0408-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 8 Apr 2018, Sunday

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Constructed by: Patrick Berry
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: Triple Spoonerisms

Spoonerisms are errors in speech in which letters or sounds are switched from one word to another. Famous examples are “Three cheers for our queer old dean” (dear old Queen … Victoria) and “Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?” (customary to kiss …). Spoonerisms are named after an Oxford don William Archibald Spooner, who was notorious for his tendency to pepper his speech with “spoonerisms”.

Today’s themed answers are spoonerisms with an added twist. They are “triple” spoonerisms, with three starting sounds mixed around:

  • 24A. What caused the nosebleed on the playground? : BEAK OF LAD STRUCK (from “streak of bad luck”)
  • 30A. Tagline in an ad for Elmer’s Glue-Ale? : THE STUCK-HOPS BEER (from “the buck stops here”)
  • 60A. Description of a yeti? : PALE HAIRY MASS (from “Hail Mary pass”)
  • 67A. Novice parasailer’s fear? : TERROR OF BAD GLIDINGS (from “bearer of glad tidings”
  • 76A. Containers for electric guitars? : ROCK STAR CASES (from “stock car races”)
  • 106A. Best place to buy a platter of fruit-flavored sodas? : THE FANTA TRAY SALE (from “the Santa Fe Trail”)
  • 114A. Mend fences after Caesar’s civil war? : HEAL FIGHT AT ROME (from “feel right at home”)

Bill’s time: 18m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Anesthetic of old : ETHER

Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.

26. Sponsor of U.S. Olympic swimmers : SPEEDO

Speedo brand swimwear was first produced in Australia in 1928, by a hosiery company that wanted to diversify. The brand name was chosen after a slogan competition among employees was won by “Speed on in your Speedos”. It was a long time ago, I guess …

28. Ball hit for fielding practice : FUNGO

A fungo bat is lighter and shorter than a regular baseball bat, and tends to be used by coaches during practices. The lighter bat allows for more hits without tiring out the poor coach!

29. Burro’s call : BRAY

Our word “burro”, meaning “donkey”, comes from the Spanish word for the same animal, “burrico”.

30. Tagline in an ad for Elmer’s Glue-Ale? : THE STUCK-HOPS BEER (from “the buck stops here”)

Elsie the Cow is the mascot of the Borden Company. Elsie first appeared at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, introduced to symbolize the perfect dairy product. She is so famous and respected that she has been awarded the degrees of Doctor of Bovinity, Doctor fo Human Kindness and Doctor of Ecownomics. Elsie was also given a husband named Elmer the Bull. Elmer eventually moved over to the chemical division of Borden where he gave his name to Elmer’s Glue.

35. Holiday song closer : … SYNE

The song “Auld Lang Syne” is a staple at New Year’s Eve (well, actually in the opening minutes of New Year’s Day). The words were written by Scottish poet Robbie Burns. The literal translation of “Auld Lang Syne” is “old long since”, but is better translated as “old times”. The sentiment of the song is “for old time’s sake”.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

36. Bygone channel that aired “Veronica Mars” : UPN

The United Paramount Network (UPN) was a TV channel that launched in 1995, and shut down in 2006. Some of UPN’s programming was moved to the CW channel at the time of UPN’s demise.

“Veronica Mars” is a TV show starring Kristen Bell in the title role. Mars is a student who also works as a private investigator.

37. Chill in the cooler : DO TIME

The cooler, the pen, the joint, the slammer, the can … prison.

38. Finish filming : WRAP

When shooting of a film is concluded the movie is said to “wrap”, and everyone heads to the wrap party. There is one story that “wrap” is actually an acronym for “wind, reel and print”, a reference to the transition of the filming process into post-production. But, this explanation is disputed.

43. Bernadette of Broadway : PETERS

Bernadette Peters is perhaps best known as a Broadway actress, and in particular for her performances in works by Stephen Sondheim. Off the stage and screen, Peters was noted for her 4-year relationship with Steve Martin in the seventies.

57. Lash with a bullwhip : LARUE

Alfred LaRue was an actor who appeared in a series of eleven western movies in the forties and fifties, playing the character Marshal Lash LaRue. He was very adept with the bullwhip, and so earned the nickname “Lash”. Years after his onscreen career ended, LaRue was the guy who trained Harrison Ford how to use a bullwhip for his role in the “Indiana Jones” series of films.

60. Description of a yeti? : PALE HAIRY MASS (from “Hail Mary pass”)

A Hail Mary pass (also called “the long bomb”) is a desperation move in American football in which a long pass is thrown with very little chance of a success, right at the the end of a game or at the end of a half. The term dates back to thirties, and was probably first used at Notre Dame. The “Hail Mary” is a prayer in the Christian tradition that is of particular significance Roman Catholicism.

The yeti, also called the abominable snowman, is a beast of legend. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology.

67. Novice parasailer’s fear? : TERROR OF BAD GLIDINGS (from “bearer of glad tidings”

Parasailing is hanging below a tethered parachute that is towed by a boat.

75. What a Möbius strip lacks : ENDS

A Möbius strip is a surface that has only one side. One is easily made by taking a strip of paper and joining the ends together, but with a twist so that it isn’t a regular “band”.

87. It hangs around the neck : BIB

The word “bib” comes from the Latin “bibere” meaning “to drink”, as does our word “imbibe”. So, maybe a bib is less about spilling the food, and more about soaking up the booze …

89. Sandwich with Russian dressing : REUBEN

There are conflicting stories about the origin of the Reuben sandwich. One such story is that it was invented around 1914 by Arnold Reuben, an immigrant from Germany who owned Reuben’s Deli in New York.

95. Like the questions in 20 Questions : YES/NO

The parlor game called “twenty questions” originated in the US and really took off in the late forties as it became a weekly quiz show on the radio. Am I the only one who thinks that there aren’t enough quiz shows on the radio these days? I have to resort to listening to the BBC game shows over the Internet …

99. “Law & Order” actor Jerry : ORBACH

Jerry Orbach was an American actor, noted for playing one of the lead detectives in “Law & Order” on television. Orbach also provided the voice for the character Lumière in the Disney feature “Beauty and the Beast”, and had an important role in the great movie “Dirty Dancing” playing Dr. Jake Houseman, Baby’s father.

101. Sealer for sailors? : TAR

A jack tar, or just “tar”, was a seaman in the days of the British Empire. The term probably arose due to a sailor’s various uses of tar back then, including waterproofing his clothes and using tar in his hair to slick down his ponytail.

106. Best place to buy a platter of fruit-flavored sodas? : THE FANTA TRAY SALE (from “the Santa Fe Trail”)

The soft drink named “Fanta” has quite an interesting history. As WWII approached, the Coca-Cola plant in Germany had trouble obtaining the ingredients it needed to continue production of the cola beverage, so the plant manager decided to create a new drink from what was available. The new beverage was built around whey (left over from cheese production) and pomace (left over after juice has been extracted from fruit). The inventor asked his colleagues to use their imagination (“Fantasie” in German) and come up with a name for the drink, so they piped up “Fanta!”

The Santa Fe Trail connected Franklin, Missouri in the east to Santa Fe, New Mexico in the west. It was an oft-travelled route for much of the 1800s, before the advent of the railroad in 1880.

112. Bishop’s headgear : MITER

A miter is a traditional headdress worn by bishops in some Christian traditions. The name “miter” comes from a Greek word for “headband, turban”.

120. Maker of PowerShot cameras : CANON

The Japanese company called Canon is largely known in the US for producing quality cameras. The company started out as Precision Optical Industry Laboratory in 1937 making camera bodies. The name was changed in 1947 to Canon.

124. Something to live by : CREDO

A creed or credo is a confession of faith, or a system of belief or principles. “Credo” is Latin for “I believe”.

127. “Napoleon Dynamite” star Jon : HEDER

“Napoleon Dynamite” is a comedy film released in 2004 that stars Jon Heder in the title role. The movie was a commercial success above and beyond expectations. “Napoleon Dynamite” was made on the relatively low budget of about $400,000, and yet grossed almost $45 million within a year. The title character is a nerdy high school student who spends much of life living in his fantasy world.

Down

4. Pentathlon items : EPEES

The original pentathlon of the ancient Olympic games consisted of a foot race, wrestling, long jump, javelin and discus. When a new pentathlon was created as a sport for the modern Olympic Games, it was given the name the “modern pentathlon”. First introduced in 1912, the modern pentathlon consists of:

  1. pistol shooting
  2. épée fencing
  3. 200m freestyle swimming
  4. show jumping
  5. 3km cross-country running

6. 1987 action film originally given an X rating for violence : ROBOCOP

“RoboCop” is a film that was released in 1987, starring Peter Weller in the title role. Weller wore a very impressive “robot” suit for the film, the most expensive item on the set, costing over a million dollars. Weller would lose three pounds a day in sweat alone as temperatures inside the suit went to over 100 degrees F.

9. Cooper’s wood : OAK

A cooper is a craftsman who makes wooden vessels, such as barrels. The term “cooper” ultimately derives from the Latin “cupa” meaning “barrel”.

10. Game with 108 cards : UNO

In my youth I remember being taught a great card game by a German acquaintance of mine, a game called Mau Mau. Years later I discovered that Uno is basically the same game, but played with a purpose-printed deck instead of the regular deck of playing cards that’s used for Mau Mau. I hear that Mau Mau is derived from the game called Crazy Eights.

16. There’s enormous interest in it : USURY

Usury used to be the practice of simply lending money at interest, but the term now refers to lending at rates of interest that are excessive.

17. Nut in pralines : PECAN

A praline is a candy made made out of nuts and sugar syrup. The first pralines were made in France in the 17th century for an industrialist named Marshal du Plessis-Praslin, who gave his name to the confection.

20. Caddie’s selection : CLUB

“Caddie” is a Scottish word, as one might expect given the history of the game of golf. “Caddie” is a local word derived from the French “cadet”, meaning a younger son or brother, and also a student officer in the military.

22. ___ terrier : SKYE

The Skye terrier is a breed of dog that is actually under threat of extinction. A few years ago, there were only 30 Skye terriers born in the breed’s native land of the UK. The breed was named for the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

31. Classic seller of compilation albums : K-TEL

K-Tel was founded in 1962 in Winnipeg, Manitoba by one Philip Kives. K-Tel’s recipe for success was the sale of inexpensive goods with a simple sales pitch and mail-order distribution.

32. Seek moolah from : HIT UP

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, scratch, cheddar, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

33. Alphabet ender : OMEGA

The Greek alphabet starts with the letter “alpha”, and ends with the letter “omega”.

39. Cal ___ : POLY

“Cal Poly” is the more familiar name for California Polytechnic State University. There are actually two Cal Poly institutions, one in San Luis Obispo (the most famous) and one in Pomona.

42. Instrument whose name means “three strings” : SITAR

The sitar has been around since the Middle Ages. It is a stringed instrument that is played by plucking, and is used most often in Hindustani classical music. In the West we have been exposed to the instrument largely through the performances of Ravi Shankar and some music by George Harrison of the Beatles, a onetime student of Shankar.

46. “The Martian” star : DAMON

Matt Damon is an actor and screenwriter from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Damon’s big break came with the 1997 movie “Good Will Hunting”, in which he starred. He co-wrote the screenplay with his childhood friend Ben Affleck.

“The Martian” is a very intriguing 2015 science fiction film starring Matt Damon as an astronaut who is accidentally stranded on Mars. The movie is based on a 2011 novel of the same name by Andrew Weir. One thing that I liked about the film is that the science cited is fairly realistic. In fact, NASA collaborated with the filmmakers extensively from script development to principal casting.

47. Long-armed climber, for short : ORANG

Orangutans (also “orangs”) are arboreal creatures, in fact the largest arboreal animals known to man. They are native to Indonesia and Malaysia, and live in the rainforests. Like most species in rainforests these days, orangutans are endangered, with only two species surviving. The word “orangutan” is Malay, meaning “man of the forest”.

54. Dance akin to the jitterbug : SHAG

The collegiate shag (sometimes just “shag”) is a dance that was particularly popular with young people (hence “collegiate”) in the thirties and forties. The dance is thought to have originated in the twenties, probably in the Carolinas.

The energetic dance known as the jitterbug was popularized in the 1930s by Cab Calloway. Calloway released “Call of the Jitter Bug” in 1934, and appeared in a 1935 musical short titled “Cab Calloway’s Jitterbug Party”.

If you’d like to be a jitter bug,
First thing you must do is get a jug,
Put whiskey, wine and gin within,
And shake it all up and then begin.
Grab a cup and start to toss,
You are drinking jitter sauce!
Don’t you worry, you just mug,
And then you’ll be a jitter bug!

55. Prized Siberian animal : SABLE

Sables are small mammals about two feet long that are found right across northern Europe and northern Asia. The sable’s black pelt is highly prized in the fur trade. Sable is unique among furs in that it feels smooth no matter which direction it is stroked.

64. Resonator guitar : DOBRO

“Dobro” is now used as a generic term for a resonator guitar, and was originally a brand name. A resonator guitar is an acoustic design, with a metal cone replacing the traditional wooden soundboard.

67. John Kennedy ___, author of “A Confederacy of Dunces” : TOOLE

John Kennedy Toole was an author whose most famous work is his 1980 novel “A Confederacy of Dunces”. Toole had committed suicide eleven years before publication, when he was just 31 years old. The author’s mother found a smudged carbon copy of the book’s manuscript after her son had passed, and she persisted in her efforts to get the novel published. She was finally successful in 1980, and the following year “A Confederacy of Dunces” won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Well done, Mom …

68. Charlton Heston title role : EL CID

“El Cid” is an epic film released in 1961 that tells the story of the Castilian knight who was known as El Cid. The two big names at the top of the cast were Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren, but just who was the biggest star? When Loren discovered that a huge billboard promoting the movie in Times Square showed that her name was below Heston’s, she sued the movie’s producers.

As well as having a fine career as an actor, Charlton Heston was a noted political activist. In the fifties he was very much a progressive and left-leaning in his political views. He was one of few in Hollywood to speak out against racism and support the Civil Rights Movement. Later in his life Heston became more associated with the conservative right, and was president of the National Rifle Association.

72. R&B’s ___ Brothers : ISLEY

The Isley Brothers are an R&B group from Cincinnati, Ohio. The original lineup was a vocal trio consisting of three brothers: O’Kelly, Jr., Rudolph and Ronald Isley. The three brothers wrote the fabulous 1959 hit “Shout”, the song which brought the group its first success.

78. “Life Itself” memoirist Roger : EBERT

Roger Ebert co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years, most famously with Gene Siskel until Siskel passed away in 1999. Siskel and Ebert famously gave their thumbs up or thumbs down to the movies they reviewed. Ebert himself died in 2013.

79. Swahili for “lion” : SIMBA

In “The Lion King”, the protagonist is Simba, the lion cub born to Mufasa and Sarabi. The main antagonist is Scar, Simba’s uncle and Mufasa’s brother.

Swahili is one of the many Bantu languages spoken in Africa. There are hundreds of Bantu languages, with most being spoken in central, east and southern Africa. The most commonly spoken Bantu language is Swahili, with Zulu coming in second.

91. Tufted songbirds : TITMICE

The birds known as chickadees or titmice in North America, are usually called simply “tits” in the rest of the English-speaking world.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Anesthetic of old : ETHER
6. Forcefully remove : RIP OUT
12. Very good, as a job : BANG-UP
18. Purple candy’s flavor, often : GRAPE
19. Sea-dwelling : OCEANIC
21. Things a spy may have many of : ALIASES
23. Stares slack-jawed : GAPES
24. What caused the nosebleed on the playground? : BEAK OF LAD STRUCK (from “streak of bad luck”)
26. Sponsor of U.S. Olympic swimmers : SPEEDO
28. Ball hit for fielding practice : FUNGO
29. Burro’s call : BRAY
30. Tagline in an ad for Elmer’s Glue-Ale? : THE STUCK-HOPS BEER (from “the buck stops here”)
35. Holiday song closer : … SYNE
36. Bygone channel that aired “Veronica Mars” : UPN
37. Chill in the cooler : DO TIME
38. Finish filming : WRAP
40. Gets up : RISES
43. Bernadette of Broadway : PETERS
45. Succumb to sleepiness : NOD OFF
50. High-flown, as writing : FLORID
52. Big ox : LUG
53. Discreet attention-getter : PSST!
57. Lash with a bullwhip : LARUE
58. Deliberative bodies : SENATES
60. Description of a yeti? : PALE HAIRY MASS (from “Hail Mary pass”)
63. Parodied : APED
65. Capacitate : ENABLE
66. Tip jar fillers : ONES
67. Novice parasailer’s fear? : TERROR OF BAD GLIDINGS (from “bearer of glad tidings”
73. Ingredient in a Roy Rogers : COLA
74. Coarse : RIBALD
75. What a Möbius strip lacks : ENDS
76. Containers for electric guitars? : ROCK STAR CASES (from “stock car races”)
80. They’re easy to take : GELCAPS
85. Unfamiliar : ALIEN
86. Quite a few : LOTS
87. It hangs around the neck : BIB
89. Sandwich with Russian dressing : REUBEN
90. One-room apartment, to Brits : BEDSIT
92. Motifs : THEMES
95. Like the questions in 20 Questions : YES/NO
96. Very worst : PITS
99. “Law & Order” actor Jerry : ORBACH
101. Sealer for sailors? : TAR
102. Drawbacks : CONS
106. Best place to buy a platter of fruit-flavored sodas? : THE FANTA TRAY SALE (from “the Santa Fe Trail”)
111. Square footage : AREA
112. Bishop’s headgear : MITER
113. Paradisiacal : EDENIC
114. Mend fences after Caesar’s civil war? : HEAL FIGHT AT ROME (from “feel right at home”)
120. Maker of PowerShot cameras : CANON
122. Apathetic response to “What’s new?” : NOT MUCH
123. Leave behind : ABANDON
124. Something to live by : CREDO
125. Market offerings : SHARES
126. Trick-taking game : SPADES
127. “Napoleon Dynamite” star Jon : HEDER

Down

1. Easter ___ : EGG
2. It’s a bunch of garbage : TRASH PILE
3. Discovers by chance : HAPPENS ON
4. Pentathlon items : EPEES
5. Complete policy overhaul, in D.C.-speak : RESET
6. 1987 action film originally given an X rating for violence : ROBOCOP
7. Winter driving hazard : ICE
8. Shell game object : PEA
9. Cooper’s wood : OAK
10. Game with 108 cards : UNO
11. Small scraps : TIFFS
12. Hedgehog predator : BADGER
13. Second, or worse : ALSO-RAN
14. Quibble : NIT
15. Dresses : GARBS
16. There’s enormous interest in it : USURY
17. Nut in pralines : PECAN
20. Caddie’s selection : CLUB
22. ___ terrier : SKYE
25. From scratch : ANEW
27. Fizzler : DUD
30. Lays down the lawn? : TURFS
31. Classic seller of compilation albums : K-TEL
32. Seek moolah from : HIT UP
33. Alphabet ender : OMEGA
34. According to : PER
39. Cal ___ : POLY
41. Setting for a period piece : ERA
42. Instrument whose name means “three strings” : SITAR
44. What shopaholics do : SPEND
46. “The Martian” star : DAMON
47. Long-armed climber, for short : ORANG
48. Joins : FUSES
49. Own (up) : FESS
51. Kick out : DEPORT
54. Dance akin to the jitterbug : SHAG
55. Prized Siberian animal : SABLE
56. Bathroom floor, often : TILING
59. Podcast that won a 2014 Peabody Award : SERIAL
61. Detectives run them down : LEADS
62. More rare, perhaps : REDDER
64. Resonator guitar : DOBRO
67. John Kennedy ___, author of “A Confederacy of Dunces” : TOOLE
68. Charlton Heston title role : EL CID
69. Aids in golf course maintenance : RAKES
70. Irrefutable point : FACT
71. Play at maximum volume : BLAST
72. R&B’s ___ Brothers : ISLEY
73. Sideways scuttler : CRAB
77. Cutlet? : SNIP
78. “Life Itself” memoirist Roger : EBERT
79. Swahili for “lion” : SIMBA
81. Actor’s last line, maybe : CUE
82. Stayed sober : ABSTAINED
83. Rules for forming sentences : PENAL CODE
84. Mock sound of disinterest : SNORE
88. Exhausted : BEAT
91. Tufted songbirds : TITMICE
93. Sweetie : HON
94. Multiplex count : SCREENS
97. Dark meat options : THIGHS
98. Jimmy’s “Late Night” successor : SETH
100. Deceived : HAD
102. “High Hopes” lyricist Sammy : CAHN
103. Snacks in stacks : OREOS
104. Opposite of o’er : NEATH
105. “Frida” star Hayek : SALMA
107. Spanakopita ingredient : FETA
108. Ones who grasp elbows in greeting, by tradition : ARABS
109. “How revolting!” : YECCH!
110. Drum kit component : SNARE
115. Lab coat? : FUR
116. FISA warrant objective : TAP
117. Genetic macromolecule : RNA
118. Unmatched : ODD
119. One of the Three Stooges : MOE
121. Winner of the most medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics: Abbr. : NOR