1025-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Oct 14, Saturday

There’s a note with today’s puzzle:

A SIGN OF THE TIMES
A Crossword Contest
All the puzzles this week, from Monday to Saturday, have been created by one person, Patrick Blindauer. Keep your solutions handy, because the Saturday puzzle conceals a meta-challenge involving the solution grids of all six. When you have the answer to the meta-challenge, send it to crossword@nytimes.com. Twenty correct solvers, chosen at random, whose entries are received by 6:00 p.m. E.T. Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, will win one-year online subscriptions to the New York Times crossword. Only one entry per person, please. The answer and winners’ names will appear on Friday, Oct. 31, at www.nytimes.com/wordplay.

We’ve been asked by Will Shortz, the New York Times puzzle editor, not to speculate about the meta-challenge until the competition ends on Sunday evening. Let’s honor that request …

QuickLinks:
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Solution to today’s SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications
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Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick Blindauer
THEME: None, but the grid reveals the secret behind the meta-challenge. Today’s puzzles gives us two hints: X MARKS THE SPOT and ALPHANUMERICS. If we look back over all of this week’s solved grids we see that the letter X always appears in a numbered square. For example, in today’s grid (above) there are letters X in the squares numbered 7, 9 and 20. Here is the complete list of X-squares for the week:

Mon: 20
Tue: 5, 13
Wed: 16, 21
Thu: 19
Fri: 6, 21
Sat: 7, 9, 20

If we stare at this sequence of numbers long enough, and remember the ALPHANUMERICS hint, we notice that all of the numbers are less than 26, and there are 26 letters in the alphabet. A simple substitution of A for 1, B for 2, C for 3, etc gives:

Mon: 20 = T
Tue: 5, 13 = E, M
Wed: 16, 21 = P, U
Thu: 19 = S
Fri: 6, 21 = F, U
Sat: 7, 9, 20 = G, I, T

Rewriting the series of letters in order gives us the Latin phrase TEMPUS FUGIT, which translates as TIME FLIES. So, we have a meta-challenge entitled A SIGN OF THE TIMES with letters X (a TIMES symbol) MARKING THE SPOTS i.e. pointing us to the elements of an ALPHANUMERIC code. The decoded numbers spell out TEMPUS FUGIT, which translates as TIME FLIES. Clever!

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 46m 27s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. 100th anniversary of Disney’s “Fantasia” : MMXL
“Fantasia” was Disney’s third feature length movie, released in 1940. The film had a disappointing critical reception and pushed the Disney company into financial difficulties. RKO took over the film’s distribution in 1946. The folks at RKO cut a full hour off the running time and relaunched the movie into a successful run. If you haven’t seen “Fantasia”, I urge you to do so. It’s a real delight …

9. Singer Aguilera’s nickname : XTINA
Christina Aguilera is a singer who got her start on television’s “Star Search”. From there she took a role on Disney’s “The Mickey Mouse Club”. Like several singers today it seems, Aguilera developed a more provocative alter ego for herself. She had a few body piercings, dyed her hair black and adopted the name “Xtina”.

14. Not well, say : RARE
A steak might be cooked rare, or perhaps well done.

16. Conventions : MORES
Mores are the accepted customs and practices of a particular group. “Mores” is the plural of the Latin word “mos” which means “custom”.

20. Characters from Sophocles : XIS
The Greek letter “xi”, despite the name, is not the precursor of our letter X. Our X comes from the Greek letter “chi”.

21. Prideful? : LIONS
A group of lions is known as a “pride” of lions.

22. “Born again” woman : RENEE
“René” and “Renée” are French for the adjective “reborn”, when applied to masculine and feminine nouns respectively.

23. Figureheads? : CPAS
Certified public accountant (CPA)

24. Most laggardly : POKIEST
“Poky” means slow, dawdling or puttering.

A “laggard” is someone of something that lags behind.

26. Pabst product : STROH’S
Bernard Stroh was the son of a German brewer. He immigrated to the US in 1848, and set up his own brewery in 1850, in Detroit. Years later, the Stroh Brewing Company introduced a European process called fire-brewing. This results in higher temperatures at a crucial stage in the brewing process, supposedly bringing out flavor. Stroh’s is the only American beer that still uses this process. However, over the long term, the company did not do well, and it was acquired by Pabst in 1999. You can still buy beer that has Stroh’s on the label though.

29. Some Arabian food : OATS
The Arab (or Arabian) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.

30. ___ Lumpur : KUALA
The capital city of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur, very often abbreviated to K.L. The name “Kuala Lumpur” translates into English as “muddy estuary”. Famously, K.L. is home to the spectacular Petronas Twin Towers, currently the tallest twin towers in the world and the tallest of any building from 1998 to 2004.

38. How Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday” to President Kennedy : SENSUALLY
Famous, the actress Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to President John F. Kennedy at an event celebrating his 45th birthday. The rendition was extremely sensual and provocative, a mood that was helped by Monroe’s sultry tone and her very tight-fitting dress. That dress later sold at auction in 1999 for over one and a quarter million dollars. Sadly, Monroe was to commit suicide just three months later.

40. City near Arches National Park : MOAB
Moab is a city in eastern Utah that attracts a lot of visitors each year, mainly those heading for Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, which are nearby.

The gorgeous Arches National Park is located in eastern Utah, just outside of Moab. The main focus of the park is the preservation of over 2,000 natural sandstone arches. The arches are relatively fragile, and 43 have collapsed since 1970, mainly due to erosion caused by wind and rain.

41. Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and others : B-SIDES
Queen is an English rock band that was formed back in 1970. With the help of lead singer Freddie Mercury (now deceased), Queen has a long list of great hits, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”. “Bohemian Rhapsody” spent a total of nine weeks at number one in the UK.

42. Requiem Mass part : PIE JESU
“Pie Jesu” is a motet that is often included in the Requiem Mass. The original text of the piece comes from the final couplet of the hymn “Dies Irae”. The title translates from Latin as “Pious Jesu”.

46. Musical partner of DJ Spinderella and Salt : PEPA
Salt-n-Pepa are an all-female hip hop trio from New York, made up of “Salt” (Cheryl James), “Pepa” (Sandra Denton) and “DJ Spinderella” (Deidra Roper). Their 1991 song “Let’s Talk Sex” created quite a fuss as the lyrics explored the subject of sex, and safe sex in particular. A later version addressed the dangers of AIDS.

48. Household brand that’s an anagram of 47-Across : DRANO
To clean out drains we might buy Crystal Drano which is sodium hydroxide (lye) mixed with sodium nitrate, sodium chloride (table salt) and aluminum. The contents of Drano work in concert to clear the clog. The lye reacts with any fats creating soap which may be enough to break up the clog. Also, the finely-divided aluminum reacts with water creating tremendous heat so that that mixture boils and churns, then any hair or fibers are cut by the sharp edges of the nitrate and chloride crystals. Having said all that, I find that boiling water poured down the drain almost always does the job …

54. Sci-fi disturbances : ION STORMS
Ion storms are events originating on the surface of the sun, huge releases of magnetic energy often associated with solar flares. Large ion storms can cause the Earth’s magnetic field to deform, perhaps even slightly shifting the position of magnetic north.

56. Early Trinity College affiliation: Abbr. : EPISC
Trinity College in Hartford is a the second-oldest college in the state of Connecticut, after New Haven’s Yale University. It was founded in 1824 as an Episcopalian school in 1824 as Washington College, and renamed to Trinity College in 1845.

58. When Hamlet says “The rest is silence” : ACT V
In William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”, the title character dies uttering the lines:

O! I die, Horatio;
The potent poison quite o’er-crows my spirit:
I cannot live to hear the news from England,
But I do prophesy the election lights
On Fortinbras: he has my dying voice;
So tell him, with the occurrents, more and less,
Which have solicited—The rest is silence.

59. Leaves in : STETS
“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

60. Actor Bean of “Troy” : SEAN
Sean Bean is an English actor who is perhaps best known in North America for playing Boromir in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. All you James Bond fans will remember him as the bad guy in “GoldenEye”, the character called Alec Trevelyan.

“Troy” is a 2004 epic movie that is based on Homer’s “Iliad” and tells the story of the Trojan War. “Troy” has quite the cast, including Brad Pitt as Achilles, Eric Bana as Hector and Diane Kruger as Helen. Most of the filming was done on the island of Malta in the Mediterranean. It was an expensive film to make, with costs running at about $175 million. The film did well at the box office though, with most of the profits being made outside of the US.

Down
1. Colorful breakfast option : TRIX
Trix is a corn-based breakfast cereal that has been around since 1954, produced by General Mills. Ads for the cereal featured Trix Rabbit, who would try hard to get hold of bowls of the cereal. He would always get caught though, and be admonished with, “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” With 46% sugar content, the rabbit probably wouldn’t have liked it anyway …

2. Mysore Palace resident : RANI
Mysore lies about 100 miles southwest of Bangalore. Tourists flock to Mysore especially during the ten-day Mysore Dasara festival, a draw not only for Indians but foreigners as well. Mysore is known as the City of Palaces as it is home to seven palaces in all. The most famous of these is Mysore Palace located within the cities Old Fort. Mysore Palace is perhaps the second-most famous tourist attraction in India, after the Taj Mahal.

6. Sushi bar servings : MISOS
Miso is the name of the seasoning that makes the soup. Basic miso seasoning is made by fermenting rice, barley and soybeans with salt and a fungus (!) to produce a paste. The paste can be added to stock to make miso soup, or perhaps to flavor tofu.

10. Rourke’s co-star in “The Wrestler” : TOMEI
Marisa Tomei’s first screen role was in “As the World Turns”, but her break came with a recurring role in “The Cosby Show” spinoff, “A Different World”. Tomei won an Oscar for her delightful performance in “My Cousin Vinny” in 1992.

“The Wrestler” is a really hard and gritty movie from 2008, a comeback film for actor Mickey Rourke. Rourke stars as an over-the-hill professional wrestler, with Marisa Tomei playing a faded stripper, the love interest. The film received really strong reviews, but I found it to be a tough movie to sit through.

11. Greek goddess of peace : IRENE
Eirene (also “Irene”) was the Greek goddess of peace, with “eirene” being the Greek word for “peace”. The Roman equivalent to Eirene was the goddess Pax.

12. Leche drinkers : NENES
“Nene” is the Spanish word for a male baby or young child.

“Leche” is Spanish for “milk”.

18. Certain character set … and a hint to translating this week’s final answer : ALPHANUMERICS
The term “alphanumeric” is used to describe the combined sets of Latin letters (A-Z) and Arabic digits (0-9).

23. They’re easily caught : COLDS
The common cold is caused by a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. There are over 200 strains of virus that are known to cause the disease.

27. Sassiness, slangily : ‘TUDE
Attitude (‘tude)

29. Bathroom brand : ORAL-B
The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

31. 1977 PBS sensation : I, CLAUDIUS
“I, Claudius” is a 1934 novel penned by Robert Graves, written in the form of an autobiography of Emperor Claudius of Rome. Graves wrote a sequel in 1935 called “Claudius the God”. Both books were adapted by the BBC into a fabulous television series that went by the name of the first book “I, Claudius”.

32. Pair of hearts? : ATRIA
The heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers (the atria) accept deoxygenated blood from the body and oxygenated blood from the lungs. The atria squeeze the blood into the two lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles), “priming” the pump, as it were. One ventricle pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, and the other pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

33. Trumpeter Jones : THAD
Thad Jones was a jazz trumpeter and bandleader from Pontiac, Michigan. Thad came from a very musical family. His older brother was Hank Jones the jazz pianist, and his younger brother was Elvin Jones the jazz drummer.

35. Heads of some towns in Quebec?: Abbr. : STES
Maybe Sainte-Julie, Sainte-Thérèse or Sainte-Catherine.

37. ___ Pueblo (Unesco World Heritage site) : TAOS
Taos Pueblo is an ancient pueblo that lies about a mile north of the modern city of Taos. Taos Pueblo is about a thousand years old and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

41. Half of a cigarette? : BENSON
Benson & Hedges is a cigarette brand from England that originated in Canada in 1873. The Benson & Hedges Ltd. was founded by Richard Benson and William Hedges, but the company headquarters moved to England along with William’s son Alfred Paget Hedges. After supplying the UK Royal Family, Benson & Hedges was issued a Royal Warrant in 1878, allowing the company to use the Warrant seal on each pack manufactured. The seal was revoked in 1999, presumably as the Royal Family wanted to distance themselves from cigarette smoking.

44. Fast ___ : EDDIE
“Fast Eddie” is a nickname used by several people.

45. Ceiling support : JOIST
In a building, a joist is a supporting member running horizontally to support a ceiling or floor.

46. Black-and-white creature : PANDA
Taxonomic classification of the giant panda has been a subject of great debate for years, the main question being whether it belongs to the bear or raccoon family. The accepted opinion these days, based on molecular studies, seems to be that the panda is in fact a true bear.

50. Black-and-white creature : ORCA
The taxonomic name for the killer whale is Orcinus orca. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

51. Some N.F.L. workers : EMTS
Emergency medical technician (EMT)

52. Do something polite : RSVP
RSVP stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “please, answer”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Sting, e.g. : TRAP
5. 100th anniversary of Disney’s “Fantasia” : MMXL
9. Singer Aguilera’s nickname : XTINA
14. Not well, say : RARE
15. Second : AIDE
16. Conventions : MORES
17. Coming or going : IN TRANSIT
19. Shows of appreciation for services provided? : AMENS
20. Characters from Sophocles : XIS
21. Prideful? : LIONS
22. “Born again” woman : RENEE
23. Figureheads? : CPAS
24. Most laggardly : POKIEST
26. Pabst product : STROH’S
29. Some Arabian food : OATS
30. ___ Lumpur : KUALA
31. Needles : IRRITATES
36. “Huh?!” : I DIDN’T CATCH THAT!
38. How Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday” to President Kennedy : SENSUALLY
39. Blank : ERASE
40. City near Arches National Park : MOAB
41. Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and others : B-SIDES
42. Requiem Mass part : PIE JESU
46. Musical partner of DJ Spinderella and Salt : PEPA
47. Bit of writing that’s slashed? : AND/OR
48. Household brand that’s an anagram of 47-Across : DRANO
50. Homophone of 55-Down : O’ER
53. Minute hands, in a way : RADII
54. Sci-fi disturbances : ION STORMS
56. Early Trinity College affiliation: Abbr. : EPISC
57. It’s hair-raising : UPDO
58. When Hamlet says “The rest is silence” : ACT V
59. Leaves in : STETS
60. Actor Bean of “Troy” : SEAN
61. Grate : RASP

Down
1. Colorful breakfast option : TRIX
2. Mysore Palace resident : RANI
3. Focus of some philanthropy : ARTS
4. So says : PER
5. They come and go : MANIAS
6. Sushi bar servings : MISOS
7. Double-crossed? : X’D IN
8. Fraternity house cry : LET’S PARTY!
9. Map phrase … and a hint to finding this week’s final answer : X MARKS THE SPOT
10. Rourke’s co-star in “The Wrestler” : TOMEI
11. Greek goddess of peace : IRENE
12. Leche drinkers : NENES
13. What you will? : ASSET
18. Certain character set … and a hint to translating this week’s final answer : ALPHANUMERICS
23. They’re easily caught : COLDS
25. Ear-related : OTIC
26. Lift things? : SKIS
27. Sassiness, slangily : ‘TUDE
28. Spring fall : RAIN
29. Bathroom brand : ORAL-B
31. 1977 PBS sensation : I, CLAUDIUS
32. Pair of hearts? : ATRIA
33. Trumpeter Jones : THAD
34. What a soldier may be at? : EASE
35. Heads of some towns in Quebec?: Abbr. : STES
37. ___ Pueblo (Unesco World Heritage site) : TAOS
41. Half of a cigarette? : BENSON
42. Cuts down : PARES
43. A little off : INAPT
44. Fast ___ : EDDIE
45. Ceiling support : JOIST
46. Black-and-white creature : PANDA
49. Skip it : ROPE
50. Black-and-white creature : ORCA
51. Some N.F.L. workers : EMTS
52. Do something polite : RSVP
55. Thrust provider : OAR


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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

11 thoughts on “1025-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Oct 14, Saturday”

  1. For lack of another forum, I will post here a joke (original to me, as far as I know) that was running through my head as I woke up a couple of days ago:

    What does an dying atheist say upon coming to and seeing St. Peter at the Pearly Gates?

    "Well, I'll be damned!"

    Tee-hee …

  2. So is the answer to the meta challenge "its about time"??

    If so, can someone explain "x marks the spot" clue on Saturday's puzzle. We get the puzzles about 2 weeks after initial publication in the NY Times.

  3. When i solve a puzzle, I feel very clever. When I fail to solve one I think the puzzle is unfair.
    But if i could solve every one , I'd stop doing them.
    Oh, well, I can still understand about half the comics.
    John Matthews

  4. The answer to the meta-challenge is TEMPUS FUGIT. I did the best I could explaining how to get there in the "Theme" comments under the grid at the top of the page.

    A tough one …

  5. @The Farmers

    Thank you for your succinct and rather poetic post, which I think contains much wisdom.

    And I can relate to the comment about difficulty in understanding the comics. An increasing number of them are going right over my head (particularly those from the strip "Argyle Sweater").

    My apologies for a more or less duplicate post, if that's what this turns out to be. My first attempt never showed up … perhaps I didn't properly prove I wasn't a robot … 🙂

  6. I don't understand the answer for 12 down. A "nene" is usually the answer for "Hawaiian state bird." The Spanish word for a male baby or young child is "niño," as in the well-known meteorological phenomenon "El Niño."

  7. @Anonymous

    According to my Oxford Spanish dictionary, "nene" is another Spanish word for "little boy" (and "nena" means a little girl). I know very little Spanish, so I don't know how common these words are relative to the ones that English speakers are more familiar with. Perhaps it varies from country to country?

  8. Wow! That's what I call a prompt response.

    I probably know a little more Spanish than you, being an 88-yr-old native Californian. Just kidding – we have place names that are correctly mispronounced (San Pedro = San "Peedro; Vallejo = "Valleho"; and La Jolla is misspelt (La Joya). But I did live and work in Madrid for 3 months with my wife and 1-yr-old boy, and never heard anything but "niño." Also, the smallest of Columbus's three ships was La Niña.

    Must be those effete British.

    Cheers – Herb Royden herbroyd@aol.com

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