0904-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Sep 16, Sunday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tom McCoy
THEME: One by One
We have rebus squares in today’s puzzle. The themed answers in the across-direction include two letters, one beside the other, with an ampersand in between. The answers in the down-direction use the two letters in the rebus square without the ampersand:

23A. Neighbor of Illinois : B&O RAILROAD
1D. Things aggressive people may throw : ELBOWS

35A. Release from TLC or Alicia Keys : R&B ALBUM
14D. Relatives of scooters : MOTORBIKES

46A. Takes it easy : GETS A LITTLE R&R
10D. “It’s all good” : NOT TO WORRY

48A. End-of-seminar feature : Q&A SESSION
48D. 2022 World Cup host : QATAR

79A. Multicolored candy in a yellow package : PEANUT M&MS
69D. Basic form of a word : LEMMA

81A. Noted index : S&P FIVE HUNDRED
76D. Just like always : AS PER USUAL

93A. Site of the George Bush Presidential Library : TEXAS A&M
75D. Simplify : STREAMLINE

109A. Beverage since 1922 : A&W ROOT BEER
102D. Neocons, e.g. : HAWKS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 23m 49s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Flair : ELAN
Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style” or “flair”.

15. ___ bag (party giveaway) : SWAG
“Swag” is “loot, stolen property”, a term that started out as criminal slang in England in the 1830s. Swag is also the name given to the promotional freebies available at some events.

21. “Old MacDonald” sounds : MOO MOO
There was an American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O), that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

22. “Check and ___” : MATE
In the game of chess, when the king is under immediate threat of capture it is said to be “in check”. If the king cannot escape from check, then the game ends in “checkmate” and the player in check loses. In the original Sanskrit game of chess, the king could actually be captured. Then a rule was introduced requiring that a warning be given if capture was imminent (today we announce “check!”) so that an accidental and early ending to the game doesn’t occur.

23. Neighbor of Illinois : B&O RAILROAD
The properties Illinois Avenue and B&O Railroad sit side-by-side on a Monopoly board.

27. Short dagger : STILETTO
The stiletto knife was developed in Italy, and is a knife intended for thrusting and stabbing as opposed to slashing and cutting. The term “stiletto” comes from the Latin “stilus”, which was a thin pointed writing instrument used in Ancient Rome to engrave wax or clay tablets. And, there are also stiletto heels on some women’s shoes, heels that are long and thin.

29. Flattened at the poles : OBLATE
Something that is described as having an “oblate” shape is spherical, slightly depressed at top and bottom, just like the Earth for example.

31. Concorde, e.g. : SST
Supersonic transports (SSTs) like the Concorde broke Mach 1, the speed of sound. As a plane flies through air, it creates pressure waves in front (and behind) rather like the bow and stern waves of a boat. These pressure waves travel at the speed of sound, so as an aircraft itself accelerates towards the speed of sound it catches up with the pressure waves until they cannot “get out of the way”. When the aircraft reaches the speed of sound, the compressed waves merge into one single shock wave, creating a sonic boom.

34. 24 in a caffeine molecule : ATOMS
Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in several plants. The chemical serves as a natural pesticide by paralyzing and killing certain insects that would otherwise feed on the plant. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug that is consumed by humans across the world.

35. Release from TLC or Alicia Keys : R&B ALBUM
The girl band called TLC is from Atlanta, Georgia. The band’s name comes from the trio’s original members:

  • Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins
  • Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes
  • Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas

Alicia Keys is the stage name of Alicia Cook, an R&B and soul singer from Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.

41. Actor Reeves : KEANU
Keanu Reeves is a Canadian actor whose most celebrated roles were a metalhead in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (1989), a cop in “Speed” (1994) and the main protagonist Neo in “The Matrix” series of films. Although Reeves is a Canadian national, he was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Reeves has some Hawaiian descent, and the name “Keanu” is Hawaiian for “the coldness”.

45. Retired Steeler Taylor : IKE
Ike Taylor is a retired NFL cornerback who spent his entire professional career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Taylor took a job as an analyst with the NFL Network after he quit the game.

46. Takes it easy : GETS A LITTLE R&R
Rest and relaxation/recuperation (R&R)

53. ___ letter (college app part) : REC
Recommendation (rec.)

54. Scads : TONS
The origin of the word “scads”, meaning “lots and lots”, is unclear, although back in the mid-1800s “scads” was used to mean “dollars”.

55. Sources of mescaline : PEYOTES
The peyote is a small spineless cactus that is native to southwestern Texas and Mexico. When ingested, the peyote is known to have a psychoactive effect. One of the psychoactive alkaloids in peyote is mescaline, a drug of choice for the likes Aldous Huxley and Pablo Picasso.

57. Prefix with parasite : ENDO-
An endoparasite is one that lives inside the host, an example being a parasitic worm. Parasites living outside the host, such as fleas and lice, are known as ectoparasites.

58. School in Oxford, informally : OLE MISS
“Ole Miss” is the nickname for the University of Mississippi. The name “Ole Miss” dates back to 1897, the first year a student yearbook was published. The graduating class held a competition to name the yearbook and “Ole Miss” emerged as the winner. The name stuck to the yearbook, and also as a nickname for the school itself. The University of Mississippi sports teams have been known as the Rebels since 1936. Prior to 1936, they were known as the Mississippi Flood.

61. Burns’s refusal : NAE
Robert Burns is a cultural icon in Scotland and for Scots around the world. As a poet, Burns was a pioneer in the Romantic movement in the second half of the 18th century. One of his most famous works is the poem “Auld Lang Syne”, which has been set to the tune of a traditional Scottish folk song and is used to celebrate the New Year in the English-speaking world.

63. Slithy one, to Carroll : TOVE
Here are the first two verses of “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll, probably the one poem that we all just loved learning to recite at school:

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!

64. Diamond head? : MANAGER
That would be in baseball.

69. Cops, with “the” : LAW
“To cop” was northern British dialect for “to seize, catch”. This verb evolved in the noun “copper”, describing a policeman, someone who catches criminals. “Copper” is often shortened to “cop”.

70. ___ Alamos : LOS
The town of Los Alamos, New Mexico takes its name from the Spanish for “the poplars” or “the cottonwoods”. Famously, it is home to Los Alamos National Laboratory which was founded during WWII to work on the Manhattan Project, the development of the first atomic bomb. The town of Los Alamos didn’t exist as such, until it was planned and constructed to support the employees working on development of the bomb.

74. Spanish prefix with líneas : AERO-
The Spanish “aerolíneas” translates as “airlines”.

77. ___ Fresh (Tex-Mex chain) : BAJA
Baja Fresh is a chain of Tex Mex restaurants based in Irvine, California. The first Baja Fresh outlet was opened in Newbury Park, California in 1990. There are now well over 200 franchises nationwide.

78. Airport posting, for short : ETA
Expected time of arrival (ETA)

79. Multicolored candy in a yellow package : PEANUT M&MS
Peanut M&M’s were introduced in 1954, and at first were only produced in a tan color.

81. Noted index : S&P FIVE HUNDRED
Standard & Poor’s (S&P) is a financial services company, famous for its stock market indices, especially the S&P 500. The company also publishes credit ratings for sovereign governments, and in 2011 famously lowered the rating of the US federal government from AAA to to AA+.

84. Grp. sponsoring the Muzzle Loading Championship : NRA
National Rifle Association (NRA)

87. Transition : SEGUE
A “segue” is a transition from one topic to the next. “Segue” is an Italian word that literally means “now follows”. It was first used in musical scores directing the performer to play into the next movement without a break.

91. 1997 film megahit : TITANIC
When James Cameron made his epic movie “Titanic”, released in 1997, it was the most expensive film ever made, costing about $200 million. It was a good investment for the studio as it became the highest-grossing film of all time, bringing in over $1.8 billion. “Titanic” remained the highest-grossing film until 2010, when Cameron eclipsed the prior record with “Avatar”.

93. Site of the George Bush Presidential Library : TEXAS A&M
Texas A&M is the seventh largest university in the country, and was the first public higher education institute in the state when it accepted its first students in 1876. The full name of the school was the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas and its primary mission used to be the education of males in the techniques of farming and military warfare. That’s quite a combination! Because of the agricultural connection, the college’s sports teams use the moniker “Aggies”. Texas A&M is also home to the George Bush Presidential Library.

94. Material in two states : SLUSH
Slush is a mixture of partially melted solid, a mixture of liquid and solid. The classic example is partly melted snow.

97. The “e” of i.e. : EST
“Id est” is Latin for “that is”, and is often abbreviated to “i.e.” when used in English.

100. Descend in a controlled fashion : RAPPEL
What we call “rappelling” in this country is known as “abseiling” in the rest of the world (from the German “abseilen” meaning “to rope down”).

104. Oscar-winning Berry : HALLE
The beautiful and talented actress Halle Berry was the first African American woman to win a Best Actress Oscar, which she received for her performance in the 2001 movie “Monster’s Ball”. Berry also won a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress in 2005 for playing the title role in “Catwoman”, and she very graciously accepted that award in person. Good for her!

106. The “E” of HOMES : ERIE
A well-known mnemonic for remembering the names of the Great Lakes is HOMES: standing for Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.

107. Like three men of rhyme : IN A TUB
The nursery rhyme “Rub-a-Dub-Dub” dates back to at least 1798 when it was first published in London:

Rub-a-dub-dub,
Three men in a tub,
And how do you think they got there?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick-maker,
They all jumped out of a rotten potato,
‘Twas enough to make a man stare.

109. Beverage since 1922 : A&W ROOT BEER
A&W is a brand of root beer that has been around since 1920, when Roy Allen partnered with Frank Wright to create the A&W moniker from their family names.

111. Bareilles who sang “Love Song” : SARA
Sara Bareilles achieved success with her 2007 “Love Song” with the help of the iTunes online store. In one week in June of that year, iTunes offered the song as “free single of the week” and it quickly became the most downloaded song in the store, and from there climbed to the number spot in the charts.

113. Some fuel oils : KEROSENES
Kerosene is a mixture of hydrocarbons that is used mainly as a fuel. Kerosene is volatile, but is less flammable than gasoline. Over in the UK and Ireland, we call the same fuel “paraffin”.

114. Leave in : STET
“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

115. Gertrude ___, first woman to swim the English Channel : EDERLE
Gertrude Ederle was an American swimmer, from New York City. Ederle became the first woman to cross the English Channel, in 1926. Only five men had made the same swim before Ederle, with the fastest crossing being in 16 hours 33 minutes. Ederle blew that record out of the water (pun!), arriving in Dover in 14 hours 39 minutes.

117. Lead-in to Victoria or Albert : LAKE
Lake Victoria is the largest lake by surface area on the continent of Africa. It was named by English explorer John Hanning Speke in honor of Queen Victoria of the UK. Speke was the first European to set eyes on the lake.

Lake Albert in Africa is located on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is the seventh-largest lake on the continent. First discovered by Europeans in 1864, it was named for Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria who had just passed away.

Down
2. Turkish money : LIRAS
The currency of Turkey is the Turkish lira, which is divided into 100 kuruş.

3. “Cease!” on the seas : AVAST!
“Avast” is a nautical term used to tell someone to stop or desist from what they are doing. The word comes from the Dutch “hou vast” meaning “hold fast”.

4. Answer to “Is Bonn the capital of Deutschland?” : NEIN
The English word “no” translates into German as “nein”.

After WWII, Bonn was chosen as the capital of West Germany, a choice promoted by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer who was from the area. After German reunification, the capital was moved to Berlin.

5. Kind of camera, for short : SLR
SLR stands for “single lens reflex”. Usually cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.

11. They mind their manors : FOOTMEN
A male domestic worker might be called a “footman”. The original such employee was a “running footman”, an attendant who ran alongside or ahead of an aristocrat’s carriage, mainly checking for obstacles in the roadway. The term was then applied to a household servant, a man whose most visible job was standing beside the table at meals, filling glasses and removing used dishes.

12. Foist (upon) : IMPOSE
The word “foist”, meaning “to pass off as genuine”, comes from the Dutch word meaning “take in hand”. The original concept came from playing dice, in which one die was held surreptitiously in one hand.

13. Most important piece in échecs : ROI
In French, the “roi” (king) is the most important piece in the game of “échecs” (chess).

15. One of two in the Adidas logo : SMALL A
The brand name Adidas dates back to when Adolf “Adi” Dassler started making his own sports shoes in his mother’s laundry room in Bavaria after returning from WWI. With his brother, Adi founded Dassler shoes. The company’s big break came in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics, when Adi persuaded American sprinter Jesse Owens to use his shoes, and with the success of Jesse Owens came success for the fledgling shoe company. After WWII the brothers split, acrimoniously. Adi’s brother, Ru-dolf Da-ssler, formed “Ruda” shoes (later to become Puma), and Adi Das-sler formed “Adidas”.

16. Sushi go-with : WASABI
Sometimes called Japanese horseradish, wasabi is a root used as a condiment in Japanese cooking. The taste of wasabi is more like mustard than a hot pepper in that the vapors that create the “hotness” stimulate the nasal passages rather than the tongue. Personally, I love the stuff …

Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If you want raw fish by itself, then you have to order “sashimi”.

30. Ammonia and lye : BASES
Ammonia is a colorless gas with a very strong smell. The compound has the chemical formula NH3. The name “ammonia” comes from salt deposits (actually the salt “ammonium chloride”) that the Romans collected near the Temple of Amun in ancient Libya.

What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide, although historically the term was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

33. Calvin Coolidge’s reputed reply to a woman who bet she could get more than two words out of him : YOU LOSE
President Calvin Coolidge, the only US President to have been born on July 4th, was known as a man of few words. It was while he was serving as Vice-President to in the administration of Warren G. Harding, that Coolidge earned the nickname “Silent Cal”. There is a famous story told about Coolidge’s reticence that I would love to think is true, attributed to the poet Dorothy Parker. Sitting beside him at dinner, she remarked to him, “Mr. Coolidge, I’ve made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you.” His famous reply: “You lose.”

37. Red ___ : HOTS
Red Hots are cinnamon-flavored candy pieces. I just found out that Red Hots are sometimes used in apple sauce …

46. Miracle-___ : GRO
Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by one Orlando Scott, initially selling seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, Scotts started to sell to homeowners, mainly supplying lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955.

48. 2022 World Cup host : QATAR
Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although the nation’s eligibility to do so is under question after a far-reaching bribery scandal was uncovered at the sport’s governing body.

49. Surrounder of la Grande Jatte : SEINE
The “Île de la (Grande) Jatte” is an island in the river Seine in Paris. The name translates as “Island of the (Big) Bowl”. The location features in the famous pointillist oil painting by Georges Seurat titled “Un Dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte (A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte)”. We can go see that painting in the Art Institute of Chicago.

50. Martians, in “The War of the Worlds” : INVADERS
“The War of the Worlds” is a science fiction classic penned by H. G. Wells in 1895-97. This compelling story of Martians invading Earth has been adapted many times into radio dramas, a television series and several movies.

51. Wordsworth work : ODE
The great English poet William Wordsworth is intrinsically linked with the Lake District in the north of England, where he lived from much of his life. The Lake District is a beautiful part of the country, and I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Dove Cottage in Grasmere a couple of times, where Wordsworth lived with his wife Dorothy …

66. City where Mexico’s routes 1 and 2 meet : TIJUANA
Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana’s growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar’s in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar’s claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

69. Basic form of a word : LEMMA
A word’s “lemma” is its most basic form, the one that is the primary reference in a dictionary. For example, “go” is the lemma that covers go, goes, going, went, etc.

77. Big swig : BELT
A “belt” is a swift swig of hard liquor.

82. Number of hills in ancient Rome : VII
Supposedly, there were seven separate settlements on the top of seven hills east of the River Tiber, prior to the founding of the city of Rome. Tradition dictates that Romulus founded Rome on one of these hills, Palatine Hill, and the city came to encompass all seven existing settlements. The most famous hill in modern-day Rome is probably Vatican Hill, but it lies outside of walled ancient city.

83. Rx writer : DOC
There seems to some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol “Rx” that’s used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions in days of old to invoke Jupiter’s blessing to help a patient recover.

92. Noted philanthropic family : ASTORS
John Jacob Astor was the father of the famous American Astor dynasty. He was the country’s first multi-millionaire, making his fortune in the trade of fur, real estate and opium. In today’s terms, it has been calculated that by the time of his death he has accumulated a fortune big enough to make him the fourth wealthiest man in American history (in the company of the likes of Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Bill Gates, Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller).

95. Relative of a weasel : SABLE
Sables are small mammals about two feet long, found right across northern Europe and northern Asia. The sable’s pelt is highly prized in the fur trade. Sable is unique among furs in that it feels smooth no matter which direction it is stroked.

97. Justice Kagan : ELENA
Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread “Pride and Prejudice” once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I’d say …

102. Neocons, e.g. : HAWKS
The dove is a symbol of peace, and the hawk is a symbol of war.

By definition, a neoconservative (neocon) is a former left-aligned politician who has moved to the right and supports the use of American power and military to bring democracy, liberty, equality and human rights to other countries.

103. Ice cream flavor : OREO
Apparently Oreo Ice Cream flavors were introduced relatively recently, in 2010.

105. Cain mutiny victim? : ABEL
As Cain was the first murderer according the Bible, he is associated with evil or trouble. The idiom “raise Cain” is the equivalent of “raise Hell” and “raise the Devil”. In all cases the meaning is to bring back evil or to cause trouble.

110. Game-winning line : OOO
That would be in tic-tac-toe.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Flair : ELAN
5. Indication of freshness : SLAP
9. Weak : INFIRM
15. ___ bag (party giveaway) : SWAG
19. Have a one-person apartment, say : LIVE ALONE
21. “Old MacDonald” sounds : MOO MOO
22. “Check and ___” : MATE
23. Neighbor of Illinois : B&O RAILROAD
24. Response to a flatterer : STOP IT
25. Subordinate: Abbr. : ASST
26. “That ___ part of our agreement!” : WASN’T
27. Short dagger : STILETTO
29. Flattened at the poles : OBLATE
31. Concorde, e.g. : SST
32. Ball in a socket : EYE
34. 24 in a caffeine molecule : ATOMS
35. Release from TLC or Alicia Keys : R&B ALBUM
36. Tee seller : PRO SHOP
39. Like many a lad or lass : WEE
40. “Since you didn’t hear me the first time …” : I SAID …
41. Actor Reeves : KEANU
43. Start of a time capsule direction : OPEN ON
45. Retired Steeler Taylor : IKE
46. Takes it easy : GETS A LITTLE R&R
48. End-of-seminar feature : Q&A SESSION
53. ___ letter (college app part) : REC
54. Scads : TONS
55. Sources of mescaline : PEYOTES
57. Prefix with parasite : ENDO-
58. School in Oxford, informally : OLE MISS
60. ___-Atlantic : MID
61. Burns’s refusal : NAE
62. Where bees be : HIVES
63. Slithy one, to Carroll : TOVE
64. Diamond head? : MANAGER
66. ___ salad : TUNA
67. Shout made while pointing : THERE!
69. Cops, with “the” : LAW
70. ___ Alamos : LOS
71. Targeted : AIMED AT
74. Spanish prefix with líneas : AERO-
75. Begin a voyage : SET SAIL
77. ___ Fresh (Tex-Mex chain) : BAJA
78. Airport posting, for short : ETA
79. Multicolored candy in a yellow package : PEANUT M&MS
81. Noted index : S&P FIVE HUNDRED
84. Grp. sponsoring the Muzzle Loading Championship : NRA
85. Footnote material : DETAIL
86. Stemmed (from) : AROSE
87. Transition : SEGUE
90. Go on : AIR
91. 1997 film megahit : TITANIC
93. Site of the George Bush Presidential Library : TEXAS A&M
94. Material in two states : SLUSH
96. Droop : SAG
97. The “e” of i.e. : EST
100. Descend in a controlled fashion : RAPPEL
101. Might be able to do it : HAS A SHOT
104. Oscar-winning Berry : HALLE
106. The “E” of HOMES : ERIE
107. Like three men of rhyme : IN A TUB
109. Beverage since 1922 : A&W ROOT BEER
111. Bareilles who sang “Love Song” : SARA
112. “Negotiations are off!” : NO DEAL!
113. Some fuel oils : KEROSENES
114. Leave in : STET
115. Gertrude ___, first woman to swim the English Channel : EDERLE
116. Meh : SO-SO
117. Lead-in to Victoria or Albert : LAKE

Down
1. Things aggressive people may throw : ELBOWS
2. Turkish money : LIRAS
3. “Cease!” on the seas : AVAST!
4. Answer to “Is Bonn the capital of Deutschland?” : NEIN
5. Kind of camera, for short : SLR
6. Releases : LOOSES
7. Bio course: Abbr. : ANAT
8. Mani-___ : PEDI
9. “Ready!” : I’M SET!
10. “It’s all good” : NOT TO WORRY
11. They mind their manors : FOOTMEN
12. Foist (upon) : IMPOSE
13. Most important piece in échecs : ROI
14. Relatives of scooters : MOTORBIKES
15. One of two in the Adidas logo : SMALL A
16. Sushi go-with : WASABI
17. Offered for breeding : AT STUD
18. “Don’t let those guys escape!” : GET ‘EM!
20. Choice : ALTERNATIVE
28. A U.S. flag is a common one : LAPEL PIN
30. Ammonia and lye : BASES
33. Calvin Coolidge’s reputed reply to a woman who bet she could get more than two words out of him : YOU LOSE
36. Old men : PAS
37. Red ___ : HOTS
38. Go (for) : OPT
41. Ocean bottom? : KEEL
42. And more : ETCETERA
44. “Going somewhere?” : NEED A LIFT?
45. “That makes sense” : I SEE
46. Miracle-___ : GRO
47. Electees : INS
48. 2022 World Cup host : QATAR
49. Surrounder of la Grande Jatte : SEINE
50. Martians, in “The War of the Worlds” : INVADERS
51. Wordsworth work : ODE
52. Negatives : NOS
56. Word often replaced with “your” : ONE’S
59. Ignoramus : MORON
60. Big mouths : MAWS
62. United Nations concern : HUMAN RIGHTS
64. Tangles : MATS
65. Behemoths : GOLIATHS
66. City where Mexico’s routes 1 and 2 meet : TIJUANA
67. Word that becomes its own synonym when spelled backward : TAP
68. Giggle syllable : HEE
69. Basic form of a word : LEMMA
71. Spa sound : AAH
72. Do to ___ : A TEE
73. Bit : TAD
75. Simplify : STREAMLINE
76. Just like always : AS PER USUAL
77. Big swig : BELT
80. Neglect : UNUSE
82. Number of hills in ancient Rome : VII
83. Rx writer : DOC
85. Optometrist, at times : DILATER
87. Pirate, in old slang : SEA RAT
88. Breathe out : EXPIRE
89. View in awe : GAPE AT
90. Slightly : A SHADE
92. Noted philanthropic family : ASTORS
93. Lock : TRESS
95. Relative of a weasel : SABLE
97. Justice Kagan : ELENA
98. Smooth and glossy : SLEEK
99. Like Calvin Coolidge : TERSE
102. Neocons, e.g. : HAWKS
103. Ice cream flavor : OREO
105. Cain mutiny victim? : ABEL
108. Positive sign : NOD
110. Game-winning line : OOO

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12 thoughts on “0904-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Sep 16, Sunday”

  1. On my iPad mini: 47:09, no errors, but … I cheated! After about 30 minutes, I had finished the entire puzzle, with the exception of one square: the one in which you had to put AW. At that point, I pulled a complete blank; I simply could not remember the name "A&W Root Beer"! Now … I first encountered an A&W stand about 65 years ago. It was my father's favorite root beer. To this day, it is the only kind I buy (mostly for a friend, since I don't indulge in it myself much anymore). I have five cans of it in the refrigerator and six more cans under my kitchen counter. I spent the better part of 20 minutes trying to remember its name and I finally gave up: I opened the refrigerator and read the name off the can. It's this sort of incident that makes me worry about Alzheimer's …

    So … a relatively enjoyable and straightforward puzzle, but with a totally embarrassing finish … and then, in the middle of the night, I woke up thinking about the movie starring Judi Dench as a famous Irish novelist who succumbed to dementia … and I could not remember her name! (So I looked it up: The novelist was Iris Murdoch and the movie was called "Iris".) My marbles really are slipping away … 🙂

  2. It was a good romp, but not so straightforward. Just last week, we visited Texas A&M, where we got a lecture similar to Bill's description of the place. We also visited the Bush museum and library. Synchronicity at work. Also we are Steelers fans (isn't everybody?) and so we know about IKE Taylor. We had a hard time figuring out the theme, but finally did it and got several of them. We missed some, too… M&M, Q&A, and R&B. Maybe we are still recovering from our trip to Texas A&M.

  3. Enjoyed ciphering the big clue…many of the smaller ones were clunky. I usually mark a half dozen or so that catch my fancy…this week…none. My marking practise has been left in a state of unuse.

  4. 39:19, no errors. I had a tough time getting into this setters head. Especially the bottom left corner. Apparently I was not the only one with difficulty on 80D UNUSE. I also had 88D EXHALE, rather than EXPIRE; and was pretty sure that 110A would be RE-something; not RAPPEL. Tough one for me today.

  5. @DaveKennison, I would not consider what you did with the root beer as "cheating". I also stick to a strong code of honesty but I think on this one that you are over the top. I would think of it as just a little "luck" that those cans were there. Just sayin'.

  6. Had the opportunity to comment. Perhaps should a bit more since I'm doing these regularly now. But I fail at them a lot more, so I'm not sure I could offer an incredible lot. Didn't see the rebus too readily, and between that and some of the (even weirder) cluing, this turned into a slog I just got done with about an hour ago, fitting it in with everything else. I'll say this one was even more of a slog than the LAT in the paper the same day. "Forced. Inelegant." pretty much cuts it.

  7. @Dale Stewart … Thanks for the moral support … 🙂 My self-accusation was meant to be a bit of over-the-top histrionics, but with a serious edge: Normally, I'd have given up on remembering the name of the root beer (that I've been familiar with all my life!) and "Neocon" = HAWK would have given me the AW, but I got completely fixated on getting past the mental block. And I'd have probably stuck it out, no matter how long it took, but I had a time constraint, so I took the easy way out and looked in the damned refrigerator … :-). As I get older, mental blocks like this are becoming a lot more common and I don't know how much I should worry about them. (I probably ought to relax and be grateful that I still have some marbles left to play with … 🙂

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