0118-21 NY Times Crossword 18 Jan 21, Monday

Constructed by: Jeff Stillman
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): City Where You Won’t Find …

Themed answers are American cities named for famous international cities referred to in the corresponding clues:

  • 17A City where you won’t find the Eiffel Tower : PARIS, TEXAS
  • 24A City where you won’t find the Parthenon : ATHENS, GEORGIA
  • 46A City where you won’t find Virgil’s Tomb : NAPLES, FLORIDA
  • 56A City where you won’t find the El Greco Museum : TOLEDO, OHIO

Bill’s time: 5m 39s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Thomas Edison’s middle name : ALVA

Thomas Alva Edison (TAE) was a very successful inventor. He held over a thousand US patents in his name. Included in the list of Edison’s inventions is the phonograph, the movie camera and the long-lasting light bulb. He passed away in 1931. There is a test tube at the Henry Ford Museum that supposedly holds Edison’s last breath. Ford convinced Thomas’s son Charles to seal up a tube of air in the room just after the inventor died, as a memento.

15 ___ Hari (W.W. I spy) : MATA

“Mata Hari” was the stage name used by Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, born in the Netherlands in 1876. After an unsuccessful and somewhat tragic marriage, Zella moved to Paris in 1903 where she struggled to make a living. By 1905 she was working as an exotic dancer and using the name Mata Hari. She was a successful courtesan, notably moving in various circles of high-ranking military officers. She apparently worked as a double agent, both for the French and the Germans. When Mata Hari was accused by the French of passing information to the enemy, she was tried, found guilty and executed by firing squad at the height of WW1, in 1917.

17 City where you won’t find the Eiffel Tower : PARIS, TEXAS

The city of Paris, Texas is in the northeast corner of the state. Residents like to call the city the “Second Largest Paris in the World”. Cute …

The “Exposition Universelle” (World’s Fair) of 1889 was held in Paris, France. The 1900 fair is remembered for the magnificent entrance arch that was constructed for visitors. That entrance arch was to remain standing for only nine years, but the city decided to keep it and you can visit it today. Today we call that entrance arch the Eiffel Tower. The tower is sometimes referred to in French “La Dame de Fer”, meaning “the Iron Lady”.

19 Cotton processors : GINS

The term “cotton gin” is a contraction of “cotton eng-ine”. The gin is a machine that mechanically separates cotton fibers from the cotton seed. The modern version of the cotton gin was invented by Eli Whitney in 1793.

21 Org. for which Jason Bourne works in “The Bourne Identity” : CIA

“The Bourne Identity” is a great spy novel written by Robert Ludlum, and first published in 1980. It has been ranked as the second best spy novel of all time, just behind the even more enjoyable “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold” by John le Carré. Ludlum wrote two sequels, and all three parts of the Bourne Trilogy have been made into very successful movies now, starring Matt Damon in the title role. Ludlum died before he could write more than three novels featuring Jason Bourne, but five more titles in the series have been published, each written by Eric Van Lustbader. I must check them out …

22 Author Charlotte, Emily or Anne : BRONTE

Charlotte Brontë was the eldest of the three Brontë sister authors. Charlotte’s most famous work is the novel “Jane Eyre”, which she published under the pen name Currer Bell. The pen name veiled her gender, but preserved the initials of her real name. After “Jane Eyre” was published, Brontë started to move in the same circles as other successful novelists of the day, including William Makepeace Thackeray and Elizabeth Gaskell. Just two years after Bronte died in her late thirties, it was Gaskell who published the first biography of Charlotte Brontë.

In terms of age, Emily Brontë was the middle of the three Brontë sisters, younger than Charlotte and older than Anne. Emily was a poet and a novelist, and is best remembered for her only novel, “Wuthering Heights”. Emily died very young, at 30 years old. She never recovered from a severe cold that she caught at the funeral service of Branwell Brontë, her only brother. The cold developed into tuberculosis, for which she eschewed medical attention. She passed away after three months of illness.

Anne was the youngest of the three sisters in the literary Brontë family. Her older sisters wrote novels that are more recognized, but Anne’s two novels do have a following. “Agnes Grey” is based on her own experiences working as a governess. Her other novel, “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” is written as a long letter from a young man describing the events leading up to his first meeting with his wife-to-be. Anne Brontë’s writing career was cut short in 1849, when she died of pulmonary tuberculosis, at only 29 years of age.

24 City where you won’t find the Parthenon : ATHENS, GEORGIA

The Georgia city of Athens lies about 70 miles northeast of Atlanta. Athens might be described as a college town, and is home to the main campus of the University of Georgia. The settlement of Cedar Shoals was chosen as a site for the new university in 1801. That same year, Cedar Shoals was renamed to Athens, after the Greek city that was home to the Platonic Academy of Plato and Aristotle.

The Parthenon is the ruined temple that sits on the Athenian Acropolis. Although the Parthenon was dedicated to the goddess Athena as a sacred building in the days of the Athenian Empire, it was actually used primarily as a treasury. In later centuries, the Parthenon was repurposed as a Christian Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and was also used as a mosque after Ottoman conquest.

28 1965 Alabama march site : SELMA

The Bloody Sunday march took place between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama on 7 March 1965. The 600 marchers involved were protesting the intimidation of African-Americans registering to vote. When the marchers reached Dallas County, Alabama they encountered a line of state troopers reinforced by white males who had been deputized that morning to help keep the peace. Violence broke out with 17 marchers ending up in hospital, one nearly dying. Because the disturbance was widely covered by television cameras, the civil rights movement picked up a lot of support that day. The route of the march is memorialized as a US National Historic Trail called the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights Trail.

30 Saintly “Mother” : TERESA

Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in the city that is now called Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia. At birth she was given the name Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (“Gonxha” means “little flower” in Albanian). She left home at the age of 18 and joined the Sisters of Loreto, and headed to Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham in Dublin, Ireland in order to learn English. Her goal was to teach in India, and English was the language used there for instruction by the nuns. After Mother Teresa passed away in 1997 she was beatified by Pope John Paul II. She was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016, and is now known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

31 Utopian : IDEAL

The word “Utopia” was coined by Sir Thomas More in his book “Utopia” published in 1516 to describe an idyllic fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. More’s use of the name Utopia comes from the Greek “ou” meaning “not” and “topos” meaning “place”. By calling his perfect island “Not Place”, More was apparently making the point that he didn’t think that the ideal could actually exist.

33 1950s White House nickname : IKE

When the future president was growing up, the Eisenhowers used the nickname “Ike” for all seven boys in the family, as “Ike” was seen as an abbreviation for the family name. “Big Ike” was Edgar, the second oldest boy. “Little/Young Ike” was Dwight, who was the third son born. Dwight had no sisters.

39 Insect flying in a cloud : GNAT

Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

40 CPR pro : EMT

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

41 Sound made by helicopter rotors : WHIR

Our term “helicopter” was absorbed from the French word “hélicoptère” that was coined by Gustave Ponton d’Amécourt in 1861. d’Amécourt envisioned aircraft that could fly vertically using rotating wings that “screwed” into the air. He combined the Greek terms “helix” meaning “spiral, whirl” and “pteron” meaning “wing” to give us “helicopter”.

43 Yasir of the P.L.O. : ARAFAT

Yasser (also “Yasir”) Arafat was born in Cairo in 1929, the son of two Palestinians and the second-youngest of seven children. Arafat was beaten by his father as a child and so did not have a good relationship with him. Arafat did not attend his father’s funeral, nor did he visit his grave. The beatings were apparently administered because the young Arafat was repeatedly attending religious services in the Jewish quarter of Cairo. Arafat’s explanation was that he wanted to “study the mentality” of the Jewish people.

46 City where you won’t find Virgil’s Tomb : NAPLES, FLORIDA

The Florida city of Naples in the south of the state on the Gulf Coast. The city was settled in the 1880s, at a time when the Florida peninsula was being compared with the Italian peninsula. Developers were touting the climate in the area as “surpassing the bay in Naples, Italy”. Apparently, that analogy struck home, and the new city was named “Naples”.

Naples (“Napoli” in Italian) is the third largest city in Italy. The name “Napoli” comes from the city’s Ancient Greek name, which translates as “New City”. That’s a bit of a paradox as today Naples is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world.

Publius Vergilius Maro (better known as “Virgil”) was a poet from ancient Rome. His best known works are:

  • The “Eclogues” (or “Bucolics”)
  • The “Georgics”
  • The “Aeneid”

50 Pal of Jerry on “Seinfeld” : ELAINE

The character Elaine Benes, unlike the other lead characters (Jerry, Kramer and George), did not appear in the pilot episode of “Seinfeld”. NBC executives specified the addition of a female lead when they picked up the show citing that the situation was too “male-centric”.

51 Driveway material : TAR

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call “tarmac”.

52 QB successes : TDS

In American football, one “goal” of a quarterback (QB) is to score touchdowns (TDs).

56 City where you won’t find the El Greco Museum : TOLEDO, OHIO

Toledo, Ohio lies in the northwest of the state, at the western end of Lake Erie. Toledo was founded as a result of the prosperity that hit the area when the Miami and Erie Canal was constructed in the 19th century connecting Cincinnati to the Great Lakes. Toledo is known as the Glass City as several glass companies originated there, including Owens Corning and Pilkington North America. There is a large exhibition of glass art at the Toledo Museum of Art.

El Greco (“the Greek”, in Spanish) was the nickname of the artist whose real name was Domenikos Theotokopoulos. El Greco was born in Crete in 1541, and moved to Venice to study art when he was in his early twenties. A few years later he moved to the city of Toledo in central Spain, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life.

Toledo is a city in central Spain that is located just over 40 miles south of the capital Madrid. Toledo is sometimes called the “City of Three Cultures”, due to the historical co-existence of Christian, Muslim and Jewish traditions.

62 Refrigerator compound : FREON

Freon is a DuPont trade name for a group of compounds used as a refrigerant and as a propellant in aerosols. Freon is used in the compressors of air conditioners as a vital component in the air-cooling mechanism. Freon used to contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which had a devastating effect on the Earth’s ozone layer. Use of CFCs is now banned, or at least severely restricted.

63 Cincinnati squad : REDS

The Red Scare (i.e. anti-communist sentiment) following WWII had such an effect on the populace that it even caused the Cincinnati baseball team to change its name from the Reds. The team was called the Cincinnati Redlegs from 1953-1958, as the management was fearful of losing money due to public distrust of any association with “Reds”.

Down

1 Owner of the first bed that Goldilocks tested : PAPA

The story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” was first recorded in 1837 in England, although the narrative was around before it was actually written down. The original fairy tale was rather gruesome, but successive versions became more family-oriented. The character that eventually became Goldilocks was originally an elderly woman, and the three “nameless” bears became Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear.

2 Tehran’s land : IRAN

Tehran is the capital of Iran and is the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of about 8.5 million. Iran has been around a really long time and Tehran is actually the country’s 31st national capital.

3 “Here comes Poindexter!” : NERD ALERT!

Poindexter is a character in the television show “Felix the Cat”, which originally aired in the late fifties. He is a nerdy type, wearing a lab coat and glasses with thick lenses. The character lends his name to the term “poindexter”, meaning just that, “nerd”.

8 Org. that runs Windy City trains : CTA

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)

It seems that the derivation of Chicago’s nickname “Windy City” isn’t as obvious as I would have thought. There are two viable theories. Firstly, that the weather can be breezy with wind blowing in off Lake Michigan. The effect of the wind is exaggerated by the grid-layout adopted by city planners after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The second theory is that “windy” means “being full of bluster”. Sportswriters from the rival city of Cincinnati were fond of calling Chicago supporters “windy” in the 1860s and 1870s, meaning that they were full of hot air in their claims that the Chicago White Stockings were superior to the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

10 Kind of goat that’s the source of mohair : ANGORA

The Angora goat produces the wool known as mohair. On the other hand, Angora wool comes from the Angora rabbit. Both rabbit and goat are named for Turkey’s capital Ankara, which was known as “Angora” in many European languages.

12 20-ounce size at Starbucks : 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”)

23 Valentine’s Day flower : ROSE

Saint Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saint’s day was dropped by the Roman Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …

25 I.R.S. agent, quaintly : T-MAN

A T-man is a law-enforcement agent of the US Treasury (“T” stands for “Treasury”).

29 Dutch cheese : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

35 Online market for craftspeople : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

38 Repeated bit in jazz : RIFF

A riff is a short rhythmic phrase in music, especially one improvised on a guitar.

39 Neuter, as a horse : GELD

To geld is to castrate a male animal. “Geld” comes from the Old Norse word “gelda” meaning “castrate”.

41 Small, brown bird : WREN

The wren is a small songbird belonging to the family troglodytidae and the genus troglodytes. Wrens are known for making dome-shaped nests.

43 1986 sci-fi sequel set in deep space : ALIENS

“Aliens” is a 1986 sequel to the very successful science-fiction movie “Alien” released in 1979. “Aliens” was filmed at Pinewood Studios in England, and at the decommissioned Acton Lane Power Station in London. The film was directed by James Cameron, and starred Sigourney Weaver reprising her role as Ellen Ripley from “Alien”.

44 Venerated symbols : TOTEMS

“Totem” is a word used to describe any entity that watches over a group of people. As such, totems are usually the subjects of worship. Totem poles are really misnamed, as they are not intended to represent figures to be worshiped, but rather are heraldic in nature often celebrating the legends or notable events in the history of a tribe.

53 Designer Christian : DIOR

Christian Dior was a French fashion designer. As WWII approached, Dior was called up by the French military, drawing a temporary halt to his career in fashion. He left the army in 1942 and for the duration of the war designed clothes for wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. After the war his designs became so popular that he helped to re-establish Paris as the fashion center of the world.

59 Bauxite, e.g. : ORE

Bauxite is an aluminum ore. It takes its name from the absolutely beautiful village of Les Baux in southern France, the home of the geologist who first recognized that the mineral was a useful source of the metal.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Get ready to hem, say : PIN UP
6 Hankering : ITCH
10 Thomas Edison’s middle name : ALVA
14 Boxing venue : ARENA
15 ___ Hari (W.W. I spy) : MATA
16 Russian “no” : NYET
17 City where you won’t find the Eiffel Tower : PARIS, TEXAS
19 Cotton processors : GINS
20 Not to mention … : AND …
21 Org. for which Jason Bourne works in “The Bourne Identity” : CIA
22 Author Charlotte, Emily or Anne : BRONTE
24 City where you won’t find the Parthenon : ATHENS, GEORGIA
28 1965 Alabama march site : SELMA
30 Saintly “Mother” : TERESA
31 Utopian : IDEAL
32 Plant on a trellis : VINE
33 1950s White House nickname : IKE
36 “Nuts!” : DARN!
37 Gets ready, as for surgery : PREPS
39 Insect flying in a cloud : GNAT
40 CPR pro : EMT
41 Sound made by helicopter rotors : WHIR
42 Rings, as a church bell : PEALS
43 Yasir of the P.L.O. : ARAFAT
45 What the back of a store might open onto : ALLEY
46 City where you won’t find Virgil’s Tomb : NAPLES, FLORIDA
50 Pal of Jerry on “Seinfeld” : ELAINE
51 Driveway material : TAR
52 QB successes : TDS
55 Excessive drinking or gambling : VICE
56 City where you won’t find the El Greco Museum : TOLEDO, OHIO
60 Neck and neck : EVEN
61 Cousin of “Kapow!” : WHAM!
62 Refrigerator compound : FREON
63 Cincinnati squad : REDS
64 “Well, that was stupid of me!” : OOPS!
65 Commuter boat : FERRY

Down

1 Owner of the first bed that Goldilocks tested : PAPA
2 Tehran’s land : IRAN
3 “Here comes Poindexter!” : NERD ALERT!
4 Prefix with lateral or cellular : UNI-
5 Easter-related : PASCHAL
6 “Let me rephrase that …” : I MEANT …
7 Receipt line just above the total : TAX
8 Org. that runs Windy City trains : CTA
9 Fading stars : HAS-BEENS
10 Kind of goat that’s the source of mohair : ANGORA
11 Not upstanding, in either sense of the word : LYING
12 20-ounce size at Starbucks : VENTI
13 Confounded : AT SEA
18 Bit of attire you might learn how to put on while using a mirror : TIE
23 Valentine’s Day flower : ROSE
25 I.R.S. agent, quaintly : T-MAN
26 More than a couple : SEVERAL
27 Part of a golf club : GRIP
28 Pro or con, in a debate : SIDE
29 Dutch cheese : EDAM
33 All riled up : IN A LATHER
34 Curly-leafed cabbage : KALE
35 Online market for craftspeople : ETSY
37 What follows the initial part of a master plan : PHASE TWO
38 Repeated bit in jazz : RIFF
39 Neuter, as a horse : GELD
41 Small, brown bird : WREN
42 Join in couples : PAIR OFF
43 1986 sci-fi sequel set in deep space : ALIENS
44 Venerated symbols : TOTEMS
46 “Not a chance!” : NEVER
47 Still surviving : ALIVE
48 Walked nervously back and forth : PACED
49 Far out : RAD
53 Designer Christian : DIOR
54 ___ Pictures, one of Hollywood’s Big Five studios : SONY
57 Cry of surprise : OHO!
58 Drink like a cat : LAP
59 Bauxite, e.g. : ORE

8 thoughts on “0118-21 NY Times Crossword 18 Jan 21, Monday”

  1. 6:29 A couple early miscues – URGE vs ITCH and MAMA vs PAPA. Didn’t really pay attention to the theme until towards the end – when MAMA became PAPA.

  2. 6:33. Liked the theme, and there are tons of examples of that everywhere. London, Ontario and London, TX for one…or two. I grew up in St Louis and there was a Versailles, MO, Lebanon, MO and a Cuba, MO (ok – those are countries) not far from St Louis. I’m sure there are others in just about all states.

    Best –

  3. 9:35, no errors. Typesetting error in my paper produced the clue
    “42A Rings as a church onto”; with no clues for 43A or 45A.

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