1218-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 18 Dec 2017, Monday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Will Shortz

Advertisement

Advertisement

Today’s Theme: Inner Demons

Themed answers include the hidden word DEMON:

  • 61A. Personal struggles … or, literally, features of 17-, 26-, 36- and 52-Across : INNER DEMONS
  • 17A. “Water Lilies” painter : CLAUDE MONET
  • 26A. June, in the L.G.B.T.Q. movement : PRIDE MONTH
  • 36A. Profited : MADE MONEY
  • 52A. Computer programmer, disparagingly : CODE MONKEY

Bill’s time: 6m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

Advertisement

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Aquarium buildup : ALGAE

Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

11. Edmonton’s province: Abbr. : ALB

Alberta (Alta.) is a big province, one about the size of Texas. Alberta is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Princess Louise also donated her name to Lake Louise, the large glacial lake in the province, now within the bounds of Banff National Park.

Edmonton is the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. The city was founded as Fort Edmonton in 1795, with the name taken from the area in London called Edmonton. Edmonton, London was the home of pioneer John Peter Pruden who suggested the name. London’s Edmonton was also home for deputy governor Sir James Winter Lake of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

17. “Water Lilies” painter : CLAUDE MONET

“Water Lilies” by French Impressionist Claude Monet is actually a whole series of paintings, numbering about 250 in total. The subjects of the works were the water lilies in Monet’s flower garden at Giverny in northern France.

20. Rock concert blaster : AMP

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

21. Nerve cell part : AXON

A nerve cell is more correctly called a neuron. The branched projections that receive electrochemical signals from other neurons are known as dendrites. The long nerve fiber that conducts signals away from the neuron is known as the axon. A neuron that has no definite axon is referred to as “apolar” or “nonpolar”. In apolar neurons the nerve impulses radiate in all directions.

22. Dust Bowl migrants : OKIES

“Okies” is a derogatory term used during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s for farming families who migrated from Oklahoma (hence the name), Arkansas, Kansas and Texas in search of agricultural jobs in California. The road used by many of these migrant families was Route 66, which is also called “Mother Road”.

The Dust Bowl was the name given to a period in which severe dust storms ravaged the American and Canadian Prairies in the thirties. A major factor in the storms was the loss of the deep-rooted grasses native to the land that had been displaced by intensive farming. Without the grasses, the topsoil was blown away in a period of drought.

26. June, in the L.G.B.T.Q. movement : PRIDE MONTH

The police raided a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn on June 29th, 1969. That raid triggered to a spate of violent demonstrations led by the LGBT community. Now known as the Stonewall riots, those demonstrations are viewed by many as a significant event leading to the modern-day fight for LGBT rights in the US. Since then, June has been chosen as LGBT Pride Month in recognition of the Stonewall riots.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ)

29. Pacific source of odd weather : EL NINO

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more that half a degree centigrade, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

32. Impressionist Edgar : DEGAS

Edgar Degas was a French artist who was famous for both his paintings and his sculptures. Some of Degas’ most beautiful works feature female ballet dancers, and others depict women bathing.

33. Muslim pilgrim : HAJI

“Haji” (also “Hajji”) is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person. The journey itself goes by the name “haj”, “hajj” or “hadj”.

40. Place for salt on a margarita glass : RIM

No one seems to know for sure who first created the cocktail known as a margarita. The most plausible and oft-quoted is that it was invented in 1941 in Ensenada, Mexico. The barman mixed the drink for an important visitor, the daughter of the German ambassador. The daughter’s name was Margarita Henkel, and she lent her name to the new drink. The basic recipe for a margarita is a mixture of tequila, orange-flavored liqueur (like Cointreau) and lime juice.

43. Yale students : ELIS

Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.

55. Brussels-based defense grp. : NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded not long after WWII in 1949 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

57. Indian bread : NAAN

Naan (also “nan”) bread is very popular in Indian restaurants, as well as in other West, Central and South Asian cuisines. Indian Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven known as a tandoor.

60. Public health org. : FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its roots in the Division of Chemistry (later “Bureau of Chemistry”) that was part of the US Department of Agriculture. President Theodore Roosevelt gave responsibility for examination of food and drugs to the Bureau of Chemistry with the signing of the Pure Food and Drug Act. The Bureau’s name was changed to the Food, Drug and Insecticide Organization in 1927, and to the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.

70. Poet Nash : OGDEN

Ogden Nash was a poet from Rye, New York who is remembered for his light and quirky verse. Nash had over 500 such works published between 1931 and 1972.

Down

2. Like Chippendales revues : ALL MALE

Chippendales is a big touring operation featuring exotic male dancers. The original Chippendales was a nightclub in Los Angeles in the early eighties. The establishment’s name was inspired by the Chippendale-style furniture used in the club.

3. Marking, as windows on Halloween : SOAPING

The prank known as “soaping windows” involves writing or drawing designs on windows using bar soap. I hear that it’s a real chore to get the soap off the window afterwards …

4. Large egg producer : EMU

Emu eggs are very large, with a thick shell that is dark-green in color. One emu egg weighs about the same as a dozen chicken eggs.

7. Téa of “Madam Secretary” : LEONI

Téa Leoni is an American actress. One of Leoni’s early parts was in the great film “A League of Their Own” (a minor role, Racine at first base). She also played the fiancée of Sam Malone from “Cheers” on the spin-off sitcom “Frasier”. A leading role on the big screen was opposite Adam Sandler in “Spanglish”. My favorite of her more prominent movie roles was as Jane in “Fun with Dick and Jane”. Leoni started playing the title role in the drama series “Madam Secretary” in 2014, and that’s a show I really enjoy …

8. Tom Collins ingredient : GIN

The cocktail known as a Tom Collins is a mixture of gin, lemon juice, sugar and club soda. The original recipe was supposedly invented by a head waiter called John Collins, in a London hotel in the early 1800s. Called a John Collins back then, the drink’s name was changed around 1869 when a popular recipe specifically called for Old Tom gin.

9. Important datum for Social Security eligibility : AGE

The Social Security Administration (SSA) was set up as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first person to receive a monthly retirement benefit was Ida May Fuller of Vermont who received her first check for the sum of $22.54 after having contributed for three years through payroll taxes. The New Deal turned out to be a good deal for Ms. Fuller, as she lived to 100 years of age and received a total benefit of almost $23,000, whereas her three years of contributions added up to just $24.75.

23. Fish in an ornamental pond : KOI

Koi are fish that are also called Japanese carp. Koi have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored examples found in Japanese water gardens.

25. Neeson of “Taken” : LIAM

Irish actor Liam Neeson got his big break when he played Oskar Schindler in the Spielberg epic, “Schindler’s List”. Neeson was in the news a few years ago when he lost his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, in a tragic skiing accident in 2009.

“Taken” is a fabulous thriller movie released in 2008. It stars Liam Neeson as kind of an older James Bond-ish character, and he is great in the role. “Taken 2” followed in 2012 and it wasn’t a bad sequel, I must say. 2014’s “Taken 3” was just “okay” …

27. Martial arts centers : DOJOS

The Japanese word “dojo” literally means “place of the way”. Originally the term applied to training halls that were found in or beside temples. The teaching in a dojo was not limited to the martial arts, but in the Western world we use the dojo as the name for a training facility for judo, karate and the like.

28. “___ go bragh!” : ERIN

“Erin go bragh!” is an anglicization of the Irish phrase “Éirinn go Brách!”, which translates as “Ireland Forever!”

30. Covert govt. org. : NSA

National Security Agency (NSA)

33. Mythical beauty whose face “launched a thousand ships” : HELEN

According to Greek mythology, Helen was the daughter of Zeus and Leda. When Helen reached the age of marriage, she had many suitors as she was considered the most beautiful woman in the world. Menelaus was chosen as her husband, and he took her back to his home of Sparta. Paris, a Trojan prince, seduced Helen, as she eloped with him and travelled to Troy. This event sparked the Trojan War that waged between the city of Troy and Greece. Because of this war, Helen was said to have “the face that launched a thousand ships”. And because of this phrase, it has been suggested, probably by author Isaac Asimov, that the amount of beauty needed launch a single ship is one “millihelen”.

40. Nascar devotee : RACE FAN

National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR)

50. Powerball winner’s cry : I’M RICH!

The Powerball lottery game is available in most states of the US, as is its major rival called Mega Millions.

58. Jules Verne captain : NEMO

In the 1954 movie version of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne the fate of Nemo and his crew isn’t quite so cut and dry, although the inference is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones’ Locker.

62. Gun lovers’ org. : NRA

National Rifle Association (NRA)

64. Ryan of “Sleepless in Seattle” : MEG

Meg Ryan is the stage name of the actress Margaret Mary Hyra. Ryan’s big break came with the excellent 1989 movie “When Harry Met Sally”, from which she went on to star in some of the greatest romantic comedies ever made.

“Sleepless in Seattle” is a lovely romantic comedy directed and co-written by Nora Ephron, released in 1993. The film’s storyline is based on the excellent 1957 movie “An Affair to Remember”, and there are numerous direct references to the Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr classic throughout the “remake”. The lead roles in “Sleepless …” are played by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Soothes : EASES
6. Aquarium buildup : ALGAE
11. Edmonton’s province: Abbr. : ALB
14. TV replay technique : SLO-MO
15. Hold power, as a monarch : REIGN
16. Neither’s partner : NOR
17. “Water Lilies” painter : CLAUDE MONET
19. Lab eggs : OVA
20. Rock concert blaster : AMP
21. Nerve cell part : AXON
22. Dust Bowl migrants : OKIES
24. Beach toy with a handle : PAIL
26. June, in the L.G.B.T.Q. movement : PRIDE MONTH
29. Pacific source of odd weather : EL NINO
31. Like the paths of satellites : ORBITAL
32. Impressionist Edgar : DEGAS
33. Muslim pilgrim : HAJI
35. Snoop (on) : SPY
36. Profited : MADE MONEY
40. Place for salt on a margarita glass : RIM
43. Yale students : ELIS
44. Opposite of losses : GAINS
48. Simultaneously : AT A TIME
51. Negative about : DOWN ON
52. Computer programmer, disparagingly : CODE MONKEY
55. Brussels-based defense grp. : NATO
56. Revered one in a tribe : ELDER
57. Indian bread : NAAN
59. “Fancy that!” : WOW!
60. Public health org. : FDA
61. Personal struggles … or, literally, features of 17-, 26-, 36- and 52-Across : INNER DEMONS
65. Sailors’ yeses : AYS
66. Deliberately hurtful : CRUEL
67. French thanks : MERCI
68. “Fuhgeddaboutit!” : NAH!
69. At one’s fingertips : HANDY
70. Poet Nash : OGDEN

Down

1. Flew the coop : ESCAPED
2. Like Chippendales revues : ALL MALE
3. Marking, as windows on Halloween : SOAPING
4. Large egg producer : EMU
5. Cream ___ (beverage) : SODA
6. Knight’s wear : ARMOR
7. Téa of “Madam Secretary” : LEONI
8. Tom Collins ingredient : GIN
9. Important datum for Social Security eligibility : AGE
10. Place in a crypt : ENTOMB
11. Ceremonially names : ANOINTS
12. Light, friendly punch : LOVE TAP
13. With audacity : BRASHLY
18. Fair with booths : EXPO
23. Fish in an ornamental pond : KOI
25. Neeson of “Taken” : LIAM
27. Martial arts centers : DOJOS
28. “___ go bragh!” : ERIN
30. Covert govt. org. : NSA
33. Mythical beauty whose face “launched a thousand ships” : HELEN
34. French friend : AMI
37. Floor model : DEMO
38. Source of arrogance : EGO
39. Jaw-dropping opening? : YAWN
40. Nascar devotee : RACE FAN
41. “Shoulda listened to me …” : I TOLD YA …
42. Frantic rush : MAD DASH
45. “Briefly …” : IN A WORD …
46. Never ever : NOT ONCE
47. Strands, as at a ski lodge : SNOWS IN
49. Wearable souvenir, informally : TEE
50. Powerball winner’s cry : I’M RICH!
51. Twosome : DYAD
53. Attacked from below the hip : KNEED
54. At the crack of dawn, say : EARLY
58. Jules Verne captain : NEMO
62. Gun lovers’ org. : NRA
63. Taker of religious vows : NUN
64. Ryan of “Sleepless in Seattle” : MEG

19 thoughts on “1218-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 18 Dec 2017, Monday”

  1. 6:14, no errors, and I had the oddest feeling that I had seen the puzzle before. Deja vu all over again, as they say … 😜

  2. 8:50, no errors.

    @Bill: 26A comment has a typo, should be “The police raided” rather than “The police readied”. Autocorrect strikes again???

    1. @BruceB
      Nice catch. There’s quite a difference between “readied” and “raided” in that context 🙂 I can’t balme autocorrect. I can blame “age”. Thanks!

  3. No errors. I was held back a little by AYS. I saw the obvious answer of AYES but was unaware of the alternate spelling. Looked it up and, sure enough, AYS is a less-used variation of the word.

  4. Very clever, nicely done theme, and quite helpful in the solve, especially at CODEMONKEY. @Dale, paused at AYS for ayes here, too.

  5. A quick quiz: How many clues does today’s puzzle have?

    A) 134

    B) 76

    If you wonder why I ask, see my post from yesterday (in syndication – i.e., Sunday, 1/14/2018) … 😜

  6. *Clues*? 134. “Fills” might be the smaller number, if you can get through the grid with every Across clue “coming to you” naturally.

    Anyway, 7:38 on this one, and no errors. Typical Monday. Invisible theme (isn’t invisibility one of the powers of many demons?) I didn’t even go back to check for the DEMONs in the grid, simply wasn’t worth the effort.

    1. @Allen … This puzzle has 37 “across” clues and 39 “down” clues, for a total of 76. The final number in each list is not the number of items in the list, because the numbers in each list are not consecutive. Each of the numbers from 1 to 70 occurs in at least one of the two lists, but only six of them occur in both lists.

      For the same reason, as I said in a response to your comments about yesterday’s puzzle, that one had only 137 clues, rather than 234.

    2. And I just found your response on yesterday’s blog … You’re right that, even if a puzzle is dead easy, you have to check both “across” and “down” clues to avoid errors. One of my complaints about online solvers is that they seduce one into using just one of the sets of clues for such puzzles, by making it more difficult (and time-consuming) to see the clues in the other set.

      1. @Dave—-I cannot follow what you are saying about the number of clues. I tried to find your comment from yesterday but was unsuccessful. Would you mind explaining it again?

        1. @Dale … I’ll try …

          If you want to know how many horizontal entries a crossword puzzle has, you can look at the grid and count them directly, row by row. For the above puzzle:

          3+3+2+3+2+2+3+1+3+2+2+3+2+3+3 = 37

          Or, you can look at the clues in the “across” list and count them, since each clue in that list is associated with exactly one horizontal entry.

          Similarly, you can count the vertical entries, column by column:

          2+2+2+3+3+3+3+3+3+3+3+3+2+2+2 = 39

          Or, you can look at the clues in the “down” list and count them, since each clue in that list is associated with exactly one vertical entry.

          The total number of clues is the sum: 37 + 39 = 76.

          What you cannot do is assume that the final number in each list is equal to the number of items in the list and add them together (which would give you 70 + 64 = 134). This is because the numbers in each list are not consecutive: some clue numbers appear in the “across” list and some clue numbers appear in the “down” list; only a few appear in both lists. (This is part of what you and I discussed a week or two ago.)

          I think that’s the best I can do …

        2. Maybe this will help: Consider the following list of words:

          1. Abracadabra!
          11. Shazam!
          101. Tada!
          1001. Pow!

          How many items do you see in the list? 1001? Or 4?

          This is just an exaggerated version of the “across” and “down” lists. The final number in each list is not equal to the number of items in the list!

      1. @Dave—-Yes, I now see what you are saying and, yes, I am sure that you are correct. It was interesting to me that by your count today that there were fewer Acrosses (37) than there were Downs (39). But when I think about it, it seems that longer entries result in fewer clues and short entries result in more clues. Generally, constructors tend to insert long theme answers and such in the Acrosses. But they could do that with the Downs just as well if they chose to do so. I think that I will make a count in the upcoming days of all the horizontals and verticals in order to see if any general conclusions can be drawn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.