0728-18 NY Times Crossword 28 Jul 18, Saturday

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Constructed by: Natan Last, Andy Kravis & the J.A.S.A. Crossword Class
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Astaire with steps : ADELE

Fred Astaire’s real name was Frederick Austerlitz. Fred was from Omaha, Nebraska and before he made it big in movies, he was one half of a celebrated music hall act with his sister Adele. The pair were particularly successful in the UK, and Adele ended up marrying into nobility in England, taking the name Lady Charles Cavendish.

6. Onetime Virginia senator Jim : WEBB

Jim Webb is a former US Senator from Virginia and former Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration. He also served as an officer in the US Marine Corps, and is a recipient of the Navy Cross.

10. “My Two ___” (1980s sitcom) : DADS

“My Two Dads” is sitcom that aired at the end of the 1980s. It’s about two men who are awarded joint custody of a teenage girl. The dads are played by Paul Reiser and Greg Evigan, and the daughter by Staci Keanan. Never saw it …

14. French parish priests : CURES

In French, a priest is known as a “curé” or “prêtre”.

16. “___ homo” : ECCE

According to the Gospel of John, when Pilate presented a scourged and beaten Jesus to the crowd he used the words “Ecce homo”, Latin for “Behold the man”.

19. Autumn spice : MACE

The fruit of the nutmeg tree yields two very different spices. What we call “nutmeg” comes from the seed of the tree. “Mace” is the dried covering of the seed.

20. Words to the disloyal : ET TU

It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (meaning “And you, Brutus?”). They appear in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life (if anything at all) as he was assassinated on on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

21. Cheryl of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” : HINES

Cheryl Hines is perhaps best known for playing Larry David’s wife on the excellent sitcom “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. In 2004, Hines married Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the son of Robert and Ethel Kennedy.

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” is an improv comedy show aired by HBO that was created and stars Larry David, the creator of “Seinfeld”. As an aside, Larry David sat a few feet from me at the next table in a Los Angeles restaurant a few years ago. I have such a huge claim to fame …

23. Like a Hail Mary : DO-OR-DIE

A Hail Mary pass (also called “the long bomb”) is a desperation move in American football in which a long pass is thrown with very little chance of a success, right at the the end of a game or at the end of a half. The term dates back to thirties, and was probably first used at Notre Dame. The “Hail Mary” is a prayer in the Christian tradition that is of particular significance Roman Catholicism.

25. “By the way …” : FYI …

For your information (FYI)

27. “Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers and ___” (2003 book) : EMO

“Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo” is a 2003 book by Andy Greenwald about the emo music scene. The title comes from a 1997 album called “Nothing Feels Good” by the Promise Ring, an emo band from Milwaukee.

28. Channel with several spinoff channels : ESPN

The initialism “ESPN” stands for Entertainment Sports Programming Network. ESPN is a cable network that broadcasts sports programming 24 hours a day, and was launched back in 1979. ESPN has a lot of ardent fans. Several parents have named children Espn (usually pronounced “Espen”) on honor of the network.

38. Former Giants G.M. Al : ROSEN

Al Rosen is a former Major League baseball player who played his whole career with the Cleveland Indians. As one of the best all-time players of the game with a Jewish heritage, his fans gave him the nickname “the Hebrew Hammer”.

39. Big name in Art Deco : ERTE

“Erté” was the pseudonym of French (Russian-born) artist and designer Romain de Tirtoff. Erté is the French pronunciation of his initials “R.T.” Erté’s diverse portfolio of work included costumes and sets for the “Ziegfeld Follies” of 1923, productions of the Parisian cabaret show “Folies Bergère”, as well as the 1925 epic movie “Ben-Hur”. Erté’s most famous work by far is an image titled “Symphony in Black”. It depicts a tall and slender woman dressed in black, holding a black dog on a leash.

41. Social reformer Dorothea : DIX

Dorothea Dix was a social activist who lobbied on behalf of the mentally ill, especially those without means. Dix was the driving force behind the construction the first mental asylums in the US.

49. Caustic soda, chemically : NAOH

Sodium hydroxide is a highly caustic salt, with the chemical formula NaOH. Because of its caustic properties, sodium hydroxide is also known as “caustic soda”.

51. What you might charge for a ride : TESLA

Tesla Motors is a manufacturer of electric vehicles based in Palo Alto, California. Tesla is noted for producing the first electric sports car, called the Tesla Roadster. The company followed the sports car with a luxury sedan, the Model S. The Model S was the world’s best selling plug-in electric vehicle of 2015.

53. Onetime Korean statesman Syngman : RHEE

Syngman Rhee was born in Korea, but received much of his education in the US, including a Ph.D. from Princeton. The very much westernized Rhee returned to Korea in 1910, a Korea that by then had been annexed by Japan. Soon after he found himself President of a Provisional Government of Korea based in Shanghai, but was eventually ousted for misuse of power. After WWII, Rhee was installed as President, heavily backed by the United States. However, Rhee’s rule proved to be more like tyranny and during the Korean War his relationship with the US Government became very strained. He stayed in power until 1960 when student revolts became popular enough to force him out of office. The CIA flew him out of the country and he went into exile in Hawaii, where a few years later he died of a stroke.

54. Movie villain whose first name is Julius : DR NO

“Dr. No” may have been the first film in the wildly successful James Bond franchise, but it was the sixth novel in the series of books penned by Ian Fleming. Fleming was inspired to write the story after reading the Fu Manchu tales by Sax Rohmer. If you’ve read the Rohmer books or seen the films, you’ll recognize the similarities between the characters Dr. Julius No and Fu Manchu.

58. Video game neophyte, informally : NOOB

“Noob” is a not-so-nice slang term for a “newbie”, often someone who is new to an online community.

59. Mod bottoms : MINIS

“Mod” is short for “modernist”, and describes a subculture that originated in London in the late fifties. Young men who called themselves mods tended to wear tailored suits, listen to pop music and drive around on Italian motor scooters. Mods came into conflict with another subculture that emerged at the same time in the UK called the rockers. Rockers were into rock and roll music, and drove motorcycles I remember as a young kid in school having to declare myself as either a mod or a rocker. I don’t think our “gangs” back then were quite the same as they are today though …

60. Kvass grains : RYES

Kvass is an alcoholic beverage made from rye bread that typically has a low-alcohol content (relative to beer, say). Kvass is popular in Eastern and Central European countries.

62. Brno-born, e.g. : CZECH

Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic (after Prague).

Down

3. Mythical figure often depicted holding a lyre : ERATO

In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry. She is often depicted with a wreath of myrtle and roses, and playing a lyre.

4. Arboreal primate : LEMUR

Lemurs are the most unusual-looking creatures, native to the island of Madagascar off the east coast of Africa. With their white fur and dark eyes that are very reflective at night, they have a “ghostly” appearance. Indeed, the animals takes their name from Roman mythology in which “lemures” were spirits of the restless dead.

6. “Dunkirk” and “Pearl Harbor,” for short : WWII EPICS

“Dunkirk” is a 2017 film about the evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk during WWII. Directed and written by Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk” has been praised for how realistic it is in depicting the conditions and events that took place on that day.

I thought that the 2001 war movie “Pearl Harbor” was excellent, with some great action sequences. The film is in two parts, as far as the action is concerned. It deals with the attack on Pearl Harbor itself, and then with the amazing Doolittle Raid on Japan.

9. She convinced George to switch to five-pointed stars, in American legend : BETSY

Legend has it that Betsy Ross made the first American flag for General George Washington. However, this story only surfaced during the centennial celebrations of 1876, and although Betsy Ross was indeed one of several flag makers in Philadelphia in the days of George Washington, sadly there’s no definitive evidence that Ross provided that first Stars and Stripes.

12. Distributor of Penguin classics? : DC COMICS

The Penguin is an enemy of Batman in the comic book series and its spin-offs. The villain first appeared in 1941 and was inspired by the advertising mascot of Kool cigarettes at that time, a penguin with a hat and cane. Famously, the Penguin was played by Burgess Meredith in “Batman” TV series in the 1960s. The character was also portrayed by Danny DeVito in the 1992 film “Batman Returns”.

13. What an asterisk may mean : SEE NOTE

The name of the typographical symbol “asterisk” comes from the Greek word “asteriskos” meaning “little star”. The original use of the asterisk was by printers of family trees in feudal times. Back then it was a symbol indicating the date of birth.

18. “Nigerian prince,” often : PHISHER

Phishing is the online practice of stealing usernames, passwords and credit card details by creating a site that deceptively looks reliable and trustworthy. Phishers often send out safe-looking emails or instant messages that direct someone to an equally safe-looking website where the person might inadvertently enter sensitive information. “Phishing” is a play on the word “fishing”, as in “fishing for passwords, PIN numbers etc.”

29. Nick of Hollywood : NOLTE

The actor Nick Nolte got his big break playing opposite Jacqueline Bisset and Robert Shaw in “The Deep”, released in 1976. Prior to that, he had worked as a model. Nolte appeared in a magazine advertisement for Clairol in 1972 alongside fellow model and future actor Sigourney Weaver.

31. Part of a programmer’s conditional : ELSE

In the world of computer programming, an “if-then-else” construct is a type of conditional statement. The idea is that IF a particular condition is met THEN a particular action is executed. The additional ELSE statement can be used to define an alternative action.

33. Worker on the Hill : AIDE

Washington D.C.’s designer Pierre L’Enfant chose the crest of a hill as the site for the future Congress House. He called the location “Jenkins Hill” and “Jenkins Heights”. Earlier records show the name as “New Troy”. Today we call it “Capitol Hill”.

35. Panang curry alternative : PAD THAI

The delicious dish called pad Thai is a meld of stir-fried rice noodles with tamarind juice, red chili pepper plus a mix of vegetables and possibly tofu, meat or fish. It is usually topped with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime. The name “pad Thai” translates as “fried Thai-style”.

36. Show that once had an April Fools’ Day episode hosted by Pat Sajak : JEOPARDY!

Alex Trebek has been the host of “Jeopardy!” since the syndicated version of the game show launched in 1984. Trebek has missed just one episode since then, when he and host of “Wheel of Fortune” Pat Sajak swapped roles in 1997 as an April Fool’s joke.

42. Book that’s the basis for the movie “What’s Love Got to Do With It” : I, TINA

“I, Tina” is a 1986 autobiography by Tina Turner. The book was so successful it was adapted into a movie called “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” The film version was released in 1993 and starring Angela Bassett as Tina Turner.

43. Gas in arc lamps : XENON

Metal halide lamps that are called xenons don’t actually rely on the incorporated xenon gas to generate light. The xenon gas is added so that the lamp comes on “instantly”. Without the xenon, the lamp would start up rather like an older streetlamp, flickering and sputtering for a while before staying alight.

45. Actress Ana of “Devious Maids” : ORTIZ

Ana Ortiz played the title character’s older sister in the TV series “Ugly Betty”.

46. River crossed in 1945’s Operation Plunder : RHINE

Operation Plunder was the primary assault across the Rhine in 1945, as Allied troops brought the ground war into German territory. The assault took four days to complete.

56. Hip-hop’s Run-___ : DMC

Run-DMC was a hip hop group from Queens, New York. The trio took its name from two of the group’s members: Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels.

Read on, or …
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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Astaire with steps : ADELE
6. Onetime Virginia senator Jim : WEBB
10. “My Two ___” (1980s sitcom) : DADS
14. French parish priests : CURES
15. Piece of merchandise : WARE
16. “___ homo” : ECCE
17. Camaraderie : TEAM SPIRIT
19. Autumn spice : MACE
20. Words to the disloyal : ET TU
21. Cheryl of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” : HINES
22. Binge-watch, maybe : OD ON
23. Like a Hail Mary : DO-OR-DIE
25. “By the way …” : FYI …
27. “Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers and ___” (2003 book) : EMO
28. Channel with several spinoff channels : ESPN
30. Pay : REMIT
32. Ones who may dress down those dressing up? : FASHION POLICE
36. Some detox diets : JUICE CLEANSES
37. Modern college major : GENDER STUDIES
38. Former Giants G.M. Al : ROSEN
39. Big name in Art Deco : ERTE
40. Many a time suck : APP
41. Social reformer Dorothea : DIX
44. Comment after a bump : OH, SORRY
49. Caustic soda, chemically : NAOH
51. What you might charge for a ride : TESLA
53. Onetime Korean statesman Syngman : RHEE
54. Movie villain whose first name is Julius : DR NO
55. Part of many an N.Y.C. subway station wall : INLAID TILE
57. Lip : EDGE
58. Video game neophyte, informally : NOOB
59. Mod bottoms : MINIS
60. Kvass grains : RYES
61. Workers on the hill : ANTS
62. Brno-born, e.g. : CZECH

Down

1. Made (like) : ACTED
2. On account of : DUE TO
3. Mythical figure often depicted holding a lyre : ERATO
4. Arboreal primate : LEMUR
5. Largest section of the dictionary : ESS
6. “Dunkirk” and “Pearl Harbor,” for short : WWII EPICS
7. Merit : EARN
8. Court submission : BRIEF
9. She convinced George to switch to five-pointed stars, in American legend : BETSY
10. Show : DEMO
11. Places of learning : ACADEMIES
12. Distributor of Penguin classics? : DC COMICS
13. What an asterisk may mean : SEE NOTE
18. “Nigerian prince,” often : PHISHER
24. Sink : DESCEND
26. Some of life’s twists and turns : IRONIES
29. Nick of Hollywood : NOLTE
31. Part of a programmer’s conditional : ELSE
32. One who sucks the joy out of the room : FUN SPONGE
33. Worker on the Hill : AIDE
34. Places where brain waves are analyzed : NEURO LABS
35. Panang curry alternative : PAD THAI
36. Show that once had an April Fools’ Day episode hosted by Pat Sajak : JEOPARDY!
37. More sweeping : GRANDER
42. Book that’s the basis for the movie “What’s Love Got to Do With It” : I, TINA
43. Gas in arc lamps : XENON
45. Actress Ana of “Devious Maids” : ORTIZ
46. River crossed in 1945’s Operation Plunder : RHINE
47. Thing often described redundantly as “of the past” : RELIC
48. “Gimme a break!” : YEESH!
50. Prepares a bed? : HOES
52. Tab’s counterpart : SLOT
56. Hip-hop’s Run-___ : DMC