1120-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 20 Nov 2017, Monday

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Constructed by: Peter Gordon
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: Alliteration

Today’s themed answers alliterate. However, the two words in each phrase start with different letters, even though they are pronounced the same way:

  • 18D. What 17-, 33-, 47- and 66-Across exhibit, despite appearances to the contrary : ALLITERATION
  • 17A. Nickname of Gen. Burgoyne in the American Revolution : GENTLEMAN JOHNNY
  • 33A. End of a close race : PHOTO FINISH
  • 47A. Dish made with romaine lettuce, croutons and Parmesan cheese : CAESAR SALAD
  • 66A. Coiner of the phrase “alternative facts” : KELLYANNE CONWAY

Bill’s time: 5m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Three-syllable foot, as in “bada-bing” : ANAPEST

“Anapest” is the name given to a metrical foot in poetry, one in which two unstressed syllables are followed by a stressed one. Indeed, the name “anapest” is a good example, when pronounced an-a-pest. Here is a better example of a verse using anapest, so let’s all say it out loud together! “‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house”.

8. Hosp. diagnostic procedure that’s noninvasive : MRI

MRI scans can be daunting for many people as they usually involve the patient lying inside a tube with the imaging magnet surrounding the body. Additionally, the scan can take up to 40 minutes in some cases. There are some open MRI scanners available that help prevent a feeling of claustrophobia. However, the image produced by open scanners are of lower quality as they operate at lower magnetic fields.

11. Cavity filler’s deg. : DDS

Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

14. German measles : RUBELLA

German measles is a disease caused by the rubella virus, with the name “rubella” coming from the Latin for “little red” (a reference to the red rash symptom). The disease is known as “German” measles because it was first described by physicians in Germany in the mid-1900s. Rubella is most serious for pregnant women as it can cause spontaneous abortion or cause the baby to be born with life-threatening organ disorders. When I was growing up in Ireland, I remember my brother and I catching German measles, and then having young girls from the neighborhood paraded through the house. The hope was that they would catch the disease and acquire the resulting immunity before they entered their childbearing years. Most children in North America receive a German measles vaccine as part of the MMR vaccine.

17. Nickname of Gen. Burgoyne in the American Revolution : GENTLEMAN JOHNNY

John Burgoyne was a high-born officer in the British Army who is best known for the role he played in the American Revolutionary War. Prior to being posted in North America, Burgoyne developed quite the reputation as a well-dressed officer and extravagant spender around town, which behavior earned him the nickname “Gentleman Johnny”. His role in the American Revolution was an ignominious one by all accounts. He surrendered his entire army of 6,200 men after the Battles of Saratoga in 1777, and returned to England in disgrace. Arguably, the defeat was a turning point in the war, as it precipitated a dramatic increase in foreign aid, which was an important factor in the ultimate defeat of the British.

19. “Your turn,” to a walkie-talkie user : OVER

The more formal name for a walkie-talkie is “handheld transceiver”. A walkie-talkie is a handheld, two-way radio, and a device first developed for military use during WWII by Motorola (although others developed similar designs soon after). The first walkie-talkie was portable, but large. It was back-mounted and was carried around the battlefield by a radio officer.

21. Valentine’s Day flower : ROSE

Saint Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saint’s’ day was dropped by the Roman Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …

22. Parts of psyches : EGOS

Sigmund Freud created a structural model of the human psyche, breaking it into three parts: the id, the ego, and the super-ego. The id is that part of the psyche containing the basic instinctual drives. The ego seeks to please the id by causing realistic behavior that benefits the individual. The super-ego almost has a parental role, contradicting the id by introducing critical thinking and morals to behavioral choices.

27. College fund-raiser targets : ALUMNI

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

30. Sound after snap and crackle : POP

Snap, Crackle and Pop are three elves employed as the mascots for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. The trio first appeared in an ad campaign in 1933, although the phrase “snap, crackle and pop” had been used for the cereal for some time in radio ads. By the way, the elves are selling “Rice Bubbles” in Australia, and the elves have different names in other parts of the world (like “Cric!, Crac! and Croc! in Quebec).

38. Ante matter? : CHIP

That might be the game of poker, perhaps.

41. “Drove my Chevy to the ___ …” (“American Pie” lyric) : LEVEE

A levee is an artificial bank usually made of earth, running along the length of a river. A levee is designed to hold back river water at a time of potential flooding. “Levée” is the French word for “raised” and is an American term that originated in French-speaking New Orleans around 1720.

Don McLean released his greatest hit, “American Pie”, back in 1971. Despite the song’s iconic position in the pop repertoire, McLean has been remarkably reticent about its origins and the meaning of the lyrics. We do know that it was inspired by the death of Buddy Holly in a plane crash (“the day the music died”). McLean has also told us that he first read about the death of his idol when delivering newspapers the day after the crash (“February made me shiver/with every paper I’d deliver”). Although the lyrics have been analyzed and interpreted in depth by many, McLean’s stance remains that it is just a poem set to music.

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

42. Bit of turf on a golf course : DIVOT

A divot is a chunk of grass and earth that is removed by a golf club immediately after striking the ball. “Divot” is derived from a Scottish word for a piece of turf or sod used as a roofing material.

44. St. Louis landmark : ARCH

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is located on the banks of the Mississippi River, and is the tallest monument in the United States. It was designed by Eero Saarinen, with the help of structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel. They did their design work back in 1947, but construction wasn’t started until 1963. In 1980, a daredevil took it upon himself to parachute onto the top of the arch, intending to further jump from the apex of the arch and parachute to the ground. He hit the arch alright, and slid all the way down one of the arches to his death. No comment …

46. High-priced theater section : LOGE

In most theaters and stadia today, “loge” is the name given to the front rows of a mezzanine level. Loge can also be used for box seating.

47. Dish made with romaine lettuce, croutons and Parmesan cheese : CAESAR SALAD

The Caesar salad was created by restaurateur Caesar Cardini at the Hotel Caesar’s in Tijuana, Mexico. The original recipe called for whole lettuce leaves that were to be lifted up by the stem and eaten with the fingers.

50. Busta Rhymes’s music : RAP

“Busta Rhymes” is the stage name of rap artist Trevor Smith from Brooklyn, New York. Busta’s stage name was chosen in honor of professional footballer Buster Rhymes.

51. ___ Lanka : SRI

The island nation of Sri Lanka lies off the southeast coast of India. The name “Sri Lanka” translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

52. Irritable : TETCHY

Someone described as “tetchy” is easily irritated. I seem to hear that word a lot …

54. Sombrero-wearing musician : MARIACHI

The name “mariachi”, used for a typically Mexican popular band, is said to be a corruption of the French word for “marriage” (i.e. “mariage”). This perhaps dates back to the times of Napoleon II when France had political and cultural influence over Spain.

58. Animal docs : VETS

“Vet” is an abbreviation for “veterinarian”, a professional who treat animals for disease and injury. The word “veterinary” comes from the Latin “veterinae” meaning “working animals, beasts of burden”.

60. United ___ Emirates : ARAB

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates (states) in the Middle East. Included in the seven are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with the city of Abu Dhabi being the UAE capital and cultural center.

61. Exclamations during eclipses : OOHS

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the shadow cast by the earth from the light of the sun, in other words when the earth is positioned directly between the sun and the moon. The more spectacular solar eclipse takes place when moon passes in front of the sun, so that the earth falls into the shadow cast by the moon.

64. Actress Skye : IONE

Ione Skye is an American actress born in Hertfordshire in England. She is best known for portraying the character Diane Court in the 1989 high school romance movie “Say Anything …”, starring opposite John Cusack. Skye is the daughter of the Scottish folk singer Donovan.

66. Coiner of the phrase “alternative facts” : KELLYANNE CONWAY

Kellyanne Conway is a political pollster and spokesperson. She was appointed to run then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016, which resulted in Conway ultimately becoming the first woman to manage a successful US presidential campaign. One of Conway’s less auspicious claims to fame was coining of the phrase “alternative facts”, which she used in a 2017 interview on “Meet the Press”. She later defined “alternative facts” as “additional facts and alternative information”.

71. “Le Misanthrope” playwright : MOLIERE

“Molière” was the stage name of French actor and playwright Jean-Baptiste Poquelin. It is amazing how well the comedies of Molière, written in the 1600s, entertain us on stage today. Among his best-known plays are “The Misanthrope”, “The School for Wives” and “Tartuffe or the Hypocrite”.

73. Anthem writer Francis Scott ___ : KEY

The lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” were written first as a poem by Francis Scott Key. Key’s inspiration was the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry that he witnessed during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called “The Anacreontic Song”, with the Anacreontic Society being a men’s club in London.

Down

1. Jason’s ship, 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.

2. Cuatro + cinco : NUEVE

In Spanish, “Cuatro + cinco” (four + five) is “nueve” (nine).

3. Rare blood type : AB-NEGATIVE

Here is an approximate distribution of blood types across the US population:

  • O-positive: 38 percent
  • O-negative: 7 percent
  • A-positive: 34 percent
  • A-negative: 6 percent
  • B-positive: 9 percent
  • B-negative: 2 percent
  • AB-positive: 3 percent
  • AB-negative: 1 percent

4. Gas sold by the litre : PETROL

Petrol is the same thing as gasoline. “Petrol” comes via French from the Latin “petroleum”, itself derived from “petra” meaning “rock” and “oleum” meaning “oil”.

6. Seattle ___ (1977 Triple Crown horse) : SLEW

Seattle Slew was a thoroughbred racehorse who won the Triple Crown in 1977. Although Seattle Slew was the tenth to win the Triple Crown, he was the only horse to have done so undefeated.

8. ___ Park, N.J. : MENLO

Menlo Park, New Jersey is noted as the home to Thomas Edison’s laboratory where he made so many of his inventions. We also have a pretty well-known Menlo Park out here in California, home to many of the venture capital companies that tend to make a lot of money out of Silicon Valley businesses.

9. Indian character on “The Big Bang Theory” : RAJ

Raj Koothrappali is a character on the sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” who is played by British-Indian actor Kunal Nayyar. Nayyar is married to Neha Kapur, a former Miss India.

10. Midori who lit the torch at the Nagano Olympics : ITO

Midori Ito is a Japanese figure skater. Ito was the first woman to land a triple/triple jump and a triple axel in competition. In fact, she landed her first triple jump in training when she was only 8 years old. Ito won Olympic silver in 1992, and was chosen as the person to light the Olympic cauldron at the commencement of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

12. Actress Kirsten : DUNST

Kirsten Dunst is a Hollywood actress from Point Pleasant, New Jersey. Dunst is perhaps best known for playing the love interest and female lead in the “Spider-Man” series of movies opposite Tobey Maguire. Personally, my favorite Dunst films are “Wimbledon” and “Marie Antoinette”. Dunst is a dual citizen of the US and Germany, as her father is from Hamburg.

16. Henry ___, British Army officer who invented the exploding shell : SHRAPNEL

“Shrapnel” is a word used for shell fragments. The term comes from the Shrapnel shell that is named for British artillery office Major-General Henry Shrapnel who developed the first such munition.

18. What 17-, 33-, 47- and 66-Across exhibit, despite appearances to the contrary : ALLITERATION

Alliteration is a literary device in which the same sounds are repeated in a phrase. An extreme form of alliteration is a tongue twister, for example:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

23. “How’s it goin’?” : SUP?

I think that “sup?” is slang for “what’s up?”

25. Letters before a number on a beach bottle : SPF

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

28. Unit of conductance : MHO

Conductance (measured in mhos) is the inverse of resistance (measured in ohms). The mho has been replaced by the SI unit called the siemens.

29. Suddenly bright stars : NOVAS

A nova (plural “novae”) is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness of a nova is due to increased nuclear activity causing the star to pick up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different from a nova. A supernova is a very bright burst of light and energy created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst of a supernova is very short-lived compared to the sustained brightness of a nova.

31. Electrically flexible : AC/DC

Anyone with a laptop with an external power supply has an AC/DC converter, that big “block” in the power cord. It converts the AC current from a wall socket into the DC current that is used by the laptop.

32. ___ Pet (kitschy gift) : CHIA

Chia is a flowering plant in the mint family. Chia seeds are an excellent food source and are often added to breakfast cereals and energy bars. There is also the famous Chia Pet, an invention of a San Francisco company. Chia Pets are terracotta figurines to which are applied moistened chia seeds. The seeds sprout and the seedlings become the “fur” of the Chia Pet.

“Kitsch” is a German word, and is an adjective that means “gaudy, trash”.

34. Frère of un père : ONCLE

In French, the “frère” (brother) of “un père” (a father) is an “oncle” (uncle).

35. Place sheltered from worldly realities : IVORY TOWER

In modern usage, an ivory tower is an environment focused on education and intellectual pursuits while isolated from the practicalities of everyday life. The term is often used to describe academia. “Ivory tower” originated in the Song of Solomon in the Bible with the the line “Your neck is like an ivory tower”.

36. Game company that created Sonic the Hedgehog : SEGA

Sonic the Hedgehog is a title character in a videogame and the mascot of Sega, the computer game developer. Sonic was set up as a rival to Nintendo’s mascot “Mario”.

37. Dickens’s Uriah ___ : HEEP

Uriah Heep is a sniveling insincere character in the novel “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens. The character is such a “yes man” that today, if we know someone who behaves the same way, then we might call that person a “Uriah Heep”.

39. Part of A.S.A.P. : POSSIBLE

As soon as possible (ASAP)

43. “Gone With the Wind” plantation : TARA

Scarlett O’Hara’s home is the Tara plantation, in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind”. Tara was founded not far from the Georgia city of Jonesboro by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald won the square mile of land on which Tara was built in an all-night poker game. He named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland. Rhett’s rival for the affections of Scarlet is Ashley Wilkes who lives at the nearby Twelve Oaks plantation.

45. Sombrero, e.g. : HAT

In English we think of a sombrero as a wide-brimmed hat, but in Spanish “sombrero” is the word for any hat. “Sombrero” is derived from “sombra” meaning “shade”.

48. Ocasek of the Cars : RIC

Ric Ocasek is an American musician of Czech heritage, and was the lead vocalist of the rock band known as the Cars.

53. Keister : HEINIE

The slang term “heinie”, meaning “rear end”, is probably a contraction of “hind end”.

Back in the early 1900s a “keister” was a safe or a strongbox. It has been suggested that this term was then used as slang by pickpockets for the rear trouser pocket in which one might keep a wallet. From this usage, keister appeared as a slang term for the buttocks in the early 1930s.

54. Powerful sharks : MAKOS

The shortfin mako shark can appear on restaurant menus, and as a result the species is dying out in some parts of the world. The mako gets its own back sometimes though, as attacks on humans are not unknown. And the shark in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”, that’s a mako. “Mako” is the Maori word for “shark” or “shark tooth”.

59. Small drum : SNARE

Snare drums are so called because they have a set of wire strands (snares) stretching across the bottom surface of the drum. When the drum is struck, the snares vibrate against the bottom drumhead producing a unique sound.

63. Edinburgh native : SCOT

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, and is a really beautiful city. In days gone by it might not have been quite so charming though. Like many cities, plumes of smoke hung over Edinburgh when coal and wood fires weren’t regulated. To this day, the city has the nickname “Auld Reekie”, Scots for “Old Smoky”.

67. Tibetan ox : YAK

The English word “yak” is an Anglicized version of the Tibetan name for the male of the species. Yak milk is much prized in the Tibetan culture. It is made into cheese and butter, and the butter is used to make a tea that is consumed in great volume by Tibetans. The butter is also used as a fuel in lamps, and during festivals the butter is even sculpted into religious icons.

68. N.Y.C.’s Madison ___ : AVE

Madison Avenue became the center of advertising in the US in the twenties, and serves as the backdrop to the great TV drama “Mad Men”. There aren’t many advertising agencies left on Madison Avenue these days though, as most have moved to other parts of New York City. The street takes its name from Madison Square, which is bounded on one side by Madison Avenue. The square in turn takes its name from James Madison, the fourth President of the United States.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Three-syllable foot, as in “bada-bing” : ANAPEST
8. Hosp. diagnostic procedure that’s noninvasive : MRI
11. Cavity filler’s deg. : DDS
14. German measles : RUBELLA
15. Patronizes a restaurant : EATS OUT
17. Nickname of Gen. Burgoyne in the American Revolution : GENTLEMAN JOHNNY
19. “Your turn,” to a walkie-talkie user : OVER
20. Source of fresh water : WELL
21. Valentine’s Day flower : ROSE
22. Parts of psyches : EGOS
24. Skills that no one knows anymore : LOST ARTS
27. College fund-raiser targets : ALUMNI
30. Sound after snap and crackle : POP
31. Law : ACT
33. End of a close race : PHOTO FINISH
38. Ante matter? : CHIP
40. Cookie cooker : OVEN
41. “Drove my Chevy to the ___ …” (“American Pie” lyric) : LEVEE
42. Bit of turf on a golf course : DIVOT
44. St. Louis landmark : ARCH
46. High-priced theater section : LOGE
47. Dish made with romaine lettuce, croutons and Parmesan cheese : CAESAR SALAD
50. Busta Rhymes’s music : RAP
51. ___ Lanka : SRI
52. Irritable : TETCHY
54. Sombrero-wearing musician : MARIACHI
58. Animal docs : VETS
60. United ___ Emirates : ARAB
61. Exclamations during eclipses : OOHS
64. Actress Skye : IONE
66. Coiner of the phrase “alternative facts” : KELLYANNE CONWAY
70. Taking a sabbatical, e.g. : ON LEAVE
71. “Le Misanthrope” playwright : MOLIERE
72. “You don’t ___!” : SAY
73. Anthem writer Francis Scott ___ : KEY
74. Had the helm : STEERED

Down

1. Jason’s ship, in myth : ARGO
2. Cuatro + cinco : NUEVE
3. Rare blood type : AB-NEGATIVE
4. Gas sold by the litre : PETROL
5. Right-angled joint : ELL
6. Seattle ___ (1977 Triple Crown horse) : SLEW
7. Domesticated : TAME
8. ___ Park, N.J. : MENLO
9. Indian character on “The Big Bang Theory” : RAJ
10. Midori who lit the torch at the Nagano Olympics : ITO
11. Blood drive participant : DONOR
12. Actress Kirsten : DUNST
13. Eye woes : STYES
16. Henry ___, British Army officer who invented the exploding shell : SHRAPNEL
18. What 17-, 33-, 47- and 66-Across exhibit, despite appearances to the contrary : ALLITERATION
23. “How’s it goin’?” : SUP?
25. Letters before a number on a beach bottle : SPF
26. Work like a dog : TOIL
28. Unit of conductance : MHO
29. Suddenly bright stars : NOVAS
31. Electrically flexible : AC/DC
32. ___ Pet (kitschy gift) : CHIA
34. Frère of un père : ONCLE
35. Place sheltered from worldly realities : IVORY TOWER
36. Game company that created Sonic the Hedgehog : SEGA
37. Dickens’s Uriah ___ : HEEP
39. Part of A.S.A.P. : POSSIBLE
43. “Gone With the Wind” plantation : TARA
45. Sombrero, e.g. : HAT
48. Ocasek of the Cars : RIC
49. 605, in ancient Rome : DCV
53. Keister : HEINIE
54. Powerful sharks : MAKOS
55. Ice show setting : ARENA
56. Political campaign event : RALLY
57. Bees’ production : HONEY
59. Small drum : SNARE
62. Clothes lines? : HEMS
63. Edinburgh native : SCOT
65. Observed closely : EYED
67. Tibetan ox : YAK
68. N.Y.C.’s Madison ___ : AVE
69. Bullring cheer : OLE!

5 thoughts on “1120-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 20 Nov 2017, Monday”

  1. 8:04. Slightly slower than normal Monday time. I thought it would be worse as I saw some people on twitter last night complaining it was much harder than a Monday should be. It did have some obscure answers but nothing too bad.

    PS the comment from late last night was mine.

    1. @Ben F
      Thanks for pointing out those wayward links, Ben. My wife and I were out very late last night after seeing a Vegas show, and so I’m using my blurry vision as an excuse for the error. All fixed now, thanks to your help.

  2. I thought it was a pretty boiler plate Monday. ANAPEST (new to me) right off the bat was a little cruel, however. I also never knew there was a Mr. SHRAPNEL..

    I actually ate shark once. It has the consistency of a pork chop and is quite tasty. Maybe I should avoid going in the ocean for fear of retribution….

    Best –

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