1024-18 NY Times Crossword 24 Oct 18, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Michael Paleos
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Pop-Up Ad

Themed answers each include the letter sequence AD, and that AD has “POPPED UP” into the line above:

  • 8A. Internet nuisance … or a hint to four answers in this puzzle : POP-UP AD
  • 19A. Classic strategy in the boxing ring : ROPE-A-DOPE
  • 28A. Hedonistic : DECADENT
  • 42A. Like seven teams in the N.H.L. : CANADIAN
  • 54A. Where you may be going nowhere fast : TREADMILL

Bill’s time: 6m 33s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15. Birthstone for most Leos : PERIDOT

Olivine is relatively common mineral, but is rarely found with purity that is sufficient for use as a gemstone. When the olivine is pure enough to be used as a gem, it is called peridot. Peridot is always olive green in color, with its color intensity a function of how much iron is in the stone.

Here is the “official” list of birthstones by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

16. Noted piranha habitat : ORINOCO

The Orinoco is a major river in South America that flows through Venezuela and Colombia.

Piranhas are reputed to be able to strip an animal to its bones in seconds, but this is somewhat of a myth. Piranhas are not in fact strict carnivores, and usually are more of a nuisance to fishermen rather than a danger, as they tend to eat bait that has been set to catch other fish. Much of the reputation of the piranha is owed to the description written by President Theodore Roosevelt in his book “Through the Brazilian Wilderness”. President Roosevelt was somewhat hoodwinked though, as local fishermen put on a special “show” for him. They dumped hordes of hungry piranhas into a dammed section of a river and then tossed in a sliced up cow. President Roosevelt was pretty impressed by the orchestrated feeding frenzy.

17. Shade of green : AVOCADO

The wonderful avocado comes from a tree that is native to Mexico and Central America. The avocado fruit is sometime called an avocado pear, because of its shape, even though it is not related to the pear at all. The fruit might also be referred to as an alligator pear, due to the roughness of the green skin of some avocado cultivars.

19. Classic strategy in the boxing ring : ROPE-A-DOPE

The Rumble in the Jungle was the celebrated 1974 fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman that took place in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The fight was set in Zaire because of financial arrangements between promoter Don King and Zaire’s President Mobutu Seko. Ali coined the term “Rope-a-dope” to describe his incredibly successful strategy in the contest. From the second round onwards, Ali adopted a protected stance on the ropes letting Foreman pound him with blows to the body and head, with Ali using his arms to dissipate the power of the punches. He kept this up until the eighth round, and then opened up and downed the exhausted Foreman with a left-right combination. I hate boxing but I have to say, that was an fascinating fight …

28. Hedonistic : DECADENT

A hedonist is someone who seeks to maximise the amount of pleasure in his or her life. “Hedone” is the Greek word for “pleasure”.

32. Ankle-related : TARSAL

The tarsals (also “tarsi”) are the ankle bones, and are equivalent to the carpals in the wrist.

35. Burgundy or claret : DARK RED

The Burgundy region of France is famous for its wine production. If you’re looking at a label that isn’t translated into English though, you’ll see Burgundy written in French, namely “Bourgogne”.

Clairet is a dark rosé wine. Although it is uncommon today, clairet used to be the most common wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. For centuries now, English consumers have used the derivative term “claret” to describe any red wine from Bordeaux.

38. Secret DC headquarters : BATCAVE

Wayne Manor is the home of Bruce Wayne, the alter-ego of Batman. It is a huge manor that lies just outside Gotham City. Looking after the house is the Wayne family servant, Alfred. Beneath the grounds of the manor is an extensive cave system where Bruce Wayne put together his Batcave. Access is to the cave is via a staircase behind a hidden door. The door is opened by moving the hands of a non-functioning grandfather clock to 10:47, the time at which Wayne’s parents were murdered. It is the murder of his parents that sets Bruce off on his journey of crime fighting.

45. French word on some wedding announcements : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.

56. More bananas : LOONIER

Something described as loony is insane, crazy. “Loony” is short for “lunatic”, an adjective that is now considered offensive. The term arose in the late 1400s when it meant “affected with periodic insanity”, insanity attacks brought on by the cycles of the moon. “Lunatic” comes from the Latin “luna” meaning “moon”.

The expression “to go bananas” is one that I would have imagined had a clear etymology but that doesn’t seem to be the case. A further surprise is that we’ve only been “going bananas” since the sixties, in the days of flower power. One apt theory about the hippy roots of the phrase is that there was an unfounded belief that ingesting roasted banana peels had a similar hallucinogenic effect as magic mushrooms.

58. Fictional African kingdom in “Coming to America” : ZAMUNDA

“Coming to America” is a 1988 comedy film starring Eddie Murphy as Akeem, an African crown prince who comes to the US to find a bride. Murphy also created the story on which the screenplay was based.

61. Bubble gum brand : BAZOOKA

The Bazooka brand of bubble gum was introduced by the Topps Company soon after the end of WWII. Bazooka have included comic strips in the wrappers for their gum since the early to mid-fifties. The hero of the strip is Bazooka Joe, a young man who wears an eyepatch.

63. Epic quest : ODYSSEY

“The Odyssey” is one of two epic poems from ancient Greece that is attributed to Homer. “The Odyssey” is largely a sequel to Homer’s other epic, “The Iliad”. “The Odyssey” centers on the heroic figure Odysseus, and his adventures on his journey home to Greece following the fall of Troy. We now use the term “odyssey” to describe any long series of adventures.

64. Gander : LOOK-SEE

To take a gander is to take a long look. “Gander” is a term we’ve been using in this sense since the 1880s, coming from the idea that in taking a long look one might be craning one’s neck like a goose (or gander).

Down

4. Crop in a paddy : RICE

A paddy field is a flooded piece of land used to grow rice. The water reduces competition from weeds allowing the rice to thrive. The word “paddy” has nothing to do with us Irish folk, and is an anglicized version of the word “padi”, the Malay name for the rice plant.

5. Author LeShan : EDA

Eda LeShan wrote several nonfiction books including “When Your Child Drives You Crazy” and “The Conspiracy Against Childhood”. LeShan was also host of the PBS television show “How Do Your Children Grow?”

7. Got ready to sing the national anthem : STOOD

The word “anthem” used to describe a sacred song, especially one with words taken from the Scriptures. The British national anthem (“God Save the Queen/King”) technically is a hymn, and so it came to be described as the “national hymn” and later “national anthem”. The use of the word “anthem” extended from there to describe any patriotic song.

9. ___ pro nobis : ORA

“Ora pro nobis” translates from Latin as “pray for us”. It is a common phrase used in the Roman Catholic tradition and is often shortened to “OPN”.

10. One of a famous seafaring trio : PINTA

Famously, Christopher Columbus used three ships in his first voyage across the Atlantic: the Santa Maria, the Niña and the Pinta. The Pinta was the fastest of the three, and it was from the Pinta that the New World was first spotted, by a sailor named Rodrigo de Triana who was a lookout on the fateful day. Pinta was a nickname for the ship that translated as “the painted one”. The Pinta’s real name has been lost in mists of time.

12. “The Star-Spangled Banner,” basically : POEM

Here are the words (and punctuation) of the poem “The Star-Spangled Banner” penned by Francis Scott Key in 1814:

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bomb bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
Tis the star-spangled banner – O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

25. “Eureka!” : I HAVE IT!

“Eureka” translates from Greek as “I have found it”. The word is usually associated with Archimedes, uttered as he stepped into his bath one day. His discovery was that the volume of water that was displaced was equal to that of the object (presumably his foot) that had been submerged. He used this fact to determine the volume of a crown, something he needed in order to determine if it was made of pure gold or was a forgery.

26. Ancient relative of a flute : OCARINA

An ocarina is an ancient wind-instrument that sounds like and is played like a flute. Usually an ocarina has an egg-shaped body with a number of finger holes cut into the material making up the instrument (usually ceramic). There is a tube protruding from the body through which one blows to make sounds. The air vibrates within the body of the instrument, and the pitch of the vibrations is changed by covering and uncovering the finger-holes. Ocarinas date back as far as 12,000 years ago when they were used both in China and Central America. The ocarina was brought to Italy in the 1800s where it became popular as a child’s toy, but also as a serious instrument. It was given the name “ocarina” as its shape resembles that of a goose, and “ocarina”is a diminutive word stemming from “oca”, the Italian word for “goose”.

27. It’s black and white and wet all over : ORCA

The taxonomic name for the killer whale is “Orcinus orca”. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

29. Tiny bits of work : ERGS

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. it has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

30. Bygone Nair rival : NEET

The hair removal product “Neet” was launched in Canada in 1901, and was also sold as “Immac”. Today it is sold under the name “Veet”.

31. Some N.F.L. highlights : TDS

Touchdown (TD)

32. Reid of “American Pie” : TARA

Tara Reid is an actress known for roles she played on television and the big screen. My guess is her most-remembered performances were in the “American Pie” series of movies in which she played Vicky. Sadly, Reid succumbed to the pressure to alter her looks with plastic surgery. In interviews, she has shared that her first experience under the knife “went wrong” leading to more surgeries in attempts to rectify the resulting deformity.

38. Original airer of “The Office” : BBC

The marvelous British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is mainly funded by the UK government through a television licence fee that is levied annually on all households watching TV transmissions. Currently the fee is 145 UK pounds, about 230 US dollars.

The excellent sitcom “The Office” is set in a branch of a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. If you haven’t seen the original UK version starring Ricky Gervais, I do recommend you check it out. Having said that, the US cast took the show to a whole new level. Great television …

46. Mujer’s boys : NINOS

“Mujer” is a Spanish word meaning “woman”.

47. Jambalayas : OLIOS

Jambalaya is a Creole dish from Louisiana. The recipe has its origins in the Caribbean, and the recipe we know today also has Spanish and French influences.

48. Ring around a watch face : BEZEL

A bezel is a groove that is designed to hold a beveled edge. An example would be the groove around the face of a watch, which accepts the beveled edge of a watch crystal.

51. Finish second at the track : PLACE

When betting on a horse race, the first-place finisher is said to “win”. A horse finishing first or second is said to “place”. A horse finishing first, second or third is said to “show”.

52. Warty creature : TOAD

The “warts” on the skin of a toad have no relation to the viral infection that can occur on human skin. A toad’s warts a colored bumps that are believed to help the animal blend more effectively into its environment.

55. Pioneer in commercial spaceflight : MUSK

Elon Musk is successful businessman who has founded or led some very high-profile companies, namely PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX. Musk received a lot of publicity in early 2018 during a test launch by SpaceX of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle. A Tesla Roadster belonging to Musk was carried into space as a dummy payload.

56. Bit of news in the W.S.J. : LBO

A leveraged buyout (LBO) is a transaction in which an investor acquires a controlling volume of stock in a company, but buys that stock with borrowed funds (hence “leveraged”). Often the assets of the acquired company are used as collateral for the borrowed money. There is a special form of LBO known as a management buyout (MBO) in which the company’s own management team purchase the controlling interest.

“The Wall Street Journal” (WSJ) is a daily newspaper with a business bent that is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company. The WSJ has a larger US circulation than any other newspaper, with “USA Today” coming in a close second place.

59. Teléfono greeting : ALO

“Alo” is an alternative one can use to “hola” when one wants to say “hello” in Spanish.

60. China’s ___ Zedong : MAO

Mao Zedong (also “Mao Tse-tung”) was born on December 16, 1893 in the Hunan Province of China. As Mao was the son of a peasant farmer, his prospects for education were limited. Indeed he left school at age 13 to work on the family farm but did eventually get to secondary school in Changsha, the provincial capital. In the years following, Mao continued his education in Beijing and actually turned down an opportunity to study in France.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Discuss, as an issue : ADDRESS
8. Internet nuisance … or a hint to four answers in this puzzle : POP-UP AD
15. Birthstone for most Leos : PERIDOT
16. Noted piranha habitat : ORINOCO
17. Shade of green : AVOCADO
18. Rambles : WANDERS
19. Classic strategy in the boxing ring : ROPE-A-DOPE
22. What inmates do until they’re released : TIME
23. Your: Fr. : TES
24. It’s off the beaten path : SIDE ROAD
27. “How cool!” : OOH!
28. Hedonistic : DECADENT
32. Ankle-related : TARSAL
35. Burgundy or claret : DARK RED
38. Secret DC headquarters : BATCAVE
39. Crateful from Florida : ORANGES
40. Like many chicken cutlets : BREADED
41. Most welcoming : NICEST
42. Like seven teams in the N.H.L. : CANADIAN
45. French word on some wedding announcements : NEE
46. Better than expected : NOT SO BAD
49. Unruly head of hair : MOP
52. Labor : TOIL
54. Where you may be going nowhere fast : TREADMILL
56. More bananas : LOONIER
58. Fictional African kingdom in “Coming to America” : ZAMUNDA
61. Bubble gum brand : BAZOOKA
62. Stretchy : ELASTIC
63. Epic quest : ODYSSEY
64. Gander : LOOK-SEE

Down

1. Not together : APART
2. R&B trio Bell Biv ___ : DEVOE
3. Releases, as new music : DROPS
4. Crop in a paddy : RICE
5. Author LeShan : EDA
6. Lawn order : SOD
7. Got ready to sing the national anthem : STOOD
8. Launched a tech start-up? : POWERED ON
9. ___ pro nobis : ORA
10. One of a famous seafaring trio : PINTA
11. Loosened, as laces : UNDID
12. “The Star-Spangled Banner,” basically : POEM
13. Zoning unit : ACRE
14. Fashion mag suggestions, in two senses : DOS
21. ___ Xing : PED
24. “How tragic” : SO SAD
25. “Eureka!” : I HAVE IT!
26. Ancient relative of a flute : OCARINA
27. It’s black and white and wet all over : ORCA
29. Tiny bits of work : ERGS
30. Bygone Nair rival : NEET
31. Some N.F.L. highlights : TDS
32. Reid of “American Pie” : TARA
33. “Do you have two fives for ___?” : A TEN
34. Misguided : LED ASTRAY
36. Sped : RACED
37. Perch for a bouncing baby : KNEE
38. Original airer of “The Office” : BBC
44. It may be found between “here” and “there” : NOR
46. Mujer’s boys : NINOS
47. Jambalayas : OLIOS
48. Ring around a watch face : BEZEL
49. Bowlful next to a restaurant cash register : MINTS
50. “Golden” song : OLDIE
51. Finish second at the track : PLACE
52. Warty creature : TOAD
53. Like mud : OOZY
55. Pioneer in commercial spaceflight : MUSK
56. Bit of news in the W.S.J. : LBO
57. Squeeze (out) : EKE
59. Teléfono greeting : ALO
60. China’s ___ Zedong : MAO

20 thoughts on “1024-18 NY Times Crossword 24 Oct 18, Wednesday”

  1. 11:36, no errors. At the end, I paused for some time over the “E” at the intersection of “DEVOE” and “TES” and the “A” at the intersection of “ZAMUNDA” and “ALO”, both of which, to some degree, were educated guesses.

  2. cute popped up AD gimmick but I didn’t get it till I looked at the answers. Only had three letters wrong even so, but was mightily puzzled by the — words.

  3. didn’t understand the answers for the symbol “-”
    # 21, 29, 43, 55 across
    What am I missing?

    Also 54 across “TRE” what does that mean?

    I am a newbie here, so be gentle please 🙂

    1. The dash indicates (in this case) that there is no answer specifically for this clue. The trick is that this is part of the answer to the previous clue, with the middle part of the answer (“ad”) popped up one line. Thus,the answer to 54 Across is “TREADMILL”, where the “AD” has popped up one line.

      You will find that this type of theme is brilliant if you figure it out on your own, but annoying if you don’t see it!

      Also, based on the date of your comment, you are likely doing the puzzle in a newspaper which prints a month old NYT puzzle each day (as am I). I suspect that most commenters are doing the puzzle on the date it was published in the NYT, so you may not get many responses.

      1. Thanks very much – yes the San Diego Union runs the puzzles ~1 month behind. I do the current day’s puzzle on-line but using the keyboard to post responses isn’t as “pleasurable” for me!

  4. Got the AD part fairly early with the 8A clue but really took off once I saw where the AD fit in with DECADENT, TREADMILL and ROPE A DOPE but till then I struggled. Good puzzle. I was puzzled with the — clues also but it made sense when I figured out the fore mentioned items. Kinda fill in the blank idea.

  5. 45 min. with 3 errors.
    I got the theme and that helped but I still feel these puzzles are getting more and more difficult or my brain is suffering from old age.
    Why do we always get the NYT puzzle 5 weeks late?

  6. No errors but I did squeak through with some lucky guesses. I caught on to the theme at about the halfway point and that helped greatly for the remaining entries.

    @Jack—-That is a very good question about the long publication delay. I understand that it is done that way but have never known the “why” of it.

    1. @Jack and Dale Stewart: Subscribers to the New York Times newspaper (or online puzzle) get the puzzle on the date of issue. This exclusivity is a selling point for the NYT. If you want the puzzle on the day of issue, you have to pay the NYT for privilege. Other newspapers carry the NYT puzzle in syndication (probably at a discounted price). The daily puzzles are printed 5 weeks later and the Sunday puzzle 1 week later.

      1. Jack and Dale – to expand on Bruce’s point, I live out in the Las Vegas area. Most local papers in this part of the country run the LA Times. No local publication (that I know of) runs the NY Times. Therefore, I have to subscribe to the puzzle online. I just happen to get the current day’s puzzle that way; it’s not really the motivation.

        I pay $40/year for access to the puzzle. That comes to about 11 cents/day – about as good an entertainment value as you’ll ever see IMO.

        Best –

          1. @Miles—-You may be thinking of this answer as something like a PRIMER coat of paint. In checking a dictionary, indeed that is the first definition that is given. However, there is a second definition given that describes an elementary textbook. Also, there is a change in the pronunciation of the “I” vowel between the two forms of the word. Beyond that the two forms of the word have the same etymology and a fairly close kinship in meaning.

          2. @Miles –
            A fashion mag might suggest a “do” as in a “hairdo” in one sense. I’m guessing another sense might me suggesting the “do’s” and “don’ts” of what to wear – ie “Fashion mag suggestions, in two senses”

          3. @Miles—-I am so sorry. I was working another crossword in my newspaper across the page from the New York Times and accidentally picked that one up in order to see what 14-Down was. So please ignore my post. But, yes, Jeff has it right in his comment.

    2. Got your long reply from last night, Dale. Thank you. Just curious but what day of the week booklets are you up to now? And At what point did you really start seeing improvement in your NYT solving ability?
      After how many years?

      Thanks,

      Steve

      1. @Steve—When I go into my local Barnes and Noble I will actually buy three or four of the booklets at one time. That way I do not have to make so many trips to the bookstore. And when I buy them I buy a mixture; Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. I have never bought anything above a Wednesday. I like all three levels and can enjoy all of them. When you do the puzzles in this way you will discover that there is quite a wide range within what may constitute a difficulty level for any given day. So that adds a little variety to it also.

        As for my learning I would definitely say that it was just a slow process of getting slightly better each time I would work a puzzle. There were no leaps or bounds. It was just a very continuous, deliberate process. If you cannot complete a Monday NYT then I would just tell you to do the best you can and leave it a that. Again, progress is inevitable. Also, very importantly, once you have finished the puzzle look back over it and see what you can learn from the experience. I think probably all successful crossword workers do this. Looking back over the puzzle is the best opportunity you have to sharpen your skills for next time.

  7. 18:39, no errors. Too many naticks today to mention, eventually scratched this one out. Only figured out that AD would be in all the circles, while solving the puzzle. Did not see the ‘pop-up’ theme expressions until after the puzzle was completely solved.

    Coincidentally, the incredibly annoying E-Plane ads are still with me. They pop up in the three active ad locations on this page. The three ads run repeatedly, and simultaneously. I have given up reporting the ads to Google, I just mute the sound.

  8. 13:59, 2 errors.
    @Steve, @Dale
    I’ve always found it worthwhile to attempt just about anything and work your way through it entirely, even if you have to check for errors as you go. No substitute on getting better at something than exposing yourself to it.

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