1029-18 NY Times Crossword 29 Oct 18, Monday

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Constructed by: Peter Gordon
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): B&W Animals

Themed answers are things with names that include a black-and-white animal:

  • 19A. Children’s publisher whose name includes a black-and-white animal : PUFFIN BOOKS
  • 25A. Foul-smelling swamp plant whose name includes a black-and-white animal : SKUNK CABBAGE
  • 38A. Areas for pedestrians whose name includes a black-and-white animal : ZEBRA CROSSINGS
  • 54A. Restaurant chain whose name includes a black-and-white animal : PANDA EXPRESS
  • 62A. Men’s fancy duds whose name includes a black-and-white animal : PENGUIN SUIT

Bill’s time: 4m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10. Irritably impatient : 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”.

15. Actress Dunham who wrote “Not That Kind of Girl” : LENA

Lena Dunham is a co-star in the HBO series “Girls”, and is also the show’s creator. Dunham garnered a lot of attention for herself during the 2012 US Presidential election cycle as she starred in an ad focused on getting out the youth vote. In the spot, she compared voting for the first time with having sex for the first time.

19. Children’s publisher whose name includes a black-and-white animal : PUFFIN BOOKS

Puffin Books is a branch of Penguin Books, the British publishing house. Puffin Books specializes in children’s literature.

21. Home of Pago Pago : SAMOA

The official name for the South Pacific nation formerly known as Western Samoa is the Independent State of Samoa. Samoa is the western part of the island group, with American Samoa lying to the southeast. The whole group of islands used to be known as Navigators Island, a name given by European explorers in recognition of the seafaring skills of the native Samoans.

Pago Pago is the capital of American Samoa in the South Pacific. The island was used by the US Navy during WWII and it managed to escape most of the conflict. The only military incident of consequence was the shelling of the city’s harbor by a Japanese submarine. A more devastating event was the tsunami that hit Pago Pago and surrounding areas in 2009, causing widespread damage and numerous deaths.

23. Moo goo ___ pan : GAI

Moo goo gai pan is the American version of a traditional Cantonese dish. In Cantonese, “moo goo” means “button mushroom”, “gai” is “chicken” and “pan” is “slices”.

24. Wonderland girl : ALICE

The title character in Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” is based on a child named Alice Liddell. Lewis Carroll (real name “Charles Lutwidge Dodgson”) met the Liddell family while he was photographing Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, after which he befriended the Liddells. Carroll told the three Liddell sisters (including Alice) a story about a little girl named Alice and her adventures, in order to entertain the children while on a boating trip on the River Isis in Oxford. He elaborated on the story for the girls on a subsequent boat trip, and agreed to write down the tale as the children loved it so much. Carroll’s writings became a full-fledged manuscript, including the author’s own illustrations. It was first published in 1865, three years after that boat trip.

25. Foul-smelling swamp plant whose name includes a black-and-white animal : SKUNK CABBAGE

There are several species known as skunk cabbage, many of which release an unpleasant odor when the leaves are crushed, hence the name.

28. Sent to the canvas, in brief : KO’D

Knockout (KO)

37. Samberg of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” : ANDY

Andy Samberg is an actor and comedian who was a “Saturday Night Live” cast member from 2005 until 2012. Samberg also plays the lead on the police sitcom “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”.

38. Areas for pedestrians whose name includes a black-and-white animal : ZEBRA CROSSINGS

A zebra crossing is a pedestrian crossing marked by alternating dark and white stripes on the ground. I am willing to bet that the world’s most well-known zebra crossing is the one in front of the Abbey Road Studios in London, as it features so prominently on the cover of the famous “Abbey Road” album recorded by The Beatles.

44. Schumer of “I Feel Pretty” : AMY

Amy Schumer is a stand-up comedian, and an alumna of the reality TV show “Last Comic Standing”, in which she placed fourth. Schumer now has her own comedy series “Inside Amy Schumer”, which airs on Comedy Central. Amy is a first cousin once removed of Chuck Schumer, the senior US Senator from New York.

45. Relative of dynamite : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

The explosive called dynamite contains nitroglycerin as its active component. Dynamite also contains diatomaceous earth and sodium carbonate that absorb the nitroglycerin. The absorbed nitroglycerin is far less sensitive to mechanical shock, making it easier to transport and to handle. Famously, dynamite was invented by Alfred Nobel, the man who used his fortune to institute the Nobel Prizes.

49. Bread for a Reuben sandwich : RYE

There are conflicting stories about the origin of the Reuben sandwich. One such story is that it was invented around 1914 by Arnold Reuben, an immigrant from Germany who owned Reuben’s Deli in New York.

50. Deg. from Wharton : MBA

Wharton is the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. The school was established in 1881 largely due to a donation from industrialist Joseph Wharton, co-founder of Bethlehem Steel.

54. Restaurant chain whose name includes a black-and-white animal : PANDA EXPRESS

Panda Express is a restaurant chain specializing in American-Chinese cuisine. The chain was founded in 1983 by husband and wife team Andrew and Peggy Cherng. Andrew opened his first restaurant in 1973 with his father, Master Chef Ming Tsai Cherng from the Yangzhou region of China. That full-service restaurant in Pasadena, California was named the Panda Inn. The Panda Express chain was introduced as a fast-food version of the Panda Inn.

62. Men’s fancy duds whose name includes a black-and-white animal : PENGUIN SUIT

“Monkey suit” and “penguin suit” are slang names for a tuxedo.

“Duds” is an informal word meaning “clothing”. The term comes from the word “dudde” that was used around 1300 as the name for a cloak.

66. Brand of blenders : OSTER

The Oster brand of small appliances was introduced in 1924 by John Oster. He started out by making manually-powered hair clippers designed for cutting women’s hair, and followed up with a motorized version in 1928. The clippers kept the company in business until 1946 when Oster diversified, buying a manufacturer of liquefying blenders in 1946. The blender was renamed to “Osterizer” and was a big hit. Oster was bought up by Sunbeam, which has owned the brand since 1960.

69. German steel city : ESSEN

Essen is a large industrial city located on the River Ruhr in western Germany. The city experienced major population growth in the mid-1800s that was driven by the iron works established by the Krupp family.

70. Sheriff’s group : POSSE

Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

Down

5. Nile biter : ASP

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

6. Mountain lion : COUGAR

The mountain lion is found in much of the Americas from the Yukon in Canada right down to the southern Andes in South America. Because the mountain lion is found over such a vast area, it has many different names applied by local peoples, such as “cougar” and “puma”. In fact, the mountain lion holds the Guinness record for the animal with the most number of different names, with over 40 in English alone.

7. Britcom of the 1990s, informally : AB FAB

“Absolutely Fabulous” (sometimes shortened to “Ab Fab”) is a cult-classic sitcom produced by the BBC. The two stars of the show are Jennifer Saunders (Edina Monsoon) and Joanna Lumley (Patsy Stone). “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” hit the screens in 2016. I haven’t seen it yet, but my wife did and really enjoyed it. She said that there’s a veritable cavalcade of British stars that make an appearance …

8. E.M.T. procedure with electric paddles, for short : DEFIB

A defibrillator (defib) might be operated by an emergency medical technician (EMT).

9. ___ Lanka : SRI

The island nation of Sri Lanka lies off the southeast coast of India. The name “Sri Lanka” translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

10. iPad, e.g. : TABLET

The iPad isn’t Apple’s first foray into the world of tablet computing. Apple created great buzz by introducing the Newton MessagePad way back in 1993. This innovative machine was fraught with problems and really died a very slow death, finally being withdrawn from the market in 1998.

11. Elite race in “The Time Machine” : ELOI

In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a domineering race living underground who use the Eloi as food.

12. Item hung on Christmas Eve : STOCKING

Apparently, the tradition of putting coal in the Christmas stocking of a poorly-behaved child comes simply from the proximity of the stocking (hanging on the fireplace) to a source of coal!

22. “Allahu ___” (Muslim cry) : AKBAR

The Arabic phrase “Allahu akbar” is usually translated as “God is greatest”. The phrase can be seen written in Arabic letters at the center of the flag of Iraq, and written 22 times across the flag of Iran.

27. Sounds at spas : AAHS

The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

29. Susan of “L.A. Law” : DEY

The actress Susan Dey first appeared on “The Partridge Family” when she was 17-years-old when she had no acting experience. Years later, Dey won a Golden Globe for playing the leading role of Grace Van Owen in “L. A. Law”.

“L.A. Law” ran on NBC from 1986 to 1994, and was one of the network’s most successful drama series. It took over from the equally successful “Hill Street Blues” in the Thursday night 10 p.m. slot until, after a six-year run, it was itself replaced by yet another respected drama, “E.R.” The opening credits showed that famous California licence plate. The plate was on a Jaguar XJ for most of the series, but moved onto a Bentley towards the end of the run. For each series the registration sticker was updated, so no laws were being broken.

33. Deliver a diatribe : RANT

A diatribe is a bitter discourse. The term comes from the Greek “diatribein” meaning “to wear away”.

34. Whom Cain slew in Genesis : ABEL

According to the Bible’s Book of Genesis, after Cain murdered his brother Abel, he fled to the “Land of Nod” located “east of Eden” (from which John Steinbeck got the title for his celebrated novel “East of Eden”).

35. Triceps locale : ARM

The triceps brachii muscle is found at the back of the upper arm. The muscle’s name translates to “three-headed arm muscle”, fitting as it is actually made up of three bundles of muscles.

36. Sushi sauce : SOY

Soy sauce is made by fermenting soybeans with a mold in the presence of water and salt. Charming …

38. Buffoonery : ZANINESS

Something described as zany is clownish and bizarre. “Zany” can also be a noun, a term used for a clown or a buffoon. The original noun was “Zanni”, a Venetian dialect variant of Gianni, short for Giovanni (John). Zanni was a character who appeared in comedy plays of the day, and was someone who aped the principal actors.

39. Listings on the periodic table : ELEMENTS

Dmitri Mendeleev was a Russian chemist. When Mendeleev classified elements according to their chemical properties, he noticed patterns and was able to group elements into his famous 1869 Periodic Table. So powerful was his table that he actually predicted the properties of some elements that had not even been discovered in 1869. Element number 101 is mendelevium and was named after Mendeleev.

40. ___ Crunch (cereal) : CAP’N

The first Cap’n Crunch commercials aired in 1963, at the time the product line was launched. The Cap’n’s full name is Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch, would you believe? Crunch’s voice was provided for many years by Daws Butler, the same voice actor who gave us Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound. Cap’n Crunch is commander of the S.S. Guppy.

41. River of the underworld : STYX

The River Styx of Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (or “Hades”). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferry boat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead “to pay the ferryman”.

43. Drag queen’s wrap : BOA

The etymology of the term “drag”, as used in the transvestite world, seems to be unclear. It perhaps relates to the tendency of a transvestite’s skirts to drag along the ground in days of old (although why they just didn’t hitch up their skirts is beyond me!).

48. When doubled, a dolphinfish : MAHI

“Mahi-mahi” is the Hawaiian name for the dolphinfish, which is also called the dorado. The mahi-mahi is an ugly looking creature if ever I saw one …

50. Where Guadalajara is : MEXICO

Guadalajara is a populous city in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The Mexican city is named after the city of the same name in the center of Spain.

55. Dance club that might have a rotating mirrored ball : DISCO

Discotheques first appeared during WWII in Occupied France. American-style music (like jazz and jitterbug dances) was banned by the Nazis, so French natives met in underground clubs that they called discotheques where records were often played on just a single turntable. After the war, these clubs came out into the open. One famous Paris discotheque was called “Whiskey a Gogo”. In that Paris disco, non-stop music was played using two turntables next to a dance-floor, and this concept spread around the world.

56. Homecoming attendees, for short : ALUMS

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

57. Morocco’s capital : RABAT

Rabat is the capital city of the Kingdom of Morocco. After WWII, the United States maintained a major Air Force Base in Rabat, part of Strategic Air Command (SAC). Responding to pressure from the Moroccan government of King Mohammed V, the USAF pulled out in 1963.

59. James who wrote “A Death in the Family” : AGEE

James Agee was a noted American film critic and screenwriter. Agee wrote an autobiographical novel “A Death in the Family” that won him his Pulitzer in 1958, albeit posthumously. He was also one of the screenwriters for the 1951 classic movie “The African Queen”.

62. Poet who wrote “Once upon a midnight dreary …” : POE

The first verse of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore-
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

64. Mao ___-tung : TSE

Mao Zedong (also “Mao Tse-tung”) was born on December 16, 1893 in the Hunan Province of China. As Mao was the son of a peasant farmer, his prospects for education were limited. Indeed he left school at age 13 to work on the family farm but did eventually get to secondary school in Changsha, the provincial capital. In the years following, Mao continued his education in Beijing and actually turned down an opportunity to study in France.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Snatch : GRAB
5. Mil. schools : ACADS
10. Irritably impatient : TESTY
15. Actress Dunham who wrote “Not That Kind of Girl” : LENA
16. What a designated driver should be : SOBER
17. Where “I dos” are exchanged : ALTAR
18. Leave out : OMIT
19. Children’s publisher whose name includes a black-and-white animal : PUFFIN BOOKS
21. Home of Pago Pago : SAMOA
23. Moo goo ___ pan : GAI
24. Wonderland girl : ALICE
25. Foul-smelling swamp plant whose name includes a black-and-white animal : SKUNK CABBAGE
28. Sent to the canvas, in brief : KO’D
30. What “I do” means : YES
31. Tavern : BAR
32. On, as a horse : ASTRIDE
34. Some small batteries : AAS
35. Volcanic residue : ASH
37. Samberg of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” : ANDY
38. Areas for pedestrians whose name includes a black-and-white animal : ZEBRA CROSSINGS
43. Hoedown seat : BALE
44. Schumer of “I Feel Pretty” : AMY
45. Relative of dynamite : TNT
46. Small sugar serving : ONE LUMP
49. Bread for a Reuben sandwich : RYE
50. Deg. from Wharton : MBA
53. Sharpshooter’s asset : AIM
54. Restaurant chain whose name includes a black-and-white animal : PANDA EXPRESS
58. Opposite of o’er : NEATH
60. Sick : ILL
61. Line at an airport : TAXIS
62. Men’s fancy duds whose name includes a black-and-white animal : PENGUIN SUIT
65. Wait : BIDE
66. Brand of blenders : OSTER
67. High points : ACMES
68. High cards : ACES
69. German steel city : ESSEN
70. Sheriff’s group : POSSE
71. Flip, as a coin : TOSS

Down

1. Shiny photo : GLOSSY
2. New version of an old film : REMAKE
3. Strong dislike : ANIMUS
4. Relay race handoff : BATON
5. Nile biter : ASP
6. Mountain lion : COUGAR
7. Britcom of the 1990s, informally : AB FAB
8. E.M.T. procedure with electric paddles, for short : DEFIB
9. ___ Lanka : SRI
10. iPad, e.g. : TABLET
11. Elite race in “The Time Machine” : ELOI
12. Item hung on Christmas Eve : STOCKING
13. Accept a bet : TAKE ODDS
14. 100 in a century: Abbr. : YRS
20. Repeatedly scolds : NAGS
22. “Allahu ___” (Muslim cry) : AKBAR
26. Spanish house : CASA
27. Sounds at spas : AAHS
29. Susan of “L.A. Law” : DEY
33. Deliver a diatribe : RANT
34. Whom Cain slew in Genesis : ABEL
35. Triceps locale : ARM
36. Sushi sauce : SOY
38. Buffoonery : ZANINESS
39. Listings on the periodic table : ELEMENTS
40. ___ Crunch (cereal) : CAP’N
41. River of the underworld : STYX
42. Ham-handed : INEPT
43. Drag queen’s wrap : BOA
47. Economic improvement : UPTURN
48. When doubled, a dolphinfish : MAHI
49. Depends (on) : RELIES
50. Where Guadalajara is : MEXICO
51. Where less-played tunes can be found on old records : B-SIDES
52. Levy, as taxes : ASSESS
55. Dance club that might have a rotating mirrored ball : DISCO
56. Homecoming attendees, for short : ALUMS
57. Morocco’s capital : RABAT
59. James who wrote “A Death in the Family” : AGEE
62. Poet who wrote “Once upon a midnight dreary …” : POE
63. Midday snooze : NAP
64. Mao ___-tung : TSE