0504-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 4 May 2018, Friday

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Constructed by: Michael Hawkins
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 14m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

18. Animal with a big bite, informally : CROC

Crocodiles and alligators do indeed bear a resemblance to each other, although they belong to distinct biological families. One of the main ways used to distinguish them is by their teeth and jaws. Both the upper and lower sets of teeth of a crocodile are visible when its mouth is closed, whereas only the upper teeth of an alligator are visible with the mouth shut.

19. Liberal arts dept. : PSY

The term “liberal arts” dates back to classical antiquity. The liberal arts were those subjects deemed essential to master for a citizen to take active part in civil life. “Citizens” were “free people”, hence the use of the term “liberal arts”. The list of subjects studied in olden times were generally sevenfold: grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy/astrology.

25. Plant tissue : XYLEM

Xylem is a vascular tissue in many plants, the function of which is to transport water and some nutrients. It is xylem tissue that makes up what we know as wood.

27. Apt rhyme for “casino” : RENO

The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the world at the time.

36. 1940s P.M. : ATTLEE

Clement Attlee served as leader of Britain’s Labour Party and as Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition government during the war years under the leadership of Winston Churchill, a Conservative. Attlee swept into power right after WWII in a landslide victory over Churchill, and was responsible for major changes not only in Britain but around the waning British Empire. It was under Attlee that former British colonies like India, Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka and Jordan became independent. Also, the Palestine Mandate was terminated in 1948, while he was in office, with the state of Israel being declared the very next day.

40. What the middle of the U.S. is usually on, for short : CDT

Central Daylight Time (CDT)

47. One of the Greats? : ERIE

Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes by area (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume and the shallowest, something for which nearby residents must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, much of Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to most of the lake-effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake’s edge.

50. Sci-fi writer McCaffrey, who was the first woman to win a Hugo for fiction : ANNE

Anne McCaffrey is an American science-fiction author famous for her “Dragonriders of Pern” series of novels. McCaffrey emigrated to Ireland in 1970, and lives in a house of her own design in County Wicklow. She calls her home “Dragonhold-Underhill”.

The Hugo Awards are presented annually for excellence in science fiction and fantasy writing. The awards are named for Hugo Gernsback, founder of the sci-fi magazine “Amazing Stories”.

55. Director Anderson : WES

Film director Wes Anderson’s most famous movie is probably “The Royal Tenenbaums” that was released in 2001, and is not my favorite film by any stretch. However, Anderson’s 2007 release “The Darjeeling Limited”, that I enjoyed.

57. Texting preamble : IMHO

In my humble opinion (IMHO)

Down

3. Keeper of the books, for short : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

4. DC area? : KRYPTON

Superman was sent to Earth in a rocket as a child by his parents, who remained on the doomed planet of Krypton. On Earth, the child was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent, farmers who lived near the fictional town of Smallville. The Kents raised the infant as their own, giving him the name Clark, which was Ma Kent’s maiden name.

DC Comics takes its name from what used to be a highly popular series called “Detective Comics”. The main competitor to DC Comics is Marvel Comics, and between the two companies, they command 80% of comic sales in the US market. Nowadays of course, a lot of company income comes from movies that use the most popular characters from the original comics.

5. Private eyes : TECS

“Tec” is a slang term for “private detective”, “private investigator” (PI).

9. One signatory to the Treaty of Fort Laramie : SIOUX

The town of Fort Laramie, Wyoming is named for the trading post and military encampment of the same name that was located nearby. Fort Laramie was a stop on the Oregon, California and Mormon trails.

11. The K.C. Chiefs are in it : AFC WEST

The Kansas City Chiefs were founded as the Dallas Texans in 1960 as a charter member team of the AFL. The Texans moved to Kansas City in 1963 and took the name “Chiefs”. The team owners (perhaps naively) expected to keep the Texans name in Kansas City but a fan contest opted instead for the Chiefs, named after the Kansas City mayor at the time, “Chief” Bartle.

13. Indiana Jones pursuit : IDOL

George Lucas created a lead character named Indiana Smith for what was to be his “Indiana Jones” series of films. Lucas asked Steven Spielberg to direct the first film, and Spielberg wasn’t too fond of the name “Smith”. Lucas then suggested “Jones” as an alternative, and Indiana Jones was born.

22. French city where an English/French treaty was signed in 1420 : TROYES

The city of Troyes is located on the River Seine just under 100 miles southeast of Paris. The popular board game called “Troyes” was released in 2010 and is named for the historic city.

26. ___ machine (restaurant fixture) : LATTE

The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

32. Freshwater minnow : RED FIN

Minnow are small fish often used as bait when fishing. The term “minnow” is used figuratively to for someone who is comparatively insignificant or perhaps small in stature.

39. Org. found early in the phone book : AAA

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

42. Gray area? : ANATOMY

“Gray’s Anatomy” is a very successful human anatomy textbook that was first published back in 1858 and is still in print today. The original text was written by English anatomist Henry Gray, who gave his name to the work. The TV medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” (note “Grey” vs. Gray”) is centered on the character Dr. Meredith Grey, but the show’s title is a nod to the title of the famous textbook.

49. Gossipmonger : YENTE

Yenta (also “Yente”) is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater “yenta” came to mean a busybody, a gossip.

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.

52. Contemporary of Hosea : AMOS

Amos is one of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible.

54. Pool surface : FELT

The various types of textile known as felt are all made by matting, condensing and pressing fibers together.

The more correct name for the game of pool is “pocket billiards”. The designation “pool” arose after pocket billiards became a common feature in “pool halls”, places where gamblers “pooled” their money to bet on horse races.

56. Breakfast item in a box : EGGO

Eggo is the brand name of a line of frozen waffles made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced “Froffles”, the original name chosen by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

59. “___ Olvidados” (1950 Luis Buñuel film) : LOS

“Los Olvidados” is a Mexican film directed by Spanish-Mexican filmmaker Luis Buñuel. The film follows a group of destitute children in the slums of Mexico City, and the violent life to which they are destined.

61. Long-running procedural : CSI

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but seems to have finally wound down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, set in Las Vegas, hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two seasons, before being canceled in 2016.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Subversive use of computers to promote a political agenda : HACKTIVISM
11. Sharp : ACID
15. One who gets the show on the road : IMPRESARIO
16. Dim : FADE
17. What’s not going anywhere? : STAYCATION
18. Animal with a big bite, informally : CROC
19. Liberal arts dept. : PSY
20. Exact revenge legally : SUE
21. Constitutional : WALK
22. Bring (out) : TROT
25. Plant tissue : XYLEM
27. Apt rhyme for “casino” : RENO
28. Some animal tissue : FAT
31. Stunners : TASERS
34. Dentist’s direction : OPEN WIDE
36. 1940s P.M. : ATTLEE
37. “May I help you?” : YES?
38. Gave secondhand? : REDEALT
40. What the middle of the U.S. is usually on, for short : CDT
41. Involve : ENTAIL
43. Becomes successful : TAKES OFF
45. Baked : STONED
46. Eats : HAS
47. One of the Greats? : ERIE
48. Have a good time : PARTY
50. Sci-fi writer McCaffrey, who was the first woman to win a Hugo for fiction : ANNE
51. Not eat : FAST
53. Not a team player : REF
55. Director Anderson : WES
57. Texting preamble : IMHO
58. Lack of polish : INELEGANCE
63. Portend : LOOM
64. Finally : AT LONG LAST
65. Lay eyes on : ESPY
66. “How about we get started?!” : LET’S DO THIS!

Down

1. Some hand waves : HIS
2. Tsp. or tbsp. : AMT
3. Keeper of the books, for short : CPA
4. DC area? : KRYPTON
5. Private eyes : TECS
6. Brit’s exclamation : I SAY!
7. It has a large holding area : VAT
8. Good name for an optometrist : IRIS
9. One signatory to the Treaty of Fort Laramie : SIOUX
10. “Mere rhetoric is not enough” : MONEY TALKS
11. The K.C. Chiefs are in it : AFC WEST
12. Snack at a county fair or baseball park : CARAMEL CORN
13. Indiana Jones pursuit : IDOL
14. K.O. : DECK
22. French city where an English/French treaty was signed in 1420 : TROYES
23. Evangelist’s exhortation : REPENT!
24. What has a lot in store for you? : ONE-STOP SHOP
26. ___ machine (restaurant fixture) : LATTE
28. Research done outside the lab : FIELD TRIAL
29. Put together : ADD
30. Crown holders : TEETH
32. Freshwater minnow : RED FIN
33. Fixed rate : SET FEE
35. Comparatively twisted : WRIER
39. Org. found early in the phone book : AAA
42. Gray area? : ANATOMY
44. Natural seasoning : SEA SALT
49. Gossipmonger : YENTE
51. Computer menu heading : FILE
52. Contemporary of Hosea : AMOS
54. Pool surface : FELT
55. Proceed on one’s way : WEND
56. Breakfast item in a box : EGGO
59. “___ Olvidados” (1950 Luis Buñuel film) : LOS
60. Slangy turndown : NAH
61. Long-running procedural : CSI
62. Arrivals in “Arrival,” for short : ETS

11 thoughts on “0504-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 4 May 2018, Friday”

  1. 32:21, but pretty easy for a Friday. HACKTIVISM and STAYCATION I had to figure out by crosses, but not entirely. I think both terms are here to stay. The spelling of YENTE confused me for a bit.

    I see “caffe latte” in Italian restaurants and I saw “cafe au lait” running around Paris so I figured those out despite not speaking either language. I keep it simple and just drink my coffee black anyway 🙂 Even so, order black coffee in a foreign country and they just think you want no cream. They still proceed to ask if I want sugar in it Grrr…

    Did not know XYLEM was essentially wood tissue which seems like something I should have known. I also found it interesting the origin of why we call pocket billiards, “pool”.

    This is why we tune in every day.

    Best –

  2. @Marc –
    Meant to mention I’m off to Game 5 at TMobile arena here in Las Vegas tonight. Series tied 2-2. Place should be a zoo as always. My home town team is and always has been the St. Louis Blues, but they had the same playoff run this year as your Rangers…..as in zilch. So now that I’m a season ticket holder for the Golden Knights, it seems ok to adopt them for the time being.

    Best –

  3. 30:39, no errors. Did not find this puzzle easy in any way. Spent more time trying to get my initial fill than @Bill took doing the entire puzzle. Managed to gain a fingerhold in the bottom left corner, and scratch my way to completion. Wrestling with 28D, first entering FIELD TESTS, then FIELD TRIPS before settling on FIELD TRIAL, was a good example of the difficulty I had with this puzzle. Once the correct answers were discovered, they became obvious, a good puzzle, in my opinion.

    Was unable to post yesterday, but my time of 18:42 (no errors) bested @Bill’s time by 6 seconds. Not going to let that pass without mention. 😉

  4. 32 mins 53 sec, DNF.

    21A: WHAT??? What does WALK have to do with contitutional??? Totally baffled there.

    4D was a horrible clue. As was 17A terribly “worded”.
    47A: nice way to “create” difficulty, by leaving out a key word (lake). Why not just leave out the entire clue and make us completely guess at it?

    All in all, a pretty shoddily, cynically constructed grid.

  5. Great puzzle for a Friday. No errors but the upper left 3 longish ones took awhile. Did not find it cynical or shoddy. Thank you Will and Michael!
    eurekajoe

  6. Enjoyable Saturday puzzle, but a hitch at the REDFIN/CDT crossing. Left it with CST and an unlikely RE[S]FIN. Associated “standard” with “usually”.

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