0625-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Jun 17, Sunday

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CROSSWORD CONSTRUCTOR: Jacob Stulberg
THEME: Cropped
Each of today’s themed answers contains some VEGETABLE SHORTENING. Included in said answer is the name of a VEGETABLE, but that name is crammed into half the usual number of squares in the grid by allocating two letters per square:

107A. Canful in a cupboard … or a hint to parts of six answers in this puzzle : VEGETABLE SHORTENING

27A. Tree-damaging pest accidentally introduced to the U.S. in 1996 : ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE (hiding “BEET”)
44A. Southwest tourist destination : FOUR CORNERS (hiding “CORN”)
48A. Having a variegated, changing pattern : KALEIDOSCOPIC (hiding “KALE”)
68A. Constitution holder : NATIONAL ARCHIVES (hiding “CHIVES”)
90A. MCAT subject : SYMPTOMATOLOGY (hiding “TOMATO”)
93A. “Seinfeld” character : COSMO KRAMER (hiding “OKRA”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 23m 25s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Flaky stuff : MICA
Mica is a mineral, a sheet silicate. Thin sheets of mica are transparent and are used in place of glass in certain applications. This form of mica is called isinglass, and as it has a better thermal performance than glass it is a great choice for “peepholes’ in boilers and lanterns. Mica is also used in the electronics industry, making use of its unique electrical and thermal insulating properties.

10. Deal watcher, informally : NARC
“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

19. ___ bear : POLAR
Polar bears are close cousins of brown bears, and are thought to have evolved from a population of brown bears that became isolated during a period of glaciation. Most polar bears live north of the Arctic Circle, and live mainly on seals that they capture near to the edge of ice floes.

20. “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself” sloganeer, briefly : ACLU
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War when it was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors. The ACLU’s motto is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself”. The ACLU also hosts a blog on the ACLU.org website called “Speak Freely”.

25. Southern bread : PONE
“Pone” is another word for corn bread, from the Powhatan word “apan” meaning “something baked”.

31. Ache : YEN
The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium!

32. One likely to have lots of perks : CEO
Chief executive officer (CEO)

34. “Casablanca” woman : ILSA
Ilsa Lund was played by Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie “Casablanca”. I love the words of one critic describing the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman in this film: “She paints his face with her eyes”. Wow …

40. The “doll” in Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” : NORA
“A Doll’s House” is probably the most famous play by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. The play deals with the feminist awakening of the lead character, Nora Helmer. “A Doll’s House” is sometimes referred to as the “first true feminist play”.

44. Southwest tourist destination : FOUR CORNERS
The Four Corners region of the US surrounds the meeting point of the four states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The Four Corners is the only point in the US that is shared by four states.

51. Tech company founder Michael : DELL
Dell, the computer manufacturer, is named after the company’s founder Michael Dell. Michael Dell started his company in his dorm room at college, shipping personal computers that were customized to the specific needs of his customers. He dropped out of school in order to focus on his growing business, a decision that I doubt he regrets. Michael Dell is now one of the richest people in the world.

54. Matey’s cry : AVAST!
“Avast” is a nautical term used to tell someone to stop or desist from what they are doing. The word comes from the Dutch “hou vast” meaning “hold fast”.

57. Residence of the Japanese imperial family for more than 1,000 years : KYOTO
The city of Kyoto was once the capital of Japan, and in fact the name “Kyoto” means “capital city” in Japanese. Kyoto is sometimes referred to as the City of Ten Thousand Shrines.

59. Baseball no-nos : BALKS
To balk is to stop and refuse to go on. It’s not just a baseball term!

60. Life is a bad one : TERM
… if it’s a prison term.

80. Singer Rimes : LEANN
LeAnn Rimes has been a country music star since she was 13 years old. In 2008 she disclosed publicly that she suffered from the autoimmune disease psoriasis. She has been active since then in raising money to fight the disease and helping fund cancer research as well. So, not only did Rimes win three Grammy Awards in 1997, she also won a 2009 Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Country Music.

84. Swiss river to the Rhine : AARE
The Aar (also called the “Aare” in German) is the longest river entirely in Switzerland. The Aar is a major tributary of the Rhine, and flows through Bern, the nation’s capital.

90. MCAT subject : SYMPTOMATOLOGY
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

93. “Seinfeld” character : COSMO KRAMER
Cosmo Kramer is the outrageous character played by Michael Richards on “Seinfeld”. “Seinfeld” co-creator, Larry David, introduced Kramer into the story, basing the character on real-life comedian Kenny Kramer who used to live across the hall from him.

95. Don : CAPO
More properly called a “caporegime”, a “capo” is high-ranking member of the Mafia (Cosa Nostra).

99. Church area : NAVE
In large Christian churches, the nave is the main approach to the altar, and is where most of the congregation are seated.

103. Kitty : POT
The pot in a card game has been referred to as the kitty since the 1880s. It’s not certain how the name “kitty” evolved but possibly it came from “kit”, the necessary equipment for the game.

104. Gatekeeping org.? : TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks that check passengers and baggage at airports.

107. Canful in a cupboard … or a hint to parts of six answers in this puzzle : VEGETABLE SHORTENING
The Crisco brand of shortening was the first shortening to be made entirely from vegetable oil. Although that sounds like a good thing, it’s actually made by hydrogenating vegetable oil so that it has physical properties similar to the animal shortening it was designed to replace. This hydrogenation turns good fats into bad fats, so medical professionals suggest limited intake.

114. Three-time N.H.L. All-Star Kovalchuk : ILYA
Ilya Kovalchuk is a Russian-born hockey player with the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League.

115. Rice-based drink : SAKE
We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as “sake”. We’ve gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. “Sake” is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as rice wine. Also, the starch in the rice is first converted to sugars that are then fermented into alcohol. This is more akin to a beer-brewing process than wine production, so the end product is really a rice “beer” rather than a rice “wine”.

116. Actor Quinn : AIDAN
Aidan Quinn is an Irish-American actor. Quinn was born in Chicago but spent some years growing up in Ireland. Mainly known as a movie actor, Quinn is currently playing the role of Captain Tommy Gregson on the excellent TV series “Elementary” that is centered on a modern-day Sherlock Holmes.

117. Big name in organized crime, once : GOTTI
John Gotti was the boss of the Gambino crime family from 1985. Gotti was known as the “Teflon Don” and took over leadership of the family from Paul Castellano when he was gunned down, allegedly on Gotti’s orders. Gotti remained head of the New York family until he was sentenced to life in prison in 1992. Gotti died of throat cancer after ten years behind bars.

119. “You said it!” : AMEN!
The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

122. Latin 101 verb : ESSE
“Esse” is the Latin for “to be”. “Sum” means “I am” and “erat” means “he, she was”.

Down
4. Lion in “The Lion King” : NALA
In “The Lion King”, Nala is a lioness and the childhood friend of Simba. By the end of the story, Nala and Simba become wedded. “The Lion King” is inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, with Simba representing the title character, and Nala representing Hamlet’s love interest Ophelia.

5. Spy’s attire, stereotypically : TRENCH COAT
The trench coat was developed primarily for the use of the military. It is a waterproof coat that extends to just below the knee, and generally has a removable lining. In the world of Hollywood we often encounter the trench coat. One is worn by Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca”, and by Peter Sellers in the “Pink Panther” movies.

6. Like Robinson Crusoe : MAROONED
When Daniel Defoe wrote his marvelous 1719 novel called “Robinson Crusoe”, he was likely thinking of real-life Scottish castaway, Alexander Selkirk. Selkirk was marooned and lived alone on the Pacific Island called “Mas a Tierra” off the coast of Chile, for four years. The island was officially renamed in 1966, and is now called Robinson Crusoe Island.

8. Hard shoes to run in : CLOGS
Clogs are shoes made from wood, at least in part. The clog originated as a protective item of footwear for use by farm, factory and mine workers.

11. Shakespeare’s stream : AVON
There are actually four rivers called the Avon in England, but “Shakespeare’s Avon” lies mainly in Warwickshire. The name “Avon” comes from the Old English word for a river, “abona”. Stratford-upon-Avon was the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

12. Former Haitian president Préval : RENE
René Préval is a politician who served as President of Haiti from 1996 to 2001, and again from 2006 to 2011.

16. Feverish fit : AGUE
An ague is a fever, one usually associated with malaria.

18. Animal on Michigan’s flag : ELK
The Michigan state flag features the state’s coat-of-arms on a blue background. The coat-of-arms comprises a shield supported by an elk on one side and a moose on the other.

29. Where Sanyo and Panasonic are headquartered : OSAKA
The Japanese city of Osaka used to be called Naniwa, with the name changing to Osaka sometime before 1500. “Osaka” can be translated either as “large hill” or “large slope”. Osaka is sometimes referred to as “the Chicago of Japan” as it is a major center of commerce and industry. The city has also been named the “nation’s kitchen”, and was a center for Japan’s rice trade for centuries.

36. Many a character on “The Big Bang Theory” : TREKKIE
Fans of “Star Trek” refer to themselves as “trekkies”.

“The Big Bang Theory” is very clever sitcom aired by CBS since 2007. “The Big Bang Theory” theme song was specially commissioned for the show, and was composed and is sung by Canadian band Barenaked Ladies. The theme song was released in 2007 as a single and is featured on a Barenaked Ladies greatest hits album.

41. Birthstone after sapphire : OPAL
Here is the “official” list of birthstones by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

42. Game played on a map : RISK
Risk is a fabulous board game, one first sold in France in 1957. Risk was invented by a very successful French director of short films called Albert Lamorisse. Lamorisse called his new game “La Conquête du Monde”, which translates into English as “The Conquest of the World”. A game of Risk is a must during the holidays in our house …

44. Observes Ramadan : FASTS
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is traditionally a period of fasting. The faithful that observe Ramadan refrain from eating, drinking and sexual relations from dawn to dusk everyday, a lesson in patience, humility and spirituality.

52. Minnesota’s state bird : LOON
The great northern loon is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the Loonie”.

56. Tennis great Tommy : HAAS
Tommy Haas is German-American tennis player. He grew up in Hamburg and, like many promising tennis players, moved to Florida to develop his tennis skills. Haas made that move at the age of 13.

63. ___ acid (wine component) : TANNIC
Tannic acid is a specific type of tannin.

Some red wines and teas can have an astringent taste, a dry and puckering feeling, because of the presence of tannins. Tannins occur naturally in plants, probably as a defensive measure against predators who shy away from the astringent. The word “tannin” comes from an Old German word for oak or fir tree, as in “Tannenbaum”.

65. German digit : ACHT
“Acht” is German for “eight”.

69. Fertile soil : LOAM
Loam is soil made up of sand, silt and clay in the ratio of about 40-40-20. Relative to other soil types, loam is is usually rich in nutrients and moisture, drains well and is easy to till.

70. ___ Games : PAN AM
The Pan American (Pan Am) Games are held every four years, the year just before the Summer Olympic Games. The participating athletes all come from the Americas.

71. Island south of the Cyclades : CRETE
Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands. Crete figures heavily in Greek mythology. Zeus was born in a cave at Mount Ida, the highest peak on the island. Crete was also home to the Labyrinth where the Minotaur was slain by Theseus. Icarus and Daedalus, after having crafted the Labyrinth, escaped from the island using wings that they crafted.

The Cyclades are a group of islands in the Aegean Sea lying southeast of the Greek mainland. There are about 200 islands in the group, almost all of which are the peaks of a submerged mountain range. Ios is one of the larger islands, 11 miles long and 6 miles wide.

72. Commemorative meal with wine : SEDER
The Passover Seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover holiday, celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. One of the traditions at the meal is that the youngest child at the table asks “The Four Questions”, all relating to why this night is different from all other nights in the year:

  • Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzoh, but on this night we eat only matzoh?
  • Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs?
  • Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip them twice?
  • Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in a reclining position?

75. Round up : CORRAL
“Corral” is the Spanish word for an enclosure for livestock, and is a word we’ve imported into English. Ultimately, the term comes from the Vulgar Latin “currale” meaning “enclosure for carts”, itself coming from “currus”, the Latin for “cart”.

76. Frisbee, e.g. : DISC
The Frisbee concept started back in 1938 with a couple who had an upturned cake pan that they were tossing between each other on Santa Monica Beach in California. They were offered 25 cents for the pan on the spot, and as pans could be bought for 5 cents, the pair figured there was a living to be earned.

77. Singer heard in the first “Lord of the Rings” movie : ENYA
Enya co-wrote and performed a song titled “Aníron” for “The Lord of the Rings” series of films. The song’s lyrics are written in the Elvish language of Sindarin, a fictional language that was created by author J.R.R. Tolkien.

79. Bush and Gore, in 2000 : OPPONENTS
George W. Bush won the 2000 US presidential election over Al Gore despite losing the popular vote. The result of the electoral college effectively came down to disputed votes cast in Florida. The US Supreme Court decided that these votes were to be awarded to Bush. President Bush wasn’t the first candidate to take the office without winning the popular vote. Three earlier presidents came to office in the same way: John Quincy Adams (1824), Rutherford B. Hayes (1876) and Benjamin Harrison (1888). Donald Trump repeated the feat in the 2016 election.

91. Violet shade : MAUVE
The name given to the light violet color that we know as “mauve” comes via French from the Latin “malva”. The Latin term translates as “mallow”, the common name of several species of plants, many of which have mauve-colored flowers.

92. Join together : YOKE
A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of oxen so that they are forced to work together.

94. Like some points : MOOT
“To moot” is to bring up as a subject for discussion or debate. So, something that is moot is open to debate. Something that is no longer moot, is no longer worth debating. We don’t seem to be able get that right …

97. Leaf producer : NISSAN
The Leaf is an electric car made by Nissan that was introduced in 2010. The model name is an acronym standing for “leading environmentally-friendly affordable car”.

100. Texas A&M athlete : AGGIE
Texas A&M is the seventh largest university in the country, and was the first public higher education institute in the state when it accepted its first students in 1876. The full name of the school was the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas and its primary mission used to be the education of males in the techniques of farming and military warfare. That’s quite a combination! Because of the agricultural connection, the college’s sports teams use the moniker “Aggies”. Texas A&M is also home to the George Bush Presidential Library.

102. Former SeaWorld performer : SHAMU
Shamu was the name of the third orca (aka “killer whale”) ever to be featured in a public exhibition. Shamu starred in a popular SeaWorld show in San Diego in the sixties. After she died in 1971, her name lived on as the name “Shamu” is still used by SeaWorld for its killer whale shows. That original Shamu was retired after she grabbed and refused to let go of the leg of one of her trainers.

106. Dancer de Mille : AGNES
Agnes de Mille was a dancer and choreographer from New York City. She was the niece of famous director Cecil B. DeMille, and the daughter of William C. deMille who was also a Hollywood director. Agnes turned to dance after she was told that she was “not pretty enough” to pursue her first love, which was acting …

107. November imperative : VOTE
Election Day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Weary : SPENT
6. Flaky stuff : MICA
10. Deal watcher, informally : NARC
14. Like most grapes : OVATE
19. ___ bear : POLAR
20. “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself” sloganeer, briefly : ACLU
21. Finished : OVER
22. British politician Farage : NIGEL
23. Rummage (through) : RIFLE
24. Rummage (through) : ROOT
25. Southern bread : PONE
26. Crept furtively : SLUNK
27. Tree-damaging pest accidentally introduced to the U.S. in 1996 : ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE
31. Ache : YEN
32. One likely to have lots of perks : CEO
33. Neither good nor bad : SO-SO
34. “Casablanca” woman : ILSA
35. “Olé! Olé! Olé!,” for one : CHANT
37. Eddie with the #1 country hit “Every Which Way but Loose” : RABBITT
40. The “doll” in Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” : NORA
44. Southwest tourist destination : FOUR CORNERS
48. Having a variegated, changing pattern : KALEIDOSCOPIC
50. Lost : AT SEA
51. Tech company founder Michael : DELL
53. Tie up : MOOR
54. Matey’s cry : AVAST
55. Sword go-with : SHEATH
57. Residence of the Japanese imperial family for more than 1,000 years : KYOTO
59. Baseball no-nos : BALKS
60. Life is a bad one : TERM
61. Request : ASK FOR
63. Outdoor game for the very young : T-BALL
67. Yearbook sect. : SRS
68. Constitution holder : NATIONAL ARCHIVES
70. Some notebooks, in brief : PCS
73. Second-largest city in Vermont : ESSEX
74. Give : DONATE
75. Give a damn : CARE
76. Rehab procedure : DETOX
80. Singer Rimes : LEANN
81. High : STONED
83. Ham-handed : INEPT
84. Swiss river to the Rhine : AARE
87. Skirt option : MIDI
89. Hold forth : ORATE
90. MCAT subject : SYMPTOMATOLOGY
93. “Seinfeld” character : COSMO KRAMER
95. Don : CAPO
96. Salve : UNCTION
98. Dieter’s salad order request : NO OIL
99. Church area : NAVE
101. Pair on a slope : SKIS
103. Kitty : POT
104. Gatekeeping org.? : TSA
107. Canful in a cupboard … or a hint to parts of six answers in this puzzle : VEGETABLE SHORTENING
112. ___ friends : AMONG
114. Three-time N.H.L. All-Star Kovalchuk : ILYA
115. Rice-based drink : SAKE
116. Actor Quinn : AIDAN
117. Big name in organized crime, once : GOTTI
118. Come together : MEET
119. “You said it!” : AMEN!
120. Alarm : SCARE
121. Like those who really have guts? : OBESE
122. Latin 101 verb : ESSE
123. Titian’s “Venus of Urbino,” e.g. : NUDE
124. Cheerleaders’ practice : YELLS

Down
1. Sunscreen option : SPRAY
2. Good quality in a model : POISE
3. Puckish : ELFIN
4. Lion in “The Lion King” : NALA
5. Spy’s attire, stereotypically : TRENCH COAT
6. Like Robinson Crusoe : MAROONED
7. Desktop sight : ICON
8. Hard shoes to run in : CLOGS
9. Often-doubled cry at a play : AUTHOR
10. “Sure thing!,” jocularly : NO PROBLEMO!
11. Shakespeare’s stream : AVON
12. Former Haitian president Préval : RENE
13. Loan shark, for one : CREDITOR
14. Starts : ONSETS
15. The Wildcats of the Big East Conference : VILLANOVA
16. Feverish fit : AGUE
17. Base ___ : TEN
18. Animal on Michigan’s flag : ELK
28. Be apprised (of) : LEARN
29. Where Sanyo and Panasonic are headquartered : OSAKA
30. Slugs : BELTS
35. Beat handily : CREAM
36. Many a character on “The Big Bang Theory” : TREKKIE
38. Science class, informally : BIO
39. Personal commitment? : I DO
41. Birthstone after sapphire : OPAL
42. Game played on a map : RISK
43. Does something : ACTS
44. Observes Ramadan : FASTS
45. Else : OTHER
46. Manual’s audience : USERS
47. Cunning sort : SLY FOX
49. Lift things? : CABLES
52. Minnesota’s state bird : LOON
56. Tennis great Tommy : HAAS
58. Bricklaying or pipefitting : TRADE
62. GPS display: Abbr. : STS
63. ___ acid (wine component) : TANNIC
64. Brenda’s twin on “Beverly Hills 90210” : BRANDON
65. German digit : ACHT
66. Video game count : LIVES
68. Adjoining : NEXT TO
69. Fertile soil : LOAM
70. ___ Games : PAN AM
71. Island south of the Cyclades : CRETE
72. Commemorative meal with wine : SEDER
75. Round up : CORRAL
76. Frisbee, e.g. : DISC
77. Singer heard in the first “Lord of the Rings” movie : ENYA
78. Work day by day, say : TEMP
79. Bush and Gore, in 2000 : OPPONENTS
80. Do House work : LEGISLATE
82. Relaxed : TOOK IT EASY
84. Formerly : AT ONE TIME
85. Vodka or gin: Abbr. : ALC
86. Codswallop : ROT
88. Petroleum byproduct used to make synthetic rubber : ISOPRENE
91. Violet shade : MAUVE
92. Join together : YOKE
94. Like some points : MOOT
97. Leaf producer : NISSAN
100. Texas A&M athlete : AGGIE
102. Former SeaWorld performer : SHAMU
104. ___ wave : TIDAL
105. Traffic headache : SNARL
106. Dancer de Mille : AGNES
107. November imperative : VOTE
108. They can be brown or blonde : ALES
109. Ta-tas : BYES
110. Gave one’s blessing to : OK’ED
111. “Well done!” : NICE!
112. Give it ___ : A GO
113. Surround, as fans might an idol : MOB

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9 thoughts on “0625-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Jun 17, Sunday”

  1. It always throws me a little bit when there is a rebus on a Sunday. 67 minutes for me, but I had technical issues with getting the rebus answers entered. At first I didn't realize they were double rebus answers and I was putting 3 letters in one square (instead of 2 in 2 squares). When I went back to correct that, the letters I would re-enter were physically smaller and later showed up as errors even though the correct letters were entered. I tried deleting them and re-entering, but it didn't help. Very strange.

    So no real errors on this one in the end, and truthfully a fun solve all around. COSMO KRAMER was my "aha" moment.

    One thing I have to say is incorrect is SYMPTOMATOLOGY is not an MCAT subject. It's certainly (I hope!) studied in med school, but the MCAT covers much more basic science. The MCAT sections are: Biology, General Chemistry, Physics, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Psych/Soc, and CARS (Critical Analysis and Reasoning Section). The MCAT does not include anything specifically medical such as SYMPTOMATOLOGY. This made me reluctant to put this as an answer. I was looking for something else in the answer.

    The NYT is usually pretty painstaking in getting things correct so I may be missing something, but as far as I know the MCAT would never cover this subject.

    Best –

  2. I HATE puzzles like this.

    For one thing, rebuses are just flat out WRONG. ONE LETTER, ONE SQUARE, DAMMIT!!!!

    For another, once you figure out that you're dealing with a rebus, the amount of shoehorning of letters you have to do to get them to fit (including several re-writes, usually obscures the words they form in combination. With the tiny squares I have in my Sunday paper I just could not discern CO/RN, KA/LE, etc. once I had the "ink blobs" necessary to make certain fills "work". They were like "the forest for the trees".

    These are abominations, and I just wish they would f***ing STOP IT!!!!!

  3. 38:44, no errors. Nice Sunday challenge (I think I say that only because I solved it, if I couldn't finish it would have been frustrating). I think we 'old fashioned pencil and paper' folks have a bit of an advantage with this type of puzzle. Filled all the themed entries except SYMPTOMATOLOGY before entering 107A. Knowing that the rebuses spelled out vegetables allowed me to get SYMP(TOMATO)LOGY, which I am sure I wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

  4. Sunday slog turned into a pretty enjoyable exercise once getting the theme straightened out. Still not liking the large grid format, but, to coin a phrase, it is what it is.

  5. @Bill–The major issue in the 2000 Bush-Gore election was not that Gore won the popular vote while losing the electoral college vote. It was the intervention of the U.S. Supreme court to stop the Florida vote recount, which gave Bush that state's electoral votes to "win" the election.

  6. 93 minutes, 1 error. I know it's hockey, but that's all I know. Challenging but good puzzle overall. The rebus revealed itself very quickly and didn't present a whole lot of trouble.

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