0407-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 7 Apr 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Mark Diehl
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 41s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Nestlé product first sold in 1961 : COFFEE-MATE

Coffee-mate is a non-dairy creamer made by Nestlé. I think that the term “non-dairy creamer” is quite misleading. Such products don’t contain any lactose, but they often do contain casein, which is a protein that comes from milk.

11. Leader among the Axis powers : TOJO

Hideki Tojo was a general and the Prime Minister of Japan during most of WWII. Although the attack on Pearl Harbor was planned before he took office, Tojo was the Prime Minister who made the decision to declare war on the US. After Japan surrendered, General MacArthur ordered Tojo’s arrest. Tojo attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself in the heart, but missed. There is a story that while recovering, Tojo was given a set of replacement dentures that were made by an American dentist. Apparently the dentist drilled the message “Remember Pearl Harbor” into the teeth in Morse code. Tojo was hanged for war crimes in 1948.

Before WWII, Hungary’s prime minister was lobbying for an alliance between Germany, Hungary and Italy and worked towards such a relationship that he called an “axis”. The main Axis powers during the war were Germany, Italy and Japan. However, also included in the relationship were Romania, Bulgaria and the aforementioned Hungary.

18. Actress Campbell : NEVE

Neve Campbell is a Canadian actress whose big break in movies came with the “Scream” horror film series, in which she had a leading role. I don’t do horror films, so I haven’t seen any of the “Scream” movies. Nor have I seen the TV series “Party of Five” which launched the acting careers of both Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt in the nineties.

20. Country formed by a 1964 merger : TANZANIA

When the African countries of Zanzibar and Tanganyika merged in 1964, the resulting state was named the United Republic of Tanzania, with “Tanzania” being a portmanteau of “Zanzibar” and “Tanganyika”.

22. John of the Plymouth Colony : ALDEN

John Alden is said to have been the first person to disembark from the Mayflower and to have set foot on Plymouth Rock in 1620. Alden himself was not a Pilgrim as such, and was a carpenter working on the Mayflower before it sailed. He apparently decided to travel with the ship at the last minute, perhaps in pursuit of the passenger who would become his wife, Priscilla Mullens. Alden ended up in a love triangle with Priscilla and Captain Miles Standish, a relationship which is recounted in the Longfellow poem “The Courtship of Miles Standish”. John and Priscilla were the parents of a son, John Alden, who was later to be accused during the Salem witch trials.

26. Staircase element : NEWEL

A newel is a principal upright post that supports a handrail beside a staircase. Newels are found at the top and bottom of the banister, and sometimes in between. Newels are often adorned with decorative trim to set them apart from the other posts by the staircase.

32. CB radio emergency channel : NINE

A CBer is someone who operates a citizens’ band (CB) radio. In 1945, the FCC set aside certain radio frequencies for the personal use of citizens. The use of the Citizens’ Band increased throughout the seventies as advances in electronics brought down the size of transceivers and their cost. There aren’t many CB radios sold these days though, as they have largely been replaced by cell phones.

37. Article of apparel not originating where its name would suggest : PANAMA

Panama hats are traditional headgear from Ecuador, and have never been made in Panama. The “panama” moniker came about as many of the hats were shipped to the Isthmus of Panama for transportation by sea to the rest of the world. Authentic panama hats are made from the leaves of a palm-like plant known locally as the jipijapa palm.

52. Headache for Ranger Smith : YOGI

Yogi Bear made his debut for Hanna-Barbera in 1958, on “The Huckleberry Hound Show” before he was given his own series. Do you remember that collar that Yogi wore around his neck? That was a little trick from the animators. By using the collar, for many frames all they had to do was redraw everything from the collar up, saving them lots and lots of time. Yogi and Boo Boo lived in Jellystone Park, and made Ranger Smith’s life a misery.

55. One of the d’Urbervilles in “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” : ALEC

The full name of Thomas Hardy’s 1891 novel is “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented”. When it was originally published, “Tess …” received very mixed reviews, largely because it addressed some difficult sexual themes including rape, and sexual double standards (attitudes towards men vs women). I suppose the most celebrated screen adaptation is Roman Polanski’s “Tess” released in 1979. Polanski apparently made “Tess” because his wife, Sharon Tate, gave him Hardy’s novel as her last act before she was murdered by the Manson family. There is a dedication at the beginning of the movie that just says “To Sharon”.

Down

1. “The Jungle Book” beast : COBRA

“The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling was originally published in 1894, and is a collection of adventure stories or fables featuring the animals of the jungle and a young boy named Mowgli. Baloo is a sloth bear who teaches the cubs of a wolf pack the Law of the Jungle. His most challenging pupil however is no lupine, but rather the man-cub Mowgli.

6. 2001 Israel Prize winner : EBAN

Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician, born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban in Cape Town, South Africa. While working at the United Nations after WWII, Eban changed his given name to “Abba”, the Hebrew word for “father”. He made this change as reportedly as he could see himself as the father of the nation of Israel.

10. Part of a savanna herd : ELAND

An eland is a large African antelope, in fact the largest on the continent. Both male and female elands have horns, and those horns have a steady spiral ridge along their length.

A savanna (also “savannah”) is a grassland. If there are any trees in a savanna, by definition they are small and widely spaced so that light can get to the grasses allowing them to grow unhindered.

13. Bon ___ : JOVI

Jon Bon Jovi was born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr., and he is the leader of the band that took his name: Bon Jovi.

14. Suited to serve : ONE-A

The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

21. Early example of reductio ad absurdum : ZENO’S PARADOX

Zeno of Elea was a Greek philosopher who lived in Elea, a Greek colony in Southern Italy. Zeno is famous for his “paradoxes”, a set of problems that really make you think! In the problem known as “Achilles and the Tortoise”, Zeno tells us that Achilles races a tortoise, giving the tortoise a head start (of say 100 meters). By the time Achilles reaches the starting point of the tortoise, the tortoise will have moved on, albeit only a small distance. Achilles then sets his sights on the tortoise’s new position and runs to it. Again the tortoise has moved ahead a little. Achilles keeps on moving to the tortoise’s new position but can never actually catch his slower rival. Or can he …?

25. Piazza dei Miracoli locale : PISA

The city of Pisa is right on the Italian coast, sitting at the mouth of the River Arno, and is famous for its Leaning Tower. The tower is actually the campanile (bell tower) of the city’s cathedral, and it has been leaning since it was completed in 1173. Just shows you how important good foundations are …

27. Kind of collar : ETON

An Eton collar is a wide, stiff, buttoned collar that is still part of the formal school uniform at Eton College near Windsor in England.

28. Block maker : LEGO

Lego is manufactured by Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

29. Dangerous currents : RIPS

A rip current (wrongly called a rip “tide” sometimes) is a localized current that flows seaward from near the shore. Rip currents are dangerous as they can pull swimmers out to sea.

30. Where dinars buy dinners : IRAQ

The dinar is the official currency in many countries, such as Iraq and Serbia. The gold dinar dates back to the early days of Islam, with the name deriving from the Roman currency called “denarius” meaning “ten times” (as it was originally a coin worth ten asses).

38. Janitor’s item : DUSTPAN

A janitor is someone who takes care of the maintenance or cleaning of a building. An older definition of the term is “doorman”. Our word comes from the Latin “ianitor” meaning “doorkeeper”.

44. Scenery features in a Road Runner cartoon : CACTI

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two much-loved cartoon characters from Warner Bros. Wile E. Coyote was created first, and Road Runner was invented as someone for Wile E. to play off. I love this cartoon; definitely one of the best …

48. Bond villain ___ Stavro Blofeld : ERNST

Ernst Stavro Blofeld is a villain in the James Bond universe. Blofeld has been played on the big screen several times by different actors. My favorite is Donald Pleasance in 1967’s “You Only Live Twice”. In the original Ian Fleming novels, Blofeld was born on 28 May 1908, which happens to be Fleming’s own birthday.

50. Tie out West : BOLO

I’ve never worn a bolo tie, and was surprised to discover that it is a relatively recent invention. The first bolo tie was apparently produced in Wickenburg, Arizona in the late 1940s by a silversmith. The bolo takes its name from the boleadora, an Argentine lariat.

54. “Methinks,” in texts : IMO

In my opinion (IMO)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Nestlé product first sold in 1961 : COFFEE-MATE
11. Leader among the Axis powers : TOJO
15. Classic deli order : ONION BAGEL
16. Shortly after : UPON
17. Corona with tequila and fruit juice, e.g. : BEERGARITA
18. Actress Campbell : NEVE
19. Jeannette ___, first U.S. congresswoman : RANKIN
20. Country formed by a 1964 merger : TANZANIA
22. John of the Plymouth Colony : ALDEN
23. Big rigs : TANDEMS
24. #2 : DEPUTY
26. Staircase element : NEWEL
29. Goaltending spot : RIM
32. CB radio emergency channel : NINE
33. ___ society : POLITE
34. “Count me out!” : I REFUSE!
36. Headline on a neighborhood poster : LOST DOG
37. Article of apparel not originating where its name would suggest : PANAMA
38. Fancify : DO UP
39. “The Ship” composer, 2016 : ENO
40. Small firecracker : SQUIB
41. Redden, in a way : RUB RAW
43. Spin like a gyroscope : PRECESS
45. Nouvelle ___ : RICHE
49. Annual June sports event : NBA DRAFT
51. Style : MANNER
52. Headache for Ranger Smith : YOGI
53. Transcribed : COPIED DOWN
55. One of the d’Urbervilles in “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” : ALEC
56. Track at Universal Studios and the like : TRAM ROUTES
57. Pull a con on : HOSE
58. “You shouldn’t rely on me” : I’M NO EXPERT

Down

1. “The Jungle Book” beast : COBRA
2. Jermaine ___, six-time N.B.A. All-Star of the early 2000s : O’NEAL
3. Real enthusiast : FIEND
4. Split : FORKED
5. Fire department ID : ENGINE NUMBER
6. 2001 Israel Prize winner : EBAN
7. Ding, e.g. : MAR
8. Cause trouble : AGITATE
9. Condition caused by abnormal calcium levels : TETANY
10. Part of a savanna herd : ELAND
11. Classic diner order : TUNA MELT
12. Prepares for a drill? : OPENS WIDE
13. Bon ___ : JOVI
14. Suited to serve : ONE-A
21. Early example of reductio ad absurdum : ZENO’S PARADOX
23. Fix a flat for? : TUNE
25. Piazza dei Miracoli locale : PISA
27. Kind of collar : ETON
28. Block maker : LEGO
29. Dangerous currents : RIPS
30. Where dinars buy dinners : IRAQ
31. They’re flipped at diners : MENU PAGES
33. Come down in buckets : POUR
35. Things that can’t be loaded : FAIR DICE
36. Sends in a high arc : LOBS
38. Janitor’s item : DUSTPAN
41. Go straight : REFORM
42. End … or start : WIND UP
44. Scenery features in a Road Runner cartoon : CACTI
46. “Hundo” : C-NOTE
47. Lumberjack at work : HEWER
48. Bond villain ___ Stavro Blofeld : ERNST
49. When repeated, a taunt : NYAH!
50. Tie out West : BOLO
51. Just : MERE
54. “Methinks,” in texts : IMO