1006-18 NY Times Crossword 6 Oct 18, Saturday

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Constructed by: Lewis Dean Hyatt
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 19m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. First-ever comedian to appear on the cover of Time (1960) : SAHL

Mort Sahl is a Canadian-born actor and comedian who moved to the US with his family when he was a child. Sahl became friends with John F. Kennedy. When Kennedy became president, Sahl wrote a lot of jokes for the President’s speeches, although he also told a lot of Kennedy jokes in his acts. After the President was assassinated in 1963, Sahl was intensely interested in finding out who was behind the crime and even got himself deputized as a member of one of the investigating teams. He was very outspoken against the results of the Warren Commission report on the assassination, and soon found himself out of favor with the public. It took a few years for him to make his comeback, but come back he did.

15. Cookie for the calorie-conscious : OREO THIN

For those of us counting calories, Oreo Thins were introduced in 2015. There are only 40 calories in each thin cookie, compared to 53 calories in the real deal.

22. Org. in 2007’s “Charlie Wilson’s War” : CIA

“Charlie Wilson’s War” is an excellent 2007 movie written by my favorite screenwriter, Aaron Sorkin. The film tells the true story of US Congressman Charlie Wilson who was instrumental in supporting local militia during the Soviet War in Afghanistan. Tom Hanks plays the title role, with Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman also starring. Hoffman’s plays a maverick CIA agent named Gust Avrakotos, and my favorite character in the movie …

25. Hungarian-born mathematician Paul : ERDOS

Paul Erdős was a famous Hungarian mathematician, and a very prolific writer. Erdős published more papers than any other mathematician in history.

30. Verb repeated throughout Exodus 20 : SHALT

According to the Book of Exodus, God inscribed the Ten Commandments on two stone tablets and gave them to Moses on Mount Sinai.

32. Largest sesamoid bone in the body : KNEECAP

The patella is the kneecap. The bone’s Latin name is “patella”, which is a diminutive form of “patina”, the word for “pan”. The idea is that the kneecap is pan-shaped.

A sesamoid bone is one embedded within a tendon or muscle. Such bones provide a smooth surface over which the tendon or muscle can slide freely, in the same way that a rope slides over a pulley. The largest example of a sesamoid bone in the human body is the patella, the kneecap. Most sesamoid bones are very small, which explains why the name comes from the Latin “sesamum” meaning “sesame seed”.

40. University near Penn : DREXEL

Drexel University is a private school in Philadelphia, but with a campus in Sacramento. It was founded in 1891 by philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel who was a Philadelphia financier. The school was originally known as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry.

44. R.E.M. show? : DREAM

“REM” is an acronym standing for rapid eye movement sleep. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

46. Slew : SCAD

The origin of the word “scads”, meaning “lots and lots”, is unclear. That said, “scads” was used to mean “dollars” back in the mid-1800s.

49. Muscle used in dip exercises, informally : TRI

The triceps brachii muscle is found at the back of the upper arm. The muscle’s name translates to “three-headed arm muscle”, fitting as it is actually made up of three bundles of muscles.

55. Mahi-mahi, by another name : DORADO

“Mahi-mahi” is the Hawaiian name for the dolphin-fish, which is also called the dorado. The mahi-mahi is an ugly looking creature if ever I saw one …

59. Penn, e.g.: Abbr. : STN

Penn Station in New York City may have been the first Pennsylvania Station, but it’s not the only one. The Pennsylvania Railroad gave that name to many of its big passenger terminals, including one in Philadelphia (now called 30th Street Station), one in Baltimore, one in Pittsburgh, one in Cleveland, as well as others.

Down

1. Some tragic ends, for short : ODS

Overdose (OD)

6. Brillo alternatives : SOS PADS

“S.O.S” is a brand name of scouring pads made from steel wool impregnated with soap. The product was invented as a giveaway by an aluminum pot salesman in San Francisco called Ed Cox. His wife gave it the name “S.O.S” as an initialism standing for “Save Our Saucepans”. Note the punctuation! There is no period after the last S, and that is deliberate. When Cox went to register the trademark, he found that “S.O.S.” could not be a trademark because it was used as an international distress signal. So he dropped the period after the last S, and I hope made a lot of money for himself and his wife.

Brillo Pad is a soapy, steel wool pad, patented in 1913. The company claims that the name “Brillo” is derived from the Latin word for “bright”.

7. Counterpart of pizzicato, in music : ARCO

“Arco” is a musical direction instructing a string player to return to normal bowing technique after a passage played using some other technique (perhaps pizzicato).

10. Eastern religion : SHINTO

It is perhaps best not to describe Shinto as a religion, but more as a “spirituality of the Japanese people”, a spirituality that encompasses folklore, history and mythology. Having said that, “Shinto” translates literally as “Way of the gods”. Most people in Japan who are described as practicing Shinto, also practice Buddhism.

11. Galvanized, chemically : ZINCED

Steel or iron can be galvanized to prevent rusting. The galvanization process involves the application of a protective zinc coat. The most common method used is hot-dipping in a bath of molten zinc metal.

20. It made a big splash in 2001 : MIR

The Russian Mir space station was a remarkably successful project. It held the record for the longest continuous human presence in space at just under 10 years, until the International Space Station eclipsed that record in 2010. Towards the end of the space station’s life however, the years began to take their toll. There was a dangerous fire, multiple system failures, and a collision with a resupply ship. The Russian commitment to the International Space Station drained funds for repairs, so Mir was allowed to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up in 2001. “Mir” is a Russian word meaning “peace” or “world”.

31. What isn’t legal for copying: Abbr. : LTR

Our paper sizes here in North America don’t conform with the standards in the rest of the world. ISO standard sizes used elsewhere were chosen so that the ratio of width to length is usually one to the square root of two. This mathematical relationship means that when you cut a piece of paper in two each half preserves the aspect ratio of the original, which can be useful in making reduced or enlarged copies of documents. Our standard size of “letter” (ltr., 8.5 x 11 inches) was determined in 1980 by the Reagan administration to be the official paper size for the US government. Prior to this, the “legal” size (8.5 x 14 inches) had been the standard, since 1921.

37. Assembly line pioneer : OLDS

Ransom Eli Olds was a pioneer in the automotive industry, and the founder of the Oldsmobile and REO brands. Olds introduced the first modern “stationary” assembly line (Henry Ford’s famous innovation was the “moving” assembly line). As a result, it can be argued that the Oldsmobile Curved Dash was the first mass-produced, low-priced automobile, rather than the Ford’s Model T.

41. They’re not in the script : AD LIBS

“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage, the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage, the concept of an ad lib is very familiar.

45. Lionel Richie’s “You ___” : ARE

“You Are” was a 1983 hit for Lionel Richie. Richie co-wrote “You Are” with his wife at that time, Brenda Harvey Richie.

Singer-songwriter Lionel Richie got his big break as a singer and saxophonist with the Commodores starting in 1968. Richie launched a very successful solo career in 1982. Richie is the father of socialite Nicole Richie, childhood friend of Paris Hilton and co-star on the Fox show “The Simple Life”.

48. Woman’s name that rhymes with a part of the world : ERICA

Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian explorer. Vespucci was the man who established that the landmass discovered by Christopher Columbus was not the eastern coast of Asia, but rather was a “New World”. The newly-discovered supercontinent was named “America”, coming from the Latin version of Vespucci’s first name “Amerigo”.

52. Inverse of giga- : NANO-

The prefix “nano-” is used for units of one thousand-millionth part. “Nano-” comes from the Greek “nanos” meaning “dwarf”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Took out : OFFED
6. First-ever comedian to appear on the cover of Time (1960) : SAHL
10. Singer with the 2017 #1 R&B album “Ctrl” : SZA
13. Data storage sites : DRIVES
15. Cookie for the calorie-conscious : OREO THIN
17. ___ number : SERIAL
18. Like some pans : SCATHING
19. Me-first attitude : SELF-IMPORTANCE
21. Surprised salutation : OH HI!
22. Org. in 2007’s “Charlie Wilson’s War” : CIA
23. Make rent : TATTER
24. “Time for me to shine” : I’M ON
25. Hungarian-born mathematician Paul : ERDOS
27. Does some yard work : SODS
28. Embedded : NESTED
30. Verb repeated throughout Exodus 20 : SHALT
32. Largest sesamoid bone in the body : KNEECAP
34. Moving : ON THE GO
38. What finger wags indicate : NO-NOS
40. University near Penn : DREXEL
41. Grinding away : AT IT
44. R.E.M. show? : DREAM
46. Slew : SCAD
47. Word on a red stamp, perhaps : DENIED
49. Muscle used in dip exercises, informally : TRI
50. Standards : PARS
51. Requiring a lot of work : LABOR-INTENSIVE
54. Prone to sarcasm : IRONICAL
55. Mahi-mahi, by another name : DORADO
57. Alternative to online dating : BAR SCENE
58. Regurgitate, as a baby would : SPIT UP
59. Penn, e.g.: Abbr. : STN
60. Troubles : ADOS
61. 1), 2), 3), etc. : STEPS

Down

1. Some tragic ends, for short : ODS
2. First-termers : FRESHMEN
3. It may be under pressure during an emergency : FIRE HOSE
4. Bad designs : EVIL INTENTIONS
5. Unmindful : DEAF
6. Brillo alternatives : SOS PADS
7. Counterpart of pizzicato, in music : ARCO
8. Oscar-winning 1974 documentary about the Vietnam War : HEARTS AND MINDS
9. Buncha : LOTTA
10. Eastern religion : SHINTO
11. Galvanized, chemically : ZINCED
12. Brings to a boil : ANGERS
14. Broke down for careful analysis : SLICED AND DICED
16. “Now you’re talking!” : THAT’S THE SPIRIT!
20. It made a big splash in 2001 : MIR
21. [Snort] : OINK!
26. “Well, whaddya know!” : OHO!
29. Lead-in to tourism or terrorism : ECO-
31. What isn’t legal for copying: Abbr. : LTR
33. “___ qué?” : POR
35. Remove from the ground : EXCAVATE
36. Equipped : GEARED UP
37. Assembly line pioneer : OLDS
39. Goes with Mr. All Right? : SETTLES
41. They’re not in the script : AD LIBS
42. Claw : TEAR AT
43. Congenital : INBORN
45. Lionel Richie’s “You ___” : ARE
48. Woman’s name that rhymes with a part of the world : ERICA
52. Inverse of giga- : NANO-
53. Minor concessions : SOPS
56. Special ___ : OPS

13 thoughts on “1006-18 NY Times Crossword 6 Oct 18, Saturday”

  1. 19:29, no errors. For me, a difficult one to break into. Finally got a firm toehold (an oxymoron?) in the lower left, after which the solve proceeded smoothly, if somewhat slowly.

  2. 32:53 with a couple of look ups. A lot I didn’t know in this one – e.g. SZA, but I did know ZINCED which saved that corner. Tough one.

    Best –

  3. Phew this was a tough one Jeff. I missed the Z at 11 down 10 across but should have known zinced. Got the rest with no help. A workout for the brain.

  4. One hour and twelve min. and also didn’t know SZA.
    Had to change some long answers (that’s the ticket to that’s the spirit) and others. Rather disappointing to put that much time on a puzzle and be stumped by SZA whoever that is.

  5. “Saturday worthy” after yesterday’s easier than normal Friday. No errors, but had to guess at the Z in 11 down to complete SZA and ZINCED as it was the only letter that much sense.

  6. Oho? Really. Did not have the O in Erdos, but seriously? Oho? 1 missed letter that I just left blank because it was a guess and a stupid clue on the down.

  7. 40:28, no errors. Fell into so many traps I was practically erasing holes in my paper. 12A had CLOUDS before DRIVES; 35D LEVITATE before EXCAVATE; 54A SARDONIC before IRONICAL.

  8. Didn’t find this one too hard, and not too easy, either. A Goldilocks Saturday medium. No errors, but more than one write-over. Enjoyed it.

    1. I thought of Mort Sahl after realizing it was 1960, I must comment to Lewis Dean Hyatt that deaf people are not necessarily unmindful. I thought of dumb, than went to daff and find the clue both actually wrong and thoughtfully wrong also. Willy what goes here!

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