0528-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 28 May 2018, Monday

Constructed by: Alex Eaton-Salners
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Smiley Face

We have some grid art today, with the black squares at the center outlining a smiley face. Themed answers are all SMILEY, HAPPY and CHEERFUL:

  • 16A. “Bye Bye Birdie” song : PUT ON A HAPPY FACE
  • 37A. What you might do if you sing 16-Across : BREAK INTO A SMILE
  • 54A. How you might feel if you sing 16-Across : FULL OF GOOD CHEER

Bill’s time: 5m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7. Billboard Hot 100 and others : CHARTS

“Billboard” was founded way back in 1894 as a trade magazine for the advertising and bill posting industry. The editorial focus gradually moved towards music as phonographs, radios and the recorded music business took off in the early part of the 20th century. “Billboard” published its first “music hit parade” 1936, and is now famous for its collection of lists that track music sales.

13. Language spoken by Jesus : ARAMAIC

The ancient Biblical land of Aram was named after Aram, a grandson of Noah. Aram was located in the center of modern-day Syria. Aramaic became the everyday language of Syria, Mesopotamia and Palestine.

14. Hinged part of an airplane wing : AILERON

In traditional aircraft designs, pitch is controlled by the elevator and roll is controlled by the aileron. On some newer aircraft these two functions are combined into single control surfaces called “elevons”.

16. “Bye Bye Birdie” song : PUT ON A HAPPY FACE

“Bye Bye Birdie” is a stage musical set in 1958, and first performed in 1960 on Broadway. It was inspired by the real-life events surrounding Elvis Presley getting drafted into the Army in 1957. The “Elvis” character in the musical is called Conrad Birdie, a play on the name of the singer Conway Twitty. One of the songs from the show is “Put on a Happy Face”.

20. “Star Trek” lieutenant : SULU

Mr. Hikaru Sulu was played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. Takei has played lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he appeared in the 1963 film, “Pt-109”? He played the helmsman steering the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s motor torpedo boat. From destroyer helmsman to starship helmsman …

21. Ore-___ (frozen taters brand) : IDA

Ore-Ida frozen foods are all made using potatoes. The company is located in Oregon, just across the border from Idaho. “Ore-Ida” is a melding of the two state names.

24. Bon ___ (clever remark) : MOT

“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean “quip, witticism”.

25. Russian cottage : DACHA

Dachas are usually second homes in Russia and the former Soviet Union that are located outside the city limits in rural areas. Residents/tenants of dachas are often called “dachniks”.

27. Philosopher ___-tzu : LAO

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

31. Internet connection faster than dial-up, for short : DSL

The abbreviation “DSL” originally stood for Digital Subscriber Loop, but is now accepted to mean (Asymmetric) Digital Subscriber Line. DSL is the technology that allows Internet service be delivered down the same telephone line as voice service, by separating the two into different frequency signals.

32. More Solomonlike : WISER

According to the Bible, Solomon was the son of David and a king of Israel. Notably, Solomon is described as being very wise. In the story known as “the Judgment of Solomon”, Solomon was asked to decide who of two quarreling women was the mother of a baby. He suggested that they cut the baby in two with a sword, forcing one of the women to surrender the child rather than see it die. Solomon gave the child to the woman who showed compassion.

44. 500 sheets of paper : REAM

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.

51. Florida’s ___ National Forest : OCALA

Ocala National Forest is a large protected area covering over 600 square miles of Central Florida. Included in the bounds of the forest is the US Navy’s Pinecastle Bombing Range. Navy planes drop about 20,000 bombs annually at Pinecastle, although only a few hundred are live munitions.

53. ___ four (small pastry) : PETIT

A petit four is a small confection served at the end of a meal, either as a dessert or with coffee. The name “petit four” is French for “small oven”.

59. Prefix with center : EPI-

The epicenter is that point on the surface of the earth that is directly above the focus of an earthquake.

61. Powerful cleaner : LYE

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 …

62. Medium strength? : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

Down

2. Corporate hustle and bustle : RAT RACE

We use “rat race” figuratively to describe an endless, pointless pursuit. The term comes from the laboratory, where one might imagine rats racing around a maze in search of some cheese.

3. “Famous” cookie name : AMOS

Wally Amos was a talent agent, one who was in the habit of taking home-baked cookies with him as an enticement to get celebrities to see him. He was urged by friends to open a cookie store (the cookies were that delicious, I guess) and this he did in Los Angeles in 1975 using the name “Famous Amos”. The store was a smash hit and he was able build on the success by introducing his cookies into supermarkets. The brand was eventually purchased, making Wally a rich man, and Famous Amos cookies are still flying off the shelf. Wally Amos also became an energetic literacy advocate. He hosted 30 TV programs in 1987 entitled “Learn to Read” that provided reading instruction targeted at adults.

5. It has 88 keys : PIANO

“Eighty-eight” is a slang word for a piano, coming from the fact that a modern piano usually has 88 keys: 36 black and 52 white.

6. Prom, e.g. : SCHOOL DANCE

A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

7. Washington image seen on the back of a $50 bill : CAPITOL DOME

President Ulysses S. Grant appears on the obverse of the US fifty-dollar bill. There have been two unsuccessful attempts in recent years in Congress to have President Grant’s image replaced with that of President Ronald Reagan.

9. Prince ___ Khan : ALY

Aly Khan was a familiar name used by the media when referring to Prince Ali Solomone Aga Khan, the Pakistani ambassador to the UN from 1958 to 1960. Khan made it into the papers a lot as he was the third husband of actress Rita Hayworth.

10. Ones whistling while they work? : REFS

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.

13. Pests in the garden : APHIDS

Aphids are called “greenfly” back in the British Isles where I come from. The most effective way to control aphids, in my experience, is to make sure there are plenty of ladybugs in the garden (called “ladybirds” in Ireland!).

15. Spay, e.g. : NEUTER

Our verb “to spay”, meaning “to surgically remove the ovaries of” (an animal) comes from an old Anglo-French word “espeier” meaning “to cut with a sword”.

17. Travel aid made obsolescent by GPS : ATLAS

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas” that is used for a book of maps.

A global positioning system (GPS) is known as a satellite navigation system (Sat Nav) in Britain and Ireland.

22. ___ paneer (Indian dish made with spinach) : PALAK

Paneer is a South Asian cheese, most commonly encountered in Indian dishes here in North America. Paneer is a “fresh cheese”, one that is made just before it is consumed.

34. “My country, ___ of thee …” : ‘TIS

The patriotic song “America” is also known by its first line, “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”. The song was written by Samuel Francis Smith in 1831, and was the de facto national anthem of the country until “The Star-Spangled Banner” was declared the official anthem in 1931. The melody of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” is identical with the British national anthem, “God Save the Queen”.

My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From ev’ry mountainside
Let freedom ring!

37. Undergarment with straps : BRA

The word “brassière” is French in origin, but it isn’t the word that the French use for a “bra”. In France, what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the neck”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breastplate” and from there the word was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

42. Part of the head hidden on the jack of spades : LEFT EYE

In a deck of cards, both the jack of spades and the jack of hearts are “one-eyed jacks”.

50. Right-hand page in a book : RECTO

The left and right pages of a book or magazine are known in publishing circles as verso and recto. Recto comes from the Latin for “right”, and verso comes from the Latin word for “turned”. The idea is that the left side of the page is “turned” and is the reverse of the recto/right side.

53. BlackBerrys, e.g., in brief : PDAS

The PDA known as a BlackBerry was given its name because the keyboard on the original device resembled the surface on the fruit of a blackberry.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Trudges : TRAMPS
7. Billboard Hot 100 and others : CHARTS
13. Language spoken by Jesus : ARAMAIC
14. Hinged part of an airplane wing : AILERON
16. “Bye Bye Birdie” song : PUT ON A HAPPY FACE
18. Partner of his : HERS
19. Untagged, in tag : NOT IT
20. “Star Trek” lieutenant : SULU
21. Ore-___ (frozen taters brand) : IDA
22. Inflatable item for water fun : POOL TOY
24. Bon ___ (clever remark) : MOT
25. Russian cottage : DACHA
27. Philosopher ___-tzu : LAO
28. Humiliate : ABASE
30. Super bargain : STEAL
31. Internet connection faster than dial-up, for short : DSL
32. More Solomonlike : WISER
33. ___ roaming (smartphone setting) : DATA
35. “Well, shoot!” : DANG!
37. What you might do if you sing 16-Across : BREAK INTO A SMILE
44. 500 sheets of paper : REAM
45. Most deals that sound too good to be true : SCAMS
46. 1 1 1 : ONES
47. Units of farmland : ACRES
49. Before, in poetry : ERE
50. Elizabethan neck decorations : RUFFS
51. Florida’s ___ National Forest : OCALA
53. ___ four (small pastry) : PETIT
54. How you might feel if you sing 16-Across : FULL OF GOOD CHEER
59. Prefix with center : EPI-
60. Show hostility to, as a dog might a mail carrier : GROWL AT
61. Powerful cleaner : LYE
62. Medium strength? : ESP
63. No-goodnik : SO-AND-SO
64. Girl at a ball, in brief : DEB

Down

1. Slangy “Amen!” : TRUE DAT!
2. Corporate hustle and bustle : RAT RACE
3. “Famous” cookie name : AMOS
4. Fellow : MAN
5. It has 88 keys : PIANO
6. Prom, e.g. : SCHOOL DANCE
7. Washington image seen on the back of a $50 bill : CAPITOL DOME
8. Aware of, informally : HIP TO
9. Prince ___ Khan : ALY
10. Ones whistling while they work? : REFS
11. Shocks with lasting impact : TRAUMAS
12. “Almost got it that time!” : SO CLOSE!
13. Pests in the garden : APHIDS
15. Spay, e.g. : NEUTER
17. Travel aid made obsolescent by GPS : ATLAS
22. ___ paneer (Indian dish made with spinach) : PALAK
23. Expressions of boredom : YAWNS
26. Ate substantially : HAD A MEAL
29. One who blabs : BIG MOUTH
34. “My country, ___ of thee …” : ‘TIS
36. Some small batteries : AAS
37. Undergarment with straps : BRA
38. Makes back, as an investment : RECOUPS
39. Bit of jewelry on the side of the head : EAR CLIP
40. Roofing sealant : TAR
41. Area for six of the nine baseball positions : INFIELD
42. Part of the head hidden on the jack of spades : LEFT EYE
43. Curvy letter : ESS
48. Long, tiring jobs : SLOGS
50. Right-hand page in a book : RECTO
52. Big top? : AFRO
53. BlackBerrys, e.g., in brief : PDAS
54. Lawyer’s charge : FEE
55. ___ long way : GO A
56. Possess : OWN
57. Antiquated : OLD
58. Yank’s Civil War foe : REB