0313-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 13 Mar 17, Monday

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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: Alan DeLoriea
THEME: Point of No Return
In a “punny” sort of way, one might think of today’s themed answers as POINTS OF NO RETURN:

60A. Punny description for 17-, 26- or 48-Across : POINT OF NO RETURN

17A. Atlantic site of strange disappearances : BERMUDA TRIANGLE
26A. “As is” transaction : FINAL SALE
48A. Excellent service : TENNIS ACE

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. British sports car, briefly : JAG
Auto manufacturer Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters “SS” in that era (i.e. the Nazi paramilitary organization).

13. One might end “Q.E.D.” : PROOF
The initialism QED is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. QED stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.

15. A pitcher wants a low one, for short : ERA
Earned run average (ERA)

17. Atlantic site of strange disappearances : BERMUDA TRIANGLE
The Bermuda Triangle is an area in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean that is famous for the loss of ships and aircraft under mysterious circumstances. The triangular area is roughly defined by Miami, Florida, and the islands of Bermuda and Puerto Rico.

20. Michael who played both Batman and Birdman : KEATON
Michael Keaton is an actor from Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Keaton is perhaps best remembered for roles he played in Tim Burton films. Keaton had the title role in “Beetlejuice” in 1988, and the title role in “Batman” in 1989 and “Batman Returns” in 1992.

“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” is a 2014 film that was an incredible critical success. The title character was played by Michael Keaton. I know I am in the minority, but I hated “Birdman” …

21. Aid for a lost driver, for short : GPS
Global positioning system (GPS)

23. Russian jet : MIG
The Russian fighter jets that we know as “MiGs” are so called because they were designed by the Mikoyan-and-Gurevich Design Bureau, and MiG is an acronym for “Mikoyan-and-Gurevich” in Russian.

24. Former British P.M. Tony : BLAIR
Tony Blair was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for ten years, from 1997 to 2007. Blair led his Labour Party from the left towards the center, helped along by the phrase “New Labour”. Under his leadership, Labour won a landslide victory in 1997, and was comfortably elected into power again in 2001 and 2005. Blair stepped down in 2007 and Gordon Blair took over as prime minister. Labour was soundly defeated at the polls in the next general election, in 2010.

30. Frank of the Mothers of Invention : ZAPPA
Frank Zappa was an American composer and guitarist, a solo artist as well as the founding member of the rock band Mothers of Invention. You might like to meet his four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan, and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.

35. Jazzy Fitzgerald : ELLA
Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

36. Colorful aquarium swimmers : TETRAS
The neon tetra is a freshwater fish, native to parts of South America. The tetra is a very popular aquarium fish and millions are imported into the US every year. Almost all of the imported tetras are farm-raised in Asia and very few come from their native continent.

42. Like zombies : UNDEAD
A zombie is a corpse that has been brought back to life by some mystical means. Our modern use of the term largely stems from the undead creatures featured in the 1968 horror movie called “Night of the Living Dead”. Now that film I haven’t seen, and probably never will …

47. Four-time M.L.B. All-Star José : REYES
José Reyes plays shortstop for the Toronto Blue jays. Reyes is from the Dominican Republic. He is also a “reggaeton” musician and even owns his own record label called EL7 Music.

53. Halloween’s mo. : OCT
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”.

64. Boredom : ENNUI
“Ennui” is the French word for boredom, a word that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported that we haven’t anglicized and actually pronounce “correctly”.

66. Florida senator Marco : RUBIO
Marco Rubio became the junior US Senator for Florida in 2011. Famously, Rubio ran for the Republican nomination for president in the 2016 race, losing out to future president Donald Trump.

67. Band with the 2000 hit “Bye Bye Bye” : NSYNC
NSYNC was a boy band from Orlando, Florida that was formed in 1995. The name of the group came from a comment by the mother of band member Justin Timberlake, who said the boys voices sounded “in sync”. But, it’s also true that the letters of the name NSYNC are the last letters of the given names of the five band members:

  • Justin Timberlake
  • Chris Kirkpatrick
  • Joey Fatone
  • Lance “Lansten” Bass
  • JC Chasez

68. Just for Men offering : DYE
Just for Men is a hair-coloring product. It is usually applied to remove gray in the hair, and is effective for one to six weeks. So they tell me …

Down
1. Alert to squad cars, for short : APB
An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

5. Denim fabric : JEAN
Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (meaning “from Nimes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

6. Trump’s “The ___ of the Deal” : ART
“Trump: The Art of the Deal” is a bestselling 1987 book by businessman and future US president Donald Trump. The book was co-written by journalist Tony Schwartz.

7. Use Listerine, say : GARGLE
Listerine is an antiseptic mouthwash. The brand takes its name from Joseph Lister, the British surgeon and promoter of antiseptic surgery.

8. Victoria’s Secret measurement : BRA SIZE
Victoria’s Secret was founded in 1977 in San Francisco, California. The founder wanted to create an environment where men were comfortable buying lingerie for their wives or girlfriends, an alternative to a department store.

9. Chaney of horror : LON
Lon Chaney, Sr. played a lot of crazed-looking characters in the days of silent movies. He did much of his own make-up work, developing the grotesque appearances that became his trademark, and earning himself the nickname “the man of a thousand faces”. Most famous were his portrayals of the title characters in the films “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) and “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925).

10. Azalea of rap : IGGY
Iggy Azalea is the stage name of Australian rapper Amethyst Kelly. I haven’t heard of her outside of crosswords …

11. Lieutenant on the original U.S.S. Enterprise : SULU
Mr. Sulu was played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. Takei has played lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he appeared in the 1963 film, “Pt-109”? He played the helmsman steering the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s motor torpedo boat. From destroyer helmsman to starship helmsman …

12. “___ and ye shall find” : SEEK
From the Gospel of Matthew:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

18. Iditarod vehicle : DOGSLED
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race covers an incredible 1,161 miles, from Anchorage to Nome in Alaska. The race starts every year on the first Saturday in March, with the first race having been held in 1973. The fastest finishing time was set in 2002 at just under 9 days. The first few races only used a northern route, but then a southern route was added to the roster every second year. It’s kind of a good thing, because when the racers take the northern route they don’t even pass through the town of Iditarod!

19. Hoppy brew, for short : IPA
India Pale Ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

24. Nonsense, as the Irish might say : BLARNEY
Blarney is a town in County Cork in the south of Ireland. Blarney is home to Blarney Castle, and inside the castle is the legendary Blarney Stone. “Kissing the Blarney Stone” is a ritual engaged in by oh so many tourists (indeed, I’ve done it myself!), but it’s not a simple process. The stone is embedded in the wall of the castle, and in order to kiss it you have to sit on the edge of the parapet and lean way backwards so that your head is some two feet below your body. There is a staff member there to help you and make sure you don’t fall. The Blarney Stone has been labelled as the world’s most unhygienic tourist attraction! But once you’ve kissed it, supposedly you are endowed with the “gift of the gab”, the ability to talk eloquently and perhaps deceptively without offending. The term “blarney” has come to mean flattering and deceptive talk.

26. Leg bone connected to the knee bone : FEMUR
The thigh bone, the femur, is the longest and the largest bone in the human body.

29. Chicken ___ king : A LA
A dish prepared “a la king” (usually chicken or turkey), is food prepared in a cream sauce, with mushrooms, pimentos, green peppers and sherry.

31. Fashion house founded in Milan : PRADA
Prada was started in 1913 as a leathergoods shop in Milan, by the two Prada brothers. One of the brothers, Mario Prada, prevented the female members of his family participating in the company as he didn’t believe women should be involved in business (!). When the sexist brother died, his son had no interest in the business so it was his daughter who took over and ran the company for about twenty years, handing it over to her own daughter. I’d say the devil loved that …

33. “___ Another” (NPR game show) : ASK ME
“Ask Me Another” is a National Public Radio show that features word games, puzzles and trivia. The show is recorded live in front of an audience In New York City, and is hosted by comedian Ophira Eisenberg.

40. Weight unit on a bridge sign : TON
Here in the US, a ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds. Over in the UK, a ton is 2,240 pounds. The UK unit is sometimes referred to as an Imperial ton or sometimes a “long ton”. Folks over there refer to the US ton then as a “short ton”. To further complicate matters, there is also a “metric ton” or “tonne”, which is equivalent to 2,204 pounds. I wish we’d just stick to kilograms …

43. From east of the Urals : ASIATIC
The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

48. Organization for Janet Yellen, informally : THE FED
The Federal Reserve System is more usually known simply as “the Fed”, and is the central banking system of the US. It was introduced in 1913 in response to a number of financial panics at the beginning of the 20th century. The original role for the Fed was to act as a lender of last resort, in case there was a run on a bank. This can happen as most of the money that is deposited by customers in a bank is reinvested by that bank, so it has very little liquid cash available. If too many customers look for their money at one time, then the bank can be short of cash and this can start a “run”. The Fed’s responsibilities have broadened since those early days …

The economist Janet Yellen was appointed Chair of the Federal Reserve in 2014 by President Obama. When her appointment was confirmed by the US Senate, Yellen became the first woman to hold the position.

51. Tango requirement : TWO
It takes two to tango.

The dramatic dance called the tango originated in the late 1800s in the area along the border between Argentina and Uruguay. Dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires in particular traveled to Europe and beyond in the early twentieth century and brought the tango with them. The tango craze first struck Europe in Paris in the 1910s, and from there spread to London and Berlin, crossing the Atlantic to New York in 1913.

58. Instrument that makes the cheeks puff out : TUBA
The tuba is the lowest-pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”. Oom-pah-pah …

59. Clapton who sang “Layla” : ERIC
Can you believe that the great Eric Clapton only had one chart-topper in the US? In 1974, Clapton released a cover version of the Bob Marley classic “I Shot the Sheriff” and ended up selling more copies of that song than Bob Marley did himself. Clapton is the only person to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times: once as a member of the Yardbirds, once as a member of the supergroup Cream, and once as a solo artist.

Layla is one of the great rock anthems of the seventies, released by Derek and the Dominos as a single in 1971. It is a masterpiece of composition, with the first half of the song a great vehicle for the guitar-playing talents of Eric Clapton. The second half is a beautifully melodic piano coda (a coda … taking up half the length of the track!). To top things off we have the “unplugged” version recorded by Clapton in 1992, a fabulous and inventive variation on the original.

Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Lawyer: Abbr. : ATTY
5. British sports car, briefly : JAG
8. What ignorance is, they say : BLISS
13. One might end “Q.E.D.” : PROOF
15. A pitcher wants a low one, for short : ERA
16. “___ One: A Star Wars Story” : ROGUE
17. Atlantic site of strange disappearances : BERMUDA TRIANGLE
20. Michael who played both Batman and Birdman : KEATON
21. Aid for a lost driver, for short : GPS
22. Big laugh : YUK!
23. Russian jet : MIG
24. Former British P.M. Tony : BLAIR
26. “As is” transaction : FINAL SALE
30. Frank of the Mothers of Invention : ZAPPA
34. WSW’s opposite : ENE
35. Jazzy Fitzgerald : ELLA
36. Colorful aquarium swimmers : TETRAS
37. “___ my words” : MARK
39. You are here : EARTH
41. Didn’t float : SANK
42. Like zombies : UNDEAD
44. Cause for being refused a drink at a bar : NO ID
46. Opposite of bright : DIM
47. Four-time M.L.B. All-Star José : REYES
48. Excellent service : TENNIS ACE
50. Terse : PITHY
52. “That feels so-o-o-o nice!” : AAH!
53. Halloween’s mo. : OCT
56. Amazement : AWE
57. Water down : DILUTE
60. Punny description for 17-, 26- or 48-Across : POINT OF NO RETURN
64. Boredom : ENNUI
65. Sup : EAT
66. Florida senator Marco : RUBIO
67. Band with the 2000 hit “Bye Bye Bye” : NSYNC
68. Just for Men offering : DYE
69. Treaty : PACT

Down
1. Alert to squad cars, for short : APB
2. Arduous walk : TREK
3. Ripped : TORE
4. Start of a playground joke : YO MAMA …
5. Denim fabric : JEAN
6. Trump’s “The ___ of the Deal” : ART
7. Use Listerine, say : GARGLE
8. Victoria’s Secret measurement : BRA SIZE
9. Chaney of horror : LON
10. Azalea of rap : IGGY
11. Lieutenant on the original U.S.S. Enterprise : SULU
12. “___ and ye shall find” : SEEK
14. Hopeless : FUTILE
18. Iditarod vehicle : DOGSLED
19. Hoppy brew, for short : IPA
24. Nonsense, as the Irish might say : BLARNEY
25. “Darn!” : RATS!
26. Leg bone connected to the knee bone : FEMUR
27. Stupid : INANE
28. Passionately brainy, say : NERDY
29. Chicken ___ king : A LA
31. Fashion house founded in Milan : PRADA
32. Emotion causing hyperventilation : PANIC
33. “___ Another” (NPR game show) : ASK ME
36. It’s in the stratosphere : THIN AIR
38. Hold on to : KEEP
40. Weight unit on a bridge sign : TON
43. From east of the Urals : ASIATIC
45. One placing a telephone call : DIALER
48. Organization for Janet Yellen, informally : THE FED
49. “Button your lip!” : SHUT UP!
51. Tango requirement : TWO
53. Store sign that might be flipped at 9 a.m. : OPEN
54. Inmates : CONS
55. Wee : TINY
57. Lavish care (on) : DOTE
58. Instrument that makes the cheeks puff out : TUBA
59. Clapton who sang “Layla” : ERIC
61. Habit wearer : NUN
62. “No” vote : NAY
63. “Just kidding!” : NOT!

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14 thoughts on “0313-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 13 Mar 17, Monday”

  1. I finished yesterday's (Sunday's) puzzle with no errors, but it took me 47:08 – one of those puzzles you look at afterwards and it all seems pretty straightforward, but it didn't seem that way while you were working in it. It's title was "Taking the Fifth". Is that just because each theme entry was a common phrase augmented by the fifth letter of the alphabet? Or is there a better interpretation?

    @Bill … I hope you didn't miss the monument to my namesake – the David Kennison who claimed to be the last survivor of the Boston Tea Party. It's somewhere in Lincoln Park, in Chicago. (Actually, it's pretty certain that he was a fraud, but the story is interesting … 🙂

  2. Hear! Hear, Knot! We were a tad worried. I don't recall a spate of more than a single day behind before. Glad to see you back!

  3. Nice Monday challenge.

    In Milwaukee and Chicago as well enjoying the snow storm. I can attest to what Bill is dealing with. I guess New York and the east coast will get it worse in the next day or two.

    Supposed to fly back to Houston tomorrow, but it remains to be seen if that happens…

    Best –

  4. 10:01, no errors. Off to a good start, but then my train jumped the tracks by entering 36A BETTAS before TETRAS; and 45D CALLER before DIALER.

    Got a giggle at TENNIS ACE defined as POINT OF NO RETURN.

  5. No errors. Enjoyable. The only entry that held much interest to me was YOMAMA. I guess I don't frequent playgrounds enough to know about this. Can anyone enlighten me as to its context?

  6. 6:52, no errors. Standard Monday. Wondering why I can't seem to get into the low 5-inute marks with Bill… 🙂

  7. @Dale … YO MAMA jokes are part of an African-American tradition known to me as "doin' the dozens". See

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

    Basically, it's a competition to see who can come up with the most creative way of insulting a competitor. A Google search on YO MAMA will turn up a huge number of examples. Here's just one: "Yo mama so ugly she make blind chillin cry!"

  8. @Dale … you're welcome. One small correction: The usual phrase seems to be "playing the dozens"; "doing the dozens" is either a rather uncommon variant or just a figment of my imagination.

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