0804-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Aug 17, Friday

Constructed by: Damon J. Gulczynski

Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Syndicated Crossword

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Read Comments/Leave a Comment

Theme: None

Bill’s time:25m 37s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • GIG ECONOMY (big economy)
  • BIG A (Biba!!!)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Some undergrad degs. : BSS

Bachelor of Science (BS)

17. Labor market short on long-term work : GIG ECONOMY

Musicians use “gig” to describe a job, a performance. The term originated in the early 1900s in the world of jazz. The term “gig economy” applies to a relatively recent phenomenon where workers find themselves jumping from temporary job to temporary job, from gig to gig.

18. Gunn of “Breaking Bad” : ANNA

Anna Gunn is an actress from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is best known for playing Skyler White on the TV show “Breaking Bad”.

19. 3-year-old in 2015 sports news : AMERICAN PHAROAH

American Pharoah was the twelfth winner of the Triple Crown, achieving the feat in 2015. The horse’s name was inspired by that of his parents: Pioneerof the Nile (dam) and Yankee Gentleman (sire). And, as some kind blog readers have pointed out, there are a some unexpected spellings in the names of horses. One might expect “American Pharoah” to be spelled “American Pharaoh”, and indeed “Pioneerof the Nile” to be written as “Pioneer of the Nile”. More challenges for us crossworders …

26. Point guard, e.g. : PLAYMAKER

That would be basketball.

32. Historic “restructuring” : PERESTROIKA

Mikhail Gorbachev was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until the USSR dissolved in 1991. As well being associated with the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev’s name is linked with the policies of “Perestroika” and “Glasnost”. “Perestroika” (meaning “restructuring”) was his political and economic initiative to make socialism work more efficiently to better meet the needs of consumers. “Glasnost” (meaning “publicity, openness”) was Gorbachev’s policy of increased transparency of government in order to reduce levels of corruption in the Communist Party and government.

35. Grp. with the 1976 platinum album “A New World Record” : ELO

The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) is a symphonic rock group from the north of England.

37. Who said “All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl” : CHAPLIN

Charlie Chaplin earned the nickname “The Tramp” (also “Little Tramp”) from the much-loved character that he frequently played on the screen. Chaplin was much-respected as a performer. The great George Bernard Shaw referred to him as “the only genius to come out of the movie industry”.

39. Ellipsis alternative, maybe : ETC

The Latin phrase “et cetera” translates as “and other things”. The term is usually abbreviated to “etc.”

An ellipsis is a series of dots (usually three) used to indicate an omission in some text. The term comes from the Greek word “élleipsis”, which means “omission”.

46. It appears at the top of a page : URL

Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

48. Autocrat known as “the Liberator” : TSAR ALEXANDER II

Tsar Alexander II ruled the Russian Empire from 1855, but he lived in dangerous times. There was an attempt on his life in St. Petersburg in 1866, and then another in 1879. Later in 1879 someone exploded a bomb intended for the tsar’s train, but missed. In 1880 another explosion, this time in a Winter Palace dining room, killed eleven people but missed Alexander. Finally, in 1881 after a bomb exploded under the tsar’s bulletproof carriage, he emerged unharmed but then a second bomb was thrown and exploded at Alexander’s feet, killing him instantly.

58. They’re light-years away : EXOPLANETS

An exoplanet is simply a planet that exists outside of our own solar system. Astronomers have detected thousands of exoplanets, most of which are quite large (the size of Jupiter), no doubt because bigger planets are easier to find.

60. Band featured in the mockumentary “The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle” : SEX PISTOLS

The Sex Pistols were the group that introduced the punk movement to the UK, back in 1975. The Sex Pistols were very vocal in their opposition to the social norms of the time. One of their most famous singles is “God Save the Queen”, from 1977. The lyrics were considered so offensive that workers at the plant where the record was being pressed came out on strike rather than be associated with the song. When it was eventually released, the BBC went as far as banning the record, not something that happens very often.

62. White Cloud competitor : SCOTT

One of the claims to fame of the Scott Paper Company is that it was the first to sell toilet paper on a roll.

Down

1. N.Y.C. racetrack, informally : BIG A

The Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York is known by many as the Big A. The track opened in 1894 and was located near an aqueduct belonging to the Brooklyn Water Works, which gave the name.

5. Chinese tennis star who has won both the French and Australian Opens : LI NA

Li Na is a retired tennis professional from China who was ranked world no. 2 on the circuit in 2014.

6. Go crazy with, in a way : OD ON

Overdose (OD)

8. Teammate of Hammerin’ Hank in 22 All-Star Games, with “the” : SAY HEY KID

Willie Mays’ nickname was the “Say Hey Kid”, although his friends and teammates were more likely to refer to him as “Buck”. When Mays was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he was asked who was the best player he’d ever seen in the game. He replied, “I don’t mean to be bashful, but I was.”

The great Hank Aaron (“Hammerin’ Hank” or “the Hammer”) has many claims to fame. One notable fact is that he is the last major league baseball player to have also played in the Negro League.

9. The N.I.H. is based in it : DC AREA

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) organization is made up of 27 different institutes that coordinate their research and services. Examples of member institutes are the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging.

10. City near Pyramid Lake : RENO

Pyramid Lake is a relatively salty body of water situated 40 miles northeast of Reno, Nevada. The lake is fed by the Truckee River, but does not have an outlet. Instead, water seeps out through the lake bottom and is also lost via evaporation. It is this evaporation that has led to concentration of dissolved salts over time.

11. Bone involved in pronation : ULNA

“Pronation” is the medical term for rotation of the forearm.

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

15. Longtime TV procedural : NCIS

NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show “NCIS”, a spin-off drama from “JAG” in which the main “NCIS” characters were first introduced. The big star in “NCIS” is the actor Mark Harmon. “NCIS” is now a franchise, with spinoff shows “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans”.

20. Fendi rival : ARMANI

Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer and founder of the company that has borne his name since 1975. Although Armani is famous for his menswear, the company makes everything from jewelry to perfume.

Fendi is an Italian fashion house that was founded in 1925 by Adele Casagrande. Fendi started out as a fur and leather shop in Rome, and these days is famous for its line of handbags.

24. Maker of the iComfort line : SERTA

Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:

  • #1 The Leader of the Flock
  • #½ The Tweener
  • #13 Mr. Bad Luck
  • #53 The Pessimist
  • #86 Benedict Arnold

26. Brooklyn art institute : PRATT

The Pratt Institute is an art college in Brooklyn, New York. The school started out as an engineering college in 1887, founded by oil industry pioneer Charles Pratt. However, the engineering program was dropped in 1993 due to small enrollment numbers.

28. The ___ School (Manhattan dance institution) : AILEY

Alvin Ailey was a dancer who formed his own group in New York in 1958, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The most famous work that Ailey choreographed was called “Revelations”. President Barack Obama awarded Ailey the Presidential Medal of Freedom, posthumously in 2014.

29. Sour, fermented milk drink : KEFIR

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that originated in the Caucasus region of Eurasia.

30. “Burnt Norton” poet : ELIOT

“Burnt Norton” is the first of the series of poem that T. S. Eliot dubbed “Four Quartets”.

T. S. Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, largely due to his “Four Quartets”, a set of four poems that Eliot himself considered to be his life’s masterpiece. He also won a Tony Award in 1950 for Best Play, for “The Cocktail Party”, as well as two posthumous Tony Awards in 1983 for his poems that are used in the musical “Cats”.

31. “The Daily Show” correspondent Chieng : RONNY

Ronny Chieng a comedian and actor from Malaysia who is perhaps best known in the US for his appearances on “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central.

33. White of the eye : SCLERA

The sclera is the white part of the eye. Usually the sclera is white, but in horses for example, it is black. Really, go check!

43. Modern travelers’ marketplace : AIRBNB

Airbnb is a website-based service that matches people wanting to rent out short-term living quarters to people seeking accommodation.

47. Food figs. : RDAS

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

48. “Modern Family” rating : TV-PG

“Modern Family” is a marvelous television show shown on ABC since 2009. The show’s format is that of a “mockumentary”, with the cast often addressing the camera directly. In that respect “Modern Family” resembles two other excellent shows: “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation”, both of which might also be described a “mockumentaries”.

50. Cantatrice’s delivery : ARIA

A cantatrice is a female professional singer, especially one who sings opera.

51. C.F.O., e.g. : EXEC

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

52. Love letters : XOXO

In the sequence XOX, the X represents a kiss, and the O a hug. OOO is a string of hugs, and XXX a string of kisses. Hugs and kisses …

53. Datum for a secy. : APPT

Appointment (appt.)

54. Some old fire trucks : REOS

The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom Eli Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Some undergrad degs. : BSS

4. Plans nefariously : PLOTS

9. Rout : DRUB

13. “That’s a shocker” : I HAD NO IDEA

16. ___ number : CELL

17. Labor market short on long-term work : GIG ECONOMY

18. Gunn of “Breaking Bad” : ANNA

19. 3-year-old in 2015 sports news : AMERICAN PHAROAH

21. “Sorta” : ISH

22. Ahead of, old-style : ERE

23. Like pawns and puppets : USED

26. Point guard, e.g. : PLAYMAKER

32. Historic “restructuring” : PERESTROIKA

35. Grp. with the 1976 platinum album “A New World Record” : ELO

36. Nova Scotia’s Grand ___ National Historic Site : PRE

37. Who said “All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl” : CHAPLIN

38. Bass part : FIN

39. Ellipsis alternative, maybe : ETC

40. Quaint evening reading material : LATE EDITION

42. Low-level computer work : DATA ENTRY

44. Like many indie films : ARTY

45. Chafe : IRK

46. It appears at the top of a page : URL

48. Autocrat known as “the Liberator” : TSAR ALEXANDER II

57. What fish or chicken can be, but not turkey : VERB

58. They’re light-years away : EXOPLANETS

59. Nuisance : PAIN

60. Band featured in the mockumentary “The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle” : SEX PISTOLS

61. Seizure : GRAB

62. White Cloud competitor : SCOTT

63. ___-mo : SLO

Down

1. N.Y.C. racetrack, informally : BIG A

2. Level : SHIM

3. Learned : SAGE

4. Doggy : POOCH

5. Chinese tennis star who has won both the French and Australian Opens : LI NA

6. Go crazy with, in a way : OD ON

7. Many a sub : TEMP

8. Teammate of Hammerin’ Hank in 22 All-Star Games, with “the” : SAY HEY KID

9. The N.I.H. is based in it : DC AREA

10. City near Pyramid Lake : RENO

11. Bone involved in pronation : ULNA

12. Eliciting a “meh” : BLAH

14. Pooh-pooh : DERIDE

15. Longtime TV procedural : NCIS

20. Fendi rival : ARMANI

23. Hiked : UPPED

24. Maker of the iComfort line : SERTA

25. At attention : ERECT

26. Brooklyn art institute : PRATT

27. Horse or gazelle, at times : LOPER

28. The ___ School (Manhattan dance institution) : AILEY

29. Sour, fermented milk drink : KEFIR

30. “Burnt Norton” poet : ELIOT

31. “The Daily Show” correspondent Chieng : RONNY

33. White of the eye : SCLERA

34. Like ingrates : THANKLESS

41. Object of a scout’s search : TALENT

43. Modern travelers’ marketplace : AIRBNB

46. Black : UNLIT

47. Food figs. : RDAS

48. “Modern Family” rating : TV-PG

49. Brand : SEAR

50. Cantatrice’s delivery : ARIA

51. C.F.O., e.g. : EXEC

52. Love letters : XOXO

53. Datum for a secy. : APPT

54. Some old fire trucks : REOS

55. “___ do” : IT’LL

56. Playground rejoinder : IS SO!

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9 thoughts on “0804-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Aug 17, Friday”

  1. 34:32, no errors. GIGECONOMY was the last to fall for me as well. I just had an inspirational moment when I really noticed the wording of the clue and the word GIG came to mind. Doesn't happen often. It helped immensely that I was able to get AMERICAN PHARAOH, SAY HEY KID, PERESTROIKA, and LATE EDITION almost immediately.

    Amazing the constructor got all those plus TSAR ALEXANDER II and some others in one puzzle. Getting the XOXO was the only reason I was able to get TSAR ALEXANDER.

    Excellent Friday puzzle IMO –

    @Dave –
    The other day as Carrie states – yes I was using "bad" as a contronym meaning "good". Sometimes I get too clever by half with these comments.

    Best

  2. 25:52, no errors. Had trouble in both upper corners – on the left because I had to guess at the "G" of BIG A and GIG ECONOMY and on the right because I was reluctant to use the "misspelling" PHAROAH (which I finally went with because it gave me RENO and ULNA, even though "pronation" to me is something my feet do, not my hands). Good puzzle, but with more than its share of head-scratchers …

  3. @Jeff … (Your post above sneaked in ahead of mine.) Reading Carrie's clarification was definitely a head-slapping moment for me. Your comment was indeed appropriately clever … me, not so much … 🙂

    I think my recent flying trip to the land of my birth killed a few more brain cells: I've been seriously out of it since I got back … 🙂

  4. @Bill … Apparently I'm not the only one who knows the "proper" spelling of "pharaoh". I just looked again at your entry for 19A: in the entry heading, it is spelled one way (as it occurs in the puzzle, using the same misspelling that the horse's owners used), but the other way is used in the following text.

  5. @Dave Kennison
    I must admit, that when I was doing the puzzle at 1 a.m. (with a beverage at my side, I must admit), the pharoah/pharaoh spelling issues went right over my head. Thanks for pointing them out, and giving me the chance to make a correction, and indeed add a little amendment to my blurb. Much appreciated.

  6. 53:08, no errors. Very challenging puzzle, with a lot of nasty clues. Frustrating to me, was that I had the lower 2/3's of the puzzle finished in about 30 minutes and only SAGE and ULNA filled in the upper third. And I didn't like ULNA for the same reason as @Dave. Also tried to fit SOSO in 12D and WELL I'LL BE A … in 13A.

    I grew up in Queens in the 50's and 60's, and knew of Aqueduct Race Track; but we just called it 'Aqueduct Race Track'.

  7. I had next to nothing on this impossible puzzle. My only decent fill was knowing SEX PISTOLS.
    Which, of course, with this puzzle, brings to mind Johnny Rotten's classic sneer, "Y'ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" How are we supposed to remember the name of a horse who ran in a non-Triple Crown winning year? Gigeconomy? Give me a break.

  8. @Anonymous … All this has been said before, but … The great thing about crossword puzzles is that they're not just trivia quizzes. All of the entries have to fit together in a rectangular grid. This often makes it possible to solve a puzzle correctly, even when some of its entries are totally unfamiliar and some of them are only half-remembered. If the puzzles were dumbed down to the point of making every entry crystal clear to every possible solver after he or she read just its particular clue, most would find them extremely boring. Each of us brings a unique knowledge base and skill set to each puzzle we do; over time, with luck and a bit of patience, both expand, and, by degrees, we get better at doing them. IMHO, it takes a unique sort of genius on the part of the puzzle setters and editors to create puzzles that are suitable for a wide variety of solvers and that, moreover, vary in difficulty relatively smoothly during the week, each day striking a balance between easy and hard appropriate to that day.

    Okay, I know I'm sounding preachy, so I'll stop … 🙂

  9. 'bass part' was the big groaner for me. I went with 'roony' for 31 down and 'fio' for 38 across, figuring it was some music terminology that I wasn't familiar with. I didn't know 'shim' either, though now I do.

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