0417-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 17 Apr 2018, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Wren Schultz
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Vowel

Every other letter in today’s grid is a VOWEL:

  • 65A. Every other letter in this puzzle’s grid(!) : VOWEL

Bill’s time: 7m 17s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Rock singer who was a Time co-Person of the Year : BONO

The title of “Time” magazine’s Person of the Year went to “The Good Samaritans”, represented by Bono (lead singer of U2) and Bill and Melinda Gates (founders of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation).

“Time” magazine started naming a “Man of the Year” in 1927, only changing the concept to “Person of the Year” in 1999. Prior to 1999, the magazine did recognize four females as “Woman of the Year”: Wallis Simpson (1936), Soong May-ling a.k.a. Madame Chiang Kai-shek (1937), Queen Elizabeth II (1952) and Corazon Aquino (1986). “Time” named Albert Einstein as Person of the Century in 1999, with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi as runners-up.

5. Poland/Germany border river : ODER

The Oder river rises in the Czech Republic, and forms just over a hundred miles of the border between Germany and Poland. Downstream, the Oder breaks into three branches that empty into the Gulf of Pomerania in the Baltic Sea.

13. West Indies native : CARIB

The Caribs are an American Indian people that live in the Lesser Antilles islands, part of the West Indies. While most of the Carib population live on islands such as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, there are several Carib communities on the mainland of Central and South America in countries such as Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, Suriname and Belize. The Caribbean Sea takes its name from the Carib people.

14. Hurled weapon : BOLA

Bolas are heavy balls connected by cords that constitute a throwing weapon. Bolas are often used to capture animals by tripping them as they run. The weapon is usually associated with gauchos, the South American cowboys, although there is evidence that the Inca army used them in battle.

15. God depicted with a spear : ARES

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

16. Like a life that’s not worth living, per Socrates : UNEXAMINED

In Ancient Greece, Socrates was a respected thinker of his day. One of Socrates’ most clever students was Plato, who spent much of life espousing the work and thinking of his mentor and teacher. In later life, Plato himself had a student who built on the work of both Socrates and Plato. That second-generation student was Aristotle. Socrates fell out of favor with the political leaders in Athens who put him on trial on trumped-up charges. He was found guilty of corrupting the youth of the city-state and of not believing in the gods of the state. The sentence levied was death by drinking hemlock.

18. ___ Strauss & Co. : LEVI

Levi Strauss was the founder of the first company in the world to manufacture blue jeans. Levi Strauss & Co. opened in 1853 in San Francisco. Strauss and his business partner were awarded a patent in 1873 for the use of copper rivets to strengthen points of strain on working pants.

19. Picasso daughter known for her fashion designs and perfumes : PALOMA

Paloma Picasso is a fashion designer based in Paris. Paloma is the youngest daughter of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and French author and painter Françoise Gilot.

20. Alligator pears : AVOCADOS

The wonderful avocado comes from a tree that is native to Mexico and Central America. The avocado fruit is sometime called an avocado pear, because of its shape, even though it is not related to the pear at all. The fruit might also be referred to as an alligator pear, due to the roughness of the green skin of some avocado cultivars.

25. Makes weary through overexposure : JADES

Our term “jaded”, meaning tired and feeling a little “ho-hum”, comes from the noun “jade” which in the 14th century was an old, worn-out horse.

28. Meditative kind of state : ZEN

Zen is a Buddhist school that developed its own tradition in China back in the 7th century AD. Zen is a Japanese spelling of the Chinese word “chan”, which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word “dhyana” meaning “meditation”.

30. Pan, in myth : PIPER

Pan flutes (also “panpipes”) are folk instruments that have been around along time, and are believed to be the first mouth organs. The pan flute is named for the Greek god Pan, who was often depicted playing the instrument.

36. Kitchen brand made with love? : OXO

The OXO line of kitchen utensils is designed to be ergonomically superior to the average kitchen too. The intended user of OXO products is someone who doesn’t have the normal range of motion or strength in the hands e.g. someone suffering from arthritis.

In the sequence letter sequence “XOX”, the X represents a kiss, and the O a hug. “OOO” is a string of hugs, and “XXX” a string of kisses. Hugs and kisses …

39. Book with Adam and 41-Across : GENESIS

41. See 39-Across : EVE

The Book of Genesis is the first book in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. Some of the main figures in the book are Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses and Abraham. “Genesis” is a Greek word meaning “origin, creation”.

According to the Bible, God created Adam from “the dust of the ground”. Eve was created as Adam’s companion, from Adam’s rib.

45. Bud ___, former M.L.B. commissioner : SELIG

Bud Selig was the Commissioner of Baseball for Major League Baseball from 1998 to 2015. Selig became acting commissioner in 1992 after the resignation of Fay Vincent. The team owners searched for a new commissioner for six years, and finally gave the permanent job to Selig in 1998.

48. Figures posted on taxi doors : RATES

We call cabs “taxis”, a word derived from “taximeter cabs” that were introduced in London in 1907. A taximeter was an automated meter designed to record distance travelled and fare to be charged. The term “taximeter” evolved from “taxameter”, with “taxa” being Latin for “tax, charge”.

49. “___ Almighty” (2007 film) : EVAN

Steve Carell’s “Evan Almighty” was actually a sequel, to Jim Carrey’s “Bruce Almighty”. “Evan Almighty” is a cute enough film, with Evan mutating into a Noah character who goes as far as building an ark in his front yard.

53. Lantern fuel : KEROSENE

Kerosene is a mixture of hydrocarbons that is used mainly as a fuel. Kerosene is volatile, but is less flammable than gasoline. Over in the UK and Ireland, we call the same fuel “paraffin”.

60. Giant four-legged combat walker in “Star Wars” films : AT-AT

You might recall the huge walking vehicles that first appeared in the 1980 “Star Wars” movie “The Empire Strikes Back”. The proper name for such a walker is an All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT).

61. Car with a bubble : POPEMOBILE

The popemobile is actually a whole series of vehicles used since the days of Pope John Paul II. The popemobiles used on foreign visits are often manufactured locally and then stay in the country after the visit has been concluded. The British-built popemobile used for a 2006 visit to the UK was ultimately sold for over $70,000 at auction.

64. Food-thickening agent : AGAR

Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science, it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

66. Lacking width and depth : ONE-D

The dimension of an object is defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point in the object. Therefore a line is one-dimensional, as you only need an x-coordinate to specify a particular point on the line. A surface is two-dimensional, as you need both an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate to locate a point on the surface. The inside of a solid object is then three-dimensional, needing an x-, y- and z-coordinate to specify a point, say within a cube.

68. With 1-Down, star of Spielberg’s “Munich” : ERIC …
(1A. See 68-Across : … BANA)

Eric Bana is an Australian actor who enjoyed a successful career in his home country before breaking into Hollywood playing an American Delta Force sergeant in “Black Hawk Down”. A couple of years later he played the lead in Ang Lee’s 2003 movie “Hulk”, the role of Dr Bruce Banner. More recently he played the Romulan villain Nero, in the 2009 “Star Trek” movie.

“Munich” is a 2005 Steven Spielberg film that deals with the Munich massacre that took place at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games, and its aftermath. Much of the movie follows the Mossad operation to track down and kill the terrorists responsible for murdering the israeli athletes.

Down

2. Cy Young winner Hershiser : OREL

Orel Hershiser is big into poker now that he has retired from Major League Baseball. Hershiser lives in Las Vegas and when he isn’t working for ESPN, apparently he is at the poker tables, playing professionally. When Hershiser is eliminated in a poker tournament, he is in the habit of presenting the person who ousts him with an autographed baseball.

4. White House family after the Bushes : OBAMAS

By tradition, the Secret Service code names used for the US President and family all start with the same letter. For the Obama First Family, that letter is R:

  • Barack Obama: Renegade
  • Michelle Obama: Renaissance
  • Malia Obama: Radiance
  • Sasha Obama: Rosebud

For the Bush First Family, the code names starts with the letter T:

  • George W. Bush: Tumbler (later “Trailblazer”)
  • Laura Bush: Tempo
  • Barbara Bush: Turquoise
  • Jenna Bush: Twinkle

5. Sash worn around the waist : OBI

The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied at the back in what is called a butterfly knot. The term “obi” is also used for the thick cotton belts that are an essential part of the outfits worn by practitioners of many martial arts. The color of the martial arts obi signifies the wearer’s skill level.

6. Contributes to a Kickstarter campaign, say : DONATES

Kickstarter.com is an increasingly popular “crowdfunding” website. Kickstarter is a contemporary version of the traditional model in which artists sought out patrons from among their audiences to fund their work. The website brings together individuals willing to fund projects, usually in exchange for some reward from the artist.

8. Gas that home inspectors check for : RADON

The element radon (Rn) is a radioactive gas, and a byproduct produced when uranium decays naturally in the earth. Radon gas can collect and accumulate in buildings and rooms that are particularly well insulated with very little air exchange. The danger is very real, as radon is listed as the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.

9. Pizza topping : SALAMI

“Salame” (note the letter E at the end) is an Italian sausage that is traditionally associated with the peasant classes. The meat in the sausage is preserved with salt, and it can be hung and stored for as long as ten years. The name “salame” comes from “sale”, the Italian word for salt, and “-ame”, a suffix indicating a collective noun. Our English word “salami” is actually the Italian plural for “salame”.

10. Lode : ORE DEPOSIT

A lode is a metal ore deposit that’s found between two layers of rock or in a fissure. The “mother lode” is the principal deposit in a mine, usually of gold or silver. “Mother lode” is probably a translation of “veta madre”, an expression used in mining in Mexico.

11. Rock band known for its “energy domes” : DEVO

Devo is a band from Akron, Ohio formed back in 1973. The band’s biggest hit is “Whip It” released in 1980. Devo have a gimmick: the wearing of red, terraced plastic hats that are referred to as “energy domes”. Why? I have no idea …

12. Sign suggesting “caveat emptor” : AS IS

“Caveat emptor” is a Latin expression meaning “Let the buyer beware”. It is used when someone buys something, emphasizing that after the deal is closed, there’s no going back.

17. People or Us, for short : MAG

There used to be a “People” page in each issue of “Time” magazine. This page was spun-off in 1974 as a publication of its own, which we now call “People” magazine. “People” is noted for its annual special editions with features such as “Best & Worst Dressed” and “Sexiest Man Alive”. The “Sexiest Man Alive” edition now appears at the end of November each year. The first choice for “Sexiest Man” was Mel Gibson, in 1985.

“Us Weekly” is a celebrity gossip magazine, first published in 1977 as “Us”. Originally issued every two weeks, “Us” became a monthly magazine in 1991, and moved to a weekly format in 2000.

21. Chicken for cooking : CAPON

A capon is a castrated cockerel (poor guy!). Castration has a profound effect on the bird (duh!) making the meat more tender to eat when it is slaughtered.

23. Archipelago west of Portugal : AZORES

The Azores is an archipelago of nine volcanic islands in the North Atlantic lying about 1,000 miles west of Portugal. The Azores are an autonomous region belonging to Portugal.

25. Author Verne : JULES

Jules Verne really was a groundbreaking author. Verne pioneered the science fiction genre, writing about space, air and underwater travel, long before they were practical and proved feasible. Verne is the second-most translated author of all time, with only Agatha Christie beating him out.

31. Napoleon, when on St. Helena : EXILE

Napoléon Bonaparte was a military professional from Corsica who rose to prominence after the French Revolution during the French First Republic. He took over the country in 1799 in a coup d’état and installed himself as First Consul. Soon after, he led France in the Napoleonic Wars, conflicts between the growing French Empire and a series of opposing coalitions. He was eventually defeated at the Battle of Leipzig and was forced into exile on the Italian island of Elba off the Tuscan coast. Napoleon escaped in 1815 and regained power, only to be finally defeated a few months later at the Battle of Waterloo. The British dispatched him to the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic where he lived out the last six years of his life as a prisoner.

The island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic is one of the most remote islands in the world. It was discovered by Galician explorer João da Nova, who was sailing under the Portuguese flag. He name the island after Helena of Constantinople, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Famously, the British opted to exile Napoleon on Saint Helena soon after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The former French emperor died on the island in 1821.

32. Kentucky Derby prize : ROSES

The first Kentucky Derby took place in 1875, and is a race modeled on the Epsom Derby in England and the Grand Prix de Paris (now called the “Prix de l‘Arc de Triomphe”). As such, the Kentucky Derby was run over 1½ miles, although in 1896 this was shortened to 1¼ miles. The winning horse is presented with a very elaborate blanket made of red roses, and so the Derby is nicknamed “Run for the Roses”. The race is held on the first Saturday in May each year, and is limited to 3-year-old horses.

34. Scary Chaney : LON

Lon Chaney, Sr. played a lot of crazed-looking characters in the days of silent movies. He did much of his own make-up work, developing the grotesque appearances that became his trademark, and earning himself the nickname “the man of a thousand faces”. Most famous were his portrayals of the title characters in the films “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) and “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925).

38. Attire on ancient statues : TOGAS

In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

40. “Green Acres” co-star in 1960s TV : EVA GABOR

Eva Gabor was the youngest of the Gabor sisters, all three of whom were celebrated Hollywood actresses and socialites (her siblings were Zsa-Zsa and Magda). One of Eva’s claims to fame is the unwitting promotion of the game called “Twister”, the sales of which were languishing in 1966. In an appearance on “The Tonight Show” she got on all fours and played the game with Johnny Carson. Sales took off immediately, and Twister became a huge hit.

The popular sitcom “Green Acres” originally aired from 1965 to 1971. The magnificent stars of the show were Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor, playing a couple who moved from New York City to a farm in the country. “Green Acres” was cancelled as part of CBS’s so called “rural purge”. In a move to attract younger audiences, shows were added to the schedule with more urban and contemporary themes. Classics like “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “Hee Haw” and “Mayberry R.F.D.” were dropped at the same time as “Green Acres”.

43. Did better than bogeyed : MADE PAR

The following terms are routinely used in golf for scores relative to par:

  • Bogey: one over par
  • Par
  • Birdie: one under par
  • Eagle: two under par
  • Albatross (also “double eagle”): three under par
  • Condor: four under par

No one has ever recorded a condor during a professional tournament.

46. Sticker worn proudly in November : I VOTED

Election Day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

50. Home to Tenzing-Hillary Airport : NEPAL

Nepal lies to the northeast of India. Today, the state is known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. In 2008, the Communist Party of Nepal won the country’s general election. Soon after, the Assembly voted to change the form of government, moving away from a monarchy and creating a secular republic.

Mount Everest was first summited in 1953 by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Hillary and Norgay were part of an expedition from which two pairs of climbers were selected to make a summit attempt. The first pair were Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, and they came within 330 feet of their goal but had to turn back. The expedition sent up the second pair two days later, and history was made on 29 May 1953.

53. Bruce Lee role based on an old radio character : KATO

In “The Green Hornet” television series, Kato was famously played by Bruce Lee. The Kato role has been cited as a driving force behind the increase in popularity of martial arts in the US during the sixties.

Bruce Lee was born not far from here in San Francisco although he was raised in Hong Kong, returning to the US to attend college. Sadly, Bruce Lee died when he was only 32 years old, due to cerebral edema (a swelling of the brain) attributed to adverse reactions to the pain killing drug Equagesic.

54. Rival school of Harrow and Radley : ETON

The world-famous Eton College is just a brisk walk from Windsor Castle, which itself is just outside London. Eton is noted for producing many British leaders including David Cameron who took power in the last UK general election. The list of Old Etonians also includes Princes William and Harry, the Duke of Wellington, George Orwell, and the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming (as well as 007 himself as described in the Fleming novels).

Harrow School in north-west London is a boarding school, one of only four boys-only, boarding-only independent schools in England. The other three schools in the category are the famous Eton College, Radley College and Winchester College. The list of Harrow alumni includes British Prime Ministers Robert Peel, Alec Baldwin and Winston Churchill, and Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Radley College in Oxfordshire is boys boarding school, one of only four boys-only, boarding-only independent schools in England. The other three schools in the category are the famous Eton College, Harrow School and Winchester College. Radley was founded in 1847. Students at Radley are from ages 13 to 18.

57. New Zealand bird : KIWI

The kiwi is an unusual bird in that it has a highly developed sense of smell and is the only one of our feathered friends with nostrils located at the tip of its long beak.

62. “But I heard him exclaim, ___ he …” : ERE

Here are the closing lines to the Christmas poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Rock singer who was a Time co-Person of the Year : BONO
5. Poland/Germany border river : ODER
9. Pizza party drink : SODA
13. West Indies native : CARIB
14. Hurled weapon : BOLA
15. God depicted with a spear : ARES
16. Like a life that’s not worth living, per Socrates : UNEXAMINED
18. ___ Strauss & Co. : LEVI
19. Picasso daughter known for her fashion designs and perfumes : PALOMA
20. Alligator pears : AVOCADOS
22. Really bother : NAG AT
24. First field in an online form, often : NAME
25. Makes weary through overexposure : JADES
28. Meditative kind of state : ZEN
30. Pan, in myth : PIPER
33. Pioneer in self-driving cars : UBER
34. Be beaten by : LOSE TO
36. Kitchen brand made with love? : OXO
37. Map with a “You are here” arrow : LOCATOR
39. Book with Adam and 41-Across : GENESIS
41. See 39-Across : EVE
42. Lead-in to army or band : ONE-MAN
44. Despicable : VILE
45. Bud ___, former M.L.B. commissioner : SELIG
47. Was on the bench : SAT
48. Figures posted on taxi doors : RATES
49. “___ Almighty” (2007 film) : EVAN
51. Loosening of government controls, for short : DEREG
53. Lantern fuel : KEROSENE
56. Comes to : AWAKES
60. Giant four-legged combat walker in “Star Wars” films : AT-AT
61. Car with a bubble : POPEMOBILE
63. Lug : TOTE
64. Food-thickening agent : AGAR
65. Every other letter in this puzzle’s grid(!) : VOWEL
66. Lacking width and depth : ONE-D
67. Stories passed from generation to generation : LORE
68. With 1-Down, star of Spielberg’s “Munich” : ERIC …

Down

1. See 68-Across : … BANA
2. Cy Young winner Hershiser : OREL
3. 1969-74, politically : NIXON ERA
4. White House family after the Bushes : OBAMAS
5. Sash worn around the waist : OBI
6. Contributes to a Kickstarter campaign, say : DONATES
7. Mountain fig. : ELEV
8. Gas that home inspectors check for : RADON
9. Pizza topping : SALAMI
10. Lode : ORE DEPOSIT
11. Rock band known for its “energy domes” : DEVO
12. Sign suggesting “caveat emptor” : AS IS
13. Recipe unit : CUP
17. People or Us, for short : MAG
21. Chicken for cooking : CAPON
23. Archipelago west of Portugal : AZORES
25. Author Verne : JULES
26. Like the sky (unless you’re an astronaut) : ABOVE
27. Slow down : DECELERATE
29. Nullify : NEGATE
31. Napoleon, when on St. Helena : EXILE
32. Kentucky Derby prize : ROSES
34. Scary Chaney : LON
35. Base ___ : TEN
38. Attire on ancient statues : TOGAS
40. “Green Acres” co-star in 1960s TV : EVA GABOR
43. Did better than bogeyed : MADE PAR
46. Sticker worn proudly in November : I VOTED
48. Fixed, as a tapestry : REWOVE
50. Home to Tenzing-Hillary Airport : NEPAL
52. One making a ewe turn? : RAM
53. Bruce Lee role based on an old radio character : KATO
54. Rival school of Harrow and Radley : ETON
55. Canceled, as a launch : NO-GO
57. New Zealand bird : KIWI
58. “Juice”: Abbr. : ELEC
59. Salt, in France : SEL
62. “But I heard him exclaim, ___ he …” : ERE

9 thoughts on “0417-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 17 Apr 2018, Tuesday”

  1. 11:53. Didn’t notice the them until the reveal. Didn’t understand AT-AT AT ALL until I read the write up.

    Who puts SALAMI on pizza? Maybe it’s a New York thing?

    “Munich” as well as Eric BANA’s character in the film are very similar to the novels of Daniel Silva and the Mossad (simply referred to as “the office” in Mossad circles) agent, Gabriel Allon. In the series, Allon started his career seeking revenge for the Munich massacre. I’d highly recommend any of them. Silva writes a new one every year, and every July I look forward to the new one coming out.

    Best –

  2. I breezed right through this one pretty easily. No errors. No complaints. 36-Across, OXO, got me to wondering if the brand name really had anything to do with hugs and kisses. The sources say no. The founder of the company only chose it because it is simple and can be read the same whether right-side-up or up-side-down. I am a big fan of OXO kitchen utensils. They engineer their products beforehand with the consumer in mind. What a concept!

  3. 11:17, no errors. Not quick, no, but at least it was error-free.

    AT-AT? It’s just “Imperial Walker” to me. But then, I tuned out after the first 3 films…

  4. 8:49, no errors. Guessed right on the BANA/PALOMA cross. Puzzled for a bit whether to spell 37A LOCATER or LOCATOR; and 55D CATO or KATO. Fortunately the crosses solved them.

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