0506-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 6 May 12, Sunday

QuickLinks:
Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today’s SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications

CROSSWORD SETTER: Alex Vratsanos
THEME: A-V Club … our setter today is Alex Vratsanos (initials “AV”), and he gives us theme answers that are each made up of two words, the first starting with an A and the second with a V:

23A. Have, say : AUXILIARY VERB
38A. They’re likely to blow : ACTIVE VOLCANOES
65A. Not seeing eye to eye : AT VARIANCE
68A. End of the main part of the Constitution : ARTICLE VII
89A. Electrical pioneer : ALESSANDRO VOLTA
114A. Common houseplant with colorful blooms : AFRICAN VIOLET
46D. Some succulents : ALOE VERAS
50D. Brandy, for one : AQUA VITAE

COMPLETION TIME: 37m 25s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
7. Air Force college athlete : FALCON
The USAF Academy is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I had the privilege not too long ago of visiting the Academy, and what an impressive campus it is. When the USAF Academy graduated its first class in 1959, it became the youngest of the five service academies to do so. Significantly, female candidates were first accepted by the academy in 1976, and today the graduating classes include over 20% women.

23. Have, say : AUXILIARY VERB
An auxiliary verb is also known as a helping verb. An auxiliary verb’s role is to “help” the main verb by perhaps creating the passive form of the verb, or maybe changing its emphasis. The auxiliary verb “to be” is used to create the passive voice, as in “the blog post was written”.

26. Protector of the dead, in Egyptian myth : ISIS
Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children.

27. As a result : ERGO
“Ergo” is the Latin word for “hence, therefore”.

31. Slowly : LENTO
A lento passage in a piece of music that has a slow tempo.

35. Title role for Kilmer and Costner : EARP
The legendary Western gunfighter and lawman Wyatt Earp has been portrayed on the big and small screen many, many times. Keven Costner played the title role in 1994’s “Wyatt Earp”, And Val Kilmer played Earpp in 2012’s “The First Ride of Wyatt Earp”.

38. They’re likely to blow : ACTIVE VOLCANOES
Our word “volcano” comes from “Vulcano”, the name of a volcanic island off the coast of Italy. The island’s name comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. The Romans believed that the island of Vulcano was the chimney of the forge belonging to the god Vulcan. The Romans also believed that the eruptions on Mount Etna in Sicily were caused by Vulcan getting angry and working his forge so hard that sparks and smoke flew out of the top of the volcano.

44. Keglers’ org. : PBA
A “kegler” is a person who plays ten-pin blowing. “Kegel” is a German word for “bowling pin”.

49. Savanna grazer : ELAND
An eland is a large African antelope, in fact the largest on the continent.

58. “Friends” friend : PHOEBE
The character Phoebe Buffay is played on the sitcom “Friends” by the actress Lisa Kudrow. Kudrow plays the ditsy member of the troupe of friends, but I’ve always viewed her as the “smartest” of the group of actors in real life, as best I could tell. Kudrow is behind the US version of the British genealogy show “Who Do You Think You Are?” a very entertaining bit of television.

62. Some acting awards : TONYS
The full name for the Tony Award is the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre. Antoinette Perry was an American actress and co-founder of the American Theatre Wing, one of the organizations that selects the award recipients.

63. Decidedly eligible, in a way : ONE-A
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft is held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objectors available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrants who have completed military service) and 4-D (ministers of religion).

68. End of the main part of the Constitution : ARTICLE VII
The US Constitution is composed of a preamble, seven articles and twenty-seven amendments.

Article VII of the US Constitution deals with its ratification. Article VII called for nine states to ratify the wording of the Constitution before it would take effect.

71. Flashed hand signal : VEE
One has to be careful making that V-sign depending where you are in the world. Where I came from, the V for victory sign has to be made with the palm facing outwards. If the sign is made with the palm facing inwards, it’s a very obscene gesture.

72. Canadian Indian : CREE
The Cree are one of the largest groups of Native Americans on the continent. In the US most of the Cree nation live in Montana on a reservation shared with the Ojibwe people. In Canada most of the Cree live in Manitoba.

78. Get-rich-quick scheme? : LOTTO
Originally “Lotto” was a type of card game, with “lotto” being the Italian for “a lot”. We’ve used “lotto” to mean a gambling game since the late 1700s.

79. Nix : SCOTCH
“To scotch” is to stamp out or crush. The current usage of the word was apparently popularised in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”.

83. ___ Bornes (classic card game) : MILLE
“Milles Bornes” translates into “A Thousand Milestones”, and is a French card game. It’s a relatively young game invented in 1954, and you can buy it in stores today. I’ve read that it is similar to an American card game called “Touring”, but I’m not familiar with either.

84. Certain link : SAUSAGE
Link sausages are so called as they can come in chains, with each sausage being a link in that chain.

85. 10 kilogauss : TESLA
The Tesla unit measures the strength of a magnetic field, and is named after the Yugoslavian-American physicist Nikola Tesla. Nikola Tesla was born in Serbia, but later moved to the US. His work on mechanical and electrical engineering was crucial to the development of alternating current technology, used by equipment that is at the backbone of modern power generation and distribution systems.

Carl Freidrich Gauss was a German mathematician and scientist, by all accounts a child prodigy and one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. He did a lot of work in the field of magnetism in his latter years, and for this the metric system’s unit of magnetic induction was given the name “gauss”.

86. Sister ___, 1920s-’30s evangelist : AIMEE
Aimee Semple McPherson was a pioneer in the arena of evangelism, being one of the first to use radio to get across her message. In 1926, McPherson disappeared under mysterious circumstances at Venice Beach, California. About a month later her mother received a ransom note, which she says that she tossed away thinking her daughter had drowned. A few days later McPherson was found wandering around in a Mexican town across the border from Douglas, Arizona, claiming that she had been kidnapped and had escaped. There were many discrepancies in her story though, and five witnesses claimed to have seen her in a seaside cottage in Carmel, California while she was “gone”. No one seems to know for sure what exactly happened during that month.

87. Noted ring family : ALIS
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? Ali was presented with a gold medal during those ’96 Games, a replacement for the medal he won at the 1960 Olympics. He had thrown the original into the Ohio River as a gesture of disgust after being refused service at a “whites only” restaurant.

Laila Ali is the daughter of the great Muhammad Ali and is a very capable boxer in her own right. She’s not a bad dancer either, coming in third place in the fourth season of “Dancing with the Stars”.

88. Foreign one : EIN
“Ein” is an indefinite article in German.

89. Electrical pioneer : ALESSANDRO VOLTA
Alessandro Volta was the physicist who invented the first battery, way back in 1800. One of Volta’s first applications of his new invention was to use a battery (and a very long run of wire between the Italian cities of Como and Milan) to shoot off a pistol from 30 miles away!

99. Valuable violin : STRAD
Generations of the Stradivari family produced violins, the most famous of which were constructed by Antonio Stradivari.

103. “Zip-___-Doo-Dah” : A-DEE
“Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” is from the Disney film “Song of the South”, released in 1946. The song won the Oscar for Best Original Song .

111. “Love ___” : ME DO
“Love Me Do” is a song written by Paul McCartney on a day he was playing hooky from school when he just 16 years of age.

112. Old country name from the Portuguese for “beautiful” : FORMOSA
Prior to 1945, the island that we know today as Taiwan was called “Formosa”, the Portuguese word for “beautiful”. Portuguese sailors gave the island this name when they spotted it in 1544. The official name for the state of Taiwan is the “Republic of China”.

114. Common houseplant with colorful blooms : AFRICAN VIOLET
The African violet is a common houseplant, usually grown indoors. The correct name for the plant is Saintpaulia. The African violet name reflects the fact that the plant is native to Tanzania and Kenya in Africa, and that the flowers resemble those of true violets, even though the species are unrelated.

117. Competitor at a hippodrome : TROTTER
A trotter (a horse trained for harness racing) could compete in a hippodrome (a racetrack). The word “hippodrome” comes from the Greek “hippos” (horse) and “dromos” (racetrack).

118. Speaker of the line “He thinks too much: such men are dangerous” : CAESAR
“He thinks too much: such men are dangerous” is a line from William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”. The line is spoken by Julius Caesar in reference to Cassius, one of the leading figures in the plot to assassinate him.

Down
2. Pickle : SOUSE
The word “souse” dates back to the 14th century and means “to pickle, steep in vinegar”. In the early 1600s the usage was applied to someone “pickled” in booze, a drunkard.

3. Botulin, e.g. : TOXIN
Botulinum toxin is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The toxin is a protein that can cause botulism, an extremely dangerous illness in humans and animals. Botulinum toxin is well known by the trade name Botox. Botox is used therapeutically and in cosmetic applications to weaken muscles, perhaps muscles that are in uncontrollable spasm. Of course the cosmetic application involves the paralyzing of facial muscles in order to eliminate or reduce wrinkles, at least for a few months.

6. Falco of “The Sopranos” : EDIE
Edie Falco won her three Emmy Awards for playing Carmela Soprano in HBO’s outstanding drama series, “The Sopranos”.

9. Part of the Pentateuch: Abbr. : LEV
“The Pentateuch” is the name given to the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.

13. Like Quito and La Paz : ANDEAN
The full name of the capital city of Ecuador is San Francisco de Quito. It is the second highest administrative capital city in the world, after La Paz, Bolivia.

The capital of Bolivia, La Paz, is officially named Nuestra Senora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace).

14. Place to see una ópera : TEATRO
“Teatro” is the Italian word for “theater”.

16. Bibliographical abbr. : ET AL
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

17. Greek with a storied life : AESOP
Aesop lived in Ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. He was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

19. Word often preceded by poly- : ESTER
Esters are very common chemicals. The smaller, low-molecular weight esters are usually pleasant smelling and are often found in perfumes. At the other end of the scale, the higher-molecular weight nitroglycerin is a nitrate ester and is very explosive, and polyester is a huge molecule and is a type of plastic.

29. Bawl out : REAM
I must admit that I find the slang term “to ream”, with its meaning “to scold harshly”, quite distasteful. The usage of the word as a reprimand dates back to about 1950.

32. Kind of surprise : OCTOBER
“October surprise” is a political term. It refers to some unexpected piece of news that breaks in the month of October in a year just before an election, particularly a presidential election. The term tends to be used somewhat cynically, with the implication that the “surprise” is perhaps engineered to favor one candidate or another.

36. Shakespeare contemporary : PEELE
The English playwright George Peele is one of the playwrights who is often cited as a collaborator with William Shakespeare on some of his plays.

41. Romeo’s “two blushing pilgrims” : LIPS
In William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Romeo refers to his lips as “two blushing pilgrims” in a flirtatious remark to Juliet.

44. Narc’s find : PCP
Phencyclidine is a recreational drug usually referred to on the street as PCP or “angel dust”.

45. Dickensian cry : BAH
The classic 1843 novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to the popular use of “Merry Christmas”, and secondly it gave us the word “scrooge” meaning a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that Scrooge uttered the famous line “Bah! Humbug!”.

46. Some succulents : ALOE VERAS
Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. These include the First Aid plant, Wand of Heaven, Silent Healer and Miracle Plant.

50. Brandy, for one : AQUA VITAE
“Aqua vitae” is Latin for “water of life”. The original use of the term was for a concentrated solution of ethanol. Over time aqua vitae was the term used for distilled spirits, particularly wine. “Water of life” translates into Scots Gaelic as “uisge-beatha” and into Irish as “uisce beatha”. These terms give rise to our modern word “whiskey”.

51. 1920s Olympic track gold medalist Paavo ___ : NURMI
Paavo Nurmi was one of a group of Finnish runners to earn the nickname “the Flying Finn”. Nurmi dominated middle and long distance running in the 1920s. He was the most successful athlete at the 1924 Paris Olympics, winning five gold medals.

54. Yakutsk’s river : LENA
The Lena River is in northern Russia, and empties into the Arctic Ocean.

Yakutsk is the capital city of the Sakha Republic in Russia. Yakutsk sits on the Lena River, just south of the Arctic Circle.

56. Newsman Roger : O’NEIL
Roger O’Neil is a newsman working for NBC.

57. Bric-a-___ : BRAC
Bric-a-brac was a French phrase that was used as far back as the 16th century, but it is no longer used in France. Back then it was a nonsense term meaning “at random” or “any old way”. Since Victorian times we have used the phrase in English to mean a collection of curios, statues and the like. Unlike in Victorian times, in modern usage bric-a-brac tends to be a selection of cheaper items.

59. Intense hankering : JONES
“Jones” is a slang term that’s new to me. “Jones” is an intense desire or hankering. The usage is supposed to have evolved from “Jones” used as slang for heroin.

65. Sailor’s cry : AVAST
Avast is a nautical term, used to tell someone to stop or desist from what they are doing. The word comes from the Dutch “hou vast” meaning “hold fast”.

66. Portable home : TEPEE
A tepee (also written as “tipi” and “teepee”) is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides that is used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be a more permanent dwelling. The wigwam can also be covered with hides but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

70. Arrow shooter : EROS
As always seems to be the case with Greek gods, Eros and Aphrodite have overlapping spheres of influence. Aphrodite was the goddess of love between a man and a woman, but Eros was the god who stirred the passions of the male.

76. Cancún, por ejemplo : ISLA
Cancún is a city and island on the east coast of Mexico, on the other side of the Yucatan Channel from Cuba. Cancún is growing rapidly due to its booming tourist business. It is the center of what’s often called “The Mexican Caribbean” or the “Mayan Riviera”.

78. Portray : LIMN
“To limb” is to describe, or portray in a painting or a drawing. “Limb” has the same root as “illuminate”, in the sense of illuminating a manuscript.

80. Hi-tech special effects : CGI
Computer-generated imagery (CGI).

83. Actress Farrow : MIA
Mia Farrow is an energetic, award-winning actress who really hasn’t looked back in her career since her first leading role, in “Rosemary’s Baby” back in 1968. Her on-screen celebrity is matched by the interest created by her personal life. Her first husband was Frank Sinatra, and the couple had a wedding in 1966 that received a lot of attention partly due to the couple’s age difference (she was 21, he was 50). Farrow’s second husband was almost as famous, the magnificent musician André Previn. Farrow then moved in with Woody Allen, a relationship that famously fell apart when Farrow discovered that Allen was having a sexual relationship with Soon-Yi, one of her adopted daughters from the marriage with André Previn.

84. “Just for the taste of it” or “Just do it” : SLOGAN
“Just for the taste of it” is a slogan used by the Diet Coke brand, and “Just do it” is used by Nike.

87. Embodiments : AVATARS
The Sanskrit word “avatar” describes the concept of a deity descending into earthly life and taking on a persona. It’s easy to see how in the world of “online presences” one might use the word avatar to describe one’s online identity.

96. “Great blue” creature : HERON
The Great Blue Heron is a wading bird, native to North and Central America, and the Caribbean and Galapagos Islands.

101. Singer with the multiplatinum albums “19” and “21” : ADELE
The English singer Adele Adkins goes by the stage name Adele. She describes her musical style as “heartbroken soul”.

104. CPR pros : EMTS
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has for decades involved the simultaneous compression of the chest to pump blood using the heart, and artificial respiration by blowing air into the lungs. Nowadays emergency services are placing more emphasis on heart compressions, and less on artificial respiration.

107. Beginning to cry? : A FAR
A far cry …

110. Cinematographer Nykvist : SVEN
Swedish cinematographer Sven Nykvist won two Academy Awards and is best known for his work with Ingmar Bergman. In fact, his Oscars came for his contribution to two Bergman films, “Cries and Whispers” and “Fanny and Alexander”.

113. Oklahoma Indian : OTO
The Otoe (also Oto) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestwards ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

115. Sussex suffix : -ISE
The American suffix “-ize” is routinely spelled “-ise” in the UK and Ireland.

Sussex is a county in the very southeast of England, lying right on the English Channel. The county of Sussex has about the same boundaries as the ancient Kingdom of Sussex, a Saxon colony that existed for about five hundred years until the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Hastings, a town on the Sussex coast was the site of the first battle of the Norman Conquest of England.

116. Like Haydn’s Symphony No. 12 or 29 : IN E
Josef Haydn was an Austrian composer, often called the “Father of the Symphony” due to his prolific output of symphonies that helped define the form. Haydn was also the “father” of the big three composers of the Classical period, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Hayden was a good friend to Mozart, and a teacher of Beethoven.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Something you willingly part with? : ESTATE
7. Air Force college athlete : FALCON
13. Calm : AT PEACE
20. Tied up : MOORED
21. Nervous : ON EDGE
22. Fixes : NEUTERS
23. Have, say : AUXILIARY VERB
25. Record collection? : DATA SET
26. Protector of the dead, in Egyptian myth : ISIS
27. As a result : ERGO
28. Seek (out) : FERRET
30. Easy run : LOPE
31. Slowly : LENTO
33. It runs down the neck : MANE
35. Title role for Kilmer and Costner : EARP
37. In accordance with : PER
38. They’re likely to blow : ACTIVE VOLCANOES
44. Keglers’ org. : PBA
47. A state symbol : TREE
48. No laughing matter, e.g. : IDIOM
49. Savanna grazer : ELAND
53. Insensitive : CALLOUS
55. Turkeys : FLOPS
56. At a glance : OBLIQUE
58. “Friends” friend : PHOEBE
59. Ridicules : JEERS
60. Reciprocally : IN RETURN
61. Bismarck-to-Grand Forks dir. : ENE
62. Some acting awards : TONYS
63. Decidedly eligible, in a way : ONE-A
64. Invoice abbr. : AMT
65. Not seeing eye to eye : AT VARIANCE
68. End of the main part of the Constitution : ARTICLE VII
71. Flashed hand signal : VEE
72. Canadian Indian : CREE
73. Bit of a jam : SNARL
74. “Either you do it ___ will” : OR I
75. Often-dried fruit : APRICOTS
78. Get-rich-quick scheme? : LOTTO
79. Nix : SCOTCH
82. Annual quartet : SEASONS
83. ___ Bornes (classic card game) : MILLE
84. Certain link : SAUSAGE
85. 10 kilogauss : TESLA
86. Sister ___, 1920s-’30s evangelist : AIMEE
87. Noted ring family : ALIS
88. Foreign one : EIN
89. Electrical pioneer : ALESSANDRO VOLTA
94. Crib cry : WAH
97. Mex. women : SRAS
98. Bit of a jam : SNAG
99. Valuable violin : STRAD
103. “Zip-___-Doo-Dah” : A-DEE
105. Two-finger keyboard shortcut in Windows : ALT-TAB
109. Itinerary info : ETAS
111. “Love ___” : ME DO
112. Old country name from the Portuguese for “beautiful” : FORMOSA
114. Common houseplant with colorful blooms : AFRICAN VIOLET
117. Competitor at a hippodrome : TROTTER
118. Speaker of the line “He thinks too much: such men are dangerous” : CAESAR
119. Store, as corn : ENSILE
120. Kind of organ or overload : SENSORY
121. Some of them are marching : ORDERS
122. Got in the end : NETTED

Down
1. In-box contents : EMAIL
2. Pickle : SOUSE
3. Botulin, e.g. : TOXIN
4. Record label for the Kinks and Pink : ARISTA
5. Abbr. to the left of a number : TEL
6. Falco of “The Sopranos” : EDIE
7. Pardoned : FORGAVE
8. Tom, Dick or Harry : ANYONE
9. Part of the Pentateuch: Abbr. : LEV
10. Alphabet quartet : CDEF
11. No Mr. Nice Guy : OGRE
12. Wyo. neighbor : NEBR
13. Like Quito and La Paz : ANDEAN
14. Place to see una ópera : TEATRO
15. Wager : PUT
16. Bibliographical abbr. : ET AL
17. Greek with a storied life : AESOP
18. Brunch serving : CREPE
19. Word often preceded by poly- : ESTER
24. Multitudes : ARMIES
29. Bawl out : REAM
32. Kind of surprise : OCTOBER
34. Shiver-inducing stare : EVIL EYE
36. Shakespeare contemporary : PEELE
39. Steadfast : TRUE
40. Locker rooms often have them : ODORS
41. Romeo’s “two blushing pilgrims” : LIPS
42. Bldg. directory listings : COS
43. Microchannel : SLIT
44. Narc’s find : PCP
45. Dickensian cry : BAH
46. Some succulents : ALOE VERAS
50. Brandy, for one : AQUA VITAE
51. 1920s Olympic track gold medalist Paavo ___ : NURMI
52. Tooth: Prefix : DENTI-
54. Yakutsk’s river : LENA
55. Parry : FENCE
56. Newsman Roger : O’NEIL
57. Bric-a-___ : BRAC
59. Intense hankering : JONES
60. Setup, of a sort : INTRO
62. Bakery display : TARTS
63. Tub-thump : ORATE
65. Sailor’s cry : AVAST
66. Portable home : TEPEE
67. Desktop feature : ICON
68. They come out of the head : ANTLERS
69. One of Egypt’s plagues : LOCUSTS
70. Arrow shooter : EROS
73. Like a shoe : SOLED
76. Cancún, por ejemplo : ISLA
77. Barbecue blocks : COALS
78. Portray : LIMN
79. Go easily (through) : SAIL
80. Hi-tech special effects : CGI
81. French ___ : HEN
83. Actress Farrow : MIA
84. “Just for the taste of it” or “Just do it” : SLOGAN
86. ___ U.S. atty. : ASST
87. Embodiments : AVATARS
90. Golf pencil’s lack : ERASER
91. It might go up via an escalator : SALARY
92. Like some garages : ONE-CAR
93. No more than : AT MOST
94. Drifts : WAFTS
95. Not just esteem : ADORE
96. “Great blue” creature : HERON
100. On again : RELIT
101. Singer with the multiplatinum albums “19” and “21” : ADELE
102. Was sweet (on) : DOTED
104. CPR pros : EMTS
106. Crunchy munchie : TACO
107. Beginning to cry? : A FAR
108. Born’s partner : BRED
110. Cinematographer Nykvist : SVEN
113. Oklahoma Indian : OTO
115. Sussex suffix : -ISE
116. Like Haydn’s Symphony No. 12 or 29 : IN E



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