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0514-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 14 May 15, Thursday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kameron Austin Collins
THEME: Burst Out Laughing … today we are LAUGHING, with the “HA” syllable completing some answers OUTSIDE of the grid:
30A. With 37-Across, lose it ... or what 12 answers in this puzzle appear to do : BURST OUT ...
37A. See 30-Across : … LAUGHING

1A. Flag position : HALF-MAST
16A. "Sure thing!" : YOU BETCHA!
23A. Coatrack item : HANGER
46A. Big ___ (W.W. I weapon) : BERTHA
56A. Hindrances for a competitive swimmer : HAIRY LEGS
59A. Wisconsin city near Lake Michigan : WAUKESHA
5D. Headache : HASSLE
11D. Potentially awkward question at an introduction : HAVE WE MET?
13D. Idyllic, like a past time : HALCYON
36D. Noncanonical texts : APOCRYPHA
44D. "Bewitched" spinoff : TABITHA
49D. Kawasaki competitor : YAMAHA
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 28m 46s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

7. Go from a grape to a raisin, e.g. : SHRIVEL
The French for “grape” is “raisin”, and the French for “raisin” is “raisin sec”, literally meaning “dried grape”.

14. Body that's now a fraction of its former self : ARAL SEA
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 ...

17. Co-star of "Grown Ups," 2010 : SANDLER
“Grown Ups" is a 2010 comedy movie written by and starring Adam Sandler. The film revolves around five childhood friends who reunite after thirty years. Sandler plays one of the five, along with Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider.

20. Schleps : TOTES
Our word “schlep” means “to carry, drag”. “Schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning in that language.

22. I, to Claudius : EGO
"Ego" is a Latin word meaning "I".

I find Claudius to be the most fascinating of all the Roman Emperors. Claudius had a lot going against him as he walked with a limp and was slightly deaf. He was put in office by the Praetorian Guard (the emperor’s bodyguards) after Caligula was assassinated. Claudius had very little political experience and yet proved to be very forward-thinking and capable.

"I, Claudius" is a 1934 novel penned by Robert Graves, written in the form of an autobiography of Emperor Claudius of Rome. Graves wrote a sequel in 1935 called "Claudius the God". Both books were adapted by the BBC into a fabulous television series that went by the name of the first book "I, Claudius".

25. Westminster, e.g. : ABBEY
The correct name for the Gothic church we know as Westminster Abbey is the Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster. The Abbey is a favored location for coronations and royal weddings and burials. The last royal wedding in the Abbey was the marriage between Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011.

26. Figures in 2011's "J. Edgar" : G-MEN
The nickname “G-men” is short for "Government Men" and refers to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“J. Edgar” is a 2011 film directed by Clint Eastwood that deals with much of the adult life of former FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover. The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role. I saw it not too long ago, and I am afraid my high expectations weren't really met …

27. Santa ___ : ANA
Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California and takes its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city.

29. 1930s heavyweight champ : BAER
Max Baer was an American Heavyweight Champion of the World in the thirties. Baer held the title for 364 days, and then went into the ring after hardly any training at all against the well-prepared James J. Braddock. Braddock was a huge underdog, and yet emerged victorious after 15 rounds (Braddock is the subject of the 2005 movie "Cinderella Man"). By the way, Baer’s son is Max Baer, Jr., the actor who played Jethro on “The Beverly Hillbillies”.

32. América del ___ : NORTE
In Spanish, “North America” is “América del Norte”.

34. Pyrénées peak : MONT
The word “Mount”, as used in naming a some mountains, translates into French as “Mont”.

35. Plotz : FAINT
The verb “to plotz” is slang for “faint, collapse from surprise or exhaustion”.

43. Company exec : COO
A chief operating officer (COO) is a company executive (exec).

46. Big ___ (W.W. I weapon) : BERTHA
Big Bertha was a very large-bore howitzer developed for the German military just prior to WWI. The shell that the gun fired weighed over 1800 lbs.

48. Country home : VILLA
The original “villas” were country houses owned by the elite in Ancient Rome. A member of the Roman elite would live in a “domus” in the city, whereas the rest of the population would live in “insulae”, apartment buildings.

49. Shostakovich symphony "Babi ___" : YAR
Yevgeny Yevtushenko is a Russian poet, among other things. His most famous work is probably his poem "Babi Yar" which tells of the Nazi massacre of Jews in Kiev in 1941. Babi Yar is a ravine outside of Kiev, where over 33,000 Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis, a massacre carried out over just two days. The Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich subtitled his Symphony No. 13 “Babi Yar”, as it included settings of the Yevtushenko poem.

Dmitri Shostakovich was a Russian composer, producing works in the Soviet period. He had a difficult relationship with the Communist Party and twice was officially denounced by the party.

50. Longtime firearm manufacturer : BERETTA
Beretta is an Italian manufacturer of firearms. Beretta is an incredibly old company that has been selling firearms since 1526! The company got a big boost of sales in the US in the eighties, when it's Beretta 92 pistol was selected by the US Army for use as its service handgun (although it was known as the "M9 pistol by the US Army").

56. Hindrances for a competitive swimmer : HAIRY LEGS
Competitive swimmers are apt to shave their legs in order to reduce drag.

57. Bases for basses : HOMONYM
Homonyms are words that have the same spelling and the same pronunciation but different meanings e.g. skate (a fish) and skate (worn on the foot). However, the term “homonyms” can also apply in common parlance to words that are pronounced OR spelled the same way but have different meanings. So one might also called the words ere, air, err and heir all homonyms as they all can be pronounced the same way. Strictly speaking, this is a list of homophones. I know, I don’t like ambiguity either …

59. Wisconsin city near Lake Michigan : WAUKESHA
Waukesha is a city in the southeast of Wisconsin. The city’s name is an anglicization of the name of a local Native American tribal leader.

Down
2. Brother (but not a bro) : FRA
The title "Fra" (brother) is used by Italian monks.

4. Tree with catkins : ALDER
Alder trees are deciduous (i.e. not evergreen), and the fruit of the tree is called a “catkin”. The tree carries both male and female catkins that look very similar to each other, but the male catkin is longer than the female. Alders are pollinated by wind usually, although bees can play a role.

6. Timeout signal : TEE
Someone might make a letter T (tee) with his or her hands to call for a “timeout”.

9. Captain Morgan and others : RUMS
The Captain Morgan brand of rum comes from Jamaica in the West Indies. It is named after the privateer from Wales, Sir Henry Morgan, who plied his trade in the Caribbean in the 17th century.

10. The Everlys' "When Will ___ Loved" : I BE
The song “When Will I Be Loved” was written by Phil Everly, and was a hit for the Everly Brothers in 1960. In 1975, Linda Ronstadt released a cover version that was a huge hit.

The Everly Brothers were noted for their steel guitar sound, and their great use of harmony. Their harmony onstage wasn’t reflected off the stage though. In 1973 the brothers decided to pursue separate careers and scheduled a farewell performance attended by many fans, family and stalwarts from the music industry. Don Everly came on stage too drunk to perform, and eventually brother Phil just stormed off into the wings, smashing his guitar as he left. The boys didn’t talk to each other for ten years after that incident. Phil Everly passed away in January 2014.

12. Stand against the wall? : ETAGERE
An étagère is a piece of furniture with open shelves, often used to display small ornaments. I can't stand them ...

15. Paintings outside the mainstream, per Jean Dubuffet : ART BRUT
Jean Dubuffet coined the term “art brut” (meaning “raw art”) for art that is created by individuals who are don’t belong to the “art set”. Good examples are works created by children, or perhaps by patients in a psychiatric hospital.

21. "Late" news item : OBIT
"Obituary" comes from the Latin "obituaris", originally the record of the death of a person, although the literal meaning is "pertaining to death".

24. Animal whose head makes no sound? : GNU
A gnu is also known as a wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. "Wildebeest" is actually the Dutch word for "wild beast".

26. "Wayne's World" weirdo : GARTH
"Wayne's World" was originally a Saturday Night Live sketch starring Mike Myers (as Wayne) and Dana Carvey. The sketch was so successful that it was parlayed into two hit movies, released in 1992 and 1993. Not my cup of tea though ...

29. Part of a Cuban combo : BONGO
Bongo drums are Cuban percussion instruments consisting of a pair of drums, one larger than the other, The smaller drum is called the "hembra" (female) and the larger the "macho" (male).

32. All but the fifth and sixth words in "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" : NOUNS
The sentence “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo” first appeared in the 1967 book “Beyond Language: Adventures in Word and Thought” by Dmitri Borgmann. IN order to understand the sentence, we need to know the three meanings of the word “buffalo” …
- the city of Buffalo, New York
- the verb “to buffalo” meaning “to bully, intimidate”
- the species of bison commonly known as the American buffalo
The sentence can be reconstructed as:
Buffalo from Buffalo, NY that the buffalo from Buffalo, NY bully are bullying buffalo from Buffalo, NY.
Whew!

35. Noted Italian chocolatier : FERRERO
The Italian manufacturer of chocolate known as Ferrero is one of the largest producers of chocolate products in the world. The company was founded in 1946 in Piedmont, Italy by Pietro Ferrero. Some of Ferrero’s famous products are the chocolate and hazelnut spread called Nutella. Ferrero Rocher chocolates (delicious!) and Tic Tacs breath mints.

36. Noncanonical texts : APOCRYPHA
The biblical apocrypha are books published in a separate section in some editions of the Bible. The term "apocrypha" comes from Greek, and means "hidden".

38. Winter installation in New York's Central Park : ICE RINK
The man most associated with the decision to develop Central Park in New York City was William Cullen Bryant, the editor of what today is the “New York Post”. He argued that the growing city needed a large, public open space, along the lines of Hyde Park in London and the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. Most of the park’s construction took place between 1860 and 1873. Much of the clearing work was accomplished using gunpowder, and it is often noted that more gunpowder was used in Central Park than in the Battle of Gettysburg.

44. "Bewitched" spinoff : TABITHA
The sitcom "Tabitha" was a big flop, a spin-off of the very successful "Bewitched" series that had finished several years before "Tabitha" aired. The title role was played by Lisa Hartman, who continued with her acting career after "Tabitha" with some degree of success. Hartman is the wife of country music star Clint Black.

45. Gas brand with a triangular logo : CITGO
The oil and gasoline company Citgo was founded in 1910 as Cities Services Company, a supplier of gas and electricity to public utilities. City Services Company introduced the Citgo brand in 1965 in its petroleum businesses. Citgo is now owned by the national oil company of Venezuela.

46. Marshy outlet : BAYOU
The exact origins of the word "bayou" is uncertain, but it is thought perhaps to come from the Choctaw (a Native American people from the southeast) word "bayuk", meaning "small stream".

48. Powerful engine : V-TEN
The engine known as a V10 is configured with two rows of four cylinders mounted on a crankcase. The rows of cylinders are offset from each other around the crankshaft at right angles, or perhaps a little less. This arrangement of ten cylinders in a V-shape gives rise to the name “V10”.

49. Kawasaki competitor : YAMAHA
The Japanese company Yamaha started out way back in 1888 as a manufacturer of pianos and reed organs. Even though the company has diversified since then, Yamaha's logo still reflects it musical roots. Even on Yamaha motorcycles you can see a logo made up of three intersecting tuning forks.

The Kawasaki company of Japan was founded in 1896 by Shozo Kawasaki. We tend to think of it as a manufacturer of motorcycles and perhaps all-terrain vehicles, but it started out as a shipbuilder, and indeed still makes ships today.

51. Member of an organization with an Exalted Ruler : ELK
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a "club" in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren't welcome.

54. Largest county in Nevada : NYE
Nye County, Nevada is home to the Nevada Test Site that was used for testing nuclear weapons from the fifties through the nineties.

55. Baseball V.I.P.s : GMS
General manager (GM)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Flag position : HALF-MAST
7. Go from a grape to a raisin, e.g. : SHRIVEL
14. Body that's now a fraction of its former self : ARAL SEA
16. "Sure thing!" : YOU BETCHA!
17. Co-star of "Grown Ups," 2010 : SANDLER
18. By hook or by crook : SOMEWAY
19. Lead-in to haw : YEE
20. Schleps : TOTES
22. I, to Claudius : EGO
23. Coatrack item : HANGER
25. Westminster, e.g. : ABBEY
26. Figures in 2011's "J. Edgar" : G-MEN
27. Santa ___ : ANA
28. Almost spilling over : ABRIM
29. 1930s heavyweight champ : BAER
30. With 37-Across, lose it ... or what 12 answers in this puzzle appear to do : BURST OUT ...
32. América del ___ : NORTE
33. Sullen look : POUT
34. Pyrénées peak : MONT
35. Plotz : FAINT
37. See 30-Across : … LAUGHING
41. ___ du combat : EPEE
42. "Heaven forbid!" : GOD NO!
43. Company exec : COO
44. Stepped : TROD
45. They're not hard to catch : COLDS
46. Big ___ (W.W. I weapon) : BERTHA
47. Bow : ARC
48. Country home : VILLA
49. Shostakovich symphony "Babi ___" : YAR
50. Longtime firearm manufacturer : BERETTA
52. Moving like trees in the wind : SWAYING
56. Hindrances for a competitive swimmer : HAIRY LEGS
57. Bases for basses : HOMONYM
58. Stylish bun : TOPKNOT
59. Wisconsin city near Lake Michigan : WAUKESHA

Down
1. Things sung when you don't know the words : LAS
2. Brother (but not a bro) : FRA
3. Unit of work : MAN-YEAR
4. Tree with catkins : ALDER
5. Headache : HASSLE
6. Timeout signal : TEE
7. Alphabetization, for one : SYSTEM
8. Nonsense : HOOEY
9. Captain Morgan and others : RUMS
10. The Everlys' "When Will ___ Loved" : I BE
11. Potentially awkward question at an introduction : HAVE WE MET?
12. Stand against the wall? : ETAGERE
13. Idyllic, like a past time : HALCYON
15. Paintings outside the mainstream, per Jean Dubuffet : ART BRUT
21. "Late" news item : OBIT
23. Catch : NAB
24. Animal whose head makes no sound? : GNU
25. On : ABOUT
26. "Wayne's World" weirdo : GARTH
28. When some people meet for lunch : AT ONE
29. Part of a Cuban combo : BONGO
31. Invaded someone's privacy : SPIED
32. All but the fifth and sixth words in "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" : NOUNS
34. Scramble : MAD DASH
35. Noted Italian chocolatier : FERRERO
36. Noncanonical texts : APOCRYPHA
37. Laze : LOLL
38. Winter installation in New York's Central Park : ICE RINK
39. Neither's partner : NOR
40. Caught : GOT
42. Defer to everyone else, say : GO LAST
44. "Bewitched" spinoff : TABITHA
45. Gas brand with a triangular logo : CITGO
46. Marshy outlet : BAYOU
48. Powerful engine : V-TEN
49. Kawasaki competitor : YAMAHA
51. Member of an organization with an Exalted Ruler : ELK
53. "Where do I even begin ..." : WOW ...
54. Largest county in Nevada : NYE
55. Baseball V.I.P.s : GMS


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The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections

6 comments :

Willie D said...

Had "manhour" at 3D, otherwise clean. Interesting way to manipulate the grid, this was new to me. And did not really leave me laughing.

Couple of items: I don't believe the Apocrypha are published in any Bibles, Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant. GMEN as opposed to "T-men," aka the Treasury Department (IRS, Secret Service, etc). And being a former swimmer, we shaved a lot more than our legs. I'll stop there.

Kathy Millat said...

Adept at these generally. For the life of me, I couldn't figure this one out. Never have seen a format in which answers continued outside the grid. Much too kitschy for me. Like difficult, hate cute.

Ben F said...

I guess this is a new twist for NYT constructors - the recent "sore thumb" puzzle was another instance of thinking outside the box. I enjoy these Thursday head scratchers more than the Friday-Saturday bears but YMMV. Man-hour and hee-haw were my stumbling block for a bit. Plotz has to be one of my favorite Yiddish words so don't get verklempt!

BruceB said...

Forgot to start the timer today, but I'm sure it was more than 40 minutes. Like Willie D, I originally had MANHOUR for 3D; but the across words modified it to MANHEAR (doh). So 2 errors for me today, MANHEAR and HEE.

Dave Kennison said...

Well, this is embarrassing.: I got halfway through the puzzle and was beginning to be truly puzzled before I noticed all those HA's outside the grid (which did,in fact, make things a great deal easier!). I think my head has been somewhere else for the last couple of days. I can only hope it returns soon, else I will check myself into the State Home for the Terminally Bewildered.

Dave Kennison said...

I meant to comment about the "buffalo" sentence, which I had never seen before: What a marvel! Spoken with the proper inflection, it might even be understood by a careful listener, but my hat is off to anyone who can get the meaning from seeing it written out. For an odd reason, it reminds me of a table in my high school geometry book, which had the names of the trig functions on one axis and various argument value ranges on the other. Each entry in the table was either the word "increase" or the word "decrease". After studying the table for a while, I had to go to the dictionary to verify the spelling of those two words, which had begun to look quite wrong. Is this is a phenomenon well-known to psychologists? Or is it peculiar to me?

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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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