0715-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Jul 16, Friday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today’s SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications
Solution to today’s New York Times crossword found online at the Seattle Times website
Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Matt Ginsberg
THEME: None-ish
We have a mini-theme today, with the answer UNIONIZED running across the center of the grid. A CHEMIST would pronounce this word as UN-IONIZED (4 syllables), and a PLUMBER as UNIONIZED (3 syllables):

36A. See 19- and 57-Across : UNIONIZED

19A. One for whom 36-Across has four syllables : CHEMIST
57A. One for whom 36-Across has three syllables : PLUMBER

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 15m 52s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
15. Hugh who played TV’s House : LAURIE
English actor and comedian Hugh Laurie used to be half of a comedy double act with Stephen Fry called simply “Fry and Laurie”. Fry and Laurie met in Cambridge University through their mutual friend, the actress Emma Thompson. Over in North America, Laurie is best known for playing the title role in the medical drama “House”.

17. Wool source : ANGORA
Angora wool comes from the Angora rabbit. On the other hand, the Angora goat produces the wool known as mohair.

18. Subcontinent-wide : ALL-INDIA
The Indian Subcontinent is sometimes referred to as the South Asian Subcontinent, South Asia or the Indo-Pak Subcontinent.

22. Island west of Mull : IONA
Although the small island of Iona lies just off the west coast of Scotland, it was the site of a monastery built in the Middle Ages by a monk from Ireland names Colm Cille (also known as Columba). Colm Cille and his followers were sent into exile from the Irish mainland and settled in Iona, as at that time the island was part of an Irish kingdom. This monastery in Iona expanded its influence over the decades and founded other institutions all over Ireland and Great Britain. It is believed that the famous Book of Kells may have been written, or at least started, at the monastery on Iona. Iona is also the burial site for Macbeth, King of Scotland who was immortalized in Shakespeare’s fictional account of the king’s life.

23. Red stuff to cut through : TAPE
Back in the days of yore in England, official documents were bound in bundles with red ribbon. So, getting through all the paperwork required “cutting through the red tape”.

25. Dim bulbs : DODOS
The dodo was a direct relative of the pigeon and dove, although the fully-grown dodo was usually three feet tall. One of the reasons the dodo comes to mind when we think of extinction of a species, is that it disappeared not too long ago (last recorded alive in 1681) and humans were the reason for its demise. The dodo lived exclusively on the island of Mauritius and when man arrived, we cut back the forests that were its home. We also introduced domestic animals, such as dogs and pigs, that ransacked the dodo’s nests. The dodo was deemed to be an awkward flightless bird and so the term “dodo” has come to mean a dull-witted person.

31. Gray head : LEE
Robert E. Lee is renowned as a southern officer in the Civil War. Lee was a somewhat reluctant participant in the war in that he opposed the secession of his home state of Virginia from the Union. At the beginning of the war, President Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the whole Union Army but he declined, choosing instead to stay loyal to his home state. During the Civil War, Lee’s men referred to him affectionately as “Marse Robert”, with “marse” being slang for “master”.

38. Lyricist who adapted “Pygmalion” : LERNER
Alan Jay Lerner was a lyricist from New York City who was known for his collaboration with Frederick Loewe and Burton Lane. Lerner was also known for his colorful private life. He was left with a persistent amphetamine addiction after being treated with “vitamins with enzymes” in the sixties, that were actually hypodermic shots laced with amphetamines. He also married eight times, and was often in dire financial straits due to the heavy load of alimony payments.

Eliza Doolittle is Professor Henry Higgins’ speech student in George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion”. “Pygmalion” was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical “My Fair Lady”. The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was “‘Enry ‘Iggins”.

42. Chrome runners, maybe : PCS
Google’s Chrome is now the most popular web browser used in the US, with Mozilla Firefox in second place and Internet Explorer in third. I find Chrome to be much, much more user-friendly than Internet Explorer, and more featured than Firefox. Chrome also works more seamlessly with other Google products and with Android phones.

45. x, y and z : AXES
When something is plotted on a graph with x- and y-coordinates, the x-coordinate is called the “abscissa”, and the y-coordinate is the “ordinate”. Those same terms are rarely used in 3-dimensional plots. If so, then the z-coordinate is referred to as the “applicate”.

46. Mozart title starter : EINE
Mozart’s Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major, is better known as “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”, which translates into “a little serenade”, but the more literal English translation of “a little night music” is often used. It is a delightful piece in four, very recognizable movements, although there is much debate about a “lost” fifth movement.

48. Devil’s deck : TAROT
Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future. The list of tarot cards includes the Wheel of Fortune, the Hanged Man and the Lovers.

54. Musical group known for wearing red hats called “energy domes” : DEVO
Devo is a band from Akron, Ohio formed back in 1973. The band’s biggest hit is “Whip It” released in 1980. Devo have a gimmick: the wearing of red, terraced plastic hats that are referred to as “energy domes”. Why? I have no idea …

57. One for whom 36-Across has three syllables : PLUMBER
Plumbum is the Latin for lead, explaining why the symbol of the element in the Periodic Table is “Pb”. It also explains why the original lead weight on the end of a line used to check vertical was called a “plumb line”. And, as pipes were originally made of lead, it also explains why we would call in a “plumber” if one of them was leaking.

61. Calmer? : OPIATE
Opiates are the narcotic alkaloids found in the opium poppy plant, although some synthetic versions and derivatives of the same alkaloids are also called opiates. To produce opiates, the latex sap of the opium poppy is collected and processed. The naturally-occurring drugs of morphine and codeine can both be extracted from the sap. Some synthesis is required to make derivative drugs like heroin and oxycodone.

62. Lesser “Seinfeld” role played by Len Lesser : UNCLE LEO
On the sitcom “Seinfeld”, Jerry’s eccentric maternal uncle is Leo, played by actor Len Lesser. Lesser acted in movies and television for many years, alongside some of the greats of stage and screen. He was fond of telling a marvelous story about acting in the 1973 film “Papillon” starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. In his role as a prison guard, Lesser was required to shove McQueen, but McQueen didn’t think that Lesser was pushing him roughly enough. He turned to Lesser and told him “Don’t think of me as a movie star. Think of me as a character in a show”, encouraging him to be more aggressive. When McQueen walked away, Hoffman was left standing there beside Lesser. He paused and quietly said to Lesser, “Think of me as a movie star …”

64. Early Beatle : PETE BEST
Musician Pete Best is most famous as the first drummer with the Beatles. Famously, Best was sacked from the band by manager Brian Epstein. However, Epstein took this step reluctantly, and at the request of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison. Several stories have emerged about why the decision was made, but it seems that record producers at Parlophone were insisting that a session drummer be used in the band’s first recordings, and things snowballed from there. And of course, Best was soon replaced by Ringo Starr.

Down
3. Princess in line to the British throne after Beatrice : EUGENIE
Princess Eugenie of York is the youngest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York, and an heir to the British throne. Eugenie’s parents divorced when she was six years old. Princess Eugenie does not herself carry out public duties, and in 2015 started work as a director in a London art gallery.

5. When told “I’m sleepy,” she sometimes says “I hope you’re not driving” : SIRI
Siri is software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. You’ve probably seen the ads on television, with folks talking to their iPhones asking for information and responding with a voice. I hear that Google is a little scared by Siri, as Siri is non-visual. There’s no need to touch a screen or a keyboard to work with Siri, no opportunity to click on one of Google’s ads! By the way, voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri not that long ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

6. Rising generation? : YEAST
Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the Fungi kingdom. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

7. The Era of ___ (1964-74 Notre Dame football) : ARA
Ara Parseghian coached the Notre Dame football team from 1964 to 1974, a period known as “The Era of Ara”.

10. Paris fights in it : ILIAD
“The Iliad” is an epic poem by the Greek poet Homer, which tells the story of the ten-year siege of Ilium (also known as Troy) during the Trojan war. “The Odyssey”, also attributed to Homer, is sometimes described as a sequel to “The Iliad”.

In Greek mythology, Paris was a son of Priam and Hecuba, the king and queen of Troy. Paris is famous for eloping with Helen, Queen of Sparta, and hence precipitating the Trojan War. Paris also killed the Greek hero Achilles by shooting him in the heel with an arrow.

11. Like many bad words : CENSORED
The original “censor” was an officer in ancient Rome who had responsibility for taking the “census”, as well as supervising public morality.

13. Safari Capital of the World : NAIROBI
Nairobi is the capital and largest city in the African nation of Kenya. The city is named for the Nairobi River, which in turn takes its name from the Maasai “Enkare Nairobi” meaning “Cool Water”. Nairobi was founded in 1899 as a stop on the Kenya-Uganda railroad, at a time when the country was a British colony. Nowadays, due to the success of the city’s tourism industry, Nairobi is nicknamed “Safari Capital of the World”.

14. Nine-time presidential contender of the 1940s-’90s : STASSEN
Harold Stassen was Governor of Minnesota from 1939 to 1943, and is largely remembered as a perennial candidate for the Republican nomination for US president. Stassen sought the nomination ten times in all between 1940 and 1992, and never came close to winning.

27. It makes a wave : SINE
A sine wave is a mathematical function that describes a simple, smooth, repetitive oscillation. The sine wave is found right throughout the natural world. Ocean waves, light waves and sound waves all have a sine wave pattern.

38. Like skates and corsets : LACED UP
A corset is a close-fitting undergarment that is stiffened with a material such as whalebone. Corsets are more usually worn by women, to shape the body. The word “corset” is a diminutive of the Old French “cors” meaning “body”.

40. Word repeatedly spelled out by Franklin : RESPECT
“Respect” is a song by Otis Redding, and one that he recorded himself in 1965. It became a hit when Aretha Franklin made her famous cover version in 1967. The Redding and Franklin versions have different storylines though, and different musical “feels”.

44. British floors : STOREYS
Here’s another spelling that I had to learn when I moved to the US. A “story” is a level in a building, a term that we also use on the other side of the Atlantic, albeit with the spelling “storey”. To further complicate matters, the “first floor” in the US is the ground floor. The “first floor” in Ireland and Britain is the “storey” above the ground floor. Aaagh!

47. Time after Time? : ISSUES
As a kind blog reader explained to me (below), one delivery of “Time” followed by another gives two “issues” of “Time” in all …

“Time” magazine has a readership of about 25 million, making it the largest circulation weekly news magazine in the world.

53. Calligraphic messes : BLOTS
Calligraphy is the art of fine handwriting, and a term derived from the Greek “kallos” meaning “beauty” and “graphein” meaning “to write”.

56. Creator of the lawyer Perry : ERLE
I must have read all of the Perry Mason books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn’t get into the profession the easy way. Gardner went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably, he gave up the law once his novels became successful.

58. “Superman” catchphrase starter : UP, UP …
Up, up and away!

60. Grokked : GOT
“To grok” is to understand, a slang word that’s really only used in “techie” circles. “Grok” is the creation of science fiction author Robert Heinlein, who coined the term in his 1961 novel “Stranger in a Strange Land”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Insincerely polite : GREASY
7. 13-Down natives, e.g. : AFRICANS
15. Hugh who played TV’s House : LAURIE
16. Laid into : RAILED AT
17. Wool source : ANGORA
18. Subcontinent-wide : ALL-INDIA
19. One for whom 36-Across has four syllables : CHEMIST
21. Many new car drivers : LEASERS
22. Island west of Mull : IONA
23. Red stuff to cut through : TAPE
25. Dim bulbs : DODOS
26. Off : AMISS
28. Compromise : BEND
30. Trial cover-up : ROBE
31. Gray head : LEE
32. Has the stage : IS ON
34. What exterior doors typically do : OPEN IN
36. See 19- and 57-Across : UNIONIZED
38. Lyricist who adapted “Pygmalion” : LERNER
41. Clubs to beat people with? : ACES
42. Chrome runners, maybe : PCS
45. x, y and z : AXES
46. Mozart title starter : EINE
48. Devil’s deck : TAROT
50. Lawyer’s workload : CASES
52. Admission evidence : STUB
54. Musical group known for wearing red hats called “energy domes” : DEVO
55. Recycling bin fill : EMPTIES
57. One for whom 36-Across has three syllables : PLUMBER
59. Figure-changing agent : DIET DRUG
61. Calmer? : OPIATE
62. Lesser “Seinfeld” role played by Len Lesser : UNCLE LEO
63. Bomb : TURKEY
64. Early Beatle : PETE BEST
65. Going rates : SPEEDS

Down
1. Beyond slow : GLACIAL
2. Sought safety, say : RAN HOME
3. Princess in line to the British throne after Beatrice : EUGENIE
4. Agents in some therapy : AROMAS
5. When told “I’m sleepy,” she sometimes says “I hope you’re not driving” : SIRI
6. Rising generation? : YEAST
7. The Era of ___ (1964-74 Notre Dame football) : ARA
8. Like some angels and arches : FALLEN
9. Really bug : RILE
10. Paris fights in it : ILIAD
11. Like many bad words : CENSORED
12. Appended : ADDED ON
13. Safari Capital of the World : NAIROBI
14. Nine-time presidential contender of the 1940s-’90s : STASSEN
20. Shaving the beard with a razor, in Jewish law : TABOO
24. Bit of décor in a sports bar : PENNANT
27. It makes a wave : SINE
29. Nap : DOZE
33. Top of the line? : SIRE
35. Tick, e.g. : PEST
36. Fill with anxiety : UNSETTLE
37. Freeze : ICE UP
38. Like skates and corsets : LACED UP
39. Scrutinize : EXAMINE
40. Word repeatedly spelled out by Franklin : RESPECT
42. Make as a heat-and-serve product, say : PREBAKE
43. Much-sought-after : COVETED
44. British floors : STOREYS
47. Time after Time? : ISSUES
49. Think much of : ADMIRE
51. Backtrack? : SIDE B
53. Calligraphic messes : BLOTS
56. Creator of the lawyer Perry : ERLE
58. “Superman” catchphrase starter : UP UP
60. Grokked : GOT

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6 thoughts on “0715-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Jul 16, Friday”

  1. 27:28, no errors, iPad. Not an easy one for me. Had forgotten the British spelling STOREYS. Had never heard of DEVO. Guessed SIRI, but only after some time. Had ALPACA instead of ANGORA for quite a while. The last letter I filled in was the final E of LEE (because I did think the princess was named EUGENIE, rather than EUGENIA), but then spent another couple of minutes figuring out how to interpret "Gray head". Strangely enough, ISSUES for "Time after Time" was one of the few real "gimmes" in the puzzle.

  2. Dear Bill,

    I think Eugenie is the younger daughter of the Yorks – this coming after Beatrice in line for the throne.

  3. "Time after Time" leads to "issues" if you think of getting an issue of the magazine one week and then another issue the following week, etc.

    Claire Schaffer

  4. @geordiegirl
    Even at this very late stage (I was on vacation), let me thank you for correcting my comment about Princess Eugenie. I've fixed it in the blog post.

    @Claire Schaffer
    Thanks for explaining that "Time" clue for me. The wording went right over my head! I'll give your explanation in the text above.

  5. 23:22 and no gaffes. 31 Across was a really poor clue, and could have been better stated in many ways. EMPTIES eluded me for quite some time. Decent Friday challenge.

  6. 27:57, no errors. Originally had 17A ALPACA, and 49D ADORES. Was trying to work SMARMY into 1A.

    Enjoyed the tough Friday clues.

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