0706-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Jul 16, Wednesday

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Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: David Woolf
THEME: Two-State Solution
Each of today’s four-letter answers is spelled out using a pair of two-letter US state postal codes:
39A. Topic of international negotiations … and a hint to every four-letter answer in this puzzle : TWO-STATE SOLUTION

6A. This and that: Abbr. : MISC (Michigan + South Carolina)
16A. Ocean predator : ORCA (Oregon + California)
19A. Futile : VAIN (Virginia + Indiana)
24A. “Um, sure” : OH, OK (Ohio + Oklahoma)
31A. Rearmost : HIND (Hawaii + North Dakota)
47A. Earth goddess : GAIA (Georgia + Iowa)
52A. Like morning grass : DEWY (Delaware + Wyoming)
59A. Letter-shaped fastener : T-NUT (Tennessee + Utah)
65A. Blush, e.g. : WINE (Wisconsin + Nebraska)
68A. Types : ILKS (Illinois + Kansas)
5D. Lots of : MANY (Massachusetts + New York)
12D. Like an environment that’s difficult for farming : ARID (Arkansas + Idaho)
13D. Icy coating : RIME (Rhode Island + Maine)
14D. Annual May honorees : MOMS (Missouri + Mississippi)
53D. Branch Davidians’ home : WACO (Washington + Colorado)
54D. ___ breve : ALLA (Alabama + Louisiana)
55D. Bomber pilot’s worry : FLAK (Florida + Alaska)
57D. A handshake may seal one : PACT (Pennsylvania + Connecticut)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 13m 00s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Light beam splitter : PRISM
When light passes through a prism, it is split up (“disperses”) into differing wavelengths. It then becomes clear that white light is actually a mixture of different colors, which show up as beautiful spectra.

10. What Old MacDonald had : A FARM
There was an American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O), that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

16. Ocean predator : ORCA
The taxonomic name for the killer whale is Orcinus orca. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

17. Prefix with comic : SERIO-
Something described as “seriocomic” has both serious and comical elements, but generally the comic side predominates.

18. Biopharmaceutical company that makes Enbrel : AMGEN
AMGen is a biotechnology company that was founded in 1980 as Applied Molecular Genetics. The company’s headquarters is in Thousand Oaks, California.

20. Either of Cinderella’s storytellers : GRIMM
The Brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm) were two German academics noted for collecting and publishing folk tales. Among the tales in their marvelous collection are “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella”.

The folk tale about “Cinderella” was first published by French author Charles Perrault in 1697, although it was later included by the Brothers Grimm in their famous 1812 collection. The storyline of the tale may date back as far as the days of Ancient Greece. A common alternative title to the story is “The Little Glass Slipper”.

21. By no means experts : LAYMEN
Anything described is laic (or “laical, lay”) is related to the laity, those members of the church who are not clergy. The term “laic” ultimately comes from the Greek “laikos” meaning “of the people”.

29. Corcoran of “Bachelor Father” : NOREEN
Noreen Corcoran was an actress and dancer best known for playing the niece Kelly Gregg in the 1950s sitcom “Bachelor Father” (opposite John Forsythe, who played the uncle).

32. Texting format, for short : SMS
Short Message Service (SMS) is the name for the text messaging service that many of us still use on our cell phones to “text” our friends and family.

36. Greek marketplace of old : AGORA
In early Greece the “agora” was a place of assembly. Often the assemblies held there were quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a market place. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

38. ___ polloi : HOI
“Hoi polloi” is a Greek term, literally meaning “the majority, the many”. In English, “hoi polloi” has come to mean “the masses” and is often used in a derogatory sense.

39. Topic of international negotiations … and a hint to every four-letter answer in this puzzle : TWO-STATE SOLUTION
The “two-state solution” of international politics refers to an independent State of Palestine existing alongside the State of Israel.

43. Nonpro sports org. : AAU
The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) sponsors the AAU Junior Olympic Games, an annual competition held in different cities across the United States, starting in Washington D.C. in 1967, and most recently in Des Moines, Iowa in 2009.

44. Baltic natives : LETTS
Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics. People from Latvia are called Letts.

The natives of modern day Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are sometimes referred to as Balts, a reference to the Baltic Sea on which the three countries lie. The term “Balt” is also used for someone who speaks one of the Baltic languages, a group of languages spoken by people mainly residing within the borders of Latvia and Lithuania, as well as in some immigrant communities around the world.

45. Sweetly, in music : DOLCE
The musical term “dolce” instructs the performer to play “gently and sweetly”.

46. Drs.’ orders : RXS
There seems to some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol “Rx” that’s used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions in days of old to invoke Jupiter’s blessing to help a patient recover.

47. Earth goddess : GAIA
In ancient Greek religion, Gaia was the Earth goddess, the mother of everything. The Roman equivalent was the goddess Terra.

48. Like a jack-o’-lantern : HOLLOW
The terms “jack-o’-lantern” and “will-o’-the-wisp” are colloquial names for “ignis fatuus”. Ignis fatuus is an eerie light seen at night over bogs and marshes, caused by the spontaneous oxidation (burning) of phosphine and/or methane that emanates from the bog. The term “jack-o’-lantern” was borrowed then as a name for the hollowed out pumpkins associated with Halloween. It’s thought that the tradition of pumpkin carving originated in Ireland, although turnips and beets were used over there instead of pumpkins. The turnips and beets were carved for the festival called Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season.

56. Flutist Jean-Pierre ___ : RAMPAL
Jean-Pierre Rampal was a French flautist, the son of Joseph Rampal who was a distinguished flutist in his own right. Outside of his native France, Jean-Pierre was especially popular in the US and Japan.

61. Avis competitor : ALAMO
The third largest car rental company right now is Alamo, a relative newcomer founded in 1974. Alamo made inroads (pun intended!) into the market by popularizing the idea of “unlimited mileage”.

64. Hardwood percussion stick : CLAVE
The five-stroke clave is a rhythmic pattern used in Afro-Cuban music, including conga, mambo and salsa. The term “claves” is also used for two hardwood sticks used as an instrument in some Afro-Cuban bands.

65. Blush, e.g. : WINE
The term “blush” in the world of wine has only been around since the late seventies, and is really only used here in the US. Today we think of a blush as a relatively sweet pink wine, and a rosé as something more dry.

66. Prop for Groucho : CIGAR
Groucho Marx’s real name was Julius Henry Marx. By the time Groucho started his successful, post-Hollywood career hosting the quiz show “You Bet Your Life”, he was sporting a real mustache. For all his movies, his mustache had been painted on with greasepaint.

67. Stored in certain wood barrels, as 65-Across : OAKED
Oak barrels are sometimes used to store wine during fermentation and aging. The oak wood has a profound effect, perhaps changing the wine’s color, flavor and texture. Sometimes the same effect is produced less “traditionally” if the wine is kept in stainless steel, by adding oak chips into the liquid.

Down
1. Green jacket org. : PGA
The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

Golf’s Masters Tournament is the first of the four major championships in the annual calendar, taking place in the first week of April each year. It is played at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, and has a number of traditions. One is that the winner is awarded the famous “green jacket”, but he only gets to keep it for a year and must return it to the club after twelve months.

2. It can’t be written to, in a PC : ROM
Read-only memory (ROM)

7. Kurd, perhaps : IRANI
Most of the Kurdish people live in a region known as Kurdistan, which stretches into parts of Iran, Syria, Turkey as well as northern Iraq.

8. Poli ___ (college major) : SCI
Political science (poli sci)

10. Home to Norse gods : ASGARD
Asgard is one of the Nine Worlds of Norse religions. It is where the Norse gods live and is also home to Valhalla, the enormous hall ruled over by the god Odin.

11. Charon’s craft : FERRY
The River Styx of Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (or “Hades”). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferry boat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead “to pay the ferryman”.

13. Icy coating : 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.

14. Annual May honorees : MOMS
Note the official punctuation in “Mother’s Day”, even though one might think it should be “Mothers’ Day”. President Wilson, and Anna Jarvis who created the tradition, specifically wanted Mother’s Day to honor the mothers within each family and not just “mothers” in general, so they went with the “Mother’s Day” punctuation.

24. G.M. navigation system : ONSTAR
The OnStar system was developed as a joint venture between GM, EDS and Hughes. The product itself was launched in 1996. Today, OnStar is only available on GM cars, although it used to be offered on other makes of car through a licensing agreement. OnStar is a subscription service that packages vehicle security, telephone, satellite navigation and remote diagnostics.

28. “Blue I,” “Blue II” and “Blue III” artworks : MIROS
Joan Miró was a Spanish artist. Miro immersed himself in Surrealism, so much so that Andre Breton, the founder of the movement, said that Miro was “the most Surrealist of us all”.

30. Guinness suffix : -EST
“The Guinness Book of World Records” holds some records of its own. It is the best-selling, copyrighted series of books of all time and is one of the books most often stolen from public libraries! The book was first published in 1954 by two twins, Norris and Ross McWhirter. The McWhirter twins found themselves with a smash hit, and eventually became very famous in Britain hosting a TV show based on world records.

32. Cudgel made from a knotty stick : SHILLELAGH
A “shillelagh” is a wooden walking stick that, according to Irish folklore, was often used as a weapon, as a club. The term “shillelagh” is an anglicized corruption of “sail éille” meaning “thonged willow”. The spelling of this corruption somehow got confused over the years with the village of Shillelagh in County Wicklow. The name of the village is unrelated to the walking stick, and rather comes from the Irish “Síol Éalaigh” meaning “people descended from Élothach”, i.e. descended from Élothach mac Fáelchon, one of the Irish kings.

34. Tough and stringy, as meat : SINEWY
Sinew is another name for a tendon. Tendons are bands of collagen that connect muscle to bone. Tendons are similar to ligaments and fasciae, which are also connective tissue made out of collagen, but ligaments join bone to bone, and fasciae connect muscle to muscle. We also use the term “sinew” to mean muscular power.

40. Delon of “Purple Noon” : ALAIN
Alain Delon is an award-winning French actor, once called “the male Brigitte Bardot”. Delon hit the headlines in 1968 when one of his bodyguards was found shot in the head outside his home. Delon found himself held for questioning, but he was released and the crime was attributed to a Corsican crime family.

“Purple Noon” is a 1960 French film adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel “The Talented Mr. Ripley”. The same novel was adapted into a 1999 movie starring Matt Damon in the title role.

41. Japanese salad herb : UDO
Udo is a perennial plant native to Japan that is known taxonomically as Aralia cordata. The stems of udo are sometimes boiled up and served in miso soup.

42. Prevaricated : TOLD A LIE
“To prevaricate” is to stray from the truth. The term comes from a Church Latin word meaning “walk crookedly”.

49. With 58-Across, first host of “The Tonight Show” : STEVE
(58A. See 49-Down : ALLEN)
Steve Allen was a television personality who always seemed to be on air in the fifties, sixties and seventies. Famously, Allen was the original host of “The Tonight Show”. He also played a little piano and composed over 10,000 songs, perhaps more than anyone in history. His best known song is probably “This Could Be the Start of Something Big”.

51. Hall’s partner in pop music : OATES
Daryl Hall & John Oates are a pop music duo, most successful in the late seventies and early eighties. They had six number one hits, including the 1982 release “Maneater”.

53. Branch Davidians’ home : WACO
In recent years, the city of Waco, Texas is perhaps most famous as the site of a siege and shootout between ATF agents and members of the Protestant sect known as the Branch Davidians. Shortly after ATF agents tried to execute a search warrant, shots were fired and at the end of the fight six people inside the Branch Davidian compound were dead, as were four agents. A fifty-day siege ensued at the end of which a final assault resulted in members of the community setting fire to the compound. Only nine people walked away from that fire. 50 adults and 25 children perished.

54. ___ breve : ALLA
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, one often found in military marches.

55. Bomber pilot’s worry : FLAK
“Flak” was originally an acronym from the German term for an aircraft defense cannon (FLiegerAbwehrKanone). Flak then became used in English as a general term for antiaircraft fire, and ultimately a term for verbal criticism as in “to take flak”.

59. ___-night doubleheader : TWI
“Twi-night” is a slang term used in baseball for a doubleheader in the which the first game is played in the late afternoon, and the second in the early evening.

“Twilight” is the light experienced when the sun is below the horizon, both in the morning and the evening. The prefix “twi-” seems to come from the sense of “half”, and in “half light”. There appears to be no connection to the word “twice”, despite twilight occurring twice each day.

62. Actress Whitman of “The Duff” : MAE
Actress Mae Whitman played “the daughter” in some successful movies early in her career. She was Meg Ryan’s daughter in “When a Man Loves a Woman”, George Clooney’s daughter in “One Fine Day” and Bill Pullman’s daughter in “Independence Day”. More recently, she played the lead in the 2015 teen comedy film “The Duff”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Light beam splitter : PRISM
6. This and that: Abbr. : MISC
10. What Old MacDonald had : A FARM
15. About to, informally : GONNA
16. Ocean predator : ORCA
17. Prefix with comic : SERIO-
18. Biopharmaceutical company that makes Enbrel : AMGEN
19. Futile : VAIN
20. Either of Cinderella’s storytellers : GRIMM
21. By no means experts : LAYMEN
23. “Buenas ___” (“Good afternoon,” in Spanish) : TARDES
24. “Um, sure” : OH, OK
26. Relationship with two other lovers, both of whom consent : TRIAMORY
29. Corcoran of “Bachelor Father” : NOREEN
31. Rearmost : HIND
32. Texting format, for short : SMS
35. Starts to come to : STIRS
36. Greek marketplace of old : AGORA
38. ___ polloi : HOI
39. Topic of international negotiations … and a hint to every four-letter answer in this puzzle : TWO-STATE SOLUTION
43. Nonpro sports org. : AAU
44. Baltic natives : LETTS
45. Sweetly, in music : DOLCE
46. Drs.’ orders : RXS
47. Earth goddess : GAIA
48. Like a jack-o’-lantern : HOLLOW
49. Pope’s bestowal : SAINTDOM
52. Like morning grass : DEWY
53. Enter, as an alluring aroma : WAFT IN
56. Flutist Jean-Pierre ___ : RAMPAL
58. See 49-Down : ALLEN
59. Letter-shaped fastener : T-NUT
61. Avis competitor : ALAMO
64. Hardwood percussion stick : CLAVE
65. Blush, e.g. : WINE
66. Prop for Groucho : CIGAR
67. Stored in certain wood barrels, as 65-Across : OAKED
68. Types : ILKS
69. [Titter] : TE-HEE

Down
1. Green jacket org. : PGA
2. It can’t be written to, in a PC : ROM
3. Causing shame : INGLORIOUS
4. Court tie-ups? : SNEAKERS
5. Lots of : MANY
6. Helper with a relocation : MOVER
7. Kurd, perhaps : IRANI
8. Poli ___ (college major) : SCI
9. Send packing : CAN
10. Home to Norse gods : ASGARD
11. Charon’s craft : FERRY
12. Like an environment that’s difficult for farming : ARID
13. Icy coating : RIME
14. Annual May honorees : MOMS
22. High-elev. spot : MTN
23. Pitch-related : TONAL
24. G.M. navigation system : ONSTAR
25. Hair removal method : HOT WAX
27. Lots (of) : A HOST
28. “Blue I,” “Blue II” and “Blue III” artworks : MIROS
30. Guinness suffix : -EST
32. Cudgel made from a knotty stick : SHILLELAGH
33. Bovine, to a tot : MOO-COW
34. Tough and stringy, as meat : SINEWY
36. Ordered takeout, say : ATE IN
37. Suggest subtly : GET AT
40. Delon of “Purple Noon” : ALAIN
41. Japanese salad herb : UDO
42. Prevaricated : TOLD A LIE
47. Got portlier : GAINED
48. Chin scratcher’s utterance : HMM …
49. With 58-Across, first host of “The Tonight Show” : STEVE
50. Feeling no pain, so to speak : DRUNK
51. Hall’s partner in pop music : OATES
53. Branch Davidians’ home : WACO
54. ___ breve : ALLA
55. Bomber pilot’s worry : FLAK
57. A handshake may seal one : PACT
59. ___-night doubleheader : TWI
60. Zero, in soccer : NIL
62. Actress Whitman of “The Duff” : MAE
63. You can dig it : ORE

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8 thoughts on “0706-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Jul 16, Wednesday”

  1. Still getting used to the NY Times mind set in these puzzles. There's a mind set that's a bit off from the LA Times puzzles. This was more like a LA Times Thursday for me. New words here as well – e.g. SHILLELAGH I had to get completely by crosses.

    Theme didn't help a whole lot, but it was clever I'll admit.

    Best –

  2. 12:36, no errors, iPad. I completely forgot to look for a theme so, once again, I was enlightened by this blog. I'd not heard of SMS before.

    @Jeff … I totally agreed with your comment about last Thursday's puzzle – a very clever idea. The NYT puzzles are certainly harder than the LAT puzzles, but I'm fond of both (and the corresponding blogs).

  3. 16:31, no errors. Had particular difficulty with the center and bottom left. CLAVE was a new one for me; originally enter CARVED in 48A vice HOLLOW. Fortunately I have listened to RAMPAL's records, and have heard of a SHILLELAGH, but no idea how to spell it (other than lots of L's in the middle and an H at the end).

  4. 17:20, but with 3 errors caused by not checking crossfills before committing to my answers and finishing time. This one was fun as well as challenging. Truly a clever theme (and I don't throw that adjective around lightly, much as it's abused by the usual suspects producing these puzzles!!)

    Those of you struggling with Irish weaponry might not know that shillelagh is pronounced "shih-LAY-lee".

  5. No errors but a pretty tough one to solve for me. INGLORIOUS was my last and most difficult fill. Thought the clue was misleading. If something falls short of GLORIOUS that doesn't mean that one should feel SHAME about it.

    Did not get the theme until coming here. I even took all the four-letter answers and wrote them out separately in the margin but still did not see any thing they had in common. Kudos to Bill for seeing what I cannot.

  6. @Dale … The principal definition of "inglorious" (as found by a Google search) is "causing shame or a loss of honor", so I think the clue is correct. I think this is one of those cases in which the meaning one would infer from the Latin prefix "in", meaning "not", doesn't match the precise meaning that the word has evolved since it was first used. (At least it hasn't acquired the opposite meaning, as "inflammable" has done … 🙂

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