0108-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Jan 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jacob Stulberg
THEME: Half Measure … we have a rebus puzzle today with a twist. The measures PINT (PI.. in my grid), CUP and GILL (GI.. in my grid) each appear twice, side by side. Two PINTS side by side substitute for one QUART. Two CUPS side by side substitute for one PINT. Two GILLS side by side substitute for one CUP:

59A. Inadequate effort … or the contents of six squares in this puzzle? : HALF MEASURE

17A. Place for a bed and dresser : LIVING QUARTERS (PINT+PINT = QUART)
6D. Tear asunder : RIP IN TWO
7D. Use as a resource : TAP INTO

33A. 2005 Nobel-winning playwright : HAROLD PINTER (CUP+CUP = PINT)
23D. Minor problem : HICCUP
35D. Winged god : CUPID

41A. Got well : RECUPERATED (GILL+GILL = CUP)
32D. Montreal university : MCGILL
42D. Funny Terry : GILLIAM

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: Did not finish after 60 minutes
ANSWERS I MISSED: 4 … KARATS, HOP, KESHA and RASPY

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Nobel-winning novelist ___ Kertész : IMRE
Imre Kertész is a Hungarian author. Kertész is of Jewish descent and is a survivor of the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2002.

5. “The Wind in the Willows” squire : MR TOAD
“The Wind in the Willows” is a classic children’s novel first published in 1908. Featured in the story are characters such as Mole, Ratty, Mr. Toad and Mr. Badger. The story’s author was Kenneth Grahame, a man who held the exalted position of Secretary of the Bank of England.

16. Kerfuffle : ADO
“Kerfuffle” comes from the Scottish “curfuffle”, with both words meaning “disruption”.

17. Place for a bed and dresser : LIVING QUARTERS (PINT+PINT = QUART)
Two pints make up a quart, which is a “quarter” of a gallon, hence the name.

20. Excellence, to ancient Greeks : ARETE
“Arete” is a word used by the Ancient Greeks to describe something’s excellence. It can apply to anything, perhaps the excellence or arete of a cabbage, or the excellence or arete of a person. It has the same root as the Greek word “aristos” meaning best, from which we get our word “aristocrat”, for example.

21. What may have quite a stir? : WOK
“Wok” is a Cantonese word, the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

24. City on the Italian Riviera : SAN REMO
The Italian city of San Remo sits on the Mediterranean, right on the border with France. In Italian the city is named Sanremo, just one word, although the spelling of “San Remo” dates back to ancient times.

28. Like some vin : BLANC
“Vin blanc” is French for “white wine”.

30. Bad state to be in : COMA
The term “coma” comes from the Greek word “koma” meaning “deep sleep”.

33. 2005 Nobel-winning playwright : HAROLD PINTER (CUP+CUP = PINT)
Harold Pinter was a playwright and screenwriter from London, England. Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. One of Pinter’s more famous screenplays is his 1981 film adaptation of the John Fowles novel “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”.

A US pint is made from 16 fluid ounces, and an imperial pint is 20 fluid ounces. The term “pint” comes into English via Old French, ultimately from the Latin “picta” meaning “painted”. The name arose from a line painted on the side of a beer glass, marking a full measure of ale.

39. Sesame seed pastes : TAHINIS
“Tahini” is the Arabic name for the paste made from ground sesame seeds. Tahini is a major ingredient in hummus, one of my favorite dishes.

41. Got well : RECUPERATED (GILL+GILL = CUP)
A gill is a unit of volume really only used these for measuring out alcoholic spirits. A gill is one quarter of pint, so a US gill is 4 fluid ounces, and an imperial gill is 5 fluid ounces.

43. Acrobat displays? : PDFS
Adobe Acrobat is the software used to create .pdf files. Most of us are more familiar with the associated application called Adobe Reader, because that’s what we use to read those .pdf files.

45. Parisian pronoun : LUI
In French, “lui” is the word for “him” and “elle” is the word for “her”.

47. Word in many Bugs Bunny puns : KARATS
For example, one Bugs Bunny short is called “14 Carrot Rabbit”, a pun on “14-karat” gold.

50. One outsmarted by Odysseus : CYCLOPS
According to Greek mythology, Odysseus and some of his men were trapped in a cave by the great Cyclops Polyphemus. The prisoners managed to drive a pole into Polyphemus’s eye, blinding him. The cyclops screamed, “Who has done this to me?” Odysseus replied, “I am Noman, and Noman has done this to you!” As the men finally make their escape, Odysseus shouts back to Polyphemus, “I am not Noman, but Odysseus, ruler of Ithaca. Tell everyone that I, Odysseus, blinded the mighty Polyphemus!”

55. Job listing abbr. : EEO
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Commission was set up by the Civil Rights Act.

62. Pogo, e.g. : HOP
“To pogo” is to hop on a pogo stick.

What we know today as a pogo stick was invented in Germany by Max Pohlig and Ernst Gottschall. The name “pogo” comes from the first two letters in each of the inventors’ family names: Po-hlig and Go-ttschall.

64. 1997 Peter Fonda title role : ULEE
“Ulee’s Gold” is a highly respected film from 1997 in which Peter Fonda plays the title role of Ulee. Ulee’s “gold” is the honey that Ulee produces. It is a favorite role for Peter Fonda and he has shared that playing Ulee brought to mind his father Henry Fonda, who himself kept a couple of hives. So if you see Peter Fonda in “Ulee’s Gold” you’re witnessing some characteristics that Peter saw in his father.

65. Adams of “Big Eyes” : AMY
Amy Adams is an American actress. although she was actually born in Vicenza, Italy while her father was a US serviceman stationed on an Italian base. My favorite Amy Adams film so far is the outstanding “Julie & Julia” in which she acted alongside Meryl Streep. I highly recommend this truly delightful movie.

“Big Eyes” is a 2014 movie about the artist Margaret Keane (played by Amy Adams). Margaret’s husband Walter Keane (played by Christoph Waltz) fraudulently claimed that it was him who actually created the paintings. The title “Big Eyes” refers to the exaggerated size of the eyes of the subjects in Keane’s paintings.

66. Forcibly removes : WRESTS
The verb “to wrest” can mean to obtain by violent twisting and pulling. The word “wrest” derives from the Middle English “wresten” meaning “to twist”. Our word “wrestling” has the same etymology.

Down
1. ___ Marías (Mexican penal colony) : ISLAS
The Islas Marías Federal Penal Colony is a prison operated by the Mexican government. It is located on the largest of the Islas Marías in the Pacific Ocean off the state of Nayarit. The facility opened in 1905, and was slated for closure in recent years. However, the prison was reactivated in response to overcrowding in other penitentiaries.

2. Actress Kelly : MOIRA
Moira Kelly is an actress from Queens, New York. Kelly provided the voice for the female lion cub Nala in “The Lion King” and its sequel. I mostly remember her for playing a White House media consultant in the first series of the wonderful TV drama “The West Wing”.

4. African nation with a much-disputed border : ERITREA
Eritrea shares a disputed border with Ethiopia.

Eritrea is a country located in the Horn of Africa, surrounded by Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Red Sea. Some scientists believe that the area now known as Eritrea was the departure point for the anatomically modern humans who first left Africa to populate the rest of the world.

5. Econ. sector : MFG
Manufacturing (mfg.) is a major sector of an economy (econ.).

9. Horizontally: Abbr. : ACR
Across (acr.)

11. “Here We Come a-Wassailing,” for one : CAROL
“Wassail” is ale or mulled wine used for toasting at festivals, especially Christmas. The term “wassail” comes from Old Norse “ves heill” meaning “be healthy”. The term can also be used to describe a Christmas carol that is sung while “wassailing”, drinking wassail during the December festival.

18. “A fuller blast ___ shook our battlements”: “Othello” : NE’ER
Shakespeare’s “Othello” was first performed in 1604. The main characters in the play are:

– Othello, a general in the army of Venice
– Desdemona, Othello’s wife
– Cassio, Othello’s trusted ensign
– Iago, the villain of the piece

25. George of “Route 66” : MAHARIS
The actor George Maharis played Buz Murdock, one of the three main actors in the television series “Route 66”.

“Route 66” is a classic television show from the early sixties about two young men traveling across the US in a Corvette. The original lead characters were Tod Stiles and Buz Murdock, with Murdock being replaced by a character called Lincoln Case in the third season.

28. One side in the Boer Wars, informally : BRITS
There were two Boer Wars, the first fought between 1880 and 1881 and the second fought between 1899 and 1902. The Dutch settlers of the Boer republics took on the British Empire in both conflicts.

31. Part of a krone : ORE
The Norwegian and Danish krone are divided into 100 öres.

32. Montreal university : MCGILL
McGill University is a school in Montreal that was founded in 1821. The university was formed from the preexisting McGill College that had been established using a grant from Montreal merchant James McGill.

34. “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for ___” (1985 book) : A HAT
“The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales” is a book by neurologist Oliver Sacks that was released in 1985. In the book, Sacks describes the case histories of some of his patients. One such history describes a man who suffered from visual agnosia, an inability to correctly recognize some objects. I particular, the man mistook his wife for a hat, hence the title.

35. Winged god : CUPID
Cupid, the Greek god of desire, was also known as Amor. “Cupido” is Latin for “desire” and “amor” is Latin for “love”.

36. Middle-earth inhabitant : ELF
Middle-earth is the setting for J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novels “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” series.

37. Literary monogram : RLS
Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish author, famous for his novels “Treasure Island”, “Kidnapped” and “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”.

42. Funny Terry : GILLIAM
Terry Gilliam is a former member of the famous British Monty Python comedy troupe. Gilliam was the only American in the group, and he was the person responsible for the animations featured in “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”.

47. Singer with the #1 debut album “Animal,” 2010 : KESHA
Ke$ha (also just Kesha) is the stage name used by singer Kesha Rose Sebert.

50. Brand once pitched by Josephine the Plumber : COMET
The Comet brand of household cleanser produced a famous series of ads in the sixties through the eighties that featured a character known as “Josephine the Plumber”. Played by actress Jane Withers, she was noted for uttering the line “Nothing can hold a can to Comet!”

52. Tel Aviv’s ___ Center for Peace : PERES
Shimon Peres is an Israeli statesman who was born in Poland. A former prime minister, Peres also served as the President of the State of Israel from 2007 until 2014. Born Szymon Perski in Poland, Peres was the oldest head of state in the world.

53. Wintry mix : SLEET
Apparently “sleet” is a term used to describe two weather conditions. One is a shower of ice pellets, smaller than hail, and the second is a mixture of rain and snow, with the snow melting as it falls. It’s the second definition that I have always used …

56. Tiny amphibians : EFTS
Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

60. Site of the first Parliament of Scotland : AYR
Ayr is a port town on the Firth of Clyde in southwest Scotland. The celebrated poet Robert Burns was born just three miles from Ayr. It was also home to the first Parliament of Scotland, which was held in Ayr in 1315 by Robert the Bruce.

61. R.N. locales : ERS

Registered nurses (RNs) might be found in an operating room (OR) or emergency room (ER).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Nobel-winning novelist ___ Kertész : IMRE
5. “The Wind in the Willows” squire : MR TOAD
11. 3-Down sound : CAW
14. Take off : SOAR
15. Engagement party? : FIANCE
16. Kerfuffle : ADO
17. Place for a bed and dresser : LIVING QUARTERS (PINT+PINT = QUART)
19. Kerfuffle : ROW
20. Excellence, to ancient Greeks : ARETE
21. What may have quite a stir? : WOK
22. It’s no fun : CHORE
24. City on the Italian Riviera : SAN REMO
26. Not overt : VEILED
27. Time past : ERA
28. Like some vin : BLANC
30. Bad state to be in : COMA
33. 2005 Nobel-winning playwright : HAROLD PINTER (CUP+CUP = PINT)
38. Ski jumper’s path : ARC
39. Sesame seed pastes : TAHINIS
40. Sick : ILL
41. Got well : RECUPERATED (GILL+GILL = CUP)
43. Acrobat displays? : PDFS
44. A., B. and others: Abbr. : INITS
45. Parisian pronoun : LUI
47. Word in many Bugs Bunny puns : KARATS
50. One outsmarted by Odysseus : CYCLOPS
54. They’re marked : EXAMS
55. Job listing abbr. : EEO
57. Honest, informally : LEVEL
58. Family moniker : SIS
59. Inadequate effort … or the contents of six squares in this puzzle? : HALF MEASURE
62. Pogo, e.g. : HOP
63. Word with bar or bed : OYSTER
64. 1997 Peter Fonda title role : ULEE
65. Adams of “Big Eyes” : AMY
66. Forcibly removes : WRESTS
67. Nag, e.g. : PEST

Down
1. ___ Marías (Mexican penal colony) : ISLAS
2. Actress Kelly : MOIRA
3. 11-Across maker : RAVEN
4. African nation with a much-disputed border : ERITREA
5. Econ. sector : MFG
6. Tear asunder : RIP IN TWO
7. Use as a resource : TAP INTO
8. Short race, informally : ONE-K
9. Horizontally: Abbr. : ACR
10. Sinks : DESCENDS
11. “Here We Come a-Wassailing,” for one : CAROL
12. Treasure : ADORE
13. Blew away : WOWED
18. “A fuller blast ___ shook our battlements”: “Othello” : NE’ER
23. Minor problem : HICCUP
25. George of “Route 66” : MAHARIS
26. On good grounds : VALIDLY
28. One side in the Boer Wars, informally : BRITS
29. Unaided : LONE
30. Roller coaster unit : CAR
31. Part of a krone : ORE
32. Montreal university : MCGILL
34. “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for ___” (1985 book) : A HAT
35. Winged god : CUPID
36. Middle-earth inhabitant : ELF
37. Literary monogram : RLS
39. Traveling circus, often : TENT SHOW
42. Funny Terry : GILLIAM
43. Accumulates : PILES UP
46. Winningest N.C.A.A. Basketball Championship sch. : UCLA
47. Singer with the #1 debut album “Animal,” 2010 : KESHA
48. Start of a mathematical proof : AXIOM
49. Not smooth : RASPY
50. Brand once pitched by Josephine the Plumber : COMET
51. Small egg : OVULE
52. Tel Aviv’s ___ Center for Peace : PERES
53. Wintry mix : SLEET
55. As well : ELSE
56. Tiny amphibians : EFTS
60. Site of the first Parliament of Scotland : AYR
61. R.N. locales : ERS

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9 thoughts on “0108-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Jan 15, Thursday”

  1. I was doomed from the start. I finished about half and gave up way before you, Bill. I have enjoyed the classical references the last few days, but I have experience with a "gill." I put a single "G" into 42D assuming it was Terri Garr, and the puzzle accepted it, so I dunno.

    Drats!

  2. @Willie D
    It took me ages to work out the theme, and when I did I was hopeful I could finish the puzzle quickly. But, I hit that southwest corner and just couldn't get there in the end.

  3. These "dirty trick puzzles" are a complete and utter waste of time. I, too, wish there was some kind of warning so that those of us who don't relish the frustration of these trick puzzles can beg off before sinking any time into these boondoggles.

  4. Is it just me or has Thursday become the new hardest day of the week?

    I also had trouble getting the theme (particularly since I somehow thought a "gill" was some fraction of a bushel – don't know what, if anything, I was thinking of there ) and I also got badly hung up in the SW corner. Walked away for a bit, ate lunch, tried again … came up with "exams" instead of "forms", which gave me "axiom" and "Amy" instead of "Joy" (don't know where that came from, either); then "raspy" and "karats", which gave me "Kesha". All told, I think I spent at least two hours on this puzzle, maybe more.

    As for 62 Across, I guess I'm old enough to remember when "Pogo" was either a noun followed by "Stick" or a talking opossum (?) from somewhere down South. (I do miss … what was it? … "Shoe?")

  5. No, no, no … The comic strip was "Pogo", created by Walt Kelly. "Shoe" was a later comic strip, created by Jeff MacNelly. (Somehow, with the passage of the years, the two had merged in my head.) In any case, I would put both of them, along with "Bloom County", "Calvin and Hobbs", "Doonesbury", and "Li'l Abner", in my top ten list of all-time favorite comic strips. (And the "Katzenjammer Kids" might be in there, too, but that would really date me, wouldn't it? … 🙂

  6. Another Thursday, another Rebus, another BIG bottle of Ibuprofen. I'm in the minority, I guess – the "dirty tricks" that Thor visits upon us are a definite challenge. I finally got this one but I did have to cheat a little to verify the definition of gill. The hint in 59A along with "hiccup" and Cupid" finally did it. I say well done!

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