0410-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 10 Apr 2018, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Alan Arbesfeld
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): It’s Started [sigh]

Each of today’s themed answers starts with a “sigh” sound:

  • 17A. The online world : CYBERSPACE
  • 26A. Song whose first verse ends “Sleep in heavenly peace” : SILENT NIGHT
  • 33A. Japanese farewell : SAYONARA
  • 46A. 1948 Triple Crown winner : CITATION
  • 52A. Big school event attended by parents : SCIENCE FAIR
  • 63A. Undermined the confidence of : PSYCHED OUT

Bill’s time: 6m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. 5. Opinion pieces : OP-EDS

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

10. Brand of tea : TAZO

The Tazo Tea Company was founded in 1994 in Portland, Oregon. Tazo was purchased in 1999 by Starbucks. Starbucks now runs tea shops that are fully dedicated to Tazo teas.

14. ___ Grey tea : EARL

The Earl Grey blend of tea is supposedly named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey who was Prime Minister of the UK from 1830 to 1834. Earl Grey tea has a distinctive flavor that is largely due to the addition of oil from the rind of the bergamot orange.

15. Russian ballet company : 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.

16. Score before deuce, maybe : AD IN

In tennis, if the score reaches “deuce” (i.e. when both players have scored three points), then the first player to win two points in a row wins the game. The player who wins the point immediately after deuce is said to have the “advantage”. If the player with the advantage wins the next point then that’s two in a row and that player wins the game. If the person with the advantage loses the next point, then advantage is lost and the players return to deuce and try again. If the one of the players is calling out the score then if he/she has the advantage then that player announces “ad in” or more formally “advantage in”. If the score announcer’s opponent has the advantage, then the announcement is “ad out” or “advantage out”. Follow all of that …?

17. The online world : CYBERSPACE
19. They help you access 17-Across, for short : URLS

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

21. Actress Ward of “Sisters” : SELA

The actress Sela Ward turns up in crosswords a lot. Ward played Teddy Reed in the TV show “Sisters” in the nineties, and was in “Once and Again” from 1999-2002. I don’t know either show, but I do know Ward from the medical drama “House” in which she played the hospital’s lawyer and Greg House’s ex-partner. That was a fun role, I thought. More recently Ward played a lead role on “CSI: NY” and was a very welcome and much-needed addition to the cast …

“Sisters” is a drama TV show that originally aired in the nineties. “Sisters” was groundbreaking television in that it was the first primetime show to focus on women and women’s issues.

26. Song whose first verse ends “Sleep in heavenly peace” : SILENT NIGHT

The beautiful Christmas carol “Silent Night” was first performed in Austria in 1818, with words by a priest, Father Joseph Mohr, and melody by an Austrian headmaster, Franz Xaver Gruber. The carol was in German and called “Stille Nacht”. The English translation that we use today was provided to us by an American bishop in 1859, John Freeman Young from Florida.

30. Pioneering building game for computers : SIMCITY

SimCity is a very clever computer game. Players build and grow cities and societies by creating the conditions necessary for people (the Sims) to move in and thrive. “SimCity” was launched in 1989, and to this day it is consistently ranked as one of the greatest computer games of all time.

32. Graceland’s home: Abbr. : TENN

Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi and moved to Memphis, Tennessee with his family when he was 13-years-old. Once he had achieved fame, Elvis purchased Graceland, the famous Memphis home that he used for himself and his family. I visited Graceland some years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

33. Japanese farewell : SAYONARA

“Sayonara” means “farewell” in Japanese.

35. Woody Allen emotion : ANGST

Allan Stewart Konigsberg changed his legal name to “Heywood Allen” when he was 17 years old, and soon after started to call himself “Woody Allen”, the name with which he achieved celebrity. Allen won four Academy Awards, three for Best Original Screenplay and one for Best Director. He has more Oscar nominations as a screenwriter than any other writer, but he spurns the Awards ceremony and only attended it once in all his years in the movie business. He broke tradition by turning up at the 2002 ceremony, unannounced, to beg producers to continue filming in his beloved New York City despite the fears created by the 9/11 attacks.

39. Court fig. : ATTY

Attorney (atty.)

46. 1948 Triple Crown winner : CITATION

There is a list of the top 100 US thoroughbred horses of the 20th century maintained by “The Blood-Horse” magazine. Numbers 1-4 on the list are:

  1. Man o’ War
  2. Secretariat
  3. Citation
  4. Kelso

48. Mrs. Addams, to Gomez : TISH

Gomez and Morticia (“Tish”) Addams were the parents in “The Addams Family”, a creation of the cartoonist Charles Addams. In the sixties television show, Gomez was played by John Astin and Morticia was played by Carolyn Jones.

51. Star’s spot at Christmas : TREETOP

The custom of decorating trees at Christmas seems to have originated in Renaissance Germany. Those first trees were placed in guildhalls and were decorated with sweets and candy for the apprentices and children. After the Protestant Reformation, the Christmas tree became an alternative in Protestant homes for the Roman Catholic Christmas cribs. The Christmas tree tradition was imported into Britain by the royal family because of its German heritage. That tradition spread from Britain into North America.

56. Source of PIN money? : ATM

One enters a Personal Identification Number (PIN) when using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Given that the N in PIN stands for “number”, then “PIN number” is a redundant phrase. And, given that the M in ATM stands for “machine”, then “ATM machine” is a redundant phrase as well. Grr …!

58. Marx who co-wrote “The Communist Manifesto” : KARL

Karl Marx was a German philosopher and revolutionary who helped develop the principles of modern communism and socialism. Marx argued that feudal society created internal strife due to class inequalities which led to its destruction and replacement by capitalism. He further argued that the inequalities created in a capitalist society create tensions that will also lead to its self-destruction. His thesis was that the inevitable replacement of capitalism was a classless (and stateless) society, which he called pure communism.

The “Communist Manifesto” written in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels contains the phrase “Proletarians of all countries, unite!” (“Proletarier aller Länder vereinigt Euch!” in German). This evolved into the English saying “Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!” The words “Workers of all lands, unite“ are written on Karl Marx’s headstone in Highgate Cemetery in London.

59. Manhattan, for one: Abbr. : ISL

The island we know as Manhattan was inhabited by the Lenape Indians when the first Europeans explorers arrived in the area. According to the logbook of one of the officers on explorer Henry Hudson’s yacht, the island was called “Manna-hata” in the local language, from which the modern name derives.

69. Start of a kid’s choosing rhyme : EENIE …

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

70. “Puppy Love” hitmaker, 1960 : ANKA

“Puppy Love” is a song written and recorded by Paul Anka in 1960. He wrote the song for his girlfriend at the time, the actress and singer Annette Funicello. “Puppy Love” was covered by Donny Osmond who had a big hit with it in 1972.

72. Church council : SYNOD

The word “synod” comes from the Greek word for assembly, or meeting. A synod is a church council, usually in the Christian faith.

Down

1. Jiffy : SEC

“A jiff”, an instant, is short for “a jiffy”, thought originally to be thieves’ slang for “lightning”.

3. Story debunked on Snopes.com : URBAN MYTH

Snopes.com is the place to go if you want to check the validity or history of an urban legend or Internet rumor. The site was launched in 1995 by Californians Barbara and David Mikkelson.

6. Backup singer for Gladys Knight : PIP

Gladys Knight & the Pips performed together from 1953 to 1989. The Pips were founded around Gladys Knight, originally featuring her brother, sister and two cousins. The group took its name from yet another cousin, a cousin named “Pip”.

8. Museum guide : DOCENT

“Docent” is a term used for a university lecturer. There are also museum docents, people who serve as guides for visitors to their institutions and who usually provide their services for free. The term comes from the Latin “docere” meaning “to teach”.

9. Gracefully thin : SVELTE

“Svelte” comes into English from Latin, via the Italian “svelto” meaning “stretched out”. Something or someone described as svelte would be slender and graceful.

10. Greek letter shaped like a cross : TAU

Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, and the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

11. “What ___ it is getting old” (Rolling Stones lyric) : A DRAG

“Mother’s Little Helper” is a marvelous 1966 song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and recorded by the Rolling Stones. The song deals directly with the increasing use of prescribed drugs by housewives of the time, and the dangers of overdose and addiction.

Kids are different today, I hear every mother say
Mother needs something today to calm her down
And though she’s not really ill, there’s a little yellow pill
She goes running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper
And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day.

12. Nothing, informally : ZILCH

We use the term “zilch” to mean “nothing”. Our current usage evolved in the sixties, before which the term was used to describe “meaningless speech”. There was a comic character called Mr. Zilch in the 1930s in “Ballyhoo” magazine. Mr. Zilch’s name probably came from the American college slang “Joe Zilch” that was used in the early 1900s for “an insignificant person”.

18. Bagful on a pitcher’s mound : ROSIN

Rosin is a solid form of resin derived from plant sources. Rosin is formed into cakes that players of stringed instruments use to rub along the hairs of their bows to help improve sound quality. The rosin increases the degree of friction between the strings and the bow. That same friction-increasing property comes into play when baseball pitchers use rosin to get a better grip on the ball, or when dancers apply rosin to the soles of their shoes.

22. Fashion’s Wintour : ANNA

Anna Wintour is fashion editor in Britain, and is also the editor-in-chief of American “Vogue”. Lauren Weisberger wrote the book “The Devil Wears Prada” with the tyrannical main character apparently based on Wintour.

24. Optional part of the SAT : ESSAY

Today, the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation “SAT”.

25. Cowboy’s lasso : RIATA

A riata is a lariat or a lasso. “Riata” comes from “reata”, the Spanish word for lasso.

27. Slanted type: Abbr. : ITAL

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

28. Constellation named for a stringed instrument : LYRA

Lyra (Latin for “lyre, harp, lute”) is a constellation that includes the star Vega, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. The constellation Lyra is surrounded by the neighboring constellations of Draco, Hercules, Vulpecula and Cygnus.

31. Wild animal that yips : COYOTE

The coyote is a canine found in most of Central and North America. The name “coyote” is Mexican Spanish, in which language it means “trickster”. Coyotes can sometimes mate with domestic dogs, creating hybrid animals known as “coydogs”. Coyotes can also mate with wolves, creating a “coywolf”. South Dakota named the coyote its state animal in 1949.

34. Path followed by a shooting star : ARC

A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body travelling through space. Once in the atmosphere, the meteoroid is referred to as a “meteor” or “shooting star”. Almost all meteoroids burn up, but if one is large enough to survive and reach the ground then we call it a meteorite. The word “meteor” comes from the Greek “meteōros” meaning “high in the air”.

36. Eschew help : GO IT ALONE

“To eschew”, meaning “to avoid, shun” comes from the Old French word “eschiver” that means the same thing.

37. Supercilious sort : SNOOT

“Snoot” is a variant of “snout” and is a word that originated in Scotland. The idea is that someone who is snooty, or “snouty”, tends to look down his or her nose at the rest of the world.

41. “La Dolce ___” : VITA

The title of the celebrated 1960 Federico Fellini film “La Dolce Vita” translates from Italian as “The Good Life”. There is a character in the film called Paparazzo who is a news photographer. It is this character who gives us our word “Paparazzi”, a term used for photographers who make careers out of taking candid shots of celebrities.

42. Longfellow’s bell town : ATRI

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote “The Sicilian’s Tale; The Bell of Atri”, a narrative poem set in the small town of Atri in the Abruzzo region of Italy.

45. Sound on Old MacDonald’s farm : OINK!

There was an American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O), that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

47. High home for a hawk : AERIE

An aerie is the nest of an eagle, and is also known as an “eyrie”.

53. “Odyssey” temptress : CIRCE

Circe is a minor goddess in Greek mythology, the goddess of magic. She was fond of transforming those who did not please her into animals by using magical potions.

“The Odyssey” is one of two epic poems from ancient Greece that is attributed to Homer. “The Odyssey” is largely a sequel to Homer’s other epic, “The Iliad”. “The Odyssey” centers on the heroic figure Odysseus, and his adventures on his journey home to Greece following the fall of Troy. We now use the term “odyssey” to describe any long series of adventures.

55. Swashbuckling Errol : FLYNN

Actor Errol Flynn was born 1909 in Tasmania, Australia where he was raised. In his twenties, Flynn lived in the UK where he pursued his acting career. Around the same time he starred in an Australian film “In the Wake of the Bounty” and then appeared in a British film “Murder at Monte Carlo”. It was in the latter film that he was noticed by Warner Brothers who brought him to America. Flynn’s non-American heritage shone through even while he was living the American dream in California. He regularly played cricket, along with his friend David Niven, in the Hollywood Cricket Club.

A swashbuckler is a flashy swordsman. The term probably derives somehow from “swash” meaning “fall of a blow”, and “buckler” meaning “small round shield”.

60. Badlands locale: Abbr. : SDAK

Badlands may be “bad lands” for agriculture (hence the name), but they can be beautiful. A badlands is an extensive area from which the topsoil has been eroded by wind and water, leaving exposed rock and very little vegetation. One of the most beautiful badlands areas in the US is preserved for the nation as South Dakota’s Badlands National Park.

64. Grp. in a 1955 labor merger : CIO

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

66. Luau instrument, familiarly : UKE

The ukulele (“uke”) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

The Hawaiian party or feast known as a “luau” really dates back to 1819, when King Kamehameha II removed religious laws that governed the eating of meals. These laws called for women and men to eat separately. At the same times as he changed the laws, the king initiated the luau tradition by symbolically eating with the women who moved in his circle.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Cold-shoulder : SNUB
5. Opinion pieces : OP-EDS
10. Brand of tea : TAZO
14. ___ Grey tea : EARL
15. Russian ballet company : KIROV
16. Score before deuce, maybe : AD IN
17. The online world : CYBERSPACE
19. They help you access 17-Across, for short : URLS
20. Commotion : ADO
21. Actress Ward of “Sisters” : SELA
23. King topper : ACE
24. Ending with east or west : -ERN
26. Song whose first verse ends “Sleep in heavenly peace” : SILENT NIGHT
30. Pioneering building game for computers : SIMCITY
32. Graceland’s home: Abbr. : TENN
33. Japanese farewell : SAYONARA
35. Woody Allen emotion : ANGST
39. Court fig. : ATTY
40. Grub or maggot : LARVA
43. Top-notch : A-ONE
44. “Whoopee!” : YAHOO!
46. 1948 Triple Crown winner : CITATION
48. Mrs. Addams, to Gomez : TISH
51. Star’s spot at Christmas : TREETOP
52. Big school event attended by parents : SCIENCE FAIR
56. Source of PIN money? : ATM
57. Spasm : TIC
58. Marx who co-wrote “The Communist Manifesto” : KARL
59. Manhattan, for one: Abbr. : ISL
61. One-half base x height, for a triangle : AREA
63. Undermined the confidence of : PSYCHED OUT
68. Volunteer’s offer : I CAN
69. Start of a kid’s choosing rhyme : EENIE …
70. “Puppy Love” hitmaker, 1960 : ANKA
71. On deck : NEXT
72. Church council : SYNOD
73. Sharp : KEEN

Down

1. Jiffy : SEC
2. “I vote no” : NAY
3. Story debunked on Snopes.com : URBAN MYTH
4. Ran, as fabric dye : BLED
5. Signs off on : OKS
6. Backup singer for Gladys Knight : PIP
7. Wipe the board clean : ERASE
8. Museum guide : DOCENT
9. Gracefully thin : SVELTE
10. Greek letter shaped like a cross : TAU
11. “What ___ it is getting old” (Rolling Stones lyric) : A DRAG
12. Nothing, informally : ZILCH
13. Beginning : ONSET
18. Bagful on a pitcher’s mound : ROSIN
22. Fashion’s Wintour : ANNA
24. Optional part of the SAT : ESSAY
25. Cowboy’s lasso : RIATA
27. Slanted type: Abbr. : ITAL
28. Constellation named for a stringed instrument : LYRA
29. Present at birth : INNATE
31. Wild animal that yips : COYOTE
34. Path followed by a shooting star : ARC
36. Eschew help : GO IT ALONE
37. Supercilious sort : SNOOT
38. Local news hour, on some stations : TEN PM
41. “La Dolce ___” : VITA
42. Longfellow’s bell town : ATRI
45. Sound on Old MacDonald’s farm : OINK!
47. High home for a hawk : AERIE
49. Scenic vistas, briefly : SCAPES
50. “Hiroshima” author John : HERSEY
52. Blemish on one’s reputation : STAIN
53. “Odyssey” temptress : CIRCE
54. Alpine climbing tool : ICE AX
55. Swashbuckling Errol : FLYNN
60. Badlands locale: Abbr. : SDAK
62. Picnic pest : ANT
64. Grp. in a 1955 labor merger : CIO
65. “If only ___ listened …” : HE’D
66. Luau instrument, familiarly : UKE
67. Shade darker than beige : TAN