1202-18 NY Times Crossword 2 Dec 18, Sunday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Represent!

Themed answers are common phrases that are represented visually by letters and words in the corresponding clues:

  • 23A. 13579 AZ : ODDS AND ENDS (“odd numbers” and “end letters”)
  • 36A. Large large skip skip : TOO BIG TO IGNORE (“two big, two ignore”)
  • 56A. AT hot dog hot dog RA : FRANK SINATRA (“franks” in “atra”)
  • 66A. Wound + dis : ADD INSULT TO INJURY (“insult” + “injury”)
  • 80A.
    P P
    U U
    B B
    : PARALLEL BARS (“pub” alongside “pub”)
  • 94A. Per spire : BREAKING A SWEAT (“perspiring”)
  • 117A.
    Yearn
    do
    : LONG OVERDUE (“long” over “due”)

Bill’s time: 19m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Locks in a barn? : MANE

That would the name of a horse.

10. Icon leading to checkout : CART

That would be online shipping.

18. Large green moths : LUNAS

The lime-green luna moth is one of the largest moths found in North America, growing to a wingspan of up to 4½ inches.

22. Greek ally in the “Iliad” : HERA

In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and was noted for her jealous and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character to Hera in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

25. Hash houses : BEANERIES

A beanery is an inexpensive restaurant. The term “beanery” has been used in American English since the 1800s.

27. Country on the Red Sea : ERITREA

Eritrea is a country located in the Horn of Africa, surrounded by Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Red Sea. Some scientists believe that the area now known as Eritrea was the departure point for the anatomically modern humans who first left Africa to populate the rest of the world.

31. Egyptian god of the universe : AMEN-RA

Amun (also “Amon, Amen, Amun-Ra”) was a god in Egyptian mythology. Amun lends his name to our word “ammonia”. This is because the Romans called the ammonium chloride that they collected near the Temple of Jupiter Amun, “sal ammoniacus” (salt of Amun).

34. Summer clock setting: Abbr. : DST

On the other side of the Atlantic, daylight saving time (DST) is known as “summer time”. The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring (“spring forward”), and backwards in the fall (“fall back”) so that afternoons have more daylight. Here in the US, DST starts on the second Sunday of March, and ends on the the first Sunday of November.

43. Victoria’s Secret item : BRA

Victoria’s Secret was founded in 1977 in San Francisco, California. The founder wanted to create an environment where men were comfortable buying lingerie for their wives or girlfriends, an alternative to a department store.

46. Sandra Denton, in hip-hop’s “Whatta Man” trio : PEPA

Salt-N-Pepa are an all-female hip hop trio from New York, made up of “Salt” (Cheryl James), “Pepa” (Sandra Denton) and “DJ Spinderella” (Deidra Roper). Their 1991 song “Let’s Talk Sex” created quite a fuss as the lyrics explored the subject of sex, and safe sex in particular. A later version addressed the dangers of AIDS.

55. First name on the Supreme Court : ELENA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States from 2009 until 2010, when she replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. Kagan also served as the first female dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009.

56. AT hot dog hot dog RA : FRANK SINATRA (“franks” in “atra”)

Frank Sinatra was the only child of Italian immigrants living in Hoboken, New Jersey. Like so many of our heroes, Sinatra had a rough upbringing. His mother was arrested several times and convicted of running an illegal abortion business in the family home. Sinatra never finished high school, as he was expelled for rowdy conduct. He was later arrested as a youth on a morals charge for carrying on with a married woman, which was an offence back then. But Sinatra straightened himself out by the time he was twenty and started singing professionally.

60. The Lions or Tigers, on scoreboards : DET

The Detroit Lions are the NFL team that plays home games at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The team was founded way back in 1929 as the Portsmouth Spartans from Portsmouth, Ohio. The Spartans joined the NFL during the Great Depression as other franchises collapsed. However, the Spartans couldn’t command a large enough gate in Portsmouth so the team was sold and relocated to Detroit in 1934.

The origins of the Detroit Tigers baseball team’s name seems a little unclear. One story is that it was taken from the Detroit Light Guard military unit who were known as “The Tigers”. The Light Guard fought with distinction during the Civil War and in the Spanish-American War. Sure enough, when the Detroit baseball team went into the Majors they were formally given permission to use “The Tigers” name by the Detroit Light Guard.

61. Many a fête d’anniversaire attendee : AMIE

In French, an “amie” (girlfriend) might attend one’s “fête d’anniversaire” (birthday party).

62. Writer Wiesel : ELIE

Elie Wiesel was a holocaust survivor, and is best known for his book “Night” that tells of his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. He was also the first recipient of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum Award, which was later renamed the Elie Wiesel Award in his honor.

72. “___ Vickers,” Sinclair Lewis novel : ANN

“Ann Vickers” is a novel by Sinclair Lewis, first published in 1933. That same year, “Ann Vickers” was adapted into a movie with Irene Dunne in the title role.

75. Perch for a pie : SILL

“Sill plate”, or simply “sill”, is an architectural term for a bottom horizontal member to which vertical members are attached. Windowsills and doorsills are specific sill plates found at the bottoms of a window and door openings.

76. Comment on a blog : POST

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”.

78. Dad ___ : BOD

A “dad bod” is a man’s body that is softly rounded. Well, that’s the description I like to use …

84. Big name in watches : OMEGA

Omega is a manufacturer of high-end watches based in Switzerland. An Omega watch was the first portable timepiece to make it to the moon, Perhaps even more impressive is the fact James Bond has been wearing an Omega watch in the movies since 1995.

89. Masters : MAVENS

I’ve always loved the term “maven”, which is another word for “expert”. Maven comes into English from the Yiddish “meyvn” describing someone who appreciates and is a connoisseur.

99. Farrokh Bulsara ___ Freddie Mercury : AKA

Freddie Mercury was a British singer-songwriter who was lead singer for the rock group Queen. Mercury wrote many of Queen’s hits, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Somebody to Love”, “Don’t Stop Me Now” and “We Are the Champions”. Mercury’s real name was Farrokh Bulsara, and he was born to Parsi parents in Zanzibar (now part of Tanzania) in East Africa. He grew up mainly in India, and arrived in England at the age of 17 when his family had flee from the Zanzibar Revolution.

107. Something studied in toponymy : PLACE NAME

A toponym is a name that comes from a place or region. For example, New Jersey is named for the island of Jersey in the English Channel, and Indianapolis is named for the state of Indiana.

113. Creator of the detective Adam Dalgliesh : PD JAMES

P. D. James was an incredibly successful English author of crime fiction, with her most famous books being a series that features a policeman and sometime poet, Adam Dalgliesh. James’ 1992 novel called “The Children of Men” was adapted into a 2006 movie (“Children of Men”) starring Clive Owen and Julianne Moore. It tells of a world that develops after two generations of human infertility.

116. Fiery peppers : HABANEROS

The habanero chili has a very intense flavor. Interestingly, the correct spelling of the chili’s name is “habanero”, although in English we try to be clever and add a tilde making it “habañero”, which isn’t right at all …

119. Currier’s partner : IVES

Currier and Ives was a printmaking concern in New York City run by Nathaniel Currier and his partner James Merritt Ives from 1834 to 1907. The firm specialized in making affordable, hand-colored black and white lithographs.

121. Grassy expanse : SWARD

“Sward” is version of the word “swarth”, and describes a grassy piece of land.

124. Spanish title: Abbr. : SRTA

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish, and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French, for “Miss”.

125. Pivot around an axis : SLUE

“To slue” (also “slew) is to turn sharply, or to rotate on an axis.

Down

1. White sheet : FLOE

An ice floe is a sheet of ice that has separated from an ice field and is floating freely on the ocean.

2. Broadway’s McDonald : AUDRA

Audra McDonald is an actress and singer best known for her work on the stage. McDonald has won six competitive Tony Awards, which is more than any other actor. She is also the only person to have won Tony Awards in all four categories: featured actress in a play, leading actress in a play, featured actress in a musical, and leading actress in a musical.

5. Evictor of the Jews in “Fiddler on the Roof” : TSAR

The enduring musical “Fiddler on the Roof” is based on a collection of stories by Sholem Aleichem about Tevye, a milkman living in Tsarist Russia. The musical version of the tales first opened on Broadway in 1964. “Fiddler on the Roof” had such a long run that it became the first musical to reach 3,000 performances.

6. Palindromic title : MADAM

The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite words is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

11. What a Mercator projection map notably distorts : AREA

A Mercator projection is a type of map, one named for Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator. The map distorts reality in that line of longitude are parallel to each, rather than meeting at the north and south poles. The resulting effect is that land masses are distorted in size, with more and more distortion taking place moving away from the equator and towards the poles.

12. ___ Bridge (Venice landmark) : RIALTO

The Grand Canal is a large, S-shaped canal that traverses the city of Venice in Italy. For centuries there was only one bridge across the canal, the famed Rialto Bridge. Now there are four bridges in all, including a controversial structure that was opened to the public in 2008 called the Ponte della Costituzione.

13. Like some yoga : TANTRIC

I’ve heard it explained that yoga brings the body and mind under control in order to harmonize with the spirit. Tantric yoga on the other hand, tries to use the mind to balance the needs of the body and the spirit.

14. Explosion fragments : SHRAPNEL

“Shrapnel” is a word used for shell fragments. The term comes from the Shrapnel shell that is named for British artillery office Major-General Henry Shrapnel who developed the first such munition.

16. Trojan ally in the “Iliad” : ARES

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

17. Moonshine maker’s need : MASH

In brewing and distilling, the mash is the mixture of grain and water that is heated so that enzymes break down starch into sugars. The sugary liquor extracted from the mash is called the wort. Yeast is added to the wort, resulting in the sugars being converted to alcohol.

26. Political refugees : EMIGRES

An “émigré” is an emigrant. The term is French in origin, and particularly applies to someone who is a political refugee from his or her native land.

32. Announcement over a plane’s P.A. : ETA

Public address (PA) system.

37. Minute amount : IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

38. Test for a college sr. : GRE

Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

43. Soul sister, say : BFF

Best friend forever (BFF)

44. ___ avis : RARA

A “rara avis” is anything that is very rare. The Latin term translates as “rare bird”.

47. Telepathy term : PSI

Parapsychologists use the term “Psi” to refer to various psychic phenomena. “Psi” is the 23rd letter of the Greek alphabet, and is used to represent the first letters of words such as “psychic” and “psyche”.

51. Children’s author Blyton : ENID

Enid Blyton wrote stories for children that were very popular when I was growing up in the British Isles. Not so long ago, I purchased and reread my favorite of her stories growing up, a children’s novel called “The Secret Island”.

52. Anklebone : TALUS

The collection of seven bones in the foot just below the ankle are known collectively as the tarsus. One of those bones is the talus (plural “tali”), more commonly called the ankle bone. The talus is the lower part of the ankle joint and articulates with the lower ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower leg.

57. Catbird seat? : NEST

The idiomatic phrase “the catbird seat” is used to describe an enviable position in which one has the upper hand. The first documented use of the expression is in a 1942 story by James Thurber called “The Catbird Seat”.

58. “At Seventeen” singer Janis ___ : IAN

Janice Ian wrote her lovely song “At Seventeen“ when she herself was 22, looking back at that earlier age with a little maturity. The lyrics were inspired by a newspaper article she read about a teenage debutante who had learned the hard way that her popularity at school was not the answer to life’s problems.

59. He wore #6 for the Sixers : DR J

Julius Erving is a retired professional basketball player who was known as “Dr. J”, a nickname he picked up in high school. Dr. J was a trailblazer in many ways, being the first player associated with slam dunking and other moves above the rim.

64. Ones place : TILL

The till or cash register is where to put the ones, fives, tens and twenties.

68. “Ask ___ …” : NOT

“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” is a passage from the famous inaugural address delivered by President John F. Kennedy in January 1961. Although it is generally regarded as one of the best inaugural addresses, it is the fourth shortest, taking just 13m 59s to deliver from start to finish.

69. Flag : TIRE

Our verb “to flag” meaning “to tire” was originally used in the sense of something flapping about lazily in the wind. From this it came to mean “to go limp, droop”, and then “to tire”.

72. Manhattan Project creation : A-BOMB

The Manhattan project was the joint US-Canada-UK project to develop an atomic bomb during WWII. Initially, the Army headquarters for the program was located on the 18th floor of a building on Broadway in New York City. Eventually, because of that first location, the project adopted the name “Manhattan”.

73. Baseball’s Garciaparra : NOMAR

Nomar Garciaparra is one of only thirteen players to have hit two grand slams during a single game in the Majors. He accomplished that feat in 1999 for the Boston Red Sox against the Seattle Mariners.

82. Boy king in Shakespeare’s “Richard III” : EDWARD V

“Richard III” is one of the more famous of William Shakespeare’s historical plays. A well-known 1955 version of the play was made for the big screen with Laurence Olivier playing the title role. The most oft-quoted words from “Richard III” are probably the opening lines “Now is the winter of our discontent/Made glorious summer by this sun of York”, and Richard’s plea at the climax of battle “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!”

87. Genetic info carrier : RNA

Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

92. Cardinal letters : STL

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

95. “___, My God, to Thee” (hymn) : NEARER

“Nearer, My God, to Thee” is a Christian hymn dating back to the 19th century. Supposedly, it was last song played by the band just before the RMS Titanic sank.

100. Hank who voices Moe and Chief Wiggum : AZARIA

Hank Azaria is one of my favorite American actors, and is someone who I think can really expertly portray a vast array of characters. I can’t stand “The Simpsons” mind you, a show to which Azaria is inextricably linked, but if you look at his role in “The Birdcage” as a flamboyant gay houseboy, and his role in “Shattered Glass” as a stoic magazine editor, you’ll get a taste for Azaria’s extensive range.

103. Lyric poem : EPODE

An epode is a lyric poem made up of couplets in which the first line is long, and the second line much shorter. The form was invented by the Greek poet Archilochus, and was most famously used by the Roman poet Horace.

105. German port in Lower Saxony : EMDEN

The German city of Emden sits on the River Ems, and is a port on the North Sea coast of Germany.

106. Two in the hand : DEUCE

A “two” playing card might be called a “deuce”, from the Middle French “deus” (or Modern French “deux”) meaning “two”.

107. Knight who co-founded Nike : PHIL

Nike was founded in 1964 by entrepreneur Phil Knight and track and field coach Bill Bowerman as Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS). BRS started out by distributing athletic shoes made in Japan. The company started making its own shoes in 1971 and changed its name to Nike, after the Greek goddess of victory.

108. What obsidian forms from : LAVA

Obsidian is a volcanic glass, an igneous rock. Obsidian has many functional and decorative uses. I find the use of obsidian to make glass knives to be of particular interest. Well-made obsidian knives can have a cutting edge that is many times sharper than even the highest quality of steel.

111. “Cómo ___ usted?” : ESTA

“¿Cómo está usted?” is the more formal way of asking “How are you?” in Spanish.

114. Norwegian P.M. Stoltenberg : JENS

Jens Stoltenberg became Secretary General of NATO in 2014, after having served two terms as Prime Minister of Norway.

115. Sibyl : SEER

The word “sibyl” and the name “Sibyl” come from the Greek word “sibylla” meaning “prophetess”. There were many prophetic sibyls, but most famous is probably the Delphic Sibyl.

118. “Despicable Me” supervillain : GRU

The main protagonist in the “Despicable Me” movies is the supervillain Felonius Gru, usually referred to simply as “Gru”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Tennis judge’s cry : FAULT!
6. Locks in a barn? : MANE
10. Icon leading to checkout : CART
14. Traveled in trunks? : SWAM
18. Large green moths : LUNAS
19. Dateless, say : ALONE
21. It’s frequently in Italian : ARIA
22. Greek ally in the “Iliad” : HERA
23. 13579 AZ : ODDS AND ENDS (“odd numbers” and “end letters”)
25. Hash houses : BEANERIES
27. Country on the Red Sea : ERITREA
28. Home sick? : OUT
29. Brackish coastal habitat : SALT MARSH
30. Citrus drink : ADE
31. Egyptian god of the universe : AMEN-RA
33. It often comes before the fall : TRIP
34. Summer clock setting: Abbr. : DST
36. Large large skip skip : TOO BIG TO IGNORE (“two big, two ignore”)
43. Victoria’s Secret item : BRA
46. Sandra Denton, in hip-hop’s “Whatta Man” trio : PEPA
48. A miner concern? : ORE
49. Opening in a battlement : CRENEL
50. Some transitional movie shots : FADE-INS
52. Sporting a feathery crest : TUFTED
55. First name on the Supreme Court : ELENA
56. AT hot dog hot dog RA : FRANK SINATRA (“franks” in “atra”)
58. Tags : IDS
60. The Lions or Tigers, on scoreboards : DET
61. Many a fête d’anniversaire attendee : AMIE
62. Writer Wiesel : ELIE
63. Invincibility power-up in Mario games : STAR
65. Blow away : AWE
66. Wound + dis : ADD INSULT TO INJURY (“insult” + “injury”)
72. “___ Vickers,” Sinclair Lewis novel : ANN
74. Doesn’t keep : ROTS
75. Perch for a pie : SILL
76. Comment on a blog : POST
78. Dad ___ : BOD
79. After all deductions : NET
80.
P P
U U
B B
: PARALLEL BARS (“pub” alongside “pub”)
84. Big name in watches : OMEGA
86. Creator of a draft : BREWER
88. All you can eat : EDIBLES
89. Masters : MAVENS
91. Six-foot runner? : ANT
92. Cut, as a log : SAWN
93. Scratch (out) : EKE
94. Per spire : BREAKING A SWEAT (“perspiring”)
99. Farrokh Bulsara ___ Freddie Mercury : AKA
101. ___ Caovilla, Italian shoe designer : RENE
102. Part of a buck : ANTLER
104. End of the British alphabet : ZED
107. Something studied in toponymy : PLACE NAME
112. Altar avowal : I DO
113. Creator of the detective Adam Dalgliesh : PD JAMES
116. Fiery peppers : HABANEROS
117.
Yearn
do
: LONG OVERDUE (“long” over “due”)
119. Currier’s partner : IVES
120. Something to take lying down : REST
121. Grassy expanse : SWARD
122. Certain reunion attendee : NIECE
123. It’s better than never, they say : LATE
124. Spanish title: Abbr. : SRTA
125. Pivot around an axis : SLUE
126. Less crazy : SANER

Down

1. White sheet : FLOE
2. Broadway’s McDonald : AUDRA
3. Reversed : UNDID
4. Kept on going : LASTED
5. Evictor of the Jews in “Fiddler on the Roof” : TSAR
6. Palindromic title : MADAM
7. Pint glass fill : ALE
8. “That’s all wrong!” : NO NO NO!
9. Off-road motorcycle race : ENDURO
10. Street fleet : CABS
11. What a Mercator projection map notably distorts : AREA
12. ___ Bridge (Venice landmark) : RIALTO
13. Like some yoga : TANTRIC
14. Explosion fragments : SHRAPNEL
15. Small dam : WEIR
16. Trojan ally in the “Iliad” : ARES
17. Moonshine maker’s need : MASH
20. Cornerstone abbr. : ESTAB
24. Puts in order : NEATENS
26. Political refugees : EMIGRES
32. Announcement over a plane’s P.A. : ETA
35. Like cleats : SPIKED
37. Minute amount : IOTA
38. Test for a college sr. : GRE
39. “Father ___” (bygone British sitcom) : TED
40. Store event that people may stand in line for : ONE-DAY SALE
41. Freshen : RENEW
42. Give a major lift : ELATE
43. Soul sister, say : BFF
44. ___ avis : RARA
45. Garden parties? : ADAM AND EVE
47. Telepathy term : PSI
51. Children’s author Blyton : ENID
52. Anklebone : TALUS
53. Abbr. that rhymes with “bill,” appropriately : UTIL
54. Woodworking tool : FRET SAW
57. Catbird seat? : NEST
58. “At Seventeen” singer Janis ___ : IAN
59. He wore #6 for the Sixers : DR J
63. Like some clean energy : SOLAR
64. Ones place : TILL
67. Boiling blood : IRE
68. “Ask ___ …” : NOT
69. Flag : TIRE
70. Satellite connection : UPLINK
71. Eldest Stark son on “Game of Thrones” : ROBB
72. Manhattan Project creation : A-BOMB
73. Baseball’s Garciaparra : NOMAR
77. Long haul : TREK
79. Durable yellow cotton cloth : NANKEEN
80. Darlings : PETS
81. Grassy expanse : LEA
82. Boy king in Shakespeare’s “Richard III” : EDWARD V
83. Atlanta-to-Miami dir. : SSE
85. Transmission part : GEARCASE
86. Groceries holder : BAG
87. Genetic info carrier : RNA
90. What all people are, per the Bible : SINNERS
92. Cardinal letters : STL
95. “___, My God, to Thee” (hymn) : NEARER
96. Sings the blues : WAILS
97. Funds : ENDOWS
98. Discordant : ATONAL
100. Hank who voices Moe and Chief Wiggum : AZARIA
103. Lyric poem : EPODE
105. German port in Lower Saxony : EMDEN
106. Two in the hand : DEUCE
107. Knight who co-founded Nike : PHIL
108. What obsidian forms from : LAVA
109. Partner of aid : ABET
110. Lion’s share : MOST
111. “Cómo ___ usted?” : ESTA
114. Norwegian P.M. Stoltenberg : JENS
115. Sibyl : SEER
118. “Despicable Me” supervillain : GRU

13 thoughts on “1202-18 NY Times Crossword 2 Dec 18, Sunday”

  1. 47:21, no errors. Several lucky guesses allowed me to get through this. AMEN RA is (to me) the least familiar spelling of AMUN RA. Tough puzzle, enjoyed meeting the challenge.

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