0416-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Apr 16, Saturday

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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: Andrew Zhou
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 49m 54s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 5 … MSG (ess), CEO (tee), CAN (cap), MCCAFE (ET Cafe!), GONERS (sepers?!)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

12. Something found naturally in tomatoes and potatoes : MSG
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

16. Top of an outfit? : CEO
Chief executive officer (CEO)

18. Head : CAN
In old sailing ships the toilet area for the regular sailors was located in the forward part (the head) of the ship, hence the term “head” that has been used since then for any toilet on board a boat.

19. Winter coat : RIME
Rime is that beautiful coating of ice that forms on surfaces like roofs, trees and grass, when cold water freezes instantly under the right conditions.

22. Some of them are devoted to gangsters : FBI CASES
What we know today as the FBI was set up in 1908 as the BOI, the Bureau of Investigation. The name was changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

26. Bob ___, leader of Canada’s Liberal Party before Justin Trudeau : RAE
Bob Rae is a former politician who was the interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada for almost two full years starting in 2011. Rae was replaced by Justin Trudeau as party leader in 2013.

27. Org. in the documentary “Citizenfour” : NSA
“Citizenfour” is a 2014 documentary about Edward Snowden and his leaking of classified NSA information. Much of the film consists of footage that director Laura Poitras shot while interviewing Snowden in a hotel room in Hong Kong before the story broke.

40. One taking the big view, medically : HOLIST
A holistic approach to medicine emphasises not only physical symptoms but also social considerations and the environment.

42. Top of the British judicial system? : PERIWIG
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.

45. “This is ___” : CNN
CNN (Cable News Network) was launched in 1980 by the Turner Broadcasting System, and was the first television channel in the world to provide news coverage 24 hours a day.

48. Tess’s lover in “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” : ALEC
The full name of Thomas Hardy’s 1891 novel is “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented”. When it was originally published, “Tess …” received very mixed reviews, largely because it addressed some difficult sexual themes including rape, and sexual double standards (attitudes towards men vs women). I suppose the most celebrated screen adaptation is Roman Polanski’s “Tess” released in 1979. Polanski apparently made “Tess” because his wife, Sharon Tate, gave him Hardy’s novel as her last act before she was murdered by the Manson family. There is a dedication at the beginning of the movie that just says “To Sharon”.

49. Orange snacks : CHEEZ-ITS
Cheez-it crackers were introduced way back in 1921, first sold by the Green & Green Company of Dayton, Ohio.

56. Bolster : AID
Back in Ireland I often slept in beds that had a “bolster” as well as pillows. The bolster was usually a long, bed-wide, stuffed cushion, harder than a pillow. It served the purpose of raising the pillows, perhaps as an aid for sitting up in bed. Our modern usage of the verb “bolster”, meaning to give a metaphoric shot in the arm, derives from this “bolster” that we used to sit up against.

57. Distant ancestor : HOMO ERECTUS
Homo erectus is an extinct cousin of Homo sapiens, our human species.

61. Information after “Je m’appelle …” : NOM
In French, “je m’appelle …” translates literally as “I am called …”, or perhaps more smoothly as “my name is …”

62. Car engine component : INTAKE VALVE
The intake valve of an internal-combustion engine is located in the cylinder head(s). The intake valve opens at the appropriate time in the combustion cycle to allow the fuel-air mixture into the cylinder.

63. ___-Chapelle : STE
Sainte-Chapelle is a beautiful Gothic chapel located on the Île de la Cité, the same island in the Seine that is home to Notre-Dame Cathedral. The name “Sainte-Chapelle” is usually translated as “Holy Chapel”. The chapel was built in the mid-1200s by Louis IX to house a relic that he believed to be the crown of thorns placed on the head of Jesus just prior to the Crucifixion.

Down
2. Quack stopper, for short : AMA
American Medical Association (AMA)

A “quack” is a person who pretends to have knowledge that he or she does not in fact possess. The term especially applies to someone fraudulently pretending to have medical skills. Our modern word is an abbreviation of “quacksalver”, an archaic term with Dutch roots that translates as “haker of salve”, Back in the Middle Ages, quacksalvers would shout out (quack) as they sold their pseudo-medical wares.

4. Relating to element #56 : BARIC
Barium is the chemical element with the atomic number 56, and the element symbol “Ba”.

5. Patrick Stewart’s adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” e.g. : ONE-MAN SHOW
English actor Patrick Stewart adapted the Charles Dickens novella “A Christmas Carol” into a one-man stage play that premiered in 1987. Stewart performs the show himself, playing more than thirty characters, and without costumes or props.

6. More after more? : … OR LESS
That would be “more or less”.

7. Tick : SEC
In a tick, in a sec, in a moment.

9. Pearl Buck heroine : O-LAN
Pearl S. Buck’s novel “The Good Earth” won a Pulitzer in 1932, and helped Buck win the Nobel Prize for literature a few years later. The novel tells of life in a Chinese village and follows the fortunes of Wang Lung and his wife O-Lan. Although “The Good Earth” has been around for decades, it hit the bestseller list again in 2004 when it was a pick for Oprah’s Book Club.

10. Massachusetts’ ___ College : OLIN
Olin College of Engineering is a private school in Needham, Massachusetts. The college was established in 1997 with funds provided by the F. W. Olin Foundation. Franklin W. Olin was the founder of the chemical and manufacturing company known as the Olin Corporation.

11. Hardly a vet : TYRO
A tyro (also “tiro”) is a beginner or a novice. “Tyro” comes into English from Latin, in which “tiro” means “a recruit”.

12. Place to get a brew in more than 11,000 U.S. locations : MCCAFE
McCafé is a chain of coffeehouses owned by McDonald’s. The first McCafé was opened by a McDonald’s franchisee in Australia, after which the company took the concept worldwide. McCafé is the most successful coffee shop brand in Australia and New Zealand.

13. Alaska Airlines hub : SEA-TAC
Sea-Tac Airport is more fully known as Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Sea-Tac is the main hub for Alaska Airlines.

22. Assault, as a commanding officer : FRAG
The term “fragging” describes the killing of a solder by a fellow soldier, usually a superior in rank. The term was coined during the Vietnam War, at which time a fragmentation grenade was often used, hence “fragging”. The original intent was disguise the killing as an accident or enemy action.

24. Pincered creature : EARWIG
The insect known as the earwig may have gotten its name from the outdated belief that they burrowed into the human brain via the ear canal in order to lay its eggs in the brain.

29. Teacher at Oxford : DON
A don is tutor or fellow at a university, especially at Oxford and Cambridge in England.

30. Only actor to appear in all eight “American Pie” films : EUGENE LEVY
Eugene Levy is a Canadian actor. He is the only actor to have appeared in all seven “American Pie” movies (there are eight of them??!!). Levy plays the clueless but loving Dad.

32. Magnum opus of Spinoza : ETHICS
Baruch Spinoza was a Dutch philosopher whose magnum opus was “Ethics”, a philosophical treatise that was first published just after his death in 1677.

34. ___ subtilior (musical style) : ARS
“Ars subtilior” is a style of music that originated in the 14th century in France and northern Spain. Pieces representing the style are relatively refined and complex. The term “ars subtilior” translates from Latin as “more subtle art”.

36. Country’s ___ Young Band : ELI
The Eli Young Band is a country group from Texas founded by Mike Eli and James Young when they were roommates in the University of North Texas.

37. Doctor of book and screen : DOLITTLE
I must have read all the “Doctor Dolittle” books when I was growing up. They were written by the English novelist Hugh Lofting. Doctor Dolittle was of course the man who “talked to the animals”.

39. Passing requirements : AYES
“Aye” votes are required to pass a motion.

42. Ancient Greeks, e.g. : PAGANS
A pagan is someone who holds religious beliefs that are different from the main religions of the world. In classical Latin, “paganus” was a villager, a rustic.

43. Broadway Billy : ELLIOT
“Billy Elliot” is best known in North America as a stage musical, first produced in 2005. The musical is based on a British drama film that was released in 2000. “Billy Elliot” is all about an 11-year-old boy who lives in a coal mining town in the north of England and the hostility that the boy faces when he decides to learn ballet.

44. Software text page : README
A readme (or “read me”) file is usually a simple text file that is issued with software when it is distributed. It often contains the latest information about the application, including bugs that were found at the last minute just before release.

49. Southeastern European : CROAT
The Republic of Croatia is a Balkan country. The Croats declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

50. Cold medicine brand : ZICAM
Zicam is a line of cold medicines that include the element zinc. There is a nasal version of Zicam that the US FDA advised consumers to avoid in 2009 because of potential damage to the sense of smell.

53. Sir ___ Ive, designer of the iPad, iPod, iPhone and iMac : JONY
Jonathan Ive is the Chief Design Officer for Apple. The list of designs associated with Ive’s name includes the iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad and the Apple Watch. Ive was a close friend of Steve Jobs, and Jobs referred to Ive as his “spiritual partner at Apple”.

59. A.C.C. school : UVA
The University of Virginia (UVA) was founded by Thomas Jefferson, who sat on the original Board of Visitors alongside former US Presidents James Madison and James Monroe. In fact, the original UVA campus was built on land that was once a farm belonging to President Monroe.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Edible Asian sprout : BAMBOO SHOOT
12. Something found naturally in tomatoes and potatoes : MSG
15. “Like, are you serious?!” : I MEAN, REALLY!
16. Top of an outfit? : CEO
17. Furniture item with a rounded back : BARREL CHAIR
18. Head : CAN
19. Winter coat : RIME
20. Seek to explain, in a way : ANNOTATE
22. Some of them are devoted to gangsters : FBI CASES
25. Not close : AFAR
26. Bob ___, leader of Canada’s Liberal Party before Justin Trudeau : RAE
27. Org. in the documentary “Citizenfour” : NSA
28. They clear spots : AD EXECS
31. Jerks : ASSES
33. Expired : RAN OUT
35. Misunderstand : GET THE WRONG IDEA
40. One taking the big view, medically : HOLIST
41. Bond producer : EPOXY
42. Top of the British judicial system? : PERIWIG
45. “This is ___” : CNN
47. “Your table will be ready in five minutes,” possibly : LIE
48. Tess’s lover in “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” : ALEC
49. Orange snacks : CHEEZ-ITS
51. Something that may be jam-packed : GLASS JAR
55. Stopped winging it? : ALIT
56. Bolster : AID
57. Distant ancestor : HOMO ERECTUS
61. Information after “Je m’appelle …” : NOM
62. Car engine component : INTAKE VALVE
63. ___-Chapelle : STE
64. Much-joked-about cafeteria offering : MYSTERY MEAT

Down
1. Seafood shack item : BIB
2. Quack stopper, for short : AMA
3. Christmas superlative : MERRIEST
4. Relating to element #56 : BARIC
5. Patrick Stewart’s adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” e.g. : ONE-MAN SHOW
6. More after more? : … OR LESS
7. Tick : SEC
8. Routine responses : HA-HAS
9. Pearl Buck heroine : O-LAN
10. Massachusetts’ ___ College : OLIN
11. Hardly a vet : TYRO
12. Place to get a brew in more than 11,000 U.S. locations : MCCAFE
13. Alaska Airlines hub : SEA-TAC
14. They’re history : GONERS
21. It might help you on your return : TAX TIP
22. Assault, as a commanding officer : FRAG
23. ___ 10 : BASE
24. Pincered creature : EARWIG
28. How much to be above, as they say : A NOTCH
29. Teacher at Oxford : DON
30. Only actor to appear in all eight “American Pie” films : EUGENE LEVY
32. Magnum opus of Spinoza : ETHICS
34. ___ subtilior (musical style) : ARS
36. Country’s ___ Young Band : ELI
37. Doctor of book and screen : DOLITTLE
38. It’s found on the side of a highway : EXIT
39. Passing requirements : AYES
42. Ancient Greeks, e.g. : PAGANS
43. Broadway Billy : ELLIOT
44. Software text page : README
46. Warmer, in a way : NEARER
49. Southeastern European : CROAT
50. Cold medicine brand : ZICAM
52. Level : SHIM
53. Sir ___ Ive, designer of the iPad, iPod, iPhone and iMac : JONY
54. Qts. and gals. : AMTS
58. Stretch (out) : EKE
59. A.C.C. school : UVA
60. Good to go : SET

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7 thoughts on “0416-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Apr 16, Saturday”

  1. 48:50, DNF, essentially entire bottom left corner, except for NOM and STE. PERIWIG had me completely stifled. Had 53D as TONY in lieu of JONY, so was trying to fill 51A as ****STAR. Thinking of something akin to Napster, rock star or similar.

  2. DIFFICULT, but not impossible. Five weeks ago, on my iPad, it took me 47:29, and I thought I was just having a bad day, so seeing the results posted by others is comforting. Today, the second time around, on paper, it took me 18:48, so I guess a lot of the answers stuck with me (even though it didn't feel that way).

  3. Going back over this, I see a litany of clues so cynically worded, so **meaningless** to the solver that this, by itself, renders the puzzle all but impossible to anyone other than a mindreader. This was a puzzle MADE to be nearly impossible when it could, at the very least, have been edited to make it simply challenging.

  4. VERY difficult puzzle. Maybe the most difficult we have encountered. We ARE mind readers (each other's), and WE couldn't get most of the clues. The clues were misleading but fair. We had to look up five or six words, and even so, the words close to them still didn't reveal themselves. Shame on us… we had MYSTERYMEAT and erased it! (We put it back in later, of course.)

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