0615-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 15 Jun 2018, Friday

Constructed by: Sam Ezersky
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Muslim V.I.P. : AGA KHAN

“Aga Khan” is a hereditary title of the Imam of a large sect within the Shi’a Muslim faith. The current Aga Khan is Shah Karim al-Hussayni, who has held the position since 1957.

13. Ones sticking around a desert? : CACTI

The cactus (plural “cacti”) is a member of a family plants that are particularly well-adapted to extremely dry environments. Almost all cacti are native to the Americas, although some succulent plants from the old world are similar in appearance and are often mislabeled as “cacti”.

14. Like the Trix rabbit : LOP-EARED

Trix is a corn-based breakfast cereal that has been around since 1954, produced by General Mills. Ads for the cereal featured Trix Rabbit, who would try hard to get hold of bowls of the cereal. He would always get caught though, and be admonished with, “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” With 46% sugar content, the rabbit probably wouldn’t have liked it anyway …

22. Award for mystery writers : AGATHA

The Agathas are literary awards given annually for mystery and crime writers producing exceptional works in the “cozy mystery” genre. “Cozies” are crime fiction in which there is a dearth of sex and violence, and in which the crime is committed and solved in a small community or gathering. The awards are named for the queen of the cozy mystery genre, Agatha Christie.

24. Classic clown name : BOBO

“Bobo the Clown” was the stage name of Chester Barnett who worked the circus circuit from the 1920s to the 1970s. Barnett gave himself the nickname “Bobo” when he was a child, using it for a persona that he adopted when he ran around the house wearing a paper bag on this head, with two holes cut to allow him to see.

25. Singer with the 2007 autobiography “Out of Sync” : LANCE BASS

NSYNC was a boy band from Orlando, Florida that was formed in 1995. The name of the group came from a comment by the mother of band member Justin Timberlake, who said the boys voices sounded “in sync”. But, it’s also true that the letters of the name NSYNC are the last letters of the given names of the five band members:

  • Justin Timberlake
  • Chris Kirkpatrick
  • Joey Fatone
  • Lance “Lansten” Bass
  • JC Chasez

30. Pac-Man was its “Man of the Year” in 1982 : MAD MAGAZINE

“Mad” magazine has been around since 1952, although back then it was more of a comic book than a magazine. The original founder and editor was Harvey Kurtzman and in order to convince him to stay, the publisher changed the format to a magazine in 1955. That’s when the publication really took off in terms of popularity.

The Pac-Man arcade game was first released in Japan in 1980, and is as popular today as it ever was. The game features characters that are maneuvered around the screen to eat up dots and earn points. The name comes from the Japanese folk hero “Paku”, known for his voracious appetite. The spin-off game called Ms. Pac-Man was released in 1981.

35. Perform a disco dance : DO THE HUSTLE

The hustle is a genre of disco dance that was popular in the seventies. The dance form really took off when Van McCoy released a song called “The Hustle”, to which an accompanying line dance became a big craze in 1975.

36. Early conqueror of Valencia : EL CID

Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as “The Champion” or perhaps “The Lord, Master of Military Arts”. El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast in 1094, making it his headquarters and home. He died in Valencia, quite peacefully, in 1099.

37. Ancient land of Sidon and Tyre : PHOENICIA

The ancient kingdom of Phoenicia lay on the Mediterranean in the region making up much of modern-day Syria, Lebanon and Israel. The Latin for “Phoenicia” is “Poenus”, giving us the term “Punic”, as in “Punic Wars”.

43. 1960s TV unit : F TROOP

Relatively few people outside of the US saw the American sitcom “F-Troop”, which was made in the sixties. I remember watching the show as a young lad because it was picked up by the Irish national television service. The only other country that showed “F-Troop” was Australia.

53. Expression of grief : DIRGE

A “dirge” is a slow and mournful musical piece, like a funeral hymn.

54. Literary stigma : SCARLET A

The main character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Scarlet Letter” is Hester Prynne. After the birth of her illegitimate daughter Pearl, she is convicted by her puritanical neighbors of the crime of adultery. Hester is forced to wear a scarlet “A” (for “adultery”) on her clothing for the rest of her life, hence the novel’s title “The Scarlet Letter”.

55. Bone that’s better known as the anvil : INCUS

The middle ear is the portion of the ear immediately behind the eardrum. The middle ear contains three small bones called the ossicles, the three smallest bones in the human body. The ossicles’ job is to transmit sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. The shape of the bones gives rise to their names: the hammer (malleus), anvil (incus) and stirrup (stapes).

56. “Star Wars” villain : KYLO REN

Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa in the “Star Wars” universe. The character’s birth name was Ben Solo. He was trained as a Jedi knight by his uncle, Luke Skywalker. However, Ben came to embrace the Dark Side, and changed his name to Kylo Ren. Ren is played by actor Adam Driver.

Down

1. Perfumery compound : ACETAL

Acetals are a class of organic compounds, the smaller of which are volatile solvents. The simplest of the group is named simply “acetal”, and is a solvent and ingredient used in cosmetics. A much larger example of an acetal is cellulose.

6. River running “down to a sunless sea,” in “Kubla Khan” : ALPH

“Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is my wife’s favorite poem. Coleridge wrote his masterpiece one night in 1797 after a vivid dream heavily influenced by opium.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

8. Polynesian capital : APIA

Apia is the capital city, and in fact the only city, of the Pacific island-nation of Samoa. The harbor of Apia is famous for a very foolish incident in 1889 involving seven naval vessels from Germany, the US and Britain. A typhoon was approaching so the safest thing to do was to head for open water away from land, but no nation would move its ships for fear of losing face in front of the others. Six of the ships were lost in the typhoon as a result and 200 American and German sailors perished. The British cruiser HMS Calliope barely managed to escape from the harbor and rode out the storm safely. Apia is also known as the home of writer Robert Louis Stevenson, for the last four years of his life.

9. Surname at the Daily Planet : KENT

Superman’s comic book creators gave their title character’s alter-ego the name “Clark Kent” by melding the names of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, two leading men of the cinema at the time Superman was created. However, they modeled Clark’s character more on the silent film actor Harold Lloyd.

The “Daily Planet” is the fictional newspaper for which Clark Kent and Lois Lane work in the “Superman” universe.

11. Pirate’s exclamation : ARR

International Talk Like a Pirate (TALP) Day is September 19th every year, a “holiday” that was created in 1995. The event started out as an inside joke between John Baur and Mark Summers of Albany, Oregon, but when they shared the notion with the columnist Dave Barry, he promoted the idea and it took off.

18. Very muscular, in slang : SWOLE

I know, I know. “Swole” means nothing me either …

20. Border river in the Midwest : WABASH

The Wabash River is the largest northern tributary of the Ohio River. The Wabash is the state river of Indiana, and forms much of the border between the Indiana and Illinois. The river takes its name from the French “Ouabache”, a word that French traders adopted from a Miami Indian word meaning “it shines white”.

24. Classic clown name : BOZO

Bozo the Clown is a character created in 1946 by Alan Livingston. Bozo was introduced in the first ever “record reader”, a children’s illustrated read-along book that came with a vinyl recording of the story. The book/record was so successful that Bozo moved to television, and he has been around ever since.

31. Symbols near key signatures : G-CLEFS

“Clef” is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on the stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

33. Investor’s purchase outside an exchange, informally : OTC STOCK

Over-the-counter (OTC) trading of stocks is a way of trading directly between two parties, as opposed to exchange trading in which trading occurs in an exchange.

38. John who wrote “The Cider House Rules” : IRVING

The novelist and screenwriter John Irving became famous with publication of his novel “The World According to Garp”. As a screenwriter Irving won an Oscar for the screen adaptation he wrote for another of his novels, “The Cider House Rules”.

41. Source of springtime stress for a H.S. student : AP TEST

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school. After being tested at the end of the courses, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

45. Part of many common shortcuts : CTRL

The Control (CTRL) key on a PC keyboard is used to modify the function of other keys. For example, pressing CTRL+C copies a selection to the clipboard, and CTRL+V pastes the contents of the clipboard to a location defined by the cursor. Control keys were introduced on teletypewriters to generate “control characters”, which are non-printing characters that instruct a computer to do something like print a page, ring a bell etc.

46. World capital with a nearly car-free city center : OSLO

Oslo is the capital of Norway. The city of Oslo burns trash to fuel half of its buildings, including all of its schools. The problem faced by the city is that it doesn’t generate enough trash. So, Oslo imports trash from Sweden, England and Ireland, and is now looking to import some American trash too.

52. Certain stinger : RAY

Rays are fish with flattened bodies that have gill slits on their underside. There are many, many species of ray, including stingrays and skates. Rays are close relatives of sharks, with both being cartilaginous fish, as opposed to bony fish.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Unfamiliar and unsettling : ALIEN
6. Muslim V.I.P. : AGA KHAN
13. Ones sticking around a desert? : CACTI
14. Like the Trix rabbit : LOP-EARED
16. Word on many campaign stickers : ELECT
17. Press orders : PRINT RUNS
19. “Stop! Turn your papers over” : TIME!
20. Some bread loaves : WHEATS
21. With 29-Down, what someone who’s a natural has : RAW …
22. Award for mystery writers : AGATHA
24. Classic clown name : BOBO
25. Singer with the 2007 autobiography “Out of Sync” : LANCE BASS
29. Wreck : TOTAL
30. Pac-Man was its “Man of the Year” in 1982 : MAD MAGAZINE
32. It counts down to disaster : DOOMSDAY CLOCK
35. Perform a disco dance : DO THE HUSTLE
36. Early conqueror of Valencia : EL CID
37. Ancient land of Sidon and Tyre : PHOENICIA
42. “Oh, by the way …” : ALSO …
43. 1960s TV unit : F TROOP
44. Parking space : LOT
45. Places for aces or cases : COURTS
50. Let it all out : VENT
51. Place to watch a game : SPORTS BAR
53. Expression of grief : DIRGE
54. Literary stigma : SCARLET A
55. Bone that’s better known as the anvil : INCUS
56. “Star Wars” villain : KYLO REN
57. Force for change : AGENT

Down

1. Perfumery compound : ACETAL
2. Spanish pro soccer association : LA LIGA
3. Hired gun, in underworld lingo : ICEMAN
4. “You get the point” : ETC ETC
5. Critic’s pick? : NIT
6. River running “down to a sunless sea,” in “Kubla Khan” : ALPH
7. Carnage : GORE
8. Polynesian capital : APIA
9. Surname at the Daily Planet : KENT
10. “___ off to you!” : HATS
11. Pirate’s exclamation : ARR
12. Overly anxious : NEUROTIC
15. Modern sort of “Noah’s Ark” : DNA BANK
18. Very muscular, in slang : SWOLE
20. Border river in the Midwest : WABASH
23. Spoke with hesitation : HEMMED
24. Classic clown name : BOZO
26. Make sense : ADD UP
27. Flop’s opposite : SMASH
28. Tell : SAY TO
29. See 21-Across : … TALENT
31. Symbols near key signatures : G-CLEFS
32. Large spoonfuls : DOLLOPS
33. Investor’s purchase outside an exchange, informally : OTC STOCK
34. Where I-70 meets I-75 : OHIO
35. Negotiates : DEALS
38. John who wrote “The Cider House Rules” : IRVING
39. Pressure : COERCE
40. Futuristic weapon : ION GUN
41. Source of springtime stress for a H.S. student : AP TEST
45. Part of many common shortcuts : CTRL
46. World capital with a nearly car-free city center : OSLO
47. Commercial lead-in to X : UBER
48. Figure on a utility bill : RATE
49. Second-most common family name in Vietnam, after Nguyen : TRAN
52. Certain stinger : RAY
53. One of 30 in junio : DIA

3 thoughts on “0615-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 15 Jun 2018, Friday”

  1. 14:28 Prety straightforward today. Had rayGUN first which caused a small problem in that corner. Nice, solid Friday.

  2. 39:59…Really – not 40 minutes!. I had all kinds of trouble with this one last night. Had to get several via crosses – KYLO REN and LANCE BASS just to name 16 letters I had to get via the down answers.

    I think SWOLE is short for “swollen” as in pumped up. It apparently can be an adjective meaning “pertaining to men showboating” as in before a fight. The example I found was “The SWOLE boy aggravated me, so I laid him out.”

    Really? Learn something new every day…… even things you don’t want to know.

    Best –

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