0428-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 28 Apr 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Andrew Kingsley & John Lieb
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 12m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Like a world in which objective facts are less important than appeals to emotion and personal belief : POST-TRUTH

The term “post-truth” was coined by playwright Steve Tesich in an essay in the “The Nation”. Referencing Watergate, Iran-Contra and the Persian Gulf War, Tesich said “we, as a free people, have freely decided that we want to live in some post-truth world.” The derivative phrase “post-truth era” was introduced by author Ralph Keyes when he used it for the title of a 2004 book “The Post-Truth Era: Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life”.

10. Tony-winning choreographer for “Movin’ Out” : THARP

I love Twyla Tharp’s choreography, and her patented “moves”. Tharp was born in Portland, Indiana in 1941. She was named after Twila Thornburg, the “Pig Princess” of the 89th Annual Muncie Fair in Indiana. That’s one to tell to the grandkids …

I strongly recommend the Twyla Tharp musical “Movin’ Out”, a modern dance work that’s built around the music of Billy Joel. There’s no dialog, and a pretty thin plot, but it’s a wonderful series of fabulously choreographed dances to Joel hits. It’s guaranteed to have you dancing in aisles.

15. Language in which plural adjectives end in -aj : ESPERANTO

Esperanto is an international language specially constructed to create some level of harmony between people from different parts of the world. It was created in the late 1800s by an opthamologist from modern-day Poland. Tens of thousands, and maybe even millions of people speak Esperanto, some being taught it as a native language from birth.

16. Crude craft : OILER

An oiler is an oil tanker, an ocean-going vessel used to transport crude oil.

17. Paleolith, e.g. : STONE TOOL

The Paleolithic Age is a period of human history lasting from about 2.6 million to about 10,000 years ago. The Paleolithic Age is noted as the time when humans started using stone tools. The word “Paleolithic” comes from the Greek “palaios” meaning “old” and “lithos” meaning “stone”, so the term really translates as “Old Stone Age”.

18. “That ’70s Show” role : KELSO

Ashton Kutcher played the character Michael Kelso on Fox’s “That ‘70s Show”. Kelso was Kutcher’s breakthrough acting role. Kutcher then starred in the sitcom “Two and a Half Men”, replacing the “disgraced” Charlie Sheen. In 2009, Kutcher became the first user on Twitter to get over 1 million followers. I wasn’t one of them …

20. Candy in a straw : PIXY STIX

Pixy Stix is powdered candy that’s packaged in what looks like a straw. The “candy” was sold back in the thirties as a drink mix, but when kids were found to be eating the sweet & sour-tasting mix directly from packets, the producers began to packaging it as candy.

29. City that inspired a palace in “Aladdin” : AGRA

Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India. Agra was also the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal architecture.

The Disney animated feature “Aladdin” was released in 1992 and is one of the best movies to come out of the studio, in my opinion, largely due to the great performance by Robin Williams who voiced the Genie. “Aladdin” was the most successful film of 1992, earning over $500 million worldwide, an unusual feat for an animated movie.

40. Philosopher Weil who said “All sins are attempts to fill voids” : SIMONE

Simone Weil was a French philosopher. Weil died in 1943 in England from malnutrition. She had put herself on a very restricted diet asserting that she would only eat what she believed French citizens were eating in German-occupied France.

41. “Breaking Bad” sidekick : JESSE

The character Jesse Pinkman in the TV drama “Breaking Bad” is drug dealer and former student who teams up with his old chemistry teacher to produce high-grade meth. Pinkman is played by actor Aaron Paul.

42. “Explore beyond limits” sloganeer : ACER

Acer is a Taiwanese company that I visited a couple of times when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed back then with the company’s dedication to quality, although I have heard that things haven’t gone so well in recent years …

45. Tony ___, early Macy’s Day Parade balloon designer : SARG

Tony Sarg was a German-American puppeteer and illustrator. He was hired by Macy’s in 1928 to build helium-filled “puppets” for their Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, a tradition that was to last a long time. In 1935 he designed and built the puppets and displays in Macy’s windows for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

50. State whose name means “snow-covered”: Abbr. : NEV

The official nickname of Nevada is the “Silver State”, a reference to importance of silver ore in the state’s growth and economy. An unofficial nickname is the “Battle Born State”. “Battle Born” is a reference to Nevada being awarded statehood during the American Civil War.

51. Byrnes of “77 Sunset Strip” : EDD

I well remember actor Edd Byrnes playing “Kookie” in the detective show “77 Sunset Strip” in the early sixties. Byrne’s role in the pilot episode was a contract killer, but audience response to his persona was so positive that the producers wrote in the character “Kookie” as a lead. Byrnes’ other famous role was on the big screen, playing dance-show host Vince Fontaine in 1978’s “Grease”.

54. Part of a fault line? : MEA

Many Roman Catholics are very familiar with the Latin phrase “mea culpa” meaning “my fault”, as it is used in the Latin Mass. The additional term “mea maxima culpa” translates as “my most grievous fault”.

58. Ole Miss, with “the” : REBELS

“Ole Miss” is the nickname for the University of Mississippi. The name “Ole Miss” dates back to 1897, the first year a student yearbook was published. The graduating class held a competition to name the yearbook and “Ole Miss” emerged as the winner. The name stuck to the yearbook, and also as a nickname for the school itself. The University of Mississippi sports teams have been known as the Rebels since 1936. Prior to 1936, they were known as the Mississippi Flood.

61. 2016 Emmy-winning lead actor for “Mr. Robot” : RAMI MALEK

“Mr. Robot” is an engaging drama series about an anxious and clinically depressed computer hacker. Said hacker joins an anarchic group of hackers known as “Mr. Robot” who are intent on taking down the largest conglomerate in the world. I binge-watched the first two series, and really enjoyed the experience …

65. Musical mark meaning “repeat” : SEGNO

“Dal segno” can appear on a musical score, sometimes abbreviated to “D.S.” The term translates from Italian as “from the sign”, and is an instruction to repeat a passage starting from a special sign, often called the “segno” in English.

Down

1. Kitchen implement : PESTLE

I’ve always loved the sound of the words “mortar” and “pestle”, ever since I was first introduced to them in the chemistry lab. The Romans called a receptacle for pounding or grinding things a “mortarium”, giving us “mortar”. Mortarium was also the word for the product of pounding and grinding, which gives us our “mortar” that’s used with bricks to build a wall. And further, short stubby cannons used in the 16th century resembled a grinding bowl and so were called “mortars”, which evolved into our contemporary weapon of the same name. As far as the pestle is concerned, it is also derived from its Latin name “pistillum”, which comes from the word for “crush”.

6. More familiar name for Enrico Rizzo in an Oscar-winning film : RATSO

Enrico Salvatore “Ratso” Rizzo is one of the characters in the groundbreaking 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy”. Rizzo is a down-and-out con man played by Dustin Hoffman.

7. Game whose direction of play can shift from clockwise to counterclockwise : UNO

UNO is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. UNO falls into the “shedding” family of card games, in that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

8. The Grand Prix used to have one : T-TOP

A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

9. Like Swiss vis-à-vis other cheeses : HOLIER

“Swiss cheese” is a relatively generic term for a type of cheese produced in various countries and not necessarily in Switzerland. What they all have in common though, is a resemblance to the original Swiss Emmental cheese.

10. City that’s home to the most Michelin three-star restaurants : TOKYO

The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area on the planet. 51 of the Fortune Global 500 companies are headquartered in Tokyo. And the residents of Tokyo eat very well. Michelin has awarded more Michelin stars to Tokyo than any other city in the world.

14. Stand-ins : PROXIES

Our word “proxy”, meaning “the agency of one who acts instead of another”, comes from the Latin “procurare” meaning “to manage”. So, “proxy” has the same root as our word “procure”.

21. Annual ESPN broadcast since 1995 : X GAMES

The X Games are annual events, with a Summer X Games held every year as well as a Winter X Games. It’s very much a commercial venture, with all aspects controlled by the TV station ESPN. The games focus on extreme action sports, like skateboarding and freestyle motocross in the summer and various extreme snowboarding events in the winter.

24. Certain pilgrim : HAJI

“Haji” (also “Hajji”) is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person. The journey itself goes by the name “haj”, “hajj” or “hadj”.

30. Pot : GANJA

“Ganja” is another name for the drug cannabis. Cannabis is known to have been used thousands of years ago by ancient Hindus in India, and “ganja” is the Sanskrit term for the drug.

40. ___ Valley, setting for “Of Mice and Men” : SALINAS

“Of Mice and Men” is a novella written by American author John Steinbeck, published in 1937. The title comes from the famous poem by Robert Burns, “To a Mouse”. The inspirational line from the poem is “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, gang aft tagley.” Steinbeck actually wrote “Of Mice and Men” as a “novel-play”, intending that the line from the novel used as a script for a play. I actually saw the theatrical version on stage for the first time quite recently, and really enjoyed it.

46. Aviator Earhart : AMELIA

Amelia Earhart is as famous today as she was during her lifetime. When she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic she was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Congress, and the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor by the French government. She made two attempts to circumnavigate the globe by air (not solo). Her first attempt in March 1937 had to be abandoned when her aircraft was damaged during takeoff. The second attempt in June/July of the same year ended when Earhart and her navigator disappeared flying from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island in the Central Pacific.

53. Disband, to Brits : DEMOB

After WWII, there were about five million personnel in the British military. The process of “demobilising” these forces started about six weeks after Victory in Europe was declared, but there was tremendous frustration at the perceived slow rate at which men and women returned to “civvy street”. One of the symbols of demobilisation in Britain was the civilian suit of clues issued to each individual, the so-called “demob suit”.

57. Like $10 gold eagle coins : RARE

The official gold bullion coin of the US is known as the American Gold Eagle. The 1-ounce coin has a face value of $50, but is valued at well over $1,000 as it is comprised of over 90% 22-karat gold.

59. Object of the search by the Three Wise Men : BABE

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar: a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

62. Kool-Aid, e.g. : MIX

The drink we know today as Kool-Aid was invented by Edward Perkins and his wife, in Perkins’ mother’s kitchen in southwest Nebraska. Kool-Aid is now the Official Soft Drink of the state.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Like a world in which objective facts are less important than appeals to emotion and personal belief : POST-TRUTH
10. Tony-winning choreographer for “Movin’ Out” : THARP
15. Language in which plural adjectives end in -aj : ESPERANTO
16. Crude craft : OILER
17. Paleolith, e.g. : STONE TOOL
18. “That ’70s Show” role : KELSO
19. Stiffens : TENSES
20. Candy in a straw : PIXY STIX
22. Shot that determines who gets to break, in billiards : LAG
23. “What was I thinking?!” : D’OH!
25. Likes often feed it : EGO
26. Fu-___ (legendary Chinese sage) : HSI
27. Alt. : ELEV
29. City that inspired a palace in “Aladdin” : AGRA
31. Ration : METE
32. Capital of Nigeria : ABUJA
35. ___ law, principle stating that computer processing power doubles every 18 months : MOORE’S
37. Comment that might follow “I used to be a banker until I lost interest” : NO PUN INTENDED
40. Philosopher Weil who said “All sins are attempts to fill voids” : SIMONE
41. “Breaking Bad” sidekick : JESSE
42. “Explore beyond limits” sloganeer : ACER
43. Kind of chop : VEAL
45. Tony ___, early Macy’s Day Parade balloon designer : SARG
49. Piano piece : LEG
50. State whose name means “snow-covered”: Abbr. : NEV
51. Byrnes of “77 Sunset Strip” : EDD
54. Part of a fault line? : MEA
55. “This looks like the end for me!” : I’M A GONER
58. Ole Miss, with “the” : REBELS
60. Signal silently : NOD AT
61. 2016 Emmy-winning lead actor for “Mr. Robot” : RAMI MALEK
63. Skirt : AVOID
64. Common fossil in Paleozoic rocks : TRILOBITE
65. Musical mark meaning “repeat” : SEGNO
66. Studmuffin : SEXY BEAST

Down

1. Kitchen implement : PESTLE
2. Bony : OSTEAL
3. Tosspot : SPONGE
4. Till compartment : TENS
5. Having no way to escape : TREED
6. More familiar name for Enrico Rizzo in an Oscar-winning film : RATSO
7. Game whose direction of play can shift from clockwise to counterclockwise : UNO
8. The Grand Prix used to have one : T-TOP
9. Like Swiss vis-à-vis other cheeses : HOLIER
10. City that’s home to the most Michelin three-star restaurants : TOKYO
11. Rushes : HIES
12. Sound, informally : ALL THERE
13. Didn’t fall in line : RESISTED
14. Stand-ins : PROXIES
21. Annual ESPN broadcast since 1995 : X GAMES
24. Certain pilgrim : HAJI
28. Fog, e.g. : VAPOR
30. Pot : GANJA
31. Styles : MODES
33. Trendy hairstyle for men : BUN
34. Crooked : UNEVEN
36. Turn-___ : ONS
37. “Good going!” : NICE MOVE!
38. Lowest one in the pack : OMEGA DOG
39. TV opening? : TELE-
40. ___ Valley, setting for “Of Mice and Men” : SALINAS
44. Turns inside out : EVERTS
46. Aviator Earhart : AMELIA
47. Subleases : RELETS
48. Leakage preventer : GASKET
50. Refrain from : NOT DO
52. Without cracking a smile, say : DRILY
53. Disband, to Brits : DEMOB
56. Come by : GAIN
57. Like $10 gold eagle coins : RARE
59. Object of the search by the Three Wise Men : BABE
62. Kool-Aid, e.g. : MIX

5 thoughts on “0428-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 28 Apr 2018, Saturday”

  1. 23:48, no errors. Spent several minutes trying to finish the upper right corner and finally got it, but not easily.

  2. Found this to be a quite unpleasant slog. That’s on me, not necessarily the constructor and editor, although I have to think that they share some part of the blame–basically, for a surfeit of proper nouns, some quite obscure, and a lame centerpiece pun. HOLIER looked like another bad pun attempt until I figured it wasn’t.

    POSTTRUTH was the first and only highlight of the puzzle for me.

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