1013-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 13 Oct 14, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Greg Johnson
THEME: Game Seven … we have SEVEN themed answers today, each being the name of a GAME, and each consisting of SEVEN letters:
20D. Playoff series finale … or an apt title for this puzzle considering the number and length of its theme entries GAME SEVEN

15A. It’s played with mallets and wickets … CROQUET
16A. … with 108 cards CANASTA
36A. … with a mat with colored circles TWISTER
59A. … with dashes on paper HANGMAN
60A. … with steelies and aggies MARBLES
22D. … with cues and 22 balls SNOOKER
27D. … with black-and-white disks REVERSI

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 54s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. German auto whose logo depicts a rearing horse PORSCHE
Porsche was founded in 1931 in Stuttgart, Germany by Professor Ferdinand Porsche. The company didn’t produce cars at first, but worked on design and development. The first big job awarded to the company was from the German government, to design a car for the people. The result was the Volkswagen Beetle. Yep, the Beetle/Bug is a Porsche design.

8. ___ Sprockets, George Jetson’s employer SPACELY
“The Jetsons” is an animated show from Hanna-Barbera that had its first run in 1962-1963, and then was recreated in 1985-1987. When it was debuted in 1963 by ABC, “The Jetsons” was the network’s first ever color broadcast.

15. It’s played with mallets and wickets … CROQUET
The very genteel game of croquet is played on lawns all over the world. It’s the game where mallets are used to hit wooden balls through hoops embedded in the grass. The name “croquet” is from French dialect and means “hockey stick”. The game originated in Brittany in France, and was popularized in Ireland in the 1830s.

16. … with 108 cards CANASTA
The card game called canasta originated in Uruguay apparently, with “canasta” being the Spanish word for “basket”. In the rummy-like game, a meld of seven cards or more is called a canasta.

18. Six years, in the U.S. Senate ONE TERM
The six-year terms enjoyed by US senators are staggered, so that every two years about one third of the US Senate seats come up for reelection.

20. Chews like a beaver GNAWS
Beavers build dams so that they can live in and around the slower and deeper water that builds up above the dam. This deeper water provides more protection for the beavers from predators such as bears. Beavers are nocturnal animals and do all their construction work at night.

21. Exams for H.S. juniors PSATS
PSAT Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

24. Frilly, as lingerie LACY
“Lingerie” is a French term, but as used in France it just means any underwear, worn by either males or females. In English we use “lingerie” to describe alluring underclothing worn by women. The term “lingerie” comes into English via the French word “linge” meaning “washables”, and ultimately from the Latin “linum”, meaning “linen”. We tend not to pronounce the word correctly in English, either here in the US or across the other side of the Atlantic. The French pronunciation is more like “lan-zher-ee”, as opposed to “lon-zher-ay” (American) and “lon-zher-ee” (British).

33. Japanese rice wine SAKE
We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as “sake”. We’ve gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. “Sake” is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as “rice wine”. It is indeed made from rice, but it is a brewed rather than fermented and so is more like a beer than a wine.

34. Swiss watch city GENEVA
Genève (Geneva in English) is the biggest city in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. I’ve been to Geneva only once and sadly, what I remember most is how expensive it is. It is in fact the fourth or fifth most expensive city in the world.

36. … with a mat with colored circles TWISTER
Eva Gabor was the youngest of the Gabor sisters, all three of whom were celebrated Hollywood actresses and socialites (her siblings were Zsa-Zsa and Magda). One of Eva’s claims to fame is the unwitting promotion of the game called “Twister”, the sales of which were languishing in 1996. In an appearance on “The Tonight Show” she got on all fours and played the game with Johnny Carson. Sales took off immediately, and Twister became a huge hit.

38. Like one after work?: Abbr. RET
Retired (ret.)

39. Cousins of giraffes OKAPIS
The okapi is closely related to the giraffe, although it does have markings on its legs and haunches that resemble those of a zebra. The okapi’s tongue is long enough to reach back and wash its eyeballs, and can go back even further to clean its ears inside and out.

47. Chaz Bono’s mom CHER
Cher’s real name is Cherilyn Sarkisian, born in 1946. In her acting career, Cher was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar of 1984 for her performance in “Silkwood”. She went further in 1998 and won the Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta Castorini in “Moonstruck”.

49. Place to get a perm SALON
“Perm” is the name given to a permanent wave, a chemical or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves or curls. I don’t worry about such things, as it’s a number-one all over for me …

59. … with dashes on paper HANGMAN
The word guessing game called Hangman seems to have been played first in Victorian England. At one time it was known as “Birds. Beasts and Fishes” as the words to be guessed had to be types of animal.

60. … with steelies and aggies MARBLES
A playing marble made from agate is called just that, an agate. Steelies on the other hand, are made from solid steel.

Down
1. Dell and HP products PCS
Dell, the computer manufacturer, is named after the company’s founder Michael Dell. Michael Dell started his company in his dorm room at college, shipping personal computers that were customized to the specific needs of his customers. He dropped out of school in order to focus on his growing business, a decision that I doubt he regrets. Michael Dell is now one of the richest people in the world.

The giant multinational called HP (originally Hewlett-Packard) was founded in 1939 with an investment of $538, in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. The company name would have been Packard-Hewlett if Dave Packard had won a coin toss!

3. Bird in “Arabian Nights” ROC
The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants. The roc was said to come from the Indian subcontinent. The supposed existence of the roc was promulgated by Marco Polo in the accounts that he published of his travels through Asia.

5. Biceps-building exercises CURLS
The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.

6. Achilles’ weak spot HEEL
Achilles is a Greek mythological figure, the main protagonist of Homer’s “Iliad”. Supposedly when Achilles was born his mother attempted to make him immortal by dipping him into the River Styx. As he was held by the heel as he was immersed, this became the only vulnerable point on his body. Years later he was killed when a poisoned arrow struck him in the heel. The arrow was shot by Paris.

7. When to expect takeoff, for short ETD
Estimated time of departure (ETD)

8. Ornamental light fixture SCONCE
A sconce is a light fixture that today uses electric bulbs, but in the past used candles and torches. The defining feature of a sconce is that it is supported by a wall and does not have a base that stands on the ground. Usually the light is indirect, projected upwards towards the ceiling.

9. Philippine island in W.W. II fighting PANAY
The Philippine island of Panay was the first objective of US forces in WWII’s Battle of the Visayas. Fought from March to July 1945, the Battle of the Visayas was a vital part of the campaign to liberate the Philippines from the Japanese.

11. X-ray type CAT SCAN
A CT (or “CAT”) scan produces (via computer manipulation) a three dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays, and high doses of radiation can be harmful causing damage that is cumulative over time. An MRI on the other hand (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.

13. 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper size: Abbr. LTR
Like so many things it seems, our paper sizes here in North America don’t conform with the standards in the rest of the world. ISO standard sizes used elsewhere have some logic behind them in that the ratio of width to length is usually one to the square root of two. This mathematical relationship means that when you cut a piece of paper in two each half preserves the aspect ratio of the original, which can be useful in making reduced or enlarged copies of documents. Our standard size of “letter” (8.5 x 11 inches) was determined in 1980 by the Reagan administration to be the official paper size for the US government. Prior to this, the “legal” size (8.5 x 14 inches) had been the standard, since 1921.

14. Candied Thanksgiving food YAM
Although in the US we sometimes refer to sweet potatoes as “yams”, the yam is actually a completely different family of plants. True yams are more common in other parts of the the world than they are in this country, and are especially found in Africa.

21. Box opener of myth PANDORA
In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. Pandora is famous for the story of “Pandora’s Box”. In actual fact, the story should be about Pandora’s “Jar” as a 16th-century error in translation created a “box” out of the “jar”. In the story of Pandora’s Box, curiosity got the better of her and she opened up a box she was meant to leave alone. As a result she released all the evils of mankind, just closing it in time to trap hope inside.

22. … with cues and 22 balls SNOOKER
Snooker is a fabulous game, played on what looks like a large pool table (12′ x 6′ if full size). Snooker is a derivative of the older game of billiards and is believed to have been developed by British Army officers who were stationed in India in the latter half of the 1800s. “Snooker” was a word used in the British military for a first-year cadet or an inexperienced soldier. Somehow that usage morphed into the name of the game.

24. Trickster of myth LOKI
Loki is a god appearing in Norse mythology. In one story about Loki, he was punished by other gods for having caused the death of Baldr, the god of light and beauty. Loki is bound to a sharp rock using the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom which is collected in a bowl, and then his wife must empty the venom onto Loki when the bowl is full. The venom causes Loki great pain, and his writhing results in what we poor mortals experience as earthquakes.

27. … with black-and-white disks REVERSI
The game of Reversi is also sold as Othello. The name Othello was chosen as a nod to the play by William Shakespeare.

28. Depot STATION
Our term “depot”, meaning a station or warehouse, derives from the word “dépôt”, French for “deposit” or “place of deposit”.

33. Pixy ___ (candy) STIX
Pixy Stix is that powdered candy that’s packaged in what looks like a straw. The “candy” was sold back in the thirties as a drink mix, but when kids were found to be eating the sweet & sour-tasting mix directly from packets, the producers began to packaging it as candy.

34. Neuter, as a male horse GELD
We can use the verb “to geld” to mean “to weaken, deprive of strength”. The term comes from the act of gelding an animal, castration of the male. “Geld” comes from the Old Norse word “gelda” meaning “castrate”.

44. Roses’ defenses THORNS
Believe it or not, roses don’t have any thorns. Thorns are derived from shoots, spines are derived from leaves, and prickles are derived from the epidermis. The rose’s defensive barbs are actually prickles.

45. Oxygen-needing bacterium AEROBE
An aerobe is an organism that lives in an environment rich in oxygen. An anaerobe on the other hand does not require oxygen for survival.

48. ___ Walsh, three-time Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist KERRI
Kerri Walsh-Jennings was partnered with Misty May-Treanor when they won three gold medals in beach volleyball in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

52. White Sox home, for short CHI
The Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball team was established in Chicago in 1900 and originally was called the White Stockings. The name was changed because the abbreviation “Sox” for “Stockings” was regularly used in newspaper headlines.

53. ___ Solo of “Star Wars” HAN
Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

55. “___ Pinafore” HMS
“H.M.S. Pinafore” is one of my favorite of the Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas (a production we staged at high school, many moons ago). “Pinafore” was one of the first big hits for Gilbert & Sullivan (in their native Britain, and in America), and they followed it up with “The Pirates of Penzance” and “The Mikado”.

56. They, in Paris ILS
“Ils” is the French for “they”, when not referring to feminine nouns.

58. Fig. in the form XXX-XX-XXXX SSN
A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot, as since 2011 SSN’s are assigned randomly.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. German auto whose logo depicts a rearing horse PORSCHE
8. ___ Sprockets, George Jetson’s employer SPACELY
15. It’s played with mallets and wickets … CROQUET
16. … with 108 cards CANASTA
17. Fastened SECURED
18. Six years, in the U.S. Senate ONE TERM
19. Reply ___ (email option) ALL
20. Chews like a beaver GNAWS
21. Exams for H.S. juniors PSATS
24. Frilly, as lingerie LACY
25. Autos CARS
29. No ifs, ___ or buts ANDS
30. “Here, boy!” COME!
31. One whose job is to park 25-Across VALET
32. Silent “yes” NOD
33. Japanese rice wine SAKE
34. Swiss watch city GENEVA
35. ___ and don’ts DOS
36. … with a mat with colored circles TWISTER
38. Like one after work?: Abbr. RET
39. Cousins of giraffes OKAPIS
41. Slippery EELY
42. Prefix with cycle TRI-
43. “Don’t worry about it!” RELAX
44. Infomercial, e.g. TV AD
45. Additionally ALSO
46. ___ and sciences ARTS
47. Chaz Bono’s mom CHER
48. Enter, as data KEY IN
49. Place to get a perm SALON
51. Counterpart of his HER
52. Test taker going “Psst!,” say CHEATER
55. Brave deeds HEROICS
59. … with dashes on paper HANGMAN
60. … with steelies and aggies MARBLES
61. Plays the market INVESTS
62. Watches secretly SPIES ON

Down
1. Dell and HP products PCS
2. Mined rocks ORE
3. Bird in “Arabian Nights” ROC
4. Leg-building exercises SQUATS
5. Biceps-building exercises CURLS
6. Achilles’ weak spot HEEL
7. When to expect takeoff, for short ETD
8. Ornamental light fixture SCONCE
9. Philippine island in W.W. II fighting PANAY
10. From square one ANEW
11. X-ray type CAT SCAN
12. WNW’s opposite ESE
13. 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper size: Abbr. LTR
14. Candied Thanksgiving food YAM
20. Playoff series finale … or an apt title for this puzzle considering the number and length of its theme entries GAME SEVEN
21. Box opener of myth PANDORA
22. … with cues and 22 balls SNOOKER
23. Season to taste, in a certain way ADD SALT
24. Trickster of myth LOKI
26. With attentiveness ALERTLY
27. … with black-and-white disks REVERSI
28. Depot STATION
30. Crows’ cries CAWS
31. Extremely VERY
33. Pixy ___ (candy) STIX
34. Neuter, as a male horse GELD
37. Rip TEAR
40. Book excerpt PASSAGE
44. Roses’ defenses THORNS
45. Oxygen-needing bacterium AEROBE
47. Baseball shoe feature CLEAT
48. ___ Walsh, three-time Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist KERRI
50. Convenience store conveniences ATMS
51. Pile HEAP
52. White Sox home, for short CHI
53. ___ Solo of “Star Wars” HAN
54. It’s stamped at the P.O. ENV
55. “___ Pinafore” HMS
56. They, in Paris ILS
57. Corp. bigwig CEO
58. Fig. in the form XXX-XX-XXXX SSN

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