1027-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Oct 16, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Milo Beckman
THEME: Haunted
Today’s grid is full of GHOSTS. Four across-answers need the word GHOST in front to make sense. And, those across-answers “disappear” for the intersecting down-answers:

35A. Full of ghosts … like four answers in this puzzle? : HAUNTED

22A. Like many celebrity memoirs : (GHOST)WRITTEN
24A. Some gold rush remnants : (GHOST) TOWNS
51A. Campfire entertainment : (GHOST) STORY
53A. Monster film hit of 1984 : (GHOST)BUSTERS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 24m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Blu-ray ancestor : VCR
Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)

A CD player reads the information on the disc using a laser beam. The beam is produced by what’s called a laser diode, a device similar to a light-emitting diode (LED) except that a laser beam is emitted. That laser beam is usually red in CD and DVD players. Blu-ray players are so called as they use blue lasers.

4. European History and Physics C: Mechanics, for two : AP TESTS
The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school. After being tested at the end of the courses, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

14. Fair-hiring inits. : EOE
Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE)

18. Tile in a mosaic : TESSERA
A tessera is an individual tile used in making a mosaic. Tesserae are usually formed in the shape of cubes.

19. The “World’s Most Dangerous Group” : NWA
NWA was a hip hop group from Compton, California. The original five group members included rappers who have made a name for themselves as solo acts, including: Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. The story of NWA is told in a 2015 film, also called “Straight Outta Compton”. I hear that the movie was well received, although I probably won’t be seeing it …

25. Sister publication of 16 Magazine : TEEN BEAT
“Teen Beat” was a fan magazine geared towards teenagers that was published from 1967 to 2007. It was a follow-on publication to “16 Magazine” that was launched in 1956, and “Tiger Beat” launched in 1965.

26. What’s done in Haiti? : FINI
“Fini” is French for “finished”.

The Republic of Haiti occupies the smaller, western portion of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. The rest of the island is taken up by the Dominican Republic. Haiti is one of only two nations in the Americas to have French as an official language, the other being Canada.

28. Column on an airport screen: Abbr. : ARRS
Arrivals (arrs.)

29. #1 hit for Bill Withers (1972) and Club Nouveau (1987) : LEAN ON ME
Bill Withers was working as an assembly operator while he was trying to make a name for himself in the music industry. Even as he found success with his glorious 1971 single “Ain’t No Sunshine”, he held onto his day job, worried that the music industry was unpredictable.

“Club Nouveau” is an R&B band that formed in 1986 in Sacramento, California. The group’s biggest hit is a 1986 cover version of the Bill Withers song “Lean on Me”.

32. ___ es Salaam : DAR
Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania, and sits right on the east coast of Africa. The city’s name is usually translated from Arabic as “Haven of Peace”.

34. Address not found on a GPS : URL
Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

Global positioning system (GPS)

37. “Now I ain’t sayin’ ___ a gold digger” (Kanye West lyric) : SHE
Kanye West is a rap singer who was born in Atlanta and raised in Chicago. He also spent some time in Nanjing, China as a child, where his mother was teaching as part of an exchange program. West is married to reality star Kim Kardashian.

40. ___ Pérignon (brand of bubbly) : DOM
Dom Pérignon is the name given to the prestige label of champagne from Moët et Chandon, the French winery. The label’s name honors the Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon, who helped to improve the quality and production of champagne in the early 18th century. Although Dom Pérignon made major contributions to champagne production, many of the stories in which he figures are just myths. He did not “invent” champagne, nor sparkling wine in general. Nor did he say the famous words, “Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!”. That lovely line first appeared in a print advertisement in the late 1800s!

41. Milton Berle hosted the world’s first one : TELETHON
The world’s first telethon was took place in 1949. It was a 16-hour fundraiser hosted by Milton Berle that raised over a million dollars for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. The term “telethon”, a portmanteau of “television” and “marathon”, was coined in the news media the day after the event.

Comedian Milton Berle was known as “Uncle Miltie” and “Mr. Television”, and was arguably the first real star of American television as he was hosting “Texaco Star Theater” starting in 1948.

43. Berry said to have anti-aging qualities : ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

46. Crew leader, for short : COX
The coxswain of a boat is one in charge, particularly of its steering and navigation. The name is shortened to “cox” particularly when used for the person steering and calling out the stroke in a competition rowing boat.

47. Advice between “buy” and “sell” : HOLD
That would be in the stock market.

48. Zapper : LASER GUN
The term “laser” comes is an acronym, “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” (LASER). It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “Light Oscillation by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely LOSER!

53. Monster film hit of 1984 : (GHOST)BUSTERS
1984’s “Ghostbusters” really is an entertaining movie. It stars Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, and was directed by Ivan Reitman (a trio that also worked together on 1981’s “Stripes”). The first draft of the screenplay was written by another star of the movie, Dan Aykroyd. Aykroyd originally envisioned “Ghostbusters” as a vehicle for himself and John Belushi, but sadly Belushi passed away before the project could be realized.

56. Grp. that brought Colbert to Baghdad : USO
The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of FDR “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.

Stephen Colbert is a political satirist who hosted his own show on Comedy Central, “The Colbert Report”. Colbert’s first love was theater, and so he studied to become an actor. He then moved into comedy, and ended up on the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”. He left “The Daily Show” in 2005 to set up his own spinoff, “The Colbert Report”. In his own inimitable way, Colbert likes to use a “French” pronunciation for the name of his show, so “The Colbert Report” comes out as “The Col-bear Rep-oar”. Colbert took over the “Late Show” when David Letterman retired.

59. Like on Twitter, informally : FAV
I guess “Twitter Fav” is similar to “Facebook Like”.

60. Bleu expanse : MER
In French, the “mer” (sea) is “bleu” (blue).

62. Word before “Happy New Year!” : ONE
Three, two, one … Happy New Year!

63. It went boom, for short : SST
The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Famously, the Concorde routinely broke the sound barrier, and cruised at about twice the speed of sound. Above Mach 2, frictional heat would cause the plane’s aluminum airframe to soften, so airspeed was limited.

64. Repeat offenses, metaphorically : STRIKES
About half of the fifty US states have “three-strikes” laws, statutes that mandate courts to impose harsher sentences on an offender who has previously been convicted to two prior serious offenses.

65. GPS lines: Abbr. : RDS
Roads (rds.)

Down
6. Comedian Daniel : TOSH
Daniel Tosh is a stand-up comedian and host of “Tosh.0”, a video clip show on Comedy Central.

7. Brief records, in brief : EPS
An extended-play record, CD or download (EP) contains more music than a single, but less than an LP.

10. 4,200 feet, for the Golden Gate Bridge : SPAN
The Golden Gate is the opening of San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. The bridge that spans the Golden Gate is called “the Golden Gate Bridge” and was opened in 1937. At that time it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. One of the most eerie things about the Golden Gate Bridge is that is the second most popular place in the whole world to commit suicide (after the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge). Steps have been taken to reduce the number of suicides, including suicide hotline telephones placed along the walkway, but still there is one suicide every two weeks on average throughout the year. There are plans to place a purpose-built net below the bridge as a deterrent, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars.

13. Tête-à-têtes : CHATS
A “tête-à-tête” is a one-on-one meeting, literally “head-to-head” in French.

21. Element #50 : TIN
The Latin word for tin is “stannum”, and so tin’s atomic symbol is “Sn”. One of the ores used as a source of tin is “stannite”.

25. Home of the Thunder, the Double-A affiliate of the Yankees : TRENTON
The city of Trenton, New Jersey was first settled in 1679 by Quakers. The settlement was named Trent-towne in 1719 in honor of William Trent, who was one of the biggest landowners in the area. The name “Trent-towne” was later shortened to Trenton. The city was the site of George Washington’s first military victory in the Revolutionary War, in 1776. Because of the Battle of Trenton, the New Jersey capital is sometimes called the “Turning Point of the Revolution”.

26. Certain bug : FLU
Influenza (flu) is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks.

27. ___ Darya : AMU
The Amu Darya is a major river in Central Asia that empties into the Aral Sea. It is also called the Oxus or Amu River.

31. “Smokey, this is not ___. This is bowling. There are rules” (“The Big Lebowski” quote) : NAM
“The Big Lebowski” is a 1998 comedy directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, and starring Jeff Bridges in the title role. The film’s script is loosely based on the Raymond Chandler novel “The Big Sleep”. I thought “The Big Lebowski” was just “okay” though …

32. Joe Biden’s home: Abbr. : DEL
Vice President Joe Biden was a US Senator representing the state of Delaware from 1973 until he joined the Obama administration. While he was a senator, Vice President Biden commuted to Washington from Wilmington, Delaware almost every working day. He was such an active customer and supporter of Amtrak that the Wilmington Station was renamed as the Joseph R. Biden Railroad Station in 2011. Biden has made over 7,000 trips from that station, and the Amtrak crews were known to even hold the last train for a few minutes so that he could catch it. Biden earned himself the nickname “Amtrak Joe”.

33. Suffix with hater : -ADE
An extremely negative person might be described as having “drunk the haterade”, a play on the beverage Gatorade.

36. Ted Cruz’s home: Abbr. : TEX
US Senator Ted Cruz served as Solicitor General for the state of Texas before heading to Washington. Cruz was appointed Solicitor General in 2003 at the age of 32, making him the youngest Solicitor General in the country. Famously, Cruz is an opponent of the Affordable Care Act and made a speech in 2013 in the US Senate on the subject that lasted for 21 hours and 19 minutes. It was the fourth longest speech in the history of the Senate.

38. Suriname colonizer : HOLLAND
The Republic of Suriname is located on the northeast coast of South America, and is the continent’s smallest country. What is now Suriname fell under Dutch rule in the late 1600s, gaining independence in 1975.

39. Last song recorded by all four Beatles, with “the” : END
“The End” is a Beatles song composed by Paul McCartney. It is the final song in a medley found on side two of the 1969 album “Abbey Road”. The song is mainly remembered as the last one recorded collectively by all four Beatles.

40. German article : DIE
The definite article in German is der, die or das, for masculine, feminine and neuter nouns. The indefinite article is ein, eine or ein, again depending on the gender of the noun. A further complication, relative to English, is that the masculine form (and only the masculine form) of the article changes when used in the accusative case, when used with the object of a sentence. The accusative forms are “den” and “einen”.

42. By way of: Abbr. : THR
Through (thr.)

43. Reunion attendees : ALUMS
An “alumnus” (plural … alumni) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural … alumnae). The term comes into English from Latin, in which alumnus means foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

50. Joint ailment : GOUT
Gout is caused by an elevation of the levels of uric acid in the blood. As a result of the high concentrations, the uric acid can crystallize out in tissue causing extreme discomfort. What we tend to call gout occurs when the crystals are deposited in the big toe.

55. Fashion’s ___ Saint Laurent : YVES
Yves Saint-Laurent (YSL) was a French fashion designer, actually born in Algeria. Saint-Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint-Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from hospital, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Blu-ray ancestor : VCR
4. European History and Physics C: Mechanics, for two : AP TESTS
11. One may be open at the bar : MIC
14. Fair-hiring inits. : EOE
15. Midriff-showing garment : CROP TOP
16. “Kinda sorta” : ISH
17. Area ___ : RUG
18. Tile in a mosaic : TESSERA
19. The “World’s Most Dangerous Group” : NWA
20. Like fish and chips : BRITISH
22. Like many celebrity memoirs : (GHOST)WRITTEN
24. Some gold rush remnants : (GHOST) TOWNS
25. Sister publication of 16 Magazine : TEEN BEAT
26. What’s done in Haiti? : FINI
27. Suffix with drunk : -ARD
28. Column on an airport screen: Abbr. : ARRS
29. #1 hit for Bill Withers (1972) and Club Nouveau (1987) : LEAN ON ME
32. ___ es Salaam : DAR
34. Address not found on a GPS : URL
35. Full of ghosts … like four answers in this puzzle? : HAUNTED
37. “Now I ain’t sayin’ ___ a gold digger” (Kanye West lyric) : SHE
40. ___ Pérignon (brand of bubbly) : DOM
41. Milton Berle hosted the world’s first one : TELETHON
43. Berry said to have anti-aging qualities : ACAI
46. Crew leader, for short : COX
47. Advice between “buy” and “sell” : HOLD
48. Zapper : LASER GUN
51. Campfire entertainment : (GHOST) STORY
53. Monster film hit of 1984 : (GHOST)BUSTERS
54. How the fashionable dress : SMARTLY
56. Grp. that brought Colbert to Baghdad : USO
57. “That was over the line” : NOT COOL
59. Like on Twitter, informally : FAV
60. Bleu expanse : MER
61. School assignment specification : DUE DATE
62. Word before “Happy New Year!” : ONE
63. It went boom, for short : SST
64. Repeat offenses, metaphorically : STRIKES
65. GPS lines: Abbr. : RDS

Down
1. Sink or swim, e.g. : VERB
2. Package delivery person : COURIER
3. Fit for a queen : REGINAL
4. It follows a curtain-raising : ACT I
5. Inauguration V.I.P.: Abbr. : PRES
6. Comedian Daniel : TOSH
7. Brief records, in brief : EPS
8. Knight’s ride : STEED
9. Shredded : TORE
10. 4,200 feet, for the Golden Gate Bridge : SPAN
11. One involved with underground rock bands? : MINER
12. “This ___!” (fighting words) : IS WAR
13. Tête-à-têtes : CHATS
21. Element #50 : TIN
23. Ingot, e.g. : BAR
25. Home of the Thunder, the Double-A affiliate of the Yankees : TRENTON
26. Certain bug : FLU
27. ___ Darya : AMU
30. “Now you’re talking!” : OHO!
31. “Smokey, this is not ___. This is bowling. There are rules” (“The Big Lebowski” quote) : NAM
32. Joe Biden’s home: Abbr. : DEL
33. Suffix with hater : -ADE
36. Ted Cruz’s home: Abbr. : TEX
37. Aimed at : SHOT FOR
38. Suriname colonizer : HOLLAND
39. Last song recorded by all four Beatles, with “the” : END
40. German article : DIE
42. By way of: Abbr. : THR
43. Reunion attendees : ALUMS
44. Welfare worker’s workload : CASES
45. Of ___ (so to speak) : A SORT
46. More adorable : CUTER
49. Boxing segments: Abbr. : RNDS
50. Joint ailment : GOUT
51. Bit of dust : MOTE
52. Tap options : ALES
54. Take a long bath : SOAK
55. Fashion’s ___ Saint Laurent : YVES
58. Early fifth-century year : CDI

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10 thoughts on “1027-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Oct 16, Thursday”

  1. Well, Jeff … I'll second your comment yesterday about those fangs that the NYT puzzle develops on Thursday … 🙂

    On my iPad: 1:01:28, with no errors, but only because I used Google to look up a couple of things (something I seldom do). I grokked the theme after a bit and was able to fill in all the "ghost" entries, but I was then left with two problem areas: I had CREW TOP and TESH, giving me EWS instead of EPS (which should have tipped me off, but didn't). Once I looked up TOSH (an unfamiliar name), I was able to guess at CROP TOP (something I'd never heard of). Then, in the middle right, I had put ENGLAND and HE'S. Looking up Suriname gave me HOLLAND (which, in retrospect, should have been a gimme), at which point I changed HE'S to SHE and was able to fill in the rest of the missing items in the surrounding area almost immediately.

    So, not one of my finer moments … and my ego is sorely bruised … but perhaps I can blame it on a vast media conspiracy … 🙂

  2. Not sure how long I took, because my lady interrupted to advise me that her daughter and husband, two sons under five, and their 2 dogs are coming for the weekend. My brain got a little fried at that point. I finally got it all, but am not comfortable with ROUND and THRU, which have to get buggered up to make the thing work. Also have never heard of CROPTOP, which I had to infer, along with TOSH. Usuually I like this kind of Thursday puzzle. Didn't.

  3. Wow what a clever, fun, challenging and FRUSTRATING puzzle. Loved it. I needed 1:17, 2 Googles, and a little luck to finish this one. I actually got the theme relatively early with (Ghost)BUSTERS and the SW. I spent a lot of time in the NE as I insisted on 11A being "tab" as in an open tab at the bar. I waited an awfully long time before I was willing to change that one. I guess I really like open tabs at a bar…

    Hated haterADE. What?? Never heard that one, but I have to admit I'll probably be using it soon.

    A few other new things for me, but overall it's another bit of exposure to the NYT Thursday circus. I'm still new but catching on fast.

    I didn't have this much free time today, but since I work at home I'll just work later this evening as I have things to get ready for in the morning. Speaking of growing fangs, this was indeed a time vampire.

    Best –

  4. A nit – 24A could be "ghost mines" instead of towns. No cross fills to contradict me so I'm declaring victory! I'm sure everyone is relieved. This was a toughie and a fine example of the Thursday "anything goes" school. I know when I'm muttering to myself after 10 minutes that something tricky is afoot. Well done, Milo!

  5. 31:55, no errors. I thought this was a brilliantly constructed puzzle, particularly since it first appeared close to Halloween. But the twists and gyrations needed to solve it reminded me of an old joke. A man found life came too easy to him, and he needed to add challenges to everything he did. So he had sex, while standing up; on one leg; in a hammock.

    I don't know if the setter planned this deliberately, but I was forced to solve the puzzle with the four theme words blank. It then dawned on me 53A could be ghostBUSTERS. After that, ghost WRITTEN, ghost TOWNS and ghost STORY fell into place. Once the four theme words were filled in, I could then see 24 new words appear in the grid. Spooky!!

    @Ben F. each of the 'ghost' words turned the down crosses into new words. With TOWNS entered into 24A: COURIER becomes COURTIER; REGINAL becomes REGIONAL; WIN becomes TWIN; ACT I becomes ACT IN; and PRES. becomes PRESS. Mines does not make this happen.

  6. Like others here, took a lot of time on this one, only to end up crashing in the NW, where VCR blocked entries there. Cheated to get it. Not happy about spending all that time, cheating, and feeling bruised and BEAT up.

  7. Brilliantly composed puzzle. Took me awhile to glean the theme. Got it at (Ghost) busters. Then I looked aroun for the other 3. Filled in quickly after that.

  8. This one got me to the point I had to come here for the gotcha. Thanks for the right. Correction for you that causes my reciprocity here is on #19 "…although I probably won’t be seeing it …(sic)" whereat an ellipsis used to close a statement also includes the final period (e.g., ….).

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