0809-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Aug 17, Wednesday

Constructed by: Adam G. Perl

Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Syndicated Crossword

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Read Comments/Leave a Comment

Theme: Losing Poker Hands that Win

Each of today’s themed clues is in the format “Where x beats y”, where x and y appear to be holdings in a poker hand. However, the answer reveals that we aren’t referring to poker at all:

  • 17A. Where a queen can beat a king : CHESS MATCH
  • 39A. Where an ace can beat a pair : DOUBLES TENNIS
  • 61A. Where two pair beats three of a kind : SOCK DRAWER

Bill’s time: 7m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Feeds the kitty : ANTES

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.

6. Immunity ___ (“Survivor” object) : IDOL

The reality show “Survivor” is based on a Swedish television series created in 1997 called “Expedition Robinson”.

10. Trash bag brand : GLAD

Glad is a company making plastic products, especially food containers and trash bags. Glad was launched in 1963 to make Glad Wrap, a polyethylene wrap used to preserve food.

14. Bread : MOOLA

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, scratch, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

15. Dixie bread : PONE

“Pone” is another word for corn bread, and comes from the Powhatan term “apan” meaning “something baked”.

17. Where a queen can beat a king : CHESS MATCH

In a chess match, a queen can place a king in checkmate.

19. Disney’s “___ and the Detectives” : EMIL

“Emil and the Detectives” is a novel first published in 1929. It was originally written in German and was titled “Emil und die Detektive”. The Disney company released a screen adaptation in 1964.

20. Mossad’s land: Abbr. : ISR

The national intelligence agency of Israel is known as Mossad, which is short for HaMossad leModiʿin uleTafkidim Meyuḥadim (Hebrew for “Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations”).

23. Bird on Australia’s coat of arms : EMU

The official symbol of Australia is a coat of arms that features a kangaroo and an emu.

29. Big name in DVD rental : REDBOX

Redbox is known for renting DVDs from automated retail kiosks placed in locations such grocery stores and fast food restaurants. Perhaps in an obvious move, Redbox now offers a video streaming service called “Redbox Instant”, a joint-venture with Verizon.

31. Soccer’s Messi, informally : LEO

Lionel “Leo” Messi is a soccer player from Argentina. Messi was awarded FIFA’s Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) award from 2009 to 2013. The Ballon d’Or is presented to the player who is considered the best in the world in the prior year.

32. Half a sawbuck : ABE

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

“Sawbuck” is slang for a ten dollar bill. The term was applied to the bill as the Roman numeral X (which used to appear on the bill) resembles the end of sawhorse.

35. Cheese in moussaka : FETA

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

Moussaka is a delicious dish from the Balkans that uses eggplant or potato as a base. The dish often includes ground meat, particularly lamb.

37. Midwest university town : AMES, IOWA

Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) is located in Ames, Iowa. Among many other notable events, ISU created the country’s first school of veterinary medicine, in 1879. The sports teams of ISU are known as the Cyclones.

39. Where an ace can beat a pair : DOUBLES TENNIS

In doubles tennis, a server’s ace can beat a pair of opponents.

43. Wine ___ (oenophile, often) : SNOB

In Greek mythology, Oeno was the goddess of wine, giving us “oen-” as a prefix meaning “wine”. For example, oenology is the study of wine and an oenophile is a wine-lover.

45. “Borstal Boy” author : BEHAN

Brendan Behan was an Irish writer and playwright. His most famous work is probably “Borstal Boy”, which is an autobiographical novel. Borstal is a term used in the British Isles for juvenile detention. Behan was quite a character, famous for being a heavy drinker (“a drinker with a writing problem”, as he described himself). The drink eventually put him in an early grave, at 41 years old. I used to walk to school in Dublin right past the pub where he spent many hours every day.

47. Onetime English poet laureate Henry James ___ : PYE

Henry James Pye was an English poet who held the post of Poet Laureate from 1790 until his death in 1813. As Poet Laureate, Pye was the first with the title to receive an annual cash stipend, albeit a modest one. Prior to Pye, England’s Poet Laureates were given a annual stipend of a barrel of wine.

51. Texter’s “Yikes!” : OMG

OMG is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G-words you might think of …

53. Forerunners of smartphones, for short : PDAS

Personal digital assistant (PDA)

54. ___ Xing : PED

Pedestrian Crossing (Ped Xing)

55. “Forbidden” fragrance in old ads : TABU

Tabu is a whole line of cosmetics and perfumes produced by the House of Dana. The company’s brand names were purchased by a Florida company called Dana Classic Fragrances in 1999.

57. California’s ___ River : EEL

The Eel River in California was named in 1850 by an explorer Josiah Gregg after he made a trade with some Native Americans, swapping a frying pan for a large catch of eels.

59. One taking a bow in Greek art : EROS

Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic”, meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Also known as Amor, the Roman counterpart to Eros was Cupid.

61. Where two pair beats three of a kind : SOCK DRAWER

In a sock drawer, finding two matched pairs beats finding three socks of the one kind.

66. Breakfast brand : EGGO

Eggo is the brand name of a line of frozen waffles made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced the original name chosen, which was “Froffles”, created by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

67. Morales of “La Bamba” : ESAI

The actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.

68. Cockamamie : INANE

“Cockamamy” (sometimes “cockamamie”) is a slang term meaning “ridiculous, incredible”. The term goes back at least to 1946, but may have originated as a slang term used by children in New York City in 1920s.

Down

1. “The Walking Dead” channel : AMC

“The Walking Dead” is a horror television show that is made by AMC that is based on a comic book series of the same name. There are lots of flesh-eating zombies featured, so I won’t be caught “dead” watching it …

2. Japanese drama style : NOH

Noh is a form of musical drama in Japan that has been around since the 14th century. Many of the Noh performers are masked, allowing all the roles to be played by men, including the female parts.

3. Gout target, often : TOE

Gout is caused by an elevation of the levels of uric acid in the blood. As a result of the high concentrations, the uric acid can crystallize out in tissue causing extreme discomfort. What we tend to call gout occurs when the crystals are deposited in the big toe.

4. Cow on milk cartons : ELSIE

Elsie the Cow is the mascot of the Borden Company. Elsie first appeared at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, introduced to symbolize the perfect dairy product. She is so famous and respected that she has been awarded the degrees of Doctor of Bovinity, Doctor fo Human Kindness and Doctor of Ecownomics. Elsie was also given a husband named Elmer the Bull. Elmer eventually moved over to the chemical division of Borden where he gave his name to Elmer’s Glue.

6. Hoppy brew, briefly : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

8. Number of times Howard Hughes’s Spruce Goose flew : ONCE

“Spruce Goose” is the familiar name given to the Hughes H-4 Hercules heavy transport plane, just one example of which was ever constructed. As the plane was built during WWII, wood was used instead of aluminum due to a shortage of the metal. That actual wood used was birch, but critics still used “Spruce Goose” as the name had a better ring to it. The Hercules has the largest wingspan of any aircraft ever built. You can go see it at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

9. “The Merry Widow” composer : LEHAR

Franz Lehar was a Hungarian composer who had a difficult relationship with the Nazi regime after it took control of his country. His wife was born Jewish, but converted to Catholicism. Fortunately for the Lehars, Hitler enjoyed the composer’s music and as a result Goebbels intervened and made Sophie Lehar “an honorary Aryan by marriage”.

“The Merry Widow” is an operetta composed by Franz Lehar. It is a comic piece about a rich widow and the attempts by her countrymen to marry her off in order to keep her fortune in the poverty-stricken Grand Duchy of Pontevedro. “The Merry Widow” was first performed in 1905 and has been popular ever since.

12. “I, Robot” author : ASIMOV

Isaac Asimov was a wonderful science fiction writer, and a professor of biochemistry. He was a favorite author as I was growing up and I must admit that some hero worship on my part led me to study and work as a biochemist for a short while early in my career. My favorite of his works is the collection of short stories called “I, Robot”. Asimov wrote three autobiographies, the last of which was called “I, Asimov”, which was published in 1994, two years after his death.

18. Radiology exam, briefly : MRI

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.

37. Garment in a vestry : ALB

An alb is a white, neck-to-toe vestment worn by priests, usually with a rope cord around the waist. The term alb comes from “albus”, the Latin word for “white”.

40. Alfred of I.Q. testing : BINET

The first usable intelligence test was invented by a French psychologist named Alfred Binet. Binet collaborated with Théodore Simon and together they produced the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale that is still in use today for IQ tests.

45. Flock loser of rhyme : BO PEEP

The lines that are most commonly quoted for the rhyme about “Little Bo Peep” are:

Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
And can’t tell where to find them;
Leave them alone, And they’ll come home,
Wagging their tails behind them.

But, there are actually four more verses, including this one:

It happened one day, as Bo-peep did stray
Into a meadow hard by,
There she espied their tails side by side,
All hung on a tree to dry.

52. Goal for some H.S. dropouts : GED

The General Educational Development (GED) tests are a battery of five tests designed to demonstrate that a student has the academic skills of someone who has graduated from an American or Canadian high school.

56. Big name in audio systems : BOSE

Bose Corporation was founded in 1964 by Amar G. Bose, and is a company that specializes in manufacture of audio equipment.

58. Holder of the Obama cabinet : ERIC

Eric Holder was the Attorney General of the United States from 2009 to 2015, the first African American to hold the position. Holder was close to President Obama during the presidential campaign. Holder was the campaign’s legal advisor and was also one of the three members on the Obama vice-presidential selection committee that recommended future Vice President Joe Biden.

60. Dipsomaniac : SOT

Dipsomania is a craving for alcohol to the point of damaging one’s health. “Dipsa” is the Greek for “thirst”, hence dipsomania is a “manic thirst”.

62. What Rick called Ilsa : KID

The famous line “Here’s looking at you, kid.” from 1942’s “Casablanca” was ranked no. 2 in a list of top movie quotes compiled by “The Hollywood Reporter”. The top of the list makes interesting reading, with the following comprising the top five:

  1. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” from “Gone With the Wind” (1939)
  2. “Here’s looking at you, kid.” from “Casablanca” (1942)
  3. “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” from “Jaws” (1975)
  4. “May the Force be with you.” from “Star Wars” (1977)
  5. “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” from “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

63. Word in 12/8/41 headlines : WAR

The Infamy Speech was delivered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The speech takes its name for the opening line:

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The phrase “a date which will live in infamy” is often misquoted as “a day which will live in infamy”. The term “infamy” was inserted in the speech just before it was delivered. A previous version read “… a date which will live in world history”.

65. In medias ___ : RES

“In media res” is a Latin phrase that translates as “into the middle of things”. We use “in media res” to describe a literary technique in which a story starts at some point other than the beginning of the plot.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Feeds the kitty : ANTES

6. Immunity ___ (“Survivor” object) : IDOL

10. Trash bag brand : GLAD

14. Bread : MOOLA

15. Dixie bread : PONE

16. Reduce, as anxiety : EASE

17. Where a queen can beat a king : CHESS MATCH

19. Disney’s “___ and the Detectives” : EMIL

20. Mossad’s land: Abbr. : ISR

21. Catch wind of : HEAR

23. Bird on Australia’s coat of arms : EMU

24. Beat by a whisker : EDGE

27. Medium for some sculptures : ICE

29. Big name in DVD rental : REDBOX

31. Soccer’s Messi, informally : LEO

32. Half a sawbuck : ABE

34. Sculpt : CARVE

35. Cheese in moussaka : FETA

37. Midwest university town : AMES, IOWA

39. Where an ace can beat a pair : DOUBLES TENNIS

42. Outpouring after a celebrity’s passing, say : TRIBUTES

43. Wine ___ (oenophile, often) : SNOB

45. “Borstal Boy” author : BEHAN

47. Onetime English poet laureate Henry James ___ : PYE

48. School email suffix : EDU

49. Dish often served with home fries : OMELET

51. Texter’s “Yikes!” : OMG

53. Forerunners of smartphones, for short : PDAS

54. ___ Xing : PED

55. “Forbidden” fragrance in old ads : TABU

57. California’s ___ River : EEL

59. One taking a bow in Greek art : EROS

61. Where two pair beats three of a kind : SOCK DRAWER

66. Breakfast brand : EGGO

67. Morales of “La Bamba” : ESAI

68. Cockamamie : INANE

69. Pain in the you-know-what : PEST

70. Make rhapsodic : SEND

71. What hands are composed of : CARDS

Down

1. “The Walking Dead” channel : AMC

2. Japanese drama style : NOH

3. Gout target, often : TOE

4. Cow on milk cartons : ELSIE

5. Get fresh with : SASS

6. Hoppy brew, briefly : IPA

7. Give 100% : DO THE BEST YOU CAN

8. Number of times Howard Hughes’s Spruce Goose flew : ONCE

9. “The Merry Widow” composer : LEHAR

10. “Hmm, I don’t know about that” : GEE

11. None too smart : LAME-BRAINED

12. “I, Robot” author : ASIMOV

13. Highest-quality : DELUXE

18. Radiology exam, briefly : MRI

22. Scout’s job, briefly : RECON

24. One with pointy ears and shoes : ELF

25. “___ I Do” (1926 jazz standard) : DEED

26. Completely fall apart : GO TO THE DOGS

28. Was mentioned, as in conversation : CAME UP

30. Times to crow : DAWNS

33. Think the world of : ESTEEM

36. Hearing-related : AURAL

37. Garment in a vestry : ALB

38. Certain plural ending : -IES

40. Alfred of I.Q. testing : BINET

41. Coke or Pepsi : SODA

44. Transportation to school : BUS

45. Flock loser of rhyme : BO PEEP

46. Come out of one’s cocoon : EMERGE

50. Subdues with a shock : TASES

52. Goal for some H.S. dropouts : GED

53. Primary strategy : PLAN A

56. Big name in audio systems : BOSE

58. Holder of the Obama cabinet : ERIC

60. Dipsomaniac : SOT

62. What Rick called Ilsa : KID

63. Word in 12/8/41 headlines : WAR

64. Terminus : END

65. In medias ___ : RES

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10 thoughts on “0809-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 9 Aug 17, Wednesday”

  1. 20:10 (wasn't that a movie?). Clever theme. Hadn't heard of In medias RES, but it's nice to know the phenomenon has a name…

    Best –

  2. Very clever theme, with a touch of math.

    Very literary also: ASIMOV, EMIL, BEHAN, EROS, PYE, NOH. Also, educated: BINET, EDU.

    I'm going to call the creator Adam "the cultured" PERL.

    Anyway, I had CHESSboard before CHESSMATCH. Of course, I never heard of this LEO. And Emil and the Detectives was originally a German story by Kastner, must reading for German students, and I appreciate any Germanic references.

  3. 11:34, no errors. Enjoyable theme. I also held off entering CHESS MATCH, waiting until I had sufficient crosses to ensure it wasn't CHESS BOARD.

    Was going to make the same comment about the change from NMRI to MRI, but Bill beat me to it.

  4. No errors. Northeast corner came slowly for me. I originally wrote in HAREBRAINED instead of LAMEBRAINED. Recognizing GLAD for the trashbags gave me the all-important starting letter and it was easy from there on.

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