0823-18 NY Times Crossword 23 Aug 18, Thursday

Constructed by: Kyle Dolan
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Crop Rotation

Themed answers ROTATE around rebus squares that contain a CROP. Across-answers hitting the CROP continue downwards. Down-answers hitting the CROP continue in the across-direction:

  • 50A. Common farming technique … or a hint to solving this puzzle : CROP ROTATION
  • 20A. Title for Prince Charles’s Camilla : DUCHESS OF CORNWALL
  • 28A. General amount of money that something sells for : PRICE RANGE
  • 46A. Behind-the-scenes worker in TV news : STORY EDITOR
  • 3D. Stunning creatures of the Amazon : ELECTRIC EELS
  • 7D. Third base, in baseball lingo : HOT CORNER
  • 25D. “Or even …” : BETTER YET …

Bill’s time: 23m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Mount Rushmore figure, familiarly : ABE

The four presidents whose faces are carved in the granite face of Mount Rushmore are (from left to right) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Each of the presidents is about 60 feet in height, although they might have been larger. The original intent was for the presidents to be depicted from head to waist, but the project lost funding.

15. “O ___” (greeting on many lolcat memes) : HAI

“O hai” is an intentionally misspelled “Oh hi”. For some reason, “O hai” is often used as a title for pictures of cute animals.

A lolcat is an image of a cat with a humorous message superimposed in text. Such images have been around since the late 1800s, but the term “lolcat” only surfaced in 2006 as the phenomenon was sweeping across the Internet. “Lolcat” is a melding of the acronym for “laugh out loud” (LOL) and “cat”.

16. Kevin ___, one of the sharks on “Shark Tank” : O’LEARY

Kevin O’Leary is a businessman and investor from Montreal who is one of the “sharks” on the American reality show “Shark Tank”, and one of the “dragons” on the Canadian show “Dragon’s Den”.

“Shark Tank” is a reality television show that features aspiring entrepreneurs making pitches to potential investors (the “sharks”) as they try to grow their businesses. The show is a Mark Burnett production and is based in a British series called “Dragons’ Den”.

20. Title for Prince Charles’s Camilla : DUCHESS OF CORNWALL

Camilla Parker Bowles became the Duchess of Cornwall when she married Charles, Prince of Wales in 2005. The Duchess of Cornwall title derives from Duke of Cornwall, one of Charles secondary designations. The use of the primary title Princess of Wales wasn’t considered a good idea as it was was closely associated with Lady Diana Spencer, Charles’ first wife.

24. Biblical “father” : ABBA

“Abba” is a word meaning “father” in Hebrew.

29. Some teasers : TRAILERS

The term “trailer” was originally used in the film industry to describe advertisements for upcoming features. These trailers were originally shown at the end of a movie being screened, hence the name. This practice quickly fell out of favor as theater patrons usually left at the end of the movie without paying much attention to the trailers. So, the trailers were moved to the beginning of the show, but the term “trailer” persisted.

31. “Lincoln in the ___” (2017 George Saunders best-selling novel) : BARDO

“Lincoln in the Bardo” is a 2017 work by George Saunders. The novel centers on Abraham Lincoln as he deals with the death of his son Willie, and takes place in the “bardo”, the intermediate state between death and rebirth in the Buddhist tradition.

32. Young fowl : POULT

A poult is a young fowl, like a turkey, chicken or pheasant

33. Winter festival : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

34. Militant org. in a 1994 peace agreement : IRA

After many, many years of conflict in Northern Ireland, the Provisional IRA (Irish Republican Army) declared a ceasefire in 1994. This step marked an end to most of the violence and was an important step along the road to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.

35. “Mona Lisa,” e.g. : OIL

Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece that we know in English as the “Mona Lisa” is called “La Gioconda” in Italian, the language of the artist. It’s also known as “La Joconde” by the Government of France which owns the painting and displays it in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The title comes from the name of the subject, almost certainly Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. Giocondo was a wealthy silk merchant in Florence who commissioned the painting for the couple’s new home to celebrate the birth of their second son.

37. Org. for the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United : MLS

Major League Soccer (MLS)

40. Ones whose work is strikingly controversial? : SCABS

We first started calling strikebreakers “scabs” in the early 1800s, and before that a scab was a person who refused to join a trade union (back as early 1777). The word probably comes from the use of “scab” as a symptom of a skin disease, and so is a term that is meant to insult.

47. Large bird of the pampas : RHEA

The rhea is a flightless bird that is native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek Titan Rhea. It’s an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

48. Good name for a tort lawyer : SUE

The word “tort” is a French word meaning “mischief, injury or wrong”. In common law, a tort is a civil wrong that results in the injured party suffering loss or harm, and the injuring party having a legal liability. Tort law differs from criminal law in that torts may result from negligence and not just intentional actions. Also, tort lawsuits may be decided on a preponderance of evidence, without the need of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

49. Yank who retired with 2,086 R.B.I. : A-ROD

Professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames than just A-Rod. He has been called “the Cooler” by some players as there was a perception that teams went cold when he joined them and hot when he left. He has also been called “A-Fraud” by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding. Rodriguez was in a world of hurt not so long ago, for using illegal performance-enhancing drugs. He retired from the baseball in 2016.

50. Common farming technique … or a hint to solving this puzzle : CROP ROTATION

Farmers use the technique of crop rotation in order to avoid one crop depleting the same set of nutrients from the soil in one particular field. In addition to rotating crops, farmers will usually let a field lie fallow for one season, i.e. leave it unplanted in order to give the soil time to recover.

55. Composer Mahler : GUSTAV

I’m still trying to keep an open mind when it comes to the music of Gustav Mahler, but I find it hard to appreciate. Mahler was an Austrian composer, active in the late-Romantic period. During his own lifetime he was most notable as a conductor, and his compositions gained in popularity only after his death in 1911. Mahler’s music was banned as “degenerate” during the Nazi Era, as Mahler was Jewish.

58. Chain with a pepper in its logo : CHIPOTLE

Chipotle Mexican Grill is a chain of casual dining restaurants that was founded and is now headquartered in Denver, Colorado. For several years, the major investor in Chipotle was McDonald’s. The chain is named for the smoke-dried jalapeño called a “chipotle”.

63. Serving often accompanied by a cinnamon stick : NOG

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “egg nog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

“True” cinnamon sticks are taken from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree. However, a lot of cinnamon sticks are also sold that come from related species of tree, and these are more correctly referred to as “cassia”.

Down

2. Erykah of R&B : BADU

Erykah Badu is the stage name of Erica Wright, an American “neo-soul” singer. Badu gained some notoriety in March of 2010 when she shot a scene for a music video in Dallas. In the scene, she walks to the spot where President Kennedy was assassinated, removing her clothes until she is nude, and then falls to the ground as if she has been shot in the head. For that stunt she was charged with disorderly conduct.

3. Stunning creatures of the Amazon : ELECTRIC EELS

“Electrophorus electricus” is the biological name for the electric eel. Despite its name, the electric “eel” isn’t an eel at all, but rather what is called a knifefish, a fish with an elongated body that is related to the catfish. The electric eel has three pairs of organs along its abdomen, each capable of generating an electric discharge. The shock can go as high as 500 volts with 1 ampere of current (that’s 500 watts), and that could perhaps kill a human.

9. Kind of network : NEURAL

It used to be that “neural network” was just the name given to a network nerve cells in an organism. In the modern world, the term “neural net” (short for “neural network”) also applies to virtual or electronic devices designed to mimic the function of the human brain, and in particular learning from past experiences.

10. Alternative greeting to a high-five : DAP

The dap is a form of handshake, nowadays often a complicated and showy routine of fist bumps, slaps and shakes. Some say that “dap” is an acronym standing for “Dignity And Pride”.

The celebratory gesture that we call a “high five” is said to have been invented by former baseball players Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke when they were both playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the later 1970s.

21. Debate settings : FORUMS

The Latin “forum” (plural “fora”) translates as “marketplace, town square”. “The Roman Forum” is the most famous example of such a space. The Forum is at the heart of the city of Rome is surrounded by the ruins of several ancient government buildings, and has been referred to as the most celebrated meeting place in the world.

27. 2017 World Series champ : ASTRO

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.

28. Friend to none : 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.

31. One who goes hog wild? : BIKER

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company was founded in the very early 1900s by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, . Their first design was in effect an engine hooked up to a pedal bicycle, but the 116 cc cylinder capacity simply couldn’t generate enough power to get up the hills of their native city of Milwaukee. The pair came up with a redesigned model that had a cylinder capacity of 405 cc, which the partners built in a shed at the back of Davidson’s house. In 1906, the partners built their first factory, located where the company’s headquarters is to this day, on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Famously, Harley motorcycles are nicknamed “hogs”.

51. Party that might have a bouncer : RAVE

As you might imagine, I’ve never been to a rave, and don’t have one upcoming in my diary. And as raves often start at 2 a.m. then I’m unlikely ever to experience one. A rave is generally an all-night party featuring loud, electronically-synthesized music usually played by a DJ as opposed to a live band.

56. Modern citation info : URL

An Internet address (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locators (URL).

57. Foreign title of respect : SRI

“Sri” is a title of respect for a male in India.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Mount Rushmore figure, familiarly : ABE
4. Bit of camp gear : COT
7. Gave personally : HANDED
13. Setting for peak viewing? : VALE
15. “O ___” (greeting on many lolcat memes) : HAI
16. Kevin ___, one of the sharks on “Shark Tank” : O’LEARY
17. “My goodness!” : I DECLARE!
19. Alternative to plugs : TOUPEE
20. Title for Prince Charles’s Camilla : DUCHESS OF CORNWALL
22. Lug : TOTE
23. This day and age : NOW
24. Biblical “father” : ABBA
28. General amount of money that something sells for : PRICE RANGE
29. Some teasers : TRAILERS
31. “Lincoln in the ___” (2017 George Saunders best-selling novel) : BARDO
32. Young fowl : POULT
33. Winter festival : TET
34. Militant org. in a 1994 peace agreement : IRA
35. “Mona Lisa,” e.g. : OIL
37. Org. for the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United : MLS
38. Sticky stuff : TAR
39. They’re related : KIN
40. Ones whose work is strikingly controversial? : SCABS
42. “You ___ right!” : ARE SO
44. Detective’s asset : EAGLE EYE
46. Behind-the-scenes worker in TV news : STORY EDITOR
47. Large bird of the pampas : RHEA
48. Good name for a tort lawyer : SUE
49. Yank who retired with 2,086 R.B.I. : A-ROD
50. Common farming technique … or a hint to solving this puzzle : CROP ROTATION
55. Composer Mahler : GUSTAV
58. Chain with a pepper in its logo : CHIPOTLE
59. Make it : ARRIVE
60. Common female middle name : ANN
61. Scrubbed : NO-GO
62. Piece of deli counter equipment : SLICER
63. Serving often accompanied by a cinnamon stick : NOG
64. Went for a seat : RAN

Down

1. Ardent : AVID
2. Erykah of R&B : BADU
3. Stunning creatures of the Amazon : ELECTRIC EELS
4. Staples of action films : CHASES
5. Crew gear : OARS
6. Hook up with, in a way : TIE ONTO
7. Third base, in baseball lingo : HOT CORNER
8. Skin cream ingredient : ALOE
9. Kind of network : NEURAL
10. Alternative greeting to a high-five : DAP
11. Poetic preposition : ERE
12. Curl Up and ___ (punny salon name) : DYE
14. Mirrored : ECHOED
18. Delivered a rant : LET LOOSE
21. Debate settings : FORUMS
25. “Or even …” : BETTER YET …
26. Fried chicken order : BREAST
27. 2017 World Series champ : ASTRO
28. Friend to none : PARIAH
30. “We’ve been fooled!” : IT’S A TRAP!
31. One who goes hog wild? : BIKER
32. Emphasize : PLAY UP
36. Becomes slippery, in a way : ICES OVER
41. Bit of trash around a fraternity house : BEER CAN
43. Back vocally : ROOT ON
45. Obtained from milk : LACTIC
46. Fulfilling : SATING
51. Party that might have a bouncer : RAVE
52. “That’s really bad!” : OH NO!
53. First wife of Pablo Picasso : OLGA
54. Superbright : NEON
55. Super time : GAS
56. Modern citation info : URL
57. Foreign title of respect : SRI

12 thoughts on “0823-18 NY Times Crossword 23 Aug 18, Thursday”

  1. 33:30 Took awhile but I liked it. A good challenge and felt satisfied when I finished. My biggest hold up was that for some reason I thought there would be 4 crops. Not sure how that got into my head. So I had 3 of them and spent a lot of time trying to figure out how the fourth would fit.

  2. 42:20, no errors. I was baffled by this one for a long time, but finally saw the gimmick at the “RICE” intersection, after which I realized that Camilla is the Duchess of Cornwall, rather than York, and that third base must be a “hot corner” (something I’d never heard of). After that, “story editor” and “better yet” came easily and I was finally done … a blessed relief … 😜.

  3. 45D. “Lactic” is an adjective modifying the noun “acid”. Thus, “lactic” is not and can not be obtained from milk. The correct noun is “lactate”, which is synonymous with “lactic acid”. The clue should have been: “An acid obtained from milk”.

  4. DNF after 41:38. Grid mostly filled except for the theme answers. Kudos to all who could figure this one out, just too many things going on at once for me catch on.

  5. This is exactly the type of idiocy that’s got me thinking to just do the LA Times puzzle from now on. In nearly three weeks there, I have yet to see any rebuses, have not felt “tricked” and have yet to feel that the puzzle was simply an ego-flex for the constructor.

  6. Got the CORN and RICE and how they worked. Also got RYE, but didn’t see how it fit. Wanted something EDITOR but gave up, settling for a couple of unsettling errors.

  7. Finished with no errors. It took me forever to figure out how these crops “rotated”. Once I finally got it – it was sorta fun, but I was nearly at my wits end and almost gave up before solving.

  8. Disliked it! Prefer a classic crossword puzzle. Once again Will Shortz thinks a great deal too much of his own wit. No wonder the crosswords he edits are my least favorite!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.