0820-18 NY Times Crossword 20 Aug 18, Monday

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Constructed by: Peter Gordon
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Meat Entrees

Themed answers are meat entrees, the name of which includes the capital city of a country mentioned in the clue:

  • 17A. Meat entree in Ukraine : CHICKEN KIEV
  • 28A. Meat entree in Austria : VIENNA SAUSAGES
  • 47A. Meat entree in New Zealand : BEEF WELLINGTON
  • 62A. Meat entree in the United Kingdom : LONDON BROIL

Bill’s time: 4m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Desert beast : CAMEL

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of a camel is the large deposit of fatty tissue on its back. The dromedary is the most common camel, and has two humps of fatty tissue on its back. The Bactrian camel has two humps, and makes up just 6% of the world’s camel population. Those fatty humps are useful if no food or water is available, as fat can be broken down into water and energy.

11. “Born in the ___” : USA

“Born in the USA” is a 1984 song (and album) written and recorded by Bruce Springsteen. The song was written three years earlier as the title song for a movie, but was never used. That film ultimately was released as “Light of Day” starring Michael j. Fox. The original intention was for Springsteen to star in the film himself.

15. Cockamamie : INANE

“Cockamamy” (sometimes “cockamamie”) is a slang term meaning “ridiculous, incredible”. The term goes back at least to 1946, but may have originated as an informal term used by children in New York City in 1920s.

17. Meat entree in Ukraine : CHICKEN KIEV

Chicken Kiev may indeed be a Ukrainian dish, named for the capital city of Kiev. It is a boneless chicken breast rolled around garlic, herbs and butter, breaded and deep fried. It was my Dad’s favorite …

Kiev is located on the Dnieper River, and is the capital of Ukraine. We tend to use the spelling “Kiev”, but the Ukrainian government decided in 1995 to refer to the city as “Kyiv” when using Roman/Latin script.

19. “Weekend Update” show, for short : SNL

“Weekend Update” is the longest-running of any recurring sketch on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). In fact, the segment made its debut on the very first show, back in 1975. The first “anchor” at the “Weekend Update” was Chevy Chase.

20. Carne asada holder : TACO

The name of the dish called “carne asada” translates from Spanish as “roasted meat”.

22. Practice piece at a conservatory : ETUDE

An étude is a short instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. “Étude” is the French word for “study”. Études are commonly performed on the piano.

28. Meat entree in Austria : VIENNA SAUSAGES

What we call a wiener in this country is known as a Vienna sausage in Germany. It was first produced by a butcher from Frankfurt who was living in Vienna, hence the name “Wiener”, which is German for “of Vienna”. Paradoxically, the same sausage is called a Frankfurter in Vienna, as it was created by someone from Frankfurt. It’s all very confusing …

Vienna is the capital of Austria. Vienna has a long musical tradition and was home to Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss (I and II), Josef Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler. As such, Vienna is sometimes called the “City of Music”. It is also called the “City of Dreams” as it was home to the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.

34. Pewter component : TIN

Pewter is a relatively soft alloy that is made up mostly of tin, with some copper, antimony, bismuth and lead.

35. Excellent, informally : PHAT

In hip-hop circles, the term “phat” means “excellent, first-rate”.

37. Brand that “nobody doesn’t like” : SARA LEE

In 1935, businessman Charles Lubin bought a chain of three bakeries in Chicago called Community Bake Shops, and soon expanded the operation into seven stores. Lubin introduced a cream cheesecake that he named after his daughter who was only 8-years-old at the time, Sara Lee Lubin. The cheesecake was a hit and he renamed the bakeries to Kitchen of Sara Lee. The business was bought out by Consolidated foods in 1956, but the brand name Sara Lee persists to this day, as does Ms. Sara Lee herself who now goes by the name Sara Lee Schupf.

41. Greek “H” : 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.

42. Home to the majority of earthlings : ASIA

Most of the world’s population lives in Asia (60%), and Asia is the largest continent in terms of landmass (30% of the world). Asia also has the highest population density (246 people per square mile), and the most populous city on the continent is Shanghai, China.

44. ___ Air (affluent neighborhood of Los Angeles) : BEL

Bel Air is a ritzy neighborhood in Los Angeles that was once home to many, many stars of film and television. Famously, the sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” was set in the neighborhood. President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan had a home in Bel Air, and in fact the former president passed away there in 2004.

47. Meat entree in New Zealand : BEEF WELLINGTON

Beef Wellington is an extremely rich dish comprising filet mignon coated with pâté and duxelles (a mixture of sauteed mushrooms and herbs), which is then baked in puff pastry. Despite the claims that the “Wellington” in the name is a reference to the Duke of Wellington, there’s no real evidence that is the case.

Wellington is a capital of New Zealand, and the second-most populous city (after Christchurch). It is also the most southerly national capital in the world. The city is named for the first Duke of Wellington, the British Prime Minister and victor at the Battle of Waterloo.

51. Emmy winner Christine : LAHTI

Christine Lahti is an actress probably best known for playing Dr. Kate Austen on the TV medical drama “Chicago Hope”. If you read “The Huffington Post” you might run across her as well, as Lahti is a contributing blogger.

52. Christmas carol : NOEL

“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, and ultimately comes from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). “Noel” has come to be used as an alternative name for a Christmas carol.

53. Freshwater polyp : HYDRA

Hydra are small multicellular animals found in freshwater. Hydra have tubular bodies with a mouth at one end surrounded by several tentacles that are used to catch prey.

57. Alan who wrote the book “If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?” : ALDA

Alan Alda has had a great television career, especially of course as a lead actor in “M*A*S*H”. Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing surgeon Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H”. He won his most recent Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Senator Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year” in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

62. Meat entree in the United Kingdom : LONDON BROIL

London Broil is purely an American dish, and has nothing to do with London in England. That said, the origin of the same seems unclear. London Broil is usually grilled, marinated flank steak, that is then cut into thin slices. It’s important to cut across the grain, in order render more tender a relatively tough cut of meat.

London is the largest metropolitan area in the whole of the European Union (and one of my favorite cities in the world). London has been a major settlement for over 2,000 years and was founded as a town by the Romans who named it Londinium. The name “Londinium” may have existed prior to the arrival of the Romans, and no one seems too sure of its origins. Famously, the City of London is a one-square-mile area at the center of the metropolis, the area that marked old medieval London. “The City”, as it is commonly called, has its own Mayor of the City of London (the Mayor of London is someone else), and it’s own City of London Police Force (the London Metropolitan Police are the police usually seen on the streets, a different force).

65. Olive of cartoons : OYL

“Thimble Theater” was the precursor comic strip to the famous “Popeye” drawn by E. C. Segar. Before Popeye came into the story, the brother and sister characters Castor Oyl and Olive Oyl were the protagonists. And then along comes a sailor …

66. Disney World park : EPCOT

EPCOT Center (now just called “Epcot”) is the theme park beside Walt Disney World in Florida. EPCOT is an acronym standing for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and is a representation of the future as envisioned by Walt Disney. Walt Disney actually wanted to build a living community for 20,000 residents at EPCOT, but he passed away without that vision being realized.

68. Small dog : TOY

The toy group of dogs is made up of the smallest breeds. The smallest of the small breeds are sometimes called teacup breeds.

69. Pro in taking dictation : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

Down

3. California politico Garcetti : ERIC

Democrat Eric Garcetti was elected Mayor of Los Angeles in 2013, making him the first Jewish person to hold that office. Garcetti had played fictional Mayor of Los Angeles Ramon Quintero from 2010 until 2012 on the TV show “The Closer” and “Major Crimes”.

4. Concert bonuses : ENCORES

“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request another song, say. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

7. “My Way” lyricist Paul : ANKA

The song “My Way” has lyrics that were written by Paul Anka in 1969, but the tune itself was composed two years earlier by Claude François and Jacques Revaux. The song had been released with completely different lyrics in France as “Comme d’habitude” (“As Usual”). When Anka heard the song on television in Paris he sought out and obtained the rights to use it himself, for free. Supposedly, “Comme d’habitude” has been recorded in more languages, by more artists, than any other song in the contemporary repertoire.

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

8. Thing attached to a sloop’s boom : MAINSAIL

Sloops and cutters are sailboats, and each has just one mast. One major difference between the two types of vessel is that the mast on a cutter is set much further aft than the mast on a sloop.

10. River embankments : LEVEES

A levee is an artificial bank usually made of earth, running along the length of a river. A levee is designed to hold back river water at a time of potential flooding. “Levée” is the French word for “raised” and is an American term that originated in French-speaking New Orleans around 1720.

18. Panache : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

Someone exhibiting panache is showing dash and verve, and perhaps has a swagger. “Panache” is a French word used for a plume of feathers, especially in a hat.

32. Symbol on the Texas state flag : STAR

The single star on the state flag of Texas is a reminder of the “lone star” on the 1836 National Standard of Texas. The single gold star on a blue background symbolized Texas as an independent republic and its struggle for independence from Mexico.

33. Bygone Swedish car : SAAB

“SAAB” stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. Although we usually think of SAAB as an auto manufacturer, it is mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automotive division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000, who then sold it to a Dutch concern in 2010. However, SAAB (automotive) finally went bankrupt in 2011. A Chinese consortium purchased the assets of SAAB Automotive in 2012, and so SAAB vehicles are in production again. The new vehicles are using the SAAB name, but cannot use the SAAB griffin logo, the rights to which have been retained by the mother company.

38. Assist in a crime : ABET

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (it literally means “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

48. Moby Dick and others : WHALES

The full title of Herman Melville’s novel is “Moby-Dick; or, The Whale”. Note that the convention is to hyphenate “Moby-Dick” in the title, as that was how the book was first published, in 1851. However, there is no hyphen in the name of the whale “Moby Dick” as reproduced throughout the text.

50. Separator of a.m. and p.m. : NOON

Our word “noon”, meaning “midday”, comes from the Latin “nona hora” that translates as “ninth hour”. Back in Ancient Rome, the “ninth hour” was three in the afternoon. Over the centuries, traditions such as church prayers and “midday” meals shifted from 3 p.m. to 12 p.m., and so “noon” became understood as 12 noon.

56. Thick Japanese noodle : UDON

Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisines such as tempura.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Mattress cover : SHEET
6. Desert beast : CAMEL
11. “Born in the ___” : USA
14. Deserves : EARNS
15. Cockamamie : INANE
16. Catch cold? : NAB
17. Meat entree in Ukraine : CHICKEN KIEV
19. “Weekend Update” show, for short : SNL
20. Carne asada holder : TACO
21. Low-fat : LEAN
22. Practice piece at a conservatory : ETUDE
24. Travel about : ROAM
26. Back of a boat : STERN
28. Meat entree in Austria : VIENNA SAUSAGES
33. Have a hunch : SENSE
34. Pewter component : TIN
35. Excellent, informally : PHAT
36. Pound sound : ARF!
37. Brand that “nobody doesn’t like” : SARA LEE
41. Greek “H” : ETA
42. Home to the majority of earthlings : ASIA
44. ___ Air (affluent neighborhood of Los Angeles) : BEL
45. Bold type : DARER
47. Meat entree in New Zealand : BEEF WELLINGTON
51. Emmy winner Christine : LAHTI
52. Christmas carol : NOEL
53. Freshwater polyp : HYDRA
55. Jam ingredient? : AUTO
57. Alan who wrote the book “If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?” : ALDA
61. Sound elicited by a punch in the gut : OOF!
62. Meat entree in the United Kingdom : LONDON BROIL
65. Olive of cartoons : OYL
66. Disney World park : EPCOT
67. Be in accord : AGREE
68. Small dog : TOY
69. Pro in taking dictation : STENO
70. Landowners’ papers : DEEDS

Down

1. Religious offshoot : SECT
2. “That’s funny!” : HA HA!
3. California politico Garcetti : ERIC
4. Concert bonuses : ENCORES
5. Sound of disapproval : TSK!
6. The movie industry : CINEMA
7. “My Way” lyricist Paul : ANKA
8. Thing attached to a sloop’s boom : MAINSAIL
9. Direction from Mo. to Me. : ENE
10. River embankments : LEVEES
11. Person not getting credit for a brave act : UNSUNG HERO
12. Hourglass contents : SAND
13. Up to the task : ABLE
18. Panache : ELAN
23. Mouse catcher : TRAP
25. Easiest numbers to dial on a rotary phone : ONES
27. Adjust the pitch of : TUNE
28. Chapter’s counterpart : VERSE
29. Pop-up that results in the batter being called out even if the ball isn’t caught : INFIELD FLY
30. Public bathroom compartment : STALL
31. No longer on the plate : EATEN
32. Symbol on the Texas state flag : STAR
33. Bygone Swedish car : SAAB
38. Assist in a crime : ABET
39. Trust : RELIANCE
40. Cutting-___ (pioneering) : EDGE
43. From a distance : AFAR
46. Like a prison fugitive : AT LARGE
48. Moby Dick and others : WHALES
49. Counting everything : IN TOTO
50. Separator of a.m. and p.m. : NOON
53. Owl’s sound : HOOT
54. Dimwit : YO-YO
56. Thick Japanese noodle : UDON
58. Traditional knowledge : LORE
59. Ran out of juice : DIED
60. Pub pints : ALES
63. Choose, with “for” : OPT
64. Reprimand to a dog : BAD!