1118-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 18 Nov 2017, Saturday

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Constructed by: Sam Trabucco
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 23m 38s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • 36A. Series opener : PART I (PART A!!!)
  • 33D. Gymnastics superstar at the 2016 Olympics : BILES (BALES)

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Youngster in a stream : OTTER PUP

Male and female otters are known as dogs and bitches, with the offspring called pups. Males and females are are sometimes referred to as boars and sows. A collection of otters is a bevy, family, lodge or perhaps a romp. When in water, a collection of otters can be called a raft.

9. Put the kibosh on : SCOTCH

A kibosh is something that constrains or checks. “Kibosh” looks like a Yiddish word but it isn’t, and is more likely English slang from the early 1800s.

17. Modern money-saving transportation choice : UBERPOOL

Uber is a ridesharing service that was founded in 2009 and is based in San Francisco. The service is somewhat controversial and has been described as an illegal taxicab operation. Central to Uber’s service is the company’s mobile app, which can use the client’s GPS location to help find the nearest available ride. Uber’s main competitor is Lyft.

18. Restraint technique in mixed martial arts : ARMBAR

Martial arts are various fighting traditions and systems used in combat or simply to promote physical well-being. The term ultimately derives from Latin and means “Arts of Mars”, a reference to Mars, the Roman god of war.

19. Setting for several “Survivor” seasons : SAMOA

The official name for the South Pacific nation formerly known as Western Samoa is the Independent State of Samoa. Samoa is the western part of the island group, with American Samoa lying to the southeast. The whole group of islands used to be known as Navigators Island, a name given by European explorers in recognition of the seafaring skills of the native Samoans.

The reality show “Survivor” is based on a Swedish television series created in 1997 called “Expedition Robinson”.

23. Like slapstick comics, often : PIED

Slapstick is a physical form of comedy or horseplay. Back in the late 19th century, the term described a device made from two sticks loosely fastened together, which could be “slapped” together to create a sound effect offstage. The sound effect added to the laugh when a clown or actor was given a slap on stage.

28. Ehud Barak abandoned it in 2011 : LABOR PARTY

Ehud Barak served as Prime Minister of Israel from 1999 to 2001, taking over from Benjamin Netanyahu. Barak left office after he called a special election for Prime Minister and lost the vote to Ariel Sharon. Barak resigned from the Knesset and took an advisory job with the US company Electronic Data Systems (EDS), and did some security-related work with a private equity company. In 2007, Barak took over leadership of Israel’s Labor Party.

32. Paint crudely : DAUB

“To daub” is to coat a surface with something thick and sticky, like say plaster or mud.

34. Partner of 27-Down : EVE
(27D. Partner of 34-Across : ADAM)

According to the Bible, Eve was created as Adam’s companion by God. God created Eve from Adam’s rib.

35. Smidgens : MITES

A mite is a small amount, as in “the widow’s mite”, a story from the Bible.

Our word “smidgen” (sometimes shortened to “smidge”) is used to describe a small amount. The term might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or “a small insignificant person”.

37. Pokémon slogan : GOTTA CATCH ‘EM ALL!

“Pokémon” is the second-biggest video game franchise in the world, second only to the “Mario” franchise. “Pokémon” is a contraction of “Pocket Monsters”.

40. Noted corporate raider of the 1980s : ICAHN

Carl Icahn has many business interests, and is probably best known in recent years for his dealings with Yahoo! Icahn has a reputation as a corporate raider, a reputation that dates back to his hostile takeover of TWA in 1985. He made a lot of money out of that deal, before being ousted in 1993 after the company filed for bankruptcy protection.

41. With 10-Down, The Devil and Death : TAROT
(10D. See 41-Across : CARDS)

Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future. The list of tarot cards includes the Wheel of Fortune, the Hanged Man and the Lovers.

46. Something found on a hound : DEWLAP

A dewlap is a flap of skin that hangs below the neck of some creatures. Dewlaps are found on anything from dogs to iguanas.

49. Shags, e.g. : DOS

A shag cut is a layered hairstyle. Actress Meg Ryan famously sported a shag cut for many years.

50. “Hope ___ to mortals / And most believe her”: Housman : LIES

“A Shropshire Lad” is a collection of poems published in 1896, written by the English poet A. E. Housman. Housman couldn’t find a publisher for his work, so he had to use his own money to get the collection in print. The poems all hark back to the simple life of a young man in rural England. The collection gained in popularity as young men went overseas to fight in the Second Boer War, and then again during WWI. The nostalgic themes struck a chord with the young soldiers.

52. Roughly 18 inches : CUBIT

The ancient unit of length called a cubit was chosen as the length of the forearm. In some cultures a cubit was divided into 7 palms, the width of the hand excluding the thumb.

58. “Sure thing, bro!” : YEAH, DUDE!

Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, Easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

63. Cremona treasures, familiarly : STRADS

Cremona is a city in Lombardy in northern Italy that lies on the Po river. Cremona has a rich musical history and was the home to famous craftsmen who made stringed instruments, including Stradivari and several members of the Amati family.

Down

2. Big blow for a musician? : TUBA

The tuba is the lowest-pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”. Oom-pah-pah …

4. Cheap cigar, slangily : EL ROPO

“El ropo” is American slang not only for a big cheap cigar, but also for a cannabis cigarette, so I am told …

6. Kung ___ chicken : PAO

Kung Pao chicken is a Sichuan stir-fry dish that includes chicken, peanuts, vegetables and chili peppers. The name “Kung Pao” is thought to come from a governor of the Sichuan province whose title was “Gongbao”, meaning “Palace Guardian”.

7. Tour grp. : USO

The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of FDR “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.

8. Eponym of a federal college grant : PELL

Pell Grants are awarded by the federal government to students in financial need so that they can attend college. The grant is named for Claiborne Pell, the US senator who sponsored the bill that introduced aid for students.

11. Eponym of an electrical law : OHM

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every schoolkid knows as Ohm’s Law.

12. Absence of preconceived notions : TABULA RASA

“Tabula rasa” (plural “tabulae rasae”) is the idea that people are born with a “blank slate”, and that knowledge comes from experience and perception.

13. Dodgers second baseman who won four consecutive Silver Slugger Awards beginning in 2006 : CHASE UTLEY

Chase Utley is a second baseman who played for the Phillies from 2003 until 2015, and for the Dodgers from 2015 to 2017.

14. Storied loser in an upset : HARE

“The Tortoise and the Hare” is perhaps the most famous fable attributed to Aesop. The cocky hare takes a nap during a race against the tortoise, and the tortoise sneaks past the finish line for the win while his speedier friend is sleeping.

21. Is forced to backpedal, say : EATS CROW

The phrase “eat crow”, an alternative to “eat humble pie”, perhaps refers to the fact that cooked crow may be edible, but is not a great food choice.

24. “The Last Emperor,” e.g. : EPIC

“The Last Emperor” is a 1987 biographical film about Puyi, the last Emperor of China. “The Last Emperor” was unique in that it was the first time the Chinese government allowed filming in the Forbidden City in Beijing. In fact, Queen Elizabeth II was on a state visit to China the same time that filming was taking place, and the Chinese government gave priority to filming, so the British royal party could not visit the Forbidden City.

25. Boolean or string, in programming : DATA TYPE

In elementary algebra, the variable used can represent any number. In Boolean algebra, the variables can only have the values of 1 or 0 i.e. true or false.

29. The hardest part when making guacamole? : AVOCADO PIT

Guacamole is one of my favorite dishes. It is prepared by mashing avocados and perhaps adding the likes of tomato, onion and lime juice. The guacamole recipe dates back as early as the 16th century, to the time of the Aztecs. “Guacamole” translates as “avocado sauce”.

30. Bug catcher, often : BETA TESTER

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the “alpha” version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a “beta” and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

44. Presidential middle name : BAINES

Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was born in Stonewall, Texas to Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. and Rebekah Baines.

45. Peon : DRUDGE

A peon is a lowly worker with no real control over his/her working conditions. The word comes into English from Spanish, in which language it has the same meaning.

47. Price of R&B : LLOYD

Lloyd Price is an R&B singer. One of Price’s hits is 1959’s “Personality”, a release that earned him the nickname “Mr. Personality”.

49. Pac-Man features : DOTS

The Pac-Man arcade game was first released in Japan in 1980, and is as popular today as it ever was. The game features characters that are maneuvered around the screen to eat up dots and earn points. The name comes from the Japanese folk hero “Paku”, known for his voracious appetite. The spin-off game called Ms. Pac-Man was released in 1981.

51. Sylvia of jazz : SYMS

Sylvia Syms was a jazz singer from New York. Frank Sinatra called Syms the “world’s greatest saloon singer”. Syms actually died on stage, suffering a heart attack at the age of 74.

59. Key used to make an exit : ESC

The escape key (Esc) was originally used to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Youngster in a stream : OTTER PUP
9. Put the kibosh on : SCOTCH
15. “You can’t be serious!” : PUH-LEASE!
16. Response to a riot : HA HA HA!
17. Modern money-saving transportation choice : UBERPOOL
18. Restraint technique in mixed martial arts : ARMBAR
19. Setting for several “Survivor” seasons : SAMOA
20. Furnish : LEND
22. “What’s the ___?” : USE
23. Like slapstick comics, often : PIED
26. People might profit from it : AD SALE
28. Ehud Barak abandoned it in 2011 : LABOR PARTY
32. Paint crudely : DAUB
34. Partner of 27-Down : EVE
35. Smidgens : MITES
36. Series opener : PART I
37. Pokémon slogan : GOTTA CATCH ‘EM ALL!
40. Noted corporate raider of the 1980s : ICAHN
41. With 10-Down, The Devil and Death : TAROT
42. Date : SEE
43. “I’m off!” : TA-TA
44. Yore : BYGONE DAYS
46. Something found on a hound : DEWLAP
48. Depreciation factor : WEAR
49. Shags, e.g. : DOS
50. “Hope ___ to mortals / And most believe her”: Housman : LIES
52. Roughly 18 inches : CUBIT
56. Possibility : OPTION
58. “Sure thing, bro!” : YEAH, DUDE!
61. Flower child fashion : TIE-DYE
62. Postgrad goal, maybe : MS DEGREE
63. Cremona treasures, familiarly : STRADS
64. Match book? : SCORE PAD

Down

1. Overture, e.g. : OPUS
2. Big blow for a musician? : TUBA
3. The antagonists : THEM
4. Cheap cigar, slangily : EL ROPO
5. One with a wrench in his plans? : REPAIRMAN
6. Kung ___ chicken : PAO
7. Tour grp. : USO
8. Eponym of a federal college grant : PELL
9. Beer-and-lemonade beverage : SHANDY
10. See 41-Across : CARDS
11. Eponym of an electrical law : OHM
12. Absence of preconceived notions : TABULA RASA
13. Dodgers second baseman who won four consecutive Silver Slugger Awards beginning in 2006 : CHASE UTLEY
14. Storied loser in an upset : HARE
21. Is forced to backpedal, say : EATS CROW
24. “The Last Emperor,” e.g. : EPIC
25. Boolean or string, in programming : DATA TYPE
27. Partner of 34-Across : ADAM
28. On the up and up : LEGIT
29. The hardest part when making guacamole? : AVOCADO PIT
30. Bug catcher, often : BETA TESTER
31. ID anew, as on Facebook : RETAG
33. Gymnastics superstar at the 2016 Olympics : BILES
36. One with whom your relationship is working out, briefly? : PE TEACHER
38. Icebreaker? : THAW
39. Perfect : HONE
44. Presidential middle name : BAINES
45. Peon : DRUDGE
47. Price of R&B : LLOYD
49. Pac-Man features : DOTS
51. Sylvia of jazz : SYMS
53. Reason for saying “Pardon me” : BURP
54. Unpatentable thing : IDEA
55. Put out, with “off” : TEED
57. Home of Northwest Nazarene Univ. : IDA
59. Key used to make an exit : ESC
60. Trouble : ADO

3 thoughts on “1118-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 18 Nov 2017, Saturday”

  1. 48:12. This one felt easier to me than yesterday’s, but my time was slower somehow. Did not know that usage of SCOTCH. Also needed crosses for DEWLAP. PIED is an adjective? Who knew?

    PUH-LEASE? puh-lease…..

    Best –

  2. 23:13 after fixing an error: I had entered MA DEGREE in place of MS DEGREE and didn’t notice that the crossing entry didn’t make sense until after I got the “almost there” message.

  3. 19:31. One of my fastest Saturdays ever. No real trouble spots. Some days everything clicks. Weird having Chase Utley in the puzzle two days in a row. That clue was also a bit misleading given that he didn’t play for the Dodgers when he won those awards.

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