0801-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 1 Aug 2018, Wednesday

Constructed by: Sande Milton & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Eyeless

Themed answers are common phrases LESS a letter “I”. Also, there are no letters I in any of the answers, or in any of the clues. This truly is an I-LESS puzzle:

  • 36A. Unable to see … or, when taken as a homophone, what today’s puzzle answers and clues all are : EYELESS (or “I-LESS”)
  • 16A. Campus area for amorous students? : RANDY QUAD (from “Randy Quaid”)
  • 26A. Flutterer around Orange County and L.A.? : SOCAL BUTTERFLY (from “social butterfly”)
  • 44A. Put-down to someone from Manhattan or the Bronx? : NEW YORK SLANDER (from “New York Islander”)
  • 60A. Marathons, way back when? : GREEK RUNS (from “Greek ruins”)

Bill’s time: 8m 17s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Home to Queen Sonja : OSLO

Queen Sonja is married to King Harald V of Norway. Prior to their marriage, Sonja and Harald had to see each other in secret because Sonja was a non-royal, the daughter of a clothing merchant. The couple dated for nine years before Harald’s father and the Norwegian government sanctioned the marriage, which took place in 1968.

8. Short fly ball : BLOOP

In baseball, a bloop single is more usually called a blooper. It’s a fly ball that drops for a single between and infielder and an outfielder.

16. Campus area for amorous students? : RANDY QUAD (from “Randy Quaid”)

Actor Randy Quaid is perhaps best known for his performances in the “National Lampoon’s Vacation” movies, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Independence Day”. Quaid also had the title role in the 1987 TV movie “LBJ: The Early Years”, for which he won a Golden Globe. Randy is the older brother of fellow actor Dennis Quaid, and is also a first cousin, twice removed of actor and singer Gene Autry.

18. Common spreadsheet program : EXCEL

Microsoft Excel is the spreadsheet program included in the Microsoft Office suite of applications. Microsoft’s first spreadsheet program was introduced back in 1982 and called Multiplan. Multiplan’s popularity waned due to the success of the competing product Lotus 1-2-3. Microsoft then introduced Excel, initially just for the Macintosh. When Excel was extended to Windows, Lotus was slow to respond and Microsoft took over the market.

20. Reporter’s non-W query : HOW?

The Five Ws (or “Five Ws and one H”) is a journalistic concept used for gathering information. For a story to be complete, six questions need to be answered:

  1. Who is it about?
  2. What happened?
  3. Where did it take place?
  4. When did it take place?
  5. Why did it happen?
  6. How did it happen?

23. S.E.C. school near Atlanta, for short : UGA

The University of Georgia (UGA) is primarily located in Athens, Georgia. UGA was founded in 1785 and was the nation’s first state-chartered university. UGA’s sports teams are called the Georgia Bulldogs.

26. Flutterer around Orange County and L.A.? : SOCAL BUTTERFLY (from “social butterfly”)

Southern California (SoCal)

34. Where Seoul and Pyongyang are : KOREA

Seoul is the capital city of South Korea. The Seoul National Capital Area is home to over 25 million people and is the second largest metropolitan area in the world, second only to Tokyo, Japan.

Pyongyang is North Korea’s capital, and the nation’s largest city. During the early 1900s, the city earned the nickname “Jerusalem of the East”, as it was the epicenter of a Protestant revival led by missionaries from the West.

39. Rock concert need : 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. Lagoon surrounder : ATOLL

An atoll is a coral island that is shaped in a ring and enclosing a lagoon. There is still some debate as to how an atoll forms, but a theory proposed by Charles Darwin while on his famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle still holds sway. Basically an atoll was once a volcanic island that had subsided and fallen into the sea. The coastline of the island is home to coral growth which persists even as the island continues to subside internal to the circling coral reef.

42. Beverage that may be labeled “XXX” : ALE

The letter “X” is a often used to indicate the strength of a beer. For example, a beer marked “XXX” is usually designated as “extra-strong”.

43. Layers of dark green eggs : EMUS

Emu eggs are very large, with a thick shell that is dark-green in color. One emu egg weighs about the same as a dozen chicken eggs.

44. Put-down to someone from Manhattan or the Bronx? : NEW YORK SLANDER (from “New York Islander”)

The New York Islanders are an NHL team, one of three such franchises in the New York City area (along with the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers). When the team was founded in 1972, it was designated as a “Long Island franchise”, and it was expected to be named the Long Island Ducks, but “New York Islanders” it was to be.

48. Horse genus : EQUUS

The Equus genus of animals includes horse, asses and zebras.

50. Cause of Cleopatra’s death : ASP

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

58. James who wrote “Ulysses” : JOYCE

Regular readers will know that I am unashamedly supportive of my native Irish culture, but I have to tell you that I can’t stand many of the works of James Joyce. I have spent many a fine day traipsing around Ireland learning about him, but I find myself more absorbed by Joyce’s life than by his writing. Having said that, “Ulysses” is an interesting novel in that it chronicles just one ordinary day in the life of a Dubliner named Leopold Bloom. There’s a huge celebration of “Ulysses” in Dublin every year on June 16th, called Bloomsday. The festivities vary from readings and performances of the storyline, to good old pub crawls. “Ulysses” was made into a film of the same name in 1967 starring Milo O’Shea.

60. Marathons, way back when? : GREEK RUNS (from “Greek ruins”)

The marathon commemorates the legendary messenger-run by Pheidippides from the site of the Battle of Marathon back to Athens, and is run over 26 miles and 385 yards. The first modern Olympic marathon races were run over a distance that approximated the length of the modern-day Marathon-Athens highway, although the actual length of the race varied from games to games. For the 1908 Olympics in London, a course starting at Windsor Castle and ending in front of the Royal Box at White City Stadium was defined. That course was 26 miles and 385 yards, the standard length now used at all Olympic Games. Organizers of subsequent games continued to vary the length of the race, until a decision was made in 1921 to adopt the distance used in London in 1908.

62. Edge of a green : APRON

That would be golf.

64. German pop star who once had a #2 song : NENA

Nena is a German singer (“Nena” became the name of her band as well) who had a big hit with one of my favorite songs of the eighties “99 Luftballons”. The English translation of the German title (“99 Red Balloons”) isn’t literal, with the color “red” added just so that the title had the right number of syllables for the tune. “Luftballon” is the name given to a child’s toy balloon in German.

65. Butler who frequented Tara : RHETT

In Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind”, Scarlett O’Hara’s home is the Tara plantation. Tara was founded not far from the Georgia city of Jonesboro by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald won the square mile of land on which Tara was built in an all-night poker game. He named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland. Rhett’s rival for the affections of Scarlet is Ashley Wilkes who lives at the nearby Twelve Oaks plantation.

66. Game that has Draw Two and Reverse cards : UNO

UNO is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. UNO falls into the “shedding” family of card games, in that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

67. “On the double!” : STAT!

The exact etymology of “stat”, a term meaning “immediately” in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin “statim” meaning “to a standstill, immediately”. A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for “short turn-around time”.

Down

1. Shrek, for one : OGRE

Before “Shrek” was a successful movie franchise and Broadway musical, it was a children’s picture book called “Shrek!” that was authored and illustrated by William Steig. The title “Shrek!” came from the German/Yiddish word Schreck, meaning “fear” or “terror”.

3. ___ Star State : LONE

The single star on the state flag of Texas is a reminder of the “lone star” on the 1836 National Standard of Texas. The single gold star on a blue background symbolized Texas as an independent republic and its struggle for independence from Mexico.

6. Gardner who played the Barefoot Contessa : AVA

“The Barefoot Contessa” is an excellent film released in 1954, with Ava Gardner in the title and also starring Humphrey Bogart and Edmond O’Brien. The movie tells the story of Maria Vargas, a nightclub dancer who eventually weds a count, and who likes to go around in bare feet. Hence, the title …

8. When N.F.L. teams don’t have to play : BYE WEEKS

In several sports, the term “bye week” is used for a week during the regular season in which a team does not a have a game scheduled.

9. Salty bagel topper : LOX

Lox is brine-cured salmon fillet that is finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

11. Snack that’s often pulled apart : OREO

There’s a smartphone app featuring the Oreo cookie. It’s a game in which one twists Oreo cookies apart, “licks” the cream from the center and then dunks the remainder of the cookie in a glass of milk.

12. One-named soccer star : PELE

“Pelé” is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name “Pelé” for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been a member of three World Cup winning squads (1958, 1962 and 1970), and is a national treasure in his native Brazil. One of Pele’s nicknames is “O Rei do Futebol” (the King of Football).

24. Buccaneer’s sword : CUTLASS

Buccaneers were pirates who worked the Caribbean in the 1800s, mainly attacking Spanish vessels. The original buccaneer was a French hunter living on Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic). These hunters used a local design of frame called a “buccan” as a smokehouse for meat, and so picked up the name “buccaneer”. In the first half of the 17th century, many of the buccaneers were driven off the island of Hispaniola by the Spanish and so they turned to the sea, making their living by pirating Spanish shipping.

25. “No seats left” letters at a theater : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

26. Pan-fry : SAUTE

“Sauté” is a French word. The literal translation from the French is “jumped” or “bounced”, a reference to the tossing of food while cooking it in a frying pan.

30. Creature from Madagascar : LEMUR

Lemurs are the most unusual-looking creatures, native to the island of Madagascar off the east coast of Africa. With their white fur and dark eyes that are very reflective at night, they have a “ghostly” appearance. Indeed, the animals takes their name from Roman mythology in which “lemures” were spirits of the restless dead.

Madagascar is the large island country lying off the southeast coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. The main island of Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world (after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo).

41. Soapmaker’s supply : LYE

Soap is basically made by adding a strong alkali (like lye) to a fat (like olive oil or palm oil). The fats break down in the basic solution in a process called saponification. The crude soap is extracted from the mixture, washed, purified and finished in molds.

43. Co-star of H’wood’s “The Brothers McMullen” : ED BURNS

Ed Burns is an American actor from Queens, New York. I mostly know him for his roles in “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Holiday”.

45. Capek play that debuted the word “robot” : RUR

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1920 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

46. Means of self-defense : KUNG FU

In the West, we sometimes use the term “kung fu” to describe a Chinese martial art. We’ve gotten the wrong idea though, as the term “kung fu” really describes any skill that can be learned through dedication and hard work. So, “kung fu” can indeed describe a martial art, but by no means exclusively.

47. Adam’s apple locale : NECK

The voice box or larynx is where pitch and volume of sound are manipulated when we talk. The structure called the Adam’s apple that protrudes from the human neck is formed by the thyroid cartilage that surrounds the larynx. The Adam’s apple of males tends to increase in size during puberty, so the feature tended to be associated more with males in days gone by, perhaps leading to the name “Adam’s” apple.

50. Not fully closed : AJAR

Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

51. 10th-grade student, for short : SOPH

The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

52. End for Joan of Arc : PYRE

Joan of Arc (also “Jeanne d’Arc”, her birth name) led the French Army successfully into battle a number of times during the Hundred Years War with England. When she was eventually captured, Joan was tried in Rouen, the seat of the occupying English government in France at that time. There she was burned at the stake having been found guilty of heresy. In fact, after the fire died down, the executioner raked the coals to display the charred body, proving Joan had died, and then burned the corpse again, twice, so that relics could not be collected. The remaining ashes were then cast into the Seine River. Joan of Arc was canonized some 600 years later, in 1920, and is now one of the patron saints of France.

54. Former attorney general Janet : RENO

Janet Reno was Attorney General of the US from 1993 to 2001. Reno was the person to hold the office second longest, and was our first female Attorney General. In 2002, Reno ran for Governor of Florida but failed to win the Democratic nomination. Thereafter she retired from public life, passing away at the end of 2016.

55. Food for a woodpecker : SUET

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered or purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

56. Ballet dancer Pavlova : ANNA

Anna Pavlova was a Russian ballerina who performed in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Pavlova became so successful that she was the first ballerina to pull together her own company and tour the world. Her most famous role was “The Dying Swan” that she danced to the beautiful “Le cygne” from Saint-Saëns’ “Carnival of the Animals”. Pavlova eventually left Russia for good and settled in England.

57. Kaplan course subj. : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

Kaplan Inc. was founded in 1938 by Stanley Kaplan, who started out tutoring students for the New York State Regents Exam in the basement of his parents’ home in Brooklyn. He opened up locations for tuition around the country, and in 1984 sold the company to the Washington Post. Revenue for Kaplan was over 2½ billion dollars in 2009.

61. Weasley of the Harry Potter books : RON

Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger are the principal characters in the “Harry Potter” series of fantasy novels by J. K. Rowling.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Home to Queen Sonja : OSLO
5. Feather’s partner : TAR
8. Short fly ball : BLOOP
13. “Well done!” : GOOD!
14. Part of a house that projects : EAVE
15. “___ a Grand Old Flag” : YOU’RE
16. Campus area for amorous students? : RANDY QUAD (from “Randy Quaid”)
18. Common spreadsheet program : EXCEL
19. Barely got : EKED OUT
20. Reporter’s non-W query : HOW?
22. Plot turner : HOE
23. S.E.C. school near Atlanta, for short : UGA
24. Manages : COPES
26. Flutterer around Orange County and L.A.? : SOCAL BUTTERFLY (from “social butterfly”)
32. Holed, as a putt : SANK
33. Rent out : LET
34. Where Seoul and Pyongyang are : KOREA
35. Groan-worthy remark, say : PUN
36. Unable to see … or, when taken as a homophone, what today’s puzzle answers and clues all are : EYELESS (or “I-LESS”)
39. Rock concert need : AMP
40. Lagoon surrounder : ATOLL
42. Beverage that may be labeled “XXX” : ALE
43. Layers of dark green eggs : EMUS
44. Put-down to someone from Manhattan or the Bronx? : NEW YORK SLANDER (from “New York Islander”)
48. Horse genus : EQUUS
49. Spun trap : WEB
50. Cause of Cleopatra’s death : ASP
53. Large coffee vessel : URN
54. Judge’s voluntary removal from a case : RECUSAL
58. James who wrote “Ulysses” : JOYCE
60. Marathons, way back when? : GREEK RUNS (from “Greek ruins”)
62. Edge of a green : APRON
63. Dear, as a memory : FOND
64. German pop star who once had a #2 song : NENA
65. Butler who frequented Tara : RHETT
66. Game that has Draw Two and Reverse cards : UNO
67. “On the double!” : STAT!

Down

1. Shrek, for one : OGRE
2. Boozehound : SOAK
3. ___ Star State : LONE
4. Unusual sort : ODD DUCK
5. Not at all lax : TAUT
6. Gardner who played the Barefoot Contessa : AVA
7. Extremely popular : RED HOT
8. When N.F.L. teams don’t have to play : BYE WEEKS
9. Salty bagel topper : LOX
10. “That hurts!” : OUCH!
11. Snack that’s often pulled apart : OREO
12. One-named soccer star : PELE
14. Just as much : EQUALLY
17. What could make you take a deep breath : YOGA
21. ___-out clause : OPT
24. Buccaneer’s sword : CUTLASS
25. “No seats left” letters at a theater : SRO
26. Pan-fry : SAUTE
27. Currently watchable : ON NOW
28. Nectar collector : BEE
29. Set up : FRAME
30. Creature from Madagascar : LEMUR
31. Talks, talks, talks : YAPS
32. Extend across : SPAN
36. Well-spoken : ELOQUENT
37. Many an annex : ELL
38. Japanese salad green : SEAWEED
41. Soapmaker’s supply : LYE
43. Co-star of H’wood’s “The Brothers McMullen” : ED BURNS
45. Capek play that debuted the word “robot” : RUR
46. Means of self-defense : KUNG FU
47. Adam’s apple locale : NECK
50. Not fully closed : AJAR
51. 10th-grade student, for short : SOPH
52. End for Joan of Arc : PYRE
54. Former attorney general Janet : RENO
55. Food for a woodpecker : SUET
56. Ballet dancer Pavlova : ANNA
57. Kaplan course subj. : LSAT
59. Barracks bed : COT
61. Weasley of the Harry Potter books : RON