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0502-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 May 17, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD CONSTRUCTOR: David J. Kahn
THEME: Best Musicals
Each of today’s themed answers starts with the name of a stage musical that won the Tony Award for Best Musical:
66A. Award won by the starts of 17-, 25-, 39- and 52-Across and 11- and 29-Down : BEST MUSICAL

17A. Markswoman dubbed "Little Sure Shot" [1977] : ANNIE OAKLEY (giving “Annie”)
25A. Variety of pool [1982] : NINE-BALL (giving “Nine”)
39A. Capital city with only about 1,000 residents [2016] : HAMILTON, BERMUDA (giving “Hamilton”)
52A. Landlord's register [1996] : RENT ROLL (giving “Rent”)
11D. 400 meters, for an Olympic track [2012] : ONCE AROUND (giving “Once”)
29D. Superloyal employee [1971] : COMPANY MAN (giving “Company”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 59s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

11. Law man : OHM
The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every schoolkid knows as Ohm's Law.

16. "... fish ___ fowl" : NOR
Something that is “neither fish nor fowl” is not recognizable, is not familiar at all.

17. Markswoman dubbed "Little Sure Shot" [1977] : ANNIE OAKLEY (giving “Annie”)
Many regard Annie Oakley as the first American female superstar, given her celebrity as a sharpshooter in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. She toured with the show all over Europe, and performed her act for the likes of Queen Victoria of England and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. Supposedly, using a .22 caliber rifle from 90 feet away, Oakley could split a playing card edge-on, and shoot five or six holes in the card before it hit the ground!

The Broadway musical “Annie” is produced in more than one version. There is an “Annie Jr.” that has been edited down to a shortened version more suitable for young performers and audiences. An even shorter version that lasts only 30 minutes is called “Annie KIDS”, and is meant for performers still in elementary school.

19. Male swan : COB
An adult male swan is called a “cob”, and an adult female is a “pen”. Young swans are called “swanlings” or “cygnets”.

20. Site of two French banks : SEINE
The famous “Left Bank” (“La Rive Gauche”) of the River Seine in Paris is the river’s southern bank. The area south of the river was traditionally quite bohemian and was home to artists, students and intellectuals.

The “Right Bank” (“La Rive Droite”) of the river Seine in Paris was historically more affluent than the colorful Left Bank. The most famous street on the Right Bank is the elegant “Champs-Élysées”.

22. Prefix with center : EPI-
The “epicenter” is that point on the surface of the earth which is directly above the focus of an earthquake.

23. High lines : ELS
Elevated railroad (El)

25. Variety of pool [1982] : NINE-BALL (giving “Nine”)
Eight-ball and nine-ball are arguably the most popular variants of pool played in North America. In eight-ball, one player sinks the striped balls, and the other the solid balls. The first to sink all his or her balls, and then the black 8-ball, without fouling wins the game. In nine-ball, each player must hit the lowest numbered ball on the table first with the cue ball. The first player to sink the 9-ball wins. Sinking the nine ball can happen when first hitting the lowest bowl on the table, or possibly when balls numbered 1-8 have been sunk.

27. 2017 N.C.A.A. basketball champs : UNC
The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill started enrolling students way back in 1795, making it the oldest public university in the country (the first to enrol students).

32. Rapidly spreading over the internet : VIRAL
A computer virus has characteristics very similar to a virus found in nature. It is a small computer program that can copy itself and can infect another host (computer).

39. Capital city with only about 1,000 residents [2016] : HAMILTON, BERMUDA (giving “Hamilton”)
Hamilton is the capital of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda located in the North Atlantic Ocean. The city was founded in 1790 and was named for Henry Hamilton, who was Governor of Bermuda at that time. As recently as 2016, Hamilton has topped the list of the most expensive cities in the world in which to live.

45. "Right away!" : STAT!
The exact etymology of "stat", a term meaning "immediately" in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin "statim" meaning "to a standstill, immediately". A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for "short turn-around time".

46. Geraint's wife, in Arthurian legend : ENID
Enid is a Welsh name, from "einit" an old Welsh word meaning "purity". Enid was the wife of Geraint, one of King Arthur's knights. Enid is described as "the personification of spotless purity".

51. "Gloria in Excelsis ___" (hymn) : DEO
“Gloria in excelsis Deo” is a Latin hymn, the title of which translates as “Glory to God in the highest”.

52. Landlord's register [1996] : RENT ROLL (giving “Rent”)
The musical “Rent” by Jonathan Larson is based on the Puccini opera “La bohème”. “Rent” tells the story of struggling artists and musicians living in the Lower East Side of New York, and is set against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic. We saw “Rent” on Broadway quite a few years ago and we were very disappointed …

56. Ring on a string : LEI
"Lei" is the Hawaiian word for “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a “lei” is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

58. Columbia, for one : IVY
Columbia University is an Ivy League school in New York City. Columbia’s athletic teams are called the Lions, thought to be a reference to the lion on the English coat of arms. Prior to the American Revolution, Columbia was called King’s College as it was chartered by King George II in 1754.

61. Boise's home : IDAHO
Boise, Idaho is the largest metropolitan area in the state by far. There are a number of stories pertaining to the etymology of the name “Boise”. One is that French trappers named the tree-lined river that ran through the area “la rivière boisée”, meaning “the wooded river”.

65. President pro ___ : TEM
Pro tempore can be abbreviated to "pro tem" or "p.t." "Pro tempore" is a Latin phrase that best translates as "for the time being". It is used to describe a person who is acting for another, usually a superior. The President pro tempore of the US Senate is the person who presides over the Senate in the absence of the Vice President of the US. It has been tradition since 1890 that the president pro tem is the most senior senator in the majority party. The president pro tem ranks highly in the line of succession to the presidency, falling third in line after the Vice President and the Speaker of the House.

70. Country north of Latvia : ESTONIA
Estonia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs) and is located in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea, due south of Finland. Estonia has been overrun and ruled by various empires over the centuries. The country did enjoy a few years of freedom at the beginning of the 20th century after a war of independence against the Russian Empire. However, Estonia was occupied again during WWII, first by the Russians and then by the Germans, and then reoccupied by the Soviets in 1944. Estonia has flourished as an independent country again since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

71. Hankering : YEN
The word "yen", meaning "urge", has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word "yin" imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium!

72. 70-Across, e.g., formerly: Abbr. : SSR
(70A. Country north of Latvia : ESTONIA)
Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR)

73. TV's "Maverick" or "Gunsmoke" : WESTERN
“Maverick” is a TV series set in the Wild West and starring James Garner as Bret Maverick. Midway through the first series, Bret was given a brother called Bart, who was played by Jack Kelly. Once the brother’s character was introduced, Bart and Bret alternated as the lead character in each weekly episode. Both Mavericks were expert poker players who got themselves in and out of all sorts of trouble. After the third season, James Garner left the show and was replaced by actor Roger Moore who played a Maverick cousin called Beau. Still later, actor Robert Colbert was introduced as a third brother called Brent Maverick.

“Gunsmoke” is a Western drama series that originally aired on television from 1955 to 1975, with James Arness starring as Marshall Matt Dillon. The TV show was adapted from a radio show of the same name that ran from 1952 to 1961, with William Conrad playing Marshall Dillon.

Down
1. They may be strapless or padded : BRAS
The word “brassière” is French in origin, but it isn’t the word the French use for a “bra”. In France, what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the neck”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breastplate” and from there the word was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

8. Nita of silent films : NALDI
Nita Naldi was a silent film actress from New York City who usually played a "femme fatale" type of role.

11. 400 meters, for an Olympic track [2012] : ONCE AROUND (giving “Once”)
“Once” is a stage musical adapted from the 2007 Irish musical film of the same name directed by John Carney. The stage version premiered Off-Broadway in 2011. I guess in typical Irish fashion, the set features a bar that’s used during the action of the play, In most productions, the bar on stage is used to serve drinks for audience members before the show and during the intermission.

12. Commotion : HOOPLA
The word “hoopla” means “boisterous excitement”. The term probably comes from “houp-là”, something the French say instead of “upsy-daisy”. Then again, “upsy-daisy” probably isn’t something said very often here in the US …

13. Clay character in old "S.N.L." sketches : MR BILL
Mr. Bill is a clay figure who appeared in shorts broadcast on “Saturday Night Live”. Mr. Bill first featured in a Super-8 reel shot by Walter Williams and submitted to the show. Williams went on to become a full-time writer for the show.

26. 1996 Foo Fighters hit : BIG ME
Foo Fighters are described as an alternative rock band, one formed in 1994 by the drummer from Nirvana, Dave Grohl. The term "Foo fighters" originally applied to unidentified flying objects reported by allied airmen during WWII. Spooky …

28. Hunters' org. : NRA
National Rifle Association (NRA)

29. Superloyal employee [1971] : COMPANY MAN (giving “Company”)
“Company” is a comedy stage musical by Stephen Sondheim that premiered on Broadway in 1970. The show was originally titled “Threes”, a reference to the three girlfriends that the main character juggles.

34. Oscar winner for "Hannah and Her Sisters" : WIEST
Dianne Wiest is an actress from Kansas City, Missouri. Wiest has won two Best Supporting Actress Academy Awards, for “Hannah and Her Sisters” in 1987 and for “Bullets over Broadway” in 1995. In both movies, she was directed by Woody Allen.

“Hannah and Her Sisters” is a 1986 comedy-drama film that was written and directed by Woody Allen. Hannah is played by Mia Farrow, and Hannah’s two sisters are played by Barbara Hershey and Dianne Wiest.

37. Means of avoiding an uphill climb : T-BAR
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.

48. Noted colonial silversmith : REVERE
Paul Revere is famous for having alerted the Colonial militia when the British military arrived in the build up to the battles of Lexington and Concord. Revere earned his living as a silversmith. After the war, Revere returned to his trade and diversified into other metalwork. Revere was the first American to develop a process to roll copper into sheets so that the metal could be used to sheathe the hulls of naval vessels.

60. Eurasian duck : SMEW
The smew is a beautiful-looking species of duck found right across northern Europe and Asia. The smew requires trees to complete its breeding cycle as it nests in tree holes, such as old woodpecker nests.

64. Pearl Buck heroine : O-LAN
Pearl S. Buck’s novel “The Good Earth” won a Pulitzer in 1932, and helped Buck win the Nobel Prize for literature a few years later. The novel tells of life in a Chinese village and follows the fortunes of Wang Lung and his wife O-Lan. Although “The Good Earth” has been around for decades, it hit the bestseller list again in 2004 when it was a pick for Oprah’s Book Club.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Like some basketball shots and unwanted calls : BLOCKED
8. Slangy turndown : NAH
11. Law man : OHM
14. Woo : ROMANCE
15. ___ crossroads : AT A
16. "... fish ___ fowl" : NOR
17. Markswoman dubbed "Little Sure Shot" [1977] : ANNIE OAKLEY (giving “Annie”)
19. Male swan : COB
20. Site of two French banks : SEINE
21. Free from : RID OF
22. Prefix with center : EPI-
23. High lines : ELS
25. Variety of pool [1982] : NINE-BALL (giving “Nine”)
27. 2017 N.C.A.A. basketball champs : UNC
30. Opposite of a gulp : SIP
32. Rapidly spreading over the internet : VIRAL
33. Mushroom or balloon : GROW
35. Group that takes pledges, informally : FRAT
38. Massage target? : EGO
39. Capital city with only about 1,000 residents [2016] : HAMILTON, BERMUDA (giving “Hamilton”)
44. Stew morsel : PEA
45. "Right away!" : STAT!
46. Geraint's wife, in Arthurian legend : ENID
47. Understand : GRASP
49. Rallying cry? : RAH!
51. "Gloria in Excelsis ___" (hymn) : DEO
52. Landlord's register [1996] : RENT ROLL (giving “Rent”)
56. Ring on a string : LEI
58. Columbia, for one : IVY
59. Winds down in a pit? : OBOES
61. Boise's home : IDAHO
65. President pro ___ : TEM
66. Award won by the starts of 17-, 25-, 39- and 52-Across and 11- and 29-Down : BEST MUSICAL
68. ___-la-la : TRA
69. Get a good look at : EYE
70. Country north of Latvia : ESTONIA
71. Hankering : YEN
72. 70-Across, e.g., formerly: Abbr. : SSR
73. TV's "Maverick" or "Gunsmoke" : WESTERN

Down
1. They may be strapless or padded : BRAS
2. Solo : LONE
3. Luxury hotel chain : OMNI
4. Oscar winner for "Hannah and Her Sisters" : CAINE
5. Prepares to be knighted : KNEELS
6. Prefix with tourism : ECO-
7. Sweetie : DEAR
8. Nita of silent films : NALDI
9. Used as the surface for a meal : ATE ON
10. Antihistamine target : HAY FEVER
11. 400 meters, for an Olympic track [2012] : ONCE AROUND (giving “Once”)
12. Commotion : HOOPLA
13. Clay character in old "S.N.L." sketches : MR BILL
18. They're related : KIN
24. Search (through) : SIFT
26. 1996 Foo Fighters hit : BIG ME
27. "That's awful!" : UGH!
28. Hunters' org. : NRA
29. Superloyal employee [1971] : COMPANY MAN (giving “Company”)
31. Crackerjacks : PROS
34. Oscar winner for "Hannah and Her Sisters" : WIEST
36. Caste member : ANT
37. Means of avoiding an uphill climb : T-BAR
40. Blankets for open-air travelers : LAP ROBES
41. Series ender: Abbr. : ET AL
42. Run out of power : DIE
43. Commotion : ADO
47. Courageously persistent : GRITTY
48. Noted colonial silversmith : REVERE
50. Bank jobs : HEISTS
53. Follows orders : OBEYS
54. Deadbeat, e.g. : LOSER
55. Tennis call : LET!
57. Buffoon : IDIOT
60. Eurasian duck : SMEW
62. Teen woe : ACNE
63. Wig, e.g. : HAIR
64. Pearl Buck heroine : O-LAN
67. Helpfulness : USE


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10 comments :

Jeff said...

Tricky for a Tuesday. I find myself saying that almost every Tuesday so maybe I should recalibrate what I think Tuesday level difficulty is...This took me longer than usual to complete. Part of my issue was thinking these were Best Pictures so I had to fix (picture to MUSICAL) that corner eventually.

There was a lot I needed to get via crosses as well - NALDI, BIG ME, WIEST, O-LAN, ENID and even RENT ROLL was new to me although it was rather obvious anyway.

MR BILL is one of the few skits I remember liking on a consistent basis from SNL over the years. Maybe add the Coneheads to that list..

Best -

Carrie said...

I tell ya gang, it amuses me to get the message "Congratulations! You finished a Tuesday puzzle in 21:57!" I'm just glad they don't mention the errors while congratulating me -- and I had several on this puzzle. A challenging and well-written grid, but I got stuck in several places and just hit "REVEAL WORD." Ha!
Think I'll call in sick for the Wednesday NYT~~

Carrie said...

....And furthermore! I was happy to see the two mentions of one of my fave movies, Hannah and her Sisters. Both Dianne Wiest and Michael Caine did wonderful work. Sam Waterston was also in the film, and it always amuses me that, only a few years later, he was DA McCoy to Wiest's attorney general on Law & Order.

Sfingi said...

Had Luv before LET (sports) and Woody before WIEST - but Woody did also get an award.

Never heard of BIG ME, but no problem.

Lots of humor, and I appreciate that Mr. Kahn: SEINE, OBOES, TBAR, OHM Keep it up!

Dave Kennison said...

9:52, no errors. Favorite clue: "Law man" for OHM. Classic.

BruceB said...

16:36, no errors. This puzzle hit me in every vulnerable area: musicals, 'chick flicks', pop/rock culture post ABBA and Fleetwood Mac. Also got caught by the misdirect 59A 'Winds down in a pit' (winds with a short 'i' not a long 'i').

Tom M. said...

Replayed MRBILL in memory, remembering the abuse he seemed to suffer, with amusement and pity. (I'm no sadist, I swear.) Good Tuesday fare.

Anonymous said...

14:27, and an embarassing 4 errors. I never got ONCE AROUND for 11D, and didn't back check after wrestling the rest of the puzzle down. Came back to bite me.

This one didn't really agree with me....

Dale Stewart said...

No errors but more difficult than the average Tuesday. I know very little about stage musicals. I've never seen one that I could say that I liked. Sometimes the stories are quite engrossing and then they begin singing and spoil it all. I really like music otherwise. I just don't see the point of it breaking into the continuity of works of drama.

Glenn said...

21 minutes, no errors. Pretty difficult for the theme entries, but a few bits of strange fill too.

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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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