0415-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 15 Apr 2018, Sunday

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Constructed by: Alex Bajcz
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: Preposition Proposition

Themed answers are common phrases that have been reinterpreted by incorporating the included preposition into an adjective or noun:

  • 23A. Wagers for a gym exercise? : PULL-UP STAKES (from “pull up stakes”)
  • 33A. Bad thing to see under a truck’s hood? : PICKUP STEAM (from “pick up steam”)
  • 48A. Unrecruited athlete’s bottleful? : WALK-ON WATER (from “walk on water”)
  • 64A. Timely entrance? : DEAD-ON ARRIVAL (from “dead on arrival”)
  • 82A. Understudy’s delivery? : STAND-IN LINE (from “stand in line”)
  • 97A. Scam alert? : PUT-ON NOTICE (from “put on notice”)
  • 112A. Fight clubs? : RUN-IN CIRCLES (from “run in circles”)
  • 37D. Soundtrack for a brawl? : SET-TO MUSIC (from “set to music”)
  • 44D. Compositions often chosen for encores? : GO-TO PIECES (from “go to pieces”)

Bill’s time: 23m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15. Pitcher’s feat, slangily : NO-NO

That would be a no-hitter in baseball.

19. Peace activist Wiesel : ELIE

Elie Wiesel was a holocaust survivor, and is best known for his book “Night” that tells of his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

20. Rear seating compartment in old automobiles : TONNEAU

In automotive terms, a tonneau is a passenger or cargo space that is open to the elements at the top. The original tonneau was an open passenger compartment at the rear that was rounded, like a barrel. “Tonneau” is a French word meaning “barrel, cask”.

21. Replaced someone on a base : PINCH-RAN

That would be baseball.

25. Big name in luxury S.U.V.s : ESCALADE

The Escalade is a full-size SUV that Cadillac introduced in 1999. The word “escalade” describes the act of scaling defensive walls with ladders during a siege.

28. Sub : HOAGIE

“Hoagy” (sometimes “hoagie”) is another name for a submarine sandwich. The term “hoagy” originated in Philadelphia, and was apparently introduced by Italians working in the shipyards during WWI. The shipyards were located on Hog Island, and the sandwich was first called “the Hog Island”, which morphed into “hoagy”.

30. Opposite of stiff : TIP

The etymology of our verb “to stiff”, meaning “to fail to tip”, seems unclear. The usage originated in the late 1930s, and is possibly an extension of the noun “stiff” meaning “corpse”. The idea is that dead men don’t leave tips.

40. “Man and Superman” playwright : SHAW

“Man and Superman” is a1903 play by George Bernard Shaw. The storyline uses the “Don Juan” theme. The character named John Tanner, representing Don Juan in the play, claims that he is a descendent of Don Juan.

43. Avoided trans fats and refined sugars, say : ATE RIGHT

Trans fat is an ingredient in some of our food that is known to greatly increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Trans fats are very difficult to find in nature and instead are the product of the hydrogenation process that many oils undergo in making some of our less healthy foodstuffs.

47. Part of NASA: Abbr. : NATL

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

52. ___ al-Hussein (Jordanian royal) : NOOR

Queen Noor is the widow of King Hussein of Jordan. Queen Noor was born Lisa Halaby in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Najeeb Halaby. Her father was appointed by President Kennedy as the head of the Federal Aviation Administration, and later became the CEO of Pan Am. Lisa Halaby met King Hussein in 1977, while working on the design of Jordan’s Queen Alia Airport. The airport was named after King Hussein’s third wife who had been killed that year in a helicopter crash. Halaby and the King were married the next year, in 1978.

57. ___ dish : PETRI

Julius Richard Petri was a German bacteriologist and was the man after whom the Petri dish is named. The petri dish can have an agar gel on the bottom which acts a nutrient source for the specimen being grown and studied, in which case the dish plus agar is referred to as an “agar plate”.

63. Certain note passer, for short : ATM

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

69. Kitty : POT

The pot in a card game has been referred to as the kitty since the 1880s. It’s not certain how the name “kitty” evolved but possibly it came from “kit”, the necessary equipment for the game.

75. Man first mentioned in Exodus 2 : MOSES

Moses is an important prophet in Christianity and Islam, and the most important prophet in Judaism. It fell to Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt across the Red Sea. He was given the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, and then wandered the desert with his people for forty years. Moses then died within sight of the Promised Land.

76. Something removed at a T.S.A. checkpoint : SHOE

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks that check passengers and baggage at airports.

78. Purple smoothie flavorer : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

88. Closet rackful : NECKTIES

In Old French a “clos” was an enclosure, with the diminutive form “closet” describing a small enclosure or private room. Over time this evolved into our modern usage of “closet”, describing a cabinet or cupboard.

93. “Fight, fight, fight for Maryland!” singer, familiarly : TERP

The sports teams of the University of Maryland are called the Maryland Terrapins, or “the Terps” for short. The name dates back to 1932 when it was coined by the the university’s president at the time, Curley Byrd. He took the name from the diamondback terrapins that are native to the Chesapeake Bay.

94. Duke of ___, character in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” : MILAN

“The Two Gentlemen of Verona” is one of William Shakespeare’s comedies. Some scholars think that “Two Gentlemen” is Shakespeare’s first play, and not his best.

97. Scam alert? : PUT-ON NOTICE (from “put on notice”)

The slang term “scam”, meaning a swindle, may come from the British slang “scamp”.

101. Paragons : IDEALS

A paragon is an model of excellence, a peerless example. Ultimately the term derives from the Greek “para-” meaning “on the side” and “akone” meaning “whetstone”. This derivation comes from the ancient practice of using a touchstone to test gold for its level of purity by drawing a line on the stone with the gold and comparing the resulting mark with samples of known purity.

103. Hoppy brew : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

105. Optimist’s credo : I CAN

A creed or credo is a confession of faith, or a system of belief or principles. “Credo” is Latin for “I believe”.

106. What an A.P. class likely isn’t : EASY A

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school. After being tested at the end of the courses, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

117. Web links, briefly : URLS

Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

119. Certain baseball positions: Abbr. : RFS

Right fielder (RF)

Down

2. Something a chimney sweep sweeps : FLUE

The flue in a chimney is a duct that conveys exhaust gases from a fire to the outdoors. An important feature of a flue is that its opening is adjustable. When starting a fire, the flue should be wide open, maximizing airflow to get help ignition.

4. Gossips : TELLS TALES

Our word “gossip” comes from the Old English “godsibb” meaning “godparent”. The term was then used for women friends who attended a birth, and then for anyone engaging in idle talk.

5. Pennzoil competitor : STP

STP is a brand name for automotive lubricants and additives. The name “STP” is an initialism standing for “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.

7. Playwright Chekhov : ANTON

Anton Chekhov was a Russian writer of short stories and a playwright, as well as a physician. He wrote four classic plays that are often performed all around the world, namely “The Seagull”, “Uncle Vanya”, “Three Sisters” and “The Cherry Orchard”. All the time Chekhov was writing, he continued to practice medicine. He is quoted as saying “Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress.”

8. Bags that might have drawstrings : KNAPSACKS

“Knapsack” is a Low German word describing a bag with straps designed to be carried on the back. The word “knapsack” probably comes from the German verb “knappen” meaning “to eat”.

10. Neighbor of Oman, for short : UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates (states) in the Middle East. Included in the seven are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with the city of Abu Dhabi being the UAE capital and cultural center.

15. Org. that’s nearly one-fourth Canadian : NHL

The National Hockey League (NHL) was formed in 1917 in Montreal as a successor to the defunct National Hockey Association (NHA) that had been founded in 1909. Today, the NHL comprises 30 teams; 23 in the US and 7 in Canada.

17. Comaneci of Olympics fame : NADIA

Nadia Comaneci won three golds in the 1976 Summer Olympics and was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of a ten in the gymnastics competition. Comaneci published a book called “Letters to a Young Gymnast” in 2003, and now lives in the United States.

22. ___ salad : CAESAR

The Caesar salad was created by restaurateur Caesar Cardini at the Hotel Caesar’s in Tijuana, Mexico. The original recipe called for whole lettuce leaves that were to be lifted up by the stem and eaten with the fingers.

29. 10/ : OCT

October is the tenth month in our calendar but was the eighth month in the old Roman calendar, hence the prefix “octo-”. Back then there were only ten months in the year. “Ianuarius” (January) and “Februarius” were then added as the eleventh and twelfth months of the year. Soon after, the year was reset and January and February became the first and second months.

33. Founder of Philadelphia : PENN

William Penn was given a huge land grant in America by King Charles II, because the king owed Penn’s father a lot of money. Penn took up residence on this side of the Atlantic and called his new holding “New Wales”. He later changed this name to “Sylvania” (the Latin for “forest”) and finally to “Pennsylvania”.

34. Strong strings : TWINES

Our word “twine”, meaning a light string, has the same root as our word “twin”. The original Old English “twin” was a double thread.

42. Story featuring divine intervention : ILIAD

“The Iliad” is an epic poem by the Greek poet Homer, which tells the story of the ten-year siege of Ilium (also known as “Troy”) during the Trojan war. “The Odyssey”, also attributed to Homer, is sometimes described as a sequel to “The Iliad”.

44. Compositions often chosen for encores? : GO-TO PIECES (from “go to pieces”)

“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request another song, say. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

45. Seuss title character : HORTON

Horton the elephant turns up in two books by Dr. Seuss, “Horton Hatches the Egg” and “Horton Hears a Who!”

46. Sad, in San Juan : TRISTE

San Juan is the capital city of Puerto Rico. It was founded in 1521 by the Spanish, who called it “Ciudad de Puerto Rico” (Rich Port City).

59. Portrayer of Mr. Chips : O’TOOLE

Irish actor Peter O’Toole got his big break in movies when he played the title role in the 1962 epic film “Lawrence of Arabia”. My favorite of O’Toole’s movies is much lighter fare, namely “How to Steal a Million” in which he stars opposite Audrey Hepburn. O’Toole never won an Oscar, but holds the record for the greatest number of Best Actor nominations without a win.

The fabulous 1939 movie “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” is an adaptation of a novel of the same name by James Hilton. Heading the cast are British actors Robert Donat and Greer Garson. “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” was remade as musical in 1969 starring Peter O’Toole and Petula Clark. I haven’t seen the remake, and frankly am a little scared to do so …

62. The Ravens, on scoreboards : BAL

The Baltimore football team’s name “the Ravens” has a literary derivation. Baltimore was the home of the writer Edgar Allan Poe, and so the team took its moniker from his most famous poem, “The Raven”. The name was selected in a fan contest. Baltimore’s mascot is a raven named Poe. Prior to the 2008 season, the Raven’s had a trio of avian mascots: Edgar, Allan and Poe.

65. Take too much of, briefly : OD ON

Overdose (OD)

78. “Eso Beso” singer : ANKA

“Eso Beso” is Spanish for “That Kiss”, and is the name of a 1962 hit song recorded by Canadian-born singer Paul Anka.

82. G.I. reply : SIR! NO SIR!

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.

83. Any of the Galápagos : ISLE

The Galápagos Islands lie over 500 miles west of Ecuador. The Galápagos owe their celebrity to the voyage of HMS Beagle which landed there in 1835, with Charles Darwin on board. It was Darwin’s study of various species on the islands that inspired him to postulate his Theory of Evolution.

84. Singer known for her 85-Across : ELLA
(85A. Nonsense singing : SCAT)

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

87. Chinese menu name : TSO

General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, and a dish often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

92. Member of a four-time Stanley Cup-winning team in the 1980s : OILER

The National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers are so called because they are located in Alberta, Canada … oil country.

94. Emcee’s item : MIC

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

95. Spring river breakup : ICE RUN

An ice run is the initial breaking up of river ice during the first thaw after winter.

97. Gyro holders : PITAS

A gyro is a traditional Greek dish of meat roasted on a tall vertical spit that is sliced from the spit as required. Gyros are usually served inside a lightly grilled piece of pita bread, along with tomato, onion and tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce).

102. Gracias : Spanish :: ___ : German : DANKE

“Thank you” translates to “merci” in French, “gracias” in Spanish, and “danke” in German.

107. Some Nikons, for short : SLRS

The Japanese company Nikon was founded in 1917 with the merger of three manufacturers of various optical devices. After the merger, Nikon’s main output was lenses (including the first lenses for Canon cameras, before Canon made its own). During the war, Nikon sales grew rapidly as the company focused on (pun!) equipment for the military including periscopes and bomb sights.

113. Card game cry : UNO!

In my youth I remember being taught a great card game by a German acquaintance of mine, a game called Mau Mau. Years later I discovered that Uno is basically the same game, but played with a purpose-printed deck instead of the regular deck of playing cards that’s used for Mau Mau. I hear that Mau Mau is derived from the game called Crazy Eights.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Sound of a dud : PFFT
5. Personnel overhaul : SHAKE-UP
12. End of the block? : -ADE
15. Pitcher’s feat, slangily : NO-NO
19. Peace activist Wiesel : ELIE
20. Rear seating compartment in old automobiles : TONNEAU
21. Replaced someone on a base : PINCH-RAN
23. Wagers for a gym exercise? : PULL-UP STAKES (from “pull up stakes”)
25. Big name in luxury S.U.V.s : ESCALADE
26. Successfully persuades : SELLS
27. At the most : TOPS
28. Sub : HOAGIE
30. Opposite of stiff : TIP
31. Figures on slots : SEVENS
33. Bad thing to see under a truck’s hood? : PICKUP STEAM (from “pick up steam”)
35. Small breather? : NOSTRIL
38. Customer service worker : AGENT
40. “Man and Superman” playwright : SHAW
41. Anxious feeling : UNEASE
42. Wastebasket or folder, maybe : ICON
43. Avoided trans fats and refined sugars, say : ATE RIGHT
47. Part of NASA: Abbr. : NATL
48. Unrecruited athlete’s bottleful? : WALK-ON WATER (from “walk on water”)
52. ___ al-Hussein (Jordanian royal) : NOOR
53. Private eye : TEC
55. Word after flight or credit : RISK
56. “Zounds!” : EGAD!
57. ___ dish : PETRI
58. It’s not in the bag : LOOSE TEA
61. Intake in many an eating contest : PIE
62. Makes drunk : BESOTS
63. Certain note passer, for short : ATM
64. Timely entrance? : DEAD-ON ARRIVAL (from “dead on arrival”)
69. Kitty : POT
70. “Here’s the thing …” : YOU SEE …
72. Lawn coating : DEW
73. Grueling workplace, so to speak : SALT MINE
75. Man first mentioned in Exodus 2 : MOSES
76. Something removed at a T.S.A. checkpoint : SHOE
78. Purple smoothie flavorer : ACAI
80. German “you” : SIE
81. Caught in ___ : A LIE
82. Understudy’s delivery? : STAND-IN LINE (from “stand in line”)
85. Nonsense singing : SCAT
88. Closet rackful : NECKTIES
90. Suffer from a lockup : SKID
91. Zeros : LOSERS
93. “Fight, fight, fight for Maryland!” singer, familiarly : TERP
94. Duke of ___, character in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” : MILAN
96. Reaches by plane : FLIES TO
97. Scam alert? : PUT-ON NOTICE (from “put on notice”)
101. Paragons : IDEALS
103. Hoppy brew : IPA
104. Info provider : SOURCE
105. Optimist’s credo : I CAN
106. What an A.P. class likely isn’t : EASY A
110. Throws at : TOSSES TO
112. Fight clubs? : RUN-IN CIRCLES (from “run in circles”)
115. Serving to quell violent protests : ANTI-RIOT
116. Free, as a seat : UNTAKEN
117. Web links, briefly : URLS
118. Trickle : SEEP
119. Certain baseball positions: Abbr. : RFS
120. Lunchtime errands, e.g. : NOONERS
121. ___ Classic (cable channel) : ESPN

Down

1. Juices (up) : PEPS
2. Something a chimney sweep sweeps : FLUE
3. Permeate : FILL
4. Gossips : TELLS TALES
5. Pennzoil competitor : STP
6. Low-cost lodging : HOSTEL
7. Playwright Chekhov : ANTON
8. Bags that might have drawstrings : KNAPSACKS
9. Startled squeals : EEKS
10. Neighbor of Oman, for short : UAE
11. Press, as a button : PUSH IN
12. Vertical, to a sailor : APEAK
13. Saying “Eww!,” say : DISGUSTED
14. Make hard to read : ENCIPHER
15. Org. that’s nearly one-fourth Canadian : NHL
16. Speak before Parliament, e.g. : ORATE
17. Comaneci of Olympics fame : NADIA
18. Time in Tokyo when it’s midnight in New York : ONE PM
22. ___ salad : CAESAR
24. App customers : USERS
29. 10/ : OCT
32. Scene : VIEW
33. Founder of Philadelphia : PENN
34. Strong strings : TWINES
35. Sister : NUN
36. Man ___ mission : ON A
37. Soundtrack for a brawl? : SET-TO MUSIC (from “set to music”)
39. Proceed well enough : GO OK
42. Story featuring divine intervention : ILIAD
43. ___ premium : AT A
44. Compositions often chosen for encores? : GO-TO PIECES (from “go to pieces”)
45. Seuss title character : HORTON
46. Sad, in San Juan : TRISTE
49. Department : AREA
50. Small dam : WEIR
51. Smoking or stress : AGER
54. Forfeits : CEDES
57. Hits with snowballs : PELTS
58. Nonexpert : LAYMAN
59. Portrayer of Mr. Chips : O’TOOLE
60. Ball support : TEE
61. Something “shaken” in a trick : PAW
62. The Ravens, on scoreboards : BAL
65. Take too much of, briefly : OD ON
66. Call for : NEED
67. “To repeat …” : I SAID …
68. Self-absorbed : VAIN
71. Hope that one may : SEEK TO
74. Doesn’t go on at the right time : MISSES A CUE
76. Exit : STEP OUT OF
77. Gives birth to : HAS
78. “Eso Beso” singer : ANKA
79. Doctor treating patients : CLINICIAN
82. G.I. reply : SIR! NO SIR!
83. Any of the Galápagos : ISLE
84. Singer known for her 85-Across : ELLA
86. Skill : ART
87. Chinese menu name : TSO
89. More likely to escalate : TENSER
92. Member of a four-time Stanley Cup-winning team in the 1980s : OILER
94. Emcee’s item : MIC
95. Spring river breakup : ICE RUN
96. Certain Summer Olympian : FENCER
97. Gyro holders : PITAS
98. Barely ahead, scorewise : UP ONE
99. Interior decorator’s asset : TASTE
100. Brisk paces : TROTS
102. Gracias : Spanish :: ___ : German : DANKE
105. Avid about : INTO
107. Some Nikons, for short : SLRS
108. Go “Ow, ow, OW!” : YELP
109. Professional grp. : ASSN
111. Apt rhyme of “nip” : SIP
113. Card game cry : UNO!
114. Some doorways : INS