0326-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 26 Mar 2018, Monday

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Constructed by: Andy Kravis
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): L-Vowel-N Sound Progression

Themed answers end with a word in that starts with an “L” sound and ends with an “N” sound. The vowel sound between the L and N progresses alphabetically as we descend the grid:

  • 17A. Site of a postrace celebration : VICTORY LANE
  • 26A. Director of “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Doctor Zhivago” : DAVID LEAN
  • 38A. Follow one’s political group : TOE THE PARTY LINE
  • 48A. Helping hand for a low-income entrepreneur : MICROLOAN
  • 60A. Classic Debussy work that translates as “Light of the Moon” : CLAIR DE LUNE

Bill’s time: 5m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. “Ooky” TV family name : ADDAMS

Gomez and Morticia (“Tish”) Addams were the parents in “The Addams Family”, a creation of the cartoonist Charles Addams. In the sixties television show, Gomez was played by John Astin and Morticia was played by Carolyn Jones.

They’re creepy and they’re kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They’re altogether ooky,
The Addams Family.

11. “___ the Force, Luke” : USE

The Force is a metaphysical power much cited in all of the “Star Wars” movies. We may even hear someone in real life say “May the Force be with you”.

14. Bell-ringing cosmetics company : AVON

In 1886, a young man called David McConnell was selling books door-to-door. To enhance his sales numbers he was giving out free perfume to the ladies of the houses that he visited. Seeing as his perfume was more popular than his books, he founded the California Perfume Company in New York City and started manufacturing and selling across the country. The company name was changed to Avon in 1939, and the famous “Avon Calling” marketing campaign was launched in 1954.

20. Caribou kin : ELK

The elk (also known as “wapiti”) is the one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …

“Caribou” is the North American name for reindeer.

22. ___ acid (protein component) : AMINO

Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins. Nine amino acids are considered “essential” for humans. These nine must be included in the diet as they cannot be synthesized in the body.

26. Director of “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Doctor Zhivago” : DAVID LEAN

British movie director Sir David Lean has an impressive list of epic films on his resume including “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957), “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962), “Doctor Zhivago” (1965) and “A Passage to India” (1984). My favorite of his films though is the romantic drama from 1945 called “Brief Encounter”.

“Lawrence of Arabia” is a 1962 movie that recounts the real life story of T. E. Lawrence, a British army officer famous for his role in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. The title role in the film is played by Irish actor Peter O’Toole. The role of Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish is played by Omar Sharif.

“Doctor Zhivago” is an epic novel by Boris Pasternak that was first published in 1957. I haven’t tried to read it the book, but the 1965 film version is a must-see, directed by David Lean and starring Omar Sharif in the title role. The story centers on Yuri Zhivago, a doctor and poet, and how he is affected by the Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War.

29. Snoopy’s comic strip : PEANUTS

Snoopy is a central and much-loved character in the Charles M. Schulz comic strip “Peanuts”. He is Charlie Brown’s pet beagle, and first appeared in “Peanuts” just two days after the strip’s debut in 1950. He was identified as “Snoopy” a month later, and first “spoke” (in a thought balloon) in 1952. Initially depicted as a more traditionally dog-like figure, Schulz started to anthropomorphize Snoopy in 1952, first drawing him upright on his hind legs in 1952, while ice-skating on a frozen lake.

32. Neighbor of Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer section : EDY’S

Dreyers’ ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield did a correspondence course on ice-cream making in 1977 given by Pennsylvania State University’s Creamery. The following year they opened an ice cream parlor in an old gas station in Burlington, Vermont. Today Ben & Jerry’s has locations in over 20 countries around the world, and theirs was the first brand ice-cream to go into space.

33. Tolkien language : ELVISH

J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkien was an English author best known by far for his fantasy novels “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”. Although Tolkien lived in England and was a professor at Oxford, he served for many years as an external examiner at my old school, University College Dublin in Ireland.

34. Corporate boss, briefly : CEO

Chief executive officer (CEO)

38. Follow one’s political group : TOE THE PARTY LINE

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”.

44. Body of work : OEUVRE

The sum of an artist’s work in his or her lifetime is known as his or her “oeuvre”.

47. Military forays : SORTIES

A sortie is an attack by an armed unit, usually a breakout by forces that are besieged, The term “sortie” comes directly from French and means “a going out”. “Sortie” is also used for a mission by a combat aircraft.

48. Helping hand for a low-income entrepreneur : MICROLOAN

An entrepreneur is someone takes on most aspects of a business venture, from the original idea to the execution. The term is imported from French, with “entreprendre” meaning “to undertake”. The original usage in English dates back to the early 1800s, when it applied to a manager and promoter of a theatrical production.

54. One-third of a hat trick : GOAL

A hat trick is the scoring of three goals by the same player in a game of say, soccer or hockey.

60. Classic Debussy work that translates as “Light of the Moon” : CLAIR DE LUNE

“Clair de lune” is the beautiful third movement from Claude Debussy’s piano work called the “Suite bergamasque”. “Clair de lune” is French for “moonlight”.

64. “I have a dream” orator, for short : MLK

I remember listening to the full text of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I have a dream …” speech not long after I moved to this country. I think I am man enough to admit that my eyes misted up as I listened to the words. I also recall thinking how lucky I was to have been invited to live in this great country, which was facing up to some of the sins of its past.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

65. Shot two under par on : EAGLED

The following terms are routinely used in golf for scores relative to par:

  • Bogey: one over par
  • Par
  • Birdie: one under par
  • Eagle: two under par
  • Albatross (also “double eagle”): three under par
  • Condor: four under par

No one has ever recorded a condor during a professional tournament.

66. Tallest active volcano in Europe : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcano in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts.

Down

3. Things spelunkers explore : ROCK CAVES

Spelunking is an American term for caving, although the word has Latin roots (“spelunca” is the Latin for “cave”). The term originated in the 1940s in New England when it was adopted by a group of men who explored caves in the area.

4. Detonation producer, for short : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

6. Wood nymphs, in myth : DRYADS

In Greek mythology, dryads are tree nymphs. The term comes from the Greek “drys” meaning an oak tree, but “dryad” tends to be used for the nymphs of all trees and not just the oak variety.

7. “Keep climbing” sloganeer : DELTA

Delta was the world’s largest airline for a while (after merging with Northwest Airlines in 2008) and is also the oldest airline still operating in the US. Delta’s roots go back to 1924 before it started carrying passengers and was called Huff Daland Dusters, a crop dusting company based in Macon, Georgia. The name Delta Air Service was introduced in 1928.

8. Abbr. on toothpaste tubes : ADA

The American Dental Association (ADA) is the largest and oldest national dental association in the world. Today the ADA is based in Chicago, but the association was founded in Niagara Falls, New York in 1859. The ADA started out as a group of 26 dentists, and it now has more than 152,000 members.

12. Finnish bath : SAUNA

As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, “sauna” is a Finnish word, and is pronounced more correctly as “sow-nah” (with “sow” as in the female pig).

13. Goad : EGG ON

The verb “to edge” has been used to mean to incite, to urge on, from the 16th century. Somewhere along the way “edge” was mistakenly replaced with “egg”, giving us our term “to egg on” meaning “to goad”.

23. Seattle Sounders’ org. : MLS

Major League Soccer (MLS)

25. Syllabus section : UNIT

“Syllabus” (plural “syllabi”) is the Latin word for “list”.

29. Dogs, cats and gerbils : PETS

Most species of gerbil are native to arid regions, and in fact used to be called “desert rats”. They make popular household pets because they are very social and friendly by nature. As desert natives, they also have specially adapted kidneys that produce a very small amount of waste so that bodily fluids are preserved.

30. “The Time Machine” race : ELOI

In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a domineering race living underground who use the Eloi as food.

37. Bee ___ (“Night Fever” group) : GEES

“Saturday Night Fever” was a phenomenal movie in its day, but to be honest, I don’t think it has aged well. I still love the soundtrack, which is the third-best selling movie soundtrack of all time (number one is “The Bodyguard” and number two is “Purple Rain”, would you believe?). “Saturday Night Fever” was the first film for which the soundtrack was launched before the movie itself, in a cross-marketing exercise designed to hype the movie before its release.

39. Cuban currency : PESO

Cuba is the only country in the world that has two official currencies. The Cuban peso (CUP) is referred to as the “national currency”. Government workers are paid in CUPs, and CUPs can be used to pay for government-provided services and price-controlled items such as fruit and vegetables. There is also the Cuban convertible peso (CUC) that was introduced in 1994, when its value was pegged to the US dollar. Most products available in stores are imported, and have to be purchased with CUCs. Cubans with access to CUCs, like hotel workers interfacing with tourists, they tend to have better lifestyles than government workers in general.

40. Turtle in a Dr. Seuss title : YERTLE

“Yertle the Turtle” is a story by Dr. Seuss. The book is noted for the inclusion of the word “burp”. Back in 1958 when it was published, “burp” was considered to be vulgar. But, no one seemed to mind!

41. Renaissance stringed instrument : LUTE

The lute is a stringed instrument with a long neck and usually a pear-shaped body. It is held and played like a guitar, and was popular from the Middle Ages right through to the late Baroque era. A person who plays the lute can be referred to as a “lutenist”.

45. Shipment to a smeltery : ORE

Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and, a greenhouse gas).

48. “Throw ___ From the Train” (1987 Danny DeVito comedy) : MOMMA

The 1987 movie “Throw Momma from the Train” is a comedy remake of the superb 1951 Hitchcock thriller “Strangers on a Train”. Danny DeVito co-stars with Billy Crystal, and there is even a cameo performance by Oprah Winfrey.

49. Where the Renaissance began : ITALY

“Dark Ages” was a term that used to be popular as a description of the period following the decline of the Roman Empire in Europe, the time after the “light of Rome” was extinguished. The Dark Ages were said to end with the rise of the Italian Renaissance in the 14th century. The Italian Renaissance was centered on the cities of Florence and Siena in Tuscany.

57. Name shared by two of Henry VIII’s wives : ANNE

Famously, King Henry VIII had six queens consort. There is a rhyme that is commonly used to help remember the fates of each of his wives, which goes:

King Henry the Eighth, to six wives he was wedded. One died, one survived, two divorced, two beheaded.

The use of the term “divorce” isn’t quite accurate though, as in fact Henry had two of his marriages annulled. His wives (and their fates) were:

  1. Catherine of Aragon (Annulled),
  2. Anne Boleyn (Beheaded),
  3. Jane Seymour (Died)
  4. Anne of Cleves (Annulled),
  5. Catherine Howard (Beheaded),
  6. Catherine Parr (Survived).

61. One of 200 in the Indy 500 : LAP

The Indianapolis 500 race is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The race is run around a 2.5 mile oval, hence requiring 200 laps for completion. The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. Harroun had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposedly, that was the first ever use of a rear view mirror on a motor vehicle.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Sassy : PERT
5. “Ooky” TV family name : ADDAMS
11. “___ the Force, Luke” : USE
14. Bell-ringing cosmetics company : AVON
15. Cash alternative : CREDIT
16. Pester no end : NAG
17. Site of a postrace celebration : VICTORY LANE
19. Yank (on) : TUG
20. Caribou kin : ELK
21. Without ice, at the bar : NEAT
22. ___ acid (protein component) : AMINO
24. Snarling dog : CUR
26. Director of “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Doctor Zhivago” : DAVID LEAN
29. Snoopy’s comic strip : PEANUTS
32. Neighbor of Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer section : EDY’S
33. Tolkien language : ELVISH
34. Corporate boss, briefly : CEO
35. Salem or Marlboro, slangily : CIG
38. Follow one’s political group : TOE THE PARTY LINE
42. Bro’s sibling : SIS
43. Still in the shrink-wrap : NEW
44. Body of work : OEUVRE
45. Does in, in mob slang : OFFS
47. Military forays : SORTIES
48. Helping hand for a low-income entrepreneur : MICROLOAN
52. Investigator, in old film noir : TEC
53. Common last option on a questionnaire : OTHER
54. One-third of a hat trick : GOAL
56. Lightly apply : DAB
59. Popularizer of the Chinese tunic suit : MAO
60. Classic Debussy work that translates as “Light of the Moon” : CLAIR DE LUNE
64. “I have a dream” orator, for short : MLK
65. Shot two under par on : EAGLED
66. Tallest active volcano in Europe : ETNA
67. “Yes, captain!” : AYE!
68. Does 50 in a school zone, say : SPEEDS
69. Like Easter eggs : DYED

Down

1. Finish a drive? : PAVE
2. Fiendish : EVIL
3. Things spelunkers explore : ROCK CAVES
4. Detonation producer, for short : TNT
5. Field measurement : ACRE
6. Wood nymphs, in myth : DRYADS
7. “Keep climbing” sloganeer : DELTA
8. Abbr. on toothpaste tubes : ADA
9. Max’s opposite : MIN
10. Like a good surgeon’s hands : STEADY
11. Loosen, as shoelaces : UNTIE
12. Finnish bath : SAUNA
13. Goad : EGG ON
18. Deluge : ONRUSH
23. Seattle Sounders’ org. : MLS
25. Syllabus section : UNIT
27. Zig or zag : VEER
28. “Same here!” : I DO TOO!
29. Dogs, cats and gerbils : PETS
30. “The Time Machine” race : ELOI
31. Org. featured in 2015’s “Concussion” : THE NFL
34. Crow’s call : CAW
35. Voting or jury service, e.g. : CIVIC DUTY
36. About, at the start of a memo : IN RE
37. Bee ___ (“Night Fever” group) : GEES
39. Cuban currency : PESO
40. Turtle in a Dr. Seuss title : YERTLE
41. Renaissance stringed instrument : LUTE
45. Shipment to a smeltery : ORE
46. Troops : FORCES
47. Sawed logs : SNORED
48. “Throw ___ From the Train” (1987 Danny DeVito comedy) : MOMMA
49. Where the Renaissance began : ITALY
50. Snatch defeat from the jaws of victory : CHOKE
51. Nimble : AGILE
55. Puts two and two together, say : ADDS
57. Name shared by two of Henry VIII’s wives : ANNE
58. Droplet of sweat : BEAD
61. One of 200 in the Indy 500 : LAP
62. What the number of birthday candles represents : AGE
63. Went first : LED

8 thoughts on “0326-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 26 Mar 2018, Monday”

  1. 6:19, no errors, and I had my own set of vowel progressions going (YURTLE before YERTLE, MAMMA before MOMMA). Finally sorted it out …

  2. 9:44. Nice Monday effort. For most of my life I thought the phrase was “tow the line”. Then I started doing crosswords and reading Bill’s blog…..

    Best –

  3. I learned something today. I always assumed ” the rough places will be made plain” was ” the rough places will be made PLANE”

  4. 7:28, no errors. Was especially happy to see EAGLED near the bottom of this grid, since my favorite lady golfer, one Lydia Ko, did exactly that yesterday, on a playoff hole to win her first tournament in over a year!

  5. 7:49, no errors. Typical Monday speed run, except that I tripped out of the starting gate, entering 1D PUTT > PARK > PAVE.

  6. One letter wrong for two errors at the DAVID LEAN/MLS cross. I did not know who the Seattle Sounders were nor did I know the movie director. I took a “D” just because DEAN would be by far the most common surname. Ironically, I had a kind of circular compounding mistake. Not getting LEAN led to not getting the theme and not getting the theme lead to not getting LEAN.

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