0730-18 NY Times Crossword 30 Jul 18, Monday

Constructed by: Gary Cee
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Close Call

Themed answers end with CALLS made by an umpire in a baseball game. And, I guess those CALLS are sometime quite CLOSE?

  • 63A. Narrow escape … or what the end of the answer to each starred clue is? : CLOSE CALL
  • 17A. *Annual event displaying agricultural products : STATE FAIR
  • 25A. *Spilling a drink or eating all the guacamole, say : PARTY FOUL
  • 39A. *Candy from a candy machine : GUMBALL
  • 51A. *Attack from the sky : AIR STRIKE
  • 3D. *In a daze : SPACED OUT
  • 35D. *Vacationer’s container for valuables : HOTEL SAFE

Bill’s time: 5m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Bouquet holder : VASE

“Bouquet” comes from the French word for “bunch”, in the sense of bunch of flowers. In French, the term is derived from an older word describing a little wood or small grove of trees.

9. Org. that distributes music royalties : ASCAP

ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) collects licence fees for musicians and distributes royalties to composers whose works have been performed. BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) provides the same service.

14. “SportsCenter” channel : ESPN

The initialism “ESPN” stands for Entertainment Sports Programming Network. ESPN is a cable network that broadcasts sports programming 24 hours a day, and was launched back in 1979. ESPN has a lot of ardent fans. Several parents have named children Espn (usually pronounced “Espen”) on honor of the network.

16. Hole digger’s tool : SPADE

A spatula is a tool or implement used for mixing, lifting or spreading. “Spatula” is the Latin name for the tool, and is a diminutive of the word “spatha” meaning “broad, flat blade”. “Spatha” ALSO gives rise to our related term “spade”.

19. Japanese beer brand : KIRIN

Kirin lager is the oldest brand of beer in Japan. The “Kirin” name comes from the Japanese word for a mythical Chinese creature.

21. Children’s author ___ Asquith : ROS

Ros Asquith writes the “Teenage Worrier” books aimed at teens, as well as cartoons for “The Guardian” newspaper in the UK.

23. Dog biter : FLEA

Fleas are flightless insects, but they sure can jump. Their very specialized hind legs allow them to jump up to 50 times the length of their bodies.

25. *Spilling a drink or eating all the guacamole, say : PARTY FOUL

Guacamole is one of my favorite dishes. It is prepared by mashing avocados and perhaps adding the likes of tomato, onion and lime juice. The guacamole recipe dates back as early as the 16th century, to the time of the Aztecs. “Guacamole” translates as “avocado sauce”.

30. Junior ___, 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker : SEAU

Junior Seau was an NFL linebacker, first playing for the San Diego Chargers and then the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots. Sadly, Seau was found dead in his home in 2011, having committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest.

31. Rock grp. with the 1977 song “Rockaria!” : ELO

If you listen carefully to the song “Rockaria” on the 1976 ELO album “A New World Record”, you’ll hear an “oops”. The introduction to the track features an opera singer who starts the vocals too early in the first take. The band decided to use that first take anyway, complete with the singer saying “oops”.

38. Original Beatles bassist ___ Sutcliffe : STU

Stu Sutcliffe was one of the original four members of The Silver Beatles (as The Beatles were known in their early days), along with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Sutcliffe apparently came up with name “Beatles” along with John Lennon, as a homage to their hero Buddy Holly who was backed by the “Crickets”. By all reports, Sutcliffe wasn’t a very talented musician and was more interested in painting. He went with the group to Hamburg, more than once, but he eventually left the Beatles and went back to art school, actually studying for a while at the Hamburg College of Art. In 1962 in Hamburg, Sutcliffe collapsed with blinding headaches. He died in the ambulance on the way to hospital, his death attributed to cerebral paralysis.

45. Item in a caddie’s bag : TEE

“Caddie” is a Scottish word, as one might expect given the history of the game of golf. “Caddie” is a local word derived from the French “cadet”, meaning a younger son or brother, and also a student officer in the military.

46. Bread served with vindaloo : NAAN

Vindaloo is a very spicy Indian curry dish, and one of my favorites. The dish’s name comes from the Portuguese dish “Carne de vinha d’alhos”, which translates as “meat with wine and garlic”. Vindaloo originated in the Indian state of Goa, which was once a Portuguese province.

48. Rangers or Flyers : NHL TEAM

The New York Rangers are an NHL team. They are one of the oldest teams in the league, having joined in 1926. When the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1928, they became the first American team to do so.

The Philadelphia Flyers hockey team was founded in 1967. The team’s name was chosen as using a “name-the-team” fan contest.

55. One might end with .org : URL

An Internet address (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locators (URL).

56. Roulette playing piece : CHIP

The term “roulette” means “little wheel” in French, and the game as we know it today did in fact originate in Paris, in 1796. A roulette wheel bears the numbers 1-36. A French entrepreneur called François Blanc introduced the number “0” on the wheel, to give the house an extra advantage. Legend has it that Blanc made a deal with the devil in order to unearth the secrets of roulette. The legend is supported by the fact that the numbers 1 through 36 add up to a total of “666”, which is the “Number of the Beast”. Spooky …

58. Low voice : BASSO

The bass is the lowest male singing voice. A man with such a voice might be called a “basso” (plural “bassi”). In an opera, the villain of the piece is usually played by a basso.

66. Met performance : OPERA

The Metropolitan Opera (often simply “the Met”) of New York City is the largest classical music organization in the country, presenting about 220 performances each and every year. Founded in 1880, the Met is renowned for using technology to expand its audiences. Performances have been broadcast live on radio since 1931, and on television since 1977. And since 2006 you can go see a live performance from New York in high definition on the big screen, at a movie theater near you …

68. Nonstick cookware brand : T-FAL

Tefal (also “T-Fal”) is a French manufacturer of cookware, famous for its nonstick line. The name “Tefal” is a portmanteau, of TEFlon and ALuminum, the key materials used in producing their pots and pans.

71. Dreamcast console maker : SEGA

Sega is a Japanese video game company headquartered in Tokyo. Sega actually started out 1940 in the US as Standard Games and was located in Honolulu, Hawaii. The owners moved the operation to Tokyo in 1951 and renamed the company to Service Games. The name “Sega” is a combination of the first two letters of the words “Se-rvice” and “Ga-mes”.

Down

2. “The Thin Man” dog : ASTA

“The Thin Man” is a detective novel written by Dashiell Hammett that was first published in the magazine “Redbook” in 1934. Hammett never wrote a sequel to his story, but it spawned a wonderful, wonderful series of “The Thin Man” films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). “The Thin Man” was the last novel that Hammett wrote.

6. Screen siren Gardner : AVA

Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of “Mogambo” (1953), “On the Beach” (1959), “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) and “Earthquake” (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra.

7. Knightley of “The Imitation Game” : KEIRA

The English actress Keira Knightley had her big break in movies when she co-starred in 2002’s “Bend It Like Beckham”. Knightley played one of my favorite movie roles, Elizabeth Bennett in 2005’s “Pride and Prejudice”. Knightley won a Golden Globe for that performance, although that 2005 film isn’t the best adaptation of Austen’s novel in my humble opinion …

Alan Turing was an English mathematician. He was well-respected for his code-breaking work during WWII at Bletchley Park in England. However, despite his contributions to cracking the German Enigma code and other crucial work, Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952. He agreed to chemical castration, treatment with female hormones, and then two years later he committed suicide by taking cyanide. Turing’s life story is told in the 2014 film “The Imitation Game” with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the lead. I thoroughly enjoyed that film …

10. Add some style to : SPIFF UP

A spiff is a well-dressed man.

11. Monte ___ (gambling haven) : CARLO

Monte Carlo is an administrative area in the Principality of Monaco that covers just under a quarter of a square mile. The area is known in particular as the location of the famous Monte Carlo Casino. “Monte Carlo” translates as “Mount Charles”, and was named in 1866 for Charles III of Monaco who was ruling the principality at the time.

18. School founded by King Henry VI : ETON

Eton College near Windsor in the south of England was founded way back in 1440 by King Henry VI. Originally known as “The King’s College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor”, the school was intended to provided free education to poor boys. Free education today at Eton? Not so much …

25. Request at a hair salon : PERM

“Perm” is the common name given to a permanent wave, a chemical or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves or curls. I don’t worry about such things, as it’s a number-one all over for me …

26. “You folks,” in Dixie : Y’ALL

“Dixie” is a nickname sometimes used for the American South, and often specifically for the original 11 states that seceded from the Union just prior to the Civil War. It’s apparently not certain how the name “Dixie” came about. One theory is that it comes from the term “dixie” which was used for currency issued by banks in Louisiana. The 10-dollar bills had the word “dix” on the reverse side, the French for “ten”. From the banknote, the French speaking area around New Orleans came to be known as Dixieland, and from there “Dixie” came to apply to the South in general.

27. “___ la vie” : C’EST

“C’est la vie” is French for “that’s life”.

28. Midlevel voice : ALTO

In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

33. Original “Monty Python” network : BBC

BBC One is the British Broadcasting Corporation’s flagship TV channel. BBC One was launched just a few years back, as the BBC Television Service. That year was 1936, making it the world’s first regular, high-image resolution television service.

The zany comedy show called “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” first aired in 1969 on the BBC. The show ran for four seasons and finished up soon after John Cleese decided to leave the team and move onto other projects.

39. Pesky flier : GNAT

Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and to vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

54. Ashton Kutcher TV role : KELSO

Ashton Kutcher played the character Michael Kelso on Fox’s “That ‘70s Show”. Kelso was Kutcher’s breakthrough acting role. Kutcher then starred in the sitcom “Two and a Half Men”, replacing the “disgraced” Charlie Sheen. In 2009, Kutcher became the first user on Twitter to get over 1 million followers. I wasn’t one of them …

59. Metal refuse : SLAG

The better lead ores are processed in a blast furnace, to extract the metal. The waste from this process is called “slag”. Slag does contain some lead and it can be processed further in a slag furnace to extract the residual metal. Slag furnaces also accept poorer lead ores as a raw material.

60. Widemouthed pot : OLLA

An olla is a traditional clay pot used for the making of stews. “Olla” was the Latin word used in Ancient Rome to describe a similar type of pot.

62. Sound like a crow : CAW

Ravens and crows are very similar species, and it can be difficult to tell them apart. Ravens are a little larger and often travel in pairs, whereas crows are a little smaller are are usually seen in larger groups. Crows make a cawing sound, while the raven’s call is more like a croak.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Bouquet holder : VASE
5. Leaf-gathering tool : RAKE
9. Org. that distributes music royalties : ASCAP
14. “SportsCenter” channel : ESPN
15. Better than ___ : EVER
16. Hole digger’s tool : SPADE
17. *Annual event displaying agricultural products : STATE FAIR
19. Japanese beer brand : KIRIN
20. Unexpressed : TACIT
21. Children’s author ___ Asquith : ROS
23. Dog biter : FLEA
24. ___-friendly (green) : ECO
25. *Spilling a drink or eating all the guacamole, say : PARTY FOUL
27. Rhythmic pattern : CADENCE
30. Junior ___, 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker : SEAU
31. Rock grp. with the 1977 song “Rockaria!” : ELO
32. Sun or planet : ORB
34. Socially assertive types : ALPHAS
38. Original Beatles bassist ___ Sutcliffe : STU
39. *Candy from a candy machine : GUMBALL
41. Miner’s haul : ORE
42. Hauling : TOTING
44. Fold-up bed : COT
45. Item in a caddie’s bag : TEE
46. Bread served with vindaloo : NAAN
48. Rangers or Flyers : NHL TEAM
51. *Attack from the sky : AIR STRIKE
55. One might end with .org : URL
56. Roulette playing piece : CHIP
57. Envision : SEE
58. Low voice : BASSO
61. A hot one might be trending : TOPIC
63. Narrow escape … or what the end of the answer to each starred clue is? : CLOSE CALL
66. Met performance : OPERA
67. Brother mentioned more than 70 times in Genesis : ESAU
68. Nonstick cookware brand : T-FAL
69. Extend, as a membership : RENEW
70. Peeved : SORE
71. Dreamcast console maker : SEGA

Down

1. Word after life or bulletproof : VEST
2. “The Thin Man” dog : ASTA
3. *In a daze : SPACED OUT
4. Lead on : ENTICE
5. Official with a whistle, informally : REF
6. Screen siren Gardner : AVA
7. Knightley of “The Imitation Game” : KEIRA
8. Flubs : ERRORS
9. “___ and ye shall receive” : ASK
10. Add some style to : SPIFF UP
11. Monte ___ (gambling haven) : CARLO
12. Parisian goodbye : ADIEU
13. Punishment-related : PENAL
18. School founded by King Henry VI : ETON
22. Covertness : STEALTH
25. Request at a hair salon : PERM
26. “You folks,” in Dixie : Y’ALL
27. “___ la vie” : C’EST
28. Midlevel voice : ALTO
29. Middle-aged women with eyes for younger men : COUGARS
33. Original “Monty Python” network : BBC
35. *Vacationer’s container for valuables : HOTEL SAFE
36. Length x width, for a rectangle : AREA
37. Appear to be : SEEM
39. Pesky flier : GNAT
40. Of the highest rank : A-ONE
43. Motivate : INSPIRE
47. Siblings’ daughters : NIECES
49. It lets things slide : LUBE
50. Expanses of land : TRACTS
51. One in a cast : ACTOR
52. “If there’s any justice!” : I HOPE!
53. Become edible, as a fruit : RIPEN
54. Ashton Kutcher TV role : KELSO
59. Metal refuse : SLAG
60. Widemouthed pot : OLLA
62. Sound like a crow : CAW
64. Rowboat propeller : OAR
65. Take legal action : SUE

13 thoughts on “0730-18 NY Times Crossword 30 Jul 18, Monday”

  1. 7:35, no errors, and, in spite of what it says at the top of the page, I think today is Monday rather than Sunday … 😜

    1. @Dave Kennison,
      Thanks, Dave. I’m still on vacation over in Ireland, and keeping up with my puzzle/blog “schedule” by the skin of my teeth. More haste, more errors!

    1. I know, I know. I’ve been “home” in Ireland for weeks now, on holidays (vacation), and have been using the vernacular. That one slipped out. Thank you!

  2. 9:43, A worthy challenge for a Monday. According to the NYT blurb, the theme “CLOSE CALLS” has a double meaning. For 63A it’s as stated – CLOSE CALLS – “Narrow escapes”. In regards to the theme it’s really pronounced “cloZe calls” as in the calls close out the theme answers. A bit of a stretch if you ask me (note: no one did), but I’m just the messenger.

    Best –

  3. No errors. Thanks for passing on that information about “close” and “close”, Jeff. It makes better sense if the calls are “closing” out the entry since not all calls in baseball are “close” ones. Otherwise, this was a very enjoyable puzzle to solve. Nice Monday.

  4. I think the close calls are more in reference to each pair of calls. Fair/Foul, Ball/Strike, Out/Safe. The call was close – it could have gone either way

  5. 7:38, no errors. The theme was apropos, but didn’t really help much. Sort of like the ambiguous guidance MLB tolerates for its plate umpires.

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