0903-18 NY Times Crossword 3 Sep 18, Monday

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Constructed by: Trent H. Evans
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Get up and Go. Go!

Themed answers start with a bodily position, and that position changes from SITTING to RUNNING as we progress down the grid:

  • 17A. Defenseless target : SITTING DUCK
  • 26A. Directive that’s in force until canceled : STANDING ORDER
  • 44A. Notice when getting fired : WALKING PAPERS
  • 57A. Repeated comical reference : RUNNING JOKE

Bill’s time: 5m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Big name in banking : CHASE

The original Chase National Bank was formed in 1877. Although he had no connection with the bank, it was named for the former US Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase.

14. “The Fox and the Grapes” author : AESOP

Aesop is remembered today as a fabulist, a writer of fables. Aesop lived in Ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

Our expression “sour grapes” is an allusion to one of Aesop’s fables, the story of “The Fox and the Grapes”. In the fable, a squirrel could climb up to grapes high in a tree that a fox was unsuccessful in getting to. On seeing this, the fox said, “It’s okay, the grapes were sour anyway”.

15. Ancient Asia Minor region : IONIA

Lydia and Ionia were ancient territories in a part of the world now covered by modern-day Turkey. Both territories eventually fell under Greek and then Roman rule.

Asia Minor is also known as Anatolia. It is the geographic part of Asia that protrudes out into the west, towards Europe, and is roughly equivalent to modern-day Turkey.

16. Subject for “Dunkirk” or “Apocalypse Now” : WAR

“Dunkirk” is a 2017 film about the evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk during WWII. Directed and written by Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk” has been praised for how realistic it is in depicting the conditions and events that took place on that day.

The epic war drama “Apocalypse Now” was released in 1979 and starred Martin Sheen as Captain Willard and Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz. The premise of the film is that both Willard and Kurtz are special ops officers, with Willard sent into the jungle to assassinate Kurtz who has “gone rogue”. The film is notorious for the trouble that director Francis Ford Coppola had completing the shoot. Brando turned up on set grossly overweight (as a special ops guy!), and poor Martin Sheen had a heart attack during filming.

19. Hawaii’s Mauna ___ : KEA

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed.

20. Pitching stat : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

22. Hall-of-Fame Broncos QB John : ELWAY

Former quarterback John Elway played his entire professional football career with the Denver Broncos. Elway was the oldest player ever to be named MVP in a Super Bowl game, being so honored in Super Bowl XXXIII in the 1998 season after the Bronco’s victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

24. Artsy Big Apple neighborhood : SOHO

The Manhattan neighborhood known today as SoHo was very fashionable in the early 1900s, but as the well-heeled started to move uptown the area became very run down and poorly maintained. Noted for the number of fires that erupted in derelict buildings, SoHo earned the nickname “Hell’s Hundred Acres”. The area was then zoned for manufacturing and became home to many sweatshops. In the mid-1900s artists started to move into open loft spaces and renovating old buildings as the lofts were ideal locations in which an artist could both live and work. In 1968, artists and others organized themselves so that they could legalize their residential use of an area zoned for manufacturing. The group they formed took its name from the name given to the area by the city’s Planning Commission i.e “South of Houston”. This was shortened from So-uth of Ho-uston to SoHo as in the SoHo Artists Association, and the name stuck.

Apparently, the first published use of the term “Big Apple” to describe New York City dates back to 1909. Edward Martin wrote the following in his book “The Wayfarer in New York”:

Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city. . . . It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap.

Over ten years later, the term “big apple” was used as a nickname for racetracks in and around New York City. However, the concerted effort to “brand” the city as the Big Apple had to wait until the seventies and was the work of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau.

31. Eagles’ nests : AERIES

An aerie is the nest of an eagle, and is also known as an “eyrie”.

32. Puerto ___ : RICO

There are sixteen US territories in all, but only five of them are inhabited:

  • Puerto Rico
  • Guam
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • US Virgin Islands
  • American Samoa

Examples of US territories with no permanent or native inhabitants are Wake Island and Midway Islands.

36. Lobbying org. for seniors : AARP

“AARP” is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

37. Pioneer in email : AOL

AOL was a leading Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the 1980s and 1990s. The company does still provide dial-up access to the Internet for some subscribers, but most users now access AOL using faster, non-AOL ISPs.

40. New Age energy field : AURA

New-Age music is created to provide a relaxing and stress-free atmosphere. The New Age movement is often said to have begun with the release of an album called “Spectrum Suite” by Steven Halpern in 1975.

42. Part of an urn that can turn : SPIGOT

Back in the 15th century, a spigot was specifically a plug to stop a hole in a cask. Somewhere along the way, a spigot had a valve added for variable control of flow.

49. Big parts of donkeys : EARS

A female donkey/ass is known as a jenny, and a male is known as a jack, or sometimes “jackass”. We started using the term “jackass” to mean “fool” in the 1820s.

51. Justice Sotomayor : SONIA

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic justice on the US Supreme Court, and the third female justice. Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace the retiring Justice David Souter.

60. Like most things in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” : ODD

“Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” is a huge franchise on television that is affiliated to a worldwide chain of museums. The franchise started out as cartoon feature appearing in newspapers in 1918.

61. Words said just before dinner : GRACE

A grace is a short prayer recited before or after a meal.

62. Stan’s buddy of old comedies : OLLIE

Oliver Hardy was born Norvell Hardy in 1892 in Harlem, Georgia. Hardy used the stage name “Oliver” as a tribute to his father Oliver Hardy. His early performances were credited as “Oliver Norvell Hardy”, and off camera his nickname was “Babe Hardy”. Hardy appeared in several films that also featured the young British actor Stan Laurel, but it wasn’t until 1927 that they teamed up to make perhaps the most famous double act in the history of movies. The Laurel and Hardy act came to an end in 1955. That year, Laurel suffered a stroke, and then later the same year Hardy had a heart attack and stroke from which he never really recovered.

Stan Laurel was an English comic actor (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson), who made a great career for himself in Hollywood. Laurel ended up at the Hal Roach studio directing films, intent on pursuing a career in writing and directing. However, he was a sometime actor and was asked to step in when another comic actor, Oliver Hardy, was injured and couldn’t perform. Laurel and Hardy started to share a stage together during that time and when it was clear they worked so well together, their partnership was born. Oh, and the oft-quoted story that Clint Eastwood is the son of Stan Laurel … that’s just an urban myth.

63. Pre-C.I.A. spy org. : OSS

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

Down

3. “The Thin Man” dog : ASTA

Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb “The Thin Man” series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.

4. One in need of drying out : SOT

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

7. Newsman Chuck : TODD

Chuck Todd is a television journalist. Todd was the Chief White House Correspondent for NBC, before taking over as moderator of “Meet the Press” in 2014.

9. Ocasek of the Cars : RIC

Ric Ocasek is an American musician of Czech heritage. He was the lead vocalist of the rock band known as the Cars.

12. Song of praise : PAEAN

A paean is a poem or song that expresses triumph or thanksgiving. “Paean” comes from the ancient Greek “paian” meaning “song of triumph”.

18. Sodas not much seen nowadays : NEHIS

Nehi Corporation was the nickname for the Chero-Cola/Union Bottle Works that introduced the Nehi drink in 1924. Years later the company developed a new brand, Royal Crown Cola (also known as RC Cola). By 1955, RC Cola was the company’s flagship product, so the “Nehi Corporation” became the “Royal Crown Company”. In 1954, RC Cola became the first company to sell soft drinks in cans.

25. Path of a Hail Mary pass : ARC

A Hail Mary pass (also called “the long bomb”) is a desperation move in American football in which a long pass is thrown with very little chance of a success, right at the the end of a game or at the end of a half. The term dates back to thirties, and was probably first used at Notre Dame. The “Hail Mary” is a prayer in the Christian tradition that is of particular significance Roman Catholicism.

26. Bygone Swedish auto : SAAB

“SAAB” stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. Although we usually think of SAAB as an auto manufacturer, it is mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automotive division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000, who then sold it to a Dutch concern in 2010. However, SAAB (automotive) finally went bankrupt in 2011. A Chinese consortium purchased the assets of SAAB Automotive in 2012, and so SAAB vehicles are in production again. The new vehicles are using the SAAB name, but cannot use the SAAB griffin logo, the rights to which have been retained by the mother company.

28. Images on Kansas City Chiefs’ helmets : ARROWHEADS

The Kansas City Chiefs were founded as the Dallas Texans in 1960 as a charter member team of the AFL. The Texans moved to Kansas City in 1963 and took the name “Chiefs”. The team owners (perhaps naively) expected to keep the Texans name in Kansas City but a fan contest opted instead for the Chiefs, named after the Kansas City mayor at the time, “Chief” Bartle.

37. NPR’s Shapiro : ARI

Ari Shapiro served very ably as White House correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) for several years. He then became a co-host of network’s drive-time program “All Things Considered” in 2015.

41. Hawaiian instrument, for short : UKE

The ukulele (“uke”) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

42. Land on the Strait of Gibraltar : SPAIN

The Strait of Gibraltar is the very narrow strait connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. On one side of the strait is Spain (and the tiny British Territory of Gibraltar), and on the other is Morocco. At its narrowest point, the strait is only 9 miles wide, that’s just 9 miles of water separating the continents of Europe and Africa.

43. Model of excellence : PARAGON

A paragon is an model of excellence, a peerless example. Ultimately the term derives from the Greek “para-” meaning “on the side” and “akone” meaning “whetstone”. This derivation comes from the ancient practice of using a touchstone to test gold for its level of purity by drawing a line on the stone with the gold and comparing the resulting mark with samples of known purity.

46. Ones who are said to grant three wishes : GENIES

The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

47. Eskimo home : IGLOO

The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, namely “igdlo”. The walls of igloos are tremendous insulators, due to the air pockets in the blocks of snow.

Although still used in the US, the term “Eskimo” tends to be avoided in Canada and Greenland as there it is considered pejorative.

51. Crackle and Pop’s buddy : SNAP

Snap, Crackle and Pop are three elves employed as the mascots for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. The trio first appeared in an ad campaign in 1933, although the phrase “snap, crackle and pop” had been used for the cereal for some time in radio ads. By the way, the elves are selling “Rice Bubbles” in Australia, and the elves have different names in other parts of the world (like “Cric!, Crac! and Croc! in Quebec).

52. Fairy tale beginning : ONCE

The stock phrase “Once upon a time” has been used in various forms as the start of a narrative at least since 1380. The stock phrase at the end of stories such as folktales is often “and they all lived happily ever after”. The earlier version of this ending was “happily until their deaths”.

53. Tree : Christmas :: ___ : Festivus : POLE

Festivus is celebrated by some on December 23 each year, and has been done so since 1966. The holiday is an invention of the writer Dan O’Keefe. He introduced is to his family as a way of celebrating the season without falling prey to commercial pressure. Festivus has become popular since it was featured in a 1997 episode of the TV sitcom “Seinfeld”. Dan O’Keefe’s son was a screenwriter for that episode.

55. Dandelion, for one : WEED

The name “dandelion” comes from the French “dent de lion” meaning “lion’s tooth”. The name is a reference to the coarse, tooth-like edges of a dandelion’s leaves.

58. Spoon-bending Geller : URI

Uri Geller’s most famous performance is perhaps his uncomfortable failure on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson in 1973. Carson “hijacked” Geller on live television by providing him with spoons to bend and watches to start, none of which had been available to Geller before the show aired. Clever!

59. Singer and former “American Idol” judge, familiarly : J.LO

“J.Lo” is the nickname of singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. “J.Lo” is also the title of her second studio album, one released in 2001.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Big name in banking : CHASE
6. Tempest : STORM
11. Something to download : APP
14. “The Fox and the Grapes” author : AESOP
15. Ancient Asia Minor region : IONIA
16. Subject for “Dunkirk” or “Apocalypse Now” : WAR
17. Defenseless target : SITTING DUCK
19. Hawaii’s Mauna ___ : KEA
20. Pitching stat : ERA
21. Transmits : SENDS
22. Hall-of-Fame Broncos QB John : ELWAY
24. Artsy Big Apple neighborhood : SOHO
25. “Crazy Rich ___” (hit 2018 movie) : ASIANS
26. Directive that’s in force until canceled : STANDING ORDER
31. Eagles’ nests : AERIES
32. Puerto ___ : RICO
33. Just a touch : DAB
36. Lobbying org. for seniors : AARP
37. Pioneer in email : AOL
38. Wild’s opposite : TAME
39. “‘Sup, ___?” : BRO
40. New Age energy field : AURA
42. Part of an urn that can turn : SPIGOT
44. Notice when getting fired : WALKING PAPERS
47. Scarf down : INHALE
49. Big parts of donkeys : EARS
50. Birds that honk : GEESE
51. Justice Sotomayor : SONIA
53. Furry foot : PAW
56. Meadow : LEA
57. Repeated comical reference : RUNNING JOKE
60. Like most things in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” : ODD
61. Words said just before dinner : GRACE
62. Stan’s buddy of old comedies : OLLIE
63. Pre-C.I.A. spy org. : OSS
64. “Holy cow! This could be bad!” : YIPES!
65. With ___ in sight : NO END

Down

1. Lawyer’s assignment : CASE
2. Prince, to a throne : HEIR
3. “The Thin Man” dog : ASTA
4. One in need of drying out : SOT
5. Unit of a TV series : EPISODE
6. Agree to join : SIGN ON
7. Newsman Chuck : TODD
8. Burden : ONUS
9. Ocasek of the Cars : RIC
10. Muddles through with what one has : MAKES DO
11. Middle school years, notably : AWKWARD AGE
12. Song of praise : PAEAN
13. Says “Dear God …” : PRAYS
18. Sodas not much seen nowadays : NEHIS
23. It can be white or boldfaced : LIE
24. Small scissor cut : SNIP
25. Path of a Hail Mary pass : ARC
26. Bygone Swedish auto : SAAB
27. Bit of weeping : TEAR
28. Images on Kansas City Chiefs’ helmets : ARROWHEADS
29. A pun can induce one : GROAN
30. Resource extracted from Alaska’s North Slope : OIL
34. Roman god of love : AMOR
35. Wagers : BETS
37. NPR’s Shapiro : ARI
38. Much of a salon worker’s income : TIPS
40. Peanut or pollen reaction, possibly : ALLERGY
41. Hawaiian instrument, for short : UKE
42. Land on the Strait of Gibraltar : SPAIN
43. Model of excellence : PARAGON
45. Small batteries : AAS
46. Ones who are said to grant three wishes : GENIES
47. Eskimo home : IGLOO
48. Must-haves : NEEDS
51. Crackle and Pop’s buddy : SNAP
52. Fairy tale beginning : ONCE
53. Tree : Christmas :: ___ : Festivus : POLE
54. Similar (to) : AKIN
55. Dandelion, for one : WEED
58. Spoon-bending Geller : URI
59. Singer and former “American Idol” judge, familiarly : J.LO

10 thoughts on “0903-18 NY Times Crossword 3 Sep 18, Monday”

  1. No errors. Forgot all about looking for a theme since everything filled in just on the entries alone. I was going to take issue with “Sup, bro?” in that I thought it needed an apostrophe somewhere. Either “ S’up, bro?” or “ ‘Sup, bro?”. But it turns out, I suppose, that an apostrophe anywhere would be wrong. SUP has apparently become a complete, recognized word on its own. The changes in English are happening at a furious pace. It is hard to keep up.

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