1124-18 NY Times Crossword 24 Nov 18, Saturday

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Constructed by: David Steinberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 19m 29s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • SHOJI (shoni)
  • JESSIE (Nessie)

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. “Dora the Explorer” catchphrase : SWIPER, NO SWIPING

“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon. Part of Dora’s remit is to introduce the show’s young viewers to some Spanish words and phrases.

20. K’ung Fu-___ (Confucius) : TSE

The sayings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (anglicized from “K’ung Fu-Tse”) are collected in a work called “The Analects” or “Linyu”. It wasn’t Confucius who wrote down his thoughts though, but rather his pupils, some 40 or so years after his death in 479 BC.

21. Sign of a sensation : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

22. Radio freq. unit : MHZ

The unit of frequency measure is the hertz (Hz). It is the number of cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon. The unit is named for Heinrich Hertz, the German physicist who proved the existence of electromagnetic waves.

23. Japanese room divider : SHOJI

A shoji is a door, window or room divider in Japanese architecture. A shoji consists of translucent paper stretched over a wooden frame.

33. First name in fragrance : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

35. Number below # : THREE

The number “3” shares a key with “#” on a PC keyboard.

The # symbol is sometimes referred to as an octothorpe. The term “octothorpe” was almost certainly coined at Bell Labs in the late sixties, although there are several conflicting stories about how the name “octothorpe” actually arose.

37. He hit his 600th home run in 2007 : SOSA

Sammy Sosa was firmly in the public eye in 1998 when he and Mark McGwire were vying to be the first to surpass the home run record held by Roger Maris. McGwire fell out of public favor due to stories of steroid abuse (stories which he later admitted were true) while Sosa fell out of favor when he was found to be using a corked bat in a 2003 game.

38. How some bonds are sold : AT PAR

In days gone by, when companies first issued a stock, each share would be given a face value (called “par value”). In effect, the company was making a commitment not to issue any more stock under that par value, giving investors confidence that there was no better deal to be had. Nowadays, most stock is issued without such a “guarantee” and is called “no-par stock”.

42. Four-time Emmy-winning drama : MAD MEN

“Mad Men” was the flagship show on the AMC television channel for several seasons. Set in the sixties, it’s all about an advertising agency located on Madison Avenue in New York (hence the title). “Mad Men” became the first show created by a basic cable channel to win an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.

45. Quinn of CBS’s “Elementary” : AIDAN

Aidan Quinn is an Irish-American actor. Quinn was born in Chicago but spent some years growing up in Ireland. Mainly known as a movie actor, Quinn is currently playing the role of Captain Tommy Gregson on the excellent TV series “Elementary” that is centered on a modern-day Sherlock Holmes.

If you’ve seen the American television show “Elementary”, you will know that it is an adaptation of the classic tales by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that are set in the present day. “Elementary” is similar in look and feel to the excellent BBC series “Sherlock”, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a modern-day Holmes. We can pick up “Sherlock” in some parts of the country as part of “Masterpiece Mystery” on PBS.

47. Stanford rival, informally : CAL

The University of California, Berkeley (Cal) is the most difficult public university to get into in the world. It opened in 1869 and is named for Anglo-Irish philosopher George Berkeley.

Leland Stanford became a very successful businessman in California after moving there from New York during the Gold Rush. Stanford then served as governor of the state for two years, and later US Senator for California. He founded the Leland Stanford Junior University in memory of his teenage son who died of typhoid fever while the family was travelling in Italy in 1884. The university opened its doors for business in 1891, and the first student admitted was none other than Herbert Hoover, the man would become the 31st President of the US.

55. U.S. financial giant, for short : B OF A

Bank of America (B of A)

60. Classic Dr. Seuss title : YERTLE THE TURTLE

“Yertle the Turtle” is a story by Dr. Seuss. The book is noted for the inclusion of the word “burp”. Back in 1958 when it was published, “burp” was considered to be vulgar. But, no one seemed to mind!

Down

2. Like EE vis-à-vis E : WIDER

Those would be shoe sizes.

3. Digs in the snow? : IGLOO

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.

5. Trio of mummies : EMS

There are three letters M (ems) in the word “mummies”.

6. Bad record : RAP SHEET

A rap sheet is a criminal record. “Rap” is a slang term dating back to the 1700s that means “blame, responsibility” as in “to take the rap”, “bad rap” and “to beat the rap”. This usage morphed into “rap sheet” in the early 1900s.

7. Philosopher who said “What does not kill me makes me stronger” : NIETZSCHE

Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher. He’s not my cup of tea …

8. Part of YOLO : ONCE

You only live once (YOLO)

10. Big name in jam : WELCH’S

Welch’s is a beverage and food company that was founded in 1869 by Thomas Bramwell Welch and Lee Steger Welch in Vineland, New Jersey. The company’s first product was “Dr. Welch’s Unfermented Wine”, which was later rebranded as “Welch’s Grape Juice”.

14. E-4 and E-5, but not E-3 : NCOS

Non-commissioned officer (NCO)

22. Actor who said “It takes a smart guy to play dumb” : 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!”.

25. Straw mat : TATAMI

A tatami is a traditional mat used on floors in Japan. The term “tatami” comes from the Japanese word “tatamu” meaning “to fold”, reflecting the fact that the mat is designed to be folded up for storage.

26. It’s a wrap : SARAN

What’s known as plastic wrap in America, we call cling-film in Ireland. The brand name “Saran” is often used generically in the US, while “Glad” wrap is common down under. Plastic wrap was one of those unintended inventions, a byproduct of a development program to create a hard plastic cover for cars.

30. Dora the Explorer, e.g.: Abbr. : SRTA

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish, and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French, for “Miss”.

31. Fred Astaire, at times : TAP DANCER

Dancer, actor and singer Fred Astaire never won a competitive Academy Award, and received just one nomination: for Best Supporting Actor in 1974’s “The Towering Inferno”. However, was presented with an honorary Academy Award in the 1949 season “for his unique artistry and his contributions to the technique of musical pictures”. That honorary Oscar was presented by his longtime film and dance partner Ginger Rogers.

36. Starter at un restaurant : ESCARGOT

“Escargot” is the French word for “snail”. In order to eat snails, apparently they have to be “purged” before killing them. That means starving them or feeding them on something “wholesome” for several days before cooking them up. Ugh …

39. Drink that competes with Monster : RED BULL

Red Bull is a drink from Austria that was introduced in 1987. Red Bull is the most popular “energy drink” in the world. There was some controversy in 2009 when it was discovered that Red Bull imported from Austria contained trace amounts of cocaine.

41. Big name in shipping : DHL

Back in the sixties, Larry Hillblom was making pocket money as a Berkeley law student by doing courier runs between San Francisco and Los Angeles. After law school, Hillblom decided to parlay his experience into his own business and set up a courier service flying bills of lading ahead of freight from San Francisco to Honolulu. He brought in two buddies, Adrian Dalsey and Robert Lynn, as partners and the three were soon hopping on and off commercial flights and gradually making more and more money. And DHL was born … D (for Dalsey) H (for Hillblom) L (for Lynn).

43. 2010s dance craze : NAE NAE

The Nae Nae is a hip hop dance that is named for the 2013 song “Drop that NaeNae” recorded by We Are Toon. The main move in the dance involves swaying with one hand in the air and one hand down, with both feet firmly planted on the dancefloor. Go on, do it. You know you want to …

48. “Ville-d’Avray” painter : COROT

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was a French painter mainly noted for his landscapes, working just before the birth of the Impressionist movement. His lovely painting “The Bridge at Narni” from 1826 can be seen at the Musée du Louvre in Paris.

50. ___ Tatin (upside-down pastry) : TARTE

Tarte Tatin is a upside-down apple tart that is very popular in France. The dessert is named for the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron (about 100 miles south of Paris), where it was invented.

51. Singer Perry : KATY

Katy Perry is an American singer who grew up listening to and singing gospel music, as she was the daughter of two Christian pastors. In fact, her first musical release was a gospel album in 2001. She has branched out since then. Her first successful single was “Ur so Gay”, followed by “I Kissed A Girl”. She was married (for only a year) to the British comedian Russell Brand, until 2012.

55. Title for a fox : BR’ER

Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox are characters in the Uncle Remus stories, written by Joel Chandler Harris. The “Uncle Remus” stories are adaptations of African American folktales that Harris collected across the Southern States. “Br’er” is an abbreviated form of “brother”.

57. 10/ : OCT

October is the tenth month in our calendar but was the eighth month in the old Roman calendar, hence the prefix “octo-”. Back then there were only ten months in the year. “Ianuarius” (January) and “Februarius” were then added as the eleventh and twelfth months of the year. Soon after, the year was reset and January and February became the first and second months.

58. Member of a crossword aviary? : EMU

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. “Dora the Explorer” catchphrase : SWIPER, NO SWIPING
16. Demanding : HIGH MAINTENANCE
17. It’s not backed up : IDLE SPECULATION
18. Cry for attention, maybe : MEOW!
19. Mephitis : STENCH
20. K’ung Fu-___ (Confucius) : TSE
21. Sign of a sensation : SRO
22. Radio freq. unit : MHZ
23. Japanese room divider : SHOJI
25. What’s done up in an updo : TRESS
27. Unsavory : SLEAZY
30. Capitol vehicle : STATE CAR
33. First name in fragrance : ESTEE
34. Angel’s antithesis : BRAT
35. Number below # : THREE
37. He hit his 600th home run in 2007 : SOSA
38. How some bonds are sold : AT PAR
40. Suffers humiliation : EATS DIRT
42. Four-time Emmy-winning drama : MAD MEN
44. Specialized : NICHE
45. Quinn of CBS’s “Elementary” : AIDAN
47. Stanford rival, informally : CAL
48. Cool ___ : CAT
51. Home of the largest grain elevator in the world: Abbr. : KAN
53. Ancestor of a cell : BEEPER
55. U.S. financial giant, for short : B OF A
56. One way to lose your balance? : ACCOUNTING ERROR
59. “Things get ugly” : THE CLAWS COME OUT
60. Classic Dr. Seuss title : YERTLE THE TURTLE

Down

1. Levels : SHIMS
2. Like EE vis-à-vis E : WIDER
3. Digs in the snow? : IGLOO
4. “I’m exhausted!” : PHEW!
5. Trio of mummies : EMS
6. Bad record : RAP SHEET
7. Philosopher who said “What does not kill me makes me stronger” : NIETZSCHE
8. Part of YOLO : ONCE
9. Blows away : STUNS
10. Big name in jam : WELCH’S
11. Not just down : IN A HOLE
12. One way to stand : PAT
13. Spark provider : INITIATOR
14. E-4 and E-5, but not E-3 : NCOS
15. Good name for someone tracing family history? : GENE
22. Actor who said “It takes a smart guy to play dumb” : MR T
24. ___ J, singer with the 2014 hit “Bang Bang” : JESSIE
25. Straw mat : TATAMI
26. It’s a wrap : SARAN
28. Drink flavorer : ZEST
29. ___ big : YEA
30. Dora the Explorer, e.g.: Abbr. : SRTA
31. Fred Astaire, at times : TAP DANCER
32. Taciturnity : RETICENCE
34. Sound of a sock : BAM!
36. Starter at un restaurant : ESCARGOT
39. Drink that competes with Monster : RED BULL
41. Big name in shipping : DHL
43. 2010s dance craze : NAE NAE
46. Abbr. on a food wrapper : NET WT
48. “Ville-d’Avray” painter : COROT
49. On the wrong side (of) : AFOUL
50. ___ Tatin (upside-down pastry) : TARTE
51. Singer Perry : KATY
52. Pine : ACHE
54. “That’s ridiculous!” : PISH!
55. Title for a fox : BR’ER
57. 10/ : OCT
58. Member of a crossword aviary? : EMU