0909-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Sep 16, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kristian House
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 19m 03s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. Bridge pair, briefly? : SPECS
A pair of spectacles (specs) sit on the bridge of a nose.

16. Bane of cereal grain : ERGOT
Ergot is a fungus, or actually a group of fungi, that cause disease in rye and related plants. If human eat ergot-contaminated grain, a condition called ergotism can result. Ergotism is the result of consumption of alkaloids produced by the fungi, alkaloids that can cause seizures and manic behavior. It has even been suggested that the hysteria exhibited by the Salem “witches” was perhaps caused by the ingestion of ergot-contaminated rye.

Today we tend to use the word “bane” to mean anathema, a source of persistent annoyance. A few centuries ago, a bane was a cause of harm or death, perhaps a deadly poison.

18. Sauce often made with lemon juice : AIOLI
To the purist, especially in Provence in the South of France, the “home” of aioli, aioli is prepared just by grinding garlic with olive oil. However, other ingredients are often added to the mix, particularly egg yolks.

19. TiVo remote button : REC
TiVo was introduced in 1999 and was the world’s first commercially successful DVR (Digital Video Recorder).

22. Lose, as a carrier might with a call : DROP
That would be during a call on a cellphone.

24. New York restaurateur with a Tony Award : SARDI
Sardi’s is a renowned restaurant in the Theater District of Manhattan that was opened in 1927 by Italian immigrant Vincent Sardi, Sr. Sardi’s is famous for attracting celebrities who pose for caricatures that are then displayed on the restaurant’s walls. After the death of actress and director Antoinette Perry in 1946, her friend and partner Brock Pemberton was having lunch at Sardi’s and came up with idea of a theater award that could be presented in Perry’s honor. The award was to be called the Tony Award.

31. ___ Dolly (“Winter’s Bone” heroine) : REE
“Winter’s Bone” is a 2010 drama film that was adapted from a novel of the same name by Daniel Woodrell. Star of the movie is Jennifer Lawrence, playing a teenage girl faced with the responsibility of protecting her family from eviction from their home in the Ozarks.

32. Contraction in Hamlet’s soliloquy : ‘TIS

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles …

There has been centuries of debate about how one interprets Hamlet’s soliloquy that begins “To be or not to be …”. My favorite opinion is that Hamlet is weighing up the pros and cons of suicide (“to not be”).

34. 1972 blaxploitation film with a soundtrack by Curtis Mayfield : SUPER FLY
The 1972 movie “Super Fly” is about a cocaine dealer attempting to get out of the drug underworld. The film features a celebrated soundtrack by soul musician Curtis Mayfield. The soundtrack actually made more money than the movie itself. “Super Fly” has been labeled a “blaxploitation” film, one of a string of features made by the mainstream studios aimed at African American audiences.

36. Gun point? : BAYONET
A bayonet is a blade that is attached to the muzzle end of a rifle. It’s thought that the term derives from the French city of Bayonne in Gascony where perhaps bayonets were first made.

40. Fur-lined cloak : PELISSE
A pelisse is a short cloak lined or trimmed with fur, a woman’s garment. The original pelisse was worn by hussar light cavalry soldiers over the left shoulder. The idea was for the pelisse to prevent sword cuts on that part of the body.

43. A.L. or N.L. East: Abbr. : DIV
That would be baseball’s American League (AL) and National League (NL).

44. Some sports cars : GTS
GT stands for “Grand Touring” or “Gran Turismo”.

45. Six-time U.S. Open champ : EVERT
Chris Evert is a former professional tennis player from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Evert has the best winning percentage in professional tennis, man or woman worldwide, losing less than 10% of all her matches.

53. Ammonia and others : ODORS
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.

55. Longtime TV figure known for his garage : LENO
Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

56. Dawgs : HOMIES
“Homie” is short for “homeboy”, someone from one’s home neighborhood.

58. Liver by the Loire? : FOIE
“Foie” is French for “liver”.

The Loire is the longest river in France. It is so long that it drains one-fifth of the nation’s land mass. The Loire rises in the southeast, in the Cevennes mountain range, then heads north then due west, emptying into the Bay of Biscay at the city of Nantes. The Loire Valley is home to some of France’s most famous wine production, and includes the wine regions of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Muscadet.

60. Sculptor who described art as “a fruit that grows in man” : ARP
Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …

61. “A Dog of Flanders” author : OUIDA
Ouida was the pen name of the English novelist Maria Louise Ramé. Her novel “A Dog of Flanders” was first published in 1872. The story tells of a young Flemish boy and his dog, and as it is a book of English origin it isn’t really read much in Belgium. But the popularity of the story attracts visitors to Antwerp, and now there is a small statue of the boy and his dog in the city, and plaque in front of Antwerp Cathedral that was donated by the Japanese car company, Toyota. Apparently “A Dog in Flanders” is incredibly popular in Japan.

64. Beehive Blender brand : OSTER
The Oster brand of small appliances was introduced in 1924 by John Oster. He started out by making manually-powered hair clippers designed for cutting women’s hair, and followed up with a motorized version in 1928. The clippers kept the company in business until 1946 when Oster diversified, buying a manufacturer of liquefying blenders in 1946. The blender was renamed an Osterizer, and was a big hit. Oster was bought up by Sunbeam, which has owned the brand since 1960.

Down
1. Thanksgiving table decorations : GOURDS
A gourd is a plant in the same family as the cucumber. The hollow, dried out shell of the fruit is large and rounded, and used for a number of purposes. Gourds make fine bottles and bowls, and resonating chambers as part of musical instruments … and drums.

2. A in physics class? : AMPERE
The unit of electric current is the ampere, abbreviated correctly to “A” rather than “amp”. It is named after French physicist André-Marie Ampère, one of the main scientists responsible for the discovery of electromagnetism.

3. Adolescent program, slangily : ZITCOM
A “zitcom” is a sitcom aimed as adolescents, a portmanteau of “zit” and “sitcom”.

4. Goddess who saved Odysseus : INO
Ino was a mortal queen of Thebes through her marriage to King Athamas. In Greek mythology, Ino became the goddess Leukothea after her death. As Leukothea she provided divine aid to Odysseus, according to Homer’s “Odyssey”. She provided Odysseus with a magical veil that he used to escape from Poseidon.

7. So-called “Shakespeare of the Prophets” : ISAIAH
The Book of Isaiah is part of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. Isaiah is not mentioned in the Qur’an, but many Muslim scholars consider Isaiah a prophet. Isaiah is widely regarded as the most eloquent of the prophets, earning him the moniker “Shakespeare of the Prophets”.

9. Host of the web series “Emoji Science” : NYE
Bill Nye the Science Guy uses emojis to explain scientific concepts in a series of web videos hosted by GE.

An emoji is a character found on many cell phones now that is much like an emoticon, but more elaborate.

10. Junior posthumously inducted into the Football Hall of Fame : SEAU
Junior Seau was an NFL linebacker, first playing for the San Diego Chargers and then the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots. Sadly, Seau was found dead in his home in 2011, having committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest.

12. Searches for oneself : EGO-SURFS
We’ve all done it, googling our own names to see what comes up. It’s called “ego-surfing”.

13. Mustard and others : COLONELS
Colonel Mustard is one of the suspects in the board game “Clue”.

Clue is another board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), a lead pipe (lead piping in the US) and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

23. Climber’s aid : PITON
A piton is a piece of mountaineering equipment, an anchor designed to protect a climber if he or she falls. It is a metal spike driven into a crack in the rock face with a hammer. The piton has an eyehole through which a rope is attached using a carabiner. “Piton” is a French word for a “hook”.

30. Baseball commissioner during the steroid era : SELIG
Bud Selig was the Commissioner of Baseball for Major League Baseball from 1998 to 2015. Selig became acting commissioner in 1992 after the resignation of Fay Vincent. The team owners searched for a new commissioner for six years, and finally gave the permanent job to Selig in 1998.

33. Robot arm movers : SERVOS
A “servomechanism” (also “servo”) is a control system in which usually a hydraulic or pneumatic arm or plunger is actuated by a low-energy signal received from a sensor. An example is the device operating the cruise control on a car. The servo pushes the gas pedal to accelerate and lets off to slow down. The signal to the servo comes from the speedometer.

35. Navratilova, to 45-Across, e.g. : RIVAL
(45A. Six-time U.S. Open champ : EVERT)
Martina Navratilova is a retired tennis player who is thought by many to have been the greatest player of all time. Navratilova won the Wimbledon singles title a record nine times, which is one of many records that she holds. She was born in Czechoslovakia but asked for political asylum in the US in 1975 at 18 years of age. Navratilova was granted temporary residency in the US and as a result was stripped of her Czech citizenship. That Czech citizenship was restored in 2008, making her a dual citizen.

38. Apple operating system that’s also a geographical name : YOSEMITE
Apple introduced the OS X Operating System in 2000. Each version of this operating system has had a code name, and that code name until recently has been a type of big cat. The versions and code names are:

  • 10.0: Cheetah
  • 10.1: Puma
  • 10.2: Jaguar
  • 10.3: Panther
  • 10.4: Tiger
  • 10.5: Leopard
  • 10.6: Snow Leopard
  • 10.7: Lion
  • 10.8: Mountain Lion
  • 10.9: Mavericks
  • 10.10: Yosemite

46. ___ l’oeil : TROMPE
“Trompe l’oeil” is a technique in art that creates the optical illusion that a drawn object exists in three dimensions. “Trompe-l’oeil” is French for “deceive the eye”.

48. Hideous foe of Popeye : SEA HAG
The Sea Hag is Popeye’s archenemy, sailing the seas with her pet vulture Bernard, on her boat called “The Black Barnacle”.

50. Valve with a disc at the end of a vertically set stem : POPPET
A poppet valve is also known as a mushroom valve. Poppet valves are typically used to control gas and vapor flow into an engine.

52. Like the Atlantic Ocean, slightly, from year to year : WIDER
The tectonic plates that are covered by the Atlantic Ocean are receding away from each other, thus making the Atlantic wider over time.

59. She, in Venice : ESSA
The city of Venice in northeast Italy is built in a saltwater lagoon on the Adriatic Coast, on 117 small islands. The classic transportation along the waterways is the gondola, but this is really only used for tourists these days, as well as on ceremonial occasions. The locals rely on the motorized water-buses.

63. Stop: Abbr. : STN
Station (stn.)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Really huge number : GAZILLION
10. Bridge pair, briefly? : SPECS
15. In a foreboding manner : OMINOUSLY
16. Bane of cereal grain : ERGOT
17. Sufficiently good : UP TO GRADE
18. Sauce often made with lemon juice : AIOLI
19. TiVo remote button : REC
20. Not go to : SKIP
21. Jerks : TUGS ON
22. Lose, as a carrier might with a call : DROP
24. New York restaurateur with a Tony Award : SARDI
26. Doomed : SUNK
27. Round of four : SEMIS
29. B-ball : HOOPS
31. ___ Dolly (“Winter’s Bone” heroine) : REE
32. Contraction in Hamlet’s soliloquy : ‘TIS
34. 1972 blaxploitation film with a soundtrack by Curtis Mayfield : SUPER FLY
36. Gun point? : BAYONET
40. Fur-lined cloak : PELISSE
41. Tight hold : IRON GRIP
43. A.L. or N.L. East: Abbr. : DIV
44. Some sports cars : GTS
45. Six-time U.S. Open champ : EVERT
47. Get one’s fill? : GAS UP
51. “That was exhausting!” : WHEW!
53. Ammonia and others : ODORS
55. Longtime TV figure known for his garage : LENO
56. Dawgs : HOMIES
58. Liver by the Loire? : FOIE
60. Sculptor who described art as “a fruit that grows in man” : ARP
61. “A Dog of Flanders” author : OUIDA
62. Bails : JUMPS SHIP
64. Beehive Blender brand : OSTER
65. It fell in 2016 for the first time since 1919 : US POSTAGE
66. Reviewers of scientific papers : PEERS
67. Cause of rebellion, maybe : TEEN ANGST

Down
1. Thanksgiving table decorations : GOURDS
2. A in physics class? : AMPERE
3. Adolescent program, slangily : ZITCOM
4. Goddess who saved Odysseus : INO
5. Records : LOGS
6. Doesn’t show oneself, say : LURKS
7. So-called “Shakespeare of the Prophets” : ISAIAH
8. Veterans : OLD PROS
9. Host of the web series “Emoji Science” : NYE
10. Junior posthumously inducted into the Football Hall of Fame : SEAU
11. Victorians : PRIGS
12. Searches for oneself : EGO-SURFS
13. Mustard and others : COLONELS
14. Dirty look : STINK EYE
21. Rewarded for waiting : TIPPED
23. Climber’s aid : PITON
25. Decorate : DO UP
28. Blacken a bit : SINGE
30. Baseball commissioner during the steroid era : SELIG
33. Robot arm movers : SERVOS
35. Navratilova, to 45-Across, e.g. : RIVAL
36. “Well, la-di-frickin’-da!” : BIG WHOOP!
37. It has big screens for small films : ARTHOUSE
38. Apple operating system that’s also a geographical name : YOSEMITE
39. One to one, say : TIED
42. Seemingly everywhere : PROFUSE
46. ___ l’oeil : TROMPE
48. Hideous foe of Popeye : SEA HAG
49. Strips, as a ship : UNRIGS
50. Valve with a disc at the end of a vertically set stem : POPPET
52. Like the Atlantic Ocean, slightly, from year to year : WIDER
54. Barely drink : SIP ON
57. They may ring after parties : EARS
59. She, in Venice : ESSA
62. Project : JUT
63. Stop: Abbr. : STN

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7 thoughts on “0909-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Sep 16, Friday”

  1. Love your work. I don't know how you do it ("do it" referring to both your quickness in solving and your ability to do it day in and day out and day in and…). Oh, a slight correction: today is Friday, of course. Your heading says Thursday.

  2. 21:18, no errors, iPad. Agree completely with Jack.

    I filled in ZITCOM without noticing it. This still happens frequently during an iPad solve and almost never happened on paper. I'm trying to learn to check side-product entries as I go along, but with minimal success.

    The term POPPET made me think of my dad. He worked in the power house for a meat-packing plant and knew pretty much everything there was to know about a whole lot of machinery. One of his charges at the plant was an old steam engine, made in the early 1900's, that was still in use 70 years later (in part because of his TLC).

  3. 18:52, no errors. Initially had a very difficult time gaining any fingerholds in this puzzle, looked like one of those DNF Fridays. Made a couple of wild guesses, like 1A GAZILLION and 13D COLONELS, and things started to fall into place.

    I'd like to add my appreciation, of Bill's efforts, to those above. Checking this blog, after completing puzzle, has kept my interest.

  4. ~26 minutes, with EIGHT errors. Didn't like this one one bit, felt it was loaded with esoterica, and a few terms, outright BS. ZITCOM??? Who says that? Ever?

    Not a good week for me.

  5. Kudos, Bill. You are amazing. I could not get "do up," as I was looking for one word. I got everything else — over the course of two days — by stewing over it, sleeping on it, and guessing. This was of course the first place I came to see how the masters did it.

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