0409-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Apr 16, Saturday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Phillips
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 17m 21s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Steven who co-created TV’s “Sherlock” : MOFFAT
Steven Moffat is a very talented writer and producer of television shows, most notably for the BBC series “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock”. He also created a less well-known sitcom called “Coupling”, which I highly recommend.

“Sherlock” is a BBC crime drama in which Benedict Cumberbatch plays a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, with Martin Freeman playing the Dr. Watson. The show is produced in Cardiff, Wales by many of the same team involved in the reboot of the “Dr. Who” sci-fi series. Excellent television …

15. Fat fingers? : ECLAIRS
The name for the pastry known as an “éclair” is clearly French in origin. The French word for lightning is “éclair”, but no one seems to be too sure how it came to be used for the rather delicious bakery item.

18. Big name in fast food : RAY KROC
The original McDonald’s restaurant was opened in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald as a barbecue restaurant. The brothers then moved into fast food hamburgers, eventually selling out to one of their franchise agents, Ray Kroc. It was Ray Kroc who really led the company to its worldwide success.

20. School group working in harmony? : GLEE CLUB
A glee club is a choir group, usually of males, that sings short songs known as “glees”. A glee is a song scored for three or more voices that is performed unaccompanied.

23. Something to shuck : PEA
24. Something to shuck : EAR
“To shuck” is to remove the husk from (say an ear of corn) or to remove the shell from (say an oyster).

25. Kind of sauce : ALFREDO
Alfredo sauce is usually associated with the Italian dish called fettuccine Alfredo. The sauce is made from Parmesan cheese and butter, and is named for the Italian restaurant owner Alfredo Di Lelio. Di Lelio’s nephews still own and run a restaurant in Rome called “Il Vero Alfredo”. Here in the US, we often add other ingredients to the basic cheese and butter recipe. And the name “fettuccine Alfredo” is unknown in Italy today.

30. “The Paper Chase” novelist : OSBORN
“The Paper Chase” is a 1973 film that led to a very enjoyable spinoff TV series of the same name that ran in the seventies and eighties. The film was based on a 1970 novel, also called “The Paper Chase”, by John Jay Osborn, Jr. The actor John Houseman does a marvelous job playing an intimidating professor teaching first-year law students at Harvard, both in the film and in television series.

36. Sitcom on which Stephen Hawking and Buzz Aldrin have appeared : THE BIG BANG THEORY
“The Big Bang Theory” is very clever sitcom aired by CBS since 2007. “The Big Bang Theory” theme song was specially commissioned for the show, and was composed and is sung by Canadian band Barenaked Ladies. The theme song was released in 2007 as a single and is featured on a Barenaked Ladies greatest hits album.

Stephen Hawking is a theoretical physicist from Oxford, England. Hawking owes much of his fame in the world of popular science to his incredibly successful book called “A Brief History of Time”. “A Brief History of Time” has sold over 10 million copies and was on London’s “Sunday Times” bestseller list for over four years. Hawking does a wonderful job of explaining many aspects of cosmology without losing the average reader. There is only one equation in the whole book, and that equation is “E = mc2”. Hawking’s life story is recounted in the excellent 2014 film “The Theory of Everything”.

Buzz Aldrin is a true American hero, I’d say. He flew 66 combat missions in Korea, shot down two MiGs, earned his Sc. D. degree from MIT, and was one of the two men who landed on the moon for the first time. Now that man, he has lived a life worth living.

39. “The Color Purple” role : CELIE
Whoopi Goldberg played Celie Harris Johnson in Steven Spielberg’s “The Color Purple”, the 1985 screen adaptation of the novel of the same name by Alice Walker.

40. Lee making a scene : ANG
Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

41. Wilber who founded a fast-food chain : HARDEE
Hardee’s a chain of fast-food restaurants that was founded in 1960. The first restaurant was opened in Greenville, North Carolina by Wilber Hardee. Hardee’s is now owned by CKE Restaurants, which also owns the Carl’s Jr. chain.

43. “Monsters, Inc.” employees : SCARERS
The animated feature “Monsters, Inc.” was released in 2001, and was Pixar’s fourth full-length movie. It’s about cute monsters, and that’s all I know other than that the voice cast included the likes of John Goodman, Billy Crystal and Steve Buscemi.

45. Alternatives to clubs : BLTS
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

46. Old Lutheran movement : PIETISM
Pietism was a movement in the Lutheran tradition that emphasised piety and the living of a vigorous Christian Life. The movement was founded by Phillipp Jakob Spener who outlined his proposals for restoring the life of the Church in a pamphlet title “Pia desideria”.

47. Range of sizes, briefly : SML
Small, medium and large.

50. Member of comicdom’s S.H.I.E.L.D.: Abbr. : AGT
IN the Marvel Comics universe, the acronym S.H.I.E.L.D. used to stand for Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division. This was changed in 1991 to “Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate.

54. Some brewskis : TALL ONES
“Brewski” and “suds” are slang terms for “beer”.

57. “The Naked Maja” and such : EROTICA
María Cayetana de Silva was the 13th duchess of Alba. She was a favorite subject of the Spanish painter Francisco Goya. The duchess is the subject in the famous portraits known as “La maja desnuda” (The Nude Maja) and “La maja vestida” (The Clothed Maja). “Maja” translates from Spanish as “beautiful lady”.

58. IHOP option : OMELETTE
The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) was founded back in 1958. IHOP was originally intended to be called IHOE, the International House of Eggs, but that name didn’t do too well in marketing tests …

59. Whitehouse in D.C., e.g. : SENATOR
Sheldon Whitehouse was sworn in as US Senator for the state of Rhode Island in 2007.

60. It may be out for blood : RED CROSS
Back in 1859, a Swiss businessman called Henri Dunant went to meet French emperor Napoleon III, to discuss making it easier to conduct commerce in French-occupied Algeria. The Emperor was billeted at Solferino, where France and Austria were engaged in a major battle. In one day, Dunant witnessed 40,000 soldiers die in battle and countless wounded suffering on the battlefield without any organized medical care. Dunant abandoned his business agenda and instead spent a week caring for the sick and wounded. Within a few years he had founded the precursor to the Red Cross, and in 1901 he was awarded the first ever Nobel Peace Prize.

61. Hold with both arms, say : NELSON
The full nelson and half nelson are wrestling holds in which one wrestler secures an opponent by encircling the opponent’s arms under the armpits and around the neck. Some say the hold is named after Admiral Nelson, who was renowned for using encircling tactics in battle.

Down
1. Command in Excel : MERGE
Microsoft Excel is the spreadsheet program included in the Microsoft Office suite of applications. Microsoft’s first spreadsheet program was introduced back in 1982 and called “Multiplan”. Multiplan’s popularity waned due to the success of the competing product Lotus 1-2-3. Microsoft then introduced Excel, initially just for the Macintosh. When Excel was extended to Windows, Lotus was slow to respond and Microsoft took over the market.

2. Fort town in the Second Seminole War : OCALA
The city of Ocala, Florida was founded near a historic village with the same name. In the local Timucua language “Ocala” means “Big Hammock”. Back in the 1890s, Ocala was famous for its oranges, with over one third of that fruit shipped from Florida coming from the city. Also, thoroughbred horse farming in Florida started in Ocala, back in 1943. Some folks today call Ocala the “Horse Capital of the World”, but I bet that’s disputed by others …

4. Clifford Irving’s “Autobiography of Howard Hughes,” e.g. : FAKE
The investigative reporter and novelist Clifford Irving is best known for writing a fictional “autobiography” of the reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. When the hoax was uncovered, Irving was sentenced to 2½ years in prison. Irving then wrote a book called “The Hoax”, which described the planning and execution of the fraudulent scheme. This 1981 book was made into a 2006 movie also called “The Hoax”, with Richard Gere playing Irvine.

6. Unwelcome Internet activity : TROLLING
In Internet terms, a “troll” is someone who attempts to disrupt online group activities. The fishing term “troll” is used to describe such a person, as he or she throws out off-topic remarks in an attempt to “lure” others into some emotional response.

7. Six L’s : CCC
In Roman numerals, 6 x “L” (50) is “CCC” (300).

8. One who wasn’t high-class, per a 1956 hit : HOUND DOG
The Elvis Presley classic “Hound Dog” was a big hit, but his wasn’t the first version of the song to make it to number one in the charts. Presley released “Hound Dog” in 1956, but Big Mama Thornton had brought the song to the top spot back in 1953.

11. Home to Bellevue U. : NEB
Bellevue University is a private school located in Bellevue, Nebraska. Founded in 1966 as Bellevue College, the school focuses on adult education. As a result, the vast majority of undergraduate students are aged 25 and over.

12. 250-year span in Japan’s history : EDO PERIOD
Edo is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo castle. Some parts of the original castle remain and today’s Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.

13. California city for which element #116 was named : LIVERMORE
Element number 116 is Livermorium and has the symbol Lv. The element is named for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California.

21. It may grow between buds : BROMANCE
A “bromance” is the name given these days to a close relationship between two straight males.

28. ___ Ragg, Sweeney Todd’s assistant : TOBIAS
“Sweeney Todd” was originally a 1936 film, and later in 1973 a play, then a 1979 musical and a movie adaptation of the musical in 2007. After Sweeney Todd has killed his victims, his partner in crime Mrs. Lovett helped him dispose of the bodies by taking the flesh and baking it into meat pies that she sold in her pie shop. Ugh!

30. Like Advil or Motrin, for short : OTC
Over-the-counter (OTC)

35. Dec. 31 : NYE
New Year’s Eve (NYE)

37. Medieval steel helmets with visors : BASINETS
A bascinet (also “basinet”) was a military helmet worn in Medieval Europe. The bascinet often had chain mail with extended downwards to protect the neck.

38. Alter ego of “Batman” villainess Lorelei Circe : THE SIREN
On the TV show “Batman”, the villainess known as the Siren was played by actress Joan Collins.

45. Mongolian for “hero” : BATOR
The name “Ulan Bator” translates from Mongolian as “the Red Hero”, and is Mongolia’s capital city. The “Red Hero” name was chosen in honor of the country’s national hero, Damdin Sükhbaatar. Sükhbaatar fought alongside the Soviet Red Army in the fight for liberation from Chinese occupation.

46. Focus of some high-profile 1970s lawsuits : PINTO
The Pinto is a small car that was made by the Ford company from 1971 to 1980. The Pinto was of course named for the type of horse. Allegations were made in 1997 that the neck of the car’s fuel tank could easily break off in a collision leading to a deadly fire. However, the allegations were never really shown to be valid.

48. Marilyn of the 5th Dimension : MCCOO
Marilyn McCoo is best known as the lead female singer with the 5th Dimension, a group that was very successful in the sixties and seventies. McCoo married another member of the 5th Dimension, Billy Davis, Jr. The couple are still performing, but now as a duo.

55. Inc. cousin : LLC
A limited liability company (LLC) is a company structure that limits the liability of the owner or owners.

56. French possessive : SES
“Ses” is the French word for “his”, “her” or “its”, when referring to a group of items.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Steven who co-created TV’s “Sherlock” : MOFFAT
7. Remote possibilities : CHANNELS
15. Fat fingers? : ECLAIRS
17. Get the word out, maybe? : COPYEDIT
18. Big name in fast food : RAY KROC
19. Better than, with “a” : … CUT ABOVE
20. School group working in harmony? : GLEE CLUB
22. Unspecified power : NTH
23. Something to shuck : PEA
24. Something to shuck : EAR
25. Kind of sauce : ALFREDO
27. Thought starter : GERM
28. Three-piece : TRIFOLD
29. It’s no surprise : NORM
30. “The Paper Chase” novelist : OSBORN
33. Stock report? : MOO!
34. It has layers upon layers : ONION
36. Sitcom on which Stephen Hawking and Buzz Aldrin have appeared : THE BIG BANG THEORY
39. “The Color Purple” role : CELIE
40. Lee making a scene : ANG
41. Wilber who founded a fast-food chain : HARDEE
42. Whopper server? : LIAR
43. “Monsters, Inc.” employees : SCARERS
45. Alternatives to clubs : BLTS
46. Old Lutheran movement : PIETISM
47. Range of sizes, briefly : SML
50. Member of comicdom’s S.H.I.E.L.D.: Abbr. : AGT
51. Disturber of the peace : DIN
52. Exhibit, e.g. : EVIDENCE
54. Some brewskis : TALL ONES
57. “The Naked Maja” and such : EROTICA
58. IHOP option : OMELETTE
59. Whitehouse in D.C., e.g. : SENATOR
60. It may be out for blood : RED CROSS
61. Hold with both arms, say : NELSON

Down
1. Command in Excel : MERGE
2. Fort town in the Second Seminole War : OCALA
3. Circular : FLYER
4. Clifford Irving’s “Autobiography of Howard Hughes,” e.g. : FAKE
5. Sky line : AIR CARRIER
6. Unwelcome Internet activity : TROLLING
7. Six L’s : CCC
8. One who wasn’t high-class, per a 1956 hit : HOUND DOG
9. Probably gonna, more formally : APT TO
10. When doubled, a taunt : NYAH
11. Home to Bellevue U. : NEB
12. 250-year span in Japan’s history : EDO PERIOD
13. California city for which element #116 was named : LIVERMORE
14. Tick off : STEAM
16. Slight blemish : SCUFF
21. It may grow between buds : BROMANCE
26. Draw out : ELONGATE
27. They can’t be saved : GONERS
28. ___ Ragg, Sweeney Todd’s assistant : TOBIAS
29. “That’s O.K., everything’s fine” : NO HARM DONE
30. Like Advil or Motrin, for short : OTC
31. It’s a hard act to follow : SHELL GAME
32. Took down a peg : BELITTLED
35. Dec. 31 : NYE
37. Medieval steel helmets with visors : BASINETS
38. Alter ego of “Batman” villainess Lorelei Circe : THE SIREN
44. Tears apart : RIVES
45. Mongolian for “hero” : BATOR
46. Focus of some high-profile 1970s lawsuits : PINTO
47. Dithers : SNITS
48. Marilyn of the 5th Dimension : MCCOO
49. Watch’s partner : LEARN
51. Ending for evil or wrong : -DOER
53. Stand-in for the unnamed : ET AL
55. Inc. cousin : LLC
56. French possessive : SES

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5 thoughts on “0409-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Apr 16, Saturday”

  1. This was a tough one, and I was close to throwing in the towel several times.

    But I got through it… with no errors…. in 43 mins 17 sec.

    A formidable Saturday tussle!

    As for using Google… no, everyone certainly *doesn't*!!! If you use aids or kibbitzers,*you* didn't solve the puzzle, simple as that.

  2. 30:09, 2 errors. 4D FACE, 18A RAY CROC. FACE didn't make sense to me, but I was erroneously convinced that CROC was the correct spelling of the McDonald's founder.

    Excellent challenge today. A lot of misdirection, 'Fat finger' = ECLAIRS, love it. Was trying to figure out how to enter mistypes or something similar in there.

    Pretty sure the first poster was making an attempt at an Anonymous internet joke. Anyone could come to this blog, copy Bill's solution, and finish the puzzle in amazing time, with no errors. 🙂

    When I first retired, and started doing these puzzles on a daily basis, I did Google what answers I could. It became apparent that a very high percentage of the answers in the New York Times puzzle are not Google-able. I, personally, do not Google anything while working the puzzle, it's my criteria for solving the puzzle.

  3. We agree it was a good challenge, and a fair one. We seldom Google. We Wikipedia. We don't call it "cheating" if we merely use Wikipedia to verify an answer. (If it doesn't verify, we DO call it "cheating".) We do these at long distance via Skype, and if they go too long, we just give up and look something up (it's late, and we need our sleep). Usually if we get one or maybe two words from Wikipedia, it's enough to enable us to finish the puzzle.

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