1030-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 30 Oct 2017, Monday

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Constructed by: Jay Kaskel
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: Happy Halloween E’en!

We have a spooky puzzle today, with themed clues referring to witches. We have a few more “scary” clues and answers, to boot:

  • 18A. Computer help for a witch? : SPELLCHECK
  • 26A. Educational institution for witches? : CHARM SCHOOL
  • 41A. How one might be forced to accept a witch? : WARTS AND ALL
  • 53A. Utterances from witches? : CURSE WORDS

Bill’s time: 5m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10. Tried to steal second, maybe : SLID

That would be baseball.

20. Fish that’s a source of caviar : STURGEON

Caviar is the roe of a large fish that has been salted and seasoned, and especially the roe of a sturgeon. Beluga caviar comes from the beluga sturgeon, found primarily in the Caspian Sea. It is the most expensive type of caviar in the world. 8 ounces of US-farmed beluga caviar can be purchased through Amazon.com for just over $850, in case you’re feeling peckish …

22. Smooth transition from one topic to the next : SEGUE

A segue is a transition from one topic to the next. “Segue” is an Italian word that literally means “now follows”. It was first used in musical scores directing the performer to play into the next movement without a break.

38. Takes too much, briefly : OD’S

Overdose (OD)

44. Japanese warrior : SAMURAI

Samurai were noble military officers in medieval and early-modern Japan who served particular clans and lords. Originally known as “bushi” in Japanese, the term “samurai” was introduced in the early part of the 18th century.

47. “The Ghost and Mrs. ___” (1947 movie) : MUIR

“Ghost and Mrs. Muir” is a 1947 movie based on a 1945 novel of the same name by Josephine Leslie (using the pen name “R. A. Dick”). Gene Tierney plays a young widow who rents a house haunted by the ghost of seaman played by Rex Harrison. The film is a light-hearted, romantic offering, and highly recommended …

49. July 4, for the United States : BIRTHDAY

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.

56. Dublin’s land : EIRE

The city of Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is known as “Baile Átha Cliath” in Irish (“town of the hurdled ford”). The English name “Dublin” is an anglicized form of the older Irish name for the city “Dubh Linn”, meaning “black pool”.

57. Lit ___ (coll. course) : CRIT

Literary studies, also called literary criticism (lit. crit.), is the evaluation and interpretation of literature.

60. Grains used in Cheerios : OATS

Cheerios breakfast cereal has the distinction of being the first oat-based cereal introduced into the market, hitting the grocery store shelves in 1941. Back then, Cheerios were known as CheeriOats.

61. “Hyperion” poet John : KEATS

“Hyperion” is an 1818/1819 epic poem penned by John Keats, one that he abandoned and never actually finished. Here are some lines:

O tender spouse of gold Hyperion,
Thea, I feel thee ere I see thy face;
Look up, and let me see our doom in it;
Look up, and tell me if this feeble shape
Is Saturn’s; tell me, if thou hear’st the voice
Of Saturn; tell me, if this wrinkling brow,
Naked and bare of its great diadem,
Peers like the front of Saturn.

62. Wines like Beaujolais and Chianti : REDS

Beaujolais is a red wine made from the Gamay grape that is produced in the Beaujolais historical province that is part of the Burgundy wine-making region.

Chianti is a red wine from the Chianti region of central Tuscany in Italy. Historically, Chianti was stored in a characteristically bulbous bottle wrapped in a straw basket. However, the pragmatists have won the day and regular wine bottles tend to be used nowadays.

Down

3. Language of Pakistan : URDU

Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

4. Sci-fi movie that’s inspired many a Halloween costume : STAR WARS

“Star Wars” is the highest-grossing film media franchise of all time, and the second highest-grossing media franchise in general. The highest-grossing media franchise? That would be “Pokémon”.

6. Chickens for roasting : CAPONS

A capon is a castrated cockerel (poor guy!). Castration has a profound effect on the bird (duh!) making the meat more tender to eat when it is slaughtered.

7. “I’ll second that!” : AMEN!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

8. Seminary subj. : REL

Originally, a “seminary” was where plants were raised from seeds, as “semen” is the Latin for “seed”. The first schools labelled as seminaries were established in the late 1500s. Those first schools were more likely to be academies for young ladies back then, rather than for trainee priests.

9. Immigrant’s subj. : ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

11. Feudal lord : LIEGE

A liege was a feudal lord, one to whom service or allegiance was owed under feudal law. “Liege” was also the term used for one who owed allegiance or service to a lord. Apparently the term is influenced by the Latin verb “ligare” meaning “to tie, bind”. So, I guess both lord and servant were “bound” to each other.

12. Ear bone : INCUS

The middle ear is the portion of the ear immediately behind the eardrum. The middle ear contains three small bones called the ossicles, the three smallest bones in the human body. The ossicles’ job is to transmit sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. The shape of the bones gives rise to their names: the hammer (malleus), anvil (incus) and stirrup (stapes).

13. Hockey feints : DEKES

A deke, also known as a dangle, is a technique used to get past an opponent in ice hockey. “Deke” is a colloquial shortening of the word “decoy”.

19. Bill worth 100 smackers : C-SPOT

Benjamin Franklin is featured on one side of the hundred-dollar bill (also called a “C-spot”), and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on the other side. There is a famous error in the image of Independence Hall. If you look closely at the clock face at the top of the building you can see that the “four” is written in Roman numerals as “IV”. However, on the actual clock on Independence Hall, the “four” is denoted by “IIII”, which has been the convention for clock faces for centuries.

29. “Much ___ About Nothing” : ADO

“Much Ado About Nothing” is a play by William Shakespeare, and a favorite of mine. It is a comedic tale of two pairs of lovers with lots of mistaken identities and double meanings. I once saw it performed in the fabulous Globe Theatre in London … by an all-female cast. Such a performance was somewhat ironic, given that in Shakespeare’s day the practice was to use an all-male cast.

31. Marx who co-wrote “The Communist Manifesto” : KARL

Karl Marx was a German philosopher and revolutionary who helped develop the principles of modern communism and socialism. Marx argued that feudal society created internal strife due to class inequalities which led to its destruction and replacement by capitalism. He further argued that the inequalities created in a capitalist society create tensions that will also lead to its self-destruction. His thesis was that the inevitable replacement of capitalism was a classless (and stateless) society, which he called pure communism.

32. Like Michael Myers of “Halloween” : EVIL

I really, really don’t do horror films. The one exception perhaps is the original “Halloween” movie, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance. To me, this first movie in the “Halloween” series is more in the style of Hitchcock’s “Psycho” whereas the sequels were just chock full of gore and graphic violence.

37. “I’ll second that!” : HEAR! HEAR!

The phrase “Hear! Hear!” is an expression of support that is perhaps more commonly used in the UK than on this side of the Atlantic. The phrase evolved from “Hear him! Hear him!”, which was the original utterance used in the UK parliament in the 17th century.

39. Analyze grammatically : PARSE

The verb “to parse” means “to state the parts of speech in a sentence”. “Parse” comes from the Latin word “pars” meaning “part”.

41. German sausages : WURSTS

“Wurst” is simply a German word meaning “sausage”.

44. Vanzetti’s partner in 1920s crime : SACCO

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were two anarchists accused of committing murder during an armed robbery in 1920. They were arrested the day after the crime. There followed two controversial trials, guilty verdicts and several appeals that went all the way to the US Supreme Court. Despite mounting evidence that the pair was innocent, the guilty verdicts were repeatedly upheld. A lot of the public accepted that Sacco and Vanzetti were not guilty, and many protests were staged. Regardless, the two were executed in the electric chair in 1927.

45. Honda luxury brand : ACURA

Acura is the luxury brand of the Honda Motor Company. As an aside, Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Lexus is the more luxurious version of Toyota’s models.

49. La ___ Tar Pits : BREA

The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. At the site there is a constant flow of tar that seeps up to the surface from underground, a phenomenon that has been around for tens of thousands of years. What is significant is that much of the seeping tar is covered by water. Over many, many centuries animals came to the water to drink and became trapped in the tar as they entered the water to quench their thirsts. The tar then preserved the bones of the dead animals. Today a museum is located right by the Tar Pits, recovering bones and displaying specimens of the animals found there. It’s well worth a visit if you are in town …

50. Construction on the coast of Holland : DIKE

A dike is an embankment usually made of earth and rock that is used to prevent floods.

51. Lacking rainfall : ARID

Even deserts get rain at some point in the year, with very few exceptions. One of those exceptions is the Atacama Desert in South America, which receives no rain at all.

52. Hankerings : YENS

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

54. Stir-fry vessel : WOK

“Wok” is a Cantonese word, the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

55. U.K. award : OBE

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry in the UK that was established in 1917 by King George V. There are five classes within the order, which are in descending seniority:

  • Knight Grand Cross (GBE)
  • Knight Commander (KBE)
  • Commander (CBE)
  • Officer (OBE)
  • Member (MBE)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Burden of proof : ONUS
5. “Like ___” (remark dismissing concern) : I CARE
10. Tried to steal second, maybe : SLID
14. Impudent : PERT
15. Things called in roll call : NAMES
16. French film : CINE
17. “Look how great I did!” : TA-DA!
18. Computer help for a witch? : SPELLCHECK
20. Fish that’s a source of caviar : STURGEON
22. Smooth transition from one topic to the next : SEGUE
23. Gradually withdraw, as from the bottle : WEAN
24. Wearing only a bottom : TOPLESS
26. Educational institution for witches? : CHARM SCHOOL
29. Clock sound at 6 a.m., maybe : ALARM
30. Engrossed : RAPT
31. Centerpiece of a beer bash : KEG
34. Canines : DOGS
35. Aches and ___ : PAINS
37. Possess : HAVE
38. Takes too much, briefly : OD’S
39. Tempo : PACE
40. Like a haunted house : EERIE
41. How one might be forced to accept a witch? : WARTS AND ALL
44. Japanese warrior : SAMURAI
47. “The Ghost and Mrs. ___” (1947 movie) : MUIR
48. Super tennis servers : ACERS
49. July 4, for the United States : BIRTHDAY
53. Utterances from witches? : CURSE WORDS
56. Dublin’s land : EIRE
57. Lit ___ (coll. course) : CRIT
58. Seriously overweight : OBESE
59. Similar (to) : AKIN
60. Grains used in Cheerios : OATS
61. “Hyperion” poet John : KEATS
62. Wines like Beaujolais and Chianti : REDS

Down

1. Chooses (to) : OPTS
2. Tidy : NEAT
3. Language of Pakistan : URDU
4. Sci-fi movie that’s inspired many a Halloween costume : STAR WARS
5. Line down a pant leg : INSEAM
6. Chickens for roasting : CAPONS
7. “I’ll second that!” : AMEN!
8. Seminary subj. : REL
9. Immigrant’s subj. : ESL
10. Actor Maximilian : SCHELL
11. Feudal lord : LIEGE
12. Ear bone : INCUS
13. Hockey feints : DEKES
19. Bill worth 100 smackers : C-SPOT
21. Target for a disinfectant wipe : GERM
24. Hotter ___ hell : THAN
25. “My bad!” : OOPS!
26. Dirt clump : CLOD
27. Witches : HAGS
28. Moans and groans, e.g. : CRIES
29. “Much ___ About Nothing” : ADO
31. Marx who co-wrote “The Communist Manifesto” : KARL
32. Like Michael Myers of “Halloween” : EVIL
33. “Huh, fancy that!” : GEE!
35. Prefix with legal or trooper : PARA-
36. Start of a play : ACT I
37. “I’ll second that!” : HEAR! HEAR!
39. Analyze grammatically : PARSE
40. Rearrange, as text : EDIT
41. German sausages : WURSTS
42. In the thick of : AMIDST
43. Ones patient with patients : NURSES
44. Vanzetti’s partner in 1920s crime : SACCO
45. Honda luxury brand : ACURA
46. Kind of badge for a boy scout : MERIT
49. La ___ Tar Pits : BREA
50. Construction on the coast of Holland : DIKE
51. Lacking rainfall : ARID
52. Hankerings : YENS
54. Stir-fry vessel : WOK
55. U.K. award : OBE

8 thoughts on “1030-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 30 Oct 2017, Monday”

  1. Nice enough Monday puzzle. I didn’t know INCUS or DEKES (sports), and they were next to each other, so had to get by crosses and guessing.

  2. Jeff – I keep forgetting to sign in

    A few tricky spots, but I survived. Slightly harder than most Mondays….I think. I did this watching a hockey game, texting and listening to my ipod so in retrospect it’s a miracle I finished at all…

    Best –

  3. No errors. I had the SACCO and Vanzetti trials mixed up with another 1920’s trial that was similar. But in that case the murderers beat the rap by claiming that their rich parents had not raised them properly. Really makes me wonder about our criminal justice system.

  4. 7:22, no errors. Good Halloween theme, we syndicatees have to keep that perspective in mind.

    @Dale: your account of the trials reminds me of the definition of the word: chutzpah. A man on trial for the murder of both his parents asks the court for mercy, because he is an orphan.

  5. 6:16, no errors. Definitely harder than your average Monday puzzle, with a few really scholarly fills in here. SACCO for 44 Down was completely a cross fill. I live in fear of those difficult fills that one has absolutely no knowledge of.. you can only hope the cross fills, and maybe only ONE lucky letter guess will see you through.

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