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0513-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 13 May 17, Saturday





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: Jeff Chen
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 30m 21s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Tiny cheese sandwiches, of a sort : RITZ BITS
Ritz Bits are sandwiches made from two Ritz crackers and a filling.

14. Nest-raiding insect : AMAZON ANT
Amazon ants are referred to as “slave-raiding” ants. They rob the pupae from related species and use the captured ants as “slaves”. The “slaves” do virtually all the work needed to maintain the Amazon ant nest, including provision of food and nursing the young.

20. Places frequented by Dorian Gray : OPIUM DENS
“The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a novel by Oscar Wilde, in fact Wilde’s only novel. In the story, the title character is a young man appearing in a painting. Jokingly, Dorian sells his soul to the devil so that the painting would age rather than he.

22. Dish made from 7-Down : POI
(7D. Ingredient in 22-Across : TARO)
The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, the traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

25. Ironman race, briefly : TRI
An Ironman Triathlon is a race involving a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon run of just over 26 miles. The idea for the race came out of a debate between some runners in the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. They were questioning whether runners, swimmers or bikers were the most fit athletes. The debaters decided to combine three local events to determine the answer, inviting athletes from all three disciplines. The events that were mimicked to come up with the first triathlon were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). The idea was that whoever finished first would be called “the Iron Man”. The first triathlon was run in 1978, with fifteen starters and only twelve finishers. The race format is used all over the world now, but the Hawaiian Ironman is the event that everyone wants to win.

28. Existing : IN ESSE
The Latin term "in esse" is used to mean "actually existing", and translates as "in being".

39. Grammy-winning R. Kelly hit of 1996 : I BELIEVE I CAN FLY
“I Believe I Can Fly” is a 1996 hit that was written and performed by R&B singer R. Kelly. Notably, the song was used in the 1996 film “Space Jam”.

R. Kelly is the stage name of R&B singer Robert Kelly from Chicago. R. Kelly was named by “Billboard” as the most successful R&B singer in the past 25 years, and so I guess he has earned his nickname “King of R&B”. Kelly ran into some problems in the press when it was revealed that he had married singer Aaliyah when she was just 15 and Kelly was 27-years-old.

42. Flowers named after the Greek word for "star" : ASTERS
Apparently, most aster species and cultivars bloom relatively late in the year, usually in the fall. The name “aster” comes into English via Latin from the Greek word “astéri” meaning “star”, a reference to the arrangement of the petals of the flower.

44. Abbr. by a blinking light : REC
Record (rec.)

57. Teachers of karma : LAMAS
“Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief” or “high priest”.

Karma is religious concept with its basis in Indian faiths. Karma embraces the notion of cause and effect. Good deeds have good consequences at some later point in one's life, future life, or afterlife and vice versa.

62. "Wag the Dog" co-star, 1997 : ANNE HECHE
My favorite movie starring the actress Anne Heche is “Six Days Seven Nights”, a romantic comedy in which she plays opposite Harrison Ford. Heche is noted for her difficult private life. She wrote that her father had molested her as a child and gave her a sexually transmitted disease (he later revealed that he was homosexual, and died of AIDS). Heche dated comedian Steve Martin for two years, and then lived with comedian Ellen DeGeneres for three. Soon after breaking up with DeGeneres, she started exhibiting eccentric behavior for a while, claiming that she was the daughter of God, and that she would take everyone back to heaven in her spaceship. Happily, I think things have calmed down for her in recent years.

The 1997 movie “Wag the Dog” is a black comedy starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro. It tells the story of a fake war that is manufactured by a Washington spin doctor in order to distract the American electorate. It is based on the novel “American Hero” by Larry Beinhart. In the movie the war is fictitious and the president goes unnamed. In the novel, Beinhart uses Desert Storm as the war in his storyline, and George H. W. Bush as the President.

Down
4. Band with the gold-certified albums "Tres Hombres" and "El Loco" : ZZ TOP
In the blues rock band ZZ Top, the hairy guitar players are Billy F. Gibbons and Dusty Hill. The relatively clean-shaven drummer is, wait for it … Frank Beard.

5. Ignorant middle class, per H. L. Mencken : BOOBOISIE
H. L. Mencken was a journalist and essayist from Baltimore. Mencken reported on the Scopes trial of 1925 and was the writer who dubbed it the “Monkey Trial”.

6. Fortune Global 500 bank : ING
ING is a huge Dutch banking institution created via a merger in 1991. The company headquarters is in a spectacular building in Amsterdam called simply ING House. ING stands for Internationale Nederlanden Groep.

10. Christmas decoration : CANDY CANE
Apparently, candy canes were created at the behest of the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral in Germany in 1672. The sweet sticks were basically used as bribes to keep children quiet during services. The choirmaster specified that the candy sticks should have a crook at the top so that they reminded the children of the three shepherds who visited the infant Jesus just after his birth.

11. Quinceañera, for 15-year-old girls : RITE
Quinceañera is a celebration of a girl's fifteenth birthday, an event common in many parts of Latin America.

15. "Eww, stop!" : TMI
TMI (too much information!)

26. 1994 Peace Prize sharer : RABIN
Yitzhak Rabin was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, and the first Prime Minister to have been born in the relatively young state of Israel. Rabin was a signatory of the Oslo Accords in 1993, along with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, and US President Bill Clinton. Sadly, this led to his death as he was assassinated two years later by a right-wing radical who opposed the Accords.

27. Woman's name meaning "peace" : IRENE
Eirene (also “Irene”) was the Greek goddess of peace, with “eirene” being the Greek word for “peace”. The Roman equivalent to Eirene was the goddess Pax.

30. Rid of impurities : SMELT
Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and, a greenhouse gas).

33. Some sporty Italian wheels : ALFAS
The “Alfa” in Alfa Romeo is actually an acronym, standing for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili ("Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company"). ALFA was an enterprise founded in 1909 and which was taken over by Nicola Romeo in 1915. In 1920 the company name was changed to Alfa Romeo.

34. "The Simpsons" aunt : SELMA
In “The Simpsons”, Marge Simpson has two older twin sisters. Their full names are Patricia “Patty” Bouvier and Selma Bouvier-Terwilliger-Hutz-McClure-Stu-Simpson. Selma acquired that multiple-barreled name through a string of unsuccessful marriages.

35. Meeting on the DL : TRYST
In its most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a prearranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting. Further, a tryst taking place at lunchtime is sometimes referred to as a nooner.

Something described as “on the down low” is "secret". The phrase “on the DL” can mean “on the down low”. It can also mean “on the disabled list” in sports.

37. Powerful tool for Dumbledore : ELDER WAND
Professor Albus Dumbledore is the headmaster of the school for wizards called Hogwarts, in the Harry Potter universe. Dumbledore’s specialties are nonverbal spells and alchemy. Author J. K. Rowling chose the name Dumbledore as it is an Early English word for a bumblebee. Apparently she pictured him wandering around, humming to himself.

47. ___ of Langerhans (part of the pancreas) : ISLET
The hormone insulin is secreted by structures in the pancreas called the islets of Langerhans, named for their island-like appearance under a microscope and for their discoverer Paul Langerhans. The hormone is named for the “islets”, as the Latin for island is “insula”.

49. Boris Pasternak heroine : LARA
The heroine of Boris Pasternak’s epic novel “Doctor Zhivago” is Lara. The Lara character was inspired by Pasternak’s mistress Olga Ivinskaya.

51. After : A LA
The phrase “in the style of” can be translated in “alla” in Italian and “à la” in French.

52. Baroque artist Guido : RENI
Guido Reni was an Italian painter from Bologna who was active in the first half of the 17th century. Reni’s most famous work is probably “Crucifixion of St. Peter”, an altarpiece commissioned in the early 1600s that is now on display in the Vatican.

55. Instrument with a needle, for short : TACH
The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”. A tachometer measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).

56. Plant watcher, for short : OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Tiny cheese sandwiches, of a sort : RITZ BITS
9. A thread winds around it : SCREW
14. Nest-raiding insect : AMAZON ANT
16. Surrender : WAIVE
17. Computer icon, e.g. : PICTOGRAM
18. Paid to play : ANTED
19. Pro's opposite, in slang : NOOB
20. Places frequented by Dorian Gray : OPIUM DENS
22. Dish made from 7-Down : POI
24. Nonnative plant? : SPY
25. Ironman race, briefly : TRI
28. Existing : IN ESSE
32. Threw : CAST
36. One likely to have a large collection of albums : RARE STAMP DEALER
39. Grammy-winning R. Kelly hit of 1996 : I BELIEVE I CAN FLY
40. They're often upsetting : CINDERELLA TEAMS
41. See 25-Down : KNEE
42. Flowers named after the Greek word for "star" : ASTERS
43. Went nowhere : SAT
44. Abbr. by a blinking light : REC
46. ___ Yantra (sacred Hindu diagram formed by nine interlocking triangles) : SRI
48. Stumble out of the gate, say : SLOW-START
54. What ":" can mean : IS TO
57. Teachers of karma : LAMAS
58. High-quality window composition : LEAD GLASS
61. Sphere : ARENA
62. "Wag the Dog" co-star, 1997 : ANNE HECHE
63. Bat around : BANDY
64. "No need to elaborate" : I GET THAT

Down
1. Strike : RAP
2. Declaration after looking at one's cards : I’M IN
3. ___ stand : TACO
4. Band with the gold-certified albums "Tres Hombres" and "El Loco" : ZZ TOP
5. Ignorant middle class, per H. L. Mencken : BOOBOISIE
6. Fortune Global 500 bank : ING
7. Ingredient in 22-Across : TARO
8. Take a shot : SNAP
9. Inundate : SWAMP
10. Christmas decoration : CANDY CANE
11. Quinceañera, for 15-year-old girls : RITE
12. Neither up nor down : EVEN
13. Joins : WEDS
15. "Eww, stop!" : TMI
21. They're old and tired : USED CARS
23. Work together : INTERACT
25. With 41-Across, one bending unexpectedly? : TRICK
26. 1994 Peace Prize sharer : RABIN
27. Woman's name meaning "peace" : IRENE
29. Some wasp nest sites : EAVES
30. Rid of impurities : SMELT
31. Tree-tapping spigot : SPILE
33. Some sporty Italian wheels : ALFAS
34. "The Simpsons" aunt : SELMA
35. Meeting on the DL : TRYST
37. Powerful tool for Dumbledore : ELDER WAND
38. Follows a healthful diet : EATS RIGHT
45. Try : ESSAY
47. ___ of Langerhans (part of the pancreas) : ISLET
48. Cut of meat : SLAB
49. Boris Pasternak heroine : LARA
50. Parting of the clouds, maybe : OMEN
51. After : A LA
52. Baroque artist Guido : RENI
53. Strong, sharp smell : TANG
55. Instrument with a needle, for short : TACH
56. Plant watcher, for short : OSHA
59. River that forms part of the England/Wales boundary : DEE
60. Collected works : SET


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7 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

30:13, a couple of minutes of which were spent in finding and fixing an error. I had filled in EATS LIGHT instead of EATS RIGHT, giving me SLI instead of SRI. A difficult one, I thought, requiring a number of educated guesses ...

Chrissy said...

After 40+ min, I finished the bottom left corner and a handful of other clues...but the solutions were very clever!

Jeff said...

Fun one. Took me over an hour but I was interrupted by a Skype call so my actual time is a mystery. I got LEADGLASS because I just broke mine on my front door and am finding how difficult it is to fix or replace. At the moment it's being held together via duck tape.

Had aSSAY/RaC. I just let rac go, and I didn't know that essay could be a verb similar to an assay.

Agree with Chrissy except I might call some of the cluing "evil" instead :)

Best -

Anonymous said...

Finished, barely, in 58:09, but with a whopping TEN errors!!!! Jeff Chen kicks my butt yet again!!! This was especially hard to take, because had I finished this one with no errors, it would have been my first week of completing every puzzle with no errors. *So* close!!!!!

BruceB said...

1:25, DNF or 6 errors (depending on how you score it). Bottom left corner essentially blank. 48A entered POOR START, then LATE START; could not come up with SLOW START. 37D tried ELDER ROOT, then toyed with the idea of ELDER WAND, but it didn't seem to fit. LATE START gave me LOIN for 48D which was no help at all.

One of those puzzles where you either get what is in the setters head, or you don't. Today I didn't and struggled with almost every entry.

Tom M. said...

This was real tough, with a very SLOWSTART. Last letter in was the E instead of an equally likely O in IGETTTHAT, and I got it. Then saw, too late, a one-square error up top. Didn't recognize that NOOB is slang for newbie (I assume), and forgot Mencken's BOOBOISIE. Thus, a G instead of the B at the cross.

Glenn said...

75 minutes, 1 error. Given 59D, no way I could tell whether it was IGOTTHAT or IGETTHAT was valid for 64A.

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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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