0309-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 9 Mar 2018, Friday

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Constructed by: Neville Fogarty & Doug Peterson
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 12m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Group in the original “Ocean’s 11” : RAT PACK

The original Rat Pack from the fifties was a group of actors that centered on Humphrey Bogart, and included a young Frank Sinatra. Supposedly, Bogart’s wife, Lauren Bacall, christened them the Rat Pack after seeing them all return from one of their nights on the town in Las Vegas. The sixties Rat Pack was a reincarnation of the fifties version, with the core group of actors being Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin (Dino), Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.

“Ocean’s 11” is a great film from 1960, starring Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean. The original storyline is updated for the excellent 2001 remake, with George Clooney playing the lead. In the 1960 movie, the love interest is a character called Beatrice Ocean, played by Angie Dickinson. In the 2001 version, the love interest gets a new name, Tess Ocean, and is played by Julia Roberts. The 2001 remake (titled “Ocean’s Eleven”, note the spelling) spawned two sequels: “Ocean’s Twelve” in 2004 and “Ocean’s Thirteen” in 2007.

8. Classic arcade game with lots of shooting : NBA JAM

NBA Jam is an arcade game that was introduced in 1993. It was successful enough to spawn a whole series of NBA Jam video games. Apparently is became the highest-earning arcade game of all time, and took in over $1 billion dollars in quarters.

14. Like Istanbul : EURASIAN

Istanbul, Turkey is the only metropolis in the world that is situated in two continents. The city extends both on the European side and on the Asian side of the Bosphorus river.

17. First world capital, alphabetically : ABU DHABI

Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

20. 2008 Bond girl Kurylenko : OLGA

Olga Kurylenko is a Ukrainian actress and model. Kurylenko played the Bond girl Camille Montes in the James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace”.

23. Car once promoted with the line “The thrill starts with the grille” : EDSEL

The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel Ford, son of Henry. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

28. Nocturnal acronym : REM

“REM” is an acronym standing for rapid eye movement sleep. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

29. Strange things : EXOTICA

The word “exotic” means “belonging to another country”, and is derived from the Greek “exo-” meaning “outside”. Exotica are things that are excitingly strange, often from foreign parts.

32. Super 8, e.g. : INN

Super 8 is a budget hotel chain. The chain got the name as the original room rate (back in 1972) was set at $8.88.

39. Animated character who graduated from Dogwarts University : GROMIT

“Wallace and Gromit” is a famous animation series from England that uses claymation and stop-motion technology. Wallace is a zany inventor who just loves cheese, especially Wensleydale. Gromit is Wallace’s pet dog, and his best friend.

42. Formidable opponents : NEMESES

Nemesis was a Greek goddess, the goddess of retribution. Her role was to make pay those individuals who were either haughty or arrogant. In modern parlance, one’s nemesis (plural “nemeses”) is one’s sworn enemy, often someone who is the exact opposite in character but someone who still shares some important characteristics. A nemesis is often someone one cannot seem to beat in competition.

44. Campaign aid : PAC

A Political Action Committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent, expenditure-only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.

47. “The Old Curiosity Shop” girl : NELL

“The Old Curiosity Shop” by Charles Dickens tells the story of 14-year-old “Little Nell” Trent and her grandfather who live in the Old Curiosity Shop in London. If you visit London, there actually is an “Old Curiosity Shop”, in Westminster. It is an establishment selling odds and ends, old curiosities, and is believed to have been the inspiration for the shop in the Dickens story. The building has been around since the 1500s, but the name “The Old Curiosity Shop” was added after the book was published.

50. Rail center? : MARSH

Rails are birds of the family Rallidae (hence their name). Outside of America, the name “rail” tends to be reserved for long-billed species and the the term “crake” is used for short-billed species.

56. Santa ___, Calif. : ROSA

Santa Rosa is the largest city in California’s Wine Country, and the county seat of Sonoma County. The epicenter of the so-called 1906 San Francisco Earthquake was located near Santa Rosa. There was actually more damage in Santa Rosa, for the size of the city, than there was in San Francisco.

59. Jacob’s partner in “A Christmas Carol” : EBENEZER

Jacob Marley is a character appearing in the wonderful novella by Charles Dickens called “A Christmas Carol”. Marley is the deceased business partner of Ebenezer Scrooge who appears to him as a ghost.

61. City nicknamed “The Old Pueblo” : TUCSON

Tucson is the second largest city in Arizona (after Phoenix). The founding father of the city was Hugh O’Conor, yet another Irishman, but one who was raised in Spain. O’Conor was a mercenary working for Spain when he authorized the construction of a military fort called Presidio San Augustín del Tucsón in 1775, which eventually grew into the city that we know today. The Spanish name “Tucsón” comes from the local name “Cuk Ṣon”, which translates as “(at the) base of the black (hill)”.

63. Acropolis figure : ATHENA

The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.

The term “acropolis” translates from Greek as “high city” or “city on the extremity”. In English we use the term “citadel” to mean the same thing thing. The most famous citadel bearing the name is the Acropolis of Athens. This Acropolis is a large, flat-topped rock in the city of Athens that rises almost 500 feet above sea level. The most recognizable building that stands on the Acropolis is the Parthenon, also known as the Temple of Athena.

Down

4. Giant competitor : PADRE

The San Diego Padres baseball team was founded in 1969, and immediately joined the ranks of Major League Baseball as an expansion team. The Padres took their name from a Minor League team that had been in the the city since 1936. The name is Spanish for “fathers” and is a reference to the Franciscan Friars from Spain who founded San Diego in 1769.

Today’s San Francisco Giants baseball team was founded in 1883 as the New York Gothams. The team’s name was changed to the Giants in 1885, and the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958.

5. Last name of cosmetics giant Mary Kay : ASH

Mary Kay Ash founded her skincare and cosmetics company, somewhat ominously on Friday, 13th September 1963. In 1968, Mary Kay Ash bought herself a pink Cadillac, specially painted to match the color of one of her compacts. The car became so famous that she gave away five of them to her top saleswoman, a tradition that endures to this day.

7. Bad way to go : KABLOOEY

Something described as “kablooey” or “kablooie” has been destroyed, blown apart.

8. Buffalo’s home: Abbr. : NYS

Buffalo is the second most-populous city in the state of New York. The city takes its name from Buffalo Creek that runs through the metropolis (although the waterway is called Buffalo River within the city). The source of the name Buffalo Creek is the subject of much speculation, but one thing is clear, there were never any bison in the area.

11. Flag-waving and such : JINGOISM

Jingoism is an extreme form of nationalism, exhibited by a country that uses threats or force internationally in order to advance its national interests. The term originated in England and comes from the expression “by Jingo”, a euphemism for “by Jesus” that was used as an oath.

12. Musical “girl who cain’t say no” : ADO ANNIE

Ado Annie is a character in the Rodgers and Hammerstein smash hit musical “Oklahoma!” Ado Annie was played by Gloria Grahame in the 1955 film. If you don’t remember the character, you might remember one of her songs, namely “I Cain’t Say No”.

13. Joe known as “The Comeback Kid” : MONTANA

Joe Montana played most of his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers, and the last two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. With the 49ers, Montana went to the Super Bowl four times, winning every time. In retirement one of his activities is to produce wine, so keep an eye out for his “Montagia” label.

38. It could be on the tip of your tongue : TASTE BUD

There are 2,000 to 8,000 taste buds on the human tongue, and together they detect five different tastes: salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami. Taste buds have a short lifetime, and are replaced about every ten days.

44. O.C.D. fighter, maybe : PROZAC

The most commonly prescribed antidepressants in the US (in 2010 anyway) are:

  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Celexa (citalopram)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)
  • Desyrel (trazodone)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Paxil (paroxetine)

Apparently, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed mental disorder, making it about as prevalent as asthma.

55. “The Wizard of Oz” farmhand : ZEKE

Zeke is the farmworker played by Bert Lahr in 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz”. Zeke is the character who morphed into the Cowardly Lion in Dorothy’s dream.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Group in the original “Ocean’s 11” : RAT PACK
8. Classic arcade game with lots of shooting : NBA JAM
14. Like Istanbul : EURASIAN
16. Emphatic admission : YES I DO!
17. First world capital, alphabetically : ABU DHABI
18. Like clothes buttons, generally : SEWN ON
19. Unexciting poker holding : PAIR
20. 2008 Bond girl Kurylenko : OLGA
22. Bedevil : NAG AT
23. Car once promoted with the line “The thrill starts with the grille” : EDSEL
25. Speaker units : OHMS
27. Prefix with -gon : NONA-
28. Nocturnal acronym : REM
29. Strange things : EXOTICA
32. Super 8, e.g. : INN
33. Group of female seals : HAREM
34. Powerhouse in Olympic weightlifting : RUSSIA
36. Gradually : ONE DAY AT A TIME
39. Animated character who graduated from Dogwarts University : GROMIT
40. The “R” of 28-Across : RAPID
41. Circular parts : ADS
42. Formidable opponents : NEMESES
44. Campaign aid : PAC
47. “The Old Curiosity Shop” girl : NELL
49. Touched : DAFT
50. Rail center? : MARSH
52. Express stress, in a way : GROAN
54. Gulf of ___ : SUEZ
56. Santa ___, Calif. : ROSA
57. Juiced (up) : SOUPED
59. Jacob’s partner in “A Christmas Carol” : EBENEZER
61. City nicknamed “The Old Pueblo” : TUCSON
62. So-so, as support : LUKEWARM
63. Acropolis figure : ATHENA
64. Spots : DETECTS

Down

1. One going against the grain? : REAPER
2. Poem greeting the dawn : AUBADE
3. “What’s past is past,” e.g. : TRUISM
4. Giant competitor : PADRE
5. Last name of cosmetics giant Mary Kay : ASH
6. “See ya” : CIAO
7. Bad way to go : KABLOOEY
8. Buffalo’s home: Abbr. : NYS
9. Has-___ : BEEN
10. Source of stone used to build the ancient Egyptian pyramids : ASWAN
11. Flag-waving and such : JINGOISM
12. Musical “girl who cain’t say no” : ADO ANNIE
13. Joe known as “The Comeback Kid” : MONTANA
15. Cause of bad dreams, in modern lingo : NIGHTMARE FUEL
21. Follower of bon or mon : … AMI
24. Show immediately preceding another : LEAD-IN
26. Scuffle : SCRAPE
30. For adults only : X-RATED
31. Special-education challenge : AUTISM
33. Bottom line? : HEM
35. Tom Sawyer’s half brother : SID
36. Request for food delivery : ORDER OUT
37. Someone who’s pretty darn good : NO SLOUCH
38. It could be on the tip of your tongue : TASTE BUD
39. ___ rap : GANGSTA
43. More, in México : MAS
44. O.C.D. fighter, maybe : PROZAC
45. Put forth : ASSERT
46. Enamors : CHARMS
48. Small slip : LAPSE
51. “___ done now?” : ARE WE
53. Superbright : NEON
55. “The Wizard of Oz” farmhand : ZEKE
58. Helicases split it : DNA
60. Court divider : NET