0617-20 NY Times Crossword 17 Jun 20, Wednesday

Constructed by: Daniel Raymon
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Field of Dreams

Themed answers are each in the format X of Y. X is an object associated with DREAMS and sleeping, and Y is something found in a FIELD. At least, I think that’s it …

  • 53A 1989 Best Picture nominee … with a hint to 20-, 24-/27- and 32-/37-Across : FIELD OF DREAMS
  • 20A Winter whiteness : BLANKET OF SNOW
  • 24A With 27-Across, slippery hazard : SHEET …
  • 27A See 24-Across : … OF ICE
  • 32A With 37-Across, metaphor for comfort : BED …
  • 37A See 32-Across : … OF ROSES

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 7m 44s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 1975 thriller film with three sequels : JAWS

“Jaws” is a thrilling 1975 movie directed by Steven Spielberg that is based on a novel of the same name by Peter Benchley. The film has a powerful cast, led by Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw. “Jaws” was perhaps the first summer blockbuster and had the highest box office take in history up to that time, which was a record that stood until “Star Wars” was released two years later.

5 Word after Peace or press : … CORPS

The Peace Corps is an organization of American volunteers that is run by the US government. The Peace Corps was established by President Kennedy in 1961, and has a three-part mission:

  1. Providing technical assistance
  2. Helping people outside the US to understand American culture
  3. Helping Americans to understand the culture of other countries

10 “___ arigato, Mr. Roboto” : DOMO

“Mr. Roboto” is a song on the 1983 album “Kilroy Was Here” by the Chicago band Styx. The first lines of the song are:

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto,
Mata ah-oo hima de
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto,
Himitsu wo shiri tai

which translates as:

Thank you very much, Mr. Robot
Until the day (we) meet again
Thank you very much, Mr. Robot
I want to know your secret

15 Kind of acid : OLEIC

Oleic acid is a fatty acid, one found in many animal and plant sources, but most notably in olives. As such, “oleic” means “derived from the olive”. Oleic acid dissolves in basic solutions to create soaps.

16 Don Juan’s mother : INEZ

Lord Byron wrote the poem “Don Juan” based on the legend of Don Juan the libertine. For the poem, Byron created the character Donna Inez, Don Juan’s mother. Supposedly Inez was based on Byron’s own wife, Annabella Milbanke.

18 Muscat resident : OMANI

Muscat is the capital of Oman. The city lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.

23 Longtime music director of La Scala and the New York Philharmonic : TOSCANINI

Arturo Toscanini was an Italian conductor who took up the baton for the first time under sensational circumstances in 1886. He was attending a performance of “Aida” in Rio de Janeiro in the role of assistant chorus master, on a night when a substitute conductor was leading the orchestra. The substitute was in charge because the lead conductor had been forced to step down by striking performers who would not work with him. The disgruntled lead conductor led the audience in booing the unfortunate substitute, forcing him off the stage. Yet another substitute attempted to lead the performance, but he could not overcome the hostility of the crowd. The musicians themselves begged Toscanini to take up the baton, for the first time in his life, and simply because he knew the score by heart. After over an hour of mayhem, Toscanini led the company in a remarkable performance to marvelous acclaim. He had just launched his conducting career.

La Scala Opera House opened in 1778. It was built on the site of the church of Santa Maria della Scala, which gave the theater its Italian name “Teatro alla Scala”.

40 Navy noncom : CPO

A Chief Petty Officer (CPO) is a non-commissioned officer (NCO) in the Navy (USN) and Coast Guard (USCG). The “Petty” is derived from the French word “petit” meaning “small”.

45 Terse refusal : NO DICE

One suggestion for the origin of the phrase “no dice”, meaning “nothing doing, no way”, refers back to illegal gambling in the early 1900s. When approached by police, illegal gamblers would hide their dice (some even swallowed them). It was well known that city attorneys wouldn’t prosecute unless the police could produce the dice. Apparently there was an idiom at the time, “no dice, no conviction”.

53 1989 Best Picture nominee … with a hint to 20-, 24-/27- and 32-/37-Across : FIELD OF DREAMS

“Field of Dreams” is a fantasy drama about baseball, released in 1989 and starring Kevin Costner. The movie is an adaptation of a 1982 novel titled “Shoeless Joe” by Canadian author W. P. Kinsella. Shoeless Joe Jackson was a real baseball player, and someone associated with the Black Sox Scandal that allegedly affected the outcome of the 1919 World Series. Jackson was portrayed by Ray Liotta in the movie. “Field of Dreams” was also the last film in which Burt Lancaster made an appearance. The baseball stadium that was built for the movie can be visited in Dubuque County, Iowa.

58 Emmy- and Tony-winning Arthur : BEA

Actress Bea Arthur’s most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the “All in the Family” spin-off “Maude” and as Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls”. Arthur also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of “Mame” in 1966, two years after she played Yente the matchmaker in the original cast of “Fiddler on the Roof”.

62 Word often misused in place of “lie” : LAY

There is often confusion between the verbs “to lie” and “to lay”. The latter is a transitive verb, and so needs an object. So we can’t “lay down”, we must “lie down”. But, we can “lay out” a plan.

63 Big name in timekeeping : ROLEX

My most-prized possession is a beautiful stainless steel Rolex watch that my uncle bought while serving with the RAF in Canada during WWII. Rolex watches were made available to the Canadian servicemen at that time as they were shipping overseas. My uncle brought his Rolex home to Ireland after the war. He needed money one weekend and so sold the watch to my Dad, for five pounds. My Dad gave it to me just before he died, as he knew I loved the watch, and my brothers weren’t interested in it all. Not so long ago I had the watch appraised ($3,000), and my brothers suddenly took a liking to it! Still, it’s not something that will ever be sold, that’s for sure …

Down

1 Law school graduates, in brief : JDS

The law degree that is abbreviated to J.D. stands for “Juris Doctor” or “Doctor of Jurisprudence”.

2 Spirited horse : ARAB

The Arab (also “Arabian”) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.

3 Where stucco is stuck : WALL

Stucco is a decorative coating that is applied to walls and ceilings. “Stucco” is the Italian name for the material, and a word that we imported into English.

4 Common clothing item … or what you might become when wearing it : SWEATER

Until the early 1880s, the word “sweater” applied to clothing worn specifically for weight reduction by “sweating”.

6 Ancient Mexican : OLMEC

The Olmec were an ancient civilization that lived in the lowlands of south-central Mexico from about 1500 BC to about 400 BC.

7 Rodeo rope : REATA

A riata is a lariat or a lasso. “Riata” comes from “reata”, the Spanish word for lasso.

“Rodeo” is a Spanish word that is usually translated into English as “round up”.

8 Attach, as a boutonniere : PIN ON

A boutonnière is a flower worn by men in the lapel of a jacket, in the buttonhole. In fact, sometimes a boutonnière is referred to as a “buttonhole”, which is the translation of the French term.

9 Any movie with ETs : SCI-FI

Extraterrestrial (ET)

13 Abbr. in a birth announcement : OZS

Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”. An “uncia” was 1/12 of a Roman “libra” (pound).

22 Hoity-toity types : SNOBS

Back in the 1780s, a snob was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word “snob” was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

Believe it or not, the term “hoity-toity” has been in the English language since the 1660s, but back then it meant “riotous behavior”. It began to mean “haughty” in the late 1800s, simply because the “haughty” sounds similar to “hoity”.

24 Memorial ___ Kettering (N.Y.C. hospital) : SLOAN

The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City comprises the Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases, and Sloan Kettering Institute. The center was founded in 1884 as the New York Cancer Hospital by a group of philanthropists led by John Jacob Astor and his wife Charlotte. The Sloan-Kettering Institute is the research arm of the center. The institute was set up in 1945 with funds from the charitable foundation of Alfred P. Sloan. Jr. Charles F. Kettering was an executive at General Motors at the time, and he organized the application of industrial research techniques to the fight against cancer. Sloan and Kettering jointly announced the founding of the institute in the days following the dropping of the first atom bomb on Hiroshima. The pair pointed out that if a two billion dollar scientific effort could produce an atomic bomb, then surely a similar application of funds and scientific talent could make enormous strides in the fight against cancer.

25 Big body in Africa : HIPPO

The name “hippopotamus” comes from the Greek for “river horse”. Hippos are the third-largest land mammals, after elephants and rhinos. The closest living relatives to hippos don’t even live on land. They are the whales and porpoises of the oceans.

30 Some “Star Wars” merchandise : EWOKS

The Ewoks are creatures that live on the moon of Endor in the “Star Wars” universe. First appearing in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”, they’re the cute and cuddly little guys that look like teddy bears.

33 Section of geological history : EON

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

34 Brit. award : DSO

The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a British military award that is usually presented to officers with the rank of major or higher.

39 Expressionist James : ENSOR

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

42 Company that’s RAD on the New York Stock Exchange : RITE AID

What we know today as Rite Aid started out as one store in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1962. Rite Aid is now the biggest chain of drugstores on the East Coast of the United States and has operations all over the country.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) can give some quite descriptive ticker symbols to companies, for example:

  • Anheuser-Busch (BUD, for “Budweiser”)
  • Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP, as in “beer tap”)
  • Steinway Musical Instruments (LVB, for “Ludwig van Beethoven”)
  • Sotheby’s (BID, for the auction house)

44 Flips out : HAS A COW

The phrase “don’t have a cow” originated in the fifties, as a variation of the older “don’t have kittens”. The concept behind the phrase is that one shouldn’t get worked up, it’s not like one is giving birth to a cow.

46 Section of a string section : CELLOS

The word “cello” (plural “celli” or “cellos”) is an abbreviation for “violoncello”, an Italian word for “little violone”, referring to a group of stringed instruments that were popular up to the end of the 17th century. The name violoncello persisted for the instrument that we know today, although the abbreviation ‘cello was often used. Nowadays we just drop the apostrophe.

52 Launch times : D-DAYS

The most famous D-Day in history was June 6, 1944, the date of the Normandy landings in WWII. The term “D-Day” is used by the military to designate the day on which a combat operation is to be launched, especially when the actual date has yet to be determined. What D stands for seems to have been lost in the mists of time although the tradition is that D just stands for “Day”. In fact, the French have a similar term, “Jour J” (Day J), with a similar meaning. We also use H-Hour to denote the hour the attack is to commence.

54 Prefix with China : INDO-

In the strict sense of the term, “Indochina” is a region in Southeast Asia that corresponds to the former French territory known as French Indochina. Today this region is made up of the countries of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. However, the term “Indochina” is more generally used to describe Mainland Southeast Asia, and in this usage it also encompasses Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand.

55 Drug ___ : MULE

A drug mule is someone employed to smuggle illegal substances across a border.

60 Part of many an office phone no. : EXT

Extension (ext.)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 1975 thriller film with three sequels : JAWS
5 Word after Peace or press : … CORPS
10 “___ arigato, Mr. Roboto” : DOMO
14 Lure : DRAW
15 Kind of acid : OLEIC
16 Don Juan’s mother : INEZ
17 Going-out-of-business event : SALE
18 Muscat resident : OMANI
19 1960s band with a car-related name, with “the” : GTOS
20 Winter whiteness : BLANKET OF SNOW
23 Longtime music director of La Scala and the New York Philharmonic : TOSCANINI
24 With 27-Across, slippery hazard : SHEET …
27 See 24-Across : … OF ICE
31 Tellers of tales : LIARS
32 With 37-Across, metaphor for comfort : BED …
35 Already : BY NOW
36 Photo ___ : OPS
37 See 32-Across : … OF ROSES
40 Navy noncom : CPO
41 Impressionist : APER
43 Talked at length : RAN ON
44 Shell : HUSK
45 Terse refusal : NO DICE
47 Spooks : SCARES
49 Their crooning may cause swooning : TEEN IDOLS
53 1989 Best Picture nominee … with a hint to 20-, 24-/27- and 32-/37-Across : FIELD OF DREAMS
57 Like certain transportation pricing : ZONAL
58 Emmy- and Tony-winning Arthur : BEA
59 Sharp : ACUTE
61 Streaming component : AUDIO
62 Word often misused in place of “lie” : LAY
63 Big name in timekeeping : ROLEX
64 Moves along : PRODS
65 Trauma ctrs. : ERS
66 Brushed (away) : SWEPT

Down

1 Law school graduates, in brief : JDS
2 Spirited horse : ARAB
3 Where stucco is stuck : WALL
4 Common clothing item … or what you might become when wearing it : SWEATER
5 Does the dishes? : COOKS
6 Ancient Mexican : OLMEC
7 Rodeo rope : REATA
8 Attach, as a boutonniere : PIN ON
9 Any movie with ETs : SCI-FI
10 Give distinction to : DIGNIFY
11 Able to see right through : ONTO
12 Copy cats? : MEOW
13 Abbr. in a birth announcement : OZS
21 “That’s wrong!” : NOT SO!
22 Hoity-toity types : SNOBS
24 Memorial ___ Kettering (N.Y.C. hospital) : SLOAN
25 Big body in Africa : HIPPO
26 Alleviated : EASED
28 Sustain, as expenses : INCUR
29 Thicket : COPSE
30 Some “Star Wars” merchandise : EWOKS
32 Word after sports, training or push-up : … BRA
33 Section of geological history : EON
34 Brit. award : DSO
38 Made available, with “up” : FREED …
39 Expressionist James : ENSOR
42 Company that’s RAD on the New York Stock Exchange : RITE AID
44 Flips out : HAS A COW
46 Section of a string section : CELLOS
48 Brushes (away) : CLEARS
50 Righteous : NOBLE
51 “What concerns me is …” : I FEAR …
52 Launch times : D-DAYS
53 Only digit in the ZIP code for Newton Falls, Ohio : FOUR
54 Prefix with China : INDO-
55 Drug ___ : MULE
56 Part of a process : STEP
57 Sound of a lightning bolt : ZAP
60 Part of many an office phone no. : EXT

5 thoughts on “0617-20 NY Times Crossword 17 Jun 20, Wednesday”

  1. 13:32. Several minor mistakes before I got them corrected. AMINO instead of OLEIC; DSC vs DSO; ENS vs. CPO; ZONED vs. ZONAL; SHEEN vs. SHEET; TIMEX vs. ROLEX (A Timex I have owned – Rolex, not in my Field of Dreams). As I said – several mistakes that took a bit to correct.

  2. 11:33, no errors, but a lot of fumbling about. (Not the puzzle’s fault, I think … just me having a senior day … 😜.)

  3. 15:30. I can’t believe how long it took me to get FIELD OF DREAMS. It’s one of the few movies I’ve actually seen and liked. Most of the problem was putting FREEs instead of FREED; I couldn’t reconcile the “S” for obvious reasons. Eventually figured it out.

    According to Wordplay, Bill’s explanation of the theme is correct. It’s kind of a stretch at best IMO. There’s also some odd aspect of the them where TOSCONINI has a BLANKET on top of him, a SHEET below him and a BED below that. Sooo TOSCONINI is sleeping there and dreaming?

    Don’t shoot the messenger.

    Best –

  4. Ugh. 20:13. The top half went quickly. The bottom half, not so much. My mind was on other things. Everything seems to be going in slow motion for me lately.

  5. 22:23, bring up the rear as usual. I finished the puzzle around 1AM, but it wasn’t until this afternoon of gazing at the puzzle that I figured out how a baseball themed movie related to beds and bedding(I try to figure it out before reading Fearless Leader’s discussion). I make being the Village Idiot look easy…

    Shhhh, don’t wake Toscanini up! (Nice one, Jeff!)

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