0415-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Apr 17, Saturday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter Wentz
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 39m 23s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Walks or runs : STAT
That would be baseball.

5. 3D White brand : ORAL-B
The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

10. Some TVs : LCDS
Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and in flat panel computer screens and some televisions. LCD monitors basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens, the old television technology.

19. Hockey legend Jaromir : JAGR
Jaromír Jágr is an NHL hockey player from the Czech Republic. When Jágr made his debut in the NHL in 1990 at age 18, he was the youngest player in the league.

20. Colbert competitor : KIMMEL
Jimmy Kimmel is the host of the late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Kimmel also co-hosted “The Man Show” and my personal favorite, “Win Ben Stein’s Money”.

23. Place to work up a sweat : SPA
The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

24. Metaphorical rock of Matthew 16:18 : ST PETER
The Catholic Church regards Saint Peter as the first to hold the papal office, as he was the first bishop of Rome. Peter took office in 30 CE, and probably died in 64 CE, making him the longest-reigning pope.

26. Auntie Em, e.g. : KANSAN
In “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, Dorothy lives with her Auntie Em and Uncle Henry.

28. Org. with biennial bids : IOC
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded in 1894, and has its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

29. Band that shares its name with a film canine : TOTO
Toto is an American rock band dating back to 1977. As well as their famous “Rosanna”, they also sang another good tune called “Africa”.

Toto is Dorothy’s dog in the film “The Wizard of Oz”, and in the original book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. Toto was played in the movie by a dog called Terry, but Terry’s name was soon changed to Toto in real life due to the success of the film.

33. Skedaddle : HIT THE BRICKS
“Skedaddle ” is a slang term meaning “run away” that dates back to the Civil War.

39. ___ compound : IONIC
Chemical compounds consist of atoms that are attracted to each other in “chemical bonds”. Chemical bonds are primarily of two types: bonds resulting from electrostatic attraction between atoms with opposite charges (ionic and metallic bonds), and bonds formed through the sharing of electrons (covalent bonds).

41. Joe : MUD
It seems that no one really knows why we refer to coffee as “joe”, but we’ve been doing so since early in WWII.

44. Place for a decal, maybe : TOY CAR
A decal is a decorative sticker, short for “decalcomania”. The term is derived from the French “décalquer”, the practice of tracing a pattern from paper onto glass or perhaps porcelain.

46. 1988 N.F.L. M.V.P. from the Cincinnati Bengals : ESIASON
Boomer Esiason is a retired NFL quarterback, now working as a sports commentator. Esiason has had the nickname “Boomer” since before he was born. His mother called him “Boomer” because he was constantly kicking away in her womb.

49. Epithet for Louis VI, with “the” : FAT
Louis le Gros (“Louis the Fat” aka “Louis VI”) ruled France until his death in 1137. Apparently Louis died of dysentery brought on by a gluttonous lifestyle that had made him grossly overweight.

56. Object of envious comparison : THE JONESES
The phrase “keep up with the Joneses”, meaning “want the best and the most expensive things”, was popularized by the comic strip called “Keep up with the Joneses” that first appeared in American newspapers in 1913. The eponymous “Jones” family never appeared in person in the strip, but were referred to constantly,

59. Benzene or lead : TOXIN
Benzene is a remarkable chemical compound, from a molecular standpoint anyway. It is made up of six carbon atoms arranged in a ring, with one hydrogen atom attached to each carbon. Benzene is a significant component of gasoline, and is also very carcinogenic.

“Plumbum” is the Latin for lead, explaining why the symbol of the element in the Periodic Table is “Pb”. It also explains why the original lead weight on the end of a line used to check vertical was called a “plumb line”. And, as pipes were originally made of lead, it also explains why we would call in a “plumber” if one of them was leaking.

63. Chips, initially : SPUD
The word “spud” is used as a slang term for a potato and was first recorded in the mid-1800s, in New Zealand would you believe?

Down
2. Stop for James Cook when circumnavigating the globe : TAHITI
Captain Cook landed in Tahiti in 1769, although he wasn’t the first European to do so. But Cook’s visit to Tahiti was the most significant in that it heralded a whole spate of European visitors, who brought with them prostitution, venereal disease and alcohol. Paradoxically, they also brought Christianity. Included among the subsequent visitors was the famous HMS Bounty under the charge of Captain Bligh.

3. Getting back to speed, musically : A TEMPO
“A tempo” is a Italian for “in time”. The phrase is used on a musical score to instruct a performer to return to the main tempo of the piece, perhaps after slowing down or speeding up.

4. 2011 Jason Statham action flick : THE MECHANIC
Jason Statham is an actor from England best known for playing tough characters on screen. I liked him in the remake of “The Italian Job” from 2003.

10. U.T.’s ___ Library : LBJ
Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was born in Stonewall, Texas to Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. and Rebekah Baines.

13. DNA pair : STRANDS
Francis Crick and James Watson discovered that DNA had a double-helix, chain-like structure, and published their results in Cambridge in 1953. To this day the discovery is mired in controversy, as some crucial results collected by fellow researcher Rosalind Franklin were used without her permission or even knowledge.

22. Chintz, e.g. : FABRIC
Chintz is a calico fabric that is very florid, and which originated in India. Indian chintz was in such great demand in Europe in the 17th-century, and so much was sold, that both England and France banned its import. This contributed to the term “chintz” being applied derogatively to a fabric, and from there to anything cheap or gaudy.

31. Works of a lifetime : OEUVRE
The sum of an artist’s work in his or her lifetime is known as his or her “oeuvre”.

43. School closing? : DOT EDU
The .edu domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

47. Swimmer Thorpe with five Olympic gold medals : IAN
Ian Thorpe is a retired competitive swimmer from Australia. Thorpe won five Olympic gold medals and earned himself the nickname “The Thorpedo”.

55. Inits. on a master’s application : GRE
Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

57. “Star Trek” captain, to friends : JIM
According to the storyline in “Star Trek”, Captain James Tiberius Kirk was born in Riverside, Iowa. The town of Riverside displays a plaque, noting Riverside as the “future birthplace of James T. Kirk.”

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Walks or runs : STAT
5. 3D White brand : ORAL-B
10. Some TVs : LCDS
14. Formal guarantee : OATH
15. Microwave no-no : METAL
16. Try to contain, in a way, as a spill : BLOT
17. Rich dessert : CHEESECAKE
19. Hockey legend Jaromir : JAGR
20. Colbert competitor : KIMMEL
21. ___ ears : DEAF
23. Place to work up a sweat : SPA
24. Metaphorical rock of Matthew 16:18 : ST PETER
26. Auntie Em, e.g. : KANSAN
28. Org. with biennial bids : IOC
29. Band that shares its name with a film canine : TOTO
32. Get on : BOARD
33. Skedaddle : HIT THE BRICKS
36. Ones counting down to vacation time? : SPACE TOURISTS
38. It’s included in many bundles : PHONE SERVICE
39. ___ compound : IONIC
40. What you can expect : NORM
41. Joe : MUD
44. Place for a decal, maybe : TOY CAR
46. 1988 N.F.L. M.V.P. from the Cincinnati Bengals : ESIASON
49. Epithet for Louis VI, with “the” : FAT
50. Mitts : PAWS
53. Pick up quickly : TAKE TO
54. Like many canine tails, quaintly : AWAG
56. Object of envious comparison : THE JONESES
58. Hideout : LAIR
59. Benzene or lead : TOXIN
60. “How ___!” : RUDE
61. Sandy who won the 1985 British Open : LYLE
62. “Man, I did good!” : YAY ME!
63. Chips, initially : SPUD

Down
1. Clobbers : SOCKS
2. Stop for James Cook when circumnavigating the globe : TAHITI
3. Getting back to speed, musically : A TEMPO
4. 2011 Jason Statham action flick : THE MECHANIC
5. Dishes often served au fromage : OMELETTES
6. ___ hall : REC
7. Slightly : A TAD
8. Reservoir, e.g. : LAKE
9. Dim or grim : BLEAK
10. U.T.’s ___ Library : LBJ
11. Very fair, admirable sort : CLASS ACT
12. Urban exercise areas : DOG PARKS
13. DNA pair : STRANDS
18. Ready follower? : SET
22. Chintz, e.g. : FABRIC
25. Lacking scruples : ROTTEN
27. Annual party favors : NOISEMAKERS
30. Sweeping, for short : THORO
31. Works of a lifetime : OEUVRE
34. Feature of Earth, Mars and Pluto : ICE CAP
35. Symbol of biblical wrath : BRIMSTONE
36. Wave off : SHOO AWAY
37. Women’s World Cup sight : PONYTAIL
38. Unforeseen trouble : PITFALL
42. Runs through : USES UP
43. School closing? : DOT EDU
45. In serious disrepair : RATTY
47. Swimmer Thorpe with five Olympic gold medals : IAN
48. Looked (around) : NOSED
51. Cousin of “OMG!” : WHOA!
52. Hot : SEXY
55. Inits. on a master’s application : GRE
57. “Star Trek” captain, to friends : JIM

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11 thoughts on “0415-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Apr 17, Saturday”

  1. 22:38, no errors, not without some difficult moments … I was confused by "The Mechanic", even after I finished. That title was the obvious choice because of crossing entries, but I kept thinking, "Jason Statham wasn't in that movie, it was Christian Bale. And it wasn't an action flick, because he looked as if he was starving to death. And I hated it." I was, of course, thinking of "The Machinist". In the upper right, I had LEDS before LCDS, GYM before SPA, and DAY PARKS before DOG PARKS – plus I misread a clue, so LBJ came to mind rather late. But it all worked out in the end.

  2. I just read the Wikipedia article about "The Machinist" and discovered that I had almost completely succeeded in expunging the details of the plot from my memory. An extremely well-made film, a textbook example of an actor's dedication to his craft, and, in spite of that, a movie I never, ever want to see again!!!

  3. 43 Minutes on this one with the last 15 minutes spent on the lower left corner. I stared at that corner until PITFALL came to me..finally. PONYTAIL for Women's World Cup sight was groaner of the day. I read it as "site" (as in venue) for the longest time.

    Jaramir Jagr is an amazing athlete. He's still one of the best players on his team. Probably the best player on the team was born after Jagr's 6th year in the league…

    Thanks for the The Man Show reference. I forgot how funny that show was.

    Auntie Em, Dorothy….and Bill as the man behind the curtain of this blog..

    I saw the first version of THE MECHANIC with Charles Bronson, but I never saw the remake. The original was great.

    Dave – I can't believe you made so many mistakes and still finished in 22 mins. You must err quickly!

    Best –

  4. @Jeff … Yes, sometimes I can be very speedily human 😄 (but I've never been called divine) 😄. (Most of my mistakes were in the uppet right, so a bunch of them got corrected all at once.)

  5. This one was *really* tough, full of very cynical clues (I agree, PONYTAIL was just plain *evil*). It kicked my behind for a good half hour. But staring long at a few hard ones, making a few intelligent guesses, and what do you know! I finished in 34:02, with NO errors, AND beat Bill's time to boot!!!

    Perseverance paid off!

  6. 30:36, no errors. Took a long time to get into this setters head. Had CREST before ORAL-B (nasty clue, the 'R' works; Crest makes 3D White toothpaste and whitening strips; Oral-B 3D white toothpaste and floss). For 27D got the 'NO'; inserted NOMINATIONS and thought I was off to the races (wrong). A lot of erasing for that one. The only versions of 'The Mechanic' I saw starred Charles Bronson, and that was well before 2011.

  7. Liked this one a lot, but ended with PITcALL/cAT instead of you know what.

    (Pen and paper solver. No electronic or any other kind of help.)

  8. 37 minutes, no errors. Crest and Oral-B are brands owned by the same company. I think they use the different brands to try to differentiate between chemicals (toothpaste) and tools (toothbrushes).

    Not sure if I'm getting better or if these were easy, but haven't had a struggle with themeless grids at all this weekend (save the Stumper).

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