1001-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Oct 16, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Woolf
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 14m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. One of a pair of cuddlers : BIG SPOON
When two people cuddle in bed, “spooning”, the person in the back is referred to as the “big spoon”, and the person in front is the “little spoon”.

15. Handel bars : ORATORIO
An oratorio is a large musical work for orchestra, choir and solo singers, and usually has a religious theme. It is similar to an opera, but without the action, costume and scenery.

George Frideric Handel was the King of the Oratorio. Handel’s most famous oratorio is “Messiah”, which had its debut performance in Dublin, Ireland back in 1742.

17. Participates in quid pro quo : LOGROLLS
“Logrolling” is the name given to the exchange of favors, and more specifically the trading of votes in a legislature. The term comes from an old custom in which friendly neighbors would assist each other by rolling logs into a pile for later burning.

“Quid pro quo” is Latin for “something for something”, a swap.

18. Edward Gorey’s “The Gashlycrumb ___” : TINIES
The author Edward Gorey is a famous for writing illustrated books that feature pen-and-ink drawings. Gorey described his works as literary nonsense, a style made famous by Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll.

20. 1982 international chart-topper by Trio with a repetitive title : DA DA DA
“Da Da Da” is a quirky and infectious song by the band Trio that they released in 1982. It was Trio’s only hit outside of their native Germany.

21. Digits in flats, maybe : TOES
Flats are shoes that are not high-heeled.

24. About 92% of britannium : TIN
Britannia metal (also called “britannium”) is an alloy made from 92% tin, 6% antimony and 2% copper. Britannia metal is a type of pewter.

25. Start of a lawyer’s conclusion : I REST …
… my case.

27. Tar liquid : GROG
Edward Vernon was a naval officer with the nickname “Old Grog”. In 1740, Vernon ordered that the daily ration of rum for his sailors should be watered down, in order to reduce discipline problems caused by drunkenness. The diluted rum was sweetened with sugar, and lemon or lime added to help preserve it on long voyages. This recipe, found to reduce scurvy among sailors (because of the citrus) spread throughout the Royal Navy, and “grog” was born.

A Jack Tar, or just “tar”, was a seaman in the days of the British Empire. The term probably arose due to a sailor’s various uses of tar back then, including waterproofing his clothes and using tar in his hair to slick down his ponytail.

29. Some workers along Chesapeake Bay : EELERS
An eeler is someone who fishes for eels, (also known as “sniggling”).

Chesapeake Bay is on the Atlantic coast and is surrounded by the states of Maryland and Virginia. Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the whole country, with over 150 rivers and streams draining into it.

31. Roman soldier who became a Christian martyr : ST GEORGE
Saint George was a Christian martyr. Legend tells us that he was a Roman soldier who was sentenced to death by the emperor Diocletian because he would not denounce his Christian faith. George is a patron saint of England, Georgia and Malta.

33. Very long span : AEON
Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

35. Grinder : HERO
“Hero” is another name for a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name “hero” was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the “New York Herald Tribune” when he wrote that “one had to be a hero” to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

The etymology of “grinder” as a sandwich is unknown, although the term does date back to 1954. It is speculated that eating the large sandwich requires a lot of chewing, and hence the name “grinder”.

44. G.I. portions : MRES
The Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) comes in a lightweight package that’s easy to tote around. The MRE replaced the more cumbersome Meal, Combat, Individual (MCI) in 1981, a meal-in-a-can. In turn, the MCI had replaced the C-ration in 1958, a less sophisticated meal-in-a-can with a more limited choice.

45. Symbol of happiness : CLAM
Our phrase “happy as a clam” dates back to the mid-1600s. Back then it was a more lengthy expression: “happy as a clam in the mud at high tide”. The idea was that a clam would be happy in its muddy home at high tide, because no one from land could get to it and eat it.

47. Iraklion is its capital : CRETE
Heraklion (also “Iraklion”) is the largest city on the Greek island of Crete. Heraklion is situated near to the ruins of Knossos, which is deemed to be Europe’s oldest city.

48. First Chinese dynasty : XIA
The Xia (also “Hsia”) Dynasty was the first Chinese Dynasty, lasting from about 2070 to 1600 BCE.

58. Deceitful sorts : KNAVES
We’ve been using “knave” to mean a cad since about 1200, and as an alternative name for the jack in a deck of cards since the mid-1500s. “Knave” comes from the Old English word “cnafa”, a “boy, male servant”.

60. Three-footers : EASELS
The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

Down
1. Western wear : BOLO TIE
I’ve never worn a bolo tie, and was surprised to discover that it is a relatively recent invention. The first bolo tie was apparently produced in Wickenburg, Arizona in the late 1940s by a silversmith. The bolo takes its name from the boleadora, an Argentine lariat.

2. Major export of Western Australia : IRON ORE
Iron ore comes in a number of different forms, like magnetite (the most magnetic of all minerals) and hematite (the most commonly exploited iron ore).

5. ___ deck : POOP
A poop deck is a deck located on the roof of the cabin at the stern of a ship. The term “poop” comes from the French “poupe” meaning “stern”.

Not too long ago we replaced the deck in our backyard, and now actually have two of them, one higher than the other. We’ve christened the lower of the two “the poop deck”. Darned dog …

6. ___ deck : ORLOP
The orlop is the lowest deck on the ship, the place where cables and ropes used to be stored. The name “orlop” comes from the Dutch word “overlopen” meaning “to run over”. The idea is that all these ropes “ran over” each other while in storage.

9. Showboat : HOTDOGGER
Although “hotdogging” is a term now used across all sports, it was primarily associated with skiing and described the performance of showy and risky stunts on the slopes.

10. Billy the Kid, e.g. : ALIAS
I’m guessing that Billy the Kid was of Irish stock as his family name was McCarty. Another indication of an Irish connection is that he also used the aliases, William Antrim, Henry Antrim, and Kid Antrim, as Antrim is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland.

14. Subject of the 2013 film “The Fifth Estate” : ASSANGE
Julian Assange founded WikiLeaks, the website that is notorious for publishing information provided by whistleblowers. Assange is currently in England and recently lost an appeal to avoid extradition to Sweden to face charges of sexual assault. Assange entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in London seeking political asylum in 2012. He was granted that asylum and now lives at the embassy.

23. Chris of CBS’s “The Good Wife” : NOTH
The actor Chris Noth is best known for his television roles. Noth played Detective Mike Logan on “Law & Order” and Big on “Sex and the City”. More recently, he played the “bad husband” on the excellent show “The Good Wife”.

“The Good Wife” is a legal drama showing on CBS starring Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, a litigator who returns to practicing the law after spending 13 years as a stay-at-home mom. I binge-watched the show some time back and found it to be well-written, with a great cast and great acting …

34. { }, in mathematics : NULL
An empty set of numbers in math is called a null set.

36. Off-road racer : BMX BIKE
BMX stands for Bicycle Motocross. It’s the sport where folks on bicycles race around what is in effect a regular motocross track. Medals were awarded for BMX for the first time at the Beijing Olympics, with a Latvian winning for the men, and a Française winning for the women.

37. Huffington of The Huffington Post : ARIANNA
“The Huffington Post” is a news website founded in 2005 by Arianna Huffington. It is a very active site, with 3,000 people contributing blog posts (including many celebrities and politicians), and readers leaving over one million comments every month. “The Huffington Post” was sold to AOL in 2011 for $315 million, with Arianna Huffington staying on as editor-in-chief.

38. March interrupter, maybe : TEAR GAS
The technical name for tear gas is a lachrymatory agent, meaning that it causes tearing (“lacrima” is the Latin for “tear”).

41. Take to term : GESTATE
The normal gestation period for humans is 280 days, a little over 9 months. The gestation period can be a little shorter, or longer. Back in 1945, a pregnancy was confirmed at 375 days, just over a year.

42. Headliners at le Palais Garnier, e.g. : ETOILES
“Étoile” is the French word for “star”.

The Paris Opera company is currently housed in the beautifully ornate Palais Garnier. The Paris Opera was founded by Louis XIV in 1669, and the Palais Garnier is the 13th theater to house the company and has done so since 1875.

43. Spelunker’s activity : DESCENT
Spelunking is an American term for caving, although the word has Latin roots (“spelunca” is the Latin for “cave”). The term originated in the 1940s in New England when it was adopted by a group of men who explored caves in the area.

49. Brand once advertised with the line “They never get on your nerves” : CAMEL
The advertising mascot for Camel cigarettes was officially known as “Old Joe”, but was popularly known as “Joe Camel”. Joe originated in the seventies, in an advertising campaign that ran only in Europe where sometimes he was depicted wearing a French Foreign Legion cap. He was imported to the US in 1988 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Camel brand. The big controversy surrounding the use of the camel character was that a 1991 study found that 5-6 year old children could recognize Joe Camel more readily than either Mickey Mouse or Fred Flintstone. Also, soon after Old Joe was introduced in the US, the Camel brand’s share of the illegal market to underage smokers went up from 1% to just under 33%.

50. Addition sign : CARET
The character known as a caret was originally a proofreading mark, used to indicate where a punctuation mark was to be inserted. “Caret” is Latin for “it lacks”.

55. Subway Series squad : METS
The term “Subway Series” has been used to describe World Series baseball games when both participating teams are based in New York.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. One of a pair of cuddlers : BIG SPOON
9. Desired response to a 3-Down : HA HA HA!
15. Handel bars : ORATORIO
16. Bartender’s stock : OLIVES
17. Participates in quid pro quo : LOGROLLS
18. Edward Gorey’s “The Gashlycrumb ___” : TINIES
19. In trouble for base violations? : ON REPORT
20. 1982 international chart-topper by Trio with a repetitive title : DA DA DA
21. Digits in flats, maybe : TOES
22. Noted challenges for movers : PIANOS
24. About 92% of britannium : TIN
25. Start of a lawyer’s conclusion : I REST …
27. Tar liquid : GROG
28. One getting hammered : GONG
29. Some workers along Chesapeake Bay : EELERS
31. Roman soldier who became a Christian martyr : ST GEORGE
33. Very long span : AEON
35. Grinder : HERO
36. Call to someone on deck : BATTER UP!
40. Like sand dunes : RIDGED
44. G.I. portions : MRES
45. Symbol of happiness : CLAM
47. Iraklion is its capital : CRETE
48. First Chinese dynasty : XIA
49. Relating to the abdomen : CELIAC
51. Just those of Juan’s things? : ESOS
52. It’s on track to serve people : BAR CAR
54. Showy and sudden : DRAMATIC
56. Like live-blogged sports updates : IN-GAME
57. Everything must go in it : FIRE SALE
58. Deceitful sorts : KNAVES
59. Basic count : ONE TO TEN
60. Three-footers : EASELS
61. Hoarder’s squalor : RAT’S NEST

Down
1. Western wear : BOLO TIE
2. Major export of Western Australia : IRON ORE
3. Series of bloopers : GAG REEL
4. Puts away under pressure? : STRESS EATS
5. ___ deck : POOP
6. ___ deck : ORLOP
7. Where a mud engineer works : OIL RIG
8. Awful rating : NO STARS
9. Showboat : HOTDOGGER
10. Billy the Kid, e.g. : ALIAS
11. Rear : HIND
12. Howard Hughes, for one : AVIATOR
13. Taking seriously : HEEDING
14. Subject of the 2013 film “The Fifth Estate” : ASSANGE
23. Chris of CBS’s “The Good Wife” : NOTH
26. Kind of diagram : TREE
28. Motive that makes sense : GOOD REASON
30. Spelling pro? : SORCERESS
32. Decker or Dickerson of the N.F.L. : ERIC
34. { }, in mathematics : NULL
36. Off-road racer : BMX BIKE
37. Huffington of The Huffington Post : ARIANNA
38. March interrupter, maybe : TEAR GAS
39. Purchased : PAID FOR
41. Take to term : GESTATE
42. Headliners at le Palais Garnier, e.g. : ETOILES
43. Spelunker’s activity : DESCENT
46. Place for an anchor : MARINA
49. Brand once advertised with the line “They never get on your nerves” : CAMEL
50. Addition sign : CARET
53. Give up : CAVE
55. Subway Series squad : METS

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5 thoughts on “1001-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 1 Oct 16, Saturday”

  1. On my iPad, 32:34, including the time required to find and fix an error after seeing the "almost there" message (which I still get now and then). I had guessed at BMW BIKE, giving me WIE for the Chinese dynasty, and it took me a long tome to come up with the X in place of the W. I've finally gotten pretty good at avoiding typos on my iPad, but I'm still not immune to making the sort of impetuous choices that I seem to avoid on paper. I really don't like to take advantage of the implicit hint provided by the "almost there" message, but I can't stop myself from going ahead and finishing the puzzle from the point at which it shows up. (And I also can't keep myself from feeling ridiculously guilty about it, apparently … 🙂

    I'd never heard of that "big spoon, little spoon" thing. (Just a natural-born innocent, I guess … 🙂 Also, the meaning of "logrolls" seems never to have passed my way. And, I was amused to see HA HA HA and DA DA DA in the same puzzle …

  2. Fun tough puzzle, but ultimately the NW was my demise. BIG SPOON ORATORIO and LOGROLLS were too much for me.

    RATS NEST in both NYT and LAT puzzles today? Definitely a conspiracy of the RATS NEST Institute….

    Best –

  3. Some of the absolute **worst clues** I've yet seen. 37 minutes flat, six I couldn't fill in the bottom left corner. But then, with this editing, I wasn't *meant* to…

  4. Unfortunately the Palais Garnier is not so much the home of the Paris Opera any more. The opera is based at the newer Opera Bastille. The Palais Garnier remains the home of the Paris Opera Ballet, and to me an "etoile" is a ballerina.

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