0812-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Aug 17, Saturday

Constructed by: Kameron Austin Collins

Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Syndicated Crossword

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Read Comments/Leave a Comment

Theme: None

Bill’s time: 29m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Cambridge student, informally : CANTAB

The term “Cantabrigian” is used for things pertaining to the city of Cambridge. Often, the term is narrowed to refer to things associated with Cambridge University in particular. “Cantabrigian” comes from the Latin “Cantabrigia”, the medieval name for the city, from the Anglo-Saxon name “Cantebrigge”. The term is frequently shortened to “Cantab”.

7. Militant sort : RAMBO

A rambo is very violent and militant person. The term is relatively recent one, coming from the character John Rambo played by Sylvester Stallone in the “Rambo” series of movies. The first Rambo film made was “First Blood” in 1982. The film in turn is based on the 1972 novel of the same name by David Morrell.

14. Mystery writer ___ Jackson Braun : LILIAN

Lilian Jackson Braun was the author of the “The Cat Who” series of mystery novels. The main characters in the stories are an ex-reporter named James Qwilleran and his Siamese cats called KoKo and Yum-Yum.

15. Start of a big fight? : THRILLA

Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier had three memorable fights. The first was billed as the “Fight of the Century” and took place in 1971 in Madison Square Garden. It was a fight between two great boxers, both of whom were undefeated up till that point. Frazier won in a unanimous decision after fifteen rounds. A couple of years later, in 1973, Frazier lost his title to George Foreman. Ali and Frazier had a non-title rematch in 1974, with Ali coming out ahead this time, also in a unanimous decision. Later that year, Ali grabbed back the World Heavyweight Title in “The Rumble in the Jungle”, the famous “rope-a-dope” fight against George Foreman. That set the stage for the third and final fight between Ali and Frazier, “The Thrilla in Manila”. Ali won the early rounds, but Frazier made a comeback in the middle of the fight. Ali took control at the end of the bout, so much so that Frazier wasn’t able to come out of his corner for the 15th and final round. He couldn’t come out of his corner because both of his eyes were swollen shut, giving Ali a victory due to a technical knockout (TKO).

16. Champagne is one : TOPONYM

A toponym is a name that comes from a place or region. For example, New Jersey is named for the island of Jersey in the English Channel, and Indianapolis is named for the state of Indiana.

The ancient Olympic Games were held in a sanctuary called Olympia, which was located in a valley on the Peloponnesos peninsula in southern Greece. The games took their name from Olympia, and not Mount Olympus (a common misconception). Mount Olympus was home to Zeus and the other Olympian gods, and is located in central Greece.

Andes Chocolate Mints were first produced by a company called Andy’s Candies, established in 1921 by Andrew Kanelos in Chicago. Kanelos learned that men didn’t like giving boxes of candy to their wives and girlfriends if there was another man’s name on the box, so he changed his business to Andes Candies, for the South American mountain range.

20. Dreamer of myth : LOTUS-EATER

The lotus-eaters were a race of people that featured in Greek mythology. The lotus flowers and fruits that were consumed were supposedly narcotic and addictive, and so the lotus-eaters enjoyed a life largely asleep in peaceful apathy.

21. Brand of change-counting machines : COINSTAR

Coinstar is a brand of coin-cashing kiosk that can be found at various locations, such as grocery stores and banks. Users can cash in their collections of loose change for a voucher, with the Coinstar operator deducting a fee. I tend to avoid the fee by opting to receive an Amazon.com gift voucher for the full amount of the coins.

23. TV Gold? : ARI

Ari Gold is a fictional character in the HBO series “Entourage”. “Entourage” tells the story of a rising film star, Vincent Chase (played by Adrian Grenier), a native of New York but now learning to handle himself in Hollywood. Vincent’s Hollywood agent is Ari Gold, played by Jeremy Piven.

26. Applesauce-topped nosh : LATKE

A latke is a delicious potato pancake (I’m Irish … so anything made with potato is delicious!).

27. Prestigious research university : EMORY

Emory is a private school in Atlanta, Georgia with a focus on graduate research. The school was named after a Methodist Episcopal bishop called John Emory, who was very popular at the time of the school’s founding in 1836.

30. Colorful summer treats : ICE POPS

The term “ice pop” has largely been supplanted in the US by “popsicle”, as the Popsicle brand of ice pop became so popular. We still use “ice pop” in Ireland, and in the UK the same thing is called an “ice lolly”, and in Australia it’s an “ice block”.

33. Turkish pooh-bah : AGA

“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

The term “pooh-bah” (also “poobah”), meaning an ostentatious official, comes from the world of opera. Pooh-Bah is a character in the wonderful Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera “The Mikado”. Famously, Pooh-Bah holds many, many offices, including that of “Lord High Everything Else”.

36. Founder of two automobile companies : RANSOM OLDS

Ransom Eli Olds was a pioneer in the automotive industry, and the founder of the Oldsmobile and REO brands. Olds introduced the first modern stationary assembly line (Henry Ford’s famous innovation was the moving assembly line).

Down

5. Gudrun’s victim, in Norse myth : ATLI

Atli is a character in the Volsunga Saga of 13th century Icelandic lore. It is believed that the Atli character is loosely based on Attila the Hun. According to myth, Atli was murdered by his wife Gudrun.

7. Jack’s sobriquet, with “the” : RIPPER

Jack the Ripper was one of the names given to a serial killer who terrorized the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. The murders were particularly gruesome, and were all directed towards female prostitutes that worked in the area. The victims had their throats cut and then had their abdominal organs mutilated and sometimes removed. Eleven women were killed, and the murderer was never apprehended.

A sobriquet is an affectionate nickname. “Sobriquet” is French for “nickname”.

8. “___ From Hawaii” (1973 Elvis concert) : ALOHA

“Aloha from Hawaii” was a concert broadcast in 1973, live from Honolulu, with Elvis Presley as the headline act. The show cost $2.5 million to produce, making it the most expensive entertainment special up to that time. It was aired in over 40 countries worldwide and to this day it holds the record for being the most-watched broadcast by a single entertainer. The album containing music from the show was also a big hit, the first chart-topping album for Elvis since 1965.

9. Some ancient Cretan statues : MINOTAURS

Minos was the King of Crete in Greek mythology, and the son of Zeus and Europa. Minos had an elaborate labyrinth built under the island, designed by the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus (who famously died trying to escape from the island by “flying” away). In the labyrinth, King Minos kept the Minotaur, a dreadful creature with the head of a bull on the body of a man.

13. Big band singer Vic : DAMONE

Vic Damone is a singer from Brooklyn, New York. As a young man Damone started taking voice lessons, inspired by his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra. Decades later, Sinatra said that Damone had “the best pipes in the business”.

18. Crafts site : 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.

21. Suffragist Carrie Chapman ___ : CATT

Carrie Chapman Catt founded the League of Women Voters and the International Alliance of Women. Catt was also very close to Susan B. Anthony and succeeded Anthony as head of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

22. Sitcom world : ORK

“Mork & Mindy” is a sitcom that originally aired from 1978 to 1982. The title characters were played by Robin Williams and Pam Dawber. Mork is an alien from the planet Ork who reports back to his superior called Orson. Orson is played by voice actor Ralph James. Ralph James was also known for providing the voice of Mr Turtle in famous Tootsie Pop commercials in the seventies. Nanu nanu!

27. Mass readings : EPISTLES

By definition, an epistle is a writing sent by one person to a group of people, with the name “epistle” coming from the Greek word for “a letter”. The 21 epistles of the New Testament are letters from various of the Apostles to groups of Christians, with most of them being written by Paul.

28. Cozy footwear, for short : MOC

“Moc” is short for “moccasin”, a type of shoe. The moccasin is a traditional form of footwear worn by members of many Native American tribes.

29. Vintage military plane : WARBIRD

Warbirds are vintage military aircraft that are operated by civilian organizations, often at airshows.

30. Reality winners beginning in 2002 : IDOLS

Fox’s “American Idol” is a spin-off show that was created after the amazing success of the British television show “Pop Idol”. Neither program(me) would be my cup of tea …

37. Places to cool it? : SILLS

“Sill plate” or simply “sill” is an architectural term for a bottom horizontal member to which vertical members are attached. A windowsill is a specific sill plate that is found at the bottom of a window opening.

38. Major storm detritus : LIMBS

Detritus is the loose material that results from the process of erosion. The usage of the term has evolved to man any accumulated material or debris. “Detritus” is Latin for “a wearing away”.

40. Arthur ___, inventor of the crossword puzzle : WYNNE

Arthur Wynne is generally credited with the invention of what we now known as a crossword puzzle. Wynne was born in Liverpool, England and emigrated to the US when he was 19-years-old. He worked as a journalist and was living in Cedar Grove, New Jersey in 1913 when he introduced a “Word-Cross Puzzle” in his page of puzzles written for the “New York World”. The first book of crossword puzzles was published by Shuster & Shuster, in 1924. The collection of puzzles was a huge hit, and crosswords were elevated to the level of “a craze” in 1924 and 1925.

42. “Casablanca” lover : ILSA

Ilsa Lund was played by Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie “Casablanca”. I love the words of one critic describing the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman in this film: “She paints his face with her eyes”. Wow …

43. Chanel rival : COTY

Coty is a producer of beauty products that was founded in 1904 in Paris.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Cambridge student, informally : CANTAB

7. Militant sort : RAMBO

12. Scrubbed : ABORTED

14. Mystery writer ___ Jackson Braun : LILIAN

15. Start of a big fight? : THRILLA

16. Champagne is one : TOPONYM

17. One difficult to tie down : COMMITMENTPHOBE

19. Billing units: Abbr. : HRS

20. Dreamer of myth : LOTUS-EATER

21. Brand of change-counting machines : COINSTAR

23. TV Gold? : ARI

24. ___ New York (upscale department store chain) : BARNEYS

25. Short but not necessarily sweet : CURT

26. Applesauce-topped nosh : LATKE

27. Prestigious research university : EMORY

29. Split : WENT

30. Colorful summer treats : ICE POPS

33. Turkish pooh-bah : AGA

34. Placated, with “to” : MADE NICE

36. Founder of two automobile companies : RANSOM OLDS

38. Some postgraduate study : LAW

41. Ability to learn and adapt neurologically : BRAIN PLASTICITY

44. Says without saying : IMPLIES

45. Bad sign : ILL OMEN

46. Muddied : ROILED

47. Antinuke pact topic : TEST BAN

48. Habiliments : DRESS

49. Bully’s reply : SAYS ME!

Down

1. Dateable one : CATCH

2. Not fancy at all : ABHOR

3. Typical results : NORMS

4. Fit : TRIM

5. Gudrun’s victim, in Norse myth : ATLI

6. Weight-watchers watch it : BELTLINE

7. Jack’s sobriquet, with “the” : RIPPER

8. “___ From Hawaii” (1973 Elvis concert) : ALOHA

9. Some ancient Cretan statues : MINOTAURS

10. Candle scent popular at Christmas : BAYBERRY

11. Deservingly : ON MERIT

13. Big band singer Vic : DAMONE

14. Mucho : LOTSA

16. Fasteners with flat tops : T-NUTS

18. Crafts site : ETSY

21. Suffragist Carrie Chapman ___ : CATT

22. Sitcom world : ORK

24. Fruity dessert : BANANA PIE

25. Get along : COPE

26. Greaves, e.g. : LEG ARMOR

27. Mass readings : EPISTLES

28. Cozy footwear, for short : MOC

29. Vintage military plane : WARBIRD

30. Reality winners beginning in 2002 : IDOLS

31. That, in France : CELA

32. Breaks things off : ENDS IT

34. Media of exchange : MONIES

35. Superexcited : AMPED

37. Places to cool it? : SILLS

38. Major storm detritus : LIMBS

39. Elite group : A-TEAM

40. Arthur ___, inventor of the crossword puzzle : WYNNE

42. “Casablanca” lover : ILSA

43. Chanel rival : COTY

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11 thoughts on “0812-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Aug 17, Saturday”

  1. 23:57, no errors. Pretty challenging. So challenging I'm amazed I got through it without looking anything up. As I entered the final letter, I closed my eyes, expecting to get the "almost there" message, and … it didn't happen! Things I was unsure of: CANTAB, ATLI, LILIAN (Jackson Braun), COIN STAR (but there might have been one in my local King Soopers?), BARNEY'S, LEG ARMOR (though I vaguely remembered "greaves"), CELA (really?), WYNNE (whose name I have seen once or twice … good old Arthur), COTY (I don't use a lot of their products … or their rivals' products :-), and SILLS (the clue for which I still don't understand: "Places to cool it" … ?!). Oh, well … musn't argue with success … picture me movin' on down the road with a new spring in my step… 🙂

  2. Left 10 squares blank! Hmmm….I didn't find too difficult that which I got done, but I guess that isn't saying much with so much left UN-done!
    Couldn't see LEG ARMOR, didn't know CANTAB or ALTI….so I've got some overlap with you Dave — except that I DNF…):

  3. I am 84 yrs. young and started doing the NYT crossword a few years back, still struggling at the end of the week but so enjoy your answers and the explanations. Just wanted to thank you for your postings.

    1. Many thanks, Louise. The support is much appreciated, especially right now as I struggle with all these changes in the blog! But trust me, I enjoy writing up the posts each night. 🙂

  4. Just short of 14 minutes with this puzzle and I was DONE, with less than 10% filled in. Looking at the solution just reinforced my view that this one is pretty much unsolvable.

  5. 34 minutes, DNF. Filled all but the upper left corner, which is essentially blank; except for NORMS.

    @Amy Sasik: If you picture an old suit of armor; greaves were the pieces of armor that protected the shins; gauntlets protected the hands, bracers for forearms, pauldrons or spaulders were worn on the shoulders, etc.

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