0203-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 3 Feb 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Sam Ezersky & Byron Walden
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 22m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14. Powerful Russian : OLIGARCH

An oligarchy is a form of government in which power rests with the few, perhaps with royalty or with the wealthy. The term derives from the Greek “oligos” meaning “few”.

15. Fancy affair : SOIREE

“Soir” is the French word for “evening” and a “soirée” is an “evening party”. The French word “soirée” has an acute accent over the first “e”, but we tend to drop this when using the word in English.

16. Coca-Cola product since 2001 : PIBB XTRA

The soft drink on the market today called Pibb Xtra used to be known as Mr Pibb, and before that was called Peppo. Peppo was introduced in 1972 as a direct competitor to Dr Pepper.

17. Cafe chain : PANERA

Panera Bread is a chain of bakery/coffeehouses. A Panera restaurant is a good place to get online while having a cup of coffee. Back in 2006 and 2007, Panera was the largest provider of free Wi-Fi access in the whole of the US.

18. “O.G. Original Gangster” rapper : ICE-T

Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles (I know I am!). Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about breakdancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

21. Junípero ___, founder of San Francisco : SERRA

Junípero Serra was a Spanish missionary, a founder of several missions out here in California. Among those associated with Serra is the Mission in Carmel, where Serra’s remains are buried, and Mission San Juan Capistrano, the chapel of which is believed to be the oldest standing building in the state.

23. Arizona athlete, for short : D-BACK

The Arizona Diamondbacks joined Major League Baseball’s National League in 1998. By winning the World Series in 2001, the Diamondbacks became the fastest expansion team to do so in Major League history.

24. Media co. led by the Sulzberger family : NYT

Adolph Ochs was a former owner of “The New York Times”. Ochs had purchased a controlling interest in “The Chattanooga Times” when he was only 19 years of age, and took control of “The New York Times” in 1896 when he was 38 years old. Soon after taking charge, Ochs coined the paper’s slogan “All the News That’s Fit to Print”. It was also Ochs who moved the paper’s headquarters to a new building on Longacre Square in Manhattan, which the city later renamed to the famous “Times Square” after the newspaper. Och’s son-in-law Arthur Hays Sulzberger took over control of “The New York Times” after Adolph died. The Ochs Sulzberger family has owned the paper ever since.

29. Airer of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “StarTalk” : NAT GEO

The National Geographic Channel (Nat Geo) is jointly owned by Fox and the National Geographic Society, and was launched in 2001.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist who is noted for his ability to communicate science to the masses. Tyson is well known for his appearances on the great PBS show “Nova”.

39. Wiccan groups : COVENS

“Coven” is an old Scottish word meaning simply “gathering”. The first known application of the word to witchcraft came during the trial of a Scotswoman in 1662 accused of being a witch. At that time, “coven” came to mean a group of 13 witches.

Wicca is a relatively new phenomenon. It is a Neopagan religion that developed in the twentieth century. Typically, followers of Wicca worship one goddess and one god, namely the Moon Goddess and the Horned God. A follower of Wicca is called a Wiccan or a Witch.

40. Balkan capital : SOFIA

Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria. Natives pronounce the name “Sofia” with the emphasis on the “o”, while the rest of us tend to stress the “i”. Bulgarians do agree with us though when it comes to the girl’s name “Sofia”, then they stress the “i” like we do!

42. Place to watch a race, for short : OTB

Off-track betting (OTB) is the legal gambling that takes place on horse races outside of a race track. A betting parlor can be referred to as an OTB.

45. Tony once nominated for an Emmy : DANZA

The actor Tony Danza is noted for his roles in the TV shows “Taxi” and “Who’s the Boss?” Danza is from Brooklyn, New York and his real name is Antonio Iadanza. He was a professional boxer before his acting career took off.

47. ___ May Lester of Erskine Caldwell’s “Tobacco Road” : ELLIE

“Tobacco Road” is a 1932 novel penned by Erskine Caldwell. The novel was adapted into an extremely successful stage play that opened in 1933 on Broadway. The play ran for over 3,000 performances, a record in its day. “Tobacco Road” is still the second longest-running non-musical ever to be produced on Broadway (eventually being beaten out by “Life with Father” in the sixties).

54. Popular vodka brand from Holland : KETEL ONE

Ketel One is a brand of vodka from the Netherlands. The vodka is distilled from wheat in copper pot stills, and “ketel” is Dutch for “pot still”.

Some Dutch people can get a little annoyed if one refers to their country as “Holland”, as the correct name is “the Netherlands”. North and South Holland are two of the country’s twelve provinces. The use of “Holland” instead of “the Netherlands” is analogous to the former Soviet Union being referred to as “Russia” and the United Kingdom being called “England”. That said, sometimes even the Dutch people themselves refer to the country as Holland, especially at a soccer match!

57. Like many people on January 1 : HUNGOVER

The main cause of hangover symptoms seems to be dehydration. Ethanol causes increased urine production, leaving the body short of water and resulting in headaches, dry mouth and a lack of energy. The symptoms can be alleviated by drinking a lot of water.

Down

1. Pueblo Revolt participants : HOPIS

The Pueblo Revolt took place in 1680, and was an action taken by the Pueblo Indians against the Spanish who settled what is today New Mexico. The local people had basically welcomed the new settlers in the area and then lived under Spanish rule for just over 80 years. Spanish atrocities eventually ignited a revolt resulting in 400 Spanish deaths and the 2,000 settlers moving out. However, the Spanish returned just 12 years later.

4. Cause associated with the rainbow flag : LGBT RIGHTS

The best-known rainbow flag is the one representing gay pride. Such usage of the rainbow flag was popularized in 1978 by artist Gilbert Baker. The varying colors of the flag represent the diversity of the gay community.

5. ___ Americana : PAX

The term “Pax Americana” is sometimes used to describe the relative peace in the western world that came after WWII resulting from the power and influence enjoyed by the US. The concept isn’t a new one, as there was also the Pax Romana in the days of the Roman Empire, and the Pax Britannica brought about under the influence of the British Empire.

7. Provincetown catch : SCROD

Scrod is the name given to fish that has been “scrawed” i.e. split open, dried and then broiled.

Provincetown is located at the very tip of Cape Cod. As a major vacation destination, Provincetown has a summer population of up to 60,000 people, dropping to under 3,000 off season. The land now called Provincetown was the original “Cape Cod” back in the early 1600s. It wasn’t until much later that the Cape Cod name was applied to the entire region.

8. Weekly Jewish observance : SHABBAT

Shabbat is the day of rest in the Jewish tradition, and is observed weekly from Friday evening through Saturday evening. Shabbat is welcomed a few minutes before Friday’s sunset, according to Jewish law, and bid farewell on Sunday night after the appearance of three stars in the sky.

15. Thyme keeper? : SPICE RACK

In Ancient Greece, thyme was burned as incense and used in baths as it was believed to be a source of courage.

22. Feature in a telephone directory : AREA CODE MAP

Area codes were introduced in the 1940s. Back then the “clicks” one heard when dialling a number led to mechanical wear on various pieces of equipment. In order to minimize overall mechanical wear, areas with high call volumes were given the most efficient area codes (lowest number of clicks). That led to New York getting the area code 212, Los Angeles 213 and Chicago 313.

28. Collection of posts about a trip : TRAVEL BLOG

Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more correctly it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) which then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.

31. Million-selling 1977 Donna Summer song : I FEEL LOVE

Donna Summer is known as “The Queen of Disco”, with great hits like “Love to Love You, Baby”, “I Feel Love” and “Hot Stuff”. In the late sixties and early seventies, LaDonna Gaines (her real name) lived and worked in Germany. There she met and married an Austrian actor called Helmuth Sommer. They divorced not long after the marriage, but Donna kept his family name, just changing the “o” to “u” to give her the stage name of “Donna Summer”.

33. Some tech grads, for short : EES

Electrical engineer (EE)

38. Ethnic group whose name means “wanderers” : KAZAKHS

The Republic of Kazakhstan in Central Asia is the world’s largest landlocked country. Kazakhstan was also the last of the former Soviet Republics (SSRs) to declare itself independent from Russia.

42. The planets, e.g. : OCTAD

There are several mnemonics used to remember the planets and the order in which they are found in the Solar System. One example is “My Very Easy Method Just Shows Us Nine Planets”, but that doesn’t really work since Pluto was relegated from “planethood”. The most oft-quoted mnemonic for the eight planets is “My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nachos”. Given the relegation of Pluto, I kind of like “Many Very Educated Men Just Screwed Up Nature”.

43. Gateway of a Shinto shrine : TORII

A torii is a very traditional Japanese gate, one often seen at the entrance to a Shinto shrine.

It is perhaps best not to describe Shinto as a religion, but more as a “spirituality of the Japanese people”, a spirituality that encompasses folklore, history and mythology. Having said that, “Shinto” translates literally as “Way of the Gods”. Most people in Japan who are described as practicing Shinto, also practice Buddhism.

46. Fox Islands resident : ALEUT

The Aleuts live on the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific, and on the Commander Islands at the western end of the same island chain. The Aleutian Islands are part of the United States, and the Commander Islands are in Russia.

50. Spiral-horned antelope : KUDU

The kudu is a type of antelope. The are two extant species: the lesser kudu of eastern Africa, and the greater kudu of eastern and southern Africa. The kudu horn is used as a musical instrument, as a horn.

51. Italian source of smoke : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcano in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Toilet paper? : HALL PASS
9. Having many openings : GAPPY
14. Powerful Russian : OLIGARCH
15. Fancy affair : SOIREE
16. Coca-Cola product since 2001 : PIBB XTRA
17. Cafe chain : PANERA
18. “O.G. Original Gangster” rapper : ICE-T
19. Overly sentimental writers : SOB SISTERS
21. Junípero ___, founder of San Francisco : SERRA
23. Arizona athlete, for short : D-BACK
24. Media co. led by the Sulzberger family : NYT
25. Events with tents : FAIRS
27. Really bugged : ATE AT
29. Airer of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “StarTalk” : NAT GEO
30. Become edible : TURN RIPE
34. Kind of coordination : EYE-HAND
36. Be charged : PAY A FEE
37. Touristy area on the Irish coast : WEST CORK
39. Wiccan groups : COVENS
40. Balkan capital : SOFIA
41. Things held in a cannonball : KNEES
42. Place to watch a race, for short : OTB
45. Tony once nominated for an Emmy : DANZA
47. ___ May Lester of Erskine Caldwell’s “Tobacco Road” : ELLIE
49. Vitamin-rich green side dish : COOKED KALE
52. Setback : BLOW
53. ___ center : TRAUMA
54. Popular vodka brand from Holland : KETEL ONE
56. Front spoiler on a car : AIR DAM
57. Like many people on January 1 : HUNGOVER
58. Fancified : DID UP
59. Spaces out : STAGGERS

Down

1. Pueblo Revolt participants : HOPIS
2. 1930-’40s film star with the signature song “You’ll Never Know” : ALICE FAYE
3. Unshackles : LIBERATES
4. Cause associated with the rainbow flag : LGBT RIGHTS
5. ___ Americana : PAX
6. Newspaper section : ARTS
7. Provincetown catch : SCROD
8. Weekly Jewish observance : SHABBAT
9. Request for backup? : GO ASK ANYONE
10. Isn’t bad? : AIN’T
11. Fancify oneself : PREEN
12. Commodore in Sondheim’s “Pacific Overtures” : PERRY
13. Passover no-no : YEAST
15. Thyme keeper? : SPICE RACK
20. Suddenly took notice : SAT UP
22. Feature in a telephone directory : AREA CODE MAP
26. Any man or boy, biblically : SON OF ADAM
28. Collection of posts about a trip : TRAVEL BLOG
29. Part of 24-Across : NEW
31. Million-selling 1977 Donna Summer song : I FEEL LOVE
32. Many a British retiree : PENSIONER
33. Some tech grads, for short : EES
35. Sombrero, e.g. : DRINK
38. Ethnic group whose name means “wanderers” : KAZAKHS
42. The planets, e.g. : OCTAD
43. Gateway of a Shinto shrine : TORII
44. Get on : BOARD
46. Fox Islands resident : ALEUT
48. They have big mouths : EWERS
50. Spiral-horned antelope : KUDU
51. Italian source of smoke : ETNA
55. ___ salad : EGG

10 thoughts on “0203-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 3 Feb 2018, Saturday”

  1. 31:40 – I didn’t think this was all that bad by Saturday standards. “Toilet paper?” for HALL PASS should win some kind of award. I also liked the SE stack of KETEL ONE, HUNGOVER, and STAGGERS….getting dangerously close to a theme there.

    Best –

  2. 23:45, maybe 40% filled, mostly in the SE and right side; DNF, obviously.
    Lots of real esoterica in here, and at least one really cynical fill: EYE-HAND. It’s “HAND-EYE” coordination in every usage I’ve ever seen. I was *looking at that*, but couldn’t get the cross fills to support it.

    Oh well, par for the course on Saturday. A bitter end to an otherwise good week.

    1. @Allen …

      See the following Wikipedia article:

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye–hand_coordination

      Oddly enough, the article begins with what looks like a typo (perhaps the result of editing by someone who agrees with you ?):

      Hand-eye coordination (also known as hand–eye coordination) is the coordinated control of eye movement with hand movement, …” [emphasis mine]

      Throughout the rest of the article, though, the term “eye-hand” is used. Also, the following sentence is to be found at the end of the lead paragraph:

      “While it is recognized by the term hand–eye coordination, without exception medical sources, and most psychological sources, refer to eye–hand coordination.”

      So, again, I think the setter/editor’s choice is completely defensible.

  3. @Jeff
    Agree with your view of HALL PASS and the SE stack.
    Also think AINT (10D) for “Isn’t bad” is worthy of mention. 😉

  4. Three incorrect letters and two blanks, all but one in the lower left, mostly because (a) I had “octet” instead of “octad” and thus couldn’t work in “did up” and (b) I’ve never heard of an “air dam.” (The other one was in 38 down, since I couldn’t recall exactly how to spell “Kazakhs” and had not heard of “Ketelone” vodka either — I’m pretty much a beer and cheap wine guy. Are fans of imported vodka more likely to know about car spoilers?)

    Good, tough one. I’d managed to complete all of the last two or three Saturdays and probably was too cocky and needed to be knocked down a peg anyway.

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