1209-18 NY Times Crossword 9 Dec 18, Sunday

Constructed by: Ross Trudeau
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: What a Zoo!

We have three trios of paired answers, with the pairs comprising FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM:

  • 62A. With 68- and 74-Across, J. K. Rowling’s first screenplay, with a hint to three pairs of answers in this puzzle : FANTASTIC BEASTS
  • 68A. See 62-Across : … AND …
  • 74A. See 62-Across : … WHERE TO FIND THEM
  • 24A. Cryptid of the 91-Across : ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN
  • 91A. Creation after the Indian and Eurasian plates collided : HIMALAYAS
  • 31A. Cryptid of the 115-Across : LOCH NESS MONSTER
  • 115A. Gaelic’s home : SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
  • 48A. Cryptid of 105-Across : THE KRAKEN
  • 105A. It borders Iceland’s eastern coast : THE NORWEGIAN SEA

Bill’s time: 17m 19s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4. “Inspector Gadget” antagonist : DR CLAW

“Inspector Gadget” is a cartoon television show from the 1980s in which the title character is a cyborg detective. There’s a lot of similarity in Inspector Gadget’s behavior to the behavior of Maxwell Smart from the sitcom “Get Smart”. Actor Don Adams played the title role in “Get Smart” and also provided the voice for Inspector Gadget.

10. Eschew : AVOID

“To eschew”, meaning “to avoid, shun” comes from the Old French word “eschiver” that means the same thing.

15. Starbuck’s order giver : AHAB

Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”. The role of Captain Ahab was played by Gregory Peck in the 1956 John Huston film adaptation. Patrick Stewart played Ahab in a 1998 miniseries in which Peck made another appearance, as Father Mapple.

The most famous whale-hunting ship in fiction has to be Herman Melville’s Pequod, which was featured in his novel “Moby Dick”. The Pequod is a skippered by the maniacal Captain Ahab, and the young chief mate is the thoughtful and intellectual Starbuck. Starbuck’s name was lifted and used by a Seattle-based coffee company.

20. Best seller subtitled “The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English” : WOE IS I

Patricia O’Conner has written five books about the English language, including “Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English”. What a great subject for a book! I need to buy it for my kids. And to be honest, for me too …

21. Pomme de ___ (French for “potato”) : TERRE

“Pomme de terre” is French for “potato” and literally translates as “earth apple”.

23. Part of U.C.S.F. : SAN

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

24. Cryptid of the 91-Across : ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN
(91A. Creation after the Indian and Eurasian plates collided : HIMALAYAS)

The yeti, also known as “the abominable snowman”, is a beast of legend. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology, and a cryptid is a creature or plant that isn’t recognized by the scientific community, but the existence of which has been suggested.

29. Gave two big thumbs down : PANNED

To pan something is to criticize it harshly.

30. Pluck : TWEEZE

Tweezers are small metal pincers used in handling small objects. Back in the 1600s, “tweeze” was the name given to the case in which such an implement was kept, and over time the case gave its name to the device itself. “Tweeze” evolved from “etweese”, the plural of “etwee”, which came from “étui “, the French word for a “small case”.

31. Cryptid of the 115-Across : LOCH NESS MONSTER

(115A. Gaelic’s home : SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS)
The Loch Ness monster has been talked about for centuries, but modern interest started in 1933 when a spate of sightings was reported. Those sightings don’t seem to have stopped, with photographs really sparking the imagination.

36. Kids’ TV character who speaks in a falsetto : ELMO

The “Sesame Street” character named Elmo has a birthday every February 3rd, and on that birthday he always turns 3½ years old. The man behind/under Elmo on “Sesame Street” for many years was Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

37. Adler in Sherlock Holmes stories : IRENE

The character Irene Adler only appears in one of the many Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the story “A Scandal in Bohemia”, Holmes expresses remarkable admiration for Adler as a woman and as a foe. As a result, derivative works in the Holmes genre often feature Adler as something of a romantic interest for Sherlock.

39. Talk like one smitten : COO

“Smitten” is a past participle of “smite” meaning “to inflict a heavy blow”. We tend to use “smitten” to mean “affected by love, love-struck”.

41. Singer Del Rey : LANA

“Lana Del Rey” is the stage name of singer/songwriter Elizabeth Grant. Del Rey calls herself a “self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra”. Nice …

48. Cryptid of 105-Across : THE KRAKEN
(105A. It borders Iceland’s eastern coast : THE NORWEGIAN SEA)

Kraken are huge sea monsters of legend that were reputed to live off the coasts of Iceland and Norway. It’s possible that the kraken legend was inspired by real-life giant squid.

50. Jersey and others : ISLES

Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands, a British Crown dependency located off the coast of Normandy in France. I’ve never been to Jersey, although my grandmother used to vacation there every year …

52. Asian territory in Risk : URAL

Risk is a fabulous board game, and one introduced in France in 1957. Risk was invented by a very successful French director of short films called Albert Lamorisse. Lamorisse called his new game “La Conquête du Monde”, which translates into English as “The Conquest of the World”. A game of Risk is a must during the holidays in our house …

54. Traitor : RAT

Treason is a serious crime committed against the nation (or the sovereign). One who commits “treason” is called a “traitor”. In the past, the term treason also applied to lesser crimes so there was a differentiation between high treason against the king, and “petit treason” against a more common citizen.

56. Inventor Otis : ELISHA

Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

61. P : RHO

Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R.

62. With 68- and 74-Across, J. K. Rowling’s first screenplay, with a hint to three pairs of answers in this puzzle : FANTASTIC BEASTS
68. See 62-Across : … AND …
74. See 62-Across : … WHERE TO FIND THEM

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is a 2016 spin-off and prequel to the incredibly successful “Harry Potter” series of films. The film is an adaptation of a book of the same name written by J. K. Rowling that purports to be a guide book about the magical creatures in the “Harry Potter” universe. Harry Potter carries a copy of the guide book as one of his school books in the original novel “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”.

65. Indulges in to an unhealthy degree, briefly : ODS ON

Overdose (OD)

71. “___ bleu!” : SACRE

French speakers don’t really use the profanity “sacré bleu”, at least not anymore, but we see it a lot in English literature featuring native French speakers. Most famously it is uttered by Agatha Christie’s delightful Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. There is some dispute about the origins of “sacré bleu” (sacred blue), but French dictionaries explain that it is a “softening” of the alternative “sacré Dieu” (Holy God).

80. Northeast state sch. : UNH

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) is the largest university in the state. UNH was founded as the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts in 1866 in Hanover. The college was moved to Durham in the early 1890s, which is where UNH’s main campus is located to this day.

81. Meas. in a T.S.A. carry-on rule : OZS

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

The unit of mass that we know today as a pound is descended from the old Roman unit of weight known as a libra. That libra connection is why we abbreviate “pound” to “lb”. The name “pound” though comes from the Latin “pondo” meaning “weight”. Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a Roman “libra”.

84. Perfumery oil : NEROLI

Neroli oil is a plant oil gathered from blossoms of the bitter orange tree. Historically, the essence of bitter orange blossoms was extracted in the 17th century for the Princess of Nerola, Italy.

85. Barbie’s strawberry blond sister : STACIE

Stacie and Todd Roberts are twin siblings of Barbie, the doll. Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts, the daughter of George and Margaret Roberts.

87. Kingston bro : MON

That would be Kingston, Jamaica.

90. Real Madrid vis-à-vis F.C. Barcelona : RIVAL

Real Madrid is the professional soccer team based in Madrid, Spain. The team name translates as “Royal Madrid”. Real Madrid is often ranked as the world’s most valuable soccer team, and is one of the most widely supported sports teams on the planet.

“Barça” is the nickname of the soccer club FC Barcelona (Futbol Club Barcelona). Barcelona is one of the most financially successful football clubs in the world in terms of revenue, along with the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

91. Creation after the Indian and Eurasian plates collided : HIMALAYAS

The magnificent Himalaya range of mountains in Asia takes its name from the Sanskrit for “abode of snow”. Geographically, the Himalayas separate the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau to the north.

97. It’s not your fault : LET

Like a “let” in tennis, say.

103. Penne ___ vodka : ALLA

Penne alla vodka is a pasta dish with a sauce made of vodka, cream, tomatoes, onions and sausage or bacon.

114. Weather-controlling “X-Men” character : STORM

Storm is a superhero in the Marvel Comics universe whose superpower is the ability to control the weather. Storm was played by Halle Berry in the “X-Men” series of movies.

115. Gaelic’s home : SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS

The Scottish Highlands are that part of the country not classified as the Lowlands(!). The Highlands make up the north and west of Scotland.

120. One with a backstage pass : VIP

Very important person (VIP)

121. Fast time : LENT

In Latin, the Christian season that is now called “Lent” was termed “quadragesima” (meaning “fortieth”), a reference to the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry. When the church began its move in the Middle Ages towards using the vernacular, the term “Lent” was introduced. “Lent” comes from “lenz”, the German word for “spring”.

122. Sort with a stiff upper lip : STOIC

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). And yes, we get our adjective “stoic” from the same root.

123. Capital of Kazakhstan : ASTANA

Astana is the capital of Kazakhstan, although only since 1997. Prior to 1997, the nation’s capital was Almaty. The decision to move the capital was made as Almaty is in a part of the country populated by ethnic Russians and the new government wanted to distance itself even further from its Soviet history.

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Down

1. Like Bob Dylan’s voice : NASAL

The real name of singer Bob Dylan is Robert Zimmerman. Zimmerman chose that particular stage name because he was greatly influenced by the poetry of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

2. “Remember the ___!” : ALAMO

The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718 and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry “Remember the Alamo!”.

3. Medical discovery of 1928 : PENICILLIN

The antibiotic called penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928. He noted that a blue-green mold growing in a Petri dish produced a substance that inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus bacteria, which was growing on the same substrate. The mold was Penicillium notatum, and Fleming named the antibiotic penicillin after the mold.

4. ___ Johnson a.k.a. The Rock : DWAYNE

Dwayne Johnson is a former professional wrestler whose ring name was “the Rock”. He has used his success as a character in the ring, to cross over into television and movies. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as getting the highest payment for a first starring role, an incredible $5.5 million.

5. Burgle : ROB

The crime of burglary is the breaking into and entering of a building with the intent to steal. The actual theft itself is a separate crime.

6. Corp. mogul : CEO

Chief executive officer (CEO)

A mogul is a person with power. The term comes from the Mughal emperors of India and South Asia.

8. 2007 #1 Alicia Keys album : AS I AM

“Alicia Keys” is the stage name of Alicia Cook, an R&B and soul singer from Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.

9. Narrow down : WINNOW

We use the verb “to winnow” in a figurative sense to describe the separation of something good from a collection of worthless things. The more literal meaning is the freeing of grain from the lighter chaff by blowing on the mixture, or by throwing it in the air.

11. African grassland : VELDT

”Veldt” (sometimes “veld”) is the name given to large rural spaces in southern Africa. We might use the term “boondocks” for the same thing. The word “veldt” comes from the German for “field”.

12. Cent : U.S. :: ___ : Sweden : ORE

The Swedish Krona is divided into 100 öres, a term derived from the Latin “aureus” meaning “gold”.

13. Return letters? : IRS

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

14. Blue Book value decreaser : DENT

I think we tend to associate the term “blue book” with the Kelley Blue Book that provides valuations for vehicles. The term itself dates back to the 15th century when we started calling an almanac or other publication full of information a “blue book”.

17. Voice-activated device since 2014 : AMAZON ECHO

Amazon Echo is a voice-controlled hardware device that can be used to provide several services including playing radio programs and music, recording of shopping lists, and managing a calendar. The device just sits say in the home listening, until it hears a “wake up” command.

18. Nota ___ : BENE

“Nota bene” is Latin for “note well”.

25. Mother of the Virgin Mary : ANNE

In the Christian and Muslim traditions, Saint Anne was the mother of Mary and hence grandmother of Jesus. Saint Anne is the patroness of unmarried women, housewives, women in labor and grandmothers. She is also the patron saint of Santa Ana, California and Quebec, Canada.

28. Like a top-rated Michelin restaurant : THREE-STAR

Michelin is a manufacturer of tires that is based in France. The company was founded by brothers Édouard and André Michelin in 1888. The brothers were running a rubber factory at the time, and invented the world’s first removable pneumatic tire, an invention that they used to launch their new company. Michelin is also noted for rating restaurants and accommodation in its famous Michelin Travel Guides, awarding coveted Michelin “stars”.

32. Demise : END

Back in the 1400s, a demise was the transfer of an estate via a will. The usage of “demise” extended in the mid-1700s to the contemporary meaning of “death, downfall”.

33. Junior in the Football Hall of Fame : SEAU

Junior Seau was an NFL linebacker, first playing for the San Diego Chargers and then the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots. Sadly, Seau was found dead in his home in 2011, having committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest.

35. Shad delicacy : ROE

The shad is also known as the river herring. The eggs (roe) of the female shad are prized as a delicacy in the Eastern US.

40. Gumbo ingredient : OKRA

Gumbo is a type of stew or soup that originated in Louisiana. The primary ingredient can be meat or fish, but to be true gumbo it must include the “holy trinity” of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers and onion. Okra used to be a requirement but this is no longer the case. Okra gave the dish its name as the vernacular word for the African vegetable is “okingumbo”, from the Bantu language spoken by many of the slaves brought to America.

42. Playwright Chekhov : ANTON

Anton Chekhov was a Russian writer of short stories and a playwright, as well as a physician. He wrote four classic plays that are often performed all around the world, namely “The Seagull”, “Uncle Vanya”, “Three Sisters” and “The Cherry Orchard”. All the time Chekhov was writing, he continued to practice medicine. He is quoted as saying “Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress.”

43. Feudal domain : FIEF

Feudalism was a legal and military system that flourished in medieval Europe. Central to the system were the concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs. Lords would grant fiefs (land or rights) to vassals in exchange for allegiance and service.

46. Ghost : WRAITH

Wraith was originally a Scottish word, one meaning “ghost” or “specter”.

47. Person who’s happy to go bust? : NARC

“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

48. ___ Ski Valley : TAOS

Taos Ski Valley is a resort village in New Mexico, founded in 1955. About twelve families live there, making up thirty or so households and a population of about 60 people. It is said to very much resemble a Swiss village, and even includes an elected village council.

49. Repair, as a metal joint : RESOLDER

Solder is a metal alloy that is used to join pieces of a work together using the principle that the melting point of the alloy is below the melting point of the workpieces.

51. Certain product of pyrolysis : SHALE OIL

Shale oil can be extracted from oil shale (!), although the extraction process is more expensive than that used to produce crude oil.

53. Classic Chrysler : LEBARON

The Chrysler LeBaron made from 1977 to 1995 was a low-priced mid-sized automobile. However, the original LeBaron made in the 1930s was Chrysler’s luxury model, which competed with other luxury cars such as the Lincoln and the Packard.

57. Silent communication, for short : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

59. The golden rule, e.g. : TENET

The Golden Rule is also known as the ethic of reciprocity, and is a basis for the concept of human rights. A version of the rule used in the Christian tradition is attributed to Jesus:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

60. Italian wine town : ASTI

Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

64. Nursery rhyme seat : TUFFET

“Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey”, in the popular nursery rhyme. A tuffet is a low seat or a footstool, another word for a pouffe or a hassock. When milk curdles it separates into two parts, the solid curds and the liquid whey. Then “along came a spider and sat down beside her”.

71. It can come in rolls : SUSHI

Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If we want raw fish by itself, then we have to order “sashimi”.

78. Panache : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

Someone exhibiting panache is showing dash and verve, and perhaps has a swagger. “Panache” is a French word used for a plume of feathers, especially in a hat.

94. Opus ___ : DEI

Opus Dei is Roman Catholic institution that was founded in Spain in 1928, and officially approved by the church in 1950. In 2010, Opus Dei had over 90,000 members, mostly lay people. The institution’s mission is to promote certain aspects of the Roman Catholic doctrine. Opus Dei was portrayed as a sinister organization by Dan Brown in his novel “The Da Vinci Code”.

99. Robert who pioneered in electronic music : MOOG

In the sixties, Robert Moog invented the Moog Synthesizer, an electronic device that he used to produce music. I used to own a few of his albums, including a Moog version of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”. What a great performance that was …

102. Poughkeepsie campus : VASSAR

Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York is now a coeducational school, after over a century of operating as a women’s college since its founding in 1861. The school was officially declared co-ed in 1969, although it had accepted a handful of male students on the GI Bill after WWII.

107. From Swansea, say : WELSH

The city of Swansea is located on the coast in South Wales. It is the second largest city in Wales, after the capital of Cardiff. I love Swansea, and lived there for a couple of years …

109. Eleniak of “Baywatch” : ERIKA

Erika Eleniak is a former Playboy Playmate from Glendale, California. After modeling, Eleniak turned to acting and is perhaps best known for playing Shauni McClain on the TV show “Baywatch”.

111. Capital on the same parallel as Seward, Alaska : OSLO

Oslo is the capital of Norway. The city of Oslo burns trash to fuel half of its buildings, including all of its schools. The problem faced by the city is that it doesn’t generate enough trash. So, Oslo imports trash from Sweden, England and Ireland, and is now looking to import some American trash too.

The city of Seward, Alaska was named for Secretary of State William Seward, who fought for and negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia. Seward is the southerly terminus of the Iditarod Trail, known historically as the Seward-to-Nome Mail Trail. The city used the motto “Alaska Starts Here”.

112. Angle : FISH

We use the verb “to angle” to mean “to fish” because “angel” is an Old English word meaning “hook”.

116. Original Beatle Sutcliffe : STU

Stu Sutcliffe was one of the original four members of The Silver Beatles (as The Beatles were known in their early days), along with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Sutcliffe apparently came up with name “Beatles” along with John Lennon, as a homage to their hero Buddy Holly who was backed by the “Crickets”. By all reports, Sutcliffe wasn’t a very talented musician and was more interested in painting. He went with the group to Hamburg, more than once, but he eventually left the Beatles and went back to art school, actually studying for a while at the Hamburg College of Art. In 1962 in Hamburg, Sutcliffe collapsed with blinding headaches. He died in the ambulance on the way to hospital, his death attributed to cerebral paralysis.

119. Bit of forensic data : DNA

Something described as forensic is connected with a court of law, or with public discussion or debate. The term comes from the Latin “forensis” meaning “of a forum, of a place of assembly”. We mainly use the word today to mean “pertaining to legal trials” as in “forensic medicine” and “forensic science”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Cranky baby’s need : NAP
4. “Inspector Gadget” antagonist : DR CLAW
10. Eschew : AVOID
15. Starbuck’s order giver : AHAB
19. Brown ___ : ALE
20. Best seller subtitled “The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English” : WOE IS I
21. Pomme de ___ (French for “potato”) : TERRE
22. Part (of) : SOME
23. Part of U.C.S.F. : SAN
24. Cryptid of the 91-Across : ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN
27. Cordial relations : AMITY
29. Gave two big thumbs down : PANNED
30. Pluck : TWEEZE
31. Cryptid of the 115-Across : LOCH NESS MONSTER
36. Kids’ TV character who speaks in a falsetto : ELMO
37. Adler in Sherlock Holmes stories : IRENE
38. Freshly painted : WET
39. Talk like one smitten : COO
41. Singer Del Rey : LANA
43. Cabinet selection? : FILE
45. When crepuscular animals are active : DAWN
48. Cryptid of 105-Across : THE KRAKEN
50. Jersey and others : ISLES
52. Asian territory in Risk : URAL
54. Traitor : RAT
55. Surgically remove : RESECT
56. Inventor Otis : ELISHA
58. “Am not!” rejoinder : ARE TOO!
60. Smallish batteries : AAS
61. P : RHO
62. With 68- and 74-Across, J. K. Rowling’s first screenplay, with a hint to three pairs of answers in this puzzle : FANTASTIC BEASTS
65. Indulges in to an unhealthy degree, briefly : ODS ON
67. Dispense : ALLOT
68. See 62-Across : … AND …
69. Of service : UTILE
71. “___ bleu!” : SACRE
74. See 62-Across : … WHERE TO FIND THEM
80. Northeast state sch. : UNH
81. Meas. in a T.S.A. carry-on rule : OZS
83. Failed the class : GOT AN F
84. Perfumery oil : NEROLI
85. Barbie’s strawberry blond sister : STACIE
87. Kingston bro : MON
88. Stagger : REEL
90. Real Madrid vis-à-vis F.C. Barcelona : RIVAL
91. Creation after the Indian and Eurasian plates collided : HIMALAYAS
93. Total hunk : STUD
95. Tape or patch : MEND
96. “Happy Birthday” writer, maybe : ICER
97. It’s not your fault : LET
98. ___ rap (music subgenre) : EMO
101. Word before and after “say” : NEVER
103. Penne ___ vodka : ALLA
105. It borders Iceland’s eastern coast : THE NORWEGIAN SEA
111. Event not intended to be repeated : ONE-OFF
113. Bricklayer’s tool : TROWEL
114. Weather-controlling “X-Men” character : STORM
115. Gaelic’s home : SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
120. One with a backstage pass : VIP
121. Fast time : LENT
122. Sort with a stiff upper lip : STOIC
123. Capital of Kazakhstan : ASTANA
124. Squeeze (out) : EKE
125. “… ___ they say” : OR SO
126. Cupboard with open shelves at the top : HUTCH
127. What old army buddies might discuss : THE WAR
128. “Far out!” : RAD!

Down

1. Like Bob Dylan’s voice : NASAL
2. “Remember the ___!” : ALAMO
3. Medical discovery of 1928 : PENICILLIN
4. ___ Johnson a.k.a. The Rock : DWAYNE
5. Burgle : ROB
6. Corp. mogul : CEO
7. Hobbles : LIMPS
8. 2007 #1 Alicia Keys album : AS I AM
9. Narrow down : WINNOW
10. In a perfect world : AT BEST
11. African grassland : VELDT
12. Cent : U.S. :: ___ : Sweden : ORE
13. Return letters? : IRS
14. Blue Book value decreaser : DENT
15. Also : AS WELL AS
16. Housewives and househusbands : HOMEMAKERS
17. Voice-activated device since 2014 : AMAZON ECHO
18. Nota ___ : BENE
25. Mother of the Virgin Mary : ANNE
26. Be beholden to : OWE
28. Like a top-rated Michelin restaurant : THREE-STAR
32. Demise : END
33. Junior in the Football Hall of Fame : SEAU
34. Real: Ger. : ECHT
35. Shad delicacy : ROE
40. Gumbo ingredient : OKRA
42. Playwright Chekhov : ANTON
43. Feudal domain : FIEF
44. Actress Fisher : ISLA
46. Ghost : WRAITH
47. Person who’s happy to go bust? : NARC
48. ___ Ski Valley : TAOS
49. Repair, as a metal joint : RESOLDER
51. Certain product of pyrolysis : SHALE OIL
53. Classic Chrysler : LEBARON
54. Highway gunk : ROAD TAR
57. Silent communication, for short : ASL
59. The golden rule, e.g. : TENET
60. Italian wine town : ASTI
63. Carries away : TOWS
64. Nursery rhyme seat : TUFFET
66. Harm : DETRIMENT
70. Motor ___ : INN
71. It can come in rolls : SUSHI
72. Like chemotherapy drugs : ANTI-CANCER
73. Adaptable sorts : CHAMELEONS
75. Big things for megalomaniacs : EGOS
76. Telephone buttons that lack letters : ONES
77. Acts like a helicopter parent to : HOVERS OVER
78. Panache : ELAN
79. ___-mannered : MILD
82. Enthusiasm : ZEAL
86. Massimo who wrote “The Goodbye Kiss” : CARLOTTO
87. Adding and subtracting : MATH
89. Breather : LUNG
92. Until now : YET
94. Opus ___ : DEI
98. Make wealthy : ENRICH
99. Robert who pioneered in electronic music : MOOG
100. “And if I don’t?” : OR WHAT?
102. Poughkeepsie campus : VASSAR
104. Rearward : AFT
106. Value system : ETHIC
107. From Swansea, say : WELSH
108. Tickle : ELATE
109. Eleniak of “Baywatch” : ERIKA
110. Psyched : AMPED
111. Capital on the same parallel as Seward, Alaska : OSLO
112. Angle : FISH
116. Original Beatle Sutcliffe : STU
117. Having many fans … or needing a fan? : HOT
118. “Fuhgeddaboudit!” : NAW!
119. Bit of forensic data : DNA

9 thoughts on “1209-18 NY Times Crossword 9 Dec 18, Sunday”

  1. 1 hr and 23 min. and NO errors.
    I had to look up cryptid and couldn’t find it in my dictionary. The spell checker in my Ipad wouldn’t accept it either. I had to go to google to get it. After
    I knew what it meant the puzzle opened up.
    Kingston bro threw me for a while until it suddenly came to me “mon”.

  2. 35:17, no errors. Excellent theme with perfect symmetry, must have been a nightmare to construct. In case anyone cares: “Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of materials at elevated temperatures in an inert atmosphere”. (from Wikipedia).

  3. A relatively gettable Sunday slog that was close to being worth the time spent on it. A couple of lucky guesses completed it without error. (I’ll have yet to google to find out what “cryptid” means. Thanks, Jack.)

  4. Trudeau is a great constructor, indeed.

    Another great puzzle from a crosswords master.

    Saw “Fantastic Beasts” when it was first released. Also, would highly recommend checking out the sequel, “The Crimes of Grindelwald” (starring Johnny Depp as the titular character).

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