0102-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Jan 16, Saturday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Phillips
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 27m 43s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. One with a pouch : KOALA
The koala bear really does look like a little bear, but it’s not even closely related. The koala is an arboreal marsupial and a herbivore, native to the east and south coasts of Australia. Koalas aren’t primates, and are one of the few mammals other than primates who have fingerprints. In fact, it can be very difficult to tell human fingerprints from koala fingerprints, even under an electron microscope. Male koalas are called “bucks”, females are “does”, and young koalas are “joeys”. I’m a little jealous of the koala, as it sleeps up to 20 hours a day …

16. Half a round : NINE HOLES
There’s an urban myth that the standard number of holes on a golf course is 18 because it takes 18 shots to polish off a fifth of scotch whisky. However, the truth is that the standard number of holes in the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland happened to settle down over time at 18, and that standard was adopted all around the world.

19. Promontories : NESSES
A “ness” is a headland or promontory. The term comes from Old Norse and has the same roots as the word “nose”.

21. What most adjectives end in? : -EST
Adjectives indicating the “most” are superlative adjectives, and usually have the suffix “-est”.

22. Part of “Die Fledermaus” : ARIE
“Arie” is the German word for “aria”.

“Die Fledermaus” is a really lovely operetta composed by Johann Strauss II, first performed in 1874. “Fledermaus” is German for “bat” (literally “flying mouse”). The title comes from the fact that one of the characters (Falke) was abandoned drunk, dressed as a bat, in the center of town one evening. As Falke was subject to ridicule, the machinations of the story are designed as revenge for his humiliation.

26. Competitor of Kohl’s : TJ MAXX
T.J. Maxx is a chain of department stores in the US, with outlets in Europe as well. Over in the UK however, the stores are known as T.K. Maxx.

Kohl’s is a department store chain with its headquarters in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The store takes its name from the founder, Maxwell Kohl.

34. It launched Hotmail in ’96 : MSN
My research shows that Hotmail was indeed introduced in 1996, but Microsoft didn’t acquire the service until the following year. Soon after the acquisition in 1997, Microsoft made Hotmail part of its MSN group of services.

40. “American Dad!” airer : TBS
“American Dad!” is an adult-oriented animated sitcom. Famously, one of the show’s creators is Seth MacFarlane, who also created “Family Guy”. Personally, I cannot stand either show …

41. Indiana Jones was on one : QUEST
In the “Indiana Jones” series of films, Dr. “Indy” Jones is played so ably by Harrison Ford. Dr. Marcus Brody is also played ably by the veteran English actor Denholm Elliott.

42. Input signal? : CARET
The character known as a caret was originally a proofreading mark, used to indicate where a punctuation mark was to be inserted. “Caret” is Latin for “it lacks”.

46. Florists’ creations : POSIES
The word “posy”, meaning a bouquet of flowers, comes from the word “poesy”, which was a line of verse engraved on the inner surface of a ring. The jump to “posy” came with the notion that the giving of flowers was a form of language in itself. A posy can also be called a nosegay or a tussie-mussie.

49. “Packed” letters : SRO
Standing room only (SRO)

52. Korean War leader, for short : HST
The initial “S” in the middle of the name Harry S. Truman (HST) doesn’t stand for anything. The future-president was named “Harry” in honor of his mother’s brother Harrison “Harry” Young. The initial “S” was chosen in honor of young Harry’s two grandfathers: Anderson S-hipp Truman and S-olomon Young.

Korea was occupied by the Japanese military from 1910 until Japan surrendered at the end of WWII in 1945. While the UN was working towards a trusteeship administration for Korea, the Soviet Union managed the Korean Peninsula north of the 38th parallel and the US managed the south. The UN’s plans came to nothing as the Cold War dictated the establishment of the two separate states of North Korea and South Korea. North Korea invaded the South in 1950, leading to the Korean War. After three years of fighting, the border between the two states became the demarcation line between the two military forces on the day the Armistice Agreement was signed. That line runs diagonally across the 38th parallel, and is better known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

54. 1987 Emmy winner for “Moonlighting” : WILLIS
Actor Bruce Willis started to hit the big time when he got a lead role in the comedy detective series “Moonlighting” in the late eighties. Willis was born in Germany, where his father was stationed while serving in the US Army. Willis’ mother was German.

59. One of TV’s Crane brothers : NILES
In the sitcom called “Frasier”, Niles Crane is the brother of the title character Frasier Crane. Fraiser is played by Kelsey Grammer and Niles is played by David Hyde Pierce. Frasier was originally intended to be an only child in the show’s storyline, but the producers decided to add a brother when they noted the remarkable similarity in appearance between David Hyde Pierce and Kelsey Grammer.

62. Where the U.S.S. Cole was attacked in 2000 : ADEN, YEMEN
The USS Cole is a guided missile destroyer with a homeport in Norfolk, Virginia. The Cole fell victim to a suicide attack in 2000 by Al-Qaeda bombers who detonated an explosion on a boat close to the navy vessel while it was at anchor in Aden. 17 of the Cole’s crew members were killed in the attack, which blew a hole in the port side of the ship.

Down
3. Alternative to Goobers : RAISINETS
Raisinets are chocolate-covered raisins produced by Nestlé. They are often sold in boxes in movie theaters.

4. Jamaican jerk chicken seasoning : ALLSPICE
The spice known as “allspice” was given its name in the early seventeenth century as it flavor was said to resemble a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In fact, allspice is made from dried berries of the Pimenta dioica tree.

5. Its Latin motto translates to “Light and truth” : YALE
“Lux et veritas” translates from Latin as “Light and Truth”. “Lux et veritas” is used as a motto of several universities including Indiana University, the University of Montana and Yale University. However, Yale’s motto is often given in Hebrew, as “Urim and Thummim”.

6. ___ Dunham, Barack Obama’s mother : ANN
Barack Obama, Sr. was first married at the age of 18 in his home country of Kenya, and had two children during that marriage. He left his wife and children back in Kenya when he enrolled in the University of Hawaii in 1959 as the school’s first African foreign student. There Obama met Ann Dunham in a Russian language course. The two entered into a romantic relationship and Dunham became pregnant. Obama told Dunham that he was divorced from his first wife (not true), and the pair were married on Maui in 1961. Six months later, Barack Obama II was born, destined to become the 44th President of the United States. The couple divorced in 1964. After the divorce, Dunham was able to marry Lalo Soetoro, a Javanese surveyor who she met while he was studying for a masters degree at the university. Soetoro returned to Indonesia in 1966, and Dunham joined him there the following year with her 6-year-old son. Barack Obama spent four years in Indonesia before returning to Hawaii to live with his grandparents.

8. Santa ___ (weather phenomena) : ANAS
The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically “falls” down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

9. “Louie” : LEFT TURN
Someone “hanging a louie” is turning left. Apparently, “hanging a ralph” is turning right.

10. Bigeye, on some menus : AHI
Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

12. Santa ___ : CLARA
The Santa Clara Valley, just a few miles from me at the south of San Francisco Bay, is better known as “Silicon Valley”. The term “Silicon Valley” dates back to 1971 when it was apparently first used in a weekly trade newspaper called “Electronic News” in articles written by journalist Don Hoefler.

14. County of Newark, N.J. : ESSEX
Essex County, New Jersey is actually in the New York Metropolitan Area. The county seat is Newark.

25. Many clichés : ADAGES
“Cliché” is a word that comes from the world of printing. In the days when type was added as individual letters into a printing plate, for efficiency some oft-used phrases and words were created as one single slug of metal. The word “cliché” was used for such a grouping of letters. It’s easy to see how the same word would become a term to describe any overused phrase. Supposedly, “cliché” comes from French, from the verb “clicher” meaning “to click”. The idea is that when a matrix of letters was dropped in molten metal to make a cliché, it made a clicking sound.

27. Mass master, in brief : JS BACH
Perhaps the most famous mass in classical music is J. S. Bach’s “Mass in B minor”, fittingly completed just before he died. It was one of the last of Bach’s compositions, although much of the music was composed earlier in his life.

29. Force on a nut : TORQUE
Torque can be thought of as a turning force, say the force needed to tighten a bolt or a nut.

33. Exchange listings: Abbr. : COS
Company (co.)

34. Roman consul who captured Syracuse in A.D. 211 : MARCELLUS
A kind blog reader pointed out to me that there’s a typo in this clue. The date should be 211 BC, not 211 AD.

Marcus Claudius Marcellus was a Roman consul and military leader who is famous for capturing the Sicilian city of Syracuse after a protracted siege. One person who died in the siege was the Greek mathematician, inventor and astronomer Archimedes.

43. German chocolate brand : RIESEN
Riesen is a chocolate that is produced and sold in Germany, and is also sold here in the US. Riesen introduced a recipe for a hot chocolate drink in 2007. The recipe calls for melting the chocolate candy over heat in a saucepan, then adding one cup of milk per candy piece. Sprinkle nutmeg to taste.

49. Wooden pail part : STAVE
A wooden barrel or pail is constructed using vertical staves made of wood that are bound together by wooden hoops.

58. Some foreign reserves : YEN
The yen replaced the ryo as the unit of currency in Japan in 1871.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Surf stuff : SPRAY
6. Dangerous fall : AVALANCHE
15. One with a pouch : KOALA
16. Half a round : NINE HOLES
17. Volunteer’s offer : I WILL
18. Annual June sporting event : NBA FINALS
19. Promontories : NESSES
21. What most adjectives end in? : -EST
22. Part of “Die Fledermaus” : ARIE
23. Set off : TRIP
24. Tricks : HAS
26. Competitor of Kohl’s : TJ MAXX
28. Set off : IGNITED
30. Deception : RUSE
31. Roman leader? : GRECO-
32. Sharp : ACERB
34. It launched Hotmail in ’96 : MSN
37. Message to critics : HATERS GONNA HATE
40. “American Dad!” airer : TBS
41. Indiana Jones was on one : QUEST
42. Input signal? : CARET
43. Lines on a ski mountain map : RUNS
44. Right : ETHICAL
46. Florists’ creations : POSIES
49. “Packed” letters : SRO
50. Another attempt : REDO
51. Homesickness, e.g. : ACHE
52. Korean War leader, for short : HST
54. 1987 Emmy winner for “Moonlighting” : WILLIS
56. Hoard : STASH AWAY
59. One of TV’s Crane brothers : NILES
60. Throw the match : TAKE A DIVE
61. Occupied : IN USE
62. Where the U.S.S. Cole was attacked in 2000 : ADEN, YEMEN
63. Big part of one’s final grade, typically : TESTS

Down
1. Opposite of baggy : SKINTIGHT
2. Coup : POWER GRAB
3. Alternative to Goobers : RAISINETS
4. Jamaican jerk chicken seasoning : ALLSPICE
5. Its Latin motto translates to “Light and truth” : YALE
6. ___ Dunham, Barack Obama’s mother : ANN
7. Good or bad things to pick up : VIBES
8. Santa ___ (weather phenomena) : ANAS
9. “Louie” : LEFT TURN
10. Bigeye, on some menus : AHI
11. Star’s opposite : NO-NAME
12. Santa ___ : CLARA
13. Roller coaster feature : HELIX
14. County of Newark, N.J. : ESSEX
20. Devil or bear lead-in : SHE
25. Many clichés : ADAGES
27. Mass master, in brief : JS BACH
29. Force on a nut : TORQUE
30. One in town for the summer, say : RENTER
33. Exchange listings: Abbr. : COS
34. Roman consul who captured Syracuse in A.D. 211 : MARCELLUS
35. Still the most? : STEADIEST
36. Red menaces? : NET LOSSES
38. Visor, e.g. : SUNSHADE
39. Plugs can move it forward : HAIRLINE
43. German chocolate brand : RIESEN
45. Request after a breakdown : TOW
46. Some ribbons and shells : PASTA
47. Snow White and the dwarfs, e.g. : OCTAD
48. Get rid of : SHAKE
49. Wooden pail part : STAVE
53. Travel like a ray : SWIM
55. One of two in 27-Down: Abbr. : INIT
57. Horse course : HAY
58. Some foreign reserves : YEN

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5 thoughts on “0102-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Jan 16, Saturday”

  1. While you have provided an accurate etymology for the English word "yen" in the answer to 58 down, I believe the clue is referring to the Japanese yen, one of the world's reserve currencies because of its stability and floating exchange rate with other major currencies.

  2. 25:42, no errors. Several fixable missteps along the way (INCITED for IGNITED, ACUTE for ACERB, ARIA for ARIE, GOTTA for GONNA, and OCTET for OCTAD). "Hanging a Louie" is vaguely familiar, but "hanging a Ralph" is not. The etymologies of "poesy" and "cliche" are fascinating (and new to me). And finally, the info about our President's parentage would seem to imply that he was born in Hawaii, rather than in Kenya?! … Who knew?! … And what will The Donald think? … 🙂

  3. Pleasantly surprised not only to solve the puzzle with no mistakes, but only 23 seconds behind Bill's time: 28:06 for me. This one was tough, and I despaired for quite some time before a few key clues "occurred to me" and I was able to cross-fill to a tidy ending.

    A challenge, and totally bereft of any trickery or spiteful editing. May we have many more of this ilk in the future.

  4. 43:31, 2 errors. 22A ARIA, 14D ESSAX. Almost completely out of synch with the setter today. Should have corrected 14D to ESSEX, but had not heard the term ARIE before. For some unknown reason, although I was a big fan of Frasier, the brothers' name NILES sticks in my head as NIGEL.

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