0916-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Sep 16, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Berry
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 35m 06s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

14. With nobody playing, say : A CAPPELLA
“A cappella” music is sung without instruments accompanying. The name translates from Italian as “in the manner of the chapel”.

16. Retro stereo component : PHONO
“Phonograph” was an early name for what became known as a gramophone and later a record player. Famously, the phonograph was invented in 1877 by Thomas Edison.

17. Life preserver? : CEREAL BOX
The breakfast cereal called Life was introduced by Quaker Oats in 1961. Back in 196, Life contained just whole grain oats. Now it’s made with added sugar and flour.

18. Katherine of NBC’s “State of Affairs” : HEIGL
Katherine Heigl is best associated with the television show “Grey’s Anatomy” on which she played Dr. Izzie Stevens. That’s not a show I ever watched, but I did enjoy the espionage show “State of Affairs” in which Heigl played the lead. I guess I was in the minority though, as NBC cancelled “State of Affairs” after only one season …

20. Girl adopted by Silas Marner : EPPIE
“Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe” is a novel written by George Eliot and first published in 1861. There’s an excellent BBC TV version of the tale (shown on PBS) starring Ben Kingsley in the title role, with Patsy Kensit playing Eppie, the young orphaned child that Marner takes under his wing.

22. Anti-___ League (Progressive Era organization) : SALOON
The Anti-Saloon League was the most powerful prohibition lobby in the US by the time Congress passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920. The organization is still around today, going by the name American Council on Alcohol Problems.

The Progressive movement had the goal of eliminating corruption in government in the US. The movement gave its name to the Progressive Era that lasted from the 1890s to the 1920s. Journalists who investigated and exposed corruption were given the name “muckrakers”. The term “muckraker” was popularized by President Theodore Roosevelt when he referred to “the Man with the Muck-rake”, a character in John Bunyan’s allegory “The Pilgrim’s Progress”.

24. Blade brand : ATRA
Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra razor was introduced by Gillette in 1977. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

32. Site of Oscar Wilde’s trials : OLD BAILEY
The Central Criminal Court in London is usual referred to as “the Old Bailey”, a reference to the name of the street on which the court is located.

When Oscar Wilde was at the height of his success, he had the Marquess of Queensberry prosecuted for libel. Wilde claimed that Queensberry had left a note at his club with a note that accused the former of sodomy. Queensberry was exonerated during the trial, and Wilde dropped the charges. But the damage was done. Evidence revealed during the trial led to Wilde’s immediate arrest on charges of sodomy. He was convicted and served two years in jail.

35. Sound effects pioneer Jack : FOLEY
Foley artists are the people who reproduce everyday sounds in movies, like footsteps, breaking glass, doors opening etc. Foley art was first introduced by Jack Foley in Universal Studio’s 1929 production of “Showboat”.

37. Eponym of Bible history : KING JAMES
In 1604, King James I of England convened a conference at Hampton Court in order produce a new translation of the Bible, as the Puritan sect within the church had problems with prior versions. 47 scholars made new translations for the New Testament from Greek and from the Old Testament from Hebrew. The result is the King James Authorized Version.

39. Ehrich ___ a.k.a. Harry Houdini : WEISS
Harry Houdini was the stage name of Hungarian-born escapologist and magician Erik Weisz (later changed to “Harry Weiss”). Many people are under the impression that Houdini died while performing an escape that went wrong, an impression created by the storyline in a couple of movies about his life. The truth is that he died of peritonitis from a burst appendix. It is also true that a few days prior to his death Houdini took a series of punches to his stomach as part of his act, but doctors believe that his appendix would have burst regardless.

41. “I, Claudius” figure : NERO
“I, Claudius” is a 1934 novel penned by Robert Graves, written in the form of an autobiography of Emperor Claudius of Rome. Graves wrote a sequel in 1935 called “Claudius the God”. Both books were adapted by the BBC into a fabulous television series that went by the name of the first book “I, Claudius”.

I find Claudius to be the most fascinating of all the Roman Emperors. Claudius had a lot going against him as he walked with a limp and was slightly deaf. He was put in office by the Praetorian Guard (the emperor’s bodyguards) after Caligula was assassinated. Claudius had very little political experience and yet proved to be very forward-thinking and capable.

Nero was Emperor of Rome from 54 to 68 CE, and he had quite the family life. When he was just 16-years-old Nero married his step-sister Claudia Octavia. He also had his mother and step-brother executed.

54. One with changing needs : DIAPER BAG
“Diaper” is another word that I had to learn when I moved to America. What are called “diapers” over here, we call “nappies” back in Ireland. The term “diaper” is actually the original term that was used in England for the garment, where “diaper” referred to the cloth that was used. The term diaper was brought to the New World where it stuck. Back in Britain, diaper was displaced by the word “nappy”, a diminutive of “napkin”.

Down
2. School zone? : OCEAN
The ocean is where we find many schools of fish.

3. Top of the winter : PARKA
A parka is a hooded, often fur jacket that is worn in cold weather. The original parka was a pullover design, but nowadays it is usually zipped at the front. “Parka” is the Russian name for the garment , absorbed into English in the late 1700s via the Aleut language.

4. Swords, in Sèvres : EPEES
The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

Sèvres is suburb of Paris, located at the southwest of the city. One of Sèvres’ claims to fame is that it is home to International Bureau of Weights and Measures. It is the BIPM (“Bureau international des poids et mesures”) that ensures that a meter is meter, and a gram is a gram.

5. PC-linking program : TELNET
Telnet is a network protocol i.e. a defined format for controlling communications between devices in a network.

8. Proverbial certainty : TAXES
In a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy dated 13 Nov 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

9. Shakespeare character who coins the term “primrose path” : OPHELIA
In William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, Ophelia is courted by Hamlet, the man himself. Ophelia is the daughter of nobleman Polonius. She dies …

According to the idiom, one might be “led down the primrose path”, meaning that one can be led astray or deceived. It’s likely that the phrase “primrose path” was coined by William Shakespeare, in “Hamlet”. Ophelia says:

Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,

Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whiles, like a puff’d and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads

And recks not his own rede.

10. Winner of back-to-back Best Rock Instrumental Grammys in 1980 and 1981 : THE POLICE
The Police was a trio formed in London in 1977, with Sting being the most famous member and the lead singer. The band’s long list of hits includes “Roxanne” (1977), “Message in a Bottle” (1979), “Walking on the Moon” (1979) and “Every Breath You Take” (1983). The Police broke up in 1986, but their reunion tour of 2007/2008 made them the world’s highest-earning musicians for the year 2008.

11. The ordinary folk : HOI POLLOI
“Hoi polloi” is a Greek term, literally meaning “the majority, the many”. In English, “hoi polloi” has come to mean “the masses” and is often used in a derogatory sense.

12. “Scientists dream about doing great things. ___ do them”: James A. Michener : ENGINEERS
Author James A. Michener won his Pulitzer in 1948 for his collection of short stories set during WWII called “Tales of the South Pacific”. The stories are based on Michener’s own experiences and on tales that he learned while stationed there during the war. The book was published in 1946, and three years later the musical “South Pacific” opened with a storyline drawn from Michener’s book.

15. Gigli and pici, for two : PASTAS
Campanelle pasta is in the shape of bell-like flowers. The Italian “campanelle” means “little bells”. Campanelle is also known a “gigli” or “riccioli”.

Pici is pasta that resembles a thick spaghetti. Pici is usually hand-rolled.

23. “Dear ___” (1960s-’70s radio program) : ABBY
The advice column “Dear Abby” first appeared in 1956. Pauline Phillips was Abby back then, but now the column is written by Jeanne Phillips, her daughter. The full name of the “Abby” pen name is Abigail Van Buren, which Pauline Phillips came up with by combining “Abigail” from the biblical Book of Samuel, and “Van Buren” after the former US president. “Dear Abby” was also a radio show in the sixties and seventies.

25. Longtime “Voice of the New York Yankees” : ALLEN
For many years, the sportscaster Mel Allen was the play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees, and known as the “Voice of the New York Yankees”. Allen was also the first host of television’s “This Week in Baseball”.

29. Quarters’ quarters? : COIN PURSE
We use the term “quarters” for a place of abode, especially housing for military personnel. Back in the late 16th century, quarters were a portion (quarter) of a town reserved for a military force.

33. Treat with violent disrespect : DESECRATE
“To desecrate” is to treat sacrilegiously. The term more specifically means to divest of sacred character, and is the opposite of the verb “to consecrate”.

42. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard : ROEPER
Richard Roeper is columnist and film critic for “The Chicago Sun-Times”, and came to national attentions when he replaced Gene Siskel as co-host with Roger Ebert on the famous film review TV show. Roeper started work with Ebert in 2000, after Siskel died in 1999. Roeper stayed with the show right through 2008, even though Ebert had to bow out in 2006 as he recovered from cancer surgery.

46. Brainy high school clique : NERDS
A “clique” is a small, exclusive group of people. The term comes to us from France, where it has the same meaning. In French it somehow evolved in meaning from the original “clique” meaning a sharp noise, or as we would say today, a “click”.

48. Former Trump Organization member : IVANA
Ivana Winklmayr was born in Czechoslovakia. Winklmayr was an excellent skier, and was named as an alternate for the 1982 Czech Olympic Team. She was promoting the Montreal Olympics in New York in 1976 when she met Donald Trump. Ivana and Donald’s marriage was very public and well-covered by the media, but not nearly so well as their very litigious divorce in the early nineties.

49. Like Ziegfeld girls : LEGGY
Florenz “Flo” Ziegfeld, Jr. was the man behind the series of theatrical revues called the “Ziegfeld Follies”, as well as the producer of the musical “Show Boat”. The “Follies” shows were structured as imitations of the “Folies Bergère” cabaret shows of Paris.

50. Thick of things, in a manner of speaking : SWIM
To be “in the swim” (also “in the swim of things”) is to be in the thick of things, actively engaged in events.

52. Kid Cudi’s “Day ‘n’ ___” : NITE
Kid Cudi is the stage name of hip hop artist Scott Mescudi from Cleveland, Ohio.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Handle things : COPE
5. Try out : TEST
9. Additional : OTHER
14. With nobody playing, say : A CAPPELLA
16. Retro stereo component : PHONO
17. Life preserver? : CEREAL BOX
18. Katherine of NBC’s “State of Affairs” : HEIGL
19. Observes closely : TAKES NOTE
20. Girl adopted by Silas Marner : EPPIE
21. Anxious : IN A STEW
22. Anti-___ League (Progressive Era organization) : SALOON
24. Blade brand : ATRA
26. On the program : BILLED
28. Feels deep sympathy : ACHES
32. Site of Oscar Wilde’s trials : OLD BAILEY
34. By and by : SOON
35. Sound effects pioneer Jack : FOLEY
36. Mandatory courses : CORE
37. Eponym of Bible history : KING JAMES
39. Ehrich ___ a.k.a. Harry Houdini : WEISS
40. Was unconsciously disturbing? : SNORED
41. “I, Claudius” figure : NERO
43. Blathers : PRATES
45. Component of some biodiesels : CORN OIL
50. Ones coming ashore : SURFS
51. Put away for someone : ON RESERVE
53. Drafted : WROTE
54. One with changing needs : DIAPER BAG
55. It may be off the charts : ISLET
56. Like some physicians : ATTENDING
57. Fuses : MELDS
58. Person offering you a fortune : SEER
59. Command that a dog shouldn’t follow : STAY

Down
1. Section of a botanical garden : CACTI
2. School zone? : OCEAN
3. Top of the winter : PARKA
4. Swords, in Sèvres : EPEES
5. PC-linking program : TELNET
6. It’s hard to find in a crowd : ELBOW ROOM
7. 8:00-9:00 on TV, e.g. : SLOT
8. Proverbial certainty : TAXES
9. Shakespeare character who coins the term “primrose path” : OPHELIA
10. Winner of back-to-back Best Rock Instrumental Grammys in 1980 and 1981 : THE POLICE
11. The ordinary folk : HOI POLLOI
12. “Scientists dream about doing great things. ___ do them”: James A. Michener : ENGINEERS
13. Capacity : ROLE
15. Gigli and pici, for two : PASTAS
23. “Dear ___” (1960s-’70s radio program) : ABBY
25. Longtime “Voice of the New York Yankees” : ALLEN
27. Easter stock : DYES
28. Does some grilling : ASKS
29. Quarters’ quarters? : COIN PURSE
30. Group that almost can’t fail? : HONOR ROLL
31. Added to a plant : ENGRAFTED
33. Treat with violent disrespect : DESECRATE
35. Become dull : FADE
38. Lives the high life : JET SETS
39. Go downhill : WORSEN
42. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard : ROEPER
44. Soft options? : SODAS
46. Brainy high school clique : NERDS
47. Cosmic path : ORBIT
48. Former Trump Organization member : IVANA
49. Like Ziegfeld girls : LEGGY
50. Thick of things, in a manner of speaking : SWIM
52. Kid Cudi’s “Day ‘n’ ___” : NITE

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5 thoughts on “0916-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 16 Sep 16, Friday”

  1. 30:49, no errors, iPad. A difficult one, I thought. It reminded me of the Allied invasion of Europe in 1944: After some ineffectual forays in various areas, I managed to establish a solid beachhead in the middle left and then slowly fought my way on an expanding front in several directions until final victory was achieved. (I think this image came to mind because I was recently reminded of a grade school classmate and found out – using Google, the current fount of all wisdom, of course – something I never knew, that she had an uncle who was: married in July, 1943; drafted in March, 1944; sent to Belgium in September, 1944; killed in Germany in October, 1944; had a daughter born in August, 1945. Geez, what a time … let's not do that again …

  2. DNF, upper right corner blank after 39 minutes. Remaining puzzle filled in with no errors. 16A PHONO still kind of sticks in my craw; never heard of any component called a 'PHONO'; a phonograph (to my thinking) is a self contained device which plays records. The component stereo device which plays records is called a 'turntable'. The amplifier input jack for the turntable is abbreviated 'PHONO', but the component plugged into it is not a PHONO.

  3. Liked this a lot. There's always a lot to like about a Patrick Berry puzzle. They're consistently smooth and fun, and this one was no exception. Took a while, but well worth it.

  4. I liked State of Affairs, as I'm a Katherine Heigl fan. Was disappointed that it got cancelled, but I like Madam Secretary, with Tea Leoni. That husky voice, Wow! The puzzle was decent; as a Friday puzzle it's of the requisite difficulty.

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