0217-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 17 Feb 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Peter Wentz
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Sport with stunt riding, informally : BMX

“BMX” stands for “Bicycle Motocross”. It’s the sport where folks on bicycles race around what is in effect a regular motocross track. Medals were awarded for BMX for the first time at the Beijing Olympics, with a Latvian winning for the men, and a Française winning for the women.

14. Axe product : BODY SPRAY

Axe is a brand of male grooming products. Axe is sold under the name Lynx in some parts of the world.

19. Misses overseas : SENORITAS

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish, and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French, for “Miss”.

21. Trio in a children’s rhyme : MICE

Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice?

22. Three-lobed design : TREFOIL

A trefoil is a symbol that appears like a trifoliate leaf, a leaf with three leaf-like parts.

30. It’s generally up and running within a few hours : FOAL

There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

  • Foal: horse of either sex that is less than one year old
  • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
  • Filly: female horse under the age of four
  • Colt: male horse under the age of four
  • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
  • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
  • Mare: female horse four years or older

31. “Breaking Bad” protagonist : WALT

Walter White is the protagonist on the hit TV drama “Breaking Bad”. Played by Bryan Cranston, White is a high school chemistry teacher who resorts to manufacturing high-grade crystal meth in order to ensure his family’s security after his death.

32. Lead-in to sat : COM-

Communications satellite (comsat)

33. Aquarium performer : SEA LION

There are three families of seals. The first is the walrus family, the second the eared seals (like sea lions), and thirdly the earless seals (like elephant seals).

37. Olympic Australis, for one : OPAL

The largest opal ever found, and the most valuable, is the Olympic Australis. It was discovered in South Australia in 1956. That same year, the Summer Olympics were being held in Melbourne so the newly discovered stone was given the name “Olympic Australis”.

39. Suffix with Jumbo : -TRON

A JumboTron is a big-screen television system developed by Sony, one often seen in sports stadiums. The brand name “JumboTron” is used pretty generically now for any big-screen system in such venues, even though Sony exited the business in 2001.

40. North Carolina home of Appalachian State University : BOONE

Appalachian State University is located in Boone, North Carolina. The college campus is in the Blue Ridge Mountains at an elevation of 3,333 feet, making it one of highest universities east of the Mississippi River.

42. Brand with the slogan “Fill your glass” : SAM ADAMS

Samuel Adams beers (sometimes ordered as “Sam Adams”) are named in honor of the American patriot who played a role in the American Revolution and the Boston Tea Party. Samuel Adams came from a family associated the brewing industry, mainly involved in the production of malt.

44. What makes a possum play possum : DANGER

The idiom “playing possum” means pretending to be dead. The phrase is used in recognition of the behavior of the Virginia Opossum that does just that, plays dead as a defense mechanism. We often use the term “possum” colloquially for the opossum species that live here in North America, but in fact, the true “possums” are marsupials native to Australia.

46. Fifth-brightest star in the night sky : VEGA

Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra. Vega (along with Altair and Deneb from other constellations) is also part of the group of three stars that is called the Summer Triangle. Vega is the star at the right-angle of this triangle.

47. Part of a pod : ORCA

A group of whales can be called a gam, as well as a pod.

48. Author who wrote “Show me a woman who doesn’t feel guilty and I’ll show you a man” : ERICA JONG

The author Erica Jong’s most famous work is her first: “Fear of Flying”, a novel published in 1973. Over twenty years later, Jong wrote “Fear of Fifty: a midlife memoir”, published in 1994.

53. “The Cocktail Party” dramatist : ELIOT

T. S. Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, largely due to his “Four Quartets”, a set of four poems that Eliot himself considered to be his life’s masterpiece. He also won a Tony Award in 1950 for Best Play, for “The Cocktail Party”, as well as two posthumous Tony Awards in 1983 for his poems that are used in the musical “Cats”.

55. Book in which the Israelites are rebuked for idolatry : MICAH

The Book of Micah is one of twelve books in the Bible written by the so-called minor prophets. The name “Micah” translates into English from Hebrew as “Who is like God?”

57. Vamooses : SCATS

To vamoose is to to leave, coming from the Spanish “vamos” meaning “let’s go”.

58. Winner of nine Grand Slam tournaments in the 1990s : SELES

Monica Seles has a Hungarian name as she was born to Hungarian parents, in former Yugoslavia. Seles was the World No. 1 professional tennis player in 1991 and 1992 before being forced from the sport when she was stabbed by a spectator at a match in 1993. She did return to the game two years later, but never achieved the same level of success.

Down

1. Summer outdoor events, informally : BBQS

It is believed that our word “barbecue” (BBQ) comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

2. Manifestation of sulkiness : MOUE

The term “moue” comes from French, and means “small grimace, pout”.

3. Chose at the ballot box : X’D IN

Today a ballot is a piece of paper used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.

4. Almost nothing on? : G-STRINGS

The origins of “G-string”, the type of revealing underwear, is unclear. However, the term “gee string” has been used since the 1800s and originally referred to the string that held the loincloths worn by Native Americans.

7. 2Pac’s “Dear ___” : MAMA

Rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur adopted the inventive stage name “2Pac”. He was a hard man, spending eleven months in prison for sexual assault. He was killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas at only 25 years of age.

12. Fixed cord for a paratrooper : STATIC LINE

The term “parachute” was coined by Frenchman François Blanchard, from “para-” meaning “defence against” and “chute” meaning “a fall”.

13. One source of the umami taste : MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe “a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until 1985 that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.

15. Title figure in a Gilbert and Sullivan opera : YEOMAN

“The Yeomen of the Guard” is an operetta by Gilbert & Sullivan, first performed in 1888. The work was immediately a big hit, and ran for 423 performances. Many regard the score to “The Yeomen of the Guard” as Arthur Sullivan’s finest.

23. Quick move? : RELO

“Relocate” (relo) is a real estate term.

25. Come right up to : ACCOST

To accost is to confront boldly, and is a term that ultimately derives from the Latin “ad” meaning “to” and “costa” meaning “side, coast”. Originally, the term applied to warships that were attacking an enemy’s “coast”.

28. Tops in athletics : POLOS

René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. The “golf shirt” is basically the same thing.

41. Bingeing : ON A JAG

The word “jag” is used to describe periods of unrestrained activity, particularly involving alcohol, and has been in use since the 1800s.

49. Carny’s target : RUBE

A rube is person lacking sophistication, someone often described as a country bumpkin. The term derives from the masculine name “Reuben”, which was considered back in the early 1800s to be a typical name used in rural areas.

“Carny” is American slang, and is short for “carnival worker”.

50. Plant also known as ladies’ fingers : OKRA

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for it edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

52. E.T.S. offerings : GRES

Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) was founded in 1947, and produces standardized tests for students from kindergarten through college. Perhaps most famously, ETS operates the SAT testing process.

53. Middle of summer? : EMS

There are two letters M (ems) in the middle of the word “summer”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Sport with stunt riding, informally : BMX
4. “Heck if I know” : GOT ME
9. Big difference : CHASM
14. Axe product : BODY SPRAY
16. Goes on and on : RANTS
17. Reflective stretch : QUIET TIME
18. Item checked at an airport : ID TAG
19. Misses overseas : SENORITAS
20. Gone : PAST
21. Trio in a children’s rhyme : MICE
22. Three-lobed design : TREFOIL
25. Roughly 37% of U.S. immigrants : ASIANS
28. Personal bearing : PRESENCE
29. Jung ___, author of the 1991 best seller “Wild Swans” : CHANG
30. It’s generally up and running within a few hours : FOAL
31. “Breaking Bad” protagonist : WALT
32. Lead-in to sat : COM-
33. Aquarium performer : SEA LION
36. Like a happening party, in slang : LIT
37. Olympic Australis, for one : OPAL
39. Suffix with Jumbo : -TRON
40. North Carolina home of Appalachian State University : BOONE
42. Brand with the slogan “Fill your glass” : SAM ADAMS
44. What makes a possum play possum : DANGER
45. A-number-one : THE BEST
46. Fifth-brightest star in the night sky : VEGA
47. Part of a pod : ORCA
48. Author who wrote “Show me a woman who doesn’t feel guilty and I’ll show you a man” : ERICA JONG
53. “The Cocktail Party” dramatist : ELIOT
54. Model company? : AUTOMAKER
55. Book in which the Israelites are rebuked for idolatry : MICAH
56. Common board requirement, in brief : MBA DEGREE
57. Vamooses : SCATS
58. Winner of nine Grand Slam tournaments in the 1990s : SELES
59. Components of many free apps : ADS

Down

1. Summer outdoor events, informally : BBQS
2. Manifestation of sulkiness : MOUE
3. Chose at the ballot box : X’D IN
4. Almost nothing on? : G-STRINGS
5. Public perception : OPTICS
6. Worn-out : TRITE
7. 2Pac’s “Dear ___” : MAMA
8. Result of prolonged screen time, maybe : EYE STRAIN
9. “Golly!” : CRIPES!
10. Threw some back : HAD A FEW
11. Celery sticks topped with peanut butter and raisins : ANTS ON A LOG
12. Fixed cord for a paratrooper : STATIC LINE
13. One source of the umami taste : MSG
15. Title figure in a Gilbert and Sullivan opera : YEOMAN
23. Quick move? : RELO
24. Word with fan or form : … LETTER
25. Come right up to : ACCOST
26. One who always has time to spend? : SHOPAHOLIC
27. 2007 satirical best seller : I AM AMERICA
28. Tops in athletics : POLOS
30. Professional feeders : FARM TEAMS
34. Constantly updating GPS figs. : ETAS
35. Widely followed court battles : NBA GAMES
38. You might experiment with this on : LAB COAT
41. Bingeing : ON A JAG
43. Ends : DEATHS
44. Crack, in a way : DECODE
46. Like some very important signs : VITAL
49. Carny’s target : RUBE
50. Plant also known as ladies’ fingers : OKRA
51. Grant consideration : NEED
52. E.T.S. offerings : GRES
53. Middle of summer? : EMS

0216-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 16 Feb 2018, Friday

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Constructed by: David Steinberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 14m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Sci-fi character who graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2359 : TROI

Deanna Troi is a character on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” who is played by the lovely Marina Sirtis. Sirtis is a naturalized American citizen and has what I would call a soft American accent on the show. However, she was born in the East End of London and has a natural accent off-stage that is more like that of a true Cockney.

9. “Purgatorio” poet : DANTE

In Dante’s epic poem “The Divine Comedy”, the poet journeys through the three realms of the dead. The Roman poet Virgil guides Dante through Hell and Purgatory. Dante is guided through Heaven by Beatrice, the poet’s ideal of womanhood Beatrice

14. Brownie, for one : BOX CAMERA

Kodak introduced the Brownie box camera in 1900, and hence ushered in the era of low-cost photography and snapshots. Brownies went on sale for the princely sum of one dollar. And yes, I had one …

17. Dangerous cocktail : SPEEDBALL

A speedball is a intravenous mix of cocaine and heroin or morphine. The list of celebrities that have died from speedball use includes John Belushi, Chris Farley, Philip Seymour Hoffman and River Phoenix.

19. Luxury hotel option : PENTHOUSE SUITE

Originally, the term “penthouse” described a modest building attached to a main structure. In fact, in centuries past, the manger in which Jesus was born was often referred to as a penthouse. The modern, more luxurious connotation dates back to the early twenties.

21. Name related to Rex : ROY

The name “Roy” is of Norman origin, and comes from the Spanish “rey” or French “roi” meaning “king”.

The name “Rex” translates from Latin as “king”.

22. Wednesday, e.g. : ADDAMS

Christina Ricci is an American actress who found fame on the big screen at an early age, playing the very young Wednesday Addams in the 1991 movie version of “The Addams Family”.

24. Insurance company whose logo contains a bill : AFLAC

In 1999, Aflac (American Family Life Assurance Company) was huge in the world of insurance but it wasn’t a household name, so a New York advertising agency was given the task of making the Aflac brand more memorable. One of the agency’s art directors, while walking around Central Park one lunchtime, heard a duck quacking and in his mind linked it with “Aflac”, and that duck has been “Aflacking” ever since …

27. Tudor house feature : GABLE

The gable is a the triangular portion of the wall on a building that is defined by the intersection of the two slopes of the roof.

30. Vegan protein source : SOY

What are known as soybeans here in the US are called “soya beans” in most other English-speaking countries. So, I drink soy milk here in America, but when I am over in Ireland I drink “soya milk”.

32. Like a mythical lion : NEMEAN

“The Twelve Labors of Hercules” is actually a Greek myth, although Hercules is the Roman name for the hero that the Greeks called Heracles. The first of these labors was to slay the Nemean Lion, a monster that lived in a cave near Nemea. Hercules had a tough job as the lion’s golden fur was impenetrable to normal weapons. One version of the story is that Hercules killed the lion by shooting an arrow into its mouth. Another version says that Hercules stunned the monster with a club and then strangled him with his bare hands.

35. Memorable White House Correspondents’ Dinner host of 2006 : COLBERT

Stephen Colbert is a political satirist who hosted his own show on Comedy Central, “The Colbert Report”. Colbert’s first love was theater, and so he studied to become an actor. He then moved into comedy, and ended up on the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”. He left “The Daily Show” in 2005 to set up his own spin-off, “The Colbert Report”. In his own inimitable way, Colbert likes to use a “French” pronunciation for the name of his show, so “The Colbert Report” comes out as “The Col-bear Rep-oar”. Colbert took over the “Late Show” when David Letterman retired.

37. “Eww, stop!” : TMI

Too much information! (TMI)

40. Hebrew : ben :: Arabic : ___ : IBN

In Arabic names, “ibn” is a word meaning “son of”. The words “bin” and “ben” are also used for “son of”. The word “bint” means “daughter of”. Similarly, in Hebrew “ben” is used to mean “son of”, and “bat” is used to mean “daughter of”.

43. Strained, at the bar : COLADA

“Piña colada” is a Spanish term which translates into “strained pineapple”. The piña colada cocktail was introduced in the Caribe Hilton San Juan in 1954, and since 1978 it has been the official beverage of Puerto Rico. Yum …

45. Dash device : GPS

Global positioning system (GPS)

Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hoofs of the horses. Quite interesting …

54. Fiancée, say : INAMORATA

“Inamorata” is an Italian term that we’ve imported into English. It describes a female lover. An “innamorato” is a male lover.

55. Brief bridge opening : ONE NO

“One no” is short for “one no-trump”, a common bid in the card game of bridge.

56. Like privates, often : PIXELATED

I’m not sure that this clue/answer is correct …

One way of censoring an image is to pixelate the area to be hidden, in a process known as “pixelization” (which is different than “pixelation”). For example, we often see license plates and faces blurred out, on television news shows. That’s pixelization. On the other hand, pixelation is an effect noticed when digital photographs are enlarged to an extent that individual pixels can be discerned.

58. Recipe directive : STIR

The Latin “recipere” means “to take”, and the imperative form “recipe” was written at the top of medical prescriptions as an instruction, i.e. take (the following). This use of “recipe” evolved into the instruction for preparing a dish of food in the mid-1700s.

59. Cameos and others : GEMS

Cameo is a method of carving, often the carving of a gemstone or a piece of jewelry. The resulting image is in relief (sits proud of the background), whereas an engraved image would be produced by the similar carving method known as intaglio. Nowadays, the term “cameo” is used for any piece of oval-shaped jewelry that contains the image of a head, usually in profile (maybe even a photograph).

Down

1. 1/256 of a gal. : TBSP

Tablespoon (tbsp.)

2. Plastic Clue weapon : ROPE

Clue is board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

6. Boy with a bouquet : BEAU

A beau (plural “beaux”) is the boyfriend of a belle, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

“Bouquet” comes from the French word for a “bunch” in the sense of bunch of flowers. In French, the term is derived from an older word describing a little wood, or a small grove of trees.

7. Surfing destinations : URLS

Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

10. One with a plant-based diet : APHID

Aphids are called “greenfly” back in the British Isles where I come from. The most effective way to control aphids, in my experience, is to make sure there are plenty of ladybugs in the garden (called “ladybirds” in Ireland!).

12. London museum whose oldest piece is from 1900 : TATE MODERN

The museum known as “the Tate” is actually made up of four separate galleries in England. The original Tate gallery was founded by Sir Henry Tate as the National Gallery of British Art. It is located on Millbank in London, on the site of the old Millbank Prison, and is now called Tate Britain. There is also the Tate Liverpool in the north of England located in an old warehouse, and the Tate St. Ives in the west country located in an old gas works. My favorite of the Tate galleries is the Tate Modern which lies on the banks of the Thames in London. It’s a beautiful building, a converted power station that you have to see to believe.

13. Some TV drama settings : ERS

Emergency room (ER)

15. Provisional : AD HOC

The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”. An ad hoc committee, for example, is formed for a specific purpose and is disbanded after making its final report.

20. Sensitive figure, for many : SALARY

It has been suggested that out term “salary” comes from the Latin “sal” meaning “salt”. The idea is that a Roman soldier’s “salarium” might have been an allowance to purchase salt.

23. Most populous city in Oceania : SYDNEY

Sydney is the most populous city in Australia. People from Sydney are known as “Sydneysiders”.

The part of the Pacific Ocean known as Oceania is roughly equivalent to the tropical islands of the South Pacific. Oceania can be divided into the regions of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.

24. ___ acid (dressing ingredient) : ACETIC

Acetic acid has the formula CH3COOH, and is the main component of vinegar.

27. Fixes : GELDS

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

28. Bounds : AMBIT

An ambit is an outer boundary or limit, a circumference. The term can also be used to mean the sphere or scope of influence. “Ambit” comes from the Latin “ambire” meaning “to go around”.

35. Its ribs stick out : CORDUROY

There’s a myth that the name of textile known as “corduroy” comes from the French “corde du roi” (the cord of the king). It’s more likely that “corduroy” comes from a melding of “cord” and “duroy” (a coarse fabric that used to be made in England).

44. It was boosted by Atlas : AGENA

The RM-81 Agena was an upper-stage rocket designed and built by Lockheed, and first used in 1959. After 365 launches, it was retired in 1987.

Atlas boosters launched the first four US astronauts into space. The Atlas rocket design was originally developed in the late fifties and was deployed for several years as it was intended, as an intercontinental ballistic missile.

48. Huff : SNIT

The exact etymology of “snit”, meaning “fit of temper”, isn’t really known. The term was first used in print in the play “Kiss the Boys Goodbye” by Clare Booth Luce, which dates back to the 1930s and is set in the American South.

50. “I ___ quotation”: Emerson : HATE

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an essayist and poet who was active in the mid-1800s. Most of the essays that Emerson wrote were composed originally as lectures and then revised for print. He is often referred to as “The Sage of Concord”, as Emerson spent much of his life in Concord, Massachusetts.

51. Amazon unit : ITEM

Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the world. It is also the most largest Internet company in the world by revenue. The company was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, in his garage in Bellevue, Washington. I’m a big fan of Amazon’s approach to customer service …

53. Secant’s reciprocal: Abbr. : COS

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio, a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are secant, cosecant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Sci-fi character who graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2359 : TROI
5. What Iran and Iraq do : ABUT
9. “Purgatorio” poet : DANTE
14. Brownie, for one : BOX CAMERA
16. Primitive kind of poker? : SPEAR
17. Dangerous cocktail : SPEEDBALL
18. “___ fine” : THAT’S
19. Luxury hotel option : PENTHOUSE SUITE
21. Name related to Rex : ROY
22. Wednesday, e.g. : ADDAMS
24. Insurance company whose logo contains a bill : AFLAC
27. Tudor house feature : GABLE
30. Vegan protein source : SOY
31. Pot-making supply : CLAY
32. Like a mythical lion : NEMEAN
33. Recipe directive : ADD
34. Put away the dishes? : EAT
35. Memorable White House Correspondents’ Dinner host of 2006 : COLBERT
36. You might click it open : PEN
37. “Eww, stop!” : TMI
38. Singular thing : ODDITY
39. Requiring immediate attention : DIRE
40. Hebrew : ben :: Arabic : ___ : IBN
41. “Stop playing” symbols : RESTS
42. Optimistic : SUNNY
43. Strained, at the bar : COLADA
45. Dash device : GPS
46. Creamy, fruity drink : YOGURT SMOOTHIE
53. One who’s frequently in the dark : CAVER
54. Fiancée, say : INAMORATA
55. Brief bridge opening : ONE NO
56. Like privates, often : PIXELATED
57. Part of a pound? : STRAY
58. Recipe directive : STIR
59. Cameos and others : GEMS

Down

1. 1/256 of a gal. : TBSP
2. Plastic Clue weapon : ROPE
3. Strong team : OXEN
4. Cube holder : ICE TRAY
5. South ___, N.J. : AMBOY
6. Boy with a bouquet : BEAU
7. Surfing destinations : URLS
8. Something to spin : TALE
9. One who’s 60-something? : D STUDENT
10. One with a plant-based diet : APHID
11. Spotless : NEAT AS A PIN
12. London museum whose oldest piece is from 1900 : TATE MODERN
13. Some TV drama settings : ERS
15. Provisional : AD HOC
20. Sensitive figure, for many : SALARY
23. Most populous city in Oceania : SYDNEY
24. ___ acid (dressing ingredient) : ACETIC
25. Attention-grabbing : FLAMBOYANT
26. Epitome of romantic passion : LATIN LOVER
27. Fixes : GELDS
28. Bounds : AMBIT
29. Natural food coloring sources : BEETS
32. Rejection of a honey-do list : NO, DEAR
35. Its ribs stick out : CORDUROY
39. Cleaning cloth : DUSTRAG
42. Wind or unwind : SPOOL
44. It was boosted by Atlas : AGENA
45. Cloddish sort, in slang : GOMER
47. Things waiters wait for : TIPS
48. Huff : SNIT
49. Long dress : MAXI
50. “I ___ quotation”: Emerson : HATE
51. Amazon unit : ITEM
52. James B. ___, diving bell inventor : EADS
53. Secant’s reciprocal: Abbr. : COS