0428-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Apr 16, Thursday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kurt Krauss
THEME: Compass Rose … the center square in today’s grid is filled with a compass rose. This is a hint that there’s some directional trickery required to solve. The answers in the WEST of the grid are written in a westerly direction, from right to left. The answers in the NORTH of the grid are written in a northerly direction, from bottom to top. The answers in the EAST and SOUTH of the grid are written normally, as the easterly and southerly directions correspond to the normal way of entering across- and down-answers. Additionally, we have four answers starting with WEST, EAST, NORTH AND SOUTH in the appropriate positions in the grid:

34A. London theater district : WEST END
38A. Inventor of roll film : EASTMAN
6D. Arctic gale : NORTHER
43D. Contemporary of Wordsworth and Coleridge : SOUTHEY

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 13m 53s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. 50s president : GRANT
Ulysses S. Grant had been a career soldier when he was elected as the 18th president of the US, and had risen to commander of all the Union armies by the end of the Civil War. Grant served two terms as president, and also made a failed bid for a third term. Grant’s reputation was tarnished by his apparent tolerance of corruption in his administration. On the other hand, Grant worked hard to protect African Americans during Reconstruction after the Civil War, and pursued peaceful relations with Native Americans.

President Ulysses S. Grant appears on the obverse of the US fifty-dollar bill. There have been two unsuccessful attempts in recent years in Congress to have President Grant’s image replaced with that of President Ronald Reagan.

6. Rappeller’s need : ROPE
What we call “rappelling” in this country is known as “abseiling” in the rest of the world (from the German “abseilen” meaning “to rope down”).

10. Foot, to Flavius : PES
“Pes” is Latin for “foot”.

13. Goldfinger’s first name : AURIC
“Goldfinger” is the Ian Fleming’s seventh James Bond novel, first published in 1959. Fleming was in the habit of naming his characters after people in the real world. The novel’s colorful antagonist Auric Goldfinger was named after Hungarian-born British architect Ernő Goldfinger.

14. French assembly : SENAT
In French, the “Parlement français” (French parliament) is divided into the “Sénat” (Senate) and the “Assemblée nationale” (National Assembly).

16. “Return of the Jedi” villain : JABBA
Jabba the Hutt is the big blob of an alien that appears in the “Star Wars” movie “The Return of the Jedi”. Jabba’s claim to fame is that he enslaved Princess Leia and kitted her out in that celebrated metal bikini.

19. Big brass : TUBAS
The tuba is the lowest pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”. Oom-pah-pah …

21. Online identity : AVATAR
The Sanskrit word “avatar” describes the concept of a deity descending into earthly life and taking on a persona. It’s easy to see how in the world of “online presences” one might use the word avatar to describe one’s online identity.

26. Writer Calvino : ITALO
As well as being an author, Italo Calvino was a famous Italian journalist. He was a supporter of communism and so wasn’t very popular in the US nor in Britain.

27. With 17-Across, reference book for a writer : ROGET’S
(17A. See 27-Across : THESAURUS)
Peter Mark Roget was an English lexicographer. Roget was an avid maker of lists, apparently using the routine of list-making to combat depression, a condition he endured for most of his life. He published his famous thesaurus in 1852, with revisions and expansions being made years later by his son, and then in turn by his grandson.

30. Duke, e.g.: Abbr. : SCH
Duke University was founded in 1838 as Brown’s Schoolhouse. The school was renamed to Trinity College in 1859, and to this day the town where the college was located back then is known as Trinity, in honor of the school. The school was moved in 1892 to Durham, North Carolina in part due to generous donations from the wealthy tobacco industrialist Washington Duke. Duke’s donation required that the school open its doors to women, placing them on an equal footing with men. Trinity’s name was changed to Duke in 1924 in recognition of the generosity of the Duke family.

31. Morlock victims, in science fiction : ELOI
In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a race of cannibals living underground who use the Eloi as food.

34. London theater district : WEST END
The West End of London is part of the central area of the city that contains many tourist attractions and in particular a large number of theaters. The West End of London is also home to the most expensive office space in the world.

38. Inventor of roll film : EASTMAN
George Eastman founded the Eastman Kodak Company, named after the Kodak camera that he had invented four years earlier. He came up with the name of Kodak after careful consideration. Firstly he was a big fan of the letter “K”, calling it “strong, incisive”. He also wanted a word that was short, easy to pronounce and difficult to mispronounce, and a word that was clearly unique with no prior associations. “Kodak” fit the bill.

48. Cleveland Browns great Graham : OTTO
Otto Graham was not only a professional football player for the Cleveland Browns, but he also played professional basketball for the Rochester Royals (now the Sacramento Kings).

49. Manhattan eatery since 1927 : SARDI’S
Sardi’s is a renowned restaurant in the Theater District of Manhattan that was opened in 1927 by Italian immigrant Vincent Sardi, Sr. Sardi’s is famous for attracting celebrities who pose for caricatures that are then displayed on the restaurant’s walls. After the death of actress and director Antoinette Perry in 1946, her friend and partner Brock Pemberton was having lunch at Sardi’s and came up with idea of a theater award that could be presented in Perry’s honor. The award was to be called the Tony Award.

51. Resentment : PIQUE
Our term “pique” meaning a “fit of ill feeling” is a French word meaning a “prick, sting, irritation”.

53. Subway entrance : TURNSTILE
A stile is a structure allowing people to pass over or through a fence, while at the same time preventing livestock from escaping. The derivative term “turnstile” describes a revolving structure in a wall or fence that allows the controlled passage of people.

58. Annual department store event : WHITE SALE
The first white sale took place in January of 1878 in a Philadelphia department store. It was called a white sale because it was only bed linens (which were all white) that were discounted. Over time, white sales have evolved to include almost any household items.

64. Asian holiday : TET
The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

66. Ones in cocoons : PUPAE
The pupa is an intermediate stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are: embryo, larva, pupa and imago.

68. Topiary trees : YEWS
Topiary is the practice of training and clipping perennial plants into clearly defined shapes.

69. Word on an old gas pump : ETHYL
The Ethyl Corporation produced the controversial anti-knock fuel additive known as Ethyl, actually tetra-ethyl lead (and we are still living with the consequences).

Down
3. Hidden means of support? : BRA
The word “brassière” is French in origin, but it isn’t the word the French use for a “bra”. In France what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the neck”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breastplate” and from there the word was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

4. Extinct creature with armored spikes on its back : STEGOSAUR
The stegosaur was a very large, plant-eating dinosaur that grew to a length of up to 40 feet. Stegosaurs relied on spikes and plates of “armor” on the back and tail for defense.

5. Bingeing : ON A JAG
The word “jag” is used to describe periods of unrestrained activity, particularly involving alcohol, and has been in use since the 1800s.

6. Arctic gale : NORTHER
A “norther” is a strong cold wind that suddenly blows in from the north.

7. Brian of ambient music : ENO
Brian Eno was one of the pioneers of the “ambient” genre of music. Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, the first in a series of four albums with an ambient theme. Eno named the tracks somewhat inventively: 1/1, 2/1, 2/1 and 2/2.

10. Persian ruler : SATRAP
“Satrap” is an old Persian word for a provincial governor. In modern usage in English, a satrap is a world leader who is heavily influenced by a superior power.

11. Artist Monet : CLAUDE
Claude Monet painted the harbor of Le Havre in the north of France in 1872, giving it the title “Impression, Sunrise”. The painting is not a “realistic” representation of the scene in front of him, hence the name “impression”. It was this very painting that gave rise to the name of the Impressionist movement, and earned Monet the title of Father of Impressionism.

12. Power measures, informally : HORSES
The unit of horsepower was introduced along with the steam engine, where the output of the engine was compared with the power of draft horses. Largely, this comparison with the horse was a marketing ploy, as the intent was to demonstrate that one steam engine could negate the need for a number of draft horses used for work.

18. Sigma follower : TAU
Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

22. Frisbee, e.g. : DISC
The Frisbee phenomenon started back in 1938 with a couple who had an upturned cake pan that they were tossing between each other on Santa Monica Beach in California. They were offered 25 cents for the pan on the spot, and as pans could be bought for 5 cents, the pair figured there was a living to be earned.

24. He, for one: Abbr. : ELEM
Helium is the chemical element with the atomic number 2 and the element symbol “He”. Helium is a gas, and lighter than air. It is the second-most abundant element in the universe (after hydrogen). Helium was first detected in 1868 as an unknown yellow spectral line during a solar eclipse. As such, the gas was named for “Helios”, the Greek god of the Sun.

29. Santa ___ : ANA
Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California and takes its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city.

36. Pond young ‘un : EFT
Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

37. Katarina ___, two-time Olympic gold-medalist skater : WITT
Katarina Witt is a retired figure skater who represented her homeland of East Germany, winning Olympic golds in 1984 and 1988. After the reunification of Germany, Witt gained access to the files held on her by the East German secret police. Her file contained 3,000 pages of information about her life since she was eight years old.

40. Seed covering : ARIL
The casing surrounding many seeds is called the aril, and it may be quite fleshy. This fruit-like characteristic makes it desirable as a food and aids in the dispersion of the seeds.

41. Inits. at 11 Wall Street : NYSE
The roots of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) go back to 1792 when a group of 24 stock brokers set up the New York Stock & Exchange Board. They did so in an agreement signed under a buttonwood tree outside 68 Wall Street. That document became known as the Buttonwood Agreement. Today, the NYSE is located in National Historic Landmark building with the address 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

43. Contemporary of Wordsworth and Coleridge : SOUTHEY
Robert Southey was perhaps the least well-known of the three main Lake Poets, the others being William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Lake Poets were a group of Romantic poets who lived in the Lake District of northern England in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Southey was also a prolific biographer, publishing books about the lives of John Bunyan, Oliver Cromwell, Horatio Nelson and other. He was England’s Poet Laureate for three decades, until his death in 1843.

46. Gable part : BUTLER
The actor Clark Gable was the leading man in so many great movies, the most famous of which is probably 1939’s “Gone with the Wind” portraying Rhett Butler. My personal favorite of his films is 1934’s “It Happened One Night”, for which he won the Best Actor Oscar. Gable enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in 1942 and flew five combat missions from England, for which he was awarded the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

49. TV home of “Weekend Update,” in brief : SNL
“Weekend Update” is the longest-running of any recurring sketch on “Saturday Night Live”. In fact, the segment made its debut on the very first show, back in 1975. The first “anchor” at the “Weekend Update” was Chevy Chase.

52. Runner of many Apple devices : IOS
iOS is what Apple now call their mobile operating system, previously known as iPhone OS.

61. Nascar stat, for short : MPH
Miles per hour (mph)

The acronym NASCAR stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. NASCAR is very, very popular and commands the second largest television audience of any professional sport in America, second only to football.

63. Daughter of Loki : HEL
Hel is a being from Norse Mythology who presides over a realm that is also called Hel. The underworld of Hel receives many of the dead, and the term “go to Hel” is used in Norse accounts to mean “to die”.

Loki is a god appearing in Norse mythology. In one story about Loki, he was punished by other gods for having caused the death of Baldr, the god of light and beauty. Loki is bound to a sharp rock using the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom which is collected in a bowl, and then his wife must empty the venom onto Loki when the bowl is full. The venom causes Loki great pain, and his writhing results in what we poor mortals experience as earthquakes.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. 50s president : GRANT
6. Rappeller’s need : ROPE
10. Foot, to Flavius : PES
13. Goldfinger’s first name : AURIC
14. French assembly : SENAT
15. Stand buy : ADE
16. “Return of the Jedi” villain : JABBA
17. See 27-Across : THESAURUS
19. Big brass : TUBAS
21. Online identity : AVATAR
22. Like some office furniture : ERGONOMIC
26. Writer Calvino : ITALO
27. With 17-Across, reference book for a writer : ROGET’S
28. Like the heads of many hairbrushes : OVAL
30. Duke, e.g.: Abbr. : SCH
31. Morlock victims, in science fiction : ELOI
32. Spoilers? : NANAS
34. London theater district : WEST END
38. Inventor of roll film : EASTMAN
42. Sorts (through) : SIFTS
44. Very light : AIRY
45. Go out : EBB
48. Cleveland Browns great Graham : OTTO
49. Manhattan eatery since 1927 : SARDI’S
51. Resentment : PIQUE
53. Subway entrance : TURNSTILE
55. Teakettle parts : SPOUTS
57. Peals : TOLLS
58. Annual department store event : WHITE SALE
60. Zip : OOMPH
64. Asian holiday : TET
65. Cut off : SEVER
66. Ones in cocoons : PUPAE
67. Oral hesitations : ERS
68. Topiary trees : YEWS
69. Word on an old gas pump : ETHYL

Down
1. Perform : ACT
2. Laundry container : BIN
3. Hidden means of support? : BRA
4. Extinct creature with armored spikes on its back : STEGOSAUR
5. Bingeing : ON A JAG
6. Arctic gale : NORTHER
7. Brian of ambient music : ENO
8. “Now!” : ASAP!
9. Show real eagerness : SALIVATE
10. Persian ruler : SATRAP
11. Artist Monet : CLAUDE
12. Power measures, informally : HORSES
14. Fortitude : GUTS
18. Sigma follower : TAU
20. Rip off : ROB
22. Frisbee, e.g. : DISC
23. Cry of innocence : NOT I!
24. He, for one: Abbr. : ELEM
25. Overhang : EAVE
29. Santa ___ : ANA
33. Commences : STARTS OUT
35. Plugs : STOPPERS
36. Pond young ‘un : EFT
37. Katarina ___, two-time Olympic gold-medalist skater : WITT
39. Skirt style : MIDI
40. Seed covering : ARIL
41. Inits. at 11 Wall Street : NYSE
43. Contemporary of Wordsworth and Coleridge : SOUTHEY
45. Attacks from all sides : BESETS
46. Gable part : BUTLER
47. Think of as the same : EQUATE
49. TV home of “Weekend Update,” in brief : SNL
50. Slanting : ASLOPE
52. Runner of many Apple devices : IOS
54. Spats : ROWS
56. Worry : STEW
59. “___ got it” : I’VE
61. Nascar stat, for short : MPH
62. Remit : PAY
63. Daughter of Loki : HEL

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7 thoughts on “0428-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Apr 16, Thursday”

  1. I got the misdirection, but it's hard to get used to typing backwards in the beginning. Bill, you must be happy they finally put you in a crossword grid! hooray!

  2. 28:41, no errors. Had a lot of difficulty with thinking backwards and upside down, as well as some of the sneaky misdirection clues. Eventually pulled through.

  3. In Bills' answers, he states that GRANT is on the 50 dollar bill, hence: "50's president". Sometimes clues are deceptive riddles.

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