0325-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 25 Mar 2018, Sunday

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Constructed by: Finn Vigeland
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: Follow the Sun

The circled letters in the puzzle show us the SUN rising in the east of the grid, and setting in the west. Across-answers that run into the letter S in each SUN take a turn through the SUN (up in the east, down in the west) and then carry on in the across-direction:

  • 26A. Catastrophic event that can be caused by a gigantic earthquake : MEGATSUNAMI
  • 29A. Folds, as a business : GOES UNDER
  • 56A. Hollywood labor groups : ACTORS’ UNIONS
  • 68A. How someone in awe might describe himself : MONKEY’S UNCLE
  • 98A. Amérique : ETATS UNIS
  • 102A. Only words on the front of the Great Seal of the United States : E PLURIBUS UNUM

Bill’s time: 31m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

12. Not empirical : A PRIORI

In the world of philosophy, one can have “a priori” knowledge or “a posteriori” knowledge. A priori (“from the earlier”) knowledge is independent of experience, it is just known or assumed. For example, one might say that “all boys are males” is a priori knowledge. A posteriori knowledge relies on experience or some empirical evidence. For example, one might say that “boys are more likely to diagnosed with ADD” is a posteriori knowledge.

22. Drunkard : ROUNDER

A “rounder” is a habitual drunk, with the term referring to the habit of turning up in bars, over and over.

23. Onetime co-host of “The View,” informally : ROSIE

We don’t get to see Rosie O’Donnell on the screen very much these days. She had a very successful chat show that ran from 1996 to 2002. My favorite performance of hers on the big screen is in a supporting role to Meg Ryan in the 1993 movie “Sleepless in Seattle”.

24. Contest once hosted by Bob Barker : MISS USA

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

Bob Barker is a retired TV host of game shows, most famous for hosting “The Price Is Right” for 35 years from 1972 to 2007. He retired when he was 83½ years old, having secured the record as the oldest man ever to host a regularly scheduled TV game show. Barker is a celebrated animal rights activist, and became a vegetarian in 1979. He donated $2.5 million to PETA to help establish a new office for the organization in Los Angeles, an office that is now called teh Bob Barker Building.

26. Catastrophic event that can be caused by a gigantic earthquake : MEGATSUNAMI

“Tsunami” is a Japanese word meaning “harbor wave”.

30. Headed for : EN ROUTE TO

“En route” is a French term that means “on the way”.

34. Abbr. on mil. mail : APO

Army post office (APO)

36. French painter of ballerinas : DEGAS

Edgar Degas was a French artist who was famous for both his paintings and his sculptures. Some of Degas’ most beautiful works feature female ballet dancers, and others depict women bathing.

42. How Hercule Poirot likes to address Hastings : MON AMI

Hercule Poirot is one of Agatha Christie’s most beloved characters. He is a wonderful Belgian private detective who plies his trade from his base in London. Poirot’s most famous case is the “Murder on the Orient Express”. First appearing in 1920’s “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”, Poirot finally succumbs to a heart condition in the 1975 book “Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case”. Famously, Poirot is fond of using his “little grey cells”.

43. Money in Malmö : KRONA

Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden, after Stockholm and Gothenburg.

“Krona” translates in English as “crown”, and is the currency of Sweden (plural “kronor”). As a member of the European Union, Sweden is required to adopt the euro as its official currency. Such a move isn’t really popular in Sweden and so the Swedish government has been using a legal loophole to allow the country to retain the krona.

45. Headstone inits. : RIP

Rest in peace (RIP)

53. Cherry variety : BING

The bing cherry is the most widely grown sweet cherry in the US. The cultivar was created in Oregon in 1875 by Seth Lewelling. Lewelling was a horticulturist, and he named the cherry for his Chinese foreman Ah Bing.

63. Chipotle choice : BURRITO

A burrito is a common dish served in Mexican cuisine. It is a flour tortilla filled with all sorts of good stuff. The term “burrito” is Spanish for “little donkey”, the diminutive of “burro” meaning “donkey”. It’s thought that the name was applied as a burrito looks like a bedroll or pack that might be carried by a donkey.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is a chain of casual dining restaurants that was founded and is now headquartered in Denver, Colorado. For several years, the major investor in Chipotle was McDonald’s. The chain is named for the smoke-dried jalapeño called a “chipotle”.

67. 2015 hit spinoff of “Despicable Me” : MINIONS

“Despicable Me” is a 2010 animated comedy film. The main voice actor in the movie is the very funny Steve Carell. “Despicable Me” is a Universal Pictures production, although all of the animation was done in France. The 2010 film was followed by a sequel “Despicable Me 2” released in 2013, with a prequel/spin-off film called “Minions” released in 2015.

68. How someone in awe might describe himself : MONKEY’S UNCLE

When Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution in his book “Descent of Man”, the general reception could at best be described as “skeptical”. The phrase “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle” came out of this reaction, an expression that was designed to ridicule Darwin’s theory.

73. One of the Big Four accounting firms : KPMG

KPMG is an accounting and professional services company based in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The company’s initialism stands for “Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler”.

75. Placeholder letters : TBA

KPMG is an accounting and professional services company based in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The company’s initialism stands for “Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler”.

80. Trivia fodder : FACTS

Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …

83. Rough shelter : LEAN-TO

By definition, a lean-to is a building in which the rafters lean against the wall of another building. A lean-to shelter has a similar appearance, although it is free-standing. The shelter has a single-pitched roof and only three walls.

84. Hannah who coined the phrase “the banality of evil” : ARENDT

Hannah Arendt was studying and working the field of philosophy, when she had to flee her native Germany in the run up to WWII because of her Jewish heritage. Arendt ended up in the US in 1941, and took posts in various schools here. In 1969 she was appointed full professor at Princeton, becoming the first woman to win such a position, and a decade before women students were admitted to the college.

86. Largest city in the Baltics : RIGA

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

The natives of modern day Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are sometimes referred to as Balts, a reference to the Baltic Sea on which the three countries lie. The term “Balt” is also used for someone who speaks one of the Baltic languages, a group of languages spoken by people mainly residing within the borders of Latvia and Lithuania, as well as in some immigrant communities around the world.

91. Per ___ (yearly) : ANNUM

The Latin word for year is “annus”. We often see it used in Latin phrases, but usually with a different spelling. For example in “anno Domini”, the “anno” is the ablative case of “annus” as the phrase means “in the year of the Lord”. Another example is “per annum”, in which “annum” is the accusative case as the literal translation of the phrase is “during the year”.

92. Vintage film channel : TCM

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is one of my favorite television channels, delivering just what its name promises: classic movies.

95. Like St. Augustine, among all U.S. cities : OLDEST

The city of St. Augustine in northeast Florida was founded as San Agustín in 1565 by the Spanish. That makes St. Augustine the oldest continuously-occupied, European-established settlement in the whole of the US. The Spanish maritime expedition first sighted land in the area on August 28, 1565. As August 28 was the feast day of Augustine of Hippo, San Agustín was chosen as the name for the new territory.

97. College, to a Brit : UNI

In Australia (Down Under) and in the British Isles the term “Uni” is routinely used for “university”.

98. Amérique : ETATS-UNIS

“Les États-Unis” is what French speakers call “the United States”.

101. Immigrants’ class, for short : ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

102. Only words on the front of the Great Seal of the United States : E PLURIBUS UNUM

From 1776, “E pluribus unum” was the unofficial motto of the United States. The phrase translates from Latin as “Out of many, one”. It was pushed aside in 1956 when an Act of Congress designated “In God We Trust” as the country’s official motto. “In God We Trust” had appeared on US coins since 1864, but was only introduced on paper currency in 1957.

106. Its hub at J.F.K. was designed by Eero Saarinen : TWA

Eero Saarinen was a Finnish-American architect who was renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK. The list of his lesser-known, but still impressive, works includes several buildings erected on academic campuses. For example, the Chapel and Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus, the Emma Hartman Noyes House at Vassar College, the Law School building at the University of Chicago, and Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink.

110. Artistic, chatty sorts, it’s said : GEMINIS

“Gemini” is the Latin word for “twins”.

120. Ancient, undeciphered writing system : LINEAR A

There were two linear scripts used in ancient Crete. One is known as Linear A. The other, imaginatively enough, is known as Linear B.

121. Towel fabric : TERRY

Terry cloth is a fabric designed to absorb lots of liquid. The fabric has relatively large loops of thread that improve the absorption properties. The larger the loop, the more thread, the better the absorption.

122. Relatives of asters : TANSIES

The tansy is a flowering plant of the aster family, native to Europe and Asia. It is found in other parts of the world, but there it is often considered to be invasive.

Down

1. E.M.T.’s training : CPR

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

5. International conglomerate whose name means “three stars” : SAMSUNG

Samsung is huge multinational company based in Seoul, South Korea. We tend to think of Samsung as a supplier of consumer electronics perhaps, but the company is into so much more. Samsung Heavy Industries is the world’s second-biggest shipbuilder, and Samsung Techwin is a major manufacturer of aeronautic and weapons systems. The name “Samsung” means “three stars” in Korean.

7. Gchats, e.g. : IMS

Even though instant messaging (sending IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties. The “AOL Instant Message” service was known as AIM.

8. Some A.L. players : DHS

Baseball’s American League (AL) allows a designated hitter (DH) in each team’s lineup, whereas the National League (NL) does not.

12. Medieval Spanish kingdom : ARAGON

Modern-day Aragón is an autonomous community in the northeast of Spain. The region is named for the medieval Kingdom of Aragón.

13. Sport last played in the Olympics in 1936 : POLO

The sport of polo originated in Iran, possibly before the 5th century BC. Polo was used back them primarily as a training exercise for cavalry units.

17. Riddle-me-___ : REE

There’s an old English nursery rhyme that goes:

Riddle-me riddle-me riddle-me-ree,
Perhaps you can tell what this riddle may be:
As deep as a house, as round as a cup,
And all the king’s horses can’t draw it up.

And the answer is …

… a well!

18. Qtrly. check recipient, maybe : IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

33. Paranoid sorts, in slang : TINHATS

A paranoid person might wear a hat made of aluminum foil in the belief that it provides protection against mind control and mind reading.

37. “Mamma Mia!” setting : GREECE

The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads … not so much! By the way, one can tell the difference between “Mamma Mia” the ABBA song and “Mamma Mia!” the musical, by noting the difference in the punctuation in the titles.

40. Anthropomorphic king of Celesteville : BABAR

“Babar the Elephant” originated in France, a creation of Jean de Brunhoff in 1931. The first book was “Histoire de Babar”, a book so successful it was translated into English two years later for publication in Britain and the US. Jean de Brunhoff wrote six more Babar stories before he died in 1937, and then his son Laurent continued his father’s work.

41. “Still ___” (Julianne Moore film) : ALICE

Actress Julianne Moore won her Best Actress Oscar for playing the title role in the 2014 film “Still Alice”, which deals with the subject of Alzheimer’s disease. As well as being a talented actor, Moore is a successful children’s author. Her 2007 book “Freckleface Strawberry” became a New York Times Best Seller, and was inspired by the teasing she received as a child for having freckles.

43. Rios, e.g. : KIAS

Kia have making the subcompact model called a Rio since 2000.

47. Intl. Rescue Committee, e.g. : NGO

Non-governmental organization (NGO)

49. R&B singer with the hits “So Sick” and “Mad” : NE-YO

“Ne-Yo” is the stage name of R&B singer Shaffer Chimere Smith.

51. Tempe sch. : ASU

Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, and was founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

57. Sac fly result : RBI

That would be a sac(rifice) fly, in baseball.

59. Some corsage wearers : PROM DATES

“Corsage” is a word that we imported from French in the late 15th century and meaning , believe it or not, “body size”. By the early 1800s, a corsage was a bodice, or the body of a woman’s dress. At the beginning of the 20th century, the French term “bouquet de corsage” was being used for a “bouquet worn on the bodice”, and this has been shortened simply to “corsage”.

61. Grand Lodge group : ELKS

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome.

68. Stunt at the end of a powerful performance : MIC DROP

A “mic drop” takes place when a performer has done particularly well and decides to celebrate by throwing or dropping the microphone to the floor. That doesn’t seem to happen at the performances I tend to frequent …

72. Big ___ (the drug industry) : PHARMA

Big Pharma is the nickname for the pharmaceutical industry. The nickname comes from the acronym for the lobbying group for the industry, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

75. Moment of liftoff : T-MINUS ZERO

We’re all familiar with the expression “T-minus …” in the countdown to the takeoff of a rocket, but do we know that the “T” stands for? The common answers given are “time” and “take off”, but it turns out that neither is correct. The expression originated in the early days of the space program and was used then not for launches but as a countdown to various “tests”. So the “T” stands for “test”, but it’s usage carried over into the actual launches themselves.

76. Dangerous toy : BB GUN

A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.070″ in diameter) to size FF (.230″). Birdshot that is size BB (0.180″ in diameter) gives the airgun its name.

80. Herculean act : FEAT

“The Twelve Labors of Hercules” is actually a Greek myth, although Hercules is the Roman name for the hero that the Greeks called Heracles. The first of these labors was to slay the Nemean Lion, a monster that lived in a cave near Nemea. Hercules had a tough job as the lion’s golden fur was impenetrable to normal weapons. One version of the story is that Hercules killed the lion by shooting an arrow into its mouth. Another version says that Hercules stunned the monster with a club and then strangled him with his bare hands.

89. End of a George Washington address? : 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)

90. Safer alternative to paintball : NERF WAR

Nerf is soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

The “paint” in paintball isn’t actually paint, but rather a mix of gelatin and food coloring.

94. Candy brand owned by Hershey : REESE’S

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were invented by Harry Burnett “H.B.” Reese. Peanut Butter Cups were originally called penny cups, reflecting the price at which they were sold. Then inflation took over, and maybe that’s why they were broken into smaller “Pieces” …

100. Branch of Islam : SUNNI

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.

105. Tiniest change : DIME

The term “dime”, used for a 10-cent coin, comes from the Old French word “disme” meaning “tenth part”.

107. Popular gaming console that sounds like two pronouns : WII U

The Wii U video game console is the successor to Nintendo’s Wii. I’m wondering if “Wii U” is some sort of play on the pronouns “we” and “you”? Maybe I just think too much …

112. Yahoo alternative : MSN

The Microsoft Network (MSN) used to be an Internet service provider (ISP). These days, MSN is mainly a web portal.

115. Grp. of connected computers : LAN

Local Area Network (LAN)

116. 1/100 of a 43-Across : ORE

The Swedish Krona is divided into 100 öres, a term derived from the Latin “aureus” meaning “gold”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Government policy chief : CZAR
5. Assented : SAID “YES”
12. Not empirical : A PRIORI
19. Not natural-looking : POSED
21. Sometimes hard-to-find shirt opening : ARMHOLE
22. Drunkard : ROUNDER
23. Onetime co-host of “The View,” informally : ROSIE
24. Contest once hosted by Bob Barker : MISS USA
25. Makes reference (to) : ALLUDES
26. Catastrophic event that can be caused by a gigantic earthquake : MEGATSUNAMI
28. “Fer sher” : DEF
29. Folds, as a business : GOES UNDER
30. Headed for : EN ROUTE TO
34. Abbr. on mil. mail : APO
36. French painter of ballerinas : DEGAS
40. Injunction : BAN
42. How Hercule Poirot likes to address Hastings : MON AMI
43. Money in Malmö : KRONA
45. Headstone inits. : RIP
46. Stag : ALONE
48. Ones in rocking chairs, stereotypically : GRANNIES
50. Smartphone feature : CAMERA
53. Cherry variety : BING
54. Start to many bumper stickers : I HEART
55. Response to pointing out a resemblance between two people : I SEE IT
56. Hollywood labor groups : ACTORS’ UNIONS
59. See 71-Down : … PLAYS
60. Plant stalk : PEDUNCLE
62. Crank (up) : REV
63. Chipotle choice : BURRITO
65. Nitwit : DOLT
66. 180s : UEYS
67. 2015 hit spinoff of “Despicable Me” : MINIONS
68. How someone in awe might describe himself : MONKEY’S UNCLE
70. Pretty cool, in slang : DOPE
73. One of the Big Four accounting firms : KPMG
74. Deft touch : FINESSE
75. Placeholder letters : TBA
78. Better now : ENHANCED
80. Trivia fodder : FACTS
81. All ___ : THUMBS
83. Rough shelter : LEAN-TO
84. Hannah who coined the phrase “the banality of evil” : ARENDT
86. Largest city in the Baltics : RIGA
87. Planets like ours, in sci-fi : EARTHS
88. Hue lighter than lime : TEA GREEN
91. Per ___ (yearly) : ANNUM
92. Vintage film channel : TCM
93. Goody : TREAT
95. Like St. Augustine, among all U.S. cities : OLDEST
97. College, to a Brit : UNI
98. Amérique : ETATS-UNIS
101. Immigrants’ class, for short : ESL
102. Only words on the front of the Great Seal of the United States : E PLURIBUS UNUM
104. Really fresh : RUDE
106. Its hub at J.F.K. was designed by Eero Saarinen : TWA
108. Hubbub : FRENZY
110. Artistic, chatty sorts, it’s said : GEMINIS
113. Draft : AIRFLOW
117. Testify : SWEAR
119. “I got the check” : IT’S ON ME
120. Ancient, undeciphered writing system : LINEAR A
121. Towel fabric : TERRY
122. Relatives of asters : TANSIES
123. Tony who won a Tony for “Angels in America” : KUSHNER
124. “It’s a deal!” : DONE!

Down

1. E.M.T.’s training : CPR
2. Speed along : ZOOM
3. Print ad come-on : AS SEEN ON TV
4. Sit on the throne : REIGN
5. International conglomerate whose name means “three stars” : SAMSUNG
6. Cable news host Melber : ARI
7. Gchats, e.g. : IMS
8. Some A.L. players : DHS
9. Response to a surprising claim : YOU DO?!
10. “That’s something ___!” : ELSE
11. Voyager : SEAFARER
12. Medieval Spanish kingdom : ARAGON
13. Sport last played in the Olympics in 1936 : POLO
14. Was awesome : RULED
15. Occupied : IN USE
16. Funny : ODD
17. Riddle-me-___ : REE
18. Qtrly. check recipient, maybe : IRS
20. “Stars above!” : DEAR ME!
27. “___ soon?” : TOO
31. Smear : TAR
32. Writing in a window? : EMAILING
33. Paranoid sorts, in slang : TINHATS
35. Pushes back : POSTPONES
37. “Mamma Mia!” setting : GREECE
38. In a light manner : AIRILY
39. Outbreaks : SPATES
40. Anthropomorphic king of Celesteville : BABAR
41. “Still ___” (Julianne Moore film) : ALICE
43. Rios, e.g. : KIAS
44. Decisive assessment : ACID TEST
47. Intl. Rescue Committee, e.g. : NGO
49. R&B singer with the hits “So Sick” and “Mad” : NE-YO
51. Tempe sch. : ASU
52. Things in restaurant windows : MENUS
57. Sac fly result : RBI
58. Outlay that cannot be recovered : SUNK COST
59. Some corsage wearers : PROM DATES
61. Grand Lodge group : ELKS
64. Ready … or red, maybe : RIPE
65. “Let’s keep this between us” : DON’T TELL
67. Wasn’t kidding about : MEANT
68. Stunt at the end of a powerful performance : MIC DROP
69. Informal assent : YEH
70. Go back on one’s word? : DELETE
71. With 59-Across, some works of Tennessee Williams : ONE-ACT …
72. Big ___ (the drug industry) : PHARMA
74. Biter : FANG
75. Moment of liftoff : T-MINUS ZERO
76. Dangerous toy : BB GUN
77. “Same here” : AS AM I
79. Legal vowelless Scrabble play : NTH
80. Herculean act : FEAT
82. Bit of art pottery : URN
85. Preface to a heart-to-heart conversation : REAL TALK
89. End of a George Washington address? : EDU
90. Safer alternative to paintball : NERF WAR
91. If you’re lucky : AT BEST
94. Candy brand owned by Hershey : REESE’S
96. Word before and after “no” : SIR
99. Salt-N-Pepa and Ben Folds Five : TRIOS
100. Branch of Islam : SUNNI
102. Rakes in : EARNS
103. Not taken seriously? : UNWED
105. Tiniest change : DIME
107. Popular gaming console that sounds like two pronouns : WII U
109. It’s a long story : YARN
110. “Keep movin’!” : GIT!
111. Info for a chauffeur, perhaps : ETA
112. Yahoo alternative : MSN
114. “Yuck!” : FEH!
115. Grp. of connected computers : LAN
116. 1/100 of a 43-Across : ORE
118. Manhattan part … or a suburb near Manhattan : RYE