0831-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 31 Aug 16, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ned White
THEME: Make It Last
Each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase with “IT” added at the end, to suit the clue:

62A. “Use this sparingly” … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : MAKE IT LAST
17A. Hormel’s assurance that Spam is packed safely? : YES, WE CAN IT (“Yes We Can” + “it”)
29A. Playground equipment thief? : SWING BANDIT (“swing band” + “it”)
38A. “Enough!” as opposed to “You quit that right now!”? : SHORT “STOP IT” (“shortstop” + “it”)
48A. “Miss Dickinson, put your poem on Facebook”? : EMILY, POST IT (“Emily Post” + “it”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 38s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Stuff for sale at concerts : MERCH
“Merch” (merchandise)

10. Galileo Galilei Airport city : PISA
Galileo Galilei may be the most famous son of the city of Pisa in Italy and was considered by many to have been the father of modern science. In the world of physics, Galileo postulated that objects of different masses would fall at the same rate provided they did so in a vacuum (so there was no air resistance). There is a story that he dropped two balls of different masses from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate this, but this probably never happened. Centuries later, Astronaut David Scott performed Galileo’s proposed experiment when he dropped a hammer and feather on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission and we all saw the objects hit the moon surface, at exactly the same time.

14. Federico of the Clinton cabinet : PENA
Federico Peña served as the Secretary of Transportation and as the Secretary of Energy in the Clinton administration.

15. State bordering British Columbia : IDAHO
The US state of Idaho has a panhandle that extends northwards between Washington and Montana, right up to the border with Canada. Across that border is the Canadian province of British Columbia. Most of Idaho is in the Mountain Time Zone, but Northern Idaho (the Panhandle) is in the Pacific Time Zone.

16. Bow-toting deity : EROS
Eros, the Greek god of love, was also known as Amor. The Roman counterpart to Eros was Cupid.

17. Hormel’s assurance that Spam is packed safely? : YES, WE CAN IT (“Yes We Can” + “it”)
Spam is a precooked meat product that is sold in cans. It was introduced by Hormel Foods in 1937. The main meat ingredients are pork shoulder meat and ham. The name “Spam” was chosen as the result of a competition at Hormel, with the winner earning himself a hundred dollars. According to the company, the derivation of the name “Spam” is a secret known by only a few former executives, but the speculation is that it stands for “spiced ham” or “shoulders of pork and ham”.

The 2008 campaign that resulted in the election of President Barack Obama used the slogan “Change we can believe in”, along with the associated chant “Yes We Can”. The words “Yes We Can” were perhaps borrowed from the United Farm Workers, which organization uses the motto “Sí, se puede”. “Sí, se puede” translates as “Yes, it is possible” and is a phrase very much associated with labor leader Cesar Chavez.

19. [I need this immediately] : ASAP
As soon as possible (ASAP)

20. Singer Lambert : ADAM
Singer Adam Lambert is one of the “successes” to come out of the “American Idol” machine.

23. Like most pretzels : SALTY
Pretzels originated in Europe and are especially popular in Southern Germany where a pretzel is known as “Brezel”. Pretzels were introduced into the US in the 1800s by immigrants from Germany and Switzerland who came to be known over here as the Pennsylvania Dutch.

26. Brazil ___ : NUT
The Brazil nut tree is native to South America, however, the largest exporter of Brazil nuts isn’t Brazil but is in fact Bolivia. And, the Brazil nut isn’t actually a nut in the strict sense of the word and instead is a seed (as opposed a hard-shelled fruit).

27. L.A. campus : USC
The University of Southern California (USC) is a private school in Los Angeles. Apart from its excellent academic record, USC is known the success of its athletic program. USC athletes have won more Olympic medals than the students of any other university in the world. The USC marching band is very famous as well, and is known as the “Spirit of Troy”. The band has performed with many celebrities, and is the only college band to have two platinum records.

42. Bathroom fixture : BIDET
“Bidet” is a French word that we imported into English. In French, the word “bidet” originally described a small horse or a pony. What we know as a bidet was so called because one can straddle it like a horse in order to use it.

44. ___ de toilette : EAU
“Eau de toilette” (toilet water) is a diluted perfume. A French person when dressing is said to be attending to his or her “toilette”.

45. Zero, at Ashe Stadium : LOVE
In tennis the score of zero is designated as “love”. Some people believe that this usage originates from the French “l’oeuf” (meaning “the egg”). The idea is that the written character “0” looks like an egg.

The Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York opened in 1997 and for years was the largest outdoor, tennis-only venue in the world. The stadium was often criticized for not having a retractable dome to protect the playing surface from inclement weather. Well, that changed in 2016 when the stadium dubuted its new retractable roof, a $150 million investment in the facility.

48. “Miss Dickinson, put your poem on Facebook”? : EMILY, POST IT (“Emily Post” + “it”)
Emily Dickinson wrote nearly 1800 poems in her lifetime, with less than a dozen published before she died in 1886. Emily’s younger sister discovered the enormous collection, and it was published in batches over the coming decades.

52. An air ball misses this : RIM
That would be in basketball.

53. Mental health org. : APA
American Psychiatric Association (APA)

54. Parker or Cross : PEN
The Parker Pen Company was founded in 1888 in Janesville, Wisconsin by George Safford Parker. Parker had repaired and sold fountain pens as a sideline for many years. With this experience, he created pens that were less likely to leak ink and founded his company based on these patented designs.

A. T. Cross is a company that claims to be the oldest manufacturer of fine pens. Cross was founded in 1846 in Providence, Rhode Island by one Richard Cross. Richard passed the company on to his son Alonzo T. Cross, who gave it the current name.

55. Kentucky Derby prize : ROSES
The first Kentucky Derby was run in 1875, and is a race modelled on the Epsom Derby in England and the Grand Prix de Paris (now called the “Prix de l‘Arc de Triomphe”). As such, The Kentucky Derby was run over 1½ miles, although in 1896 this was shortened to 1¼ miles. The winning horse is presented with a very elaborate blanket made of red roses.

61. Victims of the Morlocks, in sci-fi : 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.

67. Broadway musical based on “La Bohème” : RENT
The musical “Rent” by Jonathan Larson is based on the Puccini opera “La bohème”. “Rent” tells the story of struggling artists and musicians living in the Lower East Side of New York, and is set against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic. We saw “Rent” on Broadway quite a few years ago and we were very disappointed …

“La bohème” by Giacomo Puccini is the second most frequently performed opera in the US (after Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”). The lead female role in the piece is Mimì, a seamstress.

68. Epic of Troy : 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”.

69. Tree of Life locale : EDEN
There is mention in the Bible of both the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Apparently there is some debate over whether or not the two trees are one and the same.

71. Reds and Blues : TEAMS
The Red Scare (i.e. anti-communist sentiment) following WWII had such an effect on the populace that it even caused the Cincinnati baseball team to change its name from the Reds. The team was called the Cincinnati Redlegs from 1953-1958, as the management was fearful of losing money due to public distrust of any association with “Reds”.

The St. Louis Blues hockey team takes its name from the song “St. Louis Blues”, a jazz and popular music classic.

Down
2. Stan of Marvel Comics : LEE
Stan Lee did just about everything at Marvel Comics over the years, from writing to being president and chairman of the board. If you like superhero movies based on the characters from Marvel Comics, then you could spend a few hours trying to spot Stan Lee in those films as he has a penchant for making cameo appearances. Lee can be spotted in “X-Men” (2000), “Spider-Man” (2002), “Hulk” (2003), “Fantastic Four” (2005), “Iron Man” (2008) and many other films.

3. Walk-___ : ONS
A walk-on role in a performance is one in which the actor makes an appearance on stage or on set, but has no dialog. One line of dialog elevates the role to a “bit part”.

5. Mineral used for insulation : MICA
Mica is a mineral, a sheet silicate. Thin sheets of mica are transparent and are used in place of glass in certain applications. This form of mica is called isinglass, and as it has a better thermal performance than glass it is a great choice for “peepholes’ in boilers and lanterns. Mica is also used in the electronics industry, making use of its unique electrical and thermal insulating properties.

6. Dutch cheese town : EDAM
Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

8. China’s ___ Kai-shek : CHIANG
Chiang Kai-Shek was the leader of the Nationalist Movement in China right through to the end of WWII. The Nationalists lost out in a Civil War to the Communists backed by the Soviet Union after war, and Chiang Kai-Shek and his government were forced to flee to Taiwan. Chiang Kai-shek claimed rule over China from Taiwan until his death in 1975.

10. Bog fuel : PEAT
When dead plant matter accumulates in marshy areas, it may not fully decay due to a lack of oxygen or acidic conditions. We are familiar with this in Ireland, because this decaying matter can form peat, and we have lots and lots of peat bogs.

11. Taxpayers’ bugaboos : IRS AUDITORS
“Bugaboo” is another term for a bogeyman, an imaginary and scary creature used to frighten children. More generally, a bugaboo is something that creates fear or worry.

18. Breyers alternative : EDY’S
Dreyers’ ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

Breyers ice cream was introduced by William A. Breyer in 1866, in Philadelphia. Always known for using all-natural ingredients, Breyers products made in recent years contain more and more food additives in an attempt to cut costs in a competitive market. In fact, most Breyers products can’t even be labeled “ice cream” anymore as they don’t contain enough milk and cream and so are labeled “frozen dairy dessert” instead.

25. Gangland rival of Dutch Schultz : LEGS DIAMOND
Legs Diamond was a Philadelphia and New York City gangster who plied his trade during Prohibition. There were so many attempts on Diamond’s life that he earned the moniker “clay pigeon of the underworld”. His enemies eventually caught up with him in a rooming house in Albany, New York in 1931, shooting him three times in the back of the head. Diamond’s widow was shot and killed just two years later.

30. Cabinet department until 1947 : WAR
The US Department of War was established by Congress in 1789, soon after George Washington was made President of the United States. The War Department continued as part of the cabinet until after WWII, then in 1947 was broken up into the Department of the Army and the Department of the Air Force. These two new departments were combined with the already-existing Department of the Navy in 1949 to form the Department of Defense.

31. Acct. earnings : INT
A bank account (acct.) usually earns Interest (int.)

32. Rhinoplasty targets : NOSES
A nose job is more correctly called rhinoplasty. The term comes from the Greek combining form “rhino-” meaning “nose”, and “plastos” meaning “act of forming”.

35. Silverstein who wrote “A Boy Named Sue” : SHEL
“A Boy Named Sue” is a classic song by Shel Silverstein that was made famous by Johnny Cash. Cash recorded the song at a live concert he gave in 1969 at San Quentin State Prison.

Author Shel Silverstein had a varied career and did a lot more than write books. Silverstein was a poet, composer, cartoonist and screenwriter among other things. One of his successful children’s books is “The Giving Tree”, which was first published in 1964. “The Giving Tree” tells of a young boy who has a special relationship with a tree in a forest. The message of the book seems to be that the tree provides the little boy with everything he needs.

39. Most common blood group : O-TYPE
The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a “universal donor”.

40. Bit of body art, in brief : TAT
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”. Tattoos are also sometimes referred to as “ink”.

41. Montréal assent : OUI
The original name of Montreal was Ville-Marie, meaning the City of Mary. Ville-Marie is now the name of a borough in the city, the borough which includes the downtown area and “Old Montreal”. The present-day city covers most of the Island of Montreal (in French, Île de Montréal) that is located where the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers meet. The name Montreal comes from the three-headed hill that dominates the island and is called Mount Royal.

47. Rescue squad letters : EMS
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

63. Rio automaker : KIA
Kia have making the subcompact model called a Rio since 2000.

64. Suffix with Gator or Power : -ADE
Gatorade was developed at the University of Florida by a team of researchers at the request of the school’s football team. And so, Gatorade is named after the Gators football team.

Powerade is one of those sports drinks, and the only real competitor to Gatorade.

66. Explosive in Road Runner cartoons : TNT
Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two much-loved cartoon characters from Warner Bros. Wile E. Coyote was created first, and Road Runner was invented as someone for Wile E. to play off. I love this cartoon; definitely one of the best …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Sty fare : SLOP
5. Stuff for sale at concerts : MERCH
10. Galileo Galilei Airport city : PISA
14. Federico of the Clinton cabinet : PENA
15. State bordering British Columbia : IDAHO
16. Bow-toting deity : EROS
17. Hormel’s assurance that Spam is packed safely? : YES, WE CAN IT (“Yes We Can” + “it”)
19. [I need this immediately] : ASAP
20. Singer Lambert : ADAM
21. Exposed to risk : AT STAKE
23. Like most pretzels : SALTY
26. Brazil ___ : NUT
27. L.A. campus : USC
28. Ill temper : IRE
29. Playground equipment thief? : SWING BANDIT (“swing band” + “it”)
34. Places to hang hats : PEGS
36. “It’s ___-brainer!” : A NO
37. Major conduits : MAINS
38. “Enough!” as opposed to “You quit that right now!”? : SHORT “STOP IT” (“shortstop” + “it”)
42. Bathroom fixture : BIDET
44. ___ de toilette : EAU
45. Zero, at Ashe Stadium : LOVE
48. “Miss Dickinson, put your poem on Facebook”? : EMILY, POST IT (“Emily Post” + “it”)
52. An air ball misses this : RIM
53. Mental health org. : APA
54. Parker or Cross : PEN
55. Kentucky Derby prize : ROSES
57. Picnic baskets : HAMPERS
59. A skeptic may raise one : BROW
61. Victims of the Morlocks, in sci-fi : ELOI
62. “Use this sparingly” … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : MAKE IT LAST
67. Broadway musical based on “La Bohème” : RENT
68. Epic of Troy : ILIAD
69. Tree of Life locale : EDEN
70. Track figures : ODDS
71. Reds and Blues : TEAMS
72. Not a good thing to do while driving : TEXT

Down
1. One may bug you : SPY
2. Stan of Marvel Comics : LEE
3. Walk-___ : ONS
4. Handle clumsily : PAW AT
5. Mineral used for insulation : MICA
6. Dutch cheese town : EDAM
7. Campaigned : RAN
8. China’s ___ Kai-shek : CHIANG
9. Poolside amenity : HOT TUB
10. Bog fuel : PEAT
11. Taxpayers’ bugaboos : IRS AUDITORS
12. Penetrates fully : SOAKS IN
13. Sides : ASPECTS
18. Breyers alternative : EDY’S
22. “PAID,” for one : STAMP
23. Enjoy, as brandy : SIP
24. “r,” in a 72-Across : ARE
25. Gangland rival of Dutch Schultz : LEGS DIAMOND
30. Cabinet department until 1947 : WAR
31. Acct. earnings : INT
32. Rhinoplasty targets : NOSES
33. Something to hit on the head : NAIL
35. Silverstein who wrote “A Boy Named Sue” : SHEL
39. Most common blood group : O-TYPE
40. Bit of body art, in brief : TAT
41. Montréal assent : OUI
42. Come to the rescue : BE A HERO
43. Stuck : IMPALED
46. Go head-to-head : VIE
47. Rescue squad letters : EMS
49. Hunter’s document : PERMIT
50. Attractive to bargain hunters : ON SALE
51. Gait slower than a canter : TROT
56. Little hooter : OWLET
58. The absolute worst, with “the” : PITS
59. Grin from ear to ear : BEAM
60. Purges : RIDS
63. Rio automaker : KIA
64. Suffix with Gator or Power : -ADE
65. “The birds and the bees” : SEX
66. Explosive in Road Runner cartoons : TNT

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8 thoughts on “0831-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 31 Aug 16, Wednesday”

  1. I appreciate and enjoy your blog. And thanks for resisting the notion to characterize Idaho in some fashion. The movies and TV shows are usually more than willing to portray this pretty state unfavorably.
    I'm an Idaho resident for the last 11 years, after residing in Santa Cruz, CA for over 60 years.

  2. 12:02, no errors, iPad. Very clever theme …

    I lived through the Red Scare and have vivid memories of Joe McCarthy on TV. What I want to know now is: When is Donald Trump finally going to meet his Joseph Welch?

  3. Theme made the puzzle much easier. I think I spent more time on the LA Times today, but I was also interrupted by my exterminator while doing that one.

    I did this puzzle with a Cross pen. Was that cheating then?

    As far as I know, the WAR Deparment still exists. My friend uses that moniker for his wife….

    MERCH?? I was hoping I got that one wrong, but unfortunately I didn't. Also – I think I'd rather be stuck than IMPALED. In some forms of "stuck" I still have a chance of survival.

    Anon – I only know one Idaho joke- "I tried to visit Idaho once, but it was closed that day"…..Not surprisingly, a Californian told me that one.

    Best –

  4. Five weeks on, paper and pen, no errors, 7:46 … and, oddly enough, I remembered almost everything about this puzzle. I still don't understand why I remember some puzzles that I initially thought were unmemorable and forget others that I initially thought were quite unusual. Something to do with levels of certain brain chemicals, maybe?

  5. Aw, shucks. Missed three words that stemmed from some trouble in the SW corner. For 42Down, "Come to the rescue" I wrote in BE THERE as if "being there" for someone when they need you is similar to "coming to the rescue". BE A HERO did not occur to me and even though two subsequent fills were doubtful I stood with what I had.

  6. 13:31, no errors. Enjoyed the theme, didn't seem like there were many misdirects, since I didn't have to change any answers once I wrote them in.

  7. 12:05, no errors. For some reason, the theme felt a bit forced; still chewing on SWING BANDIT and not enjoying the flavor or texture at all. Ptui, I say. This has been an off week, so far.

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