0127-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Jan 17, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: John Guzzetta
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 12m 34s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

12. Half a ten-spot : ABE
The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

16. Loafer alternative, for short : MOC
“Moc” is short for “moccasin”, the type of shoe.

The type of slip-on shoe called a “loafer” dates back to 1939. “Loafer” was originally a brand name introduced by the Fortnum and Mason’s store in London.

19. Flat, e.g.: Abbr. : RES
“Flat” is a word more commonly used in the British Isles than here, in the sense of an apartment or condominium. The word “flat” is Scottish in origin, in which language it meant a “floor in a house”.

21. Grave robbers : GHOULS
Our word “ghoul” comes from the Arabic “ghul”, the name for an evil spirit that feeds on corpses.

23. Land in which political parties are banned : OMAN
Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

24. She created a monster : SHELLEY
Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel has the full title of “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus”. The subtitle underscores one of the themes of the book, a warning about man’s expansion into the Industrial Revolution.

25. First name in hot dogs : NATHAN
Nathan’s Famous has held a Hot Dog Eating Contest every July 4th since 1916, and always at the same location on Coney Island.

32. Nix : VETO
“Veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The word was used by tribunes of Ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

33. Sound of the Northwest : PUGET
George Vancouver was a British explorer, and an officer in the Royal Navy. As well as exploring the coast of Australia, he is best known for his travels along the northwest coast of North America. The city of Vancouver was named in his honor. Travelling with him on his American voyage was a lieutenant Peter Puget, and in his honor, Vancouver named the waters south of the Tacoma Narrows “Puget’s Sound”. Nowadays, the name Puget Sound describes an area much greater than Vancouver had envisioned.

36. Ingredients in the national drink of Puerto Rico, to Puerto Ricans : PINAS
“Piña colada” is a Spanish term which translates into “strained pineapple”. The Piña colada cocktail was introduced in the Caribe Hilton San Juan in 1954, and since 1978 it has been the official beverage of Puerto Rico. Yum …

37. An elephant seal will fight for one : HAREM
There are three families of seals. The first is the walrus family, the second the eared seals (like sea lions), and thirdly the earless seals (like elephant seals).

38. Vassal : LIEGEMAN
A liege was a feudal lord, one to whom service or allegiance was owed under feudal law. “Liege” (and “liegeman”) was also the term used for one who owed allegiance or service to a lord. Very confusing …

Feudalism was a legal and military system that flourished in medieval Europe. Central to the system were the concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs. Lords would grant fiefs (land or rights) to vassals in exchange for allegiance and service.

40. Part-human gods : SATYRS
The satyrs of Greek mythology came with a very high sex drive. They are the “rude” male subjects drawn on the side of old Greek vases. The nubile maidens known as nymphs were often an object of attention for the satyrs.

43. Melodious : ARIOSE
A tune that is “ariose” is song-like, characterized by melody as opposed to harmony.

44. Romance novelist Tami : HOAG
Tami Hoag is a novelist best known for writing romances and thrillers. She is a prolific writer and once had five consecutive titles on the New York Times bestsellers list, all in a 20-month period.

45. TV band : VHF
TV frequencies here in North America are divided into two bands. The VHF band covers channels 2 through 13; the UHF band covers channels 14 through 83.

52. End of the King James Bible? : -ETH
In 1604, King James I of England convened a conference at Hampton Court in order produce a new translation of the Bible, as the Puritan sect within the church had problems with prior versions. 47 scholars made new translations for the New Testament from Greek and from the Old Testament from Hebrew. The result is the King James Authorized Version.

Down
1. Bradley with many medals : OMAR
Omar Bradley graduated from West Point in the class of 1915, along with Dwight Eisenhower who also attained the rank of General of the Army. Bradley was the last person to hold the rank of a five-star commissioned officer, and he was the first general to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I was struck by a quotation from Bradley from later in his life:

Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than about peace, more about killing than we know about living.

3. Brand with the flavor French Silk : EDY’S
Dreyers’ ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

5. Where many Loyalists resettled after the American Revolution : BAHAMAS
The Bahamas is a group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, lying in the same island chain as Cuba and Hispaniola. The Bahamas was a British colony for many years but became independent in 1973, although it retains membership in the British Commonwealth.

6. Real name of Ben, in a sci-fi classic : OBI-WAN
Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the more beloved of the “Star Wars” characters. Kenobi was portrayed by two fabulous actors in the series of films. As a young man he is played by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, and as an older man he is played by Alec Guinness.

7. Actress Saoirse with two Oscar nominations : RONAN
Saoirse Ronan is an Irish-American actress, having been born in the Bronx, New York and raised in Carlow and Dublin in Ireland. Ronan’s big break came when she was cast in the 2007 film “Atonement” at 12 years of age, a role for which she was nominated for that season’s Best Supporting Actress Oscar. “Saoirse” is the Irish word for “freedom”.

8. Stray calf: Var. : DOGY
“Dogie” (sometimes “dogy”) is cowboy slang for a motherless calf in a herd.

26. Take the edge off : AMELIORATE
“To ameliorate” is to make better, and comes to us from French. The French for “better” is “meìlleur”.

28. Actress Mullally with two Emmys : MEGAN
Megan Mullally is an actress probably best known for playing Karen Walker on the TV sitcom “Will & Grace”. Mullally also has a recurring role on the sitcom “Parks and Recreation”, playing Tammy Swanson, the ex-wife of Ron Swanson. In real life Tammy and Ron aren’t exes, as Megan Mullally is married to actor Nick Offerman who plays Ron Swanson.

34. Sights at a martial arts center : MATS
“Martial arts” are various fighting traditions and systems used in combat or simply to promote physical well-being. The term ultimately derives from Latin and means “Arts of Mars”, a reference to Mars, the Roman god of war.

37. Places to fix flaps : HANGARS
“Hangar” is a French word for “shed”. The French first started using the term for a “shed for airplanes” in the very early 1900s.

44. For the goose, not the gander? : HERS
A male goose is called a gander, with the female simply being referred to as a “goose”. Young geese are called goslings.

45. Alto clef instrument : VIOL
The viola da gamba (also called simply “viol”) is a bass instrument in what is known as the viol family, with a tonal range that about matches that of the modern-day cello. It is the second largest of all the viols, so is played resting on the floor between the legs. In fact, “viola da gamba” is Italian translating into “viol for the leg”.

Clef is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on the stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

50. Figures in some univ. classes : TAS
Teaching Assistants (TAs)

51. Dance bit? : CHA
The cha-cha-cha (often simplified to “cha-cha”) is a Latin dance with origins in Cuba, where it was introduced by composer Enrique Jorrin in 1953.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Feature of the European Union : OPEN BORDERS
12. Half a ten-spot : ABE
15. Slipped : MADE A BOO-BOO
16. Loafer alternative, for short : MOC
17. “Definitely not THAT!” : ANYTHING BUT!
18. Part of a press kit : BIO
19. Flat, e.g.: Abbr. : RES
20. See 34-Across : AWAY
21. Grave robbers : GHOULS
23. Land in which political parties are banned : OMAN
24. She created a monster : SHELLEY
25. First name in hot dogs : NATHAN
28. Goes from stem to stern, maybe? : MISREADS
29. Off : AMISS
30. Fix, as some neckwear : RETIE
31. Bambino : TOT
32. Nix : VETO
33. Sound of the Northwest : PUGET
34. With 20-Across, relocate : MOVE
35. Many a large desk or sofa : ELL
36. Ingredients in the national drink of Puerto Rico, to Puerto Ricans : PINAS
37. An elephant seal will fight for one : HAREM
38. Vassal : LIEGEMAN
40. Part-human gods : SATYRS
41. “Be my guest!” : GO FOR IT!
42. Moors : FENS
43. Melodious : ARIOSE
44. Romance novelist Tami : HOAG
45. TV band : VHF
48. Part of some punt returns : ZAG
49. Like marriage supported by Loving v. Virginia : INTERRACIAL
52. End of the King James Bible? : -ETH
53. Fixer-upper, often : STARTER HOME
54. Unlikely to change : SET
55. Course that offers mixed results? : TOSSED SALAD

Down
1. Bradley with many medals : OMAR
2. One getting framed : PANE
3. Brand with the flavor French Silk : EDY’S
4. It gets tons of traffic : NET
5. Where many Loyalists resettled after the American Revolution : BAHAMAS
6. Real name of Ben, in a sci-fi classic : OBI-WAN
7. Actress Saoirse with two Oscar nominations : RONAN
8. Stray calf: Var. : DOGY
9. Decline : EBB
10. Camps in the wild : ROUGHS IT
11. “Told ya!” : SO THERE!
12. Not bedridden : AMBULATORY
13. Blew a gasket : BOILED OVER
14. Caves and coral reefs, for example : ECOSYSTEMS
22. Cry when un gol is scored : OLE!
23. Exceedingly : OH SO
24. The 4-Down has millions of them : SITES
25. Is way too introspective : NAVEL-GAZES
26. Take the edge off : AMELIORATE
27. Someone gets belted at the end of it : TITLE FIGHT
28. Actress Mullally with two Emmys : MEGAN
30. Rush : RUN AT
33. Red stuffing? : PIMIENTO
34. Sights at a martial arts center : MATS
36. What a bad cold may do : PERSIST
37. Places to fix flaps : HANGARS
39. Too-sweet sentiment : GOO
40. Prepared, as some scallops or tuna : SEARED
42. Strength : FORTE
44. For the goose, not the gander? : HERS
45. Alto clef instrument : VIOL
46. Mie ___, actress who played the Bond girl Kissy Suzuki : HAMA
47. Turned tail : FLED
50. Figures in some univ. classes : TAS
51. Dance bit? : CHA

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12 thoughts on “0127-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 27 Jan 17, Friday”

  1. Way too fatigued when I attempted this one. Read 36A incorrectly and was thinking the national drink of Puerto Rico is rum. So I put "canas" which is Spanish for sugar canes (rum ingredients). That made "What a bad cold may do" congeST rather than PERSIST. A mess ensued. Cheated my way through the rest of it, but I won a few battles.

    Not sure I would have finished this one in the best of circumstances, but I certainly didn't as is.

    Better luck tomorrow –

    Best –

  2. 20:34, no errors. Thought I was off to races, getting many of the 10 and 11 character fills across the top and down the right within a few minutes. Got bogged down in the center, unfamiliar with MEGAN Mullally; could not connect 'Sound' with the body of water, even though I live near PUGET Sound, and see it almost every day; and, embarrassingly, failed to connect PINAS with Pina Coladas.
    Also, the extra 'I' in PIMIENTO always gives me fits.

  3. Glad to finish this one in about half or less the time than yesterday's. (Didn't come anywhere close to Dave K's or Bruce B's times however.)

  4. Hello. Saoirse Ronan was nominated for the Supporting Actress Oscar for Atonement, but she didn't win it–Tilda Swinton did, for Michael Clayton. Tough puzzle today. Astonished, as usual, by your speedy time…

  5. 23 minutes, 4 unfortunate "boo-boos" where LIEGEMAN and RUNAT meet. I thought rushing, in football parlance was to "run it"… and PIMIENTO nearly threw me, because I've always referred to them as PIMENTO. Just wasn't in the cards for me today, but I did at least complete the grid.

  6. Wow. I've always thought moors were something like open pastureland, maybe rolling. One dictionary says a moor is "a tract of open uncultivated upland; a heath." A fen is defined as "one of the main types of wetland, the others being grassy marshes, forested swamps, and peaty bogs."
    As an English-lit major and lifelong romantic, I'm shattered! You mean to tell me that Cathy and Heathcliff were running through the FENS?! Oh, my heart! — Lela

  7. @anon
    -eth as in the ending of verbs in the bible. For example: the lord giveth, so sayeth the lord etc. That's my guess.

  8. 1 error on a bad guess at 42A. Didn't get to time it, but went pretty smoothly overall (no awkward pauses anyhow).

  9. I realize this is way after the fact (a friend and I solve crosswords in tandem, and they're often fairly old). We completed this crossword, but got the answer to 28 across by default, and still do not understand the connection between the clue ("Goes from stem to stern, maybe?") with the answer (MISREADS) — unless (as has just occurred to me) it's because "stem" and "stern" are out of alphabetical order?

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