0402-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 2 Apr 2018, Monday

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Constructed by: Jason Mueller
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Paris, France

Themed answers are famous landmarks in PARIS, FRANCE:

  • 62A. World capital that’s the theme of this puzzle : PARIS, FRANCE
  • 17A. 62-Across landmark : EIFFEL TOWER
  • 24A. 62-Across museum : THE LOUVRE
  • 30A. 62-Across bridge : PONT NEUF
  • 44A. 62-Across school : SORBONNE
  • 51A. 62-Across cathedral : NOTRE-DAME

Bill’s time: 5m 39s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Arnaz of “I Love Lucy” : DESI

Desi Arnaz has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. One was placed to mark his contribution motion pictures, and the other for his work in television.

5. Skewered meat dishes : KEBABS

The term “kebab” (also “kabob”) covers a wide variety of meat dishes that originated in Persia. In the West, we usually use “kebab” when talking about shish kebab, which is meat (often lamb) served on a skewer. “Shish” comes from the Turkish word for “skewer”.

11. Col. Sanders’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.

14. Muscat’s land : OMAN

Muscat is the capital of Oman, and lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.

15. Battery terminals : ANODES

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

17. 62-Across landmark : EIFFEL TOWER

The “Exposition Universelle” (World’s Fair) of 1889 was held in Paris, France. The 1900 fair is remembered for the magnificent entrance arch that was constructed for visitors. That entrance arch was to remain standing for only nine years, but the city decided to keep it and you can visit it today. Today we call that entrance arch the Eiffel Tower. The tower is sometimes referred to in French “La Dame de Fer”, meaning “the Iron Lady”.

19. Siegfried’s partner in Vegas : ROY

Siegfried & Roy is a magic act that is famous for the use of white lions and tigers on stage. Siegfried Fischbacher and Uwe Ludwig “Roy” Horn are from Germany, but have lived in Las Vegas for many years. Horn was seriously injured during a performance at the Mirage in Vegas in 2003 when a white tiger bit him on the back of the neck. That incident marked the end of Siegfried and Roy’s on-stage career.

20. Laurence who wrote “Tristram Shandy” : STERNE

Laurence Sterne is best known for his novel “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman”. It is an epic work, that was published in nine volumes over ten years.

21. Vietnamese holiday : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

23. Blue Jays’ home, for short : TOR

The Toronto Blue Jays baseball franchise was founded in 1977. The Blue Jays are the only team based outside the US to have won a World Series, doing so in 1992 and 1993. And since the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team now headquartered outside of the US.

24. 62-Across museum : THE LOUVRE

The Musée du Louvre has the distinction of being the most visited art museum in the whole world. The collection is housed in the magnificent Louvre Palace that used to be the seat of power in France, until 1682 when Louis XIV moved to Versailles.

29. N.B.A. coach Steve : KERR

Steve Kerr is a retired NBA basketball player who moved into team management. Kerr was born in Beirut, Lebanon, the son of an American academic who specialized in Middle East studies. Kerr’s father was assassinated by militant nationalists in Beirut when Steve was 19 years old.

30. 62-Across bridge : PONT NEUF

Paradoxically, Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge standing today that crosses the River Seine in Paris. The paradox is that the name translates to “new bridge”. The bridge is in two parts, as it crosses from the Left Bank to the Île de la Cité (on which stands Notre Dame) and then from the Île de la Cité to the Right Bank.

40. Roadside bomb, 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.

41. Artoo-___ of “Star Wars” : DETOO

Artoo’s proper name is R2-D2. R2-D2 is the smaller of the two famous droids from the “Star Wars” movies. British actor Kenny Baker, who stood just 3 ft 8 ins tall, was the man inside the R2-D2 droid for the first six of the “Star Wars” movies.

44. 62-Across school : SORBONNE

“Sorbonne” is the name usually used for the old University of Paris, and some of the institutions that have succeeded it. The institution was named for French theologian Robert de Sorbonne who founded the original Collège de Sorbonne in 1257. That’s quite a while ago …

50. Toy that shoots foam darts : NERF GUN

Nerf is soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

51. 62-Across cathedral : NOTRE-DAME

Notre-Dame de Paris is the spectacular Gothic cathedral that sits on the Île de la Cité, one of the islands in the middle on the River Seine in Paris. Notre Dame is home to many beautiful and significant artifacts, the most famous of which is the Crown of Thorns supposedly worn by Jesus Christ at his execution, placed in the cathedral in 1239. It’s also home to some magnificent gargoyles on the roof, and you can climb up to the roof and take a very close look at them.

56. ___ vera : ALOE

Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. Ancient Egyptians knew it as the plant of immortality, and Native Americans called it the wand of heaven.

57. Airport guess, for short : ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

62. World capital that’s the theme of this puzzle : PARIS, FRANCE

The French capital of Paris is named for the Parisii, a Celtic Iron Age people that lived in the area on the banks of the River Seine.

64. She tasted the forbidden fruit : EVE

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

66. One of three in a hat trick : GOAL

A hat trick is the scoring of three goals by the same player in a game of say, soccer or hockey.

67. Dôme ___ Invalides (historic church) : DES

The Hôtel des Invalides is a building complex in Paris that was opened in the 1600s as a home and hospital for unwell and aged soldiers. Today, the complex includes several museums and monuments that relate to France’s military history. The magnificent former chapel known as the Dôme des Invalides houses several tombs, and is most notably the final resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte.

69. Abbr. on many a cornerstone : ESTD

Established (“est.” or “estd.”)

Down

3. Social Security, Medicare, etc., collectively : SAFETY NET

The Social Security Administration (SSA) was set up as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first person to receive a monthly retirement benefit was Ida May Fuller of Vermont who received her first check for the sum of $22.54 after having contributed for three years through payroll taxes. The New Deal turned out to be a good deal for Ms. Fuller, as she lived to 100 years of age and received a total benefit of almost $23,000, whereas her three years of contributions added up to just $24.75.

Medicare is a the national medical insurance program administered by the US government. The term “Medicare” originally applied to a government program introduced in 1956 that provided coverage for families of those serving in the military. The current Medicare program was introduced by the Johnson administration in 1966, to provide health insurance to anyone aged 65 years or older.

8. Trade publication read along Madison Avenue : ADWEEK

“Adweek” is a weekly trade magazine serving the advertising industry. It is the second-biggest seller in the sector, behind “Advertising Age”.

Madison Avenue became the center of advertising in the US in the twenties, and serves as the backdrop to the great TV drama “Mad Men”. There aren’t many advertising agencies left on Madison Avenue these days though, as most have moved to other parts of New York City. The street takes its name from Madison Square, which is bounded on one side by Madison Avenue. The square in turn takes its name from James Madison, the fourth President of the United States.

9. Ladybug or scarab : BEETLE

The insect we know as a ladybug has seven spots on the wing covers. These seven spots gave rise to the common name “ladybug”, as in the Middle Ages the insect was called the “beetle of Our Lady”. The spots were said to symbolize the Seven Joys and Seven Sorrows, events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary called out in the Roman Catholic tradition.

Scarabs were amulets in ancient Egypt. Scarabs were modelled on the dung beetle, as it was viewed as a symbol of the cycle of life.

10. Ukr., e.g., once : SSR

Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe that was a Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) before the dissolution of the USSR. In English, we often call the country “the Ukraine”, but I am told that we should say just “Ukraine”.

11. Big name in Russian ballet : KIROV

The Mariinsky Ballet is a company based in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It was founded in the mid-1700s as the Imperial Russian Ballet, but was renamed to the Kirov Ballet during the Soviet era, in honor of the Bolshevik revolutionary Sergey Kirov. The Kirov was renamed again at the end of communist rule, taking the name of the Mariinsky Theatre where the company was headquartered. The theatre was named for Empress Maria Alexandrovna, who was the wife of Tsar Alexander II.

13. Bonnie’s partner in crime : CLYDE

Bonnie and Clyde were criminals who robbed and killed their way across the central US during the Great Depression. Clyde Barrow was born a desperately poor young boy just south of Dallas, Texas. He was always in trouble with the law, first getting arrested at the age of 16. He met Bonnie Parker in 1930 at a friend’s house, and the smitten Parker followed Clyde into a life of crime. The pair were killed by a posse of Texas police officers just four years later in Louisiana.

18. Scandal-ridden company of the early 2000s : ENRON

After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

22. Pelts : FURS

A pelt is the skin of a furry animal.

24. Grand ___ (cultural trip around Europe) : TOUR

The original Grand Tour was a rite of passage for young wealthy men, mainly in the 18th century. Rich families (especially the English) would send off their sons after finishing their schooling to be exposed to the various cultures across Europe. Essential stops along the way were Paris, Venice and Rome.

31. Second-largest city of Morocco, after Casablanca : FES

Fes (sometimes “Fez”) is the second largest city in Morocco. Fes is home to the Fes el Bali quarter, a walled part of the city that is thought to be the largest car-free urban area in the world. Fes is also gave the name to the red felt hat called a “fez”.

33. Mythical ruler of Crete : KING MINOS

Minos was the King of Crete in Greek mythology, and the son of Zeus and Europa. Minos had an elaborate labyrinth built under the island, designed by the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus (who famously died trying to escape from the island by “flying” away). In the labyrinth, King Minos kept the Minotaur, a dreadful creature with the head of a bull on the body of a man.

35. Genesis garden : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

39. “Vous êtes ici” (“You ___ here”) : ARE

“Vous êtes ici” are important words to know when navigating your way around Paris. They mean “You are here”, and you’ll often see them on maps in the street.

42. Shrek, e.g. : OGRE

Before “Shrek” was a successful movie franchise and Broadway musical, it was a children’s picture book called “Shrek!” that was authored and illustrated by William Steig. The title “Shrek!” came from the German/Yiddish word Schreck, meaning “fear” or “terror”.

43. Galena or bauxite : ORE

Galena is the most commonly used mineral to produce lead. It is a form of lead sulfide. Galena is the state mineral of Missouri and of Wisconsin.

Bauxite is an aluminum ore. It takes its name from the absolutely beautiful village of Les Baux in southern France, the home of the geologist who first recognized that the mineral was a useful source of the metal.

45. Hide-out for Br’er Rabbit : BRIAR

“Briar” is a generic name for several plants that have thorns or prickles, including the rose. Famously, Br’er Rabbit lives in a briar patch.

Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox are characters in the Uncle Remus stories, written by Joel Chandler Harris. The Uncle Remus stories are adaptations of African American folktales that Harris collected across the Southern States. “Br’er” is an abbreviated form of “brother”.

49. St. Genevieve, for 62-Across : PATRON

St. Genevieve is the patron saint of Paris, in the Roman Catholic tradition. In the year 451CE, she led what was termed a “prayer marathon” that many believed saved Paris from being sacked by Attila the Hun.

51. Like a jaybird, in an idiom : NAKED

The phrase “naked as a jaybird” dates back at least to 1943. Before that, back into the late 1800s, the equivalent phrase was “naked as a robin”. Going back further in time, the phrase “naked as a needle” was used in the late 1500s.

54. State formed as part of the Missouri Compromise : MAINE

The Missouri Compromise was an arrangement made in 1820 in the US Congress to maintain a balance in representation in the US Senate between slave state and free states. Missouri was added as a slave state, while at the same time the state of Maine was created as a free state when it seceded from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

58. Bosom buddies, in modern lingo : BFFS

Best friend forever (BFF)

59. Sing like Ella Fitzgerald : SCAT

Scat singing is a vocal improvisation found in the world of jazz. There aren’t any words as such in scat singing, just random nonsense syllables made up on the spot.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Arnaz of “I Love Lucy” : DESI
5. Skewered meat dishes : KEBABS
11. Col. Sanders’s restaurant : KFC
14. Muscat’s land : OMAN
15. Battery terminals : ANODES
16. Not feeling well : ILL
17. 62-Across landmark : EIFFEL TOWER
19. Siegfried’s partner in Vegas : ROY
20. Laurence who wrote “Tristram Shandy” : STERNE
21. Vietnamese holiday : TET
22. What’s thrown in a cafeteria fight : FOOD
23. Blue Jays’ home, for short : TOR
24. 62-Across museum : THE LOUVRE
26. Turn down, as an offer : SAY NO TO
29. N.B.A. coach Steve : KERR
30. 62-Across bridge : PONT NEUF
32. “I know! I know!” : ASK ME!
36. Opposite of WSW : ENE
37. Basketball venue : ARENA
40. Roadside bomb, for short : IED
41. Artoo-___ of “Star Wars” : DETOO
44. 62-Across school : SORBONNE
47. Clutch : GRIP
50. Toy that shoots foam darts : NERF GUN
51. 62-Across cathedral : NOTRE-DAME
55. “… or so ___ told” : I AM
56. ___ vera : ALOE
57. Airport guess, for short : ETA
58. Exile : BANISH
61. Family members : KIN
62. World capital that’s the theme of this puzzle : PARIS, FRANCE
64. She tasted the forbidden fruit : EVE
65. Many : A TON OF
66. One of three in a hat trick : GOAL
67. Dôme ___ Invalides (historic church) : DES
68. Extends, as a lease : RENEWS
69. Abbr. on many a cornerstone : ESTD

Down

1. Bucks’ mates : DOES
2. Let out : EMIT
3. Social Security, Medicare, etc., collectively : SAFETY NET
4. Leading the pack : IN FRONT
5. Green vegetable with tightly curled leaves : KALE
6. Suffix with differ : -ENT
7. Diner seating option : BOOTH
8. Trade publication read along Madison Avenue : ADWEEK
9. Ladybug or scarab : BEETLE
10. Ukr., e.g., once : SSR
11. Big name in Russian ballet : KIROV
12. Elevator stop : FLOOR
13. Bonnie’s partner in crime : CLYDE
18. Scandal-ridden company of the early 2000s : ENRON
22. Pelts : FURS
24. Grand ___ (cultural trip around Europe) : TOUR
25. “… man ___ mouse?” : OR A
26. Zoomed : SPED
27. Top-notch : A-ONE
28. Drink that’s often iced : TEA
31. Second-largest city of Morocco, after Casablanca : FES
33. Mythical ruler of Crete : KING MINOS
34. List of options : MENU
35. Genesis garden : EDEN
38. ___ of the above : NONE
39. “Vous êtes ici” (“You ___ here”) : ARE
42. Shrek, e.g. : OGRE
43. Galena or bauxite : ORE
45. Hide-out for Br’er Rabbit : BRIAR
46. At the point in one’s life : OF AN AGE
48. Think up : IDEATE
49. St. Genevieve, for 62-Across : PATRON
51. Like a jaybird, in an idiom : NAKED
52. Shade of green : OLIVE
53. Shades of color : TONES
54. State formed as part of the Missouri Compromise : MAINE
58. Bosom buddies, in modern lingo : BFFS
59. Sing like Ella Fitzgerald : SCAT
60. Clutched : HELD
62. Golf course standard : PAR
63. Strew, as seed : SOW