0302-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 2 Mar 2018, Friday

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Constructed by: Rachel Maddow and Joe DiPietro
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Maddowisms

There’s a note with today’s puzzle:

This puzzle is a collaboration by Rachel Maddow, the host of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” working together with Joe DiPietro, a bar owner in New York City. This is Joe’s 129th crossword for The Times.
More information about the making of today’s puzzle appears in the Times’s daily crossword column (nytimes.com/column/wordplay).

Today’s grid includes several clues and answers that are related to the career of TV host and political commentator Rachel Maddow:

  • 18A. What might help a hacker go undetected? : COUGH BUTTON
  • 37A. Sean Hannity and Chris Hayes : TV HOSTS
  • 58A. Journalist’s tool since ’67 : FOIA REQUEST
  • 62A. Political leader? : FRONT RUNNER

Bill’s time: Did not finish!

Bill’s errors: Several in the northwest of the grid

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Hosp. units : RMS

Rooms (rms.)

4. ___ peas : WASABI

Wasabi peas are peas that have been fried and then coated with wasabi powder mixed with sugar, salt and oil. They are a crunchy snack, and a favorite of mine …

Sometimes called Japanese horseradish, wasabi is a root used as a condiment in Japanese cooking. The taste of wasabi is more like mustard than a hot pepper in that the vapors that create the “hotness” stimulate the nasal passages rather than the tongue. Personally, I love the stuff …

15. 1965 Michael Caine spy thriller, with “The” : IPCRESS FILE

I used to walk my dog right past author Len Deighton’s house years ago, as we lived in the same village in Ireland (probably my only claim to “fame”). Deighton wrote the excellent espionage thriller “The IPCRESS File”, made was into a 1965 movie starring Michael Caine.

17. ___ grano salis : CUM

The Latin phrase “cum grano salis” translates as “with a grain of salt”.

21. Kentucky’s northernmost county : BOONE

Boone County, Kentucky was founded in 1798, and is named for frontiersman Daniel Boone. Located on the border with Ohio, Boone County is home to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

23. Gambling card game : FARO

Faro is a card game somewhat akin to Baccarat that was popular in England and France in the 18th century. Faro made it to the Old West, where it became a favorite of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp. The origin of the name “Faro” is unclear. One popular theory is that Faro is a contraction of ‘pharaoh’ given that Egyptian motifs used to be common on playing cards of the period. There’s another theory involving the usual suspects: Irish immigrants and famines …

24. “Doctor Faustus” novelist : MANN

Thomas Mann was a German novelist whose most famous work is probably his novella “Death in Venice”. That book published originally in German in 1912 as “Der Tod in Venedig”. The story was famously adapted for the big screen in 1971, in a movie starring Dirk Bogarde.

“Doctor Faustus” is a novel by Thomas Mann first published in 1947. It is a retelling of the legend of Faust, but set in Germany in the first half of the 20th century.

28. Actor with seven Primetime Emmys : ASNER

Ed Asner is most famous for playing the irascible but lovable Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and on the spin-off drama “Lou Grant”. Off-screen Asner is noted for his political activism. He served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild, and was very involved in the 1980 SAG strike. When “Lou Grant” was cancelled in in 1982, despite decent ratings, there was a lot of talk that the cancellation was a move by the network against Asner personally. In fact, one of Asner’s activist colleagues, Howard Hesseman (who played Johnny Fever) found that his show “WKRP in Cincinnati” was also canceled … on the very same day.

30. Greek cheese : FETA

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

33. Op-ed, e.g. : ESSAY

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

35. Cocktail with rye whiskey : SAZERAC

The classic New Orleans cocktail known as a Sazerac is a mixture of rye, absinthe, bitters and sugar. The use of rye is a little incongruous, given that the cocktail is named for Sazerac de Forge et Fils brand of Cognac that was originally the base spirit.

37. Sean Hannity and Chris Hayes : TV HOSTS

Sean Hannity is a conservative political commentator who is perhaps best known from his syndicated radio broadcast called “The Sean Hannity Show”. Hannity also host the news show called “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel. Hannity has written a few bestselling books, including “Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism”.

When MSNBC launched “All in with Chris Hayes”, 34-year-old Hayes became the youngest host of a prime-time show on any of the major cable news channels.

41. Quarry of cartoondom’s Gargamel : SMURF

Gargamel is the evil wizard who is the sworn enemy of the Smurfs, the little blue people created by the Belgian cartoonist Peyo. Gargamel is on a quest to capture enough Smurfs so that he could use them as an ingredient in a potion that would turn base metal into gold.

43. Pope when Elizabeth I took the throne : PAUL IV

The Elizabethan Era, the period associated with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, is considered by many to be the golden age of English history. It was the age of William Shakespeare and the age of the English Renaissance. Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, and the last sovereign of the House of Tudor.

44. Virus in 2003 news : SARS

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral disease in humans that went pandemic in 2002/2003. There were over 8,000 confirmed cases, and 12 deaths from the disease during that outbreak. There have been no known cases since 2003, although the disease has not yet been declared as “eradicated”.

47. Cellphone component : DIODE

A diode is component in a circuit, the most notable characteristic of which is that it will conduct electric current in only one direction. Some of those vacuum tubes we used to see in old radios and television were diodes, but nowadays almost all diodes are semiconductor devices.

54. Footwear brand since 1978 : UGG

Uggs are sheepskin boots that were first produced in Australia and New Zealand. The original Uggs have sheepskin fleece on the inside for comfort and insulation, with a tanned leather surface on the outside for durability. Ugg is a generic term Down Under, although it’s a brand name here in the US.

55. Hollywood agent Michael : OVITZ

Michael Ovitz was President of the Walt Disney Company from 1995-1997. He didn’t get on well with the company Chairman Michael Eisner, so Ovitz was fired after just over a year. He was sent packing with a nice severance package though: $38m in cash and well over $100m in stock.

58. Journalist’s tool since ’67 : FOIA REQUEST

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

65. Like baking dough : YEASTY

Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the Fungi kingdom. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

66. Big mean on campus : GPA

Grade point average (GPA)

In a set of numbers, the mean is the average value of those numbers. The median is the numeric value at which half the numbers have a lower value, and half the numbers a higher value. The mode is the value that appears most often in the whole set of numbers.

Down

2. Home to Lake Waiau : MAUNA KEA

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed.

3. 1928 Winter Olympics site : ST MORITZ

St. Moritz is a pricey resort town in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, and a favorite destination of the rich and famous. “Moritz” is the German for “Maurice”.

There have been 10 Winter Olympic Games held in the Alps:

  • 1924 in Chamonix, France
  • 1928 and 1948 in St. Moritz, Switzerland
  • 1936 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 1956 in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
  • 1964 and 1976 in Innsbruck, Austria
  • 1968 in Grenoble, France
  • 1992 in Albertville, France
  • 2006 in Turin, Italy

5. Mil. address : APO

Army post office (APO)

6. Dives with a tank : SCUBAS

The self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) was co-invented by celebrated French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau.

7. W.W. I battle locale : ARGONNE

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive (also called the Battle of the Argonne Forest) was an Allied offensive along the entire western front that took place in the last few weeks of WWI. Fought by US and French forces against the Germans, the offensive was the biggest operation launched by the American Expeditionary Force in WWI. The Meuse-Argonne was the deadliest battle in US history, as 26,277 US soldiers lost their lives.

9. Jacket letters : ISBN

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) was invented by one Gordon Foster who was a professor at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. The code was originally developed for booksellers, so that they had a unique number (and now a barcode) for each publication.

12. You’re not in it if you’re out : CLOSET

In Old French a “clos” was an enclosure, with the diminutive form “closet” describing a small enclosure or private room. Over time this evolved into our modern usage, to describe a cabinet or cupboard.

Back in the 1950s, to come “out of the closet” was to admit to being an alcoholic. By the seventies, the phrase mainly referred to gay people shrugging off secrecy about their orientation.

13. Car model originally called the Sunny in Japan : SENTRA

The Nissan Sentra is sold as the Nissan Sunny back in Japan.

16. Tallow source : SUET

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered or purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

20. Rosina Almaviva, in “Le Nozze di Figaro” : CONTESSA

Figaro is the title character in at least two operas: “The Barber of Seville” (“Il barbiere di Siviglia”) by Rossini, and “The Marriage of Figaro” (“Le nozze di Figaro”)by Mozart. The two storylines are based on plays by Pierre Beaumarchais, with one basically being a sequel to the other.

29. Got back (to), in a way : RSVPED

RSVP stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “answer, please”.

34. “Eureka!” : AHA!

“Eureka” translates from Greek as “I have found it”. The word is usually associated with Archimedes, uttered as he stepped into his bath one day. His discovery was that the volume of water that was displaced was equal to that of the object (presumably his foot) that had been submerged. He used this fact to determine the volume of a crown, something he needed in order to determine if it was made of pure gold or was a forgery.

45. Who said “Take it from me, every vote counts” : AL GORE

George W. Bush won the 2000 US presidential election over Al Gore despite losing the popular vote. The result of the electoral college effectively came down to disputed votes cast in Florida. The US Supreme Court decided that these votes were to be awarded to Bush. President Bush wasn’t the first candidate to take the office without winning the popular vote. Three earlier presidents came to office in the same way: John Quincy Adams (1824), Rutherford B. Hayes (1876) and Benjamin Harrison (1888). Donald Trump repeated the feat in the 2016 election.

48. More than half of scores : DOZENS

Our word “dozen” is used for a group of twelve. We imported it into English from Old French. The modern French word for twelve is “douze”, and a dozen is “douzaine”.

Our verb “to score” meaning “to tally”, comes from the Old Norse “skor”, which is a “mark, notch”. It is likely that items such a livestock were counted by placing a notch in a stick for each set of twenty, hence our use of the noun “score” to mean “twenty”.

51. Ralph Nader’s American Museum of ___ Law : TORT

Ralph Nader has run as a third-party candidate for the office of President of the United States four times now, in every election from 1996 to 2008. Nader’s name was first first linked with the presidential race in 1971, when the famous Dr. Benjamin Spock offered to stand aside as candidate in the 1972 race if Nader would agree to run, but he declined.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Hosp. units : RMS
4. ___ peas : WASABI
10. Basics : ABCS
14. Kind of flour : OAT
15. 1965 Michael Caine spy thriller, with “The” : IPCRESS FILE
17. ___ grano salis : CUM
18. What might help a hacker go undetected? : COUGH BUTTON
19. Deride : KNOCK
21. Kentucky’s northernmost county : BOONE
22. Abbr. in an auction catalog : EST
23. Gambling card game : FARO
24. “Doctor Faustus” novelist : MANN
25. Part of an oven : TIMER
27. Similar (to) : AKIN
28. Actor with seven Primetime Emmys : ASNER
30. Greek cheese : FETA
31. Tennis player, to sportswriters : NETTER
33. Op-ed, e.g. : ESSAY
35. Cocktail with rye whiskey : SAZERAC
37. Sean Hannity and Chris Hayes : TV HOSTS
41. Quarry of cartoondom’s Gargamel : SMURF
43. Pope when Elizabeth I took the throne : PAUL IV
44. Virus in 2003 news : SARS
47. Cellphone component : DIODE
49. Do some programming : CODE
50. Stud of the sports world? : CLEAT
52. Walked over : TROD
53. Hard ___ : AT IT
54. Footwear brand since 1978 : UGG
55. Hollywood agent Michael : OVITZ
57. Military gathering? : INTEL
58. Journalist’s tool since ’67 : FOIA REQUEST
61. Home of Sen. Mike Crapo: Abbr. : IDA
62. Political leader? : FRONT RUNNER
63. Sister : NUN
64. Elate : SEND
65. Like baking dough : YEASTY
66. Big mean on campus : GPA

Down

1. Those who’ve seen both Europe and Asia, say : ROCK FANS
2. Home to Lake Waiau : MAUNA KEA
3. 1928 Winter Olympics site : ST MORITZ
4. Keeper of the flame? : WICK
5. Mil. address : APO
6. Dives with a tank : SCUBAS
7. W.W. I battle locale : ARGONNE
8. “Give it to me straight” : BE HONEST
9. Jacket letters : ISBN
10. Behind, at sea : AFT
11. “Kiss my grits!” : BITE ME!
12. You’re not in it if you’re out : CLOSET
13. Car model originally called the Sunny in Japan : SENTRA
16. Tallow source : SUET
20. Rosina Almaviva, in “Le Nozze di Figaro” : CONTESSA
24. Go pirating : MARAUD
26. “Unless it’s impossible” : IF YOU CAN
29. Got back (to), in a way : RSVPED
32. “Uhhh …” : ERM …
34. “Eureka!” : AHA!
36. Review : CRITIQUE
38. Programming manager’s specialty : SLOTTING
39. Did a bit of cleaning : TIDIED UP
40. Only daughter of Joseph Stalin : SVETLANA
42. Typeface that shares its name with the Roman goddess of luck : FORTUNA
44. Marks on shoes : SCUFFS
45. Who said “Take it from me, every vote counts” : AL GORE
46. The Midwest or the South : REGION
48. More than half of scores : DOZENS
51. Ralph Nader’s American Museum of ___ Law : TORT
56. So : VERY
57. “Just doin’ my job” : I TRY
59. Furthermore : AND
60. Fixed : SET