0615-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Jun 16, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jason Flinn
THEME: And Another Thing
Today’s themed answers are common phrases that refer to something that is one over the norm, ANOTHER THING as it were:

59A. Rant continuation … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : AND ANOTHER THING …

17A. Country that’s an extremely close American ally, so to speak : FIFTY-FIRST STATE (instead of the usual 50)
24A. Special perception : SIXTH SENSE (instead of the usual 5)
36A. Power source for a subway train : THIRD RAIL (instead of the usual 2)
50A. Unwanted tagalong : FIFTH WHEEL (instead of the usual 4)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME:7m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Kimono closer : OBI
The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied in what is called a butterfly knot.

The lovely Japanese kimono is a garment worn by men, women and children. The word “kimono” translates simply as “thing to wear”, with “ki” meaning “wear” and “mono” meaning “thing”.

10. Org. for women taking courses? : LPGA
The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) was founded in 1950 by a group of 13 lady golfers, and today it is the oldest ongoing women’s sports professional organization in the US.

15. A Jackson sister : LA TOYA
La Toya Jackson was very close to her brother Michael, both in age and temperament. It seems to me that La Toya’s obsession with the plastic surgeon’s knife was second only to that of her younger brother.

16. Tesla power source: Abbr. : ELEC
Tesla Motors is a manufacturer of electric vehicles based in Palo Alto, California. Tesla is noted for producing the first electric sports car, called the Tesla Roadster. The current base price of a roadster is about $100,000, should you be interested …

21. They’ll check your bag at the airport, for short : TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks. TSA personnel carry out the baggage and body searches at US airports. The TSA has a Trusted Traveler program that allows certain passengers to move more quickly through security screening. These passengers pay the TSA a one-time fee that covers a background check after which successful applicants are issued a Known Traveler Number (KTN).

22. Buds in Bordeaux : AMIS
A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.

Bordeaux is perhaps the wine-production capital of the world. Wine has been produced in the area since the eighth century. Bordeaux has an administrative history too. During WWII, the French government relocated from Paris to the port city of Bordeaux when it became clear that Paris was soon to fall to the Germans. After the German’s took France, the capital was famously moved to Vichy.

31. Sashimi selection : EEL
“Sashimi” is thinly sliced raw fish, although it can also be raw meat. The word “sashimi” translates literally as “pierced body”, which may be a reference to the practice of sticking the tail and fin to sliced fish to identify it.

34. ___ jeans : MOM
“Mom jeans” and “dad jeans” are not-so-nice names for high-waisted jeans, usually worn by older women and men.

36. Power source for a subway train : THIRD RAIL (instead of the usual 2)
The first commercial uses of a third rail to power trains were actually in Ireland, with the Giant’s Causeway Tramway in 1883, and the Bessbrook and Newry Tramway in 1885.

39. M.L.B. Triple Crown category : RBIS
In baseball, a player can earn the Triple Crown when he is the leader in three specific statistics. The pitching Triple Crown includes wins, strikeouts and earned run average (ERA). The batting Triple Crown includes home runs, runs batted in (RBI) and batting average.

47. Sea eagle : ERN
The ern (also erne) is sometimes called the white-tailed eagle, or the sea-eagle.

56. Oxymoronic purchase at a blowout sale? : TIRE
The word “oxymoron” is in itself an oxymoron, as it is derived from the Greek words “Oxys” and “moros” meaning “sharp” and “stupid”.

57. Up in the air, as what to air, for short : TBA
A TV network might as yet be unsure what to air in a particular timeslot. That choice is “up in the air”, to be advised (TBA).

63. College in Portland, Ore. : REED
Reed College in Portland is known for many things, including ownership of the world’s only nuclear reactor that is primarily run by students!

65. Actress Long : NIA
Nia Long is an American actress, probably best known for playing Will Smith’s sometime girlfriend and fiancee Lisa Wilkes on the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”.

66. Pal of Stan on “South Park” : KYLE
“South Park” is an adult-oriented cartoon series on Comedy Central. I don’t do “South Park” …

68. Measure of econ. strength : GNP
A country’s Gross National Product (GNP) is the value of all services and products produced by its residents in a particular year. GNP includes all production wherever it is in the world, as long as the business is owned by residents of the country concerned. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is different, although related, and is the value of all services and goods produced within the borders of the country for that year.

Down
1. In the wrong place at the wrong time? : OFFSIDE
That would be in a sport like football, or soccer perhaps.

5. Travels à la Huckleberry Finn : RAFTS
“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain was first published in 1884, not here in the US but rather in England. The original launch planned for the US had to be delayed until 1885, because some rascal had defaced the plate for one of the illustrations, making an obscene joke. Once the problem was spotted a new plate had to be made, and 30,000 copies already printed had to be reworked to cover up the obscenity.

6. Formal response to “Who goes there?” : IT IS I
The much debated statement “it is I” is actually grammatically correct, and should not be “corrected” to “it is me”. Traditionally, pronouns following linking verbs, such as “is”, “appear” and “seem”, are written in the nominative case. Examples are:

– It is I (who called)
– It was he (who did it)
– It is we (who care)

7. Title Seuss character, with “the” : LORAX
“The Lorax” is a children’s book written by Dr. Seuss. It is an allegorical work questioning the problems created by industrialization, and in particular its impact on the environment. At one point in the story, the Lorax “speaks for the trees, for the trees have no tongues”. “The Lorax” was adapted into an animated film that was released in 2012, with Danny DeVito voicing the title character.

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

25. Avenger with a hammer : THOR
The hammer associated with the Norse god Thor is known as Mjölnir. The name “Mjölnir” translates as “crusher”.

26. Mideast group : HAMAS
Hamas is the Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. “Hamas” translates into English as “enthusiasm”, and is also an acronym in Arabic for “Islamic Resistance Movement”. Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by many nations in the world, including the US.

27. He won the 1994 U.S. Open in a 20-hole playoff : ELS
Ernie Els is a South African golfer. Els a big guy but he has an easy fluid golf swing that has earned him the nickname “The Big Easy”. He is a former World No. 1 and has won four majors: the US Open (1994 & 1997) and the British Open (2002 & 2012).

33. Muscle power : SINEW
Sinew is another name for a tendon. Tendons are bands of collagen that connect muscle to bone. Tendons are similar to ligaments and fasciae, which are also connective tissue made out of collagen, but ligaments join bone to bone, and fasciae connect muscle to muscle. We also use the term “sinew” to mean muscular power.

34. Scrip writers : MDS
“Scrip” is an informal term for a prescription.

37. Hyman ___, main antagonist in “The Godfather Part II” : ROTH
The 1974 crime drama “The Godfather Part II” is a little unusual in that it qualifies as both a prequel and a sequel to the 1972 film “The Godfather”. It is a prequel in that it tells the story of Vito Corleone’s journey from Sicily to New York and the founding of his Mafia family. It is a sequel in that it tells the story of Michael Corleone taking over and running the crime family established by his father. Vito Corleone is famously played by Marlon Brando in “The Godfather”, and by Robert De Niro in “The Godfather Part II”. Michael Corleone is played by Al Pacino in both films.

38. Android alternative : IOS
iOS is what Apple now call their mobile operating system, previously known as iPhone OS.

The Android Operating System is used by many manufacturers of smartphones. Google partners with several companies to produce Android One phones. The beauty of the Android One is that it runs an unadulterated version of the Android Operating System, one that hasn’t been “customized” by the likes of T-Mobile or Verizon.

39. Red card issuer, for short : REF
A series of colored penalty cards is used by referees and umpires in several sports, most notably in soccer. The cards were first used in the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, after language difficulties created confusion during the prior competition in 1966. The main cards used are a yellow card indicating a caution, and a red card indicating expulsion from the game.

40. Pop diva Spears : BRITNEY
Britney Spears was the best-selling female artist in the first decade of the 21st century. And I didn’t buy even one song, and I couldn’t name one right now …

41. Nonbeliever : INFIDEL
“Infidel” is an English word that was created by the Roman Catholic Church to describe someone who did not believe in the Catholic dogma. The word comes from Latin “infidelis” meaning “unfaithful”. During the time of the Crusades, the word “infidel” was used for any non-Christian, and particular the Saracens of North Africa.

44. Debonair : DASHING
Someone described as “debonair” is very courteous and gracious. The term comes into English via the French “debonaire”, which itself is derived from “de bon’ aire” meaning “of good race”, a phrase that originally applied to the breeding of hawks.

45. Late justice Scalia : ANTONIN
Antonin Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1986, and was the longest serving member of the court on the occasion of his passing in 2016. Justice Scalia’s minority opinions were known for the scathing language that he used to criticize the Court’s majority.

51. Quid pro quo : TRADE
“Quid pro quo” is Latin for “something for something”, a swap.

52. Allen who led the Green Mountain Boys : ETHAN
Ethan Allen was one of the founders of the state of Vermont. Allen was also a hero in the American Revolutionary War, famous for leading (along with Benedict Arnold) the small band of men known as the Green Mountain Boys that captured Fort Ticonderoga. And yes, the Ethan Allen store and furniture line is named for Ethan Allen the patriot, even though he had nothing to do with the furniture business.

53. He once asked “How far down can a thumb go?” : EBERT
Roger Ebert co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years, most famously with Gene Siskel until Siskel passed away in 1999. Siskel and Ebert famously gave their thumbs up or thumbs down to the movies they reviewed.

59. Couples cruise ship? : ARK
Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board “every clean animal by sevens … male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth”. Apparently “extras” (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

60. Condition affecting TV’s Monk, informally : OCD
Apparently obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed mental disorder, making it about as common as asthma.

62. Politico Cruz : TED
US Senator Ted Cruz served as Solicitor General for the state of Texas before heading to Washington. Cruz was appointed Solicitor General in 2003 at the age of 32, making him the youngest Solicitor General in the country. Famously, Cruz is an opponent of the Affordable Care Act and made a speech in 2013 in the US Senate on the subject that lasted for 21 hours and 19 minutes. It was the fourth longest speech in the history of the Senate.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Kimono closer : OBI
4. Luxuries : FRILLS
10. Org. for women taking courses? : LPGA
14. Enjoyable : FUN
15. A Jackson sister : LATOYA
16. Tesla power source: Abbr. : ELEC
17. Country that’s an extremely close American ally, so to speak : FIFTY-FIRST STATE (instead of the usual 50)
20. Bit of name-calling : SLUR
21. They’ll check your bag at the airport, for short : TSA
22. Buds in Bordeaux : AMIS
23. Tiny, informally : ITSY
24. Special perception : SIXTH SENSE (instead of the usual 5)
28. ___ embarrassment : DIE OF
30. “Shows you!” : HAH!
31. Sashimi selection : EEL
32. Follows : ENSUES
34. ___ jeans : MOM
35. Theater, design, etc. : ARTS
36. Power source for a subway train : THIRD RAIL (instead of the usual 2)
39. M.L.B. Triple Crown category : RBIS
42. Rejections : NOS
43. Billed to be : SOLD AS
47. Sea eagle : ERN
48. Like monsoon season : WET
49. Meager : SCANT
50. Unwanted tagalong : FIFTH WHEEL (instead of the usual 4)
55. Concerning : AS TO
56. Oxymoronic purchase at a blowout sale? : TIRE
57. Up in the air, as what to air, for short : TBA
58. Word with work or window : SHOP
59. Rant continuation … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : AND ANOTHER THING …
63. College in Portland, Ore. : REED
64. Cavalry attack : CHARGE
65. Actress Long : NIA
66. Pal of Stan on “South Park” : KYLE
67. In need of some garage work : DENTED
68. Measure of econ. strength : GNP

Down
1. In the wrong place at the wrong time? : OFFSIDE
2. Permanent, as bookshelves : BUILT-IN
3. Pervades : INFUSES
4. No-___ zone : FLY
5. Travels à la Huckleberry Finn : RAFTS
6. Formal response to “Who goes there?” : IT IS I
7. Title Seuss character, with “the” : LORAX
8. Fleur-de-___ : LYS
9. Used a rocker, e.g. : SAT
10. “I can do that for you” : LET ME
11. Easier to see : PLAINER
12. Braces oneself : GETS SET
13. One-hit wonder? : ACE
18. Auditions : TRYOUTS
19. Boy Scout uniform part : SASH
25. Avenger with a hammer : THOR
26. Mideast group : HAMAS
27. He won the 1994 U.S. Open in a 20-hole playoff : ELS
29. “Bah!” : FEH!
33. Muscle power : SINEW
34. Scrip writers : MDS
35. Like a home purchase without financing : ALL-CASH
37. Hyman ___, main antagonist in “The Godfather Part II” : ROTH
38. Android alternative : IOS
39. Red card issuer, for short : REF
40. Pop diva Spears : BRITNEY
41. Nonbeliever : INFIDEL
44. Debonair : DASHING
45. Late justice Scalia : ANTONIN
46. Temporary solution : STOPGAP
48. Not just if : WHEN
51. Quid pro quo : TRADE
52. Allen who led the Green Mountain Boys : ETHAN
53. He once asked “How far down can a thumb go?” : EBERT
54. Elephantine : LARGE
59. Couples cruise ship? : ARK
60. Condition affecting TV’s Monk, informally : OCD
61. Not just a : THE
62. Politico Cruz : TED

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3 thoughts on “0615-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 15 Jun 16, Wednesday”

  1. 7:29 (darn, thought I had a shot at besting Bill's time today!!), no errors.

    Hey, I'll take "unremarkable" over some of the unsolvable, trick-strewn messes we've seen in the recent past.

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