1105-18 NY Times Crossword 5 Nov 18, Monday

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Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Sound Bites

Themed answers are “SOUND BITES”, i.e. things that we can eat and the name of which includes a SOUND:

  • 59A. Broadcast news snippets … or an apt description for 17-, 28- and 46-Across? : SOUND BITES
  • 17A. Chocolaty candy on a stick : TOOTSIE POP
  • 28A. Breakfast cereal with a naval officer on its box : CAP’N CRUNCH
  • 46A. Brittle, spicy cookie : GINGER SNAP

Bill’s time: 4m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. What a red traffic light means : STOP

The first traffic lights date back to 1868 when they were installed outside the Houses of Parliament in London. They resembled the signals already in use for trains, with semaphore arms and red and green gas lamps for nighttime use. That first system was operated manually, by a policeman at the base. Sadly, one police officer was killed, just one year after the light’s installation, when the gas system exploded.

14. ___ acid (protein builder) : AMINO

Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins. Nine amino acids are considered “essential” for humans. These nine must be included in the diet as they cannot be synthesized in the body.

16. Eye layer : UVEA

The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball. The outer layer is called the fibrous tunic, and the inner layer is the retina.

17. Chocolaty candy on a stick : TOOTSIE POP

Tootsie Rolls were developed by an Austrian candy maker called Leo Hirschfeld in New York City in 1896. Hirschfeld named the candy after his daughter, who had the nickname “Tootsie”. A couple of derivative products have become quite popular, namely Tootsie Pops and Tootsie Roll Midgees.

19. 500 sheets of paper : REAM

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.

20. Realtors’ showings : HOMES

“Real estate agent” is a general, generic term. “Realtor” is the name given to a member of the trade association known as the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR has gone so far as the trademark the term “Realtor” in the US.

28. Breakfast cereal with a naval officer on its box : CAP’N CRUNCH

The first Cap’n Crunch commercials aired in 1963, at the time the product line was launched. The Cap’n’s full name is Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch, would you believe? Crunch’s voice was provided for many years by Daws Butler, the same voice actor who gave us Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound. Cap’n Crunch is commander of the S.S. Guppy.

33. Put through a blast furnace, say : SMELT

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).

35. Dissolute sort : ROUE

“Roue” is a lovely word, I think, one used to describe a less than lovely man, someone of loose morals. “Roue” comes from the French word “rouer” meaning “to break on a wheel”. This describes the ancient form of capital punishment where a poor soul was lashed to a wheel and then beaten to death with cudgels and bars. I guess the suggestion is that a roue, with his loose morals, deserves such a punishment.

Someone described as “dissolute” lacks ethical restraint, has loose morals. The term comes from the Latin verb “dissolvere” meaning “to loosen up”.

36. Rope-a-dope boxer : ALI

The Rumble in the Jungle was the celebrated 1974 fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman that took place in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The fight was set in Zaire because of financial arrangements between promoter Don King and Zaire’s President Mobutu Seko. Ali coined the term “Rope-a-dope” to describe his incredibly successful strategy in the contest. From the second round onwards, Ali adopted a protected stance on the ropes letting Foreman pound him with blows to the body and head, with Ali using his arms to dissipate the power of the punches. He kept this up until the eighth round, and then opened up and downed the exhausted Foreman with a left-right combination. I hate boxing but I have to say, that was an fascinating fight …

37. ___-relief : BAS

In bas-relief, an image projects just a little above the background, as in perhaps a head depicted on a coin.

38. Two marks in “résumés” : ACCENTS

In French, accents over the letter E can be acute (é) or grave (è).

A résumé is a summary of a person’s job experience and education and is used as a tool by a job seeker. In many countries, a résumé is equivalent to a curriculum vitae. “Résumé” is the French word for “summary”.

41. Easy-to-chew food : PAP

One use of the term “pap” is to describe soft or semi-liquid food for babies and small children. “Pap” comes into English, via French, from the Latin word used by children for “food”. In the 1500s, “pap” also came to mean “an oversimplified” idea. This gives us a usage that’s common today, describing literature or perhaps TV programming that lacks real value or substance. Hands up those who think there’s a lot of pap out there, especially on television …

42. It ends with diciembre : ANO

In Spanish, “el año” (the year) starts in “enero” (January) and ends in “diciembre” (December).

43. Danny who co-starred in “White Christmas” : KAYE

The actor Danny Kaye was a big hit in his native US, but also in France. Kaye was the first ambassador-at-large for UNICEF and the French awarded him the Legion of Honor in 1986 for his work.

46. Brittle, spicy cookie : GINGER SNAP

Ginger snap cookies are known as ginger nut biscuits back in Ireland where I come from …

54. As originally placed : IN SITU

“In situ” is a Latin phrase meaning “in the place”, and we use the term to mean “in the original position”.

58. Where Hartford is: Abbr. : CONN

Hartford is the capital of the state of Connecticut. The city is home to the headquarters of many insurance companies. As such Hartford is nicknamed the “Insurance Capital of the World”.

65. ___ Krabappel, teacher on “The Simpsons” : EDNA

In “the Simpsons” television show, Bart Simpson’s teacher is one Edna Krabappel. Edna marries Ned Flanders, who is the next-door neighbor to the Simpson family.

67. Meyers of late-night : SETH

Seth Meyers is an actor and comedian who is perhaps best-known for his appearances on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), for which program he served as head writer. Meyers now hosts his own late night talk show on NBC.

69. Core belief : TENET

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

Down

1. Tit for ___ : TAT

The phrase “tit for tat”, meaning some sort of retaliation, has been around for an awfully long time, since the mid-1500s. It might be derived from “tip for tap”, meaning “blow for blow”.

2. Care provider, briefly : HMO

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

3. 2016 Olympics host, informally : RIO

Even though the 2016 Olympic Games was a summer competition, it was held in Rio de Janeiro in winter. As Rio is in the southern hemisphere, the opening ceremony on 5th August 2016 fell in the local winter season. The 2016 games was also the first to be held in South America, and the first to be hosted by a Portuguese-speaking country.

4. Hush-hush, slangily : 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.

6. “For Your Eyes Only” singer Easton : SHEENA

Sheena Easton is a Scottish singer. She was big in the eighties with songs like “9 to 5” (released as “Morning Train” in the US) and “For Your Eyes Only”, which is the theme song for the James Bond film of the same name.

In addition to the James Bond series of novels, Ian Fleming wrote a collection of “Bond” short stories called “For Your Eyes Only”. The name of the collection was used as for one of the Bond films. “Quantum of Solace” was one of those stories, and this title was also used for a Bond film, even though the plot bears no resemblance to the storyline.

7. Water spigots : TAPS

Back in the 15th century, a spigot was specifically a plug to stop a hole in a cask. Somewhere along the way, a spigot had a valve added for variable control of flow.

10. The “B” of F.B.I. : BUREAU

What we know today as the FBI was set up in 1908 as the BOI, the Bureau of Investigation. The name was changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

18. 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.

22. Mother canonized in 2016 : TERESA

Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in the city that is now called Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. At birth she was given the names Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (“Gonxha” means “little flower” in Albanian). She left home at the age of 18 and joined the Sisters of Loreto, and headed to Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham in Dublin, Ireland in order to learn English. Her goal was to teach in India, and English was the language used there for instruction by the nuns. After Mother Teresa passed away in 1997 she was beatified by Pope John Paul II. She was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016, and is now known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

24. Italian designer Giorgio : ARMANI

Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer and founder of the company that has borne his name since 1975. Although Armani is famous for his menswear, the company makes everything from jewelry to perfume.

30. Incendiary weapon used in the Vietnam War : NAPALM

Napalm is a incendiary compound used in weapons that is made from petroleum mixed with a thickening agent. Napalm was developed in a secret program at Harvard during WWII. It was initially used in incendiary bombs and in flamethrowers. The thickening agent in napalm causes the burning material to stick to skin causing severe burns. Because of this, the UN declared the use of napalm in civilian areas a war crime in 1980.

47. Christmas stealer in a Dr. Seuss book : GRINCH

The Grinch is the title character in Dr. Seuss’s 1957 children’s book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” Based on Seuss’s hero, we now use the term “grinch” for someone who is opposed to Christmas festivities or who is coarse and greedy in general.

56. Foul mood : SNIT

The exact etymology of “snit”, meaning “fit of temper”, isn’t really known. The term was first used in print in the play “Kiss the Boys Goodbye” by Clare Booth Luce, which dates back to the 1930s and is set in the American South.

61. 2,000 pounds : TON

Here in the US, a ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds. Over in the UK, a ton is 2,240 pounds. The UK unit is sometimes referred to as an Imperial ton or sometimes a “long ton”. Folks over there refer to the US ton then as a “short ton”. To further complicate matters, there is also a “metric ton” or “tonne”, which is equivalent to 2,204 pounds. Personally, I wish we’d just stick to kilograms …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Pulsate, as with pain : THROB
6. What a red traffic light means : STOP
10. Container for soup or cereal : BOWL
14. ___ acid (protein builder) : AMINO
15. “Very funny!” : HA HA!
16. Eye layer : UVEA
17. Chocolaty candy on a stick : TOOTSIE POP
19. 500 sheets of paper : REAM
20. Realtors’ showings : HOMES
21. Endless, in poetry : ETERNE
23. Guard at an entrance : GATEMAN
26. Length x width, for a rectangle : AREA
27. Desertlike : ARID
28. Breakfast cereal with a naval officer on its box : CAP’N CRUNCH
33. Put through a blast furnace, say : SMELT
35. Dissolute sort : ROUE
36. Rope-a-dope boxer : ALI
37. ___-relief : BAS
38. Two marks in “résumés” : ACCENTS
41. Easy-to-chew food : PAP
42. It ends with diciembre : ANO
43. Danny who co-starred in “White Christmas” : KAYE
44. Make red-faced : ABASH
46. Brittle, spicy cookie : GINGER SNAP
50. Besides : ALSO
51. Hilarious person : RIOT
52. Plan going forward, as for peace : ROADMAP
54. As originally placed : IN SITU
57. Constantly rising things in gentrifying neighborhoods : RENTS
58. Where Hartford is: Abbr. : CONN
59. Broadcast news snippets … or an apt description for 17-, 28- and 46-Across? : SOUND BITES
64. Grand-scale production : EPIC
65. ___ Krabappel, teacher on “The Simpsons” : EDNA
66. Love, love, love : ADORE
67. Meyers of late-night : SETH
68. Most mammals have four of them : LEGS
69. Core belief : TENET

Down

1. Tit for ___ : TAT
2. Care provider, briefly : HMO
3. 2016 Olympics host, informally : RIO
4. Hush-hush, slangily : ON THE DL
5. ___ buddy : BOSOM
6. “For Your Eyes Only” singer Easton : SHEENA
7. Water spigots : TAPS
8. “Look what I found!” : OHO!
9. Slice from a book? : PAPER CUT
10. The “B” of F.B.I. : BUREAU
11. On top of : OVER
12. Withdraw gradually (from) : WEAN
13. Unfunny, as a joke : LAME
18. Apple desktop : IMAC
22. Mother canonized in 2016 : TERESA
23. Long-winded sort : GASBAG
24. Italian designer Giorgio : ARMANI
25. Attaches using string : TIES ON
26. Unknown author, for short : ANON
29. Fuss in front of the mirror : PREEN
30. Incendiary weapon used in the Vietnam War : NAPALM
31. Category for a minor-league team : CLASS A
32. Rap, by another name : HIP-HOP
34. “Grab this!” : TAKE IT!
39. Amusement park ride that goes around and around : CAROUSEL
40. Growth under the skin : CYST
45. Unflattering angle of one’s face : BAD SIDE
47. Christmas stealer in a Dr. Seuss book : GRINCH
48. Stadiums : ARENAS
49. Duck’s habitat : POND
53. Hitter’s turn to hit : AT-BAT
54. Helps reduce the swelling of, say : ICES
55. Slangy refusal : NOPE
56. Foul mood : SNIT
57. Step on a ladder : RUNG
60. Poem of praise : ODE
61. 2,000 pounds : TON
62. Before, poetically : ERE
63. “On your mark, get ___ …” : SET

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