0716-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 16 Jul 2018, Monday

Constructed by: Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Coco

Themed answers are each 2-word phrases, with both words starting with the letter sequence CO:

  • 60D. Hit 2017 computer-animated film … or a hint to 20-, 27-, 49- and 58-Across : COCO
  • 20A. Start of an overseas telephone number : COUNTRY CODE
  • 27A. Faux money : COUNTERFEIT COIN
  • 49A. What a micromanager would like to have : COMPLETE CONTROL
  • 58A. Approach respectfully, in modern parlance : COME CORRECT

Bill’s time: 6m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Australia’s national gemstone : OPAL

The largest opal ever found, and the most valuable, is the Olympic Australis. It was discovered in South Australia in 1956. That same year, the Summer Olympics were being held in Melbourne so the newly discovered stone was given the name “Olympic Australis”.

9. Lead-in to frost : PERMA-

Permafrost is by definition soil that has been below the freezing point of water for two years or more. Usually permafrost is covered by a thin layer of soil that thaws during the warmer months and which can sustain life. Plants can grow in the active layer, but their roots cannot penetrate the permafrost below.

17. Singer Fitzgerald : ELLA

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

18. Yoked animals : OXEN

A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of oxen so that they are forced to work together.

23. Former org. for James Comey : FBI

James Comey was appointed Director of the FBI by President Barack Obama in 2013, and was famously dismissed by President Donald Trump in 2017.

25. Test in a hospital tube, for short : MRI

MRI scans can be daunting for many people as they usually involve the patient lying inside a tube with the imaging magnet surrounding the body. Additionally, the scan can take up to 40 minutes in some cases. There are some open MRI scanners available that help prevent a feeling of claustrophobia. However, the image produced by open scanners are of lower quality as they operate at lower magnetic fields.

26. Classic game now sometimes played with “lasers” : TAG

The name “Laser Tag” is really a misnomer as lasers are rarely used in the game. The “guns” actually send out infrared light, and not laser light, which is picked up by infrared detectors worn by the players.

33. Wolf Blitzer’s channel : CNN

Wolf Blitzer is the son of Jewish refugees from Poland. He was born in Augsburg in Germany and was given the name “Wolf” in honor of his maternal grandfather. Wolf came with his family to live in the US, and he was raised in Buffalo, New York.

35. Latest dope : POOP

“Poop” is a slang term meaning “relevant and up-to-date information”. Back in the 1940s, a “poop sheet” was a bulletin with the latest information.

36. Couches : SOFAS

“Sofa” is a Turkish word meaning “bench”.

41. Annual award from Stockholm : NOBEL

The Peace Prize is the most famous of the five prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel. The others are for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. There is also a Nobel Prize in Economics that is awarded along with the original five, but it is funded separately and is awarded “in memory of Alfred Nobel”. Four of the prizes are awarded by Swedish organizations (Alfred Nobel was a Swede) and so the award ceremonies take place in Stockholm. The Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and that award is presented in Oslo.

54. “Yes, ma chérie” : OUI

“Chéri” is a form of familiar address in French, meaning “dear”. “Chéri” is the form used when talking to a male, and “chérie” when addressing a female.

55. “This might be of interest,” on a memo : FYI

For your information (FYI)

64. Indian yogurt dish : RAITA

Raita is a condiment served in Indian restaurants, made from yogurt flavored with coriander, cumin, mint and cayenne pepper.

66. Boys’ school near Windsor : ETON

Eton College near Windsor in the south of England was founded way back in 1440 by King Henry VI. Originally known as “The King’s College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor”, the school was intended to provided free education to poor boys. Free education today at Eton? Not so much …

68. Ringo of the Beatles : STARR

Ringo Starr’s real name is Richard Starkey. Before he joined the Beatles, replacing drummer Pete Best, Starkey played with the Raving Texans. It was with the Raving Texans that he adopted the name “Ringo Starr”, because he wore a lot of rings and he thought it sounded “cowboyish”. Back then his drum solos were billed as “Starr Time”.

70. Farm structure : SILO

“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English. The term ultimately derives from the Greek “siros”, which described a pit in which one kept corn.

Down

1. Oil grp. : OPEC

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

2. ___ Alto, Calif. : PALO

The city of Palo Alto, California takes its name from a specific redwood tree called El Palo Alto (Spanish for “the tall stick”) that is located within the bounds of the city. The tree is 110 feet tall and over a thousand years old.

3. Org. defending the Bill of Rights : ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War when it was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors. The ACLU’s motto is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself”. The ACLU also hosts a blog on the ACLU.org website called “Speak Freely”.

The Constitution of the United States was adopted on September 17, 1787. There have been 27 amendments to the constitution, the first ten of which are collectively called the Bill of Rights. In essence the Bill of Rights limits the power of the Federal Government and protects the rights of individuals. For example, the First Amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

5. The Empire State Building has 102 of them : STORIES

New York City’s Empire State Building was the world’s tallest building from 1931, the date of its completion, until 1970 when the North Tower of the World Trade Center surpassed it in height in 1970. The Empire State Building was constructed in less than 15 months, handily beating the planned 18-month schedule.

7. Smart ___ (wiseacre) : ALEC

Apparently the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was one Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

The word “wiseacre” dates back to the late 1500s, when it was a botched translation of the Middle Dutch word “wijsegger” meaning “soothsayer”. Originally, there was no derogatory connotation to the word, but over time a “wiseacre” had become a know-it-all.

8. Human ___ Project : GENOME

The genome is all the hereditary information needed to reproduce an organism, in other words, all of its chromosomes. When scientists unravel the human genome it takes up an awful lot of computer storage space, and yet all of this information is in almost every cell in our bodies. Each and every cell “knows” how to make a whole human being.

11. Place to see the town while painting the town red? : ROOFTOP BAR

It’s possible that the phrase “paint the town red”, meaning to go on a raucous spree, actually dates back to a particular event. It is well documented that in 1837, the Marquis of Waterford and a group of friends went wild one day in the town of Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, England. They actually painted a whole load of the town’s buildings red. Which came first though, the incident or the idiom? Well, that is the question …

12. Most populous city in India : MUMBAI

Mumbai is the most populous city in India, and the second most populous city in the world (after Shanghai). The name of the city was changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995.

13. Symbol starting a Twitter handle : AT SIGN

The “at symbol” (@) originated in the commercial word, as shorthand for “each at, per” and similar phrases. I suppose we see the symbol most commonly these days as part of email addresses.

21. Palindromic bird : TIT

The birds known as chickadees or titmice in North America, are usually called simply “tits” in the rest of the English-speaking world.

27. Amts. of blood : CCS

Cubic centimeter (cc)

28. Musical Yoko : ONO

Yoko Ono was born in 1933 in Tokyo into a prosperous Japanese family, and is actually a descendant of one of the emperors of Japan. Yoko’s father moved around the world for work, and she lived the first few years of her life in San Francisco. The family returned to Japan, before moving on to New York, Hanoi and back to Japan just before WWII, in time to live through the great firebombing of Tokyo in 1945. Immediately after the war the family was far from prosperous. While Yoko’s father was being held in a prison camp in Vietnam, her mother had to resort to begging and bartering to feed her children. When her father was repatriated, life started to return to normal and Yoko was able to attend university. She was the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University.

37. Item on a concert stage : AMP

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

40. Instagram upload, for short : PIC

Instagram is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram was started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

43. [That was a funny one] : LOL

Laugh out loud (LOL)

45. R&B singer with the hits “So Sick” and “Miss Independent” : NE-YO

“Ne-Yo” is the stage name of R&B singer Shaffer Chimere Smith.

50. Bested in a hot dog contest, say : OUTATE

Nathan’s Famous has held a Hot Dog Eating Contest every July 4th since 1916, and always at the same location on Coney Island.

53. Mother with a 41-Across Peace Prize : TERESA

Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in the city that is now called Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. At birth she was given the names Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (“Gonxha” means “little flower” in Albanian). She left home at the age of 18 and joined the Sisters of Loreto, and headed to Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham in Dublin, Ireland in order to learn English. Her goal was to teach in India, and English was the language used there for instruction by the nuns. After Mother Teresa passed away in 1997 she was beatified by Pope John Paul II, a step on the road to canonization. In order for her to be beatified there had to be documented evidence of a miracle that was performed due to her intercession. The miracle in question was the healing of a tumor in the abdomen of a woman due to the application of a locket containing a picture of Mother Teresa. Documentation of a second miracle is required for her to be declared a saint. The canonization process seems to well underway, with Pope Francis recognizing a second miracle in December 2015.

60. Hit 2017 computer-animated film … or a hint to 20-, 27-, 49- and 58-Across : COCO

“Coco” is a 2017 Pixar movie about a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who ends up in the land of the dead by accident. There, he seeks out the help of the great-great-grandfather to get back to his family in the land of the living.

62. An amoeba has just one : CELL

An ameba (or “amoeba”, as we spell it back in Ireland) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

63. Helen of ___ : TROY

In Greek mythology, Leda was the beautiful Queen of Sparta who was seduced by Zeus when he took the form of a swan. Leda produced two eggs from the union. One egg hatched into Clytemnestra and the beautiful Helen of Troy, over whom was fought the Trojan War. The other egg hatched into the twins Castor and Pollux. Castor and Pollux had different fathers according to the myth. Pollux was the son of Zeus and was immortal, while Castor was the son of Leda’s earthly husband, and so he was a mortal. In the world of the arts, William Butler Yeats wrote a famous sonnet called “Leda and the Swan” in 1924, and Peter Paul Rubens made a copy of a now-lost painting called “Leda and the Swan” by Michelangelo.

65. Prefix with -fecta : TRI-

In horse racing, a trifecta is a bet in which the first, second and third place finishers are predicted in the correct order. The same bet can be made in jai alai competitions, predicting which the top three finishers.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Australia’s national gemstone : OPAL
5. “___ Surfin'” (2008 rap song) : SWAG
9. Lead-in to frost : PERMA-
14. Walk back and forth nervously : PACE
15. What a fisherman might bring home even if he doesn’t catch any fish : TALE
16. “Later!” : I’M OUT!
17. Singer Fitzgerald : ELLA
18. Yoked animals : OXEN
19. Weavers’ devices : LOOMS
20. Start of an overseas telephone number : COUNTRY CODE
23. Former org. for James Comey : FBI
24. Three on a sundial : III
25. Test in a hospital tube, for short : MRI
26. Classic game now sometimes played with “lasers” : TAG
27. Faux money : COUNTERFEIT COIN
33. Wolf Blitzer’s channel : CNN
34. Madam’s counterpart : SIR
35. Latest dope : POOP
36. Couches : SOFAS
39. Dental problem fixed by braces : GAP
41. Annual award from Stockholm : NOBEL
44. “You said it, brother!” : AMEN
46. Open ___ night (comedy club offering) : MIC
48. “Many years ___ …” : AGO
49. What a micromanager would like to have : COMPLETE CONTROL
54. “Yes, ma chérie” : OUI
55. “This might be of interest,” on a memo : FYI
56. Fish eggs : ROE
57. Georgia’s capital: Abbr. : ATL
58. Approach respectfully, in modern parlance : COME CORRECT
64. Indian yogurt dish : RAITA
66. Boys’ school near Windsor : ETON
67. Of all time : EVER
68. Ringo of the Beatles : STARR
69. Political competition : RACE
70. Farm structure : SILO
71. Weirdly spooky : EERIE
72. Space on a schedule : SLOT
73. Friend in war : ALLY

Down

1. Oil grp. : OPEC
2. ___ Alto, Calif. : PALO
3. Org. defending the Bill of Rights : ACLU
4. Move so as to hear better, say : LEAN IN
5. The Empire State Building has 102 of them : STORIES
6. Like candles : WAXY
7. Smart ___ (wiseacre) : ALEC
8. Human ___ Project : GENOME
9. Add even more criticism : PILE IT ON
10. Music genre related to punk : EMO
11. Place to see the town while painting the town red? : ROOFTOP BAR
12. Most populous city in India : MUMBAI
13. Symbol starting a Twitter handle : AT SIGN
21. Palindromic bird : TIT
22. What icicles do : DRIP
27. Amts. of blood : CCS
28. Musical Yoko : ONO
29. Alien : UNFAMILIAR
30. Fix, as an election : RIG
31. Picture holder : FRAME
32. Dove’s sound : COO
37. Item on a concert stage : AMP
38. Tending to one’s own well-being : SELF-CARE
40. Instagram upload, for short : PIC
42. Bigheadedness : EGO
43. [That was a funny one] : LOL
45. R&B singer with the hits “So Sick” and “Miss Independent” : NE-YO
47. Princess’ headwear : CORONET
49. Sandpaperlike : COARSE
50. Bested in a hot dog contest, say : OUTATE
51. Stopwatches, sand clocks, etc. : TIMERS
52. Neither’s partner : NOR
53. Mother with a 41-Across Peace Prize : TERESA
59. Abbr. at the end of an abridged roster : ET AL
60. Hit 2017 computer-animated film … or a hint to 20-, 27-, 49- and 58-Across : COCO
61. Bad, bad, bad : EVIL
62. An amoeba has just one : CELL
63. Helen of ___ : TROY
65. Prefix with -fecta : TRI-

3 thoughts on “0716-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 16 Jul 2018, Monday”

  1. 8:11, no errors. I’m not familiar with the phrase COME CORRECT… well, I suppose I am now… 😋 and I learned a new word today, RAITA, as I don’t much eat at Indian restaurants.

  2. 7:57, no errors. Agree with EmGee about “COME CORRECT” and “RAITA”. though it’ll take me a few more encounters to become “familiar” with either one … 😜.

  3. 8:34. Ditto above, and I’ll add that I learned how little I knew about the technicalities of PERMAfrost.

    Best –

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