0718-18 NY Times Crossword 18 Jul 18, Wednesday

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Constructed by: David Steinberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Fossil

Today’s rebus squares each contain two letters. Those two-letter rebus squares are like FOSSILS embedded in the grid, and when assembled spell out TYRANNOSAURUS REX:

  • 29D. What each circled square in this puzzle represents : FOSSIL

Bill’s time: 10m 54s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Big name in French perfumes : COTY

Coty is a producer of beauty products that was founded in 1904 in Paris.

10. Wolf riders in “The Lord of the Rings” : ORCS

Orcs are mythical humanoid creatures that appear in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien’s use of orcs, they have also been featured in other fantasy fiction and in fantasy games.

14. Movie villain with a red eye : HAL

In Arthur C. Clarke’s “Space Odyssey” (famously adapted for the big screen as “2001: A Space Odyssey”) the computer system that went rogue was called HAL 9000, or simply “HAL”. HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer. Even though, Clarke denied it, there’s a good argument that can be made that the acronym HAL is a veiled reference to IBM, the big player in the world of computing at the time of the novel’s publication (1968). The acronym HAL is just a one-letter shift from the initials “IBM”.

15. Shout from a crow’s-nest : LAND HO!

The cry of “land ho!” from a sailor means that land has just been spotted. A similar shout is “sail ho!”, indicating that another boat has been spotted.

A crow’s nest is a structure atop the mainmast of a ship that is used as a lookout point. The first crow’s nest was erected in 1807, and was simply a barrel that was lashed to the tallest mast. Supposedly, the structure is named for the crows or ravens that Vikings carried with them on their voyages. The birds were released and used as navigation aids as invariably, the crow or raven headed straight for the nearest land.

17. Music-streaming giant : IHEARTRADIO

IHeartRadio is an Internet radio broadcaster that is owned by Clear Channel. The IHeart.com website provides access to over 800 radio stations that can all be played on a computer or mobile device.

39. Archaeologists’ workplace : DIG SITE

“Archaeology” is a word that looks like it’s British English, and one might be forgiven for using the spelling “archeology” in American English. Even though the latter spelling has been around for a couple of hundred years, the former is the standard spelling on both sides of the Atlantic.

43. Willie who made “The Catch” in the 1954 World Series : MAYS

Willie Mays’ nickname was the “Say Hey Kid”, although his friends and teammates were more likely to refer to him as “Buck”. When Mays was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he was asked who was the best player he’d ever seen in the game. He replied, “I don’t mean to be bashful, but I was.”

45. Operating system whose logo features a penguin : LINUX

The Linux operating system uses as its mascot a penguin named “Tux”.

58. Part of a long line of Apples : IMAC

The iMac is a desktop computer platform from Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors, that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such strawberry, blueberry and lime.

66. Renowned ancient orator : CICERO

Cicero was a very influential senator in Ancient Rome, in part due to his renowned ability to deliver a persuasive speech. His full name was Marcus Tullius Cicero.

67. When said three times, good name for a crew fraternity? : RHO

Rho, rho, rho! Row, row, row!

68. Southend-on-Sea’s county : ESSEX

Essex is a county in England that is referred to as one of the “home counties”. The home counties are those that surround the city of London, outside of London itself. “Home county” is not an official designation but has been in popular use since the 1800s. The list of home counties usually comprises Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex.

69. Mushrooms in miso soup : ENOKIS

Enokitake (also known as “enoki”) are long and thin white mushrooms often added to soups or salads.

Down

1. Note of indebtedness : CHIT

A chit is a note or a short letter. The term tends to be used these days in the sense of an amount owed (as in a poker game). The word used to be “chitty”, which is now obsolete but was closer to the original Hindi term. I feel a tad obsolete myself because when we are at school we would be excused class if we had a “chitty”.

2. Locale of a 12/7/1941 attack : OAHU

The Infamy Speech was delivered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The speech takes its name for the opening line:

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The phrase “a date which will live in infamy” is often misquoted as “a day which will live in infamy”. The term “infamy” was inserted in the speech just before it was delivered. A previous version read “… a date which will live in world history”.

3. Madea’s portrayer in a long-running film series : TYLER PERRY

Tyler Perry is an actor, comedian and writer who is perhaps best known in front of the camera for his drag performances as tough elderly woman “Madea”. Perry also created the sitcom “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” that ran for eight seasons from 2006 until 2012.

4. Camera type, for short : SLR

Single-lens reflex camera (SLR)

11. r’s, in geometry : RADII

“Radius” (plural “radii”) is a Latin word, as one might expect, meaning “spoke of a wheel”. Makes sense, huh …?

22. Sch. where The Cavalier Daily appears : UVA

The University of Virginia (UVA) was founded by Thomas Jefferson, who then sat on the original Board of Visitors alongside former US Presidents James Madison and James Monroe. In fact, the original UVA campus was built on land near Charlottesville that was once a farm belonging to President Monroe.

25. Classic soda brand : NEHI

The Nehi cola brand has a name that sounds like “knee-high”, a measure of a small stature. Back in the mid-1900’s the Chero-Cola company, which owned the brand, went for a slightly different twist on “knee-high” in advertising. The logo for Nehi was an image of a seated woman’s stockinged legs, with her skirt pulled up to her knees, to hint at “knee-high”.

28. Queen on Olympus : HERA

In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and was noted for her jealous and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character to Hera in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Greece. In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus was home to the gods, and in particular home to the principal gods known as the Twelve Olympians.

29. What each circled square in this puzzle represents : FOSSIL

Originally, the term “fossil” described anything that was unearthed, dug up. We tend to define the term more narrowly today, reserving it for the geological remains of a plant or animal. “Fossil” comes from the Latin “fossilis” meaning “dug up”.

30. “___ Eyes” (1975 hit) : LYIN’

The Eagles song “Lyin’ Eyes” was recorded in 1975. Written by band members Don Henley and Glenn Frey, the lyrics were inspired by a meeting between a man and a woman the composers witnessed in Dan Tana’s Bar & Restaurant in Los Angeles. Henley and Frey imagined a scenario of secret love, and “Lyin’ Eyes” was born.

You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you’d realize
There ain’t no way to hide your lyin’ eyes

36. Transportation system that stops at SFO : BART

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is a commuter rail system serving the San Francisco Bay Area (and indeed, my home town).

40. Heinie : TUSH

“Tush”, a word for the backside, is an abbreviation of “tochus” that comes from the Yiddish “tokhes”.

The slang term “heinie”, meaning “rear end”, is probably a contraction of “hind end”.

44. Grammy-winning dubstep pioneer : SKRILLEX

“Skrillex” is a the stage name of Sonny Moore, a producer of electronic dance music. Not something that or someone who I know anything about …

52. Low choir section : ALTOS

In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

54. Princess Fiona’s savior, in film : SHREK

Princess Fiona is the title character’s love interest in the “Shrek” series of films.

55. Appurtenance for a snowman : PIPE

An appurtenance is an accessory, perhaps a piece of equipment for a specific task. It might also be an appendage; a suffix to a word, for example.

60. Bok ___ : CHOY

Bok choy is a variety of Chinese cabbage. “Bok choy” translates as “white vegetable”.

63. Source of inside info? : MRI

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.

64. Cramped dwellings, for short : SROS

Standing room only (SRO)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Big name in French perfumes : COTY
4. “Enough already!” : SHEESH!
10. Wolf riders in “The Lord of the Rings” : ORCS
14. Movie villain with a red eye : HAL
15. Shout from a crow’s-nest : LAND HO!
16. Peel : PARE
17. Music-streaming giant : IHEARTRADIO
19. Work with a manuscript : EDIT
20. Sport of horse racing, with “the” : TURF
21. Workout-obsessed sorts, colloquially : GYM BUNNIES
23. Given (to) : PRONE
26. Egg-shaped : OVOID
27. Your dream partner : THE ONE
29. Suddenly attack : FLY AT
31. What’s-___-name : HER
32. Hard to please : CHOOSY
34. Flows out : EBBS
38. Fumble : ERR
39. Archaeologists’ workplace : DIG SITE
42. Dog-___-dog : EAT
43. Willie who made “The Catch” in the 1954 World Series : MAYS
45. Operating system whose logo features a penguin : LINUX
46. Surrounding glow : AURA
47. Prepare to pray : KNEEL
50. Poor, as reception : SPOTTY
52. Garment with strings : APRON
54. Ostentatious : SHOWY
55. Unembellished facts : PLAIN TRUTH
58. Part of a long line of Apples : IMAC
61. “___ be fun!” : IT’LL
62. Close by : IN ARM’S REACH
65. Interactive website feature : POLL
66. Renowned ancient orator : CICERO
67. When said three times, good name for a crew fraternity? : RHO
68. Southend-on-Sea’s county : ESSEX
69. Mushrooms in miso soup : ENOKIS
70. + and = share one : KEY

Down

1. Note of indebtedness : CHIT
2. Locale of a 12/7/1941 attack : OAHU
3. Madea’s portrayer in a long-running film series : TYLER PERRY
4. Camera type, for short : SLR
5. ___ tip (quick acknowledgment) : HAT
6. Incense : ENRAGE
7. Water whirl : EDDY
8. Table evener : SHIM
9. “Whew!” : HOO BOY!
10. Not requiring memorization, as a test : OPEN-NOTE
11. r’s, in geometry : RADII
12. Was deeply affected, maybe : CRIED
13. Groups of reps : SETS
18. Hairdo that takes a long time to grow : AFRO
22. Sch. where The Cavalier Daily appears : UVA
24. Burned, in a way : ON CD
25. Classic soda brand : NEHI
27. Gender-neutral pronoun : THEM
28. Queen on Olympus : HERA
29. What each circled square in this puzzle represents : FOSSIL
30. “___ Eyes” (1975 hit) : LYIN’
33. Look at wolfishly : OGLE
35. Mole : BEAUTY MARK
36. Transportation system that stops at SFO : BART
37. Time at a hotel : STAY
40. Heinie : TUSH
41. Product showcase : EXPO
44. Grammy-winning dubstep pioneer : SKRILLEX
48. Prefix with compete : NON-
49. Draw in : ENTICE
51. Baby bump? : OWIE
52. Low choir section : ALTOS
53. Becomes tiresome : PALLS
54. Princess Fiona’s savior, in film : SHREK
55. Appurtenance for a snowman : PIPE
56. Hostile encounter : RUN-IN
57. It comes in a shell : TACO
59. Feeling in the long run? : ACHE
60. Bok ___ : CHOY
63. Source of inside info? : MRI
64. Cramped dwellings, for short : SROS

34 thoughts on “0718-18 NY Times Crossword 18 Jul 18, Wednesday”

  1. 15:10, no errors. Another challenging puzzle from young Mr. Steinberg. I didn’t figure out the gimmick until the very end, just as I was finishing. An enjoyable workout.

  2. This is the most asinine set of clues in a Times puzzle that we have seen after doing it together for more than fifty years.

  3. 36:15. Yikes. I thought this was more like a tough Thursday grid. Wednesday? Either Will Shortz is or I am nuts. Let the voting begin….

    Where in the week this grid was placed isn’t the setter’s fault, however. A very fun and clever puzzle and theme…..nevermind the fact that I didn’t get the theme until Bill explained it. My mind was looking in completely another direction. I tend to make things too difficult sometimes.

    Best –

  4. Liked the puzzle, finished in 24:34….finished being relative since you can’t put double letters in a square in the web based subscription version 🙁

    1. @Duncan –
      You actually can. Just look a little up and to the right of where all the clues are. You’ll see the word “Rebus”. Just put the cursor on the square you want, then click “Rebus” and you can put multiple letters into that square.

      Best –

  5. Misleading theme clue. Each shaded square does not represent a fossil. Shaded squares, when spelled out, reveal a fossil! Although finished in about 15 mins, did not understand theme until read Bill’s explanation.

  6. Had 6 errors and WAY too much time wasted on this puzzle.
    1. There were no shaded or circled squares in my newspaper version of this puzzle
    2. A rebus puzzle on a Wednesday ?
    3. Mr Steinberg seems to have a rather large ego.
    4. This puzzle is ok for guys like Bill and .Dave but a big disappointment for guys like me

  7. What a bummer! My newspaper did not have any shaded squares! I wisely gave up on this soon after realizing the huge disadvantage that I was up against. I tried calling my newspaper but could not get through (I hardly ever can anyway). If what @Jack has said is correct then all newspapers everywhere got the flawed feed from the New York Times. The newspaper could have at least published a note warning of the omission. Of all the staff at the newspaper perhaps none of them actually work the puzzle so as to notice. Typical.

    1. Mine did not have “shaded” squares, either. AND — if the above is correct it should have read “circled” squares. I didn’t have a chance — wasted my time.

    2. Dale:

      I print the puzzle from the Seattle Times, six weeks behind The NY Times, and one week behind your paper. No shaded or circled squares either but it didn’t stop me from doing the puzzle even though I had errors and a long completion time.

      Mark

  8. 28:00, 5 errors; all in the bottom center. Have to give this puzzle a thumbs down, concurring with complaints previously noted. My grid did not have any shaded squares. Placed the rebus in PLAIN TRUTH in the wrong box, giving me ENTRACE in 49D (which kind of made sense). I would also be willing to grudgingly give in to SRO’S as Single Room Occupancy’s, but not as Standing Room Only’s.

  9. The squares in my paper were very lightly shaded, but fortunately just enough to see them, though with a little eye strain. Did get all the right letters in the right places, including theme and fill but, in the end, didn’t see the name of the dinosaur. I always sit up, expecting something special, on seeing Steinberg’s name on a puzzle. Today was no exception.

  10. No shaded squares on mine. Figured out it was a rebus but didn’t find it particularly enjoyable. No real hint as to where the double letters should go. Thought it was a stretch in the end and not particularly well worded.

  11. 4A and 54A describe this puzzle best. When I saw Steinberg’s name marring the byline, I inadvertently blurted out, “Oh God, Steinberg on a *Wednesday*??”

    Proved prophetic.

    Still wondering how one gets “low” out of Altos.
    “Sheesh” and “Hoo boy” ramped up the cornball factor on this.

    And, of course, the rebus gag doesn’t work for reasons Harvey amply points out. Close, but of course, it’s the little details that matter in a crossword. Sloppy editing, Shortz should have caught that (if he didn’t actually write it in to muddy the waters!)

    I also agree with his assertion that it’s constructor EGO that drives these puzzles. As well as editors enabling and encouraging this kind of crap.

    22:40 and 6 errors: PO(L)(L) crossing PAL(L)S and SKRIL(L)EX, plus GYMNB(U)(NN)IES crossing(U)VA and OPE(NN)OTE.

  12. Does anyone have an online address where I can print a syndicated nytimes crossword. I would like to start doing them but I don’t know if I should pay the $40 to access them online or play the 5 week old syndicated puzzles. Is their an advantage to paying and accessing today’s puzzles over the syndicated ones?

    Answers would be appreciated.

    Mark

    1. The online version of the Seattle Times publishes a six week old free version of the puzzle. Bill used to have a link to it on his old site, but I haven’t found one here yet.

      Bill… I’m a long-time fan who really appreciates your blog. I have never left a comment because I figured no one would see it six weeks late. Thanks for all your time and effort!

  13. Ah, puzzles with rebus…er rebi? If we get them we boast, and when we don’t we whine and growl. Today I’m in the latter camp. sigh.

  14. This tough puzzle took me three separate sessions to finish . Without the shaded squares it was especially difficult. Ended up with no errors, but what a difficult puzzle for a Wednesday! Lots of fills that I had to get with the crosses. UGH – I need a cocktail!

  15. Today’s Baltimore Sun did not have the shaded squares but I still managed to finish, somehow. I didn’t quite get the nowthwest corner as chit eluded me and I had no idea on the perfume. But I feel good about completing everything else despite no indication of which squares had double letters.

  16. A huge tip of the hat to anyone who finished this puzzle with NO idea where the shaded squares were. Winnipeg Free Press had the shaded squares but still a non finisher for me. Could not get any traction under me today.

  17. No shaded squares in my puzzle. Was able to finish with no errors. Put me in the camp of those that enjoy challenging puzzles and when I do not complete them or have errors, I tip my hat to the setter. David Steinberg is excellent at what he does. If you’re passionate enough about puzzles to visit this site, then I would think you would enjoy a hearty challenge and not get too upset if you don’t finish?

    1. Concur. No shaded squares in my version, but pretty easy to figure out after a short time that there were double-letter rebus words. The hardest was the principal clue, since it referred to shaded squares, but by then the solution had to be “fossil,” so I came to this site for an explanation!

  18. Thank you for all your help in explaining all the clues. I thought for sure it was going to be metals . Super super tricky.
    Chit and shim! Poll and palls!

  19. 34 minutes, no errors. Shaded squares on mine. Would have got it without though, likely. Agreed though with the cynical and specious cluing that this puzzle belongs on a Thursday and is another example of poor editing from Shortz and his two interns.

    @Mark
    I thought I answered this before?

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