0627-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 27 Jun 2018, Wednesday

Constructed by: Ned White
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Drop the “The”

Themed answer are common phrases with “the” dropped:

  • 57A. Sean Parker’s famous advice to Mark Zuckerberg in naming The Facebook … or a hint to 17-, 24-, 36- and 46-Across : DROP THE “THE”
  • 17A. Early “Saturday Night Live” camera command? : CUT TO CHASE (from “cut to the chase”)
  • 24A. “You want Pepsi or Coke?,” e.g.? : POP QUESTION (from “pop the question”)
  • 36A. Chauffeurs the actor Kevin to his house? : BRINGS HOME BACON (from “brings home the bacon”)
  • 46A. Basic query to a physicist? : WHAT’S MATTER? (from “what’s the matter”)

Bill’s time: 7m 39s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Insurance giant based in Columbus, Ga. : AFLAC

In 1999, Aflac (American Family Life Assurance Company) was huge in the world of insurance but it wasn’t a household name, so a New York advertising agency was given the task of making the Aflac brand more memorable. One of the agency’s art directors, while walking around Central Park one lunchtime, heard a duck quacking and in his mind linked it with “Aflac”, and that duck has been “Aflacking” ever since …

6. Brain or watch part : STEM

The stem of a watch is the shaft that projects from the body and which is used to wind the mechanism. Prior to the introduction of stem watches, the timepieces were wound up using a key.

14. Archibald ___ (Cary Grant’s real name) : LEACH

The wonderful, wonderful actor Cary Grant was born in Bristol in England, and was given the name Archibald Leach. In the 1949 Howard Hawks film “His Girl Friday”, there’s a line where Grant describes the fate suffered by someone who crossed him. He names that person “Archie Leach”, an ad-lib using his real name.

15. Latina miss: Abbr. : SRTA

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish, and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French, for “Miss”.

17. Early “Saturday Night Live” camera command? : CUT TO CHASE (from “cut to the chase”)

Chevy Chase is a comedian and actor from Lower Manhattan who was born into a wealthy New York City family who can trace its heritage back to the Mayflower. Chase’s real name is Cornelius and he was given his nickname “Chevy” by his grandmother who took it from the old English song The Ballad of Chevy Chase”.

19. Noirish : DARK

The expression “film noir” has French origins, but only in that it was coined by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning “black film” in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be “The Big Sleep” and “D.O.A”.

20. “Beauty is truth, truth beauty” is part of one : ODE

English Romantic poet John Keats wrote the famous “Ode on a Grecian Urn” in 1819, and published it anonymously in 1820. The most famous lines of the poem are the last two:

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know

21. Kvetch : MOAN

The word “kvetch” comes to us from Yiddish, with “kvetshn” meaning “to complain” or “squeeze”.

22. Start of an elimination : EENIE

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

23. Nonverbal communication, for short : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

29. Its alphabet goes from Alfa to Zulu : NATO

The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

30. Leavers of pheromone trails : ANTS

A pheromone is a chemical secreted by an animal that triggers a social response of some sort in members of the same species. Sex pheromones are usually released by females, indicating availability for breeding. Trail pheromones are laid down to guide others from a nest to food. Territorial pheromones are used to mark the boundaries of an animal’s territory.

32. Haiti’s Papa Doc or Baby Doc : DUVALIER

The dictatorial President of Haiti known as “Papa Doc” was in fact a medical doctor. Francois Duvalier graduated with a medical degree from the University of Haiti in 1934, and even spent a year studying public health at the University of Michigan. It was his grateful patients who used to call him Papa Doc. When he came to power as President, he was less caring, and ruled with an iron fist until he died in office in 1971.

Jean-Claude Duvalier was President of Haiti from 1971 to 1986. Jean-Claude had the nickname “Baby Doc”, a moniker that inherited from his father François “Papa Doc” Duvalier. Baby doc was a brutal a ruler as his father, which led to his overthrow in 1986 in a popular uprising.

36. Chauffeurs the actor Kevin to his house? : BRINGS HOME BACON (from “brings home the bacon”)

Kevin Bacon is an actor from Philadelphia who appeared first on the big screen in the 1978 comedy “National Lampoon’s Animal House”. That wasn’t to be the big break that Bacon needed though, which came with “Footloose” in 1984. A fun fact about him is that he is the subject of a popular trivia game called “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” in which players have to show that a particular actor can be related to Kevin Bacon in fewer than six links, with each link being a movie in which two actors appear together.

Back in the day, a wealthy man would “bring home the bacon”, and sit around with guests “chewing the fat”.

42. “… as it ___ heaven” : IS IN

“… on earth as it is in heaven” are words from “The Lord’s Prayer”.

The Lord’s Prayer is a central prayer in Christian religions, and is found in two places in the New Testament. In the version in the Gospel of Matthew, the last line of the prayer is “deliver us from evil”. In the Gospel of Luke, the last line is “lead us not into temptation”. The last words of the prayer as it most often said today are:

For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever,
Amen

50. Lays flat : KOS

A “kayo” is a knockout (KO).

57. Sean Parker’s famous advice to Mark Zuckerberg in naming The Facebook … or a hint to 17-, 24-, 36- and 46-Across : DROP THE “THE”

Sean Parker came to national attention in 1998 as co-founder of Napster, the file-sharing service for music that caused such a fuss in the recording industry. He started to advise the founders of Facebook in 2004, and became the company’s first president later that year. If you watch the very entertaining movie about Facebook called “The Social Network” you’ll see Parker played by Justin Timberlake. Parker comes across as very obnoxious in the film.

61. “Downton Abbey” title : EARL

In the incredibly successful period drama “Downton Abbey”, the patriarch of the family living at Downton is Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham or Lord Grantham. The character is played by Hugh Bonneville. Lord Grantham married American Cora Levinson (played by Elizabeth McGovern). Lord and Lady Grantham had three daughters, and no son. The lack of a male heir implied that the Grantham estate would pass to a male cousin, and out of the immediate family. The Grantham daughters are Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay). Lady Sybil had the audacity to marry the family chauffeur, an Irish nationalist. The shame of it all …

63. ___ qua non : SINE

“Sine qua non” is a Latin phrase that we use to mean “the essential element or condition”. The literal translation is “without which not”. One might say, for example, “a challenging crossword is the sine qua non of a good newspaper”. Well, crossword fans might say that …

64. English princess : ANNE

Anne, Princess Royal was born in 1950 and is the only daughter of British Queen Elizabeth II. Princess Anne has been in the public spotlight for many things, including her success as an equestrian. Princess Anne was the first member of the British Royal Family to have competed in an Olympic Games. Her daughter Zara Phillips continued the tradition and competed as a member of the British equestrian team in the 2012 Olympic Games. Zara’s medal was presented to her by her own mother, Princess Anne.

65. 1953 A.L. M.V.P. Al : ROSEN

Al Rosen is a former Major League baseball player who played his whole career with the Cleveland Indians. As one of the best all-time players of the game with a Jewish heritage, his fans gave him the nickname “the Hebrew Hammer”.

Down

1. Big name in foil : ALCOA

The Aluminum Corporation of America (ALCOA) is the largest producer of aluminum in the United States. The company was founded in 1888 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where its headquarters are to this day.

Before thin sheets of aluminum metal were available as aluminum foil, thin sheets of tin were used in various applications. Tin foil isn’t a great choice for wrapping food though, as it imparts a tinny taste. On the other side of the pond, aluminum foil has a different name. No, it’s not just the different spelling of aluminum (“aluminium”). We still call it “tin foil”. You see, we live in the past …

6. What a slalom path has : S-SHAPE

“Slalom” is an anglicized version of the Norwegian word “slalam” that translates as “skiing race”. There is a longer version of the traditional slalom that is called giant slalom

7. Calmer, in brief : TRANQ

A tranquilizer (familiarly “tranq, trank”) is a downer, a drug designed to reduce tension or anxiety. Tranquilizers can also used to sedate animals.

8. Mysteries in the ’16 film “Arrival” : ETS

One might speculate that an unidentified flying object (UFO) is flown by an extraterrestrial (ET).

9. Sallie ___ (student loan offerer) : MAE

“Sallie Mae” is a nickname for SLM Corporation, created in 1972 by the US government as the Student Loan Marketing Association. By 2004 the government had severed all its ties with Sallie Mae, and today SLM is basically a profit-focused lender.

11. Modern Persian : IRANI

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was referred to as Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

12. Prefix with comic : SERIO-

Something described as seriocomic has both serious and comical elements, but generally the comic side predominates.

18. Aplomb : COOL

“Aplomb” is such a lovely word, one meaning “confidence, assurance”. It is a French word that literally means “perpendicularity”, or “on the plumb line”. The idea is that someone with aplomb is poised, upright, balanced.

25. One, on a bill : UNUM

From 1776, “E pluribus unum” was the unofficial motto of the United States. The phrase translates from Latin as “Out of many, one”. It was pushed aside in 1956 when an Act of Congress designated “In God We Trust” as the country’s official motto. “In God We Trust” had appeared on US coins since 1864, but was only introduced on paper currency in 1957.

31. Big D.C. lobby : NRA

National Rifle Association (NRA)

32. One-third of an ellipsis : DOT

An ellipsis is a series of dots (usually three) used to indicate an omission in some text. The term comes from the Greek word “élleipsis”, which means “omission”.

34. Job ad abbr. : EOE

Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE)

35. I.C.U. workers : RNS

A registered nurse (RN) might work in an intensive care unit (ICU).

39. Tennis champ Mandlikova : HANA

Hana Mandlikova is a former professional tennis star from Czechoslovakia. Mandlikova won four Grand Slam titles and then retired in 1990, at the ripe old age of 28.

45. Excalibur was his sword : ARTHUR

Excalibur is the legendary sword of the legendary King Arthur of Great Britain. In some accounts, Arthur was given the sword by the Lady of the Lake. There is sometimes confusion about the origin of Excalibur, as Arthur famously is said to have pulled a sword from a stone, hence proving him to be a true king. The Sword in the Stone is a different sword, and not Excalibur.

46. Concludes filming : WRAPS

When shooting of a film is concluded the movie is said to “wrap”, and everyone heads to the wrap party. There is one story that “wrap” is actually an acronym for “wind, reel and print”, a reference to the transition of the filming process into post-production. But, this explanation is disputed.

47. Capital once ruled by France : HANOI

Hanoi was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.

49. Source of pain for a lion, per Aesop : THORN

In the story of Androcles and the lion, a runaway slave named Androcles takes shelter in a cave. Inside he finds a wounded lion. Androcles removes a thorn from the pad of the lion’s foot, and bandages the injured limb. Years later, Androcles is captured and is condemned to be devoured by wild animals in the Circus Maximus of Rome. The lion that he faces turns out to be the lion that he befriended, and so he is able to demonstrate to the crown in the Circus that he can tame the beast. As a result, the Roman Emperor pardons Androcles. A similar story known as “The Shepherd and the Lion” emerged in the Middle Ages, and was attributed to Aesop of “fable” fame.

51. Adobe color : OCHRE

Ocher is a light, yellowy-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher. “Ocher” is usually spelled “ochre” on the other side of the pond.

The building material known as adobe has been around a long time, and has been used in dry climates all over the world. The original form of the word “adobe” dates back to Middle Egyptian times, about 2000 BC. The original spelling is “dj-b-t”, and translates as mud (sun-dried) brick.

57. Narc’s grp. : DEA

“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

59. Ike’s charge in W.W. II : ETO

General Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE) was in command of the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during WWII.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Insurance giant based in Columbus, Ga. : AFLAC
6. Brain or watch part : STEM
10. Waterfall feature, often : MIST
14. Archibald ___ (Cary Grant’s real name) : LEACH
15. Latina miss: Abbr. : SRTA
16. Environment : AREA
17. Early “Saturday Night Live” camera command? : CUT TO CHASE (from “cut to the chase”)
19. Noirish : DARK
20. “Beauty is truth, truth beauty” is part of one : ODE
21. Kvetch : MOAN
22. Start of an elimination : EENIE
23. Nonverbal communication, for short : ASL
24. “You want Pepsi or Coke?,” e.g.? : POP QUESTION (from “pop the question”)
27. One of two in many churches : AISLE
29. Its alphabet goes from Alfa to Zulu : NATO
30. Leavers of pheromone trails : ANTS
32. Haiti’s Papa Doc or Baby Doc : DUVALIER
36. Chauffeurs the actor Kevin to his house? : BRINGS HOME BACON (from “brings home the bacon”)
40. Christmas topper : SANTA HAT
41. Goes out with : SEES
42. “… as it ___ heaven” : IS IN
43. Hits into the outfield : SWATS
46. Basic query to a physicist? : WHAT’S MATTER? (from “what’s the matter”)
50. Lays flat : KOS
53. Squalid : RATTY
54. Cry after “Company” : HALT!
55. Comic strip cry : ACK!
56. Opposing voice : ANTI
57. Sean Parker’s famous advice to Mark Zuckerberg in naming The Facebook … or a hint to 17-, 24-, 36- and 46-Across : DROP THE “THE”
60. It “should not mean / But be,” per Archibald MacLeish : POEM
61. “Downton Abbey” title : EARL
62. Sites for development : UTERI
63. ___ qua non : SINE
64. English princess : ANNE
65. 1953 A.L. M.V.P. Al : ROSEN

Down

1. Big name in foil : ALCOA
2. Animosities that may span generations : FEUDS
3. Source of many English words : LATE LATIN
4. Law : ACT
5. Noisy bites : CHOMPS
6. What a slalom path has : S-SHAPE
7. Calmer, in brief : TRANQ
8. Mysteries in the ’16 film “Arrival” : ETS
9. Sallie ___ (student loan offerer) : MAE
10. Durable : MADE TO LAST
11. Modern Persian : IRANI
12. Prefix with comic : SERIO-
13. Like a seat with a coat over it, maybe : TAKEN
18. Aplomb : COOL
22. Founded: Abbr. : ESTAB
25. One, on a bill : UNUM
26. Gutter locale : EAVE
28. “Shouldn’t everyone be doing this now?” : ISN’T IT TIME?
30. Core muscles : ABS
31. Big D.C. lobby : NRA
32. One-third of an ellipsis : DOT
33. Sharp footwear : ICE SKATES
34. Job ad abbr. : EOE
35. I.C.U. workers : RNS
37. Bloated, say : GASSY
38. Carpenter’s leveler : SHIM
39. Tennis champ Mandlikova : HANA
43. Taro, in Hawaiian cuisine : STAPLE
44. Result of a lashing : WELT
45. Excalibur was his sword : ARTHUR
46. Concludes filming : WRAPS
47. Capital once ruled by France : HANOI
48. When some news is aired : AT TEN
49. Source of pain for a lion, per Aesop : THORN
51. Adobe color : OCHRE
52. Yarn unit : SKEIN
57. Narc’s grp. : DEA
58. Managed : RAN
59. Ike’s charge in W.W. II : ETO