1129-18 NY Times Crossword 29 Nov 18, Thursday

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Constructed by: Herre Schouwerwou
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: In a Roundabout Way

This one is quite complicated. The big black square in the middle of the grid is a roundabout, with the answer IN A ROUNDABOUT WAY wrapped around it. Four answers run into the roundabout from the edges, get deflected, and then finish off at right-angles. Because I solved using an app, the numbering in my grid doesn’t match that of the printed puzzle. Apologies …

  • 28D. Indirectly … or how some of this puzzle’s answers should be entered? : IN A ROUNDABOUT WAY
  • 32A. *Become angelic, figuratively : SPROUT WINGS
  • 35A. *Reason for resetting a digital clock : POWER OUTAGE
  • 14D. *“Vive la France!” or “Free Tibet!” : RALLYING CRY
  • 57D. *“Whew, that’s enough for now!” : I NEED A BREAK!

Bill’s time: 21m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7. Team that moved to the American League in 2013 : ASTROS

The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “’Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

13. Nuclear energy source : REACTOR

A nuclear reactor is a device designed to maintain a self-contained nuclear chain reaction. Nuclear fission generates heat in the reactor core. That heat is transferred out of the core by a nuclear reactor coolant, and is used to turn steam turbines. Those steam turbines usually drive electrical generators, or perhaps a ship’s propellers.

15. Patsy : SCHNOOK

A schnook is a person who is easily cheated, someone who is extremely gullible. The term comes into English from Yiddish.

The etymology of the word “patsy” meaning “fall guy” isn’t really understood. One colorful theory suggests that the term comes from an 1890s vaudeville character named Patsy Bolivar. Patsy always got the blame when something went wrong.

16. President in the 2009 film “Invictus” : MANDELA

As a young man, Nelson Mandela led the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). Mandela was eventually arrested and admitted to charges of sabotage and was sentenced to life in prison in 1964. He remained behind bars for 27 years, mainly in the infamous prison on Robben Island. As the years progressed, Mandela became a symbol of the fight against apartheid. He was released in 1990, and immediately declared his commitment to peace and reconciliation with South Africa’s white minority population. Mandela was elected president of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) in 1994, an office that he held until 1999. Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013.

If you get the chance, take a look at the Matt Damon-Morgan Freeman movie called “Invictus” that is directed by Clint Eastwood. It’s all about rugby in South Africa after Nelson Mandela came to power. A powerful film …

17. Trail mix alternative : GRANOLA

The names “Granola” and “Granula” were trademarked back in the late 1800s for whole-grain foods that were crumbled and baked until crisp. Granola was created in Dansville, New York in 1894.

25. Frothy beverage : LATTE

The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

29. Afrikaans “farmer” : BOER

“Boer” is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for “farmer”, a word that was used to describe the Dutch-speaking people who settled parts of South Africa during the 1700s.

33. Mauna ___ Observatory : KEA

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed.

39. California’s ___ Valley : SIMI

Simi Valley, California is perhaps best known as home to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. The library is a great place to visit, and there you can tour one of the retired Air Force One planes.

41. Native of New Mexico : ZUNI

The Zuni are one of the Pueblo peoples. They live on the Zuni River in western New Mexico, a tributary of the Little Colorado River.

43. ___ Hand (name used for some prank calls) : ANITA

On the animated TV comedy “The Simpsons”, Bart likes to prank-call Moe’s Tavern. Bart asks Moe to “page” someone in the bar using a fictitious name, a name which sounds like a rude phrase when called out loud. This running joke on “The Simpsons” is a homage to a series of legendary calls made in real life to the Tube Bar in Jersey City by John Elmo and Jim Davidson that were taped and circulated widely in the mid-seventies. Some of the milder names used in the original prank calls were:

  • Al Cholic (alcoholic)
  • Cole Kutz (cold cuts)
  • Sal Lammy (salami)
  • Anita Bath (I need a bath)

45. Actor Sheridan of “X-Men: Apocalypse” : TYE

The young actor Tye Sheridan had one of the lead roles in the 2012 coming-of-age film “Mud”, which starred Matthew McConaughey.

51. 25-time Rose Bowl winner, for short : USC

The University of Southern California (USC) is a private school in Los Angeles. Apart from its excellent academic record, USC is known the success of its athletic program. USC athletes have won more Olympic medals than the students of any other university in the world. The USC marching band is very famous as well, and is known as the “Spirit of Troy”. The band has performed with many celebrities, and is the only college band to have two platinum records.

The oldest of all the bowl games is the Rose Bowl and so has the nickname “The Granddaddy of Them All”. The first Rose Bowl game was played in 1902.

54. Actress Lyonne of “Orange Is the New Black” : NATASHA

“Orange Is the New Black” is a very entertaining comedy-drama series made by Netflix about an upper middle-class woman who goes to jail for a drug-related offense committed ten years earlier, in her youth. The series is based on a memoir by Piper Kerman called “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison”.

58. Light at a dance party : STROBE

A strobe light is a device that produces regular flashes, like the light on top of a police car. The term derives from the Greek “strobos” meaning “twisting, whirling”.

Down

1. First living designer exhibited at the Guggenheim : ARMANI

Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer and founder of the company that has borne his name since 1975. Although Armani is famous for his menswear, the company makes everything from jewelry to perfume.

The Guggenheim art museum on Fifth Avenue in New York opened in 1939 as the Museum of Non-Objective Painting. The museum was funded by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation that had been set up by the American businessman and philanthropist for whom the foundation was named. When Guggenheim died in 1952, the New York museum was renamed to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. I’ve only visited the museum once in my life, and I love the building (designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright). The works that I saw there … not so much …

4. Condition for some germophobes, briefly : OCD

Apparently, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed mental disorder, making it about as prevalent as asthma.

6. Painted tinware : TOLE

Tole is metalware that has been lacquered or enameled, and usually painted or gilded. “Tôle” is the French word for “sheet metal”.

7. Prefix with -polis : ACRO-

The term “acropolis” translates from Greek as “high city” or “city on the extremity”. In English we use the term “citadel” to mean the same thing thing. The most famous citadel bearing the name is the Acropolis of Athens. This Acropolis is a large, flat-topped rock in the city of Athens that rises almost 500 feet above sea level. The most recognizable building that stands on the Acropolis is the Parthenon, also known as the Temple of Athena.

8. Serape, e.g. : SHAWL

“Serape” is the English pronunciation and spelling of the Spanish word “zarape”. A zarape is like a Mexican poncho, a soft woolen blanket with a hole in the middle for the head. Most serapes have colorful designs that use traditional Mayan motifs.

9. Old channel that showed “Hee Haw” : TNN

The Nashville Network (TNN)

The variety show “Hee Haw” aired on CBS from 1969-1971, and then had a 20-year run in syndication. The show was built around country music, although the format was inspired by “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In”.

11. Minerals also known as egg stones : OOLITES

Oolite is a sedimentary rock also called “egg stone”. Indeed, the term “oolite” comes from the Greek “ooion” meaning egg. The rocks are often round and white (hence the name) and are composed of calcium carbonate.

12. Figure eight figure : SKATER

Figure skating started out as a sport in which a skater demonstrated skill at carving out specific patterns into the ice (a figure-8, for example). Over time, the sport placed greater influence on free skating. Compulsory figures were dropped completely from most international competitions in the 1990, but the name “figure skating” has been retained.

31. N.H.L. great Bobby : ORR

Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking. While still 31 years old, in 1979, Orr became the youngest person inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

35. Pesto ingredient : PINE NUT

The Italian term “pesto” applies to anything made by pounding. What we tend to know as pesto sauce is more properly called “pesto alla genovese”, pesto from Genoa in northern Italy. I love, love pesto sauce …

37. Fourth U.S. state capital alphabetically : AUGUSTA

The easternmost US state capital is Augusta, Maine. The second-easternmost capital is Boston, Massachusetts. The westernmost US state capital is Honolulu, Hawaii, with the second-westernmost being Juneau, Alaska.

38. Deli turnovers : KNISHES

A knish is a snack food from Germany and Eastern Europe that was made popular in the US by Jewish immigrants. A knish has a filling, often made of mashed potato and ground meat, covered by a dough that is baked or fried.

44. Britcom made into a 2016 film, informally : AB FAB

“Absolutely Fabulous” (sometimes shortened to “Ab Fab”) is a cult-classic sitcom produced by the BBC. The two stars of the show are Jennifer Saunders (Edina Monsoon) and Joanna Lumley (Patsy Stone). “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” hit the screens in 2016. I haven’t seen it yet, but my wife did and really enjoyed it. She said that there’s a veritable cavalcade of British stars that make an appearance …

50. Go on a tirade : RANT

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.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Maximally : AT MOST
7. Team that moved to the American League in 2013 : ASTROS
13. Nuclear energy source : REACTOR
15. Patsy : SCHNOOK
16. President in the 2009 film “Invictus” : MANDELA
17. Trail mix alternative : GRANOLA
18. “___ rise” : ALL
19. “Huh, interesting …” : WELL NOW …
21. Tailor : FIT
22. They might be painted in a bathroom : NAILS
24. Gift from Hawaii : LEI
25. Frothy beverage : LATTE
27. Start of creation? : IDEA
29. Afrikaans “farmer” : BOER
32. *Become angelic, figuratively : SPROUT WINGS
33. Mauna ___ Observatory : KEA
34. Something found in a rush : ORE
35. *Reason for resetting a digital clock : POWER OUTAGE
39. California’s ___ Valley : SIMI
41. Native of New Mexico : ZUNI
43. ___ Hand (name used for some prank calls) : ANITA
45. Actor Sheridan of “X-Men: Apocalypse” : TYE
46. Command following a countdown : BEGIN
47. Court do-over : LET
48. Seasonal migrant worker from Mexico : BRACERO
51. 25-time Rose Bowl winner, for short : USC
52. Kind of spray used for goggles and windshields : ANTI-FOG
54. Actress Lyonne of “Orange Is the New Black” : NATASHA
56. Deadline info : DUE DATE
57. Goads : INCITES
58. Light at a dance party : STROBE
59. Beat badly : THRASH

Down

1. First living designer exhibited at the Guggenheim : ARMANI
2. Beverage server in Britain : TEA LADY
3. More virile : MANLIER
4. Condition for some germophobes, briefly : OCD
5. Some slow-cooked meals : STEWS
6. Painted tinware : TOLE
7. Prefix with -polis : ACRO-
8. Serape, e.g. : SHAWL
9. Old channel that showed “Hee Haw” : TNN
10. Setting for an urban garden : ROOFTOP
11. Minerals also known as egg stones : OOLITES
12. Figure eight figure : SKATER
14. *“Vive la France!” or “Free Tibet!” : RALLYING CRY
20. Place for a cowherd : LEA
23. Blockhead : LACKWIT
26. Something simple : A BREEZE
28. Indirectly … or how some of this puzzle’s answers should be entered? : IN A ROUNDABOUT WAY
30. “Never thought of that!” : GEE!
31. N.H.L. great Bobby : ORR
35. Pesto ingredient : PINE NUT
36. One leaving something out : OMITTER
37. Fourth U.S. state capital alphabetically : AUGUSTA
38. Deli turnovers : KNISHES
39. Some light bites : SALADS
40. Home of the F.D.R. Drive and J.F.K. Airport : NYC
42. Direct way to be paid : IN CASH
44. Britcom made into a 2016 film, informally : AB FAB
46. Mess up : BOTCH
49. Going over something again and again and again : ROTE
50. Go on a tirade : RANT
53. “Who wants one?” response : I DO
55. Melody : AIR
57. *“Whew, that’s enough for now!” : I NEED A BREAK!