0824-18 NY Times Crossword 24 Aug 18, Friday

Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

17. Caribbean home of Blackbeard’s Castle : CHARLOTTE AMALIE

Charlotte Amalie is the capital and largest city in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The city was named after the queen consort of King Christian V of Denmark, Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel.

Blackbeard was the nickname of the celebrated English pirate Edward Teach who plied his trade around the West Indies and up and and down the North American coast.

18. Divided land: Abbr. : KOR

Korea was occupied by the Japanese military from 1910 until Japan surrendered at the end of WWII in 1945. While the UN was working towards a trusteeship administration for Korea, the Soviet Union managed the Korean Peninsula north of the 38th parallel and the US managed the south. The UN’s plans came to naught as the Cold War dictated the establishment of the two separate states of North Korea and South Korea. North Korea invaded the South in 1950, leading to the Korean War. After three years of fighting, the border between the two states became the demarcation line between the two military forces on the day the Armistice Agreement was signed. That line runs diagonally across the 38th parallel, and is better known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

22. Most of an S O S : DITS

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.

Samuel Morse came up with the forerunner to modern Morse code for use on the electric telegraph, of which he was the co-inventor. Morse code uses a series of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The most common letters are assigned the simplest code elements e.g. E is represented by one dot, and T is represented by one dash. When words are spelled aloud in Morse code, a dot is pronounced as “dit”, and a dash is pronounced as “dah”.

24. Crude shelter : SHANTY

Our word “shanty” is used for a rough cabin. It comes from the Canadian French word “chantier”, which is a “lumberjack’s headquarters”.

27. Quidditch position in the Harry Potter books : SEEKER

Quidditch is a game that is famously played in the “Harry Potter” series of books and films. The game is contended by two teams of seven wizards or witches flying on broomsticks. The are four animated balls and six ring-shaped goals floating in mid-air. One of the balls is the Golden Snitch, and one of the players is the Seeker. It is the Seeker’s sole purpose to capture the Golden Snitch and thereby end the game.

31. Correo ___ : AEREO

The words “Correo Aereo” can be found on some stamps. The phrase translates from Spanish as “Air Mail”.

32. Accolade for “Mad Men” in four consecutive years : BEST DRAMA

“Mad Men” was the flagship show on the AMC television channel for several seasons. Set in the sixties, it’s all about an advertising agency located on Madison Avenue in New York (hence the title). “Mad Men” became the first show created by a basic cable channel to win an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.

35. Agouti relative : PACA

There are two species of rodents called pacas, and both are found in Central and South America. In some parts, paca is considered a gourmet dish.

The term “agouti” is used for some rodents in Central and south America who have fur with bands of light and dark pigmentation.

37. WordPress creation : BLOG

Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more specifically it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) that then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.

40. St. Peter’s Basilica attraction : PIETA

The Pietà is a representation of the Virgin Mary holding in her arms the dead body of her son Jesus. The most famous Pietà is probably the sculpted rendition by Michelangelo which is located in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. In some depictions, Mary and her son are surrounded by other figures from the New Testament, and these depictions are known as Lamentations.

The Basilica of St. Peter in Rome was built during the late Renaissance and has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world, capable of holding 60,000 people. There is a popular misconception that St. Peter’s is the cathedral of Rome, but actually it isn’t, and instead is a papal basilica. The Basilica of St. John Lateran is the cathedral church of Rome.

43. Ian of “Alien” : HOLM

English actor Sir Ian Holm is very respected on the stage in the UK, but is better known for his film roles here in the US. Holm played the hobbit Bilbo Baggins in two of the “Lord of the Rings” movies, and he also played the character who turns out be an android in the film “Alien”.

45. College town east of Greensboro : ELON

Elon is a city in the Piedmont region of North Carolina located close to the city of Burlington. Elon University is a private liberal arts school founded in 1889.

46. “___ Walks in Beauty” (Byron poem) : SHE

“She Walks in Beauty” is one of the most famous poems written by Lord Byron. The poem is very descriptive of an elegant and beautiful woman. He wrote it the day after seeing his cousin, who was in mourning, walking by in a black dress set with spangles. The opening lines are:

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies

51. Swimming center? : EMS

There are two letters M (ems) in the center of the word “swimming”.

54. Real-life villain who was an antagonist in Robert Ludlum’s “The Bourne Identity” : CARLOS THE JACKAL

Carlos the Jackal (real name “Ilich Sánchez”) is a terrorist from Venezuela who is serving a life sentence in a French jail. One of the most famous operations executed by Sánchez was a 1975 raid on the OPEC headquarters in Vienna in which three people were killed. Sánchez was given the codename “Carlos” by one of the terrorist organizations that he he joined, because of his South American roots. Carlos was then nicknamed “the Jackal” by a British newspaper when it was reported that the terrorist was at some point carrying a copy of the novel “The Day of the Jackal”.

“The Bourne Identity” is a great spy novel written by Robert Ludlum, and first published in 1980. It has been ranked as the second best spy novel of all time, just behind the even more enjoyable “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold” by John le Carre. Ludlum wrote two sequels, and all three parts of the Bourne Trilogy have been made into very successful movies now, starring Matt Damon in the title role. Ludlum died before he could write more than three novels featuring Jason Bourne, but five more titles in the series have been published, each written by Eric Van Lustbader. I must check them out …

57. Neil Armstrong or Jesse Owens, say : ALL-AMERICAN HERO

Neil Armstrong was the most private of individuals. You didn’t often see him giving interviews, unlike so many of the more approachable astronauts of the Apollo space program. His famous, “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind” statement; that was something that he came up with himself, while Apollo 11 was making its way to the moon.

Jesse Owens is famous for winning four gold medals at the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936, much to the chagrin of Adolf Hitler. Jesse’s real name was James Cleveland Owens, and he went by “JC” as a child. However, his Alabama accent was misconstrued at school when his family moved to Cleveland, so teachers and classmates called him “Jesse” instead of “JC”, and the name stuck.

Down

1. One of four in a Scrabble set : RACK

Here’s a little Scrabble trivia … “Pizzazz” is the only 7-letter word in English that cannot be played in Scrabble. You can get close by using the Z-tile with the two blank tiles to get to three of the required four Zs, but there’s no way to get to that fourth letter-Z.

3. “The foundation of most governments,” per John Adams : FEAR

John Adams was the second President of the United States. I must admit that I learned much of what I know about President Adams in the excellent, excellent HBO series “John Adams”, which is based on David McCullough’s 2001 biography of the same name. Having said that, I have also visited the Adams home in Quincy, Massachusetts several times. He was clearly a great man with a great intellect …

4. Futuristic play of 1921 : RUR

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1920 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

7. Log unit : ENTRY

The word “logbook” dates back to the days when the captain of a ship kept a daily record of the vessel’s speed, progress etc. using a “log”. A log was a wooden float on a knotted line that was dropped overboard to measure speed through the water.

8. Bundle of nerves : RETE

A rete is an anatomical term for a network. The network can be nerves, but also fibers or blood vessels. The word rete is Latin for “net” and was the name for the net that gladiators used as a weapon when fighting in the arena in Ancient Rome.

10. Foes of the Bolsheviks : TSARISTS

At the second party congress of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1903, a split developed. The faction with the most support was led by Vladimir Lenin, and as they were in the majority, they became known as the Bolsheviks, derived from the Russian word for “more” or “majority”. Lenin and the Bolsheviks led the October Revolution of 1917, as a result of which Lenin came to power. He headed the new Soviet State during its formative years.

12. 1978 Grammy nominee Chris : REA

Chris Rea is a singer-songwriter and respected blues guitar player from England. Rea’s biggest hit is a song that he wrote himself called “Fool (If You Think It’s Over”), released in 1978.

13. Honeycomb component : CELL

Honeybees create a structure within their nests called a honeycomb that is used to contain their larvae and also to store honey and pollen. The honeycomb comprises hexagonal cells made from wax.

14. Big name in athletic footwear : AVIA

The Avia brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

23. Like Novak Djokovic, by birth : SERBIAN

Novak Djokovic is a Serbian tennis player and former world No. 1 ranked player. Djokovic is quite the character on and off the court, earning him the nickname “Djoker”. He is also very popular on the talk-show circuit, all around the world. It helps that Djokovic is fluent in several languages.

24. Palate stimulus : SAPOR

“Sapor” is another word for “flavor, a quality that can be tasted”. “Sapor” is Latin for “taste, flavor”.

26. Went like a birdie : ARCED

“Birdie” is another name for a shuttlecock, the projectile used in the sport of badminton.

28. Vegetables high in beta carotene : KALES

Vitamin A is actually a group of chemicals, including retinol, retinal and beta-carotene.

30. Eastern melodies : RAGAS

Raga isn’t really a genre of music, but has been described as the “tonal framework” in which Indian classical music is composed. Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous raga virtuoso (to us Westerners). Western rock music with a heavy Indian influence might be called raga rock.

33. Printemps follower : ETE

In French, “printemps: (spring) is followed by “été” (summer).

34. Latin conjunction : SED

“Sed” is Latin for “but”.

39. Island just north of the Equator : SAO TOME

The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe is an island nation off the west coast of Africa comprising mainly two islands: São Tomé and Príncipe. São Tomé and Príncipe is located in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of Gabon. It was colonized by Portugal after POrtuguese explorers discovered the islands in the 15th century. After gaining independence in 1975, São Tomé and Príncipe is now the smallest Portuguese-speaking country in the world.

40. C3H8, familiarly : PROPANE

Propane is a gas with the formula C3H8. It is an abundant byproduct of the refining of petroleum and is used as a fuel. The gas liquefies readily under pressure, and is usually transported in pressurized containers. However, the containers of “propane” that we purchase in stores is actually a mixture of propane and butane, usually in the ratio of about 50:50.

42. Biblical prophet who was fed by ravens : ELIJAH

Elijah was a prophet in the northern kingdom of Israel according to the Books of Kings in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur’an. The name “Elijah” translates from Hebrew as “My God is Yahweh”. Elijah is also known Elias.

44. One way to the Smithsonian : METRO

The Smithsonian Institution was established in 1846 as the United States National Museum. The institution was renamed in honor of British scientist James Smithson who indirectly provided the initial funding. The funds were collected from England on the orders of President Andrew Jackson, and arrived in the form of 105 sacks containing 104,960 gold sovereigns.

48. Director ___ C. Kenton : ERLE

Erle Kenton was a film director from Norbro, Montana. Kenton directed 131 films between 1916 and 1957, including “The Ghost of Frankenstein”, “House of Frankenstein” and “House of Dracula”.

50. Hitchcock double feature? : CHIN

Alfred Hitchcock was an English film director from Leytonstone, just outside London. A very good friend of mine is a close friend of one of his granddaughters, and met “Hitch” many times in her youth. She tells a very nice story of sitting in a restaurant with the family when someone came over to the table to say “hi”. That was Jimmy Stewart …

52. Helgenberger of “CSI” : MARG

Marg Helgenberger is an actress best known for roles she plays on television. Helgenberger played investigator Catherine Willows on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”. She also played drug-addicted prostitute K.C. Koloski in the Vietnam War drama “China Beach”.

53. Liqueur flavor : SLOE

The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush, and the main flavoring ingredient in sloe gin. A sloe looks like a small plum, but is usually much more tart in taste.

55. You’d expect to see it before long. : LAT

Lines of latitude are the imaginary horizontal lines surrounding the planet. The most “important” lines of latitude are, from north to south:

  • Arctic Circle
  • Tropic of Cancer
  • Equator
  • Tropic of Capricorn
  • Antarctic Circle

56. “Evita” narrator : CHE

Che is the narrator in the musical “Evita” by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Coolest thing about a train? : REFRIGERATOR CAR
16. Secret advantage : ACE UP ONE’S SLEEVE
17. Caribbean home of Blackbeard’s Castle : CHARLOTTE AMALIE
18. Divided land: Abbr. : KOR
19. Amenable sorts : AGREERS
20. Bucko : LAD
21. Modifier of a low price : ONLY
22. Most of an S O S : DITS
24. Crude shelter : SHANTY
27. Quidditch position in the Harry Potter books : SEEKER
31. Correo ___ : AEREO
32. Accolade for “Mad Men” in four consecutive years : BEST DRAMA
35. Agouti relative : PACA
36. “That ___!” : BITES
37. WordPress creation : BLOG
38. Like most theater popcorn containers : OVERSIZED
40. St. Peter’s Basilica attraction : PIETA
41. Sale indicator : RED TAG
42. Sweeps the board? : ERASES
43. Ian of “Alien” : HOLM
45. College town east of Greensboro : ELON
46. “___ Walks in Beauty” (Byron poem) : SHE
49. Part of a racing bike : TOE CLIP
51. Swimming center? : EMS
54. Real-life villain who was an antagonist in Robert Ludlum’s “The Bourne Identity” : CARLOS THE JACKAL
57. Neil Armstrong or Jesse Owens, say : ALL-AMERICAN HERO
58. Flirt with disaster : TEETER ON THE EDGE

Down

1. One of four in a Scrabble set : RACK
2. Repercussion : ECHO
3. “The foundation of most governments,” per John Adams : FEAR
4. Futuristic play of 1921 : RUR
5. “That’s my intention” : I PLAN TO
6. ___ eyes : GOOGLY
7. Log unit : ENTRY
8. Bundle of nerves : RETE
9. Plant ___ : A SEED
10. Foes of the Bolsheviks : TSARISTS
11. Frederick Law ___, designer of New York’s Central Park : OLMSTED
12. 1978 Grammy nominee Chris : REA
13. Honeycomb component : CELL
14. Big name in athletic footwear : AVIA
15. Accordion part : REED
21. Here : ON EARTH
23. Like Novak Djokovic, by birth : SERBIAN
24. Palate stimulus : SAPOR
25. Cast with difficulty : HEAVE
26. Went like a birdie : ARCED
28. Vegetables high in beta carotene : KALES
29. Act unprofessionally? : EMOTE
30. Eastern melodies : RAGAS
32. Trade, in brief : BIZ
33. Printemps follower : ETE
34. Latin conjunction : SED
36. Zero : BIG LOSER
39. Island just north of the Equator : SAO TOME
40. C3H8, familiarly : PROPANE
42. Biblical prophet who was fed by ravens : ELIJAH
44. One way to the Smithsonian : METRO
45. Governor or senator follower : ELECT
46. “Out!” : SCAT!
47. In good shape : HALE
48. Director ___ C. Kenton : ERLE
50. Hitchcock double feature? : CHIN
51. Scratched (out) : EKED
52. Helgenberger of “CSI” : MARG
53. Liqueur flavor : SLOE
55. You’d expect to see it before long. : LAT
56. “Evita” narrator : CHE

9 thoughts on “0824-18 NY Times Crossword 24 Aug 18, Friday”

  1. 26 down. Went like a birdie — arced. I’m thinking badminton , a shuttlecock often travels in an arc. In golf a birdie usually takes 2,3, or 4 strokes and they aren’t all going to be arcs (eg probably a putt involved)

  2. 23:41 Not too hard for a Friday. Didn’t know RETE and had a lot of trouble in the SAPOR, PACA, AEREO section.

  3. For 36A That ___!, I couldn’t get around “SUCKS”; and
    for 36D Zero, “GOOSEEGG” (though utterly unworkable)
    scored -0- and gave me a “Goose-egg – bump on my head”,
    not to mention Mostel .-/

  4. 25:42 after finding and fixing an error: I had “CHARLOTTE AMELIE” and (Chris) “REE” instead of “CHARLOTTE AMALIE” and “REA”. (Also, trying to use “LEANTO” and “GOOGOO” instead of “SHANTY” and “GOOGLY” cost me a lot of time.)

  5. It took an hour and a half and several references to “my notes” from past puzzles but I finished with no errors and really surprised myself.
    Puzzles with “across the board clues at top and bottom usually stump me.

  6. 33:40, 2 errors: 24D SA(V)OR; 35A (V)ACA. Got all the way down to the bottom of the grid with RUR and PROPANE as my only entries. Eventually filled the puzzle from the bottom up. Entered LEAN TO before SHANTY, and was really conflicted with 36A, when I had ” That BIT** “.

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