1214-18 NY Times Crossword 14 Dec 18, Friday

Constructed by: Andrew J. Ries
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 9m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7. Hit 1980 musical with the song “Join the Circus” : BARNUM

The musical “Barnum” is based on the life of the showman P. T. Barnum. Given Barnum’s profession, the musical is unusual in that it prominently features entertaining circus acts. The original Broadway production opened in 1980.

Phineas Taylor “PT” Barnum was one of the great American showmen, and was famous for founding the Barnum & Bailey Circus. By some measures, Barnum was the first ever “show business” millionaire. Beyond the world of entertainment, Barnum was also a politician for a while and served two terms in the Connecticut legislature, and was mayor of the city of Bridgeport. Barnum was a very successful author as well. One of his most famous books was “The Humbugs of the World”, an exposé of deceptions in the world of entertainment. He was a believer in illusions, providing they gave value for money in terms of entertainment. However, Barnum had an intense dislike of fraudulent deception and came down hard on spiritualist mediums in particular.

13. Accessory for Minnie Mouse : HAIR BOW

Minnie and Mickey Mouse were both introduced to the world in 1928. Minnie was originally known as Minerva, and sometimes still is.

15. Handle a chopper, say : AVIATE

“Chopper” is an informal term used for a helicopter.

16. Many a Falcons or Hawks fan : ATLANTAN

The Atlanta Falcons joined the NFL in 1965. The team name was suggest by a schoolteacher called Miss Julia Elliott. Elliot suggested that “the Falcon is proud and dignified, with great courage and fight. It never drops its prey. It is deadly and has a great sporting tradition.”

The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks started out as the Buffalo Bisons in 1946, although after only a few months the team was moved to Moline, Illinois as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks. The Blackhawks were one of the 17 original teams playing at the founding of the National Basketball Association. There was another move in 1951 and a renaming to the Milwaukee Hawks, and yet again in 1955 when the team became the St. Louis Hawks. The latest move was to Atlanta, in 1968.

18. “Huddled” group in an inscription on the Statue of Liberty : MASSES

Emma Lazarus was a poet from New York City who is best known as the author of an 1883 sonnet “The New Colossus”. “The New Colossus” sits on a bronze plaque inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, a fitting location given that the title refers to Lady Liberty.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp! cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

21. Jags : TEARS

The word “jag” is used to describe periods of unrestrained activity, particularly involving alcohol, and has been in use since the 1800s.

25. Part of a cable network? : GONDOLA

The word “gondola” was originally limited to the famous boats that travel along the canals of Venice. When man started to fly through the air in hot air balloons, “gondola” was used for the basket in which the passenger(s) traveled. By extension, the structure carrying passengers and crew under an airship is also called a gondola, as are the cars suspended from a cable at a ski resort.

27. “The Great Ziegfeld” co-star, 1936 : LOY

The beautiful Myrna Loy was one of my favorite actresses. Her career took off when she was paired up with William Powell in the fabulous “The Thin Man” series of films. Loy also appeared opposite Cary Grant in a couple of films that I like to watch every so often, namely “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer” (1947) and “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” (1948).

28. Santa ___ Derby : ANITA

Santa Anita Park is a racetrack for horses located in Arcadia, California. The most famous races on the track’s calendar are the Santa Anita Derby and the Santa Anita Handicap.

32. Sail extender : SPRIT

A sprit is a pole that extends out from a mast, one often supporting a special sail called a spritsail.

34. Station predictions, for short : ETAS

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

37. Gathering where burping is encouraged : TUPPERWARE PARTY

Back in the 1930s, Earl Tupper was working at the DuPont Chemical Company, and from DuPont obtained inflexible pieces of polyethylene slag. Tupper purified the slag and shaped it into unbreakable containers. He added airtight lids with a “burping seal”, which were provided tight seals similar to that provided by the lids on paint cans. He called his new product Tupperware.

41. Countless centuries : EONS

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

42. Like cinnamon trees : ASIAN

“True” cinnamon sticks are taken from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree. However, a lot of cinnamon sticks are also sold that come from related species of tree, and these are more correctly referred to as “cassia”.

43. Family name of classic TV : RICARDO

In the hit television show “I Love Lucy”, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz play Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. The Ricardos’ best friends are also their landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz. The Mertz’s are played by William Frawley and Vivian Vance.

48. Slower than vivace : ALLEGRO

The tempo (plural “tempi”) of a piece of music is usually designated with an Italian word on the score. For example, “grave” is slow and solemn, “andante” is at a walking pace, “scherzo” is fast and light-hearted, and “allegro” is fast, quickly and bright.

50. Caesar born in 1922 : SID

Sid Caesar achieved fame in the fifties on TV’s “Your Show of Shows”. To be honest, I know Sid Caesar mainly from the very entertaining film version of the musical “Grease”, in which he played Coach Calhoun.

53. “Star Wars” figures : DROIDS

“Droid” is short for “android” and is used to describe a robot that resembles a human. The Latin word “androides” was used in English in the 18th century to mean “like a man”. Science fiction writers introduced us to “android” in the early 1950s.

62. Napoleon, for one : DESSERT

A Napoleon is a French layered pastry that is often called a “mille-feuille” on the other side of the Atlantic. “Mille-feuille” is French for “thousand-leaf”. The origin of the “Napoleon” name is unclear, but is thought to derive from the French “napolitain” meaning “from Naples”. The shift to “Napoleon” perhaps took place during the reign of Napoleon I, although there is no direct connection to the emperor.

64. Outback offerings : STEAKS

Outback Steakhouse is a chain of restaurants that was established in 1987, with the first Outback opening in Tampa, Florida. Outback serves largely American food in an Australian-themed dining locale.

Down

2. GPS fig. : 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

Global positioning system (GPS)

6. “Au contraire!” : NOT SO!

“Au contraire” is French for “on the contrary”.

8. Gamer’s likeness : AVATAR

The Sanskrit word “avatar” describes the concept of a deity descending into earthly life and taking on a persona. It’s easy to see how in the world of “online presences” one might use the word avatar to describe one’s online identity.

11. In ___ (gestating) : UTERO

“In utero” is a Latin term meaning “in the uterus”. The Latin “uterus” (plural “uteri”) translates as both “womb” and “belly”. The Latin word comes from the Greek “hystera” that also means “womb”, which gives us the words “hysterectomy”, and “hysterical”.

The normal gestation period for humans is 280 days, a little over 9 months. The gestation period can be a little shorter, or longer. Back in 1945, a pregnancy was confirmed at 375 days, which is just over 12 months.

14. 1992 comedy based on a long-running “S.N.L.” sketch : WAYNE’S WORLD

“Wayne’s World” was originally a “Saturday Night Live” sketch starring Mike Myers (as Wayne Campbell) and Dana Carvey as Garth Algar. The sketch was so successful that it was parlayed into two hit movies, released in 1992 and 1993. Not my cup of tea though …

17. “Hi-diddly-ho!” speaker on TV : NED FLANDERS

Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

23. Two cents’ worth : INPUT

“To put in one’s two cents” is to add one’s opinion. The American expression derives from the older English version, which is “to put in one’s two pennies’ worth”.

24. JFK, for one : AIRPORT CODE

The Idlewild Golf Course was taken over by the city of New York in 1943 and construction started on a new airport to serve the metropolis and relieve congestion at LaGuardia. The Idlewild name still persists, even though the airport was named after Major General Alexander E. Anderson from the first days of the project. When the facility started operating in 1948 it was known as New York International Airport, Anderson Field. It was renamed to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in 1963, one month after the President was assassinated.

29. Hedren of Hitchcock’s “The Birds” : TIPPI

Tippi Hedren is an actress from New Ulm, Minnesota who is best known for her starring roles in two Alfred Hitchcock classics: “The Birds” (1963) and “Marnie” (1964). Famously, Hedren claimed that Hitchcock destroyed her movie career because she would not succumb to his sexual advances, a charge that has been denied. Hedren’s daughter is actress Melanie Griffith.

“The Birds” is a 1963 film made by Alfred Hitchcock based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier. I’ve read the story and seen the film and find them both strangely disturbing (it’s probably just me!). I can’t stand the ending of either version, as nothing resolves itself!

35. Creator of the game Centipede : ATARI

At one point, the electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was the fastest growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

Centipede is an arcade game from Atari (it is my favorite!). The game was designed by Ed Logg and Dona Bailey, with Bailey being one of the few female game designers back then (it was released in 1980). Perhaps due to her influence, Centipede was the first arcade game to garner a significant female following.

36. Church conclave : SYNOD

The word “synod” comes from the Greek word for assembly, or meeting. A synod is a church council, usually in the Christian faith.

Our use of the word “conclave” as a private assembly comes from its original use with reference to the papal conclave, a meeting of the College of Cardinals to elect a new Pope.

47. Wildflower of the primrose family : OXLIP

The plant known as the oxlip is more properly called Primula elatior. The oxlip is often confused with its similar-looking cousin, the cowslip.

The “primrose” name comes from an older term meaning “first rose”, reflecting the fact that the primrose is one of the first plants to flower in spring in Europe. That said, the primrose is not very closely related to true roses.

54. Ed.’s convenience : SASE

An SAE is a “stamped, addressed envelope”. An SASE is a “self-addressed, stamped envelope”.

56. Campus activist org. revived in 2006 : SDS

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

58. Verdant setting : LEA

Back in the late 1500s, “verdant” simply meant “green”, but we now tend to use the term to mean “green and lush with vegetation”. “Viridis” is the Latin for “green”.

60. Parts of pecks: Abbr. : QTS

The quart, the unit of volume, is so called because it is one quarter of a gallon.

A peck is a dry measure equal to a quarter of a bushel. The term can be used figuratively to mean a considerable quantity in general, as in the phrase “a peck of trouble”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Commercial line : SLOGAN
7. Hit 1980 musical with the song “Join the Circus” : BARNUM
13. Accessory for Minnie Mouse : HAIR BOW
15. Handle a chopper, say : AVIATE
16. Many a Falcons or Hawks fan : ATLANTAN
18. “Huddled” group in an inscription on the Statue of Liberty : MASSES
19. “O.K., I get it!” : YES YES!
21. Jags : TEARS
22. Org. with many operations : CIA
25. Part of a cable network? : GONDOLA
27. “The Great Ziegfeld” co-star, 1936 : LOY
28. Santa ___ Derby : ANITA
30. Struggles : EFFORTS
32. Sail extender : SPRIT
33. Thick cut : SLAB
34. Station predictions, for short : ETAS
37. Gathering where burping is encouraged : TUPPERWARE PARTY
40. “You’re killing me!” : STOP!
41. Countless centuries : EONS
42. Like cinnamon trees : ASIAN
43. Family name of classic TV : RICARDO
45. Dupe : REPRO
46. Bar fixture : SOT
48. Slower than vivace : ALLEGRO
50. Caesar born in 1922 : SID
51. Resident of a halfway house : EX-CON
53. “Star Wars” figures : DROIDS
55. Ones with big shoes to fill : CLOWNS
57. Measure of people skills : SOCIAL IQ
61. Straightened (up) : TIDIED
62. Napoleon, for one : DESSERT
63. Exceeds the limit : SPEEDS
64. Outback offerings : STEAKS

Down

1. Nonsense song syllable : SHA-
2. GPS fig. : LAT
3. Word with baron or basin : OIL …
4. Neutral hue : GRAY
5. Renounce : ABNEGATE
6. “Au contraire!” : NOT SO!
7. Comic book sound effect : BAM!
8. Gamer’s likeness : AVATAR
9. Uptick : RISE
10. Things used on bridges to ease congestion : NASAL STRIPS
11. In ___ (gestating) : UTERO
12. Difficult to sort out : MESSY
14. 1992 comedy based on a long-running “S.N.L.” sketch : WAYNE’S WORLD
17. “Hi-diddly-ho!” speaker on TV : NED FLANDERS
20. “No issues yet” : SO FAR, SO GOOD
22. Play groups : CASTS
23. Two cents’ worth : INPUT
24. JFK, for one : AIRPORT CODE
26. Place for a stud : LOBE
29. Hedren of Hitchcock’s “The Birds” : TIPPI
31. Ride : TEASE
35. Creator of the game Centipede : ATARI
36. Church conclave : SYNOD
38. Veritable : REAL
39. Writer of satirical works : PARODIST
44. Let go : CANNED
46. Certain branches : SECTS
47. Wildflower of the primrose family : OXLIP
49. Reduces to small bits : RICES
52. Scrape, to a tot : OWIE
54. Ed.’s convenience : SASE
56. Campus activist org. revived in 2006 : SDS
58. Verdant setting : LEA
59. Nettle : IRK
60. Parts of pecks: Abbr. : QTS

8 thoughts on “1214-18 NY Times Crossword 14 Dec 18, Friday”

  1. 28:19. Pretty easy Friday…except when it wasn’t. I sure had a peck of troubles in the lower right before getting it all straightened out. Tried to put GLS (gallons) for QTS and had to figure SOCIAL IQ by crosses as I was thinking it was a french word (socialiq??) or something (sheesh).

    Best –

  2. First entries were ANITA, TIPPI and NEDFLANDERS and everything else just kinda flowed from there. Had to use fills for ABNEGATE, ( not familiar with that ) and don’t see
    relationship between dupe and REPRO. Any help?

    1. @JRH both are slang terms for copies or copying. ‘dupe’ is slang for duplicate (as either a noun or verb); REPRO is slang for a reproduction or to reproduce.

  3. 17:23, 2 (dumb) errors: SOCIAL I(P)/(P)TS. Knew that a peck was a unit of volume, my first knee jerk association was ‘pints’. Didn’t see SOCIAL IQ until I came here. ABNEGATE is a new word for me, as well.

  4. I Loved this puzzle ! Perhaps in part because I finished a Friday puzzle with quite a bit of ease ,but mostly because I’m still chuckling at Mr. Ries’ clever clueing for 37A(Tupperware party) and 10D(Nasal strips ) 😂
    Keep up the Great work Bill . Always enjoyed ,Thanks
    EllE

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