0523-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 May 16, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ori Brian
THEME: Parts of the Body
Today’s themed answers are common phrases that start with a part of the body, followed by the words “OF THE”.

20A. One being laughed at : BUTT OF THE JOKE
28A. Where Mom or Dad sits at dinner : HEAD OF THE TABLE
47A. Locale : NECK OF THE WOODS
54A. Where it’s calmest in a hurricane : EYE OF THE STORM

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 22s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. ___ browns (breakfast order) : HASH
“Hash”, meaning a dish of beef and vegetables mashed together, is a very American term and one that really surprised me when I first came across it. “Hash” just seems like such an unappetizing item, but I soon found out how delicious it was. The name “hash” in this context comes from the French “hacher” meaning “to chop”. Back in the early 1900s the dish called “hashed browned potatoes” was developed, which quickly morphed into “hash browns”. From there the likes of corned beef hash was introduced.

5. Golf target : HOLE
There’s an urban myth that the standard number of holes on a golf course is 18 because it takes 18 shots to polish off a fifth of scotch whisky. However, the truth is that the standard number of holes in the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland happened to settle down over time at 18, and that standard was adopted all around the world.

9. Where “they tried to make me go,” in an Amy Winehouse hit : REHAB
Amy Winehouse was a much-ridiculed singer from the UK whose life was fraught with very public bouts of drug and alcohol abuse. Winehouse’s lifestyle caught up with her in 2011 when she was found dead from alcohol poisoning. The unfortunate singer was only 27 years old when she died, which means she is now viewed as a member of the “27 Club”. This “club” is made up of famous musicians who all died at the age of 27, including Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison of the Doors, and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.

14. Red Muppet on “Sesame Street” : ELMO
The “Sesame Street” character has a birthday every February 3rd, and on that birthday he always turns 3½ years old. The man behind/under Elmo on “Sesame Street” is Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

15. Last word of grace : AMEN
A “grace” is a short prayer recited before or after a meal.

18. ___ Payne, One Direction heartthrob : LIAM
One Direction is a UK-based boy band. Each member of the band competed in the reality show “The X Factor”, and didn’t do very well. The five were then combined in a boy band at a later stage of the competition. They only finished in third place, but I don’t think they care. They’re doing very, very well for “losers” …

23. “A Nightmare on ___ Street” : ELM
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is a Wes Craven slasher-horror film, released in 1984. As I don’t do “slasher” nor “horror”, I only learned relatively recently that Johnny Depp was in the movie, making his feature film debut.

24. “Help!,” at sea : SOS
The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.

33. “___ sells” (advertising maxim) : SEX
Back in 1871, Pearl Tobacco featured an image of a naked maiden on the outer packaging and in print advertisements. Apparently, this is the earliest known use of sex appeal in advertising.

38. Org. co-founded by W. E. B. Du Bois : NAACP
W. E. B. Du Bois was sociologist and civil rights activist from Massachusetts. Du Bois was the first African American to receive a doctorate from Harvard, and went on to become a professor at Atlanta University. In 1909, he was a co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

41. When doubled, a Hawaiian fish : MAHI
“Mahi-mahi” is the Hawaiian name for the dolphin-fish, also called a dorado. The mahi-mahi is an ugly looking creature if ever I saw one …

44. Place after win and place : SHOW
In a horse race, the first-place finisher is said to “win”. The second-place finisher “places” and the third-place finisher “shows”.

51. Building blaster, for short : TNT
TNT is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. 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.

52. R&B’s ___ Hill : DRU
Dru Hill is an R&B singing group from Baltimore, Maryland. Dru Hill was formed in 1992, and is still going strong today. The name “Dru Hill” comes from Druid Hill Park which is found on the west side of Baltimore.

64. Cookie in cookies-and-cream ice cream : OREO
Apparently Oreo Ice Cream flavors were introduced relatively recently, in 2010.

65. Actress Berry : HALLE
The beautiful and talented actress Halle Berry was the first African American woman to win a Best Actress Oscar, which she received for her performance in the 2001 movie “Monster’s Ball”. Berry also won a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress in 2005 for playing the title role in “Catwoman”, and she very graciously accepted that award in person. Good for her!

67. Space race competitor, for short : USSR
The former Soviet Union (USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and was comprised of fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs).

The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite towards the end of 1957, a development that shocked the establishment in the US. Within months, President Eisenhower created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now DARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Space Race had begun …

Down
1. Oregano, for one : HERB
Oregano is a perennial herb that is in the mint family. Also known as wild marjoram, oregano is very much associated with the cuisine of southern Italy. Oregano’s popularity surged in the US when soldiers returning from WWII in Europe brought with them an affinity for what they called “the pizza herb”.

2. Baseball’s Felipe : ALOU
Felipe Alou is a former professional baseball player and manager. Alou managed the Montreal Expos from 1992 to 2001, and the San Francisco Giants from 2003 to 2006. Alou was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and came to the US to play for the Giants in 1955. Felipe’s brothers Matty and Jesús followed him to the US, and into Major League baseball.

3. Filth : SMUT
“Smut” means “dirt, smudge” and more recently “pornographic material”. The term comes from the Yiddish “schmutz”, which is a slang word used in English for dirt, as in “dirt on one’s face”.

5. First or last quarter in the lunar cycle : HALF-MOON
The phases of the moon have been given the following names, in order:

– New moon
– Waxing crescent moon
– First quarter moon
– Waxing gibbous moon
– Full moon
– Waning gibbous moon
– Third quarter moon
– Waning crescent moon
– Dark moon

7. Jacob’s wife : LEAH
According to the Bible, Leah was one of the two wives of Jacob, the other being Leah’s sister Rachel. Jacob’s intention had been to marry Rachel, but the Leah and Rachel’s father “switched” his daughters and provided Leah as the veiled bride. Jacob married Rachel a week later, and lived with the two wives concurrently.

10. “The Phantom of the Opera” lead role : ERIK
In Gaston Leroux’s novel “The Phantom of the Opera”, the young Christine Daaé is obsessively admired by Erik, the “phantom” who lives below the Paris Opera House.

11. Futuristic mode of transportation in the “Back to the Future” films : HOVERBOARD
In the fun 1985 movie “Back to the Future”, Marty McFly finds himself back in 1955, and is trying to get back to HIS future, which is 1985. But on the other hand, 1985 is really Marty’s present, before he went back in time. Why does time travel have to be so complicated …?

21. Early automaker Ransom E. ___ : OLDS
The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom Eli Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.

26. Greetings in Honolulu : ALOHAS
Honolulu is the largest city in Hawaii, and the state capital. Located on the island of Oahu, the name “Honolulu” translates from Hawaiian as “place of shelter, calm port, sheltered bay”.

28. What’s beyond the Pearly Gates : HEAVEN
“Pearly gates” is a term used for the gates of Heaven. The term comes from a description of “Heavenly Jerusalem’ in the Book of Revelations in which the walls of the city had twelve gates, each made of a single pearl.

30. Flight watchdog org. : FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was set up in 1958 (as the Federal Aviation Agency). The agency was established at that particular time largely in response to an increasing number of midair collisions. The worst of these disasters had taken place two years earlier over the Grand Canyon, a crash between two commercial passenger airplanes that resulted in 128 fatalities.

37. Animal house? : ARK
The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

39. Guerrilla Guevara : CHE
Ernesto “Che” Guevara was born in Argentina, and in 1948 he started to study medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. While at school he satisfied his need to “see the world” by taking two long journeys around South America, the story of which are told in Guevara’s memoir later published as “The Motorcycle Diaries”. While travelling, Guevara was moved by the plight of the people he saw and their working conditions and what he viewed as capitalistic exploitation. In Mexico City he met brothers Raul and Fidel Castro and was persuaded to join their cause, the overthrow of the US-backed government in Cuba. He rose to second-in-command among the Cuban insurgents, and when Castro came to power Guevara was influential in repelling the Bay of Pigs Invasion and bringing Soviet nuclear missiles to the island. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to continue his work as a revolutionary. He was captured by Bolivian forces in 1967, and was executed. Fidel Castro led the public mourning of Guevara’s death, and soon the revolutionary was an icon for many left-wing movements around the world.

48. Questlove’s hairdo, for short : FRO
Questlove (also “?uestlove”) is the stage name of musician and DJ Ahmir Khalib Thompson. He is the drummer of hip hop band the Roots. The Roots are the house band “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”.

49. Nursery rhyme seat : TUFFET
Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey, in the popular nursery rhyme. A tuffet is a low seat or a footstool, another word for a pouffe or a hassock. When milk curdles it separates into two parts, the solid curds and the liquid whey.

55. Connecticut Ivy : YALE
Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1701, making it the third-oldest university in the US. Originally called the Collegiate School, it was renamed to Yale University in honor of retired merchant from London called Elihu Yale, who made generous contributions to the institution. Yale University’s nickname is “Old Eli”, in a nod to the benefactor.

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.

60. “Encore!” : MORE!
“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request another song, say. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

61. Prof’s degree : PHD
PhD is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. ___ browns (breakfast order) : HASH
5. Golf target : HOLE
9. Where “they tried to make me go,” in an Amy Winehouse hit : REHAB
14. Red Muppet on “Sesame Street” : ELMO
15. Last word of grace : AMEN
16. Wear away, as soil : ERODE
17. Defeat decisively : ROUT
18. ___ Payne, One Direction heartthrob : LIAM
19. Turn on one foot, in basketball : PIVOT
20. One being laughed at : BUTT OF THE JOKE
23. “A Nightmare on ___ Street” : ELM
24. “Help!,” at sea : SOS
25. Cheese-loving pest : RAT
28. Where Mom or Dad sits at dinner : HEAD OF THE TABLE
33. “___ sells” (advertising maxim) : SEX
34. Take to the skies : SOAR
35. Not walk completely upright : STOOP
36. Mama’s mate : PAPA
38. Org. co-founded by W. E. B. Du Bois : NAACP
41. When doubled, a Hawaiian fish : MAHI
42. Each and ___ : EVERY
44. Place after win and place : SHOW
46. Totally cool : RAD
47. Locale : NECK OF THE WOODS
51. Building blaster, for short : TNT
52. R&B’s ___ Hill : DRU
53. Cub Scout unit : DEN
54. Where it’s calmest in a hurricane : EYE OF THE STORM
61. Part of a bicycle or loom : PEDAL
63. An hour before office closing time, maybe : FOUR
64. Cookie in cookies-and-cream ice cream : OREO
65. Actress Berry : HALLE
66. Brink : EDGE
67. Space race competitor, for short : USSR
68. Clothesline alternative : DRYER
69. Word that follows steel, open or pigeon : TOED
70. Boring way to learn : ROTE

Down
1. Oregano, for one : HERB
2. Baseball’s Felipe : ALOU
3. Filth : SMUT
4. Good drink for a sore throat : HOT TEA
5. First or last quarter in the lunar cycle : HALF-MOON
6. Exclude : OMIT
7. Jacob’s wife : LEAH
8. Catch in a net : ENMESH
9. Shares on Facebook, maybe : REPOSTS
10. “The Phantom of the Opera” lead role : ERIK
11. Futuristic mode of transportation in the “Back to the Future” films : HOVERBOARD
12. Big fuss : ADO
13. Wager : BET
21. Early automaker Ransom E. ___ : OLDS
22. “Average” guy : JOE
26. Greetings in Honolulu : ALOHAS
27. Lukewarm : TEPID
28. What’s beyond the Pearly Gates : HEAVEN
29. As predicted : EXPECTEDLY
30. Flight watchdog org. : FAA
31. Get rid of : TRASH
32. Cash dispenser, briefly : ATM
33. Exhausted : SPENT
37. Animal house? : ARK
39. Guerrilla Guevara : CHE
40. Like some doughnuts and wigs : POWDERED
43. One calling from a Swiss mountaintop : YODELER
45. Troubles : WOES
48. Questlove’s hairdo, for short : FRO
49. Nursery rhyme seat : TUFFET
50. Doing concerts here and there : ON TOUR
55. Connecticut Ivy : YALE
56. Kind of list : TO-DO
57. Ginormous : HUGE
58. Approximately : OR SO
59. Slumber : REST
60. “Encore!” : MORE!
61. Prof’s degree : PHD
62. Corn unit : EAR

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4 thoughts on “0523-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 May 16, Monday”

  1. No errors. No problems. Bill, are you sure about the meaning of "Honolulu"? I've always heard the meaning as "the gathering place".

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