0926-18 NY Times Crossword 26 Sep 18, Wednesday

Advertisement

Advertisement

Constructed by: Melinda Gates & Joel Fagliano
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: A-A-Answer

There is a note with today’s puzzle:

CELEBRITY CROSSWORD
This puzzle is a collaboration by the philanthropist Melinda Gates, of Medina, Wash., working together with Joel Fagliano, the digital puzzles editor of The New York Times. This is Joel’s 61st crossword for the paper. More information about the making of today’s puzzle appears in the Times’s daily crossword column (nytimes
.com/column/wordplay).

Today’s themed answers are common phrases that start with a single letter, but that letter has been doubled:

  • 17A. Part played by women and girls? : XX FACTOR (from “X Factor”)
  • 29A. Area below “To:” in an email? : CC SECTION (from C-section)
  • 37A. Ones on set with 2009’s “Star Trek” director? : JJ CREW (from “J.Crew”)
  • 40A. Any one of the 12 steps? : AA LINE (from “A-line”)
  • 46A. Group of buildings housing a King? : BB COMPLEX (from “B complex”)
  • 64A. Lover of Cummings’s poetry? : EE READER (from “e-reader”)

Bill’s time: 14m 42s

Bill’s errors: 0

Advertisement

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Deg. for a museum worker : BFA

The degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is primarily designed for students intent on pursuing a career in the visual or performing arts.

14. Dashboard part : OIL GAUGE

Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hoofs of the horses. Quite interesting …

17. Part played by women and girls? : XX FACTOR (from “X factor”)

In most mammalian species, including man, females have two identical sex chromosomes (XX) and males two distinct sex chromosomes (XY). As a result it is the males who determine the sex of the offspring. However, in birds the opposite is true and so females determine the sex of the chicks.

18. Have hot cocoa on a winter day, say : WARM UP

The beverages hot cocoa and hot chocolate differ from each other in that the latter contains cocoa butter, whereas the former does not.

19. U.S. president with a Nobel Peace Prize : CARTER

President Jimmy Carter was the 39th President, and the only US president to receive the Nobel Peace Prize after leaving office (Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Barack Obama have also been so honored, but while in office).

23. Blue ___ (Duke mascot) : DEVIL

Duke University was founded in 1838 as Brown’s Schoolhouse. The school was renamed to Trinity College in 1859, and to this day the town where the college was located back then is known as Trinity, in honor of the school. The school was moved in 1892 to Durham, North Carolina in part due to generous donations from the wealthy tobacco industrialist Washington Duke. Duke’s donation required that the school open its doors to women, placing them on an equal footing with men. Trinity’s name was changed to Duke in 1924 in recognition of the generosity of the Duke family. Duke’s athletic teams are known as the Blue Devils.

29. Area below “To:” in an email? : CC SECTION (from C-section)

I wonder do the kids of today know that “cc” stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle? A kind blog reader pointed out to me recently that the abbreviation has evolved and taken on the meaning “courtesy copy” in our modern world.

The story that Julius Caesar was born via a Caesarean section (C-section) seems be unfounded. Although such procedures were indeed carried out in Ancient Rome, there are no reports of the mother surviving (and Julius Caesar’s mother did raise her child).

32. Land in a Beatles song : USSR

By the time the Beatles recorded “Back in the U.S.S.R”, they were having a lot of problems working with each other. The song was recorded in 1968, with the band formally dissolving in 1970. Tensions were so great during the recording of “Back in the U.S.S.R” that Ringo Starr actually stormed out saying that he had quit, and the remaining three Beatles made the record without Ringo. Drums were played mainly by Paul McCartney, but there are also drum tracks on the final cut by both George Harrison and John Lennon. Interesting, huh?

36. “Ghost” psychic Oda ___ Brown : MAE

Oda Mae Brown is the psychic medium in the movie “Ghost”, and is played by Whoopi Goldberg.

37. Ones on set with 2009’s “Star Trek” director? : JJ CREW (from “J.Crew”)

J. J. Abrams is a director and producer of both movies and television shows. He created the TV dramas “Alias” and “Fringe”, and co-created the highly successful show “Lost”. He also directed “Mission: Impossible III” on the big screen, and the 2009 movie “Star Trek”.

J.Crew is a clothing and accessory retailer. Never been there, but I’ve seen the name turn up on credit card statements somehow …

40. Any one of the 12 steps? : AA LINE (from “A-line”)

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded in 1935, by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio. As the organization grew, the guiding principles established by the founders were formatted into a 12-step program that was in place by the forties.

42. Grant with the 1991 #1 hit “Baby Baby” : AMY

Amy Grant is known as “The Queen of Christian Pop” and her most famous songs are Gospel and Contemporary Christian works. Grant recorded two songs that made it to number one in the commercial charts: “The Next Time I Fall” (1981, duet with Peter Cetera) and “Baby Baby” (1991).

46. Group of buildings housing a King? : BB COMPLEX (from “B complex”)

“B.B. King” was the stage name of Riley B. King, the celebrated blues guitarist and singer-songwriter. Referred to as the King of the Blues, King truly was a dedicated performer. He was doing gigs for over 50 years, and made over 15,000 appearances on stage. King’s first hit was “3 O’Clock Blues”, recorded in 1952. He passed away in May of 2015.

53. What Lot’s wife became : SALT

Lot was a nephew of Abraham, with his story appearing in the Book of Genesis. At one point Lot had to flee the doomed city of Sodom with his wife. God gave instructions that the couple should not look back as they left the city, but Lot’s wife disobeyed and she was turned into a pillar of salt.

54. Common bacterium : E COLI

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

58. Group in the original “Ocean’s 11” movie : RAT PACK

The original Rat Pack from the fifties was a group of actors that centered on Humphrey Bogart, and included a young Frank Sinatra. Supposedly, Bogart’s wife, Lauren Bacall, christened them the Rat Pack after seeing them all return from one of their nights on the town in Las Vegas. The sixties Rat Pack was a reincarnation of the fifties version, with the core group of actors being Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin (Dino), Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.

“Ocean’s 11” is a great film from 1960, starring Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean. The original storyline is updated for the excellent 2001 remake, with George Clooney playing the lead. In the 1960 movie, the love interest is a character called Beatrice Ocean, played by Angie Dickinson. In the 2001 version, the love interest gets a new name, Tess Ocean, and is played by Julia Roberts. The 2001 remake (titled “Ocean’s Eleven”, note the spelling) spawned two sequels: “Ocean’s Twelve” in 2004 and “Ocean’s Thirteen” in 2007.

64. Lover of Cummings’s poetry? : EE READER (from “e-reader”)

The American poet Edward Estlin Cummings was fond of ignoring accepted English syntax and punctuation in his poems. He also left some of his poems untitled so that they are known by just their first lines (e.g. “anyone lived in a pretty how town”). Because of the Cummings “style”, he was quite often referred to as e.e. cummings, with all the letters of his name written in lower case.

66. Sasha ___, Beyoncé’s alter ego : FIERCE

Sasha Fierce is an alter-ego that Beyoncé Knowles has developed for her stage and recording work. Beyoncé describes Sasha as very sensual and aggressive. She released a studio album called “I Am… Sasha Fierce” in 2008.

68. Owns (up to) : FESSES

The term “fess” is most often seen as part of the phrasal verb “to fess up” meaning “to admit to something”. “Fess” is simply a shortened form of “confess”.

70. Green-minded org. : EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was set up during the Nixon administration and began operation at the end of 1970.

Down

1. Freight train part : BOXCAR

A boxcar is a basic railroad car used to carry freight. It’s the one shaped like a big box, with large doors at each side.

3. Bruce Wayne’s butler : ALFRED

Alfred J. Pennyworth is the loyal butler to Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. Alfred is sometimes referred to as “Batman’s batman”. Sir Michael Caine played Alfred in three movies: “Batman Begins”, “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises”.

5. Eccentric : OUTRE

The word “outré” meaning “unconventional, bizarre” comes to us from French, as one might imagine. It is derived from the verb “outrer” meaning “to overdo, exaggerate”. “Outrer” is also the ultimate root of our word “outrage”.

6. “Million Years ___” (Adele song) : AGO

“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.

7. Irony? : FERRIC

Something described as ferric contains iron, or is related to iron.

8. Places for parishioners : PEWS

A pew is a bench in a church, one usually with a high back. The original pews were raised and sometimes enclosed seats in the church used by women and important men or families. “Pew” comes from the Old French “puie” meaning “balcony, elevation”.

9. “Now!” : ASAP

As soon as possible (ASAP)

10. Libretto, for example : SCRIPT

A libretto can be the book that contains the text of a dramatic musical work, with the text itself also being called the libretto.

11. “Spider-Man” director, 2002 : SAM RAIMI

Sam Raimi is a very successful director and producer. He was behind the “Spider-Man” series of films among others, and TV series’ such as “Xena: Warrior Princess”.

15. Gang pistol, in old slang : GAT

“Gat” is a slang term for a gun that is derived from the Gatling gun, the precursor to the modern machine gun. The Gatling gun was invented by Dr. Richard J. Gatling in 1861. Apparently he was inspired to invent it so that one man could do as much damage as a hundred, thereby reducing the size of armies and diminishing the suffering caused by war. Go figure …

21. Jewelry designer Peretti : ELSA

Elsa Peretti is a native of Florence, Italy who has been designing jewelry and related items for the top fashion houses in New York since the sixties.

24. Obsolescent TV attachment : VCR

Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)

28. “___ House,” 1970 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young hit : OUR

The supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) is made up of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. The band can grow to “CSNY” when the trio is joined by Neil Young. Fans have been known to call the act “C, S, N and sometimes Y”, a play on the expression that names all the vowels, “A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y”.

30. Panache : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

31. Quahog or geoduck : CLAM

“Quahog” is another word for “hard clam”, the clam that is commonly harvested on the eastern shores of North America. The quahog may also be called the “chowder clam”. Hard clams are the largest of the clams commonly sold, with the cherrystone clams being a little smaller.

38. Pan creator : JM BARRIE

The author and dramatist J.M. Barrie is best remembered as the creator of Peter Pan. Barrie wrote a play in 1904 called “Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”. He turned this into a novel called “Peter and Wendy” in 1911. The girl’s name “Wendy” was very uncommon before Barrie named his character, and he is given credit for making the name as popular as it is today.

39. Island group in the Aegean Sea : CYCLADES

The Cyclades are a group of islands in the Aegean Sea lying southeast of the Greek mainland. There are about 200 islands in the group, almost all of which are the peaks of a submerged mountain range. Ios is one of the larger islands, and is 11 miles long and 6 miles wide.

The Aegean Sea is that part of the Mediterranean that lies between Greece and Turkey. Within the Aegean Sea are found the Aegean Islands, a group that includes Crete and Rhodes.

41. Spike who directed “BlacKkKlansman” : LEE

Film director Spike Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia but has very much made New York City his home and place of work. Most of Lee’s films are set in New York City, including his first feature film, 1986’s “She’s Gotta Have It”. That film was shot over two weeks with a budget of $175,000. “She’s Gotta Have It” grossed over $7 million at the US box office.

44. Smart fellow? : ALEC

Apparently the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was one Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

45. Tic-tac-toe loser : OXO

When I was growing up in Ireland we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

47. Bewhiskered mammals : OTTERS

Male and female otters are known as dogs and bitches, with the offspring called pups. Males and females are are sometimes referred to as boars and sows. A collection of otters is a bevy, family, lodge or perhaps a romp. When in water, a collection of otters can be called a raft.

48. ___ College, liberal arts school in St. Petersburg, Fla. : ECKERD

Eckerd College is a private liberal arts college located in St. Petersburg, Florida. The school was founded in 1958 as Florida Presbyterian College. It was renamed in 1971 after a large donation from Jack Eckerd, the businessman who founded the Eckerd chain of drugstores.

51. Study, informally : BONE UP

The phrasal verb “to bone up” means “to study”, and is student slang that dates back to the 1880s. The term probably comes a series of books used by students back then called “Bohn’s Classical Library”.

52. Chest bones : STERNA

“Sternum” (plural “sterna”) is the Latin name for the breastbone. “Sternon” is a Greek for “chest, breastbone”.

56. Giant furniture stores : IKEAS

The IKEA furniture stores use the colors blue and yellow for brand recognition. Blue and yellow are the national colors of Sweden, where IKEA was founded and is headquartered.

60. Hoppy mediums? : ALES

The foodstuff that we call “hops” are actually the female flower of the hop plant. The main use of hops is to add flavor to beer. The town in which I live here in California used to be home to the largest hop farm in the whole world. Most of the harvested hops were exported all the way to the breweries of London, where they could fetch the best price.

65. What’s found in the French rivière? : EAU

In French, one can find “eau” (water) in a “rivière” (river).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Deg. for a museum worker : BFA
4. Loll : LOAF
8. Elapse : PASS BY
14. Dashboard part : OIL GAUGE
16. Musical run with four sharps : E SCALE
17. Part played by women and girls? : XX FACTOR (from “X factor”)
18. Have hot cocoa on a winter day, say : WARM UP
19. U.S. president with a Nobel Peace Prize : CARTER
20. Take a breath : RESPIRE
22. Had for dinner : ATE
23. Blue ___ (Duke mascot) : DEVIL
25. Use a lot? : PARK
27. Overhaul : REDO
29. Area below “To:” in an email? : CC SECTION (from C-section)
32. Land in a Beatles song : USSR
35. Tide alternative : ALL
36. “Ghost” psychic Oda ___ Brown : MAE
37. Ones on set with 2009’s “Star Trek” director? : JJ CREW (from “J.Crew”)
40. Any one of the 12 steps? : AA LINE (from “A-line”)
42. Grant with the 1991 #1 hit “Baby Baby” : AMY
43. Battery size : AAA
45. “This round’s ___” : ON ME
46. Group of buildings housing a King? : BB COMPLEX (from “B complex”)
49. Recedes : EBBS
53. What Lot’s wife became : SALT
54. Common bacterium : E COLI
57. Go bad : ROT
58. Group in the original “Ocean’s 11” movie : RAT PACK
61. “Sure, that works” : OK, FINE
63. Harrowing experience : ORDEAL
64. Lover of Cummings’s poetry? : EE READER (from “e-reader”)
66. Sasha ___, Beyoncé’s alter ego : FIERCE
67. Speedster’s undoing : RADAR GUN
68. Owns (up to) : FESSES
69. Money to belong : DUES
70. Green-minded org. : EPA

Down

1. Freight train part : BOXCAR
2. Dwell (on) : FIXATE
3. Bruce Wayne’s butler : ALFRED
4. Intertwined : LACED
5. Eccentric : OUTRE
6. “Million Years ___” (Adele song) : AGO
7. Irony? : FERRIC
8. Places for parishioners : PEWS
9. “Now!” : ASAP
10. Libretto, for example : SCRIPT
11. “Spider-Man” director, 2002 : SAM RAIMI
12. Horse with evenly mixed black-and-white hairs : BLUE ROAN
13. “Indeedy” : YEP
15. Gang pistol, in old slang : GAT
21. Jewelry designer Peretti : ELSA
24. Obsolescent TV attachment : VCR
26. Place to bounce a baby : KNEE
28. “___ House,” 1970 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young hit : OUR
30. Panache : ELAN
31. Quahog or geoduck : CLAM
33. Where clothes often rip : SEAM
34. Trade : SWAP
37. Nasty comments : JABS
38. Pan creator : JM BARRIE
39. Island group in the Aegean Sea : CYCLADES
41. Spike who directed “BlacKkKlansman” : LEE
44. Smart fellow? : ALEC
45. Tic-tac-toe loser : OXO
47. Bewhiskered mammals : OTTERS
48. ___ College, liberal arts school in St. Petersburg, Fla. : ECKERD
50. Subject of a New York Times column until 2015 : BRIDGE
51. Study, informally : BONE UP
52. Chest bones : STERNA
55. Feminist writer Audre : LORDE
56. Giant furniture stores : IKEAS
59. Tempo : PACE
60. Hoppy mediums? : ALES
62. With 63-Down, distant : FAR …
63. See 62-Down : … OFF
65. What’s found in the French rivière? : EAU

9 thoughts on “0926-18 NY Times Crossword 26 Sep 18, Wednesday”

  1. 14:23, no errors. I didn’t know that Melinda G-Gates stuttered. You’d think her husband could afford to send her to a speech therapist … 😜.

    The first word I filled in on this puzzle was the answer to 65D. (I said to myself, “Eau, eau! I kneau that one!” … 😜)

  2. 25:22. A few missteps in this one – e.g. mFA before BFA. Some clever cluing, but I got “Irony” as something to do with iron before I even looked at the grid. I still laughed when I got FERRIC.

    Best –

  3. I found today’s puzzle great fun once I realized the double letters. And I thought the best answer was to the clue “Cummings’ reader.” At the same time, I was surprised not to find a clue that would produce A.A. Milne. While AA worked, it was more of a stretch to me. Well done, Melinda and Joel!

  4. I finished this puzzle with no errors but if this is their idea of a Wednesday puzzle I would hate to see a Thursday or Friday .
    Once again when any two collaborate egos show their ugly heads

  5. No errors. The tipping point toward a successful completion was when I realized that there was going to be a series of double letters. Even then, there were several entries that I did not know and only got them by crosses. BLUE ROAN was interesting. I did not know that there was such a color, much less that it was produced by an equal mix of white and dark hairs.

  6. 20:31, no errors. Enjoyable challenge (mainly because I got it). Took a while to catch on to the theme. Solved this puzzle clockwise, starting with the upper right corner and finishing in the upper left corner. Made quite a few missteps: thinking Batman’s butler was Albert; the Duke mascot was a Blue Demon (Wake Forest); that “Sure that works” would be ‘OK by me’.
    Should have recognized the Duke Blue Devil. I remember my alma mater playing them, many years ago. The announcer spoonerized their name as the “Blook Do-Devils”.

  7. Wanting, right at the start, MFA instead of BFA got me off on the wrong foot, and didn’t care much for the double-letter gimmick. That’s more on me than on the puzzle of course. Cheated to finish in the NW corner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.