0503-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 May 17, Wednesday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD CONSTRUCTOR: Alan Arbesfeld
THEME: Quip
Today’s themed answers give us “a punny quip about two professionals”.

20A. Start of a punny quip about two professionals : WHEN A DENTIST …
28A. Quip, part 2 : … AND MANICURIST …
38A. Quip, part 3 : … ARGUE …
44A. Quip, part 4 : … THEY MUST FIGHT …
53A. End of the quip : … TOOTH AND NAIL

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 58s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Virgo/Libra mo. : SEPT
The month of September is the ninth month in our year, although the name “September” comes from the Latin word “septum” meaning “seventh”. September was the seventh month in the Roman calendar until the year 46 BC when Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar. The Julian system moved the start of the year from March 1st to January 1st, and shifted September to the ninth month. The Gregorian calendar that we use today was introduced in 1582.

5. Parisian parent : PERE
In French, a “père” (father) is a “membre de la famille” (member of the family).

15. La Salle of “ER” : ERIQ
Eriq La Salle played Dr. Peter Benton on “ER”, and is best known in film for his portrayal of Darryl in the 1998 comedy “Coming to America”.

16. Cornell of Cornell University : EZRA
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.

17. Wayne Gretzky, for about half of his playing career : OILER
The National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers are so called because they are located in Alberta, Canada … oil country.

Wayne Gretzky is regarded by many as the greatest ever player of ice hockey, and indeed has the nickname “The Great One”.

18. Iowa birthplace of Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren : SIOUX CITY
“Ask Ann Landers” was an advice column written by Eppie Lederer from 1995 to 2002. Eppie was the twin sister to Pauline Phillips, the person behind “Dear Abby”. Eppie took over the “Ask Ann Landers” column from Ruth Crowley who started it in 1943.

The advice column “Dear Abby” first appeared in 1956. Pauline Phillips was Abby back then, but now the column is written by Jeanne Phillips, her daughter. The full name of the “Abby” pen name is Abigail Van Buren, which Pauline Phillips came up with by combining “Abigail” from the biblical Book of Samuel, and “Van Buren” after the former US president. “Dear Abby” was also a radio show in the sixties and seventies.

22. Word on a candy heart : LUV
The forerunner to Sweethearts candy was introduced in 1866, with the famous sayings written on the candy tailored for use at weddings. One of the original expressions was, “Married in pink, he will take a drink”. The original candy was a lot bigger, to fit all those words! The smaller, heart-shaped candy hit the shelves in 1901. We’ve been able to buy Sweethearts with the words “Text me” since 2010.

24. “Them” author Joyce Carol ___ : OATES
Joyce Carol Oates is a remarkable writer, not just for the quality of her work (her 1969 novel “them” won a National Book Award, for example) but also for how prolific is her output. She published her first book in 1963 and since then has published over fifty novels as well as many other written works.

35. Month after juillet : AOUT
In French, “août” (August) is a month in “l’été” (the summer). Note that the names of months are not capitalized in French.

36. Stars and Bars org. : CSA
The Confederate States of America (CSA) set up government in 1861 just before Abraham Lincoln took office. Jefferson Davis was selected as President of the CSA at its formation, and retained the post for the life of the government.

The first official flag of the Confederacy was known as the Stars and Bars. The flag was designed by a Prussian artist and is similar to the Austrian flag of the day as it contains three bars, two of which are red and one white. The flag includes a blue square containing a ring of stars. Each star represents a state in the Confederacy. The Stars and Bars flag was officially adopted on 4 March 1861 and first flew over the dome of the Capitol Building in Montgomery, Alabama.

37. Vogue competitor : ELLE
“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

40. Bit of burlesque : SKIT
“Burlesque” came into English from French, although the word is rooted in the Italian “burla”, the word for a joke, or mockery. A burlesque is work of literature, drama or music that is intended to amuse and cause laughter. Burlesques in the US took on a variety show format and were popular in the US from the 1860s. Over time, the variety acts started to include female striptease, and the term “burlesque” has come to be mainly associated with such entertainment. The derivative verb “to burlesque” means “to imitate mockingly”.

42. La Española, for one : ISLA
The island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean, shared between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, is known in Spanish as “La Española”.

43. Olympic blades : EPEES
There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, distinguished by the weapon used:

  • Foil
  • Épée
  • Sabre

48. Comic Silverman : SARAH
Sarah Silverman is a comedian, and also a singer and actress. Her material is very “edgy”, as she takes on social taboos such as racism, sexism and religion. She had a celebrity boyfriend for five years as she started dating Jimmy Kimmel in 2002, soon after Kimmel’s divorce from his first wife.

50. TV sked letters : TBA
Something not yet on the schedule (“sked” or “sched.”) is to be advised/announced (TBA).

58. Tailwind for eastbound flights : JET STREAM
Jet streams are narrow air currents high in the atmosphere that move very quickly around the earth. The major jet streams surrounding our planet move in a westerly direction.

61. Almost any “Li’l Abner” character : YOKEL
“Li’l Abner” was created and drawn by Al Capp for over 43 years starting in 1934. Al Capp stopped producing the strip in 1977, largely due to illness (he died from emphysema two years later). As the strip finished up, he went so far as to apologize to his long-standing fans, saying that he should have stopped 3-4 years earlier as he felt that the quality of his work had gone down in those latter years. The comic strip character’s full name is “Li’l Abner Yokum”.

62. James with a posthumous Pulitzer : AGEE
James Agee was a noted American film critic and screenwriter. Agee wrote an autobiographical novel “A Death in the Family” that won him his Pulitzer in 1958, albeit posthumously. He was also one of the screenwriters for the 1951 classic movie “The African Queen”.

63. Kosovo native : SERB
The country name “Kosovo” is an adjectival form of the Serbian word “kos” meaning “blackbird”. The name commemorates the “field of the blackbirds” the site of a 1389 battle between Serbia and the Ottoman Empire. The dispute over Kosovo technically dates back to the implosion of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The capital of Kosovo is Pristina.

64. Month after diciembre : ENERO
In Spanish, “el año” (the year) starts in “enero” (January) and ends in “diciembre” (December).

65. Beethoven’s German birthplace : BONN
After WWII, Bonn was chosen as the capital of West Germany, a choice promoted by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer who was from the area. After German reunification, the capital was moved to Berlin.

Ludwig van Beethoven is one of my favorite composers from the Classical period. There are two excellent films that showcase his music and give fictionalized yet entertaining accounts of different aspects of his life: “Immortal Beloved” (1994) that speculates on the identity of one of Beethoven’s lovers, and “Copying Beethoven” (2006) that explores the events leading up to the triumphant premiere of his 9th Symphony.

Down
2. Yale of Yale University : ELIHU
Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.

3. One with a high bar to reach : POLE VAULTER
The pole vault has been an Olympic event for men since the 1896 games. However, women’s pole vaulting was only introduced at the 2000 games.

4. Counterfeiter-catching Feds : T-MEN
The responsibility for investigating the use of counterfeit US currency lies with the Secret Service, which was part of the Department of Treasury until 2003. As a result of the USA Patriot Act that became law in 2001, the Secret Service was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security.

5. Euro forerunner in Spain : PESETA
The peseta is the former currency of Spain, and replaced by the euro in 2002.

6. Burnett of CNN : ERIN
Erin Burnett is a television journalist and the host of her own show on CNN called “Erin Burnett OutFront”. Apparently Burnett also used to show up occasionally as advisor to Donald Trump on “The Celebrity Apprentice”.

7. “You’re a regular ___!” (Kramden cry) : RIOT
Ralph Kramden is the character played by Jackie Gleason on “The Honeymooners”. The classic sitcom only aired for 39 episodes, with the last being broadcast in September of 1956. However, the sitcom itself was based on a recurring sketch that appeared on “Cavalcade of Stars” and then “The Jackie Gleason Show” from 1951-1955.

9. Drink with ambrosia : NECTAR
In Greek mythology, according to Homer anyway, the drink of the gods was nectar, and their food was ambrosia.

10. Six-Day War weapon : UZI
The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

The Six-Day War took place from June 5th to June 10th, 1967, and was fought between Israel and its neighbors Egypt, Jordan and Syria. By the time the ceasefire was signed, Israel had seized huge swaths of land formerly controlled by Arab states, namely the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank of the Jordan River and the Golan Heights. The overall territory under the control of Israel grew by a factor of three in just six days.

11. Mohawk sporter on “The A-Team” : MR T
Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tero Tureaud. Mr. T is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a nightclub so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. His catch phrase comes from the movie “Rocky III”. In the film, before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, “No, I don’t hate Balboa, but I pity the fool”. He parlayed that line into quite a bit of success. He had a reality TV show called “I Pity the Fool”, and produced a motivational video called “Be Somebody … or Be Somebody’s Fool!”.

“The A-Team” is an action television series that originally ran in the eighties. The A-Team was a group of ex-US special forces personnel who became mercenaries. Star of the show was Hollywood actor George Peppard (as “Hannibal” Smith), ably assisted by Mr. T (as “B.A.” Baracus) and Robert Vaughn (as Hunt Stockwell).

12. Horse with a reddish-brown body : BAY
Bay is a reddish-brown color. The term “bay” usually describes the coat of a horse, or a horse with a coat of such a color.

14. Russian newspaper founded in 1912 : PRAVDA
The political newspaper “Pravda” has for about a century been associated with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and now of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. “Pravda” was founded just before WWI by Russian revolutionaries. It was closed down after the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was banned by President Boris Yeltsin in 1991, although a group of journalists opened a new paper with the same title just a few weeks later. Eventually, the new “Pravda” was purchased by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation when it emerged as political force starting in 1996. “Pravda” is Russian for “truth”.

The political newspaper “Pravda” has for about a century been associated with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and now of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. “Pravda” was founded just before WWI by Russian revolutionaries. It was closed down after the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was banned by President Boris Yeltsin in 1991, although a group of journalists opened a new paper with the same title just a few weeks later. Eventually, the new “Pravda” was purchased by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation when it emerged as political force starting in 1996. “Pravda” is Russian for “truth”.

26. Davis of “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” : ESSIE
Essie Davis is an actress from the island of Tasmania in Australia.

31. Note in a kitty, perhaps : IOU
The pot in a card game has been referred to as the kitty since the 1880s. It’s not certain how the name “kitty” evolved but possibly it came from “kit”, the necessary equipment for the game.

33. Sunni and Shia, for two : SECTS
The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favoured the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

34. Pacific greeting : ALOHA
The Hawaiian word “Aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.

38. The Sun Devils’ sch. : ASU
Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

39. “Kidnapped” monogram : RLS
Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS) was a Scottish author who was famous for his novels “Treasure Island”, “Kidnapped” and “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”.

40. Three-dimensional fig. : SPH
Sphere (sph.)

45. Chinese revolutionary Sun ___ : YAT-SEN
Sun Yat-sen is known as the “Father of the Nation” in China, and is uniquely revered in both the mainland of China and on the island of Taiwan. During his rule as president of the country he promoted his political philosophy known at the Three Principles of the People, namely nationalism, democracy and the people’s livelihood.

46. Served à la cherries jubilee : FLAMBE
Cherries jubilee might be considered a “light” dessert, certainly not due to the calorie count, but rather due to the “lighting” of the liqueur that is poured over the cherries. Usually one takes cherries, pours a liqueur like Kirschwasser (German for “cherry water”) and then sets the liqueur alight and flambés the cherries. The reduced liqueur and cherries are then poured as a source over vanilla ice cream. Apparently the recipe was invented by French Chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel restaurant in London, to celebrate one of Queen Victoria’s jubilees.

51. Stands at funerals : BIERS
Biers are the special stands on which one rests a coffin for a service, or perhaps if the corpse is to lie in state. A bier may have wheels on it so that it can be used to transport the coffin to the graveside. The original biers were just flat pieces of wood on which the body was placed, covered with a shroud. Nowadays, we place the body in a casket, and then onto the bier.

56. “First, do no ___” : HARM
“First, do no harm” is a translation of the Latin phrase “Primum non nocere”. The phrase is a principle used in the world of medicine that reminds a provider of healthcare that to do nothing might be better than intervening in some situations.

57. Poor dog’s portion, in rhyme : NONE
The English nursery rhyme “Old Mother Hubbard” was first printed in 1805:

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone;
When she came there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.

60. Billiard ball with a blue stripe : TEN
The name of the game billiards comes from the French word “billiard” that originally described the wooden cue stick. The Old French “bille” translates as “stick of wood”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Virgo/Libra mo. : SEPT
5. Parisian parent : PERE
9. Give an epidural, e.g. : NUMB
13. Walk in wooden shoes, say : CLOMP
15. La Salle of “ER” : ERIQ
16. Cornell of Cornell University : EZRA
17. Wayne Gretzky, for about half of his playing career : OILER
18. Iowa birthplace of Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren : SIOUX CITY
20. Start of a punny quip about two professionals : WHEN A DENTIST …
22. Word on a candy heart : LUV
23. Vintner’s vessel : VAT
24. “Them” author Joyce Carol ___ : OATES
28. Quip, part 2 : … AND MANICURIST …
33. Luxury hotel amenity : SAUNA
35. Month after juillet : AOUT
36. Stars and Bars org. : CSA
37. Vogue competitor : ELLE
38. Quip, part 3 : … ARGUE …
40. Bit of burlesque : SKIT
41. Shelter accommodation : COT
42. La Española, for one : ISLA
43. Olympic blades : EPEES
44. Quip, part 4 : … THEY MUST FIGHT …
48. Comic Silverman : SARAH
49. Floater in a flume : LOG
50. TV sked letters : TBA
53. End of the quip : … TOOTH AND NAIL
58. Tailwind for eastbound flights : JET STREAM
61. Almost any “Li’l Abner” character : YOKEL
62. James with a posthumous Pulitzer : AGEE
63. Kosovo native : SERB
64. Month after diciembre : ENERO
65. Beethoven’s German birthplace : BONN
66. “I’ve got this one” : ON ME
67. Formerly, in old times : ERST

Down
1. Look that says “I’m not happy” : SCOWL
2. Yale of Yale University : ELIHU
3. One with a high bar to reach : POLE VAULTER
4. Counterfeiter-catching Feds : T-MEN
5. Euro forerunner in Spain : PESETA
6. Burnett of CNN : ERIN
7. “You’re a regular ___!” (Kramden cry) : RIOT
8. Prefix with angular or lateral : EQUI-
9. Drink with ambrosia : NECTAR
10. Six-Day War weapon : UZI
11. Mohawk sporter on “The A-Team” : MR T
12. Horse with a reddish-brown body : BAY
14. Russian newspaper founded in 1912 : PRAVDA
19. Crosses off : XS OUT
21. Hydroelectric project : DAM
25. Ballpark gate employee : TICKET TAKER
26. Davis of “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” : ESSIE
27. Ballpark figures? : STATS
29. U-turn from SSW : NNE
30. Bother persistently : NAG AT
31. Note in a kitty, perhaps : IOU
32. Stick that’s chalked : CUE
33. Sunni and Shia, for two : SECTS
34. Pacific greeting : ALOHA
38. The Sun Devils’ sch. : ASU
39. “Kidnapped” monogram : RLS
40. Three-dimensional fig. : SPH
42. Comment made while sweating : I’M HOT
43. Pre-Easter purchase : EGG DYE
45. Chinese revolutionary Sun ___ : YAT-SEN
46. Served à la cherries jubilee : FLAMBE
47. Particle with a + or – : ION
51. Stands at funerals : BIERS
52. Parcel out : ALLOT
54. Words of approximation : OR SO
55. Many a first-time voter : TEEN
56. “First, do no ___” : HARM
57. Poor dog’s portion, in rhyme : NONE
58. The “one” in a one-two : JAB
59. What a rejection may crush : EGO
60. Billiard ball with a blue stripe : TEN

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10 thoughts on “0503-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 May 17, Wednesday”

  1. About right for a Wednesday grid. I actually had an easier time with this one than yesterday's.

    Had to take ERIQ and YATSEN on faith. One error – I had YOKuL/BIuRS.

    The other Soviet news source was known as "Novosty" whih just means "news". The Russians used to joke (maybe they still do?) that there was no Pravda (truth) in Novosty (news) and there was no Novosty (news) in Pravda (truth)….

    Best –

  2. Had to Google ESSIE. Didn't know PESETA or ASU.

    For some reason, saw the quip all at once, early on.

    Some of this was a trip down memory lane: PRAVDA, Sun YAT SEN, uzi.

  3. 9:07, no errors. Pretty easy for a Wednesday puzzle. I basically concentrated on filling in all the "down" entries, after which the quip was completely obvious. Appreciated Jeff's reminding me of that Russian joke …

  4. 14:10, 2 errors. 26D OSSIE/24A OATOS. Familiar with Ossie Davis, not Essie Davis; so I felt comfortable with the 'O', even thought OATOS looked weird. Fell into several traps: 1D FROWN before SCOWL; 40D SOL (solid) before SPH.; 61A YOKUM before YOKEL.

  5. No errors. I also had written in OSSIE on 26Down and thought the same thing about how it made OATES look weird. But I reluctantly made a final change to the E and happened to get it right. I had thought that maybe Ossie Davis had a daughter named Essie. But googling left no doubt. No, Ossie and Essie have nothing in common. "ESSIE" is a nickname for the actress' given name of Esther.

  6. 15 minutes, no errors. Pretty much just concentrate on the Down answers when I see a theme that's arbitrary (word choice deliberate there), and then try to play hangman with the rest that I don't get the Down ones on. Slow a bit that way and sometimes results in a DNF, but really all I know to do.

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