1007-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Oct 16, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Robin Weintraub
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 13m 04s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Yoda, e.g. : JEDI MASTER
The Jedi are the “good guys” in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …

11. Communication problem? : SPAM
Apparently the term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

15. Last of a series of nicknames : ALOHA STATE
The Hawaiian word “Aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.

Alaska became the 49th state to join the United States on January 3rd, 1959. Hawaii became the 50th state just a few months later, on August 21st.

17. Billy Crystal’s role in “The Princess Bride” : MIRACLE MAX
“The Princess Bride” is a novel by William Goldman written in 1973. Famously, the book was adapted into a 1987 film of the same name directed by Rob Reiner that has become a cult classic.

18. Enigma machine decoder Turing : ALAN
Alan Turing was an English mathematician. He was deservedly well-respected for his code-breaking work during WWII at Bletchley Park in England. However, despite his contributions to cracking the German Enigma code and other crucial work, Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952. He agreed to chemical castration, treatment with female hormones, and two years later he committed suicide by taking cyanide. Turing’s life story is told in the 2014 film “The Imitation Game” with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the lead. I thoroughly enjoyed that film …

21. Primary funding sources, briefly : PACS
A Political Action Committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent-expenditure only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.

23. Org. whose symbol is an eagle atop a key : NSA
The National Security Agency (NSA) seal was introduced in 1965 and features an eagle perched upon a key. The eagle represents the agency’s national mission, and the key represents security.

28. Manicure destroyer : ACETONE
Acetone is the active ingredient in nail polish remover and in paint thinner.

29. Hot Wheels garages? : TOY BOXES
The Hot Wheels brand of toy car was introduced by Mattel in 1968.

33. Rhoda’s TV mom : IDA
Ida Morgenstern is a character on the seventies sitcom “Rhoda”. Ida is the mother of the title character, Rhoda Morgenstern. Ida was played by Nancy Walker, and Rhoda by Valerie Harper.

34. Emerald ___ borer : ASH
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a beetle native to eastern Asia that is considered a major invasive species in Europe and North America. The EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees since its accidental introduction into North America in the 1990s.

38. Constitution Hall grp. : DAR
In order to be a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), an applicant has to prove that she is a descendant of someone closely associated with, and supportive of, the American Revolution. The DAR maintains an online database of Revolutionary War patriots. The database is searchable, and is known as the Patriot Index.

DAR Constitution Hall is a concert hall that was built in Washington, D.C. by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in 1929. The facility was originally built to house the DAR’s annual convention as the membership had outgrown the nearby Memorial Continental Hall that had been used in prior years.

39. Marathon champ Pippig : UTA
Uta Pippig is long-distance runner from Germany. Pippig became the first woman to win the Boston Marathon on three consecutive occasions, from 1994 to 1996.

40. Mesozoic Era period : JURASSIC
The Jurassic geologic period lasted from about 200 to 145 million years ago, following the Triassic and followed by the Cretaceous. Limestone strata from the period were first identified in the Jura Mountains in the Western Alps. It is this mountain range that gives us the name “Jurassic”.

The Mesozoic Era is also known as the Age of the Dinosaurs, as most dinosaurs developed during that time and the era ended with the extinction of all dinosaurs (except the avian species, which developed into our modern birds). The Mesozoic Era started with another cataclysmic event, the so called “Great Dying”, the largest mass extinction in the history of our planet. During the “Great Dying” over 90% of all marine species and 70% of all terrestrial vertebrate species died off.

42. Home of Queen Margrethe II : DENMARK
Margrethe II has been the Queen of Denmark since 1972. When she was born, the oldest of three girls, it was assumed she would never take up the throne, as Danish law dictated that only makes could be monarch. As women gained more rights in the country, there was a movement to change the constitution, culminating in a referendum in 1953 allowing Margrethe to fulfill her destiny.

44. Rank below marquis : EARL
In the ranking of nobles, an earl comes above a viscount and below a marquis. The rank of earl is used in the British peerage system and is equivalent to the rank of count in other countries. Other British ranks have female forms (e.g. marquis and marchioness, viscount and viscountess), but there isn’t a female word for the rank of earl. A female given the same rank as an earl is known as a countess.

48. Sch. whose first building was Dallas Hall : SMU
Southern Methodist University (SMU) is located in University Park, Texas (part of Dallas), and was founded in 1911. SMU is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

51. Matches, at a table : SEES
That would be in poker.

53. “Caravan of Courage: An ___ Adventure” (1984 “Star Wars” spinoff) : EWOK
The Ewoks are creatures who live on the moon of Endor, first appearing in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”. They’re the cute and cuddly little guys that look like teddy bears.

54. Some Siouans : OTOS
The Otoe (also Oto) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestwards ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

55. Bayh of Indiana politics : EVAN
Evan Bayh is the son of Birch Bayh, and like his father was US Senator for the state of Indiana. Prior to serving in the Senate, Evan Bayh was State Governor.

56. Flock gathering place : NAVE
In large Christian churches, the nave is the main approach to the altar, where most of the congregation are seated.

61. First name in architecture : EERO
Eero Saarinen was a Finnish American architect, renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK. The list of his lesser-known, but still impressive, works includes several buildings erected on academic campuses. For example, the Chapel and Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus, the Emma Hartman Noyes House at Vassar College, the Law School building at the University of Chicago, and Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink.

Down
1. Harry Potter’s father : JAMES
In the world of “Harry Potter”, Harry’s mother was Lily Potter nee Evans. Lily Evans was born a Muggle. a person who has no magical ability. Lily married someone who did have that magical ability, namely James Potter, Harry’s father.

2. Alchemist’s concoction : ELIXIR
An elixir is a solution of alcohol and water that is used to deliver a medicine. The term “elixir” can also be used to mean a medicine that has the power to cure all ills.

3. Frito-Lay chip : DORITO
The product that was to become Doritos was a creation at the Casa de Fritos in Disneyland in the early sixties. A marketing executive from Frito-Lay noticed how well the snack was selling in the park, and made a deal to produce the chips under the name “Doritos”, starting in 1964. “Doritos” translates from Spanish as “little bits of gold”.

5. El Capitan platform : MAC
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
  • 10.11: El Capitan
  • 10.12: macOS Sierra

6. Literary hero whose name is Turkish for “lion” : ASLAN
In the C. S. Lewis books “The Chronicles of Narnia”, Aslan is the name of the lion character (as in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”). “Aslan” is actually the Turkish word for lion. Anyone who has read the books will recognize the the remarkable similarity between the story of Aslan and the story of Christ, including a sacrifice and resurrection.

8. 2012 Republican National Convention host : TAMPA
The Florida city of Tampa has been known as the Big Guava since the seventies. The term is imitative of New York’s “Big Apple”, and refers to the unsuccessful search for the reported wild guava trees that were once hoped to be the basis of a new industry for the area.

9. Connection concerns, for short : ETAS
Expected time of arrival (ETA)

10. “Toy Story” dino : REX
In the excellent Pixar film “Toy Story”, Rex is a tyrannosaurus, and a pretty clumsy one. He is voiced by actor Wallace Shawn, whose name is perhaps less familiar than his face. Shawn played the neighbor on “The Cosby Show” as well as many, many other supporting roles on TV and the big screen.

13. Wrapper that’s hard to remove? : ANACONDA
Anacondas are native to the tropical regions of South America. The green anaconda is one of the world’s largest snakes, growing to 17 feet long and weighing up to 215 pounds! Anacondas are not venomous, and prefer to kill their prey by coiling around it and then squeeeeeezing …

24. Drinks with domed lids : ICEES
Slush Puppie and ICEE are brands of frozen, slushy drinks. Ostensibly competing brands, ICEE company now owns the Slush Puppie brand.

25. Interest for a cryptozoologist : NESSIE
The Loch Ness monster has been talked about for centuries, but modern interest started in 1933 when a spate of sightings was reported. Those sightings don’t seem to have stopped, with photographs really sparking the imagination.

The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology.

27. Impasse : LOGJAM
“Impasse” is a French word for a blind alley or an impassable road, and we use the term to mean “stalemate”.

31. Lab report? : BARK
The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814. The breed comes in three registered colors: black, yellow and chocolate.

32. Pay termination? : -OLA
“Payola” is the illegal practice of paying radio stations or disk jockeys to repeatedly play a particular piece of music. The impetus behind the crime is that the more often a song is played, the more likely it is to sell. The term “payola” comes from the words “pay” and “Victrola”, an RCA brand name for an early phonograph.

34. Nielsens measure : AUDIENCE
Arthur Nielsen founded his Nielsen Media Research company to track brand advertising. He quickly moved into market analysis of radio audiences in the thirties, and today the company is famous for tracking television audiences. I remember watching the last episode of the TV series “Becker”, in which Ted Danson played a doctor. Given that the show had been ordered off the air due to declining viewership, there’s a great line in the last episode when Becker asks for the chart of a patient called “Nielsen”. He looks at the lab results and announces “I don’t know what everyone is talking about … these numbers aren’t so bad!” Great stuff …

48. Photosynthesis opening : STOMA
Stomata (the usual plural of stoma, not “stomas”) are pores found under almost every leaf, clearly visible under a simple microscope. The stomata take in air rich in carbon dioxide. Through the process of photosynthesis, the plants generate oxygen, which is released back into the air though the same stomata.

49. Interest of a mycologist : MOREL
The morel is that genus of mushroom with the honeycomb-like structure on the cap. They’re highly prized, especially in French cuisine. Morels should never be eaten raw as they are toxic, with the toxins being removed by thorough cooking.

Mycology is a branch of botany concerned with the study of fungi. “Mykes” is the Greek word for “fungus, mushroom”.

50. Quotidian : USUAL
Something described as “quotidian” is ordinary, commonplace, or is something that occurs daily. “Quotidianus” is Latin for “daily”.

52. Old dummy : SNERD
Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen’s most famous character was Charlie McCarthy, but Bergen also worked with Mortimer Snerd.

57. Some savers’ assets : CDS
A certificate of deposit (CD) is like a less-flexible and higher-paying savings account. Instead of depositing money into a savings account and earning interest periodically, one can open a CD. With a CD one deposits a minimum amount of money but must leave it there for a specified length of time. In return for committing the funds for a fixed period, one is given a higher interest rate than a savings account and can redeem that interest and the initial deposit when the term has expired. CDs are relatively low-risk investments as they are FDIC insured, just like savings accounts.

58. Main hub for Virgin America, for short : SFO
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) serves as the main base of operations for Virgin America (recently sold to Alaska Airlines), and is also the maintenance hub for United Airlines.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Yoda, e.g. : JEDI MASTER
11. Communication problem? : SPAM
15. Last of a series of nicknames : ALOHA STATE
16. Zero : NONE
17. Billy Crystal’s role in “The Princess Bride” : MIRACLE MAX
18. Enigma machine decoder Turing : ALAN
19. It’s not a welcome sign : EXIT
20. Facebook and others : APPS
21. Primary funding sources, briefly : PACS
22. Facebook, for one : SITE
23. Org. whose symbol is an eagle atop a key : NSA
24. How garden vegetables may be planted : IN A ROW
26. Upset : ROIL
28. Manicure destroyer : ACETONE
29. Hot Wheels garages? : TOY BOXES
33. Rhoda’s TV mom : IDA
34. Emerald ___ borer : ASH
37. Expert savers : GOALIES
38. Constitution Hall grp. : DAR
39. Marathon champ Pippig : UTA
40. Mesozoic Era period : JURASSIC
42. Home of Queen Margrethe II : DENMARK
44. Rank below marquis : EARL
47. “Let’s do it!” : I’M GAME!
48. Sch. whose first building was Dallas Hall : SMU
51. Matches, at a table : SEES
53. “Caravan of Courage: An ___ Adventure” (1984 “Star Wars” spinoff) : EWOK
54. Some Siouans : OTOS
55. Bayh of Indiana politics : EVAN
56. Flock gathering place : NAVE
57. Group getting its kicks? : CHORUS LINE
59. Rep : CRED
60. “I could use some help here …” : DO ME A FAVOR …
61. First name in architecture : EERO
62. Place to test the water : SHALLOW END

Down
1. Harry Potter’s father : JAMES
2. Alchemist’s concoction : ELIXIR
3. Frito-Lay chip : DORITO
4. “Bleah!” : I HATE IT
5. El Capitan platform : MAC
6. Literary hero whose name is Turkish for “lion” : ASLAN
7. Parts of a flight : STEPS
8. 2012 Republican National Convention host : TAMPA
9. Connection concerns, for short : ETAS
10. “Toy Story” dino : REX
11. Show impatience with : SNAP AT
12. Developing company? : POLAROID
13. Wrapper that’s hard to remove? : ANACONDA
14. It’s tailored to guys : MENSWEAR
24. Drinks with domed lids : ICEES
25. Interest for a cryptozoologist : NESSIE
27. Impasse : LOGJAM
28. Quadrant separator : AXIS
30. “___ serious?” : YOU’RE
31. Lab report? : BARK
32. Pay termination? : -OLA
34. Nielsens measure : AUDIENCE
35. Fancy glasses : STEMWARE
36. Malady with many “remedies” : HANGOVER
41. Legal precedents : CASE LAW
43. Get by : MAKE DO
45. Awaken : REVIVE
46. Get support from : LEAN ON
48. Photosynthesis opening : STOMA
49. Interest of a mycologist : MOREL
50. Quotidian : USUAL
52. Old dummy : SNERD
54. “Wait, I know that!” : OH OH!
57. Some savers’ assets : CDS
58. Main hub for Virgin America, for short : SFO

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4 thoughts on “1007-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Oct 16, Friday”

  1. 25:22, no errors. Had several hang ups today. Upper right corner, started with NADA in 16A; and ANACONDA was a tricky clue. 54A entered HOPI, UTES & OTOE, before settling on OTOS. 62A was convinced that I would test the water in some kind of POND, after getting the ND from LEAN ON and SNERD.

  2. Gave up after 22 minutes, 28 seconds, about neatly half filled. I found this puzzle to aggravatingly impenetrable. Even seeing the answers to the clues, I'm left shaking my head at the cynical misdirection.

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