0912-18 NY Times Crossword 12 Sep 18, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: French Chef

Themed answers are phrases from French cuisine that are clued using the literal translation of each phrase into English:

  • 63A. Julia Child’s PBS show, with “The” … or one associated with the answers to the starred clues : FRENCH CHEF
  • 18A. *Literally, “small ovens” : PETIT FOURS
  • 30A. *Literally, “outside the works” : HORS D’OEUVRES
  • 39A. *Literally, “boil and lower” : BOUILLABAISSE
  • 46A. *Literally, “thousand-leaf” : MILLE-FEUILLE

Bill’s time: 7m 57s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. North Carolina county … or lead-in to “-ville” : ASHE

Samuel Ashe was the Governor of North Carolina from 1795 to 1798. North Carolina’s Ashe County and the cities of Asheboro and Asheville are named in his honor.

15. Attribute for “my girl” after “Five Foot Two” in a 1920s tune : EYES OF BLUE

The full name of the 1920 song is “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue (Has Anybody Seen My Girl?)”.

17. Notable feature of Chicago : WIND

It seems that the derivation of Chicago’s nickname as the “Windy City” isn’t as obvious as I would have thought. There are two viable theories. First that the weather can be breezy, with wind blowing in off Lake Michigan. The effect of the wind is exaggerated by the grid-layout adopted by city planners after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The second theory is that “windy” means “being full of bluster”. Sportswriters from the rival city of Cincinnati were fond of calling Chicago supporters “windy” in the 1860s and 1870s, meaning that they were full of hot air in their claims that the Chicago White Stockings were superior to the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

18. *Literally, “small ovens” : PETIT FOURS

A petit four is a small confection served at the end of a meal, either as a dessert or with coffee. The name “petit four” is French for “small oven”.

21. CPR provider, for short : EMT

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

23. Philosopher Lao-___ : TZE

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

27. Its first vol., A-Ant, was published in 1884 : OED

Work started on what was to become the first “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) in 1857. Several interim versions of the dictionary were published in the coming years with the first full version appearing, in ten bound volumes, in 1928. The second edition of the OED appeared in 1989 and is made up of twenty volumes. The OED was first published in electronic form in 1988 and went online in 2000. Given the modern use of computers, the publishing house responsible feels that there will never be a third print version of the famous dictionary.

30. *Literally, “outside the works” : HORS D’OEUVRES

An hors d’oeuvre is the first course in a meal. “Hors d’oeuvre” translates from French as “apart from the work”, really meaning “not the main course”.

34. Toward the rudder : AFT

A rudder is usually a flat sheet of wood or metal located at the stern of a boat, and under the waterline. The rudder is attached to a rudder post, which rotates to change the orientation of the rudder hence steering the boat. That rotation of the rudder post can be achieved by pulling or pushing a lever at the top of the post called a tiller.

35. ___ Cruces, N.M. : LAS

Las Cruces (Spanish for “the crosses”) is the second largest city in the state of New Mexico, and is the home of New Mexico State University.

36. Eponymous naturalist of a California woods : MUIR

Muir Woods is a National Monument located not too far from here, just north of San Francisco. It is home to enormous old growth Coast Redwood trees. The land was declared a National Monument in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt. The name “Muir Woods” was chosen in honor of the naturalist John Muir.

39. *Literally, “boil and lower” : BOUILLABAISSE

Bouillabaisse is a traditional seafood stew that originated in the port city of Marseille on the Mediterranean coast of France. The term “bouillabaisse” comes from Provençal dialect meaning “boil and simmer”, or more literally “boil and lower (heat)”.

44. Sir, to a Brit : GUV

“Guv” is an informal word used in the UK, and a shortened form of “governor”. It is usually a friendly address to a man, sort of like our “Mac” or “Dad”.

45. Ad follower : HOC

The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”. An ad hoc committee, for example, is formed for a specific purpose and is disbanded after making its final report.

46. *Literally, “thousand-leaf” : MILLE-FEUILLE

A Napoleon is a French layered pastry that is often called a “mille-feuille” on the other side of the Atlantic. “Mille-feuille” is French for “thousand-leaf”. The origin of the “Napoleon” name is unclear, but is thought to derive from the French “napolitain” meaning “from Naples”. The shift to “Napoleon” perhaps took place during the reign of Napoleon I, although there is no direct connection to the emperor.

51. Succor, briefly : TLC

Tender loving care (TLC)

54. ___ Paulo, Brazil : SAO

São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. It is also the city with the highest number of helicopters in the world. This is partly driven by the horrendous traffic jams in São Paulo, but also by the wealthy having a very real fear of being kidnapped on the city’s streets.

59. What the V sign can also represent : TWO

One has to be careful making that V-sign depending where you are in the world. Where I came from, the V for victory (or peace) sign has to be made with the palm facing outwards. If the sign is made with the palm facing inwards, it can be interpreted as a very obscene gesture.

63. Julia Child’s PBS show, with “The” … or one associated with the answers to the starred clues : FRENCH CHEF

Julia Child was an American chef who is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public. During WWII, Julia Child joined the OSS (Office of Strategic Services), the predecessor to the CIA. She worked for the OSS in Washington, Ceylon and China. While in the OSS, she met her husband Paul Child who was also an OSS employee. Paul joined the Foreign Service after the war, and it was his posting to France that created the opportunity for Julie to learn about French cuisine. If you haven’t seen it, I highly, highly recommend the movie “Julie & Julia”, one of the best films of 2009. Meryl Streep does a fabulous job playing the larger-than-life Julia Child.

67. Example of change : DIME

The term “dime”, used for a 10-cent coin, comes from the Old French word “disme” meaning “tenth part”.

70. Actress Spacek : SISSY

The actress Sissy Spacek got her big break in movies when she played the title role in the 1976 horror movie “Carrie”, which is based on the Stephen King novel. Her most acclaimed role is the lead in the 1980 biopic about Loretta Lynn called “Coal MIner’s Daughter”, for which she won an Oscar. Spacek’s first cousin is the actor Rip Torn.

72. Capp of classic comics : ANDY

“Andy Capp” is a comic strip from Britain that is syndicated internationally. The strip was created by Reg Smythe in 1957 and is still going strong, despite the fact that Smythe passed away in 1998. Andy Capp and his wife Florrie (also “Flo”) are working class characters who live in the northeast of England. Andy is unemployed and Flo works as a charwoman. “Andy Capp” was my favorite comic strip growing up …

Down

2. Historic political visitor to Pearl Harbor on 12/27/16 : SHINZO ABE

Shinzo Abe first became Prime Minister of Japan in 2006, at which time he was the youngest person to hold the post since WWII and was the first PM born after the war. Abe was in office for less than a year, but was voted in again in 2012. Abe is usually characterized as a right-wing nationalist.

The US Navy’s presence in Pearl Harbor dates back to 1899. The original name for the bay was “Wai Momi”, which translates from Hawaiian as “Waters of Pearl”.

6. “Roger” in the Navy : AYE

The term “roger”, meaning “yes” or “acknowledged”, comes from the world of radiotelephony. The British military used a phonetic alphabet in the fifties that included “Roger” to represent the letter “R”. As such, it became customary to say “Roger” when acknowledging a message, with R (Roger) standing for “received”.

7. Rose no longer seen in fields : PETE

Pete Rose was a talented baseball player who holds the record for all-time Major League hits. Rose’s nickname was “Charlie Hustle”. In recent years of course his reputation has been tarnished by admissions that he bet on games in which he played and managed.

8. Writer after whom an asteroid and Mars crater are named : ASIMOV

Isaac Asimov was a wonderful science fiction writer, and a professor of biochemistry. He was a favorite author as I was growing up and I must admit that some hero worship on my part led me to study and work as a biochemist for a short while early in my career. My favorite of his works is the collection of short stories called “I, Robot”. Asimov wrote three autobiographies, the last of which was called “I, Asimov”, which was published in 1994, two years after his death.

9. #1 pal : BFF

Best friend forever (BFF)

10. Jet-black : EBON

Ebony is another word for the color black (often shortened to “ebon” in poetry). Ebony is a dark black wood that is very dense, one of the few types of wood that sinks in water. Ebony has been in high demand so the species of trees yielding the wood are now considered threatened. It is in such short supply that unscrupulous vendors have been known to darken lighter woods with shoe polish to look like ebony, so be warned …

The color “jet black” takes its name from the minor gemstone known as jet. The gemstone and the material it is made of takes its English name from the French name: “jaiet”.

12. Like an otologist’s exam : AURAL

Otology is a branch of medicine dealing with the ear. The prefix “oto-” means “pertaining to the ear”.

13. Irascible : TESTY

Somebody described as testy is touchy, irritably impatient. The term comes into English from Old French, ultimately deriving from “testu” meaning “stubborn, headstrong”, literally “heady”. So, our word “testy” comes from the same root as the French word “tête” meaning “head”.

16. River gamboler : OTTER

Male and female otters are known as dogs and bitches, with the offspring called pups. Males and females are are sometimes referred to as boars and sows. A collection of otters is a bevy, family, lodge or perhaps a romp. When in water, a collection of otters can be called a raft.

“Gambol” is a such a lovely word; one meaning to frolic and leap about.

28. 50% to start? : DEMI-

Ever wonder what the difference is between the prefixes “hemi-”, “demi-” and “semi-”, all of which mean “half”? Well, the general observation is that words using the “demi-” prefix date back to the days of Norman influence over the English language. As a result, “demi-” turns up in the world of period costume and coats of arms. Words using “hemi-” tend to have Greek roots, and are prevalent in the world of the sciences and the medical field. Words with “semi-” tend to have Latin roots, and are most often found in music and the arts, and mathematics.

31. ___ und Drang : STURM

“Sturm und Drang” translates from the German into “Storm and Stress” or perhaps “Storm and Impulse”. “Sturm und Drang” was the name given to a movement in German literature and music in the latter half of the 18th century. The writer Johann Goethe was a major proponent of the movement, which took its name from a play by Maximilian Klinger. The term “Sturm und Drang” has come to mean “turmoil, upheaval”.

33. Food that comes in rolls : SUSHI

Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If we want raw fish by itself, then we have to order “sashimi”.

37. A quarantined person is kept in it : ISOLATION

The original use of our word “quarantine”, back in the 1500s, was as a legal term. A quarantine was the 40 days in which a widow had the legal right to reside in her dead husband’s house.

38. Like about 17% of the land in Holland : RECLAIMED

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!

40. Org. with a feared black-and-white flag : ISIS

ISIS is an extremist Sunni rebel group, with the acronym standing for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The organization is also referred to as ISIL, standing for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or simply IS, for the Islamic State.

42. Old Chevy model renamed the Sonic : AVEO

The Chevrolet Aveo is a subcompact automobile that has been around since 2002. The Aveo is manufactured by GM Daewoo, the GM subsidiary in South Korea. Although the Aveo name is still used in some markets, here in North America the Aveo has been sold as the Chevrolet Sonic since 2012. By the way, GM Daewoo is the third largest manufacturer of automobiles in South Korea, after Hyundai and Kia.

47. Certain trellis components : LATHS

The words “lath” and “lattice” have the same root in Old French. Laths are thin strips of wood that are nailed across a frame forming a backing to which plaster can be applied to finish a wall. The term is also used for the main elements in a trellis, or the lengths of wood in a roof to which shingles are nailed.

49. Big name in comfy footwear : UGG

Uggs are sheepskin boots that were first produced in Australia and New Zealand. The original Uggs have sheepskin fleece on the inside for comfort and insulation, with a tanned leather surface on the outside for durability. “Ugg” is a generic term Down Under, although it’s a brand name here in the US.

51. White House family of the early 1910s : TAFTS

William Howard Taft may have been the 27th President of the United States, but his lifelong ambition was to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President Taft was able to realize that dream in 1921, eight years after losing his bid for re-election as president. As Chief Justice, this former US President swore in two new presidents: Calvin Coolidge (in 1925) and Herbert Hoover (in 1929). William Howard Taft is also remembered as the most obese president. In the last year of his presidency, he weighed about 340 pounds (he was 5 feet 11 inches tall). Twelve months after leaving the White House, President Taft had dropped 80 pounds and substantially lowered his blood pressure.

52. “Vive ___!” : LE ROI

“Vive le roi!” is French for “Long live the king!” “À bas le roi!” is French for, “Down with the king!”, which was a phrase often heard during the French Revolution.

60. Interstates 70 and 71 cross in its capital : OHIO

The city of Columbus, Ohio is a “purpose-built” state capital. The state legislature selected the location for Ohio’s new capital in 1812, choosing dense forestland with no significant settlement, largely due to its strategic location in the center of the state. The name was chosen in honor of the explorer Christopher Columbus.

62. Ancient Icelandic literary work : EDDA

The Poetic Edda and Prose Edda are two ancient works that are the source for much of Norse mythology. Both Eddas were written in the 13th century, in Iceland.

64. “___ ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war”: Mark Antony : CRY

The phrase “dogs of war” comes from William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”. The “dogs of war” are soldiers. Marc Anthony speaks the following lines:

And Caesar’s spirit, raging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war,
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. North Carolina county … or lead-in to “-ville” : ASHE
5. Family member, endearingly : PAPA
9. Produced : BEGAT
14. Keep away from : SHUN
15. Attribute for “my girl” after “Five Foot Two” in a 1920s tune : EYES OF BLUE
17. Notable feature of Chicago : WIND
18. *Literally, “small ovens” : PETIT FOURS
19. Pricey bar : INGOT
21. CPR provider, for short : EMT
22. “That’s quite a trick!” : NEAT!
23. Philosopher Lao-___ : TZE
24. Throw in : ADD
27. Its first vol., A-Ant, was published in 1884 : OED
29. Slick : SLY
30. *Literally, “outside the works” : HORS D’OEUVRES
34. Toward the rudder : AFT
35. ___ Cruces, N.M. : LAS
36. Eponymous naturalist of a California woods : MUIR
39. *Literally, “boil and lower” : BOUILLABAISSE
43. Slips up : ERRS
44. Sir, to a Brit : GUV
45. Ad follower : HOC
46. *Literally, “thousand-leaf” : MILLE-FEUILLE
51. Succor, briefly : TLC
54. ___ Paulo, Brazil : SAO
55. Notable feature of San Francisco : FOG
56. Org. that monitors gas prices : AAA
57. Prefix with -nautic : AERO-
59. What the V sign can also represent : TWO
61. Question after a bad pun : GET IT?
63. Julia Child’s PBS show, with “The” … or one associated with the answers to the starred clues : FRENCH CHEF
67. Example of change : DIME
68. Ritzy hotel accommodations : TOWER SUITE
69. Ending with evil : -DOER
70. Actress Spacek : SISSY
71. Contemptible sort : TOAD
72. Capp of classic comics : ANDY

Down

1. Just like : AS WITH
2. Historic political visitor to Pearl Harbor on 12/27/16 : SHINZO ABE
3. Want really badly : HUNGER FOR
4. Inner: Prefix : ENDO-
5. Energy : PEP
6. “Roger” in the Navy : AYE
7. Rose no longer seen in fields : PETE
8. Writer after whom an asteroid and Mars crater are named : ASIMOV
9. #1 pal : BFF
10. Jet-black : EBON
11. Secures, as scrapbook photos : GLUES
12. Like an otologist’s exam : AURAL
13. Irascible : TESTY
16. River gamboler : OTTER
20. Small amount : TAD
25. “Guest” at a child’s tea party : DOLL
26. Negotiation goal : DEAL
28. 50% to start? : DEMI-
31. ___ und Drang : STURM
32. Grammarian’s concern : USAGE
33. Food that comes in rolls : SUSHI
37. A quarantined person is kept in it : ISOLATION
38. Like about 17% of the land in Holland : RECLAIMED
40. Org. with a feared black-and-white flag : ISIS
41. Muscular : BUFF
42. Old Chevy model renamed the Sonic : AVEO
47. Certain trellis components : LATHS
48. Revealing, in a way : LOW CUT
49. Big name in comfy footwear : UGG
50. Cafe : EATERY
51. White House family of the early 1910s : TAFTS
52. “Vive ___!” : LE ROI
53. Work groups : CREWS
58. Word sometimes substituted for “your” : ONE’S
60. Interstates 70 and 71 cross in its capital : OHIO
62. Ancient Icelandic literary work : EDDA
64. “___ ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war”: Mark Antony : CRY
65. J.F.K. stat : ETA
66. Provided sustenance : FED

2 thoughts on “0912-18 NY Times Crossword 12 Sep 18, Wednesday”

  1. 9:30, no errors. “Just like” => “AS WITH” gave me pause and I kind of thought “Lao-TZE” ought to be “Lao-TSE” or “Lao-TZU”, but “SHINZO ABE” and “HUNGER FOR” came to the rescue.

  2. 23:07. One square off. I was lost at the AVEO/GUV nexus. Strange in that I had a friend years ago that referred to himself as “The GUV”, but I never made the connection that it was a common moniker like that.

    Good puzzle, but other than HORS DOEUVRES I didn’t really know any of the French terms so this turned into a crossing slog for me. Oddly, I did get the reveal right away, but it didn’t do me much good.

    Best –

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