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0505-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 5 May 16, Thursday





QuickLinks:
Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
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Jump to a complete list of today's clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: David Poole
THEME: Ace in the Hole … we have a rebus puzzle today with a twist. The word ACE appears IN THE HOLE, in four black squares in the grid:

52A. Hidden advantage that this puzzle employs four times? : ACE IN THE HOLE

1A. Cel material : ACETATE
24A. Spiritual that lent its name to a 2015 Broadway musical : AMAZING GRACE
68A. Big name in Italian fashion : VERSACE
12D. Period when dinosaurs became extinct : CRETACEOUS
13D. Sourness : ACERBITY
35D. Neighboring : ADJACENT TO
51D. Longtime Vegas performer : LIBERACE
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 22m 31s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Cel material : ACETATE
An “acetate” is a transparency used on a projector onto which one can write or draw. It is called an “acetate” because it is usually made out of cellulose acetate.

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the "cel" its name.

9. Where to find the Capitol and the Library of Cong. : IN DC
The United States Capitol is home to the US Congress, and sits on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. It was Pierre Charles L’Enfant who laid out the nation’s new capital city. L’Enfant’s plans called for a “Congress House” as home for the legislative branch of the government. It was Thomas Jefferson who insisted that the name be changed to “Capitol”.

The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. is regarded as the national library of the US, although its official function is the library of the US Congress. It is the world’s largest library, and has been so since 1990. Most of the book acquired by the library each year are in languages other than English.

13. Former TV partner of Barbara, Joy and Elisabeth : ROSIE
"The View" is a talk show that was created by Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie in 1997. The show features a panel of five women as co-hosts.

The broadcast journalist and TV personality Barbara Walters saw her career take off when she wrote and produced stories for NBC’s “The today Show” in 1962. She was quite dedicated to the job, and once even modeled a swimsuit on the show after the model who was booked failed to show. In 1976, Walters became the first female to co-anchor an evening news program, working alongside Harry Reasoner on the “ABC Evening News”.

Joy Behar is a comedian, and former co-host of the hit talk show “The View”. Behar was one of the original co-hosts of “The View”, and stayed with the show from 1997 until 2013.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck first came to the public’s attention as a contestant on the reality TV show “Survivor”. Hasselbeck then spent almost ten years as a co-host on the talk show “The View”. Elizabeth is married to former NFL quarterback Tim Hasselbeck who now works as an analyst for ESPN.

We don’t get to see Rosie O’Donnell on the screen very much these days. She had a very successful chat show that ran from 1996 to 2002. My favorite performance of hers on the big screen is in a supporting role to Meg Ryan in the 1993 movie “Sleepless in Seattle”.

14. Israeli port : ACRE
Acre is a port city in northern Israel, on Haifa Bay.

19. "... and ___ my cap" (line from "A Visit From St. Nicholas") : I IN
The poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" was published anonymously in 1823, and is better known today by its first line "'Twas the night before Christmas". Most scholars believe that the poem was written by Clement Clarke Moore, a theologian from New York City. Others say that it was written by Henry Livingston, Jr. a poet from Upstate New York.
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash ...

21. Holder of The Sun and The World : TAROT
Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future.

22. Nonstick pan brand : T-FAL
Tefal (also T-Fal) is a French manufacturer of cookware, famous for its nonstick line. The name "Tefal" is a portmanteau, of TEFlon and ALuminum, the key materials used in producing their pots and pans.

24. Spiritual that lent its name to a 2015 Broadway musical : AMAZING GRACE
“Amazing Grace” is a very, very famous hymn, with words written by John Newton in 1779. The words have been set to a number of different melodies, and what we are used to hearing today is music from a tune called “New Britain”.

“Amazing Grace” is a musical that ran for a few months on Broadway in 2015. It is based on the life of John Newton, a slave trader from England who eventually became a priest who became active in the movement to end slavery. Newton is also famous for writing the words to the hymn “Amazing Grace”, hence the title of the musical.

28. Fluoride, e.g. : ANION
As we all recall from science class, a positive ion is called a cation and a negative ion is an anion. The names "cation" and "anion" come from Greek, with "kation" meaning "going down" and "anion" meaning "going up".

29. Julio is in the middle of it : ANO
In Spanish, “julio” (July) is a “mes” (month) in the middle of the “año” (year).

31. With 32-Down, pilot's place : GAS
(32D. See 31-Across : STOVE)
A pilot light is a small gas flame, one using a relatively small amount of fuel, that remains lit as an ignition source for larger gas burners.

34. Color of der Ozean : BLAU
In German, “der Ozean” (the ocean) is “blau” (blue).

35. Short piece at La Scala : ARIETTA
La Scala Opera House opened in 1778. It was built on the site of the church of Santa Maria della Scala, which gave the theater its name: "Teatro alla Scala" in Italian.

39. Classic Sunday newspaper feature that spawned multiple museums, informally : RIPLEY’S
"Ripley's Believe It or Not!" is a huge franchise on television, affiliated to a worldwide chain of museums. The franchise started out as cartoon feature appearing in newspapers in 1918.

41. Charlie Chan's creator Earl ___ Biggers : DERR
Charlie Chan is the main character in a series of novels by Earl Derr Biggers. Chan is a Chinese-American detective working with the Honolulu police department. There have been almost 50 movies made featuring the Charlie Chan character.

44. Michael Bloomberg or Jeff Bezos, for short : CEO
Michael Bloomberg served as Mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013. He is an incredibly rich man, having accumulated his wealth as the founder and majority owner of a global financial data and media company that bears his name. Bloomberg was a Democrat and then switched allegiance to the Republican Party just prior to running for Mayor of New York. He left the Republican Party in 2007 and was re-elected as Mayor in 2009 as an Independent.

Jeff Bezos is the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, a company that he set up in his garage in 1994. Bezos used some of the fortune that he made with Amazon to purchase “The Washington Post” in 2013.

45. '01 album that knocked the Beatles' "1" off the #1 spot : JLO
J.Lo is the nickname of singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. "J.Lo" is also the title of her second studio album, released in 2001.

52. Hidden advantage that this puzzle employs four times? : ACE IN THE HOLE
Stud poker is the name given to many variants of poker, all characterized by the dealer giving each player a mix of cards face-down and face-up. The cards facing downwards are called "hole cards", cards only visible to the individual who holds that particular hand. This gives rise to the phrase "ace in the hole", a valuable holding that only the player with the ace is aware of.

55. Starting half? : DEMI-
Ever wonder what the difference is between the prefixes “hemi-”, “demi-” and “semi-”, all of which mean “half”? Well, the general observation is that words using the “demi-” prefix date back to the days of Norman influence over the English language. As a result, “demi-” turns up in the world of period costume and coats of arms. Words using “hemi-” tend to have Greek roots, and are prevalent in the world of the sciences and the medical field. Words with “semi-” tend to have Latin roots, and are most often found in music and the arts, and mathematics.

56. Banister post : NEWEL
A newel is a principal upright post that supports a handrail beside a staircase. Newels are found at the top and bottom of the banister, and sometimes in between. Newels are often adorned with decorative trim to set them apart from the other posts by the staircase.

57. Soap ___ : OPERA
The original soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at housewives working in the home. For some reason the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that's how the "soap" opera got its name ...

60. Bolshevik's target : TSAR
At the second party congress of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1903, a split developed. The faction with the most support was led by Vladimir Lenin. Lenin's faction was in the majority and so became known as the Bolsheviks, derived from the Russian word for "more" or "majority".

61. Whom Unesco lists as the world's second most translated author, after Agatha Christie : JULES VERNE
Jules Verne really was a groundbreaking author. Verne pioneered the science fiction genre, writing about space, air and underwater travel, long before they were practical and proved feasible. Verne is the second-most translated author of all time, with only Agatha Christie beating him out.

65. "A Mighty Fortress ___ God" (hymn) : IS OUR
“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” is a hymn composed by the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther. It has been nicknamed the “Battle Hymn of the Reformation” as it was used to advance the cause of the Reformers.

66. White Monopoly bills : ONES
The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of "The Landlord's Game" created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord's Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

67. N.L. East team : METS
The New York Mets baseball team was founded in 1962, a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then of course along came the “Miracle Mets” who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

68. Big name in Italian fashion : VERSACE
Gianni Versace was an Italian fashion designer. His death was perhaps as famous as his llife. He was murdered in 1997 outside his mansion in Miami Beach by Andrew Cunanan. It is not certain that Cunanan knew who his victim was, as this was the last in a spree of five murders committed by him over a four month period. A few days after killing Versace, Cunanan used the same gun to commit suicide.

Down
1. "L'chaim!" : TO LIFE!
"L'Chaim" is a Hebrew toast meaning "to life", with "chai" being the Hebrew word for "life".

2. Yoga positions : ASANAS
"Asana" is a Sanskrit word literally meaning "sitting down". The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called "padmasana".

3. Part of XXX : TIC
When I was growing up in Ireland we played "noughts and crosses" ... our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

5. "Grand" place near Florida : BAHAMA
Grand Bahama is the largest island in the Bahamas chain. Grand Bahama lies only 56 miles off the coast of Florida. The Spanish gave the island the name of “Gran Bajamar”, which means “Great Shallows”.

6. European country whose telephone directories list people alphabetically by first name : ICELAND
The Icelandic family naming system is quite different from other Western naming systems. Generally in the West, a person’s last name indicates the last name of a person’s father. In Iceland, a person’s last name indicates the first name of that person’s father. To use an anglicized example, if someone called John Smith has son name Robert, then the son’s full name would be Robert Smith. In Iceland, that son would be named something like Robert Johnson (son of John).

8. Mo. with Talk Like a Pirate Day : SEP
International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19th every year, a “holiday” that was created in 1995. The event started out as an inside joke between John Baur and Mark Summers of Albany, Oregon, but when they shared the notion with the columnist Dave Barry, he promoted the idea and it took off.

10. 7 on the Beaufort scale : NEAR GALE
The Beaufort wind scale is named after Irishman Sir Francis Beaufort, a Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy. Beaufort was a hydrographer as well as a career navy man.

11. Cruise's "Risky Business" co-star : DE MORNAY
The actress Rebecca De Mornay made a name for herself playing the lead opposite a young Tom Cruise in 1983’s “Risky Business”. After filming the movie, Cruise and De Mornay lived together for a while in New York. For me, her most memorable role was the evil nanny in “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle”.

12. Period when dinosaurs became extinct : CRETACEOUS
The Cretaceous is the geologic period that followed the Jurassic and preceded the Paleogene. The dinosaurs that emerged during the Jurassic period continued to dominate during the Cretaceous. The period was brought to close with a mass extinction event called the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event. This event killed off the dinosaurs, except those that could fly. The avian dinosaurs evolved into the birds that we know today.

17. Stop: Abbr. : STA
Station (sta.)

21. Spike TV, formerly : TNN
Spike TV was a 2003 relaunch of The Nashville Network (TNN) and was marketed as the first television channel for men. The station owners ran into trouble though as the director Spike Lee sued, claiming that viewers would assume he was associated with the channel because of the use of "Spike". The suit was settled when Lee concluded that there was no intention to trade on his name.

23. Cubist Fernand : LEGER
Fernand Leger was a French painter, and among his works was a series of paintings called "La Grande Parade". I quite like his "Still Life with Beer Mug", painted in 1921 (anything with beer!) Leger painted a lot of cylindrical shapes in some works, which was his quirky version of cubism. As a result, one critic described Leger's style as "tubism".

25. Like some Greek columns : IONIC
The Ionic was one of the three classical orders of architecture, the others being the Doric and the Corinthian. An Ionic column is relatively ornate. It usually has grooves running up and down its length and at the top there is a "scroll" design called a "volute". The scroll motif makes Ionic columns popular for the design of academic buildings. The term “Ionic” means “pertaining to Ionia”, with Ionia being an ancient territory that is located in modern-day Turkey.

46. Sports org. with the Calder Cup : AHL
The American Hockey League (AHL) is the so-called development circuit for the National Hockey League (NHL), the equivalent of the minors in professional baseball. The AHL’s playoff trophy is called the Calder Cup, which is named for Frank Calder who was the first president of the NHL.

47. Precipitates in a bad way? : SLEETS
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 ...

49. ISIS activity : TERROR
ISIS is an extremist Sunni rebel group, with the acronym standing for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The organization is also referred to as ISIL, standing for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or simply IS, for the Islamic State.

51. Longtime Vegas performer : LIBERACE
The flamboyant pianist’s full name was Wladziu Valentino Liberace. Liberace was born in a suburb of Milwaukee into a Polish-Italian family. There used to be a Liberace Museum in Las Vegas, but sadly it closed in 2010 after 31 years in operation.

53. Coastal fliers : TERNS
Terns are seabirds that are found all over the world. The Arctic Tern makes a very long-distance migration. One Arctic Tern that was tagged as a chick in Great Britain in the summer of 1982, was spotted in Melbourne, Australia just three months later. The bird had traveled over 14,000 miles in over those three months, an average of about 150 miles a day. Remarkable …

54. Places to get the lead out? : ERS
A person with a gunshot wound might get the lead (bullet) taken out in an Emergency Room (ER).

58. Tel ___ : AVIV
The full name of Israel's second largest city is Tel Aviv-Yafo. Tel Aviv translates into "Spring Mound", a name chosen in 1910.

61. Showy basket : JAM
That would be in basketball.

62. Boulder-to-Little Rock dir. : ESE
The Colorado city of Boulder is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains about 25 miles northwest of Denver. Boulder is a college town, and is home to the main campus of the University of Colorado.

The city of Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas, and is located in the center of the state. Early French travelers used a small rock formation on the Arkansas River as a landmark, a formation that they named “La Petite Roche” (The Little Rock) in 1722. “The Little Rock” actually lies across the river from a large bluff known as “Big Rock”, which was once the site of a rock quarry.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Cel material : ACETATE
5. Things often seen near lobsters : BIBS
9. Where to find the Capitol and the Library of Cong. : IN DC
13. Former TV partner of Barbara, Joy and Elisabeth : ROSIE
14. Israeli port : ACRE
15. A few bucks? : DEER
16. Family outcast : BLACK SHEEP
18. Break : TAME
19. "... and ___ my cap" (line from "A Visit From St. Nicholas") : I IN
20. Trite : STALE
21. Holder of The Sun and The World : TAROT
22. Nonstick pan brand : T-FAL
24. Spiritual that lent its name to a 2015 Broadway musical : AMAZING GRACE
26. Approvals : YESES
28. Fluoride, e.g. : ANION
29. Julio is in the middle of it : ANO
31. With 32-Down, pilot's place : GAS
33. TV spot, often : DEN
34. Color of der Ozean : BLAU
35. Short piece at La Scala : ARIETTA
39. Classic Sunday newspaper feature that spawned multiple museums, informally : RIPLEY’S
41. Charlie Chan's creator Earl ___ Biggers : DERR
42. Dated : OLD
44. Michael Bloomberg or Jeff Bezos, for short : CEO
45. '01 album that knocked the Beatles' "1" off the #1 spot : JLO
46. Professes : AVERS
48. Line on a receipt : TOTAL
52. Hidden advantage that this puzzle employs four times? : ACE IN THE HOLE
55. Starting half? : DEMI-
56. Banister post : NEWEL
57. Soap ___ : OPERA
59. Needle : RIB
60. Bolshevik's target : TSAR
61. Whom Unesco lists as the world's second most translated author, after Agatha Christie : JULES VERNE
63. Rent : TORN
64. Play ___ (perform with the band) : A SET
65. "A Mighty Fortress ___ God" (hymn) : IS OUR
66. White Monopoly bills : ONES
67. N.L. East team : METS
68. Big name in Italian fashion : VERSACE

Down
1. "L'chaim!" : TO LIFE!
2. Yoga positions : ASANAS
3. Part of XXX : TIC
4. Cartoonish cries : EEKS
5. "Grand" place near Florida : BAHAMA
6. European country whose telephone directories list people alphabetically by first name : ICELAND
7. More carefree : BREEZIER
8. Mo. with Talk Like a Pirate Day : SEP
9. Collar attachment : ID TAG
10. 7 on the Beaufort scale : NEAR GALE
11. Cruise's "Risky Business" co-star : DE MORNAY
12. Period when dinosaurs became extinct : CRETACEOUS
13. Sourness : ACERBITY
17. Stop: Abbr. : STA
21. Spike TV, formerly : TNN
23. Cubist Fernand : LEGER
25. Like some Greek columns : IONIC
27. Didn't go anywhere, say : SAT
32. See 31-Across : STOVE
34. Relations : BLOOD
35. Neighboring : ADJACENT TO
36. Trusts in : RELIES ON
37. Some pots and pans : IRONWARE
38. Tavern : ALEHOUSE
40. Stroke : PET
43. Bit of dew : DROPLET
46. Sports org. with the Calder Cup : AHL
47. Precipitates in a bad way? : SLEETS
49. ISIS activity : TERROR
50. Not perfect, but close to excellent : A-MINUS
51. Longtime Vegas performer : LIBERACE
53. Coastal fliers : TERNS
54. Places to get the lead out? : ERS
58. Tel ___ : AVIV
61. Showy basket : JAM
62. Boulder-to-Little Rock dir. : ESE


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About This Blog

This is the simplest of blogs.

I do the New York Times puzzle online every evening, the night before it is published in the paper. Then, I "Google & Wiki" the references that puzzle me, or that I find of interest. I post my findings, along with the solution, as soon as I am done, usually well before the newsprint version becomes available.

About Me

The name's William Ernest Butler, but please call me Bill. I grew up in Ireland, but now live out here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am retired, from technology businesses that took our family all over the world.

I try to answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com.

Crosswords and My Dad

I worked on my first crossword puzzle when I was about 6-years-old, sitting on my Dad's knee. He let me "help" him with his puzzle almost every day as I was growing up. Over the years, Dad passed on to me his addiction to crosswords. Now in my early 50s, I work on my Irish Times and New York Times puzzles every day. I'm no longer sitting on my Dad's knee, but I feel that he is there with me, looking over my shoulder.

This blog is dedicated to my Dad, who passed away at the beginning of this month.

Bill
January 29, 2009

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