0524-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 24 May 15, Sunday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kevin G. Der
THEME: A Tale of Many Cities … there’s a note with instructions accompanying today’s puzzle:

When this puzzle is completed, the circled letters will form a path (starting in the first circle of 93-Across) spelling out the puzzle’s theme. Each long Down answer contains a hidden city, reading in order from top to bottom, not necessarily consecutively. The location of the city, and its number of letters, are indicated.

If we trace a circuitous route around the grid using the circled letters we come up with the title of the Jules Verne novel “AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS”.

1D. With 141-Down, author whose work is the basis of this puzzle’s theme : JULES
141D. See 1-Down : VERNE

I think that the hidden cities (given below) are stops along the way on that EIGHTY-DAY journey. and in the order that the stops occurred:

3D. Brooklyn Heights school [U.S.; 3,9] : SAINT FRANCIS COLLEGE (hiding “San Francisco”)
6D. Relaxing [U.K.; 6] : LETTING ONE’S HAIR DOWN (hiding “London”)
10D. 1988 Bon Jovi hit [India; 6] : BORN TO BE MY BABY (hiding “Bombay”)
14D. 1996 Geena Davis thriller [China; 4,4] : THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT (hiding “Hong Kong”)
31D. PBS craft show for 21 seasons [U.S.; 3,4] : THE NEW YANKEE WORKSHOP (hiding “New York”)
39D. Military trial for a misdemeanor [India; 8] : SPECIAL COURT MARTIAL (hiding “Calcutta”)
41D. “Get it?” [Japan; 8] : YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING? (hiding “Yokohama”)
75D. Ones pressed into service in the kitchen? [Egypt; 4] : LEMON SQUEEZERS (hiding “Suez”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 43m 50s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 4 … OSH (Ost), FANON (finon), NAHUM ( Natum), RAO (Rio)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
5. Obama vis-à-vis Columbia : ALUM
There are only two US Presidents who have two degrees from Ivy League schools. The first is President George W. Bush. President Bush holds a BA from Yale and an MBA from Harvard. The second is President Barack Obama. President Obama holds a BA in political science from Columbia and a JD from Harvard Law School.

9. Deg. from Columbia : MBA
Columbia University is an Ivy League school in New York City. Columbia’s athletic teams are called the Lions, thought to be a reference to the lion on the English coat of arms. Prior to the American Revolution, Columbia was called King’s College as it was chartered by King George II in 1754.

20. Company with a fleet : U-HAUL
The U-Haul company was started by married couple Leonard Shoen and Anna Mary Carty in Ridgefield, Washington in 1945. The Shoens used $5,000 of seed money to build trailers in their garage, and then cleverly recruited gas station owners as franchisees with whom they would split the rental revenue. There are now about 15,000 U-Haul dealers across the country.

24. Like the roots of democracy : ATHENIAN
The first democracy in known history developed in the Greek city-state of Athens around the fifth century BCE. Unlike the representative democracies with which we are more familiar in western nations today, Athens had a direct democracy. Athenian citizens voted directly on all legislation and executive bills, rather than such votes being taken by elected representatives.

25. Mario’s brother, in gaming : LUIGI
Mario Bros. started out as an arcade game back in 1983, developed by Nintendo. The more famous of the two brothers, Mario, had already appeared in an earlier arcade game “Donkey Kong”. Mario was given a brother called Luigi, and the pair have been around ever since. In the game, Mario and Luigi are Italian American plumbers from New York City.

26. Breeding ground : STUD FARM
The word “stud”, meaning “a male horse kept for breeding”, is derived from the Old English word “stod”, which described a whole herd of horses.

29. Relative of a kite : ERN
The ern (also erne) is sometimes called the white-tailed eagle, or the sea-eagle.

Kites are birds of prey that feed mainly on carrion.

30. Proofer’s mark : STET
“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

32. “O, never say that I was false of heart …,” e.g. : SONNET
William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 109” starts with the line “O, never say that I was false of heart”.

A sonnet is a short poem with varying rhyming schemes but always with 14 lines. The sonnet form has been around at least since the 13th century. The Shakespearean sonnet is composed of three quatrains (4 lines) and a final couplet (2 lines).

35. Used a pouffe : SAT
Here’s another example of different terminology used on either side of the Atlantic. The low seat or footstool known in North America as an ottomanor hassock, we referred to as a “pouffe”.

38. Competitor of Petro-Canada : ESSO
The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

40. Laura who wrote and sang “Wedding Bell Blues” : NYRO
Laura Nyro was a singer-songwriter from the Bronx, New York. Nyro had success with her own recordings, but her songs were even more successful when recorded by other big names. Two of Nyro’s compositions were “Eli’s Coming” recorded by Three Dog Night, and “Stoney End” by Barbra Streisand.

48. Stuck in a mess? : ON KP
KP is a US military slang term, and stands for either “kitchen police” or “kitchen patrol”.

“Mess” first came into English about 1300 and described the list of food needed for a meal, from the Old French word “mes” meaning a portion of food or a course at a meal. This usage in English evolved into “mess” meaning a jumbled mass of anything from the concept of “mixed food”. At the same time, the original usage in the sense of a food for a meal surfaced again in the military in the 1500s when a “mess” was a communal eating place.

50. “Ain’t gonna happen” : NO SOAP
“No soap” is a slang term meaning “not possible”. The term probably originated with the slang usage of “soap” to mean “money”, so “no soap” meant, “I have no money (to lend you)”. Over time, the usage of “no soap” generalized to “it’s not going to happen, so don’t ask”.

56. Local theater, slangily : NABE
A “nabe” is a neighborhood, or a familiar term for a local movie theater. Although I’ve never heard “nabe” in this neighborhood …

58. Ones in an annual hunt : EGGS
Tradition states that the first Easter Egg Roll in the nation’s capitol was staged by Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison. The inaugural event was held in 1814, but not at the White House, where it is held today. That first Egg Roll was held on the grounds of the US Capitol. After a new lawn was planted in 1877, Congress passed a law making it illegal to use the lawn as a children’s playground (boo! hiss!), and so President Rutherford and his wife Lucy brought the Egg Roll to the White House (hurrah!).

60. Ulan-___ (capital of a Russian republic) : UDE
Ulan-ude is a city in Eastern Siberia that was founded by the Russian Cossacks. If you ever get to visit, you’ll be able to see a huge sculpture of the head of Vladimir Lenin, the largest head of Lenin ever built.

61. Vehicle with a folding top : SHAY
A shay is a light carriage. It is an American design based on the French “chaise”, from which it takes its name. It might also be called a “whisky”, as riders would “whisk” around from stop to stop.

63. Fulda tributary : EDER
The Eder is a river in Germany, a tributary of the Fulda River. The Eder has a dam near the small town of Waldeck which holds water in the large Edersee reservoir. This was one of the dams that was attacked by the RAF during WWII with the famous Barnes Wallis bouncing bombs. It was destroyed in the Dam Busters raid in 1943, but rebuilt the same year.

64. Jack’s partner : COKE
I used to live in Tennessee, and one weekend took a tour of the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg. After watching all the whiskey being produced, we were brought to a room for “refreshments”. We were given lemonade and no samples of the whiskey were offered, because the distillery is located in Moore County, Tennessee, a dry country …

69. Alternative to metal : EMO
The musical genre of “emo” originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. Not my cup of tea …

70. Goddess in “The Tempest” : IRIS
In Greek mythology the goddess Iris was viewed as the link between the gods and humanity, a messenger. She was also the goddess of the rainbow.

William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” tells the story of Prospero, who was removed from the throne of Milan and banished to a deserted island along with his daughter Miranda. The island is home to a devilish character called Caliban, who is forced into slavery on the arrival of the exiles. Prospero learns sorcery while cast away, and eventually conjures up a tempest that drives those who usurped his throne onto the island’s shores (in particular his own brother, Antonio). On the island, Prospero is eventually successful in revealing Antonio’s lowly nature.

72. Warrior in the “Discworld” fantasy books : ORC
“Discworld” is a series of comic books written by Terry Pratchett. The title refers to world that is a flat disc that sits on the backs of four elephants, which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle.

73. Small force : DYNE
A dyne is a unit of force. The name “dyne” comes from the Greek “dynamis” meaning “power, force”.

77. Personnel list : ROTA
“Rota”, meaning a roster of names, isn’t a word I hear much in the US, but we used it all the time back in Ireland.

78. ___ chi ch’uan : TAI
More properly called tai chi chuan, tai chi is a martial art mostly practiced to improve overall health and increase longevity.

80. Former Jets coach Ewbank : WEEB
Weeb Ewbank was a football coach mostly known for coaching the Baltimore Colts and the New York Jets in the fifties, sixties and seventies. Ewbank won two NFL championships with the Colts (1958, 1959), and one AFL championship with the Jets (1968).

83. Speed-skating champion Kramer : SVEN
Sven Kramer is a famous Dutch long-track speed skater, the holder of the world record for the 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters, and the team pursuit. Kramer won the 5,000 meters gold medal in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic games, and although he finished first in the 10,000 meters, he was disqualified for failing to make a required lane change. He wasn’t happy …

87. Kind of adapter : AC/DC
Anyone with a laptop with an external power supply has an AC/DC converter, that big “block” in the power cord. It converts the AC current from a wall socket into the DC current that is used by the laptop.

93. Dodge Aries, e.g. : K-CAR
Chrysler’s K-cars were designed to carry 6 passengers, on two bench seats. Remember taking a corner a little too fast on those seats, in the days when no one wore seat belts?

95. “Walk ___” (1964 hit) : ON BY
“Walk on By” is a song by Burt Bacharach and Hal Davis that has been recorded many times, most famously by Dionne Warwick back in 1964. I saw Burt Bacharach in concert not too long ago. It was a great night and quite remarkable in that Bacharach is still going strong, well into his eighties.

97. Red Rock dweller : OTOE
The Otoe tribe once lived in the Great Lakes region, and were part of the Siouan tribes. The Otoe migrated at some point, to the south and west, eventually settling in the Great Plains. There the tribe adopted the horse culture and grew dependent on the American bison for food and many aspects of their lives. After ceding most of their lands to the US by treaty in 1854, the Otoe were moved onto a reservation. Today the tribe is based in Red Rock, Oklahoma.

99. Magazine mogul, familiarly : HEF
Hugh Hefner (often called “Hef”) is from Chicago. His first publishing job was in the military, where he worked as a writer for a US Army newspaper from 1944-46. He went to college after his military service and then worked as a copywriter for “Esquire” magazine. He left “Esquire” to found his own publication that he called “Playboy”, which first hit the newsstands in 1953. “Playboy” has been around ever since.

102. “Pretty Maids All in ___” : A ROW
“Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary” is an English nursery rhyme. The first stanza of the modern version is:

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.

103. The sun’s “10th planet,” once : ERIS
Eris is the largest known dwarf planet in our solar system. It is also the ninth largest body orbiting the sun, a fact that helped relegate Pluto (the tenth largest body) from its status of planet in 2006. Eris was discovered in 2005.

106. Singer ___ Rose : AXL
Axl Rose is the lead vocalist of the American rock band, Guns N’ Roses.

109. Kyrgyz province : OSH
Osh is the second largest city in the former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan (after the capital Bishkek). Osh was a center of silk production and lies along the old Silk Road, the trade route that traversed Asia.

112. Needle holder : ETUI
An etui is an ornamental case used to hold small items, in particular sewing needles. We imported both the case design and the word “etui” from France. The French also have a modern usage of “etui”, using the term to depict a case for carrying CDs.

113. ___ Paradise of “On the Road” : SAL
Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” is largely autobiographical, telling the story of Sal Paradise (Jack K.) and the road trips that he and his friends took across the country in the fifties.

120. Baritone in “The Mikado” : KO-KO
“The Mikado” is a wonderful comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, set in the exotic location of Japan. “Mikado” is a former term for the “Emperor of Japan”. In the opera, Ko-Ko is the name of the Lord High Executioner of Titipu.

121. Dyspepsia reliever : TUMS
The main ingredient in Tums antacid, made by GlaxoSmithKline, is calcium carbonate. Tums have been on the market since 1930. If you want to save a few pennies, Target brand antacid is identical to Tums, so I hear …

123. Home of the Big 12’s Cyclones : AMES
Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) is located in Ames, Iowa. Among many other notable events, ISU created the country’s first school of veterinary medicine, in 1879. The sports teams of ISU are known as the Cyclones.

126. Solomonic : WISE
According to the Bible, Solomon was the son of David and a king of Israel. Notably, Solomon is described as being very wise. In the story known as “the Judgment of Solomon”, Solomon was asked to decide who of two quarreling women was the mother of a baby. He suggested that they cut the baby in two with a sword, forcing one of the women to surrender the child rather than see it die. Solomon gave the child to the woman who showed compassion.

128. ___ colada : PINA
“Piña colada” is a Spanish term which translates into “strained pineapple”. The Piña colada cocktail was introduced in the Caribe Hilton San Juan in 1954, and since 1978 it has been the official beverage of Puerto Rico. Yum …

130. Plantation machines : GINS
The term “cotton gin” is a contraction of “cotton eng-ine”. The gin is a machine that mechanically separates cotton fibers from the cotton seed. The modern version of the cotton gin was invented by Eli Whitney in 1793.

132. Holes in Swiss cheese : EYES
Swiss cheese is a relatively generic term, a type of cheese produced in various countries and not necessarily in Switzerland. What they all have in common though, is a resemblance to the original Swiss Emmental cheese.

133. Grasps : KENS
“Ken” is a noun meaning “understanding, perception”. One might say, for example, “half the clues in Saturday’s crossword are beyond my ken, beyond my understanding”.

135. “The Night Circus” author Morgenstern : ERIN
Erin Morgenstern is an author from Marshfield, Massachusetts. Morgenstern published her first novel in 2011. It is a tale of magic and romance called “The Night Circus” that has been compared with the “Harry Potter” series of books.

137. Chicago mayor Emanuel : RAHM
The current Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, was an Illinois representative in the US House before resigning to take up President Obama’s offer to become the White House Chief of Staff.

139. Yamaha Grizzly, e.g., for short : ATV
All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

142. Trunk part : HASP
The “hasp” of a lock might refer to more than one thing. The u-shape loop protruding from a padlock is often called a “lock hasp”, for example.

Back in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, steamer trunks were the equivalent of our modern carry-on bags. They were containers for clothes and other belongings that had flat tops and low profiles so that they could fit under a bunk on a steamer (steam ship) or on a train. Steamer trunks usually contained a passenger’s essentials, with the bulk of the items stored in the main luggage.

146. One of the Jackson 5 : TITO
Tito Jackson was the third oldest of the Jackson children, and was known in Motown as the “quiet Jackson”.

148. Long-running event? : MARATHON
The marathon is run over 26 miles and 385 yards, and of course commemorates the legendary messenger-run by Pheidippides from the site of the Battle of Marathon back to Athens. The actual distance run today was decided in 1921, and matches the length of the modern-day Marathon-Athens highway.

152. “Et voilà!” : HERE IT IS!
I think that there is an error, or maybe even two, in this clue. The use of “et” means that “and” should be in the translation. Also, “here it is” translates into “voici”, not “voilà”.

“Voilà” means “there it is”, and “voici” means “here it is”. The terms come from “voi là” meaning “see there” and “voi ici” meaning “see here”.

157. Verdi’s “___ tu” : ERI
The aria “Eri tu” is from Verdi’s opera “Un ballo in maschera” (A Masked Ball). The opera tells the story of the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden during a masked ball.

158. Power play result, often : GOAL
“Power play” is a term used in several sports. Perhaps most notably, the phrase is used in ice hockey when one team has a numerical advantage due to an opposing player serving a penalty.

159. Pope’s vestment : FANON
A fanon is a vestment worn exclusively by the Pope, when he says Mass. At one time the fanon was known as an orale.

161. Yahoo! alternative : MSN
MSN was originally called The Microsoft Network, and was introduced in 1995 as an integral part of Microsoft’s Windows 95 operating system. MSN is a whole bundle of services including email, instant messaging, and the MSN.com portal (which is the 9th most visited site on the Internet).

Jerry Yang and David Filo called their company “Yahoo!” for two reasons. Firstly, a Yahoo is a rude unsophisticated brute from Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”. Secondly, Yahoo stands for “Yet another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”.

Down
1. With 141-Down, author whose work is the basis of this puzzle’s theme : JULES
(141D. See 1-Down : VERNE)
Jules Verne really was a groundbreaking author. Verne pioneered the science fiction genre, writing about space, air and underwater travel, long before they were practical and proved feasible. Verne is the second most translated author of all time, with only Agatha Christie beating him out.

“Around the World in 80 Days” is just a wonderful adventure story, written by French author Jules Verne and first published in 1873. There have been some great screen adaptations of the story, including the 1956 movie starring David Niven as Phileas Fogg. In almost all adaptations, a balloon is used for part of the journey, perhaps the most memorable means of transportation on Fogg’s trip around the world. However, if you read the book, Fogg never used a balloon at all.

2. Shipmate of Spock : UHURA
Lt. Nyota Uhura is the communications officer in the original “Star Trek” television series, played by Nichelle Nichols. The role is significant in that Uhura was one of the first African American characters to figure front and center in US television. In a 1968 episode, Kirk (played by William Shatner) and Uhura kiss, the first inter-racial kiss to be broadcast in the US. Apparently the scene was meant to be shot twice, with and without the kiss, so that network executives could later decide which version to air. William Shatner says that he deliberately ran long on the first shoot (with the kiss) and fluffed the hurried second shoot (without the kiss), so that the network would have no choice.

3. Brooklyn Heights school [U.S.; 3,9] : SAINT FRANCIS COLLEGE (hiding “San Francisco”)
St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, New York was founded in 1859 as the St. Francis Academy by friars of a Roman Catholic Franciscan order.

7. Host of the first World Cup, 1930: Abbr. : URU
Uruguay won the soccer gold medals at both the 1924 and 1928 Olympic tournaments. When Jules Rimet, the president of soccer’s international governing body decided to start an international tournament outside of the Olympics, it was decided to give Uruguay the honor of hosting the first competition, in 1930. Sure enough, Uruguay emerged victorious as the first World Cup winners.

8. Michael of “Reservoir Dogs” : MADSEN
Michael Madsen is an actor, poet and photographer from Chicago. One of Madsen’s most famous roles was the sadistic “Mr. Blonde” in the Quentin Tarantino movie “Reservoir Dogs”.

“Reservoir Dogs” was the first film directed by Quentin Tarantino and was released in 1992. I really don’t like Tarantino movies as I just cannot take all the violence. I checked the cast listing for “Reservoir Dogs” and it is a “men only” production. There are no named characters in the film played by women. All I can see is Linda Kaye who played “Shocked Woman”, and Suzanne Celeste who played “Shot Woman” …

10. 1988 Bon Jovi hit [India; 6] : BORN TO BE MY BABY (hiding “Bombay”)
Jon Bon Jovi was born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr., and he is the leader of the band that took his name, Bon Jovi.

13. Others, in Oaxaca : OTRAS
Oaxaca is a state in the southern part of Mexico on the Pacific coast. The state takes the name of Oaxaca, its largest city.

14. 1996 Geena Davis thriller [China; 4,4] : THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT (hiding “Hong Kong”)
As well as being a successful Hollywood actress, Geena Davis is an accomplished archer and came close to qualifying for the US archery team for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Davis is also a member of American Mensa. She is quite the lady …

15. Mountain ___ (soft drinks) : DEWS
If you check the can, you’ll see that “Mountain Dew” is now marketed as “Mtn Dew”.

16. What chemists find attractive? : ANIONS
As we all recall from science class, a positive ion is called a cation and a negative ion is an anion. The names “cation” and “anion” come from Greek, with “kation” meaning “going down” and “anion” meaning “going up”.

19. ___-Cat : SNO
The brand name Sno-Cat is owned by the Tucker company. All “snowcats” are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four, independently-mounted tracks.

31. PBS craft show for 21 seasons [U.S.; 3,4] : THE NEW YANKEE WORKSHOP (hiding “New York”)
“The New Yankee Workshop” is a popular woodworking show hosted by Norm Abram that ran for 21 seasons from 1989 to 2009. Abram first came to the public’s attention on the sister PBS show “This Old House”.

33. Sci-fi narcotic : TEK
The “Tekwar” series of science-fiction novels was co-authored by Ron Goulart and the actor William Shatner, although it’s only Shatner’s name that appears on the book covers. The stories center around the microchip “drug” called “tek” which dominates the Tekwar universe.

49. Wolfe of mystery : NERO
Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective and the hero of many stories published by author Rex Stout. There are 33 Nero Wolfe novels for us to read, and 39 short stories. There are also movie adaptations of two of the novels: “Meet Nero Wolfe” (1936) which features a young Rita Hayworth, and “The League of Frightened Men” (1937). One of Wolfe’s endearing traits is his love of good food and beer, so he is a pretty rotund character.

51. Sugar suffixes : -OSES
Sugars are usually named using the “-ose” suffix e.g. glucose, fructose, sucrose.

52. Benjamin : C-SPOT
Benjamin Franklin is featured on one side of the hundred-dollar bill, and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on the other side. There is a famous “error” in the image of Independence Hall. If you look closely at the clock face at the top of the building you can see that the “four” is written in Roman numerals as “IV” as perhaps one might expect. However, on the actual clock on Independence Hall, the “four” is denoted by “IIII”.

53. Mitchell heroine : O’HARA
As casting proceeded for the movie version of “Gone With the Wind”, Clark Gable was a shoo-in from day one. The role of Scarlett was considered very desirable in the acting community, with Bette Davis on the short list, and Katherine Hepburn demanding an appointment with producer David O. Selznick to discuss the role. Vivien Leigh was an unlikely contender, an English actress for the definitive Southern belle role. Selznick was adamant though, and stuck by his choice despite a lot of protests.

57. “Someone Like You” singer, 2011 : ADELE
Adele is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older.

68. Two-masted craft : YAWL
A yawl is a two-masted sailing vessel. There is a main mast forward, and a smaller mizzen mast close to the stern.

73. Dr. of hip-hop : DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

77. Mens ___ (legal term) : REA
“Mens rea” is Latin for “guilty mind” and is a central concept in criminal law. The concept is expanded to “actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea” meaning “the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind be also guilty”. In other words, a someone should not be deemed guilty of an act, unless he or she had a “guilty mind”, intended to do wrong.

84. Asseverate : VOW
“To asseverate” is to aver, to affirm positively and earnestly.

86. Ambulance destinations, for short : ERS
Emergency rooms (ERs)

Our word “ambulance” originated in the French term “hôpital ambulant” meaning field hospital (literally “walking hospital”). In the 1850s, the term started to be used for a vehicle transporting the wounded from the battlefield, leading to our “ambulance”.

90. Book before Esth. : NEH
In the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Ezra was originally combined with the Book of Nehemiah, with the two being separated in the early days of the Christian Era.

Esther was a Jewish queen, wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus, and the heroine of the Book of Esther in the Bible. By the way, Esther is the only book in the Bible that doesn’t mention the word “God”.

96. ___ Tate, onetime English poet laureate : NAHUM
Nahum Tate was an Irish poet who became England’s poet laureate in 1692. An Irishman he may have been, but Tate had to flee his native land after passing on information to the British government about the Irish Rebellion of 1641.

98. Secretariat’s org. : THE UN
The United Nations Secretariat is the executive arm of the UN, and is one of the six major bodies in the organization. Those six arms are:

– the General Assembly
– the Security Council
– the Secretariat
– the Economic and Social Council
– the Trusteeship Council
– the International Court of Justice

112. McGregor of “Big Fish” : EWAN
Ewan McGregor is a very talented Scottish actor, one who got his break in the 1996 film “Trainspotting”. McGregor’s first big Hollywood role was playing the young Obi-Wan-Kenobi in the “Star Wars” prequels. Less known is his televised marathon motorcycle journey from London to New York via central Europe, Ukraine, Siberia, Mongolia and Canada. The 2004 trip was shown as “Long Way Round” on TV. McGregor did a similar trip in 2007 called “Long Way Down”, which took him and the same travelling companion from the north of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa.

129. Rainbow color : INDIGO
The name of the color “indigo” ultimately comes from the Greek “indikon” meaning “blue dye from India”.

134. Lyric poem : EPODE
An epode is a lyric poem made up of couplets in which the first line is long, and the second line much shorter. The form was invented by the Greek poet Archilochus, and was most famously used by the Roman poet Horace.

140. “Coffee, ___ Me?” : TEA OR
“Coffee, Tea or Me?” is a book published in 1967 that was supposedly a memoir written by two stewardesses Trudy Baker and Rachel Jones. In fact, it was really a work of fiction, written by ghostwriter Donald Bain. Bain went as far as hiring two Eastern Airlines flight attendants to pose as the authors and promote the book on television.

143. Longfellow bell town : ATRI
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote “The Sicilian’s Tale; The Bell of Atri”, a narrative poem set in the small town of Atri in the Abruzzo region of Italy.

149. A.I. woman in 2015’s “Ex Machina” : AVA
“Ex Machina” is an intriguing science fiction movie released in 2015 about a computer programmer who is chosen to test a humanoid robot named Ava. I found this movie to be an engrossing thriller that was beautifully shot, especially the scenes filmed in Norway …

151. Old game console inits. : NES
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era.

153. Dress (up) : TOG
The verb “tog”, meaning to dress up, comes from the Latin “toga”, the garment worn in Ancient Rome. “Tog” can be use as an informal word for a coat or a cloak. Back in Ireland, togs are what we call swimming shorts.

155. 1990s Indian P.M. : RAO
P. V. Narasimha Rao was Prime Minister of India from 1991 to 1996. Rao is seen by most as the leader who transformed his country’s economy into the market-driven engine that it is today.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Exactly : JUST
5. Obama vis-à-vis Columbia : ALUM
9. Deg. from Columbia : MBA
12. Much-anticipated nights out : HOT DATES
20. Company with a fleet : U-HAUL
22. Prefix with watt : TERA-
23. Window shopper’s cry : OOH!
24. Like the roots of democracy : ATHENIAN
25. Mario’s brother, in gaming : LUIGI
26. Breeding ground : STUD FARM
28. Eventually became : GREW INTO
29. Relative of a kite : ERN
30. Proofer’s mark : STET
32. “O, never say that I was false of heart …,” e.g. : SONNET
34. “Not only that …” : ALSO …
35. Used a pouffe : SAT
36. Some spicy cuisine : THAI
37. Once, old-style : ERST
38. Competitor of Petro-Canada : ESSO
40. Laura who wrote and sang “Wedding Bell Blues” : NYRO
44. Join : FUSE
46. “That’s a ___” : NO-NO
48. Stuck in a mess? : ON KP
50. “Ain’t gonna happen” : NO SOAP
52. Heart : CORE
54. Imminent : NIGH
56. Local theater, slangily : NABE
58. Ones in an annual hunt : EGGS
60. Ulan-___ (capital of a Russian republic) : UDE
61. Vehicle with a folding top : SHAY
62. Suffix with stink : -EROO
63. Fulda tributary : EDER
64. Jack’s partner : COKE
65. Cousins : KIN
66. Goes for the gold? : PANS
67. Not quite right : WONKY
69. Alternative to metal : EMO
70. Goddess in “The Tempest” : IRIS
71. Win at auction, say : NAB
72. Warrior in the “Discworld” fantasy books : ORC
73. Small force : DYNE
74. Form a coalition : ALLY
76. Jokesters : WAGS
77. Personnel list : ROTA
78. ___ chi ch’uan : TAI
79. Travelers at the speed of light : RAYS
80. Former Jets coach Ewbank : WEEB
81. Tavern menu heading : ALES
82. One with a stiff upper lip? : EWER
83. Speed-skating champion Kramer : SVEN
85. Captain’s spot : HELM
87. Kind of adapter : AC/DC
89. Act the rat : GNAW
91. It’s folded before a meal : TACO
93. Dodge Aries, e.g. : K-CAR
95. “Walk ___” (1964 hit) : ON BY
97. Red Rock dweller : OTOE
99. Magazine mogul, familiarly : HEF
102. “Pretty Maids All in ___” : A ROW
103. The sun’s “10th planet,” once : ERIS
104. Half of a Senate vote : NAYS
105. “This looks bad” : UH-OH
106. Singer ___ Rose : AXL
107. Barber’s supply : GEL
108. Routine response? : JEER
109. Kyrgyz province : OSH
110. Trite : TIRED
112. Needle holder : ETUI
113. ___ Paradise of “On the Road” : SAL
114. Was bankrupt, say : OWED
115. Blue shade : AQUA
117. Stupefy : STUN
118. Like some missed pitches : WIDE
119. Stupefy : AWE
120. Baritone in “The Mikado” : KO-KO
121. Dyspepsia reliever : TUMS
122. All at the start? : OMNI-
123. Home of the Big 12’s Cyclones : AMES
124. One who’s behind : LAGGER
126. Solomonic : WISE
128. ___ colada : PINA
130. Plantation machines : GINS
132. Holes in Swiss cheese : EYES
133. Grasps : KENS
135. “The Night Circus” author Morgenstern : ERIN
137. Chicago mayor Emanuel : RAHM
139. Yamaha Grizzly, e.g., for short : ATV
142. Trunk part : HASP
144. Pond or sand trap : HAZARD
146. One of the Jackson 5 : TITO
147. “___-haw!” : YEE
148. Long-running event? : MARATHON
152. “Et voilà!” : HERE IT IS!
154. One following an order : FRIAR
156. Countermanded : OVERRODE
157. Verdi’s “___ tu” : ERI
158. Power play result, often : GOAL
159. Pope’s vestment : FANON
160. They’re blown at some weddings : BAGPIPES
161. Yahoo! alternative : MSN
162. Do a body scan? : OGLE
163. Meanie : OGRE

Down
1. With 141-Down, author whose work is the basis of this puzzle’s theme : JULES
2. Shipmate of Spock : UHURA
3. Brooklyn Heights school [U.S.; 3,9] : SAINT FRANCIS COLLEGE (hiding “San Francisco”)
4. Yank : TUG
5. En route, as a tanker : AT SEA
6. Relaxing [U.K.; 6] : LETTING ONE’S HAIR DOWN (hiding “London”)
7. Host of the first World Cup, 1930: Abbr. : URU
8. Michael of “Reservoir Dogs” : MADSEN
9. Spooky sounds : MOANS
10. 1988 Bon Jovi hit [India; 6] : BORN TO BE MY BABY (hiding “Bombay”)
11. Words said with a sigh : AH ME
12. Witchy woman : HAG
13. Others, in Oaxaca : OTRAS
14. 1996 Geena Davis thriller [China; 4,4] : THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT (hiding “Hong Kong”)
15. Mountain ___ (soft drinks) : DEWS
16. What chemists find attractive? : ANIONS
17. Cookie holder : TIN
18. “Dig in!” : EAT!
19. ___-Cat : SNO
21. Leans : LISTS
27. As an example : FOR ONE
31. PBS craft show for 21 seasons [U.S.; 3,4] : THE NEW YANKEE WORKSHOP (hiding “New York”)
33. Sci-fi narcotic : TEK
39. Military trial for a misdemeanor [India; 8] : SPECIAL COURT MARTIAL (hiding “Calcutta”)
41. “Get it?” [Japan; 8] : YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING? (hiding “Yokohama”)
42. Send off : RADIATE
43. Popular party feature : OPEN BAR
45. Often-illegal turns, informally : UEYS
47. “Hmm, gotcha” : OH OK
49. Wolfe of mystery : NERO
51. Sugar suffixes : -OSES
52. Benjamin : C-SPOT
53. Mitchell heroine : O’HARA
55. Firehouse catching fire, e.g. : IRONY
57. “Someone Like You” singer, 2011 : ADELE
59. Overdo it at dinner : GORGE
68. Two-masted craft : YAWL
73. Dr. of hip-hop : DRE
75. Ones pressed into service in the kitchen? [Egypt; 4] : LEMON SQUEEZERS (hiding “Suez”)
76. Spitball, e.g. : WAD
77. Mens ___ (legal term) : REA
84. Asseverate : VOW
86. Ambulance destinations, for short : ERS
88. Anatomical sac : CYST
90. Book before Esth. : NEH
91. Event often in a front yard : TAG SALE
92. Passage between buildings : AREAWAY
94. Stream : CREEK
96. ___ Tate, onetime English poet laureate : NAHUM
98. Secretariat’s org. : THE UN
100. Send off : EXUDE
101. Pilots : FLIES
108. One-liner, e.g. : JOKE
109. Stable bagful : OATS
111. Gets broadcast : IS ON
112. McGregor of “Big Fish” : EWAN
116. Dream : ASPIRE
125. A neighbor : G-SHARP
127. “Kind of” ending : -ISH
129. Rainbow color : INDIGO
131. “Ta-ta” : I’M OFF
134. Lyric poem : EPODE
136. Eager, informally : RARIN’
138. Overflow seating area : AISLE
140. “Coffee, ___ Me?” : TEA OR
141. See 1-Down : VERNE
143. Longfellow bell town : ATRI
145. “Um, pardon …” : AHEM …
148. Rabble : MOB
149. A.I. woman in 2015’s “Ex Machina” : AVA
150. Std. : REG
151. Old game console inits. : NES
153. Dress (up) : TOG
155. 1990s Indian P.M. : RAO

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6 thoughts on “0524-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 24 May 15, Sunday”

  1. The description of the theme was too convoluted. Lots of standard crossfill in here, so I solved most of it with a couple of errors. But I feel this grid should be buried 20,000 leagues under the sea. 😉

  2. Agree 100%. Some really obscure answers that only serve to mislead (ex: CSPOT instead of CNOTE, NOSOAP instead of any number of other, more-often-used expressions, GSHARP the answer for "A neighbor", who no one would read as A [the musical note]). also, after filling in a grid this dense, good luck even finding any circles to connect to make any sense of it.

    This is what I call a "smart-ass" puzzle….

  3. Interesting. Took 1:09 to fill in all the boxes, made the exact same 4 errors, in the same way, as Bill. Plus missed RARIN (RAREN), ERI (ERE).

    I agree with previous posters, theme was too clever by half. Very complicated, with nothing to do about solving the puzzle.

  4. I'm trying to appreciate the amount of effort that the constructor put into this puzzle. I finished it with no errors, but, like others, found the theme a bit tedious. There was nothing about it that aided me in doing the puzzle: it just required a follow-up task that wasn't particularly demanding or interesting.

  5. I'm clearly not in the same league as the earlier commenters and made too many errors to count (which is why I visited Bill's site). That said, I liked this puzzle. I like being challenged, even by minutiae. And I really appreciate Bill's efforts and the information in the Googlies.

  6. Found this half-finished puzzle in an old stack and attempted to complete it. I have never missed so many letters in a puzzle! This was not only not straightforward, it contained words and phrases I've never or rarely heard. I knew Bill would explain it all — thanks!

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