1205-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Dec 16, Monday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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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: Ned White
THEME: Moving Down the Body
Today’s themed answers each start with a body part, starting with the HAIR at the top and ending with the ANKLE on the bottom:

17A. Something scary : HAIR-RAISER
27A. It grabs one’s attention : NECK-SNAPPER
38A. Boastful sort : CHEST-BEATER
51A. Really good joke : KNEE-SLAPPER
61A. Rug rat : ANKLE-BITER

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
6. Schism : RIFT
A schism is a split or a division, especially in a religion.

14. Playwright Edward : ALBEE
Playwright Edward Albee’s most famous play is “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Albee won three Pulitzer Prizes for Drama:

  • 1967: “A Delicate Balance”
  • 1975: “Seascape”
  • 1994: “Three Tall Women”

Albee also won three Tony Awards:

  • 1963: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (Best Play)
  • 2002: “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?”
  • 2005: Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement

16. Feudal worker : SERF
A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

19. Some Maidenform products : BRAS
Maidenform is a manufacturer of underwear for women that was founded in 1922. The three co-founders were driven to defy the norms of the day that dictated a flat-chested look for women. They produced items that fit the female body, hence the name “Maidenform”.

20. Rock band fronted by Michael Stipe : REM
Michael Stipe was the lead vocalist for the band R.E.M. from 1980 through 2011. Stipe is also active in the film industry. He served as an executive producer on the films “Being John Malkovich” and “Man on the Moon”.

33. Aloe ___ : VERA
Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. These include the First Aid plant, Wand of Heaven, Silent Healer and Miracle Plant.

37. 1940s British guns : STENS
The STEN gun is an iconic armament that was used by the British military. The name STEN is an acronym. The S and the T comes from the name of the gun’s designers, Shepherd and Turpin. The EN comes from the Enfield brand name, which in turn comes from the Enfield location where the guns were manufactured for the Royal Small Arms Factory, an enterprise owned by the British government.

41. Like some short-lived committees : AD HOC
The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”. An ad hoc committee, for example, is formed for a specific purpose and is disbanded after making its final report.

47. Native Israelis : SABRAS
Jewish people born in the State of Israel, or the historical region of israel, are known as Sabras. “Sabra” is actually the name of the prickly pear, the thorny desert cactus. Apparently the name “Sabra” is used because someone born in the region is said to be tough on the outside and sweet on the inside, just like a prickly pear.

55. ___ Khan (Islamic title) : AGA
Aga Khan is a hereditary title of the Imam of a large sect within the Shi’a Muslim faith. The current Aga Khan is Shah Karim al-Hussayni, who has held the position since 1957.

56. Vagrant : HOBO
No one seems to know for sure how the term “hobo” originated, although there are lots of colorful theories. My favorite is that “hobo” comes from the first letters in the words “ho-meward bo-und”, but it doesn’t seem very plausible. A kind blog reader tells me that according to Click and Clack from PBS’s “Car Talk” (a great source!), “hobo” comes from “hoe boy”. Hoe boys were young men with hoes looking for work after the Civil War. Hobos differed from “tramps” and “bums”, in that “bums” refused to work, “tramps” worked when they had to, while “hobos” traveled in search of work.

57. Soccer official, for short : REF
Back in the early 17th century, a “referee” was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

61. Rug rat : ANKLE-BITER
“Rug rat” and “ankle-biter” are familiar terms meaning “child”, especially a child who is not yet walking.

66. “Jeopardy!” host Trebek : ALEX
Alex Trebek has been the host of “Jeopardy!” since the syndicated version of the game show launched in 1984. Trebek has missed just one episode since then, when he and host of “Wheel of Fortune” Pat Sajak swapped roles in 1997 as an April Fool’s joke.

68. Source of Peruvian wool : LLAMA
The wool from a llama is much softer than that from a sheep, and it is also free from lanolin.

Down
1. Cry with “humbug!” : BAH!
The classic 1843 novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to popular use of the phrase “Merry Christmas”, and secondly it gave us the word “scrooge” meaning a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that Ebenezer Scrooge uttered the words “Bah! Humbug!”.

2. Chicken ___ king : A LA
A dish prepared “a la king” (usually chicken or turkey), is food prepared in a cream sauce, with mushrooms, pimentos, green peppers and sherry.

3. Baseball hitter’s stat : RBI
Run batted in (RBI)

4. Deborah of “The King and I” : KERR
The lovely Deborah Kerr was a Scottish actress who made a real name for herself on the American stage and in Hollywood movies. Despite all her success, and six nominations for a Best Actress Oscar, Kerr never actually won an Academy Award. In 1967 she appeared in the James Bond film “Casino Royale” at the age of 46, making her oldest Bond Girl of all time.

“Anna and the King of Siam” is a semi-biographical novel written by Margaret Landon and first published in 1944. The book tells the largely true story of Anna Leonowens who spent five years in Siam teaching English to the children and wives of King Mongkut. The novel was adapted as a 1946 movie of the same name starring Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison. Then followed a 1951 stage musical titled “The King and I”. The musical was written as a vehicle for Gertrude Lawrence, who played Anna. Rex Harrison was asked to play the King, but he turned it down and Yul Brynner was cast instead. A movie version of the stage musical was released in 1956, famously starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr.

5. One of tennis’s Williams sisters : SERENA
Serena Williams is the younger of the two Williams sisters playing professional tennis. Serena has won more prize money in her career than any other female athlete.

6. “Vive le ___!” (old French cry) : ROI
“Vive le roi!” is French for “Long live the king!”

9. 2006 Winter Olympics city : TORINO
Turin (“Torino” in Italian) is a major city in the north of Italy that sits on the Po River. Back in 1861, when the Kingdom of Italy was formed, Turin was chosen as the first capital of the country.

The 2006 Winter Olympics were held in Turin, in the Italian Alps. The Turin games were one of the most expensive Winter Games ever staged, and sadly much of that cost was a huge overrun, with the event costing almost twice what had been budgeted.

10. Kind of port on a computer : USB
Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and deal with electrical power through those connections.

24. “The Real World” cable channel : MTV
“The Real World” is a reality television show that airs on MTV. It’s all about a group of strangers that agree to live in a house together and get filmed as relationships develop. Many view “The Real World” as the original reality television show, as it debuted way back in 1992. It is MTV’s longest running program.

26. Muhammad Ali, for the 1996 Olympics : TORCH BEARER
The boxer Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta?

28. Candy that’s “two mints in one” : CERTS
Certs were the first breath mints to be marketed nationally in the US, hitting the shelves in 1956. A Cert is called a mint, but it isn’t really as it contains no mint oil and instead has its famous ingredient named “Retsyn”. Retsyn is a mixture of copper gluconate (giving the green flecks), partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil (not healthy!) and flavoring (maybe mint?).

29. Czar called “the Great” : PETER I
Peter the Great was perhaps the most successful of the Romanov tsars, famous for modernizing Russia and expanding the country’s sphere of influence, creating the Russian Empire. He ruled from 1682 until his death in 1725.

31. After Karachi, the most populous city in Pakistan : LAHORE
Lahore is a large city in Pakistan, second in size only to Karachi. It is known as the Garden of the Mughals (or in English, Moguls) because of its association with the Mughal Empire. The Mughals ruled much of India from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.

Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan. Karachi was the country’s capital when Pakistan gained independence from Britain in 1947. The capital was moved to Rawalpindi in 1958, and then to the newly built city of Islamabad in 1960.

35. Honest ___ (presidential moniker) : ABE
Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth President of the US. There are several stories told about how he earned the nickname “Honest Abe”. One story dates back to early in his career as a lawyer. Lincoln accidentally overcharged a client and then walked miles in order to right the wrong as soon as possible.

39. Bitcoins, for example : E-CASH
Bitcoins are digital units of currency that are used on some Internet sites. Bitcoins are the most popular alternative currency used on the Web today. More and more reputable online retailers are accepting bitcoins, including Overstock.com, Expedia, Dell and Microsoft.

40. Electrical unit : AMPERE
The unit of electric current is the ampere, abbreviated correctly to “A” rather than “amp”. It is named after French physicist André-Marie Ampère, one of the main scientists responsible for the discovery of electromagnetism.

42. One-named R&B singer who won a Grammy for his 2014 album “Black Messiah” : D’ANGELO
D’Angelo is the stage name of R&B singer Michael Archer. His biggest success came in 2000 with the release of the album “Voodoo”. D’Angelo’s career went into decline for over a decade as he struggled with alcoholism, but he pulled things together and won a Grammy for his 2014 album “Black Messiah”.

45. Sault ___ Marie, Mich. : STE
Sault Ste. Marie is the name of two cities on either side of the Canada-US border, one in Ontario and the other in Michigan. The two cities were originally one settlement in the 17th century, established by Jesuit Missionaries. The missionaries gave the settlement the name “Sault Sainte Marie”, which can be translated as “Saint Mary’s Falls”. The city was one community until 1817, when a US-UK Joint Boundary Commission set the border along the St. Mary’s River.

46. Successor to F.D.R. : HST
The letter “S” in the middle of the name Harry S. Truman (HST) doesn’t stand for anything. The future-president was named “Harry” in honor of his mother’s brother Harrison “Harry” Young. The initial “S” was chosen in honor of young Harry’s two grandfathers: Anderson S-hipp Truman and S-olomon Young.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was the only child of Sara Delano and James Roosevelt Sr. The Delano family history in America goes back to the pilgrim Philippe de Lannoy, an immigrant of Flemish descent who arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The family name “de Lannoy” was anglicized here in the US, to “Delano”. Franklin was to marry Eleanor Roosevelt, and apparently the relationship between Sara and her daughter-in-law was very “strained”.

48. “Miss ___” (2016 thriller) : SLOANE
“Miss Sloane” is a 2016 political thriller movie starring Jessica Chastain in the title role. Miss Sloane is a successful lobbyist in Washington who takes on the Gun Lobby, and learns how tough that can be.

52. “Li’l” guy of old comics : ABNER
“Li’l Abner” was created and drawn by Al Capp for over 43 years starting in 1934. Al Capp stopped producing the strip in 1977, largely due to illness (he died from emphysema two years later). As the strip finished up, he went so far as to apologize to his long-standing fans, saying that he should have stopped 3-4 years earlier as he felt that the quality of his work had gone down in those latter years.

58. Complete, as a crossword grid : FILL
Arthur Wynne is generally credited with the invention of what we now known as a crossword puzzle. Wynne was born in Liverpool, England and emigrated to the US when he was 19-years-old. He worked as a journalist and was living in Cedar Grove, New Jersey in 1913 when he introduced a “Word-Cross Puzzle” in his page of puzzles written for the “New York World”. And the rest, as they say, is history …

62. Mormon Church, for short : LDS
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often abbreviated to “LDS”, is known colloquially as the Mormon Church.

64. Rock genre : EMO
The musical genre of “emo” originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Sounds like a dog : BARKS
6. Schism : RIFT
10. “What have you been ___?” : UP TO
14. Playwright Edward : ALBEE
15. Spanish “other” : OTRO
16. Feudal worker : SERF
17. Something scary : HAIR-RAISER
19. Some Maidenform products : BRAS
20. Rock band fronted by Michael Stipe : REM
21. Suffix with narc- : -OTIC
23. Words exchanged at the altar : I DO
24. “Welcome” thing at the front door : MAT
27. It grabs one’s attention : NECK-SNAPPER
30. Like a standard highway : TWO-LANE
32. ___ wonder (musical artist without a repeated success) : ONE-HIT
33. Aloe ___ : VERA
34. “Dagnabbit!” : DRAT!
37. 1940s British guns : STENS
38. Boastful sort : CHEST-BEATER
41. Like some short-lived committees : AD HOC
43. Appear : SEEM
44. Impulsive : RASH
47. Native Israelis : SABRAS
49. Positions higher, as a camera angle : UPTILTS
51. Really good joke : KNEE-SLAPPER
54. “Ready, ___, go!” : SET
55. ___ Khan (Islamic title) : AGA
56. Vagrant : HOBO
57. Soccer official, for short : REF
59. “As you ___” : WERE
61. Rug rat : ANKLE-BITER
66. “Jeopardy!” host Trebek : ALEX
67. Food, shelter or clothing : NEED
68. Source of Peruvian wool : LLAMA
69. Days of old : YORE
70. Makes a boo-boo : ERRS
71. Something it’s not mannerly to put on a dinner table : ELBOW

Down
1. Cry with “humbug!” : BAH!
2. Chicken ___ king : A LA
3. Baseball hitter’s stat : RBI
4. Deborah of “The King and I” : KERR
5. One of tennis’s Williams sisters : SERENA
6. “Vive le ___!” (old French cry) : ROI
7. “No worries” : IT’S OK
8. Worries : FRETS
9. 2006 Winter Olympics city : TORINO
10. Kind of port on a computer : USB
11. Keyboard, monitor, mouse and other devices : PERIPHERALS
12. Exchange, as an older model : TRADE IN
13. After a fashion : OF SORTS
18. Make ___ (set things right) : AMENDS
22. Are able, biblically : CANST
24. “The Real World” cable channel : MTV
25. Wonderment : AWE
26. Muhammad Ali, for the 1996 Olympics : TORCH BEARER
28. Candy that’s “two mints in one” : CERTS
29. Czar called “the Great” : PETER I
31. After Karachi, the most populous city in Pakistan : LAHORE
35. Honest ___ (presidential moniker) : ABE
36. Get ready for a golf drive : TEE UP
39. Bitcoins, for example : E-CASH
40. Electrical unit : AMPERE
41. Invitation to a questioner : ASK AWAY
42. One-named R&B singer who won a Grammy for his 2014 album “Black Messiah” : D’ANGELO
45. Sault ___ Marie, Mich. : STE
46. Successor to F.D.R. : HST
48. “Miss ___” (2016 thriller) : SLOANE
50. Knob next to “bass” : TREBLE
52. “Li’l” guy of old comics : ABNER
53. Game with straights and flushes : POKER
58. Complete, as a crossword grid : FILL
60. Program file suffix : EXE
62. Mormon Church, for short : LDS
63. File folder projection : TAB
64. Rock genre : EMO
65. Uncooked : RAW

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7 thoughts on “1205-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Dec 16, Monday”

  1. I can do Mon-Wed puzzles on a quick break during the day. Fri-sun are generally done after hours. Those darned Thursday puzzles are the time vampires during a work day….

    But this was quick. I missed the theme. I was thinking it had something to do with the second word of the answers.

    A Christmas Carol started Merry Christmas?? That's why I tune in every day…

    Best –

  2. From time to time, I see comments expressiing disbelief in the solve times posted here. Yesterday, for example, on the blog for Sunday, December 4, 2016 (which I looked at by accident), I found the following post, dated January 4, 2017, from someone calling himself "Grumpy Greg". (Bill's time for that day's puzzle was 28:38 and mine was 28:50. Other times posted were 43:37 and 31:15.)

    I don't believe any of you banana heads. It would take that long just to read the clues and write down the answers. Based on a completion time of 30 minutes (1,800 seconds) and 140 clues, you'd have to read, solve and write in each answer in approximately 13 seconds. Yeah, right! If you can do that, you'd be fools not to go on Jeopardy! and line your pockets with gold.

    "Banana head" turns out to be a slang term from the '50s meaning "a stupid person", so I did learn something from GG's post. I would contend, however, that his estimate is off by a factor of at least two, due to the obvious fact that "across" and "down" entries intersect. Often, one can essentially ignore half the clues (with perhaps a cursory glance to make sure that one has not gone astray using clues for intersecting entries). In any case, I know that I'm not lying about my solve times and I'm convinced that no one else here is lying, either.

    As I've said before: No matter how well you do something, there is probably someone else on the planet who can do it better and faster than you can (unless, of course, your name is Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps 🙂 . A little humility is in order. The solve times reported here are not bad, but I'm sure one could find better times elsewhere.

  3. 8:13, no errors. Recognized the theme early, but did not notice the significance of the positioning of the theme answers from HAIR to ANKLE. Once again, thanks Bill for enlightenment.

    I enjoy this blog, in particular, because Bill posts his times and any (rare) errors that he may have made. I follow suit. My times and errors are real, and (I hope) provide encouragement others who may be dismayed at Bill's times. The anonymity of the internet means that there is no reason for any poster to lie about their efforts, and no reason to tell the truth, either. So I just take the comments at face value, and place no value on them beyond that.

  4. No errors. Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle today. As so often happens I did not see the theme until coming here. All I noticed was that all of the theme answers ended with -ER. Thanks, also, to all the commenters on this blog. I read your comments carefully and always learn something from them.

  5. 6:54, no errors. Easy-peasy for a Monday.

    Occasionally, I will raise an eyebrow at a finishing time, but always assume it must just be a typo. But, just last Saturday, I had a series of grid-wide answers just come to me without even counting them off, and if I'd had to do that, it would have easily added a minute or two to the solve. So, my solve was artificially low for that rather difficult puzzle.

    So, it can happen. But I suppose I'll always be leery of a 15-minute Sunday solve. That's where you figure the sheer size of the grid has to make you take longer'n *that*.

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