1030-18 NY Times Crossword 30 Oct 18, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Jules Markey
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Graveyard Shift

Themed answers include the initialism RIP (for “rest in peace”) shown in circled letters. Those RIPs, found so often in a GRAVEYARD, SHIFT from left to right as we progress down the grid:

  • 34A. Late night for a working stiff … or a hint to the shaded squares : GRAVEYARD SHIFT
  • 13A. Witty comebacks : RIPOSTES
  • 16A. Picture often used as an altarpiece : TRIPTYCH
  • 27A. “Talented” title character portrayed by Matt Damon : MR RIPLEY
  • 42A. Put on a windowsill to mature, say : SUN-RIPEN
  • 57A. Narcissists’ excursions? : EGOTRIPS
  • 60A. Care about something, in slang : GIVE A RIP

Bill’s time: 7m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Place to get pampered : SPA

Back in the late 1500s. The verb “to pamper” meant “to cram with food”. Over time, the usage evolved into meaning “to overindulge”.

13. Witty comebacks : RIPOSTES

“Riposte” is a fencing term, one describing a quick thrust after having parried a lunge from one’s opponent. We also use to the term to mean a sharp verbal retort.

15. University town named for an Indian chief : ORONO

The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine, founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation. The school’s athletic teams are named the Maine Black Bears.

16. Picture often used as an altarpiece : TRIPTYCH

A triptych is a work of art divided into three panels. The word “triptych” comes from the Greek adjective for “three-fold”.

21. Golfer Ernie : ELS

Ernie Els is a South African golfer. Els a big guy but he has an easy fluid golf swing that has earned him the nickname “The Big Easy”. He is a former World No. 1 and has won four majors: the US Open (1994 & 1997) and the British Open (2002 & 2012).

27. “Talented” title character portrayed by Matt Damon : MR RIPLEY

American novelist Patricia Highsmith was noted for her psychological thrillers, some of which were adapted for the big screen. For example, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 film “Strangers on a Train” was based on her 1950 novel of the same name. The more recent movie, “The Talented Mr. Ripley” released in 1999, was adapted from her 1955 novel with the same title.

30. Lady of Spain : DAMA

In Spanish, a “dama” (lady) might be referred to as “Señora” (Mrs.).

33. Swell : A-OKAY

Our term “A-OK” is supposedly an abbreviation for “A(ll systems are) OK”, and arose in the sixties during the Space Program.

34. Late night for a working stiff … or a hint to the shaded squares : GRAVEYARD SHIFT

In a three-shift working system, the shifts are known by various names:

  1. First shift, day shift
  2. Second shift, swing shift
  3. Third shift, night shift, graveyard shift

40. “The ___ of Pooh,” 1982 best seller : TAO

The author Benjamin Hoff is best known for his 1982 book “The Tao of Pooh”, and a successor title published in 1992 called “The Te of Piglet”. Both books use the “Winnie the Pooh” stories to illustrate Taoist beliefs.

41. It’s prologue, they say : PAST

“What’s past is prologue” is a quotation from William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. In the play, the words suggest that what’s past is past, and the future is something different, something that we can control. Our contemporary usage of the phrase is almost exactly the opposite: understanding the past is of great importance in setting the stage for the future.

45. Author LeShan : EDA

Eda LeShan wrote several nonfiction books including “When Your Child Drives You Crazy” and “The Conspiracy Against Childhood”. LeShan was also host of the PBS television show “How Do Your Children Grow?”

46. Samovar, e.g. : URN

The samovar originated in Russia. It is often a very elegant water boiler, one usually used for making tea. As such, there is often an attachment on top of a samovar to keep a teapot warm.

47. Schubert’s “The ___ King” : ERL

“Der Erlkönig” (“The Erl King”) is a poem by the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The poem tells of the death of child attacked by the Erl King, a supernatural being. The Austrian composer Franz Schubert made a musical adaptation of Goethe’s poem using the same title.

48. Delaware Valley tribe : LENAPE

The Lenape Native American people lived along the Delaware River when Europeans first landed in the Americas. As a result of the enforcement of the Indian Removal Act 1830, most Lenape now live in Oklahoma, with significant numbers also in Wisconsin and Ontario.

51. Too, in Toulouse : AUSSI

Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France, and is located in the southwest of the country. These days, Toulouse is noted as home to the Airbus headquarters and is known as the center of the European aerospace industry.

57. Narcissists’ excursions? : EGOTRIPS

Narcissus was a proud and vain hunter in Greek mythology. He earned himself a fatal punishment, being made fall in love with his own reflection in a pool. So, take was he by his own image, that he could not leave it and wasted away and died by the pool. Narcissus gives us our term “narcissism” meaning “excessive love of oneself”.

62. Government org. for retirees : SSA

The Social Security Administration (SSA) was set up as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first person to receive a monthly retirement benefit was Ida May Fuller of Vermont who received her first check for the sum of $22.54 after having contributed for three years through payroll taxes. The New Deal turned out to be a good deal for Ms. Fuller, as she lived to 100 years of age and received a total benefit of almost $23,000, whereas her three years of contributions added up to just $24.75.

Down

2. Firestone product : TIRE

Firestone is a tire company that was founded by Harvey Firestone in 1900. The Firestone company took off when it was selected by Henry Ford as the supplier of tires for his Model T.

3. Member of the Sons of Anarchy on FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” : OPIE

“Sons of Anarchy” is a popular FX crime series about an outlaw motorcycle club in California’s Central Valley. Apparently, it is the most successful FX show ever.

6. Bench presser’s pride, informally : PECS

“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

7. Off the main : ASHORE

When one thinks of the word “main” in the context of the sea, the Spanish Main usually comes to mind. Indeed, the use of the more general term “main” to mean “sea”, originates from the more specific “Spanish Main”. “Spanish Main” originally referred to land and not water, as it was the name given to the mainland coast around the Caribbean Sea in the days of Spanish domination of the region.

8. Put forth : POSIT

To posit is to assume as fact, to lay down as a “position”.

9. Met solo : ARIA

The Metropolitan Opera (often simply “the Met”) of New York City is the largest classical music organization in the country, presenting about 220 performances each and every year. Founded in 1880, the Met is renowned for using technology to expand its audiences. Performances have been broadcast live on radio since 1931, and on television since 1977. And since 2006 you can go see a live performance from New York in high definition on the big screen, at a movie theater near you …

11. “The Lord of the Rings” creature : ENT

Ents are those tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

14. Like the artists’ names P!nk and Ke$ha : STYLIZED

“P!nk” is the stage name of American singer Alecia Beth Moore. I known so little about “modern” music, but I do like the P!nk song “Just Give Me a Reason” …

“Kesha” (formerly “Ke$ha”) is the stage name used by singer Kesha Rose Sebert.

22. Neuter : SPAY

Our verb “to spay”, meaning “to surgically remove the ovaries of” (an animal) comes from an old Anglo-French word “espeier” meaning “to cut with a sword”.

27. Big number : MYRIAD

The term “myriad”, meaning “innumerable”, comes from the Greek “muraid”, meaning “ten thousand”. “Myriad” is one of those words that sparks heated debate about the correct usage in English. “Myriad” can be used both as an adjective and a noun. One can have “a myriad of” engagements around the holidays, for example, or “myriad” engagements around those same holidays.

29. JFK alternative : LGA

The three big airports serving New York City (NYC) are John F. Kennedy (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR).

33. Say the “h” in “historical,” say : ASPIRATE

“To aspirate” is to pronounce a letter or word with an initial release of the breath, as in the word “hey”.

35. Dog doc : VET

A veterinarian (vet) is a professional who treat animals for disease and injury. The word “veterinary” comes from the Latin “veterinae” meaning “working animals, beasts of burden”.

36. J.F.K. alternative in 1960 : RMN

President Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN) used “Milhous” in his name in honor of his mother Hannah Milhous. Richard was born in a house in Yorba Linda, California. You can visit that house today as it is on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. It’s a really interesting way to spend a few hours if you ever get to Yorba Linda …

42. Lady of Spain: Abbr. : SRA

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

46. Six feet ___ : UNDER

The phrase “six feet under” means “dead and buried”. Six feet is the traditional depth of a grave.

50. Protection: Var. : EGIS

Someone is said to be under the aegis (also “egis”) of someone else if that other person provides protection, or perhaps sponsorship. The word “aegis” comes from the Greek word for a goat (“aigis”). The idea is that the goatskin shield or breastplate, worn by both Zeus and Athena, gave some measure of protection.

53. What a pool shark puts on a ball : SPIN

A pool shark is a player who hustles others in a pool hall with the goal of making money unfairly in competition. The term “pool shark” used to be “pool sharp”.

54. Comcast Xfinity and others, in brief : ISPS

Internet service provider (ISP)

55. Halloween cry : BOO!

All Saints’ Day is November 1st each year. The day before All Saints’ Day is All Hallows’ Eve, better known by the Scottish term “Halloween”.

56. Old postal letters : RFD

Rural Free Delivery (RFD) was started in the US in 1891. Prior to RFD, rural Americans had to travel to the nearest post office to pick up their mail.

58. In vitro fertility needs : OVA

In vitro fertilization is the process in which egg cells are fertilized by sperm cells outside of the body in vitro. The phrase “in vitro” translates from Latin as “in glass”. The process is usually carried out in a glass culture dish.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Riding on : ATOP
5. Place to get pampered : SPA
8. Summoned on an intercom, say : PAGED
13. Witty comebacks : RIPOSTES
15. University town named for an Indian chief : ORONO
16. Picture often used as an altarpiece : TRIPTYCH
17. Combs (through) : SIFTS
18. Oozing : SEEPY
19. Word before status or studies : SOCIAL …
21. Golfer Ernie : ELS
23. Corruption from deep inside : ROT
24. Puppy’s cry : YIP!
27. “Talented” title character portrayed by Matt Damon : MR RIPLEY
30. Lady of Spain : DAMA
31. Assent at sea : AYE
32. Veer the other way : ZAG
33. Swell : A-OKAY
34. Late night for a working stiff … or a hint to the shaded squares : GRAVEYARD SHIFT
38. Came to the rescue : AIDED
39. Help in finding buried treasure : MAP
40. “The ___ of Pooh,” 1982 best seller : TAO
41. It’s prologue, they say : PAST
42. Put on a windowsill to mature, say : SUN-RIPEN
45. Author LeShan : EDA
46. Samovar, e.g. : URN
47. Schubert’s “The ___ King” : ERL
48. Delaware Valley tribe : LENAPE
51. Too, in Toulouse : AUSSI
55. Like a river at its mouth, not at its head : BROAD
57. Narcissists’ excursions? : EGOTRIPS
59. Coming in handy : OF USE
60. Care about something, in slang : GIVE A RIP
61. More curious : ODDER
62. Government org. for retirees : SSA
63. Microscope part : LENS

Down

1. Theater, dance, etc. : ARTS
2. Firestone product : TIRE
3. Member of the Sons of Anarchy on FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” : OPIE
4. Device used with corn kernels : POPPER
5. Hog heaven? : STY
6. Bench presser’s pride, informally : PECS
7. Off the main : ASHORE
8. Put forth : POSIT
9. Met solo : ARIA
10. “Get lost!” : GO FLY A KITE!
11. “The Lord of the Rings” creature : ENT
12. First of two lists in fashion advice : DOS
14. Like the artists’ names P!nk and Ke$ha : STYLIZED
20. Playing hard to get, say : COY
22. Neuter : SPAY
25. “Your work is awesome!” : I’M A FAN!
26. Words before a name on a check : PAY TO …
27. Big number : MYRIAD
28. Says the words on the page : READS ALOUD
29. JFK alternative : LGA
30. “Stupid me!” : D’OH!
31. Slack-jawed : AGAPE
33. Say the “h” in “historical,” say : ASPIRATE
35. Dog doc : VET
36. J.F.K. alternative in 1960 : RMN
37. Venture : DARE
42. Lady of Spain: Abbr. : SRA
43. Removes, as from a fixed rate : UNPEGS
44. Like ghosts and goblins? : PLURAL
46. Six feet ___ : UNDER
49. Relaxation : EASE
50. Protection: Var. : EGIS
52. Beget : SIRE
53. What a pool shark puts on a ball : SPIN
54. Comcast Xfinity and others, in brief : ISPS
55. Halloween cry : BOO!
56. Old postal letters : RFD
58. In vitro fertility needs : OVA