0921-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Sep 16, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Matthew Sewell
THEME: Scramble the Jets
Today’s themed answers contain a hidden sequence of letters, shown in the grid with circles. Each hidden sequence contains the letters J-E-T-S moved around, SCRAMBLED:

57A. Spring into action … or an apt directive for 17-, 23-, 36- and 49-Across : SCRAMBLE THE JETS

17A. Flying furry friend from Frostbite Falls, formally : ROCKET J SQUIRREL
23A. New York sports fan’s purchase : METS JERSEY
36A. Rigoletto, for one : COURT JESTER
49A. 1962 François Truffaut film classique : JULES ET JIM

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 18m 37s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Common sans-serif font : ARIAL
Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif, using the French word “sans” meaning “without” and “serif” from the Dutch “schreef” meaning “line”. Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I’m not so sure though …

6. Citi Field predecessor : SHEA
Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York was named after William A. Shea, the man credited with bringing National League baseball back to the city in the form of the New York Mets. Shea Stadium was dismantled in 2008-2009, and the site now provides additional parking for the new stadium nearby called Citi Field.

14. Unit for a lorry : TONNE
The “tonne” is also called a “metric ton”, and is equivalent to 1,000 kg. The tonne isn’t an official unit of mass in the metric system, but it is used a lot.

On the other side of the Atlantic, a truck is called a “lorry”.

15. News agency for a 57-Down : TASS
(57D. Kazakhstan, once: Abbr. : SSR)
TASS is the abbreviation used for the former news agency that had the full name Telegraph Association of the Soviet Union (Telegrafnoe Agentstvo Sovetskogo Soyuza). When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1992, the Moscow-based agency’s scope changed along with its name. It is now known as the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (ITAR-TASS).

17. Flying furry friend from Frostbite Falls, formally : ROCKET J SQUIRREL
“The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show” is a cartoon series that originally aired on television in the late fifties and early sixties. The title characters are a moose (Bullwinkle) and a squirrel (Rocky). Rocky the Flying Squirrel is formally known as Rocket J. Squirrel, Bullwinkle’s full name is Bullwinkle J. Moose.

20. Mayonnaise, for one : EMULSION
An “emulsion” is a mixture of two liquids, two liquids that don’t easily mix. Examples are milk (water and fat), mayonnaise (oil and water) and vinaigrette (oil and vinegar). Mixture of such liquids requires the presence of an emulsifier, a substance that stabilizes the emulsion so that separation does not occur. Examples of emulsifiers are egg yolk and mustard.

Mayonnaise originated in the town of Mahon in Menorca, a Mediterranean island belonging to Spain. The Spanish called the sauce “salsa mahonesa” after the town, and this morphed into the French word “mayonnaise” that we use in English today.

21. ___ choy : BOK
Bok choy is a variety of Chinese cabbage. “Bok choy” translates as “white vegetable”.

23. New York sports fan’s purchase : METS JERSEY
The New York Mets baseball team was founded in 1962, a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then of course along came the “Miracle Mets” (aka “Amazin’ Mets”) who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

30. Six-legged creature, to an entomologist : HEXAPOD
Entomology is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of insects. The etymology of entomology (!) is the Greek “entomon” (meaning “insect”) and “logia” (meaning “study of”). In turn, the Greek word for insect, “entomos”, literally means “having a notch or cut”, in deference to the observation by Aristotle that insects have segmented bodies.

31. Hazmat suit features : VISORS
Dangerous goods are commonly referred to as hazardous materials, or HazMat. People working with dangerous goods might wear a HazMat suit.

36. Rigoletto, for one : COURT JESTER
“Rigoletto” is one of Giuseppe Verdi’s most famous and oft-performed operas. The storyline comes from a Victor Hugo play called “Le roi s’amuse” (usually translated as “The King’s Fool”). Rigoletto is the king’s fool, the jester.

42. Uhura portrayer Zoë : SALDANA
American actress Zoë Saldana played the Na’vi princess in “Avatar”, and Uhura in the 2009 movie “Star Trek” (and sequels). Saldana seems to pick the right movies, as she is the only actress to have three different films in the top twenty at the box office for three consecutive weeks (“Avatar”, “The Losers” and “Death at a Funeral”).

49. 1962 François Truffaut film classique : JULES ET JIM
“Jules and Jim” is a French film directed by François Truffaut that was released in 1962. The movie tells the story of two friends Jules and Jim who get involved in a complex love triangle with a woman called Catherine.

54. British record giant : EMI
EMI was a British music company, with the abbreviation standing for Electric and Musical Industries.

55. Trattoria shot : ESPRESSO
Espresso is made by forcing extremely hot water, under pressure, through finely ground coffee beans. The result is a thick and concentrated coffee drink, which contains quite a lot of solids and a lot of foam. An espresso machine was first patented in 1884 in Italy, although it was a machine to make the beverage in bulk. The first patent for a machine that made individual measures was applied for in 1901, also in Italy.

A trattoria is an Italian restaurant. In Italian, a “trattore” is the keeper of an eating house.

62. Defaulter’s auto, often : REPO
Repossession (repo)

64. “Ant-Man” star Paul : RUDD
I think Paul Rudd is a very talented actor. He has played a variety of roles in movies but is probably best known on television for playing Phoebe Buffay’s boyfriend and then husband on the sitcom “Friends”. More recently, Rudd has been playing the superhero Ant-Man on the big screen.

66. Porterhouse cousin : T-BONE
The T-bone and porterhouse are related cuts of meat, with the latter being a larger version of the former, and both being cut from the short loin.

Down
2. One sharing a Wi-Fi password, maybe : ROOMIE
“Wi-Fi” is nothing more than a trademark, a trademark registered by an association of manufacturers of equipment that use wireless LAN (Local Area Network) technology. A device labeled with “Wi-Fi” has to meet certain defined technical standards, basically meaning that the devices can talk to each other. The name “Wi-Fi” suggests “Wireless Fidelity”, although apparently the term was never intended to mean anything at all.

4. Jewelry worn by Barbara Stanwyck in “Double Indemnity” : ANKLET
“Double Indemnity” is a classic film noir released in 1944 and starring Fred MacMurray, Edward G. Robinson and Barbara Stanwyck. Based on the James M. Cain novella of the same name, it’s all about a woman who kills her husband for the insurance money. The title “Double Indemnity” refers to the double payout clause in the life insurance policy in the event of an accidental death. And that’s what the wife tried to show investigators, that the death was accidental.

5. Dregs : LEES
The dregs in wine, the sediment that settles during fermentation (and sometimes in the bottle), is also called “lees”.

6. Pony Express’s Missouri terminus, informally : ST JOE
The city of Saint Joseph in Missouri was the westernmost point in the US that was accessible by rail after the Civil War. As such, it was a final stopping-off point as people headed out to the Wild West. The city takes its name from its founder, fur trader Joseph Robidoux. Robidoux apparently like things named after himself and his family, as eight of the main streets downtown were named after his children, and another was named for his second wife!

The Pony Express mail service operated for only 19 months, from 1860 until 1861. The service comprised a relay of horseback riders operating between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California across the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada.

8. Lawyer’s title: Abbr. : ESQ
The title “esquire” is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, “esquire” is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

9. Sch. with a Phoenix campus : ASU
Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

10. Give a long, grandiloquent speech : PERORATE
“To perorate” is to speak at length, especially in a lofty or even pompous manner. It can also mean to bring a speech to a formal conclusion. The term comes from the Latin “per-” meaning “to the end” and “orare” meaning to “to speak”.

11. Buttercup family member with irregularly shaped blossoms : LARKSPUR
Larkspur is the common name for about 40 species of flowering plant. The sepals, or calyx, of the larkspur is spur-shaped, giving the plant its name.

18. O’Brien who wrote “The Things They Carried,” 1990 : TIM
“The Things They Carried” is a 1990 novel based on the experiences of author Tim O’Brien as a soldier during the Vietnam War.

19. Alpine goat : IBEX
Ibex is a common name for various species of mountain goat. “Ibex” is a Latin name that was used for wild goats found in the Alps and Apennines in Europe.

24. Wail on a 33-Down : SHRED
(33D. Fender model, familiarly : STRAT)
Shred guitar is a style of lead guitar playing that stresses fast passages.

25. “Full House” uncle : JESSE
On the sitcom “Full House”, the character Jesse Katsopolis is played by John Stamos.

27. QB rating factor: Abbr. : YDS
In football, a goal of the quarterback (QB) is to gain yards (yds.).

29. Div. in a “Law & Order” spinoff : SVU
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is a spin-off from the TV crime drama “Law & Order”. “SVU” has been on the air since 1999, and is set in New York City. Interestingly, since 2007 there has been a very successful Russian adaptation of the show that is set in Moscow.

32. Nobel Prize-winning daughter of the Curies : IRENE
Along with her husband, Frederick, Irene Joliot-Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. Irene was the daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie, who also won Nobel Prizes. Irene died when she was 58 years old, suffering from leukemia brought on her exposure to high doses of radiation. Her mother, Marie, died from aplastic anemia, also caused by high exposure to radiation. To this day, Marie’s personal papers are kept preserved in lead-lined boxes as they are highly radioactive, even her personal cookbook.

33. Fender model, familiarly : STRAT
The Stratocaster is an electric guitar made by Fender since 1954. The company that made Fender electric guitars was founded in Fullerton, California in 1946 by Leo Fender.

34. Eye, in Ávila : OJO
Avila is famous for the walled defenses around the old city, which date back to 1090. They were constructed out of brown granite, and are still in excellent repair. There are nine gateways and eighty-towers in all. Even the cathedral built between the 12th and 14th centuries is part of the city’s defenses, so it looks like an imposing fortress.

36. Phone screening service : CALLER ID
The basic technology behind caller ID was developed in Athens, Greece by “Ted” Paraskevakos in the late sixties and early seventies. The man should be made a saint …

38. Bag-screening org. : TSA
The TSA is the Transportation Security Administration, the agency that employs the good folks that check passengers and baggage at airports.

39. Financial news inits. : WSJ
“The Wall Street Journal” (WSJ) is a daily newspaper with a business bent that is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company. The WSJ has a larger US circulation than any other newspaper, with “USA Today” coming in a close second place.

40. French quencher : EAU
In France, one can find “eau” (water) in a “rivière” (river).

47. 19th-century author who wrote “Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief” : AUSTEN
In Jane Austen’s “Emma”, Mr. Knightly says the following to Emma, while discussing her young friend Harriet Smith:

Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief. Nothing so easy as for a young lady to raise her expectations too high. Miss Harriet Smith may not find offers of marriage flow in so fast, though she is a very pretty girl.

48. Michigan’s ___ Pointe : GROSSE
Grosse Pointe is an area in the northeast of Metro Detroit on the shores of Lake St. Clair. There are actually five individual “Grosse Pointe” cities that make up the Grosse Pointes: Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Shores and Grosse Pointe Woods. The name “Grosse Pointe” is reflection of its size (“Grosse”) and the fact that it lies on a projection into the lake (“Pointe”).

50. Cherokees, for example : JEEPS
The Jeep is the original off-road vehicle. It was developed by the American Bantam Car Company in 1940 at the request of the US government who recognized the upcoming need for the armed forces as American involvement in WWII loomed. The Bantam Company was too small to cope with demand, so the government gave the designs to competing car companies. The design and brand eventually ended up with AMC in the seventies and eighties.

52. Dashboard fig. : MPH
Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hoofs of the horses. Quite interesting …

56. Tony-winning musical that begins and ends on Christmas Eve : RENT
The musical “Rent” by Jonathan Larson is based on the Puccini opera “La bohème”. “Rent” tells the story of struggling artists and musicians living in the Lower East Side of New York, and is set against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic. We saw “Rent” on Broadway quite a few years ago and we were very disappointed …

57. Kazakhstan, once: Abbr. : SSR
The Republic of Kazakhstan in Central Asia is the world’s largest landlocked country. Kazakhstan was also the last of the former Soviet Republics (SSRs) to declare itself independent from Russia.

58. Its speed is usually measured in GHz : CPU
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the main component on the “motherboard” of a computer. The CPU is the part of the computer that carries out most of the functions required by a program. Nowadays you can get CPUs in everything from cars to telephones.

60. Albanian coin : LEK
The official currency of Albania is called the lek. The first lek was introduced in 1926, and was apparently named after Alexander the Great.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Common sans-serif font : ARIAL
6. Citi Field predecessor : SHEA
10. Stop up … or talk up : PLUG
14. Unit for a lorry : TONNE
15. News agency for a 57-Down : TASS
16. Make less difficult : EASE
17. Flying furry friend from Frostbite Falls, formally : ROCKET J SQUIRREL
20. Mayonnaise, for one : EMULSION
21. ___ choy : BOK
22. Entry in an equine family tree : SIRE
23. New York sports fan’s purchase : METS JERSEY
28. Students may pass them : TESTS
30. Six-legged creature, to an entomologist : HEXAPOD
31. Hazmat suit features : VISORS
35. Wine casks : TUNS
36. Rigoletto, for one : COURT JESTER
39. Detach gradually (from) : WEAN
41. Diminishes by degrees : ERODES
42. Uhura portrayer Zoë : SALDANA
44. Something boring : A DRAG
49. 1962 François Truffaut film classique : JULES ET JIM
53. “Bite ___ tongue!” : YOUR
54. British record giant : EMI
55. Trattoria shot : ESPRESSO
57. Spring into action … or an apt directive for 17-, 23-, 36- and 49-Across : SCRAMBLE THE JETS
61. Go round and round : SPIN
62. Defaulter’s auto, often : REPO
63. Students may pass them : NOTES
64. “Ant-Man” star Paul : RUDD
65. “And I should care because …?” : OK SO …?
66. Porterhouse cousin : T-BONE

Down
1. Not moving : AT REST
2. One sharing a Wi-Fi password, maybe : ROOMIE
3. Racks up, as debt : INCURS
4. Jewelry worn by Barbara Stanwyck in “Double Indemnity” : ANKLET
5. Dregs : LEES
6. Pony Express’s Missouri terminus, informally : ST JOE
7. Lacks : HASN’T
8. Lawyer’s title: Abbr. : ESQ
9. Sch. with a Phoenix campus : ASU
10. Give a long, grandiloquent speech : PERORATE
11. Buttercup family member with irregularly shaped blossoms : LARKSPUR
12. “What’s the ___?” : USE
13. It secures locks : GEL
18. O’Brien who wrote “The Things They Carried,” 1990 : TIM
19. Alpine goat : IBEX
24. Wail on a 33-Down : SHRED
25. “Full House” uncle : JESSE
26. Forever, seemingly : EON
27. QB rating factor: Abbr. : YDS
29. Div. in a “Law & Order” spinoff : SVU
32. Nobel Prize-winning daughter of the Curies : IRENE
33. Fender model, familiarly : STRAT
34. Eye, in Ávila : OJO
36. Phone screening service : CALLER ID
37. Movie screening service : ON DEMAND
38. Bag-screening org. : TSA
39. Financial news inits. : WSJ
40. French quencher : EAU
43. “___ sure you know …” : AS I’M
45. Colorist’s task : DYE JOB
46. Took on, as a challenge : ROSE TO
47. 19th-century author who wrote “Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief” : AUSTEN
48. Michigan’s ___ Pointe : GROSSE
50. Cherokees, for example : JEEPS
51. Playground comeback : IS TOO!
52. Dashboard fig. : MPH
56. Tony-winning musical that begins and ends on Christmas Eve : RENT
57. Kazakhstan, once: Abbr. : SSR
58. Its speed is usually measured in GHz : CPU
59. “My man” : BRO
60. Albanian coin : LEK

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8 thoughts on “0921-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Sep 16, Wednesday”

  1. 15:47, no errors, iPad. A little harder than usual for a Wednesday, I thought. Had to guess at ROCKET J Squirrel, SVU, IRENE Curie, TIM O'Brien, and JESSE Katsopolis. Luckily, I dredged up SHRED and STRAT from somewhere in my memory (not being an aficionado of the genres of music with which those words are associated) and I knew LEK from other crossword puzzles. Also, JULES ET JIM was oddly familiar – almost a gimme – even though I remember almost nothing about the movie.

    I found the blog entry about ESQ most interesting. My paternal grandfather was born in Iowa, but moved to a homestead in Alberta in 1912, became a Canadian citizen, and did not move back to the US until 1925. As a result of this (I think), his friends were a very mixed group of Brits, Norwegians, French, Russians, and who knows what else, so his English was not typically Midwestern. One of the first letters I ever got (when I was about five) was from him and he addressed it Master David Jon Kennison, Esq. (which impressed me no end :-).

  2. This was closer to a Friday LA Times time for me. A lot that was new to me. I was completely baffled by STRAT and SHRED as I was clueless as to the Fender reference. I was thinking the fender of a car.

    I used the theme a lot which helped. I got ROCKET J SQUIRREL immediately. I had "or so" crossing ler rather than LEK. OK SO is rather weak for an otherwise strong grid.

    Is there any particular reason that RENT is only shown on Christmas Eve? I'm not familiar with the plot.

    Still debating on whether I'll subject myself to another NYT Thursday tomorrow. Might have to go back to working. I've taken 3 days off from doing much of anything because of this cold. I'm self employed so at least I had permission to do nothing…

    Best –

  3. 21:13, 4 errors. 44A ADRAC; 48D CROSSE; 60D LEH; 65A OH SO. Some parts went quickly today, such as ROCKET J SQUIRREL; one of my favorite shows as a kid. Also, JETS JERSEY and SHEA stadium, very New York City-centric. As a kid growing up in NYC I got to watch the construction of SHEA stadium, and the New York World's Fairgrounds adjacent to it.

  4. After a struggle to get the theme and revealer, which opened things up, tripped over the LEK/OKSO cross; settled for LEr/OrSo. Shouldn't have.

  5. Sunday morning. Just finished it. 5 or 6 hours or so on and off. Mr Sewell don't cross my path on a dark night! LOL !
    I go to st Joe often and know the history and still couldn't get my head around to it. The letters I filled held no meaning to me until I read the blog. So I can't really claim I had no mistakes.
    I knew EMI from my lp collection but did not know what it stood for. Thanks Bill.TASS was a gimme for my age group.
    FUN!

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