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0515-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 May 17, Monday





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: Peter Gordon
THEME: Inner Child
Each of today’s themed answers includes a hidden (INNER) word that is a synonym of CHILD:
58A. Part of a person's psyche ... or a hidden part of 18-, 23-, 39- or 48-Across? : INNER CHILD

18A. Historic California route, with "El" : CAMINO REAL (inner “minor”)
23A. Desirable feature of a rented room : PRIVATE ENTRANCE (inner “teen”)
39A. 2016 film for which Viggo Mortensen earned an Oscar nomination : CAPTAIN FANTASTIC (inner “infant”)
48A. Common computer peripherals : QWERTY KEYBOARDS (inner “tyke”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m16s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Black wood : EBONY
Ebony is another word for the color black (often shortened to "ebon" in poetry). Ebony is a dark black wood that is very dense, one of the few types of wood that sinks in water. Ebony has been in high demand so the species of trees yielding the wood are now considered threatened. It is in such short supply that unscrupulous vendors have been known to darken lighter woods with shoe polish to look like ebony, so be warned …

16. Elaine's last name on "Seinfeld" : BENES
The character Elaine Benes, unlike the other lead characters (Jerry, Kramer and George), did not appear in the pilot episode of “Seinfeld”. NBC executives specified the addition of a female lead when they picked up the show citing that the situation was too “male-centric”.

18. Historic California route, with "El" : CAMINO REAL (inner “minor”)
El Camino Real is the Spanish for "The Royal Road". It was the name given to many roads in the Americas that connected different Spanish settlements. The name El Camino Real persists to this day in many parts of the United States. There's one just down the road from me in the Bay area.

20. Schmoozing gossip : YENTA
Yenta (also "Yente") is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater "yenta" came to mean a busybody, a gossip.

“To schmooze” is to chat intimately, a word that comes from the Yiddish “schmusen” meaning 'to chat” .

29. Mathematician Turing who was the subject of "The Imitation Game" : ALAN
Alan Turing was an English mathematician. He was deservedly well-respected for his code-breaking work during WWII at Bletchley Park in England. However, despite his contributions to cracking the German Enigma code and other crucial work, Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952. He agreed to chemical castration, treatment with female hormones, and then two years later he committed suicide by taking cyanide. Turing’s life story is told in the 2014 film “The Imitation Game” with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the lead. I thoroughly enjoyed that film …

36. Mani-pedi place : SPA
Manicure & pedicure (mani-pedi)

39. 2016 film for which Viggo Mortensen earned an Oscar nomination : CAPTAIN FANTASTIC (inner “infant”)
Viggo Mortensen is a Danish-American actor who is famous for playing Aragorn in "The Lord of the Rings" movies. Mortensen was born in New York City and lived for periods in the US and periods in Denmark when he was younger. He is fluent in English, Danish and also Spanish.

43. Ancient France : GAUL
The Gauls were a Celtic race, with Gaul covering what is now known as France and Belgium. We use the term “Gallic” today, when we refer to something pertaining to France or the French.

45. Many Monty Python skits : FARCES
A “farce” is a comedy play that features an exaggerated and improbable storyline, with lots of physical humor. I love a good farce …

The zany comedy show called “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” was first aired in 1969 on the BBC. The show ran for four seasons and finished up soon after John Cleese decided to leave the team and move onto other projects.

48. Common computer peripherals : QWERTY KEYBOARDS (inner “tyke”)
“Tyke” has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902, but for centuries before that a tyke was a cur or mongrel, or perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.

There is an alternative to the annoying QWERTY keyboard layout. Dr. August Dvorak came up with a much simpler and more efficient layout in 1936. The Dvorak layout is supposed to allow faster typing rates and to reduce repetitive strain injuries.

56. "Here's to the newlyweds!," e.g. : TOAST
The tradition of “toasting” someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

63. Wonderland girl : ALICE
Lewis Carroll wrote “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” in 1865, and the sequel called “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There” in 1871. Because in the second adventure Alice went through a looking glass, the themes were deliberately chosen to be mirror images of the themes in “Wonderland”. Whereas “Wonderland” begins indoors, is set in summer, and uses playing card imagery, “Looking Glass” begins out of doors, is set in winter and uses images from the game of chess.

68. Polo mount : PONY
The sport of polo originated in Iran, possibly before the 5th century BC. Polo was used back them primarily as a training exercise for cavalry units.

Down
1. "Super" group buying campaign ads : PAC
A Political Action Committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent, expenditure-only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.

2. One-third of pitching's Triple Crown, for short : ERA
In Major League baseball, a player can earn the Triple Crown when he is the leader in three specific statistics. The pitching Triple Crown includes wins, strikeouts and earned run average (ERA). The batting Triple Crown includes home runs, runs batted in (RBI) and batting average.

5. Virus in 2014 news : EBOLA
The Ebola virus causes a very nasty form of hemorrhagic fever. The name of the virus comes from the site of the first known outbreak, in a mission hospital in the Ebola River Valley in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then known as Zaire). The disease is transmitted from human to human by exposure to bodily fluids. In nature, the main carrier of Ebola is the fruit bat.

6. Special Forces cap : BERET
The US Army Special Forces are known as the Green Berets because they wear ... green berets. The Green Beret is also worn by the Royal Marines of the British Army. When US Army Rangers and OSS operatives were trained by the Royal Marines in Scotland during WWII, graduates of the gruelling training program were awarded green berets by their British instructors. The US soldiers, although proud of their new headgear, were not allowed to wear it as part of their uniform. They had to wait until 1961, when President Kennedy authorized the green beret for exclusive use by US Special Forces.

8. Schoolteacher's org. : NEA
The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, and mainly represents public school teachers.

9. French designer's monogram : YSL
Yves Saint-Laurent (YSL) was a French fashion designer, actually born in Algeria. Saint-Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint-Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from hospital, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story …

11. Symbols of resistance : OMEGAS
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.

13. Quetzalcoatl worshiper : AZTEC
The Aztec god Quetzalcoatl's name means “feathered serpent”. He was worshiped as the god of wind and of learning.

19. Election mo. : NOV
November is the eleventh month in our calendar. The name comes from the Latin “novem” meaning “nine”, as November was the ninth month in the ancient Roman calendar.

25. "___ Enchanted" (2004 film) : ELLA
"Ella Enchanted" is a fantasy novel written by Gail Carson Levine, and published in 1997. It is a retelling of the story of Cinderella, with lots of mythical creatures added. A film adaptation was released in 2004, starring Anne Hathaway in the title role.

26. "High" times : NOONS
Our word “noon”, meaning “midday”, comes from the Latin “nona hora” that translates as “ninth hour”. Back in Ancient Rome, the “ninth hour” was three in the afternoon. Over the centuries, traditions such as church prayers and “midday” meals shifted from 3 p.m. to 12 p.m., and so “noon” became understood as 12 noon.

I am not a huge fan of western movies, but “High Noon” works for me. The film has a great cast, with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly in the lead roles. I suppose I like the film because it doesn’t fit the mold as a typical western with lots of predictable action sequences. That said, when “High Noon” first hit theaters it was not popular with audiences, largely because moviegoers were expecting the formulaic western film. One interesting feature of the storyline is that the sequence of events takes place in approximate real time.

27. Govt.-issued security : T-NOTE
A Treasury note (T-Note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-Note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A T-Bill is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-Bond matures in 20-30 years.

36. Easel, e.g. : STAND
The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

41. The Enterprise, for example : STARSHIP
The USS Enterprise is a starship in the “Star Trek” universe (pun!). There have been several generations of starship with the name Enterprise, starting with the vessel numbered NCC-1701, which appeared in the original TV series. My favorite “Star Trek” series is “Next Generation”, which features USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D.

45. Soft drink in a green bottle : FRESCA
Fresca is a Coca Cola product introduced in 1966, and is unusual in that it has no Pepsi Cola equivalent. It has always been marketed as a 0-calorie grapefruit drink, and so it’s artificially sweetened.

46. 2000 Summer Olympics city : SYDNEY
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia. People from Sydney are known as “Sydneysiders”.

When the Summer Olympic Games were held in Sydney, Australia in 2000, it marked the second time that the event was hosted in the Southern Hemisphere, the first occasion being the 1956 games in Melbourne. Although the Sydney Games were a public relations success, the financial result was a major disappointment. The Australian government built several new venues in the Sydney Olympic Park and were planning on recouping the cost by renting out the facilities in the following years. Sadly, the required level of bookings failed to materialize and so the government’s bank balance took a hit.

48. Smallest OPEC nation : QATAR
Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although the nation’s eligibility to do so is under question after a far-reaching bribery scandal was uncovered at the sport’s governing body.

51. Designer Geoffrey : BEENE
Geoffrey Beene was an American fashion designer. He had an impressive list of clients that included First Ladies Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon and Nancy Reagan.

53. Nelson Mandela's org. : ANC
The African National Congress (ANC) started out as the South African Native National Congress in 1912 with the goal of improving the lot of black South Africans. After years of turmoil, the ANC came to power in the first open election in 1964.

As a young man, Nelson Mandela led the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). Mandela was eventually arrested and admitted to charges of sabotage and was sentenced to life in prison in 1964. He remained behind bars for 27 years, mainly in the infamous prison on Robben Island. As the years progressed, Mandela became a symbol of the fight against apartheid. He was released in 1990, and immediately declared his commitment to peace and reconciliation with South Africa’s white minority population. Mandela was elected president of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) in 1994, an office that he held until 1999. Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013.

58. "Was ___ das?" (German question) : IST
“Was ist das?” is German for “What is that?”

59. Cpl., e.g. : NCO
Non-commissioned officer (NCO)

61. Spy novelist Deighton : LEN
I used to walk my dog right past author Len Deighton’s house years ago, as we lived in the same village in Ireland (probably my only claim to fame!). Deighton wrote the excellent espionage thriller “The IPCRESS File”, made into a 1965 movie starring Michael Caine.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Fruit often seen in still lifes : PEAR
5. Black wood : EBONY
10. Fable's message : MORAL
15. Opera highlight : ARIA
16. Elaine's last name on "Seinfeld" : BENES
17. Flabbergast : AMAZE
18. Historic California route, with "El" : CAMINO REAL (inner “minor”)
20. Schmoozing gossip : YENTA
21. Bottoms of high-tops : SOLES
22. Departs : GOES
23. Desirable feature of a rented room : PRIVATE ENTRANCE (inner “teen”)
29. Mathematician Turing who was the subject of "The Imitation Game" : ALAN
30. Genetic copies : CLONES
31. Forwards, as a misdelivered letter : RESENDS
35. Weaving machine : LOOM
36. Mani-pedi place : SPA
39. 2016 film for which Viggo Mortensen earned an Oscar nomination : CAPTAIN FANTASTIC (inner “infant”)
42. Pig's digs : STY
43. Ancient France : GAUL
44. Navigation instrument : SEXTANT
45. Many Monty Python skits : FARCES
47. Crumb carriers : ANTS
48. Common computer peripherals : QWERTY KEYBOARDS (inner “tyke”)
54. Sigher's words : AH ME
55. College officials : DEANS
56. "Here's to the newlyweds!," e.g. : TOAST
58. Part of a person's psyche ... or a hidden part of 18-, 23-, 39- or 48-Across? : INNER CHILD
63. Wonderland girl : ALICE
64. Division of a play : SCENE
65. Notion : IDEA
66. Chill out : RELAX
67. Played (with) : TOYED
68. Polo mount : PONY

Down
1. "Super" group buying campaign ads : PAC
2. One-third of pitching's Triple Crown, for short : ERA
3. Command between "Ready!" and "Fire!" : AIM!
4. Chocolate-covered morsel often eaten at the movies : RAISINET
5. Virus in 2014 news : EBOLA
6. Special Forces cap : BERET
7. "Gimme a minute" : ONE SEC
8. Schoolteacher's org. : NEA
9. French designer's monogram : YSL
10. With 62-Down, a spring festival : MAY
11. Symbols of resistance : OMEGAS
12. Talked incessantly : RAN ON
13. Quetzalcoatl worshiper : AZTEC
14. Car deal that's not a purchase : LEASE
19. Election mo. : NOV
23. Skirt fold : PLEAT
24. Hoarse : RASPY
25. "___ Enchanted" (2004 film) : ELLA
26. "High" times : NOONS
27. Govt.-issued security : T-NOTE
28. Century 21 rival : REMAX
29. Paths of pendulums : ARCS
32. Bother persistently : NAG AT
33. Book with handwritten thoughts : DIARY
34. Ducked (out) furtively : SNUCK
36. Easel, e.g. : STAND
37. Pub purchases : PINTS
38. Divisions of a play : ACTS
40. Escape : FLEE
41. The Enterprise, for example : STARSHIP
45. Soft drink in a green bottle : FRESCA
46. 2000 Summer Olympics city : SYDNEY
48. Smallest OPEC nation : QATAR
49. Entire : WHOLE
50. Letter that doesn't need an envelope or stamp : EMAIL
51. Designer Geoffrey : BEENE
52. Got into a row? : OARED
53. Nelson Mandela's org. : ANC
57. ___-Mex : TEX
58. "Was ___ das?" (German question) : IST
59. Cpl., e.g. : NCO
60. Altar affirmation : I DO
61. Spy novelist Deighton : LEN
62. See 10-Down : DAY


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6 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

8:11, no errors.

Chrissy said...

Just under 10 min, 1 error...I'm too young to have watched Seinfeld, so I didn't know Elaine's last name, and I guessed NTA for the schoolteacher's org, but still much better than later days in the week!

Jeff said...

Nice quick Monday puzzle. Had a harder time with the LAT today.

Chrissy - You're too young to have watched Seinfeld?? OUCH!! I'm....uhh...not too young and remember it well. Very 1990's, but one of the top 5 sitcoms of all time IMO. Worth a peek.

Totally missed the theme. Forgot to look for it. I can get away with that on Mondays.

Best -

Carrie said...

Yikes! Delay on computer from the typing of the letter to the appearance of the letter on the dang grid, so time was 17:25. One error: I had RUN ON instead of RAN ON. Did not notice the theme. Too busy cursing at my computer!

Sfingi said...

Didn't notice the theme. And so much work on the part of the creator.

"Was IST das?" could have been "Was 'WAR' das?" Not that I actually think a crossword puzzle would go that far in German.

This is Sfingi, but I don't know how to get my identity back. BestBuy just removed 400! viruses.

Sfingi said...

Got it back after all.

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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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