0122-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Jan 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Timothy Polin
THEME: Fifth Columns … each of today’s themed answers is written in the down-direction, in a COLUMN. And, each answer refers to something that is FIFTH in a series. So, our themed answers are FIFTH COLUMNS:

15D. With 45-Down, subversive groups … or what the answers in the shaded squares comprise? : FIFTH
45D. See 15-Down : COLUMNS

1D. (Fifth) Planet : JUPITER
4D. (Fifth) Note on the musical scale : SOL
6D. (Fifth) James Bond portrayer : PIERCE BROSNAN
9D. (Fifth) Man who walked on the moon : ALAN SHEPARD
18D. (Fifth) Labor of Hercules : AUGEAN STABLES
25D. (Fifth) Book of the Bible : DEUTERONOMY
46D. (Fifth) Chemical element : BORON
59D. (Fifth) Month : MAY

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 17m 14s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … VERSUS (verses!), AUGEAN STABLES (Aegean Stables)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Kind of stick : JOSS
A joss stick is a type of incense that is traditionally burned before religious images and shrines in many Asian cultures. The term “joss” comes into English via Portuguese from the Latin “deus” meaning “god”.

5. One may be involved in phone tapping : APP
One needs to tap the screen in order to use some smartphone apps.

13. Decoder ring, for short? : CIA
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the successor to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) formed during WWII. The CIA was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

17. ___ Verde National Park : MESA
Mesa Verde National Park is in Colorado. Mesa Verde is home to ancient cliff dwellings built by the Puebloan people, also know as the Anasazi.

19. Neighbors of ulnae : CARPI
The human wrist is known anatomically as the carpus. The carpal bones allow the wrist its remarkable range of motion.

23. Nonlethal ammo brand : NERF
Nerf is the name given to the soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

24. El Niño feature : TILDE
A diacritic mark is added to a letter to indicate that it has a special phonetic sound. Examples of diacritic marks are the tilde above the n in Spanish words like “jalapeño” and “niño “, and the cedilla under the c in French words like “façade”.

27. Rhubarb : SPAT
“Rhubarb” is a slang term meaning “squabble, spat”.

28. Moslem chieftain : EMEER
In English, emir can also be written as emeer, amir and ameer (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

29. Elysium : EDEN
In Greek mythology Elysium was part of the Underworld where heroic and virtuous souls were laid to rest. Nowadays we use the word Elysium to mean a place or condition of ideal happiness, a Garden of Eden.

30. “___ Romeo slain himself?”: Juliet : HATH
William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is all about the love between the two title characters, which is forbidden as the pair come from two families who are sworn enemies. Early in the play, Romeo (a Montague) sneaks into a masquerade ball being held by the Capulets in the hope of meeting a Capulet girl named Rosaline. Instead, he meets and falls for Juliet, also a Capulet. Tragedy ensues …

32. Drag show apparel : BOAS
The etymology of the term “drag”, as used in the transvestite world, seems to be unclear. It perhaps relates to the tendency of a transvestite’s skirts to drag along the ground in days of old (although why they just didn’t hitch up their skirts is beyond me!).

36. ___ tide : NEAP
Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

42. Prestidigitation : MAGIC
We imported the word “prestidigitation”, meaning “magic, sleight of hand”, from French. The term was coined in 1830 and derives from the Latin “praestigiator”, meaning “juggler”.

46. Part of a Scottish accent : BURR
In the world of phonetics, a “burr” is a resonant trill sound on the r- sound, as in a Scottish accent.

47. Subject of Kaplan or Princeton Review prep : LSAT
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has been around since 1948.

Kaplan Inc. was founded in 1938 by Stanley Kaplan, who started out tutoring students for the New York State Regents Exam in the basement of his parents’ home in Brooklyn. He opened up locations for tuition around the country, and in 1984 sold the company to the Washington Post. Revenue for Kaplan was over 2½ billion dollars in 2009.

The Princeton Review is a company that offers test preparation for those about to take college admission tests.

48. Sacha Baron Cohen movie after “Borat” : BRUNO
“Brüno” is another mockumentary from British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, the man behind the 2006 hit movie “Borat”. Bruno is a flamboyant, gay, Austrian fashion journalist. Not my cup of tea.

49. Layered snack : OREO
The Oreo was the best-selling cookie in the 20th century, and almost 500 billion of them have been sold since they were introduced in 1912 by Nabisco. In those early days the creme filling was made with pork fat, but today vegetable oils are used instead. If you take a bite out of an Oreo sold outside of America you might notice a difference from the homegrown cookie, as coconut oil is added in the overseas version to give a different taste.

50. Lab assistant for Dr. Frederick Frankenstein : INGA
I am not really a big fan of movies by Mel Brooks, but “Young Frankenstein” is the exception. I think the cast has a lot to do with me liking the film, as it includes Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein), Teri Garr (Inga), Marty Feldman (Igor) and Gene Hackman (Harold, the blind man).

51. ’50s-era bomb : EDSEL
The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced.

52. Color of a sprinkled coat : ROAN
A roan horse has an even mixture of white and colored hairs on the body with the head, lower legs, mane and tail having a more solid color.

55. Har-___ (tennis court surface) : TRU
A Har-Tru tennis court surface is also called green clay or American clay.

56. Bean, for one : ORSON
Orson Bean is an actor, perhaps best known for his appearances on television game shows in the sixties, seventies and eighties. His most famous game show role was that of a panelist on “To Tell the Truth”. Interestingly, Bean (real name Dallas Burrows) is a first cousin, twice removed, of President Calvin Coolidge.

59. Quaint schoolteacher : MARM
“Marm” is short for “schoolmarm”, a quaint term for a female teacher.

60. Mama Judd : NAOMI
The Judds were a country music singing duo made up of Naomi Judd and her daughter Wynonna.

61. Apollo 13’s Aquarius, e.g. : LEM
In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy” and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was called “Eagle” and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.

62. River through Bath : AVON
Bath is a beautiful city in South West England of which I have very fond memories. Bath is an old Roman spa town, and the city’s name comes from the Roman baths that have been excavated and restored.

63. “Watermark” singer : ENYA
Enya’s real name is Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career. She sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!

64. Dot-dot-dot : ESS
The letter S is represented by “dot-dot-dot” in Morse code.

Down
1. Planet : JUPITER
So far, Jupiter is known to have 67 moons, more than any other planet in the Solar System. The four largest moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) were discovered by Galileo in 1610, making theme the first objects founds that did not orbit either the Earth or the Sun.

3. Raven foe : STEELER
The Pittsburgh Steelers football team were founded in 1933, making them the oldest franchise in the AFC. Back in 1933, the team was known as the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates name was chosen as the Pittsburgh baseball team was the Pirates. The name was changed to the Steelers in 1940, and then the Steagles in 1943 when the team merged with the Philadelphia Eagles. There was a further merger in 1944, with the Chicago Cardinal to form Card-Pitt. From 1945, the Steelers name was resurrected.

The Baltimore Ravens football team name has a literary derivation. Baltimore was the home of the writer Edgar Allen Poe, and so the team took its moniker from his most famous poem, “The Raven”. The name was selected in a fan contest.

4. Note on the musical scale : SOL
The solfa syllables are do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

5. Apotheosis : ACME
The apotheosis is the ideal example, the epitome.

6. James Bond portrayer : PIERCE BROSNAN
Pierce Brosnan is an Irish actor, from Drogheda, north of Dublin. Brosnan’s big break in the US came when he was given the title role in the eighties television show “Remington Steele”. Of course he also played James Bond on the big screen. Brosnan’s first appearance as Bond was in 1995’s “Golden Eye”. He was asked to take the role much earlier, in 1987, but Brosnan couldn’t get out of his contract for “Remington Steele”. Bond was the fifth actor to play Bond, after Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton.

7. Fencing thrust : PASSADO
A “passado” is a fencing move, a thrust made while moving forward with one foot.

8. W.W. II noncombatant : WAC
The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was formed in 1942, and the unit was converted to full status the following year to become the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). Famously, General Douglas MacArthur referred to the WACs as his “best soldiers”, saying they worked harder, complained less and were better disciplined than men. The WACs were disbanded in 1978 and the serving members were integrated into the rest of the army.

9. Man who walked on the moon : ALAN SHEPARD
Alan Shepard was the first American in space. Shepard’s flight was originally scheduled for October 1960 but a series of delays pushed it out till May 5, 1961. Yuri Gagarin made his celebrated flight on April 12, 1961, just one one month earlier, winning that part of the Space Race for the Soviets. A decade later, Shepard went into space again at the age of 47, as commander of Apollo 14. He was the fifth man to walk on the moon, and indeed the oldest. Shepard was also the only one of the Mercury Seven team to make it to the moon. Famously, he drove two golf balls while on the lunar surface.

15. With 45-Down, subversive groups … or what the answers in the shaded squares comprise? : FIFTH
45. See 15-Down : COLUMNS
“Fifth column” is the name given to a group of people who work from within to undermine or sabotage a nation or larger group. The term originated during the Spanish Civil War and was coined by General Emilio Mola who said that he had four columns of troops approaching Madrid and a “fifth column” of supporters within the city who would rise and up assist the regular troops.

18. Labor of Hercules : AUGEAN STABLES
In Greek mythology, Augeas was a king who was most famous for his stables, which held over a thousand head of cattle. In the myth of the Twelve Labors of Hercules, the fifth task was cleaning out the Augean stables. The task was supposedly impossible, as the stables had not been cleaned for thirty years. Hercules was successful though, by rerouting two rivers to wash away the dung.

21. “Voyages Extraordinaires” writer : VERNE
“Voyages Extraordinaires” (“Extraordinary Journeys”) is a massive collection of 54 novels penned by French author Jules Verne. Included in the collection are the author’s most famous works: “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”.

25. Book of the Bible : DEUTERONOMY
Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible. The English title of Deuteronomy comes from a Greek word that translates as “second law”.

35. Go off line? : AD LIB
“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage the concept of an “ad lib” is very familiar. For example, an actor may substitute his or her own words for forgotten lines using an ad lib, or a director may instruct an actor to use his or her own words at a particular point in a performance to promote a sense of spontaneity.

38. Nighttime phenomena : AURORAE
The spectacular aurorae phenomenon is seen lighting up the night sky at both poles of the earth (the Aurora Borealis in the north, and the Aurora Australis in the south). The eerie effect is caused by charged particles colliding with atoms at high latitudes.

39. Guy Fawkes’s crime : TREASON
Guy Fawkes was a Catholic who plotted to kill the Protestant King James in 1605. Fawkes’s plan was blow up the Houses of Parliament when King James was in attendance. However, he was discovered in the basement of the building, along with several barrels of gunpowder. Fawkes was taken to the Tower of London where he was tortured for over two months, before being hanged. The assassination attempt is referred to as the Gunpowder Plot, and is commemorated across the UK on November 5th each year as “Bonfire Night”.

41. Silencer : GAG RULE
In a legislative body, a “gag rule” prohibits the tabling or discussion of a particular topic.

43. Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame : GUSTAVE
Gustave Eiffel was the French civil engineer who famously designed the Eiffel Tower.

The Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) of 1900 was held in Paris, France. The 1900 fair is remembered for the magnificent entrance arch that was constructed for visitors. That entrance arch was to remain standing for only nine years, but the city decided to keep it and you can visit it today. Today we call that entrance arch the Eiffel Tower.

46. Chemical element : BORON
Boron is the chemical element with the atomic number of 5 and symbol B. It lies over to the right in Group 13 of the Periodic Table of the Elements. Uncombined, elemental boron is not found naturally on Earth. The boron that is mined is found in oxide form, not as uncombined boron.

54. Massachusetts’ College of Our Lady of the ___ : ELMS
Elms College, more correctly called the College of Our Lady of the Elms, is a Catholic college located in Chicopee, Massachusetts. The school was founded as a girls’ preparatory academy in 1897. Elms College became co-educational in 1998.

57. Peeples or Vardalos : NIA
Actress Nia Peeples played the character Nicole Chapman in the TV series “Fame”.

Not only is the delightful Nia Vardalos the star of the 2002 hit movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, she also wrote the screenplay. The film never made it to number one at the box office, but it still pulled in more money than any other movie in history that didn’t make it to number one. That record I think reflects the fact that the film wasn’t a blockbuster but rather a so-called “sleeper hit”, a movie that people went to see based on referrals from friends. The big fat mistake came when a spin-off TV show was launched, “My Big Fat Greek Life”. It ran for only 7 episodes.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Kind of stick : JOSS
5. One may be involved in phone tapping : APP
8. Go with the flow? : WAFT
12. Quaint preposition : UNTO
13. Decoder ring, for short? : CIA
14. Distant : ALOOF
16. Spa treatment : PEEL
17. ___ Verde National Park : MESA
19. Neighbors of ulnae : CARPI
20. Suffix with urban : -ITE
21. Against : VERSUS
23. Nonlethal ammo brand : NERF
24. El Niño feature : TILDE
26. Put behind bars : CAGE
27. Rhubarb : SPAT
28. Moslem chieftain : EMEER
29. Elysium : EDEN
30. “___ Romeo slain himself?”: Juliet : HATH
31. Second coming? : RERUN
32. Drag show apparel : BOAS
33. Female in a pasture : EWE
34. Spree : TEAR
36. ___ tide : NEAP
38. Bolted down : ATE
40. Ballpark fare : DOGS
42. Prestidigitation : MAGIC
46. Part of a Scottish accent : BURR
47. Subject of Kaplan or Princeton Review prep : LSAT
48. Sacha Baron Cohen movie after “Borat” : BRUNO
49. Layered snack : OREO
50. Lab assistant for Dr. Frederick Frankenstein : INGA
51. ’50s-era bomb : EDSEL
52. Color of a sprinkled coat : ROAN
53. Cut-rate worker? : BARBER
55. Har-___ (tennis court surface) : TRU
56. Bean, for one : ORSON
58. Empty : NULL
59. Quaint schoolteacher : MARM
60. Mama Judd : NAOMI
61. Apollo 13’s Aquarius, e.g. : LEM
62. River through Bath : AVON
63. “Watermark” singer : ENYA
64. Dot-dot-dot : ESS
65. Backwoods possessive : YERS

Down
1. Planet : JUPITER
2. Ex- : ONE-TIME
3. Raven foe : STEELER
4. Note on the musical scale : SOL
5. Apotheosis : ACME
6. James Bond portrayer : PIERCE BROSNAN
7. Fencing thrust : PASSADO
8. W.W. II noncombatant : WAC
9. Man who walked on the moon : ALAN SHEPARD
10. What a dog “shakes hands” with : FOREPAW
11. Maximum tax : TOP RATE
15. With 45-Down, subversive groups … or what the answers in the shaded squares comprise? : FIFTH
18. Labor of Hercules : AUGEAN STABLES
21. “Voyages Extraordinaires” writer : VERNE
22. Brains : SENSE
25. Book of the Bible : DEUTERONOMY
35. Go off line? : AD LIB
37. Yellow-orange : AMBER
38. Nighttime phenomena : AURORAE
39. Guy Fawkes’s crime : TREASON
41. Silencer : GAG RULE
43. Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame : GUSTAVE
44. Mistakenly : IN ERROR
45. See 15-Down : COLUMNS
46. Chemical element : BORON
54. Massachusetts’ College of Our Lady of the ___ : ELMS
57. Peeples or Vardalos : NIA
59. Month : MAY

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3 thoughts on “0122-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 22 Jan 15, Thursday”

  1. Because the shaded answers are in a downward direction in the grid, they are in columns. Also, each shaded answer is the fifth in a series (fifth actor, fifth letter, fifth planet etc.). Putting those two elements together, the shaded answers are "fifth columns".

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