1009-18 NY Times Crossword 9 Oct 18, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Natan Last, Andy Kravis & the J.A.S.A. Crossword Class
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Hidden Figures

Themed answers include sets of circled letters. Those letters spell out HIDDEN words, with each word being a geometric FIGURE:

  • 49A. 2016 Best Picture nominee … or a hint to the circled letters in 20-, 25- and 43-Across : HIDDEN FIGURES
  • 20A. Coined phrase? : E PLURIBUS UNUM (hiding “PRISM”)
  • 25A. Something Linus carries in “Peanuts” : SECURITY BLANKET (hiding “CUBE”)
  • 43A. “Just as I expected!” : NO SURPRISE THERE! (hiding “SPHERE”)

Bill’s time: 8m 34s!

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Apple desktop : IMAC

The iMac is a desktop computer platform from Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors, that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such strawberry, blueberry and lime.

10. Kind of tide : NEAP

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.

14. Kindle purchase : E-BOOK

Amazon’s Kindle line of e-book readers was introduced in 2007. The name “kindle” was chosen to evoke images of “lighting a fire” through reading and intellectual stimulation. I bought myself a Kindle Fire HD a few years ago. I’ve started reading e-books for the first time in my life, as well as enjoying other computing options available with the tablet device …

15. Greek goddess of Earth : GAIA

In ancient Greek religion, Gaia was the Earth goddess, the mother of everything. The Roman equivalent was the goddess Terra.

16. “Free Willy” creature : ORCA

The orca that starred in the 1993 movie “Free Willy” was actually called Keiko, with Willy being his “stage name”. Keiko had a sad life. He was captured near Iceland in 1979 and sold to a local aquarium. Subsequently he was sold on to Marineland in Ontario, and then Six Flags Mexico in 1985. After starring in the movie, his fans raised money with the intent of returning Keiko to the wild. Keiko had become very ill, partly from being confined in a small tank in Mexico, so a lot of money had to be spent returning him to good health. He was purchased by the Oregon Coast Aquarium who undertook the task of treating him and preparing him for the wild. You might recall the dramatic journey he took from Mexico to Oregon in US Air Force transport plane in 1996. Having regained his health, he was flown to Iceland and there was gradually reintroduced into the wild. Sadly, Keiko did not fare too well back in the ocean. He was never adopted by a pod, so lived a solitary life. He lost weight, would sometimes follow fishing boats and play with any humans who would give him attention. In 2003, he beached himself in Taken Bay in Norway, where he died.

19. Platypus feature : BILL

The platypus (plural “platypuses” or “platypi”) is one of only five mammalian species that we know of that lay eggs rather than give birth to live young. The platypus is a native of Eastern Australia, and it is a weird creature to say the least. It’s appearance is bizarre enough, with its bill that resembles that of a duck, but it is also poisonous. The platypus has a spur on it hind foot that can inject venom and cause severe pain in humans.

20. Coined phrase? : E PLURIBUS UNUM (hiding “PRISM”)

From 1776, “E pluribus unum” was the unofficial motto of the United States. The phrase translates from Latin as “Out of many, one”. It was pushed aside in 1956 when an Act of Congress designated “In God We Trust” as the country’s official motto. “In God We Trust” had appeared on US coins since 1864, but was only introduced on paper currency in 1957.

When light passes through a prism, it splits up (“disperses”) into differing wavelengths. It then becomes clear that white light is actually a mixture of different colors, which show up as beautiful spectra.

23. Bob who won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature : DYLAN

The real name of singer Bob Dylan is Robert Zimmerman. Zimmerman chose that particular stage name because he was greatly influenced by the poetry of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

25. Something Linus carries in “Peanuts” : SECURITY BLANKET (hiding “CUBE”)

In Charles Schulz’s fabulous comic strip “Peanuts”, Charlie Brown is friends with at least three members of the van Pelt family. Most famously there is Lucy van Pelt, who bosses everyone around, particularly Charlie. Then there is Linus, Lucy’s younger brother, the character who always has his security blanket at hand. Lastly there is an even younger brother, Rerun van Pelt. Rerun is constantly hiding under his bed, trying to avoid going to school.

32. What it takes to tango : TWO

It takes two to tango …

The dramatic dance called the tango originated in the late 1800s in the area along the border between Argentina and Uruguay. Dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires in particular traveled to Europe and beyond in the early twentieth century and brought the tango with them. The tango craze first struck Europe in Paris in the 1910s, and from there spread to London and Berlin, crossing the Atlantic to New York in 1913.

33. Canine, e.g. : TOOTH

The canine teeth of a mammal are also called the eyeteeth or cuspids. The name “canine” is used because these particular teeth are very prominent in dogs. The prefix “eye-” is used because in humans the eyeteeth are located in the upper jaw, directly below the eyes.

34. 2016 Best Supporting Actor winner Mahershala : ALI

Mahershala Ali is an actor and sometime rapper. Among the more memorable roles Ali has had are lobbyist Remy Danton in TV’s “House of Cards”, and Colonel Boggs in “The Hunger Games” series of movies. He also won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing Juan in the 2016 drama “Moonlight”.

38. Reticent : SHY

To be garrulous is to be tiresomely talkative. To be reticent is to be inclined to keep one’s thoughts to oneself.

39. Ballet dancer in “Fantasia” : HIPPO

“Fantasia” was Disney’s third feature length movie, and was released in 1940. The film had a disappointing critical reception and pushed the Disney company into financial difficulties. RKO took over the film’s distribution in 1946. The folks at RKO cut a full hour off the running time and relaunched the movie into a successful run. If you haven’t seen “Fantasia”, I urge you to do so. It’s a real delight …

41. Regal initialism : HRH

His/Her Royal Highness (HRH)

47. “The Giving ___” (Shel Silverstein title) : TREE

Author Shel Silverstein had a varied career and did a lot more than write books. Silverstein was a poet, composer, cartoonist and screenwriter among other things. One of his successful children’s books is “The Giving Tree”, which was first published in 1964. “The Giving Tree” tells of a young boy who has a special relationship with a tree in a forest. The message of the book seems to be that the tree provides the little boy with everything he needs.

48. Civil rights leader Medgar : EVERS

Medgar Evers was an African American civil rights activist from Mississippi who was assassinated by the Klu Klux Klan in 1963. A year after the murder, one Byron De La Beckwith was arrested and charged with the crime. Two trials failed to return a decision on Beckwith’s guilt as the juries, composed completely of white males, deadlocked both times. New evidence was unearthed some thirty years later so Beckwith could be retried and he was finally convicted of the murder in 1994. Back in 1963 Evers was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. Evers had served in the US Army in France during WWII and left the military with the rank of sergeant.

49. 2016 Best Picture nominee … or a hint to the circled letters in 20-, 25- and 43-Across : HIDDEN FIGURES

“Hidden Figures” is an excellent 2016 film based on a book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. Both book and film tell the story of female African American mathematicians who worked for NASA during the Mercury and Apollo programs in the 1960s.

55. Item cut up for a salad, informally : CUKE

Apparently scientists have shown that the inside of a cucumber growing in a field can be up to twenty degrees cooler than the surrounding air. That’s something that was believed by farmers as early as the 1730s, at which time the phrase “cool as a cucumber” was coined.

56. Dental care brand : ORAL-B

The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

61. Crude carrier : OILER

An oiler is an oil tanker, an ocean-going vessel used to transport crude oil.

62. “SportsCenter” airer : ESPN

“SportsCenter” is the flagship program of the ESPN television network, and has been on the air since 1979. Original versions of “SportsCenter” appear on multiple times during the day, so that there have been over 50,000 episodes broadcast to date, more than any other show on US television.

64. “Be prepared,” for example : MOTTO

As every little boy (of my era) knows, the Scouting movement was founded by Lord Baden Powell, in 1907. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) soon followed, in 1910. And, the Boy Scouts motto is “Be Prepared”.

Down

1. One at a coming-out party, briefly : DEB

“Deb” is short for “debutante”, which translates from French as “beginner” when referring to a female.

2. ___ Dhabi : ABU

Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

4. Puzzle : NONPLUS

To nonplus is to perplex completely. The idea is that one becomes so perplexed that “no more” can be said. “Non plus” is Latin for “no more”.

5. Actor Astin of “Pitch Perfect” : SKYLAR

“Pitch Perfect” is an entertaining musical comedy film released in 2012. It’s all about an all-female college a cappella group competing to win a national competition.

6. Composer Stravinsky : IGOR

The composer Igor Stravinsky’s most famous works were completed relatively early in his career, when he was quite young. His three ballets “The Firebird”, “Petrushka” and “The Rite of Spring” were published in 1910-1913, when Stravinsky was in his early thirties.

7. Island east of Lanai : MAUI

Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands. It is sometimes called the “Valley Isle” as it is composed of two volcanoes to the northwest and southeast of the island, each with numerous beautiful valleys carved into them.

Lanai is the sixth largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Lanai was first spotted by Europeans just a few days after Captain Cook was killed on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1779. In 1922, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company bought the whole island of Lanai and turned most of it into the world’s largest pineapple plantation. Since then, Lanai has been known as “The Pineapple Island”. Today, 98% of the island is owned by Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, and 2% is owned by the State of Hawaii.

8. Website with a lot of home pages? : AIRBNB

Airbnb is a website-based service that matches people wanting to rent out short-term living quarters to people seeking accommodation.

11. The Emerald Isle : ERIN

Ireland is often referred to as “the Emerald Isle” (and described as “green”) because of all that green grass that grows due to the seemingly non-stop rain.

12. Rights org. : ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War when it was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors. The ACLU’s motto is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself”. The ACLU also hosts a blog on the ACLU.org website called “Speak Freely”.

22. Footwear for a dandy : SPATS

Spats are footwear accessories that cover the ankle and instep. Spats were primarily worn by men, and originally had the purpose of protecting shoes and socks from mud or rain. Eventually, spats became a feature in stylish dress. The term “spats” is a contraction of “spatterdashes”.

25. Hall-of-Fame pitcher Warren : SPAHN

Warren Spahn was a left-handed pitcher who won 363 games, more than any other left-handed pitcher in history. The Warren Spahn Award has been presented annually by the Oklahoma Sports Museum since 1999.

26. Onetime Pan Am rival : TWA

Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a big carrier in the US, but was perhaps even more recognized for its extensive presence in Europe and the Middle East. For many years, especially after the collapse of Pan Am and TWA’s purchase by Howard Hughes, TWA was considered the unofficial flag carrier for the US. The company started in 1930, the product of a forced merger of Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express. The Transcontinental and Western Air that resulted (the original meaning of the initialism “TWA”) was what the Postmaster General wanted, a bigger airline to which the Postal Service could award airmail contracts.

27. Dinosaur in the Super Mario world : YOSHI

Yoshi is a dinosaur-like character in some Nintendo video games. Yoshi first appeared as a sidekick for Mario and Luigi in the 1991 game called “Super Mario World”.

29. Anesthetics of old : ETHERS

Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.

30. “Parsley, sage, rosemary and ___” (“Scarborough Fair” lyric) : THYME

“Scarborough Fair” is a delightful ballad that originated in Yorkshire in the North of England. Simon & Garfunkel recorded a famous version of the song in 1966, setting it in counterpoint with one of Simon’s own creations called “Canticle”.

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Remember me to one who lives there,
She was once a true love of mine.

35. Longtime Yankees manager Joe : TORRE

As a manager, Joe Torre was part of four World Series wins, all of them with the New York Yankees baseball team. Torre is an Italian American who was born in Brooklyn, New York. During the run up (pun intended!) to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Torre carried the Olympic flame part of the way through Florence in Italy, handing it over to the next runner at the famous Ponte Vecchio. I’d guess that was quite a thrill for him …

36. Triage sites, for short : ERS

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on a battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “a sorting”.

37. What’s exited in Brexit, for short : THE EU

The UK held a referendum in June 2016 in which 52% of voters chose to leave the European Union (EU). The term “Brexit” was used for the vote, a portmanteau of “Britain” and “exit”. The vote has led to some debate about the future of the UK. The Scottish electorate voted for the UK to stay in the EU, and so that revived speculation about Scotland leaving the UK. There has also some discussion about Northern Ireland’s future in the UK, as the Northern Irish electorate also voted to stay in the EU.

52. Company whose how-to manuals lack words : IKEA

The furniture chain IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old. IKEA is an acronym standing for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

53. Tech whiz : GEEK

Originally, a geek was a sideshow performer, perhaps one at a circus. We use the term today for someone regarded as foolish or clumsy, and also for someone who is technically driven and expert, but often socially inept.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Sends to eternal punishment : DAMNS
6. Apple desktop : IMAC
10. Kind of tide : NEAP
14. Kindle purchase : E-BOOK
15. Greek goddess of Earth : GAIA
16. “Free Willy” creature : ORCA
17. Easter hopper : BUNNY
18. Not mine alone : OURS
19. Platypus feature : BILL
20. Coined phrase? : E PLURIBUS UNUM (hiding “PRISM”)
23. Bob who won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature : DYLAN
24. What a kitten is picked up by : NAPE
25. Something Linus carries in “Peanuts” : SECURITY BLANKET (hiding “CUBE”)
31. Buds : PALS
32. What it takes to tango : TWO
33. Canine, e.g. : TOOTH
34. 2016 Best Supporting Actor winner Mahershala : ALI
35. Collections for afternoon socials : TEA SETS
38. Reticent : SHY
39. Ballet dancer in “Fantasia” : HIPPO
41. Regal initialism : HRH
42. Physics prereq., maybe : CHEM
43. “Just as I expected!” : NO SURPRISE THERE! (hiding “SPHERE”)
47. “The Giving ___” (Shel Silverstein title) : TREE
48. Civil rights leader Medgar : EVERS
49. 2016 Best Picture nominee … or a hint to the circled letters in 20-, 25- and 43-Across : HIDDEN FIGURES
54. Frozen yogurt mix-in : OREO
55. Item cut up for a salad, informally : CUKE
56. Dental care brand : ORAL-B
59. Tilt : SKEW
60. “That makes perfect sense now!” : I SEE!
61. Crude carrier : OILER
62. “SportsCenter” airer : ESPN
63. Unauthorized disclosure : LEAK
64. “Be prepared,” for example : MOTTO

Down

1. One at a coming-out party, briefly : DEB
2. ___ Dhabi : ABU
3. Wallet alternatives : MONEY CLIPS
4. Puzzle : NONPLUS
5. Actor Astin of “Pitch Perfect” : SKYLAR
6. Composer Stravinsky : IGOR
7. Island east of Lanai : MAUI
8. Website with a lot of home pages? : AIRBNB
9. Laid-back : CASUAL
10. Mock Spanish expression of disapproval : NO BUENO
11. The Emerald Isle : ERIN
12. Rights org. : ACLU
13. It can be greased : PALM
21. Wed : UNITE
22. Footwear for a dandy : SPATS
23. “What’s the ___?” (slangy “How’s it going?”) : DEALIO
25. Hall-of-Fame pitcher Warren : SPAHN
26. Onetime Pan Am rival : TWA
27. Dinosaur in the Super Mario world : YOSHI
28. Passover brisket seasoning : KOSHER SALT
29. Anesthetics of old : ETHERS
30. “Parsley, sage, rosemary and ___” (“Scarborough Fair” lyric) : THYME
35. Longtime Yankees manager Joe : TORRE
36. Triage sites, for short : ERS
37. What’s exited in Brexit, for short : THE EU
40. Insult : PUT DOWN
42. “Ta-ta!” : CHEERIO!
44. Tentatively schedule, with “in” : PENCIL
45. Say no to : REFUSE
46. Remote location? : TV ROOM
49. It may wind up at the side of a house : HOSE
50. Annoys : IRKS
51. Profound : DEEP
52. Company whose how-to manuals lack words : IKEA
53. Tech whiz : GEEK
57. Tennis do-over : LET
58. “Dude!” : BRO!

3 thoughts on “1009-18 NY Times Crossword 9 Oct 18, Tuesday”

  1. 10:20 after fixing a thoroughly embarrassing one-square error: Early on, for discernable reason, I entered “GILL” instead of “BILL”, wasn’t sure what to make of “NO GUENO” and made a mental note to review it later … which promptly evaporated from my aging brain … so, at the end, I got the snotty little “keep trying” message, and spent a couple of minutes going over everything to find the error. (Basically, I did it at the end of a very long day and just got off on the wrong foot … grumble, grumble, grumble … 😜.)

  2. 12:37. This seemed tough for a Tuesday, and that’s reflected in everyone’s times so far. Interestingly, the NYT blurb said the JASA group was shooting to make a Monday grid, the only day of the week they haven’t created a puzzle for.

    “Reticent” is one of those words I hear misused more often than not. Many people use it as a synonym for “hesitant” which it really is not. Common usage has changed that somewhat. I even hear it on newscasts with reporters using it incorrectly. “He was reticent about voicing his opinion” is correct. “He was reticent to drive all 400 miles in one day” is not, but it’s used that way…a lot. End of rant.

    CUKE – I guess that’s an accepted form of “cucumber”? 20 degrees below ambient? Wow. Indeed that gives new meaning to “cool as a cucumber” to my ears.

    Best –

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