1008-18 NY Times Crossword 8 Oct 18, Monday

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Constructed by: Jacob Stulberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Airport

Themed answers each end with something associated with an AIRPORT:

  • 38A. Where to find the ends of 17-, 27-, 50- and 65-Across : AIRPORT
  • 17A. Anode or cathode : BATTERY TERMINAL
  • 27A. Iconic San Francisco bridge : GOLDEN GATE
  • 50A. Steinbeck novel set in Monterey : CANNERY ROW
  • 65A. Letting others occupy the spotlight : TAKING A BACK SEAT

Bill’s time: 5m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10. Fool : TWIT

“Twit” is a word not used very often here in America. It’s a slang term that was quite common in England where it was used for “someone foolish and idiotic”.

14. Fashion designer Geoffrey : BEENE

Geoffrey Beene was an American fashion designer. He had an impressive list of clients that included First Ladies Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon and Nancy Reagan.

16. “Lovely” Beatles girl : RITA

“Lovely Rita” is a Beatles song on the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album. When the album was released in 1967, the term “meter maid” wasn’t used in the UK, although it was a slang term used in the US. The song helped spread the usage of “meter maid” all around the English-speaking world. Apparently the inspiration for the song was McCartney getting a parking ticket one day outside the Abbey Road Studios. He accepted the ticket with good grace, from a warden named Meta Davis. McCartney felt that Meta “looked like a Rita”, so that was the name she was given in the song.

17. Anode or cathode : BATTERY TERMINAL

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

20. Onetime leader of Iran : SHAH

“Shah” was a title used by Persian emperors that translate into English as “king”. The full title in Persian is “Sahahsah”, which means “King of Kings”.

21. Former Disney C.E.O. Michael : EISNER

Michael Eisner took over as CEO of the Walt Disney Company in 1984. Eisner has been attributed with turning Disney around, as the company was floundering really since 1966 when Walt Disney died. Eisner had a good run, but ran foul of Walt Disney’s nephew Roy Disney who led a boardroom revolt that resulted in Eisner’s resignation in 2005.

23. Land for O’Connor or O’Casey : ERIN

Sinéad O’Connor is a singer-songwriter from Dublin, a somewhat outspoken and controversial character. My sister-in-law was in the same class as her in high school, and she tells me that Sinéad stood out among her peers even back then.

27. Iconic San Francisco bridge : GOLDEN GATE

The Golden Gate is the opening of San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. The bridge that spans the Golden Gate is called “the Golden Gate Bridge” and was opened in 1937. At that time it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. One of the most eerie things about the Golden Gate Bridge is that is the second most popular place in the whole world to commit suicide (after the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge). Steps have been taken to reduce the number of suicides, including suicide hotline telephones placed along the walkway, but still there is one suicide every two weeks on average throughout the year. There are plans to place a purpose-built net below the bridge as a deterrent, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars.

33. Chanel of perfume fame : COCO

Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer. I’m no fashionista, but if I had to pick a designer whose clothes I really liked, it would be Chanel. She had a way of creating simpler designs that look so elegant on a woman.

41. Vinyl records, for short : LPS

The first vinyl records designed to play at 33⅓ rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first long play (LP) 33⅓ rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm “single” the following year, in 1949.

44. Hester of “The Scarlet Letter” : PRYNNE

The main character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Scarlet Letter” is Hester Prynne. After the birth of her illegitimate daughter Pearl, she is convicted by her puritanical neighbors of the crime of adultery. Hester is forced to wear a scarlet “A” (for “adultery”) on her clothing for the rest of her life, hence the novel’s title “The Scarlet Letter”.

46. “Water Under the Bridge” singer, 2016 : ADELE

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. Her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

48. Frozen dessert franchise : TCBY

TCBY is a chain of stores selling frozen yogurt that was founded in 1981 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The acronym TCBY originally stood for “This Can’t Be Yogurt”, but this had to be changed due to a lawsuit being pressed by a competitor called “I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt”. These days TCBY stands for “The Country’s Best Yogurt”.

50. Steinbeck novel set in Monterey : CANNERY ROW

“Cannery Row” is a novel by John Steinbeck that was first published in 1945. The title refers to the street in Monterey, California known as Cannery Row that is home to now-defunct sardine canning factories. Back in 1945 the street was called Ocean View Avenue, but it was renamed in 1958 in recognition of the Steinbeck novel.

53. Admission of perjury : I LIED

An act of perjury is the wilful giving of false testimony under oath. The term “perjury” ultimately comes from the Latin “per” meaning “away” and “iurare” meaning “to swear”.

56. Candy from a dispenser : PEZ

PEZ is an Austrian brand of candy sold in a mechanical dispenser. Famously, PEZ dispensers have molded “heads”, and have become very collectible over the years. The list of heads includes historical figures like Betsy Ross and Paul Revere, characters from “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”, and even British royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (“William and Kate”). The name PEZ comes from the first, middle and last letters of “Pfefferminz”, the German word for “peppermint”.

57. Urbana-Champaign students : 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”).

68. Roman poet who wrote “Ars Amatoria” : OVID

Ovid’s “Ars amatoria” (“The Art of Love” in English) is a series of poems in three books by the Roman poet Ovid. Book one provides men with instruction on how to find a woman. Book two gives a man guidance on keeping that woman. Ovid turns the tables in Book three and gives advice to women on how to find and keep a man.

70. Pioneering name in video games : ATARI

At one point, the electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was the fastest growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

71. Garfield and Odie, for two : PETS

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

72. Subdue through electric shock : TASE

“To tase” is to use a taser, a stun gun.

73. 1800s president nicknamed “His Accidency” : TYLER

John Tyler was the tenth President of the US, and the first to take the office on the death of the incumbent. Tyler’s predecessor was President William Henry Harrison, who was in office only 32 days before he died of natural causes. For a while there was a little confusion about the wording in the constitution that covered such an eventuality. There was an argument made that Tyler would continue as Vice-President but would assume the responsibilities of the office of President, in effect as “Acting President”. However, Tyler proceeded as though he was taking over as President and took the oath of office in his hotel room in Washington. Soon afterwards, Congress declared that Tyler was indeed President, although many continued to dispute the fact. Many of President Tyler’s opponents referred to him as “His Accidency”. His term in office ended in 1845. When the Civil War began in 1861, Tyler sided with the Confederacy and was even elected to the Confederate House of Representatives for the 3rd District of Virginia. President Tyler passed away only a few days after taking his seat in the House. His death was the only one in presidential history that was not recognized in the nation’s capital, as he sided with the Confederate States.

Down

2. Jacob’s first wife, in the Bible : LEAH

According to the Bible, Leah was one of the two wives of Jacob, the other being Leah’s sister Rachel. Jacob’s intention had been to marry Rachel, but the Leah and Rachel’s father “switched” his daughters and provided Leah as the veiled bride. Jacob married Rachel a week later, and lived with the two wives concurrently.

3. Software version for testing : BETA

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

4. Discreetly, informally : ON THE DL

Something described as “on the down low” is “secret”. The phrase is often shortened to “on the DL”, The same abbreviated expression can also mean “on the disabled list” in sports.

10. The first “T” of TNT : TRI-

“TNT” is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

11. Relative of alcopop : WINE COOLER

A wine cooler is a drink made from wine and fruit juice, and often some soda.

Alcopops are flavored alcoholic drinks, with the term being a portmanteau of “alcohol” and “pop”. Examples are Smirnoff Ice, Bacardi Breezer, and Jack Daniel’s Hard Cola.

12. Like tilted type : ITALIC

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

19. Action star originally known as Laurence Tureaud : MR T

Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tero Tureaud. Mr. T is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a nightclub so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. His catch phrase comes from the movie “Rocky III”. In the film, before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, “No, I don’t hate Balboa, but I pity the fool”. He parlayed that line into quite a bit of success. He had a reality TV show called “I Pity the Fool”, and produced a motivational video called “Be Somebody … or Be Somebody’s Fool!”.

27. Band’s booking : GIG

Musicians use “gig” to describe a job, a performance. The term originated in the early 1900s in the world of jazz. The derivative phrase “gig economy” applies to a relatively recent phenomenon where workers find themselves jumping from temporary job to temporary job, from gig to gig.

29. Rap rock band with the 7x platinum album “Significant Other” : LIMP BIZKIT

Limp Bizkit is described as a nu metal band, with “nu metal” being a subgenre of “heavy metal”. Limp Bizkit has been around since 1994, and that’s all I know …

30. “Quaking” tree : ASPEN

The “quaking” aspen tree is so called because the structure of the leaves causes them to move easily in the wind, to “tremble, quake”.

32. Distinctive feature of Mr. Spock : EAR

Vulcans are an alien race in the “Star Trek” franchise. The most famous (half) Vulcan is Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy. Spock’s father is a Vulcan, and his mother is human.

39. Abbr. ending a company name : INC

A company that has incorporated uses the abbreviation “Inc.” after its name. By incorporating, a company forms a corporation, which is a legal entity that has legal rights similar to those of an individual. For example, a corporation can sue another corporation or individual. However, a corporation does not have all the rights of citizens. A corporation does not have the Fifth Amendment right of protections against self-incrimination, for example. It is perhaps understandable that the concept of “corporations as persons” is a frequent subject for debate.

40. Genetic stuff : RNA

The two most common nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA), both of which play crucial roles in genetics. The DNA contains the genetic instructions used to keep living organisms functioning, and RNA is used to transcribe that information from the DNA to protein “generators” called ribosomes.

42. West Bank-based grp. : PLO

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964. The PLO’s early stated goal was the liberation of Palestine, with Palestine defined as the geographic entity that existed under the terms of the British Mandate granted by the League of Nations back in 1923. The PLO was granted observer status (i.e. no voting rights) at the United Nations in 1974.

The bulk of the Palestinian territories are located in the West Bank. The term “West Bank” is a reference to lands west of the River Jordan.

45. Ingredient in a manhattan : RYE

The cocktail called a Manhattan is made from whiskey, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. I favor my own version of a brandy Manhattan, using brandy, sweet vermouth and orange bitters.

47. China’s Ming or Manchu : DYNASTY

The Ming Dynasty lasted in China from 1368 to 1644. The Ming Dynasty oversaw tremendous innovation in so many areas, including the manufacture of ceramics. Late in the Ming period, a shift towards a market economy in China led to the export of porcelain on an unprecedented scale, perhaps explaining why we tend to hear more about Ming vases than we do about porcelain from any other Chinese dynasty.

The Qing Dynasty, also known as the Manchu Dynasty, lasted from 1644 to 1912. By the early 1900s, civil unrest was growing. Empress Dowager Cixi made changes in government designed to improve the social situation in China, but it was too late. The Wuchang Uprising of 1911 led to the formation of a new central government called the Republic of China, and over the coming months provinces switched their loyalty from the Qing Empire to the new Republic.

49. Synonym for both “adhere” and “split” : CLEAVE

I’ve always found “to cleave” an interesting verb. When used with an object, to cleave something is to split it, as one would would using a cleaver. When used without an object, to cleave is to cling, to adhere, as in “to cleave to one’s principles in the face of adversity”. Although not exactly so, the two definitions seem to have opposite meanings to me …

52. “Beowulf,” e.g. : EPIC

“Beowulf” is an old epic poem from England, although the story is set in Scandinavia. Beowulf fights a battle, defending the Danish King Hrothgar from the ferocious outcast Grendel. Hrothgar had built a great hall for his people in which they could celebrate; singing, dancing and drinking lots of mead. Grendel was angered by the carousing and attacked the hall, devouring many of the incumbent warriors as they slept. A bit of an extreme reaction to noisy neighbors I’d say …

58. Pride parade inits. : LGBT

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)

The police raided a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn on June 29th, 1969. That raid triggered to a spate of violent demonstrations led by the LGBT community. Now known as the Stonewall riots, those demonstrations are viewed by many as a significant event leading to the modern-day fight for LGBT rights in the US. Since then, June has been chosen as LGBT Pride Month in recognition of the Stonewall riots.

59. Actress ___ Flynn Boyle : LARA

The actress Lara Flynn Boyle played Donna Hayward on “Twin Peaks” and Helen Gamble on “The Practice”.

60. Long-legged wader : IBIS

The ibis is a wading bird that was revered in ancient Egypt. “Ibis” is an interesting word grammatically speaking. You can have one “ibis” or two “ibises”, and then again one has a flock of “ibis”. And if you want to go with the classical plural, instead of two “ibises” you would have two “ibides”!

66. Passports et al. : IDS

As a result of a League of Nations conference in 1920, passports are usually written in French and one other language. French was specified back then as it was deemed the language of diplomacy. US passports use French and English, given that English is the nation’s de facto national language. Spanish was added as a language for US passports in the late nineties in recognition of Spanish-speaking Puerto Rico.

67. Kit ___ bar : KAT

I grew up eating Kit Kat bars as a kid, as the chocolate confection has been around since the thirties. Kit Kats didn’t hit the shelves in the US until the seventies. I’ve seen new varieties of Kit Kat over in the UK, such as an orange-flavored version, but haven’t seen anything like that over here.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Something up one’s sleeve? : ELBOW
6. To’s opposite : FROM
10. Fool : TWIT
14. Fashion designer Geoffrey : BEENE
15. Four-star review : RAVE
16. “Lovely” Beatles girl : RITA
17. Anode or cathode : BATTERY TERMINAL
20. Onetime leader of Iran : SHAH
21. Former Disney C.E.O. Michael : EISNER
22. Antlered animal : ELK
23. Land for O’Connor or O’Casey : ERIN
25. Unspoken but understood : TACIT
27. Iconic San Francisco bridge : GOLDEN GATE
33. Chanel of perfume fame : COCO
34. Response to “Who wants to go?” : I WILL
35. In order that one might : SO AS TO
37. Jewel : GEM
38. Where to find the ends of 17-, 27-, 50- and 65-Across : AIRPORT
41. Vinyl records, for short : LPS
44. Hester of “The Scarlet Letter” : PRYNNE
46. “Water Under the Bridge” singer, 2016 : ADELE
48. Frozen dessert franchise : TCBY
50. Steinbeck novel set in Monterey : CANNERY ROW
53. Admission of perjury : I LIED
55. Daytime store window sign : OPEN
56. Candy from a dispenser : PEZ
57. Urbana-Champaign students : ILLINI
61. Rock music boosters : AMPS
65. Letting others occupy the spotlight : TAKING A BACK SEAT
68. Roman poet who wrote “Ars Amatoria” : OVID
69. Hat’s edge : BRIM
70. Pioneering name in video games : ATARI
71. Garfield and Odie, for two : PETS
72. Subdue through electric shock : TASE
73. 1800s president nicknamed “His Accidency” : TYLER

Down

1. ___ and flows : EBBS
2. Jacob’s first wife, in the Bible : LEAH
3. Software version for testing : BETA
4. Discreetly, informally : ON THE DL
5. Tiny : WEE
6. Cooking in a pan with oil : FRYING
7. “Confound it!” : RATS!
8. Place to cook a turkey : OVEN
9. Only : MERE
10. The first “T” of TNT : TRI-
11. Relative of alcopop : WINE COOLER
12. Like tilted type : ITALIC
13. Address, as a listener : TALK TO
18. Bridle strap : REIN
19. Action star originally known as Laurence Tureaud : MR T
24. Team race : RELAY
26. Make a scene? : ACT
27. Band’s booking : GIG
28. “You ___ me one” : OWE
29. Rap rock band with the 7x platinum album “Significant Other” : LIMP BIZKIT
30. “Quaking” tree : ASPEN
31. Excessively : TOO
32. Distinctive feature of Mr. Spock : EAR
36. Look that might “shoot daggers” : STARE
39. Abbr. ending a company name : INC
40. Genetic stuff : RNA
42. West Bank-based grp. : PLO
43. Make clothing : SEW
45. Ingredient in a manhattan : RYE
47. China’s Ming or Manchu : DYNASTY
48. Pinnacle : TIPTOP
49. Synonym for both “adhere” and “split” : CLEAVE
51. Undistinguished : NO-NAME
52. “Beowulf,” e.g. : EPIC
54. Loud noise : DIN
58. Pride parade inits. : LGBT
59. Actress ___ Flynn Boyle : LARA
60. Long-legged wader : IBIS
62. Offering now discontinued by most discount carriers : MEAL
63. Cut (down) : PARE
64. Keep the sauce from congealing, say : STIR
66. Passports et al. : IDS
67. Kit ___ bar : KAT

9 thoughts on “1008-18 NY Times Crossword 8 Oct 18, Monday”

  1. 10:42. A few missteps. I had ON THE qt for 4D which made me wonder if I’d ever heard of the San Quentin bridge (27A) in the Bay Area. It took me a minute or two to back out of that mess, but it was good for a laugh.

    Best –

  2. 7:47, no errors. Slowed by a couple of erasures. I have heard, vaguely, of LIMP BIZKIT, but though that the deliberate misspelling used an S vice Z. Also, have heard the expressions ‘on the down low’ and ‘on the qt’, but not ‘on the dl’, unless referring to the ‘disabled list’ in sports. Very interesting historical trivia regarding President TYLER and PEZ candy.

  3. No errors. I had “On the q.t.” before the crosses began to dictate ON THE D.L. I was curious perhaps if the two were synonyms. Surprisingly, the internet did not have much of anything to say about comparing the two phrases. Just so long as the crossword worker is aware that the fill could go either way, there should be no problem in getting it right.

    For 12-Down, ITALIC, my newspaper gave the clue “Like this type”. However, the printing was in the usual block letters. It is pretty obvious that the NYT wanted the local newspapers to put that particular clue into italic type which, at least, my newspaper failed to do. I get used to these kind of mistakes when they try something clever like this so I have learned that I have to work around their error-prone efforts.

    I notice, however that Bill’s blog has the clue for 12-Down as “Like tilted type”. Apparently they could not clue it in the same way in the online version either. It really turns out to be relatively unimportant but “Like tilted type” would have been the better choice for everybody.

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