N.Y. Times Crossword – Friday, August 11, 2017

By: Hal Moore
Theme: None
Difficulty (0-10):  2
Time: 15:41

This is a continuation of the week’s theme of relatively easy puzzles. To me, a good sign that I will flow through the puzzle is getting both 1A and 1D quickly. It always provides a good start for me.

In this case, 1A and 1D shared a mini-theme of African American trivia/culture:

I started with 1DNeighborhood in TV’s “Sanford and Son”WATTS

Watts is a 2.12-square-mile neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, within the South Los Angeles region. It is a high-density, youthful neighborhood with a large household size and with the highest percentage of families headed by single parents in the city.

The district was once a separate city but was consolidated with Los Angeles in 1926. As a major junction of railroad lines, Watts attracted many railroad workers as residents. The Watts railroad station is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Watts is noted for the Watts Towers and for the 1965 Watts riots. Residents engage in civic activities such as cycling, a toy drive, the Watts Christmas parade and an athletic tournament. There is a local theatre and a dance company. The neighborhood was also known for its number of youth gangs, which has decreased over the years. There is one library branch, and there are four high schools. Watts has also been known as a site for motion picture filming. (Wikipedia)

Did you know that Sanford and Son was based on a BBC comedy named Steptoe and Son and that the theme song for Sanford and Son was composed by Quincy Jones?

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WqazleR3FE” align=”center” maxwidth=”500″ /]

Anyway, this led me to 1ARap group whose name comes from a martial arts film. The only rap group that I can think of whose name starts with a W and has a remotely Asian (assuming the martial arts film is Asian) name is the WUTANGCLAN.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0IUR4gkPIE” align=”center” maxwidth=”500″ /]

After that, the puzzle kind of filled itself in. One exception was 56A – Singer of the 1965 hit “Lemon Tree”. I had heard the name TRINILOPEZ, but never knew what he sang.

Trinidad “Trini” López III (born May 15, 1937) is an American singer, guitarist, and actor. His first album included a version of “If I Had a Hammer“, which earned him a Golden Disc. Other hits included “Lemon Tree“, “I’m Comin’ Home, Cindy” and “Sally Was a Good Old Girl”. He designed two guitars for the Gibson Guitar Corporation, which are now collectors’ items.


The Thing I Learned

King Kong was based in part on a real dinosaur, the iguanodon.

Iguanodon (/ˈɡwɑːnədɒn/ i-GWAH-nə-don; meaning “iguanatooth“) is a genus of ornithopod dinosaur that existed roughly halfway between the first of the swift bipedalhypsilophodontids of the mid-Jurassic and the duck-billed dinosaurs of the late Cretaceous. While many species have been classified in the genus Iguanodon, dating from the late Jurassic Period to the early Cretaceous Period of Asia, Europe, and North America, research in the first decade of the 21st century suggests that there is only one well-substantiated species: I. bernissartensis, which lived from the late Barremian to the earliest Aptian ages (Early Cretaceous) in BelgiumSpain, and possibly elsewhere in Europe, between about 126 and 125 million years ago. Iguanodon were large, bulky herbivores. Distinctive features include large thumb spikes, which were possibly used for defense against predators, combined with long prehensile fifth fingers able to forage for food. (Wikipedia)

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