0728-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Jul 17, Friday

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CROSSWORD CONSTRUCTOR: Robyn Weintraub
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 15m 27s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Award for “Hairspray” but not “Hair” : BEST MUSICAL
“Hairspray” is a 1988 musical comedy movie written and directed by the zany John Waters. The film had a lukewarm reception when it opened, but it spawned an extremely successful franchise. A Broadway musical of the same name opened in 2002, which won the Best Musical Tony Award in 2003. The film was remade in 2007.

The full name of the famed show from the sixties is “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical”. This controversial work outraged many when it was first performed in the sixties, as it attacked many aspects of life at the time. For example, the song “Air” is a satirical look at pollution, sung by a character who comes onto the stage wearing a gas mask. The opening lines are “Welcome, sulfur dioxide. Hello carbon monoxide. The air … is everywhere”. How things have changed in fifty years said he … satirically …

15. Famous 1980s movie quote : ET, PHONE HOME
1982’s classic science fiction movie “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” was directed by Steven Spielberg. The idea behind the film came from Spielberg himself, and the character E.T. was based on an imaginary friend that he conjured up as a child after his parents divorced in 1960.

18. Land in la mer : ILE
In French, one might go to an “île” (island) in the middle of “la mer” (the sea).

21. Texting app that was so 2012 : ICHAT
iChat was introduced in 2002, and was Apple’s “instant messaging” application that integrated with the Mac Operating System. iChat was replaced by Messages.

23. Tequila sunrise direction : ESTE
In Spanish, “el sol” (the sun) rises in the “este” (east).

Tequila is a city in Mexico that is located about 40 miles northwest of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco. The city is the birthplace of the drink called “tequila”. Local people made a variety of a drink called mezcal by fermenting the heart of the blue agave plant that is native to the area surrounding Tequila. It was the Spanish who introduced the distillation process to the mescal, giving us what we now know as “tequila”.

24. “Ten ___ Commandments” (song from “Hamilton”) : DUEL
“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life or US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The show opened off-Broadway in February 2015, and transferred to Broadway in August of the same year. Advance ticket sales for the Broadway production were unprecedented, and reportedly amounted to $30 million. The representations of the main characters is decidedly ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.

26. Parisian crowd? : TROIS
In France, “trois” (three) is a crowd, whereas “deux” (two) is company.

27. Burl who sang about Rudolph : IVES
As well as being an actor, Burl Ives was a folk singer, which was his original calling. In Hollywood he had a distressing experience with the House Unamerican Activities Committee and avoided being blacklisted by cooperating to some level with McCarthy and his team. This cooperation created a rift between him and Pete Seeger in particular, a fellow singer whom he “discussed” with the committee.

The song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was written by Johnny Marks, and was based on the story created by Marks’ brother-in-law Robert L. May.

35. Lug nut hiders : HUBCAPS
A lug nut is a nut on which one side is tapered. Lug nuts are used to secure wheels to a vehicle.

37. Crosses the threshold : ENTERS
Years ago I was taking a tour of a beautiful Elizabethan manor house in England, and was told a little “threshing” story by the guide as we stood in one of the rooms. She reminded us that threshing was the removal of seeds from chaff, and told us that back in the day the “chaff” was sometimes called the “thresh”. Thresh would be used on the floors, particularly in the kitchen areas where it would soak up spills and provide some thermal insulation, much as sawdust was used in my favorite pubs many moons ago. She pointed to two slots at the bottom of the door jambs where she said a low board was placed upright on the floor, to hold the thresh in the room. The board was called a “thresh-hold”, giving us our contemporary word “threshold”. I am not sure if all of that is really true, but it makes a nice story.

44. Alternatives to lumps: Abbr. : TSPS
Teaspoon (tsp.)

49. “O, ___ the day!” (exclamation from Miranda in “The Tempest”) : WOE
William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” tells the story of Prospero, who was removed from the throne of Milan and banished to a deserted island along with his daughter Miranda. The island is home to a devilish character called Caliban, who is forced into slavery on the arrival of the exiles. Prospero learns sorcery while cast away, and eventually conjures up a tempest that drives those who usurped his throne onto the island’s shores (in particular his own brother, Antonio). On the island, Prospero is eventually successful in revealing Antonio’s lowly nature.

51. Lead-in to duct : OVI-
Oviducts are the non-mammalian equivalents of the Fallopian tubes. Eggs travel from the ovaries, along the oviduct (there are usually two oviducts, but sometimes only one) and are released into some other organ or anatomical structure depending on species.

55. Home of Paradise: Abbr. : NEV
The town of Paradise, Nevada lies adjacent to the city of Las Vegas. Paradise is home to McCarran Airport, the University of Nevada, and even most of the Las Vegas Strip. Who knew?!

Down
1. The Divine Miss M : BETTE
One of my favorite singers, and indeed all-round entertainers, is Bette Midler. If you’ve ever seen her live show you’ll know that “camp” is a good word to describe it, as her humor is definitely “out there” and quite bawdy. Early in her career, Midler spent years singing in the Continental Baths, a gay bathhouse in New York City. There she became very close friends with her piano accompanist, Barry Manilow. While singing in the bathhouse, Bette only wore a white towel, just like the members of her audience. It was in those days that she created her famous character “the Divine Miss M” and also earned herself the nickname “Bathhouse Betty”.

3. Jack ___ : SPRAT
Jack Sprat was a nickname given in the 16th century to people of small stature. Jack featured in a proverb of the day:

Jack will eat not fat, and Jull doth love no leane. Yet betwixt them both they lick the dishes cleane.

Over time, this mutated into a nursery rhyme that is still recited in England:

Jack Sprat could eat no fat. His wife could eat no lean. And so between them both, you see, they licked the platter clean.

5. Big name in Champagne : MOET
Moët & Chandon is a French winery, one of the world’s largest producers of champagne. The company was founded by wine trader Claude Moët in 1743. The name was changed to Moët & Chandon in the 1830s when Pierre-Gabriel Chandon, an in-law to the Moët family, was given co-ownership. Moët & Chandon owns the famous Dom Pérignon brand name, honoring the Benedictine monk who did so much to improve the quality of champagne.

10. Word from a Latin lover : AMO
Amo, amas, amat … I love, you love, he/she/it loves, in Latin.

11. Lamb Chop puppeteer : LEWIS
Shari Lewis was the original puppeteer behind the PBS children’s show “Lamb Chop”. After Shari Lewis died in 1998, her daughter Mallory took over the role of puppeteer on the show.

13. Sriracha ingredients : JALAPENOS
The jalapeño is a chili pepper, and a favorite of mine. The pepper’s name translates from Spanish as “from Xalapa”. Xalapa (also “Jalapa”) is the capital of the Mexican state of Veracruz, and the traditional origin of the jalapeño pepper.

Sriracha hot chile sauce is named for the coastal city of Si Racha in eastern Thailand, where the recipe likely originated. Here in North America, we are most familiar with the Sriracha sold in a red bottle with a green that is made by Huy Fong Foods in the city of Irwindale, California. The manufacturer was founded by Vietnamese refugee David Tran, who escaped from Vietnam in 1978 on a Taiwanese freighter called the Huey Fong, after which he named his new company.

14. Reversal of a 29-Across : STET
(29A. Evidence of a change of mind : CROSS-OUT)
“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

26. Bolshevik’s target : TSAR
At the second party congress of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1903, a split developed. The faction with the most support was led by Vladimir Lenin, and as they were in the majority, they became known as the Bolsheviks, derived from the Russian word for “more” or “majority”. Lenin and the Bolsheviks led the October Revolution of 1917, as a result of which Lenin came to power. He headed the new Soviet State during it’s formative years.

28. Figs. in a 3-2-4 format : SSNS
A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot, as since 2011 SSN’s are assigned randomly. However, some random numbers have been excluded from use, i.e. Area Numbers 000, 666 (!) and 900-999.

33. Aplomb : POISE
“Aplomb” is such a lovely word, one meaning “confidence, assurance”. It is a French word that literally means “perpendicularity”, or “on the plumb line”. The idea is that someone with aplomb is poised, upright, balanced.

34. It may be carved in stone : RUNE
A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

36. Coppola film family name : CORLEONE
Mario Puzo created the Corleone Mafia family in his 1969 novel “The Godfather”. The head of the family is Vito Corleone (whose birth name was Vito Andolini), a native of Corleone in Sicily. He was given the name Corleone by immigration officers at Ellis Island. Don Corleone was played so very memorably, with a distinctive rasping voice, by Marlon Brando in the 1972 movie adaptation directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

“The Godfather” series of films is based on “The Godfather” novel by Mario Puzo, first published in 1969. Francis Ford Coppola worked with Puzo in partnership to adapt his novel into the screenplay for the first film, and to write the screenplays for the two sequels. Coppola holds that there are really only two films in “The Godfather” series, with “The Godfather Part III” actually being the epilogue.

40. Big showcase prize on “The Price Is Right” : NEW CAR
“The Price is Right” is a television game show that first aired way back in 1956.

42. Body fluid : LYMPH
Lymph is a fluid that exists alongside blood in the body that is transported through lymph vessels. One of the functions of the system is to pick up bacteria in the body, transporting them to lymph nodes where they are destroyed by lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). Lymph can also carry metastatic cancer cells, which can lodge in lymph nodes making lymph nodes a common site where tumors may be found growing.

44. Dovetail component : TENON
One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon. It is basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. In the related dovetail joint, the projecting tenon is not rectangular but is cut at a bias, so that when the dovetails are joined they resist being pulled apart. You’ll see dovetail joints in drawers around the house.

47. Vessel opener : STENT
In the world of medicine and surgery, a stent is an artificial tube inserted inside a vessel in the body, say an artery, so that it reduces the effects of a local restriction in the body’s conduit.

48. Little bit of MSG? : MONO-
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

53. U.N. worker protection grp. : ILO
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is an agency now administered by the UN which was established by the League of Nations after WWI. The ILO deals with important issues such as health and safety, discrimination, child labor and forced labor. The organization was recognized for its work in 1969 when it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

54. Tucson hrs. : MST
Mountain Standard Time (MST)

Tucson is the second largest city in Arizona (after Phoenix). The founding father of the city was Hugh O’Conor, yet another Irishman, but one who was raised in Spain. O’Conor was a mercenary working for Spain when he authorized the construction of a military fort called Presidio San Augustín del Tucsón in 1775, which eventually grew into the city that we know today. The Spanish name “Tucsón” comes from the local name “Cuk Ṣon”, which translates as “(at the) base of the black (hill)”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Award for “Hairspray” but not “Hair” : BEST MUSICAL
12. Some party hirees : DJS
15. Famous 1980s movie quote : ET, PHONE HOME
16. Breakfast morsel : OAT
17. XXX, for example : THREE IN A ROW
18. Land in la mer : ILE
19. A goner : TOAST
20. Platform locale: Abbr. : STA
21. Texting app that was so 2012 : ICHAT
23. Tequila sunrise direction : ESTE
24. “Ten ___ Commandments” (song from “Hamilton”) : DUEL
25. Response to an affront : SLAP
26. Parisian crowd? : TROIS
27. Burl who sang about Rudolph : IVES
29. Evidence of a change of mind : CROSS-OUT
33. Grooms : PREENS
35. Lug nut hiders : HUBCAPS
36. Have as emergency backup, say : COUNT ON
37. Crosses the threshold : ENTERS
38. Dispute settler, maybe : COIN-TOSS
39. Caution : WARN
40. Like some myths : NORSE
41. Fire’s need : FUEL
43. ___ Decor (Hearst magazine) : ELLE
44. Alternatives to lumps: Abbr. : TSPS
48. Like some divorces : MESSY
49. “O, ___ the day!” (exclamation from Miranda in “The Tempest”) : WOE
50. Intimate : GET AT
51. Lead-in to duct : OVI-
52. Oversee to a fault : MICROMANAGE
55. Home of Paradise: Abbr. : NEV
56. Bluntly honest : PLAIN-SPOKEN
57. Rock band? : ORE
58. Dangerous situation : HORNETS’ NEST

Down
1. The Divine Miss M : BETTE
2. Guiding beliefs of a people : ETHOS
3. Jack ___ : SPRAT
4. “___ Colors Don’t Run” (flag maxim) : THESE
5. Big name in Champagne : MOET
6. College, in British lingo : UNI
7. Aesthetically pleasing : SENSUOUS
8. “Big thumbs-down!” : I HATE IT!
9. Some lipstick shades : CORALS
10. Word from a Latin lover : AMO
11. Lamb Chop puppeteer : LEWIS
12. Question from the unwilling : DO I HAVE TO?
13. Sriracha ingredients : JALAPENOS
14. Reversal of a 29-Across : STET
22. Lawyer’s need : CLIENT
24. Roller coaster features : DROPS
26. Bolshevik’s target : TSAR
28. Figs. in a 3-2-4 format : SSNS
29. Muse (on) : CHEW
30. Have a hot body : RUN A FEVER
31. Meddling : OBTRUSIVE
32. Dramatic parts : SCENES
33. Aplomb : POISE
34. It may be carved in stone : RUNE
36. Coppola film family name : CORLEONE
38. Fill with crayons : COLOR IN
40. Big showcase prize on “The Price Is Right” : NEW CAR
42. Body fluid : LYMPH
44. Dovetail component : TENON
45. Support for a garden plant : STAKE
46. House aides : PAGES
47. Vessel opener : STENT
48. Little bit of MSG? : MONO-
50. Breaches : GAPS
53. U.N. worker protection grp. : ILO
54. Tucson hrs. : MST

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7 thoughts on “0728-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Jul 17, Friday”

  1. Very enjoyable Friday puzzle…again that's code for "I finished it". 26 minutes with a strangely long time for me to recognize PLAIN SPOKEN even with PLAINS—-N filled in. Sheesh. I like the idea for STIR for "Tequila Sunrise" direction, but I understand ESTE.

    With the huge Vietnamese population in Houston (largest outside of Vietnam so I'm told)and the large number of Vietnamese restaurants in the area that come with that, I've been a fan of Sriracha for a long time. I think it's actually Thai in origin, and they use red jalapenos rather than the more familiar green ones. Red jalapenos are just ripened longer and are both sweeter and hotter. I'm getting hungry. Hmmmm..

    Best –

  2. 12:37, no errors. Surprisingly fast time for a Friday. I remember when cast alloy wheels were a rarity, and hub caps were common. Now it seems to be the other way around.

  3. The easiest Friday test I can ever recall. 9:56, and no errors. Wow!!! Sort of makes up for yesterday's debacle… but only just! 🙂

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