1213-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 13 Dec 2017, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Benjamin Kramer
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Make an Entrance

Themed answers each include a hidden word that it a synonym of “ENTRANCE”, that’s “entrance” and not “entrance”:

  • 55A. Arrive with fanfare … or what the shaded squares do? : MAKE AN ENTRANCE
  • 18A. Island group near Dominica : FRENCH ANTILLES (hiding “ENCHANT”)
  • 31A. Option at many a fast-food restaurant : DRIVE-THROUGH (hiding “RIVET”)
  • 40A. Producer of horizontal shadows : SIDE LIGHTING (hiding “DELIGHT”)

Bill’s time: 8m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8. Mars produces billions of them each week : M AND MS

Forrest Mars, Sr. was the founder of the Mars Company. Forrest invented the Mars Bar while living over in England and then developed M&M’s when he returned to the US. Mars came up with the idea for M&M’s when he saw soldiers in the Spanish Civil War eating chocolate pellets. Those pellets had a hard shell of tempered chocolate on the outside to prevent them from melting. Mars got some of the funding to develop the M&M from William Murrie, the son of the president of Hershey’s Chocolate. It is the “M” and “M” from “Mars” and “Murrie” that gives the name to the candy.

14. The Red Baron, for one : AVIATOR

Manfred von Richthofen was a famous WWI fighter pilot flying for the Germans and was known as the Red Baron. Von Richthofen was credited with more kills than any other pilot fighting on either side of the conflict, recording over 80 combat victories. He didn’t survive the war though, as he was shot down near Amiens in France in 1918.

15. Like income from municipal bonds, usually : TAX FREE

A municipal bond (“muni”) is one that is issued by a city or local government, or some similar agency. Munis have an advantage over other investments in that any interest earned on the bond is usually exempt from state and federal income taxes.

16. Iron compound found in steel : FERRITE

Steel is an alloy that is composed mainly of iron, with a small percentage of carbon.

18. Island group near Dominica : FRENCH ANTILLES (hiding “ENCHANT”)

The French West Indies in the Caribbean are also referred to as the French Antilles. Islands included in the French West Indies are Martinique, Guadeloupe and Saint Martin.

Dominica is an island nation in the Caribbean, one not to be confused with the Dominican Republic. Christopher Columbus and his crew first spotted the island on a Sunday. Columbus named it “Dominica” as “dominica” is Latin for “Sunday”.

20. Europe’s largest active volcano : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcano in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts.

23. Truth ___ : SERUM

“Truth serum” is a common name given to any medication used to obtain information from subjects who are unwilling to give the information willingly. Examples of drugs used as a truth serum are scopolamine, sodium pentathol and ethanol (aka “alcohol”, like that served in a bar!).

26. Org. concerned with reactions : NRC

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) oversees most aspects of the safety of nuclear power plants and nuclear fuel in the US.

34. ___ Fáil (Irish coronation stone) : LIA

The “Lia Fáil” is the coronation stone that is found on the Hill of Tara, the traditional seat of the High Kings of Ireland. “Lia Fáil” translates from Irish as “stone of destiny”.

37. Reddit Q&A session, briefly : AMA

Reddit.com is a networking and news website that started up in 2005. It is essentially a bulletin board system with posts that are voted up and down by users, which determines the ranking of posts. The name “Reddit” is a play on “read it”, as in “I read it on Reddit”. One popular feature of the Reddit site is an online forum that is similar to a press conference. Known as an AMA (for “ask me anything”), participants have included the likes of President Barack Obama, Madonna, Bill Gates, Stephen Colbert and Gordon Ramsay. President Obama’s AMA was so popular that the high level of traffic brought down many parts of the Reddit site.

38. Old Swedish coins : ORE

The Swedish Krona is divided into 100 öres, a term derived from the Latin “aureus” meaning “gold”.

44. Rodrigo ___ de Vivar (El Cid) : DIAZ

Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as “The Champion” or perhaps “The Lord, Master of Military Arts”. El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast, making it is headquarters and home. He died there, quite peacefully in 1099.

49. “Family Guy” daughter : MEG

“Family Guy” is a very successful animated television show. It was created by Seth MacFarlane, the same guy who came up with “American Dad!”. My kids love them both. Me, I can’t stand ‘em …

51. Nabokov novel : ADA

“Ada” is a 1969 novel by Vladimir Nabokov. The story takes place in the 1800s on Antiterra, an Earth-like planet that has a history similar to ours but with interesting differences. For example, there is a United States, but that country covers all of North and South America. What we call eastern Canada is a French-speaking province called “Canady”, and western Canada is a Russian-speaking province called “Estody”. The storyline is about a man called Van Veen who, when 14 years old, meets for the first time his cousin, 11-year-old Ada. The two cousins eventually have an affair, only to discover later that they are in fact brother and sister.

53. Optima and Sedona : KIAS

The Kia Optima was sold for a while in Canada and Europe as the Kia Magentis.

The Kia Sedona is a minivan that is also sold as the Kia Carnival.

Down

1. TV debater’s worry : GAFFE

Our word “gaffe”, meaning a social blunder, comes from the French “gaffe” meaning “clumsy remark”, although it originally was the word for a boat hook. The exact connection between a boat hook and a blunder seems to be unclear.

4. Women’s college affiliated with Columbia : BARNARD

Barnard College is private women’s school in New York City. Barnard was founded in 1889 and since 1900 has been affiliated with Columbia University.

6. ___-eaten : MOTH

The larvae of several types of moth are noted for eating fabrics made from natural fibers such as wool or cotton. Many people store woolens in cedar chests believing that the scent of the wood prevents a moth infestation. In fact, the only known effective repellent is the naphthalene found in mothballs, which might be a health concern for humans. One way to kill moth larvae in fabric is to freeze the garment for several days at a temperature below 8 degrees centigrade.

7. “Cabbage” : BREAD

The use of the word “bread” as a slang term for money dates back to the 1940s, and is derived from the term “breadwinner”, meaning the person in the house who puts bread on the table, brings in the money.

8. Storied gift bearers : MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar: a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

9. Ice skaters’ jumps : AXELS

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

15. Food item sometimes called a “spud puppy” : TATER TOT

Ore-Ida’s founders came up with the idea for Tater Tots when they were deciding what to do with residual cuts of potato. They chopped up the leftovers, added flour and seasoning, and extruded the mix through a large hole making a sausage that they cut into small cylinders. We eat 70 million pounds of this extruded potato every year!

24. Territory north of Afghanistan, in Risk : URAL

Risk is a fabulous board game, one first sold in France in 1957. Risk was invented by a very successful French director of short films called Albert Lamorisse. Lamorisse called his new game “La Conquête du Monde”, which translates into English as “The Conquest of the World”. A game of Risk is a must during the holidays in our house …

27. Captain America portrayer Evans : CHRIS

“Captain America: The First Avenger” is a superhero film released in 2011 based on the Marvel Comics character. Chris Evans appears in the title role. This one is set in WWII, so I might take a look one day …

33. $2 for Mediterranean Avenue, in Monopoly : RENT

Mediterranean Avenue is a property in the game of Monopoly. The street names in the US version of Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

34. Drug taken in tabs : LSD

The drug LSD is often sold impregnated into blotting paper. The paper blotter is usually divided into squares with ¼-inch sides, with each square referred to as a “tab”.

36. Insistence : ADAMANCY

The words “adamant” and “adamantine” can mean hard like rock or stony, in the literal sense. In the more figurative sense, someone who is adamant or adamantine is stubborn or inflexible, like a mule, mulish.

41. Book after Lamentations : EZEKIEL

Ezekiel is recognized as a Hebrew prophet in the three main Abrahamic religions. Ezekiel’s story is told in the Jewish and Christian traditions in the Book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel’s final resting place is said to be a tomb in southern Iraq near the town of Al Kifl.

42. Literary alter ego : HYDE

Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was published in 1886. There are many tales surrounding the writing of the story including one that the author wrote the basic tale in just three to six days, and spent a few weeks simply refining it. Allegedly, Stevenson’s use of cocaine stimulated his creative juices during those few days of writing.

43. Stop working : GO KAPUT

“Kaput” is a familiar term meaning “incapacitated, destroyed”, and comes to us from French (via German). The original word “capot” means “not having won a single trick” in the French card game Piquet.

47. Minnie who played in Major League Baseball in five different decades : MINOSO

Minnie Minoso is a Cuban-born former baseball player who had a very long professional career. He is one of just two player in Major League history to have played in five separate decades (40s-80s), the other being Nick Altrock.

48. Winning player in Super Bowl I : PACKER

Super Bowl I was played in January 1967 between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers emerged victorious in a game with a score of 35-10. That game was officially known as the AFL-NFL Championship Game, as the name “Super Bowl” wasn’t applied until two seasons later. That “first” Super Bowl is now known as Super Bowl III and was played between the New York Jets and the Baltimore Colts. The Jets came out on top.

50. Davis of “Thelma & Louise” : GEENA

As well as being a successful Hollywood actress, Geena Davis is an accomplished archer and came close to qualifying for the US archery team for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Davis is also a member of American Mensa. She is quite the lady …

“Thelma & Louise” is a thought-provoking movie, but one that is very entertaining. It was directed by Ridley Scott in 1991, and stars two fabulous leads in Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. You’ll also spot Brad Pitt onscreen in his first significant movie role.

55. ___ Verde National Park : MESA

Mesa Verde National Park is in Colorado. Mesa Verde is home to ancient cliff dwellings built by the Puebloan people, also know as the Anasazi.

56. Boy who owns Buzz Lightyear and Woody : ANDY

1995’s “Toy Story” was the world’s first feature-length computer-animated movie. “Toy Story” was also the studio Pixar’s first production. The main roles in the film are Woody and Buzz Lightyear, voiced by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen respectively. Hanks was the first choice to voice Woody, Allen was asked to voice Buzz after Billy Crystal turned down the role.

57. Food sold in blocks : TOFU

Tofu is another name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that … bean that has curdled. Tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally I love tofu, but my wife, she absolutely hates it …

58. Mortgage adjustment, for short : REFI

Refinance (refi)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Certain chemical weapon : GAS BOMB
8. Mars produces billions of them each week : M AND MS
14. The Red Baron, for one : AVIATOR
15. Like income from municipal bonds, usually : TAX FREE
16. Iron compound found in steel : FERRITE
17. Wrinkle, e.g. : AGE LINE
18. Island group near Dominica : FRENCH ANTILLES (hiding “ENCHANT”)
20. Europe’s largest active volcano : ETNA
21. Stop working : DIE
22. Turf : SOD
23. Truth ___ : SERUM
26. Org. concerned with reactions : NRC
28. One with a beard : GOAT
31. Option at many a fast-food restaurant : DRIVE-THROUGH (hiding “RIVET”)
34. ___ Fáil (Irish coronation stone) : LIA
37. Reddit Q&A session, briefly : AMA
38. Old Swedish coins : ORE
39. Child’s Christmas wish : TOY
40. Producer of horizontal shadows : SIDE LIGHTING (hiding “DELIGHT”)
44. Rodrigo ___ de Vivar (El Cid) : DIAZ
45. Exclaim : CRY
46. Dance with a percussive effect : STOMP
49. “Family Guy” daughter : MEG
51. Nabokov novel : ADA
53. Optima and Sedona : KIAS
55. Arrive with fanfare … or what the shaded squares do? : MAKE AN ENTRANCE
59. Not strict : LENIENT
60. Unconventional soccer kick : TOE POKE
61. Does half of a mountaineering expedition : ASCENDS
62. Poured out : EFFUSED
63. Attack from a hiding place : WAYLAY
64. Wooers : SUITORS

Down

1. TV debater’s worry : GAFFE
2. Turns away : AVERTS
3. Crumbly cheese similar to feta : SIRENE
4. Women’s college affiliated with Columbia : BARNARD
5. Suffix with psych- : -OTIC
6. ___-eaten : MOTH
7. “Cabbage” : BREAD
8. Storied gift bearers : MAGI
9. Ice skaters’ jumps : AXELS
10. Image on the middle of a Super Bowl field : NFL LOGO
11. Dehydrated : DRIED OUT
12. Clothing store department : MEN’S
13. “You get me?” : SEE?
15. Food item sometimes called a “spud puppy” : TATER TOT
19. Square after four : NINE
24. Territory north of Afghanistan, in Risk : URAL
25. Copy : MIMIC
27. Captain America portrayer Evans : CHRIS
29. Past : AGO
30. Biblical possessive : THY
32. Drifters : VAGRANTS
33. $2 for Mediterranean Avenue, in Monopoly : RENT
34. Drug taken in tabs : LSD
35. Jr.’s junior : III
36. Insistence : ADAMANCY
41. Book after Lamentations : EZEKIEL
42. Literary alter ego : HYDE
43. Stop working : GO KAPUT
47. Minnie who played in Major League Baseball in five different decades : MINOSO
48. Winning player in Super Bowl I : PACKER
50. Davis of “Thelma & Louise” : GEENA
52. Preliminary payments : ANTES
54. Gardener’s bagful : SEEDS
55. ___ Verde National Park : MESA
56. Boy who owns Buzz Lightyear and Woody : ANDY
57. Food sold in blocks : TOFU
58. Mortgage adjustment, for short : REFI
59. Case study? : LAW

26 thoughts on “1213-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 13 Dec 2017, Wednesday”

  1. Maybe I’m just having a really bad day, but I thought this puzzle was hard. 19:46 after finding and fixing an error: I finished with an “I” instead of an “O” at the intersection of TOE POKE and MINOSO (a Natick for me).

  2. 29:10 – Agree that this was tough for a Wednesday. I kept insisting on lesserANTILLES which made the NW corner impossible. I didn’t pay much attention to the theme anyway or lesser Antilles would have made even less sense. Finally worked my way though it when I deleted “lesser” and started over.

    Best –

  3. Disliked puzzle, and not just because I found it difficult (which I did).

    Didn’t get theme. Had to Google 9 items, This doesn’t usually happen to me til Fri. Got 5 by crosses that I didn’t know, including SIRENE and TOE POKE.

    As for MINOSO, I asked Hubster, and he gave me the last name – and the first – Orestes. this involves an obsession. Yeesh.

    I like an educational puzzle, not an exercise in futility.

  4. I just read the NYT blurb on this puzzle. The setter is a first-timer and a pediatric ophthamologist to boot (I never knew there was such a specialty).

    His submission had as the clue for 1A GASBOMB – “Tool to spread the mustard”. Too funny…and awful! I guess Will thought that chemical weapon puns don’t pass the breakfast table test so he switched it to “Certain chemical weapon”

    Best –

  5. I didn’t pay much attention to the theme anyway or lesser Antilles would have made even less sense. Finally worked my way though it when I deleted “lesser” and started over.

  6. No errors but lots of problems working this one. To begin with, the clue for 55Across mentioned “shaded” squares but there were no shaded squares given in my newspaper (nor any circles). This kind of bungling on the part of newspaper editors has become much too frequent. Not that it made too much difference in this case since the theme would not have helped anyway.

    I had several erasures which is unusual for me since I am very careful to be reasonably sure of a letter before I write it down. One other thing was on 38Across. The clue is “Old Swedish coins” (with a plural). Yet the answer, ORE, implies a singular. Bill’s comment seems to confirm this. Is there something I am missing?

    All in all, I found little to like about this puzzle.

    1. @Dale … See

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Öre

      As it says there, the Swedish indefinite noun “öre” can be either singular (a coin of a certain denomination) or plural (coins of that denomination). The definite forms of the noun are different (“öret” and “ören” for the singular and plural, respectively).

      Of course, one could argue that foreign words don’t belong in an English-language puzzle, but I’ve come across the word repeatedly in English-language publications (like travel guides and magazines for coin collectors), so I’m inclined to be forgiving …

      1. @Dave—Thanks for the explanation, Dave. I don’t mind foreign words in English crosswords. I welcome them if they are included in an appropriate proportion. My reason for working crosswords is to expand my knowledge of the world around me. And,of course, that includes other languages.

        Plurals of words in foreign languages present an even greater challenge. I suspect that sometimes puzzle constructors will just anglicize a plural by tacking on a generic “-s” to the singular form no matter what the original language called for. I will have to do a little personal documentation in order to see if that bears out or not.

        Again, thanks, and I always appreciate your comments.

      2. A pedantic follow-up (due to the fact that the spelling looked funny to me) … the Norwegian and Danish equivalent of the Swedish “öre” is “øre”, and the only coin still in use with that word on it is the Danish 50-øre. So now you know … ? … ? …

  7. 13:04, no errors. My paper had neither shaded nor circled squares, so the theme, for me went out the window. I have now heard of SIRENE cheese, so that will be somewhat easier to figure out if it ever shows up in another puzzle.

    60A TOE POKE: in soccer is the act of kicking the ball with the point of the toe. It is actually pretty conventional among beginning soccer players, who kick the ball in this manner, and the ball will go pretty much anywhere. Developed players learn to kick the ball with top of the foot, the instep or the outside of the foot for better control. (Just my 2 cents for anyone interested).

  8. 15 minutes and 17 seconds to finish, with an embarassing TEN errors. Might as well have been a DNF. (And naturally, Bill sails through with a yawn and a super-quick time)

    This puzzle was full of things of which I have no idea. Very obscure acronyms like AMA (I barely recognize Reddit as a name), and I still can’t figure out either the clue or the fill for 19D. Square after four? Wouldn’t that be the square (root) of five (which is non-existant, five is a prime number) Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa….???

    The theme? VIFF!!! Right over >my< head. I had to read the explanation three or more times to "get it". I am NOT a fan of clues or fills designed to make the reader mis-read or "mispronounce" a word. This one is the new Exhibit A for that mean, cynical tactic.

    I think this grid, for me, stands as my personal record for most mistakes in a "completed" puzzle. Humbling, chastening, you name it. None of it pleasant, for sure.

  9. Agree, tougher than usual Wednesday. Made a little tougher because the shaded squares were too lightly (if at all) shaded for these aging eyes. NW corner was the last part to go, with spousal help on SIRENE

  10. @Allen … 1 is the square of 1, 4 is the square of 2, 9 is the square of 3, 25 is the square of 5, etc. … and the square root of 5 (2.236067978 … ) exists; it’s just not a rational number.

    1. I understand that; but “Square after four” is the clue; how does that get to be NINE? Or, how does “…after four” somehow refer to 3 (which gives you the nine)???

      1. The squares of the positive integers, in order, are 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, …, so the one “after 4” is 9, just as the one after 36 is 49 … and I just realized that I forgot “16 is the square of 4” in my first post … sorry about that …

        1. I thought about this a little more last night. I imagine “Day after Tuesday” immediately suggests “Wednesday”, “Month after April” immediately suggests “May”, and probably “Integer after nine” immediately suggests “ten”?

          So what is different about “Square after four”? I can think of two possibilities: 1) The word “square”, unlike “day”, “month”, and “integer”, can be a verb. 2) Someone without a predilection for mathematics may not immediately think of the so-called “perfect square” meaning of the noun “square” or, having done so, may not immediately think of them as forming an ordered sequence (1, 4, 9, 16, 25, …), making the notion of what comes “after four” problematic at best.

          Well … my 2 (or 4) cents worth … ?

  11. Like others, had “lesser Antilles” at first. The downs helped me get to French. Also fooled myself into thinking 43D was “take ten” which caused confusion until I got around to “go kaput”.

  12. Feeling a little cocky, Got everything filled in except for 36 down (is that really a word). Though I did have to ask my husband, a retired Spanish professor about 44 across. That cost me a 10 minute lecture on El Cid. And my newspaper did show the shaded squares so that helped.
    I also wanted to say how great this site is. Not only for the answers when I give up, but for the comments. Nice to know I’m not the only one who never heard of sirene cheese, only the across answers saved me there.

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