0403-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Apr 17, Monday

QuickLinks:
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: Agnes Davidson & Zhouqin Burnikel
THEME: Ballpark Figures
Each of today’s themed answers ends with a FIGURE seen at a BALLPARK:

39A. Rough estimates … or what the ends of 17-, 24-, 52- and 65-Across are? : BALLPARK FIGURES

17A. Coating for fish that you might think would make you tipsy : BEER BATTER
24A. Cinderella’s carriage : PUMPKIN COACH
52A. Waiter’s refilling aid : WATER PITCHER
65A. Overhead cooler : CEILING FAN

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 52s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. Flower girl? : IRIS
Iris is a genus of flowering plants that come in a wide variety of flower colors. The term “iris” is a Greek word meaning “rainbow”. Many species of irises are called “flags”. One suggestion is that the alternate name comes from the Middle English “flagge” meaning “reed”. This term was used because iris leaves look like reeds.

14. Muppet with a unibrow : BERT
For many years, I believed that the “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie were named after two roles played in the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. In the movie, the policeman’s name is Bert and his taxi-driving buddy is named Ernie. However, the “Sesame Street” folks have stated that the use of the same names is just a coincidence. Aww, I don’t wanna believe that’s a coincidence …

16. The “N” of N.F.L.: Abbr. : NATL
The National Football League (NFL) was founded in 1920 as the American Professional Association, with the current name being adopted into 1923. The NFL merged with the American Football League (AFL) in 1970.

20. “Cheers!,” in Scandinavia : SKOAL!
“Skoal” is a Swedish toast, with roots in the old Norse word “skaal” meaning “cup”.

23. Derby or fedora : HAT
I think a bowler hat is usually called a derby here in the US. The bowler was first produced in 1849 in London by hatmakers Thomas and William Bowler, hence the name. The alternative name of “derby” comes from the tradition of wearing bowler hats at the Derby horse race (a major race held annually in England).

A fedora is a lovely hat, I think. It is made of felt, and is similar to a trilby, but has a broader brim. “Fedora” was a play written for Sarah Bernhardt and first performed in 1889. Bernhardt had the title role of Princess Fedora, and on stage she wore a hat similar to a modern-day fedora. The play led to the women’s fashion accessory, the fedora hat, commonly worn by women into the beginning of the twentieth century. Men then started wearing fedoras, but only when women gave up the fashion …

24. Cinderella’s carriage : PUMPKIN COACH
The folk tale about “Cinderella” was first published by French author Charles Perrault in 1697, although it was later included by the Brothers Grimm in their famous 1812 collection. The storyline of the tale may date back as far as the days of Ancient Greece. A common alternative title to the story is “The Little Glass Slipper”.

31. ___ v. Wade : ROE
Roe v. Wade was decided in a US District Court in Texas in 1970, and reached the Supreme Court on appeal. The basic decision by the Supreme Court was that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy applied to an abortion, but that this right had to be balanced with a state’s interest in protecting an unborn child and a mother’s health. The Court further defined that the state’s interest became stronger with each trimester of a pregnancy. So, in the first trimester the woman’s right to privacy outweighed any state interest. In the second trimester the state’s interest in maternal health was deemed to be strong enough to allow state regulation of abortion for the sake of the mother. In the third trimester the viability of the fetus dictated that the state’s interest in the unborn child came into play, so states could regulate or prohibit abortions, except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. I’m no lawyer, but that’s my understanding of the initial Supreme Court decision …

32. Cousins of emus : RHEAS
The rhea is a flightless bird native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek titan Rhea, an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

35. Org. that operates the Jupiter orbiter : NASA
Juno is a space probe launched by NASA in 2011 that has been orbiting the planet Jupiter since 2016.

38. ___-C.I.O. : AFL
The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

44. Slangy “sweetie” : BAE
“Bae” is a contemporary term of endearment, a pet name that is an abbreviation of “babe, baby”.

46. California wine valley : NAPA
The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

47. Popular pain reliever : ALEVE
Aleve is a brand name used for the anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen sodium.

58. Sport for heavyweights : SUMO
Sumo is a sport that is practiced professionally only in Japan, the country of its origin. There is an international federation of sumo wrestling now, and one of the organization’s aims is to have the sport accepted as an Olympic event.

59. Curses (out) : REAMS
I must admit that I find the slang term “to ream out”, with its meaning “to scold harshly”, to be quite distasteful. The usage of the word as a reprimand dates back to about 1950.

63. Couple, in a gossip column : ITEM
An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.

68. Ruler said to have fiddled while Rome burned : NERO
The Great Fire of Rome raged for five and a half days in 64 AD. Of the fourteen districts of Rome, three were completely destroyed and seven more suffered serious damage. The emperor at the time was Nero, although reports that he fiddled, played his lyre or sang while the city burned; those accounts are probably not true. In fact, Nero was staying outside of Rome when the fire started and rushed home on hearing the news. He organized a massive relief effort, throwing open his own home to give shelter to many of the citizens who were left living on the street.

69. Superman’s birth name : KAL-EL
Jor-El was a scientist on the planet Krypton who was married to Lara. Jor-El and Lara had an infant son named Kal-El who they were able to launch into space towards Earth just before Krypton was destroyed. Kal-El became Superman. In the 1978 movie “Superman”, Jor-El was played by Marlon Brando, Lara was played by Susannah York, and Kal-El/Superman was played by Christopher Reeve.

70. Song for a diva : ARIA
The term “diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. “Diva” is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean “goddess” or “fine lady”, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

Down
2. Sheldon of “The Big Bang Theory,” for one : GEEK
“The Big Bang Theory” is very clever sitcom aired by CBS since 2007. “The Big Bang Theory” theme song was specially commissioned for the show, and was composed and is sung by Canadian band Barenaked Ladies. The theme song was released in 2007 as a single and is featured on a Barenaked Ladies greatest hits album.

3. Cookie that may be dipped in milk : OREO
There’s a smartphone app featuring the Oreo cookie. It’s a game in which one twists Oreo cookies apart, “licks” the cream from the center and then dunks the remainder of the cookie in a glass of milk.

7. ___ Philippe (Swiss watchmaker) : PATEK
Patek Philippe is a manufacturer of luxury watches in Switzerland. The company was founded in Geneva in 1851, by Polish watchmaker Antoni Patek and French watchmaker Adrien Philippe. Patek Philippe watches routinely sell at auction at prices in excess of a million dollars.

8. Cheri formerly of “S.N.L” : OTERI
Cheri Oteri was the SNL (“Saturday Night Live”) cast member who regularly appeared with Will Ferrell in the skit featuring a pair of Spartan cheerleaders.

11. Host of TV’s “30 Minute Meals” : RACHAEL RAY
Rachael Ray is a celebrity chef and host of several shows on the Food Network television channel. Ray comes from a family that owned and managed a number of restaurants in the northeast of the country. One of Ray’s TV shows is “$40 a Day”, in which she demonstrates how to visit various cities in North America and Europe and eat three meals and a snack on a daily budget of just $40.

12. Cornell University’s home : ITHACA
Ezra Cornell was an associate of Samuel Morse and made his money in the telegraph business. After he retired he co-founded Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He provided a generous endowment and donated his farm as a site for the school, and was then rewarded by having the institute named after him.

13. Tree huggers? : SLOTHS
All four of the extant species of three-toed sloths are native to South and Central America. Cousins of the three-toed sloths are the two-toed sloths, of which there are two species still living.

25. Leonardo da Vinci’s “___ Lisa” : MONA
Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece that we know in English as the “Mona Lisa” is called “La Gioconda” in Italian, the language of the artist. It’s also known as “La Joconde” by the Government of France which owns the painting and displays it in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The title comes from the name of the subject, almost certainly Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. Giocondo was a wealthy silk merchant in Florence who commissioned the painting for the couple’s new home to celebrate the birth of their second son.

29. Maker of autodom’s Optima : KIA
The Kia Optima was sold for a while in Canada and Europe as the Kia Magentis.

30. Words after “Reach Out” in a #1 Four Tops hit : I’LL BE THERE
The original lineup of the Four Tops agreed to form a vocal quartet when they were high school students together in Detroit. The group started out using the name “The Four Aims”, but changed it to Four Tops to avoid confusion with the Ames Brothers.

36. Cousin of calypso : SKA
Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of some sound.

The musical style of calypso originated in Trinidad and Tobago, but there seems to be some debate about which influences were most important as the genre developed. It is generally agreed that the music was imported by African slaves from their homeland, but others emphasize influences of the medieval French troubadours. To me it sounds more African in nature. Calypso reached the masses when it was first recorded in 1912, and it spread around the world in the thirties and forties. It reached its pinnacle with the release of the famous “Banana Boat Song” by Harry Belafonte.

37. Quacky insurance giant : AFLAC
In 1999, Aflac (American Family Life Assurance Company) was huge in the world of insurance but it wasn’t a household name, so a New York advertising agency was given the task of making the Aflac brand more memorable. One of the agency’s art directors, while walking around Central Park one lunchtime, heard a duck quacking and in his mind linked it with “Aflac”, and that duck has been “Aflacking” ever since …

40. House of Lords members : PEERS
The UK Parliament is divided into two houses, with the upper house known as the House of Lords and the lower house as the House of Commons. The members of the House of Commons are elected, but most new members of the House of Lords are appointed. Historically, a large proportion of the membership of the upper house were hereditary peers, but recent legislative changes are reducing the numbers who can sit in the House of Lords by virtue of birthright.

42. Pollution police, for short : EPA
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

43. Softhead : SAP
“Sap” is slang for a fool, someone easily scammed. The term arose in the early 1800s in Britain when it was used in “saphead” and “sapskull”. All these words derive from “sapwood”, which is the soft wood found in tree trunks between the bark and the heartwood at the center.

48. ___-day Saints (Mormons) : LATTER
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often abbreviated to “LDS”, is known colloquially as the Mormon Church.

55. French fabric : TOILE
Toile fabric can be used as upholstery, or as a wallpaper, or even as a fabric for clothing.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Inflated senses of self : EGOS
5. Moisture in the air : VAPOR
10. Flower girl? : IRIS
14. Muppet with a unibrow : BERT
15. Furious : IRATE
16. The “N” of N.F.L.: Abbr. : NATL
17. Coating for fish that you might think would make you tipsy : BEER BATTER
19. Sound heard in a cave : ECHO
20. “Cheers!,” in Scandinavia : SKOAL!
21. Historical periods : ERAS
23. Derby or fedora : HAT
24. Cinderella’s carriage : PUMPKIN COACH
28. Hit the slopes : SKI
31. ___ v. Wade : ROE
32. Cousins of emus : RHEAS
33. Classical paintings : OILS
35. Org. that operates the Jupiter orbiter : NASA
38. ___-C.I.O. : AFL
39. Rough estimates … or what the ends of 17-, 24-, 52- and 65-Across are? : BALLPARK FIGURES
44. Slangy “sweetie” : BAE
45. Pepper’s partner : SALT
46. California wine valley : NAPA
47. Popular pain reliever : ALEVE
49. Have a part in a play : ACT
51. Talk, talk, talk : YAP
52. Waiter’s refilling aid : WATER PITCHER
57. Utmost : NTH
58. Sport for heavyweights : SUMO
59. Curses (out) : REAMS
63. Couple, in a gossip column : ITEM
65. Overhead cooler : CEILING FAN
68. Ruler said to have fiddled while Rome burned : NERO
69. Superman’s birth name : KAL-EL
70. Song for a diva : ARIA
71. Sprouted : GREW
72. Underhanded sort : SNEAK
73. Like marathons and maxiskirts : LONG

Down
1. Recedes, as the tide : EBBS
2. Sheldon of “The Big Bang Theory,” for one : GEEK
3. Cookie that may be dipped in milk : OREO
4. Subway standee’s support : STRAP
5. By way of : VIA
6. Works at a museum : ART
7. ___ Philippe (Swiss watchmaker) : PATEK
8. Cheri formerly of “S.N.L” : OTERI
9. Aired, as old TV shows : RERAN
10. Suffix with serpent : -INE
11. Host of TV’s “30 Minute Meals” : RACHAEL RAY
12. Cornell University’s home : ITHACA
13. Tree huggers? : SLOTHS
18. Fuzzy picture : BLUR
22. One who’s all skin and bones : SCRAG
25. Leonardo da Vinci’s “___ Lisa” : MONA
26. Fruits that are a little grittier than apples : PEARS
27. “That sounds good – NOT!” : OH FUN!
28. Cry big tears : SOB
29. Maker of autodom’s Optima : KIA
30. Words after “Reach Out” in a #1 Four Tops hit : I’LL BE THERE
34. Work like a dog : SLAVE
36. Cousin of calypso : SKA
37. Quacky insurance giant : AFLAC
40. House of Lords members : PEERS
41. Scratch target : ITCH
42. Pollution police, for short : EPA
43. Softhead : SAP
47. Store window shader : AWNING
48. ___-day Saints (Mormons) : LATTER
50. Fork-tailed bird : TERN
53. Hockey discs : PUCKS
54. “Wait, let me explain …” : I MEAN …
55. French fabric : TOILE
56. Majestic : REGAL
60. Big, round head of hair : AFRO
61. Street through the middle of town : MAIN
62. Slight problem : SNAG
64. Cut the lawn : MOW
66. Pasture : LEA
67. Kind : ILK

Return to top of page

7 thoughts on “0403-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Apr 17, Monday”

  1. Ithought it this was slightly more tricky than a typical Monday. Only glitch was spelling BuRT (as in Reynolds) incorrectly at first. I need to study the spelling of the muppets more often…..(Has that sentence ever been uttered before?)

    BAE is new to me.

    Best

  2. 8 mins 22 sec, two errors where KALEL and TOILE meet. I know nothing about Superman or any fabrics, let alone French ones.

  3. No errors. I thought the theme was rather instructive. It exemplified words that are spelled and pronounced the same yet have completely different meanings. Nothing unusual about that. But then to top it off, it grouped the four words into baseball terminology. It added a unique element to the solve.

    Thanks, Bill, for happening to mention a "trilby" hat in your comment on 23Across. I was surprised to find that there is a connection to the character of Trilby in the Svengali tale. It turns out that the actress portraying Trilby wore such a hat on the London stage and thereafter everyone started calling the hat a Trilby. Interesting.

  4. Not a typical Monday for me. Took extra time to thread my way through the RACHAELRAY/RHEAS cluster, including OHFUN and SCRAG, and BAE was an outlier.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.