1230-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 30 Dec 2017, Saturday

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Constructed by: Damon Gulczynski
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 22m 09s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • DASHIKIS (dasikas)
  • INI (Ani)

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15. “The Merchant of Venice” film star, 2004 : AL PACINO

Al Pacino seems to be best known for playing characters on both sides of the law. Pacino’s big break in movies came when he played Michael Corleone in “The Godfather”, a role that grew for him as the series of films progressed. But his Oscar-winning role was that of a blind ex-military officer in “Scent of a Woman”.

16. Mark who won two golf majors in 1998 : O’MEARA

Mark O’Meara is an American golfer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. He is known as one of the American players who competes in international tournaments more than most, and has a reputation as a real gentleman all around the world.

18. Pioneering hip-hop trio : RUN-DMC

Run-DMC was a hip hop group from Queens, New York. The trio took its name from two of the group’s members: Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels.

22. Option for people who can’t handle the truth? : DARE

Truth or dare?

23. Gulf War weapon : SCUD

Scud missiles were developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Soviets called them R-11 missiles at first, with later versions known as R-17 and R-300 Elbrus. The name “Scud” was actually the name NATO used for the missile, a name created by Western intelligence officers. Ballistic missiles haven’t been used a lot in actual warfare, the exception being the German V-2 rocket attacks on England during WWII. After the V-2, the second most-used ballistic missile in warfare is the Scud, which featured in a number of conflicts:

  • used by Egypt against Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973
  • used by the USSR in Afghanistan
  • used by Libya against a US Coast Guard station in the Mediterranean in 1986
  • used by Iranians and Iraqis in the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88
  • used by Iraq in the Gulf War of 1990-91

24. Matchmaking site available in Hebrew : JDATE

Spark Networks is company that owns several special-interest dating sites online. The most famous is probably ChristianMingle.com, but there is also BlackSingles.com, LDSSingles.com, JDate.com and CatholicMingle.com.

27. Keystone figure : KOP

The Keystone Cops (sometimes “Keystone Kops”) were a band of madcap policemen characters who appeared in silent movies. A 1914 short film called “A Thief Catcher” that was believed lost was rediscovered in 2010. “A Thief Catcher” featured the magnificent Charlie Chaplin in an early role as a Keystone Cop.

29. “The More You Know” spot, e.g., for short : PSA

Public service announcement (PSA)

31. Faithfulness : FEALTY

“Fealty” is an old word that means “fidelity”. Often, a vassal was required to swear an oath of fealty to his feudal lord.

34. Question that might precede “Hallelujah!” : CAN I GET A WITNESS?

The interjection “hallelujah!” means “praise ye the Lord!” The term comes from the Hebrew “halălūyāh” meaning “praise ye Yahweh”.

38. Pole vault units? : ZLOTYS

The zloty is the currency of Poland, with the word “zloty” translating into English as “golden”. The zloty has been around since the Middle Ages. The contemporary zloty is divided into 100 groszy.

40. Subject of Durocher’s “Nice guys finish last” sentiment : OTT

Baseball player and manager Leo Durocher was noted for being outspoken, and was given the nickname “Leo the Lip”. In 1946, while he was manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Durocher expressed the opinion that teams like his successful Dodgers would always do better than teams replete with personable individuals (naming Mel Ott in particular). He used his most memorable phrase to encapsulate the sentiment … “nice guys finish last”.

53. Like Earth : OBLATE

Technically speaking, a spheroid is a shape made by rotating an ellipse around one of its two principal axes. An ellipse rotated around its major axis forms a shape similar to an American football, i.e. a prolate or elongated spheroid. An ellipse rotated around its minor axis forms a shape similar to a lentil, i.e. an oblate or flattened spheroid. A circle is also an ellipse, just one in which the minor axis and major axis are the same thing. A circle rotated around its axis is a sphere, i.e. a spheroid with circular symmetry.

58. Hemingway’s “old man” : SANTIAGO

Bermuda has been a major producer of onions since the 1880s when seed was brought to the island from the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. Apparently, Ernest Hemingway was a fan of Bermuda onions. While buying some at a market he met a man called Gregorio Fuentes, who Hemingway ended up hiring as the first mate of his boat. Some say that Fuentes was the inspiration for Santiago, the protagonist in “The Old Man and the Sea”. Well, that’s how the story goes …

59. Bayou genre : ZYDECO

Zydeco is a style of folk music that evolved from Creole music in Louisiana. The name “Zydeco” is imitative of the French word for green beans, “les haricots”. The term arose from a popular dance tune called “Les Haricots Sont Pas Salés” (“The Green Beans Ain’t Salty”).

A bayou is a marshy inlet or outlet of a lake or river, usually with stagnant or slow-moving water. The exact origins of the term “bayou” is uncertain, but it is thought perhaps to come from the Choctaw (a Native American people from the southeast) word “bayuk”, meaning “small stream”.

60. Artist with many mathematically inspired works : MC ESCHER

M. C. Escher was a graphic artist from the Netherlands. Escher was noted for creating works inspired by mathematics, often works that were physical impossibilities. ONe famous such works is “Drawing Hands” (1948) in which a pair of hands emerge from a piece of paper and actually draw themselves. He also created a drawing in which a group of red ants are crawling around a Möbius strip, never reaching the end.

Down

1. Patterned fabric : DAMASK

Damask was originally a weaving technique associated with the Byzantine and Islamic weaving centers of the Middle Ages. “Damask” comes from the name of Damascus which was a major trading city at that time.

4. ___ Karzai, ex-president of Afghanistan : HAMID

Hamid Karzai is a former President of Afghanistan, coming to power in 2004 after the Taliban were overthrown. Karzai remained in office for two five-year terms, being replaced in 2014 by Ashraf Ghani.

6. “The Chosen One” of the N.B.A. : KING JAMES

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.

7. ___ Kamoze, “Here Comes the Hotstepper” singer : INI

“Ini Kamoze” is the stage name of Jamaican reggae singer Cecil Campbell. His best known song (though not by me!) is “Here Comes the Hotstepper” released in 1994.

8. Laissez-faire doctrine : SOCIAL DARWINISM

The idea behind “social darwinism” is that the principles of Darwin’s theory of evolution can be applied to societies and nations, and can explain the endurance exhibited by some peoples.

21. The shakes : 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”.

31. Brand at Indy : FIRESTONE

Firestone is a tire company founded by Harvey Firestone in 1900. The Firestone company took off when it was selected by Henry Ford as the supplier of tires for his Model T.

32. Conseil d’___ : ETAT

The “Conseil d’État” (Council of State) is a body within the French national government. The Conseil d’État provides legal advice to the Prime Minister and is also the administrative court of last resort.

34. McKinley’s assassin : CZOLGOSZ

President William McKinley was re-elected in 1900, but failed to serve out the full term. In September of 1901 he went to the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York where he went to meet the public at the Exposition’s Temple of Music. Leon Czolgosz was waiting for the president, armed with a pistol. Czolgosz shot the President twice before being subdued (and beaten) by the crowd. Doctors operated, and were able to stabilize President McKinley. The medical profession decided to leave one bullet inside the victim, on the face of it a good decision as the President spent almost a week apparently recovering from his ordeal. However, he relapsed, and eight days after being shot he died from gangrene surrounding the wound.

42. Elephant rider’s seat : HOWDAH

A howdah is a carriage that sits on the back of an elephant (and may also seen on the back of camels).

44. One subject to imprisonment, in Dickens’s day : DEBTOR

Charles Dickens was an English novelist who achieved great success in his own time, and is still regarded as perhaps the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. Many of his novels explored the plight of the poor in Victorian society, perhaps driven by his own experiences as a child. Dickens had to leave school to work in a factory after his father was thrown into a debtor’s prison. As a result, Dickens had to educate himself. He is said to have pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, with his first success coming with the 1835 serial publication of “Pickwick Papers”. And, everyone’s favorite has to be his 1843 novella, “A Christmas Carol”.

52. They often precede hikes : HUTS

The quarterback (QB) starts each play in football with a snap (also called a “hike”). He announces to his teammates the exact moment of the snap by calling out signals, usually including the word “hut” one or more times in a prearranged sequence.

56. Mil. branch disbanded in 1978 : WAC

The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was formed in 1942, and the unit was converted to full status the following year to become the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). Famously, General Douglas MacArthur referred to the WACs as his “best soldiers”, saying they worked harder, complained less and were better disciplined than men. The WACs were disbanded in 1978 and the serving members were integrated into the rest of the army.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Colorful pullovers : DASHIKIS
9. Party host’s convenience : WET BAR
15. “The Merchant of Venice” film star, 2004 : AL PACINO
16. Mark who won two golf majors in 1998 : O’MEARA
17. Loss prevention association? : MNEMONIC
18. Pioneering hip-hop trio : RUN-DMC
19. Benefiting : AIDING
20. Cards : IDS
22. Option for people who can’t handle the truth? : DARE
23. Gulf War weapon : SCUD
24. Matchmaking site available in Hebrew : JDATE
26. Shoot out : SPEW
27. Keystone figure : KOP
28. Bombs : FAILS
29. “The More You Know” spot, e.g., for short : PSA
30. Zeroed (in on) : HOMED
31. Faithfulness : FEALTY
34. Question that might precede “Hallelujah!” : CAN I GET A WITNESS?
38. Pole vault units? : ZLOTYS
39. Played again : RERAN
40. Subject of Durocher’s “Nice guys finish last” sentiment : OTT
41. “Yesss!” : SWEET!
42. Ate : HAD
45. Composition of some beds : LAVA
47. Cracks : QUIPS
48. Range : ROVE
49. Snag : GRAB
50. Base for some Chinese art : URN
51. Place for many a start-up : THE WEB
53. Like Earth : OBLATE
55. “Best to avoid that” : I WOULDN’T
57. “You are quite right” : SO IT IS
58. Hemingway’s “old man” : SANTIAGO
59. Bayou genre : ZYDECO
60. Artist with many mathematically inspired works : MC ESCHER

Down

1. Patterned fabric : DAMASK
2. Magnet alloy : ALNICO
3. Ran harder : SPED UP
4. ___ Karzai, ex-president of Afghanistan : HAMID
5. Folder, maybe : ICON
6. “The Chosen One” of the N.B.A. : KING JAMES
7. ___ Kamoze, “Here Comes the Hotstepper” singer : INI
8. Laissez-faire doctrine : SOCIAL DARWINISM
9. Troubling prognosis : WORSE
10. ___ oil, ingredient in some health care products : EMU
11. Inclines : TENDS
12. No-goodnik : BAD APPLE
13. Subjects of some disputes in planes : ARMRESTS
14. Courses for cars in competition : RACEWAYS
21. The shakes : DTS
25. Take in less : DIET
28. Old-fashioned sort : FOGY
30. Miss’s counterpart : HIT
31. Brand at Indy : FIRESTONE
32. Conseil d’___ : ETAT
33. Woman’s name meaning “grace” : ANN
34. McKinley’s assassin : CZOLGOSZ
35. Does this church position ring a bell? : ALTAR BOY
36. Like division by zero : NOT VALID
37. Break down : WEEP
41. California’s Point ___ : SUR
42. Elephant rider’s seat : HOWDAH
43. Pay back : AVENGE
44. One subject to imprisonment, in Dickens’s day : DEBTOR
46. Die down : ABATE
47. Chips and ___ (Tex-Mex offering) : QUESO
48. Item from another time : RELIC
52. They often precede hikes : HUTS
54. Little jerk : TIC
56. Mil. branch disbanded in 1978 : WAC