1110-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Nov 16, Thursday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jonathan M. Kaye & Jeff Chen
THEME: J Hook
We have a pseudo-rebus puzzle today, with the letter J representing the word HOOK in the across-direction:

18A. Getting tons of calls : RINGING OFF THE HOOK
29A. No matter how : BY HOOK OR BY CROOK
42A. Wait anxiously : BE ON TENTERHOOKS
53A. 100% : HOOK, LINE AND SINKER

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 15m 55s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Event with a king and queen : PROM
A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

12. Locale of the sculpture “La Bocca della Verità” : ROMA
“La Bocca della Verità” (Italian for “The Mouth of Truth”) is a sculpted disk made from marble that features a man-like face in the center. Dating back to the 1st century, the disk is thought to be part of a fountain or maybe even a manhole cover. Tradition holds that the Mouth cab used as a lie detector. Anyone with one’s hand in the sculpture’s mouth and who tells a lie, that person’s hand is said to be bitten off.

13. French composer Gabriel : FAURE
Gabriel Fauré was a French composer whose most famous work has to be his elegant “Pavane”. Fauré was a student of Camille Saint-Saëns, who later became a very close friend.

14. Actor Jon of “Mad Men” : HAMM
Jon Hamm lived the life of a struggling actor for quite some time before he hit gold with the starring role in the AMC drama “Mad Men”. He plays the main character, advertising executive (and man about town), Don Draper. I am told by my wife and female friends, that he is quite good looking. I don’t see it myself …

15. Lighter side? : YANG
The yin and the yang can be explained using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

16. Netflix activity : BINGE
I’m a big fan of binge-watching, the practice of watching perhaps two or three (even four!) episodes of a show in a row. My wife and I will often deliberately avoid watching a recommended show “live” and wait until whole series have been released on DVD or online. I’m not a big fan of “tune in next week …”

Netflix was founded in Los Gatos, California in 1997 as a DVD rental company that sent out titles by mail. Netflix no longer focuses on distribution by mail, and instead provides programming on demand. The company is also making a big name for itself producing films and TV programs.

17. It may require gloves, for short : OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

21. Fish whose name is a calculator number turned upside down : EEL
On a calculator, the number 733 reads EEL when turned upside down.

22. Jockey with a speeding Citation : ARCARO
Eddie Arcaro was a very successful jockey, the only rider to win the US Triple Crown twice. Arcaro also won more American classic races than any other jockey.

When the race horse Citation won the Hollywood Gold Cup in 1951, it became the first horse with career winnings over over $1 million. After that win, Citation’s owners promptly retired him to stud.

23. Hornets and the like : NBA TEAMS
The New Orleans Hornets joined the NBA in 1988 as an expansion team, originally based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The team was going to be called the Charlotte Spirit, but the name was changed following a “name the team” contest run in the local area. During the Revolutionary War, Lord General Cornwallis had referred to Charlotte as a “veritable nest of hornets” due the city’s resistance to British occupation, which explains the local fans’ fondness for the name “Hornets”. The franchise was moved to New Orleans for the 2002 season, as attendance wasn’t big enough to sustain the team in Charlotte.

31. Windy City transportation inits. : CTA
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)

It seems that the derivation of Chicago’s nickname as the “Windy City” isn’t as obvious as I would have thought. There are two viable theories. First that the weather can be breezy, with wind blowing in off Lake Michigan. The effect of the wind is exaggerated by the grid-layout adopted by city planners after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The second theory is that “windy” means “being full of bluster”. Sportswriters from the rival city of Cincinnati were fond of calling Chicago supporters “windy” in the 1860s and 1870s, meaning that they were full of hot air in their claims that the Chicago White Stockings were superior to the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

33. Dear companion? : NEAR
Near and dear.

36. Course coda : EXAM
In music, a coda is primarily a passage that brings a movement to a conclusion. “Coda” is Italian for “tail”.

39. National Dog Day Mo. : AUG
National Dog Day has been held on August 26 each year since 2004.

40. “What greater gift than the love of a ___?”: Dickens : CAT
Charles Dickens was an English novelist who achieved great notoriety in his own time, and is still regarded as perhaps the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. Many of his novels explored the plight of the poor in Victorian society, perhaps driven by his own experiences as a child. Dickens had to leave school to work in a factory after his father was thrown into a debtor’s prison. As a result, Dickens had to educate himself, and did so with great success. He is said to have pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, with his first success coming with the 1835 serial publication of “Pickwick Papers”. And everyone’s favorite has to be his 1843 novella, “A Christmas Carol”.

42. Wait anxiously : BE ON TENTERHOOKS
The literal meaning of “tenterhooks” is “hooks that hold cloth in place on a tenter”. A tenter is a frame over which cloth is stretched in the process of manufacture so that it may dry evenly.

52. ___ fighter (“Star Wars” vehicle) : TIE
If you’re familiar with the “Star Wars” movies, you might recall the fighter spacecraft that had two vertical plate-like structures on either side of a command pod. Those were “TIE fighters”, with the acronym TIE standing for Twin Ion Engines.

59. Plan to leave shortly? : EVAC
Evacuation (evac.)

60. Writer who said “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well” : WOOLF
Virginia Woolf was an English author active in the period between the two World Wars. Woolf’s most famous novels were “Mrs. Dalloway”, “To the Lighthouse” and “Orlando”. She also wrote a long essay entitled “A Room of One’s Own” in which she states “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

61. Colorful corn balls : TRIX
Trix is a corn-based breakfast cereal that has been around since 1954, produced by General Mills. Ads for the cereal featured Trix Rabbit, who would try hard to get hold of bowls of the cereal. He would always get caught though, and be admonished with, “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” With 46% sugar content, the rabbit probably wouldn’t have liked it anyway …

63. Dairy Queen order : CONE
Soft serve ice cream was developed by John McCullough in 1938. McCullough was able to get his new dessert carried by a local ice cream store in Illinois. He and the store owner became so swamped with sales that they opened a store specifically built around the product in Joliet, Illinois, hence creating the first Dairy Queen outlet. There are now over 5,700 Dairy Queen franchises in 19 countries. We’ve even got one in Ireland …

66. Counterterrorism org. : TSA
The TSA is the Transportation Security Administration, the agency that employs the good folks that check passengers and baggage at airports.

67. Jay’s place : NEST
The bird known as a “jay” is sometimes called a “magpie”, although the terms are not completely interchangeable.

Down
2. Word rhyming with “ignore” in “I Am Woman” : ROAR
The successful singer Helen Reddy was born in Melbourne, Australia. In 1966, Reddy won a talent contest, and earned herself a trip to New York City for an audition. The 25-year-old single mother decided to stay in the US, and a few years later was able to launch a successful singing career. Her hit song “I Am Woman”, released in 1972, was the first recording by an Australian artist to reach #1 in the US charts.

3. Upscale hotel chain : OMNI
Omni Hotels & Resorts is headquartered in Irvine, California and has properties in the US, Canada and Mexico.

4. Marvel Comics villain : MAGNETO
X-Men is a team of superheroes created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. Nowadays the X-Men are perhaps best known as the subject of a series of movies, with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine, and Patrick Stewart playing Professor Xavier (or simply “Professor X”). Some very respected actors have also played the villains that X-Men have to battle. For example, the enemy called Magneto is portrayed by veteran Shakespearean actor Sir Ian McKellan.

7. Old ship constellation : ARGO
The constellation Argo Navis (“Argo the Ship” in Latin) is divided into three parts: Puppis (“The Poop Deck”), Vela (“The Sails”) and Carina (“The Keel”).

8. Mixed stock : BEEFALO
Beefalo are the offspring of cattle and American bison (“buffalo”). The cross is usually between a male bull and a female buffalo, as this is more likely to result in fertile offspring.

9. Actress Phylicia : RASHAD
Phylicia Rashād is an actress, best-known for playing Clair Huxtable (wife of Cliff Huxtable, Bill cosby’s character) on “The Cosby Show”.

11. Key of Pachelbel’s Canon : D MAJOR
Johann Pachelbel was a composer from Germany active in the Baroque Era. Pachelbel’s music was very popular during his own lifetime, and today his best-known work is his “Canon in D”. which has become one of the most popular choices during modern wedding ceremonies.

13. Facility at Quantico : FBI LAB
The FBI Academy is located on a Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia. The academy opened for the first trainees in 1972. Included in training complex is a 10-acre mock city known as Hogan’s Alley.

19. Grandpa Walton portrayer : GEER
Actor Will Geer died in 1978, just after filming the sixth season of “The Waltons” in which he played Grandpa Zeb Walton. Geer was a noted social activist and was blacklisted in the fifties for refusing to appear before the all-powerful House Committee on Un-American Activities.

20. Compound under control by the Kyoto Protocol : FREON
Freon is a DuPont trade name for a group of compounds used as a refrigerant and also as a propellant in aerosols. Freon is used in the compressors of air conditioners as a vital component in the air-cooling mechanism. Freon used to contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which had a devastating effect on the Earth’s ozone layer. Use of CFCs is now banned, or at least severely restricted.

The Kyoto Protocol is designed to fight global warming and was adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. Almost 200 states have since signed the protocol and have committed to achieving the year 2012 targets laid down in the document. The most notable signature absent on the document is one representing the United States, as we are responsible for over one third of the greenhouse gases emitted across the world. The other significant polluters that have not ratified the agreement are China, India and Brazil.

23. Its chimes were the first U.S. registered “sound mark” : NBC
There are some sounds that we hear regularly, and many of them are protected by a sound trademark. The first sound trademark issued in the US was in 1950 to NBC, for the three notes that make up the NBC chimes. Other trademarked sounds are the roar of the MGM lion, the Harlem Globetrotters “Sweet Georgia Brown”, and the 20th Century Fox fanfare.

24. Tiny information unit : BYTE
In the world of computers, a “bit” is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of bits (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix mega- stands for 10 to the power of 6, so a megabyte (meg) is 1,000,000 bytes. And the prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, so a gigabyte (gig) is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Well, those are the SI definitions of megabyte and kilobyte. The purists still use 2 to the power of 20 for a megabyte (i.e. 1,048,576), and 2 to the power of 30 for a gigabyte.

25. Hero in the Trojan War : AJAX
Ajax was a figure in Greek mythology, and was the cousin of Achilles. Ajaz is an important figure in Homer’s “Iliad”. According to Homer, Ajax was chosen by lot to meet Hector in an epic duel that lasted a whole day. The duel ended in a draw.

The ancient city of Troy was located on the west coast of modern-day Turkey. The Trojan War of Greek mythology was precipitated by the elopement of Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, with Paris of Troy. The war itself largely consisted of a nine-year siege of Troy by the Greeks. We know most about the final year of that siege, as it is described extensively in Homer’s “Iliad”. The city eventually fell when the Greeks hid soldiers inside the Trojan Horse, which the Trojans brought inside the city’s walls. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts …

30. Star in Orion : RIGEL
Rigel is the sixth brightest star in the night sky, and the brightest star in the constellation of Orion. If you can imagine the stars in Orion laid out, Rigel is at his left foot. The name “Rigel” is an abbreviated version of the Arabic term for “Left Foot of the Central One”.

35. Eastern V.I.P. : RAJA
“Raja” (also “rajah”) is word derived from Sanskrit that is used particularly in India for a monarch or princely ruler. The female form is “rani” (also “ranee”) and is used for a raja’s wife.

38. Reagan confidant : MEESE
Ed Meese was born in Oakland, California just down the road here and spent 24 years in the office of the Treasurer of Alameda County, the county in which I live. After military service, Meese earned himself a law degree at UC Berkeley. Later, as Chief of Staff for President Reagan, he was instrumental in a famous decision to crack down on student protesters at Berkeley which resulted in one protester dying and a two-week occupation of the city by the California National Guard.

43. Many a Parliament Hill staffer : OTTAWAN
Parliament Hill is on the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. The Parliament buildings were constructed in a Gothic Revival style, so there is a passing resemblance to the Houses of Parliament in London. There’s a Parliament Hill in London too, but it has no real connection to the Parliament buildings at the Palace of Westminster and is miles away.

45. Doppelgänger : TWIN
A doppelgänger is a ghostly double of a living person. The literal translation of the German word “Doppelgänger” is double (Doppel) walker (Gänger).

46. Record label whose name derives from Greek myth : ELEKTRA
Elektra is a female ninja assassin in the Marvel Comics universe. She first appeared in print in 1981. Elektra has been played on the big screen by actress Jennifer Garner, in the 2003 film “Daredevil” and in 2005’s “Elektra”.

48. 21-gun salutes, e.g. : SALVOS
A salvo is a simultaneous discharge of guns. Ironically, “salvo” comes from the Latin “salve” meaning “be in good health”. Salvo was originally the name given to the firing of guns in the air as a sign of respect or greeting for an important visitor. Good health!

49. Singer/actress Grande : ARIANA
Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four season on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

54. Chances left after Slim left town, in a saying : NONE
The odds are slim to none…and slim just left town.

55. Barzini and others, in “The Godfather” : DONS
Emilio Barzini (aka “the Wolf”) is the main antagonist in Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather”. In the film adaptation, Barzini is played by actor Richard Conte.

56. Feature of a one-armed bandit : SLOT
Slot machines earned the nickname “one-armed bandits” simply because they had “one arm”, the handle pulled to operate the machine, and they robbed you of all your money!

57. Part of the “sum” conjugation : ERAT
“Esse” is the Latin for “to be”. “Sum” means “I am” and “erat” means “he, she was”.

58. Little Caesar in “Little Caesar” : RICO
“Little Caesar” is a gangster movie released in 1931. The film was the big break for Edward G. Robinson, who played the title character, Caesar “Rico” Bandello.

62. History’s ___ Affair : XYZ
During the administration of President John Adams, there was a drawn-out exchange between three American and three French diplomats in an attempt to avoid war between the two countries. The French diplomats made demands that were considered insulting by the US. Documents released by the Adams administration denoted the three French diplomats as simply X, Y and Z. There was public outcry when the documents were released and the demands disclosed, and the whole incident became known as the XYZ Affair. The end result was an undeclared war between the US and France with American ships capturing 80 vessels that flew the French flag.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Event with a king and queen : PROM
5. Power ___ : GRAB
9. Free : RID
12. Locale of the sculpture “La Bocca della Verità” : ROMA
13. French composer Gabriel : FAURE
14. Actor Jon of “Mad Men” : HAMM
15. Lighter side? : YANG
16. Netflix activity : BINGE
17. It may require gloves, for short : OSHA
18. Getting tons of calls : RINGING OFF THE HOOK
21. Fish whose name is a calculator number turned upside down : EEL
22. Jockey with a speeding Citation : ARCARO
23. Hornets and the like : NBA TEAMS
28. Alpha dog : LEADER
29. No matter how : BY HOOK OR BY CROOK
31. Windy City transportation inits. : CTA
32. “Who, me?” : MOI?
33. Dear companion? : NEAR
36. Course coda : EXAM
39. National Dog Day Mo. : AUG
40. “What greater gift than the love of a ___?”: Dickens : CAT
42. Wait anxiously : BE ON TENTERHOOKS
47. How bedroom furniture is often sold : AS A SET
50. Start of a flat, maybe : SLOW LEAK
51. Minimal : BAREST
52. ___ fighter (“Star Wars” vehicle) : TIE
53. 100% : HOOK, LINE AND SINKER
59. Plan to leave shortly? : EVAC
60. Writer who said “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well” : WOOLF
61. Colorful corn balls : TRIX
63. Dairy Queen order : CONE
64. Vex : ANNOY
65. Suggestive : RACY
66. Counterterrorism org. : TSA
67. Jay’s place : NEST
68. Covering the waterfront : A TO Z

Down
1. Ask too many questions, say : PRY
2. Word rhyming with “ignore” in “I Am Woman” : ROAR
3. Upscale hotel chain : OMNI
4. Marvel Comics villain : MAGNETO
5. Taxable amount for an investor : GAIN
6. Small step up? : RUNG
7. Old ship constellation : ARGO
8. Mixed stock : BEEFALO
9. Actress Phylicia : RASHAD
10. Words from the fashionably late : I’M HERE
11. Key of Pachelbel’s Canon : D MAJOR
13. Facility at Quantico : FBI LAB
14. Food item often placed in a stack : HOTCAKE
19. Grandpa Walton portrayer : GEER
20. Compound under control by the Kyoto Protocol : FREON
23. Its chimes were the first U.S. registered “sound mark” : NBC
24. Tiny information unit : BYTE
25. Hero in the Trojan War : AJAX
26. “Brah!” : MY MAN!
27. Boy or Girl follower : SCOUTS
30. Star in Orion : RIGEL
34. It has much room to grow : ACRE
35. Eastern V.I.P. : RAJA
37. Void : ABSENCE
38. Reagan confidant : MEESE
41. Vowelless interjection : TSK
43. Many a Parliament Hill staffer : OTTAWAN
44. Tell : NOTIFY
45. Doppelgänger : TWIN
46. Record label whose name derives from Greek myth : ELEKTRA
47. The absolute worst : ABJECT
48. 21-gun salutes, e.g. : SALVOS
49. Singer/actress Grande : ARIANA
54. Chances left after Slim left town, in a saying : NONE
55. Barzini and others, in “The Godfather” : DONS
56. Feature of a one-armed bandit : SLOT
57. Part of the “sum” conjugation : ERAT
58. Little Caesar in “Little Caesar” : RICO
62. History’s ___ Affair : XYZ

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10 thoughts on “1110-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Nov 16, Thursday”

  1. Jeff Chen does it to me again. Like most good setters, I start off dreading their work, then I start truly appreciating it. His cluing is always top notch. I did finish with a couple of Google cheats in 1:08…ouch.

    I got the HOOK/J aspect of the theme squares, but I failed to see the significance of it until I came here. Now I see the "J" as a representation of the hook. That's pretty obvious now, but most things are once you know the answer…..

    Was not familiar with the XYZ affair. There are some similarities between it and the Cuban missile crisis….ignoring the potential consequences of each.

    John Hamm may have lived the life of a struggling actor, but don't be too fooled. He went to one of the wealthiest private high schools in St. Louis growing up. I happened to go to their biggest rival's school.

    Best –

  2. 15:38, no errors, iPad. I got the HOOK thing pretty quickly, but had a little trouble in the lower right corner: "Covering the waterfront" for A TO Z was new to me, "colorful corn balls" didn't immediately suggest TRIX, and I had trouble coming up with the nickname RICO for Edward G. Robinson's character in "Little Caesar". Curiously, it was a random, long-buried, memory of the XYZ Affair that bailed me out. I would like to publicly express my gratitude to G. Arthur Luther, my high-school history teacher. (Hadn't thought of that name in an awfully long time, either!) All in all, a pleasantly satisfying puzzle.

  3. 21:21, no errors. Took a while to see the J to Hook correlation. Fortunately, I was a big fan of the Iliad/Odyssey, so I was sure about the AJAX entry in 25D; and with enough letters from down words was able to complete 29A. Had all the letters in 13A/13D except for the 'F'. Did the alphabet trick, and got to F when FBI LAB jumped out at me. Not at all familiar with Msr. FAURE.

    One of the great things about having a granddaughter is that I have heard of ARAINA Grande.

  4. An absolutely HORRIBLE puzzle, described perfectly by its own 47 DOWN fill.

    BEEFALO???? Give me a break.

    Who ever used the phrase "Covering the waterfront" to describe A TO Z??? So many other less cynical clues would have sufficed, "Start to finish" "Soup to nuts" or "Comprehensive" springing to mind almost instantly as just three examples.

    And then, of course, since it's Thursday, we get the stupid rebus trick, which I eventually sussed out. They should have saved the hook to jerk these two idiot constructors off the stage.

    33:48, completed, but with six (I'm going to call them) forced errors.

    Can't believe it took two people to come up with this piece of crap.

  5. Well and honestly said, Tom.

    There are definitely things that I find annoying, but this puzzle was not one of them. A couple of relevant references:

    http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/cover+the+waterfront

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beefalo

    Most puzzles are, in fact, puzzling; they're meant to be. Thursday NYT puzzles are often very puzzling; again, they're meant to be. But, usually, they provide an opportunity to learn something and to sharpen one's solving skills.

  6. 3 letters, notably the horribly misleading 68A. Very easily revealed rebus, and wasn't all that "tricky". Good grid overall, except for the obvious.

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