0304-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Mar 16, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Evans Clinchy
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 39m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

4. Record six-time N.B.A. M.V.P. : ABDUL-JABBAR
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s name at birth was Ferdinand Lewis “Lew” Alcindor. Alcindor changed his name when he converted to Islam.

15. Northeast sch. in the Liberty League : RPI
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the “application of science to the common purposes of life”, an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the school’s sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.

The Liberty League is an athletic conference. All the member schools of the Liberty League are located in New York State.

21. End of a Hemingway title : RISES
“The Sun Also Rises” was Ernest Hemingway’s first major novel, published in 1926. Hemingway originally titled the work “Fiesta”, and indeed it was originally published under this title outside of America. At the recommendation of the publisher, Scribner’s, the title was changed to “The Sun Also Rises”, taken from Ecclesiastes 1:5 “The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.”

22. Fleck on the banjo : BELA
Béla Fleck is a banjo player who performed with the bands New Grass Revival and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. Fleck was born in New York City and was given the name Béla Anton Leoš Fleck. He was named after Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, Austrian composer Anton Webern, and Czech composer Leoš Janáček. That’s quite a name to live up to, but by all accounts Fleck is one of the most technically proficient banjo players the world has ever known.

23. Atlanta train system : MARTA
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA)

25. Drink often served chilled : 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.

27. Bert’s sister in children’s literature : NAN
The “Bobbsey Twins” series of children’s novels was first written by Edward Stratemeyer in 1904. Stratemeyer used the pseudonym Laura Lee Hope, as did subsequent authors who wrote 72 books in the series between 1904 and 1979. The title characters were two sets of fraternal twins, one called Bert and Nan (who were 12) and the other called Flossie and Freddie (who were 6).

28. Dandy headpieces : PERIWIGS
Our word “wig” is short for “periwig”, the original term appearing in English in the 17th century. The first periwigs, also called perukes, were introduced in France. The style was brought to England when Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660.

33. Excessively harsh : DRACONIAN
Constitutional law was brought to Athens and Ancient Greece by a legislator called Draco. The legal code that Draco developed was relatively harsh, which is why we use the term “draconian” to describe unforgiving rules.

35. Philadelphia train system : SEPTA
Public transportation in and around Philadelphia is managed by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

39. Trio in Greek myth : FATES
The three Fates of Greek mythology were white-robed deities, and were also called the Moirai. The three Fates were Clotho the spinner, Lachesis the allotter and Atropos the unturnable.

40. New Deal org. : FHA
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was set up in 1934 to insure loans made lenders for the building and purchase of homes. The FHA was created in response to the bank failures of the Great Depression, with the intent of creating a more favorable environment for lending.

41. Pope John Paul II’s first name : KAROL
Pope John Paul II led the Catholic Church from 1978 until 2005, a period of over 26 years. That made him the second longest serving Pope in history, after Pius IX who reigned for over 31 years in the mid 1800s. Paradoxically, John Paul II’s predecessor was John Paul I who only ruled for 33 days. John Paul II was a native of Poland, and was the first non-Italian Pope to lead the church since 1523. His birth name was Karol Wojtyla.

43. Aida in “Aida,” e.g. : TITLE ROLE
“Aida” is a famous opera by Giuseppe Verdi, actually based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette, who also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first performed in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then of course complications arise!

45. Go preceder : SET
Ready, set, solve … I mean, go!

48. Country music’s ___ Brown Band : ZAC
The Zac Brown Band is a country music group from Atlanta, Georgia.

51. Digs : PAD
Back in the 16th century a “pad” was a bundle of straw to lie on, and came to mean a “sleeping place” in the early 1700s. The term was revitalized in the hippie era.

“Digs” is short for “diggings” meaning “lodgings”, but where “diggings” came from, no one seems to know.

53. Early customer of Boeing : USAIR
From 1953, what today is US Airways was called Allegheny Airlines. In the seventies, customers became very dissatisfied with the company’s service levels as it struggled to manage a rapid expansion in its number of flights. These problems earned the airline the nickname “Agony Air”. Allegheny tried to leave the “agony” behind in 1979 and changed its name to USAir. In 1997 the name was changed again, to US Airways. US Airways merged with American Airlines in 2013, and the “US Airways” brand name will gradually be replaced with “American Airlines”.

The Boeing Company was founded in Seattle in 1916 by aviation pioneer William Boeing, with the enterprise’s first name being “Pacific Aero Products Co.” Boeing had worked in the timber industry and set up his aircraft company in the Pacific Northwest to take advantage of the local supply of spruce wood.

54. Old Testament kingdom : EDOM
Edom is an ancient Iron Age kingdom located in the south of modern-day Jordan. The area is known for its red-colored sandstone, which gave the kingdom its name. The Hebrew word “Edom” translates as “red”.

56. Like the cities Yazd and Shiraz : IRANI
The Iranian city of Yazd is in the middle of the country. It is situated in a very arid desert region, receiving only 2-3 inches of rain per annum.

The Iranian city of Shiraz has long been associated with wine, but there is no proven link between the city and the wine/grape we know today as “Shiraz” (also called “Syrah”). Having said that, some clay jars were found just outside of the city of Shiraz that contained wine; wine that was 7,000 years old!

59. Transport method usually used in the winter : T-BAR
A T-bar is a type of ski lift in which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, a similar device, but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

64. Author Chinua Achebe, by birth : IBO
Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe was born in the Ibo region in the south of the country. His first novel was “Things Fall Apart”, a book that has the distinction of being the most widely read in the whole of African literature.

66. “Kate Plus 8” airer : TLC
The cable channel known today as TLC started out life as The Learning Channel. Programming on TLC was originally focused on educational content, but today there is an emphasis on programming imported from the UK.

“Jon & Kate Plus 8” is a reality show that was later renamed to “Kate Plus 8”. The show chronicles the lives of Jon and Kate Gosselin and their 8 kids, one set of twins and one set of sextuplets. The show’s change of name was necessitated by Jon and Kate getting divorced in 2009.

67. Harmless slitherer : GARTER SNAKE
The garter snake is found right across the continent, It is in fact the most widely distributed genus of reptile in North America, being found anywhere from the Southeast Alaska to Central America.

Down
2. Here today, gone tomorrow : EPHEMERAL
“Ephemera” was originally a medical term, used to describe a fever that only lasted a day. The use of the term was expanded in the 17th century to include insects that were “short-lived”. By end of the 18th century “ephemera” were any things of transitory existence.

4. Latin grammar case: Abbr. : ACC
Accusative (acc.)

5. Country with the King Hamad Highway : BAHRAIN
   (In the print version of this puzzle, the clue for 5-Down is “Country with this flag”: BAHRAIN)
Bahrain is an island nation located off the coast of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf. Bahrain is connected to Saudi Arabia by a series of causeways and bridges constructed in the eighties.

6. Trio abroad : DREI
The German for “one, two, three” is “eins, zwei, drei”.

7. Shoshone relatives : UTES
The Ute are 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.

8. Player of Cleopatra in “Two Nights With Cleopatra” : LOREN
Sophia Loren certainly has earned her exalted position in the world of movies. In 1962 Loren won an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the Italian film “Two Women”, the first actress to win an Academy Award for a non-English speaking performance. She received a second nomination for Best Actress for her role in “Marriage Italian-Style”, another Italian-language movie, released in 1964.

“Two Nights with Cleopatra” is an Italian film (“Due notti con Cleopatra” in Italian) released in 1954 starring Sophia Loren in the title role. Cleopatra is married to Mark Antony, but enjoys spending the night with one of Antony’s soldiers when he is away. Cleopatra has a double, who gives her the freedom to wander when she feels the urge.

9. Who had a #1 hit with “Toot Toot Tootsie (Goo’bye)” : JOLSON
The classic musical “The Jazz Singer” was released in 1927, and became the biggest box office success for the Warner Bros. to date. Famously, it was a “talkie”, and is now regarded as one of the films that signalled the impending end of the “silent era”. Star of the movie is Al Jolson, who performs six songs including “Toot, Toot, Tootsie (Goo’ Bye)” and “My Mammy”.

10. Suffix with meth- : -ANE
The “smaller” alkanes are gases and are quite combustible. Methane (CH4) is the main component of natural gas with ethane (C2H6) being the second largest component. Propane (C3H8) is also found in natural gas and is heavy enough to be readily turned into a liquid by compression, for ease of transportation and storage. Butane (C4H10) is also easily liquefied under pressure and can be used as the fuel in cigarette lighters or as the propellant in aerosol sprays. The heavier alkanes are liquids and solids at room temperature.

12. Politico with the 2007 autobiography “Promises to Keep” : BIDEN
Vice President Joe Biden was a US Senator representing the state of Delaware from 1973 until he joined the Obama administration. While he was a senator, Vice President Biden commuted to Washington from Wilmington, Delaware almost every working day. He was such an active customer and supporter of Amtrak that the Wilmington Station was renamed as the Joseph R. Biden Railroad Station in 2011. Biden has made over 7,000 trips from that station, and the Amtrak crews were known to even hold the last train for a few minutes so that he could catch it. Biden earned himself the nickname “Amtrak Joe”.

13. “The Jungle Book” wolf : AKELA
Akela is the wolf in the “Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling. He gave his name to the cubmaster in the scouting movement, now known as “Akela”.

20. Muscle used in bench-pressing : TRICEPS
The triceps brachii muscle is found at the back of the upper arm. The muscle’s name translates to “three-headed arm muscle”, fitting as it is actually made up of three bundles of muscles.

28. Some email pics : PDFS
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.

30. Master : SAHIB
“Sahib” is most recognized as a term of address used in India, where it is used in much the same way as we use “mister” in English. The term was also used to address male Europeans in the days of the British Raj. The correct female form of address is “sahiba”, but in the colonial days the address used was “memsahib”, a melding of “ma’am” and “sahib”

32. Cincinnati athlete : BEARCAT
The Bearcats are the athletic teams of the University of Cincinnati. The “Bearcat” name came from a specific football game back in 1914, against the UK Wildcats. Cincinnati’s fullback on the day was Leonard Baehr, so the crowd took up the chant:
They may be the wildcats, but we have a Baehr-cat on our side!

34. NASA part: Abbr. : NATL
The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite towards the end of 1957, a development that shocked the establishment in the US. Within months, President Eisenhower created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now DARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Space Race had begun …

38. Consumables often described with a percentage : ALES
Alcoholic proof is a measure of the alcoholic strength of a beverage. In the US, alcoholic proof is twice the alcohol by volume (ABV), and ABV is simply the volume of alcohol in a the beverage compared to its total volume, and expressed as a percentage. Therefore a liquor that is 50% ABV, is 100 proof. The concept of “proof” dates back to the days of British sailors being paid partly with rations of rum. A “proof spirit” was the most dilute spirit that would sustain combustion of gunpowder. Simply stated, if the rum that a sailor was given was so dilute that it doused burning gunpowder, then it was unacceptable to the sailor. The person providing the rum had to give “proof” that the rum would catch light, proving it was strong enough to be used as payment. It was found experimentally that rum of 57.15% ABV was the lowest concentration that could sustain a flame, so this was named as 100 degrees proof. But nowadays we round down to 50% ABV.

44. Comic who said “I open my eyes, remember who I am, what I’m like, and I just go ‘Ugh'” : LOUIS CK
“Louis C.K.” is the stage name of comedian Louis Szekely. The family name “Szekely” is Hungarian, and “CK” is an approximation of the name in English. “Louis” has a successful comedy drama show that airs on FX called “Louie”.

46. Worker on London’s Savile Row : TAILOR
Savile Row is a street in central London that is home to many prestigious men’s tailors.

48. Weightlessness : ZERO-G
The force of gravity that we all feel is referred to as “one G”. As gravity is a actually an accelerating force, acceleration is measured relative to that force of gravity. So, if we are sitting in a vehicle that accelerates at 3G, then we are experiencing a force that is three times that which we feel from the gravitational pull of the earth. Zero-G is weightlessness that is experienced when in space, outside the influence of the earth’s gravity.

49. 1943 Churchill conference site : ADANA
Adana is the fifth most populous city in Turkey. Adana was the site of a secret meeting during WWII between Turkish president İsmet İnönü and British prime minister Winston Churchill. The meeting took place in train car just a few miles outside of the city.

57. “Janie’s Got ___” (1989 Aerosmith hit) : A GUN
Aerosmith is a hard rock band from Boston that formed in 1970. Aerosmith is the best-selling American rock band of all time, and holds the record for most gold albums by any American group.

58. First in a historical trio : NINA
The ship used by Christopher Columbus that we know as the Niña was actually the nickname of a ship actually called the Santa Clara. The nickname “Niña” probably came from the name of her owner, Juan Niña of Moguer.

60. Almond ___ (candy) : ROCA
Almond Roca is a brand of chocolate-covered toffee.

63. With 68-Across, end of a Hemingway title : THE
(68A. See 63-Down : SEA)
If you’ve read Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man And The Sea” (maybe first at school, like me!) you’ll likely remember it as a quick read as it is a novella, although it might be better described as a “long short story”. It was first published in 1952, the last major work that Hemingway had published in his lifetime. That first publication was as a story in “Life Magazine”, and it was such a hit that the magazine sold 5 million copies in the first two days. “The Old Man and the Sea” won a Pulitzer in 1952 and two years later the title was cited when Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. King or queen : BED
4. Record six-time N.B.A. M.V.P. : ABDUL-JABBAR
15. Northeast sch. in the Liberty League : RPI
16. Rather caricatured : CARTOONLIKE
17. Understanding responses : OHS
18. One involved in a pyramid scheme? : CHEERLEADER
19. Broke down, say : WEPT
21. End of a Hemingway title : RISES
22. Fleck on the banjo : BELA
23. Atlanta train system : MARTA
25. Drink often served chilled : NOG
27. Bert’s sister in children’s literature : NAN
28. Dandy headpieces : PERIWIGS
31. Catch : NAB
33. Excessively harsh : DRACONIAN
35. Philadelphia train system : SEPTA
39. Trio in Greek myth : FATES
40. New Deal org. : FHA
41. Pope John Paul II’s first name : KAROL
42. Was out : SLEPT
43. Aida in “Aida,” e.g. : TITLE ROLE
45. Go preceder : SET
47. Unsightly spots : BLOTCHES
48. Country music’s ___ Brown Band : ZAC
51. Digs : PAD
53. Early customer of Boeing : USAIR
54. Old Testament kingdom : EDOM
56. Like the cities Yazd and Shiraz : IRANI
59. Transport method usually used in the winter : T-BAR
61. One who can see right through you? : RADIOLOGIST
64. Author Chinua Achebe, by birth : IBO
65. Back-to-back hits : ONE-TWO PUNCH
66. “Kate Plus 8” airer : TLC
67. Harmless slitherer : GARTER SNAKE
68. See 63-Down : SEA

Down
1. Something that’s knitted : BROW
2. Here today, gone tomorrow : EPHEMERAL
3. Quite different : DISPARATE
4. Latin grammar case: Abbr. : ACC
5. Country with the King Hamad Highway : BAHRAIN
   (In the print version of this puzzle, the clue for 5-Down is “Country with this flag”: BAHRAIN)
6. Trio abroad : DREI
7. Shoshone relatives : UTES
8. Player of Cleopatra in “Two Nights With Cleopatra” : LOREN
9. Who had a #1 hit with “Toot Toot Tootsie (Goo’bye)” : JOLSON
10. Suffix with meth- : -ANE
11. Spill everything : BLAB
12. Politico with the 2007 autobiography “Promises to Keep” : BIDEN
13. “The Jungle Book” wolf : AKELA
14. Put back on : RERAN
20. Muscle used in bench-pressing : TRICEPS
24. Simple dance : TWO-STEP
26. Things that may be blown : GASKETS
28. Some email pics : PDFS
29. Photographic memory or perfect pitch, e.g. : GIFT
30. Master : SAHIB
32. Cincinnati athlete : BEARCAT
34. NASA part: Abbr. : NATL
36. Outlaws : PROHIBITS
37. Not too awful : TOLERABLE
38. Consumables often described with a percentage : ALES
44. Comic who said “I open my eyes, remember who I am, what I’m like, and I just go ‘Ugh'” : LOUIS CK
46. Worker on London’s Savile Row : TAILOR
48. Weightlessness : ZERO-G
49. 1943 Churchill conference site : ADANA
50. Computer programmer : CODER
52. Dives : DROPS
55. Useful thing to keep on hand? : MITT
57. “Janie’s Got ___” (1989 Aerosmith hit) : A GUN
58. First in a historical trio : NINA
60. Almond ___ (candy) : ROCA
62. Be short : OWE
63. With 68-Across, end of a Hemingway title : THE

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4 thoughts on “0304-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Mar 16, Friday”

  1. In the print version, 5D is clued as "Country with this flag" (a picture of the Bahrain flag is shown in black and white)

  2. 22:30, three errors (GAS JETS instead of GASKETS, JAROD instead of KAROL, and ADES instead of ALES). At the end, I knew there was something wrong with each of these three answers, but the gray cells refused to offer up any alternatives and I got impatient … never a good choice in doing a Friday puzzle … 🙂

    Several missteps: I first wrote in TEA instead of NOG, YALTA instead of ADANA, and BARK instead of ROCA, and I started to write in BLEMISHES in place of BLOTCHES until I realized it wouldn't fit. So I used some black ink in addition to red ink today …

    I always wondered about Louie CK's name. thanks to this blog, I now know where it came from.

  3. 23:13, 5 errors 😛

    22A BEDU, 13D AKEDA, 14D RERUN; 54A ELOM, 49D ALANA.

    I met Mr. Jabbar, once, when we were both teenagers growing up in Queens, New York. He was in Power Memorial High School, and came to our apartment building to escort a girl on a movie date. He was 'only' about 6' 10" at the time, and one of my friends recognized him as Lew Alcindor, the "best high school basketball player in the country", and we should go talk to him. He was a few years older than we were, and amiably indulged my friend, and the rest of us, while waiting for his date, and even signed an autograph for my friend. Only met him that one time, but he immediately impressed me as a very nice person.

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