0409-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 9 Apr 2018, Monday

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Constructed by: Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Silver Screen

Today’s themed answers are all stars of the SILVER SCREEN whose initials are AG (NB: Ag is the symbol for SILVER in the periodic table of the elements):

  • 52A. Setting for the answers to the three starred clues – appropriately enough, given their initials : SILVER SCREEN
  • 20A. *Actor in “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957) : ALEC GUINNESS
  • 27A. *Actor in “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001) : ANDY GARCIA
  • 46A. *Actress in “Mogambo” (1953) : AVA GARDNER

Bill’s time: 6m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Address including “www” : URL

Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

4. Doctors’ org. : AMA

American Medical Association (AMA)

7. Small computer program : APPLET

“Applet” is the name given to a small application that runs within another larger computer program.

13. Biblical sister of Rachel : LEAH

According to the Bible, Leah was one of the two wives of Jacob, the other being Leah’s sister Rachel. Jacob’s intention had been to marry Rachel, but the Leah and Rachel’s father “switched” his daughters and provided Leah as the veiled bride. Jacob married Rachel a week later, and lived with the two wives concurrently.

20. *Actor in “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957) : ALEC GUINNESS

Sir Alec Guinness played many great roles over a long and distinguished career, but nowadays is best remembered (sadly, I think) for playing the original Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars”.

The river referred to in the movie (and novel) “The Bridge on the River Kwai” is actually called the Khwae Yai River, and is in western Thailand. The original novel by Pierre Boulle was published in French in 1952, and the wonderful movie released in 1957. Both tell the story of construction of part of the Burma Railway and a bridge over the river, using prisoners of war as laborers. The film stars William Holden, Alec Guinness and Jack Hawkins.

23. “Encore!” : ONE MORE!

“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request another song, say. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

27. *Actor in “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001) : ANDY GARCIA

Andy Garcia is a Hollywood actor from Havana, Cuba. Garcia moved to Miami with his family when he was 5 years old, just after the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion. Andy’s father was an avocado farmer in Cuba, and in Miami built a million-dollar fragrance business. Recently, Garcia is known for playing ruthless casino owner Terry Benedict in the “Ocean’s Eleven” series of movies.

“Ocean’s 11” is a great film from 1960, starring Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean. The original storyline is updated for the excellent 2001 remake, with George Clooney playing the lead. In the 1960 movie, the love interest is a character called Beatrice Ocean, played by Angie Dickinson. In the 2001 version, the love interest gets a new name, Tess Ocean, and is played by Julia Roberts. The 2001 remake (titled “Ocean’s Eleven”, note the spelling) spawned two sequels: “Ocean’s Twelve” in 2004 and “Ocean’s Thirteen” in 2007.

32. Mets’ old stadium : SHEA

Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York was named after William A. Shea, the man credited with bringing National League baseball back to the city in the form of the New York Mets. Shea Stadium was dismantled in 2008-2009, and the site now provides additional parking for the new stadium nearby called Citi Field.

34. ___-de-sac : CUL

Even though “cul-de-sac” can indeed mean “bottom of the bag” in French, the term cul-de-sac is of English origin (the use of “cul” in French is actually quite rude). The term was introduced in aristocratic circles at a time when it was considered very fashionable to speak French. Dead-end streets in France are usually signposted with just a symbol and no accompanying words, but if words are included they are “voie sans issue”, meaning “way without exit”.

35. Gchat exchange, for short : IMS

“Gchat” was a common name used for the Google Talk instant messaging (IM) service. Google Talk offered both text and voice communication as well as a plugin that allowed video chat. All of this functionality was replaced with the Google Hangouts service, and more recently with Google Duo.

36. All ___ (what a G rating means) : AGES

The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

37. Freshman, sophomore, etc. : YEARS

The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

44. Number between dos and cuatro : TRES

In Spanish, coming up to midnight on New Year’s Eve, one might hear “cinco, cuatro, tres, dos, uno!” (five, four, three, two, one) and then “Feliz Año Nuevo!” (Happy New Year!).

46. *Actress in “Mogambo” (1953) : AVA GARDNER

Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of “Mogambo” (1953), “On the Beach” (1959), “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) and “Earthquake” (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra.

“Mogambo” is a 1953 film noted for its spectacular scenes set in the African jungle. “Mogambo” is actually a remake of a 1932 movie called “Red Dust”. Gable plays the romantic lead in both the original and the remake, even though they are filmed 21 years apart. Gable gets involved with Jean Harlow and Mary Astor in the original, and with Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly in the remake.

58. New York home to Cornell University : ITHACA

Ezra Cornell was an associate of Samuel Morse and made his money in the telegraph business. After he retired he co-founded Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He provided a generous endowment and donated his farm as a site for the school, and was then rewarded by having the institute named after him.

65. Aficionado : EXPERT

An aficionado is an enthusiast. Imported from Spanish, “aficionado” was originally used in English to describe a devotee of bullfighting.

66. Letters on a beach bottle : SPF

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

Down

1. Big name in beauty supplies : ULTA

Ulta Beauty is an American chain of beauty stores that was founded in 1990 and headquartered in Bolingbrook, Illinois. I am not part of the company’s target demographic …

5. Second-largest Hawaiian island : MAUI

Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands. It is sometimes called the “Valley Isle” as it is composed of two volcanoes to the northwest and southeast of the island, each with numerous beautiful valleys carved into them.

7. Greek goddess of wisdom : ATHENA

The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.

8. New or full moon, e.g. : PHASE

The phases of the moon have been given the following names, in order:

  • New moon
  • Waxing crescent moon
  • First quarter moon
  • Waxing gibbous moon
  • Full moon
  • Waning gibbous moon
  • Third quarter moon
  • Waning crescent moon
  • Dark moon

9. Light-refracting objects : PRISMS

When light passes through a prism, it splits up (“disperses”) into differing wavelengths. It then becomes clear that white light is actually a mixture of different colors, which show up as beautiful spectra.

10. Rapper ___ Wayne : LIL

“Lil Wayne” is the stage name used by rap artist Dwayne Carter, Jr. from New Orleans.

12. Cruz in the news : TED

US Senator Ted Cruz served as Solicitor General for the state of Texas before heading to Washington. Cruz was appointed Solicitor General in 2003 at the age of 32, making him the youngest Solicitor General in the country. Famously, Cruz is an opponent of the Affordable Care Act and made a speech in 2013 in the US Senate on the subject that lasted for 21 hours and 19 minutes. It was the fourth longest speech in the history of the Senate.

24. From Columbus or Cleveland : OHIOAN

The city of Columbus, Ohio is a “purpose-built” state capital. The state legislature selected the location for Ohio’s new capital in 1812, choosing dense forestland with no significant settlement, largely due to its strategic location in the center of the state. The name was chosen in honor of the explorer Christopher Columbus.

Cleveland, Ohio was named after the man who led the team that surveyed the area prior to founding of the city. General Moses Cleaveland did his work in 1796 and then left Ohio, never to return again.

29. University in Philadelphia : DREXEL

Drexel University is a private school in Philadelphia, with a campus in Sacramento. It was founded in 1891 by philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel who was a Philadelphia financier. The school was originally known as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry.

31. Nurse Barton : CLARA

Clara Barton was deeply disturbed by her experiences caring for the wounded during the Civil War. She dedicated herself after the war towards American recognition of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The American Red Cross was inevitably formed, in 1881, and Barton was installed as its first president.

45. “___ Street” : SESAME

Back in 1966, the Carnegie Institute allocated money to study the use of television to help young children prepare for school. The institute gave an $8million grant to set up the Children’s Television Workshop with the task of creating an educational TV program for young people. The program began to come together, especially after Jim Henson (of Muppet fame) got involved. The name “Sesame Street” was chosen simply because it was the “least disliked” of all names proposed just before the program went on the air.

53. Greek equivalent of Cupid : EROS

Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic”, meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Eros was referred to in Latin as both Amor (meaning “love”) and Cupid (meaning “desire”).

55. Auction service since 1995 : EBAY

eBay was founded in 1995 as AuctionWeb as part of a computer programmer’s personal website. One of the first items purchased was a broken laser pointer, for $14.83. The buyer was a collector of broken laser pointers …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Address including “www” : URL
4. Doctors’ org. : AMA
7. Small computer program : APPLET
13. Biblical sister of Rachel : LEAH
15. Purr-fect pet? : CAT
16. Succeed greatly : THRIVE
17. Get 10%-15%, say : TAKE A CUT
19. Signaled, as a cab : HAILED
20. *Actor in “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957) : ALEC GUINNESS
22. Where Seoul and Pyongyang are: Abbr. : KOR
23. “Encore!” : ONE MORE!
27. *Actor in “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001) : ANDY GARCIA
32. Mets’ old stadium : SHEA
33. In ___ straits : DIRE
34. ___-de-sac : CUL
35. Gchat exchange, for short : IMS
36. All ___ (what a G rating means) : AGES
37. Freshman, sophomore, etc. : YEARS
40. Here’s the kicker! : FOOT
41. Photos, informally : PIX
42. Unprocessed, as data : RAW
43. Part of the roof with the gutter : EAVE
44. Number between dos and cuatro : TRES
46. *Actress in “Mogambo” (1953) : AVA GARDNER
49. Fourth letter of “business” : SILENT I
51. “___ whiz!” : GEE
52. Setting for the answers to the three starred clues – appropriately enough, given their initials : SILVER SCREEN
58. New York home to Cornell University : ITHACA
61. Not meant to be thrown away : REUSABLE
62. Tinklers on porches : CHIMES
63. Rower’s blade : OAR
64. Scottish girl : LASS
65. Aficionado : EXPERT
66. Letters on a beach bottle : SPF
67. “Are we there ___?” : YET

Down

1. Big name in beauty supplies : ULTA
2. Genuine : REAL
3. “Go jump in the ___!” : LAKE
4. What typists and archers are judged on : ACCURACY
5. Second-largest Hawaiian island : MAUI
6. Memo heading abbr. : ATTN
7. Greek goddess of wisdom : ATHENA
8. New or full moon, e.g. : PHASE
9. Light-refracting objects : PRISMS
10. Rapper ___ Wayne : LIL
11. Preholiday night : EVE
12. Cruz in the news : TED
14. Enthusiastic agreement : HECK, YES!
18. Wide-eyed with excitement : AGOG
21. “There’s ___ in team” : NO I
24. From Columbus or Cleveland : OHIOAN
25. Take away : REMOVE
26. Holiday with an egg hunt : EASTER
27. Turns from a book into a movie, say : ADAPTS
28. Sushi consisting of thin slices of fish over rice : NIGIRI
29. University in Philadelphia : DREXEL
30. Regret : RUE
31. Nurse Barton : CLARA
38. Old washcloth : RAG
39. Rhythmic group dance of the 2010s : SWAG SURF
40. Bigger than local or state : FEDERAL
45. “___ Street” : SESAME
46. “I thought this day would never come!” : AT LAST
47. Woman’s palindromic nickname : VIV
48. Letters of support, for short : RECS
50. Less of a jerk : NICER
53. Greek equivalent of Cupid : EROS
54. Collect in the field : REAP
55. Auction service since 1995 : EBAY
56. Besides that : ELSE
57. Place for baby birds : NEST
58. It goes “clink” in a drink : ICE
59. Quick expression of appreciation : THX
60. Culturally conversant : HIP