0522-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 May 15, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Woolf
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 22m 42s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

18. F-, H- or I-, but not G- : ANION
F (fluorine), H (hydrogen) and I (iodine) are chemical elements, but “G” is not.

19. Gets full : SATES
“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

20. Hawaiian Tropic stat : SPF
In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

21. Fourth-row Battleship position : D-TEN
Battleship was a game that we used to play as kids using pencil and paper. The game had been around at least since WWI, and was eventually turned into a board game by Milton Bradley in 1967.

22. Greek for “vapor” : ATMOS
An atmosphere is the layer of gases surrounding a body, usually a planet. The word “atmosphere” comes from the Greek “atmos” meaning “vapor, steam”. The term was first applied to the Moon, which is a real paradox, as the Moon doesn’t have any atmosphere.

23. Fela ___, Afrobeat music pioneer : KUTI
Fela Kuti was a Nigerian musician, a pioneer in the genre known as “Afrobeat”. Fela had an interesting relationship with women, and actually married twenty-seven times in 1978. He then slowed down a little and maintained a rotating roster of only twelve wives at any one time. Fela died from AIDS in 1997.

24. He racked up 270 goals and 645 assists : ORR
Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking …

25. Storied abductee : HELEN
According to Greek mythology, Helen was the daughter of Zeus and Leda. When Helen reached the age of marriage, she had many suitors as she was considered the most beautiful woman in the world. Menelaus was chosen as her husband, and he took her back to his home of Sparta. Paris, a Trojan prince, seduced Helen, as she eloped with him and travelled to Troy. This event sparked the Trojan War that waged between the city of Troy and Greece. Because of this war, Helen was said to have “the face that launched a thousand ships”. And because of this phrase, it has been suggested, probably by author Isaac Asimov, that the amount of beauty needed launch a single ship is one “millihelen”.

26. Mann of pop : AIMEE
Aimee Mann is a rock singer and guitarist from Virginia. Mann is married to Michael Penn, the brother of actor Sean Penn.

31. Somme buddy : AMI
A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.

The Somme is a department in the very north of France, in the Picardy region. The Somme is famous as the site of devastating battles during WWI.

32. Something to chew : CUD
Ruminants are animals that “chew the cud”. Ruminants eat vegetable matter but cannot extract any nutritional value from cellulose without the help of microbes in the gut. They collect roughage in the first part of the alimentary canal, allowing microbes to work on it. The partially digested material (the cud) is regurgitated into the mouth so that the ruminant can chew the food more completely exposing more surface area for microbes to do their work.

33. Ledger sums : MONIES
A “ledger” is an account book. The name comes from the Middle English “leggen” meaning “to lay”. The original ledger was a large book “laid” in one particular place, permanently, an example being a breviary in a church.

39. Many a Netflix viewing session : BINGE
I’m a self-confessed “binge-watcher” of TV shows. I’d rather not waste time watching a show in dribs and drabs, waiting to see if it survives. Right now, I’m binge-watching “The Sopranos” …

Netflix was founded in Los Gatos, California in 1997. Although now focused on video streaming, the company delivered it’s billionth DVD in 2007. I presume the renter wasn’t charged for that movie …

40. Sporty auto options : T-TOPS
A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

42. Peak in the eurozone : ALP
There are eight Alpine countries:

– Austria
– Slovenia
– France
– Switzerland
– Liechtenstein
– Germany
– Monaco
– Italy

The “eurozone” or “euro area” is a monetary and economic union within the European Union of 19 states (as of today) that use the euro as a shared legal tender and their sole currency. The last nation to adopt the euro was Lithuania, in 2015.

46. Gershon of “Rescue Me” : GINA
Gina Gershon is an American actress. Gershon has played a lesbian on screen a number of times and has become somewhat of a gay icon.

“Rescue Me” is a television drama made for the FX Network. Star of the show is Denis Leary who plays a veteran New York City firefighter.

48. Like some Pashto speakers : IRANI
Pashto is one of the Eastern Iranian languages, the one with the most native speakers. Most of those 50 million speakers today live in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

53. Game with one round : RUSSIAN ROULETTE
The disturbing game of Russian Roulette involves the placing of a single round in a revolver, spinning the cylinder and then a player firing the gun with the muzzle placed against his or her head. The game supposedly originated in Russia, and the name was first cited in a short story that dates back to 1937. The “game” was made famous by the 1978 movie “The Deerhunter” as it plays a central role in the film’s plot.

Down
1. Saturday, in Seville : SABADO
In Spanish (Span.), the days of the week are all masculine (masc.) nouns. Unlike in English, the days of the week in Spanish are not capitalized when used in the middle of a sentence:

lunes – Monday
martes – Tuesday
miércoles – Wednesday
jueves – Thursday
viernes – Friday
sábado – Saturday
domingo – Sunday

The city of Seville is the capital of Andalusia in southern Spain. Seville is a favored setting for many operas including “The Barber of Seville” by Rossini, “Fidelio” by Beethoven and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “The Marriage of Figaro”.

2. South Korean compact : ELANTRA
The Elantra is a compact car made by Hyundai of South Korea. There was a long-standing dispute between Hyundai and manufacturers Lotus and Mitsubishi. Lotus contended that the Elantra name was too close the Lotus Elan, and Mitsubishi didn’t like the similarity to the Mitsubishi Elante.

3. Setting of “Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion” : ALGIERS
“Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion” is a 1950 comedy film from the great team of Abbott and Costello. Filming had to be postponed for several months as Costello had to have surgery for a gangrenous gallbladder.

5. Longoria with two Gold Gloves : EVAN
Evan Longoria plays baseball for the Tampa Bay Rays. Evan would like everyone to know that he is no relation to Eva Longoria the actress.

6. U. wish? : DEG
Someone wanting a degree (deg.) heads to university (U.).

8. Start of a Christmas carol : IT CAME …
“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” is both a poem and Christmas carol. The poem was written back in 1849 by Edmund Sears, a Unitarian parish minister in Wayland, Massachusetts.

11. Common blood type: Abbr. : A-POS
The incidence of blood types in the population varies depending on ethnicity. The most common blood type, regardless of ethnicity, is O+, with A+ coming in second.

12. 1950s Reds star Ted, for short : KLU
Ted Kluszewski’s nickname was “Big Klu” as he stood at 6ft 2in tall, and weighed 240 pounds. Kluszewski’s biceps were so huge that he often had to cut off the sleeves of his baseball uniform. He won the 1954 home run title in 1954 when playing for Cincinnati.

14. Symbol of authority : SCEPTER
A scepter is a ceremonial staff, often held by a monarch.

15. Many an Instagram : SELFIE
A “selfie” is a self-portrait, usually one taken with a digital camera or cell phone.

Instagram is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular I hear. Instagram was started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram had just 13 employees at the time …

22. Mountainside dwelling : AERIE
An aerie is the nest of an eagle, and is also known as an “eyrie”.

25. Bro : HOMIE
“Homie” is short for “homeboy”, someone from one’s home neighborhood.

26. Wild callas, e.g. : ARUMS
The Calla Lily is a common name for a lily of the genus Zantedeschia. There is a lily genus called Calla, but the Calla Lily isn’t in it. Now that, that is confusing …

Arum is a genus of flowering plant native to eastern North America. Arums can be nasty plants though as some contain oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is a compound that can be very painful if ingested and can even cause death if taken in sufficient quantities.

33. Event in which 3:43:13 is the world record : MILE RUN
The current record for the mile run stands at 3:43.13 for men, held by Hicham El Guerrouj from Morocco since 1999. The record for women is 4:12.56, held by Svetlana Masterkova from Russia since 1996.

35. He partnered with Bear in 1923 : STEARNS
New York investment bank Bear Stearns was one of the institutions that collapsed in the financial meltdown of 2008, and was then sold off to JPMorgan Chase. Bear Stearns had been founded in 1923 by three partners: Joseph Ainslee Bear, Robert B. Stearns and Harold C. Mayer Sr.

38. Los Estados Unidos, en México : EL NORTE
“El Norte” is the term many people in Central America use for the United States and Canada, meaning “the North” in Spanish.

39. Light bite site : BISTRO
“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term for a “little wine shop or restaurant”.

41. Form of yoga : TANTRA
Tantrism (sometimes “Tantra”) is a relatively recent class of religious ritual and meditation that has its roots in 5th century India. The tantras are sometimes considered as advanced teachings that extend the basic tenets of several Indian religions including Buddhism and Hinduism.

In the West we tend to think of yoga as a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

43. Breaks down in class : PARSES
The verb “to parse” means “to state the parts of speech in a sentence”. “Parse” comes from the Latin word “pars” meaning “part”.

45. Like dales, but not glens : BROAD
Dales are open valleys, especially in the Lowlands of Scotland and in the North of England. In the same locales, it is common to find dales flanked by “fells”, which are the mountains or hills flanking the valley.

Glens are narrow and secluded valleys. The term comes from the Gaelic “gleann” meaning “mountain valley.

46. Ancient medical researcher : GALEN
Galen of Pergamum was a physician of Ancient Rome (of Greek ethnicity). He mainly worked on monkeys, dissecting their bodies to learn about physiology as it was not permitted to dissect human bodies in his day.

48. Phone ___ : IT IN
A person who does a job with minimal effort is said to “phone it in”.

51. It included Ga., La. and Va. : CSA
The Confederate States of America (CSA) set up government in 1861 just before Abraham Lincoln took office. Jefferson Davis was selected as President of the CSA at its formation and retained the post for the life of the government.

52. I.R.S. employee: Abbr. : AUD
An auditor (aud.) might work for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Message accompanied by red lips : SEALED WITH A KISS
16. Like a hot mess : ALL OVER THE PLACE
17. Where everything has been checked : BAGGAGE CAROUSEL
18. F-, H- or I-, but not G- : ANION
19. Gets full : SATES
20. Hawaiian Tropic stat : SPF
21. Fourth-row Battleship position : D-TEN
22. Greek for “vapor” : ATMOS
23. Fela ___, Afrobeat music pioneer : KUTI
24. He racked up 270 goals and 645 assists : ORR
25. Storied abductee : HELEN
26. Mann of pop : AIMEE
27. How some things are washed : ASHORE
29. Wage ___ : EARNER
31. Somme buddy : AMI
32. Something to chew : CUD
33. Ledger sums : MONIES
36. Opposite of cruel : HUMANE
39. Many a Netflix viewing session : BINGE
40. Sporty auto options : T-TOPS
42. Peak in the eurozone : ALP
44. Drought, poverty and such : ILLS
45. “___ me!” : BEATS
46. Gershon of “Rescue Me” : GINA
47. “___ you!” : SEE
48. Like some Pashto speakers : IRANI
49. Enjoy in the moment : SAVOR
50. They’re good for the long haul : TRACTOR TRAILERS
53. Game with one round : RUSSIAN ROULETTE
54. Like many floor cleaners : ON HANDS AND KNEES

Down
1. Saturday, in Seville : SABADO
2. South Korean compact : ELANTRA
3. Setting of “Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion” : ALGIERS
4. Start at a terminal, say : LOG ON
5. Longoria with two Gold Gloves : EVAN
6. U. wish? : DEG
7. Get a lock on, e.g. : WRESTLE
8. Start of a Christmas carol : IT CAME …
9. Pointer’s statement : THAT ONE
10. “___ the thing …” : HERE’S
11. Common blood type: Abbr. : A-POS
12. 1950s Reds star Ted, for short : KLU
13. “My guess is …” : I ASSUME …
14. Symbol of authority : SCEPTER
15. Many an Instagram : SELFIE
22. Mountainside dwelling : AERIE
23. A bit, informally : KINDA
25. Bro : HOMIE
26. Wild callas, e.g. : ARUMS
28. Kicks back (with) : HANGS
30. Some bra parts : A-CUPS
33. Event in which 3:43:13 is the world record : MILE RUN
34. Restrained, as a dog : ON LEASH
35. He partnered with Bear in 1923 : STEARNS
36. Means of branding : HOT IRON
37. Lack of worldliness : NAIVETE
38. Los Estados Unidos, en México : EL NORTE
39. Light bite site : BISTRO
41. Form of yoga : TANTRA
43. Breaks down in class : PARSES
45. Like dales, but not glens : BROAD
46. Ancient medical researcher : GALEN
48. Phone ___ : IT IN
49. Web content : SILK
51. It included Ga., La. and Va. : CSA
52. I.R.S. employee: Abbr. : AUD

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5 thoughts on “0522-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 May 15, Friday”

  1. Took a minute to get started, but overall an enjoyable themeless. I always thought AIMEE Mann was Canadian, strange. I have only BINGE watched one series on Netflix. You promise you won't do it, and bam! It's 3:00 a.m. and you gotta be up in a couple of hours.

  2. Pleasant. Easy. Satisfying.

    I have only (sort of) binge-watched one series: Babylon Five. Actually, I taped and watched each episode as it was broadcast and then watched the whole thing again later in a number of lengthy sessions. Wouldn't have the sitzfleisch to do anything like that now. Come to think of it, though, I can sit for hours and work on puzzles (especially kenkens), but that requires a different sort of mental involvement.

  3. Slid through in 18:20 today, just felt in sync with the setter. Did have a bit of a problem with 18A ANION. Anions are atoms/molecules that form compounds as negative ions, as opposed to cations which are positively charged. Flourine (F) becomes Flouride (F-) and Iodine (I) becomes Iodide (I-). Hydrogen (H) normally bonds as a cation (H+) as in H2O. I had to look it up, and learned that Hydrogen also bonds as a Hydride (H-); which is an anion. Learn something new every day.

  4. The easiest Friday puzzle I've ever completed… in 16:18 with no errors, to boot.
    First time through I thought I had no chance, but I chipped away, making first real progress on the bottom clues before returning to finish out the top.

    This is the first week I've been successful (so far) from Sunday through Friday (albeit with many errors on that horrible Thursday puzzle)… so I'm very happy.

  5. Someone is going to have to explain to me how an "Event in which 3:43:13 is the world record" is the time for a mile run. Time notation would indicate 3 hours, 43 minutes and 13 seconds…not 3 minutes 43 seconds and 13 hundredths. This was too dumb and very misleading.

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