0517-24 NY Times Crossword 17 May 24, Friday

Constructed by: Hemant Mehta
Edited by: Joel Fagliano

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 12m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Jordans, e.g. : NIKES

Air Jordan is a Nike brand of shoe (and other apparel) endorsed by NBA great Michael Jordan. The silhouette of a basketball player that features on Air Jordans is known as the “Jumpman” logo.

6 CNN political correspondent Bash : DANA

Journalist Dana Bash became co-host of CNN’s Sunday morning show “State of the Union” in 2021, alongside Jake Tapper. She was born Dana Schwartz, and was married to Jeremy Bash, a senior adviser in the Obama administration. She was also married to fellow CNN broadcast journalist John King.

16 Last thing left in Pandora’s box : HOPE

According to Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. She was created by the gods, with each god bestowing on her a gift. Her name can be translated from Greek as “all-gifted”. Pandora is famous for the story of “Pandora’s Box”. The story should be about Pandora’s “Jar”,as a 16th-century error in translation created a “box” out of the “jar”. In the story of Pandora’s Box, curiosity got the better of her and she opened up a box she was meant to leave alone. As a result she released all the evils of mankind, just closing it in time to trap hope inside.

17 Became smitten : FELL IN LOVE

“Smitten” is the past participle of “to smite”, meaning “to inflict a heavy blow”. We tend to use “smitten” to mean “affected by love, love-struck”.

19 Like some blankets and burritos : WET

A wet burrito is one smothered in a red chili sauce, and with shredded cheese melted on top.

23 Awards won by George Strait in three separate decades, familiarly : CMAS

Country Music Association (CMA)

George Strait is a country music singer known as the “King of Country”. The moniker seems to be well deserved, as Strait has had more number-one hits on Billboard’s list of Hot Country Songs than any other artist.

25 Capital of Punjab province : LAHORE

Lahore is a large city in Pakistan that is second in size only to Karachi. It is known as the Garden of the Mughals (or in English, Moguls) because of its association with the Mughal Empire. The Mughals ruled much of India from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.

Punjab is the most populous province in Pakistan and is home to over half of the country’s citizens. “Punjab” (also “Panjab”) translates as “Five Waters”, a reference to five rivers that form tributaries to the Indus River: Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej.

28 1873 invention first used in San Francisco : CABLE CAR

The Cable Car Museum in San Francisco is a little special in that it is housed in the same complex as the city’s cable car power house. While touring the museum, visitors can look out over the power house and see the huge haulage cables heading out to the streets to pull the cars up all of those steep hills.

33 Massive onrush : TIDAL WAVE

Even though the terms “tidal wave” and “tsunami” are often used interchangeably by the lay person, scientists use the terms to describe two related but different phenomena. A tsunami is an ocean wave triggered by the large displacement of water caused by a large earthquake (usually). A tidal wave is a wave triggered by the displacement of water under the gravitational influence of the Sun, Moon and Earth.

36 Proctor’s directive : BEGIN

A proctor is a supervisor, and especially a person overseeing a school examination or a dormitory. The word “proctor” originated in the late 1500s, and is a contraction of the word “procurator”, the name given to an official agent of a church.

39 “Easy on Me” singer, 2021 : ADELE

“Easy on Me” is a 2021 song co-written and recorded by Adele. In the song, Adele is directly addressing her 9-year-old son, asking him to be “easy on” her following her divorce from his father.

40 Seven-piece puzzles : TANGRAMS

A tangram is a flat puzzle consisting of seven different shapes that must be arranged to form specific shapes. The game was invented in China, and the name for the puzzle in Chinese translates as “seven boards of skill”. The seven shapes are called “tans” hence the “tangram” name used in English.

42 Northernmost point in the Inner Hebrides : SKYE

The Isle of Skye is off the northwest coast of Scotland in the Inner Hebrides. It is the second largest island in the country, and has been linked to the mainland by a road bridge since 1995. I’ve never been there, but I hear the views are spectacular.

44 Hidden treasures on “Survivor” : IDOLS

The reality show “Survivor” is based on a Swedish television series created in 1997 called “Expedition Robinson”. The American “Survivor” is widely considered as the leading reality TV show. It was the first highly-rated reality TV offering to become very profitable.

53 “Three-finger salute” to help reboot : CTRL-ALT-DEL

Ctrl-Alt-Delete is a keyboard command on IBM PC compatible systems used for a soft reboot, or more recently to bring up the task manager in the Windows operating system. Bill Gates tells us that the command was originally just a device to be used during development and was never meant to “go live”. He once said that “Ctrl+Alt+Delete” was a mistake, and that he would have preferred a dedicated key on the keyboard that carried out the same function.

55 Skee-Ball target : HOLE

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.

56 Outpaces the syllabus, say : READS AHEAD

“Syllabus” (plural “syllabi”) is the Latin word for “list”.

57 Not keep harping on : DROP

To harp on something is to talk about it too much. The original expression with the same meaning was “to harp on the same string”, which is a reference to the musical instrument.

58 Java servers : URNS

Back in 1850, the name “java” was given to a type of coffee grown on the island of Java, and the more general usage of the term spread from then.

Down

1 Letters next to a blurred image, perhaps : NSFW

The abbreviation “NSFW” stands for “not safe/suitable for work”. It’s Internet slang used to describe online content that is best not viewed at work.

3 Pleated garment : KILT

The Scottish skirt called a “kilt” takes its name from the Middle English word “kilten” meaning “to tuck up”. The idea is that the kilt can be tucked up around the body to give freedom to the legs.

6 Arm raisers, informally : DELTS

The deltoid “muscle” is actually a group of “muscles”, the ones that cover the shoulder and create the roundness under the skin. The deltoids (delts) are triangular in shape resembling the Greek letter delta, hence the name.

9 Longest-serving prime minister of Japan : ABE

Shinzo Abe first became Prime Minister of Japan in 2006, at which time he was the youngest person to hold the post since WWII and was the first PM born after the war. Abe was in office for less than a year, but was voted in again in 2012. At the end of 2019, Abe became the longest-serving Prime Minister in the history of Japan. He resigned from office in 2020, citing medical issues. In 2022, Abe was assassinated by a killer using a homemade firearm.

11 Modern TV attachment : ROKU

Roku is a manufacturer of digital media players that allow access to audio and video programming over the Internet that is shown on television. The company was founded in Los Gatos, California in 2002 by Anthony Wood. Wood chose the name “Roku” as it is the Japanese word for “six”, and Roku is the sixth company that Wood founded.

15 Bill featuring Ben : C-NOTE

Benjamin Franklin’s portrait is featured on one side of the hundred-dollar bill (also called a “C-spot, C-note, benjamin”), and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on the other side. There is a famous error in the image of Independence Hall. If you look closely at the clock face at the top of the building you can see that the “four” is written in Roman numerals as “IV”. However, on the actual clock on Independence Hall, the “four” is denoted by “IIII”, which has been the convention for clock faces for centuries.

26 Bouquet feature : AROMA

“Bouquet” comes from the French word for “bunch” in the sense of “bunch of flowers”. In French, the term is derived from an older word describing a little wood or small grove of trees. We started using “bouquet” to mean “perfume from a wine” in the early 1800s.

29 Court figure, in old slang : CAGER

In the early days of basketball, when a ball went out of bounds possession was awarded to the player who first retrieved the ball. This led to mad scuffles off the court, often involving spectators. As the game became more organized, courts were routinely “caged”, largely because of this out of bounds rule, to limit interaction with the crowd. It’s because of these cages that basketball players are sometimes referred to today as “cagers”.

30 Spain’s so-called “City of Saints and Stones” : AVILA

The Spanish city of Ávila is famous for the walled defenses around the old city (“la muralla de Ávila”) that date back to 1090. They were constructed out of brown granite, and are still in excellent repair. There are nine gateways and eighty-towers in all. Even the cathedral built between the 12th and 14th centuries is part of the city’s defenses, so it looks like an imposing fortress.

33 Prenatal period : TRIMESTER

The normal gestation period for humans is 280 days, a little over 9 months. The gestation period can be a little shorter, or longer. Back in 1945, a pregnancy was confirmed at 375 days, which is just over 12 months.

41 Cass Elliot and Michelle Phillips, in a 1960s group : MAMAS

The folk group called the Magic Circle renamed itself to the Mamas and the Papas in the early sixties. Sadly, the Mamas and the Papas weren’t a happy bunch, always fighting over who was getting credit for songs and whose voice was getting mixed out of recordings, so they split up, twice. While they were together though, they wrote and recorded some great songs, songs which really do epitomize the sound of the sixties. “Monday, Monday” was written by John Phillips, one of “the Papas”, and it was to become the only number one hit for the group. Here’s a shocker … when it hit number one in 1966, it was the first time that a group made up of both sexes topped the American charts!

45 Option in the Monty Hall problem : DOOR

Here is the text of the puzzle known as the Monty Hall problem:

Suppose you’re on a game show, and you’re given the choice of three doors: Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say No. 1, and the host, who knows what’s behind the doors, opens another door, say No. 3, which has a goat. He then says to you, “Do you want to pick door No. 2?” Is it to your advantage to switch your choice?

The answer is: switch to door No. 2, always. In this situation, you started with a ⅓ chance of choosing the right door. By showing that a goat is behind door No. 3, the odds of the car being behind door No. 2 jump to ⅔.

46 Capital city that’s home to the Vigeland sculpture park : OSLO

The Vigeland Museum in Oslo is named for sculptor Gustav Vigeland, who donated his body of works to the city at the time of his death. The museum was built as a workshop for Vigeland during his lifetime, in return for the pledge to donate his works. Work on the atelier started in 1921, Vegeland died in 1943, and the museum opened in 1947.

48 Prefix in some juice names : CRAN-

When early European settlers came across red berries growing in the bogs of the northern part of America, they felt that the plant’s flower and stem resembled the head and bill of a crane. As such, they called the plant “craneberry”, which evolved into “cranberry”.

51 Onetime Ford rival : OLDS

Oldsmobile was an automobile brand founded by Ransom E. Olds (REO) in 1897. The brand was finally phased out by General Motors in 2004.

53 Fine wine word : CRU

“Cru” is a term used in the French wine industry that means “growth place”. So, “cru” is the name of the location where the grapes are grown, as opposed to the name of a specific vineyard. The terms “premier cru” and “grand cru” are also used, but the usage depends on the specific wine region. Generally it is a classification awarded to specific vineyards denoting their potential for producing great wines. “Grand cru” is reserved for the very best vineyards, with “premier cru” the level just below.

54 Helpful word in a cryptogram, often : THE

In the world of word puzzles, a cryptogram is a short piece of encrypted text that is solved by working out which letters have been substituted for which letters. I think cryptograms are my favorite type of word puzzle, after the crossword of course …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Jordans, e.g. : NIKES
6 CNN political correspondent Bash : DANA
10 Stuff : CRAM
14 Place for student mixers? : SCIENCE LAB
16 Last thing left in Pandora’s box : HOPE
17 Became smitten : FELL IN LOVE
18 Barely made, with “out” : EKED …
19 Like some blankets and burritos : WET
20 Eccentric : DOTTY
21 Long rows? : FEUDS
22 “Sounds fun!” : LET’S!
23 Awards won by George Strait in three separate decades, familiarly : CMAS
25 Capital of Punjab province : LAHORE
28 1873 invention first used in San Francisco : CABLE CAR
32 Empty the Trash? : ERASE
33 Massive onrush : TIDAL WAVE
34 Fade out : GO DIM
35 Option for a road trip: Abbr. : RTE
36 Proctor’s directive : BEGIN
37 Dessert skipper’s explanation : I’M ON A DIET
39 “Easy on Me” singer, 2021 : ADELE
40 Seven-piece puzzles : TANGRAMS
41 Hill’s partner in publishing : MCGRAW
42 Northernmost point in the Inner Hebrides : SKYE
43 Get a rise out of? : BAKE
44 Hidden treasures on “Survivor” : IDOLS
47 Lovable rascal : SCAMP
49 Merger agreement? : I DO
52 It might run in the cold : NOSE
53 “Three-finger salute” to help reboot : CTRL-ALT-DEL
55 Skee-Ball target : HOLE
56 Outpaces the syllabus, say : READS AHEAD
57 Not keep harping on : DROP
58 Java servers : URNS
59 Gets larger, visually : NEARS

Down

1 Letters next to a blurred image, perhaps : NSFW
2 Domed drink : ICEE
3 Pleated garment : KILT
4 Animal that’s catadromous, meaning it lives in fresh water but goes to sea to breed : EEL
5 Cutting lines : SNIDE REMARKS
6 Arm raisers, informally : DELTS
7 “Thanks” follower : A LOT
8 Aspiring mariner : NAVY CADET
9 Longest-serving prime minister of Japan : ABE
10 Food item that’s fittingly shaped like a mouse cursor : CHEESE WEDGE
11 Modern TV attachment : ROKU
12 Did an impression of : APED
13 Doc’s orders : MEDS
15 Bill featuring Ben : C-NOTE
21 Contingency : FALLBACK PLAN
22 Tossing and turning, say : LOSING SLEEP
24 Credential to climb the corp. ladder : MBA
25 Not sketchy : LEGIT
26 Bouquet feature : AROMA
27 Sported : HAD ON
28 Credits : CITES
29 Court figure, in old slang : CAGER
30 Spain’s so-called “City of Saints and Stones” : AVILA
31 Keep up to date on the issues? : RENEW
33 Prenatal period : TRIMESTER
38 Word on either side of “after” : DAY
41 Cass Elliot and Michelle Phillips, in a 1960s group : MAMAS
43 Comes out on top? : BALDS
44 Very clear, as a stream : IN HD
45 Option in the Monty Hall problem : DOOR
46 Capital city that’s home to the Vigeland sculpture park : OSLO
48 Prefix in some juice names : CRAN-
49 Sneaking suspicion : IDEA
50 Treasured : DEAR
51 Onetime Ford rival : OLDS
53 Fine wine word : CRU
54 Helpful word in a cryptogram, often : THE

5 thoughts on “0517-24 NY Times Crossword 17 May 24, Friday”

  1. 22:23 and glad to just finish. I had two grandkids hanging on me the whole time. My fave: 3 finger salute=CTRLALTDEL.

  2. 14:22, no errors. Had a difficult time seeing the “Coming out on top” = BALDS connection. “Getting a rise out of” = WAKES made too much sense. The rest of the puzzle just seemed to flow.

  3. 38:55, didn’t want to believe CTRLALTDEL, but went with it and lo and behold, I guessed correctly👍 And finished a Friday on a Friday, go me!

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