0105-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Jan 17, Thursday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Ed Sessa
THEME: Jack Black Jack
In order to make sense of today’s themed clues, we need to place the word JACK in several BLACK squares:

39A. *Comic actor / *Card game … or a hint to the answers to the starred clues : JACK BLACK/BLACKJACK

17A. *Put-down to an ignorant person : YOU DON’T KNOW JACK
19A. *”Bingo!” : JACKPOT!
24A. *Headless Horseman’s prop : JACK-O’-LANTERN
38A. *Tool for removing heavy footwear : BOOTJACK
40A. *Slender tree of northern North America : JACK PINE
49A. *Quesadilla cheese : MONTEREY JACK
58A. *Trunk item : CAR JACK
59A. *Versatile worker : JACK OF ALL TRADES

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Half of a Wall Street firm since 1882 : SACHS
The investment banking firm of Goldman Sachs was founded in New York in 1869 by Marcus Goldman. Samuel Sachs joined the firm in 1882, the same year that he married Louisa Goldman, Marcus’s daughter. The name “Goldman Sachs” was adopted by the firm in 1885. Goldman Sachs made out like bandits during the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-08 as the company actually short-sold subprime mortgage bonds. As the price of the bonds nose-dived, Goldman Sachs made huge profits.

14. She played Annie Lee in “Selma” : OPRAH
Oprah Winfrey is one of the producers of the 2014 film “Selma”, and is also one of the cast. She plays Annie Lee Cooper, a woman who tried to register vote and was denied by Dallas County sheriff Jim Clark. Clark poked Cooper in the neck with a cattle prod or nightstick, and she turned and punched him in the jaw, knocking him to the ground.

16. Copyright year for “Shrek” and “Monsters, Inc.” : MMI
2001 is MMI in Roman numerals.

Before “Shrek” was a successful movie franchise and Broadway musical, it was a children’s picture book called “Shrek!” authored and illustrated by William Steig. The title “Shrek!” came from the German/Yiddish word Schreck, meaning “fear” or “terror”.

The animated feature “Monsters, Inc.” was released in 2001, and was Pixar’s fourth full-length movie. It’s about cute monsters, and that’s all I know other than that the voice cast included the likes of John Goodman, Billy Crystal and Steve Buscemi.

17. *Put-down to an ignorant person : YOU DON’T KNOW JACK
There’s a more vulgar version of the expression “you don’t know jack”, but I think that is derivative of the original. One suggestion is that “jack” refers to a “common man”, so that someone who doesn’t know jack, doesn’t even know the man in the street.

19. *”Bingo!” : JACKPOT!
The term “jackpot” dates back to the 1800s and is from the game of poker. In some variants there are progressive antes, meaning that players have to “ante up” when no player has a pair of “jacks” or better … building a “jackpot”.

20. Irish red ___ : ALE
My guess is that the most famous Irish red ale that actually comes from Ireland is Smithwick’s, which is produced in Kilkenny. Many visitors to Ireland flock to the world-famous Guinness Storehouse. The equivalent Smithwick’s Experience in Kilkenny is a much more intimate affair, and one that I highly recommend …

21. ___ Coyote (toon) : WILE E
Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two much-loved cartoon characters from Warner Bros. Wile E. Coyote was created first, and Road Runner was invented as someone for Wile E. to play off. I love this cartoon; definitely one of the best …

22. Bosox slugger a.k.a. Big Papi : ORTIZ
The Dominican American baseball player David Ortiz has the nickname “Big Papi”. After each home run that Ortiz scores, he looks upwards and points to the sky, a tribute to his mother who died in a car crash in 2002 when she was only 46 years old.

24. *Headless Horseman’s prop : JACK-O’-LANTERN
The terms “jack-o’-lantern” and “will-o’-the-wisp” are colloquial names for “ignis fatuus”. Ignis fatuus is an eerie light seen at night over bogs and marshes, caused by the spontaneous oxidation (burning) of phosphine and/or methane that emanates from the bog. The term “jack-o’-lantern” was borrowed then as a name for the hollowed out pumpkins associated with Halloween. It’s thought that the tradition of pumpkin carving originated in Ireland, although turnips and beets were used over there instead of pumpkins. The turnips and beets were carved for the festival called Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season.

26. Part of a Yiddish phrase of dismay : VEY
“Oy vey” is a Yiddish expression of dismay that literally translates as “oh, pain”. The more usual translation is “woe is me”.

28. Brewing agents : YEASTS
Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the Fungi kingdom. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

34. Financial guru Suze : ORMAN
Suze Orman is a financial advisor who has gotten her message out on television, in books and on the speaking circuit. She often appears on PBS, and indeed is the most successful fundraiser public television has ever had.

37. It may be pulled on a road : UIE
Hang a “uey” or “uie”, make a u-turn.

39. *Comic actor / *Card game … or a hint to the answers to the starred clues : JACK BLACK/BLACKJACK
The actor Jack Black was born in Santa Monica, California and is the son of two satellite engineers who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope program.

The game of “twenty-one” was first referred to in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing “Don Quixote”. He called the game “ventiuna” (Spanish for “twenty-one”). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn’t all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker “Blackjack”.

41. Ice cream maker Joseph : EDY
Dreyers’ ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

44. Musical set in France, informally : LES MIZ
The 1980 musical “Les Misérables” is an adaptation of the 1862 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. The show opened in London in 1985, and is the longest running musical in the history of London’s West End. My wife and I saw “Les Miz” in the Queen’s Theatre in London quite a few years ago, but were only able to get tickets in the very back row. The theater seating is very steep, so the back row of the balcony is extremely high over the stage. One of the big events in the storyline is the building of a street barricade over which the rebels fight. At the height we were seated we could see the stagehands behind the barricade, sitting drinking Coke, even smoking cigarettes. On cue, the stagehands would get up and catch a dropped rifle, or an actor who had been shot. It was pretty comical. I didn’t really enjoy the show that much, to be honest. Some great songs, but the musical version of the storyline just didn’t seem to hang together for me.

46. Govt. org. that gets tips from whistleblowers : OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

48. Gob : TAR
A Jack Tar, or just “tar”, was a seaman in the days of the British Empire. The term probably arose due to a sailor’s various uses of tar back then, including waterproofing his clothes and using tar in his hair to slick down his ponytail.

“Gob” is a slang term for a sailor, and it may derive from a slang term for chewing tobacco, itself a derivative of the slang term for a mouth, a “gob”.

49. *Quesadilla cheese : MONTEREY JACK
What we now call Monterey Jack cheese was originally made by Franciscan friars in Monterey, California in the 19th century. In the 1800s, a powerful landowner called David Jack started to make the same cheese as the friars in his own dairy, and marketed it as “Jack’s Cheese” and later “Monterey Jack”.

53. Former Maine senator Olympia : SNOWE
Olympia Snowe is believed by many pundits to be the most moderate Republican Senator in the US Congress. Snowe retired in January 2013. I think that she is sorely missed by those who like to see moderate politicians in Washington, on either side of the aisle.

55. Mizrahi of fashion : ISAAC
Isaac Mizrahi is a fashion designer from Brooklyn, New York.

56. Vardalos of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” : NIA
Not only is the delightful Nia Vardalos the star of the 2002 hit movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, she also wrote the screenplay. The film never made it to number one at the box office, but it still pulled in more money than any other movie in history that didn’t make it to number one. That record I think reflects the fact that the film wasn’t a blockbuster but rather a so-called “sleeper hit”, a movie that people went to see based on referrals from friends. The big fat mistake came when a spin-off TV show was launched, “My Big Fat Greek Life”. It ran for only 7 episodes. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” will hit movie theaters in 2016.

58. *Trunk item : CAR JACK
In North America we use the word “trunk” for the storage space in the back of a vehicle as that space is reminiscent of the large travelling chest called a “trunk”. Such trunks used to be lashed onto the back of automobiles before storage was integrated. On the other side of the Atlantic, a trunk is known as a “boot”. The original boot was a built-in storage compartment on a horse-drawn carriage on which a coachman would sit.

64. “___ Mio” : O SOLE
“‘O sole mio” is a famous Italian song from Naples, written in 1898. The song’s lyrics are usually sung in the original Neapolitan, as opposed to Italian. The title translates from Neapolitan into “My Sun” (and not into “O, My Sun” as one might expect). It’s a love song of course, sung by a young man declaring that there is a sun brighter than that in the sky, the sun that is his lover’s face. Awww …

67. Stand-up comic Sykes : WANDA
Wanda Sykes is a very successful American comedienne and comic actress. Interestingly, Sykes spent her first five years out of school working for the NSA. I saw her perform in Reno not that long ago, and she is very, very funny.

Down
1. Bean used to make tempeh : SOYA
Tempeh is a soy product that originated in Indonesia. It is made from soybeans that have been partly cooked and fermented. I’ve had quite a bit of tempeh used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes. It doesn’t have an appealing texture to me, so I’m not a fan …

2. Speed skater Ohno : APOLO
Speed-skater Apolo Ohno has won more Winter Olympics medals than any other American. Ohno also did a great job winning the 2007 season of television’s “Dancing with the Stars”.

3. Like Vlad the Impaler : CRUEL
Vlad III was a 15th century ruler in modern-day Romania. He was given the name “Vlad the Impaler” after he died, and this suggests that he was in the habit of impaling his enemies. His father, Vlad II, was known as Vlad Dracul, which translates as Vlad the Devil or Dragon. As a result, Vlad the Impaler was also known by the diminutive form of his father’s name, i.e. “Dracula”. Bram Stoker borrowed this name for his famous 1897 novel titled “Dracula”.

6. Nixon in 1995 or Lincoln in 2012 : TITLE ROLE
“Nixon” is a 1995 Oliver Stone biopic in which Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins plays US president Richard Nixon. This was Stone’s second film about the American presidency, after “JFK” (1991) and before “W” (2008).

The 2012 movie “Lincoln” is a historical drama that portrays the last four months of the life of President Abraham Lincoln. The main focus in the story is Lincoln’s work to have the US House of Representatives pass the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, the amendment that finally abolished slavery. “Lincoln” was co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field and Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. It’s a film I’d recommend …

12. Mine, to Mimi : A MOI
“À moi” (literally “to me”) is French for “mine”.

13. Scallop-edged cracker : RITZ
I’ve always liked Ritz crackers. They’ve been around since 1934 when they were introduced by Nabisco. The name Ritz was chosen because the marketing folks felt that the association with Ritz-Carlton would evoke images of wealth and the highlife.

18. Nick at ___ : NITE
“Nick at Nite” is the name given to the late-night programming aired on the Nickelodeon channel space. Nick at Nite started broadcasting in 1985 and was conceived as television’s first “oldies” television network.

23. Stephen of “V for Vendetta” : REA
“V for Vendetta” is a 2006 movie based on the political thriller graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. The film stars Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman and Stephen Rea. Two other Moore novels made it to the big screen: “From Hell” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”.

36. Company for which about one in eight U.S. workers has worked : MCDONALD’S
The original McDonald’s restaurant was opened in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald as a barbecue restaurant. The brothers then moved into fast food hamburgers, eventually selling out to one of their franchise agents, Ray Kroc. It was Ray Kroc who really led the company to its worldwide success.

43. 1994 Brandon Lee action film : THE CROW
Bai Ling is a Chinese actress who moved to the US in 1994. Apparently she claims she is from the moon, and her grandmother still lives there …

“The Crow” is another one of those action movies that is based on a comic book. The film was released in 1994 and stars Brandon Lee. Sadly, this was Lee’s last movie as he was accidentally shot on set with a dummy bullet in the stomach, which then lodged in his spine. Lee died eight days later.

45. Gaping mouth : MAW
“Maw” is a term used to describe the mouth or stomach of a carnivorous animal. “Maw” is also used as slang for the mouth or stomach of a greedy person.

47. TKOs, e.g. : STAT
In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can’t get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly “knocked out”. A referee, fighter or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter’s safety. In this case the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).

49. Sporty two-seater : MIATA
The Mazda MX-5 is sold as the Miata in North America, and as the Roadster in Japan. I’ve always liked the looks of the Mazda Miata, probably because it reminds me so much of old British sports cars. The Miata is built in Hiroshima, Japan.

50. William ___, physician who championed bedside training : OSLER
Sir William Osler was a Canadian physician, and one of the principal founders of Johns Hopkins Hospital.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Half of a Wall Street firm since 1882 : SACHS
6. One working on hands and knees : TILER
11. Eye-level sensor : EAR
14. She played Annie Lee in “Selma” : OPRAH
15. How fish is shipped, often : IN ICE
16. Copyright year for “Shrek” and “Monsters, Inc.” : MMI
17. *Put-down to an ignorant person : YOU DON’T KNOW JACK
19. *”Bingo!” : JACKPOT!
20. Irish red ___ : ALE
21. ___ Coyote (toon) : WILE E
22. Bosox slugger a.k.a. Big Papi : ORTIZ
24. *Headless Horseman’s prop : JACK-O’-LANTERN
26. Part of a Yiddish phrase of dismay : VEY
27. Prompter? : CUER
28. Brewing agents : YEASTS
31. Throw a hissy fit : ACT UP
34. Financial guru Suze : ORMAN
37. It may be pulled on a road : UIE
38. *Tool for removing heavy footwear : BOOTJACK
39. *Comic actor / *Card game … or a hint to the answers to the starred clues : JACK BLACK/BLACKJACK
40. *Slender tree of northern North America : JACK PINE
41. Ice cream maker Joseph : EDY
42. Enthusiast : FIEND
43. Wyoming’s ___ Range : TETON
44. Musical set in France, informally : LES MIZ
46. Govt. org. that gets tips from whistleblowers : OSHA
48. Gob : TAR
49. *Quesadilla cheese : MONTEREY JACK
53. Former Maine senator Olympia : SNOWE
55. Mizrahi of fashion : ISAAC
56. Vardalos of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” : NIA
58. *Trunk item : CAR JACK
59. *Versatile worker : JACK OF ALL TRADES
62. N.Y.C.’s Third or Fifth : AVE
63. Roasted, in a way : FETED
64. “___ Mio” : O SOLE
65. Ending with fly and drive : -BYS
66. Bases of nightmares : FEARS
67. Stand-up comic Sykes : WANDA

Down
1. Bean used to make tempeh : SOYA
2. Speed skater Ohno : APOLO
3. Like Vlad the Impaler : CRUEL
4. Tricked : HAD
5. Robbed of the spotlight : SHOWN UP
6. Nixon in 1995 or Lincoln in 2012 : TITLE ROLE
7. Comics artist : INKER
8. Tablecloths and napkins : LINEN
9. Prefix with conscious : ECO-
10. Mended, as rugs : REWOVEN
11. Ineffectual exec : EMPTY SUIT
12. Mine, to Mimi : A MOI
13. Scallop-edged cracker : RITZ
18. Nick at ___ : NITE
23. Stephen of “V for Vendetta” : REA
25. ___ above : A CUT
28. Gibble-gabble : YAK
29. Nickname for Tony : TINO
30. In public : SEEN
31. ___ Tesfaye a.k.a. R&B’s the Weeknd : ABEL
32. “Longtime companion” for “same-sex partner,” once : CODE
33. They’re good at drawing kids : TOY STORES
35. Directed : RAN
36. Company for which about one in eight U.S. workers has worked : MCDONALD’S
39. Small enterprise? : BIZ
40. Fruit that’s sometimes poached : PEAR
42. Write and send quickly, as a letter : FIRE OFF
43. 1994 Brandon Lee action film : THE CROW
45. Gaping mouth : MAW
47. TKOs, e.g. : STAT
49. Sporty two-seater : MIATA
50. William ___, physician who championed bedside training : OSLER
51. Stop at : END ON
52. Stock figure : YIELD
53. Cut covering : SCAB
54. Shade of blue : NAVY
57. No longer at anchor : ASEA
60. Figure on a rate sheet : FEE
61. Fat ___ pig : AS A

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5 thoughts on “0105-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 5 Jan 17, Thursday”

  1. 18:05, and had all kinds of trouble… strangely enough, the bottom fill, BYS, just wouldn't come to me for the longest time. Glad to emerge error-free!!

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