1028-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Oct 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jay Kaskel & Daniel Kantor
THEME: Food Court … each of our themed answers is a food that sounds like it would end up in FOOD COURT, and is clued with reference to the “courtly” adjective in the answer:

34A. Legal setting for 17-, 25-, 45- and 53-Across? : FOOD COURT

17A. 34-Across case involving … wrongful termination? : CANNED CORN
25A. … divorce proceedings? : SPLIT PEAS
45A. … political corruption? : DIRTY RICE
53A. … marijuana possession? : BAKED BEANS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 11m 41s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “The ___ is up!” : JIG
Back in Elizabethan times, a “jig” was a trick or game. So, the expression “the jig is up” has for some time meant “the trick or game is exposed”.

13. Hunky-dory : ACES
Surprisingly (to me), the term “hunky-dory” has been around a long time, and is documented back in the mid-1800s. Nobody’s really sure of its origin, but some say it is an Anglicization of Honcho dori, that back in the day was a street of ill repute in Yokohama, Japan.

15. What might lead you to say “Whatever” : ENNUI
“Ennui” is the French word for boredom, a word that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported that we haven’t anglicized and actually pronounce “correctly”.

16. Spy Aldrich : AMES
Aldrich Ames worked for the CIA until he was convicted in 1994 of spying for the Soviet Union. Prior to identifying Ames as a spy, the CIA was highly concerned at the high rate of disappearance of their own agents behind the Iron Curtain and they struggled for years to find the mole that they assumed must be working within their own ranks. After he was finally arrested, the CIA was criticized for not having identified Ames sooner, particularly as he was living an extravagant lifestyle relative to his apparent means. Ames is serving a life sentence in the US Penitentiary in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

19. Like stallions : MALE
There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

– Foal: horse of either sex that is less that one year old
– Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
– Filly: female horse under the age of four
– Colt: male horse under the age of four
– Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
– Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
– Mare: female horse four years or older

23. Multiplication sign, in math class : DOT
Yep, 2 x 3 can be written as 2.3 …

24. Some razors : ATRAS
Fortunately for crossword setters, the Atra razor was introduced by Gillette in 1977. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

31. Fa follower : SOL
The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

38. Hip dance : HULA
Hula is the name of the Polynesian dance. The chant or song that the dance illustrates, that’s known as the mele.

42. Ouzo flavoring : ANISE
Ouzo is an aperitif from Greece that is colorless and flavored with anise. Ouzo is similar to pastis from France and also has a flavor like sambuca from Italy.

44. Subject of much Dave Chappelle humor : RACE
Dave Chapelle is a stand-up comedian who has also had some roles in big movies, like “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and “Con Air”. Chappelle lives on a 65-acre farm outside Yellow Springs, Ohio, the town where his father lived when Dave was growing up in Washington, D.C.

47. North Dakota city : MINOT
The city of Minot, North Dakota grew out of a tent city that flourished in 1886 at the end of a railway line that was being constructed in 1886. The tent city marked the end of the line only temporarily, as work stopped there for the winter. By the end of that winter, the tent city was home to 5,000 residents. It had sprung up as if “by magic”, and became known as “Magic City”, a nickname that persists to this day.

50. Common antiseptic : IODINE
Tincture of iodine is a disinfectant. A “tincture” is a substance used in dyeing. Since the 1600s, “tincture” has also been used for a solution of medicine in an alcohol mixture.

56. Asia’s ___ Sea : ARAL
The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet Union irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

57. Summer month in South America : ENERO
In Spanish, the year (el año) starts in January (enero) and ends in December (diciembre).

58. ___-free : SCOT
The phrase “scot-free” means “free from punishment, restraint or obligation”. The term derives from the Old English “scotfreo” meaning “exempt from royal tax”, with “scot” being a royal tax.

61. AARP members: Abbr. : SRS
AARP is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

Down
1. Onetime MTV reality stunt show : JACKASS
“Jackass” is a reality show that originally aired on MTV from 2000 to 2001. The show features a group of men doing stunts in which they usually get injured to some extent. The leader of the group is called Johnny Knoxville, who appears in the stunts and also created the show. Not my cup of tea …

3. Word in the names of two of the top 10 Fortune 500 companies : GENERAL
They would be General Motors and General Electric.

4. Jazzberry Jam and Razzmatazz in a Crayola box : REDS
In the year 2000 the Crayola company, very cleverly I think, held the “Crayola Color Census 2000” in which people were polled and asked for their favorite Crayola colors. President George W. Bush chose “Blue Bell” and Tiger Woods chose “Wild Strawberry”.

6. Chemical formula for tin monoxide : SNO
Tin monoxide (SnO)

The Latin word for tin is “stannum”, and so tin’s atomic symbol is “Sn”. One of the ores used as a source of tin is “stannite”.

8. 1950s Mideast hot spot : SINAI
The Sinai Peninsula is in the eastern part of Egypt, the triangular peninsula bounded by the Mediterranean to the north and the Red Sea to the south. It is the only part of Egypt that lies in Asia as opposed to Africa. The eastern land border of the peninsula is shared with Israel, and Israel occupied the Sinai during the 1956 Suez Crisis and the Six Day War of 1967.

10. Famous middle name that means “love of God” : AMADEUS
The composer Mozart’s full name was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The name “Wolfgang” translates literally as “wolf journey”. Amadeus translates as “love god”!

12. Flying transmitter : TSETSE
Tsetse flies live on the blood of vertebrate mammals. The name “tsetse” comes from Tswana, a language of southern Africa, and translates simply as “fly”. Tsetse flies are famous for being carriers of the disease known as “sleeping sickness”. Sleeping sickness is caused by a parasite which is passed onto humans when the tsetse fly bites into human skin tissue. If one considers all the diseases transmitted by the insect, then the tsetse fly is responsible for a staggering quarter of a million deaths each year.

18. What can take people for a loop? : ELS
Elevated railroad (El)

22. Nissan S.U.V. : XTERRA
The Xterra is a compact SUV built by Nissan in Smyrna, Tennessee (and in Brazil).

32. Unidentified hostile aircraft : BOGEYS
“Bogey” is WWII slang for an unidentified aircraft that is presumed to be hostile.

35. “Great” river of England : OUSE
“Ouse” is the name of several rivers in England, most notably the Great Ouse in Yorkshire. The name comes from the Celtic word “usa” meaning “water”.

40. Alito succeeded her on the bench : O’CONNOR
Sandra Day O’Connor is a former Associate justice on the US Supreme Court. O’Connor was the first woman appointed to the court, and was in office from 1981 after being appointed by President Reagan. As the court became more conservative she was viewed as the swing vote in many decisions. As a result, O’Connor was known as one of the most powerful women in the world. She retired in 2006 (replaced by Samuel Alito), and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2009.

Associate Justice Samuel Alito was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. Alito is the second Italian-American to serve on the Supreme Court (Antonin Scalia was the first). Alito studied law at Yale and while in his final year he left the country for the first time in his life, heading to Italy to work on his thesis about the Italian legal system.

43. Big name in 1980s jeans : GITANO
Gitano is a brand of jeans sold by Kmart.

44. Tilt-a-Whirl and Ferris wheel : RIDES
The Tilt-A-Whirl is the fairground ride that has seven cars on a spinning platform, with the cars rotating freely and randomly. Each of the cars hold 3-4 riders, pretty nauseated riders sometimes.

The first Ferris Wheel was built for the Chicago World’s Fair (officially known as the “World’s Columbian Exposition”) in 1893. That wheel was designed and constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. who lent his name to wheels built from then on.

50. “American ___” : IDOL
Fox’s “American Idol” is a spin-off show that was created after the amazing success of the British television show “Pop Idol”. I can’t abide either program(me) …

54. “The Star-Spangled Banner” writer : KEY
The lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” were written first as a poem by Francis Scott Key, inspired by the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry that he witnessed during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called “The Anacreontic Song”, with the Anacreontic Society being a men’s club in London.

55. Measure opposed by Phyllis Schlafly, for short : ERA
Phyllis Schlafly is a conservative activist who is noted for her opposition to modern feminism. Schlafly led the STOP ERA campaign in the seventies that was influential in the stalling the state ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) that had passed both houses of Congress.

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was written by the American suffragist leader, Alice Paul. Although Paul was successful in her campaign to get passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution (guaranteeing voting rights regardless of sex), her 1923 Equal Rights Amendment didn’t make it to the Senate floor until 1972. The amendment was passed by the Senate, and then headed to the state legislatures for the required ratification. 38 states had to approve the legislation for the amendment to be adopted, but only 35 states voted in favor before the deadline. So the amendment is still pending, although about half of the fifty states have adopted the ERA into their state constitutions.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “The ___ is up!” : JIG
4. Corrodes : RUSTS
9. What tiny fish and eyes do : DART
13. Hunky-dory : ACES
15. What might lead you to say “Whatever” : ENNUI
16. Spy Aldrich : AMES
17. 34-Across case involving … wrongful termination? : CANNED CORN
19. Like stallions : MALE
20. Prepares to tie one’s shoes, say : KNEELS
21. Put a strain on : TAX
23. Multiplication sign, in math class : DOT
24. Some razors : ATRAS
25. … divorce proceedings? : SPLIT PEAS
28. Washing machine cycle : SOAK
29. Political group unlikely to be swayed : BASE
30. Give the slip : ELUDE
31. Fa follower : SOL
32. Far from fat : BONY
33. Peeved : CROSS
34. Legal setting for 17-, 25-, 45- and 53-Across? : FOOD COURT
36. Big gulps : SWIGS
38. Hip dance : HULA
39. Hip : MOD
42. Ouzo flavoring : ANISE
43. Main point : GIST
44. Subject of much Dave Chappelle humor : RACE
45. … political corruption? : DIRTY RICE
47. North Dakota city : MINOT
48. Unlock, in verse : OPE
49. Fixed : SET
50. Common antiseptic : IODINE
51. Catches : NETS
53. … marijuana possession? : BAKED BEANS
56. Asia’s ___ Sea : ARAL
57. Summer month in South America : ENERO
58. ___-free : SCOT
59. Kids’ road trip game : I SPY
60. True-blue : LOYAL
61. AARP members: Abbr. : SRS

Down
1. Onetime MTV reality stunt show : JACKASS
2. Confident counterclaim : I CAN TOO
3. Word in the names of two of the top 10 Fortune 500 companies : GENERAL
4. Jazzberry Jam and Razzmatazz in a Crayola box : REDS
5. Ma’s his sis : UNC
6. Chemical formula for tin monoxide : SNO
7. Slowpoke : TURTLE
8. 1950s Mideast hot spot : SINAI
9. Stop for water : DAM
10. Famous middle name that means “love of God” : AMADEUS
11. Prepares for another round of shots : RELOADS
12. Flying transmitter : TSETSE
14. Tiptoer, e.g. : SNEAK
18. What can take people for a loop? : ELS
22. Nissan S.U.V. : XTERRA
25. Contents of some banks : SAND
26. Pro with a deck of cards, maybe : PSYCHIC
27. Cook up a conspiracy : PLOT
29. Chorus that’s not nice to hear : BOOS
32. Unidentified hostile aircraft : BOGEYS
33. ___ of personality : CULT
34. Punch ingredient? : FIST
35. “Great” river of England : OUSE
36. Ones taking potshots : SNIPERS
37. Invasive bug : WIRETAP
39. Crazies : MANIACS
40. Alito succeeded her on the bench : O’CONNOR
41. Cannot stand : DETESTS
42. Hebrew name for God : ADONAI
43. Big name in 1980s jeans : GITANO
44. Tilt-a-Whirl and Ferris wheel : RIDES
46. Insurgent : REBEL
47. Underworld group : MOB
50. “American ___” : IDOL
52. Like a 14-Down : SLY
54. “The Star-Spangled Banner” writer : KEY
55. Measure opposed by Phyllis Schlafly, for short : ERA

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5 thoughts on “1028-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Oct 15, Wednesday”

  1. Started with "sweet peas" at 25A when I got the theme. Otherwise, not overly TAXing. I think a real military sniper might take issue with POTSHOTS, given the meticulous planning that goes into each kill.

  2. Thanks for your NYTimes blog. I enjoy your blog every day. Used to read that Rex guy before he went off deep end then found your blog. One issue today is

    23. Multiplication sign, in math class : DOT
    Yep, 2 x 3 can be written as 2.3 …

    You probably know this but can't represent it with a keyboard. The dot should be higher. Where a hyphen would be. What you have written is 2 and 3 tenths.
    Thanks again.

  3. Jackie: yes, one expression of being high on pot is "being baked."

    Anon: Not sure if you can see this, but it's not on the keyboard. Hold down and enter 0183. It comes out like 2·3=6 (at least in Windows).

  4. Twelve minutes, six seconds; no errors. In the Denver Post, the clue for 19A was missing, but there was a note accompanying the puzzle: "Attention Editors: Clue 19-Across requires an embedded image (male symbol). Also, clues 17-, 25-, 45- and 53-Across are italicized." Odd.

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