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0516-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 16 May 17, Tuesday





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: State + Letter Anagrams
Each of today’s themed answers is an anagram of a US state name plus one letter, as called out in the clue:
17A. WASHINGTON + R = Intimidation tactic : WARNING SHOT
24A. MISSOURI + E = "No fooling!" : I’M SERIOUS!
33A. MARYLAND + O = Period in which nothing special happens : NORMAL DAY
45A. NEBRASKA + T = Mortgage specifications : BANK RATES
52A. CALIFORNIA + N = Majestic beast : AFRICAN LION
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 50s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Whole slew : RAFT
A raft is a large amount, coming from the Middle English “raf” meaning the same thing.

14. "Celeste Aida," e.g. : ARIA
"Celeste Aida" translates to "Heavenly Aida", and is an aria from the Verdi opera “Aida”.

15. Futures analyst? : ORACLE
In Ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word “oracle” derives from the Latin “orare” meaning “to speak”, which is the same root for our word “orator”.

16. Famous Tokyo-born singer : ONO
Yoko Ono was born in 1933 in Tokyo into a prosperous Japanese family, and is actually a descendant of one of the emperors of Japan. Yoko’s father moved around the world for work, and she lived the first few years of her life in San Francisco. The family returned to Japan, before moving on to New York, Hanoi and back to Japan just before WWII, in time to live through the great fire-bombing of Tokyo in 1945. Immediately after the war the family was far from prosperous. While Yoko's father was being held in a prison camp in Vietnam, her mother had to resort to begging and bartering to feed her children. When her father was repatriated, life started to return to normal and Yoko was able to attend university. She was the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University.

21. Smoked marijuana : USED POT
“Potiguaya” is the Mexican-Spanish word for “marijuana leaves”. The slang name “pot” comes from “potiguaya”.

23. Word repeated in "Ring Around the Rosy" before "We all fall down" : ASHES
“Ring a Ring o’ Roses” is a nursery rhyme that I well remember from my childhood.
Ring-a-ring o’ roses,
A pocket full of posies,
A-tishoo! A-tishoo!
We all fall down.
The lyrics tend to be a little different over here in North America:
Ring-a-round the rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down.
There’s an urban legend that the rhyme refers to the Great Plague that struck England in 1665. The inference is that “ring o’roses” is a rosy rash, and that “posies” of herbs were carried to ward off the disease. Victims would sneeze “a-tishoo” and “all fall down” dead.

27. Martin who wrote "London Fields" : AMIS
I suppose the successful English novelist Martin Amis must have writing in his blood. He is the son of the respected author Kingsley Amis, a Booker Prize winner. Martin Amis’s best-known novels are his so-called “London Trilogy” consisting of “Money” (1984), “London Fields” (1989) and “The Information” (1995).

28. Short dance wear : TUTU
The word “tutu”, used for a ballet dancer’s skirt, is actually a somewhat “naughty” term. It came into English from French in the early 20th century. The French “tutu” is an alteration of the word “cucu”, a childish word meaning “bottom, backside”.

38. Sacagawea dollar, e.g. : COIN
Sacagawea was the Shoshone guide who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition. She was hired as a guide along with her husband, a French-Canadian trapper named Toussaint Charbonneau. When the expedition set out, Sacagawea was pregnant and had her child on the journey, in early 1805. Three years after the journey ended, Charbonneau and his family settled in St. Louis, Missouri where Sacagawea died in 1812. Sacagawea’s image is found on a US dollar coin that was first minted in 2000. The coin has a copper core clad with manganese brass, so it has a golden color.

39. ___-relief : BAS
In bas-relief, an image projects just a little above the background, as in perhaps a head depicted on a coin.

42. Evelyn Waugh's writer brother : ALEC
Alec Waugh was the older brother of the more famous Evelyn Waugh. Both were successful novelists (Evelyn of “Brideshead Revisited” fame), but what I like about Alec is that he supposedly invented the cocktail party. He invited his friends around “for tea” in the twenties, and served them all rum swizzles instead!

45. NEBRASKA + T = Mortgage specifications : BANK RATES
Our word “mortgage” comes from the Old French “mort gaige” which translated as “dead pledge”. Such an arrangement was so called because the "pledge" to repay "dies" when the debt is cleared.

49. Segment of a binge-watch : EPISODE
I’m a big fan of binge-watching, the practice of watching perhaps two or three (even four!) episodes of a show in a row. My wife and I will often deliberately avoid watching a recommended show live, and instead wait until whole series have been released on DVD or online. I’m not a big fan of “tune in next week …”

50. Prince William's mom : LADY DI
Charles, Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The wedding was a huge television event, with about 750 million people tuning in worldwide. Although the event was billed as a fairytale wedding, the couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996.

51. Mule's father : ASS
A hinny is the offspring of a male horse (the “h-” from h-orse) and a female donkey/ass (the “-nny” from je-nny). A mule is more common, and is the offspring of a female horse and male donkey/ass.

58. Phishing target: Abbr. : SSN
Social Security number (SSN)

Phishing is the name given to the online practice of stealing usernames, passwords and credit card details by creating a site that deceptively looks reliable and trustworthy. Phishers often send out safe-looking emails or instant messages that direct someone to an equally safe-looking website where the person might inadvertently enter sensitive information. “Phishing” is a play on the word “fishing”, as in “fishing for passwords, PIN numbers etc.”

60. "Divergent" actor James : THEO
“The Divergent Series” of movies is based on the “Divergent” novels written by Veronica Roth. The movies and novels are set in a post-apocalyptic version of Chicago called the Divergent Universe. The story is about a citizenry that is divided into five different factions based on personality traits. The critics weren’t crazy about the first movie in the series, but I really enjoyed it …

Down
2. Victim of river diversion in Asia : ARAL SEA
The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet Union irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

6. S. Amer. home of the tango : ARG
The dramatic dance called the tango originated in the late 1800s in the area along the border between Argentina and Uruguay. Dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires in particular traveled to Europe and beyond in the early twentieth century and brought the tango with them. The tango craze first struck Europe in Paris in the 1910s, and from there spread to London and Berlin, crossing the Atlantic to New York in 1913.

8. Straight downhill run on skis : SCHUSS
A schuss is a very fast run downhill in skiing, not taking any turns to slow the pace of the descent. “Schuss” is a German word for “shot”.

12. Neither here nor there? : EN ROUTE
“En route” is a French term that means “on the way”.

24. Muslim leader : IMAM
An imam is a Muslim leader, often the person in charge of a mosque or perhaps a Muslim community.

30. [You crack me up] : LOL
Laugh out loud (“LOL” in text-speak)

32. A Bobbsey twin : NAN
The “Bobbsey Twins” series of children’s novels was first written by Edward Stratemeyer in 1904. Stratemeyer used the pseudonym Laura Lee Hope, as did subsequent authors who wrote 72 books in the series between 1904 and 1979. The title characters are two sets of fraternal twins, one called Bert and Nan (who are 12) and the other called Flossie and Freddie (who are 6).

34. English johns : LOOS
It has been suggested that the British term "loo" comes from Waterloo (water-closet ... water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of "lanterloo", in which the pot was called the loo!

The use of “john” as a slang term for a toilet is peculiar to North America. “John” probably comes from the older slang term of “jack” or “jakes” that had been around since the 16th century. In Ireland, in cruder moments, we still refer to a toilet as “the jacks”.

35. Chicago squad in old "S.N.L." skits : DA BEARS
The Chicago Bears were founded in Decatur, Illinois in 1919 and moved to Chicago in 1921. The Bears are one of only two franchises in the NFL that were around at the time of the NFL’s founding (the other is the Arizona Cardinals, who were also based in Chicago in 1921).

37. Hunter's freezerful, maybe : VENISON
Venison is the meat of a deer. In days of yore, the term applied not just to deer, but to any large game. The word “venison” ultimately derives from the Latin “venare” meaning “to hunt”.

44. "Curious George" books, e.g. : KID LIT
Curious George is a character in a series of children’s books written by Hans Augusto and Margret Rey. The couple wrote the original stories in Paris, taking the manuscripts with them as they fled from the city ahead of the Nazi invasion in 1940.

50. SoCal force : LAPD
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is the third largest local law enforcement agency in the country, after New York PD and Chicago PD. Among other things, LAPD is famous for creating the first Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team in the US, in 1965.

53. Big inits. in the aerospace industry : ITT
International Telephone & Telegraph (ITT) was formed in 1920 from the Puerto Rico Telephone Company. ITT divested its telecommunications business in 1986, today the company is known for its products in the field of water and fluids management, as well motion and flow control. Many of ITT’s products are sold into the aerospace market.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Whole slew : RAFT
5. Outer protein shell of a virus : CAPSID
11. Verve : PEP
14. "Celeste Aida," e.g. : ARIA
15. Futures analyst? : ORACLE
16. Famous Tokyo-born singer : ONO
17. WASHINGTON + R = Intimidation tactic : WARNING SHOT
19. Option words : ORS
20. Fusions : BLENDS
21. Smoked marijuana : USED POT
23. Word repeated in "Ring Around the Rosy" before "We all fall down" : ASHES
24. MISSOURI + E = "No fooling!" : I’M SERIOUS!
26. Interpret : READ
27. Martin who wrote "London Fields" : AMIS
28. Short dance wear : TUTU
29. Rode the bench : SAT
30. Whopper inventor : LIAR
31. Marching well : INSTEP
33. MARYLAND + O = Period in which nothing special happens : NORMAL DAY
35. Imps are little ones : DEVILS
38. Sacagawea dollar, e.g. : COIN
39. ___-relief : BAS
42. Evelyn Waugh's writer brother : ALEC
43. Laborious task : SLOG
44. Salad green : KALE
45. NEBRASKA + T = Mortgage specifications : BANK RATES
48. Aid for administering an oath of office : BIBLE
49. Segment of a binge-watch : EPISODE
50. Prince William's mom : LADY DI
51. Mule's father : ASS
52. CALIFORNIA + N = Majestic beast : AFRICAN LION
55. 1920s car : REO
56. Parodied : SENT UP
57. "___ it ironic?" : ISN’T
58. Phishing target: Abbr. : SSN
59. Gave an exam : TESTED
60. "Divergent" actor James : THEO

Down
1. Places where oysters are served : RAW BARS
2. Victim of river diversion in Asia : ARAL SEA
3. Professional headgear that's stereotypically red : FIRE HAT
4. Got some sun : TANNED
5. Fleeces : CONS
6. S. Amer. home of the tango : ARG
7. Ballet step : PAS
8. Straight downhill run on skis : SCHUSS
9. "You win," alternatively : I LOSE
10. Put off : DETER
11. Get dog-tired : POOP OUT
12. Neither here nor there? : EN ROUTE
13. Prepares to shoot near the basket, say : POSTS UP
18. Phishing targets, briefly : IDS
22. Scatterbrained : DITSY
24. Muslim leader : IMAM
25. One-in-a-million event : MIRACLE
27. Affected manner : AIRS
30. [You crack me up] : LOL
31. "Understood, dude" : I DIG
32. A Bobbsey twin : NAN
33. Shaving mishaps : NICKS
34. English johns : LOOS
35. Chicago squad in old "S.N.L." skits : DA BEARS
36. Passes by : ELAPSES
37. Hunter's freezerful, maybe : VENISON
39. Infantile : BABYISH
40. "Finished!" : ALL DONE!
41. View, as the future : SEE INTO
43. Rears of ships : STERNS
44. "Curious George" books, e.g. : KID LIT
46. Honor with insults : ROAST
47. Charge for a plug? : AD FEE
48. Complete block : BAN
50. SoCal force : LAPD
53. Big inits. in the aerospace industry : ITT
54. Nod from offstage, maybe : CUE


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12 comments :

Dave Kennison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Kennison said...

10:10, no errors, lots of fumbling about. Cool theme, but I didn't really use it much, as I'm not good at doing anagrams in my head ...

Jeff said...

Did this one last night while fatigued. It took me more like a Thursday time to finish. Did not get the theme at all. Once I saw the theme, I felt a little foolish for not getting it.

Had to get BAS-relief via crosses and finally got stuck at the CAPSID/PAS nexus. I had to keep putting letters in there until the puzzle said I had completed the puzzle successfully.

Bill's blog wasn't up yet so I read about the puzzle in the WordPlay section of the NYT puzzle page. Bruce Haight had tried the same theme, but he had only used short state names and the editors were unimpressed. Then he came up with AFRICANLION for CALIFORNIA+N and it took him a while to match that one a few times and come up with the other ones. I guess this was a tough one for him to construct.

Impressive effort for sure.

Best -

Ben F. said...

Typo in link to syndicated puzzle - HHTTP vs. HTTP

Bill Butler said...

Thx, Ben. All fixed now.

Chrissy said...

30 min with the upper right corner completely botched. I put "wear out" instead of "poop out" and though I thought of "Ono", it didn't fit with my mistake... I felt like I was moving very slowly for a Tuesday (which is an understatement compared to the rest of you!) but working out the anagrams got me a lot of extra mileage

Sfingi said...

LOL and ONO on both puzzles.

I generally don't like SSN, but this one's clue was good.

I made a mistake: oN ROUTE crosses PoP, and wondered if "pop" was a youngsterism.

CAPSID was new to me.

I did use the theme to solve. Clever.

BruceB said...

15:57, 2 errors. CASSID/SAS. Wasn't familiar with CAPSID or PAS, so my guess here was incorrect. Either not in sync with the setter or this was tougher than Tuesday. Although I filled it in immediately, clueing Yoko ONO 16A as a 'Famous Tokyo-born singer' almost seems like a misdirect.

Tom M. said...

First-rate Tuesday. Lots of fun and cleverness. CAPSID is the outlier here.

Anonymous said...

14:52, and no errors. Didn't enjoy this one in the least. It is quite annoying to have to work anagrams in the middle of trying to fill a crossword grid. No other way to put it.

Dale Stewart said...

No errors. Much harder than a typical Tuesday. Toward the end I was forced to resort to wild guesses. Luckily they turned out right.

Glenn said...

46 minutes, no errors. Quite a nightmare for a Tuesday grid.

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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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