0711-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 11 Jul 2018, Wednesday

Constructed by: Michael Hawkins
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Snooze Button

Themed answers each define the result of hitting the SNOOZE BUTTON in the morning:

  • 49A. What a late sleeper may use … resulting in 19-, 31- and 40-Across? : SNOOZE BUTTON
  • 19A. Incommunicado period : RADIO SILENCE
  • 31A. Debbie Downer : BUZZKILL
  • 40A. Express one’s opinion in no uncertain terms : SOUND OFF

Bill’s time: 8m 29s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Suddenly stopped communicating with, in modern lingo : GHOSTED

A rather insensitive person might break off a relationship simply by cutting off all communication with his or her partner, without any warning. Such a move is referred to as “ghosting” in modern parlance, particularly when the relationship relies heavily on online interaction.

11. Utility bill meas. : BTU

In the world of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), the power of a heating or cooling unit can be measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). This dated unit is the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water so that the water’s temperature increases by one degree Fahrenheit.

15. Ride on a merry-go-round, maybe : UNICORN

A unicorn is a mythical creature that resembles a horse with horn projecting from its forehead. The term “unicorn” comes from the Latin “uni-” (one) and “cornus” (horn).

18. City nicknamed “The Gateway to the West” : ST LOUIS

The city of St. Louis, Missouri was settled by French explorers in 1763. Sitting on the Mississippi River, it grew into a very busy port. By the 1850s, it was the second busiest port in the country, with only New York moving more freight. St. Louis was named for Louis IX of France. Louis was canonized in 1297 by Pope Boniface VIII, and was the only French king to be declared a saint.

21. Wade in the Baseball Hall of Fame : BOGGS

Wade Boggs is a former Major League Baseball player, a third baseman who was noted for his hitting ability.

24. Bench press muscle, for short : PEC

“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

25. Spook grp. : CIA

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the successor to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) formed during WWII. The CIA was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947. The organization is often referred to familiarly as “the Company”.

26. Running shoe brand : AVIA

The Avia brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

31. Debbie Downer : BUZZKILL

“Debbie Downer” is a slang phrase describing someone who knows how to bring down the mood. There was a character on “Saturday Night Live” with the name Debbie Downer played by comic actress Rachel Dratch.

35. “Gone With the Wind” locale : GEORGIA

Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel “Gone with the Wind” earned the author a Pulitzer in 1937. Mitchell started writing the book in 1926 as a way to pass the time while she was recuperating from injuries sustained in a car crash. The title comes from a poem by English writer Ernest Dowson:

I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind,
Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,
Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind…

39. ___ Stark, patriarch on “Game of Thrones” : NED

Ned Stark is the protagonist in George R. R. Martin’s fantasy novel “A Game of Thrones”, although his character doesn’t exactly come out on top by the end of the story. Stark is played by actor Sean Bean in the HBO television adaptation of the novel.

41. Pianist/comic Victor of old TV : BORGE

Victor Borge was such a talented entertainer. He was nicknamed “The Great Dane” as well as “The Clown Prince of Denmark”. Borge was a trained concert pianist, but soon discovered that the addition of a stand up comedy routine to his musical presentations brought him a lot of work. He toured Europe in the 1930s, and found himself in trouble for telling anti-Nazi jokes, so when Germany occupied Denmark during WWII Borge escaped to America.

45. Emmy-winning Kudrow : LISA

The character Phoebe Buffay (and her identical twin sister Ursula) is played on the sitcom “Friends” by the actress Lisa Kudrow. Kudrow plays the ditzy member of the troupe of friends, but I’ve always viewed her as the “smartest” of the group of actors in real life, as best I could tell. Kudrow is behind the US version of the British genealogy show “Who Do You Think You Are?” a very entertaining bit of television.

46. What a weather balloon might be mistaken for : UFO

The Roswell UFO Incident took place in 1947. Some people believe that an extraterrestrial spacecraft crashed, with aliens aboard. After the initial reports the public accepted the US Military’s explanation of the crash, that the debris recovered belonged to an experimental high-altitude surveillance balloon. The whole incident was dug up again over 30 years later when a claim was made that there was a cover-up in 1947, and that the armed forces had recovered an alien craft and brought it to Roswell Army Air Field. “The National Enquirer” ran the story, and it has been running ever since.

47. Roman sun god : SOL

Helios was the god of the Sun in Greek mythology. He was the brother of Selene, the goddess of the moon, and Eos, the goddess of the dawn. Helios drove his chariot of the sun across the sky during the day, returning to the East at night be travelling through the ocean. The Roman equivalent to Helios was Sol.

59. Pittsburgh pro : STEELER

The Pittsburgh Steelers football team were founded in 1933, making them the oldest franchise in the AFC. Back in 1933, the team was known as the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates name was chosen as the Pittsburgh baseball team was the Pirates. The name was changed to the Steelers in 1940, and then the Steagles in 1943 when the team merged with the Philadelphia Eagles. There was a further merger in 1944, with the Chicago Cardinal to form Card-Pitt. From 1945, the Steelers name was resurrected.

61. Like the Canadian flag’s maple leaf : RED

The current design of the Canadian National Flag, known as “the Maple Leaf”, has been in place since 1965. The design made its first appearance on February 15th of that year, and so that date is celebrated annually as National Flag of Canada Day.

Down

1. Big purveyor of vitamin supplements : GNC

General Nutrition Centers (GNC) is a retailer of health and nutrition supplements based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 1935 as a small health food store in downtown Pittsburgh. There are now about 5,000 stores in the US. The GNC slogan is “Live Well”.

7. Lucy’s guy : DESI

Desi Arnaz was famous for his turbulent marriage to Lucille Ball. Arnaz was a native of Cuba, and was from a privileged family. His father was Mayor of Santiago and served in the Cuban House of Representatives. However, the family had to flee to Miami after the 1933 revolt led by Batista.

Lucille Ball was at the height of her success while she was married to Desi Arnaz. The couple met in 1940 and not long afterwards eloped. Lucy had several miscarriages before she gave birth to her first child in 1951, just one month before her fortieth birthday. A year and a half later, while “I Love Lucy” was garnering large audiences, she became pregnant with her second child, a pregnancy that was written into the television show’s script. In fact, the day that Lucy gave birth on the show, was the same day that she gave birth in real life.

12. One of the Nixons : TRICIA

President Richard Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon had two daughters. The eldest daughter is Tricia. Tricia married Harvard law student Edward Cox in a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden in 1971.

16. Iowa college : COE

Coe College is a private school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa that was founded in 1851. Coe is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.

20. Memorable 1995 hurricane : OPAL

Hurricane Opal was a Category 4 hurricane that inflicted severe damage in 1995, causing devastating flooding in Florida and Alabama, as well as in Guatemala and Mexico. 50 deaths in Central America and 13 deaths in the United States were attributed to the storm. The hurricane was so significant that the name “Opal” was retired in 1996.

22. Tube traveler : OVUM

The Fallopian tubes leading from the ovaries of female mammals in the uterus. The tubes are named for the 16th-century Italian anatomist Gabriello Fallopio, who was the first to describe them.

23. Egyptian tourist spot : GIZA

Giza is located on the west bank of the Nile, about 20 km southwest of Cairo. The nearby Giza Plateau is home to some of the most amazing ancient monuments on the planet, including the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Sphinx.

27. Set off a polygraph : LIED

We are most familiar with the word “polygraph” as the generic name for a lie detector instrument. This usage began in 1921, although the term had been around since the end of the 18th century. Back then, a polygraph was a mechanical device use to make multiple copies as something was written or drawn. Famously, Thomas Jefferson used a polygraph to preserve copies of letters that he wrote to correspondents.

30. Six for dinner? : WORD LENGTH

There are six letters in the word “dinner”.

32. Paul who painted “Fish Magic” : KLEE

The artist Paul Klee was born in Switzerland, but studied art in Munich in Germany. You can see many of Klee’s works in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. If you get to Bern in Switzerland, even more of them can be seen at the Zentrum Paul Klee that was opened in 2005. Klee’s most celebrated work is his pointillist painting from 1932 called “Ad Parnassum”, which is owned by the Kunstmuseum, also located in Bern.

33. For whom “it is not possible either to trick or escape the mind,” per Hesiod : ZEUS

Hesiod was a poet from Ancient Greece, one often compared with another famous Greek poet Homer. Hesiod’s most famous poem is probably “Works and Days”, a piece based on the principles that labor is the lot of man, and those willing to work will get by. It’s not a short poem, as it has about 800 verses.

40. “Star Trek” role for George Takei : SULU

Mr. Hikaru Sulu was played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. Takei has played lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he appeared in the 1963 film, “Pt-109”? He played the helmsman steering the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s motor torpedo boat. From destroyer helmsman to starship helmsman …

41. W.’s father : BUSH, SR

President George W. Bush (GWB) is named for his father, George H. W. Bush. The “W” in the name of both father and son stands for “Walker”. Walker was the family name of President George H. W. Bush’s mother, Dorothy Walker.

44. Capital of Tasmania : HOBART

Tasmania is the large island lying off the southeast coast of Australia. The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman was the first European to sail past the island, in 1642. Tasman named his discovery Van Diemen’s Land after the Governor of the Dutch East Indies, Anthony van Dieman. The name was officially changed to Tasmania, after the discoverer himself, in 1856. In Australia a more familiar name used is “Tassie”.

47. Bob with the Silver Bullet Band : SEGER

Bob Seger struggled as a performing artist right through the sixties and early seventies before becoming a commercial success in 1976 with the release of his album “Night Moves”. Since then, Seger has recorded songs that have become classics like “We’ve Got Tonight” and “Old Time Rock & Roll”.

51. Author Émile : ZOLA

The most famous work by French writer Émile Zola is his 1898 open letter “J’Accuse!” written to French president Félix Faure. The letter was published on the front page of a leading Paris newspaper, and accused the government of anti-Semitism in its handling of the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a Jewish military officer in the French army, falsely accused and convicted of spying for Germany. Even after the error was discovered, the government refused to back down and let Dreyfus rot away on Devil’s Island rather than admit to the mistake. It wasn’t until 1906, 12 years after the wrongful conviction, that Dreyfus was freed and reinstated, largely due to the advocacy of Emile Zola.

53. “Chicken of the sea” : TUNA

The Chicken of the Sea brand of tuna is named for a phrase once used by fishermen for the “meat” from white albacore tuna.

56. 2016 Olympics host, informally : RIO

Even though the 2016 Olympic Games was a summer competition, it was held in Rio de Janeiro in winter. As Rio is in the southern hemisphere, the opening ceremony on 5th August 2016 fell in the local winter season. The 2016 games was also the first to be held in South America, and the first to be hosted by a Portuguese-speaking country.

57. Bird whose name is also the initials of a school in Ypsilanti : EMU

Eastern Michigan University (EMU) is a public university in Ypsilanti, Michigan, just outside Detroit. Despite the name “EMU”, the school’s athletes are called the “Eagles”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Suddenly stopped communicating with, in modern lingo : GHOSTED
8. Daft : MAD
11. Utility bill meas. : BTU
14. Fresh spin on a familiar idea : NEW TAKE
15. Ride on a merry-go-round, maybe : UNICORN
17. Conceives : CREATES
18. City nicknamed “The Gateway to the West” : ST LOUIS
19. Incommunicado period : RADIO SILENCE
21. Wade in the Baseball Hall of Fame : BOGGS
24. Bench press muscle, for short : PEC
25. Spook grp. : CIA
26. Running shoe brand : AVIA
27. Put on a truck, say : LOAD
29. “Don’t ___ it!” : SWEAT
31. Debbie Downer : BUZZKILL
33. Frenzied place : ZOO
34. Contacted without a trip to the post office, say : EMAILED
35. “Gone With the Wind” locale : GEORGIA
39. ___ Stark, patriarch on “Game of Thrones” : NED
40. Express one’s opinion in no uncertain terms : SOUND OFF
41. Pianist/comic Victor of old TV : BORGE
44. O’Hare and LAX : HUBS
45. Emmy-winning Kudrow : LISA
46. What a weather balloon might be mistaken for : UFO
47. Roman sun god : SOL
48. General tone : TENOR
49. What a late sleeper may use … resulting in 19-, 31- and 40-Across? : SNOOZE BUTTON
54. Meditative exercises in a steamy room : HOT YOGA
55. Could no longer fit into, as one’s childhood clothing : OUTGREW
59. Pittsburgh pro : STEELER
60. Former : ONE-TIME
61. Like the Canadian flag’s maple leaf : RED
62. Verb with “thou” : ART
63. Verbally attack, with “at” : LASH OUT …

Down

1. Big purveyor of vitamin supplements : GNC
2. ___ Majesty : HER
3. Be behind : OWE
4. Observatory activity : STARGAZING
5. Byes : TA-TAS
6. Barely made, with out : EKED
7. Lucy’s guy : DESI
8. Tousled : MUSSED
9. Bit of a lark : ANTIC
10. ___ pickle : DILL
11. Leave, slangily : BOUNCE
12. One of the Nixons : TRICIA
13. Vote out : UNSEAT
16. Iowa college : COE
20. Memorable 1995 hurricane : OPAL
21. ___ in arms : BABE
22. Tube traveler : OVUM
23. Egyptian tourist spot : GIZA
27. Set off a polygraph : LIED
28. Up there in years : OLD
29. Procrastinator’s promise : SOON
30. Six for dinner? : WORD LENGTH
32. Paul who painted “Fish Magic” : KLEE
33. For whom “it is not possible either to trick or escape the mind,” per Hesiod : ZEUS
35. Great deal : GOB
36. “How’s it ___?” : GOIN’
37. Supposing that : IF SO
38. Many miles away : AFAR
40. “Star Trek” role for George Takei : SULU
41. W.’s father : BUSH, SR
42. Significant : OF NOTE
43. Entrenched : ROOTED
44. Capital of Tasmania : HOBART
47. Bob with the Silver Bullet Band : SEGER
48. Pledge drive giveaways : TOTES
50. “Hey!” from Jesús : OYE!
51. Author Émile : ZOLA
52. Hammer or sickle : TOOL
53. “Chicken of the sea” : TUNA
56. 2016 Olympics host, informally : RIO
57. Bird whose name is also the initials of a school in Ypsilanti : EMU
58. Dampen : WET