0224-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 24 Feb 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: John Guzzetta
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 29m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Blogs, social media and other nontraditional outlets : FIFTH ESTATE

Starting in the Middle Ages, several societies operated with a hierarchical social order known as “the estates of the realm”. For example, the French used a scheme known as the “Ancien Régime” in which the clergy made up the First Estate, the nobility the Second Estate, and the commoners the Third Estate. The English used a two-estate system in which the bishops and nobility made up the First Estate (“the Lords”) and the commoners the Second Estate (“the Commons”). In modern parlance, the press and media are considered forces outside of the established power structure, and can be referred to as the Fourth Estate. The even more contemporary “Fifth Estate” refers to publishers using blogs and social media.

15. Option when changing jobs : IRA ROLLOVER

A rollover IRA is a subtype of a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The funds for a rollover IRA come from another qualified plan such as a 401(k) or a 403(b) account.

16. ___ Irvin, early cartoonist/designer for The New Yorker : REA

The world-famous “New Yorker” magazine is published by Condé Nast. It was founded back in 1925 by Harold Ross and his wife Jane Grant, a reporter for “The New York Times”. The venerated magazine has become famous for many aspects of its content, including its stylish covers and its cartoons.

18. Roam (about) : GAD

To gad about is to move around with little purpose. The word “gad” comes from the Middle English “gadden” meaning “to hurry”.

19. Winter Olympics sights : SLEDS

The first Winter Olympic Games was held in 1924, in Chamonix, France. The Winter and Summer Games were held in the same year until 1992, after which they were staggered so that we have an Olympic Games every two years.

20. Italian sculptor ___ Lorenzo Bernini : GIAN

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was an Italian sculptor and architect, one generally regarded as the successor to Michelangelo. Bernini’s most famous work perhaps is the design for the Piazza San Pietro (Saint Peter’s Square) that is located in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

21. Section of a Crayola box : REDS

In the year 2000 the Crayola company, very cleverly I think, held the “Crayola Color Census 2000” in which people were polled and asked for their favorite Crayola colors. President George W. Bush chose “Blue Bell” and Tiger Woods chose “Wild Strawberry”.

22. ___ talk : TED

The acronym “TED” stands for Technology Entertainment and Design. TED is a set of conferences held around the world by a non-profit group called the Sapling Foundation. The conference subjects are varied, and the meetings are often led by big names such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates and Jane Goodall. The Sapling Foundation then makes recordings of the conferences available for free online with the intent of disseminating the ideas globally. These conferences are known as “TED Talks”.

23. Campaign supporters : PACS

A Political Action Committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent, expenditure-only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.

24. ___ Park : MENLO

Menlo Park, New Jersey is noted as the home to Thomas Edison’s laboratory where he made so many of his inventions. We also have a pretty well-known Menlo Park out here in California, home to many of the venture capital companies that tend to make a lot of money out of Silicon Valley businesses.

27. Pennsylvania city where the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers meet : EASTON

The Lehigh Valley metropolitan area in Pennsylvania is primarily composed of the three cities Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton.

28. Exhibiting a modern form of obsession : BINGE-WATCHING

I’m a big fan of binge-watching, the practice of watching perhaps two or three (even four!) episodes of a show in a row. My wife and I will often deliberately avoid watching a recommended show live, and instead wait until whole series have been released on DVD or online. I’m not a big fan of “tune in next week …”

31. Quick way to end a sentence? : PAROLE HEARING

The term “parole” is a French word that we use in English, with the French “parole” meaning “word, speech”. Of particular interest is the French phrase “parole d’honneur” which translates as “word of honor”. In the early 1600s we started using “parole” to mean a promise by a prisoner of war not to escape, as in the prisoner giving his “word of honor” not to run off. Over time, parole has come to mean conditional release of a prisoner before he or she has served the full term of a sentence.

33. Socket for setting a gem : COLLET

In the world of jewelry, a collet is a circular flange into which a gem is set.

36. Dolphinfish, informally : MAHI

“Mahi-mahi” is the Hawaiian name for the dolphin-fish, also called a dorado. The mahi-mahi is an ugly looking creature if ever I saw one …

38. Flavor additive, in brief : 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 …

42. Legend says it arose on Palatine Hill : ROME

Supposedly, there were seven separate settlements on the top of seven hills east of the River Tiber, prior to the founding of the city of Rome. Tradition dictates that Romulus founded Rome on one of these hills, namely Palatine Hill, and the city came to encompass all seven existing settlements. The most famous hill in modern-day Rome is probably Vatican Hill, but it lies outside of walled ancient city.

45. ___-con : NEO

By definition, a neoconservative (neocon) is a former left-aligned politician who has moved to the right and supports the use of American power and military might to bring democracy, liberty, equality and human rights to other countries.

48. Grade of wine : CRU

“Cru” is a term used in the French wine industry that means “growth place”. So, “cru” is the name of the location where the grapes are grown, as opposed to the name of a specific vineyard. The terms “premier cru” and “grand cru” are also used, but the usage depends on the specific wine region. Generally it is a classification awarded to specific vineyards denoting their potential for producing great wines. “Grand cru” is reserved for the very best vineyards, with “premier cru” the level just below.

49. Projecting beams on a bridge : CANTILEVERS

A beam designated as a cantilever is one that is supported on only one end.

50. Cornerstone abbr. : EST

Established (“est.” or “estd.”)

Down

1. Guinness Book adjective : FIRST

“The Guinness Book of World Records” holds some records of its own. It is the best-selling, copyrighted series of books of all time and is one of the books most often stolen from public libraries! The book was first published in 1954 by two twins, Norris and Ross McWhirter. The McWhirter twins found themselves with a smash hit, and eventually became very famous in Britain hosting a TV show based on world records.

5. Start of a start of a menu? : HORS

An hors d’oeuvre is the first course in a meal. “Hors d’oeuvre” translates from French as “apart from the work”, really meaning “not the main course”.

6. The Liberty Tree, for one : ELM

The original Liberty Tree was an elm that stood near Boston Common and marked the place where folks would rally in the build-up to the American Revolution. The symbolism of the Liberty Tree migrated across the Atlantic during the French Revolution. Revolutionaries planted “Les arbres de la liberté” as symbols of revolutionary hope.

8. Picker-upper : TONIC

A tonic is medication that is said to restore health. The original use of the term “tonic” was as an adjective meaning “increasing body tone”.

9. Fuel for planes : AVGAS

Avgas is aviation fuel (a portmanteau of “aviation” and “gasoline”). The gasoline used in cars is called “mogas” (a portmanteau of “motor” and “gasoline”).

24. Hollande’s successor as president of France : MACRON

When Emmanuel Macron became President of France in 2017, he was 39 years of age, and so became the youngest person to ever hold that office.

François Hollande was elected President of France in 2012. During the election cycle in 2011, Hollande had been trailing in the polls behind front-runner Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Hollande took over the lead following Strauss-Kahn’s arrest on New York City on suspicion of sexual assault.

25. Factor in Billboard rankings : AIRPLAY

“Billboard” was founded way back in 1894 as a trade magazine for the advertising and bill posting industry. The editorial focus gradually moved towards music as phonographs, radios and the recorded music business took off in the early part of the 20th century. “Billboard” published its first “music hit parade” 1936, and is now famous for its collection of lists that track music sales.

26. Buster of myths : SNOPES

Snopes.com is the place to go if you want to check the validity or history of an urban legend or Internet rumor. The site was launched in 1995 by Californians Barbara and David Mikkelson.

37. Italian known for pulling strings? : AMATI

The first of the Amati family to make violins was Andrea Amati, who lived in the 14th century. He was succeeded by his sons, Antonio and Girolamo. In turn, they were succeeded by Girolamo’s son, Nicolo. Nicolo had a few students who achieved fame making musical instruments as well. One was his own son, Girolamo, and another was the famed Antonio Stradivari.

38. Paradigm : MODEL

We tend to use “paradigm” to mean the set of assumptions and practices that define some aspect of life. It can also simply mean something that serves as a model, pattern or example. “Paradigm” ultimately comes from the Greek word for “show side by side”.

42. Org. fighting copyright infringement : RIAA

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) represents music distributors. It is the RIAA that certifies records that have gone gold and platinum i.e. reached fixed sales thresholds. It’s also the RIAA that goes after individuals who share music illegally online.

43. Like very early education, for short : PRE-K

“Kindergarten” is a German term, one translating as “children’s garden”. The term was coined by the German education authority Friedrich Fröbel in 1837, when he used it as the name for his play and activity institute that he created for young children to use before they headed off to school. His thought was that children should be nourished educationally, like plants in a garden.

44. ___ Shankar, influence on George Harrison : RAVI

Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous virtuoso (to us Westerners) from the world of Indian classical music, and was noted for his sitar playing. Also, Shankar was the father of the beautiful pop singer Norah Jones.

George Harrison is often referred to as the “quiet Beatle”, although he did have a profound influence on the direction taken by the Fab Four. It was Harrison who first became an admirer of Indian culture and led the rest of the group into the Indian way of life. Harrison went as far as embracing the Hindu religion.

46. Chemical contaminant, for short : PCB

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were banned with good reason. Apart from their link to cancer and other disorders in humans and animals, they are extremely persistent in the environment once contamination has occurred. Among other things, PCBs were used as coolants and insulating fluids in electrical gear such as transformers and large capacitors, as well as a transfer agent in carbonless copy paper.

47. High ways? : ELS

Elevated railroad (El)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Blogs, social media and other nontraditional outlets : FIFTH ESTATE
12. Enlightened responses : AHS
15. Option when changing jobs : IRA ROLLOVER
16. ___ Irvin, early cartoonist/designer for The New Yorker : REA
17. Dirt spreader : RUMOR MONGER
18. Roam (about) : GAD
19. Winter Olympics sights : SLEDS
20. Italian sculptor ___ Lorenzo Bernini : GIAN
21. Section of a Crayola box : REDS
22. ___ talk : TED
23. Campaign supporters : PACS
24. ___ Park : MENLO
25. Words of explanation : AS IN
27. Pennsylvania city where the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers meet : EASTON
28. Exhibiting a modern form of obsession : BINGE-WATCHING
31. Quick way to end a sentence? : PAROLE HEARING
32. “Where does it all end?” argument : SLIPPERY SLOPE
33. Socket for setting a gem : COLLET
34. Food preservers : TINS
35. “Any ___?” : IDEAS
36. Dolphinfish, informally : MAHI
38. Flavor additive, in brief : MSG
41. It goes clockwise or counterclockwise depending on the hemisphere : EDDY
42. Legend says it arose on Palatine Hill : ROME
43. Search for prey : PROWL
45. ___-con : NEO
46. Offshore waves? : PIRATE RADIO
48. Grade of wine : CRU
49. Projecting beams on a bridge : CANTILEVERS
50. Cornerstone abbr. : EST
51. Reading and writing, for most jobs : BASIC SKILLS

Down

1. Guinness Book adjective : FIRST
2. “Go, me!” : I RULE!
3. Of renown : FAMED
4. Stepped : TROD
5. Start of a start of a menu? : HORS
6. The Liberty Tree, for one : ELM
7. Ad agency specialist : SLOGANEER
8. Picker-upper : TONIC
9. Fuel for planes : AVGAS
10. Follower of four or six, but not five : -TEEN
11. Mess up : ERR
12. Containing silver : ARGENTINE
13. Without deliberation : HEADLONG
14. Breakup tune : SAD SONG
21. Forwards : RESHIPS
23. Little squealer : PIGLET
24. Hollande’s successor as president of France : MACRON
25. Factor in Billboard rankings : AIRPLAY
26. Buster of myths : SNOPES
27. Latin list ender : ET ALII
28. Extricated from a jam : BAILED OUT
29. Reason : WHY
30. Concept of beauty : AESTHETIC
31. Slow and steady types : PLODDERS
32. Prestigious academic journal : SCIENCE
36. When cock-a-doodle-doos are done : MORNS
37. Italian known for pulling strings? : AMATI
38. Paradigm : MODEL
39. Ice cream choice : SWIRL
40. Part of a makeup kit : GLOSS
42. Org. fighting copyright infringement : RIAA
43. Like very early education, for short : PRE-K
44. ___ Shankar, influence on George Harrison : RAVI
46. Chemical contaminant, for short : PCB
47. High ways? : ELS

9 thoughts on “0224-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 24 Feb 2018, Saturday”

  1. 42:53…a few seconds longer than yesterday. I got down to the intersection of COLLET/SNOPES, guessed “A” and got the silent treatment, then “E” and got the music.

    Interesting, I actually had the same reaction as Dave but only after I completed the puzzle… a good 30+ minutes after Dave did. I was thinking if I had paid better attention to the wording of the cluing in the long answers, I might have gotten them quicker. As usual they seemed easy after the fact.

    By that definition of TONIC, I’d have to say my tonic of choice is tequila….

    Best –

  2. 30:47 Moved through this pretty quickly but not as quickly as Dave. Very impressive. My big problem area was the top left. I confident,y dropped in APPS at 5D (like appetizers) and kept it there for awhile. Finally took it out and the rest came together.

  3. 26:24, no errors. Seemed to be one of those puzzles which are easy if you are in sync with the setter (see @Dave) or not. I, initially, went off the tracks putting TONGS in 8D for TONIC; and OMS in 12A for AHS. My Naval Engineering background helped me with AVGAS and CANTILEVERS. Just felt lucky to hit on ARGENTINE (containing silver). In case anyone has wondered why the chemical symbol for Silver is AG, the latin word for silver is argentum. I was also very tempted to enter FINGER ETCHING in 28A, assuming that so many touch screen apps allow finger painting, that etching would be a viable guess. I also initially guessed at ET ALIA in 27D, until I had the MAH in 36A for MAHI. MAHI-MAHI is my wife’s ‘go to’ fish when we are in the islands, had not heard of it referred to as just Mahi before.

  4. FIRST wanted something __EST for the “Guinness Book adjective” clue. Couldn’t come up with anything, but needed to know to solve the NW 3-stack. So to save time, looked it up. (Not happy, but not devastated either.) The rest of the puzzle was relatively easy for Saturday, and enjoyable to boot.

  5. Got it right but Prowl-con? Never heard that before. Argentine had me going, not knowing the Cartoonist, was not sure about the R. No explanation on the two oddest answers. Anyway, seemed easy for a Saturday. I don’t time myself but would guess this one was easily under a half hour and closer to twenty minutes.

    1. Re “Prowl-con”: The clue for 43A is “Search for prey” (“PROWL”) and the clue for 45A is “___-con” (“NEO”).

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