0328-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 28 Mar 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Peter Gordon
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Tee

Themed answers are common phrases in which each component word ends with a letter T. Additionally, every single clue in the puzzle ends with a letter T:

  • 59D. End of each word in 17-, 27-, 43- and 54-Across – as well as every clue (and that’s a fact!) : TEE
  • 17A. Part of Iran that can get quite hot : GREAT SALT DESERT
  • 27A. Suddenly showed interest : SAT BOLT UPRIGHT
  • 43A. Didn’t speak of, as a touchy subject : KEPT QUIET ABOUT
  • 54A. “Finally, though as important …” : LAST BUT NOT LEAST

Bill’s time: 8m 08s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. ___ elephant : ASIAN

There are only three species of elephant living today, with all others being extinct. These are the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant, and the Asian elephant (or “Indian elephant”). As is well known, the African elephant is distinguished from the Asian/Indian elephant by its much larger ears.

14. Org. with a Grand Esteemed Loyal Knight : BPOE

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome.

21. Aziz of “Observe and Report” : ANSARI

Aziz Ansari is an actor and comedian from Columbia, South Carolina who is best known for playing Tom Haverford on the sitcom “Parks and Recreation”. Ansari also stars in the Netflix comedy-drama series “Master of None”.

23. Org. to call for a jump-start : AAA

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

32. Israeli region that includes Eilat : NEGEV

The Negev is a desert region in southern Israel. The largest city in the Negev is Beersheba. The Negev covers about 4,700 square miles, which is about 55% of Israel’s landmass.

Eilat (sometimes “Elat”) the most southerly city in Israel, sitting right at the northern tip of the Red Sea, on the Gulf of Aqaba.

34. Band engagement : GIG

Musicians use “gig” to describe a job, a performance. The term originated in the early 1900s in the world of jazz. The derivative phrase “gig economy” applies to a relatively recent phenomenon where workers find themselves jumping from temporary job to temporary job, from gig to gig.

35. 2008 Olympic men’s tennis gold medalist : NADAL

Rafael “Rafa” Nadal is a Spanish tennis player. He is noted for his expertise on clay courts, which expertise earned him the nickname “The King of Clay”.

42. Bull’s-eye, for Target : LOGO

Target Corporation was founded by George Draper Dayton in 1902 in Minneapolis, Minnesota as Dayton Dry Goods Company. Dayton developed into a department store, and the company opened up a discount store chain in 1962, calling it Target. Today, Target is the second-largest discount retailer in the country, after Walmart.

48. Game similar to baccarat : 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 …

Baccarat, in all of its three variants, is a relatively simple casino card game. Baccarat is the favored game of chance for James Bond 007, and it looks so cool when he plays it! Banco!

51. Chicago airport : O’HARE

O’Hare International is the fourth busiest airport in the world. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 and 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built, there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. This name is the derivation of the airport’s current location identifier: ORD (OR-chard D-ouglas). Orchard Place Airport was renamed to O’Hare International in 1949 in honor of Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare who grew up in Chicago. O’Hare was the US Navy’s first flying ace and a Medal of Honor recipient in WWII.

53. Rimes with the 2002 hit “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” : LEANN

LeAnn Rimes has been a country music star since she was 13 years old. In 2008 she disclosed publicly that she suffered from the autoimmune disease psoriasis. She has been active since then in raising money to fight the disease and helping fund cancer research as well. So, not only did Rimes win three Grammy Awards in 1997, she also won a 2009 Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Country Music.

61. ___ qua non (essential element) : SINE

“Sine qua non” is a Latin phrase that we use to mean “the essential element or condition”. The literal translation is “without which not”. One might say, for example, “a challenging crossword is the sine qua non of a good newspaper”. Well, crossword fans might say that …

62. Psychoanalysis appt. : SESS

Session (sess.)

63. “Like ___, all tears”: Hamlet : NIOBE

In Greek mythology, Niobe fled to Mount Sipylus when her children were killed. There, she was turned into stone and wept for eternity. There is indeed a Niobe’s Rock on Mount Sipylus (in modern-day Turkey) that resembles a female face, and so is known as “The Weeping Rock”.

64. Fashion magazine that can be read from back to front? : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

Down

1. “Notorious ___” (best seller about a member of the Supreme Court) : RBG

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg serves on the US Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg was the second woman to join the Court, nominated by President Bill Clinton. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. During that time she did not miss one day on the bench. In 2009 Justice Ginsburg had surgery for pancreatic cancer, and was back to work 12 days later.

2. First full month of D.S.T. : APR

On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is known as “summer time”. The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring (“spring forward”), and backwards in the fall (“fall back”) so that afternoons have more daylight.

8. No. of concern in a cockpit : ALT

Altitude (alt.)

9. Nascar Hall-of-Famer Jarrett : NED

Ned Jarrett is retired now. He is a two-time NASCAR champion and father of NASCAR drivers Dale and Glenn Jarrett.

11. “The Story of ___” (1975 film by Truffaut) : ADELE H

“L’Histoire d’Adèle H.” (The Story of Adele H) is a French film released in 1975. It tells the story of Adèle Hugo, the daughter of writer Victor Hugo. The film was directed by an icon of French cinema, François Truffaut.

12. “The Muppet Show” host : KERMIT

Kermit has to be the most readily recognized puppet character created by the late great Jim Henson. Henson came up with Kermit way back in 1955 when he appeared on a puppet show called “Sam and Friends” that aired in Washington, D.C. Kermit is loved so much that he even has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

13. Singer John who was born Reginald Dwight : ELTON

“Elton John” is the stage name of English singer and pianist Reginald Dwight. John is an avid football (soccer) supporter, and is especially enthusiastic about Watford Football Club, which was his local team growing up. After he achieved financial success, John was able to purchase Watford FC, and owned the club from 1976 to 1987, and again from 1997 until 2002.

16. Sitcom cook who said “Stow it!” : MEL

The sitcom “Alice” is set in Mel’s Diner, which is supposedly frequented by locals and truckers on the outskirts of Phoenix. There is a real Mel’s Diner in Phoenix, and the restaurant’s sign is used in the opening credits. The real-world Mel’s was called “Chris’ Diner”, but the owner agreed to a temporary change in name for the purposes of the show. But, “Chris” never came back, and “Mel’s” is still serving customers today.

18. Matador’s opponent : TORO

The term “torero” is used to describe all bullfighters. The term “matador” is reserved for the bullfighter whose job is to make the final kill. Aptly enough, “matador” is Spanish for “killer”.

21. “Chacun ___ goût” : A SON

“Chacun à son goût” is a French phrase that we sometimes cite in English to mean “to each his own”. A more literal translation is “everyone to his taste”.

22. Basilica part : NAVE

In its modern usage, the term “basilica” applies to a Roman Catholic church that has been given special ceremonial rights by the Pope.

24. Farthest point in an orbit : APOGEE

In the celestial world, an apsis is a point in an orbit when the orbiting body is at its greatest, or least, distance from it’s center of orbit. The farthest and closest points of orbit are known as the apogee and perigee, when talking about bodies orbiting the Earth. The farthest and closest points for bodies orbiting the sun are known as the aphelion and perihelion.

28. Retouches after a fly ball is caught : TAGS UP

That would be baseball.

29. McKellen of “The Hobbit” : IAN

Sir Ian McKellen is a marvelous English actor, someone who is comfortable playing anything from Macbeth on stage to Magneto in an “X-Men” movie. On the big screen, McKellen is very famous for playing Gandalf in “The Lord of Rings”. In the UK, Sir Ian is noted for being at the forefront of the campaign for equal rights for gay people, a role he has enthusiastically embraced since the eighties.

36. Soprano Licia who performed hundreds of times at the Met : ALBANESE

Licia Albanese was an Italian-American operatic soprano who performed with Metropolitan Opera from 1940 to 1966. Albanese is very much associated with the title role in “Madama Butterfly”, which she played 72 times at the Met alone. She passed away at home in Manhattan in 2014, at the age of 105 years.

37. Something in a simile that’s dead beyond doubt : DOORNAIL

“As dead as a doornail” is one of our older expressions, and dates back at least to the 14th century. You might have seen very old doors in castles or old houses that have large studs all over the front in a regular pattern. The studs are the heads of nails driven through the door, originally for strength, but later for decoration. They are “doornails”.

38. Fever fit : AGUE

An ague is a fever, one usually associated with malaria.

43. Rabbi Meir who served in the Knesset : KAHANE

The Knesset is the legislative branch of the Israeli government, and does its business in the Givat Ram neighborhood of central Jerusalem.

45. Doors, in Brest : PORTES

Brest is a port city in northwest France, and is the second largest military port in the country. Brest was an important base for German U-boats during WWII when France was occupied by the Nazis. Brest is the most westerly city in the whole country.

46. African pest : TSETSE

Tsetse flies live on the blood of vertebrate mammals. The name “tsetse” comes from Tswana, a language of southern Africa, and translates simply as “fly”. Tsetse flies are famous for being carriers of the disease known as “sleeping sickness”. Sleeping sickness is caused by a parasite which is passed onto humans when the tsetse fly bites into human skin tissue. If one considers all the diseases transmitted by the insect, then the tsetse fly is responsible for a staggering quarter of a million deaths each year.

47. Fussy to a fault : ANAL

The use of the word “anal” to mean “stiffly conventional” is an abbreviated form of “anal-retentive”, a term derived from Freudian psychology. Regardless, I’m not a big fan of the term …

48. Final word in a Porky Pig short : FOLKS

Porky Pig was the first of the characters created by Warner Bros. to become a hit with audiences. Porky Pig is the guy with the line at the end of each cartoon, “Th-th-th-that’s all folks!” If you don’t mind a little adult language, there’s a very funny 11-second Porky Pig clip that the studio released on a blooper reel in 1938. Porky Pig stutters out “Son of g-g-gun”, only he doesn’t say “gun” …

53. Leopold’s 1924 co-defendant : LOEB

Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were two well-heeled students at the University of Chicago who famously murdered a 14-year-old boy, apparently just on a whim, to show that they could commit the perfect crime. The crime turned out to be not quite so perfect and the pair were caught and put on trial for the murder in 1924. The trial was big news, especially after the defendants engaged high-profile attorney Clarence Darrow to represent them. In fact, the court proceedings were dubbed “The Trial of the Century”. The crime itself was the inspiration for the 1929 play called “Rope” by Patrick Hamilton, which in turn was the inspiration for the 1948 Hitchcock film of the same name.

57. Cpl. or sgt. : NCO

Non-commissioned officer (NCO)

58. Fall ’75 TV debut : SNL

NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975 under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call “Saturday Night Live”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Cloths used to collect dust : RAGS
5. ___ elephant : ASIAN
10. Habitat for a trout : LAKE
14. Org. with a Grand Esteemed Loyal Knight : BPOE
15. Creation from a kit : SCALE MODEL
17. Part of Iran that can get quite hot : GREAT SALT DESERT
19. Novelist Wilson who wrote “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” : SLOAN
20. Popular early 2000s R&B artist : LIL’ MO
21. Aziz of “Observe and Report” : ANSARI
23. Org. to call for a jump-start : AAA
26. German dissent : NEIN
27. Suddenly showed interest : SAT BOLT UPRIGHT
30. Shape for a locket : OVAL
31. Scent : AROMA
32. Israeli region that includes Eilat : NEGEV
34. Band engagement : GIG
35. 2008 Olympic men’s tennis gold medalist : NADAL
40. Air passenger’s request : AISLE
42. Bull’s-eye, for Target : LOGO
43. Didn’t speak of, as a touchy subject : KEPT QUIET ABOUT
48. Game similar to baccarat : FARO
49. Health resort : SPA
50. Catches in a net : SNARES
51. Chicago airport : O’HARE
53. Rimes with the 2002 hit “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” : LEANN
54. “Finally, though as important …” : LAST BUT NOT LEAST …
60. Supports for a lower joint : KNEE BRACES
61. ___ qua non (essential element) : SINE
62. Psychoanalysis appt. : SESS
63. “Like ___, all tears”: Hamlet : NIOBE
64. Fashion magazine that can be read from back to front? : ELLE

Down

1. “Notorious ___” (best seller about a member of the Supreme Court) : RBG
2. First full month of D.S.T. : APR
3. Attends without an escort : GOES STAG
4. Like something that can be closed tight : SEALABLE
5. Lash out at : ASSAIL
6. Digitize, as a document : SCAN
7. Suffix with president : -IAL
8. No. of concern in a cockpit : ALT
9. Nascar Hall-of-Famer Jarrett : NED
10. Shedding, as weight : LOSING
11. “The Story of ___” (1975 film by Truffaut) : ADELE H
12. “The Muppet Show” host : KERMIT
13. Singer John who was born Reginald Dwight : ELTON
16. Sitcom cook who said “Stow it!” : MEL
18. Matador’s opponent : TORO
21. “Chacun ___ goût” : A SON
22. Basilica part : NAVE
23. Ballplayer Rich who started and ended his 15-year career as a Giant : AURILIA
24. Farthest point in an orbit : APOGEE
25. Pitcher’s asset : ARM
28. Retouches after a fly ball is caught : TAGS UP
29. McKellen of “The Hobbit” : IAN
33. Distillery sight : VAT
36. Soprano Licia who performed hundreds of times at the Met : ALBANESE
37. Something in a simile that’s dead beyond doubt : DOORNAIL
38. Fever fit : AGUE
39. Quite a bit : LOTS
41. Figs. on a Stanford-Binet test : IQS
43. Rabbi Meir who served in the Knesset : KAHANE
44. Gets the lead out? : ERASES
45. Doors, in Brest : PORTES
46. African pest : TSETSE
47. Fussy to a fault : ANAL
48. Final word in a Porky Pig short : FOLKS
52. Tidal retreat : EBB
53. Leopold’s 1924 co-defendant : LOEB
55. Caterer’s coffeepot : URN
56. Red snapper, at a sushi restaurant : TAI
57. Cpl. or sgt. : NCO
58. Fall ’75 TV debut : SNL
59. End of each word in 17-, 27-, 43- and 54-Across – as well as every clue (and that’s a fact!) : TEE