0606-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 6 Jun 2018, Wednesday

Constructed by: Richard F. Mausser
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Ken Dodd Quip

Themed answers provide us a quip from the iconic British comedian and singer Sir Ken Dodd:

  • 15A. Start of a quip attributed to British comedian Ken Dodd : I HAVE …
  • 20A. Part 2 of the quip : … KLEPTOMANIA, BUT …
  • 38A. Part 3 of the quip : … WHEN IT GETS BAD …
  • 60A. Part 4 of the quip : … I TAKE SOMETHING …
  • 68A. End of the quip : … FOR IT

Bill’s time: 8m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Sweet tubers : YAMS

Although in the US we sometimes refer to sweet potatoes as “yams”, the yam is actually a completely different family of plants. True yams are more common in other parts of the the world than they are in this country, and are especially common in Africa.

5. Missouri city, informally : ST JOE

The city of Saint Joseph (“St. Joe”) in Missouri was the westernmost point in the US that was accessible by rail after the Civil War. As such, it was a final stopping-off point as people headed out to the Wild West. The city takes its name from its founder, fur trader Joseph Robidoux. Robidoux apparently like things named after himself and his family, as eight of the main streets downtown were named after his children, and another was named for his second wife!

14. Precious stone that has been found on Mars (fun fact!) : OPAL

Mars missions have found evidence of opals on the surface of the planet. Also, trace amounts of fire opal were discovered in a Martian meteorite that landed on Earth in Egypt in 1911. That meteorite is thought to have wandered through the Solar System for an unknown period of time after being ejected from the Martian surface when a large body collided with Mars.

15. Start of a quip attributed to British comedian Ken Dodd : I HAVE …

Ken Dodd was a very, very famous English comedian who began his career in entertainment in the 1950s. He performed on stage for over 60 years, until he passed away in 2018 at 90 years of age. Dodd also had a great singing voice, and recorded several songs that charted in the UK. His song “Tears” was the third best-selling song in the UK in the 1960s, which put him right up there with the Beatles.

16. Sensei’s teaching : JUDO

Judo is a martial art from Japan that was developed relatively recently, in 1882. The name “judo” translates as “gentle way”. Practitioners of judo proceed through a series of proficiency grades known as the kyu-dan system. At each progression, a different colored belt is awarded.

“Sensei” is a Japanese form of address used for figures of authority, from lawyers to martial arts instructors.

17. Modern lead-in to call : ROBO-

Political calls, including robocalls, are exempt from regulation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), so we can’t stop them by putting our phone numbers on the “Do Not Call Registry”.

18. Speleologist : CAVER

Hmm … I think of cavers as spelunkers, not speleologists …

“Speleology” is the scientific study of caves, coming from “spelaeum”, the Latin for “cave”.

Spelunking is an American term for recreational caving, although the word has Latin roots (“spelunca” is the Latin for “cave”). The term originated in the 1940s in New England when it was adopted by a group of men who explored caves in the area.

19. Leggy wader : IBIS

The ibis is a wading bird that was revered in ancient Egypt. “Ibis” is an interesting word grammatically speaking. You can have one “ibis” or two “ibises”, and then again one has a flock of “ibis”. And if you want to go with the classical plural, instead of two “ibises” you would have two “ibides”!

20. Part 2 of the quip : … KLEPTOMANIA, BUT …

Kleptomania is the compulsion to steal, whether or not one is in need of what is stolen. The term derives from the Greek word for “to steal”, “kleptein”, with the suffix “-mania”.

24. BBC ___ : ONE

BBC One is the British Broadcasting Corporation’s flagship TV channel. BBC One was launched just a few years back, as the BBC Television Service. That year was 1936, making it the world’s first regular, high-image resolution television service.

27. Pricy wristwatch : ROLEX

My most-prized possession is a beautiful stainless steel Rolex watch that my uncle bought while serving with the RAF in Canada during WWII. Rolex watches were made available to the Canadian servicemen at that time as they were shipping overseas. My uncle brought his Rolex home to Ireland after the war. He needed money for booze one weekend and so sold the watch to my Dad, for five pounds. My Dad gave it to me just before he died, as he knew I loved the watch, and my brothers weren’t interested in it all. Not so long ago I had the watch appraised ($3,000), and my brothers suddenly took a liking to it! Still, it’s not something that will ever be sold, that’s for sure …

29. Letters on a lotion bottle : SPF

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

32. Buffalo hockey player : SABRE

The Buffalo Sabres joined the National Hockey League in the 1970-71 season. The team took the name “Sabres” following a fan contest.

33. 1975 Best Musical Tony winner, with “The” : … WIZ

“The Wiz”, the 1975 musical, was written by Charlie Smalls and is an African-American adaptation of Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. The film version of the stage show was released in 1978, starring Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow. I haven’t seen it, though. “The Wizard of Oz” scares me, as the flying monkeys creep me out. There, I’ve admitted it in public …

44. School of whales : GAM

A group of whales can be called a gam, as well as a pod.

49. Y feature : GYM

The YMCA (the “Y”) is a worldwide movement that has its roots in London, England. There, in 1844, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded with the intent of promoting Christian principles through the development of “a healthy spirit, mind and body”. The founder, George Williams, saw the need to create YMCA facilities for young men who were flocking to the cities as the Industrial Revolution flourished. He saw that these men were frequenting taverns and brothels, and wanted to offer a more wholesome alternative.

55. Potential Emmy nominee : TV STAR

The Emmy Awards are the television equivalent of the Oscars from the world of film, the Grammy Awards in music and the Tony Awards for the stage. Emmy Awards are presented throughout the year, depending on the sector of television being honored. The most famous of these ceremonies are the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards. The distinctive name of “Emmy” is a softened version of the word “immy”, the nickname given to the video camera tubes found in old television cameras.

57. Academic address ender : EDU

The .edu domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

59. She-bear, in Baja : OSA

Baja California is both the most northern and the most western of the Mexican states. The name translates from Spanish as “Lower California”.

64. Become too sweet after a while, say : CLOY

To cloy is to cause distaste by oversupplying something that would otherwise be pleasant, especially something with a sweet taste.

65. John with 56 Top 40 singles in the U.S. : ELTON

“Elton John” is the stage name of English singer and pianist Reginald Dwight. John is an avid football (soccer) supporter, and is especially enthusiastic about Watford Football Club, which was his local team growing up. After he achieved financial success, John was able to purchase Watford FC, and owned the club from 1976 to 1987, and again from 1997 until 2002.

66. Overly fussy : ANAL

The use of the word “anal” to mean “stiffly conventional” is an abbreviated form of “anal-retentive”, a term derived from Freudian psychology. Regardless, I’m not a big fan of the term …

67. Thomas Edison’s middle name : ALVA

Thomas Alva Edison (TAE) was nicknamed “The Wizard of Menlo Park” by a newspaper reporter, a name that stuck. He was indeed a wizard, in the sense that he was such a prolific inventor. The Menlo Park part of the moniker recognizes the location of his first research lab, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

72. 1974 C.I.A. parody : S*P*Y*S

“S*P*Y*S” is a 1974 comedy starring Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland as two men mistaken as spies and targeted by the KGB. With all those asterisks in the film’s title, one has to assume the movie was intended to capitalize on the success of the 1970 Gould/Sutherland vehicle called “M*A*S*H”.

Down

1. The New ___ (weekly) : YORKER

The world-famous “New Yorker” magazine is published by Condé Nast. It was founded back in 1925 by Harold Ross and his wife Jane Grant, a reporter for “The New York Times”. The venerated magazine has become famous for many aspects of its content, including its stylish covers and its cartoons.

2. Creed of Hollywood : APOLLO

In the “Rocky” series of films, Rocky Balboa was given the ring name “The Italian Stallion”. Rocky’s first real opponent was Apollo Creed, who was known in the ring as “The Master of Disaster” and “The Count of Monte Fisto”.

3. Old telephone service provider, informally : MA BELL

The term “Ma Bell” was used to describe the monopoly led by the American Bell Telephone Company and AT&T, that controlled telephone service right across the country. The name “Bell” is after Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the first practical telephone.

5. Send to attack : SIC ON

“Sic ’em” is an attack order given to a dog, one instructing the animal to growl, bark or even bite. The term dates back to the 1830s, with “sic” being a variation of “seek”.

6. River crossed by Westminster Bridge : THAMES

The River Thames flowing through London is the longest river entirely located in England.

7. Mud : JAVA

Back in 1850, the name “java” was given to a type of coffee grown on the island of Java, and the usage of the term spread from there.

10. Algonquian language : OJIBWA

The Ojibwe (also “Ojibwa”) are the second-largest of the First Nations, surpassed only by the Cree. The name “Ojibwa” is more common in Canada, whereas the alternative anglicization “Chippewa” is more common in the US.

12. 1,049-mile race : IDITAROD

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race covers an incredible 1,161 miles, from Anchorage to Nome in Alaska. The race starts every year on the first Saturday in March, with the first race having been held in 1973. The fastest finishing time was set in 2002 at just under 9 days. The first few races only used a northern route, but then a southern route was added to the roster every second year. It’s kind of a good thing, because when the racers take the northern route they don’t even pass through the town of Iditarod!

13. Pot-scrubbing brand : SOS

S.O.S is a brand name of scouring pads made from steel wool impregnated with soap. The product was invented as a giveaway by an aluminum pot salesman in San Francisco called Ed Cox. His wife gave it the name “S.O.S” as an initialism standing for “Save Our Saucepans”. Note the punctuation! There is no period after the last S, and that is deliberate. When Cox went to register the trademark, he found that “S.O.S.” could not be a trademark because it was used as an international distress signal. So he dropped the period after the last S, and I hope made a lot of money for himself and his wife.

22. Reply: Abbr. : ANS

Answer (ans.)

28. Source of the milk for pecorino Romano cheese : EWE

Pecorino is a family of hard cheeses from Italy, with the name coming from the Italian “pecora” meaning “sheep”. The most famous variety here in North America is Pecorino Romano, which we often refer to simply as “Romano”.

30. Little person : PYGMY

Anthropologists define an ethnic group as being pygmy if the average height of the mature males in the population is less than 4 feet 11 inches (150 cm). As size is the only criteria, there are many pygmy populations all over the world.

36. “Harper Valley ___” (1968 hit) : PTA

“Harper Valley PTA” is a country song that was a hit for Jeannie C. Riley in 1968. The song tells of a widowed mother of a teenage girl who is labelled by the daughter’s school’s PTA as scandalous, primarily for wearing a short hemline. The hit song was parlayed into successful 1978 comedy film starring Barbara Eden (of “I Dream of Jeannie”). The movie was successful enough to spawn a TV series, with Barbara Eden again taking the lead. But, the sitcom just made it through two seasons before being pulled from the schedules.

38. Town in two Dr. Seuss books : WHOVILLE

The Whos live in Whoville in Dr. Seuss’ children’s book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”

41. Jamboree attendee : SCOUT

A jamboree is a very large gathering of scouts from around the country, and sometimes from around the world. The exact etymology of “jamboree” is much debated, but it is likely to be a term coined by Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the scouting movement. Baden-Powell lived in Africa for many years and so many think that the term is based on “jambo”, the Swahili word for “hello”.

42. QB Roethlisberger : BEN

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2004. He’s a big lad, standing at 6 foot 5 inches, and so has the nickname “Big Ben”. Roethlisberger went back to Miami University to finish his Bachelor’s degree in education, and graduated in 2012. Good for him …

43. Demolition letters : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

48. The ___ Ridge Boys (country/gospel quartet) : OAK

The vocal quartet known as the Oak Ridge Boys were founded as a southern gospel group during the fifties called the Oak Ridge Quartet. The foursome changed their focus to country music in the seventies, and changed their name at the same time.

52. Needing quarters, maybe : COIN-OP

The American quarter is a little unusual in the world of decimal currency, if you think about it. Most currencies have a “20-cent” coin, which is easier to work with mathematically. The US went for the quarter in deference to the practice of dividing Spanish Milled Dollars into eight wedge-shaped “bits”. That’s also why the quarter is sometimes referred to as “two bits”. State quarters were introduced in 1999.

53. John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter served in it : US NAVY

Future US president John F. Kennedy served with the US Navy during WWII. Famously, Lieutenant Kennedy was assigned to a Motor Torpedo Squadron. Kennedy’s most noted command was Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109. PT-109 was sunk in an engagement with a Japanese destroyer in the Solomon Islands. The story of the crew’s evasion of the Japanese and subsequent rescue is told in the 1963 film “PT 109”.

President James Earl “Jimmy” Carter (JEC) is a graduate of the US Naval Academy (USNA). Carter served in the Navy on surface ships and submarines, and chose to pursue a career in the submarine service as he was interested in nuclear power and believed it had a great future in submarine design. As a result, he became an expert in nuclear propulsion. In 1952, the Navy sent the young Carter to the Chalk River Laboratories in Canada to lead the US effort to shutdown the reactor after an accident and partial meltdown of a reactor core. He and his team had to be lowered into the leaking reactor core for mechanical disassembly, staying there for only seconds at a time to minimise exposure to radiation. Decades later as US President, it was this experience that influenced Carter’s decision not to complete the development of the neutron bomb.

54. 2018 Super Bowl champs : EAGLES

The Philadelphia Eagles were established in 1933 and joined the National Football League as a replacement for the bankrupt Frankford Yellow Jackets, also from Philadelphia. The “Eagle” name was inspired by the Blue Eagle insignia that was used by companies who were in compliance with the National Industrial Recovery Act that was central to President Roosevelt’s New Deal Program.

58. Al ___ (pasta order) : DENTE

The Italian expression “al dente” literally means “to the tooth” or “to the bite” and is used to describe not only pasta, but also vegetables that are cooked so that they are tender and yet still crisp.

62. Other, in Acapulco : OTRO

The Mexican city of Acapulco is on the southwest coast of the country, in the state of Guerrero. The name “Acapulco” translates from the local language into “at the big reeds”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Sweet tubers : YAMS
5. Missouri city, informally : ST JOE
10. Suffix with narc- : -OSIS
14. Precious stone that has been found on Mars (fun fact!) : OPAL
15. Start of a quip attributed to British comedian Ken Dodd : I HAVE …
16. Sensei’s teaching : JUDO
17. Modern lead-in to call : ROBO-
18. Speleologist : CAVER
19. Leggy wader : IBIS
20. Part 2 of the quip : … KLEPTOMANIA, BUT …
23. Pipe bend : ELL
24. BBC ___ : ONE
25. Bundle up : ENWRAP
27. Pricy wristwatch : ROLEX
29. Letters on a lotion bottle : SPF
32. Buffalo hockey player : SABRE
33. 1975 Best Musical Tony winner, with “The” : … WIZ
35. “You betcha!” : YEP!
37. It’s not free of charge : ION
38. Part 3 of the quip : … WHEN IT GETS BAD …
43. Howe’er : THO’
44. School of whales : GAM
45. Crackerjack : ACE
46. “Baloney!” : NOT SO!
49. Y feature : GYM
51. Just as planned : ON CUE
55. Potential Emmy nominee : TV STAR
57. Academic address ender : EDU
59. She-bear, in Baja : OSA
60. Part 4 of the quip : … I TAKE SOMETHING …
64. Become too sweet after a while, say : CLOY
65. John with 56 Top 40 singles in the U.S. : ELTON
66. Overly fussy : ANAL
67. Thomas Edison’s middle name : ALVA
68. End of the quip : … FOR IT
69. Entwined : WOVE
70. ___ greens : BEET
71. Declared on a stack of Bibles : SWORE
72. 1974 C.I.A. parody : S*P*Y*S

Down

1. The New ___ (weekly) : YORKER
2. Creed of Hollywood : APOLLO
3. Old telephone service provider, informally : MA BELL
4. Sow chow : SLOP
5. Send to attack : SIC ON
6. River crossed by Westminster Bridge : THAMES
7. Mud : JAVA
8. What’s within your range? : OVEN
9. Otherworldly : EERIE
10. Algonquian language : OJIBWA
11. Locale of many cookie-cutter homes : SUBURBIA
12. 1,049-mile race : IDITAROD
13. Pot-scrubbing brand : SOS
21. Cause of a bee sting’s sting : TOXIN
22. Reply: Abbr. : ANS
26. Implement for confident crossword solvers : PEN
28. Source of the milk for pecorino Romano cheese : EWE
30. Little person : PYGMY
31. Bank charge : FEE
34. Quick turn : ZIG
36. “Harper Valley ___” (1968 hit) : PTA
38. Town in two Dr. Seuss books : WHOVILLE
39. Kind of off-season baseball “league” : HOT STOVE …
40. Identify on Facebook : TAG
41. Jamboree attendee : SCOUT
42. QB Roethlisberger : BEN
43. Demolition letters : TNT
47. Spend the night in : STAY AT
48. The ___ Ridge Boys (country/gospel quartet) : OAK
50. Many an ex-president’s book : MEMOIR
52. Needing quarters, maybe : COIN-OP
53. John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter served in it : US NAVY
54. 2018 Super Bowl champs : EAGLES
56. Navigation hazards : REEFS
58. Al ___ (pasta order) : DENTE
61. A little dense : SLOW
62. Other, in Acapulco : OTRO
63. Hems’ partners : HAWS
64. Where a truck driver sits : CAB