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0517-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 May 16, Tuesday





QuickLinks:
Solution to today's crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications
Solution to today's New York Times crossword found online at the Seattle Times website
Jump to a complete list of today's clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Paula Gamache
THEME: Go On Ahead
Each of today’s themed answers comprises two words, and each of those two words can GO ON A HEAD, can precede the word HEAD:
62A. "Don't wait for me to proceed" ... or what either part of the answer to each starred clue can do? : GO ON AHEAD

17A. *Especially memorable, as a day : RED-LETTER (redhead & letterhead)
21A. *Campground amenity : HOT SHOWER (hothead & showerhead)
33A. *Feature of a carpenter's level : AIR BUBBLE (airhead & bubblehead)
44A. *Beef alternative in many countries : HORSE MEAT (horsehead & meathead)
53A. *Basic china color : BONE WHITE (bonehead & whitehead)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 23s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Listening device? : IPOD
The iPod is Apple's signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all use flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.

15. Poet Teasdale : SARA
Sara Teasdale was a poet from St. Louis, Missouri although she spent much of her adult life in New York City. Examples of Teasdale's most famous poems are "There Will Come Soft Rains" and "I Shall Not Care". Teasdale committed suicide in 1933 by taking an overdose of sleeping pills.

16. Brother of Prometheus : ATLAS
In Greek mythology, Atlas was a Titan who was tasked with holding up the celestial sphere on his shoulders. The Greeks observed the planets moving and the stars in fixed positions. They believed that the stars were on the surface of a single starry sphere, the celestial sphere that was supported by Atlas.

17. *Especially memorable, as a day : RED-LETTER (redhead & letterhead)
A red-letter day is a day that is special for some reason. The term comes from the illuminated manuscripts of Medieval times. In such documents, initial letters were often written in red ink, so-called “red letters”.

20. Garbage transporters : SCOWS
A scow is a flat-bottomed boat with squared-off ends that's often used for transportation, usually pushed or pulled by a barge. Often a scow can be seen carrying junk or garbage.

23. Beings, in Bretagne : ETRES
The French for “to be” is “être”.

A Breton is a native of Brittany. Brittany is a large peninsula in the northwest of France, known in French as “Bretagne”.

26. Pictionary company : HASBRO
The Hasbro toy company was founded in 1923, to sell textile remnants. The founders were Herman, Hillel and Henry Hassenfeld, three brothers and hence the name “Hasbro”. The company diversified into toys in the early forties, with the first real market success being Mr. Potato Head.

The marvelous game Pictionary was introduced in 1985. It’s a word-guessing game that’s played in teams. Pictionary is a big hit in our house with family and friends. It must be said, a glass of wine does help boost the level of enthusiasm of all concerned ...

33. *Feature of a carpenter's level : AIR BUBBLE (airhead & bubblehead)
Someone described as an airhead or a bubblehead is a dolt, someone foolish.

36. Valley with many cabs? : NAPA
The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

The Cabernet Sauvignon grape has been around since the 17th century, and is the result of a chance crossing in southwestern France of the Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc grapes.

37. Last: Abbr. : ULT
Ultimate (ult.)

38. Naval base builders : SEABEES
The Seabees are members of the Construction Battalions (CB) of the US Navy, from which the name "Seabee" originates. There's a great 1944 movie called "The Fighting Seabees" starring John Wayne that tells the story of the birth of the Seabees during WWII. The Seabees’ official motto is “Construimus. Batuimus”, Latin for “We build. We fight.” The group’s unofficial motto is “Can Do!”

42. Gamboling spots : LEAS
“Gambol” is a such a lovely word, meaning to frolic and leap about.

44. *Beef alternative in many countries : HORSE MEAT (horsehead & meathead)
Horse meat is sold quite extensively in various countries around the world, although in others it is considered “taboo”. We used to see quite a bit of horse meat in supermarkets when we lived in France …

Horsehead is an alternative name for some moonfish.

50. Obsolescent mobile device, briefly : PDA
Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are mobile devices used to manage personal information. PDAs largely went out of style as smartphones took over the the same functions, while offering a lot more functions to boot.

53. *Basic china color : BONE WHITE (bonehead & whitehead)
Bone china is so called because one of the main components is bone ash derived from animal bones.

61. Hit musical set in Buenos Aires : EVITA
"Evita" was the followup musical to "Jesus Christ Superstar" for Andrew Lloyd Weber and Time Rice. Both of these works were originally released as album musicals, and very successful ones at that (I remember buying them when they first came out). For the original album's cast they chose Irish singer Colm Wilkinson (or C. T. Wilkinson, as we know him back in Ireland) to play "Che", the narrator of the piece.

65. Writer Sarah ___ Jewett : ORNE
Sarah Orne Jewett was a novelist who wrote stories about life in and around South Berwick, Maine, where she lived.

66. Eugene O'Neill's "___ Christie" : ANNA
The playwright Eugene O’Neill was born in a New York City hotel room in what is now called Times Square, in 1888. That building no longer exists and there is a Starbucks on the site today, but you can go take a look at the commemorative plaque at the Northeast corner of 43rd and Broadway. O’Neill died in 1953, in room 401 of the Sheraton Hotel on Bay State Road in Boston. His last words were, “I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room, and God damn it, died in a hotel room." Eugene O'Neill won a Pulitzer for his play "Anna Christie".

67. Dummy Mortimer : SNERD
Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's most famous character was Charlie McCarthy, but Bergen also worked with Mortimer Snerd.

Down
3. Designer Gucci : ALDO
Gucci was founded in Rome in 1921, by Guccio Gucci. Guccio's son Aldo took over the company after his father's death in 1953. It was Aldo who established the international presence for the brand and opened the company's first overseas store, in New York City.

4. Big name in retirement community development : DEL WEBB
Del Webb was a real estate developer famous for developing the retirement community called Sun City in Arizona.

6. Company that invented newsreels : PATHE
Pathé is a French company that was started by the Pathé Brothers in 1896. Pathé were a very successful film equipment supplier as well as film production company. Indeed, they invented the newsreels that were once shown just before feature films. I remember “Pathé News” spots when I was growing up. Marvelous stuff …

10. ___ Empire (land of Suleiman the Magnificent) : OTTOMAN
Osman I was the man who established the Ottoman Dynasty, with “Ottoman” coming from the name “Osman”. This is despite the fact that the "Ottoman Empire" came about with the conquest of Constantinople, and that didn't happen until almost 130 years after Osman I died.

11. What fireflies do : GLOW
Some living organisms are able to produce light, a phenomenon known as “bioluminescence”. A famous example on land is the firefly, with its glowing tail. There are many marine animals, such as jellyfish, that emit light. The frequently observed bioluminescence on the surface of the sea is usually caused by plankton. This phenomenon may be referred to as “sea fire”.

13. River to the North Sea : YSER
The Yser originates in northern France and flows through Belgium into the North Sea. The Yser is often associated with WWI as it figured in a major battle early in the conflict. In the first three months of the war, the German Army pushed almost completely through Belgium, inflicting heavy losses on the Belgian Army as the defenders were forced to fight a fast-moving rearguard action. The Germans were intent on pushing right through Belgium and across France in a "race to the sea". But the Belgians, with the help of their Allies, decided to make a final stand at the Yser Canal in an effort to prevent the Germans reaching the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk. The 22-mile long defensive line was chosen at the Yser because the river and canal system could be flooded to create a barrier that might be defended. The plan was successful and the front was "stabilized". As we now know, millions of lives were lost over the coming years with very little movement of that battle line.

22. HBO rival : SHO
Showtime (SHO) is a competitor of the Movie Channel (TMC) in terms of program lineup, although both channels are in fact owned by CBS.

Home Box Office (HBO) is the second largest network of premium channels in the US, after Encore. HBO is a favorite of mine as I really like many of the HBO made-for-television movies and especially the HBO original series. Among the list of original series from HBO are “Mildred Pierce”, “The Pacific”, “John Adams”, “Big Love”, “Extras”, “The Wire”, “Sex and the City”, “From the Earth to the Moon”, “The Sopranos” and “Band of Brothers”. What great television …

27. Alvin of American dance : AILEY
Alvin Ailey was a dancer who formed his own group in New York in 1958, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The most famous work that Ailey choreographed was called “Revelations”.

28. Mex. misses : SRTAS
Señorita (Srta.) is Spanish and mademoiselle (Mlle.) is French for “Miss”.

29. Oracle : SEER
In Ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word "oracle" derives from the Latin "orare" meaning "to speak", which is the same root for our word "orator".

31. O of the magazine world : OPRAH
The full name of the publication usually called “O”, is “O: The Oprah Magazine”. Since the magazine’s founding in 2000, Oprah has appeared alone on the cover of each issue, with two exceptions. On the April 2009 cover Oprah was shown with First Lady Michelle Obama, and on the December 2009 cover Oprah shared the limelight with Ellen DeGeneres.

32. Part of G.O.P. : PARTY
The Republican Party has had the nickname Grand Old Party (GOP) since 1875. That said, the phrase was coined in the “Congressional Record” as “this gallant old party”. The moniker was changed to “grand old party” in 1876 in an article in the “Cincinnati Commercial”. The Republican Party’s elephant mascot dates back to an 1874 cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast for “Harper’s Weekly”. The Democrat’s donkey was already an established symbol. Nast drew a donkey clothed in a lion’s skin scaring away the other animals. One of the scared animals was an elephant, which Nast labeled “The Republican Vote”.

35. Wall St. debt deal : LBO
A leveraged buyout (LBO) is a transaction in which an investor acquires a controlling volume of stock in a company, but buys that stock with borrowed funds (hence "leveraged"). Often the assets of the acquired company are used as collateral for the borrowed money. There is a special form of LBO known as a management buyout (MBO) in which the company's own management team purchases the controlling interest.

39. Villa d'___ : ESTE
The Villa d'Este is a beautiful Renaissance villa situated close to Tivoli near Rome, Italy.

40. A Williams sister : SERENA
Serena Williams is the younger of the two Williams sisters playing professional tennis. Serena has won more prize money in her career than any other female athlete.

43. Heavenly gatekeeper : ST PETER
In the Christian tradition, Saint Peter is often depicted as the keeper of the gates of heaven. This depiction arises from a passage in the Gospel of Matthew:
I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

45. Seized the opportunity : MADE HAY
Make hay while the sun shines … seize the opportunity.

47. One of eight English kings : EDWARD
There have been eight kings of England named Edward. Edward I was on the throne from 1272 to 1307 and was also known as Edward Longshanks. The “Longshanks” name came from Edward’s exceptional height. Edward VIII was on the British throne for less than a year. Famously, Edward abdicated in 1936 in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

48. ___-jongg : MAH
"Mahjong" (also “mahjongg” and “mah-jongg”) is the Chinese word for "sparrow". Mahjong is a game that originated in China, and is usually played by four players. There is a myth that the game was developed by the Chinese philosopher, Confucius. The myth also suggests that Confucius was fond of birds, and hence chose the name "sparrow".

51. Mall tenant : STORE
Surprisingly, our word “mall”, meaning “shady walk” or “enclosed shopping space”, comes from the Italian for “mallet”. All of our shopping-style malls are named for “The Mall” in St. James’s Park in London. This tree-lined promenade was so called as it used to a famous spot to play the croquet-like game called “pall-mall”. The game derived its name from the Italian for ball (palla) and mallet “maglio”. The London thoroughfare called the Mall still exists, at one end of which is Buckingham Palace. Indeed, parallel to the Mall is a street called Pall Mall.

52. Drudges : PEONS
A peon is a lowly worker with no real control over his/her working conditions. The word comes into English from Spanish where it has the same meaning.

56. Prince of opera : IGOR
“Prince Igor” is an opera by the Russian composer, Alexander Borodin. Borodin died before he had finished “Prince Igor”, so it was completed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov. Music from “Prince Igor” and other Borodin works was used in the American musical “Kismet”.

58. Actor Auberjonois : RENE
René Auberjonois is an American actor. Auberjonois' most famous role on the big screen was Father Mulcahy in the movie "M*A*S*H".

60. Dutch export : EDAM
Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Thing on a string : BEAD
5. Listening device? : IPOD
9. ___ bag : DOGGY
14. One of several on a big rig : AXLE
15. Poet Teasdale : SARA
16. Brother of Prometheus : ATLAS
17. *Especially memorable, as a day : RED-LETTER (redhead & letterhead)
19. Burner holder : STOVE
20. Garbage transporters : SCOWS
21. *Campground amenity : HOT SHOWER (hothead & showerhead)
23. Beings, in Bretagne : ETRES
25. A dress line : HEM
26. Pictionary company : HASBRO
29. It's carbonated : SODA POP
33. *Feature of a carpenter's level : AIR BUBBLE (airhead & bubblehead)
36. Valley with many cabs? : NAPA
37. Last: Abbr. : ULT
38. Naval base builders : SEABEES
41. [Damn, this is annoying!] : GRR!
42. Gamboling spots : LEAS
44. *Beef alternative in many countries : HORSE MEAT (horsehead & meathead)
46. Gamblers use them : SYSTEMS
49. Low-end : TRASHY
50. Obsolescent mobile device, briefly : PDA
51. 186,000 miles/second, for light : SPEED
53. *Basic china color : BONE WHITE (bonehead & whitehead)
57. Courage : NERVE
61. Hit musical set in Buenos Aires : EVITA
62. "Don't wait for me to proceed" ... or what either part of the answer to each starred clue can do? : GO ON AHEAD
64. Arrest : DETER
65. Writer Sarah ___ Jewett : ORNE
66. Eugene O'Neill's "___ Christie" : ANNA
67. Dummy Mortimer : SNERD
68. Breather : REST
69. Quaint affirmative : YES’M

Down
1. Criminals may be behind them : BARS
2. Corner office type : EXEC
3. Designer Gucci : ALDO
4. Big name in retirement community development : DEL WEBB
5. Suffix with human : -IST
6. Company that invented newsreels : PATHE
7. They can be crushed for a pie crust : OREOS
8. It may be thrown at a corkboard : DART
9. Ruined, as dreams : DASHED
10. ___ Empire (land of Suleiman the Magnificent) : OTTOMAN
11. What fireflies do : GLOW
12. Handed over : GAVE
13. River to the North Sea : YSER
18. Stage when an animal is in heat : ESTRUS
22. HBO rival : SHO
24. Spa amenity : ROBE
26. Fisherman's takes : HAULS
27. Alvin of American dance : AILEY
28. Mex. misses : SRTAS
29. Oracle : SEER
30. Website parts : PAGES
31. O of the magazine world : OPRAH
32. Part of G.O.P. : PARTY
34. Dismissive cries : BAHS
35. Wall St. debt deal : LBO
39. Villa d'___ : ESTE
40. A Williams sister : SERENA
43. Heavenly gatekeeper : ST PETER
45. Seized the opportunity : MADE HAY
47. One of eight English kings : EDWARD
48. ___-jongg : MAH
51. Mall tenant : STORE
52. Drudges : PEONS
53. Hospital capacity : BEDS
54. Kiln : OVEN
55. Dark time, in ads : NITE
56. Prince of opera : IGOR
58. Actor Auberjonois : RENE
59. Some shuttles : VANS
60. Dutch export : EDAM
63. Part of a soccer goal : NET


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4 comments :

Sfingi said...

Had a hard time in the NW since i never heard of DEL WEBB and thought EXEC should be referenced as an abbrev.

I thought GO ON AHEAD was going to be GOONSQUAD.

Dale Stewart said...

No errors. Never used nor needed the theme. Had several trouble spots to work through. DEL WEBB has been around for a long time. I remember that company from the 50's. I had completely forgotten about it and was surprised recently to see some television advertising from them.

BruceB said...

13:28, no errors. No issues, just a few names that I had to work around.

Anonymous said...

12:11, no errors, but never felt comfortable. This one was harder than your typical Tuesday. Not in sync with the setter.

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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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