0527-19 NY Times Crossword 27 May 19, Monday

Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Multiple Choice

Themed answers each include MULTIPLE (three) instances of the letter sequence OR:

  • 58A Kind of test … and a hint to a word hidden three times each in 16-, 22-, 38- and 48-Across : MULTIPLE CHOICE
  • 16A What M.B.A.s enter upon graduation : CORPORATE WORLD
  • 22A Verbatim : WORD FOR WORD
  • 38A Canadian team in the N.B.A. : TORONTO RAPTORS
  • 48A Tale that might feature a haunted house : HORROR STORY

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 6m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 ___-dandy : JIM

A jim-dandy is someone or something that is excellent. The term “jim-dandy” might possibly arise from the song “Dandy Jim of Caroline” that was popular in the 1840s.

4 Tramps : HOBOS

No one seems to know for sure how the term “hobo” originated, although there are lots of colorful theories. My favorite is that “hobo” comes from the first letters in the words “ho-meward bo-und”, but it doesn’t seem very plausible. A kind blog reader tells me that according to Click and Clack from PBS’s “Car Talk” (a great source!), “hobo” comes from “hoe boy”. Hoe boys were young men with hoes looking for work after the Civil War. Hobos differed from “tramps” and “bums”, in that “bums” refused to work, “tramps” worked when they had to, while “hobos” traveled in search of work.

14 Humdinger : BEAUT

A humdinger or a pip is someone or something outstanding. “Humdinger” is American slang dating back to the early 1900s, and was originally used to describe a particularly attractive woman.

15 BMW rival : AUDI

The predecessor to today’s Audi company was called Auto Union. Auto Union was formed with the merger of four individual entities: Audi, Horch, DKW and Wanderer. The Audi logo comprises four intersecting rings, each representing one of the four companies that merged.

The initialism “BMW” stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

16 What M.B.A.s enter upon graduation : CORPORATE WORLD

The world’s first Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree was offered by Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

20 Yoko who loved John Lennon : ONO

John Lennon and Yoko Ono married at the height of the Vietnam War in 1969. The couple decided to use the inevitable publicity surrounding their wedding and honeymoon to promote peace in the world. They honeymooned in the Presidential Suite of the Amsterdam Hilton, inviting the world’s press to join them and to witness their “bed-in”. They spent the week talking about peace, and an end to war. The marriage and bed-in is chronicled by the Beatles in their song “The Ballad of John and Yoko”.

21 Spelling contest : BEE

Back in 18th-century America, when neighbors would gather to work for the benefit of one of their group, such a meeting was called a bee. The name “bee” was an allusion to the social nature of the insect. In modern parlance, a further element of entertainment and pleasure has been introduced, for example in a quilting bee, or even a spelling bee.

41 How music can be stored : ON CD

The compact disc (CD) was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

43 “Moby-Dick” setting : SEA

The full title of Herman Melville’s novel is “Moby-Dick; or, The Whale”. Note that the convention is to hyphenate “Moby-Dick” in the title, as that was how the book was first published, in 1851. However, there is no hyphen in the name of the whale “Moby Dick” as reproduced throughout the text.

53 ___ constrictor : BOA

Boa constrictors are members of the Boidae family of snakes, all of which are non-venomous. Interestingly, the female boa is always larger than the male.

66 R&B singer with the 2006 #1 hit “So Sick” : NE-YO

“Ne-Yo” is the stage name of R&B singer Shaffer Chimere Smith.

67 Mascara misadventure : SMEAR

Variants of mascara have been around a long time, and certainly there was a similar substance in use in ancient Egypt. “Mascara” is a Spanish word meaning “stain, mask”.

Down

1 Beanstalk climber in a children’s story : JACK

“Jack and the Beanstalk” is a fairy tale from England. In the story, young Jack sells the family cow for some magic beans. He plants the beans and a massive beanstalk grows up into the sky. At the top of the beanstalk there lives an ogre. Jack climbs the beanstalk and adventures ensue …

4 “Game of Thrones” airer : HBO

Home Box Office (HBO) is the oldest continuously-operating pay TV service in the US, having launched in 1972. HBO is a favorite of mine as I really like many of the HBO made-for-television movies and original series. Among the list of original series from HBO are “Mildred Pierce”, “The Pacific”, “John Adams”, “Big Love”, “Extras”, “The Wire”, “Sex and the City”, “From the Earth to the Moon”, “The Sopranos” and “Band of Brothers”. And more recently, there is “Game of Thrones”.

6 Sheep’s plaint : BAA!

A plaint is a grouse, a complaint.

8 Old office worker who took dictation : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

9 ___ Paulo, Brazil : SAO

São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. It is also the city with the highest number of helicopters in the world. This is partly driven by the horrendous traffic jams in São Paulo, but also by the wealthy having a very real fear of being kidnapped on the city’s streets.

10 Increase in engine power : TURBOBOOST

A turbocharger is a device that is designed to extract more power out of an internal combustion engine. It does so by increasing the pressure of the air entering the intake. The pressure increase comes from the use of a compressor that is powered, cleverly enough, by the engine’s own exhaust gases.

11 Chicago’s ___ Planetarium : ADLER

Chicago’s Adler Planetarium opened in 1930, making it the first and oldest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere. The facility is named for Max Adler, a former Sears executive and philanthropist who provided the funds for construction.

17 Seats for parishioners : PEWS

A pew is a bench in a church, one usually with a high back. The original pews were raised and sometimes enclosed seats in the church used by women and important men or families. “Pew” comes from the Old French “puie” meaning “balcony, elevation”.

23 Stuff oneself with, briefly : OD ON

Overdose (OD)

25 Exorcism target : DEMON

An exorcist is a religious figure who is believed to be able to cast out demons that have possessed a person or perhaps a building.

26 Poet Whitman : WALT

Walt Whitman is considered to be one of the greatest American poets. He was born in 1819 on Long Island, and lived through the American Civil War. Whitman was a controversial character, even during his own lifetime. One view held by him was that the works attributed to William Shakespeare were not actually written by Shakespeare, but rather by someone else, or perhaps a group of people.

27 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, one of 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”. Leto won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in 2013’s “Dallas Buyers Club”, which he portraying a transgender woman.

29 Ceremonial pre-Olympic event : TORCH RELAY

A flame is used as the symbol for the Olympic Games in commemoration of the theft of fire for humanity by Prometheus from Zeus in Greek mythology. The symbolic flame was introduced to the Modern Olympics in the 1928 Summer Games in Amsterdam. The tradition of the Olympic torch relay started out as political theater devised and funded by Nazi Germany for the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin.

33 “Cheers!,” in Berlin : PROST!

Berlin is the capital of Germany. It is the nation’s largest city, and is the second-most populous city in the European Union (after London).

34 A Marx brother : HARPO

Harpo Marx was the second oldest of the Marx brothers. Harpo’s real name was Adolph, and he earned his nickname because he played the harp. Famously, Harpe didn’t speak on screen, a routine that he developed after reading a review that he performed really well when he just didn’t speak! He would usually whistle or toot a hand-held horn instead of speaking.

37 Pre-1917 ruler : TSAR

The year 1917 saw two revolutions in Russia, with the pair collectively called “the Russian Revolution”. As a result of the February Revolution that centered on Petrograd, the last Emperor of Russia (Tsar Nicholas II) abdicated and members of the Imperial parliament took control of the country, forming the Russian Provisional Government. The Provisional Government was itself overthrown in the October Revolution, which was led by Vladimir Lenin and the Bolshevik party.

45 Desert crossed by the ancient Silk Road : GOBI

The large desert in Asia called the Gobi lies in northern China and southern Mongolia. The Gobi desert is growing at an alarming rate, particularly towards the south. This “desertification” is caused by increased human activity. The Chinese government is trying to halt the desert’s progress by planting great swaths of new forest, the so called “Green Wall of China”. The name “Gobi” is Mongolian for “waterless place, semidesert”.

The Silk Road was a network of trading routes that crossed North Africa and Asia, connecting Europe to West Asia. The routes get the name from the lucrative trade in silk from China.

48 Virile one : HE-MAN

“Vir” is the Latin word for “man”. It is the root of our word “virile”, for example, meaning “manly”.

50 Word after “on the” and “learn the” : ROPES

As one might expect perhaps, the phrase “learning the ropes” is nautical in origin. A new recruit on a sailing vessel would have to learn how to tie the appropriate knots and learn which rope controlled which sail or spar.

51 Site of 1690s witch trials : SALEM

The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings held in 1692 and 1693 in colonial Massachusetts, most famously in Salem. As a result of mass hysteria, twenty people were convicted of practicing witchcraft and were executed. The events were deemed to be a terrible injustice almost immediately. As early as 1696, there was a legal ruling by the Massachusetts General Court that referred to the outcome of the trials as a tragedy. In 2001, the massachusetts legislature officially exonerated all of those convicted.

55 Jedi foe : SITH

The Sith are characters in the “Star Wars” universe who use the “dark side” of “the Force”, and as such are the antithesis of the Jedi Knights. Members of the Sith use the title “Darth” before their name, as in Darth Vader. The last made of the six “Star Wars” movies is called “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”.

56 Grifter’s game : SCAM

Grift is money made dishonestly, especially as the result of a swindle. The term is perhaps an alteration of the the word “graft”, which can have a similar meaning.

57 A U.S. senator’s is six years : TERM

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

59 Chinese menu general : TSO

General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, and a dish often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 ___-dandy : JIM
4 Tramps : HOBOS
9 Wild guess : STAB
13 “___ we having fun yet?” : ARE
14 Humdinger : BEAUT
15 BMW rival : AUDI
16 What M.B.A.s enter upon graduation : CORPORATE WORLD
19 On bended ___ : KNEE
20 Yoko who loved John Lennon : ONO
21 Spelling contest : BEE
22 Verbatim : WORD FOR WORD
27 Allows to expire : LETS DIE
30 Slap the cuffs on : NAB
31 Prefix with friendly : ECO-
32 Extra energy : OOMPH
35 Upper floor of a barn : LOFT
38 Canadian team in the N.B.A. : TORONTO RAPTORS
41 How music can be stored : ON CD
42 Cause one’s bedmate to use earplugs, say : SNORE
43 “Moby-Dick” setting : SEA
44 Gluttonous type : HOG
46 Make a mess, as hot grease on a surface : SPATTER
48 Tale that might feature a haunted house : HORROR STORY
52 Christmas ___ (Dec. 24) : EVE
53 ___ constrictor : BOA
54 “Hey! Over here!” : PSST!
58 Kind of test … and a hint to a word hidden three times each in 16-, 22-, 38- and 48-Across : MULTIPLE CHOICE
63 “What a pity …” : ALAS …
64 Like a haunted house : EERIE
65 Roof repair material : TAR
66 R&B singer with the 2006 #1 hit “So Sick” : NE-YO
67 Mascara misadventure : SMEAR
68 “I wonder …” : HMM …

Down

1 Beanstalk climber in a children’s story : JACK
2 Golf club that’s not a wood : IRON
3 Simple : MERE
4 “Game of Thrones” airer : HBO
5 Opposite of ‘neath : O’ER
6 Sheep’s plaint : BAA!
7 No longer having in stock : OUT OF
8 Old office worker who took dictation : STENO
9 ___ Paulo, Brazil : SAO
10 Increase in engine power : TURBOBOOST
11 Chicago’s ___ Planetarium : ADLER
12 Waited : BIDED
17 Seats for parishioners : PEWS
18 Frayed, as clothing : WORN
23 Stuff oneself with, briefly : OD ON
24 Prison disturbances : RIOTS
25 Exorcism target : DEMON
26 Poet Whitman : WALT
27 Actor Jared : LETO
28 Supply-and-demand subj. : ECON
29 Ceremonial pre-Olympic event : TORCH RELAY
33 “Cheers!,” in Berlin : PROST!
34 A Marx brother : HARPO
36 Complimentary : FREE
37 Pre-1917 ruler : TSAR
39 Scent : ODOR
40 Fruit that flavors liqueurs : PEAR
45 Desert crossed by the ancient Silk Road : GOBI
47 Spell-checker find : TYPO
48 Virile one : HE-MAN
49 Small egg : OVULE
50 Word after “on the” and “learn the” : ROPES
51 Site of 1690s witch trials : SALEM
55 Jedi foe : SITH
56 Grifter’s game : SCAM
57 A U.S. senator’s is six years : TERM
59 Chinese menu general : TSO
60 Poet’s “before” : ERE
61 Org. where one needs a security clearance to work : CIA
62 That lady there : HER

9 thoughts on “0527-19 NY Times Crossword 27 May 19, Monday”

  1. @Bill—-I appreciate your comment about the difference between a hobo, a tramp, and a bum. You can see that this is often mis-clued even as today’s puzzle exemplifies. The hobo lifestyle as itinerant workers hitching rides on freight trains hit its peak in the 1930’s and has pretty much vanished today. As all things that fade into the distant past, I suppose that it is to be expected that the honorable memory of the hobo’s labor would also be forgotten.

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