0206-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Feb 16, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Steinberg
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 47m 17s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 3 … NE’ER (need), GASOL (Gasel), ROSANNE (Desanne!!!)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Make look old, in a way : ACID WASH
One might acid wash jeans, for example, to make them look older.

9. Whiz at multiplication? : RABBIT
To “breed like rabbits” is to have too many children too quickly, according to the idiom.

15. Nail : DO TO A TEE
The expression “to a T” can also be written as “to a tee”, and has been around at least since 1693.

17. Subject of the 2015 film “Sicario” : DRUG WARS
“Sicario” is a 2015 movie, a crime thriller starring Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin. Blunt stars as an idealistic FBI agent who is part of US government task force charged with bringing down a Mexican drug cartel. The word “sicario” is Spanish for “hitman”.

22. Text qualifier : IMO
In my opinion (IMO)

23. “Success is counted sweetest / By those who ___ succeed”: Emily Dickinson : NE’ER

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of Victory

As he defeated – dying –
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!

On a roadtrip around the country a few years ago, my wife and I had a very disappointing stop in Amherst, Massachusetts intending to visit the old home of Emily Dickinson. We hadn’t done our homework and failed to note that the home was only open for tours on certain days of the week, and not the day we were there (so be warned!). Emily Dickinson wrote nearly 1800 poems in her lifetime, with less than a dozen published before she died in 1886. Emily’s younger sister discovered the enormous collection, and it was published in batches over the coming decades.

25. Duran Duran frontman Simon : LE BON
Simon Le Bon is the lead singer with the English band Duran Duran. Le Bon is a passionate sailor and garnered a lot of attention when his yacht lost its keel in the 1985 Fastnet race. Before Le Bon and his crew could be rescued, they spent 40 minutes trapped underwater inside the hull. The incident didn’t deter Le Bon from sailing though, and not long after he came third in the 1985-1986 Whitbread Round the World Race.

28. Five-time N.B.A. All-Star Pau ___ : GASOL
Pau Gasol is a Spanish basketball player who now plays for the Chicago Bulls. Pau’s younger brother is Marc, who plays for the Memphis Grizzlies.

31. Clipper features : SAILS
A clipper was a sailing ship, commonly crossing the seas in the 19th century. Clippers were built for speed, so were narrow and had less room for carrying freight than many vessels used in trade. They were developed largely due to the demand for speedy delivery of fresh tea from China to Europe. The name comes from the term “to clip” meaning to move swiftly (as in “at a clip”). Perhaps the most famous clipper ship is the Cutty Sark built in 1869, the last clipper to be built as a merchant vessel. The Cutty Sark owes her fame to the fact that she is on display as a museum ship in a dry dock in Greenwich in London.

39. W.W. I battle site at which the tank was introduced : SOMME
The Somme is a river in the north of France. The name “Somme” comes from a Celtic word meaning “tranquility”. Paradoxically, the Somme is remembered as the site of a devastating WWI battle. The river separated British and French forces from the German army from July to November 1916. By the end of the battle, over one million soldiers had been wounded or killed.

46. Deicing formula : NACL
Sodium chloride (NaCl, common salt) is an ionic compound, a crystal lattice made up of large chloride (Cl) ions in a cubic structure, with smaller sodium (Na) ions in between the chlorides.

48. Big name in headphones : DRE
Beats by Dre is a brand of audio products made by Beats Electronics, a company that was co-founded by rapper Dr. Dre. Apple bought Beats for $3 billion in 2014, the largest acquisition by far in the company’s history.

49. Pretentious query : MOI?
“Moi” is the French word for “me”.

52. 2004 film with the tagline “One man saw it coming” : I, ROBOT
“I, Robot” is an interesting 2004 science fiction film starring Will Smith that is loosely based on the excellent collection of short stories of the same name by Isaac Asimov.

58. Piano : SOFTLY
The term “piano” on a musical score is direction to play “softly”.

59. Locale of the ancient kingdom of Navarre : PYRENEES
Navarre is an autonomous community in northern Spain that shares a border with France. The capital of Navarre is Pamplona, the city famous for the “running of the bulls”.

Down
2. Lens cover : CORNEA
The cornea is the transparent part of the eye in the front, covering the iris and the pupil. Even though the cornea is not part of the lens it acts as a lens, and in fact does most of the work focusing light coming in through the eye. The cornea is in effect a fixed-focus lens passing on light to the variable-focus lens that is inside the eye.

3. Its icon contains a pair of quavers : ITUNES
iTunes is a very, very successful software application from Apple. It’s basically a media player that works on platforms like the iPad, iPhone and iPod. Of course it connects seamlessly to the iTunes store, where you can spend all kinds of money.

What are known as eighth notes in the US and Canada, are called quavers in other English-speaking countries around the world.

5. About 60% of a tot’s body, to a tot : WAWA
A tot drinks wawa (water).

6. Even a smidgen : AT ALL
Our word “smidgen”, meaning a small amount, might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or “a small insignificant person”.

8. Drones and such : HES
Drone bees and ants are fertile males of the species, whose sole role in life seems to be to mate with a queen.

9. ___ Square, center of Tel Aviv : RABIN
Rabin Square in the center of Tel Aviv was known as Kings of Israel Square prior to 1995. The change in name was made in honor of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in that year in the very same square.

11. Cousin of FYI : BTW
By the way (BTW)

12. Transept setting : BASILICA
In its modern usage, the term “basilica” applies to a Roman Catholic church that has been given special ceremonial rights by the Pope.

A transept is a transverse section that crosses the main body of a building. Transepts are important features in many Gothic Christian churches, which often have a cross-shaped floorplan.

21. “The Bachelor” high point : ROSE CEREMONY
“The Bachelor” is a US reality television show that first aired in 2002 on ABC. I’ve avoided this one like the plague …

24. Cash in the music business : ROSANNE
Rosanne Cash is the eldest daughter of Johnny Cash, and is a successful singer in her own right.

33. Redolent ring : LEI
“Lei” is the Hawaiian word for “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a “lei” is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

Something that is redolent is aromatic, emits a fragrance. Redolent is an Old French word.

36. Swiss treaty city : LOCARNO
Locarno is a town in the southern, Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. Locarno is a resort town at the foot of the Alps, on the shore of Lake Maggiore.

37. Dyes with wax : BATIKS
Genuine batik cloth is produced by applying wax to the parts of the cloth that are not to be dyed. After the cloth has been dyed, it is dried and then dipped in solvent that dissolves the wax.

41. Big name in computer security : MCAFEE
McAfee is a security software company now known as Intel Security Group. Purchased by Intel in 2011, the company was founded by John McAfee in 1987. John McAfee might be described as a “bit of a character”. He lived in Belize for several years, before being forced out of the country. The word is that McAfee is planning on running for US president in 2016.

42. Kindergarten brand : ELMER’S
Elsie the Cow is the mascot of the Borden Company. Elsie first appeared at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, introduced to symbolize the perfect dairy product. Elsie was also given a husband named Elmer the Bull. Elmer eventually moved over to the chemical division of Borden where he gave his name to Elmer’s Glue.

45. Shell occupant : ROWER
A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell. Crew members who row the boat can be referred to as “oars”.

48. Filmdom’s Chucky, for one : DOLL
Chucky is the nickname of Charles Lee Ray, the main character in the “Chucky” (or “Child’s Play”) series of horror movies. There’s no way that I will watch any of those films, no way at all …

50. Man, but not woman : ISLE
The Isle of Man is a large island located in the middle of the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. I used to spend a lot of time there in my youth, and a very interesting place it is indeed. The Isle of Man is classed as a British Crown Dependency and isn’t part of the United Kingdom at all. It is self-governing and has its own parliament called the Tynwald. The Tynwald was created in AD 979 and is arguably the oldest continuously-running parliament in the world. The inhabitants of the island speak English, although they do have their own language as well called Manx, which is very similar to Irish Gaeilge and Scottish Gaelic. And then there are those Manx cats, the ones without any tails. I’ve seen lots of them, and can attest that they are indeed found all over the island.

53. Counter letters : BLT
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

55. Mao colleague ___ Biao : LIN
Lin Biao was a military leader in the Chinese Communist Party who distinguished himself in the Chinese Civil War that led to the founding of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People’s Republic of China (mainland China).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Make look old, in a way : ACID WASH
9. Whiz at multiplication? : RABBIT
15. Nail : DO TO A TEE
16. Nail, e.g. : ATTACH
17. Subject of the 2015 film “Sicario” : DRUG WARS
18. Relative of Rex : BOWSER
19. Stopover point : INN
20. So-called “Commander of the Faithful” : ALI
21. Net support : RIM
22. Text qualifier : IMO
23. “Success is counted sweetest / By those who ___ succeed”: Emily Dickinson : NE’ER
25. Duran Duran frontman Simon : LE BON
27. Fast-talking : GLIB
28. Five-time N.B.A. All-Star Pau ___ : GASOL
30. Top class: Abbr. : SRS
31. Clipper features : SAILS
32. It may be held at arm’s length : SELFIE STICK
35. Ubiquitous label : MADE IN CHINA
36. Couple of star-crossed lovers? : LONGING EYES
37. Name of eight counties in the central and eastern U.S. : BOONE
38. What some pockets are filled with : AIR
39. W.W. I battle site at which the tank was introduced : SOMME
43. Spots to hide? : ACNE
44. Fix : ALTER
46. Deicing formula : NACL
47. Pitch : TAR
48. Big name in headphones : DRE
49. Pretentious query : MOI
51. Battery device? : RAM
52. 2004 film with the tagline “One man saw it coming” : I, ROBOT
54. Friendly query : HOW’S LIFE?
56. Rises : KNOLLS
57. “Apparently I snore so loudly that it scares everybody in the car I’m driving,” e.g. : ONE-LINER
58. Piano : SOFTLY
59. Locale of the ancient kingdom of Navarre : PYRENEES

Down
1. Summer job? : ADDING
2. Lens cover : CORNEA
3. Its icon contains a pair of quavers : ITUNES
4. Follow closely : DOG
5. About 60% of a tot’s body, to a tot : WAWA
6. Even a smidgen : AT ALL
7. Pilot’s opposite : SERIES FINALE
8. Drones and such : HES
9. ___ Square, center of Tel Aviv : RABIN
10. Smidgen : ATOM
11. Cousin of FYI : BTW
12. Transept setting : BASILICA
13. Low-fat dessert : ICE MILK
14. Pounds : THROBS
21. “The Bachelor” high point : ROSE CEREMONY
24. Cash in the music business : ROSANNE
26. “You want to fight?!” : BRING IT!
27. Prepares to pass, perhaps : GAINS ON
29. Natural projection : LEDGE
31. Places to wallow : STIES
33. Redolent ring : LEI
34. Unlikely to make advances : SHY
35. Clear auto option : MOONROOF
36. Swiss treaty city : LOCARNO
37. Dyes with wax : BATIKS
40. Kind of biology : MARINE
41. Big name in computer security : MCAFEE
42. Kindergarten brand : ELMERS
44. Like craft fairs : ARTSY
45. Shell occupant : ROWER
48. Filmdom’s Chucky, for one : DOLL
50. Man, but not woman : ISLE
53. Counter letters : BLT
54. Small vault : HOP
55. Mao colleague ___ Biao : LIN

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5 thoughts on “0206-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Feb 16, Saturday”

  1. 26:00, no errors. A rough one, with a fair bit of misdirection and a number of references to things I have only a nodding acquaintance with (if that), like SICARIO and GASOL and LEBON and LOCARNO and a ROSE CEREMONY and DRE (in connection with headphones). So, lots of educated guesses …

  2. 40:07, no errors. On my heels the entire time. A lot of vague and deliberately misleading clues, but persistence paid off. I really enjoy these challenges. They seem to give me an opportunity to go into the dusty corners of this old brain and find long hidden trivia; and stretch my powers of word association.

    Had "Johnnie" Cash for a long time, instead of ROSANNE. Took a while to wrap my brain around ADDING as a Summer job, until it dawned on my that addition finds sums. A lot of answers were just vague recollections, such as BATIKS (never tried it, just read about it a long time ago) and MCAFEE anti-virus software. Never watched the Bachelor, but I've seen commercials, and always seemed to be a rose involved.

  3. ~50 mins (paused my cell phone timer in the middle, so my time estimate is imprecise), but only 2 errors (better than Bill's 3!!) so I don't feel bad at all.

    This one was a beast to even *finish* let alone do so without any errors.

    Once again, the difficulty of this puzzle was needlessly bolstered with mean-spirited, cynical editing and too-clever-by-half clues. I also take issue with 39 A as well: the first battle where tanks appeared was Cambrai, not The Somme.

    Well, I finished it, right? I'll try to take some positives out of it, at the end of a tough week.

  4. 39a is correct. The British deployed tanks on Sept 15, 1916 during the long and costly battle of the Somme. The battle of Cambrai did not start until Nov 20, 1917.

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