0226-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Feb 16, Friday

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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
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Paula Gamache
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: Did not finish (after 60 mins)
ANSWERS I MISSED: Too many to mention, all in the center of the grid

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. 1991 Scorsese/De Niro collaboration : CAPE FEAR
The 1991 film called “Cape Fear” is a Martin Scorsese remake of a 1962 movie of the same name. The 1991 version stars Robert De Niro and Nick Nolte, and there are also cameo appearances by Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck who starred in the 1962 original.

15. Fragile fabric made from certain plant fibers : ALOE LACE
Aloe lace is quite unique. It is made from thread collected from the aloe leaves of agave plants growing on the Croatian island of Hvar in the Adriatic Sea.

17. Amscrayed : VAMOOSED
“To vamoose” is to “to leave”, and comes from the Spanish “vamos” meaning “let’s go”.

Pig Latin is in effect a game. One takes the first consonant or consonant cluster of an English word and moves it to the end of the word, and then adds the letters “ay”. So the Pig Latin for the word “nix” is “ix-n-ay” … ixnay, and for “scram” is “am-scr-ay”

19. Edward VII or VIII, in India: Abbr. : EMP
Emperor (emp.)

20. ___ nullius (no one’s property) : RES
The Latin term “res nullius” translates as “nobody’s property”. In law, it describes something that has no owner, and is often used when ownership has subsequently been claimed. An example is a wild animal, which is nobody’s property. However, if a hunter kills that animal, the body becomes the hunter’s property.

21. Pioneering labor leader Samuel : GOMPERS
Samuel Gompers was an influential labor union leader who founded and served as president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL).

24. Nullius ___ (of no legal force) : JURIS
The Latin term “nullius juris” was used in old English law to mean “of no legal force”.

25. Like NSFW links : ADULT
The abbreviation “NSFW” stands for “not safe/suitable for work”. It’s Internet slang used to describe online content that is best not viewed at work.

26. Kennedy and Bush 41, but no other U.S. presidents : GEMINIS
“Gemini” is the Latin word for “twins”.

29. “Mum’s the word” : BETWEEN US
The phrase “mum’s the word” has been around since the early 1700s. “Mum” has been used to mean “silent” for centuries, the idea being that “mum” is the sound made when the lips are tightly sealed.

31. Little, in Lockerbie : SMA
The Scots dialect word sma’ means “small”. The word famously appears in the Robert Burns poem, “To a Mouse”. The pertinent lines read:

A daimen icker in a thrave
’S a sma’ request;
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
An’ never miss’t!

which “translates” to:

An occasional ear of corn out of twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I’ll be blest with the rest of the corn,
And never miss the ear you took!

32. Cross collections, e.g. : PEN SETS
A. T. Cross is a company that claims to be the oldest manufacturer of fine pens. Cross was founded in 1846 in Providence, Rhode Island by one Richard Cross. Richard passed the company on to his son Alonzo T. Cross, who gave it the current name.

33. Roughneck’s workplace : RIG
A roughneck is a crew member on an oil rig.

35. It’s in the far northwest : ESCAPE KEY
The Escape (ESC) key on a PC keyboard is usually located in the top-left corner. The Escape key was introduced in 1960 by IBM programmer Bob Berner, originally to switch from one type of code to another. Nowadays, the Escape key is mainly used as “stop, quit, cancel, abort”.

37. Product of Greek culture? : FETA
Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

40. Splitting words : TATAS
An Englishman might say “tata” or “cheerio” instead of “goodbye”. Well, supposedly so!

41. “Mr. ___” (Styx hit) : ROBOTO
“Mr Roboto” is a song on the 1983 album “Kilroy Was Here” by the Chicago band Styx. The first lines of the song are:

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto,
Mata ah-oo hima de
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto,
Himitsu wo shiri tai

which translates as:

Thank you very much, Mr. Robot
Until the day (we) meet again
Thank you very much, Mr. Robot
I want to know your secret

45. Winner’s prize on “RuPaul’s Drag U” : BOA
RuPaul is a famous drag queen who has developed a diverse career beyond performing on stage. He works as an actor, model, author and a recording artist. Famously, RuPaul doesn’t mind whether one addresses him as “he” or as “she” …

“You can call me he. You can call me she. You can call me Regis and Kathie Lee; I don’t care! Just as long as you call me.”

He currently hosts his own reality TV show called “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, which is billed as a search for “America’s next drag superstar”.

48. “Grey’s Anatomy” actress with five straight Emmy nominations : SANDRA OH
The Canadian actress Sandra Oh is very much associated these days with the role of Dr. Cristina Yang on “Grey’s Anatomy”. However, my favorite of Oh’s performances are in the movies “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “Sideways”.

Down
1. They might spook spelunkers : CAVE BATS
Spelunking is an American term for caving, although the word has Latin roots (“spelunca” is the Latin for “cave”). The term originated in the 1940s in New England when it was adopted by a group of men who explored caves in the area.

2. Where the San Antonio Spurs used to play : ALAMODOME
The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas opened for business in 1993. The Alamodome was home to the San Antonio Spurs basketball from 1993 to 2002. Today the facility hosts many sporting events, including football and ice hockey games. It is also used as a convention center.

The Spurs are the professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. The team was founded as the Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1967.

4. Job ad inits. : EEO
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

12. Makeshift coaster, maybe : TILE
A “coaster” is a small mat or plate that goes under a glass or cup. Back in the late 1800s, the original coaster was a small drink stand that sat on a table. As the drink stand “coasted” around from guest-to-guest, it earned the name “coaster”.

14. Gen ___ (millennials) : YERS
“Generation Y” (Gen-Y) is alternative name for the Millennial Generation. Millennials were born after the “Gen-Xers”, from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

21. Yellow-flowered plant producing a sticky resin : GUMWEED
Gumweed is the common name for the genus of plants Grindelia. One of the most common species is curlycup gumweed, a coastal scrub brush found in the western US.

23. Chicago Fire’s sports org. : MLS
Major League Soccer (MLS)

The Chicago Fire is the name of the city’s professional soccer team. The Fire were founded in 1997, and are named for the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

24. Noisy recreation vehicles : JET SKIS
“Jet Ski” is actually a brand name, owned by Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan. The generic term, not often used, is “personal watercraft”. Most people use the term “Jet Ski” generically, although “WaveRunner” is also popular. But that’s another brand name, owned by Yamaha.

32. His wife and sons were Depression-era criminals : PA BARKER
“Pa Barker” was George Barker, husband of the more famous “Ma Barker”. Ma Barker was the mother of several children who became notorious criminals in the early thirties. Collectively they ran what was known as the Barker Gang and plied their trade in the US Midwest.

36. 2/2, to Toscanini : CUT TIME
The musical term “alla breve”, meaning “at the breve (i.e. the note)”, denotes a meter equivalent to 2/2. This implies quite a fast tempo, often found in military marches. 2/2 is also known as “cut time”.

37. Key-ring ornament : FOB
A fob is attached to another object to make access to it easier. And so a key fob is a chain attached to a key so that it can be retrieved easily. There are also watch fobs, and the pocket in a vest in which a watch can be placed is called a fob. In fact, the original use of the term “fob” was for a small pocket in which one could carry valuables.

41. ___ Barber, five-time Pro Bowler from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers : RONDE
Ronde Barber is a retired footballer who played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 16 years. Barber holds the record for the most consecutive starts by a defensive back (215). Ronde’s twin brother Tiki Barber also played for the NFL.

42. Like some legal decrees : NISI
A decree nisi is a court order, one that only comes into force when certain specified conditions are met. At the point where the conditions are met, it becomes a decree absolute and is binding. “Nisi” is Latin for “unless”.

44. Pomeranian, e.g. : SLAV
The Slavic peoples are in the majority in communities covering over half of Europe. This large ethnic group is traditionally broken down into three smaller groups:

– the West Slavic (including Czechs and Poles)
– the East Slavic (including Russians and Ukrainians)
– the South Slavic (including Bulgarians and Serbs)

Pomerania is a region on the south shore of the Baltic Sea in Europe, divided between Germany and Poland.

48. Trifle : SOU
A sou is an old French coin. We use the term “sou” to mean “an almost worthless amount”.

49. Org. in the gulf war’s Operation Granby : RAF
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF’s “finest hour” has to be the Battle of Britain when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words:

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

During the 1991 Gulf War, the British military operations were given the codename Operation Granby. Granby encompassed operations involving the Royal Air Force, the British Army and the Royal Navy.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. 1991 Scorsese/De Niro collaboration : CAPE FEAR
9. Something exciting to play with : NEW TOY
15. Fragile fabric made from certain plant fibers : ALOE LACE
16. Tough leather : OXHIDE
17. Amscrayed : VAMOOSED
18. One getting lots of take-out orders? : TAILOR
19. Edward VII or VIII, in India: Abbr. : EMP
20. ___ nullius (no one’s property) : RES
21. Pioneering labor leader Samuel : GOMPERS
22. Was suddenly successful : BOOMED
24. Nullius ___ (of no legal force) : JURIS
25. Like NSFW links : ADULT
26. Kennedy and Bush 41, but no other U.S. presidents : GEMINIS
28. Chuck : TOSS
29. “Mum’s the word” : BETWEEN US
31. Little, in Lockerbie : SMA
32. Cross collections, e.g. : PEN SETS
33. Roughneck’s workplace : RIG
35. It’s in the far northwest : ESCAPE KEY
37. Product of Greek culture? : FETA
38. Moderately dry : SUBARID
39. True : LOYAL
40. Splitting words : TATAS
41. “Mr. ___” (Styx hit) : ROBOTO
42. Blow hole? : NOSTRIL
45. Winner’s prize on “RuPaul’s Drag U” : BOA
46. Gap fillers, of sorts : UHS
47. “My response was …,” informally : I’M LIKE …
48. “Grey’s Anatomy” actress with five straight Emmy nominations : SANDRA OH
50. Hands on deck : SEAMEN
51. Hand wringer’s cry : OH DEAR ME!
52. Flip : INVERT
53. Bridge tolls, e.g. : USER FEES

Down
1. They might spook spelunkers : CAVE BATS
2. Where the San Antonio Spurs used to play : ALAMODOME
3. Blowhard : POMPOUS ASS
4. Job ad inits. : EEO
5. Broccoli bit : FLORET
6. Like pain after treatment, often : EASED
7. Nails : ACES
8. Stop sign? : RED
9. Unwanted attention : NOTORIETY
10. Checks out : EXAMINES
11. Adds with a whisk : WHIPS IN
12. Makeshift coaster, maybe : TILE
13. Reason to hold your nose : ODOR
14. Gen ___ (millennials) : YERS
21. Yellow-flowered plant producing a sticky resin : GUMWEED
23. Chicago Fire’s sports org. : MLS
24. Noisy recreation vehicles : JET SKIS
26. Blanket : GENERAL
27. “Uh-huh, I believe THAT” : SURE YOU ARE
29. “Hold your horses” : BE PATIENT
30. Forgo a night out : SIT AT HOME
32. His wife and sons were Depression-era criminals : PA BARKER
34. Couple taken out on a rainy day : GALOSHES
36. 2/2, to Toscanini : CUT TIME
37. Key-ring ornament : FOB
39. Demolition cleanup machine : LOADER
41. ___ Barber, five-time Pro Bowler from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers : RONDE
42. Like some legal decrees : NISI
43. Owl’s hoot, to some : OMEN
44. Pomeranian, e.g. : SLAV
45. Cross words : BAHS
48. Trifle : SOU
49. Org. in the gulf war’s Operation Granby : RAF

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7 thoughts on “0226-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Feb 16, Friday”

  1. 27:30, no errors. Rather difficult, I thought, with a lot of unfamiliar references, like ALOE LACE and ALAMO DOME, "Cross" as a maker of PEN SETS, Mr. ROBOTO, SANDRA OH, CUT TIME, RONDE Barber, and "Operation Granby". Luckily, there were enough things I knew to allow me to infer the rest with a high degree of probability. A "gimme" for me was GUMWEED, a plant that grows along trails in Colorado and that I must not touch, as it gives me a form of "contact dermatitis": in twenty minutes, I can end up with an open sore from just brushing against the stuff. (Luckily, the goo is water-soluble so, if I have water with me, I can wash it off.)

  2. 34:09, no errors. Got the northwest and southeast corners first, struggled with the middle. Several mis-starts. 32A was initially INK SETS, 29D was ONE MOMENT, 30D was EAT AT HOME. Several areas where the wrong answers would work, for a while. Great Friday level of difficulty.

    I am fortunate enough to have kids who grew up listening to Styx. Yesterdays earworm was Volare, today it will be 'Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto'.

  3. If "no errors" means one has solved it without use of any help from outside the puzzle and clues themselves, such as googling, spell checks, letter corrections, etc., then OK, I completed it without error, and I enjoyed the Friday challenge.

  4. No help. If you look something up, ask a kibbitzer, use a reference book, whatever, then you're deluding yourself to say you finished it. I always admit defeat and DNF before I go looking for the answers or any outside aid.

    This one, fuhgeddaboudit. 28:57 and I was only about 65% done, and completely stuck. When I see that even Bill couldn't finish it inside of a full hour, that's when I know I shouldn't feel bad… I consider it pretty much unsolvable.

  5. @Tom … Ditto for me. I only use outside references after I have declared myself done, recorded my time, and done an error count, and then only when there is something about an answer that I don't understand or that I am curious about. (Now, this blog frequently suffices for the purpose.) Others may, of course, set whatever rules they like for themselves.

    @Bruce … My interest having been piqued by your comment about Styx, I found their "Mr. Roboto" video on YouTube and watched it. I feel that I was fortunate enough NOT to have kids who grew up listening to them … :-). I do remember my daughter listening to someone called Cyndi Lauper, which I delighted in mispronouncing as "Sydney Lopper", thus convincing her that I was even more hopelessly out of touch with the music scene than I actually was. Both of my kids were musically talented, as were my parents and my siblings; somehow, those particular genes took one look at the rest of my DNA and turned themselves off … 🙂 and :-(. Oddly enough, I do have strong emotional reactions to certain types of music (mostly classical and spiritual), to the extent that, in my dotage, I have had to stop listening to most of it.

  6. The rule I apply to myself is that I must finish the puzzle without any help whatsoever from any source outside the puzzle itself. If I haven't I must say so.

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