0207-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 7 Feb 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Stu Ockman
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: The Ties that Bind

Today’s grid is broken into four sections, one at each corner and one in the middle. Circled letters spell out four types of TIE. Those four TIES BIND the four corner sections of the grid to the center. The four ties are:

  • ROPE
  • LACE
  • CORD
  • WIRE
  • 17A. Network : MAKE CONNECTIONS
  • 56A. Shared beliefs … like this puzzle’s circled four-letter words? : THE TIES THAT BIND

Bill’s time: 9m 42s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Prince in “Frozen” : HANS

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

5. Doohickey : GIZMO

The word “gizmo” (also “gismo”), meaning something the name of which is unknown or forgotten, was originally slang used by both the US Navy and the Marine Corps. The exact origin seems unknown.

20. Fairy king in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” : OBERON

Oberon and Titania are the King and Queen of the fairies in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

22. Event at which spectators may sit on straw bales : RODEO

“Rodeo” is a Spanish word that is usually translated as “round up”.

26. Jalopy : CRATE

The origins of our word “jalopy” meaning “dilapidated old motor car” seem to have been lost in time, but the word has been around since the 1920s. One credible suggestion is that it comes from Xalapa, Mexico as the Xalapa scrap yards were the destination for many discarded American automobiles.

30. Mlle., over the Pyrénées : SRTA

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French for “Miss”.

The Pyrénées is a mountain range that runs along the border between Spain and France. Nestled between the two countries, high in the mountains, is the lovely country of Andorra, an old haunt of my family during skiing season …

31. “Tarzan” actor Ron : ELY

Ron Ely is most famous for playing the title role in the “Tarzan” TV series in the sixties. Years later, Ely hosted the 1980 and 1981 “Miss America” pageants right after longtime host Bert Parks retired, before the job was taken over by Gary Collins. And Ely is a successful mystery novelist. He wrote “Night Shadows” and “East Beach” in the mid-nineties, both of which featured his private eye Jake Sands.

32. Radar of “M*A*S*H” : O’REILLY

Corporal Radar O’Reilly is a character in the “M*A*S*H” television series and film. The role was played by Gary Burghoff in both the film and on television.

34. Wagner’s “___ Fliegende Holländer” : DER

“The Flying Dutchman” (“Der fliegende Holländer” in German) is an opera by Richard Wagner. The title character is a sailor who is cursed to sail the seas forever on a ghostly ship. A chance for salvation comes round once every seven years, if the Dutchman is able to find a wife who loves him. The Flying Dutchman’s ghost ship ties up alongside a vessel sheltering from an icy storm. The captain of the anchored vessel has a daughter of marrying age. Complications ensue …

35. Where the Ringling Bros. circus began: Abbr. : WIS

The Ringling Brothers started their circus in 1884 when Barnum & Bailey already had a popular circus that was touring the Midwest. There were six Ringling Brothers in all, and they grew their business at a phenomenal rate. The circus moved from town-to-town by train, extending their reach to the eastern seaboard. So great was their success that the Ringling Brothers purchased the Barnum & Bailey operation in 1907.

36. H, on a fraternity house : ETA

Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

45. Pro ___ : RATA

“Pro rata” is a Latin phrase meaning “in proportion”.

47. Ulnae neighbors : RADII

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

48. Pack (down) : TAMP

“To tamp” means to pack down tightly by tapping. “Tamp” was originally used to specifically describe the action of packing down sand or dirt around an explosive prior to detonation.

49. Classic gas brand with a red, white, blue and black logo : AMOCO

“Amoco” is an abbreviation for “American Oil Company”, an oil company that merged with BP in 1998. Amoco was the first oil company to introduce gasoline tanker trucks and drive-through filling stations. I wonder did they know what they were starting …?

52. Fun, for one : RHYME

“Fun” rhymes with “one”.

62. Sedgwick of Warhol films : EDIE

Edie Sedgwick became famous when she starred in several short films made by Andy Warhol in the sixties. Sedgwick’s life was portrayed in a 2006 biographical film called “Factory Girl”.

63. Old “Happy Motoring” brand : ESSO

The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

Down

5. Mob henchman : GOON

The term “goon” was coined by American humorist Frederick J. Allen in a 1921 “Harper’s” piece titled “The Goon and His Style”. The article defines a good as “a person with a heavy touch” someone lacking “a playful mind”. The term was popularized in the “Thimble Theater” comic strips featuring Popeye. The first use of “goon” to describe a hired thug was in 1938, with reference to strikebreakers.

6. Bucolic hotel : INN

The word “bucolic”, meaning “rustic, rural”, comes to us from the Greek word “boukolos” meaning “cowherd”.

7. Certain red wine, informally : ZIN

Zinfandel is one of my favorite red wine varietals. It amazes me that the rich and heavy red Zinfandel comes from the same grape as does the sweet White Zinfandel.

8. “Calvin and Hobbes” bully : MOE

The comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” is still widely syndicated, but hasn’t been written since 1995. The cartoonist Bill Watterson named the character Calvin after John Calvin, the 16th century theologian. Hobbes was named for Thomas Hobbes a 17th century English political philosopher.

9. How a lot of music got sold in the 1990s and early 2000s : ON CD

The compact disc was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

11. Ballerina’s wear : LEOTARD

The garment known as a leotard was named for French trapeze artist Jules Léotard. Léotard wore such a garment when he was performing.

12. Actress Bening : ANNETTE

The marvelous actress Annette Bening is from Topeka, Kansas. Bening has been married to actor Warren Beatty since 1992. The pair married about a year after starring together in the 1991 film “Bugsy”.

23. What the “Mardi” of Mardi Gras means : TUESDAY

“Mardi Gras” translates from French as “Fat Tuesday”, and gets its name from the practice of eating rich foods on the eve of the fasting season known as Lent. Lent starts on the next day, called Ash Wednesday.

24. ___ Lilly (Fortune 500 company) : ELI

Eli Lilly is the largest corporation in the state of Indiana. The founder Eli Lilly was a veteran of the Union Army in the Civil War, and a failed Mississippi plantation owner. Later in life he returned to his first profession and opened a pharmaceutical operation to manufacture drugs and sell them wholesale. Under Lilly’s early guidance, the company was the first to create gelatin capsules to hold medicines and the first to use fruit flavoring in liquid medicines.

25. Actor who played Grandpa Munster : AL LEWIS

Al Lewis was the actor famous for playing Grandpa Munster on television’s “The Munsters”. Lewis was very active politically and even ran for Governor of New York in 1998 for the Green Party.

29. Asia’s ___ Mountains : ALTAI

The Altai Mountains are a range in Asia, located where the countries of Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan meet. “Altai” is Turkic for “Golden Mountain”.

38. Some keyboards and motorcycles : YAMAHAS

The Japanese company Yamaha started out way back in 1888 as a manufacturer of pianos and reed organs. Even though the company has diversified since then, Yamaha’s logo still reflects it musical roots. Said logo is made up of three intersecting tuning forks, and can even be seen on Yamaha motorcycles.

41. Ballyhoo : ADO

“Ballyhoo”, meaning hype or publicity, was originally circus slang dating back to the early 1900s. No one really knows where the term comes from, but I can tell you there is a village in Co. Cork in Ireland called Ballyhooly!

43. Major component of Windex : AMMONIA

The glass cleaner called Windex was introduced in 1933. The formulation sold up to the end of WWII had to be packed in metal cans because it was so flammable.

48. Ancient city on the Nile : THEBES

Thebes was a city in Ancient Egypt located on the river Nile, the ruins of which are now found with the bounds of the modern city of Luxor. The ruins of Ancient Thebes include the famous Luxor Temple and and Karnak Temple, as well as the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens.

55. Personal aide to Selina Meyer on “Veep” : GARY

“Veep” is a political satire sitcom on HBO that is a remake of the British show “The Thick of It” (Warning: strong language!). “Veep” is set in the office of a fictional Vice President of the United States played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Prince in “Frozen” : HANS
5. Doohickey : GIZMO
10. DVD remote button : PLAY
14. Home of the historic Desolation Canyon : UTAH
15. Hamburger helper? : ONION
16. Voiceless consonant like “b” or “p” : LENE
17. Network : MAKE CONNECTIONS
20. Fairy king in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” : OBERON
21. Started to downsize? : DIETED
22. Event at which spectators may sit on straw bales : RODEO
23. Afternoon gathering : TEA
26. Jalopy : CRATE
27. A miss is as good as one, they say : MILE
28. Words with “fast one” or “muscle” : PULL A …
30. Mlle., over the Pyrénées : SRTA
31. “Tarzan” actor Ron : ELY
32. Radar of “M*A*S*H” : O’REILLY
34. Wagner’s “___ Fliegende Holländer” : DER
35. Where the Ringling Bros. circus began: Abbr. : WIS
36. H, on a fraternity house : ETA
37. Start to function? : DYS-
40. Ushered out : LED AWAY
42. “Time ___ …” : WAS
45. Pro ___ : RATA
47. Ulnae neighbors : RADII
48. Pack (down) : TAMP
49. Classic gas brand with a red, white, blue and black logo : AMOCO
51. Bros’ hellos : YOS
52. Fun, for one : RHYME
53. Very different thing (from) : FAR CRY
55. Continues : GOES ON
56. Shared beliefs … like this puzzle’s circled four-letter words? : THE TIES THAT BIND
60. Bring home : EARN
61. Board runner : CHAIR
62. Sedgwick of Warhol films : EDIE
63. Old “Happy Motoring” brand : ESSO
64. Food sweetener : HONEY
65. Blacken, in a way : SEAR

Down

1. “Just try it” : HUMOR ME
2. Seething : AT A BOIL
3. Sans clothing : NAKEDLY
4. Whitfield of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” : SHEREE
5. Mob henchman : GOON
6. Bucolic hotel : INN
7. Certain red wine, informally : ZIN
8. “Calvin and Hobbes” bully : MOE
9. How a lot of music got sold in the 1990s and early 2000s : ON CD
10. Electrician’s tool : PLIERS
11. Ballerina’s wear : LEOTARD
12. Actress Bening : ANNETTE
13. Marriage agreement? : YES, DEAR
18. Whisper sweet nothings : COO
19. Nervous twitch : TIC
23. What the “Mardi” of Mardi Gras means : TUESDAY
24. ___ Lilly (Fortune 500 company) : ELI
25. Actor who played Grandpa Munster : AL LEWIS
28. Inquisitive one : PRIER
29. Asia’s ___ Mountains : ALTAI
32. Fly-by-night sort? : OWL
33. “Huzzah!” : YAY!
37. Involuntary soldier : DRAFTEE
38. Some keyboards and motorcycles : YAMAHAS
39. Warehouse workers : STORERS
41. Ballyhoo : ADO
42. Edge of a road : WAYSIDE
43. Major component of Windex : AMMONIA
44. High roller : SPENDER
46. Bank ID: Abbr. : ACCT NO
48. Ancient city on the Nile : THEBES
50. “Either she goes ___ go!” : OR I
52. Spoil : ROT
54. “Ick!” : YECH!
55. Personal aide to Selina Meyer on “Veep” : GARY
57. Starz competitor, for short : SHO
58. Color of coffee ice cream : TAN
59. Rush : HIE

12 thoughts on “0207-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 7 Feb 2018, Wednesday”

  1. 10:08, no errors. Distracted and spaced the theme (as usual, I guess – but I did it after spending a portion of my day finding out I have yet another tooth needing a root canal, so at least this time I have an excuse for missing the theme … ??).

  2. 20:08 Slow for me today. The upper left part was tough and several other areas slowed me down a bit. Theme didn’t really help with the solve.

  3. 24:35. The layout of this grid made it a choppy solve. Hard to get momentum when you keep running into walls. The theme was impressively executed for the same reason I’ll admit, however…

    Best –

  4. 22:01, no errors. Essentially 3 separate, disconnected puzzles (upper, center, bottom). No problem with upper and middle sections, lots of problems with bottom section: 37A DIS; 39D STOCKER; 48D ALCOHOL; 54D YUCK; 57D HBO; 65A CHAR. The theme seemed to be more for the amusement of the setter and his peers, than for solvers.

    @Bill (the commenter, not the blogger): to me, one of the great attractions of the NYT puzzle is its diversity of challenges. The puzzle might be right down your alley one, and completely alien the next.

  5. Too late to weigh in on the ‘ADORBS’ discussion of yesterday, so I’ll add my 2 cents today. With 3 children and 5 grand-children I have heard the expression used only once, and then in a manner mocking the expression: as in “that was TOTES ADORBS”. (ie. totally adorable). It seems to me that to be elevated to the status of slang an expression has to actually be adopted into fairly common usage, even if by a relatively small group, rather than a one shot wonder. I could be wrong (probably am) but I didn’t see ADORBS adopted into common usage by anyone.

  6. 19:14, no errors and a real stiff challenge!!!! Couldn’t quite get the theme for some time… but remembering a Bruce Springsteen song by the same name helped quite a bit!
    “The ties that bi-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-ind; Now you can’t bre-ey-ey-ey-ey-ey-eak, the ties that bind!”

  7. No errors but a tough one. Surprisingly for me, the longer outside entries turned out to be easier than the shorter inside entries. The theme helped me greatly with getting two words, LACE and WIRE, that connected into that inner area. I had BAT originally for the fly-by-nighter but suspected that is was wrong almost from the get-go. All in all, a respectable challenge for a Wednesday.

    One more comment about the ADORBS from yesterday. In the same puzzle we were given RAD. Does anyone say RAD anymore? Some words become popular for a while, some don’t. Slang is constantly in flux. Language itself is constantly in flux. The best way to deal with it, I have found, is to go with the flow. It is something we cannot control. We have to accept it as is, like it or not.

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