0223-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Feb 16, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Elizabeth C. Gorski
THEME: Layer Cakes … we have three LAYER CAKES in today’s grid, shown by the circled letters, i.e. three layered groups of answers with each layer comprising a word that often precedes “cake”.

1A. It’s often said with a smile : CHEESE(CAKE)
14A. Medium for Michelangelo : MARBLE (CAKE)

34A. Tiniest leftover : CRUMB (CAKE)
42A. One of two in a Big Mac : PATTY(-CAKE)
45A. Makeshift ghost costume : SHEET (CAKE)

70A. Stick : punishment :: ___ : reward : CARROT (CAKE)
73A. Freeloader : SPONGE (CAKE)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 08s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. It’s often said with a smile : CHEESE
Photographers often instruct us to say “cheese”, to elicit a smile-like expression. Even Japanese photographers use the word “cheese” for the same effect. Bulgarians use the word “zele” meaning “cabbage”. The Chinese say “eggplant”, the Danish “orange”, the Iranians “apple” and the most Latin Americans say “whiskey”.

7. Madrid-to-Lisbon dir. : WSW
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.

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. Lisbon is the westernmost capital city in Europe, and indeed is the westernmost large city on the continent. It is also the oldest city in Western Europe and was founded hundreds of years before London, Paris and Rome.

10. Black & Decker competitor : SKIL
Skil Power Tools sold their first “Skilsaw” back in 1924, for $160. Despite almost a century of inflation, a Skilsaw can be purchased today for a fraction of that original price.

Black & Decker is a manufacturer of power tools that was founded in Baltimore in 1910 by S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker. The company’s first product was the first portable electric drill, the basic design of which we still use today.

14. Medium for Michelangelo : MARBLE
The celebrated Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo was born Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni in a village near Arezzo in the present-day province of Tuscany. Michelangelo achieved renown during his own lifetime. He was the first Western artist to see his biography published during his own lifetime.

15. Characters on a wanted poster : AKA
Also known as (aka)

16. Bone parallel to the radius : ULNA
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

20. “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” blonde : LORELEI
The 1925 novel “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” was written by screenwriter and author Anita Loos. “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” was originally published as a series of short stories in “Harper’s Bazaar”. The heroine of the story was Lorelei Lee, a “flapper” who was less interested in marriage than she was in collecting expensive gifts from her many gentleman admirers.

24. Volley : SALVO
A salvo is a simultaneous discharge of guns. Ironically, “salvo” comes from the Latin “salve” meaning “be in good health”. Salvo was originally the name given to the firing of guns in the air as a sign of respect or greeting for an important visitor. Good health!

41. 2012 election name : MITT
Mitt Romney was born Willard Mitt Romney in 1947 in Detroit, Michigan. Romney’s parents named him after J. Willard Marriott (the hotel magnate) who was the father’s best friend, and after Milton “Mitt” Romney who was the father’s cousin and quarterback for the Chicago Bears.

42. One of two in a Big Mac : PATTY
The iconic Big Mac sandwich was introduced nationally by McDonald’s in 1967. It was the creation of a Pittsburgh franchisee who offered it on the menu as a response to the very similar “Big Boy” sandwich offered by the competing Big Boy restaurant chain.

43. ___ land : LA-LA
“La-la land” is a euphemism for a state of unconsciousness.

46. One for Caesar? : UNUM
“Unum” is Latin for “one”.

49. Bowling : TENPINS
Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

56. One terminus of a Japanese bullet train : OSAKA
The Japanese city of Osaka used to be called Naniwa, with the name changing to Osaka sometime before 1500. “Osaka” can be translated either as “large hill” or “large slope”. Osaka is sometimes referred to as “the Chicago of Japan” as it is a major center of commerce and industry.

Although rail transportation started out its life in Europe, it really came into its own across the vast United States. However, it was the Japanese who developed rail transportation into the exceptional service it is today. A bullet train is any high-speed train that resembles the locomotives developed by the Japanese in the fifties and sixties.

60. Evil “Get Smart” group : KAOS
The satirical comedy series called “Get Smart” was the creation of Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, and starred Don Adams as Agent 86, Maxwell Smart. Agent 86 worked for the spy agency CONTROL, alongside the lovely Agent 99. CONTROL’s sworn enemy was the criminal organization called KAOS. Smart’s shoe phone was a hilarious prop used in almost every episode. When Smart dialed the number 117, the shoe converted into a gun. Cool stuff …

62. Office PC setup : LAN
Local Area Network (LAN)

63. Epoch when modern mammals arose : EOCENE
The Eocene Epoch lasted from 56 to 34 million years ago, and is noted for the emergence of the first mammals on the planet.

71. Simon ___ : SAYS
“Simon Says” is a kids’ game. The idea is for the players of the game to obey the “controller” who gives instructions. But the players should only obey when the controller uses the words, “Simon says …”. The game has very old roots, with a Latin version that uses the words “Cicero dicit fac hoc” (Cicero says do this).

72. BlackBerry, e.g., briefly : PDA
The PDA known as a BlackBerry was given its name because the keyboard on the original device resembled the surface on the fruit of a blackberry.

Down
1. Military authority: Abbr. : CMD
Command (Cmd.)

2. Beijing’s river basin : HAI
The Hai River that flows through Beijing is known in Chinese as the “Hai He”, literally “Sea River”.

The city of Beijing was given its name in 1403, with “Beijing” chosen as it translates as “Northern Capital”. The name distinguished it from the city of Nanjing, which name translates as “Southern Capital”.

5. Skiing event with gates : SLALOM
“Slalom” is an anglicized version of the Norwegian word “slalam” that translates as “skiing race”. There is a longer version of the traditional slalom that is called giant slalom.

6. Dulles airport designer Saarinen : EERO
Eero Saarinen was a Finnish American architect, renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK. The list of his lesser-known, but still impressive, works includes several buildings erected on academic campuses. For example, the Chapel and Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus, the Emma Hartman Noyes House at Vassar College, the Law School building at the University of Chicago, and Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink.

10. Direction opposite nord : SUD
In France, “nord” (north) is opposite to “sud” (south).

11. Problem with lifting? : KLEPTOMANIA
Kleptomania is the compulsion to steal, whether or not one is need of what is stolen. The term derives from the Greek “kleptein” meaning “to steal”, with the suffix “-mania”.

22. Sam-___ (Seuss character) : I-AM
Dr. Seuss’s famous children’s book “Green Eggs and Ham” was first published in 1960. “Green Eggs and Ham” now ranks twelfth in the list of top selling children’s books. By the way, “Harry Potter” books hold the top four slots in that list. The text of “Green Eggs and Ham” has a lot of “I am” going on. It starts with:

I am Sam
I am Sam
Sam I am

and ends with:

I do so like
green eggs and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you,
Sam-I-am

25. Golfer Palmer, informally : ARNIE
Arnold Palmer is one of the greats of the world of golf. Palmer is very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers are usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”. Off the course, Palmer was an avid pilot, but is now retired from flying. He resides in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for much of the year and the local airport is named in his honor: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.

26. Another nickname for the Ocean State : LITTLE RHODY
Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union, but is the second most densely populated. (after New Jersey). Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State, largely because about 14% of the state’s area is made up of ocean bays and inlets. Exactly how Rhode Island got its name is a little unclear. What is known is that way back in 1524, long before the Pilgrims came to New England, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano likened an island in the area to the Island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. There were subsequent references to “Rhode Island” in English publications, before the colonists arrived.

27. Big name in luxury bags : VUITTON
Louis Vuitton founded his fashion house in Paris in 1854. His first product was a trunk, a piece of traveling luggage.

31. H.M.O. doctor designations : PCPS
Primary care physician (PCP)

35. Southwest Indian : UTE
The Ute is a group of Native American tribes that now resides in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups.

36. Virgil described its eruption in the “Aeneid” : MT ETNA
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Mt Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-guage railway, and two ski resorts.

“The Aeneid” is Virgil’s epic poem that tells of the journey of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy to become the ancestor of all Romans. “The Aeneid” begins with the words “Arma virumque cano …”, which translates as “I sing of arms and of a man …”

37. Tiny storage unit : BYTE
In the world of computers, a “bit” is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of bits (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix mega- stands for 10 to the power of 6, so a megabyte (meg) is 1,000,000 bytes. And the prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, so a gigabyte (gig) is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Well, those are the SI definitions of megabyte and kilobyte. The purists still use 2 to the power of 20 for a megabyte (i.e. 1,048,576), and 2 to the power of 30 for a gigabyte.

40. “The Metamorphosis” protagonist : SAMSA
“The Metamorphosis” is a famous novella by Franz Kafka, regarded by many as one of the greatest pieces of short fiction written in the 20th century. The story tells of the metamorphosis of Gregor Samsa into a gigantic insect. His sister, Grete Samsa, becomes his caregiver.

50. “Can’t do it” : NO SOAP
“No soap” is a slang term meaning “not possible”. The term probably originated with the slang usage of “soap” to mean “money”, so “no soap” meant, “I have no money (to lend you)”. Over time, the usage of “no soap” generalized to “it’s not going to happen, so don’t ask”.

52. Carne ___ (Mexican restaurant order) : ASADA
“Carne Asada” translates from Spanish as “roasted meat”.

53. Black flower in a Dumas title : TULIP
“The Black Tulip” is an 1850 novel by the French author Alexandre Dumas. Part of the novel’s storyline is a competition in the Netherlands among the nation’s best gardeners to grow a black tulip.

55. In ___ paratus (ready for anything) : OMNIA
“In omnia paratus” is Latin for “ready for anything”. It serves as the motto of the 18th Infantry Regiment of the US Army.

59. Muscles above the abs : PECS
“Pecs” is the familiar term for the chest muscle, more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

61. Part of DOS: Abbr. : SYS
MS-DOS (short for Microsoft Disk Operating System) was the main operating system used by IBM-compatible PCs in the eighties and for much of the nineties.

64. ___-Magnon man : CRO
Ayla is a little Cro-Magnon girl who is orphaned and then adopted by a Neanderthal tribe, as told in “The Clan of the Cave Bear”, the first of a series of novels written by Jean Auel that set in prehistoric times. I haven’t read any of Auel’s books myself, but they are on my reading to-do list as my wife recommends them. They sound interesting …

66. Nutmeg-topped drink : NOG
It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

67. Summer on the Seine : ETE
In French, the season of “été” (summer) starts in “juin” (June).

The Seine is the river that flows through Paris. The Seine empties into the English Channel to the north, at the port city of Le Havre.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. It’s often said with a smile : CHEESE
7. Madrid-to-Lisbon dir. : WSW
10. Black & Decker competitor : SKIL
14. Medium for Michelangelo : MARBLE
15. Characters on a wanted poster : AKA
16. Bone parallel to the radius : ULNA
17. Remove from practice : DISBAR
18. Loved, as archaeological work? : DUG
19. Forbid : DENY
20. “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” blonde : LORELEI
23. Word with cream or cutie : PIE
24. Volley : SALVO
28. Inquires about : ASKS AFTER
30. Come out on top : TRIUMPH
32. Call on a dairy farm : MOO
33. Non-pro? : ANTI
34. Tiniest leftover : CRUMB
38. Ones watching their plates? : UMPS
41. 2012 election name : MITT
42. One of two in a Big Mac : PATTY
43. ___ land : LA-LA
44. Bombard : PELT
45. Makeshift ghost costume : SHEET
46. One for Caesar? : UNUM
47. Countless centuries : EON
49. Bowling : TENPINS
51. Pink shade : CARNATION
56. One terminus of a Japanese bullet train : OSAKA
57. Former ember : ASH
58. Aids for some urban commuters : BUS MAPS
60. Evil “Get Smart” group : KAOS
62. Office PC setup : LAN
63. Epoch when modern mammals arose : EOCENE
68. It’s a small whirl after all : EDDY
69. Sundial three : III
70. Stick : punishment :: ___ : reward : CARROT
71. Simon ___ : SAYS
72. BlackBerry, e.g., briefly : PDA
73. Freeloader : SPONGE

Down
1. Military authority: Abbr. : CMD
2. Beijing’s river basin : HAI
3. Nurse settings, briefly : ERS
4. Flow back : EBB
5. Skiing event with gates : SLALOM
6. Dulles airport designer Saarinen : EERO
7. Goes in up to one’s knees, say : WADES
8. Hide in the shadows : SKULK
9. Fights, as war : WAGES
10. Direction opposite nord : SUD
11. Problem with lifting? : KLEPTOMANIA
12. Belly button type : INNIE
13. With 51-Down, description of the shaded answers? : LAYER
21. Enthusiastic : RAH-RAH
22. Sam-___ (Seuss character) : I-AM
24. Passport certification : STAMP
25. Golfer Palmer, informally : ARNIE
26. Another nickname for the Ocean State : LITTLE RHODY
27. Big name in luxury bags : VUITTON
29. Bunglings : FOUL-UPS
31. H.M.O. doctor designations : PCPS
35. Southwest Indian : UTE
36. Virgil described its eruption in the “Aeneid” : MT ETNA
37. Tiny storage unit : BYTE
39. Drop heavily : PLUNK
40. “The Metamorphosis” protagonist : SAMSA
48. Slap handcuffs on : NAB
50. “Can’t do it” : NO SOAP
51. See 13-Down : CAKES
52. Carne ___ (Mexican restaurant order) : ASADA
53. Black flower in a Dumas title : TULIP
54. “Let me repeat …” : I SAID …
55. In ___ paratus (ready for anything) : OMNIA
59. Muscles above the abs : PECS
61. Part of DOS: Abbr. : SYS
64. ___-Magnon man : CRO
65. Suffix with north : -ERN
66. Nutmeg-topped drink : NOG
67. Summer on the Seine : ETE

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4 thoughts on “0223-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Feb 16, Tuesday”

  1. 12:06, no errors. To me, this one seemed a little harder than a typical Tuesday puzzle, but it could be that I'm just tired from working rather late yesterday (removing and cutting up broken branches from trees in my ex's yard).

    To expand on yesterday's comments (posted rather late in the day) concerning NETFUL, which I found in various on-line dictionaries: This morning, I dragged out my fifty-year old copy of Webster's Third and found the word in it. My (relatively) new copy of Webster's New World College Dictionary doesn't have a specific entry for it, but it does have an entry for the suffix "-ful", explaining how it is used to create adjectives and nouns and making it clear that "netful", like "armful", "bagful", "cupful", "discful", …, and so on, are all valid English words. So, again, I would say that our crossword providers are well within their rights to use the word.

    Of course, not all valid English constructions ring true in one's ear: in particular, I frequently see, in crossword puzzles, certain adverbs and adjectives in technically correct comparative forms that I am quite sure I would never actually use, either in speech or in writing. For example, I have seen the word "oftener" in puzzles, whereas I would almost certainly use "more often". (Which form sounds better depends on the adverb or adjective in question: I would say "smarter", but "more intelligent"; "bigger", but "more spacious". Perhaps there are specific rules for this, but I'm not completely sure what they would be. When Lewis Carroll put the word "curioser" in Alice's mouth, I suspect that he did it for humorous effect. Today, perhaps, he would have to use something like "bodaciouser" to achieve the same effect … 🙂

    @Bill … I read "Clan of the Cave Bear" and thought it was excellent, but the next one in the series, not so much …

  2. 9:20, no errors. Didn't get slowed down by any erasures today.

    I agree with Dave assessment of the "Clan of the Cave Bear" series. I read four books in the series, after my wife finished them. The first book was excellent. The second, and subsequent books, continued the good storyline, but degenerated into soft pornographic 'bodice-rippers'. Appealing to some, but not my cup of tea, either.

  3. No errors. One erasure. Originally had CARNELIAN for CARNATION. Oh well, at least it was somewhere in the ballpark.

    Thanks so much, Dave, for your research into yesterday's NETFUL. Your methodology is very admirable and you certainly proved your point.

  4. 11:26 no errors.

    Didn't like NO SOAP for 50 Down. Who has said that in the last, what, 80 years? Corny old sayings like that don't "cut the mustard"…. 😉

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