N.Y. Times Crossword – Monday, August 7, 2017

By: Kevin Christian
Theme: Film director’s words
Difficulty (0-10):  2
Time: 8:58

As with most Monday puzzles, this one was not very challenging. I was able to start with 9A – FJORD, 15A – AIR, 16A – LENTO, 17A – RETAG, 18A – IRE, and 19A – OTTER. With that many easy answers, the top half of the puzzle opened up pretty quickly. The bottom half wasn’t much more taxing.

There was a small attempt at a theme in today’s puzzle. The theme was tied to the answer for 53ASpeaker of the last words of 20-, 28- and 44-Across. The answer to the following led to the answer FILMDIRECTOR.

20AFeature of the big cityBRIGHTLIGHTS

28APractical joke show first aired in 1948  – CANDIDCSAMERA

44ASecret military operationCOVERTACTION

Candid Camera is an American hidden camera/practical joke reality television series created and produced by Allen Funt, which initially began on radio as The Candid Microphone on June 28, 1947. After a series of theatrical film shorts, also titled Candid Microphone, Funt’s concept came to television on August 10, 1948, and continued into the 1970s. Aside from occasional specials in the 1980s and 1990s, the show was off air until making a comeback on CBS in 1996, before moving to PAX in 2001. This incarnation of the weekly series ended on May 5, 2004, concurrent with the selling of the PAX network itself. Beginning on August 11, 2014, the show returned in a new series with hour-long episodes on TV Land. Wikipedia: Candid Camera

There were also a few maritime terms in the northeast corner of the puzzle where FLOTSAM and JETSAM intersected at the beginning of FJORD. You occasionally hear the term “flotsam and jetsam” but you may not be aware of the difference between flotsam and jetsam, or that a difference even exists. So, here’s my PSA:

In maritime law, flotsam and jetsam are specific kinds of shipwreck. A wreck is categorized as property belonging to no apparent owner, that either sinks to the seabed, or floats on the surface of the water, whether it be intentionally cast overboard, or as the result of an accident. Ownership of a wreck is a highly controversial issue, as there are no clear lines within which it is defined. It may be acquired through various means that range from succession to confiscation. The term “salvage” is used to indicate a salvage operation, as well as the subsequent awarded compensation. It is considered a voluntary service rendered in cases such as danger to the wreck, or the surrounding navigable waters. In terms of compensation, it is seen as being awarded to anyone who voluntarily assisted in the recuperation of the wreck, whether it be saved from upcoming danger, or from loss.

FLOTSAM: In terms of maritime law, the definition of flotsam pertains to goods that are floating on the surface of the water as the result of a wreck or an accident. As there is no clear way of defining ownership, one who discovers a flotsam is allowed to claim it, unless someone claims ownership to the items in question.

JETSAM: The term “jetsam” designates any cargo that is intentionally discarded from a ship or wreckage. Legally jetsam also floats, although floating is not part of the etymological meaning. Generally, “jettisoning” connotates the action of throwing goods overboard to lighten the load of the ship if it is in danger of being sunk. Wikipedia: Flotsam and Jetsam

And just for good measure:

Geirangerfjord, Norway

FJORD: Geologically, a fjord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by glacial erosion. There are many fjords on the coasts of Alaska, British Columbia, Chile, Greenland, Iceland, the Kerguelen Islands, New Zealand, Norway, Novaya Zemlya, Labrador, Nunavut, Newfoundland, Scotland, and Washington state. Norway’s coastline is estimated at 29,000 kilometers (18,000 mi) with 1,190 fjords, but only 2,500 kilometers (1,600 mi) when fjords are excluded. Wikipedia: Fjord


The Thing I Learned

MOTET: A short piece of sacred choral music typically polyphonic and unaccompanied.

This excerpt from J.S. Bach’s Baroque music era motet, entitled Der Geist (BWV226), shows how the singer is asked to sing many different notes on the same syllable of text, a compositional approach called a melisma.

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