0721-18 NY Times Crossword 21 Jul 18, Saturday

Constructed by: Jason Flinn
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 19m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16. Saw around a locker room? : THERE’S NO “I” IN “TEAM”

A saw is an old adage, a saying.

17. Picked individually : ORDERED A LA CARTE

On a restaurant menu, items that are “à la carte” are priced and ordered separately. A menu marked “table d’hôte” (also called “prix fixe”) is a fixed-price menu with limited choice. “Table d’hôte” translates as “table of the host”.

20. Start of the name of many a French band : LES …

The definite article in French can be “le” (with masculine nouns), “la” (with feminine nouns), and “les” (with plural nouns of either gender).

23. One-eyed god : ODIN

In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. He is usually depicted as having one eye, reflecting the story of how he gave one of his eyes in exchange for wisdom.

32. Pioneering infomercial company : K-TEL

K-Tel was founded in 1962 in Winnipeg, Manitoba by one Philip Kives. K-Tel’s recipe for success was the sale of inexpensive goods with a simple sales pitch and mail-order distribution.

41. Big name in casualwear : LACOSTE

René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. The “golf shirt” is basically the same thing.

46. Sports org. since 1916 : PGA

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

50. Bamboozled : HAD

It’s thought that the lovely word “bamboozle” came into English from the Scottish “bombaze” meaning “perplex”. We’ve been using “bamboozle” since the very early 1700s.

58. AARP base : OLDER GENERATION

“AARP” is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

Down

1. Low-end smoke : STOGY

A stogie (also “stogy”) is both a rough, heavy shoe and a long, cheap cigar. Both items were favored by the drivers of the covered wagons called Conestogas that wended their way across the Midwest in days gone by. The term “stogie” is derived from the name of the wagon, which itself is named after the area in which the wagons were built, i.e. Conestoga, near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

2. Spasm : THROE

Our contemporary word “throe”, meaning a spasm of pain, has been around since the early 1600s. It is a different spelling of the word “throwe” that had been around since around 1200 AD and which meant pain, particularly a pang of childbirth or the agony of death. Pain, from cradle to grave …

6. International group whose leaders meet once a year : G-SEVEN

The G6 was a group of six industrialized nations that formed in 1975 and whose governments met on a periodic basis. The founding members were France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. The membership expanded in 1976 with the addition of Canada, forming the G7. Russia was given representation in the group in 1997, forming the G8. Russia’s membership was suspended in 2014 after she annexed Crimea.

7. French waves : ONDES

In French, one might see “ondes” (waves) on the surface of “la mer” (the sea).

9. 20 lashes, maybe? : CILIA

“Cilium” (plural “cilia”) is Latin for “eyelash”.

10. Break : HIATUS

A “hiatus” is a break or opening in a material object. “Hiatus” is Latin for “opening”.

13. Large storage units : TERABYTES

The prefix “tera-” signifies a trillion, and comes from the Greek word “teras” meaning “monster”.

24. Sign of the times? : DOT

I’m not sure what the meaning is here. Are we perhaps referring to the dot over the letter I in the word “times”? Or maybe the dot in a URL such as “NYTCrossword.com” is a sign of these modern times? Or, more likely, it’s something going over my head …

26. Classic Jaguar : XKE

XK and XKE are models of Jaguar motor car.

28. Parisian pronoun : LUI

In French, “lui” is the word for “him” and “elle” is the word for “her”.

29. Line for a show in New York? : ROCKETTES

The famous Rockettes can be seen in Radio City Music Hall. They have an amazing schedule during the Christmas season when they perform five high-kicking shows every day, seven days a week. The troupe has been doing this every Christmas for 77 years.

30. Musician Brian : ENO

Brian Eno started out his musical career with Roxy Music. However, Eno’s most oft-played composition (by far!) is Microsoft’s “startup jingle”, the 6-second sound you hear when the Windows operating system is booting up. Eno might have annoyed the Microsoft folks when he stated on a BBC radio show:

I wrote it on a Mac. I’ve never used a PC in my life; I don’t like them.

33. Shogunate capital : EDO

“Edo” is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo Castle. Some parts of the original castle remain and today’s Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.

34. Cause of some flashbacks, for short : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

36. ___ rating system (chess standard) : ELO

The Elo rating system is used to compare the skill levels of competing chess players. The system is named for a Hungarian-born professor of physics called Arpad Elo, who was also a master-level chess player active in the US Chess Federation.

39. Blood-typing abbr. : NEG

The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a universal donor.

43. Meriting more Pinocchios : FALSER

“The Washington Post” takes on the tasks of fact-checking statements made by politicians. The paper grades Members of Congress based on lies told using a scale of zero to four “Pinocchios”.

45. Like most Iranians : SHIITE

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.

47. Big name in air fresheners : GLADE

Glade is a brand of air fresheners that was introduced in 1956.

52. Rough piece of land? : DIVOT

A divot is a chunk of grass and earth that is removed by a golf club immediately after striking the ball. “Divot” is derived from a Scottish word for a piece of turf or sod used as a roofing material.

53. De ___ (excessive) : TROP

We use the term “de trop” to mean “too much, too many”. In the original French, “de trop” translates as “in excess”.

54. Marsh bird : SORA

The sora is a waterbird that is sometimes known as the sora rail or sora crake. Soras can be found in breeding season in marshes across most of North America.

55. Ancient land located in what is now southwest Iran : ELAM

The ancient civilization of Elam was located east of Mesopotamia in what is modern-day southwest Iran.

56. State couple: Abbr. : SENS

The US Senate comprises 100 senators, with each of the fifty states being represented by two popularly elected senators. US senators were appointed by their state legislators from 1798 until 1913, until the Seventh Amendment called for popular elections.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Performers taking bows onstage? : STRING ORCHESTRA
16. Saw around a locker room? : THERE’S NO “I” IN “TEAM”
17. Picked individually : ORDERED A LA CARTE
18. Does another walk-through of something : GOES OVER IT AGAIN
19. Informal agreement : YEP
20. Start of the name of many a French band : LES …
21. Time to buy back-to-school supplies: Abbr. : AUG
22. Something tanned at a tanning salon, informally : BOD
23. One-eyed god : ODIN
25. “Ooh-la-la!” : SEXY!
27. Plus : ALSO
29. Cherry or raspberry : RED
32. Pioneering infomercial company : K-TEL
35. Fit the bill : SUITED ONE’S NEEDS
40. Good name for a model? : KIT
41. Big name in casualwear : LACOSTE
42. It can cover a lot of ground : SOD
43. Road divider : FORK
44. They may be bummed : CIGS
46. Sports org. since 1916 : PGA
48. Come to know : LEARN
50. Bamboozled : HAD
53. Speaks honestly and forthrightly : TELLS IT LIKE IT IS
57. What keeps you going when everything seems lost : REASON TO BELIEVE
58. AARP base : OLDER GENERATION
59. Factors in some work reviews : PEER ASSESSMENTS

Down

1. Low-end smoke : STOGY
2. Spasm : THROE
3. Try again, with a bounced check : REDEPOSIT
4. Inflames : IRES
5. Common perfume oil : NEROLI
6. International group whose leaders meet once a year : G-SEVEN
7. French waves : ONDES
8. Not just laugh : ROAR
9. 20 lashes, maybe? : CILIA
10. Break : HIATUS
11. Put behind bars : ENCAGE
12. Unaccompanied : STAG
13. Large storage units : TERABYTES
14. What gears in a gear assembly have : RATIO
15. Add to the bill, perhaps : AMEND
24. Sign of the times? : DOT
26. Classic Jaguar : XKE
27. Pose : ASK
28. Parisian pronoun : LUI
29. Line for a show in New York? : ROCKETTES
30. Musician Brian : ENO
31. Characterizes : DESCRIBES
33. Shogunate capital : EDO
34. Cause of some flashbacks, for short : LSD
36. ___ rating system (chess standard) : ELO
37. Angels : DARLINGS
38. No-goodniks : STINKERS
39. Blood-typing abbr. : NEG
43. Meriting more Pinocchios : FALSER
45. Like most Iranians : SHIITE
46. Noted Obama portrayer : PEELE
47. Big name in air fresheners : GLADE
49. Unaccompanied : ALONE
51. Enjoyed a traditional family dinner : ATE IN
52. Rough piece of land? : DIVOT
53. De ___ (excessive) : TROP
54. Marsh bird : SORA
55. Ancient land located in what is now southwest Iran : ELAM
56. State couple: Abbr. : SENS

15 thoughts on “0721-18 NY Times Crossword 21 Jul 18, Saturday”

  1. 22:58, no errors. Initially, a rather frightening grid, but it all worked out. And, as for 24D, I’m with Bill (not sure how to interpret “DOT”).

  2. 45:01 with a few cheats. I just couldn’t get enough of a hold in the long answers so in a few cases I had to do lookups to get a grip……so to speak…until I could figure out the long answers. I won a few battles but lost the war. I found this a very challenging puzzle, but that’s what I want on a Saturday. DOT was a mystery to me too. Either of Bill’s interpretations are plausible.

    Best –

  3. My guess on 24 down is for a math answer. “Sign of the times” would be like 2 times 3. Written as 2X3 or also 2•3 (2 dot 3).

  4. About one and a half hrs. And no errors and no idea how that happened.
    With 9 across the board clues I usually don’t fair well at all but I guess every dog has his ( or her) day.

  5. 19:02, no errors. Challenging puzzle in that I wasn’t sure of many entries until guessing at the last letter forced me to see the clue in a different perspective. For example: could not see the last letter in 28D LU_; 40A K_T; until I realized that the setter was referring to a plastic/wooden model KIT. Also, regarding the vague ‘Sign of the times?’ I would have agreed with the DOT.com explanation, until Anonymous reminded me of the use of a dot for a multiplication sign.

    Far too much reliance on foreign words which are not in common English usage for my liking. This is the New York Times, not Le Monde.

    Thank you Bill for the history of the word STOGY, I found that interesting.

  6. Thank you BruceB for the “kit” — I never did get that til I saw your explanation. Also agree on the “dot” — my first impression was also dot.com, but had forgotten the use of the dot for multiplication, replacing the times sign. Neat.

  7. Pleasantly surprised that this relatively easy Saturday puzzle follows a relatively easy Friday puzzle. Doesn’t happen often.

  8. I clawed, scratched, and fought my way for every one of these answers, none of which came easy. But I emerged victorious at the other end, bloody but unbowed.

  9. Have to take exception to the clue for 43 down. I don’t think things can be more false. They’re either false or they’re not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.