1206-18 NY Times Crossword 6 Dec 18, Thursday

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Constructed by: Sophia Maymudes
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answers: Litter Boxes & Kitty-Corner

Themed answers include the letters CAT located in one of the four corners of the grid:

  • 34A. Places where some house pets “go,” in both this puzzle and real life : LITTER BOXES
  • 44A. Diagonally … or a hint to four of this puzzle’s squares : KITTY-CORNER
  • 1A. Things driven on ranches : CATTLE
  • 10A. Gazillionaire : FAT CAT
  • 69A. Provides food for : CATERS
  • 71A. Mideast capital : MUSCAT
  • 1D. Mailing from Lands’ End or Williams-Sonoma : CATALOG
  • 13D. Like the hook of a good pop song : CATCHY
  • 56D. Imitator : COPYCAT
  • 57D. Ski resort vehicle : SNO-CAT

Bill’s time: 12m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Three-time Best Director of the 1930s : CAPRA

I can’t tell you how many of Frank Capra’s movies are on my list of all-time favorites. He directed such classics as “It Happened One Night”, “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town”, “Lost Horizon”, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, “Meet John Doe”, “Arsenic and Old Lace” and the holiday favorite “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Capra was the first person to win three directorial Oscars: for “It Happened One Night”, “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” and “You Can’t Take It With You”. Capra also did his bit during WWII, enlisting just a few days after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Given his great talent, and the fact that he enlisted at the relatively advanced age of 44, the US Army put him to work directing 11 documentary war films in the “Why We Fight” series, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

14. Father of Deimos and Phobos, in Greek myth : ARES

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

16. Baldwin of “The Boss Baby” : ALEC

“The Boss Baby” is a computer-animated comedy film released in 2017. It’s all about the love for puppies and babies, and is apparently very funny. Alec Baldwin voices the title character. The film is loosely based on picture book of the same name by Marla Frazee that was published in 2010.

27. Single-stranded building block : RNA

The two most common nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA), both of which play crucial roles in genetics. The DNA contains the genetic instructions used to keep living organisms functioning, and RNA is used to transcribe that information from the DNA to protein “generators” called ribosomes.

29. Co. with a striped logo : IBM

Tech giant IBM was founded as the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896. The company changed its name to the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR) in 1911 and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1916. The name “International Business Machines” (IBM) was given first to the company’s Canadian subsidiary, and then to its South American subsidiary. In 1924, it was decided to adopt the International Business Machines name for the whole company. Good choice …

31. Effect of a sac fly : RBI

That would be baseball.

41. 1990s commerce pact : NAFTA

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is between Canada, Mexico and the United States. When NAFTA came into force in 1994, it set up the largest free trade zone in the world.

44. Diagonally … or a hint to four of this puzzle’s squares : KITTY-CORNER

“Kitty-corner” means “diagonally opposite”. The term is used mainly in the north and west of the US.

46. Ingredient in many a breakfast cereal : DYE

Such a shame …

47. When doubled, dance of the 2010s : NAE

The Nae Nae is a hip hop dance that is named for the 2013 song “Drop that NaeNae” recorded by We Are Toon. The main move in the dance involves swaying with one hand in the air and one hand down, with both feet firmly planted on the dancefloor. Go on, do it. You know you want to …

60. Johns across the pond : LOOS

It has been suggested that the British term “loo” comes from “Waterloo” (water closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo”, in which the pot was called the loo!

The use of “john” as a slang term for a toilet is peculiar to North America. “John” probably comes from the older slang term of “jack” or “jakes” that had been around since the 16th century. In Ireland, in less polite moments, we still refer to a toilet as “the jacks”.

61. My Chemical Romance genre : EMO

My Chemical Romance was an alternative rock band from Jersey City that was active from 2001 to 2013.

71. Mideast capital : MUSCAT

Muscat is the capital of Oman. It lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.

Down

2. High point of “To Kill a Mockingbird” : TRIAL

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” was first published in 1960. The book is a mainstay in English classes all around the world. In my humble opinion, “To Kill A Mockingbird” is a great ambassador for American literature.

3. Slowly : LENTO

A lento passage is a piece of music that has a slow tempo. “Lento” is Italian for “slow”.

4. Loose fig. : EST

Estimate (est.)

6. Sauce with a vowel-heavy name : AIOLI

To the purist, especially in Provence in the South of France, aioli is prepared just by grinding garlic with olive oil. However, other ingredients are often added to the mix, particularly egg yolks.

9. Reason for an Adderall prescription, for short : ADHD

The “official” name for the condition we sometimes still refer to as “attention deficit disorder” (ADD) is “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD).

Adderall is a drug used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as narcolepsy. Adderall is also misused as a recreational drug as it is considered an aphrodisiac and a euphoriant.

10. Bad role model for Oliver Twist : FAGIN

Fagin is the colorful antagonist in the Charles Dickens novel “Oliver Twist”. Fagin leads a band of children who earn their keep by picking pockets and committing other petty crimes. Fagin’s most successful pickpocket is the Artful Dodger.

11. Best Supporting Actor nominee for “Argo” : ALAN ARKIN

The actor Alan Arkin won his only Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) for his role in “Little Miss Sunshine” from 2006, a movie that I just did not understand …

“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I highly recommend “Argo”, although I found the scenes of religious fervor to be very frightening …

23. Regenerable parts of a sea star : ARMS

Starfish (sometimes known as “sea stars”) come in many shapes and sizes, but commonly have “pentaradial symmetry”, meaning they have symmetrical body-shapes with five points. Most starfish are predators, mainly living on a diet of mollusks such as clams and oysters.

33. Roman road : ITER

“Iter” is Latin for “road, journey”.

50. Lily Potter’s maiden name in the Harry Potter books : EVANS

In the world of “Harry Potter”, Harry’s mother was Lily Potter nee Evans. Lily Evans had magical abilities, even though she was born to muggles, individuals with no magical powers. Lily married James Potter.

53. Alternative to a guillotine : NOOSE

The guillotine is a device for executing people by decapitating them. The guillotine is most associated with France where it was used most notably and extensively during the French Revolution. The guillotine was used as the standard method of execution in France right up until 1981 when capital punishment was finally abolished.

54. Kind of jacket : NEHRU

A Nehru jacket is very like a regular suit jacket, except that the collar buttons at the neck. It was originally created in the 1940s in India, and then marketed as the Nehru jacket in the west in the sixties. The name Nehru was lifted from Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister of India from 1947 to 1964.

55. Muslim leaders : IMAMS

An imam is a Muslim leader, and often the person in charge of a mosque or perhaps a Muslim community.

57. Ski resort vehicle : SNO-CAT

The brand name “Sno-Cat” is owned by the Tucker company. All snowcats are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, and are famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four independently-mounted tracks.

58. 2008 political catchword : HOPE

Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign focused on the themes of hope and change. The future-president also wrote a book called “The Audacity of Hope” that was first published in 2006.

65. Engine part : CAM

Cams are wheels found on the camshaft of a car’s engine that are eccentric in shape rather than circular. The rotation of the cams causes the intake and exhaust valves of the cylinders to open and close.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Things driven on ranches : CATTLE
5. Three-time Best Director of the 1930s : CAPRA
10. Gazillionaire : FAT CAT
14. Father of Deimos and Phobos, in Greek myth : ARES
15. Put on : AIRED
16. Baldwin of “The Boss Baby” : ALEC
17. You may use a roller to get rid of it : LINT
18. Reluctant : LOATH
19. Deep cut : GASH
20. Cereal bit : OAT
21. What thirsty flowers do : WILT
22. Small and delicate : DAINTY
24. Sings the praises of : GLORIFIES
27. Single-stranded building block : RNA
28. Bustle : ADO
29. Co. with a striped logo : IBM
31. Effect of a sac fly : RBI
34. Places where some house pets “go,” in both this puzzle and real life : LITTER BOXES
39. Hobby shop buy : KIT
40. “So it goes” : ALAS
41. 1990s commerce pact : NAFTA
42. Number two : AIDE
43. Kind : ILK
44. Diagonally … or a hint to four of this puzzle’s squares : KITTY-CORNER
46. Ingredient in many a breakfast cereal : DYE
47. When doubled, dance of the 2010s : NAE
48. Row maker : HOE
49. French word that’s a homophone of 47-Across : NEE
51. “Stay calm!” : DON’T PANIC!
57. Eat quickly, with “in” : SHOVEL
60. Johns across the pond : LOOS
61. My Chemical Romance genre : EMO
62. ___ Caesarea, original name of New Jersey : NOVA
63. Create, as a chair : ENDOW
65. Fellow : CHAP
66. Premiere : OPEN
67. Squeak or creak : NOISE
68. Host : ARMY
69. Provides food for : CATERS
70. Fortify : STEEL
71. Mideast capital : MUSCAT

Down

1. Mailing from Lands’ End or Williams-Sonoma : CATALOG
2. High point of “To Kill a Mockingbird” : TRIAL
3. Slowly : LENTO
4. Loose fig. : EST
5. The world’s fifth-largest economy : CALIFORNIA
6. Sauce with a vowel-heavy name : AIOLI
7. Babble : PRATE
8. No longer working: Abbr. : RET
9. Reason for an Adderall prescription, for short : ADHD
10. Bad role model for Oliver Twist : FAGIN
11. Best Supporting Actor nominee for “Argo” : ALAN ARKIN
12. Beta ___ : TEST
13. Like the hook of a good pop song : CATCHY
21. Vast : WIDE
23. Regenerable parts of a sea star : ARMS
25. “Goshdarnit!” : RATS!
26. Cruising speed, maybe : SIXTY
30. Sunbather’s accessory : BEACH TOWEL
32. ___ one’s time : BIDE
33. Roman road : ITER
34. Put down : LAID
35. Poorly : ILLY
36. No longer independent : TAKEN OVER
37. Held, as breath : BATED
38. Many times, in poetry : OFT
42. Surveyor’s finding : AREA
44. Part of the body to slap : KNEE
45. “My bad!” : OOPS!
50. Lily Potter’s maiden name in the Harry Potter books : EVANS
52. Song from a “Best of” album, maybe : OLDIE
53. Alternative to a guillotine : NOOSE
54. Kind of jacket : NEHRU
55. Muslim leaders : IMAMS
56. Imitator : COPYCAT
57. Ski resort vehicle : SNO-CAT
58. 2008 political catchword : HOPE
59. It may be labeled 2x or 3x : LENS
64. “I think ___” : NOT
65. Engine part : CAM