1217-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Dec 16, Saturday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today’s SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications
Solution to today’s New York Times crossword found online at the Seattle Times website
Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Zhouqin Burnikel
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 16m 01s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Automated message poster : TWITTERBOT
A Twitterbot is a bot program designed specifically to work on the Twitter microblogging service.

A bot is computer program that is designed to imitate human behavior. It might “crawl” around the Web doing searches for example, or it might participate in discussions in chat rooms by giving pre-programmed responses. It might also act as a competitor in a computer game.

15. Reading material for French fashionistas : VOGUE PARIS
“Vogue Paris” is the French edition of “Vogue” magazine. “Vogue” was first published in 1892, in New York. “Vogue Paris” started to hit the French newsstands in 1920.

16. Composer of “A-Hunting We Will Go” : ARNE
“A-Hunting We Will Go” is a song by Thomas Arne that the composer penned for a 1777 production of “The Beggar’s Opera”. I grew up with this song, as it is a popular nursery rhyme on the other side of the pond …

A-hunting we will go, a-hunting we will go
(Heigh-ho, the derry-o, a-hunting we will go
A-hunting we will go, a-hunting we will go)
We’ll catch a fox and put him in a box
And then we’ll let him go

17. Gobbledygook : DOUBLE-TALK
“Gobbledygook” is pompous, officious talk. The term is the 1944 invention of US Congressman Maury Maverick from Texas. He said he wanted to come up with a word that was imitative of a turkey.

18. “Los Caprichos” artist : GOYA
“Los caprichos” is a series of aquatint and etching prints by Francisco Goya that were published as an album in 1799. With the title translating as “The Caprices”, Goya described the collections as depicting “the innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilized society, and from the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance or self-interest have made usual”.

19. Pop group whose name is an exclamation : A-HA
A-ha is a band from Norway that first appeared on the music scene in Oslo in 1982. The band made it into the Guinness Book of World Records twice. A-ha holds the record for the largest paying audience at a concert, drawing 198,000 people to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in 1991. Lead singer Morten Harket has the record for holding the longest live note in a song. He held a note in the song “Summer Moved On” for 22 seconds!

25. Left-handed : SNIDE
A “left-handed compliment” is one that is insincere, backhanded.

30. Not sweet : SEC
“Sec” is a French term meaning “dry”, and is most familiar on this side of the Atlantic when used to describe wine.

35. Green stuff : MOOLAH
Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, scratch, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

39. Peppers that are hotter than jalapeños on the Scoville scale : SERRANOS
The serrano chili pepper is native to the Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo, where they grow in the mountainous regions. The name “serrano” derives from the Spanish “sierra” meaning “mountain”.

The Scoville scale is a measure of the spiciness of chili pepper. The scale was invented by a pharmacist in 1912, Wilbur Scoville. To determine the position of a pepper on Scoville scale, the amount of capsaicin in the chili is measured. Capsaicin is an irritant that causes the sensation of burning when it comes into contact with tissue, particularly the mucous membranes.

43. Targets of naphthalene : MOTHS
The larvae of several types of moth are noted for eating fabrics made from natural fibers such as wool or cotton. Many people store woolens in cedar chests believing that the scent of the wood prevents a moth infestation. In fact, the only known effective repellent is the naphthalene found in mothballs, which might be a health concern for humans. One way to kill moth larvae in fabric is to freeze the garment for several days at a temperature below 8 degrees centigrade.

49. Guy in the kitchen : FIERI
Guy Fieri is a restaurant owner and television personality. Fieri is known as “the face of the Food Network” as his television series on that channel is very popular.

51. Corn porridge : SAMP
“Samp” is a New England term used for cornmeal mush.

53. Bar flier : DART
Darts is a wonderful game often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 in sequence.

54. 109 in Vatican City : ACRES
Vatican City is a sovereign city-state that is walled off within the city of Rome. Vatican City is about 109 acres in area, and so is the smallest independent state in the world. With about 800 residents, it is also the smallest state in terms of population. Although the Holy See dates back to early Christianity, Vatican City only came into being in 1929. At that time, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini signed a treaty with the Holy See on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy that established the city-state.

57. South America’s ___ Negro : RIO
The Rio Negro (Spanish for “black river”) is a tributary of the Amazon in South America. The Rio Negro is the largest blackwater river in the world. A blackwater river is a slow-moving waterway that flows through forestation, collecting decaying vegetable matter that turns the water to a dark coffee color.

61. Yours, in Tours : A TOI
“À toi” is the French term for “yours”, when talking to someone with whom one is familiar. “À toi” literally means “to you”.

Tours is the largest city in the Centre region of France. It is said that the people of Tours speak the “purest” form of French in the whole country, and when spoken by a local it is also said to be free of any accent.

Down
1. Andy Taylor and Homer Simpson, for two : TV DADS
Andy Taylor is the main character in the “The Andy Griffith Show”. Taylor is the Sheriff and Justice of the Peace for the fictional North Carolina community of Mayberry, and he is played by Andy Griffith himself.

“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”

3. Omnivorous lizard or its genus : IGUANA
An iguana is a lizard, and as such is cold-blooded. There are times when pet iguanas need heat from an IR lamp to maintain body temperature.

6. Touching things in competition : EPEES
The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

7. Brett who directed “Rush Hour” : RATNER
Brett Ratner is a Hollywood movie director. Ratner’s most famous films are probably the “Rush Hour” series, “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “Tower Heist”.

8. Ben ___, legendary Washington Post editor : BRADLEE
Ben Bradlee served as executive editor for “The Washington Post” from 1968 until 1991. Famously, Bradlee was at the helm when the paper when reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein investigated the Watergate scandal that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. His one, Ben Bradlee Jr., was the editor in charge of the Spotlight team at the “Boston Globe” when they broke the story of the Catholic Church covering up sexual abuse of children by priests. Ben senior was played by actor Jason Robards in the film “All the President’s Men”. Ben Jr. was played by John Slattery in the movie “Spotlight”.

11. Astronomer whose show won three Emmys and a Peabody : SAGAN
“Cosmos: A Personal Journey” is a TV show co-written and presented by astronomer Carl Sagan. Originally airing in 1980, it was the most-watched series in the history of public television until Ken Burns started to produce his documentaries a decade later. Sagan’s opening words for the series are:

The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.

14. New Jersey town near the George Washington Bridge : TEANECK
The township of Teaneck, New Jersey is a suburb that forms part of the New York metropolitan area. One of Teaneck’s claims to fame is that it is the eastern terminus of Interstate 80, which runs all the way to San Francisco in the west.

21. Source of news and blog postings : RSS FEED
Many websites and blogs publish content in a format known as Rich Site Summary (RSS). The “feed” can be read using an RSS reader. The advantage of using an RSS reader, is that the user doesn’t have to check the website for new content. That new material is fed to the RSS reader as soon as it is published.

27. Deli stock : SALAMIS
Salame (note the “e” at the end) is an Italian sausage that is traditionally associated with the peasant classes. The meat in the sausage is preserved with salt, and it can be hung and stored for as long as ten years. The name “salame” comes from “sale”, the Italian word for salt, and “-ame”, a suffix indicating a collective noun. Our English word “salami” is actually the Italian plural for “salame”.

29. Zippo : NONE
The use of the words “zip” and “zippo” to mean “nothing” dates back to the early 1900s when it was student slang for being graded zero on a test.

32. Touch alternative : NANO
The iPod Nano is the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There have been seven versions of the Nano to date and the current Nano as well as playing tunes is an FM player, records voice memos, has a pedometer and can connect with external devices (like a heart monitor, maybe) using Bluetooth technology.

The iPod Touch is a portable media player, personal digital assistant and gaming console with a WiFi capability. Essentially, I think it’s a stripped-down version of an iPhone.

34. Like croupiers’ tables : RAKED
A croupier is someone who conducts a game at a gambling table. In the world of gaming, the original croupier was someone who stood behind a gambler, holding reserves of cash for the person in a game. Before that, “croupier” was someone who rode behind the main rider on a horse. “Croup” was a Germanic word for “rump”. So, a croupier used to be a “second”, as it were.

40. Clinton Foundation head Donna : SHALALA
Donna Shalala was a Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Clinton Administration. Shalala was the first Arab-American to serve in a cabinet position. She was named head of the Clinton Foundation in 2015.

44. Processes, as ore : SMELTS
Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and, a greenhouse gas).

46. Betting tactic : PARLAY
A “parlay” is a combination wager, one that links two or more bets. All bets have to win in order to collect on a parlay.

47. Priority protocol : TRIAGE
“Triage” is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on a battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “a sorting”.

50. New York’s historic St. ___ Hotel : REGIS
The historic St. Regis Hotel in New York City was built by John Jacob Astor IV, the multimillionaire who famously perished on the Titanic. The St. Regis has always offered apartments to permanent residents as well as guests. The list of apartment dwellers includes the likes of Salvador Dalí and Marlene Dietrich.

59. Halloween figure : HAG
All Saints’ Day is November 1st each year. The day before All Saints’ Day is All Hallows’ Eve, better known by the Scottish term, “Halloween”.

60. TSA ___ (airport screening program, informally) : PRE
The TSA is the Transportation Security Administration, the agency that employs the good folks that check passengers and baggage at airports.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Automated message poster : TWITTERBOT
11. Insignificant row : SPAT
15. Reading material for French fashionistas : VOGUE PARIS
16. Composer of “A-Hunting We Will Go” : ARNE
17. Gobbledygook : DOUBLE-TALK
18. “Los Caprichos” artist : GOYA
19. Pop group whose name is an exclamation : A-HA
20. Makes advances : LENDS
21. Force to fit : RAM IN
22. Ready to serve : DONE
24. Persuade : SELL
25. Left-handed : SNIDE
26. Really takes off : SOARS
28. Control, metaphorically : REINS
30. Not sweet : SEC
31. Was chicken, say : RAN
33. One who’s extremely green? : ECOFREAK
35. Green stuff : MOOLAH
38. Works : KNEADS
39. Peppers that are hotter than jalapeños on the Scoville scale : SERRANOS
41. Cry upon opening a hospital bill : EEK!
42. Like the year 2017 : ODD
43. Targets of naphthalene : MOTHS
45. Cabinet units: Abbr. : DEPTS
49. Guy in the kitchen : FIERI
51. Corn porridge : SAMP
53. Bar flier : DART
54. 109 in Vatican City : ACRES
55. Iron production? : PLEAT
57. South America’s ___ Negro : RIO
58. “You ___?” : RANG
59. Part of a benefits package : HEALTH PLAN
61. Yours, in Tours : A TOI
62. Extremely popular : ALL THE RAGE
63. Does some surgical work : SEWS
64. Looking dazed : GLASSY-EYED

Down
1. Andy Taylor and Homer Simpson, for two : TV DADS
2. Cry of delight : WOOHOO!
3. Omnivorous lizard or its genus : IGUANA
4. Hardly a racing boat : TUB
5. Poker player’s blink, say : TELL
6. Touching things in competition : EPEES
7. Brett who directed “Rush Hour” : RATNER
8. Ben ___, legendary Washington Post editor : BRADLEE
9. Hazard for marine life : OIL SLICK
10. It might accompany the wag of a finger : TSK
11. Astronomer whose show won three Emmys and a Peabody : SAGAN
12. Affianced : PROMISED
13. “I’m stumped – what do we do?” : ANY IDEAS?
14. New Jersey town near the George Washington Bridge : TEANECK
21. Source of news and blog postings : RSS FEED
23. Bad play : ERROR
27. Deli stock : SALAMIS
29. Zippo : NONE
32. Touch alternative : NANO
34. Like croupiers’ tables : RAKED
35. Treat with drugs : MEDICATE
36. “Call right away!” : ORDER NOW!
37. Summer stretch : HOT SPELL
39. To the extent that : SO FAR AS
40. Clinton Foundation head Donna : SHALALA
44. Processes, as ore : SMELTS
46. Betting tactic : PARLAY
47. Priority protocol : TRIAGE
48. High : STONED
50. New York’s historic St. ___ Hotel : REGIS
52. Walks : PATHS
56. Anonymous news source : THEY
59. Halloween figure : HAG
60. TSA ___ (airport screening program, informally) : PRE

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5 thoughts on “1217-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 Dec 16, Saturday”

  1. 20:15, no errors, iPad. I was unfamiliar with a couple of things, like RSS FEED. Somehow, though, SAMP was a gimme, and I don't know why (though I probably learned it from another crossword puzzle).

    It startled me a little to learn that I am older than the word GOBBLEDYGOOK … 🙂

    Today is a bread-baking day! Yummm … 🙂

  2. Easier than yesterday's grid IMO. That said, I still had several write overs. I had Ben BRADLEy at first. HEALTHcare too. I had never heard the term "row" in the sense of a dispute, nor had I ever heard of SAMP, but I got those with crosses.

    Ultimately, one error. I had jAM IN and jSS FEED. Oh well. Almost.

    Add SNIDE to the list of anti left-handed words I have to live with to go along with Latin's "sinister" and French's "gauche"…and others..

    After 9 weeks of dealing with pneumonia and a bunch of tests and x-rays, I suspect that facility I used made thousands of dollars between my copays and insurance payments. Today I got a supplemental bill for $5.60. I did say something, but it wasn't EEK…..(unprintable here)

    Best –

  3. 27:21, 5 errors. 21A JAM IN; 25A ANODE; 30A TEC; 12D PROMOTED; 21D JAS FEED. Many unfamiliar clues, but all the sections eventually worked themselves out, except for the upper right. Did not think of the term SEC, I am somewhat familiar with RSS FEEDS but SNIDE for 'Left-handed' did not occur to me.

  4. 18 mins 27 sec before I gave up, only bottom left filled in. Impossibly vague clues for the most part, and a bunch of names you either know or you don't. Savagely difficult.

  5. Pretty straight forward for this day except the very Naticky TEANECK. Did all of the grid except for that corner and once I looked that up, the rest filled easily enough.

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