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0528-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 28 May 15, Thursday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeff Chen
THEME: Even Odds … today’s themed clues are “equations” with the format “o + e = a”, where the answer to “o” gives the odd letters, “e” gives the even letters in the answer, and “a” defines the whole answer:
16A. Hits hard + famed spokescow = some Bach compositions : CELLO SUITES (= CLOUTS + ELSIE)
20A. Rends + word of regret = commuter's purchase : RAIL PASS (= RIPS + ALAS)
22A. Cloak + Egyptian deity = some spooks : CIA SPIES (= CAPE + ISIS)
48A. Rear + floral rings = colorful birds : BLUE TITS (= BUTT + LEIS)
50A. Relief org. + stagger = soup kitchen offering : FREE MEAL (= FEMA + REEL)

54A. Duke's ride + slowly = this puzzle's theme : ALTERNATION (= A TRAIN + LENTO)

33A. With 34-Across, 50-50 chance ... or a hint to answering six equations in this puzzle : EVEN
34A. See 33-Across : ODDS
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 22m 10s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. CBS's "___: Cyber" : CSI
“CSI: Cyber” is the youngest show in the incredibly successful franchise of “CSI” crime dramas. I was excited to hear of the concept behind “CSI: Cyber”, but have given up watching the show after a few episodes …

10. Sound at a sauna : AHH!
As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, "sauna" is a Finnish word, and is correctly pronounced "sow-nah" (with "sow" as in the female pig).

13. Many a school benefactor : ALUM
An "alumnus" (plural ... alumni) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is "alumna" (plural ... alumnae). The term comes into English from Latin, in which alumnus means foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

15. John : LOO
When I was growing up in Ireland, a "bathroom" was a room that had a bath and no toilet. The separate room with the commode was called "the toilet" or sometimes the W.C. (the water closet). Apparently the term closet was used because in the 1800s when homeowners started installing toilets indoors they often displaced clothes and linens in a "closet", as a closet was the right size to take the commode. It has been suggested that the British term "loo" comes from Waterloo (water-closet ... water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of "lanterloo" in which the pot was called the loo!

Sir John Harington was an author and a member of the court of Queen Elizabeth I of England. However, Harington is perhaps best remembered as the inventor of the flush toilet. Our slang term “john” meaning “toilet”, is thought to be a reference to John Harington.

16. Hits hard + famed spokescow = some Bach compositions : CELLO SUITES (= CLOUTS + ELSIE)
Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello” include some of the most recognizable pieces of cello music in the repertoire. The actual instrument for which Bach wrote these pieces (if any) is the subject of some debate.

Elsie the Cow is the mascot of the Borden Company. Elsie first appeared at the New York World's Fair in 1939, introduced to symbolize the perfect dairy product. Elsie was also given a husband named Elmer the Bull. Elmer eventually moved over to the chemical division of Borden where he gave his name to Elmer's Glue.

19. "Star Wars" whistler, for short : ARTOO
Artoo's proper name is R2-D2. R2-D2 is the smaller of the two famous droids from the "Star Wars" movies. British actor Kenny Baker, who stands just 3 ft 8 ins tall, has been the man inside the R2-D2 droid for all six of the "Star Wars" movies.

22. Cloak + Egyptian deity = some spooks : CIA SPIES (= CAPE + ISIS)
Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children.

25. C. S. Lewis land : NARNIA
Apparently it's not certain how C. S. Lewis came to choose Narnia as the name of the fantasy world featured in his series of children's books, including "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". There was an ancient city in Umbria that the Romans called Narnia, but there is no evidence of a link.

27. "Law & Order" spinoff, familiarly : SVU
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is a spin-off from the TV crime drama "Law & Order". "SVU" has been on the air since 1999, and is set in New York City. Interestingly, since 2007 there has been a very successful Russian adaptation of the show that is set in Moscow.

28. Technology inside Kindles : E INK
E Ink Corporation manufactures what is known as “electronic paper”, a material that is integrated into electronic displays used mainly in e-readers and smartphones. An example is the excellent display that comes with the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite e-reader.

39. Jumper line : HEM
“Jumper” is one of those terms that caused me no end of grief when I moved to the US. I think my wife-to-be was close to dumping me on one of our first dates when she heard me talking about jumpers that I wore all the time. You see, where I come from a jumper is a sweater, and can be worn by males and females alike. The dress known as a jumper in the US, back in Ireland we’d call a pinafore or pinafore dress.

43. Home of Umm al-Quwain, for short : UAE
Umm al-Quwain is the least populous of the sovereign emirates in the Middle East country called the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The name “Umm al-Quwain” translates from Arabic as “Mother of the Two Powers”.

50. Relief org. + stagger = soup kitchen offering : FREE MEAL (= FEMA + REEL)
Federal emergency management has been structured for over 200 years, but what we know today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 in an Executive Order issued by President Jimmy Carter.

53. "Holy ... !!!" : OMG
OMG is text-speak for Oh My Gosh! Oh My Goodness! or any other G words you might think of …

54. Duke's ride + slowly = this puzzle's theme : ALTERNATION (= A TRAIN + LENTO)
The A Train in the New York City Subway system runs from 207th Street, through Manhattan and over to Far Rockaway in Queens. The service lends its name to a jazz standard "Take the 'A' Train", the signature tune of Duke Ellington and a song much sung by Ella Fitzgerald. One version of the lyrics are:
You must take the A Train
To go to Sugar Hill way up in Harlem
If you miss the A Train
You'll find you've missed the quickest way to Harlem
Hurry, get on, now, it's coming
Listen to those rails a-thrumming (All Aboard!)
Get on the A Train
Soon you will be on Sugar Hill in Harlem.

A lento passage is a piece of music that has a slow tempo.

57. Turkoman, e.g. : RUG
Turkmen rugs (also “Turkoman carpets”) were originally produced by the Turkmen nomadic tribes of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Iran.

58. Lines often in Latin : MOTTOS
“Motto” came into English directly from Italian, and is ultimately derived from the Latin word “muttire”, meaning “to mutter, mumble”.

60. Classic roadsters : MGS
My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget roadster in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979, with the MG acronym standing for “Morris Garages”.

Down
1. Intelligentsia : CLERISY
The “clerisy” is the intellectual class, and is a word coined by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 19th-century Britain.

5. Good name for an R.V. inhabitant? : STU
Someone in an RV (recreational vehicle) might quite aptly be called “Stu”, as the letters STU are found between R and V in the alphabet.

9. Palo Alto-based car company : 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 …

The city of Palo Alto, California takes its name from a specific redwood tree called El Palo Alto (Spanish for "the tall stick") that is located within the bounds of the city. The tree is 110 feet tall and over a thousand years old.

10. NATO member since 2009 : ALBANIA
The Republic of Albania is a country in the Balkans in southeastern Europe. Albania was made a communist state after WWII but became independent again with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990. Albania has been a member of NATO since 2009, and was accepted as an official candidate to join the European Union in 2014.

12. Winter serving in a Japanese restaurant : HOT SAKE
We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as "sake". We've gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. "Sake" is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as “rice wine”. It is indeed made from rice, but it is a brewed rather than fermented and so is more like a beer than a wine.

13. Gum arabic source : ACACIA
Acacia is a genus of tree and shrub, also known as thorntree, whistling thorn and wattle. The acacia is the primary food source for the giraffe in the wild, with the animal eating the leaves high in the tree, leaves that are inaccessible by competing species. The natural gum from two species of acacia tree is known as gum arabic, which is used in the food industry as a stabilizer.

17. No longer available, as a book: Abbr. : OOP
A book that is out of print (OOP) is no longer being published.

23. Key chain? : ISLES
A "key" (also "cay") is a low island offshore, as in the Florida Keys. Our term in English comes from the Spanish "cayo" meaning "shoal, reef".

24. Writer Osnos of The New Yorker : EVAN
Evan Osnos is a journalist at “The New Yorker”, one noted for covering China. Osnos also won a 2014 National Book Award for his book “Age of Ambition: Chasing, Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China”.

30. Pharmacy chain : CVS
The name of the drugstore chain CVS once stood for Consumer Value Stores, although these days the company uses the acronym to denote Convenience, Value and Service.

31. Bye line? : ADIEU
"Adieu" is the French for "goodbye" or "farewell", from "à Dieu" meaning "to God". The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.

32. "Silent Spring" topic, in brief : DDT
DDT is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (don't forget now!). DDT was used with great success to control disease-carrying insects during WWII, and when made available for use after the war it became by far the most popular pesticide. And then Rachel Carson published her famous book "Silent Spring", suggesting there was a link between DDT and diminishing populations of certain wildlife. It was the public outcry sparked by the book, and reports of links between DDT and cancer, that led to the ban on the use of the chemical in 1972. That ban is touted as the main reason that the bald eagle was rescued from near extinction.

34. Olympic Australis is the world's largest one : OPAL
The Olympic Australis is the largest opal ever found, and the most valuable. It was found in South Australia in 1956. That same year, the Summer Olympics were being held in Melbourne so the newly discovered stone was given the name “Olympic Australis”.

35. Novel, sonata or sonnet : ART FORM
The term "sonata" comes from the Latin and Italian word "sonare" meaning "to sound". A sonata is a piece of music that is played, as opposed to a cantata (from Latin and Italian "cantare" meaning "to sing"), a piece of music that is sung.

A sonnet is a short poem with varying rhyming schemes but always with 14 lines. The sonnet form has been around at least since the 13th century. The Shakespearean sonnet is composed of three quatrains (4 lines) and a final couplet (2 lines).

39. Citizen of the second-oldest independent country in the New World : HAITIAN
The Republic of Haiti occupies the smaller, western portion of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. The rest of the island is taken up by the Dominican Republic. Haiti is one of only two nations in the Americas to have French as an official language, the other being Canada.

40. Topic of the second law of thermodynamics : ENTROPY
In the world of thermodynamics, “entropy” is a measure of disorder in a system. According to the second law of thermodynamics, the entropy of a closed system always increases, the system always tends toward disorder.

41. Quark-plus-antiquark particles : MESONS
A meson is an unstable subatomic particle, made up of one quark and one antiquark.

Quarks are elementary atomic particles that combine to make composite particles called “hadrons”. I’m really only familiar with the really stable hadrons i.e. protons and neutrons. There are six types of quarks (referred to as “flavors”). These flavors are up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top.

44. Italian smoker, for short : MT ETNA
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Mt Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius.

46. "Savoriness," in Japanese : UMAMI
Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe "a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until 1985 that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.

49. A good one is under 3.00, in brief : ERA
Earned run average (ERA)

51. The U.N.'s Kofi ___ Annan : ATTA
Kofi Annan is a diplomat from Ghana who served as General Secretary of the UN for ten years until the beginning of 2007. Annan was born into an aristocratic family, and had a twin sister named Efua Atta. Efua and Kofi shared the middle name “Atta”, which means “twin” in the Akan language of Ghana. Annan attended the MIT Sloan School of Management from 1971-72, and graduated with a Master of Science degree.

55. Anonymous name in court cases : ROE
Although the English court system does not use the term today, John Doe first appeared as the "name of a person unknown" in England in 1659, along with another unknown, Richard Roe. The female equivalent of John Doe is Jane Doe, with the equivalent to Richard Roe being Jane Roe (as in Roe v. Wade, for example).

56. White House advisory grp. : NSC
The National Security Council (NSC) was created by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. The NSC is chaired by the sitting president and meets in the White House Situation Room.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. CBS's "___: Cyber" : CSI
4. Facet : ASPECT
10. Sound at a sauna : AHH!
13. Many a school benefactor : ALUM
14. Middle of a square, maybe : STATUE
15. John : LOO
16. Hits hard + famed spokescow = some Bach compositions : CELLO SUITES (= CLOUTS + ELSIE)
18. Exceptional start? : BUT ...
19. "Star Wars" whistler, for short : ARTOO
20. Rends + word of regret = commuter's purchase : RAIL PASS (= RIPS + ALAS)
22. Cloak + Egyptian deity = some spooks : CIA SPIES (= CAPE + ISIS)
25. C. S. Lewis land : NARNIA
26. "That ___ you" : ISN’T
27. "Law & Order" spinoff, familiarly : SVU
28. Technology inside Kindles : E INK
29. Shakespearean assents : AYS
30. Show of hands? : CLAP
31. Noneditorial matter : AD PAGE
33. With 34-Across, 50-50 chance ... or a hint to answering six equations in this puzzle : EVEN
34. See 33-Across : ODDS
35. Superior woman? : ABBESS
38. Rain slightly : SPIT
39. Jumper line : HEM
42. Back : REAR
43. Home of Umm al-Quwain, for short : UAE
44. Something braided on a farm : MANE
45. Monotony : TEDIUM
48. Rear + floral rings = colorful birds : BLUE TITS (= BUTT + LEIS)
50. Relief org. + stagger = soup kitchen offering : FREE MEAL (= FEMA + REEL)
52. Back in : RETRO
53. "Holy ... !!!" : OMG
54. Duke's ride + slowly = this puzzle's theme : ALTERNATION (= A TRAIN + LENTO)
57. Turkoman, e.g. : RUG
58. Lines often in Latin : MOTTOS
59. Drops out? : NAPS
60. Classic roadsters : MGS
61. "Don't rush me!" : IN A SEC!
62. Choice word : ANY

Down
1. Intelligentsia : CLERISY
2. Mideast V.I.P.s : SULTANS
3. "Whoa, whoa, whoa - go back" : I’M LOST
4. Fool : ASS
5. Good name for an R.V. inhabitant? : STU
6. Couples : PAIRS UP
7. Italian suffix for "small" : -ETTA
8. Bring up to speed : CUE IN
9. Palo Alto-based car company : TESLA
10. NATO member since 2009 : ALBANIA
11. Dormitories and apartments : HOUSING
12. Winter serving in a Japanese restaurant : HOT SAKE
13. Gum arabic source : ACACIA
17. No longer available, as a book: Abbr. : OOP
21. Readies : PREPS
23. Key chain? : ISLES
24. Writer Osnos of The New Yorker : EVAN
30. Pharmacy chain : CVS
31. Bye line? : ADIEU
32. "Silent Spring" topic, in brief : DDT
33. Spine-tingling : EERIE
34. Olympic Australis is the world's largest one : OPAL
35. Novel, sonata or sonnet : ART FORM
36. One hanging around a bar? : BEER MUG
37. No-goodniks : BAD EGGS
38. Some temporary residences : SUBLETS
39. Citizen of the second-oldest independent country in the New World : HAITIAN
40. Topic of the second law of thermodynamics : ENTROPY
41. Quark-plus-antiquark particles : MESONS
44. Italian smoker, for short : MT ETNA
46. "Savoriness," in Japanese : UMAMI
47. Head, in slang : MELON
49. A good one is under 3.00, in brief : ERA
51. The U.N.'s Kofi ___ Annan : ATTA
55. Anonymous name in court cases : ROE
56. White House advisory grp. : NSC


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5 comments :

Willie D said...

Wow! That was complicated. Full :57, and still errors at CIASPIES and MESONS. Yet, in hindsight, One could solve this grid on the non-theme clues. Oh well, I haven't seen this twist before.

Dave Kennison said...

I found this surprisingly easy once I figured out the gimmick, but still finished with an error because I never heard of either Mr. Osnos or the "Law & Order" spinoff, so I guessed at EFAN (an odd foreign spelling?) for the former and SFU (Special Forces Unit?) for the latter. A good puzzle, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Overly complicated, plus with some really mean-sprited clue editing. This one was Saturday-hard.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your answers. When I am stumped, I go looking for The Butler, and am enlightened!

Lou Sander said...

Pretty tough, but fair. I wouldn't call the clue editing "mean spirited". Maybe "devilish" or "viciously clever", though. All in all, a very good challenge. At first it looked like we couldn't get anything at all, but as usual, it yielded to our effort. Holy OMG seemed pretty far out.

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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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