0512-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 May 17, Friday

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CROSSWORD CONSTRUCTOR: Bill Clinton & Victor Fleming
THEME: Don’t Stop …
Today’s puzzle comes with a note:

CELEBRITY CROSSWORD
To mark the 75th anniversary of the New York Times crossword, which debuted in 1942, we are publishing a series of puzzles co-created by famous people who solve the Times crossword, working together with regular Times puzzle contributors.
This collaboration is by former president Bill Clinton, an avid crossword doer, who sometimes works two or three puzzles in a day – in times that would be respectable at a crossword tournament – together with a longtime friend, a judge in Little Rock, Ark., Victor Fleming. This is Victor’s 46th puzzle for The Times.
The celebrity collaborations will continue periodically through the year.
More information about the making of today’s puzzle appears in the Times’s daily crossword column (nytimes.com/column/wordplay).

Yep, it’s a puzzle by President William Jefferson Clinton. And, we have a mini-theme: the opening lines to the Fleetwood Mac song “Don’t Stop”, which Bill Clinton the candidate used in his first campaign for US president:

17A. Continue : DON’T STOP …
35A. Chewing on : … THINKING ABOUT …
57A. Another day : … TOMORROW

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 12m 28s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. Heavy metal shortage? : ANEMIA
The term “anemia” (or “anaemia” as we write it back in Ireland) comes from a Greek word meaning “lack of blood”. Anemia is a lack of iron in the blood, or a low red blood cell count. Tiredness is a symptom of the condition, and so we use the term “anemic” figuratively to mean “lacking in vitality or substance”.

15. Popular song in a children’s sing-along : ALOUETTE
The French-Canadian children’s song starts with, “Alouette, gentille alouette …” “Alouette” is the French word for a bird, the “lark”. The song is actually pretty gruesome, even though it was used to teach children the names of body parts. The origin of the song lies in the French colonists penchant for eating larks, which they considered to be game birds. So in the song, the singer tells the lark that he/she will pluck off one-by-one the lark’s head, nose, eyes, wings and tail.

16. Some headgear : DO-RAGS
Hip-hoppers might wear do-rags today, but they have been around for centuries. If you recall the famous image of Rosie the Riveter, she was wearing a do-rag. The etymology is pretty evident, a piece of cloth (rag) to hold a hairstyle (do) in place.

18. A real money maker : US MINT
The nation’s first mint was established in Philadelphia in 1792, as back then Philadelphia was the capital of the United States. That first mint was established in a building that previously housed a whiskey distillery.

20. Ben-___ : HUR
Lew Wallace was a general for the Union Army during the Civil War, and was also an author. He wrote a very successful and celebrated book called “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ”, first published in 1880, which was made into a movie starring Charlton Heston.

21. First lady after Lou : ELEANOR
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the daughter of Elliot, brother to President Theodore Roosevelt. “Eleanor” met Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was her father’s fifth cousin, in 1902, and the two started “walking out together” the following year after they both attended a White House dinner with President Roosevelt.

Lou Henry met her future husband Herbert Hoover while studying at Stanford University. The couple traveled extensively in their lives, even before Herbert became US president. In fact, when Herbert proposed to Lou, he was living in Australia while Lou was in the US. He proposed by cable, and she accepted by with a return telegraph. The day after their marriage in Monterey, California, the Hoovers left for Shanghai, where they lived for a couple of years while Herbert pursued his career in mining. While there, Lou became proficient in Chinese. As such, Lou Hoover was to become the only First Lady of the US to have spoken an Asian language.

24. Smallville family : KENTS
Superman was sent to Earth in a rocket as a child by his parents who were living on the doomed planet of Krypton. On Earth he was discovered by the Kents, farmers who lived near the fictional town of Smallville. “Pa” and “Ma” Kent raised the infant as their own, giving him the name Clark, which was Ma Lent’s maiden name.

26. Inside look? : MRI
An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate images that can be used by medical professionals to diagnose injury and disease.

30. I.R.S. Form 1120 filers: Abbr. : COS
IRS Form 1120 is used by corporations to calculate their tax liability. Key entries on the form are income, gains, losses, deductions and credits.

32. “Cat ___” : BALLOU
“Cat Ballou” is a 1965 film, a comedy western starring Jane Fonda in the title role and Lee Marvin in dual roles, for which Marvin won his only Oscar. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Roy Chanslor. The novel was a serious and a quite dark work, but it was lightened up for the big screen.

34. Beloved “army” leader : ARNIE
Arnold Palmer was one of the greats of the world of golf. He was very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers were usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”. Off the course, Palmer was an avid pilot, until his latter years. He resided in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for much of the year and the local airport is named in his honor: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.

38. Long, narrow land : CHILE
The land of Chile has a very distinctive shape. It is a narrow strip that runs up the west coast of South America. The average width of the country is only a little over 100 miles, and yet its length is about 2,700 miles. Chile is touted as the longest country in the world, although I am not so sure what that means exactly. I mean, Russia extends about 4,800 miles from east-to west, so maybe “longest” implies long in the north-south direction?

40. Asia’s ___ Sea : ARAL
The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet Union irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

47. Molières : France :: ___ : U.S. : TONYS
The Tony Awards are more completely referred to as the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre. The awards are named for Mary Antoinette “Tony” Perry, who was a co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.

49. Apt. amenity, perhaps : TERR
Terrace (terr.)

55. Constellation next to Scorpius : ARA
The constellation of Ara takes its name from the Latin word for “altar”. It’s also the only constellation with a 3-letter name.

59. Unconventional sort, en français : BOHEME
The region known as Bohemia covers most of the Czech Republic. Centuries ago, it was wrongly believed that gypsies came from Bohemia, giving rise to the term “Bohemian” meaning a “gypsy of society”.

Down
2. Philippines’ ___ City : ILOILO
Iloilo City is the capital of the Iloilo province in the Philippines. It is known as one of the most desirable places to live in the country.

3. Shelley’s “Ozymandias,” e.g. : SONNET
“Ozymandias” is a sonnet written by Percy Bysshe Shelley that was first published in 1818:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

4. Order repeated before a hike : HUT
The quarterback (QB) starts each play in football with a “snap” (also called a “hike”). He announces to his teammates the exact moment of the snap by calling out signals, usually including the word “hut” one or more times in a prearranged sequence.

6. One of the Near Islands : ATTU
Attu is the westernmost island in the Aleutian chain, and so is the westernmost part of Alaska. Japanese forces took the island in October 1942, eventually landing as many as 2,900 soldiers there. In May 1943, the US Army retook the island in twenty days of fighting that is now called the Battle of Attu, the only land battle to take place on US soil during WWII. I am very proud of my father-in-law, who served in the Aleutians during WWII …

The Near Islands of the Aleutian Chain includes the islands of Attu and Agattu. The Near Islands were named by Russian explorers, and the name was chosen as they are the nearest of the Aleutians to Russia.

7. Baby deliverer : STORK
In German and Dutch society, storks resting on the roof of a house were considered a sign of good luck. This tradition led to nursery stories that babies were brought to families by storks.

8. With it, man : HEP
The slang term “hep” meaning “cool” has the same meaning as the later derivative term “hip”. The origins of “hep” seem unclear, but it was adopted by jazz musicians of the early 1900s.

11. Funny Bombeck : ERMA
Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years, producing more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns describing her home life in suburbia.

23. Assistance for returning W.W. II vets : GI BILL
What we commonly refer to as the GI Bill is more correctly called the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944.

25. “It’s the ___, stupid!” : ECONOMY
As a tactic to keep workers on message during Governor Bill Clinton’s first run for US president, campaign manager James Carville put up a sign in the campaign headquarters:

  1. Change vs. more of the same
  2. The economy, stupid
  3. Don’t forget health care

28. Sweet stalk : CANE
The sugar we consume as “table sugar” is mainly sucrose that is extracted from sugar cane and sugar beet. We also consume lactose, naturally occurring in milk, and fructose, naturally occurring in fruit. But most of the sugar we eat or drink tends to be prepared commercially, the most famous being high-fructose corn syrup, which is glucose that is industrially processed into a glucose/fructose mix. Don’t get me started on the politics of food …

29. “Civic” animal : 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.

36. Longfellow character : HIAWATHA
“The Song of Hiawatha” is an epic poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that he penned in 1855. Longfellow based the poem on legends told to him by Native Americans. The main characters in the piece are Hiawatha and his lover Minnehaha.

37. What the Irish breathe : AER
“Aer” is the Irish word for “air” as in “Aer Lingus”, which is the name of the Irish national airline.

Aer Lingus is my favorite airline! Well, the service isn’t that great, but when I get on board an Aer Lingus plane I feel like I am back in Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, with “Aer Lingus” being a phonetic spelling of the Irish “aer-loingeas” meaning “air fleet”. These days Aer Lingus can only lay claim to the title of Ireland’s oldest airline as it is no longer the biggest. That honor goes to the controversial budget airline called Ryanair.

38. Residents of Cambridge, England : CANTABS
The term “Cantabrigian” is used for things pertaining to the city of Cambridge. Often, the term is narrowed to refer to things associated with Cambridge University in particular. “Cantabrigian” comes from the Latin “Cantabrigia”, the medieval name for the city, from the Anglo-Saxon name “Cantebrigge”. The term is frequently shortened to “Cantab”.

44. Jazz pianist Garner : ERROLL
Erroll Garner was a jazz pianist and composer. Garner’s most famous composition by far is 1954’s “Misty”, which has become a jazz standard.

47. Words from a Latin lover : TE AMO
“I love you” translates into “te amo” in Spanish, and into “je t’aime” in French.

48. Capital on the Han River : SEOUL
The Han River that runs through the South Korean capital of Seoul used to be known as the Hanshui, a name that is sometimes still used today.

Seoul is the capital city of South Korea. The Seoul National Capital Area is home to over 25 million people and is the second largest metropolitan area in the world, second only to Tokyo, Japan.

57. Culinary general? : TSO
General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Jumble : MISHMASH
9. Heavy metal shortage? : ANEMIA
15. Popular song in a children’s sing-along : ALOUETTE
16. Some headgear : DO-RAGS
17. Continue : DON’T STOP
18. A real money maker : US MINT
19. Brief bit of time, in slang : MIN
20. Ben-___ : HUR
21. First lady after Lou : ELEANOR
22. Words after shake or break : … A LEG
24. Smallville family : KENTS
26. Inside look? : MRI
27. Not miss : NOTICE
30. I.R.S. Form 1120 filers: Abbr. : COS
31. Proof that a property is yours : DEED
32. “Cat ___” : BALLOU
34. Beloved “army” leader : ARNIE
35. Chewing on : THINKING ABOUT
38. Long, narrow land : CHILE
39. Useless : NO HELP
40. Asia’s ___ Sea : ARAL
41. Stone : GEM
42. Pulled (in) : REINED
46. Fresh : NEW
47. Molières : France :: ___ : U.S. : TONYS
49. Apt. amenity, perhaps : TERR
50. Services in the U.K. : TEA SETS
52. A good one is important for music : EAR
55. Constellation next to Scorpius : ARA
56. Where people are often told to look : AT THAT
57. Another day : TOMORROW
59. Unconventional sort, en français : BOHEME
60. Fit : SUITABLE
61. Laceless, say : SNAP-ON
62. In the way it used to be : OLD STYLE

Down
1. Nut : MADMAN
2. Philippines’ ___ City : ILOILO
3. Shelley’s “Ozymandias,” e.g. : SONNET
4. Order repeated before a hike : HUT
5. Jibe : MESH
6. One of the Near Islands : ATTU
7. Baby deliverer : STORK
8. With it, man : HEP
9. They’re never minor : ADULTS
10. Things that might sense danger and scams : NOSES
11. Funny Bombeck : ERMA
12. First set of choices : MAIN MENU
13. “Nothing to get upset about” : IGNORE IT
14. On : ASTRIDE
21. Not a lot, but ___ : ENOUGH
23. Assistance for returning W.W. II vets : GI BILL
25. “It’s the ___, stupid!” : ECONOMY
28. Sweet stalk : CANE
29. “Civic” animal : ELK
31. “End of discussion!” : DROP IT!
33. Ones in the closet? : LINENS
34. Up to the job : ABLE
35. Like some heavy-duty trucks : THREE-TON
36. Longfellow character : HIAWATHA
37. What the Irish breathe : AER
38. Residents of Cambridge, England : CANTABS
41. Acquired : GOTTEN
43. Close : NEARBY
44. Jazz pianist Garner : ERROLL
45. Bank from which a check is paid : DRAWEE
47. Words from a Latin lover : TE AMO
48. Capital on the Han River : SEOUL
51. Record producer Pettibone : SHEP
53. In : AMID
54. Spoils badly : ROTS
57. Culinary general? : TSO
58. Betrayer : RAT

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13 thoughts on “0512-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 May 17, Friday”

  1. Nice effort from our ex-Prez. Nice to know he's such an avid crossworder (is that a word?). I wonder how much he did of the work on this one. Probably helped in the cluing and the mini-theme which I completely missed.

    Quick for me by NYT Friday standards. 28 minutes, no errors. I did this last night and it went smoothly. Some problems in the NW and I had slipon before SNAPON. Otherwise, a fun solve.

    Best –

  2. 20:57 at the point at which I finally found and fixed an error, stopping the clock: I had inserted an "R" to get LINERS (as in "jacket liners") for "Ones in the closet" and TORYS for "Molières : France :: U.S. : ___" (on the theory that the reference was to a political party). My bad …

    I would point out, by the way, that the clue for 47A ought to be "France : Molières :: U.S. : ___" (he said, with a sour-grapes kind of sniff, taking some solace from being able to pick a nit … 🙂

    (I just checked and the online puzzle I did has "Molières : France :: ___ : U.S.". So the clue is incorrect in Bill's list above, but I don't know what was actually in the print edition.)

  3. Nice to see the effort by our former president. He was mentioned in the film "Wordplay" of course so it wasn't surprising that the NYT would include him as a commemorative contributor. My only complaint is that this is a Tuesday/Wednesday level puzzle so I've missed the usual Friday workout – bummer! I guess I have to hit the health club instead of the sofa. Sigh.

  4. 16:14, no errors. No hard spots today. Invisible theme, unnecessary for solving the puzzle, but cleverly symmetrical.

  5. Pretty easy and not bad for a celebrity puzzle. Needed crosses for ILOILO, SHEP, and spelling of the great ERROLL Garner's name.

  6. 32 mins 3 sec, and was glad to finish… and with no errors after really looking askance at CANTABS for 38 down… that was incredibly obscure!! Along with the crossing Britishism, TEASETS. A bit naff, as a Londoner might say, wot?

    Didn't notice the Fleetwood Mac reference. That's pretty darned clever, when you consider the co-author!!

  7. @Tom M … Now that I've looked at this again, five weeks on, I realize that, when I looked at the entry in Bill's list for 47A, I was confused by the appending of the correct answer, preceded by a colon, I got lost in the thicket of colons, and I concluded that the original clue had been incorrectly stated. I was wrong. Stupidly wrong. Breathtakingly wrong. So … I apologize …

    Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa … 😄😄😄

  8. 41 minutes, 4 errors. Concur with the others that this was easier than the usual Friday fare, a bit staid though, which I wouldn't expect from an "avid crossworder".
    Errors (and a lot of that time) came from working out the Naticks at 59A-39D, and 59A-47D.

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