0822-18 NY Times Crossword 22 Aug 18, Wednesday

Constructed by: John Lampkin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: BP

Themed answers are common phrases in which a letter B has been switched to a letter P:

  • 20A. “You think the blanket needs messing up?” : READY TO RUMPLE? (from “ready to rumble?)
  • 36A. Guideline for testing watermelon ripeness? : RULE OF THUMP (from “rule of thumb”)
  • 43A. Whence slouches? : SLUMPERLAND (from “slumberland”)
  • 58A. Title of a trash collector’s memoir? : DUMP AND DUMPER (from “Dumb and Dumber”)

Bill’s time: 9m 33s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Eliza Doolittle’s creator : SHAW

George Bernard Shaw (GBS) was a very successful Irish playwright. Shaw is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature, and an Oscar. He won his Oscar for adapting his own play “Pygmalion” for the 1938 film of the same name starring Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller. Most people are more likely to have seen the musical adaptation of “Pygmalion” that goes by the title “My Fair Lady”.

George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion” was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical “My Fair Lady”. The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was “‘Enry ‘Iggins”.

5. Many an Amazon “worker” : ROBOT

Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the world. It is also the most largest Internet company in the world by revenue. The company was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, in his garage in Bellevue, Washington. I’m a big fan of Amazon’s approach to customer service …

17. Topic for one of the Dalai Lama’s “Little Book” series : INNER PEACE

The Dalai Lama is a religious leader in the Gelug branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The current Dalai Lama is the 14th to hold the office. He has indicated that the next Dalai Lama might be found outside of Tibet for the first time, and may even be female.

39. Bruins’ home : UCLA

The UCLA Bruins’ mascots are Joe and Josephine Bruin, characters that have evolved over the years. There used to be “mean” Bruin mascots but they weren’t very popular with the fans, so now there are only “happy” Bruin mascots at the games.

41. Barrage in battle : SALVO

A salvo is a simultaneous discharge of guns. Ironically, “salvo” comes from the Latin “salve” meaning “be in good health”. Salvo was originally the name given to the firing of guns in the air as a sign of respect or greeting for an important visitor. Good health!

42. Baseball’s Slaughter : ENOS

Enos Slaughter has a remarkable playing record in Major League Baseball over a 19-year career. Slaughter’s record is particularly remarkable given that he left baseball for three years to serve in the military during WWII.

47. Actress Mallet of “Goldfinger” : TANIA

Tania Mallet is an actress and model from England who is best known for playing Bond Girl Tilly Masterson in the 1964 film “Goldfinger”. Mallet is a cousin of actress Helen Mirren.

50. Brokerage sale: Abbr. : STK

Stock (stk.)

51. Schlep : LUG

Our word “schlep” means “to carry, drag”. “Schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.

54. Iraq’s main port : BASRA

Basra is a Iraq’s main port, and is located in the south of the country, 34 miles from the Persian Gulf. Access to the gulf is via the Shatt al-Arab waterway, a river that discharges into the gulf in the port city of Umm Qasr.

58. Title of a trash collector’s memoir? : DUMP AND DUMPER (from “Dumb and Dumber”)

“Dumb and Dumber” is a 1994 comedy starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as two pretty dumb guys, Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne. There was a prequel released in 2003 titled “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd”, and a sequel in 2011 called “Dumb and Dumber To”.

63. Omnia vincit ___ : AMOR

“Omnia vincit amor” is a line from Eclogue X, one of the major works of the Latin poet Virgil. We know the phrase in English as “love conquers all”.

66. “Hi and Lois” pooch : DAWG

“Hi and Lois” is a comic strip that first appeared in 1954 and is still running today. The strip was created by Mort Walker (also known for “Beetle Bailey”) and was originally illustrated by Dik Browne (also known for “Hägar the Horrible”). The title characters Hi and Lois Flagstone first appeared in “Beetle Bailey”. Lois is Beetle’s sister, and the characters occasionally show up in each other’s strip.

68. Site of an early fall : EDEN

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

69. Certain basketball defense : ZONE

In some team sports, there is a choice between man-to-man defense and zone defense. In the former, each defensive player guards a corresponding player on the other team. In the latter, each defensive player covers a particular “zone” of the playing area.

70. Center of a luau : ROAST

The Hawaiian party or feast known as a “luau” really dates back to 1819, when King Kamehameha II removed religious laws that governed the eating of meals. These laws called for women and men to eat separately. At the same times as he changed the laws, the king initiated the luau tradition by symbolically eating with the women who moved in his circle.

71. Blood fluids : SERA

Blood serum (plural “sera”) is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell or a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to some disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.

Down

6. Imperial product : OLEO

Imperial is a brand of margarine from Unilever. Famously, the marketing folks ran TV ads in which anyone eating Imperial margarine had a crown appear on his or her head out of thin air.

12. Israeli-made weapon : UZI

The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

18. Winona of film : RYDER

The Hollywood actress Winona Ryder’s real name is Winona Horowitz. Ryder was born near the town of Winona in Minnesota, from which she got her name. Her success on the screen has garnered as much media attention as her life off the screen. The papers had a field day when she was arrested in 2001 on a shoplifting charge followed by a very public court appearance. Her engagement with Johnny Depp in the early nineties was another media frenzy. Depp had “Winona Forever” tattooed on his arm, which he had changed after the breakup to “Wino Forever”. A man with a sense of humor …

25. Attire for a joust : ARMOR

Tilting is the most recognized form of jousting. Jousting can involve the use of a number of different weapons, but when lances are used the competition is called “tilting”. Jousting took place in a roped-off enclosure that was called the lists, or list field. In later medieval times, some castles and palaces had purpose-built “tiltyards” that were used for jousting. Do you remember where the Beach Volleyball events were held in the 2012 London Olympics? Well that was Horse Guards Parade, the former tiltyard for the Palace of Whitehall that was used in the time of King Henry VIII.

29. Apple application that’s now banned : ALAR

The chemical name for Alar, a plant growth regulator and color enhancer, is daminozide. Alar was primarily used on apples but was withdrawn from the market when it was linked to cancer.

30. Big name in windows : PELLA

Pella is a manufacturer of windows and doors headquartered in Pella, Iowa, whence the company name.

33. Corrodes, as iron : RUSTS

Rust is iron oxide. Rust forms when iron oxidizes, reacts with oxygen.

34. Razzle-dazzle : ECLAT

“Éclat” can describe a brilliant show of success, as well as the applause or accolade that one receives for that success. The word “éclat” derives from the French “éclater” meaning “to splinter, burst out”.

40. Bon ___ (cleaner) : AMI

Bon Ami cleanser was introduced just a few years after Bon Ami soap went to market in 1886. The cleanser was marketed by emphasising its “non-scratch” properties. The label showed a chick coming out of an egg, the idea being that a newly hatched chick hasn’t yet scratched the ground looking for worms and insects.

44. Açaí tree, e.g. : PALM

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

49. Pharaoh honored near Aswan : RAMSES

Ramesses (also “Ramses”) was the name taken by eleven of the Egyptian pharaohs. “Ramesses” translates as “Born of the sun-god Ra”.

The Egyptian city of Aswan lies in the south of the country, on the River Nile. Aswan is famous for its stone quarries, going back to ancient times. The most celebrated granite rock from the area is called syenite. Stone from Aswan was shipped northwards along the Nile and used in the construction of the pyramids. From ancient times right up to 1970, the annual flooding of the Nile was a significant event in Egypt. The flooding allowed the deposition of fertile silt far beyond the banks of the river, helping the region’s agriculture. However, the flooding was unpredictable. So the Aswan Dam was built in the sixties and from 1970 the flooding was brought under control.

52. ___ Egypt (Aswan Dam locale) : UPPER

The Aswan Dam on the River Nile is actually two dams. The Low Dam was first built in 1902 (and modified later). The High Dam was completed in 1970.

53. California wine giant : GALLO

E & J Gallo Winery was founded by Ernest and Julio Gallo in Modesto, California in 1933. Gallo is the largest exporter of wine from the State of California.

55. One in a black suit : SPADE

Spades is one of the four suits in a standard deck of cards. The spade symbol represents the pike, a medieval weapon.

61. Batik supplies : DYES

Genuine batik cloth is produced by applying wax to the parts of the cloth that are not to be dyed. After the cloth has been dyed, it is dried and then dipped in solvent that dissolves the wax.

63. Tool with a tapering blade : ADZ

An adze (also “adz”) is similar to an axe, but is different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft. An axe blade is set in line with the shaft.

64. Chairman with a Little Red Book : MAO

During China’s Cultural Revolution, the Communist Party published a book of statements and writings from Chairman Mao Zedong. Here in the West the publication was usually referred to as “The Little Red Book”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Eliza Doolittle’s creator : SHAW
5. Many an Amazon “worker” : ROBOT
10. Rudely ignore : SNUB
14. Cement truck attachment : HOSE
15. How hermits live : ALONE
16. Seep : OOZE
17. Topic for one of the Dalai Lama’s “Little Book” series : INNER PEACE
19. “Really?” : IS IT?
20. “You think the blanket needs messing up?” : READY TO RUMPLE? (from “ready to rumble?)
22. Keyed (in) : TYPED
23. Suffix with Japan or Sudan : -ESE
24. Part of a baseball uniform : CAP
27. Alter, as a site layout : REMAP
31. Squirrel away : STORE
33. One squat or one crunch : REP
36. Guideline for testing watermelon ripeness? : RULE OF THUMP (from “rule of thumb”)
39. Bruins’ home : UCLA
41. Barrage in battle : SALVO
42. Baseball’s Slaughter : ENOS
43. Whence slouches? : SLUMPERLAND (from “slumberland”)
46. Prefix with county or borough : TRI-
47. Actress Mallet of “Goldfinger” : TANIA
48. Neuter : ALTER
50. Brokerage sale: Abbr. : STK
51. Schlep : LUG
54. Iraq’s main port : BASRA
58. Title of a trash collector’s memoir? : DUMP AND DUMPER (from “Dumb and Dumber”)
63. Omnia vincit ___ : AMOR
65. Go with the tried and true, say : PLAY IT SAFE
66. “Hi and Lois” pooch : DAWG
67. One to show respect to : ELDER
68. Site of an early fall : EDEN
69. Certain basketball defense : ZONE
70. Center of a luau : ROAST
71. Blood fluids : SERA

Down

1. Something a risk-taking investor might lose : SHIRT
2. Sweetie : HONEY
3. No sweat : A SNAP
4. Worker with a hoe : WEEDER
5. Agog : RAPT
6. Imperial product : OLEO
7. Animal with tusks : BOAR
8. As expected : ON CUE
9. Swarms : TEEMS
10. What tillers till : SOIL
11. Population determination : NOSE COUNT
12. Israeli-made weapon : UZI
13. Wager : BET
18. Winona of film : RYDER
21. Termite or gnat : PEST
25. Attire for a joust : ARMOR
26. “Say ___, please” (old ad slogan) : PEPSI
28. Ponder : MUSE
29. Apple application that’s now banned : ALAR
30. Big name in windows : PELLA
32. “What ___?!” : THE
33. Corrodes, as iron : RUSTS
34. Razzle-dazzle : ECLAT
35. Set on the table, as payment : PLUNK DOWN
37. Running track, typically : OVAL
38. Typesetter’s choice : FONT
40. Bon ___ (cleaner) : AMI
44. Açaí tree, e.g. : PALM
45. Premiere : DEBUT
49. Pharaoh honored near Aswan : RAMSES
52. ___ Egypt (Aswan Dam locale) : UPPER
53. California wine giant : GALLO
55. One in a black suit : SPADE
56. Direct attention (to) : REFER
57. Amphitheater : ARENA
59. Tell to “Act now!,” e.g. : URGE
60. Nothin’ : NADA
61. Batik supplies : DYES
62. Juicy gossip : DIRT
63. Tool with a tapering blade : ADZ
64. Chairman with a Little Red Book : MAO

8 thoughts on “0822-18 NY Times Crossword 22 Aug 18, Wednesday”

  1. 15:24 I thought this was pretty meh. The theme didn’t really grab me. Top part slowed me down a bit as did the cross of 40D and 47A. TANIA Mallet seems a bit obscure for the puzzle. It looks like that was her only film role.

  2. 8:58, no errors. I find it a bit odd that there was no revealer for the theme. Did I miss it? I understood what was going on, but … why? Maybe “BP” is somehow supposed to suggest “British Petroleum”?

    Oh, well … I long ago decided that there are things I am simply not meant to understand … 😜

    1. @Dave K. — “BP” maybe suggests British Petroleum? The closest possibility I can see is 16A, OOZE, apt but hardly likely.

  3. I had no errors on this one and thought that the difficulty level was about right for a Wednesday. I, too, was not impressed with the theme. It doesn’t call for much originality to simply change a letter. It would have been better if the “B to P” had actually stood for something. Nevertheless, I appreciate Mr. Lampkin’s construction today and hope that he gets more opportunities to get his works published.

  4. Does anyone know what happened to Dime Piece LA celebrity streetwear brand? I seem to be unable to proceed to the checkout on Dimepiecela site. I have read in Cosmopolitan that the brand was acquired by a UK-based hedge fund for $50 m. I’ve just bought the Meditate HeavyBlend Crewneck Sweatshirt from Ebay and absolutely love it xox

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