0727-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 27 Jul 2018, Friday

Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 17m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

17. From which Sadie Hawkins dances come : LI’L ABNER

Sadie Hawkins is a character in Al Capp’s comic strip “Li’l Abner”. Sadie was in search of a husband and so declared a “Sadie Hawkins Day” in which she chased the local men in a foot race, with marriage as the prize when one was caught. Starting in 1938, Sadie Hawkins Dances were introduced in schools across the US, to which the woman invites the man of her choosing.

19. Like seven candles on the first night of Hanukkah : UNLIT

There is a seven-branched menorah used symbolically in ancient temples. However, the Hanukkah menorah is a nine-branched lampstand that is lit during the eight-day holiday called Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. “Menorah” is the Hebrew word for “lamp”.

20. Egyptian deity : AMON

Amun (also “Amon, Amen, Amun-Ra”) was a god in Egyptian mythology. Amun lends his name to our word “ammonia”. This is because the Romans called the ammonium chloride that they collected near the Temple of Jupiter Amun, “sal ammoniacus” (salt of Amun).

22. Grand Central scene at rush hour, e.g. : MOB

Grand Central Terminal in New York City is the largest railroad station in the world in terms of the number of platforms (44). Those platforms are all underground, and in two levels. The official name for the facility is “Grand Central Terminal”. The name “Grand Central Station” is very common, and is actually the name of the facility that the terminal replaced in 1913.

24. Senate attire : TOGAS

In Ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

28. Actress who co-starred on “That ’70s Show” at age 14 : KUNIS

Mila Kunis is a Ukrainian-born, American actress who plays Jackie Burkhart on “That ’70s Show”. Fans of the cartoon series “Family Guy” might recognize her voicing the Meg Griffin character. In ”Black Swan”, Kunis plays a rival ballet dancer to the character played by Natalie Portman. In her personal life, Kunis dated Macaulay Culkin for 8 years, but married Ashton Kutcher, her co-star from “That 70s Show”, in 2015.

“That ‘70s Show” is a sitcom that originally aired from 1998 to 2006. As the title suggests, it is set in the 1970s and explores the issues of the time. Two actors from the show that made it particularly big are Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher.

33. Style influenced by Cubism : DECO

Art deco is a style of design and architecture of the 1920s that actually had its roots in Belgium and then spread throughout Europe before arriving in North America. Celebrated examples of art deco architecture are the magnificent Chrysler Building in New York City completed in 1930, and the GE Building that sits in the middle of Rockefeller Center also in New York City, with the address of “30 Rock”.

In the art movement known as Cubism, objects that are the subject of a painting are broken up and reassembled in an abstract form. The pioneers of the Cubist movement were Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.

34. Plant in the lily family : ALOE

Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. Ancient Egyptians knew it as the plant of immortality, and Native Americans called it the wand of heaven.

41. Mountain nymph : OREAD

The Oreads were the mountain nymphs that accompanied the ancient Greek goddess Artemis on her hunting expeditions. Each Oread dwelled on a different mountain, for example:

  • Daphnis (on Mount Parnassos)
  • Echo (on Mount Cithaeron)
  • Ida (on Mount Ida)

42. Singer K. T. : OSLIN

Singer K. T. Oslin is best known for her string of country hits in the eighties.

43. Setting for part of “Forrest Gump,” for short : NAM

The epic 1994 movie “Forrest Gump” is based on a 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. Groom said that he had envisioned John Goodman playing the title role, and not Tom Hanks.

45. Singer k. d. : LANG

k.d. lang is the stage name of Kathryn Dawn Lang, a Canadian singer and songwriter. Beyond her performing career, lang is a noted activist focused on animal rights, gay rights, and human rights in Tibet.

47. Italian artist Guido : RENI

Guido Reni was an Italian painter from Bologna who was active in the first half of the 17th century. Reni’s most famous work is probably “Crucifixion of St. Peter”, an altarpiece commissioned in the early 1600s that is now on display in the Vatican.

48. Oscar nominee for playing Mia in “Pulp Fiction” : UMA

Uma Thurman started her working career as a fashion model, at the age of 15. She appeared in her first movies at 17, with her most acclaimed early role being Cécile de Volanges in 1988’s “Dangerous Liaisons”. Thurman’s career really took off when she played the gangster’s “moll” in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” in 1994. My favorite of all Thurman’s movies is “The Truth About Cats & Dogs”, a less acclaimed romcom released in 1996. She took a few years off from 1998 until 2002, doing very little work in favor of motherhood. It was Tarantino who relaunched her career, giving her the lead in the “Kill Bill” films.

I’m not a big fan of director Quentin Tarantino. His movies are too violent for me, and the size of his ego just turns me right off. Having said that, I think “Pulp Fiction” is a remarkable film. If you can look past the violence, it’s really well written. And what a legacy it has. John Travolta’s career was on the rocks and he did the film for practically no money, and it turned out be a re-launch for him. Uma Thurman became a top celebrity overnight from her role. Even Bruce Willis got some good out of it, putting an end to a string of poorly-received performances.

Down

3. More slapstick : SILLIER

Slapstick is a physical form of comedy or horseplay. Back in the late 19th century, the term “slapstick” described a device made from two sticks loosely fastened together, which could be “slapped” together to create a sound effect offstage. The sound effect added to the laugh when a clown or actor was given a slap on stage.

4. Novelist Nin : ANAIS

Anaïs Nin was a French author who was famous for the journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.

5. Prideful grp.? : LGBT

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)

8. River to the Rio Grande : PECOS

The Pecos River rises north of the village of Pecos in New Mexico, and flows almost a thousand miles before entering the Rio Grande near Del Rio, Texas.

13. A little one is called a calf : ICEBERG

An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice that is floating freely after having broken off from a glacier or ice shelf. Out use of “iceberg” comes from the Dutch word for the same phenomenon “ijsberg”, which translates literally as “ice mountain”.

15. Star-crossed, say : TRAGIC

Two lovers who are “star-crossed” are ill-fated, thwarted by the stars. The term was coined by William Shakespeare in the prologue to his play “Romeo and Juliet”

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes,
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life

24. Stanley of “The Lovely Bones” : TUCCI

Stanley Tucci is a UK-based, American actor. Of his many fine performances, my favorite is in 2009’s “Julie & Julia” in which he plays the husband of celebrity chef Julia Child. Tucci is quite the cook himself in real life and released “The Tucci Cookbook” in 2012. He is also a co-owner of the Finch Tavern restaurant in Croton Falls, New York.

“The Lovely Bones” is a remarkable film directed by Peter Jackson (of “Lord of the Rings” fame). It stars the incredibly talented Irish actress, Saoirse Ronan, who plays a 14-year-old girl who has been murdered and is living in a surreal “in-between” world that is neither Heaven nor Earth. I usually find computer-generated graphics in movies overpowering and distracting, but this movie uses the technique to create a beautiful backdrop that really brings the story to life.

26. Whose last words are “Thus with a kiss I die” : ROMEO

In Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, the last words uttered by Romeo are:

O true apothecary!
They drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.

Juliet’s last words are:

Yea, noise? then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die.

32. Toon rodent : ALVIN

Alvin and the Chipmunks is a cartoon musical group that was created for the recording of a novelty song in 1958 called “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)”. The three Chipmunks (Alvin, Simon and Theodore) were all voiced by singer Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. but with a speedy playback to create high-pitched voices.

35. 38 things in the Lincoln Memorial : COLUMNS

The Lincoln Memorial is my favorite place to visit in the whole of Washington D.C. The memorial was designed by Henry Bacon, and the sculptor of the magnificent statue of President Lincoln was Daniel Chester French. I spent a wonderful afternoon a few years ago touring the workshop and home of French, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The workshop is stunning, with miniature studies for his magnum opus, the Lincoln Statue, as well as many other beautiful works.

36. Speech in the Bible : ARAMAIC

The ancient Biblical land of Aram was named after Aram, a grandson of Noah. Aram was located in the center of modern-day Syria. Aramaic became the everyday language of Syria, Mesopotamia and Palestine.

40. Tourist spot on the Mediterranean : SAN REMO

The Italian city of San Remo sits on the Mediterranean, right on the border with France. In Italian the city is named Sanremo, just one word, although the spelling “San Remo” dates back to ancient times.

47. Moves, in slang : RELOS

“Relocate” (relo)

52. Big ___ : BEN

Big Ben is the name commonly used for the large bell in the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster (aka the Houses of Parliament). Big Ben’s official name is the Great Bell, and there is some debate about the origins of the nickname. It may be named after Sir Benjamin Hall who oversaw the bell’s installation, or perhaps the English heavyweight champion of the day Benjamin Caunt. Big Ben fell silent in 2017 to make way four years of maintenance and repair work to the clock’s mechanism and the tower.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Website revenue source : AD SALES
8. Sequel : PART II
14. Introduce : BRING OUT
16. “Blah, blah, blah” : ETC ETC
17. From which Sadie Hawkins dances come : LI’L ABNER
18. Sandpaper category : COARSE
19. Like seven candles on the first night of Hanukkah : UNLIT
20. Egyptian deity : AMON
22. Grand Central scene at rush hour, e.g. : MOB
23. Is on the run? : SKIS
24. Senate attire : TOGAS
26. Opportune : RIPE
27. Outcry : HUE
28. Actress who co-starred on “That ’70s Show” at age 14 : KUNIS
29. Lost cause : GONER
30. He might say “A day without you is like a day without sunshine” : PRINCE CHARMING
33. Style influenced by Cubism : DECO
34. Plant in the lily family : ALOE
35. He might say “A day without sunshine is like, you know, night” : CAPTAIN OBVIOUS
41. Mountain nymph : OREAD
42. Singer K. T. : OSLIN
43. Setting for part of “Forrest Gump,” for short : NAM
45. Singer k. d. : LANG
46. Permanently, say : IN PEN
47. Italian artist Guido : RENI
48. Oscar nominee for playing Mia in “Pulp Fiction” : UMA
49. Jonathan Safran ___, “Everything Is Illuminated” author : FOER
50. Bit of wisdom : PEARL
51. Trendy male hairstyle : MAN BUN
53. English king nicknamed “the Unready” (ooh, that hurts!) : ETHELRED
56. Like Miss Congeniality : NICEST
57. “I dunno” : YOU GOT ME
58. One of two in “Hamlet” or three in “Macbeth” : SCENE V
59. “Nature” or “Frontline” : PBS SHOW

Down

1. Visibly embarrassed : ABLUSH
2. “Cheers!” : DRINK UP!
3. More slapstick : SILLIER
4. Novelist Nin : ANAIS
5. Prideful grp.? : LGBT
6. Ages : EON
7. Go after : SUE
8. River to the Rio Grande : PECOS
9. Heaps : A TON
10. Memorable demonstrator at the 1939 World’s Fair : RCA
11. Ends : TERMINI
12. Response to a knock : IT’S OPEN!
13. A little one is called a calf : ICEBERG
15. Star-crossed, say : TRAGIC
21. BuzzFeed competitor : MASHABLE
24. Stanley of “The Lovely Bones” : TUCCI
25. Private meeting : ONE-ON-ONE
26. Whose last words are “Thus with a kiss I die” : ROMEO
28. Work : KNEAD
29. ___ pull : GROIN
31. Collar attachment : ID TAG
32. Toon rodent : ALVIN
35. 38 things in the Lincoln Memorial : COLUMNS
36. Speech in the Bible : ARAMAIC
37. Amends : PENANCE
38. U.S. military aircraft : OSPREY
39. Expose : UNEARTH
40. Tourist spot on the Mediterranean : SAN REMO
44. Shower problem : MILDEW
46. Broadcast network originally known as Pax : ION TV
47. Moves, in slang : RELOS
49. Item in a box in the basement : FUSE
50. Classifies (as) : PEGS
52. Big ___ : BEN
54. Big ___ : TOP
55. Relatively easy city to fly into and out of : HUB