1215-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 15 Dec 2017, Friday

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Constructed by: Jacob Stulberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 16m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

18. Advice for touchy types : LET IT PASS

I’m not sure about this one. I think that it refers to a touchy (irritable) person being advised to “let it pass, let it go”.

19. Work : OEUVRE

The sum of an artist’s work in his or her lifetime is known as his or her “oeuvre”.

20. Jason of the Harry Potter films : ISAACS

Jason Isaacs is an English actor from Liverpool that is probably best known these days for portraying Lucius Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” series of films. TV viewers might also know him for playing the “bad guy” Michael on the Showtime series “Brotherhood”.

21. Corporate trademark that was inspired by an Ivy League mascot : MGM LION

There has been a lion in the logo of the MGM studio since 1924. The original was an Irishman (!), a lion named Slats who was born in Dublin Zoo in 1919. However, it wasn’t until Jackie took over from Slats in 1928 that the roar was heard, as the era of silent movies was coming to an end. The current lion is called Leo, and he has been around since 1957.

22. Game played on an 8×8 board : REVERSI

The game of Reversi is also sold as Othello. The name “Othello” was chosen as a nod to the play by William Shakespeare.

26. Wanted poster inits. : AKA

Also known as (aka)

30. Burning figure : METABOLIC RATE

One’s basal metabolism is just the basic processes of the body, the one’s essential to maintain life. The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories needed to maintain that basal metabolism, sufficient energy to maintain function of the vital organs such as heart, lungs, kidneys. Excluded is the energy needed to move around, to eat, or to absorb food.

38. Ones starting up start-ups, say : ENTREPRENEURS

An “entrepreneur” is someone takes on most aspects of a business venture, from the original idea to the execution. The term is imported from French, with “entreprendre” meaning “to undertake”. The original usage in English dates back to the early 1800s, when it applied to a manager and promoter of a theatrical production.

40. Designer Lagerfeld : KARL

Karl Lagerfeld is a fashion designer from Germany, although he is based in Paris. Lagerfeld is the head designer at the Chanel fashion house.

51. Occasion for a toast : BANQUET

A banquet is an elaborate feast. “Banquet” is a term that seems to have reversed in meaning over time. Coming into English via French from Old Italian, “banquet” is derived from “banco” meaning “bench”. The original “banco” meal was simply a snack eaten on a bench, rather than at a table. I guess we eat more these days …

59. Betel nut source : ARECA PALM

The areca palm is sometimes referred to as the betel palm, although I find this a bit confusing. The fruit of the areca palm is the areca nut. The nut is often chewed along with a “betel”, a leaf from a vine in the pepper family. The combined leaf plus nut is referred to as a “betel nut”, which gives rise to the somewhat misleading “betel palm” name.

60. Parlor piece : SETTEE

“Settee” is another word for a couch. The term come from the Old English “setl”, which was a long bench with a high back and arms.

Down

1. N.L. East team: Abbr. : ATL

The Atlanta Braves are the only team to have won baseball’s World Series in three different home cities. They won as the Boston Braves in 1914, the Milwaukee Braves in 1957 and the Atlanta Braves in 1995.

2. ___ Bo : TAE

Tae Bo isn’t an ancient martial art, even though it perhaps sounds like one. The discipline was developed as a form of aerobic exercise in the 1990s by taekwondo expert Billy Blanks who gave it the name Tae Bo, a melding of “taekwondo” and “boxing”.

5. “Everybody Is ___” (1970 Sly & the Family Stone hit) : A STAR

Sly and the Family Stone are a rock, funk and soul band from San Francisco that’s still performing today, although their heyday was from 1966 to 1983. They were one of the first rock bands to have a racially-integrated lineup, as well as representatives of both sexes.

6. Certain California wines : NAPAS

The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

8. Colleen : LASS

“Cailín” is the Irish word for “girl”, and is usually anglicized as “Colleen”.

9. Blue-pencilers, for short : EDS

The tradition is that an editor writes corrections to written copy using a blue pencil. The practise arose with the introduction of the “non-photo blue” pencil, which had a color that did not show up in some photographic reproduction processes.

12. Anointed one in the Book of Samuel : SAUL

According to the Hebrew Bible, Saul was the first King of Israel and ruled from 1049 BC to 1007 BC. Saul’s story is mainly recounted in the Books of Samuel.

24. Something with a stirring message? : RECIPE

The Latin “recipere” means “to take”, and the imperative form “recipe” was written at the top of medical prescriptions as an instruction, i.e. take (the following). This use of “recipe” evolved into the instruction for preparing a dish of food in the mid-1700s.

28. Establishment offering horses for hire : LIVERY

Livery is the boarding and care of horses.

31. One’s turn at the Olympics? : AXEL

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

37. Home to an 8-Down : ERIN
(8D. Colleen : LASS)

“Éire”, is the Irish word for “Ireland”. The related “Erin” is an anglicized version of “Éire” and actually corresponds to “Éirinn”, the dative case of “Éire”.

39. Plea at sea : SOS

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.

40. Sticky food? : KEBABS

The term “kebab” (also “kabob”) covers a wide variety of meat dishes that originated in Persia. In the West, we usually use “kebab” when talking about shish kebab, which is meat (often lamb) served on a skewer. “Shish” comes from the Turkish word for “skewer”.

41. Like a good plot : ARABLE

Arable land is land suitable for farming. The term “arable” came into English from the Latin “arare” meaning “to plow”.

46. Old-time actress Irene : DUNNE

Irene Dunne was a wonderful, and beautiful, Hollywood actress. She played a variety of roles, but I always think of her as the leading lady with Cary Grant in the movies “The Awful Truth”, “My Favorite Wife” and “Penny Serenade”. Irene Dunne was great friends with fellow actress Loretta Young, and the two often attended church together. Dunne is often described as the best actress never to win an Oscar, even though she was nominated five times for the Best Actress Academy Award.

49. Part of E.A.P. : ALLAN

The celebrated American writer Edgar Allan Poe was born “Edgar Poe” in 1809 in Boston. Poe’s father abandoned Edgar and his two siblings after the death of their mother. As a result, Edgar was taken into the home of the Allan family in Richmond Virginia. His foster parents gave the future author the name “Edgar Allan Poe”.

50. Big name in scooters : VESPA

Vespa is a brand of motor scooter that was originally made in Italy (and now all over the world) by Piaggio. “Vespa” is Italian for “wasp”.

53. “The Last of the Mohicans” daughter : CORA

“The Last of the Mohicans” is an 1826 novel by James Fenimore Cooper. It is the second in a series of five novels that comprise the “Leatherstocking Tales”. All five titles are:

  • “The Deerslayer” (1841)
  • “The Last of the Mohicans” (1826)
  • “The Pathfinder” (1840)
  • “The Pioneers” (1823)
  • “The Prairie” (1827)

56. Tahiti, par exemple : ILE

Tahiti is the most populous island in French Polynesia, which is located in the central Southern Pacific. Although Captain Cook landed in Tahiti in 1769, he wasn’t the first European to do so. However, Cook’s visit was the most significant in that it heralded a whole spate of European visitors, who brought with them prostitution, venereal disease and alcohol. Included among the subsequent visitors was the famous HMS Bounty under the charge of Captain Bligh.

57. May and others, for short : PMS

Theresa May won a leadership election to become UK prime minister in 2016, following the resignation of David Cameron immediately after the nation decided to withdraw from the EU (“Brexit”). As such, May became only second female prime minister in the UK, after Margaret Thatcher.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Not true : AT AN ANGLE
10. Put forward : ASSERT
16. Meal in an edible bowl : TACO SALAD
17. One giving you a hand? : DEALER
18. Advice for touchy types : LET IT PASS
19. Work : OEUVRE
20. Jason of the Harry Potter films : ISAACS
21. Corporate trademark that was inspired by an Ivy League mascot : MGM LION
22. Game played on an 8×8 board : REVERSI
24. Tailor’s concern : RISE
25. Dowel, e.g. : ROD
26. Wanted poster inits. : AKA
27. Having ears cocked : ALERT
29. “Aw, man!” : RATS!
30. Burning figure : METABOLIC RATE
35. Family-unfriendly fare : SEX AND VIOLENCE
38. Ones starting up start-ups, say : ENTREPRENEURS
40. Designer Lagerfeld : KARL
43. Contracts : HIRES
44. “___ Conchos,” 1964 western : RIO
45. Big time : ERA
46. Fail to follow : DEFY
47. “Great Scott!” : HEAVENS!
51. Occasion for a toast : BANQUET
53. Like hotlines and poker bets : CALLED
54. Teem : ABOUND
55. It has a little bow at one end : MODEL SHIP
58. Laundry whitener, oddly enough : BLUING
59. Betel nut source : ARECA PALM
60. Parlor piece : SETTEE
61. What pets usually lack : LAST NAMES

Down

1. N.L. East team: Abbr. : ATL
2. ___ Bo : TAE
3. Start : ACTIVATE
4. Symptom for a mechanic : NOISE
5. “Everybody Is ___” (1970 Sly & the Family Stone hit) : A STAR
6. Certain California wines : NAPAS
7. Rock moved by ice : GLACIAL DRIFT
8. Colleen : LASS
9. Blue-pencilers, for short : EDS
10. Mark Twain story that begins “My father was a St. Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I am a Presbyterian” : A DOG’S TALE
11. F note? : SEE ME
12. Anointed one in the Book of Samuel : SAUL
13. “Blithe Spirit” role : ELVIRA
14. Take hold again, as a plant : REROOT
15. Fashion magazine fodder : TRENDS
21. Reflective pair : MIRROR SHADES
22. ___ home : RAM
23. Gets (by) : EKES
24. Something with a stirring message? : RECIPE
28. Establishment offering horses for hire : LIVERY
29. Author François-___ de Chateaubriand : RENE
31. One’s turn at the Olympics? : AXEL
32. Block : BAN
33. Teetering : ON THE EDGE
34. Perfect ___ : TEN
36. What may be salted away for a special occasion? : CURED HAM
37. Home to an 8-Down : ERIN
39. Plea at sea : SOS
40. Sticky food? : KEBABS
41. Like a good plot : ARABLE
42. Expired : RAN OUT
46. Old-time actress Irene : DUNNE
48. Word whose meaning remains unchanged when an “s” is added to the front : ELECT
49. Part of E.A.P. : ALLAN
50. Big name in scooters : VESPA
52. Call it a day : QUIT
53. “The Last of the Mohicans” daughter : CORA
55. Start to practice? : MAL-
56. Tahiti, par exemple : ILE
57. May and others, for short : PMS

7 thoughts on “1215-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 15 Dec 2017, Friday”

  1. 31:41 after finding and correcting an error involving two squares. The upper left was very slow for me but, at the end, my hangup was that I had entered MIRROR SHAPES for 21D, leaving me with M_PELSHIPS for 55A, and I wasn’t sharp enough to see MODEL SHIPS before getting frustrated and trying both A and O in the blank square. D’oh! … and/or duh! …?

  2. 35:32 but with several cheats. Call it a learning experience when I have to resort to Google. Some very tough cluing. I had mos (months) for 57D until it just didn’t work. 16A I kept wanting to put one of those clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls I get in San Francisco, but no version of that dish fit.

    More Saturday-like than Friday which scares me about tomorrow’s puzzle. Agree that 18A LET IT PASS is just telling a touchy person to just ignore something.

    Best –

  3. 34:05 This was slow but not too bad. For once I got the top left quickly. Bottom right was my biggest problem. Didn’t know the name of the tree and like Jeff had mos for 57D. In the top right I had hEALER for 17A which made sense to me given the clue and also since AhOGSTALE also made sense to me as a Mark Twain story. Eventually changed it to a D when the app said I wasn’t quite finished.

  4. 24:36 and 4 errors: MGM LION crossed by ADOGSTALE; OEUVRE x SAUL.

    I was totally out of my depth in that top right quadrant, and just filled in letters to avoid a DNF… turned out my total guess of ELVIRA was correct. I thought I saw OEUVRE, but didn’t understand how it worked with the clue… and it’s a pretty cynical foreign word to stick into a puzzle anyway.

    To be expected for a Friday, but feeling hard done by, to be honest.

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