0929-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Sep 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kurt Krauss
THEME: Ages … each of our themed answers starts with an AGE:

69A. A very long time … or a hint to the starts of the answers to the five starred clues : AGES
17A. *English rock group? : STONEHENGE (giving “Stone Age”)
24A. *Many party games : ICEBREAKERS (giving “ice age”)
37A. *Railroad engine, in old lingo : IRON HORSE (giving “Iron Age”)
52A. *Seattle tourist attraction : SPACE NEEDLE (giving “Space Age”)
62A. *Medal for bravery, maybe : BRONZE STAR (giving “Bronze Age”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 17s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

16. Apple’s apple, e.g. : LOGO
The logo of Apple, the computer company, is a silhouette of an apple with a bite taken out of it. The company’s original logo featured a picture of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree.

17. *English rock group? : STONEHENGE (giving “Stone Age”)
37. *Railroad engine, in old lingo : IRON HORSE (giving “Iron Age”)
62. *Medal for bravery, maybe : BRONZE STAR (giving “Bronze Age”)
The magnificent Stonehenge monument in the south of England was built from 3000 to 2000 BC. “Stonehenge” has given its name to “henges”, a whole class of earthwork monuments that are circular in form with an internal ditch surrounded by a bank. Paradoxically, Stonehenge doesn’t qualify as a henge by this contemporary definition, as its earthen bank is surrounded by an external ditch.

Ancient societies can be classified by the “three-age system”, which depends on the prevalence of materials used to make tools. The three ages are:
– The Stone Age
– The Bronze Age
– The Iron Age
The actual dates defined by each age depend on the society, as the timing of the transition from the use of one material to another varied around the globe.

19. River through Florence : ARNO
The Arno is the principal river in the Tuscany region of Italy, passing through the cities of Florence and Pisa. Famously the Arno flooded in 1966, the worst flood in the region for centuries. There were numerous deaths and extensive destruction of priceless art treasures, particularly in Florence.

21. About 90 mg. of vitamin C a day, e.g. : RDA
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII and are a set of recommendations for the standard daily allowances of specific nutrients. RDAs were effectively absorbed into a broader set of dietary guidelines in 1997 called Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs). RDIs are used to determine the Daily Values (DV) of foods that are printed on nutrition fact labels on most food that we purchase.

The essential nutrient referred to as vitamin C is also called L-ascorbic acid or ascorbate. A lack of vitamin C causes the disease scurvy.

22. Boston Bruins legend, to his teammates : ESPO
Phil “Espo” Esposito is a former professional hockey player who played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers.

23. Simpson judge Lance : ITO
Judge Lance Ito came in for a lot of criticism for his handling of the O.J. Simpson murder trial. The lead prosecutor in that trial was Marcia Clark, you might recall. I read the book that’s Clark wrote about the trial called “Without a Doubt”, and she pointed out one trait of Judge Ito that I think is quite telling. Ito would almost always refer to the prosecutor as “Marcia”, while addressing the men on both sides of the case as “Mister”.

24. *Many party games : ICEBREAKERS (giving “ice age”)
Ice ages are periods in the Earth’s history when there are extensive ice sheets present in the northern and southern hemispheres. One might argue that we are still in an ice age that began 2.6 million years ago, as evidenced by the presence of ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica.

28. Cause of aberrant weather : EL NINO
When the surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean rises or falls more that half a degree centigrade, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. It was given this Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

30. ___ Joe’s (supermarket chain) : TRADER
Trader Joe’s is a grocery store chain based in Monrovia, California that was founded in 1979 by Joe Coulombe. Trader Joe’s is very popular where I live, even though it stocks less than 10% of the items found in a typical grocery store. 80% of the items on the shelves are sold under a Trader Joe’s brand name, and are obviously chosen well. One of the more successful items is Charles Shaw wine, known as “Two Buck Chuck” here in California as it sold for many years at a price of $1.99.

31. Good area for snorkeling : REEF
Our word “snorkel” comes from German navy slang “Schnorchel” meaning “nose, snout”. The German slang was applied to an airshaft used for submarines, due to its resemblance to a nose, in that air passed through it and it made a “snoring” sound. “Schnorchel” comes from “Schnarchen”, the German for “snore”.

36. C.I.A. predecessor : OSS
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

37. *Railroad engine, in old lingo : IRON HORSE (giving “Iron Age”)
The term “iron horse” starting appearing in Victorian times, describing those new-fangled steam-driven trains and trams that left horse-drawn vehicles in their dust. The term was especially popular in North America where it described steam locomotives.

40. Letters before an alias : AKA
Also known as (aka)

44. Top draft status : ONE-A
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System(SS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

48. Minnesota range known for its mining of metal : MESABI
The Mesabi Range has the largest deposit of iron ore in the country, and is located in Minnesota. Robert Allen Zimmerman was raised in the area (whom we know him better as Bob Dylan) and he wrote a song called “North Country Blues” that tells of the decline of the mining industry in the Mesabi Range.

50. Historical records : ANNALS
“Annal” is a rarely used word, the singular of the more common “annals”. An annal would be the recorded events of one year, with annals being the chronological record of events in successive years. The term “annal” comes from the Latin “annus” meaning “year”.

52. *Seattle tourist attraction : SPACE NEEDLE (giving “Space Age”)
The famed Seattle landmark called the Space Needle was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. It stands at a height of 605 feet, and was once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River.

56. Month, in Madrid : MES
Madrid is the largest city in Spain and the capital. Madrid is located very close to the geographical center of the country. It is the third-largest city in the European Union (after London and Paris). People from Madrid called themselves Madrileños.

57. Very, in Versailles : TRES
Versailles is a city located just 10 miles from the center of Paris. It is famous of course as home to the magnificent Palace of Versailles. The palace started out as a hunting lodge built in the village of Versailles in 1624, built for Louis XIII. Louis XIII extended the lodge into a full-blown château, but it was Louis XIV who expanded it into one of the largest palaces on the planet. Louis XIV moved the royal court from Paris to Versailles starting in 1678.

58. Prefix with center or genetics : EPI-
The “epicenter” is that point on the surface of the earth which is directly above the focus of an earthquake.

DNA contains nucleotide base sequences called genes, that are blueprints for used in the manufacture of proteins needed by the body. Our DNA is also “decorated” with epigenetic markers that modify the activity level of genes, and can even turn genes off. These epigenetic markers respond to environmental conditions, so that organisms with the same DNA can exhibit differences in behavior and appearance, as a result of differing environments. This explains which identical twins develop differences in appearance over time.

59. ___ Mundo (what Cristóbal Colón explored) : NUEVO
In Spanish, Cristóbal Colón (Christopher Columbus) explored the Nuevo Mundo (New World).

62. *Medal for bravery, maybe : BRONZE STAR (giving “Bronze Age”)
The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to members of the Army and Air Force for acts of valour. When introduced by President Roosevelt in 1944, its use was limited to US forces. President Kennedy expanded the use of the Bronze Medal to include friendly forces fight alongside the US military.

64. 60-Down mascot : MULE
(60D. West Point inst. : USMA)
The US Military Academy (USMA) houses two Army Mules that serve as mascots. The tradition of using mules as mascots started in 1899 when it was decided that the USMA needed something to counter the Navy’s mascot, a goat. It should be noted that even though the Army Mules live at West Point, they are mascots for the US Army, and not the US Military Academy.

65. YouTube offering : VIDEO
YouTube is a video-sharing website, launched in 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Yep, $1.65 billion, less than two years after it was founded …

66. Dillon or Damon : MATT
Matt Dillon is a Hollywood actor who came to prominence as a teen idol in the eighties. Dillon’s most lauded performance might be the supporting role he played in the 2004 film “Crash”, as LAPD officer John Ryan. Matt’s brother is Kevin Dillon, who plays Johnny “Drama” Chase on HBO’s “Entourage”.

Matt Damon is an actor and screenwriter from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Damon’s big break came with the 1997 movie “Good Will Hunting” in which he starred. He co-wrote the screenplay with his childhood friend Ben Affleck.

67. British submachine gun : STEN
The STEN gun is an iconic armament that was used by the British military. The name STEN is an acronym. The S and the T comes from the name of the gun’s designers, Shepherd and Turpin. The EN comes from the Enfield brand name, which in turn comes from the Enfield location where the guns were manufactured for the Royal Small Arms Factory, an enterprise owned by the British government.

68. “Nothing runs like a ___” (ad slogan) : DEERE
John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”.

Down
2. Dub : ENTITLE
Kneel, and the Queen might “dub thee a knight” if you’re lucky. “Dub” is a specific term derived from Old English that was used to mean “make a knight”. As the knight was also given a knightly name at the same time, “dub” has come to mean “give someone a name”.

3. “Let’s Make a Deal” choice : DOOR ONE
The game show “Let’s Make a Deal” first aired way back in 1963. For many years the show was hosted by Monty Hall. There’s a version airing right now that is hosted by Wayne Brady.

5. Prickly ___ : ASH
The Prickly Ash species of plant is more commonly referred to as Devil’s Walkingstick. It really is a prickly plant, viciously so.

6. Dear, as une amie : CHERE
“Cher” is the French for “dear”. The spelling is “chère” when used with a feminine noun.

7. Genre of the old Stax record label : R AND B
Stax Records was founded in 1957 as Satellite Records. The biggest star to record with Stax was the great Otis Redding.

8. Poet ___ Lee Masters : EDGAR
Edgar Lee Masters was a poet and biographer from Kansas. His best known collection of poems is “Spoon River Anthology”, which was first published in 1915. He also wrote biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain and Walt Whitman.

9. Fifth word of “The Star-Spangled Banner” : SEE
“O say can you see by the dawn’s early light” us the opening line of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key.

The lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” were written first as a poem by Francis Scott Key, inspired by the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry that he witnessed during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called “The Anacreontic Song”, with the Anacreontic Society being a men’s club in London.

10. Denali’s home : ALASKA
Denali means “the high one” in the native Athabaskan language, and is now the name used for Mount McKinley. Denali’s summit stands at 20,237 feet, making it the highest mountain peak in North America. I was surprised to learn that there is a Denali State Park, as well as the Denali National Park. The two are located adjacent to each other (which makes sense!). The State Park is undeveloped for all practical purposes, with just a few campgrounds and trailheads.

11. Ship sinker : TORPEDO
The naval weapon called a torpedo is named for the group of electric rays of the genus “Torpedo”. The name of the fish comes from the verb “torpere”, Latin for “to be stiffened, paralyzed”, which is what happens to someone who steps on an electric ray.

18. The Auld Sod : ERIN
“Auld Sod” (meaning simply “old sod”) is a familiar term for Ireland, especially when referring to the country as one’s homeland from abroad. ‘Tis true …

25. Fill with a Crayola, say : COLOR IN
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”.

33. Part of E.S.L.: Abbr. : ENG
English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

35. ___ Canals : SOO
In the summer of 2010 I spent a very interesting afternoon watching ships make their way through the Soo Locks and Soo Canals between Lake Superior and the lower Great lakes. The name “Soo” comes from the US and Canadian cities on either side of the locks, both called Sault Ste. Marie.

38. Hayseeds : RUBES
A “rube” is person lacking sophistication, often described as “a country bumpkin”. The term derives from the masculine name “Reuben”, which was considered back in the early 1800s to be a typical name used in rural areas.

40. Mornings, for short : AMS
61. Evenings, for short : PMS
The 12-hour clock has been around a long time, and was even used in sundial format in Ancient Egypt. Our use of AM and PM dates back to Roman times, with AM standing for Ante Meridiem (before noon) and PM standing for Post Meridiem (after noon). However, the Romans originally used the AM concept a little differently, by counting backwards from noon. So, 2AM to the Romans would be two hours before noon, or 10AM as we would call it today.

49. Sure winner in blackjack : ACE-TEN
The game of “twenty-one” was first referred to in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing “Don Quixote”. He called the game “ventiuna” (Spanish for “twenty-one”). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn’t all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker “Blackjack”.

51. Hawaiian goose : NENE
The bird called a nene is a native of Hawaii, and is also known as the Hawaiian goose. The name “nene” is imitative of its call. When Captain Cook landed on the islands in 1778, there were 25,000 nene living there. By 1950, the number was reduced by hunting to just 30 birds. Conservation efforts in recent years have been somewhat successful.

53. Like the musical intro to “The Twilight Zone” : EERIE
The iconic television series called “The Twilight Zone” first aired in 1959 and then ran for 156 episodes before being pulled in 1964. “The Twilight Zone” was revived for four years in the late eighties, and was also spun-off into a movie by Steven Spielberg in 1983.

54. Lyric poem : EPODE
An epode is a lyric poem made up of couplets in which the first line is long, and the second line much shorter. The form was invented by the Greek poet Archilochus, and was most famously used by the Roman poet Horace.

60. West Point inst. : USMA
West Point is a military reservation in New York State, located north of New York City. West Point was first occupied by the Continental Army way back in 1778, making it the longest, continually-occupied military post in the country. Cadet training has taken place at the garrison since 1794, although Congress funding for a US Military Academy (USMA) didn’t start until 1802. The first female cadets were admitted to West Point in 1976, and today about 15% of all new cadets are women.

62. Underwear initials : BVD
The men’s underwear known as BVDs are made by the Bradley, Voorhees & Day. The company was started in 1876 to make bustles for women, and is named for its founders.

63. Orange “Sesame Street” Muppet : ZOE
The muppet called Zoe is a young orange monster that appears on “Sesame Street”. Zoe is best friends with Elmo. She is a great lover of ballet and always appears wearing a tutu.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Surrender : CEDE
5. Farmland units : ACRES
10. Working hard : AT IT
14. Like most adages, for short : ANON
15. Lamp cover : SHADE
16. Apple’s apple, e.g. : LOGO
17. *English rock group? : STONEHENGE (giving “Stone Age”)
19. River through Florence : ARNO
20. One adding staff : HIRER
21. About 90 mg. of vitamin C a day, e.g. : RDA
22. Boston Bruins legend, to his teammates : ESPO
23. Simpson judge Lance : ITO
24. *Many party games : ICEBREAKERS (giving “ice age”)
28. Cause of aberrant weather : EL NINO
30. ___ Joe’s (supermarket chain) : TRADER
31. Good area for snorkeling : REEF
32. Reduce : LESSEN
36. C.I.A. predecessor : OSS
37. *Railroad engine, in old lingo : IRON HORSE (giving “Iron Age”)
40. Letters before an alias : AKA
43. Encourage : URGE ON
44. Top draft status : ONE-A
48. Minnesota range known for its mining of metal : MESABI
50. Historical records : ANNALS
52. *Seattle tourist attraction : SPACE NEEDLE (giving “Space Age”)
56. Month, in Madrid : MES
57. Very, in Versailles : TRES
58. Prefix with center or genetics : EPI-
59. ___ Mundo (what Cristóbal Colón explored) : NUEVO
61. Mope : POUT
62. *Medal for bravery, maybe : BRONZE STAR (giving “Bronze Age”)
64. 60-Down mascot : MULE
65. YouTube offering : VIDEO
66. Dillon or Damon : MATT
67. British submachine gun : STEN
68. “Nothing runs like a ___” (ad slogan) : DEERE
69. A very long time … or a hint to the starts of the answers to the five starred clues : AGES

Down
1. One checking you out : CASHIER
2. Dub : ENTITLE
3. “Let’s Make a Deal” choice : DOOR ONE
4. Feminine suffix : -ENNE
5. Prickly ___ : ASH
6. Dear, as une amie : CHERE
7. Genre of the old Stax record label : R AND B
8. Poet ___ Lee Masters : EDGAR
9. Fifth word of “The Star-Spangled Banner” : SEE
10. Denali’s home : ALASKA
11. Ship sinker : TORPEDO
12. Pays no attention to : IGNORES
13. “___ bad!” : TOO
18. The Auld Sod : ERIN
22. Is worthy of : EARNS
25. Fill with a Crayola, say : COLOR IN
26. Like some truths and flames : ETERNAL
27. Makers of some H.S. homecoming floats : SRS
29. “What ___ told you …?” : IF I
33. Part of E.S.L.: Abbr. : ENG
34. Car, affectionately : SHE
35. ___ Canals : SOO
38. Hayseeds : RUBES
39. Very long time : EON
40. Mornings, for short : AMS
41. Excluded : KEPT OUT
42. Generally speaking : AS A RULE
45. Written introduction? : NAMETAG
46. Take to a higher level : ELEVATE
47. Categorizes : ASSORTS
49. Sure winner in blackjack : ACE-TEN
51. Hawaiian goose : NENE
53. Like the musical intro to “The Twilight Zone” : EERIE
54. Lyric poem : EPODE
55. Establishment with booths : DINER
60. West Point inst. : USMA
61. Evenings, for short : PMS
62. Underwear initials : BVD
63. Orange “Sesame Street” Muppet : ZOE

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2 thoughts on “0929-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Sep 15, Tuesday”

  1. 9:36, no errors. I like that I was able to get the theme about half way through solving, and could use it to help solve the rest of the puzzle.

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