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

Advertisement

[ad_above_grid]

Constructed by: Peter Wentz
Edited by: Will Shortz

Advertisement

Advertisement

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Advertisement

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

9 thoughts on “0217-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 17 Feb 2018, Saturday”

  1. DNF after about 30 minutes of gnashing my teeth last night. Maybe I was too tired? Yeah…..I’ll go with that. Was about half done and just pushed the Reveal button so I could go to bed. Oh well. Saturdays are a bit of a crapshoot for me anyway so this will happen on occasion.

    In retrospect it had some pretty clever cluing, but I was not a particularly clever solver today. There’s always tomorrow..

    Best –

  2. Yesterday’s puzzle included the clue “Like privates, often”, for which the answer was “PIXELATED”. This morning I woke up thinking it could be said that the naughty bits of photos are pixelated to keep the photos from being “pix salacious” … ?

    And, @Bill … You said “I’m not sure that this clue/answer is correct …”. Perhaps the use of the word “privates” to mean “private parts” is a regionalism unfamiliar to you?

  3. 28:30, and no errors. Had to fix BOONE/ANTS ON A LOG right at the end to preserve the “clean sheet”. This was a toughie, and I was glad to finish it!! Good end to the week!

    As to the “privates/pixelation” debate going on above… I think the spirit of that clue and that answer has to do with “prudishness” and “modesty” …. referring to genitals as “privates” is indeed a common term. And describes what pixelation “covers up”…

  4. Bill has explained that his concern about the clue/answer had nothing to do with the meaning of “privates”, but with the difference between “pixelating” and “pixelizing”. (Curiously, the spell checker here doesn’t like the latter term and keeps trying to make me change it.) The web site

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixelation

    has a section called “Deliberate pixelation” in which it is made clear that what is done to cover up the naughty bits is called “pixelization” (but the very title of the section seems to imply that it is just a more specific form of “pixelation”). One has to wonder, then, if one should use the forms “pixelizated” and “pixelizating”. And I think this post is becoming more pixilated by the moment … ?

  5. 29:03, no errors. For me, this puzzle was like a three act play. Act 1: went through almost all the clues, with almost no entries. Puzzle looked like a non-starter. Act 2: SENORITA/YEOMAN/MICE/ASIANS dropped quickly, but the bottom half of the puzzle made the puzzle look like a DNF. Act 3: Managed to recover from entering SEAGRAMS in 42A, in place of SAM ADAMS; and scratch out some weird/misleading entries like: X’D IN and FARM TEAMS (ie. sports) as opposed to FARM HANDS (agriculture). All in all a tough puzzle which made me feel good to finish with a clean sheet.

  6. Got enough of it to feel some accomplishment, but not enough to leave a clean sheet. Good for those of you who finished without help or error.

  7. Very happy to finish with no errors and no help needed, especially as I did it after a more than four hour drive home through some crazy weather.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.