0204-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Feb 16, Thursday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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Solution to today’s New York Times crossword found online at the Seattle Times website
Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeff Chen
THEME: Square Root … today’s themed answers are common phrases that contain a number, but the number recorded in the answer is the SQUARE ROOT of the number in the original phrase. And, we have the letters of the word ROOT arranged in a SQUARE in the southwest corner of the grid, to help us solve the puzzle:

17A. Ace : HOLE IN ONE (from “hole in one”, as “one” is the square root of “one”)
28A. Marvel Comics group : FANTASTIC TWO (from “Fantastic Four”)
45A. Elated : ON CLOUD THREE (from “on cloud nine”)
60A. Milestone birthday : SWEET FOUR (from “sweet sixteen”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 25m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … PECOS (Picos), NETS (nits)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Loads : RAFTS
A “raft” is a large amount, coming from the Middle English “raf” meaning the same thing.

6. What a pitcher is full of? : ADS
A company or person who is pitching sales (a pitcher) might use a lot of ads (is full of ads).

9. Atlas’s disciples : HE-MEN
Charles Atlas’s real name was Angelo Siciliano, an Italian who moved to America in his teens. The story he told, and turned into a great advertising campaign, was that as a 97-pound weakling he once had sand kicked into his face by a bully. He went on a bodybuilding regime, developed his muscles, and then marketed the concept across America. He took the name Charles Atlas after he was told that his new-found body looked like that of a statue of the Greek god Atlas sitting on top of a hotel in Coney Island.

14. Yale after whom Yale was named : ELIHU
Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.

15. “___ Kingdom Come” (2005 Coldplay song) : ‘TIL
Coldplay is a rock band that was formed in London in 1996 by Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland. Chris Martin was married to the American actress Gwyneth Paltrow for twelve years.

16. Patient of a 10-Down : MYOPE
(10D. Provider of contacts, informally : EYE DOC)
A myope is someone suffering from myopia, short-sightedness. Far-sightedness or long-sightedness is known as hypermetropia or hyperopia .

23. KO : DECK
Knock out (KO)

24. B.A. of the 39-Across : BARACUS
(39A. Special Forces unit court-martialed for a crime they didn’t commit : A-TEAM)
“The A-Team” is an action television series that originally ran in the eighties. The A-Team was a group of ex-US special forces personnel who became mercenaries. Star of the show was Hollywood actor George Peppard (as “Hannibal” Smith), ably assisted by Mr. T (as “B.A.” Baracus) and Robert Vaughn (as Hunt Stockwell).

26. River mentioned in Yosemite Sam’s self-introduction : PECOS
Yosemite Sam is a cartoon character who frequently goes up against Bugs Bunny. As Sam himself would say, “I’m the fastest gun north, south, east, aaaaaaand west of the Pecos.”

The Pecos River rises north of the village of Pecos in New Mexico, and flows almost a thousand miles before entering the Rio Grande near Del Rio, Texas.

28. Marvel Comics group : FANTASTIC TWO (from “Fantastic Four”)
The Fantastic Four is a team of superheroes in Marvel Comics universe. The team is made up of Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch and the Thing.

32. Circuits : AMBITS
An ambit is an outer boundary or limit, a circumference. The term can also be used to mean the sphere or scope of influence. “Ambit” comes from the Latin “ambire” meaning “to go around”.

36. Peat source : FEN
When dead plant matter accumulates in marshy areas, it may not fully decay due to a lack of oxygen or acidic conditions. We are familiar with this in Ireland, because this decaying matter can form peat, and we have lots and lots of peat bogs. In fact, the term “peat” is related to the Old Irish “pet”, meaning “part”. The original “peat” was a cut piece (part) of turf.

37. Leaves for dinner? : SALAD
Our word “salad” comes from the Latin “salare” meaning “to salt”. The Latin “herba salata” translates as “salted vegetables”, which I guess could be a salad …

41. Padre’s hermana : TIA
In Spanish, the “hermana” (sister) of your “padre” (father) is your “tia” (aunt).

42. Scottish seaport known for its single-malt Scotch : OBAN
Oban is a seaport on the west coast of Scotland. It is home to the Oban distillery, a relatively small but famous distillery that was founded in 1794. It is actually older than the town, which grew up around the distillery.

45. Elated : ON CLOUD THREE (from “on cloud nine”)
I don’t think that anyone is really certain of the etymology of the term “on cloud nine” meaning “elated”, but I do like the following explanation. The 1896 “International Cloud-Atlas” was a long-standing reference used to define cloud shapes that was based on a classification created by amateur meteorologist Luke Howard some decades earlier. The biggest and puffiest of all cloud shapes (and most comfortable-looking to lie on) is cumulonimbus. And you guessed it, of the ten cloud shapes defined in the atlas, cumulonimbus was cloud nine …

48. Principle of cosmic balance : KARMA
Karma is religious concept with its basis in Indian faiths. Karma embraces the notion of cause and effect. Good deeds have good consequences at some later point in one’s life, future life, or afterlife and vice versa.

49. The notorious Deepwater Horizon and others : OIL RIGS
The infamous Deepwater Horizon oil rig was operated by BP from 2001 in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2013, an explosion and blowout killed 11 men, and caused the largest oil spill ever recorded in US waters.

53. What a mule may carry : KILO
A drug mule is someone employed to smuggles illegal substances across a border.

55. Unstable subatomic particles : PIONS
“Pion” is short for “pi meson”, and “kaon” is short for “K meson”. A meson is an unstable subatomic particle, made up of one quark and one antiquark.

57. Lhasa ___ : APSO
The Lhasa apso breed of dog originated in Tibet and is named after “Lhasa” (the capital city) and “apso” (a Tibetan word meaning “bearded”). The Lhasa apso has been around since 800 BC and is one of the oldest breeds in the world, one very closely related to the ancestral wolf.

58. “West Side Story” woman : ANITA
In Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story”, the female lead character is Maria and her older friend, also in the gang called the Sharks, is Anita.

Leonard Bernstein’s musical “West Side Story” is of course based on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The musical is set in New York City and features two rival gangs: the Sharks from Puerto Rico and the Jets with working-class, Caucasian roots. Tony from the Jets falls in love with Maria from the Sharks. All this parallels Romeo from the House of Montague falling for Juliet from the House of Capulet in the Italian city of Verona.

60. Milestone birthday : SWEET FOUR (from “sweet sixteen”)
Here in North America, a girl’s sixteenth birthday is celebrated with a “sweet sixteen” party.

62. Martini’s partner : ROSSI
The company that is today known as Martini & Rossi was started in the mid-1800s in Italy, by Alessandro Martini and Luigi Rossi (and a third partner who sold out years later). From day one it was focused on bottling the fortified wine known as vermouth. Nowadays, the company is also famous for its sparkling wines, and its sponsorship of Grand Prix racing teams. And yes, the famous cocktail is probably named for Mr. Martini.

63. What precedes the season? : ‘TIS
“‘Tis the season to be jolly” is a line from the traditional Yuletide carol “Deck the Halls”. The tune itself is Welsh in origin, dating back to the 16th century. However, the lyrics are American and from the 19th century. Also, Mozart used the tune as a theme for a delightful violin and piano duet.

65. Lead-in to hound, in the canine world : OTTER
The otterhound is a breed of dog from Britain that was developed in the early 1800s to hunt otters. Otter hunting has existed since the Middle Ages, but was outlawed in the UK in the 1970s as the otter population had suffered a serious decline.

Down
4. Powerful offers? : THE MAFIA
“To off” is to kill, do away with.

5. Fashion designer Anna : SUI
Anna Sui is a fashion designer from Detroit, Michigan.

6. Best man’s opening : A TOAST …
The term “best man” is Scottish in origin and has been used in English since the early 1800s when it replaced “groomsman”.

7. Surprise volleyball shot : DINK
In racquet sports like badminton, and ball sports like volleyball, a “dink” is a drop shot, a soft touch.

10. Provider of contacts, informally : EYE DOC
The concepts that underpin the technology of contact lenses date back to Leonardo Da Vinci. Although Da Vinci didn’t propose the development of the contact lens, he did write about correcting vision by submerging the eye in a bowl of water. Over a hundred years later, René Descartes made a somewhat impractical suggestion, but along the right lines, of using a glass tube filled with liquid that could be placed in contact with the eye to correct vision. The first real contact lenses were developed by Adolf Gaston Eugen Fick, a German ophthalmologist, in 1887.

13. Make out : NECK
The term “necking” applies to kissing and caressing. I like what Groucho Marx had to say on the subject: “Whoever named it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.”

18. Words ending in “o” in Esperanto : NOUNS
Esperanto is an international language specially constructed to create some level of harmony between people from different parts of the world. It was created in the late 1800s by an opthamologist from modern-day Poland. Tens of thousands, and maybe even millions of people speak Esperanto, some being taught it as a native language from birth.

27. Bulwark : CITADEL
A citadel is a fortress built to protect a town or a city. Both the words “city” and “citadel” come from the Latin word “civis” meaning “citizen”.

A bastion (also called a “bulwark”) is an angular structure that juts out from a fortified wall. Guards inside the bulwark can fire along the outside of the wall. We now use the term to describe any protection against external danger.

33. Ocean : MAIN
When one thinks of the word “main” in the context of the sea, the Spanish Main usually comes to mind. Indeed, the use of the more general term “main”, meaning the sea, originates from the more specific “Spanish Main”. “Spanish Main” originally referred to land and not water, as it was the name given to the mainland coast around the Caribbean Sea in the days of Spanish domination of the region.

38. Cabaret Voltaire iconoclasts : DADAISTS
Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement began in Zurich, Switzerland started by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire, frequently expressing disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.

Iconoclasm is the deliberate destruction of society’s icons, either religious or cultural. The term applies more to a rebellious action from within a society, as opposed to an act by external forces invading another culture. As such, the term “iconoclast” has come to have a broader meaning, describing anyone who stands up against established convention.

40. Cold war weapon? : THERAFLU
Theraflu is a cold and flu medication sold over the counter. The original formulation included pseudoephedrine, which is a used to produce the recreational drug methamphetamine. When it was confirmed that Theraflu was flying off the shelves to feed the illegal drug market, the ingredient pseudoephedrine was replaced with phenylephrine hydrochloride.

46. Father of Taoism : LAO TSE
Lao Tse (also Lao-Tzu) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

50. Touch things? : IPODS
The iPod Touch is a portable media player, personal digital assistant and gaming console with a WiFi capability. Essentially, I think it’s a stripped-down version of an iPhone.

51. “The Martian” garb : G-SUIT
A G-suit is needed when astronauts and aviators are subject to high accelerations. Such acceleration can cause blood to pool in the lower part of the body, reducing the supply to the brain and possibly leading to a blackout. A G-suit is basically a special pair of tight-fitting pants that are fitted with inflatable bladders. The bladders inflate during high accelerations, tightening around the legs and abdomen, reducing the amount of blood pooling. So, a “G-suit” is more correctly referred to as an “anti-G suit”.

“The Martian” is a very intriguing 2015 science fiction film starring Matt Damon as an astronaut who is accidentally stranded on Mars. The movie is based on a 2011 novel of the same name by Andrew Weir. One thing that I liked about the film is that the science cited is fairly realistic. In fact, NASA collaborated with the filmmakers extensively from script development to principal casting.

53. Big name in corn syrup : KARO
Karo is a brand of corn syrup, an industrially manufactured sweetener derived from corn.

54. Playing extra minutes, for short : IN OT
Overtime (OT)

59. Word before China or India : AIR
Air China is a flag carrier for the People’s Republic of China, and is based in Beijing. The airline is not to be confused with China Airlines, the flag carrier of the Republic of China (aka “Taiwan”).

Air India is the flag carrier airline of India, although it is only the third largest in the nation in terms of passengers carried.

61. Ford of fashion : TOM
Tom Ford is a fashion designer, as well as a successful film director. Ford’s designs are credited with almost doubling the sales of Gucci in the mid-nineties. Ford launched his own film production company in 2005, and made his directorial debut with the 2009 movie “A Single Man” starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Loads : RAFTS
6. What a pitcher is full of? : ADS
9. Atlas’s disciples : HE-MEN
14. Yale after whom Yale was named : ELIHU
15. “___ Kingdom Come” (2005 Coldplay song) : ‘TIL
16. Patient of a 10-Down : MYOPE
17. Ace : HOLE IN ONE (from “hole in one”, as “one” is the square root of “one”)
19. Battlefield yell : MEDIC!
20. Cousin of “um” : AHEM
21. Like some barrels used for aging whiskey : OAKEN
23. KO : DECK
24. B.A. of the 39-Across : BARACUS
26. River mentioned in Yosemite Sam’s self-introduction : PECOS
28. Marvel Comics group : FANTASTIC TWO (from “Fantastic Four”)
32. Circuits : AMBITS
35. Essence : GIST
36. Peat source : FEN
37. Leaves for dinner? : SALAD
38. Cubs’ home : DEN
39. Special Forces unit court-martialed for a crime they didn’t commit : A-TEAM
41. Padre’s hermana : TIA
42. Scottish seaport known for its single-malt Scotch : OBAN
44. Accrete : ADHERE
45. Elated : ON CLOUD THREE (from “on cloud nine”)
48. Principle of cosmic balance : KARMA
49. The notorious Deepwater Horizon and others : OIL RIGS
53. What a mule may carry : KILO
55. Unstable subatomic particles : PIONS
57. Lhasa ___ : APSO
58. “West Side Story” woman : ANITA
60. Milestone birthday : SWEET FOUR (from “sweet sixteen”)
62. Martini’s partner : ROSSI
63. What precedes the season? : ‘TIS
64. Nostalgia evoker : OLDIE
65. Lead-in to hound, in the canine world : OTTER
66. Wanting for nothing : SET
67. Imperatives : MUSTS

Down
1. It’s a sobering process : REHAB
2. “Hi, Ho!” : ALOHA!
3. Secretarial sort : FILER
4. Powerful offers? : THE MAFIA
5. Fashion designer Anna : SUI
6. Best man’s opening : A TOAST …
7. Surprise volleyball shot : DINK
8. Lies and lies some more? : SLEEPS IN
9. “That’s odd …” : HMM …
10. Provider of contacts, informally : EYE DOC
11. Reasonable charge : MODEST FEE
12. Having immense implications : EPIC
13. Make out : NECK
18. Words ending in “o” in Esperanto : NOUNS
22. Snags : NETS
25. Small flap, maybe : CAT DOOR
27. Bulwark : CITADEL
29. Chemical ___ : AGENT
30. Sport : WEAR
31. “I’m buying!” : ON ME!
32. Regarding : AS TO
33. Ocean : MAIN
34. Bar in Hollywood : BLACKLIST
38. Cabaret Voltaire iconoclasts : DADAISTS
40. Cold war weapon? : THERAFLU
43. Baby ___ : BUMP
44. Pop up : ARISE
46. Father of Taoism : LAO TSE
47. Level : HONEST
50. Touch things? : IPODS
51. “The Martian” garb : G-SUIT
52. Results of chafing : SORES
53. Big name in corn syrup : KARO
54. Playing extra minutes, for short : IN OT
56. Boo-boo : OWIE
59. Word before China or India : AIR
61. Ford of fashion : TOM

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8 thoughts on “0204-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Feb 16, Thursday”

  1. 18:16, no errors. A fair amount of clever indirection in this one. I'd never heard of Anna SUI or the Scottish seaport OBAN, but crossing entries came to the rescue. And I always thought the RAFT in "a raft of …" was somehow related to the Huckleberry Finn thing …

  2. 32 minutes, no errors.

    @ Dave Kennison: I still can't figure out the word puzzle you posed last Friday. You wrote:
    "I was musing about yesterday's puzzle, in which writing down "HE" in two or three places and then failing to see it as "He" held me up for a bit, and was reminded (for reasons which will become obvious if you work out the answer) of a word puzzle I saw once: "The names of the US states whose capitals are Honolulu, Des Moines, Columbus, and Salt Lake City have something in common that none of the other 46 have. What is it?"
    Help, anyone? (Sorry for the off-topic!)

  3. 23:44, no errors. I can't believe I managed to pull that quote from Yosemite Sam out of the dusty recesses of my brain. Worked my way down to the bottom of the puzzle, with very little success. Tried to fit SIXTY FOUR into 60A, in place of SWEET FOUR. Finally got KARO, IN OT and ROSSI for the square ROOT in the bottom left. Then SWEET FOUR made sense, and it was off the races from there.

  4. @Billy … The states in question are of course Hawaii, Iowa, Ohio, and Utah, and if you write the names that way, it's very hard to come up with the right answer, but if you only use capital letters (HAWAII, IOWA, OHIO, and UTAH), it becomes at least a little easier: all the letters used have bilateral symmetry. (That's why the HE/He thing reminded me of it.)

    I got this puzzle orally, with no helpful hints, and I got the right answer (after a day or so ) only because I happened to have jotted down the names in upper case. The guy who gave me the puzzle was a graphic designer who spent a lot of time choosing just the right fonts to use for his clients' projects, which probably made it seem easy to him. (Either that, or he had a sadistic streak a mile wide … 🙂

  5. 32:37, and somehow, with no errors (actually better than Bill this time, in terms of accuracy). This was a joyless puzzle to solve, however, because I always had the feeling I was being misled and tricked at every turn. Once I figured out the *needless* square root gag, I got a bit of help, but the mean-spirited clue editing persisted. Clues necessitating understanding of foreign language, however simple those languages, are just beyond the pale. 2 DOWN, with the comma, and not capitalizing the I in the hinted Hawaii, is completely misleading. Taking note of the setter's name, to avoid their puzzles in the future. I'd rather a FAIR challenge that this kind of deceit and trickery. I prefer ending a successful puzzle solve with a feeling of accomplishment, rather than of resentment.

  6. @Anonymous … Not to nitpick (he said, preparing to pick nits … :-), but I think 2D was meant to suggest "Hi, Don Ho!" (that is to say, "Aloha, Don Ho!"), referring to the well-known Hawaiian singer, in which case the comma and the "i" of "Hi" are exactly as they should be. Misleading, of course, but that's what Thursdays are all about …

  7. We didn't finish. Missed AMBITS, FEN and MODESTFEE and HEMEN. We had LOWESTBID instead of MODESTFEE, and we just couldn't recover from that errer. We thought it was a hard but fair puzzle. Clues that misdirect are part of the game.

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