0902-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Sep 16, Friday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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Solution to today’s New York Times crossword found online at the Seattle Times website
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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Liben-Nowell
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 24m 17s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Ultimate necessity : FRISBEE
Ultimate is a team sport, similar to football or rugby in that the goal is to get a flying disc into an endzone or goal area. The sport used to be called “Ultimate Frisbee”, but the “Frisbee” was dropped as it is a registered trademark.

The Frisbee concept started back in 1938 with a couple who had an upturned cake pan that they were tossing between each other on Santa Monica Beach in California. They were offered 25 cents for the pan on the spot, and as pans could be bought for 5 cents, the pair figured there was a living to be earned.

14. Cup holder : BRA STRAP
The word “brassière” is French in origin, but it isn’t the word the French use for a “bra”. In France, what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the neck”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breastplate” and from there the word was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

15. School whose mascot is Riptide the Pelican : TULANE
Tulane University is a private research university in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tulane was founded in 1834 as the Medical College of Louisiana. The university was privatized with the aid of an endowment from philanthropist Paul Tulane in 1884, and as a result the school’s name was changed to Tulane University. The school’s sports teams use the name Tulane Green Wave, and the team mascot is Riptide the Pelican.

19. Giant in sports entertainment : ANDRE
André the Giant was a professional wrestler from France, whose real name was André René Roussimoff. He suffered from gigantism, overproduction of growth hormone, reaching the height of 6 feet 3 inches by the time he was 12-years-old. But, he used his size to develop a very successful career in the ring.

21. Something you might take a pass on : BUS
We use the term “bus” for a mode of transportation, an abbreviated form of the original “omnibus”. We imported “omnibus” via French from Latin, in which language it means “for all”. The idea is that an omnibus is a “carriage for all”.

24. Hosp. readout : ECG
An EKG measures electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

25. Bigwig : WHEEL
A “bigwig” is someone important. The use of the term harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore big wigs.

28. One ___ (multivitamin) : A DAY
One A Day is a line of multivitamins made by Bayer. One A Day was introduced way back in 1940.

29. Highly sought-after things : GRAILS
The Holy Grail is theme found throughout Arthurian legend. The grail itself is some vessel, with the term “grail” coming from the Old French “graal” meaning “cup or bowl made of earth, wood or metal”. Over time, the legend of the Holy Grail became mingled with stories of the Holy Chalice of the Christian tradition, the cup used to serve wine at the Last Supper. Over time, the term “grail” came to be used for any desired or sought-after object.

31. Foucault’s “This Is Not ___” : A PIPE
French philosopher Michel Foucault wrote a famous essay titled “This Is Not a Pipe” that examined René Magritte’s famous painting “The Treachery of Images”.

“The Treachery of Images” is a painting by René Magritte. It is a very simple image of a pipe that one might smoke, with the words below (in French), “This is not a pipe”. Magritte’s point was that that the painting wasn’t a pipe, but rather an image of a pipe.

36. Certain powerful engines, briefly : HEMIS
“Hemi” is short for “hemisphere”, and is the name given to an internal combustion engine with hemispherical combustion chambers. Chrysler is famous for using Hemi engines in many of its models.

38. Newswoman Burnett : ERIN
Erin Burnett is a television journalist, the host of her own show on CNN called “Erin Burnett OutFront”. Apparently Burnett also shows up occasionally as advisor to Donald Trump on “The Celebrity Apprentice”.

39. Guiding light? : LASER
The term “laser” comes is an acronym, “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” (LASER). It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “Light Oscillation by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely LOSER …

40. Writes to briefly? : IMS
Even though instant messaging (sending IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties.

44. Month with two natl. holidays : JAN
The US Congress created the first federal holidays in 1870, but only designated four such holidays:

New Year’s Day
Independence Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a US Federal holiday taking place on the third Monday of each year. It celebrates the birthday of Dr. King, and was signed into law by President Reagan in 1983, and first observed in 1986. However, some states resisted naming the holiday MLK Day, and gave it alternative names (like “Civil Rights Day”), but it was officially celebrated as MLK Day in all 50 states from the year 2000 onwards.

45. Auto name discontinued in 1986 : DATSUN
Japanese automaker Nissan introduced the Datsun brand in 1931, and then retired it in 1986. The Datsun brand was reintroduced in 2013, applied to low-cost models sold in emerging markets.

48. One is a prize for scoring : OSCAR
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

53. Mace and shield, e.g. : RIOT GEAR
“Mace” is actually a brand name, originally introduced by Lake Erie Chemical when they started to manufacture “Chemical Mace”, with the name being a play on the club-like weapon from days of old. Mace was originally a form of tear gas, but Mace today uses a formula that is actually a pepper spray, a different formulation.

54. Took for a ride : ROOKED
“To rook” is to cheat. The earlier use of “rook” as a noun was as a disparaging term for a swindler or cheat. Somehow, it was insulting to refer to a person as a rook, as in the type of bird.

Down
3. Key : ISLET
A “key” (also “cay”) is a low island offshore, as in the Florida Keys. Our term in English comes from the Spanish “cayo” meaning “shoal, reef”.

6. Big ___ Conference : EAST
The BIG EAST collegiate athletic conference was founded in 1979. The conference went through a major realignment between 2010 and 2013 with 14 schools departing, and 15 schools joining the lineup.

7. Summer Olympics event : EPEE
There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, distinguished by the weapon used:

Foil
Épée
Sabre

8. “A Prairie Home Companion” broadcast site : ST PAUL
The amazing humorist Garrison Keillor is one of Minnesota’s most famous sons. Keillor’s wonderful radio show called “A Prairie Home Companion” made its debut in 1974 and is named after the Prairie Home Cemetery in Moorhead, Minnesota. I actually saw a live taping of “A Prairie Home Companion” a few years ago in San Francisco and thoroughly enjoyed the experience …

10. “Where Is the Life That Late ___?” (“Kiss Me, Kate” number) : I LED
Kiss Me, Kate is a musical written by Cole Porter first produced on Broadway in 1948. Cole Porter had a string of successes in the twenties and thirties including “Gay Divorce” and “Anything Goes”, but he found his career in decline in the forties. “Kiss Me, Kate” proved to be a dramatic comeback, and was the only one of his shows that ran for more than 1,000 performances on Broadway. Famously, “Kiss Me, Kate” is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”.

12. Largest sesamoid bones : KNEECAPS
A sesamoid bone is one embedded within a tendon or muscle. Such bones provide a smooth surface over which the tendon or muscle can slide freely, in the same way that a rope slides over a pulley. The largest example of a sesamoid bone in the human body is the patella, the kneecap. Most sesamoid bones are very small, which explains why the name comes from the Latin “sesamum” meaning “sesame seed”.

13. Et ___ (footnote abbr.) : SEQ
The Latin phrase “et sequens” or “et sequentia” is used in English to mean “and following”, and is abbreviated to “et seq”.

27. Actor with the title role in “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” : ELWES
Cary Elwes is an English actor, perhaps most noted for appearing in the 1987 film “The Princess Bride”. He also played the title role in 1993’s “Cary Elwes”. Cary is the son of a celebrated English portrait painter, Dominick Elwes.

28. Loan figs. : APRS
Annual percentage rate (APR)

30. Some linemen: Abbr. : RTS
In American football, linemen specialize in playing in the line of scrimmage. RT stands for Right Tackle. That’s about all I know, and even that I am unsure about …

32. Baseball exec Epstein : THEO
Theo Epstein was hired as General Manager in 2002 by the Boston Red Sox. Epstein was only 28 years at the time, making him the youngest GM in the history of Major League Baseball.

33. What to call Judge Judy : HER HONOR
Judge Judy of television fame is actually Judith Sheindlin, a retired family court judge from New York. Ms. Sheindlin reportedly earns $47 million per year for “Judge Judy”. That’s a tad more than she was earning on the “real” bench, I think, and it makes her the highest-earning personality on television by a long shot.

39. Southernmost city on I-35 : LAREDO
Laredo is a border city in Texas, situated on the banks of the Rio Grande across the border from Nuevo Laredo in Mexico.

Interstate 35 runs in a north-south direction from Laredo, Texas to Duluth, Minnesota. So, I-35 almost runs all the way from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, but not quite …

41. Wolverine of Marvel Comics, e.g. : MUTANT
In the Marvel Comics universe, Wolverine is a mutant with keen animal-like senses and an ability to regenerate body parts after injury. He usually appears as a member of the X-Men superhero team. On the big screen, Wolverine is regularly played by Australian actor Hugh Jackman.

44. Reno, for one : JANET
Janet Reno was Attorney General of the US from 1993 to 2001. Reno was the person to hold the office second longest, and was our first female Attorney General. In 2002, Reno ran for Governor of Florida but failed to win the Democratic nomination. Thereafter she retired from public life.

47. Animal in un parc zoologique : TIGRE
In French, a “tigre” (tiger) may be found in “un parc zoologique” (a zoo).

49. Old “Red, White & You” sloganeer : COKE
Coca-Cola has used many advertising over the life of the brand, including:

The Great National Temperance Beverage (1906)
Where There’s Coke There’s Hospitality (1948)
It’s the Real Thing (1971)
Catch the Wave (1986, for “new Coke”)
Red, White & You (1986, for “Coke Classic”)

50. Small nail : BRAD
A “brad” is a slender wire nail with a relatively small head that is typically used to “tack” pieces of wood together, to fasten either temporarily or with minimal damage to the wood. Nowadays, brads are commonly applied using a nail gun.

51. River to the Seine : OISE
The River Oise rises in Belgium and joins up with the River Seine just outside Paris.

52. “What you can get away with,” according to Andy Warhol : ART
American artist Andy Warhol was a leader in the pop art movement that emerged in the mid-1950s. Many of his works became the most expensive paintings ever sold. A 1963 Warhol canvas titled “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” fetched over 100 million dollars in
2013.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Ultimate necessity : FRISBEE
8. Needs grease, maybe : STICKS
14. Cup holder : BRA STRAP
15. School whose mascot is Riptide the Pelican : TULANE
16. Became untied : GOT LOOSE
17. Intro to Comp Sci, for Data Structures, e.g. : PREREQ
18. Push away : ALIENATE
19. Giant in sports entertainment : ANDRE
20. Made new? : MINTED
21. Something you might take a pass on : BUS
22. Valuable diamond : ACE
24. Hosp. readout : ECG
25. Bigwig : WHEEL
28. One ___ (multivitamin) : A DAY
29. Highly sought-after things : GRAILS
31. Foucault’s “This Is Not ___” : A PIPE
32. This : THIRTY-TWO ACROSS
36. Certain powerful engines, briefly : HEMIS
37. Warrants : MERITS
38. Newswoman Burnett : ERIN
39. Guiding light? : LASER
40. Writes to briefly? : IMS
43. Replies of understanding : OHS
44. Month with two natl. holidays : JAN
45. Auto name discontinued in 1986 : DATSUN
48. One is a prize for scoring : OSCAR
50. Endowed with from the start, as money : BORN INTO
52. Nobody special : ANYONE
53. Mace and shield, e.g. : RIOT GEAR
54. Took for a ride : ROOKED
55. Hopeful : ASPIRANT
56. Closely following : TRUE TO
57. Order that’s rarely followed? : DESSERT

Down
1. Play : FROLIC
2. Fair, e.g. : RATING
3. Key : ISLET
4. Gem : STONE
5. Place for a long run, maybe : BROADWAY
6. Big ___ Conference : EAST
7. Summer Olympics event : EPEE
8. “A Prairie Home Companion” broadcast site : ST PAUL
9. Becomes a traitor : TURNS
10. “Where Is the Life That Late ___?” (“Kiss Me, Kate” number) : I LED
11. One with connections to traveling speakers? : CAR RADIO
12. Largest sesamoid bones : KNEECAPS
13. Et ___ (footnote abbr.) : SEQ
14. Not one’s best effort, in coachspeak : B GAME
21. Ache : BE SORE
23. They can turn red in a flash : EYES
26. Contract employee? : HIT MAN
27. Actor with the title role in “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” : ELWES
28. Loan figs. : APRS
29. Beam : GRIN
30. Some linemen: Abbr. : RTS
31. Just do it : ACT
32. Baseball exec Epstein : THEO
33. What to call Judge Judy : HER HONOR
34. Words of longing : I MISS YOU
35. Some help from above : AIRDROPS
39. Southernmost city on I-35 : LAREDO
40. Looms : IS NEAR
41. Wolverine of Marvel Comics, e.g. : MUTANT
42. Derisive reaction : SNORT
44. Reno, for one : JANET
46. They’re not pros : ANTIS
47. Animal in un parc zoologique : TIGRE
49. Old “Red, White & You” sloganeer : COKE
50. Small nail : BRAD
51. River to the Seine : OISE
52. “What you can get away with,” according to Andy Warhol : ART

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7 thoughts on “0902-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Sep 16, Friday”

  1. 43:31, no errors, iPad. I did this one last night and had a somewhat hard time getting started. The lower left finally allowed me in, followed pretty quickly by the lower right and the upper right. So then all I had left was the upper left corner, but that took another twenty-five minutes, including a short walkaway, and it's now hard for me to see exactly what was wrong. Some problems: I didn't know that "Ultimate Frisbee" had become just "Ultimate"; "Cup holder" is a pretty obscure clue for BRA STRAP; one usually sees EKG instead of ECG; and the "Place for a long run" clue for BROADWAY went right over my head until this morning. Still, some of the other entries in my problem area weren't all that mysterious, but it took me a long time to use them. Just a case of temporary brain freeze, I guess. Story of my life, these days … 🙂

  2. Dave – add about 20 minutes to your time and you get to mine. I too had trouble in the NW – just like in the LA Times today. Must be a mental block or something. Had to look up OISE for the SE to fall so I finished only after I cheated. Great challenge though. Love this type of puzzle.

    I never heard a good reason why Datsun changed to Nissan. I only know the joke answer. Also didn't know the Datsun name had reappeared.

    The number of nights I spent across the border from Laredo, TX in my youth are incalculable. It used to be such a fun place to go. Now it's way too dangerous. Haven't been across the border to Nuevo Laredo in over a decade.

    @ksuc –
    Agree with you about 32A. Loved it.

    Best –

  3. 28:06, no errors. Interesting how all the posters have similar reactions to and issues with these puzzles. I too had a difficult time gaining traction on this one. Guessing at random words, here and there, throughout the puzzle. 25A was MOGUL before changing to WHEEL. 39D had the LA from LASER and JAN; so LAREDO was a guess. 45A had _AT__N; first guess was SATURN, but I knew that name existed well past 1986. I owned 2 Datsuns, a 200SX and a 280ZX Turbo; but never owned a Nissan.

    Agree with the above posters, 32A THIRTY TWO ACROSS made me smile.

  4. Five weeks on, paper and pen: I had all the same problems I did the first time, but I did finish faster (in 18:20), so I obviously remembered a few things. And, yes, THIRTY-TWO ACROSS was a cute answer …

    @Jeff … You probably don't check back here in syndicated time, but I'lll ask anyway: What's the joke explaining the Datsun-to-Nissan name change? (I found a joke explaining "Datsun", but not the change. Maybe someone else will know.)

  5. Whoo! Tough! Thought more than once that this one had the better of me. But, in 34:39, I prevailed, and blemish-free to boot!

  6. We had CROSS, and I got 32 across just by looking at it and counting letters! I agree it was a VERY good clue.

    This was a good puzzle, in our estimation: tough but fair, with some really clever clues. Cup holder, for one. Mace and shield, for another. We didn't care much for ART and ROOKED, though.

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