0731-18 NY Times Crossword 31 Jul 18, Tuesday

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Constructed by: David Woolf
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Dot Dot Dot

Themed answers are famous people who use three initials in their names, and hence three DOTS:

  • 55A. Indication of more to come … or what 17-, 28- and 43-Across all contain : DOT DOT DOT
  • 17A. Contemporary of Booker T. Washington : W.E.B. DU BOIS
  • 28A. Best-selling author who invented multiple languages : J.R.R. TOLKIEN
  • 43A. Classic toy store founder : F.A.O. SCHWARZ

Bill’s time: 7m 54s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9. Rapper Nicki ___ : MINAJ

Nicki Minaj is a rapper from Queens, New York who was born in Trinidad.

14. Word before collar, jacket or College : ETON

An Eton collar is a wide, stiff, buttoned collar that is still part of the formal school uniform at Eton College near Windsor in England.

An Eton jacket is usually black in color, cut square at the hips and has wide lapels. It is named for the design of jacket that is worn by the younger students at Eton College just outside London.

Eton College near Windsor in the south of England was founded way back in 1440 by King Henry VI. Originally known as “The King’s College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor”, the school was intended to provided free education to poor boys. Free education today at Eton? Not so much …

15. Actress Kendrick or Paquin : ANNA

Anna Kendrick is a marvelous actress whose big break came when she played the sidekick to George Clooney’s character in the very interesting 2009 film “Up in the Air”. Kendrick can sing as well as act, and played a student a cappella singer in the 2012 movie “Pitch Perfect”.

Anna Paquin is an actress from New Zealand who won an Oscar as an 11-year-old for her role in “The Piano”. In the HBO series “True Blood” she plays Sookie Stackhouse, a role for which she won a Golden Globe.

16. Black Sea port, to natives : ODESA

The city of Odessa (also “Odesa”) in Ukraine was founded relatively recently, in 1794 by Catherine the Great. The city was originally meant to be called Odessos after an ancient Greek city believed to have been located nearby. Catherine liked the way the locals pronounced the name as “Odessa” and so went with the less Greek-sounding name.

17. Contemporary of Booker T. Washington : W.E.B. DU BOIS

W. E. B. Du Bois was sociologist and civil rights activist from Massachusetts. Du Bois was the first African American to receive a doctorate from Harvard, and went on to become a professor at Atlanta University. In 1909, he was a co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

21. “___ magnifique!” : C’EST

“C’est magnifique!” is French for “It is magnificent!”

23. Zilch : NIL

We use the term “zilch” to mean “nothing”. Our current usage evolved in the sixties, before which the term was used to describe “meaningless speech”. There was a comic character called Mr. Zilch in the 1930s in “Ballyhoo” magazine. Mr. Zilch’s name probably came from the American college slang “Joe Zilch” that was used in the early 1900s for “an insignificant person”.

24. French wine valley : LOIRE

The Loire is the longest river in France. It is so long that it drains one-fifth of the nation’s land mass. The Loire rises in the southeast, in the Cevennes mountain range, then heads north then due west, emptying into the Bay of Biscay at the city of Nantes. The Loire Valley is home to some of France’s most famous wine production, and includes the wine regions of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Muscadet.

27. Indy-to-Cleveland direction : ENE

Indianapolis is the largest city in Indiana, and is the state capital. The state of Indiana was formed in 1816, with the state capitol being named as Corydon. The capital was changed to Indianapolis in 1825. Indianapolis is the closest of all capitals to the center of its state.

Cleveland, Ohio was named after the man who led the team that surveyed the area prior to founding of the city. General Moses Cleaveland did his work in 1796 and then left Ohio, never to return again.

28. Best-selling author who invented multiple languages : J.R.R. TOLKIEN

J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkien was an English author best known by far for his fantasy novels “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”. Although Tolkien lived in England and was a professor at Oxford, he served for many years as an external examiner at my old school, University College Dublin in Ireland.

35. Lift up the ski slopes : T-BAR

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, a similar device, but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

36. Like Splenda vis-à-vis sugar : ERSATZ

Something described as ersatz is a copy, and usually not a good one. “Ersatz” comes from the German verb “ersetzen” meaning “to replace”.

43. Classic toy store founder : F.A.O. SCHWARZ

FAO Schwarz was perhaps the most famous, and certainly the oldest, toy store in the United States. The FAO Schwarz outlet on Fifth Avenue in New York City closed in 2015. This store was famously used in several Hollywood movies. For example, it was home to the Walking Piano that Tom Hanks played in the movie “Big”.

45. Remote button: Abbr. : REW

Rewind (REW)

47. Olympian Apolo Anton ___ : OHNO

Speed-skater Apolo Ohno has won more Winter Olympics medals than any other American. Ohno also did a great job winning the 2007 season of television’s “Dancing with the Stars”.

48. Shoe material : SUEDE

Suede is leather made from the underside of an animal’s skin, usually the skin from a lamb. As such it is very soft, although not as durable as leather made from the exterior skin. The soft leather was, and is still used for making gloves. Back in 1859 these gloves were called “gants de Suede” in France, or “gloves of Sweden”. So, the name “suede” comes from the French word for Sweden.

50. Brian who coined the term “ambient music” : ENO

Brian Eno was one of the pioneers of the ambient genre of music. Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, which was the first in a series of four albums with an ambient theme. Eno named the tracks, somewhat inventively, 1/1, 2/1, 2/1 and 2/2.

53. Dog breed at Buckingham Palace : CORGI

The Welsh corgi is a herding dog that originated in Britain, with two recognized breeds: the Pembroke and Cardigan. Corgis aren’t speedy enough to do their job by running around livestock like collies, and instead nip at the heels.

57. City in northern Italy : TURIN

Turin (“Torino” in Italian) is a major city in the north of Italy that sits on the Po River. Back in 1861, when the Kingdom of Italy was formed, Turin was chosen as the first capital of the country.

58. Novelist Seton : ANYA

“Anya Seton” was the pen name of Ann Seton, an author of historical romances from New York City. Seton’s 1944 novel “Dragonwyck” was released into theaters in 1946 and starred Gene Tierney and Walter Huston.

60. Mohawk or mullet : STYLE

Here is another example of a difference in terminology on either side of the Atlantic. What we call the Mohawk hairstyle in the US is known as a Mohican in the British Isles. The Mohawk hairstyle is named after the Mohawk nation, who wore their hair in the same fashion. The Mohawk style has been around for a long time elsewhere in the world. There was a well-preserved male body found in a bog near Dublin in Ireland in 2003. The body is about 2,000 years old, and has the Mohawk haircut.

A mullet haircut is one that is short at the front and sides, and is long in the back.

62. Bohemian : ARTY

The region known as Bohemia covers most of the Czech Republic. Centuries ago, it was wrongly believed that gypsies came from Bohemia, giving rise to the term “Bohemian” meaning a “gypsy of society”.

Down

3. British officers : BOBBIES

Police officers in the UK are sometimes called “bobbies” (and used to be called “peelers”). The name refers back to Sir Robert Peel who, when Home Secretary, created the modern police force.

4. Setting in “Return of the Jedi” : ENDOR

The Ewoks are creatures who live on the moon of Endor in the “Star Wars” universe. First appearing in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”, they’re the cute and cuddly little guys that look like teddy bears.

7. Creature on Scotland’s coat of arms : UNICORN

A unicorn is a mythical creature that resembles a horse with horn projecting from its forehead. The term “unicorn” comes from the Latin “uni-” (one) and “cornus” (horn).

13. “The Tonight Show” host before and after Conan O’Brien : JAY LENO

“The Tonight Show” has had six permanent hosts so far:

  • Steve Allen (1954-57)
  • Jack Paar (1957-62)
  • Johnny Carson (1962–92)
  • Jay Leno (1992–2009, 2010–14)
  • Conan O’Brien (2009–10)
  • Jimmy Fallon (2014–present)

25. Cheese similar to Camembert : BRIE

Brie is a soft cheese that is named for the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert.

Camembert cheese is named after the place it was first produced, the commune of Camembert in Normandy in the north of France.

31. “Salud!” or “Skoal!” : TOAST

The tradition of “toasting” someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

“Salud” is Spanish for “health”, and is used as a toast. Salud!

“Skoal” is a Swedish and Norwegian toast that has roots in the old Norse word “skaal” meaning “cup”.

32. College recruitment org. : ROTC

The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a training program for officers based in colleges all around the US. The ROTC program was established in 1862 when as a condition of receiving a land-grant to create colleges, the federal government required that military tactics be part of a new school’s curriculum.

40. Kindle, for one : E-READER

Amazon’s Kindle line of e-book readers was introduced in 2007. The name “kindle” was chosen to evoke images of “lighting a fire” through reading and intellectual stimulation. I bought myself a Kindle Fire HD a few years ago. I’ve started reading e-books for the first time in my life, as well as enjoying other computing options available with the tablet device …

41. Revolutionary War foe : REDCOAT

Here in the US, we refer to the British soldiers fighting in the revolutionary war as “Redcoats”, a reference to the color of their uniforms. Nowadays in the British Army, the red tunic is reserved only for ceremonial purposes. The vivid color proved to be a detriment after the invention of the rifle.

42. Dolce : SWEETLY

The musical term “dolce” instructs the performer to play “gently and sweetly”.

48. ___-Caps (candy) : SNO

Sno-Caps are a brand of candy usually only available in movie theaters. Sno-caps have been around since the 1920s, would you believe?

49. The “U” of UHF : ULTRA

The radio spectrum is divided into bands based on frequency. “High band” is composed of relatively high frequency values, and “low band” is composed of frequencies that are relatively low. FM radio falls into the band called Very High Frequency (VHF). Television signals use frequencies even higher than VHF, frequencies in the Ultra High Frequency band (UHF). AM radio uses lower frequencies that fall into the relatively low bands of Low, Medium and High Frequency (LF, MF, and HF).

51. Function associated with oscillation : SINE

A sine wave is a mathematical function that describes a simple, smooth, repetitive oscillation. The sine wave is found right throughout the natural world. Ocean waves, light waves and sound waves all have a sine wave pattern.

52. Cheese similar to Gouda : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

Gouda is a cheese that originated in the Dutch city of the same name, although today Gouda is produced all over the world and very little of it comes from the Netherlands. Gouda is often smoke-cured, which gives it a yellowish-brown outer skin and that characteristic smoky taste.

54. ___ Grissom, longtime “CSI” character : GIL

The actor William Petersen is best known for portraying forensic scientist Gil Grissom on the “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”. Petersen quit acting in the show after nine seasons, and moved into the role of executive producer.

56. Actor Sheridan of “Ready Player One” : TYE

The young actor Tye Sheridan had one of the lead roles in the 2012 coming-of-age film “Mud”, which starred Matthew McConaughey.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Mesh (with) : JIBE
5. Apply, as plaster : DAUB
9. Rapper Nicki ___ : MINAJ
14. Word before collar, jacket or College : ETON
15. Actress Kendrick or Paquin : ANNA
16. Black Sea port, to natives : ODESA
17. Contemporary of Booker T. Washington : W.E.B. DU BOIS
19. Touched in the head : LOOPY
20. Make stand out, as letters on stationery : EMBOSS
21. “___ magnifique!” : C’EST
23. Zilch : NIL
24. French wine valley : LOIRE
25. “Nonsense!” : BOSH!
26. Achy : SORE
27. Indy-to-Cleveland direction : ENE
28. Best-selling author who invented multiple languages : J.R.R. TOLKIEN
30. Hold back : RESTRAIN
33. Oddball : WEIRDO
34. Molten tar, e.g. : OOZE
35. Lift up the ski slopes : T-BAR
36. Like Splenda vis-à-vis sugar : ERSATZ
39. Professionals who put on coats for work : PAINTERS
43. Classic toy store founder : F.A.O. SCHWARZ
45. Remote button: Abbr. : REW
46. Symbol of power : FIST
47. Olympian Apolo Anton ___ : OHNO
48. Shoe material : SUEDE
50. Brian who coined the term “ambient music” : ENO
51. Dog unlikely to have a solid coat : SPOT
52. Braid, e.g. : ENLACE
53. Dog breed at Buckingham Palace : CORGI
55. Indication of more to come … or what 17-, 28- and 43-Across all contain : DOT DOT DOT
57. City in northern Italy : TURIN
58. Novelist Seton : ANYA
59. Not imaginary : REAL
60. Mohawk or mullet : STYLE
61. Swarm (with) : TEEM
62. Bohemian : ARTY

Down

1. One visited by a prospective groom : JEWELER
2. Top of a to-do list : ITEM ONE
3. British officers : BOBBIES
4. Setting in “Return of the Jedi” : ENDOR
5. Little amounts of cream : DABS
6. Year in Spain : ANO
7. Creature on Scotland’s coat of arms : UNICORN
8. Least dignified : BASEST
9. Lose one’s feathers : MOLT
10. Reply at the altar : I DO
11. Modern dark film genre : NEO-NOIR
12. Had high hopes : ASPIRED
13. “The Tonight Show” host before and after Conan O’Brien : JAY LENO
18. Application : USE
22. Hollywood and such : SHOWBIZ
25. Cheese similar to Camembert : BRIE
26. School uniform wear, maybe : SKIRT
28. Hybrid music genre with African-American roots : JAZZ HOP
29. Not fatty : LEAN
31. “Salud!” or “Skoal!” : TOAST
32. College recruitment org. : ROTC
35. Root vegetable sometimes made into chips : TARO
36. “Special” things in sci-fi films : EFFECTS
37. Reason for a doubleheader : RAIN-OUT
38. “My sincere apologies” : SO SORRY
39. Company with an annual “Color of the Year” award : PANTONE
40. Kindle, for one : E-READER
41. Revolutionary War foe : REDCOAT
42. Dolce : SWEETLY
44. Informal question of identification : WHO DAT?
48. ___-Caps (candy) : SNO
49. The “U” of UHF : ULTRA
51. Function associated with oscillation : SINE
52. Cheese similar to Gouda : EDAM
54. ___ Grissom, longtime “CSI” character : GIL
56. Actor Sheridan of “Ready Player One” : TYE