0517-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 17 May 2018, Thursday

17

Constructed by: David J. Kahn
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: May 1718

We have a rebus puzzle today, with the numbers 1718 taking up four squares in the middle of the grid. We are also celebrating the founding of the cities of New Orleans and San Antonio, which took place 300 years ago, this month. In fact, we’re celebrating MAY 1718 on May 17 (20)18:

  • 37A. See 18- and 60-Across : MAY 1718
  • 18A. U.S. city founded in 37-Across : NEW ORLEANS
  • 60A. U.S. city founded in 37-Across : SAN ANTONIO
  • 11D. 60-Across sight : ALAMODOME
  • 33D. 18-Across sights : JAZZ BANDS
  • 24D. Zero : NOT 1 BIT
  • 38D. Soft drink whose logo features a red circle : 7UP
  • 39D. Law school beginners : 1 LS
  • 40D. It’s bad to be behind it : 8-BALL

Bill’s time: 10m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Mescal component : AGAVE

Mezcal (also “mescal”) is a distilled spirit made from the agave plant. Technically, tequila is a type of mezcal that is distilled specifically from the blue agave.

14. “Sully” Sullenberger, notably : HERO

“Sully” is a 2016 film directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks in the title role. The movie is based on the autobiography “Highest Duty” by Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the captain of US Airways Flight 1549 that crash landed in the Hudson River in 2009. Although the film covers the crash and miraculous escape of all aboard, it is more about the investigation that seemed intent on proving that the accident was caused by pilot error. Sully managed to clear his name. He was listed second on “Time” magazine’s list of the “Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009”, right after Michelle Obama.

17. Aldrich who was a spy for the K.G.B. : AMES

Aldrich Ames worked for the CIA until he was convicted in 1994 of spying for the Soviet Union. Prior to identifying Ames as a spy, the CIA was highly concerned at the high rate of disappearance of their own agents behind the Iron Curtain and they struggled for years to find the mole that they assumed must be working within their own ranks. After he was finally arrested, the CIA was criticized for not having identified Ames sooner, particularly as he was living an extravagant lifestyle relative to his apparent means. Ames is now serving a life sentence, courtesy of the US government.

18. U.S. city founded in 37-Across : NEW ORLEANS
(37A. See 18- and 60-Across : MAY 1718)

When New Orleans was founded by the French, the House of Bourbon was ruling France. Bourbon Street was named in its honor.

23. Slowpoke : SNAIL

Back in the early 1800s, a “poke” was a device attached to domestic animals such as pigs or sheep to keep them from escaping their enclosures. The poke was like a yoke with a pole, and slowed the animal down, hence the term “slowpoke”.

24. Dilettante, say : NON-PRO

We use the word “dilettante” for someone who dabbles in the world of art or in some particular field of knowledge. We borrowed the term from Italian, in which language a dilettante is a lover of fine arts, a connoisseur.

31. Friend of Sheldon on “The Big Bang Theory” : RAJ

Raj Koothrappali is a character on the sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” who is played by British-Indian actor Kunal Nayyar. Nayyar is married to Neha Kapur, a former Miss India.

Jim Parsons is an actor from Houston, Texas who is best known for playing Sheldon Cooper on the television sitcom “The Big Bang Theory”. As of 2014, Parsons and his co-stars Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco are earning one million dollars per episode of the show.

36. ORD listing : ETA

The IATA airport code for O’Hare International in Chicago is ORD, which derives from Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field.

42. Häagen-___ : DAZS

Häagen-Dazs ice cream originated in the Bronx, New York in 1961. The name “Häagen-Dazs” is a “nonsense” term, words chosen for its Scandinavian feel that the producers thought would appeal to potential customers.

46. Woodcutting tool : ADZE

An adze (also “adz”) is similar to an axe, but is different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft. An axe blade is set in line with the shaft.

47. Woodcutting tool : RIPSAW

In woodworking, a cut across the grain is known as a cross cut. A cut along the grain is called a rip cut. Most saws are designed to perform the best cross cuts, but there is a special ripsaw that more easily cuts straight lines along the grain.

49. Long-eared pet : BASSET

The basset hound wouldn’t be my favorite breed of dog, to be honest. Basset hounds have a great sense of smell with an ability to track a scent that is second only to that of the bloodhound. The name “basset” comes from the French word for “rather low”, a reference to the dog’s short legs.

58. TV personality in a bow tie : BILL NYE

That would be “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. Bill’s show ran on PBS for four years, from 1993-97.

60. U.S. city founded in 37-Across : SAN ANTONIO
(37A. See 18- and 60-Across : MAY 1718)

The city of San Antonio, Texas was named by Spanish explorers who came upon a Native American settlement in the area on 13 June 1631, the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua.

62. Taylor of “Public Enemies” : LILI

The actress Lili Taylor had supporting roles in films like “Mystic Pizza”, “The Haunting” and “Rudy”. She also had a recurring role in the HBO series “Six Feet Under”.

“Public Enemies” is a 2009 crime drama tells the story of bank robber John Dillinger and his pursuit by the FBI. Star of the movie is Johnny Depp, who plays Dillinger.

63. Annual race, for short : INDY

The Indianapolis 500 race is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The race is run around a 2.5 mile oval, hence requiring 200 laps for completion. The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. Harroun had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposedly, that was the first ever use of a rear view mirror on a motor vehicle.

64. Negative particle : ANION

As we all recall from science class, a positive ion is called a cation and a negative ion is an anion. The names “cation” and “anion” come from Greek, with “kation” meaning “going down” and “anion” meaning “going up”.

65. “To Autumn” and others : ODES

Here’s the first verse from John Keats’ ode “To Autumn” …

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

68. Curl maker : PERM

“Perm” is the name given to a permanent wave, a chemical or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves or curls. I don’t worry about such things, as it’s a number-one all over for me …

Down

1. Polling place hangers-on? : CHADS

We are all familiar with “hanging chads” after the famous Florida election recounts of 2000. A chad is any piece of paper punched out from a larger sheet. So, those round bits of paper we’ve all dropped over the floor when emptying a hole punch, they’re chads.

4. Something to be stuck on : POST-IT

The Post-it note was invented at 3M following the accidental discovery of a low-tack, reusable adhesive. The actual intent of the development program was the discovery of a super-strong adhesive.

5. Plant bristles : AWNS

“Awn” is the name given to hair or bristle-like structures found in numerous species of plants. In some species, like barley, the awns can contain photosynthetic tissue.

6. “The Big Bang Theory” sort : GEEK

“The Big Bang Theory” is very clever sitcom that first aired in 2007. “The Big Bang Theory” theme song was specially commissioned for the show, and was composed and is sung by Canadian band Barenaked Ladies. The theme song was released in 2007 as a single and is featured on a Barenaked Ladies greatest hits album.

8. Expert spelling? : VOODOO

Voodoo is a religion that originated the French slave colony of Saint-Domingue on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

9. Big company in 2001 news : ENRON

After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

10. Jagged mountain range : SIERRAS

“Sierra” is Spanish for “mountain range”. The term also translates as “saw”, and so can particularly describe a jagged mountain range.

11. 60-Across sight : ALAMODOME

The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas opened for business in 1993. The Alamodome was home to the San Antonio Spurs basketball team from 1993 to 2002. Today, the facility hosts many sporting events, including football and ice hockey games. It is also used as a convention center.

12. One often saying “hello,” maybe : MYNA

Some species of myna (also “mynah”) bird are known for their ability to imitate sounds.

26. ___ Maria (rum-based liqueur) : TIA

Tia Maria is a coffee liqueur that was invented just after WWII in Jamaica, using Jamaican coffee beans, Jamaican rum, vanilla and sugar. The drink’s name translates to “Aunt Maria”.

31. Hester Prynne’s mark : RED A

The main character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Scarlet Letter” is Hester Prynne. After the birth of her illegitimate daughter Pearl, she is convicted by her puritanical neighbors of the crime of adultery. Hester is forced to wear a scarlet “A” (for “adultery”) on her clothing for the rest of her life, hence the novel’s title “The Scarlet Letter”.

38. Soft drink whose logo features a red circle : 7UP

7UP was introduced to the world as “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda”, and was a patent medicine that contained lithium citrate, a mood-stabilizing drug. Paradoxically, it came on the market in 1929 just two weeks before the Wall Street Crash. 7UP’s “Uncola” advertising campaign dates back to 1967.

39. Law school beginners : 1 LS

“One L” is a name used in general for first-year law students, especially those attending Harvard.

50. Icarus, to Daedalus : SON

Daedalus was a master craftsman of Greek mythology who was tasked with creating the Labyrinth on the island of Crete that was to house the Minotaur. After the Labyrinth was completed, King Minos imprisoned Daedalus and his son Icarus in a tower, so that he could not spread word of his work. Daedalus fabricated wings so that he and Icarus could escape by flying off the island. Despite being warned by his father, Icarus flew too close to the sun so that the wax holding the wings’ feathers in place melted. Icarus drowned in the sea, and Daedalus escaped.

51. Some Latinas: Abbr. : SRTAS

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish, and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French, for “Miss”.

54. President who had 15 children : TYLER

John Tyler was the tenth President of the US, and the first to take the office on the death of the incumbent. Tyler’s predecessor was President William Henry Harrison, who was in office only 32 days before he died of natural causes. For a while there was a little confusion about the wording in the constitution that covered such an eventuality. There was an argument made that Tyler would continue as Vice-President but would assume the responsibilities of the office of President, in effect as “Acting President”. However, Tyler proceeded as though he was taking over as President and took the oath of office in his hotel room in Washington. Soon afterwards, Congress declared that Tyler was indeed President, although many continued to dispute the fact. Many of President Tyler’s opponents referred to him as “His Accidency”. His term in office ended in 1845. When the Civil War began in 1861, Tyler sided with the Confederacy and was even elected to the Confederate House of Representatives for the 3rd District of Virginia. President Tyler passed away only a few days after taking his seat in the House. His death was the only one in presidential history that was not recognized in the nation’s capital, as he sided with the Confederate States.

56. “Aida” goddess : ISIS

“Aida” is a famous opera by Giuseppe Verdi that is based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then of course complications arise!

58. Many Wikipedia articles : BIOS

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, and the most-used reference site on the Internet. It was launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in 2001. I, for one, am very grateful …

59. One of the Nereids in Greek myth : IONE

In Greek mythology, Nereus and Doris had fifty daughters, and these were called the sea nymphs or nereids. The nereids often hung around with Poseidon and were generally very helpful creatures to sailors in distress. Mainly they were to be found in the Aegean, where they lived with their father in a cave in the deep. Some of the more notable names of the nereids were: Agave, Asia, Calypso, Doris, Erato, Eunice and Ione.

61. “Winter of Artifice” writer : NIN

Anaïs Nin was a French author who was famous for the journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Give one a hand : CLAP
5. Mescal component : AGAVE
10. “The ___ to you!” : SAME
14. “Sully” Sullenberger, notably : HERO
15. Champs’ exclamation : WE WON!
16. 1958 Physics co-Nobelist ___ Frank : ILYA
17. Aldrich who was a spy for the K.G.B. : AMES
18. U.S. city founded in 37-Across : NEW ORLEANS
20. “Have a tough day?” answer : DON’T ASK
22. Stepped-all-over type : DOORMAT
23. Slowpoke : SNAIL
24. Dilettante, say : NON-PRO
25. Ink spot? : TATTOO
28. Congressman Schiff : ADAM
31. Friend of Sheldon on “The Big Bang Theory” : RAJ
34. Comedy club hit : RIOT
35. Word with spot or sport : SORE …
36. ORD listing : ETA
37. See 18- and 60-Across : MAY 1718
41. Blount in the Pro Football Hall of Fame : MEL
42. Häagen-___ : DAZS
44. Light source : BULB
45. Make a submarine disappear? : EAT
46. Woodcutting tool : ADZE
47. Woodcutting tool : RIPSAW
49. Long-eared pet : BASSET
52. Goes on : LASTS
56. Concisely : IN A WORD
58. TV personality in a bow tie : BILL NYE
60. U.S. city founded in 37-Across : SAN ANTONIO
62. Taylor of “Public Enemies” : LILI
63. Annual race, for short : INDY
64. Negative particle : ANION
65. “To Autumn” and others : ODES
66. Cheekiness : SASS
67. Detect : SENSE
68. Curl maker : PERM

Down

1. Polling place hangers-on? : CHADS
2. Cocktail slice : LEMON
3. AT&T Center, e.g. : ARENA
4. Something to be stuck on : POST-IT
5. Plant bristles : AWNS
6. “The Big Bang Theory” sort : GEEK
7. “How precious!” : AWW!
8. Expert spelling? : VOODOO
9. Big company in 2001 news : ENRON
10. Jagged mountain range : SIERRAS
11. 60-Across sight : ALAMODOME
12. One often saying “hello,” maybe : MYNA
13. Three o’clock, so to speak : EAST
19. Prune : LOP
21. Cellphone feature : ALARM
24. Zero : NOT 1 BIT
26. ___ Maria (rum-based liqueur) : TIA
27. Fiddle (with) : TOY
29. Locale : AREA
30. Wrap alternative : MELT
31. Hester Prynne’s mark : RED A
32. Somewhat : A TAD
33. 18-Across sights : JAZZ BANDS
38. Soft drink whose logo features a red circle : 7UP
39. Law school beginners : 1 LS
40. It’s bad to be behind it : 8-BALL
43. St. Lawrence and others : SEAWAYS
47. Changed over : REDONE
48. Belt : WALLOP
50. Icarus, to Daedalus : SON
51. Some Latinas: Abbr. : SRTAS
53. Insinuating : SNIDE
54. President who had 15 children : TYLER
55. Big shake : SEISM
56. “Aida” goddess : ISIS
57. One given to doting : NANA
58. Many Wikipedia articles : BIOS
59. One of the Nereids in Greek myth : IONE
61. “Winter of Artifice” writer : NIN

17 thoughts on “0517-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 17 May 2018, Thursday”

  1. RE 27 across – I think Aldrich is inprisoned in AllenWOOD Pa, not Allentown. No Feddral prison here in Allentown!

    1. @Bob Stevens,
      Thanks, Bob. I did indeed mix up my “wood” and my “town”. Also, it turns out that Ames has been moved to Terre Haute, Indiana. So, I’ve made my blurb a little more generic, so that the next time Mr. Ames appears in a crossword, I should be covered. Many thanks, Bob.

  2. 13:32 Theme seemed a bit light. No real problems but got a little stuck in the top right. Didn’t know 16A and the clue on 12D was a bit vague.

  3. No errors but upper right corner took awhile. What exactly does a “rebus puzzle” mean? I had thought it meant more than one letter in a square but that is obviously not right. eurekajoe

    1. @Anonymous—-BruceB has it right about the definition of “rebus”. What is in error is considering more than one letter in a square to be a rebus. It really isn’t. What has happened is that, in the jargon applied to crossword puzzles, solvers and constructors adopted the word “rebus” to cover their own necessity. As crossword solvers, we all recognize how language is always in a state of flux. Expanding the definition of the word “rebus” is a good example.

  4. 17:32, no errors. Seemed to have just enough handholds to work around the edges on this one. Then it took a while to accept numbers in the center. Nice workout.
    @Anonymous: definition of rebus from dictionary.com: a representation of a word or phrase by pictures, symbols, etc., that suggest that word or phrase or its syllables.

  5. I got everything else but could not crack the date in the center. I did manage to fill in the 8 for 8-BALL but the 1, 7, and 1 evaded me. I was thrown off by filling in NOT A LOT instead of NOT 1 BIT and could never get past the assumption that I had that entry correct. So I ended up with eight squares either incorrect or unfilled.

  6. I just now realized the significance of May 17, 2018. That is the date that this puzzle originally appeared in the New York Times. I work the syndicated puzzle so the date did not occur to me. I even had the MAY…. part of the theme safely filled in. I honestly believe that had I been working this puzzle back on May 17th that it would have occurred to me that all I had to do was fill in the day’s date. Sheesh, this is one time that there is a big disadvantage to being in Syndiland!

  7. A very clever puzzle that left me (more accurately my brain) behind. Did not pick up on the combination of numbers and letters in the middle. Had 1718, but didn’t even look for letters to fill out the date. Numbers only would do the job, I thought. Got everything else, but that doesn’t count for much when you (me) miss the main point in the puzzle.

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