1116-18 NY Times Crossword 16 Nov 18, Friday

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Constructed by: Kyle Dolan
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 9m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9. Octet in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” : MAIDS

The fabulous Christmas Carol called “The Twelve Days of Christmas” dates back at least to 1780 when it was first published in England, though it may be French in origin. The concept of twelve days of Christmas comes from the tradition that the three kings came to visit the Christ Child twelve days after he was born. This same tradition is the origin of the title to Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night”.

20. Von Trapp father in “The Sound of Music” : GEORG

The von Trapps portrayed in the musical “The Sound of Music” were a real family, as is well known. In the musical and film, the eldest daughter is “Liesl”, although in real life her name was Agathe. Agathe came with her family to the US in 1938, and operated a private kindergarten in Baltimore, Maryland for 35 years. Agathe passed away in 2010.

22. Sport whose participants are called rikishi : SUMO

Sumo is a sport that is practiced professionally only in Japan, the country of its origin. There is an international federation of sumo wrestling now, and one of the organization’s aims is to have the sport accepted as an Olympic event.

“Rikishi” is the term used for a sumo wrestler. “Rikishi” translates from Japanese as “strong man”.

23. Scoopers for baba ghanouj : PITAS

Baba ghanoush (also “baba ghanouj”) is an Arab dish with the main ingredient of mashed eggplant. It is sometimes served as a (delicious) dip.

28. Solver with a set of clues, for short : TEC

“Tec” is a slang term for “private detective”, “private investigator” (PI).

29. ___ testing : BETA

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

31. Pre-euro money : DRACHMA

The Greek drachma was in use until it was replaced by the euro in 2002. As well as being Greece’s currency in modern times, the drachma was also used in ancient Greece.

37. Leukocytes : WHITE BLOOD CELLS

White blood cells protect the body against infection and are part of the immune system. They are formed in the bone marrow and are found mainly in the blood and lymphatic systems. White blood cells are also known as leukocytes, from the Greek “leuko-” meaning “white”.

40. Who said “There’s only one Elizabeth like me, and that’s the queen” : ARDEN

“Elizabeth Arden” was the business name used by Canadian-American Florence Nightingale Graham. Arden built a cosmetics empire that made her one of the wealthiest women in the world. Arden had a famous rivalry with fellow cosmetics entrepreneur Helena Rubinstein, and that rivalry even spawned a 2016 stage musical called “War Paint”.

42. More run-down : SEEDIER

We use the word “seedy” to mean “shabby”. The usage probably arose from the appearance of a flowering plant that has gone to seed.

45. Jacques of film : TATI

Jacques Tati was a very famous filmmaker and comic actor in his homeland of France. Even though he only directed six feature-length movies, Tati is often cited by insiders as one of the greatest movie directors of all time.

46. French plural of “son” : SES

“Ses” is the French word for “his”, “her” or “its”, when referring to a group of items or individuals.

49. Arcade game button : START

Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

53. Name on the ESPY Courage Award : ASHE

The Arthur Ashe Courage Award has been presented annually since 1993 as part of the ESPY Awards. Named for tennis great Arthur Ashe, the Courage Award is presented to individuals whose contributions “transcend sports”. The list of recipients includes Howard Cosell (1995), Muhammad Ali (1997), Billie Jean King (1999), Nelson Mandela (2009), Caitlyn Jenner (2015) and Eunice Kennedy Shriver (2017).

57. What “torah” means : LAW

The Torah ark is found in a synagogue, and is the ornamental container in which are stored the Torah scrolls. The word “Torah” best translates as “teaching” or “law”, I am told.

58. Neighbor of Suisse : ITALIE

In French, “Italie” (Italy) borders “la Suisse” (Switzerland).

65. Older brother of Malcolm on “Malcolm in the Middle” : REESE

I’ve never actually sat down and watched the TV comedy “Malcolm in the Middle”. It ran on Fox from 2000 to 2006. Malcolm was played by Frankie Muniz, who gave up acting to pursue a career in motor racing.

Down

3. Young prey for a bobcat : OWLET

The lynx is a wild cat, of which there are four species. These are:

  • The Eurasian lynx: the biggest of the four species.
  • The Canada lynx: well-adapted to life in cold environments.
  • The Iberian lynx: a native of the Iberian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and the most endangered cat species in the world.
  • The bobcat: our North American wildcat, the smallest of the four lynxes

4. Make the calls, informally : UMP

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

5. Break during a cricket match : TEA

Cricket is the national game of England. The term “cricket” apparently comes from the Old French word “criquet” meaning “goalpost, stick”.

7. Pool game : NINE-BALL

Eight-ball and nine-ball are arguably the most popular variants of pool played in North America. In eight-ball, one player sinks the striped balls and the other the solid balls. The first to sink all his or her balls and then the black 8-ball, without fouling, wins the game. In nine-ball, each player must hit the lowest numbered ball on the table first with the cue ball. The first player to sink the 9-ball wins. Sinking the nine ball can happen when first hitting the lowest bowl on the table, or possibly when balls numbered 1-8 have been sunk.

8. Bulldog’s N.C.A.A. rival : GATOR

The Florida Gators are the sports teams of the University of Florida, located in Gainesville. Sometimes the female teams are called the “Lady Gators”, and all of the fans make up the “Gator Nation”.

10. Big name in men’s deodorant : AXE

Axe is a brand of male grooming products. Axe is sold under the name Lynx in some parts of the world.

11. Suffix with sinus : -ITIS

The suffix “-itis” is used to denote inflammation, as in laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx), otitis (inflammation of the ear), tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon), tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils) and sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses).

16. Popular movie theater candy : SNO-CAPS

Sno-Caps are a brand of candy usually only available in movie theaters. Sno-caps have been around since the 1920s, would you believe?

25. Pertaining to the moon : SELENIC

Selene was the Greek goddess of the moon, the equivalent of the Roman deity Luna. Selene gave her name to the word “selenology”, the study of the geology of the moon, and also gave her name to the chemical element “selenium”. According to mythology, Selene fell in love with the handsome hunter/shepherd Endymion, a mere mortal.

30. Key in? : TAB

Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious, involving lots of tapping on the spacebar and backspace key. So, a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to “jump” across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this was simplified to a tab key which could be depressed, causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.

33. Like the highest-rated restaurants in Michelin Guides : THREE-STAR

Michelin is a manufacturer of tires that is based in France. The company was founded by brothers Édouard and André Michelin in 1888. The brothers were running a rubber factory at the time, and invented the world’s first removable pneumatic tire, an invention that they used to launch their new company. Michelin is also noted for rating restaurants and accommodation in its famous Michelin Travel Guides, awarding coveted Michelin “stars”.

35. Copacetic : A-OK

Something described as “copacetic” is very fine, very acceptable.

37. Spiced holiday drink : WASSAIL

Wassail is ale or mulled wine used for toasting at festivals, especially Christmas. The term “wassail” comes from Old Norse “ves heill” meaning “be healthy”.

39. Raiders’ org. : DEA

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

43. Period of great climate change : EOCENE

The Eocene Epoch lasted from 56 to 34 million years ago. The name “Eocene” comes from the Greek “eos” meaning “dawn” and “kainos” meaning “new”. This is a reference to the “new dawn” for mammals, which emerged during the Eocene epoch.

44. Paris’s ___ de Rivoli : RUE

The Battle of Rivoli was a 1797 victory for the French, led by Napoleon Bonaparte, over the Austrians. The battle took place at Rivoli Veronese, a commune in the north of Italy. The famous Rue de Rivoli that passes alongside the Louvre Palace in Paris is named for the battle.

50. What a politician’s promises and actions should do : ALIGN

We live in hope …

52. One may be quoted in the news : TWEET

I have never tweeted in my life, and have no plans to do so (but one should never say “never”!). Twitter is a microblogging service that limits any post sent to just 280 characters. In a sense, it is similar to this blog. Here I send out a post once a day containing information that I think might be useful to folks (thank you for reading!). I don’t think I could send out much of interest using just 280 characters.

59. Neighbor of the island Santorini : IOS

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

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. What all capital letters may indicate : SHOUTING
9. Octet in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” : MAIDS
14. Online magazines, blogs, etc. : NEW MEDIA
15. Speaks highly of : EXTOLS
17. Canvas application : OIL PAINT
18. Bring under control : REIN IN
19. One might be written to an idol : ODE
20. Von Trapp father in “The Sound of Music” : GEORG
22. Sport whose participants are called rikishi : SUMO
23. Scoopers for baba ghanouj : PITAS
26. Supreme Court clerk’s reading : BRIEF
28. Solver with a set of clues, for short : TEC
29. ___ testing : BETA
31. Pre-euro money : DRACHMA
33. A chorus line? : TRA LA LA
36. Pride : lions :: ___ : monkeys : TROOP
37. Leukocytes : WHITE BLOOD CELLS
40. Who said “There’s only one Elizabeth like me, and that’s the queen” : ARDEN
41. Massaged : KNEADED
42. More run-down : SEEDIER
45. Jacques of film : TATI
46. French plural of “son” : SES
47. Challenge for a mover : COUCH
49. Arcade game button : START
53. Name on the ESPY Courage Award : ASHE
55. Inspiration for some fake social media accounts, informally : CELEB
57. What “torah” means : LAW
58. Neighbor of Suisse : ITALIE
60. Capital of South Australia : ADELAIDE
63. 2015 Best Actress winner Brie : LARSON
64. “It’s fine, don’t worry” : NO BIGGIE
65. Older brother of Malcolm on “Malcolm in the Middle” : REESE
66. “Faster, faster!” : STEP ON IT!

Down

1. Pry : SNOOP
2. Heitkamp of North Dakota politics : HEIDI
3. Young prey for a bobcat : OWLET
4. Make the calls, informally : UMP
5. Break during a cricket match : TEA
6. “Understood, man” : I DIG
7. Pool game : NINE-BALL
8. Bulldog’s N.C.A.A. rival : GATOR
9. Combination : MERGER
10. Big name in men’s deodorant : AXE
11. Suffix with sinus : -ITIS
12. Bite-size breakfast treat : DONUT HOLE
13. Jellylike organism once classified as a fungus : SLIME MOLD
16. Popular movie theater candy : SNO-CAPS
21. Cleanse : RID
24. Quieted down : ABATED
25. Pertaining to the moon : SELENIC
27. Billionaire types : FAT CATS
30. Key in? : TAB
32. Byline, e.g. : CREDIT
33. Like the highest-rated restaurants in Michelin Guides : THREE-STAR
34. Car-pooling arrangement : RIDESHARE
35. Copacetic : A-OK
37. Spiced holiday drink : WASSAIL
38. Precisely : ON THE DOT
39. Raiders’ org. : DEA
43. Period of great climate change : EOCENE
44. Paris’s ___ de Rivoli : RUE
48. Tribes : CLANS
50. What a politician’s promises and actions should do : ALIGN
51. Windmill blades, essentially : RADII
52. One may be quoted in the news : TWEET
54. “What ___?” : ELSE
56. ___ Rexha, pop singer with the 2017 #2 hit “Meant to Be” : BEBE
59. Neighbor of the island Santorini : IOS
61. Edge : LIP
62. Give it ___ : A GO