0612-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 12 Jun 2018, Tuesday

Constructed by: Samuel A. Donaldson & Tracy Gray
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Just for Kicks

Today’s themed answers are common phrases that have been reinterpreted as specialized shoes purchased by a type of “professional” mentioned in the clue, JUST FOR KICKS:

  • 48A. Why the buyers of 20-, 28- and 42-Across are in the shoe store? : JUST FOR KICKS
  • 20A. Cat burglar’s shoe purchase? : SUCTION PUMPS
  • 28A. Synchronized swimmer’s shoe purchase? : WATER MOCCASINS
  • 42A. Event coordinator’s shoe purchase? : PARTY PLATFORMS

Bill’s time: 7m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9. One wallowing in a zoo pond : HIPPO

The name “hippopotamus” comes from the Greek for “river horse”. Hippos are the third largest land mammals, after elephants and rhinos. The closest living relatives to hippos don’t even live on land. They are the whales and porpoises of the oceans.

15. Mideast V.I.P. : EMIR

An emir is a prince or chieftain, most notably in the Middle East. In English, “emir” can also be written variously as “emeer, amir, ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

17. Zippo : NADA

The use of the words “zip” and “zippo” to mean “nothing” dates back to the early 1900s, when it was student slang for being graded zero on a test.

18. Soup that might have a tofu cube in it : MISO

Miso is the name of the seasoning that makes the soup. Basic miso seasoning is made by fermenting rice, barley and soybeans with salt and a fungus to produce a paste. The paste can be added to stock to make miso soup, or perhaps to flavor tofu.

20. Cat burglar’s shoe purchase? : SUCTION PUMPS

A pump is a woman’s shoe that doesn’t have a strap. Such shoes are probably called “pumps” because of the sound they make while walking in them.

23. “___ Baby” (“Hair” number) : ABIE

The full name of the famed show from the sixties is “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical”. This controversial work outraged many when it was first performed in the sixties, as it attacked many aspects of life at the time. For example, the song “Air” is a satirical look at pollution, sung by a character who comes onto the stage wearing a gas mask. The opening lines are “Welcome, sulfur dioxide. Hello carbon monoxide. The air … is everywhere”. How things have changed in fifty years said he … satirically …

25. Bon ___ (witty remark) : MOT

“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean “quip, witticism”.

28. Synchronized swimmer’s shoe purchase? : WATER MOCCASINS

The moccasin is a traditional form of footwear worn by members of many Native American tribes.

“Cottonmouth” is one of the common names of a venomous pit viper that is native to the southeastern US. The cottonmouth is a strong swimmer and is usually found in or near water. Another common name for the species is “water moccasin”.

33. Gathering of quilters : BEE

Back in 18th-century America, when neighbors would gather to work for the benefit of one of their group, such a meeting was called a bee. The name “bee” was an allusion to the social nature of the insect. In modern parlance, a further element of entertainment and pleasure has been introduced, for example in a quilting bee, or even a spelling bee.

34. Bear that’s up at night? : URSA

The constellation 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”.

38. Old Icelandic saga : EDDA

The Poetic Edda and Prose Edda are two ancient works that are the source for much of Norse mythology. Both Eddas were written in the 13th century, in Iceland.

39. Newsman Donaldson : SAM

The broadcast journalist Sam Donaldson is best known as the White House correspondent for ABC for many years, as well as co-anchor of ABC’s Sunday show “This Week”. Donaldson had a famous exchange with President George W. Bush during a White House press conference in 2006. Donaldson shouted out a question about anti-semitic remarks made by actor Mel Gibson, to which President Bush joked, “Is that Sam Donaldson? Forget it … you’re a ‘has-been’! We don’t have to answer has-beens’ questions.” Donaldson gave a biting rejoinder, “Better to have been a has-been than a never-was.”

46. Klutz : OAF

A klutz is an awkward individual, with the term coming from Yiddish. The Yiddish word for a clumsy person is “klots”.

56. Camaro ___-Z : IROC

The IROC-Z is a model of Camaro that was introduced by Chevrolet in 1978. The IROC-Z takes its name from a famous stock car race, the International Race of Champions.

58. Loudly crying face, for one : EMOJI

An emoji is a character found on many cell phones that is much like an emoticon, but more elaborate.

61. Goad : EGG ON

The verb “to edge” has been used to mean to incite, to urge on, from the 16th century. Somewhere along the way “edge” was mistakenly replaced with “egg”, giving us our term “to egg on” meaning “to goad”.

62. Buds on spuds : EYES

The word “spud” is used as a slang term for a potato and was first recorded in the mid-1800s, in New Zealand would you believe?

Down

2. Polynesian shindig : LUAU

“Shindig” is such a lovely word, I think. It describes a party that usually includes some dancing. Although its origin isn’t really clear, the term perhaps comes from “shinty”, a Scottish game that’s similar to field hockey.

3. Flexible, electrically : AC/DC

Anyone with a laptop with an external power supply has an AC/DC converter, that big “block” in the power cord. It converts the AC current from a wall socket into the DC current that is used by the laptop.

6. Slim Shady is his alter ego : EMINEM

Rap star Eminem’s real name is Marshall Mathers. Mathers grew up poor in Saint Joseph, Missouri. He was raised by a single-mom as the family was abandoned by his father when he was 18 months old. Marshall and his mother moved around the country before settling in a suburb of Detroit. He didn’t do well at school, and dropped out at the age of 17. But in the end he made it pretty big …

7. Imitate Daffy Duck : LISP

Daffy Duck first appeared on the screen in “Porky’s Duck Hunt” in 1937. In the original cartoon, Daffy was just meant to have a small role, but he was a big hit as he had so much sass. Even back then, Daffy was voiced by the ubiquitous Mel Blanc.

9. Big to-do : HOOPLA

The word “hoopla” means “boisterous excitement”. The term probably comes from “houp-là”, something the French say instead of “upsy-daisy”. Then again, “upsy-daisy” probably isn’t something said very often here in the US …

10. Calligraphers’ choices : INKS

Calligraphy is the art of fine handwriting. The term “calligraphy” comes from the Greek “kallos” meaning “beauty” and “graphein” meaning “to write”.

11. Grp. that might help organize an open house : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

30. “44” : OBAMA

Barack Obama, Sr. was first married at the age of 18 in his home country of Kenya, and had two children during that marriage. He left his wife and children back in Kenya when he enrolled in the University of Hawaii in 1959 as the school’s first African foreign student. There, Obama met Ann Dunham in a Russian language course. The two entered into a romantic relationship and Dunham became pregnant. Obama told Dunham that he was divorced from his first wife (not true), and the pair were married on Maui in 1961. Six months later, Barack Obama II was born, destined to become the 44th President of the United States. The couple divorced in 1964. After the divorce, Dunham was able to marry Lolo Soetoro, a Javanese surveyor who she met while he was studying for a masters degree at the university. Soetoro returned to Indonesia in 1966, and Dunham joined him there the following year with her 6-year-old son. Barack Obama spent four years in Indonesia before returning to Hawaii to live with his grandparents.

36. 12-minute period expanded to 30 minutes for the Super Bowl : HALFTIME

Super Bowl I was played in January 1967 between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers emerged victorious in a game with a score of 35-10. That game was officially known as the AFL-NFL Championship Game, as the name “Super Bowl” wasn’t applied until two seasons later. That “first” Super Bowl is now known as Super Bowl III and was played between the New York Jets and the Baltimore Colts. The Jets came out on top.

40. Pressing concerns for astronauts? : G-FORCES

The force of gravity (g-force) that we all feel is referred to as “one G”. As gravity is a actually an accelerating force, acceleration is measured relative to that force of gravity. So, if we are sitting in a vehicle that accelerates at 3G, then we are experiencing a force that is three times that which we feel from the gravitational pull of the earth. Zero G is weightlessness that is experienced when in space, and outside the influence of the earth’s gravity.

41. Castle : ROOK

The corner piece in the game of chess is a called a rook, a word coming from the Persian word “rokh” meaning a “chariot”. The rook has also been called, perhaps incorrectly, the castle, tower, marquess and rector.

44. Magnate ___ Pickens : T BOONE

T. Boone Pickens is a wealthy businessman who made most of his fortune in the oil and gas industries. Pickens has donates a lot of his wealth, particularly to his alma mater Oklahoma State University. He has signed up to the Giving Pledge inaugurated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, and has committed to giving away half his wealth to charity.

48. Who left his home in Tucson, Arizona, in a Beatles tune : JOJO

The Beatles song “Get Back” was first released in 1969. It is the only Beatles song that gives credit to another artist on the label, naming the keyboard player Billy Preston. Yes, the label actually says “Get Back” by The Beatles and Billy Preston.

49. Melee : FRAY

Our term “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

54. “Holy cow!,” in a text : OMG

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

55. Holiday quaff : NOG

“Quaff” is both a verb and a noun. One “quaffs” (takes a hearty drink) of a “quaff” (a hearty drink).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Crab’s means of defense : CLAW
5. Tuna ___ : MELT
9. One wallowing in a zoo pond : HIPPO
14. “That smarts!” : OUCH!
15. Mideast V.I.P. : EMIR
16. Not in a bottle or can : ON TAP
17. Zippo : NADA
18. Soup that might have a tofu cube in it : MISO
19. Gives the go-ahead : OKAYS
20. Cat burglar’s shoe purchase? : SUCTION PUMPS
23. “___ Baby” (“Hair” number) : ABIE
24. Zero score, in soccer : NIL
25. Bon ___ (witty remark) : MOT
28. Synchronized swimmer’s shoe purchase? : WATER MOCCASINS
32. Tops : SHIRTS
33. Gathering of quilters : BEE
34. Bear that’s up at night? : URSA
35. Raced (through) : TORE
36. Used to own : HAD
37. Fishing site : PIER
38. Old Icelandic saga : EDDA
39. Newsman Donaldson : SAM
40. Members of all-century teams, e.g. : GREATS
42. Event coordinator’s shoe purchase? : PARTY PLATFORMS
45. Apt metaphor for many a dorm room : STY
46. Klutz : OAF
47. Greetings for the visiting team : BOOS
48. Why the buyers of 20-, 28- and 42-Across are in the shoe store? : JUST FOR KICKS
53. “Leave!” : GO NOW!
56. Camaro ___-Z : IROC
57. Word that can follow time, danger or neutral : ZONE
58. Loudly crying face, for one : EMOJI
59. Lion’s pride? : MANE
60. Divisible by two : EVEN
61. Goad : EGG ON
62. Buds on spuds : EYES
63. Document recorded at a government office : DEED

Down

1. Drawbacks : CONS
2. Polynesian shindig : LUAU
3. Flexible, electrically : AC/DC
4. “How delightful!” : WHAT A TREAT!
5. Some nonfiction best sellers : MEMOIRS
6. Slim Shady is his alter ego : EMINEM
7. Imitate Daffy Duck : LISP
8. Clobbered : TROUNCED
9. Big to-do : HOOPLA
10. Calligraphers’ choices : INKS
11. Grp. that might help organize an open house : PTA
12. Subject of hiring negotiations : PAY
13. Coin-___ : OPS
21. “Yeah, right!” : I BET!
22. Stuart Little and Chuck E. Cheese, for two : MICE
25. ___ Makeba, singer known as “Mama Africa” : MIRIAM
26. Initial stages : ONSETS
27. Old Russian autocrats : TSARS
28. Slangy question suggesting “I don’t know this person” : WHO DAT?
29. Hang out, as laundry : AIR-DRY
30. “44” : OBAMA
31. Enlarged, as an order of fries : SUPERSIZED
32. Numbered things in a how-to manual : STEPS
36. 12-minute period expanded to 30 minutes for the Super Bowl : HALFTIME
39. Beauty spots : SPAS
40. Pressing concerns for astronauts? : G-FORCES
41. Castle : ROOK
43. Terse concession speech : YOU WIN
44. Magnate ___ Pickens : T BOONE
48. Who left his home in Tucson, Arizona, in a Beatles tune : JOJO
49. Melee : FRAY
50. Pirate’s hideout : COVE
51. Pants part that might be patched : KNEE
52. Email button that’s all too easy to hit by mistake : SEND
53. “I’ll be darned!” : GEE!
54. “Holy cow!,” in a text : OMG
55. Holiday quaff : NOG

10 thoughts on “0612-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 12 Jun 2018, Tuesday”

  1. 13:44. Good theme. I used to think WATER MOCCASINS were aggressive and very dangerous, but apparently they merely hold their ground rather than retreat. That’s where their reputation comes from. They are also not all that venomous. They can hunt and bite underwater, however, so I’m never swimming in a river again…

    I saw a list of the 10 most deadly creatures on earth (no idea what criteria they used). I think the black mamba was the only snake on the list. Number 1 was a Cape Buffalo?? They apparently are very aggressive. Number 8 on that list was the crossword favorite tse tse fly. Among the rest were puffer fish or jellyfish and a few others. I guess my fear of snakes got me on this tangent…

    Best –

  2. No errors. I had one write-over having to change 43-Down from YOU WON to YOU WIN. So far as the theme goes, I thought that it was only of average quality. I kept looking for some connection to “kicks” or something to do with “kicking”. Neither did Bill have anything to say about this. So I guess the reveal JUST FOR KICKS was only obliquely related to the other theme answers.

    1. @Dale: modern slang term for shoes is ‘kicks’; as in “I just got a new pair of kicks”. Couldn’t tell from your post if you were aware of this or not.

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