    much appreciated! Very nice job in explaining all clues as well. Well done!

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