0521-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 May 13, Tuesday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Patrick McIntyre
THEME: Journalism Staple … today’s themed answers start with “The Five Ws”, a checklist used by journalists when writing stories:

14A. Defiant response to an order : WHO SAYS SO?
20A. “Can you explain this?” : WHAT GIVES?
29A. Searcher’s query : WHERE ARE YOU?
45A. Antsy premeal question : WHEN DO WE EAT?
52A. “Is it any use?” : WHY BOTHER?
67A. Journalism staple : THE FIVE WS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 12m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Communication with the hands: Abbr. : ASL
It’s really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one cannot understand someone signing in the other.

4. Three-note chord : TRIAD
A triad is a group of three, and specifically in music is a chord made up of three notes.

16. Fictional member of the Potawatomi tribe : TONTO
On the television version of “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by the actor Jay Silverheels.

The Potawatomi are a Native American people who live in the upper Mississippi River region. The name “Potawatomi” is an anglicized form of the term the Potawatomi use for themselves, which translates as “those who tend the hearth-fire”.

18. Some choristers : ALTOS
In choral music, an alto is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

19. Leave in, as text : STET
“Stet” is the Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

22. [not my error] : SIC
“Sic” indicates that a quotation is written as originally found, perhaps including a typo. “Sic” is Latin for “thus, like this”.

38. Road safety org. : MADD
Candice Lightner lost her 13-year-old child to a drunk driver in 1980. Soon after, Lightner formed the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

39. Dangerous gas : RADON
Radon is a radioactive gas, a byproduct produced when uranium decays naturally in the earth. Radon gas can collect and accumulate in buildings and rooms that are particularly well insulated with very little air exchange. The danger is very real, as radon is listed as the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.

40. Calendario unit : DIA
In Spanish, we look at a day (dia) on the calendar (calendrio).

41. Lay in a hammock, say : LAZED
Our word “hammock” comes via Spanish from Haiti, evolving from a word used there to describe a fishing net.

42. Very light brown : ECRU
The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

48. Sculler’s need : OAR
A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell.

49. A.M.A. members : DRS
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.

50. Cooking vessel with handles : WOK
“Wok” is a Cantonese word, the name of the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

58. “___ Jury” (Spillane detective novel) : I, THE
“I, The Jury” is the first novel in the “Mike Hammer” series written by Mickey Spillane. The story was filmed twice, once in 1953 with Biff Elliot playing Hammer, and again in 1982 with Armand Assante taking the lead.

62. It helps a pitcher get a grip : ROSIN
Rosin is a solid form of resin derived from plant sources. Rosin is formed into cakes that players of stringed instruments use to rub along the hairs of their bows to help improve sound quality. The rosin increases the degree of friction between the strings and the bow. That same friction-increasing property comes into play when baseball pitchers use rosin to get a better grip on the ball.

63. Soothing lotion ingredients : ALOE VERAS
Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. These include the First Aid plant, Wand of Heaven, Silent Healer and Miracle Plant.

66. Rocky ridge : ARETE
An arete is ridge of rock defining the border between two parallel valleys that have been formed by glaciation. If the ridge between the valleys is rounded, it is called a “col”. However if it is “sharpened”, with rock falling way due to successive freezing and thawing, then it is called an “arete”. “Arête“ is the French word for “fish bone”.

67. Journalism staple : THE FIVE WS
The Five Ws (or “Five Ws and one H”) is a journalistic concept used for gathering information. For a story to be complete, six questions need to be answered:

– Who is it about?
– What happened?
– Where did it take place?
– When did it take place?
– Why did it happen?
– How did it happen?

70. Brian of ambient music : ENO
Brian Eno started out his musical career with Roxy Music. However, Eno’s most oft-played composition (by far!) is Microsoft’s “start-up jingle”, the 6-second sound you hear when the Windows operating system is booting up. Eno might have annoyed the Microsoft folks when he stated on a BBC radio show:
I wrote it on a Mac. I’ve never used a PC in my life; I don’t like them.

Down
4. Old salt : TAR
A Jack Tar, or just “tar”, was a seaman in the days of the British Empire. The term probably arose due to a sailor’s various uses of tar back then, including waterproofing of clothes and using tar in the hair to slick down a ponytail.

6. “___ Mommy kissing …” : I SAW
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” is one of the most successful Christmas songs ever recorded. The original version was released in 1952 by Jimmy Boyd, when the young man was just 13 years old. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” has apparently sold over 60 millions copies since then.

7. Author Sholem : ASCH
Sholem Asch was a Polish-born American novelist and dramatist who published his work in Yiddish. One of his plays was “God of Vengeance”, a highly-regarded work performed all over Europe and translated into many languages. It opened on Broadway in 1923, but the adult themes (it was set in a brothel, and featured a lesbian relationship) led to the entire cast being arrested and convicted on obscenity charges.

8. Qatar’s capital : DOHA
Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar located on the Persian Gulf. The name “Doha” translates from Arabic as “the big tree”.

Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry.

12. Oklahoma Indian : OTOE
The Otoe (also Oto) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestwards ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

23. “Checkmate!” : I WIN!
In the game of chess, when the king is under immediate threat of capture it is said to be “in check”. If the king cannot escape from check, then the game ends in “checkmate” and the player in check loses. In the original Sanskrit game of chess, the king could actually be captured. Then a rule was introduced requiring that a warning be given if capture was imminent (today we announce “check!”) so that an accidental and early ending to the game doesn’t occur.

28. “My Dinner With ___” : ANDRE
“My Dinner With Andre” is a rather unusual 1981 film, written by and starring Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn. The whole film is a conversation between the two actors, although they do play different parts as the film progresses.

31. Marie Antoinette, par exemple : REINE
“La reine” (the queen) is the wife of “le roi” (the king), in French.

Marie Antoinette was the wife of Louis XVI, the last king of France. Marie Antoinette was the fifteenth of sixteen children born to the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. The marriage to Louis, her second cousin once removed, was arranged while the two were very young. The prospective bride was “handed over” to the French at a border crossing in 1770 and two weeks later she was married to the future king. Marie Antoinette was just 14 years of age at the time, and Louis only a year her senior. Both Louis and Marie Antoinette were doomed to lose their heads courtesy of the guillotine during the French Revolution.

33. Mississippi’s ___ River : YAZOO
The Yazoo River in the state of Mississippi was named by the French explorer La Salle after the Yazoo Native American tribe who lived near the river’s mouth. It was in the Yazoo River that a naval mine was used for the first time to sink a ship, in 1862. The Confederates successfully used a mine to sink the Union’s ironclad USS Cairo during the Civil War.

34. Black Sea port, to locals : ODESA
The city of Odessa (also “Odesa”) in Ukraine was founded relatively recently, in 1794 by Catherine the Great. The city was originally meant to be called Odessos after an ancient Greek city believed to have been located nearby. Catherine liked the way the locals pronounced the name as “Odessa” and so went with the less Greek-sounding name.

41. Actor Jared : LETO
Jared Leto is an actor and musician. In the world of music, Leto is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. In the film world his most critically acclaimed role was that of a heroin addict in “Requiem for a Dream”. He also appeared in “American Psycho”, “Panic Room” and “Lord of War”.

44. Cry to a plow horse : HAW
“Haw!” is a command given to a trained animal that is hauling something (like a horse or an ox). “Haw!” is used to instruct the animal to turn to the left. The equivalent command for a right turn is “Gee!” Just to confuse things, the same commands are used in the British Isles but with the opposite meanings in terms of left and right. That must be pretty unsettling for jet-setting plow horses …

47. Right, on a German compass : OST
“Ost” is German for “east”.

51. Chicken ___ : KIEV
Chicken Kiev may indeed be a Ukrainian dish, named for the capital city of Kiev. It is a boneless chicken breast rolled around garlic, herbs and butter, breaded and deep fried. It was my Dad’s favorite …

52. Tinfoil, e.g. : WRAP
Before thin sheets of aluminum metal was available, thin sheets of tin were used in various application. Tin foil isn’t a great choice for wrapping food though, as it imparts a tinny taste. On the other side of the pond, aluminum foil has a different name. No, it’s not just the different spelling of aluminum (“aluminium”). We still call it “tin foil”. You see, we live in the past …

53. Bar mitzvah dance : HORA
The hora (also “horah”) is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. The hora was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional Israeli folk songs. The dance is a regular sight at Jewish weddings and at bar and bat mitzvahs. At such events, it is common for the honorees to be raised on chairs during the dance.

A Jewish girl becomes a Bat Mitzvah at 12 years of age, the age at which she becomes responsible for her actions. Boys become Bar Mitzvahs at 13. The terms translate into English as daughter and son of the commandments.

54. North Sea feeder : YSER
The Yser originates in northern France and flows through Belgium into the North Sea. The Yser is often associated with WWI as it figured in a major battle early in the conflict. In the first three months of the war, the German Army pushed almost completely through Belgium, inflicting heavy losses on the Belgian Army as the defenders were forced to fight a fast-moving rearguard action. The Germans were intent on pushing right through Belgium and across France in a “race to the sea”. But the Belgians, with the help of their Allies, decided to make a final stand at the Yser Canal in an effort to prevent the Germans reaching the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk. The 22-mile long defensive line was chosen at the Yser because the river and canal system could be flooded to create a barrier that might be defended. The plan was successful and the front was “stabilized”. As we now know, millions of lives were lost over the coming years with very little movement of that battle line.

55. Bowlers and skimmers : HATS
I think a bowler hat is usually called a derby here in the US. The bowler was first produced in 1849 in London by hatmakers Thomas and William Bowler, hence the name. The alternative name of “derby” comes from the tradition of wearing bowler hats at the Derby horse race (a major race held annually in England).

A boater (also called a “skimmer”) is a straw hat often associated with boating, hence the name. It’s as simple as that …

56. K-12, in education : ELHI
“Elhi” is an informal word used to describe anything related to schooling from grades 1 through 12, i.e. elementary through high school.

57. Some deer : ROES
Roe deer are found mainly in Europe. They would be the deer shown on television and in movies when Robin Hood was out hunting in Sherwood Forest.

60. Goldie of “Laugh-In” : HAWN
I remember watching the ditsy Goldie Hawn character on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”. Hawn used to give great performances on the show, convincing everyone that she was the stereotypical dumb blonde. Well, what a career she was to carve out for herself!

61. “Put a tiger in your tank” brand : ESSO
“Put a Tiger in Your Tank” was an advertising slogan and theme used by Esso gasoline in the 1960s.

64. Little wriggler : EFT
Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Communication with the hands: Abbr. : ASL
4. Three-note chord : TRIAD
9. Thread holder : SPOOL
14. Defiant response to an order : WHO SAYS SO?
16. Fictional member of the Potawatomi tribe : TONTO
17. Boxer’s asset : LONG REACH
18. Some choristers : ALTOS
19. Leave in, as text : STET
20. “Can you explain this?” : WHAT GIVES?
22. [not my error] : SIC
25. ___ center : REC
26. Rejuvenation location : SPA
29. Searcher’s query : WHERE ARE YOU?
36. Entrusted to another for safekeeping : CONSIGNED
38. Road safety org. : MADD
39. Dangerous gas : RADON
40. Calendario unit : DIA
41. Lay in a hammock, say : LAZED
42. Very light brown : ECRU
43. Precisely : ON THE NOSE
45. Antsy premeal question : WHEN DO WE EAT?
48. Sculler’s need : OAR
49. A.M.A. members : DRS
50. Cooking vessel with handles : WOK
52. “Is it any use?” : WHY BOTHER?
58. “___ Jury” (Spillane detective novel) : I, THE
62. It helps a pitcher get a grip : ROSIN
63. Soothing lotion ingredients : ALOE VERAS
66. Rocky ridge : ARETE
67. Journalism staple : THE FIVE WS
68. Peels : PARES
69. “You said it, ___!” : SISTA
70. Brian of ambient music : ENO

Down
1. Hole-making tools : AWLS
2. Opportunity : SHOT
3. Isolated : LONE
4. Old salt : TAR
5. Ham on ___ : RYE
6. “___ Mommy kissing …” : I SAW
7. Author Sholem : ASCH
8. Qatar’s capital : DOHA
9. One putting on a show : STAGER
10. One keeping the beat? : POLICEMAN
11. Airing : ON TV
12. Oklahoma Indian : OTOE
13. Red ink amount : LOSS
15. Superiors to cpls. : SGTS
21. Singsong syllable : TRA
23. “Checkmate!” : I WIN!
24. Abbr. on a receipt : CHG
26. Thread holder? : SCREW
27. Catch illegally : POACH
28. “My Dinner With ___” : ANDRE
30. Provide with a fund : ENDOW
31. Marie Antoinette, par exemple : REINE
32. Online time stamp : E-DATE
33. Mississippi’s ___ River : YAZOO
34. Black Sea port, to locals : ODESA
35. One may be above a bucket : UDDER
37. Media-friendly quote : SOUND BITE
41. Actor Jared : LETO
44. Cry to a plow horse : HAW
46. Pilotless planes : DRONES
47. Right, on a German compass : OST
51. Chicken ___ : KIEV
52. Tinfoil, e.g. : WRAP
53. Bar mitzvah dance : HORA
54. North Sea feeder : YSER
55. Bowlers and skimmers : HATS
56. K-12, in education : ELHI
57. Some deer : ROES
59. Peach or beech : TREE
60. Goldie of “Laugh-In” : HAWN
61. “Put a tiger in your tank” brand : ESSO
64. Little wriggler : EFT
65. Routing word : VIA


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2 thoughts on “0521-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 May 13, Tuesday”

  1. 54 Down is defined incorrectly.

    54. North Sea feeder : YSER
    A Jewish girl becomes a Bat Mitzvah at 12 years of age, the age at which she becomes responsible for her actions. Boys become Bar Mitzvahs at 13. The terms translate into English as daughter and son of the commandments.

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