0503-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 3 May 2018, Thursday

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Constructed by: Emily Carroll
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Compact Cars

Today’s grid includes four COMPACT CARS, the names of four car manufacturers crammed into rebus squares. Those names (some abbreviated in my grid) are FORD (FO..), OPEL (OP..), KIA and AUDI (AU..):

  • 38A. Easy-to-park vehicles … or what can be found four times in this puzzle : COMPACT CARS
  • 16A. Move along : PROPEL
  • 17A. Self-deprecatingly titled instructional book series : FOR DUMMIES
  • 56A. European nation since 1993 : SLOVAKIA
  • 58A. Praise : PLAUDITS
  • 1D. Meet the expense of : AFFORD
  • 13D. Access to a treehouse, maybe : ROPE LADDER
  • 53D. Winter vacation destination : SKI AREA
  • 54D. Most over the top : GAUDIEST

Bill’s time: 18m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15. Cellular carrier? : RNA

Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

18. He shared a Nobel Prize with de Klerk : MANDELA

As a young man, Nelson Mandela led the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). Mandela was eventually arrested and admitted to charges of sabotage and was sentenced to life in prison in 1964. He remained behind bars for 27 years, mainly in the infamous prison on Robben Island. As the years progressed, Mandela became a symbol of the fight against apartheid. He was released in 1990, and immediately declared his commitment to peace and reconciliation with South Africa’s white minority population. Mandela was elected president of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) in 1994, an office that he held until 1999. Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013.

F. W. de Klerk was the President of South Africa who led his National Party when the country ended apartheid, the policy of racial segregation. For his work in ending apartheid, De Klerk was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 along with Nelson Mandela.

23. “White Flag” singer, 2003 : DIDO

Dido is an English singer and songwriter. Dido’s real name is Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong. She was born on Christmas Day 1971, and celebrates a second birthday every year on June 25th. In this regard Dido is just like Paddington Bear, with one birthday on December 25th, and another on June 25th.

26. Golfer’s goof : SLICE

A slice in golf doesn’t head straight down the fairway, but instead turns off to the right (if you’re a right-handed golfer).

28. Actress Cheryl or Diane : LADD

Cheryl Ladd’s most famous role was Kris Munroe in television’s “Charlie’s Angels”. Ladd replaced Farrah Fawcett-Majors when the latter opted out of the show. Cheryl Ladd was the daughter-in-law of famed Hollywood actor Alan Ladd, as she was married to Ladd’s son, David. After the couple divorced, Cheryl retained the Ladd name.

Diane Ladd is an American actress who was nominated for a Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in the 1990 film “Wild at Heart”. The lead roles in the movie were played by Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern. Laura Dern is Diane Ladd’s daughter in real life, as she was once married to actor Bruce Dern.

29. Financial mogul Carl : ICAHN

Carl Icahn has many business interests, and is probably best known in recent years for his dealings with Yahoo! Icahn has a reputation as a corporate raider, a reputation that dates back to his hostile takeover of TWA in 1985. He made a lot of money out of that deal, before being ousted in 1993 after the company filed for bankruptcy protection.

44. Warren Buffett, notably : OMAHAN

Warren Buffett is often referred to with nicknames “Wizard of Omaha” and “Oracle of Omaha”. Despite being one of the wealthiest men in the world, Buffet lives a relatively frugal and modest life. Buffett also has a very Jeffersonian attitude towards the role his wealth plays within his family. He has set up his estate so that his children will inherit enough money to be independent, but the vast majority of his assets are going to charity, both before and after he dies. My hero …

Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska. It is located on the Missouri River, about 10 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River When Nebraska was still a territory Omaha was its capital, but when Nebraska achieved statehood the capital was moved to the city of Lincoln.

47. Some corporate jets : LEARS

Learjet is a company making business jets that was founded in 1960 by William Powell Lear. The original Learjet was a modified Swiss ground-attack fighter aircraft.

49. It ends with “zyzzyva,” in brief : OED

Oxford English Dictionary (OED)

The zyzzyva is a snouted beetle that was first identified in Brazil in 1922. Apparently, the entomologist who discovered it gave it the name “zyzzyva” in a fit of whimsy, just so that it would appear last in alphabetical lists.

53. Tolkien dragon : SMAUG

The dragon named Smaug is the principal antagonist in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”.

55. Calamine target : ITCH

Calamine is mainly zinc oxide, with a small percentage of iron oxide. Calamine is incorporated into a lotion that is used for many things, including treatment of sunburn and itching.

56. European nation since 1993 : SLOVAKIA

Czechoslovakia existed as a sovereign state in Europe from 1918, at which time it declared itself independent from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The country went through much turmoil through the days of Nazi and Soviet occupation, but democracy was restored in 1989 after the nonviolent Velvet Revolution that overthrew the communist government. Nationalist tendencies did develop over time, leading to a peaceful dissolution of the country in 1993, and the creation of the two independent states of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic (aka Slovakia).

58. Praise : PLAUDITS

Plaudits are enthusiastic expressions of approval. The term comes from the Latin word “plaudite!”, which was an appeal made by actors for “applause” at the end of a performance.

60. Vituperative sorts : ABUSERS

Vituperation is sustained, abusive language.

69. Qantas hub, on tickets : SYD

QANTAS is the national airline of Australia. The company name was originally an acronym standing for “Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services”. QANTAS has featured a koala in advertising campaigns for many years, although the company’s logo is a kangaroo and the company’s nickname is “Flying Kangaroo”.

Sydney is the most populous city in Australia. People from Sydney are known as “Sydneysiders”.

71. “Casey at the Bat” autobiographer : STENGEL

Casey Stengel was a professional baseball player, playing from 1912-1925 and managing from 1934-1965. Stengel was born in Kansas City. He had German heritage, and so was called “Dutch” for much of his early life. As he acquired fame on the baseball field, Stengel was given the nickname “Casey”, largely because he came from Kansas City (“KC”) and also because of the popularity of the poem “Casey at the Bat”. He was a smart and erudite guy when it came to baseball, so sportswriters tended to call him “The Old Professor”.

Down

2. Word on a magnum : 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.

3. 2015 N.F.L. M.V.P. Newton : CAM

Cam Newton plays quarterback for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. One interesting thing about Newton is that he is a pescetarian, eating seafood but not the flesh of other animals. Sounds fishy to me …

4. City in which “Glee” is set : LIMA, OHIO

Lima is a city located in northwestern Ohio, about 70 miles north of Dayton. The city is home to the Lima Army Tank Plant, where the M1 Abrams battle tank is produced. Lima is also home to the fictional William McKinley High School that is the setting for the TV series “Glee”.

5. Listed “others” : ALII

Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

6. Gossip column fodder : ITEMS

An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.

7. Walt Whitman’s “Song of ___” : MYSELF

Walt Whitman is considered to be one of the greatest American poets. He was born in 1819 on Long Island, and lived through the American Civil War. Whitman was a controversial character, even during his own lifetime. One view held by him was that the works attributed to William Shakespeare were not actually written by Shakespeare, but rather by someone else, or perhaps a group of people.

8. The Adriatic vis-à-vis the Mediterranean : ARM

The Adriatic is the sea separating Italy from the Balkans.

9. Gobsmacked : IN AWE

“Gobsmack” is slang from the British Isles. “Gob” is also slang, for a mouth. So someone who is gobsmacked has received a “smack in the mouth”, is stunned.

10. Bowling reservation : LANE

Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

12. Longtime TV exec Roone : ARLEDGE

Roone Arledge was an executive at ABC. Arledge made a name for himself in sports broadcasting and then took over ABC News in 1977, a position he held until his death in 2002.

19. “Lobster Telephone” artist : DALI

“Lobster Telephone” is a work by surrealist artist Salvador Dalí that dates back to 1936. It consists of a telephone with a plaster lobster lying across the handpiece.

23. Archaeological site : DIG

“Archaeology” is a word that looks like it’s British English, and one might be forgiven for using the spelling “archeology” in American English. Even though the latter spelling has been around for a couple of hundred years, the former is the standard spelling on both sides of the Atlantic.

24. Some bling : ICE

“Ice” and “rocks” are slang terms meaning “diamonds”.

Bling-bling (often simply “bling”) is the name given to all the shiny stuff sported by rap stars in particular i.e. the jewelry, watches, metallic cell phones, even gold caps on the teeth. The term comes from the supposed “bling” sound caused by light striking a shiny metal surface.

27. San Francisco’s ___ Tower : COIT

Coit Tower is a renowned memorial in San Francisco that sits atop Telegraph Hill. The full name of the structure is the Lillian Coit Memorial Tower, recognizing a generous bequest to the city by wealthy socialite Lillie Hitchcock Coit. There is an urban myth in these parts that the tower was designed to resemble the nozzle of a fire hose, as Lillie used to like chasing fires and hanging out with firefighters.

32. Histrionics : DRAMA

The term “histrionic”, meaning “theatrical”, comes to us via Latin from the word “histrio” that is believed to an Etruscan word for “actor”.

40. Hilton alternative : RADISSON

The first Radisson hotel opened in 1909 in Minneapolis. The hotel name was chosen in honor of the 17th-century French explorer Pierre-Esprit Radisson.

41. Proverbs : OLD SAWS

A saw is an old saying, one that is often repeated and is very familiar. The term “old saw” is actually a tautology, as by definition a “saw” is “old”.

42. Pinocchio, by the film’s conclusion : REAL BOY

“The Adventures of Pinocchio” is an 1883 children’s novel by Carlo Collodi, which is all about an animated puppet named Pinocchio, and Geppetto, his poor woodcarver father. 1940’s movie adaptation “Pinocchio” was the second animated feature produced by Walt Disney, following the success of 1937’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. “Pinocchio” was the first animated feature to win a competitive Oscar, winning for Best Original Score and for Best Original Song “When You Wish upon a Star”.

50. Airport whose main terminal was designed by Eero Saarinen : DULLES

There are three airports serving the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area:

  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)

Of the three, BWI handles the most passengers.

Eero Saarinen was a Finnish-American architect who was renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK. The list of his lesser-known, but still impressive, works includes several buildings erected on academic campuses. For example, the Chapel and Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus, the Emma Hartman Noyes House at Vassar College, the Law School building at the University of Chicago, and Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink.

57. Bubble-filled Nestlé chocolate bar : AERO

I must admit to having a weakness for Aero chocolate bars. Aero was introduced by Rowntree’s in the North of England in 1935. The “aero” name is a reference to the chocolate’s “bubbly” texture.

61. 50 is a very high one, in brief : SPF

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

65. Pommes frites seasoning : SEL

In French, one might put “sel” (salt) on “pommes frites” (French fries).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Praise : ACCLAIM
8. Have a bug, say : AIL
11. Boathouse item : OAR
14. Weakness : FRAILTY
15. Cellular carrier? : RNA
16. Move along : PROPEL
17. Self-deprecatingly titled instructional book series : FOR DUMMIES
18. He shared a Nobel Prize with de Klerk : MANDELA
20. Used a scope : AIMED
22. Got off the bottle : WEANED
23. “White Flag” singer, 2003 : DIDO
26. Golfer’s goof : SLICE
28. Actress Cheryl or Diane : LADD
29. Financial mogul Carl : ICAHN
31. To’s partner : FRO
32. Griminess : DINGE
33. Brilliance : GENIUS
35. Piece of cake? : TIER
37. German “the” : DER
38. Easy-to-park vehicles … or what can be found four times in this puzzle : COMPACT CARS
41. It can be hard to process : ORE
43. Big loss, figuratively : BATH
44. Warren Buffett, notably : OMAHAN
47. Some corporate jets : LEARS
49. It ends with “zyzzyva,” in brief : OED
51. Certain ticket category : ADULT
52. “… if you ___!” : DARE
53. Tolkien dragon : SMAUG
55. Calamine target : ITCH
56. European nation since 1993 : SLOVAKIA
58. Praise : PLAUDITS
60. Vituperative sorts : ABUSERS
62. Reins cats and dogs? : LEASHES
66. Took first : WON
67. Gym unit : REP
68. Support, as a cause : ESPOUSE
69. Qantas hub, on tickets : SYD
70. Dolt : OAF
71. “Casey at the Bat” autobiographer : STENGEL

Down

1. Meet the expense of : AFFORD
2. Word on a magnum : CRU
3. 2015 N.F.L. M.V.P. Newton : CAM
4. City in which “Glee” is set : LIMA, OHIO
5. Listed “others” : ALII
6. Gossip column fodder : ITEMS
7. Walt Whitman’s “Song of ___” : MYSELF
8. The Adriatic vis-à-vis the Mediterranean : ARM
9. Gobsmacked : IN AWE
10. Bowling reservation : LANE
11. Easily decided : OPEN-AND-SHUT
12. Longtime TV exec Roone : ARLEDGE
13. Access to a treehouse, maybe : ROPE LADDER
19. “Lobster Telephone” artist : DALI
21. Bargain-priced : DIRT CHEAP
23. Archaeological site : DIG
24. Some bling : ICE
25. Evade, as a sensitive topic : DANCE AROUND
27. San Francisco’s ___ Tower : COIT
30. Puts to sleep, say : NUMBS
32. Histrionics : DRAMA
34. Facial spot : SPA
36. Start to terrorism or tourism : ECO-
39. Tiny power source : ATOM
40. Hilton alternative : RADISSON
41. Proverbs : OLD SAWS
42. Pinocchio, by the film’s conclusion : REAL BOY
45. Liquor: Abbr. : ALC
46. Last in a math series : NTH
48. Intensifies, with “up” : REVS
50. Airport whose main terminal was designed by Eero Saarinen : DULLES
53. Winter vacation destination : SKI AREA
54. Most over the top : GAUDIEST
57. Bubble-filled Nestlé chocolate bar : AERO
59. Tailor’s aid : TAPE
61. 50 is a very high one, in brief : SPF
63. Warm greeting : HUG
64. Common linguistic suffix : -ESE
65. Pommes frites seasoning : SEL

25 thoughts on “0503-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 3 May 2018, Thursday”

  1. 14:52 Becasue I had trouble breaking into this I ended up getting the revealer very early which made it much easier to figure out what was going on. AUDI was the hardest one for me to figure out.

  2. 13:56, no errors. OPEL clued me in to the gimmick, at which point I filled in FORD, and the rest was pretty smooth … uh … motoring? ?

  3. 25:47. I did this on Wednesday night so I wasn’t thinking about the fact that it was a Thursday puzzle and therefore a rebus candidate. When I got the reveal, AFD/DUMMIES changed to AFFORD/FOR DUMMIES and the race was on to find the other 3.

    Best –

  4. @Allen Dickerson, re online solving:

    To repeat what I’ve said several times now: The almost-there message is something you get after filling in the final square. What it means is, “You just finished filling in the grid and, unfortunately, you have one or more errors somewhere in it.” At that point, one option is to do what you do on paper: check the answers and take your lumps. I prefer to try to find the error for myself, because I feel that I learn more that way. When I do find it, I correct it and I report here exactly what happened, including the inflated time it took to find the error.

    What irritates me about the “dreaded” almost-there messages is that, almost always, the error is one resulting from the clumsy nature of the online interface on my iPad. (Perhaps, after spending the same amount of time learning to use an online interface as I spent learning to use pen and paper, I will be equally proficient with it. Unfortunately, by then I will be 140 years old.)

    And, as for those “instant corrections” of which you speak: they don’t exist. In general, it takes me much longer to get to the correct square, set the fill direction, and type a correction with one finger than it would take me to write over the entry on paper. (Admittedly, the result is less messy.)

    I think the only way you’re going to understand online solving is to try it out. Until then, you should probably refrain from commenting on how dishonest you think it is.

    1. 21:56, and 2 errors at the cross of the OPEL square. I had moved on past that early on, and couldn’t locate it when I was trying to find that pesky last CAR square.

      As always, I detest rebus puzzles, but as those go, this one wasn’t too bad.

    2. No, I understand your description pretty well, I think. I never suggested that the electronic versions of the puzzles “auto-corrected” anything. It’s just that, if you finish and you get a message saying almost there, you’re getting a tip (that any one square is not correct); people working on paper don’t ever get that. Today’s puzzle was a case in point; I couldn’t find the 4th CAR square because I’d moved on from the cross where I couldn’t quite get a satisfactory answer, and (in error) filled the square with a single letter… so it “hid” from me when it was proofing time.

      Where I think this is “dishonest” (and really, that’s not a word I’d really use) is that any help is simply that: HELP. If you’re competing at the crossword tournament, (or working with a paper grid) you simply don’t get (even) that little bit of help. If you declare “pencil down” and there’s a mistake, you only learn of it after you’ve committed to the solve.

      As for what I choose to comment or opine about, that I don’t need any guidance from you to determine, thanks. I find your posts here to be interesting and helpful, even when I don’t agree with them. They’re just one other perspective. I think you (and everyone else here) have every right to have and express an opinion… just like I do.

      1. @Allen … The point I keep trying to make is that, until you fill in the final square of the puzzle, you get no more help from the online NYT crossword puzzle app than you would get from a piece of paper. So, if you wish to do so, you can view the action of filling in that final square as your “pencil down” moment – your declaration that you are done. (I would actually prefer to have a button labeled “I’m done now; check my answers”, but one can easily achieve the same end with what is provided.)

        And I was not talking about “auto-correction”, but about what you called “instant correction”. (You implied that it is easier and faster to correct online mistakes than paper-and-pen mistakes – a contention with which I disagree).

        1. … but, once you do fill in that last square, you DO get help you wouldn’t get from a piece of paper. When you fill that square, and get the “almost there” message, that is definitely “help”: you’re basically told that at least one thing is wrong.

          I agree a “check my answers” button would help… but then, if you press it and are told that you have an error, you can still find and correct it, right?

  5. Still working on conquering these rebus puzzles. Should of figured it out with 56A and 13D since the word I wanted to put in there fit but didn’t fit. I’ll keep plugging away.

  6. Generally look forward to Thursday rebuses, and this one did not disappoint. Took a while to start and then to DIG out the cars, but finally unstuck them.

  7. Agree with @Allen that an “almost there” message is HELP, pure and simple. Also think that @Dave’s explicit admissions that he actually uses that help, when he needs to, pretty much resolves the matter. Of course, that would have to preclude any claim of “no errors” as well.

      1. @Dale …

        And I never do!

        On this puzzle, five weeks ago, I said, “13:56, no errors”. And that was exactly the situation. If I had gotten the “almost there” message and taken the time to find and fix an error, I would have said something like, “14:32 after getting the ‘almost there’ message and fixing an error”. If, in addition, I had needed to look something up, I would have said something like, “17:39 after getting the ‘almost there’ message and using Google to fix three entries”. In all of these situations, I have reported exactly what happened. How is this not clear?

        1. I think that this is the first time that you have ever actually came right out and said this. Maybe you assumed everyone would take it for granted what you meant. Now that I know that when you say “no errors” you are talking strictly about prior to using any prompts, then that clears it up. Also I was not singling you out, Dave. I meant this only in a general way.

          1. @Dale … I think I have said, or tried to say, the same thing many times. I’m glad to have finally found a way to say it that is understood.

  8. No errors and very enjoyable. Dave some people don’t have a great grasp of the English language apparently so I wouldn’t waste a lot of time trying to explain it. I use paper and pencil and understood exactly what you meant.
    eurekajoe

      1. I think I understand what you all mean and meant. But, as a confirmed skeptic, I have to ask: Has any electronic or paper solver here honestly and consistently reported on how they got to “no errors” without any kind of help at all? I have to doubt it.

        1. @Tom … I have been honestly and consistently reporting all of my “no errors with no help of any kind” solves for as long as I’ve been posting on this blog. Such solves are my goal and I succeed a very large percentage of the time.

          (I’m a confirmed skeptic, too, but, in this case, I have complete inside information … 😜.)

        2. @Tom—Just for the record, I work the puzzles on paper with no help of any kind. Those are my rules that I made for myself. I enforce my own rules. I cannot speak for anyone else. What anyone else says is their business. If they claim they did something when they actually didn’t, then they have to live with themselves.

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