0927-18 NY Times Crossword 27 Sep 18, Thursday

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Constructed by: Daniel Kantor
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): The Clue’s in the Grid

Today’s themed answers are clued with visual elements in the grid:

  • 17A. : FILL IN THE BLANKS
  • 33A. : SHADES OF GRAY
  • 42A. : INSIDE THE BOX
  • 62A. : BETWEEN THE LINES

Bill’s time: 9m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. ___ bar : TIKI

The world’s first tiki bar was called “Don the Beachcomber”, and was opened in L.A. in 1933 by Ernest Gantt (also known as “Donn Beach”). The bar became famous for its exotic rum cocktails. Gantt was called to serve in WWII, and the business expanded dramatically under his ex-wife’s management so that there was a 160-restaurant chain waiting for Gantt when he returned stateside.

9. Zombie’s domain : SCI-FI

A zombie is a corpse that has been brought back to life by some mystical means. Our modern use of the term largely stems from the undead creatures featured in the 1968 horror movie called “Night of the Living Dead”. Now that film I haven’t seen, and probably never will …

16. Coverage of the Senate? : TOGAS

In Ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

22. Place : LIEU

As one might imagine perhaps, “in lieu” came into English from the Old French word “lieu” meaning “place”, which in turn is derived from the Latin “locum” that also means “place”. So, “in lieu” translates as “in place of”.

23. Noted Warhol subject : MAO

Andy Warhol made a famous series of portraits of Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong in 1973. An exhibition of Warhol’s works toured China in 2012 but the images of Mao were excluded, apparently at the request of the Chinese government.

36. Brand name derived from the phrase “Service Games” : SEGA

Sega is a Japanese video game company headquartered in Tokyo. Sega actually started out 1940 in the US as Standard Games and was located in Honolulu, Hawaii. The owners moved the operation to Tokyo in 1951 and renamed the company to Service Games. The name “Sega” is a combination of the first two letters of the words “Se-rvice” and “Ga-mes”.

37. Sign of summer : LEO

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

38. Iraq’s ___ City : SADR

Sadr City is a suburb of Baghdad that has oft been in the news in recent years. Sadr City is named after the deceased Shia leader Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr.

54. Munchkin : ELF

“Munchkin” is a word that we use quite commonly these days, usually to describe a young child. The first Munchkins were characters created by L. Frank Baum in his book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, published in 1900.

57. Hyundai model : SONATA

The Sonata is one of Hyundai’s most successful models, having been introduced in 1985 and still being sold today. The original model didn’t make it to the North American market as it had problems meeting emission standards. The first Sonatas hit this side of the Pacific in 1988, and were assembled in Bromont, Quebec.

65. Bean sprouts? : IDEAS

Slang terms for “head” are “bean”, “coconut” and “noggin”.

67. Bellyache : CARP

The word “carp” used to mean simply “talk” back in the 13th century, with its roots in the Old Norwegian “karpa” meaning “to brag”. A century later, the Latin word “carpere” meaning “to slander” influenced the use of “to carp” so that it came to mean “to find fault with”.

68. Stuff from which some suits are made? : TORTS

The word “tort” is a French word meaning “mischief, injury or wrong”. In common law, a tort is a civil wrong that results in the injured party suffering loss or harm, and the injuring party having a legal liability. Tort law differs from criminal law in that torts may result from negligence and not just intentional actions. Also, tort lawsuits may be decided on a preponderance of evidence, without the need of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

70. Dr. Foreman player on “House” : EPPS

Omar Epps is the actor who played Eric Foreman on the excellent television series “House”. Prior to playing Dr. Foreman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Gant on “ER”. And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.

Down

1. Vegetarian choice : TOFU

“Tofu” is a name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that … bean that has curdled. Tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally I love tofu, but my wife, she absolutely hates it …

2. Early-blooming ornamental : IRIS

Iris is a genus of flowering plants that come in a wide variety of flower colors. The term “iris” is a Greek word meaning “rainbow”. Many species of irises are called “flags”. One suggestion is that the alternate name comes from the Middle English “flagge” meaning “reed”. This term was used because iris leaves look like reeds.

3. Moolah : KALE

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, scratch, cheddar, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

5. Highest-grossing animated film of 2015 : MINIONS

“Despicable Me” is a 2010 animated comedy film. The main voice actor in the movie is the very funny Steve Carell. “Despicable Me” is a Universal Pictures production, although all of the animation was done in France. The 2010 film was followed by a sequel “Despicable Me 2” released in 2013, with a prequel/spin-off film called “Minions” released in 2015.

6. Tolkien tree creatures : ENTS

Ents are those tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

9. Card letters : STL

The St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the “Brown Stockings”, changing their name to the “Perfectos” in 1899. That obviously didn’t go down well with the locals, as the owners changed it one year later to the Cardinals.

25. Org. whose first-ever presidential endorsement was Ronald Reagan : NRA

National Rifle Association (NRA)

30. Songs for one : SOLI

“Soli” (the plural of “solo”) are pieces of music performed by one artist, whereas “tutti” are pieces performed by all of the artists.

32. Walt Whitman’s “Song of ___” : MYSELF

Walt Whitman is considered to be one of the greatest American poets. He was born in 1819 on Long Island, and lived through the American Civil War. Whitman was a controversial character, even during his own lifetime. One view held by him was that the works attributed to William Shakespeare were not actually written by Shakespeare, but rather by someone else, or perhaps a group of people.

39. Fiver : ABE

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Abraham Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

41. Scripts, informally : RXS

There seems to some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol “Rx” that’s used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions in days of old to invoke Jupiter’s blessing to help a patient recover.

46. Permissible to be eaten, in a way : HALAL

“Halal” is a term describing an action or object that is permissible under Islamic Law. In particular “halal” is used to describe food that can be consumed. Anything that is not allowed is described as “haram”.

47. Spanish city where El Greco lived : TOLEDO

Toledo is a city in central Spain that is located just over 40 miles south of the capital Madrid. Toledo is sometimes called the “City of Three Cultures”, due to the historical co-existence of Christian, Muslim and Jewish traditions.

El Greco (“the Greek”, in Spanish) was the nickname of the artist whose real name was Domenikos Theotokopoulos. El Greco was born in Crete in 1541, and moved to Venice to study art when he was in his early twenties. A few years later he moved to the city of Toledo in central Spain, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life.

52. Complex purchase, in brief : CONDO

The terms “condominium” and “apartment” tend to describe the same type of residential property, namely a private living space with facilities shared with others residing in the same building or complex. The difference is that a condominium is usually owned, and an apartment is rented. At least that’s how it is in the US. The word “condominium” comes from the Latin “com-” (together) and “dominum” (right of ownership).

58. Starbuck’s order giver : AHAB

The most famous whale-hunting ship in fiction has to be Herman Melville’s Pequod, which was featured in his novel “Moby Dick”. The Pequod is a skippered by the maniacal Captain Ahab, and the young chief mate is the thoughtful and intellectual Starbuck. Starbuck’s name was lifted and used by a Seattle-based coffee company.

60. One in custody, informally : PERP

Perpetrator (perp)

61. African menaces : ASPS

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

63. Part of a dollar sign : ESS

The $ sign was first used for the Spanish American peso, in the late 18th century. The peso was also called the “Spanish dollar” (and “piece of eight”). The Spanish dollar was to become the model for the US dollar that was adopted in 1785, along with the $ sign.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. ___ bar : TIKI
5. Substance : MEAT
9. Zombie’s domain : SCI-FI
14. Kind of rinse : ORAL
15. Nose (along) : INCH
16. Coverage of the Senate? : TOGAS
17. : FILL IN THE BLANKS
20. Draw upon : USE
21. Word that sounds like a state when accented on the second syllable rather than the first : MISERY
22. Place : LIEU
23. Noted Warhol subject : MAO
24. Spotted : SEEN
26. Cause for a shootout : TIE
27. Gives, as roles : ASSIGNS
31. Packing : ARMED
33. : SHADES OF GRAY
36. Brand name derived from the phrase “Service Games” : SEGA
37. Sign of summer : LEO
38. Iraq’s ___ City : SADR
42. : INSIDE THE BOX
47. Crowd, they say : THREE
49. Good standing in the Navy? : SEA LEGS
50. Break up a plot? : HOE
51. In times past : ONCE
54. Munchkin : ELF
55. “‘Tis sad” : ALAS
57. Hyundai model : SONATA
59. Rejuvenation station : SPA
62. : BETWEEN THE LINES
65. Bean sprouts? : IDEAS
66. Lambchop : DEAR
67. Bellyache : CARP
68. Stuff from which some suits are made? : TORTS
69. Some overhead light covers : ORBS
70. Dr. Foreman player on “House” : EPPS

Down

1. Vegetarian choice : TOFU
2. Early-blooming ornamental : IRIS
3. Moolah : KALE
4. “___ see you” : I’LL
5. Highest-grossing animated film of 2015 : MINIONS
6. Tolkien tree creatures : ENTS
7. Pays for a workout, say : ACHES
8. “Hah! Done!” : THERE!
9. Card letters : STL
10. Kind of black : COAL
11. Light : IGNITE
12. Help in getting past a bouncer : FAKE ID
13. Immigration or health care : ISSUE
18. Brand concern : IMAGE
19. One way to play something : BY EAR
23. During flight : MIDAIR
25. Org. whose first-ever presidential endorsement was Ronald Reagan : NRA
27. Hoofed animal : ASS
28. ___-bear : SHE
29. Dip : SAG
30. Songs for one : SOLI
32. Walt Whitman’s “Song of ___” : MYSELF
34. Added fuel to : FED
35. Leaves : GOES
39. Fiver : ABE
40. Follow relentlessly : DOG
41. Scripts, informally : RXS
43. Lead-in to Latin : NEO-
44. Awareness : SENSE
45. Rocks on the edge : TEETERS
46. Permissible to be eaten, in a way : HALAL
47. Spanish city where El Greco lived : TOLEDO
48. Fastball, in baseball : HEATER
50. Something you might kick after you pick it up : HABIT
52. Complex purchase, in brief : CONDO
53. Word next to an arrow : ENTER
56. Thwack : SWAT
58. Starbuck’s order giver : AHAB
59. [Just like … that!] : SNAP!
60. One in custody, informally : PERP
61. African menaces : ASPS
63. Part of a dollar sign : ESS
64. Chill : ICE

10 thoughts on “0927-18 NY Times Crossword 27 Sep 18, Thursday”

    1. I’m guessing it is just a remnant of Bill’s online solving. His last fill was probably the letter S in the word EPPS.

  1. 13:02, no errors. Cool theme, and straightforward clueing. Fortunately, I caught the theme before filling in SHADES OF GRAY, using pencil on paper, the entries in the darker gray boxes were difficult to see.

  2. No errors. Almost all of the entries in this puzzle required some “out of the box” thinking. That is to say, the first thing that pops into the mind is not the right answer. This was a toughie for me but I am always pleased if I can successfully complete a Thursday.

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