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0531-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 31 May 16, Tuesday





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: Sarah Keller
THEME: E-I-E-I-O
Today’s sequence of themed answers starts with the single letters E-I-E-I-O, which is the refrain to “Old McDonald Had a Farm”.
69A. Children's song refrain found at the starts of 17-, 26-, 35-, 50- and 57-Across : E-I-E-I-O
17A. Bruce Springsteen's group : E STREET BAND
26A. Offensive football lineup : I-FORMATION
35A. Phrase on the back of a buck : E PLURIBUS UNUM
50A. Cole Porter classic from "Can-Can" : I LOVE PARIS
57A. Surprise ending, as in "The Gift of the Magi" : O'HENRY TWIST
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME:6m 42s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Cretan peak: Abbr. : MT IDA
There are two peaks called Mount Ida that are sacred according to Greek mythology. Mount Ida in Crete is the island's highest point, and is where one can find the cave in which Zeus was reared. Mount Ida in Asia Minor (located in modern-day Turkey) is where Ganymede was swept up by Zeus in the form of an eagle that took him to Olympus where he served as cupbearer to the gods.

11. Home of George W. Bush's library, for short : SMU
Southern Methodist University (SMU) is located in University Park, Texas (part of Dallas), and was founded in 1911. SMU is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

17. Bruce Springsteen's group : E STREET BAND
The E Street Band is the backing group for Bruce Springsteen. The band came together in 1972 but didn't take a formal name until two years later. The keyboard player in the original line up was David Sancious, and his mother allowed the group to rehearse at her home. That home was on E Street in Belmar, New Jersey, and that's where the band got their name.

19. Sheepskin boot name : UGG
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.

22. Vodka brand : SKYY
Skyy Vodka is produced in the US, although the operation is owned by the Campari Group headquartered in Italy. Skyy first hit the shelves in 1992 when it was created by an entrepreneur from San Francisco, California.

32. Longtime New York Times film critic : AO SCOTT
A. O. Scott is the chief film critic, a role he shares with Manohla Dargis. Scott also filled in many times for Roger Ebert on the TV show “Ebert & Roeper”, while Ebert was ill.

33. Adele song with the lyric "I must have called a thousand times" : HELLO
Adele is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. More recently, her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

34. Letters associated with a rainbow flag : LGBT
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)

The best-known rainbow flag is the one representing gay pride. Such usage of the rainbow flag was popularized in 1978 by artist Gilbert Baker. The varying colors of the flag represent the diversity of the gay community.

35. Phrase on the back of a buck : E PLURIBUS UNUM
From 1776, "E pluribus unum" was the unofficial motto of the United States. “E pluribus unum” is Latin for “Out of many, one”. It was pushed aside in 1956 when an Act of Congress designated "In God We Trust" as the country's official motto.

44. Gourd-shaped rattles : MARACAS
Maracas are percussion instruments native to Latin America. They are constructed from a dried shell, like that of a coconut, to which a handle is attached. The shell is filled with dried seeds or beans, and shaken.

A gourd is a plant in the same family as the cucumber. The hollow, dried out shell of the fruit is large and rounded, and used for a number of purposes. Gourds make fine bottles and bowls, and resonating chambers as part of musical instruments ... and drums.

48. Respectful term for a conductor : MAESTRO
“Maestro” is often used to address a musical conductor. “Maestro” (plural “maestri”) is the Italian word for “master, teacher”. The plural in English is usually “maestros”.

50. Cole Porter classic from "Can-Can" : I LOVE PARIS
The Cole Porter musical "Can-Can" was first produced on Broadway, in 1953, where it ran for two years. There was a very successful film adaptation (which I saw recently ... it's good stuff) released in 1960, starring Shirley MacLaine, Frank Sinatra and Maurice Chevalier. During filming, the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev visited the set as part of a tour of 20th Century Fox studios. He made a big splash in the media at the time describing what he saw as "depraved" and "pornographic".

54. Folkie Phil : OCHS
Phil Ochs was an American protest singer who was active in the days of the Vietnam War. Sadly, the singer’s mental health declined at the very time the war was winding down. Saigon fell in 1975, and Ochs committed suicide in 1976.

57. Surprise ending, as in "The Gift of the Magi" : O. HENRY TWIST
O. Henry was the pen name of writer William Sydney Porter from Greensboro, North Carolina. O. Henry is famous for his witty short stories that have a clever twist in the tail.

O’Henry’s short story called "The Gift of the Magi" was first published in 1905. It tells of relatively poor, newly-married couple who want to buy each other a gift for Christmas. The wife’s pride and joy is her long blonde hair, while the husband’s most treasured possession is his grandfather’s gold pocket watch. The wife sells her hair to buy her gift, and the husband sells his watch to buy his gift for his spouse. The wife is given a set of combs, hair accessories that are useless now that her hair is short. The husband gets a platinum fob chain for the watch that he no longer owns.

64. 11-Down that made "King Kong" : RKO
(11D. Where to find a soundstage : STUDIO)
When RKO released the 1933 movie “King Kong”, the promotional material listed the ape’s height as 50 feet. During filming, a bust was created for a 40-foot ape, as well as a full-size hand that went with a 70-foot Kong.

65. Picture book character lost in a crowd : WALDO
The reference is to the series of children's illustrated books called "Where's Waldo?", originally titled "Where's Wally?" in Britain where the books originated. The book contains page after page of illustrations with crowds of people surrounding famous landmarks from around the world. The challenge is to find Waldo/Wally, who is hidden in the crowd.

67. Frodo's best friend : SAM
Samwise Gamgee is the sidekick to Frodo Baggins in Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”.

Frodo Baggins is a principal character in J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings". Frodo is a Hobbit, and is charged with the quest of destroying Sauron's Ring in the fires of Mount Doom.

69. Children's song refrain found at the starts of 17-, 26-, 35-, 50- and 57-Across : E-I-E-I-O
There was an American version of the English children's song "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" (E-I-E-I-O), that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the US version goes "Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o".

Down
1. ___ Palace (Elsa's hide-out in "Frozen") : ICE
“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”.

2. "___ Doubtfire" : MRS
The 1993 comedy “Mrs. Doubtfire” is based on a 1987 novel called “Madame Doubtfire” by Anne Fine. The movie is set and was filmed in San Francisco. The title role is played by Robin Williams who spent most of the movie dressed as the female Mrs. Doubtfire. Perhaps not surprisingly, the movie won the Oscar for Best Makeup.

4. New Deal prez : FDR
“The New Deal” was the series of economic programs championed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. The New Deal was focused on three objectives, the “3 Rs”:
- Relief for the unemployed and poor
- Recovery of the economy to normal levels
- Reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression

7. No-no : TABOO
The word "taboo" was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book "A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean". Cook described "tabu" (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.

8. Glass of "This American Life" : IRA
Ira Glass is a greatly-respected presenter on American Public Radio, most noted for his show "This American Life". I was interested to learn that one of my favorite composers, Philip Glass, is Ira's first cousin.

18. Buffalo's county : ERIE
Buffalo is the second most-populous city in the state of New York. The city takes its name from Buffalo Creek that runs through the metropolis (although the waterway is called Buffalo River within the city). The source of the name Buffalo Creek is the subject of much speculation, but one thing is clear, there were never any bison in the area.

22. Globe shape: Abbr. : SPH
Sphere (sph.)

23. "Red Balloon" painter Paul : KLEE
The artist Paul Klee was born in Switzerland, but studied art in Munich in Germany. You can see many of Klee's works in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. If you get to Bern in Switzerland, even more of them can be seen at the Zentrum Paul Klee that was opened in 2005.

24. App with restaurant reviews : YELP
yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”. I have a young neighbor here who used to work for yelp ...

27. Prego alternative : RAGU
The Ragú brand of pasta sauce is owned by Unilever. The name " Ragù" is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is off a little. In Italian the word is "Ragù" with a grave accent over the "u", but if you look at a jar of the sauce on the supermarket shelf it is spelled "Ragú" on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don't try ...

The Prego brand of pasta sauce is owned by the Campbell Soup Company. It is actually based on the family recipe of one of the company's chefs. "Prego" literally means "I pray" in Italian, but it translates in English best as "you're welcome" when it is used after a "thank you" ("grazie", in Italian).

34. Corp. takeover : 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.

37. Ingrid Bergman's "Casablanca" role : ILSA
Ilsa Lund was played by Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie "Casablanca". I love the words of one critic describing the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman in this film: "she paints his face with her eyes". Wow ...

38. Snack : NOSH
Our word "nosh" has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word "nashn" meaning "to nibble".

40. Joan of art : MIRO
Joan Miro was a Spanish artist. Miro immersed himself in Surrealism, so much so that Andre Breton, the founder of the movement, said that Miro was "the most Surrealist of us all".

43. Bobby : U.K. :: ___ : U.S. : COP
“To cop” was northern British dialect for “to seize, catch”. This verb evolved in the noun “copper”, describing a policeman, someone who catches criminals. “Copper” is often shortened to “cop”.

Police officers in the UK are sometimes called "bobbies" (and used to be called "peelers"). The name refers back to Sir Robert Peel who, when Home Secretary, created the modern police force.

44. Scrooge types : MISERS
The classic 1843 novella "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to popular use of the phrase "Merry Christmas", and secondly it gave us the word "scrooge" meaning a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that Ebenezer Scrooge uttered the words "Bah! Humbug!".

45. U.S. state closest to the International Date Line : ALASKA
The International Date Line (IDL) is an imaginary line that runs north-south along the 180-degree line of latitude (with a few deviations). The IDL is located on the opposite side of the Earth to the Prime Meridian, which runs through Greenwich, England. A person flying non-stop around the world from east to west loses one hour each time he or she crosses a time zone. When that person arrives back at his or her starting point, she would have lost 24 hours in total, a full day. So, the traveller has to compensate by moving the calendar forward 24 hours, by adding a day. By convention, this change of date is made when crossing the IDL.

46. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" or "When Harry Met Sally ..." : ROMCOM
Not only is the delightful Nia Vardalos the star of the 2002 hit movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", she also wrote the screenplay. The film never made it to number one at the box office, but it still pulled in more money than any other movie in history that didn't make it to number one. That record I think reflects the fact that the film wasn't a blockbuster but rather a so-called "sleeper hit", a movie that people went to see based on referrals from friends. The big fat mistake came when a spin-off TV show was launched, "My Big Fat Greek Life". It ran for only 7 episodes. The 2016 sequel “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” had better luck in theaters.

“When Harry Met Sally... “ is a 1989 romantic comedy starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in the title roles. This marvelous film was written by the late Nora Ephron and directed by Rob Reiner.

47. "___ Maria" : AVE
"Ave Maria" ("Hail Mary" in English) is the prayer at the core of the Roman Catholic Rosary, which itself is a set of prayers asking for the assistance of the Virgin Mary. Much of the text of the "Hail Mary" comes from the Gospel of Luke. The words in Latin are:
AVE MARIA, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
The prayer has been adapted as a hymn. The two most famous musical versions of “Ave Maria” are by Charles Gounod (based on a piece by Bach) and by Franz Schubert.

48. One-millionth of a meter : MICRON
The measurement of length called a “micron” is more correctly referred to a micrometer (or “micrometre”). It is equivalent to one millionth of a meter.

49. Like a barbecue pit : ASHY
It is believed that our word “barbecue” (BBQ) comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

51. Last movement of a sonata : RONDO
A rondo was often chosen by composers in the classical period for the last movement of a sonata (or symphony or concerto, for that matter). In rondo form there is a principal theme that alternates with a contrasting theme(s). So, the original theme anchors the whole piece in between secondary digressions.

57. Part of B.Y.O.B. : OWN
Bring Your Own Beer/Bottle/Booze (BYOB)

60. Rival of Xbox : WII
The Wii is the biggest-selling game console in the world.

The XBox line of video game consoles is made by Microsoft. The original XBox platform was followed by XBox 360 and most recently by XBox One. Microsoft’s XBox competes directly with Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s Wii.

61. "I Like ___" (old campaign slogan) : IKE
“I Like Ike” was a political slogan that originated with the grassroots movement to get Dwight D. Eisenhower to run for president in the 1952 presidential election.

62. Due x tre : SEI
In Italian, “due” (two) times “tre” (three) is “sei” (six).

63. Chinese menu general : TSO
General Tso's chicken is an American creation, often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "Gotta run!" : I’M OFF!
6. Cretan peak: Abbr. : MT IDA
11. Home of George W. Bush's library, for short : SMU
14. Potty-mouthed : CRUDE
15. Rowed : OARED
16. ___ and feather : TAR
17. Bruce Springsteen's group : E STREET BAND
19. Sheepskin boot name : UGG
20. Jazz combo, often : TRIO
21. Advantage : EDGE
22. Vodka brand : SKYY
26. Offensive football lineup : I-FORMATION
30. Makes happy : PLEASES
32. Longtime New York Times film critic : AO SCOTT
33. Adele song with the lyric "I must have called a thousand times" : HELLO
34. Letters associated with a rainbow flag : LGBT
35. Phrase on the back of a buck : E PLURIBUS UNUM
41. Move, in real-estate lingo : RELO
42. Subject of discussion : TOPIC
44. Gourd-shaped rattles : MARACAS
48. Respectful term for a conductor : MAESTRO
50. Cole Porter classic from "Can-Can" : I LOVE PARIS
52. Earring shape : HOOP
53. "___ here!" : SAME
54. Folkie Phil : OCHS
56. Top-left button on most keyboards : ESC
57. Surprise ending, as in "The Gift of the Magi" : O. HENRY TWIST
64. 11-Down that made "King Kong" : RKO
65. Picture book character lost in a crowd : WALDO
66. "Oh no!" : YIKES!
67. Frodo's best friend : SAM
68. Fishline material : NYLON
69. Children's song refrain found at the starts of 17-, 26-, 35-, 50- and 57-Across : E-I-E-I-O

Down
1. ___ Palace (Elsa's hide-out in "Frozen") : ICE
2. "___ Doubtfire" : MRS
3. Publicly 34-Across : OUT
4. New Deal prez : FDR
5. Pedicure targets : FEET
6. Recurring musical ideas : MOTIFS
7. No-no : TABOO
8. Glass of "This American Life" : IRA
9. Lion's hide-out : DEN
10. Stir in : ADD
11. Where to find a soundstage : STUDIO
12. Housefly larva : MAGGOT
13. Subject heading for an important email : URGENT
18. Buffalo's county : ERIE
21. "Yadda, yadda, yadda" : ETC
22. Globe shape: Abbr. : SPH
23. "Red Balloon" painter Paul : KLEE
24. App with restaurant reviews : YELP
25. Informal pronoun : Y’ALL
27. Prego alternative : RAGU
28. Unruly crowds : MOBS
29. Quick on the uptake : ASTUTE
31. Reporter's contact : SOURCE
34. Corp. takeover : LBO
36. Gather what's been sown : REAP
37. Ingrid Bergman's "Casablanca" role : ILSA
38. Snack : NOSH
39. "What've you been ___?" : UP TO
40. Joan of art : MIRO
43. Bobby : U.K. :: ___ : U.S. : COP
44. Scrooge types : MISERS
45. U.S. state closest to the International Date Line : ALASKA
46. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" or "When Harry Met Sally ..." : ROMCOM
47. "___ Maria" : AVE
48. One-millionth of a meter : MICRON
49. Like a barbecue pit : ASHY
51. Last movement of a sonata : RONDO
55. Eye irritation : STYE
57. Part of B.Y.O.B. : OWN
58. Cushion material for some horse-drawn rides : HAY
59. Building wing : ELL
60. Rival of Xbox : WII
61. "I Like ___" (old campaign slogan) : IKE
62. Due x tre : SEI
63. Chinese menu general : TSO


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2 comments :

Dale Stewart said...

Easy Peasy.

BruceB said...

8:42, no errors. Lost some time because, for some reason, I keep thinking that Ingrid Bergman's role in Casablanca was Inga, rather than ILSA.

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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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