0510-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 10 May 2018, Thursday

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Constructed by: Caitlin Reid
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Dead Center

Themed answers incorporate the word “DEAD” that is assumed to occupy the black square at the CENTER of the grid:

  • 51A. Bull’s-eye … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : DEAD CENTER
  • 33A. “Break a leg!” : KNOCK ‘EM DEAD!
  • 35A. In any condition, as an outlaw : DEAD OR ALIVE
  • 7D. Abandoned while there still might have been hope : LEFT FOR DEAD
  • 40D. Certain absentee parent : DEADBEAT DAD

Bill’s time: 9m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11. Take flight? : LAM

To be on the lam is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

16. Something found near a temple : EAR

The sides of the head behind the eyes are known as the “temples”.

17. Kismet : KARMA

Karma is religious concept with its basis in Indian faiths. Karma embraces the notion of cause and effect. Good deeds have good consequences at some later point in one’s life, one’s future life, or one’s afterlife. And, bad deeds have bad consequences.

“Kismet” is a Turkish word, meaning “fate, fortune, lot”.

18. SAG partner : AFTRA

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) was founded in 1937 as AFRA. AFTRA merged with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in 2012, forming SAG-AFTRA.

25. 2015 “Mad Max” reboot, familiarly : FURY ROAD

”Mad Max: Fury Road” is a 2015 film in the “Mad Max” series, one that was released a full thirty years after the third installment, “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome”. The title character was played by Mel Gibson in the first three movies, with Tom Hardy taking over for the fourth film. I must admit, I’m not a “Mad Max” fan …

28. “You’ve Got a Friend ___” (song from “Toy Story”) : IN ME

“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” is the theme song for the “Toy Story” series of animated films from Pixar. The song was written and first recorded by Randy Newman for the original “Toy Story” movie, with cover versions being used in subsequent releases.

29. Part of L.A.P.D. : LOS

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is the third largest local law enforcement agency in the country, after New York PD and Chicago PD. Among other things, LAPD is famous for creating the first Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team in the US, in 1965.

33. “Break a leg!” : KNOCK ‘EM DEAD!

There are many, many colorful theories for the origins of the expression “break a leg” that’s used in the world of theater to mean “good luck”. Regardless of the origin, what is clear is that using the phrase “good luck” is considered to be very “bad luck”.

40. Honey bunches? : BEES

Honey bees create a structure within their nests called a honeycomb that is used to contain their larvae and also to store honey and pollen. The honeycomb comprises hexagonal cells made from wax.

42. Gaelic language : ERSE

There are actually three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).

50. Baseball’s Lefty : O’DOUL

Lefty O’Doul was a baseball player and manager from San Francisco. O’Doul was instrumental in spreading the popularity of the sport in Japan both before and after WWII. In fact, the Tokyo Giants were named by O’Doul, a reference to the New York Giants franchise with whom he spent the last years of his playing career. O’Doul also owned a restaurant in San Francisco that bears his name and which still operates today (near Union Square). There’s a bridge near AT&T Park, the Giant’s relatively new ballpark, that’s called Lefty O’Doul Bridge.

55. Spectrum or Xfinity, briefly : ISP

Internet service provider (ISP)

57. Guitarist Van Halen : EDDIE

Van Halen is a heavy metal band formed in Pasadena, California back in 1972. Brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen originally called the band Mammoth, changing the name to Van Halen in 1974 when they found out there was another Mammoth playing the circuit. Early on, the brothers were renting a sound system from David Lee Roth, and they decided to save some money by bringing him into the band and saving on the rental fee!

59. Diego Rivera’s specialty : MURAL

Diego Rivera was a Mexican painter, famous for his murals. His wife was the equally famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

61. Half of none? : ENS

Half of the letters in the word “none” are letters N (ens).

62. Bygone equivalent of “OMG!” : EGADS

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

Down

4. Sound quality : TIMBRE

The timbre of a sound is its distinguishing quality above and beyond its volume and pitch. “Timbre” was used in Old French to mean “sound of a bell”.

5. Gate info : ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

6. Noggin : BEAN

Slang terms for “head” are “bean” and “noggin”.

10. Sordid : SEAMY

We’ve used “seamy” to mean “the least pleasant, the worst” since the 1600s. The idea comes from the seamed side of a sewn garment being the less attractive.

11. One of the Fab Four : LENNON

The Beatles were described on the sleeve notes of their 1963 album “With the Beatles” as the “fabulous foursome”. The press picked up on the phrase and morphed it into “the Fab Four”.

13. One half of a “strange case” : MR HYDE

Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was published in 1886. There are many tales surrounding the writing of the story including one that the author wrote the basic tale in just three to six days, and spent a few weeks simply refining it. Allegedly, Stevenson’s use of cocaine stimulated his creative juices during those few days of writing.

22. Bay window : ORIEL

An oriel window is a bay window that projects from a wall, but does not reach all the way to the ground.

24. “Parenthood” actress Christensen : ERIKA

Actress Erika Christensen is probably best known for playing a young cocaine addict in the film “Traffic” (2000), and the youngest daughter of the Braverman family on the TV show “Parenthood”.

26. Jan. honoree : MLK

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a US Federal holiday taking place on the third Monday of each year. It celebrates the birthday of Dr. King, and was signed into law by President Reagan in 1983, and first observed in 1986. However, some states resisted naming the holiday MLK Day, and gave it alternative names (like “Civil Rights Day”). It was officially celebrated as MLK Day in all 50 states from the year 2000 onwards.

27. Laddie topper : TAM

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

31. “The Daily Show” host after Jon : TREVOR

Trevor Noah is a comedian from Johannesburg, South Africa. Noah took over as host of the Comedy Channel’s “The Daily Show” after Jon Stewart retired. Noah can speak several languages, including English, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Afrikaans, and German.

36. “Eureka!” : I FOUND IT!

“Eureka” translates from Greek as “I have found it”. The word is usually associated with Archimedes, uttered as he stepped into his bath one day. His discovery was that the volume of water that was displaced was equal to that of the object (presumably his foot) that had been submerged. He used this fact to determine the volume of a crown, something he needed in order to determine if it was made of pure gold or was a forgery.

38. Tolkien creature : ENT

Ents are those tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

42. Salad vegetable : ENDIVE

Endive is a leaf vegetable belonging to the chicory genus, and is in the daisy family. Endive is also known as escarole.

43. German chocolate brand : RIESEN

Riesen is a brand of chocolate that is produced and sold mainly in Germany, but is also sold here in the US. Riesen introduced a recipe for a hot chocolate drink in 2007. The recipe calls for melting the chocolate candy over heat in a saucepan, then adding one cup of milk per candy piece. Sprinkle nutmeg to taste.

48. Start of an old boast : I CAME …

The oft-quoted statement “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) is believed by many to have been written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BC and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.

49. Put through beta testing : DEBUG

Back in 1947, famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so Hopper has been given credit for popularizing that term.

54. Reject : 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.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Very sore : IRATE
6. Monday feeling, with “the” : BLAHS
11. Take flight? : LAM
14. Overhaul : REFIT
15. Unsettling, in a way : EERIE
16. Something found near a temple : EAR
17. Kismet : KARMA
18. SAG partner : AFTRA
19. Kind of degree : NTH
20. Big piece of a sheet cake : SLAB
21. Well-aimed : ON THE MONEY
23. Street clearer : SIREN
25. 2015 “Mad Max” reboot, familiarly : FURY ROAD
26. Debate figure : MODERATOR
28. “You’ve Got a Friend ___” (song from “Toy Story”) : IN ME
29. Part of L.A.P.D. : LOS
30. Skyscraper support : I-BAR
31. Football kickoff aid : TEE
33. “Break a leg!” : KNOCK ‘EM DEAD!
35. In any condition, as an outlaw : DEAD OR ALIVE
39. Snitch : RAT
40. Honey bunches? : BEES
41. Spread (out) : FAN
42. Gaelic language : ERSE
45. Finished, as a term of office : SERVED OUT
47. “You’re clever!” : NICE IDEA!
50. Baseball’s Lefty : O’DOUL
51. Bull’s-eye … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : DEAD CENTER
53. Being broadcast : ON TV
55. Spectrum or Xfinity, briefly : ISP
56. Dwelling : ABODE
57. Guitarist Van Halen : EDDIE
58. Fork in the road, basically : VEE
59. Diego Rivera’s specialty : MURAL
60. Twinkle : GLINT
61. Half of none? : ENS
62. Bygone equivalent of “OMG!” : EGADS
63. Beginning, informally : GET-GO

Down

1. Peeves : IRKS
2. Not too far from now : REAL SOON
3. “Yes, unfortunately” : AFRAID SO
4. Sound quality : TIMBRE
5. Gate info : ETA
6. Noggin : BEAN
7. Abandoned while there still might have been hope : LEFT FOR DEAD
8. PBS Kids’ cartoon aardvark : ARTHUR
9. Personnel director, at times : HIRER
10. Sordid : SEAMY
11. One of the Fab Four : LENNON
12. Jackson Generals or Portland Sea Dogs : AA TEAM
13. One half of a “strange case” : MR HYDE
21. How money may be lost : ON A BET
22. Bay window : ORIEL
24. “Parenthood” actress Christensen : ERIKA
26. Jan. honoree : MLK
27. Laddie topper : TAM
31. “The Daily Show” host after Jon : TREVOR
32. Soothed : EASED
34. Rifleman’s ___ (part of Marine training) : CREED
35. “The Strife Is ___, the Battle Done” (old hymn) : O’ER
36. “Eureka!” : I FOUND IT!
37. Springing over : VAULTING
38. Tolkien creature : ENT
40. Certain absentee parent : DEADBEAT DAD
42. Salad vegetable : ENDIVE
43. German chocolate brand : RIESEN
44. Views from sea or land : SCAPES
45. Half of a Spanish union : SENORA
46. Output during a boring meeting, say : DOODLE
48. Start of an old boast : I CAME …
49. Put through beta testing : DEBUG
52. Certain reef dwellers : EELS
54. Reject : VETO
57. It may be beaten and eaten : EGG