0624-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Jun 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ian Livengood
THEME: Five Stars … each of today’s themed answers has FIVE STARS:

56A. What 17-, 23-, 33- and 47-Across each have : FIVE STARS

17A. Luxury hotel overlooking Central Park : THE PIERRE (a five-star rated hotel)
23A. First chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1949 : OMAR BRADLEY (a five-star general)
33A. Constellation visible in Melbourne and Sydney : SOUTHERN CROSS (a constellation with five stars)
47A. Flier over Tiananmen Square : CHINESE FLAG (a flag with five stars)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME:8m 18s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “Rock and Roll All Nite” band : KISS
KISS is a hard rock band from New York City. KISS is the group whose band members use all that scary face paint and wear wacky outfits on stage.

5. Crime chief : CAPO
More properly called a “caporegime”, a “capo” is high-ranking member of the Mafia (Cosa Nostra).

9. Region known for its black tea : ASSAM
Assam is a state in the very northeast of India, just south of the Himalayas. Assam is noted for its tea as well as its silk.

14. Quechua speaker : INCA
Quechua was the existing Native American language that was adopted by the Incan Empire and favored over other dialects.

15. Pike, e.g. : ROAD
Back in the 15th century a “turnpike” was a defensive barrier across a road. By the 17th century the term was used for a barrier that stopped travellers until a toll was paid. By the 18th century a turnpike (sometimes “pike”) was the name given to a road with a toll.

16. Big bang material, informally : NITRO
TNT is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene, a substance that is sometimes referred to informally as “nitro”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

17. Luxury hotel overlooking Central Park : THE PIERRE
The Pierre is a luxurious, five-star hotel facing Central Park in New York City. The 42-story hotel opened in 1930. If you’ve seen the movie “Scent of a Woman”, the blind Al Pacino character dances his famous tango in the ballroom of the Pierre Hotel.

22. Not yet available at press time, for short : TBA
To Be Advised (TBA)

23. First chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1949 : OMAR BRADLEY
Omar Bradley graduated from West Point in the class of 1915, along with Dwight Eisenhower who also attained the rank of General of the Army. Bradley was the last person to hold the rank of a five-star commissioned officer, and he was the first general to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I was struck by a quotation from Bradley from later in his life:

Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than about peace, more about killing than we know about living.

25. Labor Day deliveries : VIRGOS
The astrological sign of Virgo is associated with the constellation of the same name. The Virgo constellation is related to maidens (virgins), purity and fertility.

Labor Day is a federal holiday observed every year on the first Monday in September. The tradition of honoring workers with a holiday started in Boston in 1878, when a day of observance was organized by the Central Labor Union, the major trade union at the time. There was a bloody dispute in 1894 between labor unions and the railroads called the Pullman Strike, which led to the death of some workers when the US Military and US Marshals were instructed to maintain order. President Grover Cleveland submitted a “Labor Day” bill to Congress which was signed into law just six days after the end of the strike. The introduction of a federal holiday to honor the worker was a move designed to promote reconciliation between management and unions after the bitter conflict.

28. Exam-administering org. : ETS
The Educational Testing Service (ETS) was founded in 1947, and produces standardized tests for students from kindergarten through college. Perhaps most famously, ETS operates the SAT testing process.

30. Red stone : GARNET
Garnets are silicate minerals that comes in many colors. However, the color that we call “garnet” is a dark red.

33. Constellation visible in Melbourne and Sydney : SOUTHERN CROSS
The Southern Cross is the familiar name for the constellation Crux. “Crux” is the Latin word for “cross”, which is the shape formed by the five stars that make up the constellation.

38. Any of three author sisters : BRONTE
The first work that any of the three Brontë sisters had in print was an 1846 collection of poetry that they published jointly. This first work was titled “Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell”, each using a male pen name. Charlotte Brontë published her novel “Jane Eyre” under the name Currer Bell. Emily Brontë followed soon after with “Wuthering Heights” published under the name Ellis Bell. The youngest sister, Anne Brontë, published “Agnes Grey” using the name Acton Bell.

41. ___ deviation: Abbr. : STD
In the world of statistics, the standard deviation (std. dev.) is a measure of how closely data points are clustered around the mean value. A low standard deviation indicates a relatively tight distribution. A standard deviation is usually represented by the Greek letter sigma in lower case.

44. Swiss canton : URI
Supposedly William Tell came from Uri, a canton in the German part of Switzerland. Altdorf is the capital of Uri and is the city where William Tell shot the apple off his son’s head, at least according to legend.

47. Flier over Tiananmen Square : CHINESE FLAG
The Chinese flag has a red background with five gold stars in the upper left corner. The stars are arranged with four small stars in an arc beside a larger star. The design was adopted in 1949 and was first flown in October of that year at a ceremony in Tiananmen Square announcing the foundation of the People’s Republic of China.

Tiananmen Square is located in the center of Beijing, China. It is the third largest city square in the world, after Merdeka Square in Jakarta, Indonesia and Praça dos Girassóis in Palmas, Brazil. Tiananmen Square can hold up to 600,000 people, and has been the site of major protests on several occasions over the years. The protests of 1989 are also referred to as the “Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989” as 200-300 (official figures) or perhaps several thousand (unofficial estimates) protestors and soldiers were killed when the military was sent in to restore order.

51. Bo Derek, in a 1979 film : TEN
“10” is a fun romantic comedy released in 1979 starring Dudley Moore, Bo Derek and Julie Andrews. Famously, the movie made stars of Moore and Derek, as well as popularizing Ravel’s marvelous piece of music called “Boléro”.

Bo Derek’s most famous role was in the comedy film from 1979 titled “10”, in which she starred opposite Dudley Moore. Born Mary Cathleen Collins in Long Beach, California, she started a romantic relationship when she was 16 with actor and director John Derek, who was thirty years her senior. The couple moved to Germany in order to avoid the statutory rape laws in California, eventually returning to the US to marry in 1976, when Cathleen was 20. Around the same time, she changed her name to Bo Derek.

53. Richard who won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony and Pulitzer : RODGERS
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were extremely successful writers of Broadway musicals in the forties and fifties. Rodgers composed the music and Hammerstein wrote the lyrics for hits such as “Oklahoma!”, “Carousel”, “South Pacific”, The King and I” and “The Sound of Music”.

55. Pennsylvania Dutch speakers : AMISH
The Amish are a group of Christian churches, a sub-group of the Mennonite churches. The Amish church originated in Switzerland and Alsace in 1693 when it was founded by Jakob Ammann. It was Ammann who gave the name to the Amish people. Many Amish people came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

The Pennsylvania Dutch are a cultural group in Pennsylvania who are descended from German-speaking immigrants who came to America in the 17th and 18th centuries. As such, the “Dutch” in the group’s name doesn’t refer to the Dutch people, but rather to the German language (“Deutsch” in German).

58. Places to stand and deliver? : PODIA
“Podium” (plural “podia”) is the Latin word for “raised platform”.

59. Bambi and others : DEER
The 1942 Disney classic “Bambi” is based on a book written by Felix Salten called “Bambi, A Life in the Woods”. There is a documented phenomenon known as the Bambi Effect, whereby people become more interested in animal rights after having watched the scene where Bambi’s mother is shot by hunters.

61. “I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie” author : EBERT
“I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie” is a collection of a couple of hundred of Roger Ebert’s most acerbic and negative film reviews. Included are reviews of “Armageddon” (1998), “The Beverly Hillbillies” (1993) and “Police Academy” (1984).

63. Mönch and Eiger, for two : ALPS
The Mönch is one of the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. It is one of three mountains in a very recognizable ridge, alongside the more famous Eiger and Jungfrau.

The Eiger is a mountain in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. It is a noted peak for mountain climbing, with its treacherous north face being the most famous approach to the summit. Over sixty climbers have died since 1935 on that north face.

Down
1. Baby fox : KIT
A kit is a young mammal of several species, including the ferret and the fox. “Kit” is probably a shortened form of “kitten”.

3. Plot outline : SCENARIO
A scenario is an outline of the plot of perhaps a novel or play.

6. Vessel with many branches : AORTA
The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

8. Keats’s “To Autumn,” e.g. : ODE
The poet John Keats is famous for writing a whole series of beautiful odes. The most renowned are the so-called “1819 Odes”, a collection from the year 1819 that includes famous poems such as “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, “Ode to a Nightingale” and “Ode to Psyche”, as well as “To Autumn”.

9. “B.C.” animal that goes ZOT! : ANTEATER
“B.C.” is a comic strip that was drawn by Johnny Hart, and now since Hart’s passing, is produced by his grandson. Hart introduced “B.C.” in 1958. One of the non-human characters in the strip is the Anteater, who sucks up ants with his sticky tongue making a “ZOT” sound. Hart’s Anteater is the inspiration for Peter the Anteater, the team mascot for UC Irvine. Johnny Hart’s other famous comic strip is the brilliant “The Wizard of Id”.

11. 35-Down quarters : STABLE
We use the term “quarters” for a place of abode, especially housing for military personnel. Back in the late 16th century, quarters were a portion (quarter) of a town reserved for a military force.

13. Shuffles (along) : MOSEYS
“Mosey” is American slang for “amble”, of unknown origin.

18. Classic Langston Hughes poem : I, TOO
Langston Hughes was a poet active in the Harlem Renaissance, and someone who helped develop the literary form known as “jazz poetry”. His poem “I, Too, Sing America” was published in 1925.

I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.

21. Swiss money : FRANC
Not only is the Swiss Franc legal tender in Switzerland, it is also the money used in Liechtenstein as well as the Italian exclave of Campione d’Italia.

26. Chow : GRUB
“Grub” is slang for food. The word “grub” has been used in this sense since way back in the 1600s, possible derived from birds eating grubs.

“Chow” is an American slang word for food. The term originated in California in the mid-1800s. “Chow” comes from the Chinese pidgin English “chow-chow” meaning “food”.

30. Robin Williams voiced one in “Aladdin” : GENIE
The Disney animated feature “Aladdin” was released in 1992 and is one of the best features to come out of the studio, in my opinion, largely due to the great performance by Robin Williams who voiced the Genie. “Aladdin” was the most successful film of 1992, earning over $500 million worldwide, an unusual feat for an animated movie.

34. “I agree” : TRUE THAT
“True that” is a slang way to say “that is true”.

35. Derby hopeful : HORSE
Our use of the word “derby” to mean a race started in 1780 with the English Derby horse race, which was founded then by the 12th Earl of Derby. Ultimately, the term “derby” derives from the old English shire of “Deorby”, a word meaning “deer village”.

40. Nikkei 225 unit : YEN
The Korean Won, the Chinese Yuan, and the Japanese Yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents “round shape”.

The Nikkei is a stock market index for the Tokyo Stock Exchange that has been published by the “Nihon Keizai Shimbun” newspaper since 1950. The “Nihon Keizai Shimbun” has the largest circulation of any financial newspaper in the world, and is read by over 3 million people daily.

45. Sound control knobs : FADERS
A fader is a knob (or usually a slider) that gradually increases or decreases the level of an audio signal. You’ll often see audio engineers at a performance or in a recording studio sliding buttons up and down. Those are faders.

46. Popular sheepskin boots : UGGS
Uggs are sheepskin boots that originated in Australia and New Zealand. Uggs have sheepskin fleece on the inside for comfort and insulation, with a tanned leather surface on the outside for durability. Ugg is a generic term down under, although it’s a brand name here in the US.

54. “At Last” singer James : ETTA
Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

56. “Protecting and promoting your health” org. : FDA
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approves drugs for specific conditions. It is quite legal for a healthcare professional to prescribe an approved medication for a use that is different to the FDA-approved indication. This usage of the drug is described as “off-label”.

57. Many honorees at M.L.B.’s Old-Timers’ Day : SRS
Old-Timers’ Day is a tradition seen mainly in Major League Baseball in which a team honors former players. The tradition was inaugurated in the late thirties by the New York Yankees. One of the famous Old-Timers’ Day was held on July 4, 1939, when ALS-stricken Lou Gehrig made a speech declaring himself the “luckiest man on the face of the earth”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “Rock and Roll All Nite” band : KISS
5. Crime chief : CAPO
9. Region known for its black tea : ASSAM
14. Quechua speaker : INCA
15. Pike, e.g. : ROAD
16. Big bang material, informally : NITRO
17. Luxury hotel overlooking Central Park : THE PIERRE
19. Some airport transports : TRAMS
20. Like some cheaper tuition : IN-STATE
21. Weak : FEEBLE
22. Not yet available at press time, for short : TBA
23. First chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1949 : OMAR BRADLEY
25. Labor Day deliveries : VIRGOS
27. ___ bran muffin : OAT
28. Exam-administering org. : ETS
29. Hubbub : STIR
30. Red stone : GARNET
33. Constellation visible in Melbourne and Sydney : SOUTHERN CROSS
38. Any of three author sisters : BRONTE
39. “Fine by me” : OKAY
41. ___ deviation: Abbr. : STD
44. Swiss canton : URI
45. To no purpose : FUTILE
47. Flier over Tiananmen Square : CHINESE FLAG
51. Bo Derek, in a 1979 film : TEN
52. Election do-over : REVOTE
53. Richard who won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony and Pulitzer : RODGERS
55. Pennsylvania Dutch speakers : AMISH
56. What 17-, 23-, 33- and 47-Across each have : FIVE STARS
58. Places to stand and deliver? : PODIA
59. Bambi and others : DEER
60. Feature of a big cake : TIER
61. “I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie” author : EBERT
62. Tosses in : ADDS
63. Mönch and Eiger, for two : ALPS

Down
1. Baby fox : KIT
2. Puts the brakes on : INHIBITS
3. Plot outline : SCENARIO
4. Drains, as energy : SAPS
5. Wipes the floor with : CREAMS
6. Vessel with many branches : AORTA
7. Kitchen doohickey : PARER
8. Keats’s “To Autumn,” e.g. : ODE
9. “B.C.” animal that goes ZOT! : ANTEATER
10. Fathered : SIRED
11. 35-Down quarters : STABLE
12. Small sea projection : ARMLET
13. Shuffles (along) : MOSEYS
18. Classic Langston Hughes poem : I, TOO
21. Swiss money : FRANC
22. Common waiting area distractions : TVS
24. Shouldered : BORNE
26. Chow : GRUB
30. Robin Williams voiced one in “Aladdin” : GENIE
31. ___ studio : ART
32. Horn sound : TOOT
34. “I agree” : TRUE THAT
35. Derby hopeful : HORSE
36. Slippery slope? : SKI TRAIL
37. Worker on commission : SALES REP
40. Nikkei 225 unit : YEN
41. Predicament : SCRAPE
42. What a 5-Across is a boss in : THE MOB
43. What “/” means in math class : DIVIDE
45. Sound control knobs : FADERS
46. Popular sheepskin boots : UGGS
48. Subordinate’s refusal : NO, SIR
49. Mentally pooped : FRIED
50. Gave a glowing review, say : LOVED
54. “At Last” singer James : ETTA
56. “Protecting and promoting your health” org. : FDA
57. Many honorees at M.L.B.’s Old-Timers’ Day : SRS

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7 thoughts on “0624-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 24 Jun 15, Wednesday”

  1. Did a fair job on this one today (syndie). Did well, except for direct due south where I picked up four errors due to fairly confusing cluing.

    As mentioned by @WillieD, the syndicated print version also credits "JASA Crossword Class". Kind of a different idea for a continuing education class for the aged (55+). Ian Livengood is the acting instructor for the course (to explain his name's existence), though has published a number of other puzzles on his own.

  2. 15:03, no errors. Solved the bottom half of the puzzle before the top. Took a while to get a series of clues that I was confident in.

  3. Hello Bill,

    I come here every day after doing the crossword and it's always a pleasure. Thank you for all your hard work. As a veteran and a lover of literature, I would also like to say thank you for including the Omar Bradley quote and the Langston Hughes poem.

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