0708-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 8 Jul 2018, Sunday

Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: Person / Place / Thing

Each themed answer is a combination of a person, place and thing. Each element of the combination comprises two words, with one word being shared with a neighboring element:

  • 23A. Singer / City / Home feature : AL GREEN BAY WINDOW (Al Green, Green Bay, bay window)
  • 36A. Socialite / Resort / Store : PARIS HILTON HEAD SHOP (Paris Hilton, Hilton Head, head shop)
  • 52A. Political commentator / Geographical area / Fitness routine : OLIVER NORTH POLE DANCE (Oliver North, North Pole, pole dance)
  • 75A. Actor / Transportation hub / Part of a broadcast : SEAN PENN STATION BREAK (Sean Penn, Penn Station, station break)
  • 91A. Comedian / State capital / Record store section : RICH LITTLE ROCK MUSIC (Rich Little, Little Rock, rock music)
  • 109A. Actress / Mideast area / Crime : MAE WEST BANK HEIST (Mae West, West Bank, bank heist)

Bill’s time: 16m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Carnival performer : GEEK

Originally, a geek was a sideshow performer, perhaps one at a circus. We use the term today for someone regarded as foolish or clumsy, or for someone who is technically driven and expert, but often socially inept.

15. Popular self-help website : EHOW

eHow is a how-to website that was founded in 1999. eHow has an awful lot of content but doesn’t do a great job of assessing the value of that content. I wouldn’t recommend it …

20. “Three Sisters” sister : OLGA

Olga, Masha and Irina are the “Three Sisters” in the play by Anton Chekhov. The three title characters were inspired by the three Brontë sisters, the English authors.

21. “The Gold-Bug” author, for short : EA POE

“The Gold-Bug” is an Edgar Allan Poe short story, a mystery tale about a man who was bitten by a gold-colored bug. The story first appeared in three installments in the ”Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper” in 1843, and became very popular. Poe had submitted the story to a writing contest sponsored by the paper, and it was published as the winning entry. The grand prize also included $100 in cash, which was likely the largest sum that Poe ever received for a work in his lifetime.

22. Princess with superpowers : XENA

The Xena character, played by New Zealander Lucy Lawless, was introduced in a made-for-TV movie called “Hercules and the Amazon Women”. Lawless reprised the role in a series called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”. Xena became so popular that a series was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the title role. The fictional Xena supposedly came from the “non-fictional” Greek city of Amphipolis.

23. Singer / City / Home feature : AL GREEN BAY WINDOW (Al Green, Green Bay, bay window)

Al Green is a gospel and soul music singer. Green was born in Arkansas, where he started out as a gospel singer and moved into R&B. In 1974, he was assaulted by a girlfriend who burned him badly on much of his body by pouring boiling grits over him (and then she committed suicide). The incident changed Green’s life and he turned to the church, becoming a pastor in Memphis in 1976. He continued to record music, but never really enjoyed the same success that he had in the early seventies with hits like “Let’s Stay Together” and “I’m Still In Love With You”.

The city of Green Bay is the third-largest in the state of Wisconsin, after Milwaukee and Madison. The city is located on an arm of Lake Michigan called Green Bay. People in the area refer to the city as “Green Bay” and the body of water as “the Bay of Green Bay” in order to avoid confusing one with the other.

A bay window is a window that projects outside, beyond the wall. The resulting space inside the wall forms a “bay” inside a room.

28. Leg press target, informally : QUAD

The quadriceps femoris is the muscle group at the front of the thigh. It is the strongest muscle in the human body, and is also the leanest. The “quads” are actually a group of four muscles in the upper leg, hence the use of the prefix “quad-”.

29. Third-most abundant gas in the atmosphere : ARGON

The chemical element argon has the symbol Ar. Argon is a noble gas, and so by definition is relatively nonreactive. The name “argon” comes from the Greek word for “lazy, inactive”. There’s a lot of argon around, as it is the third-most abundant gas in our atmosphere.

30. Emerald or aquamarine : BERYL

The mineral beryl is a source of a number of different semi-precious stones, depending on the nature of the impurities present. Pure beryl is colorless; blue beryl is called aquamarine, and green beryl is emerald. Traces of iron cause the blue color, and traces of chromium give the green hue.

34. Dog tag? : FIDO

“Fido”, the name for many a dog, is Latin for “I trust”.

36. Socialite / Resort / Store : PARIS HILTON HEAD SHOP (Paris Hilton, Hilton Head, head shop)

Paris Hilton is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels. She has been classified as a “celebutante” (a portmanteau of “celebrity” and “debutante”, a woman who is famous for being famous.

41. “Keystone” character of old comedy : KOP

The Keystone Cops (sometimes “Keystone Kops”) were a band of madcap policemen characters who appeared in silent movies. A 1914 short film called “A Thief Catcher” that was believed lost was rediscovered in 2010. “A Thief Catcher” featured the magnificent Charlie Chaplin in an early role as a Keystone Cop.

42. Sacred symbol of ancient Egypt : IBIS

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”!

44. Message in a bottle, maybe : SOS

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.

45. Roman orator : CATO

Cato the Younger was a politician in the late Roman Republic. He was noted for his moral integrity, and his ability as an orator. He is also remembered for an extended conflict that he had with Julius Caesar.

48. Gangster tracker : G-MAN

The nickname “G-men” is short for “government men” and refers to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

52. Political commentator / Geographical area / Fitness routine : OLIVER NORTH POLE DANCE (Oliver North, North Pole, pole dance)

The Iran-Contra affair (also called “Irangate”) came to light in 1986. The “Iran” part of the scandal was the sale of arms to Iran by the Reagan administration, initially to facilitate the release of US hostages. This was done in secret largely because there was ostensibly a US arms embargo in place against Iran. The “Contra” part of the scandal arose when the man in charge of the operation, Oliver North, took funds from the arms sales and funneled the cash to the Contra militants who were fighting to topple the government in Nicaragua.

The geographic North Pole is located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, although there is almost always a covering of sea ice at that location. The geographic South Pole is located on land, on the continent of Antarctica.

61. Alpo alternative : IAMS

Iams dog food was introduced by the animal nutritionist Paul Iams. He felt that household pets were suffering somewhat by being fed a diet of table scraps, so he developed a dry dog food that he felt was more nutritious and suitable for pet dogs. He founded the Iams company, now part of Procter & Gamble, in 1946.

63. NPR’s “Planet Money” or “How I Built This” : PODCAST

A podcast is basically an audio or video media file that is made available for download. The name comes from the acronym “POD” meaning “playable on demand”, and “cast” from “broadcasting”. So, basically a podcast is a broadcast that one can play on demand, simply by downloading and opening the podcast file.

69. Texter’s sign-off : TTYL

Talk to you later (TTYL)

72. Cheer with beer : SKOAL!

“Skoal” is a Swedish and Norwegian toast that has roots in the old Norse word “skaal” meaning “cup”.

74. ___-Magnon man : CRO

Remains of early man, dating back to 35,000 years ago, were found in Abri de Cro-Magnon in southwest France, giving the name to those early humans. Cro-Magnon remains are the oldest human relics that have been discovered in Europe.

75. Actor / Transportation hub / Part of a broadcast : SEAN PENN STATION BREAK (Sean Penn, Penn Station, station break)

Actor Sean Penn is a two-time Oscar winner, for his roles in “Mystic River” released in 2003 and “Milk” released in 2008. Penn’s celebrity on screen is only matched with his fame off the screen. Apart from his “big name” marriages to singer Madonna and actress Robin Wright, Penn is also well known for political and social activism. He perhaps inherited some of his political views from his father, actor and director Leo Penn. As an actor, Leo refused to “name names” in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee and so was blacklisted in Hollywood and had to move into directing to put bread on the table. In later years as a director he gave his son Sean his first acting role, in a 1974 episode of “Little House on the Prairie”.

Penn Station in New York City may have been the first Pennsylvania Station, but it’s not the only one. The Pennsylvania Railroad gave that name to many of its big passenger terminals, including one in Philadelphia (now called 30th Street Station), one in Baltimore, one in Pittsburgh, one in Cleveland, as well as others.

83. Suisse peak : ALPE

“Suisse” is the French word for “Swiss”, and “la Suisse” is French for “Switzerland”.

84. “Young Sheldon” airer : CBS

“Young Sheldon” is spinoff prequel to the hit sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” that follows the life of a 9-year-old Sheldon Cooper. The title character is played by child actor Iain Armitage. Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon on “The Big Bang Theory”, is the narrator for the spinoff, and is also an executive producer. In another link between the shows, young Sheldon’s Mom is played by actress Zoe Perry. Perry is the real-life daughter of Laurie Metcalf, who plays “old” Sheldon’s mom in the original series.

87. Scott of “Charles in Charge” : BAIO

Scott Baio is the actor who played Chachi Arcola in the great sitcom “Happy Days” and in the not-so-great spin-off “Joanie Loves Chachi”. Baio also played the title role in a later sitcom called “Charles in Charge”. Earlier in his career, he played another title role, in the 1976 movie “Bugsy Malone”, appearing opposite a young Jodie Foster.

91. Comedian / State capital / Record store section : RICH LITTLE ROCK MUSIC (Rich Little, Little Rock, rock music)

Rich Little is a Canadian-born impersonator known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices”. Little lives in Las Vegas, and there was sworn in as a US citizen just a few years ago, in 2010. I saw Little perform in Vegas not that long ago, and really enjoyed the experience. I felt a little sorry for the younger folks in the audience though, who were scratching their heads at impersonations of Jimmy Stewart, George Burns, Jack Benny, James Mason and the likes.

The city of Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas, and is located in the center of the state. Early French travelers used a small rock formation on the Arkansas River as a landmark, a formation that they named “La Petite Roche” (The Little Rock) in 1722. “The Little Rock” actually lies across the river from a large bluff known as “Big Rock”, which was once the site of a rock quarry.

99. Big name in vodka : ABSOLUT

I must admit, if I ever do order a vodka drink by name, I will order the Absolut brand. I must also admit that I do so from the perspective of an enthusiastic amateur photographer. I’ve been swayed by the Absolut marketing campaign that features such outstanding photographic images.

102. Blockage reliever : STENT

In the world of medicine and surgery, a stent is an artificial tube inserted inside a vessel in the body, say an artery, so that it reduces the effects of a local restriction in the body’s conduit.

103. “Roger that” : CHECK

The term “roger”, meaning “yes” or “acknowledged”, comes from the world of radiotelephony. The British military used a phonetic alphabet in the fifties that included “Roger” to represent the letter “R”. As such, it became customary to say “Roger” when acknowledging a message, with R (Roger) standing for “received”.

107. Father of octuplets on “The Simpsons” : APU

The fictional Kwik-E-Mart store is operated by Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on “The Simpsons” TV show. Apu is married to Manjula, and the couple have eight children. The convenience store owner doesn’t seem to be making much use of his Ph.D in computer science that he earned in the US. Apu’s undergraduate degree is from Caltech (the Calcutta Technical Institute), where he graduated top of his class of seven million students …

109. Actress / Mideast area / Crime : MAE WEST BANK HEIST (Mae West, West Bank, bank heist)

Mae West was always pushing the envelope when it came to the “sexy” side of show business, even in her early days in Vaudeville. One of the first plays in which West starred on Broadway was called “Sex”, a work that she penned herself. The show was a sell-out, but city officials had it raided and West found herself spending ten days in jail after being convicted of “corrupting the morals of youth”. She started in movies in 1932, already 38 years old. West used her experience writing plays to rewrite much of the material she was given, and so really she was totally responsible for her own success and on-screen appeal.

The bulk of the Palestinian territories are located in the West Bank. The term “West Bank” is a reference to lands west of the River Jordan.

113. 1960s “It Girl” Sedgwick : EDIE

Edie Sedgwick became famous when she starred in several short films made by Andy Warhol in the sixties. Sedgwick’s life was portrayed in a 2006 biographical film called “Factory Girl”.

115. Primary concern : VOTE

The US is one of just a few countries that uses primary elections, selections of party candidates by popular vote. In the runup to most national elections outside of the US, political parties select their own candidates. Indeed, primaries weren’t introduced into the US until relatively recently. The first presidential primary took place in 1920, in New Hampshire.

116. “Speed-the-Plow” playwright : MAMET

“Speed-the-Plow” is a play by David Mamet, and a satire about the American movie business. Later Mamet was to write the screenplay for a film called “Wag the Dog”, a satire about Hollywood.

118. Some sports prizes : ESPYS

The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes.

119. Professor Trelawney in the Harry Potter books, e.g. : SEER

Professor Sybill Trelawney is a Divination teacher at Hogwarts in the “Harry Potter” series of children’s novels. Trelawney is played by the great Emma Thompson in the big-screen adaptations of the books.

Down

1. What some Kaplan guides help prep for : LSATS

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

Kaplan Inc. was founded in 1938 by Stanley Kaplan, who started out tutoring students for the New York State Regents Exam in the basement of his parents’ home in Brooklyn. He opened up locations for tuition around the country, and in 1984 sold the company to the Washington Post. Revenue for Kaplan was over 2½ billion dollars in 2009.

2. Dash : ECLAT

“Éclat” can mean a brilliant show of success, or the applause or accolade that one receives. The word derives from the French “éclater” meaning “to splinter, burst out”.

3. Take a few pointers? : DOGNAP

The breed of dog known as a pointer is also known as the English pointer. There are other pointing breeds though, dogs that instinctively “point” by stopping and aiming their muzzles at game when hunting. The list of other pointing breeds includes the English setter and the Irish setter.

7. English actor Idris : ELBA

The English actor Idris Elba is probably best known in North America for playing the drug lord Stringer Bell in the marvelous HBO drama series “The Wire”, and the title character in the 2013 film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. Off the screen, Elba occasionally appears as a disk jockey using the name DJ Big Driis.

12. Many a pageant coif : UPDO

A coif is a hairdo. The term comes from an old French term “coife”, a skull-cap that was worn under a helmet back in the late 13th century.

13. Titan, Triton or Titania : MOON

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. Titan is unusual in many ways, including the fact that it is the only known satellite in the solar system that is has its own atmosphere (our own moon does not, for example). Titan is the second largest moon in the solar system, after Ganymede that orbits Jupiter. Titan is so large that it has a greater volume than Mercury, the solar system’s smallest planet.

Triton is the largest moon of Neptune, and is named after the Greek sea god (Neptune is the Roman sea god). Triton is unique in our solar system in that it has a “retrograde orbit”, meaning that it orbits Neptune in the opposite direction to the planet’s rotation.

All of the twenty-seven moons of the planet Uranus are named for characters from literature, with each being characters created by William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. The five major moons are so large that they would be considered planets in their own right if they were orbiting the sun directly. The names of these five moons are:

  • Miranda (from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”)
  • Ariel (from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”)
  • Umbriel (from Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”)
  • Titania (from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”)
  • Oberon (from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”)

30. Barrio grocery : BODEGA

“Bodega” is the Spanish term describing a winery, or these days a grocery store.

“Barrio” is the name given to an urban district in Spanish-speaking countries.

32. ___ Perelman, classic Russian science writer : YAKOV

Yakov Perelman was a Russian author of a whole host of particularly approachable science books, such “Physics Can Be Fun” and “Physics for Entertainment”. Perelman died during the Siege of Leningrad during WWII, succumbing to starvation.

34. Lighter igniter : FLINT

Flint is a form of the mineral quartz. Flint can be used to start a fire. The hard edge of flint when struck against steel can shave off a particle of the metal. The particle of steel contains exposed iron that reacts with oxygen in the air creating a spark that can light dry tinder.

37. Words mouthed on a Jumbotron : HI, MOM!

A JumboTron is a big-screen television system developed by Sony, one often seen in sports stadiums. The brand name “JumboTron” is used pretty generically now for any big-screen system in such venues, even though Sony exited the business in 2001.

40. Fashion monthly : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

47. 1960s Haight-Ashbury wear : TIE-DYE

Haight-Ashbury is a neighborhood in San Francisco that is centered on the intersection of Haight Street and Ashbury Street. The district was one of the epicenters of hippie life in the sixties, and was home to psychedelic rock performers of the day including Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin.

50. Myrna of “Love Crazy” : LOY

The beautiful Myrna Loy was one of my favorite actresses. Her career took off when she was paired up with William Powell in the fabulous “The Thin Man” series of films. Loy also appeared opposite Cary Grant in a couple of films that I like to watch every so often, namely “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer” (1947) and “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” (1948).

55. Upscale hotel chain : HYATT

The Hyatt hotel chain takes its name from the first hotel in the group, i.e. Hyatt House at Los Angeles International Airport that was purchased in 1957. Among other things, Hyatt is famous for designing the world’s first atrium hotel, the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.

65. Try this! : CASE

Try this case in court.

67. Flying Solo : HAN

Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

68. Clerical wear : ALB

An alb is a white, neck-to-toe vestment worn by priests, usually with a rope cord around the waist. The term alb comes from “albus”, the Latin word for “white”.

70. Condescending sort : SNOOT

“Snoot” is a variant of “snout” and is a word that originated in Scotland. The idea is that someone who is snooty, or “snouty”, tends to look down his or her nose at the rest of the world.

71. “The Situation Room” airer : CNN

“The Situation Room” is a CNN news show that airs in the afternoons and is hosted by Wolf Blitzer. I’m not a big fan, to be honest …

72. Unflappable : STOIC

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). And yes, we get our adjective “stoic” from the same root.

73. Stand-alone business? : KIOSK

Our word “kiosk” came to us via French and Turkish from the Persian “kushk” meaning “palace, portico”.

79. Dumas dueler : ATHOS

Alexandre Dumas’ “Three Musketeers” are Athos, Porthos and Aramis, although the hero of the novel is the trio’s young protégé D’Artagnan. A musketeer was an infantry soldier who was equipped with a musket. Funnily enough, the three “musketeers” really don’t use their muskets, and are better known for prowess with their swords.

89. Cubist of note? : RUBIK

What was originally called the “Magic Cube” became better known as Rubik’s Cube, named for its inventor Ernő Rubik. Rubik’s Cube is the world’s biggest selling puzzle game, with over 350 million sold in just over 30 years.

92. Regatta site since 1839 : HENLEY

The Henley Regatta is a rowing competition that has been held every year since 1839 on the River Thames near the town of Henley-on-Thames.

93. Slack : LEEWAY

Our word “leeway” meaning “spare margin” is nautical in origin. A vessel’s leeway is the amount of drift motion away from her intended course that is caused by the action of the wind.

101. All together, in scores : TUTTI

“Soli” (the plural of “solo”) are pieces of music performed by one artist, whereas “tutti” are pieces performed by all of the artists.

104. Uriah of “David Copperfield” : HEEP

Uriah Heep is a sniveling and insincere character in the novel “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens. The character is such a “yes man” that today, if we know someone who behaves the same way, then we might call that person a “Uriah Heep”.

109. “The Godfather” mobster who was shot in the eye : MOE

Moe Greene is a character in Mario Puzo’s novel “The Godfather”. The character bears a resemblance to the real-life gangster Bugsy Siegel, as both Siegel and Greene are driving forces behind the development of the gambling industry in Las Vegas. In “The Godfather” movies, Moe Greene was portrayed by Alex Rocco.

112. ___ de vie : EAU

Eau de vie is a clear, colorless fruit brandy. “Eau de vie” is French for “water of life”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Beguiled : LED ON
6. Carnival performer : GEEK
10. Heavy hit : WHUMP
15. Popular self-help website : EHOW
19. Make a good point? : SCORE
20. “Three Sisters” sister : OLGA
21. “The Gold-Bug” author, for short : EA POE
22. Princess with superpowers : XENA
23. Singer / City / Home feature : AL GREEN BAY WINDOW (Al Green, Green Bay, bay window)
26. “Safe!,” in baseball, or “Safety!,” in football : CALL
27. Beachgoer’s souvenir : TAN
28. Leg press target, informally : QUAD
29. Third-most abundant gas in the atmosphere : ARGON
30. Emerald or aquamarine : BERYL
31. “Don’t move!” : STAY PUT!
34. Dog tag? : FIDO
35. Finished behind : LOST TO
36. Socialite / Resort / Store : PARIS HILTON HEAD SHOP (Paris Hilton, Hilton Head, head shop)
41. “Keystone” character of old comedy : KOP
42. Sacred symbol of ancient Egypt : IBIS
43. Word after who, what, when, where, why or how : ELSE
44. Message in a bottle, maybe : SOS
45. Roman orator : CATO
48. Gangster tracker : G-MAN
49. How a gangly person might be described : ALL LEGS
52. Political commentator / Geographical area / Fitness routine : OLIVER NORTH POLE DANCE (Oliver North, North Pole, pole dance)
58. World Cup cheer : OLE!
59. Lots : REAMS
60. Show extreme instability : YO-YO
61. Alpo alternative : IAMS
63. NPR’s “Planet Money” or “How I Built This” : PODCAST
65. Ceiling : CAP
66. Related stuff : WHATNOT
69. Texter’s sign-off : TTYL
70. “Shoo!” : SCAT!
72. Cheer with beer : SKOAL
74. ___-Magnon man : CRO
75. Actor / Transportation hub / Part of a broadcast : SEAN PENN STATION BREAK (Sean Penn, Penn Station, station break)
81. Holy terror : WILD ONE
82. Unwitting accomplice : TOOL
83. Suisse peak : ALPE
84. “Young Sheldon” airer : CBS
87. Scott of “Charles in Charge” : BAIO
88. “With ___ ring …” : THIS
89. Way cool : RAD
91. Comedian / State capital / Record store section : RICH LITTLE ROCK MUSIC (Rich Little, Little Rock, rock music)
97. “It’s a deal!” : AGREED!
98. Some singles : EXES
99. Big name in vodka : ABSOLUT
102. Blockage reliever : STENT
103. “Roger that” : CHECK
105. Upscale hotel chain : OMNI
107. Father of octuplets on “The Simpsons” : APU
108. Haunted house sound : HOWL
109. Actress / Mideast area / Crime : MAE WEST BANK HEIST (Mae West, West Bank, bank heist)
113. 1960s “It Girl” Sedgwick : EDIE
114. Longtime “Inside the N.B.A.” analyst : O’NEAL
115. Primary concern : VOTE
116. “Speed-the-Plow” playwright : MAMET
117. RCA competitor : SONY
118. Some sports prizes : ESPYS
119. Professor Trelawney in the Harry Potter books, e.g. : SEER
120. “Is this really necessary?” : MUST I?

Down

1. What some Kaplan guides help prep for : LSATS
2. Dash : ECLAT
3. Take a few pointers? : DOGNAP
4. Three-time N.H.L. M.V.P. : ORR
5. Once named : NEE
6. Get crazy : GO NUTS
7. English actor Idris : ELBA
8. “Holy moly!” : EGAD!
9. ___ Graham, Meryl Streep’s role in 2017’s “The Post” : KAY
10. Crackpot : WEIRDO
11. “Wait just a sec” : HANG ON
12. Many a pageant coif : UPDO
13. Titan, Triton or Titania : MOON
14. Seat at many a wedding : PEW
15. “Nothing succeeds like ___”: Oscar Wilde : EXCESS
16. Warm, cozy spots : HEARTHS
17. Quite, despite expectations : ONLY TOO
18. Clobbers : WALLOPS
24. Plenish : EQUIP
25. Theme park annoyances : WAITS
30. Barrio grocery : BODEGA
32. ___ Perelman, classic Russian science writer : YAKOV
33. For : PRO
34. Lighter igniter : FLINT
35. Zapped, in a way : LASED
37. Words mouthed on a Jumbotron : HI, MOM!
38. Some girders : I-BARS
39. “That’s pretty obvious!” : HELLO!
40. Fashion monthly : ELLE
45. Take over : CO-OPT
46. Divvies up : ALLOTS
47. 1960s Haight-Ashbury wear : TIE-DYE
48. Summer swarmer : GNAT
49. Per unit : A POP
50. Myrna of “Love Crazy” : LOY
51. Lather : SNIT
53. Obama ___ : ERA
54. Hi or lo follower : -RES
55. Upscale hotel chain : HYATT
56. Undo : CANCEL
57. Hip-hop subgenre : EMO RAP
62. Add fuel to : STOKE
64. Part of a crane : CLAW
65. Try this! : CASE
66. What’s got ewe covered? : WOOL
67. Flying Solo : HAN
68. Clerical wear : ALB
70. Condescending sort : SNOOT
71. “The Situation Room” airer : CNN
72. Unflappable : STOIC
73. Stand-alone business? : KIOSK
76. Kernel : NIBLET
77. Like many a kilt : PLAID
78. Computer menu option : EDIT
79. Dumas dueler : ATHOS
80. Contact, in a way : RADIO
84. Hits the hay : CRASHES
85. Major fuss : BIG TO-DO
86. Like most light bulbs : SCREW-IN
88. Difficult journeys : TREKS
89. Cubist of note? : RUBIK
90. Twit : ASS
92. Regatta site since 1839 : HENLEY
93. Slack : LEEWAY
94. Shines : EXCELS
95. Fashion : MANNER
96. Insurance filings : CLAIMS
100. Ticked off : UPSET
101. All together, in scores : TUTTI
103. Food drive collection : CANS
104. Uriah of “David Copperfield” : HEEP
105. High wind : OBOE
106. Half of a pair : MATE
109. “The Godfather” mobster who was shot in the eye : MOE
110. Staples of waiting rooms : TVS
111. “I’m thinking …” : HMM …
112. ___ de vie : EAU

14 thoughts on “0708-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 8 Jul 2018, Sunday”

    1. @Bruce Haight
      It’s a boring explanation, I’m afraid. I’m on vacation right now, and had to rush through the post in order not to upset my wife. Much as I wanted to, I had no time to research the history of head shops and pole dancing!

      Thanks for stopping by, Bruce, and for another great puzzle.

      1. had to rush through the post in order not to upset my wife.
        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

        Your a very wise man Mr. Bill.

  1. 40:44. Really enjoyed the theme. Did not realize Perelman died at the siege of Leningrad. Clues for DOGNAP and CASE are co-winners of the clue of the day. Both were quite cruel.

    @Bruce –
    Thanks for the puzzle. Got a chuckle out of those myself. Living in Vegas, HEAD SHOPS are simply called “Dispensaries” now, I suppose..

    Best –

  2. @Allen … You might want to check yesterday’s blog for a couple of late posts – one from me concerning the meaning/usage of “Natick” and one from @Jeff about a sports issue (totally outside my knowledge base …🙂).

  3. @Dave; thanks.

    41:46, no errors, although a couple of nervous moments working through some of the cagier clues. Shaking my head at Bill’s time… I don’t see how it’s physically possible to read and react to enough clues to fill in a grid this large in 17 minutes; even if you do glom onto the theme right away.

  4. Had same problems in the NW corner as mentioned by others, and was very amused by POLE DANCE and HEAD SHOP clues and answers. Really good work by Bruce Haight. Enjoyed it.

  5. Working with pen and paper on dead-easy puzzles, my best time for a 15×15 (225 squares) is about 5 minutes, whereas my best time for a 21×21 (approximately twice as large, at 441 squares) is about 14.5 minutes, rather than 10 minutes; I think the extra 4.5 minutes is due to inefficiency in locating the clues. I might be able to write a bit faster, but at great expense to readability. Working online on an iPad slows me down a bit, partly because of the way the clues are presented and partly because it has a virtual keyboard on which I type with one finger; I think I could eventually do better using an actual keyboard (which I’m guessing is what Bill uses), but I would have to get used to it. So, given that Bill is obviously intrinsically better than I am at this business of solving crosswords, I don’t find his 17-minute time too surprising; after all, the wunderkinds in the ACPT do it a lot faster. In any case, enjoyment, not speed, is my goal (and yes, at 75, that viewpoint may just be a recognition of simple reality … 😜.)

  6. I had a total of nine letters wrong centered mostly in the northeast corner. I’m still happy with a showing like this. I can take pride in all the ones that I got right rather than dwell on the few that I got wrong.

  7. 55 minutes, no errors on this grid. Pretty nice outing overall.

    @Allen
    Dave and I talked to you about this before. You see my skill level with these NYTs, and writing on the Newsday 21x21s (generally easy), I can get 18-20 minutes on my better days. Electronically, I average around 20-30 minutes on 21x21s that are not the New York Times (23:24 on the Saturday WSJ 21×21). I write slow anyway, especially compared to my typing ability (my last rating was in the triple digits). Since Bill does his puzzles electronically, I wouldn’t object to his times of 17 minutes one bit, since I assume he is quicker on the uptake with getting answers than average. I’ve definitely proved in my own solving that <20 minute times are very realistic.

    @Dave
    As an experiment, I may have to make a PUZ file out of a future 21×21 Newsday and see how well I do solving it that way. I'd have to wait a few days afterwards so I forget what the answers are. I'm curious what my "wall" time is on these kinds of puzzles anyway, since I really haven't had any "sub 5" type experiences on 21x21s yet.

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