0526-20 NY Times Crossword 26 May 20, Tuesday

Constructed by: Neville Fogarty
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Bodies of Water

Themed answers each with a BODY OF WATER:

  • 35A What 17-, 21-, 55- and 60-Across end in : BODIES OF WATER
  • 17A Best Actor winner for “The King’s Speech” : COLIN FIRTH
  • 21A Actor who played Dagwood Bumstead in film, radio and TV : ARTHUR LAKE
  • 55A Singer with the 1984 #1 hit “Caribbean Queen” : BILLY OCEAN
  • 60A “Pearl Harbor” director, 2001 : MICHAEL BAY

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 7m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Chillaxes (with) : HANGS

“Chillax” is a slang term meaning “chill and relax”. Who’da thunk it …?

6 Actress McClurg : EDIE

Edie McClurg is a character actress from Kansas City. The role that I most associate with McClurg is secretary to the school principal in the classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”.

13 Tennis score after deuce, maybe : AD OUT

In tennis, if the score reaches deuce (i.e. when both players have scored three points), then the first player to win two points in a row wins the game. The player who wins the point immediately after deuce is said to have the advantage. If the player with the advantage wins the next point then that’s two in a row and that player wins the game. If the person with the advantage loses the next point, then advantage is lost and the players return to deuce and try again. The player calling out the score announces “ad in”, or more formally “advantage in”, if he/she has the advantage. If the score announcer’s opponent has the advantage, then the announcement is “ad out” or “advantage out”. Follow all of that …?

14 Tailless cat : MANX

I’ve seen Manx cats by the dozen on their native island. They’re found all over the Isle of Man (hence the name “Manx”) that is located in the middle of the Irish Sea. Manx cats have just a stub of a tail, and hence are called “stubbins” by the locals.

15 Beehive State tribe : UTES

When Mormon pioneers were settling what is today the state of Utah, they referred to the area as Deseret, a word that means “beehive” according to the Book of Mormon. Today Utah is known as the Beehive State and there is a beehive symbol on the Utah state flag. In 1959, “Industry” was even chosen as the state motto, for the term’s association with the beehive.

17 Best Actor winner for “The King’s Speech” : COLIN FIRTH

Colin Firth is an English actor who came to prominence playing Mr Darcy in the fabulous television adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” that came out in 1995 (I cannot recommend that six-episode drama enough). More recently, Firth won the Best Actor Oscar for playing King George VI in “The King’s Speech”.

“The King’s Speech” is a wonderful, wonderful 2010 film about King George VI and his efforts to overcome his speech impediment. Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter all do fabulous jobs playing the lead characters. It is an independent film, so was made with a relatively low budget of $15 million, but grossed almost $400 million at box offices worldwide. “The King’s Speech” is the most successful British independent film of all time.

19 The “A” of I.R.A.: Abbr. : ACCT

Individual retirement account (IRA)

20 Jenner of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” : KRIS

Kris Kardashian is the matriarch of the Kardashian clan. She was married to the lawyer Robert Kardashian who was one of O. J. Simpson’s lawyers in his 1995 murder trial. The couple divorced in 1990 and Kris then married the celebrated decathlete from the 1976 Olympic Games, Bruce Jenner. That marriage ended in divorce as well, in 2015.

21 Actor who played Dagwood Bumstead in film, radio and TV : ARTHUR LAKE

“Blondie” was created as a comic strip by Chic Young. It was first published in 1930, and is still being created today (although the strip is now controlled by Chic’s son, Dean). The strip spawned a series of radio programs (1939-1950) and a series of “Blondie” films (1938-1950). Blondie Boopadoop married her boyfriend Dagwood Bumstead in 1933. Dagwood slaves away at a construction company run by Julius Dithers, whose wife is named Cora. Another famous character in the strip is Elmo Tuttle, a pesky kid who is always bugging Dagwood.

26 “Straight Outta Compton” group : NWA

“Straight Outta Compton” was the first album by N.W.A. N.W.A was a hip hop group from Compton, California. The original five group members included rappers who have made a name for themselves as solo acts, including: Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. The story of NWA is told in a 2015 film, also called “Straight Outta Compton”.

27 Arm of the Dept. of Homeland Security : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

32 Ingredient in a Denver omelet : ONION

A Western omelet (also “omelette”) is also known as a Southwest omelet or a Denver omelet. The usual ingredients include diced ham, onions and green bell peppers.

34 Website where you can shop by category : EBAY

There have been some notable things sold on eBay over the years. For example:

  • Ad space on a guy’s forehead, in the form of a temporary tattoo – $37,375
  • William Shatner’s kidney stone – $25,000
  • A cornflake shaped like Illinois – $1,350
  • A single corn flake – $1.63
  • A box of 10 Twinkies – $59.99
  • The original Hollywood sign – $450,400
  • The meaning of life – $3.26

40 “T” on a test : TRUE

An answer (ans.) might be true (T) or false (F).

46 Genetic strand : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

53 In scoring position, say : ON BASE

It’s thought that the lovely word “bamboozle” came into English from the Scottish “bombaze” meaning “perplex”. We’ve been using “bamboozle” since the very early 1700s.

55 Singer with the 1984 #1 hit “Caribbean Queen” : BILLY OCEAN

Billy Ocean was born in Trinidad and Tobago, and moved with his family to England when he was 8-years old. He was born Leslie Sebastian Charles, but took the name Billy Ocean from a local football team in Trinidad, “Ocean’s Eleven”, who in turn took their name from the famous Frank Sinatra movie. Ocean achieved chart success as early as 1976, with “Love Really Hurts Without You”. However, his global career took off with his 1984 smash “Caribbean Queen”. Perhaps Ocean had global success in mind, because quite cannily he recorded the song under three different names around the world. There’s a version called “European Queen”, and there’s an “African Queen” version out there somewhere as well …

58 Paths of fly balls : ARCS

That would be baseball as well …

59 Jai ___ : ALAI

Jai alai is a game that derives from Basque pelota, and is known as “cesta-punta” in the Basque language. The name “jai alai” translates from the original Basque as “merry festival”.

60 “Pearl Harbor” director, 2001 : MICHAEL BAY

I thought that the 2001 war movie “Pearl Harbor” was excellent, with some great action sequences. The film is in two parts, as far as the action is concerned. It deals with the attack on Pearl Harbor itself, and then with the amazing Doolittle Raid on Japan.

64 France’s longest river : LOIRE

The Loire is the longest river in France. It is so long that it drains one-fifth of the nation’s land mass. The Loire rises in the southeast, in the Cevennes mountain range, then heads north then due west, emptying into the Bay of Biscay at the city of Nantes. The Loire Valley is home to some of France’s most famous wine production, and includes the wine regions of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Muscadet.

65 Balaam’s mount, in the Bible : ASS

The ass or donkey is mentioned several times in the Bible. One of the most-quoted biblical stories involving an ass is the story of Balaam. Balaam was a diviner who appears in the Book of Numbers in. In one account, Balaam is held to task by an angel for particularly cruel treatment of an ass.

67 Fertile soil : LOESS

Loess is a wind-blown accumulation of silt. The word is German in origin and was first used to describe silt along the Rhine Valley.

Down

1 Cut the mustard : HACK IT

The expression “to cut the mustard” means “to meet expectations”. Apparently, the origins of the phrase are unclear, but some suggest it may come from “cut the muster”. But “cut the muster” has a very different meaning, i.e. “not turn up for a military parade”. I’ve also heard people use “cut the mustard” and “not pass muster” interchangeably. It’s all so confusing …

3 Manhattan neighborhood west of the Bowery : NOLITA

NoLIta is a neighborhood in Manhattan in New York City. The name “NoLIta” is derived from “North of Little Italy”. One of NoLIta’s most famous sons is the director Martin Scorsese.

5 RR stop: Abbr. : STN

A station (“stn.” or “sta.”) is a railroad (RR) or bus stop.

6 Qatari leader : EMIR

An emir is a prince or chieftain, one most notably from the Middle East in Islamic countries. In English, “emir” can also be written variously as “emeer, amir, ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

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. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although the nation’s eligibility to do so is under question after a far-reaching bribery scandal was uncovered at the sport’s governing body.

7 Game with a circular board : DARTS

Darts is a wonderful game that’s often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 on the dartboard in sequence.

9 Bring to light : EXHUME

Our word “exhume” ultimately comes from the Latin “ex” (out of) “humus” (earth).

12 Ascot, e.g. : NECKWEAR

An ascot is a horrible-looking (I think!), wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

18 ___ Mae (mortgage purchaser) : FANNIE

The Federal National Mortgage Association is commonly called “Fannie Mae”, a play on the initialism FNMA. Fannie Mae was founded during the Great Depression as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal.

22 Sleep stage : REM

“REM” is an acronym standing for “rapid eye movement”. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

24 Hindu princess : RANI

A ranee (also “rani”) is an Indian queen or princess, and the female equivalent of a raja.

29 Uno doubled : DOS

“Uno, dos, tres” (one, two, three in Spanish)

32 Coleridge’s “Dejection” and others : ODES

“Dejection: An Ode” is an 1802 poem by English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In draft form, the poem was titled “Letter to Sara Hutchinson”. Hutchinson was a woman whom Coleridge loved, even while he was married to someone else.

35 It replaced Rio de Janeiro as a national capital in 1960 : BRASILIA

Brasília is the capital of Brazil, and is located in the central-west of the country. A decision was made in 1956 to move the nation’s capital from Rio de Janeiro on the coast, to a more central location. So, Brasília was founded in 1960, and is now the fastest growing city in the country.

38 Actress Ryder : WINONA

Hollywood actress Winona Ryder’s real name is Winona Horowitz. Ryder was born near the town of Winona in Minnesota, from which she got her name. Her success on the screen has garnered as much media attention as her life off the screen. The papers had a field day when she was arrested in 2001 on a shoplifting charge followed by a very public court appearance. Her engagement with Johnny Depp in the early nineties was another media frenzy. Depp had “Winona Forever” tattooed on his arm, which he had changed after the breakup to “Wino Forever”. A man with a sense of humor …

39 Cryptanalyst Turing : ALAN

Alan Turing was an English mathematician. He was well-respected for his code-breaking work during WWII at Bletchley Park in England. However, despite his contributions to cracking the German Enigma code and other crucial work, Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952. He agreed to chemical castration, treatment with female hormones, and then two years later he committed suicide by taking cyanide. Turing’s life story is told in the 2014 film “The Imitation Game” with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the lead. I thoroughly enjoyed that film …

45 Los Angeles neighborhood west of Sherman Oaks : ENCINO

Encino is a district in the City of Los Angeles on the north slope of the Santa Monica Mountains. The area takes its name from a historic parcel of land called Rancho Los Encinos (Ranch of the Evergreens).

47 Doll that ran for president for the first time in 1992 : BARBIE

The famous Barbie doll was created by businesswoman Ruth Handler and first appeared on store shelves in 1959. Barbie was based on a German fashion doll called Bild Lilli that was introduced in 1955. Lilli had been a German cartoon character before taking on a three-dimensional form. Prior to the introduction of Bild Lilli and Barbie, children’s dolls were primarily representations of infants.

48 Most-watched annual awards show, with “the” : OSCARS

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards, also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

54 “The Jungle Book” bear : BALOO

“The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling was originally published in 1894, and is a collection of adventure stories or fables featuring the animals of the jungle and a young boy named Mowgli. Baloo is a sloth bear that teaches the cubs of a wolf pack the Law of the Jungle. Baloo’s most challenging pupil however is no lupine, but rather the man-cub Mowgli.

57 Sailor’s greeting : AHOY!

“Ahoy!” is a nautical term used to signal a vessel. When the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell, he suggested that “ahoy” be used as a standard greeting when answering a call. However, Thomas Edison came up with “hello”, and we’ve been using that ever since.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Chillaxes (with) : HANGS
6 Actress McClurg : EDIE
10 Too much noise : DIN
13 Tennis score after deuce, maybe : AD OUT
14 Tailless cat : MANX
15 Beehive State tribe : UTES
17 Best Actor winner for “The King’s Speech” : COLIN FIRTH
19 The “A” of I.R.A.: Abbr. : ACCT
20 Jenner of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” : KRIS
21 Actor who played Dagwood Bumstead in film, radio and TV : ARTHUR LAKE
23 Summer position for many a college student : INTERN
25 “Me too” : SAME
26 “Straight Outta Compton” group : NWA
27 Arm of the Dept. of Homeland Security : TSA
28 “What else?” : AND?
30 Enticed : TEMPTED
32 Ingredient in a Denver omelet : ONION
34 Website where you can shop by category : EBAY
35 What 17-, 21-, 55- and 60-Across end in : BODIES OF WATER
40 “T” on a test : TRUE
41 Works hard : TOILS
42 7 1/4 is a common one : HAT SIZE
46 Genetic strand : RNA
47 Altar ___ : BOY
50 “Cancel” key : ESC
51 Bamboozles : CONS
53 In scoring position, say : ON BASE
55 Singer with the 1984 #1 hit “Caribbean Queen” : BILLY OCEAN
58 Paths of fly balls : ARCS
59 Jai ___ : ALAI
60 “Pearl Harbor” director, 2001 : MICHAEL BAY
62 Get out of bed : RISE
63 “What’s gotten ___ you?” : INTO
64 France’s longest river : LOIRE
65 Balaam’s mount, in the Bible : ASS
66 Liable to snoop : NOSY
67 Fertile soil : LOESS

Down

1 Cut the mustard : HACK IT
2 Decorates : ADORNS
3 Manhattan neighborhood west of the Bowery : NOLITA
4 Outward appearance : GUISE
5 RR stop: Abbr. : STN
6 Qatari leader : EMIR
7 Game with a circular board : DARTS
8 Because : IN THAT
9 Bring to light : EXHUME
10 Two-way : DUAL
11 “No way!” : IT CAN’T BE!
12 Ascot, e.g. : NECKWEAR
16 Regular date : STEADY
18 ___ Mae (mortgage purchaser) : FANNIE
22 Sleep stage : REM
24 Hindu princess : RANI
29 Uno doubled : DOS
31 Cats and dogs : PETS
32 Coleridge’s “Dejection” and others : ODES
33 “___ if I can help it!” : NOT
35 It replaced Rio de Janeiro as a national capital in 1960 : BRASILIA
36 Be better than in every way : OUTCLASS
37 Word before good, sale or sure : FOR …
38 Actress Ryder : WINONA
39 Cryptanalyst Turing : ALAN
40 Attorneys, collectively : THE BAR
43 Frigid : ICY
44 Get up close from far away : ZOOM IN
45 Los Angeles neighborhood west of Sherman Oaks : ENCINO
47 Doll that ran for president for the first time in 1992 : BARBIE
48 Most-watched annual awards show, with “the” : OSCARS
49 Emphatic agreement : YES YES!
52 Splinter groups : SECTS
54 “The Jungle Book” bear : BALOO
56 Whoppers : LIES
57 Sailor’s greeting : AHOY!
61 Letter after kay : ELL

14 thoughts on “0526-20 NY Times Crossword 26 May 20, Tuesday”

  1. 8:56, no errors. Crosses gave me “NOLITA”. “North of Little Italy”. Who knew? I have to run that past a friend from New York and find out if it was current when he grew up there.

    1. According to my NY friend (who moved away in the early 70’s, but has family there), “NOLITA” was coined in the mid-90’s; he has heard the term and knows what it means, but it doesn’t have the same “resonance” for him as other terms.

  2. @DuncanR, are we twinsies? 15:36 and the same “expose” before realizing it was “exhumed.” At least I had no errors.

  3. 12:45. Pretty good showing considering I didn’t know any of the theme people. Vaguely remember BILLY OCEAN, but that’s it. There were also a slew of other names I didn’t know. As usual, crosses saved the day.

    Best –

  4. 27:23 no errors…a little much for a Tuesday IMO.
    Stay safe…wear a mask even if our great leader doesn’t .

  5. No errors. Had most of the same snags as those who have already posted. I thought that I knew NYC neighborhoods pretty well but NOLITA was my biggest surprise. I double checked all of my crosses and still doubted that I had it correctly until coming here for final verification.

  6. 10:51, no errors. Agree with others, clues seemed very vague and/or esoteric for a Tuesday. Remembered COLIN FIRTH as Lord Wessex in ‘Shakespeare in Love’; that was about it for the proper names. My family left New York City in 1965, ‘Little Italy’ existed then, NOLITA did not.

  7. Seems that Mondays and Tuesdays are tightening up a bit. Liked this one as well as yesterday’s, and maybe a bit more because it offers a few more challenges.

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