Edited by: Will Shortz
Bill’s errors: 2
- GIG ECONOMY (big economy)
- BIG A (Biba!!!)
Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies
1. Some undergrad degs. : BSS
Bachelor of Science (BS)
17. Labor market short on long-term work : GIG ECONOMY
Musicians use “gig” to describe a job, a performance. The term originated in the early 1900s in the world of jazz. The term “gig economy” applies to a relatively recent phenomenon where workers find themselves jumping from temporary job to temporary job, from gig to gig.
18. Gunn of “Breaking Bad” : ANNA
Anna Gunn is an actress from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is best known for playing Skyler White on the TV show “Breaking Bad”.
19. 3-year-old in 2015 sports news : AMERICAN PHAROAH
American Pharoah was the twelfth winner of the Triple Crown, achieving the feat in 2015. The horse’s name was inspired by that of his parents: Pioneerof the Nile (dam) and Yankee Gentleman (sire). And, as some kind blog readers have pointed out, there are a some unexpected spellings in the names of horses. One might expect “American Pharoah” to be spelled “American Pharaoh”, and indeed “Pioneerof the Nile” to be written as “Pioneer of the Nile”. More challenges for us crossworders …
26. Point guard, e.g. : PLAYMAKER
That would be basketball.
32. Historic “restructuring” : PERESTROIKA
Mikhail Gorbachev was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until the USSR dissolved in 1991. As well being associated with the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev’s name is linked with the policies of “Perestroika” and “Glasnost”. “Perestroika” (meaning “restructuring”) was his political and economic initiative to make socialism work more efficiently to better meet the needs of consumers. “Glasnost” (meaning “publicity, openness”) was Gorbachev’s policy of increased transparency of government in order to reduce levels of corruption in the Communist Party and government.
35. Grp. with the 1976 platinum album “A New World Record” : ELO
The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) is a symphonic rock group from the north of England.
37. Who said “All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl” : CHAPLIN
Charlie Chaplin earned the nickname “The Tramp” (also “Little Tramp”) from the much-loved character that he frequently played on the screen. Chaplin was much-respected as a performer. The great George Bernard Shaw referred to him as “the only genius to come out of the movie industry”.
39. Ellipsis alternative, maybe : ETC
The Latin phrase “et cetera” translates as “and other things”. The term is usually abbreviated to “etc.”
An ellipsis is a series of dots (usually three) used to indicate an omission in some text. The term comes from the Greek word “élleipsis”, which means “omission”.
46. It appears at the top of a page : URL
Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).
48. Autocrat known as “the Liberator” : TSAR ALEXANDER II
Tsar Alexander II ruled the Russian Empire from 1855, but he lived in dangerous times. There was an attempt on his life in St. Petersburg in 1866, and then another in 1879. Later in 1879 someone exploded a bomb intended for the tsar’s train, but missed. In 1880 another explosion, this time in a Winter Palace dining room, killed eleven people but missed Alexander. Finally, in 1881 after a bomb exploded under the tsar’s bulletproof carriage, he emerged unharmed but then a second bomb was thrown and exploded at Alexander’s feet, killing him instantly.
58. They’re light-years away : EXOPLANETS
An exoplanet is simply a planet that exists outside of our own solar system. Astronomers have detected thousands of exoplanets, most of which are quite large (the size of Jupiter), no doubt because bigger planets are easier to find.
60. Band featured in the mockumentary “The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle” : SEX PISTOLS
The Sex Pistols were the group that introduced the punk movement to the UK, back in 1975. The Sex Pistols were very vocal in their opposition to the social norms of the time. One of their most famous singles is “God Save the Queen”, from 1977. The lyrics were considered so offensive that workers at the plant where the record was being pressed came out on strike rather than be associated with the song. When it was eventually released, the BBC went as far as banning the record, not something that happens very often.
62. White Cloud competitor : SCOTT
One of the claims to fame of the Scott Paper Company is that it was the first to sell toilet paper on a roll.
1. N.Y.C. racetrack, informally : BIG A
The Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York is known by many as the Big A. The track opened in 1894 and was located near an aqueduct belonging to the Brooklyn Water Works, which gave the name.
5. Chinese tennis star who has won both the French and Australian Opens : LI NA
Li Na is a retired tennis professional from China who was ranked world no. 2 on the circuit in 2014.
6. Go crazy with, in a way : OD ON
8. Teammate of Hammerin’ Hank in 22 All-Star Games, with “the” : SAY HEY KID
Willie Mays’ nickname was the “Say Hey Kid”, although his friends and teammates were more likely to refer to him as “Buck”. When Mays was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he was asked who was the best player he’d ever seen in the game. He replied, “I don’t mean to be bashful, but I was.”
The great Hank Aaron (“Hammerin’ Hank” or “the Hammer”) has many claims to fame. One notable fact is that he is the last major league baseball player to have also played in the Negro League.
9. The N.I.H. is based in it : DC AREA
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) organization is made up of 27 different institutes that coordinate their research and services. Examples of member institutes are the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging.
10. City near Pyramid Lake : RENO
Pyramid Lake is a relatively salty body of water situated 40 miles northeast of Reno, Nevada. The lake is fed by the Truckee River, but does not have an outlet. Instead, water seeps out through the lake bottom and is also lost via evaporation. It is this evaporation that has led to concentration of dissolved salts over time.
11. Bone involved in pronation : ULNA
“Pronation” is the medical term for rotation of the forearm.
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.
15. Longtime TV procedural : NCIS
NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show “NCIS”, a spin-off drama from “JAG” in which the main “NCIS” characters were first introduced. The big star in “NCIS” is the actor Mark Harmon. “NCIS” is now a franchise, with spinoff shows “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans”.
20. Fendi rival : ARMANI
Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer and founder of the company that has borne his name since 1975. Although Armani is famous for his menswear, the company makes everything from jewelry to perfume.
Fendi is an Italian fashion house that was founded in 1925 by Adele Casagrande. Fendi started out as a fur and leather shop in Rome, and these days is famous for its line of handbags.
24. Maker of the iComfort line : SERTA
Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:
- #1 The Leader of the Flock
- #½ The Tweener
- #13 Mr. Bad Luck
- #53 The Pessimist
- #86 Benedict Arnold
26. Brooklyn art institute : PRATT
The Pratt Institute is an art college in Brooklyn, New York. The school started out as an engineering college in 1887, founded by oil industry pioneer Charles Pratt. However, the engineering program was dropped in 1993 due to small enrollment numbers.
28. The ___ School (Manhattan dance institution) : AILEY
Alvin Ailey was a dancer who formed his own group in New York in 1958, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The most famous work that Ailey choreographed was called “Revelations”. President Barack Obama awarded Ailey the Presidential Medal of Freedom, posthumously in 2014.
29. Sour, fermented milk drink : KEFIR
Kefir is a fermented milk drink that originated in the Caucasus region of Eurasia.
30. “Burnt Norton” poet : ELIOT
“Burnt Norton” is the first of the series of poem that T. S. Eliot dubbed “Four Quartets”.
T. S. Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, largely due to his “Four Quartets”, a set of four poems that Eliot himself considered to be his life’s masterpiece. He also won a Tony Award in 1950 for Best Play, for “The Cocktail Party”, as well as two posthumous Tony Awards in 1983 for his poems that are used in the musical “Cats”.
31. “The Daily Show” correspondent Chieng : RONNY
Ronny Chieng a comedian and actor from Malaysia who is perhaps best known in the US for his appearances on “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central.
33. White of the eye : SCLERA
The sclera is the white part of the eye. Usually the sclera is white, but in horses for example, it is black. Really, go check!
43. Modern travelers’ marketplace : AIRBNB
Airbnb is a website-based service that matches people wanting to rent out short-term living quarters to people seeking accommodation.
47. Food figs. : RDAS
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.
48. “Modern Family” rating : TV-PG
“Modern Family” is a marvelous television show shown on ABC since 2009. The show’s format is that of a “mockumentary”, with the cast often addressing the camera directly. In that respect “Modern Family” resembles two other excellent shows: “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation”, both of which might also be described a “mockumentaries”.
50. Cantatrice’s delivery : ARIA
A cantatrice is a female professional singer, especially one who sings opera.
51. C.F.O., e.g. : EXEC
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
52. Love letters : XOXO
In the sequence XOX, the X represents a kiss, and the O a hug. OOO is a string of hugs, and XXX a string of kisses. Hugs and kisses …
53. Datum for a secy. : APPT
54. Some old fire trucks : REOS
The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom Eli Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.