0704-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Jul 17, Tuesday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD CONSTRUCTOR: Mangesh Ghogre & Brendan Emmett Quigley
THEME: July
Each of today’s themed answers starts with a word that sounds like a letter. Those letters are J-U-L-Y, with each letter being a fourth (one quarter) of the word “July”:

59A. What the beginnings of 17-, 25-, 40- and 52-Across are each a fourth of, phonetically : J-U-L-Y

17A. Title bootlegger in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel : JAY GATSBY (sounds like “J”)
25A. “I’m here, too” : YOU ARE NOT ALONE (sounds like “U”)
40A. Model with the most Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition covers (5) : ELLE MACPHERSON (sounds like “L”)
52A. “What’s the use?” : WHY BOTHER? (sounds like “Y”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Covering for leftovers : FOIL
Before thin sheets of aluminum metal were available, thin sheets of tin were used in various applications. Tin foil isn’t a great choice for wrapping food though, as it imparts a tinny taste. On the other side of the pond, aluminum foil has a different name. No, it’s not just the different spelling of aluminum (“aluminium”). We still call it “tin foil”. You see, we live in the past …

9. Pet welfare org. : ASPCA
Unlike most developed countries, the US has no “umbrella” organization with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

15. Its first flight went from Geneva to Tel Aviv : EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv. Famously, El Al only operates six days a week, not flying on the Sabbath.

17. Title bootlegger in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel : JAY GATSBY
“The Great Gatsby” is a 1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald that tells of the prosperous life of Jay Gatsby during the Roaring 20s. Gatsby develops an obsessive love for Daisy Fay Buchanan, a girl he met while serving during WWI, and meets again some years later after he has improved his social standing.

“To bootleg” is to make or smuggle alcoholic drinks illegally. The term arose in the late 1800s as slang for the practice of concealing a flask of liquor down the leg of a high boot. The term has been extended to mean the illegal production and sale of just about anything.

19. Fry in a small amount of fat : SAUTE
“Sauté” is a French word. The literal translation from the French is “jumped” or “bounced”, a reference to the tossing of food while cooking it in a frying pan.

21. Ones jumping up Down Under, for short : ROOS
The word “kangaroo” comes from the Australian Aborigine term for the animal. There’s an oft-quoted story that the explorer James Cook (later Captain Cook) asked a local native what was the name of this remarkable-looking animal, and the native responded with “Kangaroo”. The story is that the native was actually saying “I don’t understand you”, but as cute as that tale is, it’s just an urban myth.

24. Édouard who painted “Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe” : MANET
Édouard Manet was a French painter whose works are mainly classified as Realist. Manet was friends with Impressionists masters like Edgar Degas, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir and greatly influenced the Impressionist movement. The list of Manet’s marvelous paintings includes “Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe”, “Le Repose” and “A Bar at the Folies-Bergère”.

31. Printing cartridge : TONER
The key features of a laser printer (or copier) are that it uses plain paper and produces quality text at high speed. Laser printers work by projecting a laser image of the printed page onto a rotating drum that is coated with photoconductors (material that becomes conductive when exposed to light). The areas of the drum exposed to the laser carry a different charge than the unexposed areas. Dry ink (toner) sticks to the exposed areas due to electrostatic charge. The toner is then transferred to paper by contact and is fused into the paper by the application of heat. So, that explains why paper coming out of a laser printer is warm, and sometimes powdery.

32. Tennis star nicknamed “The King of Clay” : NADAL
Rafael “Rafa” Nadal is a Spanish tennis player, noted for his expertise on clay courts, earning him the nickname “The King of Clay”.

33. Russian for “peace” : MIR
The Russian Mir Space Station was a remarkably successful project, with the station still holding the record for the longest continuous manned presence in space, at just under ten years. Towards the end of the space station’s life however, the years began to take their toll. There was a dangerous fire, multiple system failures, and a collision with a resupply ship. The Russian commitment to the International Space Station drained funds for repairs, so Mir was allowed to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up in 2001. “Mir” is a Russian word meaning “peace” or “world”.

37. Country singer Tillis : MEL
Mel Tillis is a country singer who had most of hits in the seventies. Notably, Tillis has a speech impediment, but this does not affect his singing at all.

40. Model with the most Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition covers (5) : ELLE MACPHERSON
Elle Macpherson is an Australian supermodel. She appeared six times on the cover of the “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue”, more than any other model.

48. Big bang letters : TNT
“TNT” is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

51. Cheese from cow’s milk : GOUDA
Gouda is a cheese that originated in the Dutch city of the same name, although today Gouda is produced all over the world and very little of it comes from the Netherlands. Gouda is often smoke-cured, given it a yellowish-brown outer skin and that characteristic smoky taste.

54. White-plumed marsh dweller : EGRET
Egrets are a group of several species of white herons. Many egret species were faced with extinction in the 1800s and early 1900s due to plume hunting, a practice driven by the demand for egret plumes that could be incorporated into hats.

55. ___ Grey tea : EARL
The Earl Grey blend of tea is supposedly named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey who was Prime Minister of the UK from 1830 to 1834. Earl Grey tea has a distinctive flavor that is largely due to the addition of oil from the rind of the bergamot orange.

56. Song for a coloratura : ARIA
The musical term “coloratura” is used to describe elaborate melody that may include runs and trills. “Coloratura” translates from Italian literally as “coloring”. The term has been extended to include operatic roles featuring such melodies, and singers who are associated with such roles.

57. Curving billiards shot : MASSE
In billiards, a massé shot is one in which the cue ball makes an extreme curve due to the player imparting heavy spin on the ball with his or her cue held relatively vertically.

58. Quaker pronoun : THEE
Members of the Religious Society of Friends are known as Friends or Quakers. The Christian sect started in England in the 1640s, led by George Fox. The principal tenet at that point was that Christians could have direct experience of Jesus Christ without the mediation of clergy, a reflection of the increasing dissatisfaction with the established church at that time. The term “Quaker” is thought to have been used earlier in reference to foreign religious sects whose followers were given to fits of shaking during religious fervor. Somehow that term became used for members of the Religious Society of Friends.

59. What the beginnings of 17-, 25-, 40- and 52-Across are each a fourth of, phonetically : JULY
On 11 June 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee of five people to draft a declaration of independence. Included in the five were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams persuaded the other committee members to give Jefferson the task of writing the first draft. A resolution of independence was passed by the Congress on 2 Jul 1776. The final draft of the declaration was approved by the Congress two days later, on July 4th. John Adams wrote a letter to his wife that included an assertion that July 2nd (the date of the resolution of independence) would become a great American holiday. Of course Adams was wrong, and it was actually the date the Declaration of Independence was finalized that came to be celebrated annually.

Down
1. Big name in camera film : FUJI
Fujifilm is the world’s largest photographic and imaging company. I am a bit of a photo buff, and moved to digital a few years ago, but before that I just loved using Fuji Velvia film, especially on bright days. The saturated colors are stunning.

2. Fancy stone : OPAL
97% of the world’s opals come from Australia, so it’s no surprise perhaps that the opal is the national gemstone of the country. The state of South Australia provides the bulk of the world’s production, about 80%.

3. Pastoral verse : IDYL
An “idyll” (also “idyl”) is a short poem with a pastoral theme, usually depicting the scene in romantic and idealized terms. The word comes from the Greek “eidyllion”, which literally translates to “little picture” but was a word describing a short, poem with a rustic theme.

4. Captain’s record : LOG
The word “logbook” dates back to the days when the captain of a ship kept a daily record of the vessel’s speed, progress etc. using a “log”. A log was a wooden float on a knotted line that was dropped overboard to measure speed through the water.

5. President, at times : VETOER
The verb “veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The term was used by tribunes of Ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

9. London football club nicknamed “The Gunners” : ARSENAL
Arsenal Football Club (nicknamed “the Gunners”) is an English soccer team based in the Holloway district of London. The club was founded in 1886 as Dial Square by workers at the Royal Arsenal munitions factory. Dial Square was the name given to the workshops at the center of the Royal Arsenal complex. After just a few weeks in existence, the club changed its name to Royal Arsenal, which was eventually shortened to just Arsenal.

10. Anago, at a sushi restaurant : SEA EEL
“Unagi” is the Japanese word for freshwater eel, and “anago” is the word for salt-water eel.

22. The Great Tempter : SATAN
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.

23. Chopper in the Vietnam War : HUEY
The military helicopter known as the Bell UH-1 Iroquois is usually referred to as the “Huey”. The Huey was first used by the US Army for medevac and utility operations in the mid-fifties. About 7,000 Hueys saw service in the Vietnam War. The US military phased out the Huey relatively recently, mainly replacing it with the UH-60 Black Hawk.

28. Org. that gives out Image Awards and Spingarn Medals : NAACP
The full name of the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is remarkable in that it actually still uses the offensive term “colored people”. The NAACP was founded in 1909, by a group that included suffragette and journalist Mary White Ovington, wealthy socialist William English Walling, and civil rights activist Henry Moscowitz. Another member of the founding group was W. E. B. Du Bois, the first African-American to earn a doctorate at Harvard University. The date chosen for the founding of the NAACP was February 12th, 1909, the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln, the man most visibly associated with the emancipation of African-American slaves.

29. President who launched the war on drugs : NIXON
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was set up in 1973 while President Nixon was in office.

30. Land celebrated on March 17 : ERIN
“Éire”, is the Irish word for “Ireland”. The related “Erin” is an anglicized version of “Éire” and actually corresponds to “Éirinn”, the dative case of “Éire”.

There is a fair amount known about Saint Patrick, some of which comes from two letters written in his own hand. St. Patrick lived in the fifth century, but was not born in Ireland. He was first brought to Ireland at about 16 years of age from his native Britain, by Irish raiders who made him a slave for six years. Patrick managed to escape and returned to his homeland where he studied and entered the Church. He went back to Ireland as a bishop and a missionary and there lived out the rest of his life. There seems to be good evidence that he died on March 17th (now celebrated annually as Saint Patrick’s Day), although the year is less clear. The stories about shamrock and snakes, I am afraid they are the stuff of legend.

31. São ___ and Príncipe : TOME
The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe is an island nation off the west coast of Africa comprising mainly two islands: São Tomé and Príncipe. São Tomé and Príncipe is located in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of Gabon. It was colonized by Portugal after POrtuguese explorers discovered the islands in the 15th century. After gaining independence in 1975, São Tomé and Príncipe is now the smallest Portuguese-speaking country in the world.

35. Sends unwanted email : SPAMS
Apparently the term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

45. “Julius Caesar” costume : TOGA
In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar” is a little unusual, in that Julius Caesar is not the main character. The protagonist is actually Marcus Brutus, who plays a major role in Caesar’s assassination.

46. Persian leader : SHAH
The last Shah of Iran was Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, as he was overthrown in the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

47. Jane who falls for Edward Rochester : EYRE
“Jane Eyre” is a celebrated novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. Over the years, I’ve shared here on my blogs that the “Jane Eyre” story line is a little too dark and Gothic for my taste, but a very persuasive blog reader convinced me to look more at the romantic side of the story and give it a second chance. I watched a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation of the novel made by the BBC a while back and I have to say that because I was focused on the relationship between Jane and Rochester, I was able to push past the Gothic influences (that depress me) so I really enjoyed the story. I thoroughly recommend the 2006 BBC adaptation to fans of the novel.

49. Justice Gorsuch : NEIL
Neil Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme court by the Trump administration, and assumed office in 2017. Gorsuch took the seat on the court that was left vacant with the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.

53. ___ Mahal : TAJ
The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the fourth wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child. When Shah Jahan himself passed away 35 years later, he was buried beside his wife Mumtaz, in the Taj Mahal.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Covering for leftovers : FOIL
5. Popular sneakers : VANS
9. Pet welfare org. : ASPCA
14. Hairstyle that might have a lot of spray : UPDO
15. Its first flight went from Geneva to Tel Aviv : EL AL
16. “Calm down!” : RELAX!
17. Title bootlegger in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel : JAY GATSBY
19. Fry in a small amount of fat : SAUTE
20. Sick : ILL
21. Ones jumping up Down Under, for short : ROOS
22. Appears to be : SEEMS
23. Gardening tool : HOE
24. Édouard who painted “Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe” : MANET
25. “I’m here, too” : YOU ARE NOT ALONE
31. Printing cartridge : TONER
32. Tennis star nicknamed “The King of Clay” : NADAL
33. Russian for “peace” : MIR
34. Green-light : OKAY
35. Tough job for a dry cleaner : STAIN
36. Skirt that stops at the ankles : MAXI
37. Country singer Tillis : MEL
38. The Hindu “Ramayana” and others : EPICS
39. Stage, as a play : PUT ON
40. Model with the most Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition covers (5) : ELLE MACPHERSON
43. Amusement park water ride : FLUME
44. Thumbs-down responses : NOS
45. Works hard : TOILS
46. Ore stratum : SEAM
48. Big bang letters : TNT
51. Cheese from cow’s milk : GOUDA
52. “What’s the use?” : WHY BOTHER?
54. White-plumed marsh dweller : EGRET
55. ___ Grey tea : EARL
56. Song for a coloratura : ARIA
57. Curving billiards shot : MASSE
58. Quaker pronoun : THEE
59. What the beginnings of 17-, 25-, 40- and 52-Across are each a fourth of, phonetically : JULY

Down
1. Big name in camera film : FUJI
2. Fancy stone : OPAL
3. Pastoral verse : IDYL
4. Captain’s record : LOG
5. President, at times : VETOER
6. In addition : ALSO
7. Snatches : NABS
8. Cunning : SLY
9. London football club nicknamed “The Gunners” : ARSENAL
10. Anago, at a sushi restaurant : SEA EEL
11. Common ingredient in pasta sauce : PLUM TOMATO
12. Purrers : CATS
13. Firefighter’s tool : AXE
18. Very loud : AROAR
22. The Great Tempter : SATAN
23. Chopper in the Vietnam War : HUEY
24. Fashionable : MODISH
25. Backwoods sort : YOKEL
26. Crawling, say : ON ALL FOURS
27. Lure : ENTICE
28. Org. that gives out Image Awards and Spingarn Medals : NAACP
29. President who launched the war on drugs : NIXON
30. Land celebrated on March 17 : ERIN
31. São ___ and Príncipe : TOME
35. Sends unwanted email : SPAMS
36. Dishevel : MUSS
38. Attempt to copy : EMULATE
39. ___ code (discount provider) : PROMO
41. Drops a few G’s, say? : ELIDES
42. Allow : ENABLE
45. “Julius Caesar” costume : TOGA
46. Persian leader : SHAH
47. Jane who falls for Edward Rochester : EYRE
48. Directional word, for short : THRU
49. Justice Gorsuch : NEIL
50. Highchair surface : TRAY
51. Real beauty : GEM
52. Rainy : WET
53. ___ Mahal : TAJ

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7 thoughts on “0704-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Jul 17, Tuesday”

  1. 10:41, 0 errors. Really liked the theme and the fact that the reveal was at the very end. Happy 4th to everyone….even though many will be reading this some time in August.

    Best –

  2. 11:33, no errors. Slow to get in synch with the setter, but got momentum once I got through the upper third. Happy Fourth of July, all! This loses something on August 8th.

  3. Nice Tuesday puzzle. I play pool at a friendly, local bar and grill called the ALIBI (a good name and a familiar crossword entry). There, a MASSE shot would be very seriously frowned upon. Of course I wouldn't try one, and wouldn't be good at it anyway.

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