0510-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 10 May 16, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Kwong
THEME: Birdman … each of today’s themed answers is a famous MAN, one with a family name that is also a BIRD:

51A. Best Picture of 2014 … or what 18-, 23-, 28-, 34-, 46- and 56-Across each is? : BIRDMAN

18A. Longtime Orioles manager in the Baseball Hall of Fame : EARL WEAVER
23A. Co-author of the Federalist Papers : JOHN JAY
28A. Big name in skateboarding : TONY HAWK
34A. “The Broken Tower” poet : HART CRANE
46A. Boy genius of old teen fiction : TOM SWIFT
56A. “Network” Oscar winner : PETER FINCH

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 46s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … JOHN JAY (John Day!!!), JENA (Dena)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. Sponsorship : AEGIS
Someone is said to be under the aegis (also “egis”) of someone else (for example) if that other person provides protection, or perhaps sponsorship. The word “aegis” comes from the Greek word for a goat (“aigis”), the idea being that the goatskin shield or breastplate worn by Zeus or Athena, gave some measure of protection.

16. Oracle : SEER
In Ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word “oracle” derives from the Latin “orare” meaning “to speak”, which is the same root for our word “orator”.

17. Bosnian, e.g. : SLAV
The Slavic peoples are in the majority in communities covering over half of Europe. This large ethnic group is traditionally broken down into three smaller groups:

– the West Slavic (including Czechs and Poles)
– the East Slavic (including Russians and Ukrainians)
– the South Slavic (including Bulgarians and Serbs)

Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of six federal units in former Yugoslavia that gained independence after the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. There are three main ethnic groups in Bosnia. The largest group are the Bosniaks, the second the Bosnian Serbs, and the third the Bosnian Croats.

18. Longtime Orioles manager in the Baseball Hall of Fame : EARL WEAVER
Earl Weaver was a professional baseball player who never made it out of the minors as a player, but spent 17 years in the majors as manager of the Baltimore Orioles.

Weavers are small birds related to finches. Weavers are so called because they are known to weave the most elaborate of any bird.

20. El-overseeing org. : CTA
The Chicago “L” is the second largest rapid transit system in the US, with the New York City Subway being the largest. The “L” is also the second oldest, again with the New York City Subway system having the honor of being around the longest. Note that the official nickname for the system is the “L” (originally short for “elevated railroad”), although the term “El” is also in common use (especially in crosswords as “ELS”). The L is managed by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

21. TV Guide chart, for short : SKED
Schedule (sked.)

22. “Buenos ___!” : DIAS
“Buenos dias” translates from Spanish as “good day”, but can also be used to say “good morning”.

23. Co-author of the Federalist Papers : JOHN JAY
John Jay was one of the Founding Fathers and President of the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1779. From 1789 to 1795, Jay was the nation’s first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He retired from the court to serve as the second Governor of New York.

“The Federalist Papers” are a series of published articles promoting the ratification of the US Constitution that were written anonymously by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay. In fact, all three authors used “Publius” as a pen name, in honor of the Roman consul Publius Valerius Publicola. Publius was one of four Roman aristocrats who led the overthrow of the Roman monarchy in the revolution of 509 BC, effectively founding the Roman Republic.

The bird known as a “jay” is sometimes called a “magpie”, although the terms are not completely interchangeable.

28. Big name in skateboarding : TONY HAWK
Tony Hawk is a former professional skateboarder from Carlsbad, California. He is probably the most famous skateboarder in the world. I certainly can’t name another one …

31. “Dude!” : MY MAN!
Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, Easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

32. 9-3 automaker : SAAB
SAAB stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. SAAB was, and still is, mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automobile division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000, who then sold it to a Dutch concern in 2010. However, SAAB (automotive) finally went bankrupt in 2011.

33. Covert org. : NSA
The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname … “No Such Agency”.

34. “The Broken Tower” poet : HART CRANE
American poet Hart Crane’s most famous work is the epic poem “The Broken Tower”, which was published just a few months before committing suicide. Crane was travelling by steamship from Mexico to New York, and threw himself overboard into the Gulf of Mexico, exclaiming, “Goodbye, everybody!”.

38. “Annie” characters : ENS
There are two letters N (ens) in the name “Annie”.

41. Alsace assents : OUIS
Alsace is a region in the east of France that we sometimes refer to as Alsatia, its Latin name. Alsace is home to Strasbourg, a beautiful city that I had the privilege to visit some years ago. Strasbourg is home to many international organizations, including the European Court of Human Rights.

46. Boy genius of old teen fiction : TOM SWIFT
Tom Swift is the title character in a series of adventure stories for young people that were introduced in 1910. The books were authored by a succession of ghost writers, although all were credited to “Victor Appleton”. As an aside, the the trade name TASER, used for an electroshock weapon, is supposedly an acronym standing for Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”.

50. Relative of a blintz : CREPE
“Crêpe” is the French word for “pancake”.

A blintz (also “blintze”, and “blin”, plural “blini”) is a thin pancake similar to a crêpe although unlike a crêpe, a blintz may contain yeast.

51. Best Picture of 2014 … or what 18-, 23-, 28-, 34-, 46- and 56-Across each is? : BIRDMAN
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” is a 2014 film that was an incredible critical success. The title character was played by Michael Keaton. I know I am in the minority, but I hated “Birdman” …

52. Parts of small intestines : ILEA
The human ileum is the lowest part of the small intestine, found below the jejunum and above the cecum of the large intestine.

53. Famed synthesizer : MOOG
Robert Moog invented the Moog Synthesizer in the sixties, an electronic device that he used to produce music. I used to own a few of his albums, including a Moog version of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”. What a great performance that was …

56. “Network” Oscar winner : PETER FINCH
The movie “Network” was released in 1976. It was directed by Sidney Lumet and stars Peter Finch in his final role, for which he won a posthumous Academy Award. That Oscar for Peter Finch was remarkable in that it was the first time the Best Actor award had been won after the actor passed away, and it was also the first time it had been won by an Australian.

58. ___ Minor : URSA
Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”.

62. Appearance : MIEN
One’s “mien” is one’s bearing or manner. “Mien” shares the same etymological root as our word “demeanor”.

65. Lead-in to masochism : SADO-
A sadist is someone who derives pleasure from inflicting pain, with that pleasure often being sexual in nature. The term “sadist” comes from the Marquis de Sade who was known to exhibit such tendencies.

The Marquis de Sade was a French aristocrat with a reputation for a libertine lifestyle. De Sade was also a writer, well known for his works of erotica. He fell foul of the law for some of his more extreme practices and for blaspheming the Catholic church. On an off, de Sade spent 32 years of his life in prison and in insane asylums.

A masochist, in sexual terms, is someone who gets sexual pleasure in being hurt or abused. The term comes from the name of the Austrian novelist Leopold von Sacher-Masoch who wrote “Venus in Furs”, a novel that features female dominance and male subservience.

Down
2. One set in a “Romeo and Juliet” production : BALCONY
The “balcony” scene is perhaps the best known scene in William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”. The irony is that Shakespeare never mentioned a balcony at all in his original text. In fact, the word “balcony” did not exist in English in Shakespeare’s day. A balcony was added in many productions starting about a century after the play’s premiere, and that balcony persists to this day.

3. Georgia county of which 4-Down is the seat : CHATHAM
4. Oldest city in Georgia : SAVANNAH
Savannah was founded in 1733, making it the oldest city in the state of Georgia. The city is named for the Savannah River, which runs through it. It is believed that the river’s name is derived from a Shawnee word, or a variant name for the Shawnee people.

5. “Veni, vidi, vici” speaker : CAESAR
The oft-quoted statement “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) is believed by many to have been written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BC and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.

7. Shrek, e.g. : OGRE
Before “Shrek” was a successful movie franchise and Broadway musical, it was a children’s picture book called “Shrek!” authored and illustrated by William Steig. The title “Shrek!” came from the German/Yiddish word Schreck, meaning “fear” or “terror”.

8. Word repeated before “West” in a film and 1960s TV series : WILD
“The Wild Wild West” is a western TV series that originally aired in the sixties. The show has been described as “James Bond on horseback” and featured two Secret Service agents who solved crimes and protected President Ulysses Grant. The show was adapted into a 1999 movie called “Wild Wild West” starring Will Smith and Kevin Kline.

9. Its capital is Sydney: Abbr. : NSW
New South Wales (NSW) is the most populous state in Australia and is home to Sydney, the most populous city in the country. New South Wales was founded in 1788. When the British took over New Zealand in 1840, for a while New Zealand was actually governed as part of New South Wales.

Sydney is the most populous city in Australia. People from Sydney are known as “Sydneysiders”.

10. Book after Song of Solomon : ISAIAH
The Book of Isaiah is part of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. Isaiah is not mentioned in the Qur’an, but many Muslim scholars consider Isaiah a prophet.

11. Many a resident on Lake Tahoe : NEVADAN
Lake Tahoe is up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, right on the border between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the country, and the largest lake in general, behind the five Great Lakes. It’s also the second deepest lake, with only the beautiful Crater Lake in Oregon being deeper. Given its location, there are tall casinos that sit right on the shore on the Nevada side of the state line where gambling is legal.

12. Vacillates : SEESAWS
“To vacillate” is to be indecisive, to waver. The term comes from the Latin “vacillare” meaning “to sway to and fro”.

13. Boston Bruin great : 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 …

23. Brown or Rice : JIM
Jim Brown is a retired fullback (FB) who played for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. Around the time that Brown retired from the sport, he took up acting. He has appeared in many movies, although I only recall seeing him in “The Dirty Dozen” (1967) and “Ice Station Zebra” (1968) …

Jim Rice is a retired Major League Baseball player who spent his 16-year career with the Boston Red Sox.

24. Actress Malone of “The Hunger Games” : JENA
Jena Malone is an American musician and actress. Malone played Johanna Mason, one of the combatants in three of “The Hunger Games” series of films.

26. Cousin of reggae : SKA
Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of some sound.

29. Sculls : OARS
A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell. Crew members who row the boat can be referred to as “oars”.

30. Magic and Wizards org. : NBA
The Orlando Magic were formed in 1989 as an NBA expansion team. A local paper was asked to run a competition to suggest names for the new team and the community came up with its four top picks of “Heat”, “Tropics”, “Juice” and “Magic”. A committee then opted for “Orlando Magic”. A good choice I think …

The Washington Wizards are the professional basketball team based in the nation’s capital. The franchise began playing in Chicago as the Packers, in 1961. One year later, the Chicago team changed its name to the Zephyrs. After one more season, the franchise relocated and became the Baltimore Bullets. In 1973, the team moved to Landover, Maryland to became the Capital Bullets, and then took the Washington Bullets name the following season. The final name change came in 1995, as the owner was uncomfortable with the violent images conjured up by the “Bullets” name. The Wizards name was chosen after a fan contest.

32. Double ___ Oreos : STUF
Double Stuf Oreo was introduced in 1975, and has twice the normal amount of white cream filling as the original cookie.

35. Reine’s husband : ROI
“La reine” (the queen) is the wife of “le roi” (the king), in French.

36. Former queen of Jordan : NOOR
Queen Noor is the widow of King Hussein of Jordan. Queen Noor was born Lisa Halaby in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Najeeb Halaby. Her father was appointed by President Kennedy as the head of the Federal Aviation Administration, and later became the CEO of Pan Am. Lisa Halaby met King Hussein in 1977, while working on the design of Jordan’s Queen Alia Airport. The airport was named after King Hussein’s third wife who had been killed that year in a helicopter crash. Halaby and the King were married the next year, in 1978.

39. Former dictator of Panama : NORIEGA
Manuel Noriega was the forcibly removed from power by US forces in 19889 after he spent six years as military dictator of Panama. Noriega was found guilty of several crimes in a US court, including drug-trafficking. He served time with prisoner-of-war status in Florida for 17 years, until 2007. Noriega was extradited from the US to France in 2010, where he served more time for money-laundering. He was then extradited from France to Panama to face trial for human rights violations. Noriega remains in a Panamanian prison to this day.

40. Refined : SMELTED
Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and of course, a greenhouse gas).

43. Biblical city of Palestine : SAMARIA
The ancient city of Samaria, according to the Bible, was founded by Omri, the king of the northern kingdom of Israel. Somebody from Samaria was known as a “Samaritan”.

45. Jack Reed or Harry Reid: Abbr. : SEN
Jack Reed has served as US Senator from Rhode Island since 1997.

Democrat Harry Reid was the Senate Majority leader from 2007 until 2015. Reid had a big day in the Senate from a Democratic perspective with the successful passage of the so-called ObamaCare Bill. Paradoxically, Harry Reid’s wife was in hospital at the time, having broken her back in a car accident. Reid took over as Senate Majority leader from Republican Bill Frist who retired from politics in 2007. He was replaced in 2015 by Republican Mitch McConnell.

51. Lawn game : BOCCE
The Italian bowling game of “bocce” (anglicized as “bocci”) is based on a game played in Ancient Rome. “Bocce” is the plural of the Italian word “boccia” meaning “bowl”.

53. Minderbinder of “Catch-22” : MILO
Milo Minderbinder is the mess officer in Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel “Catch-22”. In the 1970 film adaptation of the book, the Minderbinder character is played by Jon Voight.

59. Enero begins it : ANO
In Spanish, “el año” (the year) starts in “enero” (January) and ends in “diciembre” (December).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Some rote learning : ABCS
5. Cutup : CLOWN
10. Not ___ many words : IN SO
14. “You make me laugh” : HA-HA
15. Sponsorship : AEGIS
16. Oracle : SEER
17. Bosnian, e.g. : SLAV
18. Longtime Orioles manager in the Baseball Hall of Fame : EARL WEAVER
20. El-overseeing org. : CTA
21. TV Guide chart, for short : SKED
22. “Buenos ___!” : DIAS
23. Co-author of the Federalist Papers : JOHN JAY
25. Fathers, to tots : DADAS
27. More foolish : INANER
28. Big name in skateboarding : TONY HAWK
31. “Dude!” : MY MAN!
32. 9-3 automaker : SAAB
33. Covert org. : NSA
34. “The Broken Tower” poet : HART CRANE
38. “Annie” characters : ENS
41. Alsace assents : OUIS
42. Havens : OASES
46. Boy genius of old teen fiction : TOM SWIFT
49. Team esteem : MORALE
50. Relative of a blintz : CREPE
51. Best Picture of 2014 … or what 18-, 23-, 28-, 34-, 46- and 56-Across each is? : BIRDMAN
52. Parts of small intestines : ILEA
53. Famed synthesizer : MOOG
55. Genre first included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007 : RAP
56. “Network” Oscar winner : PETER FINCH
58. ___ Minor : URSA
60. Like fine wines and cheeses : AGED
61. Put into office : ELECT
62. Appearance : MIEN
63. Mouthfuls of chewing gum : WADS
64. Poking around in other people’s business : NOSEY
65. Lead-in to masochism : SADO-

Down
1. Sounds of comprehension : AHS
2. One set in a “Romeo and Juliet” production : BALCONY
3. Georgia county of which 4-Down is the seat : CHATHAM
4. Oldest city in Georgia : SAVANNAH
5. “Veni, vidi, vici” speaker : CAESAR
6. Like a faulty pipe : LEAKY
7. Shrek, e.g. : OGRE
8. Word repeated before “West” in a film and 1960s TV series : WILD
9. Its capital is Sydney: Abbr. : NSW
10. Book after Song of Solomon : ISAIAH
11. Many a resident on Lake Tahoe : NEVADAN
12. Vacillates : SEESAWS
13. Boston Bruin great : ORR
19. Turning point? : EDDY
23. Brown or Rice : JIM
24. Actress Malone of “The Hunger Games” : JENA
26. Cousin of reggae : SKA
28. Implied but not stated : TACIT
29. Sculls : OARS
30. Magic and Wizards org. : NBA
32. Double ___ Oreos : STUF
35. Reine’s husband : ROI
36. Former queen of Jordan : NOOR
37. Catchers of some waves : EARDRUMS
38. And everything else, for short : ETC
39. Former dictator of Panama : NORIEGA
40. Refined : SMELTED
43. Biblical city of Palestine : SAMARIA
44. Passed, as time : ELAPSED
45. Jack Reed or Harry Reid: Abbr. : SEN
47. Barrels along : SPEEDS
48. Have on : WEAR
49. Powerful : MIGHTY
51. Lawn game : BOCCE
53. Minderbinder of “Catch-22” : MILO
54. Cash register compartment : ONES
56. Manhandle : PAW
57. Swamp : FEN
59. Enero begins it : ANO

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6 thoughts on “0510-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 10 May 16, Tuesday”

  1. No errors but a slow and tedious solving. The theme helped at a crucial point on JOHN JAY. I had to think about a bird and JAY came to me. Coincidentally that was the one that tripped up Bill and gave him one of his rare misses.

  2. 13:03, no errors. Originally entered JOHN DAY as well, but remembered my history well enough to change it to JAY. Did not see the intended BIRDMAN theme, until I was finished. My first theme entry was EARL WEAVER, who was with the Baltimore Orioles, so I mistakenly assumed that each theme person was a member of some type avian themed group.

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