0707-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Jul 16, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joel Elkins & Andrea Carla Michaels
THEME: Checkpoints
Our reveal answer today is CHECKPOINTS. So, at several POINTS in the grid we have the letters TSA. The TSA is the Transportation Security Administration, the good folks that check passengers and baggage at airports:

34A. Border stops … or a hint to four squares in this puzzle : CHECKPOINTS

17A. Dean Martin classic : THAT’S AMORE
21A. Jedi defenses : LIGHTSABERS
54A. Everything, the good with the bad : WARTS AND ALL
58A. “Really?!” : YOU DON’T SAY!
4D. Go to sea : SET SAIL
9D. Political comic who once had a one-man show on Broadway : MORT SAHL
47D. Outside clearance event : TENT SALE
50D. Delivery room announcement : IT’S A BOY

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 14s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 3 … ELENA (Edena), EWEN (Owen), I LOSE (I do so)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “___ Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World” (2012 book) : IKE’S
“Ike’s Bluff” is a 2012 book by Evan Thomas that focuses on President Dwight D. Eisenhower during his years as US president. Thomas’ argument is that General Eisenhower did as much as any man to end WWII, and then President Eisenhower spent much of his time in office trying to prevent WWIII. The “bluff” referred to in the title was the convincing of US enemies that Eisenhower was willing to use nuclear weapons.

13. What the transept transects : NAVE
In large Christian churches, the nave is the main approach to the altar, where most of the congregation are seated.

A transept is a transverse section that crosses the main body of a building. Transepts are important features in many Gothic Christian churches, which often have a cross-shaped floorplan.

15. Whip up : FOMENT
To foment is to promote the growth of, and is a term that ultimately comes from the Latin “fomentum” meaning “warm application, poultice”. The idea is that some things can be encouraged to grow by applying heat.

17. Dean Martin classic : THAT’S AMORE
“That’s Amore” is a pop standard written by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks in 1952. “That’s Amore” became the signature song for Dean Martin after he sang it (with some help from Jerry Lewis) in the 1953 comedy film “The Caddy”. “When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore …”

19. Twice quinze : TRENTE
In French, twice “quinze” (fifteen) is “trente” (thirty).

21. Jedi defenses : LIGHTSABERS
The famous lightsaber weapons in the “Star Wars” series of films were updated for the seventh episode “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. The new lightsabers have energy crossguards just above the grip.

The Jedi are the “good guys” in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …

23. Prepared for dubbing : KNELT
The rite of passage that conferred knighthood on an apprentice was known as the ”accolade” or “dubbing” back in the Middle of Ages. Part of that ceremony is still used today, including the tapping of the flat side of a sword by a monarch on the shoulders of the new knight.

24. Mollusks once known as lepus marinus : SEA HARES
“Sea hare” is the common name of the marine gastropod molluscs known as Aplysiomorpha. The common name comes from the two long “rhinophores” that project upwards from the head, resembling the ears of a hare.

25. Q-Tip target : EAR
Cotton swabs were originally marketed under the name “Baby Gays”, but this was changed in 1926 to “Q-Tips”, with the Q standing for “quality”.

26. ___ Amin, Oscar-winning role for Forest Whitaker : IDI
“The Last King of Scotland” is a 2006 film adaptation of a 1998 novel of the same name by Giles Foden. The story tells of a Scottish doctor (played by James McAvoy) who was employed by Idi Amin (played by Forest Whitaker). The title of the piece comes from the fact that Idi Amin offered his services as King of Scotland, should he ever be needed.

29. N.L. Central team: Abbr. : STL
The St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the “Brown Stockings”, changing their name to the “Perfectos” in 1899. That obviously didn’t go down well with the locals, as the owners changed it one year later to the Cardinals.

30. It might give you a lift, briefly : AAA
The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

33. Short-order orders : BLTS
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

38. Focus of quantum mechanics : ATOM
Quantum mechanics is a branch of physics dealing with processes involving “the very small”, atoms photons and the like.

41. Burgundy of “Anchorman” : RON
Ron Burgundy is the title character in the movie “Anchorman” series of films. Burgundy is a news anchor played by comedian Will Ferrell. Apparently Burgundy loves a glass of scotch, poetry, and his dog Baxter.

42. Venomous viper : ASP
The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

46. Series finale? : ETC
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names.

49. “Pink isn’t just a color, it’s an ___!”: Miley Cyrus : ATTITUDE
Miley Cyrus became famous playing the Disney Channel character “Hannah Montana”. Miley is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was born, Billy Ray and his wife named their daughter “Destiny Hope”, but soon they themselves calling her “Smiley” as she was always smiling as a baby, and this got shortened to Miley over time. Cute …

54. Everything, the good with the bad : WARTS AND ALL
It is said that the phrase “warts and all” was coined by Oliver Cromwell, although there is no real evidence that he ever uttered the phrase. Cromwell had his portrait painted by Sir Peter Lely, an artist who had a reputation for producing works that flattered the subject. Cromwell was a puritan, and may indeed have instructed Lely to produce a less flattering and more objective image. Indeed, the painting includes warts on Cromwell’s face, imperfections that could easily have been omitted.

56. ___ Gilbert, protagonist of “The Vampire Diaries” : ELENA
“The Vampire Diaries” is a series of horror novels by L. J. Smith that is aimed at teens. There is a spinoff television series of the same name. I don’t do vampires …

57. Outs : ALIBIS
“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed … I have an ‘alibi’”.

60. Camphor or fructose : KETONE
Ketones are organic compounds. Many sugars are ketones, as is the solvent acetone.

Camphor is a white, waxy solid that has a strong, aromatic odor. It is found in the wood of some trees and notably in the plant called camphor basil. Camphor can also be produced synthetically, usually from oil of turpentine. Camphor has many uses, and we probably most associate it with camphor balls, a moth repellent. But it also has other uses, as diverse as cooking and embalming!

Fructose is also known as “fruit sugar”. It is commonly found in plants, and is the most water-soluble of all sugars. Many of us consume a lot of “high-fructose corn syrup”. This is a sweetener made from corn starch that is a mixture of glucose and fructose. The natural ratio of fructose to glucose is altered to produce a sweeter syrup by chemically converting much of the naturally occurring glucose into fructose.

61. Line in the sand? : SOS
The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.

63. California’s Point ___ National Seashore : REYES
Point Reyes is a picturesque cape on the Northern California coast about 30 miles west-northwest of San Francisco. The cape was named “Cabo de Pinos” (Point Reyes) by Portuguese explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo.

65. Actor Bremner of “Trainspotting” and “Black Hawk Down” : EWEN
Scottish actor Ewen Bremner played the character “Spud” Murphy in the 1996 film “Trainspotting”.

Down
2. Bigwig : KAHUNA
Like many words in Hawaiian, the term “kahuna” has several English translations, everything from a priest to an expert in some profession. The expression “the Big Kahuna” comes from the movie “Gidget”, released in 1959. The Big Kahuna was the leader of one of the surfing gangs in the film, and was played by Cliff Robertson.

7. “___ the loneliest number” (Three Dog Night lyric) : ONE IS
The rock band Three Dog Night had its first and biggest success back in 1969 with the Harry Nilsson song “One”. The song is perhaps best known for it’s opening words, “One is the loneliest number …” Three Dog Night took their name from an Australian expression. Apparently indigenous Australians would sleep in a hole in the ground alongside their tame dingos. On a cold night, they would huddle up to two dingos, and if it was really, really cold, it was a “three dog night”.

9. Political comic who once had a one-man show on Broadway : MORT SAHL
Mort Sahl is a Canadian-born actor and comedian who moved to the US with his family when he was a child. Sahl became friends with John F. Kennedy. When Kennedy became president, Sahl wrote a lot of jokes for the President’s speeches, although he also told a lot of Kennedy jokes in his acts. After the President was assassinated in 1963, Sahl was intensely interested in finding out who was behind the crime and even got himself deputized as a member of one of the investigating teams. He was very outspoken against the results of the Warren Commission report on the assassination, and soon found himself out of favor with the public. It took a few years for him to make his comeback, but come back he did.

10. Low life? : AMEBA
An ameba (or “amoeba”, as we spell it back in Ireland) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

16. Characters in “Romola” and “The Gondoliers” : TESSAS
“Romola” is novel by George Eliot that was first published in serial form in 1862-63. The story takes place in Florence during the Italian Renaissance, with many references to actual historical events and notable figures of the time. This setting for “Romola” sets it apart from Eliot’s other novels, which are set in 19th-century England.

“The Gondoliers” is a delightful operetta by Gilbert & Sullivan, first performed in 1889 at the Savoy Theatre in London. I last saw “The Gondoliers” decades ago, an amateur production in the small town where I was living at the time in Ireland. Great fun!

27. Main mo. in so-called “Oscar season” : DEC
The Academy Awards ceremony takes place annually in late February. To take advantage of this timing, studios release their Oscar “candidates” in the fall of the prior year, so that they are fresh in the memories of the Academy members who will be voting. The period when the Oscar candidates are released usually lasts from November through the end of the year, and is referred to as “Oscar season”.

28. Tats : INK
The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”.

31. Volt per ampere : OHM
The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm’s Law.

32. Luxe spot : SPA
Luxe is another word for luxury. The term came into English via French from the Latin “luxus” meaning luxury.

33. Incidentally, in a txt msg : BTW
By the way (BTW)

35. Spherical symbol of authority : ORB
An orb and cross (“globus cruciger”) has been used as a Christian symbol of authority since Medieval times. The cross sits atop the globe, indicating Christ’s authority over the world. When the orb is held in the hand of a king or queen, this indicates the authority invested in the earthly ruler.

38. Onetime Caribbean native : ARAWAK
The Arawak are an indigenous people from the South America and the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Sea takes its name from the Carib people. The Caribs are an American Indian people that live in the Lesser Antilles islands, part of the West Indies.

44. Something that may make people go “ick,” for short : PDA
PDA is an abbreviation for “public display of affection”.

51. “Family Ties” mom : ELYSE
The actress Meredith Baxter is best known for playing Elyse, the mother in the eighties sitcom “Family Ties”. Baxter’s big break on television came with a title role on a short-lived sitcom called “Bridget Loves Bernie”. She ended up marrying David Birney, her co-star on “Bridget Loves Bernie”, and so was known for many years as Meredith Baxter-Birney. She changed her name back to Meredith Baxter when the pair divorced in 1989.

55. Gander : LOOK
To take “a gander” is to take a long look. It’s a term we’ve been using since the 1880s and comes from the idea that in taking a long look one might be craning one’s neck like a goose (or gander).

59. Employ, as “the Force” : USE
The Force is a metaphysical power much cited in all of the “Star Wars” movies, and still today we may hear someone in real life say “May the Force be with you”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “___ Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World” (2012 book) : IKE’S
5. Prefix with aware or catastrophe : ECO-
8. It may be a reflection : IMAGE
13. What the transept transects : NAVE
14. Barrel holder : GUN
15. Whip up : FOMENT
17. Dean Martin classic : THAT’S AMORE
19. Twice quinze : TRENTE
20. Appliance store department : AUDIO
21. Jedi defenses : LIGHTSABERS
23. Prepared for dubbing : KNELT
24. Mollusks once known as lepus marinus : SEA HARES
25. Q-Tip target : EAR
26. ___ Amin, Oscar-winning role for Forest Whitaker : IDI
29. N.L. Central team: Abbr. : STL
30. It might give you a lift, briefly : AAA
31. A lot of dough can go into them : OVENS
33. Short-order orders : BLTS
34. Border stops … or a hint to four squares in this puzzle : CHECKPOINTS
38. Focus of quantum mechanics : ATOM
40. “I’m With Stupid” shirt feature : ARROW
41. Burgundy of “Anchorman” : RON
42. Venomous viper : ASP
45. Resting place : BED
46. Series finale? : ETC
49. “Pink isn’t just a color, it’s an ___!”: Miley Cyrus : ATTITUDE
52. Even more calamitous : DIRER
54. Everything, the good with the bad : WARTS AND ALL
56. ___ Gilbert, protagonist of “The Vampire Diaries” : ELENA
57. Outs : ALIBIS
58. “Really?!” : YOU DON’T SAY!
60. Camphor or fructose : KETONE
61. Line in the sand? : SOS
62. Go it alone : SOLO
63. California’s Point ___ National Seashore : REYES
64. Scratch (out) : EKE
65. Actor Bremner of “Trainspotting” and “Black Hawk Down” : EWEN

Down
1. Kind of valve : INTAKE
2. Bigwig : KAHUNA
3. Dodger : EVADER
4. Go to sea : SET SAIL
5. Swellheadedness : EGO
6. Headlock? : CURL
7. “___ the loneliest number” (Three Dog Night lyric) : ONE IS
8. At most : IF THAT
9. Political comic who once had a one-man show on Broadway : MORT SAHL
10. Low life? : AMEBA
11. Warheads? : GENERALS
12. Implore : ENTREAT
16. Characters in “Romola” and “The Gondoliers” : TESSAS
18. Issue in a murder trial : MOTIVE
22. Some TVs : GES
27. Main mo. in so-called “Oscar season” : DEC
28. Tats : INK
31. Volt per ampere : OHM
32. Luxe spot : SPA
33. Incidentally, in a txt msg : BTW
34. Saying “Sorry,” say : CONTRITE
35. Spherical symbol of authority : ORB
36. Cross state : IRE
37. Emulated a bobblehead : NODDED
38. Onetime Caribbean native : ARAWAK
39. Summer : TOTALER
42. When the morning shift might start : AT NINE
43. Lathers up : SUDSES
44. Something that may make people go “ick,” for short : PDA
46. Before this moment, in poetry : ERE NOW
47. Outside clearance event : TENT SALE
48. Colorer : CRAYON
50. Delivery room announcement : IT’S A BOY
51. “Family Ties” mom : ELYSE
53. “How can ___?” : I LOSE
55. Gander : LOOK
59. Employ, as “the Force” : USE

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9 thoughts on “0707-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Jul 16, Thursday”

  1. Thank you so much for your thorough and thoughtful notes! I always learn so much from your blog about my own puzzles!!! And they are a great source for original trivia questions! (eg What is Miley Cyrus's real first name? Destiny Hope, of course!)

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Andrea. It's always a please solving, and indeed writing up a post for, your puzzles.

    And, greetings from the West of Ireland, where I'm on vacation right now with my wife!

  3. 12:30, no errors, iPad. I appreciate being reminded of the etymology of ALIBI. I think I saw SEA HARES mentioned in another puzzle recently; maybe this time I'll remember to find a picture of one. And I liked the theme …

  4. Finally getting to this late.

    The theme was crucial to this one….obviously. It took me a long time to figure it out. THATMORE finally got it for me. Unfortunately I didn't start the puzzle up there. Then I had to take ARAWAK on faith.

    I've read a few books on Eisenhower, and I must say I find him one of the most interesting figures of the 20th Century. He had a part in just about every major event that shaped the entire century. I think I'll add IKE'S Bluff to my "to do" list.

    I haven't thought of the I'm with Stupid T-shirts in years. Coincidentally enough I joked with a friend about them just a few days ago. Then here it is in the puzzle.

    Andrea – Very fun and challenging puzzle. Keep them coming.

    Best –

  5. 24:51 and 5 errors: the same three that Bill had, and ARAWAK/KETONE. Both specialized terms you either know or you don't.

    Decent theme, even though it is a rebus. Not as thoroughly evil as most Thursdays chicanery. I can even say I enjoyed the challenge this one posed.

  6. 20:41, 4 errors. Not sure how to score this one, 56A ELE(NTS)A; 46D ERE(NTS)AY; but did have correct cross answers; just had 47D TE(NTS)ALE vice TEN(TSA)LE and 58A YOU DO(NTS)AY vice YOU DON(TSA)Y.

  7. Did not finish. I was doing pretty good and had realized that this had to be a rebus puzzle. But I made a fatal mistake since I was thrown off by the clue "border stops". I jumped to the conclusion that the rebus entries were all out on the *borders* of the puzzle. That is, on the *margins*. Attempting to follow my false assumption caused nothing to work right so I gave up on the puzzle at about the halfway point.

  8. Would any of you who solve by electronic means please say so, and if or how it helps in completing a puzzle? As a paper and pen solver, I'd like to know.

  9. Five weeks on, I repeated this one just now, using pen and paper, and it took me an extra 1:17, for a total of 13:47! Still no errors, though.

    @Tom … I was purely a pen-and-paper solver for many years and only recently began experimenting with electronic solvers. I have quite a bit to say about it, but it's very late and I'm very tired, so I'll try to remember to post some observations tomorrow …

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