0312-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 12 Mar 2018, Monday

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Constructed by: John R. O’Brien
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer(s): One Eye

Themed answers famously only have ONE EYE:

  • 39A. With 32-Across, what the answers to the starred clues each have : ONE …
  • 32A. See 39-Across : … EYE
  • 18A. *Monster outsmarted by Odysseus : POLYPHEMUS
  • 26A. *Rat Pack member who sang and danced : SAMMY DAVIS, JR
  • 42A. *Black face card whose face is seen in profile : JACK OF SPADES
  • 54A. *Comic character on a gum wrapper : BAZOOKA JOE

Bill’s time: 6m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Parts missing from the Venus de Milo : ARMS

The famous “Venus de Milo” is so named as she was discovered in the ruins of the ancient city of Milos, on the Aegean island of the same name. I’ve been lucky enough to see the statue, in the Louvre in Paris, and was surprised at how large it is (6 ft 8 in tall).

5. Ancient Greek market : AGORA

In early Greece, the agora was a place of assembly. The assemblies held there were often quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a marketplace. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

16. Architect Saarinen : EERO

Eliel Saarinen was a Finnish architect who designed entire city districts in Helsinki. He immigrated to the United States where he became famous for his art nouveau designs. He was the father of Eero Saarinen, who was to become even more renowned in America for his designs, including the Dulles International Airport terminal, and the TWA building at JFK.

18. *Monster outsmarted by Odysseus : POLYPHEMUS

In Greek mythology, Polyphemus was one of the Cyclopes, a one-eyed creature. Polyphemus features in Homer’s “Odyssey”, as he captures Odysseus and twelve of his crew and starts to devour them one-by-one for his meals. Odysseus manages to plunge a wooden stake into Polyphemus’s eye, blinding him. Then he and his remaining crew tie themselves to the underside of sheep, and the blind Polyphemus lets them escape thinking he is allowing just his sheep to pass.

24. Tin lizzies : MODEL TS

The Ford Model T was the first really affordable car that was offered for sale, and it was produced from 1908 to 1927. It was the Model T that ushered in the era of assembly line production, which greatly cut down the cost of manufacture. The Model T’s engine was designed to run on petrol, kerosene or ethanol. Ford stated in 1909 that “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black”. In actual fact, from 1908 through 1913, the Model T wasn’t available in black, and only grey, green, blue and red. The “black only” strategy applied from 1914.

26. *Rat Pack member who sang and danced : SAMMY DAVIS, JR

Singer, actor and comedian Sammy Davis, Jr. started his show business career in vaudeville as a child as a part of a song and dance trio that included his father. After WWII, Davis became friends with Frank Sinatra, and soon found himself a member of the famed Rat Pack. Along with his fellow Rat Packers, he made movies like “Ocean’s 11” (1960) and “Robin and the 7 Hoods” (1964).

30. Parts with irises : UVEAS

The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball. The outer layer is called the fibrous tunic, and the inner layer is the retina.

31. Actor Morales of “La Bamba” : ESAI

The actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.

35. Dawn, to Donne : MORN

John Donne was one of England’s most celebrated poets, and was active at the start of the 17th century. He spent much of his life in poverty and even spent a short time in prison for having married his wife without procuring the appropriate permissions. After his release, his wife bore him 12 children in 16 years, passing away a few days after the twelfth child was born.

38. Servant in “Young Frankenstein” : IGOR

In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

I am not really a big fan of movies by Mel Brooks, but “Young Frankenstein” is the exception. I think the cast has a lot to do with me liking the film, as it includes Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein), Teri Garr (Inga), Marty Feldman (Igor) and Gene Hackman (Harold, the blind man).

42. *Black face card whose face is seen in profile : JACK OF SPADES

In a deck of cards, both the jack of spades and the jack of hearts are “one-eyed jacks”.

49. Cancel at Cape Canaveral : ABORT

The famous headland in Florida called Cape Canaveral was named by Spanish explorers in the early 16th century. As the Cape acts as a launching station for many of NASA’s rockets, when President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 the NASA facility on nearby Merritt Island was renamed the Kennedy Space Center, and President Johnson went as far as renaming the whole of Cape Canaveral to Cape Kennedy. The name change for the cape didn’t go down well in Florida though, as the headland had been called Cape Canaveral for over 400 years. So, the name was restored in 1973, and Cape Kennedy is no more.

50. “Star Wars Episode IV” subtitle : A NEW HOPE

The epic sci-fi film “Star Wars” was released in 1977. When the movie was re-released in 1981, the subtitle “Episode IV: A New Hope” was added.

54. *Comic character on a gum wrapper : BAZOOKA JOE

The Bazooka brand of bubble gum was introduced by the Topps Company soon after the end of WWII. Bazooka have included comic strips in the wrappers for their gum since the early to mid-fifties. The hero of the strip is Bazooka Joe, a young man who wears an eyepatch.

61. Hawaiian goose : NENE

The bird called a “nene” is a native of Hawaii, and is also known as the Hawaiian goose. The name “nene” is imitative of its call. When Captain Cook landed on the islands in 1778, there were 25,000 nene living there. By 1950, the number was reduced by hunting to just 30 birds. Conservation efforts in recent years have been somewhat successful. The nene was named State Bird of Hawaii in 1957.

62. “Two mints in one” sloganeer : CERTS

Certs were the first breath mints to be marketed nationally in the US, hitting the shelves in 1956. A Cert is called a mint, but it isn’t really as it contains no mint oil and instead has its famous ingredient named “Retsyn”. Retsyn is a mixture of copper gluconate (giving the green flecks), partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil (not healthy!) and flavoring (maybe mint?).

63. Nolo contendere, e.g. : PLEA

“Nolo contendere” (sometimes shortened to “nolo”) is a legal term that translates from Latin as “I do not wish to contend”. It’s the plea of no contest, and is an alternative to guilty and not guilty, meaning that one doesn’t admit guilt but nor does one dispute the charge.

Down

1. Things learned in “The Alphabet Song” : ABCS

“The Alphabet Song” was copyrighted in 1835 in the US. The tune that goes with the words is the French folk song “Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman”, used by Mozart for a set of piano variations. The same tune is used for the nursery rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

4. Hero who’s neither a bird nor a plane : SUPERMAN

Here’s a famous line from the “Superman” television show from the fifties:

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. it’s Superman!

6. Steinem who co-founded Ms. magazine : GLORIA

“Ms.” magazine is a feminist publication co-founded by political activist Gloria Steinem in 1971. The first issue was an insert in “New York” magazine, with the first stand-alone issue being published the following year in 1972. That first issue used the byline “Wonder Woman for President”, and featured the cartoon character.

9. Biter of Cleopatra : ASP

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

10. Folk legend Pete : SEEGER

The American folk singer Pete Seeger wrote and co-wrote a lot of classic songs. The list includes “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”, “If I had a Hammer”, and “Turn, Turn, Turn!”

19. Pilgrim to Mecca : HADJI

Mecca is in the Makkah province of Saudi Arabia. It was the birthplace of Muhammad and is the holiest city in Islam. Every year several million Muslims perform the Hajj, a holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

21. February has the fewest of them : DAYS

Leap day is February 29th in a leap year, which is usually a year that is divisible by 4. My baby brother was born on February 29th, in 1968. A woman in Utah gave birth on February 29th in 2004, on February 29th in 2008, and once more on February 29th, 2012. That’s in the Guinness Book of World Records …

25. Start of “The Star-Spangled Banner” : O SAY

“O say can you see by the dawn’s early light” is the opening line of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key. The song was adopted as the US national anthem in 1931, although it had been used officially by the US Navy since 1889, played when raising the flag.

26. Sport originally part of a Shinto ritual : SUMO

Sumo is a sport that is practiced professionally only in Japan, the country of its origin. There is an international federation of sumo wrestling now, and one of the organization’s aims is to have the sport accepted as an Olympic event.

It is perhaps best not to describe Shinto as a religion, but more as a “spirituality of the Japanese people”, a spirituality that encompasses folklore, history and mythology. Having said that, “Shinto” translates literally as “Way of the Gods”. Most people in Japan who are described as practicing Shinto, also practice Buddhism.

27. Shakespeare’s stream : AVON

There are actually four rivers called the Avon in England, but “Shakespeare’s Avon” lies mainly in Warwickshire. The name “Avon” comes from the Old English word for a river, “abona”. Stratford-upon-Avon was the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

29. Left page in a book : VERSO

The left and right pages of a book or magazine are known in publishing circles as verso and recto. Recto comes from the Latin for “right”, and verso comes from the Latin word for “turned”. The idea is that the left side of the page is “turned” and is the reverse of the recto/right side.

34. “___ Tú” (1974 song) : ERES

We have a big event across Europe every year called the Eurovision Song Contest. Each nation enters one song in competition with each other, and then voters across the whole continent decide on the winner. That’s how ABBA got their big break when they won in 1974 with “Waterloo”. In 1973, Spain’s entry was “Eres tú” (the Spanish for “You Are”) sung by the band Mocedades. “Eres tú” came second in the competition, but should have won in my humble opinion.

41. Blow, as from a volcano : SPEW

Our word “volcano” comes from “Vulcano”, the name of a volcanic island off the coast of Italy. The island’s name comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. The Romans believed that the island of Vulcano was the chimney of the forge belonging to the god Vulcan. The Romans also believed that the eruptions on Mount Etna in Sicily were caused by Vulcan getting angry and working his forge so hard that sparks and smoke flew out of the top of the volcano.

44. The Lone Ranger’s Silver and others : STEEDS

Famously, the Lone Ranger’s horse was called Silver and Tonto’s mount was named Scout. In the earlier shows, Tonto rode a horse called White Feller.

45. Former Israeli P.M. Yitzhak : RABIN

Yitzhak Rabin was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, and the first Prime Minister to have been born in the relatively young state of Israel. Rabin was a signatory of the Oslo Accords in 1993, along with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, and US President Bill Clinton. Sadly, this led to his death as he was assassinated two years later by a right-wing radical who opposed the Accords.

47. Cheat : COZEN

“To cozen” is such a lovely verb! Meaning to cheat or hoodwink, it comes from the Middle English word “cosin” meaning fraud or trickery.

50. “When it’s ___” (answer to an old riddle) : AJAR (or “a jar”)

Question: When is a door not a door?
Answer: When it’s ajar (a jar)!

52. Prop for Sherlock Holmes : PIPE

According to author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, his Sherlock Holmes character was based on a Dr. Joseph Bell for whom Doyle worked in Edinburgh. That said, Bell actually wrote a letter to Doyle in which he said “you are yourself Sherlock Holmes and well you know it”.

53. Two-time Oscar-nominated actress Lanchester : ELSA

Elsa Lanchester was an English actress who made her life and career in Hollywood. Lanchester’s husband was the actor Charles Laughton.

55. The Colonel’s restaurant : 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.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Parts missing from the Venus de Milo : ARMS
5. Ancient Greek market : AGORA
10. What hairy dogs do in the spring : SHED
14. Boyfriend : BEAU
15. Toilet paper layers, e.g. : PLIES
16. Architect Saarinen : EERO
17. Complain querulously : CARP
18. *Monster outsmarted by Odysseus : POLYPHEMUS
20. Drivers doing 90, say : SPEEDERS
22. With mouth wide open : AGAPE
23. Indian queen : RANI
24. Tin lizzies : MODEL TS
26. *Rat Pack member who sang and danced : SAMMY DAVIS, JR
30. Parts with irises : UVEAS
31. Actor Morales of “La Bamba” : ESAI
32. See 39-Across : … EYE
35. Dawn, to Donne : MORN
36. Like clothes in the hamper : DIRTY
38. Servant in “Young Frankenstein” : IGOR
39. With 32-Across, what the answers to the starred clues each have : ONE …
40. Brief moments, briefly : SECS
41. Frighten : SCARE
42. *Black face card whose face is seen in profile : JACK OF SPADES
45. Indy or Daytona : RACEWAY
48. What two fives are change for : A TEN
49. Cancel at Cape Canaveral : ABORT
50. “Star Wars Episode IV” subtitle : A NEW HOPE
54. *Comic character on a gum wrapper : BAZOOKA JOE
57. Satanic : EVIL
58. Part of a list with bullets : ITEM
59. Scam : FRAUD
60. Swimmers’ units : LAPS
61. Hawaiian goose : NENE
62. “Two mints in one” sloganeer : CERTS
63. Nolo contendere, e.g. : PLEA

Down

1. Things learned in “The Alphabet Song” : ABCS
2. Harvest : REAP
3. Stallion’s mate : MARE
4. Hero who’s neither a bird nor a plane : SUPERMAN
5. Tack on : APPEND
6. Steinem who co-founded Ms. magazine : GLORIA
7. Classic paintings : OILS
8. Spanish king : REY
9. Biter of Cleopatra : ASP
10. Folk legend Pete : SEEGER
11. Blood-related : HEMAL
12. Blow, as a volcano : ERUPT
13. Amounts in a hypodermic needle : DOSES
19. Pilgrim to Mecca : HADJI
21. February has the fewest of them : DAYS
24. Aerosol spray : MIST
25. Start of “The Star-Spangled Banner” : O SAY
26. Sport originally part of a Shinto ritual : SUMO
27. Shakespeare’s stream : AVON
28. Parisian mother : MERE
29. Left page in a book : VERSO
32. “Heavens to Betsy!” : EGAD!
33. Bygone times : YORE
34. “___ Tú” (1974 song) : ERES
36. Ten: Prefix : DECA-
37. Highly off-putting : ICKY
38. “Allow me” : I CAN HELP
40. Handled, as a task : SAW TO
41. Blow, as from a volcano : SPEW
42. Saint known for translating the Bible into Latin : JEROME
43. Spread, as people in a search party : FAN OUT
44. The Lone Ranger’s Silver and others : STEEDS
45. Former Israeli P.M. Yitzhak : RABIN
46. Lessen : ABATE
47. Cheat : COZEN
50. “When it’s ___” (answer to an old riddle) : AJAR (or “a jar”)
51. Squished circle : OVAL
52. Prop for Sherlock Holmes : PIPE
53. Two-time Oscar-nominated actress Lanchester : ELSA
55. The Colonel’s restaurant : KFC
56. “I am, you ___, he is” : ARE

7 thoughts on “0312-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 12 Mar 2018, Monday”

  1. 14:12. Kind of a fun theme overall. Throwing my man SAMMY DAVIS JR in with a cyclops? Ouch.

    Liked the BAZOOKA JOE reference. Really had to know how to open up the gum wrapper so you didn’t rip up the comics. That was an art itself…

    Best –

  2. 5:35, no errors. Once again I did one of these without realizing there was a theme. Gotta remember to check for one. (If old dogs can learn new tricks, why not me? … ?)

  3. 9:29 and 4 errors… on a Monday!!!! I had my French hat on when filling REY as ROI, and had never heard of HEMAL… additionally, when I think toilet paper I think of PLYS, not PLIES.

    Didn’t think much of this puzzle…

  4. No errors but surprisingly I had to exert quite a bit of thought-power to get through it.

    I remember chewing Bazooka gum as a child and reading the comics that it was wrapped in. But I had no recollection at all that BAZOOKA JOE wore an eyepatch. Why something like that would not have registered on my young mind, I have no idea.

  5. 7:42, no errors. Good Monday speed run. In the same boat as @Allen, have not heard of HEMAL before, more familiar with ‘hemic’. Also was a big fan of Bazooka Bubble Gum as a kid. If I remember correctly, they were a penny apiece. I was surprised to learn from @Bill’s comments that Topps produced Bazooka Bubble Gum; the same company that produced the gum in the packages of baseball cards. The Bazooka Bubble Gum was chewable; but the gum in the baseball cards was only slightly more palatable than the cards themselves.

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