0512-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 May 16, Thursday

QuickLinks:
Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today’s SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications
Solution to today’s New York Times crossword found online at the Seattle Times website
Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: James Tuttle
THEME: Words within Words … each of today’s themed answers comprise two words, with the second spelled out by the circled letters inside the first word:

17A. 1976 Dustin Hoffman thriller : MARATHON MAN
22A. Stage for Hulk Hogan : WRESTLING RING
34A. What 3M’s Scotch is a brand of : TRANSPARENT TAPE
51A. Arrival or departure approximation : ESTIMATED TIME
57A. Rothko’s field : ABSTRACT ART

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 47s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Don Draper or Roger Sterling, on an AMC series : ADMAN
“Mad Men” is the flagship show on the AMC television channel. Set in the sixties, it’s all about an advertising agency located on Madison Avenue in New York (hence the title). “Mad Men” became the first show created by a basic cable channel to win an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.

6. Club ___ : SODA
We call carbonated water “club soda”, because Club Soda used to be a brand name. The Club brand of drinks is actually Irish, owned by a company now known as C&C. As kids, we grew up on Club Orange and Club Lemon. Club Soda, not so much …

14. It’s responsible for controlling a pupil : IRIS
The pupil of the eye is the “hole” located in the center of the iris through which light enters the retina. The term “pupil” came into English via French from the latin “pupilla”, which is the diminutive form of “pupa” meaning “girl, doll”. The term came about due to the tiny doll-like image that one can see of oneself when looking into the center of another’s eyes.

15. Bar barrier : AGE
The drinking age in the US is defined by state, however, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 in effect sets the standard across the country at 21. If any state chooses to allow drinking at an age below 21, it loses revenue from the federal government.

16. Camera operators, gaffers, etc. : TV CREW
Apparently, the word “gaffer” is a contraction of “godfather”, and so originally was used to me “old man”. This usage extended to a foreman or supervisor, and is used most often today to mean the chief electrician on a film set. That said, back in my part of the world we often refer to the “boss” at work as “the gaffer”.

17. 1976 Dustin Hoffman thriller : MARATHON MAN
“Marathon Man” is a 1976 suspense film based on a 1974 novel of the same name by William Goldman. The film stars Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier. There was a reported exchange between Olivier and Hoffman while shooting. Hoffman told Olivier that he had just finished some scenes where his character had supposedly been awake for three days and three nights. Olivier asked him how he handled the filming, and Hoffman responded that he himself had stayed for the three days and three nights. Olivier famously responded, “Why don’t you just try acting?”

21. Jumble : OLIO
“Olio” is a term meaning a hodgepodge or a mixture, coming from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish “olla”, the clay pot used for cooking.

22. Stage for Hulk Hogan : WRESTLING RING
Hulk Hogan is the stage name (well, “ring” name) for wrestler Terry Gene Bollea. Hogan was big in the eighties and nineties. He fell out of public favor in 2015 when tapes of him making repeated racist remarks were published.

24. Object depicted on the cover of Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” : PRISM
Pink Floyd were an English rock band founded in 1965. The band’s most famous albums are probably “The Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall”.

25. Venomous menace : ASP
The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

26. Ampersand follower, maybe : SON
Back in the day, when reciting the alphabet it was common to emphasize that some letters could be used as a word in itself. One would say “A per se A, B, C, D … I per se I, J, K, L … denoting that the letters A and I are also their own words. It was common to add the & symbol at the end of the recitation, as if it were a 27th letter. So the alphabet ended with “X, Y, Z, & (and) per se and”. This “and per se and” statement was slurred to “ampersand”, giving the name that we use today for the & symbol.

27. Soybean snack : EDAMAME
Edamame is a simple dish made of immature soybeans still in the pod. The pods are boiled and then salted before serving, usually as a snack or side dish. The name “edamame” translates as “twig bean”.

29. Senate majority leader before McConnell : REID
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. Reid was replaced in 2015 by Republican Mitch McConnell.

Senator Mitch McConnell is a Republican Senator and is currently the Majority Leader in the US Senate. McConnell is married to Elaine Chao who served as Secretary of Labor in the Cabinet of President George W. Bush.

31. World music’s King Sunny ___ : ADE
King Sunny Adé is a musician from Nigeria. He is a pioneer of what’s called world music, a genre that encompasses many styles of music from all around the globe.

34. What 3M’s Scotch is a brand of : TRANSPARENT TAPE
Scotch Tape is a brand of adhesive tape made by 3M. “Scotch Tape” is one of those brand names that has become so used widely that it has become a generic term for the product. The equivalent brand name of product that we use over in Ireland is Sellotape. This British brand also has become a generic term, and is our equivalent to “Scotch tape”.

38. “___ Parisienne” (Brigitte Bardot comedy) : UNE
“La Parisienne” is a 1957 French comedy film starring Brigitte Bardot in the title role. The movie was also released under the title “Une Parisienne”.

39. Hole in 33-Across : ACE
(33A. See 39-Across : ONE)
One well-documented hole-in-one was during a round of the British Open in 1973. American golfer Gene Sarazen achieved the feat that day, at the age of 71. A less well-documented series of holes-in-one was reported by the North Korean press in a story about the Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The report was that Kim Jong-il scored 11 holes-in-one in his first and only round of golf.

40. Hanoi holidays : TETS
The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

Hanoi was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.

47. Thurman of “Kill Bill” : UMA
Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter “Uma” as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name “Dbuma”. Uma’s big break in movies came with her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

“Kill Bill” is a 3-part Quentin Tarantino movie (so I haven’t seen it!). “Kill Bill” started off as one film, but as the running time was over four hours, it was split into two “volumes”, released several months apart in 2003 and 2004. There has been a lot of talk about making “Kill Bill: Volume 3”.

49. San Francisco’s ___ Valley : NOE
Noe Valley is a neighborhood in San Francisco. The area is named after José de Jesús Noé who was the last Mexican mayor of Yerba Buena, which is what San Francisco was called when it was part of Mexico.

54. Cannes film : CINE
Cannes is a city on the French Riviera, noted as host of the Cannes Film Festival. The idea of the annual film festival was adopted by the city just before WWII. However, the festival had to wait for the end of the war for its launch in 1946.

56. Actress de la Garza of “Law & Order” : ALANA
Alana de la Garza is an actress from Columbus, Ohio. De la Garza is perhaps best known for her recurring role as Connie Rubirosa on television’s “Law & Order”.

57. Rothko’s field : ABSTRACT ART
Mark Rothko was a Russian-American painter often classified as an abstract expressionist. Rothko’s 1961 painting “Orange, Red, Yellow” was sold in 2012 at auction for over $86 million dollars, a record price for any Post-War contemporary work of art.

59. Winter trail transport : SNO-CAT
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.

60. One of five in Yahtzee : DIE
The dice game called Yahtzee was introduced in 1956. It is a variant of earlier dice games, especially the game “Yacht” (which even has a similar name). Yahtzee is required playing in our house at holidays. The game involves the rolling of five dice, with the intent of getting certain combinations. A lot of those combinations resemble poker hands, such as “three of a kind”, “four of a kind” and “full house”.

61. Greek colonnade : STOA
A stoa was a covered walkway in Ancient Greece. A stoa usually consisted of columns lining the side of a building or buildings, with another row of columns defining the other side of the walkway. The columns supported a roof. Often stoae would surround marketplaces in large cities.

62. Penguin variety : ADELIE
The Adélie penguin is found along the Antarctic coast, and are named after the Antarctic territory called Adélie Land that is claimed by France. Adélie Land was discovered by French explorer Jules Dumont D’Urville in 1840, and he named the territory after his wife Adéle.

63. Start to skid? : ESS
The word “skid” starts with the letter S (ess).

64. Responses to some OnStar calls : TOWS
The OnStar system was developed as a joint venture between GM, EDS and Hughes. The product itself was launched in 1996. Today, OnStar is only available on GM cars, although it used to be offered on other makes of car through a licensing agreement. OnStar is a subscription service that packages vehicle security, telephone, satellite navigation and remote diagnostics.

65. Stand : EASEL
The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

Down
3. Colt carriers : MARES
There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

– Foal: horse of either sex that is less that one year old
– Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
– Filly: female horse under the age of four
– Colt: male horse under the age of four
– Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
– Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
– Mare: female horse four years or older

5. Neighbor of Victoria: 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.

Victoria is the most densely populated state in Australia, with most inhabitants living in the state capital of Melbourne. Just like the Australian state of Queensland, Victoria was named for Queen Victoria, the British monarch at the time the state was founded.

6. “America’s Got Talent” panelist : SIMON
NBC’s show “America’s Got Talent” is part of a global franchise based in the UK. The original show is called “Britain’s Got Talent”, with the whole franchise being created by Simon Cowell. The original host for the American show was Regis Philbin (for one season), followed by Jerry Springer (for seasons two and three). Nick Cannon took over hosting in 2009 (season four).

7. Buddhist monks wear it : ORANGE
The orange dye used in making robes for Buddhist monks is derived from the spice called turmeric.

8. TMZ fodder : DIRT
TMZ.com is a celebrity gossip web site launched in 2005. “TMZ” stands for “thirty-mile zone”, a reference to the “studio zone” in Los Angeles. The studio zone is circular in shape with a 30-mile radius centered on the intersection of West Beverly Boulevard and North La Cienega Boulevard.

9. Cool-cucumber center? : AS A
Apparently scientists have shown that the inside of a cucumber growing in a field can be up to twenty degrees cooler than the surrounding air. That’s something that was believed by farmers as early as the 1730s, at which time the phrase “cool as a cucumber” was coined.

10. Mexican bloom : DAHLIA
The dahlia is a flowering plant native to Mexico and Central America. It was named the national flower of Mexico relatively recently, in 1963.

12. Subject of a modern map : GENOME
The genome is all the hereditary information needed to reproduce an organism, in other words, all of its chromosomes. When scientists unravel the human genome it takes up an awful lot of computer storage space, and yet all of this information is in almost every cell in our bodies. Each and every cell “knows” how to make a whole human being.

28. Cabbage : DO-RE-MI
Do-re-mi is a slang term for cash. The term is American in origin and dates back to the 1920s. “Do-re-mi” is likely to be a pun on “dough”, another slang term for cash or money.

32. Enforcer of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, for short : EPA
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA) of 1965 was the United States’ first environmental law. The SWDA was substantially amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976.

36. Like two angles in a right triangle : ACUTE
In geometry, there are several classes of angles:

– acute (< 90 degrees)
– right (= 90 degrees)
– obtuse (> 90 degrees and < 180 degrees)
– straight (180 degrees)
– reflex (> 180 degrees)

An acute triangle is a triangle in which all three angles are less than 90 degrees (i.e. acute angles). An obtuse triangle is one which has one angle that is greater than 90 degrees (i.e. obtuse). Acute and obtuse triangles are collectively referred to as oblique triangles, meaning they are not right triangles. A right triangle is one that includes a 90-degree angle.

44. They’ve got you covered : ALIBIS
“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed … I have an ‘alibi'”.

46. Underwater behemoth : SEA COW
The more correct name for the creature we call a sea cow is sirenia, named after the sirens of Greek mythology. The legend is that lonely sailors mistook sea cows for mermaids.

48. Only #1 hit for Boston : AMANDA
Boston is a rock band from … Boston. Boston’s biggest hit was “Amanda”, released in 1986.

52. Mex. misses : SRTAS
Señorita (Srta.) is Spanish and mademoiselle (Mlle.) is French for “Miss”.

53. Bitter ___ (purgative medicine) : ALOES
Bitter Aloe is a name given to the plant more properly called Aloe ferox. Bitter Aloe is indigenous to parts of South Africa, and is endangered. The sap from the leaves is used to make ointments that are efficacious in the treatment of burns. The sap is also used to make a purgative drug called Cape Aloe.

55. Foe of Caesar : CATO
Cato the Younger was a politician in the late Roman Republic, noted for his moral integrity. He is also remembered for an extended conflict with Julius Caesar.

59. Encl. to an editor : SAE
An SAE is a “stamped, addressed envelope”. An SASE is a “self-addressed, stamped envelope”.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Don Draper or Roger Sterling, on an AMC series : ADMAN
6. Club ___ : SODA
10. You might be honored with one: Abbr. : DEG
13. Worthy pursuits : IDEALS
14. It’s responsible for controlling a pupil : IRIS
15. Bar barrier : AGE
16. Camera operators, gaffers, etc. : TV CREW
17. 1976 Dustin Hoffman thriller : MARATHON MAN
19. More desertlike : SERER
20. Courier or Myriad : FONT
21. Jumble : OLIO
22. Stage for Hulk Hogan : WRESTLING RING
24. Object depicted on the cover of Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” : PRISM
25. Venomous menace : ASP
26. Ampersand follower, maybe : SON
27. Soybean snack : EDAMAME
29. Senate majority leader before McConnell : REID
31. World music’s King Sunny ___ : ADE
33. See 39-Across : ONE
34. What 3M’s Scotch is a brand of : TRANSPARENT TAPE
38. “___ Parisienne” (Brigitte Bardot comedy) : UNE
39. Hole in 33-Across : ACE
40. Hanoi holidays : TETS
43. ___ market : FARMERS’
47. Thurman of “Kill Bill” : UMA
49. San Francisco’s ___ Valley : NOE
50. Ones getting the red-carpet treatment : A-LIST
51. Arrival or departure approximation : ESTIMATED TIME
54. Cannes film : CINE
55. Heedfulness : CARE
56. Actress de la Garza of “Law & Order” : ALANA
57. Rothko’s field : ABSTRACT ART
59. Winter trail transport : SNO-CAT
60. One of five in Yahtzee : DIE
61. Greek colonnade : STOA
62. Penguin variety : ADELIE
63. Start to skid? : ESS
64. Responses to some OnStar calls : TOWS
65. Stand : EASEL

Down
1. Opposed : ADVERSE
2. In bad shape : DECREPIT
3. Colt carriers : MARES
4. Messages often with exclamation points : ALERTS
5. Neighbor of Victoria: Abbr. : NSW
6. “America’s Got Talent” panelist : SIMON
7. Buddhist monks wear it : ORANGE
8. TMZ fodder : DIRT
9. Cool-cucumber center? : AS A
10. Mexican bloom : DAHLIA
11. Self-interest doctrine : EGOISM
12. Subject of a modern map : GENOME
13. “Dem’s fightin’ words!” : IT’S WAR!
18. Agony : TORMENT
20. Antiquers’ delights : FINDS
23. Rental car alternative : LOANER
24. Subject of a frame job? : PANE
28. Cabbage : DO-RE-MI
30. Beat it! : DRUM SET
32. Enforcer of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, for short : EPA
35. Working without ___ : A NET
36. Like two angles in a right triangle : ACUTE
37. Sucker holder : TENTACLE
41. Filing target : TOENAIL
42. Put under : SEDATE
43. Front : FACADE
44. They’ve got you covered : ALIBIS
45. Helps with the dishes : RINSES
46. Underwater behemoth : SEA COW
48. Only #1 hit for Boston : AMANDA
52. Mex. misses : SRTAS
53. Bitter ___ (purgative medicine) : ALOES
55. Foe of Caesar : CATO
58. Q followers : R-S-T
59. Encl. to an editor : SAE

Return to top of page

5 thoughts on “0512-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 May 16, Thursday”

  1. 16:53, no errors. Recognized the theme about halfway through, TRANSPARENT TAPE was the key. Was able to fill the remaining four theme answers after that, then the puzzle fell apart for me.

  2. 21:38, and 5 errors. Bottom right quadrant was just too full of "you-know-it-or-you-don't" answers. The theme actually helped somewhat, and was clever.

    Overall, an evil little puzzle….

  3. 5 error DNF for me, had to claim 3 letters of 11D. Other than that, good fun concept, reasonable (for me) challenge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.