0704-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 4 Jul 2018, Wednesday

Constructed by: Freddie Cheng
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Happy Fourth!

Themed answers end with something that is FOURTH in a series:

  • 60A. Annual greeting … or a hint to the ends of 17-, 26-, 39- and 48-Across : HAPPY FOURTH!
  • 17A. Identifications on left-hand pages, traditionally [the Bible] : EVEN NUMBERS (4th book of the Bible)
  • 26A. Setting for a popular show [dimensions] : PRIME TIME (4th dimension)
  • 39A. Dense megalopolis that includes Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou [Greek alphabet] : PEARL RIVER DELTA (4th letter in the Greek alphabet)
  • 48A. Singer with the 2017 Album of the Year “24K Magic” [planets] : BRUNO MARS (4th planet from the Sun)

Bill’s time: 6m 08s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Indian state that exports tea : ASSAM

Assam is a state in the very northeast of India, and just south of the Himalayas. Assam is noted for its tea as well as its silk.

13. John or son Julian : LENNON

John Lennon’s magnus opus is his song “Imagine”, released in 1971. “Imagine” was quite successful at the time of its release, but sadly, it only became a number one hit when Lennon was murdered in 1980. According to Lennon, the message behind the song is very simple: a world without countries or religion would be a peaceful place.

Julian Lennon is the oldest child of John Lennon and his first wife Cynthia Powell. Julian was the inspiration of several Beatles songs, including “Hey Jude” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. “Hey Jude” was originally a song called “Hey Jules”, written by Paul McCartney. He wrote the original song for Julian, as a way of comforting the child during his parents divorce. One day in 1966, Julian came home from nursery school and showed his Dad a drawing he had made of his classmate, a little girl called Lucy O’Donnell. Julian described the artwork as “Lucy … in the sky with diamonds”.

15. Renée Fleming performance : ARIA

Renée Fleming is a marvelous soprano from Indiana, Pennsylvania. Famous for her appearances in opera houses and concert halls all over the world, Fleming is also noted for her willingness to bring her craft to the masses. She was a guest on “Sesame Street”, singing “counting lyrics” to an aria from “Rigoletto”, and she has appeared a few times on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”.

17. Identifications on left-hand pages, traditionally [the Bible] : EVEN NUMBERS (4th book of the Bible)

The Book of Numbers in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles relates much of the journey of Moses and the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land. The title comes from the numbering of the people that is described in the beginning of the book.

20. Peace sign : VEE

One has to be careful making that V-sign depending where you are in the world. Where I came from, the V for victory (or peace) sign has to be made with the palm facing outwards. If the sign is made with the palm facing inwards, it can be interpreted as a very obscene gesture.

21. Letter before Peter in a phonetic alphabet : OBOE

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

22. “Oh, hogwash!” : PSHAW!

“Hogwash” means “rubbish, of little value”. “Hogwash” was originally the name of swill fed to pigs.

24. Something a bug might produce : ERROR

Back in 1947, famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so Hopper has been given credit for popularizing that term.

26. Setting for a popular show [dimensions] : PRIME TIME (4th dimension)

In the world of physics, spacetime is a 4-dimensional model that melds the three dimensions of space with time as a fourth dimension. I’ve tried to understand spacetime so many times, but have never gotten very far. What I hear all the “time” is that the curvature of spacetime is … gravity.

31. Wood in some closets : CEDAR

Cedar is used for the manufacture of some wardrobes and chests as it has long been believed that the fragrant oil in the wood is a moth-repellent. However, whether or not cedar oil is actually effective at keeping moths away seems to be in doubt.

35. Hanoi holiday : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

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.

43. Goddess who captured Orion, in Greek myth : EOS

In Greek mythology, Eos was the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos was Aurora.

44. Gobs : OODLES

It’s thought that the term “oodles”, meaning “a lot”, comes from “kit and caboodle”.

In the idiomatic expression “the whole kit and caboodle”, caboodle (sometimes spelled “kaboodle”) is an informal term for a bunch of people, or sometimes the “the whole lot”.

45. Tennis great Ivanisevic : GORAN

Goran Ivanišević is a retired Croatian tennis player, and someone noted for having perhaps the strongest service in the game in his day. His best placing in the world ranking was No. 2, in 1994.

48. Singer with the 2017 Album of the Year “24K Magic” [planets] : BRUNO MARS (4th planet from the Sun)

Bruno Mars is a singer-songwriter from Honolulu who has been active in the music business since 2006.

The surface of the planet Mars has a very high iron oxide content, so Mars is red because it is rusty!

51. Govt. debt instrument : T-NOTE

A Treasury note (T-note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A T-bill is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-bond matures in 20-30 years.

56. Device sold with earbuds : IPOD

The iPod is Apple’s signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all use flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.

58. Word with press or mess : … KIT

“Mess” first came into English about 1300, when it described the list of food needed for a meal. The term comes from the Old French word “mes” meaning a portion of food or a course at a meal. This usage in English evolved into “mess” meaning a jumbled mass of anything, from the concept of “mixed food”. The original usage, in the sense of a food for a meal, surfaced again in the military in the 1500s when a “mess” was a communal eating place.

59. Small, medium or large: Abbr. : ADJ

Adjective (adj.)

60. Annual greeting … or a hint to the ends of 17-, 26-, 39- and 48-Across : HAPPY FOURTH!

On 11 June 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee of five people to draft a declaration of independence. Included in the five were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams persuaded the other committee members to give Jefferson the task of writing the first draft. A resolution of independence was passed by the Congress on 2 July 1776. The final draft of the declaration was approved by the Congress two days later, on July 4th. John Adams wrote a letter to his wife that included an assertion that July 2nd (the date of the resolution of independence) would become a great American holiday. Of course Adams was wrong, and it was actually the date the Declaration of Independence was finalized that came to be celebrated annually.

64. Opposite of paleo- : NEO-

The prefix “paleo-” means “prehistoric, primitive”. It comes from the Greek word “palaios” which means “old, ancient”. The prefix “neo-” would be the opposite, meaning “new, recent”.

65. Away from the wind : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather.

67. Male swan : COB

An adult male swan is called a “cob”, and an adult female is a “pen”. Young swans are called “swanlings” or “cygnets”.

Down

1. Motrin alternative : ALEVE

Aleve is a brand name used for the anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen sodium.

The anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen is sold under the brand names Advil and Motrin.

4. Massachusetts’ Cape ___ : ANN

Cape Ann is located 30 miles north of Boston and is on the northernmost edge of Massachusetts Bay. The Cape was first mapped by the explorer John Smith. Early in his adventurous life Smith had been captured and enslaved by the Ottoman Empire. His “owner” in his days of slavery was a woman called Tragabigzanda, and apparently the slave and owner fell in love. Smith originally called Cape Tragabigzanda in her memory, but King Charles I changed the name to Cape Ann in honor of his own mother, Anne of Denmark.

6. Cousin of an épée : SABER

A saber (sometimes “sabre”) is a sword with a curved blade and a relatively large hand guard. It is thought that the term originated with the Hungarian verb “szabni” meaning “to cut”.

7. ___-K : PRE

Pre-kindergarten (pre-K)

“Kindergarten” is a German term, one translating as “children’s garden”. The term was coined by the German education authority Friedrich Fröbel in 1837, when he used it as the name for his play and activity institute that he created for young children to use before they headed off to school. His thought was that children should be nourished educationally, like plants in a garden.

32. Apropos : APT

“Apropos”, meaning “relevant, opportune”, comes into English directly from French, in which language “à propos” means “to the purpose”. Note that we use the term as one word (apropos), whereas the original French is two words (à propos).

33. Bruce or son Brandon : LEE

Bruce Lee was born not far from here in San Francisco, although he was raised in Hong Kong, returning to the US to attend college. Sadly, Bruce Lee died when he was only 32 years old, due to cerebral edema (a swelling of the brain) attributed to adverse reactions to the pain killing drug Equagesic.

40. Macbeth’s Scottish burial isle : IONA

Although the small island of Iona lies just off the west coast of Scotland, it was the site of a monastery built in the Middle Ages by a monk from Ireland names Colm Cille (also known as Columba). Colm Cille and his followers were sent into exile from the Irish mainland and settled in Iona, as at that time the island was part of an Irish kingdom. This monastery in Iona expanded its influence over the decades and founded other institutions all over Ireland and Great Britain. It is believed that the famous Book of Kells may have been written, or at least started, at the monastery on Iona. Iona is also the burial site for Macbeth, King of Scotland who was immortalized in Shakespeare’s fictional account of the king’s life.

46. Hillary Clinton’s maiden name : RODHAM

Hillary Rodham was born in Chicago, Illinois to Hugh Rodham (a businessman in the textile industry) and Dorothy Howell (a homemaker). Hillary was raised in a conservative home, and she campaigned for Republican candidate Barry Goldwater in the 1964 US presidential election. The following year, she served as president of the Young Republicans at Wellesley College. Our former First Lady left the Republican Party expressing disappointment at what she witnessed at the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami, citing “veiled” racist messages prevalent at that time.

48. Like some vin : BLANC

In French, a “vin” (wine) might be “rouge” (red) or “blanc” (white). In French, a “vin” (wine) might be “rouge” (red) or “blanc” (white).

49. “It’s not my first ___” : RODEO

“Not my first rodeo” means “not the first time I’ve done this”. The phrase started to be used after country singer Vern Gosdin released the song “This Ain’t My First Rodeo” in 1990. Gosdin said that he’d first heard the idiom from a workman who added an extra room over his garage.

52. Plants also known as ladies’ fingers : OKRAS

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for it edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

54. Bygone anesthetic : ETHER

Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.

61. Stout, maybe : ALE

The term “stout” was first used for a type of beer in the 1600s when was used to describe a “strong, stout” brew, and not necessarily a dark beer as it is today.

62. Subject of early genetic study : PEA

Gregor Mendel was an Austrian monk, and a scientist who achieved fame after his passing when his work in the field of genetics was rediscovered. The conclusions he drew from his studies of garden peas led to him earning the moniker “father of modern genetics”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Indian state that exports tea : ASSAM
6. Trade blows : SPAR
10. Grade sch. class : SCI
13. John or son Julian : LENNON
15. Renée Fleming performance : ARIA
16. Still-life object : URN
17. Identifications on left-hand pages, traditionally [the Bible] : EVEN NUMBERS (4th book of the Bible)
19. Blue expanse : SEA
20. Peace sign : VEE
21. Letter before Peter in a phonetic alphabet : OBOE
22. “Oh, hogwash!” : PSHAW!
24. Something a bug might produce : ERROR
26. Setting for a popular show [dimensions] : PRIME TIME (4th dimension)
29. Still-life object : VASE
31. Wood in some closets : CEDAR
32. Notwithstanding : ALBEIT
35. Hanoi holiday : TET
36. “___ be surprised” : YOU’D
39. Dense megalopolis that includes Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou [Greek alphabet] : PEARL RIVER DELTA (4th letter in the Greek alphabet)
42. Handle : TEND
43. Goddess who captured Orion, in Greek myth : EOS
44. Gobs : OODLES
45. Tennis great Ivanisevic : GORAN
47. “Money ___ object” : IS NO
48. Singer with the 2017 Album of the Year “24K Magic” [planets] : BRUNO MARS (4th planet from the Sun)
51. Govt. debt instrument : T-NOTE
55. Ran gracefully : LOPED
56. Device sold with earbuds : IPOD
58. Word with press or mess : … KIT
59. Small, medium or large: Abbr. : ADJ
60. Annual greeting … or a hint to the ends of 17-, 26-, 39- and 48-Across : HAPPY FOURTH!
64. Opposite of paleo- : NEO-
65. Away from the wind : ALEE
66. Showstopper, literally : FINALE
67. Male swan : COB
68. Dirty, as tricks : MEAN
69. Shock dispenser : TASER

Down

1. Motrin alternative : ALEVE
2. Cut, as ties : SEVER
3. Scoffing look : SNEER
4. Massachusetts’ Cape ___ : ANN
5. Interterminal transport : MONORAIL
6. Cousin of an épée : SABER
7. ___-K : PRE
8. Bring out of the closet? : AIR
9. Spoke like Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings” : RASPED
10. Food item ordered at a bar : SUSHI ROLL
11. Destroy, as an opponent : CREAM
12. Speechless, perhaps : IN AWE
14. Small protuberance : NUB
18. Something one might do after an embarrassing loss : MOPE
23. Didn’t leave after everyone else left : STAYED ON
25. Trite : OVERDONE
27. Summer refresher : ICEE
28. Subways : METROS
30. Netflix transmission : STREAM
32. Apropos : APT
33. Bruce or son Brandon : LEE
34. Tremendous piece of work : BANG-UP JOB
35. Remote things? : TVS
37. Pac-12 athlete : UTE
38. County prosecutors, for short : DAS
40. Macbeth’s Scottish burial isle : IONA
41. “Stop! You’ll be sorry!” : DON’T DO IT!
46. Hillary Clinton’s maiden name : RODHAM
47. Kids’ road trip game : I SPY
48. Like some vin : BLANC
49. “It’s not my first ___” : RODEO
50. Come to fruition : RIPEN
52. Plants also known as ladies’ fingers : OKRAS
53. World champion, e.g. : TITLE
54. Bygone anesthetic : ETHER
57. Out of whack : OFF
61. Stout, maybe : ALE
62. Subject of early genetic study : PEA
63. ___ voce (without dissent) : UNA