0614-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 14 Jun 2018, Thursday

Constructed by: Joe Krozel
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Roll Call Vote

Today’s grid contains a word ladder that takes us from ROLL in the top-left, through CALL in the center, to VOTE in the bottom-right:

  • 1A. With 44- and 76-Across, way to put legislators on record … or the start, middle and end of a word ladder : ROLL
  • 15A. Second word in the word ladder : POLL
  • 23A. Third word … : PALL
  • 24A. Fourth word … : PALM
  • 38A. Fifth word … : CALM
  • 44A. Sixth word … : CALL
  • 49A. Seventh word … : MALL
  • 56A. Eighth word … : MALE
  • 58A. Ninth word … : MATE
  • 72A. Tenth word … : MOTE
  • 76A. End of the word ladder : VOTE

Bill’s time: 10m 27s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. With 44- and 76-Across, way to put legislators on record … or the start, middle and end of a word ladder : ROLL
(44A. Sixth word … : CALL)
(76A. End of the word ladder : VOTE )

In a roll call vote, members of an assembly are called on by name to declare their position on a particular issue. This has the effect of registering each member’s vote for record.

13. Toasted breakfast items : EGGOS

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”.

17. Talk show host/actress Tyler : AISHA

Aisha Tyler is an actor and comedian who was a co-host on “The Talk” for several years starting in 2011. She began hosting the reboot of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” in 2013.

21. Start to instigate? : LETTER I

The word “instigate” starts with a letter I.

34. Barn youngster : OWLET

The barn owl is the most common species of owl. It is found everywhere in the world, except in desert and polar regions.

51. Free-for-all : MELEE

Our term “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

52. Sacred birds of Egypt : IBISES

The ibis is a wading bird that was revered in ancient Egypt. “Ibis” is an interesting word grammatically speaking. You can have one “ibis” or two “ibises”, and then again one has a flock of “ibis”. And if you want to go with the classical plural, instead of two “ibises” you would have two “ibides”!

54. Bright star of Aquila : ALTAIR

The name of the constellation Aquila is Latin for “eagle”. The brightest star in Aquila is Altair. The name “Altair” comes from the Arabic “al-nasr al-tair” meaning “the flying eagle”.

60. Criminal intent, at law : MENS REA

“Mens rea” is Latin for “guilty mind” and is a central concept in criminal law. The concept is expanded to “actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea” meaning “the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind be also guilty”. In other words, a someone should not be deemed guilty of an act, unless he or she had a “guilty mind”, intended to do wrong.

71. First in a line of Russian autocrats : IVAN I

Ivan I was Prince of Moscow from 1325, succeeding his older brother Yuri III, who in turn succeeded their father Daniil Aleksandrovich. Daniil was the first Prince of Moscow, the first in a long line that culminated in Ivan the Terrible, who became the first Tsar of Russia.

74. Classic fantasy game, informally : D AND D

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is a complex role-playing game (RPG) introduced in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules Incorporated (TSR). Dungeons & Dragons was probably the first of the modern role-playing games to be developed, and the most successful. It is still played by lots of people today, including my youngest son …

75. Homer’s neighbor : NED

Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

Down

3. Pride parade letters : LGBT

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)

The first gay pride parades were held all on the same weekend in 1970, in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

5. Earth Day month : APRIL

Earth Day was founded in the US, where it was introduced by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Earth Day was designed to increase awareness and appreciation of our planet’s natural environment. The original Earth Day was on April 22nd, 1970. Decades later, the day is observed in over 175 countries.

6. Rude response from the bleachers : BOO!

At a sports event one might sit in the bleachers. “Bleachers” is a particularly American term used to describe the tiered stands that provide seating for spectators. These seats were originally wooden planks, and as they were uncovered they would be bleached by the sun, giving them the name we use today. Sometimes the fans using the bleachers might be referred to as “bleacherites”.

10. Brandy letters : VSO

Brandy is a spirit distilled from wine. The term “brandy” ultimately comes from the Dutch “gebrande wijn” meaning “burnt wine”. The length of this aging of the spirit defines the various grades of brandy:

  • VS: Very Special … at least 2 years storage
  • VSOP: Very Special (or Superior) Old Pale … at least 4 years storage
  • XO: Extra Old … at least 6 years
  • VSO: Very Superior Old … 12-17 years

11. Comic Margaret : CHO

Margaret Cho is a very successful stand-up comedian, but she is also a fashion designer with her own line of clothing. Cho acts as well, and you might have seen her in the John Travolta/Nicolas Cage movie “Face/Off” in which she played John Travolta’s FBI colleague.

12. “Groovy,” updated : RAD

The term “groovy” meaning “neat, cool” comes from the jazz slang phrase “in the groove”.

20. Pigeonhole : LABEL

Back in the 16th century, a pigeonhole was a small recess used by pigeons for nesting. Towards the end of the 17th century, the term “pigeonholes” had been borrowed to describe compartments at the back of a writing desk. Two hundred years later, we were using the verb “pigeonhole” figuratively, to mean “label mentally”.

22. Tabula ___ : RASA

“Tabula rasa” (plural “tabulae rasae”) is the idea that people are born with a “blank slate”, and that knowledge comes from experience and perception.

27. Part of A.S.A.P. : … SOON AS …

As soon as possible (ASAP)

28. Say what someone naughty did : TATTLE

Something described as tattletale is revealing, it gives away a secret. The term is a combination of “tattle” and “tale”, and is probably patterned on the similar word “telltale”. “To tattle” means “to tell secrets”, and the noun “tattletale” applies to someone who tells secrets and informs.

30. Gum arabic source : ACACIA

Acacia is a genus of tree and shrub, also known as thorntree, whistling thorn and wattle. The acacia is the primary food source for the giraffe in the wild, with the animal eating the leaves high in the tree, leaves that are inaccessible by competing species. The natural gum from two species of acacia tree is known as gum arabic, which is used in the food industry as a stabilizer.

31. Source of multicolored Maos : WARHOL

Andy Warhol made a famous series of portraits of Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong in 1973. An exhibition of Warhol’s works toured China in 2012 but the images of Mao were excluded, apparently at the request of the Chinese government.

36. ___ land : LA-LA

“La-la land” is a euphemism for a state of unconsciousness or a dreamworld.

40. E.P.A. subject: Abbr. : ECOL

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

41. Powerful engine, informally : HEMI

“Hemi” is short for “hemisphere”, and is the name given to an internal combustion engine with hemispherical combustion chambers. Chrysler is famous for using Hemi engines in many of its models.

43. Like the western Great Plains, climatewise : SEMIARID

The Great Plains lie between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains in North America. This vast grassland is known as “the Prairies” in Canada.

47. Breath mint brand : CERTS

Certs were the first breath mints to be marketed nationally in the US, hitting the shelves in 1956. A Cert is called a mint, but it isn’t really as it contains no mint oil and instead has its famous ingredient named “Retsyn”. Retsyn is a mixture of copper gluconate (giving the green flecks), partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil (not healthy!) and flavoring (maybe mint?).

55. Change : AMEND

The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.

59. Common street name : ELM

The most common street name in the US is “Second Street”. “First Street” comes in only at number three, and this is because many cities and towns forego the use of “First” and instead go with “Main” or something more historical in nature. “Elm Street” appears on the list at number fifteen.

61. Pole, for one : SLAV

The Slavic peoples are in the majority in communities covering over half of Europe. This large ethnic group is traditionally broken down into three smaller groups:

  • the West Slavic (including Czechs and Poles)
  • the East Slavic (including Russians and Ukrainians)
  • the South Slavic (including Bulgarians and Serbs)

67. Ryder rental : VAN

The Ryder company was founded in 1933 in Miami, Florida by James Ryder. It started out as a concrete hauling company, but changed its focus a few years later to the leasing of trucks.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. With 44- and 76-Across, way to put legislators on record … or the start, middle and end of a word ladder : ROLL
5. Some six-packs : ABS
8. Dual-purpose viewing equipment : TV/VCR
13. Toasted breakfast items : EGGOS
15. Second word in the word ladder : POLL
17. Talk show host/actress Tyler : AISHA
18. Nudge : ELBOW
19. Nice genealogical find : ROYAL BLOOD
21. Start to instigate? : LETTER I
23. Third word … : PALL
24. Fourth word … : PALM
26. Wild ones : BEASTS
30. Watches for : AWAITS
34. Barn youngster : OWLET
37. Multigrain component : OAT
38. Fifth word … : CALM
39. Many a postcard picture : AERIAL PHOTO
42. Author Bates and musician Guthrie : ARLOS
44. Sixth word … : CALL
45. 100, in Italy : CENTO
46. Tight restraint : CHOKE COLLAR
49. Seventh word … : MALL
50. Note in a poker pot : IOU
51. Free-for-all : MELEE
52. Sacred birds of Egypt : IBISES
54. Bright star of Aquila : ALTAIR
56. Eighth word … : MALE
58. Ninth word … : MATE
60. Criminal intent, at law : MENS REA
65. Promontory with a tragic romantic story connected to it : LOVER’S LEAP
70. Free of drugs : CLEAN
71. First in a line of Russian autocrats : IVAN I
72. Tenth word … : MOTE
73. Possessed, in the Bible : HADST
74. Classic fantasy game, informally : D AND D
75. Homer’s neighbor : NED
76. End of the word ladder : VOTE

Down

1. Part of a film archive : REEL
2. Spend a long time checking out? : OGLE
3. Pride parade letters : LGBT
4. Heist take : LOOT
5. Earth Day month : APRIL
6. Rude response from the bleachers : BOO!
7. Skilled at deception : SLY
8. Mobile workstation : TABLET PC
9. Vacation home : VILLA
10. Brandy letters : VSO
11. Comic Margaret : CHO
12. “Groovy,” updated : RAD
14. Tidied up, in a way : SWEPT
16. Place for a grandchild, maybe : LAP
20. Pigeonhole : LABEL
22. Tabula ___ : RASA
25. Mood around the office : MORALE
27. Part of A.S.A.P. : … SOON AS …
28. Say what someone naughty did : TATTLE
29. Bar fixtures : STOOLS
30. Gum arabic source : ACACIA
31. Source of multicolored Maos : WARHOL
32. With full strength : ALL OUT
33. “How are you?” response : I’M OK
35. Artist de Kooning : WILLEM
36. ___ land : LA-LA
40. E.P.A. subject: Abbr. : ECOL
41. Powerful engine, informally : HEMI
43. Like the western Great Plains, climatewise : SEMIARID
47. Breath mint brand : CERTS
48. Tick off : RILE
53. Yank from the game : BENCH
55. Change : AMEND
57. Superexcited : AMPED
59. Common street name : ELM
61. Pole, for one : SLAV
62. Overhaul : REDO
63. Only direction not in a state name : EAST
64. Pot part : ANTE
65. Pot part : LID
66. Inventory at a fertility clinic : OVA
67. Ryder rental : VAN
68. Lo-o-ong stretch : EON
69. Took the cake? : ATE

15 thoughts on “0614-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 14 Jun 2018, Thursday”

  1. 14:48, no errors. Slightly frustrated at first, when I repeatedly ran into yet another word in the word ladder, but eventually I got ROLL CALL VOTE all in one go and, from that point on, things went more smoothly. Good puzzle.

  2. 20:08 I’m not a huge word ladder fan but this was semi-interesting. I like that all the four letter crosses were part of the ladder.

  3. 29:20. Ditto on the theme. I normally don’t care for these word ladders either, but I liked that this one simply gave a number rather than a clue. I think that’s what made this one more fun.

    Spent the most time on the ACACIA, WARHOL and ALTAIR section. I had to get WARHO_ to figure it out then guess the “A” in ACACIA and ALTAIR.

    Best –

  4. When l first started out l said ” no way” but then it started to fall in place. No errors but never heard of MENSREA and not to sure about HADST

  5. 19:39, no errors. The proper names AISHA and WILLEM; and MENS REA were unfamiliar to me, and required me to work around them. The word ladder helped in solving the lower half of the grid.

  6. No errors. The word ladder was interesting. At first it was a nuisance since I had to skip over so many of the entries. But eventually as things began to fill in, it helped in two or three places. MENS REA was new to me. I didn’t even recognize it as two separate words. Overall, this was a puzzle well worth the time that it took to solve.

  7. My response to this clever word ladder puzzle overlaps with several of the comments above, so I won’t waste words here. Enjoyed it.

  8. I don’t understand how these word ladders work so was at a disadvantage. Managed to solve the puzzle and still don’t see the correlation.

    1. @Earl—-A “word ladder” by definition changes one letter for each subsequent word. For example, today’s start was the word ROLL. The second word was POLL, which had changed the R to a P. The third word was PALL, which had changed the O to an A. The fourth word was PALM, which had changed the L to an M. The fifth word was CALM, which had changed the P to a C. The sequence goes on like this changing one letter each time until you get to the bottom of the ladder. Word ladders can go either up or down with each word representing a “rung” on the “ladder”.

      1. Ok I get it. Thanks Dale. Even though I was able to solve the puzzle, it was still frustrating when it seemed like every other clue was a ladder word. Like I’ve told friends, just keep plugging away and someday the puzzles will get easier.

  9. 18:33, no errors. My view of word ladders is they’re another source of irritation from Shortz’ little crew of tricksters; seeing them once is seeing them too often.

    I’d just as soon we could just return to straightforward puzzles, free of Spoonerisms, word ladders, rebuses and “forced” themes.

    1. Egad, Allen, these are just different forms of wordplay (“forced” excluded because it is relative to the individual solver). Different strokes for different folks, and all that, but wordplay is what puzzles are all about.

    2. @Allen—-I totally respect your opinions but I wanted to tell you something that happened to me recently. I like to keep a store-bought book of crossword puzzles around for when I have nothing else to work on. I happened to get hold of a collection of reprints from a newspaper in Florida (I don’t remember the exact city, I think the newspaper might have been called the Sentinal). It was composed of crosswords in the purest form. No themes, no diagrams, no humor. Just a strict test of the solver’s ability to fill in vocabulary words. I was so bored with it that I finally threw it away. I quickly replaced it with some good-old New York Times reprints and have been happily solving ever since. Maybe this applies to you, maybe not. What would you envision as the ideal puzzle?

  10. Don’t waste your time with AD Tom. He is the Eeyore of this blog and doesn’t really have clue one regarding what makes a fun puzzle.

    1. As a lurker, I don’t comment much. But I’m with AD, to an extent. I don’t like rebus puzzles, mainly because my paper prints the puzzles in a corner of the page which is less than a quarter of it. It makes putting one letter in the square somewhat difficult, much less 2-3. The cutesy themes, I can do without, but some of them are quaint, so I guess I’m OK with those.

      I do the puzzles as a mental exercise, but after doing a whole lot of them over the past few years, it’s gotten to be an exercise in memory. Sometimes it seems that even though a clue could have multiple possible answers, it’s always the same one. But these are just me. I like doing them, overall. 😀

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