0709-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 9 Jul 2018, Monday

Constructed by: John Lampkin
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): A Useless Exercise

Themed answers are common phrases that have been clued as though they are part of an EXERCISE REGIMEN:

  • 17A. Arm exercise at a dairy farm? : CHEESE CURLS
  • 25A. Shoulder exercise at a cutlery store? : FORKLIFTS
  • 37A. Wrist exercise at a candy factory? : PEPPERMINT TWIST
  • 51A. Chest exercise at a vintner’s? : WINEPRESS
  • 62A. What the exercise regimen in 17-, 25-, 37- and 51-Across is worth? : DIDDLY-SQUAT

Bill’s time: 6m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16. Center of a poker table : POT

The pot in a card game has been referred to as the kitty since the 1880s. It’s not certain how the name “kitty” evolved but possibly it came from “kit”, the necessary equipment for the game.

20. “Ben-___” : HUR

The celebrated Charlton Heston movie “Ben-Hur” is a dramatization of a book published in 1880 by Lew Wallace titled “Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ”. The 1959 epic film won a record 11 Academy Awards, a feat that has been equaled since then but has never been beaten. The other winners of 11 Oscars are “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the Rings”.

22. Hawaiian coffee region : KONA

Kona coffee is cultivated on the Big Island of Hawaii, on the slopes of Mauna Loa and Hualalai, two of the five volcanoes on the island. Coffee plants were brought to Kona in 1828 and late in the 19th century, coffee became a viable and worthwhile crop. Today Kona is a one of the most expensive and popular coffees in the world.

33. Currier and ___ : IVES

Currier and Ives was a printmaking concern in New York City run by Nathaniel Currier and his partner James Merritt Ives from 1834 to 1907. The firm specialized in making affordable, hand-colored black and white lithographs.

34. Classy articles of neckwear : ASCOTS

An Ascot is a horrible-looking (I think!), wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

43. Highest point in an orbit : APOGEE

In the celestial world, an apsis is a point in an orbit when the orbiting body is at its greatest, or least, distance from it’s center of orbit. The farthest and closest points of orbit are known as the apogee and perigee, when talking about bodies orbiting the Earth. The farthest and closest points for bodies orbiting the sun are known as the aphelion and perihelion.

54. Itching desire : YEN

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

58. One of four for a grand slam, in brief : RBI

That would be baseball.

61. Face on a fiver : ABE

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

62. What the exercise regimen in 17-, 25-, 37- and 51-Across is worth? : DIDDLY-SQUAT

“Squat” is a slang word meaning “nothing”, and is a term that probably has a distasteful derivation related to a bodily function.

66. Traditional Father’s Day gift : TIE

Father’s Day was added as an official holiday in 1972, although bills to create the holiday had been with Congress since 1913. By rights, the holiday should be called “Fathers’ Day” (note the punctuation), but the bill that was introduced in 1913 used the “Father’s Day” spelling, and that’s the one that has stuck.

69. Engine additive since 1954 : STP

STP is a brand name for automotive lubricants and additives. The name “STP” is an initialism standing for “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.

Down

2. Where Waikiki Beach is : OAHU

Waikiki is a neighborhood of Honolulu, and home to the famous Waikiki Beach. The name “Waikiki” means “spouting fresh water” in Hawaiian.

6. Coffee choice before bed : DECAF

The first successful process for removing caffeine from coffee involved steaming the beans in salt water, and then extracting the caffeine using benzene (a potent carcinogen) as a solvent. Coffee processed this way was sold as Sanka here in the US. There are other processes used these days, and let’s hope they are safer …

7. Cape Cod resort town : TRURO

Truro is a town in the Outer Cape, close to the northern tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. The area was settled in the late 1600s by English colonists who named it for the city of Truro in Cornwall, England. Truro is home to the Highland Light (also called “the Cape Cod Light”), which was the first lighthouse to be built on Cape Cod. The first Highland Lighthouse was built in 1797, and the current structure was erected in 1857. The whole structure had to be moved a tenth of a mile inland in 1996, as it had become endangered by coastal erosion.

Cape Cod is indeed named after the fish. It was first called Cape Cod by English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602 as his men caught so many fish there.

8. It’s thin on top of Everest : AIR

Mount Everest was named by the Royal Geographical Society in 1865. The peak is named for Welsh surveyor George Everest, who had served as Surveyor General of India from 183o through 1843.

11. Parodies : SPOOFS

The word “spoof” came into the language in the 1880s with the meaning “hoax, deception”. The term was coined by British comedian Arthur Roberts, when it used it as the name for a card game he invented that involved trickery and nonsense. The verb “to spoof” came to mean “to satirize gently” starting in the 1920s.

18. Blueprint detail : SPEC

Blueprints are reproductions of technical or architectural drawings that are contact prints made on light-sensitive sheets. Blueprints were introduced in the 1800s and the technology available dictated that the drawings were reproduced with white lines on a blue background, hence the name “blue-print”.

26. River that passes through Lake Geneva : RHONE

The Rhône river rises in Switzerland and flows through the southeast of France.

Lake Geneva straddles the border between France and Switzerland. The lake has a lot of “official” names!

  • English: Lake Geneva
  • French: Lac Léman or Lac de Genève
  • German: Genfersee or Genfer See
  • Italian: Lago Lemano or Lago di Ginevra

27. 1970s TV’s “Welcome Back, ___” : KOTTER

“Welcome Back, Kotter” is a sitcom from the late seventies. The title character is a teacher at Buchanan High, one Gabe Kotter who himself had attended the school as a student. Kotter teachers a remedial class of students who call themselves the Sweathogs. In fact, Kotter had himself been a founder of the Sweathogs, when he was a student in the same class. Kotter was played by Gabe Kaplan. One of the prominent students in his class Vinnie Barbarino played by a young John Travolta, a role that launched his film career. In recent years you might have seen Gabe Kaplan as co-host of the popular show “High Stakes Poker” on GSN.

28. Like Little Bo-Peep’s sheep : LOST

The lines that are most commonly quoted for the rhyme about “Little Bo Peep” are:

Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
And can’t tell where to find them;
Leave them alone, And they’ll come home,
Wagging their tails behind them.

But, there are actually four more verses, including this one:

It happened one day, as Bo-peep did stray
Into a meadow hard by,
There she espied their tails side by side,
All hung on a tree to dry.

30. Apple eater in Genesis : EVE

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

31. With 4-Down, “To Kill a Mockingbird” writer : HARPER …
(4D. See 31-Down : … LEE)

Nelle Harper Lee was an author from Monroeville, Alabama. For many years, Lee had only one published novel to her name, i.e. “To Kill a Mockingbird”. That contribution to the world of literature was enough to earn her the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Pulitzer Prize. Harper Lee was a close friend of fellow author Truman Capote who was the inspiration for the character named “Dill” in her novel. Lee was all over the news in 2015 as she had published a second novel, titled “Go Set a Watchman”. The experts seem to be agreeing that “Go Set a Watchman” is actually a first draft of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Lee passed away less than a year after “Go Set a Watchman” hit the stores.

35. Campfire treat : S’MORE

S’mores are treats peculiar to North America that are usually eaten around a campfire. A s’more consists of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. The earliest written reference to the recipe is in a 1927 publication called “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts”. Girl Scouts always did corner the market on cookies and the like!

36. Marlboro offering, informally : CIG

Marlboro cigarettes were launched by Philip Morris in 1924 as a cigarette for women. To that end there was a red band around the filter designed to hide lipstick stains. In the fifties the brand was repositioned as a men’s cigarette, offering men a “manly” filtered cigarette as the world was becoming aware of the link between cigarettes and lung cancer. With the introduction of the Marlboro Man, the rugged cowboy riding across the west, sales rocketed from a 1% market share to become the 4th biggest seller in the country. The original Marlboro Man was model and actor named Darrell Winfield. He received loads of free cigarettes during his reign, I am sure. He died of lung cancer …

38. Wyatt of Dodge City : EARP

Wyatt Earp is famous as one of the participants in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Earp was a city policeman in Wichita, Kansas and also in Dodge City, Kansas. Earp was also deputy sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona where the O.K. Corral gunfight took place. Years later, Earp joined the Alaska Gold Rush and with a partner built and operated the Dexter Saloon in Nome.

40. Totalitarian control : IRON RULE

Totalitarianism differs somewhat from authoritarian regimes, at least by definition. In the latter, the ruling entity is concerned mainly with political power, and so a degree of freedom exists for the populace. Totalitarian regimes not only enforce political control, but also control of the economy, education, as well social and private life.

41. Use a Singer machine : SEW

Isaac Singer was not only an inventor, but also an actor. For much of his life, profits made from his inventions supported him while he pursued his acting career. Singer didn’t actually invent the sewing machine, and never claimed to have done so. What he did do though, was invent a version of the machine that was practical and easily used in the home.

46. Choice morsel : TIDBIT

A “morsel” is a small bite, a mouthful of food. The term comes from the Latin “morsus” meaning “a bite”.

52. Wetlands plant : SEDGE

Sedges are a family of plants that resemble grasses and rushes. Sedges are more properly called Cyperaceae.

57. The “S” of CBS: Abbr. : SYST

CBS used to be known as the Columbia Broadcasting System. CBS introduced its “eye” logo in 1951. That logo is based on a Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign.

62. Beaver’s project : DAM

Beavers build dams so that they can live in and around the slower and deeper water that builds up above the dam. This deeper water provides more protection for the beavers from predators such as bears. Beavers are nocturnal animals and do all their construction work at night.

65. “And that proves it” : QED

The initialism “QED” is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. QED stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Reamer or wrench : TOOL
5. Danglers on luggage : ID TAGS
11. Cruise amenity : SPA
14. Where icicles may hang : EAVE
15. World ___ (October event) : SERIES
16. Center of a poker table : POT
17. Arm exercise at a dairy farm? : CHEESE CURLS
19. Engine lubricant : OIL
20. “Ben-___” : HUR
21. Fruit in a holiday gift box : PEAR
22. Hawaiian coffee region : KONA
23. Any boat : SHE
25. Shoulder exercise at a cutlery store? : FORKLIFTS
29. Clip, as a coupon : DETACH
32. Jeers : HOOTS AT
33. Currier and ___ : IVES
34. Classy articles of neckwear : ASCOTS
37. Wrist exercise at a candy factory? : PEPPERMINT TWIST
43. Highest point in an orbit : APOGEE
44. Region : AREA
45. Swizzle stick : STIRRER
49. Fame : RENOWN
51. Chest exercise at a vintner’s? : WINEPRESS
54. Itching desire : YEN
55. Small whirlpool : EDDY
56. What a relaxed soldier is at : EASE
58. One of four for a grand slam, in brief : RBI
61. Face on a fiver : ABE
62. What the exercise regimen in 17-, 25-, 37- and 51-Across is worth? : DIDDLY-SQUAT
66. Traditional Father’s Day gift : TIE
67. Wise sayings : ADAGES
68. “… or ___!” : ELSE
69. Engine additive since 1954 : STP
70. Far from extravagant : MODEST
71. Consider to be : DEEM

Down

1. Computer crash investigator, informally : TECH
2. Where Waikiki Beach is : OAHU
3. Exceed, as one’s bounds : OVERSTEP
4. See 31-Down : … LEE
5. “Ah, now that’s clear” : I SEE
6. Coffee choice before bed : DECAF
7. Cape Cod resort town : TRURO
8. It’s thin on top of Everest : AIR
9. Hair goo : GEL
10. Serpent’s warning : SSS!
11. Parodies : SPOOFS
12. Route map start : POINT A
13. “Finally!” : AT LAST!
18. Blueprint detail : SPEC
22. Package for a model plane : KIT
24. Shed door feature : HASP
26. River that passes through Lake Geneva : RHONE
27. 1970s TV’s “Welcome Back, ___” : KOTTER
28. Like Little Bo-Peep’s sheep : LOST
29. Brief swim : DIP
30. Apple eater in Genesis : EVE
31. With 4-Down, “To Kill a Mockingbird” writer : HARPER …
35. Campfire treat : S’MORE
36. Marlboro offering, informally : CIG
38. Wyatt of Dodge City : EARP
39. Decline : WANE
40. Totalitarian control : IRON RULE
41. Use a Singer machine : SEW
42. Result of sunning : TAN
45. Gymwear : SWEATS
46. Choice morsel : TIDBIT
47. Seriously embroiled : IN DEEP
48. King: Sp. : REY
50. Good lookers? : EYES
52. Wetlands plant : SEDGE
53. Business successes : SALES
57. The “S” of CBS: Abbr. : SYST
59. Military post : BASE
60. Grocery list component : ITEM
62. Beaver’s project : DAM
63. Predictable reply at the altar : I DO
64. Pop : DAD
65. “And that proves it” : QED