0725-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Jul 17, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD CONSTRUCTOR: Alex Vratsanos
THEME: Spread the Gospel
Each of today’s themed answers includes several circled letters in the grid. Those circled letters spell out the four gospels of the Christian New Testament:

61A. Evangelize … or what this puzzle’s circled squares do? : SPREAD THE GOSPEL

17A. Was loved by : MEANT THE WORLD TO (giving “Matthew”)
22A. Know-it-all : SMART ALECK (giving “Mark”)
39A. Comment after a fortuitous happening : LUCKY ME! (giving “Luke”)
50A. Frequently going from one post to another : JOB HOPPING (giving “John”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 25s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Discharge, as from a volcano : SPEW
Our word “volcano” comes from “Vulcano”, the name of a volcanic island off the coast of Italy. The island’s name comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. The Romans believed that the island of Vulcano was the chimney of the forge belonging to the god Vulcan. The Romans also believed that the eruptions on Mount Etna in Sicily were caused by Vulcan getting angry and working his forge so hard that sparks and smoke flew out of the top of the volcano.

11. Chrysler truck : RAM
Chrysler put ram hood ornaments on all of its Dodge branded vehicles starting in 1933. When the first line of Dodge trucks and vans were introduced in 1981, they were named “Rams” in honor of that hood ornament.

15. Protective embankment : ESCARP
An escarp or escarpment is a steep slope or cliff. The term is also used for the inner wall of a ditch that is dug around a fortification.

16. He said that ambient music “must be as ignorable as it is interesting” : ENO
Brian Eno was one of the pioneers of the “ambient” genre of music. Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, the first in a series of four albums with an ambient theme. Eno named the tracks somewhat inventively: 1/1, 2/1, 2/1 and 2/2.

17. Was loved by : MEANT THE WORLD TO (giving “Matthew”)
The Gospel of Matthew is the first book of the New Testament in the Christian Bible. Despite the book’s title, the author is not named, with the words “according to Matthew” added about two centuries after it was written.

20. Zoë of “Avatar” : SALDANA
American actress Zoë Saldana played the Na’vi princess in “Avatar”, and Uhura in the 2009 movie “Star Trek” (and sequels). Saldana seems to pick the right movies, as she is the only actress to have three different films in the top twenty at the box office for three consecutive weeks (“Avatar”, “The Losers” and “Death at a Funeral”).

22. Know-it-all : SMART ALECK (giving “Mark”)
Apparently the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

Mark the Evangelist was the author of the Gospel of Mark and the founder of the Church of Alexandria in Egypt.

25. Jason’s vessel, in myth : ARGO
In Greek mythology, Jason and the Argonauts sailed on the Argo in search of the Golden Fleece. The vessel was called the “Argo” in honor of the ship’s builder, a man named Argus.

29. Giga- x 1,000 : TERA-
The prefix “tera-” signifies a trillion, and comes from the Greek word “teras” meaning “monster”.

35. Captain Nemo’s vessel : NAUTILUS
The Jules Verne sci-fi novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” was first published in 1869-1870 as a serial in a French magazine. Star of the novel (to me) is Captain Nemo’s magnificent submarine called the Nautilus. The distance travelled by the Nautilus is the “20,000 leagues” in the title, not a depth. 20,000 leagues is about three times the circumference of the Earth.

38. Oral health org. : ADA
The American Dental Association (ADA) is the largest and oldest national dental association in the world. Today the ADA is based in Chicago, but the association was founded in Niagara Falls, New York in 1859. The ADA started out as a group of 26 dentists, and it now has more than 152,000 members.

39. Comment after a fortuitous happening : LUCKY ME! (giving “Luke”)
The Gospel of Luke is the third book of the New Testament. It is believed that the author of the Gospel of Luke was the same person who wrote “Acts of the Apostles”, the fifth book of the New Testament.

42. It isn’t recorded in a walk-off win : FINAL OUT
That would be baseball.

44. First female speaker of the House : PELOSI
Nancy Pelosi is a former Speaker of the House, the 60th person to hold that position. Ms. Pelosi represents a district not far from here, which covers most of San Francisco. She was the first Californian, the first Italian-American and the first woman to be Speaker of the House. As Speaker, she was also second in line, after the Vice President, to take over if President Obama could not finish his term. That made Nancy Pelosi the highest-ranking female politician in US history.

46. Chuck of “Meet the Press” : TODD
Chuck Todd is a television journalist. Todd was the Chief White House Correspondent for NBC, before taking over as moderator of “Meet the Press” in 2014.

47. Louisa May Alcott’s “___ Boys” : JO’S
Louisa May Alcott’s “Jo’s Boys” is a sequel to her novel “Little Men”, which in turn is a sequel to “Little Women”. “Jo’s Boys” is the final book in the trilogy.

49. Erelong : ANON
“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

50. Frequently going from one post to another : JOB HOPPING (giving “John”)
In the Christian tradition, John the Apostle was one of the twelve followers of Jesus who were called the Apostles. John lived longer than all of the other Apostles and was the only one who did not die a martyr. John wrote the Gospel of John in the New Testament, as well as three Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation.

61. Evangelize … or what this puzzle’s circled squares do? : SPREAD THE GOSPEL
“Gospel” is a term that came to us via Old English. The Old English term is “godspel” meaning “good story”, and referred to the glad tidings announced by Jesus. There are four Gospels in the Christian New Testament: the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

67. Gen ___ : XER
The term Generation X originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By the latest accepted definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

69. Craft company with a 2015 I.P.O. : ETSY
Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

Down
1. ___ Club : SAM’S
Sam’s Club is owned and operated by Walmart and is named after the company’s founder, Sam Walton.

4. House of Elizabeth II : WINDSOR
King George V was ruler of the United Kingdom during WWI. It was George V who changed the Royal Family’s name from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, creating the House of Windsor in 1917. He did this in response to anti-German feeling in Britain during the war.

5. The Hartford competitor : AETNA
When the healthcare management and insurance company known as Aetna was founded, the name was chosen to evoke images of Mt. Etna, the European volcano.

The Hartford investment and insurance company was founded in Hartford, Connecticut in 1810. The company was started by a group of local merchants as a Fire Insurance Company with an initial cash injection of $15,000. The Hartford had an annual revenue of over $26 billion in 2012.

9. Nuisance in an online comments section : TROLL
In Internet terms, a troll is someone who attempts to disrupt online group activities. The fishing term “troll” is used to describe such a person, as he or she throws out off-topic remarks in an attempt to “lure” others into some emotional response. Sad, sad people …

11. Variety show host of 1951-71 : RED SKELTON
Red Skelton was an American comedian who started out in show business as a teenager working with the circus. Skelton had a very successful career on radio before moving to television in the early fifties. His popularity only began to fade in the early seventies, when he had difficulty appealing to younger audiences. Skelton spent less time performing in his latter years, and turned to his other great love … painting.

18. Highlander’s headwear : TAM
A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

19. Milk: Prefix : LACTI-
The sugar known as lactose is a disaccharide, comprising a molecule of galactose combined with a molecule of glucose. Lactose is a major component in milk, and it is broken down in the body by an enzyme called lactase. The production of lactase used to diminish over time in humans, as babies stopped nursing and transitioned to solid food. Many human populations have evolved to maintain lactose production throughout life, in response to the inclusion of animal milk in the diet. Individuals and populations that do not have the genes enabling lifelong production of lactase are said to be lactose intolerant.

23. What gives you the right to bare arms? : TANK TOP
“Tank top” is another one of those terms that always catches me out, as it has a different meaning on each side of the Atlantic. In the US, a tank top is a sleeveless shirt, something we would call a “vest” back in Ireland (and the US “vest” is what we call a “waist coat”). A tank top in Ireland is a sleeveless sweater, which further adds to the confusion. The name “tank top” is derived from “tank suit”, an old name for a woman’s one-piece bathing suit. The use of “tank” for the bathing suit came from “swimming tank”, an obsolete term used in the 1920s for a swimming pool.

25. Toward the rear : ABAFT
On a boat, the term “abaft” means “towards the stern”.

26. NPR segment? : RADIO
National Public Radio (now just called “NPR”) was established in 1970 after President Johnson signed into law the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The station’s first broadcast took place in April of 1971, and was coverage of the US Senate hearings on the Vietnam War. The intent of the act was to provide funding for radio and television broadcasting that wasn’t simply driven by profit. As a longtime fan of the state-funded BBC in the UK, I’d have to agree with that intent …

27. One voting to indict or not : GRAND JUROR
A grand jury is a group of 16-23 citizens who are empowered to investigate potential criminal conduct. Only the US and Liberia use grand juries today, with the rest of the world employing other forms of preliminary hearing. The phrase “grand jury” has its roots in French, with “grand” implying “large”. The 12-person jury used in a criminal trial can be referred to as a “petit” (small) jury.

30. Model-turned-actress Rene : RUSSO
The very talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. Russo went to highschool (with actor/director Ron Howard), but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen, she was given the opportunity to train as a model and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, Russo made a career change and studied theater and acting. I am so glad she did, as Rene Russo is one of my favorite actresses …

34. Hip-hop’s Kris Kross or OutKast : DUO
Kris Kross was a teenage rap duo from the nineties. They had a big hit called “Jump” in 1992.

OutKast is a hip hop duo consisting of rappers André 3000 and Big Boi.

36. Call balls and strikes, informally : UMP
Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came for Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

37. End of August? : TEE
The last letter in the word “August” is the letter T (tee).

40. Title canine in a Stephen King book : CUJO
“Cujo” is a Stephen King horror novel, which means that I haven’t read it (I don’t do horror). The character Cujo is a rabid St. Bernard dog which besieges a young couple for three days in their stalled car. King tells us that he lifted the dog’s name from real life, as Cujo was the nickname of Willie Wolfe, one of the men responsible for the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

43. Baked brick : ADOBE
The building material known as adobe has been around a long time, and has been used in dry climates all over the world. The original form of the word “adobe” dates back to Middle Egyptian times, about 2000 BC. The original spelling is “dj-b-t”, and translates as mud (sun-dried) brick.

45. Chef Emeril : LAGASSE
Emeril Lagasse is an American chef, born in Massachusetts. Lagasse first achieved notoriety as executive chef in Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Now famous for his television shows, his cuisine still showcases New Orleans ingredients and influences. Lagasse started using his famous “Bam!” catchphrase in order to keep his crew awake during repeated tapings of his show.

51. ___ House (Washington landmark) : BLAIR
Blair House is the official residence for guests of the US President. Blair House is primarily used for foreign heads of government. When such a guest is in residence, the house flies the leader’s national flag and in effect becomes foreign soil for the duration of the stay.

52. Ibsen’s “___ Gabler” : HEDDA
“Hedda Gabler” is a play by the great Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, first published in 1890. Considered one of the greatest theater roles, the title character of Hedda Gabler is sometimes referred to as “the female Hamlet”.

55. Vitamin whose name rhymes with a car engine : B-SIX
The B vitamins were originally thought to be just one vitamin, which was labeled vitamin B. It was then discovered vitamin B was in fact made up of eight distinct vitamins, which today are given distinct numbers (B1, B6, B12 etc). Supplements often contain a mixture of all eight, a combination known as vitamin B complex.

56. Chapel recess : APSE
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

59. Dr.’s orders : EEGS
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a record of electrical activity caused by the firing of neurons within the brain. The EEG might be used to diagnose epilepsy, or perhaps to determine if a patient is “brain dead”.

62. Haul on a U-Haul : TOW
The U-Haul company was started by married couple Leonard Shoen and Anna Mary Carty in Ridgefield, Washington in 1945. The Shoens used $5,000 of seed money to build trailers in their garage, and then cleverly recruited gas station owners as franchisees with whom they would split the rental revenue. There are now about 15,000 U-Haul dealers across the country.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Discharge, as from a volcano : SPEW
5. Isn’t rigid in one’s ways : ADAPTS
11. Chrysler truck : RAM
14. Height: Prefix : ALTI-
15. Protective embankment : ESCARP
16. He said that ambient music “must be as ignorable as it is interesting” : ENO
17. Was loved by : MEANT THE WORLD TO (giving “Matthew”)
20. Zoë of “Avatar” : SALDANA
21. Didn’t buy, say : LEASED
22. Know-it-all : SMART ALECK (giving “Mark”)
25. Jason’s vessel, in myth : ARGO
28. Underside of an 8-Down : PAD
29. Giga- x 1,000 : TERA-
32. No holds ___ : BARRED
35. Captain Nemo’s vessel : NAUTILUS
38. Oral health org. : ADA
39. Comment after a fortuitous happening : LUCKY ME! (giving “Luke”)
41. Sound of reproach : TSK!
42. It isn’t recorded in a walk-off win : FINAL OUT
44. First female speaker of the House : PELOSI
46. Chuck of “Meet the Press” : TODD
47. Louisa May Alcott’s “___ Boys” : JO’S
49. Erelong : ANON
50. Frequently going from one post to another : JOB HOPPING (giving “John”)
55. Christmas ornament, e.g. : BAUBLE
57. Puts in a box : ENCASES
61. Evangelize … or what this puzzle’s circled squares do? : SPREAD THE GOSPEL
64. Equal at the start? : ISO-
65. Enthusiastic response to “Who wants dessert?” : I DO, I DO!
66. Family history, e.g. : SAGA
67. Gen ___ : XER
68. Like emotions just after a tragedy : RAWEST
69. Craft company with a 2015 I.P.O. : ETSY

Down
1. ___ Club : SAM’S
2. Defendant’s entry : PLEA
3. Shortening for a bibliographer : ET AL
4. House of Elizabeth II : WINDSOR
5. The Hartford competitor : AETNA
6. Note in the E major scale : D-SHARP
7. Fly through, as a test : ACE
8. Hound’s “hand” : PAW
9. Nuisance in an online comments section : TROLL
10. Shopping trip one may later regret : SPREE
11. Variety show host of 1951-71 : RED SKELTON
12. Cost to get in : ANTE
13. Emotional state : MOOD
18. Highlander’s headwear : TAM
19. Milk: Prefix : LACTI-
23. What gives you the right to bare arms? : TANK TOP
24. “There will come ___ …” : A DAY
25. Toward the rear : ABAFT
26. NPR segment? : RADIO
27. One voting to indict or not : GRAND JUROR
30. Model-turned-actress Rene : RUSSO
31. Welcome at the front door : ASK IN
33. Certain office desk setup : ELL
34. Hip-hop’s Kris Kross or OutKast : DUO
36. Call balls and strikes, informally : UMP
37. End of August? : TEE
40. Title canine in a Stephen King book : CUJO
43. Baked brick : ADOBE
45. Chef Emeril : LAGASSE
48. Is a leadfoot : SPEEDS
51. ___ House (Washington landmark) : BLAIR
52. Ibsen’s “___ Gabler” : HEDDA
53. Gold standard? : INGOT
54. Pvt.’s superior : NCO
55. Vitamin whose name rhymes with a car engine : B-SIX
56. Chapel recess : APSE
58. Dustup : SPAT
59. Dr.’s orders : EEGS
60. Knock dead at the comedy club : SLAY
62. Haul on a U-Haul : TOW
63. Rush : HIE

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8 thoughts on “0725-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Jul 17, Tuesday”

  1. 16 minutes – the last two of which were spent looking for an error which turned out to be my misspelling of LAGASSE (Lagassi). Embarrassing considering I've been to his restaurant in New Orleans more than once.

    Red Skelton was appointment viewing every week in my family when I was a kid. Nice nostalgia there.

    Best –

  2. 15:29, no errors, but I tried to work without thinking about the time. Decided to pay more attention to the actual dang PUZZLE!! Pretty easy.
    I kinda liked the theme — for some reason I got a giggle from seeing the names of disciples (or apostles?) "spread" out in phrases.
    Jeff — just spoke to Emeril. You're banned. Sorry to be the one to tell you.
    LOL

  3. 11:09, no errors. One of those themes where you got back after the fact, not really used in completing the puzzle.

    I, too, remember Red Skelton being weekly viewing in our house. In particular, I remember his Clem Kediddlehopper character.

  4. No errors. The only letter that gave me pause was the last vowel of LACTI- since I suspected it would be the more common LACTO-. Kudos to the setter for working in the four names, all in proper order and spelling.

  5. 8:40 and three errors, once more brought on by a proper name (the appearance of which I am really coming to hate). Still, more enjoyable than yesterday's puzzle…

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