0318-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Mar 17, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Roland Huget
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 17m 42s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

8. Creator of Bluto and Wimpy : EC SEGAR
Elzie Segar was a cartoonist who went by the name E. C. Segar. Segar was the man who created the strip “Thimble Theater”, home of the character Popeye.

Bluto is the villain in the Popeye cartoon strip, a character who has been around since 1932. Sometimes you will see Bluto go by the name Brutus, depending on the date of the publication. This “confusion” arose because there was an unfounded concern that the name “Bluto” was owned by someone else. Bluto, Brutus … it’s the same guy.

In the comic strip “Popeye”, there’s a lovable character called J. Wellington Wimpy, usually shorted to “Wimpy”. Wimpy appeared an awful lot in the comic strip that ran in the newspapers, but he was relegated to the minors when “Popeye” was adapted for television.

17. He played an escaped convict in “We’re No Angels” : ALDO RAY
Aldo Ray started out his Hollywood career playing tough, sexy roles. Ray played “the other man” in a favorite film of mine, “Pat and Mike” starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. He eventually became typecast in less sexy and more tough-guy parts.

18. Bad representation? : LUCIFER
According to some Christian traditions, Lucifer was an angel who rebelled against God and so was condemned to the Lake of Fire. Lucifer is also known as Satan or the Devil.

19. Bucket of bolts : CRATE
“Bucket of bolts”, crate and “heap” are slang terms for a junky car.

20. Central U.S.’s ___ Plateau : OZARK
The Ozark Mountains aren’t really mountains geographically speaking, and the Ozarks are better described by the alternate name, the Ozark Plateau. It’s not really certain how the Ozarks got their name, but my favorite theory is that “Ozarks” is the phonetic spelling of “aux Arks”, short for “of Arkansas” in French.

22. Keys are found in it: Abbr. : FLA
A “key” (also “cay”) is a low island offshore, as in the Florida Keys. Our term in English comes from the Spanish “cayo” meaning “shoal, reef”.

23. So-called “Caput Mundi” (“Head of the World”) : ROME
Ancient Rome went through three distinct periods. From 753 to 509 BC, Rome was a kingdom, founded by the legendary Romulus. The Roman Republic lasted from 509 to 27 BC. The Republic started with the overthrow of the last monarch, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, and replacement by two elected consuls who were advised by a senate. The Republic evolved over time, but came to an end when Octavian expanded his power and declared himself “First Citizen”, and effectively became Rome’s first Emperor and took the name Caesar Augustus. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the 5th century, formally ending in 476 CE when the last emperor, Romulus Augustus was deposed. The Eastern Roman Empire survived as the Byzantine Empire that was centered on Constantinople.

24. Phrase usually abbreviated : ID EST
“Id est” is Latin for “that is”, and is often abbreviated to “i.e.” when used in English.

25. Longtime Cunard flagship, for short : QE II
Cunard’s ocean liner the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) was launched in 1967. The QE2 was taken out of service in 2008 and purchased by investment firm which is converting the vessel into a floating hotel that will be moored in Dubai.

26. Polymer add-on? : -ASE
Polymerase is an enzyme found in the body, It is tasked with making new RNA and DNA.

34. Town in Connecticut’s Gold Coast : DARIEN
The town of Darien, Connecticut is home to the only ambulance service in the nation that is manned by high school students. Darien EMS – Post 53 is actually a scouting unit, but it still provides emergency care at no cost to patients and is funded by private donations. High school students can legally provide the service because the state of Connecticut permits emergency medical technicians to be certified at the age of 16. Another bit of Darien trivia is that the town was used for exterior shots in the movie “The Stepford Wives”, both the 1975 original and the 2004 remake.

41. Rte. that ends in 22-Across : US-ONE
(22A. Keys are found in it: Abbr. : FLA)
US Route 1 runs from Fort Kent in Maine right down to Key West in Florida.

42. Lounge piece : DIVAN
Divans are essentially couches without backs or arms. The design originated in the Middle East, where the couches were commonly found lining the walls of an office that was known as a “divan” or “diwan”, meaning “government office”.

43. Competitor of Baker’s Joy : PAM
PAM cooking oil was introduced in 1961 by Leon Rubin and Arthur Meyerhoff. The name “PAM” is an acronym … standing for “Product of Arthur Meyerhoff”. Who’d a thunk it …?

44. River of York : OUSE
“Ouse” is the name of several rivers in England, most notably the Great Ouse in Yorkshire. The name comes from the Celtic word “usa” meaning “water”.

45. “Death and the ___” (Bosch painting in the National Gallery of Art) : MISER
Hieronymus Bosch was a Dutch painter who worked late 15th and early 16th centuries. Perhaps his most recognized work is his triptych titled “The Garden of Earthly Delights”.

47. “The Cocktail Party” inits. : TSE
T. S. Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, largely due to his “Four Quartets”, a set of four poems that Eliot himself considered to be his life’s masterpiece. He also won a Tony Award in 1950 for Best Play, for “The Cocktail Party”, as well as two posthumous Tony Awards in 1983 for his poems that are used in the musical “Cats”.

48. With 9-Down, hit sitcom of the 1980s-’90s : NIGHT …
(9D. See 48-Across : … COURT)
“Night Court” is an entertaining sitcom that first ran from 1984 until 1992. It is set in a Manhattan municipal court during the night shift, with comedian/magician Harry Anderson playing presiding judge Harry Stone.

56. Commoner contemner : ELITIST
“To contemn” is to view with contempt. There’s a surprise!

Down
2. “Welcome to the Jungle” singer, 1988 : AXL ROSE
Axl Rose is the lead vocalist of the American rock band, Guns N’ Roses.

3. Marie Curie and Irène Joliot-Curie, e.g. : MADAMES
Marie Curie lived a life of firsts. She was the first female professor at the University of Paris, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and indeed was the first person to win two Nobel prizes (in 1903 and 1911). Most of Curie’s work was in the field of radioactivity, and was carried out in the days when the impact of excessive radiation on the human body was not understood. She died from aplastic anemia, caused by high exposure to radiation. To this day, Curie’s personal papers are kept preserved in lead-lined boxes as they are highly radioactive, even her personal cookbook.

Along with her husband, Frederick, Irene Joliot-Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. Irene was the daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie, who also won Nobel Prizes. Irene died when she was 58 years old, suffering from leukemia brought on her exposure to high doses of radiation. Her mother, Marie, died from aplastic anemia, also caused by high exposure to radiation. To this day, Marie’s personal papers are kept preserved in lead-lined boxes as they are highly radioactive, even her personal cookbook.

6. Org. for many residents : AMA
American Medical Association (AMA)

8. Mid-luxury Mercedes-Benz line : E-CLASS
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a range of executive-size cars. Originally, the “E” stood for “Einspritzmotor”, the German for “fuel injection engine”.

12. Set electricians : GAFFERS
Apparently, the word “gaffer” is a contraction of “godfather”, and so originally was used to me “old man”. This usage extended to a foreman or supervisor, and is used most often today to mean the chief electrician on a film set. That said, back in my part of the world we often refer to the “boss” at work as “the gaffer”.

28. Coin at an arcade : TOKEN
Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

30. Packing supply : TWINE
Our word “twine”, meaning a light string, has the same root as our word “twin”. The original Old English “twin” was a double thread.

33. Cat’s tongue : JIVE TALK
“Jive” is the name given to the jargon associated with early jazz and swing music.

34. Photoshop color effect : DUOTONE
Photoshop is a wonderful piece of software used for editing graphics. When I first bought a copy of Photoshop, it was really expensive (about $300, ten years ago), but now there are cost-effective, stripped-down versions available. Also, the full version of Photoshop is now only available as a monthly subscription service.

39. It ended after W.W. II : NAZI ERA
The term “Nazi” comes from “Nationalsozialismus”, the German for “National Socialism”. The full name of Adolf Hitler’s political party was “Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei” meaning “National Socialist German Workers’ Party”.

40. Like first drafts, usually : EMENDED
The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.

46. “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” author : HARTE
“The Outcasts of Poker Flat” is a short story by Bret Harte, first published in 1869. Harte was a storyteller noted for his tales of the American West, even though he himself was from back East, born in Albany, New York.

48. Pandorans in “Avatar” : NA’VI
In James Cameron’s epic “Avatar”, the “blue people” are the Na’vi, the indigenous species that lives on the lush moon called Pandora. The main Na’vi character featuring in the film is the female Neytiri. According to Cameron, Neytiri was inspired by the Raquel Welch character in the movie “Fantastic Voyage” and the comic book character Vampirella.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Even faster than overnight : SAME-DAY
8. Creator of Bluto and Wimpy : EC SEGAR
15. From the heart, in Latin : EX ANIMO
16. Heart : COURAGE
17. He played an escaped convict in “We’re No Angels” : ALDO RAY
18. Bad representation? : LUCIFER
19. Bucket of bolts : CRATE
20. Central U.S.’s ___ Plateau : OZARK
22. Keys are found in it: Abbr. : FLA
23. So-called “Caput Mundi” (“Head of the World”) : ROME
24. Phrase usually abbreviated : ID EST
25. Longtime Cunard flagship, for short : QE II
26. Polymer add-on? : -ASE
27. The Allegheny and Wabash, to the Ohio: Abbr. : TRIBS
28. Succession in a board game : TURNS
29. One for the record books : BEST EVER
31. “Clearly!” : SO I SEE!
32. “How ludicrous!” : WHAT A JOKE!
34. Town in Connecticut’s Gold Coast : DARIEN
37. Tweak : FINE TUNE
41. Rte. that ends in 22-Across : US-ONE
42. Lounge piece : DIVAN
43. Competitor of Baker’s Joy : PAM
44. River of York : OUSE
45. “Death and the ___” (Bosch painting in the National Gallery of Art) : MISER
46. Confusion : HAZE
47. “The Cocktail Party” inits. : TSE
48. With 9-Down, hit sitcom of the 1980s-’90s : NIGHT …
49. Prepare for a close-up : PAN IN
50. It could be a blooper : OUTTAKE
52. Like stars in a review : AWARDED
54. Longtime locals : NATIVES
55. School address : LECTURE
56. Commoner contemner : ELITIST
57. One of a pair a gardener might wear : KNEE PAD

Down
1. Marine 10-legger : SEA CRAB
2. “Welcome to the Jungle” singer, 1988 : AXL ROSE
3. Marie Curie and Irène Joliot-Curie, e.g. : MADAMES
4. Line online : E-NOTE
5. More than serious : DIRE
6. Org. for many residents : AMA
7. Go in and out of middle management? : YO-YO DIET
8. Mid-luxury Mercedes-Benz line : E-CLASS
9. See 48-Across : … COURT
10. Be lousy : SUCK
11. Form of the Italian verb “to be” : ERI
12. Set electricians : GAFFERS
13. Crow’s-foot, e.g. : AGE LINE
14. Aggressive poker play : RERAISE
21. Aquarium denizen with horizontal stripes : ZEBRAFISH
24. 1991 Daytona 500 winner Ernie : IRVAN
25. Classroom command : QUIET
27. Tickling response : TEHEE
28. Coin at an arcade : TOKEN
30. Packing supply : TWINE
31. Whale facility : SONAR
33. Cat’s tongue : JIVE TALK
34. Photoshop color effect : DUOTONE
35. Predictably : AS USUAL
36. Mozart contemporary Antonio ___ : ROSETTI
38. Honest or respectable course : UP AND UP
39. It ended after W.W. II : NAZI ERA
40. Like first drafts, usually : EMENDED
42. Think over : DIGEST
45. Studio equipment : MIKES
46. “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” author : HARTE
48. Pandorans in “Avatar” : NA’VI
49. Distance unit of about 30 inches : PACE
51. European crested ___ : TIT
53. ___ Jiabao, 2003-13 premier of China : WEN

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5 thoughts on “0318-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Mar 17, Saturday”

  1. 41:41. Near the end, I had every square correctly filled in but one: the "E" at the intersection of E. C. SEGAR and E-CLASS. I guessed S, A, B, C, D, and E, in that order, with the clock running. Not an easy puzzle, in my opinion … and kind of a bummer to end up with a Natick after all that work … poor me … 🙂

  2. 25:44, 65% completed, but could not finish.

    This is a classic example of a really poor puzzle made challenging solely through cynical clue editing. I couldn't even figure out what half the clues even MEANT, let alone come up with a synonym or an answer. Thumbs down.

  3. 38:08, 6 errors. 8A CCSEGAR/8D CCLASS; 34A DAMIEN/35D MOSETTI; 46A DAZE/46D DARTE. Difficult and frustrating puzzle, but that is what Saturdays are for. Initially entered 4D EMAIL before ENOTE; 49A PREEN before PAN IN.

  4. Same outcome as Dave K's (cC instead of EC). Not well-versed on Mercedes' CLASS levels and didn't know Mr. SEGAR's first initial, or the rest of his name either, had it not been for the crosses. Labored mightily, but no SEGAR (pardon the pun).

  5. DNF after about 60 minutes, 17 squares either unfilled or wrong. Too much odd trivia and local geography in this to get past.

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