0920-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Sep 16, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tracy Bennett
THEME: No Piece of Cake
Today’s themed answers are all desserts, out of them all there is NO PIECE OF CAKE:

59A. What a chef might call each dessert featured in this puzzle, literally or figuratively : NO PIECE OF CAKE

20A. Layers of sherry-soaked torte, homemade custard and fruit served chilled in a giant stem glass : ENGLISH TRIFLE
35A. Ice cream and sponge topped with meringue and placed in a very hot oven for a few minutes : BAKED ALASKA
42A. Steamed-for-hours, aged-for-months concoction of treacle, brandy, fruit and spices, set afire and served at Christmas : PLUM PUDDING

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. ___ of the Apostles : ACTS
The Acts of the Apostles is the fifth book of the Christian New Testament. It is believed that the author of the Gospel of Luke was the same person who wrote “Acts”.

5. Ending with neo- or proto- : -PLASM
In terms of pathology, neoplasm is a new growth of abnormal tissue, tissue that often forms a tumor. The term come from “neo-” meaning “new”, and the Greek “plasma” meaning “formation”.

The word “protoplasm” comes from the Greek, meaning first (protos) thing formed (plasma). It is the name given to the cell contents, everything that is surrounded by the plasma membrane. The protoplasm in most cells is divided into two parts, the cytoplasm which surrounds the nucleus, and the nucleoplasm found within the nucleus.

14. Blade in the pen : SHIV
“Shiv” is a slang term for a weapon crudely fashioned to resemble a knife. Mostly we hear of shivs that have been fashioned by prison inmates to do harm to others.

15. Strip of fabric used for trimming : RUCHE
Ruching is a technique used in sewing to create “ripples” in fabric. The effect is achieved by increasing the number of stitches all in one row, and then decreasing to the original number a few rows later.

17. Rock’s ___ Inch Nails : NINE
Nine Inch Nails is the name of a rock band that was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1988 by singer-songwriter Trent Reznor. Reznor chose the name “Nine Inch Nails” mainly because it abbreviated easily and succinctly, to “NIN”.

20. Layers of sherry-soaked torte, homemade custard and fruit served chilled in a giant stem glass : ENGLISH TRIFLE
Trifle is a splendid dessert from England comprising layers of sponge soaked in sherry, fruit, custard and whipped cream. The sponge and fruit is usually suspended in jello. The Italian version of the same dessert if known as “zuppa inglese”, which translates from Italian as “English soup”.

23. Dreadlocked ones, informally : RASTAS
Dreadlocks are matted coils of hair nowadays usually formed intentionally, although if one lets hair grow out without grooming then it naturally forms twisted and matted dreadlocks. The hairstyle is associated with the Rastafarian movement in which “dread” is a very positive term meaning “fear of the Lord”.

24. Comical “Dame” : EDNA
Dame Edna Everage is the outrageous character created and played by Australian comedian Barry Humphries. I saw him/her perform live in a San Francisco theater, and what a great show it was …

25. “Kilroy ___ here” : WAS
The omnipresent doodle and graffiti “Kilroy was here” dates back to WWII, although the exact origins are in doubt. A similar character exists in other countries, with a different name. In Australia, “Foo was here” and in Britain “Chad was here”. It’s felt that Chad might have been the original, and he probably pre-dated the Second World War.

32. ___-December romance : MAY
33% of heterosexual marriages in the US have an age gap between husband and wife of less than a year. In 20% of marriages, the husband is 2-3 years older than the wife. The wife is 2-3 years older than the husband in only 7% of marriages. My wife and I are in that 7% …

35. Ice cream and sponge topped with meringue and placed in a very hot oven for a few minutes : BAKED ALASKA
The dessert known as baked Alaska consists of ice cream quickly baked in sponge covered with meringue in an oven at high temperature.

40. Singer with the site imaginepeace.com : ONO
The artist Yoko Ono operates the website ImaginePeace.com. I checked it out once and found these lovely two quotes:

  • Imagine all the people living life in peace … John Lennon
  • A dream you dream alone is only a dream, a dream you dream together is reality … Yoko Ono

41. Boxer Max : BAER
Max Baer was an American Heavyweight Champion of the World in the thirties. Baer held the title for 364 days, and then went into the ring after hardly any training at all against the well-prepared James J. Braddock. Braddock was a huge underdog, and yet emerged victorious after 15 rounds (Braddock is the subject of the 2005 movie “Cinderella Man”). By the way, Baer’s son is Max Baer, Jr., the actor who played Jethro on “The Beverly Hillbillies”.

42. Steamed-for-hours, aged-for-months concoction of treacle, brandy, fruit and spices, set afire and served at Christmas : PLUM PUDDING
Christmas pudding is a traditional holiday dish, served mainly in Britain and Ireland. It is also referred to as plum pudding, even though aren’t any plums included in the list of ingredients. “Plums” was a term that used to mean “raisins”, which are included. One of the appetizing ingredients is suet, animal fat. There’s also a lot of alcohol, which allows the pudding to be aged for months if desired. I must admit, I love Christmas pudding, soaked in brandy that’s set alight. And a little brandy butter on the side …

49. Uncles, in Acapulco : TIOS
In Spanish, a “tio” (uncle) is the “hermano del padre o de la madre” (brother of the father or the mother).

The Mexican city of Acapulco is on the southwest coast of the country, in the state of Guerrero. The name “Acapulco” translates from the local language into “at the big reeds”.

52. Units of resistance : OHMS
The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every schoolkid knows as Ohm’s Law.

64. Actress Watts : NAOMI
The actress Naomi Watts was born in the UK and moved to Australia when she was 14 years of age. It was in Australia that Watts got her break in television and movies. Probably her most acclaimed role was in the 2003 film “21 Grams” with Sean Penn and Benicio del Toro. Watts is best friends with fellow Australian actress Nicole Kidman.

65. Kardashian matriarch : KRIS
Kris Kardashian is the matriarch of the Kardashian clan. She was married to the lawyer Robert Kardashian who was one of O. J. Simpson’s lawyers in his 1995 murder trial. The couple divorced in 1990 and Kris then married the celebrated decathlete from the 1976 Olympic Games, Bruce Jenner. That marriage ended in divorce as well, in 2015.

66. Fool : SIMP
“Simp” is slang for a simple or foolish person. Not nice …

67. Latches (onto) : GLOMS
“Glom” is a slang term meaning “steal”, although it can also be used to mean “latch onto” when used as “glom onto”. The term probably comes from the Scots word “glam” meaning “to snatch at”.

68. Land of Blarney : EIRE
Blarney is a town in County Cork in the south of Ireland. Blarney is home to Blarney Castle, and inside the castle is the legendary Blarney Stone. “Kissing the Blarney Stone” is a ritual engaged in by oh so many tourists (indeed, I’ve done it myself!), but it’s not a simple process. The stone is embedded in the wall of the castle, and in order to kiss it you have to sit on the edge of the parapet and lean way backwards so that your head is some two feet below your body. There is a staff member there to help you and make sure you don’t fall. The Blarney Stone has been labelled as the world’s most unhygienic tourist attraction! But once you’ve kissed it, supposedly you are endowed with the “gift of the gab”, the ability to talk eloquently and perhaps deceptively without offending. The term “blarney” has come to mean flattering and deceptive talk.

70. Lauder of cosmetics : ESTEE
Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, with a reputation as a great salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

Down
1. Ed of “Up” : ASNER
“Up” is the tenth movie released by Pixar studios, featuring wonderful animation as we have come to expect from Pixar. The film earned itself two Academy Awards. The main voice actor is Ed Asner, whose animated persona as Carl Fredricksen was created to resemble Spencer Tracy, as Tracy appeared in his last film, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”.

4. Willowy : SVELTE
“Svelte” comes into English from Latin, via the Italian “svelto” meaning “stretched out”. Something or someone described as svelte would be slender and graceful.

5. German kingdom of old : PRUSSIA
Prussia was a German kingdom that had as its capital the city of Berlin. The German monarchies were abolished after WWI, and “Prussia” ceased to exist as an entity right after WWII.

9. Gates of philanthropy : MELINDA
Melinda French was working as a project manager at Microsoft when she met Bill Gates. The couple were married in Hawaii in 1994, after which she left Microsoft to start and raise a family.

10. Voldemort-like : EVIL
Lord Voldemort (born Tom Marvolo Riddle) is the main “bad guy” in the “Harry Potter” series of books. I heard author J. K. Rowling on the radio some time back and she tells us that “Voldemort” is supposed to be pronounced with a silent “t” on the end, so it sounds kind of French. But when the movies came out the actors went with the hard “t”, and that’s the pronunciation that seems to prevail now.

12. Mop & ___ : GLO
Mop & Glo is brand of floor cleaner and polish.

13. Itch : YEN
The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium!

21. da-DAH : IAMB
An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. Robert Frost’s “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” consists of lines made up of four sequential iambs e.g. “Whose woods / these are / I think / I know”. With a sequence of four iambs, the poem’s structure is described as iambic tetrameter.

29. Walloped to win the bout, in brief : TKO’D
In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can’t get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly “knocked out”. A referee, fighter or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter’s safety. In this case the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).

31. Chew the fat : GAB
Back in the day, a wealthy man would “bring home the bacon” and sit around with guests and “chew the fat”.

32. Sugar ___ : MAPLE
The sugar maple is the state tree of New York, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin. It is also the primary source of maple syrup.

34. Sam Cooke’s first #1 hit : YOU SEND ME
“You Send Me” is a 1957 song written and recorded by Sam Cooke, his debut single. “You Send Me” was originally released as the B-side to a recording by Cooke of “Summertime” from George Gershwin’s opera “Porgy and Bess”. The B-side turned out to be more popular with disk jockeys, and so the subsequent releases had the A-side and B-side designations switched.

39. Designs with ® symbols: Abbr. : TMS
Trademark (TM)

43. Lowdown, in slang : POOP
“Poop” is a slang term meaning “relevant and up-to-date information”. Back in the 1940s, a “poop sheet” was a bulletin with the latest information.

45. Salade ___ : NICOISE
A Niçoise salad is known as a “salade Niçoise” in its native France, where it was named for the city of Nice in the south of the country. The original contains no cooked vegetables, but here in North America there are almost always included some boiled potatoes.

50. Lollipop : SUCKER
A lollipop is piece of candy on a stick. The name “lollipop” surfaced in 1908, and was taken from a prominent race horse of the day name Lolly Pop.

53. “Square” things, ideally : MEALS
A “square meal” is one that is substantial and nourishing. According to some sources, the phrase originated with the Royal Navy, and the square wooden plates on which meals were served. However, this centuries-old practice is an unlikely origin as the phrase is first seen in print in the US, in 1856. An advertisement for a restaurant posted in a California newspaper offers a “square meal” to patrons, in the sense of an “honest, straightforward meal”. The “honest” meaning of “square” was well-established at the time, as in “fair and square”, “square play” and “square deal”.

56. “West Side Story” seamstress : MARIA
Leonard Bernstein’s musical “West Side Story” is based on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The musical is set in New York City and features two rival gangs: the Sharks from Puerto Rico and the Jets with working-class, Caucasian roots. Tony from the Jets (played by Richard Beymer) falls in love with Maria (played by Natalie Wood) from the Sharks. All this parallels Romeo from the House of Montague falling for Juliet from the House of Capulet in the Italian city of Verona.

58. Positive R.S.V.P.s : YESES
RSVP stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “please, answer”.

61. J.Lo’s daughter with a palindromic name : EMME
Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez (aka “J. Lo”) has two children with her third husband, singer Marc Anthony. The twins Maximilian and Emme were born in 2008.

63. Kill, as an idea : NIX
The use of “nix” as a verb, meaning “to shoot down”, dates back to the early 1900s. Before that “nix” was just a noun meaning “nothing”. “Nix” comes from the German “nichts”, which also means “nothing”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. ___ of the Apostles : ACTS
5. Ending with neo- or proto- : -PLASM
10. Pushing conventional limits : EDGY
14. Blade in the pen : SHIV
15. Strip of fabric used for trimming : RUCHE
16. Low ground, poetically : VALE
17. Rock’s ___ Inch Nails : NINE
18. Habitual customer’s order, with “the” : USUAL
19. Clothes presser : IRON
20. Layers of sherry-soaked torte, homemade custard and fruit served chilled in a giant stem glass : ENGLISH TRIFLE
23. Dreadlocked ones, informally : RASTAS
24. Comical “Dame” : EDNA
25. “Kilroy ___ here” : WAS
28. Give off, as vibes : EMIT
30. Summary : DIGEST
32. ___-December romance : MAY
35. Ice cream and sponge topped with meringue and placed in a very hot oven for a few minutes : BAKED ALASKA
38. Oodles : A LOT
40. Singer with the site imaginepeace.com : ONO
41. Boxer Max : BAER
42. Steamed-for-hours, aged-for-months concoction of treacle, brandy, fruit and spices, set afire and served at Christmas : PLUM PUDDING
47. Fabric purchase: Abbr. : YDS
48. Teacher’s plan : LESSON
49. Uncles, in Acapulco : TIOS
51. ___ contact : EYE
52. Units of resistance : OHMS
55. Ham-handed : CLUMSY
59. What a chef might call each dessert featured in this puzzle, literally or figuratively : NO PIECE OF CAKE
62. Command-Z command : UNDO
64. Actress Watts : NAOMI
65. Kardashian matriarch : KRIS
66. Fool : SIMP
67. Latches (onto) : GLOMS
68. Land of Blarney : EIRE
69. Ones who are splitsville : EXES
70. Lauder of cosmetics : ESTEE
71. “Phooey!” : RATS!

Down
1. Ed of “Up” : ASNER
2. Set traditionally handed down to an eldest daughter : CHINA
3. Tiny bell sounds : TINGS
4. Willowy : SVELTE
5. German kingdom of old : PRUSSIA
6. Growing luxuriantly : LUSH
7. Severe and short, as an illness : ACUTE
8. Glass fragment : SHARD
9. Gates of philanthropy : MELINDA
10. Voldemort-like : EVIL
11. “Hesitating to mention it, but …” : DARE WE SAY …
12. Mop & ___ : GLO
13. Itch : YEN
21. da-DAH : IAMB
22. Pass’s opposite : FAIL
26. “___ and answered” (courtroom objection) : ASKED
27. Constellation units : STARS
29. Walloped to win the bout, in brief : TKO’D
31. Chew the fat : GAB
32. Sugar ___ : MAPLE
33. Locale for urban trash cans : ALLEY
34. Sam Cooke’s first #1 hit : YOU SEND ME
36. Come to a close : END
37. “I dare you!” : DO IT!
39. Designs with ® symbols: Abbr. : TMS
43. Lowdown, in slang : POOP
44. Drive mad : UNHINGE
45. Salade ___ : NICOISE
46. Club game : GOLF
50. Lollipop : SUCKER
53. “Square” things, ideally : MEALS
54. “Git!” : SCOOT!
56. “West Side Story” seamstress : MARIA
57. Mini, e.g. : SKIRT
58. Positive R.S.V.P.s : YESES
60. Error report? : OOPS!
61. J.Lo’s daughter with a palindromic name : EMME
62. Manipulate : USE
63. Kill, as an idea : NIX

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9 thoughts on “0920-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Sep 16, Tuesday”

  1. 9:08, no errors, iPad. I saw POOP in a puzzle a few days ago for what I thought was the first time ever (though it may not have been). Now, here it is again. Luckily, we're all adults here … tee-hee … 🙂

  2. @Bill … I thought there was something odd going on here, but it took a while to sink in: This is Tuesday, not Monday. (I knew I got up early, but I guess I didn't realize that I was still partlly asleep … 🙂

  3. A little more challenging than the LA Times today but doable.

    Interesting derivation of square MEAL. Never heard of RUCHE or NICOISE salade, but that's half the fun of being here.

    Taking a couple of days off to kick this cold so I'm indulging in doing both LA and NY this week…although I don't know if I have the energy to handle another NYT Thursday puzzle…

    Best –

  4. No errors. Nice, typical Tuesday. Working this puzzle made me crave some sweets. I've never eaten any of these three desserts. Too much trouble to make and too expensive to buy. I guess that's the whole point of the theme.

  5. 10:17, no errors. Had not heard of RUCHE before, filled entirely with crossing words. Took a while to see the NO in NO PIECE OF CAKE; until it dawned on me that, technically, the desserts listed are not cakes.

  6. 10:58, no errors. No, this one was not a piece of cake, rather a good, fair Tuesday challenge. We need more of these and fewer Livengood outrages!

  7. Kept writing ACTS then rejecting it because I could not get myself to accept tings. I's tings even a word?
    Committed to ACTS one hour and a half into it . HA! Finally a Tuesday puzzle completed with no errors.

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