0911-18 NY Times Crossword 11 Sep 18, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Timothy Polin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Flowery Language

Themed answers are phrases that include the name of a FLOWER:

  • 35A. High-flown speech or writing … or a description of 17-, 22-, 51- and 57-Across? : FLOWERY LANGUAGE
  • 17A. Shy sort : SHRINKING VIOLET
  • 22A. Epithet for a British beauty with fair skin : ENGLISH ROSE
  • 51A. Try to improve what is already beautiful : GILD THE LILY
  • 57A. Full of energy and enthusiasm : AS FRESH AS A DAISY

Bill’s time: 5m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Information about other information : METADATA

Metadata is usually defined as “data about data”. The classic example is the card catalog of a library. The catalog is a set of data about a collection of books. Each entry in the catalog is data about a specific publication.

15. “Original copy” or “open secret” : OXYMORON

The word “oxymoron” is in itself an oxymoron. It derives from the Greek words “Oxys” and “moros” meaning “sharp” and “stupid”.

17. Shy sort : SHRINKING VIOLET

Someone who is very shy might be described as a “shrinking violet”. The violet in this case is the flower, and not the girl’s name. The plant Viola odorata has been referred to “shrinking violet” because of its habit of hugging the ground as it grows.

21. Ambulances’ hosp. destinations : ERS

Emergency room (ER)

Our word “ambulance” originated in the French term “hôpital ambulant” meaning “field hospital” (literally “walking hospital”). In the 1850s, the term started to be used for a vehicle transporting the wounded from the battlefield, leading to our “ambulance”.

30. Grp. meeting in a school gym, often : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

32. “Buffalo Bill,” for William Cody : ALIAS

Buffalo Bill Cody became a great showman after he retired from the US Army. While serving in the Army, Buffalo Bill was awarded the Medal of Honor. William Frederick Cody earned his “Buffalo Bill” nickname while supplying buffalo meat to the Kansas Pacific Railroad. Cody “hunted” and slaughtered over 4,000 American bison in an 18-month period to fulfill his contract with the railroad.

42. Poseidon’s realm : OCEAN

Poseidon was the god of the sea in Greek mythology as well as the “Earth-Shaker”, the god responsible for earthquakes.

43. Letters on a wanted poster : AKA

Also known as (aka)

44. $ource of ca$h : ATM

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

47. Places in one’s cross hairs : TARGETS

I’d have written the single word “crosshairs” rather than “cross hairs”. But maybe that’s just me …

51. Try to improve what is already beautiful : GILD THE LILY

To gild is to coat with gold. The phrase “to gild the lily” means to add unnecessary ornamentation, to try to improve something that is already ideal.

63. 1996 best-selling guide for “grammarphobes” : WOE IS I

Patricia O’Conner has written five books about the English language, including “Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English”. What a great subject for a book! I need to buy it for my kids. And to be honest, for me too …

64. One registering with the American Kennel Club : DOG OWNER

The American Kennel Club places the Dalmatian breed in the non-sporting group. The Kennel Club of the UK places the Dalmatian in the utility group.

66. Gumbo cookers : STEWPOTS

Gumbo is a type of stew or soup that originated in Louisiana. The primary ingredient can be meat or fish, but to be true gumbo it must include the “holy trinity” of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers and onion. Okra used to be a requirement but this is no longer the case. Okra gave the dish its name as the vernacular word for the African vegetable is “okingumbo”, from the Bantu language spoken by many of the slaves brought to America.

Down

1. Dances violently : MOSHES

Moshing (also “slam dancing”) is the pushing and shoving that takes place in the audience at a concert (usually a punk or heavy metal concert). The area directly in front of the stage is known as the mosh pit. When a performer does a “stage dive” it is into (or I suppose “onto”) the mosh pit. It doesn’t sound like fun to me. Injuries are commonplace in the mosh pit, and deaths are not unknown.

3. Rapper/actor Gibson : TYRESE

Tyrese Gibson is singer-songwriter and actor who is known simply as “Tyrese”. Tyrese is best known for playing the character Roman Pearce in the “Fast And Furious” series of movies.

5. High-ranking Mafioso : DON

A Mafioso is a member of the Mafia, with the plural being Mafiosi (or sometimes “Mafiosos”).

6. “Raiders of the Lost ___” : ARK

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” is, in my humble opinion, the best of the Indiana Jones franchise of movies. This first Indiana Jones film was released in 1981, produced by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg. Harrison Ford was Spielberg’s first choice to play the lead, but Lucas resisted as he was concerned that he would be too closely associated with the actor (as Ford played Han Solo in “Star Wars”, and also appeared in Lucas’s “American Graffiti”). Tom Selleck was offered the role but he couldn’t get out of his commitments to “Magnum, P.I.” Eventually Spielberg got his way and Ford was hired, a good thing I say …

7. You, to Yves : TOI

In French, the pronouns “toi” and “vous” both mean “you”, with the former being used with family and friends, and children. “Vous” is more formal, and is also the plural form of “toi”.

8. Record of a year’s events : ANNAL

“Annal” is a rarely used word, and is the singular of the more common “annals”. An annal would be the recorded events of one year, with annals being the chronological record of events in successive years. The term “annal” comes from the Latin “annus” meaning “year”.

10. Elevator innovator Otis : ELISHA

Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

12. “Talking” system for the deaf, in brief : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

22. Fashion magazine with a French name : 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.

23. Hair removal brand : NAIR

Nair is a hair removal product that has some pretty harsh ingredients. The most important active constituents are calcium hydroxide (“slaked lime”) and sodium hydroxide (“caustic soda”). Other Nair components seem to be there to soothe the skin after the harsher chemicals have done their job. The name “Nair” probably comes from combining “no” and “hair”.

25. Actress Chaplin of “Game of Thrones” : OONA

Oona Chaplin is an actress from Madrid in Spain. Chaplin is getting a lot of airtime these days as she plays Talisa Maegyr on HBO’s hit fantasy series “Game of Thrones”. Oona is the granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin, and is named for her maternal grandmother Oona O’Neill, the daughter of playwright Eugene O’Neill.

26. Counterfeit token : SLUG

A slug is a counterfeit coin that is used to trick a coin-operated machine. A slug might just be a metal blank, or another coin of lower value. I remember the Austrian Schilling trick that was used in the nineties in the UK. A counterfeiter simply glued two Austrian Schillings back-to-back, and these passed nicely as pound coins. Back then, that represented a 90% profit for the bad guy.

36. Troublemaking Norse god : LOKI

Loki is a god appearing in Norse mythology. In one story about Loki, he was punished by other gods for having caused the death of Baldr, the god of light and beauty. Loki is bound to a sharp rock using the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom which is collected in a bowl, and then his wife must empty the venom onto Loki when the bowl is full. The venom causes Loki great pain, and his writhing results in what we poor mortals experience as earthquakes.

37. Milky white gem : OPAL

An opal is often described as having a milky iridescence known as opalescence.

39. Onetime radio host Boortz : NEAL

Neal Boortz is a radio commentator and author. Boortz is a very vocal libertarian who advocates a complete overhaul of the tax system in the US, as well as the release on non-violent drug offenders.

40. Larson who created “The Far Side” : GARY

“The Far Side” is a cartoon series drawn by Gary Larson. It ran from 1980 to 1995, and continues today in reruns in many papers. A lot of “The Far Side” cartoons feature animals, often in outrageous, human-like situations. Larson was so popular with people working with animals that in 1989 a newly discovered insect species was named Strigiphilus garylarsoni. How cool is that?

48. Pacific current that causes odd weather : EL NINO

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more that half a degree centigrade, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

50. Lustful goat-men of myth : SATYRS

The satyrs of Greek mythology came with a very high sex drive. They are the “rude” male subjects drawn on the side of old Greek vases. The nubile maidens known as nymphs were often an object of attention for the satyrs.

52. Kind of column in ancient Greece : DORIC

The Doric was one of the three classical orders of architecture, the others being the Corinthian and the Ionic. The Doric was the earliest of the three orders, and the simplest.

58. Note after fa : SOL

The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

62. ___ Jones industrial average : DOW

Dow Jones & Company was founded as a publishing house in 1882 by three newspaper reporters, Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser. Today, the company’s most famous publication has to be “The Wall Street Journal”. In 1884, Charles Dow started reporting the average dollar value of the stock of eleven companies, an index which spawned a whole host of metrics that carry the Dow Jones name to this day, including the renowned Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), also known as the “Dow 30”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Information about other information : METADATA
9. Make harmless, as a snake : DEFANG
15. “Original copy” or “open secret” : OXYMORON
16. “Ma-a-aybe” : I’LL SEE
17. Shy sort : SHRINKING VIOLET
19. Broke ground? : HOED
20. “You ___ busted!” : ARE SO
21. Ambulances’ hosp. destinations : ERS
22. Epithet for a British beauty with fair skin : ENGLISH ROSE
28. Magnificent : STELLAR
30. Grp. meeting in a school gym, often : PTA
31. Long in the tooth : OLD
32. “Buffalo Bill,” for William Cody : ALIAS
34. Warm and cozy : SNUG
35. High-flown speech or writing … or a description of 17-, 22-, 51- and 57-Across? : FLOWERY LANGUAGE
41. Chops (off) : LOPS
42. Poseidon’s realm : OCEAN
43. Letters on a wanted poster : AKA
44. $ource of ca$h : ATM
47. Places in one’s cross hairs : TARGETS
51. Try to improve what is already beautiful : GILD THE LILY
54. Meadow : LEA
55. Very heavy : OBESE
56. Flying nuisance : GNAT
57. Full of energy and enthusiasm : AS FRESH AS A DAISY
63. 1996 best-selling guide for “grammarphobes” : WOE IS I
64. One registering with the American Kennel Club : DOG OWNER
65. Chooses for office : ELECTS
66. Gumbo cookers : STEWPOTS

Down

1. Dances violently : MOSHES
2. Urge strongly : EXHORT
3. Rapper/actor Gibson : TYRESE
4. In the thick of : AMID
5. High-ranking Mafioso : DON
6. “Raiders of the Lost ___” : ARK
7. You, to Yves : TOI
8. Record of a year’s events : ANNAL
9. Dump, as stocks : DIVEST
10. Elevator innovator Otis : ELISHA
11. Stop on an elevator : FLOOR
12. “Talking” system for the deaf, in brief : ASL
13. Born, in high society : NEE
14. Comprehend : GET
18. Firm hold : GRIP
22. Fashion magazine with a French name : ELLE
23. Hair removal brand : NAIR
24. Color of an overcast sky : GRAY
25. Actress Chaplin of “Game of Thrones” : OONA
26. Counterfeit token : SLUG
27. Rim : EDGE
29. Legislatures write them : LAWS
33. ___-mo replay : SLO
34. Like arias and anthems : SUNG
35. Something planted when claiming territory : FLAG
36. Troublemaking Norse god : LOKI
37. Milky white gem : OPAL
38. Opening on Broadway? : ACT I
39. Onetime radio host Boortz : NEAL
40. Larson who created “The Far Side” : GARY
44. If everything goes right : AT BEST
45. Grad student’s big paper : THESIS
46. Blend well together : MESH
48. Pacific current that causes odd weather : EL NINO
49. Cups, saucers, sugar bowl, etc. : TEA SET
50. Lustful goat-men of myth : SATYRS
52. Kind of column in ancient Greece : DORIC
53. Things detectives pursue : LEADS
56. Stare slack-jawed : GAWP
57. Slack-jawed feeling : AWE
58. Note after fa : SOL
59. Broker’s charge : FEE
60. Boozehound : SOT
61. Grow long in the tooth : AGE
62. ___ Jones industrial average : DOW

2 thoughts on “0911-18 NY Times Crossword 11 Sep 18, Tuesday”

  1. 10:19. I got caught flat footed a few times in this one. I’m not really sure why. I never really use the term GILD THE LILY. For whatever reason I always thought it meant to cover up/over something flawed. I guess it’s a good thing I never use the phrase….

    Best –

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