0522-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 22 May 2018, Tuesday

Constructed by: Jeff Stillman
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Ursa Major

Themed answers relate to the constellation URSA MAJOR. Additionally, connecting the letters circled in the grid, in alphabetical order, reveals the shape of said constellation:

  • 17A. Constellation next to Draco : URSA MAJOR
  • 64A. Another term for 17-Across : GREAT BEAR
  • 9D. Part of 17-Across … and what the circles from A to G depict : BIG DIPPER
  • 34D. Thing located in the night sky by extending a line from circle F past circle G : NORTH STAR
  • Bill’s time: 7m 37s

    Bill’s errors: 0

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    Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

    Across

    1. Sonata finale : CODA

    In music, a coda is primarily a passage that brings a movement to a conclusion. “Coda” is Italian for “tail”.

    5. Fateful day : IDES

    In Act I of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” a soothsayer warns the doomed emperor to “beware the ides of March”. Caesar ignores the prophecy and is subsequently killed on the steps of the Capitol by a group of conspirators on that fateful day.

    9. Noted tower setting : BABEL

    We use the word “babel” now to describe a scene of confusion, lifting the term from the biblical story of the Tower of Babel. The Tower was built in the city of Babylon, and the construction was cursed with a confusion of languages due to the varied origins of all the builders.

    15. City on the Seward Peninsula : NOME

    In 1899, the Alaska city of Nome was briefly known as Anvil City by locals to avoid confusion with the nearby city of Cape Nome. However, the US Post Office refused to approve the change, and so the name was immediately changed back to Nome.

    The Seward Peninsula in Alaska is a remnant of the land bridge that once connected Alaska with Siberia during the last Ice Age. The peninsula is named for Secretary of State William Seward who negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russian.

    17. Constellation next to Draco : URSA MAJOR

    Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “Dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”. The tail of the “Smaller Bear” might also be considered as the handle of a ladle, and so the constellation is often referred to as the Little Dipper.

    20. 1962 Paul Anka hit : ESO BESO

    “Eso Beso” is Spanish for “That Kiss”, and is the name of a 1962 hit song recorded by Canadian-born singer Paul Anka.

    23. Part of a gig : BYTE

    In the world of computing, a bit is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of “bits” (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix mega- stands for 10 to the power of 6, so a megabyte (meg) is 1,000,000 bytes. And the prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, so a gigabyte (gig) is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Well, those are the SI definitions of megabyte and kilobyte. The purists still use 2 to the power of 20 for a megabyte (i.e. 1,048,576), and 2 to the power of 30 for a gigabyte.

    24. Garr of “Tootsie” : TERI

    The lovely Teri Garr had a whole host of minor roles in her youth, including appearances in nine Elvis movies. Garr’s big break came with the role of Inga in “Young Frankenstein”, and her supporting role in “Tootsie” earned Garr an Academy Award nomination. Sadly, Teri Garr suffers from multiple sclerosis. She is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

    “Tootsie” is a hilarious 1982 comedy starring Dustin Hoffman in the title role, a male actor who adopts a female identity in order to land an acting job. Jessica Lange won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in the film. “Tootsie” was also provided Geena Davis with her first movie role.

    28. 2008 Benicio Del Toro title role : CHE

    “Che” is a 2008 film about the life of the revolutionary hero Che Guevara. Starring Benicio del Toro in the title role, the movie is in two parts. The first part is called “The Argentine” and deals with the part Guevara played in the Cuban Revolution. Part two is called “Guerrilla” and covers Guevara’s attempt to foment revolution in Bolivia.

    Benicio Del Toro is an actor from Puerto Rico. He is an Academy Award winner, for the role he played in “Traffic”, released in 2000. He also played the title role in the 2008 movie “Che”.

    30. Diminutive swimsuit : SPEEDO

    Speedo brand swimwear was first produced in Australia in 1928, by a hosiery company that wanted to diversify. The brand name was chosen after a slogan competition among employees was won by “Speed on in your Speedos”. It was a long time ago, I guess …

    32. Indo-___ languages : ARYAN

    The Indo-Aryans are a collection of peoples that speak languages that share the same linguistic roots, traced back to the ancient Indo-Iranian peoples. Included in the Indo-Aryan group of peoples are the Bengali people, the Gurkhas, the Kashmiri people and the Punjabi people.

    37. Calf catcher : LASSO

    Our English word “lasso” comes from the Spanish “lazo”, and ultimately from the Latin “laqueum” meaning “noose, snare”.

    38. Language that becomes the name of where it’s spoken if you add an “s” : LAO

    Lao is the official language of Laos. Lao is also spoken in the northeast of Thailand, but there the language is known as Isan.

    39. ___ Gay, 1945 bomber : ENOLA

    The Enola Gay was the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb, on Hiroshima in August 1945. Enola Gay was the name of the mother of pilot Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.

    45. U-Haul alternative : RYDER

    The Ryder company was founded in 1933 in Miami, Florida by James Ryder. It started out as a concrete hauling company, but changed its focus a few years later to the leasing of trucks.

    46. Part of NATO : TREATY

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an international military alliance that was established in 1949. NATO headquarters was initially set up in London, moved to Paris in 1952, and then to Brussels 1967.

    53. Dame Myra of piano fame : HESS

    Myra Hess was a British pianist who earned the title of Dame due to her efforts to uphold morale in WWII. During the war all concerts were suspended due to blackout restrictions, so Myra Hess organized 1700 concerts that took place at lunchtimes throughout the conflict.

    55. SpaceX founder Musk : ELON

    SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) is a space transportation company that was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, veteran of PayPal and Tesla Motors. In 2012, SpaceX became the first private concern to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station. Apparently, SpaceX is the lowest-price player in the game.

    58. How lemmings migrate : EN MASSE

    Lemmings are small rodents that live in cold climates, usually in or around the Arctic. There is a misconception that lemmings are prone to commit mass suicide. What is true is that like many animal species, lemmings are prone to mass migration, especially when the population in one area gets too great. Lemmings can swim, and will jump into a body of water in order to cross it. However, some lemmings may drown in the attempt. So, the lemmings jump en masse into a body of water to cross it, not to commit suicide. Then there was the famous Disney “White Wilderness” incident. Disney shot footage of lemmings “committing mass suicide” for the 1958 film “White Wilderness”. In fact, the lemmings in the morbid scene were flown to the location of the shoot, and were launched off a cliff using a turntable. Despicable …

    64. Another term for 17-Across : GREAT BEAR

    The constellation Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called “the Big Dipper” because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, “the Plough”.

    66. Prefix with -hydrozoline : TETRA-

    Visine is a brand of eye drops made by Johnson & Johnson, advertised to “get the red out”. The red in the eye is reduced because Visine contains tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride, a vasoconstrictor. The blood vessels creating the redness constrict when Visine is applied, and you “get the red out” as the blood is “squeezed” away from the surface of the eye.

    68. “Casablanca” role : ILSA

    Ilsa Lund was played by Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie “Casablanca”. I love the words of one critic describing the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman in this film: “She paints his face with her eyes”. Wow …

    The movie “Casablanca” was released in January of 1943, timed to coincide with the Casablanca Conference, the high-level meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill. The film wasn’t a box-office hit, but gained critical acclaim, winning three Oscars including Best Picture. The signature song “As Time Goes By” was written many years earlier for a 1931 Broadway musical called “Everybody’s Welcome”, and was a hit in 1931 for Rudy Vallee. But today we all remember the Casablanca version, sung by Dooley Wilson (who played “Sam” in the film). Poor Dooley didn’t get to record it as a single, due to a musician’s strike in 1943. The 1931 Rudy Vallee version was re-released that year and became an even bigger hit second time round.

    70. Drain decloggers : LYES

    What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide, although historically the term was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

    Down

    2. Galley equipment : OARS

    Galleys were large medieval ships found mainly in the Mediterranean. They were propelled by a combination of sails and oars.

    6. Martial arts school : DOJO

    The Japanese word “dojo” literally means “place of the way”. Originally the term applied to training halls that were found in or beside temples. The teaching in a dojo was not limited to the martial arts, but in the Western world we use the dojo as the name for a training facility for judo, karate and the like.

    8. Twilled fabric : SERGE

    Serge is a type of twill fabric with diagonal ridges on both sides. The name “serge” comes from the Greek word for “silken”.

    11. Compound in synthetic rubber : BUTENE

    Butene (different from “butane”) is also known as butylene. One of the major uses of butylene is in the production of synthetic rubber.

    27. Victorian ___ : ERA

    The Victorian era was a period in British history from 1837 to 1901, defined by the reign of Queen Victoria. Generally speaking, the Victorian era was a period of peace and prosperity for the UK.

    29. Hi, on Hispaniola : HOLA

    The island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean, shared between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, is known in Spanish as “La Española”.

    31. Start of a decision-making process : EENY

    Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
    Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
    If it hollers/screams let him go,
    Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

    33. What landlubbers don’t like to be : ASEA

    A ”lubber” is a clumsy person and a “landlubber” is a contemptuous term used by sailors for a man of the land. Sailors might call an inexperienced seaman a landlubber or perhaps just a “lubber”.

    34. Thing located in the night sky by extending a line from circle F past circle G : NORTH STAR

    We can locate the North Star using the constellation known familiarly as “the Big Dipper”. If we draw an imaginary line from the two outermost stars at the front of the dipper/ladle, that line passes through the North Star. The distance between the top of the dipper and the North Star is seven times the length of the front of the dipper. And, the North Star forms the outer tip of the handle of the Little Dipper.

    Because the orientation of the Earth’s axis shifts, albeit very slowly, the position of north relative to the stars changes over time. The bright star that is closest to true north is Polaris, and so we call Polaris the “North Star” or “Pole Star”. 14,000 years ago, the nearest bright star to true north was Vega, and it will be so again in about 12,000 years time.

    36. Numbskull : DODO

    The dodo was a direct relative of the pigeon and dove, although the fully-grown dodo was usually three feet tall. One of the reasons the dodo comes to mind when we think of extinction of a species, is that it disappeared not too long ago (last recorded alive in 1681) and humans were the reason for its demise. The dodo lived exclusively on the island of Mauritius and when man arrived, we cut back the forests that were its home. We also introduced domestic animals, such as dogs and pigs, that ransacked the dodo’s nests. The dodo was deemed to be an awkward flightless bird and so the term “dodo” has come to mean a dull-witted person.

    40. Former co-host of “The View” : O’DONNELL

    We don’t get to see Rosie O’Donnell on the screen very much these days. She had a very successful chat show that ran from 1996 to 2002. My favorite performance of hers on the big screen is in a supporting role to Meg Ryan in the 1993 movie “Sleepless in Seattle”.

    41. Zodiac constellation : LEO

    Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

    42. Lab warning? : ARF!

    The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814. The breed comes in three registered colors: black, yellow and chocolate.

    46. Responsibility for a social media manager : TWEETS

    Oh Twitter … oh dear me …

    47. 14-line verse with only two rhyme sounds : RONDEL

    A rondel is a short poem consisting of 13-14 lines. A good example of the form is “Merciless Beauty” by Geoffrey Chaucer:

    Your two great eyes will slay me suddenly;
    Their beauty shakes me who was once serene;
    Straight through my heart the wound is quick and keen.

    Only your word will heal the injury
    To my hurt heart, while yet the wound is clean –
    Your two great eyes will slay me suddenly;
    Their beauty shakes me who was once serene.

    Upon my word, I tell you faithfully
    Through life and after death you are my queen;
    For with my death the whole truth shall be seen.
    Your two great eyes will slay me suddenly;
    Their beauty shakes me who was once serene;
    Straight through my heart the wound is quick and keen.

    54. Jason of “I Love You, Man” : SEGEL

    Actor Jason Segel is best known for playing Marshall on the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother”. Segel is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church and performed a wedding ceremony on “The Tonight Show” in 2010.

    59. Real estate unit : ACRE

    At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. Then, an acre was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one chain wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. A area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

    61. Heart’s-___ (pansy) : EASE

    The garden flower called a “pansy” takes its name from the French word “pensée” meaning “thought”. This name was chosen as the flower was often used as a symbol of remembrance.

    65. Laser output : RAY

    The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “light oscillation by stimulated emission of radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely “loser”.

    Complete List of Clues/Answers

    Across

    1. Sonata finale : CODA
    5. Fateful day : IDES
    9. Noted tower setting : BABEL
    14. Villain’s hangout : LAIR
    15. City on the Seward Peninsula : NOME
    16. Habituate : INURE
    17. Constellation next to Draco : URSA MAJOR
    19. Subtly suggested : GOT AT
    20. 1962 Paul Anka hit : ESO BESO
    21. Widely adored woman : GODDESS
    23. Part of a gig : BYTE
    24. Garr of “Tootsie” : TERI
    25. Original of an old photo, informally : NEG
    26. “You don’t say!” : GEE!
    28. 2008 Benicio Del Toro title role : CHE
    30. Diminutive swimsuit : SPEEDO
    32. Indo-___ languages : ARYAN
    35. Hopped up : ON DOPE
    37. Calf catcher : LASSO
    38. Language that becomes the name of where it’s spoken if you add an “s” : LAO
    39. ___ Gay, 1945 bomber : ENOLA
    43. Gofer’s assignment : ERRAND
    45. U-Haul alternative : RYDER
    46. Part of NATO : TREATY
    49. Outdo : TOP
    51. Gut-punch reaction : OOF!
    52. Took the cake : WON
    53. Dame Myra of piano fame : HESS
    55. SpaceX founder Musk : ELON
    58. How lemmings migrate : EN MASSE
    60. Held in contempt : SCORNED
    63. Authoritative command : EDICT
    64. Another term for 17-Across : GREAT BEAR
    66. Prefix with -hydrozoline : TETRA-
    67. Make, as an income : EARN
    68. “Casablanca” role : ILSA
    69. More foxy : SLYER
    70. Drain decloggers : LYES
    71. Dispatched, as a dragon : SLEW

    Down

    1. What this is for 1-Down : CLUE
    2. Galley equipment : OARS
    3. Doesn’t mind : DISOBEYS
    4. Sheik’s land, in poetry : ARABY
    5. “Just hang on!” : IN A SEC!
    6. Martial arts school : DOJO
    7. Music genre with confessional lyrics : EMO
    8. Twilled fabric : SERGE
    9. Part of 17-Across … and what the circles from A to G depict : BIG DIPPER
    10. Give ___ of approval : A NOD
    11. Compound in synthetic rubber : BUTENE
    12. Wiped clean : ERASED
    13. “Come on already!” : LET’S GO!
    18. Assembled : MET
    22. Approximately : OR SO
    24. Lease signatories : TENANTS
    26. Hoedown partner : GAL
    27. Victorian ___ : ERA
    29. Hi, on Hispaniola : HOLA
    31. Start of a decision-making process : EENY
    33. What landlubbers don’t like to be : ASEA
    34. Thing located in the night sky by extending a line from circle F past circle G : NORTH STAR
    36. Numbskull : DODO
    40. Former co-host of “The View” : O’DONNELL
    41. Zodiac constellation : LEO
    42. Lab warning? : ARF!
    44. Bakery loaves : RYES
    46. Responsibility for a social media manager : TWEETS
    47. 14-line verse with only two rhyme sounds : RONDEL
    48. Antagonism : ENMITY
    50. Flavorers of some pies and ice cream : PECANS
    54. Jason of “I Love You, Man” : SEGEL
    56. Auction grouping : LOT
    57. Caesar’s world? : ORBIS
    59. Real estate unit : ACRE
    60. Dried up : SERE
    61. Heart’s-___ (pansy) : EASE
    62. Tournament director’s responsibility : DRAW
    65. Laser output : RAY