0202-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 2 Feb 2018, Friday

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Constructed by: Randolph Ross
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 9m 35s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

17. What the British call a station wagon : ESTATE CAR

The style of automobile that we call “station wagon” here in North America, is known as “estate car” in the British Isles. Both names are really references to the vehicle’s utility in hauling baggage in the extra space provided in the rear. A station wagon could haul bags to the station, and an estate car could haul bags to one’s country estate!

18. Parting words : TA-TAS

An Englishman might say “ta-ta” or “cheerio” instead of “goodbye”. Well, supposedly so …

19. Laura of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” : DERN

The actress Laura Dern is the daughter of the actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Laura played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a 2017 movie from the “Star Wars” film franchise, and the second installment of the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy. The title character is Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill. Ah, but is Luke in fact the “last Jedi”?

20. Hot dogs : DAREDEVILS

Although “hotdogging” is a term now used across all sports, it was primarily associated with skiing and described the performance of showy and risky stunts on the slopes.

24. Charlotte ___, capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands : AMALIE

Charlotte Amalie is the capital and largest city in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The city was named after the queen consort of King Christian V of Denmark, Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel.

25. Iraq War danger, for short : IED

Having lived much of my life in the border areas between southern and Northern Ireland, I am sadly all too familiar with the devastating effects of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). One has to admire the bravery of soldiers who spend their careers defusing (or attempting to defuse) such devices in order to save the lives and property of others.

31. Taunts : JIVES

“To jive” is a slang verb meaning “to tease”.

33. Some baseball stats : ERAS

Earned run average (ERA)

35. Well-known speaker : BOSE

Bose Corporation was founded in 1964 by Amar G. Bose, and is a company that specializes in manufacture of audio equipment.

36. Boomer baby : XER

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 one definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

A baby boomer is someone who was born in the post-WWII baby boom. The rate of births had been falling fairly steadily in the US at least since 1900, but this trend was sharply reversed in 1946 after WWII. The higher birth rate continued until 1964, when it returned to pre-war levels. Since then the birth rate has continued to decline, although at a slower pace. The period between 1946 and 1964 is often defined as the “baby boom”.

37. Charlatan : FAKER

A charlatan is someone who makes false claims of skill or knowledge. “Charlatan” is a word we imported from French, although the original derivation is the Italian “ciarlatano”, the term for “a quack”.

41. Word on all U.S. coins : GOD

From 1776, “E pluribus unum” was the unofficial motto of the United States. The phrase translates from Latin as “Out of many, one”. It was pushed aside in 1956 when an Act of Congress designated “In God We Trust” as the country’s official motto. “In God We Trust” had appeared on US coins since 1864, but was only introduced on paper currency in 1957.

47. Author much used by other authors : PETER ROGET

Peter Mark Roget was an English lexicographer. Roget was an avid maker of lists, apparently using the routine of list-making to combat depression, a condition he endured for most of his life. He published his famous thesaurus in 1852, with revisions and expansions being made years later by his son, and then in turn by his grandson.

52. Mid-19th-century czar : NICHOLAS I

There were two tsars of Russia named Nicholas. Nicholas I was Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855. Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia and ruled from 1894 until he abdicated in 1917, and was executed with his family in 1918.

54. Robert who played filmdom’s Mr. Chips : DONAT

Robert Donat was a marvelous actor who starred in two of my favorite films: “The 39 Steps” from 1935 and “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” from 1939.

The fabulous 1939 movie “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” is an adaptation of a novel of the same name by James Hilton. Heading the cast are British actors Robert Donat and Greer Garson. “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” was remade as musical in 1969 starring Peter O’Toole and Petula Clark. I haven’t seen the remake, and frankly am a little scared to do so …

55. Yosemite attraction : EL CAPITAN

El Capitan is a stunning vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park in California. The top of El Capitan has been used as the take-off point for many BASE jumps, parachute jumps made by diving off the top of the rock face. The National Park Service put a stop to the practise in 1999. Soon after, a BASE jumper made an illegal jump to protest the ban. She died …

56. Long-running pop culture show : E! NEWS

E! Entertainment Television started out in 1987 as Movietime, and hired on-air hosts such as Greg Kinnear and Paula Abdul. It was renamed in 1990 to E! Entertainment Television, underscoring the focus on Hollywood gossip and the like.

Down

5. 6 ft., maybe : HGT

Height (hgt.)

7. Last of the Mohicans : UNCAS

“The Last of the Mohicans” is an 1826 novel by James Fenimore Cooper. It is the second in a series of five novels that comprise the “Leatherstocking Tales”. All five titles are:

  • “The Deerslayer” (1841)
  • “The Last of the Mohicans” (1826)
  • “The Pathfinder” (1840)
  • “The Pioneers” (1823)
  • “The Prairie” (1827)

8. Member of the C.S.A. : NCAR

Confederate States of America (CSA)

9. Part of a 17-Across : TYRE

(17A. What the British call a station wagon : ESTATE CAR)
Here’s another example of terms that change as we cross the Atlantic Ocean. When talking about tires (“tyres” in Britain and Ireland), a defect can cause a “flat” (“puncture” in Britain and Ireland).

10. Sister of Apollo : ARTEMIS

Artemis was an ancient Greek goddess, the equivalent of the Roman goddess Diana. Artemis was a daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. Among other things, she was the goddess of the hunt, and so often is depicted carrying a bow and arrows.

13. Like the 1930s Soviet Union : STALINIST

Joseph Stalin was Soviet Premier from 1941 to 1953. Stalin’s real name was Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili. Not long after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1903 he adopted the name “Stalin”, which is the Russian word for “steel”.

23. Disney collectible : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

27. KOA customer : RVER

One using a recreational vehicle (RV) might be called an RVer.

28. Portmanteau for lovers : SEXCAPADE

A sexual escapade; a “sexcapade”.

34. Pharmacy brand : BAYER

Bayer AG is a German pharmaceutical company that was founded in 1863. The company’s most famous product is its original brand of aspirin. The company logo, the Bayer cross, was introduced in 1904. That same logo can be seen on an illuminated sign in Leverkusen, where the company is headquartered. It is the largest illuminated sign in the world.

35. Commissioner inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017 : BUD SELIG

Bud Selig was the Commissioner of Baseball for Major League Baseball from 1998 to 2015. Selig became acting commissioner in 1992 after the resignation of Fay Vincent. The team owners searched for a new commissioner for six years, and finally gave the permanent job to Selig in 1998.

40. Vacillate : SEESAW

“To vacillate” is to be indecisive, to waver. The term comes from the Latin “vacillare” meaning “to sway to and fro”.

41. Police commissioner Gordon’s turf : GOTHAM

Batman is an ally of Police Commissioner Gordon of Gotham City. Gordon orders the shining of a searchlight, known as the Bat-Signal, into the sky to summon Batman when he is needed.

43. Bing Crosby’s record label : DECCA

Decca Records started out in 1929 as a British record label. The US branch of Decca was opened up in 1934, but the UK and US entities went their separate ways starting in WWII. Famously, Decca turned down a chance to record the Beatles in 1962 taking the position “Guitar groups are on the way out”. That said, Decca did sign the Rolling Stones.

The singer Bing Crosby was a great lover of the game of golf. Crosby had just finished up 18 holes on a course in Spain in 1977 when he suffered a massive heart attack on the final green. Crosby’s last words were “That was a great game of golf, fellas.”

44. Montana motto word : PLATA

“Oro y Plata” means “gold and silver”, and is the state motto of Montana. The motto was written in Spanish, solely because “it had a nice ring to it”.

45. Silk center of India : ASSAM

Assam is a state in the very northeast of India, and just south of the Himalayas. Assam is noted for its tea as well as its silk.

46. Subject for Raoul Dufy and Henri Matisse : SEINE

The Seine is the river that flows through Paris. The Seine empties into the English Channel to the north, at the port city of Le Havre.

Raoul Dufy was a French painter active in the first half of the 20th century. He was classed as a “fauve”, one of the group of artists known as the “wild beasts”, who emphasized strong color over realism in their works.

Henri Matisse was a French artist renowned for his contribution to modern art. In his early career, Matisse was classed as a “fauve”, one of the group of artists known as the “wild beasts” who emphasized strong color over realism in their works. He was a lifelong friend of Pablo Picasso, and the two were considered to be good-natured rivals so their works are often compared. One major difference between their individual portfolios is that Picasso tended to paint from his imagination, whereas Matisse tended to use nature as his inspiration.

49. Breathing aid : GILL

A fish’s gills are the organs equivalent to the lungs of many land animals. The gills can extract oxygen dissolved in water and excrete carbon dioxide.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Biased investigation : WITCH HUNT
10. Showing shock : AGASP
15. Hospital sign : EMERGENCY
16. Total : RUN TO
17. What the British call a station wagon : ESTATE CAR
18. Parting words : TA-TAS
19. Laura of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” : DERN
20. Hot dogs : DAREDEVILS
22. Positions : STANCES
24. Charlotte ___, capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands : AMALIE
25. Iraq War danger, for short : IED
26. Sellers at a craft show : ARTISANS
28. Symbol of strength : STEEL
31. Taunts : JIVES
32. Twice, musically : BIS
33. Some baseball stats : ERAS
34. Foreshadowed : BODED
35. Well-known speaker : BOSE
36. Boomer baby : XER
37. Charlatan : FAKER
38. Smarts : HURTS
39. Some marbles : CAT’S EYES
41. Word on all U.S. coins : GOD
42. Show allegiance : ADHERE
43. Upscale kennels : DOG SPAS
47. Author much used by other authors : PETER ROGET
50. Word after who, what or anything : … ELSE
51. Get ___ of reality : A DOSE
52. Mid-19th-century czar : NICHOLAS I
54. Robert who played filmdom’s Mr. Chips : DONAT
55. Yosemite attraction : EL CAPITAN
56. Long-running pop culture show : E! NEWS
57. Pointing of fingers : BLAME GAME

Down

1. Policy details, metaphorically : WEEDS
2. “No more for me, thank you” : I’M SET
3. Prefix with fluoride : TETRA-
4. Narrow openings : CRANNIES
5. 6 ft., maybe : HGT
6. Followed : HEEDED
7. Last of the Mohicans : UNCAS
8. Member of the C.S.A. : NCAR
9. Part of a 17-Across : TYRE
10. Sister of Apollo : ARTEMIS
11. Sources of jam, jelly and juice : GUAVAS
12. Union-busting, say : ANTILABOR
13. Like the 1930s Soviet Union : STALINIST
14. Has : POSSESSES
21. Stale : DATED
23. Disney collectible : CEL
26. Right hands : AIDES
27. KOA customer : RVER
28. Portmanteau for lovers : SEXCAPADE
29. Trampled : TREADED ON
30. Brown family member : EARTH TONE
31. Complete embarrassment : JOKE
34. Pharmacy brand : BAYER
35. Commissioner inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017 : BUD SELIG
37. Uncovers, with “out” : FERRETS
38. Monopolize : HOG
40. Vacillate : SEESAW
41. Police commissioner Gordon’s turf : GOTHAM
43. Bing Crosby’s record label : DECCA
44. Montana motto word : PLATA
45. Silk center of India : ASSAM
46. Subject for Raoul Dufy and Henri Matisse : SEINE
48. Spoiler of a perfect report card : ONE B
49. Breathing aid : GILL
53. Unseal, in poetry : OPE