1118-18 NY Times Crossword 18 Nov 18, Sunday

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Constructed by: Byron Walden & Joel Fagliano
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Portmanfaux

Themed answers are common phrases followed by a false portmanteau for that phrase, with both phrase and “portmanfaux” referenced in the clue:

  • 22A. Satchel for a homicide detective? : MURDER CASE MURSE
  • 31A. Unseasonal wear on a winter vacation? : SKI RESORT SKORT
  • 52A. Late-morning meal for a TV family? : BRADY BUNCH BRUNCH
  • 64A. One way to buy mustard cheaply? : GREY POUPON GROUPON
  • 71A. Emails such as “Click this link to become an Apollo astronaut”? : SPACE PROGRAM SPAM
  • 93A. Collection of Yule-centric posts? : BURNING LOG BLOG
  • 107A. Utensil for eating some cured meat? : SALTED PORK SPORK

Bill’s time: 22m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Era of ignorance : DARK AGES

“Dark Ages” was a term that used to be popular as a description of the period following the decline of the Roman Empire in Europe, the time after the “light of Rome” was extinguished. The Dark Ages were said to end with the rise of the Italian Renaissance in the 14th century. The Italian Renaissance was centered on the cities of Florence and Siena in Tuscany.

14. Houston squad, casually : ‘STROS

The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “’Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

20. Mississippi River bottom feeder : MUDCAT

Mudcats are types of catfish found in muddy rivers, particularly in the Mississippi valley.

22. Satchel for a homicide detective? : MURDER CASE MURSE

A “murse” is a “man purse”. What’s wrong with pockets …?

A satchel is a soft-sided bag, one usually with a strap that is often worn diagonally across the body. When we were kids in Ireland, we’d carry our books to and from school in a backpack satchel. Virtually every Irish schoolchild had a satchel back then.

24. Joe of “GoodFellas” : PESCI

Joe Pesci got his big break in movies with a supporting role in “Raging Bull” starring Robert De Niro, earning Pesci an Oscar nomination early in his career. There followed a string of gangster roles played alongside De Niro, namely “Once Upon a Time in America”, “Goodfellas” and “Casino”. But I like Pesci’s comedic acting best of all. He was marvelous in the “Home Alone” films, the “Lethal Weapon” series, and my personal favorite, “My Cousin Vinny”. Pesci gets a mention in the stage musical “Jersey Boys”, which isn’t too surprising as he is one of the show’s producers.

The Martin Scorsese classic “Goodfellas” is a 1990 adaptation of a nonfiction book by Nicholas Pileggi called “Wiseguy”. The film tells the story of a mob family that succumbs to the FBI after one of their own becomes an informant.

27. Baking soda has many of these : USES

“Bicarb” is a familiar term for sodium bicarbonate. Another name for the same compound is “baking soda”. When sodium carbonate is added to a batter, it reacts with acids and releases carbon dioxide which gives baked goods texture, all those “holes”.

29. Tush : REAR

“Tush”, a word meaning “backside”, is an abbreviation of “tochus” that comes from the Yiddish “tokhes”.

30. Danny Ocean’s ex-wife in “Ocean’s Eleven” : TESS

“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.

31. Unseasonal wear on a winter vacation? : SKI RESORT SKORT

The garment called a “skort” is a hybrid between shorts and a skirt.

37. Jewish mourning period : SHIVA

Shiva is a period of mourning in the Jewish tradition that lasts for one week. “Shiva” is a Hebrew for “seven”. The immediate family members of the deceased usually “sit shiva” in the home of the deceased, and there receive visitors. The ritual of sitting shiva is based on the story in Genesis in which Joseph mourns the death of his father Jacob for seven days.

48. Swiss canton that was home to William Tell : URI

Supposedly, William Tell came from Uri, a canton in the German part of Switzerland. Altdorf is the capital of Uri and is the city where William Tell shot the apple off his son’s head using a crossbow, at least according to legend. There is a bronze statue of Tell that was erected in the city’s marketplace in 1895 to memorialize the event.

49. Variety of stud poker, familiarly : HI/LO

In the card game Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo, the pot is usually split by the highest and the lowest hands.

50. Berry with two diacritics in its name : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

A diacritic mark is added to a letter to indicate that it has a special phonetic sound. Examples of diacritic marks are the tilde above the n in Spanish words like “jalapeño” and “niño “, and the cedilla under the c in French words like “façade”.

52. Late-morning meal for a TV family? : BRADY BUNCH BRUNCH

The famous sitcom “The Brady Bunch” originally aired from 1969 to 1974 on ABC. If you ever see a movie called “Yours, Mine and Ours” starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda (and remade with Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo), you might notice a similarity in storyline. It was because of the success of the 1968 movie that ABC decided to go ahead with the development of “The Brady Bunch”.

58. Dorm overseers, for short : RAS

A resident assistant or resident adviser (RA) is a peer leader found in a residence hall, particularly on a college campus.

59. Sports event with two diacritics in its name : EPEE

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

61. Who wrote “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king” : ERASMUS

Desiderius Erasmus was a Dutch priest and theologian. Erasmus was a very prolific and successful writer and in the 1530s his written works accounted for 10-20% of all book sales in the world. A famous quotation accredited to Erasmus is:

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

64. One way to buy mustard cheaply? : GREY POUPON GROUPON

Grey Poupon mustard dates way back to 1777 when Maurice Grey started making mustard with Auguste Poupon in Dijon, France.

Groupon is a deal-of-the-day website that was started in 2008. The concept behind the business is illustrated by the company name, a portmanteau of “group coupon”. Each day a discount coupon is offered to website members who sign up knowing that the coupon requires a minimum number of “takers” in order for it to be valid. If too few buyers sign up, then the coupon is void. When sufficient buyers sign up the coupon is honored, and the retailer benefits from the large volume of business generated. Groupon was very successful for a couple of years and predictions were made that the company would reach $1 billion in sales faster than any other company in history. That forecast changed dramatically, and the CEO was ousted in February 2013.

67. Like the number i, mathematically : NON-REAL

“Real numbers” are numbers that can be written on a number line. Almost all numbers that we can think of are “real numbers”. Infinity is not a real number, and nor are “imaginary numbers”, e.g. the square root of minus 1.

68. Burns writing : POEM

Robert Burns is a cultural icon in Scotland and for Scots around the world. As a poet, Burns was a pioneer in the Romantic movement in the second half of the 18th century. One of his most famous works is the poem “Auld Lang Syne”, which has been set to the tune of a traditional Scottish folk song and is used to celebrate the New Year in the English-speaking world.

70. A pillar of Islam : HAJ

Followers of the Muslim tradition believe in the Five Pillars of Islam, five obligatory acts that underpin Muslim life. The Five Pillars are:

  1. The Islamic creed
  2. Daily prayer
  3. Almsgiving
  4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan
  5. The pilgrimage to Mecca (haj, hajj, hadj) once during a lifetime

71. Emails such as “Click this link to become an Apollo astronaut”? : SPACE PROGRAM SPAM

The Apollo program is very much associated with President Kennedy, as he gave NASA the challenge to land men on the moon by the end of the sixties. However, the Apollo program was conceived during the Eisenhower administration as a follow-up to Project Mercury that put the first Americans in space.

77. Erie Canal city : UTICA

Utica, New York is known as “Second Chance City” these days, due to the recent influx of refugees from war-torn parts of the world and from Bosnia in particular. These immigrants have helped revitalize the area and reverse a trend of population loss.

The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, the Erie Canal had immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of “cheap” transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of “the Empire State”. Paradoxically, one of the project’s main proponents was severely criticized. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton received so much ridicule that the canal was nicknamed “Clinton’s Folly” and “Clinton’s Ditch”.

80. ___ Spiegel, co-founder of Snapchat : EVAN

Evan Spiegel is the CEO of Snapchat, a social media company that he co-founded with two colleagues while they were students at Stanford. Spiegel has done quite well for himself since founding Snapchat. Back in 2015, he was named the world’s youngest billionaire by “Forbes”, at 24 years of age.

81. “Darling, won’t you ___ my worried mind” (“Layla” lyric) : EASE

“Layla” is one of the great rock anthems of the seventies, released by Derek and the Dominos as a single in 1971. It is a masterpiece of composition, with the first half of the song a great vehicle for the guitar-playing talents of Eric Clapton. The second half is a beautifully melodic piano coda (a coda … taking up half the length of the track!). To top things off we have the “unplugged” version recorded by Clapton in 1992, a fabulous and inventive variation on the original.

Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.

82. Peter’s chief of staff on “The Good Wife” : ELI

“The Good Wife” is a legal drama showing on CBS starring Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, a litigator who returns to practicing the law after spending 13 years as a stay-at-home mom. I binge-watched the show some time back and found it to be well-written, with a great cast and great acting …

83. Down-on-their-luck sorts : HOBOS

No one seems to know for sure how the term “hobo” originated, although there are lots of colorful theories. My favorite is that “hobo” comes from the first letters in the words “ho-meward bo-und”, but it doesn’t seem very plausible. A kind blog reader tells me that according to Click and Clack from PBS’s “Car Talk” (a great source!), “hobo” comes from “hoe boy”. Hoe boys were young men with hoes looking for work after the Civil War. Hobos differed from “tramps” and “bums”, in that “bums” refused to work, “tramps” worked when they had to, while “hobos” traveled in search of work.

88. Tempur-Pedic rival : SERTA

Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:

  • #1 The Leader of the Flock
  • #½ The Tweener
  • #13 Mr. Bad Luck
  • #53 The Pessimist
  • #86 Benedict Arnold

90. Seawater compound : NACL

Chemically speaking, the water (H2O) in the sea contains lots of salt, i.e. sodium chloride (NaCl).

92. Neophytes : TYROS

A tyro (also “tiro”) is a beginner or a novice. “Tyro” comes into English from Latin, in which “tiro” means “a recruit”.

A neophyte is a recent convert to a particular doctrine or practice.

93. Collection of Yule-centric posts? : BURNING LOG BLOG

A Yule log is a large log made from a very hard wood that is burned as part of the Christmas celebration. There is also a cake called a Yule log that is served at Christmas, especially in French-speaking parts of the world. The cake is made from sponge that is rolled up to resemble a wooden Yule log.

Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more specifically it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) that then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.

99. Nagy of Hungarian history : IMRE

Imre Nagy was Prime Minister of Hungary twice. His second term as Prime Minister came during the Hungarian Uprising against the Soviet Union in October 1956. The Soviets invaded in order to quell the rebellion, and arrested Nagy. He was tried in secret, sentenced to death and hanged.

101. Bird on Walden Pond in “Walden” : LOON

The bird known as a loon here in North America is called a diver in the British Isles. The name “diver” comes from the bird’s habit of swimming calmly and then suddenly diving below the surface to catch a fish. The name “loon” comes from an Old English word meaning “clumsy” and reflects the awkward gait of the bird when walking on land.

Henry David Thoreau is a personal hero of mine. Thoreau is best known for his book called “Walden” published in 1854. The book outlines his philosophy of life and details his experiences living in a cabin near Walden Pond just outside Concord, Massachusetts.

107. Utensil for eating some cured meat? : SALTED PORK SPORK

“Spork” is the more common name for the utensil that is a hybrid between a spoon and a fork. The same utensil is less commonly referred to as a “foon”.

114. Haven : OASIS

An isolated area of vegetation in a desert is called an oasis (plural “oases”). As water is needed for plant growth, an oasis might also include a spring, pond or small lake. We often use the term “oasis” more generally to describe a haven, a place of rest.

Down

3. Kingdom in “The Prisoner of Zenda” : RURITANIA

“The Prisoner of Zenda” is an 1894 novel by Anthony Hope about a king who is kidnapped, imprisoned and replaced by an impersonator. The novel has been adapted for stage and screen several times, most famously as a 1937 movie starring Ronald Colman.

5. Div. for the Red 106-Down : AL EAST
(106D. See 5-Down : … SOX)

The Boston Red Sox is one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams and so commands a large attendance, but only when on the road. The relatively small capacity of Boston’s Fenway Park, the team’s home since 1912, has dictated that every game the Red Sox has played there has been a sell-out since May of 2003. I recently had the pleasure of touring Fenway Park. It’s quite a place …

7. S.A.S.E., e.g.: Abbr. : ENC

An SAE is a “stamped, addressed envelope”. An SASE is a “self-addressed, stamped envelope”.

9. What the rotator cuff rotates : HUMERUS

The humerus is the long bone in the upper arm. The bones in the forearm are the radius and ulna.

What we know as the rotator cuff, is more correctly termed the rotor cuff. It is the group of four muscles that stabilizes the shoulder.

10. School extension? : EDU

The .edu domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

11. Neutral shades : ECRUS

The shade ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

12. Word from the Latin for “noose” : LASSO

Our English word “lasso” comes from the Spanish “lazo”, and ultimately from the Latin “laqueum” meaning “noose, snare”.

15. Can-can dancing? : TWERKING

Twerking is a dancing move in which a woman (usually) shakes her hips up and down causing a lot of “wobbling”. It’s possible that “twerk” is a portmanteau of “twist” and “jerk”. The term may have been coined back in the early 2000s with the song “Whistle While You Twurk” released by the Ying Yang Twins. Twerking became a real phenomenon in 2013 when Miley Cyrus posted a video of herself twerking in a unicorn suit to the 2011 song “Wop” by J. Dash. That video went viral on YouTube, amassing over 4 million views in no time at all.

The Moulin Rouge cabaret is located right in the middle of one of the red light districts of Paris, the district of Pigalle. You can’t miss the Moulin Rouge as it has a huge red windmill on its roof (“moulin rouge” is French for “red windmill”). The nightclub opened its doors in 1889 and soon after, the working girls of the cabaret adopted a “respectable” party dance and used it to entice their clients. That was the birth of the can-can. Nowadays, the Moulin Rouge is home to a lavish, Las Vegas-style show that costs millions of euros to stage. It features showgirls, dancers and acrobats, a whole host of entertainers in fact. And I am sure the can-can features as well …

18. Stuffed ___ : SHIRT

Back in the 15th century, the adjective “stuffed” usually described classy garments padded with stuffing. This usage led to the term “stuffed shirt” being coined for a pompous individual.

23. “For heaven ___” : SAKES

I tend to go with “for Heaven’s sake” as opposed to “for Heaven sakes” …

28. Some ways on Waze: Abbr. : STS

Waze is a navigation app that is similar to Google Maps and Apple Maps. Waze was developed in Israel, and was acquired by Google in 2013.

33. Branch of Islam : SHIA

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favoured the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

34. Appurtenance for a cartoon Neanderthal : CLUB

The literal translation of “Homo sapiens” from Latin is “wise or knowing man”. The Homo genus includes the species Homo sapiens (modern humans), but we’re the only species left in that genus. The last known species related to humans was Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthal Man) which died off about 24,000 years ago. However, another species was discovered in Indonesia in 2003 that has been dubbed Homo floresiensis (Flores Man … sometimes called “hobbit”), and it may possibly have lived as recently as 12,000 years ago. Watch this space …

An appurtenance is an accessory, perhaps a piece of equipment for a specific task. It might also be an appendage; a suffix to a word, for example.

35. Mannheim mister : HERR

Mannheim is a city in southwestern Germany. The city is a little unusual in that it has streets and avenues laid out in a grid pattern, rather like an American city. For this reason, Mannheim has the nickname “die Quadratestadt” (city of the squares).

39. Delmonico steak cuts : RIBEYES

A Delmonico steak is prepared these days from various cuts of beef, and prepared in a style created originally by Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City in the mid-1800s.

41. TV network with a science-y name : ION

Ion Television started out as PAX TV in 1998, was renamed to i:Independent Television in 2005 and then to Ion in 2007.

43. Prefix with puncture : ACU-

Acupressure and acupuncture are related alternative medical techniques. Both aim to clear blockages in the flow of life energy through the body’s meridians. The treatment is given by stimulating “acupoints’ in the body, by applying pressure in the case of acupressure, and by applying needles in the case of acupuncture.

47. Festoons with Charmin, for short : TPS

TP’ing (toilet papering) is a prank involving the covering of some object or location with rolls and rolls of toilet paper. If you live in Texas or Minnesota, that little “prank” is legal, but if you live here in California it is classed as mischief or vandalism.

Charmin is a brand of toilet paper made by Procter & Gamble.

53. Laura of “Big Little Lies” : DERN

The actress Laura Dern is the daughter of the actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Laura played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

“Big Little Lies” is 2017 TV miniseries that is based on a 2014 novel of the same name. It stars Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley as three women who, while dealing with their own emotional problems, find themselves involved in a murder investigation. I haven’t seen this one, but hear very good things …

54. Confucian philosopher ___ Hsi : CHU

Zhu Xi (also “Chu Hsi”) was a scholar in the Song Dynasty in China, and was a noted neo-Confucian.

56. Hit just beyond the infield : BLOOP

That would be baseball.

62. Ocean froth : SPUME

Our word “spume” that we use for “froth” comes from the Latin “spuma” meaning “foam”.

63. “The Simpsons” bar : MOE’S

Moe Szyslak is the surly bartender and owner of Moe’s Tavern in “The Simpsons” animated TV show. I don’t really care for “The Simpsons”, but Hank Azaria who supplies the voice for the Moe character … him I like …

65. Norwegian king near the end of the first millennium : OLAV I

It is believed that Norwegian King Olaf I led the conversion of the Vikings to Christianity, and built the first church in the country (in 995 CE). Olaf was actually married to an Irishwoman, albeit a woman from a Viking family. Queen Gyda was the sister of the King of Dublin, Olaf Cuaran.

66. Non-___ (food label) : GMO

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is one with genetic material that has been altered by genetic engineering. One might argue that the oldest form of genetic engineering is selective breeding, the use of animals or plants with desired traits for the creation of the next generation.

67. Western powwow held every year or so : NATO SUMMIT

“Powwow” means “gathering”, and is a word used by Native Americans. The term derives from the Algonquian Narragansett “powwow” which translates as “spiritual leader”. The Narragansett also gave us such words as “moose”, “papoose” and “squash”.

75. Orfeo in Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice,” e.g. : ALTO

“Orfeo ed Euridice” is an opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck that was first performed in 1762. It is perhaps Gluck’s most popular work.

79. Piedmont wine town : ASTI

Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

87. Neural junction : SYNAPSE

A synapse is a junction between a nerve cell and another cell over which an electrical or chemical signal can pass.

92. Holiday glitter : TINSEL

Back in the mid-1400s, the word “tinsel” applied to cloth into which was woven gold or silver thread. The term came from the Middle French word “estincelle” meaning “spark, spangle”, which ultimately derived from the Latin “scintilla” meaning “spark”. By the end of the 1500s, “tinsel” described thin strip of shiny metal. The word “Tinseltown” wasn’t applied to Hollywood until 1972.

93. Flora and fauna : BIOTA

The biota of a region is the total collection of flora and fauna found there.’

94. Plaster for painting : GESSO

“Gesso” is the Italian word for “chalk” and gives its name to the powdered calcium carbonate that is used as a primer coat under artistic panel paintings. The gesso is mixed with a glue and applied to wood so that it acts as an absorbent surface for paint.

96. Spanish crockery : OLLAS

An olla is a traditional clay pot used for the making of stews. “Olla” was the Latin word used in Ancient Rome to describe a similar type of pot.

97. Munchkin : GNOME

“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.

98. “___-Tikki-Tavi” : RIKKI

In Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”, one of the short stories is titled “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi”, the story about a mongoose, the brave pet of an English family that protects them from a succession of snakes.

109. Much Top 40 music now : RAP

Don’t I know it …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Era of ignorance : DARK AGES
9. Elevators in an office building? : HEELS
14. Houston squad, casually : ‘STROS
19. Eaglelike : AQUILINE
20. Mississippi River bottom feeder : MUDCAT
21. “Wouldn’t that be nice!” : I WISH!
22. Satchel for a homicide detective? : MURDER CASE MURSE
24. Joe of “GoodFellas” : PESCI
25. Something found at the top of many a Google search page : PAID AD
26. Manufactured : MADE
27. Baking soda has many of these : USES
29. Tush : REAR
30. Danny Ocean’s ex-wife in “Ocean’s Eleven” : TESS
31. Unseasonal wear on a winter vacation? : SKI RESORT SKORT
34. Map : CHART
36. Parisian waters : EAUX
37. Jewish mourning period : SHIVA
38. Zoom, e.g. : LENS
39. Baseball stats sometimes called 39-Down : RBIS
42. Jerk : SPASM
46. Static : INERT
48. Swiss canton that was home to William Tell : URI
49. Variety of stud poker, familiarly : HI/LO
50. Berry with two diacritics in its name : ACAI
51. “Get ___!” : A GRIP
52. Late-morning meal for a TV family? : BRADY BUNCH BRUNCH
58. Dorm overseers, for short : RAS
59. Sports event with two diacritics in its name : EPEE
60. Cry after “Company” : … HALT!
61. Who wrote “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king” : ERASMUS
64. One way to buy mustard cheaply? : GREY POUPON GROUPON
67. Like the number i, mathematically : NON-REAL
68. Burns writing : POEM
69. Strong bond : GLUE
70. A pillar of Islam : HAJ
71. Emails such as “Click this link to become an Apollo astronaut”? : SPACE PROGRAM SPAM
77. Erie Canal city : UTICA
80. ___ Spiegel, co-founder of Snapchat : EVAN
81. “Darling, won’t you ___ my worried mind” (“Layla” lyric) : EASE
82. Peter’s chief of staff on “The Good Wife” : ELI
83. Down-on-their-luck sorts : HOBOS
84. Hit the hide off the baseball : RIP IT
86. Beauts : GEMS
87. Backgrounds in theater : SETS
88. Tempur-Pedic rival : SERTA
90. Seawater compound : NACL
92. Neophytes : TYROS
93. Collection of Yule-centric posts? : BURNING LOG BLOG
98. Boxing venue : RING
99. Nagy of Hungarian history : IMRE
100. Wooded valley : DELL
101. Bird on Walden Pond in “Walden” : LOON
102. Like services covered by a health insurer : IN-AREA
105. Drops : OMITS
107. Utensil for eating some cured meat? : SALTED PORK SPORK
110. Link with : TIE TO
111. Brainpower : SMARTS
112. See to it : MAKE SURE
113. When a happy hour might start : AT SIX
114. Haven : OASIS
115. Seizure cause : EPILEPSY

Down

1. Deaden acoustically : DAMP
2. Blue shade : AQUA
3. Kingdom in “The Prisoner of Zenda” : RURITANIA
4. Leg-pullers : KIDDERS
5. Div. for the Red 106-Down : AL EAST
6. Secures with a band : GIRDS
7. S.A.S.E., e.g.: Abbr. : ENC
8. They require stitches : SEAMS
9. What the rotator cuff rotates : HUMERUS
10. School extension? : EDU
11. Neutral shades : ECRUS
12. Word from the Latin for “noose” : LASSO
13. One caught by a 12-Down : STEER
14. Nurse : SIP
15. Can-can dancing? : TWERKING
16. Formula for slope in math : RISE OVER RUN
17. Costa Rican president who won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize : OSCAR ARIAS
18. Stuffed ___ : SHIRT
20. Clay and oil, for artists : MEDIA
23. “For heaven ___” : SAKES
28. Some ways on Waze: Abbr. : STS
32. Split personality? : EX-PARTNER
33. Branch of Islam : SHIA
34. Appurtenance for a cartoon Neanderthal : CLUB
35. Mannheim mister : HERR
39. Delmonico steak cuts : RIBEYES
40. Document listing technical specifications : BLUE PAPER
41. TV network with a science-y name : ION
43. Prefix with puncture : ACU-
44. More sensible : SANER
45. One is roughly the mass of a speck of dust : MICROGRAM
47. Festoons with Charmin, for short : TPS
49. Charged up : HYPER
53. Laura of “Big Little Lies” : DERN
54. Confucian philosopher ___ Hsi : CHU
55. Really trendy : HAPPENING
56. Hit just beyond the infield : BLOOP
57. Hightail it, saltily : HAUL ASS
62. Ocean froth : SPUME
63. “The Simpsons” bar : MOE’S
64. Asian fruits used in Western alternative medicine : GOJI BERRIES
65. Norwegian king near the end of the first millennium : OLAV I
66. Non-___ (food label) : GMO
67. Western powwow held every year or so : NATO SUMMIT
70. “Come again?” : HUH?
72. Limit : CAP
73. “Fancy that!” : GEE!
74. People like you : PEER GROUP
75. Orfeo in Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice,” e.g. : ALTO
76. Not catch : MISS
78. Crescent-shaped Italian pastries : CORNETTI
79. Piedmont wine town : ASTI
85. Alternatives to gelcaps : TABLETS
86. Semiliquid stuff : GLOOP
87. Neural junction : SYNAPSE
89. So-so filler? : … AND …
91. Lunkheads : CLODS
92. Holiday glitter : TINSEL
93. Flora and fauna : BIOTA
94. Plaster for painting : GESSO
95. Animal used to guard sheep and goats : LLAMA
96. Spanish crockery : OLLAS
97. Munchkin : GNOME
98. “___-Tikki-Tavi” : RIKKI
103. Misreckons : ERRS
104. “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is ___”: Churchill : A KEY
106. See 5-Down : … SOX
108. Numerical prefix : TRI-
109. Much Top 40 music now : RAP

12 thoughts on “1118-18 NY Times Crossword 18 Nov 18, Sunday”

  1. 42:03. Challenging but doable. Fun theme, and I finally read the title before doing the puzzle so I knew what to expect. I couldn’t figure out what a SKIRE SORT SKORT was until I came to the blog….Sheesh.

    Best –

  2. While I have no argument with the explanation for 15-Down (“15. Can-can dancing? : TWERKING”), I think the meta-humor implied by the question mark is that the word “can”, in some English-speaking areas, is slang for buttock; therefore, “can-can dancing?” is meant to evoke a visual of the twerking itself, not to allude to the Moulin Rouge and/or Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld Can-Can.

  3. My understanding of SASE is that it stands for Self Addressed Stamped Envelope which is then ENCLOSED in another envelope in order for the addressee to return a letter at no cost to her/himself.
    i.e. manuscript.
    Sell Addressed Sealed Envelope is totally nonsensical.

  4. I spent 3 hours on this one and still wound up with 4 errors.
    When it’s two against one as this is I should leave it to the pros like Dave and Bill but I most likely won’t because
    I’m me.

  5. 44:19, no errors. Didn’t understand the details of the theme until I came here. Had never heard ‘i’ referred to as NON-REAL, always heard it called imaginary. This, I suppose, is what happens when English majors get involved in mathematics.

  6. A nice puzzle, after the train wreck of last week. I like this one because I felt that it got gradually more difficult as I advanced in it, allowing me to turn to resources when needed (e.g., my crossword dictionary and the Internet). Still made a few errors, but what the heck?

    My favorite theme-related answer has to be “Grey Poupon Group-On” (64A: One way to buy mustard cheaply?).

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