0212-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 12 Feb 2018, Monday

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Constructed by: Michael Black
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Cardholder

Themed answers include the name of a CREDIT CARD as a hidden word:

  • 59A. One with credit … or a literal hint to 17-, 27- and 44-Across : CARDHOLDER
  • 17A. Best-selling autobiography by Priscilla Presley : ELVIS AND ME (hiding “VISA”)
  • 27A. State capital ESE of Guadalajara : OAXACA, MEXICO (hiding “AMEX”)
  • 44A. Many a 1970s remix : DISCO VERSION (hiding “DISCOVER”)

Bill’s time: 5m 47s

Bill’s errors: None

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Horror sequel of 2005 : SAW II

The “Saw” franchise of movies is gruesome in the extreme. I’ve only seen a few minutes of “Saw” footage (accidentally). The storylines center on imprisoned victims who are faced with having to mutilate themselves in order to escape. Ugh …

16. Theater award : OBIE

The Obies are the “Off-Broadway Theater Awards”. The Obies are presented annually and the recipients are chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper.

17. Best-selling autobiography by Priscilla Presley : ELVIS AND ME (hiding “VISA”)

Visa doesn’t actually issue any credit or debit cards. Visa just sells the electronic systems and infrastructure to banks who then put the Visa logo on their own cards. Seeing the logo, both customer and merchant know to use the VISA system when making a transaction.

20. Michelle of the L.P.G.A. : WIE

Michelle Wie is an American golfer on the LPGA Tour. Wie began playing golf at the age of four and was the youngest player ever to qualify for an LPGA tour event. She turned pro just before her 16th birthday.

21. Any singer of the 1973 #1 hit “Love Train” : O’JAY

The O’Jays are an R&B group from Canton, Ohio. They came together in 1963 as a band of five singers and are still performing today, although now only as a trio. The band took the name of the O’Jays as a tribute to a radio disk jockey called Eddie O’Jay who was big in Cleveland at the time. The biggest hit for the O’Jays is “Love Train”, released in 1972.

22. Actor John of “Problem Child” : RITTER

Actor John Ritter had acting in his blood, as he was the son of Tex Ritter, the country music singer and movie actor. John Ritter’s big break was playing Jack Tripper on the hit sitcom “Three’s Company”.

24. Neil who sang “Laughter in the Rain” : SEDAKA

Neil Sedaka has been performing and composing for well over 50 years. His list of hits includes classics such as “Stupid Cupid”, “Oh! Carol”, “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen” and “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do”.

26. Antiriot spray : MACE

“Mace” is actually a brand name, one introduced by Lake Erie Chemical when they started to manufacture “Chemical Mace”, with the name being a play on the club-like weapon from days of old. Mace was originally a form of tear gas, but Mace today uses a formula that is actually a pepper spray, a different formulation.

27. State capital ESE of Guadalajara : OAXACA, MEXICO (hiding “AMEX”)

Oaxaca is a state in the southern part of Mexico on the Pacific coast. The state takes the name of Oaxaca, its largest city.

Guadalajara is a populous city in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The Mexican city is named after the city of the same name in the center of Spain.

“Amex” is short for American Express, the financial services company that is best known for its credit card, charge card and traveler’s check businesses. The company name is indicative of its original business. American Express was founded in 1850 in Buffalo, New York as an express mail service.

36. Woods nymph : DRYAD

In Greek mythology, dryads are tree nymphs. The term comes from the Greek “drys” meaning an oak tree, but “dryad” tends to be used for the nymphs of all trees and not just the oak variety.

37. Cartoon “devil,” informally : TAZ

The “Looney Tunes” character known as the Tasmanian Devil, or “Taz”, first appeared in a cartoon short with Bugs Bunny called “Devil May Care” in 1954.

39. Sanders in the Pro Football Hall of Fame : DEION

Deion Sanders is a former NFL footballer, and a former Major League Baseball player. He is the only person to play in a Super Bowl and in a World Series. And, in the 1989 season Sanders became the only person to hit a major league home run and score an NFL touchdown in the same week. While playing, he earned the nicknames “Neon Deion” and “Prime Time Sanders”.

40. Jazzman Stan : GETZ

Stan Getz was a jazz saxophonist. Getz’s playing style earned him the nickname “The Sound”.

41. Onetime competitor of the WB : UPN

The United Paramount Network (UPN) was a TV channel that launched in 1995, and shut down in 2006. Some of UPN’s programming was moved to the CW channel at the time of UPN’s demise.

43. ___ Island (amusement park site) : CONEY

Cony (or “coney”) is an old English word for rabbit or rabbit fur, and Coney Island in New York takes its name from the same root. The Dutch used the name “Conyne Eylandt” (Rabbit Island) after the large population of rabbits that was hunted there.

44. Many a 1970s remix : DISCO VERSION (hiding “DISCOVER”)

Discotheques first appeared during WWII in Occupied France. American-style music (like jazz and jitterbug dances) was banned by the Nazis, so French natives met in underground clubs that they called discotheques where records were often played on just a single turntable. After the war, these clubs came out into the open. One famous Paris discotheque was called “Whiskey a Gogo”. In that Paris disco, non-stop music was played using two turntables next to a dance-floor, and this concept spread around the world.

Sears introduced the Discover Card in 1985. The Discover Card brought with it some innovative features for the period, such as no annual fee and a higher-than-normal credit limit. As other credit card companies adopted those ideas, Discover Card later introduced cash-back bonuses on purchases.

47. Rock’s Clapton or Burdon : ERIC

Can you believe that the great Eric Clapton only had one chart-topper in the US? In 1974, Clapton released a cover version of the Bob Marley classic “I Shot the Sheriff” and ended up selling more copies of that song than Bob Marley did himself. Clapton is the only person to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times: once as a member of the Yardbirds, once as a member of the supergroup Cream, and once as a solo artist.

Eric Burdon is an English singer, and a founding member of the sixties rock band called the Animals. By 1969 Burdon was living in San Francisco and joined the Californian funk rock band called War.

57. Sch. in Charlottesville : UVA

The University of Virginia (UVA) was founded by Thomas Jefferson, who then sat on the original Board of Visitors alongside former US Presidents James Madison and James Monroe. In fact, the original UVA campus was built on land near Charlottesville that was once a farm belonging to President Monroe.

63. What separates Nevada from Colorado : UTAH

When viewed on a map of the US, the state of Utah has six sides. It’s almost shaped like a rectangle, but there is a “bite” out of that rectangle in the northeast corner of the state.

67. ___ the bill (pays for something) : FOOTS

To foot the bill is pay it, to pay the total at the “foot” of the bill.

Down

2. “Kate & ___” of 1980s TV : ALLIE

The sitcom “Kate & Allie” ran from 1984 to 1989, starring Susan Saint James as Kate, and Jane Curtin as Allie. Jane Curtin won two Emmy awards for her work on the series, while Susan Saint James … did not.

4. Singer Kamoze with the 1994 hit “Here Comes the Hotstepper” : INI

“Ini Kamoze” is the stage name of Jamaican reggae singer Cecil Campbell. His best-known song (though not known by me!) is “Here Comes the Hotstepper” released in 1994.

6. Author Ferber : EDNA

Edna Ferber was a novelist and playwright from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ferber won a Pulitzer for her novel “So Big”, which was made into a film a few times, most famously in 1953 starring Jane Wyman. Ferber also wrote “Show Boat”, “Cimarron” and “Giant”, which were adapted successfully for the stage and/or big screen.

7. Suffragist Elizabeth ___ Stanton : CADY

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the earliest leaders of the women’s rights and women’s suffrage movements in the United States. Notably, she opposed the extension of voting rights to African American men (the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments), even though she was an outspoken abolitionist. She believed that increasing the number of male voters in the country would just make it harder for women to get the vote.

12. Stream near the Great Pyramids : NILE

Depending on definition, the Nile is generally regarded as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for the peoples living along its length.

Giza is located on the west bank of the Nile, about 20 km southwest of Cairo. The nearby Giza Plateau is home to some of the most amazing ancient monuments on the planet, including the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Sphinx.

18. Cleanser brand with a name from mythology : AJAX

Ajax cleanser has been around since 1947, and it’s “stronger than dirt!” That was the most famous slogan over here in the US. On my side of the pond, the celebrated slogan was “it cleans like a white tornado”.

Ajax was a figure in Greek mythology, and was the cousin of Achilles. Ajaz is an important figure in Homer’s “Iliad”. According to Homer, Ajax was chosen by lot to meet Hector in an epic duel that lasted a whole day. The duel ended in a draw.

28. High muckety-muck on Madison Avenue : AD EXEC

Madison Avenue became the center of advertising in the US in the twenties, and serves as the backdrop to the great TV drama “Mad Men”. There aren’t many advertising agencies left on Madison Avenue these days though, as most have moved to other parts of New York City. The street takes its name from Madison Square, which is bounded on one side by Madison Avenue. The square in turn takes its name from James Madison, the fourth President of the United States.

29. Town ___ (colonial figure) : CRIER

Town criers make public announcements on the streets, usually shouting “Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!” to attract attention. The term “oyez” derives from the Anglo-Norman word for “listen” and is used in this instance to me “Hear ye!”

30. Major Calif.-to-Fla. route : I-TEN

I-10 is the most southerly of the interstate routes that cross from the Atlantic right to the Pacific. I-10 stretches from Santa Monica, California to Jacksonville, Florida. Various stretches of the route have been given different names, for example, the Rosa Parks Freeway, the Santa Monica Freeway, the San Bernardino Freeway and the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway.

31. Oscar-winning actress Blanchett : CATE

Cate Blanchett is a great actress from Australia, and a winner of an Academy Award for playing Katherine Hepburn in “The Aviator”. Winning for that role made Blanchett the first person to win an Academy Award for playing an actor (Hepburn) who had also won an Oscar. Now that, that is trivial information …

32. Rocker Osbourne : OZZY

English singer Ozzy Osbourne became famous in the seventies as the lead singer of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. His level of success soared again in the early 2000s when he appeared in an MTV reality show called “The Osbournes”, along with his wife Sharon and two of his three children, Kelly and Jack. Ozzy and Sharon’s eldest child, Aimee, refused to sign up for the show, opting instead for some level of privacy.

33. Tater : SPUD

The word “spud” is used as a slang term for a potato and was first recorded in the mid-1800s, in New Zealand would you believe?

34. Big ___ (longtime Red Sox nickname) : PAPI

The Dominican-American baseball player David Ortiz has the nickname “Big Papi”. After each home run that Ortiz scores, he looks upwards and points to the sky, a tribute to his mother who died in a car crash in 2002 when she was only 46 years old.

35. B&Bs : INNS

An intimate inn (in the US) is a bed & breakfast (B&B). A bed & breakfast back in Ireland is traditionally more basic accommodation, and at least used to be much cheaper than a comparable hotel room.

43. “Iron Chef” competition : COOK-OFF

“Iron Chef” is a Japanese cooking show that has been broadcast since 1993. The original Japanese show was dubbed for airing in English-speaking countries and became a surprising hit around the world. There are now spin-off shows around the world including “Iron Chef America” and “Iron Chef UK”.

46. Poison ivy symptom : ITCH

Two of the plants that are most painful to humans are poison oak and poison ivy. Poison oak is mainly found west of the Rocky Mountains, and poison ivy to the east.

51. Pub game : DARTS

Darts is a wonderful game that’s often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 in sequence.

52. Home of the N.C.A.A.’s Bruins : UCLA

The UCLA Bruins’ mascots are Joe and Josephine Bruin, characters that have evolved over the years. There used to be “mean” Bruin mascots but they weren’t very popular with the fans, so now there are only “happy” Bruin mascots at the games.

53. Pinot ___ : NOIR

The Pinot noir wine grape variety takes its name from the French for “pine” and “black”. The grapes grow in tight clusters shaped like pine cones, and are very dark in color. The Pinot noir grape is most closely associated with Burgundy wines in France, although in recent years the popularity (and price) of California Pinot noir wine has soared after it featured so prominently in the wonderful, wonderful 2004 movie “Sideways”. Grab a bottle of Pinot, and go rent the DVD…

54. Folk singer Mitchell : JONI

Joni Mitchell is a Canadian singer and songwriter from Fort MacLeod in Alberta. Mitchell is perhaps best known for her recordings “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Woodstock”.

56. What Ritalin helps treat, for short : ADHD

The “official” name for the condition we sometimes still refer to as “attention deficit disorder” (ADD) is “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD).

Ritalin is a trade name for the drug methylphenidate that is used for treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. Methylphenidate has a similar structure and similar properties to the drug cocaine, although it is less potent.

61. “7 Faces of Dr. ___” (1964 film) : LAO

“The Circus of Dr. Lao” is a novel by Charles G. Finney, first published in 1935. There was a famous film adaptation released in 1964 called “7 Faces of Dr. Lao” starring Tony Randall in the title role. Randall wasn’t the first choice, as the director wanted Peter Sellers for the part. However, MGM insisted on an American lead, and a great choice it turned out to be.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Horror sequel of 2005 : SAW II
6. Reverberation : ECHO
10. Movers’ vehicles : VANS
14. Sow, as seeds : PLANT
15. Clammy : DAMP
16. Theater award : OBIE
17. Best-selling autobiography by Priscilla Presley : ELVIS AND ME (hiding “VISA”)
19. Be the best, in slang : RULE
20. Michelle of the L.P.G.A. : WIE
21. Any singer of the 1973 #1 hit “Love Train” : O’JAY
22. Actor John of “Problem Child” : RITTER
24. Neil who sang “Laughter in the Rain” : SEDAKA
26. Antiriot spray : MACE
27. State capital ESE of Guadalajara : OAXACA, MEXICO (hiding “AMEX”)
33. Like a porcupine : SPINY
36. Woods nymph : DRYAD
37. Cartoon “devil,” informally : TAZ
38. Window part : PANE
39. Sanders in the Pro Football Hall of Fame : DEION
40. Jazzman Stan : GETZ
41. Onetime competitor of the WB : UPN
42. Machine near the end of a car wash : WAXER
43. ___ Island (amusement park site) : CONEY
44. Many a 1970s remix : DISCO VERSION (hiding “DISCOVER”)
47. Rock’s Clapton or Burdon : ERIC
48. Dressed for a classic fraternity party : TOGAED
52. Fixes, as a photocopier : UNJAMS
55. Front’s opposite : BACK
57. Sch. in Charlottesville : UVA
58. Dove calls : COOS
59. One with credit … or a literal hint to 17-, 27- and 44-Across : CARDHOLDER
62. Queue : LINE
63. What separates Nevada from Colorado : UTAH
64. Barely visible, as a star : FAINT
65. Rarely getting rain : ARID
66. Hang in the balance : PEND
67. ___ the bill (pays for something) : FOOTS

Down

1. Shoots out : SPEWS
2. “Kate & ___” of 1980s TV : ALLIE
3. Signaled with the hand : WAVED
4. Singer Kamoze with the 1994 hit “Here Comes the Hotstepper” : INI
5. “There, there” : IT’S OKAY
6. Author Ferber : EDNA
7. Suffragist Elizabeth ___ Stanton : CADY
8. “Lemme think …” : HMM …
9. 1990s “Saturday Night Live” character with a cape : OPERA MAN
10. Whirlpool : VORTEX
11. Touch : ABUT
12. Stream near the Great Pyramids : NILE
13. Crystal ball user : SEER
18. Cleanser brand with a name from mythology : AJAX
23. Like some sprains and tea : ICED
25. Primo : A-ONE
26. City hall V.I.P.s : MAYORS
28. High muckety-muck on Madison Avenue : AD EXEC
29. Town ___ (colonial figure) : CRIER
30. Major Calif.-to-Fla. route : I-TEN
31. Oscar-winning actress Blanchett : CATE
32. Rocker Osbourne : OZZY
33. Tater : SPUD
34. Big ___ (longtime Red Sox nickname) : PAPI
35. B&Bs : INNS
39. Tennis tournament since 1900 : DAVIS CUP
40. Percussion in a Buddhist temple : GONG
42. Wriggler on a fishhook : WORM
43. “Iron Chef” competition : COOK-OFF
45. Brought to a halt : CEASED
46. Poison ivy symptom : ITCH
49. Sound part of a broadcast : AUDIO
50. Happening : EVENT
51. Pub game : DARTS
52. Home of the N.C.A.A.’s Bruins : UCLA
53. Pinot ___ : NOIR
54. Folk singer Mitchell : JONI
55. Muffin material : BRAN
56. What Ritalin helps treat, for short : ADHD
60. Had a bite : ATE
61. “7 Faces of Dr. ___” (1964 film) : LAO

4 thoughts on “0212-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 12 Feb 2018, Monday”

  1. 7:56 No real problems but a bit slower than normal. Partly due to a typo that took me a bit to find once I was done.

    I know it’s a day late but I thought yesterday’s was very tough. Took me 84 minutes which is the longest a Sunday has taken me in years. I thought the clue answers were tough to figure and lots of the rest of the fill was pretty tricky. The bottom left corner with MISTLETOE took me forever. I almost threw in the towel a few times but I stuck with it and finally got it all. I felt very smart on Saturday when I finished about 50% faster than usual and very dumb yesterday when it took me about 50% longer. 🙂

  2. 9:51. Slightly more difficult that a typical Monday. I didn’t bother to look for the theme until the blog. Clever, but where was the clue “Spiritual comedian” and answer ZEN MASTER CARD…??

    Best –

  3. Way harder than a Monday for me. I had to Google for 6. Google happens for one or two on Thursday. Never got the theme; that might have helped. And too much sports.

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