1112-18 NY Times Crossword 12 Nov 18, Monday

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Constructed by: Kathy Bloomer
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Come to the Table

Themed answers are common phrases that include an item that one might find on a dinner table:

  • 57A. Show up for negotiations … or a hint for 20-, 33- and 42-Across : COME TO THE TABLE
  • 20A. Declare something completely finished : STICK A FORK IN IT
  • 33A. Expression of disgust in Valley Girl-speak : GAG ME WITH A SPOON!
  • 42A. Have surgery : GO UNDER THE KNIFE

Bill’s time: 5m 31s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Org. for the Los Angeles Sparks and New York Liberty : WNBA

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) was founded in 1996. The WNBA had to compete with the American Basketball League (ABL), a professional women’s basketball league that started playing games the same year the WNBA was founded. The ABL folded in its third season.

The Los Angeles Sparks women’s basketball team was founded just before the WNBA opened its doors for business in 1997.

The New York Liberty was founded in 1997 and was one the original eight teams to play in the WNBA. The franchise is based in Newark, New Jersey.

14. Affordable German car : OPEL

Adam Opel founded his company in 1863, first making sewing machines in a cowshed. Commercial success brought new premises and a new product line in 1886, namely penny-farthing bicycles. Adam Opel died in 1895, leaving his two sons with a company that made more penny-farthings and sewing machines than any other company in the world. In 1899 the two sons partnered with a locksmith and started to make cars, but not very successfully. Two years later, the locksmith was dropped in favor of a licensing arrangement with a French car company. By 1914, Opel was the largest manufacturer of automobiles in Germany. My Dad had an Opel in the seventies, a station wagon (we’d say “estate car” in Ireland) called an Opel Kadett.

16. “Star Trek” lieutenant who speaks Swahili : UHURA

Lt. Nyota Uhura is the communications officer in the original “Star Trek” television series, played by Nichelle Nichols. The role is significant in that Uhura was one of the first African American characters to figure front and center in US television. In a 1968 episode, Kirk (played by William Shatner) and Uhura kiss, the first interracial kiss to be broadcast in the US. Apparently the scene was meant to be shot twice, with and without the kiss, so that network executives could later decide which version to air. William Shatner says that he deliberately ran long on the first shoot (with the kiss) and fluffed the hurried second shoot (without the kiss), so that the network would have no choice.

17. Drops dead : KEELS OVER

The literal meaning of “keel over” is to capsize, turn a boat over so that her keel lies up from the surface. We use the term figuratively to mean “collapse, faint”.

22. Cain or Abel, to Adam and Eve : SON

According to the Bible, Adam and Eve had several children, although only the first three are mentioned by name: Cain, Abel and Seth.

24. “___ we can” (2008 campaign slogan) : YES

The 2008 campaign that resulted in the election of President Barack Obama used the slogan “Change we can believe in”, along with the associated chant “Yes We Can”. The words “Yes We Can” were perhaps borrowed from the United Farm Workers, which organization uses the motto “Sí, se puede”. “Sí, se puede” translates as “Yes, it is possible” and is a phrase very much associated with labor leader Cesar Chavez.

25. Self-proclaimed greatest boxer : ALI

Muhammad Ali won 56 professional fights, 37 of which were knockouts. He lost 5 fights, 4 being decisions and one being a technical knockout (TKO). The TKO-loss was Ali’s second-last fight, against Larry Holmes. By the time Ali took on Holmes, he was already showing signs of Parkinson’s Syndrome, although the diagnosis would not come until four years later.

28. One-named soccer great : PELE

“Pelé” is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name “Pelé” for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been a member of three World Cup winning squads (1958, 1962 and 1970), and is a national treasure in his native Brazil. One of Pele’s nicknames is “O Rei do Futebol” (the King of Football).

33. Expression of disgust in Valley Girl-speak : GAG ME WITH A SPOON!

The original “valley girls” were the young, middle-class females living in San Fernando Valley in Southern California.

40. Grp. to call to get a tow : AAA

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

41. Site with a “Shop by category” button : EBAY

There have been some notable things sold on eBay over the years. For example:

  • Ad space on a guy’s forehead, in the form of a temporary tattoo – $37,375
  • William Shatner’s kidney stone – $25,000
  • A cornflake shaped like Illinois – $1,350
  • A single corn flake – $1.63
  • A box of 10 Twinkies – $59.99
  • The original Hollywood sign – $450,400
  • The meaning of life – $3.26

47. Not worth a ___ : SOU

A sou is an old French coin. We use the term “sou” to mean “an almost worthless amount”.

48. One-named singer with the 1985 hit “Smooth Operator” : SADE

The singer Sade’s real name is Helen Folasade Adu. Although she was born in Nigeria, Sade grew up and lives in the UK. She was the lead vocalist for the English group Sade, and adopted the name of the band. The band’s biggest hits were “Smooth Operator” (1984) and “The Sweetest Taboo” (1985).

49. Concorde, e.g., for short : SST

The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Concorde was developed and produced under an Anglo-French treaty by France’s Aérospatiale and the UK’s British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). Concordes were mainly operated by Air France and British Airways, with both companies buying the planes with substantial subsidies from the French and British governments. The final Concorde flight was a British Airways plane that landed in the UK on 26 November 2003.

53. Org. with the longtime leader Wayne LaPierre : NRA

National Rifle Association (NRA)

55. QB’s mistake: Abbr. : INT

Interception (Int.)

63. ___ Gay (W.W. II plane) : ENOLA

The Enola Gay was the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb, the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in August 1945. Enola Gay was the name of the mother of pilot Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.

64. Act all hoity-toity : PUT ON AIRS

Believe it or not, the term “hoity-toity” has been in the English language since the 1660s, but back then it meant “riotous behavior”. It began to mean “haughty” in the late 1800s, simply because the “haughty” sounds similar to “hoity”.

66. Indian princes : RAJAS

“Raja” (also “rajah”) is word derived from Sanskrit that is used particularly in India for a monarch or princely ruler. The female form is “rani” (also “ranee”) and is used for a raja’s wife.

67. Felipe ___, first Dominican manager in M.L.B. history : ALOU

Felipe Alou is a former professional baseball player and manager. Alou managed the Montreal Expos from 1992 to 2001, and the San Francisco Giants from 2003 to 2006. Alou was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and came to the US to play for the Giants in 1955. Felipe’s brothers Matty and Jesús followed him to the US, and into Major League baseball.

68. Small construction unit? : LEGO

Lego produces some wonderful specialized sets with which you can build models of celebrated structures, including:

  • The Statue of Liberty (2,882 pieces)
  • The Sydney Opera House (2,989 pieces)
  • The Eiffel Tower (3,428 pieces)
  • Tower Bridge (4,295 pieces)
  • The Taj Mahal (5,922 pieces)

70. Littlest in a litter : RUNT

Back around 1500, a runt was an old or decayed tree stump, and by the early 1600s “runt” was being used to describe animals that were similarly old and decayed. Ultimately “runt” came to mean the smallest and often sickest in a litter.

Down

1. Moo goo gai pan pan : WOK

“Wok” is a Cantonese word, and the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

Moo goo gai pan is the American version of a traditional Cantonese dish. In Cantonese, “moo goo” means “button mushroom”, “gai” is “chicken” and “pan” is “slices”.

2. Residents of a 1968 movie “planet” : APES

The whole “Planet of the Apes” franchise was based on a French novel by Pierre Boulle called “La Planète des singes”. The book was published in English as “Monkey Planet”, but was re-released as “Planet of the Apes” when Hollywood had made its choice for a movie title.

3. Mosquito repellent brand : DEET

“DEET” is short for N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, an active ingredient in insect repellents. DEET is most often used to repel mosquitoes by applying it to the skin and/or clothing. It is also used to protect against tick bites.

4. ___ Island, immigrants’ landing spot, once : ELLIS

Ellis Island is an exclave of New York City that is geographically located within Jersey City, New Jersey. The name comes from a Samuel Ellis who owned the island around the time of the American Revolution. Ellis Island was the nation’s main immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954.

6. ___ Scotia : NOVA

The Canadian province of Nova Scotia (NS) lies on the east coast of the country and is a peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. The area was settled by Scots starting in 1621, and Nova Scotia is Latin for “New Scotland”.

10. Spiced tea from the East : CHAI

Masala chai is an Indian drink made with black tea (the “chai) and mixed spices (the “masala”).

12. Bandleader Shaw : ARTIE

Artie Shaw was a composer, bandleader and a jazz clarinetist. Shaw’s real name was Arthur Jacob Arshawsky, born in New York City in 1910. One of his many claims to fame is that he (a white bandleader) hired Billie Holiday (a black vocalist) and toured the segregated South in the late thirties. Holiday chose to leave the band though, due to hostility from Southern audiences back then. Artie Shaw was married eight times in all. The list of his wives includes the actresses Lana Turner and Ava Gardner, as well as Betty Kern, daughter of songwriter Jerome Kern.

18. Listerine competitor : SCOPE

Scope is a brand of mouthwash made by Procter & Gamble. Scope has been marketed as the “better-tasting alternative” to Listerine.

21. McEntire known as “The Queen of Country” : REBA

Reba McEntire is a country music singer and television actress. McEntire starred in her own sitcom called “Reba” that aired on the WB and the CW cable channels from 2001 to 2007.

26. Italian body of water : LAGO

In Italian, a “lago” (lake) is full of “acqua” (water).

27. Inuit shelter: Var. : IGLU

The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, namely “igdlo”. The walls of igloos are tremendous insulators, due to the air pockets in the blocks of snow.

29. Pinocchio, notably : LIAR

“The Adventures of Pinocchio” is an 1883 children’s novel by Carlo Collodi. It is all about an animated puppet named Pinocchio and Geppetto, his poor woodcarver father. Pinocchio is prone to telling lies, the stress of which causes his short nose to become longer.

30. Les ___-Unis : ETATS

“Les États-Unis” is what French speakers call “the United States”.

36. Japanese sashes : OBIS

The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied at the back in what is called a butterfly knot. The term “obi” is also used for the thick cotton belts that are an essential part of the outfits worn by practitioners of many martial arts. The color of the martial arts obi signifies the wearer’s skill level.

44. Currency unit worth a little more than a dollar : EURO

The euro sign (€) looks like a letter C, but with two horizontal lines drawn across the middle. Inspiration for the design comes from the Greek letter epsilon.

46. Longtime “S.N.L.” cast member Thompson : KENAN

Kenan Thompson is an actor and comedian who is perhaps best known as a “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) cast member, joining the show in 2003. Thompson holds the record for the most celebrity impressions on SNL, at over one hundred.

52. Smiley face with hearts for eyes, e.g. : EMOJI

An emoji is a character found on many cell phones that is much like an emoticon, but more elaborate.

58. Panache : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

Someone exhibiting panache is showing dash and verve, and perhaps has a swagger. “Panache” is a French word used for a plume of feathers, especially in a hat.

59. Giant in streaming video : HULU

Hulu is a video-on-demand service. Although competing directly with Netflix and Amazon Prime, Hulu’s primary focus is the streaming of television shows rather than movies.

60. School attended by princes William and Harry : ETON

Born in 1982, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is the elder of the two sons of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales. As such, William is second in line to the British throne, after his father.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex is the younger of the two sons of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales. Famously, Prince Harry married American actress Meghan Markle in 2018. The groom’s name was Prince Henry of Wales until the marriage, at which time his name changed officially to “Prince Harry”.

61. In ___ of (replacing) : LIEU

As one might imagine perhaps, “in lieu” came into English from the Old French word “lieu” meaning “place”, which in turn is derived from the Latin “locum” that also means “place”. So, “in lieu” translates as “in place of”.

62. Units of work in physics : ERGS

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. it has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

65. Drunkard : SOT

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Walk in the kiddie pool : WADE
5. Org. for the Los Angeles Sparks and New York Liberty : WNBA
9. Minor fight : SCRAP
14. Affordable German car : OPEL
15. Garden worker : HOER
16. “Star Trek” lieutenant who speaks Swahili : UHURA
17. Drops dead : KEELS OVER
19. Tilts : CANTS
20. Declare something completely finished : STICK A FORK IN IT
22. Cain or Abel, to Adam and Eve : SON
23. Tiny : WEE
24. “___ we can” (2008 campaign slogan) : YES
25. Self-proclaimed greatest boxer : ALI
28. One-named soccer great : PELE
31. Sis’s sibling : BRO
33. Expression of disgust in Valley Girl-speak : GAG ME WITH A SPOON!
39. Give the glad eye : OGLE
40. Grp. to call to get a tow : AAA
41. Site with a “Shop by category” button : EBAY
42. Have surgery : GO UNDER THE KNIFE
47. Not worth a ___ : SOU
48. One-named singer with the 1985 hit “Smooth Operator” : SADE
49. Concorde, e.g., for short : SST
50. Ingested : ATE
53. Org. with the longtime leader Wayne LaPierre : NRA
55. QB’s mistake: Abbr. : INT
57. Show up for negotiations … or a hint for 20-, 33- and 42-Across : COME TO THE TABLE
63. ___ Gay (W.W. II plane) : ENOLA
64. Act all hoity-toity : PUT ON AIRS
66. Indian princes : RAJAS
67. Felipe ___, first Dominican manager in M.L.B. history : ALOU
68. Small construction unit? : LEGO
69. Lose in a staring contest : BLINK
70. Littlest in a litter : RUNT
71. Sexual appetite : LUST

Down

1. Moo goo gai pan pan : WOK
2. Residents of a 1968 movie “planet” : APES
3. Mosquito repellent brand : DEET
4. ___ Island, immigrants’ landing spot, once : ELLIS
5. Comment after an amazing fact is stated : WHO KNEW?
6. ___ Scotia : NOVA
7. Meat in a burger : BEEF
8. → or ← : ARROW
9. Chumps : SUCKERS
10. Spiced tea from the East : CHAI
11. Like some noses and egg yolks : RUNNY
12. Bandleader Shaw : ARTIE
13. Histories : PASTS
18. Listerine competitor : SCOPE
21. McEntire known as “The Queen of Country” : REBA
25. Eagerly expectant : AGOG
26. Italian body of water : LAGO
27. Inuit shelter: Var. : IGLU
29. Pinocchio, notably : LIAR
30. Les ___-Unis : ETATS
32. Request from a dentist : OPEN
34. Clothing department with jackets and ties : MEN’S
35. [LOL] : HA HA
36. Japanese sashes : OBIS
37. Clods : OAFS
38. No, in Moscow : NYET
43. “You wouldn’t believe it if I told you” : DON’T ASK
44. Currency unit worth a little more than a dollar : EURO
45. Delete from a manuscript : EDIT OUT
46. Longtime “S.N.L.” cast member Thompson : KENAN
50. Sour : ACERB
51. Like music with traditional harmony : TONAL
52. Smiley face with hearts for eyes, e.g. : EMOJI
54. Equal to face value : AT PAR
56. Pre-Little League game : T-BALL
58. Panache : ELAN
59. Giant in streaming video : HULU
60. School attended by princes William and Harry : ETON
61. In ___ of (replacing) : LIEU
62. Units of work in physics : ERGS
65. Drunkard : SOT