1125-18 NY Times Crossword 25 Nov 18, Sunday

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Constructed by: Joon Pahk
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Silent Finales

Themed answers come from common phrases to which has been added a SILENT FINAL E:

  • 23A. Photo caption for the winning team’s M.V.P. being carried off the field? : A STAR IS BORNE (from “A Star is Born”)
  • 38A. What you’re effectively saying when you sign a waiver? : BYE ALL RIGHTS (from “by all rights”)
  • 67A. Piece of writing that’s half in verse? : SEMI-PROSE (from “semipros”)
  • 93A. Dropping the baton in a relay race, e.g.? : RUNNING LAPSE (from “running laps”)
  • 115A. Warning not given on a golf course? : UNCALLED FORE (from “uncalled for”)
  • 3D. “Hematite, magnetite — take your pick”? : EITHER ORE (from “either/or”)
  • 16D. Two things you might find in Sherwood Forest? : COPSE AND ROBBERS (from “cops and robbers”)
  • 46D. Like Tara, several times in “Gone With the Wind”? : SAVED BY THE BELLE (from “saved by the bell”)
  • 81D. Places for specific social classes to park? : CASTE LOTS (from “cast lots”)

Bill’s time: 22m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Late Queen of Soul : ARETHA

I think that Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, had a tough life. Franklin had her first son when she was just 13-years-old, and her second at 15. In 2008, “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked Franklin as number one in their list of the greatest singers of all time.

21. Veep under Nixon : AGNEW

Spiro Agnew served as Vice-President under Richard Nixon, before becoming the only VP in American history to resign because of criminal charges (there was a bribery scandal). Agnew was also the first Greek-American to serve as US Vice President as he was the son of a Greek immigrant who had shortened the family name from Anagnostopoulos.

22. Formal defense : APOLOGIA

An apologia is a formal apology, or a formal defense of one’s beliefs.

23. Photo caption for the winning team’s M.V.P. being carried off the field? : A STAR IS BORNE (from “A Star is Born”)

“A Star Is Born” is a 1937 film starring Janet Gaynor as an upcoming Hollywood actress. “A Star Is Born” was remade three times, in 1954 with Judy Garland playing the lead, in 1976 with Barbra Streisand, and in 2018 with Lady Gaga.

25. Get an F in physics? : MISSPELL

Speaking as someone who misspells all the time, I find it somewhat amusing that one of the more common words to misspell is “misspell” (and not “mispell”).

26. Bert of “The Wizard of Oz” : LAHR

Bert Lahr’s most famous role was the cowardly lion in “The Wizard of Oz”. Lahr had a long career in burlesque, vaudeville and on Broadway. Remember the catchphrase made famous by the cartoon character Snagglepuss, “Heavens to Murgatroyd!”? Snagglepuss stole that line from a 1944 movie called, “Meet the People” in which it was first uttered by none other than Bert Lahr.

30. First-generation Japanese-American : ISSEI

There are some very specific terms used to describe the children born to Japanese immigrants in their new country. The immigrants themselves are known as “Issei”. “Nisei” are second generation Japanese, “Sansei” the third generation (grandchildren of the immigrant), and “Yonsei” are fourth generation.

31. Houdini feat : ESCAPE

“Harry Houdini” was the stage name of Hungarian-born escapologist and magician Erik Weisz (later changed to “Harry Weiss”). Many people are under the impression that Houdini died while performing an escape that went wrong, an impression created by the storyline in a couple of movies about his life. The truth is that he died of peritonitis from a burst appendix. It is also true that a few days prior to his death Houdini took a series of punches to his stomach as part of his act, but doctors believe that his appendix would have burst regardless.

33. Rey, to Luke, in “The Last Jedi” : PROTEGEE

We use the term “protégé” (female form “protégée”) for someone whose career is helped along and guided by a more experienced person, a mentor. “Protégé” is French for “protected”.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a 2017 movie from the “Star Wars” film franchise, and the second installment of the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy. The title character is Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill. Ah, but is Luke in fact the “last Jedi”?

Rey is the central character in the the movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Rey is placed by British actress Daisy Ridley.

41. Longtime athlete on the U.S. Davis Cup team : ASHE

The great American tennis player Arthur Ashe spent the last years of his life writing his memoir called “Days of Grace”. He finished the manuscript just a few days before he passed away, dying from AIDS caused by a tainted blood transfusion.

The Davis Cup is referred to as the “World Cup of Tennis” as teams from competing countries play in a knock-out format. Although there are now over 120 nations competing, it all started in 1900 with an event featuring teams for just the US and Great Britain. That first competition came about when four members of the Harvard University tennis team wanted to challenge the British. One of the Harvard players was Dwight D. Davis. Davis designed the format for the tournament, and bought a sterling silver trophy using his own money. The event was called the International Lawn Tennis Challenge at first, but this evolved into the Davis Cup, taking the name of the trophy awarded to the winning nation.

50. Capital of Albania : TIRANE

Tirane is the capital city of Albania and has been so since 1920. The city was seized by the Nazis in WWII but was liberated in 1944, at which point the Communists seized power. The Communists were ousted in the elections of 1992 leaving a void that led to much bloodshed and an eventual EU military mission to stabilize the capital and the rest of the country. Things are very different today, and Albania is a now member of NATO.

52. Atlas or Titan, for short : ICBM

An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with the range necessary to cross between continents. Being ballistic (unlike a cruise missile), an ICBM is guided during the initial launch phase, but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity to arrive at its target. It is defined as intercontinental as it has a range greater than 3,500 miles. ICBMs are really only used for delivering nuclear warheads. Scary stuff …

Atlas boosters launched the first four US astronauts into space. The Atlas rocket design was originally developed in the late fifties and was deployed for several years as it was intended, as an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Titan was a family of rockets first introduced in 1959. Titan rockets were used to launch man into space in the Gemini Program in the mid-sixties, and were also part of the American ICBM missile deterrent until the eighties.

54. Energy secretary Chu under Obama : STEVEN

Steven Chu is a former Secretary of Energy in the Obama Cabinet. Chu is a physicist by trade, and a winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997.

55. ___ neutrality : NET

The principle of Net neutrality holds that those entities managing the Internet should treat all data passing through equally. The term “Net neutrality” was coined in 2003 by Tim Wu, a media law professor at Columbia University.

56. Actress Long : NIA

Nia Long is an American actress who is probably best known for playing Will Smith’s sometime girlfriend and fiancee Lisa Wilkes on the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”.

58. Extended diatribe : TIRADE

The term “tirade” describes a long and vehement speech, and is a word that came into English from French. “Tirade” can have the same meaning in French, but is also the word for “volley”. So, a tirade is a “volley” of words.

A diatribe is a bitter discourse. The term comes from the Greek “diatribein” meaning “to wear away”.

59. Moon race? : EWOKS

The Ewoks are creatures who live on the moon of Endor in the “Star Wars” universe. First appearing in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”, they’re the cute and cuddly little guys that look like teddy bears.

61. Router attachments : MODEMS

A modem is a device that is used to facilitate the transmission of a digital signal over an analog line. At one end of the line a modem is used to “modulate” an analog carrier signal to encode the the digital information, and at the other end a modem is used to “demodulate” the analog carrier signal and so reproduce the original digital information. This modulation-demodulation gives the device its name: a MOdulator-DEModulator, or “modem”.

In the world of computing, a router is a device that helps direct traffic, as it were. A router in a house is often found in combination with a modem, and directs traffic between the Internet and the computers in the home.

63. It’s just below 0: Abbr. : OPER

On the buttons of a phone you often see TUV on the 8-key and OPER (for “operator”) on the 0-key. Well, you used to …

70. Some paid rides, informally : UBERS

The rideshare service Uber takes its name from the English colloquial word “uber” meaning “super, topmost”, which in turn comes from the German “über” meaning “above”.

72. Avenging spirits in Greek myth : FURIES

The Furies of Greek and Roman mythology were the female personification of vengeance. They were also known as the Dirae, “the terrible”. There were at least three Furies:

  • Alecto: the “unceasing”
  • Megaera: the “grudging”
  • Tisiphone: the “avenging murder”

75. “Casey at the Bat” poet Ernest : THAYER

“Casey at the Bat” is a poem written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer, first published in the San Francisco Examiner. The poem became very popular due to repeated live performances in vaudeville by DeWolf Hopper. Casey played for the Mudville Nine, and the last line of the poem is “But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.”

80. Coined money : SPECIE

Coined money, as opposed to paper money, can be referred to as “specie”.

86. Pizazz : BRIO

“Brio” is borrowed from Italian, in which language the term means “vigor and vivacity”. “Con brio” is a musical direction often found on a score, instructing the musicians to play “with energy, vigor”.

87. Fellini’s “La ___” : STRADA

“La Strada” is a 1954 drama movie from Italy directed by Federico Fellini and starring Anthony Quinn. Quinn plays a strongman who makes a living as an itinerant strongman, performing “on the road”. “La Strada” translates into English as “the road”.

Federico Fellini was a film director and scriptwriter from Rimini in Italy. Fellini won more Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film than anyone else.

89. Outlook alternative : GMAIL

Gmail is a free webmail service provided by Google, and my favorite of the free email services. Gmail made a big splash when it was introduced in 2007 because it offered a whopping 1GB of storage whereas other services offered a measly 2-4MB on average.

Outlook is the email management application that comes with Microsoft Office.

91. Dollar signs without the bars : ESSES

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.

98. Bit of ink : TAT

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

101. Senator Feinstein : DIANNE

Dianne Feinstein is one of our US Senators here in California, and has been representing the state since 1992. Prior to heading to Washington, Feinstein was the Mayor of San Francisco for ten years, and the first woman to hold that office.

103. Blues legend Waters : ETHEL

Ethel Waters was a singer and actress. Waters was the second African American to be nominated for an Academy Award (after Hattie McDaniel, for “Gone With the Wind”). Waters received the nomination as Best Supporting Actress in 1949 for her performance in the film “Pinky”, in which she played the title character’s grandmother.

107. Area near the shore : SHELF

The shallow waters surrounding most of a continent lie above a continental shelf. The similar underwater landmass surrounding an island is an insular shelf.

109. Publicans’ servings : ALES

The many, many different styles of beer can generally be sorted into two groups: ales and lagers. Ales are fermented at relatively warm temperatures for relatively short periods of time, and use top-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that float on top of the beer as it ferments. Lagers ferment at relatively low temperatures and for relatively long periods of time. Lagers use bottom-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that fall to the bottom of the beer as it ferments.

115. Warning not given on a golf course? : UNCALLED FORE (from “uncalled for”)

No one seems to know for sure where the golfing term “fore!” comes from. It has been used at least as far back as 1881, and since then has been called out to warn other golfers that a wayward ball might be heading their way. My favorite possibility for its origin is that it is a contraction of the Gaelic warning cry “Faugh a Ballagh!” (clear the way!) which is still called out in the sport of road bowling. Road bowling is an Irish game where players bowl balls along roads between villages, trying to reach the end of the course in as few bowls as possible, just like in golf!

119. Actress Belafonte : SHARI

Shari Belafonte is model-turned-actress from New York City. Her most famous role was Julie Gillette on the TV drama “Hotel” in the eighties. Shari is the daughter of singer Harry Belafonte.

121. Baja California city : ENSENADA

Ensenada is a city in Baja California, Mexico that sits on the coast about 80 miles south of San Diego. Ensenada is noted as a cruise ship destination, and is also a producer of outstanding wine.

122. “The Zoo Story” playwright : ALBEE

Edward Albee’s most famous play is “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Albee’s first play, a one-acter, was “The Zoo Story”.

123. Movie trailer, e.g. : TEASER

The term “trailer” was originally used in the film industry to describe advertisements for upcoming features. These trailers were originally shown at the end of a movie being screened, hence the name. This practice quickly fell out of favor as theater patrons usually left at the end of the movie without paying much attention to the trailers. So, the trailers were moved to the beginning of the show, but the term “trailer” persisted.

Down

1. Name of what was once the world’s second-largest saltwater lake : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

2. Tabula ___ : RASA

“Tabula rasa” (plural “tabulae rasae”) is the idea that people are born with a “blank slate”, and that knowledge comes from experience and perception.

3. “Hematite, magnetite — take your pick”? : EITHER ORE (from “either/or”)

Iron ore comes in a number of different forms, like magnetite (the most magnetic of all minerals) and hematite (the most commonly exploited iron ore).

4. Line that ended with Nicholas II : TSARS

The last ruler of Imperial Russia was Tsar Nicholas II (of the House of Romanov). Famously, the Tsar and his family were murdered in 1918 in the basement of a house in Yekaterinburg, Russia by members of the Bolshevik secret police. The Tsar’s youngest daughter was 16-year-old Anastasia and rumors of her escape have persisted for years. The rumors grew with the help of numerous women who claimed to be Anastasia. In 2009, DNA testing finally proved that the remains of all of the Tsar’s immediate family, including Anastasia, have been found and identified.

10. Half of a cartoon duo : REN

“The Ren & Stimpy Show” is an animated television show created by Canadian animator John Kricfalusi, and which ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1996. The title characters are Marland “Ren” Höek, a scrawny Chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a rotund Manx cat. Not my cup of tea …

12. Super Bowl III M.V.P. : NAMATH

The legendary quarterback Joe Namath played most of his professional football games with the New York Jets. He was dubbed “Broadway Joe” in 1965 by offensive tackle Sherman Plunkett, a reference to Namath’s appearance on the cover of “Sports Illustrated”. Namath had played college football with the University of Alabama but left school without finishing his degree, to play professionally. Many years later he enrolled in Alabama’s External Degree program, and graduated with a BA in December 2007, at 64 years of age. Well done, Joe!

13. Nail polish brand with the colors Teal the Cows Come Home and Berry Fairy Fun : OPI

Opi is a manufacturer of nail polish based in North Hollywood, California. One of Opi’s marketing coups was the introduction of a line of Legally Blonde 2 polishes, which featured in the film.

15. Big female role on HBO’s “Westworld” : ELSIE

“Westworld” is an HBO series that is based on a 1973 movie of the same name, which was written and directed by novelist Michael Crichton. Westworld is a high-tech theme park populated by androids that interact with the guests.

16. Two things you might find in Sherwood Forest? : COPSE AND ROBBERS (from “cops and robbers”)

Even though Robin Hood is character in legend, Sherwood Forest does really exist. It is located in Nottinghamshire in England, and has been around since the last ice age.

19. “The Hallucinogenic Toreador” painter : DALI

The artist Salvador Dalí liked to make a splash in public. He was known to walk an anteater on a lead around Paris. He also brought an anteater on stage to an interview on “The Dick Cavett Show” in 1970.

29. Mentally sluggish : LOGY

Something or someone described as logy is dull and heavy. “Logy” might come from the Dutch word “log” that means “heavy, dull”.

32. Producer of “60 Minutes” : CBS NEWS

The marvelous news magazine program “60 Minutes” has been on the air since 1968. The show is unique among all other regularly-scheduled shows in that it has never used theme music. There is just the ticking of that Aristo stopwatch.

33. Seniors’ big night out : PROM

A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

34. European stratovolcano : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcano in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts.

35. Astronauts’ wear : G-SUITS

A G-suit is needed when astronauts and aviators are subject to high accelerations. Such acceleration can cause blood to pool in the lower part of the body, reducing the supply to the brain and possibly leading to a blackout. A G-suit is basically a special pair of tight-fitting pants that are fitted with inflatable bladders. The bladders inflate during high accelerations, tightening around the legs and abdomen, reducing the amount of blood pooling. So, a “G-suit” is more correctly referred to as an “anti-G suit”.

39. Spike : LACE

To lace a drink, is to spike it, by adding perhaps some alcohol or other strong substance.

40. Human Rights Campaign inits. : LGBT

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)

43. Soccer shot resulting from a corner kick, often : HEADER

A header is a pass or shot at goal in soccer made by heading the ball, by hitting and directing the ball with the head.

46. Like Tara, several times in “Gone With the Wind”? : SAVED BY THE BELLE (from “saved by the bell”)

In Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind”, Scarlett O’Hara’s home is the Tara plantation. Tara was founded not far from the Georgia city of Jonesboro by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald won the square mile of land on which Tara was built in an all-night poker game. He named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland. Rhett’s rival for the affections of Scarlet is Ashley Wilkes who lives at the nearby Twelve Oaks plantation.

49. Singer DiFranco : ANI

Ani DiFranco is a folk-rock singer and songwriter. DiFranco has also been labeled a “feminist icon”, and in 2006 won the “Woman of Courage Award” from National Organization for Women.

51. Multi-time music collaborator with Bowie : ENO

Brian Eno is a musician, composer and record producer from England who first achieved fame as the synthesizer player with Roxy Music. As a producer, Eno has worked with David Bowie, Devo, Talking Heads and U2.

David Bowie was the stage name of English singer David Jones. Bowie adopted the alter ego Ziggy Stardust during his glam rock phase in the 1970s. Sadly, Bowie passed away from liver cancer in early 2016.

53. Conductor : MAESTRO

“Maestro” is often used to address a musical conductor. “Maestro” (plural “maestri”) is the Italian word for “master, teacher”. The plural in English is usually “maestros”.

56. Country on the Arctic Circle: Abbr. : NOR

Norway has been ranked as the country in the world with the highest standard of living almost every year since 2001. Norway is rich in natural resources and has a relatively low population. The people benefit from a comprehensive social security system, subsidized higher education for all citizens and universal health care. And Norway is famous for her success at the Winter Olympic Games, having won more gold medals than any other nation in the world.

60. The Wildcats of the Big 12 Conf. : KSU

The athletic teams of Kansas State University (KSU) are called the Wildcats. The Wildcats official “colors” are just one: the color royal purple.

61. Brit. legislators : MPS

Member of Parliament (MP)

68. Shirking work, maybe, for short : MIA

Missing in action (MIA)

69. “The Hurt Locker” menace, briefly : IED

Improvised explosive devices (IED)

The 2008 movie “The Hurt Locker” is a disturbing drama about a US Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team on the front lines during the Iraq War. The film appears to be very realistic, and was filmed in Jordan just a few miles from the Iraqi border. The screenplay was written by Mark Boal, a journalist who was embedded with an EOD team in 2004. “The Hurt Locker” won six Academy Awards, including Best Director for Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman to be so honored.

70. Scads of : UMPTEEN

The word “umpty” was introduced as slang for a Morse code dash. In the early 1900’s, the same term came to mean “of an indefinite number”, and was associated with the numerals divisible by ten, i.e. twenty, thirty, forty etc. The extended adjective “umpteen” began to appear during WWI as army slang.

72. Club known for 66-Down : FRIARS
(66D. Some celebrity charity events : ROASTS)

The Friars Club is a private show-business club in New York City that has roots dating back to 1904. Back then the club was called the Press Agents Association. Within a few years the name was changed to reflect its broadening membership of actors and musicians. The name “Friar” was chosen as it comes from the Latin for “brother”, deemed to a good name for a fraternal organization. Famously, the Friars Club hosts events in which a celebrity is “roasted” by a panel of comedians and show business VIPs.

74. Enterprise starter : USS …

The abbreviation “USS” stands for “United States Ship”. The practice of naming US Navy vessels in a standard format didn’t start until 1907 when President Theodore Roosevelt issued an executive order that addressed the issue.

78. Two-masted vessel : BRIG

A brig is a two-masted sailing vessel, with the name “brig” coming from the related vessel known as a brigantine. Brigs and brigantines are both two-masted, but there is a difference in the sails used. It was the use of retired brigs as prison ships that led to use of “brig” as the word for a jail or prison cell on a seagoing vessel.

81. Places for specific social classes to park? : CASTE LOTS (from “cast lots”)

Although caste systems exist in several societies around the world, we tend to associate the concept with the social stratification that is still found in many parts of India. The term “caste” comes from the Portuguese word “casta” meaning “race, breed”. The Portuguese used the term to describe the hereditary social groups that they found in India when they arrived in the subcontinent in 1498.

86. Bête noire : BANE

“Bête noire” translates from French as “black beast”, and is used in English to describe something or someone that is disliked.

90. Pageant whose 1986 runner-up was Halle Berry : MISS USA

The Miss USA beauty pageant was founded in 1952 in order to select the American candidate for the Miss Universe competition.

Actress Halle Berry was the first African-American woman to win a Best Actress Oscar, which she received for her performance in the 2001 movie “Monster’s Ball”. Berry also won a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress in 2005 for playing the title role in “Catwoman”, and she very graciously accepted that award in person. Good for her!

94. Procedural spinoff starring LL Cool J : NCIS: LA

Rap star LL Cool J was born James Todd Smith. Smith’s stage name stands for “Ladies Love Cool James”. When not rapping, LL Cool J plays Special Agent Sam Hanna on TV show “NCIS: Los Angeles”.

95. Antarctic penguin : ADELIE

The Adélie penguin is found along the Antarctic coast, and are named after the Antarctic territory called Adélie Land that is claimed by France. Adélie Land was discovered by French explorer Jules Dumont D’Urville in 1840, and he named the territory after his wife Adéle.

96. Person who’s hard to take : PILL

The term “pill” can be used to describe a boring and disagreeable person, a “bitter pill to swallow”.

100. Page of a movie script? : ELLEN

Canadian actress Ellen Page came to prominence playing the female lead in the 2007 hit film “Juno”. Page also played the female lead in one of my favorite films of recent time, namely 2010’s “Inception”.

102. 1994 tripartite treaty : NAFTA

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is between Canada, Mexico and the United States. When NAFTA came into force in 1994, it set up the largest free trade zone in the world.

103. De bene ___ (legal phrase) : ESSE

“De bene esse” is a legal term used to mean “conditionally, provisionally”. The literal translation from Latin is “of well being”.

105. Tommy of tennis : HAAS

Tommy Haas is German-American tennis player. He grew up in Hamburg and, like many promising tennis players, moved to Florida to develop his tennis skills. Haas made that move at the age of 13.

110. Writer ___ Stanley Gardner : ERLE

I must have read all of the “Perry Mason” books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn’t get into the profession the easy way. Gardner went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably, he gave up the law once his novels became successful.

111. Tiresias, in “Oedipus Rex” : SEER

“Oedipus Rex” (also “Oedipus the King”) is a tragedy penned by the Ancient Greek playwright Sophocles. The play tells the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes king of Thebes. Famously, Oedipus was destined from birth to murder his father and marry his mother.

113. Some gametes : OVA

A gamete is a reproductive cell that has half the full complement of genes needed to make a normal cell. In sexual reproduction, it takes two gametes, one from each parent, to fuse into one cell which then develops into a new organism. The female gamete is the ovum, and the male the sperm.

116. Capitals’ org. : NHL

The Washington Capitals hockey team is based in Arlington, Virginia. The team was founded in 1974.

117. Ruby of “A Raisin in the Sun” : DEE

Ruby Dee was an actress and civil rights activist. On the big screen, she is perhaps best remembered for co-starring in “A Raisin in the Sun” alongside Sidney Poitier, in “Do the Right Thing” alongside her husband Ossie Davis, and in “American Gangster” in which she played Denzel Washington’s mother.

“A Raisin in the Sun” is a 1961 film starring Sidney Poitier that is based on a 1959 play of the same name by Lorraine Hansberry. Both film and play follow the lives of an African-American family from Chicago as they struggle with the decision about what to do with an insurance payout following the death of the family’s patriarch.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Late Queen of Soul : ARETHA
7. Places for bears or villains : LAIRS
12. What a recipe may be written on : NOTE CARD
20. Puts up : RAISES
21. Veep under Nixon : AGNEW
22. Formal defense : APOLOGIA
23. Photo caption for the winning team’s M.V.P. being carried off the field? : A STAR IS BORNE (from “A Star is Born”)
25. Get an F in physics? : MISSPELL
26. Bert of “The Wizard of Oz” : LAHR
27. Powerful swell : SURGE
28. In the style of : A LA
30. First-generation Japanese-American : ISSEI
31. Houdini feat : ESCAPE
33. Rey, to Luke, in “The Last Jedi” : PROTEGEE
36. Place for a stud to go : EAR
38. What you’re effectively saying when you sign a waiver? : BYE ALL RIGHTS (from “by all rights”)
41. Longtime athlete on the U.S. Davis Cup team : ASHE
45. Line through one’s teeth? : FLOSS
47. Torment : AGONY
48. Full of subtlety : NUANCED
50. Capital of Albania : TIRANE
52. Atlas or Titan, for short : ICBM
53. Street through the middle of town : MAIN DRAG
54. Energy secretary Chu under Obama : STEVEN
55. ___ neutrality : NET
56. Actress Long : NIA
58. Extended diatribe : TIRADE
59. Moon race? : EWOKS
61. Router attachments : MODEMS
63. It’s just below 0: Abbr. : OPER
64. Medieval poets : BARDS
67. Piece of writing that’s half in verse? : SEMI-PROSE (from “semipros”)
70. Some paid rides, informally : UBERS
71. First leg of an itinerary : A TO B
72. Avenging spirits in Greek myth : FURIES
73. Bad thing to hit with a hammer : THUMB
75. “Casey at the Bat” poet Ernest : THAYER
77. Wee bit : TAD
78. “I’m f-f-freezing!” : BRR!
80. Coined money : SPECIE
84. Aids for determining pregnancy, e.g. : TEST KITS
86. Pizazz : BRIO
87. Fellini’s “La ___” : STRADA
88. Inducing forgetfulness : LETHEAN
89. Outlook alternative : GMAIL
91. Dollar signs without the bars : ESSES
92. Word after who or how : ELSE
93. Dropping the baton in a relay race, e.g.? : RUNNING LAPSE (from “running laps”)
98. Bit of ink : TAT
99. Optimum : BEST CASE
101. Senator Feinstein : DIANNE
103. Blues legend Waters : ETHEL
106. “___ complicated” : IT’S
107. Area near the shore : SHELF
109. Publicans’ servings : ALES
112. Area near the shore : SHALLOWS
115. Warning not given on a golf course? : UNCALLED FORE (from “uncalled for”)
118. Something on the rise today : SEA LEVEL
119. Actress Belafonte : SHARI
120. Start to inhabit : SETTLE
121. Baja California city : ENSENADA
122. “The Zoo Story” playwright : ALBEE
123. Movie trailer, e.g. : TEASER

Down

1. Name of what was once the world’s second-largest saltwater lake : ARAL
2. Tabula ___ : RASA
3. “Hematite, magnetite — take your pick”? : EITHER ORE (from “either/or”)
4. Line that ended with Nicholas II : TSARS
5. “___ Grace” (title of address) : HER
6. “To quote myself …” : AS I SAY …
7. Los Angeles neighborhood next to Beverly Grove : LA BREA
8. Wide-eyed : AGOG
9. Memo starter : IN RE
10. Half of a cartoon duo : REN
11. Make official? : SWEAR IN
12. Super Bowl III M.V.P. : NAMATH
13. Nail polish brand with the colors Teal the Cows Come Home and Berry Fairy Fun : OPI
14. Talking-___ (reprimands) : TOS
15. Big female role on HBO’s “Westworld” : ELSIE
16. Two things you might find in Sherwood Forest? : COPSE AND ROBBERS (from “cops and robbers”)
17. As long as one can remember : AGES
18. Work (up) : RILE
19. “The Hallucinogenic Toreador” painter : DALI
24. Apartment building V.I.P. : SUPE
29. Mentally sluggish : LOGY
32. Producer of “60 Minutes” : CBS NEWS
33. Seniors’ big night out : PROM
34. European stratovolcano : ETNA
35. Astronauts’ wear : G-SUITS
36. Young newts : EFTS
37. Came down : ALIT
39. Spike : LACE
40. Human Rights Campaign inits. : LGBT
42. Minor altercation : SCRAPE
43. Soccer shot resulting from a corner kick, often : HEADER
44. Lawn tools : EDGERS
46. Like Tara, several times in “Gone With the Wind”? : SAVED BY THE BELLE (from “saved by the bell”)
49. Singer DiFranco : ANI
51. Multi-time music collaborator with Bowie : ENO
52. Some magazine perfume ads : INSERTS
53. Conductor : MAESTRO
56. Country on the Arctic Circle: Abbr. : NOR
57. “Yes for me” : I DO
60. The Wildcats of the Big 12 Conf. : KSU
61. Brit. legislators : MPS
62. [Shrug] : MEH
64. Forcibly oppose : BATTLE
65. Following close behind : AT HEEL
66. Some celebrity charity events : ROASTS
68. Shirking work, maybe, for short : MIA
69. “The Hurt Locker” menace, briefly : IED
70. Scads of : UMPTEEN
72. Club known for 66-Down : FRIARS
74. Enterprise starter : USS …
76. Barely make (out) : EKE
78. Two-masted vessel : BRIG
79. Small stream : RILL
81. Places for specific social classes to park? : CASTE LOTS (from “cast lots”)
82. “Any ___?” : IDEA
83. Heading in the right direction? : EAST
85. Fastener with a flange : T-NUT
86. Bête noire : BANE
89. Small bother : GNAT
90. Pageant whose 1986 runner-up was Halle Berry : MISS USA
94. Procedural spinoff starring LL Cool J : NCIS: LA
95. Antarctic penguin : ADELIE
96. Person who’s hard to take : PILL
97. Most conservative : SAFEST
100. Page of a movie script? : ELLEN
102. 1994 tripartite treaty : NAFTA
103. De bene ___ (legal phrase) : ESSE
104. In those days : THEN
105. Tommy of tennis : HAAS
107. Temporary cover : SCAB
108. Hopper : HARE
110. Writer ___ Stanley Gardner : ERLE
111. Tiresias, in “Oedipus Rex” : SEER
113. Some gametes : OVA
114. Join : WED
116. Capitals’ org. : NHL
117. Ruby of “A Raisin in the Sun” : DEE

19 thoughts on “1125-18 NY Times Crossword 25 Nov 18, Sunday”

  1. 57:53. This felt like a real slog in spots simply because there was a lot outside my knowledge base. I had to rely on crosses and guile more than usual for a Sunday.

    “Get an f in physics” for MISSPELL wins the prize today. Turns out today’s setter is a former physics teacher according to the NYT.

    Best –

  2. Speaking of misspellings, in 50A, the capital of Albania is NOT TiranE, but TiranA. Kinda screws up the whole puzzle, don’t it? All you had to do was Google “Albania” like I did.

    1. @Dave … I also wondered about this. Apparently, in Albanian, the word can be spelled either “Tiranë” or “Tirana”. I just checked my copy of the 9th edition of “The Times Atlas of the World” (published in London in 1990), and found the name spelled both ways, but with the “ë” spelling clearly preferred (both on the map and in the index). Times change; conventions change. I think this is most likely a simple case of a setter using an older reference. In any case, I didn’t feel that the “misspelling” (if that’s what it is) “screwed up the whole puzzle” 😜.)

    2. @Dave … Just for grins (and at some expense to my aging back), I hauled all my old National Geographic world atlases down off the shelf. I have the 6th edition (1990), the 7th edition (1999), and the 8th edition (2005), and all of them prefer “Tiranë” over “Tirana”. If I get near a library or a bookstore later today, I’ll try to check out more recent editions, but Joon Pahk’s choice is looking better all the time … 😜

    3. @Dave … One more post (I promise 😜): In the local library, I found three atlases for children; all of them used “Tirana” (though one of them did mention “Tiranë” as an alternate spelling). In Barnes & Noble, I checked several new atlases from “National Geographic”, “Oxford”, and/or “DK” (the most recent of which was published in 2016) and all of them preferred “Tiranë” to “Tirana”, mentioning the latter only as an alternate spelling. So, I think Mr. Pahk has the right of it for us adults, even if various Google hits disagree.

  3. As I approach retirement after a long varied career, I can honestly say that I have never, ever received or seen a memo with the term “inre” included in any of its’ possible spellings or forms… in:re, inre: etc. Just a pet peeve….

  4. Another super puzzle! Thanks, Joon and Will!

    “Lethean” for “inducing forgetfulness?” What explanation is there for that?

    This was my kind of puzzle, though – straightforward and no-nonsense. Just saying….

  5. One hour and 25 min. and no errors.
    I will never compete with guys like Bill and Dave but no errors compared to my usual one dumb mistake is a win for me.

  6. In response to Duncan R, the only time I’ve heard this used was in a Marx Bros. movie (Duck Soup?) where Groucho is satirically dictating a business letter to his assistant, Jamieson, and says “in re yours of the 5th inst.”

  7. About “In Re” – in the “olden” days when you were typing a memo, it would be set up with the top line “To:” (who the memo is going to); second line “From:” (who it’s from); and third line “In Re:”, meaning about or concerning, then the body of the memo.

      1. The olden days I remember in the office were when secretaries had devices called typewriters on which they typed the memos on sheets of paper and In Re: was the heading used to show the subject of the memo. That was back in the 1970’s before we started using computers.

  8. 44:30, 2 errors. One bad guess and then “Tirane”, where ever this mystical city is – it’s sure not in Albania. If there is this “Tirane”, I never received the memo in any of my classes or books or atlases that I’ve ever dealt with. It was always “Tirana”, no alternative spelling. Not to mention this has the same clue editing error as the LA Times Saturday (12/01) in 1A (clue, the correct answer to 1A is FRANKLIN).

  9. @Glenn … See the following site:

    https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Tiranë

    Or (to summarize what all my research indicates): Check out just about any atlas meant for adults, rather than for children, and you will find “Tiranë”.

    (To be honest, I also thought, initially, that “Tirana” might be the preferred spelling, but I am prepared to accept what’s in all those atlases over a vague memory from my childhood.)

    And, as for using “Aretha” in place of “Franklin”, all I can say is that, the day after she died, I was with two African-American friends, and one of them said, “Did you hear that Aretha died?” And we all knew exactly who she meant, because that’s how Aretha Franklin was thought of.

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