0613-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 13 Jun 2018, Wednesday

Constructed by: Michael Hawkins
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): This Is Sew Puzzling

Themed answers are common phrases that might be reinterpreted as related to sewing:

  • 17A. Not be contained anymore : BURST AT THE SEAMS
  • 27A. Forget one’s place in a conversation : LOSE THE THREAD
  • 39A. Have measurable impact : MOVE THE NEEDLE
  • 50A. Make laugh hysterically : LEAVE IN STITCHES

Bill’s time: 10m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Cause for a blessing : ACHOO!

“Gesundheit” is the German word for “health”, and is used in response to a sneeze in Germany, as indeed it is here in the US quite often.

6. Frodo’s friend in “The Lord of the Rings” : SAM

Samwise Gamgee is the sidekick to Frodo Baggins in Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. “Sam” is portrayed by American actor Sean Astin in the Peter Jackson big screen adaptations of the novels.

Frodo Baggins is a principal character in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. Frodo is a Hobbit, and is charged with the quest of destroying Sauron’s Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Frodo is portrayed by American actor Elijah Wood in Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of the novels.

9. Hirohito’s home : JAPAN

Hirohito was the Emperor of Japan from 1926 until he died in 1989. Even though he reigned right through WWII, he was not prosecuted for war crimes, which is a decision still much debated among historians.

19. Org. with oral reports? : ADA

American Dental Association (ADA)

22. Actress Rowlands : GENA

Gena Rowlands is an actress best known for the films made with her husband, actor and director John Cassavetes. More recently, Rowlands played a lead role opposite James Garner in the weepy, weepy 2004 film “The Notebook”. “The Notebook” was directed by her son, Nick Cassavetes. Rowlands was nominated for Oscars for her performances in two films: “Gloria” (1980) and “A Woman Under the Influence” (1974).

24. Transcript fig. : GPA

Grade point average (GPA)

30. Having fine granules : MEALY

Something described as “mealy” resembles meal in texture, and so is granular in consistency.

31. Edward Teach ___ “Blackbeard” : AKA

Also known as (aka)

Blackbeard was the nickname of the celebrated English pirate Edward Teach who plied his trade around the West Indies and up and and down the North American coast.

32. Not bamboozled by : ONTO

It’s thought that the lovely word “bamboozle” came into English from the Scottish “bombaze” meaning “perplex”. We’ve been using “bamboozle” since the very early 1700s.

35. The Trojan horse and Pandora’s box : MYTHS

The ancient city of Troy was located on the west coast of modern-day Turkey. The Trojan War of Greek mythology was precipitated by the elopement of Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, with Paris of Troy. The war itself largely consisted of a nine-year siege of Troy by the Greeks. We know most about the final year of that siege, as it is described extensively in Homer’s “Iliad”. The city eventually fell when the Greeks hid soldiers inside the Trojan Horse, which the Trojans brought inside the city’s walls. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts …

According to Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. She was created by the gods, with each god bestowing on her a gift. Her name can be translated from Greek as “all-gifted”. Pandora is famous for the story of “Pandora’s Box”. In actual fact, the story should be about Pandora’s “Jar” as a 16th-century error in translation created a “box” out of the “jar”. In the story of Pandora’s Box, curiosity got the better of her and she opened up a box she was meant to leave alone. As a result she released all the evils of mankind, just closing it in time to trap hope inside.

37. Josh : KID

When the verb “to josh”, meaning “to kid”, was coined in the 1840s as an American slang term, it was written with a capital J. It is likely that the term somehow comes from the proper name “Joshua”, but no one seems to remember why.

42. Places to which M.D.s rush : ERS

One might find a registered nurse (RN) or a medical doctor (MD) in an emergency room (ER).

43. English novelist McEwan : IAN

Ian McEwan is an English novelist with a track record of writing well-received novels. His most famous work of recent years I would say is “Atonement” which has benefited from the success of a fabulous movie adaptation released in 2007.

44. Owner of Zipcar : AVIS

Avis has been around since 1946, and is the second largest car rental agency after Hertz. Avis has the distinction of being the first car rental company to locate a branch at an airport.

Zipcar is a carsharing company. Carsharing differs from car rental in that cars are available only to members, but 24 hours a day as opposed to office hours. There are other differences, including the fact that members are usually responsible for leaving cars gassed up and clean for the next user.

45. Antlered beast : ELK

The elk (also known as “wapiti”) is the one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …

47. “I did not need to know that!” : TMI

Too much information! (TMI)

50. Make laugh hysterically : LEAVE IN STITCHES

A stitch is a sudden stabbing pain in the side. We started using the term “stitch” to mean an amusing person or thing in 1968, from the sense of laughing so much that one was in stitches of pain, as in “he had me in stitches”.

55. Honey-yellow : AMBER

Amber’s technical name is “resinite”, reflecting its composition and formation. Amber starts out life as soft sticky tree resin but then under high temperature and pressure from overlying layers of soil, it fossilizes. The sticky resin can trap organisms or other plant matter, and this material can sometimes remain virtually intact inside the amber fossil giving us a unique gift from the past.

58. Dis, with “on” : RAG

“Dis” is a slang term meaning “insult” that originated in the eighties. It is a shortened form of “disrespect” or “dismiss”.

Down

1. Group that inspired Broadway’s “Mamma Mia!” : ABBA

The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads … not so much! By the way, one can tell the difference between “Mamma Mia” the ABBA song and “Mamma Mia!” the musical, by noting the difference in the punctuation in the titles.

3. Part of un día : HORA

In Spanish, a “hora” (hour) is a “división del día” (division of the day).

7. Book preceding Romans : ACTS

The Acts of the Apostles is the fifth book of the Christian New Testament. It is believed that the author of the Gospel of Luke was the same person who wrote “Acts”.

9. Conrad who wrote “Lord Jim” : JOSEPH

“Lord Jim” is a novel by Joseph Conrad that was twice adapted for the big screen. The 1925 silent film version starred Percy Marmont in the title role, and the 1965 version featured Peter O’Toole as the lead.

13. “Life Is Good” rapper : NAS

Rapper Nas used to go by an earlier 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 …

15. Blues singer Ma : RAINEY

Ma Rainey was a blues singer, in fact the earliest-known professional blues singer in North America. Born Gertrude Pridgett in 1886, she adopted the stage name Ma Rainey after marrying Will Rainey in 1904.

18. Tony-winning musical with the song “Another Suitcase in Another Hall” : EVITA

“Another Suitcase in Another Hall” is a song from the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical “Evita”. The song is sung by Juan Perón’s mistress after Eva throws her onto the street. Scottish singer Barbara Dickson recorded the original version, which was released as a single in 1977. Madonna sang “Another Suitcase in Another Hall” in the 1996 film adaptation of “Evita”, even though she played Eva Perón and not the mistress.

23. Hockey feint : DEKE

A deke, also known as a dangle, is a technique used to get past an opponent in ice hockey. “Deke” is a colloquial shortening of the word “decoy”.

28. So-called “Father of the String Quartet” : HAYDN

Josef Haydn was an Austrian composer, often called the “Father of the Symphony” due to his prolific output of symphonies that helped define the form. This is one of the reasons that he was known, even in his own lifetime, as “Papa Haydn”. Haydn was also the father figure among “the big three” composers of the Classical Period: Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Hayden was a good friend to Mozart, and a teacher of Beethoven.

29. Kansas City team : ROYALS

The Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball team was founded in 1969. The team takes its name from the American Royal, a livestock show and rodeo held annually in Kansas City since 1899.

33. “Ditto” : SAME

The word “ditto” was originally used in Italian (from Tuscan dialect) to avoid repetition of the names of months in a series of dates. So, “ditto” is just another wonderful import from that lovely land …

37. Material for a military uniform : KHAKI

“Khaki” is an Urdu word that translates literally as “dusty”. The word was adopted for its current use as the name of a fabric by the British cavalry in India in the mid-1800s.

40. Mosaicists : TILERS

In the Middle Ages, mosaics were often dedicated to the Muses. The term “mosaic” translates as “of the Muses”.

49. Oahu, Maui or Kauai : ISLE

Oahu has been called “The Gathering Place”, although the word “O’ahu” has no translation in Hawaiian. It seems that “O’ahu” is simply the name of the island. One story is that it is named after the son of the Polynesian navigator who first found the islands. The island is made up of two volcanoes, Wai’anae and Ko’olau, joined together by a broad valley, the O’ahu Plain.

Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands. It is sometimes called the “Valley Isle” as it is composed of two volcanoes to the northwest and southeast of the island, each with numerous beautiful valleys carved into them.

Because the Hawaiian island of Kauai is one of the wettest places on earth, all the rainfall has helped to carve out magnificent canyons and left superb waterfalls. The island is often used as a backdrop for movies. The facilities at the island’s Lihue Airport reflect the pleasant climate enjoyed by the Hawaiian Islands. Check-in takes place completely outdoors!

52. “Honest” prez : ABE

Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth President of the US. There are several stories told about how he earned the nickname “Honest Abe”. One story dates back to early in his career as a lawyer. Lincoln accidentally overcharged a client and then walked miles in order to right the wrong as soon as possible.

53. “Science Friday” broadcaster : NPR

“Science Friday” is an excellent talk show broadcast every Friday on NPR, and hosted by Ira Flatow. Flatow is known to television audiences as the host of “Newton’s Apple”, which ran from 1983 to 1998.

54. ___-Magnon : CRO

Remains of early man, dating back to 35,000 years ago, were found in Abri de Cro-Magnon in southwest France, giving the name to those early humans. Cro-Magnon remains are the oldest human relics that have been discovered in Europe.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Cause for a blessing : ACHOO!
6. Frodo’s friend in “The Lord of the Rings” : SAM
9. Hirohito’s home : JAPAN
14. Side dish at a Chinese restaurant : BROWN RICE
16. “Lakmé” or “Lohengrin” : OPERA
17. Not be contained anymore : BURST AT THE SEAMS
19. Org. with oral reports? : ADA
20. Things that swing at a swing dance : HIPS
21. Peeve : VEX
22. Actress Rowlands : GENA
23. Word with party or skinny : DIP
24. Transcript fig. : GPA
27. Forget one’s place in a conversation : LOSE THE THREAD
30. Having fine granules : MEALY
31. Edward Teach ___ “Blackbeard” : AKA
32. Not bamboozled by : ONTO
33. “Alas …” : SADLY
34. “Later!” : BYE!
35. The Trojan horse and Pandora’s box : MYTHS
36. Opposed : ANTI
37. Josh : KID
38. Gives hands down? : DEALS
39. Have measurable impact : MOVE THE NEEDLE
42. Places to which M.D.s rush : ERS
43. English novelist McEwan : IAN
44. Owner of Zipcar : AVIS
45. Antlered beast : ELK
46. Zone : AREA
47. “I did not need to know that!” : TMI
50. Make laugh hysterically : LEAVE IN STITCHES
55. Honey-yellow : AMBER
56. Old, cylindrical music collectible : PIANO ROLL
57. Shot in the dark : GUESS
58. Dis, with “on” : RAG
59. Delivery person’s assignment : ROUTE

Down

1. Group that inspired Broadway’s “Mamma Mia!” : ABBA
2. “Darn!” : CRUD!
3. Part of un día : HORA
4. Reactions to buffets? : OWS
5. Surreptitiously : ON THE SLY
6. Not take any more cards : SIT PAT
7. Book preceding Romans : ACTS
8. Uninspired : MEH
9. Conrad who wrote “Lord Jim” : JOSEPH
10. Pinnacle : APEX
11. Tiny brain size : PEA
12. Place to take a shot : ARM
13. “Life Is Good” rapper : NAS
15. Blues singer Ma : RAINEY
18. Tony-winning musical with the song “Another Suitcase in Another Hall” : EVITA
22. Net asset? : GOALIE
23. Hockey feint : DEKE
24. Soothing : GENTLE
25. Ways to wend : PATHS
26. Turmoils : ADOS
27. Some flat screens : LED TVS
28. So-called “Father of the String Quartet” : HAYDN
29. Kansas City team : ROYALS
30. Stately home : MANOR
33. “Ditto” : SAME
34. “That’s good”: Fr. : BIEN
35. Dispute settler : MEDIATOR
37. Material for a military uniform : KHAKI
38. Prepare for eating, as shrimp : DEVEIN
40. Mosaicists : TILERS
41. Aid in tracking wildlife : EAR TAG
45. Lead-in days : EVES
46. It’s west of the Pacific : ASIA
47. Holier-than-___ : THOU
48. What snowmen do in the sun : MELT
49. Oahu, Maui or Kauai : ISLE
50. Fall behind : LAG
51. Avian sprinter : EMU
52. “Honest” prez : ABE
53. “Science Friday” broadcaster : NPR
54. ___-Magnon : CRO

3 thoughts on “0613-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 13 Jun 2018, Wednesday”

  1. 19:55. Had issues at the top as well, but I leaned on the theme to figure it out. Did not know that aspect of the word “stitches”.

    Best –

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