0509-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 9 May 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Jeff Chen
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Seeing Double

Themed answers are well-known phrases that include a DOUBLE letter. Each answer is clued as if that DOUBLE letter is just a single letter:

  • 59A. Experiencing a vision problem : SEEING DOUBLE
  • 22A. Reality TV show, when 59-Across? : AMAZING GRACE (giving “Amazing Race”)
  • 28A. Chilled, when 59-Across? : OVER RICE (giving “over ice”)
  • 38A. Aerate, when 59-Across? : VENTI LATTE (giving “ventilate”)
  • 53A. “Possibly,” when 59-Across? : DEEP ENDS (giving “depends”)
  • Bill’s time: 10m 47s

    Bill’s errors: 0

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    Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

    Across

    1. Talking animal in some fairy tales : FROG

    “The Frog Prince” is a fairy tale about a princess and her encounter with a frog who magically turns into a prince. In the version that is most common today, the prince appears when the princess kisses the frog. In the original Brothers Grimm version of the tale, the transformation takes place when the princess throws a gold ball against a wall in disgust at seeing the frog. In even earlier versions of the tale, the frog changes into the prince when it is allowed to spend a night on the princess’s pillow.

    15. Musical Horne : LENA

    Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started out her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of Horne’s starring roles was in the 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” for which she also performed the title song.

    19. “When the stars make you drool just like pasta fazool, that’s ___” : AMORE

    The name of the Italian dish “pasta e fagioli” is sometimes pronounced as “pasta fazool” here in the US, as “fazool” sounds like the word for “beans” in the Neapolitan language. Pasta e fagioli comprises pasta and beans, cooked with olive oil, garlic, minced onion, spices and stewed tomatoes. There’s a famous line in the Dean Martin classic “That’s Amore” that goes:

    When the stars make you drool, just-a like pasta fazool, that’s amore.

    20. Organ that Prometheus regenerated nightly : LIVER

    In Greek mythology, Prometheus was one of the Titans. He was said to have created man from clay as well as giving fire to humanity, and hence allowing the human race to prosper.

    21. ___ Xing : PED

    Pedestrian Crossing (Ped Xing)

    22. Reality TV show, when 59-Across? : AMAZING GRACE (giving “Amazing Race”)

    I am not a huge fan of reality television, but I do watch “The Amazing Race” (usually while writing posts for this blog on my laptop!). I love to travel, and enjoy seeing the teams traverse the globe. The show’s host is Phil Keoghan. From his accent, I always thought that Keoghan was from the Boston area. He’s actually from New Zealand! Shows you how much I know about American accents …

    “Amazing Grace” is a very, very famous hymn, with words written by John Newton in 1779. The words have been set to a number of different melodies, and what we are used to hearing today is music from a tune called “New Britain”.

    24. Cut of beef in a Newport steak : TRI-TIP

    A tri-tip is a cut of meat that might also be called tip roast, round tip roast and sirloin tip roast. Tri-tip is a cut of beef from the rear of the animal. It is a triangular muscle, hence the name.

    26. Vatican V.I.P. : POPE

    The Pope is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The term “pope” comes from the Latin “papa”, and ultimately from the Greek “pappas”, with both terms being a child’s word for “father”.

    Vatican City is a sovereign city-state that is walled off within the city of Rome. Vatican City is about 110 acres in area, and so is the smallest independent state in the world. With about 800 residents, it is also the smallest state in terms of population. Although the Holy See dates back to early Christianity, Vatican City only came into being in 1929. At that time, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini signed a treaty with the Holy See on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy that established the city-state.

    27. Famous feuder with Jay-Z : NAS

    Rapper Nas used to go by another stage name, “Nasty Nas”, and before that by his real name, “Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones”. Nas released his first album “Illmatic” in 1994, and inventively titled his fifth studio album “Stillmatic”, released in 2001. Not my cup of tea, I would say …

    Jay-Z, as well as being a successful and very rich rap artist, is married to singer Beyoncé. Jay-Z was born Shawn Corey Carter in Brooklyn, New York. As Carter was growing up, he was nicknamed “Jazzy”, a reference to his interest in music. “Jazzy” evolved into the stage name “Jay-Z”. Jay-Z and Beyoncé have a daughter named Blue Ivy Carter, and twins named Rumi and Sir Carter.

    32. Caterwaul : CRY

    To caterwaul is a utter long cries, to “wail” like a “cat”.

    38. Aerate, when 59-Across? : VENTI LATTE (giving “ventilate”)

    Starbucks introduced us to coffee drinks in a whole range of volumes:

    • Demi … 3 fl oz
    • Short … 8 fl oz
    • Tall … 12 fl oz
    • Grande … 16 fl oz (Italian for “large”)
    • Venti … 20 fl oz (Italian for “twenty”)
    • Trenta … 30 fl oz (Italian for “thirty”)

    42. Grand ___ : PRIX

    Even though the term is used in many competitions, I think that we most associate “Grand Prix” with the series of Formula One motor races. These Formula One Grand Prix races trace their roots back to organized automobile road races from one French town to the next that date back to 1894. “Grand Prix” translates from French as “grand, big prize.”

    49. Costello of Abbott and Costello : LOU

    Lou Costello was half of the Abbott & Costello double act. One tragic and terrible event in Lou Costello’s life was the death of his baby son, Lou Costello, Jr. Lou was at NBC studios one night for his regular broadcast when he received word that the 11-month-old baby had somehow drowned in the family swimming pool. With the words, “Wherever he is tonight, I want him to hear me”, he made the scheduled broadcast in front of a live and unsuspecting audience.

    50. Small dog, informally : POM

    The Pomeranian is a small breed of dog named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50% …

    58. Did a blacksmith’s job : FORGED

    A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

    65. Two of the heart’s chambers : ATRIA

    The heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers (the atria) accept deoxygenated blood from the body and oxygenated blood from the lungs. The atria squeeze the blood into the two lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles), “priming” the pump, as it were. One ventricle pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, and the other pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

    66. ___ mater : ALMA

    The literal translation for the Latin term “alma mater” is “nourishing mother”. The phrase was used in Ancient Rome to refer to mother goddesses, and in Medieval Christianity the term was used to refer to the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, one’s alma mater is the school one attended, either high school or college, usually one’s last place of education.

    69. Utah town near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks : MOAB

    Moab is a city in eastern Utah that attracts a lot of visitors each year, mainly those heading for Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, which are nearby.

    The gorgeous Arches National Park is located in eastern Utah, just outside of Moab. The main focus of the park is the preservation of over 2,000 natural sandstone arches. The arches are relatively fragile, and 43 have collapsed since 1970, mainly due to erosion caused by wind and rain.

    Canyonlands is a magnificent National Park in southeast Utah located not far from Moab. The canyons in the park, and the associated mesas and buttes, were formed mainly by the Colorado and Green Rivers.

    70. Said “O-D-O-U-R,” e.g. : SPELT

    Both “spelled” and “spelt” are valid past tenses for the verb “to spell”, although the former is way more common on this side of the Atlantic. I grew up with “spelt” on the other side of the pond, but its usage is rapidly being replaced by “spelled” in the UK and Ireland.

    Down

    1. Cap on many a shampoo bottle : FLIP TOP

    Back in the 1760s, the verb “to shampoo” was an Anglo-Indian word meaning “to massage”. A century later we started to shampoo our hair.

    4. Part of L.G.B.T.Q. : GAY

    Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ)

    6. Eastern priest : LAMA

    “Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief” or “high priest”.

    7. The whole shebang : A TO Z

    The word “shebang” is probably a derivative of “shebeen”, an Irish word for a “speakeasy”, an establishment where liquor was drunk and sold illegally. In English “shebang” was originally a “hut” or a “shed”. Just how this evolved into the expression “the whole shebang”, meaning “everything”, is unclear.

    8. Substitute for legal tender : SCRIP

    Scrip isn’t legal tender, but operates just like currency in specific applications. It is in effect a form of credit. Originally the word “scrip” was used for a certificate giving one the right to receive something, often shares of a stock. “Scrip” is probably short for (sub)script(ion) receipt.

    10. Insulting designation from a pirate : BILGE RAT

    The bilge is lowest internal part of a ship. The water that collects in there is called bilge water. The term “bilge” is also used as slang for nonsense talk.

    23. College admissions fig. : GPA

    Grade point average (GPA)

    25. Famed fountain name : TREVI

    The Trevi Fountain (“Fontana di Trevi”) is a huge fountain in Rome, the largest constructed in the Baroque style. The tradition is that if one throws a coin in the fountain then one is guaranteed a return visit to the city. Tourists throw in an amazing 3,000 euros (over $4,000) every day. The money is collected and is used to stock a supermarket for the needy of the city.

    30. She threw the apple of discord, in Greek myth : ERIS

    In Greek mythology, Eris was the goddess of discord. The name “Eris” is derived from the Greek word for strife, and translates into Latin as “Discordia”. In Greek her counterpart was Harmonia, and in the world of the Roman gods, Concordia. The largest dwarf planet in our solar system is called Eris, named after the goddess.

    37. Big name in grills : WEBER

    In 1952, George Stephen was working for the Weber Brothers Metal works in Chicago. One of the company’s products was a line of half-spheres that were welded together to make buoys used in Lake Michigan. Stephens took two of these metal hemispheres and converted them into the original kettle grill. The Weber company set up a barbecue division that Stephens ran, and Stephen became so successful that he bought out the Weber Brothers factory and converted all production to the manufacture of grills.

    41. Superhero with super speed : THE FLASH

    The Flash is a DC Comics superhero who is nicknamed “the Scarlet Speedster” or “the Crimson Comet”. The Flash’s superpower is his ability to move extremely quickly, with speed that defies the laws of physics.

    46. Poet who read at President Clinton’s 1993 inauguration : ANGELOU

    Maya Angelou is an African-American autobiographer and poet. Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the inauguration of President Clinton in 1983. Here are some words of wisdom from the great lady:

    I work very hard, and I play very hard. I’m grateful for life. And I live it – I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it.

    48. Beginnings of some trips : LSD TABS

    The drug LSD is often sold impregnated into blotting paper. The paper blotter is usually divided into squares with ¼-inch sides, with each square referred to as a “tab”.

    49. Light sources in a light show : LASERS

    The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “light oscillation by stimulated emission of radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely “loser”.

    51. “Wow!,” in a text : OMG

    “OMG” is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G-words you might think of …

    52. Gold and silver : MEDALS

    In the Ancient Olympic Games, the winner of an event was awarded an olive wreath. When the games were revived in 1896, the winners were originally given a silver medal and an olive branch, with runners-up receiving a bronze medal and a laurel branch. The tradition of giving gold, silver and bronze medals began at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games held in St. Louis, Missouri.

    54. “The Gold-Bug” author : POE

    “The Gold-Bug” is an Edgar Allan Poe short story, a mystery tale about a man who was bitten by a gold-colored bug. The story first appeared in three installments in the ”Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper” in 1843, and became very popular. Poe had submitted the story to a writing contest sponsored by the paper, and it was published as the winning entry. The grand prize also included $100 in cash, which was likely the largest sum that Poe ever received for a work in his lifetime.

    60. One with millions of Instagram followers, say : IDOL

    Instagram is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram was started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

    61. ___ Major : URSA

    The constellation named Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, the “plough”.

    62. Smithereens : BITS

    “Smithereens” is such a lovely word and I am proud to say that it comes from Irish. The Irish word “smiodar” means fragment. We add the suffix “-in” (anglicized as “-een”) to words to indicate the diminutive form. So, “little fragment” is “smidirin”, anglicized as “smithereens”.

    66. Rock band’s need : AMP

    An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

    Complete List of Clues/Answers

    Across

    1. Talking animal in some fairy tales : FROG
    5. It’s gripping : CLASP
    10. Summer vacation spot : BEACH
    15. Musical Horne : LENA
    16. Come out of one’s shell : HATCH
    17. “My luck is bound to change” : I’M DUE
    18. Exclamation of surprise, in Britain : I SAY!
    19. “When the stars make you drool just like pasta fazool, that’s ___” : AMORE
    20. Organ that Prometheus regenerated nightly : LIVER
    21. ___ Xing : PED
    22. Reality TV show, when 59-Across? : AMAZING GRACE (giving “Amazing Race”)
    24. Cut of beef in a Newport steak : TRI-TIP
    26. Vatican V.I.P. : POPE
    27. Famous feuder with Jay-Z : NAS
    28. Chilled, when 59-Across? : OVER RICE (giving “over ice”)
    31. Ding, e.g. : MAR
    32. Caterwaul : CRY
    33. Sneaky ___ (trickster) : PETE
    34. Crew’s need : OARS
    36. Left slack-jawed : AWED
    38. Aerate, when 59-Across? : VENTI LATTE (giving “ventilate”)
    42. Grand ___ : PRIX
    44. [That’s so … sad] : [SIGH]
    45. Skip out (on) : BAIL
    49. Costello of Abbott and Costello : LOU
    50. Small dog, informally : POM
    53. “Possibly,” when 59-Across? : DEEP ENDS (giving “depends”)
    55. Hole-punching tool : AWL
    56. Sign for good or ill : OMEN
    58. Did a blacksmith’s job : FORGED
    59. Experiencing a vision problem : SEEING DOUBLE
    63. Get a bite : EAT
    64. Slowly break down : ERODE
    65. Two of the heart’s chambers : ATRIA
    66. ___ mater : ALMA
    67. Babble : RUN ON
    68. Shopping aids : LISTS
    69. Utah town near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks : MOAB
    70. Said “O-D-O-U-R,” e.g. : SPELT
    71. Apt rhyme for “cache” : STASH
    72. The salon names To Dye For and Best Little Hairhouse (both real!), e.g. : PUNS

    Down

    1. Cap on many a shampoo bottle : FLIP TOP
    2. Member of the B-team : RESERVE
    3. Slimming down : ON A DIET
    4. Part of L.G.B.T.Q. : GAY
    5. Advocate for : CHAMPION
    6. Eastern priest : LAMA
    7. The whole shebang : A TO Z
    8. Substitute for legal tender : SCRIP
    9. Real standout : PHENOM
    10. Insulting designation from a pirate : BILGE RAT
    11. Mideast bigwig : EMIR
    12. Typical part of a book deal : ADVANCE
    13. Line holdup? : CUE CARD
    14. Nonconforming opinion : HERESY
    22. Diver’s need : AIR
    23. College admissions fig. : GPA
    25. Famed fountain name : TREVI
    29. Sacred creature in ancient Egypt : CAT
    30. She threw the apple of discord, in Greek myth : ERIS
    35. Took a tumble, as the stock market : SLID
    37. Big name in grills : WEBER
    39. High number? : EXPONENT
    40. “Just a number,” according to a common saying : AGE
    41. Superhero with super speed : THE FLASH
    42. Give some juice : POWER UP
    43. Prime directive : RULE ONE
    46. Poet who read at President Clinton’s 1993 inauguration : ANGELOU
    47. Creative sort : IDEA MAN
    48. Beginnings of some trips : LSD TABS
    49. Light sources in a light show : LASERS
    51. “Wow!,” in a text : OMG
    52. Gold and silver : MEDALS
    54. “The Gold-Bug” author : POE
    57. Playground call : NOT IT!
    60. One with millions of Instagram followers, say : IDOL
    61. ___ Major : URSA
    62. Smithereens : BITS
    66. Rock band’s need : AMP