1001-18 NY Times Crossword 1 Oct 18, Monday

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Constructed by: Chuck Deodene
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: The End Is Nigh

Themed answers END with a “NIGH” sound:

  • 38A. With 39-Across, doomsayer’s assertion … or a phonetic hint to 18-, 24-, 51- and 61-Across : THE END …
  • 39A. See 38-Across : … IS NIGH
  • 18A. Characters in a play, formally : DRAMATIS PERSONAE
  • 24A. Monarch renowned for his wealth : SULTAN OF BRUNEI
  • 51A. College team from the land of Lincoln : FIGHTING ILLINI
  • 61A. Yom Kippur War clash : BATTLE OF THE SINAI

Bill’s time: 5m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. West Coast law force, for short : LAPD

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is the third largest local law enforcement agency in the country, after New York PD and Chicago PD. Among other things, LAPD is famous for creating the first Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team in the US, in 1965.

5. Insurer whose name rhymes with “quack” : AFLAC

In 1999, Aflac (American Family Life Assurance Company) was huge in the world of insurance but it wasn’t a household name, so a New York advertising agency was given the task of making the Aflac brand more memorable. One of the agency’s art directors, while walking around Central Park one lunchtime, heard a duck quacking and in his mind linked it with “Aflac”, and that duck has been “Aflacking” ever since …

10. Q-tip, e.g. : SWAB

Cotton swabs were originally marketed under the name “Baby Gays”. This was changed in 1926 to “Q-Tips”, with the Q standing for “quality”.

16. Where the Dolphins play : MIAMI

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

18. Characters in a play, formally : DRAMATIS PERSONAE

The dramatis personae a list of the principal characters in a play or other dramatic work. It is usual, but not necessary, to also list the actors playing each character. The phrase “dramatis personae” translates from Latin as “the masks of the drama”.

23. Some herding dogs : CORGIS

The Welsh corgi is a herding dog that originated in Britain, with two recognized breeds: the Pembroke and Cardigan. Corgis aren’t speedy enough to do their job by running around livestock like collies, and instead nip at the heels.

24. Monarch renowned for his wealth : SULTAN OF BRUNEI

The official name of Brunei is the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace. Brunei is situated in the island of Borneo, almost completely surrounded by Malaysia. Brunei’s government is dictated by the constitution adopted in 1959, and is ruled by a sultan with full executive authority. The main language spoken in the country is “Melayu Brunei” (Brunei Malay), with the official language being Malay. Apparently Malay and Brunei Malay are quite different from each other, with native speakers finding it difficult to understand each other.

28. N.Y.C. subway inits. : IRT

The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) was the original private operator of the New York Subway when it opened in 1904. The city took over ownership of the system in 1940, but the lines originally operated by the IRT are still known by the IRT moniker.

29. Down Under hoppers, informally : ROOS

A male kangaroo is known as a buck, jack or boomer. A female is called a jill flier or doe. A young kangaroo is a joey, and a group of kangaroos is a mob or troop.

33. Ice cream treat : SUNDAE

There’s a lot of speculation about how the dessert called a sundae got its name, but there seems to be agreement that it is an alteration of the word “Sunday”.

37. Miracle-___ (garden brand) : GRO

Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by one Orlando Scott, and initially dols seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, Scotts started to sell to homeowners, and mainly supplied lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955.

42. Santa ___ winds : ANA

The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically “falls” down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

43. “How stupid of me!” : D’OH!

“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”

47. Trail mix : GORP

“Gorp” is a name sometimes used for trail mix, particularly by hikers. It’s not really known for sure how this name came about, but some say it stands for “good old raisins and peanuts” or perhaps “gobs of raw protein”.

49. Japanese noodle : SOBA

Soba is a thin Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour. In Japan, the word “soba” tends to be used to describe any thin noodle, in contrast with the thicker noodles that are called udon.

51. College team from the land of Lincoln : FIGHTING ILLINI

The Illini (also “Fighting Illini”) are the athletic teams and marching band of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Illinois” is a French name that was given to the people who lived in the area (called “Illiniwek”).

59. DNA sequence : GENE

A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color and another balding pattern. We have two copies of each gene, one from each of our parents, with each copy known as an allele.

60. Gen ___ (millennial forerunner) : XER

The term “Generation X” originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By one definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

61. Yom Kippur War clash : BATTLE OF THE SINAI

The Yom Kippur War started on October 6 in 1973 with a surprise move by Syria and Egypt into the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. The conflict quickly escalated into a confrontation between the US and the Soviet Union, as both superpowers rushed arms to the opposing states. Within a week, Israeli forces had regained the land that had been lost and two weeks later had advanced within striking range of both Cairo and Damascus. A UN-brokered ceasefire brought the war to an end on October 25, after just 19 days of fighting.

65. Response from a greatly amused texter : LMAO

Laughing my a** off (LMAO)

69. Comic Bruce with a foul mouth : LENNY

“Lenny Bruce” was the stage name of comedian Leonard Schneider. Bruce was noted for his edgy style and material on stage, as well as his edgy lifestyle offstage. He was arrested several times and charged with obscenity because of language used in his routines. He was eventually found guilty of one of the charges and sentenced to four months in a workhouse. He was set free on bail while making a much-publicized appeal. Sadly, he died before the appeal process was completed. After his death, the Governor of the New York granted Lenny Bruce a pardon.

70. Big Board inits. : NYSE

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is nicknamed the “Big Board”.

Down

1. Stows, as cargo : LADES

The verb “to lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. “Lade” also used to mean “draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.

2. Pianist Claudio : ARRAU

Claudio Arrau was a greatly respected Chilean pianist who performed for much of the twentieth century until his death in 1991. Arrau left Chile to study in Germany where he lived for many years, having married a German opera singer. During WWII, Arrau and his family left Germany and settled in New York City.

3. Gem strung on a necklace : PEARL

Pearls form in oysters because of a reaction that is similar to an immune system response in higher animals. The pearl is formed as the oysters lays down successive layers of calcium carbonate around some microscopic foreign body that has penetrated the shell.

4. Beaver’s construction : 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.

5. Mexican friend : AMIGO

In Spanish, an “amigo” is a male friend, and an “amiga” is a female friend.

9. Ringling Brothers offering, once : CIRCUS

The Ringling Brothers started their circus in 1884 when Barnum & Bailey already had a popular circus that was touring the Midwest. There were six Ringling Brothers in all, and they grew their business at a phenomenal rate. The circus moved from town-to-town by train, extending their reach to the eastern seaboard. So great was their success that the Ringling Brothers purchased the Barnum & Bailey operation in 1907. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus eventually closed down in 2017.

10. Round-the-campfire treats : S’MORES

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!

11. Going off script : WINGING IT

To wing it is to improvise, to do something without sufficient preparation. There is some debate about the term’s etymology, but I like the idea that it came from the theater. An actor would be described as winging it if he or she learned lines while standing in the wings just before going on stage.

12. Smoothie “superfruit” : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

13. “Subjects” of a queen, not a king : BEES

A queen bee has a stinger, just like worker bees. When a worker bee stings, it leaves it stinger in its victim. The worker bee dies after losing its stinger as the loss rips out part of its insides. However, a queen bee can sting with impunity as her stinger’s anatomy is different.

15. Like the climate of the African desert : SAHARAN

The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic. The Sahara is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the United States.

25. Beach washer : TIDE

Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

26. Breath-taking snake : 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.

32. Physics Nobelist Niels : BOHR

Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist who won his 1922 Nobel Prize for his work on quantum mechanics and atomic structure. Later in his life, Bohr was part of the team working on the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb. Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein had a series of public debates and disputes in the twenties and thirties. Although the two respected each other very highly, they held very different views on quantum theory, different views on the laws of physics at the atomic level. The passage of time has shown that Bohr won out in those debates.

40. Strictly platonic : SEXLESS

The Greek philosopher Plato wrote a philosophical treatise on the nature of love called “Symposium”. “Symposium” is the source of the contemporary phrase “Platonic love”.

43. Bit of an ellipsis : DOT

An ellipsis is a series of dots (usually three) used to indicate an omission in some text. The term comes from the Greek word “élleipsis”, which means “omission”.

44. Japanese sash : OBI

The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied at the back in what is called a butterfly knot. The term “obi” is also used for the thick cotton belts that are an essential part of the outfits worn by practitioners of many martial arts. The color of the martial arts obi signifies the wearer’s skill level.

45. Do a surfing maneuver : HANG TEN

“To hang ten” is a verb used in surfing. A surfer hangs ten when he or she is able to walk forward and hang ten toes over the nose of the board because the back of the board is covered by the wave being ridden.

48. Glock, for one : PISTOL

Glock is an Austrian company that produces the Glock series of pistols. Much of the frame of a Glock pistol is made out of a polymer, as opposed to metal.

49. Jewish village of old : SHTETL

The Yiddish word for “town” is “shtot”, and so “shtetl” is the diminutive form meaning “small town”. The fictional shtetl featured in the musical in “Fiddler on the Roof” is called Anatevka, which is also the title of my favorite song from the show.

52. Dr. Scholl’s padding : GEL

William Scholl worked part time as a cobbler and then in a shoe retailer in Chicago. Noting that many people had similar foot problems he went to night school and qualified as a podiatrist in 1904. Soon after he started his own company making footcare products, giving us the brand name Dr. Scholl’s.

53. Architect Frank : GEHRY

Frank Gehry is an architect from Toronto who is based in Los Angeles. Listed among Gehry’s famous creations are the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in Spain, The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and his own private residence in Santa Monica, California. He is currently working on the upcoming Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial that will be placed in Washington, D.C. I hope to see that one day …

54. No, in pig Latin : IXNAY

Pig Latin is in effect a game. One takes the first consonant or consonant cluster of an English word and moves it to the end of the word, and then adds the letters “ay”. So, the Pig Latin for the word “nix” is “ixnay” (ix-n-ay), and for “scram” is “amscray” (am-scr-ay).

56. “And Still ___” (Angelou volume) : I RISE

Maya Angelou is an African-American author and poet. Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the inauguration of President Clinton in 1983. Here are some words of wisdom from the great lady:

I work very hard, and I play very hard. I’m grateful for life. And I live it – I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it.

62. Metal before refinement : ORE

Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and, a greenhouse gas).

63. When said three times, a Beach Boys hit : FUN

“Fun, Fun, Fun” is a 1964 song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for the Beach Boys. The English rock band Status Quo released a great cover version of “Fun, Fun, Fun” in 1996, which featured the Beach Boys on backup vocals.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. West Coast law force, for short : LAPD
5. Insurer whose name rhymes with “quack” : AFLAC
10. Q-tip, e.g. : SWAB
14. Regions : AREAS
16. Where the Dolphins play : MIAMI
17. Prey for cats : MICE
18. Characters in a play, formally : DRAMATIS PERSONAE
21. Unit of corn : EAR
22. Loopy from drugs : HIGH
23. Some herding dogs : CORGIS
24. Monarch renowned for his wealth : SULTAN OF BRUNEI
28. N.Y.C. subway inits. : IRT
29. Down Under hoppers, informally : ROOS
30. Overlook rudely : SNUB
33. Ice cream treat : SUNDAE
36. Veer, as a ship : YAW
37. Miracle-___ (garden brand) : GRO
38. With 39-Across, doomsayer’s assertion … or a phonetic hint to 18-, 24-, 51- and 61-Across : THE END …
39. See 38-Across : … IS NIGH
42. Santa ___ winds : ANA
43. “How stupid of me!” : D’OH!
46. More tidy : NEATER
47. Trail mix : GORP
49. Japanese noodle : SOBA
50. 61, in old Rome : LXI
51. College team from the land of Lincoln : FIGHTING ILLINI
57. How TV series DVDs may be sold : AS A SET
59. DNA sequence : GENE
60. Gen ___ (millennial forerunner) : XER
61. Yom Kippur War clash : BATTLE OF THE SINAI
65. Response from a greatly amused texter : LMAO
66. Better aligned : TRUER
67. Goes way, way up : SOARS
68. Bellow : YELL
69. Comic Bruce with a foul mouth : LENNY
70. Big Board inits. : NYSE

Down

1. Stows, as cargo : LADES
2. Pianist Claudio : ARRAU
3. Gem strung on a necklace : PEARL
4. Beaver’s construction : DAM
5. Mexican friend : AMIGO
6. Popular Friday feast : FISH FRY
7. Once around the track : LAP
8. Soul: Fr. : AME
9. Ringling Brothers offering, once : CIRCUS
10. Round-the-campfire treats : S’MORES
11. Going off script : WINGING IT
12. Smoothie “superfruit” : ACAI
13. “Subjects” of a queen, not a king : BEES
15. Like the climate of the African desert : SAHARAN
19. Like some auto windows : TINTED
20. “Like father, like ___” : SON
25. Beach washer : TIDE
26. Breath-taking snake : BOA
27. Specification on an airline ticket : ROW
31. Desire : URGE
32. Physics Nobelist Niels : BOHR
33. Without a date : STAG
34. “You might think so, but …” : UH NO …
35. Grave, as injuries : NEAR FATAL
39. Queued : IN LINE
40. Strictly platonic : SEXLESS
41. Hammer’s target : NAIL
43. Bit of an ellipsis : DOT
44. Japanese sash : OBI
45. Do a surfing maneuver : HANG TEN
48. Glock, for one : PISTOL
49. Jewish village of old : SHTETL
52. Dr. Scholl’s padding : GEL
53. Architect Frank : GEHRY
54. No, in pig Latin : IXNAY
55. Comes closer : NEARS
56. “And Still ___” (Angelou volume) : I RISE
57. With competence : ABLY
58. Uncreative bar order, with “the” : … SAME
62. Metal before refinement : ORE
63. When said three times, a Beach Boys hit : FUN
64. Charged particle : ION