0515-24 NY Times Crossword 15 May 24, Wednesday

Constructed by: MaryEllen Uthlaut
Edited by: Joel Fagliano

Today’s Reveal Answer: Happy B’day

TODAY, long answers all contain more than their fair share of letters B. And, every single clue starts with a letter B. Happy B Day!

  • 57A “Best wishes for your once-a-year celebration!” (and a wish for solvers of this puzzle) : HAPPY B’DAY!
  • 17A Buzzer you wouldn’t want to hit? : BUMBLEBEE
  • 25A Breast milk container : BABY BOTTLE
  • 35A Brewer’s implement : BASEBALL BAT
  • 48A Blissful soak : BUBBLE BATH

Bill’s time: 6m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 “Belling the Cat” storyteller : AESOP

Aesop is remembered today as a fabulist, a writer of fables. Aesop lived in ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

9 Bing Crosby’s record label : DECCA

Decca Records started out in 1929 as a British record label. The US branch of Decca was opened up in 1934, but the UK and US entities went their separate ways starting in WWII. Famously, Decca turned down a chance to record the Beatles in 1962 taking the position “Guitar groups are on the way out”. That said, Decca did sign the Rolling Stones.

Bing Crosby has been described as the first multimedia star, having achieved incredible success in terms of record sales, radio ratings and ticket sales for his movies. There are also many interesting things about Crosby’s life out of the limelight. For example, his daughter Mary Crosby played Kristin Shepard on the TV’s “Dallas”, and so was the person “who shot J. R. After his first wife Dixie Lee died, Bing Crosby dated and eventually proposed to actress and model Pat Sheehan. The proposal went nowhere, but Sheehan ended up marrying Bing Crosby’s son Dennis a few years later.

14 Bovine expression : MOO!

Something described as bovine is related to a cow, ox or buffalo, or indeed any ruminant in the genus Bos. “Bos” is the Latin for “cow”, and “bovinus” a Late Latin derivative term.

15 “Borat” follow-up from Sacha Baron Cohen : BRUNO

Sacha Baron Cohen is a comedian and comic actor from England. He is perhaps most famous for playing the characters Borat and Ali G on the small and large screens. I’m wasn’t a fan, but I must admit that I really enjoyed 2020’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”.

17 Buzzer you wouldn’t want to hit? : BUMBLEBEE

Bumblebees aren’t very aggressive, but they can sting if they deem it necessary. Unlike honey bees, bumblebees survive the stinging action as their stinger has no barb. There are a few misconceptions about bumblebees. One is that a bumblebee should be incapable of flight based on the laws of aerodynamics, but this isn’t true. Another misconception is that the bee’s buzzing sound is caused by the beating of its wings. In fact, the sound comes from the vibration of its flight muscles. The bee can decouple those muscles from its wings, and so can make a buzzing sound without the wings moving at all.

19 Budweiser beer is aged using this wood : BEECH

The American beer Budweiser (often shortened to “Bud”) is named for the Czech town of Budweis (“České Budějovice” in Czech). The name is the subject of a dispute as here is an original Czech beer with a similar name, Budweiser Budvar. American Budweiser is sold in most European countries as “Bud”.

23 Biathlete’s need : SKI

A biathlon is an event requiring expertise in two sporting disciplines. The most common biathlon is a winter sport that combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting. This traditional biathlon was born out of an exercise for Norwegian soldiers.

24 Byron, by ancestry : SCOT

George Gordon Byron, known simply as “Lord Byron”, was an English poet active in the early 1800s. Byron was equally as famous for his poetry as he was for the wild excesses in his personal life. Byron lived much of that life outside of England, and fought for revolutionaries in both Italy and Greece. He died from a fever contracted while fighting for the Greeks against the Ottomans.

29 Beatles hit “And I Love ___” : HER

“And I Love Her” is a marvelous ballad recorded by the Beatles in 1964 (and one of my favorite Lennon/McCartney compositions). There’s a lovely rendition of the song in the Beatles movie “A Hard Day’s Night”.

30 Beldames : CRONES

A beldam (also “beldame”) is an old woman, especially an ugly one. The term was originally used for a grandmother. In Old English, the prefix “bel-” is used to express a relationship (as in “grandmother”), and “dam” is used in the sense of “mother”.

31 Big name in D.C. : KAMALA

Kamala Harris was a US Senator for California starting in 2017, after serving for six years as the Attorney General of California. In early 2019, Harris announced her run for the Democratic nomination for US president in the 2020 election. Although she dropped out of the race, she was chosen by eventual nominee Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. When the Biden-Harris ticket won the election, Harris became the first female US vice president, and the highest-ranking female politician in the history of the nation.

35 Brewer’s implement : BASEBALL BAT

The Milwaukee Brewers Major League Baseball (MLB) team was founded in 1969 as the Seattle Pilots. The Pilots only played one season in Seattle before going bankrupt, relocating to Milwaukee and adopting the “Brewers” name. At that time, the Brewers were playing in the American League, and joined the National League in 1998. Only two MLB teams have switched leagues, the other being the Houston Astros.

41 Bacterium requiring oxygen : AEROBE

An aerobe is an organism that lives in an environment rich in oxygen. An anaerobe, on the other hand, does not require oxygen for survival.

44 “Born in the ___” (Bruce Springsteen hit) : USA

“Born in the USA” is a 1984 song (and album) written and recorded by Bruce Springsteen. The song was written three years earlier as the title song for a movie, but was never used. That film ultimately was released as “Light of Day” starring Michael J. Fox. The original intention was for Springsteen to star in the film himself.

52 Benedict follower? : -INE

A member of the Benedictine Order is a monk who follows the precepts laid down for religious life by St. Benedict of Nursia. The Benedictine “way” is a moderate path, considered neither zealous nor institutionally formulaic.

53 By the 1980s, this sea had become two lakes : ARAL

The former Soviet Union decided to divert the two rivers feeding the Aral Sea in order to irrigate food and cotton crops. Once the fourth largest lake in the world, the Aral Sea began to shrink dramatically in the 1960s due to the loss of water. Today, the Aral Sea is no more. Instead, there are two relatively small bodies of water labeled as the North Aral Sea and the South Aral Sea.

55 Battery type : NICAD

A NiCad rechargeable battery is so called because the electrodes are made of nickel oxide hydroxide (“Ni”) and metallic cadmium (“Cad”).

60 Bach exercise : ETUDE

An étude is a short instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. “Étude” is the French word for “study”. Études are commonly performed on the piano.

61 Buy a drink for, say : TREAT

Johann Sebastian Bach died when he was 65-years-old, in 1750. He was buried in Old St. John’s Cemetery in Leipzig, and his grave went unmarked until 1894. At that time his coffin was located, removed and buried in a vault within the church. The church was destroyed in an Allied bombing raid during WWII, and so after the war the remains had to be recovered and taken to the Church of St. Thomas in Leipzig.

65 Barley brew : ALE

The many, many different styles of beer can generally be sorted into two groups: ales and lagers. Ales are fermented at relatively warm temperatures for relatively short periods of time, and use top-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that float on top of the beer as it ferments. Lagers ferment at relatively low temperatures and for relatively long periods of time. Lagers use bottom-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that fall to the bottom of the beer as it ferments.

Down

3 Basic drum : TOM-TOM

A tom-tom is a drum without snares. The name “tom-tom” came from the Hindi name “tam-tam”, which in turn was likely imitative of the sound made by the instrument.

8 Burns books? : POESY

Robert Burns is a cultural icon in Scotland and for Scots around the world. As a poet, Burns was a pioneer in the Romantic movement in the second half of the 18th century. One of his most famous works is the poem “Auld Lang Syne”, which has been set to the tune of a traditional Scottish folk song and is used to celebrate the New Year in the English-speaking world.

10 Bordeaux summer : ETE

Bordeaux is perhaps the wine-production capital of the world. Wine has been produced in the area since the eighth century. Bordeaux has an administrative history too. During WWII, the French government relocated from Paris to the port city of Bordeaux when it became clear that Paris was soon to fall to the Germans. After the Germans took France, the capital was famously moved to Vichy.

12 Bivalve mollusks : COCKLES

Bivalves are marine and freshwater molluscs that have bodies enclosed in a two-part hinged shell. Examples are clams, oysters, mussels and scallops. The taxonomic name “Bivalvia” comes from the Latin “bis” meaning “two” and “valvae” meaning “leaves of a door”.

22 “Bachelor in Paradise” network : ABC

“The Bachelor” is an American dating and relationship reality show that debuted in 2002. Its success resulted in several spin-offs including “The Bachelorette”, “Bachelor Pad”, “Bachelor in Paradise”, as well as spawning many international editions of the original “The Bachelor” format.

25 Bieber’s “That Should ___” : BE ME

Justin Bieber is a pop singer from London, Ontario. Bieber was actually discovered on YouTube by talent manager Scooter Brown. Fans of Bieber call themselves “Beliebers”.

26 Bedouins, e.g. : ARABS

Bedouin tribes are Arab ethnic groups that predominantly live in the Middle East, in desert areas. Bedouin tribes tend to be nomadic, not settling permanently in one location.

27 “Ben-Hur” getups : TOGAS

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

The celebrated 1959 Charlton Heston movie “Ben-Hur” is a dramatization of a book published in 1880 by Lew Wallace titled “Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ”. The 1959 epic film won a record 11 Academy Awards, a feat that has been equaled since then but never beaten. The other winners of 11 Oscars are “Titanic” (1997) and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003).

31 Beef on a skewer, e.g. : KABOB

The term “kebab” (also “kabob”) covers a wide variety of meat dishes that originated in Persia. In the West, we usually use “kebab” when talking about shish kebab, which is meat (often lamb) served on a skewer. “Shish” comes from the Turkish word for “skewer”.

32 “Buckle up! It’s the ___” : LAW

There is only one state in the US that does not require drivers to wear seat belts by law, and that is New Hampshire.

33 Bering Sea islander : ALEUT

The Bering Sea, in the very north of the Pacific Ocean, is named for the Danish navigator Vitus Bering, who was the first European to systematically explore the area in 1728. Many believe that the first humans arrived in the Americas from Asia when the waters of the Bering Sea were lower during the last ice age, over what is known as the Bering land bridge.

35 Backyard get-together : BARBECUE

It is believed that our word “barbecue” (BBQ) comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

37 Bali product : BRA

The Bali brand of lingerie started out as Fay-Miss in 1927, before becoming the Bali Brassiere Company in 1969.

38 Biden’s advisers : CABINET

In the Westminster system, the Cabinet is a group of sitting politicians chosen by the Prime Minister to head up government departments and also to participate collectively in major governmental decisions in all areas. In the US system, the Cabinet is made up not of sitting politicians, but rather of non-legislative individuals who are considered to have expertise in a particular area. The Cabinet members in the US system tend to have more of an advisory role outside of their own departments.

45 Bo tree meditator : BUDDHA

The Bodhi Tree is a sacred fig tree in the Indian state of Bihar in the northeast of the country. It is venerated as the tree under which the Buddha was sitting when he attained enlightenment. The name of the tree translates into English as “Tree of Awakening”.

49 Bangkok coins : BAHTS

The baht is the currency of Thailand. One baht is subdivided into 100 satang.

Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand. The exact etymology of the name “Bangkok” seems unclear, although “bang” is a Thai word for “a village situated on a stream”.

50 Burglar deterrent : ALARM

The crime of burglary is the breaking into and entering of a building with the intent to steal. The actual theft itself is a separate crime.

54 Belief that bulls hate the color red, e.g. : MYTH

Bulls, like all cattle, are color blind, so the cape that’s used in bullfighting isn’t colored red to attract the unfortunate beast. Rather, it’s the movement of the cape that causes the bull to charge. The red is chosen just because it is a dramatic color.

56 Byrd’s rank: Abbr. : ADM

Rear Admiral Richard Byrd was an officer in the US Navy, famous as an aviator and explorer of the polar regions. Byrd was the first person to cross the South Pole by air, in 1929. Three years earlier, Byrd claimed he had flown over the North Pole, and would have been the first person to have done so if this was true. But whether or not Byrd actually made it over the North Pole continues to be the subject of much debate.

58 Black-eyed ___ : PEA

Black-eyed peas (also called “black-eyed beans”) are a type of cowpea. Black-eyed peas are especially popular in soul food and other southern cuisine.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Befitting the circumstances : APT
4 “Belling the Cat” storyteller : AESOP
9 Bing Crosby’s record label : DECCA
14 Bovine expression : MOO!
15 “Borat” follow-up from Sacha Baron Cohen : BRUNO
16 Belief system : ETHOS
17 Buzzer you wouldn’t want to hit? : BUMBLEBEE
19 Budweiser beer is aged using this wood : BEECH
20 Break up, as a knot : UNTIE
21 Barrier for an aspiring D.A. : LSAT
23 Biathlete’s need : SKI
24 Byron, by ancestry : SCOT
25 Breast milk container : BABY BOTTLE
28 Bottom of a dress : HEM
29 Beatles hit “And I Love ___” : HER
30 Beldames : CRONES
31 Big name in D.C. : KAMALA
34 Burst, as of wind : GUST
35 Brewer’s implement : BASEBALL BAT
38 Bad-tempered sort : CRAB
40 Blasphemes : SWEARS
41 Bacterium requiring oxygen : AEROBE
44 “Born in the ___” (Bruce Springsteen hit) : USA
45 Block, in a way : BAR
48 Blissful soak : BUBBLE BATH
51 Blind, to a duck : RUSE
52 Benedict follower? : -INE
53 By the 1980s, this sea had become two lakes : ARAL
54 “Behold, the kingdom of God is in the ___ of you”: Luke : MIDST
55 Battery type : NICAD
57 “Best wishes for your once-a-year celebration!” (and a wish for solvers of this puzzle) : HAPPY B’DAY!
60 Bach exercise : ETUDE
61 Buy a drink for, say : TREAT
62 Body part with a ball and socket : HIP
63 Brims (with) : TEEMS
64 Break into pieces : SMASH
65 Barley brew : ALE

Down

1 Blindside, say : AMBUSH
2 Big cats and opportunists both do this : POUNCE
3 Basic drum : TOM-TOM
4 Blessed with skills : ABLE
5 Before, in verse : ERE
6 Benchwarmer : SUB
7 Box of spaghetti’s weight: Abbr. : ONE LB
8 Burns books? : POESY
9 Bondservant, often : DEBTOR
10 Bordeaux summer : ETE
11 Brownish-red shade : CHESTNUT
12 Bivalve mollusks : COCKLES
13 Beyond the pale? : ASHIEST
18 Bridle attachment : BIT
22 “Bachelor in Paradise” network : ABC
25 Bieber’s “That Should ___” : BE ME
26 Bedouins, e.g. : ARABS
27 “Ben-Hur” getups : TOGAS
29 Bears, as a child : HAS
31 Beef on a skewer, e.g. : KABOB
32 “Buckle up! It’s the ___” : LAW
33 Bering Sea islander : ALEUT
35 Backyard get-together : BARBECUE
36 Bind with rope : LASH
37 Bali product : BRA
38 Biden’s advisers : CABINET
39 Bring back together : REUNITE
42 Business ends of swords : BLADES
43 Bard’s “always” : E’ER
45 Bo tree meditator : BUDDHA
46 Beset : ASSAIL
47 Bang out again, as a text : RETYPE
49 Bangkok coins : BAHTS
50 Burglar deterrent : ALARM
51 Bone in a cage : RIB
54 Belief that bulls hate the color red, e.g. : MYTH
56 Byrd’s rank: Abbr. : ADM
58 Black-eyed ___ : PEA
59 Ballet step : PAS

6 thoughts on “0515-24 NY Times Crossword 15 May 24, Wednesday”

  1. 12:20, no errors. After initially entering BARBEQUE, had to go back: there are no NIQAD batteries.
    44A: ironic that so many people view this song as a pro-American anthem.

  2. 15:15. I can’t believe I didn’t even notice all the clues started with B until Bill told us. I should B more observant.

    Did not know New Hampshire doesn’t require seat belts. I’d be curious to see what percentage of people there don’t wear them.

    Best –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *