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0505-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 5 May 17, Friday





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 CONSTRUCTOR: Patrick Berry
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 13m 22s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Radisson rival : RAMADA
The Ramada Inn hotel chain takes its name from the Spanish word for a shady resting place. A ramada is a shelter with a roof and no walls, mainly found in the American southwest. Nowadays a ramada can be temporary or permanent, but originally ramadas were makeshift shelters constructed by aboriginal Indians from branches or bushes.

7. Title role for Bryan Cranston in a 2015 biopic : TRUMBO
Dalton Trumbo was an American novelist and screenwriter, and one of the famous "Hollywood Ten" film professionals who testified in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. Trumbo refused to give information to the committee and was found in contempt, and served 11 months in prison. Trumbo had his anti-war novel "Johnny Got His Gun" published in 1938. He also directed a film adaption that was released in 1971 that starred Timothy Bottoms.

13. Neologism coined by Cole Porter : DE-LOVELY
“It’s De-Lovely” is a song from the 1936 Cole Porter musical “Red Hot and Blue”, although the song was “recycled” for the later musical “Anything Goes”. It’s a great song, “de-lightful”, “de-licious”, “de-lovely” in fact …

A “neologism” is a new word or phrase, or a new meaning or usage for an existing word.

15. Sea that Homer called "wine-dark" : AEGEAN
The Aegean Sea is that part of the Mediterranean that lies between Greece and Turkey. Within the Aegean Sea are found the Aegean Islands, a group that includes Crete and Rhodes.

16. Song whose opening lyric translates to "What a beautiful thing is a sunny day" : ‘O SOLE MIO
"'O sole mio" is a famous Italian song from Naples, written in 1898. The song's lyrics are usually sung in the original Neapolitan, as opposed to Italian. The title translates from Neapolitan into "My Sun" (and not into "O, My Sun" as one might expect). It's a love song of course, sung by a young man declaring that there is a sun brighter than that in the sky, the sun that is his lover's face. Awww …

17. Missionaries' targets : PAGANS
A pagan is someone who holds religious beliefs that are different from the main religions of the world. In classical Latin “paganus” was a villager, a rustic.

18. Scratch : DINERO
“Dinero” is the Spanish word for money, as well as a slang term for money here in the US.

19. River bisecting Orsk : URAL
The Ural River rises in the Ural Mountains in Russia and flows for half its length through Russian territory until it crosses the border into Kazakhstan, finally emptying into the Caspian Sea.

The city of Orsk is located about 60 miles southeast of the southern tip of the Ural Mountains in Russia. The city lies on the Ural River, which forms the boundary between Europe and Asia. As a result, Orsk can be considered as lying in two continents. Orsk also lies where the Or River joins the Ural, and so the Or gives the city its name.

25. 1962 Organization of American States expellee : CUBA
The Organization of American States (OAS) has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Not all of the independent states in the Americas are members. Cuba was barred from participation in the organization after a vote in 196. Honduras had her membership suspended after the country’s 2009 coup.

26. Necromancers : MAGES
“Mage” is an archaic word for a magician.

27. Crown cover : DO-RAG
Hip-hoppers might wear do-rags today, but they have been around for centuries. If you recall the famous image of Rosie the Riveter, she was wearing a do-rag. The etymology is pretty evident, a piece of cloth (rag) to hold a hairstyle (do) in place.

28. Part of an armada : SHIP OF THE LINE
The most famous Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England in order to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I in 1588. It failed in its mission, partly due to bad weather encountered en route. Ironically, the English mounted a similar naval attack against Spain the following year, and it failed as well.

32. World's oldest currency still in use : POUND STERLING
The official name of the currency of the UK is the pound sterling (plural “pounds sterling”). The most plausible suggestion for the etymology of the term “sterling” is that it derives from the Old English “steorra” meaning “star”, with the diminutive “-ling”. The resulting “little star” or “sterling” referred to a silver penny used by the English Normans. The pound sterling is the world’s oldest currency still in use.

35. Early automotive pioneer : OLDS
The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom Eli Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.

37. Musical group with "energy domes" : DEVO
Devo is a band from Akron, Ohio formed back in 1973. The band's biggest hit is "Whip It" released in 1980. Devo have a gimmick: the wearing of red, terraced plastic hats that are referred to as “energy domes”. Why? I have no idea …

42. ___ soup : MISO
Miso is the name of the seasoning that makes the soup. Basic miso seasoning is made by fermenting rice, barley and soybeans with salt and a fungus to produce a paste. The paste can be added to stock to make miso soup, or perhaps to flavor tofu.

43. Pole topper : ICE CAP
The polar ice cap at the north of our planet is floating pack ice in the Arctic Ocean. The southern polar ice cap is an ice sheet that covers the land mass known as Antarctica. About 70% of all the freshwater on Earth is held in the southern polar ice cap.

45. LeBron James, by birth : OHIOAN
Basketball player LeBron James (nicknamed “King James”) seems to be in demand for the covers of magazines. James became the first African American man to adorn the front cover of "Vogue" in March 2008. That made him only the third male to make the "Vogue" cover, following Richard Gere and George Clooney.

47. Restless sort : GAD ABOUT
“To gad about” is to move around with little purpose. The word “gad” comes from the Middle English “gadden” meaning “to hurry”.

49. "She understands her business better than we do," per Montaigne : NATURE
Michel de Montaigne was a prominent writer of the French Renaissance, and is noted for making popular the essay ("essai" in French) as a legitimate genre of literature.

51. Banded metamorphic rock : GNEISS
Gneiss is a metamorphic rock containing bands of different colors and compositions. The term “gneiss” comes from the Middle High German “gneist” meaning “to spark”, which is a reference to the rock’s tendency to glitter.

52. Lively wit : ESPRIT
Our word “esprit”, meaning “liveliness of mind”, comes to us from Latin via French. The Latin “spiritus” means “spirit

Down
1. Substance used in Egyptian mummification : RESIN
We use the word “mummy” for a dead body that has been embalmed in preparation for burial, especially if done so by the ancient Egyptians. The term “mummy” comes from the Persian word “mumiyah” meaning “embalmed body”.

3. Earthworm trappers : MOLES
One of the more commonly known facts about my native Ireland is that there are no snakes in the country (outside of politics, that is). A less known fact is that there are no moles either. There are plenty of snakes and moles in Britain, just a few miles away. Over a pint we tend to give the credit to Saint Patrick, but the last ice age is more likely the responsible party …

6. Who said "I'm so mean I make medicine sick" : ALI
The boxer Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta?

7. Cantina offerings : TAPAS
“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.

8. De facto : REAL
Conceptually, "de jure" and "de facto" are related terms, one meaning "concerning, according to law", and the other meaning "concerning, according to fact". There is an example of the use of the two terms together from my homeland of Ireland. According to our constitution, Irish is the first language of the country, and yet almost everyone in the country uses English as his or her first language. One might say that Irish is the de jure first language, but English is the first language de facto.

9. ___ boots : UGG
Uggs are sheepskin boots that were first produced in Australia and New Zealand. The original 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.

13. Dummkopf : DODO
"Dummkopf" is a German word that translates literally as "dumb head".

25. Firth of "The King's Speech" : COLIN
Colin Firth is an English actor who came to prominence playing Mr Darcy in the fabulous television adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” that came out in 1995 (I cannot recommend that six-episode drama enough). More recently, Firth won the Best Actor Oscar for playing King George VI in “The King’s Speech”.

“The King’s Speech” is a wonderful, wonderful 2010 film about King George VI and his efforts to overcome his speech impediment. Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter all do fabulous jobs playing the lead characters. It is an independent film, so was made with a relatively low budget of $15 million, but grossed almost $400 million at box offices worldwide. “The King’s Speech” is the most successful British independent film of all time.

27. France's patron saint : DENIS
Not only is Saint Denis (also “Denys”) the patron saint of France, but he is also the patron saint of Paris. Denis was the first Bishop of Paris, in the 3rd century AD, and was martyred by having his head chopped off. The legend surrounding this event is that the executed Denis picked up his head and walked for six miles, delivering a sermon the whole way.

31. Surname of TV's "Hot Lips" : HOULIHAN
Loretta Swit started playing “Hot Lips” Houlihan on “M*A*S*H” in 1972. She and Alan Alda were the only actors who appeared in both the pilot and the series finale. Swit has written a book on needlepoint, would you believe? It’s called “A Needlepoint Scrapbook”.

36. Seven ___ (Civil War battle site) : PINES
The Battle of Seven Pines is also known as the Battle of Fair Oaks, and took place during the Civil War in the middle of 1862.

38. Things that take guts? : E COLI
Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

42. Opportunity's on it : MARS
There have been several rovers sent to Mars from Earth. The Soviet Union’s Mars 2 landed in 1971, and failed. Mars 3 landed the same year, and ceased operation just 20 seconds after landing. NASA’s Sojourner landed in 1997 (what a great day that was!) and operated from July through September. The British rover Beagle 2 was lost six days before its scheduled entry into the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Spirit landed in 2004, and operated successful for over six years before getting trapped in sand and eventually ceasing to communicate. NASA’s Opportunity also landed in 2004, and it is still going. And then NASA’s Curiosity made a spectacular, hi-tech landing in 2012 and is continuing to explore the planet today.

46. Word of agreement that sounds like a pronoun : OUI
“Oui” is “yes” in French, and “non” is “no”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Radisson rival : RAMADA
7. Title role for Bryan Cranston in a 2015 biopic : TRUMBO
13. Neologism coined by Cole Porter : DE-LOVELY
15. Sea that Homer called "wine-dark" : AEGEAN
16. Song whose opening lyric translates to "What a beautiful thing is a sunny day" : ‘O SOLE MIO
17. Missionaries' targets : PAGANS
18. Scratch : DINERO
19. River bisecting Orsk : URAL
21. Squad cmdr. : SGT
22. White notes in Monopoly : ONES
23. Golf cart foursome : TIRES
25. 1962 Organization of American States expellee : CUBA
26. Necromancers : MAGES
27. Crown cover : DO-RAG
28. Part of an armada : SHIP OF THE LINE
31. Instructions on where to go? : HOUSETRAINING
32. World's oldest currency still in use : POUND STERLING
33. Total : RUN TO
34. Grate catches? : HEELS
35. Early automotive pioneer : OLDS
36. Scoopers for taramasalata : PITAS
37. Musical group with "energy domes" : DEVO
41. End of a cause? : LIB
42. ___ soup : MISO
43. Pole topper : ICE CAP
45. LeBron James, by birth : OHIOAN
47. Restless sort : GAD ABOUT
49. "She understands her business better than we do," per Montaigne : NATURE
50. Agricultural outfit : OVERALLS
51. Banded metamorphic rock : GNEISS
52. Lively wit : ESPRIT

Down
1. Substance used in Egyptian mummification : RESIN
2. Unaided : ALONE
3. Earthworm trappers : MOLES
4. Contend : AVER
5. Things mailed without a label? : DEMO TAPES
6. Who said "I'm so mean I make medicine sick" : ALI
7. Cantina offerings : TAPAS
8. De facto : REAL
9. ___ boots : UGG
10. Ruler's role : MEASURING
11. Reports of gunfire? : BANG BANG!
12. Performing for an audience : ON STAGE
13. Dummkopf : DODO
14. Emancipation proclamation : YOU'RE FREE TO GO
20. Lay-by : England :: ___ : America : REST AREA
24. "No need to trouble yourself" : I GOT THIS
25. Firth of "The King's Speech" : COLIN
26. Make a hash of : MISDO
27. France's patron saint : DENIS
28. Conversation piece? : SOUND BITE
29. Follows the game? : HUNTS
30. They meet at a summit : HILLSIDES
31. Surname of TV's "Hot Lips" : HOULIHAN
32. Extend : PROLONG
36. Seven ___ (Civil War battle site) : PINES
37. Shut out : DEBAR
38. Things that take guts? : E COLI
39. Cathedral feature : VAULT
40. Withdraws, with "out" : OPTS
42. Opportunity's on it : MARS
44. Gefilte fish option : CARP
46. Word of agreement that sounds like a pronoun : OUI
48. Road map abbr. : AVE


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7 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

30:32, no errors. Back from vacation. Jet-lagged. Cotton between the ears ... :-)

Jeff said...

Tough one, but strangely it was the long easy answers that did me in. Had "I'll get it" instead of I GOT THIS and "How to get there" before HOUSE TRAINING. HOUSE TRAINING ..where to go?? My mind was in an entirely different place.

Maybe my mind wasn't warped enough to finish this one :) . Sorry Bill and Dave....

Best-

BruceB said...

19:12, 2 errors. 31D HOULAHAN/41A LAB. Didn't know the correct spelling of HOULIHAN, and LAB seemed like a decent answer, but LIB is much more clever.

HOUSE TRAINING did give me some difficulty, more familiar with the term House Breaking. 35A was also considering Benz, then Otto; before OLDS.

Anonymous said...

25:20, and luckily, no errors. I had to shrug and guess completely on TRUMBO and GNEISS. Both those are pretty "precious" bits of esoterica, and fall squarely in the "If you say so..." category. Not a very enjoyable puzzle.

SteveA said...

I don't get "LIB" for "End of a cause"? I'm sure I'm missing something simple here, but darned if I know what it is.

I was hung up for a while because I had "I CAN DO IT" instead of "I GOT THIS" and I felt good about it, so it took me a long time to mentally let that go. Once I figured that out everything else pretty much fell into place.

I also remembered Brayn Cranston playing LBJ in an excellent biopic recently so I started with LYNDON in the upper right but soon figured out that couldn't be it. Then I thought maybe it was

JOHNSO
N

with the clue taking a gimmicky downward right turn and forming the beginning of ONSTAGE. But I couldn't find any other spots in the puzzle where an answer made a right angle, nor was there a clue that referred to the "gimmick". So finally I abandoned that, left the Cranston answer blank and got started again.

SteveA said...

OK, I get it now. "WOMENS LIB" is a cause.

Glenn said...

50 minutes, no errors. Pretty usual (again), but finally got around the strangeness to finish.

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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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