0512-21 NY Times Crossword 12 May 21, Wednesday

Constructed by: Tracy Gray
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer VO5

We have 5 themed answers starting with the letters “VO”:

  • 67A Alberto ___ (hair care brand) … and a hint to 16-, 27-, 38-, 46- and 61-Across : VO5
  • 16A Kidney or heart : VITAL ORGAN
  • 27A Georgia’s official vegetable : VIDALIA ONION
  • 38A Suddenly change course : VEER OFF
  • 46A Inexpensive table wine : VIN ORDINAIRE
  • 61A Specialized lab equipment for drying : VACUUM OVEN

Bill’s time: 7m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Parent’s cure-all, briefly : TLC

Tender loving care (TLC)

13 Number on a foam finger : ONE

The concept of a foam hand gesturing “number one” dates back to a prototype made out of hardware cloth and papier-mâché in 1971 by a high school student in Ottumwa, Iowa. Steve Schmelar was photographed supporting his school wearing his giant “hand”, and the photo was published by several outlets. A few years later, Texas high school teacher Geral Fauss recreated the design in foam to raise funds for an arts club at his school. Building on the popularity of the foam fingers, Fauss went on to create Spirit Industries for mass-production, and I’d say he made a pretty penny …

19 Guadalajara gal pal : AMIGA

Guadalajara is a populous city in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The Mexican city is named after the city of the same name in the center of Spain.

20 ___ mode : A LA

In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie. Pie served à la mode includes a dollop of cream or ice cream, or as I recall from my time living in Upstate New York, with a wedge of cheddar cheese.

25 Lollygag : IDLE

To lollygag (also “lallygag”) is to dawdle, to dally.

27 Georgia’s official vegetable : VIDALIA ONION

Vidalia onions are sweet onions that are grown most famously in and around Vidalia, Georgia, where they’ve been growing since the 1930s. That area has soil which is relatively low in sulfur, which leads to the unusually sweet taste. The Vidalia onion has been the official state vegetable of Georgia since 1990.

32 Grenoble gal pal : AMIE

Grenoble is a city at the foot of the French Alps. The Winter Olympic Games were held there in 1968.

35 “Little” car in a Ronny & the Daytonas hit : GTO

“Yeah, yeah, little GTO” are words appearing in the song “G.T.O”, the debut recording for the surf rock group from the sixties known as Ronny & the Daytonas.

37 Florist’s vehicle, typically : VAN

The vehicle we call a “van” takes its name from “caravan”, and is a shortened version of the older term. Back in the 1600s, a caravan was a covered cart. We still use the word “caravan” in Ireland to describe what we call a “mobile home” or “recreational vehicle” here in the US.

41 Sound of a lightning bolt : ZAP

The word “thunder” precedes the word “lightning” in the phrase “thunder and lightning”. However, thunder comes after lighting in reality, at least to the observer. The observer sees the flash of lightning and then seconds later hears the crash of thunder. That’s because light travels faster than sound.

44 Grp. with the hits “Evil Woman” and “Do Ya” : ELO

The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) recorded the song “Evil Woman” in 1975. “Evil Woman” was written by the band’s lead vocalist Jeff Lynne, in just thirty minutes!

“Do Ya” is a song written by Jeff Lynne. Lynne first recorded “Do Ya” in 1972 with his band the Move. The Move gradually “moved” in a new artistic direction and rebranded themselves as the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). ELO recorded a hit version of “Do Ya” in 1976.

55 Org. that launched WaterSense in 2006 : EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched its voluntary WaterSense program in 2006. Manufacturers who make products deemed to be water-efficient by the EPA can then place a WaterSense label on that product.

57 Co-___ (condo alternatives) : OPS

The terms “condominium” and “apartment” tend to describe the same type of residential property, namely a private living space with facilities shared with others residing in the same building or complex. The difference is that a condominium is usually owned, and an apartment is rented. At least that’s how it is in the US. The word “condominium” comes from the Latin “com-” (together) and “dominum” (right of ownership).

59 Cold hard cash : MOOLA

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, bread, scratch, cheddar, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

66 Triage sites, for short : ERS

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on the battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “sorting”.

67 Alberto ___ (hair care brand) … and a hint to 16-, 27-, 38-, 46- and 61-Across : VO5

Alberto VO5 is the flagship brand of the Alberto-Culver corporation. Within the brand is a shampoo and a market-leading hairdressing product.

69 Setting in “Charlotte’s Web” : STY

“Charlotte’s Web” is a children’s novel by author E. B. White. Charlotte is a barn spider, who manages to save the life of a pig named Wilbur. Wilbur is a pet pig, owned by the farmer’s daughter, Fern Arable. The story also includes a gluttonous rat named Templeton who provides some light and comical moments.

Down

1 Massive pop stars? : NOVAS

A nova (plural “novae”) is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness of a nova is due to increased nuclear activity causing the star to pick up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different from a nova. A supernova is a very bright burst of light and energy created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst of a supernova is very short-lived compared to the sustained brightness of a nova.

2 Genre featured at Tokyo’s Comiket convention : ANIME

Anime is cartoon animation in the style of Japanese manga comic books.

3 Folkloric creatures at snowy altitudes : YETIS

The yeti, also known as the abominable snowman, is a beast of legend. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology, and a cryptid is a creature or plant that isn’t recognized by the scientific community, but the existence of which has been suggested.

4 A slice of Italy? : SALAMI

“Salame” (note the letter E at the end) is an Italian sausage that is traditionally associated with the peasant classes. The meat in the sausage is preserved with salt, and it can be hung and stored for as long as ten years. The name “salame” comes from “sale”, the Italian word for salt, and “-ame”, a suffix indicating a collective noun. Our English word “salami” is actually the Italian plural for “salame”.

5 Brouhaha : ADO

“Brouhaha”, meaning “ado, stir”, was a French word that back in the 1550s meant “the cry of the devil disguised as clergy” . Wow!

8 And others, in Latin : ET ALII

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names. In fact, “et al.” can stand for “et alii” (a group of males, or males and females), “et aliae” (a group of women) and “et alia” (a group of neuter nouns, or a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

9 “You’re welcome,” in Spanish : DE NADA

“Nada” is the Spanish word for “nothing”. “De nada” translates literally from the Spanish as “of nothing”, and is used to mean “you’re welcome” or “don’t mention it”. The French have the same expression “de rien”, also translating to “of nothing” and used the same way.

10 ___ torch : TIKI

A tiki torch is a bamboo torch that’s commonly used in Tiki culture. Tiki culture is a relatively modern invention dating from the 20th century, and is the experience created in Polynesian-style restaurants. The word “Tiki” is borrowed from Polynesia.

15 Arcade “money” : TOKENS

Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

17 Plant source for tequila : AGAVE

The agave is a succulent plant found mainly in Mexico. Surprisingly (to me, anyway), the agave is unrelated to the cactus, and isn’t related to the aloe plant either. The blue agave is used in the production of tequila.

23 Strategic starting piece in a jigsaw puzzle : EDGE

Jigsaws are saws designed for the cutting of irregular curves by hand. The original jigsaw puzzles were created by painting a picture on a sheet of wood and then cutting the picture into small pieces using a jigsaw, hence the name. Today, almost all jigsaw puzzles are pictures glued onto cardboard. The puzzle pieces are now die-cut, and so there’s no jigsaw involved at all.

28 “Two Women” actress Sophia : LOREN

Sophia Loren certainly has earned her exalted position in the world of movies. In 1962 Loren won an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the Italian film “Two Women”, marking the first actress to win an Academy Award for a non-English speaking performance. She received a second nomination for Best Actress for her role in “Marriage Italian-Style”, another Italian-language movie, released in 1964.

“Two Women” (“La Ciociara”, in Italian, meaning “The Woman from Ciociara”) is a 1960 film that won Sophia Loren that season’s Best Actress Oscar. The title characters are a widowed shopkeeper (played by Loren) and her 12-year-old daughter. The movie is set in WWII, and there is a very disturbing scene in which the two “women” are gang-raped by a group of soldiers. Actress Eleonora Brown played the daughter, and was actually only 12 years of age at the time of shooting. A tough scene to watch, and surely a tough scene to film …

29 Chichén ___ (Mayan ruins city) : ITZA

Chichén Itzá is a Mayan ruin located in the Mexican state of Yucatán. It is the second-most visited archaeological site in the country (after the ancient city of Teotihuacan). Chichén Itzá has seen a surge in the number of visitors since the development of nearby Cancún as a tourist destination.

32 Tel ___, Israel : AVIV

The full name of Israel’s second largest city is Tel Aviv-Yafo. “Tel Aviv” translates into “Spring Mound”, and is a name that was chosen in 1910.

33 Hawaiian for “strong,” which, when doubled, means “very strong” : MAHI

“Mahi-mahi” (meaning “very strong”) is the Hawaiian name for the dolphinfish, which is also known as the dorado. The mahi-mahi is an ugly looking creature if ever I saw one …

38 Fashion icon Wang : VERA

Vera Wang’s first choice for a career was figure skating. Although she is a very capable skater, Wang failed to make the 1968 US Olympics team. She switched to the world of fashion, and is now famous for her designs of wedding dresses … and also costumes for figure skaters.

39 Singing animated snowman : OLAF

In the 2013 animated film “Frozen”, Olaf is a happy-go-lucky snowman who provides a lot of comic relief in the movie. Olaf is voiced by actor and comedian Josh Gad.

43 Greasy hairstyling product : POMADE

Pomade is perfumed ointment, one mainly used for grooming the hair. The word “pomade” comes from the Latin “pomum” meaning “apple”, as the original ointment recipe used smashed apples.

47 Hordes : DROVES

A horde is a large crowd. “Horde” ultimately derives from the Turkish “ordu” meaning “camp, army”.

53 Well-caffeinated, perhaps : ALERT

Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in several plants. The chemical serves as a natural pesticide by paralyzing and killing certain insects that would otherwise feed on the plant. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug that is consumed by humans across the world.

54 Colorful flower with a “face” : PANSY

The pansy is a garden flower that takes its name from the French word “pensée” meaning “thought”. This name was chosen as the flower was often used as a symbol of remembrance. The petals of pansies have dark blotches that often appear to form the outline of a face.

56 The 18th at Pebble Beach, notably : PAR 5

Pebble Beach Golf Links, located just south of Monterey, California, is a public course. It was the first public golf course to be chosen as the top course in the country by “Golf Digest”.

60 www.fda.___ : GOV

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its roots in the Division of Chemistry (later “Bureau of Chemistry”) that was part of the US Department of Agriculture. President Theodore Roosevelt gave responsibility for examination of food and drugs to the Bureau of Chemistry with the signing of the Pure Food and Drug Act. The Bureau’s name was changed to the Food, Drug and Insecticide Organization in 1927, and to the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.

63 Grp. that supports American troops : USO

The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Bill-rejecting vote : NAY
4 Took a dip? : SAGGED
10 Parent’s cure-all, briefly : TLC
13 Number on a foam finger : ONE
14 Cost of an online banner or pop-up : AD RATE
15 Piece of cake? : TIER
16 Kidney or heart : VITAL ORGAN
18 Give the go-ahead : OKAY
19 Guadalajara gal pal : AMIGA
20 ___ mode : A LA
21 Joke : KID
22 Seeds on hamburger buns : SESAMES
25 Lollygag : IDLE
27 Georgia’s official vegetable : VIDALIA ONION
32 Grenoble gal pal : AMIE
35 “Little” car in a Ronny & the Daytonas hit : GTO
36 Stellar start? : ASTRO-
37 Florist’s vehicle, typically : VAN
38 Suddenly change course : VEER OFF
41 Sound of a lightning bolt : ZAP
42 “Fingers crossed!” : I HOPE!
44 Grp. with the hits “Evil Woman” and “Do Ya” : ELO
45 Billy or tom : MALE
46 Inexpensive table wine : VIN ORDINAIRE
50 Provincial schoolteacher stereotype : MARM
51 Short-brimmed hat known as a bunnet in Scotland : FLAT CAP
55 Org. that launched WaterSense in 2006 : EPA
57 Co-___ (condo alternatives) : OPS
59 Cold hard cash : MOOLA
60 ___ program : GRAD
61 Specialized lab equipment for drying : VACUUM OVEN
64 Fairy tale foe : OGRE
65 Go by : ELAPSE
66 Triage sites, for short : ERS
67 Alberto ___ (hair care brand) … and a hint to 16-, 27-, 38-, 46- and 61-Across : VO5
68 Home security component : SENSOR
69 Setting in “Charlotte’s Web” : STY

Down

1 Massive pop stars? : NOVAS
2 Genre featured at Tokyo’s Comiket convention : ANIME
3 Folkloric creatures at snowy altitudes : YETIS
4 A slice of Italy? : SALAMI
5 Brouhaha : ADO
6 “I’m beyond frustrated!” : GRR!
7 Lovesick : GAGA
8 And others, in Latin : ET ALII
9 “You’re welcome,” in Spanish : DE NADA
10 ___ torch : TIKI
11 Top-billed performer : LEAD
12 Word with war or far : … CRY
15 Arcade “money” : TOKENS
17 Plant source for tequila : AGAVE
23 Strategic starting piece in a jigsaw puzzle : EDGE
24 Fill to excess : SATE
26 It’s more than a pocketful of rye : LOAF
28 “Two Women” actress Sophia : LOREN
29 Chichén ___ (Mayan ruins city) : ITZA
30 Like some interviews : ORAL
31 “That’s a negatory!” : NOPE!
32 Tel ___, Israel : AVIV
33 Hawaiian for “strong,” which, when doubled, means “very strong” : MAHI
34 Privy to, as a secret : IN ON
38 Fashion icon Wang : VERA
39 Singing animated snowman : OLAF
40 Thwart : FOIL
43 Greasy hairstyling product : POMADE
45 “I totally agree!” : ME TOO!
47 Hordes : DROVES
48 Skewer : IMPALE
49 Powerful tool for compaction : RAMMER
52 Seafarers’ sanctuaries : COVES
53 Well-caffeinated, perhaps : ALERT
54 Colorful flower with a “face” : PANSY
55 Therefore : ERGO
56 The 18th at Pebble Beach, notably : PAR 5
58 Diagnostic image : SCAN
60 www.fda.___ : GOV
62 Emotional highs : UPS
63 Grp. that supports American troops : USO

15 thoughts on “0512-21 NY Times Crossword 12 May 21, Wednesday”

  1. 8:11, no errors. Nothing profound to say … what is that silly old line? … Ah,yes … Down deep, I’m shallow! … 😜

    1. In our mountaineering classes when talking about avalanches, I used to tell the students that I’d be the first to be rescued – because I’m so shallow, and they wouldn’t have to dig very deep. 🙂

  2. 12:00 had “mule” instead of “male” at first. I’ll join Nonny in the “Nothing Profound To Say Club” 🙂

  3. 13:57. Interesting theme. I would have been more impressed with a brylcream or dippity do theme. Probably could have done a lot with a Head and Shoulders theme too.

    I bought a VIDALIA ONION once by accident, and it was indeed quite good. I don’t see them very often here in Las Vegas, however.

    I’ve never heard a lightning bolt go ZAP. If you don’t believe me, go stand by a lightning bolt and tell me what you hear. I had one hit a tree about 30 feet from me one time. The sound about gave me a heart attack. It was no ZAP, I assure you.

    Best –

    1. In Las Vegas you might find Walla Walla Sweet onions more readily available. Very similar in taste to Vidalia’s.

  4. 14;35. The more of these I do the slower I get. What’s up with that? The online program wouldn’t accept FIVE…it needed to be “5.” That cost me a few minutes.

  5. 10:20. Just a couple of miscues – INTER vs. ASTRO. And then for the golf score, took a bit to realize it was a PAR5 vs. PARV – I didn’t really pay attention to the 67A clue. For all I know it could be Alberto VOV. Wasn’t expecting an actual number in a Tues. puzzle.

  6. Messed up on ITALII . Last letter I had an A … Never heard of VIDALIA onion so I figured VIDALAA would be ok..

  7. Pretty easy puzzle. A couple of “stupid” hand written errors. The one that really got me was ETALII.

    Terry Bo

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