0115-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 15 Jan 2018, Monday

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Constructed by: Agnes Davidson & Zhouqin Burnikel
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: Free at Last

Themed answer are phrases in which the LAST word is a synonym of FREE:

  • 61A. Final words of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech … or a hint to the endings of 17-, 24-, 39- and 49-Across : FREE AT LAST
  • 17A. Singer’s latest : NEW RELEASE
  • 24A. Like religious institutions vis-à-vis the I.R.S. : TAX EXEMPT
  • 39A. “We can go safely now” : THE COAST IS CLEAR
  • 49A. “Excuse me?” : BEG PARDON

Bill’s time: 5m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Big advertiser at auto races : STP

STP is a brand name for automotive lubricants and additives. The name STP comes from “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.

4. Sunoco competitor : CITGO

The oil and gasoline company Citgo was founded in 1910 as Cities Services Company, a supplier of gas and electricity to public utilities. City Services Company introduced the Citgo brand in 1965 in its petroleum businesses. Citgo is now owned by the national oil company of Venezuela.

13. Breakfast restaurant chain : IHOP

The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) was founded back in 1958. IHOP was originally intended to be called IHOE, the International House of Eggs, but that name didn’t do too well in marketing tests!

15. Quarter Pounder topper : ONION

The Quarter Pounder sandwich was created just down the road here, in a McDonald’s restaurant in Fremont, California. The franchise owner felt that there was a market for a hamburger with more meat in the bun, and so introduced a meat patty that weighed a quarter pound prior to cooking. He advertised the Quarter Pounder in his restaurant using the slogan, “Today Fremont, tomorrow the world”. Prophetic words …

16. Jay who preceded Jimmy Fallon : LENO

“The Tonight Show” has had six permanent hosts so far:

  • Steve Allen (1954-57)
  • Jack Paar (1957-62)
  • Johnny Carson (1962–92)
  • Jay Leno (1992–2009, 2010–14)
  • Conan O’Brien (2009–10)
  • Jimmy Fallon (2014–present)

22. Alternatives to Nikes : AVIAS

The Avia brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

23. Lodge member : ELK

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome.

24. Like religious institutions vis-à-vis the I.R.S. : TAX EXEMPT

We can use the French phrase “vis-à-vis” as a preposition meaning “compared with”. When used as an adverb or adjective, it means “face-to-face”, which is a more literal translation from French.

26. King Arthur’s magician : MERLIN

The merlin is a small falcon that used to known as a pigeon hawk here in North America. Merlins were commonly used for falconry in medieval Europe. A “perlin” is a hybrid of a merlin and a peregrine falcon.

29. The lion in summer? : LEO

The constellation called Leo can be said to resemble a lion. Others say that it resembles a bent coat hanger. “Leo” is the Latin for “lion”, but I’m not sure how to translate “coat hanger” into Latin …

31. What gigabytes might measure : MEMORY

In the world of computing, a bit is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of “bits” (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix mega- stands for 10 to the power of 6, so a megabyte (meg) is 1,000,000 bytes. And the prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, so a gigabyte (gig) is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Well, those are the SI definitions of megabyte and kilobyte. The purists still use 2 to the power of 20 for a megabyte (i.e. 1,048,576), and 2 to the power of 30 for a gigabyte.

42. Like food from a West African drive-through? : TO-GO

Togo is a country on the West African coast, one of the smallest nations on the continent. It is located between Ghana to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north.

47. Scores two under par : EAGLES

The following terms are routinely used in golf for scores relative to par:

  • Bogey: one over par
  • Par
  • Birdie: one under par
  • Eagle: two under par
  • Albatross (also “double eagle”): three under par
  • Condor: four under par

No one has ever recorded a condor during a professional tournament.

55. YouTube posting, casually : VID

YouTube is a video-sharing website, launched in 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Yep, $1.65 billion, less than two years after it was founded …

57. The Diamondbacks, on scoreboards : ARI

The Arizona Diamondbacks joined Major League Baseball’s National League in 1998. By winning the World Series in 2001, the Diamondbacks became the fastest expansion team to do so in Major League history.

60. ___ monster (desert denizen) : GILA

A Gila monster is a venomous lizard found in the southwestern US and northern Mexico, and is the only venomous lizard native to America. Gila monsters move along at a snail’s pace so aren’t normally a danger to humans. The name “Gila” is a reference to the Gila River Basin in the American Southwest, where the Gila monster was prevalent.

61. Final words of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech … or a hint to the endings of 17-, 24-, 39- and 49-Across : FREE AT LAST

I remember listening to the full text of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I have a dream …” speech not long after I moved to this country. I think I am man enough to admit that my eyes misted up as I listened to the words. I also recall thinking how lucky I was to have been invited to live in this great country, which was facing up to some of the sins of its past.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

65. Actress Christina : RICCI

Christina Ricci is an American actress who found fame on the big screen at an early age, playing the very young Wednesday Addams in the 1991 movie version of “The Addams Family”.

67. Loch ___ monster : NESS

The Loch Ness monster has been talked about for centuries, but modern interest started in 1933 when a spate of sightings was reported. Those sightings don’t seem to have stopped, with photographs really sparking the imagination.

Down

1. Covet one’s neighbor’s wife, e.g. : SIN

According to the Book of Exodus, the wording for the tenth commandment is:

… thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

2. “The Cosby Show” son : THEO

Malcolm-Jamal Warner was the child actor who played Theo Huxtable on “The Cosby Show”. You can see the grown-up Warner today, playing Dr. Alex Reed on the BET sitcom “Reed Between the Lines”.

4. Mustard in the game Clue, e.g.: Abbr. : COL

Clue is board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

7. Shout at Fenway Park : GO SOX!

The Boston Red Sox is one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams and so commands a large attendance, but only when on the road. The relatively small capacity of Boston’s Fenway Park, the team’s home since 1912, has dictated that every game the Red Sox has played there has been a sell-out since May of 2003.

8. Final word shouted before “Happy New Year!” : ONE

… three, two, one, Happy New Year!

9. Cruet filler at an Italian restaurant : OLIVE OIL

A cruet is a small glass bottle that holds a condiment or perhaps a dressing. The word “cruet” comes from the Old French word for an earthen pot.

10. Jeans material : DENIM

Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (meaning “from Nimes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

14. Green shampoo : PRELL

Prell shampoo was introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1947. Back then it was a clear green concentrate sold in a tube (like toothpaste).

18. ___ Pie (frozen treat) : ESKIMO

An Eskimo Pie is a chocolate-covered ice cream bar. The (delicious) dessert item was created in 1920, and first sold under the name “I-Scream Bar”.

25. French president’s palace : ELYSEE

The Élysée Palace is the official residence of the French President, and is near the Champs-Élysées in Paris. In the 1800s, there used to be a tunnel between the Élysée Palace and the nearby Tuileries Palace, a tunnel used quite often by Napoleon Bonaparte. While Napoleon lived in the Tuileries Palace, he would meet his mistresses in the Élysée Palace. He was ever the soul of discretion …

32. East Lansing sch. : MSU

Michigan State University (MSU) is located in East Lansing, Michigan. MSU has the largest study-abroad program of any single-campus university in the US. Programs are offered on all continents of the world, including Antarctica. The MSU athletic teams are known as the Spartans.

33. Gambling parlor, for short : 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. Mmes. of Madrid : SRAS

Madrid is the largest city in Spain and the capital. Madrid is located very close to the geographical center of the country. It is the third-largest city in the European Union (after London and Paris). People from Madrid called themselves Madrileños.

40. Dresses up for a comic con, say : COSPLAYS

Comic convention (comic con)

41. Fancy tie : CRAVAT

The cravat originated in Croatia and was an accessory used with a military uniform. Cravats were introduced to the fashion-conscious French by Croatian mercenaries enlisted into a regiment of the French army. The English placed a lot of emphasis on the knot used for the cravat, and in the period after the Battle of Waterloo the cravat came to be known as a “tie”. What we now call a tie in English is still called a “cravate” in French.

48. TV’s “2 Broke ___” : GIRLS

“2 Broke Girls” is a sitcom about two young ladies sharing an apartment in Brooklyn, and their attempts to launch a cupcake business. The title characters are played by Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs.

50. Napoleon, on St. Helena : EXILE

The island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic is one of the most remote islands in the world. It was discovered by Galician explorer João da Nova, who was sailing under the Portuguese flag. He name the island after Helena of Constantinople, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Famously, the British opted to exile Napoleon on Saint Helena soon after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The former French emperor died on the island in 1821.

52. Bobby who sang “Mack the Knife” : DARIN

The singer Bobby Darin had a short but eventful life. Darin started in show business as a songwriter for Connie Francis. He then made it big as a performer with huge hits like “Splish Splash”, “Dream Lover”, “Mack the Knife” and “Beyond the Sea”. He was active politically as a supporter of Robert Kennedy, and was present in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when Kennedy was assassinated. Soon after, Darin found out that the people he thought were his parents, were in fact his grandparents. The woman he knew as his older sister was in fact his mother. Darin died following a heart operation at only 37 years old.
“Die Moritat von Mackie Messer” is the original name of the song “Mack the Knife”, which comes from “The Threepenny Opera”. “The Threepenny Opera” (“Die Dreigroschenoper”) is a musical written by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill that first performed in Berlin in 1928, an adaptation of “The Beggar’s Opera” written by Englishman John Gay in the 18th century. “Mack the Knife” was introduced into the popular music repertoire by Louis Armstrong. He had a hit with it in 1956, but it was the Bobby Darin recording of 1959 that came to be known as the definitive, English-language version of the song. I love it …

53. Big name in vacuum cleaners : ORECK

The Oreck Corporation is named after founder David Oreck and makes vacuum cleaners and air purifiers. The company started out selling vacuum cleaners by mail, a new concept in 1963. David Oreck himself appears regularly as a spokesman in the company’s ads and infomercials.

63. Letters on an unfinished sched. : TBA

Something not yet on the schedule (“sked” or “sched.”) is to be advised/announced (TBA).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Big advertiser at auto races : STP
4. Sunoco competitor : CITGO
9. Distinctive smell : ODOR
13. Breakfast restaurant chain : IHOP
15. Quarter Pounder topper : ONION
16. Jay who preceded Jimmy Fallon : LENO
17. Singer’s latest : NEW RELEASE
19. “What’s gotten ___ you?” : INTO
20. Poems whose titles often start “To a …” : ODES
21. Con’s opposite : PRO
22. Alternatives to Nikes : AVIAS
23. Lodge member : ELK
24. Like religious institutions vis-à-vis the I.R.S. : TAX EXEMPT
26. King Arthur’s magician : MERLIN
29. The lion in summer? : LEO
30. “Disgusting!” : ICK!
31. What gigabytes might measure : MEMORY
35. Vexes : IRKS
39. “We can go safely now” : THE COAST IS CLEAR
42. Like food from a West African drive-through? : TO-GO
43. Tire material : RUBBER
44. In the style of : A LA
45. Envision : SEE
47. Scores two under par : EAGLES
49. “Excuse me?” : BEG PARDON
55. YouTube posting, casually : VID
56. Praise highly : EXALT
57. The Diamondbacks, on scoreboards : ARI
58. Vicinity : AREA
60. ___ monster (desert denizen) : GILA
61. Final words of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech … or a hint to the endings of 17-, 24-, 39- and 49-Across : FREE AT LAST
64. Wartime friend : ALLY
65. Actress Christina : RICCI
66. Chunk of concrete : SLAB
67. Loch ___ monster : NESS
68. Approved, as a contract : INKED
69. Resting place? : SPA

Down

1. Covet one’s neighbor’s wife, e.g. : SIN
2. “The Cosby Show” son : THEO
3. Volatile situation : POWDER KEG
4. Mustard in the game Clue, e.g.: Abbr. : COL
5. Bumbling : INEPT
6. Queen’s crown : TIARA
7. Shout at Fenway Park : GO SOX!
8. Final word shouted before “Happy New Year!” : ONE
9. Cruet filler at an Italian restaurant : OLIVE OIL
10. Jeans material : DENIM
11. Not bottled, at a bar : ON TAP
12. Perch in a chicken house : ROOST
14. Green shampoo : PRELL
18. ___ Pie (frozen treat) : ESKIMO
22. Tree toppler : AXE
25. French president’s palace : ELYSEE
26. Catcher’s glove : MITT
27. Canyon effect : ECHO
28. More proximate : NEARER
32. East Lansing sch. : MSU
33. Gambling parlor, for short : OTB
34. Umbrella part : RIB
36. Super bargains : REAL DEALS
37. Vitamin-rich green vegetable : KALE
38. Mmes. of Madrid : SRAS
40. Dresses up for a comic con, say : COSPLAYS
41. Fancy tie : CRAVAT
46. Grab a bite : EAT
48. TV’s “2 Broke ___” : GIRLS
49. Started : BEGAN
50. Napoleon, on St. Helena : EXILE
51. Vexes : GALLS
52. Bobby who sang “Mack the Knife” : DARIN
53. Big name in vacuum cleaners : ORECK
54. Sister’s daughter, e.g. : NIECE
59. “Right now!” : ASAP!
61. Payday, often: Abbr. : FRI
62. Help : AID
63. Letters on an unfinished sched. : TBA

15 thoughts on “0115-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 15 Jan 2018, Monday”

  1. 8:21. Agreed easy Monday. BEG PARDON raised an eyebrow as I don’t ever remember hearing that. Obviously “I beg your pardon” or “beg your pardon” but “BEG PARDON”? Hmmmmm

    Best –

  2. @Mike
    I didn’t know that either. Apparently COSPLAY is a contraction of COStume and PLAY – ie dressing up as a character as one might do at comic con…

    Best –

  3. No errors. The words of Martin Luther King are some of the greatest ever spoken. Even in a mere crossword puzzle his greatness shines through. Thanks for the tribute to a great man.

    I always complain about the clueing of ASAP as in today’s 59-Down. It does not mean “Right now!”. It simply means exactly what it says—i.e, “as soon as possible”. There is a difference. But puzzle constructors and editors continue to give it an extreme interpretation. I have recently run into a couple of puzzles that have indeed given ASAP it’s proper meaning in the clueing. So there is hope that the powers-that-be will start getting it right.

    1. @Dale …

      I completely agree with your view of Martin Luther King’s words. I teared up when I first heard the “dream” speech and I still do, whether I’m hearing it or reading it.

      As for ASAP: I think the dictionaries more or less agree with you, but, based on my experience, if your boss uses it, whether verbally or in written form, you’re well advised to assume the meaning implied by this crossword puzzle … ?

  4. For those like myself who have never played the game of Clue, 4-Down might have you wondering what COL might mean. It stands for Colonel, as the military rank. It is a playing piece for the character called Colonel Mustard. The piece is a of a mustard-yellow color. I had to look this up.

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