0427-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 27 Apr 2018, Friday

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Constructed by: David Steinberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9. Mechanical calculator pioneer : PASCAL

Blaise Pascal was an important French mathematician, physicist and philosopher, who lived in the mid-1600s. In math, his name was given to Pascal’s triangle, a triangle of numbers in which each number is the sum of the two numbers above it. Pascal also wrote on the subject of theology. His most important theological writings were published after his death under the title “Pensées”, meaning “Thoughts”.

15. Mesmerize : ENTRANCE

Franz Mesmer was a German physician, and the person who coined the phrase “animal magnetism”. Back then the term described a purported magnetic field that resided in the bodies of animate beings. Mesmer also lent his name to our term “mesmerize”.

17. Exquisitely delicate : ETHEREAL

The Greek philosopher Empedocles proposed that there are four elements that made up the universe, namely earth, water, air and fire. Aristotle later proposed a fifth element which he called aether (also “ether”). Aether was the divine substance that made up the stars and planets. We’re still using the term “ether” with a similar meaning.

22. Stripling : LAD

We’ve been calling youths “striplings” since the 14th century. The name probably originates from the description of a youth as a thin strip of a thing. I was a stripling, a long, long time ago …

23. Greek goddess of witchcraft and the underworld : HECATE

Hecate (sometimes “Hekate”) was a three-faced goddess in the Greek and Roman traditions. She was associated with many phenomena, including magic and witchcraft.

31. Wild grp. : NHL

The Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul have seven Major League sports teams:

  • Minnesota Twins (baseball)
  • Minnesota Vikings (football)
  • Minnesota Lynx (women’s basketball)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (basketball)
  • Minnesota Swarm (lacrosse)
  • Minnesota Wild (hockey)
  • Minnesota United (soccer)

The Minnesota Wild is the only one of these seven teams that plays in St. Paul, while the rest play in Minneapolis.

32. “Venus favors the bold” writer : OVID

The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso is known today simply as Ovid. Ovid is usually listed alongside the two other great Roman poets: Horace and Virgil. Although he was immensely popular during his own lifetime, Ovid spent the last ten years of his life in exile. He fell foul of Emperor Augustus, although what led to this disfavor isn’t truly understood.

33. Jack of “Dragnet” : WEBB

Jack Webb played Sergeant Joe Friday on “Dragnet” on both TV and radio … and what a voice he had! Off the screen, Webb was a lover of jazz, and he played the cornet. It was within the world of jazz that he met and fell in love with Julie London, the famous singer with “the smoky voice”. The couple married and had two kids together.

The TV detective show “Dragnet” opened up each episode with lines spoken by the character Sergeant Joe Friday:

This is the city, Los Angeles, California, I work here. I’m a cop.

In later series, the phrase “I’m a cop” was replaced with “I carry a badge”.

37. Cat known as a Shirazi in the Mideast : PERSIAN

The Persian is that long-haired cat with a squashed muzzle. The breed takes its name from its place of origin, namely Persia (Iran).

42. Ruckus : STIR

The word “ruckus” is used to mean a commotion, and has been around since the late 1800s. “Ruckus” is possibly a melding of the words “ruction” and “rumpus”.

44. Humorist Bombeck : ERMA

Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years, producing more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns, under the title “At Wit’s End”, describing her home life in suburbia.

53. Opposite of kindness : SADISM

A sadist is someone who derives pleasure from inflicting pain, with that pleasure often being sexual in nature. The term “sadist” comes from the Marquis de Sade, who was known to exhibit such tendencies.

54. Ad ___ : REM

The Latin term “ad rem” translates literally as “to the matter”.

59. Any of four punk rock bandmates : RAMONE

“The Ramones” were an American punk rock band. The group formed in Forest Hills, New York in the mid-seventies. Arguably, it was the first punk rock group, defining the genre. Something else that’s not my cup of tea …

65. Newspaper photo technique : HALFTONE

Halftone images are often seen in newspapers, or used to be. Such images are black and white, and are comprised of black dots. Even though the image is made using dots of complete black, various shades of gray are “created” by using varying sizes of dots.

66. Antarctica, for one : DESERT

On average, Antarctica is the coldest, driest and windiest of all seven continents. Although Antarctica is very cold, it is essentially a desert, receiving only 8 inches of precipitation annually at the coasts and even less inland.

Down

2. Showy ballet leap : ENTRECHAT

In the world of ballet, a dancer performs an “entrechat” by jumping vertically into the air and rapidly crossing the legs before and behind.

4. Mine shaft borer : TREPAN

A trepan is a boring tool used to sink mineshafts.

5. Snarky laugh syllable : HAR

“Snark” is a term that was coined by Lewis Carroll in his fabulous 1876 nonsense poem “The Hunting of the Snark”. Somehow, the term “snarky” came to mean “irritable, short-tempered” in the early 1900s, and from there “snark” became “sarcastic rhetoric” at the beginning of the 21st century.

7. Awarder of billions in sports scholarships, in brief : NCAA

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When his son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, President Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions leading to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) in 1906, which was given the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS became the NCAA in 1910. The NCAA has been headquartered in Indianapolis since 1999.

8. Lucre : GELT

“Gelt” is the Yiddish word for “money”.

Our word “lucre” meaning “money, profits” comes from the Latin “lucrum” that means the same thing.

9. Outcast : PARIAH

“Pariah” is an anglicized version of the Tamil word “Paraiyar”. The Paraiyar are a social group of about 9 million people found in some Indian states and in Sri Lanka. The term “pariah” came to be a general term for members of the lowest caste in society, outcasts.

10. Classic Studebaker : AVANTI

The Studebaker Avanti is a luxury coupe that was produced in 1962 and 1963. The Avanti is was unique in its day, being a personal car that was high-performance. It actually broke a lot of speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

13. Book of legends : ATLAS

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas” that is used for a book of maps.

14. English industrial city described by Dickens as “an odious place” : LEEDS

I went to school for a while not far from Leeds in West Yorkshire in the north of England. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, Leeds was a major center for the production and trading of wool, and then with the onset of mechanization it became a natural hub for manufacture of textiles. These days Leeds is noted as a shopping destination and so has been dubbed “the Knightsbridge of the North”.

21. Ratings org. : EPA

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

24. Pontiac Trans Am option : T-TOP

The Trans Am was a specialty version of the Pontiac Firebird produced from 1969 to 2002. My favorite Trans Am is KITT, the artificially intelligent car in the eighties TV show “Knight Rider” …

29. Cassis cocktail : KIR

Kir is a French cocktail made by adding a teaspoon or so of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) to a glass, and then topping it off with white wine. The drink is named after Felix Kir, the Mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, who used to offer the drink to his guests. My wife is particularly fond of a variant called a Kir Royale, in which the white wine is replaced with champagne.

30. Car that’s an anagram of 14-Down : EDSEL
(14D. English industrial city described by Dickens as “an odious place” : LEEDS)

The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel Ford, son of Henry. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

38. E.U. member: Abbr. : IRE

The island of Ireland is politically divided between the the Republic of Ireland in the south and Northern Ireland in the north. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, and covers about one-sixth of the island.

39. City in the Midwest’s Story County : AMES

The Iowa city of Ames was founded as a stop on the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad in 1864. It was named for US Congressman Oakes Ames from the state of Massachusetts in honor of the role that Ames played in the building of the transcontinental railroad.

40. California tour locale : NAPA

The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

43. Mythical bird : ROC

The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, one reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants. The roc was said to come from the Indian subcontinent. The supposed existence of the roc was promulgated by Marco Polo in the accounts that he published of his travels through Asia.

47. One getting hit after hit? : STONER

“Stoner” is a slang term for someone who is habitually intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.

48. Polar explorer Shackleton : ERNEST

Sir Ernest Shackleton was a British polar explorer (although he was born in Ireland). His most famous venture was the last of the three expeditions Shackleton led to the Antarctic. His ship, the Endurance, was crushed by pack ice, forcing the crew to take to lifeboats. Shackleton led his men on a 720-nautical mile voyage in those open boats through freezing and stormy weather to safety.

50. One-named folk singer : ODETTA

Odetta Holmes (or just “Odetta”) was a singer and a human rights activist. She has been cited as an influence by such singers as Harry Belafonte, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Carly Simon.

60. Its first part is called a strophe : ODE

In general terms, in poetry a “strophe” is a pair of stanzas with alternating form. So, a poem might be made up from a number of strophes, and twice that number of stanzas.

62. Estadio exclamation : OLE!

In Spain, one might hear a shout of “ole!” in “un estadio” (a stadium).

63. Houston is in it, but Dallas isn’t, briefly : AFC

American Football Conference (AFC)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Ready to explode : SEETHING
9. Mechanical calculator pioneer : PASCAL
15. Mesmerize : ENTRANCE
16. Do high-level banking? : AVIATE
17. Exquisitely delicate : ETHEREAL
18. Disorganized group : RABBLE
19. Set off : TRIP
20. Got room service, say : ATE IN
22. Stripling : LAD
23. Greek goddess of witchcraft and the underworld : HECATE
26. Smooth talker’s quality : PATNESS
28. Possible reply to someone’s tactful remark : I CAN TAKE A HINT
31. Wild grp. : NHL
32. “Venus favors the bold” writer : OVID
33. Jack of “Dragnet” : WEBB
36. Travel aimlessly : GAD
37. Cat known as a Shirazi in the Mideast : PERSIAN
41. Stand’s opposite … or a bad thing to do on the stand : LIE
42. Ruckus : STIR
44. Humorist Bombeck : ERMA
45. Just make, with “out” : EKE
46. Be really bothered by : LOSE SLEEP OVER
51. Dance music subgenre : ELECTRO
53. Opposite of kindness : SADISM
54. Ad ___ : REM
55. Up next : ON TAP
58. ___ perpetuum (let it be everlasting: Lat.) : ESTO
59. Any of four punk rock bandmates : RAMONE
61. Ruble : Russian :: kuna : ___ : CROATIAN
64. Goes around : EVADES
65. Newspaper photo technique : HALFTONE
66. Antarctica, for one : DESERT
67. Image that’s very pleasing to look at : EYE CANDY

Down

1. Hallucinate : SEE THINGS
2. Showy ballet leap : ENTRECHAT
3. Philosophical issues that may be debated : ETHICAL DILEMMAS
4. Mine shaft borer : TREPAN
5. Snarky laugh syllable : HAR
6. Suffix with brilliant : -INE
7. Awarder of billions in sports scholarships, in brief : NCAA
8. Lucre : GELT
9. Outcast : PARIAH
10. Classic Studebaker : AVANTI
11. Twin, to the other twin : SIB
12. What 90% of American households had in 2010 – but fewer have today : CABLE TELEVISION
13. Book of legends : ATLAS
14. English industrial city described by Dickens as “an odious place” : LEEDS
21. Ratings org. : EPA
24. Pontiac Trans Am option : T-TOP
25. Water diverter : EAVE
27. L.A.-to-Fresno direction : NNW
29. Cassis cocktail : KIR
30. Car that’s an anagram of 14-Down : EDSEL
34. Sight on school grounds : BIKE STAND
35. A little extra for personal spending : BEER MONEY
38. E.U. member: Abbr. : IRE
39. City in the Midwest’s Story County : AMES
40. California tour locale : NAPA
43. Mythical bird : ROC
47. One getting hit after hit? : STONER
48. Polar explorer Shackleton : ERNEST
49. Swillbelly : SOT
50. One-named folk singer : ODETTA
51. Was off : ERRED
52. Be off : LEAVE
56. Great desire : ACHE
57. Request intervention : PRAY
60. Its first part is called a strophe : ODE
62. Estadio exclamation : OLE!
63. Houston is in it, but Dallas isn’t, briefly : AFC

10 thoughts on “0427-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 27 Apr 2018, Friday”

  1. 25:41 I stumbled and bumbled my way through this one. When I entered my final letter in the grid, knowing that for sure I’d get the “So close but yet so far” message, I was quite surprised to get music! Just not Frankie Valli.

  2. 12:29, no errors. Relatively easy for a Friday, but there were several entries that came easily because of my past history (à la “Slumdog Millionaire”); for example, I got my degree at ISU, in AMES, which is in Story County, Iowa.

  3. 31:20 Much of this was pretty easy but I had two problem areas. Bottom right, mainly because I thought 63D was nyC (I thought it was referring to Houston St) and it took me forever to see CROATIAN. In the top left I struggled since I couldn’t think of GELT and didn’t know TRAPAN or ENTRECHAT. But eventually figured everything out.

    I assume Jeff is still celebrating the Golden Knights performance last night.

  4. 30:13, no errors. Similar experience to EmGee and Marc. I had a lot of difficulty with the long entries (had TELEPHONES before TELEVISION), and many of the shorter ones (PATNESS??, familiar with having something down pat, but had not seen it adjectivized before).

    @Bill: 31A might want to update your data library to include Minnesota United FC as the seventh major league team in the Minneapolis-St Paul area.

    1. @BruceB
      Thanks for the info, Bruce, and for the opportunity to edit that little blurb. My ignorance of matters sporting shines through, yet again!

  5. 23:05 and 4 errors: TREP(A)N/HEC(A)TE and HAL(F)TONE/A(F)C. Easy for a Steinberg puzzle, but still enough “WTF???” to produce the odd error or two.

    Seeing that name at the bottom of the grid, as usual, made me consider just sitting it out, but the orneriness in me won’t let me do it… like the doomed bounty hunter in “The Outlaw Josie Wales” said, “I had to come back….”

  6. Ran into trouble in the NW. TREPAN and GAD (without “about” showing up anywhere), together with the double-visioned SEETHING/SEETHINGS, tripped me up.

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