0623-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 23 Jun 2018, Saturday

Constructed by: Byron Walden
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 10m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8. They’re covered by boards : AGENDAS

“Agenda” is a Latin word that translates as “things to be done”, coming from the verb “agere” meaning “to do”.

15. Commercial break? : ECONOMIC BOYCOTT

“Boycott” is another word given to the world by the Irish! Englishman Captain Charles Boycott found himself on the wrong side of a local community in County Mayo in the west of Ireland, and in a concerted campaign he was refused service by all around him. His name lives on …

17. Problem in the Tower of Babel story : LANGUAGE BARRIER

We use the word “babel” now to describe a scene of confusion, lifting the term from the biblical story of the Tower of Babel. The Tower was built in the city of Babylon, and the construction was cursed with a confusion of languages due to the varied origins of all the builders.

20. Female koala : DOE

The koala bear really does look like a little bear, but it’s not even closely related. The koala is an arboreal marsupial and a herbivore, native to the east and south coasts of Australia. Koalas aren’t primates, and are one of the few mammals other than primates who have fingerprints. In fact, it can be very difficult to tell human fingerprints from koala fingerprints, even under an electron microscope. Male koalas are called “bucks”, females are “does”, and young koalas are “joeys”. I’m a little jealous of the koala, as it sleeps up to 20 hours a day …

21. Depart unceremoniously, in slang : BAIL

The phrase “to bail out” (sometimes just “to bail”) means to leave suddenly. We’ve been using the term since the early thirties, originating with airline pilots. To bail out is to make a parachute jump.

22. Mountain ridge : ARETE

An arete is ridge of rock defining the border between two parallel valleys that have been formed by glaciation. If this ridge is rounded, it is called a “col”. However if it is “sharpened”, with rock falling way due to successive freezing and thawing, then it is called an “arete”. “Arête“ is the French word for “fish bone”.

24. School extension? : 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)

25. Copies illegally : CRIBS

A crib is a plagiarism, most commonly the copying of an answer in an examination.

26. Circumflex lookalike : CARET

The character known as a caret was originally a proofreading mark, one used to indicate where a punctuation mark was to be inserted. “Caret” is Latin for “it lacks”.

A circumflex is a diacritic mark used routinely in some languages, such as French. For example, there’s a circumflex over the first “e” in “être”, the French for “to be”.

27. Passé, so to speak : LAST YEAR

“Passé” is a French word, meaning “past, faded”. We’ve imported the term into English, and use it in the same sense.

32. 1991 self-titled debut album : ALANIS

Alanis Morissette is a Canadian singer-songwriter. After releasing two pop albums in Canada, in 1995 she recorded her first album to be distributed internationally. Called “Jagged Little Pill”, it is a collection of songs with more of a rock influence. The album was a huge success, the highest-selling album of the 1990s, and the highest-selling debut album by any artist at any time (selling over 30 million units).

35. Microsoft Surface surface : TOUCHPAD

Microsoft Surface is a series of portable computing devices that includes a line of 2-in-1 detachables, which are crosses between tablets and laptops.

39. ___ acid : FOLIC

Folic acid is also known as vitamin B9. Folic acid occurs in the human body as folate, a substance essential in the synthesis and repair of DNA.

41. Speed : HIE

“To hie” is to move quickly, to bolt.

42. They’re answered once and for all : FAQS

Most websites have a page listing answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Even this blog has one!

45. Japanese carrier : ANA

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is a Japanese airline, one that is now larger in size that the nation’s flag carrier Japan Airlines (JAL).

46. Dulce de ___ (Latin American confection) : LECHE

“Dulce de leche” is Spanish for “candy of milk”, and is a confection made by slowly heating milk and sugar until it develops a pleasing flavor and color.

47. “A Room With a View” clergyman : BEEBE

E.M. Forster’s novel “A Room with a View” was first published in 1908. The novel’s title refers to the view that was promised two Englishwomen who check into a hotel in Florence. The pair expected a view of the River Arno, and instead get a view of the hotel’s courtyard. A fellow guest offers to swap rooms, and from there the plot thickens! There was a fantastic screen adaptation released in 1985 directed by James Ivory and produced by Ismail Merchant. There is a great cast, including Helena Bonham Carter, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Daniel Day-Lewis.

English novelist E.M. Forster penned three hugely successful novels, all of which were turned into exceptional films of the same name:

  • “A Room with a View” (1908)
  • “Howard’s End” (1910)
  • “A Passage to India” (1924)

52. Crack filler : SPACKLE

Spackling paste is a hole-filling product used to repair surface defects in wood, drywall and plaster. “Spackle” is actually a brand name, but we tend to use it as a generic term.

Down

2. Song that debuted on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day in 1880 : O CANADA

Canada’s national anthem “O Canada” was commissioned in 1880 by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, so the original words are in French. The first English translation was made in 1906. The current English lyrics have been revised a few times, but the French version remains the same as it did back in 1880.

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land, glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee;
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

3. First name in the Gospels : PONTIUS

Pontius Pilate was the judge at the trial of Jesus Christ and the man who authorized his crucifixion. Over the years, many scholars have suggested that Pilate was a mythical character. However in 1961 a block of limestone was found in the modern-day city of Caesarea in Israel, and in the block was an inscription that included the name of Pontius Pilate, citing him as Prefect of Judea.

4. Foreign news correspondent Richard : ENGEL

Richard Engel is a television journalist, and the chief foreign correspondent for NBC News.

7. Naira spender : NIGERIAN

Nigeria is in West Africa, and it takes its name from the Niger River which flows through the country. Nigeria is the most populous country on the continent, with over 180 million inhabitants. It is also the most populous member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

10. Lake ___, Australia’s lowest point : EYRE

Lake Eyre is located in the deserts of central Australia. At 49 feet below sea level, Lake Eyre is the lowest point in the whole country.

11. Big A.T.M. maker : NCR

NCR is an American company that has been in business since 1884, and was originally called the National Cash Register Company. The company has done well in a market where new technologies seem to be constantly disrupting the status quo.

16. Childlike personality? : CELEBRITY CHEF

Julia Child was an American chef who is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public. During WWII, Julia Child joined the OSS (Office of Strategic Services), the predecessor to the CIA. She worked for the OSS in Washington, Ceylon and China. While in the OSS, she met her husband Paul Child who was also an OSS employee. Paul joined the Foreign Service after the war, and it was his posting to France that created the opportunity for Julie to learn about French cuisine. If you haven’t seen it, I highly, highly recommend the movie “Julie & Julia”, one of the best films of 2009. Meryl Streep does a fabulous job playing the larger-than-life Julia Child.

25. One “whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be,” per Ambrose Bierce : CYNIC

“The Devil’s Dictionary” is a satirical work by Ambrose Bierce, consisting of a list of common words with some very amusing definitions. First published in 1911, “The Devil’s Dictionary” is a more complete version of Bierce’s 1906 publication “The Cynic’s Word Book”. Here are some of my favorite definitions found therein:

  • Cabbage, n. A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head.
  • Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
  • Dentist, n. A prestidigitator who, putting metal into your mouth, pulls coins out of your pocket.
  • Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
  • Hers, pron. His.
  • Money, n. A blessing that is of no advantage to us excepting when we part with it.
  • Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.
  • Selfish, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.
  • Sweater, n. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
  • Year, n. A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.

28. Capital where the Arab Spring began : TUNIS

The term “Arab Spring” has been applied to the wave of protests, riots and civil wars that impacted the Arab world from 2010 to 2012. The uprisings were sparked by the Tunisian Revolution at the end of 2010 that led to the ouster of the longtime president and the institution of democratic elections. The period of instability that followed in some Arab League countries has been dubbed the “Arab Winter”

34. Literally, “the foundation” : AL-QAEDA

Osama bin Laden founded his militant Islamist group called al-Qaeda in the late eighties. “Al-Qaeda” translates as “the base”, and can refer to a military base. It was originally the name of a training camp set up for mujahedin fighters opposing the Russians who occupied Afghanistan at the time.

36. Renaissance symbol : PHOENIX

A phoenix is a fabulous bird of Greek mythology, which can also be found in the mythologies of Persia, Egypt and China. The phoenix is a fire spirit, which lives from 500 to 1000 years. At the end of its lifespan is builds a nest for itself (a pyre) and self-ignites, burning itself and the nest, creating a pile of ashes. A young phoenix arises from the ashes and the cycle starts all over again.

37. Starting site for sorties : AIR BASE

A sortie is an attack by an armed unit, usually a breakout by forces that are besieged, The term “sortie” comes directly from French and means “a going out”. “Sortie” is also used for a mission by a combat aircraft.

43. Football helmet item : DECAL

A decal is a decorative sticker. “Decal” is a shortening of “decalcomania”. The latter term is derived from the French “décalquer”, the practice of tracing a pattern from paper onto glass or perhaps porcelain.

44. “___ Evil” (1971 Mia Farrow thriller) : SEE NO

Mia Farrow is an energetic, award-winning actress who really hasn’t looked back in her career since her first leading role, in “Rosemary’s Baby” back in 1968. Her on-screen celebrity is matched by the interest created by her personal life. Her first husband was Frank Sinatra, a wedding in 1966 that received a lot of attention partly due to the couple’s age difference (she was 21, he was 50). Her second husband was almost as famous, the magnificent musician André Previn. Farrow then moved in with Woody Allen, a relationship that famously fell apart when Farrow discovered that Allen was having a sexual relationship with Soon-Yi, one of her adopted daughters from the marriage with André Previn.

47. “Blimey!” sayer : BRIT

When I was a kid in London, a pretty common expression of surprise was “gor blimey”, a euphemism for “God blind me”.

49. Fruit juice brand : HI-C

Hi-C orange drink was created in 1946, and introduced to the market in 1948, initially in the south of the country. The name “Hi-C” was chosen to emphasize the high vitamin C content in the drink, as it contained added ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

50. D.C.’s historic Metropolitan ___ Church: Abbr. : AME

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AME Zion) Church was formed in New York City. The church was established by African American Christians who faced discrimination when attending other churches. Initially, the African-American congregations were led by Caucasian Methodist ministers, with the first African American being ordained in 1820.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Recruits : ROPES IN
8. They’re covered by boards : AGENDAS
15. Commercial break? : ECONOMIC BOYCOTT
17. Problem in the Tower of Babel story : LANGUAGE BARRIER
18. Gets into the game : ANTES
19. Depart unceremoniously? : ELOPE
20. Female koala : DOE
21. Depart unceremoniously, in slang : BAIL
22. Mountain ridge : ARETE
23. Be down with : HAVE
24. School extension? : EDU
25. Copies illegally : CRIBS
26. Circumflex lookalike : CARET
27. Passé, so to speak : LAST YEAR
29. Tunneling machines : BORERS
30. Fully in agreement : UNANIMOUS
32. 1991 self-titled debut album : ALANIS
35. Microsoft Surface surface : TOUCHPAD
39. ___ acid : FOLIC
40. Manufactured drug, for short : SYNTH
41. Speed : HIE
42. They’re answered once and for all : FAQS
43. Manages to avoid : DUCKS
44. Basic spreadsheet command : SORT
45. Japanese carrier : ANA
46. Dulce de ___ (Latin American confection) : LECHE
47. “A Room With a View” clergyman : BEEBE
48. Montreal’s Bell Centre and others : ICE HOCKEY ARENAS
51. Fierce opponent of patriarchy : RADICAL FEMINIST
52. Crack filler : SPACKLE
53. Gets clean, in a way : DETOXES

Down

1. Prepare for return shipping, say : RELABEL
2. Song that debuted on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day in 1880 : O CANADA
3. First name in the Gospels : PONTIUS
4. Foreign news correspondent Richard : ENGEL
5. Under: Fr. : SOUS
6. “___ Ramblin’ Man” (#1 Waylon Jennings country hit) : I’M A
7. Naira spender : NIGERIAN
8. Ones hoping for prior approval? : ABBOTS
9. Flip out : GO APE
10. Lake ___, Australia’s lowest point : EYRE
11. Big A.T.M. maker : NCR
12. Timorous question : DO I DARE?
13. Dined at someone else’s place : ATE OVER
14. Composition of some grids : STREETS
16. Childlike personality? : CELEBRITY CHEF
22. Specializations : AREAS
23. Abrasive : HARSH
25. One “whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be,” per Ambrose Bierce : CYNIC
26. Express carefully : COUCH
28. Capital where the Arab Spring began : TUNIS
29. Card makeup : BOUTS
31. Fiddled (with) : MONKEYED
32. Business, either personal or otherwise : AFFAIRS
33. Limitation for borrowers : LOAN CAP
34. Literally, “the foundation” : AL QAEDA
36. Renaissance symbol : PHOENIX
37. Starting site for sorties : AIR BASE
38. Can’t take : DETESTS
40. Nurse : SUCKLE
43. Football helmet item : DECAL
44. “___ Evil” (1971 Mia Farrow thriller) : SEE NO
46. Overwhelming favorite, informally : LOCK
47. “Blimey!” sayer : BRIT
49. Fruit juice brand : HI-C
50. D.C.’s historic Metropolitan ___ Church: Abbr. : AME