0220-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 20 Feb 2018, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Joel Fagliano
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Lexicographers

Themed answers are common phrases, but are clued as if they are dictionary entries written by LEXICOGRAPHERS:

  • 51A. Ones who produced the clues for 20-, 25- and 45-Across : LEXICOGRAPHERS
  • 20A. adj. under the influence of a drug : “HIGH” DEFINITION
  • 25A. adv. across a barrier or intervening space : “OVER” EXPLAINED
  • 45A. n. spirit, animation : MEANING OF “LIFE

Bill’s time: 7m 54s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Something sticking out of Frankenstein’s neck : BOLT

Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel has the full title of “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus”. The subtitle underscores one of the themes of the book, i.e. a warning about the expansion into the Industrial Revolution.

14. Classic Langston Hughes poem : I, TOO

Langston Hughes was a poet active in the Harlem Renaissance, and someone who helped develop the literary form known as “jazz poetry”. His poem “I, Too, Sing America” was published in 1925.

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.

15. “___ Land” (2016 Best Picture nominee) : LA LA

“La La Land” is a 2016 romantic musical film starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as a musician and actress who fall in love in “La La Land” (Los Angeles, i.e. “LA”). The film was written and directed by Damien Chazelle, who had found success two years earlier with the musical drama “Whiplash”. “La La Land” won a record-breaking seven Golden Globes and tied the record number of Oscar nominations at fourteen, winning six.

16. French author who said “An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself” : CAMUS

Albert Camus was a French author, and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. Sadly, Camus died in a car accident just two years after he received the prize, at only 46 years of age.

18. Home to Zion National Park : UTAH

To me, the most spectacular feature of Zion National Park, in southwestern Utah, is the magnificent Zion Canyon. The canyon cuts through red Navajo sandstone and is a truly beautiful sight.

30. Singer DiFranco : ANI

Ani DiFranco is a folk-rock singer and songwriter. DiFranco has also been labeled a “feminist icon”, and in 2006 won the “Woman of Courage Award” from National Organization for Women.

31. Smoked salmon : NOVA

Nova lox is salmon that has been cured with a mild brine and then cold-smoked. The term originally applied to salmon from Nova Scotia.

36. Like William Henry Harrison, among U.S. presidents : NINTH

William Henry Harrison died in 1841, after only one month in office, simply from complications arising from a cold. Harrison was the oldest person to assume the office of US president, until President Reagan in 1981. He was the first president to die in office, and served the shortest tenure.

40. Cough drop brand : HALLS

Halls brand of cough drops were first made by Halls Brothers in England in the 1930s.

50. Main part of a selfie : FACE

A selfie is a self-portrait, usually one taken with a digital camera or cell phone. A “group selfie” is sometimes referred to as a “groufie” or “wefie”. A “couple selfie” is known as an “usie” or “ussie”, although those terms are sometimes also used for a group picture.

51. Ones who produced the clues for 20-, 25- and 45-Across : LEXICOGRAPHERS

A lexicographer is someone who compiles a dictionary. The term comes into English via French from the Greek “lexikon” meaning “wordbook”, and “graphos” meaning “writer”.

59. “About ___” (2002 movie) : A BOY

“About a Boy” is a 2002 film adaptation of a 1988 novel of the same name by Nick Hornby (who also wrote “High Fidelity” and “Fever Pitch”, which were also turned into successful movies). “About a Boy” stars Hugh Grant and Toni Collette, with Nicholas Hoult playing the title character. Hornby’s novel has now been adapted for the small screen, and a TV series of the same name premiered on NBC in 2014.

61. Enliven : GIN UP

“To gin up” is slang, meaning “to enliven, excite”. The term probably derives from the older “to ginger up”. Gingering up was the rather nasty practice of putting ginger up inside a horse to make it lively and move with a high tail.

62. Midmonth date : IDES

There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Well, actually the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …

63. Target of splicing : GENE

Recombinant DNA is DNA made under laboratory conditions. The recombination technique (sometimes referred to as “gene splicing”) brings together genetic material from multiple sources. The sources of that genetic material might be from a different part of the same gene, or even from the gene of a different organism. The end result is a new, man-made, genetic combination.

66. Energy units : ERGS

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. it has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

Down

2. “Then again …,” in texts : OTOH …

On the other hand (OTOH)

3. Birthplace of Muhammad Ali : LOUISVILLE

The boxer Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta?

7. “Frozen” snowman : OLAF

In the 2013 animated film “Frozen”, Olaf is a happy-go-lucky snowman who provides a lot of comic relief in the movie. Olaf is voiced by actor and comedian Josh Gad.

11. Mine: Fr. : A MOI

“À moi” (literally “to me”) is French for “mine”.

12. Battle of the bulges? : SUMO

Sumo is a sport that is practiced professionally only in Japan, the country of its origin. There is an international federation of sumo wrestling now, and one of the organization’s aims is to have the sport accepted as an Olympic event.

22. Actress Vardalos : NIA

Nia Vardalos is an actress and screenwriter whose biggest break came with the 2002 film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, which she wrote and in which she starred. The film tells the story of a Greek-American woman marrying a non-Greek Caucasian American who converts to the Greek Orthodox Church to facilitate the marriage. The storyline reflects the actual experiences of Vardalos and her husband, actor Ian Gomez. Vardalos and Gomez appeared together as hosts for two season of the reality competition “The Great American Baking Show”.

25. When “S.N.L.” ends on the East Coast : ONE AM

NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975 under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call “Saturday Night Live”.

26. Louis ___, French king who was guillotined : XVI

Louis XVI was king of France prior to the abolition of the monarchy during the French revolution. Louis and his wife Marie Antoinette were victims of the guillotine in 1792. After the execution, Louis’s son became the nominal king of France in the eyes of the royalists, as Louis XVII. Louis XVII was never made the official ruler, and died at the age of 10 in 1795 from as the result of an illness. The uncle of young Louis was then declared titular king in exile in 1795, taking the name Louis XVIII. Louis XVIII took over the throne of France in 1815, soon after Emperor Napoleon I was defeated. Louis XVIII died in 1824, with the crown passing to Charles X.

27. Consumer giant that makes Bounty, for short : P AND G

Bounty is a brand of paper towel made by Procter & Gamble.

Procter & Gamble was a founded in 1837 by William Procter and James Gamble. Procter was a candlemaker, an immigrant from England. Gamble was a soapmaker, an immigrant from Ireland. The pair had settled in Cincinnati and married two sisters. Their father-in-law persuaded the two to set up in business together, and rest is history.

28. “Cimarron” novelist : EDNA FERBER

“Cimarron” is a 1929 novel by Edna Ferber that was adapted into a film of the same name two years later. The novel is all about the Oklahoma Land Rush. Unsettled land back then was known as Cimarron Territory, a familiar name used by settlers, giving the title to the novel. There is a 1931 film adaptation that won three of that season’s Oscars, including the award for Outstanding Production.

33. LeBron James’s org. : NBA

Basketball player LeBron James (nicknamed “King James”) seems to be in demand for the covers of magazines. James became the first African American man to adorn the front cover of “Vogue” in March 2008. That made him only the third male to make the “Vogue” cover, following Richard Gere and George Clooney.

37. Confucian path : TAO

The name of the Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Taoism signifies the true nature of the world.

38. Popular left-leaning news site : HUFFPOST

“The Huffington Post” (now “HuffPost”) is a news website founded in 2005 by Arianna Huffington. It is a very active site, with 3,000 people contributing blog posts (including many celebrities and politicians), and readers leaving over one million comments every month. “The Huffington Post” was sold to AOL in 2011 for $315 million, with Arianna Huffington staying on as editor-in-chief.

41. Nestlé candy popular at movie houses : SNO-CAPS

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

47. Bean : NOGGIN

Slang terms for “head” are “bean” and “noggin”.

48. Mammoth time period : ICE AGE

Ice ages are periods in the Earth’s history when there are extensive ice sheets present in the northern and southern hemispheres. One might argue that we are still in an ice age that began 2.6 million years ago, as evidenced by the presence of ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica.

A relatively well-preserved set of woolly mammoth remains were discovered in Siberia in 2012. The remains included some intact cells, and there is talk about the possibility of cloning the animal who died between 4,000 and 10,000 years ago. Scary stuff …

52. Viking explorer : ERIC

According to Icelandic tradition, Erik the Red was the man responsible for founding the first Norse settlement in Greenland. Erik had a famous son: the explorer Leif Ericson.

53. “Hercules” spinoff : XENA

The Xena character, played by New Zealander Lucy Lawless, was introduced in a made-for-TV movie called “Hercules and the Amazon Women”. Lawless reprised the role in a series called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”. Xena became so popular that a series was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the title role. The fictional Xena supposedly came from the “non-fictional” Greek city of Amphipolis.

56. iTunes download : SONG

iTunes is a very, very successful software application from Apple. It’s basically a media player that works on platforms like the iPad, iPhone and iPod. It connects seamlessly to the iTunes store, where you can spend all kinds of money.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Something sticking out of Frankenstein’s neck : BOLT
5. Voting coalition : BLOC
9. Belittle : ABASE
14. Classic Langston Hughes poem : I, TOO
15. “___ Land” (2016 Best Picture nominee) : LA LA
16. French author who said “An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself” : CAMUS
17. Alabama senator Jones : DOUG
18. Home to Zion National Park : UTAH
19. Walk with heavy steps : TROMP
20. adj. under the influence of a drug : “HIGH” DEFINITION
23. Long, boring task : SLOG
24. ___-blogging : LIVE
25. adv. across a barrier or intervening space : “OVER” EXPLAINED
30. Singer DiFranco : ANI
31. Smoked salmon : NOVA
32. Bonus : ADD-ON
34. “Can I get a hand here?!” : HELP!
36. Like William Henry Harrison, among U.S. presidents : NINTH
39. Crowd favorite not getting nominated for an Oscar, e.g. : SNUB
40. Cough drop brand : HALLS
42. Apply carelessly, as paint : DAUB
44. Fresh ___ daisy : AS A
45. n. spirit, animation : MEANING OF “LIFE”
49. Heading with check boxes below it : TO-DO
50. Main part of a selfie : FACE
51. Ones who produced the clues for 20-, 25- and 45-Across : LEXICOGRAPHERS
57. Sports center : ARENA
58. Big name in in-flight internet : GOGO
59. “About ___” (2002 movie) : A BOY
61. Enliven : GIN UP
62. Midmonth date : IDES
63. Target of splicing : GENE
64. Emails that tell you you’ve won the lottery, e.g. : SCAMS
65. Fit one inside the other : NEST
66. Energy units : ERGS

Down

1. Creation of an Olympic city hopeful : BID
2. “Then again …,” in texts : OTOH …
3. Birthplace of Muhammad Ali : LOUISVILLE
4. Switch between windows, e.g. : TOGGLE
5. Beat badly : BLUDGEON
6. Behind schedule : LATE
7. “Frozen” snowman : OLAF
8. U.S. marshal role for John Wayne : CAHILL
9. Brand of probiotic yogurt : ACTIVIA
10. Makes the rounds? : BARTENDS
11. Mine: Fr. : A MOI
12. Battle of the bulges? : SUMO
13. FS1 competitor : ESPN
21. Sound that signifies the end of a basketball game : HORN
22. Actress Vardalos : NIA
25. When “S.N.L.” ends on the East Coast : ONE AM
26. Louis ___, French king who was guillotined : XVI
27. Consumer giant that makes Bounty, for short : P AND G
28. “Cimarron” novelist : EDNA FERBER
29. Extinguish : DOUSE
30. “That hits the spot!” : AHH!
33. LeBron James’s org. : NBA
35. Credit card designation : PLATINUM
37. Confucian path : TAO
38. Popular left-leaning news site : HUFFPOST
41. Nestlé candy popular at movie houses : SNO-CAPS
43. Humdrum : BLAH
46. Veiled oath? : I DO
47. Bean : NOGGIN
48. Mammoth time period : ICE AGE
51. Delays : LAGS
52. Viking explorer : ERIC
53. “Hercules” spinoff : XENA
54. Went by motorcycle, say : RODE
55. Census data : AGES
56. iTunes download : SONG
60. “Suh-weet!” : YES!