0525-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 May 16, Wednesday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Andrew J. Ries
THEME: Johnny-on-the-Spot
Today’s grid includes four instances of JOHNNY-ON-THE-SPOT, with each themed answer starting with a famous JOHNNY:

38A. Person who’s ready and able to help … or a literal description of four occurrences in this puzzle : JOHNNY-ON-THE-SPOT

17A. Dough in hand, redundantly : CASH MONEY (giving “Johnny Cash”)
25A. State capital near Lake Tahoe : CARSON CITY (giving “Johnny Carson”)
52A. Gym activity that works the pectorals : BENCH PRESS (giving “Johnny Bench”)
64A. Last one in, say : ROTTEN EGG (giving “Johnny Rotten”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME:10m 26s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Start of a Latin 101 conjugation : AMO
“Amo, amas, amat” … “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”, in Latin.

4. Eastern Mediterranean port since ancient times : JAFFA
The port city of Jaffa is the oldest section of the city now known as Tel Aviv-Jaffa (or “Tel Aviv-Yafo”).

9. “Take Care” rapper, 2012 : DRAKE
Drake is the stage name of rapper Aubrey Graham from Toronto.

14. Sessions, e.g.: Abbr. : SEN
Jeff Sessions is a US Senator from Alabama, a Republican who has served in the Senate since 1996.

16. “I am ___, hear me roar” : WOMAN
The successful singer Helen Reddy was born in Melbourne, Australia. In 1966, Reddy won a talent contest, and earned herself a trip to New York City for an audition. The 25-year-old single mother decided to stay in the US, and a few years later was able to launch a successful singing career. Her hit song “I Am Woman”, released in 1972, was the first recording by an Australian artist to reach #1 in the US charts.

20. Big name in 1950s presidential campaigning : ADLAI
Adlai Stevenson (AES) ran for president unsuccessfully against Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE) in 1952 and in 1956. Some years after his second defeat, Stevenson served under President Kennedy as Ambassador to the United Nations. Stevenson was always noted for his eloquence and he had a famous exchange in a UN Security Council meeting during the Cuban missile crisis. Stevenson bluntly demanded that the Soviet representative on the council tell the world if the USSR was installing nuclear weapons in Cuba. His famous words were “Don’t wait for the translation, answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’!” followed by “I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over!”

23. Scotch topper : TAM
A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”), but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of Robert Burns’ poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

25. State capital near Lake Tahoe : CARSON CITY
Carson City, Nevada was named for the Carson River, which in turn was named for the Kit Carson, the scout who accompanied the team of European Americans that first arrived in the area in 1843. Carson City is the state capital.

29. Chick’s tail? : -ADEE
Chickadees are group of birds in the tit family, with some species within the group called chickadees and some called tits. The name chickadee is imitative of the bird’s alarm call “chick-dee dee dee”.

30. Class with many unknowns: Abbr. : ALG
Algebra (alg.)

32. Brand with “Old World Style” : RAGU
The Ragú brand of pasta sauce is owned by Unilever. The name ” Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is off a little. In Italian the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the sauce on the supermarket shelf it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …

34. Klutz’s utterance : OOPS!
A “klutz” is an awkward individual, and the term comes from Yiddish. The Yiddish word for a clumsy person is “klots”.

44. Off-base sort? : AWOL
The Military Police (MPs) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

45. School’s end : EDU
The .edu domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

– .com (commercial enterprise)
– .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
– .mil (US military)
– .org (not-for-profit organization)
– .gov (US federal government entity)
– .edu (college-level educational institution)

46. Tomato variety : ROMA
The Roma tomato isn’t considered an heirloom variety, but it is very popular with home gardeners, especially those gardeners that don’t have a lot of space. It is a bush type (as opposed to vine type) and needs very little room to provide a lot of tomatoes.

52. Gym activity that works the pectorals : BENCH PRESS
“Pecs” is the familiar term for the chest muscle, more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

56. Quiet place to pray : APSE
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

59. Org. that encourages flossing : ADA
American Dental Association (ADA)

60. Many a Wall Street Journal graphic : CHART
“The Wall Street Journal” (WSJ) is a daily newspaper with a business bent that is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company. The WSJ has a larger US circulation than any other newspaper, with “USA Today” coming in second place. And, the good news for crossword fans is that the WSJ added a daily puzzle starting in 2015.

66. Calendario start : ENERO
In Spanish, we start the year (año) in January (enero) as noted on a calendar (calendario).

68. Chowder head? : CEE
The first (head) letter in the word “chowder” is the letter C (cee).

69. ___ Hannah of “Blade Runner” : DARYL
Daryl Hannah is an actress from Chicago who got her big break in movies playing a violent replicant called Pris in the 1982 sci-fi classic “Blade Runner”. A couple of years later she played the female lead opposite Tom Hanks in the hit film “Splash”.

“Blade Runner” is a cult classic, a sci-fi film made in 1982 loosely based on the novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K. Dick. It was directed by Ridley Scott who regards “Blade Runner” as his most “complete” film. There is a phenomenon known as the “‘Blade Runner’ Curse”. An inordinate number of companies behind products that were displayed prominently in the movie found themselves in financial trouble soon after the movie’s release. Included in the list of troubled concerns are Atari, Cuisinart, Pan Am and the Bell System.

Down
1. Acronym on Beyoncé records : ASCAP
ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) collects licence fees for musicians and distributes royalties to composers whose works have been performed. BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) provides the same service.

Beyoncé Knowles established herself in the entertainment industry as the lead singer with the R&B group Destiny’s Child. She launched her solo singing career in 2003, two years after making her first appearance as an actor. In 2006 she played the lead in the very successful movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls”. Beyoncé is married to rap star Jay-Z. She is also referred to affectionately as “Queen Bey”, a play on the phrase “the queen bee”.

2. Gettysburg general : MEADE
George Meade was a career army officer with a depth of experience in civil and military operations even before the onset of the Civil War. During the war he rose to the level of commander of the Army of the Potomac, and is best remembered for leading the Union forces that defeated General Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg in 1863.

4. First name at Woodstock : JIMI
Many of his contemporaries regarded Jimi Hendrix as the greatest electric guitarist in the history of rock music. Hendrix was from Seattle and didn’t really have a really stellar start to his working life. He failed to finish high school and fell foul of the law by getting caught in stolen cars, twice. The courts gave him the option of the army or two years in prison. Hendrix chose the former and soon found himself in the famous 101st Airborne. In the army, his less-than-disciplined ways helped him (as he would have seen it) because his superiors successfully petitioned to get him discharged after serving only one year of his two-year requirement, just to get him out of their hair.

1969’s Woodstock Music & Art Fair was held on a dairy farm located 43 miles southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York. 400,000 young people attended, and saw 32 bands and singers perform over three days.

5. “I’d like to buy ___, Pat” : AN O
Pat Sajak took over the hosting of “Wheel of Fortune” from Chuck Woolery back in 1983 and has been doing the job ever since. Sajak had a short run as a talk show host in 1989/1990 and used to sub quite often for Larry King and Regis Philbin.

6. Spanish steps? : FANDANGO
A fandango is a dance from Spain performed by a couple who are usually playing castanets.

7. ___-de-lis : FLEUR
“Lys” (also “lis”) is the French word for “lily”, as in “fleur-de-lys”, the heraldic symbol often associated with the French monarchy.

8. Actress Milano : ALYSSA
Alyssa Milano is an actress who started her career at a very young age. Milano played Samantha Micelli on “Who’s the Boss”, the daughter of the character played by Tony Danza.

9. Johnson also known as “The Rock” : DWAYNE
Dwayne Johnson is a former professional wrestler whose ring name was “the Rock”. He has used his success as a character in the ring, to cross over into television and movies. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as getting the highest payment for a first starring role: $5.5 million.

11. Prized Italian instrument : AMATI
The first of the Amati family to make violins was Andrea Amati, who lived in the 14th century. He was succeeded by his sons, Antonio and Girolamo. In turn, they were succeeded by Girolamo’s son, Nicolo. Nicolo had a few students who achieved fame making musical instruments as well. One was his own son, Girolamo, and another was the famed Antonio Stradivari.

12. Gold standard : KARAT
A karat (also “carat”, the spelling outside of North America) is a measure of the purity of gold alloys, with 24-karat representing pure gold.

13. “In the practice of tolerance, one’s ___ is the best teacher”: Dalai Lama : ENEMY
The Dalai Lama is a religious leader in the Gelug branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The current Dalai Lama is the 14th to hold the office. He has indicated that the next Dalai Lama might be found outside of Tibet for the first time, and may even be female.

18. Rodgers’s partner, in song : HART
Lorenz Hart was the lyricist in the songwriting team of Rodgers and Hart. The long list of hits with lyrics from Hart includes such classics as “Blue Moon”, “The Lady Is a Tramp”, “My Funny Valentine” and “Isn’t It Romantic?”

25. Bonkers, in modern lingo : CRAY
“Cray” is a slang term meaning “insane”, a shortening of “crazy”.

26. Some “American Greed” subjects, for short : CEOS
Chief executive officer (CEO)

“American Greed” is documentary series in the “true crime” genre that is aired weekly on CNBC. The crimes explored are corporate and white collar crimes.

30. 1977 album with the hit single “Deacon Blues” : AJA
Steely Dan’s heyday was in the seventies when they toured for a couple of years, although the group mainly focused on studio work. The band was formed in 1972 and broke up in 1981. The core of the band reunited in 1993 and they are still going strong today. Steely Dan’s best-selling album is “Aja”, released in 1977.

35. Leaning column : OP-ED PIECE
Op-Ed is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-Eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

37. Bad name for an anger management counselor? : STU
… because “Stu” sounds like “stew”.

39. Traffic cop, for short? : NARC
“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”.

41. ___ d’oeuvres : HORS
An hors d’oeuvre is the first course in a meal. “Hors d’oeuvre” translates from French as “apart from the work”, really meaning “not the main course”.

42. “Benevolent” fraternity member : ELK
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome.

48. Dash abbr. : MPH
Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hoofs of the horses. Quite interesting …

49. Genesis landing site : ARARAT
Mount Ararat is in Turkey. Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or Ara the Handsome). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

53. Minneapolis suburb : EDINA
Edina, Minnesota lies just southwest of Minneapolis. The town takes its name from Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. It was suggested by a Scottish mill owner at the time a new village was being set up in 1888.

54. Third-place finisher in 2000, 2004 and 2008 : NADER
Ralph Nader has run as a third-party candidate for the office of President of the United States four times now, in every election from 1996 to 2008. Nader’s name was first first linked with the presidential race in 1971, when the famous Dr. Benjamin Spock offered to stand aside as candidate in the 1972 race if Nader would agree to run, but he declined.

57. Bob with the Silver Bullet Band : SEGER
Bob Seger struggled as a performing artist right through the sixties and early seventies before becoming a commercial success in 1976 with the release of his album “Night Moves”. Since then, Seger has recorded songs that have become classics like, “We’ve Got Tonight” and “Old Time Rock & Roll”.

65. TNT part : TRI-
“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.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Start of a Latin 101 conjugation : AMO
4. Eastern Mediterranean port since ancient times : JAFFA
9. “Take Care” rapper, 2012 : DRAKE
14. Sessions, e.g.: Abbr. : SEN
15. Total : IN ALL
16. “I am ___, hear me roar” : WOMAN
17. Dough in hand, redundantly : CASH MONEY
19. Clued in : AWARE
20. Big name in 1950s presidential campaigning : ADLAI
21. Full of shadows : DUSKY
23. Scotch topper : TAM
24. Juicy fruit : PEAR
25. State capital near Lake Tahoe : CARSON CITY
27. Course reversal : U-TURN
29. Chick’s tail? : -ADEE
30. Class with many unknowns: Abbr. : ALG
32. Brand with “Old World Style” : RAGU
34. Klutz’s utterance : OOPS!
38. Person who’s ready and able to help … or a literal description of four occurrences in this puzzle : JOHNNY-ON-THE-SPOT
43. Lead-in to girl : ATTA …
44. Off-base sort? : AWOL
45. School’s end : EDU
46. Tomato variety : ROMA
50. Got under the skin of : IRKED
52. Gym activity that works the pectorals : BENCH PRESS
56. Quiet place to pray : APSE
59. Org. that encourages flossing : ADA
60. Many a Wall Street Journal graphic : CHART
61. Like much state fair fare : FRIED
62. Little bud : KIDDO
64. Last one in, say : ROTTEN EGG
66. Calendario start : ENERO
67. Love to pieces : ADORE
68. Chowder head? : CEE
69. ___ Hannah of “Blade Runner” : DARYL
70. Not so hot : TEPID
71. Sin : ERR

Down
1. Acronym on Beyoncé records : ASCAP
2. Gettysburg general : MEADE
3. Chargers’ action : ONSLAUGHT
4. First name at Woodstock : JIMI
5. “I’d like to buy ___, Pat” : AN O
6. Spanish steps? : FANDANGO
7. ___-de-lis : FLEUR
8. Actress Milano : ALYSSA
9. Johnson also known as “The Rock” : DWAYNE
10. Ticket info : ROW
11. Prized Italian instrument : AMATI
12. Gold standard : KARAT
13. “In the practice of tolerance, one’s ___ is the best teacher”: Dalai Lama : ENEMY
18. Rodgers’s partner, in song : HART
22. Sent to the canvas, for short : KO’D
25. Bonkers, in modern lingo : CRAY
26. Some “American Greed” subjects, for short : CEOS
28. Big coffee server : URN
30. 1977 album with the hit single “Deacon Blues” : AJA
31. Great deal : LOT
33. Spanish article : UNA
35. Leaning column : OP-ED PIECE
36. Mini-spacecraft : POD
37. Bad name for an anger management counselor? : STU
39. Traffic cop, for short? : NARC
40. Resealable bottle feature : TWIST TOP
41. ___ d’oeuvres : HORS
42. “Benevolent” fraternity member : ELK
47. “Would ya look at that!” : OH COOL!
48. Dash abbr. : MPH
49. Genesis landing site : ARARAT
51. Get through hard work : EARN
52. Sweltered in the sun : BAKED
53. Minneapolis suburb : EDINA
54. Third-place finisher in 2000, 2004 and 2008 : NADER
55. Diminish by degrees : ERODE
57. Bob with the Silver Bullet Band : SEGER
58. Yard tool : EDGER
61. Farm store purchase : FEED
63. Wine descriptor : DRY
65. TNT part : TRI-

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6 thoughts on “0525-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 May 16, Wednesday”

  1. I read through this and should note that 38A says "literal description".

    Note that the word "AD" appears directly below each of them, which in radio or other terms is a "SPOT", which makes the themers a "literal description".

  2. Glenn, way to go with the "ad" tidbit–I did not see that. Although I'm not exactly sure what advert Johnny ROTTEN, the sniveling, insipid lead singer of the Sex Pistols, could have ever successfully hawked. Maybe safety pins, torn denim jackets, and bad music. I notice Bill didn't include a note on Mr. Lydon. Thank heavens.

  3. 14:47, no errors. Clever theme, used it to get CASH and BENCH. Even more clever is Glenn's observation of the word AD below each of the Johnny entries. Kudos.

  4. Likewise to Glenn for catching the AD. The only small, easily corrected mistake that I made today was my misspelling of KARAT. I used CARAT at first. Does anyone know the full lowdown on this word? I thought KARAT applied to jewelry and CARAT applied to gold. Now after reading Bill's comment today I seem to get the idea that they are one-and-the-same word with only variations in the spelling. Anyone know?

  5. As a note, each AD is highlighted in the answer key for today's syndicated grid. Evidently, this was not done in the original layout, so in that sense it is officially part of the theme.

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