0211-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 11 Feb 2018, Sunday

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Constructed by: Matt Ginsberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: Paronomasia

We have some paronomasia (play on words) in today’s puzzle. Themed answers sound like the words defined by themed clues:

  • 22A. Narrow passages for killer whales? : ORCHESTRATES (sounds like “orca straits”)
  • 27A. Fable about smoked salmon? : LOCKSMITH (sounds like “lox myth”)
  • 33A. Raised some vegetables? : GROUPIES (sounds like “grew peas”)
  • 35A. Decrease in the number of people named Gerald? : GERIATRICIAN (sounds like “Gerry attrition”)
  • 54A. Belts for a Chinese leader? : MOUSETRAPS (sounds like “Mao’s straps”)
  • 75A. Inventors’ diaries? : IDEALOGUES (sounds like “idea logs”)
  • 92A. Cloudophobia? : STRATOSPHERE (sounds like “stratus fear”)
  • 95A. Opposite of a strong boil? : DULCIMER (sounds like “dull simmer”)
  • 100A. What brings the rocket to the pad? : MISTLETOE (sounds like “missile tow”)
  • 110A. Jewelry for the oracle at Delphi? : PROFITEERING (sounds like “prophet earring”)
  • 3D. Fuss about “The West Wing” actor Rob? : LOCOMOTION (sounds like “Lowe commotion”)
  • 41D. Small undergarments? : WHEATIES (sounds like “wee tees”)
  • 49D. Carried cash around? : BORDEAUX (sounds like “bore dough”)
  • 72D. Help with the harvest? : PHARMACIST (sounds like “farm assist”)

Bill’s time: 23m 56s

Bill’s errors: None

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Like most seamen, supposedly : ABLE

An “able seaman” or “able-bodied seaman” (AB) is a member of a vessel’s deck crew who is not licensed to hold a senior position aboard ship. The most senior AB is usually called the boatswain.

5. Writer who said “Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood” : WILDE

When Oscar Wilde was at the height of his success, he had the Marquess of Queensberry prosecuted for libel. Wilde claimed that Queensberry had left a note at his club with a note that accused the former of sodomy. Queensberry was exonerated during the trial, and Wilde dropped the charges. But the damage was done. Evidence revealed during the trial led to Wilde’s immediate rearrest. He was convicted and served two years in jail.

10. Holiday celebrating the arrival of spring : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

13. Islam’s final pillar : HADJ

Followers of the Muslim tradition believe in the Five Pillars of Islam, five obligatory acts that underpin Muslim life. The Five Pillars are:

  1. The Islamic creed
  2. Daily prayer
  3. Almsgiving
  4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan
  5. The pilgrimage to Mecca (haj, hajj, hadj) once during a lifetime

19. Two make a Hamilton : FIVERS

The obverse of the US ten-dollar bill features the image of Alexander Hamilton, the first US Secretary of the Treasury. As such, ten-dollar bills are sometimes called “Hamiltons”. By the way, the $10 bill is the only US currency in circulation in which the portrait faces to the left. The reverse of the ten-dollar bill features the US Treasury Building.

20. Handel’s “Messiah,” e.g. : ORATORIO

George Frideric Handel was the King of the Oratorio. Handel’s most famous oratorio is “Messiah”, which had its debut performance in Dublin, Ireland back in 1742.

27. Fable about smoked salmon? : LOCKSMITH (sounds like “lox myth”)

Lox is brine-cured salmon fillet that is finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

28. Kvetches : MOANERS

The word “kvetch” comes to us from Yiddish, with “kvetshn” meaning “to complain” or “squeeze”.

30. Balneotherapy site : SPA

Balneotherapy is similar to hydrotherapy and is the treatment of a disease by sitting a patient in baths. Mineral baths and water massages would be considered part of balneotherapy.

40. Hot Wheels maker : MATTEL

The Hot Wheels brand of toy car was introduced by Mattel in 1968. Hot Wheels models are all die-cast, with many designs coming from blueprints provided by manufacturers of the full-size car.

42. Mother ___ : LODE

A lode is a metal ore deposit that’s found between two layers of rock or in a fissure. The “mother lode” is the principal deposit in a mine, usually of gold or silver. “Mother lode” is probably a translation of “veta madre”, an expression used in mining in Mexico.

43. Gulager of “The Return of the Living Dead” : CLU

Clu Gulager is a television and film actor. He is best known for playing Billy the Kid in the TV show “The Tall Man” in the early sixties, and then as Emmett Ryker in “The Virginian” in the late sixties.

45. Number of bits in a byte : EIGHT

In the world of computing, a bit is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of “bits” (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix mega- stands for 10 to the power of 6, so a megabyte (meg) is 1,000,000 bytes. And the prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, so a gigabyte (gig) is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Well, those are the SI definitions of megabyte and kilobyte. The purists still use 2 to the power of 20 for a megabyte (i.e. 1,048,576), and 2 to the power of 30 for a gigabyte.

50. Abstract artist Mondrian : PIET

Piet Mondrian was a painter from the Netherlands who also lived and worked in Paris, London and New York. Mondrian’s works ranged in style from Impressionism to Abstract.

51. First mass consumer product offering Wi-Fi : IBOOK

From 1996 to 2006, Apple sold a relatively cost-effective line of laptops called iBooks. Basically, an iBook was a stripped-down version of the high-end PowerBook, in a different form factor and targeted at the consumer and education markets. The iBook was replaced by the MacBook in 2006.

“Wi-Fi” is nothing more than a trademark, a trademark registered by an association of manufacturers of equipment that use wireless LAN (Local Area Network) technology. A device labeled with “Wi-Fi” has to meet certain defined technical standards, basically meaning that the devices can talk to each other. The name “Wi-Fi” suggests “Wireless Fidelity”, although apparently the term was never intended to mean anything at all.

57. Chaney who was called “The Man of a Thousand Faces” : LON

Lon Chaney, Sr. played a lot of crazed-looking characters in the days of silent movies. He did much of his own make-up work, developing the grotesque appearances that became his trademark, and earning himself the nickname “the man of a thousand faces”. Most famous were his portrayals of the title characters in the films “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) and “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925).

61. Cry from the mizzen top : SAIL, HO!

A mizzenmast is found aft of the main mast on a vessel having more than one mast. The sail on a mizzenmast is a mizzen sail, and is smaller than the mainsail.

62. Conveyance in “Calvin and Hobbes” : SLED

The comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” is still widely syndicated, but hasn’t been written since 1995. The cartoonist Bill Watterson named the character Calvin after John Calvin, the 16th century theologian. Hobbes was named for Thomas Hobbes a 17th century English political philosopher.

65. Storm harbinger, maybe : CALM

A harbinger is a person or a thing that indicates what is to come. The word comes from the Middle English “herbenger”, a person sent ahead to arrange lodgings.

69. Josip Broz, familiarly : TITO

Marshal Josip Broz Tito led the Yugoslav resistance during WWII. After the war, he led the country as Prime Minister and then President.

77. So-called “Island of the Gods” : BALI

Bali is both an island and a province in Indonesia. It is a popular tourist spot, although the number of visitors dropped for a few years as a result of terrorist bombings in 2002 and 2005 that killed mainly tourists. Bali became more popular starting in 2008 due to a significant and favorable change in the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Indonesian rupiah.

78. Ordinary Joe : SCHMO

“Schmo” (also “shmo”) is American slang for a dull or boring person, and comes from the Yiddish word “shmok”.

82. Well-known Cuban export : RUMBA

The rumba (sometimes “rhumba”) is a Cuban dance, with influences brought by African slaves and Spanish colonists. The name “rumba” comes from “rumbo”, the Spanish word for “party, spree”.

85. Lao-___ : TSE

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

86. Crucifixion letters : INRI

The letters written on the cross on which Jesus died were “INRI”. INRI is an initialism standing for the Latin “Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum”, which translates into English as “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews”.

88. Guerre’s opposite : PAIX

In French, “guerre” (war) is the opposite of “paix” (peace).

90. MGM’s lion, e.g. : ROARER

There are some sounds that we hear regularly, and many of them are protected by a sound trademark. The first sound trademark issued in the US was in 1950 to NBC, for the three notes that make up the NBC chimes. Other trademarked sounds are the roar of the MGM lion, the Harlem Globetrotters “Sweet Georgia Brown”, and the 20th Century Fox fanfare.

92. Cloudophobia? : STRATOSPHERE (sounds like “stratus fear”)

Stratus clouds (plural “strati”) are very common, and as they are wider than they are tall and flat along the bottom, we might just see them as haze in a featureless sky above us. Stratus clouds are basically the same as fog, but above the ground. Indeed, many stratus clouds are formed when morning fog lifts into the air as the ground heats up.

95. Opposite of a strong boil? : DULCIMER (sounds like “dull simmer”)

There are two types of dulcimer, both of which are stringed instruments. The hammered dulcimer is composed of a set of strings stretched over a wooden sounding board. A musician plays the hammered dulcimer by striking the strings with small hammers. On the other hand, the Appalachian dulcimer is a fretted string instrument, not unlike a zither. A musician plays it by laying the instrument flat across the lap and plucking the strings with one hand, while pressing on the frets with the other.

97. Pandora’s release : ILLS

According to Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. She was created by the gods, with each god bestowing on her a gift. Her name can be translated from Greek as “all-gifted”. Pandora is famous for the story of “Pandora’s Box”. In actual fact, the story should be about Pandora’s “Jar” as a 16th-century error in translation created a “box” out of the “jar”. In the story of Pandora’s Box, curiosity got the better of her and she opened up a box she was meant to leave alone. As a result she released all the evils of mankind, just closing it in time to trap hope inside.

98. Like Verdi’s “La donna è mobile” : IN B

“La donna è mobile” (“Woman is fickle”) is a very famous aria from Verdi’s opera “Rigoletto”.

“Rigoletto” is one of Giuseppe Verdi’s most famous and oft-performed operas. The storyline comes from Victor Hugo’s play “Le roi s’amuse” (usually translated as “The King’s Fool”). Rigoletto is the king’s fool, the jester.

99. As-yet-undeciphered Cretan script : LINEAR A

There were two linear scripts used in ancient Crete. One is known as Linear A. The other, imaginatively enough, is known as Linear B.

106. Managerial exec : COO

Chief operating officer (COO)

109. Mark Twain farce about a painter who fakes his own demise : IS HE DEAD?

Mark Twain’s play “Is He Dead?” was written in 1898, but it wasn’t published in print until over 100 years later, in 2003. It opened on Broadway in 2007, and ran for 105 performances.

110. Jewelry for the oracle at Delphi? : PROFITEERING (sounds like “prophet earring”)

In Ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word “oracle” derives from the Latin “orare” meaning “to speak”, which is the same root for our word “orator”. One of the most important oracles of Ancient Greece was the priestess to Apollo at Delphi.

114. Arafat of the P.L.O. : YASIR

Yasser (also Yasir) Arafat was born in Cairo in 1929, the son of two Palestinians and the second-youngest of seven children. Arafat was beaten by his father as a child and so did not have a good relationship with him. Arafat did not attend his father’s funeral, nor did he visit his grave. The beatings were apparently administered because the young Arafat was repeatedly attending religious services in the Jewish quarter of Cairo. Arafat’s explanation was that he wanted to “study the mentality” of the Jewish people.

115. What Simon does : SAYS

“Simon Says” is a kids’ game. The idea is for the players of the game to obey the “controller” who gives instructions. But the players should only obey when the controller uses the words, “Simon says …”. The game has very old roots, with a Latin version that uses the words “Cicero dicit fac hoc” (Cicero says do this).

116. Classic British roadsters : MGS

My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget roadster in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by the MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979, with the MG initialism standing for “Morris Garages”.

118. Trix alternative : ETTE

The feminine suffix “-trix” is Latin in origin, and is equivalent to the male suffix “tor”. Examples of usage would be “aviatrix” and “aviator”. Similarly, the feminine suffix “-ette” came into English from French, with the suffix “-et” being the make equivalent. Examples of usage would be “brunette” and “brunet”.

Down

1. Not reporting as instructed, maybe : AWOL

The Military Police (MPs) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

2. Induce ennui in : BORE

“Ennui” is the French word for boredom, and a word that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported that we haven’t anglicized and actually pronounce “correctly”.

3. Fuss about “The West Wing” actor Rob? : LOCOMOTION (sounds like “Lowe commotion”)

The actor Rob Lowe is one of the “founding members” of the so-called Brat Pack, having appeared in the movie “St. Elmo’s Fire”. More recently, he played a regular character on the TV show “Parks and Recreation”. My favorite of his roles though, was playing Sam Seaborn on Aaron Sorkin’s great drama series “The West Wing”. When “The West Wing” first aired, Seaborn was billed as the show’s main character, but outstanding performances from the rest of the cast and some great writing meant that Lowe’s role became “one of many”. This led to some dissatisfaction on Lowe’s part, and eventually he quit the show.

4. Old English letter : EDH

Eth (also “edh”) is a letter that was used in Old English and several other languages, such as Icelandic and Faroese (native language on the Faroe Islands). Other languages that used eth replaced it with the letter D over time.

6. Several Russian czars : IVANS

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “Caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time.

7. Resident of Riga : LETT

Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs). People from Latvia are called Letts.

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

11. Runner Liddell depicted in “Chariots of Fire” : ERIC

“Chariots of Fire” is British film released in 1981. The movie is based on the true story of two athletes training for and participating in the shorter running events in the 1924 Paris Olympics.

16. Kid : JOSH

When the verb “to josh”, meaning “to kid”, was coined in the 1840s as an American slang term, it was written with a capital J. It is likely that the term somehow comes from the proper name “Joshua”, but no one seems to remember why.

18. Colorful shawl : SERAPE

“Serape” is the English pronunciation and spelling of the Spanish word “zarape”. A zarape is like a Mexican poncho, a soft woolen blanket with a hole in the middle for the head. Most serapes have colorful designs that use traditional Mayan motifs.

19. Neighbor of Palisades Park, N.J. : FT LEE

Fort Lee, New Jersey is located at the western side of the George Washington Bridge that spans the Hudson River. Fort Lee is known as the birthplace of the motion picture industry. The world’s first movie studio was built there by Thomas Edison, in a facility known as the Black Maria.

21. Chanteuse O’Shea : TESSIE

Tessie O’Shea was a Welsh actress and entertainer. Famously, she was a heavy woman, and made use of the fact by singing as her theme song “Two Ton Tessie from Tennessee”. She appeared in the Noel Coward musical “The Girl Who Came to Supper” in 1963, for which she picked up a Tony Award.

27. China’s Chou En-___ : LAI

Zhou Enlai (also “Chou En-Lai”) was the first government leader of the People’s Republic of China and held the office of Premier from 1949 until he died in 1976. Zhou Enlai ran the government for Communist Party Leader Mao Zedong, often striking a more conciliatory tone with the West than that of his boss. He was instrumental, for example, in setting up President Nixon’s famous visit to China in 1972. Zhou Enlai died just a few months before Mao Zedong, with both deaths leading to unrest and a dramatic change in political direction for the country.

31. Early arrival : PREEMIE

A “preemie” (sometimes “premie”) is a preterm or premature birth.

33. Service with more than a billion users : GMAIL

Gmail users (like me) have the advantage of a 10-send grace period in which one can decide to undo the send command for a specific email. I like that “undo send” feature …

34. Recurring role for Stallone : RAMBO

“First Blood” was the original of the four “Rambo” films starring Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, a troubled Vietnam War veteran. I thought “First Blood” was a pretty good film actually, but the sequels were terrible, and way too violent for me. But, action all the way …

35. Groks : GETS

To grok is to understand. “To grok” is a slang term that’s really only used in “techie” circles. “Grok” is the creation of science fiction author Robert Heinlein, who coined it in his 1961 novel “Stranger in a Strange Land”.

36. Philatelist’s item : ALBUM

Philately is the practice of collecting postage stamps. The term “philately” was coined (in French, as “philatélie) in 1864 by French collector Georges Herpin. He came up with it from the Greek “phil-” meaning “loving” and “ateleia” meaning “exemption from tax”. Apparently “exemption from tax” was the closest thing Herpin could find to “postage stamp”.

38. Hebrew leader : ALEPH

“Aleph” is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and “beth” is the second.

41. Small undergarments? : WHEATIES (sounds like “wee tees”)

Wheaties were introduced to the world in 1924, making it the oldest cereal produced by General Mills. The idea of mixing wheat and bran together into a cereal was the result of an accidental spill of wheat bran into a stove. The product was first called Washburn’s Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flakes, and this was changed to Wheaties after an employee contest to find a better name.

49. Carried cash around? : BORDEAUX (sounds like “bore dough”)

Bordeaux is perhaps the wine-production capital of the world. Wine has been produced in the area since the eighth century. Bordeaux has an administrative history too. During WWII, the French government relocated from Paris to the port city of Bordeaux when it became clear that Paris was soon to fall to the Germans. After the Germans took France, the capital was famously moved to Vichy.

52. Superman’s birth name : KAL-EL

Jor-El was a scientist on the planet Krypton who was married to Lara. Jor-El and Lara had an infant son named Kal-El who they were able to launch into space towards Earth just before Krypton was destroyed. Kal-El became Superman. In the 1978 movie “Superman”, Jor-El was played by Marlon Brando, Lara was played by Susannah York, and Kal-El/Superman was played by Christopher Reeve.

55. Morales of “NYPD Blue” : ESAI

The actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.

“NYPD Blue” is a police drama that was originally aired in 1993, and ran until 2005. Stars of the show are Dennis Franz, David Caruso, Jimmy Smits and Rick Schroder. The show created a bit of a fuss back in the nineties, as it featured a relatively large amount of nudity for broadcast television.

56. Some Poe works : TALES

The celebrated American writer Edgar Allan Poe was born “Edgar Poe” in 1809 in Boston. Poe’s father abandoned Edgar and his two siblings after the death of their mother. As a result, Edgar was taken into the home of the Allan family in Richmond Virginia. His foster parents gave the future author the name “Edgar Allan Poe”.

59. Mulligan : REDO

There doesn’t seem to be a definitive account for the origin of the term “Mulligan”, which is most often used for a shot do-over in golf. There are lots of stories about golfers named Mulligan though, and I suspect that one of them may be true …

60. Un-to : FRO

To and fro.

67. “That is,” to Caesar : ID EST

“Id est” is Latin for “that is”, and is often abbreviated to “i.e.” when used in English.

69. ___ bulb : TULIP

We usually associate the cultivation of tulips with the Netherlands, but they were first grown commercially in the Ottoman Empire. The name “tulip” ultimately derives from the Ottoman Turkish word “tulbend” which means “muslin, gauze”.

73. V.I.P. at the Oscars : EMCEE

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

74. What’s human, they say : TO ERR

Alexander Pope’s 1709 poem “An Essay on Criticism” is the source of at least three well-known quotations:

  • A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.
  • To err is human, to forgive divine.
  • For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

76. Needle-nosed fish : GARS

“Gar” was originally the name given to a species of needlefish found in the North Atlantic. The term “gar” is now used to describe several species of fish with elongated bodies that inhabit North and Central America and the Caribbean. The gar is unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What I find interesting is that the gar’s swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. Many species of gar can actually be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

77. Grocer’s wheel : BRIE

Brie is a soft cheese that is named for the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert.

79. “___ de Lune” : CLAIR

“Clair de lune” is the beautiful third movement from Claude Debussy’s piano work called the “Suite bergamasque”. “Clair de lune” is French for “moonlight”.

83. Garfield’s girlfriend in “Garfield” : ARLENE

Arlene is a pink stray cat who is fond of the title character in the “Garfield” comic strip by Jim Davis. Garfield is pretty rude to Arlene though, and often makes fun of the gap in her teeth.

87. Small, biting fly : NO-SEE-UM

“No-see-um” is a familiar term used in North America for the small flies known as biting midges. We called them “midgies” in Ireland …

91. Playwright Sean who wrote “Juno and the Paycock” : O’CASEY

Seán O’Casey was an Irish playwright noted for his works exploring the plight of the working class in Dublin. O’Casey’s most famous works are “Juno and the Paycock” and “The Plough and the Stars”.

100. G.I.s of concern : MIAS

Missing in action (MIA)

The initials “GI” stand for “Government Issue”, and not “General Infantry” as is widely believed. “GI” was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

101. Cuba, por ejemplo : ISLA

Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean. The exact etymology of the name “Cuba” seems a little unclear. Most believe “Cuba” to be derived from the Taíno terms for “where fertile land is abundant” (cubao) or “great place” (coabana).

102. Drink disliked by Buzz Aldrin [true fact!] : TANG

Tang is a fruity drink that is sold in powdered form. The sales of Tang “took off” when John Glenn took Tang on his Mercury flight. However, it is a common misconception that Tang was invented for the space program. That’s not true, although it was included in the payload of many missions.

Buzz Aldrin was a true American hero, I’d say. He flew 66 combat missions in Korea, shot down two MiGs, earned his Sc. D. degree from MIT, and was one of the two men who landed on the moon for the first time. Now that man, he lived a life worth living.

105. Hershey chocolate : ROLO

Rolo was a hugely popular chocolate candy in Ireland when I was growing up. Rolo was introduced in the thirties in the UK, and is produced under license in the US by Hershey. I was a little disappointed when I had my first taste of the American version as the center is very hard and chewy. The recipe used on the other side of the Atlantic calls for a soft gooey center.

108. Shrek, for one : OGRE

Before “Shrek” was a successful movie franchise and Broadway musical, it was a children’s picture book called “Shrek!” that was authored and illustrated by William Steig. The title “Shrek!” came from the German/Yiddish word Schreck, meaning “fear” or “terror”.

111. Arctic explorer John : RAE

John Rae was a Scottish explorer who took on the task of searching for the ill-fated Franklin Expedition of 1845. The Franklin Expedition was itself searching for the elusive Northwest Passage through the Arctic Ocean connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific. John Rae stirred up much controversy back in England when he reported evidence of cannibalism among the ill-fated Franklin explorers.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Like most seamen, supposedly : ABLE
5. Writer who said “Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood” : WILDE
10. Holiday celebrating the arrival of spring : TET
13. Islam’s final pillar : HADJ
17. Non-irons : WOODS
19. Two make a Hamilton : FIVERS
20. Handel’s “Messiah,” e.g. : ORATORIO
22. Narrow passages for killer whales? : ORCHESTRATES (sounds like “orca straits”)
24. Kitchen nooks : DINETTES
25. Zodiac feline : LEO
26. Backs down : RELENTS
27. Fable about smoked salmon? : LOCKSMITH (sounds like “lox myth”)
28. Kvetches : MOANERS
30. Balneotherapy site : SPA
32. “Yeah, right” : AS IF
33. Raised some vegetables? : GROUPIES (sounds like “grew peas”)
35. Decrease in the number of people named Gerald? : GERIATRICIAN (sounds like “Gerry attrition”)
40. Hot Wheels maker : MATTEL
41. Are no longer : WERE
42. Mother ___ : LODE
43. Gulager of “The Return of the Living Dead” : CLU
44. In amongst : AMID
45. Number of bits in a byte : EIGHT
48. Gradually diminishes : EBBS
50. Abstract artist Mondrian : PIET
51. First mass consumer product offering Wi-Fi : IBOOK
53. Sticks for breaking things : CUES
54. Belts for a Chinese leader? : MOUSETRAPS (sounds like “Mao’s straps”)
57. Chaney who was called “The Man of a Thousand Faces” : LON
58. Oakland’s Oracle, for example : ARENA
60. Not budging : FIRM
61. Cry from the mizzen top : SAIL, HO!
62. Conveyance in “Calvin and Hobbes” : SLED
63. Overused : TIRED
65. Storm harbinger, maybe : CALM
66. Gave a pick-me-up : LIFTED
69. Josip Broz, familiarly : TITO
70. Like many a campfire story : EERIE
72. Responsibility lesson for a child : PET
75. Inventors’ diaries? : IDEALOGUES (sounds like “idea logs”)
77. So-called “Island of the Gods” : BALI
78. Ordinary Joe : SCHMO
80. Impose : LEVY
81. Afterthought indicator : ALSO
82. Well-known Cuban export : RUMBA
84. Fancy collar material : LACE
85. Lao-___ : TSE
86. Crucifixion letters : INRI
88. Guerre’s opposite : PAIX
90. MGM’s lion, e.g. : ROARER
92. Cloudophobia? : STRATOSPHERE (sounds like “stratus fear”)
95. Opposite of a strong boil? : DULCIMER (sounds like “dull simmer”)
97. Pandora’s release : ILLS
98. Like Verdi’s “La donna è mobile” : IN B
99. As-yet-undeciphered Cretan script : LINEAR A
100. What brings the rocket to the pad? : MISTLETOE (sounds like “missile tow”)
104. Archaeologists’ study : ORIGINS
106. Managerial exec : COO
109. Mark Twain farce about a painter who fakes his own demise : IS HE DEAD?
110. Jewelry for the oracle at Delphi? : PROFITEERING (sounds like “prophet earring”)
112. Versatile : ALL-ROUND
113. Subleases : RELETS
114. Arafat of the P.L.O. : YASIR
115. What Simon does : SAYS
116. Classic British roadsters : MGS
117. Rank things : ODORS
118. Trix alternative : ETTE

Down

1. Not reporting as instructed, maybe : AWOL
2. Induce ennui in : BORE
3. Fuss about “The West Wing” actor Rob? : LOCOMOTION (sounds like “Lowe commotion”)
4. Old English letter : EDH
5. Electricians : WIRERS
6. Several Russian czars : IVANS
7. Resident of Riga : LETT
8. Cousin of a highboy : DRESSER
9. Part of a road test track : ESS
10. List heading : TO DO
11. Runner Liddell depicted in “Chariots of Fire” : ERIC
12. Pub container : TANKARD
13. It might pick up a passing comment : HOT MIC
14. Contrived : ARTIFICIAL
15. Beverly Hills ___ : DIET
16. Kid : JOSH
18. Colorful shawl : SERAPE
19. Neighbor of Palisades Park, N.J. : FT LEE
21. Chanteuse O’Shea : TESSIE
23. Declining due to age : SENILE
27. China’s Chou En-___ : LAI
29. Best : OUTDO
31. Early arrival : PREEMIE
33. Service with more than a billion users : GMAIL
34. Recurring role for Stallone : RAMBO
35. Groks : GETS
36. Philatelist’s item : ALBUM
37. Turn’s partner : TOSS
38. Hebrew leader : ALEPH
39. Wack : NUTSO
41. Small undergarments? : WHEATIES (sounds like “wee tees”)
46. Like some sprains and champagnes : ICED
47. Rev : GUN
49. Carried cash around? : BORDEAUX (sounds like “bore dough”)
50. Schoolmarmish : PRIM
52. Superman’s birth name : KAL-EL
55. Morales of “NYPD Blue” : ESAI
56. Some Poe works : TALES
59. Mulligan : REDO
60. Un-to : FRO
62. Legal pause : STAY
64. “Come on in!” : IT’S OPEN!
65. Home, in slang : CRIB
66. Buoyant cadences : LILTS
67. “That is,” to Caesar : ID EST
68. At a frantic pace : FEVERISHLY
69. ___ bulb : TULIP
71. Wood often used for bow-making : ELM
72. Help with the harvest? : PHARMACIST (sounds like “farm assist”)
73. V.I.P. at the Oscars : EMCEE
74. What’s human, they say : TO ERR
76. Needle-nosed fish : GARS
77. Grocer’s wheel : BRIE
79. “___ de Lune” : CLAIR
83. Garfield’s girlfriend in “Garfield” : ARLENE
86. Tepid approval : IT’LL DO
87. Small, biting fly : NO-SEE-UM
89. Lined with trees : ARBORED
91. Playwright Sean who wrote “Juno and the Paycock” : O’CASEY
93. Lets out, e.g. : ALTERS
94. Step on it : HIE
95. All thumbs : DIGITS
96. Second and fifth : UNITS
99. Career employee : LIFER
100. G.I.s of concern : MIAS
101. Cuba, por ejemplo : ISLA
102. Drink disliked by Buzz Aldrin [true fact!] : TANG
103. Strangely enough, they’re often even : ODDS
105. Hershey chocolate : ROLO
107. Doing the job : ON IT
108. Shrek, for one : OGRE
110. Voting affirmatively : PRO
111. Arctic explorer John : RAE

10 thoughts on “0211-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 11 Feb 2018, Sunday”

  1. 27:37, no errors. Lots of fumbling about with this one. Accidentally entered the last letter before doing a final check and was surprised to get the “success” message, as I was convinced there would be a stupid typo somewhere. But … all’s well that end’s well … ?

  2. 59:04. I filled the grid somewhere around the 52 minute mark but no congratulatory music. I found one error, but the silence kept going. I looked over all the across then all the down answers and couldn’t see anything. I checked a few things with Google to see if they were correct and they were…

    Finally I didn’t want to exceed an hour so I just pushed the Reveal button and saw my error was iNIT/CiO as in Chief Information Officer which used to be a position in a corporation, but it’s not usually called that anymore. This was a tough grid so of all things to get wrong in the end…..Sheesh…..

    My first encounter with the name NO SEE UMS was on the island of Roatan in Honduras. Honduras obviously is a Spanish speaking country, but they speak English on that island. Everything on the beach is built up a few inches over the sand as that’s all you need to avoid them. Nasty nasty things….

    Tough one….tough weekend of puzzles.

    Best –

    1. Well were back. Donna and Bill would like to say that we never finished the puzzle. Bad one for us to start again. Oh well will try again next week.

      For you three above that finished it Kudos to you. See you next week.

  3. 46:52, no errors. Interesting challenge. I felt like I was guessing at most of these entries as I was filling them in, but once all the squares were filled, I felt confident that all entries were correct.

    Saw most of the theme entries, such as ORCHESTRATES and GROUPIES; but did not see others, LOCKSMITHS or DULCIMER. Thanks again, Bill, for clarifying those for us.

  4. 45:45 and 9 errors. Not a big fan of “soundalikes” or “puns”.

    A few clues I found to be rather nasty traps: 95D “All thumbs”… and the answer had the same length as CLUMSY. Spent a lot of time trying to make that work. 96D : *Had to be* a better clue for that… 118 A: I’m thinking the cereal not the “feminine form of..”

    Not a good start to the week….

  5. I’ve been doing the Sunday puzzle for thirty years and usually finish it in about 40 minutes with a couple of errors tops. I gave up on this one at 50 with many blank squares. And not only have I never heard or seen the word “paronomasia,” even if I knew what it meant I never would have gotten it. It was constructed and clued like a diabolical Saturday puzzle but with a larger grid. I’ll believe that “Bill” finished this in 23 minutes when I see him do one this tough in front of me.

  6. Well, I guess, in crosswords, as in so much else, the old Roman adage applies:

    De Gustibus Non Disputandum Est

    I liked this puzzle … ?

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