0605-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Jun 15, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: James Mulhern
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 22m 38s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … FORTY (Forcy!!!), OTTAVA (octava)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Popular series of 1990s compilation albums : JOCK JAMS
“Jock Jams” is a series of six compilation albums released from 1995 until 2001. The album featured dance music interspersed with some cheerleader and sportsperson phrases. The “jock” in the title is a reference to sports.

9. Packaged candy once promoted with the slogan “The Freshmaker” : MENTOS
Mentos are mints made by the Italian confectioner Perfetti Van Melle. You might have seen video of Mentos mints being dropped into bottle containing a carbonated drink. The surface of the mint causes an explosive release of carbon dioxide resulting in a geyser of foam that can shoot many feet up into the air.

16. Cultivated : URBANE
We use “urbane” today to mean something courteous or refined. Back in the 1500s the term was used in the same way that we now use “urban”. Those townsfolk thought they were more sophisticated than the countryfolk, and so the usage evolved.

18. War on drugs wager : REAGAN
President Ronald Reagan famously took a hard line on the use of drugs and was able to get legislation passed that imposed mandatory minimum sentences for abuse and stiffer penalties for the possession of smaller amounts of illegal substances.

19. Org. with a code of ethics : AMA
American Medical Association (AMA)

20. Supreme Court of Georgia locale : TBILISI
Tbilisi is the largest city and capital of Georgia, the former Soviet Socialist Republic.

The former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Georgia is now an independent country. Supposedly, the Georgian people were given their name because they especially revered St. George. The flag of Georgia does indeed feature five St. George’s crosses.

25. Mollify : SALVE
“To mollify” is to appease, and comes from the Latin “mollis” meaning “soft”, as in “to soften”.

26. King in an Elgar title : OLAF
“King Olaf” is an 1896 choral work by Edward Elgar that was inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poetic sequence “The Saga of King Olaf” from his book “Tales of a Wayside Inn”.

Sir Edward Elgar was the quintessential English composer, inextricably associated with his “Pomp and Circumstance” marches (including “Land of Hope and Glory”), and the “Enigma Variations”.

29. Printemps time : MAI
In French, the month of mai (May) is in the season of printemps (Spring).

35. Cappuccino unit : SHOT
The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin is an order of Roman Catholic friars, an offshoot of the Franciscans. The order split from the Franciscans back in 1520, and were forced to go into hiding from church authorities. The new order was helped by the Camaldolese monks, and in recognition of their assistance, the breakaway monks adopted the Camaldolese hood, known as a capuccio. It is this “capuccio” that gave the order its name, and indeed ultimately gave the name to the Capuchin monkey. The cappuccino coffee is named for the coffee-and-white colored habits worn by Capuchin friars.

47. “Eternally nameless” thing : TAO
The Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Tao signifies the true nature of the world. According to the philosopher Laozi, Tao is “eternally nameless” and separate for the many “named” things that are its manifestations. It is the reality of life before we try to describe it.

49. Dumbledore’s killer : SNAPE
Professor Albus Dumbledore is the headmaster of the school for wizards called Hogwarts, in the Harry Potter universe. The “Harry Potter” books were written by J. K. Rowling, and she chose the name Dumbledore as it is an Early English word for a bumblebee. Apparently she pictured him wandering around, humming to himself.

Severus Snape is a character in the Harry Potter novels, played by the wonderful Alan Rickman on the big screen. Snape has the pivotal role of using the Killing Curse on Professor Dumbledore, as an act of mercy.

50. Dressed in a stunning gown with pearls, say : CHIC
“Chic” is a French word meaning “stylish”.

51. Quadragesimal count : FORTY
In Latin, the Christian season that is now called Lent was termed “quadragesima” (meaning “fortieth”), a reference to the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry. When the church began its move in the Middle Ages towards using the vernacular, the term “Lent” was introduced. “Lent” comes from “lenz”, the German word for “spring”.

53. Edge on a shield : ORLE
In heraldry, an orle is a decorative band that lies close to the edge of the front-surface of a shield. With such a design, the orle necessarily takes on the shape of the shield.

54. Mauna ___ : KEA
Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed.

55. Philanthropist : DONATOR
Philanthropy is a concern for human welfare, and the act of donating to persons or groups who support such concerns. The term derives from the Greek “phil-” meaning “loving”, and “anthropos” meaning “mankind”.

57. It’s big in London : BEN
Big Ben is the name commonly used for the large bell in the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster (aka the Houses of Parliament). Big Ben’s official name is the Great Bell, and there is some debate about the origins of the nickname. It may be named after Sir Benjamin Hall who oversaw the bell’s installation, or perhaps the English heavyweight champion of the day Benjamin Caunt.

62. Environmental publication name since 1893 : SIERRA
“Sierra” is the magazine published by the Sierra Club since 1893. The Sierra Club was founded in San Francisco in 1892 by the Scottish conservationist John Muir.

64. Rudely sarcastic : SNARKY
“Snark” is a term that was coined by Lewis Carroll in his fabulous 1876 nonsense poem “The Hunting of the Snark”. Somehow, the term “snarky” came to mean “irritable, short-tempered” in the early 1900s, and from there “snark” became “sarcastic rhetoric” at the beginning of the 21st century.

Down
1. Court sport : JAI ALAI
Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world because of the speed of the ball, in fact golf balls usually get going at a greater clip. Although, as a blog reader once pointed out to me, you don’t have to catch a golf ball …

2. Game with matches : OLD MAID
Old maid is a card game that originated in Victorian England, although similar games are played throughout the world. When played with a regular deck of cards, the queen of clubs is removed before play starts. The cards are distributed to the players and are discarded as “matches” are made (two aces, two kings etc). The person left with an unmatched queen is the loser, the “old maid”.

4. Louisville-based restaurant chain : KFC
The famous “Colonel” of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame was Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur from Henryville, Indiana. Although not really a “Colonel”, Sanders did indeed serve in the military. He enlisted in the Army as a private in 1906 at the age of 16, lying about his age. He spent the whole of his time in the Army as a soldier in Cuba. It was much later, in the 1930s, that Sanders went into the restaurant business making his specialty deep-fried chicken. By 1935 his reputation as a “character” had grown, so much so that Governor Ruby Laffoon of Kentucky gave Sanders the honorary title of “Kentucky Colonel”. Later in the fifties, Sanders developed his trademark look with the white suit, string tie, mustache and goatee. When Sanders was 65 however, his business failed and in stepped Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s. Thomas simplified the Sanders menu, cutting it back from over a hundred items to just fried chicken and salads. That was enough to launch KFC into the fast food business. Sanders sold the US franchise in 1964 for just $2 million and moved to Canada to grow KFC north of the border. He died in 1980 and is buried in Louisville, Kentucky. The Colonel’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices is indeed a trade secret. Apparently there is only one copy of the recipe, a handwritten piece of paper, written in pencil and signed by Colonel Sanders. Since 2009, the piece of paper has been locked in a computerized vault surrounded with motion detectors and security cameras.

6. Some Semites : ARABS
The word “Semitic” comes from the Greek for Shem, one of the three sons of Noah. A Semite is one of a large list of peoples, from the Assyrians and Babylonians to the Hebrews. The term “anti-Semite” however, almost always refer to anti-Jewish sentiment.

7. O. Henry Award-winning Truman Capote story, or either of its main female characters : MIRIAM
“Miriam” was one of the first short stories that Truman Capote had published when it appeared in a 1945 issue of “Mademoiselle” magazine. The following year, “Miriam” won an O. Henry Award as Best First-Published Story. The title character is a widow who wishes to spend the rest of her days alone in her apartment after the demise of her husband.

9. Metrosexual satchel : MURSE
A “murse” is a “man purse”. What’s wrong with pockets …?

I think it’s generally accepted that the term “metrosexual”, from “metropolitan heterosexual”, refers to a man who lives in an urban environment and puts a fair amount of money and energy into his appearance. That wouldn’t be me …

10. “___ learn love, I’ll practise to obey”: Shak. : ERE I
“Ere I learn love, I’ll practise to obey” is a line spoken by Luciana in William Shakespeare’s play “The Comedy of Errors”.

William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” is the shortest of all his plays, and one of his earliest. It’s all about two sets of identical twins who are separated at birth. Hilarity ensues …

12. Language in which “maraming salamat” means “thank you very much” : TAGALOG
“Maraming salamat” is Tagalog for “Many thanks”.

Tagalog, officially known as “Filipino”, is one of the two official languages of the Philippines, the other being English. The name “Tagalog” translates as “river dweller”.

21. Brown and others : IVIES
The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island, is one of the eight Ivy League schools. Brown has been around a long time, founded in 1764, years before America declared independence from England. The university took the name of Brown in 1804 after one Nicholas Brown, Jr. gave a substantial gift to the school.

24. Like some demand, in economics : ELASTIC
Elasticity in the world of economics is a mathematical concept. An elastic variable is one that might be varied by changing something else. For example, in some markets one can lower the price of goods and thereby increase the volume of sales. Sometimes variables are inelastic. For example, sales volume might be described as inelastic if changing the price has no effect.

28. Historical Allen : ETHAN
Ethan Allen was one of the founders of the state of Vermont. Allen was also a hero in the American Revolutionary War, famous for leading (along with Benedict Arnold) the small band of men that captured Fort Ticonderoga. And yes, the Ethan Allen store and furniture line is named for Ethan Allen the patriot, even though he had nothing to do with the furniture business.

30. Irksome ones : PILLS
The term “pill” can be used to describe a boring and disagreeable person, a “bitter pill to swallow”.

32. Aurora’s Greek counterpart : EOS
In Greek mythology, Eos is the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos is Aurora.

34. Mud : JOE
It seems that no one really knows why we refer to coffee as “joe”, but we’ve been doing so since early in WWII.

36. Grand ___ : TETON
Grand Teton National Park is located just south of Yellowstone NP, and a must-see if you are visiting the latter. The park is named after the tallest peak in the magnificent Teton Range known as Grand Teton. The origins of the name “Teton” is not very clear, although my favorite story is that it was named by French trappers, as the word “tetons” in French means “breasts”!

38. Jerk : JACKASS
A female donkey is known as a jenny, and a male is known as a jack, or sometimes a “jackass”.

40. Chamonix, for one : SKI AREA
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is on the eastern border of France, in the Alps. Famously it was the site of the 1924 Winter Olympics, the first ever Winter Games.

43. Beats by Dre items : EARBUDS
Beats by Dre is a brand of audio products made by Beats Electronics, a company that was co-founded by rapper Dr. Dre. Apple bought Beats for $3 billion in 2014, the largest acquisition by far in Apple’s history.

44. Equal alternative : SPLENDA
Splenda and Equal are brand names for the artificial sweetener called sucralose.

48. Up or down 12 semitones, in musical notation : OTTAVA
“Ottava” is the Italian word for “octave”.

I find that terminology in music can be confusing. My way of looking at an octave (my way … don’t shout at me!) is thinking of a piano keyboard. In the key of C, the seven notes of the octave are C, D, E, F, G, A, B (or “do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti”). These are all white keys. Most of these “white notes” are separated by whole tones, so there is room to add a “semitone” in between most of them, and these are the black keys (C-sharp for example). There is room for five black keys in an octave, and 7 + 5 adds up to 12. I assume we use the term “octave” because we often add an eighth note on the end “to bring us back to do” as the song says (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do … or … C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C). That eighth note is really the first note in the next octave up. And I know we’ve discussed this before, but I still don’t get it. I think my lack of musical talent is conspiring with a few years of math education to get me totally confused …

51. Sally : FORAY
A “sally” is a sudden and violent attack, especially a counterattack by forces under siege. The term comes into English via Middle French from the Latin “salire” meaning “to leap”. By extension, a passage in a fortification that is used to make that counterattack is known as a “sally-port”.

52. On a farm team? : YOKED
A yoke is that wooden beam used between a pair of oxen so that they are forced to work together.

61. Cutesy ending : -POO
Billypoo, as my wife calls me … not!

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Popular series of 1990s compilation albums : JOCK JAMS
9. Packaged candy once promoted with the slogan “The Freshmaker” : MENTOS
15. Definitely in favor : ALL FOR IT
16. Cultivated : URBANE
17. “Lordy Lordy!” : I DECLARE!
18. War on drugs wager : REAGAN
19. Org. with a code of ethics : AMA
20. Supreme Court of Georgia locale : TBILISI
22. Continue : ADD
23. It’s between the lines : LANE
25. Mollify : SALVE
26. King in an Elgar title : OLAF
27. Seating request : AISLE
29. Printemps time : MAI
30. Snap : PHOTO
31. Get creative : IDEATE
33. Adjust : REJIGGER
35. Cappuccino unit : SHOT
37. Go it alone : SOLO
38. “Hold on” : JUST A SEC
42. First in line, say : ELDEST
46. Not leave waiting at the door : ASK IN
47. “Eternally nameless” thing : TAO
49. Dumbledore’s killer : SNAPE
50. Dressed in a stunning gown with pearls, say : CHIC
51. Quadragesimal count : FORTY
53. Edge on a shield : ORLE
54. Mauna ___ : KEA
55. Philanthropist : DONATOR
57. It’s big in London : BEN
58. Overdue amount : ARREAR
60. Certain trick football play : FAKE PUNT
62. Environmental publication name since 1893 : SIERRA
63. 1 to 1 : EVEN ODDS
64. Rudely sarcastic : SNARKY
65. “Regrettably …” : SAD TO SAY …

Down
1. Court sport : JAI ALAI
2. Game with matches : OLD MAID
3. Purify : CLEANSE
4. Louisville-based restaurant chain : KFC
5. Give a turn : JOLT
6. Some Semites : ARABS
7. O. Henry Award-winning Truman Capote story, or either of its main female characters : MIRIAM
8. Outstanding : STELLAR
9. Metrosexual satchel : MURSE
10. “___ learn love, I’ll practise to obey”: Shak. : ERE I
11. Houston and Dallas are in it: Abbr. : NBA
12. Language in which “maraming salamat” means “thank you very much” : TAGALOG
13. Seeing someone, say : ON A DATE
14. Summon : SEND FOR
21. Brown and others : IVIES
24. Like some demand, in economics : ELASTIC
26. “That’s a terrible, terrible idea!” : OH GOD NO!
28. Historical Allen : ETHAN
30. Irksome ones : PILLS
32. Aurora’s Greek counterpart : EOS
34. Mud : JOE
36. Grand ___ : TETON
38. Jerk : JACKASS
39. Welcome : USHER IN
40. Chamonix, for one : SKI AREA
41. Red and white containers : CARAFES
43. Beats by Dre items : EARBUDS
44. Equal alternative : SPLENDA
45. Minute : TEENTSY
48. Up or down 12 semitones, in musical notation : OTTAVA
51. Sally : FORAY
52. On a farm team? : YOKED
55. Forbidding : DARK
56. Some overhead : RENT
59. Fumble : ERR
61. Cutesy ending : -POO

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5 thoughts on “0605-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Jun 15, Friday”

  1. REJIGGER seems to be redundant, so I will disagree with it. Missed on OTTAVA and FORAY as well. And I've never heard of a cutey-POO. Cutey-pie, maybe. Seems rather forced. Why not just a straight-ahead reference to poop? Heck, the Times routinely includes smut and other blue topics. :34.

  2. Not in sync with the setter today, 51:59 with 2 errors. 10D EREE, 20A TBILISE. Had OCTAVA for 48D also, but FORTY corrected that. The hint for 61D is 'Cutesy'; I have heard the expression Cutesy-POO.

  3. I'd never heard of JOCK JAMS, but guessed correctly based on crossing words. I agree with Willie D about REJIGGER. (I have to wonder if it's somehow derived from "jury-rigged".) I've seldom seen ARREAR used in the singular. (In fact, I think I've only encountered it once before, in another crossword puzzle.) I've never heard of a MURSE, either, but I guess it's a logical development from "man-purse", which I first heard of not too many years ago. I most certainly agree with Bill about the efficacy of pockets, but my iPad Mini has caused me to begin using a little backpack and, since I have it, I might as well put other things in it, and … in the end, what I'm using is a purse that's attached to me in a manly way … 🙂 CUTESY-POO is a word that I have heard, usually as a somewhat derisive description of something a little too "precious".

    On to Saturday! …

  4. Top left quadrant just had my number…. And "Supreme Court" in the Georgia clue took my mind completely away from Russia to the SE United states. This one was pretty hard. At least it had no dirty tricks in it…

  5. Pretty hard, with several questionable clues and answers: Cutesy ending, ARREAR (singular), DONATOR, JOCKJAMS, Give a turn, TEENTSY. We missed TAGALOG, in spite of the fact that I know a few words of it.

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