0816-18 NY Times Crossword 16 Aug 18, Thursday

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Constructed by: Alan Arbesfeld
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Robert De Niro

Themed answers all relate to Hollywood movie star ROBERT DE NIRO, and are mainly titles of films in which he has appeared:

  • 64A. With 65-Across, subject of this puzzle, born 8/17/1943 : ROBERT …
  • 65A. See 64-Across : … DE NIRO
  • 1A. 64-/65-Across work of 1995 : CASINO
  • 7A. 64-/65-Across work of 1996 : THE FAN
  • 18A. 64-/65-Across work of 1990 : GOODFELLAS
  • 34A. 64-/65-Across work of 1980 : RAGING BULL
  • 40A. 64-/65-Across work of 1978, with “The” : DEER HUNTER
  • 53A. 64-/65-Across work of 1976 : TAXI DRIVER
  • 10D. Employer of 64-/65-Across : FILM STUDIO
  • 25D. Venue for a 64-/65-Across movie of 2016 : COMEDY CLUB

Bill’s time: 8m 41s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. 64-/65-Across work of 1995 : CASINO

“Casino” is a 1995 Martin Scorsese film. One of the movie’s stars is Robert De Niro, someone who collaborated with Scorsese in eight films in all, “Casino” being the last. The Tangiers Hotel in the movie was actually the Stardust Resort and Casino, which operated in Las Vegas from 1958 until 2006.

7. 64-/65-Across work of 1996 : THE FAN

“The Fan” is a 1996 thriller that is based on a 1995 novel of the same name. The title character, played by Robert De Niro, is an obsessed and violent fan of the San Francisco Giants baseball team.

13. King of Belgium during W.W. II : LEOPOLD

There have been three kings of Belgium named Leopold. Leopold I was the first king of the Belgians after the country gained independence from the Netherlands in 1831. He was an uncle of Queen Victoria of the UK. Leopold II is most associated with the harsh Belgian regime responsible for the deaths of millions of people in the Congo Free State in Africa. Leopold III reigned from 1934-1951. He was a controversial character during WWII and faced a charge of treason after the war from which he was exonerated. Leopold III succumbed to political pressure and abdicated in 1951.

15. Rolled fare : BURRITO

A burrito is a common dish served in Mexican cuisine. It is a flour tortilla filled with all sorts of good stuff. The term “burrito” is Spanish for “little donkey”, the diminutive of “burro” meaning “donkey”. It’s thought that the name was applied as a burrito looks like a bedroll or pack that might be carried by a donkey.

16. “As You Like It” hero : ORLANDO

“As You Like It” is one of Shakespeare’s comedies, the tale of Rosalind fleeing from her Uncle’s court along with her cousin Celia and the court jester Touchstone. Rosalind lives in exile in the Forest of Arden, disguised as a male shepherd called Ganymede. The play is perhaps most memorable for an oft-quoted monologue that starts with:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players …

17. First coeducational college in the U.S. : OBERLIN

Oberlin, Ohio is a city southwest of Cleveland. The city is home to Oberlin College, the biggest employer in town. Oberlin was named after Jean-Frédéric Oberlin, a pastor from Alsace. Oberlin was the first college in the country to admit African American students (in 1835), and the first to admit female students (in 1837).

18. 64-/65-Across work of 1990 : GOODFELLAS

The Martin Scorsese classic “Goodfellas” is a 1990 adaptation of a nonfiction book by Nicholas Pileggi called “Wiseguy”. The film tells the story of a mob family that succumbs to the FBI after one of their own becomes an informant.

20. Revivalists, for short? : EMTS

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

27. Winter air : NOEL

“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, and ultimately comes from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). “Noel” has come to be used as an alternative name for a Christmas carol.

30. Up in the air, for short : TBA

Something not yet on the schedule (“sked” or “sched.”) is to be advised/announced (TBA).

34. 64-/65-Across work of 1980 : RAGING BULL

I just do not like boxing, nor movies about boxing, but I certainly accept that “Raging Bull” is true cinema classic. It is a biopic released in 1980, with Robert De Niro starring as Jake LaMotta, and ably directed by Martin Scorsese. Famously, De Niro gained about 70 pounds in weight to lay LaMotta in his early years, showing true dedication to his craft.

37. Current measurer : AMMETER

An ammeter measures electrical current. The term “ammeter” comes from “ampere meter”).

The unit of electric current is the ampere, abbreviated correctly to “A” rather than “amp”. It is named after French physicist André-Marie Ampère, one of the main scientists responsible for the discovery of electromagnetism.

40. 64-/65-Across work of 1978, with “The” : DEER HUNTER

“The Deer Hunter” is a disturbing 1978 movie about three Russian Americans from Pennsylvania, and their time in the military during the Vietnam War. The “game” of Russian Roulette features prominently in the film’s storyline. According to director Michael Cimino, Robert de Niro requested that a live cartridge be loaded in the gun during the main Russian Roulette scene, to heighten the intensity of the atmosphere. Cimino agreed, although he was quite obsessive about ensuring that for each take, the bullet wasn’t next in the chamber.

42. Largest city in the Baltic States : RIGA

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

43. Roush in the Baseball Hall of Fame : EDD

Edd Roush was a big hitter who played Major League Baseball, starting in 1913 for the Chicago White Sox. He jumped ship to the Federal League in 1914, a league set up to compete with the already well-established National and American Leagues. The upstart league only lasted a couple of seasons. When Edd Roush passed away in 1988 at the age of 94, he was the last surviving player from the short-lived Federal League.

48. Title lover in a 1922 Broadway hit : ABIE

“Abie’s Irish Rose” is comedy play by Anne Nichols that opened in 1922 on Broadway and ran for over five years. Back then, that made it the longest run for any show in New York. The show then went on tour, and stayed on tour for an amazing 40 years. The play tells of a young Jewish man called Abie Levy who marries an Irish Catholic girl called Rosemary Murphy. Abie lies to his family and pretends that his “Irish Rose” is Jewish.

51. Turns loose (on) : SICS

Sic ’em is an attack order given to a dog, one instructing the animal to growl, bark or even bite. The term dates back to the 1830s, with “sic” being a variation of “seek”.

53. 64-/65-Across work of 1976 : TAXI DRIVER

“Taxi Driver” is a remarkable 1976 movie directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro. The film is remarkable for some great performances, but also for sparking an attempt on the life of President Ronald Reagan. Would-be assassin John Hinckley, Jr. tried to kill the President in order to impress Jodie Foster. Hinckley had been obsessed with Foster since seeing her performance in the film as child prostitute Iris Steensma.

62. Justice with the longest Supreme Court tenure : DOUGLAS

William O. Douglas was appointed to the US Supreme Court by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. Douglas served on the court until he decided to retire in 1975. His 36-year term was the longest in the history of the Supreme Court.

63. Kept quarters : RESIDED

We use the term “quarters” for a place of abode, especially housing for military personnel. Back in the late 16th century, quarters were a portion (quarter) of a town reserved for a military force.

64. With 65-Across, subject of this puzzle, born 8/17/1943 : ROBERT …

65. See 64-Across : … DE NIRO

Robert De Niro is noted for his longtime and highly successful collaboration with the director Martin Scorsese, in such films as “Taxi Driver” (1976), “Raging Bull” (1980), “Goodfellas” (1990) and “Casino” (1995). De Niro is also noted for his commitment as a method actor. Famously, he gained a full 60 pounds in order to play Jake Lamotta in “Raging Bull”.

Down

4. Jobs announcement of 2010 : IPAD

The groundbreaking iPad was introduced by Apple in 2010. The iOS-based iPads dominated the market for tablet computers until 2013, when Android-based tablets (manufactured by several companies) took over the number-one spot.

8. It ended in 1806: Abbr. : HRE

The Holy Roman Empire (HRE) existed from 962 to 1806 AD and was a territory of varying size over the centuries that centered on the Kingdom of Germany. The HRE was a successor to the western half of the Ancient Roman Empire.

12. French refusals : NONS

In French, a response on “un questionnaire” (a questionnaire) might be “oui” (yes) or “non” (no).

14. Agricultural giant with the mascot Bobby Banana : DOLE

James Dole lent his name to today’s Dole Food Company. James Dole was known as the Pineapple King, as he developed the pineapple industry in Hawaii and founded the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, the forerunner to the Dole Food Company. Dole might have had some help on the way, as he was cousin to Sanford B, Dole, President of the Republic of Hawaii from 1894 to 1900.

15. Amazon menace : BOA

Boa constrictors are members of the Boidae family of snakes, all of which are non-venomous. Interestingly, the female boa is always larger than the male.

19. Fritz ___, noir director : LANG

Fritz Lang was an Austrian-born American filmmaker. His masterpiece “Metropolis” was produced in Germany in 1927, a work of science-fiction that explored the struggle between workers and owners in a capitalist society. “Metropolis” was the most expensive silent movie ever made. One of Lang’s more famous sound films is “M”, which stars Peter Lorre and was released in 1931.

22. Lichen component : ALGA

Lichens are interesting organisms, as they are made up of a partnership of a fungus and either an alga or a bacterium existing in a symbiotic relationship. The algae or bacteria are capable of photosynthesis, and so manufacture simple sugars using light and carbon dioxide from the air. The fungus uses the manufactured sugars, and in return provides a stable environment for the algae or bacteria to thrive.

23. Quid pro quo : TRADE

“Quid pro quo” is Latin for “something for something”, i.e. a swap.

25. Venue for a 64-/65-Across movie of 2016 : COMEDY CLUB

“The Comedian” is a 2016 movie starring Robert De Niro as an ageing comedian who assaults an audience member and ends up serving 30 days in jail and doing community service. This one did not do well at the box office.

28. Seine tributary : OISE

The River Oise rises in Belgium and joins up with the River Seine just outside Paris.

29. ___’acte : ENTR

The term “entr’acte” comes to us from French, and is the interval “entre deux actes” (between two acts) of a theatrical performance. The term often describes some entertainment provided during that interval.

31. Online commentaries : BLOGS

Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more specifically it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) that then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.

32. Revlon cosmetics brand : ALMAY

The Almay brand of cosmetics was established back in 1931. Almay was founded by Alfred and Fanny May Woititz, who melded their given names to come up with the brand name (Al-may). The couple were driven to invent the products as Fanny May needed cosmetics that did not irritate her skin.

Revlon was founded in the depths of the Great Depression in 1932, by Charles and Joseph Revson. The “S” in the “Revson” name was replaced by the “L” from Charles “Lachman”, a chemist who partnered with the two brothers.

35. Obama education secretary Duncan : ARNE

Long before Arne Duncan became Secretary of Education, he was a professional basketball player, but not in the NBA. Duncan played for the National Basketball League of Australia, with the Eastside Spectres in Melbourne.

41. “Time ___” (bygone sci-fi series) : TRAX

“Time Trax” is a sci-fi TV show that first aired in 1993, and was a joint American/Australian production.

49. Oktoberfest quaff : BIER

“Bier” is the German word for “beer”.

Oktoberfest is a 16-day beer festival in Munich that actually starts in September. About six million people attend every year, making it the largest fair in the world. I’ve been there twice, and it really is a great party …

51. Baghdad’s ___ City : SADR

Sadr City is a suburb of Baghdad that has oft been in the news in recent years. Sadr City is named after the deceased Shia leader Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr.

52. Classic Langston Hughes poem : I, TOO

Langston Hughes was a poet active in the Harlem Renaissance, and someone who helped develop the literary form known as “jazz poetry”. His poem “I, Too, Sing America” was published in 1925.

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.

56. Middle of a famous boast : VIDI

The oft-quoted statement “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) is believed by many to have been written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BCE and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.

60. Canon offering, briefly : SLR

Single-lens reflex camera (SLR)

The Japanese company called Canon is largely known in the US for producing quality cameras. The company started out as Precision Optical Industry Laboratory in 1937 making camera bodies. The name was changed in 1947 to Canon.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. 64-/65-Across work of 1995 : CASINO
7. 64-/65-Across work of 1996 : THE FAN
13. King of Belgium during W.W. II : LEOPOLD
15. Rolled fare : BURRITO
16. “As You Like It” hero : ORLANDO
17. First coeducational college in the U.S. : OBERLIN
18. 64-/65-Across work of 1990 : GOODFELLAS
20. Revivalists, for short? : EMTS
21. Geometric figure : AREA
22. Annoyances in some free apps : ADS
23. Quietly understood : TACIT
27. Winter air : NOEL
30. Up in the air, for short : TBA
33. Hoot : RIOT
34. 64-/65-Across work of 1980 : RAGING BULL
37. Current measurer : AMMETER
39. Fame : STARDOM
40. 64-/65-Across work of 1978, with “The” : DEER HUNTER
42. Largest city in the Baltic States : RIGA
43. Roush in the Baseball Hall of Fame : EDD
44. Impressionist : APER
45. Lackluster, as writing : PROSY
46. “That burns!” : YOW!
48. Title lover in a 1922 Broadway hit : ABIE
51. Turns loose (on) : SICS
53. 64-/65-Across work of 1976 : TAXI DRIVER
59. Volumes that almost always have indexes : ATLASES
61. Hard to pin down : ELUSIVE
62. Justice with the longest Supreme Court tenure : DOUGLAS
63. Kept quarters : RESIDED
64. With 65-Across, subject of this puzzle, born 8/17/1943 : ROBERT …
65. See 64-Across : … DE NIRO

Down

1. Snake target : CLOG
2. Engineering discipline, informally : AERO
3. Recital highlight : SOLO
4. Jobs announcement of 2010 : IPAD
5. Milk choice : NONFAT
6. What you get, with time : OLDER
7. Slow-moving ships : TUBS
8. It ended in 1806: Abbr. : HRE
9. Missed the mark : ERRED
10. Employer of 64-/65-Across : FILM STUDIO
11. Working hard : AT IT
12. French refusals : NONS
14. Agricultural giant with the mascot Bobby Banana : DOLE
15. Amazon menace : BOA
19. Fritz ___, noir director : LANG
22. Lichen component : ALGA
23. Quid pro quo : TRADE
24. Prepared to fire : AIMED
25. Venue for a 64-/65-Across movie of 2016 : COMEDY CLUB
26. Roman road : ITER
28. Seine tributary : OISE
29. ___’acte : ENTR
31. Online commentaries : BLOGS
32. Revlon cosmetics brand : ALMAY
34. Extend one’s service : RE-UP
35. Obama education secretary Duncan : ARNE
36. “It’s f-f-f-freezing!” : BRRR!
38. Spring awakening sign : THAW
41. “Time ___” (bygone sci-fi series) : TRAX
45. Go over : PERUSE
47. County name in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma : OSAGE
49. Oktoberfest quaff : BIER
50. Killed time : IDLED
51. Baghdad’s ___ City : SADR
52. Classic Langston Hughes poem : I, TOO
53. Milk dispenser : TEAT
54. Buffoon : ASS
55. Says yes to the gang, say : IS IN
56. Middle of a famous boast : VIDI
57. At all : EVER
58. Take another shot at : REDO
60. Canon offering, briefly : SLR

11 thoughts on “0816-18 NY Times Crossword 16 Aug 18, Thursday”

  1. 12:18 I didn’t love this. Lots of random trivia which felt pretty old to me. If you don’t know Deniro’s films, this will be a tough solve. And his birthday isn’t even today, it’s tomorrow.

  2. 24:09. I’m not a big movie buff, but I do like a lot of DENIRO’s work – particularly CASINO and GOODFELLAS. I guess Godfather II was too cumbersome for this grid.

    @Marc –
    I guess they couldn’t do this grid on a themeless Friday.

    Best –

  3. 40 min. and no errors.
    Not a fan of puzzles where one clue refers to another and another.
    If you don’t get Robert Deniro by cross clues the whole puzzle doesn’t make any sense.

  4. 19:01, no errors. Just had to keep picking away at the short entries until I had enough fills to recognize a theme answer. Eventually ROBERT showed up, then DENIRO. The movie titles then filled themselves.

    While I admire him as an actor, his recent ‘F-Trump’ outbursts reveal the shallow, uncouth, unimaginative high school dropout behind the facade of an accomplished actor. He is much better off sticking to scripts written for him by others.

  5. If you like De Niro and many of his movies–and I do–this puzzle is a deserved tribute for his work. All the same, the puzzle is just too easy for tricky Thursday.

  6. Guess this shows how famous De Niro is. Once I got the D of idled and the O of redo I figured it was the guy. And tho I’ve never seen any of his movies I knew the titles.

  7. I got hung up with AMPERE for AMMETER and could not get past that to accurately complete that area. I got most everything else.

    DeNiro is an excellent actor. I first saw him in “The Mission” in college. The last DeNiro movie I thoroughly enjoyed was the touching “Everybody’s Fine.” He has impressed me with his hard work, which is what it would take to keep making movies for so many years.

  8. Love his work, and saying F Trump has taken my admiration of him up a notch for sure. We need anybody and everybody to be yelling the orange emperor is wearing no clothes!

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