0726-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Jul 16, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Haight
THEME: Estee
Today’s (12!) themed answers each comprise two words beginning with the letters S and T (ES and TEE).

68A. Girl’s name that phonetically provides the initials to the answers to the asterisked clues : ESTEE (ES-TEE = S-T)

17A. *Drink holder near a sofa : SIDE TABLE
21A. *Listing on a Billboard chart : SONG TITLE
27A. *Carnival cruise, e.g. : SEA TRIP
34A. *Things that stick out conspicuously : SORE THUMBS
44A. *Craving for desserts : SWEET TOOTH
49A. *Tearjerker : SAD TALE
58A. *Bygone R&B showcase : SOUL TRAIN
66A. *What good ratings for a new show can lead to : SEASON TWO
4D. *Shoplifter, e.g. : SNEAK THIEF
9D. *”Don’t go anywhere!” : SIT TIGHT
32D. *Really safe bets : SURE THINGS
41D. *Film words before “Nemesis,” “Into Darkness” and “Beyond” : STAR TREK

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 14s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Ones whose business is picking up? : CABS
A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

5. Yodeling locale : ALPS
There are eight Alpine countries:

Austria
Slovenia
France
Switzerland
Liechtenstein
Germany
Monaco
Italy

14. Mideast monarchy : OMAN
Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

19. Discombobulate : THROW
To discombobulate is to faze, disconcert, to confuse.

23. Kit ___ bar : KAT
I grew up eating Kit Kat bars as a kid, as the chocolate confection has been around since the thirties. Kit Kats didn’t hit the shelves in the US until the seventies. I’ve seen new varieties of Kit Kat over in the UK, such as an orange-flavored version, but haven’t seen anything like that over here.

25. Braxton with seven Grammys : TONI
Toni Braxton is a very successful R&B singer, but one who seems to have trouble managing her financial affairs. After two highly successful albums, she had to file for bankruptcy protection in 1993. She recovered and had even more success, and then had to file for bankruptcy again in 2010.

27. *Carnival cruise, e.g. : SEA TRIP
The Carnival Cruise Line was founded in 1972, and now has over 20 vessels in operation. Three of those Carnival ships were chartered by the US government in the wake of Hurricane Katrina so that they could provided temporary housing for families displaced by the storm.

31. Dept. of Justice heads : AGS
Attorneys General (AGs) head up the Department of Justice (DOJ). When the office of the Attorney General was created in 1789 it was a part-time job, with no departmental support. The Department of Justice came into being in 1870.

40. Foe of Rocky and Bullwinkle : BORIS
Fearless Leader, Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale are all characters in the cartoon show “Rocky and Bullwinkle”. Fearless Leader is the dictatorial ruler of Pottsylvania, and Boris and Natasha are two of his minions, two inept government agents.

42. Deli delicacy : LOX
Lox is a cured salmon fillet, finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

43. Rainbow ___ : TROUT
The steelhead and rainbow trout are actually the same species. The difference is that rainbow trout spend almost their whole lives in freshwater. Steelheads spend much of their lives in estuaries or open ocean, returning to freshwater to spawn.

47. “Little” girl in “David Copperfield” : EM’LY
In the Charles Dickens novel “David Copperfield”, Little Em’ly is a childhood friend of the title character.

48. ___ Four : FAB
The Beatles were described on the sleeve notes of their 1963 album “With the Beatles” as the “fabulous foursome”. The press picked up on the phrase and morphed it into “the Fab Four”.

51. Fraction of a joule : ERG
An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, as there are 10 million ergs in one joule. it has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off.

54. Huckleberry Finn carrier : RAFT
In Mark Twain’s novel “Huckleberry Finn”, much of the storyline is taken up with Huck’s adventures with the slave Jim as they raft down the Mississippi River. By making the journey, the pair hope to find freedom from slavery for Jim and freedom from his vagrant drunkard father for Huck.

57. “Not impressed” : MEH
“Meh!” is one of those terms unfamiliar to me outside of crosswords. It is a modern colloquialism meaning “I’m not great, but not bad”. A friendly reader of this blog tells me that the usage of the term increased dramatically after it started to appear regularly in “The Simpsons” starting in the early nineties.

58. *Bygone R&B showcase : SOUL TRAIN
“Soul Train” is a musical variety show featuring mainly R&B, soul and hip hop artists that originally aired from 1971 to 2006. “Soul Train” was the longest-running, nationally syndicated television show in history, with more than 1,100 episodes. “Entertainment Tonight” and “Wheel of Fortune” come in second and third place in that “race”, and they are still being aired.

61. Prancer’s partner on Santa’s team : VIXEN
In the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, better known today by its first line “‘Twas the night before Christmas”, the narrator lists for us the names of Santa’s reindeer:

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen! “

65. Stun gun : TASER
Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle”. The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon partly named its product as a homage to the novel. The acronym “TASER” stands for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”.

70. Pirate’s quaff : GROG
Edward Vernon was a naval officer with the nickname “Old Grog”. In 1740, Vernon ordered that the daily ration of rum for his sailors should be watered down, in order to reduce discipline problems caused by drunkenness. The diluted rum was sweetened with sugar, and lemon or lime added to help preserve it on long voyages. This recipe, found to reduce scurvy among sailors (because of the citrus) spread throughout the Royal Navy, and “grog” was born.

“Quaff” is both a verb and a noun. One quaffs (takes a hearty drink) of a quaff (a hearty drink).

71. Bird on a birth announcement : STORK
In German and Dutch society, storks resting on the roof of a house were considered a sign of good luck. This tradition led to nursery stories that babies were brought to families by storks.

72. Dick and Jane’s dog : SPOT
In the “Dick and Jane” series of book for children, Spot was a cat back in the thirties, but then became a dog in later editions.

The “Dick and Jane” beginning reader series of books was originally written by William S. Gray and Zerna Sharp and first published in the 1930s. There are claims of plagiarism from an earlier pair of books published throughout the British Commonwealth that featured the characters Dick and Dora. Indeed, I grew up in the British Isles with “Dick and Dora”, and always assumed that “Dick and Jane” were somehow their American cousins!

73. Nordstrom rival : SAKS
Saks Fifth Avenue is a high-end specialty store that competes with the likes of Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus. The original Saks & Company business was founded by Andrew Saks in 1867. The first Saks Fifth Avenue store was opened on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1924. There are now Saks Fifth Avenue stores in many major cities in the US, as well in several locations worldwide.

The Nordstrom chain of fashion stores was founded in 1901 by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin as a retailer of shoes, under the name “Wallin & Nordstrom”. The store’s name changed to just “Nordstrom” in 1930, soon after both founders retired and sold their shares to Nordstrom’s two sons.

Down
1. “___ Fan Tutte” : COSI
Mozart’s comic opera “Così fan tutte” is also known in English as “The School for Lovers”. The literal translation of the opera’s title is “Thus do all (women)”, or “Women are like that”.

5. Decay-fighting org. : ADA
American Dental Association (ADA)

7. Charles Lindbergh, e.g. : PILOT
Charles Lindbergh was the American pilot who made the first solo, non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, a distance of nearly 3,600 miles. He won the accolades of a whole country for that feat, and was awarded the Medal of Honor (for which Lindbergh was eligible, as an Army Reserve officer). His new-found fame brought tragedy to his door, however, when a kidnapper took his infant son from his home in East Amwell, New Jersey. A ransom was paid in part, but the child was never returned, and was found dead a few weeks later. It was as a result of this case that Congress made kidnapping a federal offence should there be any aspect of the crime that crosses a state line.

8. ___ pad : STENO
Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

11. Knox and Dix : FORTS
Fort Knox is actually a US Army base, but it lends its name to the adjacent facility that is more correctly called the United States Bullion Depository. Most of the US gold reserves are in “Fort Knox”, although it isn’t the biggest gold repository in the US. That honor goes to the vault under the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Manhattan. Most of the gold stored in the New York vault belongs to foreign nations and banks.

Fort Dix is the name commonly used for what is now more correctly called Joint Base McGuire -Dix-Lakehurst, a US Army base located near Trenton, New Jersey. Fort Dix was established in 1917 by the Army, and was consolidated with nearby Air Force and Navy facilities in 2009.

12. Speed skater ___ Ohno : APOLO
Speed-skater Apolo Ohno has won more Winter Olympics medals than any other American. Ohno also did a great job winning the 2007 season of television’s “Dancing with the Stars”.

18. Winter Palace autocrat : TSAR
The Winter Palace is a magnificent building in St. Petersburg in Russia, home to the Russian tsars (and tsarinas). The Winter Palace houses the famous Hermitage Museum. I was lucky enough to visit the Palace and museum some years ago, and I have to say that I have rarely been more impressed by a historical building.

22. Cookout annoyance : GNAT
Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and to vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

27. Close kin, for short : SIBS
Siblings (sibs.)

28. Sufficient, to a bard : ENOW
“Enow” is an archaic form of the word “enough”.

29. Part of a plot : ACRE
At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. This was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one furlong wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. A area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

30. Casual Friday shirt : POLO
Ralph Lauren is an American fashion designer, born Ralph Liftshitz in the Bronx, New York. Lauren started off working as a salesman for Brooks Brothers after spending two years in the US Army. He then opened a necktie store, featuring his own tie designs. The ties were sold under the name “Polo”, which became Lauren’s most famous brand. Other Lauren brands are Purple Label and Black Label.

35. Friend of Pooh : ROO
Like most of the characters in A. A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh”, Roo was inspired by on a stuffed toy belonging to Milne’s son Christopher Robin.

37. N.Y.C. cultural center : MOMA
The founding of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City was very much driven by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, the wife of John D. Rockefeller, son of the oil magnate. Working with two friends, Abby managed to get the museum opened in 1929, just nine days after the Wall Street Crash. The MoMA’s sculpture garden bears the name of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and has done so since 1949.

38. Animal in a Wall Street sculpture : BULL
“Charging Bull” is a dramatic, bronze statue that sits in Bowling Green Park near Wall Street in New York City. The statue is an example of “guerrilla art”, as the artist Artura di Modica was not commissioned to create the work, and did so on his own dime. He trucked it over to Broad Street in December 1989 and left it as a Christmas gift to the people of New York. The police seized it, but the public outcry led to the city reinstalling it, in its current location off the street and in the park.

39. Irritating subject for an ophthalmologist? : STYE
Ophthalmology is that branch of medicine dealing with the physiology and health of the eye. “Ophthalmos” is the Greek word for “eye”.

41. *Film words before “Nemesis,” “Into Darkness” and “Beyond” : STAR TREK
When Gene Roddenberry first proposed the science fiction series that became “Star Trek”, he marketed it as “Wagon Train to the Stars”, a pioneer-style Western in outer space. In fact his idea was to produce something more like “Gulliver’s Travels”, as he intended to write episodes that were adventure stories on one level, but morality tales on another. Personally I think that he best achieved this model with the spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (TNG). If you watch individual episodes you will see thinly disguised treatments of moral issues such as racism, homosexuality, genocide etc. For my money, “The Next Generation” is the best of the whole franchise …

45. Ski lift : T-BAR
A T-bar is a type of ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, a similar device, but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

50. “Whip It” rock band : 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 …

51. ___ Park, Colo. : ESTES
Estes Park is a town in a beautiful part of the US, in northern Colorado. Estes Park is home to the headquarters of Rocky Mountain National Park. My forest firefighter brother-in-law was based at that park, so I’ve visited and can attest that it is a gorgeous place to live. He lives in Omaha now. The geography in Omaha is a little different …

53. Zeal : GUSTO
“Gusto” is an Italian word meaning “taste”. We use it in English in the phrase “with gusto”, with great enjoyment.

55. Eschews food : FASTS
“To eschew”, meaning “to avoid, shun” comes from the Old French word “eschiver” that means the same thing.

60. Small Apple offering : NANO
The iPod Nano is the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There have been seven versions of the Nano to date and the current Nano as well as playing tunes is an FM player, records voice memos, has a pedometer and can connect with external devices (like a heart monitor, maybe) using Bluetooth technology.

63. Furry Endor creature : EWOK
The Ewoks are creatures who live on the moon of Endor, first appearing in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”. They’re the cute and cuddly little guys that look like teddy bears.

64. Yuletide quaffs : NOGS
It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

“Yule” celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words “Christmas” and “Yule” have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name “Yule” comes from the Old Norse word “jol” that was used to describe the festival.

67. Game-match connector : SET
“Game, set and match” is a phrase used in tennis.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Ones whose business is picking up? : CABS
5. Yodeling locale : ALPS
9. Up until now : SO FAR
14. Mideast monarchy : OMAN
15. “Stop procrastinating!” : DO IT!
16. “From your mouth to God’s ears!” : I HOPE!
17. *Drink holder near a sofa : SIDE TABLE
19. Discombobulate : THROW
20. Think tank output : IDEAS
21. *Listing on a Billboard chart : SONG TITLE
23. Kit ___ bar : KAT
25. Braxton with seven Grammys : TONI
26. Instant lawn : SOD
27. *Carnival cruise, e.g. : SEA TRIP
31. Dept. of Justice heads : AGS
33. Move slowly (along) : INCH
34. *Things that stick out conspicuously : SORE THUMBS
40. Foe of Rocky and Bullwinkle : BORIS
42. Deli delicacy : LOX
43. Rainbow ___ : TROUT
44. *Craving for desserts : SWEET TOOTH
47. “Little” girl in “David Copperfield” : EM’LY
48. ___ Four : FAB
49. *Tearjerker : SAD TALE
51. Fraction of a joule : ERG
54. Huckleberry Finn carrier : RAFT
57. “Not impressed” : MEH
58. *Bygone R&B showcase : SOUL TRAIN
61. Prancer’s partner on Santa’s team : VIXEN
65. Stun gun : TASER
66. *What good ratings for a new show can lead to : SEASON TWO
68. Girl’s name that phonetically provides the initials to the answers to the asterisked clues : ESTEE (ES-TEE = S-T)
69. Adjust, as guitar strings : TUNE
70. Pirate’s quaff : GROG
71. Bird on a birth announcement : STORK
72. Dick and Jane’s dog : SPOT
73. Nordstrom rival : SAKS

Down
1. “___ Fan Tutte” : COSI
2. Surrounded by : AMID
3. Requested : BADE
4. *Shoplifter, e.g. : SNEAK THIEF
5. Decay-fighting org. : ADA
6. Defensive tennis shots : LOBS
7. Charles Lindbergh, e.g. : PILOT
8. ___ pad : STENO
9. *”Don’t go anywhere!” : SIT TIGHT
10. “Fancy meeting you here!” : OH HI!
11. Knox and Dix : FORTS
12. Speed skater ___ Ohno : APOLO
13. Take some new vows : REWED
18. Winter Palace autocrat : TSAR
22. Cookout annoyance : GNAT
24. “___ a pity” : ‘TIS
27. Close kin, for short : SIBS
28. Sufficient, to a bard : ENOW
29. Part of a plot : ACRE
30. Casual Friday shirt : POLO
32. *Really safe bets : SURE THINGS
35. Friend of Pooh : ROO
36. Tel. no. add-ons : EXTS
37. N.Y.C. cultural center : MOMA
38. Animal in a Wall Street sculpture : BULL
39. Irritating subject for an ophthalmologist? : STYE
41. *Film words before “Nemesis,” “Into Darkness” and “Beyond” : STAR TREK
45. Ski lift : T-BAR
46. With 52-Down, Sunday entree : HAM
50. “Whip It” rock band : DEVO
51. ___ Park, Colo. : ESTES
52. See 46-Down : ROAST
53. Zeal : GUSTO
55. Eschews food : FASTS
56. Traffic jam : TIE-UP
59. Evil look : LEER
60. Small Apple offering : NANO
62. More, in ads : XTRA
63. Furry Endor creature : EWOK
64. Yuletide quaffs : NOGS
67. Game-match connector : SET

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3 thoughts on “0726-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Jul 16, Tuesday”

  1. 8:12, no errors, iPad. Curiously, plan A for the day was to finish chores at home early enough to head for Estes Park and points beyond, but I'm running a bit late, so I may not make it up there today …

  2. 8:30, no errors. Was actually able to figure out the theme before finishing, but it wasn't necessary to complete the puzzle.

  3. No errors. I got the theme early on. It helped me to solve the puzzle faster and more easily although I could have probably done okay without it. I had some confusion in my mind about exactly how to pronounce the name ESTEE. I thought that it was pronounced like "ess-tay" which would have made the theme somewhat inaccurate. I went to some YouTube videos where I could hear the name being pronounced. So near as I could determine the only recognized pronunciation is indeed "ess-tee" so the clue is valid.

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