1208-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 8 Dec 2017, Friday

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Constructed by: Paolo Pasco
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 9m 17s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. “Get outta here!” : SCAT!

Our word “scat!” means “get lost!” It comes from a 19th-century expression “quicker than s’cat”, which meant “in a great hurry”. The original phrase probably came from the words “hiss” and “cat”.

15. Law force, slangily : PO-PO

“Po-po” is a slang term meaning “police”.

18. Latest thing : DERNIER CRI

The French phrase “dernier cri” translates literally as “the latest cry or scream”, but is used to denote the latest fashion, something that is “all the rage”.

19. Some low clouds : STRATI

Stratus clouds (plural “strati”) are very common, and as they are wider than they are tall and flat along the bottom, we might just see them as haze in a featureless sky above us. Stratus clouds are basically the same as fog, but above the ground. Indeed, many stratus clouds are formed when morning fog lifts into the air as the ground heats up.

21. Tupper of Tupperware fame : EARL

Back in the 1930s, Earl Tupper was working at the DuPont Chemical Company, and from DuPont obtained inflexible pieces of polyethylene slag. Tupper purified the slag and shaped it into unbreakable containers. He added airtight lids with a “burping seal”, which were provided tight seals similar to that provided by the lids on paint cans. He called his new product Tupperware.

22. Orange-soda-loving character of 1990s Nickelodeon : KEL

“Kenan & Kel” is a sitcom that aired on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2000. It starred Kenan Thompson (now of “Saturday Night Live”), and Kel Mitchell.

23. Big ’70s-’80s band inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 : ELO

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

26. Queen hit with the lyric “So don’t become some background noise” : RADIO GA GA

“Radio Ga Ga” is a 1984 song by Queen that is a commentary on the demise of radio in favor of television. Singer Stefani Germanotta chose her stage name “Lady Gaga” from “Radio Ga Ga”.

29. Baker in a studio : CHET

The famous jazz trumpeter Chet Baker was noted for his heroin addiction, a problem that nearly put an end to his performing career. He managed a comeback in the late seventies, mainly appearing and recording in Europe. But he never kicked the drug habit and was found dead one day after falling from his hotel room window in Amsterdam.

30. Comment from the smitten : I’M IN LOVE

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

31. Kim ___-jung, recipient of the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize : DAE

Kim Dae-jung was the President of South Korea from 1998 to 2003. He had a policy of engagement with North Korea, and even even had an official meeting with Kim Jong-il in 2000 in Pyongyang. Although his approach, called the Sunshine Policy, did not appear to yield much success, his efforts earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000.

32. Subterranean hideout in comics : BATCAVE

Wayne Manor is the home of Bruce Wayne, the alter-ego of Batman. It is a huge manor that lies just outside Gotham City. Looking after the house is the Wayne family servant, Alfred. Beneath the grounds of the manor is an extensive cave system where Bruce Wayne put together his Batcave. Access is to the cave is via a staircase behind a hidden door. The door is opened by moving the hands of a non-functioning grandfather clock to 10:47, the time at which Wayne’s parents were murdered. It is the murder of his parents that sets Bruce off on his journey of crime fighting.

37. Sportsman whose #4 was retired : OTT

At 5′ 9″, baseball legend Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old.

39. “We Need a Little Christmas” musical : MAME

The musical “Mame” opened on Broadway in 1966, with Angela Lansbury in the title role. The musical is based on the 1955 novel “Auntie Mame” written by Patrick Dennis.

42. ___ slaw : COLE

The term “coleslaw” is an Anglicized version of the Dutch name “koolsla”, which in itself is a shortened form of “Koolsalade” meaning “cabbage salad”.

43. Female singer inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 : BAEZ

Joan Baez is an American folk singer and a prominent activist in the fields of non-violence, civil rights, human rights and environmental protection. Baez has dated some high-profile figures in her life including Bob Dylan, Steve Jobs (of Apple) and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead.

44. Withdrawal fig. : AMT

Amount (amt.)

45. Director Lee : ANG

Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

50. Rodeo event : BARREL RACE

“Rodeo” is a Spanish word that is usually translated as “round up”.

53. Indie singer ___ Case : NEKO

Neko Case is an American singer-songwriter who is best known as a solo artist as well as a member of the indie rock group from Canada called the New Pornographers.

55. Many a Generation Z member, now : TEEN

Definitions vary, but it seems that Generation Z is reserved for the children of Generation X.

The term “Generation X” originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By the latest accepted definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

56. Throwable weapons used by assassins : NINJA STARS

The ninjas were around in Japan at the time of the samurai, but were a very different type of warrior. The ninjas were covert operatives, specializing in the use of stealth to accomplish their missions. As they were a secretive cadre they took on a mystical reputation with the public, who believed they had the ability to become invisible or perhaps walk on water.

Down

1. 15, 30 and 50 are common ones, in brief : SPFS

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

3. Reward for an accelerated course, in brief : AP CREDIT

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school. After being tested at the end of the courses, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

4. Line on a 1040 : TOTAL INCOME

Here in the US we can choose one of three main forms to file our tax returns. Form 1040 is known as the “long form”. Form 1040A is called the “short form”, and can be used by taxpayers with taxable income below $100,000 who don’t itemize deduction. Form 1040EZ is an even simpler version of the 1040, and can be used by those with taxable income less than $100,000 who take the standard deduction and who also have no dependents. Form 1040 was originally created just for tax returns from 1913, 1914 and 1915, but it’s a form that just keeps on giving, or should I say “taking” …?

5. ___ knight : JEDI

The Jedi are the “good guys” in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …

10. Cad : HEEL

Our word “cad”, meaning “a person lacking in finer feelings”, is a shortening of the word “cadet”. “Cad” was first used for a servant, and then students at British universities used “cad” as a term for a boy from the local town. “Cad” took on its current meaning in the 1830s.

12. Mile-high player : ROCKIE

The Colorado Rockies are the Major League Baseball team in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies joined the league in 1993 as an expansion team, and have played at Coors Field since 1995.

Denver, Colorado is nicknamed the “Mile-High City” because its official elevation is listed as exactly one mile. Denver City was founded in 1858 as a mining town. The name was chosen in honor of the Kansas Territorial Governor at the time, James W. Denver.

27. Drs.’ order? : AMA

American Medical Association (AMA)

28. C-Span focus: Abbr. : GOVT

C-SPAN is a privately-funded, nonprofit cable channel that broadcasts continuous coverage of government proceedings. C-SPAN Video Library is an amazing online archive provided by C-SPAN that offers a complete audio and video archive of Congressional proceedings going back to 1987. Users can search the archive for free, by topic, speaker date and more. When the site was launched in 2010, the archive already contained 160,000 hours of programming. There is a is a section of the archive called “Congressional Chronicle” that is particularly easy to navigate.

29. Language banned under Franco’s dictatorship : CATALAN

Francisco Franco was the dictator of Spain from 1936 to 1975, a reign of 39 years that made him the longest ruling dictator in the history of Europe.

31. Cameron of Hollywood : DIAZ

The Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz started out her professional life as a model. Diaz’s first acting role was in the 1994 film “The Mask”, starring alongside Jim Carrey.

38. “What say, José?” : QUE PASA?

In Spanish, “que pasa?” translates literally as “what happened?” But, it is used to mean “how have things been going with you?”.

39. Friendly French term of address : MON AMI

“Mon ami” is French for “my friend”, when referring to a male. The phrase “mon amie” is used for a female.

40. Nelson ___, author of “The Man With the Golden Arm” : ALGREN

Nelson Algren was an author from Detroit who is best known today for his 1949 novel “The Man with the Golden Arm”. The famous novel won the National Book Award and was made into a celebrated 1955 film of the same name starring Frank Sinatra. Algren also wrote a novel called “A Walk on the Wild Side”, the title of which was used in a great 1972 Lou Reed song.

43. Parts of a Frankenstein costume : BOLTS

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.

46. W.W.E. star John : CENA

John Cena is a professional wrestler turned rapper and actor. Although wrestling, rapping and “Cena-style” movies wouldn’t be my cup of tea, I have to admire Cena’s philanthropic record. He holds the title for the most wishes granted by a single individual for the Make-A-Wish Foundation that benefits children with life-threatening medical conditions.

48. Store with a three-syllable name in four letters : IKEA

The furniture chain IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old. IKEA is an acronym standing for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

49. High-class : TONY

Something described as “tony” is elegant or exclusive. “Tony” is derived from the word “tone”.

51. Literally, “rule” : RAJ

The period of colonial rule by the British in South Asia from 1858 to 1947 is referred to as the British Raj. Prior to 1858, the area was ruled by a private enterprise, the British East India Company. “Raj” is the Hindi word for “reign”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. “Get outta here!” : SCAT!
5. Casual cutoffs : JEAN SHORTS
15. Law force, slangily : PO-PO
16. Breakout entertainment? : ESCAPE ROOM
17. Truth we hold to be self-evident? : FACT
18. Latest thing : DERNIER CRI
19. Some low clouds : STRATI
21. Tupper of Tupperware fame : EARL
22. Orange-soda-loving character of 1990s Nickelodeon : KEL
23. Big ’70s-’80s band inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 : ELO
24. Start to go out : WANE
25. Point in a kitchen : TINE
26. Queen hit with the lyric “So don’t become some background noise” : RADIO GA GA
29. Baker in a studio : CHET
30. Comment from the smitten : I’M IN LOVE
31. Kim ___-jung, recipient of the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize : DAE
32. Subterranean hideout in comics : BATCAVE
33. Tries to nip : BITES AT
37. Sportsman whose #4 was retired : OTT
38. Powerful sedative : QUAALUDE
39. “We Need a Little Christmas” musical : MAME
41. Frustrating thing to open : PUZZLE BOX
42. ___ slaw : COLE
43. Female singer inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 : BAEZ
44. Withdrawal fig. : AMT
45. Director Lee : ANG
46. News ___ (media giant) : CORP
47. “I was right!” : KNEW IT!
50. Rodeo event : BARREL RACE
53. Indie singer ___ Case : NEKO
54. “That is …” : I MEAN TO SAY …
55. Many a Generation Z member, now : TEEN
56. Throwable weapons used by assassins : NINJA STARS
57. Time at a hotel : STAY

Down

1. 15, 30 and 50 are common ones, in brief : SPFS
2. Layer : COAT
3. Reward for an accelerated course, in brief : AP CREDIT
4. Line on a 1040 : TOTAL INCOME
5. ___ knight : JEDI
6. San Jose-to-San Antonio dir. : ESE
7. Figure that can describe a lot : ACREAGE
8. Refrain syllables : NA NA NA
9. What may be on the horizon? : SPIRE
10. Cad : HEEL
11. Alexander ___, pioneer and early head of New York’s subway system : ORR
12. Mile-high player : ROCKIE
13. Sign of availability : TO RENT
14. “You’re about to be photographed!” : SMILE!
20. “That ship has sailed” : TOO LATE
24. Aspect of hydrodynamics : WAVE
25. Weather : THE ELEMENTS
26. Tease : RIB
27. Drs.’ order? : AMA
28. C-Span focus: Abbr. : GOVT
29. Language banned under Franco’s dictatorship : CATALAN
31. Cameron of Hollywood : DIAZ
33. Telephone, informally : BUZZ
34. Social media post that refers to another user without directly mentioning that person : SUBTWEET
35. Trouble : ADO
36. Ranch moniker : TEX
38. “What say, José?” : QUE PASA?
39. Friendly French term of address : MON AMI
40. Nelson ___, author of “The Man With the Golden Arm” : ALGREN
41. Mimic : PARROT
42. Kind of fever : CABIN
43. Parts of a Frankenstein costume : BOLTS
46. W.W.E. star John : CENA
47. See 52-Down : … KEYS
48. Store with a three-syllable name in four letters : IKEA
49. High-class : TONY
51. Literally, “rule” : RAJ
52. With 47-Down, some frequently misplaced items : CAR …

9 thoughts on “1208-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 8 Dec 2017, Friday”

  1. 12:17 Much faster than usual for Friday. I saw some people on twitter last night saying this was harder than normal but I zipped through it. Didn’t get much in the top left, of course, but dropped in IMINLOVE and then moved counter clockwise untill finishing in the upper left.

  2. 19:31 after finding and fixing an error: I had accidentally put some other letter in place of the “P” at the intersection of PO-PO and AP CREDIT (both of which I “know” but are still somewhat new to me). Due to other missteps, though, more of my time was spent trying to break into the upper right.

    Like other humans, the police have biases and they make mistakes – my SO belongs to an ethnic group that is sometimes hurt by this – and I am certainly not uncritical of the bad eggs in the police force, but they do a necessary job under sometimes difficult conditions and this new slang term “PO-PO” really grates on my ear.

  3. 34:09, 4 errors. 7D AC SCALE; 18A DESNIER CRI; 21A CARL; 26A RADIO GALA. Very difficult puzzle for me today. Slogged through most of the puzzle, but, except for the upper right corner, was able recognize the answers once entered. DERNIER CRI, EARL Tupper and RADIO GA GA were completely out of my ken.

    Have never heard the police referred to as PO-PO. My sympathies are with @Dave, I believe that the police and justice system are being given a bum rap. The system is working when incarcerations are in proportion to crimes committed, rather than just demographic breakdown.

  4. 32:26 and DNF: DESNIER CRI is completely foreign to me (bad pun, I know), so that set the stage for making a complete mess of the top right. POPO was not only *so* not what I was thinking (the second P made me think it had to be **PD, with either NY or LA the best candidates for a well known police organization acronym), and it also made it hard to “see” TOTAL INCOME, although I knew it had to be some sort of INCOME.

    As for the hand-wringing about PO-PO, there is no “scatological” inference in that word, so I don’t no why it’s offending anyone’s sensitivity. It’s almost like expressing the term POLICE in “baby-speak”. As for the police’s overall conduct with regards to certain ethnic groups, I think the statistics speak for themselves. It is also obvious and evident that not ALL police are “bad eggs”… but there are enough of them that ARE, combined with a complex “stick together” mentality, combined with the majority culture’s assumption that “all police are good guys” that allows the bad eggs to hide among the rest of “our finest”.

    It just must be an expression of my stress level today, but this puzzle really *irked* me because I felt I was so close to being able to solve it… but it just wouldn’t fall into place. Perhaps, with the rather pedantic use of that obscure french term in such a key location, that was the cynical “raison d’etre” for the setter?

  5. Yikes, it is frightening that Radio Gaga was a “hit” for Queen. It was such a departure from their earlier music that I consider to be really quality rock and roll.

    The term popo was derived from the police force that patrolled California beach towns and officers had PO emblazoned in large letters on their shirts. They typically patrolled in pairs, so when they were coming they were referred to as the “POPO”. No more derogatory than cops, heat, fuzz, or the other nicknames used to refer to police officers.

  6. Chris got in ahead of me while I was typing with one finger … and yes …

    It is said that PO-PO originated in the 1980’s, in California, and spread from there across the country. Google turns up quite a few sites; here’s one:

    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=POPO

    I think my personal reaction to it is based partly on the demeaning “baby-speak” aspect and partly on the fact that it is an anagram of a quintessentially scatological word.

    And I am in substantial agreement with Allen’s assessment of the police. I am reminded of an older relative’s comment: “People is like dogs: They is good’uns and they is bad’uns, and ya just gotta take ‘em as ya find ‘em.” Come to think of it, though, he might have switched the order (“Dogs is like people …”) … but it works either way … ?

  7. 34 minutes, 2 errors (Naticks for me anyhow). DERNIER CRI/ORR and MAME/ALGREN. Nice though that this seemed to be a lot easier to me than most. Of course, always the question of whether I’m getting better or this was just plain easier than usual.

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