1107-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Nov 15, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 18m 42s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Mer d’Aral, e.g. : LAC
In French, the “Mer d’Aral” (Aral Sea) is a “lac” (lake).

4. Centaurus A is one : RADIO GALAXY
Centaurus A is a galaxy named for the Galaxy Centaurus, in which the galaxy is found. Centaurus A is remarkable in several ways. It is the fifth-brightest galaxy in the night sky, and is often visible with the naked eye. Much of the emissions from the galaxy are radio signals, so that it is designated as a radio galaxy.

15. Texter’s qualifier : IMO
In my opinion (IMO)

16. Disappearing word? : ABRACADABRA
The incantation “abracadabra” has a long history. It was used as far back as the 2nd century AD in Ancient Rome when the word was prescribed by a physician to be worn on an amulet to help his emperor recover from disease. “Abracadabra” is Aramaic, and roughly translates as “I will create as I speak”.

17. Where the VC fought : NAM
The Viet Cong was the name of the political and military organization based in South Vietnam that fought the US and South Vietnamese government during the Vietnam War. The American military referred to the Viet Cong as “the VC”. “VC” could be extended to “Victor Charlie” in the phonetic alphabet, and this was shortened to “Charlie”, which became a military slang term for the Viet Cong and other Communists.

19. Turnpike timesaver : E-ZPASS
E-ZPASS was a technology development driven (pun!) by the tolling agencies of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The first E-ZPASS toll booth was built on the New York Thruway, and opened at the Spring Valley toll plaza in 1993.

22. “Airplane!” actor : HAYS
The 1980 movie “Airplane!” has to be one of the zaniest comedies ever made. The lead roles were Ted Striker (played by Robert Hays) and Elaine Dickinson (played by Julie Hagerty). But it was Leslie Nielsen who stole the show, playing Dr. Barry Rumack. That’s my own humble opinion of course …

23. About a quarter of a calorie : JOULE
James Joule was an English physicist who spent much of his life working in the family brewing business. Joule used his work in the brewery to study the relationship between heat and mechanical work. In honor of his achievements, his name is used for the unit of energy/work in the International System of Units (i.e. the joule).

24. Longtime record label for Elton John : MCA
Elton John’s real name is Reginald Dwight. Sir Elton was knighted in 1998, not for his music but for his charitable work. He founded his own Elton John AIDS Foundation back in 1992.

25. Cluster in a marquise : GEMS
Diamonds can be cut in various shapes. The most common cuts are:

– Princess
– Cushion
– Heart
– Pear
– Marquise
– Radiant
– Asscher
– Emerald
– Oval

26. Word that may precede itself : UNTO
As in “… means unto itself”.

27. Tiny lengths : MICRONS
The measurement of length called a “micron” is more correctly referred to a micrometer (or “micrometre”). It is equivalent to one millionth of a meter.

29. Foe of le diable : DIEU
In French, “Dieu” (God) is the foe of “le diable” (the devil).

30. “Ice Road Truckers” locale : ALASKA
“Ice Road Truckers” is a reality show on the History channel that has been airing since 2007. The show follows the perilous journeys of truckers who drive over frozen lakes and rivers in remote areas of Canada and Alaska during the winter.

31. Book between Hebrews and I Peter: Abbr. : JAS
James (Jas.)

The Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews), the Epistle of James (James) and the First Epistle of Peter (1 Peter) are consecutive books of the New Testament in the Christian Bible.

34. N.B.A. venue, with “the” : GARDEN
TD Garden (“The Garden”) is a sports arena that was built in the 1990s to replace the aging Boston Garden as home for the Boston Celtics basketball team and the Boston Bruins hockey team.

36. She taught Prometheus many arts : ATHENA
The Greek goddess Athena is often associated with wisdom (among other attributes). In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”.

In Greek mythology, Prometheus was one of the Titans. He was said to have created man from clay as well as giving fire to humanity, allowing the human race to prosper.

38. Quartet in “No, No, Nanette” : ENS
There is a quarter of letters N (ens) in the title “No, No, Nanette”.

The 1925 musical “No, No, Nanette” spawned two famous songs: “Tea for Two” and “I Want to Be Happy”.

43. Like base runners? : AWOL
Wayward military personnel might go AWOL (absent without leave) from a military base.

44. Band with the 1988 7x platinum album “New Jersey” : BON JOVI
Jon Bon Jovi was born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr., and he is the leader of the band that took his name, Bon Jovi.

45. Former competitor of Smirnoff Ice : ZIMA
Zima is a clear alcoholic beverage with about the same strength as beer. Zima is sold in beer bottles but is marketed as “not” a beer. It has a lemon-lime flavor and is referred to as an “alcopop”, a portmanteau word from “alcohol” and “pop”. Zima was made by Coors, but they stopped US production in 2008. However, it is still quite popular in Japan.

48. Cy Young Award consideration : ERA
Cy Young was a pitcher in the major leagues from 1890-1911. He is known for pitching the first perfect game of baseball’s modern era. Soon after he died in 1955, the Cy Young Award was created to honor the best pitcher of a particular baseball season.

49. French film award : CESAR
The César Award is the national film award of France. The first César was awarded in 1975, named after the French sculptor César Baldaccini. The awards themselves are reproductions of an actual Baldaccini sculpture.

50. They competed with Franklins : REOS
The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom Eli Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.

The Franklin Automobile Company made luxury automobiles from 1904 to 1934, in Syracuse, New York. As a supplier of a high-end product, Franklin went out of business during the Great Depression.

51. Ones shooting the breeze, for short? : ACS
Air conditioning units (ACs) are room (rm.) coolers.

53. First nuclear-powered submarine : USS NAUTILUS
The USS Nautilus is a submarine launched in 1954, and decommissioned 1980. When launched, the Nautilus was the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine. She was named for a diesel-electric submarine that served with distinction in WWII that was also bore the Nautilus name. All of the US Navy’s “Nautilus” vessels were named for the submarine in the Jules Verne novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”. After decommissioning in 1980, the latest Nautilus was preserved as a floating museum in Groton, Connecticut.

56. Financial adviser Edelman : RIC
Ric Edelman is the author of several books on personal finance, and can be heard weekly on his own syndicated radio show “The Ric Edelman Show”.

57. When modern humans developed : PLEISTOCENE
The Pleistocene epoch lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, and is associated with the most recent period of repeated glaciations. The name “Pleistocene” translates as “newest”. This name was chosen as the name of the preceding Pliocene epoch translates as “newer”. The name of the subsequent Holocene epoch (which extends right up to today) translates as “entirely new”.

60. It goes head to head, for short : ESP
Extrasensory perception (ESP)

Down
2. Like piranhas and electric eels : AMAZONIAN
Piranhas are reputed to be able to strip an animal to its bones in seconds, but this is somewhat of a myth. Piranhas are not in fact strict carnivores, and usually are more of a nuisance to fishermen rather than a danger, as they tend to eat bait that has been set to catch other fish. Much of the reputation of the piranha is owed to the description written by President Theodore Roosevelt in his book “Through the Brazilian Wilderness”. President Roosevelt was somewhat hoodwinked though, as local fishermen put on a special “show” for him. They dumped hordes of hungry piranhas into a dammed section of a river and then tossed in a sliced up cow. President Roosevelt was pretty impressed by the orchestrated feeding frenzy.

Electrophorus electricus is the biological name for the electric eel. Despite its name, the electric “eel” isn’t an eel at all, but rather what is called a knifefish, a fish with an elongated body that is related to the catfish. The electric eel has three pairs of organs along its abdomen, each capable of generating an electric discharge. The shock can go as high as 500 volts with 1 ampere of current (that’s 500 watts), and that could perhaps kill a human.

3. Apple field : COMPUTERS
Apple Computers was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. The company incorporated the following year, but without Wayne. He sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak, for $800 …

6. Founder of the record label Aftermath Entertainment, familiarly : DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

7. Auto executive who developed the Mustang : IACOCCA
Lee Iacocca was a lot more successful at Chrysler than he was earlier in his career at Ford. Iacocca is credited with the turnaround of Chrysler in the eighties, but he is also credited with the failure of the Ford Pinto. He didn’t get on well with Henry Ford II so he was fired from the Ford Motor Company.

The Ford Mustang car was introduced in 1964. Back then the Mustang wasn’t a brand new design, but was based on the Ford Falcon. The Mustang was the first of the “pony cars”, American models that are compact and affordable, as well as sporty in image and performance.

8. Eyepieces : OCULARS
The ocular lens is the eyepiece of many optical devices, such as telescopes and microscopes.

9. 1998-2010 major-leaguer Kapler : GABE
Gabe Kapler was an MLB outfielder who played professional ball for 13 seasons. He spent one season playing in Japan, and in 2013 coached the Israeli national baseball team.

10. Suffix on an AriZona can : -ADE
The AriZona Beverage Company makes a line of flavored iced teas. Paradoxically, the company is based in Woodbury, New York, and not Arizona.

12. Norm of “This Old House” : ABRAM
Norm Abram is the master carpenter who appeared on the PBS show “This Old House”, and who later starred in the spinoff series called “The New Yankee Workshop”.

13. Some 4-Across output : X-RAYS
(4A. Centaurus A is one : RADIO GALAXY)
X-rays were first studied comprehensively by the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen (also “Roentgen”), and it was he who gave the name “X-rays” to this particular type of radiation. Paradoxically, in Röntgen’s native language of German, X-rays are routinely referred to as “Röntgen rays”. In 1901 Röntgen won the first Nobel Prize in Physics that was ever awarded, recognition for his work on X-rays.

24. Unit equal to 254,000 angstroms : MIL
The angstrom is a very small unit of length, equal to one ten-billionth of a meter. As such a small unit, the angstrom is used to measure the size of atoms and molecules. The unit is named for the Swedish physicist Anders Jonas Ångström.

The thickness unit known as a “mil” here in the US is usually referred to as a “thou” on the other side of the Atlantic. A “mil” is actually one thousandth of an inch. I vote for “thou” …

25. Annoying sort : GNAT
Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and to vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

27. Title heroine of a Massenet opera : MANON
Manon is a comic opera by Jules Massenet that was first performed in 1884.

28. Striped animal in a zoo : OKAPI
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.

31. Pastrami holder : JEWISH RYE
In the US, pastrami was originally called “pastrama”, a dish brought to America by Jewish immigrants from Romania in the second half of the the nineteenth century. The original name may have evolved from the Turkish word “pastirma” meaning “pressed”. “Pastrama” likely morphed into “pastrami” influenced by the name of the Italian sausage called salami.

35. Captain Hook attended it : ETON
Captain Hook is the bad guy in “Peter Pan”, the famous play by J. M. Barrie. Hook is Peter Pan’s sworn enemy, as Pan cut off Hook’s hand causing it to be replaced by a “hook”. It is implied in the play that Hook attended Eton College, just outside London. Hook’s last words are “Floreat Etona”, which is Eton College’s motto.

37. Puts through the gantlet, say : HAZES
“Running the gauntlet” was a military punishment in which an offender was forced to run between two lines of men who beat him as he passed.

41. One of the 27 regions of France : CORSICA
Corsica is a large island in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to France. Napoléon Bonaparte was born on Corsica, in the town of Ajaccio.

42. “Selma” director DuVernay : AVA
Ava DuVernay is a filmmaker who became the first African American woman to win the Best Director Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, a feat she achieved in 2012 for her feature film “Middle of Nowhere”. “Middle of Nowhere” tells the story of a woman who drops out of medical school to focus on husband when he is sentenced to 8 years in prison. More recently, DuVernay was nominated for a Golden Globe for directing the 2014 historical drama “Selma”.

44. Banja Luka is its second-largest city : BOSNIA
Banja Luka is the second-largest city in the Balkan country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is second in size only to the national capital of Sarajevo.

46. They charge a lot for their cars : TESLA
Tesla Motors is a manufacturer of electric vehicles based in Palo Alto, California. Tesla is noted for producing the first electric sports car, called the Tesla Roadster. The current base price of a roadster is about $100,000, should you be interested …

47. North-of-the-border boor : HOSER
The derogatory term “hoser”, meaning “foolish or uncultivated person”, is apparently attributed to Canadians, but is rarely used north of the border. Not a term I’ve ever heard of, I must admit …

50. Lexington’s ___ Arena : RUPP
The Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky is home to the University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball team. The arena is is named for former Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp, and is the country’s largest sports indoor area with a capacity of 24,000 people.

51. Card catalog abbr. : AUTH
Author (auth.)

52. It may be written in stone : RUNE
A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

54. Hieroglyphics symbol : ASP
The venomous snake called an asp was a symbol of royalty in Ancient Egypt.

The prefix “hiero-” comes from the Greek word “hieros” meaning sacred or holy. The classic use of the prefix is in the term “hieroglyphics”, meaning “sacred carving”, the writing system that uses symbols and pictures.

55. Issy-___-Moulineaux, France : LES
Issy-les-Moulineaux is a suburb of Paris lying on the banks of the Seine. Issy’s economy was based on manufacturing, but now it is known as a nexus for the French telecommunications and media industries.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Mer d’Aral, e.g. : LAC
4. Centaurus A is one : RADIO GALAXY
15. Texter’s qualifier : IMO
16. Disappearing word? : ABRACADABRA
17. Where the VC fought : NAM
18. Mold in the freezer? : ICE CUBE TRAY
19. Turnpike timesaver : E-ZPASS
21. Ring rouser : OLE!
22. “Airplane!” actor : HAYS
23. About a quarter of a calorie : JOULE
24. Longtime record label for Elton John : MCA
25. Cluster in a marquise : GEMS
26. Word that may precede itself : UNTO
27. Tiny lengths : MICRONS
29. Foe of le diable : DIEU
30. “Ice Road Truckers” locale : ALASKA
31. Book between Hebrews and I Peter: Abbr. : JAS
34. N.B.A. venue, with “the” : GARDEN
36. She taught Prometheus many arts : ATHENA
38. Quartet in “No, No, Nanette” : ENS
39. Boot feature : TOECAP
43. Like base runners? : AWOL
44. Band with the 1988 7x platinum album “New Jersey” : BON JOVI
45. Former competitor of Smirnoff Ice : ZIMA
46. End of some charity events? : -THON
48. Cy Young Award consideration : ERA
49. French film award : CESAR
50. They competed with Franklins : REOS
51. Ones shooting the breeze, for short? : ACS
52. Bad way to make a decision : RASHLY
53. First nuclear-powered submarine : USS NAUTILUS
56. Financial adviser Edelman : RIC
57. When modern humans developed : PLEISTOCENE
58. Voting choice : YEA
59. Shortens a sentence, say : PARAPHRASES
60. It goes head to head, for short : ESP

Down
1. Offside detector : LINE JUDGE
2. Like piranhas and electric eels : AMAZONIAN
3. Apple field : COMPUTERS
4. Good news from upstairs? : RAISE
5. Simple studies : ABCS
6. Founder of the record label Aftermath Entertainment, familiarly : DRE
7. Auto executive who developed the Mustang : IACOCCA
8. Eyepieces : OCULARS
9. 1998-2010 major-leaguer Kapler : GABE
10. Suffix on an AriZona can : -ADE
11. Wood shop equipment : LATHES
12. Norm of “This Old House” : ABRAM
13. Some 4-Across output : X-RAYS
14. Reactions to good news : YAYS
20. One way to wonder : ALOUD
24. Unit equal to 254,000 angstroms : MIL
25. Annoying sort : GNAT
27. Title heroine of a Massenet opera : MANON
28. Striped animal in a zoo : OKAPI
31. Pastrami holder : JEWISH RYE
32. They’re not what’s expected : ANOMALIES
33. Higher-up sports figure? : SALARY CAP
35. Captain Hook attended it : ETON
37. Puts through the gantlet, say : HAZES
40. Firearm mechanism : EJECTOR
41. One of the 27 regions of France : CORSICA
42. “Selma” director DuVernay : AVA
44. Banja Luka is its second-largest city : BOSNIA
46. They charge a lot for their cars : TESLA
47. North-of-the-border boor : HOSER
49. Cold ones haven’t been cracked : CASES
50. Lexington’s ___ Arena : RUPP
51. Card catalog abbr. : AUTH
52. It may be written in stone : RUNE
54. Hieroglyphics symbol : ASP
55. Issy-___-Moulineaux, France : LES

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5 thoughts on “1107-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 7 Nov 15, Saturday”

  1. Thanks again for your blog. We in the New York area know that the "garden" 34 across refers to Madison Square Garden. That other place up north from here is the gahden. 🙂

  2. Haha, that's a good one!

    I normally don't enjoy Silkies, but this one went OK for me. MIL was a complete unknown, so I crossed it with RCA (Elton John's label, so I thought).

  3. 26:43, no errors, but I spent several minutes staring at that purported Canadian slang word, which was completely new to me. REOS seemed to make sense (even though "Franklins" rang no bells), I seemed to remember the RUPP Arena from somewhere, and the USS NAUTILUS seemed solid, so I finally went with HOSER, half expecting it to be wrong. Except for that, this puzzle seemed to go surprisingly quickly … a fitting end to a nice week of puzzles …

  4. 18:17, no errors; made a lot of guesses that turned out to be correct the first time. Just lucky today. As a former New Yorker, I also got 34A based on Madison Square Garden. Originally inserted RCA for MCA, but changed it to get MIL. I have heard the term HOSER before, I think it is because we liked to watch some of the Canadian sitcoms, like the New Red Green Show.

  5. Completely impregnable for me, I gave up after 7 mins 42 sec with exactly one answer in, and 3 very shaky guesses.

    Most clues were so vague as to be useless, and the ones to the point were just out of my ken.

    I don't waste much time anymore on Friday and Saturday puzzles where I get NOTHING after an entire pass through. Those puzzles are designed so that few can solve them, so why bother?

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