0119-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 19 Jan 2018, Friday

Advertisement

Constructed by: David J. Kahn
Edited by: Will Shortz

Advertisement

Advertisement

Today’s Theme: H in the Middle

There is a note with today’s puzzle:

The completed puzzle conceals the name of a famous composer, along with something that might help you listen to him. Who and what are they?

Well, that big letter H in the middle of the grid is the hint. The composer is BEETHOVEN (BEET-H-OVEN), which is written across the middle of the grid. The listening aids are EARPHONES (EARP-H-ONES), which runs down the middle of the grid. Clever!

Bill’s time: 25m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

Advertisement

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16. Hardin-Simmons University setting : ABILENE

Hardin-Simmons University is a private school that was established in 1891 in Abilene, Texas as the Abilene Baptist College. The name changed in 1892 to Simmons College and to Hardin-Simmons University in 1934, in recognition of major benefactors.

17. N.L. East city : ATLANTA

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.

19. Neo-___ : NOIR

A neo-noir film is a contemporary film that incorporates elements of the film noir style of the forties and fifties.

20. Touching things in competitions : EPEES

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

29. Ed basics : RRR

The “three Rs” (RRR) are reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic.

37. Thrill-seeker’s appurtenance : GOPRO

GoPro is a company that makes high-definition video cameras that have a rugged design. Famously, GoPro cameras are used in extreme conditions. For example, they are often mounted on moving vehicles or used by people playing sports. Recently, two astronauts on the International Space Station inserted a GoPro camera inside a floating ball of water, and then showed the view from inside the ball of water. Amazing footage …

An appurtenance is an accessory, perhaps a piece of equipment for a specific task. It might also be an appendage, a suffix to a word, for example.

41. Girl in a gown : DEB

“Deb” is short for “debutante”, which translates from French as “female beginner”.

43. Stuff of life : RNA

Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

47. ___ Lan (giant panda born at the 17-Across zoo) : MEI

The giant panda is a bear, and so has the digestive system of a carnivore. However, the panda lives exclusively on bamboo, even though its gut is relatively poorly adapted to extract nutrients from plants per se. The panda relies on microbes in its gut to digest cellulose, and consumes 20-30 pounds of bamboo each day to gain enough nourishment.

51. The Eagle, e.g. : LEM

We always seem to remember the phrase “The Eagle has landed”, historic words spoken by Neil Armstrong when he put down Apollo 11’s Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) on the surface of the moon. Looking back I have to say that the words preceding “The Eagle has landed” seem to have even more impact. During the descent to the moon’s surface Armstrong used the call sign “Eagle”, indicating that he was communicating from the LEM. After he killed the engines on touching down, Armstrong’s first words home to Earth were “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” That switch of call sign from “Eagle” to “Tranquility Base” always sends shivers down my spine …

52. That right introduction? : ISN’T

That isn’t right …

54. Third-largest city of Switzerland : BASEL

The city of Basel in Switzerland lies right where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, and so has suburbs that lie in both France and Germany.

55. Car once advertised with the slogan “The relentless pursuit of common sense” : SAAB

“SAAB” stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. Although we usually think of SAAB as an auto manufacturer, it is mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automotive division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000, who then sold it to a Dutch concern in 2010. However, SAAB (automotive) finally went bankrupt in 2011. A Chinese consortium purchased the assets of SAAB Automotive in 2012, and so SAAB vehicles are in production again. The new vehicles are using the SAAB name, but cannot use the SAAB griffin logo, the rights to which have been retained by the mother company.

56. Bubkes : NOT A LOT

“Bupkis” (also “bubkes”) is a word that means “absolutely nothing, nothing of value”, and is of Yiddish origin.

58. Cabinet part : DEFENSE

The largest government department in the cabinet is the Department of Defense (DOD), with a permanent staff of over 600,000. The smallest department, by far, is the Department of Education, with a mere four or five thousand employees.

60. Last new Beatles track before their split in 1970 : I ME MINE

“I Me Mine” is one of the relatively few Beatles songs to have been written by George Harrison (and indeed performed by him). Harrison chose the same title for his autobiography, which was published in 1980 just a few weeks before John Lennon was assassinated in New York City.

62. Wraps around the shoulders : SERAPES

“Serape” is the English pronunciation and spelling of the Spanish word “zarape”. A zarape is like a Mexican poncho, a soft woolen blanket with a hole in the middle for the head. Most serapes have colorful designs that use traditional Mayan motifs.

63. Big name in shoe stores : PAYLESS

Payless ShoeSource is discount shoe store that was founded in 1956 in Topeka, Kansas.

Down

3. Home office convenience : ALL-IN-ONE PRINTER

An all-in-one printer is a multifunctional computer peripheral that typically incorporates a photocopier, printer and scanner.

6. Flower whose name derives from the shape of its cluster : ASTER

Apparently, most aster species and cultivars bloom relatively late in the year, usually in the fall. The name “aster” comes into English via Latin from the Greek word “astéri” meaning “star”, a reference to the arrangement of the petals of the flower.

11. Stout cousins? : ALES

The term “stout” was first used for a type of beer in the 1600s when was used to describe a “strong, stout” brew, and not necessarily a dark beer as it is today.

12. 1966 Pulitzer-winning Edward Albee play, with “A” : … DELICATE BALANCE

Playwright Edward Albee’s most famous play is “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Albee won three Pulitzer Prizes for Drama:

  • 1967: “A Delicate Balance”
  • 1975: “Seascape”
  • 1994: “Three Tall Women”

Albee also won three Tony Awards:

  • 1963: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (Best Play)
  • 2002: “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?”
  • 2005: Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement

14. All-nighters? : RED-EYES

A red-eye flight is one departing late at night and arriving early the next morning. The term is a reference to tired passengers disembarking with red eyes.

21. Role in 1993’s “Tombstone” : EARP

“Tombstone” is a 1993 Western movie that has a storyline centered on the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and its aftermath. The cast includes Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday, and Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp. “Tombstone” was released six months before the ostensibly competing movie “Wyatt Earp” starring Kevin Costner. If there was a competition between the two films, then “Tombstone” won, both in terms of ticket sales and critical response.

28. Renaissance artist ___ della Francesca : PIERO

Piero della Francesca was an Early Renaissance painter and mathematician from modern-day Tuscany in Italy.

37. Expressive and quick-witted sorts, they say : GEMINIS

“Gemini” is the Latin word for “twins”.

39. Much of binary code : ONES

Our base-10 numeral system is also known as the decimal (sometimes “denary”) numeral system. Another common numeral system is base-2, which is also known as the binary system.

49. Something to gnaw on : T-BONE

The T-bone and porterhouse are related cuts of meat, with the latter being a larger version of the former, and both being cut from the short loin.

50. “The Vampire Diaries” protagonist : ELENA

“The Vampire Diaries” is a series of horror novels by L. J. Smith that is aimed at teens. There is a spin-off television series of the same name. I don’t do vampires …

53. Writer Janowitz : TAMA

Tama Janowitz is an American writer. Janowitz was born in San Francisco but has lived much of her life in New York City. In New York she hung around with the likes of Andy Warhol and became well known in literary circles. Her most famous work is a collection of short stories called “Slaves of New York”, which was made into a film of the same name in 1989.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Help during the fall? : GRAB BAR
8. Spanish hotel : PARADOR
15. Venting, e.g. : RELEASE
16. Hardin-Simmons University setting : ABILENE
17. N.L. East city : ATLANTA
18. Branded : LABELED
19. Neo-___ : NOIR
20. Touching things in competitions : EPEES
22. Web developer’s development : SITE
23. Shipload : TON
24. Like some veal chops : BREADED
26. Hardly fresh : COY
27. It’s not on the level : SLOPE
29. Ed basics : RRR
30. Give a kick? : ELATE
32. Small grouse : NIT
33. Wiretapper, e.g. : SPY
34. Specifies : CITES
35. Healthful juice source : BEET
36. Kind of mitt : OVEN
37. Thrill-seeker’s appurtenance : GOPRO
38. Nap sack : COT
41. Girl in a gown : DEB
42. Fluff : ERROR
43. Stuff of life : RNA
44. Virtual connection? : E-DATE
47. ___ Lan (giant panda born at the 17-Across zoo) : MEI
48. Soaked (in) : STEEPED
51. The Eagle, e.g. : LEM
52. That right introduction? : ISN’T
54. Third-largest city of Switzerland : BASEL
55. Car once advertised with the slogan “The relentless pursuit of common sense” : SAAB
56. Bubkes : NOT A LOT
58. Cabinet part : DEFENSE
60. Last new Beatles track before their split in 1970 : I ME MINE
61. Loose, in a way : UNLACED
62. Wraps around the shoulders : SERAPES
63. Big name in shoe stores : PAYLESS

Down

1. Accords : GRANTS
2. Update at the factory : RETOOL
3. Home office convenience : ALL-IN-ONE PRINTER
4. Difficult thing to do, informally : BEAR
5. Smoking ___ : BAN
6. Flower whose name derives from the shape of its cluster : ASTER
7. Some farm equipment : REAPERS
8. Light-colored and medium-sweet : PALE-DRY
9. Mortify : ABASE
10. Leaf part : RIB
11. Stout cousins? : ALES
12. 1966 Pulitzer-winning Edward Albee play, with “A” : … DELICATE BALANCE
13. Common rating scale : ONE TO TEN
14. All-nighters? : RED-EYES
21. Role in 1993’s “Tombstone” : EARP
24. Those who may accept tips : BETTORS
25. Figured out : DECODED
28. Renaissance artist ___ della Francesca : PIERO
31. Kept going : LIVED
35. Tedious : BORESOME
37. Expressive and quick-witted sorts, they say : GEMINIS
38. Fashions : CREATES
39. Much of binary code : ONES
40. Like a boxer’s hands during sparring, maybe : TAPED UP
45. Beguilers : TEASES
46. Sets securely : EMBEDS
49. Something to gnaw on : T-BONE
50. “The Vampire Diaries” protagonist : ELENA
53. Writer Janowitz : TAMA
55. It makes an impression : SEAL
57. Place for a piercing : LIP
59. Work, as a proposal : FLY

13 thoughts on “0119-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 19 Jan 2018, Friday”

  1. 32:33, no errors, but a near thing, as the upper and middle left gave me fits. And, again, I forgot to check out the theme after I (finally) dragged myself over the finish line by remembering that GO PRO is a thing. (In my own defense, I would observe that the little explanatory note was hidden behind an icon, and I forgot to look there. In any case, I now find it very cute and clever.)

  2. DNF – After about 40 minutes I had 60-70% filled in and I just hit a wall. I clicked the reveal button to put me out of my misery. Sometimes after a difficult Friday puzzle, the Saturday is a little easier…..I hope. We’ll see…

    Best –

  3. Just wondering — Is it somehow theme-related or just coincidence/serendipity that there’s a diagonal sequence of nine consecutive E’s rising from the second E in SERAPES?
    Thanks.

  4. 37:51, 2 errors: GE(L)INIS/(L)EI. Did not see the astrological sign as a potential answer. A lot of obscure references, misdirects and 3rd or 4th definitions in this one. Just happy to finish.

  5. 24:21 before I gave up, with only about 40% filled in.

    The “cleverness” of this forced visual theme is up for debate. Some of the clueing was especially vicious, even for a Friday. When you start throwing unnecessarily precious words like “appurtenance” around, it’s clear that you’re not really interested in having anyone actually finish the puzzle. And 37D: how are we supposed to divine an astrological sign from that clue? C’mon.

    The slump deepens. I don’t expect I’ll find any relief tomorrow, for sure….

  6. Outsider’s Question: My local newspaper carries the puzzle, but not any theme or explanatory note. Is there a site (free) that includes this information?
    I did finish this one – with great difficulty – but was startled to see the Beethoven/earphones in the solution.

    1. @Dave Hucks
      Different syndication outlets will have different results depending on how well they lay out the elements of the puzzle when they print it into their own paper. This may not work the same with the NYT, but each element (the grid, the clues, the answers, the note) is set differently, so the local paper can lay out things the way they want it. Often times, though there might be errors in how they do it, which is especially true since most layout editors aren’t going to proofread what they’re doing (and often don’t even know anything about crossword puzzles). Either missing or screwed up clues or missing notes or the like. The best you can really do is look at sites like this online to figure out what you’ve missed if you see it.

  7. Very late, but ….
    I’m with Allen, similar experience, except that the astrological Gemeni sign (mine) describes me precisely. (Just kidding.)

  8. DNF after 60 minutes, due to the absolute nonsense in the lower left hand corner (37A, 42A, 52A, 37D) that I spent half that time trying to make sense of.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.