1123-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 23 Nov 2017, Thursday

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Constructed by: Howard Barkin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Arithmetic Clues

Today’s themed answers are well-known phrases that have been multiplied or divided, as defined in the relevant clue:

  • 20A. Halftime show? : THIRTY MINUTES (half of “60 Minutes”)
  • 30A. Double feature? : SIX AMIGOS (double “Three Amigos”)
  • 38A. Triple play? : RICHARD IX (triple “Richard III”)
  • 50A. Fourth estate? : THREE OAKS (a fourth of “Twelve Oaks”)
  • 59A. Fifth act? : THE JACKSON ONE (a fifth of “The Jackson 5”)

Bill’s time: 14m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Completion of filming : WRAP

When shooting of a film is concluded the movie is said to “wrap”, and everyone heads to the wrap party. There is one story that “wrap” is actually an acronym for “wind, reel and print”, a reference to the transition of the filming process into post-production. But, this explanation is disputed.

10. Phony talk : JIVE

“Jive” is a slang term meaning “nonsensical talk”.

15. Onetime reviewer of 5-Acrosses : EBERT
(5A. “Se7en,” “Nine” or “10” : MOVIE)

Roger Ebert co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years, most famously with Gene Siskel until Siskel passed away in 1999. Siskel and Ebert famously gave their thumbs up or thumbs down to the movies they reviewed.

19. Set of 108 for Uno : DECK

In my youth I remember being taught a great card game by a German acquaintance of mine, a game called Mau Mau. Years later I discovered that Uno is basically the same game, but played with a purpose-printed deck instead of the regular deck of playing cards that’s used for Mau Mau. I hear that Mau Mau is derived from the game called Crazy Eights.

20. Halftime show? : THIRTY MINUTES (half of “60 Minutes”)

The marvelous news magazine program “60 Minutes” has been on the air since 1968. The show is unique among all other regularly-scheduled shows in that it has never used theme music. There is just the ticking of that Aristo stopwatch.

23. Bringer of light, in myth : EOS

In Greek mythology, Eos was the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos was Aurora.

24. Start of a well-known roll call: Abbr. : ALA

The first four US states in an alphabetical list all start with the letter A: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas. The last four states in an alphabetical list all start with the letter W: Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

30. Double feature? : SIX AMIGOS (double “Three Amigos”)

“Three Amigos” is a 1986 comedy film starring Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short as three silent movie stars who are mistaken for real western heroes by a Mexican village, a parody on the storylines in “Seven Samurai” and “The Magnificent Seven”.

36. Booker or Tester: Abbr. : SEN

Cory Booker has been a US Senator for New Jersey since 2013, having previously served as the Mayor of Newark. Booker is one of the few vegetarians in the US Congress.

Jon Tester has been a US Senator for the state of Montana since 2007. Prior to taking his post in Washington, Tester was president of the Montana state senate, and also worked as a farmer and music teacher.

37. Toronto and Ottawa are in it, for short : NHL

National Hockey League (NHL)

38. Triple play? : RICHARD IX (triple “Richard III”)

“Richard III” is one of the more famous of William Shakespeare’s historical plays. A well-known 1955 version of the play was made for the big screen with Laurence Olivier playing the title role. The most oft-quoted words from “Richard III” are probably the opening lines “Now is the winter of our discontent/Made glorious summer by this sun of York”, and Richard’s plea at the climax of battle “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!”

42. Radioed info, for short : APB

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

50. Fourth estate? : THREE OAKS (a fourth of “Twelve Oaks”)

Scarlett O’Hara’s home is the Tara plantation, in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind”. Tara was founded not far from the Georgia city of Jonesboro by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald won the square mile of land on which Tara was built in an all-night poker game. He named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland. Rhett’s rival for the affections of Scarlet is Ashley Wilkes who lives at the nearby Twelve Oaks plantation.

56. “Wow!” : OMG

OMG is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G-words you might think of …

59. Fifth act? : THE JACKSON ONE (a fifth of “The Jackson 5”)

The Jackson 5 singing group was originally made up of brothers Tito, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael. The four eldest brothers are still performing, now using the name “The Jacksons”.

64. Smallpox victims of the 1500s : INCA

Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro discovered the Incas in 1526, marking the beginning of the end for an ancient civilization that was to be ravaged by brutal Spanish colonists and by imported smallpox. The last leader of the Inca was Atahualpa. Pizarro staged a mock trial and then condemned Atahualpa to execution by burning. A Spanish friar intervened on behalf of the condemned man, as Atahualpa believed that if he was burned his soul would not move on to the afterlife. Pizarro, was kind enough to have Atahualpa garroted instead.

67. Good word to know if you love Latin? : AMAS

Amo, amas, amat … I love, you love, he/she/it loves, in Latin.

68. A new one is nearly invisible : MOON

The phases of the moon have been given the following names, in order:

  • New moon
  • Waxing crescent moon
  • First quarter moon
  • Waxing gibbous moon
  • Full moon
  • Waning gibbous moon
  • Third quarter moon
  • Waning crescent moon
  • Dark moon

69. The star Mars : BRUNO

Bruno Mars is a singer-songwriter from Honolulu who has been active in the music business since 2006.

Down

5. Actress Streep : MERYL

Meryl Streep has had more nominations for an Academy Award than any other actor, which is both a tribute to her talent and the respect she has earned in the industry. I am not a huge fan of her earlier works but some of her recent movies are now on my list of all-time favorites. I recommend “Mamma Mia!” (you’ll either love it or hate it!), “Julie & Julia”, “It’s Complicated” and ”Hope Springs”.

6. Former White House family : OBAMAS

By tradition, the Secret Service code names used for the US President and family all start with the same letter. For the Obama First Family, that letter is R:

  • Barack Obama: Renegade
  • Michelle Obama: Renaissance
  • Malia Obama: Radiance
  • Sasha Obama: Rosebud

7. Start of a Julius Caesar quote : VENI

The oft-quoted statement “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) is believed by many to have been written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BC and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.

9. Start of a Julius Caesar quote : ET TU …

It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (And you, Brutus?). They appear in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life (if anything at all) as he was assassinated on on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

21. Original “Star Trek” cast member : TAKEI

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 …

27. Fashion inits. : YSL

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) was a French fashion designer, actually born in Algeria. Saint Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from hospital, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story …

29. Youngest player ever to win the Calder Memorial Trophy : ORR

The American Hockey League (AHL) is the so-called development circuit for the National Hockey League (NHL), the equivalent of the minors in professional baseball. The AHL’s playoff trophy is called the Calder Cup, which is named for Frank Calder who was the first president of the NHL.

31. Singer Chris : ISAAK

Chris Isaak is not only a rock musician, but also has had a lot of acting parts. Isaak had small roles in movies like “Married to the Mob” and “The Silence of the Lambs”, but I remember him as astronaut Ed White in the fabulous HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon”.

32. Many a fortysomething, for short : XER

The term Generation X originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By the latest accepted definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

39. “Wasn’t ___ most peculiar man?” (Simon & Garfunkel lyric) : HE A

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel performed together as “Simon & Garfunkel”, as I am sure we all know. The friends started singing together way back in the fifties when they were still in school together. The name of their act at that time was “Tom & Jerry”.

40. Stage after pupa : IMAGO

The imago is an intermediate stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago.

41. They follow the nus : XIS

The Greek letter “xi”, despite the name, is not the precursor of our letter X. Our X comes from the Greek letter “chi”.

43. High degree : PHD

“Ph.D.” is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”. Often, candidates for an earned PhD already hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, so a PhD might be considered a “third degree”.

44. “The Office,” originally : BRITCOM

I’d say that in North America, comedian Ricky Gervais is best known as the writer and lead actor in the original version of the TV show “The Office”. Gervais’s role was taken on by Steve Carell in the US rendition of the sitcom.

47. 1971 double-platinum album for the Doors : LA WOMAN

The Doors formed in 1965 in Los Angeles. The band chose their name from a book by Aldous Huxley called “The Doors of Perception”.

51. C2H6, familiarly : ETHANE

The “smaller” alkanes are gases and are quite combustible. Methane (CH4) is the main component of natural gas with ethane (C2H6) being the second largest component. Propane (C3H8) is also found in natural gas and is heavy enough to be readily turned into a liquid by compression, for ease of transportation and storage. Butane (C4H10) is also easily liquefied under pressure and can be used as the fuel in cigarette lighters or as the propellant in aerosol sprays. The heavier alkanes are liquids and solids at room temperature.

57. Precursor to Windows : MS-DOS

MS-DOS (short for Microsoft Disk Operating System) was the main operating system used by IBM-compatible PCs in the eighties and for much of the nineties.

62. Rock’s Mötley ___ : CRUE

Mötley Crüe is an American rock band, from Los Angeles. They’ve been around since 1981, co-founded by the famous drummer Tommy Lee. Tommy Lee is also known for his two celebrated marriages, the first with Heather Locklear and the second with Pamela Anderson. The name “Mötley Crüe” was chosen as someone once described the band members as a “motley looking crew”. The spelling was made to look a little more exotic, with the umlauts added over the “o” and “u” one day, as the band were drinking bottles of “Löwenbräu” beer!

64. Opening for a personal view : IMO

In my opinion (IMO)

65. Prefix with G.M.O. : NON-

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is one with genetic material that has been altered by genetic engineering. One might argue that the oldest form of genetic engineering is selective breeding, the use of animals or plants with desired traits for the creation of the next generation.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Completion of filming : WRAP
5. “Se7en,” “Nine” or “10” : MOVIE
10. Phony talk : JIVE
14. “My ___!” : HERO
15. Onetime reviewer of 5-Acrosses : EBERT
16. Kind of argument : ORAL
17. : : IS TO
18. Rushed : RAN AT
19. Set of 108 for Uno : DECK
20. Halftime show? : THIRTY MINUTES (half of “60 Minutes”)
23. Bringer of light, in myth : EOS
24. Start of a well-known roll call: Abbr. : ALA
25. A little sharp : ACIDY
28. Unacceptable : NOT OK
30. Double feature? : SIX AMIGOS (double “Three Amigos”)
34. What plays to both sides? : STEREO
36. Booker or Tester: Abbr. : SEN
37. Toronto and Ottawa are in it, for short : NHL
38. Triple play? : RICHARD IX (triple “Richard III”)
42. Radioed info, for short : APB
45. After-dinner option : TEA
46. Looked favorably (upon) : SMILED
50. Fourth estate? : THREE OAKS (a fourth of “Twelve Oaks”)
54. “Me too,” more formally : AS AM I
55. Things thsi cluee needs sevaral of : EDITS
56. “Wow!” : OMG
58. Unhealthy-looking : WAN
59. Fifth act? : THE JACKSON ONE (a fifth of “The Jackson 5”)
64. Smallpox victims of the 1500s : INCA
66. Sharp : ACRID
67. Good word to know if you love Latin? : AMAS
68. A new one is nearly invisible : MOON
69. The star Mars : BRUNO
70. ___ point : DATA
71. Words of generosity : ON ME
72. Sometimes they’re the pits : SEEDS
73. Work without ___ : A NET

Down

1. Bleaches : WHITENS
2. Do another take : RESHOOT
3. Virtuoso : ARTISTE
4. D : POOR
5. Actress Streep : MERYL
6. Former White House family : OBAMAS
7. Start of a Julius Caesar quote : VENI
8. Locale of 10% of the world’s oil reserves : IRAN
9. Start of a Julius Caesar quote : ET TU …
10. Group with five #1 R&B hits in the 1990s : JODECI
11. Declaration at the end of a chess game : I RESIGN
12. Closet item, for short : VAC
13. Higher-priced burger meat : ELK
21. Original “Star Trek” cast member : TAKEI
22. Bit of doctoral graduation regalia : TAM
26. “Silly me!” : D’OH!
27. Fashion inits. : YSL
29. Youngest player ever to win the Calder Memorial Trophy : ORR
31. Singer Chris : ISAAK
32. Many a fortysomething, for short : XER
33. Extra conditions : ANDS
35. Numerical prefix : OCTO-
39. “Wasn’t ___ most peculiar man?” (Simon & Garfunkel lyric) : HE A
40. Stage after pupa : IMAGO
41. They follow the nus : XIS
42. Broke fast? : ATE
43. High degree : PHD
44. “The Office,” originally : BRITCOM
47. 1971 double-platinum album for the Doors : LA WOMAN
48. Flow (from) : EMANATE
49. Patronizes, in a way : DINES AT
51. C2H6, familiarly : ETHANE
52. Suffix with journal : -ESE
53. Extremely considerate : SO KIND
57. Precursor to Windows : MS-DOS
60. Quick hits : JABS
61. 4,046.86 square meters : ACRE
62. Rock’s Mötley ___ : CRUE
63. Nothin’ : NADA
64. Opening for a personal view : IMO
65. Prefix with G.M.O. : NON-

11 thoughts on “1123-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 23 Nov 2017, Thursday”

  1. 17:02, no errors. Didn’t completely understand the theme (but didn’t try very hard, either). Turkey day! … and I haven’t got the bird in the oven yet!

      1. @Dale … I did (just now) and I responded over there, but the gist of it is this:

        The final Down entry begins at least one line above the bottom (at least two for most puzzles, including the NYT puzzles), and that’s where its clue number is. The final Across entry starts somewhere on the bottom line, and that’s where its clue number is. The clue numbers are assigned in such a way as to increase across each line from left to right and to increase from each line to the line below it. Therefore, the number for the final Across entry has to be bigger than the number for the final Down entry (really, really weird – basically impossible – grids excepted).

        Try assigning numbers to a few sample grids and I think you will see how this works … ?

  2. 28:06 This was tough and I never did quite understand the theme. Clues seems very vague. For example, how were we supposed to know what play the clue for 38A was referring to? I guess once you got the IX it was fairly easy to figure out. Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. 42:58 while keeping an eye on football during Thanksgiving. Tough one, but once I FINALLY got the theme, it started going faster. Agreed – a lot of tough cluing. To get RICHARD IX, you had to get the theme and at least the RICH..part to figure it out. At least that’s how it came to me.

    Best –

  4. 20:53, 3 errors; 10A _IME, 10D _ODECI, 12D MAC. Was convinced that MAC (MacIntosh) was the only option for ‘Closet item, for short’; did not consider VAC (vacuum). The resulting M in 10A prevented me from getting JIVE, no idea who JODECI is.

  5. Had trouble with this one. When and where to multiply or divide became a problem. That and a couple of careless, non-theme errors were failures ONME.

  6. 15:40, and I *suppose* about half done. This one was so opaque, so cynical, such a stretch as to be unfathomable. Might as well give us clues to a different puzzle altogether and let us “figure it out” based on nothing.

    Even the little fills like VAC and ON ME were clued so inadequately they might as well have not even *been there*. This puzzle was complete garbage.

    1. In making notes on my personal spreadsheet, I see Howard Barkin contributed another complete WTF puzzle as his personal April Fool gag earlier this year. Hope not to see any of his bylines any time soon.

  7. Made me want to rip my fingernails out. Jodeci??? Never read “Gone with The Wind” so never heard of “Twelve Oaks”. Made me question my Mensa membership. Did NOT like this one.

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