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0526-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 May 16, Thursday





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: Andrew Zhou
THEME: Initially Deceptive
Today’s themed answers are well-known, two-word phrases. However, the clue refers to an answer that uses only the initial letter from the first word:
18A. When shortened, ear swabs : QUICK TIPS (shortened to “Q-tips”)
58A. When shortened, ski lifts : TAPAS BARS (shortened to “T-bars”)
4D. When shortened, winning symbols : VITAL SIGNS (shortened to “V-signs”)
11D. When shortened, rocket seal : ONION RING (shortened to “O-rings”)
24D. When shortened, violin feature : FOXHOLE (shortened to “F-hole”)
31D. When shortened, lesser-played songs : BLINDSIDES (shortened to “B-sides”)
34D. When shortened, topic in sexology : GUEST SPOT (shortened to “G-spot”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME:13m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Info for some limo drivers : ETAS
Expected time of arrival (ETA)

The word "limousine" actually derives from the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a "limousine". Well, that's how the story goes anyway ...

10. Nursery bagful : LOAM
Loam is soil made up of sand, silt and clay in the ratio of about 40-40-20. Relative to other soil types, loam is is usually rich in nutrients and moisture, drains well and is easy to till. Loam can also be used in constructing houses as it is quite strong when mixed with straw and dried.

14. A white one is said to symbolize "I'm sorry" : TULIP
We usually associate the cultivation of tulips with the Netherlands, but they were first grown commercially in the Ottoman Empire. The name “tulip” ultimately derives from the Ottoman Turkish word “tulbend” which means “muslin, gauze”.

16. Like dumb blonde jokes : UN-PC
To be “un-PC” is to be politically incorrect, not be politically correct (PC).

17. Brother Antonio or Girolamo in music history : AMATI
The first of the Amati family to make violins was Andrea Amati, who lived in the 14th century. He was succeeded by his sons, Antonio and Girolamo. In turn, they were succeeded by Girolamo's son, Nicolo. Nicolo had a few students who achieved fame making musical instruments as well. One was his own son, Girolamo, and another was the famed Antonio Stradivari.

18. When shortened, ear swabs : QUICK TIPS (shortened to “Q-tips”)
Cotton swabs were originally marketed under the name "Baby Gays", but this was changed in 1926 to "Q-Tips", with the Q standing for "quality".

20. 2016's "Ghostbusters" and "Ben-Hur" : REMAKES
The upcoming 2016 reboot of the 1986 hit comedy “Ghostbusters” has females playing the lead characters this time around. The latest Ghostbusters are Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones.

According to the publicists, the upcoming 2016 movie “Ben-Hur” is a new interpretation of the 1880 novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ” by Lew Wallace. I assume that means there will be quite a few differences from the famous movie of the same name starring Charlton Heston. English actor Jack Huston has the title role this time around.

22. Film chimp : BONZO
“Bedtime for Bonzo” is a 1951 comedy film about a man training a chimpanzee. The man in question is played by future US president Ronald Reagan. After Clint Eastwood was elected mayor of Carmel, California, Reagan called up Eastwood and asked him, "What's an actor who once appeared with a monkey in movie doing in politics?". Eastwood appeared with a monkey in the film "Every Which Way but Loose".

25. Warriors' league, for short : NBA
The Golden State Warriors is our local NBA franchise out here in the San Francisco Bay Area and is based in Oakland, California. The team was founded in 1946 as the Philadelphia Warriors, becoming the San Francisco Warriors when they moved to City by the Bay in 1962. They changed named again (to Golden State) when they relocated to Oakland in 1971. The statewide name reflected the fact that the team played some of their 1971-72 season games in San Diego, and as such were “California’s” team.

32. Rolling Stones #1 hit with the line "You're beautiful, but ain't it time we said goodbye?" : ANGIE
For my money, “Angie” is the greatest ballad ever performed by the Rolling Stones. Despite rumors to the contrary, “Angie” doesn’t refer to a particular woman. If fact, songwriter Keith Richard says that “Angie” is a pseudonym for heroin, and the lyrics tell of his efforts to get off the drug at a detox facility in Switzerland.

39. Second letter before 7-Down : RHO
(7D. Greek letter : TAU)
Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter "p". Rho is the symbol used for density, i.e. mass/volume.

43. It's a deadly sin : ANGER
The cardinal sins of Christian ethics are also known as the seven deadly sins. The seven deadly sins are:
- wrath
- greed
- sloth
- pride
- lust
- envy
- gluttony

46. Scottish estate owner : LAIRD
“Laird” is just the word “lord” in the local English dialect in Scotland and the north of England.

51. Chicken tikka ___ : MASALA
Chicken tikka masala is a dish, comprising chicken tikka (chunks of marinated chicken) served in a masala sauce. Masala is the Hindi word for "mixture", and describes a mixture of spices. A dish named "masala" uses the spices incorporated into a sauce that includes garlic, ginger, onions and chili paste. Although served as part of Indian cuisine, there seems to be a lot of evidence that chicken tikka masala was actually invented in an Indian restaurant in Britain.

55. Letter before 7-Down : SIGMA
(7D. Greek letter : TAU)
Sigma is the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is the one used for an “ess” sound, equivalent to our letter S. Sigma is used in mathematics to represent a summation, the adding together of a sequence of numbers.

58. When shortened, ski lifts : TAPAS BARS (shortened to “T-bars”)
"Tapa" is the Spanish word for "lid", and there is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one's glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

A T-bar is a type of ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There's also a J-bar, a similar device, but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

61. Pindar, for one : ODIST
Pindar was an ancient Greek poet, best known perhaps for composing a series of Victory Odes that celebrated triumph in competition, most notably the Olympian Games of the day.

63. London cricket ground, with "the" : OVAL
The Oval cricket ground in London is one of the most famous grounds in the UK used for international Test cricket. The Oval is also the home ground for Surrey County Cricket Club.

64. Painter's preparation : GESSO
Gesso is the Italian word for "chalk" and gives its name to the powdered calcium carbonate that is used as a primer coat under artistic panel paintings. The gesso is mixed with a glue and applied to wood so that it acts as an absorbent surface for paint.

Down
1. Hollywood Boulevard sights : STARS
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a series of sidewalks taking up 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and 3 blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood. The Walk of Fame is an ever-changing monument dedicated to those who have achieved greatness in the entertainment industry, both in front of and behind the camera. The first stars installed in the sidewalk were a group of eight, officially laid in 1960. That group consisted of:
- Joanne Woodward (actor)
- Olive Borden (actor)
- Ronald Colman (actor)
- Louise Fazenda (actor)
- Preston Foster (actor)
- Burt Lancaster (actor)
- Edward Sedgwick (director)
- Ernest Torrence (actor)

2. "Network" director : LUMET
As a movie director Lumet had a great string of celebrated films to his name including “12 Angry Men”, “Dog Day Afternoon”, “Network” and “The Verdict”. Although nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for each of these films, he never won an individual Oscar. However, the Academy gave Lumet the recognition he deserved in 2004 by presenting him with an Honorary Award.

The movie "Network" was released in 1976. It was directed by Sidney Lumet and stars Peter Finch in his final role, for which he won a posthumous Academy Award. That Oscar for Peter Finch was remarkable in that it was the first time the Best Actor award had been won after the actor passed away, and it was also the first time it had been won by an Australian.

3. 1836 battle site : ALAMO
The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718 and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna's camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry "Remember the Alamo!".

4. When shortened, winning symbols : VITAL SIGNS (shortened to “V-signs”)
The V-sign, made with the palm facing outwards, was used as a victory sign by Winston Churchill during WWII. He was careful to point his palm outwards, as the V-sign made with the palm inwards has a very rude meaning in Britain and Ireland. The same victory sign was adopted as a peace sign in protests against the Vietnam War, a usage that spread and persists to this day.

5. "Chi-Raq" director, 2015 : SPIKE LEE
“Chi-Raq” is a 2015 musical film directed by Spike Lee. A satirical movie, it is based on the classical Greek comedy play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes. “Chi-Raq” deals with gang violence in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, with the title being a portmanteau of “Chicago” and “Iraq”.

6. Titles of lawsuits?: Abbr. : ESQS
The title "esquire" is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, "esquire" is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

7. Greek letter : TAU
Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, the letter which gave rise to our Roman "T". Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

8. Out : ALIBI
"Alibi" is the Latin word for "elsewhere" as in, "I claim that I was 'elsewhere' when the crime was committed ... I have an 'alibi'".

10. Skating maneuver : LUTZ
In figure skating, a Lutz is a toe-pick-assisted jump that one starts skating backwards and ends skating backwards (there's more to it that I don't really understand!). The maneuver is named after Alois Lutz, an Austrian skater who first performed it in competition way back in 1913. Lutz wowed the crowd with a single jump, and today both men and women are landing triple Lutz jumps. No one has landed a clean quadruple Lutz in competition.

12. Words With Friends, e.g. : APP
“Words With Friends” is a word game application that can be played on smartphones and other electronic devices. “Words With Friends” is basically Scrabble under a different name, I hear.

13. Oscars V.I.P.s : MCS
The term "emcee" comes from "MC", an initialism standing for Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

21. Composer who co-created "Oblique Strategies" : ENO
The musician Brian Eno co-created “Oblique Strategies” in 1975. We’re not talking about a musical album here, but rather a deck of printed cards. Each card contains a cryptic remark that is designed to encourage lateral thinking, the idea being to break a creative block. Examples of phrases on the cards are:
- Use an old idea
- Try faking it!
- What would your closest friend do?

24. When shortened, violin feature : FOXHOLE (shortened to “F-hole”)
The hole(s) in the upper sound board of a stringed musical instrument is known as a “sound hole”. Interestingly, the hole itself isn’t the main source of the musical sound, but rather allows for more vibration of the sound board, which provides most of the sound. Sound holes have different shapes. The holes in the instruments from the violin family are F-holes.

32. Sommelier's concern : AROMA
“Sommelier” is the French word for a wine steward. If that steward(ess) is a female, then the French term is “sommelière”.

34. When shortened, topic in sexology : GUEST SPOT (shortened to “G-spot”)
The full name for the G-Spot is the “Gräfenberg Spot”, named after German doctor Ernst Gräfenberg. Gräfenberg is best known for developing the intrauterine device (IUD).

36. Its eastern and western borders are formed entirely by rivers : IOWA
The state of Iowa is bordered by the Mississippi River to the east, and by the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers to the west.

40. 1777 battle site : SARATOGA
The Battles of Saratoga, in September and October of 1777, were a crucial turning point in the American Revolutionary War. The two battles were attempts by British forces led by General John Burgoyne to break through surrounding American forces. Both attempts were unsuccessful, forcing Burgoyne to surrender his whole army. News of the surrender helped spur the French to join the war as an American ally.

42. Modern-day harvester : SPAMBOT
Spambots are nasty little computer programs that send out spam emails and messages, often from fake accounts. This blog gets about 300 spam comments a day that I have to delete, almost all of which are written by spambots.

45. Popular boots that originated from surf culture : UGGS
Uggs are sheepskin boots that originated in Australia and New Zealand. Uggs have sheepskin fleece on the inside for comfort and insulation, with a tanned leather surface on the outside for durability. Ugg is a generic term down under, although it’s a brand name here in the US.

47. Puck, for one : IMP
Puck (aka Robin Goodfellow) is a character in William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, one of the Fairies in the tale. One of Puck’s tasks in the storyline is to use love juice that is made from a flower that has been hit by cupid’s arrow. The magical juice is applied to the eyelids of someone sleeping, so that the person wakes and falls in love with the first living things he or she sees. Of course, Puck drops the love juice on the wrong character …

50. Conductor Järvi : PAAVO
Paavo Järvi is a conductor from Estonia who was music director of the Cincinnati Symphony from 2001 to 2011.

52. Simple-living folk : AMISH
The Amish are a group of Christian churches, a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. The Amish church originated in Switzerland and Alsace in 1693 when it was founded by Jakob Ammann. It was Ammann who gave the name to the Amish people. Many Amish people came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

53. Hallström who directed "The Cider House Rules" : LASSE
Lasse Hallström is a film director from Sweden who made his name directing almost all of the music videos for the sensational group ABBA. The list of movies he directed includes “The Cider House Rules” (1999), “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” (1993 and “Chocolat” (2000). Hallström has been married to Swedish actress Lena Olin, star of “Chocolat”, since 1994.

56. Alternative to Beneful : IAMS
Iams dog food was produced by the animal nutritionist Paul Iams. He felt that household pets were suffering somewhat by being fed a diet of table scraps, so he developed a dry dog food that he felt was more nutritious and suitable for pet dogs. He founded the Iams company, now part of Procter & Gamble, in 1946.

57. 1993 and 1995's ___ Accords : OSLO
The Oslo Accords grew out of secret negotiations between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel in a residence in Oslo in the early nineties. The delegates shared the same house while they conducted 14 meetings. While eating all their meals together at the same table, the negotiators came to respect one another and apparently friendships developed.

58. ___ Boston (luxury hotel) : TAJ
The hotel known today as the Taj Boston was opened in 1927 as the Ritz Carlton.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Foe of the Ottomans : SLAVS
6. Info for some limo drivers : ETAS
10. Nursery bagful : LOAM
14. A white one is said to symbolize "I'm sorry" : TULIP
15. Shop window sign : SALE
16. Like dumb blonde jokes : UN-PC
17. Brother Antonio or Girolamo in music history : AMATI
18. When shortened, ear swabs : QUICK TIPS (shortened to “Q-tips”)
20. 2016's "Ghostbusters" and "Ben-Hur" : REMAKES
22. Film chimp : BONZO
23. Hot : STOLEN
24. "Be that way!" : FINE!
25. Warriors' league, for short : NBA
28. Feature of many an action film, paradoxically : SLO-MO
30. Refuse : DEBRIS
32. Rolling Stones #1 hit with the line "You're beautiful, but ain't it time we said goodbye?" : ANGIE
35. y, for one : AXIS
37. Music box music : LILT
38. Compact material : ROUGE
39. Second letter before 7-Down : RHO
40. Lightly burn : SINGE
41. Place where things may be burned : OVEN
42. Put away : STOW
43. It's a deadly sin : ANGER
44. Make a mistake : MESS UP
46. Scottish estate owner : LAIRD
48. ___-country (music genre) : ALT
49. Open wide : GAPE
51. Chicken tikka ___ : MASALA
55. Letter before 7-Down : SIGMA
57. Best : OPTIMAL
58. When shortened, ski lifts : TAPAS BARS (shortened to “T-bars”)
61. Pindar, for one : ODIST
62. Small matter? : ATOM
63. London cricket ground, with "the" : OVAL
64. Painter's preparation : GESSO
65. One might ask for them to be cooled : JETS
66. Ordering option : TO GO
67. Grateful? : ASHES

Down
1. Hollywood Boulevard sights : STARS
2. "Network" director : LUMET
3. 1836 battle site : ALAMO
4. When shortened, winning symbols : VITAL SIGNS (shortened to “V-signs”)
5. "Chi-Raq" director, 2015 : SPIKE LEE
6. Titles of lawsuits?: Abbr. : ESQS
7. Greek letter : TAU
8. Out : ALIBI
9. Another plate : SECONDS
10. Skating maneuver : LUTZ
11. When shortened, rocket seal : ONION RING (shortened to “O-rings”)
12. Words With Friends, e.g. : APP
13. Oscars V.I.P.s : MCS
19. ___-length : KNEE
21. Composer who co-created "Oblique Strategies" : ENO
24. When shortened, violin feature : FOXHOLE (shortened to “F-hole”)
26. Hogwash : BILGE
27. Butterfly attractor : ASTER
29. Mini-___ : MART
31. When shortened, lesser-played songs : BLINDSIDES (shortened to “B-sides”)
32. Sommelier's concern : AROMA
33. Untried : NOVEL
34. When shortened, topic in sexology : GUEST SPOT (shortened to “G-spot”)
36. Its eastern and western borders are formed entirely by rivers : IOWA
40. 1777 battle site : SARATOGA
42. Modern-day harvester : SPAMBOT
45. Popular boots that originated from surf culture : UGGS
47. Puck, for one : IMP
50. Conductor Järvi : PAAVO
52. Simple-living folk : AMISH
53. Hallström who directed "The Cider House Rules" : LASSE
54. Some flutes : ALTOS
56. Alternative to Beneful : IAMS
57. 1993 and 1995's ___ Accords : OSLO
58. ___ Boston (luxury hotel) : TAJ
59. Took 9-Down, say : ATE
60. Remover of dirt ... or spreader of dirt? : RAG


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3 comments :

Anonymous said...

Pretty tough: 30:51, and I had two errors, where GESSO and LASSE cross. Both those are "know-it-or-you-don't" types of answers. Not in love with the "theme", as the words you "accordion" to fit the clue have nothing to do with the full-length entry. Pretty disingenuous and quite a bit forced.

BruceB said...

31:07, no errors. Came close to giving up several times. This one hit me right in my weak spots: directors, producers, composers, etc. As anonymous stated above, I, too, expected the theme answers to be connected. V-SIGN should be VICTORY, Q-TIP should be QUALITY, and so on. Once I determined that this was not the case, things went much quicker.

Tom M. said...

Anonymous and BruceB: I have to admire you both for your relatively fast times on a tough puzzle, but have to dissent a bit from your quibbles.

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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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