0602-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 2 Jun 2018, Saturday

Constructed by: Trenton Charlson
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 25m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Fictional character with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame : GODZILLA

The terrifying monster Godzilla is a Japanese invention. The first in a very long series of “Godzilla” films was released way back in 1954. The original name in Japanese was “Gojira”, but this was changed to Godzilla for audiences outside of Japan. “Gojira” is a combination of “gorira” and “kujira”, the Japanese words for gorilla and whale, apt because Godzilla is a big ape-like creature that came out of the deep.

9. Nail care brand : CUTEX

Cutex introduced the first liquid nail polish in 1917. That polish was basically automobile paint.

14. Friend of Ishmael : QUEEQUEG

Queequeg is a character in Herman Melville’s classic tale “Moby Dick”. Queequeg is the chief harpooner on the boat. He is also the son of a South Sea chieftain, and a cannibal who is covered in tattoos.

15. People indigenous to the Colorado River : MOHAVE

The Mojave Desert in the southwest is named after the Native American Mohave tribe. Famous locations within the boundaries of the desert, are Death Valley, Las Vegas, Nevada and the ghost town of Calico, California.

18. Time’s 2006 Person of the Year : YOU

“Time” magazine started naming a “Man of the Year” in 1927, only changing the concept to “Person of the Year” in 1999. Prior to 1999, the magazine did recognize four females as “Woman of the Year”: Wallis Simpson (1936), Soong May-ling a.k.a. Madame Chiang Kai-shek (1937), Queen Elizabeth II (1952) and Corazon Aquino (1986). “Time” named Albert Einstein as Person of the Century in 1999, with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi as runners-up.

19. What someone no longer is as soon as he is identified as one, per George Carlin : UNSUNG HERO

George Carlin was a stand-up comic famous for pushing the envelope of comedy in the broadcast media. Despite all the controversies surrounding his act, his passing in 2008 occasioned major tributes by networks and fellow entertainers alike.

24. Golden ratio symbol : PHI

The golden ratio, sometimes called the “golden mean” and denoted by the Greek letter phi, is a mathematical constant that often turns up in the world of art. Phi is approximately equal to 1.61, and is represented by the two distances, a and b, where (a+b)/a = a/b. Somehow we perceive the ratio of 1.61 as “pleasing” so it appears in many works of art and in building design. For example, many aspects of the Parthenon in Athens have the ratio of 1.61 (width compared to height). Leonardo da Vinci’s famous drawing of the Vitruvian Man also illustrates the golden ratio in the proportions of the human body, where he shows that the distance from the foot to the navel, compared to the distance from the navel to the head, is 1.61.

25. First name in Objectivism : AYN

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born Alisa Rosenbaum. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan. Rand described herself as “right-wing” politically, and both she and her novel “Atlas Shrugged” have become inspirations for the American conservatives, and the Tea Party in particular.

26. What might come after a cow or a sheep? : E-I-E-I-O

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”.

28. Drink often served chilled : NOG

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

29. Introduction to folks? : THAT’S ALL …

Porky Pig was the first of the characters created by Warner Bros. to become a hit with audiences. Porky Pig is the guy with the line at the end of each cartoon, “Th-th-th-that’s all folks!” If you don’t mind a little adult language, there’s a very funny 11-second Porky Pig clip that the studio released on a blooper reel in 1938. Porky Pig stutters out “Son of g-g-gun”, only he doesn’t say “gun” …

32. Santa ___ : ANA

Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California and takes its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city.

33. Till fill : CASH

What we usually call a cash register here in North America, we mostly call a “till” in Ireland and the UK. I haven’t heard the word “till” used much here.

36. Junk heap : CRATE

“Bucket of bolts”, “crate” and “heap” are slang terms for a junky car.

37. Some early “astronauts” : APES

Enos was a chimpanzee that was launched into Earth orbit in 1961 by NASA on a Mercury Atlas 4 rocket. Enos’s flight was a rehearsal for the first orbital flight made by an American, astronaut John Glenn. Enos returned from his mission safely, but died the following year from dysentery.

38. Habitat for an ibex : ALP

Ibex is a common name for various species of mountain goat. “Ibex” is a Latin name that was used for wild goats found in the Alps and Apennines in Europe.

39. Closes, in a way : SHAKES ON

Those would be handshakes.

41. Grp. once known as the National Congress of Mothers : PTA

The National Parent Teacher Association (National PTA) was founded back in 1897 as the National Congress of Mothers.

42. It “sailed the ocean blue” : NINA

Here is the opening to the children’s poem “In 1492”:

In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.

43. Exercise in dexterity : ETUDE

An étude is a short instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. “Étude” is the French word for “study”. Études are commonly performed on the piano.

47. Cartesian conclusion : … I AM

Anything pertaining to the philosophy of the great Rene Descartes can described by the adjective “Cartesian”.

The great French philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement in Latin, “Cogito ergo sum”. This translates into French as “Je pense, donc je suis” and into English as “I think, therefore I am”.

48. Animal on the Michigan state flag : ELK

The Michigan state flag features the state’s coat-of-arms on a blue background. The coat-of-arms comprises a shield supported by an elk on one side and a moose on the other.

49. Part of many a street name : ORDINAL

Ordinal numbers express a position in a series, i.e. first, second, third etc.

The most common street name in the US is “Second Street”. “First Street” comes in only at number three, and this is because many cities and towns forego the use of “First” and instead go with “Main” or something more historical in nature. “Elm Street” appears on the list at number fifteen.

54. It may be in a sling : GIN

A sling is a cocktail made of brandy, whiskey or gin, that is sweetened and flavored with lemon. The most famous version of the sling is the Singapore sling, which was invented by a bartender at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. I am proud to report that I once had a Singapore sling in Raffles Hotel, many moons ago …

61. Storage units : BYTES

In the world of computing, a bit is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of “bits” (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix mega- stands for 10 to the power of 6, so a megabyte (meg) is 1,000,000 bytes. And the prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, so a gigabyte (gig) is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Well, those are the SI definitions of megabyte and kilobyte. The purists still use 2 to the power of 20 for a megabyte (i.e. 1,048,576), and 2 to the power of 30 for a gigabyte.

Down

1. Well-dressed, photogenic guy : GQ TYPE

The Men’s magazine known today as “GQ” used to be titled “Gentlemen’s Quarterly”. It was known as “Apparel Arts” when launched in 1931.

2. “Absolument!” : OUI OUI!

“Absolument” is French for “absolutely”.

5. They’re high in the Ivy League : IQS

Although it is correct these days to say that the abbreviation IQ stands for “intelligence quotient”, the term was actually coined by German psychologist William Stern, and so is actually an abbreviation for the German “Intelligenz-Quotient”.

6. Lollapaloozas : LULUS

We call a remarkable thing or a person a “lulu”. The term was coined in honor of Lulu Hurst, the Georgia Wonder, who was a stage magician active in the 1880s.

A “lollapalooza” is something outstanding, one of a kind, as is a “dilly”.

7. Film director Sergio : LEONE

Sergio Leone was an Italian film director, and someone very much associated with the genre known as “Spaghetti Westerns”. Perhaps most famous of Leone’s westerns were the so-called “Man with No Name” trilogy that starred Clint Eastwood. The three films are:

  • “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964)
  • “For a Few Dollars More” (1965)
  • “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966)

8. Go-betweens: Abbr. : AGTS

Agent (agt.)

13. Strobe stuff : XENON GAS

Metal halide lamps that are called xenons don’t actually rely on the incorporated xenon gas to generate light. The xenon gas is added so that the lamp comes on “instantly”. Without the xenon, the lamp would start up rather like an older streetlamp, flickering and sputtering for a while before staying alight.

A strobe light is a device that produces regular flashes, like the light on top of a police car. The term derives from the Greek “strobos” meaning “twisting, whirling”.

27. City destroyed by 1-Across : OSAKA

(1A. Fictional character with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame : GODZILLA)
The Japanese city of Osaka used to be called Naniwa, with the name changing to Osaka sometime before 1500. “Osaka” can be translated either as “large hill” or “large slope”. Osaka is sometimes referred to as “the Chicago of Japan” as it is a major center of commerce and industry. The city has also been named the “nation’s kitchen”, and was a center for Japan’s rice trade for centuries.

30. He had a heel that wouldn’t heal : ACHILLES

Achilles is a Greek mythological figure, and the main protagonist of Homer’s “Iliad”. When Achilles was born, his mother attempted to make him immortal by dipping him into the River Styx. As he was held by the heel as he was immersed, this became the only vulnerable point on his body. Years later he was killed when a poisoned arrow struck him in the heel. That arrow was shot by Paris.

31. Zookeepers’ rounds, informally : TRANKS

A tranquilizer (familiarly “tranq, trank”) is a downer, a drug designed to reduce tension or anxiety. Tranquilizers can also used to sedate animals.

33. eBay feature : CAPITAL B

eBay is an auction site with a twist. If you don’t want to enter into an auction to purchase an item, there’s a “Buy It Now” price. Agree to pay it, and the item is yours!

34. One involved in mass production? : ALTAR BOY

The principal act of worship in the Roman Catholic tradition is the Mass. The term “Mass” comes from the Late Latin word “missa” meaning “dismissal”. This word is used at the end of the Latin Mass in “Ite, missa est” which translates literally as “Go, it is the dismissal”.

35. Tony winner after “Avenue Q” : SPAMALOT

The hit musical “Spamalot” is a show derived from the 1974 movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”. In typical Monty Python style, the action starts just before the curtain goes up with an announcement recorded by the great John Cleese:

(You can) let your cell phones and pagers ring willy-nilly … (but) be aware there are heavily armed knights on stage that may drag you on stage and impale you.

“Avenue Q” is a musical inspired by “Sesame Street”, with puppets being used for all the characters on the stage. It’s an adult-oriented production, but a parody on the children’s show. Some of the characters are clearly knock-offs of “Sesame Street” favorites e.g. Rod and Nicky (Bert and Ernie) and Trekkie Monster (Cookie Monster).

39. Cold evidence : SNEEZES

The common cold is caused by a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. There are over 200 strains of virus that are known to cause the disease.

40. It took 70 years to complete, in brief : OED

Work started on what was to become the first “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) in 1857. Several interim versions of the dictionary were published in the coming years with the first full version appearing, in ten bound volumes, in 1928. The second edition of the OED appeared in 1989 and is made up of twenty volumes. The OED was first published in electronic form in 1988 and went online in 2000. Given the modern use of computers, the publishing house responsible feels that there will never be a third print version of the famous dictionary.

44. Remove a belt from : UNGIRD

The phrase “gird your loins” dates back to Ancient Rome. The expression describes the action of lifting “one’s skirts” and tying them between the legs to allow more freedom of movement before going into battle. Nowadays, “gird your loins” (or sometimes just “gird yourself”) is a metaphor for “prepare yourself for the worst”.

45. Japanese radish : DAIKON

The daikon is a Japanese winter radish with a mild flavor. The Japanese name “daikon” translates as “big root”.

46. Weather phenomenon portrayed by Chris Farley on “S.N.L.” : EL NINO

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more that half a degree centigrade, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

Chris Farley was a comedian and actor who was noted as a member of Chicago’s “Second City Theatre” and a cast member of “Saturday Night Live”. Farley died in 1997 at the age of 33 due to a speedball (cocaine and heroin) overdose.

49. Harriet’s hubby on 1950s-’60s TV : OZZIE

“The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” originally ran from 1952 to 1966, and has been running continuously in syndication ever since. It still holds the record for the longest-running, non-animated sitcom ever seen on US television.

52. Ming dynasty artifact : VASE

The Ming Dynasty lasted in China from 1368 to 1644. The Ming Dynasty oversaw tremendous innovation in so many areas, including the manufacture of ceramics. Late in the Ming period, a shift towards a market economy in China led to the export of porcelain on an unprecedented scale, perhaps explaining why we tend to hear more about Ming vases than we do about porcelain from any other Chinese dynasty.

58. Alternative to a cab : ZIN

Zinfandel is one of my favorite red wine varietals. It amazes me that the rich and heavy red Zinfandel comes from the same grape as does the sweet White Zinfandel.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Fictional character with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame : GODZILLA
9. Nail care brand : CUTEX
14. Friend of Ishmael : QUEEQUEG
15. People indigenous to the Colorado River : MOHAVE
16. 9/8 Central, e.g. : TIME SLOT
17. Disturbed, maybe : AWOKEN
18. Time’s 2006 Person of the Year : YOU
19. What someone no longer is as soon as he is identified as one, per George Carlin : UNSUNG HERO
21. Reason : PURPOSE
24. Golden ratio symbol : PHI
25. First name in Objectivism : AYN
26. What might come after a cow or a sheep? : E-I-E-I-O
27. Repute : ODOR
28. Drink often served chilled : NOG
29. Introduction to folks? : THAT’S ALL …
32. Santa ___ : ANA
33. Till fill : CASH
36. Junk heap : CRATE
37. Some early “astronauts” : APES
38. Habitat for an ibex : ALP
39. Closes, in a way : SHAKES ON
41. Grp. once known as the National Congress of Mothers : PTA
42. It “sailed the ocean blue” : NINA
43. Exercise in dexterity : ETUDE
47. Cartesian conclusion : … I AM
48. Animal on the Michigan state flag : ELK
49. Part of many a street name : ORDINAL
51. Good to go? : TRAVEL-SIZE
54. It may be in a sling : GIN
55. All fired up? : ABLAZE
56. Sauce made with yogurt and cucumbers : TZATZIKI
59. Sets free : LOOSES
60. Spare item? : TIRE IRON
61. Storage units : BYTES
62. “It’s complicated …” : YES, AND NO …

Down

1. Well-dressed, photogenic guy : GQ TYPE
2. “Absolument!” : OUI OUI!
3. Modest, as clothing : DEMURE
4. Sleep unit? : ZEE
5. They’re high in the Ivy League : IQS
6. Lollapaloozas : LULUS
7. Film director Sergio : LEONE
8. Go-betweens: Abbr. : AGTS
9. Lass with a lasso : COWGIRL
10. “Eeep!” : UH-OH!
11. Go out, but not for long? : TAKE A NAP
12. Critic or comedian, it’s said : EVERYONE
13. Strobe stuff : XENON GAS
15. Main entrances? : MANHOLES
20. Many a software download : UPDATE
22. Heart : PITH
23. “Impressive!” : OOH!
27. City destroyed by 1-Across : OSAKA
30. He had a heel that wouldn’t heal : ACHILLES
31. Zookeepers’ rounds, informally : TRANKS
33. eBay feature : CAPITAL B
34. One involved in mass production? : ALTAR BOY
35. Tony winner after “Avenue Q” : SPAMALOT
37. Set against : ANTI
39. Cold evidence : SNEEZES
40. It took 70 years to complete, in brief : OED
44. Remove a belt from : UNGIRD
45. Japanese radish : DAIKON
46. Weather phenomenon portrayed by Chris Farley on “S.N.L.” : EL NINO
49. Harriet’s hubby on 1950s-’60s TV : OZZIE
50. Parents : REARS
52. Ming dynasty artifact : VASE
53. Minute, informally : ITTY
57. It might be in the bag : TEA
58. Alternative to a cab : ZIN