0109-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 9 Jan 2018, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Peter A. Collins
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme:Meet in the Middle

Themed answers include a type of MEAT as a hidden word IN THE MIDDLE:

  • 39A. Compromise … or a phonetic hint to this puzzle’s shaded squares : MEET IN THE MIDDLE (sounds like “MEAT IN THE MIDDLE”)
  • 20A. Big part of the New World : NORTH AMERICA (hiding “HAM”)
  • 24A. Present oneself falsely : LIVE A LIE (hiding “VEAL”)
  • 51A. Seaside cookout : CLAMBAKE (hiding “LAMB”)
  • 56A. Flashing light phenomenon : STROBE EFFECT (hiding “BEEF”)

Bill’s time: 6m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Airplane wing feature : SLAT

In an airplane wing, a slat is a moving surface on the leading edge of the wing, primarily having the same effect as the flap on the trailing edge. With slats and flaps deployed, a plane can fly more slowly, and take off or land in a shorter distance.

9. Cool, giant sun : S STAR

Red giants are very large stars with a relatively low mass. The atmosphere of a red giant is also very inflated and extends a long way into space so the surface of that atmosphere that we see is relatively cool, which gives it a red color. Stars are classified by their spectral characteristics, basically the color of the light they emit. As such, red giants are classified as M stars. Cool red giants are of a color beyond the usual range, and are classified as S stars.

17. Grinder : HERO

“Hero” is another name for a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name “hero” was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the “New York Herald Tribune” when he wrote that “one had to be a hero” to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.
The etymology of “grinder”, as a name for a sandwich, is unknown. That said, it is known that term dates back to 1954. It is speculated that eating the large sandwich requires a lot of chewing, and hence the name “grinder”.

20. Big part of the New World : NORTH AMERICA (hiding “HAM”)

“New World” is a term that originated in the early 1700s to describe the Americas and nearby islands. It was Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci who coined “New World”. Appropriately enough, the term “Americas” comes from “Americus”, the Latin version of Vespucci’s given name.

28. Greek island in the Aegean Sea : IOS

The Cyclades are a group of islands in the Aegean Sea lying southeast of the Greek mainland. There are about 200 islands in the group, almost all of which are the peaks of a submerged mountain range. Ios is one of the larger islands, and is 11 miles long and 6 miles wide.

33. One cause for an R rating : SEX

The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

34. Wagering venue, briefly : OTB

Off-track betting (OTB) is the legal gambling that takes place on horse races outside of a race track. A betting parlor can be referred to as an OTB.

38. Onetime Volvo competitor : SAAB

“SAAB” stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. Although we usually think of SAAB as an auto manufacturer, it is mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automotive division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000, who then sold it to a Dutch concern in 2010. However, SAAB (automotive) finally went bankrupt in 2011. A Chinese consortium purchased the assets of SAAB Automotive in 2012, and so SAAB vehicles are in production again. The new vehicles are using the SAAB name, but cannot use the SAAB griffin logo, the rights to which have been retained by the mother company.
Volvo is a Swedish manufacturers of cars, trucks and construction equipment. The Volvo name was chosen as “volvo” is Latin for “I roll”.

43. Bad temper : BILE

In days past, health was said to depend on the balance between the body’s four “humors”, four vital fluids. These humors were blood, phlegm, yellow bile (aka “choler”) and black bile. Excesses of yellow and black bile were thought to produce aggression and depression. As a result, we use the term “bile” today to mean “ill temper”.

44. Flashy 1940s men’s attire : ZOOT SUIT

A zoot suit has pants that are fairly loose fitting, except around the cuff at the bottom of the leg. The pants also have a high waist. The jacket of the suit has wide lapels and wide padded shoulders. Zoot suits were popular in the US in the thirties and forties, and were often associated with the African American, Latino American and Italian American ethnic groups. Over in the UK, the zoot suit was worn by the “Teddy boys” of the fifties and sixties. “Zoot” is probably just a slang iteration of the word “suit”.

46. Channel for “Conan” : TBS

Before Conan O’Brien came to fame as a late night talk show host, he was a writer. He wrote for both “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons”.

49. ___-Caps (theater candy) : SNO

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

50. Faux ___ : PAS

The term “faux pas” is French in origin, and translates literally as “false step” (or “false steps”, as the plural has the same spelling in French).

54. Fast-food chain with a goateed spokesman : KFC

The famous “Colonel” of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) fame was Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur from Henryville, Indiana. Although not really a “Colonel”, Sanders did indeed serve in the military. He enlisted in the Army as a private in 1906 at the age of 16, lying about his age. He spent the whole of his time in the Army as a soldier in Cuba. It was much later, in the 1930s, that Sanders went into the restaurant business making his specialty deep-fried chicken. By 1935 his reputation as a “character” had grown, so much so that Governor Ruby Laffoon of Kentucky gave Sanders the honorary title of “Kentucky Colonel”. Later in the fifties, Sanders developed his trademark look with the white suit, string tie, mustache and goatee. When Sanders was 65 however, his business failed and in stepped Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s. Thomas simplified the Sanders menu, cutting it back from over a hundred items to just fried chicken and salads. That was enough to launch KFC into the fast food business. Sanders sold the US franchise in 1964 for just $2 million and moved to Canada to grow KFC north of the border. He died in 1980 and is buried in Louisville, Kentucky. The Colonel’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices is indeed a trade secret. Apparently there is only one copy of the recipe, a handwritten piece of paper, written in pencil and signed by Colonel Sanders. Since 2009, the piece of paper has been locked in a computerized vault surrounded with motion detectors and security cameras.
A goatee is a beard formed by hair on just a man’s chin. The name probably comes from the tuft of hair seen on an adult goat.

56. Flashing light phenomenon : STROBE EFFECT (hiding “BEEF”)

A strobe light is a device that produces regular flashes, like the light on top of a police car. The term derives from the Greek “strobos” meaning “twisting, whirling”.

61. Ridiculous : INANE

Our word “inane” meaning silly or lacking substance comes from the Latin “inanitis” meaning “empty space”.

65. Humdinger : LULU

We call a remarkable thing or a person a “lulu”. The term is used in honor of Lulu Hurst, the Georgia Wonder, who was a stage magician active in the 1880s.
A humdinger or a pip is someone or something outstanding. “Humdinger” is American slang dating back to the early 1900s, and was originally used to describe a particularly attractive woman.

67. “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare,” e.g. : TOME

“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century “tome” had come to mean “a large book”.
“First Folio” is the name commonly used for a collection of William Shakespeare’s plays published in 1623 under the title “Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories & Tragedies”. The “First Folio” originally sold for one pound, which is about $230 in today’s money. About 750 copies were made, and there are just under 230 copies believed to still exist. A copy stolen from Durham University in 1998 was recovered in 2008, and was valued at about 15 million pounds.

70. What’s happening and when, informally : SKED

Schedule (sked)

Down

1. Donald ___ Trump : JOHN

Future president Donald John Trump was born in 1946 in Queens, New York, the fourth of five children. He was Donald’s father was Fred Trump, who built a real estate fortune, mainly in New York City. Donald’s mother was Mary Anne MacLeod, an immigrant from the Outer Hebrides in Scotland.

2. ___ Blizzard (Dairy Queen offering) : OREO

Soft serve ice cream was developed by John McCullough in 1938. McCullough was able to get his new dessert carried by a local ice cream store in Illinois. He and the store owner became so swamped with sales that they opened a store specifically built around the product in Joliet, Illinois, hence creating the first Dairy Queen outlet. There are now over 5,700 Dairy Queen franchises in 19 countries. We’ve even got one in Ireland …

3. Roseanne of “Roseanne” : BARR

The comedian Roseanne Barr is perhaps best known as the star of her own sitcom called “Roseanne” in which she played the character Roseanne Conner. The original cast of “Roseanne” is scheduled to return for a revival of the series in 2018. In 2012 Barr unsuccessfully vied for the Green Party’s nomination for US President. She didn’t give up though, and was successful in winning the nomination of the Peace and Freedom Party. In the 2012 presidential election she earned over 60,000 votes, and placed sixth in the list of candidates.

4. Animal that hangs upside down in trees : SLOTH

All four of the extant species of three-toed sloths are native to South and Central America. Cousins of the three-toed sloths are the two-toed sloths, of which there are two species still living.

5. Graffiti artist’s tool : SPRAY CAN

“Graffiti” is the plural of “graffito”, the Italian for “a scribbling”. The word was first used to describe ancient inscriptions on the walls in the ruins of Pompeii.

6. Rich soil : LOAM

Loam is soil made up of sand, silt and clay in the ratio of about 40-40-20. Relative to other soil types, loam is is usually rich in nutrients and moisture, drains well and is easy to till.

7. Big name in beauty products : ARPEL

The Adrien Arpel cosmetic company was founded in 1962 and sold its products across Europe. The company started selling in the US in 1968.

8. Game craze of the late 1980s and ’90s : TETRIS

Tetris is a very addictive video game that was developed in the Soviet Union in 1984. The name Tetris comes from a melding of the prefix “tetra-” (as all the game pieces have four segments) and “tennis” (a favorite sport played by the developer). Since 2005 there have been more than 100 million copies of the game installed on cell phones alone.

9. Falcon rocket launcher : SPACEX

SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) is a space transportation company that was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, veteran of PayPal and Tesla Motors. In 2012, SpaceX became the first private concern to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station. Apparently, SpaceX is the lowest-price player in the game.

10. Yemen’s capital : SANA’A

Sana (also “Sana’a”) is the capital city of Yemen. Sitting at an elevation of 7,380 feet, Sana is one of the highest capital cities in the world. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site. According to legend, Sana was founded by Shem, the son of Noah.

12. Nativity scene figure : ASS

In the Christian tradition, a nativity scene (also “crèche”) is a display of representing the the scene of the birth of Jesus. Nativity scenes might be subjects for paintings, for example, although the term is usually used for seasonal displays associated with the Christmas season.

13. Emeritus: Abbr. : RET

“Emeritus” (female form “emerita”, plural “emeriti”) is a term in the title of some retired professionals, particularly those from academia. Originally an emeritus was a veteran soldier who had served his time. The term comes from the Latin verb “emerere” meaning to complete one’s service.

21. Country to which Frederick Douglass was a U.S. ambassador : HAITI

The Republic of Haiti occupies the smaller, western portion of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. The rest of the island is taken up by the Dominican Republic. Haiti is one of only two nations in the Americas to have French as an official language, the other being Canada.
Frederick Douglass was a leader of the abolitionist movement. Douglass had been born a slave in Maryland, and escaped to the North when he was about 20 years old. A few years later, Douglass wrote his most famous book “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave”. The book became a huge hit and was reprinted nine time within the first three years of its publication. Not only did Douglass champion the abolition of slavery, but he also vigorously supported women’s suffrage. He became the first African American to be nominated for the office of US Vice President when he ran alongside women’s suffragist Victoria Woodhull in 1872.

22. Natalie Cole’s “___ Got Love on My Mind” : I’VE

Natalie Cole is the daughter of Nat King Cole. Natalie’s mother was Maria Cole, a singer with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. The most famous version of the hit song “Unforgettable” was released in 1951 by Nat King Cole. In 1991, Natalie Cole recorded a version that was mixed with an earlier 1961 version sung by her father, creating an “unforgettable” father-daughter duet that was made 26 years after Nat King Cole had passed away.

26. Napoli’s nation : ITALIA

Naples (“Napoli” in Italian) is the third largest city in Italy. The name “Napoli” comes from the city’s Ancient Greek name, which translates as “New City”. That’s a bit of a paradox as today Naples is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world.

27. Field where Jackie Robinson played : EBBETS

Ebbets Field was home to the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1913 to 1957. The stadium was also home to three NFL teams: the NY Brickley Giants (1921), the Brooklyn Lions (1926) and the Brooklyn Dodgers/Tigers (1930-1944)
The great Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to play in baseball’s Major League. When Robinson made his first MLB appearance, for the Brooklyn Dodgers, he did so in front of over 26,000 spectators. Well over half the crowd that day were African-Americans, there to witness the event. Major League Baseball universally retired Robinson’s number 42 in 1997. However, on the annual Jackie Robinson Day, all MLB players on all teams wear #42 in his honor.

28. Like the meter in sonnets : IAMBIC

An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. Robert Frost’s “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” consists of lines made up of four sequential iambs e.g. “Whose woods / these are / I think / I know”. With a sequence of four iambs, the poem’s structure is described as iambic tetrameter.
A sonnet is a short poem with varying rhyming schemes but always with 14 lines. The sonnet form has been around at least since the 13th century. The Shakespearean sonnet, for example, is composed of three quatrains (4 lines) and a final couplet (2 lines).

29. Ed of “Modern Family” : O’NEILL

Ed O’Neill made it big on television playing Al Bundy on the sitcom “Married … with Children”, not a show I ever cared for. However, O’Neill is in the cast of a great show that I do recommend “Modern Family”.
“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”.

30. Popular Belgian beer, for short : STELLA

The Belgian beer Stella Artois is named for the brewer Sebastianus Artois. Artois was the master brewer at the Den Hoorn Brewery in Leuven, Belgium in the early 1700s. The Den Hoorn Brewery has been around at least since 1366 … yes, 1366!

32. Fictional tree creature : ENT

Ents are those tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

36. Carmel finish? : -ITE

The full name of the Carmelite religious order of the Catholic church is the Order of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It is thought that the order was founded on Mt. Carmel in northern Israel in the 12th century, giving the name.

37. Letters on an AM dial : KHZ

In telecommunications, a radio signal is transmitted using a sinusoidal carrier wave. Information is transmitted using this carrier wave in two main ways, by varying (modulating) the instantaneous amplitude (signal strength) of the carrier wave, and by modulating the instantaneous frequency of the carrier wave. The former is referred to as an AM signal (“amplitude modulation”), and the latter as an FM signal (“frequency modulation”).

38. 1960s radical grp. : SDS

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

40. Canon model : EOS

I’ve been using Canon EOS cameras for decades now, and have nothing but good things to say about both the cameras and the lenses. The EOS name stands for Electro-Optical System, and was chosen because it evokes the name of Eos, the Titan goddess of dawn from Greek mythology.

46. Intradermal diagnostic, for short : TB TEST

The Mantoux test is a skin test used to screen for tuberculosis (TB). The test is named for French physician Charles Mantoux who developed it in 1907. The procedure involves the injection of a small amount of tuberculin into the skin to check for an immune response. Tuberculin is a protein that is extracted from the outer membrane of the bacterium that causes TB.

48. Some tennis wear : SKORTS

The garment called a “skort” is a hybrid between shorts and a skirt.

53. Kindle material : E-BOOK

Amazon’s Kindle line of e-book readers was introduced in 2007. The name “kindle” was chosen to evoke images of “lighting a fire” through reading and intellectual stimulation. I bought myself a Kindle Fire HD not that long ago. I’ve started reading e-books for the first time in my life, as well as enjoying other computing options available with the tablet device. I love it …

57. Salinger dedicatee : ESME

J. D. Salinger wrote a short story called “For Esmé – with Love and Squalor” that was originally published in “The New Yorker” in 1950. It is a story about a young English girl called Esme and an American soldier, and is set in WWII.

58. Tip of France? : EURO

The Euro is the official currency of most of the states in the European Union, but not all. The list of states not using the Euro includes the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

60. Idiot box : TUBE

“Idiot box” and “boob tube” are nicknames for television.

61. ___-de-France : ILE

Île-de-France (literally “Island of France”) isn’t an island at all. Instead, it is the most populous of France’s 26 administrative regions. Île-de-France is roughly equivalent to the Paris metropolitan area.

62. Put the kibosh on : NIX

The use of “nix” as a verb, meaning “to shoot down”, dates back to the early 1900s. Before that “nix” was just a noun meaning “nothing”. “Nix” comes from the German “nichts”, which also means “nothing”.
A kibosh is something that constrains or checks. “Kibosh” looks like a Yiddish word but it isn’t, and is more likely English slang from the early 1800s.

63. Operator’s org.? : AMA

American Medical Association (AMA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Perennial campaign issue : JOBS
5. Airplane wing feature : SLAT
9. Cool, giant sun : S STAR
14. Taken by mouth : ORAL
15. Sweat spot : PORE
16. Remote control button : PAUSE
17. Grinder : HERO
18. Totally focused : RAPT
19. Brooding worry : ANGST
20. Big part of the New World : NORTH AMERICA (hiding “HAM”)
23. It’s pitched with a pitchfork : HAY
24. Present oneself falsely : LIVE A LIE (hiding “VEAL”)
28. Greek island in the Aegean Sea : IOS
31. Common supply for a party : ICE
33. One cause for an R rating : SEX
34. Wagering venue, briefly : OTB
35. Like some missiles : ANTI-TANK
38. Onetime Volvo competitor : SAAB
39. Compromise … or a phonetic hint to this puzzle’s shaded squares : MEET IN THE MIDDLE (sounds like “MEAT IN THE MIDDLE”)
43. Bad temper : BILE
44. Flashy 1940s men’s attire : ZOOT SUIT
45. Lead-in to bred or behaved : ILL-
46. Channel for “Conan” : TBS
49. ___-Caps (theater candy) : SNO
50. Faux ___ : PAS
51. Seaside cookout : CLAMBAKE (hiding “LAMB”)
54. Fast-food chain with a goateed spokesman : KFC
56. Flashing light phenomenon : STROBE EFFECT (hiding “BEEF”)
61. Ridiculous : INANE
64. Pink : ROSY
65. Humdinger : LULU
66. Arms and legs : LIMBS
67. “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare,” e.g. : TOME
68. 10-Down resident : ARAB
69. On the nose : EXACT
70. What’s happening and when, informally : SKED
71. Recorded message prompt : TONE

Down

1. Donald ___ Trump : JOHN
2. ___ Blizzard (Dairy Queen offering) : OREO
3. Roseanne of “Roseanne” : BARR
4. Animal that hangs upside down in trees : SLOTH
5. Graffiti artist’s tool : SPRAY CAN
6. Rich soil : LOAM
7. Big name in beauty products : ARPEL
8. Game craze of the late 1980s and ’90s : TETRIS
9. Falcon rocket launcher : SPACEX
10. Yemen’s capital : SANA’A
11. Pull : TUG
12. Nativity scene figure : ASS
13. Emeritus: Abbr. : RET
21. Country to which Frederick Douglass was a U.S. ambassador : HAITI
22. Natalie Cole’s “___ Got Love on My Mind” : I’VE
25. Pack, as a car for travel : LOAD UP
26. Napoli’s nation : ITALIA
27. Field where Jackie Robinson played : EBBETS
28. Like the meter in sonnets : IAMBIC
29. Ed of “Modern Family” : O’NEILL
30. Popular Belgian beer, for short : STELLA
32. Fictional tree creature : ENT
36. Carmel finish? : -ITE
37. Letters on an AM dial : KHZ
38. 1960s radical grp. : SDS
40. Canon model : EOS
41. Tinkered (with) : MONKEYED
42. “Knock ___!” : IT OFF
46. Intradermal diagnostic, for short : TB TEST
47. Many a lounge : BAR
48. Some tennis wear : SKORTS
52. “___ Live” (daytime news program) : MSNBC
53. Kindle material : E-BOOK
55. B equivalent : C-FLAT
57. Salinger dedicatee : ESME
58. Tip of France? : EURO
59. Family : CLAN
60. Idiot box : TUBE
61. ___-de-France : ILE
62. Put the kibosh on : NIX
63. Operator’s org.? : AMA

14 thoughts on “0109-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 9 Jan 2018, Tuesday”

  1. 8:54 Had a slight problem in the middle left. Both IAMBIC and ANITTANK took me a little of time to figure out. Other than that, no problems.

  2. 22:00 after a minute or two to catch 2 errors before finally getting the music. Sheesh. Exhausted so I’m assuming my time is a result of that.

    I find Harland Sanders’ bio fascinating. I’ve become an “expert” by watching his bio on the Discovery Channel a few times….

    @Dave – Just for the record, my worries for you were really self-serving in that I didn’t want to get sick myself 😛

    @Marc –
    Looks like you’re still having trouble with ANITTANK 😛

    Goodness – the fatigue of this day has really brought out my inner wise-“Nativity scene figure”…. 🙂

    Best –

    1. @Jeff … I understood your worries … ? … in any case, I was never less than 200 miles from Houston, so I don’t think you really needed to be too worried … ?.

      I must say that I’m beginning to be too old for a trip like that … ?

  3. No errors but a good challenging effort for me.

    Bill, I appreciated your comment about the name for Stella Artois beer. I had always thought that it was named for a woman. Actually, I learned from a quick search that the Stella part is not a name at all. STELLA refers to the star of Bethlehem. The connection is that the beer was first brewed around Christmastime.

  4. Not sure that MEETINTHEMIDDLE is a good revealer, but it is in the MIDDLE of the grid, and a couple of the MEaTS are in the EXACT middle of their answers. Not a great menu, but okay.

  5. 16:14 and DNF, could only guess at PAUSE for 16A. The rest would not come to me.

    The Theme is beyond redemption, simply because MEET and MEAT are two different words. Sorry, it doesn’t wash.

    More “convenient” constructing, more poor editing.

  6. @Allen–MEET is used here as a pun, not a very good one for sure, but it does pass as a pun. It has been said that puns are the lowest form of humor; that often seems to be true.

  7. In Iowa, the grinder sandwich is made of ground sausage and other meats with an Italian flavor, possibly including cheese and red sauce served on a hoagie bun. A hero sandwich is usually sliced meats.

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