0108-19 NY Times Crossword 8 Jan 19, Tuesday

Constructed by: Freddie Cheng
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Abstract Art

Themed answers are each elements that might be used in creating a piece of ABSTRACT ART:

  • 61A. What may be created using the answers to the six starred clues? : ABSTRACT ART
  • 17A. *Starting point, metaphorically : BLANK CANVAS
  • 26A. *Important part of a plane : BLACK BOX
  • 40A. *A swimsuit might leave one : TAN LINE
  • 51A. *Powerful object in “The Hobbit” : GOLD RING
  • 3D. *Ill-defined situations : GRAY AREAS
  • 36D. *Moscow landmark : RED SQUARE

Bill’s time: 8m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Baker’s dozen? : EGGS

Our word “dozen” is used for a group of twelve. We imported it into English from Old French. The modern French word for “twelve” is “douze”, and for “dozen” is “douzaine”.

15. Marie ___ (women’s magazine) : CLAIRE

“Marie Claire” is a women’s magazine that originated in France in 1937, and is now published all over the world.

16. “Gloria in excelsis ___” (carol chorus) : DEO

“Gloria in excelsis Deo” is a Latin hymn, the title of which translates as “Glory to God in the Highest”.

19. Equivalent of “Inc.” in the U.K. : LTD

In Britain and Ireland the most common type of business (my perception anyway) is one that has private shareholders whose liability is limited to the value of their investment. Such a company is known as a private limited company, and has the letters “Ltd” after the name. If the shares are publicly traded, then the company is a public limited company, and has the letters “plc” after the name.

20. 7’6″ N.B.A. star ___ Ming : YAO

Yao Ming is a retired professional basketball player from Shanghai who played for the Houston Rockets. At 7’6″, Yao was the tallest man playing in the NBA.

23. Michael of “Batman” and “Birdman” : KEATON

Michael Keaton is an actor from Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Keaton is perhaps best known for roles he played in Tim Burton films. Keaton had the title role in “Beetlejuice” in 1988, and the title role in “Batman” in 1989 and “Batman Returns” in 1992.

“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” is a 2014 film that was an incredible critical success. The title character was played by Michael Keaton. I know I am in the minority, but I really did not like “Birdman” …

26. *Important part of a plane : BLACK BOX

In the aviation industry, a black box is an audio or data recorder installed in an aircraft as an aid in the event that an accident investigation is necessary. The “black” box is actually bright orange, so that it is easier to find after an accident.

28. Longtime weatherman of morning TV : AL ROKER

Al Roker is best known as the weatherman on the “Today” show on NBC. He has successfully branched out from that platform though, and even co-wrote a novel called “The Morning Show Murders”, about a celebrity chef and TV host who get entangled in mystery. Topical stuff …

30. Eastern “way” : TAO

The name of the Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Taoism signifies the true nature of the world.

35. Fathers, as foals : SIRES

There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

  • Foal: horse of either sex that is less than one year old
  • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
  • Filly: female horse under the age of four
  • Colt: male horse under the age of four
  • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
  • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
  • Mare: female horse four years or older

39. Stars-and-stripes land : USA

Legend has it that Betsy Ross made the first American flag for General George Washington. However, this story only surfaced during the centennial celebrations of 1876, and although Betsy Ross was indeed one of several flag makers in Philadelphia in the days of George Washington, sadly there’s no definitive evidence that Ross provided that first Stars and Stripes.

42. Electronica producer Brian : ENO

Brian Eno started out his musical career with Roxy Music. However, Eno’s most oft-played composition (by far!) is Microsoft’s “startup jingle”, the 6-second sound you hear when the Windows operating system is booting up. Eno might have annoyed the Microsoft folks when he stated on a BBC radio show:

I wrote it on a Mac. I’ve never used a PC in my life; I don’t like them.

46. Dame ___ Everage : EDNA

Dame Edna Everage is the outrageous character created and played by Australian comedian Barry Humphries. I saw him/her perform live in a San Francisco theater, and what a great show it was …

51. *Powerful object in “The Hobbit” : GOLD RING

“The Hobbit, or There and Back Again” is a children’s fantasy novel by J. R. R. Tolkien that was popular from the time of its first publication in 1937. Included in the early awards for “The Hobbit” was a prize for best juvenile fiction from “The New York Herald Tribune”. Tolkien adapted his succeeding novel “The Lord of the Rings” to incorporate elements in “The Hobbit”, so that the two tales are very much related.

56. Baghdad residents : IRAQIS

According to the University of Baghdad, the name “Baghdad” dates way back, to the 18th-century BCE (yes, BCE!). The name can be translated into English from the language of ancient Babylon as “old garden” (bagh-) and “beloved” (-dad).

57. King Kong, for one : APE

When RKO released the 1933 movie “King Kong”, the promotional material listed the ape’s height as 50 feet. During filming, a bust was created for a 40-foot ape, as well as a full-size hand that went with a 70-foot Kong.

58. Old Palm smartphone : TREO

The Treo is a smartphone that was originally developed by a company called Handspring. Handspring was bought by Palm Inc. Subsequently, the Treo was phased out and replaced by the Palm Pre.

59. Critical hosp. wing : ICU

Intensive care unit (ICU)

60. Low-I.Q. : DIM

Although it is correct these days to say that the abbreviation IQ stands for “intelligence quotient”, the term was actually coined by German psychologist William Stern, and so is actually an abbreviation for the German “Intelligenz-Quotient”.

66. Musical Yoko : ONO

Yoko Ono was born in 1933 in Tokyo into a prosperous Japanese family, and is actually a descendant of one of the emperors of Japan. Yoko’s father moved around the world for work, and she lived the first few years of her life in San Francisco. The family returned to Japan, before moving on to New York, Hanoi and back to Japan just before WWII, in time to live through the great firebombing of Tokyo in 1945. Immediately after the war the family was far from prosperous. While Yoko’s father was being held in a prison camp in Vietnam, her mother had to resort to begging and bartering to feed her children. When her father was repatriated, life started to return to normal and Yoko was able to attend university. She was the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University.

68. Mythological figure who takes a bow : EROS

Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic”, meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Eros was referred to in Latin as both Amor (meaning “love”) and Cupid (meaning “desire”).

69. Noted number on Downing Street : TEN

10 Downing Street is one of the most famous street addresses in the world and is the official London residence of the British Prime Minister. Although it may not look it on television, it’s a spacious pad, actually a larger house made by combining three older houses back in the 1700s. Although Number 10 has over one hundred rooms, they are mostly offices and reception rooms and the actual residence itself is quite modest. It was so modest that when Tony Blair came to power he opted to move himself and his family into the more spacious residence next door at Number 11, an apartment traditionally reserved for the Chancellor of the Exchequer (the UK equivalent of the Secretary of the Treasury). The succeeding Prime Minister, David Cameron, seemed to like the idea, because he now lives in Number 11 as well.

71. Like the part of a pool with a diving board : DEEP

We hope …

Down

4. Long-term legislator : SENATOR

The US Senate comprises 100 senators, with each of the fifty states being represented by two popularly elected senators. US senators were appointed by their state legislators from 1798 until 1913, until the Seventh Amendment called for popular elections.

5. Abbr. in an email field : 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.

7. Cozy accommodations for a traveler, informally : B AND B

An intimate inn (in the US) is a bed & breakfast (B&B). A bed & breakfast back in Ireland is traditionally more basic accommodation, and used to be much cheaper than a comparable hotel room.

9. Where Noah’s Ark landed : ARARAT

Mount Ararat is in Turkey. Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or Ara the Handsome). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

11. Off-script remark : AD LIB

“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage, the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage, the concept of an ad lib is very familiar.

13. Ancient handwritten volume : CODEX

A codex is an old book, one in the format of a modern book as opposed to its predecessor, which was a scroll. The word “codex” comes from the Latin “caudex” meaning “trunk of a tree”.

18. Loony : KOOK

“Kooky” is a slang word meaning “out there, crazy”. The term has been around since the beatnik era, and it may be a shortened version of the word “cuckoo”.

23. Done for : KAPUT

“Kaput” is a familiar term meaning “incapacitated, destroyed”, and comes to us from French (via German). The original word “capot” means “not having won a single trick” in the French card game Piquet.

25. “99 Luftballons” singer : NENA

Nena is a German singer (“Nena” became the name of her band as well) who had a big hit with one of my favorite songs of the eighties “99 Luftballons”. The English translation of the German title (“99 Red Balloons”) isn’t literal, with the color “red” added just so that the title had the right number of syllables for the tune. “Luftballon” is the name given to a child’s toy balloon in German.

27. Pond carp : KOI

Koi are fish that are also known as Japanese carp. Koi have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored examples found in Japanese water gardens.

34. Best-selling detergent brand : TIDE

Tide is a laundry detergent that has been made by Procter & Gamble since 1946. Back then, Tide was marketed as “America’s Washday Favorite”.

36. *Moscow landmark : RED SQUARE

I made it to Russia only once in my life, and it was a memorable trip. I saw all the sites in and around Red Square in Moscow, but couldn’t get in to visit Lenin’s Tomb. It was closed for renovations …

37. Ho-hum feeling : ENNUI

“Ennui” is the French word for “boredom”, and a word that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported that we haven’t anglicized, and actually pronounce “correctly”.

41. Blue race in “Avatar” : NA’VI

In James Cameron’s epic “Avatar”, the “blue people” are the Na’vi, the indigenous species that lives on the lush moon called Pandora. The main Na’vi character featuring in the film is the female Neytiri. According to Cameron, Neytiri was inspired by the Raquel Welch character in the movie “Fantastic Voyage” and the comic book character Vampirella.

44. Small bit : TAD

Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

48. Boeing rival : AIRBUS

Airbus is an aircraft manufacturer based in Blagnac, France just outside Toulouse. Airbus produces about half of the world’s jetliners. The company built the first fly-by-wire aircraft (the A320) and also builds the world’s largest airliner (the A380).

The Boeing Company was founded in Seattle in 1916 by aviation pioneer William Boeing, with the enterprise’s first name being “Pacific Aero Products Co.” Boeing had worked in the timber industry and set up his aircraft company in the Pacific Northwest to take advantage of the local supply of spruce wood.

50. Rock’s Burdon or Clapton : ERIC

Eric Burdon is an English singer, and a founding member of the sixties rock band called the Animals. By 1969 Burdon was living in San Francisco and joined the Californian funk rock band called War.

Can you believe that the great Eric Clapton only had one chart-topper in the US? In 1974, Clapton released a cover version of the Bob Marley classic “I Shot the Sheriff” and ended up selling more copies of that song than Bob Marley did himself. Clapton is the only person to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times: once as a member of the Yardbirds, once as a member of the supergroup Cream, and once as a solo artist.

54. Digs made of twigs : NESTS

“Digs” is short for “diggings” meaning “lodgings”. Where “diggings” came from, no one seems to know.

62. Heroine of “The Force Awakens” : REY

Rey is a central character in the “Star Wars” universe. She first appeared in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Rey is played by British actress Daisy Ridley.

“Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens” is the seventh episode in the “Star Wars” series of films. Several favorite characters return in “Star Wars VII”, including Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and General Leia Organa (or “Princess Leia” in earlier films, played by Carrie Fisher).

63. YouTube revenue source : ADS

YouTube is a video-sharing website that was launched in 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Yep, $1.65 billion, less than two years after it was founded …

65. Seasoning amt. : TSP

Teaspoon (tsp.)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Baker’s dozen? : EGGS
5. Wild feline : BOBCAT
11. Path of the tip of a pendulum : ARC
14. Lacking vegetation : BARE
15. Marie ___ (women’s magazine) : CLAIRE
16. “Gloria in excelsis ___” (carol chorus) : DEO
17. *Starting point, metaphorically : BLANK CANVAS
19. Equivalent of “Inc.” in the U.K. : LTD
20. 7’6″ N.B.A. star ___ Ming : YAO
21. Gossip : DIRT
22. Outrage : IRE
23. Michael of “Batman” and “Birdman” : KEATON
26. *Important part of a plane : BLACK BOX
28. Longtime weatherman of morning TV : AL ROKER
30. Eastern “way” : TAO
31. Where a fishing boat ties up : PIER
32. Tidy : NEAT
35. Fathers, as foals : SIRES
39. Stars-and-stripes land : USA
40. *A swimsuit might leave one : TAN LINE
42. Electronica producer Brian : ENO
43. Sample : TASTE
45. Cry made while taking a bow : TADA!
46. Dame ___ Everage : EDNA
47. Good rating for a bond : AAA
49. Ties, as a score : EVENS UP
51. *Powerful object in “The Hobbit” : GOLD RING
56. Baghdad residents : IRAQIS
57. King Kong, for one : APE
58. Old Palm smartphone : TREO
59. Critical hosp. wing : ICU
60. Low-I.Q. : DIM
61. What may be created using the answers to the six starred clues? : ABSTRACT ART
66. Musical Yoko : ONO
67. Played on the green : PUTTED
68. Mythological figure who takes a bow : EROS
69. Noted number on Downing Street : TEN
70. Parts of college applications : ESSAYS
71. Like the part of a pool with a diving board : DEEP

Down

1. Recede gradually : EBB
2. With 51-Down, star of “Wonder Woman” : GAL …
3. *Ill-defined situations : GRAY AREAS
4. Long-term legislator : SENATOR
5. Abbr. in an email field : BCC
6. Portuguese greeting : OLA
7. Cozy accommodations for a traveler, informally : B AND B
8. Counterpart of criminal : CIVIL
9. Where Noah’s Ark landed : ARARAT
10. Precedent setter in court : TEST CASE
11. Off-script remark : AD LIB
12. Nostalgia-evoking, as fashion : RETRO
13. Ancient handwritten volume : CODEX
18. Loony : KOOK
23. Done for : KAPUT
24. Form of Elizabeth : ELISA
25. “99 Luftballons” singer : NENA
27. Pond carp : KOI
29. Landlord’s income : RENT
33. Doug Jones’s home: Abbr. : ALA
34. Best-selling detergent brand : TIDE
36. *Moscow landmark : RED SQUARE
37. Ho-hum feeling : ENNUI
38. Detergents, e.g. : SOAPS
40. Opening strip on a package : TEAR TAPE
41. Blue race in “Avatar” : NA’VI
44. Small bit : TAD
46. Passed, as laws : ENACTED
48. Boeing rival : AIRBUS
50. Rock’s Burdon or Clapton : ERIC
51. See 2-Down : … GADOT
52. Offer a thought : OPINE
53. Clunker of a car : LEMON
54. Digs made of twigs : NESTS
55. “___ go!” : GOTTA
62. Heroine of “The Force Awakens” : REY
63. YouTube revenue source : ADS
64. Fish spawn : ROE
65. Seasoning amt. : TSP

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