0907-18 NY Times Crossword 7 Sep 18, Friday

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Constructed by: Josh Knapp
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 14m 55s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. LP, e.g. : DISC

The first vinyl records designed to play at 33⅓ rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first long play (LP) 33⅓ rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm “single” the following year, in 1949.

10. Instagram and others : APPS

Instagram is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram was started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

17. Part of a Central American grove : PAPAYA TREE

The papaya (also “papaw”) tropical fruit is native to Mexico and South America. When cultivating papaya trees, only female plants are used. Female plants produce just one, high-quality fruit per tree. Male plants produce several fruit per tree, but they are very poor quality.

18. Field mouse : VOLE

Vole populations can increase very rapidly. Mama vole is pregnant for just three weeks before giving birth to litters of 5-10 baby voles. Then the young voles become sexually mature in just one month! If you have one pregnant vole in your yard, within a year you could have over a hundred of the little critters.

19. Beam shooter : PHASER

A MASER is a device that was around long before LASERs came into the public consciousness. A MASER (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is similar to a LASER, but microwaves are emitted rather than light waves. When the storyline for “Star Trek” was being developed, the writers introduced a weapon called a “phaser”, with the name “phaser” derived from PHoton mASER.

20. Mel in Cooperstown : OTT

At 5′ 9″, baseball legend Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old. And, according to Wikipedia, “Ott’s name frequently appears in crossword puzzles, on account of its letter combination and brevity.” True that …

21. ___ dixit (unproven assertion) : IPSE

“Ipse dixit” is Latin, a phrase meaning “he himself said it”. The term is used in contemporary English to describe an unsupported assertion, usually by someone in authority.

31. Place to fish from : DORY

A dory is a small boat that’s around 20 feet long with a shallow draft, a flat bottom and a sharp bow. Dories are commonly used for fishing.

32. “___ the Sheep” (“Wallace and Gromit” spinoff) : SHAUN

“Wallace and Gromit” is a famous animation series from England that uses claymation and stop-motion technology. Wallace is a zany inventor who just loves cheese, especially Wensleydale. Gromit is Wallace’s pet dog, and his best friend.

40. Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar, ___ Goin Down” : WE’RE

Fall Out Boy is a rock band from Chicago that formed in 2001. And then, I lost interest …

41. Pipe sellers : HEAD SHOPS

Paraphernalia used in the consumption of cannabis and tobacco are sold in retail outlets known as head shops.

42. Brad’s gal in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” : JANET

The Rocky Horror Picture Show has to have the most devout cult-following of any movie ever made. Famously, fans attending a midnight show of the film will dress up in the outrageous costumes used in the film, and bring props with them. The props bear little relation to the storyline, but a tradition of using certain props in a particular way has been established. For example, at one point a character proposes a toast, and the audience throws toast around the theater. Go figure …

43. Tombstone figure : EARP

The legendary Western gunfighter and lawman Wyatt Earp has been portrayed on the big and small screen many, many times. Kevin Costner played the title role in 1994’s “Wyatt Earp”, and Val Kilmer played Earp in 2012’s “The First Ride of Wyatt Earp”. Joel McCrea had the part in 1955’s “Wichita”, and Kurt Russell was Earp in 1993’s “Tombstone”. James Garner played Earp twice, in 1967’s “Hour of the Gun” and 1988’s “Sunset”.

The Arizona town of Tombstone built up around a mine that was owned by one Ed Schieffelin. Schieffelin had been told by US soldiers stationed in the area that the only stone (ore sample) he would find in the area was his tombstone. Regardless, he did file a claim, and it was centered on the grave site of one of his men who had been killed by Apaches. Schieffelin filed papers under the name “the Tombstone claim”.

44. Cheap beer option, for short : PBR

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) is the most recognizable brand of beer from the Pabst Brewing Company. There appears to be some dispute over whether or not Pabst beer ever won a “blue ribbon” prize, but the company claims that it did so at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The beer was originally called Pabst Best Select, and then just Pabst Select. With the renaming to Blue Ribbon, the beer was sold with an actual blue ribbon tied around the neck of the bottle until it was dropped in 1916 and incorporated into the label.

46. Hotel/casino on the Vegas Strip : ARIA

The Aria is one of the newer hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, having opened at the end of 2009.

49. Go on a tweetstorm, say : VENT

In the wonderful world of Twitter (said he, sarcastically), a tweetstorm is a series of related tweets by a single user on a related subject.

53. Pastoral verse : IDYL

An “idyll” (also “idyl”) is a short poem with a pastoral theme, usually depicting the scene in romantic and idealized terms. The word comes from the Greek “eidyllion”, which literally translates to “little picture” but was a word describing a short, poem with a rustic theme.

Down

1. Eponymous Austrian physicist who studied waves : DOPPLER

The Doppler effect is the change in frequency of a sound experienced by an observer when the source of the sound is moving nearer or further away. The effect was proposed by Austrian physicist Christian Doppler in 1842.

3. London burial place of John Donne and Horatio Nelson : ST PAUL’S

The famous and very beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral in London was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. St. Paul’s was completed in 1708 and was constructed as part of a rebuilding program necessary after the devastation of the Great Fire of London of 1666. St. Paul’s is the second largest church building in the country, after Liverpool Cathedral.

John Donne was one of England’s most celebrated poets, and was active at the start of the 17th century. He spent much of his life in poverty and even spent a short time in prison for having married his wife without procuring the appropriate permissions. After his release, his wife bore him 12 children in 16 years, passing away a few days after the twelfth child was born.

Admiral Horatio Nelson is noted for his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. The battle was a decisive win for the British during the Napoleonic Wars, fought against the combined fleets of France and Spain. Nelson was fatally wounded by a marksman from one of the French ships, but as he was conscious he continued to monitor the battle, dying three hours after he was shot. Nelson was much revered by his crew who felt that his body had to be returned to England. The body was placed in a barrel full of brandy and the barrel lashed to the mainmast of the Victory and placed under guard. The damaged flagship was towed to Gibraltar where the body was transferred to a lead-lined coffin and the brandy replaced by aqua vitae (spirits of wine). While the body continued its journey home, dispatches reporting the outcome of the battle were carried to England on a ship called … HMS Pickle. A boozy end to a distinguished life …

8. Vinegary : ACETIC

Acetic acid has the formula CH3COOH, and is the main component of vinegar.

11. Balloonist’s tankful : PROPANE

Propane is a gas with the formula C3H8. It is an abundant byproduct of the refining of petroleum and is used as a fuel. The gas liquefies readily under pressure, and is usually transported in pressurized containers. However, the containers of “propane” that we purchase in stores is actually a mixture of propane and butane, usually in the ratio of about 50:50.

12. Tall, slender, footed glass : PILSNER

Pilsener (also “pilsner” or “pils”) is a pale lager. The name “pilsener” comes from the city of Pilsen, now in the Czech Republic. It was in Pilsen, in 1842, that the first bottom-fermented lager was produced. A bottom-fermented beer is much clearer that a top-fermented beer, and has a crisper taste. The “top” and “bottom” refers to where the yeast gathers during the brewing process.

15. What a colon might denote : EYES

An emoticon is a glyph created using text characters to represent facial features, and usually oriented sideways. The emoticon is designed to indicate emotion or attitude. The classic example is the smiley face: 🙂

24. Store name with a big red initial : KMART

Kmart is the third largest discount store chain in the world, behind Wal-Mart and Target. The company was founded by S. S. Kresge in 1899, with the first outlets known as S. S. Kresge stores. The first “Kmart” stores opened in 1962, with the “K” standing for “Kresge”. Kmart is famous for its promotions known as “blue light specials”, a program first introduced in 1965 and discontinued in 1991. I remember being in a Kmart store soon after coming to live in the US. That evening an employee installed a light stand an aisle away from me, switched on a flashing blue light and there was some unintelligible announcement over the loudspeaker system. I had no idea what was going on …

31. Google ___ : DOCS

Google Docs is a word processing application that is part of the Google Drive suite of services. In fact, I am typing this blog post right now in Google Docs.

35. Comfy safari digs : TENT BED

“Safari” is a Swahili word meaning “journey” or “expedition”.

36. Stewart’s onetime TV sparring partner : O’REILLY

Bill O’Reilly is best known as the former host of “The O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel. O’Reilly’s positions are very much on the right side of the political spectrum, with at least one notable exception: his opposition to the death penalty. He suggests that convicted murderers should be locked up without the possibility of parole, in a military prison with forced labor for eight hours a day.

Comedian Jon Stewart is best known for hosting “The Daily Show” from 1999 until 2015. Stewart is a fan of crosswords. He proposed to his girlfriend and future wife in a personalized crossword that was created with the help of crossword editor Will Shortz.

39. Fictional figure whose name means “hole dweller” : HOBBIT

“The Hobbit, or There and Back Again” is a children’s fantasy novel by J. R. R. Tolkien that was popular from the time of its first publication in 1937. Included in the early awards for “The Hobbit” was a prize for best juvenile fiction from “The New York Herald Tribune”. Tolkien adapted his succeeding novel “The Lord of the Rings” to incorporate elements in “The Hobbit”, so that the two tales are very much related.

40. Hot green stuff : WASABI

Sometimes called Japanese horseradish, wasabi is a root used as a condiment in Japanese cooking. The taste of wasabi is more like mustard than a hot pepper in that the vapors that create the “hotness” stimulate the nasal passages rather than the tongue. Personally, I love the stuff …

42. Psychologist who coined the word “synchronicity” : JUNG

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist, and the founder of analytical psychology. Jung was very much associated with the analysis of dreams, and also introduced us to the psychological concepts of introversion and extroversion.

48. AWOL, so to speak : MIA

Missing in action (MIA)

The Military Police (MPs) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. LP, e.g. : DISC
5. Stories with many chapters : SAGAS
10. Instagram and others : APPS
14. Getting paid, say : ON THE CLOCK
16. Trouble with a tap : DRIP
17. Part of a Central American grove : PAPAYA TREE
18. Field mouse : VOLE
19. Beam shooter : PHASER
20. Mel in Cooperstown : OTT
21. ___ dixit (unproven assertion) : IPSE
22. Jerks : LOUTS
23. It takes time to sink in : QUICKSAND
25. ___ Decor (magazine) : ELLE
26. Demand from a school bully : LUNCH MONEY
27. Hi or lo follower : -RES
28. Spit out : SAID
29. More minimalist, say : BARER
30. Series of rounds : BOUT
31. Place to fish from : DORY
32. “___ the Sheep” (“Wallace and Gromit” spinoff) : SHAUN
34. Potential drain obstruction : ROOT
35. Fate worse than a ticket : TOW
38. What goes after the wrong type? : SPELLCHECK
40. Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar, ___ Goin Down” : WE’RE
41. Pipe sellers : HEAD SHOPS
42. Brad’s gal in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” : JANET
43. Tombstone figure : EARP
44. Cheap beer option, for short : PBR
45. Country : RUSTIC
46. Hotel/casino on the Vegas Strip : ARIA
47. Foul : ABOMINABLE
49. Go on a tweetstorm, say : VENT
50. Aquanaut’s chamber : DIVING BELL
51. Leg up : EDGE
52. Word with skirt or strip : … STEAK
53. Pastoral verse : IDYL

Down

1. Eponymous Austrian physicist who studied waves : DOPPLER
2. Owing money : IN A HOLE
3. London burial place of John Donne and Horatio Nelson : ST PAUL’S
4. “As ___ as unsunn’d snow”: Shak. : CHASTE
5. Mark of a villain, maybe : SCAR
6. Not mainstream, informally : ALT
7. One of a series of attempts : GO-ROUND
8. Vinegary : ACETIC
9. Resource for an artist to draw on? : SKETCHBOOK
10. Like some boards : ADVISORY
11. Balloonist’s tankful : PROPANE
12. Tall, slender, footed glass : PILSNER
13. No-wait : SPEEDY
15. What a colon might denote : EYES
23. Drop : QUIT
24. Store name with a big red initial : KMART
26. What shuttles leave from : LAUNCH PADS
28. What the Egyptian deity Ammit devoured : SOULS
30. Chrome dome, so to speak : BALD PATE
31. Google ___ : DOCS
32. Like some fish and olives : SPEARED
33. Court procedure : HEARING
34. Dress down : REPROVE
35. Comfy safari digs : TENT BED
36. Stewart’s onetime TV sparring partner : O’REILLY
37. Battery type : WET-CELL
38. Bundle up : SHEAVE
39. Fictional figure whose name means “hole dweller” : HOBBIT
40. Hot green stuff : WASABI
42. Psychologist who coined the word “synchronicity” : JUNG
45. Venue for broomball : RINK
48. AWOL, so to speak : MIA

8 thoughts on “0907-18 NY Times Crossword 7 Sep 18, Friday”

  1. 22:53 Slow start for me. Worked this out from the bottom up finishing in the upper left. I thought the tree at 17A was banana which made it tough to get 1D.

    @Bill Yesterday you wrote that Kevin Clash is the man behind Elmo. According to Wikipedia he stopped doing it a few years ago and it is now Ryan Dillon.

  2. 40:13. Very tough one for me. I was just happy I finished at all. Actually had an error to find (ADVoSARY/oPSE) at the end, but I saw it and got the congratulatory music.

    First thought the Vegas casino might be the Linq, but ARIA is much more crosswordy.

    Best –

  3. After 55 min. It became obvious that I was going nowhere with this one. Too many clues like headshop and pbr. Entire bottom right was blank.

  4. Super slow start for me today. South east and north west quadrants were absolute molasses. Eventually I got them all with no misses. Very pleased with myself when I figured out 15 d : )

  5. 21:06, no errors. Good tough Friday grid. Just kept plugging, and eventually all the squares got filled and the answers seemed to make sense. Big fan of Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, did not know that Hobbit meant ‘hole dweller’.

    I don’t know if Bill has any control over the ads that pop up on this blog (or if anyone else has this issue), but a particularly annoying ad from ePlane keeps cycling, and does not shut off even after closing its window.

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