0310-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 10 Mar 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Ryan McCarty
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 52m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15. Occasion for a piñata : FIESTA

Piñatas originated in Mexico, probably among the Aztecs or Mayans. Today piñatas are usually made from cardboard that is brightly decorated with papier-mâché. Traditionally a piñata was made out of a clay pot, adorned with feathers and ribbons and filled with small treasures. During religious ceremonies the clay pots would be suspended and broken open so that the contents would spill out onto the ground at the feet of a god as an offering.

21. Ortiz of “Devious Maids” : ANA

Ana Ortiz played the title character’s older sister in the TV series “Ugly Betty”.

22. Yoga command : EXHALE

In the West we tend to think of yoga as a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

23. Island dish : POI

I am a big fan of starch (being an Irishman I love potatoes). That said, I think that poi tastes horrible! Poi is made from the bulbous tubers (corm) of the taro plant by cooking the corm in water and mashing it until the desired consistency is achieved.

32. Modern test subject : DNA

DNA contains nucleotide base sequences called genes, which are blueprints used in the manufacture of proteins needed by the body. Our DNA is also “decorated” with epigenetic markers that modify the activity level of genes, and can even turn genes off. These epigenetic markers respond to environmental conditions, so that organisms with the same DNA can exhibit differences in behavior and appearance, as a result of differing environments. This explains why identical twins develop differences in appearance over time.

34. Bygone skating spectacle : ICE CAPADES

The Ice Capades was a travelling show that featured ice skating performances in a theatrical setting. Stars of the shows were usually retired Olympic competitors. The Ice Capades were founded in Hershey, Pennsylvania in 1940, but went out of business in 1995.

37. “Aunt” of a 1979 best seller : ERMA

“Aunt Erma’s Cope Book” was written by Erma Bombeck and published in 1979. Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years, producing more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns describing her home life in suburbia.

38. Org. concerned with cracking and leaking : NSA

The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname … “No Such Agency”.

39. He wrote “It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure” : DE SADE

The Marquis de Sade was a French aristocrat with a reputation for a libertine lifestyle. De Sade was also a writer, well known for his works of erotica. He fell foul of the law for some of his more extreme practices and for blaspheming the Catholic church. On an off, de Sade spent 32 years of his life in prison and in insane asylums.

40. Cooler : CAN

The cooler, the pen, the joint, the slammer, the can … prison.

43. Dr. Lester portrayer in “Being John Malkovich” : ORSON BEAN

Orson Bean is an actor who is perhaps best known for his appearances on television game shows in the sixties, seventies and eighties. His most famous game show role was panelist on “To Tell the Truth”. Interestingly, Bean (real name Dallas Burrows) is a first cousin, twice removed, of President Calvin Coolidge.

“Being John Malkovich” is a 1999 fantasy comedy starring John Cusack and Cameron Diaz, and of course John Malkovich playing himself. The crazy storyline features a puppeteer (played by Cusack) who discovers a portal into Malkovich’s mind.

46. One of the 12 tribes of Israel : JUDAH

In the Torah, the Israelites are traced back to Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. Jacob’s twelve sons became the ancestors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Jacob’s sons were:

  • Reuben
  • Simeon
  • Levi
  • Judah
  • Dan
  • Naphtali
  • Gad
  • Asher
  • Issachar
  • Zebulun
  • Joseph
  • Benjamin

48. Ravel work in which the melody is passed among the instruments : BOLERO

Ravel’s “Bolero” is a remarkable piece of music, with a very insistent theme that just builds and builds with instruments being added to the mix as the piece develops. Famously, Bolero played a significant role in the 1979 film “10” starring Bo Derek, Dudley Moore and Julie Andrews. Not a bad movie …

50. Tanning salon fixture : UV LAMP

At either end of the visible light spectrum are the invisible forms of radiation known as infrared (IR) light and ultraviolet (UV) light. IR light lies just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum, and UV light lie just below the violet end.

Down

2. Warner Bros. cartoon series of the 1990s : ANIMANIACS

“Animaniacs” is a cartoon series that aired on Fox Kids and then the WB in the nineties. The show was a collaboration between Steven Spielberg and Warner Bros. Animation. One aspect of the show was the occasional humor aimed at an adult audience. Example were episodes that parodied Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance” and “H.M.S. Pinafore”, the Beatles movie “A Hard Day’s Night”, and an episode poking fun at the Three Tenors.

3. Breath-taking experience : SLEEP APNEA

Sleep apnea (“apnoea” in British English) can be caused by an obstruction in the airways, possibly due to obesity or enlarged tonsils.

6. Snow ___ : PEA

The snow pea lives up to its name. It continues to grow when it is snowing.

10. “Grace Before Meat” essayist : ELIA

The “Essays of Elia” began appearing in “London Magazine” in 1820, and were immediate hits with the public. The author was Charles Lamb, and “Elia” was actually a clerk with whom Lamb worked. The most famous of the essays in the collection are probably “Dream-Children” and “Old China”.

14. “Jeannie Out of the Bottle” memoirist : BARBARA EDEN

Back in 1964, the second most watched show on American television was ABC’s “Bewitched”. Sidney Sheldon was tasked with the job of creating a rival sitcom and he came up with “I Dream of Jeannie”, which first aired in 1965 and starred Barbara Eden in the title role. The censors had a big say in how the story developed. For starters, Jeannie’s skimpy costume was permitted on air, provided that Eden didn’t show off her navel on the screen. Also, Jeannie was only allowed to live with an unmarried man as long as the story made it clear that she slept in a bottle.

24. Rambo, e.g. : ONE-MAN ARMY

A rambo is very violent and militant person. The term is relatively recent one, coming from the character John Rambo played by Sylvester Stallone in the “Rambo” series of movies. The first Rambo film made was “First Blood” in 1982. The film in turn is based on the 1972 novel of the same name by David Morrell.

35. Iago vis-à-vis Jafar, in “Aladdin” : PET BIRD

Jafar is the bad guy in the animated film “Aladdin”. Jafar was important enough to get his name front and center in the sequel called “Aladdin 2”, which is usually referred to as “The Return of Jafar”.

42. Common material in tutus : TULLE

Tulle is a lightweight net fabric often used in veils, wedding gowns and ballet tutus.

The word “tutu”, used for a ballet dancer’s skirt, is actually a somewhat “naughty” term. It came into English from French in the early 20th century. The French “tutu” is an alteration of the word “cucu”, a childish word meaning “bottom, backside”.

45. Hacking targets, for short : SSNS

Social Security number (SSN)

46. “By ___!” : JOVE

“By Jove” is a mild oath that calls on the Roman god Jove, who is also known as Jupiter.

48. Mac alternative : BUB

“Bub” is American slang, and a term used to address males. “Bub” is possibly a variation of “bud”.

“Mac” is a casual and generic form of address to a man. The term comes from the Gaelic “mac” that is commonly used in Scottish and Irish names, and which means “son of”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Pilot control? : GAS TAP
7. For all to see : RATED-G
13. What “e” may signify : ONLINE
14. Bonnie of “Parenthood” : BEDELIA
15. Occasion for a piñata : FIESTA
16. Couldn’t say “say,” say : HAD A LISP
17. Gathering clouds and others : OMENS
18. Poker site : FIREPLACE
19. Glued to something : RAPT
20. Sluggers : BIG BATS
21. Ortiz of “Devious Maids” : ANA
22. Yoga command : EXHALE
23. Island dish : POI
26. Opposite of downs : SIPS
28. Arrangements of teeth? : GEAR TRAINS
30. Freak : PANIC
32. Modern test subject : DNA
33. Shade of gray : STEEL
34. Bygone skating spectacle : ICE CAPADES
37. “Aunt” of a 1979 best seller : ERMA
38. Org. concerned with cracking and leaking : NSA
39. He wrote “It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure” : DE SADE
40. Cooler : CAN
41. Goes out in the rain : GETS WET
42. Babysit : TEND
43. Dr. Lester portrayer in “Being John Malkovich” : ORSON BEAN
46. One of the 12 tribes of Israel : JUDAH
47. Successful Olympic bidder : HOST CITY
48. Ravel work in which the melody is passed among the instruments : BOLERO
49. Ones prepared to drop a few bucks? : HUNTERS
50. Tanning salon fixture : UV LAMP
51. “Weird …” : IT’S ODD …
52. Noah and Wallace of old films : BEERYS

Down

1. Ride around the block, say : GO FOR A SPIN
2. Warner Bros. cartoon series of the 1990s : ANIMANIACS
3. Breath-taking experience : SLEEP APNEA
4. Quaint retort : ‘TISN’T
5. Line at a food stand? : ANTS
6. Snow ___ : PEA
7. Provided new hands : REDEALT
8. Common airport kiosk gadgets : ADAPTERS
9. Giveaways : TELLS
10. “Grace Before Meat” essayist : ELIA
11. Virtually every coin : DISC
12. Goggle : GAPE
14. “Jeannie Out of the Bottle” memoirist : BARBARA EDEN
16. Like some bad pitches, in baseball lingo : HIGH AND AWAY
18. Office building, equipment, etc. : FIXED ASSETS
20. Canine command : BEG
23. Spot for a stud : PIERCED EAR
24. Rambo, e.g. : ONE-MAN ARMY
25. Changes keys? : ISLAND HOPS
27. Canine command : SIC
29. Took in : ATE
31. In rhythm : CADENCED
35. Iago vis-à-vis Jafar, in “Aladdin” : PET BIRD
36. Decided : SET
41. Bugged : GOT TO
42. Common material in tutus : TULLE
43. “What a surprise to see you here!” : OH HI!
44. Cream : ROUT
45. Hacking targets, for short : SSNS
46. “By ___!” : JOVE
48. Mac alternative : BUB

20 thoughts on “0310-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 10 Mar 2018, Saturday”

  1. 30:09….but 4 cheats made it all go much faster. Not sure I would have finished without them, but I was on a clock so I’ll never know. Agree it was a tough one.

    ANIMANIACS and TULLE were new to me.

    Best –

  2. 32:30 Biggest problem for me was the B in BEERYS. I’ve never heard that name and I couldn’t figure out what “Mac alternative” was referring to.

  3. Surprisingly easy for me and to date, I NEVER cheat regardless how long it takes me to finish … don’t even use a dictionary re spelling of possible answers. I am SLOW but I finish clean since half of the time I don’t know one-fourth of the clues (i.e. new to me) which makes me one-eighth stupid!☺

  4. 36:56 and a whopping 10 errors. Lots of clues that make one go, “Huh??” and I had to undo several fills I was sucked into. A real Saturday BEAST.

  5. 28:11, no errors. A very difficult challenge today. Combination of deliberately vague and misdirected clueing. Initially entered DOWN AND AWAY for 16D, before HIGH AND AWAY. The clue “Changes keys?” for 25D ISLAND HOPS was just plain nasty. This would have been a very frustrating puzzle if I couldn’t finish; but that makes a clean finish even more satisfying.

    My 2 cents: I have never considered looking up an answer to be ‘cheating’, as long as the answer isn’t ‘looked up’ at a site (such as this one) which simply gives the answer. I consider researching an answer to be an option and a learning experience. It’s an option I used many years ago. Since then, I have been able to successfully reset my personal standard for completing puzzles, and will take a DNF rather than look up an answer.

    1. Boy, that’s the ultimate in prevarication there. I agree that you learn by seeing the answer and picking up knowledge for the future. But if you use **any** outside source to fill in an answer, you just didn’t do the puzzle yourself. You just DIDN’T. Your “changing of your personal standards” was simply deciding not to delude yourself any longer.

  6. I also had “down and away” at first. “Couldn’t say ‘say,’ say” wins for best clue today. Very witty.

  7. I’ve never considered looking up an answer cheating…unless you’re playing against someone. I do crosswords to challenge myself. I work as much as I can without helps, then either look up a clue or two or just check this site for the answers. How else would I have learned that agora is where Greeks meet, or the name of the Japanese Prime Minister is Abe.

    1. Well, it *is* cheating, unless you’re into self-delusion. If you get help, you did not finish the puzzle by yourself; PERIOD, end of story. I don’t care *who* you call yourself “competing against”. Just be honest with yourself.

  8. ANIMANIACS was just about enough to make this a tough solve, whatever I did with the rest of it (which wasn’t bad, but not very good, either).

  9. For the record, I use the term “cheat” as merely descriptive of what happened – i.e. I was running up against a deadline, and I looked something up.

    That is merely a fact. Whatever anyone wants to call or label that is just semantics to me. Call it what you will

    Best –

  10. Again Unbelievable. The two I don’t get, you don’t think worth discussing
    1 Gastap????? WTF?
    13 “e” means online????? Internet Explorer?

    1. Just looking at the comments Sunday night. “e” – e-mail, e-bay, e-dating, all activities “on line”. Likewise thought gastap a stretch.

  11. DNF after 67 minutes and 4 errors, 12 squares short in the upper right due to 3 of those errors. Quite a lot that was an incredible stretch in this puzzle for anyone to make any sense out of.

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