1221-18 NY Times Crossword 21 Dec 18, Friday

Constructed by: Peter A. Collins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Dorothy’s Puzzle

Constructor Pete Collins was kind enough to contact me about this puzzle. There is an “Easter egg” hidden in the answers in the grid’s perimeters. There’s a reference to a line spoken repeatedly by Dorothy, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”, namely “”Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”

  • 29D. Film distribution company for “The Hunger Games” : LIONSGATE
  • 1A. Striped sea predators : TIGER SHARKS
  • 14D. Hides in a cabin, perhaps : BEARSKINS
  • 59A. Repeated phrase in the chorus of a classic folk ballad : OH MY DARLING

Bill’s time: 13m 31s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • HULLO (hallo)
  • UREY (Arey)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

18. Honoree on the third Friday of Sept. : MIA

Missing in action (MIA)

21. Expressionist painter James : ENSOR

James Ensor was a Belgian painter active in the first half of the twentieth century. He lived in Ostend for almost all of his life. In fact, he only made three brief trips abroad, to Paris, London and Holland.

25. Arugula and escarole : GREENS

Eruca sativa is an edible plant that is known as “arugula” in the US, and “rocket” in the British Isles and Canada. The Italian name for the plant is “rucola”, from the Latin name. It is “rucula” that evolved into the American term “arugula”.

Endive is a leaf vegetable belonging to the chicory genus, and is in the daisy family. Endive is also known as “escarole”.

26. When the French Open starts : MAY

That would be tennis.

34. “Look at me, ___ helpless …” (opening to “Misty”) : I’M AS

“Misty” was written in 1954 by jazz pianist and composer Erroll Garner. Johnny Mathis had a hit with “Misty” five years later, and it was to become his signature tune. The song features prominently in the 1971 Clint Eastwood thriller “Play Misty for Me”, which I suppose isn’t so surprising given the title.

35. Flock : LAITY

Anything described as laic (or “laical, lay”) is related to the laity, those members of the church who are not clergy. The term “laic” ultimately comes from the Greek “laikos” meaning “of the people”.

36. Alpine capital : BERN

Bern (sometimes “Berne”, especially in French) is the capital city of Switzerland. The official language of the city is German, but the language most spoken in Bern is a dialect known as Bernese German.

39. “Where ___ fail, music speaks”: Hans Christian Andersen : WORDS

The wonderful storyteller Hans Christian Andersen became very successful in his own lifetime. In 1847 he visited England for the summer and made a triumphal tour of English society’s most fashionable drawing rooms. There Andersen met with the equally successful Charles Dickens, and the two seemed to hit it off. Ten years later Andersen returned to England and stayed for five weeks in Dickens’ home as his guest. Dickens published “David Copperfield” soon after, and supposedly the less than lovable character Uriah Heep was based on Dickens’ house guest Hans Christian Andersen. That wasn’t very nice!

44. “CSI” prop : BODY BAG

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but seems to have finally wound down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, set in Las Vegas, hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two seasons, before being canceled in 2016.

49. Greeting in Britain : HULLO

Before the 1880s, the most popular greeting in English was “hallo” or “hullo”. The use of “hello” became popular along with proliferation of telephones. When the telephone was invented, Alexander Graham Bell suggested that the greeting “Ahoy” be used when answering. Thomas Edison preferred “Hello”, which won out. By the end of the 1880s, telephone operators were being referred to as “hello-girls”.

52. Org. with a serpent in its logo : AMA

The Rod of Asclepius (also “Aesculapius”) is a rod around which a serpent is entwined. It was carried by the Greek god Asclepius, hence the name. Asclepius was associated with medicine and healing, and so the Rod of Asclepius has long been associated with health care. It appears in the logo of many organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Medical Association (AMA). The Rod of Asclepius is sometimes confused with the caduceus, the traditional symbol of the god Hermes. The caduceus features two snakes winding around a winged staff. Famously, the US Army Medical Corps adopted the caduceus as a symbol, apparently in error, and as a result, the caduceus is sometimes associated with healthcare groups to this day.

53. 1987 children’s best seller : WHERE’S WALDO?

The series of children’s illustrated books called “Where’s Waldo?” were originally titled “Where’s Wally?” in Britain, where the books originated. The book contains page after page of illustrations with crowds of people surrounding famous landmarks from around the world. The challenge is to find Waldo/Wally, who is hidden in the crowd.

56. Some grad students, for short : TAS

Teaching assistant (TA)

57. Person depicted on the Alabama state quarter : HELEN KELLER

Helen Keller became a noted author despite been deaf and blind, largely through the work of her teacher, Anne Sullivan. Keller was left deaf and blind after an illness (possible meningitis or scarlet fever). when she was about 18 months old. She was to become the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The relationship between Sullivan and Keller is immortalized in the play and film called “The Miracle Worker”.

58. Denizen of Fangorn Forest : ENT

Fangorn Forest is a location in the fictional world of Middle-earth created by J.R.R. Tolkien. Notably, it is the home of the Ents, a race of beings who closely resemble trees.

59. Repeated phrase in the chorus of a classic folk ballad : OH MY DARLING

“Oh My Darling, Clementine” is a folk ballad that dates back to the 1880s. The song is about a man who loses his lover, the daughter of a miner who took part in the 1849 California Gold Rush. The lyrics seem to be very sad, but are actually quite tongue-in-cheek.

Down

1. River near the Pantheon : TIBER

The Tiber is the principal river in Italy in that it runs through the capital of Rome. It is also the third longest river in the country.

The Pantheon in Rome was built as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome. Even though the Pantheon was built almost two thousand years ago, the roof at its center remains the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome.

4. Johann ___, 16th-century defender of Catholicism : ECK

During the Protestant Reformation in the 16th and 17th centuries, as Martin Luther was attacking the policies of the Catholic Church, Johann Eck was one of the leading defenders of Catholicism. The two had public debates, with Luther generally coming out ahead.

9. Shore indentations : RIAS

A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, with both formed as sea level rises. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

10. Keystone enforcer : KOP

The Keystone Cops (sometimes “Keystone Kops”) were a band of madcap policemen characters who appeared in silent movies. A 1914 short film called “A Thief Catcher” that was believed lost was rediscovered in 2010. “A Thief Catcher” featured the magnificent Charlie Chaplin in an early role as a Keystone Cop.

12. Hall-of-Fame pitcher who once struck out 10 consecutive batters : TOM SEAVER

Tom Seaver is a former baseball pitcher, noted for his ten-year stint with the New York Mets from 1967 to 1977. Seaver earned the nickname “Tom Terrific”, and in 1988 became the first Met player to have his jersey number retired. When he quit baseball he moved out here to California and opened up a small winery in Calistoga. Keep an eye out for the vineyard’s name, “Seaver Family Vineyards”, and their cabernets “Nancy’s Fancy” and “GTS”.

24. Coverage options, briefly : HMOS

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

29. Film distribution company for “The Hunger Games” : LIONSGATE

“The Hunger Games” is a 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins, and the first in a trilogy of titles that also includes “Catching Fire” (2009) and “Mockingjay” (2010). “The Hunger Games” was adapted into a very successful movie released in 2012, with the sequels following soon after. Amazon.com reports more sales of “The Hunger Games” series books than even the “Harry Potter” series.

31. Locale of many a red-eye destination : EAST COAST

A red-eye flight is one departing late at night and arriving early the next morning. The term is a reference to tired passengers disembarking with red eyes.

39. Mr. Rochester in “Jane Eyre,” e.g. : WIDOWER

“Jane Eyre” is a celebrated novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. Over the years, I’ve shared here on my blogs that the “Jane Eyre” story line is a little too dark and Gothic for my taste, but a very persuasive blog reader convinced me to look more at the romantic side of the story and give it a second chance. I watched a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation of the novel made by the BBC a while back and I have to say that because I was focused on the relationship between Jane and Rochester, I was able to push past the Gothic influences (that depress me) so I really enjoyed the story. I thoroughly recommend the 2006 BBC adaptation to fans of the novel.

41. Mails a dupe : CCS

I wonder do the kids of today know that “cc” stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle? A kind blog reader pointed out to me recently that the abbreviation has evolved and taken on the meaning “courtesy copy” in our modern world.

42. Warszawa’s land : POLSKA

In Polish, “Warszawa” (Warsaw) is the capital of “Polska” (Poland).

Warsaw is the capital of Poland. The city’s name translates into English as “belonging to Warsz”. Legend has it that Warsz was a fisherman who fell in love with a mermaid called Sawa. It’s a nice story, but actually Warsz was a nobleman from the 12th or 13th century who owned a local village.

45. Casus ___ (action justifying a war) : BELLI

“Casus belli” is Latin for “a case of war”. The expression refers to an act that provokes or justifies a war. The related phrase “casus foederis” (a case for the alliance) refers to a threat against an ally that triggers a war.

46. “As You Like It” forest : ARDEN

The Forest of Arden is the setting for Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”. Even though there is a Forest of Arden surrounding Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-on-Avon, as the play is set in France one has to assume that the “As You Like It” Arden is an anglicization of the forested “Ardennes” region that stretches from Belgium into France.

“As You Like It” is one of Shakespeare’s comedies. It tells the tale of Rosalind fleeing from her Uncle’s court along with her cousin Celia and the court jester Touchstone. Rosalind lives in exile in the Forest of Arden, disguised as a male shepherd called Ganymede. The play is perhaps most memorable for an oft-quoted monologue that starts with:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players …

47. Captain von Trapp’s given name : GEORG

Baron Georg Johannes von Trapp was an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Navy who achieved worldwide fame when his family became the inspiration for the musical “The Sound of Musical”.

50. Manhattan Project scientist Harold ___ : UREY

Harold Urey won the 1934 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of the hydrogen isotope deuterium. Urey also speculated that the Earth’s early atmosphere might have consisted of ammonia, methane and hydrogen. One of Urey’s students conducted the Miller-Urey experiment, which showed that such a mixture of gases can produce amino acids if exposed to electric sparks and water. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and are sometimes referred to as the building blocks of life.

The Manhattan project was the joint US-Canada-UK project to develop an atomic bomb during WWII. Initially, the Army headquarters for the program was located on the 18th floor of a building on Broadway in New York City. Eventually, because of that first location, the project adopted the name “Manhattan”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Striped sea predators : TIGER SHARKS
12. Whirlpool site : TUB
15. Shot : INOCULATION
16. Not you specifically : ONE
17. Entertainment for a long ride, perhaps : BOOKS ON TAPE
18. Honoree on the third Friday of Sept. : MIA
19. Business ___ : END
20. Fountain fare : SODAS
21. Expressionist painter James : ENSOR
23. Sends anew : RESHIPS
25. Arugula and escarole : GREENS
26. When the French Open starts : MAY
27. One way to ride : BAREBACK
29. Use, as a mattress : LIE ON
32. Having zero interest, say : BORED
33. Steve of rock guitar fame : VAI
34. “Look at me, ___ helpless …” (opening to “Misty”) : I’M AS
35. Flock : LAITY
36. Alpine capital : BERN
37. Exclamations of exasperation : OYS
38. Premonishes : WARNS
39. “Where ___ fail, music speaks”: Hans Christian Andersen : WORDS
40. Making a mark of a sort : NOTCHING
42. Album fill, informally : PIX
43. Relief : SUCCOR
44. “CSI” prop : BODY BAG
48. “Yuck!” : GROSS!
49. Greeting in Britain : HULLO
51. Ahead of, poetically : ERE
52. Org. with a serpent in its logo : AMA
53. 1987 children’s best seller : WHERE’S WALDO?
56. Some grad students, for short : TAS
57. Person depicted on the Alabama state quarter : HELEN KELLER
58. Denizen of Fangorn Forest : ENT
59. Repeated phrase in the chorus of a classic folk ballad : OH MY DARLING

Down

1. River near the Pantheon : TIBER
2. See 55-Down : … -IN-ONE
3. Stock : GOODS
4. Johann ___, 16th-century defender of Catholicism : ECK
5. Dressing choice : RUSSIAN
6. Title girl in a 1965 #1 hit : SLOOPY
7. They operate around the clock : HANDS
8. Encouraging start? : ATTA …
9. Shore indentations : RIAS
10. Keystone enforcer : KOP
11. Displayed derision : SNEERED
12. Hall-of-Fame pitcher who once struck out 10 consecutive batters : TOM SEAVER
13. Labor party member’s holding? : UNION CARD
14. Hides in a cabin, perhaps : BEARSKINS
22. Mo. neighbor : NEB
24. Coverage options, briefly : HMOS
25. Overcast, in Britain : GREY
27. Comics sound : BOING!
28. They may be dark or fine : ARTS
29. Film distribution company for “The Hunger Games” : LIONSGATE
30. Declaration from a volunteer : I’M YOUR MAN
31. Locale of many a red-eye destination : EAST COAST
32. Traditionally red structure : BARN
35. Retreat : LAIR
36. Squarish : BOXY
38. Elite group : WHO’S WHO
39. Mr. Rochester in “Jane Eyre,” e.g. : WIDOWER
41. Mails a dupe : CCS
42. Warszawa’s land : POLSKA
44. Harmonize : BLEND
45. Casus ___ (action justifying a war) : BELLI
46. “As You Like It” forest : ARDEN
47. Captain von Trapp’s given name : GEORG
49. Bridge position : HELM
50. Manhattan Project scientist Harold ___ : UREY
54. Bit of derisive laughter : HEH
55. With 2-Down, multipurpose : ALL …

7 thoughts on “1221-18 NY Times Crossword 21 Dec 18, Friday”

  1. 14:42 Long time no see, how’s everyone doing here? I finished this pretty quickly but I thought some of the proper nouns were tough. Fortunately I’m a huge Mets fan and Tom Seaver was my favorite player when I was a kid. I was born in 1969 so missed the miracle World Series win. By the time I was aware of baseball, 1975, the Mets were terrible and Seaver was their only bright spot. Then in 1977 they traded him in the darkest day in franchise history. He eventually came back but was past his prime. His 10 consecutive strikeouts is, to me, one of the greatest feats in baseball. Given the increase in strikeouts lately I’m a little surprised it hasn’t been matched.

    @Bill The Mets retired Mike Piazza’s number in 2016 (and will almost certainly do the same for David Wright in the near future)

  2. 16:56, no errors. Strangely enough, even though sports is my weakest area, “TOM SEAVER” kinda bailed me out, as I was not sure of either “JAMES ENSOR” or “STEVE VAI”.

    And welcome back, Marc! It gets sorta lonely around here, waiting for the syndies to show up … 😜

  3. 29:08. I knew the Tom SEAVER stat despite (or because of) being a lifelong Cardinal fan. Welcome back, Marc..aka Waldo…since we never know where you are. I remember the 1969 Mets although I was only 6 at the time. World Series games were almost all played during the day back then. Times have changed.

    Best –

  4. 25:46, no errors. Initially though I was going to blow through this quickly. Entered TIGER SHARK, TOM SEAVER, BOOKS ON TAPE and WHERE’S WALDO without hesitation. But then I spent a good 10 minutes trying to fill the bottom right corner. Entered WEST as a ‘Bridge position’; couldn’t decide between BERN or CERN in 36A; UREY and TELLI were complete unknowns; so would 49A be HULLO or HALLO? (wild guess); BOXY eluded me for a long time as well.

    As a child, growing up in NYC, as was fortunate enough to see the Dodgers play at Ebbett’s Field; the Giants at the Polo Grounds; the Yankees at old Yankee Stadium; and the Mets at Shea. My dad was a die hard Dodgers (and hence, National League) fan; so we felt teamless when the Dodgers left for LA, until the Mets arrived.

  5. So weird how often Bruce’s experience mirrors my own in solving these things. Also flew through it until hitting the SE corner and, being a bridge player, I also tried West for 49D. No errors and had a good time going for a while grumble grumble. Love the Easter egg!

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