0105-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 5 Jan 2018, Friday

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Constructed by: Ned White
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 47s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • ROTOS (rotas)
  • NGAIO (Ngaia)

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10. Orion : Hunter :: Cetus : ___ : WHALE

Cetus is a constellation named after a sea monster from Greek mythology. Today, Cetus is often called “the Whale”.

The very recognizable constellation of Orion is named for the Greek god Orion, the Hunter. If you take a look at the star in Orion’s “right shoulder”, the second brightest star in the constellation, you might notice that it is quite red in color. This is the famous star called Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, a huge star that is on its way out. Betelgeuse is expected to explode into a supernova within the next thousand years or so. You don’t want to miss that …

17. Part of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, with “The” : RHINEGOLD

“Das Rheingold” is an 1869 opera by Richard Wagner, and is the first of four works that comprise his famous “Ring Cycle”.

18. The “she” in the line “To Sherlock Holmes she is always THE woman” : IRENE

The character Irene Adler only appears in one of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In that story, “A Scandal in Bohemia”, Holmes expresses remarkable admiration for Adler as a woman and as a foe. As a result, derivative works in the Holmes genre often feature Adler as something of a romantic interest for Sherlock.

19. “All ___ is autobiographical”: Fellini : ART

Federico Fellini was a film director and scriptwriter from Rimini in Italy. Fellini won more Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film than anyone else.

20. Rank below marquis : EARL

In the ranking of nobles, an earl comes above a viscount and below a marquis. The rank of earl is used in the British peerage system and is equivalent to the rank of count in other countries. Other British ranks have female forms (e.g. marquis and marchioness, viscount and viscountess), but there isn’t a female word for the rank of earl. A female given the same rank as an earl is known as a countess.

28. Little sandwiches for dessert : OREOS

How the Oreo cookie came to get its name seems to have been lost in the mists of time. One theory is that it comes from the French “or” meaning “gold”, a reference to the gold color of the original packing. Another suggestion is that the name is the Greek word “oreo” meaning “beautiful, nice, well-done”.

29. Coppertone no. : SPF

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 …

39. Popular beer pong container : SOLO CUP

The Solo Cup was introduced in 1930, and was the creation of a former employee of the Dixie Company. The first Solo Cup was a paper cone that founder Leo Hulseman made at home and sold to companies that distributed bottled water. Apparently, Solo’s red plastic cup sell very well, and are used by college students playing beer pong.

42. Game you never want to get your fill of? : 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.

44. Ricochet : CAROM

A carom is a ricochet, the bouncing of some projectile off a surface. Carom has come to mean the banking of a billiard ball, the bouncing of the ball off the side of the table.

49. “On the double!” : STAT!

The exact etymology of “stat”, a term meaning “immediately” in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin “statim” meaning “to a standstill, immediately”. A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for “short turn-around time”.

58. ___ State (Rhode Island nickname) : OCEAN

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union, and is the second most densely populated. (after New Jersey). Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State, largely because about 14% of the state’s area is made up of ocean bays and inlets. Exactly how Rhode Island got its name is a little unclear. What is known is that way back in 1524, long before the Pilgrims came to New England, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano likened an island in the area to the Island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. There were subsequent references to “Rhode Island” in English publications, before the colonists arrived.

62. Chocolate source : CACAO TREE

The flowers of the cacao tree grow in clusters directly on the trunk, and on older branches. The pollinated flowers turn into ovoid cacao pods, each of which contain 20-60 seeds or beans. The seeds are used as the main ingredient in chocolate.

63. Old newspaper photo sections, informally : ROTOS

“Roto” is a short for “rotogravure”, a photomechanical process used for printing pictures and some typeset matter. By extension, a “roto” was also a section of a paper printed using such a process, particularly a magazine section.

64. Crustacean in Creole cuisine : CRAWDADDY

“Crawdad” and “crawfish” are alternative names for crayfish, with “crawdad” being more common in the south of the country.

Down

2. 1980s skiing champ Phil : MAHRE

Phil Mahre is one of the great alpine ski racers, and is a native of Yakima, Washington. Phil’s twin brother Steve was also a skier on the World Cup circuit.

4. Heinie : CAN

The slang term “heinie”, meaning “rear end”, is probably a contraction of “hind end”.

5. Bauhaus figure : KLEE

The artist Paul Klee was born in Switzerland, but studied art in Munich in Germany. You can see many of Klee’s works in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. If you get to Bern in Switzerland, even more of them can be seen at the Zentrum Paul Klee that was opened in 2005. Klee’s most celebrated work is his pointillist painting from 1932 called “Ad Parnassum”, which is owned by the Kunstmuseum, also located in Bern.

The literal translation to the term “Bauhaus” is “House of Building”. It was a school (meaning education establishment) that operated from 1919 to 1933. It became famous for its approach to design across many disciplines, everything from art to typography.

6. “Dancers at the Bar” painter : DEGAS

Edgar Degas was a French artist who was famous for both his paintings and his sculptures. Some of Degas’ most beautiful works feature female ballet dancers, and others depict women bathing.

7. City north of Lisbon : OPORTO

Portugal’s city of Oporto (“Porto” in Portuguese) gave its name to port wine in the late 1600s. Oporto was the seaport through which most of the region’s fortified red wine was exported.

8. Captain in “Apocalypse Now” : WILLARD

The epic war drama “Apocalypse Now” was released in 1979 and starred Martin Sheen as Captain Willard and Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz. The premise of the film is that both Willard and Kurtz are special ops officers, with Willard sent into the jungle to assassinate Kurtz who has “gone rogue”. The film is notorious for the trouble that director Francis Ford Coppola had completing the shoot. Brando turned up on set grossly overweight (as a special ops guy!), and poor Martin Sheen had a heart attack during filming.

9. Homer’s neighbor : NED

Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

10. Traditional January events : WHITE SALES

The first white sale took place in January of 1878 in a Philadelphia department store. The event was called a white sale because only bed linens (which were all white) were discounted. Over time, white sales have evolved to include almost any household items.

12. Actor Leon of “The Postman Always Rings Twice” : AMES

“The Postman Always Rings Twice” is a crime novel by James M. Cain that was first published in 1934. The title is puzzling to say the least, because in the story there is no postman, and no one ringing any doorbells. The novel has been adapted for the big screen four times, has been adapted as a play, and there is even an opera! The most famous film version is from 1946 and stars Lana Turner and John Garfield. I haven’t read the book, but that 1946 movie is fabulous …

13. “Girls” creator/star Dunham : LENA

Lena Dunham is a co-star in the HBO series “Girls”, and is also the show’s creator. Dunham garnered a lot of attention for herself during the 2012 US Presidential election cycle as she starred in an ad focused on getting out the youth vote. In the spot, she compared voting for the first time with having sex for the first time.

23. When repeated, a Northwest city : WALLA

The Washington city of Walla Walla used to be called Steptoeville. It was named for Edward Steptoe, an officer in the US Army who served in the Indian Wars. Walla Walla is a Native American phrase meaning “place of many waters”.

29. Staple feature of Groucho Marx’s “You Bet Your Life” : SECRET WORD

Groucho Marx’s real name was Julius Henry Marx. By the time Groucho started his successful, post-Hollywood career hosting the quiz show “You Bet Your Life”, he was sporting a real mustache. For all his movies, his mustache had been painted on with greasepaint.

30. Spittoon sound : PTUI!

“Ptui!” is an exclamation of disgust.

32. Heavyweight champ Riddick : BOWE

Riddick Bowe is a former professional boxer from Brooklyn, New York. Bowe was Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World in 1992. A few years later Bowe retired from boxing to join the US Marines. However, after just 11 days of basic training Bowe asked to quit, and the Marine Corps came into a lot of criticism for acceding to his request.

38. White wine cocktails : KIRS

Kir is a French cocktail made by adding a teaspoon or so of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) to a glass, and then topping it off with white wine. The drink is named after Felix Kir, the Mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, who used to offer the drink to his guests. My wife is particularly fond of a variant called a Kir Royale, in which the white wine is replaced with champagne.

41. Popular BBC car series : TOP GEAR

“Top Gear” is a motoring show that first aired in 1977 on the BBC. The original show had legs, and ran until 2001, when it was cancelled due to falling ratings. The show was then relaunched in a new format in 2002. At its peak, the old “Top Gear” had 6 million viewers per week. The relaunched “Top Gear” commanded a staggering 350 million viewers per week at its peak, in 170 different countries. The new version of the show suffered a bump in the road when the main host Jeremy Clarkson was fired by the BBC for inappropriate behavior. The three “Top Gear” hosts all left together, and were hired by Amazon to host a new competing show called “The Grand Tour”.

45. Hand-held percussion instrument : MARACA

Maracas are percussion instruments native to Latin America. They are constructed from a dried shell, like that of a coconut, to which a handle is attached. The shell is filled with dried seeds or beans, and shaken.

47. Mystery writer Marsh : NGAIO

Dame Ngaio Marsh was a crime writer from New Zealand. Marsh is known as one of the four original “Queens of Crime”, namely: Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham, Agatha Christie, and Marsh. All her novels feature her hero, a British CID detective named Roderick Alleyn.

48. Colorful talker : MACAW

Macaws are beautifully colored birds of native to Central and South America, and are actually a type of parrot. Most species of macaw are now endangered, with several having become extinct in recent decades. The main threats are deforestation and illegal trapping and trafficking of exotic birds.

50. “Arabian Nights” prince : AHMED

In the “Arabian Nights”, Prince Ahmed is noted for having a magic tent which would grow larger to shelter an army, and then grow small again so that it could fit into a pocket.

The marvelous collection of folk tales from the Middle East called “One Thousand and One Nights” is sometimes known as “Arabian Nights” in the English-speaking world. The original collection of tales did not include the three with which we are most familiar in the West. European translators added some stories, including “Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp”, “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, and “The Seven Voyages of Sinbad”.

51. Actor Maguire : TOBEY

The actor Tobey Maguire is most associated with the role of Spider-Man these days. I’m not much into comic book hero films, but I do kind of enjoy the understated way that Maguire takes on “Spidey”. Maguire has appeared in other hit films, like “Pleasantville” (1998), “The Cider House Rules” (1999) and “Seabiscuit” (2003). Off the screen, he is big into poker and it’s said that he has won over $10 million playing poker in Hollywood.

52. Yahoo : BOOR

Back in the early 1500s, a boor was a rustic person, a peasant farmer, someone associated with the countryside. The term “boor” ultimately comes from the Latin “bos” meaning “cow, ox”. By the mid-1500s, someone described as boorish was considered rude in manner, which is our usage today.

Yahoos were brutish creatures introduced by Irish author Jonathan Swift in “Gulliver’s Travels”. Their savage, slovenly ways gave rise of the use of “yahoo” in English to describe a lout or neanderthal.

53. Prefix with phobia : ACRO-

Our prefix “acro-” comes from the Greek “akros” meaning “at the top”. Examples are “acrophobia” (fear of heights) and “Acropolis” (“city at the top”).

59. Include discreetly, in a way : BCC

A blind carbon copy (bcc) is a copy of a document or message that is sent to someone without other recipients of the message knowing about that extra copy.

60. ‘L’ overseer : CTA

The Chicago “L” is the second largest rapid transit system in the US, with the New York City Subway being the largest. The “L” is also the second oldest, again with the New York City Subway system having the honor of being around the longest. Note that the official nickname for the system is the “L” (originally short for “elevated railroad”), although the term “El” is also in common use (especially in crosswords as “ELS”). The L is managed by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Professional wrestling program since 1999 : SMACKDOWN
10. Orion : Hunter :: Cetus : ___ : WHALE
15. Southwestern casserole with a cornbread crust : TAMALE PIE
16. Comfortable : HOMEY
17. Part of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, with “The” : RHINEGOLD
18. The “she” in the line “To Sherlock Holmes she is always THE woman” : IRENE
19. “All ___ is autobiographical”: Fellini : ART
20. Rank below marquis : EARL
21. “What a shame” : IT’S SAD
22. “That hurts!” : YEOW!
24. One up? : STANDEE
26. “Tommyrot!” : BAH!
28. Little sandwiches for dessert : OREOS
29. Coppertone no. : SPF
32. Activity next to a bar : BALLET
35. Fund : DONATE TO
37. Just for the fun of it : ON A LARK
39. Popular beer pong container : SOLO CUP
40. Cry at the end of a family trip : WE MADE IT!
42. Game you never want to get your fill of? : TETRIS
43. Milk source : EWE
44. Ricochet : CAROM
46. “Get it?” : SEE?
47. Email button that moves a message to one’s inbox : NOT SPAM
49. “On the double!” : STAT!
52. Villain : BAD GUY
55. Fat, to François : GRAS
57. Radio station call letters that ask a question? : WHO
58. ___ State (Rhode Island nickname) : OCEAN
59. Hunt for treasure, in a way : BEACHCOMB
61. Revolution : ORBIT
62. Chocolate source : CACAO TREE
63. Old newspaper photo sections, informally : ROTOS
64. Crustacean in Creole cuisine : CRAWDADDY

Down

1. Drift : STRAY
2. 1980s skiing champ Phil : MAHRE
3. Question of responsibility : AM I TO BLAME?
4. Heinie : CAN
5. Bauhaus figure : KLEE
6. “Dancers at the Bar” painter : DEGAS
7. City north of Lisbon : OPORTO
8. Captain in “Apocalypse Now” : WILLARD
9. Homer’s neighbor : NED
10. Traditional January events : WHITE SALES
11. Play (around) : HORSE
12. Actor Leon of “The Postman Always Rings Twice” : AMES
13. “Girls” creator/star Dunham : LENA
14. Sized up : EYED
21. Defensive retort : I DO NOT!
23. When repeated, a Northwest city : WALLA
25. Modernists, briefly : NEOS
27. Attendance inventories : HEAD COUNTS
29. Staple feature of Groucho Marx’s “You Bet Your Life” : SECRET WORD
30. Spittoon sound : PTUI!
31. Dandies : FOPS
32. Heavyweight champ Riddick : BOWE
33. Over : ANEW
34. Accord : TREATY
36. Completely, in modern slang : TOTES
38. White wine cocktails : KIRS
41. Popular BBC car series : TOP GEAR
45. Hand-held percussion instrument : MARACA
47. Mystery writer Marsh : NGAIO
48. Colorful talker : MACAW
50. “Arabian Nights” prince : AHMED
51. Actor Maguire : TOBEY
52. Yahoo : BOOR
53. Prefix with phobia : ACRO-
54. Economic concern : DEBT
56. No longer barefoot : SHOD
59. Include discreetly, in a way : BCC
60. ‘L’ overseer : CTA