1028-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 28 Oct 2017, Saturday

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Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 20m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. U.S. Census Bureau designation : URBAN AREA

The original censor was an officer in ancient Rome who had responsibility for taking the “census”, as well as supervising public morality.

10. Wrist bones : CARPI

The human wrist is known anatomically as the carpus (plural “carpi”). The carpal bones allow the wrist its remarkable range of motion.

15. The Vikings, e.g. : SEAFARERS

The Vikings were a Germanic people from northern Europe who were noted as great seafarers. Key to the success of the Vikings was the design of their famous “longships”. Made from wood, the longship was long and narrow with a shallow hull, It was also light, so that the crew would actually carry it small distances over land and around obstacles. Longships were designed to be propelled both by sail and by oars.

16. Crosswise, on a ship : ABEAM

The beam is the widest part of a nautical vessel. Something pointed out as lying abeam is something that it is 90 degrees from a line through the bow and the stern, in other words directly off to the right or the left.

18. “The Sound of Music” name : TRAPP

“The Sound of Music” is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that was made into a celebrated movie in 1965 starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The musical is based on “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers”, a memoir by Maria von Trapp. The von Trapp family ended up in Stowe, Vermont after the war, and one family descended from the Vermont von Trapps lives here in the same town in which I live in California.

20. Jack of the trump suit, in euchre : BOWER

Euchre is a card game that probably came to the US from Germany, introduced by German farmers who settled in Wisconsin. Euchre is a trick-taking game usually played by four people in two partnerships. Unlike bridge, Euchre is played with a stripped down deck of 24 or 32 cards. The verb “to euchre” is slang for “to cheat, swindle”, a term that presumably comes from the card game.

21. New York’s state motto : EXCELSIOR

“Excelsior” is the Latin for “ever upward”, and is the motto of the state of New York.

23. 100 pounds: Abbr. : CWT

In America, a hundredweight is 100 pounds, whereas in the UK, a hundredweight is 112 pounds. The hundredweight is also called a centum weight, which explains the abbreviation used: cwt.

24. Subject of a Minnesota state nickname : LAKES

An unofficial nickname for the state of Minnesota is “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. That nickname is quite apt as the state is home to almost twelve thousand lakes that are at least ten acres in size.

34. Unification Church member : MOONIE

The Unification Church was founded in Seoul, South Korea in 1954 by Sun Myung Moon. Members of the church are sometimes called “Moonies”, which is probably an offensive term …

39. Actor Tognazzi of “La Cage aux Folles” : UGO

The musical “La Cage aux Folles” opened on Broadway in 1985. It is a musical adaptation of the French play of the same name by Jean Poiret that was first staged in 1973. I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing the stage play nor the musical, but I love the wonderful movie adaptation called “The Birdcage”, which was released in 1996. The film has a very strong cast that includes Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman and Hank Azaria.

41. One taking un examen : ELEVE

In French, an “élève” (pupil, student) might take “un examen” (an exam).

42. Many doorknobs, faucets, candleholders, etc. : BRASSWARE

Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, and brass is an alloy of copper and zinc.

49. A.F.C. South player : TITAN

The Tennessee Titans are a football team based in Nashville. The team relocated to Nashville from Houston in 1997. They were called the Tennessee Oilers for two seasons, before adopting the “Titans” moniker.

50. Dessert go-withs : PORT WINES

Portugal’s city of Oporto (“Porto” in Portuguese) gave its name to port wine in the late 1600s. Oporto was the seaport through which most of the region’s fortified red wine was exported.

53. Some old Ford cars, briefly : MERCS

The Mercury brand of car was made by Ford from 1938 until 2011. Mercury was introduced by Henry Ford’s son Edsel Ford. Mercury vehicles were positioned as being more luxurious that the regular Ford models, and more economical than Ford’s high-end Lincoln models.

55. 1950s politico Kefauver : ESTES

Estes Kefauver was a Democratic politician from Tennessee. In 1956 Kefauver was the running mate of Adlai Stevenson when Stevenson made a bid for the presidency. The pair lost to the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket.

Down

3. Containing element #56 : BARIC

Barium is the chemical element with the atomic number 56, and the element symbol “Ba”.

6. Edible parts of lychee nuts and pomegranates : ARILS

The casing surrounding many seeds is called the aril, and it may be quite fleshy. This fruit-like characteristic makes it desirable as a food and aids in the dispersion of the seeds.

10. 1965 movie for which Lee Marvin won an Oscar for playing two different characters : CAT BALLOU

“Cat Ballou” is a 1965 film, a comedy western starring Jane Fonda in the title role and Lee Marvin in dual roles, for which Marvin won his only Oscar. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Roy Chanslor. The novel was a serious and a quite dark work, but it was lightened up for the big screen.

I’ve always thought that Lee Marvin was a very talented actor. Marvin had an amazing voice, and the appearance of a man who was hard and villainous. Yet he was able to break free from the villain roles in which he was typecast and played some characters with more depth. He won an Academy Award for his dual-role performance in 1965’s “Cat Ballou”. His totally unique rendition of the song “Wand’rin Star” from the 1969 musical film “Paint Your Wagon” made it to number one in the UK charts, keeping the Beatles hit “Let it Be” in the number two spot. I’ll bet that surprised even Marvin himself!

11. Official with the power to annul laws : ABROGATOR

“To abrogate” is such a lovely sounding verb, I think. It means to annul or do away with, especially by using authority.

30. NaOH : LYE

Soda lye is a solution of sodium hydroxide. One common use of soda lye is in the manufacture of soap.

Sodium hydroxide is a highly caustic salt, with the chemical formula NaOH. Because of its caustic properties, sodium hydroxide is also known as “caustic soda”.

43. It can get the blood flowing : STENT

In the world of medicine and surgery, a stent is an artificial tube inserted inside a vessel in the body, say an artery, so that it reduces the effects of a local restriction in the body’s conduit.

44. Stretch of turf : SWARD

“Sward” is version of the word “swarth”, and describes a grassy piece of land.

46. Architectural features of Greco-Roman temples : ANTAE

An anta (plural “antae”) is a post or pillar on either side of the entrance to a Greek temple.

48. Awards for Best Play and others : ESPYS

The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. U.S. Census Bureau designation : URBAN AREA
10. Wrist bones : CARPI
15. The Vikings, e.g. : SEAFARERS
16. Crosswise, on a ship : ABEAM
17. No-nos for cleaning glass stovetops : ABRASIVES
18. “The Sound of Music” name : TRAPP
19. Refuse assistance : GO IT ALONE
20. Jack of the trump suit, in euchre : BOWER
21. New York’s state motto : EXCELSIOR
22. Type of type : AGATE
23. 100 pounds: Abbr. : CWT
24. Subject of a Minnesota state nickname : LAKES
25. Catch unaware : STARTLE
31. Devices for clearing winter sidewalks : SALTERS
33. Thin and dry : PAPERY
34. Unification Church member : MOONIE
35. Puts on : APPLIES
37. Ran : COURSED
38. Subleased : RELET
39. Actor Tognazzi of “La Cage aux Folles” : UGO
41. One taking un examen : ELEVE
42. Many doorknobs, faucets, candleholders, etc. : BRASSWARE
49. A.F.C. South player : TITAN
50. Dessert go-withs : PORT WINES
51. Ridiculous : INANE
52. Get older and slower : LOSE A STEP
53. Some old Ford cars, briefly : MERCS
54. Prepared food designation : OVEN-READY
55. 1950s politico Kefauver : ESTES
56. Garment that lacks a waistline : TENT DRESS

Down

1. Phone bill figure : USAGE
2. Prepare for a purchase return, perhaps : REBOX
3. Containing element #56 : BARIC
4. ___ worse than death : A FATE
5. “M,” e.g. : NASAL
6. Edible parts of lychee nuts and pomegranates : ARILS
7. Echo : REVOICE
8. To this point, poetically : ERE NOW
9. Puts forward : ASSERTS
10. 1965 movie for which Lee Marvin won an Oscar for playing two different characters : CAT BALLOU
11. Official with the power to annul laws : ABROGATOR
12. Stirs, as old feelings : REAWAKENS
13. Container for writing materials, such as fancy stationery : PAPETERIE
14. Sitting back and thinking “Wow!” : IMPRESSED
25. When to do crosswords, say : SPARE TIME
26. Markings on a theater stage : TAPE LINES
27. Small pastry with sliced fruit often arranged in concentric circles : APPLE TART
28. Necessity for admitting evidence at a trial : RELEVANCE
29. Stale quality : TRITENESS
30. NaOH : LYE
32. “Just ___” (“Be right with you”) : A MO
36. It’s not the main story : SUBPLOT
37. Make rough : COARSEN
40. Enjoy the music, say : GROOVE
43. It can get the blood flowing : STENT
44. Stretch of turf : SWARD
45. Better informed : WISER
46. Architectural features of Greco-Roman temples : ANTAE
47. Some winds : REEDS
48. Awards for Best Play and others : ESPYS

11 thoughts on “1028-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 28 Oct 2017, Saturday”

  1. 21:00, no errors. BOWER and PAPETERIE were both unknown to me; I correctly guessed that the letter at the intersection had to be an “E”, but the Natick did slow me down a bit. Except for that, this puzzle turned out to be easier than I expected (given the nature of the grid).

  2. @Allen … I’m glad you enjoyed that article by Maleska. I thought it clearly described the difficulty (near-impossibility?) of keeping such a diverse body of critical consumers happy from day to day. Also, I thought it proved that said difficulty did not begin with the advent of Will Shortz. (The intensity of some of your comments about poor Will have led me to speculate that, in a past life, he was the schoolyard bully who stole your lunch money every day … 😜 .)

    1. I, too enjoyed the Maleska article. I think I saw it when you first posted and now, again, when the 5 week syndication lag came around. I have several older volumes of Sunday puzzles inherited from my mother and many are from the Weng and Maleska eras. The style of these earlier puzzles seems to have more reliance on obscure foreign language terms and references to classical literature. As such, they tend to be harder for me to complete since the crossing clues often are just as opaque. I’m sure that 25 years from now someone will write a similar comment about clues deriving from rap music.

      Thanks for posting the article.

  3. @wayne … I think Bill’s entry yesterday (about emoticons) may have been altered by the web site machinery, which turns some emoticons into emojis, or not, depending on context. For example, “:-)” remains an emoticon, because I put quotes around it, but 🙂 , without the quotes, becomes an emoji, even though I typed the same string of characters.

    1. I played euchre as a kid in the Midwest so bower was a term I knew but did not have any understanding of its origins or derivation. Some poking around with Google found this article:

      http://www.parlettgames.uk/histocs/euchre.html

      It may be way more than you (or anyone) is interested to know but there you have it!

      Nowadays I’ve given up euchre for duplicate bridge and discovered many, many more mysteries and ways to enumerate my limitations.

  4. Not even a sniff at this one. Clues too vague, fills often too esoteric. 25 minutes of futility, resulting in less than half a grid full, and several of those fills ultimately wrong. You had to be a mind-reader to get this one.

    A quibble…. the Sound of Music family were the *von*Trapps, weren’t they? I didn’t fill that one in because I didn’t think I had enough letters, so I figured it must be a first name of one of the characters.

  5. Easy start in the NW quadrant, tougher in the other three, which mostly required separate starts of their own. Took time, but was pleased to finish, though with a number of writeovers.

  6. DNF after 35 mins. Bottom right quadrant did me in; essentially blank except for COARSEN and ____DRESS. Tried to follow this setters’ thought process, to little avail. Had REKINDLES before REAWAKENS in 12D; TARSI before CARPI in 10A; for me SIDEBAR seemed to work better in 35D than SUBPLOT, which essentially wiped my chances to complete the grid.

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