1216-18 NY Times Crossword 16 Dec 18, Sunday

Constructed by: Sam Ezersky
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Top Gear

Each of today’s themed answers includes a type of HAT as a hidden word. The twist is that said HAT has been DROPPED so that it hangs in the down-direction from the themed answer. The “peg” from which the HAT hangs is a circled letter in the grid:

  • 108A. Immediately … or where this puzzle’s five shaded squares appear? : AT THE DROP OF A HAT
  • 27A. Casting doubt on : CALLING INTO QUESTION (“TOQUE” drops down)
  • 40A. Topic concerned with hacking and software rights : CYBERETHICS (“BERET” drops down)
  • 65A. Riddle-ending query : WHAT AM I? (“TAM” dropped down)
  • 83A. Dangerous environment : SNAKE PIT (“KEPI” dropping down)
  • 89A. It comes after II Chronicles : BOOK OF EZRA (“FEZ” dropping down)

Bill’s time: 20m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7. Title for Iran’s Ruhollah Khomeini : IMAM

The Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was one of the leaders of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which overthrew the Shah of Iran. After the revolution he came to power as the country’s Supreme Leader, holding the highest ranking political and religious position. When Khomeini died in 1989, there were two funerals. The first had to be aborted after a crowd of 2 million people got out of control and encroached on the funeral procession. The Ayatollah’s wooden casket broke open and his body nearly fell to the ground as devotees tried to grasp pieces of his death shroud.

11. Herbert of old “Pink Panther” films : LOM

Herbert Lom was a Czech film actor best known for playing Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus in the series of “Pink Panther” movies. He was born in Prague in 1917, and had his first film role in a Czech film. Lom moved to England in 1939, and made many appearances in British movies. He also worked for many years in Hollywood, and played the King of Siam in the original London production of “The King and I”.

A lot of people think that the Inspector Clouseau character (played originally by Peter Sellers) is “The Pink Panther”. It’s actually the jewel that was stolen in the original movie. Would you believe there are eleven “Pink Panther” movies in the whole series?

23. Ancient capital of Laconia : SPARTA

Sparta was a city-state in ancient Greece that was famous for her military might. Spartan children had a tough upbringing, and newborn babies were bathed in wine to see if the child was strong enough to survive. Every child was presented to a council of elders that decided if the baby was suitable for rearing. Those children deemed too puny were executed by tossing them into a chasm. We’ve been using the term “spartan” to describe something self-disciplined or austere since the 1600s.

Ancient Laconia was a region in southern Greece that was dominated by the city of Sparta. The people from Laconia were proud of their brevity of speech, which gives rise our modern term “laconic” meaning someone who uses few words.

25. Letters before single, double or triple : RBI

Run batted in (RBI)

26. Lace tip : AGLET

An aglet is a plastic or metal sheath that is found on the end of a shoelace or perhaps a drawstring. The name “aglet” comes from the Old French word “aguillette” meaning “needle”.

27. Casting doubt on : CALLING INTO QUESTION (“TOQUE” drops down)

A toque was a brimless style of hat that was very fashionable in Europe in the 13th to 16th centuries. Nowadays we associate toques with chefs, as it is the name given to a chef’s hat (called a “toque blanche” in French, a “white hat”). A chef’s toque is quite interesting. Many toques have exactly 100 pleats, often said to signify the number of ways that an egg can be cooked.

30. Lake Volta’s land : GHANA

The country name “Ghana” translates as “warrior king” in the local language. The British established a colony they called Gold Coast in 1874, later to become Ghana, as part of the scramble by Europeans to settle as much of Africa as they could. One of Ghana’s most famous sons is Kofi Annan, the diplomat who served as General Secretary of the UN for ten years until the beginning of 2007.

Lake Volta is the largest artificially formed lake in the world by surface area, and the fourth largest by volume. The lake has a surface area of over 3,000 square miles. Lake Volta is located almost totally in the Republic of Ghana in West Africa. It is formed by the Akosombo Dam that holds back the White Volta River and the Black Volta River.

32. Radio/TV character played in film by Michael Horse (1981) and Johnny Depp (2013) : TONTO

In the television version of “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by the actor Jay Silverheels. In the terrible 1981 movie “The Legend of the Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by Michael Horse. In the 2013 movie “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by Johnny Depp. Famously, the Lone Ranger’s horse was called Silver and Tonto’s mount was named Scout. But, in the early TV shows, Tonto rode a horse called White Feller.

33. Like some ruins in the Western Hemisphere : MAYAN

The Maya civilization held sway in Central America and Mexico from about 350 AD, until the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s.

36. 8.5″ x 11″: Abbr. : LTR

Our paper sizes here in North America don’t conform with the standards in the rest of the world. ISO standard sizes used elsewhere were chosen so that the ratio of width to length is usually one to the square root of two. This mathematical relationship means that when you cut a piece of paper in two each half preserves the aspect ratio of the original, which can be useful in making reduced or enlarged copies of documents. Our standard size of “letter” (ltr., 8.5 x 11 inches) was determined in 1980 by the Reagan administration to be the official paper size for the US government. Prior to this, the “legal” size (8.5 x 14 inches) had been the standard, since 1921.

44. Three-star mil. rank : LT GEN

Historically, the rank of lieutenant general (Lt. Gen) dates back to medieval time, when it was subordinate to a captain general. The latter was in command on the battlefield, and the former was his “lieutenant”, his second in command. Today, the rank of lieutenant general usually falls below general, and above major general (despite the fact that a “major” outranks a “lieutenant”).

45. Pope who supported the House of Borgia : PIUS III

The Borgias were a papal family that was very prominent during the Renaissance in Europe. Two of the Borgias became popes, namely Pope Calixtus III and Pope Alexander VI. Pope Alexander VI had several children, including Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia. Cesare became a cardinal, and was the first cardinal to resign from the post. Lucrezia earned a reputation as a femme fatale, and as such turns up in many artworks, novels and movies.

62. Head honcho : CEO

“Honcho” is a slang term used for a leader. The word comes to us from Japanese, in which language a “hancho” is a squad (han) leader (cho).

63. “Resume speed,” musically : A TEMPO

“A tempo” is a Italian for “in time”. The phrase is used on a musical score to instruct a performer to return to the main tempo of the piece, perhaps after slowing down or speeding up.

64. Emailing option : BCC

A blind carbon copy (bcc) is a copy of a document or message that is sent to someone without other recipients of the message knowing about that extra copy.

65. Riddle-ending query : WHAT AM I? (“TAM” dropped down)

Here are a few riddles:

  1. Imagine you are in a dark room. How do you get out?
  2. What can travel around the world while staying in a corner?
  3. There is a word and six letters it contains. Take one away and twelve is what remains. What word is it?
  4. Two girls were born to the same mother, on the same day, at the same time, in the same month and year and yet they’re not twins. How can this be?
  5. What is so delicate that even saying its name will break it?
  6. What word in the English Language is always spelled incorrectly?

And the answers:

  1. Stop imagining.
  2. A stamp
  3. Dozens
  4. They’re in a set of triplets
  5. Silence
  6. Incorrectly

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

67. Toward the stern : ABAFT

On a boat, the term “abaft” means “towards the stern”.

69. Its first letter stands for “India” : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

72. Lex, e.g., in N.Y.C. : AVE

Lexington Avenue in New York City is famous from many things, but my favorite fact is that it was the site of the first ever arrest for speeding in the city. In 1899 a police officer on a bicycle caught up with a cab driver who was tearing down Lexington Avenue, at the breakneck speed of 12mph …

77. Sides in Risk : ARMIES

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 …

78. Bette Midler’s “Divine” nickname : MISS M

One of my favorite singers, and indeed all-round entertainers, is Bette Midler. If you’ve ever seen her live show you’ll know that “camp” is a good word to describe it, as her humor is definitely “out there” and quite bawdy. Early in her career, Midler spent years singing in the Continental Baths, a gay bathhouse in New York City. There she became very close friends with her piano accompanist, Barry Manilow. While singing in the bathhouse, Bette only wore a white towel, just like the members of her audience. It was in those days that she created her famous character “the Divine Miss M” and also earned herself the nickname “Bathhouse Betty”.

80. Tense periods, for short : OTS

Overtime (OT)

82. Archer of film : ANNE

Anne Archer is an American actress, a native of Los Angeles and the daughter of actors Marjorie Lord (co-star in “The Danny Thomas Show”) and John Archer. Anne’s most famous role was in 1987’s “Fatal Attraction” in which she played the wronged wife. She also played the wife of Jack Ryan’s character in “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger”.

83. Dangerous environment : SNAKE PIT (“KEPI” dropping down)

A kepi is a circular cap with a visor, one that’s particularly associated with the French military.

84. Easy-to-swallow pill : GELCAP

Gelatin capsules (gelcaps) might be an issue for those on a strict vegan diet. The gelatin used in the capsule is made from collagen extracted from animal skin and bone.

87. Prized duck : EIDER

Eiders are large sea ducks. Their down feathers are used to fill pillows and quilts, giving the name to the quilt called an “eiderdown”.

89. It comes after II Chronicles : BOOK OF EZRA (“FEZ” dropping down)

In the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Ezra was originally combined with the Book of Nehemiah, with the two being separated in the early days of the Christian Era.

94. Coiner of the term “Oedipus complex” : FREUD

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist, and founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychiatry. One of Freud’s tenets was that our dreams are a necessary part of sleep as they prevent the dreamer from awakening due to desire for unfulfilled wishes. The dream’s content represents those unfulfilled wishes and satisfies the desire.

An oedipal relationship is one in which a child exhibits sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex. A child exhibiting such behavior is said to have an Oedipus complex, named for the play “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles.

103. All-nighter aid : NODOZ

NoDoz and Vivarin are brand names of caffeine pills.

105. Sets of plotted points : LOCI

“Locus” (plural “loci”) is Latin for “place”, and is used in English with the same meaning. The term can also be used to describe a center of power or activity.

108. Immediately … or where this puzzle’s five shaded squares appear? : AT THE DROP OF A HAT

It is suggested that the idiomatic phrase “at the drop of a hat” comes from the Old West, where a signal to start a fight was just a that, a drop of a hat.

112. Japanese symbol of luck : KOI

Koi are fish that are also known as Japanese carp. Koi have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored examples found in Japanese water gardens.

114. Swimming : NATANT

Something described as natant is floating or swimming. The term “natant” come from the Latin “natare” meaning “to swim”.

115. Notable schemer : PONZI

Charles Ponzi was born in Luigi, Italy in 1882 and arrived in the US in 1903, flat broke having gambled away all his money on the voyage to Boston. Ponzi devised a scheme to buy what were known as “international reply coupons” through friends in Italy, which he had sent to him in the US so that he could redeem them on this side of the Atlantic. As the value in the US was greater than that in Italy, he could make a handsome profit. This was in itself an “illegal” transaction, buying an asset in one market at a low price, then immediately selling it in another market at a higher price. But it’s what he did next that became known as a Ponzi Scheme. He couldn’t redeem his coupons quickly enough due to red tape so he approached other investors, initially friends, and had them give him cash so that he could buy more coupons in Italy. He promised the investors he would double their money, which they did initially. Many people wanted to get in on the scheme seeing that Ponzi was able to make the new investors a profit and double the money of the original investors. Eventually, somebody did the math and word started to get out that the investment was risky, so the number of new investors started to fall. Without sufficient new investors Ponzi couldn’t double the money of his latest investors, and the whole scheme unraveled.

116. Some dash lengths : EMS

In typography, there are em dashes and en dashes. The em dash is about the width of an “m” character, and an en dash about half that, the width of an “n’ character. An en dash is used, for example, to separate numbers designating a range, as in 5-10 years. The em dash seems to be going out of style, and indeed the application I am using to write this paragraph won’t let me show you one!

121. E-tail site since 2005 : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

122. King’s speech? : SERMON

Martin Luther King, Jr’s father was born Michael King. On a trip to Germany in 1934, Michael came to admire Protestant leader Martin Luther and changed his name to Martin Luther King on his return the United States. Famously, he passed on his new name to his son, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr (MLK).

Down

4. Gloucester and Kent in “King Lear” : EARLS

Shakespeare was inspired to write his famous drama “King Lear” by the legend of “Leir of Britain”, the story of a mythological Celtic king.

5. Certain bubbly, informally : ASTI

Asti is a sparkling white wine from the Piedmont region of Italy, and is named for the town of Asti around which the wine is produced. The wine used to be called Asti Spumante, and it had a very bad reputation as a “poor man’s champagne”. The “Spumante” was dropped in a marketing attempt at rebranding associated with a reduction in the amount of residual sugar in the wine.

6. Final work of Willa Cather’s “Prairie Trilogy” : MY ANTONIA

American novelist Willa Cather wrote what’s referred to as the “prairie trilogy”, books that tell the story of Swedish immigrants living in Nebraska. The titles in the trilogy are “O Pioneers!”, “The Song of the Lark” and “My Ántonia”. Cather won the Pulitzer Prize for another novel “One of Ours”, which is set in Nebraska and the French battlefields of WWI.

8. Police officer who’s not necessarily on horseback : MOUNTIE

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the Mounties, RCMP) is an unusual police force in that it provides all policing for the whole country. The RCMP works on the national level, and right down to the municipal level. The force’s distinctive uniform of red serge tunic, blue pants with a yellow stripe, stetson hat etc. is known internally as “Review Order”. The red uniform dates back to the days of the North-West Mounted Police, which was one of the existing forces that were merged in 1920 to form the RCMP.

11. Cowboy’s rope : LARIAT

Our word “lariat” comes from the Spanish “la reater” meaning “the rope”.

16. Country whose name consists of three consecutive state postal abbreviations : MALAWI

Malawi is in southeast Africa and is one of the least-developed countries in the world. The Malawi population has a low life expectancy and a high infant mortality rate. HIV/AIDS is a major killer. The British colonized the area in 1891, at which point it was called Nyasaland. Malawi became independent in 1964.

MA (Massachusetts), LA (Louisiana) and WI (Wisconsin).

17. Peaceful : IRENIC

“Irenic” (also “eirenic”) means peaceful, and comes from the Greek “eirene” meaning “peace”. A lovely word …

18. ___ spawn (hellions) : SATAN’S

A hellion is a mischievous and wild person. “Hellion” is a North American term, one probably derived for the word that we use for the same thing on the other side of the Atlantic, namely “hallion”.

29. “Eww, that’s enough!” : TMI!

Too much information! (TMI!)

34. MetLife Stadium team, on scoreboards : NYG

The New York Giants (NYG) football team play their home games in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, a stadium shared with the New York Jets (NYJ). The Giants are the only team remaining from a group of five that joined the league in 1925. For many years, the Giants shared team names with the New York Giants MLB team, before the baseball franchise moved to San Francisco after the 1957 season.

37. Clear and set, as tables : BUS

A busboy is a person who assists a waiter, mainly by clearing tables. The verb “to bus” arose in the early 1900s and is probably a reference to the wheeled cart that was used to carry dishes.

39. Scanned IDs : UPCS

Universal Price Code or Universal Product Code (UPC)

41. Italian pistol : BERETTA

Beretta is an Italian manufacturer of firearms, one that has been selling firearms since 1526! The company got a big boost of sales in the US in the eighties, when it’s Beretta 92 pistol was selected by the US Army for use as its service handgun (although it was known as the “M9” pistol by the US Army).

44. Plastic construction piece : LEGO BLOCK

Lego is manufactured by Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

46. Totally out : IN A COMA

Our term “coma” comes from the Greek “koma” meaning “deep sleep”.

48. Juice brand : HI-C

Hi-C orange drink was created in 1946, and introduced to the market in 1948, initially in the south of the country. The name “Hi-C” was chosen to emphasize the high vitamin C content in the drink, as it contained added ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

49. Longtime N.B.A. on TNT analyst : O’NEAL

Retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal now appears regularly as an analyst on the NBA TV show “Inside the NBA”. Shaq has quite a career in the entertainment world. His first rap album, called “Shaq Diesel”, went platinum. He also starred in two of his own reality show: “Shaq’s Big Challenge” and “Shaq Vs.”

51. Who wrote “Some people talk to animals. Not many listen, though. That’s the problem.” : AA MILNE

Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author who is best known for his delightful “Winnie-the-Pooh” series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin’s real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

53. “Miss ___” (2016 political thriller) : SLOANE

“Miss Sloane” is a 2016 political thriller movie starring Jessica Chastain in the title role. Miss Sloane is a successful lobbyist in Washington who takes on the gun lobby, and learns how tough that can be.

54. Some fall births : LIBRAS

The constellation of Libra is named for the scales held by the goddess of justice. Libra is the only sign of the zodiac that isn’t named for a living creature.

57. Heroes of the Battle of Britain, for short : RAF

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF’s “finest hour” was the Battle of Britain, when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

66. Freelancers’ units: Abbr. : HRS

Hour (hr.)

The term “free lance” was coined by Sir Walter Scott in his 1820 novel “Ivanhoe”, when he used it to describe a medieval mercenary warrior. Forty years later, a “freelancer” was a journalist who did work for more than one publication without a long-term commitment.

76. Scat snippet : LA LA

Scat singing is a vocal improvisation found in the world of jazz. There aren’t any words as such in scat singing, just random nonsense syllables made up on the spot.

79. “Quién ___?” : SABE

“Quién sabe?” is Spanish for “who knows?”

81. Sanctuaries : SAFE ZONES

A sanctuary is a sacred or holy place, the term coming from the Latin “sanctus” meaning “holy”. Some Christian traditions use the word “sanctuary” to describe the area in a church that houses the main altar.

88. With 93-Down, half of a double helix : DNA
(93D. See 88-Down : STRAND)

Francis Crick and James Watson discovered that DNA had a double-helix, chain-like structure, and published their results in Cambridge in 1953. To this day the discovery is mired in controversy, as some crucial results collected by fellow researcher Rosalind Franklin were used without her permission or even knowledge.

90. Skunklike, say : ODOROUS

Skunks have anal scent glands that can be used as defensive weapons. The glands produce sulfur-containing chemicals that have a really awful smell and that can irritate the eyes and skin.

92. “Old MacDonald” farm sounds : MOO MOO

There was an American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O), that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

94. Purchase at an African market : FETISH

At the beginning of the 19th century, fetishism was the worship of “fetishes”. Back then, a fetish was an object that was revered and considered to have mysterious powers. A few decades later, the usage of the term “fetish” was extended, probably by New England Transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, to describe an object of blind devotion. The concept of sexual fetishism arose at the end of the 19th century.

102. Botanical opening : STOMA

Stomata (the usual plural of stoma, not “stomas”) are pores found under almost every leaf, clearly visible under a simple microscope. The stomata take in air rich in carbon dioxide. Through the process of photosynthesis, the plants generate oxygen, which is released back into the air though the same stomata.

104. Marriage money : DOWRY

Originally, a dowry was money that was set aside by a man for his wife and children, to be used in the event that he passed away. A widow who receives said money was known as a dowager. Over time, “dowry” became a term used for the money, goods or estate that a woman brought into a marriage, and “dowager” came to mean an elderly woman with an elevated social position.

105. “Ciao!” : LATER!

“Ciao” is Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

107. Gifts that one usually bows when receiving : LEIS

“Lei” is the Hawaiian word for “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

109. Certain dirección : ESTE

“Este” (east) is a “dirección” (direction), in Spanish.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Early wake-up time : FIVE AM
7. Title for Iran’s Ruhollah Khomeini : IMAM
11. Herbert of old “Pink Panther” films : LOM
14. Penultimate tourney round : SEMIS
19. “Doesn’t matter to me” : I’M EASY
20. Not yet completed : TO DO
21. ___ moment : AHA
22. Sash go-with : TIARA
23. Ancient capital of Laconia : SPARTA
24. Brew : SUDS
25. Letters before single, double or triple : RBI
26. Lace tip : AGLET
27. Casting doubt on : CALLING INTO QUESTION (“TOQUE” drops down)
30. Lake Volta’s land : GHANA
31. The best, informally : ACES
32. Radio/TV character played in film by Michael Horse (1981) and Johnny Depp (2013) : TONTO
33. Like some ruins in the Western Hemisphere : MAYAN
35. Lookalike : TWIN
36. 8.5″ x 11″: Abbr. : LTR
37. Scare quote? : BOO!
38. Words of resignation : I QUIT
40. Topic concerned with hacking and software rights : CYBERETHICS (“BERET” drops down)
42. Put on a few layers : BUNDLE UP
44. Three-star mil. rank : LT GEN
45. Pope who supported the House of Borgia : PIUS III
47. Diminishing returns? : ECHOES
50. They’re between shoulders : ROADS
54. Word with shot or suit : LONG …
55. Rowdydow : ADO
56. Not abstaining : USING
57. Much sales : RETAIL
58. “No bid” : I PASS
60. An end to depend : -ENCE
62. Head honcho : CEO
63. “Resume speed,” musically : A TEMPO
64. Emailing option : BCC
65. Riddle-ending query : WHAT AM I? (“TAM” dropped down)
67. Toward the stern : ABAFT
69. Its first letter stands for “India” : IPA
70. Certain tenant : ROOMER
72. Lex, e.g., in N.Y.C. : AVE
74. Misfortunes : ILLS
75. Going for broke : ALL IN
77. Sides in Risk : ARMIES
78. Bette Midler’s “Divine” nickname : MISS M
80. Tense periods, for short : OTS
82. Archer of film : ANNE
83. Dangerous environment : SNAKE PIT (“KEPI” dropping down)
84. Easy-to-swallow pill : GELCAP
85. Food item cracked open before eating : CRAB LEG
87. Prized duck : EIDER
89. It comes after II Chronicles : BOOK OF EZRA (“FEZ” dropping down)
91. “Today was just brutal!” : I’M SPENT!
94. Coiner of the term “Oedipus complex” : FREUD
96. / : PER
97. Thickheaded : DIM
100. Words of denial : NOT I
101. Lost : AT SEA
103. All-nighter aid : NODOZ
105. Sets of plotted points : LOCI
106. Shade of pink : CORAL
108. Immediately … or where this puzzle’s five shaded squares appear? : AT THE DROP OF A HAT
111. Floor : AMAZE
112. Japanese symbol of luck : KOI
113. Largo or lento : SLOW
114. Swimming : NATANT
115. Notable schemer : PONZI
116. Some dash lengths : EMS
117. Rock stars are frequently on this : TOUR
118. Come out : EMERGE
119. Standard parts of combo meals : SODAS
120. “I’m good, thanks” : NAH
121. E-tail site since 2005 : ETSY
122. King’s speech? : SERMON

Down

1. Kind of year : FISCAL
2. Collision : IMPACT
3. Calf raised for its meat : VEALER
4. Gloucester and Kent in “King Lear” : EARLS
5. Certain bubbly, informally : ASTI
6. Final work of Willa Cather’s “Prairie Trilogy” : MY ANTONIA
7. Tennis commentator’s cry : IT’S IN!
8. Police officer who’s not necessarily on horseback : MOUNTIE
9. “Play next” command on a music app : ADD TO QUEUE
10. Shade of green : MOSS
11. Cowboy’s rope : LARIAT
12. “Here we go again …” : OH BOY …
13. Followers of openers : MAIN ACTS
14. By oneself, in a way : STAG
15. It’s played for half a beat in 4/4 time : EIGHTH NOTE
16. Country whose name consists of three consecutive state postal abbreviations : MALAWI
17. Peaceful : IRENIC
18. ___ spawn (hellions) : SATAN’S
28. “Ooh, let’s do that!” : GOOD IDEA!
29. “Eww, that’s enough!” : TMI!
34. MetLife Stadium team, on scoreboards : NYG
37. Clear and set, as tables : BUS
39. Scanned IDs : UPCS
41. Italian pistol : BERETTA
42. Gets to : BUGS
43. One who cracks the whip? : LION TAMER
44. Plastic construction piece : LEGO BLOCK
45. Serving in a red-and-white striped box : POPCORN
46. Totally out : IN A COMA
48. Juice brand : HI-C
49. Longtime N.B.A. on TNT analyst : O’NEAL
51. Who wrote “Some people talk to animals. Not many listen, though. That’s the problem.” : AA MILNE
52. Action of a ladle : DIPPING
53. “Miss ___” (2016 political thriller) : SLOANE
54. Some fall births : LIBRAS
57. Heroes of the Battle of Britain, for short : RAF
59. Babe : SWEETIE
61. Mannerly : CIVIL
66. Freelancers’ units: Abbr. : HRS
68. Colorful treat that resembles a rocket : ASTRO POP
71. All-Star Mets catcher of the 1990s-2000s : MIKE PIAZZA
73. Corner PC key : ESC
74. Tow destination : IMPOUND LOT
76. Scat snippet : LA LA
79. “Quién ___?” : SABE
81. Sanctuaries : SAFE ZONES
84. Be conned : GET TAKEN
86. [Shiver] : [BRR]
88. With 93-Down, half of a double helix : DNA
90. Skunklike, say : ODOROUS
91. Like TV but not radio? : IN CAPS
92. “Old MacDonald” farm sounds : MOO MOO
93. See 88-Down : STRAND
94. Purchase at an African market : FETISH
95. “Yay, team!” : RAH!
97. Cause damage : DO HARM
98. Volunteer’s declaration : I CAN GO
99. Snowball fighter’s protection : MITTEN
102. Botanical opening : STOMA
104. Marriage money : DOWRY
105. “Ciao!” : LATER!
107. Gifts that one usually bows when receiving : LEIS
109. Certain dirección : ESTE
110. What stars have : FAME

10 thoughts on “1216-18 NY Times Crossword 16 Dec 18, Sunday”

  1. 62:21, and Dave was wrong. This was hard. Took me too long to figure out the theme/gimmick, but once I did it got easier. ABAFT? Really?

    Interesting stuff on the word FETISH. “An object of blind devotion”? Hmmm so tequila could be considered a fetish?

    Best –

    1. Jeff it sure was a tough one. 17Down Peaceful : IRENIC never heard of it. New word for us.
      Donna says swimming 114 across = natant. Really come on.

      Kudos to Dave and Mr. Bill at the speed you finish these puzzles is amazing.

  2. 40:34, no errors. Sort of got the theme. I interpreted it as entering the entire ‘hat’ into the shaded (in my puzzle) square as a rebus; which sat on top of (and provided the first letter for) the vertical word for the hat. Oh well, all squares were filled correctly, so I’ll take it.

  3. Wow – toughie from Sam! Thought this was a rebus puzzle, and therefore treated it as such. Just found it that it actually wasn’t, but I feel like the concept used in this puzzle is almost the same….

    Had lots of help with this one. Really took the edge of this puzzle due to it.

    Merry Christmas to all!

  4. Regarding Maj Gen vs Lt. Gen, it was originally Sergeant-Major General, and as Sgt-Maj is lower ranked than Lt, it carried over.

  5. I also treated it as a rebus and put the entire word in the square and finished with what I consider no errors.
    I just got my iPad up and running after 7 days.

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