0508-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 8 May 2018, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Ori Brian
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Start a Fire

Themed answers START with a word that is often seen before FIRE:

  • 61A. Ignite something … or what the first words of 17-, 23-, 38- and 51-Across do? : START A FIRE
  • 17A. “What’s there to lose?” : SURE, WHY NOT? (giving “sure-fire”)
  • 23A. Way to run or ski : CROSS-COUNTRY (giving “crossfire”)
  • 38A. Band with the 12x platinum album “Slippery When Wet” : BON JOVI (giving “bonfire”)
  • 51A. Like some August sales : BACK TO SCHOOL (giving “backfire”)

Bill’s time: 6m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Book composed of 10-Across : ATLAS
10. See 5-Across : MAPS

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas” that is used for a book of maps.

15. Port-au-Prince’s land : HAITI

Port-au-Prince is the capital of Haiti. The city was hit by a devastating earthquake in January of 2010. The official government estimate of the death toll stands at 230,000 people, with many bodies never recovered.

16. Satan’s doings : EVIL

Satan is the bringer of evil and temptation in the Abrahamic religions. The name “Satan” is Hebrew for “adversary”.

20. Sleep disorder : APNEA

Sleep apnea (“apnoea” in British English) can be caused by an obstruction in the airways, possibly due to obesity or enlarged tonsils.

21. Patriotic finger-pointer : UNCLE SAM

The Uncle Sam personification of the United States was first used during the War of 1812. The “Uncle Sam” term was so widely accepted that even the Germans used it during WWII, choosing the code word “Samland” for “America” in intelligence communiques.

26. Sauce in a Bloody Mary : TABASCO

Edward McIlhenny created the first Tabasco Sauce in 1868. He recycled old cologne bottles as a container for the sauce so that he could present it to friends, and when he went into business he ordered new cologne bottles for the commercial product. Even today, the Tabasco Sauce bottle bears a striking resemblance to the bottle used to distribute 4711 cologne.

The Bloody Mary is one of my favorite cocktails, perhaps because it seems to taste so differently depending on who makes it. It has numerous ingredients above and beyond the requisite vodka and tomato juice, and has been described as “the world’s most complex cocktail”.

30. Tortilla sandwich : WRAP

“Tortilla” translates literally from Spanish as “little cake”.

38. Band with the 12x platinum album “Slippery When Wet” : BON JOVI (giving “bonfire”)

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

41. 2016 Olympics locale : RIO

Even though the 2016 Olympic Games was a “summer” competition, it was held in Rio de Janeiro in winter. As Rio is in the southern hemisphere, the opening ceremony on 5th August 2016 fell in the local winter season. The 2016 games was also the first to be held in South America, and the first to be hosted by a Portuguese-speaking country.

46. Singer McEntire : REBA

Reba McEntire is a country music singer and television actress. McEntire starred in her own sitcom called “Reba” that aired on the WB and the CW cable channels from 2001 to 2007.

49. Board game with black-and-white pieces : OTHELLO

The game of Reversi is also sold as Othello. The name “Othello” was chosen as a nod to the play by William Shakespeare.

60. West Coast gas brand : ARCO

The company name “ARCO” stands for the Atlantic Richfield Company. One of ARCO’s claims to fame is that it is responsible for the nation’s largest Superfund site. Mining and smelting in the area around Butte, Montana polluted the region’s water and soil, and ARCO have agreed to pay $187 million to help clean up the area.

66. Sch. that plays home football games at the Rose Bowl : UCLA

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) gets more applications from potential students than any other university in the country. UCLA also has more students enrolled than any other university in the state.

The Rose Bowl is the stadium in Pasadena, California that is home to the UCLA football team. It is also host to the Rose Bowl football game held annually on New Year’s Day.

67. “Legally Blonde” girl : ELLE

“LEGALLY blonde” is a 2001 comedy film starring Reese Witherspoon as a girlish sorority president who heads to Harvard to earn a law degree. “LEGALLY blonde” was successful enough to warrant two sequels as well as a spin-off musical that played most successfully in London’s West End (for 974 performances).

68. Satirical news site, with “The” : ONION

“The Onion” is a satirical news network, with a print newspaper and a heavy online presence. “The Onion” newspaper was founded by two college students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988. The founders sold the operation a year later for about $20,000. The paper grew steadily until 1996 when it began to publish online and really took off. I think it’s worth a tad more than $20,000 today …

Down

1. City with a noted tower : 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 …

2. “And we’ll tak’ ___ o’ kindness yet”: Burns : A CUP

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.

4. Patella : KNEECAP

The patella is the kneecap. “Patella” is the Latin name for the bone, and is a diminutive form of “patina”, the word for “pan”. The idea is that the kneecap is pan-shaped.

6. Scotland’s Firth of ___ : TAY

The Firth of Tay is an inlet on the east coast of Scotland, into which empties Scotland’s largest river, the Tay. The city of Dundee lies on the Firth, and the city of Perth a little further inland on the Tay.

7. “Peanuts” boy with a blanket : LINUS

In Charles Schulz’s fabulous comic strip “Peanuts”, Charlie Brown is friends with at least three members of the van Pelt family. Most famously there is Lucy van Pelt, who bosses everyone around, particularly Charlie. Then there is Linus, Lucy’s younger brother, the character who always has his security blanket at hand. Lastly there is an even younger brother, Rerun van Pelt. Rerun is constantly hiding under his bed, trying to avoid going to school.

9. “Parks and Recreation,” e.g. : SITCOM

“Parks and Recreation” is a sitcom that started airing on NBC in 2009, and is a show that has grown on me. It stars the “Saturday Night Live” alum Amy Poehler. The creators of “Parks and Recreation” are part of the team responsible for the American version of “The Office”, so you’ll notice some similarities in the style of the two shows, and some actors that have appeared in both.

11. Sailor’s cry : AVAST!

“Avast” is a nautical term used to tell someone to stop or desist from what they are doing. The word comes from the Dutch “hou vast” meaning “hold fast”.

12. Animation studio with a lamp mascot : PIXAR

Pixar Animation Studios started out as part of Lucasfilm in 1979, George Lucas’s production company. Lucas sold what was to become Pixar to Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 1986. Pixar produced its first feature film in 1995, the fabulous “Toy Story”, and followed up with a string of hits. The company was then sold to Walt Disney in 2006, when valued at $7.4 billion. That transaction resulted in Steve Jobs becoming the biggest shareholder in Walt Disney.

18. Hawks push them : WARS

The dove is a symbol of peace, and the hawk is a symbol of war.

22. Nintendo brother : LUIGI

Mario Bros. started out as an arcade game back in 1983, developed by Nintendo. The more famous of the two brothers, Mario, had already appeared in an earlier arcade game “Donkey Kong”. Mario was given a brother called Luigi, and the pair have been around ever since. In the game, Mario and Luigi are Italian American plumbers from New York City.

24. Tres y cinco : OCHO

In Spanish, “tres y cinco” (three and five) is “ocho”.

27. Folk singer Guthrie : ARLO

Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

28. Event for Cinderella : BALL

The folk tale about “Cinderella” was first published by French author Charles Perrault in 1697, although it was later included by the Brothers Grimm in their famous 1812 collection. The storyline of the tale may date back as far as the days of Ancient Greece. A common alternative title to the story is “The Little Glass Slipper”.

32. Nighttime attire, briefly : PJS

Our word “pajamas” (“PJs” for short) comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. On the other side of the Atlantic, the spelling is “pyjamas”.

36. Han who’s the title role of a 2018 film : SOLO

Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

38. Borscht ingredients : BEETS

Borscht is a beetroot soup that originated in Ukraine. Borscht can be served both hot and cold.

40. Presidential prerogative : VETO

The verb “veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The term was used by tribunes of Ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

48. Kutcher of “That ’70s Show” : ASHTON

Ashton Kutcher played the character Michael Kelso on Fox’s “That ‘70s Show”. Kelso was Kutcher’s breakthrough acting role. Kutcher then starred in the sitcom “Two and a Half Men”, replacing the “disgraced” Charlie Sheen. In 2009, Kutcher became the first user on Twitter to get over 1 million followers. I wasn’t one of them …

50. “Today” co-host Kotb : HODA

Hoda Kotb is an Egyptian-American television journalist who is perhaps best known as co-host of the NBC morning show “Today”. She is also the author of a bestselling autobiography “Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee”.

53. The “C” of C. S. Forester : CECIL

The name C. S. Forester expands to Cecil Scott Forester. That said, both renditions are versions of the pen name of author Cecil Troughton Smith. Forester is is most famous for his stories about naval warfare, most notably his “Horatio Hornblower” series of novels. Forester also penned “The African Queen”, which famously was adapted into a 1951 movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. A favorite movie of mine is 1960’s “Sink the Bismarck!”, which is based on a Forester novel “Hunting the Bismarck” …

54. Relative of a raccoon : COATI

A coati is a member of the raccoon family and is also known as the Brazilian aardvark, or the snookum bear. The coati is native to Central and South America, but can also be found in the southwest of the United States.

57. Canine woe : LICE

Lice (singular “louse”) are small wingless insects of which there are thousands of species, three of which are human disease agents. The three kinds of lice affecting humans are head lice, body lice and pubic lice. Most lice feed on dead skin found on the body of the host animal, although some feed on blood. Ick …

58. Web addresses : URLS

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

59. Wet septet : SEAS

The phrase “the seven seas” has been used for centuries by many different peoples. The actual definition of what constitutes the collection of seven has varied depending on the period and the culture. Nowadays we consider the seven largest bodies of water as the seven seas, namely:

  • The North Pacific Ocean
  • The South Pacific Ocean
  • The North Atlantic Ocean
  • The South Atlantic Ocean
  • The Indian Ocean
  • The Southern Ocean
  • The Arctic Ocean

62. Letter after pi : RHO

Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Bunch of wolves : PACK
5. Book composed of 10-Across : ATLAS
10. See 5-Across : MAPS
14. Word after computer or fashion : ICON
15. Port-au-Prince’s land : HAITI
16. Satan’s doings : EVIL
17. “What’s there to lose?” : SURE, WHY NOT? (giving “sure-fire”)
19. Ankle-length dress : MAXI
20. Sleep disorder : APNEA
21. Patriotic finger-pointer : UNCLE SAM
23. Way to run or ski : CROSS-COUNTRY (giving “crossfire”)
26. Sauce in a Bloody Mary : TABASCO
29. Radiate : EMIT
30. Tortilla sandwich : WRAP
31. Bunny action : HOP
33. Wastes time, with “off” : GOOFS
37. Not feeling well : ILL
38. Band with the 12x platinum album “Slippery When Wet” : BON JOVI (giving “bonfire”)
41. 2016 Olympics locale : RIO
42. “I kid you not!” : NO LIE!
44. Pronoun for a ship : SHE
45. Concert venue : HALL
46. Singer McEntire : REBA
49. Board game with black-and-white pieces : OTHELLO
51. Like some August sales : BACK TO SCHOOL (giving “backfire”)
55. Comment made while covering someone’s eyes : GUESS WHO?!
56. 67-69, gradewise : D-PLUS
60. West Coast gas brand : ARCO
61. Ignite something … or what the first words of 17-, 23-, 38- and 51-Across do? : START A FIRE
64. Seriously wound : MAIM
65. ___ point (concise) : TO THE
66. Sch. that plays home football games at the Rose Bowl : UCLA
67. “Legally Blonde” girl : ELLE
68. Satirical news site, with “The” : ONION
69. Minus : LESS

Down

1. City with a noted tower : PISA
2. “And we’ll tak’ ___ o’ kindness yet”: Burns : A CUP
3. Ears that can’t hear : CORN
4. Patella : KNEECAP
5. Sound of contentment : AHH!
6. Scotland’s Firth of ___ : TAY
7. “Peanuts” boy with a blanket : LINUS
8. Immediately : AT ONCE
9. “Parks and Recreation,” e.g. : SITCOM
10. Keepsake : MEMENTO
11. Sailor’s cry : AVAST!
12. Animation studio with a lamp mascot : PIXAR
13. Morally reprehensible : SLIMY
18. Hawks push them : WARS
22. Nintendo brother : LUIGI
24. Tres y cinco : OCHO
25. Procrastinator’s promise : SOON
26. Certain bed size : TWIN
27. Folk singer Guthrie : ARLO
28. Event for Cinderella : BALL
32. Nighttime attire, briefly : PJS
34. Kind of exam : ORAL
35. Occupy completely : FILL
36. Han who’s the title role of a 2018 film : SOLO
38. Borscht ingredients : BEETS
39. “Pick me! Pick me!” : OH OH!
40. Presidential prerogative : VETO
43. Irritating : IRKSOME
45. Lending a hand : HELPFUL
47. Greets respectfully : BOWS TO
48. Kutcher of “That ’70s Show” : ASHTON
50. “Today” co-host Kotb : HODA
51. Not one’s best effort, in sports : B GAME
52. Hearing-related : AURAL
53. The “C” of C. S. Forester : CECIL
54. Relative of a raccoon : COATI
57. Canine woe : LICE
58. Web addresses : URLS
59. Wet septet : SEAS
62. Letter after pi : RHO
63. Full count : TEN