1127-18 NY Times Crossword 27 Nov 18, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Gotta Run

Themed answers are things that RUN:

  • 59A. Parting words from 18-, 23-, 36- and 54-Across? : GOTTA RUN
  • 18A. It might accompany bacon and toast : FRIED EGG
  • 23A. Political hopeful : CANDIDATE
  • 36A. You might learn a new language to write one : COMPUTER PROGRAM
  • 54A. Opinion piece : EDITORIAL

Bill’s time: 8m 08s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Kindergarten instruction : ABCS

“Kindergarten” is a German term, one translating as “children’s garden”. The term was coined by the German education authority Friedrich Fröbel in 1837, when he used it as the name for his play and activity institute that he created for young children to use before they headed off to school. His thought was that children should be nourished educationally, like plants in a garden.

13. Spring bloom : CROCUS

The crocus (plural “croci”) is a plant genus in the iris family. The term “crocus” ultimately derives from the Sanskrit word for “saffron”. Saffron spice comes from Crocus sativus, the “saffron crocus”.

17. 2018’s “A Star Is Born,” e.g. : REMAKE

“A Star Is Born” is a 1937 film starring Janet Gaynor as an upcoming Hollywood actress. “A Star Is Born” was remade three times, in 1954 with Judy Garland playing the lead, in 1976 with Barbra Streisand, and in 2018 with Lady Gaga.

22. Oscar hopeful : NOMINEE

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

28. Nike product : SHOE

The Nike slogan “Just Do It” was created in an advertising meeting in 1988. Apparently the phrase was inspired by the last words of famed criminal Gary Gilmore. Gilmore faced execution by the state of Utah in 1977 and when asked if he had any last words he simply replied, “Let’s do it”. A few minutes later, Gilmore was executed by a firing squad.

31. Mid-April addressee, for short : IRS

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

32. Like Cheerios : OATY

Cheerios breakfast cereal has the distinction of being the first oat-based cereal introduced into the market, hitting the grocery store shelves in 1941. Back then, Cheerios were known as CheeriOats.

34. Homophone of “row” : RHO

Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R.

42. Sixth letter after alpha : ETA

Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

45. Pop flies? : SWAT

Houseflies are very difficult to swat away. That’s because they can process visual information about seven times more quickly than humans. In effect, houseflies see movement in slow motion.

52. Enterprise officer with an earpiece : 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.

61. Halloween creatures : GHOULS

Our word “ghoul” comes from the Arabic “ghul”, the name for an evil spirit that feeds on corpses.

64. Big name in nail polish : OPI

Opi is a manufacturer of nail polish based in North Hollywood, California. One of Opi’s marketing coups was the introduction of a line of Legally Blonde 2 polishes, which featured in the film.

66. Cirque du ___ : SOLEIL

Cirque du Soleil is an entertainment company based in Montreal. The company was founded in 1984 by two former street performers, and stages spectacular shows that are a dramatic mix of circus and street entertainment. I’ve seen several Cirque du Soleil shows over the years, and have thoroughly every single one.

67. Bit of board game equipment : DIE

The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

68. Comic Rogen : SETH

Seth Rogen is a Canadian comedian who got a lot of credit for his supporting role in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”. That led to him being cast as the lead in the 1970 film “Knocked Up”. Rogen also co-directed and and co-starred in the movie “The Interview”, which created a huge ruckus in North Korea.

69. Peevish : TESTY

Somebody described as testy is touchy, irritably impatient. The term “testy” comes into English from Old French, ultimately deriving from “testu” meaning “stubborn, headstrong”, literally “heady”. So, our word “testy” comes from the same root as the French word “tête” meaning “head”.

Down

1. Pre-TiVo device : VCR

Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)

2. Asset in the game The Settlers of Catan : ORE

The Settlers of Catan is a board game that was introduced in 1995, in Germany as “Die Siedler von Catan”. The game is very popular in the US and was called “the board game of our time” by the “Washington Post”. My son plays it a lot, and as a lover of board games, I am going to have to check it out …

3. Social theory popularized by Alice Walker : WOMANISM

Alice Walker is an author and poet. Walker’s best known work is the novel “The Color Purple”, which earned her the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. “The Color Purple” was adapted into a very successful film of the same name, directed by Steven Spielberg.

5. Get into a fistfight : DUKE IT OUT

“Dukes” is a slang term meaning “fists, hands”. The route taken by “dukes” to become fists seems very tortuous, but might just be true. The term “fork” had been slang for “hand” for centuries (and gives rise to “fork out” meaning “hand over”). The slang term “fork” is expressed in Cockney rhyming slang as “Duke of York”, which is shortened to “duke”. As I said, tortuous …

7. Largest Asian island : BORNEO

Borneo is the third largest island on the planet (after Greenland and New Guinea), and is located north of Australia in Maritime Southeast Asia. Most of the island is part of Indonesia (taking up 73% of the island) with almost all of the remainder being part of Malaysia (26%). The final 1% is home to the sovereign state of Brunei.

8. Muse of history : CLIO

In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

  • Calliope (epic poetry)
  • Clio (history)
  • Erato (lyric poetry)
  • Euterpe (music)
  • Melpomene (tragedy)
  • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
  • Terpsichore (dance)
  • Thalia (comedy)
  • Urania (astronomy)

Before the adoption of the nine muses of Greek mythology, there were originally three muses, the three Boeotian Muses. These were:

  • Mneme (memory)
  • Melete (meditation)
  • Aoede (song)

23. Fashion-forward : CHIC

“Chic” is a French word meaning “stylish”.

25. Neck gland : THYROID

The thyroid gland is found in the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. The gland produces several thyroid hormones, some of which control the rate at which the body uses energy i.e. the body’s rate of metabolism.

33. Slightly : A TAD

Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

35. 1980s soca hit with the lyric “Me mind on fire, me soul on fire” : HOT HOT HOT

“Hot Hot Hot” is a song written and first recorded in 1982 by Arrow, a singer-songwriter from the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean. “Hot Hot Hot” became a dance floor hit for Arrow, and then really took off when it was covered in 1987 by Buster Poindexter. Ole ole …

38. Dilating eye part : PUPIL

The pupil of the eye is the hole located in the center of the iris through which light enters the retina. The term “pupil” came into English via French from the latin “pupilla”, which is the diminutive form of “pupa” meaning “girl, doll”. The term came about due to the tiny doll-like image that one can see of oneself when looking into the center of another’s eyes.

39. Groups of advisers : RETINUES

A retinue is a body of aides who attend an important person. The term comes from the Old French “retenue” that had the same meaning, although the literal translation is “that which is retained”. The idea is that the aides are retained to attend the VIP.

40. The “A” in BART : AREA

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is a commuter rail system serving the San Francisco Bay Area (and indeed, my home town).

41. Segway cop’s workplace, maybe : MALL

The Segway PT is self-balancing two-wheel electric vehicle introduced to the world in 2001 by American inventor Dean Kamen.

46. Grammy-winning Goldberg : WHOOPI

Whoopi Goldberg’s real name is Caryn Elaine Johnson. Goldberg is multi-talented, and is one of a very short list of entertainers to have won all four major showbiz awards:

  • an Oscar (for “Ghost”)
  • an Emmy (two, for “The View”)
  • a Grammy (for “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, as a producer)
  • a Tony (also for producing “Thoroughly Modern Millie”)

51. Baltimore athlete : ORIOLE

The Baltimore Orioles (the “O’s”) are one of the eight charter teams of MLB’s American League, so the franchise dates back to 1901. Prior to 1901, the team has roots in the Minor League Milwaukee Brewers, and indeed entered the American League as the Brewers. In 1902 the Brewers moved to St. Louis and became the Browns. The team didn’t fare well in St. Louis, so when it finally relocated to Baltimore in the early fifties the team changed its name completely, to the Baltimore Orioles. The owners so badly wanted a fresh start that they traded 17 old Browns players with the New York Yankees. The trade didn’t help the team’s performance on the field in those early days, but it did help distance the new team from its past.

57. Lake named for a Pennsylvania people : ERIE

The Erie people lived on lands south of Lake Erie, in parts of the modern-day US states of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The Erie were sometimes referred to as the Cat Nation, a reference to the mountain lions that were ever-present in the area that they lived. The name “Erie” is a shortened form of “Erielhonan” meaning “long tail”, possibly a further reference to the mountain lion or cat, which was possibly used as a totem. The Erie people gave their name to the Great Lake.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Swore : VOWED
6. Kindergarten instruction : ABCS
10. What may hold a bather or butter : TUB
13. Spring bloom : CROCUS
15. Casting director’s assignment : ROLE
16. Before, to poets : ERE
17. 2018’s “A Star Is Born,” e.g. : REMAKE
18. It might accompany bacon and toast : FRIED EGG
20. “Well, ___ you special!” : AREN’T
22. Oscar hopeful : NOMINEE
23. Political hopeful : CANDIDATE
26. Really good person, metaphorically : SAINT
27. Bank job : HEIST
28. Nike product : SHOE
30. “I’m game!” : LET’S!
31. Mid-April addressee, for short : IRS
32. Like Cheerios : OATY
34. Homophone of “row” : RHO
36. You might learn a new language to write one : COMPUTER PROGRAM
42. Sixth letter after alpha : ETA
43. Boot from power : OUST
44. Timeline swath : ERA
45. Pop flies? : SWAT
48. What icicles do : DRIP
50. Hilton or Marriott : HOTEL
52. Enterprise officer with an earpiece : UHURA
54. Opinion piece : EDITORIAL
56. Unfamous sorts : NO-NAMES
58. What most college mottoes are in : LATIN
59. Parting words from 18-, 23-, 36- and 54-Across? : GOTTA RUN
61. Halloween creatures : GHOULS
64. Big name in nail polish : OPI
65. Fine sediment : SILT
66. Cirque du ___ : SOLEIL
67. Bit of board game equipment : DIE
68. Comic Rogen : SETH
69. Peevish : TESTY

Down

1. Pre-TiVo device : VCR
2. Asset in the game The Settlers of Catan : ORE
3. Social theory popularized by Alice Walker : WOMANISM
4. Virtual birthday greetings : E-CARDS
5. Get into a fistfight : DUKE IT OUT
6. Doggie sound : ARF!
7. Largest Asian island : BORNEO
8. Muse of history : CLIO
9. Appears to be : SEEMS
10. ___-weenie : TEENIE
11. All-caps word in an email subject line : URGENT
12. “Violence ___ violence” : BEGETS
14. Drop in the mailbox : SEND
19. Conversation : DIALOG
21. Fashion sense : TASTE
23. Fashion-forward : CHIC
24. Prefix with dynamic : AERO-
25. Neck gland : THYROID
29. Messes up : ERRS
33. Slightly : A TAD
35. 1980s soca hit with the lyric “Me mind on fire, me soul on fire” : HOT HOT HOT
37. Rodent companion : PET RAT
38. Dilating eye part : PUPIL
39. Groups of advisers : RETINUES
40. The “A” in BART : AREA
41. Segway cop’s workplace, maybe : MALL
45. Solar deity : SUN GOD
46. Grammy-winning Goldberg : WHOOPI
47. Term of respect for an older woman : AUNTIE
49. Win, loss or draw : RESULT
51. Baltimore athlete : ORIOLE
53. Rack up : AMASS
55. Identifiers at the bottom of a blog post : TAGS
57. Lake named for a Pennsylvania people : ERIE
60. Last degree, in math : NTH
62. Ignited : LIT
63. Foxlike : SLY