0705-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 5 Jul 2018, Thursday

Constructed by: Randolph Ross
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Undercover Orgs.

We have a rebus puzzle today, with the names of four undercover organizations squeezed into four squares in the grid:

  • NSA (National Security Agency)
  • FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
  • CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)
  • DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency)

Bill’s time: 13m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Director Lee : ANG

Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

8. World’s largest peninsula : ARABIA

The Arabian Peninsula is shaped like a boot, with the Sultanate of Oman occupying the toe of that boot.

14. Response to a good meme, maybe : LOL

A meme (short for “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

16. “She” went through a huge breakup in 1984 : MA BELL

The American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T, Ma Bell) was a subsidiary of the original Bell Telephone Company that was founded by Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. AT&T was forced to divest several subsidiaries in 1982 when the company lost an antitrust lawsuit. Those subsidiaries were known as Regional Bell Operating Systems, or “Baby Bells”.

17. Hells Canyon locale: Abbr. : IDA

Hells Canyon in the northwestern US is the deepest river gorge in the country. The river that carved out the canyon is the Snake River, itself a tributary of the Columbia.

18. Stooge : TOOL

We use the term “stooge” these days to for an unwitting victim, or perhaps the straight man in a comedy duo. The first “stooges” were simply stage assistants, back in the early 1900s.

24. Successor to the Cutlass : ALERO

The Oldsmobile Alero was the last car made made by General Motors under the Oldsmobile brand. It was produced from 1999 to 2004.

Oldsmobile made the Cutlass Ciera from 1982 to 1996. The Ciera was the most successful model that bore the Oldsmobile badge.

26. Wee wee? : LI’L

“Li’l” is a little, abbreviated, form of “little”.

27. Outlet for the Loire : BAY OF BISCAY

The Bay of Biscay is the large gulf that sits north of Spain and west of France. The bay is named after the Spanish province of Biscay located in Basque country.

The Loire is the longest river in France. It is so long that it drains one-fifth of the nation’s land mass. The Loire rises in the southeast, in the Cevennes mountain range, then heads north then due west, emptying into the Bay of Biscay at the city of Nantes. The Loire Valley is home to some of France’s most famous wine production, and includes the wine regions of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Muscadet.

33. Not much : A TAD

Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

34. Figure in Milton’s “Paradise Lost” : ADAM

“Paradise Lost” is an epic poem written by Englishman John Milton. It is indeed an epic work, published originally in ten volumes with over ten thousand lines of verse. The “paradise” that is “lost” is the Garden of Eden, from which Adam and Eve were expelled by God in the “Fall of Man”.

40. Subj. of arms talks : WMD

The first recorded use of the term “Weapon of Mass Destruction” (WMD) was in 1937. The words were used by Cosmo Gordon Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, in reference to the bombardment of Guernica in Spain during the Spanish Civil War by the German Luftwaffe. He said, “Who can think without horror of what another widespread war would mean, waged as it would be with all the new weapons of mass destruction?”

43. ___ de combat (out of action due to injury) : HORS

“Hors de combat” is a French term that translates as “outside the fight”. We use it in English to describe soldiers who are incapable of fighting. Examples are those who are sick or wounded, and those who are captured. Military personnel designated as hors de combat are accorded specific rights according to the various laws of war, including the Geneva Convention.

46. Chest thumper, for short? : EMT

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

47. Clothing portmanteau : SKORT

The garment called a “skort” is a hybrid between shorts and a skirt.

49. Map of México, e.g. : CARTA

In Spanish, a tourist in “México” (Mexico) might buy a “carta” (map).

53. J. R. Ewing, e.g. : OILMAN

The TV soap “Dallas” revolved around the Ewing family. The show that ran for 13 years was originally intended as a five-part mini-series, with the main characters being newlyweds Bobby and Pam Ewing. But, the devious character in the piece, Bobby’s brother J. R. Ewing, became so popular with audiences that the series was extended with J. R. at the center of the story.

59. T or F, frequently: Abbr. : ANS

An answer (ans.) might be true (T) or false (F).

62. Wash. setting, in the winter : PST

Pacific Standard Time (PST)

Down

1. Poor woodcutter of folklore : ALI BABA

There is some controversy about the story “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” in that it has been suggested it was not part of the original collection of Arabic tales called “One Thousand and One Nights”. The suggestion is that the Ali Baba tale was added by one of the European translators of the collection.

7. Hercule Poirot, e.g. : BELGIAN

Hercule Poirot is one of Agatha Christie’s most beloved characters. He is a wonderful Belgian private detective who plies his trade from his base in London. Poirot’s most famous case is the “Murder on the Orient Express”. First appearing in 1920’s “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”, Poirot finally succumbs to a heart condition in the 1975 book “Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case”. Famously, Poirot is fond of using his “little grey cells”.

9. Big Pharma expense : R AND D

Research and development (R&D)

“Big Pharma” is a nickname for the pharmaceutical industry. The monker comes from the acronym for the lobbying group for the industry, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

10. “… sting like ___” : A BEE

Muhammad Ali first used his famous catchphrase “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” before his world title fight against Sonny Liston in 1964. Back then Ali still went by his birth name of Cassius Clay.

13. Gene mutation results : ALLELES

A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color and another balding pattern. We have two copies of each gene, one from each of our parents, with each copy known as an allele.

21. Miracle-___ : GRO

Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by one Orlando Scott, and initially dols seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, Scotts started to sell to homeowners, and mainly supplied lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955.

23. Frank Loesser’s “Once in Love With ___” : AMY

“Once in Love With Amy” is the best-remembered song to come out of the musical “Where’s Charley?” that debuted on Broadway in 1948.

Frank Loesser was a songwriter who was famous for penning both lyrics and music for the Broadway show “Guys and Dolls” and “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”. Loesser also wrote the marvelous song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.

28. Rhyme for “thee” in “America the Beautiful” : SEA

When she was 33 years old, Katharine Lee Bates took a train ride from Massachusetts to Colorado Springs. She was so inspired by many of the beautiful sights she saw on her journey that she wrote a poem she called “Pikes Peak”. Upon publication the poem became quite a hit, and several musical works were adapted to the words of the poem, the most popular being a hymn tune composed by Samuel Ward. Bates’s poem and Ward’s tune were published together for the first time in 1910, and given the title “America the Beautiful”.

32. Lead prosecutor in the O. J. Simpson case : MARCIA CLARK

Judge Lance Ito came in for a lot of criticism for his handling of the O.J. Simpson murder trial. The lead prosecutor in that trial was Marcia Clark, you might recall. I read the book that’s Clark wrote about the trial called “Without a Doubt”, and she pointed out one trait of Judge Ito that I think is quite telling. Ito would almost always refer to the prosecutor as “Marcia”, while addressing the men on both sides of the case with the honorific “Mister”.

37. Iceberg’s cousin : ROMAINE

Romaine is also known as cos lettuce, with the “romaine” name being most common here in North America.

Iceberg lettuce is the most popular lettuce consumed in the US. Also known as “crisphead”, it is considered by many experts to be one of least flavorful varieties of lettuce available. I agree …

45. Early diet drink : TAB

Tab was the first diet cola introduced by the Coca-Cola company, in 1963. It was produced as a competitor to the very successful Diet Rite cola that was made by RC Cola. The name “Tab” was used as the beverage was aimed at people who wanted “to keep tabs” on their weight.

48. Neighbor of South Sudan : KENYA

Kenya lies on the east coast of Africa, right on the equator. The country takes her name from Mount Kenya, the second highest peak on the continent (after Kilimanjaro). The official languages of Kenya are English and Swahili.

South Sudan is an African country that gained her independence in 2011, after a split with Sudan. Sadly, the new nation has been ravaged by a civil war since 2013.

51. Jolly Roger pirate : SMEE

In J. M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook’s pirates and is Hook’s right-hand man. Smee is described by Barrie as being “Irish” and “a man who stabbed without offence”. Nice guy! Captain Hook and Smee sail on the pirate ship called the Jolly Roger.

52. Grace period? : AMEN

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

A grace is a short prayer recited before or after a meal.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Director Lee : ANG
4. Humdrum : DRAB
8. World’s largest peninsula : ARABIA
14. Response to a good meme, maybe : LOL
15. Many a staffer : AIDE
16. “She” went through a huge breakup in 1984 : MA BELL
17. Hells Canyon locale: Abbr. : IDA
18. Stooge : TOOL
19. Low draw : ONE-ALL
20. Something good to be under : BUDGET
22. Spring event at a nursery : GARDEN SALE
24. Successor to the Cutlass : ALERO
25. Intended : AIMED
26. Wee wee? : LI’L
27. Outlet for the Loire : BAY OF BISCAY
29. Give in : CAVE
30. Ain’t right? : ARE
31. This pulls a bit : REIN
32. Ways : MODES
33. Not much : A TAD
34. Figure in Milton’s “Paradise Lost” : ADAM
36. Give a zero-star review : TRASH
39. Ride provider : UBER
40. Subj. of arms talks : WMD
43. ___ de combat (out of action due to injury) : HORS
44. Clear speaking : ENUNCIATION
46. Chest thumper, for short? : EMT
47. Clothing portmanteau : SKORT
49. Map of México, e.g. : CARTA
50. Fought in public : MADE A SCENE
52. Even though : ALBEIT
53. J. R. Ewing, e.g. : OILMAN
54. Heroine of Tennessee Williams’s “Summer and Smoke” : ALMA
56. Corn site : TOE
57. Derisive : SNEERY
58. A couple of bucks? : DEER
59. T or F, frequently: Abbr. : ANS
60. Weatherspoon of the W.N.B.A. : TERESA
61. Big jerk : YANK
62. Wash. setting, in the winter : PST

Down

1. Poor woodcutter of folklore : ALI BABA
2. Lumpy : NODULAR
3. Pleasant glance : GLAD EYE
4. Driver’s license information : DATE OF BIRTH
5. Hoot : RIOT
6. Flap : ADO
7. Hercule Poirot, e.g. : BELGIAN
8. Subject of an Italian aria : AMORE
9. Big Pharma expense : R AND D
10. “… sting like ___” : A BEE
11. Protein-rich picnic dish : BEAN SALAD
12. “It doesn’t hurt that bad” : I’LL LIVE
13. Gene mutation results : ALLELES
21. Miracle-___ : GRO
23. Frank Loesser’s “Once in Love With ___” : AMY
25. Tart : ACID
28. Rhyme for “thee” in “America the Beautiful” : SEA
29. It may follow a dot : COM
32. Lead prosecutor in the O. J. Simpson case : MARCIA CLARK
33. Stubborn one : ASS
34. Be against : ABUT
35. Animal house : DEN
36. Maximally : THE MOST
37. Iceberg’s cousin : ROMAINE
38. Gallery owner : ART DEALER
39. Still packing, say : UNREADY
40. What the four undercover orgs. in this puzzle might do : WIRETAP
41. Things that are voted on : MOTIONS
42. Means of identification : DNA TEST
44. Long, long time : EON
45. Early diet drink : TAB
47. Some cuts, later : SCARS
48. Neighbor of South Sudan : KENYA
51. Jolly Roger pirate : SMEE
52. Grace period? : AMEN
55. Rural expanse : LEA

5 thoughts on “0705-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 5 Jul 2018, Thursday”

  1. 22:08 Had a little trouble until I figured out the rebus. Main problem was in the upper left. For 2D I had NO…. so put in NOTFLAT. Took me awhile to realize that was wrong. Liked the puzzle but don’t really understand the revealer.

  2. 35:+, but I got distracted a lot. NW corner got me also, Marc. I like ones like this… the ones where I tell myself “Here comes a DNF” multiple times then I actually solve the darn thing!

    @Marc: a WIRE TAP is a surveillance technique used by all four of the Organizations, although cell phone and browser snooping might be a more appropriate descriptor these days. Who has a wired phone any more?!?!

  3. “Wire tap” has become a generic term, similar to Kleenex and what Xerox used to imply. No problems other than being unable to complete the web based version due to being unable to put three letters in one space again *sigh*

  4. 36:21 while in a room with 15 people in it annoying me. Got a kick out of the theme, but agree with Marc – the upper left was brutal. Neither NODULAR nor GLADEYE came to me at all. I had to rely on crosses there. ALI BABA didn’t come easily either for that matter. MAR (CIA) CLARK was the obvious aha moment for me.

    Best –

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