0805-18 NY Times Crossword 5 Aug 18, Sunday

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Constructed by: Alison Ohringer & Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Ghosted

The circled letters in the grid spell out the word “PHANTOMS”, perhaps explaining the puzzle title “Ghosted”. Themed answers comprise two words, with the first word including one of the circled letters. By LOSING that circled letter from the first word, and SHUFFLING the remaining letters, we get the second word:

  • 69A. Like this puzzle’s circled letters vis-à-vis their Across answers : LOST IN THE SHUFFLE
  • 24A. Caterer’s platter : PARTY TRAY
  • 31A. Beat generation figure? : HEART RATE
  • 48A. Oral examination? : TASTE TEST
  • 56A. Jazz singer who acted in the “Roots” miniseries : CARMEN MCRAE
  • 86A. Talkative sort : CHATTY CATHY
  • 95A. It might take only seven digits : LOCAL CALL
  • 108A. Cause of a tossed joystick, maybe : GAMER RAGE
  • 121A. Some rustproof rails : BRASS BARS

Bill’s time: 16m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Word repeated in “Mi ___ es su ___” : CASA

“Mi casa es su casa” translates from Spanish as “My home is your home”.

9. Good name for a botanist? : FLORA

The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.

14. Certain vacuum tube : TRIODE

A triode is like a diode, in that it has a cathode from which electrons flow to an anode. However, there is a third terminal called a grid, between the cathode and anode. By applying a potential to the grid, the flow of electrons can be regulated.

27. Director of “Eat Drink Man Woman,” 1994 : ANG LEE

“Eat Drink Man Woman” is a Taiwanese film directed by Ang Lee that was released in 1994. The film was remade in 2001 in English as “Tortilla Soup”.

28. Morticia, to Fester, in 1960s TV : NIECE

In the original television version of “The Addams Family”, the character called Uncle Fester was played by Jackie Coogan. In the first two adaptations for the big screen, Uncle Fester was portrayed by the talented Christopher Lloyd.

Gomez and Morticia (“Tish”) Addams were the parents in “The Addams Family”, a creation of the cartoonist Charles Addams. In the sixties television show, Gomez was played by John Astin and Morticia was played by Carolyn Jones.

29. Expecting help? : LAMAZE

The Lamaze technique for childbirth was developed by a French obstetrician called Fernand Lamaze. He introduced the technique in the west after observing similar practices in the Soviet Union during a visit there in 1951.

35. ___ Muhammad, mentor to Malcolm X : ELIJAH

Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little, in Omaha, Nebraska in 1925. He told his own life story in the incredibly successful book “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”, on which he collaborated with author Alex Haley. Malcolm Little changed his name when he joined the Nation of Islam, choosing “X” to represent the African family name that he could never know.

38. Reagan-era scandal : IRANGATE

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.

42. Old Germanic tribe : TEUTONS

The Germanic peoples of Northern Europe are often called Teutonic, a term which originated with the Teutons, one of the Germanic tribes that lived in the region in the days of Ancient Greece and Rome.

52. Dish made from a fermented root : POI

I am a big fan of starch (being an Irishman I love potatoes). That said, I think that poi tastes horrible! Poi is made from the bulbous tubers (corm) of the taro plant by cooking the corm in water and mashing it until the desired consistency is achieved.

53. Grace’s surname on “Will & Grace” : ADLER

I’ve always thought the real stars of “Will & Grace” were not the title characters, by rather the supporting characters Jack (played by Sean Hayes) and Karen (played by Megan Mullally).

56. Jazz singer who acted in the “Roots” miniseries : CARMEN MCRAE

Carmen McRae was a jazz singer from Harlem in New York City. McRae’s inspiration was singer Billie Holiday, whom McRae met when she was 17 years old.

Not only did Alex Haley author the magnificent novel “Roots”, but he was also the collaborator with Malcolm X on “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”. His 1976 novel “Roots” is based on Haley’s own family history, and he claimed to be a direct descendant of the real life Kunta Kinte, the slave who was kidnapped in the Gambia in 1767. If you remember the original television adaptation of “Roots”, you might recall that Kunta Kinte was played by LeVar Burton, who later went on to play another famous role, Geordi La Forge on “Star Trek: the Next Generation”.

60. Hematite, e.g. : IRON ORE

Iron ore comes in a number of different forms, like magnetite (the most magnetic of all minerals) and hematite (the most commonly exploited iron ore).

63. ___ Kippur : YOM

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people, and is also known as the Day of Atonement.

65. ___ port : USB

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and deal with electrical power through those connections.

68. Wrist watch? : PULSE

One’s pulse is the rhythmic throbbing of arteries that is usually detected at the wrist or the neck. The contraction of the heart creates a pressure wave in the blood that moves the arterial walls, which is detected as the pulse.

73. Brewer’s need : YEAST

Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the Fungi kingdom. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

84. Nearest country to Cape Verde : SENEGAL

The Republic of Senegal is a country on the far western coast of Africa. For many years Senegal was a French colony, gaining independence in 1960. The capital of Senegal is Dakar. Dakar is located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, thus making it the westernmost capital on the African mainland.

The Republic of Cape Verde is an island nation in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Africa. The country takes its name from Cap-Vert, a peninsula in Senegal and the most westerly point on the continent. Cape Verde was an uninhabited group of islands when it was colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century.

85. Grammy winner Erykah ___ : BADU

Erykah Badu is the stage name of Erica Wright, an American “neo-soul” singer. Badu gained some notoriety in March of 2010 when she shot a scene for a music video in Dallas. In the scene, she walks to the spot where President Kennedy was assassinated, removing her clothes until she is nude, and then falls to the ground as if she has been shot in the head. For that stunt she was charged with disorderly conduct.

90. Competitor of Rugby : ETON

Eton College near Windsor in the south of England was founded way back in 1440 by King Henry VI. Originally known as “The King’s College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor”, the school was intended to provided free education to poor boys. Free education today at Eton? Not so much …

Rugby is a town in County Warwickshire, England. It is a market town, and is also home to the famous Rugby School, one of the oldest private schools in the country. The school gave its name to the sport of rugby, as the laws of the game were first published by three boys at Rugby School in 1845.

91. “Li’l” fellow : ABNER

“Li’l Abner” was created and drawn by Al Capp for over 43 years starting in 1934. Al Capp stopped producing the strip in 1977, largely due to illness (he died from emphysema two years later). As the strip finished up, he went so far as to apologize to his long-standing fans, saying that he should have stopped 3-4 years earlier as he felt that the quality of his work had gone down in those latter years. The comic strip character’s full name is “Li’l Abner Yokum”.

93. Hell, informally : SAM HILL

“Sam Hill” is a euphemism for “Hell”, as in “What in the Sam Hill is going on in this crossword”.

103. Star followers : MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar: a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

105. Vitamin B3 : NIACIN

Niacin is also known as vitamin B3. A deficiency of niacin causes the disease pellagra. Pellagra is often described by “the four Ds”, the symptoms being diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia and death.

112. Block from getting close to the basket : BOX OUT

That would be basketball.

119. Stage in getting a Ph.D. : ORALS

“Ph.D.” is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”. Often, candidates for an earned PhD already hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, so a PhD might be considered a “third degree”.

125. Frozen breakfast brand : EGGO

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”.

128. “Siddhartha” novelist : HESSE

The 1922 novel “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse focuses on the spiritual journey of a man called Siddhartha. Even though the Buddha’s name was Siddhartha Gautama before he renounced his former life, Hesse’s Siddhartha is a different character who lived around the time of the Buddha.

130. Washington team, familiarly : CAPS

The Washington Capitals hockey team is based in Arlington, Virginia. The team was founded in 1974.

Down

1. ___ Crunch : CAP’N

The first Cap’n Crunch commercials aired in 1963, at the time the product line was launched. The Cap’n’s full name is Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch, would you believe? Crunch’s voice was provided for many years by Daws Butler, the same voice actor who gave us Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound. Cap’n Crunch is commander of the S.S. Guppy.

2. Smoothie flavor : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

3. Tennis star’s feat : SERENA SLAM

The term “Serena Slam” is a reference to tennis star Serena Williams. It describes the winning of four major tournaments in a row. This compares with a “Grand Slam”, the winning of the four major tournaments within the same season.

To win the Grand Slam of tennis, a player must win the four major tournaments in the same season:

  • The Australian Open (in mid-January, played on hard courts)
  • The French Open (in May/June, played on clay)
  • Wimbledon (in June/July, played on grass)
  • The US Open (in August/September, played on hard courts)

6. Viscount’s superior : EARL

In the ranking of nobles, an earl comes above a viscount and below a marquis. The rank of earl is used in the British peerage system and is equivalent to the rank of count in other countries. Other British ranks have female forms (e.g. marquis and marchioness, viscount and viscountess), but there isn’t a female word for the rank of earl. A female given the same rank as an earl is known as a countess.

7. Big scholarship awarder, for short : NCAA

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

9. “Down goes ___!” (1973 sports line) : FRAZIER

Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier had three memorable fights. The first was billed as the “Fight of the Century” and took place in 1971 in Madison Square Garden. It was a fight between two great boxers, both of whom were undefeated up till that point. Frazier won in a unanimous decision after fifteen rounds. A couple of years later, in 1973, Frazier lost his title to George Foreman. Ali and Frazier had a non-title rematch in 1974, with Ali coming out ahead this time, also in a unanimous decision. Later that year, Ali grabbed back the World Heavyweight Title in “The Rumble in the Jungle”, the famous “rope-a-dope” fight against George Foreman. That set the stage for the third and final fight between Ali and Frazier, “The Thrilla in Manila”. Ali won the early rounds, but Frazier made a comeback in the middle of the fight. Ali took control at the end of the bout, so much so that Frazier wasn’t able to come out of his corner for the 15th and final round. He couldn’t come out of his corner because both of his eyes were swollen shut, giving Ali a victory due to a technical knockout (TKO).

10. Mojito ingredient : LIME JUICE

A mojito is a Cuban cocktail, although the exact origins appear to be unclear, as does the derivation of the name. Want one? Put 4 mint leaves in a glass, and add the juice of half a lime and a teaspoon of powdered sugar. Muddle the ingredients, smashing them together with a muddler or a spoon. Add some crushed ice, two ounces of white rum and stir. Top with a couple of ounces of club soda, and garnish with a sprig of mint and/or a slice of lime. Cheers!

11. Nail polish brand : OPI

Opi is a manufacturer of nail polish based in North Hollywood, California. One of Opi’s marketing coups was the introduction of a line of Legally Blonde 2 polishes, which featured in the film.

13. Place for an altar : APSE

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

14. Long line in Russia : TSARS

The last ruler of Imperial Russia was Tsar Nicholas II (of the House of Romanov). Famously, the Tsar and his family were murdered in 1918 in the basement of a house in Yekaterinburg, Russia by members of the Bolshevik secret police. The Tsar’s youngest daughter was 16-year-old Anastasia and rumors of her escape have persisted for years. The rumors grew with the help of numerous women who claimed to be Anastasia. In 2009, DNA testing finally proved that the remains of all of the Tsar’s immediate family, including Anastasia, have been found and identified.

17. Earthen pot : OLLA

An olla is a traditional clay pot used for the making of stews. “Olla” was the Latin word used in Ancient Rome to describe a similar type of pot.

19. One-on-one Olympics event : EPEE

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

25. Chuck in the air : YEAGER

Chuck Yeager enlisted as a private in the US Army Air Forces in 1941, starting out as an aircraft mechanic. With the onset of the war at the end of the year, Yeager was able to enroll in flight school. In 1943 he was posted overseas, and flew P-51 Mustangs out of the south of England. He was shot down over France in 1944 and escaped to Spain with the aid of the French Resistance. His 11.5 accredited victories includes five downed aircraft in one mission (making him an “ace in a day”), and one of the first air-to-air kills of a jet fighter. Yeager doesn’t live too far from here, and a friend of mine had the honor to breakfast with him not so long ago …

34. Body work, in brief : TAT

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are also sometimes referred to as “ink”.

38. Birthplace of the Renaissance : ITALY

“Dark Ages” was a term that used to be popular as a description of the period following the decline of the Roman Empire in Europe, the time after the “light of Rome” was extinguished. The Dark Ages were said to end with the rise of the Italian Renaissance in the 14th century. The Italian Renaissance was centered on the cities of Florence and Siena in Tuscany.

39. RCA component : RADIO

During WWI, the US government actively discouraged the loss of certain technologies to other countries, including allies. The developing wireless technologies were considered to be particularly important by the army and navy. The government prevented the General Electric Company from selling equipment to the British Marconi Company, and instead facilitated the purchase by GE of the American Marconi subsidiary. This purchase led to GE forming the Radio Corporation of America that we know today as RCA.

41. Sharer of Russia’s western border : ESTONIA

The European nation of Estonia has embraced the concept of electronic voting. Each citizen is issued an ID card that includes a chip. The ID card allows a citizen to cast a vote via the Internet using a computer with a card reader. One advantage of electronic voting in Estonia is that votes can be cast early, but can be changed right up to the end of election day.

43. Setting for many G.I. stories : NAM

The initials “GI” stand for “Government Issue”, and not “General Infantry” as is widely believed. “GI” was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

45. Much of Aries’ span : APRIL

Aries the Ram is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the constellation. Your birth sign is Aries if you were born between March 21 and April 20, but if you are an Aries you would know that! “Aries” is the Latin word for “ram”.

47. Lengthy attack : SIEGE

Our word “siege” comes from a 13th century word for a “seat”. The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force “sitting down” outside a fortress until it falls.

51. Lead-in to cone : SNO-

A sno-cone (also “snow cone”) is just a paper cone filled with crushed ice and topped with flavored water. Italian ice is similar, but different. Whereas the flavoring is added on top of the ice to make a sno-cone, Italian ice is made with water that is flavored before it is frozen.

58. Mötley ___ : CRUE

Mötley Crüe is an American rock band, from Los Angeles. They’ve been around since 1981, co-founded by the famous drummer Tommy Lee. Tommy Lee is also known for his two celebrated marriages, the first with Heather Locklear and the second with Pamela Anderson. The name “Mötley Crüe” was chosen as someone once described the band members as a “motley looking crew”. The spelling was made to look a little more exotic, with the umlauts added over the “o” and “u” one day, as the band were drinking bottles of “Löwenbräu” beer!

60. Schedule-keeping org. : IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

64. “10-4” : GOT IT

There is a set of “ten-codes” that were developed in 1937 for the use of law enforcement departments. As of 2006, the US federal government is recommending that they be replaced by plain language due to a lack of standardization in ten-codes. Examples of ten-codes are:

  • 10-1 meaning “bad reception”
  • 10-4 meaning “understood”
  • 10-9 meaning “say again”
  • 10-33 meaning “emergency, all units stand by”

65. Longest American north-south rte. : US-ONE

US Route 1 runs from Fort Kent in Maine right down to Key West in Florida.

66. “Fiddler on the Roof” setting : SHTETL

The Yiddish word for “town” is “shtot”, and so “shtetl” is the diminutive form meaning “small town”. The fictional shtetl featured in the musical in “Fiddler on the Roof” is called Anatevka, which is also the title of my favorite song from the show.

The enduring musical “Fiddler on the Roof” is based on a collection of stories by Sholem Aleichem about Tevye, a milkman living in Tsarist Russia. The musical version of the tales first opened on Broadway in 1964. “Fiddler on the Roof” had such a long run that it became the first musical to reach 3,000 performances.

67. In spades : BUT GOOD

The phrase “in spades” meaning “in abundance” dates back to the late twenties. The term probably comes from the game of bridge, in which spades are the highest-ranking suit.

69. Future attorney’s hurdle, for short : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

74. Antiquated anesthetic : ETHER

Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.

75. Pong creator : ATARI

Do you remember the arcade video game that was like a game of tennis, with paddles moving up and down to hit what looked like a ball, over what looked like a net? Well, that was Pong. The arcade version of Pong was introduced in 1972, with Atari selling a home version through Sears for the Christmas market in 1975.

78. All-female group with the 1986 #1 hit “Venus” : BANANARAMA

Bananarama is a female singing group that formed in London in 1979. Their biggest hit was the 1986 hit “Venus” that topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. “Venus” was originally a number-one hit for the Dutch band Shocking Blue, back in 1969/1970.

79. One-named singer whose last name is Adkins : ADELE

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. Her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

82. Albany is its capital: Abbr. : NYS

New York’s state capital of Albany was founded as a Dutch trading post called Fort Nassau in 1614. The English took over the settlement in 1664 and called it Albany, naming it after the future King of England James II, whose title at the time was the Duke of Albany. It became the capital of New York State in 1797.

83. Gorsuch’s predecessor on the bench : SCALIA

Antonin Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1986, and was the longest serving member of the court on the occasion of his passing in 2016. Justice Scalia’s minority opinions were known for the scathing language that he used to criticize the Court’s majority.

Neil Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme court by the Trump administration, and assumed office in 2017. Gorsuch took the seat on the court that was left vacant with the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. Gorsuch is the first Supreme Court justice to serve alongside another justice for whom he once clerked, doing so for Anthony Kennedy from 1993 to 1994.

84. Two of diamonds? : SYLLABLES

There are two syllables in the word “diamonds”.

87. Friend of Descartes … or, in English, question pondered by Descartes? : AMI or AM I?

The great French philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement in Latin, “Cogito ergo sum”. This translates into French as “Je pense, donc je suis” and into English as “I think, therefore I am”.

88. “What chutzpah!” : THE NERVE!

Our word “chutzpah” meaning “nerve, gall, impudence” is derived from the Yiddish “khutspe”, which has the same meaning.

89. Early record holder : HI-FI

Hi-fi systems were introduced in the late forties. A hi-fi is a piece of audio equipment designed to give a much higher quality reproduction of sound than cheaper systems available up to that point. “Hi-fi” stands for “high fidelity”.

94. Pricey-sounding apparel brand? : LACOSTE

René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. The “golf shirt” is basically the same thing.

96. Tinder, e.g. : APP

Tinder is a matchmaking app that uses Facebook profiles. Users “swipe” photos of potential matches, either to the right (“like”) or to the left (“not interested”). Users who “match” each other can then chat within the app.

106. Recognition for a scientist : NOBEL

The Peace Prize is the most famous of the five prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel. The others are for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. There is also a Nobel Prize in Economics that is awarded along with the original five, but it is funded separately and is awarded “in memory of Alfred Nobel”. Four of the prizes are awarded by Swedish organizations (Alfred Nobel was a Swede) and so the award ceremonies take place in Stockholm. The Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and that award is presented in Oslo.

110. Stud finder? : MARE

The word “stud”, meaning “a male horse kept for breeding”, is derived from the Old English word “stod”, which described a whole herd of horses. The term “stud” can be used figuratively for a “ladies’ man”.

111. One wearing black eyeliner and ripped jeans, say : GOTH

The goth subculture developed from the gothic rock scene in the early eighties, and is a derivative of the punk music movement. It started in England and spread to many countries around the globe. The term “goth” comes from the Eastern Germanic tribe called the Goths.

114. Makes out? : TAGS

That would be baseball.

117. Application figs. : SSNS

Social Security number (SSN)

120. Dummkopf : ASS

“Dummkopf” is a German word that translates literally as “dumb head”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Word repeated in “Mi ___ es su ___” : CASA
5. Skipped town : WENT
9. Good name for a botanist? : FLORA
14. Certain vacuum tube : TRIODE
20. Taiwan-based electronics giant : ACER
21. Per item : EACH
22. Shred : RIP UP
23. Make airtight : SEAL UP
24. Caterer’s platter : PARTY TRAY
26. Off : AMISS
27. Director of “Eat Drink Man Woman,” 1994 : ANG LEE
28. Morticia, to Fester, in 1960s TV : NIECE
29. Expecting help? : LAMAZE
31. Beat generation figure? : HEART RATE
33. Tidy : NEAT
35. ___ Muhammad, mentor to Malcolm X : ELIJAH
37. “Mm-hmm” : I SEE
38. Reagan-era scandal : IRANGATE
42. Old Germanic tribe : TEUTONS
44. Passes out : DEALS
48. Oral examination? : TASTE TEST
50. Initiations have them : RITUALS
52. Dish made from a fermented root : POI
53. Grace’s surname on “Will & Grace” : ADLER
54. Neutron’s home : ATOM
56. Jazz singer who acted in the “Roots” miniseries : CARMEN MCRAE
59. Whopper maker : LIAR
60. Hematite, e.g. : IRON ORE
62. Like 100% inflation : SOARING
63. ___ Kippur : YOM
64. Sorbet-like dessert originally from Sicily : GRANITA
65. ___ port : USB
68. Wrist watch? : PULSE
69. Like this puzzle’s circled letters vis-à-vis their Across answers : LOST IN THE SHUFFLE
73. Brewer’s need : YEAST
76. Long ___ : AGO
77. “Nuh-uh!” : NOT TRUE!
78. “Horrible!” : BAH!
81. Reaches : ATTAINS
84. Nearest country to Cape Verde : SENEGAL
85. Grammy winner Erykah ___ : BADU
86. Talkative sort : CHATTY CATHY
90. Competitor of Rugby : ETON
91. “Li’l” fellow : ABNER
92. “I’m with ___” : HER
93. Hell, informally : SAM HILL
95. It might take only seven digits : LOCAL CALL
97. Sampled : TRIED
100. Be rumple-free : LIE FLAT
102. Leaves for baggage claim, say : DEPLANES
103. Star followers : MAGI
105. Vitamin B3 : NIACIN
107. Prefix with normal : PARA-
108. Cause of a tossed joystick, maybe : GAMER RAGE
112. Block from getting close to the basket : BOX OUT
115. Gridiron gains : YARDS
118. Comic ___ Nancherla : APARNA
119. Stage in getting a Ph.D. : ORALS
121. Some rustproof rails : BRASS BARS
123. Chasms : GORGES
124. Newsroom fixture : TV SET
125. Frozen breakfast brand : EGGO
126. “Let’s do it!” : I’M IN!
127. Risks a ticket : SPEEDS
128. “Siddhartha” novelist : HESSE
129. In case : LEST
130. Washington team, familiarly : CAPS

Down

1. ___ Crunch : CAP’N
2. Smoothie flavor : ACAI
3. Tennis star’s feat : SERENA SLAM
4. Place for exhibitions : ART CENTER
5. Word with noodle or nurse : WET …
6. Viscount’s superior : EARL
7. Big scholarship awarder, for short : NCAA
8. Mint family herb : THYME
9. “Down goes ___!” (1973 sports line) : FRAZIER
10. Mojito ingredient : LIME JUICE
11. Nail polish brand : OPI
12. When jams are produced : RUSH HOUR
13. Place for an altar : APSE
14. Long line in Russia : TSARS
15. Let : RENTED
16. “Amen to that” : I AGREE
17. Earthen pot : OLLA
18. What it takes two to do : DUET
19. One-on-one Olympics event : EPEE
25. Chuck in the air : YEAGER
30. Not mainstream, briefly : ALT
32. Separations at weddings? : AISLES
34. Body work, in brief : TAT
36. Lead-in to boy or girl : ATTA
38. Birthplace of the Renaissance : ITALY
39. RCA component : RADIO
40. Put claw marks in : TEAR AT
41. Sharer of Russia’s western border : ESTONIA
43. Setting for many G.I. stories : NAM
45. Much of Aries’ span : APRIL
46. Postgraduation stressors, for some : LOANS
47. Lengthy attack : SIEGE
49. Refining, as muscles : TONING
51. Lead-in to cone : SNO-
55. “You only live once,” for one : MOTTO
57. Baked beans flavor : MAPLE
58. Mötley ___ : CRUE
60. Schedule-keeping org. : IRS
61. Team scream : RAH!
64. “10-4” : GOT IT
65. Longest American north-south rte. : US-ONE
66. “Fiddler on the Roof” setting : SHTETL
67. In spades : BUT GOOD
69. Future attorney’s hurdle, for short : LSAT
70. Memphis-to-Nashville dir. : ENE
71. 2018 World Cup champs : FRANCE
72. Prayer ending? : -FUL
73. Workplace for a cabin boy : YACHT
74. Antiquated anesthetic : ETHER
75. Pong creator : ATARI
78. All-female group with the 1986 #1 hit “Venus” : BANANARAMA
79. One-named singer whose last name is Adkins : ADELE
80. Pitches : HURLS
82. Albany is its capital: Abbr. : NYS
83. Gorsuch’s predecessor on the bench : SCALIA
84. Two of diamonds? : SYLLABLES
85. Trusted news source in the Mideast : BBC ARABIC
87. Friend of Descartes … or, in English, question pondered by Descartes? : AMI or AM I?
88. “What chutzpah!” : THE NERVE!
89. Early record holder : HI-FI
91. Puts to rest : ALLAYS
94. Pricey-sounding apparel brand? : LACOSTE
96. Tinder, e.g. : APP
98. Surface : EMERGE
99. “Well, I’ll be” follower : DARNED
101. B’way buys : TIX
104. It covers a lot of ground : GRASS
106. Recognition for a scientist : NOBEL
108. Comic’s offerings : GAGS
109. Per item : A POP
110. Stud finder? : MARE
111. One wearing black eyeliner and ripped jeans, say : GOTH
113. Desire : URGE
114. Makes out? : TAGS
116. Cause of some insomnia : DRIP
117. Application figs. : SSNS
120. Dummkopf : ASS
122. Boozehound : SOT

12 thoughts on “0805-18 NY Times Crossword 5 Aug 18, Sunday”

    1. Oops. I actually had an error on this one (a personal Natick). At the very end, I had “BBC ARABI_” crossing “_APS” and first tried an “A” at the intersection (giving “BBC ARABIA” and “AAPS”), got the electronic raspberry, and then stopped the clock with the only other logical choice, a “C”, to get “BBC ARABIC” and “CAPS” (both of which were unfamiliar to me). Mea culpa … mea maxima culpa … my bad … 😳.

  1. 46:37, had to spend a good bit of time finding a typo. Didn’t figure out the gimmick… good thing thing Bill stops by here regularly! 🤣

  2. 54:27. This one looked a lot easier once I’d finished it (don’t they all). I got the theme about 3/4 of the way through. I actually used it to get CARMEN MCRAE.

    14D I had “bread” before TSARS. I must have had the Soviet Union on my mind. I remember a 10-100 as a bathroom break on old CB radios.

    Best –

  3. 90 min. And 8 errors.
    I always seem to have a difficult time when two people collaborate to construct a puzzle.
    Never did get the theme

  4. 34:51, no errors. Wrestled with the bottom right corner. Initially entering NATS before CAPS; misread the clue for 121A as ‘Some rustproof nails’, and wanted to enter BRASS TACK, before BRASS BARS.

    Setters seemed to have spent a lot of effort creating a theme which had no effect on solving the puzzle. Outside of the ‘Ghosted’ > PHANTOM connection, I didn’t see, nor felt the need to see, the theme.

    Chutzpah is one of those great Yiddish words. I remember someone defining it to me as: ‘A man in court for murdering both his parents, demanding leniency because he is an orphan’.

  5. 40 mins 49 sec and three errors: I couldn’t see past DUEL for 18 down, and that led to all three misspellings in the NE corner. For 31A, I was thinking “HEART SIGN” or some ’60s imagery…. never “got” the pun, to my detriment.

    What a waste of time and mental energy this “theme” is. Why would anybody bother to go to the gymnastics to “get” that???

    I fear that our dear editor has gotten far too indulgent with his contributors.

  6. This was an enjoyable puzzle. I didn’t think to piece together the letters into the word PHANTOMS, so I’m glad Bill was here to point it out.

  7. I always seem to take a minority view of puzzles like this, but … the reason I forgot to report my error is just that, after I finished, I spent several minutes figuring out the theme/gimmick and another couple of minutes marveling at the flawless execution of it, driving the memory of my error out of my head.

    Suppose you were given the following task: Find eight completely plausible crossword puzzle entries, each of which is either nine letters or eleven letters in length and such that, if you omit one of the letters, the first half of the remaining eight or ten letters is an anagram (a “shuffled” version) of the second half. Order the entries in such a way that the omitted (“phantom”) letters spell out the eight-letter word “PHANTOMS” and insert them in a crossword grid along with the explanatory phrase “LOST IN THE SHUFFLE” (making sure, of course, that normal symmetry of the grid is preserved). Now, add crossing entries to complete the grid.

    I’m quite sure that I could spend the rest of my life and fail to complete such a task. In fact, I was pleased that I was even able to understand how someone else accomplished it and I admire it in the same way that I might admire a beautiful piece of art or an elegant mathematical proof.

  8. Finished the puzzle, understand the mechanics, understand the link between “ghosted” and “phantoms.” This puzzle seems to have two basically unrelared themes – “ghosted” and “lost in the shuffle” which have been tied together in an extremely tenuous way.

  9. I just don’t get the logic behind the answer “syllables” to the clue “Two of diamonds?” (or more accurately probably, to the clue itself.

    Could you please explain?

    (…Two in diamonds? would make a little more sense to me.)

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