0524-22 NY Times Crossword 24 May 22, Tuesday

Constructed by: Ella Dershowitz
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Musical Chairs

Today’s grid includes four sets of circled letters in the shape of CHAIRS. Those letters spell out the names of MUSICALS:

  • NEWSIES
    “Newsies” is a 1992 musical drama film that is based on the Newsboys Strike of 1899. Starring in the film are Christian Bale, Bill Pullman, Robert Duvall and Ann-Margret. Back in the late 1800s, “newsies” were young homeless children selling newspapers as a living. The boys organized themselves and went on strike for two weeks in protest against the money they were paid. The strike was successful and the rates were raised.
  • CABARET
    The musical “Cabaret” is based on “I Am a Camera”, a 1951 play written by John Van Druten. In turn, the play was adapted from a novel “Goodbye to Berlin” written by Christopher Isherwood. The action in the musical takes place in the 1930s, in a seedy Berlin cabaret called the Kit Kat Klub. “Cabaret” is a great stage musical, although the 1972 film of the musical isn’t one of my favorites.
  • CHICAGO
    The wonderful 1975 musical “Chicago” is based on a 1926 play of the same name written by a news reporter called Maurine Dallas Watkins. Watkins had been assigned to cover the murder trials of Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the “Chicago Tribune”, and used the story that unfolded as the basis for her play. Annan became the character Roxie Hart, and Gaertner became Velma Kelly. I’ve only ever seen the movie version of “Chicago” and never a live performance …
  • ALADDIN
    The Disney animated feature “Aladdin” was released in 1992. It is one of the best movies to come out of the studio, in my opinion, largely due to the great performance by Robin Williams who voiced the Genie. “Aladdin” was the most successful film of 1992, earning over $500 million worldwide, an unusual feat for an animated movie.

Bill’s time: 10m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

18 Provider of moral support? : PARABLE

A parable is a story told to illustrate a lesson or principle. It is similar to a fable, differing in that a fable uses mainly animals as characters, and a parable uses humans.

21 Creatures in a pod : ORCAS

A group of whales can be called a gam, as well as a pod.

31 Writer Janowitz : TAMA

Tama Janowitz is an American writer. Janowitz was born in San Francisco but has lived much of her life in New York City. In New York she hung around with the likes of Andy Warhol and became well known in literary circles. Her most famous work is a collection of short stories called “Slaves of New York”, which was made into a film of the same name in 1989.

33 Emperor whose mother was Agrippina the Younger : NERO

Nero was Emperor of Rome from 54 to 68 CE, and he had quite the family life. When he was just 16-years-old Nero married his step-sister Claudia Octavia. He also had his mother and step-brother executed.

39 McKellen or McEwan : IAN

Sir Ian McKellen is a marvelous English actor, one who is comfortable playing anything from Macbeth on stage to Magneto in an “X-Men” movie. On the big screen, McKellen is very famous for playing Gandalf in “The Lord of Rings”. In the UK, Sir Ian is noted for being at the forefront of the campaign for equal rights for gay people, a role he has enthusiastically embraced since the eighties.

Ian McEwan is an English novelist with a track record of writing well-received novels. His most famous work of recent years I would say is “Atonement” which has benefited from the success of a fabulous movie adaptation released in 2007.

43 Asset when playing Skee-Ball : AIM

Skee-Ball is the arcade game in which you roll balls up a ramp trying to “bounce” it into rings for varying numbers of points. The game was first introduced in Philadelphia, in 1909.

44 Home of Miami University : OHIO

Miami University was founded in 1809 in Oxford, Ohio. The school is named for its location in the Miami Valley in the southwest of the state.

45 Classic lollipop with a “Mystery Flavor” flavor : DUM DUM

A lollipop is a piece of candy on a stick. The name “lollipop” surfaced in 1908, and was taken from a prominent race horse of the day named Lolly Pop.

47 Hankerings : YENS

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

52 “Bye Bye Bye” boy band : NSYNC

“Bye Bye Bye” is a 2000 hit song recorded by the boy band NSYNC. It was originally written for another boy band, the English group 5ive, but they passed on it.

54 Crunchy, wasabi-coated morsel : PEA

Wasabi peas are peas that have been fried and then coated with wasabi powder mixed with sugar, salt and oil. They make for a crunchy snack, a favorite of mine …

55 Wrench handle? : ALLEN

The Allen wrench (or “Allen key”, as we call it back in Ireland) is a successful brand of hex wrench that was trademarked in 1943 by the Allen Manufacturing Company of Hartford , Connecticut. However, the hex wrench had in fact been around since the mid-to-late 1800s.

58 #carpediem : YOLO

You only live once (YOLO)

“Carpe diem” is a quotation from Horace, one of ancient Rome’s leading lyric poets. “Carpe diem” translates from Latin as “seize the day” or “enjoy the day”. The satirical motto of a procrastinator is “carpe mañana”, “translating” as “seize tomorrow”.

67 Place for a poser : YOGA MAT

“Asana” is a Sanskrit word that translates literally as “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.

69 Virtual critters since 1999 : NEOPETS

Neopets.com is a website where one can own a virtual pet. I wouldn’t bother if I were you …

71 Greenpeace, e.g., in brief : NGO

Non-governmental organization (NGO)

Environmental organization Greenpeace was founded in 1971, and is headquartered in Amsterdam. Famously, the organization uses seagoing vessels in some of its campaigns. The most renowned of these ships was the refitted fishing trawler Rainbow Warrior. The original Rainbow Warrior was known for disrupting activities like whale-hunting, dumping of radioactive waste and nuclear testing. In response to the latter, the French government secretly bombed the vessel while in harbor in Auckland, New Zealand. A Dutch freelance photographer died in that bombing.

Down

1 Device associated with the advice “Be kind, rewind” : VCR

Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)

5 Mononymous “King of Football” : PELE

“Pelé” is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name “Pelé” for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been a member of three World Cup winning squads (1958, 1962 and 1970), and is a national treasure in his native Brazil. One of Pele’s nicknames is “O Rei do Futebol” (the King of Football).

8 Online retailer whose first sale was a broken laser pointer : 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

12 Silent communication, for short : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

13 GPS path: Abbr. : RTE

A global positioning system (GPS) might point out a route (rte.).

21 Baby deliverers, for short : OBS

In Latin, the word for midwife is “obstetrix”. “Obstetrix” translates more literally as “one who stands opposite” i.e. the one opposite the woman giving birth. The Latin term gives rise to our modern word “obstetrics” used for the branch of medical science concerned with childbirth.

23 Slander : CALUMNY

A calumny is a false statement designed to sully someone’s or something’s reputation. Sadly, calumnies are pretty common around election time …

25 There might be a ring to it : EARLOBE

Whether an earlobe is free or attached is an example of genetic dominance at play. The dominant gene calls for free earlobes, and the recessive for attached. Among cultural groups, the Japanese and Chinese have a relatively high incidence of attached earlobes, running at about 65% of the population.

27 Parodist Yankovic : WEIRD AL

“Weird Al” Yankovic is a singer-songwriter who is noted for writing and performing parodies of popular songs. Of the 150 or so such songs, the best known are probably “Eat It” (parodying “Beat It” by Michael Jackson) and “Like a Surgeon” (parodying “Like a Virgin” by Madonna).

29 Crime boss : DON

In the Mafia, a don is a head of a family, someone who might order a hit, a killing.

32 Condition that affects executive function, in brief : ADHD

The “official” name for the condition we sometimes still refer to as “attention deficit disorder” (ADD) is “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD).

35 Tech exec : CIO

Chief information officer (CIO)

38 Mer contents : EAU

In French, a “mer” (sea) is a large body of “eau” (water).

43 Writer Rand : AYN

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born “Alisa Rosenbaum”. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan. Rand described herself as “right-wing” politically, and both she and her novel “Atlas Shrugged” have become inspirations for the American conservatives, and the Tea Party in particular.

46 Boyz II ___ : MEN

Boyz II Men are an R&B vocal trio from Philadelphia who started out in 1988. The original BOYZ II Men lineup included a fourth member, Michael McCary. McCary left the group in 2003 due to chronic back pain. The Boyz II Men 1992 hit “End of the Road” stayed at number-one in the Billboard charts for an amazing thirteen weeks, shattering the 11-week record that had been held by Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” since 1956.

48 Movie theater morsel with white sprinkles : SNO-CAP

Sno-Caps are a brand of candy usually only available in movie theaters. Sno-caps have been around since the 1920s, would you believe?

57 Like Scotch served without ice : NEAT

We use the spelling “whiskey” for American and Irish versions of the drink, and “whisky” for scotch, the Scottish version.

59 Has an open tab, say : OWES

When we run a “tab” at a bar, we are running a “tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

60 Dict. listing : SYN

Synonym (syn.)

61 “The Raven” poet : POE

“The Raven” is a narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe that tells of a student who has lost the love of his life, Lenore. A raven enters the student’s bedchamber and perches on a bust of Pallas. The raven can talk, to the student’s surprise, but says nothing but the word “nevermore” (“quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). As the student questions all aspects of his life, the raven taunts him with the same comment, “nevermore”. Finally, the student decides that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “nevermore”.

64 Cacophony : DIN

“Cacophony” is such a lovely word, a word used to describe a harsh or jarring sound. The term arises from the Greek “kakos” (bad) and “phone” (voice).

65 Video call annoyance : LAG

In Internet terms, lag is a delay in response caused by network latency. We might notice lag when streaming a video, for example.

66 Angsty genre : EMO

The emo musical genre originated in Washington, D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Camping trip rental : VAN
4 “Me day” destination : SPA
7 First in a convoy : LEAD CAR
14 Devalue : CHEAPEN
16 Well-informed (of) : ABREAST
17 Material much used for Indian dresses : RAW SILK
18 Provider of moral support? : PARABLE
19 What good art can make you do : FEEL
20 Gave the once-over : EYED
21 Creatures in a pod : ORCAS
24 Fish that’s an ambush predator : EEL
26 Took to an auto impound : TOWED
30 Wild hog : BOAR
31 Writer Janowitz : TAMA
33 Emperor whose mother was Agrippina the Younger : NERO
34 Comfort : SOLACE
37 “You must be this tall to ___” (amusement park sign) : RIDE
39 McKellen or McEwan : IAN
40 Kids’ party game … or a hint to this puzzle’s circled letters : MUSICAL CHAIRS
43 Asset when playing Skee-Ball : AIM
44 Home of Miami University : OHIO
45 Classic lollipop with a “Mystery Flavor” flavor : DUM DUM
47 Hankerings : YENS
49 Planets, poetically : ORBS
51 Trim : PARE
52 “Bye Bye Bye” boy band : NSYNC
54 Crunchy, wasabi-coated morsel : PEA
55 Wrench handle? : ALLEN
56 “What happened now?!” : OH NO!
58 #carpediem : YOLO
60 More likely to daydream, say : SPACIER
63 Hold lovingly : SWADDLE
67 Place for a poser : YOGA MAT
68 Announcement upon a late arrival : HERE I AM
69 Virtual critters since 1999 : NEOPETS
70 Belief system : ISM
71 Greenpeace, e.g., in brief : NGO

Down

1 Device associated with the advice “Be kind, rewind” : VCR
2 “Gotcha!” : AHA!
3 Never-been-worn : NEW
4 People who might bug others : SPIES
5 Mononymous “King of Football” : PELE
6 Jewelry under a sock, perhaps : ANKLET
7 Bit of gear for a talk show host : LAPEL MIC
8 Online retailer whose first sale was a broken laser pointer : EBAY
9 Stop, in French : ARRET
10 Exactly right : DEAD ON
11 One getting hailed on Broadway? : CAB
12 Silent communication, for short : ASL
13 GPS path: Abbr. : RTE
15 To the extent that : AS FAR AS
21 Baby deliverers, for short : OBS
22 Some best buds : ROOMIES
23 Slander : CALUMNY
25 There might be a ring to it : EARLOBE
27 Parodist Yankovic : WEIRD AL
28 Deletion : ERASURE
29 Crime boss : DON
32 Condition that affects executive function, in brief : ADHD
35 Tech exec : CIO
36 Canyon rebound : ECHO
38 Mer contents : EAU
41 Sites of frequent touchdowns : AIRPORTS
42 Go really, really wrong : IMPLODE
43 Writer Rand : AYN
46 Boyz II ___ : MEN
48 Movie theater morsel with white sprinkles : SNO-CAP
50 Waves, perhaps : SAYS HI
53 Doorbell sound : CHIME
55 Bedside buzzer : ALARM
57 Like Scotch served without ice : NEAT
59 Has an open tab, say : OWES
60 Dict. listing : SYN
61 “The Raven” poet : POE
62 “A long, long time ___ …” : AGO
64 Cacophony : DIN
65 Video call annoyance : LAG
66 Angsty genre : EMO

6 thoughts on “0524-22 NY Times Crossword 24 May 22, Tuesday”

  1. 13:35. Got caught in a bit of a whirlpool in the NW corner. SPA led me to ANKLET, which I erased to put RAWHIDE in 17A. All sorted out, eventually.

  2. 9:15, no errors. (And … I just typed “no wrrers” … and I almost left it … gotta appreciate the irony … 😜.)

    @Miles (from yesterday) … I assume that you mean a version of the puzzle appearing in a print version of the paper? I suppose one could scan it in to get a digital file and then edit that file to get a higher-contrast version or piece together enlarged prints of sections of it.

    Curiosity about the old NYT puzzles has led me to retrieve images of a lot of them from the “Times Machine” and I have often had to play such games with the files to make them readable enough to work with comfortably.

    (And I will add that typing this has been a bit of a nightmare, with an error rate of about 10%. Sometimes I wonder if it’s my vision, my fat fingers, or my failing brain that I need to worry about the most … 😳.)

  3. 8:57. Clever theme and construction. Too bad I know nothing of musicals. I only recognized 2 of the 4.

    It makes me sound like a grouch (perhaps for good reason), but I hate musicals. I’m reminded of a line from Seinfeld – “Why are they singing? Who sings? If you got something to say, say it”. I avoid them like the plague.

    I only vaguely remember DUM DUMs. What exactly makes them a “classic” lollipop? Does everything need to have a “classic” version? Is there a classic hemorrhoid medicine, for example?

    Best –

    1. Seems that pretty much anything from the good old days is remembered as classic. Classic cars, classic rock. I remember Dum Dums as the cheapest, skimpiest candy available. Eaten only when desperate. To answer your second question : Preparation H.

  4. 31:04 – aarrggghh.

    Got my teeth kicked in by this.

    Just when ya think ur doin’ better …

    And then the LAX gives me a hard time.

    Sigh.

    You guys are so far ahead of me.

    Be Well.

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