0521-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 21 May 2018, Monday

Constructed by: Hannah Slovut
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Baby … to Ghost!

The first words in today’s themed answers provide a “life” sequence, from BABY right through to GHOST!

  • 17A. Holder of some precious memories : BABY ALBUM
  • 22A. Wunderkind : CHILD PRODIGY
  • 30A. Fashion magazine spinoff : TEEN VOGUE
  • 41A. Popular Cartoon Network programming block : ADULT SWIM
  • 47A. Temporary mental lapse : SENIOR MOMENT
  • 59A. Place where no one lives anymore : GHOST TOWN

Bill’s time: 5m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Levi’s material : JEAN

Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (meaning “from Nimes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

Levi Strauss was the founder of the first company in the world to manufacture blue jeans. Levi Strauss & Co. opened in 1853 in San Francisco. Strauss and his business partner were awarded a patent in 1873 for the use of copper rivets to strengthen points of strain on working pants.

15. ___ facto : IPSO

“Ipso facto” is Latin, meaning “by the fact itself”. Ipso facto describes something that is a direct consequence of particular act, as opposed to something that is the result of some subsequent event. For example, my father was born in Dublin and was an Irish citizen ipso facto. My son was born in California and is an Irish citizen by virtue of being the son of an Irish citizen (i.e. “not” ipso facto).

16. Women’s golf star Lorena : OCHOA

Lorena Ochoa is a retired professional golfer from Mexico who was ranked as the number one female golfer in the world from 2007 to 2010.

22. Wunderkind : CHILD PRODIGY

A “wunderkind” is a child prodigy, especially in the musical arena. The term is German in origin and translates literally as “wonder child”.

29. 1960s-’70s Ford named for an Italian city : TORINO

Ford produced the Torino from 1968 to 1970. The name “Torino” is Italian for “Turin”, and a nod to the city that has been dubbed “the Italian Detroit”. Turin is home to auto manufacturers FIAT, Lancia and Alfa Romeo. Famously, the Ford Torino was used by the title characters in the seventies cop show “Starsky & Hutch”. Starsky’s Torino was red in color, with a large white vector stripe running along both sides. Ford cashed in on the popularity of the show by producing a thousand replicas of the “Starsky and Hutch” car, although they weren’t much more than the standard vehicle with a specialty paint job.

30. Fashion magazine spinoff : TEEN VOGUE

“Teen Vogue” is a version of “Vogue” magazine that targets teenage girls.

33. “Here’s to you!,” e.g. : TOAST

The tradition of “toasting” someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

38. Turn at high speed : CAREEN

The term “careen” dates back to 1590 when it meant “to turn a ship on its side, exposing the keel”. The word evolved from the Middle French word “carene” meaning “keel”. Our modern usage, meaning to lean or tilt, only dates back as far as the 1880s. Careen should not be confused with “career”, a verb meaning to move rapidly. One has to “career” from side-to-side in order to “careen”.

39. “As American as apple pie,” for example : SIMILE

A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things that are unalike. For example, a person might be described as “cute as a kitten” or as “busy as a bee”.

The full expression is “as American as motherhood and apple pie”. I think the concept here is not that America is the home of motherhood nor apple pie, but rather that America is as wholesome as motherhood and apple pie. I’ve heard that the phrase originated in WWII when GI’s being interviewed by journalists would say that they were going to war “for Mom and apple pie”.

44. The “M” of NASA’s LEM : MODULE

In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy” and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was called “Eagle” and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.

54. ___ Herman (Paul Reubens character) : PEE-WEE

Pee-wee Herman is a comic character portrayed by Paul Reubens. Reubens introduced the character into his stage act, and from there to an HBO special that led to a 1985 movie “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure”. There followed a children’s TV series called “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” that ran from 1986 to 1991, and a 1988 movie “Big Top Pee-wee”.

63. Actress Hatcher : TERI

Teri Hatcher’s most famous role is the Susan Mayer character on the TV comedy-drama “Desperate Housewives”. I’ve never seen more than a few minutes of “Housewives” but I do know Teri Hatcher as a Bond girl, as she appeared in “Tomorrow Never Dies”. More recently, she portrayed Lois Lane on the show “Lois & Clark”.

64. Crucifix : ROOD

A rood is a crucifix that specifically symbolizes the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

In many of the Christian traditions, a crucifix is a representation of Jesus on the cross. The term comes from the Latin “cruci fixus” meaning “fixed to a cross”.

65. Philadelphia N.B.A. player, informally : SIXER

The Philadelphia 76ers basketball team is one of the oldest franchises in the NBA. “The Sixers” were formed in 1946 as the Syracuse Nationals. The team moved to Philadelphia in 1963, and the name 76er was chosen in a fan contest, a name that honors the men who fought for the country’s independence in 1776.

Down

1. Steve who once headed Apple : JOBS

Steve Jobs certainly was a business icon in Silicon Valley. I don’t think it is too surprising to learn that the brilliant Jobs didn’t even finish his college education, dropping out of Reed College in Oregon after only one semester. Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976, but in 1985 he was basically fired from his own company during the computer sales slump of the mid-eighties. Jobs then founded NeXT Computer, a company focused on supplying workstations to the higher education and business markets. Apple purchased NeXT in 1996, and that’s how Jobs found himself back with his original company.

2. The “E” of Q.E.D. : ERAT

The initialism “QED” is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. QED stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.

3. Swedish pop quartet that won the 1974 Eurovision contest : ABBA

Only three members of the quartet that made up the pop group ABBA were born in Sweden. Anni-Frid Lyngstad was born in Norway just after the end of WWII, the daughter of a Norwegian mother and a father who was German soldier and a member of the German occupying force during the war. The father returned to Germany with the army, and in 1947, Anna-Frid was taken with her family to Sweden. They left fearing reprisals against those who dealt with the German army during the occupation.

We have a big event across Europe every year called the Eurovision Song Contest. Each nation enters one song in competition with each other, and then voters across the whole continent decide on the winner. That’s how ABBA got their big break when they won in 1974 with “Waterloo”. In 1973, Spain’s entry was “Eres tú” (the Spanish for “You Are”) sung by the band Mocedades. “Eres tú” came second in the competition, but should have won in my humble opinion.

4. Justin Timberlake’s original group : NSYNC

NSYNC was a boy band from Orlando, Florida that was formed in 1995. The name of the group came from a comment by the mother of band member Justin Timberlake, who said the boys voices sounded “in sync”. But, it’s also true that the letters of the name NSYNC are the last letters of the given names of the five band members:

  • Justin Timberlake
  • Chris Kirkpatrick
  • Joey Fatone
  • Lance “Lansten” Bass
  • JC Chasez

Justin Timberlake got his break by appearing on TV’s “Star Search” from which he was given a starring role in “The New Mickey Mouse Club”. It was on “The New Mickey Mouse Club” that he met his future girlfriend Britney Spears, as well JC Chasez who would join Timberlake in the lineup of the boy band NSYNC.

6. Police alert, for short : APB

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

7. Baton Rouge sch. : LSU

LSU’s full name is Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, and is located in Baton Rouge. LSU was founded in 1860 as a military academy, with then-Colonel William Tecumseh Sherman as superintendent.

Baton Rouge is the capital city of the state of Louisiana. The name “Baton Rouge” is French for “red stick” or “red staff”. The exact reason why such a name was given to the city isn’t really clear.

11. Puppeteer Lewis : SHARI

Shari Lewis was the original puppeteer behind the PBS children’s show “Lamb Chop”. After Shari Lewis died in 1998, her daughter Mallory took over the role of puppeteer on the show.

12. Request to a waiter : NO MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

21. Prince Valiant’s son : ARN

In the comic strip “Prince Valiant”, Arn is the eldest son of the title character, and Aleta is his wife. Edward, Duke of Windsor, once declared that “Prince Valiant” comic strip the “greatest contribution to English Literature in the past one hundred years”. I’m not so sure …

24. ___ Hill (R&B group) : DRU

Dru Hill is an R&B singing group from Baltimore, Maryland. Dru Hill was formed in 1992, and is still going strong today. The name “Dru Hill” comes from Druid Hill Park which is found on the west side of Baltimore.

25. Chart type : PIE

A pie chart can also be referred to as a circle graph. It is often stated that Florence Nightingale invented the pie chart. While this is not in fact true, she is due credit for popularizing it, and for developing the pie chart variation known as the polar area diagram. The earliest known pie chart appears in a book published in 1801 by Scottish engineer William Playfair.

27. Lover boy : BEAU

A beau (plural “beaux”) is the boyfriend of a belle, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

28. Road shoulder : BERM

The term “berm” can be used to describe a physical barrier of some kind. For example, berms can be constructed along a highway to protect those living and working nearby from noise pollution.

32. Bernie Sanders, for one : VERMONTER

Bernie Sanders has served as US Senator from Vermont since 2007. Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist, and used to appear on the ballot as an independent. Prior to joining the Democratic Party in 2015, Sanders had been the longest-serving independent in the history of the US Congress.

34. Meditation sounds : OMS

“Om” is a sacred mystic word from the Hindu tradition. “Om” is sometimes used as a mantra, a focus for the mind in meditation.

35. Onetime electronics giant : AIWA

Aiwa was a Japanese company that produced consumer electronics, mainly audio and video equipment. Sony bought Aiwa in 2002 and eventually discontinued the brand in 2006. The Aiwa trademark was acquired by a Chicago-based consumer electronics company in 2015.

41. Naval chief: Abbr. : ADM

Admiral (adm.)

42. Batman and Robin are a “dynamic” one : DUO

Batman is sometimes referred to as the Caped Crusader, Robin as the Boy Wonder, and the pair as the Dynamic Duo.

43. Einstein’s birthplace : ULM

Ulm is a city in the south of Germany that sits on the River Danube. Ulm is famous as home to the tallest church in the world, Ulm Minster, a Gothic building with a steeple that is 530 feet tall, with 768 steps to climb. Ulm is also the birthplace of Albert Einstein, and is where the entire Austrian army surrendered to Napoleon after the Battle of Ulm in 1805.

45. Where surgeons do surgery, for short : ORS

Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

48. Bacterium that can help or hurt : E COLI

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

55. Tries to win, as a damsel : WOOS

A damsel is a young woman, often referring to a lady of noble birth. The term came into English from the Old French “dameisele”, which had the same meaning. The modern French term is “demoiselle”, which in turn is related to the term of address “mademoiselle”.

56. Furry “Star Wars” creature : EWOK

The Ewoks are creatures who live on the moon of Endor in the “Star Wars” universe. First appearing in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”, they’re the cute and cuddly little guys that look like teddy bears.

59. Sporty Pontiac : GTO

The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later was found the DeLorean Motor Company.

60. Bewitch : HEX

“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Levi’s material : JEAN
5. Coconut tree : PALM
9. Lacks, in brief : HASN’T
14. The sun and the moon : ORBS
15. ___ facto : IPSO
16. Women’s golf star Lorena : OCHOA
17. Holder of some precious memories : BABY ALBUM
19. Transports between airport terminals : TRAMS
20. Position for a baseball batter : STANCE
21. What sending someone to Mars would be : A FIRST
22. Wunderkind : CHILD PRODIGY
26. Recede, as the tide : EBB
29. 1960s-’70s Ford named for an Italian city : TORINO
30. Fashion magazine spinoff : TEEN VOGUE
33. “Here’s to you!,” e.g. : TOAST
38. Turn at high speed : CAREEN
39. “As American as apple pie,” for example : SIMILE
40. Jokes and such : HUMOR
41. Popular Cartoon Network programming block : ADULT SWIM
44. The “M” of NASA’s LEM : MODULE
46. Smartphone download : APP
47. Temporary mental lapse : SENIOR MOMENT
53. Squirrel’s stash : ACORNS
54. ___ Herman (Paul Reubens character) : PEE-WEE
58. Insinuated : GOT AT
59. Place where no one lives anymore : GHOST TOWN
62. Bring joy to : ELATE
63. Actress Hatcher : TERI
64. Crucifix : ROOD
65. Philadelphia N.B.A. player, informally : SIXER
66. Plow pullers : OXEN
67. Inquires : ASKS

Down

1. Steve who once headed Apple : JOBS
2. The “E” of Q.E.D. : ERAT
3. Swedish pop quartet that won the 1974 Eurovision contest : ABBA
4. Justin Timberlake’s original group : NSYNC
5. Assign two projects, a long reading and several writing assignments, say : PILE IT ON
6. Police alert, for short : APB
7. Baton Rouge sch. : LSU
8. Dad’s partner : MOM
9. Run fast : HOTFOOT IT
10. Having a burning smell : ACRID
11. Puppeteer Lewis : SHARI
12. Request to a waiter : NO MSG
13. Yummy : TASTY
18. German’s “Oh!” : ACH!
21. Prince Valiant’s son : ARN
23. Item in a grate : LOG
24. ___ Hill (R&B group) : DRU
25. Chart type : PIE
26. Write on metal, say : ETCH
27. Lover boy : BEAU
28. Road shoulder : BERM
31. Prefix with liberal : NEO-
32. Bernie Sanders, for one : VERMONTER
34. Meditation sounds : OMS
35. Onetime electronics giant : AIWA
36. Lose one’s footing : SLIP
37. Worker hired for the day : TEMP
39. Has a lazy Sunday morning, say : SLEEPS IN
41. Naval chief: Abbr. : ADM
42. Batman and Robin are a “dynamic” one : DUO
43. Einstein’s birthplace : ULM
45. Where surgeons do surgery, for short : ORS
47. Wise ones : SAGES
48. Bacterium that can help or hurt : E COLI
49. Levy-free : NO-TAX
50. Furious : IRATE
51. Alternative to .com : NET
52. Prefix with -hedron : TETRA-
55. Tries to win, as a damsel : WOOS
56. Furry “Star Wars” creature : EWOK
57. Kills : ENDS
59. Sporty Pontiac : GTO
60. Bewitch : HEX
61. It’s mined : ORE

10 thoughts on “0521-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 21 May 2018, Monday”

  1. 10:15 Much slower than normal on Monday for me. Top right slowed me down. Got SHARI and OCHOA but had trouble parsing some of the rest. Also, never seen ROOD before. Seems tough for a Monday.

  2. 6:41, no errors. I know ROOD from seeing it in crosswords in years past, but haven’t seen it so much recently …

  3. Ouch!, one letter wrong at the TORINO/LOG cross. I put in a U instead of an O. I was thinking of the actual Italian spelling of the city of Turin and not the Anglicized version. And LOG in a grate just did not occur to me. I was thinking of something like lug bolts holding a grate together.

    I did not see the theme until coming here. Hannah can do her theme any way she wants but I found her use of GHOST as the last stage of life very off-putting. I certainly do not see myself becoming a “ghost” after I die.

  4. 7:23, no errors. ROOD sent a slight panic through me as I had declared “pen down” and went to check my answers…..

  5. ROOD was less than rudimentary (almost rude?) for a Monday. Having survived 12 years of parochial school did not help either, even after the vertical clues helped to root out the answer. Another senior moment ?

  6. Somewhere back in high school or college English, I remember learning about the “Dream of the Rood” as an example of Old English literature, so that reference was familiar.

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