0709-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 July 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: John Guzzetta
THEME: Right on Cue … each of today’s themed answers is in the down-direction and involves a TIGHT TURN ON the letter Q:

61A. Prompt … or a hint to entering five answers in this puzzle : RIGHT ON CUE

1D. Not ready : ILL-E/QUIPPED
(24A. Produced laugh lines? : QUIPPED)

5D. Crookneck, e.g. : SUMMER S/QUASH
(38A. Put down : QUASH)

10D. Army terror? : GIANT S/QUID
(33A. Pounds : QUID)

48D. D.J.’s invitation : ANY RE/QUESTS?
(68A. Challenges for knights : QUESTS)

50D. School spirit raiser : PEP S/QUAD
(67A. Leg muscle, informally : QUAD)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 22m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

4. Quick wit : ESPRIT
Our word “esprit”, meaning “liveliness of mind”, comes to us from Latin via French. The Latin “spiritus” means “spirit.

14. French narrative poem : LAI
In the mid-13th century a “lay” was a short song. “Lay” evolved from the Old French word “lai” meaning “song, lyric”.

15. Pet name? : PURINA
Purina began operations in 1894 as an operation for producing feed for farm animals. A few years later, in 1902, the Ralston name was introduced when Webster Edgerly joined the business. Edgerly was the founder of a controversial social movement called Ralstonism. Central to the movement was personal health, with RALSTON standing for Regime, Activity, Light, Strength, Temperation, Oxygen and Nature.

16. Bit : IOTA
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

20. Figs. always expressed to two decimal places : ERAS
Earned run average (ERA)

26. Sherpas, e.g. : PORTERS
In the Tibetan language, Sherpa means “eastern people” (sher = east, pa = people). Sherpas are an ethnic group from Nepal, but the name is also used for the local guides who assist mountaineers in the Himalayas, and particularly on Mount Everest.

27. Anthem shortening : O’ER
The words “o’er the ramparts we watched” come from “The Star Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

28. Affliction for Job, in the Bible : SORES
The story of “the patience of Job” is told in the Book of Job in the Bible. Job exhibits great patience in refusing to condemn God after Satan was allowed to destroy his family, his health and his property.

33. Pounds : QUID
“Quid” is a slang term for a pound sterling (i.e. a UK pound). Used in this context, the plural of “quid” is “quid”, as in ten pounds, ten quid. It’s not certain where the term comes from, but it is possibly derived somehow from the Latin phrase “quid pro quo” meaning “this for that”.

37. Columbus in N.Y.C. or S.F. : AVE
Columbus Avenue in New York City was used as the basis for most of the street scenes in the sitcom “Seinfeld”.

Columbus Avenue in San Francisco runs through the neighborhoods of North Beach and Chinatown. If you look down Columbus Avenue you get a nice view of the Transamerica Pyramid, the tallest building in the city.

49. Jersey delivery? : MOO
Jersey cattle were originally bred on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands, off the coast of France. If you’ve seen Elsie the Cow, the mascot of Borden in the US, then you’ve seen a Jersey cow.

50. Eight in a V8 : PISTONS
The engine known as a V8 is configured with two rows of four cylinders mounted on a crankcase. The rows of cylinders are offset from each other around the crankshaft at right angles, or perhaps a little less. This arrangement of eight cylinders in a V-shape gives rise to the name “V8”.

53. Sickening : NOISOME
Something “noisome” is harmful or annoying.

57. Cabinet department : ENERGY
The US Department of Energy (DOE) came into being largely as a result of the 1973 oil crisis. The DOE was founded in 1977 by the Carter administration. The DOE is responsible for regulating the production of nuclear power, and it is also responsible for the nation’s nuclear weapons. The official DOE seal features symbols denoting five sources of energy: the sun, an atom, an oil derrick, a windmill and a dynamo.

58. Latin diphthongs : OES
In the world of linguistics, a diphthong is a syllable made from two adjacent vowel sounds. Syllables with only one vowels sound are known as monophthongs.

59. Russia’s ___ Airlines : URAL
Ural Airlines is based in Koltsovo International Airport in central Russia.

60. Nabors title role of 1960s TV : PYLE
Jim Nabors was discovered by Andy Griffith and brought onto “The Andy Griffith Show” as Gomer Pyle, the gas station attendant. Famously, Nabors then got his own show called “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” Gomer had a cousin on the “The Andy Griffiths Show” called Goober Pyle. Goober was played by George Lindsay. Lindsay had auditioned for the Gomer part, but that went to Nabors.

64. “Brave New World” drug : SOMA
In Aldous Huxley’s 1931 masterpiece, “Brave New World”, the members of his future society are encouraged to partake of the drug called soma. The soma provides hangover-free escapes referred to as “holidays”.

65. Wind-borne : EOLIAN
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.

66. Director Lee : ANG
Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

67. Leg muscle, informally : QUAD
The quadriceps femoris is the muscle group at the front of the thigh. It is the strongest muscle in the human body, and is also the leanest. The “quads” are actually a group of four muscles in the upper leg, hence the use of the prefix “quad-”.

Down
2. South Pacific island nation that’s only 8.1 square miles : 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.

3. Place for two tablets? : SINAI
According to the Bible, Mount Sinai is the mountain on which Moses was given the Ten Commandments, on two stone tablets. The Biblical Mount Sinai is probably not the mountain in Egypt that today has the same name, although this is the subject of much debate. The Egyptian Mount Sinai has two developed routes that one can take to reach the summit. The longer gentler climb takes about 2 1/2 hours, but there is also the steeper climb up the 3,750 “steps of penitence”.

4. N.T. book after Galatians : EPH
It seems that the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians (EPH) is now regarded by scholars as written “in the style of Paul” by someone who was influenced by Paul’s thought.

5. Crookneck, e.g. : SUMMER S/QUASH
The summer squash known as “crookneck” is so called because it has a distinctive “crooked neck”.

9. Swift, in music : TAYLOR
Singer Taylor Swift had one of her first gigs at the US Open tennis tournament when she was in her early teens. There she sang the national anthem and received a lot of favorable attention for the performance.

10. Army terror? : GIANT S/QUID
A giant squid is “army”, has lots of arms.

11. 2013 Grammy winner for “Royals” : LORDE
Lorde is a stage name of the singer-songwriter Ella Yelich-O’Connor from New Zealand. Lorde’s cover version of the great Tears for Fears song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was used in the soundtrack for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (2013). Her song “Yellow Flicker Beat” is included in the soundtrack for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”.

12. Web-footed mammal : OTTER
There are thirteen species of otter, all belonging to the subfamily Lutrinae (along with weasels, minks, polecats and badgers). The fur of the sea otter is exceptionally thick, and is in fact the densest fur in the whole animal kingdom.

18. Benjamin : C-SPOT
Benjamin Franklin is featured on one side of the hundred-dollar bill, and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on the other side. There is a famous “error” in the image of Independence Hall. If you look closely at the clock face at the top of the building you can see that the “four” is written in Roman numerals as “IV” as perhaps one might expect. However, on the actual clock on Independence Hall, the “four” is denoted by “IIII”.

25. Smallest Can. province : PEI
Prince Edward Island (PEI) is a maritime Canadian province. The island at the center of the province was named for Prince Edward, the fourth son of King George III and the father of Queen Victoria.

26. Group given stars, maybe : POSSE
Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

28. Hogwarts professor : SNAPE
Severus Snape is a character in the Harry Potter novels, played by the wonderful Alan Rickman on the big screen. Snape has the pivotal role of using the Killing Curse on Professor Dumbledore, as an act of mercy.

In J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” universe, The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was founded by the four most brilliant witches and wizards of their time: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin. Each of the founders lent their name to a House in the school, i.e. Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

30. Oct. 31, e.g. : EVE
All Saints’ Day is November 1st each year. The day before All Saints’ Day is All Hallows Eve, better known by the Scottish term, “Halloween”.

31. Samovar contents : TEA
The samovar originated in Russia, and is often a very elegant water boiler, usually for making tea. As such, there is often an attachment on top of a samovar to keep a teapot warm.

34. Cause of some 911 calls : UFO
An extraterrestrial (ET) might pilot an unidentified flying object (UFO).

The first use of an emergency phone number nationally was in the UK in 1937, where the number 999 was introduced to call emergency services. If you need emergency services in the UK or Ireland to this day, you have to dial 999. It’s not really clear why 911 became the emergency number in the US. The most credible suggestion (to me) is that when it was introduced by the FCC in 1967, it was a number that “fit” with the numbers already used by AT&T for free services (211-long distance; 411-information; 611-repair service).

35. Vehicle that may roll over, for short : IRA
A rollover IRA is a subtype of a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The funds for a rollover IRA come from another qualified plan such as a 401(k) or a 403(b) account.

39. Surgeon’s clamp : HEMOSTAT
A hemostat is that scissors-like clamp that is used in surgery to close off blood vessels temporarily until more permanent repairs can be made.

42. Unoriginal work : RETREAD
A retread tire is one that has been recycled, possibly more than once. The tread of the old tire is buffed away, and and new rubber tread is applied to the “bare” tire using some special process that seems to work really well. Retreads are a lot cheaper, and obviously are relatively friendly to the environment.

45. Petty officer : BOSUN
A boatswain works on the deck of a boat. A boatswain is unlicensed, and so is not involved in the navigation or handling of the vessel. He or she has charge of the other unlicensed workers on the deck. Boatswain is pronounced “bosun” and this phonetic spelling is often used interchangeably with “boatswain”. The contraction “bos’n” is also very popular.

48. D.J.’s invitation : ANY RE/QUESTS?
The world’s first radio disk jockey was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

51. Song title words after “The Woman” and “I Believe” : IN YOU
“The Woman in You” is a 1983 Bee Gees song that was written for the movie “Staying Alive”, the sequel to “Saturday Night Fever”.

There are a gazillion songs with the title “I Believe in You” …

52. Southern city with a woman’s name : SELMA
The most famous city in the US named Selma is probably the one in Alabama. The Alabama city is noted for the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches from 1965.

The Bloody Sunday march took place between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama on 7 March 1965. The 600 marchers involved were protesting the intimidation of African-Americans registering to vote. When the marchers reached Dallas County, Alabama they encountered a line of state troopers reinforced by white males who had been deputized that morning to help keep the peace. Violence broke out with 17 marchers ending up in hospital, one nearly dying. Because the disturbance was widely covered by television cameras, the civil rights movement picked up a lot of support that day.

53. Classic fruity sodas : NEHIS
“Nehi Corporation” was the nickname for the Chero-Cola/Union Bottle Works that introduced the Nehi drink in 1924. Years later the company developed a new brand, Royal Crown Cola (also known as RC Cola). By 1955, RC Cola was the company’s flagship product, so the “Nehi Corporation” became the “Royal Crown Company”. In 1954, RC Cola became the first company to sell soft drinks in cans.

54. Certain cetaceans : ORCAS
The taxonomic name for the killer whale is Orcinus orca. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

Cetaceans are mammals who have adapted to life in water. Examples of cetaceans are whales, dolphins and porpoises.

55. ___ Loa : MAUNA
Mauna Loa on the “big island” of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

56. Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!,” e.g. : ELEGY
“O Captain! My Captain!” is an 1865 poem by Walt Whitman, an elegy written about President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.

O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:

But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

63. Run-___ : ONS
A “run-on sentence” is one in which two separate clauses are linked without appropriate conjugation. Two examples would be:

– Today’s crossword is really tough I can’t finish.
– Today’s crossword is really tough, I can’t finish.

More acceptable sentences would be:

– Today’s crossword is really tough. I can’t finish.
– Today’s crossword is really tough; I can’t finish.
– Today’s crossword is really tough, so I can’t finish.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Connections : INS
4. Quick wit : ESPRIT
10. Lump : GLOB
14. French narrative poem : LAI
15. Pet name? : PURINA
16. Bit : IOTA
17. School bully’s demand : LUNCH MONEY
19. Dance and drama : ARTS
20. Figs. always expressed to two decimal places : ERAS
21. Nasty campaign charges : MUD
22. Borrower : LENDEE
24. Produced laugh lines? : QUIPPED
26. Sherpas, e.g. : PORTERS
27. Anthem shortening : O’ER
28. Affliction for Job, in the Bible : SORES
29. Tosses : JETTISONS
33. Pounds : QUID
37. Columbus in N.Y.C. or S.F. : AVE
38. Put down : QUASH
40. Returning in the opposite direction : FRO
41. Get tiresome : WEAR
43. One making waves : SPEEDBOAT
46. Transport : ELATE
49. Jersey delivery? : MOO
50. Eight in a V8 : PISTONS
53. Sickening : NOISOME
57. Cabinet department : ENERGY
58. Latin diphthongs : OES
59. Russia’s ___ Airlines : URAL
60. Nabors title role of 1960s TV : PYLE
61. Prompt … or a hint to entering five answers in this puzzle : RIGHT ON CUE
64. “Brave New World” drug : SOMA
65. Wind-borne : EOLIAN
66. Director Lee : ANG
67. Leg muscle, informally : QUAD
68. Challenges for knights : QUESTS
69. For instance : SAY

Down
1. Not ready : ILL-EQUIPPED
2. South Pacific island nation that’s only 8.1 square miles : NAURU
3. Place for two tablets? : SINAI
4. N.T. book after Galatians : EPH
5. Crookneck, e.g. : SUMMER S/QUASH
6. Walking tall : PROUD
7. Source of zest : RIND
8. Having four sharps : IN E
9. Swift, in music : TAYLOR
10. Army terror? : GIANT S/QUID
11. 2013 Grammy winner for “Royals” : LORDE
12. Web-footed mammal : OTTER
13. Army locales : BASES
18. Benjamin : C-SPOT
23. Poetic conjunction : ERE
25. Smallest Can. province : PEI
26. Group given stars, maybe : POSSE
28. Hogwarts professor : SNAPE
29. Jabber : JAW
30. Oct. 31, e.g. : EVE
31. Samovar contents : TEA
32. Boots : OUSTS
34. Cause of some 911 calls : UFO
35. Vehicle that may roll over, for short : IRA
36. Stipple : DOT
39. Surgeon’s clamp : HEMOSTAT
42. Unoriginal work : RETREAD
44. “Boy, ___!” : DO I
45. Petty officer : BOSUN
47. Do some forest work : LOG
48. D.J.’s invitation : ANY RE/QUESTS?
50. School spirit raiser : PEP S/QUAD
51. Song title words after “The Woman” and “I Believe” : IN YOU
52. Southern city with a woman’s name : SELMA
53. Classic fruity sodas : NEHIS
54. Certain cetaceans : ORCAS
55. ___ Loa : MAUNA
56. Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!,” e.g. : ELEGY
58. Check out : OGLE
62. Payment option that’s not always accepted : IOU
63. Run-___ : ONS

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7 thoughts on “0709-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 July 15, Thursday”

  1. Nice grid today. The cluing was a bit overstated, but the theme was well-designed. I thought it would only appear in the corners after finished the W of the thing, so there may be a tiny inelegance in the placement. Or I might just have overthought a Thursday puzzle. :27 for me.

  2. For once I timed myself and finished in 21 minutes, but that doesn't count the five or ten minutes I then spent trying to figure out how "quid" could be plural and what a giant squid could possibly have to do with the army. And, as usual, I found the explanations here …

    A nice puzzle, and I take great pride in the fact that, for once, my time was comparable (with qualifications) to that of the master … 🙂

  3. One more comment: My one (relatively minor) mountaineering trip in Nepal was assisted by quite a number of porters, none of whom were ethnic Sherpas. The three Sherpas with us functioned as very able guides and would probably have been offended to be described as "mere" porters. (In any case, both groups, porters and guides alike, deserve far more credit than they are often given for the success of expeditions in Nepal, Very few Westerners can claim to have climbed anything there without the help of these awesome people.)

  4. 30:30, no errors. Enjoyed the theme. The 'Army Terror' / 'Giant Squid' connection was a big stretch, in my opinion.

  5. 32:15, and no errors, which was very surprising. Took a good guess on Nauru, also not knowing enough French to guess 14A. Evil little theme in this one, just as you'd expect on a Thursday.

  6. On second thought, this is a *really* FORCED theme. Q is not spelled CUE, and the phrase "Right on cue" has nothing to do with letters.

    The worst "groaner" in all of this is Will Shortz who edits and green-lights these too-clever-for-their-own-good gimmick puzzles. It's well past time for him to hand over the reins of the NYT Puzzle to someone who will restore some dignity and, I dare say, some *class* to the franchise again.

  7. Okay. Q is pronounced the same as CUE.. So "right on cue" sounds like "right on Q" and therefore serves as a appropriate clue to what happens to certain entries in the puzzle. They're called puns. And they're fun. And I applaud Will Shortz for his part in bringing them to me.

    My two cents' worth … 🙂

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