0821-18 NY Times Crossword 21 Aug 18, Tuesday

Constructed by: John Lieb & Andrea Yañes
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Darwin

Themed answers include words that “evolve” from D into DARWIN as we progress down the grid. That evolution is shown with circled letters in the grid:

  • 21A. Comedy rock duo featuring actor Jack Black : TENACIOUS D
  • 26A. Sacha Baron Cohen program of the early 2000s : DA ALI G SHOW
  • 36A. “Reelin’ in the Years” band : STEELY DAN
  • 47A. “Abso-lutely!” : DARN TOOTIN’!
  • 55A. 1950s-’60s teen idol who sang “Dream Lover” and “Splish Splash” : BOBBY DARIN
  • 69A. Evolution theorist … or what the circled letters are evolving toward? : DARWIN

Bill’s time: 7m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Galoot : BIG APE

“Galoot” is an insulting term meaning an awkward or boorish man, an ape. “Galoot” comes from the nautical world, where it was originally what a sailor might call a soldier or marine.

10. Datebook entry: Abbr. : APPT

Appointment (appt.)

14. Skulls : CRANIA

The human skull is made up of two parts: the cranium (which encloses the brain) and the mandible (or “jawbone”).

15. Obama health measure, in brief : ACA

The correct name for what has been dubbed “Obamacare” is the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ACA).

16. Actress Garr : TERI

Actress Teri Garr had a whole host of minor roles in her youth, including appearances in nine Elvis movies. Garr’s big break came with the role of Inga in “Young Frankenstein”, and her supporting role in “Tootsie” earned Garr an Academy Award nomination. Sadly, Teri Garr suffers from multiple sclerosis. She is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

17. “M*A*S*H” transport, informally : COPTER

“M*A*S*H” has only three stars (three asterisks, that is). These asterisks first appeared on the poster for the 1970 movie, but they were omitted in the opening titles. The TV series went on to use the asterisks from the poster.

18. Augusta National’s infamous 12th hole, for one : PAR THREE

The Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia was founded in 1933 by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts. Famously, Augusta hosts the Masters Tournament each year. Augusta is very much a private club, and some of its policies have drawn criticism over the years. Prior to 1959, the club had a bylaw requiring that all caddies be African American. There were no African-American club members admitted until 1990, and no women until 2012.

20. Bill ___, the Science Guy : NYE

That would be “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. Bill’s show ran on PBS for four years, from 1993-97.

21. Comedy rock duo featuring actor Jack Black : TENACIOUS D

The actor Jack Black was born in Santa Monica, California and is the son of two satellite engineers who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope program.

23. Queen Gertrude’s “alas” in “Hamlet” : O ME

In Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”, Queen Gertrude utters the line “O me, what hast thou done?” after her son Hamlet stabs Polonius.

24. Kit ___ (candy bar) : KAT

I grew up eating Kit Kat bars as a kid, as the chocolate confection has been around since the thirties. Kit Kats didn’t hit the shelves in the US until the seventies. I’ve seen new varieties of Kit Kat over in the UK, such as an orange-flavored version, but haven’t seen anything like that over here.

26. Sacha Baron Cohen program of the early 2000s : DA ALI G SHOW

“Da Ali G Show” is a satirical TV series featuring English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. I wouldn’t be a big fan …

32. Infamous bankruptcy declarer of 2001 : ENRON

After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

33. Vest openings : ARMHOLES

Here’s another word that often catches me out. What we call a vest here in the US is a waistcoat back in Ireland. And, the Irish use the word “vest” for an undershirt.

36. “Reelin’ in the Years” band : STEELY DAN

Steely Dan’s heyday was in the seventies when they toured for a couple of years, although the group mainly focused on studio work. The band was formed in 1972 and broke up in 1981. The core of the band reunited in 1993, and is still performing today despite the passing of founding member Walter Becker in 2017. Steely Dan’s best-selling album is “Aja” (pronounced “Asia”), which was released in 1977.

39. Part of VCR : CASSETTE

Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)

54. Schubert’s “The ___ King” : ERL

“Der Erlkönig” (“The Erl King”) is a poem by the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The poem tells of the death of child attacked by the Erl King, a supernatural being. The Austrian composer Franz Schubert made a musical adaptation of Goethe’s poem, using the same title.

55. 1950s-’60s teen idol who sang “Dream Lover” and “Splish Splash” : BOBBY DARIN

The singer Bobby Darin had a short but eventful life. Darin started in show business as a songwriter for Connie Francis. He then made it big as a performer with huge hits like “Splish Splash”, “Dream Lover”, “Mack the Knife” and “Beyond the Sea”. He was active politically as a supporter of Robert Kennedy, and was present in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when Kennedy was assassinated. Soon after, Darin found out that the people he thought were his parents, were in fact his grandparents. The woman he knew as his older sister was in fact his mother. Darin died following a heart operation at only 37 years old.

65. Garfield’s owner, in the funnies : JON

Jon Arbuckle is a fictional character, and the owner of Odie from Jim Davis’s comic strip “Garfield”. Garfield is Arbuckle’s orange tabby cat. Odie is his less-than-smart beagle.

68. Lennon’s love : ONO

Yoko Ono is an avant-garde artist. Ono actually met her future husband John Lennon for the first time while she was preparing her conceptual art exhibit called “Hammer a Nail”. Visitors were encouraged to hammer in a nail into a wooden board, creating the artwork. Lennon wanted to hammer in the first nail, but Ono stopped him as the exhibition had not yet opened. Apparently Ono relented when Lennon paid her an imaginary five shillings to hammer an imaginary nail into the wood.

69. Evolution theorist … or what the circled letters are evolving toward? : DARWIN

Englishman Charles Darwin studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland but neglected his studies largely due to his interest in nature and natural history. In the early 1830s, a friend put forward Darwin’s name as a candidate for the post of “collector” on the voyage of HMS Beagle. The Beagle was intending to spend two years at sea primarily charting the coast of South America. The voyage ended up taking five years, during which time Darwin sent back copious letters describing his findings. Back in Britain these letters were published as pamphlets by a friend and so when Darwin eventually returned home in 1836, he had already gained some celebrity in scientific circles. It was while on the Beagle that Darwin developed his initial ideas on the concept of natural selection. It wasn’t until over twenty years later that he formulated his theories into a scientific paper and in 1859 published his famous book “On the Origin of the Species”. This original publication never even mentioned the word “evolution” which was controversial even back then. It was in 1871 that Darwin addressed head-on the concept that man was an animal species, in his book “The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex”.

Down

1. Include covertly in an email : BCC

A blind carbon copy (bcc) is a copy of a document or message that is sent to someone without other recipients of the message knowing about that extra copy.

2. Avenger in a red-and-gold suit : IRON MAN

Iron Man is another one of those comic book superheroes, this one created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. The character has become very famous in recent years since the appearance of the 2008 action movie “Iron Man” starring Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role. Iron Man’s love interest, Pepper Potts, is routinely played by Gwyneth Paltrow in the same series of films.

3. Hiatus between high school and college : GAP YEAR

A hiatus is a break or opening in a material object. “Hiatus” is Latin for “opening”.

5. Slapstick projectile : PIE

Slapstick is a physical form of comedy or horseplay. Back in the late 19th century, the term “slapstick” described a device made from two sticks loosely fastened together, which could be “slapped” together to create a sound effect offstage. The sound effect added to the laugh when a clown or actor was given a slap on stage.

7. Quaker Oats’ ___ Crunch : CAP’N

The first Cap’n Crunch commercials aired in 1963, at the time the product line was launched. The Cap’n’s full name is Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch, would you believe? Crunch’s voice was provided for many years by Daws Butler, the same voice actor who gave us Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound. Cap’n Crunch is commander of the S.S. Guppy.

8. March Madness org. : NCAA

“March Madness” is the name given to the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Championship (among others), that is held in spring each year.

9. Deal breaker? : NARC

“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

10. Fellow Musketeer of Aramis and Porthos : ATHOS

Alexandre Dumas’ “Three Musketeers” are Athos, Porthos and Aramis, although the hero of the novel is the trio’s young protégé D’Artagnan. A musketeer was an infantry soldier who was equipped with a musket. Funnily enough, the three “musketeers” really don’t use their muskets, and are better known for prowess with their swords.

22. U.F.O. crew : ETS

One might speculate that an unidentified flying object (UFO) is flown by an extraterrestrial (ET).

24. “Roots” protagonist Kunta ___ : KINTE

Not only did Alex Haley author the magnificent novel “Roots”, but he was also the collaborator with Malcolm X on “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”. His 1976 novel “Roots” is based on Haley’s own family history, and he claimed to be a direct descendant of the real life Kunta Kinte, the slave who was kidnapped in the Gambia in 1767. If you remember the original television adaptation of “Roots”, you might recall that Kunta Kinte was played by LeVar Burton, who later went on to play another famous role, Geordi La Forge on “Star Trek: the Next Generation”.

29. Jazz’s Kid ___ : ORY

Kid Ory was a bandleader and jazz trombonist. At the beginning of the 20th century Ory’s New Orleans band included a young cornet player named … Louis Armstrong.

30. Iraq War concern, for short : WMD

The first recorded use of the term “Weapon of Mass Destruction” (WMD) was in 1937. The words were used by Cosmo Gordon Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, in reference to the bombardment of Guernica in Spain during the Spanish Civil War by the German Luftwaffe. He said, “Who can think without horror of what another widespread war would mean, waged as it would be with all the new weapons of mass destruction?”

37. When something should take off, for short : ETD
38. Opposite of 37-Down : ETA

Estimated time of departure (ETD)
Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

40. Anatomical rings : AREOLAE

An areola (sometimes “areole”) in anatomy is a small ring of color, as in the areola surrounding the nipple, and the areola surrounding the pupil of the eye. “Areola” comes from Latin, meaning “small open space”, and is a diminutive of the Latin word “area”, meaning “open space”.

43. Was humbled : ATE CROW

The phrase “eat crow”, an alternative to “eat humble pie”, perhaps refers to the fact that cooked crow may be edible, but is not a great food choice.

44. South Asian mixed rice dish : BIRYANI

Biryani is a mixed rice dish found on the menu in many Indian restaurants.

45. Show with “TV Funhouse” pieces, in brief : SNL

“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

48. Abbr. for someone with just a first and last name : NMI

No middle initial (NMI)

49. Self-important minor official : TIN GOD

A tin god is a person who claims authority and is full of self-importance. The use of “tin” is apt as it is a base metal with relatively little value.

51. Ski lift varieties : T-BARS

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, a similar device, but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

52. Word part: Abbr. : SYL

Syllable (syl.)

56. Setting for “The Karate Kid” : DOJO

The Japanese word “dojo” literally means “place of the way”. Originally the term applied to training halls that were found in or beside temples. The teaching in a dojo was not limited to the martial arts, but in the Western world we use the dojo as the name for a training facility for judo, karate and the like.

The 1984 film “The Karate Kid” starred Ralph Macchio in the title role, with Pat Morita playing the enigmatic karate teacher Mr. Miyagi. There is an excellent 2010 remake, starring Jaden Smith (Will Smith’s son) as the Karate Kid himself, with Jackie Chan playing the teacher. In the original 1984 movie, the Karate Kid was named Daniel LaRusso, and in the 2010 remake was named Dre Parker.

57. Shortly : ANON

“Anon” originally meant “at once”, but the term’s meaning evolved into “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

58. Gambling mecca : RENO

The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the world at the time.

We’ve been using “mecca” to mean “a place one holds sacred” since the 1850s, and have since extended the usage to include any center of activity. The term derives from the sacred city of Islam, the birthplace of Muhammad.

59. Bob ___, longtime Disney C.E.O. : IGER

Robert Iger took over from Michael Eisner as CEO in 2005. Iger worked for ABC when it was taken over by Disney in 1996, and in 1999 he was named president of Walt Disney International. Iger is doing okay for himself; he earned more than $29 million in 2009.

63. Craving : YEN

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Galoot : BIG APE
7. “State of the Union” channel : CNN
10. Datebook entry: Abbr. : APPT
14. Skulls : CRANIA
15. Obama health measure, in brief : ACA
16. Actress Garr : TERI
17. “M*A*S*H” transport, informally : COPTER
18. Augusta National’s infamous 12th hole, for one : PAR THREE
20. Bill ___, the Science Guy : NYE
21. Comedy rock duo featuring actor Jack Black : TENACIOUS D
23. Queen Gertrude’s “alas” in “Hamlet” : O ME
24. Kit ___ (candy bar) : KAT
25. Test, as 46-Across : ASSAY
26. Sacha Baron Cohen program of the early 2000s : DA ALI G SHOW
31. Hoppy brew : ALE
32. Infamous bankruptcy declarer of 2001 : ENRON
33. Vest openings : ARMHOLES
36. “Reelin’ in the Years” band : STEELY DAN
39. Part of VCR : CASSETTE
42. Attempts : STABS
46. Material that is 25-Acrossed : ORE
47. “Abso-lutely!” : DARN TOOTIN’!
50. Deli selections : MEATS
53. Opposite of max. : MIN
54. Schubert’s “The ___ King” : ERL
55. 1950s-’60s teen idol who sang “Dream Lover” and “Splish Splash” : BOBBY DARIN
59. Quite standoffish : ICY
60. Enjoying some me time, say : ALL ALONE
61. Embrace the aging process, in a way : GO GRAY
64. Bull: Prefix : TAUR
65. Garfield’s owner, in the funnies : JON
66. New Year’s Day : ONE/ONE
67. Comprehends : SEES
68. Lennon’s love : ONO
69. Evolution theorist … or what the circled letters are evolving toward? : DARWIN

Down

1. Include covertly in an email : BCC
2. Avenger in a red-and-gold suit : IRON MAN
3. Hiatus between high school and college : GAP YEAR
4. Pot starter : ANTE
5. Slapstick projectile : PIE
6. Wildlife identifier : EAR TAG
7. Quaker Oats’ ___ Crunch : CAP’N
8. March Madness org. : NCAA
9. Deal breaker? : NARC
10. Fellow Musketeer of Aramis and Porthos : ATHOS
11. Casual reading : PERUSAL
12. Chance to get good seats, say : PRESALE
13. Colors 1960s-style : TIE-DYES
19. Spanish aunt : TIA
22. U.F.O. crew : ETS
23. Words of praise : ODE
24. “Roots” protagonist Kunta ___ : KINTE
27. An overtime one counts as a point in the N.H.L. : LOSS
28. More robust : HALER
29. Jazz’s Kid ___ : ORY
30. Iraq War concern, for short : WMD
34. Is wearing : HAS ON
35. Aware of : ONTO
37. When something should take off, for short : ETD
38. Opposite of 37-Down : ETA
39. Fights against : COMBATS
40. Anatomical rings : AREOLAE
41. Ocean shade : SEA BLUE
43. Was humbled : ATE CROW
44. South Asian mixed rice dish : BIRYANI
45. Show with “TV Funhouse” pieces, in brief : SNL
48. Abbr. for someone with just a first and last name : NMI
49. Self-important minor official : TIN GOD
51. Ski lift varieties : T-BARS
52. Word part: Abbr. : SYL
56. Setting for “The Karate Kid” : DOJO
57. Shortly : ANON
58. Gambling mecca : RENO
59. Bob ___, longtime Disney C.E.O. : IGER
62. ___ lark : ON A
63. Craving : YEN

10 thoughts on “0821-18 NY Times Crossword 21 Aug 18, Tuesday”

  1. 11:02 A little harder than a normal Tuesday. I thought some of this was more later in the week stuff. I liked the theme, didn’t love lots of the fill.

    1. @Lee … I checked several dictionaries and, as I suspected, “peruse” can have either meaning (depending on context, I guess). English is indeed a wondrous language … 😜.

  2. 12:34, 2 errors: E(E)L/BI(E)YANI. Learned two new words today, completely unfamiliar with both ERL and BIRYANI. Lucky to guess correctly at GO GRAY, as opposed to GO GREY. I agree with previous poster who felt this was tougher than the usual Tuesday grid.

    Just a thought, but 1A BIG APE could be considered to be a part of the evolutionary ladder, with zero circled letters. This would give the theme an elegant symmetry from the upper left to lower right corners.

  3. I had one letter wrong at the ERL/BIRYANI cross. I had no familiarity with either answer so I guessed with an E rather than the correct R. I was going for the only thing that made an actual word in English, although I knew that THE EEL KING sounded pretty ridiculous.

    Overall, I thought this puzzle was much tougher than the usual Tuesday level. I do not time myself but I know that this one took much longer than usual.

  4. @ BruceB—-I just now read your post about BIG APE as the starting point of the “evolutionary ladder”. That is a brilliant observation, Bruce. It also brings in the concept that Charles Darwin himself is descended from “big apes”. But aren’t we all.

  5. Toughest Tuesday I’ve seen for quite a while, if ever. Like @BruceB and @Dale, guessed wrong at the BIRYANI/ERL cross. Went for an L instead of an R.

  6. I second the kudos going to Bruce for catching big ape. Those of you who haven’t enjoyed a biryani really need to check out East Indian food. Best food on the planet!

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