0905-18 NY Times Crossword 5 Sep 18, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Amanda Chung, Karl Ni & Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Team Building

Themed answers are the names of NFL TEAMS. Each TEAM is BUILT from two component parts referred to in the clue:

  • 38A. Goal for six answers in this puzzle? : TEAM BUILDING
  • 9A. “Whatever You Like” rapper + Gets some color at the beach : TITANS (TI + TANS)
  • 24A. Frat dude + Cpls. and sgts. : BRONCOS (BRO + NCOS)
  • 26A. Actor Lundgren + Elected officials : DOLPHINS (DOLPH + INS)
  • 50A. Butter square + Hilarious people : PATRIOTS (PAT + RIOTS)
  • 52A. London’s Big ___ + Ladies : BENGALS (BEN + GALS)
  • 66A. U.S. soldier + Little scurriers : GIANTS (GI + ANTS)

Bill’s time: 6m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Hans Christian Andersen, by nationality : DANE

The wonderful storyteller Hans Christian Andersen became very successful in his own lifetime. In 1847 he visited England for the summer and made a triumphal tour of English society’s most fashionable drawing rooms. There Andersen met with the equally successful Charles Dickens, and the two seemed to hit it off. Ten years later Andersen returned to England and stayed for five weeks in Dickens’ home as his guest. Dickens published “David Copperfield” soon after, and supposedly the less than lovable character Uriah Heep was based on Dickens’ house guest Hans Christian Andersen. That wasn’t very nice!

9. “Whatever You Like” rapper + Gets some color at the beach : TITANS (TI + TANS)

The Tennessee Titans are a football team based in Nashville. The team relocated to Nashville from Houston in 1997. They were called the Tennessee Oilers for two seasons, before adopting the “Titans” moniker.

Rapper Clifford Harris used to use the stage name “Tip” and is now known as “T.I.” “Tip” was Harris’s childhood nickname, which he modified to “T.I.P” for at least one record. He then shortened “T.I.P.” to “T.I.”

15. Queens stadium name : ASHE

The Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York opened in 1997 and for years was the largest outdoor, tennis-only venue in the world. The stadium was often criticized for not having a retractable dome to protect the playing surface from inclement weather. Well, that changed in 2016 when the stadium debuted its new retractable roof, a $150 million investment in the facility.

16. Comic book legend Lee : STAN

Stan Lee did just about everything at Marvel Comics over the years, from writing to being president and chairman of the board. If you like superhero movies based on the characters from Marvel Comics, then you could spend a few hours trying to spot Stan Lee in those films as he has a penchant for making cameo appearances. Lee can be spotted in “X-Men” (2000), “Spider-Man” (2002), “Hulk” (2003), “Fantastic Four” (2005), “Iron Man” (2008) and many other films.

17. Wild cat : OCELOT

The ocelot is a wildcat found mainly in South and Central America, although there have been sightings as far north as Arkansas. An ocelot doesn’t look too different from a domestic cat, and some have been kept as pets. Perhaps most famously, Salvador Dali had one that he carried around everywhere with him.

20. Beliefs : TENETS

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

21. Massive lang. reference : OED

Work started on what was to become the first “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) in 1857. Several interim versions of the dictionary were published in the coming years with the first full version appearing, in ten bound volumes, in 1928. The second edition of the OED appeared in 1989 and is made up of twenty volumes. The OED was first published in electronic form in 1988 and went online in 2000. Given the modern use of computers, the publishing house responsible feels that there will never be a third print version of the famous dictionary.

22. Arabian land near the Strait of Hormuz : OMAN

The Persian Gulf is in effect an inland sea, although it technically is an offshoot of the Indian Ocean. The outlet from the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean is one of the most famous maritime “choke points” in the world, and is known as the Strait of Hormuz. About 20% of the world’s supply of petroleum passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

24. Frat dude + Cpls. and sgts. : BRONCOS (BRO + NCOS)

The Denver Broncos were a charter member of the AFL and so were formed in 1959 and first played in 1960. The Broncos won the Super Bowl twice, in the consecutive seasons of 1997 and 1998.

A non-commissioned officer (NCO) might be a sergeant (sgt.) or a corporal (cpl.).

26. Actor Lundgren + Elected officials : DOLPHINS (DOLPH + INS)

The Miami Dolphins football team was founded in 1966 by politician Joe Robbie and the comedian Danny Thomas.

Dolph Lundgren is an actor and martial artist from Sweden. Lundgren’s debut role was a small one, acting as a KGB henchman in the James Bond movie “A View to a Kill”. His big break was starring opposite Sylvester Stallone in “Rocky IV”, playing a scary Russian boxer named Ivan Drago.

33. “Terrible” czar : IVAN

Ivan I was Prince of Moscow from 1325, succeeding his older brother Yuri III, who in turn succeeded their father Daniil Aleksandrovich. Daniil was the first Prince of Moscow, the first in a long line that culminated in Ivan the Terrible, who became the first Tsar of Russia.

34. Willem of “Spider-Man” : DAFOE

Willem Dafoe is an American actor, from Wisconsin. He was born just plain “William” Dafoe, but didn’t like being called “Billy”. So, he changed his name to “Willem”, which was the pronunciation of his name by his Scottish babysitter.

43. Tolkien tree being : ENT

Ents are those tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

44. Particle with a negative charge : ANION

As we all recall from science class, a positive ion is called a cation and a negative ion is an anion. The names “cation” and “anion” come from Greek, with “kation” meaning “going down” and “anion” meaning “going up”.

46. Garfield’s frenemy : ODIE

Odie is Garfield’s best friend, and is a slobbery beagle. Both are characters in Jim Davis’ comic strip named “Garfield”.

A frenemy is someone who feigns friendship but who is actually an enemy or competitor.

47. Jordan Peele’s directorial debut : GET OUT

“Get Out” is a 2017 horror movie, I don’t do horror, but I do hear that this one is well made …

50. Butter square + Hilarious people : PATRIOTS (PAT + RIOTS)

The New England Patriots football team was founded in 1959 as the Boston Patriots. The “Patriots” name was selected from suggestions made by football fans in Boston. The team played at several different stadiums in the Boston area for just over ten years, before moving to their current home base in Foxborough, Massachusetts. At the time of the move, the “Boston” name was dropped and changed to “New England”.

52. London’s Big ___ + Ladies : BENGALS (BEN + GALS)

The NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals team was founded in 1966 as a member of the American Football League (AFL). There was an earlier team called the Bengals in the city that played from 1937 to 1941. That team used the “Bengal” name because Cincinnati Zoo was home to a very rare Bengal tiger.

Big Ben is the name commonly used for the large bell in the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster (aka the Houses of Parliament). Big Ben’s official name is the Great Bell, and there is some debate about the origins of the nickname. It may be named after Sir Benjamin Hall who oversaw the bell’s installation, or perhaps the English heavyweight champion of the day Benjamin Caunt. Big Ben fell silent in 2017 to make way four years of maintenance and repair work to the clock’s mechanism and the tower.

57. Course overseer, for short : PGA

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

58. Sentimentality : BATHOS

Bathos is a descent from the sublime into the ridiculous, and a play on the word “pathos”. The term comes from the Greek “bathos” meaning “depth”, and was coined by Alexander Pope in his 1727 essay “Peri Bathous”. So, bathos is an amusingly failed attempt at pathos.

63. Cosmopolitan : URBANE

We use “urbane” today to mean something courteous or refined. Back in the 1500s, the term was used in the same way that we now use “urban”. Those townsfolk thought they were more sophisticated than the country folk, and so the usage evolved.

64. Abbr. on an envelope : ATTN

Attention (attn.)

65. Malek of “Mr. Robot” : RAMI

“Mr. Robot” is an engaging drama series about an anxious and clinically depressed computer hacker. Said hacker joins an anarchic group of hackers known as “Mr. Robot” who are intent on taking down the largest conglomerate in the world. I binge-watched the first two series, and really enjoyed the experience …

66. U.S. soldier + Little scurriers : GIANTS (GI + ANTS)

The New York Giants (NYG) football team play their home games in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, a stadium shared with the New York Jets (NYJ). The Giants are the only team remaining from a group of five that joined the league in 1925. For many years, the Giants shared team names with the New York Giants MLB team, before the baseball franchise moved to San Francisco after the 1957 season.

The initials “GI” stand for “Government Issue”, and not “General Infantry” as is widely believed. “GI” was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

67. “CSI” actress Elisabeth : SHUE

Elisabeth Shue has always been a favorite actress of mine. She has been in several popular films including “The Karate Kid”, “Cocktail”, two of the “Back to the Future” movies, “Leaving Las Vegas”, and my personal favorite “Adventures in Babysitting”. More recently, Shue had a recurring role on the TV crime drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”.

68. Snake eyes : ONES

“Snake eyes” is the slang term for a roll of two dice in which one pip turns up on each die.

Down

1. “Twilight” werewolf : JACOB

Taylor Lautner is the actor who plays Jacob Black in “The Twilight Saga” series of films. When he’s not acting, Lautner is a martial arts expert.

5. Internet link? : DSL MODEM

A modem is a device that is used to facilitate the transmission of a digital signal over an analog line. At one end of the line a modem is used to “modulate” an analog carrier signal to encode the the digital information, and at the other end a modem is used to “demodulate” the analog carrier signal and so reproduce the original digital information. This modulation-demodulation gives the device its name: a MOdulator-DEModulator, or “modem”.

12. Bottle marked “XXX,” maybe : 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”.

13. Do ___ Call Registry : NOT

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was established in 1914 with the mission of protecting consumers. The FTC runs the National Do Not Call Registry which can limit the amount of telemarketing calls that consumers receive. To register your number, simply go to the website www.donotcall.gov.

19. Mythical bird in the “Arabian Nights” : ROC

The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, one reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants. The roc was said to come from the Indian subcontinent. The supposed existence of the roc was promulgated by Marco Polo in the accounts that he published of his travels through Asia.

The marvelous collection of folk tales from the Middle East called “One Thousand and One Nights” is sometimes known as “Arabian Nights” in the English-speaking world. The original collection of tales did not include the three with which we are most familiar in the West. European translators added some stories, including “Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp”, “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, and “The Seven Voyages of Sinbad”.

23. Like Mandarin : TONAL

In tonal languages, words that are spelled the same can be imparted with different meanings by use of inflection. The most widely spoken tonal language is Mandarin Chinese.

26. Popular corn chip : DORITO

The product that was to become Doritos was a creation at the Casa de Fritos in Disneyland in the early sixties. A marketing executive from Frito-Lay noticed how well the snack was selling in the park, and made a deal to produce the chips under the name “Doritos”, starting in 1964. “Doritos” translates from Spanish as “little bits of gold”.

29. Show filmed weekly in N.Y.C. : SNL

“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

35. Western Hemisphere grp. : OAS

The Organization of American States (OAS) was founded in 1948, and has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Not all of the independent states in the Americas are members. Cuba was barred from participation in the organization after a vote in 1962. Honduras had her membership suspended after the country’s 2009 coup.

37. Kith’s partner : KIN

The word “kith” describes friends and acquaintances, and is used used in the phrase “kith and kin” meaning “friends and family”. “Kith” comes from an Old English word meaning “native country, home”, as the expression “kith and kin” was used originally to mean “country and kinsmen”.

39. Sugar sources from a farm : BEETS

The biggest producer of sugar beets in the world is Russia, with France and the US in second and third place.

40. It runs down the middle of the Pacific : DATE LINE

The International Date Line (IDL) is an imaginary line that runs north-south along the 180-degree line of longitude (with a few deviations). The IDL is located on the opposite side of the Earth to the Prime Meridian, which runs through Greenwich, England. A person flying non-stop around the world from east to west loses one hour each time he or she crosses a time zone. When that person arrives back at his or her starting point, he or she would have lost 24 hours in total, a full day. So, the traveller has to compensate by moving the calendar forward 24 hours, by adding a day. By convention, this change of date is made when crossing the IDL.

42. “Get a room” elicitor, for short : PDA

Public display of affection (PDA)

45. Stanley Cup matchup, e.g. : NHL GAME

The Stanley Cup is named for Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada from 1888 to 1893. Lord Stanley’s sons became avid fans of ice hockey while in Canada, and so he donated the trophy in 1909, originally as a challenge cup for the country’s best amateur club.

47. Gives a boost : GOOSES

To goose is to prod into action, albeit a little rudely. A “goose” is a prod or a pinch in the rear end.

48. Operating system in the Linux family : UBUNTU

The Linux operating system uses as its mascot a penguin named “Tux”.

53. “Super” gaming console : NES

The name Super NES (or SNES) stands for Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

54. Hindu dresses : SARIS

The item of clothing called a “sari” (also “saree”) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that’s a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

56. Book after Judges : RUTH

The Book of Ruth in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament tells the story of Ruth. Ruth was one of two women who married the two sons of Elimelech and Naomi. Father and sons died, leaving the three widows to fend for themselves. Naomi decided that it was best to go to Bethlehem. Orpah was Naomi’s second daughter-in-law, and she decided to return to her home. Ruth decided to stick with her mother-in-law, using the words “Whither thou goest, I will go”.

58. Snug rug inhabitant : BUG

Snug as a bug in a rug.

59. “Exodus” hero : ARI

“Exodus” is a wonderful novel written by American writer Leon Uris that was first published in 1947. The hero of the piece is Ari Ben Canaan, a character played by Paul Newman in the 1960 film adaptation directed by Otto Preminger.

60. Course list abbr. : TBA

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

61. ___ Vegas : LAS

Back in the 1800s, the Las Vegas Valley was given its name from the extensive meadows (“las vegas” is Spanish for “the meadows”) present in the area courtesy of the artesian wells drilled by local farmers. Las Vegas was incorporated as a city in 1905, in the days when it was a stopping-off point for pioneers travelling west. It eventually became a railroad town, although with the coming of the railroad growth halted as travelers began to bypass Las Vegas. The city’s tourism industry took off in 1935 with the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam, which is still a popular attraction. Then gambling was legalized, and things really started to move. Vegas was picked, largely by celebrated figures in “the mob”, as a convenient location across the California/Nevada state line that could service the vast population of Los Angeles. As a result, Las Vegas is the most populous US city founded in the 20th century (Chicago is the most populous city founded in the 19th century, just in case you were wondering).

62. Obsession of el rey Midas : ORO

King Midas of Greek mythology might be termed an alchemist as he had the power to turn everything he touched into gold i.e. the Midas touch. The power that he was given became be a curse, as everything he touched turned to gold, including his food and drink and even his children.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Projects, with “out” : JUTS
5. Hans Christian Andersen, by nationality : DANE
9. “Whatever You Like” rapper + Gets some color at the beach : TITANS (TI + TANS)
15. Queens stadium name : ASHE
16. Comic book legend Lee : STAN
17. Wild cat : OCELOT
18. Root on : CHEERLEAD
20. Beliefs : TENETS
21. Massive lang. reference : OED
22. Arabian land near the Strait of Hormuz : OMAN
23. Like a tightrope, more so than a slackline : TAUT
24. Frat dude + Cpls. and sgts. : BRONCOS (BRO + NCOS)
26. Actor Lundgren + Elected officials : DOLPHINS (DOLPH + INS)
30. Something often inflated and rarely appreciated : EGO
31. Inner things that may be suppressed : DEMONS
33. “Terrible” czar : IVAN
34. Willem of “Spider-Man” : DAFOE
36. “… man ___ machine?” : OR A
37. Take a stand by not standing : KNEEL
38. Goal for six answers in this puzzle? : TEAM BUILDING
41. Expels, as lava : SPEWS
43. Tolkien tree being : ENT
44. Particle with a negative charge : ANION
46. Garfield’s frenemy : ODIE
47. Jordan Peele’s directorial debut : GET OUT
49. Final, in a math series : NTH
50. Butter square + Hilarious people : PATRIOTS (PAT + RIOTS)
52. London’s Big ___ + Ladies : BENGALS (BEN + GALS)
55. Pairs : TWOS
56. Reign : RULE
57. Course overseer, for short : PGA
58. Sentimentality : BATHOS
61. Concerning both the moon and sun’s motions : LUNISOLAR
63. Cosmopolitan : URBANE
64. Abbr. on an envelope : ATTN
65. Malek of “Mr. Robot” : RAMI
66. U.S. soldier + Little scurriers : GIANTS (GI + ANTS)
67. “CSI” actress Elisabeth : SHUE
68. Snake eyes : ONES

Down

1. “Twilight” werewolf : JACOB
2. Led down the aisle : USHERED
3. Classic schoolkid’s alibi : THE DOG ATE IT
4. “Understand?” : SEE?
5. Internet link? : DSL MODEM
6. Drill sergeant’s command : AT EASE
7. Bread often served with curry : NAAN
8. Finish : END
9. Bottom rows on spreadsheets : TOTALS
10. Freeze over, as a windshield : ICE UP
11. Bonus in baseball : TENTH INNING
12. Bottle marked “XXX,” maybe : ALE
13. Do ___ Call Registry : NOT
14. Ave. crossers : STS
19. Mythical bird in the “Arabian Nights” : ROC
23. Like Mandarin : TONAL
25. At least : NO FEWER THAN
26. Popular corn chip : DORITO
27. “Hmm, leave this to me” : I’VE GOT A PLAN
28. Scot’s refusal : NAE
29. Show filmed weekly in N.Y.C. : SNL
32. Steeds : MOUNTS
35. Western Hemisphere grp. : OAS
37. Kith’s partner : KIN
39. Sugar sources from a farm : BEETS
40. It runs down the middle of the Pacific : DATE LINE
41. Soak : SOP
42. “Get a room” elicitor, for short : PDA
45. Stanley Cup matchup, e.g. : NHL GAME
47. Gives a boost : GOOSES
48. Operating system in the Linux family : UBUNTU
51. Possible reply to “Don’t forget!” : I WON’T
53. “Super” gaming console : NES
54. Hindu dresses : SARIS
56. Book after Judges : RUTH
58. Snug rug inhabitant : BUG
59. “Exodus” hero : ARI
60. Course list abbr. : TBA
61. ___ Vegas : LAS
62. Obsession of el rey Midas : ORO