0718-19 NY Times Crossword 18 Jul 19, Thursday

Constructed by: Matthew Sewell
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Abbreviated Titles?

Themed answers are titles of famous works that include a two-letter word that has been reinterpreted as an initialism:

  • 20A Bouncer who can always spot a fake? : THE WIZARD OF I.D.
  • 30A Backstory for TV’s Magnum? : LIFE OF P.I.
  • 35A Advice for how the pope can reach out online? : I.M. A BELIEVER
  • 42A Statement before “… and that’s Canada!”? : THIS IS U.S.
  • 53A Certain people prefer their computer specialists to be attractive? : SOME LIKE I.T.HOT

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 13m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Projecting arm of a crane : JIB

The lifting device known as a crane is so called because of its resemblance to the wading bird with the same name.

16 Sun deck? : TAROT

Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future. The list of tarot cards includes the Wheel of Fortune, the Hanged Man and the Lovers.

17 Pet-friendly org. : SPCA

Unlike most developed countries, the US has no umbrella organization with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

19 Hurdles for would-be G.P.s : MCATS

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

20 Bouncer who can always spot a fake? : THE WIZARD OF I.D.

Identity document (ID)

“The Wizard of Id” is one of my favorite comic strips. The strip was created by Brant Parker and Johnny Hart back in 1964. The storyline centers on a wizard in the medieval kingdom of Id. The king of Id refers to his subjects as “Idiots”.

24 Cinephile’s channel : TCM

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is one of my favorite television channels as it delivers just what its name promises, i.e. classic movies.

25 Fall of Troy escapee : AENEAS

Aeneas was a Trojan hero of myth who traveled to Italy and became the ancestor of all Romans. Aeneas’s story is told in Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid”.

30 Backstory for TV’s Magnum? : LIFE OF P.I.

“Magnum, P.I.” is a TV series that aired in the eighties starring Tom Selleck in the title role. The show was incredibly successful, especially during its first five years. Many big names made guest appearances including Vic Morrow, Orson Welles and Frank Sinatra.

The 2012 movie “Life of Pi” is based on a 2001 novel of the same name by Yann Martel. The “Pi” in the title is an Indian boy named Pi Patel who finds himself adrift for 227 days in a small boat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

32 Egyptian protector of tombs : ANUBIS

“Anubis” is the Greek name for the ancient Egyptian deity called “Inpu”, a god associated with death and mummification. Anubis’s role was to protect the dead and their tombs.

35 Advice for how the pope can reach out online? : I.M. A BELIEVER

Even though instant messaging (sending and receiving IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties. The “AOL Instant Message” service was known as AIM.

“I’m a Believer” was a big hit for the Monkees in 1966. The Monkees recording of “I’m a Believer” is a cover version. The song was written and originally recorded by Neil Diamond.

41 Churchill’s successor in 1945 : ATTLEE

Clement Attlee served as leader of Britain’s Labour Party and as Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition government during the war years under the leadership of Winston Churchill, a Conservative. Attlee swept into power right after WWII in a landslide victory over Churchill, and was responsible for major changes not only in Britain but around the waning British Empire. It was under Attlee that former British colonies like India, Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka and Jordan became independent. Also, the Palestine Mandate was terminated in 1948, while he was in office, with the state of Israel being declared the very next day.

42 Statement before “… and that’s Canada!”? : THIS IS U.S.

“This Is Us” is a television drama that debuted in 2016. The storyline centers on three siblings and their parents. Two of the siblings are the surviving members of a triplet pregnancy. The parents decide to adopt a child born on the same day as the surviving siblings. The adopting family is white, and the adopted child is black.

50 Hindu protector of the universe : VISHNU

Vishnu is one of the main deities in the Hindu tradition, and is one of the Trimurti (trinity) along with Brahma and Shiva. Vishnu is usually depicted as having four arms and pale blue skin.

51 Triage pro, for short : EMT

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on the battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “sorting”.

52 French 101 pronoun : TOI

In French, the pronouns “toi” and “vous” both mean “you”, with the former being used with family and friends, and children. “Vous” is more formal, and is also the plural form of “toi”.

53 Certain people prefer their computer specialists to be attractive? : SOME LIKE I.T. HOT

Information technology (IT)

“Some Like it Hot” is such a fun movie, It was released in 1959 and directed by Billy Wilder. The big three in the cast are Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. Several years ago a stage version of “Some Like It Hot” was playing in San Francisco, with Tony Curtis in the cast. This time he played the older man who was wooing the Jack Lemmon character in the movie.

57 Bean harvested by the Aztecs : CACAO

The flowers of the cacao tree grow in clusters, directly on the trunk and on older branches. The pollinated flowers turn into ovoid cacao pods, each of which contain 20-60 seeds or beans. The seeds are used as the main ingredient in chocolate.

59 Churchill’s successor in 1955 : EDEN

Sir Anthony Eden served as Britain’s Foreign Secretary during WWII, and then as Prime Minister from 1955-57. I think it’s fair to say that Eden doesn’t have a great reputation as a statesman. He was proud of his stance in favor of peace over war, so his critics characterized him as an appeaser. His major stumble on the world stage occurred with the Suez Crisis in 1956. Egypt’s President Nasser unilaterally nationalized the Suez Canal causing war to be declared on Egypt by Britain, France and Israel. Within a few months political pressure from the US and the USSR caused the allies to withdraw, bolstering Egypt’s national reputation. Eden never recovered from the loss of face at home, and it is felt that the stress even affected his health. Eden resigned in January 1957.

61 Kazakhstan range : URALS

The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia and Kazakhstan is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

The Republic of Kazakhstan in Central Asia is the world’s largest landlocked country. Kazakhstan was also the last of the former Soviet Republics (SSRs) to declare itself independent from Russia.

63 Cold, cold drink : ICEE

Slush Puppie and ICEE are brands of frozen, slushy drinks. Ostensibly competing brands, ICEE company now owns the Slush Puppie brand.

64 Surrealist Max : ERNST

Max Ernst was a painter and sculptor, and a pioneer in the Dada movement and Surrealism. Ernst was born near Cologne in Germany in 1891 and he was called up to fight in WWI, as were most young German men at that time. In his autobiography he writes “Max Ernst died the 1st of August, 1914”, which was a statement about his experiences in the war. In reality, Ernst died in 1976 having lived to the ripe old age of 85.

65 Part of GPS: Abbr. : SYS

Global positioning system (GPS)

66 “One From the Heart” actress, 1982 : GARR

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.

Down

1 Democratic politico Julián : CASTRO

When Julián Castro was elected to office as mayor of San Antonio, Texas he was 34 years old, making him the youngest ever mayor of the city. In 2012, Castro became the first ever Hispanic to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic National Convention.

4 Détente : THAW

“Détente” is a French word meaning “loosening, reduction in tension” and in general it is used to describe the easing of strained relations in a political situation. In particular, the policy of détente came to be associated with the improved relations between the US and the Soviet Union in the seventies.

9 Hollywood star whose birth name is Alfredo : PACINO

Al Pacino seems to be best known for playing characters on both sides of the law. Pacino’s big break in the movies came when he played Michael Corleone in “The Godfather”, a role that grew for him as the series of films progressed. But his Oscar-winning role was that of a blind ex-military officer in “Scent of a Woman”.

12 Post-regulation periods, for short : OTS

Overtime (OT)

15 Pitcher Dock Ellis claimed to have used this before throwing a no-hitter in 1970 : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

21 1986 music memoir : I, TINA

“I, Tina” is a 1986 autobiography by Tina Turner. The book was so successful it was adapted into a movie called “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” The film version was released in 1993 and starring Angela Bassett as Tina Turner.

22 Lummox : OAF

The word “lummox” comes from East Anglian slang , and describes an ungainly and often clueless person. The term is probably a contraction of “lumbering ox”.

26 Whats next? : -APP

WhatsApp is a popular messaging service used on smartphones that sends messages and other files from one mobile phone number to another. Launched in 2011, WhatsApp is incredibly popular, and indeed the most popular messaging service used today. Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014, paying over $19 billion.

29 Service site for many a vet : ‘NAM

By some definitions, the official involvement of Americans in the Vietnam War started in 1955. At that time, President Eisenhower deployed a Military Assistance Advisory Group to assist in the training of the South Vietnamese Army. American involvement in the conflict officially ended in 1973, with the signing of an agreement that came out of the Paris Peace Accords.

33 One looking for a match? : BEAU

A beau (plural “beaux”) is the boyfriend of a belle, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

35 Biometric reading : IRIS SCAN

An iris scan is a method of biometric identification. It depends on the fact that the complex patterns in the irises are unique to an individual. Not that an iris scan differs from a retinal scan. The latter uses technology that scans the unique pattern of blood vessels in an individual’s retina.

36 What B and C (but not A) may represent : ELEMENTS

Here is a list of all the single-letter element symbols:

  • B = boron
  • C = carbon
  • F = fluorine
  • H = hydrogen
  • I = Iodine
  • K = potassium
  • N = nitrogen
  • O = oxygen
  • P = phosphorus
  • S = sulfur
  • U = uranium
  • V = vanadium
  • W = tungsten
  • Y = yttrium

37 Starbucks size : VENTI

Starbucks introduced us to coffee drinks in a whole range of volumes:

  • Demi … 3 fl oz
  • Short … 8 fl oz
  • Tall … 12 fl oz
  • Grande … 16 fl oz (Italian for “large”)
  • Venti … 20 fl oz (Italian for “twenty”)
  • Trenta … 30 fl oz (Italian for “thirty”)

40 Yellowfin tuna : AHI

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

47 College town located, appropriately, near Ulysses, N.Y. : ITHACA

The city of Ithaca sits right at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake in New York State. Named for the Greek island, Ithaca is famous as home to Cornell University, which is located just south of the city.

48 Oklahoma athlete : SOONER

The 1889 Indian Appropriations Act officially opened up the so called Unassigned Lands, land in Oklahoma on which no Native American tribes had settled. Once the Act was signed, those lands became available for settlement. Those people that settled the same lands illegally, prior the date specified, they were termed “Sooners” as their situation was defined in the “sooner clause” of the Act. “Sooner State” is now a nickname for Oklahoma.

55 Shakespearean warning word : IDES

In Act I of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” a soothsayer warns the doomed emperor to “beware the ides of March”. Caesar ignores the prophecy and is subsequently killed on the steps of the Capitol by a group of conspirators on that fateful day.

58 Abbr. on a music score : ARR

“Arr.” is short for “arranged by”, when written on a musical score.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Gift from Jacob to Joseph, in the Bible : COAT
5 Projecting arm of a crane : JIB
8 Metropolitan address abbr. : APT NO
13 Prefix with conservative : ARCH-
14 ___ Tesfaye, real name of singer The Weeknd : ABEL
16 Sun deck? : TAROT
17 Pet-friendly org. : SPCA
18 They’re usually caught lying down : ZEES
19 Hurdles for would-be G.P.s : MCATS
20 Bouncer who can always spot a fake? : THE WIZARD OF I.D.
23 “Wicked cool!” : RAD!
24 Cinephile’s channel : TCM
25 Fall of Troy escapee : AENEAS
28 Low-scoring soccer win : ONE-NIL
30 Backstory for TV’s Magnum? : LIFE OF P.I.
32 Egyptian protector of tombs : ANUBIS
34 Go (for) : OPT
35 Advice for how the pope can reach out online? : I.M. A BELIEVER
39 Nick or ding : MAR
41 Churchill’s successor in 1945 : ATTLEE
42 Statement before “… and that’s Canada!”? : THIS IS U.S.
46 Recruit : ENLIST
50 Hindu protector of the universe : VISHNU
51 Triage pro, for short : EMT
52 French 101 pronoun : TOI
53 Certain people prefer their computer specialists to be attractive? : SOME LIKE I.T. HOT
57 Bean harvested by the Aztecs : CACAO
59 Churchill’s successor in 1955 : EDEN
60 Hankering : WANT
61 Kazakhstan range : URALS
62 It’s nice when it’s forgiven : DEBT
63 Cold, cold drink : ICEE
64 Surrealist Max : ERNST
65 Part of GPS: Abbr. : SYS
66 “One From the Heart” actress, 1982 : GARR

Down

1 Democratic politico Julián : CASTRO
2 Harry Potter, e.g. : ORPHAN
3 Consent (to) : ACCEDE
4 Détente : THAW
5 Where cats play? : JAZZ CLUB
6 Letter-shaped construction piece : I-BEAM
7 “Hold my ___” (words before a foolish act) : BEER
8 Money paid to get more money : ATM FEE
9 Hollywood star whose birth name is Alfredo : PACINO
10 Acquire midseason, as a sports team might : TRADE FOR
11 What “!” can mean in computer programming : NOT
12 Post-regulation periods, for short : OTS
15 Pitcher Dock Ellis claimed to have used this before throwing a no-hitter in 1970 : LSD
21 1986 music memoir : I, TINA
22 Lummox : OAF
26 Whats next? : -APP
27 Canine command : SIT
29 Service site for many a vet : ‘NAM
30 Light airs : LILTS
31 Doubter’s question : IS IT?
33 One looking for a match? : BEAU
35 Biometric reading : IRIS SCAN
36 What B and C (but not A) may represent : ELEMENTS
37 Starbucks size : VENTI
38 Long-bodied predator : EEL
39 Sister channel of VH1 : MTV
40 Yellowfin tuna : AHI
43 Nautical chart markings : SHOALS
44 Deepest, as feelings : INMOST
45 Refuse to settle : SUE
47 College town located, appropriately, near Ulysses, N.Y. : ITHACA
48 Oklahoma athlete : SOONER
49 Half-laugh : TITTER
51 Just make it : EKE BY
54 Showed the way : LED
55 Shakespearean warning word : IDES
56 Bit of kindling : TWIG
57 “That’s my ___!” : CUE
58 Abbr. on a music score : ARR

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