0817-18 NY Times Crossword 17 Aug 18, Friday

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Constructed by: Jeff Chen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 10m 42s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Lake of rock’s Emerson, Lake & Palmer : GREG

Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP) were an English supergroup popular in the seventies. Keith Emerson had been successful with the Nice, Greg Lake with King Crimson, and Carl Palmer with Atomic Rooster. Given that all three performers had already achieved success prior the formation of the group, ELP is termed a “supergroup”.

5. One who crosses the line : SCAB

We first started calling strikebreakers “scabs” in the early 1800s, and before that a scab was a person who refused to join a trade union (back as early 1777). The word probably comes from the use of “scab” as a symptom of a skin disease, and so is a term that is meant to insult.

9. Dunderheads : TWITS

“Twit” is a word not used very often here in America. It’s a slang term that was quite common in England where it was used for “someone foolish and idiotic”.

14. Bare : AU NATUREL

“Au naturel” is a French phrase, simply meaning “in a natural state”. We use the term in the same sense, and also to mean “nude”.

16. He said “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe” : SAGAN

Carl Sagan was a brilliant astrophysicist, and a great communicator. Sagan was famous for presenting obscure concepts about the cosmos in such a way that we mere mortals could appreciate. He also wrote the novel “Contact” that was adapted into a fascinating 1997 film of the same name starring Jodie Foster.

23. Amish, e.g. : SECT

The Amish are members of a group of Christian churches, and a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. The Amish church originated in Switzerland and Alsace in 1693 when it was founded by Jakob Ammann. It was Ammann who gave the name to the Amish people. Many Amish people came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

28. They’re often blitzed : SOTS

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

29. Lieutenant Minderbinder of “Catch-22” : MILO

Milo Minderbinder is the mess officer in Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel “Catch-22”. In the 1970 film adaptation of the book, the Minderbinder character is played by Jon Voight.

31. Wore an outfit with panache, informally : ROCKED IT

Someone exhibiting panache is showing dash and verve, and perhaps has a swagger. “Panache” is a French word used for a plume of feathers, especially in a hat.

33. Constellation between Cygnus and Aquila : SAGITTA

The constellation Sagitta should not be confused with the larger constellation Sagittarius. “Sagitta” is Latin for “arrow”, and “Sagittarius” is Latin for “archer”.

39. Pro ___ : BONO

The Latin term “pro bono publico” means “for the public good”, and is usually shortened to “pro bono”. The term applies to professional work that is done for free or at a reduced fee as a service to the public.

40. City north of Des Moines : AMES

The Iowa city of Ames was founded as a stop on the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad in 1864. It was named for US Congressman Oakes Ames from the state of Massachusetts in honor of the role that Ames played in the building of the transcontinental railroad.

50. Lines around Chicago : ELS

The Chicago “L” is the second largest rapid transit system in the US, with the New York City Subway being the largest. The “L” is also the second oldest, again with the New York City Subway system having the honor of being around the longest. Note that the official nickname for the system is the “L” (originally short for “elevated railroad”), although the term “El” is also in common use (especially in crosswords as “ELS”). The L is managed by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

51. Primer finish : Z IS FOR ZEBRA

A primer is a textbook used to teach the alphabet and basic reading. When “primer” is used in this sense in the US, it is pronounced with a short letter I (giving “primmer”). I’ve never understood why such a pronunciation would be used …

58. Process by which neutrinos are produced : BETA DECAY

Beta particles (the constituents of beta rays) are the products of decay of a radioactive element. Beta particles are high-energy electrons or positrons emitted from the nucleus of the decaying element.

Neutrinos are small subatomic particles that do not carry an electric charge. The term “neutrino” is Italian for “small neutral one”, and was coined by physicist Enrico Fermi in 1932. There are three types of neutrino: electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos and tau neutrinos.

61. Merrill in movies : DINA

Dina Merrill was in 22 movies, including two of my favorites: “Desk Set” with Tracy & Hepburn, and “Operation Petticoat” with Cary Grant. Merrill also carried some sway in the business world. Until 2007, she was on the compensation committee of Lehman Brothers, the merry band that approved all those big bonuses.

Down

2. Money in Nepal : RUPEE

The rupee is a unit of currency used in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan. The term “rupee” comes from the Sanskrit word “rupya”, which once meant “stamped, impressed” and then “coin”.

4. “Young Frankenstein” co-star : GARR

The lovely Teri Garr had a whole host of minor roles in her youth, including appearances in nine Elvis movies. Garr’s big break came with the role of Inga in “Young Frankenstein”, and her supporting role in “Tootsie” earned Garr an Academy Award nomination. Sadly, Teri Garr suffers from multiple sclerosis. She is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

I am not really a big fan of movies by Mel Brooks, but “Young Frankenstein” is the exception. I think the cast has a lot to do with me liking the film, as it includes Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein), Teri Garr (Inga), Marty Feldman (Igor) and Gene Hackman (Harold, the blind man).

6. Big name in oil : CRISCO

The Crisco brand of shortening was the first shortening to be made entirely from vegetable oil. Although that sounds like a good thing, it’s actually made by hydrogenating vegetable oil so that it has physical properties similar to the animal shortening it was designed to replace. This hydrogenation turns good fats into bad fats, so medical professionals suggest limited intake.

7. Tap attachment : AERATOR

A faucet aerator is a device screwed onto the tip of a faucet to deliver a mixture of air and water. The main purpose of faucet aerators, in these days of dwindling water supplies, is to increase the perceived water pressure.

8. Une couleur primaire : BLEU

In French, “bleu” (blue) is “une couleur primaire” (a primary color).

12. Samuel L. Jackson has been in six of his movies : TARANTINO

I’m not a big fan of director Quentin Tarantino. His movies are too violent for me, and the size of his ego just turns me right off. Having said that, I think “Pulp Fiction” is a remarkable film. If you can look past the violence, it’s really well written. And what a legacy it has. John Travolta’s career was on the rocks and he did the film for practically no money, and it turned out be a re-launch for him. Uma Thurman became a top celebrity overnight from her role. Even Bruce Willis got some good out of it, putting an end to a string of poorly-received performances.

13. Some sketch show V.I.P.s : SNL HOSTS

The youngest person to host “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) was Drew Barrymore, at age 7 in 1982. The oldest host was Betty White, at 88 in 2010.

20. ___ Systems, computer networking giant : CISCO

Cisco is a company that I really admire (in terms of innovation and management). Headquartered in San Jose, California, Cisco develops and sells products and services in the communications sector. The name “Cisco” was taken from the name of the city San Francisco.

29. Preserves variety : MARMALADE

Marmalade is my favorite fruit preserve. The essential ingredients in a marmalade are fruit juice and peel, and sugar and water. “Marmalade” comes from the Portuguese “marmelada” meaning “quince jam”.

32. Offered unwanted advice : KIBITZED

To kibitz (or less commonly “to kibbitz”) is to look on and offer unwanted advice. The term comes into English from German via Yiddish. “Kibitz” developed in German from the name of the bird “Kiebitz”, which had the reputation as a meddler.

33. Big cheese wheels? : STATE CAR

The phrase “the big cheese” doesn’t have its roots in the word “cheese” at all. The original phrase was “the real cheese” meaning “the real thing”, and was used way back in late 1800s. “Chiz” is a Persian and Hindi word meaning “thing”, and it’s not hard to see how the expression “the real chiz” morphed into “the real cheese”. In early-20th century America, instead of a “real cheese”, the most influential person in a group was labeled as “the big cheese”.

34. Country singer Clark : TERRI

Terri Clark is a country music artist from Montreal in Canada who has had success right across North America, and who now resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

35. Oktoberfest offering : ALE

Oktoberfest is a 16-day beer festival in Munich that actually starts in September. About six million people attend every year, making it the largest fair in the world. I’ve been there twice, and it really is a great party …

42. New England prep school attended by J.F.K. : CHOATE

Choate Rosemary Hall is a private, college-preparatory school in Wallingford, Connecticut. Choate’s impressive list of alumni includes President John F. Kennedy, as well as actresses Glenn Close and Jamie Lee Curtis.

43. Former Supreme Court justice Stone : HARLAN

The lawyer Harlan F. Stone served as US Attorney General before being appointed to the US Supreme Court in 1925. Stone became the court’s Chief Justice in 1941, but only for five years as he passed away in 1946.

47. You can count on them : ABACI

The abacus (plural “abaci”) was used as a counting frame long before man had invented a numbering system. It is a remarkable invention, particularly when one notes that abaci are still widely used today across Africa and Asia.

48. Spinner? : PR MAN

Public relations (PR)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Lake of rock’s Emerson, Lake & Palmer : GREG
5. One who crosses the line : SCAB
9. Dunderheads : TWITS
14. Bare : AU NATUREL
16. He said “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe” : SAGAN
17. Fifth wheel : SPARE TIRE
18. Small protuberance : KNURL
19. “Ingredient” of success : SECRET SAUCE
21. Sound at a spa : AAH!
22. Still : YET
23. Amish, e.g. : SECT
24. Verbal shrug : I DUNNO
26. Hallucinogenic edibles, in slang : SHROOMS
28. They’re often blitzed : SOTS
29. Lieutenant Minderbinder of “Catch-22” : MILO
31. Wore an outfit with panache, informally : ROCKED IT
33. Constellation between Cygnus and Aquila : SAGITTA
36. See 44-Across : POISONS
37. Real identity : TRUE SELF
39. Pro ___ : BONO
40. City north of Des Moines : AMES
41. Try to get something from a bag : REACH IN
44. Court figure whose job is to detect 36-Across : TASTER
46. “___ said …” : THAT
47. Oaf : APE
50. Lines around Chicago : ELS
51. Primer finish : Z IS FOR ZEBRA
54. “Pretty, pretty please?” : CAN’T I?
56. Grueling grillings : ORAL EXAMS
57. Trim : ADORN
58. Process by which neutrinos are produced : BETA DECAY
59. Fix, as a bow : RETIE
60. Attended (to) : SEEN
61. Merrill in movies : DINA

Down

1. Full of hot air : GASSY
2. Money in Nepal : RUPEE
3. Formally establish : ENACT
4. “Young Frankenstein” co-star : GARR
5. Mill owner in the California gold rush : SUTTER
6. Big name in oil : CRISCO
7. Tap attachment : AERATOR
8. Une couleur primaire : BLEU
9. Showed one’s disapproval, in a way : TSKED
10. Ashy : WAN
11. 30-foot-long dinosaur able to walk on either two legs or four : IGUANODON
12. Samuel L. Jackson has been in six of his movies : TARANTINO
13. Some sketch show V.I.P.s : SNL HOSTS
15. Drives : TEE SHOTS
20. ___ Systems, computer networking giant : CISCO
25. Applies to : USES ON
26. Most cunning : SLIEST
27. Disorderly do : MOP
29. Preserves variety : MARMALADE
30. “So much for my theory” : I GUESS NOT
32. Offered unwanted advice : KIBITZED
33. Big cheese wheels? : STATE CAR
34. Country singer Clark : TERRI
35. Oktoberfest offering : ALE
38. Diet-friendly, say : FAT-FREE
42. New England prep school attended by J.F.K. : CHOATE
43. Former Supreme Court justice Stone : HARLAN
45. Online periodical : E-ZINE
47. You can count on them : ABACI
48. Spinner? : PR MAN
49. Cushy course : EASY A
52. Doesn’t just tear up : SOBS
53. Struck out : EXED
55. Prefix with cycle : TRI-

11 thoughts on “0817-18 NY Times Crossword 17 Aug 18, Friday”

  1. 27:51. Where is everybody today? This was pretty smooth for me except the bottom right corner. I didn’t know DINA Merrill or the end of 58A so it took awhile to figure everything out down there. Merrill’s bio has some interesting facts. Her mom was the Post cereal heiress, her dad was EF Hutton, her mom’s first husband was Glenn Close’s grandfather, her first husband was an “heir to the Colgate-Palmolive toothpaste fortune”.

  2. I jsut stopped by to see everyone’s times to know what I’m in for. This seems ok, but I’ll find out tomorrow.

    @Marc –
    Dave just left for England, and I’m saving this puzzle (among a few others) for my flight tomorrow to Punta Cana. Be back in a week or so.

    Best –

  3. After 90 min. and several references to “my notes” I missed 51 & 58 across . Otherwise I somehow got the rest of this nasty puzzle, mostly with crosses filling in things like “poisons & tasters “

  4. Will someone please fix the links from the date list to the puzzles? I click on today’s date and get August’s puzzle. Been going on for several days.

    1. Linda — are you clicking on the calendar layout or the list above with “syndicated” dates? Whichever, try the other one, and maybe that will work for you.

  5. 17:29, two errors: SAG(Y)TTA/SL(Y)EST. Pride myself on knowing the names of many of the constellations, SAGITTA was completely unknown to me. Far more comfortable with the spelling slyest than with sliest.

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