1212-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 12 Dec 2017, Tuesday

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Constructed by: David J. Kahn
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: Salvator Mundi

Themed answers refer to the record-breaking sale of the painting “SALVATOR MUNDI” by Leonardo da Vinci in November 2017:

  • 38A. Renaissance painting that was sold in November 2017 for a record $450.3 million : SALVATOR MUNDI
  • 14A. James ___, founder of the auction house that sold 38-Across : CHRISTIE
  • 65A. English king who once owned 38-Across : CHARLES I
  • 7D. Creator of 38-Across : LEONARDO DA VINCI
  • 10D. Eliminating the effects of wear and tear on, as was done to 38-Across : RESTORING
  • 12D. 38-Across, for one : OIL
  • 35D. 7-Down, for one : OLD MASTER
  • 60D. Work of ___ (38-Across, e.g.) : ART

Bill’s time: 6m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Either of the World Series winners of 2004 and ’05 : SOX

The Boston Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, and the Chicago White Sox won in 2005.

4. Pickle variety : DILL

Often a dill pickle is actually a pickled gherkin, as the gherkin and cucumber are different cultivars within the same species. Here in the US, dill is commonly added to the pickling vinegar or brine, but this wasn’t the case when I used to eat them back in Ireland (I can’t stand dill!). You might see jars labeled as “cornichons”, but they’re gherkins. “Cornichon” is just the French word for “gherkin”.

8. Talk about ad nauseam : HARP ON

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

To do something “ad nauseum” is to do so to a ridiculous degree, to the point of nausea. “Ad nauseum” is the Latin for “to sickness”.

14. James ___, founder of the auction house that sold 38-Across : CHRISTIE

Christie’s is an auction house based in London, the largest auction house in the world. The business was founded in 1766 by James Christie.

16. First name in solo flying : AMELIA

Amelia Earhart is as famous today as she was during her lifetime. When she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic she was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Congress, and the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor by the French government. She made two attempts to circumnavigate the globe by air (not solo). Her first attempt in March 1937 had to be abandoned when her aircraft was damaged during takeoff. The second attempt in June/July of the same year ended when Earhart and her navigator disappeared flying from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island in the Central Pacific.

20. Desires : YENS

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

25. Jazz Appreciation Mo. : APR

Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) was first observed in April 2001, with funding provided by the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation.

27. Anita of jazz : O’DAY

“Anita O’Day” was the stage name of the jazz singer Anita Colton. She chose the name as “O’Day” is Pig Latin for “dough”, a slang term for “money”. O’Day had problems with heroin and alcohol addiction leading to erratic behavior, and earning her the nickname “The Jezebel of Jazz”.

30. Cartoonist Hoff of The New Yorker : SYD

Syd Hoff wrote the children’s readers “Danny and the Dinosaur” and “Sammy the Seal”. Hoff also drew two syndicated comic strips, “Tuffy” (1939-1949) and “Laugh It Off” (1958-1978).

34. Painter Magritte : RENE

Belgian artist René Magritte was a surrealist. His most recognized work maybe is “The Son of Man”, a painting he created as a self-portrait. It is the work that shows a man in a bowler hat with his face covered by an apple. The image features prominently in a great movie, the 1999 remake of “The Thomas Crown Affair”.

35. Mountain nymph : OREAD

The Oreads were the mountain nymphs that accompanied the ancient Greek goddess Artemis on her hunting expeditions. Each Oread dwelled on a different mountain, for example:

  • Daphnis (on Mount Parnassos)
  • Echo (on Mount Cithaeron)
  • Ida (on Mount Ida)

36. Morphine, e.g. : OPIATE

The opium poppy is the source of the narcotic alkaloids known as opiates. To produce opiates, the latex sap of the opium poppy is collected and processed. The naturally-occurring drugs of morphine and codeine can both be extracted from the sap. Some synthesis is required to make derivative drugs like heroin and oxycodone.

38. Renaissance painting that was sold in November 2017 for a record $450.3 million : SALVATOR MUNDI

“Salvator Mundi” (“Savior of the World” in Latin) is a painting by Leonardo da Vinci that dates back to circa 1500. It is speculated that the work was commissioned by Louis XII of France, and came into the possession of Charles I of England in 1625. It passed through several hands before being auctioned off in 1763 along with several pieces of art from Buckingham Palace in London (then “Buckingham House”). The painting reemerged in 1900 when it was bought by a British collector, by which time it had been damaged in attempts at restoration. Also, the work was now attributed to Bernardino Luini, a follower of da Vinci. In 1959, it was sold as a painting by Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, one of Leonardo’s students, for the princely sum of 45 pounds. By 2011, the heavily overpainted work had been restored and attributed to Leonardo da Vinci himself, and was on display in the National Gallery in London. “Salvator Mundi” was purchased by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism in November, 2017 for just over $450 million, making it the most expensive painting ever sold.

41. ___ retriever : GOLDEN

The breed of dog called the golden retriever originated in Scotland in the mid-1700s. The breed was developed to retrieve game that had been down by hunters, whether the game was to be found in water or on land. Existing retrievers (which worked well on land) were crossed with water spaniels (which worked well in water) to come up with the golden retriever breed.

43. First name? : ADAM

According to the Bible, God created Adam from “the dust of the ground”. Eve was created as Adam’s companion, from Adam’s rib.

49. Actress Turner : LANA

Lana Turner started work as a Hollywood actress at a very young age, signing up with MGM at only sixteen. Early in her career she earned the nickname “The Sweater Girl” after wearing a pretty tight sweater in the film “They Won’t Forget”, which was her film debut. She married eight times, to seven different husbands, the first of which was bandleader Artie Shaw. Shaw and Turner eloped and married on their very first date, when the young actress was just nineteen years old. After divorcing Shaw she married restaurateur Joseph Crane, but had the marriage annulled when she found out that Crane was still married to his first wife. The two had a daughter together, and so remarried when Crane’s divorce was finalized. Cheryl Crane was the daughter from the marriage to Joseph and she lived with Turner after her parents split up. When Cheryl was 14-years-old, her mother was romantically involved with a shady character named Johnny Stompanato. One evening Cheryl found her mother engaged in a violent argument with Stompanato, and Cheryl became so scared that she pulled out a gun and killed him in what was deemed to be justifiable homicide. Turner’s last marriage was to a nightclub hypnotist, Ronald Pellar, and that union lasted just six months as Pellar disappeared one day with a lot of Turner’s money and jewelry. Years later Turner said, “My goal was to have one husband and seven children, but it turned out to be the other way around.”

50. “Mazel ___!” : TOV

“Tov” is the Hebrew word for “good”, as in “mazel tov” meaning “good luck”.

62. 100-page stories, say : NOVELLAS

Our word “novel”, used for a lengthy work of fiction, comes from the Latin “novella” meaning “new things”.

67. College in Westchester County, N.Y. : IONA

Iona College is a Roman Catholic school run by Christian Brothers in New Rochelle, New York. The school’s sports teams are called the Iona Gaels, and the team mascot goes by the name Killian.

Down

2. Author known for twist endings : O HENRY

“O. Henry” was the pen name of writer William Sydney Porter from Greensboro, North Carolina. O. Henry is famous for his witty short stories that have a clever twist in the tail.

3. Pornographic : X-RATED

The word “pornography” comes from the Greek “pornographos” meaning “writing of prostitutes”.

4. Observance that begins in March: Abbr. : DST

On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is known as “summer time”. The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring (i.e. “spring forward”) and backwards in the fall (i.e. “fall back”) so that afternoons have more daylight.

7. Creator of 38-Across : LEONARDO DA VINCI

Leonardo da Vinci was perhaps the most diversely talented person who ever contributed to society. He was a gifted painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer and writer. Da Vinci’s mural “The Last Supper” is the most reproduced work of art in the world.

8. First name in Solo flying? : HAN

Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

9. Author Oz : AMOS

Amos Oz is an Israeli writer. Oz has written 18 books in Hebrew and his works have been translated into 30 languages, including Arabic.

13. Met rival from D.C. : NAT

The Washington Nationals (“Nats”) baseball team started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and were the first Major League Baseball team in Canada. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats. There are only two Major Leagues teams that have never played in a World Series, one being the Mariners and the other the Nats.

26. Pad sharer : ROOMIE

Back in the 16th century a pad was a bundle of straw to lie on. “Pad” came to mean “place for sleeping” in the early 1700s. The term was revitalized in the hippie era.

33. Vampire ___ : BAT

Vampire bats feed mostly in the blood of mammals, including humans. When they find a suitable “victim”, often one that is asleep, the bat usually lands close by and approaches its “meal” on the ground. It makes a small cut with its razor-sharp teeth and laps up the blood. The blood tends to flow freely as the bat’s saliva contains anticoagulants. Reports of bats biting the neck of humans are very rare in the real world, but the neck is the preferred location of attack in the fantasy world of vampires.

39. “M*A*S*H” actor : ALAN ALDA

Hawkeye Pierce is the lead character in the “M*A*S*H” novel, movie and TV series. Hawkeye was originally portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the film, and then by Alan Alda in the television show. Pierce is the only character appearing in all 250 episodes of the groundbreaking TV series.

40. “Grant” biographer Chernow : RON

Author and journalist Ron Chernow is perhaps best known as a biographer. Chernow wrote about the lives of two US presidents: Ulysses S. Grant and George Washington. His biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton was adapted into the incredibly successful stage musical “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Ulysses S. Grant (USG) had risen to commander of all the Union armies by the end of the Civil War. He was elected as the 18th president of the US in 1869. Grant served two terms as president, and also made a failed bid for a third term. Grant’s reputation was tarnished by his apparent tolerance of corruption in his administration. On the other hand, Grant worked hard to protect African Americans during Reconstruction after the Civil War, and pursued peaceful relations with Native Americans.

45. Word said before “then,” oxymoronically : NOW

The word “oxymoron” is in itself an oxymoron. It is derived from the Greek words “Oxys” and “moros” meaning “sharp” and “stupid”.

48. Blues great Smith : BESSIE

The singer Bessie Smith had the nickname “The Empress of the Blues”. Smith was the most popular blues singer in the twenties and thirties.

54. Superman without a cape : KENT

Superman’s comic book creators gave their title character’s alter-ego the name “Clark Kent” by melding the names of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, two leading men of the cinema at the time Superman was created. However, they modeled Clark’s character more on the silent film actor Harold Lloyd.

56. Gallery district in Manhattan : SOHO

The Manhattan neighborhood known today as SoHo was very fashionable in the early 1900s, but as the well-heeled started to move uptown the area became very run down and poorly maintained. Noted for the number of fires that erupted in derelict buildings, SoHo earned the nickname “Hell’s Hundred Acres”. The area was then zoned for manufacturing and became home to many sweatshops. In the mid-1900s artists started to move into open loft spaces and renovating old buildings as the lofts were ideal locations in which an artist could both live and work. In 1968, artists and others organized themselves so that they could legalize their residential use of an area zoned for manufacturing. The group they formed took its name from the name given to the area by the city’s Planning Commission i.e “South of Houston”. This was shortened from So-uth of Ho-uston to SoHo as in the SoHo Artists Association, and the name stuck.

57. Former senator Bayh : EVAN

Evan Bayh is the son of Birch Bayh, and like his father was US Senator for the state of Indiana. Prior to serving in the Senate, Evan Bayh was State Governor.

61. Sot’s problem : DTS

The episodes of delirium that can accompany withdrawal from alcohol are called delirium tremens (the DTs). The literal translation of this Latin phrase is “trembling madness”.

63. The Renaissance, e.g. : ERA

“Dark Ages” was a term that used to be popular as a description of the period following the decline of the Roman Empire in Europe, the period after the “light of Rome” was extinguished. The Dark Ages were said to end with the rise of the Italian Renaissance in the 14th century. The Italian Renaissance was centered on the cities of Florence and Siena in Tuscany.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Either of the World Series winners of 2004 and ’05 : SOX
4. Pickle variety : DILL
8. Talk about ad nauseam : HARP ON
14. James ___, founder of the auction house that sold 38-Across : CHRISTIE
16. First name in solo flying : AMELIA
17. Gets excited about, e.g. : REACTS TO
18. Dietetic restriction : NO SALT
19. Pot thickener? : ANTE
20. Desires : YENS
22. Mucky mess : STY
23. Basketball tactic : PRESS
25. Jazz Appreciation Mo. : APR
27. Anita of jazz : O’DAY
30. Cartoonist Hoff of The New Yorker : SYD
31. Beginning stage : EMBRYO
34. Painter Magritte : RENE
35. Mountain nymph : OREAD
36. Morphine, e.g. : OPIATE
38. Renaissance painting that was sold in November 2017 for a record $450.3 million : SALVATOR MUNDI
41. ___ retriever : GOLDEN
42. “Nothing ___” (slangy refusal) : DOING
43. First name? : ADAM
44. How some fish are caught : IN A NET
46. Clunky boat : TUB
49. Actress Turner : LANA
50. “Mazel ___!” : TOV
51. Excel : SHINE
53. Make a request : ASK
55. Sagacious : WISE
58. Some Shoshonean speakers : UTES
59. Shut down : HALTED
62. 100-page stories, say : NOVELLAS
64. Passionate : ARDENT
65. English king who once owned 38-Across : CHARLES I
66. Some may be flying : STARTS
67. College in Westchester County, N.Y. : IONA
68. Colorant : DYE

Down

1. Leftovers : SCRAPS
2. Author known for twist endings : O HENRY
3. Pornographic : X-RATED
4. Observance that begins in March: Abbr. : DST
5. Teeny, for short : ITSY
6. Lo-cal : LITE
7. Creator of 38-Across : LEONARDO DA VINCI
8. First name in Solo flying? : HAN
9. Author Oz : AMOS
10. Eliminating the effects of wear and tear on, as was done to 38-Across : RESTORING
11. Lie on one’s back and not move, maybe : PLAY DEAD
12. 38-Across, for one : OIL
13. Met rival from D.C. : NAT
15. Finishes, as a cake : ICES
21. Someone with intelligence? : SPY
24. Do military duty : SERVE
26. Pad sharer : ROOMIE
28. Not with : ANTI
29. “___-haw!” : YEE
32. Make a declaration with a straight face : MEAN IT
33. Vampire ___ : BAT
35. 7-Down, for one : OLD MASTER
37. Boats propelled by poles : PUNTS
38. Mixer at a party : SODA
39. “M*A*S*H” actor : ALAN ALDA
40. “Grant” biographer Chernow : RON
41. Gadot of “Justice League” : GAL
45. Word said before “then,” oxymoronically : NOW
46. Like a dame or earl : TITLED
47. On pins and needles : UNEASY
48. Blues great Smith : BESSIE
52. Main part of a ship : HULL
54. Superman without a cape : KENT
56. Gallery district in Manhattan : SOHO
57. Former senator Bayh : EVAN
59. Is provided with : HAS
60. Work of ___ (38-Across, e.g.) : ART
61. Sot’s problem : DTS
63. The Renaissance, e.g. : ERA