0520-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 20 May 13, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Tim Croce
THEME: Doctors Finishing Up … each of the today’s themed answers ends with -AMA, the acronym for the American Medical Association:

18A. Caribbean resort island : GRAND BAHAMA
20A. 2008 Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy : BABY MAMA
29A. Many a 1930s soap opera : RADIO DRAMA
34A. Desert of Chile : ATACAMA
36A. 3-D art project : DIORAMA
43A. White House girl : MALIA OBAMA
54A. “He’s a priest,” per Ogden Nash : ONE-L LAMA
58A. First explorer to sail directly from Europe to India : VASCO DA GAMA
68A. Professional org. ending eight answers in this puzzle : AMA

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 07m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Digital readout, in short : LCD
Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and in flat panel computer screens and some televisions. LCD monitors basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens, the old television technology.

4. So-called “Crime Dog” of public service ads : MCGRUFF
McGruff the Crime Dog is a cartoon bloodhound who is used by law enforcement groups to build crime awareness in children. McGruff’s motto is “Take a Bite out of Crime”. The bloodhound’s name was selected in a nationwide contest, and was the idea of a police officer from New Orleans.

16. 1960s chess champ Mikhail : TAL
Mikhail Tal was truly a chess legend. Tal holds the record for the longest unbeaten streak in competition chess. And the second longest winning streak, well, that was by Tal as well.

18. Caribbean resort island : GRAND BAHAMA
Grand Bahama is the largest island in the Bahamas chain. Grand Bahama lies only 56 miles off the coast of Florida. The Spanish gave the island the name of “Gran Bajamar”, which means “Great Shallows”.

20. 2008 Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy : BABY MAMA
“Baby Mama” is a comedy released in 2008, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Not that great …

I was shocked to learn that comic actress Tina Fey has a scar on her face, a few inches long on her left cheek, the result of a childhood “slashing” incident. When she was just five years old, playing in the front yard of her house, someone just came up to her and slashed her with a knife. How despicable!

Amy Poehler was a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” from 2001 to 2008, notable for appearing in many great sketches, including those where she played Hillary Clinton opposite Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin. Poehler also starred with Fey in the 2008 movie “Baby Mama”, and now has her own show on NBC called “Parks and Recreation”.

22. Yale students : ELIS
Eli is the nickname for a graduate of Yale University, a term used in honor of the Yale benefactor Elihu Yale.

24. ___ Day (third Mon. in January) : MLK
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a US Federal holiday taking place on the third Monday of each year. It celebrates the birthday of Dr. King, and was signed into law by President Reagan in 1983, and first observed in 1986. However, some states “resisted” naming the holiday MLK Day, and gave it alternative names (like “Civil Rights Day”), but it was officially celebrated as MLK Day in all 50 states from the year 2000 onwards.

26. Divas’ solos : ARIAS
“Diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. “Diva” is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean “goddess” or “fine lady”, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

29. Many a 1930s soap opera : RADIO DRAMA
As almost everyone knows, the original soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at housewives working in the home. For some reason the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that’s how the “soap” opera got its name …

31. Piquant triangular snack chip : DORITO
Doritos are a brand of flavored tortilla chips launched in 1964. The name “Doritos” means “little bits of gold” in Spanish.

34. Desert of Chile : ATACAMA
Even deserts get rain at some point in the year, with very few exceptions. One of those exceptions is the Atacama Desert in South America, which receives no rain at all.

42. Place to analyze some crime evidence : DNA LAB
I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relations.

43. White House girl : MALIA OBAMA
By tradition, the Secret Service code names used for the US President and family all start with the same letter. For the current First Family, that letter is R:

– Barack Obama: Renegade
– Michelle Obama: Renaissance
– Malia Obama: Radiance
– Sasha Obama: Rosebud

50. ___ Rock (Australian site) : AYERS
Ayers Rock was discovered by Europeans in 1873, who gave it its name in honor of Sir Henry Ayers who was the Chief Secretary of South Australia at the time. The Aborigines call the landmark Uluru, the more accepted name these days.

52. One of 100 on the Hill: Abbr. : SEN
The six-year terms enjoyed by US senators are staggered, so that every two years about one third of the US Senate seats come up for reelection.

53. Nevada gambling mecca : RENO
The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the whole world at the time.

54. “He’s a priest,” per Ogden Nash : ONE-L LAMA
The poet Ogden Nash is well known for his light and humorous verse. Try this one for size:

The one-L lama,
He’s a priest.
The two-L llama,
He’s a beast.
And I would bet
A silk pajama
There isn’t any
Three-L lllama.

58. First explorer to sail directly from Europe to India : VASCO DA GAMA
Vasco da Gama left on his first voyage of discovery in 1497. da Gama journeyed around the Cape of Good Hope, the southernmost tip of Africa, and across the Indian Ocean making landfall in India. Landing in India, his fleet became the first expedition to sail directly from Europe to the sub-continent. Vasco da Gama was well known for acts of cruelty, especially on local inhabitants. One of his milder atrocities was inflicted on a priest whom he labelled as a spy. He had the priest’s lips and ears cut off, and sent him on his way after having a pair of dog’s ears sewn onto his head.

62. System of connected PCs : LAN
You may have a Local Area Network (LAN) in your house. If you’ve got a PC and a router or switch, likely attached to some modem, then you have a LAN.

64. Crunchy bit ground up in pesto : PINE NUT
The term “pesto” applies to anything made by pounding. What we tend to know as “pesto” sauce is more properly called “pesto alla genovese”, pesto from Genoa in northern Italy.

65. “Reeling in the Years” rockers Steely ___ : DAN
Steely Dan’s heyday was in the seventies when they toured for a couple of years, although the group mainly focused on studio work. The band was formed in 1972 and broke up in 1981. The core of the band reunited in 1993 and they are still going strong today.

66. Guitar innovator Paul : LES
Les Paul was a guitarist, songwriter and inventor. When he was 33 years old, Paul was involved in a near-fatal car crash that left his right arm and elbow shattered. Surgeons offered him the choice of amputation or a rebuilding of the limb that would leave him unable to bend his elbow. He told them to set his arm at just under 90 degrees so that he could at least hold his guitar and perhaps play it.

68. Professional org. ending eight answers in this puzzle : AMA
The American Medical Association (AMA) was founded in 1847 at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. The first female member was allowed to join the AMA in 1868, but the first African American members weren’t admitted until one hundred years later, in 1968.

Down
2. Unconscious state : COMA
“Coma” comes from the Greek word “koma” meaning “deep sleep”.

3. Stereotypical airhead of old : DUMB DORA
The name “Dumb Dora” is slang from the twenties for a not-so-bright female. The phrase was made popular by Gracie Fields who played a “dumb” Dora opposite George Burns. A comic strip called “Dumb Dora” was drawn by cartoonist Chic Young, and it made its debut, also in the twenties.

5. Michael of “Superbad” : CERA
Michael Cera is a Canadian actor, a very talented young man who is riding high right now. Cera played great characters on the TV show “Arrested Development”, and the 2007 comedy-drama film “Juno”.

“Superbad” is a comedy movie released in 2007. The script for the film was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Rogen and Goldberg started work on the script when they were just thirteen years old, with the first draft being completed by the time they were fifteen.

7. President Reagan : RONALD
Ronald Reagan started out his political career as a member of the Democratic Party, but switched to the Republicans in the early fifties. Reagan served as Governor of California for eight years, and vied unsuccessfully for the nomination for US President on two occasions. He finally succeeded in 1980 and defeated President Jimmy Carter to become the 40th US President in 1981.

8. Amer. money : USD
The US dollar was first defined as a currency in 1792. The name “dollar” was chosen as the Spanish dollar had been commonly accepted in transactions in North America up until that point.

9. Watch chain : FOB
A fob is attached to another object to make access to it easier. And so a key fob is a chain attached to a key so that it can be retrieved easily. There are also watch fobs, of course.

10. Tallahassee’s home: Abbr. : FLA
Tallahassee isn’t only the county seat of Leon County, it is the capital city of Florida. Tallahassee was chosen as the state capital because it was equidistant from the cities of St. Augustine and Pensacola, which had been the capitals of the earlier French and British colonies of East Florida and West Florida.

12. Green eggs and ham purveyor, in “Green Eggs and Ham” : SAM I AM
You know, I probably should read a Dr. Seuss book some day. They weren’t big where I grew up. I understand that the character called Sam in the book “Green Eggs and Ham” is also known as “Sam-I-Am”.

21. Like some meditative exercises : YOGIC
In the West we tend to think of yoga as a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

25. Captain ___, legendary pirate : KIDD
William Kidd was a Scottish privateer who went by the name “Captain Kidd”. Although Kidd was a privateer, someone authorized by the government to attack foreign shipping, he was eventually arrested and executed for piracy. There is common opinion held today that the charges against Kidd were actually trumped up. Captain Kidd’s story was the basis of a 1945 film called “Captain Kidd” starring Charles Laughton in the title role. Laughton also appeared as Captain Kidd in 1952’s comic movie “Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd”.

27. Org. that approves new pharmaceuticals : FDA
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was in effect created by the Food and Drug Act signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.

29. Juliet’s beau : ROMEO
In Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, it is explicitly stated that Juliet is 13 years of age, and the assumption is that Romeo is perhaps a little older.

30. One-named author of “A Dog of Flanders” : OUIDA
Ouida was the pen name of the English novelist Maria Louise Ramé. Her novel “A Dog of Flanders” was first published in 1872. The story tells of a young Flemish boy and his dog, and as it is a book of English origin it isn’t really read much in Belgium. But the popularity of the story attracts visitors to Antwerp, and now there is a small statue of the boy and his dog in the city, and plaque in front of Antwerp Cathedral that was donated by the Japanese car company, Toyota. Apparently “A Dog in Flanders” is incredibly popular in Japan.

32. Snacks at a Spanish bar : TAPAS
“Tapa” is the Spanish for “lid”, and there is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

35. “Be on the lookout” alerts, for short : APBS
An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

38. Hawkeye Pierce’s portrayer : ALAN ALDA
Alan Alda had a great television career, especially of course on “M*A*S*H”. Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H”. He won his most recent Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year” in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

43. Publisher of Spider-Man and X-Men comics : MARVEL
The two companies Marvel Comics and DC Comics between them command over 80% of the sales of comic books in the US.

46. Classic ’80s Camaro : IROC
The IROC-Z is a model of Camaro, introduced in 1978. The IROC-Z takes its name from a famous stock car race, the International Race of Champions.

47. Orbital high point : APOGEE
In the celestial world, an apsis is a point in an orbit when the orbiting body is at its greatest, or least, distance from it’s center of orbit. The farthest and closest points of orbit are known as the apogee and perigee, when talking about bodies orbiting the Earth. The farthest and closest points for bodies orbiting the sun are known as the aphelion and perihelion.

48. Tomorrow, in Tijuana : MANANA
Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana’s growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar’s in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar’s claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

57. Actress Paquin : ANNA
Anna Paquin is an actress from New Zealand who won an Oscar as an 11-year-old for her role in “The Piano”. In the HBO series “True Blood” she plays Sookie Stackhouse, a role for which she won a Golden Globe.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Digital readout, in short : LCD
4. So-called “Crime Dog” of public service ads : MCGRUFF
11. Emergency PC key : ESC
14. Debtor’s note : IOU
15. Certain spray can : AEROSOL
16. 1960s chess champ Mikhail : TAL
17. “De-e-elicious!” : MMM!
18. Caribbean resort island : GRAND BAHAMA
20. 2008 Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy : BABY MAMA
22. Yale students : ELIS
23. ___ good deed : DO A
24. ___ Day (third Mon. in January) : MLK
26. Divas’ solos : ARIAS
27. Creature that goes “ribbit” : FROG
29. Many a 1930s soap opera : RADIO DRAMA
31. Piquant triangular snack chip : DORITO
33. Failure : DUD
34. Desert of Chile : ATACAMA
36. 3-D art project : DIORAMA
41. Oomph : PEP
42. Place to analyze some crime evidence : DNA LAB
43. White House girl : MALIA OBAMA
49. Winery tubs : VATS
50. ___ Rock (Australian site) : AYERS
51. Place with thermal waters : SPA
52. One of 100 on the Hill: Abbr. : SEN
53. Nevada gambling mecca : RENO
54. “He’s a priest,” per Ogden Nash : ONE-L LAMA
58. First explorer to sail directly from Europe to India : VASCO DA GAMA
62. System of connected PCs : LAN
63. Optometrist’s focus : EYE
64. Crunchy bit ground up in pesto : PINE NUT
65. “Reeling in the Years” rockers Steely ___ : DAN
66. Guitar innovator Paul : LES
67. “No challenge” : TOO EASY
68. Professional org. ending eight answers in this puzzle : AMA

Down
1. Arm or leg : LIMB
2. Unconscious state : COMA
3. Stereotypical airhead of old : DUMB DORA
4. Underground molten rock : MAGMA
5. Michael of “Superbad” : CERA
6. Parent’s mom, informally : GRAMMA
7. President Reagan : RONALD
8. Amer. money : USD
9. Watch chain : FOB
10. Tallahassee’s home: Abbr. : FLA
11. And others : ET ALIA
12. Green eggs and ham purveyor, in “Green Eggs and Ham” : SAM I AM
13. Minor-league baseball level : CLASS A
19. German “Mr.” : HERR
21. Like some meditative exercises : YOGIC
25. Captain ___, legendary pirate : KIDD
26. Build a new wing, say : ADD ON
27. Org. that approves new pharmaceuticals : FDA
28. Go bad : ROT
29. Juliet’s beau : ROMEO
30. One-named author of “A Dog of Flanders” : OUIDA
32. Snacks at a Spanish bar : TAPAS
35. “Be on the lookout” alerts, for short : APBS
37. Entangle, as yarn : RAVEL
38. Hawkeye Pierce’s portrayer : ALAN ALDA
39. Welcome ___ (doorstep item) : MAT
40. Muscles that benefit from crunches : ABS
43. Publisher of Spider-Man and X-Men comics : MARVEL
44. “Yes, captain!” : AYE AYE!
45. Microscope parts : LENSES
46. Classic ’80s Camaro : IROC
47. Orbital high point : APOGEE
48. Tomorrow, in Tijuana : MANANA
52. Dull blue-gray : SLATY
55. Birds appearing on Australia’s 50 cent coins : EMUS
56. “Yes, ___” (gent’s reply) : MA’AM
57. Actress Paquin : ANNA
59. Choose (to) : OPT
60. Italian “god” : DIO
61. 12 months: Sp. : ANO


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2 thoughts on “0520-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 20 May 13, Monday”

  1. Yes, a misprint, a time from an older Sunday puzzle that I failed to update. Sorry about that.

    I keep my puzzle files and so was able to check the actual time … 7m 13s.

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