1102-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 2 Nov 2017, Thursday

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Constructed by: Peter Sagal & Mike Selinker
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: New York Marathon

There’s a note with today’s puzzle:

To mark the 75th anniversary of the New York Times crossword, which debuted in 1942, we are publishing a series of puzzles co-created by famous people who solve the Times crossword, working together with regular Times puzzle contributors.

This collaboration is by Peter Sagal, the host of NPR’s “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!,” working together with Mike Selinker, a game and puzzle designer in Renton, Wash. Their crossword is about something Peter is doing – and Mike says he’s “definitely not capable of doing” – this very weekend.

The celebrity collaborations will continue periodically through the year.

More information about the making of today’s puzzle appears in the Times’s daily crossword column (nytimes.com/column/wordplay).

Today’s grid brings us through the route of the NEW YORK CITY MARATHON. The circled answers need to be preceded by boroughs of New York City through which the race passes, in order:

  • 37A. Event held on the first Sunday in November, and whose path is recreated in this puzzle : NEW YORK MARATHON
  • 67A. Step 1: A passenger ship since 1817 : STATEN ISLAND FERRY
  • 51A. Step 2: An old baseball team : BROOKLYN DODGERS
  • 28A. Step 3: An upper-class accent : QUEEN’S ENGLISH
  • 23A. Steps 4 and 6: A 1940s program : MANHATTAN PROJECT
  • 9A. Step 5: A show of contempt : BRONX CHEER

Bill’s time: 12m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Any of the Galápagos, e.g. : ISLA

The Galápagos Islands lie over 500 miles west of Ecuador. The Galápagos owe their celebrity to the voyage of HMS Beagle which landed there in 1835, with Charles Darwin on board. It was Darwin’s study of various species on the islands that inspired him to postulate his Theory of Evolution.

9. Step 5: A show of contempt : BRONX CHEER

Not so much here in America, but over in the British Isles “blowing a raspberry” is a way of insulting someone (I think that it’s usually called “a Bronx cheer” in the US). The verb “to razz” comes from a shortened form of “raspberry”.

14. Freddie Mercury or Martin Sheen : STAGE NAME

Freddie Mercury was a British singer-songwriter who was lead singer for the rock group Queen. Mercury wrote many of Queen’s hits, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Somebody to Love”, “Don’t Stop Me Now” and “We Are the Champions”. Mercury’s real name was Farrokh Bulsara, and he was born to Parsi parents in Zanzibar (now part of Tanzania) in East Africa. He grew up mainly in India, and arrived in England at the age of 17 when his family had flee from the Zanzibar Revolution.

Martin Sheen is the stage name of actor Ramón Estévez. Despite all of his great performances, Sheen has never even been nominated for an Academy Award. Isn’t that something? I thought he was outstanding in his starring role in television’s “The West Wing”.

17. Little Dipper’s place : URSA MINOR

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”. The tail of the “Smaller Bear” might also be considered as the handle of a ladle, and so the constellation is often referred to as the Little Dipper.

18. Coming-out phrase : I’M GAY

Back in the 1950s, to come “out of the closet” was to admit to being an alcoholic. By the seventies, the phrase mainly referred to gay people shrugging off secrecy about their orientation.

20. Poppy products : OPIUMS

The opium poppy is the source of the narcotic alkaloids known as opiates. To produce opiates, the latex sap of the opium poppy is collected and processed. The naturally-occurring drugs of morphine and codeine can both be extracted from the sap. Some synthesis is required to make derivative drugs like heroin and oxycodone.

22. Noted government agent during Prohibition : NESS

Eliot Ness was the Treasury agent charged with the task of bringing down the notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone. When Ness took on the job in 1930, Chicago law-enforcement agents were renowned for being corrupt, for being on the take. Ness handpicked 50 prohibition agents who he thought he could rely on, later reducing the group to a cadre of 15 and ultimately just 11 trusted men. That group of 11 earned the nickname “The Untouchables”, the agents who couldn’t be bought.

The 18th Amendment to the US Constitution was a great victory for the temperance movement (the “dry” movement), and in 1919 ushered in the Prohibition era. Highly unpopular (with the “wet” movement), Prohibition was repealed in 1933 by the 21st Amendment.

23. Steps 4 and 6: A 1940s program : MANHATTAN PROJECT

The Manhattan project was the joint US-Canada-UK project to develop an atomic bomb during WWII. Initially, the Army headquarters for the program was located on the 18th floor of a building on Broadway in New York City. Eventually, because of that first location, the project adopted the name “Manhattan”.

25. Car decal abbr. : AAA

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

27. Trump is often involved in these : BIDS

That would perhaps be the game of bridge.

32. Site of arthroscopic surgery : KNEE

Arthroscopy is surgery that is minimally invasive and is performed on a joint, often the knee, hip or shoulder.

37. Event held on the first Sunday in November, and whose path is recreated in this puzzle : NEW YORK MARATHON

The annual New York City Marathon has more competitors than any other marathon run in the world, with over 50,000 racers completing the course in 2013. The race has been held every year since 1970, except for 2012 when it was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy.

43. Pizza maker John Schnatter’s nickname : PAPA

Papa John’s is the third largest takeout and delivery pizza chain in the US, with Pizza Hut and Domino’s taking the top spots.

44. Square for a white rook, in chess notation : A-ONE

The corner piece in the game of chess is a called a rook, a word coming from the Persian word “rokh” meaning a “chariot”. The rook has also been called, perhaps incorrectly, the castle, tower, marquess and rector.

45. What each step in this puzzle lacks, in proper order : BOROUGH

The five boroughs of New York City were created in 1898. The five boroughs are:

  • Manhattan
  • The Bronx
  • Brooklyn
  • Queens
  • Staten Island

47. Actress Issa and others : RAES

Issa Rae is Stanford University graduate who created a YouTube web series called “Awkward Black Girl”. Rae also plays the title role in the series, a young lady named “J”.

51. Step 2: An old baseball team : BROOKLYN DODGERS

The Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team were known as the Brooklyn Dodgers before the franchise moved to California. Before being called as the Dodgers, the team was known in Brooklyn as the Robins, the Superbas, the Trolley Dodgers, the Bridegrooms/Grooms, the Grays and the Atlantics.

59. Interstellar sitcom star : ALF

“ALF” is a sitcom that aired in the late eighties. ALF is a hand-puppet, supposedly an alien from the planet Melmac that crash-landed in a suburban neighborhood. “ALF” stands for “alien life form”.

63. Many teachers disallow it in footnotes : WIKIPEDIA

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, and the most-used reference site on the Internet. It was launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in 2001. I, for one, am very grateful …

65. Sprite in “The Tempest” : ARIEL

Ariel is a spirit, and a character who appears in William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and who becomes a servant of the magician Prospero. Ariel was actually viewed as a male character when the play was first staged, and the text of the play supports this assumption. Many believe that the part was originally played by a boy actor, and over time the tendency has been to use female actors, but not exclusively.

67. Step 1: A passenger ship since 1817 : STATEN ISLAND FERRY

Staten Island is part of New York City and is the least populous of the city’s five boroughs. The island was originally called Staaten Eylandt by Henry Hudson and was named after the Dutch parliament, the Staaten Generaal.

69. Attire, informally : TOGS

The verb “tog up”, meaning to dress up, comes from the Latin “toga”, the garment worn in Ancient Rome. “Tog” can be also be used as an informal word for a coat or a cloak. Back in Ireland, togs are what we call swimming shorts.

Down

3. ___ beam : LASER

The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” (LASER). It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “Light Oscillation by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely LOSER.

4. Istanbul commander : AGA

“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

Istanbul, Turkey is the only metropolis in the world that is situated in two continents. The city extends both on the European side and on the Asian side of the Bosphorus river.

9. Life force : CHI

In Chinese culture “qi” or “chi” is the life force in any living thing.

10. Item on the back of a pew : HYMNAL

A pew is a bench in a church, one usually with a high back. The original pews were raised and sometimes enclosed seats in the church used by women and important men or families. “Pew” comes from the Old French “puie” meaning “balcony, elevation”.

15. Face With Tears of Joy, e.g. : EMOJI

An emoji is a character found on many cell phones that is much like an emoticon, but more elaborate.

21. Less gonzo : SANER

Something gonzo is bizarre or unconventional. The term might perhaps come from the Italian “gonzo” meaning “rude, sottish”.

24. Toe the line : OBEY

The idiomatic expression “to toe the line” means “to obey”. The etymology of the phrase is disputed, although it is likely to come from the Royal Navy. Barefooted sailors were required to stand to attention for inspection lined up along the seams for the wooden deck, hence “toeing the line”.

26. Where Mumtaz Mahal is entombed : AGRA

The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the fourth wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child. When Shah Jahan himself passed away 35 years later, he was buried beside his wife Mumtaz, in the Taj Mahal.

28. One of the Gabor sisters : EVA

Eva Gabor was the youngest of the Gabor sisters, all three of whom were celebrated Hollywood actresses and socialites (her siblings were Zsa-Zsa and Magda). One of Eva’s claims to fame is the unwitting promotion of the game called “Twister”, the sales of which were languishing in 1966. In an appearance on “The Tonight Show” she got on all fours and played the game with Johnny Carson. Sales took off immediately, and Twister became a huge hit.

29. It may mean “I’m about to tell you you’re wrong” : IMHO

In my humble opinion (IMHO)

33. He was emperor at 16, dead at 30 : NERO

Nero was Emperor of Rome from 54 to 68 CE, and towards the end of his reign participated in the Olympic Games in the year 67. The Roman leader raced in a ten-horse chariot, of which he lost control and nearly perished after being thrown from the vehicle. Acting and singing were Olympic events back then, and Nero also took part in those competitions. By all accounts, Nero performed badly in every event in which he vied, and yet somehow still managed to win Olympic crowns that he paraded around Rome on his return from Greece.

35. Org. with a noted weekly research journal : AMA

The American Medical Association (AMA) has been publishing the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) since 1883.

38. Work : OPUS

The Latin for “work” is “opus”, with the plural being “opera”. We sometimes use the plural “opuses” in English.

40. European driver’s concern: Abbr. : KPH

Kilometres per hour (kph)

41. Electrically stun : TASE

“To tase” is to use a taser, a stun gun.

46. Coup result : OUSTER

A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”.

47. Comment with the pinkie and forefinger extended upward : ROCK ON!

The use of “pinkie” or “pinky” for the little finger or toe comes into English from “pinkje”, the Dutch word for the same digit. Who knew …?

48. Country singer Trace : ADKINS

Trace Adkins is a country singer who has also appeared in a quite a few movies and television shows. Adkins was the winner on the reality show “The Celebrity Apprentice” in 2013, after having coming in second place to Piers Morgan in 2008.

49. Where Zagazig is : EGYPT

Zagazig is a city in the Nile delta of Egypt. It is home to Zagazig University, on of the largest universities in the country.

52. “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” medium : RADIO

Chicago Public Radio produces one of my favorite radio shows, “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” It is indeed a fun game show, hosted by Peter Sagal. The “Morning Edition” newsreader Carl Kasell used to act as judge and scorekeeper, until he retired in 2014. There should be more game shows of that ilk on the radio, in my humble opinion …

54. Count of children’s literature : OLAF

Count Olaf is the main antagonist in “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, the collection of children’s novels penned by Lemony Snicket (the pen name of Daniel Handler).

58. Dunderhead : TWIT

“Twit” is a word not used very often here in America. It’s a slang term that was quite common in England where it was used for “someone foolish and idiotic”.

64. CPR provider : EMT

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Any of the Galápagos, e.g. : ISLA
5. Small cape : SPIT
9. Step 5: A show of contempt : BRONX CHEER
14. Freddie Mercury or Martin Sheen : STAGE NAME
16. S.H.I.E.L.D.’s enemy, in Marvel comics : HYDRA
17. Little Dipper’s place : URSA MINOR
18. Coming-out phrase : I’M GAY
19. Epitome of easiness : PIE
20. Poppy products : OPIUMS
22. Noted government agent during Prohibition : NESS
23. Steps 4 and 6: A 1940s program : MANHATTAN PROJECT
25. Car decal abbr. : AAA
27. Trump is often involved in these : BIDS
28. Step 3: An upper-class accent : QUEEN’S ENGLISH
32. Site of arthroscopic surgery : KNEE
35. Profess : AVER
36. “Why, yes, I am, in fact, a cow” : MOO
37. Event held on the first Sunday in November, and whose path is recreated in this puzzle : NEW YORK MARATHON
42. Early metal? : ORE
43. Pizza maker John Schnatter’s nickname : PAPA
44. Square for a white rook, in chess notation : A-ONE
45. What each step in this puzzle lacks, in proper order : BOROUGH
47. Actress Issa and others : RAES
50. Draw on : USE
51. Step 2: An old baseball team : BROOKLYN DODGERS
54. Trounces, slangily : OWNS
57. Thickset : STOCKY
59. Interstellar sitcom star : ALF
61. Pilfers : LOOTS
63. Many teachers disallow it in footnotes : WIKIPEDIA
65. Sprite in “The Tempest” : ARIEL
66. “Knock yourself out” : I DON’T MIND
67. Step 1: A passenger ship since 1817 : STATEN ISLAND FERRY
68. Bunches : TONS
69. Attire, informally : TOGS

Down

1. Was just on deck : IS UP
2. Busy retail area : STRIP
3. ___ beam : LASER
4. Istanbul commander : AGA
5. Made a petty verbal attack : SNIPED
6. Freaks out : PANICS
7. “That’s it for me,” in poker : I’M OUT
8. Life, for one : TERM
9. Life force : CHI
10. Item on the back of a pew : HYMNAL
11. Lip : EDGE
12. Period pieces : ERAS
13. Sea creatures that are a homophone of 47-Across : RAYS
15. Face With Tears of Joy, e.g. : EMOJI
21. Less gonzo : SANER
24. Toe the line : OBEY
26. Where Mumtaz Mahal is entombed : AGRA
28. One of the Gabor sisters : EVA
29. It may mean “I’m about to tell you you’re wrong” : IMHO
30. Any moment : SOON
31. Fine-tune : HONE
32. Pinch : salt :: ___ : butter : KNOB
33. He was emperor at 16, dead at 30 : NERO
34. Item by a basin : EWER
35. Org. with a noted weekly research journal : AMA
38. Work : OPUS
39. Storms : RAGES
40. European driver’s concern: Abbr. : KPH
41. Electrically stun : TASE
46. Coup result : OUSTER
47. Comment with the pinkie and forefinger extended upward : ROCK ON!
48. Country singer Trace : ADKINS
49. Where Zagazig is : EGYPT
51. 1982 Stevie Wonder title query : DO I DO
52. “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” medium : RADIO
53. It might be supporting a cast : SLING
54. Count of children’s literature : OLAF
55. Came out in : WORE
56. Café ___ : NOIR
58. Dunderhead : TWIT
60. They’re in : FADS
62. Arch : SLY
64. CPR provider : EMT