0505-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 5 May 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Damon Gulczynski
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 18m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Leader of a long race? : ADAM

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

14. Comics character who says “Having lost sight of our objectives, we redoubled our efforts” : POGO

“Pogo” is a comic strip that was launched in 1948, and was the creation of cartoonist Walt Kelly. The story centers on animals that live in the Okefenokee Swamp on the Georgia-Florida border, with the title character “Pogo Possum” being an anthropomorphic opossum.

15. Japanese bowlful : SOBA

Soba is a thin Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour. In Japan, the word “soba” tends to be used to describe any thin noodle, in contrast with the thicker noodles that are called udon.

16. Roughly nine of 10 people have one : INNIE

The navel is basically a scar left behind when the umbilical cord is removed from a newborn baby. One interesting use of the umbilicus (navel, belly button) is to differentiate between identical twins, especially when they are very young.

17. Geographical hexagon : UTAH

When viewed on a map of the US, the state of Utah has six sides. It’s almost shaped like a rectangle, but there is a “bite” out of that rectangle in the northeast corner of the state.

18. Stew : HODGEPODGE

“Hochepot” is an Old French word for stew or soup, and this gave rise to an Anglo-French legal term for a collection of property that was gathered prior to being divided up. This became our “hodgepodge” in the early 1400s.

20. Single unit : MONAD

A monad is a single-celled organism, especially one of the genus Monas, flagellate protozoans.

22. Unstable subatomic particle : MUON

A muon is a subatomic particle that is similar to an electron but very unstable. A muon has a mean lifetime of only 2.2 microseconds.

23. Chateau ___ Michelle : STE

Chateau Ste. Michelle is a winery in Woodinville, Washington in the Columbia Valley. Chateau Ste. Michelle produces so much Riesling wine that it is the number-one Riesling producer in the world in terms of number of bottles.

27. Choler : IRE

“Choler” is “anger, irritability”. Choler (also “cholera”) was one of the body’s four basic substances of medieval science, the so-called four humors. All diseases were caused by these four substances getting out of balance. The four humors were:

  • Black bile (melancholia)
  • Yellow bile (cholera)
  • Phlegm (phlegma)
  • Blood (sanguis)

32. Anderson who managed Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine : SPARKY

Sparky Anderson was a second baseman for the Phillies and manager for the Reds and the Tigers. Anderson won the World Series with the National League’s Reds in 1975 and 1976, and then with the American League’s Tigers in 1984. That made Anderson the first manager to win a World Series with both a National League and American League team.

36. Butler of fiction : RHETT

In Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind”, when Rhett Butler finally walks out on Scarlett O’Hara he utters the words “My dear, I don’t give a damn”. Most of us are more familiar with the slightly different words spoken by Clark Gable in the film adaption of the story: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

41. Marisa of “The Wrestler” : TOMEI

Marisa Tomei’s first screen role was in the daytime soap “As the World Turns”, but her break came with a recurring role in “The Cosby Show” spin-off “A Different World”. Tomei won an Oscar for her delightful performance in “My Cousin Vinny” in 1992.

“The Wrestler” is a really hard, gritty movie from 2008, and a comeback film for actor Mickey Rourke. Rourke stars as an over-the-hill professional wrestler, with Marisa Tomei playing a faded stripper, the love interest. The film received really strong reviews, but I found it to be a tough movie to sit through.

42. Sinus-clearing condiment : WASABI

Sometimes called Japanese horseradish, wasabi is a root used as a condiment in Japanese cooking. The taste of wasabi is more like mustard than a hot pepper in that the vapors that create the “hotness” stimulate the nasal passages rather than the tongue. Personally, I love the stuff …

48. 2013 Best Picture nominee with a major unseen female character : HER

2003’s “Her” is a rather unusual film. It stars Joaquin Phoenix as a man who develops a relationship with a computer operating system called “Samantha”, which is voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

49. Fancy-pants : HIGHFALUTIN

The term “highfalutin” dates back to the mid-1800s. some suggest that it may be a mutation from “high flying”, as “highfalutin” means “haughty” or “pretentious”.

54. Late mag publisher : HEF

Hugh Hefner (often called “Hef”) was from Chicago. His first publishing job was in the military, where he worked as a writer for a US Army newspaper from 1944-46. He went to college after his military service and then worked as a copywriter for “Esquire” magazine. He left “Esquire” to found his own publication that he called “Playboy”, which first hit the newsstands in 1953. “Playboy” has been around ever since.

56. Refrain word in the song with the lyric “Come, Mister Tally Man, tally me banana” : DAY-O

“Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” is a traditional folk song from Jamaica. It is sung from the standpoint of dock workers unloading boats on the night shift, so daylight has come, and they want to go home. The most famous version of “Day-O” was recorded by Harry Belafonte, in 1956.

62. Food described in Exodus : MATZO

Matzo is an unleavened bread that is very brittle. The bread is crushed, creating Matzo meal that is then formed into balls using eggs and oil as a binder. The balls are usually served in a chicken stock.

Down

1. Made bubbles, as an ocean wave : SPUMED

Our word “spume” that we use for “froth” comes from the Latin “spuma” meaning “foam”.

3. Setting for “The Last King of Scotland” : UGANDA

“The Last King of Scotland” is a 2006 film adaptation of a 1998 novel of the same name by Giles Foden. The story tells of a Scottish doctor (played by James McAvoy) who was employed by Idi Amin (played by Forest Whitaker). The title of the piece comes from the fact that Idi Amin offered his services as King of Scotland, should he ever be needed.

8. Mr. once played by Leslie Nielsen : MAGOO

Mr. Quincy Magoo is a wonderful cartoon character voiced by Jim Backus. Backus is probably equally well-known for playing Mr. Magoo as well as Thurston Howell, III on “Gilligan’s Island”. Mr. Magoo first appeared on the screen in a short called “The Ragtime Bear” in 1949. His persona was at least in part based on the antics of W. C. Fields. Backus originally used a fake rubber nose that pinched his nostrils in order to create the distinctive voice, although in time he learned to do the voice without the prop. My absolute favorite appearance by Mr. Magoo is in “Mr Magoo’s Christmas Carol”, a true classic from the sixties. There was a movie adaptation of “Mr Magoo” released in 1997, with Leslie Nielsen playing the title role.

Leslie Nielsen was a Canadian actor, one famous for playing the zany Sergeant Frank Drebin in “The Naked Gun”. Nielsen’s big break in films came in the innovative comedy “Airplane!”

10. Slaughter who was a star of the 1946 World Series : ENOS

Enos Slaughter has a remarkable playing record in Major League Baseball over a 19-year career. Slaughter’s record is particularly remarkable given that he left baseball for three years to serve in the military during WWII.

19. Ambient composer of note : ENO

Brian Eno was one of the pioneers of the “ambient” genre of music. Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, which was the first in a series of four albums with an ambient theme. Eno named the tracks somewhat inventively: 1/1, 2/1, 2/1 and 2/2.

28. Start of an intermission? : ENTR’

The term “entr’acte” comes to us from French, and is the interval “entre deux actes” (between two acts) of a theatrical performance. The term often describes some entertainment provided during that interval.

31. Vague threat from a Stooge : WHY, I OUGHTA …

If you’ve seen a few of the films starring “The Three Stooges” you’ll have noticed that the line up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as “Moe, Larry and Shemp”. Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, “Moe, Larry And Curly”. Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946, and Shemp stayed with the troupe until he died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then “Curly-Joe” DeRita. When Larry Fine had a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

34. R.V. hookup org. : KOA

Kampgrounds of America (KOA) was founded in 1962 by Montana businessman Dave Drum, who opened up his first property along the Yellowstone River. His strategy was to offer a rich package of services including hot showers, restrooms and a store, which he hoped would attract people used to camping in the rough. The original campground was an immediate hit and Drum took on two partners and sold franchises all over the country. There are about 500 KOA sites today.

Recreational vehicle (RV)

39. Tiramisu flavorer : AMARETTO

Amaretto is an Italian liqueur with a sweet almond flavor. Even though the drink is sweet, it has a bitterness lent to it by the bitter almonds that are often used as a flavoring. The name “amaretto” is a diminutive of the Italian word “amaro” meaning “bitter”.

Tiramisu is an Italian cake. The name “tiramisu” translates from Italian as “pull me up”, and is often translated into our English phrase “pick-me-up”.

40. ___ Torres, 12-time Olympic swimming medalist : DARA

Dara Torres is a US swimmer who has won twelve Olympic medals. Torres is also the only American swimmer to have competed in five Olympic Games, and is the oldest swimmer to have made it onto the Olympic team, at 41.

50. Lupino of old Hollywood : IDA

Actress Ida Lupino was also a successful director, in the days when women weren’t very welcome behind the camera. She had already directed four “women’s” shorts when she stepped in to direct the 1953 drama “The Hitch-Hiker”, taking over when the original director became ill. “The Hitch-Hiker” was the first film noir movie to be directed by a woman, and somewhat of a breakthrough for women in the industry.

52. Monster slain by Hercules : HYDRA

The Hydra of Lerna was a mythical sea snake that had multiple heads. Heracles had to slay the Lernaean Hydra as the second of his Twelve Labors. We now use the term “hydra” figuratively to describe a complex problem that presents new obstacles once once facet is resolved.

58. “Today” rival, briefly : GMA

“Good Morning America” (GMA) is ABC’s morning show, and has been since 1975. There was even a spin-off show called “Good Afternoon America”, although that only lasted for a few months in 2012.

60. Delivery people, for short : OBS

Obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Close and comfortable : SNUG
5. Leader of a long race? : ADAM
9. Minds : HEEDS
14. Comics character who says “Having lost sight of our objectives, we redoubled our efforts” : POGO
15. Japanese bowlful : SOBA
16. Roughly nine of 10 people have one : INNIE
17. Geographical hexagon : UTAH
18. Stew : HODGEPODGE
20. Single unit : MONAD
22. Unstable subatomic particle : MUON
23. Chateau ___ Michelle : STE
24. Code violation requiring an emergency exit? : ENDLESS LOOP
27. Choler : IRE
29. Pierce the ears of : DEAFEN
30. “Geez, that just ain’t right!” : AW MAN!
32. Anderson who managed Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine : SPARKY
36. Butler of fiction : RHETT
37. “Take a hike, bub!” : I SAID “GOOD DAY, SIR!”
41. Marisa of “The Wrestler” : TOMEI
42. Sinus-clearing condiment : WASABI
43. Uncouth : CRASS
44. Night sticks? : ROOSTS
48. 2013 Best Picture nominee with a major unseen female character : HER
49. Fancy-pants : HIGHFALUTIN
54. Late mag publisher : HEF
56. Refrain word in the song with the lyric “Come, Mister Tally Man, tally me banana” : DAY-O
57. Wide open : AGAPE
58. Vim : GET-UP-AND-GO
61. Boost : HYPE
62. Food described in Exodus : MATZO
63. Eats : GRUB
64. Seating specification : TIER
65. Catching some Z’s : ADOZE
66. They’re easily taken : SAPS
67. Additional stipulations : ANDS

Down

1. Made bubbles, as an ocean wave : SPUMED
2. Zero : NOT ONE
3. Setting for “The Last King of Scotland” : UGANDA
4. Split the bill, informally : GO HALFSIES
5. Neutral color : ASH
6. Sentences : DOOMS
7. ___ Aziz bin Fahd, Saudi prince : ABDUL
8. Mr. once played by Leslie Nielsen : MAGOO
9. Axilla : armpit :: coxa : ___ : HIP
10. Slaughter who was a star of the 1946 World Series : ENOS
11. Revelation subject : END TIMES
12. Tech-savvy group : DIGERATI
13. Go with : SEE
19. Ambient composer of note : ENO
21. Chicago-style, in a way : DEEP-DISH
25. Catch : SNAG
26. One with a focus in mathematics : PARABOLA
28. Start of an intermission? : ENTR’
31. Vague threat from a Stooge : WHY, I OUGHTA …
33. Seating specification : ROW
34. R.V. hookup org. : KOA
35. Gridiron figs. : YDS
37. Target for nails? : ITCH
38. Poor sport : SOREHEAD
39. Tiramisu flavorer : AMARETTO
40. ___ Torres, 12-time Olympic swimming medalist : DARA
45. Be a homebody : STAY IN
46. Gave a little extra : TIPPED
47. Doesn’t look good? : SNEERS
50. Lupino of old Hollywood : IDA
51. City police concern : GANGS
52. Monster slain by Hercules : HYDRA
53. Get steamy : FOG UP
55. Beginnings of a beard : FUZZ
58. “Today” rival, briefly : GMA
59. ___ Dameron, fighter pilot for the Resistance in “Star Wars” films : POE
60. Delivery people, for short : OBS

9 thoughts on “0505-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 5 May 2018, Saturday”

  1. 17:13, no errors. The entry at 4D is of particular interest to me, as I would have spelled it “GO HALVSIES”. (“DEAFEN” gave me the “F”). Even more interesting is that the very same phrase, which, I am convinced, I have never before seen in a crossword puzzle, occupied 30D in yesterday’s Tim Croce puzzle and the crossing entry did not come to my rescue, thereby bringing to an end a string of 23 error-free solves over there (at “https://club72.wordpress.com”).

    Clearly, a classic case of criminal collusion by clever crossword constructors – crassly, contemptibly, and callously conspiring to completely confuse and confound Poor Little Old Me!” (See also “PLOM Syndrome”.)

    (And here endeth my “C” chantey … ? … )

    BTW: For reasons that I don’t understand, my link to Tim Croce’s web site isn’t treated here as a link when I include it here. If you really wish to find it, Google “Tim Croce crossword”.

    1. Here’s a working link to Tim Croce’s web site. He posts the hardest and (IMHO) best crossword puzzles around, and I think that, if you manage to do even one of his puzzles, you will see that, by comparison, the level of misdirection in the NYT crosswords is pretty minimal. I’ve done 140 of them and had to cheat, to some degree, on 10 of those. (In one case, I actually threw in the towel halfway through the puzzle, used Google lavishly to finish it, and still ended up with a solution time of over an hour … a very humbling learning experience … 😜.)

  2. 21:02 This was mostly pretty easy for me except the top. I pit in ENOS right away but had udon instead of SOYA for a long time which made everything else tough to get. Also SPUMED is a word I’d never seen before so I kept questioning if everything else in that corner was correct.

  3. 24:24, no errors. Didn’t find this as easy as others. Initially entered UDON in 14A before SOBA; also entered V in GO HALFSIES, at first; GROSS before CRASS in 43A; DANA before DARA in 40D; MANNA before MATZO in 62A. Finally figured out how to spell AMERETTO/AMORETTO/AMARETTO in 39D.

  4. 29 mins 22 sec, escaped error free. Some really tough clues and fills in here. Never heard of MUON, and some really precious fills like HIGHFALUTIN, ISAIDGOODDAYSIR, WHYIOUGHTA, DIGERATI…. this one was chock-a-block with stuff you either know or you don’t. I lucked out and finally wrestled HODGEPODGE and SOBA to the ground, which enabled me to suss out the most troublesome top center.

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