1002-18 NY Times Crossword 2 Oct 18, Tuesday

Advertisement

Advertisement

Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): A Musical? A Musical!

Themed answers are two-word phrases made from one-word titles of stage musicals. Clues include the years those musicals debuted on Broadway:

  • 17A. Megacorporation? [1996, 1970] : BIG COMPANY
  • 26A. Pomade? [1968, 1972] : HAIR GREASE
  • 45A. Supreme Court that’s corrupt? [2003, 1982] : WICKED NINE
  • 61A. Melted? [2018, 2012] : FROZEN ONCE

Bill’s time: 8m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

Advertisement

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10. Glasgow girl : LASS

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and sits on the River Clyde. Back in the Victorian Era, Glasgow earned a reputation for excellence in shipbuilding and was known as “Second City of the British Empire”. Glasgow shipyards were the birthplaces of such famous vessels as the Lusitania, the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth. People for Glasgow are known as Glaswegians.

14. Heavenly hunter : ORION

The very recognizable constellation of Orion is named for the Greek god Orion, the Hunter. If you take a look at the star in Orion’s “right shoulder”, the second brightest star in the constellation, you might notice that it is quite red in color. This is the famous star called Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, a huge star that is on its way out. Betelgeuse is expected to explode into a supernova within the next thousand years or so. You don’t want to miss that …

16. John Irving’s “A Prayer for ___ Meany” : OWEN

“A Prayer for Owen Meany” is a novel by John Irving that was first published in 1989. Although Irving’s work is an independent story, it is written as a homage to “The Tin Drum” by Günter Grass.

17. Megacorporation? [1996, 1970] : BIG COMPANY

“Big: The Musical” is a 1996 musical stage adaptation of the 1988 movie “Big” starring Tom Hanks. Both movie and stage show are about a 12-year-old boy who grows up overnight into a 30-year-old man after making a wish.

“Company” is a comedy stage musical by Stephen Sondheim that premiered on Broadway in 1970. The show was originally titled “Threes”, a reference to the three girlfriends that the main character juggles.

19. Singer Suzanne : VEGA

Suzanne Vega is a singer-songwriter from Santa Monica, California. Her two most famous songs are “Luka” and “Tom’s Diner”, both released in the eighties.

25. N’s in Athens : NUS

The Latin equivalent of the Greek letter nu is N. An uppercase nu looks just like the Latin capital N. However, the lowercase nu looks like our lowercase V. Very confusing …

26. Pomade? [1968, 1972] : HAIR GREASE

Pomade is perfumed ointment, mainly used for grooming the hair. The word “pomade” comes from the Latin “pomum” meaning “apple”, as the original ointment recipe used smashed apples.

The full name of the famed show from the sixties is “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical”, although the 1979 film adaptation was simply titled “Hair”. This controversial work outraged many when it was first performed in the sixties, as it attacked many aspects of life at the time. For example, the song “Air” is a satirical look at pollution, sung by a character who comes onto the stage wearing a gas mask. The opening lines are “Welcome, sulfur dioxide. Hello carbon monoxide. The air … is everywhere”. How things have changed over the past few decades said he … satirically …

“Grease” was, and still is, a very successful stage musical with a blockbuster film version released in 1978. The movie stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Travolta wasn’t the first choice for the lead role. It was first offered to Henry Winkler of “Happy Days” fame in which he played “the Fonz”. Winkler turned down the role for fear of being typecast as a leather-clad fifties “hood”.

32. Where G.I.s fought in the ’60s : NAM

By some definitions, the official involvement of Americans in the Vietnam War started in 1955. At that time, President Eisenhower deployed a Military Assistance Advisory Group to assist in the training of the South Vietnamese Army. American involvement in the conflict officially ended in 1973 with the signing of an agreement that came out of the Paris Peace Accords.

35. Stitch loosely : BASTE

To baste is to sew loosely, just holding a join in a fabric together temporarily using large running stitches.

36. Like some pitchers : EARED

The handle of a jug or jug might be referred to as its ear.

37. Milan’s La ___ : SCALA

La Scala Opera House opened in 1778. It was built on the site of the church of Santa Maria della Scala, which gave the theater its Italian name “Teatro alla Scala”.

39. Worthless amount : FIG

Both “whit” and “fig” are used to describe a trivial amount, a mere trifle.

41. Electrical unit : FARAD

The SI unit of capacitance is the farad, a unit that is named after the physicist Michael Faraday.

44. Dapper fellow : DAN

A man described as a “Dapper Dan” is one who is dressed very nattily. There have been a few people who have used the Dapper Dan moniker over the years, including a gangster in the twenties called Dapper Dan Hogan and a baseball player who was active around the same time called Dapper Dan Howley.

45. Supreme Court that’s corrupt? [2003, 1982] : WICKED NINE

The US Constitution doesn’t specify the size of the Supreme Court, but authorizes the Congress to the determine the number of justices. The court started with six justices in 1789, and the size of the bench grew with the size of the country and the number of judicial circuits. There were as many as ten justices, from 1863 to 1866. There have been nine justices since 1869.

48. Language that gave us “boondocks” : TAGALOG

Tagalog, formally known as “Filipino”, is one of the two official languages of the Philippines, the other being English. The name “Tagalog” translates as “river dweller”.

“Boondocks” (often shortened to “boonies”) is a term used in North America for a remote, usually rural area. Often the term is used derogatively, implying that a remote location is unsophisticated. “Boondocks” was first used by American soldiers stationed in the Philippines in the early 1900s. The word evolved from the Tagalog “bundok” meaning “mountain”.

60. Cab competitor : UBER

The rideshare service Uber takes its name from the English colloquial word “uber” meaning “super, topmost”, which in turn comes from the German “über” meaning “above”.

61. Melted? [2018, 2012] : FROZEN ONCE

“Frozen” is a stage musical that debuted on Broadway in 2018, and which is based on the 2013 movie of the same name. The musical actually premiered in a try-out in Denver in 2017.

“Once” is a musical adaptation of the 2007 movie of the same name that debuted on Broadway in 2012. Both movie and stage work are set in Dublin, and feature two struggling musicians. The big song from the show is “Falling Slowly”.

63. Voice on a phone : SIRI

Siri is a software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. Voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri a few years ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

64. Annapolis inst. : USNA

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is located in Annapolis, Maryland. The USNA was founded in 1845 and educates officers for both the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. The motto of the USNA is “Ex Scientia Tridens”, which translates as “From Knowledge, Sea Power”.

65. Roman wraps : TOGAS

In Ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

66. To be, to Bizet : ETRE

Georg Bizet was a French composer active in the Romantic era. Bizet’s most famous work has to be his opera “Carmen”. “Carmen” initially received a lukewarm reception from the public, even though his fellow composers had nothing but praise for it. Sadly, Bizet died very young at only 36, before he could see “Carmen’s” tremendous success.

67. It’s sold in bars : SOAP

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.

68. Cubic meter : STERE

The stere is a metric measure, although it is not part of the modern metric system. Nowadays the stere is used as a measure for firewood, and is equal to one cubic meter.

Down

4. Night, in Nogales : NOCHE

Nogales (properly called “Heroica Nogales”) is a city in the Mexican State of Sonora. Nogales lies right on the Mexico-US border, opposite the city of Nogales, Arizona.

5. Elitist sort : SNOOT

“Snoot” is a variant of “snout” and is a word that originated in Scotland. The idea is that someone who is snooty, or “snouty”, tends to look down his or her nose at the rest of the world.

6. AOL, e.g. : ISP

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.

12. Utah’s state flower : SEGO

The sego lily is the state flower of Utah, and is a perennial plant found throughout the Western United States.

13. Fly in the ointment : SNAG

Our expression “a fly in the ointment” is used when we come across some relatively minor snag that is a hindrance to completing something. We started using the expression in the 1700’s, and it refers to some lines in the Bible; Ecclesiastes 10:1:

Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour

18. Shade of brown : MOCHA

Mocha is a port city in Yemen on the Red Sea and was once the principal port for the capital city of Sana’a. Mocha was the major marketplace in the world for coffee until the 1600s, and gave its name to the Mocha coffee bean, which in turn gave its name to the mocha brown color, and to the flavor of coffee infused with chocolate.

27. Formal response at the door : IT IS I

The much debated statement “it is I” is actually grammatically correct, and should not be “corrected” to “it is me”. Traditionally, pronouns following linking verbs, such as “is”, “appear” and “seem”, are written in the nominative case. Examples are:

  • It is I (who called)
  • It was he (who did it)
  • It is we (who care)

28. University official : REGENT

A regent is a member of the governing body of a university.

29. Star Yankees 3B for 10 seasons : A-ROD

Professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames than just “A-Rod”. He has been called “the Cooler” by some players as there was a perception that teams went cold when he joined them and hot when he left. He has also been called “A-Fraud” by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding. Rodriguez was in a world of hurt not so long ago, for using illegal performance-enhancing drugs. He retired from the baseball in 2016.

30. Ward of “The Fugitive” : SELA

The actress Sela Ward turns up in crosswords a lot. Ward played Teddy Reed in the TV show “Sisters” in the nineties, and was in “Once and Again” from 1999-2002. I don’t know either show, but I do know Ward from the medical drama “House” in which she played the hospital’s lawyer and Greg House’s ex-partner. That was a fun role, I thought. More recently, Ward played a lead role on “CSI: NY” and was a very welcome and much-needed addition to the cast. And, Ward played Dr. Richard Kimble’s murdered wife in the 1993 film version of “The Fugitive”.

31. Fall setting : EDEN

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

32. Office-inappropriate, in web shorthand : NSFW

The abbreviation “NSFW” stands for “not safe/suitable for work”. It’s Internet slang used to describe online content that is best not viewed at work.

34. Artist Chagall : MARC

Marc Chagall was a Russian-French artist, one of the most successful of the 20th century. Unlike so many painters, Chagall was able to achieve wealth and notoriety for his work during his own lifetime. It did help that Chagall lived to a ripe old age though. He passed away in 1985, when he was 97 years young. One of Chagall’s most famous works is the ceiling of the Paris Opera. The new ceiling for the beautiful 19th-century building was commissioned in 1963, and took Chagall a year to complete. Chagall was 77 years old when he worked on the Paris Opera project.

35. Ne’er-do-well : BAD EGG

A person might be described a “good egg” or “bad egg”. There doesn’t seem to be a clear explanation for how “egg” came to mean “person”. One suggestion is that the term reflects the resemblance between the shape of the human head and the shape of an egg.

38. War of 1812 locale : LAKE ERIE

The Battle of Lake Erie was fought during the War of 1812 just off the Ohio coast. The outcome of the action was a defeat for the British, and American control of Lake Erie for the remainder of the war.

43. Duane ___ (pharmacy) : READE

The chain of drug and convenience stores in New York City known as Duane Reade was founded in 1960 by three brothers. The first three stores were serviced by a warehouse in lower Manhattan located on Broadway between Duane and Reade streets, streets that gave the chain its name.

46. Dork : DOOFUS

“Doofus” (also “dufus”) is student slang that has been around since the sixties. Apparently the word is a variant of the equally unattractive term “doo-doo”.

52. Hollywood honor : OSCAR

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

53. V-formation fliers : GEESE

Apparently, geese fly in a V-formation for a couple of reasons. One is that it makes for efficient flight and conserves energy. The leading bird gets no advantage, but every following bird gets to “slipstream” a little. It has been noted that the lead bird drops to the back of the formation when he/she gets fatigued. It’s also thought that the flock can stick together more easily when in formation, so it is more difficult to lose someone along the way.

54. Artist’s inspiration : MUSE

In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

  • Calliope (epic poetry)
  • Clio (history)
  • Erato (lyric poetry)
  • Euterpe (music)
  • Melpomene (tragedy)
  • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
  • Terpsichore (dance)
  • Thalia (comedy)
  • Urania (astronomy)

Before the adoption of the nine muses of Greek mythology, there were originally three muses, the three Boeotian Muses. These were:

  • Mneme (memory)
  • Melete (meditation)
  • Aoede (song)

56. Deborah who starred in “The King and I” : KERR

The lovely Deborah Kerr was a Scottish actress who made a real name for herself on the American stage and in Hollywood movies. Despite all her success, and six nominations for a Best Actress Oscar, Kerr never actually won an Academy Award. In 1967, she appeared in the James Bond film “Casino Royale” at the age of 46, making her oldest Bond Girl of all time.

“Anna and the King of Siam” is a semi-biographical novel written by Margaret Landon and first published in 1944. The book tells the largely true story of Anna Leonowens who spent five years in Siam teaching English to the children and wives of King Mongkut. The novel was adapted as a 1946 movie of the same name starring Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison. Then followed a 1951 stage musical titled “The King and I”. The musical was written as a vehicle for Gertrude Lawrence, who played Anna. Rex Harrison was asked to play the King, but he turned it down and Yul Brynner was cast instead. A movie version of the stage musical was released in 1956, famously starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Mends with stitches : DARNS
6. Schools of thought : ISMS
10. Glasgow girl : LASS
14. Heavenly hunter : ORION
15. Process part : STEP
16. John Irving’s “A Prayer for ___ Meany” : OWEN
17. Megacorporation? [1996, 1970] : BIG COMPANY
19. Singer Suzanne : VEGA
20. Sorrowful sound : BOOHOO
21. Exception to a “no pets” policy : GUIDE DOG
23. Prison sentence : STRETCH
25. N’s in Athens : NUS
26. Pomade? [1968, 1972] : HAIR GREASE
32. Where G.I.s fought in the ’60s : NAM
35. Stitch loosely : BASTE
36. Like some pitchers : EARED
37. Milan’s La ___ : SCALA
39. Worthless amount : FIG
40. Lifted : STOLE
41. Electrical unit : FARAD
42. Tech support callers : USERS
44. Dapper fellow : DAN
45. Supreme Court that’s corrupt? [2003, 1982] : WICKED NINE
47. Swelled head : EGO
48. Language that gave us “boondocks” : TAGALOG
54. Rectify : MAKE GOOD
59. Render harmless : DEFUSE
60. Cab competitor : UBER
61. Melted? [2018, 2012] : FROZEN ONCE
63. Voice on a phone : SIRI
64. Annapolis inst. : USNA
65. Roman wraps : TOGAS
66. To be, to Bizet : ETRE
67. It’s sold in bars : SOAP
68. Cubic meter : STERE

Down

1. ___ Ferry, N.Y. : DOBBS
2. Running wild : ARIOT
3. Severity : RIGOR
4. Night, in Nogales : NOCHE
5. Elitist sort : SNOOT
6. AOL, e.g. : ISP
7. Deer sir? : STAG
8. Carte that comes before the course : MENU
9. Secret agent’s activity : SPYING
10. Parlor piece : LOVESEAT
11. Immensely impressed : AWED
12. Utah’s state flower : SEGO
13. Fly in the ointment : SNAG
18. Shade of brown : MOCHA
22. A shotgun wedding might be held under this : DURESS
24. Doesn’t take things too seriously : HAS FUN
27. Formal response at the door : IT IS I
28. University official : REGENT
29. Star Yankees 3B for 10 seasons : A-ROD
30. Ward of “The Fugitive” : SELA
31. Fall setting : EDEN
32. Office-inappropriate, in web shorthand : NSFW
33. ___ na tigela (fruity Brazilian dish) : ACAI
34. Artist Chagall : MARC
35. Ne’er-do-well : BAD EGG
38. War of 1812 locale : LAKE ERIE
43. Duane ___ (pharmacy) : READE
46. Dork : DOOFUS
49. Folksy restroom sign : GENTS
50. In progress : AFOOT
51. Fencing move : LUNGE
52. Hollywood honor : OSCAR
53. V-formation fliers : GEESE
54. Artist’s inspiration : MUSE
55. Not much : A BIT
56. Deborah who starred in “The King and I” : KERR
57. Guesstimate phrase : OR SO
58. Lady of Spain : DONA
62. Stick in the microwave : ZAP

15 thoughts on “1002-18 NY Times Crossword 2 Oct 18, Tuesday”

  1. 8:02, no errors. I thought “Betelgeuse” was that stuff left on the floor of my garage after I step on one of the creepy-crawlies out there … and it might make a good name for a movie … 😜

    1. Apparently, “Duane Reade” is a chain of stores in Manhattan. Here’s a Wikipedia article about them. I guess one just has to accept that this is, after all, a New York Times crossword puzzle … 😜

  2. I didn’t time this puzzle but it took way longer that a Tuesday puzzle should have taken IMO.
    Of course everyone knows boondocks comes from Tagalog right?
    Like Dave said its a NYT puzzle.
    No errors but not a satisfying result.

  3. Thought the puzzle was easy except for 32 and 33 down and I didn’t know Wicked for 45 across leaving me with _ _ cked. I see this was published during the Kavanagh hearings. Is there a sub theme?

  4. No errors. I got through this okay despite not ever really knowing the theme. I have a very poor knowledge of Broadway shows, much less musical ones. There was no revealer to explain it so I ended up getting most of the answers by inferences and crosses. There wasn’t much of anything to like about this puzzle, IMO.

    1. @Bruce—-Also we can add DOBB’S Ferry, NY to that list. It is in Westchester County, not far from New York City. I wonder how many New Yorkers work this puzzle as opposed to those of us from other locations. I think that the editors are making a big mistake to cater so strongly to the New Yorkers.

  5. My trouble was I wasn’t thinking outside the box. 40 across, my brain could only think lifted as in to pick up. And 31 down, Adam and Eve’s fall never came to mind. But the rest wasn’t too hard and I’ve never been to New York. 🙂

  6. 10 minutes – no errors. Don’t know all those plays. I assume BIG is the Tom Hank’s movie ? Company, Nine and Once are a mystery to me. And yes – no idea what Duane Reade is but READE fits … or DOBBS Ferry but same thing – it works

  7. 15:31, 1 non-error (the answer key was wrong in the paper for this one, it had SCALE/BEDEGG). Another Wednesday puzzle. Hated this one too for the lack of realization that the New York Times is a newspaper with world-wide distribution.

  8. My lack of familiarity of Broadway and New York area drug stores made this harder than expected for a Tuesday puzzle.

    I also had a hard time with “BASTE” and got help from my wife with that. Once she reminded me of that term, the rest of the puzzle (New Yorkisms and all) seemed to solve easily.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.