0904-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Sep 15, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David C. Duncan Dekker
THEME: Three of Everything … today’s grid features at least three occurrences of each letter. We also have some symmetry of sorts with a string of three Qs sitting opposite three Ss, diagonally across the grid close to the center.

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 15m 08s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

17. Makings of a miniature building project : LEGO SET
Lego is manufactured by Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

24. Trembles : QUAILS
“To quail” means “to cower”.

26. Alternative to Corn Pops : KIX
Kix cereal has been around since 1937, would you believe? Kix used to be just puffed grains, processed to give the characteristic shape. Then the decision was made to add sugar to get better penetration into the young kid marketplace. Sad really …

The Kellogg’s cereal known as Corn Pops was introduced in 1951 as Sugar Pops. The “Sugar” name was dropped in the eighties when sugar was labeled as nutritionally “bad”. But, the sugar remained in the cereal …

27. No-name last name : DOE
Although the English court system does not use the term today, John Doe first appeared as the “name of a person unknown” in England in 1659, along with another unknown, Richard Roe. The female equivalent of John Doe is Jane Doe, with the equivalent to Richard Roe being Jane Roe (as in Roe v. Wade, for example).

28. Man’s do with upswept hair in the front : QUIFF
A “quiff” is a lick of hair that’s brought forward over the forehead.

32. Hit 2013 film with a talking snowman : FROZEN
“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”.

33. South American stalkers : JAGUARS
The jaguar is the third largest feline in the world, after the tiger and the lion. The jaguar resembles a leopard, but is bigger. It is found through much of South and Central America as well as the southern US. The jaguar has a really strong bite, even compared to the bigger cats. It usually kills its prey by biting through the skull.

36. Who said “It’s not the men in your life that counts, it’s the life in your men” : MAE WEST
Comic actress Mae West can be quoted so easily, as she had so many great lines delivered so well. Here are a few:

• When I’m good, I’m very good. When I’m bad, I’m better.
• When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I’ve never tried before.
• I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.
• Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution yet.
• I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
• Why don’t you come on up and see me sometime — when I’ve got nothin’ on but the radio.
• It’s better to be looked over than overlooked.
• To err is human, but it feels divine.
• I like my clothes to be tight enough to show I’m a woman, but loose enough to show I’m a lady.
• I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.
• Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

38. 3-D graph lines : Z-AXES
The X- and Y-axes are used to define points in a plane. Once the third dimension is added, then in addition to “area” we have “depth”. That third dimension is conventionally called the Z-axis.

39. Wetlands wader : SNIPE
Snipes are wading birds with very long and thin bills that they use to search for small invertebrates in mud.

44. Major in a 1973 David Bowie hit : TOM
Major Tom is the central character in David Bowie’s fabulous 1969 hit “Space Oddity”. Bowie brought Major Tom back for two more songs, “Ashes to Ashes” in 1980 and “Hallo Spaceboy” in 1995. I’m not sure to what the 1973 date in the clue is referring …

In early 1969, the struggling David Bowie recorded a promotional film in an attempt to reach a wider audience. The film called “Love You Till Tuesday” featured seven of Bowie’s songs in what amounted to an extended music video, with one of the tracks being “Space Oddity”. Somebody smart put two and two together later in the year and decided that a fresh version of “Space Oddity” should be released, to coincide with the Apollo moon landings. Sure enough, the BBC snagged the track for their coverage of the landings and gave Bowie huge audiences. And the song still gets an awful lot of air time on the small screen.

45. Ordinary joes : SCHMOS
“Schmo” (also “shmo”) is American slang for a dull or boring person, from the Yiddish word “shmok”.

48. Court sport org. : ATP
The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is an organization that looks after the interests of male tennis professionals. The equivalent organization for women is the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).

49. 2012 running mate : RYAN
Paul Ryan was the Republican nominee for Vice President in the 2012 election, on the ticket with Mitt Romney. Off the political stage, Ryan is famous for his fitness regime. He has shared that much of his motivation to work out and to watch his diet is because there is a history of heart attacks at an early age in his family.

58. Proctors’ charges : TESTEES
A “proctor” is a supervisor, especially of an examination in a school, or perhaps of a dormitory. The word “proctor” originated in the late 1500s, a contraction of the word “procurator”, the name given to an official agent of a church.

Down
2. Skin and hair care brand : AVEENO
Aveeno is a manufacturer of skincare and haircare products that was founded in 1945. The name Aveeno comes from the Latin name for the common oat: “Avena sativa”.

11. 9-Down output : CDS
A CD player reads the information on the disc using a laser beam. The beam is produced by what’s called a laser diode, a device similar to a light-emitting diode (LED) except that a laser beam is emitted. That laser beam is usually red in CD and DVD players. Blu-ray players are so called as they use blue lasers.

12. Kind of pilot : KAMIKAZE
The kamikaze attacks by the Japanese Air Force towards the end of WWII resulted in the loss of almost 4,000 Japanese pilots. Almost 20% of the attacks actually hit an Allied ship. The term “kamikaze” translates as “divine wind”, and was originally applied to devastating typhoons that destroyed an invading fleet sent to invade Japan from Mongolia by Kubla Khan.

24. Paper unit : QUIRE
A “quire” is a measure of paper quantity. There are usually 25 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires (500 sheets) in a ream. However, a quire sometimes only contains 15, 18 or 20 sheets, depending on the type of paper.

28. Country rockers? : QUAKES
Those would be earthquakes, rocking a country …

30. Stock exchange? : LOWS
The cattle are lowing, mooing …

36. Food container with a seal : MASON JAR
Mason jars were invented in 1858 by a tinsmith named John Landis Mason, in Philadelphia.

38. Once-popular alcopop : ZIMA
Zima is a clear alcoholic beverage with about the same strength as beer. Zima is sold in beer bottles but is marketed as “not” a beer. It has a lemon-lime flavor and is referred to as an “alcopop”, a portmanteau word from “alcohol” and “pop”. Zima was made by Coors, but they stopped US production in 2008. However, it is still quite popular in Japan.

40. “Indubitably!” : WHY YES!
Something described as “indubitable” cannot be doubted.

47. He’s featured in Paris’s Musée de l’Orangerie : MONET
Paris’s Musée de l’Orangerie is a art gallery with a fabulous collection of impressionist and post-impressionist works. The original building was erected to shelter orange trees, hence the name. The museum holds a beautiful series of Monet water-lily paintings in two wonderfully lit oval rooms.

50. “The Green Hornet” trumpeter : HIRT
Al Hirt was a trumpeter and bandleader. Hirt’s most famous recordings were the song “Java” and the album “Honey in the Horn”, as well the theme song used “The Green Hornet” TV series in the sixties.

52. Crash site figure, for short : EMT
Emergency medical technician (EMT)

55. Important Peruvian crop : OCA
The plant called an oca is also known as the New Zealand Yam. The tubers of the oca are used as a root vegetable.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Shop class cutter : BAND SAW
8. Class cutter, say : SLACKER
15. C-worthy : AVERAGE
16. Primitive cutting tool : HAND AXE
17. Makings of a miniature building project : LEGO SET
18. Horrible : ABYSMAL
19. Instances of faulty logic : LEAPS
20. Nursing a grudge, say : SORE
22. “___ mess” : I’M A
23. Social group : ANTS
24. Trembles : QUAILS
26. Alternative to Corn Pops : KIX
27. No-name last name : DOE
28. Man’s do with upswept hair in the front : QUIFF
29. Main course? : PLAN A
31. Hangs it up : QUITS
32. Hit 2013 film with a talking snowman : FROZEN
33. South American stalkers : JAGUARS
36. Who said “It’s not the men in your life that counts, it’s the life in your men” : MAE WEST
37. Social networking reversal : UNLIKE
38. 3-D graph lines : Z-AXES
39. Wetlands wader : SNIPE
40. Smartens (up) : WISES
41. Sticky situation : JAM
44. Major in a 1973 David Bowie hit : TOM
45. Ordinary joes : SCHMOS
47. Play in a game : MOVE
48. Court sport org. : ATP
49. 2012 running mate : RYAN
50. Float like a butterfly : HOVER
51. It often increases with a promotion : BASE PAY
54. Enlistment : JOINING
56. List : ITEMIZE
57. Extent of a lot : ACREAGE
58. Proctors’ charges : TESTEES
59. All shook up : RATTLED

Down
1. Something to slow-dance to : BALLAD
2. Skin and hair care brand : AVEENO
3. Make nothing of : NEGATE
4. Ophthalmological treatment : DROPS
5. Smart comments : SASS
6. Archaeologist’s determination : AGE
7. Surfing gear : WET SUITS
8. Muslim magistrate : SHARIF
9. Record producer : LABEL
10. Countless amount? : ANY
11. 9-Down output : CDS
12. Kind of pilot : KAMIKAZE
13. Checks out : EXAMINES
14. Massage or bubble bath : RELAXANT
21. Bumblers : OAFS
24. Paper unit : QUIRE
25. Occasions that might lead to buyer’s remorse : SPREES
28. Country rockers? : QUAKES
30. Stock exchange? : LOWS
31. Instance of levity : QUIP
32. Results of phoning it in? : FAXES
33. Not much : JUST A BIT
34. Comment on, in a way : ANNOTATE
35. Slight sights : GLIMPSES
36. Food container with a seal : MASON JAR
38. Once-popular alcopop : ZIMA
40. “Indubitably!” : WHY YES!
41. Good-humored : JOVIAL
42. Get back at : AVENGE
43. Formed a union : MERGED
46. It’s hot for a while : CRAZE
47. He’s featured in Paris’s Musée de l’Orangerie : MONET
50. “The Green Hornet” trumpeter : HIRT
52. Crash site figure, for short : EMT
53. One graphic means of showing percentages : PIE
55. Important Peruvian crop : OCA

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6 thoughts on “0904-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Sep 15, Friday”

  1. Did anyone notice that this puzzle is a triple pangram? (Every letter used 3 times) — the holy grail of crossword construction! Well done…

  2. 21 minutes, no errors. Never heard of the ATP. QUIFF was also new to me, but it sort of sounds like what it is; I can't help but wonder if it's intended to sound a bit like "coif".

    In the Denver Post, there was nothing to suggest the "triple pangram" theme. I only found about it by coming here. A good challenge for the constructor, I would imagine.

    Being old-school, I do the puzzles on paper. Once or twice, I have done one on my laptop and been annoyed by the fact that, when I filled in the last square, the interface assumed that I had finished and didn't allow me to perform my final check for errors. Do all the on-line crossword interfaces work that way?

  3. 20:18, no errors. Agree with previous posters, theme was not relevant to the solving of the puzzle. Two minor quibbles: every letter is used 'at least' 3 times, many letters are used more than 3 times; the triple Q's in the center have QIS, QIS and QAE on the diagonals.

  4. @BruceB
    Not sure why, but your comment was categorized as spam by the blog's filter. I fixed it manually. Apologies. And, I've added "at least" to my theme explanation. Thanks for the help.

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